Actions

Work Header

Other You (Interdimensional Love Triangle)

Chapter Text

“Hey Kara!”

Kara’s head whips around. Barry’s standing by the far wall in the Star Labs command center, motioning her over. “Kara,” he repeats when she gets close enough, “this is my dad, Joe West. Joe, this is Kara Danvers, the girl I told you about.”

“It’s very nice to meet you, Mr. West,” Kara says cheerfully, holding her hand out.

“Kara Danvers, the girl from another Earth,” Joe replies, taking Kara’s hand and shaking it. “I’ve heard a lot about you.” He winces as he drops her hand. “Quite a handshake you’ve got there,” he adds, flexing his own hand and shaking it out.

“Sorry!” Kara exclaims as Barry laughs. She pushes her glasses up on her nose. “I’m a little stronger here than I am back home. I haven’t gotten my strength regulated just yet.”

“And this,” Barry says, pulling a tall young man over to them, “is Wally.”

“The little brother!” Kara says excitedly.

“The alien, right?”

“Dude, c’mon,” Barry says, punching Wally’s arm, “you can’t just call her an alien.”

Iris walks up behind the two of them and slaps Wally in the back of the head. “Yeah, rude.”

Kara’s smile is slightly melancholy as she watches the three of them tease each other. Kara really likes all of Barry’s friends, but she’s ready to get back to her own family and friends. She hopes Alex isn’t too mad at her when she gets back. Kara frowns and tilts her head. Maybe she’s more homesick than she thought. She could’ve sworn she heard Alex’s voice—there! Kara whirls around, then speeds over to a screen set into one of the desks. She can feel Barry speed up behind her, but she pays him no mind in favor of concentrating on the news anchor on the live feed.

“—Danvers, CEO of Phaenomena, talking about the charity gala she’s hosting tonight to—”

Kara ignores the rest of what the interviewer’s saying, focusing instead on the picture in the upper left corner of the screen. She reaches out a trembling finger to touch it.

“Alexandra Danvers,” Barry says from behind her as he looks over her shoulder. “Wait, is that, is that your sister?” Kara nods jerkily, unable to speak. It’s Alex, but it’s not. This Alex is different, Kara can tell just from the photograph. She’s never seen her sister look so content and light. What was this Alex’s life like? Did she have people who loved her, who protected her?

Barry turns and leans back against the desk, hand next to Kara’s as she holds herself up. “Wow. Wow, I can’t believe I never made that connection before. I mean, some of my people weren’t on your Earth, so I didn’t think about your people being here. Huh.” Barry pauses then, focusing on Kara’s face. “Hey. Hey, are you alright?”

“Yeah,” Kara says, dashing a rough hand across her face. “I was just surprised, seeing this Earth’s Alex, I just…”

“Just what?”

“I kinda wanna see her?” Kara shrugs, helpless against her own emotions. “Not to tell her anything,” she adds hurriedly, “just see how she is, see the kind of person she’s become on this Earth.” See how my Alex could’ve been if I hadn’t crashed into her life, she adds to herself.

“Well you know,” Barry says with a grin as he looks around the room, “we’ve got a few people here who are pretty good with computers. We could get you on the guest list for her big party tonight.”

“Oh, no, that’s not… that’s too much trouble,” Kara protests weakly.

“Oh, c’mon,” Barry cajoles.

“But I don’t have anything to wear,” Kara points out.

Barry grins at her. “I think we have a time traveler that can help with that.”

--

Kara tugs at the hem of her green dress as she’s waved through the front doors and into the party. The dress is shorter than she usually wears, but with a wink Sara had assured her that it looked good, “really good” on her. She pauses just inside the lobby, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the scene stretched out in front of her. There’s what looks like hundreds of people milling around, talking, drinking, and, Kara lowers her glasses and squints at a far wall, doing things they definitely should not be doing in public. She quickly pushes her glasses back up on her face and shudders. She definitely won't be visiting that restroom tonight.

Kara snags a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, and with a fortifying gulp, steps into the fray. She’s never relied on alcohol before, but for a moment or two, she wishes she could feel it working as she sips, her nerves still strung taut. She supposes she should be mingling, but her cautious steps clash with the pompous atmosphere around her.

Luckily, the buffet table filled with different kinds of expensive looking food catches Kara’s attention. It’s exactly what’s needed to ground her, stop her from fidgeting so much. She doesn’t waste any further time and marches determinedly towards the table. Balancing two plates on one arm as she piles up food upon food does earn her the stares of strangers, but Kara pays it no mind. She spots a tall table tucked against the far wall and carefully makes her way across the room, stepping around clusters of people and just barely saving her food as someone jostles her from behind. Kara sighs and clutches her plates tighter, raising them above her head as she steps around a giggling couple and finally reaches her destination.

Figuring it may take some time to find Alex, Kara just focuses on the food, finally more at ease with the comfort the action brings her. The smell is already mouthwatering. It's mostly seafood and Kara has no objection, everything tastes amazing!

Oh, yum, is that—

A familiar sound has her freezing mid bite. Kara squints, putting down the treat, gulping down a mouthful of the remaining champagne, as she surreptitiously starts using her super vision.

She doesn't see anyone familiar, but her breath has picked up regardless.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Kara hears it again – the comforting heartbeat that has soothed her, lulled her to sleep, stopped her from panicking so many times in the last 13 years.

She can't help it; she follows. Food and drink forgotten, Kara moves instinctively across the floor, ears attuned to what she's sure now is Alex’s heartbeat. There's a small crowd at the opposite side of the large room, and considering who the owner of the building is, Kara’s not surprised. She doesn't plan on actually getting too close, just enough… just enough to see this Alex.

Excitement and curiosity bubble and rise like wildfire in her chest, but Kara is careful not to seem too eager as she slides closer and closer. She still doesn't have a clear view of whoever is commanding the attention of the various people huddled together, but she knows.

What she sees next completely steals her ability to plan anything.

This is Alex, but it's not – the sight so different from anything Kara has seen.

There she is, the young CEO, oozing confidence with her relaxed pose, one hand in her pocket, the other propped casually on her hip. Long brown hair, playful smirk, a burgundy suit.

Rao, she's wearing a suit!

This is confusing, both familiar and astonishing enough to cause Kara to just stare. And stare some more. And keep staring until Alex glances up and catches her eyes. Kara jerks and half-ducks behind a passing waiter, following him until she feels safely hidden from Alex’s gaze. She steps into a small alcove and leans against the wall, letting her head thump back against the painted paneling. Rao, that was close! Kara takes a deep breath and shuts her eyes in an ineffectual attempt to slow her heart rate. Obviously the excitement of seeing Alex is just too much for her heart to handle. Unbidden, the image of Alex in her suit floats across Kara’s mind. The well fit blazer, the black shirt to match tucked into pants. She gulps. It’s getting warm in here, isn’t it?

Okay, okay.

She can do it. She's faced much scarier opponents this year alone. Stealing a glimpse of this version of Alex shouldn't be that hard.

She can be sneaky.

With affected casualness she leaves her hiding place, walking back where she knows she'll find Alex. Her eyes instinctively trace the woman's silhouette, keen on spotting any noticeable differences.

The familiar laugh lines at her mouth, the long-forgotten long hair stylishly curled, the dainty fingers clutching her glass of whiskey, the thin waist. She wonders if this Alex too can disarm a grown ass man with her bare hands.

Unbeknownst to Kara, the woman has noticed her prolonged staring.

Kara’s distracted for a moment when someone bumps into her, and when she turns her attention back to Alex, the other woman has apparently vanished. Kara frowns, pushing her glasses up firmly on her nose as she steps back and glances frantically around the room. Where could she have gone? There’s no way Alex could’ve disappeared so quickly, it’s not like she has powers or—Kara pauses, eyes widening. Wait, what if Alex has powers here? Maybe she’s a meta, or a science experiment gone wrong or—

“Looking for someone?”

Kara yelps as a hand touches the back of her elbow, stumbling forward a step before grabbing a potted plant and righting herself. She pulls in a deep breath and turns around. Nothing can prepare her when she suddenly finds Alex standing much too close to her, an amused little smile on her face. Kara feels the air catch in her throat and just stands there, half-gawking like a complete fool.

Silence lingers.

“Uh, wha…no, no, no!” She hurries at the raised eyebrow. “No.”

“So that’s a no then?” Alex somehow looks even more amused, if that’s possible, and instead of walking away from the stuttering, possible stalker in front of her, she steps even closer to Kara, eyeing her up and down.

“Are you alone?”

For some reason, the intense look on the woman’s face has Kara blushing. It’s not like she isn’t used to having her Alex’s complete attention whenever she’s talking, but this feels different. Heavier, somehow.

She licks her lips, lowers her eyes for a moment to center herself. “Yes.”

There, concise and clear.

Alex hums, but still seems entertained by her monosyllabic answer. Kara blushes harder. Rao, what is wrong with her today?! This should be easier. It’s… Alex. Except her sweaty palms and pounding heart are signs enough that this alternate version of her sister doesn’t exactly put her at ease. Suddenly, Kara is overwhelmed by the desire to know what type of life the woman leads.

“I’m Kara,” she blurts out, thrusting her hand out between them.

“Kara,” Alex says with a smirk. Kara’s mouth goes dry at the way her name rolls off Alex’s tongue, voice silkier and deeper than what she’s normally used to. Alex takes her hand in a firm grip. “I’m Alexandra.” Her thumb caresses Kara’s wrist. “But you can call me Lexie.”

There’s a twisty feeling in Kara’s stomach. Alex is still holding her hand. “Ni--nice to meet you, Lexie.”

Mercifully, Lexie lets go after one final squeeze of Kara’s fingers. She waves down a nearby waitress and snags two glasses of champagne from her tray, passing one to Kara and taking a generous sip from the other. Kara tilts back her glass and drains the entire thing in one gulp. Why is her mouth still so dry?

“It’s very brave of you.”

Kara shakes her head and looks at Alex. Lexie, she corrects herself. “What is?”

“Coming here tonight, alone. The vultures will be circling you all night.”

Kara feels confused, though this time it’s from the other woman’s words, and not her proximity. “Vultures?”

Lexie peers over her glass at Kara, a half-smile on her face. She nods at the milling crowd. “All of Central City’s most eligible, and not-so-eligible, bachelors are here.”

“Oh? Oh! Oh, no, I’m not interested in any of them,” Kara says quickly, waving a vague hand at the room.

“Really?” Lexie’s smile sharpens as she steps right up to Kara and lays a hand on her forearm. “Anyone here you are interested in?”

Kara swallows. The heat radiating from Lexie’s hand is making it hard to think. “Ummm—”

But Lexie just laughs, shaking her head with a knowing glint in her eyes. “That’s settled then. We’ll keep each other company tonight.” She hesitates, but her smirk doesn’t waver. “If that’s alright with you?”

It sounds more like teasing than a real question, but Kara nods, and fast, nevertheless. She wasn’t planning on speaking to this Earth’s Alex, but it’s a golden opportunity she can’t refuse.

Her smile falters as a question pops into her head. “Won’t your guests need you?”

Lexie stares in silence for a beat too long. “I’m right where I want to be.”

--

“Where are we going?” Kara asks as Lexie tugs her down an empty hallway by the hand, the sounds of the party fading behind them. Lexie doesn’t answer, just pulls Kara around a corner, stopping in front of what appears to be an office door. She squeezes Kara’s hand then drops it, pressing her palm flat against the door. A small panel slides open in the wall beside the door handle, and, okay, that’s pretty cool. Lexie leans down and looks directly into the opening, and a moment later Kara hears the tumblers click and the door unlocks and slides open.

“Come on.” Lexie links her arm through Kara’s and leads her into the room. “Are you thirsty?” she asks as she pulls away from Kara and walks across the room to a small bar cart. Kara doesn’t answer, a bit dazed as she takes in the room.

The lavish warmth of it stuns her upon walking in. She’s not sure what she was expecting, but Kara is more than a little impressed – and intimidated, to tell the truth. This doesn’t look like an office, but rather feels more private, with the cherry wooden boiserie, the dim lighting, the fancy images on the walls.

She’s never really cared much for money, but her artistic sense is in awe at what she’s seeing. It seems Lexie has a different kind of taste than her Alex. She looks at the large display of books curiously, but doesn’t get closer. She hesitantly sits on the black sofa in the middle of the room instead, and watches Lexie pour amber liquid in two glasses.

When Lexie joins her, she sits a tad too close, handing Kara her drink, fingers brushing. “Thanks,” Kara says quietly, sipping and wishing for the second time tonight that she could feel any kind of alcoholic boost. She hadn’t planned this far ahead.

“So Kara,” Lexie starts, turning further in her direction, knee against thigh. “What do you do exactly?”

Kara’s mind blanks, as she’s completely unprepared to lie on the spot. See, she should have planned things better! She opens and closes her mouth, ending up blurting the first thing she can think of eventually. The truth, sort of.

“I—I’m a reporter.”

“Oh? Anything I’d have read?”

Crap.

“No!” Kara may have yelled. She winces, clears her throat and tries again, “No. It’s a very small magazine.”

“Hmm.” Lexie stares at Kara consideringly, absently swirling the liquor in her glass.

Kara pushes her glasses up on her nose. “So, umm, what about you? I mean, I know you do all this,” she says, gesturing with her free hand, “but, uh, is this what you always wanted to do? Or did you wanna do something else when you were young?”

Lexie leans forward and places her free hand on Kara’s knee. “Is that Reporter Kara asking?”

“Nope, nope, just me,” Kara says in a slightly strangled voice. “Just regular Kara.”

Lexie leans back at that, but leaves her hand resting on Kara’s knee. She takes a sip of her drink as she looks away. “My parents had lots of dreams for me,” Lexie admits, her grip tightening on Kara’s leg for a brief moment. She blinks, then looks back at Kara, a soft smile on her face. “But I’ve always loved the stars.”

Kara swallows and lets her hand cover the one on her knee. “What about when you were at Stanford? Did you think of doing anything else then? A different field of science, or becoming a doctor?”

Lexie looks at Kara bemusedly. “What makes you think I went to Stanford?”

Kara can feel her face flushing. Whoops. “Oh, well, I--I mean—” Her mind races frantically. She can’t just tell Lexie that she knows another Alex Danvers who did go to Stanford. “Google,” Kara blurts out, “I--I googled you. Yep, that is, that is a—a thing I did.” Kara winces and pushes her glasses up on her nose, pressing her lips together and smiling.

Lexie’s staring at Kara appraisingly. She raises an eyebrow. “Oh, so you googled me, hmm?”

Kara feels her whole body flush at Lexie’s tone. “Well, I—I, like I said, I’m a reporter. I just, umm, I wanted to learn more about the brilliant young founder of this company.”

Kara watches as Lexie tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, smiling prettily at her words. Under the light jasmine perfume Kara easily detects, Lexie smells just the same. Something aches within her chest. There's no hardness in the setting of her jaw though, nor the tender recognition familiar in her hazel eyes as she stares at Kara, unabashedly.

“You are very thorough,” Lexie quips, breathy. She rubs Kara’s bare skin, but she continues as if normal. “But Google lied to you. I moved here for school years ago.”

Oh.

So it seems Kara has lots to learn about this Alex. She can't wait to know more.

--

Kara hasn't realized it before, but as they walk toward the exit of the building together, arms brushing purposely, the thinning crowd lets her in on the fact they may have talked for longer than she expected.

“Thank you for the tour. I didn't mean to keep you away from your party.”

Lexie waves her concern off with a laugh, glancing at her expensive watch to check the time. Kara barely catches the gasp ready to slip out of her mouth when she notices it's not the one her sister usually wears, a gift by Jeremiah many years prior.

“The pleasure was all mine,” Lexie assures her as she squeezes Kara’s bicep lightly.

The two women pause and turn to each other as they reach the doors. Kara fidgets slightly, clasping her hands in front of her, anxious all over again. “Well,” she says, blowing out a deep breath, “I guess this is it.”

Despite still reeling from the meeting, the peculiarity and newness of it all, the info she gathered and the numerous differences with Alex she noticed, Kara is happy it happened – almost disappointed that it’s over now. There's a lot she has to think about and mull over, but that's for later.

Lexie bites her lip and steps forward though, long fingers coming to rest on Kara’s arm. “It doesn’t have to be. Let me call you sometime.”

“Oh!” Despite the sudden treacherous somersault in her chest, Kara tempers her excitement. “Oh, I—I can’t. I’m going home tomorrow. I’m sorry.”

“And your phone doesn’t work there?”

“No, I mean, yes… yes it does, but it’s so far away.”

Lexie’s fingers slide up Kara’s arm, past her elbow and up over her shoulder. They pause on the strap of Kara’s dress, fussing with it as she looks into Kara’s eyes. “And you don’t think you’ll be back here again?”

Kara shakes her head, tongue strangely thick in her mouth. “Not likely,” she murmurs.

Lexie presses the strap flat. “Okay. Okay.” She takes a step back. “It was really nice meeting you, Kara.”

“You too,” Kara says with a small smile. She turns towards the exit. She doesn’t know why she feels like crying.

“Hey, Kara?” There’s a hand on her elbow. Kara spins around. Lexie is beside her, a determined look on her face. She reaches into the inside pocket of her blazer and pulls out a pen. Lexie tugs Kara’s arm to her chest and writes on it for several seconds. “Just in case,” she says as she tucks the pen back in its hiding spot.

Kara looks down. There’s a phone number written there on her skin, followed by two tiny hearts and the name Alexandra Danvers. Lexie turns Kara’s arm over and raises Kara’s hand to her lips. She lingers for a moment over Kara’s knuckles, then gently lowers her hand. “I really did enjoy meeting you, Kara,” Lexie says as she takes a step back. “And I hope I get to see you again.”

Kara stares at the retreating woman, heart in her throat. She raises her hand in a little half-wave. “Me too...”

--

Kara gazes upon the bright night sky, stars standing out in perfect contrast against the black curtain seemingly so similar to her own back in National City. This is a completely different world, and yet…

Years ago, in Midvale, counting stars and tracing constellations would have left Kara with a bittersweet ache in her chest – reminder of her lost planet, the destruction of everything precious and familiar – but it often helped her focus. Helped her think. She’s lost count of the frequent stargazing nights spent with Alex from then on.

The conversation with Lexie is still fresh in her head, her love for the stars ever-present. Some things just don’t change, Kara supposes.

Lexie.

She’s the reason for the confusion within Kara, the bone-deep longing she’s been surprised to identify so clearly. What was meant to be a brief encounter had left Kara in a jumble. She’s still curious beyond reason to know more about this alternative version of her sister, but it hurts.

She wasn’t expecting it to hurt.

The night before almost felt surreal—the whispered confessions, the easy closeness in spite of this first meeting. But there was not a trace of the powerful stance customary on Alex at the DEO. Lexie looked relaxed instead and completely in her element around rich people, sporting way too expensive clothes, entertaining big crowds with unaffected charm. No hidden weapon in far too tight slacks, no tension in her shoulders. Lexie hadn’t been trained to act or think like a soldier, never grown expecting the worst out of any situation.

The thoughts had been sobering, pushed Kara into a guilty spiral later, once alone.

Amid sips of spicy bourbon, Lexie had mentioned her successful parents, the way they had doted on their only child, supported her through her studies and her following move. Rao, in this universe Jeremiah’s still alive and Eliza has never put any pressure on her daughter to be constantly perfect. Lexie had first kissed a girl at barely sixteen and never doubted herself.

There’s no fractured relationship here. Lexie simply seems to be thriving. Beautiful, happy Lexie.

Kara draws a broken breath in, exhaling the cold air immediately after. Spiraling into the sky and weaving through the clouds hadn’t helped earlier, her thoughts still a mess. Barry had been worried too, but he doesn’t know her well enough to recognize when her smile is forced. Whenever she feels this overwhelmed, there’s one person Kara always thinks of. But she can’t exactly call Alex here, can she?

She slips her phone from her pocket, staring at the new number she put in her contacts last night, heart beating fast. Kara bites her bottom lip then presses the call button, taking a quick breath and a leap of faith as she holds the phone to her ear. She’s about to hang up after the third ring, unsure of what kind of message to leave, when there’s a quick hello.

“Um, hi, Lexie? It’s Kara. From last night? You gave me your number.”

“I remember. Hello, Kara.” Kara can’t see Lexie, but she can picture the amused smirk on her face.

“I’m still here,” Kara blurts out.

“In my building?” Lexie’s voice is teasing, and Kara can feel herself flushing.

“Here in Central City. My…flight got pushed back. And I had your number, and you said just in case, so I thought, maybe we could—but it's late, you’re probably busy, I’ll just—”

“Kara.” Lexie mercifully interrupts her. “I do have some things to take care of right now, but we could meet up later tonight, if that’s okay with you?”

Kara nods vigorously, then facepalms when she realizes that Lexie can’t actually see her. “Yep, tonight would be great.”

“Good.” The amusement is clear in Lexie’s voice, but there’s also a hint of something else, something that Kara would call nervousness in anyone else. She continues talking though before Kara can quite figure out what it is. “Why don’t you come back by the office, say, in a couple of hours?”

Kara bobs her head again. “Okay, yeah, great, I’ll see you then.” She’s about to hang up when Lexie’s voice echoes one last time down the line.

“Oh, and Kara? Wear something nice.”

--

“This is great,” Kara says, for what seems to be the umpteenth time in such a short span of time. She's not quite sure what she even means anymore; she's just babbling. The fancy Italian restaurant, with its elegant decor and inebriating smells, or—

She catches herself staring at the expanse of freckles on a milky chest, flushing hard despite herself.

The food! Definitely the food.

Keeping her eyes down, she focuses on twirling her fork and raises it to her mouth. The creamy fettuccine with lemon sauce is delicious. Sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest, it has a spicy hint of something else Kara can't quite identify. She hums a little pleased sound as she chews.

“I'm glad you think so.” Lexie’s smile sends warmth right through Kara, genuine contentment shining on her face. “When you mentioned your love for food and trying new recipes, I knew I had to show you this little restaurant here.”

It doesn't seem so little to Kara, she thinks, looking around for a moment. She almost feels underdressed in the clearly upscale setting. Against her will, she finds herself staring right back at her companion.

In place of the more masculine look of the previous day, Lexie is now sporting a silky flowy blouse, unbuttoned lower - way lower - than anything Alex has ever worn back at home. Bright red lips, face enclosed by loop earrings.

She looks different, still amazing.

Kara swallows, self-consciously curling some stray hairs behind her ears.

“How's your pasta?”

Lexie has opted for gemelli with shrimp, arugula, sliced peppers and ricotta forte.

Lexie merely lifts a shrimp with her fork, shaking it playfully. “Wanna try?”

“N-no, that's alright,” Kara half stammers, hyper aware of the way Lexie purses her lips to hide her threatening grin.

White wine keeps flowing between them, and despite the seemingly permanent blush on Kara’s cheeks, she's having fun. Lexie is witty and smart, and while her jokes are unquestionably less dorky than Alex’s, the intent of wanting Kara happy and laughing is just the same.

Kara orders juicy lamb loins with artichokes as second, and she fights against her natural instincts to fidget when Lexie just keeps on gazing at her as she eats. She's been careful not to devour everything with the usual intensity and eagerness that accompany the shared meals with her sister.

She frowns. It's not that she doesn't care what Alex think of her, she just knows the woman accepts her fully, loves her for it. She feels like she still has to impress Lexie though. She's not sure why, but the desire to leave Lexie with a good memory of her is burning through her consciousness.

“A red would be great with it.” Lexie nods at Kara’s dish.

“No, I'm fine. You're quite the drinker,” Kara teases, shy little smile stretching her lips. Lexie may know a thing or two about liqueurs brands and fancier tastes, but this is another thing in common with Alex.

“I just appreciate the finer things in life, Kara.” Her eyes are hooded as she answers, and it feels heavy and meaningful in a way Kara doesn't – can't – recognize. Her throat bobs as she swallows, entranced by the way Lexie’s eyes have her pinned still.

But Lexie blinks then and the spell is broken. Kara quickly returns to her food, still hungry once she realizes she's finished.

Lexie seems to read her mind, for she waves over the waiter in Italian. Kara gapes. Lexie didn't tell her she knew the language!

The woman notices her expression and chuckles, shrugging far too casually. “I'm not that fluent, but I picked it up during my post graduation vacation. Lived a short while in Tuscany, then Liguria…”

Kara is hit by the memory of an undergrad Alex, returning home for the Christmas break, speaking an accented Russian with difficulty, but still trying, flushing with pride. Kara recalls how hard she missed her sister then, the odd bitter sensation felt in her stomach when Alex had gone on and on about her new friend. Natasha—no, Natalia? She doesn't remember now, but looking back, Kara ventures that had been a crush for her sister.

She forces a smile and the memory away.

“What did you tell him?”

“Oh, just asked for dessert.”

“Hey, I didn't get to decide what I wanted!” Kara pouts, not really affronted as she's still to find a sweet she wholly dislikes.

“I have a feeling you'll approve.”

The mystery is revealed when two waitresses approach their table with various plates and bowls.

Many, many plates!

Kara’s eyes widen and she claps her hands excitedly. Lexie just ordered a little bit of everything and she honestly could just kiss her!

Kara flushes at her silly thought, laughing at herself. She shakes her head and pulls the first plate closer to her. It's a slice of tiramisu with cocoa crumbles on top. She all but moans at the first taste of the mascarpone custard layered with coffee soaked ladyfingers, whipped mixture of eggs and rum.

It's heavenly!

Lexie pops a cantuccini biscuit in her mouth, laughing at Kara’s stunned expression.

“Good, right? All Italian born chefs here.”

White-chocolate cups filled with dark chocolate mousse next. Delicious zeppole follow, fried perfectly. Panna cotta, served with melted caramel sauce. Large cannoli. Small fruit tarts. Spumone ice cream of cherry, pistachio, and vanilla flavors, all with a nut layer between them.

By the time Kara has wiped the table clean of all deserts, she realizes belatedly that Lexie has only taken one single plate for herself.

She gasps, mortified at her manners. “Gosh, I'm sorry! I—I didn't mean… everything was so good…”

“It's alright.” Lexie openly laughs but it's not malicious or even teasing. She honestly looks impressed, half stunned if her raised eyebrows are anything to go by. “Never met a girl quite this voracious. I like it.” The wink at the end is positively naughty, but Kara isn't sure she understands. She still blushes.

“Would you like some cassatina?”

Kara looks at the round small sponge cake covered with a shell of marzipan and decorative candied fruits in top.

“It's moistened with light liqueur and filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips,” Lexie encourages, raising her fork and leaning down to get close to Kara. Her voice drops, “You'll love it.”

As if moved by a higher force, Kara finds herself parting her mouth without any objection. She closes her lips around the cutlery between them, savoring the taste. It's, unsurprisingly, amazing. It leaves a sweet, thick taste on her tongue as Lexie slowly eases her fork from Kara’s mouth, impossibly darkening eyes intent on the motion. Kara licks her lips unconsciously at the gesture, feels an unfamiliar warmth spreading through her body. Lexie doesn't look away for a full solid minute. Kara squirms in her seat, hot and confused, the spark blossoming low in her stomach rather troubling.

Lexie pushes her plate in the middle, and Kara is relieved when they start using their own forks to eat, not certain she'd survive another feeding moment.

Sure her mixed feelings have to be written all over her face, Kara drags her eyes away from the smiling woman and lowers her head a little, trying to just concentrate on the desert.

She's not quite successful.

--

“Here we are,” Lexie says, grabbing Kara’s hand and pulling her to a stop.

Kara blinks. She thought they were just wandering aimlessly, but clearly Lexie knew exactly where they were going. Kara raises an eyebrow as Lexie drops her hand and pulls open a door for her. “Umm, where exactly?” she asks as she steps through the doorway.

Lexie follows her in, placing a hand on Kara’s back as she follows just behind Kara, leading her down a short hallway. “This,” Lexie answers as her hand presses more firmly against Kara’s back, “is my favorite lounge bar. I like to come here to unwind sometimes.” Lexie gives her a  conspiratorial smile as she strides forward to push open another door. “Plus they have an amazing selection of wines.”

Kara steps past Lexie and blinks, the room even dimmer than the hallway that led to it. Lexie’s palm is on her back again, leading her down some steps, and Kara follows unthinkingly, too used to Alex’s guiding hand in the same place. They cross the floor like that, Lexie angling them towards a low leather circular couch in the corner of the lounge. Such a private spot. When they reach the booth, Lexie leans over Kara’s shoulder, her hand slipping around to Kara’s waist as her chest presses up against Kara’s back. “Go ahead and sit,” she murmurs in Kara’s ear. “I’ll be right back.”

Kara sways, for a moment, her body feeling cold when Lexie steps away. She sits, and after a moment of indecision, scoots to the middle of the seat. She looks around, taking in the stunning red granite counter where Lexie’s talking to an older woman. The dimly lit, almost golden aura and its sleek design elements make the bar a pretty cozy space.

After a brief touch to the woman’s arm, Lexie turns and heads back towards Kara. As Kara stares unabashedly at her, she can’t help but compare the way Lexie walks, sinuous and fluid to Alex’s more lethal stalk. Skin-tight pants draw attention to her long legs, but Kara forces herself to glance up. With a smile Lexie slides into the booth, hand reaching out to rest on top of Kara’s, stilling her drumming fingers. She’s sitting close, their shoulders almost-but-not-quite-touching. Kara resists the ridiculous urge to close the distance, press right up against Lexie’s side. This is not Alex, she can’t cuddle here.

Lexie nods at the bar. “Amelia just got a new shipment in. I told her to surprise us.”

“Oh,” Kara protests, her free hand coming up to fiddle with the stem of her glasses. “You don’t have to do that. I mean, you already paid for dinner, and that must’ve cost, well, much more than I wanna know probably—”

“Kara,” Lexie interrupts her gently, squeezing her hand and turning towards her. “I don’t mind, really. I like spending time with you.” Her hand slips lazily past Kara’s wrist, fingers dragging over Kara’s forearm before pausing on her elbow. “In fact I was thinking—”

Lexie breaks off when she notices Amelia approaching them with a bottle and glasses. She thanks the woman and nods for her to set the wine down on the table. Kara blinks when she sees the label on the bottle. She has a decent grasp of wines from Alex, but her true appreciation comes from ordering Cat Grant’s personal supply for two years. This is definitely more a Cat Grant bottle than a Danvers’ one. Lexie’s about to open the wine when Kara lays a hand on her wrist. “Maybe a different bottle?” Kara says in a slightly strangled voice.

Lexie raises an eyebrow, a faint smirk painting her lips. Kara licks her own. “A cheaper one, perhaps? I mean, I don’t know how much it costs here, but back home that’s an expensive bottle and—”

The smirk is full-blown when Lexie interrupts her. “Hey, I told you I don’t mind. Only the best for you, right?” Lexie winks at Kara as she finishes opening the wine.

Kara finds she can’t really argue like this.

With the soft mix of trip hop and ambient music in the background, they talk in hushed tones. It’s different than with Alex and their movie nights, Kara can’t deny it. Not better or worse, just different. When Lexie looks at her, it’s honed to a sharp dark edge. It’s not calculating, but there’s something brewing behind her eyes all the same. But Lexie’s smile is tender and in the dim lights Kara can almost fool herself. As odd and new as it all is, Kara likes it. A lot. She feels warm all over and she can’t blame it on the wine.

Lexie doesn’t seem to mind her babbling mouth, and looks genuinely interested when she asks about her life. Kara can’t tell her about superpowers and capturing criminals and Krypton and the rage within she daily battles against, but she tries not to lie too much, guilt throbbing a dull ache in her bones. And sometimes Lexie adds something about herself too. Kara soaks it up like a sponge, needing to know about her life and interests, eager for more.

“Should we make a toast?” Lexie asks during a lull in their conversation. Even the silence isn’t strained now for some reason.

Kara offers her a goofy grin, nodding. “Go ahead.” She’s usually better at this – Alex teases her about her hope speeches at times – but making a toast now would have her blushing too much, despite her experience back at home.

She can’t help it, her heart skips a beat when she sees the smirk on Lexie’s face turn impish and the deep rose glow the wine has brought to her cheeks. Scooting impossibly closer, Lexie winds a leg around Kara's under the table, strokes her shoulder with her free hand, playing with the tip of a blonde curl as she considers her words.

“Hmm, to unexpected meetings,” she finally says softly, biting the corner of her mouth when Kara grins bashfully at this. “To beautiful, beautiful girls.” She raises her glass and tilts it sideway, her eyes never leaving Kara’s.

Kara’s mouth grows dry, the staring all kinds of powerful. Jeremiah used to say Kara and Alex were “thick as thieves,” and it never failed to make Kara proud, happy. Like she had accomplished something big, precious. Having Alex around in her earlier years on Earth had been the sole light in a mourning period. Despite the noticeable different history here, the way Lexie makes her heart flutter and warmth spread to her limbs isn’t dissimilar to what it felt when Alex stopped acting like a moody teen around her and started dragging her to science fairs, sharing secrets along the way.

“You're just trying to get me to give you the last sip of wine,” Kara says, unconsciously lowering her voice too.

“Not true.” Lexie smiles a slow, sexy smile, palm settling warmly at the back of Kara’s neck. Her thumb caresses are quite distracting. “I’m just being honest. Meeting you last night has been…” She shakes her head a little, trailing off, and Kara wonders if she too can feel this otherworldly connection between them.

Lexie doesn’t finish though, just draws a finger up a long neck, and then down the line of Kara’s jaw. Kara closes her eyes in response, breathing in sharply. The urge to reach out and cover Lexie’s hand is strong and it takes Kara by surprise when she recognizes she doesn’t mean to stop it.

Oh.

She snaps her eyes open, a sudden dreadful sensation taking hold of her, anxiety and tension seeping in her shoulders. She straightens her back further, the comfortable haze around her evaporating. It’s as if everything suddenly makes sense now—all of it. Why tonight was so different, why she felt cherished in an unfamiliar way by this mysteriously charming Alex. The prolonged touching, the intense staring.

Kara stays still, a statue, her mind in turmoil, thoughts racing everywhere. Lexie is—has been flirting!

In retrospect she’s surprised it has taken her this long to work things out, but her social aptitude has always been a little lacking, she supposes, lips tightening. Rao, her friends are right, she is so clueless!

What’s worse is that the realization doesn’t do much for her bar the shock. She isn’t disgusted or let down. When she turns her head a fraction to the side to peek at Lexie, the hooded eyes of the woman make a peculiar sensation swell in the pit of her stomach. She doesn’t think she’s ever seen Alex like that. Her heart thunders in an unsteady staccato, but her body still warms on contact, and she doesn’t move away.

The whole place feels empty, except for the pulsing energy in her veins and Lexie’s side molded against hers. Kara’s world is thrown off-killer, completely, and she can’t bring herself to care. Not now, not here.

She swallows, hands gripping her wine glass a touch too strong, threatening the material to crack under her pressure.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Lexie murmurs, voice like velvet, her soft hand retreating from Kara’s face.

Kara can’t answer, can’t even articulate how she immediately misses the contact, wants it back with something fierce. The sudden stark perspective has left her light-headed. When she looks back shyly, her blue eyes can’t quite hold the heated gaze of the other woman. The sensation settled south of her bellybutton has a name now, but Kara can’t focus on that.

She swallows. She’s screwed now.

--

The chilly wind outside is sobering, but Kara doesn’t mind – the lounge bar was starting to feel restricting. Gulping a mouthful of fresh air, Kara picks at her dress, staring down, terribly confused with everything discovered so far. She’s chosen this particular dress because Alex always tells blue is her color, and she feels on the verge of tears all of sudden. She shakes off the ridiculous urge and curls her hands into fists.

She watches Lexie make a quick call. Kara had been impressed with her BMW earlier, but mostly because she was sure her sister would have loved it too. It’s Alex who’s into wheels, after all. When a sleek black town car pulls over instead, Kara can’t say she’s surprised Lexie has a driver ready on call.

She settles on the leather backseat, hands resting on her lap. She wishes she could at least feel part of all the alcohol consumed tonight, and not worry. Lexie looks so relaxed with her sleepy smile, and the warmth from her body is far too enticing as she presses close, closer, searching Kara’s eyes.

The front seats are cut off from the back by a tinted matte black window, and the driver only speaks to ask for an address. Kara quickly gives him Cisco’s, but then retreats back into her silence, despite her jiggling knees.

She swears she can feel her heartbeat literally everywhere. Or maybe it's Lexie’s, maybe the wine really did it and she’s more dizzy than she has realized. Maybe she should open up her window and clear her head. The confusion swirls within her and she can feel the expanding throb of it mixed with pleasure, growing bigger and bigger with each second spent not moving away from Lexie’s nuzzling.

The woman drags her nose against Kara’s cheek slowly and for a second Kara stops breathing.

“Is this okay?”

The husky tone and brushing make it hard for Kara to even think, let alone reply. But maybe it’s just the wine, yes.

She can’t swallow hard enough to free the lump in her throat, so she merely nods, staring straight ahead. Her skin breaks out in goosebumps at the warm exhale against her neck. She feels Lexie’s lips press gently there, once, twice. Kara grips the seat at her sides to stop from reacting.

Lexie has managed to wreak havoc on any semblance of lucidity in Kara, regardless. Her mind races to try and figure out a solution, but it’s useless. She can only hope to contain… whatever this is.

Then Lexie moves a finger under Kara’s chin, angling her head up toward her, so they are mere inches apart.

No, no, no.

This is crazy. This is crazy and scary and electric.

In the dark of the car Kara can still see—feel—the hazel eyes so similar to the ones she adores. They are staring in that intense way that always makes Kara want to take in a deep breath and just bask in the out pouring of love. It’s overwhelming in all the best ways. She loves that particular gaze, always been one of her favorite things, because Alex looks at her as if there’s nothing more she needs in her life than having Kara close.

She knows that’s how she looks back at Alex too. Time seems to stop for a moment.

When Lexie leans in, trying to close the nonexistent distance between them, Kara panics and jerks away, pressing back against the headrest, nearly using her super speed. Lexie freezes at the reaction, wet lips parted in surprise. Kara flushes and wriggles her hands together in a rather nervous manner.

She knows that were her mouth to crash to Lexie’s, things wouldn’t be the same. Because this can’t just be swept under the rug. There is no way she would be able to face Alex again if she were to allow this, no matter how perfectly pleasant the night has been, how much she’s enjoyed this…date.

She needs—she needs to think first!

“We’ve been drinking…” she rushes to explain, feeling like she has to justify herself anyway. “I just, I don’t want to do anything we might regret and—”

Lexie just smirks a little, interrupting her mini rant with wandering hands. “Oh, Kara,” she husks, her fingers dancing on Kara’s waist, caresses quite insistent, “I don’t do regrets.” When her right hand palms Kara’s side with the clear intent of traveling even further up, Kara grabs it and halts its path.

“Lexie,” Kara says forcefully.

“Kara,” Lexie mimics, her free hand sliding down Kara’s hip and resting on the bare skin of her thigh.

Kara shivers a little as Lexie’s thumb rubs small circles on her leg. This is madness. She can’t control her reactions to Lexie, and Lexie certainly isn’t going to stop what she’s doing anytime soon. As Lexie’s hand starts to slip under the hem of her dress, Kara catches it, pulling it away from her and holding both of Lexie’s hands by her wrists. “I can’t.”

“Can’t what?” Lexie asks. Her body falls into Kara’s as the car rolls to a stop. Kara easily pushes her back and presses Lexie’s hands firmly into her lap as the driver knocks on the dividing window, signaling that they’ve arrived.

Kara takes a deep breath, and immediately regrets it when she’s immersed in Lexie’s scent. Lexie must see something in Kara’s face then, because she smiles sharply and leans forward, tilting her head. Kara puts a hand to Lexie’s chest, stopping her. “I—I like you,” Kara says, her hand immovable as she feels Lexie pushing against it, “but I can’t do this.”

Lexie sits back with a huff, surprised that Kara is so easily able to hold her back with just one hand. She brushes a piece of hair out of her face. “Am I missing something, Kara? I thought we were on the same page here.”

Kara winces as she fiddles with the stem of her glasses. “No, I know, it’s just,” she turns part-way in the seat, angling her body towards Lexie, who’s pushed herself into the far corner of the car, “this wasn’t supposed to happen. I just came here to help my friends, and then I was going back home. I was never supposed to meet you.”

“But you did.” Lexie scoots forward, knee pressing against Kara’s leg. “And now, what? We just forget all about it?”

“Maybe?” Kara shrugs forlornly. “It’s just, I’m going home tomorrow, and I don’t think I’ll be coming back.”

“Ever?” Lexie’s voice is disbelieving.

Kara gestures helplessly. “This is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I’m sure I won't be able to come back, even if I want too.” She reaches a tentative hand out to place over Lexie’s. “I’m sorry.”

Lexie jerks her hand back, withdrawing back into her corner. “Whatever. Just go. I hope you got, well, whatever it is out of this that you wanted to get.”

Kara leans back, stung. “All I wanted, was to get to know you a little. And I did, I got to know this wonderful, caring, beautiful woman and spend an amazing night with her. I’ll never forget this,” Kara mumbles, ducking her head as she reaches behind her for the door handle. “I’ll never forget you,” she finishes softly.

“Wait.” Lexie scoots closer once again, slowly, almost as if to give Kara a chance to backtrack. Kara can’t help it, she swallows hard when Lexie’s lips brush softly against her cheek. It’s feathery chaste, barely there, but Kara holds her breath all the same, feeling electricity jolt up her entire body. Her breath quickens, and the hot flush on her chest is unmistakable. Butterflies flutter in her stomach too. Rao!

She releases her strong hold on the car handle, looking down at Lexie’s mouth for just a moment. The woman is biting her bottom lip, but she grins when she catches her eyes. Kara exhales a broken little sound, smiling back tremulously. She needs to leave.

“Goodnight,” she whispers, sighing one last time, before opening the car door.

She doesn’t look back as she gets out, walks further away from the girl that now holds a piece of her heart.

The realization is frightening.