Lena followed Kara into the bar, slowly trailing behind her. The taller woman had her by the hand and was standing slightly in front of her as they walked through the crowd of people. Ever since Crisis ended and Earth-38 had been restored, Kara had been practically glued to Lena’s side. Not that Lena minded; in fact she quite enjoyed being the center of Kara’s attention. It had only been three weeks since the two of them had made up and Lena was certain all of the attention and affection she was receiving from Kara was bound to stop any day now so she was sure to make the most of it while she could.
A squeeze to Lena’s hand brought her mind back down to Earth and she looked up at the woman smiling at her. Lena’s breath caught in her throat for a split second and something in her chest tightened as she found herself smiling back up at Kara before she even realized what she was doing. Kara gave her a small nod of reassurance, still smiling brightly as she turned to face the table full of people who helped her save the world. She ever so slightly tugged Lena forward, dropping her hand in the process and gently placing it on the small of Lena’s back. Lena desperately hoped she wasn’t blushing.
Seated at the table were several people that Lena knew, and several that she didn’t. Alex and Kelly were there along with Clark and Lois, but the rest were unfamiliar faces.
“Hi everyone!” Kara said warmly. Her arm made the rest of its way across Lena’s back to rest on her hip.
One of Alex’s eyebrows shot up.
“Lena, this is Sara Lance, Ray Palmer, and Kate Kane. They’re all from Earth-1.” Kara said proudly. As she spoke, she pulled out a seat for Lena to sit down in, making sure she was situated before taking a seat next to her for herself.
Alex’s other eyebrow shot up.
Ray, the friendliest looking man Lena had quite possibly ever seen, leaned forward and held out his hand to her. “Nice to meet you!” The enthusiasm in his smile rivaled that of Kara’s. “And you are?”
Lena reached out and had no more than begun to shake Ray’s hand when Kara spoke up again.
“Oh, right, duh!” Kara laughed. “Everyone, this is my girlfriend, Lena.”
Alex choked on her drink. Lois leaned over to whisper something in Clark’s ear, looking triumphant. The woman Kara had introduced as Sara sighed heavily and reached into her jacket pocket, pulling out a twenty and sliding it over to Kate who sat next to her wearing a huge smirk on her face. Kara seemed oblivious to it all.
Lena was frozen in her seat. Girlfriend? When the hell had that happened? How long had they been together and she had been none the wiser? Feeling like a fool, she cursed herself and tried to think back to when it may have happened, although she had no clue how she could have possibly missed it.
It had to have happened just after Crisis, Lena thought. Right when Kara came to her in tears, apologizing and begging for her forgiveness. It had to have been sometime that night while they were making up, the both of them in tears. It couldn’t have possibly been before Crisis, not when Lena was using and manipulating Kara, not when Lena wanted to hurt Kara as badly as she had been hurt, not when Lena had betrayed Kara and poisoned her with Kryptonite, leaving her a prisoner in her own fortress...right?
Lena closed her eyes suddenly feeling very ill.
A warm hand was placed on Lena’s shoulder, Kara’s soft voice in her ear. “Lena? Are you okay?”
Lena swallowed hard and opened her eyes, forcing herself to regain her composure. She turned to face Kara, seeing concern etched all over her face. “Yes.” She forced herself to smile. “I’m fine.” As she spoke, Lena reached out and placed her hand on Kara’s thigh, giving it a small squeeze. “Don’t worry about me.”
Kara’s hand moved from her shoulder to rest on top of Lena’s hand. “I’ll always worry about you.” She smiled at Lena like it was the most obvious thing in the world, before removing her hand from atop Lena’s and turning back to face the table.
Lena hesitated for only a moment before catching Kara’s hand in hers again and tangling their fingers together under the table. Kara glanced sideways at Lena, a light flush lining her cheeks as she smiled and looked down at the table.
“So, uh.” Clark’s voice grabbed the attention of both Lena and Kara. “How long have the two of you…”
Before Lena even had time to worry about coming up with an answer for Clark’s question, Kara was speaking again. “Oh, it was pretty much immediately after Crisis.” She laughed awkwardly. “After everything that happened,” Kara looked over at Lena and smiled before turning back to Clark. “I just had to...well, I just had to have her back in my life.”
Next to Kara, Lena blushed, looking down at the table. She gave Kara’s hand a squeeze hoping to let the other woman know that she felt the same way, even if she wasn’t capable of saying so in front of everyone else present at the table.
“Well,” Alex smirked. “At least now I know you have a good reason for going to visit her first.”
Lena’s head snapped up, turning to face Alex. “She what?” Her voice was sharper than she had intended it to be.
“Oh, you didn’t know?” Kelly asked. She seemed somewhat surprised when Lena shook her head. “You were the first person she went to see after Crisis ended.”
Lena frowned. “You mean after Alex, surely?”
“No,” Alex shook her own head as she tilted her beer bottle in Lena’s direction. “She went to see you first.”
Across the table Sara and Kate exchanged glances, Sara mouthing a “wow” to Kate who nodded in agreement.
Lena was stunned. Kara went to see her first? Over her own sister? Her family? She wasn’t quite sure how to process the information, but she was thankfully interrupted by Kate standing up and declaring that she was going to buy everyone another round. The table began to buzz with chatter again, Lena’s hand still in Kara’s warm grip as Sara and Ray began to tell tales of their adventures aboard the Waverider. Kara didn’t let go of her hand the whole night.
It was late by the time everyone left the bar. Lena was more than a little tipsy as she watched Kara say goodbye to Alex and Kelly before she made her way back over to Lena, who was leaning against the wall, arms crossed in the cold.
“What are you smiling at?” Kara asked as she approached her.
Lena hadn’t even realized she was. “I don’t know.” She said truthfully. “I guess I’m just happy.” When she saw Kara grin in response, she knew she had said the right thing. “Being here tonight...with you. It’s made me happy.”
“Yeah,” Kara bit her lip and glanced at the ground. “It’s made me really happy too.” She looked up at Lena like she was debating something and then eventually held out her arm to Lena. “Ready to go home?”
Lena reached out and took Kara’s arm. “I thought you would never ask.”
They walked along in silence for a while, Lena leaning heavily against Kara’s side, Kara’s strong arm around Lena’s waist, holding her upright and keeping her warm. Eventually Lena’s burning curiosity got the better of her, and she frowned to herself trying to figure out how to pose the question without seeming accusatory.
“What are you thinking about?” Kara asked softly.
Lena looked up to find Kara watching her. “You came to see me first. After Crisis. Not Alex. Not J’onn. Not your mother. Me.”
“Yeah.” Kara nodded slowly. “I did.”
“Why?” Lena couldn’t fathom Kara’s reasoning. “For all you knew, I hated your guts and you still-”
“Did you?” Kara interrupted. “Hate me?”
“No!” Lena stopped walking, Kara quickly pausing in her own tracks to turn and face her. “No.” She repeated, her voice softer this time. “No, Kara, I never hated you. I could never hate you.” Lena let out a frustrated sigh as she dropped her hands to her sides. “I was just...heartbroken.” She looked up at Kara and was only half surprised to see her eyes glistening with unshed tears. “Please don’t start crying.” Lena half laughed, tears threatening to fall down her own cheeks. “I’m very drunk right now and if you start crying, I’m going to sob uncontrollably.”
“Sorry.” Kara let out a little laugh as well as she moved to wipe at her own eyes, sniffling loudly. “But the reason I went to see you first...after Crisis ended, I knew we had fixed everything. I knew everyone was okay. I knew Alex and the rest of my family were safe. And I knew you were safe. But the things between us, they were not okay.” Kara reached out and grabbed both of Lena’s gloved hands in her own. “And after what I had just gone through…” She shook her head, blue eyes full of some emotion that Lena couldn’t quite place. “I knew I didn’t want to spend another moment without you in my life. Lena, I…” Kara trailed off, blinking rapidly as she let out a choked laugh. “Sorry, I’m doing my best not to cry right now.”
Wordlessly, Lena reached out to wipe away a stray tear that found its way down Kara’s cheek. Kara blinked again, her eyes finding Lena’s as her mouth dropped slightly open. The two of them stared at each other, hand in hand, with Lena still cradling Kara’s cheek. “Lena…” Kara whispered again.
Lena’s heart was pounding in her chest and she knew for a fact that Kara could hear it. Her gaze fell to Kara’s lips and she slowly leaned in, her breath catching in her throat. Kara suddenly coughed awkwardly, dropping Lena’s hand and stepping back. “Um, we should probably get you home.”
Lena did her best to not look disappointed, like she hadn’t just felt a sudden pang of sadness when Kara had abruptly pulled away. She plastered on a smile and held out her hand to Kara. “Lead the way.”
They walked in silence for the rest of the short trip, Lena’s arm still looped through Kara’s own. When they finally reached Lena’s apartment building, Kara stopped and smiled brightly at her. “Well, here you are.”
Lena’s heart ached, afraid to try to kiss her again, but also unwilling to just let Kara go without doing something. She abruptly stepped forward into Kara’s personal space and wrapped her arms around her middle, squeezing as tight as she possibly could, knowing she wasn’t at any risk of hurting Kara. She had taken Kara by surprise but it only took a split second for her to respond. Strong arms wound themselves around Lena, one of them around her waist, the other up by her shoulders, holding her close. Lena buried her face into Kara’s neck. She still wasn’t quite sure on how she had gotten so lucky as to be dating her best friend, or how she had been naive enough to miss out on the beginning of the relationship, but as she stood out on the street being shielded from the cold by Kara’s warm embrace, she knew one thing for certain; she wasn’t going to take one more moment of this relationship for granted.
Lena knocked gently on the door to Kara’s loft before opening it and stepping inside, the door swinging shut behind her. A cursory glance around the apartment showed it to be empty, but she knew Kara had to be somewhere just out of sight.
Sure enough, not a moment later, Lena heard the bathroom door open and close, and Kara stepped out from around the corner, a radiant smile on her face. “Lena! Hi!”
Lena stilled in the act of toeing off her shoes. Kara was barefooted, her feet sticking out from under long gray sweats. Her hair was still damp from showering, causing the blue and white baseball tee she was wearing to have wet splotches all over it where her hair lay around her shoulders. Her glasses were off, and she was holding a hairbrush in her hand. Lena’s breath hitched in her throat.
Kara’s smile faltered when she noticed Lena staring at her in silence. “Are you okay? Do I have something on my face?” She brought one hand up to touch her cheek.
“You…” Lena swallowed hard, slowly stepping out of her shoes. “I’ve never seen you like this before.”
Kara frowned, tilting her head in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
Lena’s mouth was dry. “Your hair is down. And you aren’t wearing your glasses.”
Kara brought her hand up to her face again to feel for her glasses as if she wasn’t aware she hadn’t been wearing them. Her face suddenly got a pink tinge to it and she avoided eye contact with Lena. “Oh, I’m sorry.” She laughed awkwardly. “I didn’t even...I’ll go put them on.” She turned to go back to the bathroom but Lena’s voice stopped her.
“No, Kara, wait.” Lena stepped forward as she spoke. “You don’t have to do that.”
Kara paused, turning to look back at her. “Lena, it’s okay. It’s no problem, I’ll just go put them on.”
“Kara.” Lena said firmly, walking across Kara’s living room towards the other woman. “Don’t put them on.”
“But isn’t it weird for you to-”
Lena finally reached Kara and she shook her head, signaling for the other woman to stop talking. “Kara,” She whispered, reaching out to run her fingers through a strand of Kara’s still damp hair. “You look so beautiful.”
A deep red blush blossomed on Kara’s cheeks as she ducked her head, grinning at the floor.
“I mean you always look beautiful.” Lena was still staring at Kara in awe. “As Kara Danvers and as Supergirl, but now, Kara Zor-El…”
Kara’s head snapped up to look at Lena at the mention of her Kryptonian name.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look more beautiful.”
Kara’s heart lurched at Lena’s words, feeling the threat of tears prick at her eyes. She wanted to kiss Lena so badly, so badly that it ached, but she had just gotten her best friend back and she wasn’t about to risk losing her again, not when things were so good. So instead, she just kept looking at Lena and let out a little laugh, shaking her head. “Well I think,” She stepped back out of Lena’s personal space, not being able to handle the way Lena was looking at her. “That you are being far too kind to me.”
Lena smiled gently at her and leaned in, reaching out to cup Kara’s elbow. Kara’s breathing slowed to a crawl as Lena leaned forward and pressed her lips to Kara’s cheek, letting them lightly brush over her skin and then down to the corner of her mouth. Kara tried not to shudder as the feeling of Lena’s lips on her skin set her nerves alight. Lena’s hand trailed down Kara’s arm leaving a trail of goosebumps in its wake. Her hand eventually found Kara’s, taking it in her own and tangling their fingers together. “No,” She shook her head, her gentle smile still causing Kara’s heart to ache. “Never quite kind enough, I think.”
Lena had fallen asleep about halfway through the movie. Kara didn’t even need to look at her to know that she was asleep; the gentle snoring and steady heartbeat were more than enough to clue her into that fact, but that didn’t mean she was capable of stopping herself from doing so. Despite the fact that they were best friends, Kara rarely ever got to see this side of Lena; her long hair was slightly mussed, her face lacking any trace of make-up, and instead of her usual dress clothing she was wearing a gray, oversized MIT sweatshirt as she lay against the arm of the couch opposite of Kara. Kara thought she was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
She longed to reach out to stroke Lena’s hair, to press a kiss to her forehead, but she held herself back for fear of disturbing her sleep. The conversation she had with Lena earlier kept replaying in her head. The way Lena had looked at her when she saw her without her glasses in Kara’s clothing. The gentle way Lena had said her name, her real name, like it was something to be treasured. The way Lena had kissed her cheek, letting it linger at the side of her mouth just a little bit too long…
Kara shook those thoughts from her head and focused her attention back onto the movie. She really needed to get a grip on herself. Lena was her best friend, and nothing more. To put a different name to it would be ridiculous, especially since their friendship had just started up again. There was no need to risk it all.
Eventually the credits to the movie started rolling and Kara once again turned her attention to Lena, who was still fast asleep. After several moments of silent deliberation, Kara stood up and carefully removed the blanket from atop Lena. As gently as she could, she leaned down and hooked one of her arms under Lena’s legs, the other going around her back as she scooped up Lena’s sleeping form.
Lena didn’t stir from her sleep until she was being lowered into Kara’s bed. Her green eyes slowly blinked open, trying to see in the dim light of Kara’s loft. “What’s going on?” She started to sit up, confused.
“Shh, hey, it’s okay.” Kara sat on the edge of her bed, placing a hand on Lena’s shoulder and gently pushing her back down onto the bed. “You’re still with me. You just fell asleep, that’s all.”
At the sound of Kara’s voice, Lena immediately relaxed, allowing herself to be pushed back down. “What time is it?” Her voice was husky, laced with sleep.
Kara glanced at the clock beside her bed, the LED numbers reading 12:14. “Just a little after midnight. You can stay here tonight unless you want me to take you home.”
Lena shook her head, eyes drifting shut. “No, I’ll stay.”
“Okay.” This time Kara didn’t stop herself from reaching out to brush some of Lena’s hair out of her face. “Have a good night. Just let me know if you need anything, okay?” She pushed herself off her bed and started back out towards the living room when Lena’s voice stopped her.
“Where are you going?”
Kara turned back around to see Lena propped up on an elbow, looking at her with a confused expression on her face. Kara awkwardly pointed to the couch behind her. “I’m just gonna go sleep on the couch.”
A confused smile broke out onto Lena’s face. “Kara, don’t be ridiculous. Your bed is big enough for the both of us.” She shifted to one side of the bed, making room for Kara as if to prove her point.
“Uh,” Kara was at a loss for words. “I can just…”
“Darling.” Lena said softly, her voice causing Kara to go weak in the knees. Lena tilted her head, holding out her hand to Kara. “Darling, come to bed.”
The ache in Kara’s chest came back and she found herself walking towards the bed and Lena’s outstretched hand before she even realized what she was doing. Lena smiled at her as she crawled into the open side of the bed and laid down on her side, pulling the covers over them both. Lena then turned so her back was facing Kara and wriggled backwards, closer to Kara. Without even thinking, Kara slid an arm around Lena’s stomach and pulled their bodies together, Lena’s back now pressed directly against Kara’s front. She braced herself, waiting for Lena to pull away, but she was instead greeted with a quiet hum of pleasure and a whispered good night.
Kara ducked her head, pressing her forehead against Lena’s shoulder, closing her eyes as she felt a grin erupt on to her face. She waited until Lena’s heart rate steadied once more, a sure sign that she had fallen back asleep, before lifting her head and pressing a kiss to the same shoulder. She sighed happily to herself as she closed her eyes and rested her head against the pillow, the sound of Lena’s heartbeat lulling her to sleep.