Kara was looking out the window as she waited for the news from her sister. It was another drizzling kind of day where the air was moist and cool. Lena was in the kitchen making them tea.
"Here, baby," Lena said as she handed Kara her pouting puppy mug. The liquid steam filled the blue eyed worrier with the calming scent of lavender and chamomile.
"Thanks," Kara replied leaning in for a soft kiss.
"Why don't we play some go fish," Lena offered grabbing the cards from the coffee table drawer.
"I'll let you win," Lena said winking mischievously. Kara just raise an eyebrow at her. "Come on, baby, the answers won't come any faster just waiting around. Let's do something to pass the time while we wait."
Kara shifted her head back and forth as she thought about it. Lena was right, the news wouldn't make much difference if she was waiting anxiously by a window or playing a card game with her girlfriend. "Okay. Let's do it."
Lena was absolutely pulverized by the time Alex called them with the good news. Kara squealed with delight grabbing the package that had been waiting patiently for this day to come.
As Lena drove them over to Alex and Kelly's new place while Kara sat in the passenger seat barely able to contain her excitement. Lena smiled and laughed at her girl's puppy like enthusiasm.
"Will you be like this when it’s our turn?" Lena asks playfully, not really meaning anything by it.
Kara suddenly paused, looking wide eyed at her. But Before Kara could answer they were pulling into the drive way behind Kelly's white Prius and Alex's black motorcycle.
"Alex is probably going to have to put that bad boy in storage," Lena commented as she pointed to Alex's bike.
"Oh dear," Kara said furrowing her brow. "You are probably right."
After Kelly had let them in, they followed her down the hall, towards the living room. This was Kara and Lena's first time in the Danvers-Olsen new home. They first passed some stairs to a second story. Next they passed a half bathroom, bare of any personal touches, just the basics of what one would need. As they continued down the hall, they came towards a kitchen and family room combination, that led out to a patio where Alex could be seen her back facing them. The trio could hear her murmuring something to the little girl in her arms.
Kelly went forward first going to Alex side temporarily blocking both Alex and the little girl from Lena's and Kara's view. The couple kissed gently and the little girl squealed with delight.
"Maya," Alex said as she and Kelly brought the newest addition to their family over to the other couple. "Meet your Aunt Kara and Auntie Lena."
"Oh my god Alex," Kara excitedly whispered as she took in the little girl before them. She was small, probably a year old. Her hazel eyes round pensive. She had soft light brown curls. Her skin was a milky creamy brown almost a perfect mix of Kelly and Alex's. She looked at the two new woman and Lena thought she was regarding whether she liked her new aunts.
"Can I…" Kara began when suddenly Maya leaned forward towards Lena, arms outstretch with a small adorable whine.
"Looks like someone likes you?" Alex said smiling as she handed Maya over.
Surprised, Lena carefully took the small being in her arms as a small hand rested on her boob patting it while making a cute baby noise. The collective group looked on as Maya did it again, and Lena blushed deeply as she came to realize what Maya wanted.
Kara was the first to laugh followed soon by Alex and Kelly, who was walking over to a baby bag on the island to heat up one of the premade bottles of formula they had been given. Lena just scowled at them while Maya continued to pat Lena's breast as she whines became more and more frantic as she also began to pull on Lena's shirt to trying to get to her goal.
"I'm sorry baby girl," Alex said as she removed the frustrated Maya from Lena's grasp. Taking the now warmed bottle from Kelly and bring it up to Maya's focus. Like a ravenous beast Maya took the bottle and began drinking like she hadn't been feed in ages. Alex and Kelly went to the sofa to sit while their daughter drank herself into a milk stupor. Their faces filled with awe as they spoke quietly amongst themselves.
Kara took Lena's hand leading her out to the patio.
"Do you want this with me?" Kara asked quietly glancing toward her sister and Kelly.
Lena looked over at the intimate scene she felt both privileged and out of place to be witnessing. She had always known she wanted a life with Kara. They had been living together for a little over a year and it was the best and worst moments of her life. It had taken a long time to trust and to open up to the woman who was so open to anything and didn't shrink away from all the dark part of Lena. No, Kara looked at them for what they were a past that could be overcome as long as Lena knew she was there standing by her side as she fought and tamed the demons that lived within. But she was afraid that at some point Kara would realize how much the work Lena was and walk away just like everyone else had. Lena didn't know if she would survive the loss of Kara's sunshine.
"Will you marry me?" Lena said suddenly her eyes locking with Kara's. Lena eye's widened as she saw the morning sun exploded as Kara took her into the most bone crushing embrace Lena had ever experienced. "Yes, without fear or reservation," Kara whispered softly as she cupped her hand upon Lena's face. Lena leaned in to the touch.
They kissed softly, reverently resting their foreheads against each other.
Holding hands, they walked into the living room Lena sitting on Kara's lap upon the other end of the sofa.
Kelly looked up them noticing the change between the two. "What just happened?" Kelly asks curious.
"We just got engaged," Lena replied casually with a Cheshire Cat grin.
Alex's head shot up. "Wait…What!"
I welcome any constructive comment, positive or negative, they are the fuel for my craft.
Chapter 2: It's not better than Burnt
It's Lena's turn to make dinner.
Lena had never been very good at cooking, beyond brewing a mean cup a tea, an absolute must as far as her mother, Lillian, was concerned. But it was her night to handle dinner, and the couple had agreed that they needed to eat out less. Which was were Lena at as she desperately tried to not burn her second attempt at lasagna. So far it was just barely hanging on. Next Lena pull the store bought garlic bread out of the packaging and reading over the directions reheating the second oven to the desired temp and waiting for the beep. Her nerves slightly frayed she headed over to the bar a poured bit of whiskey and downed it in one go. The warm liquid courage settled her just nicely and she went back to watching as the lasagna bubbled and baked.
"God, please let this one be edible," She pleaded to the heavens.
Just as the timer dinged on the oven, Kara made her way through the door. Her nose tilted back as the rich scent of meat sauce and cheese filled the air just as Lena pulled her master piece out of the oven.
"Oh my God, baby," Kara said leaning in her nose inches from the dish. "That smells amazing."
Lena blushed a deep red as Kara lean in to get her hello kiss right when the timer for the Garlic bread went off. Lena drew back quickly, grabbing the pot holders and pulling the bread out, which also smelled amazing.
"I'm gonna go change," Kara stated as Lena set the bread and the Lasagna on the table.
"Sounds good, babe, what do you want to drink?"
"Whatever you think works with lasagna," the blonde called over her shoulder.
Lena went to the fridge looking over their choices, there was a German IPA or a Minnesota Stout or even a fruity Pineapple one from Hawaii. Shaking her head, Lena went with the German one, thinking it would complement the best.
Kara came out of the bedroom wearing her favorite pair of worn plaid boxers and a heather grey slouchy sweatshirt, which showed of just her left shoulder. She came around and kissed Lena's neck as the brunette was in the middle of fixing a Caesar Salad. "I'll set the table."
Kara paused, "It's been ages since you called me that," she said surprised at how long it's been since Lena used that old pet name.
Now it was Lena's turn to pause midway as she was placing the salad bowl besides the rest of the food. "Wow, I guess it has… is that okay."
"Yeah, I didn’t realized how much I missed it."
"Okay then…Karbear," Lena said grinning "Would you like a corner piece or the edge?" Lena asked as she stood over the food.
"How about the middle?"
"Okay….." Lena said the last syllable drawn out, before commenting "brat" under her breath.
"I heard that," Kara stated nonplused.
"Hear what, my love," Lena asked as held up to pieces of garlic bread, which Kara gave a thumbs up on, and piled a small amount of salad, before placing it before Kara with a peck on the cheek.
"You know what" Kara just said as Lena made her own plate and sat down next to Kara.
"As I'll ever be," Kara said in all seriousness, causing Lena to lightly slap her shoulder. "Don't abuse the guinea pig, " Kara play scolded her finger waving at Lena.
"I'm a guinea pig too," Lena grumbled as the couple together took their first bite. There was a decided crunch as they bit through under cooked pasta layers.
"Well at least it's not burnt," Lena stated trying to make the best of this.
With a raise indignant eye brow Kara looked at her girlfriend who at least had the dignity to blush. "Yeah, it's not better than burnt."
Let me know how you like it, comment and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated.
Chapter 3: Damn Right
It's Eliza's birthday and she has a surprise for her girls.
Kara and Alex sat close talking and laughing on the couch in the living room of their childhood home, Eliza quietly watched them from the kitchen just out of sight, smiling as she clutched the two small black velvet bags she held in her hands. They were alone at her request Lena and Kelly had taken Maya to grab some supplies for tonight's dinner. But really it was just ploy so she privately give her girls her surprise.
They were in Midvale for Eliza birthday weekend. A tradition since the two had left to start their lives in National city., an unspoken agreement between the girls. As their lives far away from home began to get more busy they made sure to still make time for the important stuff and so every year Alex and Kara would take time off, to spend a weekend back home to celebrate the woman who had done so much without the help of their father.
"Hey girls," Eliza said as she rounded the corner from the kitchen. Out of habit the girls drew apart creating a space for her to sit between them.
"What's up mom," Alex asked resting her head on her raised knees.
"I just wanted to say how lucky I feel to see my girls find love and begin to create families of their own. Alex, " Eliza turned to her eldest grabbing her hand. "you with Kelly and now Maya, and you," Eliza now turned to Kara, also grabbing her hand. "With Lena. It's been years since your father passed away and looking at you two girls now, I just can't how much time has passed and how each of you have grown. Before he died," their mother began, as tears began to brim all their eyes. "We were the happiest of people possible. There was so much joy and laughter mixed perfectly with the downs and disagreements. For a while it was right and then that right just swelled when first Alex and then Kara were added to our lives. As our family expanded so did the happiness, joy and disagreement. So as this chapter in my life begins to close and I am finally able to move on, I want to give each of you a gift that I hope gives you luck in creating the same strong foundation your father and I tried to give you before he died," Eliza pulled the two black velvet pouches from her pocket each with a different color bow. The Red bow she handed to Alex and the Blue one she handed to Kara.
The girls worked to open the bow each with trembling hands.
"Oh, Eliza!" Kara breathed as the simple diamond ring fell into her open palm.
"Mom,' Alex choked up looking at the ring.
"Kara I noticed you hadn't given Lena an engagement ring yet and Alex I know your 3 year Anniversary with Kelly is coming up and so I thought now was the right time to pass these down to you. So I took my ring and grandma Henley's ring to an artist friend, who redesigns old rings into new personalized engagement rings. I gave him some pictures and video of you interacting with Kelly and Lean at Thanksgiving last year. Each ring is design with them in mind. For you Alex I used the diamond from grandma Henley's ring they one I wasn't ready to part with and for Kara's the diamond from mine. I hope you don't mind," Eliza said a she reached for Alex's hand again squeezing it. " I know how much you loved grandma's ring, but I wanted to also give you something from your father and I."
"No, it's perfect mom," Alex's sobbed as she pulled her mother into her arms squeezing her tight. Kara came and squeezed them both. "Kelly will love it."
The three of them quickly broke apart as they heard the door being slammed shut as Kelly, Lena, and Maya come back from running their errand.
"Is everything okay here, " Lena asked with Maya perched on her hip as the three fumbled to hide the rings they had been given as Eliza quickly shoved the velvet bags back in her pocket.
"Yes," Kara explained as she went to kiss Lena and grab her niece for a hug. "Eliza was just sharing some old stories about Jeremiah."
"Oh," Lena's face softened as she rubbed her fiancées back.
"Maya," Eliza started going to grab the little girl. Why don’t we start dinner?"
"Gama," Maya babbled as Eliza grabbed her from Kara's hold. She went off taking a moment to look at both her daughters before disappearing around the corner. Where Kelly was coming out from.
"Hey, Babe" Kelly approached Alex for a quickly hello kiss.
"Do you think we will be like them," Lena whispered conspiratorially looking over to the other couple.
Kara just looked down at her with and unreadable expression. "Come on," Kara began pulling Lena up the stairs to the small balcony off of her and Alex's old room the couple were currently occupying.
"Kara, what is going on?" Lena tone was confused and worried.
"Eliza gave me something for you," Kara murmured as she pulled the ring from her pocket. "She split her ring between Alex and I hopping that all the good from their relationship would be transferred to ours." Her voice husky with some unknown emotion. "How does that sound to you, Ms. Luthor?" Kara asked knowingly.
"You know my fears, Kara. I've not had the best relationship role models. My parents were rich, self-centered manipulators that had no qualms putting restrictions on doling out any kind of love to their children. Love was earned or taken or a tool to make someone bend and submit to being controlled. I am scared every day that I will bring my demons and faults to the home we create. But I so desperately want to make that with you. So much, so very painfully much."
"Then accept this ring and let's work together to make that happen," Kara smiled softly as she held up the engagement ring. "Do you want to build a home with me?"
"Yes, a million, billion, trillion times… yes." Lena exclaimed jumping into Kara's arms embracing her for all she was worth.
The sat cuddling close looking out over Midvale Lake simply there enjoying the nature that surrounded them.
"Kara, Lena," Alex called from the doorway.
"Out here." Kara called back.
"Dinner is ready," Alex commented poking her head out the door.
"Okay we will be down, in a sec."
"Okay good," Alex gave them a thumbs up before coming out looking like girl with a secret. 'Um can I ask a favor?" she whispered looking down at the ring on Lena's finger.
"Yes," Kara knew where this was going. "We won't Kelly were I got Lena's ring," She promised.
"What? Why?" Lena looked between them confused.
"Eliza made a ring for both of us," Kara explained tapping the ring on Lena's finger. "But the ring she gave to Alex is an anniversary gift for Kelly. So we need to keep it to ourselves for a couple of weeks."
"I see," Lena nodded. "You can count on us."
Sunday came on too quickly for everyone liking and all to soon the van was being loaded back up with weekend bags and toddler toys, ready to return home and to each other's respective lives.
Kara and Lena stood off to the side as Lena thanked Eliza for the ring. They spoke for a bit more, before Alex and her little family came over to say their own goodbyes.
"You will come right," Alex confirmed her mother's attendance at the couples third anniversary dinner.
"Of course, my love." Eliza exclaimed. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."
"Hey Alex," Kara's hand in the air trying to get her sister's attention. "let me drive home."
There was a visible pause amongst all the adult at that statement. "What?" Kara demanded as she looked around at all the concerned faces.
"Kara," Alex said carefully, before saying rather bluntly. "You are like the worst driver ever."
"Hey, no I'm not," she said looking around at her mom, Lena and Kelly. Who look up at various other seemingly more interesting places refusing to meet Kara's gaze. "Mom?!" Kara turned looking to her mom for back up.
"Sorry, honey, but you know you are. You seem to have the worse depth perception," Eliza said coming over to rub Kara's back.
"Yeah, well," Kara grumbled moving away from her touch. "Kelly, come on, I can’t be that bad."
"Sorry Kara, the one time I rode with you I feared for my life and everyone in front of you."
"Lena..?" Kara said her voice losing hope.
Lena seems suddenly at a loss for words.
Kara look at her fiancée like she had been stabbed in the chest. "Is that why, you always offer to pick me up with Linus when I say I'll drive?" Kara said looking over at Lena like a hurt puppy at her fiancée's lack of response.
"No, No, No, I mean I'm a billionaire, I have a driver and I like treating my favorite girl like a princess," Lena protested while silently happy she could use her elitism to cover up how much her girlfriends driving freaked her out.
"You are a terrible liar," Kara pouted voice filled with hurt. "Just for that, I'm sitting in the back and hanging with Maya, ignoring all of you." Kara admonished, pointing widely to her travel companions. "Come on MaiMai, let's get buckled in." Kara moved forward picking the little girl up, who clutch the plush sloth the her and Lena had given her the first day they met.
"Yeah, it's going to be a long drive home," Alex head bobbed resignedly.
"At least you don't live with her, "Lena sounded pained, Alex just patted her shoulder. "Well, I won't be getting any tonight." Lena sighed as she drew closer to the van.
Kara poked her head out the back and agreed. "Damn right!"
Chapter 4: My Perfect Somebody
Lena is given a task.
The challenge had been set a herculean task, issued and failure was not an option. The consequences of that failure sending shivers down Lena's spine. Luckily for her, she was a Luthor and Luthor's did not fail.
Which is where Gayle Marsh came in, known as Psi is the best finder in the business. Anything you wanted she could get her hands on, it didn't matter how abstract it was, she was your girl. She always found what you was looking for.
"Miss Marsh," Lena said as a tall blonde with blue serious penetrating eyes came to greet her. "Come, sit," Lena said indicating the couch.
"Miss Luthor, " Gayle nodded as she sat. "How can I help you…."
"I am looking for the perfect engagement ring for my fiancée who I am sure you know is Kara Danvers," Lena handed Gayle a photo.
"Of course Miss Luthor, I wouldn't be the best if I wasn't current on things that mattered. Since it's the perfect ring I am assuming money is no object.."
"If it comes to that… yes. But please," Lena held her hand up as silent request. "Let me explain. I realize perfect may have been misleading. Kara doesn't like perfection, she loves imperfection and the kind of ring she would love is flawed and imperfect and filled to the brim with some kind of character. This is a lady who is happy in clothes from goodwill, or J. Crew. She loves light airy dresses and sweaters with crisp button down shirts. She is sad when old things get tossed away and will happily give away something new no matter how much it was for something perfect and old. Well perfect to her. She isn't flashy and is just as content alone at home or smiling before the camera's. So concentrate on old antique shops, or companies that focus on natural uncut gems. I am looking for perfect imperfection and you have 3 days to find it for me. And yes whatever it will take I will happily pay the price. Just don’t use my name. Kara is amazingly good at figuring out surprises. I want this to blow her away."
One of the many reasons Psi was good at her job was her willingness to get dirty if dirty was required. But for this job, it would require something more domestic and endearing. Considering Lena's need for a quick turnaround, that only left her with so many options. Which is what brought her to Noonan's just two hours after their meeting. Kara apparently made sure to come here Thursdays for the Pork Bun special. Psi assumed that being National City's sweetheart, the chef probably also made sure that his number one customer had some just for her. Walking in, Kara was easy to find. So, Psi stood back for a moments, the many years doing this job had made her a very keen observer. From what she knew of Kara before this assignment, the woman cared, she cared deeply, every article she wrote was about uncovering truths and righting wrongs. She was fearless and the little Lena said of her made complete and utter sense. But what Kara may not know, but Psi was sure Lena did, was that her connection to Lena had made her untouchable. No one wanted to mess with Kara Danvers and get the sharp end of the a Luthor's vengeance. For all that it seems like Kara had tamed the beast. The world at large, did not want to be the reason that Lena Luthor took up the mantle of her crazy family.
Sure, Psi knew the good Lena was doing, the work she put in to really change her family's legacy. Kara Danvers was definitely a step in the right direction. And being the observer she was knew that Kara grounded Lena. But she was still the shrewdest of business women.
As Psi sat on a stool one seat over from Kara's left, quietly she looked over menu shooting careful glances in the other blondes direction, who was reading what Psi assumed was a new article.
"Just so you know," Kara said casually as she continued to read her papers. "I'm engaged."
Psi put her hands up in surrender. "I thought I was being a bit more subtle," she chuckled at being caught. "No, but really, not that you aren't beautiful, and this is coming from a confident straight girl," Psi winked because she was sure Kara would take it for the joke it was. "I was actually eyeing those pork buns," Psi pointed to the plate in front of Kara. "They look positively mouthwatering."
"Smooth," Kara grinned as she held up her plate offering Psi one. "Here."
"Oh no I couldn't," Psi said waving away the offer, quietly surprised at Kara's willing kindness.
"It's no problem," Kara insisted grabbing one from the plate before pushing it over.
"Are you sure," Psi asked as her hand hovered over the bun.
"Here you go, Kara," a waitress name June said as she set a new plate with fresh pork buns down.
Kara looked at her, obviously enjoying Psi shocked reaction. "Here, try a warm one instead, much better a whole other level good," Kara switch the one for the other this time placing it directly into Psi hand.
Psi just chuckled raising the bun in thanks. "Oh my God," Psi moaned at the sweet salty goodness invading her mouth and senses, sincerely enjoying herself.
"I know right!" Kara agreed taking a bite out of hers. "This is one of my favorite days to come here."
"And this is here, every Thursday?"
"I guess I'll be here again?" Psi exclaimed as she ordered her own plate. "So if I may be so bold…"
"Why no ring yet," Kara nodded like it was something she was asked a lot. "Payback."
"Really?" Psi eyes widened. "How so?"
"Let's just say, some new information had put her into the dog house and the right ring was her way of getting out. She has until Sunday to find it."
Psi silently whistled loving this side of Kara and understanding Lena's three day timeline. She wanted to exceed expectations. Oh Luthor, you are whipped. "Now my interest is piqued… what happens Sunday?"
"Now, now," Kara smiled mischievously. "That stays in Vegas."
The encounter with Kara yesterday had been more fun and fruitful that Psi had expected. She had unexpectedly found herself wishing that this wasn't a business transaction, but two people becoming friends. Kara was someone who was easy to create a rapport with. As the conversation flowed between them, it became clearer and clearer what Psi was looking for. During the conversation Psi dropped seemingly innocent questions here and there gathering what she could, people would be amazed at what you can learn from someone else in questions that had nothing to do with things that seem totally unconnected.
They had agree a set of five rings for Lena to then choose one from. Psi would be given access to an open ended account for anything dealing directly with the rings which needed to have receipts provided. All other expenses were done on Psi's dime to be reimbursed upon approval.
With information and notes in hand, Psi head out.
The soft dulcet sounds of light jazz playing quietly over the surround sound as Kara made her way into Lena's kitchen where rich aroma of baked ziti filled the air. "Babe," she called making her way towards the living area.
"On the terrace" Lena voice sounded slightly muted.
"Hey what are you doing out here?" Kara kissed her forehead and putting her arms around Lena.
"Just thinking," Lena murmured.
"What about?" Kara questioned.
"The most romantic way to give you this," Lena held up a small velvet box, her voice small. "But everything I think of just feels wrong," she shrugged.
"Lena," Kara swallowed "Is that what I think it is?"
"Probably," Lena opened the box, revealing simple ring with a dusky red diamond inside. The jewel was perfectly flawed, with deep blue lines veined with in the gem that was set into a platinum setting.
"Oh it’s perfect," Kara gasp hand over mouth, trembling. "You did it."
"Of course Kara," Lena tsked as she removed the ring placing it upon her fiancée's finger. "A Luthor never fails, especially when the stakes are so high." Lena lean over kissing the gem and then the palm of Kara's hand. "And besides… you are my perfect somebody."
Chapter 5: Billie and Kidd
New additions and changes are on the way.
It was talked about and decided and finally agree that it was time for the next step in their relationship… the addition of an animal into their home. The only problem, Kara wanted a dog and Lena wanted a cat. The only thing they seemed to agree on was their new addition had to come from a shelter.
They had gone back and forth for days, each one pointing out the merit and benefits of their respective choice, each one trying their hardest to persuade, or in some instances manipulate the other to give in.
When Friday Night Dinner and Adult Game Night at Alex and Kelly's place rolled around, they were no closer to a decision.
The car ride over was quiet as Lena drove one of three prototype smart cars that L-Corp was currently in the development stage on. The other two were being driven by Sam Arias, her CSO, and Andrea Rojas, the engineer leading the project. The onboard in dash computer spit out a constant stream of stats and diagnostics, while a secondary peripheral computer monitored the entire system checking and rechecking for issue that could arise. So far the car was doing better than expected.
When they arrived, Kelly was outside playing with Maya and Millie on the front lawn. Maya began jumping for joy when she saw her two aunts arrive.
"Hey, guys," Kelly grinned looking over at the car Lena had told them about and not at the brooding couple as they stepped from the car. "This prototype looks amazing, will there be a family discount when it done?" she finally looks up and sees the sad puppy eyes of one and the pinch irritation of the other.
"Everything okay?" Kelly asked as Kara lifts Maya up for a hug and kiss making her way inside.
"It's just a stupid disagreement," Lena waved unimportantly. "We'll tell you guys over dinner. Maybe you can offer some advice."
"I can certainly try, I am a shrink after all," Kelly winked mischievously at Lena.
"Are you ever going to let that go?" Lena groaned at her faux pas when they first met.
"The prim and proper Lena Luthor making such a common place mistake and therefore should know better," Kelly raised an eyebrow incredulously, while wrapping her arm around the brunette, squeezing her in a buddy-buddy kind of way. "Never."
"Ugh," Lena slumped. "Just kill me now."
"You can't die, at least not until you've married Kara."
"So I'm just being used for my money?" Lena scowled playing along.
"Yes, or how else am I going to get a nice discount for this amazing prototype sitting in my drive."
"Nah ah," Lena waved her finger. "Now that I know your motives you can forget about it."
The paused when they heard the opening and closing of a car door. "Hey baby," Alex smiled making her way over to her wife, take-out bags in hand. "Why does Lena have the face?"
"Oh she just found out we are using her for her money and connections." Kelly waved casually.
"Oh," Alex smirked looking at the grumpy billionaire "Yeah. Why else would us common folk be hanging out with an snobby rich kid," Alex smiled side hugging Lena who just grunted in response.
"That joke is getting old you know," Lena deadpanned as she allowed herself to be lead into their home.
"It's been like ages since we've done it, and really we're just messing with you cause you pulled up into our driveway with a fancy smancy smart car thing. How many people can say they know someone who can do that? Besides you are like the most obscenely nice, caring and humble person we know and you also know Kara could care less about your money and so do we."
"Yeah, I guess," Lena agreed half-heartedly her cheeks pinking at the compliment. "Maybe I'll let you guys have the family discount."
"Oh," Alex's eyes lit up. "Kelly will love that."
"Uh-huh…. Anyway how goes the anniversary party plans?"
"Good, mom has been helping out a lot with that. We've booked the caterers, music and the venue, which thank you so much for the help with The Japanese Garden," Lena smiled and nodded. "Along with the tables and chairs. Only a week more," Alex said rubbing her hands together happily looking very relieved at the progress. "We also decided to make it into a formal introduction for Maya. We wanted to celebrate her too."
"Oh, that sounds so sweet. I know a place that does amazing kids activities if you would like, I could give them a call, or I can give you the number? They act kind of like a traveling daycare."
"Yes, please, that would be awesome. Since its turned into a family thing we've opened the invitations to the kids as well. Any help with keeping them entertained will be greatly appreciated. "
Lena scrolled through her contacts looking for the number and sending a contact share to Alex's phone. "I know Kara is excited, but she gets excited about everything concerning things she loves."
"Yeah," Alex raise her phone, nodding that she got it. "Aren't you lucky Ms. Doom and Gloom, you make her the most excited of all."
"Yeah," Lena smiled softly drawing out the huh sound. "Especially, in bed," the last part was said so casually it took Alex a moment to register it.
"Oh my god, please don't," Alex mocked choked. "I thought we agreed you wouldn't share?"
"Oh, you know it's just me messing around, cause we are gonna be family…" Lena smile wickedly letting the rest of the sentence trail off.
"Touché, Luthor, touché," Alex put her hands up in defeat. "But just for that, you get to pay for three pizzas that should be arriving," Alex paused checking her phone. "In about 3 minutes."
"Fine, but there better be a Rustic Veggie!" yelled Lena as she headed for the front door, Millie following close behind.
"So what is bothering the soon to be Danvers-Luthor duo… Luthor-Danvers Duo," Kelly paused thinking which was best.
Kara chose to ignore her. "Lena and I have decided we wanted to add a pet to our little family. You know practice for when we have kids. The only thing is we can't agree whether it should be a dog," Kara pointed to herself. "Or a cat," knocking her wrist towards Lena.
"How about both?" Kelly offered.
"Well I mean wouldn't that be hard, especially if they happen to be older?" Lena inquired.
"Yes, but shelters also get a lot of multiple surrenders and some of the animals are so bonded that separating them is not good. Which if it is a shelter that isn't no-kill, two animals that didn't need to be put down… do." Kelly stuttered
"So you could adopt a bonded pair. One of my co-workers volunteers at one, I can ask if they have any cat/dog, bonded."
"What do you think babe?" Kara looked towards Lena.
"I mean it would be the best option and my apartment is more than big enough… Let's do it."
"Okay!" Kara turned back to Kelly.
"Cool I'll text him now, give me a sec." Kelly grabbed her phone from the island, leaning against the counter.
"Do you think you guys will stay in Lena's apartment when you get married?" Alex asked.
"I mean we have been talking about buying a house, later down the line. When we were closer to wanting kids."
"You know there is a nice one, just a few blocks from us," Alex casually dropped, as subtely as possible.
"Hmm," Lena murmured. "How convenient. And you wouldn't happen to have a picture of said house?"
"As a matter of fact, I do," Alex pulled a picture of it up on her phone and passed it to the couple.
"Lena," Kara breathed looking at the small front yard with a white picket fence.
Before Lena could reply Kelly interrupted them.
"Hey, so my co-worker said there was a pair that had been at the shelter for a while. They are a little on the older side at about 5 years, but house trained and litter trained. He also sent over a picture," Another phone was handed to the couple who were becoming increasingly overwhelmed by how easily things seem to be falling into place.
All to soon the couple and Kelly found themselves standing outside the door of the National City Animal shelter after- hours to meet their possible new fur babies. Andy, Kelly's coworker was outside waiting for them.
"Thank you so for coming down," He effused shaking Kara and Lena's hand while give Kelly a quick hug. "No one is looking to adopt two animals right now, and they are the absolute sweetest souls you can imagine."
The four walked in and Andy lead them to a room that was just off to the side. "Lena and Kara, I would like to introduce you to Billie," Andy pointed indicating the dog. "And Kidd," pointing to the cat who was curled up on Billie's head."
"Like the outlaw?" Kara wondered out , eyes crinkling.
"Yes, the owner was a western buff."
"Do they always sleep like that?" Lena looked at the two in awe.
"No, but they are always close. They are kept in the same kennel or else they would just cry and cry. They are very bonded. Many people have asked to take Billie, but we tell them they also have to take Kidd. No Bueno apparently."
"What happened to their owner?" Lena asked.
"He died in a car accident and none of his family could take them."
"What kind of dog is Billie?" Kara asked.
"We aren't sure, He's some kind of sheepdog mutt,' Andy said removing a dog treat from his pocket braking it up, instantly both animals perked up at the sound of food. "Kidd, she, is some kind of Maine coon mix we think, because of the marking and her size. They both like dog treats," He handed off half to Lena and the other to Kara. "Get low and just hold out your hands."
Kara and Lena both sat down on the floor together, careful to not make any sudden moves. Billie looked over at them sniffing the air, but held back, watching to see what Kidd would do. Slowly like a hunter going for its prey Kidd she made her way over to Kara, carefully stopping to sniff along the way. When Kidd came to her hand she tentatively grab a small piece and began to chewing it. Billie followed soon after heading to Lena. Who cautiously brought up her hand to touch his fur.
"Babe he is so soft," Lena exclaimed as she glided her hands over his fur. Kara not wanting to be left out also did the same, moaning at how luxurious at its feel. Kidd came over to scent Billie and moved to scent both Lena and Kara after.
"Well, I think they like you." Andy smiled, watching as the cat moved to lay on Kara's lap. "You must be the cat person," Andy guess.
"Not usually," Kara winked. "But don't tell Kidd that," making the signal for shush.
Billie huffed down in front of Lena laying his head on her lap. She played with his ears, lulling the gentle beast to sleep.
"I guess we found our babies," Kara sighed as she rubbed Kidd small head."
"Yep, we did," Lena agreed. "Billie and Kidd"
Chapter 6: What Did You Have in Mind?
After much cajoling and pouting, which it turns out Alex was surprisingly good at, Lena and Kara agreed to attend an open house for the home 2 block away from her home. The couple looked forlornly at each other as they listen to the agent talk about all the details they had to admit… the house was damn near perfect, anything that wasn't could be renovated and changed. It was slightly bigger than Alex's and Kelly's offering more yard space and a pool. Which Kara was sure was a reason Alex's was keen for them to get it. Warm weather pool parties and barbeques would be on the docket, of that she was very sure. But it also meant that Maya could join them more often and Millie could come and play with Billie. It also had the added advantage and possible disadvantage of being a hop, skip and a jump away from her sisters family. For Kara it also brought the elephant in the room unavoidably into the forefront of her thoughts.
When the biggest decisions in their relationship was where to eat from, it was something that was easy to overlook. Those things were simple and easily dealt with, Chinese food and pot stickers from Paradise Garden, pizza from Luca's and wings from that joint down the block or it was another failed attempts at basic American comfort. Which ended being one of said three. It was straightforward and drama free. But the prospect of buying a house together, had quickly brought their financial imbalance to light.
In truth Lena's wealth had always been a quiet source of contention for Kara. The little extravagances here and there were few and far between and not what their relationship was about, though they could be daunting. It was the quiet nights in watching shows and movies, eating take out or popcorn. It was the sleeping in each other's arms, of making love with tender slow kisses and gentle probing fingers that moved languidly upon the others skin. It was the cleaning and time spent doing things together even if it was just sharing a table as they work and or finished projects. Or the quiet intimate conversations about random wandering things. It was all those little moments of building a relationship that filled their days.
But Kara knew it was also the big stuff, the things she hoped could be dealt with later down the line. Lena's wealth was constantly simmering below the surface, how could it not be, her girlfriend was Lena freaking Luthor, billionaire tech genius who created smart cars and other cool tech things. Who spoke with leaders of nations and business, and dined at fancy restaurants for high powered business meeting and then would bring the left overs home for Kara to try. The small nothings of a world of excess.
But buying a home meant two very different things to them. For Kara it was a mortgage and saving for big renovations or emergencies repairs. For Lena it was ordering a cashier's check fully paid from her bank.
"Baby," Lena peered over at her looking concerned, grabbing her fiancée's hand bringing Kara back from her wayward thoughts. "You've just had that crinkle in your brow and looking like you're about to say something."
Kara smiles squeezing her hand, taking a deep breath and looking at her green eyes dolefully "You wealth scares me," Kara began.
"Baby, you know that will all be yours when we marry," Lena smiled as though that was obvious.
"Yes, I know and that scares me. I make a good salary as journalist, but it doesn't compare to that of a tech mogul. Your wealth and connections are so far above mine and has allowed me to speak with people who may never have taken an interview with me just on my own and many exclusives. I love dressing up and going with you to various Gala's and events meeting new people and eating their food, God you know how much I love their food," Kara's mouth began to water just thinking about the canapes from the last gala."
"Yes and I love having you there with me keeping me grounded when the excess becomes to enticing. Using my money to take care of those I care about, and you Danvers are one of the most important people in my life. You have no idea how much it would break me to lose you. So I want to make sure you are well cared for and I just have the means to do it better than most."
"When you say it like that, I begin to second guess myself. Your money cannot buy the things I truly want. I know where you come from. I know the lack in emotional connections you grew up with and so I make sure to foster and nurture that with you." Kara expression grew serious as she looked directly into Lena's eyes so her fiancée understood just how important this was to her, "Not in my wildest dreams did I think the person I would do love with would be a woman wealthy enough to probably buy the moon. In truth, I thought I would marry someone much more closer to my economic means and that our lives would include certain shared bills and expenses and possibly financial struggles."
"Kara," Lena looked at Kara concerned, her lip trembling slightly. "What are you saying."
Kara's eyes widen becoming round with realization. "No, no," She groan, angry with herself. "I'm sorry, I'm saying this wrong. I want to build my life with you Lena Luthor, but I think we need to come to some kind of agreement, financial rules of engagement for certain things. Something that is we can agree on that is fair to both of us."
"Why?" Lena eyes crinkled, truly puzzled about what Kara was saying.
"Because I need to pay and contribute to the foundations of our life. Our home will be our foundation, it will be the place we raise fur babies and human babies, and maybe a garden," Lena raised a skeptical eye at that. "I'm still deciding. I mean the yard does had the space. So it's a maybe." Kara flipped her hand back and forth. "Either way I want my money to be part of the purchase of our home. I know it may seem weird, but I would mean a lot to me."
Lena sighed defeated. "When you say it like that, who am I to take that away from you," Lena reach over cupping Kara's cheek bringing their foreheads together. "Okay, my love, what did you have in mind?"
Chapter 7: Soft I Love Yous
It's party time.
I didn't really proofread it so all mistakes are mine. Hope you enjoy.
“Where are the pot stickers?” Kara realized as she see placed the large trays of Chinese and Thai food that made up the menu for the buffet into the stainless steel buffet warmers.
“Hiding,” Kelly said a she filled a basket with chrome colored eating utensils and plain white napkins.
“You guys don’t trust me?” Kara petulantly pouted sounding hurt.
“Did you not just ask where they were?” Kelly looked at her brow raise.
“Of course! I'm in charge of food set up." Kara reasoned moving her hands palm up randomly around the table.
"You are only in charge of food setup so you could sneak pot stickers." Kelly challenged.
"That is…. Na....oh, You aren’t... ooh,” Kara sputtered and fumbled as her face contoured into a myriad of shapes and angles.
"Uh-huh, we all know you, Kar. Your pot sicker obsession is well documented as are the threats around the last one." Kelly pulled out cups staking them upside down in another smaller basket near the drink station.
"I'm starting to feel like everyone is teaming up against me," Kara looked despondently at the food that still needed to be transferred around her. She had only volunteered to sneak some pot stickers before the party. Pouting and sighing she went back to work.
“Hey, baby,” Lena came up behind Kara, kissing her cheek, startling the blonde, as she handed her blue eyed one and only a large take out box. “Stop pouting and finish your job,” Lena whispered so only Kara could hear, before walking away to join Eve, Lena’s assistant, who was pushing a large plastic container over to where a group of maintenance workers were waiting for her by the large willow tree.
Kara quiet squealed hugging the container to her chest a large blissful smile spreading across her face.
“Happy?” Kelly smirked, stating the obvious
“You’re being very cheeky today,” Kara noted as she stuck the first or many pot stickers in her mouth. Groaning and smiling around the beef and porky goodness of it. “Are you nervous about tonight?” transferring more of the food.
“Sorry,” Kelly kind of slumped looking over to Alex, who was busy coordinating the tables and chairs setup with Eliza, an odd expression on her face. “Alex is hiding something from me. I don’t think it’s bad, but I do think it’s big.”
“Hmm,” Kara said shoving another pot sticker in her mouth, in a way that was in no way suspicious or concerning. “I eed to tank lia,” Her mouth full of another pot sticker turning and walking away. Her work left partly incomplete.
“Yeah,” Kelly call after her “Nothing weird about that!”
Kara just kept walking.
While the crew above them worked Lena spoke to Jack heads close together over some kind of remote, Kara guess was for the lights to be used on the willow tree near a small tea house on the shore of a much larger koi pond. Which were being decorated with mini floating lanterns that would light up once the sun had set. While the Japanese Garden welcome the prospect of the party, they were less thrilled at the prospect of their old willow tree, possibly being irreparably damage by the weight of string lights. Jack the Maintenance supervisor helping to oversee the decorating of the Willow Tea Grove stated it would be a logistical "pain in the ass". The tree was strong, but it was also a National City treasure, the willow tree was as old as the 80 year old garden itself, so no chances would be taken. Upon hearing this, Lena offered to refitted some older miner tech to make new bright, low heat and much lighter individual lights that could be attached my a slow disintegrating water proof all natural glue. Jack was skeptical, but after the tech had been completed and demonstrated, they agreed as long as it was also a donation that could offer to others clients. Lena, happily agreed, later telling Kara she could probably use it as some kind of write off.
"This is brilliant, Ms. Luthor," Jack said turning the little light around in his palm. "I can't feel any heat." the awe was clear in his tone.
"My fiancée is pretty amazing," Kara beamed as she kissed Lena softly one the lips.
"You taste like pot stickers," Lena teased looking up into Kara's eyes playfully.
"You must be Kara," Jack held his hand out looking directly at her. "I'm Jack Spheer. It's nice to finally meet you."
"Meet me?" Kara looked between them confused.
"Jack is a huge fan of your work," Lena beamed at her. "He loved your latest article series about the regentrification of the Meat Plaza and the many business finding a new home and community. His parents own the small butcher shop you ate at. They're business has been booming since your article and the glowing review of the hot lamb sandwich you tried."
"Really?!" Kara felt self-conscious at the way Jack smiled so gratefully at her.
"Yes, all the small business, so many of them run by immigrant families, have been doing so much better and the community outreach had been growing. When Lena told me you were her fiancée, I completely geek out.."
"He really did," Lena interrupted putting her arm around Kara and squeezing.
"You two are so cute.." Jack smiled thinking how adorable they looked. "Anyway, I immediately told my parents who then spoked to all the business they were close with and all of them offered to share in the catering your wedding, so just let me know when and where and you will have the most diverse spread of food imaginable."
Kara just looked at Jack, mouth slightly open in shock, dumbfounded that one of her articles would have such an impact.
"I…. I…. I don't know what to say…." Kara felt her cheeks redden.
"Just think about it," Jack offered. "When you decide we will be there. I'll leave you two alone." Jack took his leave going over to finish supervising the light installation.
"I can't believe my article did that!" Kara held non pot sticker hand to her face. Eyes wide as she look at Lena.
"I can, you are an amazing writer who is only getting better, your words connect people, baby," Lena kissed the side of her forehead bringing her close. "What are you doing here?"
"Kelly, is worried about a big secret Alex is keeping from her, so I thought it was the right time to thank you for my pot stickers. Thank you by the way.. Though I am alittle hurt none of you trusted me."
"Baby, you know you can't. So," Lena left it hanging at Kara's scowl. "Ugh," Lena groaned shifting her weight to her hip as she addressed the Kelly situation. "You are a terrible liar under pressure, you know that?"
"Yes, which is why I need you to get Kelly away from me so I can finish setting up, or you can…." Kara hoped it was the latter.
"Yeah, I can do that. But you owe me… So be prepared, when you are least prepared." Lena playfully threatened. Walking over to Kelly fielding her puppy eyes and getting back to work.
Everything was coming together nicely, Eliza and J'onn were putting the finishing touches on everything while Alex and Kelly headed over to the changing tent to freshen up and get ready.
After the last zipper had been zipped on Kelly's dress and Alex had shrugged into her jacket, a feeling of tense excitement filled the air between them. As Kelly built up the courage to say what was on her mind. "I know you are keeping something from me," She began wringing her fingers while fiddling with her small wedding ring. "I don't think it's bad, but I'm not sure if it's good."
"It's nothing bad," Alex murmured as she walked into Kelly's space, pulling out the jeweler box she had in her pocket.
"Remember my mother's birthday weekend? When Kara finally gave Lena her engagement ring?"
"Yes," Kelly said in confusion. "It was beautiful."
"Well, if was from my mother," Alex pulled the ring out of the box as she grabbed Kelly's left hand. Tears filled Kelly's eyes as Alex told her the story Eliza had told them. "My grandmother believed in totems artifacts that held positive energy. I guess to an extent my mother did as well because she wanted to make sure both her daughters had totems for a happy marriage. Kelly Olsen, I love you with every ounce and beat of my heart. There is no one else whose company and strength I want besides me as we travel through this crazy world and raise a beautiful daughter," Alex silently placed the ring on the tip of Kelly's ring finger sliding it on to nestle besides her wedding band.
"It's so beautiful," Kelly's voice shook as she leaned in to kiss Alex. "How long do we have?" Kelly gasped between heated kisses.
"Five minutes, maybe less," Alex nipped at her throat causing Kelly to moan.
"We better make this fast."
The rest of the evening of the evening was perfect as family and friends started to arrive. Per the couples request they asked that only gifts be brought for Maya, but many of them still brought something for both. The lights on the willow tree created the perfect level of ambiance that many people chatted below laughing at private conversations here and there. Eventually the evening began to wind down as guests with younger children began to head home and couple who stayed a little longer dancing close to slow songs being played. Kelly's brother James and his wife Lucy, were laughing as he twirled her around the dance floor, giving everyone else a run for their money.
Lena was sitting alone on the edge of the pond, watching those on the dance floor.
"Hey," Alex sat down handing over an open wine bottle to Lena.
"Hey, yourself, " Lena grabbed the bottle taking a drink. "You know Kelly's brother and his wife are amazing dancers," she said handing the bottle back.
"Yeah, they are, Kelly hates it with her two left feet," Laughing to herself. "But that's not why I'm here…"
"Thanks for all the extra help with the kids games and other stuff." Alex's hand spreading wide indicating her party.
"No, please," Lena waving it off casually. "What the point of having so much if you can't help those who matter to you. And you matter a lot to Kara… and to me." Lena smiled. "But can you do me a favor?"
"Anything," Alex promised without an ounce of hesitation.
"Don't say anything to Kara…"
"I'm sorry," Alex hand was raised to her mouth. "Kelly is thanking her right now….," They both looked over to where Kara was talking with Kelly. "Is that a problem? Do I need to slap some sense into my baby sister?" Alex moved ready to dole out a slap or two.
"No, No! Don't worry about it, forget I mentioned it. You're welcome, it’s the least I can do for my soon-to-be sister-in-law."
"Alright," Alex got up relenting, but suspicious. But, if you need to, I am more than happy to help."
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."
"Good," Alex got up leaving the wine bottle in Lena's care as she went over to where her wife and daughter were slow dancing on the dance floor.
Kara came sitting draping her arm behind Lena's back and pulling her close. "Thank you," Kara kissed her cheek and biting Lena's ear playfully.
"You're not mad?"
"No, you gave my sister such an amazing gift. Something I would completely do if I was in your position. The fact that you, my love do it because you know how much she means to me. I have nothing but gratitude."
Lena snuggled closer into Kara. "Do you think we will love like that?" Lena uses her chin, pointing to where Alex and Kelly dance close, Maya held between them, as their wedding song Marry Me by Train plays.
Kara eyes are crinkle soft as she smiles at the scene before her. She hum softly wondering, before looking back at Lena, her eyes bright brilliant blue, oceans that Lena would happily and forever drown in. "No," Kara tilts her head slightly "We will make our own love."
The lean further into each other, pressing their lips together, there conversation trailing into quiet intimate murmurs and soft "I love yous."
Chapter 8: Kara
So things are getting angst. Cat makes an appearance.
Things had gotten crazy recently. The sale of their home and been finalized three days after Alex and Kelly's anniversary. L-Corp had been developing various smart home technologies and Lena had asked if she could use their new house as a model home to see how they interacted in a real world setting. Kara was hesitant at first but thought it might make a good short article series about what it was like living in the midst of basically what amounted to a science experiment. The next day she proposed it to her boss, Cat Grant, who like the idea as long as it included larger glimpse inside the life of Lena Luthor and of course herself, but Kara guessed it was more to do with catching a somewhat intimate glimpse into another one of National City's most powerful and influential women. Lena was on board as long as she go to read the articles first. The series was a hit and began to create quite the tech and business buzz for L-corp. Soon Kara was being named National City's sweetheart reporter who had captured the heart of a once Ruthless Luthor. The two were quickly becoming quite the power couple. Aside from the unexpected fame Kara's articles brought it also did a great job in helping reframe L-Corp's image.
The biggest buzz came when Andrea Rojas of Rojas Industries approached Lena with a possible business collaboration. Lena was through the roof, she had been trying to woo Rojas for years, but they had been resistant due to Luthor Corps bad history and her brothers, very questionable ethical business practices. The rejection hurt, but Lena understood and so let it be. Now they wanted to work together on a series of ecological projects and finally thought L-Corp could help them pull it off.
As a thank you, Lena brought home a mountain of pot stickers just for Kara and they made love under the stars of their terrace.
Along with the closing of their home the couple decided that since Kara's lease was almost up, that they should move in together until the renovations were complete also this made moving to their new place easier. So with the help of a packing company for the larger items and their various friends and family. In about 4 days, they were able to get Kara moved out of her place and into the penthouse, with the bulk of her things headed to storage. The last night the couple order pizza and wings as a thank you for everyone's hard work.
Living together had created a new way of being for the couple, coming home to each other, the soft hello kisses that sometimes lead to other things or simply to a sigh, happy to be home. Talking about their individual days over dinner, by whoever got home first were the makings of pure domestic bliss. Together the nights were relaxing and easy the soft touches and rough kisses each discovering the others body over and over. Or just sitting together on the couch doing their own thing. In the morning, Lena would be the first to wake. Heading to the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee, getting ready for her day. Before leaving, she would bring a cup for Kara, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and more creamer than coffee. The aroma would stir Kara, just in time for them to kiss good bye sometime offering the other a playful pinch or a lingering touch.
As the days wore on and as the partnership with Rojas Industries began to become more solidified Lena was starting to stay at work later and later. It seemed like there was no shortage of projects that require Lena's time and attention.
Once she finished one, another was primed and waiting. More often than not Kara found herself waking up in the middle of the night, Lena's half of the oversized king bed still untouched and when morning came there was no coffee and more importantly no Lena to be found. On the times Kara did see her fiancée there was an odd distance between them as Lena typed away on her phone or laptop. Their conversations trailing off as Kara realized the lack of effort to keep them going. As she pick up her dish to eat alone at the counter, watching the love of her life ignore her an old, long thought forgotten feeling of abandonment began to creep along Kara's skin and in Lena's large austere penthouse the feeling of loneliness was terribly magnified.
Kara was at odds with herself. Her effort to visit Lena for lunch proved to be just as fruitless as their conversations at home. The last time she had left the office her face must have betrayed her because she had caught Jess's concerned eyes. Kara's face flamed red, quickly she left and headed back to work.
Nearer to work she felt the embarrassment deepen as she tried to school her emotions into calm professional and slowly coming to admit she didn't like the feelings that were blooming in her chest. This was a side of Lena, she never could have imagined and a whole level that Kara was not okay with. But she loved Lena, deeply and imagined in the lonely hours before bed all of the good memories they had.
The final nail in her chest was when, Eve, not Lena, informed her that the renovation would be done soon and asking if she would like a walk-through later that day. If Kara was honest she really could careless, but not wanting to be rude she agreed. So that evening before dinner Kara, Alex, Kelly and Maya went to take a look.
It was well past the time the construction workers would have left for the day and so didn't have to worry about being under foot. It seems like forever since Kara had been there. "Ms. Danvers," Eve waved to them as they pulled into the drive way.
"Kara, please." Kara insisted as she shook Eve's hand. "Do you remember my sister Alex and her wife, Kelly? This is their daughter Maya."
"Yes," Eve smiled. "I met you briefly before their Anniversary party. It's a pleasure to see you again." Eve smiled as she shook their hands. "It is actually great that you came."
"Holy shit," Kelly exclaimed setting the pizza boxes on the island in their kitchen.
"I…. Yeah….," Kara shook her head, not feeling the same excitement. In truth it just hurt. She had looked around the almost finished home seeing the possibilities of what could be, overshadowed but the loneliness of the now. The potential for cozy live in bliss stretched before her from the floorboards to the recessed lighting. As Eve explained both the functional everyday improvements in tandem with the high tech sophistication of what, Hope, the AI home attendant program could and would offer. Kara imagined herself having lengthy one-sided conversations about her days, as Lena became more and more of a distant fixture in her life. The thought stir up unpleasant feelings and memories as the need to leave began to grip her with each passing moment.
"I mean the amount of tech and sensors in your house," Alex said in awe as she placed Maya in her highchair. "All I can say is Millie is going to be staying there whenever we aren't home. Bio diagnostics, camera's, and security sensors. And, and already child safety fitted," Leaning down to kiss her baby girls forehead. "I mean from what I know from working at Lord Tech, the processing power needed would be crazy. Especially with Hope constantly running…I can't imagine what your energy bill will look like."
"Lena has that covered," Kara replied absentmindedly. "Uh… some kind of personal solar generator thing." she shook her hands randomly beside her head as her brow crinkle deepened.
"Ah…." Alex murmured peering more closely at her baby sister. "What's causing the crinkle in your brow?"
Kara groaned as she reached up to rub it down.
"Nothing, just some personal stuff…" Kara trailed off petting Millie who had come over asking to be let up. Kara happily obliged.
"Something with Lena?" Alex came over to rub her back. Kara just shrugged. "Is that why you've been avoiding coming over?"
"It's just…." Kara voice began to tremble as she fought to hold back tears. "S-she's been so…. caught up in this…. n-new partnership with…. with Rojas. I haven't s-seen her."
"Oh Kara," Alex pulled Kara to her stomach as she sister broke down into tears. Kelly grabbed Maya giving the two sisters some privacy. Alex mouthing thank you. "I'm here Kar, I'm here."
"I hurts," Kara wept, snot and tears running down making a mess of Alex's shirt. "I-I-I l-love her s-so much…. b-b-but I d-don’t d-deser-ve this." Kara gripped her sister her body shaking with sobs as she buried her face into her sister's belly.
"No, no you don't," Alex agreed as she stroked golden hair.
After that Kara just cried, letting all her pain and frustration out. Alex stood there a solid pillar to lean on, thinking about the other times Kara had broken down this way. The first time had been ages ago, when Kara had just come to live with the Danvers, after her parents, Alura and Zoren, who had been old family friends, died in a car crash. The next was when Jeremiah had died. Alex could feel her emotions starting to get the better of her and so pulling Kara closer she worked to calm down because Kara didn't need her anger. She needed her solid unwavering support.
"So what are you going to do?" Kelly asked after she had put Maya to bed and the three of them could finally sit down to eat.
"I don't know. I want to get away, take some time to gather my thoughts and think things through."
"I think I just might have the things. Do you remember my brother Jimmy?" Kara nodded. "He's a photographer. He's been thinking about heading off on a month long photo tour traveling up along the California coast to Oregon and Washington state, taking pictures of the forgotten US. Maybe you can tag along and write another one of your article series that seem to be so popular."
Kara could feel her spirits begin to lift the more she thought of it. The trip, if Cat approved, would definitely be a change of pace and offer some new perspectives on what to do. Right now, being in National City carried with it more pain that joy. And for some reason this just felt right.
"Okay, give Jimmy a call see what he says," Kara could a new energy rush through her.
The next morning she went to see Ms. Grant.
"Hello, Kara," Cat began as Kara took a seat before her. "Are you here to tell me if you've resolved your mopping behavior concerning Lena Luthor."
"I…." Kara was flabbergasted. "ugh….what?"
"You, Miss Danvers, are an annoyingly sugar sweet ray of sunshine who for the past month has been anything but. Now while for the most part I can overlook that irksome aspect of your personality because while I might find it tiresome, it has been an absolute asset to the moral of all your co-workers. Co-workers, who I might add, have asked quite often if something was wrong. Being a woman with a certain level of experience concerning the intricate dance of lovers, I have held my tongue, waiting for you to approaching me and own this gloomy cloud like the adult I know you are and explain to me what the fuck is going on."
Kara just stared at Cat for a while, mouth hung slightly open, her mind processing slowly just how astute her boss is.
"You look like a frog," Cat said none to kindly and very bluntly.
"I…ugh," Taking a deep breath. "You're right."
So Kara explained her idea about the articles and even to an extent the personal stuff that was going on for her. Cat listened quietly, never pushing Kara to share more than was necessary. Kara had a pretty good idea that Cat knew more than she let on, but was grateful for her bosses tact intuitiveness and understanding. Cat Grant had had her share of broken hearts.
In the end Cat loved the idea. James had emailed his tentative literary to Kara, and they were going to meet that evening to hammer everything out so they could leave by the end of the week. Kara would send the updated schedule by Thursday.
"Here," Cat said grabbing something from her top drawer.
"A company card?" Kara looked down eyes wide.
"Yes, Kara," Cat straightened in her chair. "As I said, I know what you are going through, you would not believe the crazy shit I did when I was your age from a broken heart. But I could not be prouder that you in the state you are in, are going to use this time to try and shed light on others misfortunes. That is the kind of people we need. So, use this, within reason, on whatever you need. I'll deal with accounting later," Cat finished smiling. "Now go and prepare cause I expect exceptional work and pictures to match."
"Will do Ms. Grant," Kara saluted her boss.
Monday evening Lena was eye deep in status reports and test data. She had barely been home at all and when she was it was so late she slept in the guest room not wanting to wake Kara. Her sleep was poor and often she left two hours later to deal with another detail that she just couldn't delegate away. She had put her head down for a bit, eyes watery and mind weary when Jess walked in.
"Miss Luthor," Jess said quietly.
"Unless it's urgent please… I don’t have time right now." Lena said not bothering to move.
"Miss," there was a soft whine as Jess gave a shocked "Ah" before a wet furry nose was pushing between Lena's knee.
"Billie," Lena sat up looking to where Jess had Kidd slung over her shoulder in her cat bag, brows furrowed in confusion. "What are they doing here?" As she scratched Billie's soft head.
"A man named J'onn dropped them of a moment ago with this note," Jess walked up placing it in Lena's waiting hand.
The name sounded familiar… Lena thought as she took the note, ripping it out of the envelop.
I don't deserve to live like this. I need some time. I am safe. Don't call me.
Thank you for reading. The next few chapter in probably continue the angst, but it will get better. Promis/
Chapter 9: You Know what you have to do.
Its gut punch time.
Hey guy, for those of you who have been keeping up with Snapshot I realized an important piece hadn't been established yet. To fixed this I added a new chapter four. Nothing in the story has been change and the chapter only explains a small but important piece of this chapter and the continuation of the story. So, please read the new four before reading this.
The world tilted violently as Lena read and reread the simple note Kara had left her. Her mind, that could process complex multilevel equations could not seem to process what she was reading. It was like the words were a foreign language that her mind simply refused to grasp.
Without another thought she rushed from her office, her heartbeat quickening as her body began to tremble. She beat frantically at the elevator buttons, cursing her top floor office. She need to get out. She need to get home. She need to make sense of the note clutched in her hands as a war drum pounded in her chest.
On the sidewalk, her faculties glitched as her mind raced trying to figure out how to get to where she needed to be.
"Miss Luthor," Linus said carefully hands out in a placating nonthreatening manner, his gravel beaten voice low and calming to her fraying nerves. "Where do you need to go?"
"Home," she breathed, her voice shaky.
"Okay, got it," he offered her his hand letting her decide to take it.
Like a lifeline she grabbed it, feeling the careful firmness in the grip as it led her to the backseat of her car.
"Kara!" Lena cried hurrying to the main living area, the moment the elevator doors opened. Yelling it once, twice a third time still with no answer. She stood panting, heart racing straining to hear something, anything that indicated that Kara was here. Blinking she felt the utter stillness begin to settle around her. An old feeling of a time before Kara when she was alone. But that can't be right, Kara had been here, hadn't she. This weekend, Lena would have felt this would have noticed, wouldn't she? Wouldn't she?
Like a blur Lena moved from room to room the heels of her stilettos clickity clacking on the marble floor. Still to no avail, Kara was decidedly not there. Lena's heart was doing somersaults in her chest as she drew nearer to the jewelry box on their dresser, a feeling of dread crawling up her spine a hope that she was wrong. It took her a few tries, her hands shaking so bad, trying to open it, and when she did the world was swallowed in black.
Lena came to having her face licked and Jess' concern features hanging over her a hand gently jostling her to wake.
"Oh thank god," Jess breathed as Lena tried to sit up and maneuver Billie away from her. "I am so sorry I came in, I know how important your privacy is but when Billie took of barking I had to be sure. Your behavior at the office had been so….," Jess let it trail off.
"It's fine," Lena waved, as she freed Kidd from her cat bag. "Thank you for coming and taking such care of my babies," Lena smiled sadly scratching at her animals heads.
"Of course Miss Luthor, happy to help." Jess eyed her tentatively, noticing the tightness and unease in Lena's pale face. "I hope I am not out of bounds but is everything okay with you and Kara?"
Lena sighed, deflating a bit. "I don't know."
Moving back out into the living area with her little ones in tow, Lena grabbed her phone dialing Alex.
The phone rang for what felt like hours before a frosty voice answered. Lena could get little more than Kara is safe and don't call again, before for hearing the final click and dead air. Causing Lena to groan in frustration.
Desperate times calls for desperate measure, picking up the phone she dialed the one person she hoped could help.
"Miss Luthor," Gayle Marsh answered her tone sounding unsurprised, expectant even.
"I'm sorry Miss Luthor," Gayle interrupted. "I am unable to help you right now."
"I don’t think you understand. Kara…."
"Is missing," Gayle's unaffected tone was grating on Lena's nerves. "I am aware. I still cannot help you."
"Someone is paying you to sit this out? Who would do that?" Lena could feel the anger rising within her.
"I think you know," Gayle spoke kindly.
Lena was a tempest as she stormed through the main floor of Catco Worldwide. The only other person who could pay near enough to keep Psi on the bench was Cat Grant. Cat fucking Grant.
"Where is she?" Lena hissed just as Monel tried to stop her. Cat waved him away, indicating for him to shut the door.
"Who might you be referring to?" Cat looked at her pleasantly unconcerned.
Lena's nerves were beginning to fray beyond reason.
"You know who," Lena growled barely containing her anger. "Kara, your star journalist, my fiancée."
"She asked that I didn’t share that will you," Cat replied coolly, hazel eyes appraising Lena.
Lena bristled. "Don’t mess with me Cat…"
"Lena Luthor," Cat interrupted eyes narrowing dangerously. "Do not, I repeat, do not threaten me. I am not some sniveling little nobody you can scare with your boardroom stare. I have just as many friends in just as many high places. So either calm down or I will have you removed. It is your choice," Cat looked back down at her work and pointedly ignoring Lena.
Lena just stood there, panting and huffing as the war between calm and anger waged with in her. She had been acting like a bull in a glass shop. Running away from the evidence that had stared at her from the jewelry box at her home.
"I'm sorry," Lena quietly said as she sat, putting her head in her hands. "She left her ring."
"Oh Lena," Cat murmured in understanding.
"Please Cat," Lena pleaded softly. "Tell me where she is."
"I'm sorry Lena, I will not go against the wishes of my employee. Whatever her reasons Kara needs time, and you need to give it to her. You need to take the risk and believe that she will return. You also need to step back and figure out why she is gone. You need to be honest and fix it, because, we both know, that Kara is not some flighty thoughtless girl. You did something, whatever that is, I am not judging, but this is on you. If you don't… you will lose her and we both know that you need her more than she really needs you. "
"I can't lose her, I just can't," Lena's voice shook with barely contained pain.
Coming around Cat placed her hand on Lena's shoulder offering her what little comfort she could. "Then," Cat look squarely in Lena's eyes. "You know what you have to do."
Chapter 10: Lena
Lena Luthor does some growing.
Braynee=Brainy. I just thought it was odd to call him Dox.
Billie was always the first to greet her, ready with hello doggie kiss as Lena crouched down to scratched his ears and rumpled his soft fur. Kidd on the other hand sat primly on the kitchen counter waiting to rub her body along Lena's chest trailing cat fur as she did so. Lena smiles, bittersweet, running her hand through purring ones soft luxurious fur.
"Mama will be home soon," Lena murmurs gentle and unsure, full of hope. It had been a little over two and a half weeks since Kara had left and in her absence the penthouse felt cold and lacking. So, she had gone to the Kara's storage unit, trading her plain white and grey pillows with Kara's mis-matched homespun ones, with bright rich colors and hand stitching. Her staid home decorations for Kara's boho chic vintage store finds. Slowly and with each new swap the penthouse began to feel change. It felt lived in and loved… it felt like a home. And it felt like Kara had been there, was still there and that maybe, just maybe would bring her back to Lena.
After her breakdown in Cat's office, she had an honest conversation with Andrea. It was uncharted territory for Tech CEO, and as Andy listen she found a kindred spirit in learning to navigate these new waters. Andy had gone through something similar with her own husband. It was a challenge, but in the end Andy said it was worth it. So, she took some time off, working from home, and trying to figure out what had gone wrong. In evenings both Eve and Jess would stop by, she would order food as they recapped the day and plan for the next. Since they were the closet to her she felt it was important to confide in them about what was going on. Kara's absence as well as hers were going to get the rumor mills going and she need her to key players to know so they could be her buffers. She also wanted their input on what could have cause Kara to suddenly run away. What she learned, stirred up old demons and suppressed memories between her parents. Flashes of when Lillian used to smile, before one to many absentminded humiliating dismissals from her father slowly shift that to a resentful scowl. Lillian was quick to turn that pain to the rearing of her children, though Lena as the orphaned bastard daughter of her husband Lena bore the brunt of her humiliation and anger the worse.
Kara had been right to leave her and to do so in such an abrupt and sudden had disrupted her system. For all the talk of being different than her family, she acted just like them. Lena needed to learn and to do that she needed to truly change her life. She started to see a therapist, Braynee, helped her to begin restructuring her life to be more conscious and present. He had agree that work was important, but that it would be the people around her that would provide the strength she would need. Those relationship had to be protected and prioritized at all costs. She wrote a letter to Alex and Kelly, apologizing to them, and asking for a second chance. Slowly things have been changing, Kelly or Alex would send her pictures of Maya, or stupid memes about random things.
After three weeks, Lena slowly returned to work, hiring an old friend from college, Sam Arias, to take on the position of COO. Working with Sam, the phrase power lunches took on a whole new meaning when they got together. Sometime, to keep herself from getting too bog down with projects and reports, she would bring Billie and Kidd to the office. Whenever Lena focus became too intense and that Lena needed a break Billie would whine and nudge her knee until she took them for a walk. And so Lena Luthor would walk around the business district in a power suit and trainers and picking up dog shit.
Unless there was something that Lena absolutely had to handle, she left it to either Sam or Eve. The power team she was assembling at L-Corp was slowly changing the dynamic and culture throughout her entire company and she wanted nurture this change in all her other companies. So she started to reach out testing the waters and soon the iron grip of the Luthor legacy was slowly shifting and Lena felt pride in herself for what she was accomplishing.
She had started to wear Kara's ring on a chain around her neck. Often throughout the day she would bring it out, hold it rolling it around in her hand as she read the latest article of Kara’s adventures visiting one town on the brink after another. Lena often found herself watery eyed as she read the beautiful prose detailing the pain and strengthens of those Kara interviewed. She wrote about the communities, the connections and their will to survive. The photos, Kelly’s brother, James, took were candid and added another layer to the poignancy of it all. Lena's heart swelled with barely containable pride and in response created a new subsidiary whose sole purpose was to travel the US finding places that could use help. Once a place was found a small group of team leaders would be sent out to recruit local residents whose compensation ran the gambit, people who needed cash were paid a living wage, based off of where they lived. Others earn college cash credits so they could go to college or a trade school. Another was student loan forgiveness. Whether Kara knew it or not her articles were offering her maybe still fiancée another road map to salvation, or what Braynee called a True North. The majority of it was funded personally by Lena and a capital fund that she started with Financial Wunderkind Leslie Willis and that only a privileged few knew to be the Robinhood hacker, Livewire. Leslie had been looking for an honest way to help others and when she found Lena's quiet accounting movement, after skimming 12 million from Lena personally, had set up a meeting with her. To say that Lena was both impressed and irritated would have been a understatement, but Leslie's candor regarding it and her promise, which she kept in spades, to give all the money back, won her to Lena's cautious good graces. So far the partnership had proven to be a smart move. Leslie knew many other elite people looking to do the same kind of quiet good Lena was up to. But, Lena knew eventually the word about what they were doing needed to get out, and when that time came the only reporter that could do it, may want nothing to do with her. But Lena Luthor persisted.
She always loved the penthouse's view. The building tops and bay, clear blue and seemingly endless, always took her breath away. The wind whipped about her, blowing her stray hairs this way and that. The noise below, cars and people that she loved.
"Kara?" a shaky voice, laced with longing came from behind her as she heard the hesitant footsteps drawn nearer and stopping just before the balcony door.
Kara turned. "Lena."
Chapter 11: Pot stickers
The stood facing each other. It was quiet and pressing and filled with longing. Lena looked Kara over and Kara looked Lena over, eyes scrutinizing the other seeing what was different and what was still the same. Kara must have spent a lot of time in the sun, Lena thought, her skin looked a little more sun kissed than when she left and there seem to be something more sure in the way Kara carried herself. Lena seem to be more relaxed and unhurried. Kara surmised. Her focused determination seemed more tempered less demanding.
"Are you hungry?" Lena asks breaking the silence, holding up the groceries she was carrying. "I was gonna make pot stickers."
Kara's eyes widened as her brows shot up to her hairline. "Really?" disbelief in her voice.
"Yes," Lena smirks amused. "I've learned many things during this time." Lena thinks to herself, before continuing aloud "Come on. If you want, you can help."
"Okay," Kara nods nonchalantly while inside she is squealing with delight. Lena just chuckles reading Kara like an open book.
After explaining the steps for the ground pork and spring onion filling Lena puts Kara to work assembling the ingredients. While Lena handles the more nuanced and practiced job of making the wrappers. They both worked quietly as their thought and streams of consciousness played back up to the toil of their hands. As Kara chops the green onions, Lena measures out the flour. Kara works the meat mixture, as Lena begins to kneaded the dough. As they work they begin to reacclimate to each other, getting into a rhythm so that the hard stuff they need to say maybe won't be so bad.
"Perfect," Lena smiles, picking up a small amount feeling the consistency of meat paste upon her fingertips. She covers it in plastic wrap placing it in the fridge while the dough sits on the counter in a bag to rest.
"You seem to really know your stuff," Kara comments casually as Lena silently asks if Kara wants a beer by holding one up from the fridge. "Yes, the pineapple one."
"I should be," Lena playfully scowls as she pops the cap off the bottle, handing it to Kara. "Chef Marion is quite the task master and as part of my training I had to go to her restaurant to help prep for the weekend rush. Though," a thoughtful smirk widening. "I think she also really enjoyed bossing around a Luthor. I know the women I worked with making the pot stickers enjoyed the show." she smiled fondly at the memory of her time spent there as they gossiped about their families, and friends and good for nothing relatives.
"It looks like you had fun…. Right?" Kara could see the twinkle in Lena's eyes.
"I did," Lena agreed bobbing her head happily looking at the dough. "It was nice to make something simple that let me use my hands differently." bringing her hands up as she mimicked shaping a dumpling. "They were fun to joke around with, but when it came to making the dumplings they were just as hard on me as the chef. Bad dumplings are bad for business," Lena intoned, spine straightening, sounding like a wise old sage. Before slouching dramatically stating "Unfortunately for me, I made a lot of bad dumplings which meant I had to buy a lot of bad dumplings," Lena looked pained. "Luckily," she says lifting her pointer. "The people who ended up eating them didn't seem to mind."
"That's good, at least they were edible…," a playful gleam in Kara eye causes Lena to scowled ruefully in response. Kara holds her hands up in surrender, chuckling. "What restaurant was this?" resting her chin in her palm.
Clearing her throat. "Paradise Garden…" Lena says quickly under her breath.
"Come again," Kara leans in with a hand to her ear.
Lena huffed moving to and fro. "Paradise Garden." she said looking anywhere but at Kara.
"You hired the chef at Paradise Garden to teach you how to make pot stickers?" Kara exclaimed emphasizing the last set of words.
"Yes." Lena breathed looking down and then up into looked Kara eyes.
"Why?" Kara asked moving closer to Lena causing a sharp inhale of breath.
Lena looked at her, pleading with Kara to just know why.
"You have to say it Lena," Kara continues to slowly invading more of Lena's space. "Why did you learn how to make pot stickers?"
Lena closes her eyes, exhaling slowly, "Because I missed you," She began voice trembling. "And I thought making them would make me feel close to you again." She pauses again marshalling her courage. "And that maybe you would be less likely to not want an us," Lena looks away bringing her arms protectively around herself.
Kara is quiet, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth. "Before I left," Kara says cautiously. "I was seriously considering it," Lena looks at Kara tears welling up in her eyes. "I was so hurt and resented the days and nights of rarely seeing you. Then when I did, you never stop to look at me or acknowledge that I was there, so focused you didn't see me."
As Kara spoke, Lena could feel the guilt churn in her belly as it begin to crawl up her throat. She felt utterly horrible and desolate.
"I was letting your actions control my actions and I didn't want to be that way. So I left, because I knew staying would be worse, it would be me saying what you were doing was ok, and it so wasn't," Kara crossed her hands in an 'X' breaking them apart in a downwards opposing slash. Lena nodded her agreement looking down. "I was ready to walk away, just call it quits, the house be damned. But, when Kelly told me about what James was doing, I knew it something I could do. I like helping people, and I didn't know how to help myself. So I went looking for a new perspective and angle to understand things. As I interviewed the various people, the one thing that all of them had was this inability to leave a situation that was hard and depleting and wasn't of their own making. They just had to make the best of it, good or bad, it is their life. They just have to keep trudging and surviving. Listening to them I realized how lucky I was that I could leave and not face what your actions made me feel. I could run away, move away, but it wouldn't have changed anything. So I took the time to re-evaluate what I would and wouldn't allow for myself or in my life. It took a lot of work and a lot of crying into the arms of kind strangers. Many of the older woman had amazing advice regarding making things work. That true love was a verb, that you choose every day to both willingly step into the arena and take the punches and hugs that come with being in a relationship. I knew I it would only be fair to talk to you and see if a second chance was worth it."
Tears were falling silently from Lena's eyes as she bowed her head, looking down as she wrung hands, it was hard listening to Kara talk about actions that Lena now felt mortified over. She knew this was her chance to show Kara how much she had change and wanted to step into the arena with her doing and being better. She felt Kara move in close, resting her hand upon hers, gently squeezing them. Lena looked up and saw encouragement and love? Squeezing once again, before settling back watching as Lena pulled herself together. After a time Kara tugged gently on Lena's elbow asking Lean to follow her to the couch. Like a wayward child Lena let herself be lead, grateful for Kara's kindness. They sat close but with some space between. Kara was patient, letting Lena worry her lip, shift to get comfortable and shift again. She let Kidd come and sit on her lap, caressing the soft fur murmuring compliments as purrs began to rumble in response. While Billie came to lay his head upon Kara's lap eager for his share of pets and adoration.
Lena drew in a deep shuddering breath, holding it in before finally letting it out. "I'm sorry, I put you through that," Lena began. "I sorry I pushed you so far that to prove a point you had to leave," her voice cracking. "But, it was the right thing to do. It was the shock I needed to open my eyes so I could start becoming the person I wanted to me. The day you left was the hardest," Lena cringe at the memory of that day. "After seeing your ring, I felt deranged and unhinged. I need to find someone to blame. Someone to answer for your leaving. I refused to accept that it was my fault, that I was the reason you left. I mean I was the good Luthor, wasn't I, so how could it be me, right?" she humpfs mercilessly. "I called everyone I could think of, to find answers to, but everyone I turned to blew me off, closed the door in my face," Lena choked as her voice tighten. "Desperate I stormed into Cat's office demanding her to tell me if she knew where you were," Kara's eyes widened in surprise. "Yeah, not one of my finer moments," Lena agreed ruefully. "Thankfully, which is more than I deserved at the time, Cat threaten to fire anyone who breathed a peep about my outburst. She saved my reputation and she kept your where abouts safe."
"Cat is one hell of a woman," Kara smiled thoughtfully. "I'll have to thank her somehow."
Lena nodded. "She was kind and understanding, as I broke down, full on tears and ugly sobbing," Lena explained her hand moving down her face imitating crying. "She told me I needed to have faith that you loved me enough to be given a second chance and that it was my job to deserve one by figuring out what happened and fixing it or I would lose you," Kara agreed, her eyes serious. Lips pressed together, Lena nodded her understanding. "So the first thing I did, was step back, letting Jess and Eve run the basic day to day stuff. I also hired a COO, Sam Arias, who could run the more complex non science related things," Lena smile thinking how much adding Sam had changed things. "My mother had always said trust is a sign of weakness, I know now why she said it, my father had betrayed her. He treated her with such condescension and cruelty. He turned her into the angry vengeful woman she became and who took her pain and frustration out on her children, especially me the bastard daughter of the man who she let embitter her. When Jess told me about the times you left my office looking hurt I knew I was my father's daughter. My heart ached at the realization, but I could change it. So I sought help from a therapist, and in doing so open the door to learning how to be vulnerable and trusting. That they are two sides of the same coin. And for a Luthor, that was hard, but for Lena," She said placing her hand over her heart. "It was the type of person I wanted to be. I'll learn to be okay with my imperfections and failing, because they only define me if I let them. I still mess up sometimes, but luckily, I am surrounding myself with people who are willing to forgive me and offer me their support in being better."
Kara smiled as she continued to listen to Lena talk. Her eyes widening often at the various changes her fiancée had started to make. Such as taking Billie and Kidd into the office with her so she didn’t become too focused and caught up in responsibilities that could swallow her up. Billie was always there to remind her with a nudge or lick. Kidd being the slightly more aggressive troublemaker she is would just sit on her work looking up at Lena with those indifferent blue eyes.
Slowly in a meandering unhurried fashion things began to simmer down as inch by inch they drew closer. Knees soon were touching, hands interweaving in tender tentative touches. Quiet words spoken as foreheads rested letting the moment of being together settle like warm freshly laundered sheets on naked exposed skin. They sat just thus, breathing the other in before eventually moving back into the kitchen. Small caresses here and there, as Lena showed off her new skills, while Kara "ohhed" and "ahhed" appropriately impressed. They continued to talk and catch up, going in to the more finer details of their time apart. There were still heavy serious moments, but in the scheme of things it no longer seem so bad, because now they knew they would get through them together. As the pot stickers simmered and cooked and Kara moaned at how perfect they tasted, it felt like maybe, slowly, they would be better than okay.
Chapter 12: Nothing at All
They move forward.
It had been a week since Kara had returned home. Things had been a little awkward at first, as they went about the process of learning about the new aspects of each other's personalities. During this time they also began moving into their new home, but neither seemed in a rush to be done with it. They had gone furniture shopping the day after, for a new couch since the one in Lena's penthouse was too big and Kara's was just a little too small. They also wanted something that was more child friendly and pet friendly since Millie would be staying over, because of their home's bio-metric interface with integrated health diagnostics. Which meant Lena wouldn't have her trusty four legged companions to keep her from becoming too distracted at work. Kara's solution would be that they meet up for lunch dates, something Lena felt may also be a test given it was one of the things that had cause Kara to leave. But Lena jumped on the chance to prove to her fiancée that she had changed and a consistent lunch date would definitely be a good way to do just that.
It was Thursday and they were set to meet at Noonan's because last week they did not have the pork bun special and Kara was feeling decidedly put out by that, to which Lena pointed out how very first world problem she was acting, to which Kara stuck out her tongue, but agreed. Still it was one of the things she missed most…. Food wise that is she explained.
"Hey, Kara," June her regular Thursday waitress greeted her. "Ms. Luthor," she said far more formally surprised to see Lena there. "The usually spot and two plates?" June help up two fingers.
"Yes, please." Kara beamed, happy her Thursday world was right again.
"Your usual?" June asked her tone raising slighting on the last word as she looked at Lena.
"Yes," Lena smiled. "Thank you, June."
"You are so boring, babe," Kara said as they head towards their table near the window. "Turkey on sourdough with light mayo and plenty of micro greens and tomatoes."
"I like what I like, love. No reason to fix what isn't broken."
"Ugh, well you promised you would try the pork buns so I'm gonna hold you too it," Kara said as they sat down. "Gayle," Kara said suddenly waving to someone who had just walked through the door as Lena was placatingly saying "Yes, Yes."
"Hey," Gayle said coming up hugging Kara and winking down at Lena, whose eyes narrowed momentarily.
"Gayle," Kara said as they pulled back. "This is my fiancée, Lena. Lena, this is Gayle, we meet about two months ago, she was eyeing my pork buns, so I shared one and got her hooked."
"Kara," Gayle said looking playfully hurt. "You make me sound like some kind of food pervert," Kara just shrugged like 'If the shoe fits'. " Ms. Luthor it's a pleasure to meet you," Gayle offered Lena her hand.
"You as well." Lena said, applying just enough pressure to let Psi know she was treading on very thin ice. Psi tilted her head slightly to show she understood.
"Kara, I have to say, your most recent set of articles were wonderful, all those people whose lives had been turn upside down when manufacturing jobs were replaced with automation and how hard it's been since then. You did such an amazing job of shining some light on something that just doesn't get talked about. And that anonymous charity," Lena's eyes widen dangerously nostrils flaring. "That has been going around trying to help those communities and others like, it find new ways to rebuilt their failing economies."
"What really?" Kara looked genuinely surprised, turning to Lena in shock while Psi looked at Lena like 'what the fuck'. "Can you believe that. Do you think my articles had something to do with it?"
"I am almost positive that is true," Gayle agreed.
"Hey, Gayle," June said bringing Kara and Lena their orders. "Are you joining them?"
"No, I just came by to say Hi," Gayle smiled. "But I would love two plates of the pork buns if it's no trouble."
"No trouble at all," June smiled. "I'll have Jamie save you a seat at the bar."
"Thanks," Gayle smiled touching Junes forearm. "Well I will leave you two be. It was nice seeing you again Kara and nice to meet you Ms. Luthor."
Lena nodded as Kara said "You too."
"So," Kara said turning a serious face to Lena. "When were you planning on telling me that?"
Lena gulped eyes wide, she knew it was fruitless to deny Kara's astute accusation. Soon, I just did know how to start that conversation."
"Okay," Kara said lips pursed as she nodded her head. "I can respect that," looking askance. "So…." drawing out the word causing Lena to chuckle groan in defeat.
"We are holding a meeting tomorrow morning at headquarters. You are welcome to come, but I will have to ask that you sign a NDA. I'm not the only one doing this, these are some powerful business people and their privacy is something they do not take lightly."
"Okay," Kara agreed. "What time is the meeting?"
"Why so late?"
"Because it is easier to do things under the cover of night," Lena shrugged …..
"Wow," Kara said surprised. "That is like the first time you have ever sounded nefarious."
"That is true," Lena stated carefully, gathering her thoughts. "One of the things that Dr. Khan, has been helping me do is making peace with the way I was raised. One of the things she thought would be important was reframing skills I thought of as only negative being used in a positive and beneficial light. It has really helped, instead of denying where I come from, which only causes more hurt to myself, it allows me to own those parts in a way that more aligns with how I want to be.
Kara looked at Lena with such unencumbered pride it cause the raven haired beauty to blush tilting her head down. ''I am so proud of you. You have really stepped up and I cannot imagine falling in love with you more you do something like this proving me wrong by blow my socks off."
"Thanks," Lena smiles softly, reaching for Kara's hand. "I been wanting to ask…" Lena pauses worrying her bottom lip. "If you would be willing to start couples therapy with me…."
"Yes," Kara nods. "I like that idea. I think it will help with the harder things we haven't really touch too deeply on, but I know we want to."
"Okay," Lena eyes shone with excitement. "I'll ask Dr Khan for some recommendations and we can talk about this more later?"
"Deal. Now," Kara smirked as she made double villain eyes. "Come over here and kiss me."
"Happily," Lena murmured bring their lips together.
Psi smiled as she watched the couple from her place at the bar.
"There nothing like love, huh?" Jamie the bartender noted watching the couple as well.
"Yep, nothing at all."
If you guys also have a chance and are into Dom/Sub with Alppha/ Omega theme stories check out my new fic called The Dance, it's kind of a reversal of sorts where the Dom are the Omega's and the Subs are the Alphas. The first Chapter is a little heavy but it gets better as the story continues.
Chapter 13: The Possibilities are Endless
Some family fluff and then Kara finally gets to meet the women of Artemis.
Kara was exhausted, she had been running around National City trying to cover a late breaking news story and the only thing she wanted was a hot meal, hot bath, and snuggles with Lena and their fur babies while binge watching the new season of After Life on Netflix.
"Good evening, Kara," Hope greeted her as she dumped her bag on the kitchen island.
"Hey Hope, do you know when Lena will be home?"
"Right now," came Lena's voice as she wrapped her arms around Kara's waist and pressed lips into her shoulder blade.
Kara lean in to the warm body at her back, groaning. "Today has been hell," Kara whined.
"I saw," Lena moved around placing a soft kiss to Kara's cheek as she placed her things on the and some Paradise garden on the counter next to Kara's stuff.
"Oh my god, I love you," Kara said as she dug in the bags grabbing the pot stickers. "Why so much food?"
"For Alex and Kelly, they will be here soon."
Kara plopped down on one of the bar stools whimpering. "I was hoping for some Netflix cuddle time."
"Ah baby, I would love that too, but we also have the Charity meeting tonight, the one you said you wanted to come to."
"I completely forgot about that," Kara perked up, looking decidedly more alert than before. "I can't wait to meet all these covert do gooders," She smiles wickedly drumming her fingers together looking like some evil villain from one of those old black and white movies.
"You are a dork," Lena chuckles shaking her head as Alex and Maya walked into the kitchen
"What dorkiness has is my baby sis done now," Alex asked as she hands Maya over to Kara who instantly covers her favorite niece in a kiss storm. Maya squeals with delight giggling and both Alex and Lena thinks it’s the sweetest sound they've ever heard.
"Star Wars," Lena supplies as she pushing over a second container of pot stickers over to Alex, who nods her head mouthing 'Ah' and grabbing a couple of pot stickers.
"Where's Kelly?" Lena asks, grabbing one for herself.
"She got held up, but she is headed over now," Alex says while crouching down. "How's my Millie girl," Alex cooes ruffling Millie's ears and kissing the pups forehead.
"You know babe?" Kara begins feeding a pot sticker to Maya. "The whole learning to make pot stickers under Chef Marion has been quite beneficial given how generous she is when we order now."
"What is going on now," Alex asks coming up from the floor.
Kara mouths sorry as she makes a b-line for the enclosed patio with three fur babies in tow.
Lena's face flattens at Kara's retreating form "It's nothing," Lena waves it off trying to act casual and nonplussed.
Alex narrow her eyes, growing quiet waiting for Lena to continue.
Lena sighs. "In an effort to get Kara back, I learned how to make pot stickers from the Chef at Paradise Garden…. So now I am kinda treated like family and she always makes something extra special for Kara to try. She says its good luck or something to keep the relationship fresh and new."
"Good job, Luthor," Alex murmurs. "There may be hope for you yet."
"Good grief," Kara exclaimed as they made their way by helicopter to a small yacht somewhere off shore . "The lengths you secretive rich people will go to just so no one knows you are doing good. Like why all the extra," Kara waves her hand vaguely in the direction of their destination.
"To be honest it is mainly the Financial Advisor, she has somewhat of a questionable side thing going on, which we are working to reform, but old habits die hard and she is the best at what she does. And really the expense is nothing when you are worth billions."
"Ugh, I somehow keep forgetting how rich you are," Kara moped.
"While that always surprises me given how we currently live… One day, it will all be yours as well," Lena smiled indulgently.
"Yeah," Kara agreed half-heartedly. "When will I get to know who these people are?"
"When you've signed the NDA in front of all of them and drink from the cup of Secret Keeping," Lena intones seriously.
"Really?" Kara's eyebrows raise in surprise.
"No, the last part is just me messing with you," Lena smiles as Kara gently slaps her shoulder. "But there will be champagne and toasting at your inclusion into the group."
The reception as Kara stepped off the chopper was cold bordering on frigid. Various color eyes tracked her movement. Holding tight to Lena's hand she felt a little out of place. Each one of them were poised. There was an air about them that spoke of wealth and opulence. There was no doubt, that these people had the means to make good things happen, or bad depending on their mood. And Kara felt utterly lacking standing in their midst.
"Is this everyone," Kara whispers into Lena's ear as she looks about the deck.
"No there is one more," Lena replied just as another chopper approached the landing deck above them. "But this one you already know."
"I do?" Kara asked eyebrows knitting together in confusion.
"Yes, Kara, you do." came Cat Grant's voice as she walked down the stairs.
"Ms. Grant," Kara squeaked. "You said my name right… Wait….you're part of Artemis?"
"Yes, much like your Fiancée, your articles were very inspiring to me. Leslie approached me," Cat motions indicating the bleach blonde in the back who groaned in a very unpoised teenager like way.
"She hasn't signed the NDA yet, Cat," Lesley hissed. "We were just waiting on your tardy ass, fine though it maybe." Leslie winked making wolf eyes at Cat.
"Oh Leslie always the flirt," replied in her signature dismal. "And….why the hell not?"
Kara felt a soft palm at her chin gently bringing her lower jaw back up to rejoin her mouth. "Thanks," she said looking over at… "I'm sorry…" Kara grimaced at her lack of knowledge. "Who are you?"
"OMG, does no one understand the purpose of an NDA," Lesley groaned.
Sighing at Leslie's antics "Mr. Danvers," Kara could feel her spine instantly straighten, surprising Lena in the process. "As your boss you are not allowed to write or publish anything about this until given explicit permission to do so. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Ms. Grant," Kara replied like a soldier taking a command.
"There, now that that is settled. Kara, you may call me Cat here."
"Okay, Cat," Kara tried. "Oh that feels weird," Kara thought to herself.
"Fine," Leslie said as she grumbled the rest of her sentence to herself before coming over to offer Kara her hand. "Leslie Willis, but you may know me as Livewire."
"As in the hacker who stole billions from various large corporations."
"The same," Leslie smiled winking over at Lena, who just scowled at her. "Your fiancée's was one of them."
"Really?" Kara gasped looking over at Lena for confirmation.
"Yes," Lena sound playfully pained. "But she returned it as a show of good faith. And quite frankly we wouldn't have the amount of money to bank roll if not for her investment savvy. When Leslie isn't hacking billions she's making it in the stock market for Gemini Venture Capitalist. It turns out that Leslie was using the money to try and right the wrongs done to employees that had been laid off for less than fair business practices."
"It's been my way of writing the wrongs, but when I hacked Lena and found she had stashed funding for her unnamed charity at the time as a shadow account deep within her company's books, I knew I had found a kindred spirit I could work with. So I approached her and began approaching other woman just like her," she motioned indicating the woman around them. "Who wanted to use their money and power to do good and so Artemis was born. "
"Wow that is amazing," Kara felt tears in her eyes.
"It's all thanks to your articles babe," Lena said kissing Kara's cheek.
"Wow," Kara felt at a loss for words. It was one thing to help and inspire people within her community it was another to know that with the help of organizations like Artemis her work could help more people nationally. She felt an overwhelming sense of humility wash through. She had always wanted to change people lives and slowly she was doing it one word and article at a time.
They spent the rest of the evening talking and getting to know each other. Kara loved hearing the stories of the places Artemis had helped and felt a strong desire to visit them and see them for herself. She wondered if could be what they did for their honeymoon. Go on a road trip and visit the places that her articles help touch and that inspired this group of women to form Artemis and change the world one broken failing community at a time. Looking over at Lena who smiled and laughed and was more relaxed than Kara ever remembered her being in a group of her contemporaries. She began to understand Lena's reservations about sharing this to readily and it just made her fall in love with her more. She found she couldn't wait to be married and finally start building their lives together. Being part of this aspect of Lena's world felt right, it felt like their shared wealth could do more an just buy luxury and opulence. It gave it more meaning and she like it and wanted to be part of it.
"Let's get married," Kara blurted suddenly, causing Lena to choke on her champagne and all the other conversations to stop.
"What? Now?" Lena sputtered trying to catch her breath. Looking to those around them.
"No, of course not, we have people who would kill us if we got married without them. No, but something small, and later if we need to, something big. Unless you want something big and flashy, maybe we can find a middle ground. And if your down with it lets tour those places Artemis has helped, make it into a road trip or something, for our honeymoon.
What do you think?" Kara shifted to look at Lena more fully, excitement bursting from every pore.
"I like the idea of something in the middle and I love the idea of visiting those places, but not as a honeymoon, but instead just because. And I am sure Cat would love another article series detailing it."
"Yes, the first set was one the highest rated articles series we've ever had. People really seemed to love it. We've tons of people asking how they can help too."
"Maybe it's time we open up and started taking small scale donations," Siobhan said, looking over to Leslie. "The more money people add to the investment account the more money it will earn. "
"And those that donate can earn a tax deduction," Leslie added.
Suddenly the energy had changed as a synergistic buzz began to fill the air. Ideas were being thrown left and right as each person added another layer of ideas and possibilities. In the midst of it all Kara began to shine and Lena watched enthralled by the woman she would be marrying. This had been the partnership she had craved growing up, a friendship that evolved and grew into something beyond just themselves. Kara was right as was her therapist. The best life is one where vulnerability welcomed and where beyond that, the possibilities are endless.
I hope you enjoyed that. The next chapter will be more of an Alex and Kelly fluff piece because I am feeling a little blocked over their wedding... Soooo I am wondering if you could help me with some ideas of what could be part of a perfect Supercorp wedding.
Thanks in advanced and stay well.
Chapter 14: Warmth
New beginnings for the Danvers-Olsens.
So you can hate me because this side story will probably go on for 1 or two more chapters before the Supercorp wedding. As I was writing it, it keep getting longer and longer and more detailed and now I feel obligated to finish it properly before moving on. So sorry again and I hope you enjoy.
Alex was on her way to grab some groceries when she got the call. Maya was in her car seat vocalizing happily to herself as Alex thought about what to make for dinner when she pressed the accept button that had popped up over the cars navigation system.
"Hello?" Alex greets.
"Mrs. Danvers-Olsen?" a woman's voice come over the line.
"Yes, who asking?" Alex replies concern lacing her voice by the women's official sounding tone.
"My name is Mrs. Charlotte Gee, I am a supervisor with Child protection services. Is now a good time to talk?"
"No," Alex replied a bit more directly than she means as fear grips her chest. "I am driving but will be home shortly can I call you back when I am with my wife?"
There seemed to be a pause and a low sigh. "Yes," Mrs. Gee agrees sounding a little brow beaten. "This is my private number, call anytime today, it's urgent. Please," and there is a note of desperation in her voice.
"Okay," Alex agrees as confusion settles heavy on her.
Alex checks the rearview making sure that Maya is still lost in her own little world before group dialing her sister and Kelly.
"Hey Babe," Kelly said just as Kara says "Hey sis."
"Blackbird," Alex nearly shouted the codeword for family emergencies, as the conversation with Mrs. Gee plays over in her head. She was gripping the steering wheel knuckles white as she worried herself with the unknowns.
"I'm heading home now," Kelly said just as Kara said "I'll call Lena to meet us at your house."
"No lets meet at yours, if it something to do with the little sprout," Alex glances at Maya. "I'd rather it be at your place, Kara."
"Gotcha. See you soon," Kara replies before hanging up.
The couple waited a beat making sure Kara had left the conversation. "What do you think it is babe?" Kelly asks her tone weighted with worry.
"I don't know but Mrs. Gee said it was urgent and to call her whenever. So whatever it is it can't be good."
"Stop babe," Alex interrupted. "Just get to Kara and Lena's place. We will figure out the rest there."
"I'm in my car now. See you soon. I love you."
"Love you too."
Kara sat watching Alex frantically pace back and forth, muttering to herself and making various nervous hand gestures. Sometimes it would be racking a hand or hands violently through her hair, sometimes she would sling her hand out to rests both of them at the back of her neck and folding her elbows around her head groaning, before doing a new series all over again.
Maya sat beside her coloring in her coloring book unconcerned about what mama was doing, instead she would grunt at Kara while pointing at her finished work. "Good job MaiMai," Kara would say impressed before kissing the little fore head with soft springy curls.
"Kelly Danvers-Olsen has just pulled into the drive," Hope said quietly overhead.
"Thanks Hope. Come on, let's go get mommy."
Maya squealed with delight when she saw Kelly. Kelly smiled the biggest smile ever as Maya lean towards her to be held. "Hey sweet pea," Kelly breathed as Maya squeezed her Mama's neck "How is she doing?" Kelly asked over Maya's shoulder and chin pointing to the house.
"Crazy Pacing," Kara said looking back towards the house.
"Okay," Kelly handed Maya back to Kara, and went inside.
"Let's play out here and wait for Auntie Lena," Kara smiled looking down.
"K k," Maya said and Kara's heart nearly broke thinking of someone taking this precious girl away.
They had gone back and forth, talking and playing out the "what ifs" or "whys" Mrs. Gee was suddenly calling them. Their adoption of Maya had been finalized months ago and they had been assured that there was no who could claim custody. The father was in jail for a life sentence and forcing him to sign away all paternal claims because of it. Maya's mother hand died of a drug overdose and there were no other living relatives. So what could be causing the sudden call.
"The only way to find out is to call her," Kelly said stating the obvious. Looking slightly sick as she spoke. "Whatever it is we can handle it," she said looking a little more resolute
"I don't know if I can," Alex said in a whisper filled with so much fear, Kelly had never seen her wife this way. Alex had always been the strong one. The rock others could depend on, even now after 4 years of being together it was hard for Alex to show any kind of vulnerability. But Maya had soften her while also forcing her to be strong. Kelly wrapped her wife in her arms and squeezed as hard as she could letting Alex know could breakdown and she did giving voice to the fears she kept hidden from view. "If they want to take her from us," Alex voice cracked. "And we lose, I don't know if I could handle another loss like that. I just….."
"Shhh shhh," Kelly cooed softly. "We can't do this to ourselves. Maya is ours and we will fight for her, just as we fight for everyone else we love and Kara and Lena will help. This is the perfect time to have a Luthor in our corner."
"You know it's not that easy," Alex whispered. "But thank you."
"You are welcome," Kelly said kissing her wife's forehead, breathing in her most favorite scent. "Come on, the longer we wait, the worse our imaginations will make this. "
"You're right," Alex sighed. "Let's get this over with."
"Hello Charlotte Gee speaking."
"Mrs. Gee it's Alex and Kelly Danvers-Olsen, returning your phone call…."
"Ah yes, thank you for getting back to me, we have a bit of a situation surrounding Maya," Kelly could see Alex stiffen at that. "It turns out she has a half-sister, in need of placement. Her mother, was a shooting victim of a robbery gone wrong.
"Since she is family we wanted to ask if you would be willing to take her. We know it’s a long shot and understand if you say no. It’s not always easy to take in a 11 year old…." Kelly and Alex looked over at each other, as Mrs. Gee continued to speak, communicating silently among themselves. Maya's family needed them, and family means everything.
"We will do it," Kelly said cutting Mrs. Gee off, as Alex mouths 'I love you'. Kelly squeezes her hand.
"Ahh ohh kay," Mrs. Gee sounded truly surprised. "You will," she said sounding like Christmas came early. "Thank you," and they think they hear a soft sob. "You have no idea how grateful we are. So many…." Mrs. Gee clears her throat letting the rest fall away. "I know it's late….. and this might be asking too much.... but"
"No we will come get her now, " Alex's interrupted understanding what Mrs. Gee trying to say her voice sounding a little horse. "There is no reason to wait to bring her home."
"Okay," Mrs. Gee said and the couple could hear the joy and relief over the line. "Her name is Olivia."
Olivia looked around the colorless room Mrs. Gee had placed her in. There was a row of 5 single beds on one side and a little play area with a table , a bookshelf full of breaking books and toys on the other. She sat in the corner near the last bed furthest from the door, it felt safer to have that much space between her. When she had settled she tucked her head into her knees and cried silently wondering if anyone was coming for her.
After a quick meeting with Mrs. Gee to sign some paperwork and to get a brief rundown of Olivia's situation Alex and Kelly are escorted to the room that Olivia is in. The first few moments are tense and awkward as Mrs. Gee makes the introductions to a huddled set of wide hazel eyes staring at them from across the last two beds. Mrs. Gee informs her that she has a baby half-sister she shares with her father, who the couple had adopted a little over four months ago and have agreed to fostering Olivia as well. For some reason the way Mrs. Gee says it makes Olivia feel like she is a bag or something, but she just nods… because what else is a child with no home supposed to do? They seem nice though, especially Kelly whose brown eyes soften as she smiles. While the other lady, Alex, looks a little too tightly wound and anxious. But it was the anxious one who approached her first.
"Hello," Alex said as she moved slowly towards Olivia, back bent in an attempt to look nonthreatening. "I'm Alex and that is my wife Kelly," Olivia saw Kelly wave to her as Alex sat at the end of the bed cross-legged on the floor. "I'm sorry for your loss," Alex stated quietly and Olivia feels her throat working at the kindness she hears. "I understand what you are going through. My sister Kara also lost her parents. My family took her in and together we protected her as she healed from their loss," Alex said looking Olivia in the eyes. "I know we can never replace your mom, and we will never try. But, if you are willing, we'd at least like to try and take care of you and keep you safe. Just like we do with your little sister, Maya," Alex paused. "Does that sound okay to you?" She asked hand held out.
Olivia stared at it for a while, weighting what Alex had said. She didn't want another home, she wanted her home, with her mom…. but her mother was gone and Olivia was an orphan. She had nowhere else to go, no one else to take care of her. She wanted her mom, she wanted to sleep in on Sundays held close as her mother whispered "I love you" over and over until Olivia grew embarrassed and begged her to stop, even thought it was the last thing she wanted. But her mother understood and smiled and obliged and always said it one last time, before getting up to make breakfast hand held out so that Olivia could help. Alex and Kelly weren't her family, but they had her sister. A sister she knew nothing about from a dad she met only twice. But family had always been important to her mother, whether they were blood or chosen and for her mom that was the least she could do. No matter how much it hurt she would do this because it was something her mother would have wanted and so carefully she places her hand in Alex's and was surprised at how warm it was.
Chapter 15: To Stand
Sorry this took longer than I anticipated. Writing two very divergent stories was/is a challenge. But, thank you for your patience.
We learn a more about Olivia, who is written a bit more self possessed than most 11yo tend to be and so she accepts what is happening perhaps faster than normal. I hope you like it.
The neighborhood they brought her to is one of those perfect places more likely seen on TV than in any reality that Olivia had ever known and is also a far cry from the brown brick walk-up that used to be her home. Frowning she watches perfect families, living their perfect lives, through their painted well-maintained picture windows. At a stop light she sees a blonde mother gently bouncing her sleeping baby, pressing a soft kiss to its forehead. She wonders if the words being spoken are "I love you." Turning away she looks down at her fisted hands wondering if the home they were going to would make her feel just as out of place as the ones they are passing by.
"I want my mom," she sobs internally, wishing her life was not the crap-fest it had become. It felt unfair and while she wanted to rail at the night sky while throwing her fists in the air. But, the fear at being abandoned again, by people she didn't know and who could change their minds overrode the sadness of losing her mother.
All to soon she watched as the car pulled into a driveway and she felt an odd fluttering in her belly as took in the cozy blue home. It was bordered by a white picket fence and flowering hedges. The front windows were trimmed in white and below like all the other homes were flower boxes filled to the brim with colorful blooms. Happily bouncing up and down a medium sized dog had come bounding out barking excitedly.
Olivia half smiled as a dull kind of sadness had her thinking how she had always wanted a dog. A constant friend to keep her company for the long lonely days when her mom had to work late. Often, she would imagine what it would be like while watching old reruns of Lassie. But because their apartment didn't allow pets, only service animals, the answer had always been a firm but kind, no. And now here was this new place, with a dog in a nice perfect neighborhood and all it had cost her was her mom. The irony of it was very cruel.
"Stop Millie," Alex commands as she steps out of the car. Millie whines loud and disgruntled before slowly settling down.
"Good Millie girl," Alex says grabbing the leash hanging off the fence and attaching it to Millie's collar.
"Do you like dogs," Kelly asks coming over to stand beside her.
Olivia nods, feeling at odd with the 11-year-old who wanted to squeal and hop from foot to foot and the 11-year-old who lost her mom. She wanted to be excited, but she felt like she was betraying her mother's memory with her happiness. She wanted her happy emotions to be okay.
Olivia watches as Alex is dragged over to them by the excited Millie eager to get closer to the new stranger to her home.
"Millie, calm down," Alex commands and again Millie whines before obeying. "Good girl," Alex says smiling as she hands Millie over to Kelly before heading to the trunk to grab Olivia's things and taking them inside.
"You arrived just in time," Kelly remarks smiling. "Would you like to help take Millie for a walk?" she asks offering the leash to Olivia.
Olivia stares for a moment, looking first at the leash and then down at Millie, who waits patiently tongue out as her tail thumps the ground. Cautiously, she nods accepting the leash.
The garage down opens to reveal Alex, pushing a stroller where a little girl with springy curls is feeding herself a bottle and pulling her own ear.
"Mama," the little girl squeals seeing Kelly and drops her bottle, arms raised fighting against the stroller's straps.
"Hey baby," Kelly coos crouching down to plaster kisses all over her daughters face and hugging as tightly as the stroller would allow.
Olivia feels a sharp stab hit her heart and she turns away feeling a sudden need to run away and begins dragging Millie along in her wake. Luckily Millie seems up for a brisker walk and keeps an easy pace at Olivia's side.
Quietly, Alex and Kelly look on, letting Olivia deal with things in her own way and letting her set the pace. When she slows Alex or Kelly make their way quietly to her side offering her comfort as unobtrusively as possible. Sometimes they'd point out something here and there. When they saw a neighbor, they quickly greeted them, shielding Olivia with their neighborliness as the other stepped in place. Overall silence prevailed. Otherwise, when Olivia's pace became quick, they hung back letting her tire herself out but keeping guard over her back giving her space to feel what she needed.
And when Olivia had finally stopped, looking lost and making her way shyly back, they took the reins and led her home.
The little blue house was warm and cozy. It had a fireplace in the family room that had become overrun with toys and books for the little girl who ran the home. On the kitchen island sat two pizza boxes that were surprisingly still warm. One plain cheese the other pepperoni. Neither of them Olivia's favorite, but being an orphan who was she to complain.
The walk before had given her a chance to better accept what was happening and allowed her the space to understand that Alex and Kelly felt no need to force themselves on her. But like friends who have your back they were there when her mind felt overwhelmed and hopeless. When the loss of her mother crashed like waves upon her body and tears silently fell; they didn't try to make her feel better, they simply pointed out random things that gave her something to latch on to, landmarks to store for later. Their voices were even and casual and unconsciously Olivia began to feel more at ease. Until the need to run away overtook her again and they would let her go, patient as she dealt with those feelings. Somehow, being left to her emotions made her feel like what she was feeling were okay and normal. Eventually when she had walked out as much of her anxiousness as she could. She turned back and let them take her to their home.
After they had eaten in awkward silence around the island. Kelly showed Olivia to her room.
"Tomorrow," Kelly began, waiting as Olivia looked around. "We thought you might want to go and grab more of your things and bring them here. If you'd like, that is."
"Yes, please," Olivia replies shyly. "I'd like to say good-bye to our neighbor, too"
"Okay, I'll leave you to get settled. Bathroom is two doors down, I'll set out a towel set for you in case you need it. Call if you need anything else, we are at the end of the hall."
"Thank you," Olivia mutters and Kelly smiles warmly in response.
She lays in bed, against the soft sheets and downy pillows and softly begins to cry.
Olivia was awoken by a wet tongue greeting, groaning trying to catch her bearing, she looked around groggily at the unfamiliar surroundings before another wet kiss swiped up her nose causing her to sneeze.
"Oh right," she half grinned, ruffling Millie's ears. "Thank you for sleeping with me last night."
"Woof," Millie sounded as if to say 'No problem' causing Olivia to smile.
Sighing heavily, she got out of bed and made her way down the stairs with Millie on her heels. The smell of bacon and waffles greeted her as she makes her way to the kitchen.
"Honey," She hears Kelly speak her tone laced with exasperation. "Please just sit down, I don’t want Olivia to die of cancer because the love of my life can't cook."
"My uncle used to say it builds character," Olivia hears Alex's weak attempt at defending her poor cooking skills. She can't help but chuckle listening to them even as she thinks of her mother's amazing cooking skills.
"No babe, just no."
"Fine," Alex says just as Olivia walks in, in time to see a grown woman plop in a chair pouting. "Morning," Alex say more brightly than necessary.
"Morning," Kelly echoes. "Make a plate. We have waffles and eggs and bacon. Don't mind the pouting one, it runs in the family. Her sister is just as bad and she can't cook either."
Olivia just hmm, making a plate and taking the seat furthest away from them. Alex just smiles as she cuts Maya's waffle into smaller bite sized chunks. Which the little girl quickly grunts happily tearing into them, before shoving them in her mouth. When the last waffle is cooked, Kelly make a plate for both herself and Alex while opting to stand next to her wife giving Olivia some space.
There was an odd pang that nudges her chest causing her to frown slightly at the empty chair beside her. Wordlessly, she pushes her plate over, taking the seat next to Maya's highchair and focuses intently on her food. She misses the crinkled smile they shared.
After breakfast they all loaded into the minivan, even Millie taking up a place in the back laying on a pile of collapsed boxes with Olivia's name on it. Kelly was busy hooking Maya up into her car seat while Maya chattered happily. Alex dialed someone called "Pain in the Ass" letting them know they were on their way over.
"What did your sister do now," Kelly asked pointing to the caller ID on the car's flat screen.
"Nothing, I just never changed it from last time."
"Give me your phone," Kelly said sounding exasperated again causing Olivia to wonder if that was how Kelly always sounded when speaking to her wife.
"No," Alex refused as she backs carefully out of the driveway. "She hasn't change mine back from "Bossy meanie" with the emoji with its tongue sticking out since the last time either."
"I swear you two are ridiculous."
"Yes, but you love us, and you agreed to marry me, so indirectly you're ridiculous too."
Olivia watches as Kelly's mouth hang open in shock before closing it, pursing her lips, and shaking her head. She instead turns to Olivia and explains what the plan is.
Which starts with them dropping both Maya and Millie off at Alex's sister and her fiancée house so they can watch them while the three of them take care of packing up more of Olivia's things and obtaining her current school transcript so they could then enroll her at the school in their district, Valley Moor.
Olivia silently gasps, feeling a small sense of excitement and dread overtake her. Though Valley Moor was a public school it was funded and acted more like a private one. With its well-kept campus and modern buildings, one of which had been funded by L-Corp via a considerable donation to build and furnish a state-of-the-art STEM building, it had been a dream of hers to attend.
The students they were the best of the best and theirs was always the school to beat. Valley Moor was the school district everyone wanted to be at, at least at Olivia's soon to be former school, everyone there wanted to be a Morie.
Olivia was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the trajectory her life was headed in and a niggling feeling of wrongness was burrowing in her chest. Her life with her mom hadn't been bad, by normal standards their life it had been great. Their apartment was clean and rent controlled and one of the nicer ones in a better part of old town. Olivia had almost everything she needed and even things that she wanted, though sometimes the bigger things took longer. But suddenly Olivia loses her mother and the world at large opens to her, moving in with a family who was easy going and relaxed, and lived in one of the best school districts to be in. She wondered what Alex and Kelly did to afford living in such a neighborhood while suddenly saying yes to taking some random orphan in who was only related to their daughter because of her lothario dad.
"It's not fair," Olivia barked out suddenly as tears began to run freely from her eyes. Alex quickly made her way out of traffic so that she and Kelly could listen attentively while Olivia raged. "It's not fair!" she wailed as sobs wracked her body. Causing her to gasp for breath. "I want my mom, I don’t want to go to a new school. I don't want a new home. I want my life back. I……."
Alex and Kelly both moved from their seats to wrapped Olivia in their arms. She struggled for a bit, but they didn't let go, they just told her they were there over and over. She fought on unwilling to give in, feeling like it was a betrayal to her mom's memory, but they didn't let go, they held on. Wrapping her in their warmth, care, and kindness. But she wanted her mom, she wanted her mom, she wanted her mom.
And then finally, she just let go and fully broke down. She cried till her voice was cracked and her eyes were spent. Nose running, she burrowed her face into the crook of someone's elbow letting some of the rage and anger and lost go. They stayed like that for what felt like hours, but probably was more like ten minutes, but eventually Olivia was okay enough to ask to be let go and they did.
"I'm sorry," she said her voice tiny hanging her head letting her fall shielding her face.
"Don't be, there is nothing to be sorry for," Kelly said grabbing her hand and squeezing. "You love your mom, we understand. We will always understand and we will do everything we can to honor that."
"Thank you," Olivia said moving to hug them.
"Anytime, Liv?" Alex says absently before realizing her mistake. "I'm sorry, Olivia."
"No, it's okay, my mom called me Olivia. I'd rather you called me Liv or anything other than Olivia. "
"Okay, we can do that, Liv. Are you ready to go?" Alex squeezed her shoulder.
"Yeah… I'm good."
It had been odd returning home. Realizing, painfully that this was no longer going to be the place she would grow up in. Her mother was gone, but coming back home, where everything had been left, felt like she could, but Liv understood it for the false feeling it was.
Alex and Kelly stood off to the side, giving Liv some time to touch things as they were again before it was packed away. They wished they could give her more time, but the landlord had only given them 4 days to clean and clear the apartment before the locks would be changed and the Morey's things sold to some junk broker. They watched quietly as she walked around touching this, picking up that, putting it back down, or placing it in the box to take with her. During this time Nainai Jun had returned home from her volunteer shift at the library. Shocked to see Liv so soon after leaving. Liv hurried over to her, wrapping the elderly woman in the tightest embrace her old bones could handle as she offered words of comfort in Chinese. After, Jun joined them and together her and Kelly went about checking, discarding, or packing the food in the kitchen. Which Jun had offered to take care of so it wouldn't go to waste, Liv only wanted the collection of hot sauce her mother had.
"Your mother was a spice addict?" Alex asked coming up short as she headed back into the room
"Yeah, Carolina Reapers, Scotch bonnet, you name it she loved it. We would watch Hot Ones, that interview show where celebrities answer questions while eating hot wing."
"There is a show like that? Where?"
"YouTube, our favorite was the Gordon Ramsey one, he threw the best tantrum especially after bringing all these things to lessen the burn, which didn't work. I'll show it to you when we get back."
"Okay," Alex agreed casually aware that Liv hadn't broken down talking about her mother. "That sounds nice."
They continued to work for another hour every so often Liv would come and embrace Jun, who would stop what she was doing resting her head on the young girls head murmuring things neither Kelly or Alex understood. At 11 it was time for them to go and while Kelly and Alex loaded up the minivan Nainai, pulled Liv off to the side.
"You have my number, yes?" She began. Liv nodded taping her head. "Good, It was nice seeing you again especially knowing you are in good hands," Naiani said looking directly at Liv. "They will take care of you. I know it. But if you ever need me, I am just a phone call away. They are good people; my shin bone agrees." Liv chuckled at the old inside joke they shared from when Liv was younger. "You know the accuracy of my shin bone."
"Yes, Nainai,' Liv said smiling. The stalled for as long as they could before Alex came over to collect her.
"Be good," Nainai said grabbing Liv's nudging them both back a bit. "When you can visit Nainai from time to time."
"I promise," Liv nodding wondering if that would ever happen again. Moving quickly back to the car, hoping this wasn't one of those forever kind of good-byes.
"Hey," Nainai said, tapping Alex on the over her shoulder who had turn to watch Liv's quick departure.
"What's up?" Alex smiled at her.
"You take care of her, you hear me?" Jun said standing up straight looking like a much more imposing figure than her 4'11 frame. "That little girl was the most precious treasure to Rachel Morey. She was a good woman, who was kind and loving and who helped soften the heart of an old and angry Chinese woman with that little girl. You do right by her, you hear me?"
Alex gently clasped the hand that was pointing menacingly at her in both her own and moving them down.
"I promise, with everything I am and everything my wife is that we will do whatever is within our power to care for your Rachel Morey's heart and yours. You don't need to be a stranger, when she wants, she can come to visit you and you can come to visit her. This doesn't have to be a forever good-bye," Alex pulled out a card from her pocket. "This is my number and on the back is Kelly's along with our address. You are welcome anytime, just please give us a heads up so we can clear her baby sisters’ toys from the floor."
Jun looked shocked and Alex explained how the little girl they adopted was Liv's biological half-sister on their father's side. How important family was to them and how obvious it was to be there for Liv. If they could help Maya's family in anyway, why wouldn't they? Jun surprised her, by pulling her in to a fierce hug.
"I knew you were good people," Jun said thudding Alex on the back. "And be careful I will take you up on offer to visit."
"Good, our family, would love that."
The rest of the day flew by quickly. After grabbing some burgers from In and Out, they made their way over to Liv's school, grabbing her transcript and helping her clean out her locker. It wasn't a big deal, Liv had been a loner mostly except for her friend Stevie who was really nice and seemed sad that she was leaving until Alex and Kelly both told her she could invite Stevie for a sleepover this weekend if Liv wanted. Liv ran back to make the offer and Stevie squealed and said she had to 'talk to her parents but it was probably a yes'. Liv ran back asking for their home phone number so that Stevie could call her and let her know.
"Oh, that's right," Kelly said slapping her hand to her face in surprise. "We need to add Liv to our family plan…."
"Sorry, we don't have a home phone," Alex explained. "Give her my number and then when we get your phone you can share it with her."
"I'm getting my own phone?"
"Don't you have one now?" Alex asked brows furrowing in confusion.
"No, mom didn’t think I was old enough for a cell phone. At least not a good one. I had one of those prepaid one for emergencies only. She said I had to wait till I was 16 for a proper one"
"Oh, well…" Alex stalled unsure how to handle this news. She was under the impression all kids had one. Scratching her neck, she tried "Well we don’t have to get you one…," she lets the sentence taper off. "You know what? Let's talk about it when we get home. For now, give your friend my number so that she can contact you."
Liv raced back, thinking about what it would be like to have a proper cell phone like all her peers did. She was sure all the kids at Valley Moor probably had one full of social media apps that pinged and dinged constantly as friend requests and notifications are announced. She didn't really like the prospect of that constant noise, but the last thing she wanted was to be the uncool new girl lacking a smartphone. Ugh, being 11 is hard. That didn't stop her from wondering what kind of phone it would be.
They headed back to Alex's sisters house for dinner and to collect Maya and Millie. As they made their way there Kelly asked if Chinese food was okay. Liv felt awkward and began wringing her hands as fear about being difficult caused her to stutter.
"Ugh…… I'm…. I'm," Liv began trying to calm her fears down. Kelly looked at her reaching behind and grabbing her hands.
"It's okay," Kelly crooned speaking softly looking at her. "You don’t have to be perfect and if you don't want something just speak up, we can always find something else. Pizza, Thai, or whatever. Just tell us and we will always figure something out. Okay?"
"Okay…," Liv trailed off taking a deep breath. "I'm allergic to shellfish."
"Okay, well you don't have to worry. The place we go to, only uses oyster sauce in dishes that have other shelled fish in them. The rest of the time they use plum sauce or mung bean sauce. Which is helpful because Alex is also allergic to shellfish. Are you okay with plum sauce or mung bean sauce?"
Liv nodded, remembering that was what Nainai used when she would cook for them.
"Any special requests?" Alex asks looking at Liv via the rearview mirror.
"Anything is fine," Liv replies looking out the window.
The rest of the drive is done in silence and Liv is grateful for the time to think. It's been one crazy ride and she was ready to finally be able to relax. Well as much as she could in a home that was and wasn't her own.
Pulling into the driveway, Liv looked more closely at the home that Alex's sister lived in. There was an odd sense of newness about it. It looked old but with the air of a flawlessly fake model whose face had been touched up to look just a little too perfect. That was the feeling Liv got looking at the house.
They got out of the car and Millie came bounding out followed by another dog, both of whom jumped up excitedly as the group drew nearer.
"This is Billie," Kelly said ruffling the new dogs ear whose tongue lulled out to the side as he groaned happily at the attention.
"Millie and Billie?' Liv comments her tone questioning whether it had been done on purpose.
"I know, I know. Too much to be coincidence, but I promise that is exactly what it is. Billie is one part of the Duo Billie and Kidd who is a very grumpy somewhat temperamental kitty, who is the real boss of the house."
"Really?" Liv scoffed in disbelief.
"Oh, you'll see," Alex agreed vehemently as she opened the gate blocking both dogs from barreling into Liv in their excitement. Considering Billie's size, Liv was quietly grateful for the protection.
Liv screeched and nearly jumped out of her skin when a female voice suddenly spoke overheard. "Good evening Alex and Kelly. Is this Olivia Morey?"
"Why does the weird female voice know my name?" Liv shouted looking about for the Iron Man level weapons coming out of nowhere.
"It's okay," Alex said quickly coming over after shutting the door and latching the doggy door. "That is Hope, a prototype house AI that Lena created. We have one too, but we muted the voice until we could get you added to the system. We thought these dorks did the same, but we should have warned you. I'm sorry. She is perfectly safe and won't harm you.
"Lena?" Liv wondered silently looking about the house more curious than before, as an odd feeling of knowing scratched at her neck. Nothing looked much different from Alex and Kelly's, except that it had obviously undergone a recent renovation with new floors and shiny light fixtures.
"Hey guys," came a bright voice behind them accompanied by some hoots and grunts from what sounded like Maya. Liv stood looking out the glass doors at the pool that Billie belly flop into while Millie watched huffing at the antics of the other dog.
"Liv," Alex said coming up and touching Liv's shoulder, getting her attention. "I'd like you to meet my sister, Kara."
"Hi," Kara said holding out her hand in greeting. Liv narrowed her eyes as she took the offered hand, trying to think of where she had seen the woman before. The golden hair and ice cream sweet smile looked very familiar.
"Cuddle Nerd will arrive in 5 minutes."
"Cuddle Nerd?" Alex asked amused quirking an eyebrow as Kelly's mumbled in aggrievement "Not Lena too" from the kitchen island.
"Revenge for Pout Monster," Kara said casually flipping her hair like it was enough of an explanation.
"Why haven’t you changed it back?"
"Because the villainess revoked my administration privileges in retaliation," Kara shrugged unconcerned. "We are at a dead lock right now because of it. At some point Lena will concede, I mean we haven't…." Kara clears her throat blushing slightly looking side-eye at Liv. "Well you know…. So… yeah?"
"Righhhhhht…." Alex nodded her voice fading over the "h" and ending with a pushed "t".
Liv looked on shaking her head at the odd conversation she was unfortunately listening to. Thinking again how weird this family was.
Liv turned just in time to see green eyes brighten as they landed on her as she instantly recognized her idol and platonic crush. "Lena Luthor,' she squeaked as her mind race with realization of who Kara was. Knees buckling as her brain fritzed and began to black out.
"Lena, you broke our new niece," was the last thing Liv heard before totally passing out.
Liv dreams of Sunday morning. Reading aloud the latest article from Kara Danvers, whom her mother had a slight inspiration crush on, while her mother made them breakfast. Every so often, punctuating with the spatula into the pan whenever something that got her going was read. It was fun to watch her mother get animated and riled up as she listened to the various stories about "Everyday ordinary celebrity people" as her mother called them. Sometime her mother would be so inspired that she would cup Olivia's face, staring purposefully into her eyes and say. "See, baby, you don't have to be rich or famous to matter or change things. You just have to do something to help others and create space for everyone using whatever means available to you. That's what the world is missing. People aren't content with just enough; they want the whole stinkin' platter. Don't be that kind of person, baby. When you become that world renowned scientist, like your idol Lena Luthor, don't forget to be someone who makes space and invites others to join them."
Olivia understood what her mother meant. Where she had found inspiration in Kara Danvers, Liv had fallen hard for her fiancée Lena Luthor. Who using her brilliant scientific mind and sharp business instincts she was the person Liv wanted to be like. So she devoured everything she could find, studying extra hard in all her classes. She wanted to help the world with her own scientific breakthrough and out of the box solutions. Often Liv would imagine herself up speaking before countless audiences as she detailed the many scientific advances and improvements she had found; by working and failing again and again until finally able to see her work succeed as a her new inventions change countless live. She wanted to change the world.
A soft touch invaded her dreams and she awoke to tears running down her face as Lena crouch besides her looking apologetic while rubbing her arm.
"Are you okay," Lena asks handing Liv a tissue right as Liv used her hand to rub the embarrassing tears away.
"Yes," Liv groaned covering her face with her hands wanting desperately for the world to swallow her whole. "I'm just embarrassed," she groaned into her hands as they muffled her words making it very difficult to understand what she was saying. But she persisted and Lena just sat listening unsure what else to do. "You're my idol and I just made a fool of myself by passing out like a loser, I just…. ughhhh." Liv kicked her feet throwing a small tantrum surprising Lena with the sudden outburst.
Eventually, Liv settled down enough to see Lena smiling at her again.
"So, I'm your idol huh?" Lena murmured conspiratorially.
"Yeah," Liv replied. "I want to save the world someday, too."
"Well," Lena began looking around. "I think I can help you with that….. That is if you are up for it."
"Yeah, I think I am."
Liv sat up taking a moment to looking around at the woman who had come into her life. Remembering that her mother passionately believed in fate and destiny. That everything happens for a reason and that some all power hand was involved shifting their lives around like pieces on a chess board. Liv wondered if that were true in some small way and that somehow her mother was blessing her life so that her loss wasn't so bad. Giving to her daughter all the things she knew she couldn't. Losing her still stung and Liv, knew it would forever be something that influenced her life, but if her new life was in some way partly fate and partly her mother's doing. Liv understood that even with the loss she was pretty lucky. "Thanks, Mom," she thinks as Lena reaches out, helping her to stand.
So, here it is the second to the last chapter in part one of the series. Up next is a Supercorp wedding.
Chapter 16: Beginnings
Some angst, some old memories and a wedding.
I hope you enjoy.
One a week before the Wedding.
Kara had always loved J'onn and Me'gann's house. It was rustic and artsy and filled to the bursting with all the many knick knacks from their various travels as singles and as a couple. The front was a small vegetable garden that J'onn would spend hours in, rotating crops and keeping the dirt fertile and nutrient packed. To the left around the corner is a small area that both often use, for quiet outdoor contemplation.
Kara had known J'onn since she was a teenager, when they had first been introduced to Jeremiah’s old navy buddy, when J’onn had just moved to Midvale, following his extensive travels in Asia as he studied up close the various religions there. He returned with the hopes of settling down and forming his own nondenominational congregation, becoming a minister of sorts living a creating a faith that pulls all the best parts of the various world faith together. It was here at their lowest time that the Danvers girls found a sense of community following Jeremiah’s death. After he meet Me'gann, their house soon became a second home of sorts that the girls would often retreat to when Eliza had to work late. J'onn possessed such a warm and caring spirit that eventually he was given the name Papa Bear by the youth group at All those who Wonder Outreach program that Me'gann would later become the director of. '
After the loss of her adoptive father, their relationship became the model that formed the foundation of her beliefs regarding what a truly amazing marriage looked like.
"Hey sweet Goldie," J'onn smiled wrapping Kara up in a big bear hug.
"Hey yourself, Papa Bear," Kara grunted as the air was forced from her lungs by the ferocity of his embrace.
"Come on in, Me'gann made your favorite….
Kara eyes widen in joy. "Chocolate, peanut butter and pistachio cookies!"
"Yes," J'onn confirmed laughing as Kara made her way into the kitchen where they waited for her on the island.
"I love you J'onn,” She said her mouth full of the still warm chocolate peanut buttery goodness. “But I LOVE Me'gann and her cooking."
"Hey," he smiled. "You'll hear no argument from me there. Her taco el pastor caught me hook line and sinker."
"Is that so J'onn J'onnz?" Me'gann asked looking at her husband, brow crooked up, as she came over to offer him a slow kiss after coming home from work.
"Well a bunch of other things not meant for young ears?" J'onn joked winking over at Kara. Causing her to roll her eyes at the oldest lamest joke from their past.
"How are you and Lena holding up?" Me’gann asks as J’onn takes her tote, setting it to the side, pulling Kara into a hug and kissing her head.
"Fine, we are just finishing up the last of the details. It was nice of her friend Leslie to offer her estate outside the city to hold the ceremony and reception. The French garden there is very beautiful, and the rolling lawn is perfect for a reception."
"Oh I loved the gardens in France,” Me’gann breathes her mind going back to her travel in her youth. “You have to hand it to them their obsession with art and beautiful things have given the world some amazing pieces. Though I may be biased."
"Probably," J'onn agreed pulling her in for a kiss on the cheek smiling like she was the best thing he ever knew.
"You two are so amazing," Kara said resting her chin in her palm looking awestruck at them.
"That years of trial and error," Me'gann said placing a hand to J'onn chest. "And making and forgiving many mistakes large and small."
"What?" Kara sat up in surprise. "What do you mean? When Alex and I were around, you two were amazing."
"Yes, because our problems aren't yours. Your mother knew and helped us shield you from the worst of it. We knew we were committed to making it work, but that doesn't mean there aren't bumps and learning curves to overcome. And that sometimes we questioned if we could make it. But being committed is the foundation."
"No, no," J'onn said grabbing Kara's hand. "It's important too, but you can love someone and not want to be with them. You have to want them and the life you are creating. Because it will almost never go as planned."
"But you guys made it." Kara exclaimed in confusion.
"We are making it, one of us isn't dead yet…." Me'gann tone grew serious.
"Marriage is a journey kiddo," J'onn interrupted before his wife got too morbid. "It’s the choices you make every day, of choosing each other and your relationship over and over. It's scary and beautiful and can be the most harrowing fulfilling ride you could ever take."
"You guys just seems to have it all figured out, it felt safe here when Eliza would spiral."
"It wasn’t easy,” Me’gann said tucking a strand of hair behind Kara’s ear. “When J'onn and I first got together. I was jealous about how much time he was spending with you guys. It made me feel like I would always play second fiddle in his life. But the truth was that I was used to being independent and having to rely a lot on myself. So, when I met J'onn I still had that as part of my me. It took a bad argument where I had to face that it was me rejecting J’onn. Not the other way around. I hadn’t realized that I was calling the shots and that J’onn was trying to love me how I thought I wanted to be loved. It took a lot of work for me to relax and let him love and take care of me. Once I let my walls down, I realized how much I like having someone who when I need it could take care of me and when I didn’t but knew how to support me so I could do it on my own. Going to therapy really helps us with that.”
Kara grew quiet. "Lena and I are doing couples therapy," she explains. "To work on the issues, I had because of her ignoring me and the type of relationship we want to build. We kind of lost sight of it. But we are working on things now so we don't have to keep doing it."
"Why?" Me'gann was indignant. "J'onn and I have a session once every two weeks. Just to check in and stuff. Or to talk about an issue we know could use outside perspective."
Kara's eyes widen in surprise. “Really?”
"Yeah," J'onn agreed chuckling. "We sometimes refer to them as 'other spouse' like 'This might be something to work out with other spouse.'"
"We agreed a long time ago," Me'gann leaned heavily on J'onn resting her head on his shoulder. "That if there was an issue we just couldn't find understanding on between the two of us. We would always work on it with them."
"So far," J'onn said resting is head on Me'gann. "It has worked out very well."
"Enough of the heavy stuff, you know the only reason I baked these cookies," Kara looked playfully aghast. Me'gann smirking along. "Was for details on your ceremony."
"And here I was thinking it was because you loved me?"
"That I do, but I still want info. Come on now, don't hold back."
It had been a dream of her since she was ten, before her parent’s car crash, the perfect Disney themed fairytale wedding.
As her mother worked, planning real weddings, Kara would sit on her own little makeshift worktable planning her own wedding. It was always Disney themed from whatever princess she was into that week. Snow white, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid. The colors were red and white light blues sometimes pinks or peaches. She would have bouquets or Roses or lilies or tulips, gardenia, Peony (were her mother's favorite and therefore Kara's as well). Whatever flowers her mother was using for whatever wedding she was working on at the time Kara would mimic.
During breaks, her mother would come and inspect how she was doing. Asking Kara for the story that went with it, like she would do for her clients, with Kara her practice audience of one. Sometimes daddy would come, but he was often busy working at the lab with Alex's mom.
Kara would always start with the groom (It wasn't until later that Kara realized she like girls more than boys). The boy always had the same 5 piece black tux. Only the tie would change, becoming either a bow tie like her daddy often wore or and regular tie like Alex's dad wore. How he would be waiting for her a bright smile like Daddy wore when he saw her. That smile was always a must. She would be dressed in a gown of white. Full length white Wedding gown with a big bell shaped skirt. Like the golden one that Belle wore. That fluffed and flared as her groom would spin her around the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife.
Her mother would smile, bright and radiant. Telling her how amazing and wonderful it sounded. How beautiful her wedding would be as she pulled Kara into a strong bear hug, and kissing Kara over and over again on her cheek.
By eleven Kara had begun to abandon those things. After winning a writing contest at her school, she dove head first into learning and honing her craft. Now instead of poster boards of pretty decorations and flowers and dresses and tuxes. She spent the time reading hunched over her worktable or eyes glued to a laptop screen. Still happy to toil away with her mother nearby.
One day she came home, making her way quickly upstairs a story swirling around in her head that needed to be taken down. She stops seeing her work table is gone, shocked she looks around just as her mom and dad make their way into the room. But her work table was gone. She turns seeing her parents standing in the doorway of her mother's studio smiling. Taking her hand they lead her corner where a white reclaimed weathered secretary sets with a soft professional chair. Beside it written in large lettering, Kara knows her mother did sits "Musing Wall" that had been a large metal white board. Above the desk was 4x4 pictures of various pictures Kara has collected of things that she said inspired her. They were taped up like collage of sorts. A monkey giving the photographer a small middle finder was in the center. When she had shown her mother it the first time it cause the biggest laugh Kara had ever heard.
The best part was inside the desk, her laptop which had been on its last legs had been replaced with a sleek mac book. Last year's model that her father's friend had cleaned and sold them. It was second hand but was loaded with everything she would need. There was also a leather bound dictionary and thesaurus set. A cup full of Kara's favorite brand of pens and wooden pencils. In one of the cubby's was a rainbow of dry erase pens and magnetic board tacks. There were 3x5 index cards, folder paper, books on being a writer. It was one of the best gift her parents ever got her. Behind her near the window was a little reading nook, with a book shelf and plush arm chair that she could curl up in put on her noise cancelling headphones and get lost in the world of Jane Austen, Stephen King, and anything and everything she could get her hands on.
For the next year and a half, she would spend countless hours of her free time working alongside her mother. It was perfect and Kara never wanted it to end. That is until it did and then everything for a while was turned upside down.
Now as she talks about her wedding, she remembers the details of those times when she was young. The princess themed posters and all those perfect moments when her mother smiled bright like the sun and everything in the world was good.
"I love that," Me'gann said looking over the digital idea boards she had created of the Snow White theme she had in mind. "Those Red Apple center pieces with the date and your and Lena's names in gold."
"I'm glad because it is going to be all hands-on deck to get it completed in time. Are you and J'onn still coming down early to help?"
"Yes, sweet girl," Me'gann said kissing her forehead. "We'll be there tomorrow evening. Thank you for letting us stay with you."
"Of course, it's the least we can do, since your willing to help us. Plus, Lena has been learning new recipes, and would probably welcome eaters with more refined palates and tastes."
"What is family for?" J'onn smirked teasingly.
"Thanks, Papa Bear," Kara said pulling him in, squeezing him with all her might.
"Anything for you, Goldie."
Two days before the wedding
Their home had turned into wedding planning central. J'onn and Me'gann had come down to help with the preparations, along with Alex and Kelly and Olivia. Every one of them taking turns keeping Maya safe and occupied. Their dining room and living room looked like a craft shop had blown its seams and Lena could feel old anxieties starting to resurface.
She became automatic in her actions and responses, smiling when smiling was required and laughing and joking when someone teased them about their ambitions. She performed and Kara beamed radiant like the sun. Lena nerves continuing to fray just looking at how happy this event was making her fiancée.
She was lost in her head, thinking of who she is and wasn't unaware that J'onn stood watching her from the door of her home office. She had promised Kara she would work from home for the rest of the week and being in there was often the only escape she had.
Lena nearly jumped out of her skin when J'onn cleared his throat. "I'm sorry to have startled you," He said hands up voice low and gravelly.
"No it's fine, I was just thinking of a project…..," Lena waved her hand dismissively, letting the rest of the words trail off.
"No, you weren't." J'onn said direct and to the point. "You're scared."
"No, I'm not," Lena interrupted quickly.
"Don't get me wrong, you are doing a damn good job of hiding it. But I know what a strong person fear looks like, my years of service saw to that. So," J'onn voice and his hand rose as Lena attempted to deny it again. "Please don't insult me by denying it. Just own it."
Lena looked at him, while J'onn just met her gaze daring her to be honest. She worries her jaw grinding it back and forth. As excuses and lies flickered like fireflies in her mind. J'onn stare never falters so sure of what he knows and Lena just doesn’t have the will or desire to fight it anymore.
"I… am… afraid," She finally admits, shoulders slumping and bending forward resting her eyes against her palms, as tears began to fall.
Quickly J'onn closes the door as Hope engages the privacy settings that will keep their conversation private. Lena notes the light on her desk engage.
"Come on," J'onn said, waving his hands towards himself signally for Lena to come and get one of his patented warm papa bear hugs.
Lena hesitates, but eventually gives in and it’s like a damn brakes. Tucking her head in as sobs wracked her body, J'onn lets her cry it out, the front of his shirt growing wet with tears.
"What's going on?" He asked drawing them to the couch once Lena had calmed down enough to be moved. Lena wrapping her arms around his leaning into his side.
"You know my family history. The world knows who the Luthor's are. Ruthless, power hungry, and manipulative. Well that didn't change behind closed doors. If fact if often became worse, especially amongst family. I was raised in Lex's shadow, like that was all I was asked to aspire to, not to be my own person, but to be the second to my brother. I was always told I just wasn’t quite good enough, but better than everyone who wasn't a Luthor. Sometimes, I believed it too. Add the lack of love and affection that my parents didn't show each other or to their children. It was a fraught environment that informed my development.
"I knew I didn't want that. So, marriage became a far off "maybe me" kind of possibility. It wasn't a life I aspired to or dreamed about. I knew if I did get married, I would be required to hire the best wedding planner money could buy, who would create the most jaw dropping envy inciting ceremony of the time, or ever, if possible. The pomp to get there would be out of my hands, I would simply be along for the ride, as I towered like colossal over a portion of my family’s empire. So, what did it matter what I thought? The best ideas would be laid before me and I simply would choose or agree. Watching my parent’s loveless dynamic made me question if it was something I even wanted.
"Granted, watching movies of people falling in love on Hallmark was nice, though they really need to get with the times and make some queer perfect love stories," J'onn chuckled in agreement. Or watching it unfold in one of those crazy romantic comedies as two fools fall in love. Engaging in unreal antics that always ensued and the happily ever after that somehow came out of the crazy situations the main characters found themselves in.
"I wondered if coming home to someone who loved you for you was real. Building up their individual lives and then happily make space for the another, becoming like a Venn diagram. As over time more of their individual circle starts to intersect more in the middle where their joined life was. I like the thought of coming home to someone who was happy to see me at the end of a trying challenging day. Or just a good every day. Who I could share all of the details no one else would sanely care about and then sitting quietly enraptured listening to their day and all its little details. Learning and growing, it sounded nice.
"But, becoming a tech titan had sent those "maybe me" dreams packing. As I got caught up in the nuts and bolt of running a business and helping to innovate and create the future 'maybe me' faded into 'didn't matter'.
"Then Kara walked in, wiggling into my space and heart and all my intractable misconceptions. Chipping and demolishing my walls, to become someone so important to my life, that when I lost her, everything I believed instantly changed. She was like a whirlwind, bring with her, her love and strength and courage and all these amazing, loving, and flawed people who knew how to be strong even when they were weak. The most informative part has been having you and Me'gann here, the way you interact, and look at each other. Is like watching a supernova sun. I want that for Kara, she deserves that…. but I'm scared that's not how I am designed. I mean, true I work to be a better person. But what if all that work doesn't make me a better partner.
"Is that really all this is?" J'onn asked resting his hand on hers.
"No, I'm also feeling overwhelmed by all the planning and execution. Kara is amazing. But, I honestly don't care about the ceremony or receptions. I just want to start our lives and be married. But I want Kara to be happy and it gives her a chance to reconnect to her memories of when she was young spending hours being like her mom. All the time they shared planning her could be wedding before she died. Her mother loved Snow White, which is why she chose the theme. Those happy memories deserve to be honored. Even by someone as lacking as me," Lena added hushed and far off.
"Well, let me put your mind at ease, J’onn says patting her hand followed by a firm squeeze. “You will mess up, it's part of being human, and in love, and still your own person, with you own thoughts and ideas," Lena pulled back looking at him like he was mad. "Really, but as for loving Kara, everyone sees it. Just as they see it when she looks at you. When you are relaxed and not thinking worst case scenarios, which my suggestion is “learn to embrace the uncertainty”, it will make you better prepared to adapt to surprises. Of which in marriage and with Kara will be many."
"Oh, I know." Lena said leaning back against his shoulder.
"But, back to the point… Your interaction is loving and considerate. There is the right amount of push and pull, give and take. As long as your commitment to each other remains strong and the foundation you build your marriage on, I know there isn't anything you and Kara won't be able handle."
"So the foundation isn't love?" Lena asked again pulling back and looking very surprised.
"It's part of the mix, but no, not in my experience. Like I told Kara, you can deeply love someone but not build a life together. Deep commitment will help you weather any storm."
"Huh," Lena huffed in disbelief. "Damn those rom coms and their false advertising."
The air is filled with excitement as their closest friends and family wait below the white gauze and mahogany structure for the ceremony to begin. The garden around them, landscaped with various flowers and blooms creates the perfect beautiful backdrop for the small and intimate gathering.
All of Artemis is in attendance, under the pretense of only being Lena's friends. Kara doesn't mind, she isn't quite ready to share her dark of night charity escapades, a consensus held by the rest of the group. Except for Cat Grant who is able to simply come as Kara's boss. Though Winn as usual develops a stutter, which Cat pointedly tries to ignore. Which for some reason causes his stutter to become worst. Fed up Cat, turns, calls him by his actual name, and threatens to fire him if he didn't stop. Which thoroughly does the trick. He retreats to the safety of the soundboard to which he was asked to man.
James is there, along with Eve and Jess the five of them engaged in small talk with Kelly and Liv as Maya rests peacefully on Kelly's shoulder.
"Please take your seats," Hank announces standing at the altar. Winn waited for the brides to make their appearance as Alex moves to Hanks front facing right and Sam moves to stand at Hanks left. "And let us begin."
There is a soft gasp that ripples through the crowd as the couple take up their places at the back. Both brides’ eyes widen appreciatively, their breaths stolen as their eyes roam the other drinking in the sight of their love dressed in their wedding attire. They had spent the night before separate, Kara staying with Alex. While Sam and, her daughter, Ruby stayed with Lena. An arcane tradition to be sure, but one that Kara’s mother had always enjoyed.
Each bride is stunning.
Lena, dressed in a white sheer shirt, white form tight vest and form fitting white slacks. Some, candy apple red patent leather pumps and matching red belt complete her look as she holds a bouquet of red and white roses. Her hair is pulled back into a soft ponytail, face fresh and clear except for Kara's favorite deep red lipstick.
On the opposite side, Kara is dressed in a white wedding gown with Gone- with- the- Wind sized skirt a satin sash of apple red accentuating her waist. A matching satin headband crowing her head, hair in an updo with soft cascading curls. A bouquet of red and white roses hand resting softly before her. They stand, waiting, tears begin to brim their eyes as Neulore's "Don't Shy from the Light" plays on 4 large black speakers.
They walk towards each other, blue eyes staring deeply into hazel green. The world seems to fall away centering onto the singular focus of themselves. Lips form the words of "I love you" and "You're beautiful" that travel like a ghosting sigh across the expanse of the space between them. At a point in the intro, they begin to walk, in step, with the beat of the rifting guitar. They reach the middle as the song is starting, pausing to rest their foreheads against the other. Looking up, glass eyed from tears kept barely at bay, Eliza steps in, offering her arm to Lena, a happy smile on her face. Hand clasping the hand that weave around her bicep. She leans over kissing Lena’s forehead murmuring how beautiful the bride looks. Lena ducks her head blushing as they step forward toward J’onn.
Next, it is Kara’s turn, Me'gann offering her arm, Kara weaving her arm through, hands clasping murmuring how happy she is to be stand in for Kara’s mom. Kara thanks her, leaning her head on Me’gann’s shoulder feeling the weight that leans in. They move following a moment just their own.
As they march the crowd around them watches soft sobs here and there, hushed tones of "they look beautiful, stunning, happy" filling the space left open by the scents of peony and freesia and hyacinths.
At the end, before J'onn, they are brought forth back to each other, wiser hands guiding theirs forward interlocking as the ceremony begins.
"Thank you," J'onn starts. "For joining Kara and Lena as they tie their lives together and begin this new journey joined in marriage. As an old and happily married man, who had been through the up and downs, the challenges and triumphs with my own beautiful wife," Me'gann blushes, as J'onn cracks a mischievous smile her way. “enjoying the many years, the number or which I am not allow to disclose, I can tell you with utter certainty that it should not be undertaken lightly. Because it will be the greatest joint journey you will ever know. And if done right it will demand an almost raw vulnerability that will move you through an emotional rollercoaster that will run you emotionally raged. That is, so I've heard, until children enter to the mix. Which I know for a fact these two want to do. But for all that vulnerability it will offer up to both of you the truest forms of love you can ever be lucky enough to be given and give in return.
"So, I ask, do you Kara Danvers take Lena to be your lawfully wedded wife. To honor her strengths, and to shore up her weaknesses. To care for her in sickness and health. To love her and always commit to making this marriage between you work. Till death do you part?"
"I do," Kara tries to say her voice to warbly and trembling. She takes a breath, composing herself and saying it again in a clear strong voice. “I do!”
"Do you Lena, take Kara to be your lawfully wedded wife. To honor her strengths, and to shore up her weaknesses. To care for her in sickness and health. To love her and always commit to making this marriage between you work. Till death do you part?"
"Yes," Lena said clearly. "I do."
"Then by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you married and to seal it with a kiss."
And they do, deeply as their friends cheered raucously in the background, whooping, and hollering, urging the newlyweds on.
They head upstairs, hands intertwine, and change into more comfortable clothes. For a while they kiss passionately so happy to finally be married. For a moment to long they get lost in each other's arms, before Leslie comes to remind them, they are still expected to show face for a bit at the reception. They groan like horny teenagers, passing Leslie who points sternly in the opposite direction.
The reception in the great hall was a much more rowdy affair as all their friends start chatting, getting alcohol loose, eating or offering congratulations to the couple who sit close, lost in their own little world, murmuring privately amongst themselves.
They had wanted an informal reception and not the formal staid expectations that friends and family were required to make speeches on the couple’s behalf. The just wanted a relaxed and enjoyable ending to a simple ceremony.
So, it was a big surprise to them when Alex, slightly red from drink and nervous got up, politely asked for the DJ's mic and spoke a few words to the happy couple.
"Lena, I start with you because I want you to know, how happy I am that you have officially joined the family. And I know I like to joke about all the cool L-Corp perks," Lena rolled her eyes, but smiled and mouthed thank you. Alex titled her head as she continued. "But even if you weren't that Lena, I would still be glad to have you as a new sister, because of how much you care and love Kara. How much you support her dreams and keep her on her toes. It's what my baby sister needs. Someone who is critical when it's important and loves her always no matter what. Even when you were broken up, you never truly abandoned her, instead you became someone worthy of a second chance and I am thankful every day that you two were able to make it work.
"Kara," Alex begins eyes tearing her voice cracking slightly. "Your happiness is like a bright burning star. How beautifully you look in your dress and I know that your mom and dad are looking down on all of us, the people who are in your life, your family, and how strong of a woman you are. Alura and Zoren will always be your parents, and while I am deeply sorry for their loss. I cannot help but be grateful for the chance I was given to have such an amazing and caring sister. To watch you find love with that special girl who you want to build a life with and that I got to play some part it. I love you Kara and Lena. Here's to the happy couple."
"To the happy couple."
A little after. When everyone were fully engaged in food and drink and lively conversations. The couple made their escape, looking holding hands and looking forward on the journey of a lifetime.
“To our own happy life,” Lena murmurs.
“To our own happy life.”
So this is the end. Thank you for all the readers who came along with me. All the kudos and comments that kept me going.
Thank you for spending your time on my story.
Be safe and well.