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your faithless love's the only hoax i believe in

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            “The meeting is adjourned. We shall reconvene at 9AM sharp, Monday morning.”

            As the board members slowly trickle out of the conference room, Lena sends them one last polite smile. The minute the door is closed shut, leaving just her and Jess behind, she sags tiredly in her chair, a migraine pending somewhere around her frontal lobe.

            “Miss Luthor?”

            She raises her head at the sound of Jess’s call, nodding reassuringly at her assistant. The young woman doesn’t look any less worried though, striding over to where Lena sits.

            If there was one thing Lena was happy about Crisis, it would be the rebranded relationship between her and her assistant, as well as the utmost support Jess gives her on the daily basis. Lord knows she especially needs it during this hard-trying time.

            “Lena. It’s Lena when we’re alone.” She chides, trying to keep her tone light so that the smallest strain of tiredness doesn’t seep through.

            She should know better. Jess can read her better than almost everyone.

            “Well Lena, I for one think it’s time we wrap up for the day.”

            “What? I still have so much paperwork to go through!”

            The Asian woman merely narrows her eyes at Lena’s indignance, all the more annoying Lena because for all her years of intimidating sexist white men, Jess has a glare that would make even the mightiest of hero tremble in their knees.

            She chuckles silently at the thought of Bruce Wayne’s infamous Bat Glare. Wouldn’t even hold a candle to Jess’s, to be honest.

            “You need rest, Lena.” She says, emphasizing on the last word while rounding up any paperwork on sight before Lena can reach out and take them back. “I know rebranding Luthorcorp hasn’t been the easiest thing, and you’ve been working so tirelessly for the past 2 weeks.”

            Neatly stacking and hugging the pile to her chest with one hand, Jess places the other on Lena’s shoulder, squeezes. The warm feeling of a human touch works its wonder on a touch-starved Luthor, immediately softening her stance and releases some of the tension.

            “Can I at least compromise and bring half of those home? Since I know you won’t be letting me come in throughout both Saturday and Sunday.”

            Also unlike everyone else in National City, or the world for that matter, Jess’s response to her sarcastic raise of eyebrow is to chuckle. It’s warm, friendly, and so casual Lena almost mistakes they’ve been doing this friends/employee-boss casual relationship for longer than they actually were.

            Lena knows better, and she’s come to appreciate this new timeline more than she once did. Not that she’ll be telling anyone that.

            “Yes, you stubborn child.” The audacity of the woman to laugh at Lena’s offended glare should be appalling, but it only warms Lena’s heart even more. “I’ll let you bring half home. Still, you should take the time to rest. Maybe even invite Miss Danvers over for a movie night while at it?”

            Oh. About that…

            “You know we had a falling out, Jess.” That’s really the most understated understatement Lena’s ever heard in her entire life. “It’ll just be me, my glass of Merlot, and them sexy spreadsheets.”

            Despite trying her best, Lena can’t quite help but let out a sigh of misery at the pathetic image she just painted.

            It’s not false, per se.

            That has been the regular occurrence ever since they defeated Lex. Once everything hero-y was in order, Lena couldn’t afford to waste more time letting Luthorcorp be, well, Luthorcorp. She was going to get her L-Corp back no matter what it takes.

            Though apparently, it would take away Kara Danvers.

            She’s tried to reach out, but Kara’s been so busy lately that they both haven’t seen each other at all. Every brunch date is denied for an excuse that Lena could clearly see through (just because she was fooled by a pair of glasses, doesn’t mean she’s also easily fooled by flimsy excuses).

            Just the night before, Lena had texted Kara about a possible lunch together because she knew the board meeting today will suck the ever living hell out of her. She was hoping Kara “puppy dog eyes that make her appreciate everything good about life” Danvers would help lift her spirit.

            Safe to say, her mood spiraled even further down when the blonde replied that she already had an “appointment” (her words, not Lena’s) with that cardboard piece of mediocre reporter.

            From then on, Lena decided she would stop trying to insert herself back into Kara’s life. If Kara wants her there, she would be. Even if it’s not Kara’s life, but Supergirl’s. Lena will always be there for Kara, even if she won’t do the same for her. She deserves it after all the mess she put them through.

            “I really don’t get what made you two have that big of a fight.” Jess’s remark startles Lena out of her sulk, the Asian woman having removed her hand from Lena’s shoulder and is now putting the half-divided (Lena spots a teensy difference favoring Jess’s pile, but she refrains from pointing it out) paperwork into Lena’s messenger bag. “You’re literally the ultimate best friend goals, and I say that unironically.”

            “Would you say we’re #BF4eva if you want it ironically?”

            “Seriously” Jess ignores her quip, which is a shame considering Lena is quite proud of it. “It has been 2 weeks since I last saw her coming here to visit you, and in between of you slaving yourself to work, I’ve never seen you more miserable. Are things going to be okay between you two?”

            For a moment, Lena wonders if her being “miserable” is remotely the same as the Lena that arrived at National City 3 years ago back on Earth-38. She thinks they might be close, judging by the shared lack of sunshine embodied in a golden retriever in her life.

            Lena sighs sadly, a genuine one, the first one she’s ever let out in the span of recent times. Knowing her best friend doesn’t want to spend time with her had hurt, still hurts, but what else can Lena do about it.

            “It was a big fight.” Oh you have no idea. “She hid a big secret from me, and I did horrible things out of hurt, out of anger. I don’t know if she’ll ever forgive me. She said she accepted my apology, but-- I had hope she would, but now… I just don’t know anymore.”

            Lena refrains from saying more, lest she says things that might trigger the onslaught of old memories and hurt Jess in the process. She doesn’t actually know how that works, but J’onn did warn her to be extremely careful (“if you don’t, we’ll have to erase your memory too.” lies the subtle threat Lena tries so hard not to see).

            “Well, I for one believe a strong relationship can get through anything with a little bit of effort from both parties. But you can’t say sorry if you’re dead, so please, get your ass home.”

            Amused and endeared by the crass language and bossy attitude, Lena just nods obediently and follows Jess to the elevator.

            The whirlwind of work manages to sweep Lena away during the next few days. She goes back to living off only on caffeine and baked pastries (the one shop Kara always buys, bought, for her). Her sleeping schedule is so harried that she resorts to instead taking short, power naps on her office chair or sometimes an inflatable mattress (which Jess had insisted she bought after finding Lena, somehow, curled up in a fetal position in her chair).

            She really should give Jess a raise after all this.

            By the time September is about to reach the half-way mark, the rebrand is a success and, seeing as the only thing left for Lena to do is make a few press conferences to announce the change, Jess has taken the chance to shoo her away at the ungodly hour of 4PM and make her go home (“Stay home! I mean it, Lena. Stay, or else I’ll make you eat subway for the entirety of next week.”)

            The audacity of that woman. Lena wonders whether she remembers who’s the boss and who’s the employee in this relationship.

            She’s not one to look for a gift in a horse’s mouth though, so here she is, at only 6PM on a Friday night, cooking up a plate of fettucine alfredo with a plan of finally starting Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries.

            (Her heart pangs at the reminder. Kara was so excited to watch the series with her. It twists further, like a knife to her organ, thinking Kara might have started it anyway, with Alex or that guy).

            Mood successfully pummeled, Lena sulkily stirs the content of her pan, the white cream makes her think of the time she and Kara went to an Italian restaurant, the blonde having ordered a plate of carbonara and got herself a cream mustache that looked so incredibly cute. Lena remembers wanting to wipe it off with her finger (or her lips) and it had made her blush hotly, going unnoticed purely because the waiter was occupying Kara’s attention by talking about their various selection of desserts.

            The thought makes her pause, hovering the pepper grinder on top of the sizzling pan. Her mind runs through all the interactions she’s ever had with Kara over the past few years, and she comes to a realization that makes her chuckle.

            A chuckle full of bitterness. A scoff.

            She remembers a quote from a book she just recently read, and it makes sense. It makes so much sense now why she was so hurt by Kara’s secret, so upset over Kara’s absence, and so heartbroken at the way the light in Kara’s eyes had dimmed when she looked at her in her lab all those weeks ago.

            “I loved you so much that I thought you were the meaning of my life. I thought that people were put on Earth to find other people, and I was put here to find you. To find you and touch your skin and smell your breath and hear all your thoughts.”

            Trust fate to have that sick sense of humor of making a Luthor destined to find a Super.

            The charring sound of her fire alarm startles Lena out of her thoughts, bringing her back to the case in hand, which is her pan of pasta blowing up in flames. She doesn’t even have a moment to deactivate the system entirely before the automatic water sprinklers switch on and spray her wet.

            There, under the cold water and above a burned pan of fettucine alfredo, soaking wet in the stupid penguin pajamas she got from you-know-who on her last birthday, with bitter and angry tears streaking down her cheeks, Lena realizes she was in love with Kara Danvers.

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            Surprisingly, the realization of her feelings didn’t take Lena aback at all.

            It’s almost as if a door has opened, but it doesn’t feel like it has ever been closed to begin with.

            From the moment Lena met Kara, she’s felt a sort of magnetic pull towards the blonde. She’s always thought it was some sort of cliché shit, meaning she and Kara were always meant to become friends, then best friends. They were meant to be inevitable. Never in her right mind did she even entertain the idea of falling for the woman.

            That’s not saying Kara is not attractive, because of course she is, but Lena hasn’t been in love with anyone. At least not since Jack, and seeing how that relationship and many before it turned out, Lena has the right to feel a little unease about the concept of love. Growing up with the Luthor definitely doesn’t help her case at all.

            But it makes sense. It’s like a switch, of some sort.

            All the moments they have shared before are now tinted with a shade of adoration and lust. Suddenly, all Lena could think of was wanting to wake up next to Kara every morning and going to bed with her every night. Making Kara breakfast and have Kara bring her lunch. Trading Eskimo kisses when they both are too busy trying to get to work on time. Sliding her fingers into Kara’s hair and scratch as they grimace and wince whenever their favorite true crime podcast gets a little more disturbing than intended. Nursing Kara’s wounds on days when she loses her power as a result of Superhero-ing. Kissing Kara and have her rip Lena’s clothes off on occasions where she dresses a little too provocatively. Basking in the “I love yous” spewing from Kara’s lips as she slowly, but gently, brings Lena down from the peak of ecstasy and into the arms of content happiness.

            Suddenly, Kara’s the only person Lena can ever imagine herself being with for the rest of her life. And it hurts Lena deeply, how the world had given her the love of her life but letting her know just a bit too late.

            Sighing, Lena tries desperately to put her mind back to where it’s needed, her company. This is her second chance to do L-Corp even better, and she wasn’t going to disregard her duties just because of an epiphany.

            Lena curses whatever higher deities up there that just didn’t want her to be at peace even for a minute.

            3 hours into her workday, Lena is startled at the sudden vibration of her phone. Glancing at it, frowning at the lockscreen of her and Kara on their most recent brunch (it felt like a decade ago, and maybe it was), she swipes at the message notification and comes face to face with a request from Alex Danvers to come to the DEO.

            Coming to the DEO means she’ll probably get to see Kara. Lena doesn’t know if she’s happy she would get to see her best friend after so many long days of avoidance or disoriented from having to face the object of her affection so soon.

            Having no other choice, Lena signals Jess to take over for her for the rest of the day, grateful that Jess doesn’t press about the gloomy look on her face, and heads off.

            Turns out, the DEO is in need of her help to build a device that will be useful in the tracking process of a rogue alien they encountered just recently. None of them would tell her what alien specie it was (the lack of trust stings more than Lena thought it would), but she was smart enough to piece together the details and concluded it was the same alien that could fling Supergirl from one edge of the city to another.

            Noting the urgency, Lena retreats to the lab they once affectionately dubbed as her own, and begins to work. She ignores the twist of her heart when in the corner of her eyes, she sees a steak of red and blue dashing away.

            She doesn’t know how long it has been since she’s started, but when she finally looks up from her prototype and spots lights in the hallway slowly dimming one by one, Lena realizes it must be late.

            (Her heart pangs once more remembering how Alex used to be the first one to come in here and make small talk with her as they work. Now it’s been hours and she is nowhere to be seen.)

            Feeling the sudden sting of tears, Lena discreetly wipes at her eyes and determines to finish the prototype tonight. It’s not like she has anyone waiting at home, and it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to burst in here and make her leave for her own good any time soon either.

            “Lena?”

            The voice startles her, its cadence and tone eliciting the warmth of comradeship like it always does.

            “Brainy, hi…” she breathlessly greets, hands stilled. Lena notes the lack of Nia, but remembers the girl’s Instagram post about reconciliation and another chance, and feels a surge of pride at the boy for having successfully mended his relationship. Seeing him happy makes her happy, even if it’s the kind of happiness that she’s wanted for herself for so long. “what are you doing here?”

            “I was about to go home when I saw the lights still turned on. I figured I should come check up on you.”

            “That’s really sweet of you, Brainy” Lena smiles, letting him have a look at the microscope. It’s their thing, back when she used to regularly work as an external consultant for the DEO. Before everything came crashing down on them, on her. “I think I’m one step away from completing the prototype. You and Alex should be able to start the trial first thing tomorrow morning.”

            “This is brilliant, Lena.” He chirps, pride swells in between the cracks of Lena’s heart. “I knew we can always count on you to save the day.”

            His praise, even if it’s not Kara’s, makes Lena’s double dimples pop out of hiding. Her tired green eyes brighten just a little more, looking almost to the point of tearing up.

            “Thank you, Brainy.” She simply says, hoping he would know the extent of her gratitude.

            Thank you for being the only one who care about me. Thank you for not leaving me too.

            “Always.” He smiles back, squeezing her arm.

            It’s such a Kara-gesture that Lena can’t help but asks. “I thought Friday nights were Karaoke Night? Shouldn’t you be at M’gann by now?”

            The reminder that Lena had never once been invited to Karaoke Nights seem to sober Brainy up. His face is stoic, like it always is when he isn’t smiling, but Lena can see it. The smallest shred of pity and sadness.

            “Lena…”

            “It’s alright, Brainy.” She smiles, because what else can she do. “I get it. I haven’t earned back everyone’s trust yet. I’m the last person to ever warrant the right of hanging out at National City’s favorite alien hot spot.”

            “That’s not true!” he exclaims, dark brown eyes boring down into hers with an intensity she’s only ever seen in Kara. The sudden display of emotion seems to take both her and him aback, so he heaves a sigh and speaks again. Calmly. “You are kind, and you have done so many things to help the alien population of this city. Aside from Supergirl herself, there is no one more deserving to be there than you.”

            Before Lena could intercept, Brainy pushes himself away from the table and strides forward, so that he is standing a bit closer to her.

            “I don’t know why we did what we did, but I am angry that we have been excluding you for so long. Even before you knew Kara’s identity, you were more than just an ally. You were a Superfriend in all capacity, just not officially. You deserve more than this, Lena, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when this was all over, how none of us were, and I’m especially sorry how Kara is still not.”

            Her breath hitches, her grip on the wrench tightens so hard it might turn blue.

            The weight of his look is overbearing, unsettling, but Lena can’t look away.

            The way he mentioned Kara’s name… not just like a best friend who excluded her from everything, but something else. He can’t be… no, she just knew about it. He can’t know.

            “What are you talking about, Brainy?” she hates how her voice comes out high-pitched and vibrating, trembling under the fear of being judged and exposed.

            “You know you can trust me, Lena. There's really no need for boxes anymore. You're allowed to feel. You’re allowed to love. You’re allowed to open them now.”

            Her body shakes, trembles. Her mind takes her back the day she and Brainy stood in this same establishment, talking about tears of logic and little boxes. Oh how her friend has all grown up.

            “How did you know…?” does Kara know? Is that why she’s been avoiding me this whole time? Does everyone else know? Are they judging me too?

            “I just know, Lena.” He says, his intensity softens. “Even before I knew what this feeling was with Nia, I knew you look at her like she was all your wishes came true. You look at her like she makes you question your own existence. You look at her like even if you are broken, you wouldn’t want to be by no other in the world but her. What you did had hurt her, but I know it hurt you just the same. She's the love of your life, isn't she.”

            Her heart thumps, jumps, thunders. Her vision gets blurry, and it’s only then Lena realizes she’s been crying. Brainy’s warm touch on her shoulders takes her back to one certain day on Catco’s porch, reminiscing the warmth of those hands that she might never get to feel ever again, and she cries.

            A sob escapes, and all she can feel next is the embrace of someone akin to her little brother. Someone who has truly stayed by her side, and never left. Someone who feels unjust at the treatment she’s received from the world, as much as she had done the same for him.

            Two broken hearts. One slightly healed, and one bleeding.

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            “Happy birthday, Lena!”

            Lena startles at the loud exclamation, looking up to glare at Jess. The audacity of this woman, Lena thinks, maybe giving her a third raise in two months was a bad idea.

            “Thanks, Jess?” she grimaces, clearly not fond of the special occasion. That doesn’t stop Jess from flopping down a small cupcake with a lit candle stuck in the middle, head tilting at it.

            Lena would have played dumb for a bit longer had it not been for The Glare, patent pending, so she obediently sets down her pen and blows. The fire is gone in a flash, and she looks back up to Jess.

            “Happy?” the woman bravely nods, grinning from ear to ear. “You’re so lucky I’m the best boss ever.”

            “Don’t you mean you’re lucky that I’m the best assistant ever? It’s not fax, just facts.”

            The CEO chuckles, jokingly hurls the tiny candle in the shrugging assistant’s direction. She avoids it with a smooth cock of head, which gains a nod of approval from Lena. Maybe she should ask Jess to tag along during her self-defense classes.

            “Thank you, Jess.” She smiles, cocking an eyebrow at the smug and pride clearly etched on the woman’s face. Her heart warms at the kind gesture and the reminder that there is someone who actually thinks the day she’s born is worth celebrating after all.

            Rivaling her own level of dramatic, Jess dips herself into a curtsy and leaves, the sound of Lena’s laughter echoing inside the spacious office.

            For all matter of normality, Lena’s birthday started off on a very good note. Some of the staff, not just Jess as she likes to brag, had wished her a happy birthday. Even the guy who sold coffee adjacent to L-Corp gave her a 50% discount, oversharing about how happy he was now that Lena is in charge instead of Lex (he said he’s always noticed a bit of a creepy vibe from her brother, to which Lena had silently chuckled). Around 8AM, one hour after she went in to work, Lena received a text message from Brainy.

            Happy birthday, Lena! May all your wishes come true ;)

            She is so going to kill Nia for teaching Brainy how to use emojis. After the whole breakdown in her lab at the DEO a week ago, Brainy has singlehandedly been Lena’s entire support group. She and him exchange texts often, usually about DEO businesses or science-related inquiries, but sometimes Brainy would have questions he was too shy to ask Nia about and Lena couldn’t help but preen in being the one he chooses to ask for advices from. (A part of her is extra glad that neither of the Danvers were even the possible choices. It made her feel special.) Sometimes he would even check to see how she’s feeling, make sure she’s eating enough and sleeping enough.

            He really is the little brother she’s never had, including the slight pain in the butt he is when he talks about Kara with non-subtle hints. Lena is grateful he does that, to be honest. It takes her mind off the unrequitedness and ultimate pain of it all.

            They’ve been talking about the possibility of Lena joining the Superfriends again during Game Nights. Between the two of them, Lena shared her reservation about being the unwanted, the left-over, the seventh-wheel, if invited. Brainy didn't agree, if his multiple huffing emojis said anything about it, but he chose not to push. Still, he updated her on the in-goings of their friend group (his friend group), secretly sending her pictures of them having fun and laughing.

            (She wondered why that cardboard reporter hasn't been in any of the pictures, knowing for sure he was a frequent at Game Nights once she was out of the picture. Maybe Brainy had the kindest heart and chose to make sure he wasn't in the pictures he sent her, or… no. Too much hope will only lead to disappointment.)

            Lena is so engulfed in typing out a reply, a thank you and a promise to treat him to lunch or something the soonest they can meet up, that she fails to notice the sound of cape flapping in the wind and boots softly landing on her balcony.

            She only realizes when a knock on strong, bullet-proof glass pulls her out of her musing (Brainy just sent a picture of him giving a thumbs up, already learning the art of on-the-spot Snapchatting). Turning around, her breath catches in her throat at the sight of red and blue.

            The love of her life is here. After all this time, she's here.

            “Kara…” she says, breathless as the heroine steps through the opened balcony door and invites herself in.

            She's more beautiful than Lena remembered. Her blonde hair reflects the natural sunlight, giving it a golden shade of brown that resembles an angel’s halo. Her suit shines, a product of dark-colored fabric and a sheen of sweat probably from all that superhero-ing. Her blue eyes are looking at anywhere but Lena’s, hands hiding behind her back.

            It's all very bashful and not Supergirl-like, which makes Lena’s heart thumps all the more heavier.

            This is Kara Danvers, her best friend.

            “Hey Lena.” She says, shyly. Kara looks around her office, oohing like she's never once stepped foot in here. In her defense, Lena did take the liberty to redecorate the place a little bit. After the whole thing with Lex, she decided a little more color was needed, so she bought a few paintings from underrated artists online and put them up on her walls.

            Her favorite one is the one placed adjacent to her desk, in direct proximity of her eyesight. It's nothing special, just strokes of red and blue mashing together in a harmony of fire and water. She just finds comfort in the togetherness and balance of things that weren't meant to go together, a reflection of her relationship with the alien standing in her office right now.

            “How—how are you? Is everything alright at the DEO?” Lena hates to admit to herself, Brainy’s voice telling her trust if you want to be trusted, but her insecurities win most of the times. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time Kara’s come to her only for the purpose of asking for her help. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

            “No! No, no, no—I…” the Super turns around so fast Lena almost gets a whiplash. Thankfully, she's sitting neatly in her chair, cocking up an eyebrow in an attempt to feign calmness. “I… I came to see you, actually.”

            Even as it skips a beat at the gentle gleam in Kara’s blue eyes, Lena wills her heart to calm the fuck down before it starts a marathon she really doesn't want Kara to hear. Gulping, Lena lays her phone down next to her laptop and smiles. A little hesitant, a lot shy, and so much in love.

            “Alright.” Gosh, why does she sound so smitten. “What did you come to see me for? It's not like I don't want you here, I do, but well… you haven't been around lately.”

            Right away, Lena can see a glimpse of guilt flashing across Kara’s face. It hurts Lena to see Kara upset, but the Super was the one who said she forgave Lena, so she believes she had the right to be upset over being avoided and isolated (again).

            “I know, I…” Kara sighs, the weight on her shoulders are tense as far as Lena can see. She looks back up at her, and the earnestness, the warmth in them remind her of a doe-eyed not-even-a-reporter Kara walking into her office with Clark Kent. “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, it's just…”

            “It's alright, Kara. I understand.” She does, in a way. She wouldn't trust nor want to spend time with someone like her either. “Just tell me why you're here.”

            If it was even possible, Kara starts to get even more fidgety. Lena imagines if it weren't for keeping her hands behind her back, Kara would have been scratching the nape of her neck in a classic Kara Danvers manner by now.

            Lena thinks it's better to wait her out, giving Kara some time to think or to calm herself down. The method works wonder, as Kara’s spine suddenly straightens up after  a while (Lena did not swoon at how Supergirl-like and how powerful it looks. No she did not).

            The look on her face spells determination, and with that, she reaches both hands behind her and thrusts a package in Lena’s face.

            It's big, like the size of Lena’s own vase of plumerias sitting on her desk. It's a box, she feels as she takes it in her hands, and averagely light. It's lighter than the box of wines she keeps in her cellar, but definitely heavier than the box of useless knitting tools sitting in her nightstand.

            She looks up at Kara for an explanation, but finds herself tongue-tied at the look of pure adoration on Kara’s eyes. She's never felt so much by the way anyone's looked at her before, Jack included.

            Oh she is so absolutely smitten indeed.

            “First off, I want to say I’m sorry for all the time I spent away from you these past few weeks. I was going through some things, and I didn't think I could burden you with something as trivial while you're busy rebranding your family company, again. (“Congratulations, by the way! I knew you could do it. I always believed you could.”) But Alex and I talked, and we, more she, decided I was being a coward and that I should come talk to you as soon as possible. Because this involves you too and I don't want to make decisions on your behalf again, nor ever again.”

            A part of Lena is fascinated by how long can Kara go without taking a breath (and a little bit horny at the thought, to be completely honest), but she really wants to know what this is about, why is Kara here, and why is her heart fluttering so aggressively like it knows something she doesn't.

            “Kara.” She says, firmly. “First of all, I really appreciate your apology and acknowledgement of avoiding me. I understand you did it for a reason, which I hope is resolved now, but I still don’t understand why you’re here telling me this.”

            A part of Lena desperately wishes that she can believe Kara has good intentions coming here. But her mind, her traitorous mind, flashes images of lonely nights crying in her bed, yearning for a certain person’s warmth. It makes her keep her walls up, but not too high. They never were and never will be high enough when Kara’s the one trying to climb inside.

            Things that involve her too? That really doesn’t sound good. Not good at all.

            “If Lex escaped, you have to tell me, Kara. I can’t be in the dark about important matters like him possibly breaking out and targeting the people I love.” Those of which include you, and the people I’ve once, no, those who I still care about the most.

            She thinks of the last time Lex had escaped prison, and the long chain of sufferings he’s brought along with him. She is still haunted by the sound of his scream in her nightmares, telling her she’s worthless and that her failure was inevitable. It’s always followed by the sound of Kara’s in her lab, yelling at her about one mistake and secret identity. It’s so emotionally-taxing to a point where she can’t get a minute of sleep, and always wake up an emotional mess.

             On those days, Jess always knows she’s to be treated delicately, despite how much offense Lena personally takes being on the receiving end of it. She, however, cannot deny the charm of her favorite tea boiling hot on her desk, a bouquet of wonderfully smelling plumerias, and an entire day vacant of boring board meetings.

            “No, Lena! Please, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ramble.” Kara says, hurriedly. The blue in her eyes are even closer now, so close that Lena can even see small specks of gold glittering around the irises, making Kara look like a literal sun goddess. “No, Lex is still in jail. He’s never going to get out ever again. He won’t hurt you, I promise.”

            Nodding, Lena calms her rising anxiety. It’s not like she hasn’t been thinking of the possibility ever since they took him in, tirelessly drawing up and making anti-Kryptonite weapons in the darkness of the night, but chances of her fear manifesting into reality are always so high that when confronted by that fear, Lena can’t help but automatically jump to the worst conclusions.

            “Well then, what is it? Why did you come?”

            Kara heaves another big sigh, breathing deeply and puts both hands on her hips. The Super gives herself a nod, then beckons Lena towards the package.

            “Open it. You’ll have your answer then.”

            A little hesitant but a lot trusting, Lena slowly starts to unwrap the paper, silently chuckles when she recalls how Kara used to whine and insist she can just rip open the wrappers instead of removing it like how she was taught by the Luthors. In all honesty, Lena only did the latter because Kara was so cute being all impatient and eager. It’s frankly a miracle how she didn’t know she’s been in love with Kara sooner.

            Time passes as she unwraps the package, internally excited at what Kara had brought her. The wrapping papers she neatly stacks to the side, secretly hoping to bring them home with her later. After a while, she reaches a brown, rectangle box with a lid. With a deep breath, she opens the lid and looks inside.

            “Kara?”

            Inside the box is a teddy bear. A teddy bear that looks suspiciously like the one Lena used to have, the one she brought to Luthor Mansion when she was 4. The last thing she had left of her mother. She remembers telling Kara about him during a sleepover, drunk on delicious wine and happy laughters that she didn’t hesitate to turn around, snuggle herself further into Kara’s arms and tell her about the guardian angel Lena’s mom had left for her. He’d been with her throughout everything, strong and resilient and, risking the chance of sounding sad, the most loyal friend she’s ever had (“Bar you, of course.” She chuckled. “I’ve never had friends nor family like you, remember? Now stop pouting and cuddle with me.”) When she held him, it almost felt like she was holding her mom in her hands, and for just a moment, she has the two people in the world she loved more than anything with her. It crushed her when during a summer holiday where she was home from boarding school, Lilian had taken the bear away, claiming it was childish and unladylike, and Lena never saw the bear ever again.

            Now Kara’s giving her a replica. An almost identical replica of her guardian angel.

            Gingerly, Lena fishes out a card stuffed between the bear’s arms, not daring to look up at the blonde lest she starts crying for real. Her eyes glance at the cursive writings on the card. When she finally processes it in her mind, it’s impossible to hold back a wet chuckle.

            “Kara…” now looking up, Lena’s met with a shyly grinning Kryptonian. The woman shrugs, a demure smile etching on her lips as she bounces on her toes. “You remembered?”

            “Of course, Lena.” She says, rounding over to kneel down besides Lena. Her Caribbean blue eyes shine so bright, her smile so kind and Lena finds herself even more in love. “Would you like to read it?”

            Preferring to not start bawling for real in the middle of her office on a workday, Lena nods mutely and, tenderly, opens the card.

            Dear Lena,

            First and foremost, I would just like to say, I wish you the happiest birthday!

            There are so many things, good things, you deserve this year, every year, for all the good you’ve done. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of you. How happy I am that, despite everything we’ve been through, I’m still your best friend and you’re still mine.

            But I’m sorry.

            I’m sorry that I’ve been such a coward, avoiding you and making you feel all alone again. I hope I’ve explained things, but still, that doesn’t justify me being a bad friend. I hope, from now on, you’ll let me redeem myself. I’ll be the best friend you can ever ask for.

            You’re the most special person in the world to me.

Love, Kara.

            “Oh Kara, you didn’t have to.” Lena’s voice is definitely wobblier than usual, tear ducts on the verge of opening any minute. Putting the card down, Lena reaches out with her arms wide, and grins widely when Kara wastes no time to attack her with a big ole Kara Danvers signature bear hug. “Thank you so much, Kara. This is the best birthday present anyone can give me.”

            There’s a chuckle right next to her ear. Lena feels strong arms affectionately squeezing her waist, before pulling back. She’s lowkey glad Kara doesn’t pull away too far, hands contently placed on the slopes of her hips. Lena misses the feeling of Kara’s hands on her more than anything in the world.

            “Actually…” the Kryptonian drawls, gulping down a non-existent clog in her throat. Feeling the nerves radiating off her friend, Lena raises her hands up to Kara’s face. A part of her can obviously see that this is some form of self-indulging, but Lena can’t care less. The touch of her fingers on Kara’s cheeks seems to soothe her, and so she gently caresses the slope of non-penetrable skin, enjoying the heat warming under her palm. “I have something else I would like to tell you. I can’t keep secrets anymore, and doing so would only betray the trust you put in me, again. I… I want to know if… Rao, this is so much easier in my head.”

            Lena chuckles, not at Kara’s expense, but at the low-sounding frustrated groan she lets out under her breath. It’s endearing, and rarely seen because Kara can easily do almost anything once she’s put her mind into it.

            “It’s just me, Kara.” She assures her, placing both palms flat on Kara’s cheeks. Just to ease up the tension a little more, she squishes the soft skin together, laughing at Kara’s distorted pout. “You can tell me anything. Anything.”

            Kara nods, though her pout remains unrelenting as Lena loosens her grip. With a deep sigh, her best friend finally says what’s been in her mind.

            “I’m in love with you, Lena Luthor.”

            The office is silent. So silent that the only sound Kara can hear right now is the thundering beats of her own heart and the subtle gulp of a clog in her throat.

            Needing no prompt, Kara continues. “I’ve been in love with you for so long, but I only knew just recently. I’ve been so blind to what the universe, to what Rao has been trying to tell me. You’re my match, Lena. The truth is, I’ve never felt so much around anyone else as much as I do with you. You make me wants things I’ve never wanted before, nor felt deserving of. There’s just this calmness, a state of content if you will, in me whenever I’m with you. I’m not Supergirl, I’m not even Kara Danvers, I’m just Kara. Then I came to realize, once I thought I had lost you for good, it’s you who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I know we have lots of things to talk about, lots of baggages to resolve, lots of bridges to cross, but I am laying my heart on the table, because a wise someone told me that I look at you like you’re my own personal sun. You make me strong. You make me want to be better. You make me want to love the life I’m living right now. If that’s the way I look at you, like my unique source of living energy on this planet, then I don’t want to miss out on what we could be.

            But you don’t have to say yes, I mean it. I will respect your desire for privacy and time away from me if you wish for it, and I will respect that you’ve said no. I will remain the best friend that I’ve promised you I would be. My last question for you, Lena Luthor, will you go out on a date with me?”  

            It’s the quiet that scares Kara. Her Kryptonian ears can’t pick up on even the slightest palpation of Lena’s heart, and it scares her. It truly frightens her to see how calm Lena is, how unfazed she is at the fact that Kara just, out of the blue, confessed her love to her. She holds her breath, trying not to clutch the warm hands she’s still holding in hers, reminding Lena that this is real, she is real, and she’ll always be.

            It’s about half a minute later that Jess hears a loud thud inside her boss’s office, but before she can even pull herself off her chair to come check on Lena, there’s the sounds of moaning and kissing so loud they echo out into the hallway. Blushing, Jess curses the uselessness of all lesbians around and chuckles. She doesn’t know how to feel about her boss getting it, but she knows how to feel when that person is also her friend. Happy. Elated. So full of joy for the lonely and lost soul to find her way home again.

            Just, maybe let her put on some headphones first. As much as she loves the woman, the last thing Jess wants to know is what Lena sounds like in the bedroom.

            Later on the other side of town, around the time for an afternoon break, Brainy is in midst of a brainstorming session for the DEO’s newest contraption when he gets a text message. Casually fishing his phone out of his pocket, the half-tech half-organic alien almost crushes it in his hand with the intensity of his grip when he reads the notification.

            I got the girl. 💙 – L.

            “YES! WAY TO GO, LENA! THAT’S MY BIG SISTER!”