National City was a fresh start. National City was the ‘my brother burned out and my mother entrusted everything to me in the fallout’ fresh start. It was a breakaway from the city in which Lex made a name for himself as the playboy CEO of LuthorCorp, a breakaway from the city that knew of the company as LuthorCorp in the first place.
It was a chance to reinvent the company, reinvent her place within it, reinvent the mundane life she’d made herself in Metropolis.
National City was a fresh start and yet things seemed exactly the same as they always were. Just like always there wasn’t enough time in the day, just like always Lena was being pulled in three different directions at once, just like always she hadn’t figured out how to turn off at a reasonable time – which is all really just to say that it’s one in the morning and Lena’s desperately trying to figure out the quickest way to send urgent documents to Japan.
She clicks the first result on Google with little to no expectation that she’ll be able to get them there on time but slightly late would have to do. She pays the highest the premium without thought, without any real questioning of the reviews, without really taking in the apparent claim that she can have her package delivered in under an hour.
Then there’s a knock on her window.
Then it clicks that it says super powered speedy delivery.
Then she turns and wonders if the premium on the price actually has anything to do with the speed of the delivery at all or if it’s just based on how ridiculously pretty the delivery girl is.
Intricate blonde braids stem from both temples and lead into what Lena assumes is a bun at the back of her head – as beautiful as it is functional for someone who evidently flew here if the entrance on her balcony and the few stray hairs tickling her cheeks are anything to go by.
Gentle features are battled by a powerful smile that’s all perfect teeth and pink lips and just the right amount of heart-stopping intensity. Blue eyes glow like fireflies on the darkness of the balcony, stealing the light from Lena’s office and radiating it back twice as ethereal, like the moon in the sky.
And, if her face is pretty, her body is middle of the desert, no oasis in sight, hot.
A black muscle tee exposes tan muscular arms, looking practically painted onto broad shoulders and a sharp clavicle that leads to a neck taken straight from a neoclassical sculpture. The fabric clutches at her stomach possessively with a tight caress that leaves no abs to the imagination and Lena would gladly take its place if it ever wanted to go on vacation.
A symbol a little like an ‘S’ is emblazoned on her chest in a matte silver. The shirt is securely tucked into black cargo pants that in turn fit into well polished combat boots, tightly laced and doing things for Lena that she never realised could be done for her before from such a militant outfit.
“Hi, I’m Kara and I’m here for your super-fast delivery.” Her smile widens impossibly at the pun before it falters as she flicks her eyes to the device in her hand. “You are Lena right? I’ve landed on the wrong balcony before. A woman wasted a lot of mace trying to blind me.”
“Well I don’t have any mace but I do have a contract I paid to be delivered.”
“National City crime rates are a little high for no mace,” the angel, apparently otherwise known as Kara, says, taking the sealed contracts at the same time and typing something into her device before slipping it back in a leg holster like some sexy every day Tomb Raider cosplay.
“I took a lot of self defence classes growing up.” She also had a pretty extensive security detail dotted about the building. She’d sent them home a while ago but she often had the feeling they didn’t actually leave until she did. Lena’s not quite sure what she did to inspire that level of loyalty but she slips in extra bonuses anyway.
“Packing some power in that power suit, huh?” Kara jokes, letting her eyes roam down Lena’s form before catching herself in the act. Lena finds herself wishing she hadn’t. “I’m sorry. I’m not usually this inappropriate. It’s very late. I’ll fly this over right now. You need both copies signed and one returned immediately?”
“That would be amazing. Then maybe I can finally get some sleep.”
“I’ll be back before you can find a sheep to count.”
It’s different, knowing someone can fly and seeing them actually dart off a balcony with abandon and streak past the moon instead of plummeting. It’s honestly a little overwhelming and kind of magnificent that something so spectacular could exist right under her nose. Lena can’t help but wonder if that’s all Kara can do. She’s willing to bet that it isn’t.
She’s no liar either. Lena has only just shut down her laptop and reached towards her scotch for one last parting drink when a knock sounds on her balcony window again. Lena beckons her inside.
“That was quick,” Lena says, oddly breathless. Could she have sounded any more like an idiot? Don’t even bother answering that. She knew the answer was no.
“Our website doesn’t lie.” Kara smiles proudly, handing over the signed documents before reaching down to pop open the pocket on her trouser leg. Lena expects something else to sign or some kind of comment card to fill in; instead Kara presents a small red canister. “Self defence classes or no, I think everyone should have a little mace on hand and this one matches your lipstick.”
It’s an oddly perfect shade match for a simple glance. Lena can’t help but smirk. “Do all first time service users get such thoughtful gifts?”
“Just ones stuck in the office way too late waiting for signed documents from Japan.”
“So like half then?” Lena jokes. Kara humours her with a chuckle as the starts walking back towards the ledge of the balcony, never taking her eyes off of Lena, never once questioning when she’s going to hit the barrier. Lena supposes it doesn’t matter so much when you can’t truly fall.
“Good night, Lena. Don’t forget to leave as a review.” Kara gives her one last smile as she jumps onto the barrier and tips herself off like a diver dropping into the ocean.
Lena waits until the next day to leave her review, if only so it’s something coherent and not just a jumbled mess of letters and sleep deprived panic sentences about the hot lady in the sexy black outfit exuding top vibes and delivering documents almost as swiftly and effortlessly as she made Lena fall a little bit in love with her.
National City was a fresh start.
And things finally seemed like they might be a little more interesting.
She was so close to being done. So close and yet so far, quite literally, since the one last specialist component she needed to be finished could only come from one specific place nowhere near her or apparently delivering anywhere near her either.
She really didn’t need this. She’s supposed to be showing her latest prototype tomorrow and the piece broke out of nowhere and she doesn’t have time to fly there to pick it up like last time and there’s not even really enough time for her to convince them to agree to fly it to her.
She’s freaking out.
In less than ten hours she’s supposed to be standing on a stage and proving she can take over this company to the public after the last CEO, aka her brother, spent most of his time snorting what was decidedly not sherbet off asses in bars in front of cameras and she just needed it to go okay.
Lena’s been of the opinion that lightning can’t strike twice for most of her life and yet she still finds herself clicking on a newly familiar website, praying she’ll find an open slot in the middle of the night. She won’t lie and say she doesn’t debate crying when she finds one.
She also won’t lie and say she doesn’t spend the next few minutes trying to find out how many people work for the company and how likely it is she’ll be sent the same blonde angel as before.
She doesn’t give herself too much time to hope as she scans for other problems in the prototype but that doesn’t mean her breath doesn’t still take the time to catch when a knock sounds on her balcony window and she turns to find a perfect, smiling face paired with a box complete with a logo that makes her shoulders drop with relief.
(She really needed to take a break).
“You’re the best person I know,” Lena says, making incredibly pathetic grabby hands at the box upon opening the door.
Kara’s face reddens, “Oh, that’s- no. I just fly really fast. Nothing special.”
“That seems like an understatement. You look like you could crush my skull between your thighs and I’d probably just let you,” Lena says absentmindedly as she starts opening the box on her desk. It’s not until Kara starts choking on air that she thinks about what she just said. Out loud. Real loud. With all the power her tired mouth and lungs would allow.
“I probably wouldn’t do that,” Kara replies and Lena’s about to panic apologise just as she continues, “The lawsuit would be bad for business.” Her eyes sparkle with the joke and frankly it is a joke to think Lena would ever do that. If this goddess crushed her head that was on her and completely worth it.
“I’m sorry I just said that but I’m losing my mind a little here and you’ve just completely saved me and my reputation forever more.” Lena almost kisses the component when she pulls it from its box, gets even closer to giving in when it slots into place with ease.
“I want to say you’re being dramatic but I have no idea what you’re building here so it could be true. Any chance this device is going to solve either world hunger or the ever-looming threat of the destruction of the earthen population from climate change?”
“It’s a prototype teleportation device.” At least it was the control for it. The rest was hidden down in the depths of a lab barely anyone could enter but Lena spins the board by her desk so that the calculations can be seen. It was pretty hard to steal something you didn’t understand.
“So you’re a genius.” It’s not said even remotely like a question but Lena can barely focus on the compliment when Kara’s looking at the formulas like she can read them as easily as flicking through a picture book.
“You understand it?”
“Mostly. Your symbols aren’t quite what I’m used to so it’s a little like reading a translation of a familiar book but I can gather the gist.” Kara hums as she scans over it. “It’s very clever. Though if you wouldn’t mind…” she trails off, looking to Lena as she points to a board pen – a different colour to the one Lena has been using and Lena nods at the thoughtfulness, interested to see what Kara will do. In the end it ends up being a final line beneath Lena’s work.
“Feel free to wipe it away. Yours will work perfectly fine; this is just a little more energy efficient.”
“So you’re a genius,” Lena mimics.
Kara laughs, though she shrugs the compliment off quickly. “I come from a place where teleportation was considered old technology.”
“Why would you leave?”
Kara’s brow furrows as she considers her answer. “Progress often walks hand in hand with hubris. Our smartest minds became our most careless, our most hungry for knowledge and power in spite of its consequences. They refused to see what was right in front of them and we didn’t survive it. They didn’t survive it.”
It hits Lena then, in the lack of light in Kara’s eyes. “How long have you been here?”
“Longer than I was there now.” Lena knows the sorrow in her voice. She remembers being ten years old and realising her family had been the Luthors’ for longer than it been her and her mother. She knows the guilt of being happy and the lost feeling that came off the back of the thought that something she put so much love into remembering was becoming such a small part of her life as a whole. She understood the pain. She understood that there was no right thing to say.
“I’m sorry.” It would have to be enough.
Kara smiles softly, nods her head in acknowledgement. “Just don’t bury your head in the sand, Lena Luthor. I have a feeling you might be the one to save us all if the time ever comes. And if I don’t accidentally crush your head with my thighs before then.”
“You have a lot of faith in a practical stranger.”
“We’re not strangers. I know your name, that you leave great reviews, work too hard and are hiding a fascinating mind behind your equally fascinating eyes and you know that I’m an alien from a lost planet who likes helping people.” Fascinating was a good word for Kara too and Lena knew, just like the morning crossword or a particularly difficult formula, she was going to focus on her until she had figured out every part of her. She wasn’t sure she was ever going to be able to quit focusing.
“I’m not sure that’s enough to upgrade us out of stranger zone.”
Kara’s device bleeps. She doesn’t even look at it.”We can fix that next time.”
“Who said there was going to be a next time?”
“Super speedy delivery is an addiction that’s hard to kick.” The device bleeps again. Kara sighs as she walks back towards the balcony with a salute before darting off the edge knowing she’s right. Not for the right reasons though. It was nothing to do with the immediate gratification of delivery and everything to do with the face that came with it.
Lena doesn’t even want to think about how many people were paying fees just to see the face of god for five minutes. She can’t help but wonder if they even get the five minutes – she selfishly hopes that they don’t.
(And, yes, there was going to be a next time.
Lena would order anything for there to be a next time).
Lena doesn’t want to be one of those people that say they’re going to kill someone if they don’t have their morning coffee but frankly her eyeballs are like sandpaper and she has a meeting with people she hates in around an hour, and if she doesn’t sip the sweet, unadulterated delight of the roast from her favourite café in Paris soon, she’s not sure she won’t dive across the table to strangle one of them with their boring blue tie.
She pays way too much to order it.
It feels like pennies when Kara appears with her hair in a crown braid that’s reflecting the sun like a halo (Lena has never seen anything so fitting). She pushes into the office at the sight of Lena’s smile, handing the cup towards her open hand with a flourish. “One boiling hot bean juice.”
“You’re amazing.” And beautiful, and handsome, and worth every penny spent (maybe that was a little bit to both Kara and the coffee).
“What if I told you I’d also brought you a delicious French pastry free of charge because I just ate one and I needed someone else to understand how amazing it is?”
“I’d give you a controlling stake in my company and my undying love.”
“Oh,” Kara blushes. “I was just thinking a really emphatic thank you but that sounds nice.”
“Do you accept tips?” Lena asks because that’s probably the correct answer. Pay for the delicious pastry that smells amazing and looks even better and then add a little extra for how warm Kara makes her feel, mostly just from the blood always rushing to her cheeks.
“I have always hoped someone would teach me how to walk properly in heels,” Kara jokes. “But, no, no tips necessary. You were just on my mind when I tried it so it felt like the universe was telling me something.” She was only thinking of her because it’s where she had to go. She wasn’t just thinking of Lena because she wanted to. It’s because she’s a customer, a paying customer.
But what if she was thinking of Lena, like outside of being a paying customer. Like a person. An attractive person that she happened to be attracted to.
“Let me know if you change your mind. I’d be happy to show you the power walk.”
Kara bites her lip. “Do you always wear heels?”
“At work, yeah. When people can see me at least. It makes me stand straighter, makes me feel like I’m putting on a different persona that doesn’t take orders from anyone. I tend to toe them off when I’m sitting at my desk though, makes it easier to tuck my legs onto the chair.” Kara looks briefly at the chair like she’s picturing Lena in it, smiles softly.
“Do you always wear this outfit?” Lena asks. Kara looks down at herself like she’s forgotten exactly what she put on that morning, chuckles.
“I like a cosy sweater when I’m at home.”
“So you do go home then?” Kara’s brow furrows, her head tilting ever so slightly to the left. “It’s just that I always seem to end up with you as my delivery person, no matter what time I call it in.”
“Lucky me I guess,” she says, shrugging her shoulders.
“My thoughts exactly. Thank you, by the way, for answering my questions and bringing me extra gifts. You’re very good at breaking up my otherwise tedious days.”
“Thank you for asking and for not giving me the stink eye when I ask back.” Kara leans forward, looking around the room conspiratorially. “Don’t tell anyone but you’re my favourite.” Favourite. Not favourite customer. Just you’re my favourite.
Was it hot in here? It suddenly felt like it was really hot in here and she was so close and she smelled like a Parisian café and cocoa butter and everything Lena didn’t know she was in love with but seemingly was becoming obsessed with very quickly.
“I would never. Delivery person, customer confidentiality right?”
Kara chuckles. “I like the idea of having secrets with you but we’ll have to save them for next time because I need to deliver a birthday card that was remembered way too late.” Kara steps off the balcony and floats as though there is still ground beneath her feet. “Enjoy your coffee!”
“Bye, Kara!” Lena calls when she flies off and Kara turns to throw her a wave. It takes everything in her to fight the want to do something dorky like mimic catching it. She was truly losing all credibility as any kind of head bitch in charge.
Especially when she spends most of her meeting staring at the lipstick mark on the lip of her cup and wondering how much prettier the shade would be painted onto Kara’s skin, how much more addictive the taste of that would be. She doesn’t think she’d ever be able to pull herself away.
(So much for coffee leading to concentration.
If only you could be sure what you would concentrate on).
She can’t focus.
The day is too warm and her sleep was too little and her mind is too engrossed in thinking about things that are nothing to do with her paperwork – like the smooth slope of Kara’s neck and the way her thighs strain against the material of her trousers and the way she could definitely bench press Lena’s entire body and Lena would absolutely let her if she wanted.
She feels like she’s infected by the heat of the day, feeding off of it, being consumed by it, becoming nothing more than some embodiment of flickering flames daring to edge towards a forest.
She gives up on attempting to be functional just before noon, clicks onto her new favourite website and orders something ridiculous. Fresh scones from the little Irish village she remembers visiting with her mother before things changed. She orders more than she can possibly eat – as much as someone might argue is enough for one human and one alien who Lena had attempted to mentally calculate the average calorie consumption of when she was trying to sleep one night.
She realises that wasn’t normal behaviour but Kara wasn’t exactly a normal level of hot.
Case in point, when she arrives with a bag filled with delicious smelling treats, she just so happens to be wearing honest to god black shorts, revealing shapely thighs that she’s still strapped her thigh holster onto. Lena chokes on the water she’s all but chugging (though she might as well give up because there’s no way she’s going to be able to combat the thirst now. That was permanent).
She starts coughing, flinching when there’s a sudden hand on her back and all she can focus on is bare, sun-kissed skin. She really needed to go outside and see people more. More people who were supernaturally pretty so she could get acclimatised. If any more people actually existed.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I thought you’d gotten pretty good at my random appearances.” Well she had because Kara was gorgeous, but at least it was consistently gorgeous, except now she had added a whole new element. A whole new hotness element.
When Lena composes herself enough to look up, she finds Kara looking genuinely apologetic and a little sad, like she’s tired of the fear, even at such a low level. Lena rushes to speak. “No, I’m fine, you’re fine.” Kara steps back a little, scones on the desk and hands to herself. “It’s very hot.”
“Objectively I agree, but I can’t say I really feel it.” Lena’s eyebrows pinch together. “You’re wondering about the shorts – I just wear them so other people don’t look at me strangely as I dress as an all black sunshine honing beacon.”
“You look good in them.” Lena had spent most of her formative years perfecting her filter at galas and her most recent ones in board meetings where she had to bite her tongue and bide her time but now? Now she was just blurting out everything she thought whenever she thought it. At least her tongue had, in an uncharacteristic turn of events, been the one to keep it PG-13.
“Thank you,” Kara says. “You look beautiful today.” Lena’s brain freezes at the words. She had no meetings or appointments booked so she’d worn her black strawberry dress and flicked off her heels the second she stepped into her office.
She hadn’t planned on being complimented, hadn’t planned on it coming from Kara. Kara who she knows would be visibly taller than her if she were to stand up right now and she really doesn’t know what to do with the fact that, that makes her pulse race so much.
“I look sweaty,” she deflects.
“Well it brings out your eyes, which I now realise are two different colours.” Kara’s gaze flicks between the two. Her hand reaches slightly forward before she retracts it sharply and Lena pushes the hair away from her eyes instead like she knows Kara wanted to. “It’s really cool.”
“Are you sure the heat isn’t getting to you?” Lena asks, ducking her head to open up the bag of scones and ignore Kara’s intense gaze before she crumbles into dust before it.
Kara just laughs without response like she knows exactly what that deflection was. She’s kind enough to take it. “You ordered a lot of scones.”
“I thought maybe you might like to try some?” She offers. Kara eyebrows jump up. “I thought it was about time I returned the gifts. You can just take some with you wherever you need to go.” Lena gives her an out that she hopes she never follows through on.
“I’m not in a rush if you wouldn’t mind company?” So polite and cute and following the exact script Lena had mentally penned.
“That’d be nice,” Lena says, standing up and pointing Kara towards the sofa - slightly further from the burning sunlight, slightly better at meaning they can sit close enough to touch.
Lena brings the scones out excitedly, starts putting the jam and cream on her scone, Kara watches her carefully the whole time, perfectly mimicking her actions a half second behind, down to the exact same count of knife swipes, an insane similarity of the amount used.
“You’ve never had one before have you?”
“No!” Kara says cheerily, taking a huge bite and getting cream all over her upper lip. She chews carefully and then grins. “This is amazing.” She bites again grandly, finishing it in a single bite. She looks a little like a chipmunk and Lena is enamoured with her abandon, with her carefree attitude, with her lack of need for the etiquette that had been engrained in Lena from so young.
“Eat as many as you want. I only really wanted the one.”
“You bought like a dozen?”
Lena attempts to shrug indifferently. “I figured one probably wouldn’t be enough for you, what with flying halfway across the globe at the speed of light at the drop of a hat.”
“You figured right. Usually I have to make up the calories eating this special protein paste Eliza, my mom, makes me, but these are way better.” She slathers another and takes a happy mouthful.
Lena wants to buy out every restaurant in the city and watch her taste every flavour. She wonders what noises she makes when she tastes something savoury, what face she pulls if something is a little sour, how she might run her tongue along her lip to catch sugar and the way her throat might constrict when something is a little too dry.
“Protein paste? What’s that like?”
“It’s somewhere between potstickers and kale on the deliciousness scale.”
“I think kale is great.”
Kara gasps, genuinely affronted. “And here I thought you couldn’t have a flaw.”
“If that’s the worst you think of me it’s far better than most and I’ll take it.”
“People think more of you than you know. You’re quite the talk of National City, Lena Luthor. The woman pushing for the technology that’ll change life as we know it for the better, the woman who wields her femininity like a weapon instead of burying it, the woman who took a company that her brother had almost run into the ground and made it a force to be reckoned with again. You’re pretty spectacular – even if you do think kale is great.”
Lena fiddles with her fingers. “How exactly did you hear these things?”
“Let’s just say my hearing extends a little further than most. I try not to use it but sometimes things slip in, certain phrases make me tune in without even realising.” Certain phrases? Certain things? Like Lena’s name? Oh god, like her name?!
“It must be hard. Have you always had these abilities?”
“No, I used to just be like anyone else back on Krypton. It’s something about the yellow sun that seems to supercharge my cells. It took some getting used to when I first got here but I don’t break things as often anymore, or accidentally set my heat vision off, or forget how to fly when I’m a thousand feet in the air and crash into someone’s barn.”
“I get the feeling I don’t even know the half of how powerful you really are.”
“Maybe I could show you one day?” Kara offers timidly.
“You wouldn’t mind?”
“You don’t make me feel like a lab rat when you look at me. I’d trust you.” She doesn’t look at Lena when she says it, just keeps eating, unaware of the proud grin on Lena’s face. Kara exhales and then turns to meet her gaze with a smile. “And, anyway, some of it is really cool. Save that pun for later, you’ll realise how good it was.” Lena laughs and smothers her smile with a second scone that she doesn’t really want, just to sit in the moment for a little bit longer.
They talk until Kara is called away but there’s a promise there now, and a knowledge that Kara is listening out for her, and a quickening of her heartbeat whenever she hears footsteps or laughter, like everything starts to remind Lena of her.
(Trust Lena to get stuck on the first beautiful thing she saw in a new place.
Trust her to be such so useless).
It perhaps wasn’t Lena’s best idea ever to play with volatile creations when she wasn’t her most alert. It perhaps wasn’t her greatest idea to do said playing in her office instead of the lab which she had literally designed to withstand what was bound to be a questionable explosion if the sudden clicking and threatening vibrations were anything to go by.
In the lab she might have messed with it in an attempt to fix it but Jess was sitting right outside her office, and it was Carl’s birthday in the office directly below her, and this was pretty much guaranteed to take out a chunk of the building if she didn’t manage to fix it in time.
It wasn’t even worth a quarter of the risk.
She pulls out her phone and clicks open the tab she hasn’t shut properly in weeks for a reason she won’t even bother to actually say out loud. She types in her urgent request with calm fingers developed from years of having to fix experiments under a time crunch. Then she just fiddles hopefully in the meantime, praying she can find some way to fix it and not lose all her hard work before the wind picks up and footsteps drop on the floor.
Kara beats her to the victory punch.
Lena rushes towards her with the device in her hands.
“You know you’ve set the delivery destination to the middle of the sea?”
Lena nods. “You’re invulnerable right?”
Lena shoves it into Kara’s hands. “Take this and fly it out of the city before it explodes please?” Kara’s eyes widen but she nods frantically and zooms off without question. Lena waits, watching from her balcony until she sees what looks like a firework explosion times a thousand and oddly… purple. She’d have to make note of that.
Kara lands back next to her with a few hairs loose from today’s fishtail braid, her cheeks a little flushed. Lena wipes some debris from her shoulder. “Sorry-“
“That was so exciting!” Kara says at the same time, shaking her head when Lena’s sentence attempt begins to register. “No, don’t apologise, that was cool and I’m glad you called for me. I don’t even want to think about what might have happened if you didn’t.”
“I like to think I could’ve solved it at the last moment but it didn’t seem worth the risk.”
“What was that anyway?”
“A new power source I’m working on but I was curious as to how it would react to foreign substances. As you can probably tell, it did not react well. I’ll make sure to do it in my lab next time.”
“You’re going to do it again?” Kara’s eyes are shining but her brows are pinched and it’s hard to read when she seems like she’s sitting on the fence between enamoured by Lena’s wild mind and totally afraid for her wellbeing because of it.
“After some other safety tests, absolutely.” Kara shakes her head with a resigned smile, looking a little like she’s mentally calculating how often she can fly by just in case of an explosion. All Lena can see is the darkening of soot or something on her face. “Are you okay, by the way?”
Lena steps closer to inspect. Lifts her hand like offering herself up to a stray cat. Kara nods when the movement registers and Lena lets her fingers land on skin, wipes away the smudge to ensure it’s definitely not bruises. She tilts Kara’s head left and right with gentle fingers, reaches down for her hands to turn them back and forth, finding no marks on her arms.
She’s virtually untouched. And here Lena was using her to deliver coffee across the ocean.
She really was a marvel.
Kara doesn’t speak until she’s patiently waited for Lena to catch her eye. “My sister did far worse when we were trying to figure out my powers. Let me tell you, staring down the barrel of a shoddily crafted potato gun instils far more fear than any explosive device.”
Lena laughs. “What were you like when you were little?”
Kara puts on a smile and opens her mouth before seemingly thinking better of it and adopting a sombre expression. She thinks for a second, looks out at the skyline off the balcony and then back at Lena. “Confused. I was trying to be normal in a place where I didn’t know what normal was. I was obsessed with science fiction novels and the human concept of aliens and spent a lot of time acing tests after pretending I didn’t understand things for months. A little dorky I guess.”
“I bet you were cute.” There was no way she wasn’t cute.
“Well I bet people were falling over themselves to get closer to you.” She had to have been charming too. There was no way she hadn’t been this charming the entire time. It had to be genetic.
“Not for the right reasons. I was a little dorky too,” Lena whispers.
“Maybe we would’ve been friends.”
“Oh I definitely would’ve embarrassed myself for the pretty blonde girl who liked science fiction novels for sure.” Lena won’t lie and say she doesn’t say it just to watch Kara blush, just to watch her duck her head in the hopes maybe her braid will fail her and her hair will cover her face.
“I have trouble believing you could embarrass yourself.”
“That’s because you’re too nice.”
“I like to think I’m the appropriate amount of nice and other people aren’t living up.”
“They certainly aren’t,” Lena says earnestly.
And then Kara’s buzzer bleeps like always and she hates it. “I have to go but I hope to see you soon, hopefully under less life threatening circumstances.”
“I’m sure I’ll be in urgent need of something soon enough.” Kara grins, bends her knees and shoots off. Lena gets caught up in the wind – she wonders when she stepped out of the eye of the hurricane and directly into the thick of the storm and how she’d barely even noticed.
Not to be dramatic or anything but Lena was dying. Like her body was going to revolt and she wasn’t going to get the crew votes to keep going and would be walking the plank in the middle of the stormy ocean level dying. Not that she was being dramatic. But if there were ever a time of the month for her to be dramatic, this was that time.
She’s curled up on the coach, bemoaning life and craving everything under the sun when she opens the app for the first time at home. It’s also the first time she’s not even looked at the confirmation receipt before lobbing her phone away and the first time she’s not even remotely considered what she looks like in case it’s Kara once again who appears on her balcony.
Except it’s not her balcony this time. The knock comes on her door not ten minutes later and it’s the first time she’s bothered properly moving in a while to go open it but she will admit it seems worth it when she finds Kara on the other side, even if Lena is suddenly aware she looks a mess.
Kara, on the other hand, looks otherworldly. She’s not in her usual uniform; instead her hair is flowing past her shoulders, like the first trickle of light through the window at the crack of dawn. She’s in grey joggers and a white tee and she’s so hot it’s melting what was left of Lena’s brain.
She smiles even softer than usual when she sees Lena, as she takes in the blanket around her shoulders and her own version of comfort clothes that lead to a bare face.
She lifts the bags up in greeting. “Here’s your order. I also brought you the softest blanket I’ve ever touched and this adorable fluffy frog hot water bottle because when you see things this cute you don’t just leave them sitting around on the shelf.”
The bags look heavy to the naked human eye, like she’s brought more than Lena asked for of everything but her arms don’t strain in the slightest. All Lena can think is that she would really like to know what it would be like to tuck herself fully into her arms.
She placates the need by timidly opening the door open a smidge more and hoping she’s not reading this whole thing wrong. “Do you have time to come in?”
“For you, I have all the time in the world.” Lena’s heart stutters like a broken clock, the hand constantly flicking back to the same number, unable to skip past. For you, for you, for you. Lena leads her to the couch and Kara giggles at the screen. “I never expected to find you watching Disney films.”
“I missed a lot of them when I was a kid so I’m playing catch up whilst I’m feeling sad for myself.”
“Do you have a favourite so far?”
“Atlantis I think.” A fact that maybe a lot to do with how attractive Kida was but fucking sue her.
“Have you seen the sequel?”
“There’s a sequel?!” Kara nods clearly stifling a laugh at Lena’s childish excitement. Lena doesn’t even care, she immediately puts it on.
It’s ten minutes later (ten minutes into Lena’s uncomfortable shuffling as she searches in vain for a position that felt as good as the one she left to open the door) when Kara finally stops pretending to not notice how restless she is and asks, “Would you like to lie down?”
“Oh no, I wouldn’t want to-“
“It’s no problem. I just want you to be comfortable and spooning always helps me when I get like this – it’s the best angle to rub your stomach too.” Spooning. Kara spooning her, and putting her hands on her body, and being adorable and soft, and also coincidentally pressing her abs against Lena’s back and using those insane muscles to tug her in and… Does it count as taking advantage if Kara thinks it’s a normal act and Lena’s just thinking about how hot she is?
She ponders that question too long until Kara nervously starts talking again. “You can say no, I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I’d like to blame it on being an alien but I mostly just forget not all my friends find comfort in touch as much as I do.”
“Friends?” Lena asks a little incredulously. She thought the term might sting a little. In reality it makes her feel like a sunflower that’s finally tilted just right towards the sun, growing up and up and up, limitless and strong. Her first real friend in the city and it was the nicest person she’d ever met.
Friends was better than customer or acquaintance.
Friends she could totally work with.
“Was that presumptuous?”
“No, not at all. Friends sounds nice. I don’t have too many of those around here.” Try zero. Kara smiles, a little sad but happy too. “The… cuddling sounds nice also. I might be a tad touch starved.” Why did she admit that? She didn’t need to admit that. She literally could have ended her sentence in a sensible place and moved on. But no. No she had to make this even weirder.
“I can fix that.” Kara motions for Lena to lie down as she lies pressed between Lena and the couch. She gently tucks her arm over Lena, waiting until Lena shuffles back in unspoken acceptance to let it rest properly on her stomach. Lena lets her own fingers dance along Kara’s in the same soothing rhythm she creates after a while of calming down her screaming mind.
They stay like that for the rest of the evening, no matter how much Lena fears they won’t when Kara jumps up to get her anything before she can do it herself. Eventually she falls asleep in her arms, watching some stupid film she can’t even remember the premise of.
She wakes up in her bed, securely tucked in but sadly alone. Kara’s warmth still lingers though, like she’d only dragged herself away moments before. The phantom touch is enough to send Lena back to sleep.
(It would have to be enough.
She’s in a rush. A real rush and, because fate seems to be enjoying handing her terrible hands as of late, that means she somehow manages to spill an entire glass of water on herself right before an important meeting, turning her once white shirt see-through.
Usually she would just wait for it to dry or maybe angle herself under the hand dryer in her personal bathroom but she needs it dry like five minutes ago and her usual spare shirt got ruined a few days ago when she was a little bit careless with a fountain pen after Kara flew by and waved at her and speaking of Kara…
Lena orders a new shirt in seconds and Kara’s on her balcony even quicker than that – all smiles and lovely muscles and just general delightfulness. “Hi, Lena. I ha-“ Then it’s quickly averted eyes and a bag blindly thrust towards her hands.
“Thank you, Kara.”
Kara seems to forget herself for a second. Turns around to look and say, “You’re welcome.” Her blush comes back thick and fast before she flicks her eyes up to the ceiling this time. “Did you get into a fight with a sink?” She jokes but her voice is a tad too high and she laughs at herself a little too much, even for Kara thinking she’s funny.
“It was actually a glass but you should see the other girl.” Lena unbuttons her shirt, tugs it off in the middle of the office without a thought. Kara spins like it was even too much in her periphery. This was going to be a good day. “You can look now Kara.”
Kara turns timidly, relaxes when she finds Lena highly amused but clothed. “You look nice. Not that you didn’t look nice before, not-not that I looked. I mean, I did, for like a second because I didn’t know you needed the shirt because your other shirt was showing everything underneath the shirt.” Lena smothers her smile as Kara exhales. “You look nice.”
“You too.” Fuck. She was wearing what she always wore. Fuck.
Kara’s smile trembles with laughter. “Thanks, Lena,” she says. Lena’s about to pray for the ground to swallow her whole when Jess knocks on the door and pokes her head through to tell Lena she needs to leave in five (all with a shit eating grin on her face).
“Looks like it’s you getting called away this time. Who knew a big shot CEO could be as busy and desired as an alien delivery person?” Kara jokes.
“Wonders never cease.” They linger for a second. Lena would really love to linger several more. She’s not even entirely sure she’s going to be able to get through this meeting, if she can even remember what it was she was supposed to be about.
“Okay I really should go now. Bye, Lena.”
(Kara lingers a moment as Lena walks through her office door.
Maybe fate was a little bit valid).
Lena needs to calm down.
It’s not like she’s in love with the woman. It was just a very intense crush that she felt in her bones could quite easily become something more. But it wasn’t the something more yet so she just needed to gather up some of her usual confidence when not faced with a pretty girl and ask her out.
And, yes, if she said no it would be mildly horrifying and kind of embarrassing and she could never have super speedy delivery again in her life but that would be okay. The postal service always had her back before that and they could have it again.
She just had to stop trying to think of some perfect way to do it and just do it. She made a man cry that morning, she’d closed an important deal she’d been working on for months, and she could ask someone out (even if it was the prettiest someone she’d ever seen who was literally, and metaphorically, out of this world).
She orders a flower.
She picks one that only grows in a particularly forgotten corner of the earth, one that makes her think of Kara. Rare. Forever leaning towards the light. The kind of pretty that makes you stop and stare, the kind of pretty that made people hike up a mountain in said forgotten corner just to say they’d had a chance to lay their eyes on it.
Kara shows up with a proud grin that stops Lena’s feet in their tracks. Her heart keeps pacing in their stead, peeking out from between her ribs every so often to see how things are going.
“For a second I thought I wasn’t going to be able to find this one – was gonna have to change the website to only a ninety-nine percent satisfaction rate.” She doesn’t seem to notice that Lena is staring blankly, nervously, as she reaches the flower towards her.
Lena doesn’t take it. She gently pushes Kara’s hand back towards her and hopes she understands what she’s trying to say because apparently she really is that useless, her confidence dispersing like dust ever so gently, so slowly falling in a ray of light.
Kara stares at it for a moment, forehead crinkled before she starts laughing. “Oh thank Rao, I’ve been thinking about you constantly.”
Lena’s returning laughter bursts like a dam in sheer relief. “You have?”
“Of course. I’ve been trying to flirt with you this entire time and I guess this means I’m not as terrible at it as my sister keeps telling me.” Kara’s grin turns mischievous. “Or maybe you just like terrible.”
“You probably could’ve said anything to me the first time we met and you’d have charmed me from the outfit alone. I didn’t stop thinking about it for hours after you left. To say I was restless would be the understatement of the year.” She’d spent hours giddily smiling into her pillow and staring at the bottle of mace on her nightstand like it was an engagement ring.
“After we spooned I tried to fly home and crashed straight through a billboard.”
“You told me I looked beautiful and I forgot how to breathe until I felt like I was going to pass out.”
“I have actual x-ray vision but seeing through your wet shirt made me go more insane than anything else I probably wasn’t supposed to see.”
Lena pauses. “You have x-ray vision?”
Kara laughs abruptly. “That’s not the point.”
“For the record, you were definitely supposed to see what was under my shirt. I easily could’ve found a different solution to that particular problem – I just wanted to see your face.” And maybe test a theory that if she were to ask Kara out, it wouldn’t go so horribly.
“Well that’s just rude but I will let you make it up to me by letting me take you out to dinner,” Kara says, stepping forward and letting her fingertips graze across the back of Lena’s hand.
Lena catches her hand fully. “I’m all about penance.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“I should go before I ruin this cool image I’ve just built up.” Kara squeezes her hand before letting go, her fingers reticent to stop touching Lena’s but eventually parting. She walks backwards towards the balcony, narrowly avoiding bumping into the glass on her way.
“Don’t damage any private property this time.” Kara blushes, rolling her eyes good-naturedly.
“I’ll save that for after I’ve kissed you tomorrow,” Kara promises and it’s Lena’s turn to blush.
It’s all she can think about for the rest of the day. And the next. It’s all she can think about until Kara puts her money where her mouth is. It’s all she can think about afterwards too as she stares up at the ceiling of her bedroom, heart still racing like some high school teen after their crush said yes to prom, mouth still tingling like after eating too much pineapple.
(A billboard near her house is being repaired the next morning.
Lena puts in an order for a kiss on the fastest delivery possible).