“Tell me again what this article’s about?”
She asks it innocently, as if she genuinely can’t remember. As if she hadn’t spent an extra 40 minutes this morning dripping in a towel in the middle of her walk-in closet, determined to select the perfect outfit for this very conversation.
The way Kara’s eyes are glued to the exposed lines of her clavicle as she sits down tells her the extra deliberation was entirely worth it.
“It’s just a puff piece,” Kara says offhandedly, taking a seat on the far side of Lena’s desk. Or at least, she tries to take a seat but misses the chair entirely, pitching forward and almost taking half the contents of Lena’s desk with her. It’s only her superspeed that saves Lena’s water jug from its collision course with the ground and Kara rights it with sweaty fingers that leave faint smudges on the glass, blushing.
“Are you alright, darling?” Lena asks gently, biting her lip to keep from smirking as Kara, redder than a fire hydrant, finally takes her seat.
“Fine,” the blonde manages, only a little strangled. “Sorry. Just— misjudged the, you know. Chair.”
“Distracted?” Lena asks coyly, voice dipping a smooth half-octave lower as she arches an eyebrow.
She watches in barely restrained delight as Kara’s throat works. “No,” the blonde manages after a moment. “Just— busy. Articles, deadlines. You know how it is.” She seems to have regained her footing now, smoothing her hands over her slacks before reaching into her purse for a pad and pen. “The article’s another clickbait piece, basically. Dress for success: the wardrobes of women in power. Andrea’s making me write it.”
Kara’s voice drips with so much disgust that Lena purses her lips in sympathy. “I’m sorry, Kara. If there’s anything I can do—”
“Don’t be silly,” Kara says instantly, face breaking into a shy smile. “It means I get to spend the afternoon with you. And your wardrobe has always been very—” she breaks off, hand gesturing in the air between them as though she might be able to pluck the right word out of the ether. “—impressive,” she finishes with a small swallow, eyes delicately averted from the expanse of creamy skin on display before her.
“You think so?”
“Of course,” Kara says quickly. Her still floundering hand drifts back and forth in the air as if to encompass Lena’s general existence. “I’d ask if you dressed up specially for this interview, but honestly you always look like that.”
“Like that?” Lena repeats, a teasing lilt to her tone. She leans back in her office chair, smoothing imaginary wrinkles from her dress. This piece, a deep red off-the-shoulder dress with a V-shaped neckline plunging just enough to be borderline workplace inappropriate, had cost more than a small car and been custom-made and shipped to her from an upscale boutique in Paris. Looking now at Kara’s wide eyes and pink cheeks, every last cent of import tax feels absolutely worth it. “Like what, exactly?”
Kara’s jaw snaps shut with an audible click and she stares down at the pad in her hands with such intensity that Lena absently wonders if the offending paper is about to be laser-visioned.
“Shall we start with the questions, then?” Kara says quickly, clicking her ballpoint pen with enough force that it shatters the entire casing. She stares forlornly down at the plastic shards in her palm until Lena clears her throat, passing another pen to the blonde with a wordless smile.
Kara removes the lid from the offered pen with the delicacy and focus of someone disarming a bomb. “I hope you don’t find this insulting,” she says as she turns to a fresh page, finally meeting Lena’s eyes again. “I mean, you’re one of the greatest minds in the country and I’m here to ask you about your clothes.”
“Not at all. Wardrobe planning is an extremely involved affair,” Lena deadpans, tilting her head to one side and relishing the way Kara’s eyes skate the cut of her jaw. “Quantum mechanics is nothing compared to the challenge of pairing the right shirt with the right jacket.”
“Right,” Kara says absently, her gaze fixed on the regal column of Lena’s bare throat. She’d foregone a necklace this morning and pulled her still-curly hair up into a soft bun for this exact purpose; knowing that her natural waves were Kara’s favourite, but knowing too that a dress like this deserved to be unencumbered by loose hair or jewellery to really reach its full potential.
“So, um,” Kara starts before swallowing hard, reaching for the glass of water waiting for her on the desk and downing its contents in one swift gulp. “What’s your, um, selection process? How would you describe your wardrobe requirements?”
One corner of Lena’s mouth tugs upwards. “As a woman in a male-dominated world, I’ve learned to use my wardrobe as a tool. My clothing has to be professional without appearing intimidating, project confidence without audacity. Visual impressions precede all other business dealings; I can tailor my wardrobe to my audience the way I would tailor a speech or a press release. When done correctly, it helps me get what I want.”
Kara is staring at her in rapt attention, eyes flicking rhythmically between Lena’s eyes and mouth. She hasn’t written a single thing on the pad in her lap.
“And of course, I have to be careful in the lab,” Lena continues, leaning forward to fold her hands together on the desk in front of her and squeezing her arms ever so slightly against the sides of her chest. It’s always prudent to take advantage of one’s strengths, and the plunging neckline of this particular outfit leaves no doubt in Lena’s mind as to which of her assets she should be emphasising right now. “I can’t wear anything that could prove dangerous.”
“Do you do that often?” Kara asks a little dazedly, gaze now focused a solid foot below Lena’s face. “Wear things that are d-dangerous?”
Lena smirks. Kara’s eyes are locked on Lena’s chest, following its gentle rise and fall with a tangible hunger. It lights a fire in Lena. “You tell me.”
The office falls utterly silent, the air between them leaden with tension. Kara’s eyes linger at the juncture where pale skin gives way to deep red fabric for one more aching moment before beginning a torturously slow crawl up Lena’s chest and neck to meet her gaze once more.
The blue eyes that lock back onto hers are dark and greedy, pupils blown wide. The sight sets Lena’s heart thud-thudding in her chest and damn the superhearing that has surely picked up on it, damn the owner of said superhearing whose lips quirk up in a barely-there smirk.
“You know,” Kara starts, pausing as her tongue darts out to wet her lips. Lena can’t stop her own eyes from dropping heavy to take in the sight and the blonde’s smirk grows another degree. “I think if I’m going to do this piece justice, I really need to see the full picture.”
Lena can do little more than stare in silent confusion until Kara stands, dropping her pad carelessly onto the chair and rounding the desk to where Lena sits. “Stand up?” she asks in a low voice, holding out a hand. “That looks like a dress that deserves to be properly admired.”
Lena swallows hard against her suddenly dry throat, taking the proffered hand mutely and rising a little unsteadily to her feet. Kara steps closer until they’re toe to toe and Lena’s not even breathing as a tanned hand reaches up and gently releases her hair from its bun, letting dark curls fall freely across her bare shoulders.
But Kara’s hand doesn’t return to her side once it accomplishes its mission. It tugs through the curls now tickling Lena’s neck, the backs of her knuckles dragging lightly against Lena’s throat until she can’t restrain a shiver. It continues its wandering, sliding up the back of Lena’s neck to bury itself fully in her hair, thumb extended to rub at the hinge of Lena’s jaw.
“Is it?” Kara asks quietly, and Lena barely represses an honest-to-god whine at the sensation of the blonde’s breath hitting her lips.
“What?” she whispers, feeling Kara’s thumb shift against her skin.
“Is this outfit helping you get what you want?”
Lena swallows hard, the movement causing Kara’s thumb to slip down her neck until it trips to a stop directly over her thundering pulse. Lena takes a deep, decidedly un-calming breath, and tries with her last shred of rational thought to claw back the control of the situation she had at some point so thoroughly surrendered. “You tell m—”
She doesn’t even get the last word out before Kara’s lips are on hers, hot and insistent and perfect and fucking finally, and Lena just. Gives up. Gives up access to her mouth as soon as Kara’s tongue hits the seam of her lips, gives up trying to hold back her moans when Kara licks in warm and wet, starts sucking on her tongue.
Gives in to the desire, years in the making, to smooth her hands over Kara’s biceps, her broad muscular shoulders. Gives in to the urge to crush their bodies together, to finally feel the delicious press of the toned planes of Kara’s frame against every one of her own curves.
The hand not still buried in Lena’s hair begins charting an exploratory path up Lena’s side, across her ribs, and Lena is grateful for the sheerness of the skin-tight fabric that does nothing to dull the burning trail Kara’s palm is blazing against her skin.
Three things happen then in quick succession: Kara’s wandering fingers reach the underside of Lena’s breast and the sudden contact causes her other hand to tighten its grip in Lena’s hair, tugging sharply. Lena gasps, head falling backwards as a low groan rips from her throat at the slight sting. Kara’s mouth drops hot and wet to Lena’s neck, lips and teeth sucking and scraping over her rocketing pulse until Lena’s writhing against her.
“How long have you wanted this?” Kara pants, trailing kisses across Lena’s jaw and down the curve of her throat. “How long could I have been doing this?”
Lena’s eyelids flutter shut, fingers digging tight into firm shoulders as Kara sucks another mark into the skin above her collarbone. She lingers long enough that Lena knows it will bruise and in this dress, with this amount of skin on display and no way to cover it up, the thought sends a thrill through her that has her arching up into the heat of Kara’s mouth. “Oh, I don’t know,” she answers breathily, tugging Kara closer still. “How long have I been dressing like this?”
It’s Kara who moans then, reaching down to hook her hands under Lena’s thighs and lifting her onto the desk, pressing herself tight between Lena’s spread legs. In the back of her mind, Lena registers an inordinate rush of gratitude toward her past self for booking out three hours for this interview and issuing strict do not disturb instructions to her assistant.
“Gorgeous as this dress is, it’s kind of in the way,” Kara pants, one hand sliding under the hem of the offending material to skim up Lena’s bare thigh. “But it looks expensive, I don’t want to rip it—”
“Rip it,” Lena gasps immediately, tugging Kara’s mouth desperately back to her own. Preserving an item of clothing has never been further from her mind than in this exact moment. And as she’d said to Kara, her wardrobe had always functioned primarily as means to an end.
And what an end this was turning out to be.