Lunch is interrupted.
Because of course it is.
Because the world, and the universe, and all the gods in the pantheon of every mythology that exists in the vastness of the whole aforementioned universe, have decided to rain doom eternal and a life without love on Kara Zor-el Danvers.
She might be being a tad dramatic…
But she’s so upset that she was forced to cut her lunch short with Lena. It’s enough to make Kara stamp her foot in annoyance like a child whose favorite toy has been broken. She cringes when she sees the hairline cracks in the concrete below her feet, oops. Alex turns to look at her and Kara sees the scolding reproachful big sister look that makes her shoulders hunch and bare her clenched teeth like Kara’s still thirteen, newly arrived at the Danvers’ and accidentally broke something. Kara mutters a sorry and Alex just sighs.
“You’re the one that has to tell J’onn why his floor is cracked, not me,” Alex flicks a hand in the air as if it’s of no consequence to her but frowns a little and then asks, “What’s going with you?”
And Kara flounders a little. She hasn’t talked to Alex about what has been going on between her and Lena, so how can she explain that she’s mad her maybe kind of lunch date with Lena was interrupted? Like she’s really, really, disappointed. It’s not that she doesn’t want to talk to Alex about it but most of their conversations since she’s been back have revolved around Kara’s time in the Phantom Zone. Both Alex and Kelly having taken on the lion’s share of helping Kara talk through the whole ordeal and it’s because of them that Kara is even able to get any semblance of rest at night. So more often, than not, after a conversation about her trauma Kara is usually left exhausted and emotionally drained and she just wants to curl up under a blanket with Alex and eat her feelings or fall into bed and finally be able to sleep. There hasn’t been any time or energy on Kara’s part to talk to Alex about what’s been going on with her relationship with Lena, and if she’s being honest with herself there’s a small, small, part of her that still wants to keep whatever is happening between them, exactly that. Between them.
“Guys, focus, we have to find this guy,” Nia says, and it saves Kara from having to answer Alex and she mentally slaps herself to turn her focus to the task at hand. She tries not to dwell on how she had to leave Lena on that balcony alone when she flew away to help with the latest disaster.
And they were having such a good time too! Well, to be fair, there were some bumps along the way…though that was only to be expected considering, but overall, it went well…
Harold drops them off at the entrance and they were promptly seated on a secluded balcony, and Kara realizes that she doesn’t have to hide how much she can eat in front of Lena anymore, so she orders a mountain of appetizers and two entrées. Kara can see out of the corner of her eye while she orders that Lena tries valiantly not to laugh in the server’s face when he realizes that all that food is just for her.
“You know, I’m starting to think you were holding back a lot whenever we shared a meal. I already knew you had a large appetite, but it seems I am going to have to readjust my relative concept of ‘large’,” Lena says with a smile and teasing quirk of her eyebrow. Kara gives her a wide awkward grin and a sheepish shrug of her shoulders. Lena’s smile grows wider, tilting and shaking her head fondly at the alien bottomless pit.
“Yeaah. Actually, I was pretty bummed this morning because I was running a little late for work and I couldn’t stop by Noonan’s for second breakfast,” Kara tells her dejectedly.
“Why were you running late?” and then a thought comes to her, “Did you not sleep well last night?” she asks with quiet concern, because Kara had confided in Lena during some of their late night text message sessions of the last week, about some of her conversations with Alex and Kelly and why she hasn’t been sleeping well. She hasn’t told Lena everything only because Kara hadn’t wanted to relive some of those memories twice, but it’s enough information that Lena knows how it’s affecting her.
Kara’s voice sticks in her throat and doesn’t say anything, just looks off to the side, jaw clenched when she remembers a particularly bad dream the night before. She startles a little when she feels Lena’s cool fingers slip into hers on the tabletop, and the soft concerned look Lena gives her has tears prickling behind her eyes. But Lena’s gaze also sends a rush of warmth through her chest that sooths and comforts, and Kara squeezes the pale hand in hers gently, grateful for Lena’s presence and unspoken support.
Their food comes then, and the sad tension is lifted. Kara sighs happily as she takes her first bite.
“This is so good! I had some snacks at work earlier, which were great, but this is way better,” Kara gushes, and adds, scoffing, “I probably would have enjoyed those chips better if William hadn’t startled me and almost caused my death via potato chip,” she says disgruntled and grumbly.
Amused, Lena quips “The Girl of Steel taken out by a snack. Lex would be so mad if he knew that’s all it took.”
Kara lets out a loud surprised laugh, “It’s true, kryptonite is nothing…nacho cheese potato chips on the other hand are deadly,” she says, chuckling, and Kara lets out a content little sigh as she and Lena lock eyes in shared amusement, matching grins on their faces.
“Just let me know, I’ll pull some strings and William can share a cell next to Lex for his chip related crimes if he comes at you again,” Lena says with mock seriousness.
“Oh, believe me he better not,” Kara says, distracted by how beautiful and carefree Lena looks in this moment, and adds unthinkingly, more serious, “not after our conversation this morning.”
Lena sobers a little from her amusement, brow scrunching, curious, “What happened this morning?”
Kara jerks back a little, pulled from her amorous thoughts, “Oh, umm, I…” she stutters. How does she explain what happened with William? Oh, sweet Rao, she forgot that Lena wasn’t around then…
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, Kara,” Lena says seriously and a little concerned into the silence that followed.
“No, I do!” Kara says emphatically, though Lena’s expression is skeptical, “I do want to tell you. If anything, you, out of everyone, deserves an explanation. I don’t want keep anything from you ever again,” she says the last quietly, knowing that Lena will understand she’s referring to their fall out. Her face softens in understanding and Kara continues, “Umm, I guess I need to give you some backstory…”
So, Kara tells Lena all of it, and anxiously watches as her face becomes slowly and carefully more neutral when she mentions how persistent William was in his pursuit to date Kara, her initial rejection, and then subsequent change of heart after some pestering from her sister, and she grows increasingly nervous when she finally recounts their date. Lena hasn’t said a word or moved at all during Kara’s rambling and she’s worried she’s completely ruined everything, but she barrels on because Lena deserves the whole truth and tells her about this morning. Kara sees Lena’s jaw clench when she mentions William’s possessive comments that grated on her nerves and recalls her words to him verbatim after Lena went to go see Andrea.
The silence feels oppressive, and she squirms under Lena’s placid scrutiny, forcing herself to keep her mouth shut lest she start rambling in earnest. Green eyes are trained on Kara and she watches Lena take a shallow breath and look away. That is what ultimately makes Kara break.
“I completely forgot about him the whole time we were trying to stop Lex and Leviathan,” she all but yells, her heart racing in nervousness, “That more than anything made me realize that I didn’t really care very much for him, I was going to sacrifice my life and I couldn’t spare him a single thought,” Kara says breathlessly, recalling the moment her vision had slowly gone dark while she was hunched against a wall, Lex pouring beam after beam of Kryptonite into her chest, shards of ice and fire coursing through her veins.
Lena’s eyes snap back to Kara’s and her lips press into a pained line across her face, and opens her mouth to speak but Kara presses on, “Not even when I was in the Phantom Zone and I was missing home, my family, and friends, he never once crossed my mind.”
Kara reaches out to grasp Lena’s hand and stares directly into pained sympathetic eyes, “In those moments, the only person, the only thoughts I had were of you, Lena,” she whispers, and she hears Lena’s sharp intake of breath and her expression changes into one of muted surprised, brows scrunched up hopeful and full of wonder, her eyes watering, lip quivering ever so slightly. Kara can feel her own tears starting to burn behind her eyes. They stay like that, hands clasped, communicating without words and it fills her with a sense of peace, just sitting here with Lena. Watching her breathe in tandem.
Finally, Lena inhales and exhales slowly, and Kara watches as Lena’s mouth tics in a way she knows, from long years of experience, something light and teasing is about to come out of her mouth.
“Looking back on this morning, William’s face during our interaction makes much more sense than before,” her eyes alight with mischief, “If I had known, I would have tried to play up the flirting more to make him jealous.”
Kara is so surprised and relieved she barks out a laugh and covers her mouth with her free hand in astonishment, smiling wide and uninhibited, “That was you NOT playing up it?” she manages to choke out, incredulous. Rao, I think I might burst into flames if she turns it up anymore, picking up her glass of water feeling suddenly parched, and feels her cheeks turning red.
“Probably,” Lena says, and laughs loud and free, shoulders shaking, when Kara chokes on her water, because apparently, she said that out loud, and buries her head in the crook of her arm in mortifying embarrassment. “Come out, darling,” she tries to coax, squeezing Kara’s hand affectionately, amusement plain in her voice.
“Nope, I live here now,” comes Kara’s muffled reply, and feels Lena pull her hand from her grasp.
“Kara, please,” Lena pleads, softly, then cool fingers touch at her temple, and she huffs in resignation because she can’t ever say no to Lena, apparently, and peeks up with one eye. What she sees sets her heart racing again and her chest expanding in warm affection. Lena is pressed over the table like Kara, but unlike Kara the palm of her hand is resting flat on the table, her chin resting on top gazing softly at the Kryptonian, her other hand brushing Kara’s loose hairs back into place. Lena smiles oh so softly when Kara finally raises her head and her hand trails down from her temple to rest tenderly on her cheek...
The explosion is so loud and unexpected to Kara’s ears, that she stands abruptly, knocking her chair over. Lena stands too turning toward the sound frowning.
Kara tilts her glasses down and can see several blocks away that a fire has broken out in an apartment complex. She turns to Lena, eyes wide, “I-Lena, I’m sorry, I-…” stuttering regret in her every expression.
“It’s ok,” Lena breathes, brow furrowed, and grief stricken, “Go.”
Kara’s shoulders sag in relief that Lena isn’t angry and takes two hurried steps into Lena’s arms and presses a firm kiss to her cheek, then speeds away leaving a breathless Lena Luthor behind her.
It was an old cracked gas line that took out the bottom floors of the apartment complex. Kara had spent hours putting out fires, rescuing survivors, shoring up weak walls, then finally sifting through the rubble collecting bodies feeling her heart clench every time she found one. The sun had long set, and she was hovering scanning the rubble for anymore survivors or otherwise when she heard and saw one of the volunteers that had come to help, trying to flag her down. As she came closer, Kara noticed that this volunteer was wearing a safety jacket with the Luthor Corp logo, in fact most of the volunteers who were passing out food, water, and blankets were wearing them.
“Supergirl! I was given very specific instructions to give you this,” said the woman as Kara landed. She handed Kara a small black crate with the Luthor Corp logo on it.
Kara frowned. “Who told you to give this to me?”
“Ms. Luthor,” and then the woman was gone hurrying back to her duties.
Kara was taken aback, and then took a moment to really look at the human helpers. They were mostly Luthor Corp if their jackets were any indication and there were tents and tables and make shifts signs, saying things like food, water, and hotel accommodations. She stopped a passing volunteer and asked about how and why and where all these people came from with organized precision.
“It’s a part of the L-Corp Community Disaster Recovery Plan. Whenever people are displaced from their homes or require emergency provisions and services, we are dispatched to help local authorities,” he said, “Ms. Luthor implemented it a few months ago, I know she was working on the proposal for as long as a year though, we have a large dedicated management staff that handles the logistics and administrative work but the rest are just employee volunteers, and we recently started partnering with other National City businesses and hospitals for better response and resource distribution, as well as a bigger volunteer pool,” the man’s pride in his company is plainly heard through in his words. Kara thanks him quietly, “Thank you, Supergirl, you saved a lot of lives today,” and he scurries off.
Kara felt her chest well with emotion completely in awe of Lena as she looked around.
Lena had made this possible and it made Kara ashamed to know that there had been any point in time that she doubted Lena’s inherent goodness even for a moment. Lena had organized this months ago all while she and Kara were on the outs. Rao, she wanted to cry. She wanted to cry in happiness and pride that her Lena was so kind and generous because Kara would bet her very super powers that Lena probably founded this whole endeavor with her own personal money for it to be profitable so it would be approved by the board and Lex.
Kara sat down heavily on the roof of the apartment complex and opened the box Lena had sent for her. Inside was a note and some other items.
I know you well enough to know that you won’t be thinking of taking care of yourself while others are suffering. So, I’ve asked for this to be delivered to you, especially now that I realized how many calories you probably expend doing the things you do.
Enclosed you will find some prototype nutrient packets we are testing for the military. One packet contains as much as 5000 calories of essential vitamins and nutrients including electrolytes. It helps boost energy naturally and repair damaged muscle tissue (not that you need too much help with that particular problem). Just add 32 ounces of water and one packet of powder to the shaker bottle and shake until it has the consistency of a melting milkshake, maybe a little freeze breath if you want a cold beverage and enjoy.
Thank you for everything you do for this city and planet.
P.S. I’m sure my team would appreciate any feedback you might have on the product should you feel so inclined.
Kara smiled softly at the card and felt her heart warm. Lena had thought of her and wanted to help in her own small way. The note was a bit formal, but it was only to be expected since Lena couldn’t be sure no one in the chain of people it took to get to Kara wouldn’t read it.
She pulled her phone out and sent Lena a simple text.
Thank you. You’re the best.
Inside the box were assorted packets of various flavors, Kara chose chocolate and set to making her shake. After her first hesitant sip she practically chugged the rest of the bottle. It was delicious! Even if it did have a little bit of a chalky aftertaste.
The buzz of her phone alerted her to Lena’s reply.
It was just a winking kissy face emoji.
She was staring dreamily at her phone when the crackle of her comms came through.
“Kara, we need you at the Tower, asap.”
While Kara had been helping with the fire, the other Super Friends were working another case, and now they needed help with tracking down and diffusing bombs a xenophobic terrorist had placed around some alien neighborhoods. Kara asked if the apartment complex she had been helping with earlier was the first target, but Brainy had quickly ruled that out as the odds being less than five percent likely.
Kara spent the rest of her night flying around the city with Nia and Alex acting on intel from Brainy searching for the bombs.
They had finally found and dismantled all the bombs and were standing around in the Tower talking about how they could find the bombmaker himself. Kara checked the time on her phone and groaned to see that it was a little before midnight and, also saw a notification for a text from Lena from a few hours ago.
Goodnight, darling, excellent job today.
It’s when she sees that text that she starts pouting and subsequently stomps her foot and causes those hairline fractures in J’onn’s floor.
By the time she gets home after apprehending the bombmaker and turning him over to the NCPD, it’s after two in the morning and she flops into bed, completely exhausted. She sends Lena a text goodnight and promptly passes out phone still in hand.
It’s been a whole week. Seven FREAKING days! Since she last saw Lena. Sure, they have been texting, and there was a couple quick calls goodnight, but it’s not the same. And it’s no ones fault really; it’s just how circumstances have played out.
Now that Lex is behind bars, Luthor Corp transferred to Lena again, as it did in the last universe and just like last time Lena decides to rebrand the company to L-Corp and start the arduous process to once again root out Lex’s shady business practices and employees. That takes considerable time and effort and since Lena will be rolling out the brand change this next week; she’s hardly had any time to eat and sleep let alone see Kara.
Kara has also been ridiculously busy. A tsunami off the coast of Japan has devasted thousands of lives and she spends every free moment she absolutely doesn’t need to be at Cat Co. in Japan helping with rescue efforts. She’s praised for helping find hundreds of trapped people and clear roads for emergency vehicles and delivering much needed medicine and supplies. To say she’s exhausted is an understatement in the extreme.
Finally, at the end of the week she’s sent home with heartfelt thanks by the Japanese authorities and she floats into her apartment mid afternoon to take a long hot shower. She flops into her bed with a sigh and after a moment of deliberation she dials Lena.
It rings a few times then picks up and then, “Just a second, darling,” then to someone else, “Yes, make sure I get those reports before my three o’clock meeting and hold my calls for the next five minutes, thank you, Jess.” Lena takes a calming breath, “Sorry about that,” and Lena sounds as tired as Kara feels.
“Rough day?” Kara asks sympathetically.
Lena hums in agreement, “Rough week more like, the disaster in Japan had a ripple effect to several ongoing projects, business mergers, and investments. We’ve decided to delay the brand relaunch by a week so we can try and work around all these emergency meetings,” she sighs tiredly, “But that’s enough about work. How are you? Are you home?”
“Yeah, I’ve done all I can over there, I’m just lying in bed,” Kara replies.
“God, I don’t think I’ve seen my bed in three days,” Lena groans, “I’ve started having daydreams about my pillows whenever I see clouds in the sky.”
Kara laughs lightly but her mouth turns down in a frown when she asks, “Lena, tell me you haven’t been sleeping in your office.”
“Ok, I haven’t been sleeping in my office,” Lena says easily.
Kara sighs, only slightly amused at Lena’s antics, “Man, you are tired, your jokes are getting pedestrian,”
Lena scoffs indignantly, “Pedestrian! That’s rude, at least I don’t resort to puns, like someone, I know.”
“You are not going to draw me into this argument again, puns are funny Lena, end of story,” Kara says smiling light and easy.
“You would say that, words are literally your job,” she retorts.
“True, also don’t think I didn’t notice you changing the subject, Lena. Seriously. Promise me you’ll go sleep in your bed tonight not your office couch,” Kara pleads. She doesn’t respond right away, and Kara just listens to her breathing.
“Ok, I promise,” Lena says finally, so so softly. Kara sighs in relief.
“And food? Do I need barge into a meeting full Supergirl regalia and force you to sit down for a few minutes to eat? Cuz I will,” Kara threatens lightly.
Lena laughs, “No, Jess, organized the catering for the next meeting, I promise I’ll eat a whole sandwich before I leave that meeting.”
“Good, I’m glad,” and Kara just smiles to herself in victory.
“Thanks for looking out for me, Kara,” Lena says, and it’s breaks Kara’s heart because she knows Lena hasn’t had anyone looking out for her the whole time she and Lena were fighting.
“Always,” she promises to Lena, “Speaking of looking out, thanks again, those nutrient packets came in SO handy this week, I didn’t always have time eat as much as I needed and those things saved my life, and helped keep me going for longer than I would have otherwise,” she gushes, “I’m gonna need some more though I’m down to my last few, preferably chocolate and strawberry flavors, please, those were my fav.”
“I’m glad to hear it, I’ll have some delivered to your place,” and Kara thanks her as she hears the scratching of a pen.
“Lena…” Kara starts hesitantly and stops. Lena’s answering hum fills the short pause. “Do you have any have time tonight to maybe grab dinner? Or I could bring you something,” Kara asks shyly, “but if you don’t, I totally understand, it’s just…I miss you.”
She hears Lena take in a shaky breath, “Oh, Kara, darling, I miss you too,” and Kara hears a distant frustrated…growl? “Unfortunately, because most of my meetings are with the Japanese offices I have back to back meetings all afternoon and late into the evening to accommodate their business hours.” Lena adds a heartfelt, “I’m sorry,” that has Kara wishing she hadn’t asked in the first place.
“It’s ok, I thought I’d ask, you know, nothing ventured nothing gained and all that, right?” she says lightly, trying to keep the disappointment out of her voice. There’s a longing silence that lingers between them, and Lena clears her throat.
“Actually, Kara, I have a question, and please feel free to say no, I don’t want you to feel obligated or pressured, not to mention it might not be the most fun, especially with the kind of people who attend-”
“Lena!” Kara interrupts laughing, “You’re pulling a Kara, breathe, what’s your question?” she can feel the fond smile on her face pleased to know that she’s rubbing off on Lena.
“Would you like to accompany me to the L-Corp Rebranding Gala?”
If all the air in her lungs hadn’t just rushed out of her, Kara might have found the way Lena asks her so formally, adorable, but as it is she feels a flutter of nerves in her belly instead, “Like…as your…date?” she breathes out, and doesn’t take a breath in.
“Yes,” Lena says simply, and if Kara were human she would think that Lena is perfectly composed and in control but Kara is not human and she can hear her racing heart and knows she’s not the only one that’s nervous and, that, more than anything, helps her to breathe again.
A sort of giddiness starts to overtake Kara and she can feel the grin growing on her face and responds just as simply, “I’d love to.”