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Losing Sleep

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Peaceful.

That’s the word Lena would use to describe her. Kara looks truly peaceful while she sleeps.

The crinkle between her eyebrows is gone, and her expression is light. Her lips curved up lightly into a grin, her hair a mess but somehow managing to perfectly frame her face.

Even in sleep, Kara Zor-el is truly breathtaking.

It may be 4 in the morning, and Lena might have a meeting in three hours, but she can’t bring herself to even attempt to fall asleep.

Her eyes trace every inch of the blonde’s face, cataloguing the exactly shade of pink on her lips. Memorizing every minute detail down to the small scar in between her eyebrows.

Lena isn’t stupid. Emotionally stunted, maybe, but she considers herself to be a particularly intelligent woman, if the college degrees and countless world-saving inventions are anything to go off of.

The point is, she’s smart enough and experienced enough to know that this whole thing is far too good to be true.

After everything with Lex and Leviathan, after the reconciliation that took five months before they decided they could date? She knew things were fragile between the two of them, no matter how often Kara attempted to reassure her that they could start fresh.

They’d been dating for five months now and though they hadn’t said “i love you,” it was supposed to be a given.

But all of this aside, Lena knows she shouldn’t get to comfortable. Based on personal experience, she knows nothing golden can last.

So she stays up all hours of the night. Mostly to memorize Kara’s face. The way her brows furrow when she shifts to move closer to Lena. How the mighty Supergirl is reduced to a koala in bed, wrapping herself around Lena’s torso, her head always facing up towards the CEO. The way Kara will often begin to float, sometimes taking Lena with her. The murmured nonsense that most likely have something to do with her dreams about potstickers and puppies.

She memorizes for the day when everything ends, when Kara realizes that Lena isn’t worth it, and never has been. When she realizes she deserves better than a Luthor. When she realizes she deserves better than Lena.

She memorizes, and loses sleep, and can’t even bring herself to be bothered over the not-so-new exhaustion she feels every day.

Not if she gets to look at Kara.

xxx

Kara prides herself on her ability to read people. As an alien, it was harder for her to adapt to reading human body language and understanding dumb things like idioms. Stupid idioms.

She especially prides herself on her ability to read Lena.

Kara knows that something has been a bit off for a while now, but every time she asks, Lena brushes it off, claiming she’s distracted and overworked because of a new project at L-Corp.

So now, sitting in her girlfriends bedroom at her apartment, dragging a barely conscious Lena into bed, she realizes she’s definitely been lied to.

“Come on baby, you need to get some sleep. You literally passed out because of exhaustion.”

Lena slumps against her, clearly done fighting psychically, but definitely not done verbally protesting.

“Mmm, no, I need to stay up, just need some coffee.”

Letting out a huff, Kara sets Lena upright on her bed, before rifling through her drawers. “No, honey, you need rest. I don’t understand, we’ve been sleeping in the same bed every night this week, how are you still exhausted? And don’t give me some crap about the new L-Corp project, we both know that isn’t what this is.”

Head lolling from side to side, Lena allows Kara to help her into pajamas. “Need to look at you. Before you go, gotta look at Kara.”

Slipping what she’s pretty sure is Sam’s NCU hoodie over Lena’s head, she chuckles, amused. “I’m not going anywhere baby, I’m gonna stay with you and you’re gonna catch up on sleep.”

“No, gotta— can’t sleep, gotta look before she goes. She’s gonna leave— I gotta see her—“

Kara feels her crinkle forming as she pulls Lena’s black slacks off. “Who’s gonna leave, Lena?”

“Kara, she— gotta look at her so I don’t forget her when she leaves, come on,”

Feeling her heart break, she picks Lena up and places her under the covers, sitting next to her.

“We’ll talk about this in the morning, baby, but I need you to get some rest, okay? I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m here.”

Lena frowns before shifting to a more comfortable position. Kara superspeeds to turn the lights off and get into some pajamas. She slides gently into bed, pulling Lena against her and leaving a soft kiss on her forehead.

What did that mean? ‘when kara leaves’ ? Does she actually think Kara is going to leave now? After everything? Or is it the sleep deprivation talking? No, Lena doesn’t say things she doesn’t mean, not even when she hasn’t slept in three days. Feeling Lena nuzzle into her neck, Kara lets out a soft sigh. There’s no use worrying about this until she can talk to Lena about it.

xxx

The next morning, Kara wakes up at ten to an empty apartment, a note on the pillow beside her, and breakfast on the kitchen counter.

The note reads :
“Good morning darling,
I woke up around 8 and needed to head into work to reassure my employees that I’m still in the land of the living. Thank you for taking care of me last night. There’s breakfast from Noonan’s in the kitchen, and I’ll be home by four at the latest.
Lena <3 xoxo “

Smiling softly, Kara places the note into her pocket and goes to eat the breakfast Lena left for her. Even as she smiles though, worry flows through her as she thinks of what Lena said in her exhausted stupor yesterday afternoon.

How can she reassure Lena that she isn’t going to leave her? How is she supposed to reassure what she thought was obvious?

She checks her phones and remembers agreeing to go over to Alex’s apartment at eleven to catch up and plan for the next game night on Friday. Maybe Alex will know what to do about this. Or maybe Kelly would be the better option. She tends to be the more sane of the two.

Changing and brushing her teeth, Kara flies out of Lena’s apartment, after sending her a text thanking her for breakfast and promising to see her tonight.

xxx

When she makes it to her sisters apartment, Kelly and Alex are making pancakes and listening to classical music. Lame. Can’t they put on some NSYNC? Backstreet Boys? As she lets herself in through the window, Debussy plays the starting notes to Clair De Lune, and Kara actually smiles. Before you say anything, Kara only knows this one because Lena plays it on her piano sometimes when she’s stressed and needs to think without being reminded of Lex.

“Morning, Kara. What’s that dopey smile for? I thought you hated classical music.” Alex greets her, moving around the kitchen island to give Kara a hug.

“I just like this one, Alex, I refuse to be converted to your gross fancy music.”

“Alex, Lena can play this one on the piano.” Kelly butts in

Kara pouts. She’s been caught. Alex just smirks and says “Gay.”

Kara sits down at the kitchen counter, watching as Alex and Kelly move around each other in prefect synchronicity. For a while, Kara had been worried Alex would never get over Maggie, but she’s really happy she and Kelly found one another. They really are perfect together, and Alex seems happier than ever with Kelly.

Placing the spatula on the counter, Alex looks up at Kara. “Okay, what’s the crinkle for? Do I need to fight someone?”

“No! There’s nothing wrong, Alex, I’m just thinking about something.”

Kelly turned to grab some plates from the cabinets before asking “Oh, hey, how is Lena feeling after yesterday? Did she get some rest?”

“Yeah, actually, she slept for like fifteen hours straight. I don’t know how she went so long without sleep with me not noticing. We sleep in the same bed like every night! And she was saying some really weird stuff— and I don’t think it was the sleep deprivation! Because she doesn’t ever really say things she doesn’t mean! And now I’m worried about her because what if she was serious and she really thinks I’m going to leave and I could never leave! I love her! Though I haven’t told her that yet— she hasn’t said it to me either, to be fair, but I don’t think right now would be the right time since I’m so worried about this right now and oh my god what if the problem is that I haven’t said it—“

“Okay, Kara, breathe. Take a second. You haven’t rambled like that since your first date with Lena when you didn’t know what to wear or where to take her. I could only decipher like twenty percent of that so if you don’t mind, I’m going to ask you to start from the beginning and tell me again. Slowly.”

Kara looks at Alex, taking a deep breath and nodding. “Yeah. Okay. I can do that.”

Kelly sets Kara’s plate of pancakes down in front of her, taking a seat right across from the two sisters. “So Lena was saying some weird things yesterday? Like what?” she asked, her tone gentle.

“She was— it was hard to understand, she was really tired. But I managed to get her to tell me she couldn’t sleep because she needed to look at someone before they left. I asked her who, and she said me. Kelly, she said she needed to look at me before I leave so she wouldn’t forget me.”

Alex’s brows furrow and Kelly just looks sad. Alex asks “What, like, when you leave to do Supergirl stuff? Or to go to work? Lena has a good memory, there’s no way she’d forget you that quick.”

Kelly places a hand over Alex’s, before correcting her. “I think she meant when Kara leaves her— for good.”

Kara splutters, nearly choking on a pancake. “But— but that’s ridiculous! I’d never leave her!”

“I know that, Kara. And she probably does too, deep down. But—“

Alex interrupts, “I mean, to be fair, Lena has a shitload of abandonment issues. Which I can’t even blame her for. Her family is garbage. So maybe she’s preparing herself to lose you because she thinks that way when she does it’ll hurt less. And I know, Kara, that she isn’t going to lose you, but I don’t think she realizes that. She’s used to being left behind— I mean, god, last year we all left her behind! So it’s understandable that she’s worried about losing you now. Even if Rao himself couldn’t separate the two of you.”

Kelly looks at Alex when she finishes, a proud grin on her face, and Kara just stares at her sister.

“One, you cursed, swear jar. Two, you really need to stop picking up on therapist stuff from Kelly. It’s making you reasonable and it throws me off.”

“One, I refuse to add to the swear jar after so selflessly helping with your girlfriend problems. Two, it’s a gift. Three, those are really the two things you picked out of that entire mini-speech I gave you?” Alex responds.

Choosing to ignore her, Kara turns to Kelly. “So she’s losing sleep because she’s— she’s trying to look at me so she won’t forget me when I inevitably leave her? That’s so stupid!”

“It’s a trauma response, Kara, and it’s valid. Just because we know you’re never going to get over Lena doesn’t mean she can see past her insecurities to realize it too. Go talk to her about it. She’ll probably open up to you about it. Lena may be a Luthor but she’s never been able to resist you.” Kelly takes Kara’s empty plate away and puts it in the sink before walking over to plant a kiss on Alex’s forehead. “I’ve got to head in to work now— I have a patient at two that I need to look over some notes for. Love you, Alex. Good luck Kara. Tell Lena I said hi.”

Kara watches as Alex’s eyes follow Kelly out of the apartment, gazing lovingly at her. “You two are so cute. I’m glad you found Kelly.”

Alex grins before shoving Kara lightly. “I’m glad you and Lena found each other. Now go on, go talk to your girl. I need to head into the DEO soon anyway. Love you, Kar, tell Lena to get some more sleep.

“Yeah, I will. Love you, Alex. Thank you for the help— even if it’s weird to see you like this,” she adds, playfully. “I better get to Catco before Andrea crucifies me. I’ll stop by the DEO around four to check in, and I’ll talk to Lena either at lunch or tonight at her apartment.”

“Sounds like a plan, kid. Good luck.”

“Thanks, Alex.”

xxx

“Danvers! Nice of you to finally show up to your job,” Andrea shouts, in place of a proper greeting.

“Sorry Miss Rojas, I was with Lena last night and so I was running a bit late.”

At the mention of the Luthor, the woman’s face softened.

“And how is she? I assume you managed to force at least a few hours of sleep into her?”

Kara smiled. It was cute that the two of them were such good friends. “Yeah, she slept for a while.”

“That’s good. Now that you’re finally here, I meant to ask about that article I assigned you a few days ago?”

Kara had totally forgotten about the article. Crap. Oh crap.

“Uhhh yeah! I had an interview scheduled with a source yesterday but I had to cancel to take care of Lena, so I’m trying to find another chance to get a few quotes.” There. That was convincing enough, right?

“Great. Get it to me as soon as possible.” Andrea turned on her heel and walked back to her office, leaving Kara to her thoughts. Great. Things just kept piling up!

xxx

“Kara, darling, I didn’t know you were coming for lunch,” Lena said, a question in her voice.

“Yeah, I figured you hadn’t eaten since this morning and I wanted to see how you were feeling after yesterday. I didn’t get a chance to talk to you this morning.”

Kara walked Lena over the the sofa and started taking food out of the bags.

“Well, I’m quite alright, darling, just needed a bit of rest last night. I’m feeling much better now, nothing to worry about.”

Kara paused, studying Lena as she fidgeted nervously with her napkin.

“I’m always gonna worry about you, baby, so get used to it. Maybe it’d be good if you left work a bit early today. We could have an early dinner and you can catch up on more rest? I miss cuddling with you.”

“Well, how could I ever resist Danvers cuddles?” Lena asks with a smirk.

xxx

Kara was flying home after leaving the DEO when her phone chimed in her suit pocket. Pausing to float, she pulled it out.

Alex :
[5:33 pm]
hey, i didn’t see you at the deo. did you get to talk to lena yet?

Sighing, she typed her response, floating upside down as she did so.

Kara :
[5:34 pm]
nope. she was being sweet and flirty and i got distracted. gonna talk to her tonight tho.

Alex :
[5:35 pm]
good luck with that. tell her to get some goddamn sleep. it’s not good for my blood pressure to have two dumb sisters that are incapable of taking care of themselves

Kara gasps indignantly, quickly and angrily typing a response.

Kara :
[5:35 pm]
the fact that u called her ur sister is cute and we’ll be revisiting that soon but it doesn’t take away from my annoyance. i CAN take care of myself thank you very much!!!

Alex :
[5:36 pm]
ok kar

Alex :
[5:36 pm]
hey kara why is your gps signature just sitting in the same place? are you float texting again?

Kara :
[5:37 pm]
... no

Alex :
[5:37 pm]
kara!!!

Kara :
[5:37 pm]
fine!!! i’m going home!!

xxx

When Lena gets home, Kara is out on Supergirl duties, so she decides to start on dinner. Nothing big, she just decided to cook a few steaks she got from the store two days ago.

She’s finished cooking, puts everything in the fridge to be heated up when Kara gets home and takes a shower in the meantime.

When she gets home, Kara is eating and watching some show about a gay blonde himbo and her cat girlfriend. Kara once said the cat reminded her of Lena. She wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or an insult, but thanked her anyways.

Checking her phone, her eyebrows furrow.

“Hey, Kara?”

Kara’s head snaps up and Lena sees her face light up. “Hi baby! What’s up?”

Walking over to the sofa to sit next to her girlfriend, she asks, “Why did Alex randomly text me that she loves me like a sister and that she’s always going to be here? Did she do something? Is she trying to kiss my ass?”

Kara smiles softly, and responds, wrapping an arm around Lena’s waist, pulling her in, “No, I think she just loves you.”

Lena laughs uncomfortably “Well she does know I have a girlfriend? And that I’ll tell her girlfriend if she tries shit?”

Kara laughs “Not like that, Lena, like a sister!”

Lena’s confusion doesn’t go away. If anything, it intensifies. “But... why is she just... telling me?”

“Because that’s what good big sisters do!”

Lena chuckles darkly.

“Yes, well, I suppose I haven’t much experience with good older siblings.”

Kara’s arm tightens around her, and she places a kiss on Lena’s forehead. “Well it’s good that you’ve got Alex now, then.“

“I suppose.”

xxx

That night, Kara falls asleep quickly, allowing Lena to shift in her arms to a position where she can study her face easier.

Today had been weird. Kara was more touchy than usual, and Alex had weirdly texted her out of nowhere expressing her familial love. It wasn’t how things normally went.

Usually, Kara was a normal amount of touchy, and Alex obviously pretended to like her to appease Kara. There was no other way.

Lena was so lost in thought she hadn’t noticed Kara shifting to face her head on. She didn’t realize Kara was awake until she was pulled into the reporter’s arms, and a voice interrupted her thoughts.

“You think too loud, baby.”

xxx

Kara noticed Lena tensing up before relaxing into her touch.

“Sorry, darling. It’s been a long day.”

Kara lets out a sigh, pressing a kiss to Lenas forehead before deciding it was time to have the conversation.

“I know you’ve been staying up every night, Lena.”

There was a pause before Lena responded.

“I’ve just been having trouble falling asleep is all.”

“That’s not what you told me yesterday.”

Lena turned her head, slightly.

“What does that mean?”

Kara lets out yet another sigh before shifting to sit up and look Lena in the eye.

“You were mumbling last night. About needing to look at someone before they go. I asked you who and you said me. You said you needed to look at me before I leave so you don’t forget me.”

Lena was completely silent, looking down at her hands in her lap. Kara understood that Lena wasn’t going to be saying anything.

“Why would you think I’d leave, baby? I’m not going anywhere. You’re stuck with me.”

Lena bites her lips before she talks, still not quite meeting Kara‘s eyes.

“Everyone leaves eventually. I figured it was only a matter of time before you did too. And I didn’t want to forget you when you finally did.”

Her heart breaking, Kara pulls Lena against her chest, cradling the smaller woman in her arms. She presses a soft kiss to her temple and presses her chin to the top of her girlfriends head before responding.

“I’m never leaving you, Lena. We’ve been through too much together for me to ever consider walking away from you.” She shifts, trying to get Lena to look at her. “Hey, Lena, look at me, please?” When Lena finally met her eyes, she continued. “I love you, okay? I love you so much. I always have. Nothing and no one will ever change that. I will always be here for you and I will always stay. I need you to understand that, alright?”

Overwhelmed, Lena broke eye contact and nodded, tears brimming. Kara strokes her cheek with her thumb, kissing Lena’s nose and pressing their foreheads together.

“I, um. I love you too, Kara. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be,” she responds, shaking her head. “I love you.”

“I love you.”

Kara captures Lena’s lips in a soft kiss, not lasting long.

“What do you say we get some sleep? And in the morning we can talk about getting you in with one of Kelly’s friends? It might be good for you to talk to someone that isn’t me.”

Cuddling back up to Kara, Lena nods her head.

“Sure, darling.”

She nuzzles into Kara’s neck, already dozing.

“Love you, Kar.”

“I love you too, Lena. Now sleep.”