Lena doesn’t know what to make of Kara Danvers when she first meets her.
Or the second time really. The first time she really feels like she sees her at least.
The real first time they meet she writes her off as a pretty blonde with a charming smile and a kind heart that seems to be stuck playing side-kick to farm boy Kent for the day. The real first time they meet she thinks Kara is probably the kind of person people walk all over because they know she’ll let them and then welcome them back to do it again.
Kara makes her feel like an idiot on the day Lena thinks they really meet because yes, that first time was the first second she laid eyes on Kara, and yes, it’s when she learned her name but it’s not when she learns anything of value. Not when she sees the real her for the first time.
Lena doesn’t know what to make of Kara Danvers when she first meets her - that true meeting being the exact second Lena lets her arrogance get the better of her and offers Kara up a prototype that no one else has seen before (she might’ve been showing off a little. Kara doesn’t look impressed).
In fact, Kara seems rather disgusted by what Lena shows her, what Lena calls just business and truly means because there was no one more easy to scam than those who were afraid, because she really was only interested in the science - being the one to unlock the unlockable answers of the universe.
Like how to create a device that can detect whether or not someone is human.
Lena meets Kara Danvers when she offers up the alien detection device. She truly meets her when Kara looks her dead in the eye with a sure gaze, one that never falters even as the device glows a bold green.
“Do you feel better now? Feel safer knowing? Like your human right was fulfilled?” That’s Kara Danvers. The one with the fire behind her eyes that speaks to a thousand unspoken truths. The one who sounds both angry and defeated all at once, like she had been through this a thousand times, like she expected she would have to suffer it a thousand more. The one who challenges things that she doesn’t believe in instead of letting them slide.
Lena doesn’t know all of that yet though.
All she knows is green means alien and this girl is far more than a pretty blonde who’s too nice.
“You know, it’s not aliens like me that really struggle Miss Luthor, because that shocked on your face says I blend. The ones that find it hard are the ones already being abused on the streets because they can’t hide and fit in with your perfect human ideal. Maybe you should think about protecting them instead of putting more targets on windows for bigots to put bricks through. Just a thought.”
“You said you wanted to be different to your family, Miss Luthor. So be different.” She leaves without another word, leaves Lena with the constant mantra of what and how and who. What just happened and how did she have the guts and just who was Kara Danvers anyway?
In the aftermath of her exit, Lena does become abundantly aware of one thing however. That whoever Kara Danvers was, she was right.
Lena breaks the device instead of leaving it to gather dust - she doesn’t trust that someone else might not find it - and starts work on an image inducer instead. She couldn’t fix the bigotry overnight but she could definitely try and make people feel safe. She could definitely be different.
She could prove she was different. To herself and the one person she decided to care about the opinion of.
(And maybe she’d fill her entire office with flowers for somehow finding the light in their meeting and writing a piece that gave Lena a chance to be something new in this city.
And maybe just a little because she was still a pretty blonde).
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Kara Danvers is more than just an alien, that she also dons a red and blue suit and flies around the city saving lives. All it really takes is eyes steady enough to find a few commonalities – like the scar on her forehead, and the familiar bone structure and the haunting blue of her eyes that Lena is sure is a shade never before seen on earth.
It also doesn’t take a genius to recognise that Kara Danvers is the most reckless person Lena has ever met (and she’s counting herself and her behaviour towards the monthly assassin attempts in that).
She throws herself into danger at all times like she’s trying to prove something. Like maybe she thinks it’s all she’s good for, all she’s meant to do. Always a little like she’s trying to test just how invincible she is, if it really would be so hard to kill her.
Lena doesn’t want to find out. She didn’t move to National City just for the Super to disappear. She didn’t let her guard down to a friendship just for Kara to be so reckless as to blow out her powers in the middle of a fight and end up with broken ribs that she was frankly terrible at lying about because she didn’t understand the fragility of humans all too well.
Didn’t understand it to the point that every moment Lena knew Kara was living us one, was a moment she was freaking out. So she does what she does best - creates.
It doesn’t take her long to think of the idea - a yellow sun mist.
Mostly because she’d spent more than enough time listening to Lex rant about how Superman was solar-powered, how he had co-opted Earth’s resource for his own good. Lena had told him time and again that humans didn’t own the sun, that it powered an entire system, that a star couldn’t truly be owned in the first place even if you could put your name on one for twenty dollars.
Lex may have been a madman but at least he documented his thoughts well: ‘Supers powered by the sun but not so friendly with needles due to impenetrable skin and a tendency to be squeamish babies’.
It takes her a couple of days to create. A couple of days where she doesn’t sleep or eat or remember to reply to Kara’s messages but it feels worth it when she’s holding the vial in her hand. She dials Kara’s number before she can question herself, before she remembers that calling Kara means hearing her pout over the phone at being ignored.
“I need you to get me in touch with Supergirl.”
“Hello to you too, Lena,” Kara replies with a touch of sarcasm that Lena is oddly proud of, even if it makes her wince a bit.
“Sorry, hello Kara, sorry for disappearing on you. To answer your last message - no, I’m not dead, but I do need to get in contact with Supergirl please.”
“Why would you assume I know her? Not all aliens know each other, Lena,” Kara says affronted. A touch too affronted for someone who apologised to a door for walking into it. Just the right amount of affronted for someone who was trying to lie about their secret identity when it was already hanging on by a tether.
“You’ve written five pieces about her in the past few months with direct quotes, I imagined you had to have some way of contacting her for those. Maybe a huge torch that shines into the sky, or a code phrase that you shout, or just her phone number?” Or a singular brain.
“The torch thing is a little much.”
“Well Bruce Wayne always was a little too into theatrics.” A nice dose of childhood trauma and far too much money could do that to a person. At least he hadn’t gone down the Lex path.
“Bruce whaaaat? Batman isn’t Bruce Wayne, that would be, pffft-“
“Quit while you’re only slightly behind.” A childhood fear of bats, dead parents and a mysterious disappearance from the socialite circle before a miraculous return coinciding with the appearance of a masked figure was all a little too much of a coincidence. “I have something for her.”
Kara smartly doesn’t appear at Lena’s apartment five minutes after their conversation like she sort of hoped she might (like she may have rearranged her couch cushions to look more casual for). Instead Supergirl drops onto the balcony of L-Corp three days later with a power pose and a polite smile that Lena wants to tear at the seams until it resembles a true Kara Danvers grin.
“Good evening, Miss Luthor. Kara Danvers said you have something for me.”
“Straight to the point, okay.” Lena motions for Kara to follow her inside as she scans her print on the box beside her desk and pulls out the vials. They glow more in the moonlight, no longer overpowered by the real sun. A light twinkle in the yellow hue that Lena refuses to let her brain find a simile for because she knows exactly where it’ll end up.
“What are they?”
“I suppose it’s kind of like liquid yellow sun,” Lena explains, though it doesn’t stop Kara from staring between her and the vials in her hands with complete confusion. “I saw you during that fight the other day, the way you fell from the sky and walked away instead of zooming into the air. You played it off well but I think I can tell a solar-flare when I see one. These will fix that.”
Kara takes them gently, “Why did- How-?”
“I don’t want to be my family and I don’t want you to be plastered on the sidewalk by some rampaging monster. I like to think this works against both of those things.” Lena steps forward and takes one into her hand. “You just take one; press this little button on the side and inhale. Don’t worry if other people are around, it’s Kryptonian specific. No drugged-up humans to worry about.”
“This is... you’re amazing, you know that?”
“Oh,” Lena blushes. Hard. “Thank you. It wasn’t much; I mostly just co-opted Lex’s research into something less sinister.”
“Forever cleaning up his messes.” Kara says it with a touch of sadness. An apology wrapped into the subtext of her words that says Lena shouldn’t have to, that she shouldn’t feel obliged to either because none of it was her fault but Kara recognised her need to do it anyway. Respected it.
It makes her skin itch, the knowledge that Kara is so under it.
“Where am I supposed to put them?” Lena doesn’t hesitate to take the invitation to give the superhero a once over. Maybe she could fashion her a thigh holster for it – she'd be more than happy to diligently take the measurements for the sake of National City.
Or there was always - “I know you think Bruce is a little much but we could always make you your own utility belt. I’ve got a couple other ideas we could put—Supergirl?”
“We’ve never spoken about Bruce.” Shit.
Shit. Shit. Shit. “Or you could just put it in your boot or something; I can make the container strong enough to withstand being beaten around a bit.”
“Lena, we never spoke about Bruce.” Once more for those in the back – shit.
“Right, so, funny thing, I’m actually acutely aware of who you are. Outside of the suit. Although, I didn’t mean to say it like this, or at all actually.” Kara stares for a moment before a grin breaks out onto her face and okay, fine, Lena will admit that the twinkle of the liquid yellow sun is very much akin to the exact sparkle in Kara’s eyes when she smiles.
“I’m glad you figured it out.”
“I’m terrible at telling people. I always miss my chance and then miss some more until it starts feeling like a lie rather than a secret and I mess things up. But you know. So, if I mess anything up now it’ll just be regular, human stupidity. It’ll be normal.” She looks so elated at the prospect. The notion of having something human to hold onto. Lena would like to be something human.
“I’d prefer if neither of us messed anything up. You’re pretty much my only friend.”
“I don’t want to mess us up either,” Kara says with a lick too much sincerity, a drop too much earnestness and a second too long of a stare at Lena. It pins her to the spot, turns her lungs to stone with each new breath, strikes a match beneath her feet for no other reason than to make her burn.
Lena looks away.
“So, boot or belt?”
“Definitely boot. I don’t want to have to read six articles about how Supergirl stole Batman’s look. Heck, I don’t wanna be forced to write one.”
“Give me a day or so and I’ll have it ready.” Arguably it was already fine but Lena doesn’t think she’d be able to get back up if she got on her knees right now.
“Thanks, Lena. You’re a future life saver,” Kara says, pairing her words with soft touch to Lena’s forearm. “Your reward is a two-hundred-page NDA about my secret. Pretty cool stuff.”
“I look forward to reading every word carefully.”
“Maybe you are an evil menace.” Lena laughs at the disgust on Kara’s face until the superhero follows suit. She feels so light in that moment. A little like she’d accidentally popped the seal on the vial and absorbed direct sunlight.
Kara trusted her. Kara believed in her.
And Kara was going to be safe.
Kara was an idiot.
An idiot with one weakness that she never thought to protect. An idiot with one weakness that she kept flying headfirst into for other people instead of stopping for a single second to consider herself. An idiot who was lying in the DEO medical wing with green running through her veins and pulsing across her skin. An idiot who Lena had never been more worried about in her life.
“She’s going to be fine, Lena. I mean, I’ll kill her when she wakes up but she’ll wake up.” It’s the same mantra Alex has tried to instil in her since Lena burst through the doors of the DEO with Kara limp in her arms. The same one since Lena took guard at Kara’s bedside and refused to leave.
It’s laughable, that Lena once convinced herself she wouldn’t accept Kara Danvers’ friendship. Laughable that now she can’t imagine a life without her and it had barely been more than a couple of months. Laughable that Lena could even have the balls to call it friendship at all.
“What if she doesn’t?”
“Her vitals are fine. We were quick about it so it hadn’t gotten too far into her system. Soon it’ll be all gone.” We. Always this new we. Like her and Alex had a connection beyond a mutual bond. Maybe they did or maybe they didn’t need one. Maybe the knowledge that they both cared too much about the most reckless person on Earth (and beyond) was enough.
“You didn’t see it, Alex.” Lena watched it take over Kara’s entire body. A vaguely green blast out of nowhere and then barely contained screaming. Lena watched it scorch through her body, watched her writhe in pain on the floor, watched the tears slip from her eyes. She listened to Kara beg over and over again for it to stop.
Lena didn’t even know where it came from.
All she knew was that she needed to get Kara somewhere safe and quickly.
She didn’t know where the strength to lift her came from. She didn’t know why she felt a little like she had blood on her hands, like she could see it pooling in Kara’s chest when there wasn’t any evidence of her being harmed at all beyond her cries.
Lena felt her own tears fall when the sounds stopped. The silence was far worse. The silence was still haunting her.
“Believe me, I’ve seen it,” Alex says numbly.
Lena sighs, “Why is she so stupid?”
“She’s never been very good at putting herself first. When she was a kid, when her parents sent her here, she was told her entire purpose would be to care for Kal-El and then she landed here late and he’d already been cared for so she just seemed to direct it at everyone else. An entire planet on her shoulders that her parents never even let her decide if she wanted or not.”
“You think she would’ve rather stayed behind?” The thought makes Lena sick. It makes Alex look thoughtful.
“I think she’s happy here now but for the longest time I know she would’ve rather burned with Krypton.” Know. Lena can’t imagine sitting with that knowledge, still can’t place it in her head now. Maybe it’s just because she doesn’t want to, doesn’t want to imagine Kara in anymore pain.
Today was enough.
Today was too much.
Maybe Lena couldn’t protect Kara from her own mind but she’d be damned if she didn’t protect her from everything else on earth – from mistletoe to kryptonite.
“You’re right. I should go home for a bit. Eat something. Maybe sleep. Call me if anything changes?”
Alex nods, “I’ll add you to speed dial.”
It's not a complete lie if Lena does fall asleep on the ride from the DEO to her lab. But it’s also a complete lie in that it’s no more than thirty seconds before a sharp turn has her eyes slamming back open. Then again, sleeping wasn’t the best option when you’d just snagged a piece of kryptonite from the DEO to work on.
Lena barely blinks the entire time she’s gone. She works and works and works until her eyes are bloodshot and her fingers are numb to the numerous burns littering her epidermis. She works until when she does blink all she can see is formulas and equations and green, green, green.
And then finally the answer.
A nanobot kryptonite shield.
She’s back in the DEO with the kryptonite safely tucked back where she stole it from (flirted it from really) before the sensible part of her brain can tell her to slow down, before it can force her to eat a vegetable or partake in her far too expensive skincare routine.
“You look like shit,” Alex says without a modicum of tact the second she steps into the medical bay.
“You look like you just realised you’re a lesbian,” Lena retorts before she can stop herself. Alex scoffs a few times with a nervous laugh implanted between before she finds something else to focus on.
“What’s in your hand?”
“Nanobot kryptonite shield.”
Alex reaches for it with renewed interest, “It works?”
Lena lets her take it. She knows what comes next. The part she’s terrified of, the part where she has to trust that this will actually work, that she hasn’t just created something that will kill the person she cares most about before she gets to tell her that’s exactly what she is.
“All my tests did but I suppose we can’t know for sure until it’s on Kara. Theoretically, it’ll remove any kryptonite from her system and then set itself in place to protect her from any in the area.”
“Here we got then.” They don’t talk as Alex places it on her chest, as the green gently fades until there’s nothing left but Kara’s regular glow, as the odd staccato of her breathing evens out into the rhythm Lena had gotten quite used to falling asleep to on Kara’s worn-out couch.
Alex huffs a relieved laugh, a little awed. “You’re a genius, Lena Luthor. But never tell anyone else about this. Not a single person.”
“Because taking away the Achilles Heel of an alien with the power of a god won’t seem so appealing to some of the powers that be. The ones who still think of this place as an agency for hunting aliens. The ones who still think of Kara as a necessary evil instead of a person.”
“Nice to meet a fellow cynic.”
“I’m just being realistic. I’ve seen them use her before. I won’t let it happen again.”
Lena nods sharply, “Then we agree.”
Alex hums, “Interesting.”
“Nothing,” she says quickly with apparent laughter in her tone. She’s smirking even as Lena glares, even when she apparently gives into it. “It’s just; I thought you were a walls up kind of girl, not the kind who fell in love with someone after a month.”
“I’m not in love with her.”
“And I didn’t just realise I’m a lesbian.”
“I’m really not. It’s more like… It’s more like I know that she’s important. I know she’s going to be the most important thing for a long time and I can’t imagine a future without her in it. It’s like we were destined to meet, destined to have our lives intertwine so inexplicably.” Like fate.
“I know we’re both a little emotionally stunted, Lena. But that sounds a lot like falling in love to me; maybe you should listen to it.” Alex presses a gentle kiss to Kara’s forehead then. Squeezes Lena’s shoulder as she passes her on the way out. “Watch over her, okay? I actually am going to try and get some sleep for a bit.”
Lena sits by Kara’s side until she opens her eyes a few hours later with a dazed grin and a stupid joke about making so many rash decisions she should be a dermatologist.
Kara Danvers was an idiot.
And what did that make Lena for being in love with her?
Lena starts making silly things just to see Kara smile and it’s actually kind of nice to flex her brain when she’s so often cooped up with the suits, nice to use her brain for something other than a life or death situation (and maybe what’s extra nice is the warm feeling in her chest when Kara laughs as Lena produces them because she never expected Lena to actually follow through with it).
She makes a TV remote with a retractable fork that honestly could’ve been made with some duct tape and bad intentions but instead looks incredibly sleek next to its years old Szechuan sauce-soaked siblings that sit beside it on the coffee table.
A shower loafer that works as a real microphone for Kara to use during her shower concerts. Lena would take the glares from Kara’s neighbour on the right in return for Kara’s glee any day (she was less fond of the man on the left who seemed to be in love with Kara after hearing her angelic voice through the thin walls).
Moon shoes that actually work like moon shoes. A candle that never runs out of wax. Microwavable popcorn bags that can be eaten once you’ve finished the popcorn.
A super-suit sleeping bag. That one was more to make Lena laugh than anything but Kara oddly loves it, takes to walking around her apartment in it whenever Lena’s around – and a little when she’s not to the point that Alex starts texting her pictures and telling her to stop making stupid things.
A super-suit sleeping bag that Lena sees flying across the screen in her office reading HAS SUPERGIRL GOT A NEW SUIT? UPGRADE OR NOPE-GRADE?
Lena laughs from the moment she sees it until the moment she finds it landing on her office balcony – slightly charred but still going strong (even if public opinion did seem to be generally against the look, beyond that fact that everyone agreed pants seemed far more practical).
“I didn’t have time to change,” Kara moans, dropping her body into Lena’s awaiting arms even as she swats at her for laughing at the situation.
“Don’t you have super speed?” Presumably Kara could change in an instant. She could be naked in the time it took Lena to blink. She could be naked...
“Well I didn’t really think about what I was doing, I just heard the shouting and explosions and ran. By the time I realised what I was wearing I already had a fistful of villain of the week.”
“Couldn’t you have just taken it off then? Surely whatever you have on underneath is less embarrassing.”
“Depends who you ask.”
“What could you possibly sleep in that is more embarrassing?”
“I don’t sleep in anything.”
“You-“ Lena coughs. Fuck. Kara was naked. The only thing between Lena and seeing Kara naked was a stupid Supergirl sleep suit? The only thing between Lena and holding Kara’s naked body was a hastily made joke?
Why did it feel so much closer than normal clothes when it was literally the same barrier, arguably more fabric than usual because at least in this Lena couldn’t see the outline of her abs? Why did Lena create these situations?
“I bet you sleep in diamond-incrusted silk pyjamas.”
“I’ve never been a fan of pyjamas actually.” Was this normal? No, it wasn’t. Lena knew that. She totally knew that. Just like she knew she shouldn’t be doing this but Kara started it so maybe she absolutely could. Maybe she could hold her slightly charred best friend in her office and talk about how they like to sleep naked.
“That’s good. You should always be comfortable.”
“I completely agree.”
Kara pulls gently out of the hug, “I was going to have Big Belly for lunch if you’re interested?”
“Great I’ll be back with the usual then. In usual clothes.”
“Great. Good. I’ll be here. In clothes also.” It should be awkward. Lunch after all that should definitely be a little awkward and yet somehow it isn’t at all. Kara makes a stupid joke the second she appears and just like that everything feels fine again, like Lena hadn’t been thinking less than thirty minutes ago about peeling that stupid suit off just to feel the unbridled heat of Kara’s skin.
It’s all jokes and smiles and it’s fine. It’s fine when Kara tells her about Alex and Maggie and smiles about how happy she is for them. It’s fine when Kara hugs her tightly before she leaves like she’s trying to figure out the perfect way to slot their bodies together, trying to memorise how they fit.
It’s especially fine when Lena tries to sleep that night and all she can think about as she feels the sheets against her bare skin is that Kara’s in her own bed doing the exact same. Not that she’ll think about that by the time the morning comes. She’ll think about anything else. She has to.
They almost lose Alex and Lena thinks Kara almost loses herself along the way too, unsure of her place in the world without the anchor that she’s had for so long. She crumbles, and crumbles, and crumbles and just about pulls herself back together to do something and Lena stands by her side unsure what to do because she can’t just snap her fingers and fix it.
Eventually they get her back. Lena watches Kara’s shoulders shake like there’s an earthquake shuddering through her entire body when she finally gets to hold her, hear the steady beat of her heart once more, the constant rhythm of her lungs if a little weaker than usual.
Lena leaves them be, slips away in the chaos and hides in her own apartment to deal with her own residual fear. She’s not sure when it was that she came to care so much for Alex Danvers beyond the knowledge that she was Kara’s sister.
She thinks it must have been between the time she sent Lena the link to a scientific journal she read just because she thought she might be interested in it too and the time she told James to stop being prejudicial about a past Lena couldn’t have dictated.
Maybe it was a series of events that proved Alex Danvers to be more than the hardass DEO agent she liked to pretend to be.
She’s halfway through a bottle of wine when there’s a knock on her door. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out it’s Kara on the other side but Lena’s still slightly shocked to see her when she opens it up. She hadn’t expected to find her anywhere other than Alex’s side right now.
“Alex is with Maggie and I didn’t want to intrude but I… I didn’t want to be alone.”
“You can always come here.” Here being Lena’s arms as she pulls Kara into a hug and closes the door softly behind her. “Come on. We can watch a film. I have some of those chips you like.”
“Real chips?” Kara asks.
Lena answers the real question in there, “No they’re not kale chips – don’t panic.”
“You’re amazing.” Lena would stock all the artery clogging chips in the world to hear that again. She’d stock them all twice for the way Kara tucks herself under her arm and falls asleep with an avalanche of crumbs on her chest. It shouldn’t be cute (it absolutely is).
Lena carefully extracts herself after Kara’s first snore to start drawing up anything and everything she can think of that could help Alex. A bulletproof suit. Better guns with more enhanced ammo. Shoes that absorb sound. An improved panic watch.
Kara finds her in the morning with her head on her desk surrounded by scribbled notes and almost finished and not quite realised schematics. Lena’s sure there’s a little bit of dribble on her mouth and definitely some pencil led smudged on her cheek but it doesn’t stop Kara from throwing herself into her arms before she’s even really awake yet.
“You don’t deserve any more pain.”
Kara laughs softly, “You can’t stop everything.”
Lena scoffs, “I can certainly try.”
“You’re a marvel, Lena Luthor and I’m gonna buy you so many kale chips to eat at my apartment, you’re going to hate them as much as I do.” Lena chuckles at her glee but the next time she’s at Kara’s apartment she finds an entire cupboard dedicated to healthy snacks that she knows Kara would never touch with a ten foot pole.
It’s such a small gesture.
A small gesture that makes her heart pull its own pin.
She starts bracing herself for the explosion.
Lena’s been working on it for months.
Reading Lex’s old journals, studying kryptonite, asking Kara a bunch of mundane questions that aren’t really mundane at all – all to find out about Krypton and its sun. All to create the perfect present for Kara’s Earth birthday. All to gift her a little bit of her home, a little normalcy.
She mentioned the day in passing at lunch with a question about Lena’s own birthday and the truth of how her and Alex had designated her a day after Kara confessed the calendars never lined up quite right. A celebration of the day Kara joined their family, a celebration of the day Kara was gifted a whole new life to lead on a whole new world. A celebration of Kara.
Lena finds she wants to celebrate that too.
It’s why she jumps at the chance to go round when Kara’s plan with Alex fall through, it’s why she tucks her gift into her bag and practically forces her driver to speed across town. It’s also why she maybe chickens out giving it to her for a little while, why she waits for Kara to be food drunk on a little too much Chinese food and far too amused by whatever ridiculous TV show she put on before she approaches the subject.
“I got you something.”
“You didn’t have to.”
“I wanted to. I made it actually,” Lena confesses, producing the box from the bag by her feet and handing it over to Kara’s patient hands. They’re less patient by the time she’s holding the box, popping it open the second they get the chance and revealing the bracelet within. A simple silver band with a red gem and a Kryptonian inscription on the inside – In Rao’s Light.
Kara gasps, “It’s beautiful.”
“I wanted it to be portable so you could use it whenever you want.”
“Use it?” Lena lifts it from the box and slips it onto Kara’s wrist.
“It’s attuned to your touch so no one can use it against you.”
“Is this why you let me add my thumbprint to your phone?” Kara asks like she’s finally figured out a riddle she’d been pondering over for a while.
“Mostly.” And a little because it felt like giving Kara a key to her apartment without all the boldness and romantic notions. Lena lifts Kara’s hand when she makes no move to do so, presses her thumb onto the pad to distract them both from the way Kara just seems to be staring. “How do you feel?”
Kara startles from her reverie, her eyes darting away from Lena and towards the silver adorning her wrist, “Normal. I feel… you synthesised a red sun and put it in a bracelet. You are, you’re so… and this is amazing. I feel so ordinary, so human.”
That’s when the crazy thing happens.
That’s when Kara kisses her.
A press of lips. Nothing more. Incredibly light at first, a feather touch and then harder. More and more pressure until the kiss reaches its peak and it’s still just normal. Normal pressure that is. Normal strength. Everything else is pretty much as abnormal as it’s ever been.
Abnormal in the way Lena’s heart hammers against her chest, begging for release, clambering to climb inside Kara’s chest and fuse to her own. Abnormal in the way she can’t breathe, in the way she’s forgotten the rhythm of in and out, like two steps was two too many to follow.
Abnormal in the way her stomach is like a whirlpool and her fingers feel tingly and her soul feels like it’s being sucked from her body towards a blinding white light with every new second Kara kisses her and doesn’t really kiss her.
And then it’s over just as quickly as it began.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. It’s just I’ve never been able to kiss anyone before without really thinking about it and you- “
Lena jumps in, “I was right here. I’m a scientist, I get it. You needed to test the device.”
“Lena- “ A knock cuts Kara off and Lena rushes to answer it before she can be told to ignore it, before Kara drops her glasses to scan and dismisses it as something unimportant. Lena’s both relieved and disappointed when she finds Alex on the other side of the door with a cupcake in hand and a smile on her face.
“That must be my cue. Enjoy your sister time,” Lena calls as she runs off. Not a literal run. But maybe also a little bit of a jog down the hallway because she’s not sure how long of a deterrent Alex’s arrival will be and she can’t deal with this right now.
Can't deal with the questions her mind raises. Can’t deal with the voice that says Kara didn’t come after her. Kara didn’t come after her so maybe the kiss meant nothing; maybe it really was just a test. How could she have possibly meant it anyway?
A Super and a Luthor would always be a pipe dream.
Lena welcomes disaster.
Not always. But now. She welcomes the disaster that put them in the middle of too much chaos to really talk about the thing they’re steadfastly not talking about. The stampeding disarray that makes the elephant in the room look like a needle in a haystack.
One moment Lena is minding her own business, wondering if Kara is wondering about the thing she can’t stop wondering about or if she’s even thought of it at all.
The next Kara’s right in front of her with a broken portal device and plea to fix it to help save the world.
The moment after that there’s explosions, and more explosions, and a grumpy man with arrows, and a dopey one that can run really fast and skin tight white suits that make her eyebrows raise.
And then there’s calm again. There are cheers and high-fives and a bunch of names that Lena is instinctively committing to memory as Kara rattles them off at her even if she’d prefer never to see half of them ever again just because Kara sounds so excited to share them in the first place.
“... and that’s everyone. Everyone, this is Lena Luthor. She just saved all of your lives so you’re welcome.” Finally, some recognition.
Skin tight white suit steps forward. Sara, she supposes. “So, you’re the famous Lena Luthor. I can see why Supes talks about you so much.”
The woman holding red suit boys hand tuts before Lena can say a word. Iris. Barry and Iris - both of whom have a little too knowing smiles on their faces as Iris speaks, “Leave Kara’s girlfriend alone. She’s probably overwhelmed enough by all of this as it is.”
Lena shrugs indifferently. “Actually, I discovered the multi-verse when I was six years old. My doll house broke and it seemed the easiest way to get a perfect replica without my parents finding out.” She blushes and adds, “and we’re not girlfriends.”
“Oh, so you’re single?” Sara asks with an alarmingly charming smirk painted onto her mouth until Kara steps forward slightly, edging just so in front of Lena, morphing Sara’s smirk into barely concealed laughter paired with hands raised in surrender. “Noted.” Noted? Noted?
Lena looks to Kara as she nods to herself, straightening out her suit and refusing to look Lena’s way during the whole thing. Noted.
“Which way to that machine that makes whatever food you want?” Kara asks.
“Straight behind you two doors on the left,” Sara responds without faltering like she’d been expecting Kara to ask eventually, like everyone did in the end.
“Come on, Lena. You won’t believe how cool it is, maybe you can work out how to make one.”
It doesn’t take super-hearing to hear the conversation that echoes at them down the hallway.
“Pay up, bitches. Supes is gay for her best friend.”
“You have an unfair advantage.”
“My gaydar is just natural selection finally doing me a solid.”
It doesn’t take super-vision to see how red Kara’s face goes as they both pretend they’re not quite listening or the way her hand still holds Lena’s own.
Just do it. Just knock and speak and don’t stop speaking until the truth is out there and don’t let her stop you from saying exactly what you need to say or let her smile confuse you. Just open your mouth and-
“Lena, hey, I didn’t realise you were coming around. I-”
“This is a truth talking serum – in so that it’s going to make me tell you the truth and also talk a whole lot so I apologise for the rambling that will probably follow this and also for the rambling happening right now, but I figured you deserved a little exposition before I just stick a needle in my neck and start talking crazy.”
Which is exactly what she then does or, at the very least, it’s what she attempts to do before Kara catches her hand and drags her inside the apartment. Never quite pulling the needle from Lena’s grip, but holding it steady enough that there’s no advancement towards her neck. Lena tries. Twice. The second mostly to enjoy the tensing of Kara’s bicep as she stops it.
“Lena what are you doing?”
“I’m trying to tell you the truth but I’ve never been good at feelings.”
Kara’s expression softens. “You can’t just drug yourself every time you want to have a conversation, Lena.” That wasn’t true. She totally could – she made a lot of this stuff and it took little to no time at all and she was just emotionally stunted enough to think that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
“I don’t know where to start otherwise.”
“How about what you want to tell the truth about?”
“Our kiss,” Lena states plainly. Kara’s fingers flex on her wrist before releasing it and plucking the vial from her fingers to place on her kitchen counter, just out of Lena’s immediate reach.
“So, you don’t have really specific amnesia about the time I kissed you on my birthday and you ran away from me?” It sounded worse like that. It sounded way worse like that. Except maybe that was also exactly how bad it was – she'll concede it wasn’t her finest moment.
“No, I- I remember it. I remember it too well. Actually, sometimes it feels like the memory is growing bigger and bigger in my head until the point where it’s threatening to be the only thing I remember at all.” It was just a peck – those are the words she’d kept repeating to herself. It was just a peck, barely even a kiss at all and it was still all she could think about.
She didn’t even think that hard when Veronica Sinclair grabbed her boob on the third-floor corridor in Junior year and she thinks that’s a big statement – to place a peck over the first time she got fondled between science classes.
“I can’t stop thinking about it either,” Kara whispers, brushing a phantom strand of hair behind Lena’s ear, following the line of her ear with gentle fingertips.
“That’s why I’m here. I convinced myself that when you kissed me it was just a test because I was too scared to admit that maybe you just wanted to kiss me the same way I just wanted to kiss you. But I always knew deep down that it wasn’t, just like I knew you didn’t tell me you sleep naked as some kind of thoughtless accident.”
Kara doesn’t blush like Lena thinks she might, instead she just shrugs her shoulders in confession, silently allowing Lena to continue, to stay on course.
“You wanting to kiss me scared me more than you wanting to test your bracelet. It still scares me because I think I’m a little in love with you and making things has always been easier than making things work...
“Does that even make sense?” It’s more of a desperate plea than a question. A plea that Kara understands what she’s saying, that she’ll fix the turmoil in her head. It’s a step in the right direction when she slips a hand to rest on Lena’s jaw, when her thumb begins to stroke a soothing rhythm across her cheek.
“We already work, Lena. We fit together seamlessly and my sister adores you and you’re so sweet without even trying. You- you make me so many incredible things just to show me that you listen and that you care and I love that that’s your love language.
“But I can’t speak that to save my life. I was always better at theoretical science than engineering, so I just… I kissed you. That was me trying to tell you that I’m falling in love with you too and this is me actually saying it.
“I love you, Le- “
It’s Lena that kisses Kara this time.
Lena that darts forward and presses their lips together. It’s also Lena that pulls back the second she dares to deepen it because her tongue hits something distinctly not Kara and distinctly disgusting.
“What on Earth is on you?” She hadn’t taken any notice of it on her mission to confess, which seems a little obtuse now considering Kara was drenched in whatever it was - this bright green substance.
“A distinctly not-of-earth substance. Some alien goo-ed me. Looks like ectoplasm though, huh? Which would be way more awesome but Alex keeps telling me ghosts aren’t real so.” She was such a dork. A completely cute, good covered dork that Lena very much wanted to kiss right now.
“Okay, well I may be in love with you but I don’t want to kiss this ‘alien goo’ off your mouth.”
“How about a front row seat to the best shower concert in town?” Kara wiggles her eyebrows suggestively and maybe Lena’s stupid inventions weren’t so stupid after all. “I think I know a few classics that will have you screaming along.”
Lena just about keeps her cool. “Is that so?”
Kara hums, pulls Lena back towards her, without a single thought to the cashmere sweater she was no doubt destroying right now with some unknown substance.
Lena gets her revenge served hot as she lets Kara drop closer and closer and closer, ducking out of her arms just as their lips almost touch, “Shower first, Goo Girl.”
“Okay, for you information, my real name is actually ‘the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls’,” Kara argues, though she does turn towards the bathroom.
“Funny, you don’t look like John Rzeznik.” Kara pauses. Lena bumps gently into her back (or not so gently considering Kara was essentially carved from marble).
“Oh my Rao, you know his name? Lena, are you secretly a fan?”
“Okay let’s just go fool around in the shower.”
Lena keeps walking.
“You are, aren’t you?”
Kara doesn’t move.
“I’m taking my clothes off.”
Lena pulls her top over her head. Kara’s still grinning like a cat that got the cream.
“I bet you have all of their albums hidden away in your apartment.” Lena unsnaps her bra. Drops it. Kara starts striding towards the shower again, overtaking Lena. “The shower. Yeah, okay, the shower is much more important. Is that a nipple piercing? Rao’s light in a hand basket it totally is.”
There’s not much talking after that. There is a little bit of Kara serenading her with ‘Iris’ in the shower that Lena will never admit fulfilled several fantasies at once. Ever. Not ever.
It was hot though.
“-anyway so I told him he could go shove his poorly written contract right up his-“ Lena drops the mug in her hand. It doesn’t impact with the floor. Instead it lands perfectly in Kara’s hand. The hand already closer to the floor than usual as Kara bends on one knee. The hand that wasn’t holding a velvet box.
“I made you this.” She pops it open. A delicate silver bracelet. “I used a mould from the fortress, one that replicates how they used to look back home.”
“Kara, what are you…”
“Technically you proposed to me the day you gave me this,” Kara lifts her wrist, the red sun band adorning it the way it had since the day Lena gave it to her. “It’s why I couldn’t help but kiss you because it made me think about what it would really be like to marry you, made me think about how much I wanted it, wanted you.
“And I still want you, Lena Luthor. I want you for the rest of my life so long as you want me too. So, will you do me the honour of making your proposal official, will you marry me?”
Lena drops to meet her on the ground. “Yes. Without a doubt, yes.”
Lena didn’t know what to make of Kara Danvers when she first met her.
She thinks the answer was to make her, her wife.