The first half of their long distant romance goes by without a hitch. It's strange. Both had said their goodbyes and had entered this new chapter with strong determination that they would make it work.
But neither were prepared for how streamlined and simple it would be.
Kara would visit every weekend. Lena would call every night.
Kara would send text messages peppered throughout the day, including photos and videos of interesting things she'd come across throughout each day.
Lena—being far too busy and focused through most days—lives for the little pockets of sunshine Kara's text messages would bring.
And Kara, nursing the odd homesickness appreciates Lena's soothing voice as she recalls her day just before they go to sleep.
A few of their weekends together consisted of Kara teaching Lena how to drive stick – which she picked up in no time (unsurprising to Kara who enjoyed getting to put her feet up on the dashboard and memorizing the shape of Lena's jaw).
They would drive out of the city to explore small towns nearby. Kara is terrible at telling Lena when to take the next turn which would lead them into harmless squabbling.
Kara would never admit she sometimes does this on purpose because it means they get to spend more time together. (Lena would never admit she knows this because she enjoys pushing Kara's buttons in their childish fights).
Other weekends saw them never leaving Lena's private studio. Choosing each other's company over whatever else was happening outside that day.
Kara shares a room with a lovely girl who gets along with all her friends.
James was back in the country for a few weeks after doing a spot of solo travelling in South America when he decided to visit Kara in National City.
From the moment Kara had introduced the two, she claims that anyone within the vicinity could see the fireworks setting off between them.
"This is James," Kara says. "He's one of my best friends from back home."
James appears stunned for a brief moment before holding his hand out. "Hi."
"Heard so much about you," Kara's roommate smiles, a little uncharacteristically shy. "I'm Lucy."
Kara's eyes dart suspiciously between her best friend and her roommate. She opens her mouth to comment on what she observes to be an unnaturally long handshake but decides against it.
Maybe she wouldn't be the world's worst wingwoman after all.
Lena would never have guessed that she would be excited to come home to Midvale for Thanksgiving.
But here she is: smiling from ear to ear, a spring in every step as she makes her way to Kara's truck.
Kara's practically glowing, the same big smile on her face as she greets Lena with a soft kiss and helps her load her bags in the truck.
"I missed you," Kara tells Lena as they get ready to go.
"Good," Lena giggles as she leans in to pull Kara for another kiss.
Eliza hosts the biggest Thanksgiving dinner she ever has.
While the past Thanksgiving dinners saw her preparing for 3, she's suddenly faced with the challenge of feeding 10!
A challenge she happily takes on, of course.
Lena is visibly nervous when Kara announces that Alex and Maggie has arrived. It was one thing to meet Eliza who is every bit of the sunshine Kara is.
Meeting Alex as Kara's girlfriend...
Well, that is a different ordeal.
Lena lingers behind Kara as they greet Alex and Maggie, trying to see if she can read her first.
"Alex, you know Lena," Kara smiles.
"Sure," Alex nods.
"Hey," Lena offers a small wave. "It's good to see you."
"Is it?" Alex narrows her eyes.
Lena's face drops, caught completely off-guard by Alex's upfront coldness.
"Alex!" Maggie scolds. "Lena, I'm Maggie. Don't mind Alex, she's messing with you."
Lena looks over at Alex who thankfully drops the act and lunges to give Lena a hug.
"It was funnier in my head, sorry!" Alex pats her back. Her voice drops to a whisper. "But you see the gap between those 2 trophies on the shelf? That was your fault, Luthor."
"What?" Lena chokes.
Alex releases her from the embrace and smiles widely. "So great to see you!"
Lena smiles back, fear still making its way out of her system.
"Ignore her. She's still bitter you beat her at the Science Fair that one year," Kara rolls her eyes, placing a quick kiss on her cheek.
Nia, Winn, and James arrive shortly after Ben and Sam do.
The Danvers' household livens up by tenfold, a lot of it thanks to the volume of Nia, Winn, and Kara's excitable voices.
Sam and Ben make a beeline for Lena, Ben holding both palms up like he's a boxing trainer.
"Still quick on your feet, Rocky?"
(He does this every time he sees Lena.)
"It's good to see you too, Ben," Lena shakes her head as she swats his hands away and reaches up to hug him.
"I told him it stopped being funny like last month," Sam says.
"It's still funny, babe," Ben chuckles.
"I thought you weren't coming back until next week?" Lena asks.
As much as Kara and Lena stay in touch and visit each other, Sam and Lena do so more frequently.
With Sam attending Harvard Med School, they practically see each other everyday.
"I kinda missed this," Sam shrugs. "Also, Nia and Winn convinced me I had to be here for Eliza's party so..."
Lena smiles. Watching her best friend become friends with Kara's isn't getting old anytime soon.
And when she catches Kara's eye from across the room, she knows that the exact thought is crossing her mind as Ben, Winn, James chat animatedly within the little group they've formed.
"Dinner's ready, kids!" Eliza finally calls, as everyone makes their way to the table. "Heaven knows when this house became a youth centre."
When Kara drops Lena off home later that night, they're both surprised to see Lena's mom.
"Mom," Lena calls. "Kara was just walking me to the door."
"Good evening, Mrs Luthor," Kara smiles lightly.
"Hello," Lillian nods. "I had just collecting something I'd forgotten on the front porch. Have you both eaten?"
"Yes. Eliza made dinner," Lena says. "For Thanksgiving."
"Oh. Right. Of course," Lillian says. "Well... there's food in the kitchen. I thought you might be hungry after driving to Midvale..."
Kara notices the hint of nervousness in Lillian's manners. So different from the woman who had once yelled at her for refusing to leave their property when Lena had refused to see her.
And Kara thinks she understands.
She's missed Lena.
"I could eat dessert," Kara quips.
"You're still hungry?" Lena scoffs.
"Hey," Kara furrows her eyebrows.
"I... I baked a pie actually," Lillian adds, perking up a little. "Well, I didn't. Our chef did. But there's a pie. It's apple."
"Yum! I love apple pie!" Kara smiles.
"Let's head inside," Lillian smiles back. She ushers them through the front doors. "How is NCU, Kara?"
Kara ends up staying until very close to midnight. It's the first time she's ever had a normal conversation with Lena's mom.
And something tells her that this is the first time in quite a long time that Lena has too.
She sees it in the awkward pauses and glances. The slight tension in the air. Lillian so obviously trying to reach out and connect. Lena understandably apprehensive to accept.
"You really didn't have to stay," Lena tells Kara as she walks her to the front door. "I think she's on this new, apology train tour but she doesn't quite know how or where to start."
"She's trying," Kara notes. "That's a start, right?"
"I had a lovely time," Kara adds.
"So did I," Lena agrees, reaching to peck Kara's lips. "Let me know when you get home, okay?"
The day after Thanksgiving marked an important one. Lena had become well-acquainted with everyone in Kara's family — all except one.
"Hey, Dad," Kara says, laying down fresh flowers by her father's tombstone and picking up wilted ones.
Lena helps by lighting the two candles they brought with them.
"So I've brought someone really special with me today," Kara continues, smiling at Lena. "This is my girlfriend. Lena."
Lena smiles gently, taking Kara's hand in hers and giving it a light squeeze.
"I think you'd be happy to know that she's way out of my league," Kara chuckles. "You know I'm not usually the over-achiever."
Lena rolls her eyes, blushing.
"Mom and Alex love her, of course," she continues.
Kara pauses, taking a deep breath in and out before speaking again.
"But I really wish you could've met her," Kara sighs, her eyes now becoming glossy with tears. "I miss you, Dad."
Lena feels her heart crack as Kara quickly wipes the stray tears that roll down her face.
"You'd be proud of your daughters," Lena says, taking Kara by surprise a little.
"Specially this one," Lena gazes over at Kara with a smirk. "But I think I'm being biased."
"She can be stubborn and painfully oblivious," Lena lists, receiving a light elbow to the side from Kara.
"Hey," Kara frowns.
Lena only beams at her. "But she is also everything that is good in the world... packed into one person."
"I really wish we could've met," Lena says, unshed tears now in her eyes. "But I promise I'm gonna take good care of your daughter."
"Lena..." Kara whispers softly.
She smiles as she lifts up Kara's hand to place a soft kiss on her knuckles.
"I really love you," Kara says sweetly.
And it's still music to Lena's ears. Just like every time.
"I really love you too," Lena smiles.
Kara intertwines her fingers with Lena's because it's the most natural thing in the world now.
They walk back to where Kara had parked. Hand in hand. Swinging slightly. Both thankful that things are so much easier now.
Things are much easier in love.