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the cosmos' backdoor

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She keeps thinking all tablets will project a hologram. Months back on Earth and she still thinks they'll simply pop up when she touches her screen- they don’t. Not anymore.

 

“It still happens to me too, you know,” Karb says. His big eyes, hidden behind his thick red eyebrows and big beard, tinkle with laughter. 

 

He had been found by Supergirl months ago when he was breaking everything in his wake thanks to his newfound incontrolable powers. He had escaped his home planet because of a rare allergy that made it impossible to come back to it- part of him still had the hope to return and Lena, after talking to him on the tower, recognizing his technological knowledge and recruiting him for L-corp, had vowed to help him. 

 

“I know, I see it,” Lena chuckles, then actually picks up her tablet and presses on the screen. They are nowhere near close to getting Karb back to his home planet but Lena is nowhere near giving up. What has started as Karb helping her with Earth-improving projects in exchange of Lena helping him find a cure, it has turned into Lena simply helping a friend that happened to work at L-corp, go back home. 

 

“You know,” he says. His tone is careful and slow and Lena half knows he’s about to mention Krypton. “Ever since I started dating Jonah and I’ve been telling him about my home, I’ve felt… lighter.”

 

“That’s nice,” Lena smiles at him, hoping that he’ll take the hint and that'll be the end of the conversation.

 

It isn’t.

 

“Do you have anyone to talk to about this… home you miss so much?” 

 

She sighs. The feeling of missing Kara coming back into her heart full force and the uncertainty of not knowing which one along with it. 

 

“Not really,” she puts down the tablet when tears start to blurry its content, just like every time she thinks too much about Kara. “The only person that knows about is- we’re not really talking.” 

 

“It does more good than you think to share the burden,” he says, slowly standing up when his watch signals his lunch break. He places a comforting hand on her shoulder, “It’d be good, for the both of you.”

 

Maybe it's because time has slowly whittered her pain. Maybe it’s because she already took off her bracelet and locked it in her safe. Maybe it’s because she misses the sound Kara’s laugh so so so much. Maybe it’s because, at night, the loneliness it’s starting to be all consuming. 

 

She takes out her phone. Shakily presses the K on her contact list. 

 

Kang, Fisher. Ace Chemical.

 

Kara <3

 

Kelly, Olsen.

 

Kieran, Iles. Queen Consolidated.

 

Kody, Andrews. Palmer Technologies.

 

Krista, Collins. Wayne Enterprises.

 

The names of people she had never called or haven’t talked to in years show up. Business contacts more than anything, she had never been the sociable one and that hasn't changed no matter how many traumatics events she goes through. 

 

Would she answer? Would she even want to hear what Lena has to say? Does she miss Lena as much as Lena misses her? Does Lena want to know the answer to that? 

 

She breathes out shakily and presses CALL

 

She thinks about hanging up as soon as she hears the ringing and yet, she’s not able to. She hears it ring and ring, her heart on her throat over such a simple thing, and then-

 

“Lena?”

 

“Kelly, hi,” she breathes out. “How- how are you?”

 

“I’m good. I’m good,” she repeats, uncomfortably, “You? Did you need something?”

 

No , she thinks. “I- I was wondering if that raincheck is still valid? My treat.”

 

She can almost see the smile on Kelly’s face when she sighs. “Of course. Noonas?”

 

“Sounds great,” she says, relief all over her voice.

 

The phone call isn’t even a minute long- it ends with Kelly explaining she’s at work and she should get back to it. And Lena ponders the question all night, alone and restless in her lonely king size bed at 3am, if Kelly ended the call so abruptly because she didn’t want to see Lena.

 

But, if Kelly is something, is a woman of her word- at least, Lena tells herself that. She repeats in her mind that Kelly wouldn’t be so cruel to purposely say yes only to stand her up. She’s not as vengeful. She’s not the Luthors. She’s not Lex. She’s not Lillian. 

 

And even if all of Lena’s thoughts on her are wrong and she is , then she’d at least show up to Noonas to tell her off. Lena thinks it’s better to have to be loudly called out in public than to have to sadly walk out the cafe alone and pay a check for one, when she told the waitress she was waiting for someone else to arrive. 

 

But Kelly walks in only two minutes late and, to Lena’s surprise, she smiles when she sees her. And to the delight of her touched deprived body cells, she tightly hugs her when Lena stands up to say hello- killing most of the tension and awkwardness in Lena in a few seconds in such a Kelly way, that Lena hates herself a little for not accepting the woman’s invitation earlier. 

 

They don’t talk about Kara. They don’t talk about Krypton. Kelly doesn’t ask. Lena doesn’t mention how thankful she is for it. 

 

They talk about their jobs- simple and easy. Even when none of their jobs are either simple or easy. They talk about the impact of Lena’s projects and all the good the new Guardian has brought. They talk about suit enhancements- four glasses of wine are enough for Lena to drag Kelly to her lab and actually start making them hours later.

 

They end up laughing, three brand new ideas and two more bottles of wine in, and sitting on the floor against the table with Kelly whispering to Lena how much she wants to adopt a little girl called Esme and Lena offering her help in any way she can. 

 

Kelly rests her head on Lena’s shoulder, drunk and sleepy yet not dishonest. “I’m happy you’re back, Lena. I missed you.”

 

“Missed you, too,” she says, quietly- very glad Kelly’s eyes are closed and they can’t see her wild tears fall. 

 

It turns out that, once you cry and confess how much you’ve missed having someone resembling of a friend, it is way too hard to convince Kelly she doesn’t want to hang out when the self doubt strikes and Lena wants to curl into a ball and never love anyone ever again- even when her heart loves the blonde she hasn’t seen in months with each beat. 

 

So, they agree to meet at least once a week- either for drinks or for coffee or for lunch. And when Lena doesn’t go, Kelly knocks on her office door until she answers and drags her there- the feeling is almost a deja vu, it always reminds her of Kara. And that heavy weight on her chest shows up again- that feeling she knows is longing, that she knows is her missing Kara. 

 

But they end up meeting more than once in a week. When Kelly needs a friend and she shows up in Lena's apartment- tears in her eyes and messy hair. 

 

Sometimes it’s because it’s been a bad day, because she couldn’t save a kid, she couldn’t save a mom. Sometimes it’s because she has a fight with Alex. Sometimes it’s both. 

 

“It’s easier to say this to you,” she confesses one night, tipsy on wine and warm under Lena’s ridiculous expensive blanket, “sometimes Alex can get… judgy about these things. She hates tactical mistakes and casualties. And I still make those mistakes because this is all new to me and she- she gives orders and tips on how to get better, and I appreciate that, but sometimes I want my patient and kind girlfriend. I want her to hug me and tell me I'll get better instead of her just... being Sentinel.”

 

Lena loves those moments. She doesn’t love to see her friend sad or in pain. But she loves the feeling of helping- the feeling that she’s actually being a friend in return and it’s not all about her and her issues and her Karas. 

 

Not long after Lena and Kelly establish their routine, Brainy starts to join them- invited by Lena after they spent the morning together working on one of their projects. After that, Nia joins in, bringing tight hugs and old stories she hasn’t yet heard for Lena.


Eventually, Lena stops feeling so alone on this earth again- except for the empty Kara shaped space in her heart.

 


 

Kara lands on her balcony one night. 

 

There’s no reason for it. There’s no threat to the city, no aliens in the sky, no asteroid falling to earth. Kara just… lands on her balcony. 

 

She’s quiet. Thoughtful. Lena looks at her from inside the apartment- looks at her strong jaw and the way it’s clenched in pain and sadness as she looks up to the sky. Lena looks at her wild hair, the one that keeps getting longer and longer each time Lena sees her- a simple proof she doesn’t see Kara enough for something like that to go unnoticed. 

 

Kara says nothing, even as she hears Lena open the door. Even as she watches Lena walk towards her. 

 

“Hi,” she whispers, a small smile on her face.

 

“Hi,” Lena repeats back.

 

Kara looks away again, sighing. Lena uses every strength in her body to not lean her shoulder against Kara’s.

 

“I don't think I ever apologized,” Kara says, finally, “for all I've put you through.”

Even if this had been her wish so many many moons ago, this is not what Lena wants, now. She would have loved to keep Kara hurt a few more months- hurting just as much as Lena was, back then. But, even the beginning of this, does nothing but sadden Lena more.

 

“You’ve apologized enough, Kara-”

 

“-no,” she says, moving her hand to place it atop Lena’s on the balcony rail, changing directions at the last second and resting it beside it. “Let me.”

 

Still, Kara’s eyes bore into hers, waiting for the okay, waiting for Lena to tell her to continue. She nods, giving her the go ahead. Kara sighs, relieved.

 

“You’re my best friend, even if you hate me. Even if you don’t consider me yours anymore,” she says, bravely keeping her tears at bay as she whispers weakly the last part. “But I’m sorry. I’m sorry I kept my identity from you. I’m sorry my sister doesn't trust you. I'm sorry I made you go into the darkest parts of yourself. I'm sorry I made you leave Krypton and Ka-”

 

Lena lets the tears fall freely as she listens to everything she would have loved to hear, so long ago. But she cannot hear the last part. She won’t.


“Stop,” she interrupts. “You didn't make me do anything,” she says, eyes strongly kept on Kara’s, trying to convince her with the truth behind them even when the words might not convince her. “Not about that last part, at least. It was my choice. I hated it but I stand by it. You can feel guilty about the rest, if you want, even if you shouldn’t, but not that.”

 

Kara still looks unsure, the crinkle surely on her face- Lena chuckles at the sight of it. Stupidly reaches and places her fingers on it, trying to relax Kara into making it dissapear. Instead, Kara tenses, looks at her surprised and confused. Lena instantly pulls away.

 

“Sorry,” she says, embarrassed, red tint on her cheek.

 

“That’s okay,” Kara says. Lena can hear the smile on her face, cheeky and so so so beautiful. 

 

Lena clears her throat, forcing herself to look at Kara again. “I- I wanted to apologize, too.”

 

“You already did, Lena-”

 

“-I know, but,” she sighs. “I don’t think we ever talked about it… after.”

 

Kara half laughs half sighs, resting her arms on the railing. “We’re not very good at talking or… finishing talks, are we?” 

 

“No.” Lena muses, then adds, hopefully, “But… maybe we can be, in the future?”

 

Kara’s face lights up- Lena had forgotten how much of a sun that smile can be. “Really? We can… can move on- move forward?” 

 

“Sure,” Lena sighs, smiling. “Honestly, I kinda just want to forget it all.”

 

But the words don’t make Kara smile more, instead they bring a frown to her face. “Does- does that include me?”

 

Does it? 

 

Kara had been the one to bring her the most pain, after all. Kara had brought unrequited love and sad nights and another betrayal. 

 

Kara had been the one that led her to the other one, the one on Krypton, the one she fell in love with, and the one she had had to walk away from. Which had brought even more sad nights. 

 

But it had also been Kara the one to bring more happiness to her life more than anyone had ever done. 

 

Kara had brought not-lonely lunches and dinners.

 

Kara had brought movie nights and stomachaches out of laughter. 

 

It had been Kara, after all, the first one to show her what true and honest love is like. 

 

“No,” she says, eventually. Only noticing she’s talking to an empty night- Kara having left at her lack of answer, taking the silence as one. 

 

Lena sighs, another unfinished conversation. 

 

She could have left it at that. 

 

She could have gone back inside and get into her bed. Forget about tonight and go back to seeing Kara every few months and spend a few awkward minutes with her before one of them has to leave.

 

But she doesn’t want that. She hates that. And Kara has gone after her, once before- when Lena rejected her over and over again. 

 

Shallowing the fear of rejection, she picks up her car keys and starts driving. An hour later, she knocks on Kara’s door, a bag full of ice cream in her hand, before she can change her mind. 

 

Kara opens the door in seconds, out of her suit now, with a surprised look on her face. Lena bites her lip at the redness on Kara’s eyes. 

 

“Look,” she starts, before she loses all courage, “we’ve always been a little of hard work, the two of us. I know it’s mostly my fault but- well, after the work is done there’s no one I have a better time with than with you. So-” she moves the bag, showing it to Kara, “ice cream?”

 

Kara smiles, forgets to even look at the bag before she’s taking Lena’s hand and pulling her into a hug- closing the door behind them.

 

Lena melts into it- it does feel like coming home.

 


 

Coming home, it turns out, is not so easy. 

 

They are doing better. They are trying to do better. 

 

Asking questions and listening to the answers instead of assuming the other’s feelings. 

 

And even though now they have a brand new thing in common- their love for Krypton, their nostalgia for it- it is not without conflict, too. Mostly just small disagreements, mostly born out of the differences between Kara’s Krypton and Lena’s. Most of them resolved fairly quickly. 

 

They are discussing Lena’s projects’ effect on the environment and how Supergirl could be involved. Lena is excited for it. Kara is excited for it. It’s going to be the first time working together- this time with no secrets, no anger. 

 

But Lena had to go and screw it up with her curiosity and inability of fully forgetting about the other version of the blonde. She asks Kara if she thinks she would have done something to help prevent the end of Krypton. 

 

Kara looks confused at the question, before she looks almost offended, “Of course I would have,” she scoffs. “I would have told everyone the truth." 

 

Kara sounds so sure of herself, so confident. They had talked about Alura’s lies in this universe and how that had shaped Kara into loving the integrity of her job as a reporter. But she doesn’t notice how it was finding out the truth about Alura’s lies that shaped her- had she not found out the lies, she would have believed her mother. Just like her other Kara did.

 

“No,” Lena whispers, surprising Kara, “you wouldn't have. Kara believed them." 

 

She doesn’t have to explain who they are. Or who she’s referring to when she says Kara- even though Kara is standing in front of her. They don’t talk much about her , mostly because Lena notices the way Kara tenses at the simplest of mentions- just like she did now.

 

“Oh, because you know me so well huh,” she snaps, standing up from her side of Lena’s couch. “Maybe you know her even better!” 

 

She shouldn’t be so surprised- she’s not - how their conversations can from zero to a hundred, from calmness to anger to sadness, all in seconds- all thanks to one wrong worded answer.

 

Kara’s voice sounds a little sad, a little broken, a little disappointed. Which is why Lena can’t bring herself to be mad at the woman snapping. Why all she wants to do is understand why Kara is so hurt. Why she broods and snaps and gets teary eyed every time Lena mentions her .

 

“What is this about?” she sighs, “Kara-”

 

“You- you were with another version of me,” Kara snaps, again, breathless, “Why?”

“So, that’s what it’s about,” she clenches her jaw. Of course Kara would be so against Lena falling in love with another version of her. She doesn’t want to know how much she’d hate to know she loves her, too. Regardless, it hurts. “I thought I was never coming back,” she says, bottom lip bobbling- all painful memories coming back to her, memories of the happiness she might not get again. “Do you understand that? I thought I was going to be there alone forever. Forgive me if me kissing another version of you disgusts you so much!”

 

Kara looks surprised, sad, annoyed, all at the same time at her outburst. She opens her mouth to say something, then closes it, then opens it again but no sound comes out of it. Lena thinks this might be it, this might be the breaking point, again- she didn’t mean to blow up, didn’t mean to say it, but it’s been in her mind since the moment she saw Kara’s face on Krypton at the sight of her bracelet. 

 

Kara doesn’t say anything. Lena thinks she’s about to leave when she starts walking- one more unfinished conversation on the list. But then. 

 

Kara doesn’t walk away from Lena. She walks towards her. Closer and closer until her chest is almost touching Lena’s and she can smell her perfume mixed with the remnants of the fire she put out yesterday that won’t leave for one or two more days. 

 

She’s about to ask what Kara is doing, why she is so close. But Kara places her hands on Lena’s cheeks, soft and strong and gentle, and she forgets how to speak at all. 

 

Kara leans in, closer and closer- slowly. Giving Lena enough time to figure out what she’s about to do, enough time to pull away. She doesn’t. And Kara kisses her. 

 

Kara isn’t as gentle as Lena had always imagined. She’s rushed. She’s desperate. She’s kissing Lena like she’s air she’ll only get to breathe in once. And Lena answers in kind, unsure why this is happening at all but going after Kara’s lips again and again when they move away to breathe. 

 

She lets her hands roam around Kara’s back- finding nothing but toned muscles and yet feeling like all Kara knows is how to be soft by the way her arms wrap around her waist, pulling her closer.

 

And if Lena thought kissing the other Kara was like fire moving through her veins, kissing this one- the one she has all the history with, all the yearning for, all the feelings for- is like it all adds fuel to the fire and there isn’t just fire in her veins, it’s like her entire blood had been changed for it. 

 

A fire that burns out as soon as Kara’s Supergirl Emergency ringtone fills the room. Kara looks at the phone, annoyed, a crinkle on her face. She doesn’t move away from Lena, her arms not as strongly wrapped around her as before but her hand still touching her waist. 

 

Lena’s heart beats uncontrollably, more so when she remembers Kara can hear it. She takes a step back, breathing in and out- Kara looks at her confused. 

 

“You-” her voice comes out breathless and broken. She clears her throat. “You should go. They need you.”

 

“I can stay,” Kara says, confident but giving away her nervousness and worry by biting her lips. 

 

Lena has no doubt that Kara would stay if she asked. But, she knows, this Kara doesn’t get to be as selfish, doesn’t get to have everything she wants- not even when it comes to time for herself. 

 

“It’s okay,” Lena whispers, looking away, “I’ll see you around.”

 

“You will?” Kara asks, stepping closer to Lena, the phone still loudly ringing on her hand. 

 

“Yeah,” she lies, “I’ll go to the tower later.”

 

Kara nods, still unsure, her eyes carefully watching Lena’s expression- watching Lena, who can barely look her in the eye. But she flies away when the ringtone starts up again for the third time in a row.

 

She throws herself back into the couch as soon as Kara leaves. Mind racing as much as her heart. Why did Kara kiss her? 

 

Was it to prove she wasn’t as disgusted by what she saw as Lena thinks? 

 

Was it because Kara is just too nice and if she knows someone has feelings for her, she tries to give them a chance? 

 

Was it just the best way Kara found to make Lena shut up?

 

She’s not sure she wants to know.

 

She definitely doesn’t want to know. 

 

But Kara seems eager to talk- to explain, and she doesn’t want to know the sad little reason why Kara doesn’t love her back, why kissing her was just to prove a point. 

 

So, when Arthur calls her the next morning, telling her they’re about to do the first trail of the “clean oceans” project, she packs a bag and uses the terrible phone service as the perfect excuse why she’s not talking to Kara.

 

A week later and more shared scotches with Arthur than she can count, she comes to the tower. Not by Kara’s call but by everyone else’s when the villain-of-the-week is too difficult to contain. 

 

Them asking for help is not surprising, she doesn’t really mind- not when she’s back to considering Brainy, Kelly and Nia actual friends. And when Kara is her… something, again. What is surprising is Alex stopping her as soon as she walks out of the tower’s elevator. 

 

“Cupcake?” she asks, holding a box pull of them, all of them with rainbow frosting on the top. 

 

Lena raises an eyebrow, “They’re not poisoned, are they?” 

 

“Just take one, will you?” she snaps, rolling her eyes, although not completely annoyed but somewhat amused by Lena’s tease. “I’m sorry,” she says, more seriously, when she grabs one.

 

“You don’t have to apologize, Alex. Not when we both know you don’t regret anything you said.”

 

Alex says nothing for a second, watches carefully as Lena takes a bite out of the cupcake. She sighs, “No, I don’t regret it,” she says, leaving the box on the closest table and crossing her arms. “But… I was an asshole. I shouldn’t have. You just- you look like you’re doing so fine on your own while Kara is a mess and I just… thought you deserved it.”

 

Lena chuckles, “You think I’ve been having an awesome time since I came back? Such a good time that I deserved to feel worse?” 

 

“No, no. I just see Kara in pain and I lash out in her stead. I’m sorry,” she explains and Lena cannot help but understand why she does- Kara is not one to fight for herself when she’s in pain. Fight for everyone else? She does that. Fight for Kara Danvers? She’s not so good at that. 

 

“I understand,” she shrugs her shoulders when Alex looks at her surprised. “You’re always Kara’s first line of defense but Alex… I’m not here to hurt her.”

 

“You did, once,” she says.

 

“I’m not now,” she promises, “never again.”

 

Alex nods and walks closer to Lena before extending her hand. “You don’t hurt her again and I won’t hate or distrust you again. Deal?”

 

“I guess I can’t ask for more,” she chuckles lightly before clasping their hands together. “Deal.”

 

She knows her and Alex will have more fights and make ups, more agreements and disagreements. And she knows they both know they’re only trying to somewhat be friends because of Kara and Kelly. But, maybe, somewhere along the way, they get to actually be friends because they want to and not just to ease the waters in the group. 

 

But Lena doesn’t even know if the state of her and Alex’s relationship even matters when hers with Kara’s is back to uneven waters.

 

She finds Kara leaning against the wall, arms crossed and a frown on her face. Her suit looks like it’s gonna rip open by the strength under her arms and Lena wonders, in the back of her head, if Kara had been working out more- and if that can get her to look even more buff than usual. 

 

Kara’s frown dissipates, if only slightly, at the sight of Lena. 

 

“I thought we said no more unfinished conversations,” she says in greeting, only turning slightly towards Lena.

 

“We did.” Lena bits her lip, looking away from Kara’s watchful gaze.

 

“Then why did you leave?” she asks and Lena hates how even her voice sounds, how… empty. “I kissed you and you left.”

 

“I was busy, Arthur called and-”

 

“-You couldn’t take five minutes before taking off?” 

 

She sighs, finally hearing the hurt on Kara’s voice. Looking back at the blonde and seeing how her brave and uncaring facade is starting to fail, with her almost shaky voice and the tears building up in her eyes. “Kara-”

 

“It hurts, you know? That you’re only ever here when it’s convenient.” 

 

She frowns. “What do you mean?” 

 

“It’s always Brainy’s helping me with the solar panels, Kelly’s telling me the possible mental health side effects,” She says, hands moving up in the air while doing the worst impression of Lena’s accent she’s ever heard- she would have laughed, had Kara’s words not been hurtful and yet, deep down she knows, very true.

 

“I’m sorry I’ve just been really busy and-”

 

“When has it even been the last time you even went to game night?” she interrupts, setting closer to Lena and Lena can’t stop thinking how the last time they were this close Kara had kissed her. “I keep texting you, I know you hang out with Kelly and Brainy and sometimes Nia. We’re- We’re doing better, aren’t we?” her words suddenly unsure and her voice small, “So why not come?”

 

“I- I don’t know.”

 

She doesn’t know how to explain the feelings always running through her chest. She doesn’t know how to describe the pain, the fear, the sadness- not even after so many therapy sessions. She doesn’t know how to tell Kara she’s scared to lose it all again, to be sucked by another black hole and have to start over. She doesn’t know how to tell Kara she can be close to everyone else because she knows she’d survive losing them but she can’t get close to Kara again because losing her again would break her. She doesn’t know how to tell her that without admitting she loves her.

 

Kara sighs, sadly, tiredly. “Honestly, Lena, if you were so happy back there, you should have stayed. Maybe that way you wouldn’t be trying to create your own science guild on Earth.”

 

She says the last part letting out a chuckle equally sad to her sigh. Kara avoids Lena’s eyes when she looks up.

 

“You think that’s what I'm doing?” she snaps, not really angry. She’s tired. So tired. “You think I'm trying to help the planet to find some impossible sort of utopia?”

 

“Then what are you doing all this for?”

 

How could Kara think she’s doing it for a memory? When she’s doing it for a future. When she’s doing it to be worth it, to be enough. She shouldn’t tell her. It would be too much- just like every other argument and conversation they have had since Lena came back. And yet-

 

“For you!” she says, louder than intended. “That’s why I’m doing this. I could see the fear in her eyes every time something happened. I know she was scared of losing her home just like you did.” She breathes in and out, talking about her, mentioning her, always leaves a sour taste in her mouth she knows it’s sadness. She finds Kara’s intrigued eyes, “And I can tell you’re terrified of it happening again every time you see natural disasters and new oiling machines.”

 

But the intrigue morphs into something akin to anger and Kara snaps, “So, you’re doing it for her? Another version of me? One who’s not even here?” she scoffs, crossing her arms and rolling her eyes, “I already felt like a second option when you almost chose to stay back there, but now? Did you ever love me for me?” she asks, taking one step closer to Lena, there’s anger and pain and sadness in her eyes, “or do you just love me now because you loved her?

 

“Kara-”

 

“I kissed you and you basically disappeared,” she lets out, all in one big breath. The question why clear behind her words.

“Kara-” she wavers, “I-”

 

“No.” she interrupts, shaking her head. And Lena is half thankful for it because she’s not sure what she was going to answer. “Nevermind. We don’t have to do this.”

 

Kara starts to walk away, moves past Lena as she can only watch. But she cannoy watch Kara walk away and do nothing like so many times before. She doesn’t know why but it feels defining to let her walk away now- as if this is her last chance to make things right. 

 

She grabs onto Kara’s elbow and she knows, she knows, Kara only stopped because she wants to. Lena is not strong enough to hold the kryptonian down and yet, Kara stops. Kara gives her her chance. 

 

“I loved you first,” she lets out. The only thing she can think to say. The only way Kara would understand- why it’s so hard, why it hurts so much, why she wants her so much. She doesn’t see Kara’s face when she says it but she notices the way her shoulders tense and instantly turns around- surprised all over her features.

 

“What?”

 

“Who do you think I was in love with first? You're not second best, you're the one," she tells her and if she’s going to confess, she might confess it all. She takes a step closer to Kara, the woman’s eyes shine with something that is not quite tears yet and Lena knows her eyes are the same.”It took me months to stop comparing her to you, I'm sorry it’s happening again. But it’s so different because that Kara…”

 

“That Kara what?” she asks when Lena trails off.

 

“That Kara loved me back. Like I loved her,” she whispers, “like I love you.”

 

“Oh. Lena…”

And there’s so many feelings, so many things behind such a simple oh- but Lena can’t take a rejection like that, not from Kara.

 

“I’m sorry,” she interrupts, looking down to her hands, her fingers paying against each other much more interesting than Kara’s face. “It’s part of why I've been so distant. You must’ve figured it out when you saw us kissing and I thought it made you uncomfortable.”

 

“It didn’t make me uncomfortable,” Kara rushes out and it’s not surprising, Kara has always been one to put someone else’s feelings above hers- it wouldn’t be surprising that she’d lie just to make Lena feel better. What is surprising, though, is the way she cups Lena’s face, urging her to look at her and, and with blue eyes filled with so many emotions it brought Lena to tears, she says, “it made me jealous.”

 

Lena’s heart jumps. “Jealous?”

 

“Because I've always wanted that,” Kara explains, quietly, “and I had gotten it but it was another version of me so it wasn’t me me and it was just… very confusing.” She chuckles and then turns a little more serious, her thumbs softly wiping away the tears from Lena’s cheeks. “But Lena… your feelings were never one-sided.”

 

“They weren’t?” she says, barely a whisper as Kara leaned in closer and closer to her.

 

“Nope.” Kara whispers back, their noses touching.

 

And with their lips just a couple of inches away, breathing the same air, Lena lets her eyes wander along Kara’s face, committing it to memory and letting her own heart warm itself at the amount of love on Kara’s eyes.

 

Lena closes the gap between their lips for a slow gentle kiss. She feels Kara’s hand slightly shake as she moves them from her cheek to her hair, she notices the way her own heart feels like it’s beating out of her chest- all the desperation and lust that had led their last kiss had turned into pure want and softness. As if they’re both trying to say stay, stay, stay with just one kiss.

 

It was perfect. It was just Kara and Lena, as if nothing else around them exists, just them enjoying being able to kiss each other.

 

Sighing heavily, Lena pulled away, softly leaving small kisses every few seconds, not quite ready for the kiss to be over. She moves from her lips to Kara’s cheek, Kara’s jaw, Kara’s pulsepoint.

 

In that moment, nothing mattered except the feeling of her lips on Kara's skin and Kara’s lips on her own.

 

“Lena,” she whispers, breathless, her hands moving from Lena’s hair to her waist, pulling her closer- as if she doesn’t want to let her go. But she could hear the urgency in Kara’s voice, begging her to listen, so she lets her head fall against her neck, nuzzling into it, feeling Kara’s rapid pulse against her- she wraps her arms more firmly against Kara.

 

She wants Kara. She wants Kara in every sense of the world. She wants to love her, be with her, argue with her, agree with her, she wants to be with her.

 

“What do you say we save this world,” she whispers in the crook of Kara’s neck, an olive branch, a promise, “together?”

 

She cannot see Kara but she can hear the smile on her face when she leaves a kiss on the top of Lena’s head.“I’d like that”

 


 

It takes them a while to say I love you to each other, even if they have said so in as many ways as they can. But maybe this one thing it’s a little too much, a little too soon- even though they’ve always done everything too fast. Maybe it’s their own way to slow things down and prove much it means to both of them.

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but Kara is back to bringing her lunch every day- sometimes closely followed by Kelly and Nia, sometimes even Alex.

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but Lena shows up at Catco every time Kara can’t go to L-corp, leaves the take-out bag on the woman’s desk and places a kiss on the head of a hyper-focused Kara.

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but when Lena goes to bed hours past midnight, Kara wakes up and murmurs, “You’re finally back, how was your day, zhao?”

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but Lena always helps Kara out of her super suit when she comes home, exhausted and half asleep.

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but Lena still loves the sight of Kara resting her head on her arm during game nights, even when she can’t feel her own fingers but still doesn’t have the heart to tell her to move.

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but they always cuddle in bed with Lena’s head resting on Kara’s shoulder, the blonde’s fingers running through Lena’s hair, both half asleep. 

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but they’re the best team they’ve ever been- with no secrets and no issues above them like a dark cloud. Kara finding an issue, shining a light on it, and Lena finding a way to make it better. 

 

“Do you think it'll work?” Lena asks, after cutting the ribbon, officially opening The Science Guild . “Do you think the world won't end so quickly?”

 

The foundation had been an idea she had quietly discussed with Kara one night- an idea that Kara had loved and had helped her create and organize. She had laughed at how one small comment in an argument had turned into the future's first line of defense. The Science Guild: an organization made to found and develop all viable projects that would reduce the damage to the planet and help restore it.

 

“I wouldn't be surprised,” Kara smiles down at her, pulling her closer, “after all, it is your plan.”

 

“Our plan,” she corrects.

 

Kara hums. “We could always ask Brainy,” she tries to assure her- the hand playing with Lena’s hair doing more to calm her down than her words. “See if anything changed in his memories.”

 

“I don't think I would like it if he says it didn't.”

 

“This was always meant to happen,” she says after a pause. “Like us.”

 

It takes them a while to say I love you and then. And then. In the late of the night, Kara wonders. 

 

“That thing you told her,” Kara whispers, almost as if interrupting the peace of the moment is sacrilege but not asking is sin, “about loving her in every version. Do you think that's true?”

 

“Yes,” she answers instantly, no doubt in her mind or heart. “I don’t think any version of Lena Luthor that meets Kara Zor-El, won’t fall in love with her.” Kara doesn’t say anything and yet, Lena can tell there’s still doubt in her mind, a question, the why . She moves around on their bed and faces Kara, she’s almost leaning all her weight on her, she knows Kara doesn’t mind. She places a gentle hand on her cheek, wipes away her crinkle with her thumb and a kiss. “You… make me a better person, any version of you,” she says. “So, every version of Lena Luthor won’t be truly herself without you. Any version of me would be lucky to love any version of you.”

 

Kara smiles that blinding smile of hers, “Ditto,” she answers, winning a chuckle out of Lena. 

 

And then Kara kisses her, softly, slowly- as if Lena is the most precious thing she’s ever had the pleasure of touching. Her hands are everywhere, her hair, her neck, her chest. She floats in the air until she’s hovering above Lena- blonde hair falling like a god-like waterfall and Lena has never believed in the divine so much. 

 

Kara smiles down at her, kisses her cheek, her jaw and then, in the crook of her neck, “I love you,” she says, “I’m gonna make you feel good, so good.” 

 

Lena breaths in at the words- she can barely feel the tears before Kara is kissing them away. She can barely say it back, too focused on the feeling of Kara’s hands removing her shirt, her pants. The feeling of Kara’s mouth leaving kisses along her skin, whispering I love you over and over like a little kid who’s found a brand new word they cannot stop mentioning- she tells Lena she loves her like she’s praying to Rao. 

 

She loves Lena like it’s faith. She loves Lena like it’s worship. She loves Lena like it’s a part of her.

 

“Is this okay?” Kara asks, when her journey left her in between Lena’s legs. 

 

“Please,” Lena says, breathless- begging .

 

She takes Lena’s underwear slowly, chuckling when she lets out a whine at it. She doesn’t have time to beg again before Kara’s mouth is on her- her whine coming out as a moan. Over and over again, the feeling of Kara’s mouth on her is as good as heaven itself. 

 

It doesn’t take long before she’s buckling her hips and asking for more, more, more - Kara happily delivering as a hand that can bend steel softly holds her down. A finger joins in, then a second- and Lena is coming not long after.

 

“I love you, too,” she says, breathless, once Kara is laying beside her, her clothes long forgotten on the floor, too. And Kara smiles. And everything is okay. 

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but once they do, they never stop.

 

But then, sometimes- less and less as the years pass and the fears are nothing but old scars- Kara would ask.

 

“You’ll stay?” 

 

“Always,” she’d answer, “as long as you want me.”

 

“Always.”

 

It takes them a while to say I love you but it never took them long to promise forever.

 


 

They all think she’s crazy when she tells them her idea.

 

They all tell her it’s a suicide mission. They all tell her it’s too expensive, too unclear, too unlikely. 

 

Her only supporters are Astra, Mayra and Jor-El.

 

It takes them months to convince the entire council, her mother being specially hard to.

 

But guilt, love and curiosity are enough fuel to start her journey to Earth.

 

Guilt, over the re-stabilized yet still weak core of her planet.

 

Love for Lena. 

 

Curiosity if the one she met was just the clue the universe gave them to know where to look for- who to look for, on Earth.

 

And desperation and a lack of better ideas ended up convincing the council anyway. 

 

Her pod lands in a wreck of fire in the backyard of a kind couple in a small town called Midvale. The Danvers’. Alex is quick to offer her help once her distrust dissipates and her wife, Kelly, is able to calm Kara down every time her new found powers go out of control.

 

Earth is a weird place. Too loud. Too smelly. Too empty in some places and too crowded in others. Too messy. Too complicated. Kara is both annoyed yet entrapped by it.

 

Humans are smart yet impractical. Humans are emotional yet ignorant of each other. Humans praise her knowledge yet distrust her, even as she is one with it. Humans willingly let her in their science conventions and conversations yet do not let her expose her own knowledge- knowledge that will help them , because they talk about credentials and experience and research papers and trails. All things that she has, just not on Earth.

 

But she doesn’t care. She doesn’t care because it’s in one of those conventions that she finds her. Lena.

 

Not her Lena. Not the one she already met. But it is her.

 

Same hair, same eyes, same voice. 

 

She walks to the stage with all the grace Lena always held herself with and begins her exposition. Her presentation is captivating. Her ideas are ground breaking. Her science is all wrong. 

 

She tells her just that, after waiting hours to talk to Lena. She looks offended, annoyed and bewildered that Kara would just outright tell her that. But her expression turns into curiosity and respect when she realizes Kara is right, after letting her explain why.

 

“And who are you exactly?” She asks, there’s no warmth in her voice but there is something . There’s interest . Kara hopes it’s enough to convince her to save an entire planet.

 

“I’m Kara Zor-El. I’m not with the DEO,” she says, pointing to the ID from Alex’s work that the woman had given her to get into the convention, “I’m not here for this type of science, either. I’m here for you.”

 

Lena raises an eyebrow and Kara cannot help but smile. “And what are you looking for, exactly?” 

 

Her smile relaxes the woman- her shoulder untense, her expression turns less guarded, she starts to look at Kara with a little more amusement. So, Kara takes one step closer- gives Lena her most charming smile.

 

“Tell me, Miss Luthor, do you know anything about quantum entanglement?”

 

As Lena smiles back, she vaguely notices that the enormous clock above them marks the hour.