#i mean. surely after the second or third attempt on her life lena luthor would have started taking some martial art classes right
Gotta get a little creative when walking in on a Situation™ while wearing your civvies.
— based on a conversation with @searidings: what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear supercorp call out ‘that’s my wife!’?
kara walking in to lena's office with her arms full of food for lunch, seeing two men attempting to kidnap lena and yelling 'that's my WIFE' as she throws lena's kale smoothie at their heads
“It’s strawberry, Lena. You can’t go to battle with strawberry. Unlike kale, it has no interest in violence.”
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Lena placing a pair of glasses on a pillow and making out with it pretending it’s Kara
Lena’s not always this drunk. Well. Lena hasn’t historically imbibed this much after the age of 26, but her mother’s been arrested and her best friend is a liar, so what else is there to do other than look for an answer at the bottom of a very large bottle of scotch.
She’s been to three upscale bars and restaurants with Andrea, both of them reverting to their messy boarding school days almost instantaneously after the third glass, giggling in the corner and overtly hitting on men and women by sending them pretentious $24 cocktails.
But there’s still a dark streak in all the buffoonery. Lena can’t stop searching for blue eyes on the face of every blonde or broad shoulders under the lapels of every Armani jacket. She hates herself for it. And she hates Kara Danvers. Or Kara Zor-El, whatever the fuck.
Lena is pissed.
She takes another moody sip of scotch while some stock broker continues to shoot his shot (why do they all talk the same? why do they all feel the need to explain how money works to her, a billionaire?) and Andrea’s laughing and laughing at a woman far too loudly, her finger tips sloshing the edge of a martini she absolutely doesn’t need. While the man goes on about blue chip stocks, earnings per share, dividends (kill her), Lena’s eyeing the restroom.
No one would miss her if she ducked out. She could have a car here in minutes. Hell, Andrea would probably appreciate the attention of both parties at the same time. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d finagled a twosome into a threesome.
But that means going home. It means gazing at the dark sky from the cold enclave of her penthouse balcony. It means seeing the downturned photo frame, glass smashed, but still not thrown away.
God damn Kara. She stays.
She doesn’t go home with the man, and Andrea doesn’t go home with the woman. They don’t all go home together. But she and Andrea do go to another bar, and after that, an after hours bar. Then, by some misfortune of a higher power, they end up at a bratwurst stand at 4 AM with a horde of college kids. College children.
“Someone threw up just there,” Lena points at the pavement.
“Oh, don’t be such a snob!” Andrea shrieks into the night, grasping at Lena’s elbow and toying with a necklace Lena knows to cost more than a tricked out Vespa. Lena may be glassy-eyed, there may even be two of Andrea, but she can still spot irony.
“I’m starving. And I haven’t had one of these in yeaaarrrsss,” Andrea elongates as they move up a few paces in line. “Remember when we’d sneak into town and grift old men for drinks? That hot dog stand just outside of Hawthorne’s? I’ve been desperate for one.”
Lena wants to complain more, but it does smell good. And by the time they have bratwursts fisted in hand and are leaning against a nearby brick wall with the rest of the infants, Lena’s not feeling all that bad. It might be the best thing she’s ever tasted in her life. God, this might be the best she’s ever felt in her life. Numb, blitzed out of her mind, somewhere closer to nineteen sheets to the wind than three, she’s no longer a Luthor, no longer a simpering fool to a Super’s lies, not a CEO or a disappointment or even a person. She’s just a presence existing on this curb, eating a bratwurst.
“I’m having an out of body experience,” she tells Andrea with half her mouth full and still swallowing.
“That good, huh?” Andrea has mustard on her chin.
“I want another.”
Lena glances up, and her visions tunnels. Her existence is whittled down even further, to its basest instinct. She’s become the singular pursuit of a thousand more calories, of another bratwurst. Lena surges into the street, the stand a beacon of light in the darkness.
But several things happen at once. There’s a screech of tires, the smash of metal, what feels like getting hit with a brick wall and then being shot out of a circus canon.
Lena finds herself throwing up on the pavement on the other side of the road, and Kara fucking Danvers yelling at a motorist. The guy has gotten out of his car, hood dented and engine smoking.
“You smashed my car!”
“You almost hit a woman! You could’ve killed her!”
“She just bolted into the street, that’s not my fault!”
“PEDESTRIANS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY!” Kara shouts back.
“Hey!” Lena slurs, having regained her dignity by wiping her mouth clean of vomit. It’s called class.
Both the guy and Kara turn to look at her, but her eyes are trained on Kara.
“I don’t need your help,” she tells her with a point of her finger.
This feels very witty. The pinnacle of sass. So what if she’s lost a heel at some point and may have missed a bit of vomit in her hair. She’s the one in control.
The guy’s eyes narrow.
“Are you blind or something? Didn’t your mom teach you to look both ways before you walk into the street?”
At the mention of Lena’s mother, her eyes narrow, she sways dangerously.
“What?” the guy rolls his eyes. “I don’t have time for this.” He whips out his cell phone. “You’ve got insurance right?”
“Um, yeah,” Kara hands him a card, but she’s quick to come to Lena’s side, to place a steadying hand on her shoulder. Lena tries to wiggle away from it like a petulant child.
Kara ignores her.
“Lena, I didn’t want to say it around him,” Kara cups a blocking hand over her mouth and points at the guy so he can’t see.
It’s so adorable and infuriating.
She stage whispers, “But you were jaywalking! And you could’ve been hit by a car. What’re you even doing out here?”
Lena rolls her eyes so hard, she might’ve just incurred permanent damage.
“I’m an adult, Supergirl, and I don’t need an escort--”
Lena’s very mature tirade is interrupted by Andrea crossing the street, mouth still wide open and staring. The look she’s giving Kara is distinctly not platonic, and the look she’s giving Lena is one of deepest intrigue. Her eyes scan the pair of them, their body language, the way Kara’s hand is still on Lena’s shoulder (hadn’t she shaken that off?), and smirks.
“Sorry, am I interrupting something?”
Lena could kill her.
“Be quiet, Drea!”
Andrea dissolves into snorts, and Kara glances between the two of them, a look of recognition passing over her face. Now Lena wants to hurl herself into traffic for real.
Kara opens her mouth to speak, but Lena waves a hand in front of her nose.
“Just--everyone shut up and take me home.”
And the route Lena wants to be taken home is clear when she swats at Kara’s (firm) bicep (to push her away, of course), and that swat accidentally turns into a posessive squeeze.
“Oh, can I come, too?” Andrea purrs, and Kara’s eyebrows furrow in confusion.
“No!” Lena barks at her.
“Fine, fine! Call me tomorrow!” Andrea waves, and like some sort of rich superpower, she’s already getting into the back of a sleek black car.
“Okay, Lena,” Kara hushes against her head. It’s too soft and caring, and Lena wants to push her away. But she doesn’t. (Mainly because standing is feeling like quite a complex task, and she doesn’t have the balance for it.)
“This’ll only take a second.”
Then, Lena’s wrapped in a warm and solid embrace. It’s nice... before everything blurs, and she has the distinct desire to vomit again.
She never wants another bratwurst.
In the very next moment, she’s being gingerly placed on her balcony, and Lena’s surging out of Kara’s grasp and pressing her face against the cold glass of her balcony sliding door. It feels amazing, calming her stomach down by degrees.
“What’re you doing?”
“Oh,” Lena says. Maybe she’d been doing that for a bit too long.
She runs her hands over the glass in an attempt to open the door, heavily petting various keypads and biometric scanners. Nothing happens. She scratches at the glass like a raccoon desperate to be inside.
“Um, isn’t it over there?” Kara indicates a different keypad to the left.
“I don’t need your help!” Lena shouts before following her instructions exactly. The door opens. She grumbles inside.
Unaware and uncaring, Lena starts undressing in her living room the very moment she’s crossed the threshhold, discarding her shirt, her skirt this way and that. There’s a gasp behind her and another suspicious super speeding sound, but she ignores Kara. She paces into her bedroom to strip off her bra and grab an oversized shirt. After, she spread eagles on her bed.
“I, um, brought you a glass of water.”
Lena cracks an eye open, takes in the sight of Kara standing at her bedside, nervous and uncertain, glass of water extended between them like some sort of peace offering.
She groans loudly and sits up to snatch it from her, water sloshing onto her bare legs. She doesn’t register it, draining it dry, glaring at Kara over the edge of the glass the entire time.
The Super pulls at her fingers.
“What’re you doing here?” Lena rasps, rolling the empty glass onto her exquisite and overpriced comforter.
“You were in trouble, Lena.”
“You don’t care about me.”
“Yes, I do.”
Lena scoffs, completely undignified, a sound appropriate for an elementary school playground. She does it again because it feels good. Kara’s eyebrows pinch.
Lena swivels at the waist and plucks her reading glasses off her bedside table. She places them over one of her giant, California King-sized pillows.
“Oh, Kara, there you are!” she says, squeezing it’s sides together like she’s cupping its cheeks. “I can’t believe I didn’t recognize you in a pair of glasses!”
Kara’s brows furrow deeper, not amused.
“How did I not see that the kindness, the sincerity, the insistence that I was not just another Luthor was a total act!” she continues to talk to it.
“It wasn’t an act--”
Lena brings the pillow close in her arms.
“Stopping by to bring me lunch, complimentary puff pieces, spin class, game nights. You’re so sweeeeeet,” she elongates, squeezing the pillow tight. “And beautiful. You know what you deserve? A kiss.”
Surely, this bit has spiraled out of Lena’s control. This entire night has. And were she sober enough to realize it, she’d catch herself before this next part. But she’s not and she’s wasted. And this pillow is the Kara she used to know, the Kara Lena used to pine for unconditionally, fantasizing what it might be like to just, lean over and...
She loses her balance as she places a wet one just under the glasses of her pillowcase and falls over on top of it. Incidentally, it’s the perfect size for snuggling, just like Kara herself, and her eyes flutter closed, warm and content.
“I’ll--I’ll go,” she hears a voice say.
“Kara?” Lena mumbles, face down in her pillow and not long for this world.
“I lo--I mean, I hate you.”
“I love you too, Lena.”
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for your happy prompts ask, perhaps kara is a documentary film maker who follows ceo lena around for a doc and ends up falling in love with her by learning a bunch of little things she finds out during filming? also p.s. i absolutely adore your writing even when it tugs at the heartstrings. thank you for writing what you do! it makes my day everytime i see an update or get an email
She wasn’t allowed to see Lena Luthor until she’d signed so many papers that, if stacked together, would be taller than she was. She wasn’t even allowed to touch her camera around Lena Luthor until the woman herself, CEO extraordinaire, had personally vetted Kara out.
“You know,” Kara said as casually as she could, finding herself nervously adjusting her glasses when Lena’s cold gaze fell on her, “I usually have a whole team with me when I do this.”
“And I agreed to this on the condition that only one nosy filmmaker follows me around, not a whole team.” Lena’s reply was like everything else Kara had learned about the CEO thus far: she was blunt, a little harsh, tone and eyes cold and emotionless. She gave nothing away, not in her walk, in her mannerisms, in the ridiculously healthy food she ate, in the way she spoke to her employees or board members. She was cool, detached, wickedly smart, and utterly composed. “And I must approve the final result,” she added, gesturing to the mountain of paperwork Kara signed.
(Kara sighed internally, a tiny part of her sure Lena was a robot.)
“But it’s everything, right?” Kara clarified. “A total look into your life, no holding back?”
“You may follow me around to your heart’s content,” Lena said, leaning back in her desk chair, studying Kara intently.
“May I ask, Ms. Luthor, what made you agree to this, when you’re usually so distrustful of the media?”
Lena gave Kara a smile that didn’t touch her eyes. “What made you ask to do this when you know I distrust the media?”
Lena hadn’t answered, so Kara knew she didn’t have to either, but she felt it was important to establish some kind of rapport with the woman she’d be following around for the next few weeks. “I’m of the opinion that things are rarely as simple as they seem from the outside, that’s all.”
“Well,” Lena said, looking pleasantly surprised and offering Kara a grin (a real one, one that touched her eyes and transformed her face), “perhaps that’s why I agreed to you doing this.”
“You’re one of Ms. Luthor’s closest friends, is that right?”
“Since before your daughter was born?”
“So would you say you know her quite well?”
“Do you plan on answering any of my questions with more than one word?”
“Okay. So, in one word I suppose, how would you describe Ms. Luthor to a stranger?”
The rules of her arrangement with Lena were rather simple. For the next several weeks, Lena consented to having Kara around from the moment she woke up to the moment she went to sleep. In return, Kara was not allowed in certain meetings at L-Corp, was not allowed to bring her camera with her at all when Lena went down to R&D, and if Lena asked for her to stop filming at any point, Kara was bound to immediately do so and erase any footage she may have inadvertently captured.
For the first two days of the arrangement, it was actually rather boring. Lena was awake before the crack of dawn, she didn’t acknowledge Kara’s presence as she made coffee and toast (though she did push a cup and a plate towards Kara), and then spent the next fifteen or so hours in her office, sifting through papers, answering phone calls and responding to emails, and forgetting meals. It wasn’t until the third day that Lena’s routine changed slightly.
She received a phone call at breakfast, and whoever it was caused a bright red blush to bloom on her cheeks. Kara zoomed in slightly on Lena’s face as she answered the call. “Now’s not really a good time, Sam,” she began, falling silent at whatever this Sam was saying on the other end. Lena’s eyes flitted over towards Kara, but to her surprise, she didn’t ask for Kara to shut off the camera. “That sounds terrible,” she said, sounding truly apologetic, something about her countenance changing. She seemed softer, more open, calmer than Kara had seen her yet. “And Ruby was so excited too.” Lena fell silent once more, nodding almost as if unaware of it. “I agree with her,” Lena suddenly laughed, still nodding, “it’s not fair at all. But there’s no way I’m not going to visit. Do you want me to bring anything?” Lena laughed again, and Kara wondered if her camera was capturing the change she was witnessing with her own eyes. “As if I could forget Ruby’s chocolate.” A pause. “Give her all my love.” Another pause, a tiny smile on Lena’s lips. “All right, I will. Bye.” As she hung up, she looked over at Kara, as if daring her to comment, everything about her shuttering at once.
“Who was that?” Kara asked, not really expecting an answer. To her surprise, however, Lena’s eyes flitted to the camera and she let out a soft, resigned sigh.
“That was my CFO, Sam Arias,” she answered, her tone a complete 180 from what she was using on the phone. She studied Kara for a moment and must have read something on her face, because her shoulders deflated and she motioned towards her phone. “Sam is my best friend. Her daughter, Ruby, is my goddaughter. We were supposed to go to the animal shelter today.” Lena smiled softly, almost as if unaware of it. “She’s finally convinced Sam she’s responsible enough for a pet. It’s actually—” Lena stopped suddenly, her eyes shifting to the camera once more, any warmth that had managed to leak out dissipating at once. “In any case, she’s sick. So we’ll have to reschedule.” She waved her hand towards the camera. “Can you turn that off, please?”
“Uh, yeah, of course,” Kara said quickly, making a show of turning the Camcorder off and setting it aside. “Is something wrong?”
Lena shook her head, leaning against her kitchen counter as she eyed Kara with something like curiosity. “You know, I’ve seen all of your other work,” she said after a moment, frowning at Kara like she was a puzzle she couldn’t figure out.
(Had she? Seen all of Kara’s work? A part of Kara was curious as to how, after all, most of her stuff was tucked away in a closet back in Midvale, waiting to be opened up and viewed during Christmas, when Alex would laugh at the films she’d made in high school about how the boys’ sports teams were unfairly given more attention than the girls’. The others were projects for her degree and one or two failed attempts to get a real production company to take the risk on her.
In fact, if not for Cat Grant’s decision as ‘The Queen of All Media’ to get involved in filmmaking, funding a project from a no-name creator, Kara wasn’t even sure she’d have the film she was making now.)
“Oh,” she said inarticulately, not quite sure how to word what she was really thinking. How rich did you have to be to be able to bribe anyone into giving you anything?
Lena nodded carefully, her face a perfect mask. If not for the way her eyes followed Kara’s every movement, Kara would’ve even thought that Lena was bored. “You’re very fond of certain themes. Hope. Love. Endless optimism in the best of humanity.” She said it like it was a bad thing. And it was suddenly Kara’s turn to lean forward on the opposite end of the counter, feeling her head tilt to the side questioningly.
“Is that what you got from my films?” she asked, genuinely curious.
Lena seemed wary of the question, standing up straight and crossing her arms over her chest defensively. “Isn’t that what you intended?”
“You know,” Kara said slowly, “I don’t actually believe in all that creator’s intent nonsense. I think we search for parts of ourselves when we consume art. So if that’s what you got from my films, that says more about you than it does about me.”
If anything, this seemed to offend Lena. “So you’d deny having any sort of intent with your work? What about making something with meaning?”
Kara laughed, shaking her head. “That’s not what I mean, and besides, who says art has to mean anything?”
“Of course art means something,” Lena argued, narrowing her eyes at Kara. “What’s the point of doing it if it doesn’t mean anything?”
Kara shrugged easily, giving Lena a small smile. “I disagree. I think art says something. But meaning is up to the people who consume it.” She picked up her camera and pointed it at Lena without turning it on. “Doesn’t matter what I intended to say with my films, you got meaning from it. So I’d say there was a point in making it, don’t you think?”
Lena eyed her for a moment, apparently not liking that Kara wasn’t giving her an answer, wasn’t telling her what she was trying to say with her work. But then, after several long seconds, she relented, letting out a chuckle and shaking her head. “Well, fine,” she said, her smile touching her eyes. “As long as you don’t try to say anything silly like hope, love, or endless optimism in the best of humanity with this film.”
“I’m afraid I can’t change who you are, Ms. Luthor,” Kara said softly, turning her camera on and effectively cutting off any response Lena may have had.
(And when she looks at the footage weeks later, she’ll freeze that frame, breath catching at the look on Lena’s face: the softness of her eyes, the curve of her lips, and the pleasantly confused crinkle between her brows.)
“Do you spend a lot of time with your godmother?”
“Oh yeah, loads! She’s great.”
“What sort of things do you do with her?”
“I mean, normal stuff? She takes me to get ice cream all the time. The other day, she rented that new horror movie that came out and watched it with me when I stayed over. My mom went nuts when she found out.”
“So you like her?”
“No, of course not. I love Lena. She’s my aunt, you know? She’s family.”
“And if you had the chance, what would you want the world to know about her?”
“That she cares, so much. And that she’s funny and super smart and helps me with homework and after my mom she’s the very best person I know.”
The visit to Luthor Children’s Hospital was, as far as Kara was aware, unplanned and in fact gave Jess a great deal of anxiety. For her part, Kara was mostly frustrated and annoyed, wondering if this film was worth it at all. Because Lena Luthor seemed to be asking Kara to turn off the camera more and more, especially when her day deviated at all and she was forced to leave her office.
(Walks in the park, lunches with her goddaughter, a touching moment with the child of one of her employees...all locked away somewhere in Kara’s memory, but destined to remain there instead of on film, where it should be.)
She huffed a little bit as she leaned against the wall, watching Lena walk quickly towards the group of nurses and doctors. She didn’t say anything when Jess joined her, a contemplative look on her face. “She always does this,” Jess told Kara after a long silence, rolling her eyes fondly. “She’ll cancel meetings last minute because she heard one of the kids in the hemoc ward has finished treatment or that they’re out of toys to give to the new patients.”
“Why isn’t there any press if she does this often?” Kara asked, turning to Jess but watching Lena out of the corner of her eye. She was talking to one of the doctors now, looking comically out of place with her designer clothes while surrounded by colorful artwork by kids that littered the walls of the Children’s Hospital.
Jess fixed Kara with an unimpressed look. “You’ve met her, right?” she asked rhetorically. “She goes out of her way to hide these visits. She says that she has to keep it under wraps because she wants to keep it about the kids and not her. But I think the truth is she’s just worried people would mistreat the kids and their families for allowing a ‘Luthor’ within ten feet of them.”
“Oh,” Kara said dumbly, a little stunned by the new information, and feeling guilty for her thoughts earlier. “That’s...awful.”
“I’m not telling you this for nothing, you know,” Jess continued, frowning at Kara. “She’s been avoiding lots of her usual charitable work since you’ve been around. The whole point of this was to get everyone else to see the real Lena Luthor, but she’s ruining it by being humble and noble.”
(Kara wanted to groan, roll her eyes, or better yet go over to Lena herself and shake her until she understood what Kara’s job was.
How was she supposed to make a documentary about Lena Luthor if Lena Luthor was so determined to hide herself away from the world?)
“What would you have me do?” she asked, not voicing her frustration, though it seeped into her tone anyway. “We have a deal, and she doesn’t want me to film these things.”
Jess shook her head, looking terribly unimpressed by the answer. “Don’t you have artistic integrity? Would you allow anyone else to boss you around and tell you what you could and couldn’t film?”
Kara looked over at Lena, who was now smiling at a young boy who had ambled up to her with his mother and infusion pump stand in tow. She watched as Lena actually dropped to her knees to talk to the boy, nodding vigorously at whatever he was saying. After a long moment, she turned back to Jess and shook her head. “No,” she said finally. “I guess I wouldn’t.”
And after Jess had given her another significant look before walking off, Kara raised her camera and began to film.
“Mr. Spheer, you’re an ex of Lena Luthor’s, right?”
“Ah, I see this documentary is quite personal. Are you sure that Lena is okay with this sort of thing going into her movie?”
“Well, it’s my movie. But she’s free to ask me to take things out.”
“Fascinating. Yes, I am Lena’s ex. I was quite brokenhearted when she broke it off to move to National City.”
“Oh, she broke it off?”
“So curious, Ms. Danvers. Perhaps you’re interested in something beyond a mere film?”
“W-what? No, that’s—please be serious, Mr. Spheer—”
“It’s Jack to you, my dear. What else do you need to know about Lena? Her favorite flowers are plumerias, her favorite food is—”
“—oh that’s really not necessary. If we could just focus on who Lena is as a person. A friend. A former girlfriend?”
“Hmm, yes. Well, just imagine your perfect woman, Ms. Danvers.”
“Oh, um, I—”
“—exactly, you see Lena. That’s an universal experience, I’m afraid. Lena is simply...too good for this world.”
“So you’d say the treatment she gets by the public is unfair?”
“It’s unfair how much people attack pineapple on pizza, Ms. Danvers. The way they speak of Lena without knowing her? That’s a pure travesty.”
They were about ten days into filming when Kara saw Lena relax for the first time.
She was using the word ‘relax’ rather loosely, of course. Lena didn’t do what Kara did after a long week—put on a pair of sweatpants, order loads of junk food, and watch so much Netflix that it eventually felt the need to ask her if she was still watching. In fact, Lena’s idea of relaxing was more work. Just, fun work.
She was dressed in jeans and a blue shirt, knees pulled up to her chest as she sat at her desk, mumbling under her breath as she did whatever she was doing. (She hadn’t bothered to explain to Kara, had just sighed and acquiesced to the presence of the camera in her home office.) Perched precariously at the tip of her nose were a thick black pair of glasses, her hair falling to her shoulders in gentle waves.
She looked different. Softer, somehow. Gone was all the trappings of a badass CEO, and all that was left was a clever (and beautiful) young woman, working on the things she loved in her spare time.
Kara zoomed in slightly, focusing on Lena’s face, on the furrow between her brows, her lips twisted in concentration. There was something there, something different, and Kara just wanted to—
“Is that camera heavy?” Lena asked, looking up suddenly, a curious expression on her face. She was good at that, the polite looks, gently asking for more information. Tiny eyebrow raises, nearly imperceptible softening of her eyes, lips quirked the slightest bit, all intended to disarm her quarry, making them drop their guard long enough that they give everything held close to their chest away.
“Not really,” Kara answered, grinning at Lena. This made the other woman blink in surprise, clearly not the response she was looking for, that expression on her face shifting suddenly, becoming more calculating. “I work out,” Kara went on to explain, shrugging easily, careful not to jostle the camera. “Besides, it’s not that heavy, I think about five pounds.”
“What kind of camera do you use?”
“Oh, it’s a Panasonic AG-HVX—” she cut herself off. “It’s not that interesting.” Kara adjusted her glasses and made sure Lena’s face was still in focus. Somehow, this made Lena’s tiny smile reappear. She stood up and circled her desk, and Kara was forced to back away to maintain focus.
“You love filming, don’t you?” Lena asked, and Kara blinked, not quite sure where she was going with this.
“Ms. Luthor, as I’m sure you’re aware, this film is about you.”
If she thought this would in any way cow Lena, she was wrong. Lena just grinned, looking like she’d somehow won something.
“Do you know what I don’t understand?” she said with faux casualness, crossing her arms and tapping a finger against her elbow. “Why would you, someone Cat Grant speaks so highly of, be willing to agree to this assignment? Something most people wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.”
Kara frowned, not thinking as she responded. “It wasn’t assigned, Ms. Luthor. I pitched the idea. I wanted to do this.” Lena’s words sank in a moment later. “Wait. Cat Grant spoke highly of me?”
“Why?” Lena asked, no longer smiling.
Kara blinked at the change in tone. “Why what?” she asked, genuinely confused. This was, apparently, the wrong answer, because Lena chose that moment to begin pacing in front of her desk, looking more than a little bothered.
“I don’t get it,” she said as she paced. “I tried to figure it out, looked into you, into your work. I thought maybe you were doing this to build fame, but I’ve seen your work and even without a movie about the last Luthor, I have no doubt you’ll be very popular—”
“Oh, that’s nice of you, thank y—”
“—then I thought maybe you have a vendetta against my family and just want me to look bad,” Lena continued, barreling over Kara’s words and ignoring her entirely, “but the only connection between you and my family is your cousin, Clark Kent, and he’s the journalist who broke the story on my brother, so if anything I should dislike you—”
“That’s not exactly...Clark and I aren’t—”
“—so I really need you to explain it to me. Why did you want to make this film?” She paused her brisk pacing as she asked the question, meeting Kara’s eyes with a fierce look, one Kara was infinitely glad she was capturing on film. Because this, this glint in Lena’s eyes, was why Kara wanted to do this.
“Do you remember the speech you gave when you came to National City?” Kara asked, and judging from the way Lena’s eyebrows rose in response, she was rather thrown by the question. “Because I do. I watched it maybe a few dozen times. All those horrible questions, all the absolute certainty that you were like your brother, and you kept your head up and you promised to prove them all wrong, to make up for what he did.” Kara sighed, shutting off the camera and setting it aside gently. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I was...interested. I wanted to see more.”
“Did I meet your expectations? Disappoint you? What?”
Kara smiled, unable to help it. “Does my opinion on you really matter?”
“Do you always answer a question with another question?” Lena shot back, eyes narrowing.
Kara’s smile just widened and she began to gather her things, preparing to leave for the night. Impressively, Lena didn’t question her further, just watched her then followed her to the door, looking rather cross. Pausing briefly to adjust her glasses and the strap of her bag, Kara turned suddenly and met Lena’s eyes. “You exceeded them. My expectations, that is,” Kara added when Lena offered only a quizzical look in response.
For a moment, Lena didn’t react, then that same look from her office—the softness of her eyes, the curve of her lips, and the pleasantly confused crinkle between her brows—overtook her expression, and she let out a laugh.
“Well, good then.”
“You went to boarding school with Ms. Luthor?”
“I don’t think that’s public knowledge, how do you know that?”
“Um, Ms. Arias told me about you. She mentioned your relationship with Ms. Luthor is unique.”
“Well, Sam would know, wouldn’t she?”
“Ms. Rojas, if you don’t want to speak to me, you don’t have to.”
“It’s fine. Look, Lena and I have been estranged for a while now. I...I did something to break her trust.”
“So would you say that Ms. Luthor is difficult to get along with?”
“No, I’d say that Lena values things like honesty and trust, and—you know that Austen novel? With the man who says that once you lose his good opinion, it’s gone forever?”
“Pride and Prejudice?”
“Exactly. Lena is like that.”
“Ms. Luthor is like Mr. Darcy?”
“No, she’s classic. No matter what’s going on, she’ll endure.”
“So...you were the one difficult to get along with?”
“Have you ever thought about taking your work to a whole new level, Kara? How do you feel about virtual reality?”
“Oh, um, I don’t have particular thoughts? But I’d love to know yours about Ms. Luthor. For the film.”
“She won’t believe this, or that I’m saying it coercion free, but Lena is...a visionary. More than that, she’s just a decent person. Which is more than most of us can say, don’t you think?”
After their conversation, Lena opened up dramatically.
(Well, dramatically was a stretch, but considering how closed off she’d been before, the difference was rather drastic.)
Kara filmed Lena’s visit to an animal shelter, capturing the way her fingers gently ran over the fur of the dog that immediately trotted over to her, placing its head in her lap. Lena had then explained that she went to shelters often, just to volunteer, as she was unable to adopt for fear of not having time to give the dog the attention it deserved.
Later that week, Lena let Kara stay later than usual, putting on some music as she got to cooking, going as far as to teach Kara the basics of the dish, laughing when Kara admitted that her skill in the kitchen was limited to making sandwiches. At one point she grabbed the camera and set it aside, dragging Kara into the kitchen, giving instructions and lessons as she swayed her hips to the music.
(It was silly, it was lighthearted, it was fun, and Kara couldn’t help it.
She forgot she was there to make a film.)
And as the days and weeks dragged on, when Lena showed off her skills at the piano—apologetically explaining she hadn’t had time to really play in months—or when she told Kara about her very ‘nerdy’ stamp collection or even when Lena seemed to ignore there was a camera between them and she began to talk about her day and her hopes for the weekend, Kara forgot that it was a job. She forgot that she was supposed to be making something, paying attention to more than Lena’s smile or the way her eyes lit up whenever she mentioned work she was particularly passionate about.
Somewhere along the way, Kara cared more about the opportunity to spend time with Lena than she did the film itself.
More worryingly, that realization didn’t even bother her.
“Why filmmaking?” Lena asked one morning, pushing coffee and toast towards Kara with a tiny smile. The camera was still in its bag, untouched since Kara had arrived nearly an hour earlier. “Why not journalism like your cousin?”
“My cousin and I,” Kara began awkwardly, adjusting her glasses, “well, our relationship is a little strained, I guess.” She didn’t need the slight tilt of Lena’s head to know that Lena wanted her to keep going, to explain further. She let out a soft chuckle and rubbed her forehead with the tips of her fingers. “Um, so my parents died when I was twelve. And Clark sort of...left me? I went to live with the Danvers instead, and they bought me a camera for my birthday.” Kara grinned at the very memory, still able to feel its weight in her hand, the eyepiece against her eye. “It was one of those old camcorders, do you remember? The ones with the tapes? I drove them nuts, filming literally everything. I don’t think they ever saw my face for the first few months I was with them, it was constantly behind the camera.” She didn’t explain why she wanted to document every moment with her new family, but judging from the way Lena’s eyes softened, she understood anyway. “From there it became serious. I started making films. School projects, etc. Now I’m here.”
“Why documentaries? Why not something like...oh, I don’t know, action movies?” Lena prodded, looking curious, looking interested, looking like the answer mattered.
Kara just shrugged, suddenly not able to look Lena in the eye. “I guess there’s a part of me that wanted to take after Clark.”
“How long have you been working for Ms. Luthor?”
“Um, this December will make seven years.”
“As her assistant, you have remarkable access to her. What’s she like?”
“Driven, ambitious, works way too hard. I don’t think she’s ever taken a holiday or even a break...but um, maybe don’t say that in the film.”
“Artistic integrity, remember? She works hard, that’s clear. But what about personally? Her relationship with you and the other employees? What kind of boss is she?”
“She cares a lot. A few years ago, before Lex Luthor, well. You know. Before all that, LuthorCorp was facing serious losses. Mr. Luthor wanted to just get rid of entire departments, but Ms. Luthor said the research was vital, and more than that, the researchers were important. She convinced her brother to keep them on—she won’t admit it, but it was more than being persuasive. She paid for it out of her own pocket.”
“So you’d say she’s charitable?”
“No, she’s passionate. And she fights for the things she believes in. Ms. Luthor likes to say that charity implies pity, and she doesn’t do anything out of pity. She just does what’s right by people.”
“Some would disagree, they’d argue that LuthorCorp, and by extension its new iteration, L-Corp, don’t care about people, but about profits. Do you think that’s a fair assessment of the company you’ve devoted seven years to?”
“Look. I get it, people are suspicious of L-Corp because it used to be LuthorCorp. But it’s not just a name change. When Lena took over, she gutted her company. There’s not a single program left from Mr. Luthor’s time as CEO. L-Corp is all Ms. Luthor.”
“So if L-Corp is Ms. Luthor, who is Ms. Luthor?”
“She’s a woman who’s been hurt all her life, Kara Danvers, and whose only goal is to keep as many people as she can from hurting too. Sometimes I just wish she realized she doesn’t deserve to be hurt anymore either.”
“Also, I don’t care about your artistic integrity, that last bit does not go in the film.”
One afternoon, when Kara was dangerously close to dozing off on the couch in Lena’s office—camera turned off and set aside, not really needing more footage of Lena working at her desk—Lena suddenly jumped to her feet, an excited gleam in her eyes.
“They’ve done it,” she said, the smile forming on her lips so wide that Kara found herself smiling back.
“Done what?” Kara asked, fairly sure this would lead to Lena’s refrain of ‘that’s company business and I’m afraid you’re not privy to that information’ but instead, Lena looked at her appraisingly, then rolled her eyes.
“If I allow you to bring your camera in R&D, do you swear not to film my ongoing projects?”
“You’re going to let me film in R&D?” Kara said excitedly, jumping to her feet and grabbing her camera.
“Kara, do you swear?”
“Yes, yes, of course, Ms. Luthor. I absolutely swear.”
And the next thing Kara knew, she was filming in the one place she’d been told was off-limits, capturing the lab and Lena talking to her researchers animatedly about the advancement they’d made in gene therapy, not entirely surprised when Lena shoved the scientists towards Kara and urged them to brag about their achievement—while also warning them to be as vague as possible—and then sank into the background, clearly thrilled to have her scientists as the center of attention.
And later, when Lena decided to actually take a lunch hour as a ‘reward’ for the great strides L-Corp had made, she took Kara along, bought three different appetizers, and smiled her wide smile before she said, “It’s Lena, by the way. Just Lena.”
Mouth still bulging with the three potstickers she’d practically inhaled, Kara couldn’t manage much more than a nod, but later—when she was alone—she tried saying the name aloud, and it sent a shiver down her spine.
“It’s doctor, actually.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Dr. Luthor. You adopted Ms. Luthor when she was four, is that correct?”
“I’m afraid I don’t have time for this nonsense. I consented to this interview only to say one thing: Lena was always the more clever of my children, but she’s foolish and soft, and this silly film is yet another example of that.”
“You agreed to meet with me to just say...that. Okay. That’s um. Fine.”
As the weeks dragged on, Kara had little reason to continue filming. Her deadline with Cat Grant was fast approaching, and she had more than enough footage. All that really remained was editing, of putting the final pieces together. But she found herself filming anyway.
Every day, she’d make her way to Lena’s apartment, making flimsy excuses about how certain footage was no good, or had been corrupted, and that she needed retakes of Lena doing ordinary things (like reading the paper, cooking dinner, or talking about her day). She knew that Lena could tell her excuses were just that, but mercifully, Lena didn’t seem to want to call her out on it, merely gave soft reminders not to stay up so late every night to edit (the ‘you could just as easily stop wasting your time here and be editing during normal hours’ going unsaid).
(Jess had rolled her eyes when Kara came by L-Corp and Lena mentioned offhandedly that Kara somehow hadn’t gotten a shot of Lena entering her building in all the time she’d shadowed the CEO, and wasn’t that odd?)
But what Kara knew, what made her stretch out these moments as long as she possibly could, was that once the final product popped into existence, once she showed Lena and got her okay to send off to Cat Grant, that was it.
No more Lena.
And that terrified her.
(So she gathered more footage, fruitlessly hoping that the final product would never be ready, dragging her feet at every step.
She edited, studying Lena’s every expression, tried to pinpoint the exact moment she’d started to fall for the not-so-detached CEO extraordinaire, and wished it didn’t all have to come to an end.)
Two days after Kara had sent Lena the finished film, she got a curt email from the CEO herself with only three words: come see me.
Jess gave no indication about how her boss was feeling when Kara arrived, merely stared evenly at Kara and gestured with her head for her to just go on in. When Kara tried to ask her, Jess shook her head, pointed at the door to Lena’s office, and made a shooing gesture.
“It’s odd to see you without a camera,” Lena said when Kara sat down across from her, trying to keep her hands from fidgeting.
“It’s odd to be in here without a camera.” Kara took a deep breath. “Did you watch it?” she blurted, unable to keep it in. “What did you think?”
“You’re really fond of certain themes,” Lena said, then she raised her eyebrow. “You also filmed quite a bit when I had asked you not to.”
“Artistic integrity?” Kara tried, and Lena...laughed.
“I don’t know if I agree with the way you portrayed me,” she said slowly as her amusement faded. “You took a lot of liberties.”
“I was very faithful to the subject of the film, Lena.”
“What do you think you were trying to say?” Lena asked, waving off Kara’s comment.
“What meaning did you get from it?”
Lena studied her for a moment, as if she was trying to read Kara’s mind. “I’m not some selfless genius, Kara.”
“Is that what you think the film is saying?” Kara asked her, not rising to the obvious bait. “Like I said, Lena. I was very faithful to the subject of the film.” For a long moment, Lena didn’t respond, and Kara felt the worry she’d managed to push away since sending the film to Lena creep back in. “Does this mean you don’t approve of the film?”
“Hmm?” Lena said, distracted. “No, I’ve already sent it along to Cat Grant, giving my okay. Even though you broke our agreement, I can’t deny the final result was very favorable to me.”
“I wouldn’t have made something that wasn’t completely true,” Kara said, somewhat hotly, most of her irritation bleeding away with the knowledge that Cat Grant was in possession of the final product, that the rest was up to her.
Lena smiled, eyes soft, and she nodded her head almost incredulously. “No, you wouldn’t. I know that.” She cleared her throat, seeming a bit nervous. “But I was thinking. I’ve been missing our talks about your work, and I know you don’t like talking about what you’ve made, but perhaps you’d make an exception for me. Would you be willing to give me a private showing of your film? Give me all the insider secrets? I know your subject quite well, it would be a fun exercise.”
Kara’s heart slammed to a stop, the jump-started at the sight of Lena’s amused eyes, that tiny curve of her lips. “A private showing, huh?” Kara mumbled, feeling a little dazed. “I still won’t tell you what I was trying to say.”
“That’s completely fair.”
“But I suppose I could give you some insight on my thoughts.”
“Only if you wanted.”
“It may have to be more than one session,” Kara said, trying and failing to stop the spread of her smile. “There’s a lot of footage you know.”
“So it’s a date?” Lena asked, and Kara couldn’t help her eager nod.
“It’s definitely a date.”
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The Past beats inside me like a Second Heart- John Banville, The Sea
A soft beeping invaded Lena's conciseness, her headache pulsing with it each time. Through a haze she groggily opened her eyes, becoming away of someone touching her. No, tucking in a blanket? Lena blinks a couple more times and her headache seems to spike harshly behind her eyes.
"Ugh, fuck…" she mumbles and tries to lift her hand to her temple but it's tugged short by something in her arm. An IV. Her sluggish mind was starting to put prices together as the harsh smell of sterilization fills her nostrils.
"Lena!" The blonde woman cries from where she just tucked a colorful, warm blanket under Lena's left leg. She reaches out towards Lena but seems to hesitate, just a moment, before pushing the call button for the Doctor. She must be the nurse checking on her. But for wha- "Ah!" Lena uses her fee hand this to grab the side of her head and squeeze her eyes shut. Don't cry. Don't you fucking cry. Luthors don't show weakness. Lena can just picture the disappointed look Lillian would give her right now. That helps her push the pain back, back behind the mask she always wears.
The blonde woman was watching her intently. The blue eyes staring into her in such a way that Lena was sure that she would burn her soul with the heat of it. Lena turns away and takes in the room. A blanket and pillow are neatly folded on the comfortable looking couch in the large hospital room. A laptop sits open with file folders and notebooks splayed out around it on the coffee table. That's not a good sign. The only person who could be here for her would be Lillian and she wouldn't be happy about being called to Metropolis in the middle of the move. This isn't good for our stocks, she can hear Lillian almost sneer. But not quite, she's too proper for a real sneer. Lena is pulled from her thoughts by she doctor entering.
"Well-" she glances at the blonde woman, she shakes her head just slightly. It's a weird interaction but Lena lets nothing show on her face. "Ms. Luthor. Welcome back to the land of the living. You had us worried there for a bit."
"I-" Lena is cut off by her own rough voice. It feels very unused and sore. She casts about for some water, which the blonde is already pouring. Lena nods as she hands it to her and takes a couple of sips.
"I am not sure what is happening right now, Doctor..."
"Doctor Natu. First, I have just a couple questions and I have to check you over. Then you can ask me questions."
Lena sighs, "Very well."
The doctor begins by asking her name.
"Lena Kiran Luthor."
"What city are we in?"
"Who is the current president?"
"What year is it?"
"2019, seriously are we done yet?" Lena is getting exasperated with the questions and poking and prodding and that stupid little light that the woman is shining in her eyes. The blonde woman had excused herself when the Doctor started.
"Yes, I think so. From what I can tell, you are on your way to being completely healed."
"Doctor Natu, I suggest you start giving me some answers before I sue this hospital into giving me someone who can," Lena says sternly, but still without much emotion.
"May I sit?" She asks, gesturing to the chair next to the bed. Lena nods slightly.
"This is going to be very hard to hear Lena." Lena swallows at the use of her first name, it's to lessen the blow of whatever is coming.
"You suffered a very serious head trauma. From what we can gather, your airplane was shot from the sky, blowing a hole in the plane," the doctor is speaking softly and evenly so as not to frighten her. "You only lived because Supergirl caught you immediately, but as you were basically vacuumed out of the plane by the air pressure, the back of your head caught on the opening. Your brain began to swell from the impact and put you into a coma."
"Supergirl… wait. What plane? How long have I been out? The only plane I was going to get on was the Venture, and I had to pull out last minute."
"You've only been 'out' for six days. But due to the brain swelling, it seems you have lost a great deal of memory." The doctor says softly, picking each word with care.
"How much?" Lena whispers.
"Right now, the year is 2024. You are twenty-nine and currently living in National City, where you moved and rebranded L-Corp five years ago."
"Five…" Lena trails off and looks out the large windows at the unfamiliar skyline. How could she have lost five years of memories?
"Where's my mother? I need to speak to her." Lena almost snaps the question at the poor doctor. Surely she must have been alerted to Lena waking up.
"To the best of my knowledge, some FBI black site after her third escape attempt from the maximum-security prison."
"Nonsense. Who else would be here?" Lena gestures to the pile of stuff on the coffee table. Though now that she looks at it, it's a rather disorganized pile. One with colorful sticky notes and pens and she can see a small Pride flag stuck to the top corner of the back that faces her.
"Well, that's another big thing you seem to be missing because it happened in the past five years. That would be your wife's laptop."
"My wife!?" Lena exclaims, immediately regretting it as her headache rises with her voice. Lena clamps her eyes shut against the pain. The door bursts open at Lena's raised voice and the blonde enters the room again. Her wife enters the room again.
"What's wrong? What happened?" Concerned drips from her voice and fire burns in her eyes as she realizes the source of Lena's outburst must be the doctor.
"I was just informing Lena of her situation. She's missing about five years of time, she referred to the Venture before it exploded."
The woman seems to deflate and sadness floods her features. It makes Lena's heart hurt in an unexpected way. "So before she met me." The woman says softly.
"I'm afraid so. I would like to keep Lena just a few more days. Although the swelling has gone completely down, I would like to monitor her to see if any of her memory returns or if there was further brain damage that we weren't able to assess while she was unconscious. Physical Therapy will start tomorrow morning. Maybe try to tell her some of the major events from after she can remember. It may jog the rest of it. I'll be back to check in before I leave." Doctor Natu stands to leave.
Lena's wife holds out her hand for the doctor to shake.
"Thank you. For everything. For coming when I called. It really means a lot to me."
Doctor Natu smiles softly, "After what you did last year, how could I not? We all owe you big." The blonde woman nods and returns the smile. It's an odd moment before the doctor leaves the room and the blonde woman takes a deep breath before turning to Lena.
"If you would like to sleep, we can talk later." She says in a small voice, it's very unsure of itself and it feels odd coming from the woman. Like Lena knows she shouldn't feel this distant from her.
Lena looks into those bright blue eyes and tries to remember something, anything.
"I would like to know my wife's name if it's not too much?" And Lena knows those are the right words to say because that life is magical to her years. The woman's shoulders relax and she takes the seat the doctor vacated moments before. The woman's hand hovers over Lena's but she pulls back when she sees Lena pull away slightly.
"Right. Guess that would be a good thing to know. Seeing as you don't even remember meeting me. Man, I had always wished I had been cooler when we first met and I actually get a do-over and I'm just ramb-" she pauses at Lena's raised eyebrow before taking a deep breath. "Right. Sorry. Hi, I'm Kara Danvers. Well, now its Danvers-Luthor." The woman, Kara, sticks out a timid hand towards Lena. Lena hesitates before taking.
"Lena Luthor, though I'm guessing it's Danvers-Luthor."
Kara grins, eyes squinting in the corner as she nods. Lena's heart flutters a bit at the sight. This woman was pulling down all the walls Lena had built to protect herself. Or she already had and Lena's body was just remembering more than her brain did. It made her uncomfortable and she tried to shut it down. Kara noticed the change right away and looked at Lena with such deep concern it speared straight through her.
"I'm sorry. I should let you sleep a bit. It's only a little before nine in the morning. I need to make some phone calls anyway. I'll be just outside your door so just call out if you need anything." Kara stands and makes sure the water cup is full and in easy reach, as well as the television remote and the remote attached to the bed for her to call the nurses station. Kara shuts the blinds without being asked and turns out the light on her way. All small gestures that are so foreign to Lena that she spends the entirety of Kara's quick movements in silence until she's out the door.
It sure doesn't help the headache to think about but she is getting drowsy and the pain is numbing from the doctor adjusting her pain meds during the examination. Lena sinks back into the pillow as numbness begins to trickle in much faster now that she is no longer distracted. Sleep is easy to sink into then as the chemicals in her bloodstream do their work.
Lena sits, writing across endless documents as she travels as quickly as she can home. She's eager, that's for sure. It bubbles in her chest as the plane soars across the sky. She really is trying to focus but something keeps pulling her attention. Lena instead gets up to make herself a drink at the mini bar, it's still at least an hour until the descent and the minutes were ticking by too slowly.
She just had to go to London this past week. Of course, it was yesterday that the news came in, instead of in three days. But Lena had left early to be home when…
The sudden explosion knocks her from her feet and she hits the side of the plane as it leeches to the side. Then she's being thrown to the back as her ears pop and the plane begins to fall. Another explosion and the back of the plane is rent open and all Lena can see is the black sky as she rushes towards it. Suddenly her head explodes in pain as she hits the ceiling and a blur of red and blue fills her vision.
Lena wakes with a shout and breathing heavy. The heart monitor is going crazy and then Kara is pushing into the room, eyes wide looking for the source of distress. When she sees Lena alone and takes in her frazzled, sweaty appearance, she relaxes again. She moves to sit next to Lena and stops short of reaching out again. Faintly, it registers how hard this must be for the woman.
"It's okay. You're safe. It was just a dream. Doctor Natu said it may happen because you are still trying to process everything that happened."
Lena gulps at the air and clutches the sheets. Slowly she gets her breathing back under control and smooths her hair back from her face. Before she can even ask, Kara is holding out a hair tie for her to use.
Lena plucks it from her fingers, "Thanks." She murmurs as she scrapes the oily mess back. She really needs a shower. Lena settles back against the raised bed and tries to relax.
"What time is it?" She asks.
"Almost one. I'll page the nurse to bring you food. Dr. Natu instructed them to let you sleep." Which Kara does immediately after.
"You and the Doctor seemed close. What happened last year?"
"Nothing important right now. She's a friend of my cousin. They needed help with this group thing last minute." Lena raises an eyebrow but lets it go when the nurse deposits a tray of bland food in front of her.
"Sorry dear, we have to keep it simple and ease you back onto solid food. Tomorrow there should be some more fruit though."
Lena saved her sneer for when the nurse leaves. Still, she speers the mushy vegetables on her fork and takes a bite out of the buttered bread. Kara refills her water before taking a seat next to her. Kara is obviously actively looking anywhere but Lena.
"So," Lena starts, trying to figure out how to navigate this situation. Nothing in her Luthor training prepared her for losing her memory only to find out she is married and 'out' of the closet publicly. Also that your mother is in jail alongside your crazy brother and you have moved cities and-
"What do you do for a living? That's a lot of files." Lena gestures with her fork, trying to get a hold of her spiraling thoughts.
"Well, I'm a senior reporter for CatCo."
Lena nearly chokes on her carrot. She swallows and takes a sip of water."I married a reporter? How did that happen?"
"Well actually, I wasn't one when we met. But you kind of gave me the courage to do it."
“I did that?”
“Yeah, you did. It was probably the start of everything for us.”
Lena chews thoughtfully for a few minutes. This woman was nothing like she would have considered dating before. She was open and honest in a way Lena wasn’t used to. It also made her want to slam her walls up and not trust a word out of her mouth. What if this was all a crazy ruse by her insane brother and she wasn’t really married to this beautiful blonde woman. She could only play along to find out.
“Tell me about it then. Maybe it will help jog my memory.”
“Well, it was right after the Venture explosion, the Supers saved the plane from going down. While trying to figure out what caused it, they discovered the only empty seat was...umm… well, yours.”
“So of course the Luthor had to be the culprit.”
“It was suspicious at first, so they asked my cousin to interview you and since I was kind of at a loss of what to do with my life, he invited me along.”
“Who’s your cousin? Anyone I know?”
Kara laughs slightly and Lena realizes how silly of a question that is. She probably knew Kara’s family pretty well at this point.
“Right, I mean, five years ago. Did I know him then?”
“I’d say yes. Clark Kent, he’s my cousin.”
“Crap. A family of reporters? What was I thinking?” Lena only half teases.
“Trust me, it's not the only thing crazy about our relationship, but I’ll tell you more, later. Anyway, Clark brought me along and you were so strong and confidant. Golly, I could barely get a word out.”
Golly? Was she for real?
“Anyway, even Clark was convinced you didn’t do it then. After that, they found evidence that the bomb was planted directly under what would have been your seat. As we investigated the accident you had two more assassination attempts and… Supergirl saved you both times. And actual on the second one, your would-be assassin, had my sister at Gunpoint and you saved her. You were scared but this fire burned in your eyes like nothing I had ever seen before. All you wanted was to do good in the world but your brother was trying to have you killed.” Kara stares at Lena with an intensity that only her Luthor training keeps her from squirming.
“Clark published an article after it was all said and done. It gave you and L-Corp good press that you needed and Clark apologized for not believing you.”
“It's true, you said ‘If I can make a believer out of Clark Kent, there’s hope yet.’ Then you turned to me and asked why my name wasn’t on the by-line. I told you I wasn’t a reporter and all you said was ‘Well, you could have fooled me.’ That was it. I just knew if you believed in me, then I could do it. Which is crazy considering I had just met you. But nothing about our story is very normal.”
Kara sits back and fiddles with her glasses a bit, trying to find a way to keep going. THings with Lena hadn’t been this awkward since… well since ever. At least, in the beginning, they had so much to talk about, Kara was able to scale her wall because of the trials they went through together. Now here Kara was, at the finish line of a marathon and Lena had been transported back to the beginning.
“I think… yeah, I think I brought it with me. The article I mean. You saved it way back when and the doctor thought familiar things may help. Hold on.” Kara stands up to fast, almost knocking the chair over with a blush. Lena smiles softly before she even realizes it. This has to be real, because the way her body reacts to Kara, that couldn’t be faked. Her heart flutters with a bit of joy at her clumsiness and her lips smile as if they have done it a thousand times before. Kara Begins shifting through piles of things and it honestly amazes Lena how Kara has very much taken over the hospital room in a week's time. She has to believe Kara was basically living here at this point. She obviously had been working from here.
“Aha!” Kara exclaims, pulling out a small looking photo album from the bottom of a precarious stack of books and papers.
“You pasted it into the front of this photo album. You said it's what started our friendship so a few years ago when we assembled these things, you put it in our ‘Friend.’ album. It's the year before we finally admitted our feelings for one another. Alex likes to call it our Clueless Gay’s’ Year. Because we were so clueless.” Kara excitedly hurries back to her chair to hand the album to Lena. “Hopefully this helps. Go on. The article is in the front, and feel free to look at the pictures too.”
Lena scrutinizes Kara’s eager face before carefully opening the cover. She reads the article, but the words don’t mean much to her. It comes like a muggy memory. The bright white of her new office, Kara in a pink that matches the blush on her cheeks as she fiddles with her glasses. Lena had watched her carefully because she had trust issues, but she instantly thought that she wanted to make Kara smile like that again. She remembers feeling her stomach erupt in butterflies that she barely managed to hide by turning away and walking to her desk.
“I hope this isn’t the last time we talk.” Lena murmurs to herself.
“I hope not either.” Kara gives her almost the same smile as her memory. “You remembered.”
“A little. You were cute. You were wearing that pink blazer. And you kept avoiding my eye contact. It was cute.”
“You made me nervous, not in a ‘Luthor’ sort of way, like you used to accuse everyone of, but in the ‘Oh my Ra-gosh, I think I like women.’ Then it was a roller coaster of my sister coming out to me and working through all of that. And I didn’t want to steal her thunder, plus what if you didn’t like me, or if you were straight and then Jack came back and then Mike and-”
“Jack? Jack Spheer? Why did he come back?”
Kara gets all sad then. Lena can already guess what bad news is coming.
“He thought he cracked his nanotechnology. But really he created a deadly swarm out of himself that his CFO was controlling. When I found out I told you and you went to confront him. In the end, it was either save Jack or save… Supergirl. She had tried to come rescue you. You chose her. Because you are always sacrificing yourself for the good of everyone else. It’s one of the things that made me fall in love with you.”
Kara nods and Lena sits back against her pillows to take in the information. This time the memory slams into her. Jack in pain on the ground, her fist throbbing from punching the evil woman, Supergirl being suffocated by the swarm that the woman was controlling. She knew, even if she let Supergirl die, her chances of saving Jack were slim. He wasn’t really him anymore. He had sacrificed himself for science and lost. She hits the kill switch.
Lena inhales a deep breath and comes back to the present. Kara’s eyes ask the question and Lena just nods. Instead of looking at her wife, she flips the page and skims a mix of faces, some she knows and some she doesn't. Her and Kara among them along with a smattering of others. Alex, she remembers. She recognizes James Olsen too, but from her time in Metropolis.
“Great, more press.” She grumbles.
“Ah, yeah. You and James dated briefly.”
Lena visibly cringes and almost throws the book away from her.
“That’s how I felt. You admitted later that it was because of our poor communication skills. I encouraged you to go for it, along with the rest of our friends. At the time I was dealing with the heartbreak of losing someone I cared about and then having them show back up in my life. I was also suppressing a lot of feelings for you. You said it felt like we were growing apart and it was a way to stay closer to me. We both made poor decisions.”
“Why are you being so vague?”
Kara chews on her bottom lip as Lena slowly flips through the pages. The plastic protecting the pictures crinkles under her touch. She and Kara spent a lot of time together, and when they weren't looking at the camera, they were looking at each other with so much love that it almost sickened Lena, if it didn’t make her stomach flutter. She flips to the last page with a picture of her and Alex hugging Kara tightly from both sides.
A glass of whiskey set down hard cracks the frame and anger builds in Lena’s chest like a hot beast that she had chained down but now it was free. She snapped the book shut and shoves it back at the blonde woman. Kara recoils at the heat blazing in the green eyes that she hadn’t seen in a long time.
“You lied to me! For so fucking long. And you continued lying to me just now! You’ve been lying since I woke up! ‘Oh Lena, Supergirl saved you.’ ‘Oh, Lena I helped with the investigation but you had to choose between Jack and Supergirl.’” Lena mocks her and folds arms over her chest, cringing slightly as her headache throbs with her yelling.
“Rao, I want to have this fight again. I know. I was selfish and I didn’t tell you. I told myself it was to protect you but then it became protecting myself. I was selfish because Supergirl tainted all my relationships and I didn’t want that to happen with you. So be mad. I hope that you can remember how hard we fought to get back to each other. If you can’t then I will fight all over again, because I will always fight for you Lena Luthor. Supergirl may be this city’s hero, but you are mine. You have saved me over and over again, even when you hated me, you saved me.”
Lena averts her gaze, fury still broiling in her chest. She doesn't remember everything, but this she does. She remembers Lex showing her everything before she killed him. She remembers walking into the game night with a bottle of wine, suppressing the urge to throw it at Kara. The lies stacked up and the hate simmering just below the surface. For the first time, she understood her brother’s madness and that made her hate Kara all the more.
Kara sighs and stands up. “I’m not leaving you. Shouldn’t knowing that you’re my wife give you an idea that we get past this?”
Lena remains silent and looks out the window. Kara sighs and goes back to her files. Eventually, Lena turns on the television as Kara types on her laptop. Lena can feel the tension she put between them, but until she remembers the solution to their fight, she is stuck with these feelings and these memories. Kara leaves to take a phone call and at some point, the nurse brings dinner for Lena. Kara returns with a turkey wrap for herself, apologizing that Lena can't have anything more appetizing and Lena studiously ignored her. Lena gets lost in her thoughts, searching the muddled corridors of her brain as she tries to remember anything. Suddenly the light of the bathroom clicks on and Lena is aware of how dark the room is and what it is approaching eleven o’clock. Kara returns with her pajamas on and folds down the couch to sleep on. Lena rolls over and clicks of the TV. The silence is intense and Lena and feels it settling over her like a suffocating weight.
“I love you, Lena. Even if we have to start over again, I will. I swore to you I would always be here, even if it was yourself you were afraid of. I will always protect you.” Kara whispers into the dark.
Lena falls asleep shortly after, dreaming of Kara’s arm around her as she tries so hard to hold herself together. Jack was dead and she had a strange mix of sadness and joy at Kara’s reassuring presence. Kara. Steady as a rock. Lena could let herself fall apart because Kara was there to build her back up. Kara was there when she fell apart on the balcony after Lex escaped. “You are not weak.” Kara had practically growled in her ear. That’s when Lena knew she was in love with her best friend. Not just a crush or loneliness that overtook her late at night. She was in Love.
Lena wakes slowly to the darkroom with tears damp on her cheeks. She felt so sad and angry because even on that balcony, Kara should have told her. Lena told Kara everything but Kara still didn’t tell her. Instead, she had to find out from the brother who had tried to have her killed multiple times. The brother she still tried to save, just to have him betray her again. Lena hears it then, the soft murmuring and slowly sits up to see Kara standing by the window, phone pressed to her ear. The moonlight illuminates the room and gives it a silvery-blue glow. Kara hasn’t noticed that she's awake so Lena lays back down.
“It’s just hard Alex. I know she's having nightmares. Her heart is thundering in her chest but I can’t hold her like I usually do…. Because, she's not my wife, not in her head. In her head right now she's just finding out about Supergirl and we are fighting again.... I’m hoping she remembers, the memories are coming, just slowly….. No, I can't tell her yet. It wouldn't mean anything to her.... Well yes, she'll be crushed of she remembers. No, when. When she remembers…. Yeah, I’ll let you know when we have a more definite release time. She has some physical therapy in the morning and they want to make sure she can stomach more solid foods…. I love you too, Alex. Goodnight.”
Lena tries to keep her breathing even because it's clear Kara doesn't she is awake. Soon she hears the quiet sobs of Kara crying. It breaks Lena’s heart and just as she is about to sit up she hears a siren in the distance. Then more. With a whoosh, the door opens and shuts and Kara is gone. Off to save people because she couldn’t save her wife. Lena cries herself back to sleep before Kara gets back.
The next day is tense. Lena still can’t bring herself to forgive Kara even though all her body wants is to be wrapped in her arms. Small moments keep coming back to her at the most unexpected times. Just flashes of the past five years and nothing in a particular order. Sam moving with her to National City, a date with James (cringe), a date with Kara (her cheeks hurt from smiling), helping save Sam from Reign, adopting a puppy from the shelter and Kara naming him Krypto after her lost home. Happy and sad intermingled as she went through three hours of painful stretching and walking in the physical therapy room with a very beautiful doctor that made Lena have to remind herself that she was married. She wasn’t the single woman that had woken up yesterday. It was easier now as the memories started to fall into place in her mind. But she also so clearly remembered the anger she felt for months as Kara had continued to lie to her about supergirl. It was so strong and she had no idea how her past self had gotten over it.
Kara was a steady presence throughout the whole day. She kept her distance though, trying to give Lena room to not feel pressured. But Lena kept catching Kara watching her. Making sure she was okay and not in pain. When the therapy was over and Lena had kept down a solid breakfast and lunch, the doctor said she was free to go. But go where? She had thought.
“Yeah, ba-” Kara pauses and clears her throat. “Yeah, Lena?” Kara continues packing up her files and laptop before packing the duffle with their clothes in it. She had made sure Lena was in her, what she assumes was ‘her’, own pajamas and had her own blanket for her stay. Kara keeps busy but Lena knows she is very aware of everything Lena does.
“Where do we live?”
Kara pauses her work and gives Lena a soft smile. “A three-level condo at the top of a building you own. Well, I guess we own, you know the whole ‘what’s mine is yours’ marriage thing. Anyway, the rest is rent-controlled for L-Corp Employees.”
Lena remembers the big floor to ceiling windows that looked over the city, walking distance to the visible L-Corp building so she and her employees could either walk or ride to work, or even carpool, as one of her green initiatives for the company. Lena nods slowly and Kara can tell she remembered something. Maybe all this would take is gentle reminders here and there for Lena’s memory to come back. Getting her home would help also, at least that’s what the doctor said.
By three o'clock Lena s being rolled to the entrance in a wheelchair as Kara pulls the car upfront. Cameras flash at the entrance but Kara had hired a private security team to hold them back. Lena is glad she was able to at least put on jeans and one of Kara’s old sweatshirts instead of the pajamas. Kara pulls up in a car that looks remarkably similar to one Lena had drawn up last year, no wait, six years ago? Before she took over LexCorp. She had a suspicion it was her design which meant it was entirely electric and it made her happy to see something she had dreamed up had become a reality. There was probably much more but she was still reconciling memories to reality.
Kara helped her into the car with as little touching as possible while ignoring the shouted questions of the press. Kara had informed her earlier that Jess, her former assistant, now interim CEO and part-owner of L-Corp, had already made a statement that Lena had lost her memory due to the head injury but was quickly recovering both physically and mentally. She announced that Lena would be taking a temporary leave of absence but with full intentions of returning in two months time. Lena was relieved to know she hadn't just dreamed of promoting her loyal friend and confidant.
Kara drove her to a semi-familiar building and quietly led her up the elevator. She pressed the highest number and held her thumb to the button while it scanned her thumbprint and the light turned green. "Extra security," Kara mumbled. The elevator let out to a hallway with a single door. Kara input a password on the keypad and then placed her hand on a scanner beside the door and it also turned green. Lena remembers having it installed after a crazy stalker of Kara's had broken into their apartment and waited for them to get home. He wanted to take Kara’s brain for himself, or something just as crazy. Too bad he didn’t count on dealing with Supergirl and a Luthor.
Kara opens the door and ushers Lena in. Kara was watching Lena carefully and could see how that trip from the car as wearing on her. Kara planned to get Lena in bed straight away and make her favorite tea. She helps Lena to the couch while she takes their bags to the bedroom and unpacks. Lena looks around and takes in the space.
Memory after memory begins to trickle in as she takes in the pictures on the walls and the knick-knacks tucked between books on the shelves. The blanket Eliza made for them on the couch. The toy chest Alex made during her woodworking phase two years ago. The toy chest? Why did they need a toy chest?
Lena’s world crashes down on her then. She picks up the soft blue blanket and sees the little Danvers-Luthor stitched into it next to a green rattle. Lena runs her fingers over Eliza’s neat stitching and tears are already rolling down her cheeks. She remembers now.
She and Kara had tried the DEO’s experimental technology to use Kara’s DNA to merge with hers to create a child but it was still too early, even with Lena’s brain helping it was too expensive to keep trying after several failed attempts. They talked about an anonymous donor but Kara couldn’t carry the child and if Lena was honest, she didn’t want to have a baby with anyone but Kara. That left adoption. It also led to fights. Lena and Kara had such different experiences in their own lives. Lena was convinced it wouldn’t go well. In the end, Kara convinced her it was Lena’s chance to do better and Kara’s chance to share the love she was given.
After a year of waiting and paperwork and background checks, they just had to wait for a child to be matched with them. But that could take any time from three days to three months. Lena couldn’t cancel her trip to Hong Kong. The Opening of the L-Corp office there had been planned for three years. It seemed safe enough to just go for a week. Until Lena got a call on her third day from Kara that the Social worker was going to be coming in two days with a potential match. Lena immediately canceled her meetings and had the tech crew get her plane ready. It was self-flying and solar-powered, she just wanted it powered up by the time she got to the airfield. She smiled now at the time she and Kara flew to Katznia to confront Lex on an earlier model. It had taken a long time to get over but the lengths Lena went to protect Kara was comical.
But what happened to the one-year-old that had lost its parents in a car crash? What happened to that little brown-haired, blue-eyed baby girl? A sob racks Lena’s chest because now she remembers everything. She crushes the blanket to her chest and hunches over her knees.
She remembers the fights and the makeups. The 'I love you’s' and flowers and forehead kisses. The tension had built after the Supergirl confrontation to the point that they had a screaming match but then suddenly Kara was kissing her and Lena was pulling that stupid cape off. Right there in her office at three in the morning.
Lena was on her way home, almost there, when her plane was shot out of the sky and Kara was there to protect her, just like she always was.
Kara rushed in at the sound of Lena’s crying, taking in the blue blanket in her white-knuckled grasp. Suddenly Kara is cooing in her ear and her strong arms pull Lena back together from where she was breaking in half with her heart. They lost another child. Another chance at a family.
“Shhh… my love. It's okay. It’s okay. Madison went to another loving family. Oh, Lee. We will get another chance. This isn't the end. So many children out there need love” Kara continues reassuring her until Lena can manage to even out her breathing.
“They didn’t have the funding to wait to place her, and with you, in the hospital, we couldn’t prove to be a suitable home. The woman understood and told me to call her when we were ready again. We won’t have to start over.”
“But I wasn’t here! How did you even handle this on your own?”
Kara cringes. She handled it about as well as Lena was. She fell down right in the entryway, clutching the blanket as the Social Worker carried the baby away. She sobbed until she lost track of time and cried because she should have been at the hospital for her wife. Instead of saying all that she swallows.
“I cried. But I had you to worry about. You are my priority, Lena.”
Lena nestles into Kara, exhausted and just wanting to sleep. Kara’s warm hands rub up and down her arm as Lena cries softly.
“So I take it you’re not mad at me anymore?” Kara asks. Lena laughs wetly and rubs under her nose and her cheeks.
“No. No, I remembered everything.”
“Everything?” Kara teases, Lena elbows her softly.
“Yes, everything. But can I have some tea? This has been a rough forty-eight hours. And my head still hurts.”
Kara laughs a real laugh that is music to Lena’s ears.
“Yeah tell me about it. Come on. I got pretty far ahead on work over the past couple of days, so I took the next two weeks off. Just you and me. And several pints of ice cream to cry this out.” Kara moves to stand up, Lena grips her arm and holds her down. Kara’s forehead crinkles in the very way Lena missed. It felt like she had relieved the past five years and that this huge gulf had separated her from today and just two weeks ago when she had left on her trip.
“I love you. So much. Even when I didn’t know you, you kept all of our memories safe and brought me back to you. You kept all of your vows to me and made me love you even when I was angry. I know this was a setback, and it's going to be hard. You, Kara Danvers-Luthor, are my hero.”
“I will always protect you.”
They sat like that for a few minutes before curiosity overcame Lena.
“What happened to whoever shot my plane?”
“They may or may not have spent the night in the DEO sensory deprivation chamber. Not the goon that was hired but the rival CEO. Frank Chang, I think? The American born son of the former CEO in Hong Kong that you were competing with. Alex dealt with him after that. I was a little too angry to pay much attention other than taking him on the scariest flight of his life.” Lena chuckles at her wife's antics.
“And how were you there? When the plane exploded?”
“I was too amped up so I thought I’d fly along and make sure you got home safe. I just got distracted by…” Kara trails off.
“By what?” Lena arches an eyebrow.
“By what I wanted to do to you as soon as the plane landed.” Kara blushes and Lena thinks its cute, even after all these years. “I was really excited and… umm… well… a bit horny after so long without you.
Its Lena’s turn to laugh out loud and Kara delights in it. “Soon, my love. Soon. You can give me an idea once I’ve been cleared by the doctor. For now, take me to bed and cuddle me?” Lena asks.
“As you wish,” Kara smirks.
“Rao, You watched it again didn’t you?” Lena asks
“Well, how else am I supposed to protest that stupid remake?” Kara exclaims. Lena just rolls her eyes as Kara sweeps her into a bridal style carry with ease.
“All right Dread Pirate. Just don’t let the Rodents of Unusual Size get me.”
“As you wish.”
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Alright, since none of you seem inclined to talk me out of it, perhaps you can help me kick my D.E.B.S. verse off on the right foot by providing a little feedback before I finally cave and make this a reality.
For anyone not familiar with D.E.B.S. (and I can not recommend the movie enough if you fall into this camp), the basic premise is that there is a secret test embedded in the SAT that determines aptitude for espionage. Women who score highly on the test are recruited into D.E.B.S. (Discipline, Energy, Beauty, Strength), a clandestine paramilitary academy.
Question the first:
Should I go all D.E.B.S. or a mix of D.E.B.S. and Villains? without spoiling too much for those of you who haven’t seen the film, half the reason I love D.E.B.S. as much as I do has to do with the Lucy Diamond character, a villain, and I think having a few OC villain’s built into the Verse from the start to go with my OC D.E.B.S. might not be the worst idea.
Question the second:
While I will almost certainly add my Glee three, and probably my OCs (I’m not sure Mal fits, so she might be left out) to the Verse, I have a very, very, long list of potential FCs, and even whittled down to the ones I think might best fit, which ones would be the best to start with? (This is by no means a complete list of FCs I would like to see in this verse, let alone of FCs I’d like to play--so if you have any you’d like to suggest, please do.)
Anna Kendrick -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Graduated) / Villain: I can sort of see her as a Villain, but only just. Primarily, I see her as a D.E.B.S. in a mentor/handler role.
As a D.E.B.S., She’s someone who’s been out of the academy for a few years and has a bit of a rep, both at the Academy and among Villians as a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done (by-the-book or not) type, which she is, but unbeknown to most, she’s fairly laid back when not on the job.
As a Villain, She’s more of a Lena Luthor type; someone who’s inherited the family business--and drama--and is suspect more for her family name than anything she’s done... while still morally and ethically ambiguous enough that those keeping an eye on her feel justified in keeping an eye on her.
Ashley Tisdale -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Graduated) / Villain: I see her more as a Villain role, but I can also see her as a D.E.B.S.
As a D.E.B.S., she’s been out the Academy for a while, probably the same class as Anna (and always in Anna’s shadow... not that she’s bitter about that or anything). Unlike Anna, she’s very by-the-book.
As a Villain, I see her as less of a ‘world domination’ type, and more of an ‘I just want money’ type. She tends to draw the line at any real violence and prefers to use her wiles to lure her marks into giving her whatever it is she’s after, be it cash, cars, gems, or government/business secrets she can auction off to the highest bidder.
Brenda Song -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Graduated) / Villain: I see her more as a D.E.B., but I can see her as a Villain.
As a D.E.B., she’s also likely from the same class as Anna and/or Ashley, but unlike them, she’s not a field agent (usually). Primarily she functions as an Analyst/Case Officer with a bit of a “Mother Hen” attitude when it comes to her agents. While not top of her field, she’s solidly in the top third.
As a Villain, I’m seeing her as a mercenary-for-hire. Not the Big bad, but works for--and has inside knowledge on--a lot of them. While competent in hand-to-hand, her primary skills lie in assassination, both subtle and direct.
Charisma Carpenter -- Status: Academy Faculty: Charisma specializes in Negotiation and Seduction. She has a storied career and is something of a legend among the D.E.B.S. (and among a few of the older Villains), some of which might have to do with rumours that she may have started for her own amusement.
China Anne McClain -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Recent Graduate?)/ Villain: While China makes an excellent Villain, I see her primarily as a D.E.B.--if one on the border of switching sides.
As a D.E.B.S., she’s an expert in bladed weapons, always carrying at least one on herself at all times. When she first came into the D.E.B.S. program, China had a bit of a patience/temper management issue but has improved on both over the course of her training and is now a highly valued agent... if a little direct in her solutions at times. Her class is a few years behind Brenda/Ashley/Anna’s.
As a Villian, she broke away from the D.E.B.S after a mission gone south and, like Brenda, is now a mercenary for hire. Unlike Brenda, China has aspirations to be more than just ‘a fucking minion’ and is biding her time until the opportunity presents itself to become one of the top dogs.
Demi Lovato -- Status: D.E.B.S. / Villain: I’m fifty-fifty here, I can see both fitting her equally well.
As a D.E.B.S., She’s still a year shy of graduating, and already a little disillusioned with the life of a spy. This might have something do with the fact that outside of a few special cases, she’s rarely called on to put her specialty in explosives to use in the field, leaving her feeling like a bit of a fifth wheel. Or it could be the fact that she’s never really clicked with the other D.E.B.S.
As a Villain, she’s started out as a small-time grifter before catching the eye--and wallet, of the local Crime Boss’ Consigliere. A few years later, and Demi was sitting high, heiress apparent to the whole organization. This did not sit well with some of the longer serving members, and shortly before her twenty-first birthday, several of those members decided to take her out of the running.
They failed. After that, no one questioned her claim to the throne. Especially after rumours of her ‘souvenir collection’ started to circulate.
Emily Osment -- Status: D.E.B.S.: While she could possibly work as a Villian too, I don’t see her as one.
As a D.E.B.S., She’s known best for her oddball sense of humour and ‘distractability’, often bouncing between several subjects in the span of a conversation. Some describe her as ‘an excited little puppy’, others as ‘a wash-out waiting to happen’. Either way, no one can deny her test scores which are consistently in the top fifth percentile across the board. Despite her test scores, Emily has failed to shine in any one particular specialty, proving instead to be a middle-of-the-road jack-of-all-trades.
Emma Watson -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Graduated) / Villain: Another one I’m split fifty-fifty on.
As a D.E.B.S., She excels at languages. Much to her disappointment, this has led to her playing more of a support role--translating intel, acting as a liaison between D.E.B.S. and foreign agents/agencies, etc--with little to no Fieldwork since her graduation.
As a Villain, she comes from old money, and while the initial deposits all those years ago might not have been ill-gotten, enough of the ones since have arrived under questionable circumstances (and often in disguise). Not one to hide from--or be hidden from--the truth behind her family’s wealth, Emma has apprenticed under her parents for the last several years in those borderline illegal activities that help to keep the coffers full while dabbling in a few over-the-border ones on her own.
Hayley Atwell -- Status: D.E.B.S. Dean/Director / Villain: Another fifty-fifty. I can easily see her in both a white hat and a black one.
As D.E.B.S. Dean/Director, She’s held the position for several years and, unlike the rest of her faculty, remains something of a mystery to the Agents and Agents-in-training serving under her--all of which she knows by name (as well as knowing them better than they suspect, or she lets on). Like Brenda, she has a bit of a ‘Mother hen’ attitude when it comes to the women under her command but where Brenda’s comes in the form of bordering-on-annoying-at-times check-ins both on and off the clock, Hayley’s is decidedly of the tough-love variety.
As a Villain, She’s one of the big ones. Years of experience have taught her all the tricks in the book on both sides of the battle between good and evil, and she’s invented a few more along the way. Her criminal syndicate is a sort of Anti-D.E.B.S., though nothing as formal. Most of her recruiting is based on gut instinct and necessity rather than tests (secret or otherwise). A careful look at the files for her recruits would turn up a common element, though: Almost all of the women in her organization were victims of one form of abuse or another before they were recruited. It might come as no surprise then to learn that Hayley’s criminal endeavours have a bit of a Robin hood flavour, tending to target the corrupt regardless of their public perception--a fact which has pissed off more than one government who had their hands caught in the cookie jar--with a fair portion rumoured to be passed along to the Poor. It should be noted that while numerous charities and foundations have received sizable donations after one of Hayley’s heists, there has been no confirmed connection between Hayley or her syndicate and any of the organizations in question.
Salli Richardson – Status: D.E.B.S. Dean/Director / Other: I'm leaning more towards "Other" but in any verse where Hayely is a Villain, I see Salli as her D.E.B.S. counterpoint.
As D.E.B.S. Dean/Director, much like Hayley, Salli has held the position for several years, and like Hayley, Salli remains something of a mystery to her students/agents. Unlike Hayley, however, the question mark hovering over her past is more the result of security clearances and protocol than a deliberate attempt to create an air of mystery around herself. Despite this, She is not a stickler for the rules and values results and competence over blindly following orders (a trait she shares with her Other self).
As Other, She fell just shy of a qualifying score for D.E.B.S. recruitment on the secret test--a fact that, should she ever learn it, would annoy her both because she came as close as she did to becoming a D.E.B.S., and because she wasn't considered good enough to become one. Either way, the same skills and inclinations that almost made her a D.E.B.S. candidate led her in to law enforcement (C.I.A. or F.B.I, I'm not sure which) where she managed to work her way up the ladder with surprising speed despite the 'Boys Club' mentality she faced, both as a woman and a POC. Not long after one of her operations crossed paths with D.E.B.S., she was officially read in on the D.E.B.S. program and named the official liaison to the D.E.B.S.. A position she resents, considering it a career dead end, and a particularly galling one given that whenever she has to deal with "that bunch of fetish costume-wearing, Jane Bond wanna be's", her official contact is someone half her age. While not a Villain, she definitely counts as an Antagonist to the D.E.B.S. as a whole.
Selena Gomez -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Graduate [?] ) / Villain: While I can see her as both, I’m leaning more towards her as a D.E.B.S.
As a D.E.B.S., she has a much more laid back attitude than most of her fellow Agents(-in-training). At least when it comes to spycraft. Get her started on anything Tech (where her own talents shine) or anything pop-culture, and she can be almost overpoweringly enthusiastic. Unlike most of her Class, Selena is hoping for a support role once she Graduates (or is very happy she got one after graduating, grumbling only when necessity forces her into the field).
As a Villain, she still has those mad Tech skills, putting them to use as the notorious hacker, Conchita, infamous for raiding servers for whatever catches her eye before leaving behind her calling card, an eight-bit, animated, laughing clam.
Tessa Thompson -- Status: D.E.B.S. (Graduated) / Villain: I see her more in the Villain role, but it’s a close contest.
As a D.E.B.S., she’s a few years ahead of Anna/Ashley/Brenda. At best, Tessa was in her final year at the Academy when they were fresh recruits, but more likely she was a year or two graduated herself by that point. Known best for her resolute calm in the face of danger, she’s a veteran of several of the more action-oriented missions of the last few years. She is rarely seen on campus and tends to spend most of her time in the field. The general consensus is that she’s being groomed for a leadership position down the line, possibly even for the Dean/Director’s chair.
As a Villain, She retains that calm-under-fire demeanour and is most likely someone’s right-hand/second in command (Hayley’s if she’s also a Villain, With Emma as second choice, likely as Bodyguard). She has no desire to take the top spot and prefers to spend her downtime alone (when she’s not in the mood to relieve a little stress with the help of a one-night stand or two, that is. She doesn’t do long term.)
Zendaya Coleman -- Status: D.E.B.S.: Again, I can see her as a Villain, but I feel she fits best as a D.E.B.S.
As a D.E.B.S., she’s something of an outcast in her class, but not because she’s not likable. On the contrary, she’s very likable. That’s part of the problem; she has a way of getting a person to drop their defenses around her. A trait that plays largely into the main reason why her fellow D.E.B.S. avoid her when they can; her PsyOps Specialty.
Question the third:
Do I add the D.E.B.S. verse to this blog, or make a new blog for it? Either way, I will likely test out one or two D.E.B.S. verse characters here to gauge interest before setting up another account, but in the course of writing this, it has occurred to me that I might be better off making the whole thing its own thing in the long run.
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Could you do one where Lena keeps getting mad at Kara for breaking her stuff?
Sore. Very sore. Aching, even.
With a groan, Lena rolled over in her empty bed and winced at the pain in her hip. And her back. And her thigh. There was this delicious kind of ache though, beneath the soreness. Lena almost craved it, to wake up and feel absolutely lethargically satisfied. Her girlfriend was more than willing to oblige.
The sun peeked through the curtains as the day wanted to start. Just down the hall from the bedroom, Lena could hear the telltale signs of someone else in her penthouse. The smells wafted in a few seconds later as she found herself mid stretch, and despite the soreness, she moved her legs and kicked off the sheets in search of clothes.
Her feet, however, did not meet air. She did not have to swing herself off of her oversized and much too tall bed, but rather instead immediately hit her feet on the floor, to which Lena squinted and looked around.
Splintered on the edges, the former frame of her bed sat, crumbled beneath the mattress. She pushed her hair away from her face and looked at the headboard, now completely dismantled and missing chunks. She should have remembered something about what happened, but to be honest, she couldn’t find anything in the memories other than Kara.
“Don’t be mad,” Kara appeared, sheepish and holding two cups of coffee as a shield against the inevitable wrath. “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t do anything else.”
Lena pursed her lips and looked at her girlfriend, unamused that she would have to spend her Monday morning shopping for new furniture again.
“You couldn’t do anything else?”
“Well, I just…” she winced and handed over the warm mug. “I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t mean to break it.”
“I really liked this bed.”
“I did too.”
Awkwardly, Kara ran her foot along the back of her shin, and she shifted, holding her own coffee mug with both hands. Just wearing old shorts and an older shirt, her hair was a mess, all messy waves and perfect sleepy bashfulness. It was more difficult to be mad and annoyed at furniture shopping after all of the orgasms and literal bed-breaking sex.
Kara took a sip and she adjusted her glasses, waiting for Lena to forgive her.
“Do you know how expensive this was?” Lena sighed, looking again at the edge of the bed and her feet, now amidst the rubble.
“I don’t know, like six hundred?”
Lena coughed on her coffee and chuckled, making her girlfriend a bit redder in the ears.
“Oh, darling,” Lena smiled and shook her head. “You’re an expensive date, is all I can say.”
“Seven hundred?” Kara cocked her head.
“Sure. Let’s call it that.”
“Stop buying expensive things.”
“Stop breaking expensive things.”
“You’re going to have to take everything out yourself. I can’t explain to the furniture store why I need another bed. People will start to talk.”
Kara nudged a board with her toe while Lena sipped her coffee.
“I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad.”
“Stop breaking my stuff, Kara.”
“Stop being so sexy.”
“Don’t turn this on me. You’re supposed to control your powers.”
“I can’t help it.”
“I guess no more sex.”
In an instant, Kara snapped her eyes up from the bashful hiding they were doing in her mug, and she frantically searched her girlfriend's nonplussed face, ascertaining no real answer or if it was a joke or not. Instead, Lena kept a blank face and sipped more coffee.
“Wait, really?” Kara squinted.
All she got was a shrug.
Even in the uniform, even with the symbol emboldened upon her chest, even with the threat mitigated and peace prevailing over the busy street that the assassination attempt prompted, even with the hearty applause before the street was cordoned off by agents in black suits and bright badges, Supergirl nervously shrunk herself and looked for a way to escape the inevitable wrath that would--
“This was my new car! My brand new car!”
All anger, the purest kind, all of it bundled up in one little package, wrapped up in a pencil skirt and balancing on high high heels that made her ass look absolutely fant--
“You couldn’t throw something else at the goons?!” Lena yelled, hands on her hips as she strut across the street.
Frantically, Kara looked around for anywhere to run to, to escape the inevitable lashing she was about to get. But in the heat of the moment, with a gun pointed at the head of the girl she loved, she didn’t see any other options that what was at hand.
The problem was, she knew how much Lena loved that car. She’d waited eight months for the custom edition, with all of the horsepower a girl could want, in the pretty green, with all of the bells and whistles. Lena spent hours pouring over the booklet, agonizing over the details, lusting after a new toy-- something she rarely allowed herself. For hours, Kara listened to Lena give her specifics and watched her countdown the days, saw her put a heart on the date on the calendar.
And she just chucked it across the street, turning the beautiful machine of a car into nothing more than a giant crumpled up mess.
“Do you know how much I wanted that? How long I waited for it?” Lena continued to rant. “That was your big ideal to end it? Just throw something at them.”
“I was-- you were-- there was--” Supergirl stuttered.
“My car! Do you know how much I spent on it? Do you know how beautiful it was? Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for it?”
“Eight damn months!” Lena supplied, too big into her rant to hear anything else.
On the sidewalk a few agents watched the display and sniggered to themselves. The superhero looked to them and then back to the raving Luthor who didn’t seem to need to take a breath or even sit still for a few seconds, but rather continued to yell.
“So, are you mad at me?” Supergirl finally managed to ask, earning nothing but the world’s fiercest glare.
And that was coming from someone with lasers in her eyeballs.
“I can’t even--” the CEO sputtered, left eye twitching. Her neck burned red. “This is by far-- I don’t know where-- I want to--”
No words seemed to come, and Kara knew that was a bad sign.
“I did it to save your life, Ms. Luthor.”
They stared at each other, standing off and waging a war with just a few glances. Each already knew who won.
“I am unfathomably angry right now. I am going to speak with the DEO claims department to inform them that they just lost a third of their annual budget thanks to their hero’s knack for breaking my things. If you’ll excuse me.”
With a snap of her heels, Lena did an abrupt about-face, the agner tightening the muscles of her neck and shoulders. She still had her hands rooted into fists at her side.
“Yeah, a little mad,” Kara sighed as she pushed off from the ground, already knowing what the next chunk of her day was going to look like as soon as Lena made it home.
For some reason, she wasn’t in a rush.
There was a second of silence as the air grew thick with apprehension.
“Oops? What’s oops? What did you do?”
“It was an accident,” Kara hurried, protesting before it could turn into a full fight. She always lost the ones where she broke something. She lost quite often.
Hair tousled and mess, lips puffy from kissing so hard, Lena pulled away from her girlfriend’s neck and met her glance. Kara gulped and slowly removed one hand from the spot where it cracked into the desk, and another held up a bra that’d been torn.
“Kara! Do you know how much that cost!”
“Um,” Supergirl gulped guiltily and looked back at her girlfriend. “A hundred?”
“Stop ruining my nice things!”
“Is this about the car still? Because I apologized about tha--”
“This is about the car, and the bed, and the bras and the skirts, and the desks, and the couch, and the table, and the wall in the beach house, and the ceiling in the cabin, and the helicopter,” Lena listed.
“That wasn’t my fault!”
“Have some self control, Supergirl.”
“You just get me so… so… so…” Kara shook her head and tried to find the words. “I don’t know. I’m sorry.”
“I think you just like getting me mad.”
Kara tried not to smile, but she was guilty of it. Lena rolled her eyes and kissed her girlfriend again.
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DC Comics: The 15 Biggest Moments of 2016
DC Comics endured yet another year filled with recalibration and revelations. The publisher underwent a “Rebirth” to restore some semblance of sense between the pre-“Flashpoint” era and the New 52, while still keeping the new continuity intact. The product? A year of mind-games, clues and hints as to what actually caused all this fragmentation within the DC universe and just how cohesive it could be if put back together.
RELATED: Marvel Comics: The 15 Biggest Moments Of 2016
Fans also saw the beloved Trinity being pushed to the limits, mentally and physically, with character deaths and returns sprinkled all over their precious pages. With the Justice League and Suicide Squad embedded in an even bigger spotlight due to the burgeoning DC cineverse, creators churned out some pretty monumental moments that truly defined and dealt with DC’s legacy and evolution. Without further adieu, CBR brings to you the biggest DC Comics jaw-droppers from 2016!
SPOILER WARNING: The below contains spoilers for multiple DC Comics titles.
“Justice League” #50 from Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok was one of DC’s most action-packed comics. It wrapped “Darkseid War,” which saw the Justice League barely overcome a resurrected Darkseid, under the control of his daughter, Grail. In the aftermath, a recovering Batman revealed crucial information on the Joker, which he found out before this fiery finale.
In Issue #42, while imbued with the universal knowledge of the Mobius chair, Batman inquired into Joker’s true identity and finally revealed to Hal Jordan that there wasn’t one, but three Jokers. Theories are that the three correspond to different phases in Joker’s career: one resembling the Golden Age Joker, the other resembling the ’70s and ’80s-era Joker, and lastly, the modern one from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Multiple Jokers would explain why he’s always cheating death, why his past is so vague and why his personality shifts so much from silly prankster to psychopath. Fans are eager to see more of this mystery unveiled in 2017 because of the impact it will surely have on the Batman mythos.
DARKSEID DIES (AGAIN)
“Justice League” #50 delivered another emphatic Darkseid death. This was his second demise after the Anti-Monitor and Flash/Black Racer infusion killed him last year in Issue #44. This time, Johns and Fabok scripted Grail as her father’s murderer. With the Anti-Life Equation extracted from the Anti-Monitor, leaving Mobius behind, Grail used it to weaponize Steve Trevor to kill the powerhouse. Eventually, she took back the Equation and merged it with the Omega Sanction (taken from Lex Luthor) into the son of Superwoman and Mazahs (both of the Crime Syndicate), reviving another iteration of her father.
She held full control over this Darkseid and used him to pummel the League. However, her Amazonian mother, Myrina Black, realizing her daughter was becoming a tyrant like her father, urged her to cease her lust for war. With Wonder Woman restraining and calming Grail via her lasso, Myrina beckoned her daughter to rid her slave of the Equation. An emotional, repentant Grail obliged, with her Omega Beams piercing through both her parents, removing the Equation from Darkseid. It was all part of a stormy finale that revealed Superman’s ill-health, Jessica Cruz as a Green Lantern, Lex ruling Apokolips and Wonder Woman’s twin brother.
SUPER SONS BRAWL
“Superman” #10 offset all the dark and gritty clouds that covered the Rebirth era with something a bit more fun in the shape of a pint-sized super-brawl featuring the sons of the World’s Finest. Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason constructed a lighthearted story of Batman’s son, Damian, kidnapping Jon Kent, Superman’s (pre-New 52) son, after becoming concerned that the latter couldn’t control his evolving powers. Batman immediately chastised Damian upon finding out, only for a peeved Superman to come crashing through the Batcave, angry that Jon was whisked away without permission.
As both fathers worked out their differences and began testing Jon’s DNA for abnormalities, the kids apparently reached a truce through Alfred and their love of animals. However, Damian’s constant antagonizing brought a truly hilarious moment that saw a fed-up Jon punch the volatile Robin in the gut for his insults about the youth’s emerging powers. They ended up scrapping only for their fathers to break it up with looks of disapproval. Jon’s punch was certainly a laugh-out-loud moment that sets the stage for their “Super Sons” book, slated for a February 2017 release.
THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN BOOMERANG
“Suicide Squad” #2 threw us for a loop when it took Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness) off the table at the hands of General Zod. Fans were shocked that Rob Williams and Jim Lee scripted his death, especially after the Rogue’s breakout role in David Ayer’s film. On a mission with the team under Rick Flag’s watch, Squad members Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, Katana and Enchantress infiltrated an underwater facility housing a cosmic artifact.
After locating their prize and picking up a new teammate, Hack, they found out that it was a portal to the Phantom Zone. Stunned, Flag urged his team to get away as they were in over their heads. However, before a prying Boomerang could escape, Zod promptly dispatched him via heat vision before revealing himself to the Squad. It ended up being a temporary removal as the character returned in Issue #8, thanks to Hack, who revived him from digital entrapment during a prison breakout and riot at Belle Reeve. It was a sigh of relief for his cult following who thought his newfound popularity fell on deaf ears.
THE DEATH OF LOIS AND CLARK
DC swung for the fences when they killed off the New 52 versions of Lois and Clark, making way for the classic versions to take center stage again. The New 52 Superman exited in Tomasi’s “The Final Days of Superman” arc in “Superman” #52, when the icon died from kryptonite poisoning, surrounded by friends and the pre-“Flashpoint” Superman. He exploded and turned to ash, simultaneously emitting energy bolts that powered up both the New 52 Lois and Lana Lang, making way for “Superwoman” #1.
However, Lois’ stint would be short-lived as artist/writer Phil Jimenez killed her off in the same inexplicable manner. She also turned to ash instantly while fighting off a Bizzaro-Superwoman clone belonging to Lex’s sister, Lena; aka, Ultrawoman. On perishing, she hinted that she saw the dead Clark and that she finally understood why he died, leaving Lana alone to carry the mantle. With this Lois dying, the pre-“Flashpoint” Lois decided to take up her identity. It was a bold move to take two big players off the chessboard in this way, but with another Lois and Clark present, fans were already looking to the next chapter (and honestly quite happy to have the return of more familiar faces).
THE “DEATH” OF TIM DRAKE
James Tynion IV and Eddy Barrows delivered quite a stunner to Tim Drake fans, without even following through on killing him. In “Detective Comics” #940, the Bat-family took down Batwoman’s father, Jacob Kane, and his rogue military operation, The Colony. Tim, aka Red Robin, stops Kane’s fleet of weaponized drones by reprogramming them to target himself instead of innocent Gotham citizens. A wounded Tim survived the first strike, only to discover a second unstoppable wave that seemingly destroys him, leaving his staff alone behind.
However, the issue’s big twist is that while he is injured, he is alive, transported to a cell at an unknown location. There, he’s confronted by the same hooded stranger we saw in the “Rebirth” one-shot who’s also been keeping tabs on Superman in “Action Comics.” The mysterious entity, Mr. Oz, cryptically says that because Tim had been “reconnecting threads that could not be reconnected,” he needed to be taken off the playing field. It was a painstaking moment to see Tim expressing hope that his allies will find him, with his fate appearing very bleak as everyone is grieving. It’s hard to come back when no one’s searching for you, though we suspect we’ll see him back in action soon enough.
MAX LORD RETURNS
In terms of being the ruthless megalomaniac we’re accustomed to, Max Lord has remained relatively low-key post-“Flashpoint.” Leading Checkmate, he did battle Brother Eye and the new O.M.A.C., but it’s “Justice League vs. Suicide Squad” that sees him return to his despotic ways in grand fashion. The former League benefactor assembled a third team, filled with villains, and all sharing the objective of taking out the stalwart chief of the Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller… by any means necessary.
It’s exciting to see this conniving attitude once more from the man who once put a bullet through the head of Ted Kord, the original Blue Beetle. He rounded up Lobo, Emerald Empress, Doctor Polaris, Johnny Sorrow, Rustam and Eclipso, to get to Waller, even if it means going through her Task Force X unit or the League themselves. The cold, cruel and bloodthirsty manner in which he broke his team out from The Catacombs prison, using his mind control to turn the guards on themselves, showed that he means business. We can’t wait to see how Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok craft Lord’s new mission, which, ironically enough perhaps, involves “saving the world.” We’ll believe it when we see it…
I AM SUICIDE
“Batman” #12 by Tom King and Mikel Janin shockingly elaborated on what the arc “I Am Suicide” truly meant. It wasn’t in reference to Batman’s makeshift Suicide Squad that attacked Bane’s Santa Prisca base to extract Psycho Pirate, but rather, a confession to his teammate, Selina Kyle (Catwoman), who was being transferred to Arkham Asylum for allegedly murdering 237 people. In a letter, he told her of a childhood trauma, confiding that he resolved to dedicate his life to crimefighting, only after attempting suicide via razor blade.
It was his way of showing her that there was hope to be reborn, with the admission painted against a backdrop of Batman overcoming an army of attackers. It was a daring revelation by King that spoke volumes of the eternal struggle raging within Bruce Wayne, overcoming despair to find a real purpose. It also showed that he was just as invested as Selina was, in fighting for her life and her very soul, adding another dimension to their complicated love story. The breathtaking visuals made the experience all the richer and continued to show the caped crusader in an inspirational, if decidedly more human light.
In “Darkseid War,” every issue raised the stakes, with Issue #50 being the most provocative. It’s not often we see Darkseid killed, let alone twice, and then used as a pawn, but Grail managed to play her father like a fiddle. She manipulated the Anti-Monitor, Crime Syndicate, Steve Trevor and to some extent, the Justice League, in aid of achieving her goals. That comes as no surprise, given how focused she was since Myrina escaped Themyscira with her and raised her as an instrument of war.
In a twist-filled finale, Grail finally grew compassion and understood that she didn’t have to inherit her father’s destructive ways, releasing him from the grasp of the Anti-Life Equation, seemingly at the cost of both her parents. However, she escaped with Darkseid, who was reduced to an infant, and in the closing scenes, was seen soothing him. She told the child how she intended to raise him so that he has a second chance, away from his destiny to conquer and rule with an iron fist. While Grail promised to love him, the cutaway showing the child’s glowing-red eyes was ominous to say the least, hinting at just how much of Darkseid’s power — and demeanor — the child retained.
THE THEMYSCIRA LIE
Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp delivered a game-changer in “Wonder Woman” #11, wrapping “The Lies” arc. Diana’s journey to self-discovery came to a screeching halt as she found out what had been haunting her recently. It was revealed that the Themyscira trips she’d been making in the past were to a fake one and upon discovering the real island, it turned out to be abandoned and derelict, leaving her clueless as to who put up this facade that kept her in the dark all this time.
She and Steve Trevor were left baffled at the run-down, low-tech state of the real island. It was a heartbreaking moment that dealt her a huge blow because of how important it was to her heritage and eventual destiny. In reality, Wonder Woman’s never had a homecoming until now and it’ll be intriguing to see how she traverses across dimensions to try to find the fake Themyscira she’s familiar with and the Amazonians she calls family. With the mirage revealed, fans can’t wait to see what is actually going on, and just who has been messing with the routes whenever she tries to go back.
BRUCE WAYNE RETURNS
Following the Joker’s “Endgame,” Batman was taken off the table, with Bruce being reborn without his memories or crime-fighting skills. James Gordon was then installed as a police-sanctioned Batman, with a high-tech armored suit. However, Scott Snyder brought Bruce back as Batman, reinvigorated like never before. His body was fully-healed and it was indeed a rebirth as he even boasted a cocky sense of humor.
In the issue before, Bruce broke the hearts of his girlfriend, Julia, and Alfred, by stating he wanted to download a copy of his brain back into his body: a contingency plan he always kept in case he died. Alfred didn’t want him erasing his life of happiness, finally, just to go back to the cowl. Jules, on the other hand, eventually got the process started, as she knew the city needed their guardian. Issue #50 saw his return, in a quippy exchange with Bat-Gordon, as he began his retaliation for Bloom’s assault on the city. Bruce stemmed the threat and a hospitalized Gordon would go back to his old job, inspired after realizing just why vigilantes needed to operate outside the law.
GREEN LANTERN HEAVEN
“Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #10 told some of the most stellar stories Robert Venditti’s written since dabbling with the mythos. His current “Rebirth” arc saw Hal return as a Green Lantern, forging a new ring from his own will. He was also literally changing into energy, becoming willpower itself after going on the run with the Krona Gauntlet to take the blame for all the Corps’ misdeeds. Re-powered, he ended up fighting a rejuvenated Sinestro in a battle that seemingly cost both their lives, which led Hal to the Emerald Space, aka Green Lantern heaven.
Rafa Sandoval beautifully illustrated Hal’s inspirational meeting with his successor, Abin Sur, as well as emotional moments with deceased Lanterns. It featured heartfelt messages from Katma Tui to John Stewart, and from Tomar-Re to his son, Tomar-Tu, reinvigorating Hal just before he was plucked back to the land of the living by the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner. This issue also offered immense fan service to any Corps fan, setting the stage for Hal to lead an assault on Larfleeze, who had imprisoned the Corps that disappeared and whom Hal was searching for at the end of “The Lost Army.”
When the New 52 Superman died, he had help in his final mission from the pre-“Flashpoint” Superman, who was living in hiding with his wife, Lois, and their son, Jon. In passing, he made it clear the world needed a Superman and the old-school version decided to take up the mantle once more. In Tomasi and Gleason’s “Superman” #2, he found himself in full, public swing; clean-shaven and back in uniform, just like the good old days, helping out a uranium-powered submarine and its crew.
After he realized that there was no regeneration matrix in the Fortress of Solitude to bring the New 52 Superman back in this universe, vintage Clark knew that it was up to him to replace the hero, not just in Metropolis, but with the Justice League, too. Seeing him take flight and assist like a true boy-scout was both nostalgic and endearing in a way the character hadn’t been in some time, enhanced by how he used the task as a lesson to teach Jon about being a superhero. It was an incredible moment not just for the character, but for DC Comics, as the old Supes triumphantly donned the cape and emerged out of the shadows for truth, justice and the American way once more.
THE WATCHMEN COMETH
Speculation has been rampant that it’s Doctor Manhattan who’s been tinkering with the DC universe all this time, taking a valuable 10 years away from it to create the New 52. While that’s yet to be confirmed in the comics, the “Rebirth” one-shot planted a lot of seeds and colossal moments indicating that the “Watchmen” universe did indeed have an integral hand in shaping things. Johns wrote off Pandora, who many believed was responsible for the era after “Flashpoint” in a manner similar to how Manhattan killed Rorschach, more than suggesting it was his semi-divine hand that had something to do with the soft reboot.
Also, the issue showed Batman finding the blood-tainted smiley face button associated with the Comedian, as well as an ending that depicted what appeared to be Manhattan conversing with Ozymandias while fixing a watch on Mars: all signature stamps of Alan Moore’s epic. Other hints include Manhattan (allegedly) obliterating Owlman and Metron in “Justice League” #50 in what seems to be his distinctive style of dispatching enemies, as well as Mr. Oz’s monitoring and potential manipulation of Superman, not to mention his kidnapping of Tim Drake. With Johns teasing at writing some “Watchmen”-related stuff in 2017, prepare yourselves for even bigger shockwaves when the truth comes out.
WALLY WEST RETURNS
Wally West’s return was one that made grown geeks cry. Taken out the equation after “Flashpoint,” the “Rebirth” one-shot saw him trying to find a tether back to the present reality and away from the Speed Force. He first haunted the Batcave before journeying to the love of his life, Linda Park, but she too had no memory of him. Unsuccessful in finding that anchor point back, he had an emotional last-ditch interaction with Barry Allen. Barry finally remembered Wally and pulled him back into current continuity, with Wally revealing that some omnipotent being — believed to be Doctor Manhattan — warped their reality into the New 52.
Both embraced in a tearjerker moment that had fans rejoicing at the sight of seeing the Flash duo united once more. Wally was younger and wearing the Kid Flash costume, but was clearly relieved to be back to try to fix things. Later, given an upgrade in costume, he’d continue to find clues in “Titans” as to who’s been toying with everyone’s lives. What his return really represented, however, wasn’t just someone to help solve a lingering DC mystery; it offered promise that DC’s universe can be fixed, reshaped into what it should rightfully be.
What do you think was DC’s biggest moment in 2016? Sound off in the comments!
The post DC Comics: The 15 Biggest Moments of 2016 appeared first on CBR.com.
or, it takes sixteen weeks and one day for lena to forgive kara
She’d once had a nightmare about Lena discovering her secret in the worst possible way. It consisted of Kara being outed in the middle of a superhero-villain showdown, with her on her knees and with Lena’s wide-eyed look of betrayal burned into the back of her eyelids.
When she was feeling particularly masochistic, she’d continue the nightmare, trying to twist it and force it to conform to a reality she wanted. Lena would look betrayed, yes, but with Kara’s life on the line, a lie would seem trivial in comparison. (Never mind the fact that it was a series of lies, over the course of years, all despite the fact that Lena had trusted her with everything when Kara couldn’t do the same.)
They’d win in this scenario of Kara’s making, managing to twist the ending such that Lena would choose to vent her emotions by pulling Kara into an angry but relieved kiss and after a few days of space, Kara would reintroduce herself as Kara Danvers/Supergirl with an apology on her lips, and the promise of more shining in Lena’s eyes.
The reality she got, unfortunately, was much worse than her worst nightmares. It was cold eyes and an emotionless, vacant stare after the reveal. It was radio silence, it was a bitterly cold shoulder the one time Kara attempted to make contact, it was learning through Alex that Lena and James had decided to give it another go (and learning through Nia that it had fallen apart), it was blocked phone numbers and the loss of one of the most important people in her life.
Gone, as if she’d never been there—a clean, surgical cut.
And Kara....well, she sort of fell apart.
She’d never been addicted to anything, but she rather thought that this must have been what withdrawal felt like.
(Shockingly, she’d never quite realized just how integrated her life had become with Lena’s: it wasn’t just lunches and game nights and coffee dates, it was more. It was phone calls after a long day, texting throughout working hours—even if Lena’s responses sometimes came slowly, timed between meetings—and even spontaneous meet ups for Kara’s newest food craving or satisfying Lena’s need for a good work out.
She didn’t realize just how much she and Lena were intertwined until it all came to an end.)
The first day without Lena was agonizing. She kept turning to her phone, willing it to ring, willing it to vibrate with a notification, wondering where on Earth she’d ever gotten the idea that she’d be okay in a world where Lena Luthor hated her.
The second and third day, she spent an inordinate amount of time as Supergirl, purposefully flying past Lena’s building if only to get a hit, needing to hear Lena’s voice.
On the fifth day without Lena, Kara called in sick and laid in bed, staring at the ceiling as she wished for her best friend back.
And at the close of her first week without Lena in her life, Kara found herself in her sister’s arms, sobbing as she realized she really had no one to blame but herself.
It wasn’t easier, it could never be that, but it was different.
(Sometimes, when she was least expecting it, she thought her chest rattled with a heaving breath, a repressed sob attempting to shake loose her lungs.
More often than not, however, all she felt was a dull ache, a hole—an emptiness—where her heart was supposed to be.)
She didn’t fly by L-Corp anymore. In fact, she was proud to say she was actually clean, not having watched Lena’s interviews online in order to take in her voice, not having asked Alex how her research project with Lena was going, and even smiling at James (mending her friendship with him, unable to keep pushing him away when he’d done nothing but care about Lena).
Lena’s absence was everywhere. Kara felt it literally all the time. But where it once paralyzed her, made her unable to keep her head on straight, it was now just something that dogged her every step, heavy and cumbersome.
(She wondered, idly, if this was what it meant to get over someone.)
The first time she spoke to Lena since revealing her identity should’ve been a bigger moment than it actually ended up being. She rather thought it should’ve been accompanied with fireworks and other fanfare, but instead it was a quiet moment at the DEO, when the latest threat on Lena’s life had left her no other choice but to call for Supergirl’s help.
“—and you can keep an eye out for anything suspicious from the sky, Supergirl,” Alex was saying, relaying her orders to the DEO agents before turning to Kara. “Provide backup.”
Lena snorted indelicately from where she stood, a large tablet in her hands, her eyes fixated on something on the screen with a focus Kara was sure was being faked. She must have noticed that everyone’s eyes were on her because she cleared her throat as she looked up, shrugging remorselessly. “What? No need to keep up the charade anymore, is there? We all know who’s under that cape, you can use her name.”
“Supergirl’s identity is secret, Lena,” Alex said, her tone harsher than anything Kara could remember her using with Lena before. They had remained friends, despite Kara’s estrangement with Lena (though Alex had assured Kara dozens of times that she would cut off ties as well if it would help—seeming to understand far too well when Kara had insisted Alex maintain her relationship with the Luthor).
“Alex, it’s fine,” Kara tried, placing her hand on Alex’s shoulder in an attempt to placate her. “I’ll just go. My comms are on if you need me.” She forced a smile, only briefly glancing at Lena before striding off.
She wondered if she was only imagining Lena’s gaze burning into her back, and she realized as she struggled with the weight on her back, that she most certainly wasn’t over Lena.
The wound she received from Lena’s would-be assassin wasn’t, by any measure, a bad one. In fact, Kara was rather sure it was similar to the papercut she’d gotten after she’d blown out her powers. She didn’t even need to spend any time under the sun lamps at the DEO, choosing instead to stand on the balcony to absorb the last of the sun’s rays as night began to slowly fall.
Thus, she was understandably surprised when she heard someone in heels walk up next to her, leaning against the railing, and even more surprised to realize that that someone was Lena.
“I heard you were hurt,” Lena said curtly, causing Kara to look at her in shock. Not that Lena noticed—her eyes were focused firmly on the setting sun. “Had to make sure that I can’t be blamed for anything that happened to Supergirl,” Lena continued coldly, “so I thought I’d check in.”
“I’m fine,” Kara said softly, unsure if her voice truly sounded so defeated or if that’s what she heard because that’s what she was feeling. Odd, really, after so much that it would be losing Lena that would break Kara down and surrender.
(Then again, perhaps it wasn’t so odd. Perhaps it should’ve been obvious. While Kara wasn’t sure she’d go as far as say that she was in love with Lena—loves her, sure, but in love was another matter entirely—she was in touch with her emotions enough to know that Lena’s presence and friendship was...priceless. It was everything. Even without all the romantic feelings tossed into the mix.
And to lose it? To watch Lena’s eyes grow hard and turn her back on Kara, on everything that was between them, all that history and affection, and yes, love? Well, it was heartbreaking.
All the more heartbreaking because Kara could’ve prevented it all. If only….)
“You’re bleeding,” Lena said dispassionately, gesturing to the small cut above Kara’s left eyebrow. It wasn’t even bleeding, and Kara was rather sure it would disappear in the next few minutes—with or without sun. Yet, with Lena’s eyes on it, Kara couldn’t help but reach up and press her fingers against the small wound, wondering if she was crazy and just imagining the look of concern in Lena’s eyes at the motion.
“I’m honestly fine,” Kara said quietly, dropping her hand and gaze, unable to meet Lena’s eyes anymore. Perhaps that was a good thing, because Lena’s next words nearly brought her to tears.
“Thank you, for saving my life today. I didn’t think you would—I didn’t know if….” She trailed off with a huff, as if unable to finish the sentence, but Kara heard her anyway. She wasn’t sure if Kara would want to help her, protect her, be on her side. And that, more than the disappearance of texts, more than the cold shoulder, more than the hard gaze, it was that that truly broke Kara’s heart.
How could she have strayed, done so much wrong, that it was enough to make Lena think that?
“I know my word doesn’t mean much to you anymore—for good reason,” she added when she could feel Lena take issue with her sentence, “but I promise you, I’m on your side. I’m here for you. Always.” Lena didn’t respond, merely cleared her throat and turned away, clearly about to head back inside. Kara’s eyes followed her and before she was even fully aware of what she was doing, she was speaking again, desperate to say something, desperate to explain somehow, someway. “Lena, wait.” To Kara’s ultimate surprise, Lena actually did pause, even turned back to face her, meeting her gaze evenly, as if merely looking at a stranger. “I...” Kara began, floundering now that she had Lena’s attention (after wishing for it for so long). “I never meant to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you. You’re my best friend, I love you.”
For a long moment, Lena was silent. Then, so quickly even Kara with her speed and super senses was unsure she saw it, pain flashed in Lena’s eyes. (Pain that she, Kara, caused. That she brought about.)
“That’s funny,” Lena finally said, her voice soft and tinged with so much that went unsaid. Things like, why; things like, how could you? “The only reason it hurt was because I loved you.” She waited just long enough for the words (and oh, the tense) to register, eyes raking over Kara’s face before she turned on her heel and walked away.
And she left Kara feeling as though Kryptonite was hanging on her neck: physically sick and ready to fall to her knees from the pain.
“I told you she would hate you,” were the first words out of Lillian Luthor’s mouth when Kara visited her in prison, the guard grunting and eying Kara suspiciously before he slid out of the room. “You should have told her sooner.”
“Mrs. Luthor,” Kara tried, swallowing hard, “my name is Kara Danvers, I’m a reporter with CatCo Magazine. We’re publishing an issue about the lasting effects of the recent events involving Lex Luthor’s attempt to take over the world. Again. I was hoping you could answer a few questions about your son for the piece.”
(She had begged James to send someone else. Anyone else. But he’d been adamant: Lillian refused to speak to anyone but Kara and the magazine was desperate for her to go on the record for the first time.)
“I told Lena not to trust you. You’re all the same in the end, you...reporters.” Lillian stressed the word just enough to send a shiver of panic down Kara’s spine, making her itch to somehow find a way to contact Clark and make sure he was okay even off planet and far away from the Luthors.
“—Dr. Luthor is fine—“
“—Lillian, then,” Kara said, setting her shoulders and raising her eyebrows. For her part, Lillian just seemed amused, leaning back in her chair and smiling, motioning for Kara to speak. “Like I said, I only had a few questions.”
“I’ll answer whatever you like, but only if you answer one question of mine.” Lillian grinned when Kara just nodded stiffly, clutching her notebook a little tighter. “You love like a Luthor, Kara Danvers. Lies, secrets, double-crossing...it’s how we show affection. I did wonder why Lena seemed to warm to you so quickly, you must have reminded her of home.”
“That’s not a question.”
Lillian laughed, every bit as regal and dangerous in the navy inmate outfit as when she was on the outside in thousand dollar dresses and heels. “Well, why waste a question when the answer is already written all over your face?”
As it likely was always destined to be, it was Alex who finally sat Kara down and gave her a much needed talk.
“Do you remember when you were fifteen and you broke the snowglobe dad gave me?” Alex asked, handing Kara the potstickers without bothering to ask if she could have one (most likely because she already knew it was a lost cause).
“Vaguely,” Kara mumbled between a mouthful of food.
(That was a lie, of course. The truth was that the memory of breaking that snowglobe was etched deep into her mind, always a point of confusion and pain and guilt.
She’d crushed the snowglobe in a fit of rage, upset over a myriad of things: the loss of her planet, Alex’s obstinance, losing her foster father, the pain of Clark’s emotional and physical distance. And Alex had been so...broken. She hadn’t cried, but had instead taken one look at the crushed globe then one at Kara before just walking away, leaving Kara to drown in silence.
It took nearly a week before Kara managed to get Alex to speak to her again, a week of silence that felt just as damaging as all that time in the Phantom Zone.)
“Do you remember what you did to get me to forgive you?” Alex asked, raising her eyebrows.
“I’m not sure breaking the snowglobe is the same as lying about who I am for years, Alex,” Kara said with a groan, looking at her potstickers dejectedly as she lost her appetite.
“But do you remember what you did?”
“I’m pretty sure I annoyed you until you gave in,” Kara said with a roll of her eyes.
Alex chuckled as she sat down next to her, allowing Kara to lean against her, offering a loose, one-armed hug. “You apologized. In about a million different ways,” Alex whispered against her temple. “I know you want to allow Lena her space, let her dictate the boundaries, and that’s a good thing. But Kara, you didn’t even try to apologize, to show her you’re sorry. You didn’t fight for her at all. Why?”
Because Kara wondered at night if Lillian Luthor was right, she wondered about herself and how she’d allowed it to go so wrong. She thought about the pain she caused Lena, the trust she shattered, and the feeling of breaking her own heart through her own actions.
Well, because Kara didn’t deserve another chance with Lena.)
Maybe she spoke aloud, maybe Alex could read her mind, or most likely, maybe her sister knew her so well that she could see the answer in Kara’s eyes, hear it in Kara’s silence. Because after a moment, she pressed a kiss to Kara’s forehead.
“Maybe,” she said softly as she pulled away, motioning towards the freezer where Kara had stocked up on ice cream to get through the heartache, “it’s okay to ask for another chance and let Lena decide whether or not you’re worth it. And if you ask me, Kara, you’re always worth it.”
Four months after her nightmare scenario was realized (and ended up much worse than Kara could’ve even begun to imagine), Kara gathered the courage to seek Lena out.
She landed on the balcony outside Lena’s office, not as Supergirl, but as Kara Danvers (it was risky, it was stupid, but she thought it was worth it). It took three taps on the glass before Lena noticed her, looking up from her work, brows furrowed. For a long second, Kara didn’t think she would let her in.
But then, miraculously, Lena stood and pushed the glass door open, letting Kara step into her office.
“It’s still not an entrance,” Lena muttered, crossing her arms over her chest defensively as she took Kara in. “What are you doing here? Need my help with DEO business? A quote for Cat Grant? I hope you appreciate how busy I am, so—”
“—to be perfectly honest, I didn’t tell you at first because of your last name,” Kara interrupted, much to Lena’s shock, her arms falling to her sides as she studied Kara with narrowed eyes. “I knew you were different from the second we first met, that you were good and kind and had the biggest heart.” She swallowed, took in a deep breath, and forced herself to look into Lena’s eyes. Needing her to see the truth of what she was saying. “I trusted you from the second we met, Lena Luthor, but between Clark and Lex and your mom and the Alien Amnesty Act and just...it seemed safer for you and me to not say anything.”
“—and then, when it would have made everything easier to just tell you the truth, I...I ruined things. I got scared, I lashed out, and suddenly, you couldn’t stand Supergirl. And with Reign, I figured it was safer for you and me to just...not say anything.” Kara took a step forward, disheartened when Lena took a step back. “And this past year, with the backlash against aliens and the Children of Liberty, I convinced myself it was safer to just not say anything. But the truth is...well, the truth is, I’ve been lying to myself.”
“I don’t understand,” Lena said, shaking her head.
“I haven’t had a good reason to keep who I was from you since Medusa,” Kara admitted quietly. “Probably even before that. I just didn’t want to see you look at me like you’re looking at me now.”
(It was a cold stare. Hard. Unforgiving.
And it broke Kara’s heart.
Again, and again, and again.)
“It was selfish, I knew it was selfish. I even tried to tell you once, but I...I didn’t want to hurt you—I didn’t want you to hate me.” She blinked rapidly, trying to stave off the tears she knew were coming. “I’m sorry, Lena. And I will show you how sorry I am every single day for the rest of my life if I have to, I will earn your trust back. But please, please, don’t shut me out. Don’t hate me.”
Lena’s jaw clenched.
She took a deep breath.
(Five seconds passed, Kara counted.)
“I really think you should leave, Kara,” Lena said, her gaze boring into Kara’s.
(It was a confused stare. Perplexed.
Week Sixteen and One Day
Kara opened the door before the knock even came, revealing Lena with her hand still raised, a flicker of amusement on her lips.
“How did you know I was here?” she asked, a clear and obvious test.
“Super-hearing,” Kara shrugged easily, “and I have x-ray vision, you know.”
“Interesting,” Lena said, smiling at Kara for the first time in what felt like centuries. “I thought a lot about what you said yesterday. Maybe let’s start with coffee, a conversation about Krypton, and go from there. What do you say?”
Kara didn’t need five seconds—she didn’t even need one.
“Perfect. Lead the way.”
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hii , I'm a huge fan of all your works , would you ever do a harry potter supercorp au. I loved your clexa harry potter au so much. It was done so well. Thanks for writing all these brilliant one shots and stories.
First year, she was absolutely annoying.
All of eleven and desperately terrified of all that the school would mean, but excited to escape the lonesome, lonesome feeling of home, Lena Luthor met Kara Danvers on the boat ride to the Sorting Ceremony, and for some reason was completely enamoured, followed swiftly by annoyance.
The talkative, eager, optimistic and smiley girl seemed to sense that Lena needed someone like that to counteract the already much too morose and much too cynical for a child that age. All through the trip and the ceremony, she tugged bits and pieces of Lena out, giving her a bit of the taste of friendship she craved but didn’t know how to have. She made plans for the pair without ever asking if there was a pair to begin with, she just naturally assumed that everyone would want to experience everything.
Even after they were sent to different tables, even after Lena settled into the Ravenclaw dormitory high above the castle, somehow a brave little Hufflepuff figured out the riddle and came to see her new friend.
All of eleven and terrified of being away from home for the first time, Lena sat beside the annoying girl as they looked through the window at the lake and the quidditch pitch and the forest and talked about what would come for them.
For the year, Lena found herself plagued by this new friend until it became something she expected and even needed. She helped tutor Kara on weaker subjects, let her take her with her on trips to Hogsmeade, even let her drag her to quidditch games. It didn’t matter what they were doing, Lena followed.
By the time summer rolled around, she was oddly sad to say goodbye. She earned a tight hug and the promise of letters, which were eagerly exchanged.
Second year, Kara was refreshing.
Lena found her waiting by the time she arrived, and this time, found herself hugging the blonde tighter than she meant to do it. But after a summer away and spending time with her family, she wanted nothing more than to feel the sunshine and warmth that Kara Danvers encompassed.
Her brother didn’t understand. The mighty prince of the Slytherins didn’t particularly enjoy that his sister was a Ravenclaw, nor did he enjoy seeing her diverse group of half-blood friends. And after a solid scolding from his parents, Lex vowed to set his sister on the straight and narrow, put her in the proper groups, surround her with like-minded students. The fifth year kept a tight grip on his sister.
But Lena already had a taste of life away from the Luthor Manor, and she wanted that more than anything.
The year was long and full of growing, but now she had a best friend, even despite her brother’s meddling.
Third year, and she was taller and prettier.
Lena dismissed that thought though as she gazed at her friend across the Great Hall. Surrounded by some acquaintances and fellow Ravenclaws that she liked, she caught Kara’s eyes and earned a big smile.
Instead, she just smiled back and went back to eating.
It shouldn’t have been a surprise that Kara made it to the common room later that night, as had become their tradition. Lena never really figured out how Kara could struggle through some of their classes, and yet always get the riddle correct. But she didn’t mind.
They sat there and caught up in their normal spot, with Kara listening eagerly to Lena’s newest topic of interest to study for the year. She loved just listening to her talk. It wasn’t often that it happened, so Kara clung to those moments.
Despite her brother and his bothering in her life, Lena still made it out to watch Kara play for Hufflepuff. She loved watching her fly around and do her best. She was pretty good, too, and often, from a mathematical standpoint, Lena would offer suggestions, despite not enjoying flying herself. She was a strategy girl though, and Kara actually listened.
For Kara’s birthday, near the end of the year, Lena gave her a picture of them, smiling and lying in the snow from a few months before, framed in an elegant old silver frame from her home. She earned a huge smile and even bigger hug. Lena held her breath and clung just as tightly to her friend.
Fourth year, she was annoying.
There was something happening, deep in the dark, in the corners, in the back of it all, that no one really knew or spoke about, but everyone could feel. Lena felt her brother pulling away, felt her family growing darker, and she was caught choosing.
But then school was a paradise compared to everything else, or at least she’d hoped. Unfortunately it became unbearable.
Because Kara was still somehow prettier, and she smiled and made Lena’s stomach turn into knots and her mouth not work. And when she told Lena that she liked her glasses, Kara earned a blush and a muttered word of gratefulness. Lena hid in her books and research and inventions, hiding away from these weird feelings that were more annoying than anything else.
It was hard to watch Kara at her games now, Lena realized. And it was hard to watch her with her friends, especially when guys left lingering glances on her. A little monster climbed up Lena’s spine, and she didn’t know what to do about it. Shunned from home, under the tutelage of her brother in all things social, and with this ache in her chest when Kara smiled, Lena was more alone than ever.
But when fits of that emerged, when she found herself growing sullen, the annoying, tall, pretty, optimistic ray of sunshine would appear and Lena couldn’t help but succumb to her. They spent days in the lab, with Kara annoying Lena until they would escape outside. They went running through the rain, and they went finding new places to hide away together. They spent afternoons in the library and evenings playing, or at least attempting, to play chess.
Lena was happiest when she had Kara keeping her company. She had friends, she had a life, she was figuring it all out, for better or worse, despite her brother and his insistances. She had a crush on the future captain of the Hufflepuff team, and she couldn’t help it.
On the last night of the year, while their trunks were packed and they were preparing their goodbyes, Kara sat next to Lena while the others drank and hung out. Lena let her lean closer and she tried to keep her head from swirling. For the entire summer, she thought about almost kissing Kara.
But before fifth year started, it wouldn’t matter anymore.
Even in the muggle world, Kara heard about the violent rebellion that the Luthor’s led in homage to the Dark Arts. She sent letter after letter after letter to her best friend, but got nothing back from her, despite her owl’s best efforts. But Kara got news. She got the paper and she kept up with it as best she could, waiting to see glimpses of the youngest Luthor remaining stoic behind her criminal parents.
The entire summer was spent in a mess of nerves, waiting to hear anything that she could and failing. Despite herself, all Kara could really think about was how she almost kissed the pretty girl who mumbled about the history of magic and showed off a new spell that worked most of the way. She thought about that moment often. She couldn’t help it. Lena was so darn pretty and she was so darn smart. She calmed Kara, filled her up with something that no one else could, and she was good. She was the best.
Whispers ran up and down the train on the way to school. Despite being in their normal compartment, despite waiting patiently and snapping her eyes to every person who walked by and wasn’t Lena Luthor, no one appeared.
Kara did her best not to huff and furrow at the things she heard about the Luthors. The truth was, she knew that Lena said her parents were monsters, and Kara believed her, but she would never lump Lena in with it. Never. There was no way Lena believed those things.
With a heavy heart that grew heavier as they got closer to school, Kara leaned her head against the window and waited for it to appear. She couldn’t help wonder if she’d ever see Lena again, and if she wouldn’t, she wasn’t sure what that meant, but it broke her heart.
By the time Kara settled into her room, she’d heard the most terrible things about the Luthors. She ignored them as best she could as she made her way toward the Ravenclaw tower. Her sister mocked her somewhat for chasing after her girlfriend. Alex knew better than to mock the Luthors, and so she bit her tongue as her sister blushed and pushed past.
“Say my name and I disappear. What am I?” the painting asked as she stood in front of it and waited to enter.
Quicker than the few second years that were trying to figure it out, Kara solved and entered the second-most familiar common room.
Always at home in the warm burrow of the Hufflepuff common room, just as comfortable with her sister in the Gryffindor tower, Kara spent hours studying and hanging out with Lena in the huge, open room, under the stars in the highest tower in the castle.
Even in the almost quiet of the studious dorm, there were whispers. Kara avoided any glances and continued up the steps, the eagerness making her move faster than she should.
It shouldn’t have been so crushing to find Lena’s side of the room empty and untouched, but it was. Kara waited at their window, where they always sat and caught up with each other, talking late into the night on the first evening back at school. For along while, Kara sat there and waited.
It was long after curfew before she finally gave up and returned to a fitful night’s sleep.
“Surprised it took this long.”
“The law had to be upheld,” Alex nodded as she read the newest article. “This was the first major trial for Voldemort Supporters in the twenty some years since the Great War. This had to be done properly.”
Ever the professional in all matter of law and government, the Seventh year Gryffindor flipped open the page so that her sister came face to face with the verdict in capital letters and an image of the convicted Luthor parents and a handful of others being sentenced in court the previous evening.
A week into school, and Kara still hadn’t adapted to being Lena-less. She didn’t really want to, and she didn’t even know how to start. Instead, she just pushed her breakfast around her plate and plotted the next letter to send in hopes of hearing from the youngest Luthor.
“I always knew something was off with them,” James nodded as he ate happily, earning a heavy, unnoticed sigh from Kara. “I sparred with Lex in Defense and he enjoyed it too much.”
“Remember when Alex punched him for calling her that stupid word?” Maggie smiled proudly as her girlfriend grinned behind her paper.
“He wasn’t convicted though. Just his parents,” Alex reminded the group, more for Kara’s sake than anyone else who would have cared. “Lex and Lena were here with us, while their parents planned these attacks. They were away for summer with their grandmother in France anyway.”
“Ireland,” Kara corrected weakly.
Lena always spent a month in the summer with her grandmother in Ireland. Kara used to make fun of her silly accent when she came back, the very same one she claimed not to have despite the ribbing.
“I heard the Luthor estate made its money from deep connections to the Death Eaters.”
“Surely they’ve got them all by now.”
“That kind of evil doesn’t die.”
The conversation swirled to all manner of gossip and conspiracy, but Kara didn’t have the stomach for that, or her breakfast.
Without a word, she picked up her bag and made her way away from her friends and the news and the speculation.
“Touchy,” James murmured between bites as he watched his friend disappear from the Great Hall.
“Just heartbroken,” Alex corrected, upset because her sister was upset.
“Lena wasn’t involved, I don’t think,” he offered.
“No,” she agreed. “But she’s not here.”
By the time seventh year rolled around, Lena was certain she was forgotten.
It wasn’t that she did the forgetting, but more that she’d made the difficult choice, she never returned the letters, she never sent word, but rather, she hoped that she let Kara forget her. And to a degree she believed it to be true. The letters never stopped, not completely, but they slowed. Still, she got updates on Kara’s life, on her studies, on her games, on her friends, on their beloved school. Still, she eagerly read every word as quickly as she could open the letters, as if she took them all in glance.
Lena chose to let Kara move on though, instead of sticking her with a friend who would weigh her down. She knew that Kara was the type to stick by her side, and she couldn’t forgive herself for causing her any sort of pain. But to exist at Hogwarts would be nothing but pain for Kara, and Lena knew it.
After the trial, after the newspapers and the pictures and the opinions about her family, after what her parents did and after what her brother still though, Lena took the opportunity when it was presented to her, to run away.
But Beauxbatons was an exemplary school, and her family still had friends in high enough places to save her the ignominy of returning to the hallowed halls of Hogwarts. It wasn’t until the death of her grandmother, that Lena was forced to return home to help, the summer before the final year. With her brother falling apart, she nodded and accepted her position back in her old dorm, ready to bear it for her family, as she was destined to do forever.
She wasn’t quite ever prepared to see Kara again though.
Lena was careful to avoid the dinner and the sorting ceremony, instead electing to make her way to her room, in hopes of escaping the weird feeling of knowing a place, and at the same time, being someone completely new, despite it never changing.
She unpacked and went over it all in her head, the past two years of her life, and what was coming next. If she made it through another year, she could escape it all, and start something new, she could escape the Luthor curse and name.
Nose in a book, she settled near a familiar window and sighed to herself as the night waned. A few people came back, not making eye contact as they moved to their rooms. By the morning, the news would have spread, that a Luthor returned, that she was there to finish the bidding of her brother and parents. Lena was prepared for that.
She definitely was not prepared for Kara Danvers.
Confused and confounded, a much taller, much more angular, much more shapely, much more beautiful, much more sculpted, much more sunshiny Kara stood close to the window that Lena occupied
“Someone told you?” Lena swallowed, distracted by all of it in one go. She should have prepared, but how does someone prepare for a moment like that? It wasn’t a crush, it never was, she reminded herself.
“I come here every year, just in case,” Kara smiled, soft and warm, her eyes searching across Lena’s face, as if memorizing every inch of it, as if she never saw her before, but now recognized it again. “A bit of habit.”
“You should go. I have to… I should sleep.”
Pure ache and hurt flashed across the warmth, interrupting it, so that Lena couldn’t bask any longer in her friend’s smile. Kara cocked her head slightly and furrowed, confused by the reception.
“It’s been a long time… I wrote to you. I tried--”
“I stayed away for a reason, and I hope you’ll respect that,” Lena stated firmly, closing her book and moving her legs over the edge of her seat as she prepared to escape.
“What reason is that?”
“Because I’m toxic, Kara, and you can’t waste your time with me tainting your promising future.”
“Are you-- this-- what-- you can’t be serious,” Kara balked, shaking her head with pure confusion rattling her thoughts.
“I’ve made my decision,” Lena nodded once more, wrapping her arms around her book.
“I’ve been worried sick about you for years, Lee, and this is what you come back to tell me? That you are protecting me?” she shook her head and followed, reaching out to still Lena’s progress toward her room. “Don’t do that. I’ve missed you like crazy.”
“I’m sorry, but I--”
Before she could finish, Lena found herself wrapped up in a hug from the taller girl. For a moment, she remained stark still and oddly uncomfortable, but Kara wasn’t giving up, and after another moment, she relaxed. She couldn't even find it in herself that her master plan to protect the few people she loved, was foiled after two seconds. Instead, to calm away thoughts thoughts, Lena inhaled the smell of Kara’s shoulder and her sweater and the sunshine that lived there, and she closed her eyes and held on tighter as strong arms wrapped around her being.
“I’ve waited two years for you to show up. You can’t shake me, Lee,” Kara whispered. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’m sorry,” Lena mumbled, softening her stance.
Neither moved except to rub each other’s backs or pull the other tighter. Lena felt Kara’s lips near her cheek and she felt her biceps squeezing her tighter. She craved more though. She wanted to be squeezed apart with the kind of love that existed in someone like Kara Danvers, as unconditional and violently real as it was. If she thought about it, she might have done the math and realized she hadn’t been hugged in years.
“I’ve missed you so much.”
“Me too,” she finally admitted, both for the first time to Kara and herself.
“You have to tell me everything,” Kara grinned when she finally pulled away slightly, clearly not taking Lena’s protection.
She hadn’t prepared to see Lena’s red-rimmed eyes, nor for the sniffle that came despite a smile and Lena’s repeated insistence that she never knew how to cry. Kara didn’t know what to do at all because Lena was still holding onto her tightly and she couldn’t move anywhere else.
Instead, she wiped away the damp cheeks of her best friend and she smiled at how absolutely pretty she’d grown, from what she always was.
From the warm smile that Kara gave her, Lena sighed, content because she found something she never knew she lost.
“I don’t know where to start,” she smiled awkwardly, pulling away to regain herself.
“Well, anywhere, of course,” Kara promised with a chuckle. “Just don’t leave anything out.”
Despite the few steps she’d taken back toward her bed, Lena joined Kara on their normal stoop by the window. With a shaky breath, she started.
The news and speculation skittered through the halls, slid under doorways, and lived in the walls-- the youngest Luthor was back. By the time Lena woke up and made it to the Great Hall for breakfast, the fact that everyone snapped their eyes to her and it grew almost silent, shouldn’t have been a surprise, and it wasn’t for the most part, just jarring.
With head held as high as she could muster, she swallowed and walked forward, ignoring the whispers circulating around the room. She chose an empty and the most secluded spot at the very end of her table, and resigned herself to her lot in life thanks to her parents.
Lena pulled out a book and began to read, the fair weather friends gone, unable to be bought, even with her wealth still attached.
“Hey, sorry,” a familiar voice interrupted her reading and absent picking at a small, light breakfast. “We stayed up so late, I slept way too late.”
“You don’t have to sit with me.”
Kara furrowed as she looked at her friend, cocking her head slightly with the confusion.
“Why wouldn’t I sit with you?”
“Kara,” she warned, looking around at the renewed interest in her end of the table.
“I don’t care. You didn’t have anything to do with any of it, and I just wanted to be near my friend and eat breakfast.” She was earnest and kind and it drove Lena up a wall. “Now, I’ve been getting pretty good grades despite the absence of my personal tutor. But would you like to study this evening after practice?”
“I’d love it,” Lena smiled slightly and sighed almost contentedly.
To anyone looking in, they wouldn’t have known that she did relax with the addition of her best friend. But Kara saw and felt it, and nodded to herself, victorious once again, over the evil, hateful, violent Luthor.
In some ways, nothing changed.
A remarkably amicable and rational house, her friends were friends, through and through. There were some housemates who were hesitant, as old wounds ran deep, across generations and time itself. But deep down, it didn’t seem right or just to hold Lena, the girl they knew, the one who helped anyone, who had these brilliant ideas and new spells, it didn't seem right to judge her for what her parents did when she showed no sign of feeling the same way.
It didn’t hurt that her best friend was not a pureblood. And Kara Danvers was no slouch when it came to being a character reference.
Though there were little moments, though there were still whispers, from the ashes of her family’s name, Lena was able to exist in an almost comfortable situation, though as the time for Christmas break loomed, she felt an internal struggle.
“I’ll meet up with you soon,” Lena promised a partner with a similar interest in astrology.
After catching sight of a familiar girl across the snowy quad, she couldn’t help but smile and chase down Kara.
Midterms and quidditch practice made their time together scarce, but Lena didn’t care. She had Kara back, and she got those hugs that were pure warmth, and sometimes, she was able to control her fluttering heart enough to pay attention to that smile.
Despite hearing her name, Kara didn’t slow down, but attempted to out maneuver the girl with an armful of books.
Just outside of the Hufflepuff common room, Lena finally caught her.
“Kara! Hey, I just wanted to--” Lena paused and furrowed as Kara met her eyes and then ducked her head. “What happened?”
“Nothing,” Kara lied, shifting from foot to foot.
A bruise covered her nose and extended across her cheeks, under her eyes. Her lips, her pretty pink, kissable lips, were bruised, and cut on the bottom. She definitely went through something.
Other students pushed past and Lena set her jaw before nudging Kara into an empty class, free of the distraction of everything else and free from any real escape routes to free Kara from the inevitable interrogation.
“Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” Lena furrowed and surveyed the damages. “Was it practice?”
“I’m fine. I was going to conceal it,” Kara pulled away a little bit. “Don’t worry. There’s no more quidditch for me.”
“There’s no more… what?”
“Just drop it, Lena.”
With an exasperated sigh, Kara tried to move back toward the door, though she failed, blocked immediately by the shorter, much more persistent, and oddly terrifying girl with the pretty green eyes and stubborn streak.
“I will not drop it. You need actual medical attention, and you can’t quit quidditch. You love it more than breathing. I’ve heard the entire debates over teams for hours. You live--”
“It doesn’t matter. It’s a stupid game.”
“You love it though,” Lena shook her head.
“I don’t want to be around anyone who-- who-- who is so stupid and just-- just-- just---- just plain idiotic.” Uncharacteristically flustered, Kara waved her hands through the air and tried to find words with the residual anger eating up her body.
Still buzzing from her almost rant, Kara looked somewhat lost with all of those feelings. Lena softened when she saw how upset her friend had become. Nothing made sense, and all she wanted to do was make sure Kara never had a moment like that again.
“What happened, Kara?” she tried once more.
“It was about me, wasn’t it?”
Kara looked away and Lena knew the truth.
“It doesn’t matter--”
“It does. It does matter, Kara. You can’t fight everyone who says something about me. And you can’t quit what you love the most--”
“You. I choose you,” Kara bristled, standing a little taller. “Over anything else in the world, I choose you. Every time.”
“You don’t even see what’s happening, do you?” she shook her head. “People are wrong about you. They don’t even give you a chance, and you just turn the other cheek. I get it, I do. I just couldn’t… I don’t know what happened. I got sick of it.”
“Oh, Kara,” Lena sighed and shook her head. There was an expressiveness to Kara’s eyes, to her entire body language that made her feel calmer, feel protected and even adored. She hadn’t been looked at like that before.
“I’ll choose you every single time, Lena. Not some stupid game, not some terrible, simple-minded people. You. You are my favorit--”
Halfway through a ramble, Lena cut her off and kissed Kara quickly before pulling away and deciding that she did, in fact, deserve a little bit of happiness in her life, and thus kissed her again. Both times were a complete surprise to the wounded former team captain.
“I’m sorry, I just--”
Before she could ruin it, Kara smiled and pressed forward slightly, kissing Lena back with a giddiness that returned so easily to her personality, it was almost astounding.
“I’ve been waiting to do that since Fourth year,” she smiled and held Lena’s cheeks in her hand. “If you’d have come back to school, you would have known that.”
“Better late than never.”
As if she were deciding something, as if she’d never really seen Kara before, Lena stared and blushed and composed herself. Kara watched her think and fret and decide, though she wasn’t sure what, though she allowed herself to just enjoy the moment. The ache of her cheek didn’t bother her as much.
But all too soon, Lena pulled away completely and shouldered her bag before heading toward the door.
“Wait, where are you going?” Kara called.
“To fix this.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” she chuckled, tugging Lena’s arm and averting an entire warpath. “Just… for now, can we let it be?”
It was those eyes, and that damn pout, but Lena relented after a few seconds.
“For now,” Lena sighed. “But I’m going to find whoever--”
“Okay,” Kara smiled and leaned forward to kiss her again.
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Either/Or: Green Lantern 4
Previously on Green Lantern
Exhausted. Just plain exhausted. So tired, in fact, that the idea of moving even to breathe was unappealing. That kind of exhaustion that gnaws like a mangy dog on a splotchy, bony leg, never relenting to the lazy grinding of muscles and bones. The kind of tired that settles deep within the brain, that lives there like the last living human attempting to keep the lights on, frantically flipping levers and hoping it will help while alarms flash and all functionality is reduced to those for survival.
The trip back to Oa was supposed to be a few days, at most. A quick recharge and report back with her first few months in the sector. That was it. Strictly procedural and boring, even.
It turned into an all out prisoner revolt that she cursed herself for wasting vacation days on.
But still, the tired was there and for better or worse, it felt… good. Lena loved that feeling. She learned to, at least, during her training, during the War for Oa. She learned what real tired was, to be afraid to sleep, to be vigilant, to be ready to attack and always on edge. That was tired beyond repair. This tired, the one that made her collapse on her couch and not even have the energy to lift her hand and have her ring change her back to her normal clothes, it was the sore kind of tired from a long fight worth having.
For too long, Lena sat on her couch, head tilted back and staring at the ceiling while she tried to put in some sort of order, the events from the past few days. She was certain she’d win the award for best use of power when she chased a few escaped prisoners down a hallway with the manifestation of a lion, roaring and baring its teeth at them. That thought made her smile.
With a deep breath, she willed herself to open her eyes. If she could do that, then she could stand. It took a few moments to prepare, but she did. A few deep breaths and a lot of mental cheering later, she placed her hands on her knees and pushed herself up.
“There we go,” she muttered to herself, stretching out some of the accumulated soreness.
She elected to shower over eating, though the choice was tough. The water hurt, but in that delicious-- and delicious is the only way to describe such a feeling-- kind of sore way.
But by the time she emerged, making her way toward the kitchen while toweling her hair, she realized she’d made the right call.
“Hi,” Kara smiled softly as she opened a few boxes of take out. “The door was open, and I knew you’d be back tonight, so I thought I’d beat you and surprise you, but there was an accident out on 30, and I got stuck doing paperwork, but I planned on being here before you got-- what’s that?”
In the middle of her explanation, in the middle of her worrying about not being there soon enough, about failing to execute her plan well, about being nervous that she was crossing an ill-defined line, Kara looked at Lena and it didn’t help. She lingered over jaw and eyes that shined with amusement. And she realized how much she’d missed the other hero after just a few days, and that was a lot, but not really a surprise.
In the middle of her diatribe about being a good date and failing, she saw the bruises peeking out from beneath Lena’s old shirt. The hole at the collar revealed purple on the porcelain skin.
“Just my towel,” Lena shrugged as Kara furrowed and approached.
“No, this,” she murmured, unamused.
Hands moved along the bruises. Lena tilted her head and let her look.
“My visit got a little un-routine. I’m fine,” she shrugged. “You should see the other guy. I used my ring to make a lion. It was pretty cool.”
“You were just going to recharge and check in.”
Kara’s hands moved as she stepped back just enough to lift the edge of Lena’s shirt. Her eyes grew wide as she saw the galaxy of bruises forming on her ribs. And then it hit her. She was staring at Lena’s ribs, and she gulped before her hands were swatted away.
“I didn’t plan a prison riot. Believe me. I was looking forward to catching up with a few friends, because I actually have friends there, and there was going to be a Test for initiates for us to watch. But so it goes.”
For a moment, Kara debated what to do. She very much wanted to have an opinion. Seeing someone else with bruises was new to her, and did nothing to stifle the urge she felt to fight back against whatever caused them. But Lena was capable and she was strong and, weirdly enough, Kara wasn’t sure how she was supposed to feel about it all
Lena furrowed and followed Kara’s eyes as she paused, stared at her own ribs, gingerly pressing against them.
“Come sit,” Supergirl finally relented. “I’ll get you some ice. It’ll keep the swelling down.”
“You’re awfully bossy for a third date.”
“This isn’t a date. It’s…” she waved her hand absently as she dug in the freezer for something cold. “I brought you dinner. That’s all.”
“You brought food to my house, late at night. I’m scantily clad, and you’re not in uniform,” Lena teased, surveying the food, getting her fifth or sixth wind with the addition of a pretty reporter in her kitchen. “You came for something not G-rated.”
All she earned in response was a snort, but Lena smiled victoriously as Kara doted and moved toward the table, a towel filled with ice cubes in her hands. Gingerly, Kara lifted the shirt again and pressed the bundle there as she sat beside the girl who picked at the take out box with her fingers and smiled, self-satisfied at her own ideas.
“I missed you,” Kara finally shrugged. “I’m not used to seeing someone beat up and not being able to help. It’s weird to date-- to be. You know. It’s weird to be near someone who doesn’t need me to be their hero.”
“You’re still my hero, Supergirl.”
“Stop,” she rolled her eyes despite her blush.
They were coy and close and there was nothing else they wanted to be. Gone was the need for subtlety, gone was every other facet of themselves. It felt good to be honest and raw.
“So the second date went well,” Lena ventured, unable to handle the stillness and ease. “Because there was a moment…”
Without meaning to, their voices lowered. Both looked at each other and couldn’t unlock themselves from the staring match. Kara leaned forward slightly and cleared her throat as she looked back down at the bruises and ice, careful to keep them covered.
“It went well.”
“I thought it might not have,” the wounded party continued. “Because there was a moment. Do you remember? You were going to kiss me, and then you didn’t.”
“You’ll be fine,” Kara swallowed and tried to change the subject. “I don’t see anything broken. You’re lucky though.”
“Why didn’t you kiss me?”
“Because you’re… you’re… you’re… I got in my head and I just… You’re someone I want around in a new way. I’m not used to feeling like this, and so I chickened out. Stop smiling.”
“I’m not,” Lena shook her head and attempted to stifle it.
“I mean it. Don’t laugh.”
“Kara, I’m sorry. I’m not,” she promised and grabbed at the hands of the girl that tried to stand up but let herself be pulled back down.
The ache made itself known right in the tired part of her muscles. In the morning, the galaxy on her body would be nearly gone, but the hurt would linger a bit on her bones. None of it mattered too much. Everything took a backseat to a bashful Kara.
“I thought I read it wrong,” Lena explained, sitting up a bit straighter and pulling herself toward Kara. She didn’t let go of her hands. “I thought maybe a Super wouldn’t want a Luth--”
“Please don’t,” she sighed, shaking her head. “That’s stupid. You’re a genius. You can’t believe that.”
“You just… you’re so cool and calm and you know what to do and say--”
“Not around you, I don’t. Not for real,” Lena promised. “We were always taught to conceal. I guess I mask my nerves with this… confidence. If I keep everything at arm’s length, nothing can touch me. I’m trying not to, though. I met you and I just… I’m not the same girl that left Earth four years ago.”
Of the scariest moments of her life, none felt as real or as honest as the one she found herself locked in at present. Kara pushed up the edge of her glasses and took a deep breath. When she was six, she touched the sacred rings at her parent’s rebirth ceremony. She remembered how her hands sweat and she got that rush of pure living. When she was thirteen and walking into her first human class, every eye was on her and it was deafening. Just last year, she faced all manner of beasts and always felt that human itch of fear.
None of it, not stealth, not nerves, not a battle to the death could compare to Lena Luthor.
And so she kissed her. Jumped right in, held her breath, felt every muscle in her body tense, though nothing stopped her at all. She leaned forward quickly and she cupped Lena’s cheek, and she kissed her quickly, or tried. As soon as her lips touched, time stopped. It stopped for the entire universe, she was certain.
Startled at first by the daring move, Lena instantly relaxed as soon as she felt the anxiety. It happened so quickly, she almost would have missed it, save for the whole time freezing thing. Kara’s hand was warm on her cheek. The ice dropped a little in her hand, resting on the chair now to brace herself. Nothing stopped the hero from kissing with all of her might.
“Wow,” Lena whispered, eyes still shut, though wide, as Kara finally pulled away an inch. Her shoulders sagged with a let out breath.
“Yeah,” Kara nodded, smiling nervously.
“So you did come over to take advantage of me.”
Despite herself, Kara laughed and found herself captivated by Lena’s smile. Hands moved to her hips while her own moved to Lena’s neck.
“Put that back on,” she rolled her eyes and helped re-place the ice pack. “I came over to feed you, and that was it.”
“It was an okay second date,” Kara shrugged, pulling away.
Both were still all smiles. Both were rosy cheeked and oddly out of breath at the kiss that could only be described as detrimental to their survival, because now that they knew what it was like, they needed nothing else to subsist.
“Maybe we do get people to come home to,” Lena realized, remembering Kara’s greatest fear.
Kara didn’t flinch. Instead, she took the hope there and ran her hand along Lena’s forearm.
“Even if they run late,” Kara agreed.
Kara never knew Lena Luthor before she was Green Lantern. She never knew about the little girl who ended up on a stranger’s doorstep, nor about the money she blew through while ‘discovering herself.’ Kara saw pictures though, and heard about the girl who set an entire lab on fire at MIT just for science. She saw and read and she wondered how in the world someone could change so much, and secretly, how someone who was like that, could earn the mantle she had taken.
And then she would see Lena in the present, and she just knew. None of the rest of it mattered.
Somehow, the rambunctious scamp of an entitled heiress grew into her life. It was right there in her work ethic, and it was right there in the stories she wouldn’t tell. Kara lost her breath when Lena looked up from her desk when she entered, and for the tiniest of moments, the Kryptonian wondered if she’d be this crazy about the girl Lena was, or all of life was about timing.
“Hey, Kara, what… we didn’t have anything--”
“No, no, don’t worry,” she hurried to stop the worrying that was now forming in Lena’s eyebrows. “I was um. I was just in the neighborhood.”
“That’s a lie.”
“Yeah,” she blushed and nodded, taking a few more steps inside as Lena leaned back in her chair and watched it happen.
Suddenly, the charity event next month was much less interesting than the reporter who nervously appeared at her office door.
“I. We’ve been busy,” Kara started again. “I had something's come up. I wasn’t avoiding you. And I think your message said something about--”
“Yeah, Stogilt smugglers running slaves in quadrant three,” she nodded. “I wasn’t avoiding you either, my partner needed a little back up.”
“No, yeah, completely understandable,” she nodded quickly. “It’s just. We, um. You know. Last time.”
“Yeah, you know. Last time. You… I brought dinner, and you were wearing… nothing much, actually. And then we. You know. That thing. With the--”
“Sex, Kara. We had sex,” Lena supplied, earning the best kind of blush imaginable. She was quite sure she’d ever seen anyone turn that bright red so quickly.
“That. Yes. That. We did, um. That.” Frantically hands sought something to do, pushing up her glasses anxiously and clearing her throat. Her eyes couldn’t meet the young executives. That would be too much at the moment.
With a small sigh, Lena capped her pen and sat it down gently before pushing herself up out of her chair. Her visitor refused to move or watch, and Lena had her fun for the day. Now she felt just bad about it. Very good, but very bad.
“It was a good night, right?” she ventured, her voice low and soothing.
Without meaning to, she slid her hand along Kara’s forearm, feeling her relax from the boulder-like rigidity the mention of sex had her occupying. The hero finally let out a breath.
“Yeah, it was a great night,” Kara promised. “I just… I just got back, and I didn’t want to just text. It felt… I don’t know. Anyway. I’m here because. I don’t know. Just to say hi.”
Neither had much else to say. Kara certainly couldn’t because there were hands on her hands and Lena looked absolutely mesmerizing in dark blue. She was almost certain it didn’t matter the color. The woman would knock her out. But she was well ready for the testing of the entire rainbow.
“How was the Fortress?”
“Kryptonian holy holidays?” Lena cocked her head. “I think you’re forgetting that I’m an intergalactic agent, Ms. Danvers. It was assigned reading to learn about as many cultures as we could.”
There was a soft kind of smile that came when Kara realized that she didn’t have to explain everything to the girl that was currently straightening her collar, dangerously close to the skin of her neck, because that girl already knew much more than anyone could guess. There was something different in not having to explain, for once, that was awfully addicting.
Instead of thinking about it exactly, Kara tilted her chin while Lena fret with a button and edge of collar.
“It was a nice little break. Nice to remember the rituals,” Kara smiled. She grew brave and let her eyes move down to her hands that moved to hips. “You look very nice today. Every day. Today too.”
“Thank you.” Lena spread her hands flat along Kara’s shoulders under the pretence of fixing the already impeccable shirt.
“How are the smugglers?”
“Cozy in their new beds in prison. Nothing too hard. Barely broke a sweat.”
“See, when I say things like that, usually it means it got out of hand.”
It was Kara’s turn to cock her head this time, appraising the mischievous grin of the girl who suddenly was in her arms. Lena gave nothing away, except that damn sideways grin that looked like it’d be the textbook definition of trouble.
“You look less bruised than last time I saw you,” she observed.
“All of that nursing you did really helped. I’ll have to keep you on retainer for future ”
“I’m a helpful person,” Kara shrugged. “Maybe tonight we coul--”
“Lena! I have it figured out, and you have to-- What are you doing?” Lex’s voice boomed as the door flew open. In a second, his long strides brought him nearly running into the pair who were oddly close, oddly touching, much more than friendishly standing there in the early afternoon.
Despite the heightened reactions and ridiculous reflexes, neither could move apart quickly enough, but when the world caught up with her, Kara took a step back and cleared her throat slightly.
“I think we’ve talked about knocking,” she complained, a different, calm facade appearing in place of what felt like natural fun when it was just the two of them.
“I think I have to, now,” he shook his head. “Lex Luthor.”
“Kara,” the reporter shook his hand once again despite already being introduced.
Just as Kara had witnessed Lena’s mask appear, so too, did Lena watch Kara become a different person around her brother, though she understood why. If only her brother could know that he was shaking the hand of what he feared the most. If only he could know that Lena had a ring that generated force and frequently flew to unexplored parts of the galaxy.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt anything.”
“That’s why you should knock,” Lena reminded him.
“Right, sorry. I need a minute, when you get a chance.”
Kara watched the two argue silently, and despite the fact that she was currently investigating the CEO for his attempts on her entire being, she saw bits of herself and her sister in the hidden sibling language.
“It was nice to meet you, Kara,” he offered with a curt smile and nod as he gave his sister a glance and made his way back toward the door.
Even after it shut, they were quiet. Even after it shut and he was gone, they remained farther apart and afraid to touch.
“So you were going to make plans for us tonight,” Lena offered.
Anytime Kara was reminded that she was a Luthor, she grew nervous. It wasn’t a secret, but it wasn’t necessarily the aphrodisiac she thought would work.
“Oh yes. You were about to invite me to dinner or something, but really you just wanted to get me out of this dress.”
“I said I was sorry about the last one,” Kara half-whined, earning a chuckle.
“I apparently have a meeting upstairs. But maybe you want to come by later?”
“Yeah, definitely,” she nodded eagerly. Kara grinned, still blown away that a girl wearing a dress like that wanted to spend time with her.
“Good,” Lena decided.
“Good,” Kara echoed.
The hardest part was going to be telling the League. Lena already knew that. Specifically, telling one of the head honchos. Specifically a man who could shoot lasers out of his eyes and had a soft spot for the nerdy reporter who brought Lena lots of snacks.
“How often do you think we’ll get this lucky?” Kara whispered, stretching on the pile of pillows currently taking up much of Lena’s balcony.
“You’re a million miles away,” she sighed, shifting hips. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong,” Lena shrugged. “Just thinking about telling your cousin about our little… extracurriculars.”
“That worries you more than your brother?”
“Lex?” she chuckled. “He already knows and doesn’t care. He’s been so busy lately. I haven’t even seen him in about three weeks.”
Kara shifted even closer, leaning over the girl in the pillows. She kissed her, soft and sweet, just because she could, because it was that easy, because neither cared to do anything else when they got the chance.
“And what are you going to tell my cousin?”
Lena ran her hand along Kara’s ribs, along her hips, squeezed as a thigh slid between her own legs. She smiled to earn that little reaction.
“I was kind of hoping he’d just figure it out if I dropped enough hints. But he keeps saying he’s glad someone’s watching you.”
“That’s us. Just pals.”
“Shut it,” Lena rolled her eyes and tugged the hero’s neck.
Languidly, she kissed Kara. She felt strong hands on her ribs. She felt warm lips move to her jaw and her heart skipped. Nothing got old about it. Back home for less than six months, and she couldn’t have felt more new.
“I’ll tell him,” Kara finally sighed, her head growing dizzy with the kisses. Her hip moved despite her pause.
“No, no. I will. It’s nothing. I just. When I tell him,” Lena swallowed. “I want to tell him how serious I am about you.”
Kara knit their fingers together. She twirled the ring that rested there, playing with the emblem that Lena loved.
“Oh,” she swallowed and furrowed.
“I just mean. You know. I could be very happy with you, and I… I would tell him that. Which will be weird, considering we mostly talk about crime.”
“You don’t have to tell him, you know.”
“I do,” Lena nodded. “This isn’t something to hide. For the first time… in my life, actually, things just feel good.”
Kara couldn’t help it, the little excitement that ran through her at the words. She kissed Lena again, because she was a girl that needed kissed like that, often and well and hard and until breathless.
Late as it was, the city wasn’t quiet. Down below, on the other side of the ledge, they could hear the world happening, and for once, neither cared about any of it.
Lena tasted like cinnamon. Sugar, too. She had this warmth to her kiss in that she was needy, and perhaps that was who she was. She tugged, constantly. Kara was still and calm; Lena was flitty, she was touching everywhere, making sure it was real. It was an experience Kara enjoyed, to feel herself be tugged at in different ways every time they got time to themselves.
“Go be super fast and circle the earth and make this night never end,” Lena finally murmured as she settled against Kara’s shoulder.
“I’m not allowed,” Kara pouted.
“We’ll just have to have more nights like this then.”
“Making out on your balcony?”
“Not fighting any villains or savings damsels. It’s nice to be normal.”
“Didn’t I see you wield a green machine gun spawned from a magic alien ring not twelve hours ago?”
“Shh, honey, don’t ruin the moment.”
Three days of business with the League for an even that would never make the news, thanks to their intervening, and Lena was absolutely itching to get back to her city, to get back to her… girlfriend? That was a weird word for her. Foreign, even, but she embraced it as well as she could.
The word itself ponged back and forth in her brain as she soared above the city, finally able to think of things other than impending crises and staying alive. It was Kara that said it first. RIght there in the middle of the day, for all to hear when Lena met her at her office for lunch. For a moment, Lena snapped back, confused and wondering who the reporter who could be found with her head between the CEO’s thighs on a semi-, though not often enough in her personal opinion, regular basis. But Kara was introducing her to her friends, and Lena smiled and shook their hands politely. It was her the word was referencing, for the first time in her life.
Lex said it the second time, asking when Kara was going to be arriving. Again, upon hearing the word, Lena had to pause to think of who it was referring. But he asked when her girlfriend was picking her up for their dinner date, and Kara was the one getting her dinner, so it had to be here. Right?
The word happened, and Lena waited for things to change, but not one thing did.
A small ball of fire caught her eye as she pondered a single word once again. In an instant she veered towards it.
“Just stop, and I won’t hurt you.”
The voice was familiar, and though the fire was burning what looked like an old warehouse on the pier, everything was under control when Lena landed. Three men were groaning on the ground while Supergirl spoke toward some hidden in the building.
A shot rang out as Lena took a seat on a bench just behind the action, crossing her legs nonchalantly as if she were waiting for a bus. A body slumped beside her, already attempting a go at the Kryptonian and failing.
The bullet dropped to the ground from Kara’s fist, having caught it.
“Come out now and end this. The police will be here soon,” Kara yelled. “And I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
“Did you see that?” Lena sat on a bench beside an unconscious assailant, head lulled to the side. “That’s my girlfriend. Isn’t she great?”
She got no answer but smiled to herself as she watched.
Not a few seconds after the warning was issued, the full doors were broken open as a huge creature sprinted outside, eyes locked on the caped hero. Lena tensed and stood, ready to jump in when needed.
After a prolonged wrestle, Kara ended up atop the snarling creature. Only then did she notice the newest hero to the fray.
“Hey, you’re back,” she breathed, smile all sunshine and warmth, even with a creature attempting to overpower her on the pier.
“Hi darling. I was on my way home and heard a commotion. Don’t let me interrupt.”
“I’m almost done,” she grunted, rolling over and further twisting an appendage. “Did you eat?”
“Just… a second,” she grunted, taking off in a flash, leaving nothing but a breeze behind.
Sitting back down, Lena leaned back, arms spread wide and amused at the display. The man beside her just grunted and didn’t move much more.
“I love this. She’s going to make a pretty big pot hole, but still. So cool.” As soon as the words were done, the impact happened, dust spilled up and for a moment, obscured the field. “See,” she patted his chest. “I told you.”
The only thing to leave the crater was a widely smiling hero who rubbed at the dirt on her chin and tried to make herself presentable for the onlooker. Even in her costume, Kara was uniquely Kara, if anyone were to look close enough. Two very distinct personalities, but still, very much her own.
“Mutant gorillas? That’s what your business trip was about?” she asked, hands on her hips when she finally came to a stop. “I really have to see if my membership to the League can be picked up. That sounds like so much fun.”
“It was… something,” Lena acquiesced. “I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.”
“I want to hear about it tonight.”
“I have plans tonight,” she grinned.
“Stop monkeying around,” Kara scolded with a sly smile.
They hovered close, orbited and tried to avoid touching. There was something about being out in public as their alter egos. They couldn’t do it. Of course, they more than made up for it as their normal selves, frequently photographed holding hands and kissing, sneaking grabs and make outs where possible and generally being over the moon about the other.
“How many of those did you come up with when you heard about the mission?”
“Not many. I don’t like to joke about monkey business.”
Lena fell in love with her right there, unable to stifle her own giggle from her own enjoyment of her own stupid pun. Carefree, so ferociously so and so devastatingly joyful, it was everything.
“Very funny. Are you all done here?”
“I’m done,” she smiled, indicating that she clearly wasn’t. Lena groaned. “I’m glad you’re back. Did you round up Furious George?”
“You’re a riot, Supergirl,” Lena deadpanned.
“Did you find him in the Banana Republic?”
“You get one more,” she warned as the sirens approached.
For a moment, Kara considered it hard.
“I think that was it.”
“Of course. I should ape-haul-o-gize for not being a prime-mate to you.”
“This is why your League application is taking so long,” Lena grunted, jumping and hovering, leaving the other hero to clean up her own mess. “I’ll see you at yours in an hour?”
“That sounds very appealing.”
“This is exactly the reason people think a Luthor and Super could never work together.”
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