Lena walks into the Tower, her thoughts still with the book she left locked in the safe of her home office. All heads turn to face her, and her eyes go straight to Kara, whose shoulders sag slightly at the sight of her.
Kara envelops her in a hug. Lena squeezes her back, unable to keep the smile from tugging at her lips. "I came as soon as I saw the news," she says quickly. "Is everyone okay?"
"Yeah," Kara murmurs. "But let's just say it's been a crazy couple of weeks."
Nia greets her as well, but Alex is withdrawn, and when Lena eventually follows Kara out onto the balcony, she presses a little harder.
"Everyone seems... quiet. Is everything really okay? Tell me the truth."
Kara sighs. "A lot has happened since you've been gone. And today Kelly reminded us that we'd lost sight of something important."
"Oh." Come to think of it, Kelly was the only one not at the Tower. "Where is Kelly?"
"At home?" Kara guesses with a shrug. A moment passes, as Kara gazes thoughtfully at the skyline. "Maybe... you should go see her."
"Me?" Lena doesn't dislike Kelly, but they aren't the closest. "Why me?"
"I get the feeling she isn't ready to see the rest of us yet. And I think..."
"You two might be able to find some common ground."
Lena scoffs. "No offense, Kara, but me dating her brother doesn't mean I know what she's going through."
"No," Kara agrees. "But-- once upon a time, you took over your family's company. Reclaiming the Luthor legacy as your own, as a force for good..."
Brow furrowing, Lena frowns. "I don't follow..."
Kara smiles. "It was a thankless, insurmountable task... and you took it on anyway."
And so Lena finds herself knocking on Kelly's door. She hears a rustle on the far side, and then a pause as Kelly looks through the peephole. When the door opens, Lena offers a smile.
"Lena, hi! You're back!"
"I am," Lena affirms. She steps inside when Kelly opens the door wider.
"How was your trip?"
Lena pauses, searching for the right words. "Enlightening," she settles on. "But I hear things have gotten exciting since I left."
Closing the door, Kelly's features settle in a grim line. "So, they sent you, huh?"
"Neutral party?" Lena means it as a joke, but it falls flat. She sighs, letting her shoulders relax. "Kara told me a little about what happened."
"So you're the Kelly whisperer now?"
Kelly's gaze cuts through the air, sharp as a razor. Lena can only shake her head. "No. I won't pretend to know what you've lived through. James-- James shared some of his experience with me, and I can't even imagine what it must be like. But..."
Kelly's entire body tenses, waiting for the other shoe to fall. Lena takes a moment to gather herself, to choose the right words before she made an already tenuous situation worse.
"I can't deny my privilege, and I have no intention of doing so. We come from two very different backgrounds. But I've been on the outside of Kara's decisions before... decisions that made me wonder if they even saw me at all."
Kelly doesn't snap, but she doesn't soften, either. Lena continues.
"I can only imagine that they've already offered all the support you can probably stand by now," she smiles, "but I want you to know that you have me too. You know... if you ever need someone a little less super."
Finally Kelly relents, just a little. "Thank you. I appreciate that."
Lena nods. Quiet stretches between them, until Lena sense she's overstayed her welcome. "I should get going," she says.
Kelly opens the door for her, not protesting her departure. It's the least congenial Lena's ever seen her, and Lena wonders if maybe she's seeing a new layer of Kelly. She wonders if this makes them closer, or more distant than before.
On her way out, Kelly catches one of Lena's wrists. "Thank you," she says. "Really."
Lena nods. She gives Kelly's hand a squeeze, then moves to pull away, only to turn back at the last moment.
"You know, Kara reminded me of something tonight," she blurts. Her cheeks heat with a slight flush when Kelly's brow arches. "Once upon a time, I wanted to do good."
An idea starts forming in her mind, miniscule at first, but quickly snowballing as her thoughts connected into a cohesive, executable plan. She could do it.
"I think I'm going to start a charity foundation," Lena continues, her lips pulling into a smile. "Maybe at some point I could get this new Guardian's input on where we could be the most help."
This time, Kelly rewards her with a warm smile.
"Oh, I'm sure she's got some ideas."
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