Prompt: Lena finds out because she catches Kara “making up” quotes for supergirl in her articles
Read on AO3
Lena knows she’s not spying. It is technically her property after all. She owns CatCo now, and this is a CatCo supplied notebook and every idea in it belongs to her, contractually. But it doesn’t make her feel any less guilty, flipping through the lined pages, scanning the messy notes Kara has scribbled in the margins.
She didn’t know it was Kara’s when she picked it up from her couch after the weekly morning meeting. But the moment she recognizes Kara’s distinctive print, she can’t put it down. Kara’s avoiding her, which puts a pit in the bottom of Lena’s stomach as Kara’s best friend. But she’s also been missing meetings, and disappearing for hours with no articles or ideas to show for it. And that is unacceptable as Kara’s boss.
So, yes, she is going through Kara’s notes.
Lena skips through the first few pages of notes that belong to articles already published, including a few interviews with her that she tries her best not to linger on. Even if a couple doodled hearts make her smile as she gets comfortable behind her desk. The further she flips through Kara’s notes the more it becomes obvious that Kara is starting to rely on a singular source. Supergirl.
It’s hardly surprising to Lena; she knows that Kara’s name has been on more than a few bylines about the superhero. She knows that they know each other. But still she lingers, one finger tracing across the page as she reads.
At first it’s simple notes. Things like “quote from Supergirl???” and “source?? Supergirl?” with little arrows pointed to specific ideas that need to be fleshed out. A few pages later, the notes disappear. They become somewhat tidier, Supergirl is still at the centre as Kara’s most used source. But now there are direct quotes from Supergirl directly written in. Except it’s not just one quote, but rather lists of them. Some quotes are completely crossed out and rewritten underneath, words are occasionally scribbled out with new words crammed above. Different variations of the same wording, until Kara seems to be satisfied. One quote circled so heavily that Lena could see the spot where Kara’s pen broke through the paper.
Lena’s running her finger over the spot when someone clears their throat, startling her.
“Have you seen my-” Kara’s already looking around the office before she’s even finished her question, eyes landing on her notebook on Lena’s desk. “You found it!”
Lena nods, but pulls the notebook closer when Kara goes to reach for it, making her forehead scrunch.
“-are you fabricating quotes?” Lena asks point blank, as she settles back in her chair taking the notebook into her lap as she taps a finger against it.
“No?” Kara’s forehead wrinkles further as she watches Lena with a tilted head.
Lena hums as she picks up the notebook and makes a show of rapidly flipping through the remaining pages. “By my count, I would say there’s at least… 50... different quotes in here from Supergirl that you’ve reworked so heavily they can hardly be considered quotes anymore.”
There’s a pregnant pause when Lena looks back up at Kara. She’s gone so still, Lena wonders if she’s still breathing. Lena blinks once, twice, and suddenly it’s like she’s seeing Kara for the first time. The way her blue dress shirt is straining at the seams around broad shoulders. How Lena can make out the lines of her abs where it hugs her around the middle. Even the fabric on her khakis are pulled tight across her thighs.
Admittedly, Lena has checked out Kara on more than one occasion. This is not the first time she’s noticed how Kara is probably hiding a six pack under her knit cardigans. But this is the first time Lena’s noticed how Kara looks like she might split a seam if she so much as makes the wrong move. How she almost looks out of place in her own clothing, contained somehow.
“Oh.” Lena breathes as she puts the notebook on the desk between them. “I see.”
“Lena…” Kara croaks as she takes a step forward but halts again when her phone chirps.
They stare at each other for a moment before Kara’s shoulders finally slump, “There’s an emergency…”
“Of course.” Lena nods, her back rigid as Kara looks back and forth to the office door before she ultimately chooses the balcony, shedding her shirt before she takes to the sky.
As soon as she’s out of sight Lena lets out a deep breath, looking between Kara’s shirt now laying on her floor to the notebook still sitting on her desk. A giggle starts to bubble in her chest, growing steadily until she’s laughing out loud. Still laughing even as James comes to ask if she’s okay as she carefully wipes tears from her eyes.
“Perfect.” Lena nods as she stands. “But you need to start sending another reporter to interview Supergirl. And I just heard she’s responding to an emergency.”
High above the city, Supergirl can’t help but grin as she turns mid-air and rockets towards the alien across town.
616 notes · View notes
is it possible to fall in love with tiny wisps of hair on the back of a neck? or would it make more sense to say that she’s in love with the owner of the neck with the tiny wisps of hair swaying ever so slowly as the evening breeze waltzes through the open windows of her apartment.
kara can’t seem to take her eyes off of them.
it’s as if they’re coaxing her to touch them — calling out to her in a tiny voice that says come here, come closer, touch us with your gentle fingers — and kara does, kara really wants to, but alex is here and sitting next to her is kelly. sam is on the other side of lena, engaged in a lively conversation with the only couple in the room, and kara is just... staring, facing lena, one arm propped on the back of the couch, elbow bent so her fist is resting against the side of her head, and chin resting on her bicep.
it can’t be the alien alcoholic beverage that sam brought along with her nor is it the fact that she’s just recently recovered from another solar flare. it just doesn’t make sense. it wouldn’t explain the one time she caught herself looking at the back of lena’s neck during their first game night with her; not the one where she’s standing behind lena, saying things about wanting to rebuild their trust, momentarily distracted by those tiny wisps of hair before lena inevitably turned to her with a curious frown.
none of those moments had involved alcohol or... or solar flare.
it just... is. it’s just because of lena and her slender neck, her soft-looking skin, those tiny—
in her distracted state, kara misses the moment when lena finally feels the weight of her stare and turns to her with a small smile, bordering confused — her cheeks flushing a pretty shade of pink under kara’s gaze.
she’s so close.
kara meets her eyes and... she doesn’t know what to say, so she doesn’t make a single sound. merely shrugs her shoulders, eyes searching lena’s green ones, dropping briefly on her red lips, slightly parted and wet from the red wine, then back up at her green eyes.
“what’s wrong?” lena asks again, tilting her body towards her this time, but only just enough that it doesn’t rouse other guests. it brings her even closer to kara, effectively stealing the air from her lungs.
kara shakes her head again, incapable of words now that lena’s facing her; tiny, wispy, little hairs now gone but replaced by the mesmerizing sight her eyes. she sighs longingly, stretching her arm so her hand lands near lena’s neck, fingers brushing ever so lightly on those tiny, little strands of hair. lena shudders, a natural reaction, especially in that particular area, but it affects kara in a way that makes her want to do it again and again, and again, and again—
alex, kelly, and sam be damned.
she just wants to touch her there forever, caress her slowly and lull her to sleep. she wants to see those eyelashes fluttering shut, wants to be the reason why lena is comfortable and sleepy and—
kara’s heart aches.
kara breathes out, slowly but steady, and before she chickens out, she moves forward and presses her lips so, so lightly against lena’s. it’s the softest kiss she’s ever had and ever given someone; the bravest kiss she’s ever pursued, uncaring of the sudden silence in her living room, of the shuffling of feet and the crumpling of paper bags to be disposed of. kara barely hears alex’s goodbye before she pulls away, pressing her forehead against lena’s with a nervous sigh.
“was that okay?” kara asks, heart beating loud and fast against her ribs as she brushes her thumb across lena’s neck, urging — begging — her to open those beautiful eyes of hers. “lena?”
lena lets out a watery laugh, finally meeting kara’s gaze with so much love in those pools of green.
“more than okay, my love.”
READ ON AO3
525 notes · View notes
Lena's alarm sears across Nia's senses. She registers the danger at the corner of her eye-- a Brevakk ripping off his sleeves to expose the keratinized spurs protruding from his arms. One sweep of his arm and she'll be dead, skewered in a spray of thick quills sharp enough to penetrate her suit and lacerate any organ they could reach. But she's locked in battle with a K'hund attacking from the front, so all she can do is brace for the inevitable impact.
Suddenly, Nia's view of the Brevakk is eclipsed by the shadow of Lena's back.
The force of the thorns' impact knocks Lena fron her feet, slamming into Nia and causing them both to go down with a cry. Lena's gauntlet fires once, stunning the Brevakk with a glancing blow. Nia throws her own arm out towards her opponent in a desperate bid to gain some ground. The blast of dream energy sends him flying, and when Nia doesn't notice that he doesn't rise again. Her attention is locked on Lena, and the half dozen quills that have found a home in her chest.
"Lena, Lena, oh my god." Nia's hands shake as she climbs out from under Lena and kneels beside her on the pavement. "No, no, no..."
Lena's eyes are glassy and dazed. She looks down at the horns, reaching drunkenly towards them only for Nia to pull her hands away.
"Why did you do that?"
Nia's suit wouldn't have helped much, but it was better than Lena's blouse-- a silly silken thing now ripped and torn, digging into the edges of the wounds around the quills. Lena had no protection beside her gauntlet, and still she had jumped between them.
"N-nia..." Lena's voice crackles in her throat. She coughs, and blood spatters across her chin, staining her berry-red lips a color far more sinister.
Nia's heart lurches with panic. Her head whips up in search of Kara, but Supergirl isn't here. She's on the other side of the city with J'onn, fighting further unrest there. Her eyes lock on another figure, black leather instead of blue.
Nia's shriek cuts through the din, and Sentinel's head whips towards her. In an instant, the pistol in her hand shifts into a warhammer, and Alex slams it down on her opponent, all thoughts of mitigating casualties forgotten. She skids to her knees beside Nia, nearly elbowing her out of the way to crouch over Lena.
"Lena? Jesus... Lena! Can you hear me? Look at me, look at me--"
Lena's eyes track to Alex, and Nia chokes on a sob when she sees the fear in them. But Alex only calms.
"Good, you're okay," Alex tells her, stroking Lena's hair once with a gentle hand. "You're going to be okay."
With her free hand, Alex fumbles for the watch on Lena's wrist, flipping open its face and silently pressing the symbol embossed there. She doesn't take her eyes off Lena for a moment, and when the signal is active Alex slides her palm into Lena's, which curls tightly around hers.
Lena's breath begins to quicken, and the corners of her eyes pinch with the onset of pain. The shock is quickly wearing off, leaving nothing to dull the pain. Alex nods, giving Lena's hand a squeeze.
"I know, but it's going to be okay," she promises. "We're going to get you somewhere safe--"
Supergirl touches down at the moment, pavement cracking beneath the force of her panic. "Lena!!"
Kara kneels opposite her sister, taking in the damage with wide eyes. She grips Lena's free hand tightly, even as she looks to Alex for instructions.
"Hospital," Alex says simply, urgency clipping her tone. "Now."
Kara nods, and gently maneuvers Lena into her arms. Lena cries out, the sound sharp in Nia's ears. When Nia blinks, tears dampen the fabric of her mask.
"I'm sorry," Kara murmurs, pressing her nose to the side of Lena's head. "I'm sorry."
"K-kar--" Lena gasps for breath, coughing up more blood. Her back now visible, Nia sees that one of the thorns has penetrated so deeply that it tents the back of Lena's shirt.
"It's okay," Kara echoes the well-meaning lie of her sister. "I've got you."
In a burst of wind, Kara takes off, and Nia sits dazed in her wake. It's long moments before she registers Alex's insistent hands tugging her up.
"It was supposed to be me," Nia intones, flat with shock. "She--"
"I know," Alex cuts her off, not unkindly. She tugs Nia to her feet then shoves her into a run. "But we need to go. Now!"
Together, they make their retreat, leaving the alley and the unconscious aliens behind just as the distant wail of approaching sirens cuts through the air.
Nia wastes no time in stripping off her costume and changing back into her civvies. But before she can reach the exit, Alex cuts her off. "You can't go to the hospital."
Surprise jolts through Nia, before its quickly replaced with anger. "Are you insane?"
"I can't just wait here-- she-- those barbs were meant for me, Alex! She's hurt because of me. I can't not be there!"
"Kara just called."
Time seems to freeze. Nia feels ice pool in her veins as a lump climbs to her throat and lodges there. "No..."
Alex rushes to reassure her. "No! That's not-- no, Lena's still in surgery. But-- the police are there."
Nia's relief that Lena is alive cuts short with confusion. "What? Why?"
"They're there to take Lena into custody."
"They can't do that!"
"She's aided and abetted known vigilantes," Alex explains. "With everything that's been happening lately--"
"It's not right!"
"Lena will be fine. Truly. Kara is going to CatCo to get Andrea to make the arrest as public as possible. Between that and the Luthor reputation, my guess is that they'll question her about our identities and then let her go."
"That's-- that's--" Nia struggles to find words through her growing rage. The helplessness of the past few months, the rising anti-alien sentiments, the crackdown on Supergirl on her friends... it all comes to a head, and Nia can barely breathe.
Alex reaches for Nia's hand. "If you go now, you'll only risk exposing yourself. Lena wouldn't want that."
Nia sucks in a breath, but it comes in a sob. The next thing she knows, Alex's arms are around her and she's crying into her shoulder, huge lurching sobs that feel like the world is quaking around her.
"It's okay," Alex promises.
"It's my fault," Nia gasps. "It's all my fault..."
"Lena's going to be okay."
Nia may not be able to go to the hospital, but she can't stay in the Tower either. In the end she goes to CatCo, ready to throw her weight behind Kara's pitch to fry the police in the press. Luckily, Andrea doesn't need the convincing.
"I want both of you on this," their boss delivers with a coolness sharpened to a razors edge by the glint of rage in her eyes. "William too. I want you to dig up anything you can find about the arresting officers. Any whisper of corruption within the NCPD that you might have been sitting on, now is your time to air it. CatCo won't stand for this."
Nia and Kara both nod solemnly before retreating to their desks. But instead of diverting to her own desk, Kara follows Nia to hers.
"How are you holding up?"
The gentle question threatens a resurgence of tears. Nia looks away, only for her eyes to catch on the photo of her and Lena on her desk, taken at one of their sister nights the year before. Nia can't remember the last time they've hung out, just the two of them.
Blinking furiously, Nia flips the picture down and opens up her laptop. "Fine."
"It's okay to not be fine..."
"Do you want to know if I'm angry that my friend is alone in the hospital because of me? Fine! I'm angry!"
Kara's features soften. "Nia..."
"It's my fault she's there in the first place!" Nia hisses. The lump returns to her throat, and her eyes burn with unshed tears. "She just, just... she just jumped between us! I should've--"
"Hey." Kara calms her with a hand on her shoulder. Nia sucks in a breath, then another, trying to steady herself. Finally, Kara's features pinch into a bemused smile. "You know Lena... There's no line she won't cross, for the people she cares about."
Instead of comforting her, Kara's words only makes Nia grit her teeth. She turns back to the computer. They better be willing to do the same for her.
"Let's get to work."
The first article runs the following morning, skewering the police department for rampant anti-alien abuses while highlighting Lena's charity and outreach. While it's not quite enough to banish the police presence from the hospital, it does get a single visitor in to see Lena. Nia expects Kara to take it, but to her surprise Kara simply nods her towards the door.
"Go," Kara says softly. "Give her our love."
Nia doesn't stop to ask twice. She's ushered into Lena's hospital room by a kindly looking nurse, glaring at the officer posted outside the door on her way in. The second her eyes land on Lena, rage swells in her chest at the side of the handcuffs tethering Lena to the bed.
"Is that really necessary?" she demands, balling her hands into fists. "Where is she going to go?"
"Nia..." Lena's soft voice from the bed interrupts her before she can gather much steam. "It's okay."
Nia huffs, eyeing the way the officer slowly moves his hand from his sidearm when Nia turns back to the room. But then all she can see is Lena, hair limp and torso bulky with bandages under her hospital gown.
"It's not okay," Nia says, sitting in the chair thats been placed next to Lena's bed.
"It's just a misunderstanding," Lena insists, her gaze sliding towards the door. The door itself remains open, denying them any sense of privacy. But Lena doesn't seem to mind when her gaze returns to Nia. "You okay?"
Nia chokes on her own tongue. "Am I--? Lena, you're in the hospital..."
"And I'm okay." Lifting her cuffed wrist, Lena silently reaches for Nia's hand, which Nia offers without hesitation. "Promise."
All of a sudden, the tears come back, pressing against her eyelids as she squeezes her eyes shut. "I promised myself I wouldn't cry--"
"It's okay," Lena assures her. "I'm okay."
"You shouldn't have--"
"Been there in the alley? When that guy tried to mug me?" Lena asks pointedly. Clearly, she's already established her cover story. "You're right, I should have known better." She pitches her voice loud enough to carry to the door. "I'm just lucky Sentinel and Dreamer were there to help me."
They wait a moment to listen for a response, but when none comes, they devolve into a fit of giggles.
"Ow," Lena grimaces with a cough. "No laughing for a while."
Nia tightens her grip on Lena's hand. "I... Lena, I'm so sorry--"
"I'd do it again," Lena returns, softly this time. Her words are for Nia alone. "That's what friends do."
Alex turns out to be right. As soon as Lena is well enough to leave the hospital, she's taken to the precinct for interrogation, but between CatCo's articles stirring up enough local support that a crowd forms around the precinct to protest the arrest, and the kind of lawyers a Luthor can acquire even after abandoning the family legacy, Lena is released without charge in a matter of hours.
Nia stays at the Tower hoping to see her, but Lena doesn't come.
"She's guessed she's probably being watched," Alex tells her. "She'll being laying low for a while til the heat dies down. All the better, honestly. It'll give her time to heal."
Nia swallows thickly. "Where is she?"
"Home. Kara's with her, but I'm sure she'd love to see you."
Nia approaches Lena's condo without much of a plan. She's armed with snacks and movies, but she knows that having Kara there won't give Nia the time with Lena she needs. She misses Lena, all more the more since she realized how long it had been since they'd just been... friends. More than allies, more than teammates, just... friends.
It feels like Maeve all over again.
But she swallows her nerves and takes the elevator up. Kara opens the door just as Nia lifts her hand to knock.
"Hey," Kara says quietly. She steps aside to let Nia in, and though she can hear the tv from the next room, they linger in the foyer.
"Is everything okay?" Kara asks.
Nia nods. "Yeah. Um. I just--"
She doesn't have an explanation either. Nia stares at her feet, until Kara breaks the silence.
"Look, I have a favor to ask..."
"Would you mind staying with Lena for a few hours?"
When Nia looks up, she finds Kara scrubbing the back of her head with one hand, looking sheepish.
"Yeah," she continues, "I've been kind of... hovering? And I think it's getting on her nerves a little. So I figured I could get some stuff done at CatCo--"
"Yes," Nia blurts. "Yes, of course. I'll stay."
Kara grins. "Thanks. She's in the living room now, if you want to..."
"Right. Yeah, I've got this. Go."
Kara thanks her with another smile that makes her whole face shine. "Call if you need anything."
She slips out the door with a wink, and locks it behind her. Nia walks to the living room on wooden legs, and finds Lena laying on the couch against a pile of pillows, propping her up to take the pressure off her wounds.
She looks up when Nia enters, and though her eyes are tired, her features crease into a smile. "Hey..."
Lena struggles to sit up, prompting Nia to close the distance swiftly. "No, no, no, stay comfy."
Relenting with a sigh, Lena groans. "Not like I have much choice these days."
"It'll get better."
Silence follows. Nia stands awkwardly, hands gripping her bag of candy tightly until Lena regards it with curiosity.
"What's all this?"
Nia starts. "Oh. Uhm... I thought-- well, I was wondering..." She trails off, shoulders slumping. "It's been a while since we've had sister's night."
When Lena doesn't answer, Nia risks a glance up to find Lena blinking in astonishment, before her features soften to warmth. She smiles.
"Well, there's no time like the present."
Lena lifts her arms, making playful grabby motions with her hands.
"What'd you bring me?"
Hours later, Kara returns home to find Nia seated on the couch with Lena's legs across her lap. It's as close to cuddling as Lena can get, with her injuries, and the way Nia's hands are spread over Lena's shins tells Kara that the contacr was very much needed.
Lena sleeps peacefully, the tv low in the background. Nia looks up at Kara from the shadows, the light reflecting in the tear tracks painted on her cheeks. Without a word, Kara slips in next to Nia, working her way under Lena's ankles to wrap one arm around the younger girl's shoulders.
Nia hugs her back, shaking quietly with the effort to keep her crying silent.
"It's okay," Kara whispers. Nia nods against her. So long as they were all together, they could get through anything.
"We're going to be okay."
159 notes · View notes