"W-What are you doing?" Kara breathes, shock and pain in her voice as Lena stumbles into her apartment.
Lena's advancing on her. Hand on her shoulder. Looking into her eyes. She's… Oh, no, Kara's thinking.
"Oh, nothing," Lena sings, smiling drunkenly.
"You're… You're mad at me," Kara points out.
It pains her to say it. She knows it's true. It's been true. Nothing's changed just because Lena's shown up trashed to tell her off. But what is Lena actually doing at her apartment at 3 in the morning, wearing sweats and holding an open bottle of wine? Thankfully, Kara knows she would've taken a cab, so she doesn't have to worry about Lena drinking and driving.
Lena nods and slurs, "Of course. Don't be stupid."
"Then… Why are you here?" Kara asks, careful to be gentle with the question, so as not to give the impression that she doesn't want Lena there. (She does.)
"Me?" Lena asks, staring blankly.
"Lena… You're really drunk right now."
"Hardly!" Lena says, loudly enough to wake the neighbors.
"Lena, shh!" Kara hisses, pushing the door shut behind Lena after pulling her into the apartment. "You're going to—"
"I don't care," she blurts, shrugging her shoulders and holding up her wine bottle. "Need a glass."
"Uh, no," Kara denies her. "I don't think so. Pretty sure you've had enough."
"But, Supergirl. Don't you want to save me from my misery?"
Kara freezes. Everything stings and tingles all at once, and not in a good way. She reasons she deserves this bitter reaction from Lena, but it hurts all the same. Still, the fact that Lena thinks she needs to drink to escape whatever she's feeling… all because of her… makes Kara's insides turn.
"Yes," Kara finally confesses, after taking a few long moments to stare at Lena sadly. "Yes, I do."
"Then get me a glass."
Kara shakes her head, and Lena stumbles forward, putting her hand on Kara's shoulders again.
"Please, Supergirl. Just one more drink. Then I'll tell you all my secrets," Lena promises.
She really is shitfaced.
"Please…" Kara starts, pain in her voice. "Please, don't call me that."
"But that's who you are, isn't it? Supergirl? The paragon of hope? Girl Scout extraordinaire?"
"No," Lena interrupts her. "No."
Then, Lena's hand is sliding down Kara's bare arm, tearing up a sea of goosebumps in its wake. This isn't how Kara wants to be touched by Lena. It's so far from that she almost screams. Not out of anger, but out of frustration with herself.
"What if I don't want to stop?" Lena says, syllables still heavily slurred as her hand slides down over Kara's front, starting at her shoulder.
Mouth agape, Kara stares.
"Don't you want to know my secrets, Supergirl?" Lena purrs, and Kara can feel her palms getting sweaty.
"No," Kara lies. "I want you to sober up. Just… crash in my bed, okay? I'll bring you home in the morning. We can… talk about this incident… like… never."
Lena shakes her head vigorously and protests, "I think not."
"You won't stay?"
"I'll stay… if you kiss me."
Lena's finger slides along Kara's bottom lip, and suddenly, Kara is feeling about as super as a pebble. In fact, her knees are starting to tremble.
"Lena, you don't mean that," Kara chokes out, taking a step back.
But Lena stumbles, nearly falling, and Kara catches her with ease, instantly regretting her decision to back away.
"Come on," Kara sighs. "We're gonna get you some water and put you to bed."
Again, Lena shakes her head in protest.
"If you won't get me a glass, and you won't kiss me, I'll just… have to… keep drinking."
"I've had six or seven already," Lena says. "Actually, maybe more. I stopped counting. So, I'll just drink—" Lena stops and takes a swig of wine "—straight out of the bottle."
"Lena!" Kara cries, tearing the bottle of fine wine out of her hands.
Not caring how expensive the wine was, Kara throws the bottle in the sink, smashing it, and lifts Lena into her arms, bridal-style, earning a loud gasp from her friend.
"Supergirl," Lena swoons, exaggerating each syllable as she hangs her arms around Kara's neck. "My hero."
Kara feels her heart sink as she nearly whimpers, "I thought I was your hero."
This is shockingly sobering for Lena, if only for a brief moment, as she stares up at her friend and says, "You were."
Nearly collapsing from the weight of this statement, Kara stumbles just one step before making it to her bedroom where she lays Lena down on the freshly made bed.
"I'm not sleeping here!" Lena suddenly shouts, once again loud enough to wake whatever neighbors may have fallen back asleep.
"Lena," Kara pleads. "Stop. Just stop. You're drunk. You don't know what you're saying, and you're going to feel very differently when you wake up. So, please… Have some water and go to sleep. I'll keep an eye on you to make sure you don't—"
"You threw away my best wine!"
Rubbing her temples, Kara looks down.
"I'm sorry," she says, the sound as small and as weak as Kara is feeling. Then, voice cracking, Kara feels reality crash back over her, as it's done so many, many times since their last fight, and she collapses to her knees in front of the bed as she whimpers, "I'm so sorry."
"Get up," Lena bites angrily, her own rage returning upon seeing the Super so incredibly vulnerable.
"I can't," Kara admits. "I can't feel anything other than your hate for me."
"Would you just get me some wine already?" Lena huffs, sitting up in the bed.
"First of all, I'm not your secretary. Second of all, you're way too drunk already, and if you have any more you're going to get really sick, so please, just stop, Lena."
"Then kiss me. Let me drink or kiss me."
Kara lifts her head, finally daring to look directly into Lena's piercing green eyes. It only lasts a breath before Kara looks away.
"You don't mean that," she chokes out, feeling the rest of what she wants to say tangled up in knots in her throat.
"What if I do, though?" Lena presses, and when Kara dares to look at her again, she does look exceptionally serious.
Almost as serious as when she's sober.
But not quite.
"You're drunk," Kara repeats. "I'm not going to take advantage of you."
"You're drunk," Lena pouts childishly and flops back on the bed. After a pause where Kara's watchful gaze doesn't leave her, Lena finally concedes, "Fine. But I'm not going to sleep."
Kara huffs. This woman is impossible. An unclimbable mountain. So Kara retreats to the kitchen to retrieve a bottle of water for her friend – her very, very drunk friend – and returns to find the woman sprawled out on the comforter, undeniably passed out.
Sighing softly, Kara approaches the bed and looks down at Lena, unintentionally admiring the sudden softness of her features as she sleeps. Unexpectedly peaceful, Lena's silence brings Kara some comfort. At least she's not yelling. But Kara won't sleep tonight. Instead, she'll sit in a quiet vigil beside the bed, watching to make sure Lena doesn't get sick.
Kara sits still, watching Lena sleep without moving an inch, until her back begins to ache from becoming stiff. She's not used to staying on one place for long. But she knows she can't leave Lena's side. At least, she shouldn't. Lena had obviously had way too much to drink, and Kara isn't taking any risks. Not with Lena.
Four hours later, after a complete lack of movement from the brunette in her bed, Kara watches as the woman finally begins to stir.
"Oh, my God," Lena moans, curling into the fetal position and holding her head. "Make it stop."
Kara, of course, rushes to her side and presses the cold, sealed bottle of water into her hands, but Lena stares up at her, seemingly shocked, and drops it on the bed.
"What the f—"
"You're okay," Kara says gently, taking a cautious step back. "I'll get you some Excedrin."
"Oh, fuck," Lena groans, ignoring the water she knows she should drink and rubbing her temples instead. "Did I—"
"I'll be right back," Kara interrupts her, not wanting to answer any of Lena's questions right then.
She returns with a bottle of pain killers (the ones she keeps in the apartment just for Lena) and pushes two pills into the palm of her friend's hand.
Kara tries not to shiver at the sensation of Lena's soft, delicate skin beneath her fingertips, but she does anyway, the electric wave of longing shooting down her spine.
"Give me that," Lena snaps, snatching the bottle of Excedrin from her former friend and nearly tearing the lid off before dumping five more pills into her palm.
Too fast for Lena, Kara grabs the woman's hand and stops her from taking the pills – which would have been far beyond a doctor's recommended dosage – and holds the extra pills away from her.
"Three, max. That's it," Kara tells her, conviction filling her voice.
She may not be sure about anything anymore, but she's sure she doesn't want Lena to be unwell, and she knows the dangers for humans of taking too many pain killers.
"You're insufferable," Lena seethes. "Do you think I'm a child who can't make their own decisions?"
"Oh, you can make your own decisions," Kara admits. "You've just been making very poor ones lately."
"Like yours have been spectacular?"
Kara freezes. Lena's got her there.
"Okay," Kara relents. "Okay. But listen… Last night…"
"What did I say?"
"Kara," Lena warns, making the hero blush.
"Sorry," she mumbles, shifting her weight awkwardly from one foot to the other. "Um… You just said… I mean… It was nothing really. You just wanted me to give you more wine, and I wouldn't."
"More wine?" Lena gapes, sitting up in the bed. "I wanted more wine? I would've fucking died. It's a miracle I didn't get sick last night!"
But of course, Lena has now fully jinxed any luck she might have had previously, so she finds herself leaning over the bed and expelling the contents of her stomach onto the area rug covering Kara's hardwood floor.
"Oh, fuck," Lena groans, rubbing her head and wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. "Fuck, fuck. Fuck."
"Hey, it's okay," Kara says, rushing to her side and picking up the water bottle to push it back into her hand. "Have some water. Please."
Lena shakes her head defiantly, and Kara knows she's just being her stubborn Luthor self. This she's normally okay with, but right now, she knows Lena's not well, so she takes off the cap to the water bottle, sits boldly beside Lena on the bed, avoiding the vomit on the floor, and cautiously lifts the bottle to the woman's lips.
"Please," she whispers, looking at Lena with a deep, sympathetic longing she wishes she could shove down into a tiny box and burn.
Lena is startled by Kara's tenderness, even though she probably shouldn't be, and is melted by her plea, so she sits up a little straighter and allows Kara to raise the bottle higher to pour the cool liquid past her lips. Shutting her eyes as she feels the relief of hydration, Lena swallows.
"Thank you," she says without thinking, after Kara moves the bottle away.
Yes, she's angry. Yes, she's hurt. Yes, she wants to punch Kara in the face and hold her and cry and scream and kiss her. But she can't do any of those things right now, because she's too overwhelmed, too shaken by the way Kara refuses to leave her side, and her relentless gentility.
"One more," Kara offers, lifting the bottle again slightly to signal that she wants Lena to keep drinking.
When Lena shakes her head again, Kara looks at her sadly and says her name like a hushed, heartbroken prayer: "Lena."
At first, Lena bites her lip. She has to stay mad. She wants to stay mad. Kara betrayed her. Lied to her. Hid from her. Broke her heart. But the way this woman is so desperately trying to show how much she cares – and Lena can see it, that Kara cares – is making Lena weak. So, so weak. Almost as weak as she was the night before.
"What did I really say?" Lena asks, after pacifying Kara by taking another small sip of water.
"You told me to give you more wine."
"But I had a whole bottle with me."
"You didn't finish it."
"I shattered the bottle in the sink," Kara sighs, looking down as she pushes her glasses up on the bridge of her nose. "You wanted me to give you a glass to drink from and then threatened to drink from the bottle when I refused, seeing that you were way too shitfaced to keep going, so I took the bottle from you to make sure you didn't have any more alcohol. Because you're right, Lena. You could've died."
"That was my best wine!" Lena shouts, crossing her arms over her chest before feeling her stomach heave.
Throwing up again in the same spot makes Lena fall back on the bed with exhaustion as she groans in protest of just how fucking miserable she's feeling. How fucking miserable her life has become.
"I'll be right back," Kara says hurriedly, rising from her spot on the bed. "I'm gonna clean this up."
"Wait, I can do—" Lena protests.
"Be right back."
Kara leaves the room and rushes back with cleaning supplies, removing the mess from the floor, and before Lena can get another word in, she's gone again. Lena, flustered by Kara's disappearance but too weak to sit up again, waits with her eyes closed, trying to ignore the way the room is still spinning. But the hero is back in no time, this time with a warm, wet washcloth, sitting on the side of the bed once more.
"Kara, I'm—" Lena objects, opening her eyes when the blonde leans over her and reaches out with the washcloth to dab the corners of her mouth clean.
"You need more sleep," Kara says gently. "Get some rest. I'll be right here if you get sick again. But drink some more water first."
"I'm fine," Lena whines.
She's not as fierce when she's feeling ill, and Kara is feeling overwhelmingly grateful for this, because deep inside every moment of silence, all she can hear is Lena screaming at her.
Not wanting to use physical force without permission, Kara asks, "Please, let me help you sit up to have a drink."
Lena shakes her head.
"Please," Kara begs.
"I don't want to."
"You're… You're being stubborn, Lena… Please. Just a little more. You need to hydrate."
Huffing with annoyance, Lena finally concedes with a nod and allows Kara to use her exceptionally strong arms to ease her back up off the bed. With one hand, Kara supports Lena's back, and with the other, she helps Lena take a drink. The brunette isn't sure if she loves this or hates it. She loves the feeling of Kara's hands on her, supporting her, tenderly caring for her in her (extended) moment of weakness. But she hates her need for Kara. Hates the way she's pathetically allowing Kara to help her drink from a bottle. She knows she has perfectly good use of her hands. Then again, she's dizzy as all hell and doesn't want to risk dropping the bottle and spilling it all over herself and Kara's bed.
"Good," Kara praises Lena, upon her taking a few more slow sips. "Why don't you get under the covers? It's a little chilly in here. You'll be more comfortable."
Lena blushes involuntarily at the sudden thought of sleeping beneath the same sheets Kara inhabits. Feeling her skin touching the same place Kara's does. She's feeling far too awful to object now. The blend of having a hangover and still being a little drunk is weighing on her and reducing her ability to fight off Kara's kindness.
Lena hesitates, so Kara offers, "Here. I'll help you."
Lena wants to shake her head. Wants to tell her she's fine and doesn't need help. But she knows if she moves too fast she'll puke again, and she hates that feeling, so she allows Kara to support her as she wiggles under the covers.
"Thank you," Lena whispers.
It pains her to say it, but it manages to come out anyway. She doesn't want to thank Kara. Doesn't want to forgive Kara. Doesn't want to see the caring acts of kindness that Kara unendingly provides. She wants to ignore it. Ignore Kara.
I can't believe I fucking came here, Lena's thinking. My drunk ass is stupid.
But she knows, deep down, that Kara will take care of her, so she shuts her eyes when Kara says, "It's my pleasure."
Lena hates this. Hates that Kara is getting pleasure from caring for her. How dare she be so relentlessly sweet?
"Sleep," Kara says, when she notices Lena becoming restless and avoiding her gaze. "You're okay. I've got you."
"I don't even know why I came here," Lena mumbles grumpily, disappointed by her own weakness.
But she reasons that she couldn't stay away. She can't remember much about the night before, except opening two bottles of wine over the course of an hour and a half. She doesn't remember showing up at Kara's apartment. Well, there is one other thing she remembers distinctly: the feelings. The feelings of anger and sadness and loss and bitterness and frustration and… just… everything. Every emotion you can name, Lena had felt it the night before.
Now, she's just angry at herself for giving in.
With these thoughts racing through her mind, Lena falls asleep without waiting for Kara's response.
This leaves Kara feeling a distinct sense of emptiness, and she wonders if this is what depression feels like. It hurts more than being alone, but at the same time, it's so much better. Better because she can see Lena. Touch Lena (if only briefly). Listen to her (even if she's angry). But she also feels the burning sting of the hundreds of reasons Lena has to hate her, on top of the knowledge that Lena feels regret for even showing up.
But that she'll deal with later. That's a problem for future Kara.
Well, future Kara certainly has that problem. She's there when Lena wakes another four hours later, looking groggy and disoriented.
"You're okay," Kara assures her, scooting her chair closer to the bed. "Have some more water."
"Leave me alone," Lena whines, covering her face with her hands. "It's too bright in here. I just want to sleep."
"You've got work today," Kara gently reminds her.
"No, I don't," Lena tells her. "I gave the company to Sam."
"You did what?"
"I'm done. I'm done with everyone and everything. I can't trust a goddam person in this world but her. I'm fucking done, Kara."
The hero desperately wants to say, You can trust me, but she knows this won't go over well. And it's not even true, as much as Kara hates to admit it. Of course, Kara would never want to hurt Lena, but she's already done that, and it's too late to ask for trust now.
"I understand, but… but you love your job," Kara tries to reason with her.
Lena isn't having it.
"Don't tell me what I love."
The words are so incredibly bitter that Kara physically leans back, feeling the venom in the air. I wish you loved me, the hero's thinking. But she knows this isn't – and never will be – the case.
Lena had asked Kara to kiss her last night. The memory rushes back to Kara, and she starts to feel dizzy. But it was all just drunkenness, right? It was just… Lena acting out? But maybe… No. There was no way.
Kara wants to ask Lena what she loves. Tell me, she wants to say. But she knows Lena won't, so she doesn't say it.
"I'll close the curtains," Kara says suddenly, breaking the awkward silence to stand up and close the curtains to prevent the light from coming in.
"Can I have some more Excedrin?" Lena asks weakly, rubbing her temples and shutting her eyes again.
She hates the way she sounds so pathetic, but she knows she needs the help, so she resigns herself to pretending that it isn't happening.
Kara nods and gives her two tablets, which Lena takes dry.
"Are you refraining from drinking to punish me?" Kara bravely asks, when she notices that Lena has completely ignored her request for her to drink.
Lena shrugs and says, "Maybe."
"Lena," Kara sighs. "Come on. Please."
"Will you shut the fuck up if I finish this bottle?"
Kara nods again, feeling a fierce sadness settle deeper within her.
"Great," Lena snaps, chugging the last half of water.
"Do you want to sleep more?" Kara asks gently, biting her lip as she gets the intense feeling of not wanting Lena to leave.
"I don't think I can move."
Kara wants to say, Good, but she can't. Her bravery is mostly shot. She's weak too, in her own way. But Lena has no idea. No idea how much she's cried. How incredibly miserable she's been, too. How much she's missed her. How much she's been wanting to confess the rest. All of it. To lay it all out on the table and let Lena take it in. But she's not brave now. She'd rather face a thousand villains at once than have Lena continue to reject her.
"Rest then," Kara urges her. "You can stay as long as you need to."
Lena bits her lip slightly, and Kara feels her stomach drop. She knows Lena is unwell, but it's still enticing, the way her teeth bite down on her lower lip. She shakes herself from this dream quickly and returns her attention to the present.
Lena leans back and shuts her eyes again, too tired to say anything else. She can't deny the offer right now. She probably can't even walk without her surroundings turning into a carnival fun house full of twists, turns, and mirrors. Kara waits – not long, though – for Lena to fall asleep and continues to keep watch, making sure that Lena is okay. With sharp eyes, she watches for signs of breathing as Lena sleeps. She's sure the alcohol poisoning is wearing off, but she has to admit that she's terrified. Terrified for Lena to be hurt. Terrified to lose her. Even though, if she's honest, she's lost her already, in one way.
Lena only sleeps another forty minutes before waking to find Kara in the exact same spot she was in when she fell asleep.
"Hey," Kara greets her shyly. "Feeling any better? Can I get you anything?"
"Yeah. More painkillers. And a morphine drip."
"Not yet," Kara tells her seriously. "It hasn't been four hours."
Lena huffs – her typical noise of disapproval – and rolls her eyes.
"I should get going," Lena says suddenly, looking over at the clock and seeing that it's almost noon.
"You… You don't have to leave," Kara offers hesitantly. "I can make you some breakfast. Anything you want."
"Stop it," Lena snaps, startling Kara.
"Stop being so fucking sweet," the brunette hisses back, losing her patience with Kara's kindness as well as her own intense feelings.
"But I was just—"
"Enough. I'm leaving. You probably should've just let me drink myself to death, but thanks anyway."
"Lena," Kara gasps. "Don't say that. I'd never—"
Lena gives the hero a piercing gaze of fire as she swings her legs out from under the sheets. Reluctantly, Kara steps aside, unwilling to keep Lena against her will. But Lena stumbles on the first step, and Kara catches her.
"I don't… I don't feel so good," Lena confesses, leaning back into Kara's arms.
"I know," Kara tells her gently. "Why don't you come sit in the kitchen and I'll feed you, okay? To get your strength back up."
"Lena, please. Please, just eat something. Even if it's small. I'll make anything you want."
Hesitating and pondering the offer as her undeniable desire to stay with Kara overwhelms her, Lena replies, "Anything?"
Kara nods and says, "Anything at all."
Having to laugh at this, Kara nods again and agrees, "Okay. Come on, then."
With that, Kara lifts Lena into her arms – slowly, as not to make her sick – and carries her bridal-style into the dining room, where she sets her down carefully in a chair.
"Stay here," Kara orders. "I'll be back in a bit."
Lena doesn't protest this time. She just rests her head on the table and tries not to fall asleep again, even though she's more exhausted than she's been in a long time.
She's asleep when Kara returns with the burger, so Kara sets the plates down and puts a gentle hand on Lena's shoulder and says her name.
"Lena?" Kara presses. "Lena, wake up. You need to eat."
Stirring from her slumber, Lena lifts her head, and Kara lets out a soft chuckle.
Scowling at this, Lena barks, "What?"
"You've got a few indents from your hand. You're sleepy."
"I know," Lena moans, dropping her head onto her arm again.
"You gotta get up, though, sweetheart," Kara whispers, touching her shoulder again. "It's time to eat."
A deep, rattling shock shoots through Lena's spine, making her flinch. Sweetheart? She wants to scream at Kara for being so fucking sweet, but she can't. Can't do it. And before she can even say anything in reply, her stomach growls.
"Alright," she sighs. "Alright."
"I brought all the condiments and lettuce and tomato and bacon, because I didn't know what you felt like eating…" Kara says, nervous to disappoint Lena with her cooking.
Lena sits up again and blinks, staring at the table which is set with multiple different options for her to build her cheeseburger with.
"Kara…" she whispers. "You…"
Kara shivers upon hearing Lena say her name like that. It's been too long, and it hurts.
"Eat, please," she says simply, shoving her feelings down below a steel trap door.
Lena nods, fixes her burger, and takes a few bites, shutting her eyes, and letting out a moan of pleasure when the burger touches her tongue.
"Holy shit," she gasps. "You make a mean burger."
Kara has to smile at this. She hates to admit it, but she loves the praise. Only because it's coming from Lena, though. Anyone else? She couldn't care less. She's not in it to please others. Just Lena. All she wants to do is see that smile return. Hear the laughter in her voice again. Remember what it feels like to embrace her.
"Thanks," Kara says politely, sitting down across from Lena at the table.
Lena finishes the burger in silence, intensely grateful for the meal she'd said she didn't want.
Then, it comes tumbling out.
"You're too good to me," the brunette says.
As soon as the words are out, Lena hates them. Hates that she said them. Hates that she even thought them. She's angry. So angry. Kara betrayed her. But still… Kara was also the one to probably save her from passing out from alcohol poisoning and choking on her own vomit.
Kara blinks, staring blankly.
"I just… care," Kara mumbles, dropping her gaze to the tablecloth.
Lena goes quiet for a long while before saying, "I should go. You've done more than enough for me."
"Lena," Kara says, raising her eyes and catching Lena's gaze. "I'll never be able to do enough for you. I'll never be able to treat you as well as you deserve, or give you everything in the world that I want to give you. I'll never be able to earn your forgiveness. It's just not possible. But I… I'll try. I'll try today, and tomorrow, and the next day, until Kryptonite finally takes my life."
"Kara, Kryptonite won't—"
"Eventually, it will happen. Eventually, someone else will figure out how to make it and use it against me. I doubt I'll live forever."
"Listen… Kara," Lena fumbles for words. "I… I'm angry…"
"I know," Kara sighs. "I'm sorry, Lena. I can't… I can't make it up to you, but please know that I mean it. I know it's not good enough. I know I'm not good enough. But please know that I do really mean it."
After a long, thoughtful pause, Lena tells her, "I know you do." Another pause, and then, "But I don't think you told me the whole truth about last night."
Kara blushes and quickly confesses, "I just didn't want you to feel bad or grossed out."
"What did I say, Kara?"
"You told me to kiss you, or let you keep drinking."
Lena's mouth falls open.
"I… I said that?" she stammers in disbelief, her cheeks turning a deep shade of crimson.
"You were just drunk," Kara reasons, shrugging her shoulders. "Don't worry; I didn't do it."
"Of course you didn't do it," Lena quickly acknowledges. "You would never take advantage of me like that."
Her own words hit her like an anvil, and had she been standing, she would have stumbled back from the force of them. It was true; Kara would never intentionally hurt her. Which meant… Kara wasn't lying when she said she was trying to keep their friendship, not ruin it, by keeping her Super identity a secret.
"Kara…" Lena says breathlessly. "I'm…"
But Kara ignores what she's trying to say – doesn't want to hear it – and cuts in, "You're right. I'd never take advantage of you. I care about you way too much to let anything bad happen to you, Lena."
Lena feels her heart break all over again. Kara means it. Really, really means it. And that hurts more than the lie. Hurts more than the betrayal. Because she can't have Kara. Can't move past what they've both done to their friendship. Not to mention, she's incredibly embarrassed about her drunken escapades.
"I…" Lena starts, feeling herself choking up. "I believe you."
Kara's eyes go wide with shock. She believes me? she's thinking.
"You do?" Kara asks anxiously, looking as ashamed as she feels.
Lena nods and dismissively says, "Can I go sleep some more now? I feel like I'm going to pass out."
"Of course," Kara quickly agrees, lifting her out of the chair and into her arms again.
Lena's stomach turns, feeling the heat of the hero's body against her, until Kara finally puts her down in the bed and pulls the covers up over her.
Lena looks exceptionally pale, so Kara's worried and says, "Lena… Can you have some more water, please?"
"I'm good, Kara," Lena tells her. "Really, this time. I just… need more sleep. My head's exploding."
Kara nods and looks down at Lena with a longing she can't hide. All she wants in this world is to hold Lena again.
Kara still hasn't slept, so she paces the room this time to keep herself awake, until Lena begins to thrash violently in the bed.
"Lena?" Kara gasps, rushing to her side and lifting her up to wake her. "Hey. Hey, Lena. Wake up, honey. You're having a nightmare."
Lena jerks in her arms, then startles awake with tears streaming down her cheeks.
"You're okay," Kara promises, keeping Lena upright. "I've got you."
She doesn't think about it. She just… does. It's always been her instinct to protect Lena. Nothing in the world could stop her from that endeavor.
"Kara," Lena whimpers, starting to sob as she throws her arms around the hero's neck.
"I'm here," Kara whispers, frozen by the shock of Lena's embrace. "I'm right here. It was just a dream."
Lena calms shortly thereafter, leaning against Kara and listening to her steady breathing.
Eventually, she breathes, "The canons wouldn't disarm."
"The canons wouldn't disarm. You died, and it was all my fault. I killed you."
"Oh, Lena… It's okay. It was just a dream," Kara assures her. Then, after a pause, more inhibitions disappear and make words tumble out like gum from a gumball machine as she says, "Besides, it wouldn't have been the worst way to go. I knew the risk when I went. Looking at you would be a beautiful end, despite how much you hate me."
Kara feels everything inside her tense and constrict. Oh, my God, she thinks. I actually said that out loud.
"Kara, I…" Lena tries, but there are no words.
No words to describe what Kara's just said to her. No words to explain what Kara just confessed.
So all she can do is cry. Cry, and cry, and cry, this time clinging to Kara like they were sharing their last moments together.
"I can't," Lena finally sobs. "I can't do this."
"I… I know," Kara says sadly. "I know you only came because you were drunk and angry."
Lena shakes her head vigorously and explains, "No. I came for you. And I can't… I can't keep fighting with you. I can't. I don't want to. I just… want… us to be okay…"
"We're okay, if you want us to be," Kara says quickly, feeling a knot form her throat as her own tears threaten to fall. "We would have been okay if you didn't disarm the canons. I could never, never, ever let you go, Lena, and I've never blamed you for hating me."
"I forgive you, Kara, and I'm so fucking sorry," Lena sniffles, holding Kara tightly. "And I… I…"
Kara hesitates, then dives in head first, blurting, "You don't have to be sorry. I should be sorry. I'm the one who fucked up. I'm the one who ruined this. But I'd never give up on you, Lena. I'll never walk away from you. And… I have no excuses for you. I was scared, and… I guess… you know… people do crazy things when they're in love."
Lena breaks away, staring breathlessly. Did she just say…?
"Shit… I'm sorry," Kara rushes. "I should never have said that. I never should have said that. Oh, God…"
Lena just stares and stares, wordlessly watching Kara's expression twist into one of intense panic.
"Lena?" Kara asks anxiously, after a long, long bout of uncomfortable, embarrassing silence.
"What did you just say?" Lena finally asks, not trusting her ears to tell her what she's been praying to hear for so, so long.
"I said… It's nothing. Nevermind."
Kara's cheeks are far past red, and Lena can tell just how uncomfortable she is.
"Am I still drunk?" she asks dumbly, still looking just as astounded as she feels.
"I… I don't think so, Lena…" Kara tells her, feeling two tears streak down her cheeks.
"Hey," Lena says quickly, brow furrowing when she sees the tears. "Kara, don't cry…"
"I'm… I'm s-sorry," Kara sniffles, looking away.
But Lena lifts her chin, connecting their eyes, and whispers, "I don't hate you, Kara. That's why I was so angry. Because I can't hate you, even though I wanted to. I can't hate you because… well… because…" After another anxious pause, Lena continues, saying, "I can't hate you, because I'm so deeply in love with you that I can't fucking stand it."
Kara thinks she might faint, and almost does, until Lena sees this and reaches out to steady her.
"You okay?" she asks, concern dripping into her voice.
Not knowing what to say, Kara continues to blush and tries to look away again.
"Hey. Look at me," Lena says softly. "Look at me."
"Will you kiss me now?" the brunette asks, confidence wavering.
Feeling her heartbeat becoming heavily irregular, Kara nods slowly, but waits for Lena to lean in first. Then, she connects their lips, as tenderly as a butterfly landing, savoring the pressure.
"I thought you were in love with me," Lena chuckles, upon pulling away. Kara tilts her head in confusion, so Lena explains, "Kiss me like you mean it, Supergirl."
This time, the sound of Supergirl isn't bitter or insulting. It's sweet and inviting, and it sets everything in Kara ablaze with want and desire. So she kisses Lena hard, crashing their lips together and pouring every ounce of longing into their connection to wordlessly tell Lena just how very in love she is.