Clarke Griffin kom Skaikru knew she was in trouble. She knew that her people -and especially Octavia- may would never forgive her for leaving them among the blockade and staying in Polis instead. She had promised Octavia to join them before the blockade came into force, and at the time she knew it was the right thing to do... that's why she went to Lexa before she would have gone. She no longer wanted to pretend like she didn't care for the brunette, so she had decided to show that to her, although things had ended in a bit different way than she'd planned. Clarke was just so desperate, and feeling Lexa's kisses holding the same made her feel selfish in a way, despite how right it felt to be held by the Commander's protective arms.
There wasn't any trouble with that though, until she'd left Lexa's quarters and went into her own room to find John Murphy tied tightly to a chair, beaten, bruised and bleeding. But the worst was just about to come and at that moment she'd realized that either way, but she won't be able to return to Arkadia. Everything happened so fast and just like always, she didn't have a choice. Not when Heda of the thirteen clans was hanging on a weak sting, not when Lexa was dancing carefreely on a thin blade, ready to fall down into the deepest, darkest, most dangerous hollows where she wouldn't return from, ever again. How could Clarke leave Lexa when she was about to die from the bullet that was supposed to hit the blonde instead?
Yes... The target wasn't Heda. Titus, Fleimkepa and the last seken of Lexa was planning to kill Clarke for making his Commander weak. However, someone other had gotten to suffer despite his best attempts... that wasn't other than the exact person whom this sly murder was supposed to 'protect from weakness'.
Right now the sky girl was finally alone with Lexa, although it was hard to convice the healers to leave... but it was a miracle itself that they'd let her stay without slicing her throat, not to even mention the surgery they'd also let her do. She'd been there for almost a half day without even closing her eyes. She was settled next to the brunette, elbows on the knees, face tired and worn, sky-blue eyes -currently also red from tears- never leaving those eyelashes blocking the view from forest-green irises. She wanted to be the first one to see her eyes flickering open, though she wasn't entirely sure whether they would or not. Lexa's condition seemed to become stable, bleeding succesfully stopped, bullet removed, infection not showing its ugly head... by the time being, but luckily there was only a little of a chance. But she'd also lost a lot of blood. Clarke was still not about to be at ease.
Her gaze wandered away though. She was watching the Commander's chest as it was dropping and rising with short, quick sucks of breath. A thin layer of sweat was covering her pale skin and there was blood, so much blood soaked into the lower edge of her chest bindings. Just below the ruined cloth she had a thick bandage, luckily its surface no longer letting the blood seep through which was a good sign apart from the scary state she was in. Thinking of blood, Clarke's gaze was fixated on her hands now. They were also pitch black from her lover's blood. Were they lovers? Even though she obviously wasn't going to leave Lexa's side, the blonde felt the hysterical urge to dip them into water and brush it all away before it completely gets soaked into her skin and flesh and mind; she had let that happen to Finn's blood. Good, history repeats itself...
Feeling a little selfish again, she wanted to cry. Instead of thinking of her people, she was rather worried about herself; she wouldn't survive if she lost Lexa, too. She lifted her palms to her face and just let her head be buried into them. Clarke didn't care about the bloodstrain, nor about the subtle smell it was sending into her nose.
At last, she couldn't help but fall into a slumber since she was tired to death; the determined concentration on saving Lexa's life, all those painful minutes of anixety had worn her out.
Next thing she knew was a soft grunt, and a squirming body underneath her. The sky-blue eyes flew open to notice she was resting her weight in the Commander's lap, one of her elbows pressing a little upper to the grounder's bandaged side.
"Dammit, I'm sorry!" She squealed and immediately got up to check on the bandage which luckily didn't seem to get soaked by black blood, so that she felt relieved, letting out the breath she was holding. Then, her gaze now found those green eyes what deep inside, in the darkest corners of her mind she didn't even dare to hope seeing even again.
And with that, the universe stopped to exist, the Earth stopped to spin around, the Sun stopped to move the planets... everything just ceased, refused to keep living, letting the two enjoy this moment a little longer than it was basically possible. The sky melted into the forest, a pale hand found its way to a black one, warm and cold fingers were laced together. The sky let itself form clouds and start to rain, and even the forest allowed its rivers to swell and flood.
"I never thought I will see you again." Clarke managed to breathe out, and even that whisper felt like an explosion storming along the soft silence. The response was a weak smile and a rasped reply.
"I told you my spirit would choose wisely."
"So you chose yourself?" Clarke let out a small laugh which Lexa followed with a smile, attempting to blink her tears away. The blonde did the same, only because her vision became blurry.
"Mockery is not a product of a strong mind." She said though and it made Clarke laugh again.
"Oh come on." She pretended to send a glare to Lexa who just snorted.
"In fact I figured I would do a favor to you." She shrugged eventually but had a faint smile on her face.
"You did." The blonde assured while giving her hand a squeeze. Whether Lexa was making a joke or not, she had no idea.
However, Lexa stirred and started to get up, but then her eyes shut tightly, her breath caught in her throat, and she let out a grunt that rather sounded like a restrained cry of pain. She contiuned as if nothing had happened. Her jaw chlenched stubbornly and it seemed to form an even sharper shape, making Clarke shudder despite the worry tightening her chest.
"Lie still, please." Clarke pleaded and used her free hand to stop Lexa's movements by pressing it against her chest, just above her abdomen where the bandage strecthed. The Commander looked at her sternly, but the sky girl saw right through her. She was obviously in pain, not to mention the literal weakness due to the loss of blood. She sighed. "I know it sucks, I really do. But you wouldn't be able to take a single step standing without passing out. You'd lost a lot of blood." She knew it was far not enough to convice this stubborn grounder so she gave a last try, remembering Lexa's sincere expression when she had admitted it "Trust me, I know you do."
The last sentence was enough for Heda to drop the idea of rebelling against Clarke. Instead, she let out a flustered, defeated sound among a sigh and a whine, and slowly fell back onto the bed. Her hand never ended that gentle grasp which it was holding Clarke's with; she didn't care about the bloodstrain either. They stayed like that for long minutes, just holding hands and connecting gazes, letting emotions to settle and soak into their souls.
The sky girl, however, was way too weak to hold back all those emotions racking her inside-out, unexpressed, unreleased. Within a friction of a second, she was sobbing as if there was no tomorrow. She pulled the chair even closer to the bed just to be closer to her, to make sure there wasn't a slightest bit of a chance for Lexa to disappear ever again. The blonde grabbed Lexa's hand now with both of her own and bent her head down to rest it against their clasped hands by the forehead. Her shoulders couldn't help but bounce wildly as she cried with relief, fear, worry, and so much more beyond these all. She felt the black blood dissolving upon her skin whilst she was making it wet with the endless flow of tears.
"I was so scared!" She mumbled in a high, distressed pitch. "I was scared to death by the thought of letting you go without telling you..." She was cut off by her own hard hiccups and sniffs.
"I told you to not to be afraid." Even with her attempts to keep her voice steady, Clarke could hear the tremble in the brunette's tone.
"I don't care..." She mumbled before saying what she'd wanted so badly to say for a long time already. "I love you Lexa kom Trikru, I'm in love with the Commander of the thirteen clans."
She was ready to lift her head up only after her confession. And when she did, all she saw was green and soft and sweet and strong and protective -all she saw in this entire world was Lexa. And that was far enough for her life to be worth living.
"I... Clarke..." The mighty Heda was a complete loss of words. She stayed quiet for a while with her eyes darting between either of those sky-blue ones as if she was a scared victim of a hunter. She swallowed hard and pursed her lips nervously before saying in an attempted measured tone "I'm glad to hear that."
Knowing exactly it meant 'I love you, too.', Clarke chuckled with a new bunch of tears rolling down her cheeks and stood up, bringing along Lexa's hand until it was necessary to let go. Then she went around the bed to the other side and settled beside the Commander.
"The right posture for a victim wounded on the abdomen is sitting." She said while she hooked her forearms into the body of the brunette. "One, two, three..." They lifted her together and Clarke guided her into her own lap gently, yet wincing at the pained sound Lexa was trying to hide but managed to let out anyways. She wrapped her arms around Lexa avoiding the bandage, and her lips curled into an involuntar smile when she felt Lexa's grabbing at them in an instant, one lacing fingers together, one caressing her arm. In response Clarke buried her face into her soft, messily braided chestnut hair and just gave a moment for herself to enjoy the sound of a content sigh escaping the grounder's mouth. Taking a deep breath, she shuddered with a mixture of awe and calmness. The grounder beneath her arms smelled just like her home; spicy from a swirl of pine, dirt, salt, sweat and smoke, yet so fresh and lovely that the more she was taking into her lungs, the more she didn't want to stop... and wasn't able to, either. Then she began to leave soft kisses into those beautiful locks and she was so beyond happy to feel Lexa getting her deserved relax.
Clarke couldn't help the tears returning... barely a few minutes before she was almost sure that they will never have a moment like this. Even though their relationship was brand new for both of the young women, it felt so right, as if they've been together for years at least.
The silence was interrupted by Lexa's broken yet annoyed voice.
"I thought I was supposed to be the one to comfort you."
"That's not true." Clarke whispered in an instant. "You have been injured instead of me. You have been doubted, offended, betrayed because of me." She explained and placed her head into the crook of her neck, trying to reach her gaze without the need of making Lexa move instead. Eventually when their eyes met, she continued on "And you still think you have to be strong for me? No. You've been always so deadly strong that this time it just has to be happening otherwise... Sometimes it's just okay to be on the other side of things."
The brunette didn't have an answer but Clarke did.
"Just relax. Let me comfort you now. You deserve it, don't you think?" And with that, she leaned back against the headboard and buried her fingers into Lexa's hair to massage her scalp... at least that was her plan but then she noticed that her hands were still covered with her blood.
"You hadn't left me ever since the surgery, did you?" The Commander asked. The blonde had to chuckle at the way she'd said the word 'surgery'; it was a word grounders had taken over from Skaikru recently.
"No." She replied and for some reason she could tell Lexa was smiling even if she was showing her back.
"D-Don't... don't leave me just to wash your hands." The mighty Heda stuttered though, and Clarke agreed before finishing her move and starting to massage her head. The sky girl felt the grounder leaning into her frame further, yet this gave her an opportunity to notice how hard she was still struggling with herself. She sighed before saying softly
"Lexa, please. Let your nerves go."
"Yes you are nervous. But please... just don't be, I beg you. It's only me, we're both safe already so currently there's nothing to worry about, you have no reason to keep acting -to keep being Heda. Now you are just Lexa. Is that clear?" After a short silence, she felt the brunette nodding beneath her hands and her stiffness that caught her body disappeared.
They were doing things in this way; the sky girl staying on the ground and the grounder lifted up in the sky. Seemingly it didn't bother the brunette anymore, in fact Clarke felt as Lexa let herself being taken care of. She kept caressing her here and there, peppering small kisses, and she couldn't help her smile growing wider each time she felt the goose bumps spreading upon the open skin her lips were ghosting across. The warmth of the Commander's body against hers was so wonderful and it also felt ridicoulusly familiar, as if they've been bounded even before they'd gotten to know each other. Clarke remembered the first time she had heard her casual, measured voice -"You are the one who burned three hundred of my warriors alive."- she almost let out a laugh at the sarcasm of this whole case. How had they managed to end up together? Sometimes she honestly had no idea but didn't care either.
After a while that seemed like hours, Clarke thought she'd fallen asleep. But eventually the Commander spoke again, her tone raspy a little from the lack of use.
"Love is not weakness. Lexa knows this but Heda doesn't. Does this make her heartless or... weak, actually? Being on a constant struggle with herself?"
The way she talked about herself absolutely hit Clarke as a surprise but it was nothing compared to the fact that Lexa had just opened up for her; she could easily well up with tears again. Her movements stopped to keep her focusing on finding the best answer... but currently there wasn't.
"How could you be any of this?" She frowned to herself and searched for Lexa's hand with her own again. "I mean, just let's look through these small things you've done to earn respect. You couldn't have done these if you weren't strong both in spirit and mind. Reuniting the clans, killing the Ice Queen..."
"That's not exactly what I meant." The grounder shook her head and Clarke could hear the heavy gulp she mustered. "Clarke, I..." She trailed off again and took a few seconds to think. "I fear that this is wrong... I'm dreading that actually. Look, after... C-Costia I really did believe I will never find anyone -I didn't want to either. B-But then you came and I... Lexa realized it will be so different with you." She explained but she obviously had a hard time to speak. Clarke took a firmer yet gentle grip on her hand and buried her face into her hair once again. She felt Lexa quivering with agony, and the realization of being able to experience this obviously rare side of Lexa scared her and made her feel honoured at the same time.
"I won't force you to speak constantly. Tell me when it's time. You know you can, right?" She whispered and felt the brunette nodding.
"Yes." Her response was drowned by another hard swallow but she managed to continue "I want to speak, I just... you know I care for you and I accepted it a long time ago. But as Heda, it's so hard to seperate feelings from duty. I'm afraid I will do a mistake because regardless how I decide, someone will break."
"The question is: will you break?" Clarke asked slowly, bringing her face to meet Lexa's again.
"I-I don't know." She whispered with her lips trembling and her eyes becoming like glass.
Then the sky girl leaned in and kissed her for the very first time since she'd left her in her quarters, before the Commander had gotten shot. She felt Lexa's body twitch with surprise beneath her but soon she recovered and returned the kiss. Even though this was not exactly a comfy posture, they both felt themselves disappear in the awful flow of time. Lexa's hand slipped upper to the blonde's forearm and one of the blonde's hand moved upper to cup Lexa's face. Her thumb brushed across her sharp cheekbone that she loved so much, then it returned to her even sharper jawline, tangling into her hair at the end. The Commander wasn't really able to move in the state she was in but Clarke knew she was okay with that... at least she hoped, knowing how stubborn she could be. They moved tenderly though, softer than they'd did in Lexa's bed. Tongues never met, bodies never arched into the motion to make it passionate; there was no need to throw this on fire, the light touches of soft lips were far enough for the two to feel content, alive, happy, eased. Everything was poured into this kiss -understanding, trust, caring, even fear...
...and love. Shameless, genuine love, that eternal mysery between two human being, that no one on Earth could explain but everyone knew about.
"Love is strength." Clarke breathed against Lexa's bottom lip and pulled back just enough to lock gazes. "You love me and you also love your people." She was interrupted by her own chuckle; the grounder seemed confused at this part, she had this incredibly cute frown of hers. The signs of crying were no longer able to be seen.
"I don't love my people." She muttered.
"Is there anything you wouldn't do for them?" The sky girl cocked up an eyebrow, her cheeky smile growing bigger.
"Then this is love. Not that kind of love, but a determination that you can't fight. Your life is succumbed for your people and you're content with that."
However, they both trailed off now. They knew what it was like to choose people over a lover. However, Clarke had enough time to figure this out.
"I am so sorry." Lexa whispered as if knowing exactly what the blonde's brain was running along. The sky girl nodded.
"I know and I see the point of yours. I also know that I don't have the slightest bit of a right to influence your decisions. And I won't either, because I respect you and your duty."
The grounder's reply was a grateful smile and a small nod.
"You have nothing to thank for. This isn't some sort of exception but a basis that I must accept and succumb myself for." Clarke said and held the Commander's chin with her fingers a little tighter. "And I'm completely okay with that."
"Yes. Especially because I know that once we destroy Pike's stupid 'goverment' and make things clear, there won't be any trouble. Skaikru will be accepted as the thirteen clan again, and things between the grounders and us will be normal." She said with closed eyes but then gasped with surprise when her head was pressed against the headboard by Lexa's passionate lips. The fire that they'd missed with the kiss from earlier now exploded in her chest and its sweet smoke clouded her mind, her senses, all of her. There was only Lexa and the ecstasy which she was never able to get enough of. However, soon they had to part when the brunette grunted again and dropped back against Clarke's chest. It was just when the blonde realized they shouldn't have done that.
"Hey, be careful. This is serious. Don't fool me with these surprise-kisses of yours." She warned in a half-mocking, half-strict tone. Lexa muttered an annoyed 'okay' and they giggled, both closing their eyes and sighing happily. They knew it wasn't going to be easy, but there was no way to let their terrible world destroy something so beautiful like love.
Because love is love. And that's just it.