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Run on Gasoline

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Lexa looks around the crowded club, squinting every once in awhile at the faces of the people busy dancing and grinding on each other. As it was, she’s finding it hard to concentrate on practically anything. It might have been the throbbing of the bass or perhaps the deafening noise of mindless chatter and whatever passes for club music these days. She was never really a club kind of person, much preferring to spend her time in places where she can actually hear herself think. Oh, what she’d give to be in her room to catch up on her reading or her very own garage where she was nearly finished restoring an old Ford GT40 right now.

Instead, she contents herself by playing with the custom-made, poker chip sized coin she always keeps in her pocket. Lexa has always been a fidgeter. It’s not that she’s nervous or anything. It doesn’t even have anything to do with being in a club or around alcohol after four years of being clean. She just hates waiting idly, and so she busies herself by pulling off some coin tricks she picked up from working part-time in a gambling den.

“Okay, that’s triggering me. Lighten up, will you?” Anya interrupts her thoughts and that one rather impressive trick. Her older cousin certainly has a knack for that.

“We’ve been here for about an hour. You said ‘they’ll be here in five’, approximately 34 minutes ago,” Lexa huffed, making a show of looking at her wristwatch.

Anya only rolls her eyes and slightly shakes her head before taking a swig of her whiskey. “What was it you always said, ‘it takes as long as it takes’? Whatever happened to that?”

“That doesn’t necessarily apply to this situation now, does it?”

“Hey, come on. They said they’d be here. Just drink your… whatever that is and relax,” Lincoln tells her. He throws in a smile for good measure.

“It’s a Shirley Temple,” Lexa grumps. “If they don’t get here in the next ten minutes, I’m leaving.”

“Aww, don’t be like that. You promised you’d meet them. Stay for one more hour at least. Please? Please, Lex? I really like this girl and I want you guys to meet her and her friends.” Lincoln begs, giving her his signature puppy dog eyes. Lexa fixes him with a glare but she relents, giving him just the barest of nods. She sighs loudly but Lincoln’s smile just grows wider. She could really never deny Lincoln when he’s like this.

And he did seem happily in love with this Octavia, if his off-key renditions of random love songs in the shower of their shared apartment were anything to go by. She's happy for him, but she’ll never get caught saying sappy thing like that out loud. Lexa figures staying is the least she could do.

“What’s your hurry anyway? It’s not like you have some hot booty call tonight, right? I mean, you’re not still sleeping around with Costia, are you?” Anya says her name with such disdain.

Lexa winces. She could never look any guiltier than she does at that moment because yes, she was still having sex with Costia. Despite Costia being in long-term relationship with her boyfriend. Or Costia outright rejecting Lexa when she confessed how she felt for the redhead, saying that their relationship couldn’t be anymore than what it was. Lexa was heartbroken, of course, but a friends with benefits arrangement with Costia is better than the alternative of staying away.

As if on cue, Lexa feels her phone vibrate inside her pocket. She feels compelled to pull it out, knowing exactly whose message she would read. u still coming by? Lexa shoots out a quick yes and pockets her phone, only to see the disapproving look both her cousins were giving her when she looks back up.

Thankfully, before Anya and Lincoln can chastise her or organize one of their famous interventions right here and now, Octavia and her friends arrive. “I’m sorry we’re late. I didn’t realize how far this bar was from campus,” a short raven haired woman, who Lexa assumes is Octavia, says as she slides into the seat, pecks Lincoln on the cheek and smiles at her and Anya. She's accompanied by another girl and three guys.

Later, Lexa learns their names. There's Octavia, Raven, Bellamy, Jasper and Monty. Most of the group are seniors, apart from Bellamy who is currently working on a masters in History. Octavia is a communications major, Raven is completing an astrophysics degree, while Monty and Jasper are both in I.T. They also mentioned in passing that Clarke, the other friend they were still waiting for, is pre-med.

The conversation turns lively as they talk more about school, plans for the summer, and other random things. Lexa finds that she likes them and wouldn’t mind hanging out with them sometime soon, but she does have somewhere to be. So, she excuses herself, saying she has to check on a project while ignoring the knowing looks both Lincoln and Anya are throwing her.

“Wait, aren’t you going to wait for Clarke? She says she’ll be here in a few, just got held up at the parking lot,” Raven says.

“No, I really have to get going. I’ll have to meet her some other time. But we should do this again, I had a lot of fun,” Lexa tells the group with a small grin. After saying her goodbyes and dodging more nasty glances from her cousins, she finally makes her way out of the club.

xxxxxx

It couldn’t get any worse than this for Clarke. Two back-to-back 3-hour period classes are enough to drain all of her lifeforce. Needless to say she was more than irritable even before the day was over. Then her mother called, and whatever civilized conversation they could have had quickly devolved into bouts of screaming, which was really embarrassing because she just had to answer that call in a very public hallway. At this point, she’s about ready to take out her frustration on anyone that so much as looks at her wrong.

Still, she promised Octavia and her other friends that she’d meet this Lincoln guy at the club. And that’s how she found herself driving aimlessly around the full parking lot outside, cursing out loud each time she passes by a parked motorcycle taking up a whole spot. It’s really unfair, and Clarke would defend that belief until her dying day.

Fuck it, she decides as she tries to wedge her VW Beetle in a parking slot where a hulking, black motorcycle is currently parked. She’s maybe hogging some of the space of the next spot and she’s sure there’s only about an inch between her car and the bike but, thankfully, her car is small enough to fit. She figures that she can just bat her eyelashes at whatever drunken meathead who owns this chunk of metal and leather when she apologizes.

As she gets ready to get out of her car, she does a once over of club’s outside. And there, near the entrance is the last person she wants to see in the world - Finn, her asshole ex-boyfriend. He appears to be horsing  around with two of his friends, and slightly buzzed by the looks of it.

Clarke freezes and curses under her breath. There’s no way she’s getting out of her car right now. Finn already tends to get handsy and physical without booze in his system. He’s a plain pain in the ass when he’s drunk and Clarke is not going to risk facing him alone when he’s surrounded by his equally intoxicated buddies. She has to figure out a way to get into the club without being seen.

By now, her friends must be wondering where she is so she sends a quick text to Raven that she’s having trouble finding a spot. But there’s no way she’s going to let Finn and his ridiculously floppy hair ruin her plans to get plastered, not after the day she’s had. She steps out of the car and hopes for the best that in his inebriated state, Finn doesn’t turn to her direction and recognizes her.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” A distinctly female voice startles her after only taking her first step towards the club. She turns to the source of the sound and sees a girl about her age dressed in a white button up shirt, black skinny jeans and combat boots, and she’s storming towards Clarke. The girl has this regally pissed off look on her face. All high cheekbones, plump lips, wild brown hair and intense, deep green eyes. And if Clarke wasn’t so sure she's about to get punched in the face, she might have possibly asked this mysterious stranger if she happened to be into girls.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The girl repeats with a little more venom in her voice this time as she stops in front of Clarke and crosses her arms. Oh right, this beautiful, tall stranger was asking her a question.

“What?” Clarke does her best to be nonchalant about it, copying the girl’s stance and raising her eyebrow. The brunette clenches her jaw and gestures towards where Clarke’s car is parked. “What, are you the parking lot police?” Clarke questions with as much sarcasm she can muster because as gorgeous as this brunette is, nobody sasses at Clarke Griffin.

“No, that’s my bike.” Oh, shit. Clarke was not prepared for this. She could have handled the gym rat of a guy she envisioned riding the motorcycle, but not this lean girl who doesn’t look like she could possibly handle the huge machine. As if reading her thoughts, the brunette pulls out what looks like a remote starter and turns on the bike’s engine.

But Clarke has always been accused of being hard headed, so instead of saying sorry, what she says is: “Well, it looks like you’re leaving anyway so…”

“You’re kidding, right? You can’t do that. That’s just irresponsible. Who taught you how to park? Hell, who taught you how to drive, even? I can’t imagine your driving skills are any better with this piss poor parking job. You could have scratched my bike or tipped it over!” The brunette scoffs, her voice getting louder now as she hurries to her bike to check on it. Clarke just stands by and watches before remembering that she is within shouting distance of the very person she's trying to avoiding. A look towards where Finn was confirms her greatest fear. He and his friends are now looking at the arguing pair but it doesn’t seem like Finn has recognized her yet.

“Hey, look, just keep it down. I can just redo the parking once you pull out,” Clarke says. She’s panicking a little bit now but it’s no big deal. She can take control of the situation.

“Yeah, and what if I wasn’t going to leave?”

“Well, you clearly are. So, why don’t we just move on from this?”

“Seriously?” The brunette asks with a quirk of an eyebrow.

“Seriously.”

The girl lets out a bitter laugh. “So that’s how it’s going to be, huh? Not even a ‘sorry I almost damaged your bike’?”

“Not if you’re going to be an asshole about it,” Clarke grinds out, her voice louder and angrier now.

“Oh, I’m the asshole?”

“Yeah, you-” Before Clarke could finish her sentence, they get interrupted.

“There a problem here?” Finn slurs as he walks unsteadily to put himself between Clarke and the other woman. Well, crap. Clarke had been so caught up with her sass battle with the stranger that she didn’t realize Finn had already made their way to them. No doubt, he thought Clarke needed rescuing like a damsel in distress. She looks to where Finn and his friends had been standing around, pleased to find that his lackeys stayed behind but watching amusedly. She really didn’t need any more trouble.

“Look pal, why don’t you just walk away and let us settle this ourselves? I don’t see how any of this is your business.” The brunette beat her to the punch, and just as well because she has harsher words for Finn at the tip of her tongue.

“It is my business because I’m her boyfriend.” Finn says with a puff of his chest. Typical alpha male behavior, likely because his friends are looking on.

“You’re not my boyfriend! Get out of here, Finn!” Clarke grunts out as she pushes Finn away, which puts a somewhat surprised frown on the other girl's face.

“But babe -”

“Don’t you babe me, you jackass.”

“Come on, Clarke. Just… I tried to call you this week, I never got through. Did you change your number again? Can’t we just, I don’t know, talk?” Finn says, looking like he already forgot about the argument he’s having. And of course, instead of walking away, Finn does the opposite. He takes several steps towards Clarke, and gets really into her personal space. Then he grabs at her wrist and tries to pull her towards him. The strong smell of alcohol assaults her nostrils now that he's in closer proximity.

“Let go of me, Finn. You reek.” Clarke grits as she struggles against him but he has the size and strength advantage over her.

“You’ve been avoiding me... and I just want to talk. You know I love you. I’ll always love you and we used to be so great together. I don’t see why you just want throw that all away, sweetheart,” Finn husks as he tightens his grip on Clarke’s wrists.

He knows exactly why. Clarke hated cheaters so she had it in her head that she will never, ever be called “the other woman". But then Finn happened and she will regret him for the rest of her life.

It's not that she actively went after him knowing that he was in a relationship with someone else. No, he kept that from her and she was dumb enough to trust him. It wasn't until four months into the relationship that she found out about Raven and Finn and how she was the reason they were ending a three year relationship.

The only good that came out of that was that she and Raven became good friends, bonding over how much of a dickhead Finn was for playing them both. Months and months later, Finn still tries to get Clarke to take him back but she was having none of that. Clarke even came close to getting a restraining order against him. She wonders now if it wasn't such a bad idea after all.

“Finn, you’re hurting me.” Clarke shrinks back and tries to put some distance between herself and her ex but he only doubles his efforts. To her surprise, the stranger pulls Finn by the back of his shirt.

“Let her go,” she says, her voice low but seemingly coiled in rage.

“Fuck off,” Finn spits at the brunette.

“No. The lady asked you to let her go, so that's what you will do or I’ll beat you senseless in front of your friends.”

Upon being threatened, Finn straightens up and lets go of Clarke to face the other woman. Without another thought, he throws a punch to the stranger's face. Clarke just watches in horror but the next thing she sees is Finn getting kneed in the face while he's crouched. The taller girl must have deflected the punch but Clarke has no recollection as to what occurred in between.

Finn yelps as he touches his bleeding nose. One look, and Clarke knows it's broken. He shouts out incoherently at the stranger, cuss words Clarke believes. Finn was nowhere near done though because he tries to get up. But the brunette was faster. In a few blinks of an eye, she's right behind him, holding him in a choke hold.

As Finn loses consciousness and flails around helplessly, his friends decide to run to his aid. The girl only shoots them a mean glare that causes them to visibly recoil.

“Don't even think about it,” the girl growls as she lets Finn’s unconscious body slump down on the ground. She lets out a long sigh and fixes up her crumpled shirt. “Just take him and leave before I call the cops.”

To Clarke's relief, the two boys complied. She looks on as they hauled him off to somewhere, still finding everything that transpired hard to believe.

“Well, that's just great. It's going to be a nightmare to get that out,” the other girl mumbles to herself as she picks at a bloodstain on her shirt. The brunette then looks back at her, that pissed off look is back on her face. “You're welcome, by the way.”

“You realize none of this would have happened if you just let the parking thing slide, right?” Clarke rolls her eyes.

“You realize none of this would have happened if you just parked like a normal person, right? You know what? I got somewhere to be so you go on ahead and be an ungrateful shrew on your own. Good night,” she replies sarcastically while shaking her head.

Disbelieving, Clarke watched as the brunette walks to her bike and puts on a black helmet. She mounts it and is already maneuvering out of the spot before Clarke has the sense to talk back. “Well, fuck you, you asshole!” She calls out after the rider as she pulls away from the lot. The other girl motions with one hand. Clarke is sure it's considered an obscene gesture in some European country or something.

Turning around, Clarke stomps off in the direction of the club’s entrance. Needless to say, everyone had to hear a long rant about the asshole-slash-good Samaritan who shouted at her about a parking space and beat up her ex-boyfriend before she got around to shaking Lincoln and Anya’s hands.