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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.

Chapter Text

It’s quiet mornings like these that Clarke likes best. The dorms in Arkadia University are usually alive with sounds of panicked mutterings from students trying to meet deadlines, loud arguments from roommates who hate each other, and the occasional laughter - whether it’s genuine happiness or desperation is kind of hard to tell. Clarke is just thankful that none of those can be heard as she pours herself another cup of coffee.

Two weeks before graduation, everything has gone really quiet. Every graduating student is either just completing last minute requirements or waiting on the verdict of whether they’d be marching with their friends or not. Really, it’s like the whole campus is holding its breath.

Unfortunately, the lack of distracting noises gives Clarke time to climb inside her own head and really think deep. Think about how she doesn’t have anything resembling a plan for her future. About how she’s completely hit a dead end at this point in her life. Only 21, and she’s already going nowhere. Oh, the horror, the tragedy.

Being pre-med technically gives her more options than she knows what to do with, but she doesn’t see herself doing any of it. She only took pre-med so she could appease her mother, and hope that maybe she doesn’t get disowned or something. It doesn’t help that her mom practically hasn’t been there for her, only calling in to “check in on her”. That’s code for screaming at her for not visiting enough, not getting good enough grades and being rude to Marcus, her mom’s boyfriend.

Pile all that on top of all other existing issues between mother and daughter, and Clarke finds the home she grew up in to be a toxic environment, killing her slowly each day. The rift in their relationship was largely caused by the untimely death of her father in her junior year of high school. An accident at the plant her father was working at as lead engineer, they said.

By the time Clarke got the news, Jake Griffin was already declared brain dead. She knows it was a hopeless situation but she could never bring herself to forgive her mother for making the executive decision of pulling the plug on the machines that kept her father alive. It’s the way her mother did it without second thought and without asking Clarke that filled her with rage. So can anyone really blame her for not wanting to come home?

She sighs loudly and puts down the cup, no longer in the mood for caffeine. “You huff and puff like that one more time, Griffin, I swear to God. You’re already ruining our fucking brunch with your moody bitchface,” Raven says around a mouthful of eggs and bacon.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize I was doing that. I’m just really distracted.” Clarke slumps on her seat and plants her face on the table.

“Is this because of that tall, dark, handsome stranger who opened a can of whoop-ass on Finn again? Because, Clarke, I think you’ve got quite the lady boner for that one and you’re just afraid to admit it. You must have a thing for badasses giving douchebags a beatdown,” Octavia unhelpfully interjects. Raven giggles and almost chokes on toast.

Clarke picks up her head and glares daggers at Octavia. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were a psych major now, O. And just so we’re clear, it’s not about that… sociopathic jackass.”

“Hey, if it were me in your shoes, I would have cheered her on while she smashes in Finn’s face. Shit, I would even join in!” Raven declares as she punches at the air.

“Yeah, Clarke. That’s what you should have done! That fuckboy deserves worse.”

“Okay, I get it. Fuck Finn and his dysfunctional ass.”

“Damn straight,” Raven says seriously. “But for real, what’s bothering you?”

“I just… I don’t have any plans for the summer, or like, life in general.” Clarke mumbles.

“Ahh… you and Mrs. G still going at it?" Octavia asks.

“When are they ever not going at it, O?, Raven deadpans at Octavia. “What did your mom say now?”

“It’s just that she’s pressuring me to go to med school and I said I’d think about it. Fuck, I don’t know how to tell her that I have no interest in living the same life she has. What do I do?” Clarke looks pleadingly at two of her best friends. She knows they both have plans. Raven got accepted on a summer program for NASA so she won’t be staying, while Octavia landed an internship in New York miles and miles away. There’s no way in hell she’s going back home. But Clarke doesn’t want to live alone somewhere in the city while she contemplates her existence and whatever she’s going to do with her life.

Octavia circles around the table to hug Clarke from behind. She leans into the embrace. “Hey, listen, Griff. You’re probably one of the smartest people I know. Hell, you got through that god awful medical bullshit, and I’ve only heard you bitch or cry about it twice. You’ll figure it out. You always do.”

Feeling left out, Raven hurries out of her own chair to join in on the hug. “Yeah, Clarkey. You know what I think you need? I think you just need to step back from studies for a bit, take a break.” Raven suddenly lights up as she gets an idea. “Hey, you know, Lincoln and Anya invited us over tonight. There’s gonna be poker and booze and maybe some of that good Jordan-Green weed. That ought to take your mind of it for a while.”

“Ugh, Raven, you bitch. Lincoln’s my boyfriend, I should be the one doing the… um, inviting,” Clarke hears Octavia say from behind her. She laughs at her friends’ antics, already feeling her spirits being lifted up. Maybe she does need to take it slow, and drinking her fill in alcohol doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all.

xxxxxxx

Costia lights up a cigarette beside her in bed. Lexa hates that. She knows that Costia knows how much she hates smoking, but she does it anyway. She thinks it’s Costia’s not so subtle way of kicking her out. Lexa takes that as her cue to leave, gathering whatever discarded pieces of clothing she discerns is hers in the dark and puts them on as fast as she could. She still smells like stale sweat and sex, but she’s not going to stay here, not when it’s clear that the woman on the bed doesn’t want her to.

“You leaving already?” Costia asks as she blows smoke out through her kiss bruised lips, like they haven’t had this exact conversation a hundred times before. Like she doesn’t know what Lexa’s answer will be. Like it doesn’t tear Lexa’s heart apart that she feels obliged to respond with the same words. She does it anyway because it’s like a routine they have now, and it’s not polite to leave someone’s questions unanswered.

“Yeah, Anya, Lincoln and I have plans,” the brunette says without looking back but her words come out weak, she might as well have whispered them. It’s always the same excuse she gives every time. Like two weeks ago after she met Octavia and her friends. Or the week after that when Costia called her to “blow off some steam”. Or the middle of this week when the redhead dragged her into an empty lecture room for a quickie. She tugs on her boots and walks the distance between the bed and the door. She’s about to turn the knob when Costia speaks again.

“Okay, I’ll call you?”

With her back still to Costia, she nods weakly and mutters out a goodbye before pushing the door open and speeding down the hall. She feels the prickling behind her eyes and the familiar heaviness in her chest, but she wouldn’t cry. She never does, hasn’t really cried since she was a kid so she’s not going to start now. She wonders for the millionth time how it all got so messed up and how she got herself in this situation.

But she knows. Lexa Woods has been known to have a good memory, a selective one at that, but very good. It didn’t start out like how one would think. She didn’t meet Costia through a friend of a friend or sat next to her in class. No, in fact, it all began with her sleeping with some other girl.

Lexa earned quite a reputation when she made that mistake back in sophomore year. She doesn’t even remember the name of the girl, Kate or Gale or some other. Lexa was so sure the girl would be running for the door when she felt the sizable bulge at the front of her pants, but it only seemed to spur her on.

Lexa was born intersex, which made for quite a difficult stage of puberty. Even more complicated was the subject of relationships for obvious reasons. Yet, she was taught to be confident in her own body and sexuality, and she is. She’s no virgin, and she likes to think she’s quite skilled in bed, too. Lexa is the kind of person who knows what she wanted and goes charging towards it head on in everything, including seeking her pleasure.

Still, it was a surprise to find Kate or Gale totally on board with the whole thing. They ended up causing quite a ruckus, because the woman apparently was very vocal in bed. She found out a few days later that the whole sorority house was abuzz with rumors about her and how she supposedly “rocked Kate or Gale’s world” that night.

Of course, it turns out that Costia was an initiated member of the same sorority. Their first conversation after meeting was practically just Costia asking her about that fling. Lexa usually didn't like it when people pried, but there was just something about Costia’s bright green eyes that were almost neon, the curve of her lips, the long, vibrant red hair. And, oh, there were the lingering touches. Lexa was a goner the moment she laid eyes on the redhead, even if she didn’t know it at the time.

She did her best to ignore her obvious attraction to Costia because the other girl had a boyfriend. But it was easier said than done when the girl was so obviously sending her signals any chance she gets. She gets more than a chance when the boyfriend goes out of town for the weekend. Costia cornered Lexa in the bathroom of some sleazy bar and said that she was curious. Lexa was powerless. What started as a make out and heavy petting session in a poorly lit bathroom turned to an all-night sexathon. What followed was a series of one last times that quickly turned into a full-blown affair.

So, now she needs to work out her frustrations. Where most people turn to drugs and alcohol, Lexa gets her high off whatever gets her heart pumping fast and hard. Give her oxygen and adrenaline any day. Beats alcohol every time, at least, and damn her if she ever falls back into that habit. She gets back on her bike and sets out for the apartment, hoping to get in a good workout before she goes back into hiding from her housemates again like she has been doing for the past two weeks.

When she bursts through the door of the apartment,  the sight that greets her causes quite a shock. The people who look up at her appear to be in the middle of a poker game. She faintly hears the cheery voices calling out her name and saying their hellos , but none of them have her attention right now. Because in the middle of her living room, sitting on her favorite spot on the couch is the blonde, blue-eyed girl from the club.

“You,” she hears the blonde say, all steel tones and whispered rage, her eyes a picture of pure blue fury. And it’s all directed at Lexa.

“Me,” she says calmly. The blonde is standing up now, looking like she wants nothing more than to walk up to her and choke her to death. Still, they’re in her territory so she struts around confidently, shrugs off her jacket and places it on the back of one chair. She holds the blonde’s gaze, matching the other girl’s fiery anger with her own. It’s a Mexican standoff.

“Okay… I don’t know what the heck that is but you guys need to stop. It’s seriously creeping me out,” Raven says loudly. Both Lexa and the blonde now turn their attention to the Latina who broke their silent war. Realization dawns on Raven’s face. “Wait… wait, is- Oh my god, is Lexa the parking lot ninja, Clarke?”

“Parking- what?” Lexa’s brows knit in confusion.

“Well, shit. This is just too good,” Octavia guffaws from the other side of the room. Pretty soon everyone is having a good, heartfelt chuckle and Lexa just looks at them like they’re all patients in a mental ward. Lincoln stands up from his seat, walks over to Lexa and puts an arm around her shoulder.

“Oh, man. I should have known that was you. I mean, from the description alone,” he says as he sighs happily. “Lexa, meet Clarke. Clarke, meet Lexa. But it looks like you guys already know each other, eh?”

She sees the blonde who is apparently named Clarke scoff and cross her arms on her chest. “It’s not funny, you guys,” she says but her words are only drowned by more laughter.

“Nice of you to actually come out of your cave, Lex,” Anya drawls. But Lexa must still have the same look on her face because her cousin just rolls her eyes and continues. “Oh, yeah, we heard all about the parking lot incident. Now, don’t go killing each other. Getting involved with a crime will seriously affect my chances of becoming a lawyer.”

“Hey, why don’t you join us? There’s a spot on the table. Jasper can deal you in. Just a good, friendly game,” Bellamy says.

“Yeah, Lexa. You look like you have a good poker face,” Jasper grins.

She shoots a look towards the blonde who just raises an eyebrow at her. There’s that angry look still present on her face but Lexa just wriggles her way out of Lincoln’s python of an arm. “Actually, I think I need to take a shower. I smell like a... well…”

“A brothel, I guess. Right, Lex?” Anya finishes for her, bitterness evident in her voice. Lexa just knows they’re going to have a long conversation about her sneaking around the house and whatever she gets up to when she’s out.

Lexa clears her throat and takes a few steps back in case someone actually tries to see if she smells like a brothel. “Right. Well, I should go. Have fun with that,” she says as she walks to her room. So much for that workout.

“You’re going to join us after, right?” Monty calls after her and she gives him a polite nod.

Thirty minutes and a thorough scrubbing in the shower later, Lexa walks back out to the poker table. She nods at Jasper, Monty and Bellamy who are all on the side of the table facing her. She notes Clarke’s absence from the table and does a quick sweep of the apartment. She sees her sitting on the kitchen counter, chatting with Anya about something.

It occurs to her that this is the first time she got a good look at Clarke since she arrived. The shorter blonde girl is wearing a low cut top, a navy blue hoodie and denim shorts. If things were different, like if she and Clarke didn’t meet the way they did and the shorter girl didn’t look at her with murder in her eyes, Lexa might have tried to hit it off with her. Probably. Oh, she noticed the blonde’s good looks back at that damned parking lot, even under the bad lighting of the place. All luscious, golden locks, sinful curves and shapely legs. Alright, yes, she definitely would have if she didn’t have enough girl troubles as it is, perhaps. Or if Clarke didn’t park like a maniac and put her KTM Super Duke - her baby - at risk.

Before she could get caught blatantly checking the other blonde girl out, she sits down by the table. Octavia, Raven, Bellamy and Monty are currently playing, with Jasper still the dealer while Lincoln watches from the sidelines.

Two hours in, and Lexa’s cleaned out everyone on the table. There’s nothing like a good game that was clearly to her advantage right from the start to put her at ease. She’s now chuckling quietly at the bummed out faces of the other players on the table.

“Fuck it, I’m out. There’s no way you can be this good,” Raven grunts out.

“Yeah, what the fuck? Lincoln, you should tell me about things like this. What the hell am I dating you for?" Octavia jests at Lincoln, who only shrugs and gives Lexa a knowing smirk. Monty and Bellamy throw down their cards as well. Lexa takes the winnings.

“My bad. Maybe I should have told you that I work part-time as a card dealer myself,” Lexa smirks at them. To demonstrate it, she grabs the deck to shuffle the way she does when she’s dealing. Then she takes a poker chip and rolls it through her knuckles. “And counting cards has been a long-time hobby of mine.”

“What the hell, Woods? You tell me that now? I never would have wanted in,” Bellamy says with a good natured laugh.

“In my experience, that only works once. See, that’s why Anya and Lincoln aren’t playing.”

“Well, I need more booze to cope with my losses,” Monty says. Everyone except Lexa voices out their agreement.

“Actually, you dirty drunks, we’re all out of beer. Someone’s gonna have to go on a beer run,” Anya walks up to the table from the kitchen. She looks directly down at Lexa. “And since most of you have been drinking, I vote the only person in the room who is actually sober to go.”

“Fine,” Lexa drags out the one syllable word as she stands up. “But I need to take someone’s car. You can’t expect me to lug around heavy cases of beer on my bike.”

“Take mine. I’ll go with you.”

Everyone turns to the last person to join in on the conversation. Clarke stands there at the side, keys in hand and eyes downcast.

Chapter Text

There are many words Clarke could use to describe her current situation. Awkward. Uncomfortable. But she decides to go with cringeworthy. That's quite possibly the only word that could suffice to describe the ride down the elevator with Lexa Woods. Complete with awfully conspicuous sideways glances from both of them and staring at the elevator ceiling like it's the most interesting thing in the world. At this very moment, the only thought running through her head is that she wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Anya.

Even with her apparent lack of filter when she talks, she liked the older blonde. She was surprisingly easy to get along with so Clarke thought Anya was her safest bet with both her and the tall brunette in the same room. And her supposed friends fawning over Lexa like she was the Queen herself. So Clarke tries to strike up a conversation with Anya, any subject would do if it will successfully stop her eyes from flitting to the poker table where a certain green eyed girl was.

She definitely wasn't watching the elegant movements of Lexa’s deft hands. Or how one corner of her lips lifted up and set her mouth in a half-smirk each time she gets the best hand. Or how she easily falls into playful banter with the boys and endured Octavia and Raven’s potty mouths. Seeing Lexa look less like the lean, mean fighting machine and more of a mild mannered, gentle soul definitely didn't stir up a weird feeling in her chest.

But Anya, the little shit that she is, caught onto Clarke's foolproof plan. Each time Clarke thought up a new topic, the older woman veered their conversation back to the object of her distraction. So now, she has random Lexa facts floating about in her head. Like how Lexa has a dog named Fish back home or how she mouths the lines along with Mufasa as he tells Simba about their kingdom in Lion King.

It was already too late when she realizes Anya’s evil genius. And she already offered to go on a beer run with the person she was trying to stay away from. But at least the elevator ride was short and they're now in Clarke's VW Beetle, with Lexa behind the wheel and her in the passenger seat. She was so sure the whole ride would be quiet, so it came as a shock to her to hear Lexa clear her throat and speak.

“Your car is really crappy,” she says without taking her eyes off the road. Well, that was one way to break the ice.

“Excuse me?” Clarke turns her head to Lexa so fast she almost had a whiplash.

A look of understanding washes over the brunette’s face that she may have just offended Clarke by insulting her car. “I just meant that your car is not very well maintained,” she explains.

“Oh, yeah? How can you tell?”

“My ass,” she replies plainly.

If Clarke wasn't confused before, she certainly is now. Because what the fuck does that mean? And really, her brain shouldn't be putting less than chaste images of Lexa’s ass in her mind when they are possibly in the middle of another argument. She thinks it’s a small mercy that she held off on drinking because god only knows what she would have said next if she was buzzed. So she goes with what she deems is the only appropriate response given the situation.

“What?” Clarke sputters, her face scrunched up in utter confusion.

“Oh, well- I'm just-” she sighs and decides to start over. “Look, I took mech engineering so I spend a lot of time working on and driving cars. If you pay attention to the vibrations you can feel from the seats up front, you will be able tell if there's something wrong with the car.”

“I’ll have you know that this car just got serviced, and I paid a lot of money for it. So, no, there's nothing wrong with it.” They slow to a stop at an intersection.

“No, look,” Lexa shifts gears as the light turns green. “Maybe you can't feel it but the gears grind, which most likely means that one is cracked. Your tires are out of alignment, too. And that sound when I accelerate is a sign that the fan belt is loose. You should ask for a refund,” she finishes with a shrug.

“Okay…? But are we really going to talk about my car? Because I'm pretty sure anything technical is gonna go over my head.”

“Oh, I just thought I should let you know. We don't have to talk at all if you don't want to, Clarke.”

Clarke hopes the fact that she felt a shiver run down her spine at the mention of her name didn't seem too obvious to Lexa. Did she really have to say it like that? Really roll her tongue at the “r" and pop the “k" at the end. She didn't have a ready response. And before she can recover from her momentary loss of function, it's already too late.

“We're here,” Lexa says as they pull up at a convenience store, and then she's already unbuckling her seatbelt and opening the door. “Hey, why don't I go ahead and you park the car? You look like you could use the practice.”

Clarke finds herself speechless and insulted for the second time in the span of ten minutes. That’s gotta be a new record. But Lexa’s already out of the car and briskly walking to the store before she can even cuss at the brunette. This cheeky bastard. Oh, I’ll show her, Clarke thinks. She’ll park the car so good, this dingy convenience store will immortalize her efforts in a hall of fame or something. Who cares if she checked six times if her Beetle is really at the center of the two yellow lines before finally going inside the store?

She finds Lexa scratching the back of her neck in the middle of the liquor aisle, looking like a kid who got lost in the mall. She would have laughed if she still wasn’t fuming at the last thing the taller girl said to her. “Okay, what’s your problem?” Clarke smiles wickedly when the brunette jumps at the sound of her voice and turns to her.

“What?”

“What the hell was that back at the car? ‘You look like you could use the practice’,” she mimics Lexa’s voice rather poorly. “I mean, here I was offering my help, just trying to do the right thing, then you go say shit like that.”

“I didn’t realize you were sensitive about your parking skills. If I recall correctly, you seemed very confident about them back at the club,” Lexa says with a wave of her hand.

Clarke groans. Of course, the infuriating green eyed girl will bring that up. “Oh, that’s what this is about? Look, I thought letting you drive my car and going on this stupid beer run with you is going to be enough of an apology.”

“You call this an apology?” Lexa questions with a cocked eyebrow.

“Fine, okay? I just- I suck at apologies and you’re really annoying, so there.”

“Not accepted,” Lexa states.

“What?”

“Your apology is not accepted.”

She rolls her eyes. “Okay, what if I just buy you your own case of beer? Wine, whiskey or vodka, maybe?” Lexa shakes her head slowly, reaches for something in her pocket then tosses it to Clarke. She catches it before it hits one of her eyes and looks at it. It's a sobriety chip. Oh. Oh, shit. She just offered to buy liquor for a reformed alcoholic. “Fuck, I didn’t know. I didn’t mean to offend you or anything.”

“Don’t worry about it. Let’s just get the beer and get out of here,” Lexa replies as she takes back the golden chip. “I actually don’t know what kind you guys were drinking so… You should probably be the one to pick.”

Clarke just nods and motions to the Dos Equis beer cases behind Lexa. They each grab one case and pay for them. They fall back into awkward silence as they walk back to the car.

xxxxxxx

Lexa did not just trip while walking because she was busy eyeing Clarke up beside her. There’s no way she did. It was just really hard to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other with the way the blonde girl at her side looks. She’s carrying the case with two hands, and it just so happens to draw Lexa’s eyes to the generous amount of cleavage on display.

“You okay there?” Clarke asks her but it comes out breathy, and it doesn’t help her conscience at all.

“Fine. I’m fine,” she replies rather hurriedly. It’s a relief that they’re now near the car. As they stop in front of the car’s hatch and put down the cases, she sees Clarke turn pale and abruptly straighten her back. Feeling concerned, Lexa turns fully to the blue eyed girl to see if something was wrong. Clarke looks physically fine (dammit, not that kind of fine) so she looks around the lot to see if maybe something else caused the girl’s panicked expression. Like maybe that sleazebag boyfriend of hers. But the lot is practically empty.

“Hey, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Lexa says. Clarke finally snaps out of her panic induced trance and looks back at her. The blonde puts both hands in her hair and lets out a very loud breath.

“Okay, you’re really gonna hate me.”

“What?”

“I think I left the keys inside the car.”

As fast as she can could, Lexa runs around the car to the driver side door. She tries to open it but, of course, it is locked. She almost didn’t want to look through the window to confirm that the keys really are in the ignition. She did anyway and the sight of the keys just dangling there makes her want to bang her head against the glass. But she is a rational person so she goes around testing if all the other doors are also locked. They most definitely are. She walks back to where Clarke is standing.

“How could you possibly manage to screw this up?” Lexa almost shouts at shorter girl. She never liked the feeling of losing her cool, so she takes a deep breath to calm herself and waited for whatever Clarke’s excuse would be.

“Fuck. I- it’s just that you were talking shit about my parking so I guess, I got distracted. Look, I’ll fix this. I’ll go run back to the store to see if they have some tools or anything we could use. Stay put. I promise I’ll fix this.”

Clarke never gave her the opportunity to respond because she's already sprinting towards the store. Lexa could only lean back on the car and wait for the blonde. She decides to make herself useful and text Lincoln that they're going to be delayed but not to worry because they're completely fine. If she is not giving him any details, it’s because him and Anya will never let her live this down even if she wasn’t the one at fault. It’s best not to give her cousins any more ammunition against her.

Clarke comes back moments later, looking dejected and defeated. “So, they don’t sell any tools. Maybe we can just break the glass with a rock? I’m sure my mom won’t mind paying for it. I’ll just say there was an accident or something. Might even make you feel better to break something of mine, I don’t know.”

Lexa hates the way her chest clenches when she takes in how broken Clarke looks. “That’s just one way to get arrested, Clarke, and I don’t fancy spending a night in jail.” She slumps down to sit on the ground and gestures at the other girl to do the same. “Look, let’s just take a moment to figure out our options here. It won’t help us if we panic and start making rash decisions.” To her surprise, the blonde doesn’t argue and sits down beside her, their knees brushing.

Twenty minutes later, they still haven’t formed a plan of attack, and Clarke has already cracked open one bottle of beer after the other because she is thirsty. Lexa doesn’t know whether to find it funny or sad that Clarke is a hopeless lightweight. She's already slurring her words and leaning ever so slightly to the side. “You must think I’m such a bitch,” Clarke drawls.

“No, Clarke, I don’t think that,” she sighs.

“No, I really am. And you’re just this really cool bike-riding ninja that all my friends keep gushing about,” the blonde says with such clarity that Lexa would have questioned her drunken act if she didn’t see Clarke inhale two bottles of beer.

Lexa looks away from the intensity of the blue boring through her own eyes and exhales. “Don’t do that, Clarke. Don’t think any less of yourself if you make mistakes.” She almost jumps out of her own skin when she feels Clarke’s head settle on her shoulder. She doesn’t dare look down to the blonde in case she can’t help but put a protective arm around this obviously vulnerable woman.

Clarke shakes her head slightly with a small chuckle, and Lexa can feel every movement against her shoulder. “You can’t do that. You can’t be nice to me,” she hears the girl mumble.

“Yes, I can,” Lexa says and she can’t help but laugh lightly. She lets her eyes wander further away to a row small shops at a distance. She sees a tiny thrift store and gets a brilliant idea. “Come on, I know how we can get back in the car.” She helps Clarke up and they walk to the thrift store albeit slowly on account of the blonde’s wobbly steps. “Okay, here’s the plan. I’m going to ask the store attendant if we could maybe borrow a coat hanger so I can pick your car’s lock.”

“Ohhh… I see. Good plan, I like it,” the shorter girl says with a determined nod which Lexa returns. But before she can walk away to do just that, Clarke grasps her arm. “I. Got. This.” the blonde says each syllable slowly. And then she shoots off into the store while Lexa’s mouth opens and closes as she tries to voice out her complaint. She just looks dumbly at her companion’s back as she starts to gesture animatedly to the woman at the front desk. Clarke’s voice is louder now but she still can’t make a single word she says so she decides to go as well.

“Come on, help a lady out. I just need the hanger for like, twenty seconds tops. I’ll bring it back as soon as I’m done,” Clarke reasons out to the woman.

“Lady, I can’t give you a coat hanger unless you tell me what you’re going to use it for. For all I know, you’re a psycho who will use it to attack people out on the street. Hell, you might even use it for an abortion or something,” the attendant says.

She sees Clarke’s eyes grow wide as she gasps audibly. Okay, that’s not good. “How dare you? I've had enough of your disingenuous assertions!” The blonde shouts out. It’s that moment that Lexa steps in and pulls the shorter girl back and to the side, away from the prying eyes of the woman Clarke was about to maul to death.

“Okay, calm down, Clarke. I’ll handle this,” Lexa assures her with a hushed voice.

“But she implied that I would have an abortion,” Clarke says with a loud whisper.

“I know, but let’s not cause any trouble that could lead us to getting arrested, yeah? Just let me do my thing, okay?”

In the end, Lexa ended up having to buy an actual coat to get that coat hanger. It only took a few small smiles and kind words to convince the store attendant to give them a damned hanger. Lexa came up with a ridiculous excuse that she needed the hanger so she can’t wrinkle the delicate fabric when she takes it home in the car. The mean woman even waved goodbye when she made her way out of the store.

When they get back to the car, Clarke was looking at her like she’s grown a second head in the last fifteen minutes. When she raises an eyebrow in question, the blonde shakes her head in astonishment. "I can’t believe you pulled that off. Fuck, that store lady looked like she was half in love with you by the end of your conversation. Holy shit.”

Lexa just shrugged it off. Clarke looks like she’s about to pass out so she resolves to unlock the car quickly. “It’s just what I do. Hey, I need you to be the lookout while I open this up, okay? Just watch out for people who might think we’re stealing the car and warn me.” The blonde girl gives her a mock salute and goes to stand a few steps away from the car, eagerly looking around the place.

In a few minutes, Lexa’s already got the hanger bent into the right shape. She then uses it as a slim jim to break into the car. And she swears that the clicking sound of the door unlocking was accompanied by a chorus of singing angels from the heavens.

“Yes!” Clarke shouts while she pumps her fists into the air. Lexa slips into the driver seat and unlocks the passenger side door for Clarke. She goes back out to secure the cursed cases of beer inside the trunk.

The ride back is quiet, mostly because Clarke fell asleep as soon as the back of her head met the headrest. She dialed Lincoln’s number when they were close to the apartment and said to ask the rest of the boys to come down too. They got back inside, carrying a slumbering Clarke and the beer.

“What the hell happened?” Raven asks. Octavia just had her mouth wide open, while Anya had this annoying smirk on her face.

“You know what? Let’s save that story for tomorrow morning. You have no idea how tired I am and I can hear my bed calling me from here,” Lexa says with heavy lidded eyes. She spares one last glance at Clarke who is now sleeping on the couch while the rest of the group are busy remedying their “miserably sober” state.

Chapter Text

She wakes up to a suspiciously quiet apartment. Usually, Lincoln or Anya were already awake at 6:45 in the morning to cook breakfast since Lexa was banned from the stove due to the events of what is now known as “Breakfast Blunder 2012”. Half a dozen eggs ended up looking spray painted on the wall and a pound of Canadian bacon turned into unrecognizable, charred chunks on the pan. To this day, nobody still knows how the phenomenon happened and Lexa would never tell. So she wonders why either of her cousins would risk history repeating itself.

Then it hits her. The party. A whole group of people in their apartment. The poker game. An exhausting beer run. Getting locked out of a car. Clarke. She puts on appropriate clothing and steps out of her room to see the aftermath. Anya is missing from the pile of bodies strewn about in the living room, likely sleeping in her own room. She also doesn’t see Lincoln and Octavia, and figures they’re in Lincoln’s room. Raven is sleeping soundly on the loveseat while Bellamy lies face down on the rug carpet beside it. Monty and Jasper are curled up on each of the bean bag chairs. And Clarke is still asleep on the couch, with one of her feet dangling at the side, her hair looking like a blonde bird’s nest and her mouth hanging open.

Well, she’s not going anywhere near all of that. She’s all too familiar with the dangers of waking up hungover people. In fact, that’s the reason why she convinced Anya and Lincoln to chip in for a new apartment instead of living in a dorm on Ark U campus. She even made a PowerPoint presentation about it.

Instead, she decides to be productive this fine morning. She stealthily makes her way out of their place and heads down to their assigned private garage. A good hour and a half later, she steps back to admire her work. The Ford GT40 looks unrecognizable now with a fresh coat of black paint, red racing stripes included and all new, shiny rims - the final touches for the car.

“Wow, you really can’t tell now that that thing came out of a scrap yard,” a familiar voice startles her. She sees Anya walking up to her, two steaming mugs in hand. “Here you go,” she says as she gives Lexa one. “Earl Grey with two sugars.”

“Thanks. See, this is why I don’t get why you and Lincoln refuse to let me work on your cars. Obviously, I do exceptional work,” she points to the newly restored muscle car sitting in the garage.

Anya snorts. “That’s because you offer to fix a problem, then while you’re fixing that problem, you find like, seven other problems. Before long, you’ve already dismantled the car and Lincoln and I have to carpool for weeks because both of us refuse to ride bitch on your bike.”

“I don’t half-ass my work,” she mutters and then pouts at her cousin.

“Uh huh. So… Costia.” The older blonde doesn’t beat around the bush.

“Don’t. Just don’t.”

“No, you need to hear this. God knows I’ve watched you sabotage yourself by trailing after that psycho bitch from hell for years. Years, Lexa.”

“Stop. Just stop now, Anya!”

“No, you stop. You will hear me out because never once did I say anything about what you’ve been doing with her, until now. That woman is a fucking harpy and you know it. You think you don’t deserve to be loved so you throw yourself at women who are incapable of loving you. And I know that you’re hurting because of a lot of things. Aunt Lauren dying. Your father being a complete asshole. But that’s no excuse to do this to yourself.”

“That’s enough!” She shouts but Anya doesn’t back down. If anything, she moves closer to put her hands on Lexa’s shoulders. It takes her a while to realize why. She’s trembling, starts to feel cold sweat come out of her pores and holds herself steady on the workbench. Anya knows that her family, her entire childhood is a very sensitive subject. The last time they talked about this was years and years ago. The memories, the pain, they all start to come out from within the darkest of depths she’s hidden them in.

Lexa Woods was born under a different name, a different identity. She was born Alexander Krause to Lauren and Barrett Krause. For the first few years of her life, she remembers being happy. Then she had told her mother that she didn't really feel like a boy. They brought her to a doctor who diagnosed her of being intersex. Her father all but refused to believe a single word the doctor said and insisted to continue raising her as a normal boy.

For a time, the situation at home was bearable. She had a mother who loved her for who she was, taught her how to play the piano, and told her about fascinating creatures from the deepest oceans. Even with her father looking at her with utter disgust, she felt content. Until her mother died. A tragic plane crash with no known survivors somewhere in the Pacific. Her father didn't even seem to grieve the loss of her mother like she did. And he resorted to locking her in a large mansion. Out of sight, out of mind.

She ran away at age thirteen, wandered the streets and learned a few useful things essential for her survival. But she also learned about the wonders and horrors of vices. It wasn't until she turned fifteen that her father had found her again. She was nothing but a starved, scrawny street rat at that point so she took it as a lifeline. Lived under the roof of a man who had no love for her.

But she rebelled, oh, she rebelled in every way her fifteen year old mind could conjure up. Underage drinking, illegal drag racing, getting high on prescription drugs, having sex with strangers in her father's study, getting arrested on multiple charges before she even turned eighteen. The only reason Barrett hadn't kicked her back out into the streets was her affinity for numbers, which he believed to have more worth than his own daughter's life. He seemed to think her mind was too valuable, and no doubt a worthy asset for Krause Munitions, his empire of an arms company.

“It's okay, Lex. I'm here. I've got you,” she hears Anya say in a soothing voice.

“It's not. It's not okay. I can't go back there, An. Not again,” Lexa chokes out.

“You're not. Lincoln, mom, dad. We're your family. We won't let that happen.”

“You don't have power over that. Court says I'm legally incompetent, remember? I can't push for legal emancipation until I'm twenty five. Hell, I had to pay for fake IDs just so I can be allowed to drive. They're going to force me back to him.”

“Is that why you're doing this?” Anya points to the car. “You're running away again?”

“Yes,” she says while she straightens back up. “I figured if they can't find me, they can't take me.”

“Okay.”

“Okay? Just like that?”

“Don't get me wrong. I don't like it but if it's what you need, then I will support you,” Anya says as she puts a hand over Lexa’s.

“You think I don't know that what I'm doing is self-destructive? I do,” she says, looking Anya in the eye. “I hate that everything I've done is because of him. I went against each of his demands to spite him, only to realize that his influence has controlled my entire life. I want to be able to say that I made a decision for me, not because I'm trying to piss him off.”

“And that's what you're doing here?”

“Yeah, maybe if I get myself lost enough on the road, I could find… I don't know, something.”

“Alright. It's not like I could stop you anyway, you stubborn bastard. Just promise me you won't do anything illegal. Actually, don't tell me. Plausible deniability and all that jazz.”

Leave it to Anya to make a joke out of committing illegal acts. And she aspires to be a lawyer. Lexa can't stop the loud laughter escaping her lips. Pretty soon, they're both laughing like hyenas.

“Hey, if you tell my brother that we just had this heart to heart shit…” Anya says once they've calmed down.

“Your secret is safe with me. And if you tell him…”

“I will take this to my grave. One more thing though…”

She immediately knows what it is. “Costia?” Anya just nods and Lexa stays silent for a few moments. “I’ll leave her behind, too. It hurts but I've stopped answering her calls, responding to her texts.”

With everything said and done, a comfortable silence settles over them. Anya breaks it after a while. “You'll be okay, kid. You know, I'd say you've got over an hour before the zombies back at the house wake up for breakfast. If you want to squeeze in a workout sesh, now's a good time.  

xxxxxxx

“But why is her dog called Fish, though?” Raven asks as she, Clarke and the whole host of her hungover friends munch on pancakes.

“That's just Lexa being a smartass. When she started living with me, Anya and our parents, she said she wanted a pet. But Mom said she's only allowed to get a pet fish. She came home later with a Chow-Chow puppy, insisting that it is technically a pet Fish,” Lincoln says from behind the counter while he places a fresh stack of pancakes in the middle of the table.

Monty and Jasper laugh loudly at that like it's the funniest thing they ever heard in their entire lives. The rest of them chuckle lightly. Clarke can just imagine little Lexa trying to make two grown adults see the logic in her reason. She smiles fondly at the thought before she remembers how wrong that is. She's not supposed to like Lexa Woods. But after last night, something changed between them.

And speak of the devil, Lexa Woods comes barrelling through the door, dressed in a sports bra, baggy running shorts and rubber shoes. By the thin layer of glistening sweat covering beautiful, sun-kissed skin, she can tell that the brunette has been working out. Clarke's eyes automatically drift down to the well defined torso. What the girl lacked in the chest area, she more than made up for with her chiseled abdomen, all lean but soft at the same time.

It isn't long before her eyes traveled up to the wonderfully toned arms and the broad shoulders. And it would be a sin to ignore the long, powerful legs that seem to go on forever.

The sound of Lexa’s voice snaps her out of her daydream. The girl appears to be talking loudly to someone on the phone in a foreign language. She didn't even acknowledge their presence as she storms through the apartment and locks herself in her room. Anya is right on her heels, but she let Lexa go and sits with them at the table instead.

“Is that Barrett on the phone?” Lincoln asks his sister tentatively.

“Fucking Barrett,” Anya confirms.

“Who's Barrett?” Bellamy asks. The Woods siblings both look at him with blank expressions.

Sensing the change of tension in the room, Octavia springs into action. “That sounded German. Was it?” she asks referring to Lexa’s speech.

“Kinda hot too,” Raven adds.

“Reyes!” Clarke scolds the Latina.

“What? It is,” Jasper agrees while Monty nods along.

“For fuck’s sake, you guys,” Clarke groans as she pinches the bridge of her nose.

“It is German. Makes sense because Lexa is half-German,” Anya replies.

“Huh. That explains a lot of things,” Raven says.

“Like what?” Bellamy questions.

“Like how she's really into cars.” She waits a beat before continuing. “And I've heard this rumor that she's got a huge package.”

They are all aware of Lexa’s particular condition. Heck, the entire campus knew. The brunette never hid it, never pretended she was something she's not. In fact, she openly told people, preferring to “get it out of the way".

Lincoln spits out his coffee while Octavia rubs his back to help him recover. Bellamy chokes on his pancakes. Jasper coughs uncontrollably. Monty looks like a tomato with how red his face is. Clarke just stares wide-eyed at Raven. She looks to Anya across the table and sees that the older blonde doesn't know whether to laugh or be mad, so her expression is somewhere in between. But Raven, Raven is on a roll.

“Heeeeeyy… I guess that's kinda fitting that her last name is Woods, am I right? Because wood? Get it?”

Clarke shakes her head frantically at Raven. But it doesn't look like she's stopping any time soon with the way she's grinning like an idiot. “Oh, oh! I just thought of this one. So you know how a motorcycle is sometimes called a crotch rocket?” She stops and giggles. “And Lexa has a huge bike. She's got a big crotch rocket,” she finishes before falling into a fit of snorts and laughter.

Everyone is shocked to hear Anya cackle along with Raven, but it was enough to break the awkward spell. They are now all laughing and shoving each other playfully.

“Damn, I've gotta tell Lexa that one,” Anya says once she caught her breath. She wipes the tears from her eyes from laughing too hard.

“Oh, yeah. She’ll love that. I’ll never understand you and Lexa’s love for inappropriate humor,” Lincoln sighs as she shakes his head.

The rest of their breakfast was a boring ordeal after that. Lexa came out of her room later to join them. She never asked about the goofy grins they had on their faces. After quickly eating, the green eyed girl excused herself from the table, saying she had to run some errands.

Clarke's group of friends went their own way shortly after thanking the Woods for the night before and breakfast. Now, she's driving back to their dorm with Octavia and Raven in tow.

“So, Griffin, how'd your date with Engineer Hot Stuff really go?” Octavia asks on the ride back.

“What?” Clarke exclaims.

“Oh, come on. You were completely sober when you went out. And when you got back, you were being carried inside by Lincoln and Bellamy,” Raven adds.

“I already told you what happened. Everything. We got locked out, I drank a couple of beers because I was thirsty, I don't remember much after.” But she remembers. Lexa’s kind words, the smell of jasmine in her hair, the unexpected gentleness and warmth radiating off of her when Clarke was within breathing distance. Not that she will ever tell these two.

“Oh, yeah, thirsty. Thirsty for what though…” Octavia drawls.

“Yeah, don't deny it, Griffin. I saw how you were practically eye-fucking her when she walked in her workout clothes.”

“I was not!” Clarke defends herself. Her two best friends exchange a look and turn back to her to demonstrate just how much they don't believe her.

“You're full of horseshit, Clarke,” Octavia says.

“Yeah. You know you don't have to hide it. I mean, I don't blame you because have you seen her?  I’ll be woman enough to admit that yes, I would gladly tap that. Super cut abs, sharp jawline that could cut my vagina in half and all. I'll take ‘em.”

“TMI, Reyes,” Octavia says.

Clarke can't even get a word out, doesn't know how respond without incriminating herself.

“Hey, I'm just keeping it real here. If you're not barking up that tree, Clarke, I wouldn't mind giving it a shot. Plus, she's really cool and she seems to know how to have fun. Like, I heard Lincoln say last night that she's some kind of adrenaline junkie. I feel like I need a fuckton of excitement in my life before I end up in a boring desk job or something.”

“You gonna take that, Griff? Rae’s prowling around your territory. Better step up.”

“There's no territory, oh my god. Just stop, okay? It's not like that at all. And you guys know about my non-dating policy that I haven't lifted yet,” she tries to reason out.

“Woah, hold up. Who said anything about dating?” Octavia points out.

Oh, shit. Curse her clumsy tongue.

“Ooohhh, Clarke, I didn't know it was already that serious. Alright, I’ll bow out because we're super BFFs, I love you so much, and we swore on my copy of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 that we would never fight over hot guys. Or girls, in this case. You just remember when you're walking funny after you guys do the nasty, that you got to experience all that through the noble sacrifice of one Raven Reyes. I’ll also settle for pictures if you're up for that so I could live those vivid moments of blissful lovemaking.”

“Ugh, I hate you guys. I swear, it's nothing like that. Your assumptions are way off,” Clarke growls at them.

“Sure, Griffin, sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night,” Octavia says in a tone that says she doesn't buy Clarke's bullshit one bit.

Clarke decides to just shut up in case she lets anything worse slip out. Maybe going to that damned party was a bad idea. Maybe offering to buy beer with Lexa was a huge mistake. Maybe seeing the girl with green eyes, eyes the color of a rainforest canopy that haunted her since last night, as someone she is beginning to take a liking to is something she will regret someday.

Clarke doesn't want to find out. But there's a feeling in her chest, something she can't explain, that says she might have to anyway. She just takes comfort in the fact that their days as college students are numbered, and that they will likely never see each other again. So she lets the feeling stay there, only if it's just for a little while longer.

Chapter Text

Her phone rings shrilly, the sound carries through their shared dorm room. She doesn't need to look at the screen to know who it is. There's only one person who calls at ungodly hours and expects her to answer. The only person who has complete disregard of her limitations as a sleep deprived college student. The only person who says she wants Clarke to be an independent woman, yet smothers her completely. Her mother.

She tries to ignore the ringing that she starts to feel vibrating on temple of her forehead now, buries her face further into her comfortable pillow. Seconds later, she starts to drift off. Clarke welcomes the familiar sensation of sleep but it seems that she won't be heading off to dreamland. Because somewhere across the room, Octavia stirs.

“I swear to fucking god, Clarke. If you don't put that thing on silent right fucking now, I will strangle you with your own goddamn Barbie hair!” the small raven-haired girl shouts, voice still scratchy from sleep.

She shoots right up out of bed in case Octavia makes good on her threat. Her hair is one of her best assets, after all. As she gets up, she throws up her hands as a sign for the other girl to calm down. She grabs her phone, glances at the clock to see that it’s only ten minutes after four in the morning, and heads out to the hallway outside. Clarke doesn't even bother to answer it with a polite hello.

“It’s four in the morning, mom,” she says blandly.

“That’s no way to greet your mother, Clarke,” comes the scolding reply of Abby Griffin.

“I’m sorry, mom, if I can’t give you what you consider an appropriate greeting because you interrupted my sleep at a very unreasonable hour,” she replies sarcastically.

Abby sighs on the other line. “Must we always go through this, Clarke?”

“We will if you keep calling when the entire dorm is still asleep. I’m busy, mom. Graduation is less than two weeks away and I’m cramming so I can complete everything on time. I need my sleep,” she tries to explain patiently.

“Actually, that’s why I’m calling.” Clarke mentally prepares herself for what comes next. Abby may start another argument about her neglecting applications for medical schools her mom deems prestigious enough. She might bring up the subject of their last fight, which for the life of her, she can’t remember now. But none of those happen. Instead, her mother says: “I can’t make it to your graduation. I have to be in Florida to attend an important event for top surgeons in the country.”

Clarke doesn't know how simple words, all of them seemingly innocent on their own, could hurt so much when uttered together. It hits her, and it hits her hard. She can’t stop the bubbling anger she could feel from her gut quickly making its way up to her throat. She snaps. “So, you’re telling me that you, my mother, will willingly miss my graduation for some other event? Me, your only daughter who you forced to take pre-med even though I really wanted to be an art major.”

“We’ve been through that before Clarke. There are no viable career paths for you in art. The field of medicine offers more stability,” Abby says. It almost sounds like a rehearsed line at this point.

“You never even look at my work, mom! How can you tell me I have no future in art?” She’s shouting now, quite possibly waking up both her roommates in the process but she doesn’t care. They’ll understand, they always do. Unlike her mother.

Her father, Jake had always been the most sympathetic to her and her passion for the arts. He bought her her first set of charcoal pencils and oil paints when she had asked, and she drew him a picture in return. Clarke still cries each time she sees the picture framed in his father’s home office. Her dreams of becoming an artist might as well have died with him. Admittedly, both she and her mother handled their grief poorly. Clarke sought out attention from the wrong crowd, partied and drank only to wake up in strange beds so she could feel numb. The only reason she didn’t fully spiral out of control was because of the Blake siblings who always cared for her because they too know the pain of loss from being orphaned at an early age. Abby, on the other hand, threw herself at work, completely being closed off from her emotions and her own daughter in the process.

Things became even more strained when Clarke prepared to go off to college. She woke up one morning to find out that her mother had filled out her applications for universities, all for pre-med courses, effectively ignoring her own wishes. When she went to argue, she and Abby had a huge fight, which Abby won in the end through her threats of cutting Clarke off from money. Not wanting to live broke, she reluctantly accepted, if only to get away from her mother as well.

“I am not having another argument about this with you, Clarke. You’re obviously incapable of making sound decisions regarding your future,” Abby exhales."

“Because you robbed me of that right, mother,” Clarke says through gritted teeth and with as much rage as she can muster. She can hear Abby’s sharp intake of breath through the speaker at the harsh words and takes satisfaction from that. “I have to go now. Last minute requirements and all that. Have fun missing my graduation and most of my adult life in Florida.” She ends the call abruptly and goes back inside to find both Raven and Octavia wide awake,  giving her sympathetic looks. She breaks down crying immediately while her friends hold her and piece together the story of what happened outside through her broken sobs and sniffling.

After eating Raven’s comfort-food-for-breakfast special, she feels considerably better. Somehow, ending her conversation with her mother, knowing that she hit a nerve helped a lot. So, she decides to soldier on and actually accomplish what she set out to do for the day.

xxxxxxx

Lexa parks her Duke behind the engineering building. There’s no need to draw any more attention to herself, not for what she’s here for. She heads to the dean’s office, making sure to avoid high-traffic areas. Without knocking, she barges inside the office to find Carl Emerson seated on his desk as if he was waiting for Lexa.

“Ah, Ms. Woods. I had a feeling I’d be seeing you this morning,” he says. He motions for her to sit but she only stands her ground and shakes her head.

“I’m not marching,” she states. Straight to the point has always been her style.

“But that’s- Ms. Woods, you're graduating with the highest distinction, you have to. You will also need to give a speech. It’s a great honor.”

“Look, I don’t care about the damned speech. I came here to claim my diploma early so I can disappear as soon as possible. I know it’s allowed, I checked the student manual and the college policies extensively.” She sees Emerson interlace his fingers over his desk and take a calm breath. “I’ll also need you to keep this from my father and that godawful social worker he sends here to check on me. At least until the next week.”

“Ms. Woods,” he sighs. “Lexa, you are a brilliant woman, one of the most hard working students I’ve ever seen in all my years of being dean of this college. I understand the… situation with your father is difficult but do you really not want to participate in the commencement exercises?”

“He’ll be here, Mr. Emerson. And he’ll make a public spectacle out of it, which is the last thing I need. Who cares if I don’t march? It doesn’t change the fact that I finished my degree. The proof is in the paper,” she says, hoping that she gets the message across and that Emerson understands. After keeping his eyes fixed on her in deliberation, he nods.

“Fine. You can pick it up at Student Records today.”

“Thank you, sir,” she says with a small smile.

After picking up her diploma and keeping it hidden carefully in her bag, she walks back out to her bike. But she stops in her tracks when she sees a familiar head of red hair. Costia is sat atop her bike, currently fixing her face in one of the mirrors. So much for not drawing attention, she thinks. Lexa tries to doubleback but it’s already too late. Costia has already spotted her, wearing that devilish grin she always has when she wants something.

“What are you doing here?” she mumbles.

“I saw you on your way here from my building. Thought I’d go say hi since you're ignoring my texts,” she says with a sultry tone as she steps off the bike and walks towards Lexa. She hates the way her body immediately responds to the redhead, her heart thudding wildly in her chest and her feet rooted to the spot. Costia reaches her and looks around briefly to see if someone might see them before going in for a kiss. By some miracle, Lexa manages to pull back just in time. “Mmm… you not in the mood, Lex? I can fix that for you.” A pale hand snakes its way down between her legs, cupping her through jeans. Already, she feels the early signs of arousal, her quickly hardening length is evidence enough. Costia smiles wickedly at her helpless state.

“Lexa?” Costia jumps back and retracts her hand. Lexa’s eyes find the source of the sound and are met with gold and blue. Her vision clears and she recognizes the person who interrupted. Clarke. Immediately, she tries to hide her problem by putting her hands in front. But it’s no use, she’s sure the blonde saw everything.

She clears her throat. “Clarke. Clarke, this is Cos-”

“Oh, we know each other. Clarke and Noah are in the same class,” Costia says innocently, casually mentioning her boyfriend’s name like it's not a big deal at all. “Well, I think I'll go. See you around, Lex. Clarke.”

With that, she saunters off. Lexa follows the redhead with her eyes, afraid to direct her attention to Clarke and to what she'll see in those sky blue eyes.

“Lexa?”

She sighs and turns. There's no use delaying the inevitable. “Yes, Clarke?”

“Are you- Costia, is she-" she struggles with her words. “Do you… know she has a boyfriend?”

“Yes. Yes, I do.” A look of disgust crosses the blonde’s face at that.

“And… you guys are sneaking off behind Noah’s back?” Lexa can't get the word out, it hangs heavy on her lips. So she nods subtly instead. Clarke's eyes light up in what she can only tell is anger. “Do you even know who Noah is?” When Lexa looks down, the shorter girl takes that as a no, and she scoffs bitterly. “All he ever talks about is Costia. He's madly in love with her. And you know what? He told me he was going to propose after graduation. I wonder how devastated he will be if he finds out that the love of his life is cheating on him with you.”

It stings. Lexa feels like she's been slammed in the chest, and she has a pretty good idea of how much that hurts through sparring with Lincoln. But Clarke was nowhere near done. “Doesn't that make you feel repulsive?”

Lexa finally snaps. “You don't think I feel guilty?” she shouts. “Because I do. Costia was a mistake and I'm paying for what I've done with my conscience. But you don't have the right to pass judgement on me, Clarke.” The blonde’s eyes widen at that  “Oh, yeah, I know about you, Raven and that guy Finn.”

“It's not the same!”

“Isn't it? Cheating is cheating, right?”

“Shut up! Shut your fucking mouth!”

“What, can't take a dose of your own medi-" Clarke's hand connects with her cheek, the sound rings in the air. She has good reflexes but she's so blindsided by the act that it renders them useless. Before she can even recover, Clarke is already running away.

xxxxxxx

Clarke didn't even realize that night had already fallen. Her exchange with Lexa left distracted her through the whole day. What she feels is a maelstrom of emotions. She doesn't know whether to be angry, guilty, sad or confused. So, she's just a mess of all those.

Unknowingly, she has wandered off outside of university grounds and she's now somewhere unfamiliar. She thinks she's near the park, and that's really far away from the dorms. But her aching feet and the distinctive street lamps confirm for her that that's where she is. She walks to the park and finds a bench to rest on. This would not have happened if her car wasn't in the shop.

“Is this round two?” says a voice from behind her, and it makes her jump.

“What the fuck?!” Leaning against the tree behind the bench is Lexa Woods herself. “What are you doing here? Never mind, just leave me the fuck alone.”

“Hey, I got here first,” she says in that smug tone of hers. Clarke glares at her in answer. The girl just tilts her head at Clarke like she's trying to figure her out. “Did you walk here? Where's your car?” The brunette walks closer and plops down right next to her.The nerve of this girl, she thinks

Clarke exhales through her nose as she just gives up. “In the shop,” she grunts out and looks at Lexa’s face. “I swear to god, if you say ‘I told you so’...”

“What I actually want to say is ‘I‘m sorry’. I was out of line and I was furious.” Clarke just stays quiet. “You know, for a time, she led me to believe that she was leaving him for me. Never happened. And me, being the idiot I was, still held out hope.” Clarke searches her face and finds nothing but truth.

“I didn't know Finn was with Raven. I found out months later.” Lexa nods slowly in understanding. She waits a moment before continuing. “Do you love her?” The green eyed girl turns away for a few seconds before looking back at her.

“I… don't know. I mean, I’m attracted to her, sure, but I don't know about love. I may feel something for her but I'm not sure what it is. We... don't really spend much time together fully clothed. Now, all I'm certain of is that it was a mistake.”

“So, that night. When you said not to think less of myself for making mistakes, that was you speaking from experience?”

“I didn't think you’d remember that.” Lexa’s half-smirk makes a reappearance and Clarke blushes.

“I’m… I'm sorry. For slapping you, I mean.”

“Huh. And here I thought you suck at apologies.”

“Just accept it, you asshole.” she rolls her eyes but can't stop the smile that erupts on her face.

“Don't worry, I've taken harder hits. And I deserved it.” Silence envelopes them but it's not awkward or odd. It just felt right.

She doesn't know what came over her when she says: “Can I ask you something?” Lexa offers her an encouraging smile. “Where will you go after graduation?”

Lexa shrugs. “No idea. I just want to get out of here.”

“You don't have a plan?”

“Oh, I do have a plan. Just no destination.”

“And what plan is that?”

“Survive somehow, somewhere. Just get away from everything weighing me down and hit the road until I get to that place where I'm meant to be,” she says. Clarke admires that despite the uncertainty of her statement, Lexa says it with such conviction. Like, all the brunette needs to do is will it, and the universe will align itself to make it true. She looks at the faraway look in Lexa’s eyes and she yearns to have that same hunger for freedom. But her rational mind wins out.

“That's… that's just crazy, Lexa.”

“I'd say it's within the realms of normal for me,” she says matter-of-factly. “I've done crazier things.” Clarke cocks an eyebrow at her. “No, really. You tell me that leading an illegal drag racing group at fifteen isn't crazy.”

“Seriously?”

“Dead serious.”

“Alright, say I believe you. What happened to that drag racing group?”

“Got hunted down by police. Most of them are in jail because some idiot decided that dealing cocaine at the venues was a good idea. I only got off scot free because I was a minor. But they had me declared legally incompetent until I reach 25.”

“What's that?”

“Just means I can't do a lot of things without parent permission. Like, purchase real estate, get healthcare, get married, apply for a job.” She stops and looks Clarke dead in the eye. “Or drive.”

“What the hell? I let you drive my car!” she bumps her shoulder with the brunette’s.

“I can drive in my sleep, Clarke. But I do have a fake license just in case,” the taller girl shrugs.

“So… that's what you're doing? Running away?”

“Yes.”

Clarke wonders what it would feel like to just run away from her problems, her responsibilities, her mother. To forge her own future and shape her own destiny like Lexa plans to do. She finds that the idea is intoxicating, and she likes it. And if she has to travel aimlessly to nowhere, she figures that there are worse people to be stuck in a car with than this green eyed girl.

“Do you think that maybe you have room to spare for one more troubled soul?”

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe our Clarkey is all grown up!” Octavia squeals while Raven pretend sobs beside her, completing the act by using a white handkerchief to wipe away her fake tears. “Look at you, eloping with a demigod of a woman! I didn’t think you have the balls for something like that. I’m so proud of you.”

“My baby is now a grown woman! I never thought I'd see the day,” Raven cries out dramatically and puts her arms around Clarke's shoulders.

She rolls her eyes for about the fiftieth time today. Her two ridiculous roommates have been doing this for the past half hour, acting like they’re overjoyed parents sending their first child off to college. She thinks it’s her best friends’ way of showing full support for this bold decision of hers, but she can never really tell with these two.

She just continues to fit as many items as she can in a duffel bag that she will take on the road with her, taking extra care to follow Lexa’s instructions to “just pack the essentials”. “If you guys are not gonna help me pack, please just back the fuck up. I need to get this done today so I can be ready to leave when we have to, and you're making it really hard right now,” she whines.

“What? We're helping,” Octavia insists.

But Raven suddenly gets a bright idea, as she always does. “Oh, one sec!” she says as she lets Clarke go and darts off to the other side of their room where her closet is. She rummages around for a few seconds then turns around with a shit-eating grin on her face. Clarke’s mouth falls open when she sees what Raven has in her hands. “Clarke, you know I love you, right? I only want what's best for you. So, I hereby bequeath unto you, my personal stash of ‘for her pleasure’ condoms for when you and Lexa decide to get busy on the road.”

Octavia doubles over in laughter.

“Oh my god, Raven, put those away!” she protests.

“Oooh, I bet that’s not what you’re going to say when Lexa puts one of these on,” she drawls, wiggling her eyebrows for full effect. “I bet it's gonna sound like ‘Oooohh, Lexie, how ‘bout you pop my hood open and get your hands dirty?’" she says in her best porn star voice impression.

She then walks the rest of the way back and goes to stuff the packets into the bag while Clarke tries and fails to pull her away. Ever unhelpful, Octavia just guffaws louder and is now rolling on the floor, while using Clarke’s discarded flip flop to slap the floor. And, of course, that’s how Anya and Lincoln find them when they barge in unannounced.

“Clarke! I heard you’re running away with Lexa so I’m here to find out what your intentions are with my baby cousin…” Anya trails off when she spots the brightly colored packets Clarke and Raven are currently playing tug-o-war with. “Well… I guess that answers that question.”

“Woah, okay. I’m… not getting involved with this,” Lincoln says with a small laugh. He walks to Octavia’s side to try and calm her uncontrollable laughter and get her off the floor.

“It’s not what you think! Raven and I were just fucking around!” Clarke sputters while she swats away Raven’s hands from the bag and the condoms.

“Oh, there's gonna be a lot of fucking around. Just not with me, if you know what I mean,” Raven says with a wink. Clarke just wants the ground to swallow her whole.

“Oh, hey, don’t worry about it. Lincoln and I have been shipping you two since the parking lot incident. Right, Linc?” Anya says.

“Totally. At least you're thinking about protection. That's good,” he replies.

“Yeah, go crazy,” the older blonde says.

“Oh my god, stop. We're not talking about this.” A commotion from outside the door makes everyone stop and look. A few seconds later, Jasper, Monty and Bellamy burst in carrying several boxes of pizza and some sodas. “Doesn't anybody knock anymore? And what the hell are you guys doing here?” Clarke asks.

“Duh. What’s it look like? We’re throwing you a going away party,” Jasper answers.

“Yeah, it’s too early for alcohol so we’re gonna have to settle for soda,” Monty says.

“What? Guys, I’m not leaving today.”

“Oh. It seems that we have been misled,” Bellamy says, giving Raven the hairy eyeball. Clarke glares at her as well but the other girl just shrugs. Who else would it be but Raven who goes around spreading the word? She’s just thankful that her friends can be trusted to keep things like these within their circle or else, she’s going to be in big trouble. But it is sweet how all of them are here to wish her well.

“Doesn’t matter. PIZZA!” Octavia says loudly as she intercepts the boys on their way to the table to put down the food.

Everyone looks back to the door as the handle turns again. In walks Lexa Woods and the rest of them are frozen in their respective spots. “Hey, Clarke, do you-” she suddenly stops and takes in the sight. Deep green eyes roam over everyone in the room. The brunette closes her eyes, takes in a deep breath and puts a hand on her forehead. “Why does this keep happening to me?” she asks no one in particular.

xxxxxxx

Clarke’s not-going-away-yet party is now in full swing in the cramped dorm room. To their credit, their group of friends lasted an entire hour before they went out in search of booze. They’re all now in the middle of a drunken game of Monopoly, shouting and cursing playfully at each other. Lexa laughs to herself while she looks on through the window, sitting on the balcony railing. Her eyes automatically drift to a certain blue eyed blonde in the room and sees Clarke look back at her. Caught staring, she diverts her eyes to look behind her and to the darkening sky instead.

“Hey,” Clarke says beside her and leans her elbows on the railing.

“Hey,” Lexa replies with a small smile that the blonde mirrors.

“You know, I never asked you why you don’t drink. I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with it but I’m just curious. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want-” Clarke mumbles nervously but Lexa interrupts her.

“It’s fine. I get asked that a lot.” the blonde takes a relieved breath at that and Lexa smirks. “What makes you so curious?”

“I… Well, um- How about we just change topics?”

“I’m just messing with you, Clarke. I really don’t mind you asking,” she laughs. “Remember when I said that I was declared legally incompetent until I’m twenty-five? Part of that is because I got arrested for DUI when I was seventeen.”

“Oh, no. What happened?”

“Nothing bad. I didn’t run over anyone or crashed into anything. I just happened to drive through a checkpoint. Got clean a year after, never drank since. If I get arrested again, who knows what my father would do?” the words leave her mouth almost effortlessly. Clarke is just that easy to talk to that she can’t help but say things she normally wouldn’t. Still, she winces at the slip-up. The subject of her father is not something she wanted to ever bring up, but here she is. As if sensing the sudden change, the blue eyed girl places a hand on her knee, and Lexa feels jolts of electricity light her skin upon contact.

“Hey, it’s alright. You don’t need to talk about it if it’s a sensitive issue,” the blonde says with a reassuring smile. They fall silent after that. But Clarke’s only just noticed that her hand is still perched on Lexa’s knee. She blushes and quickly takes it off. “So… you know you never asked me why I wanted to come with you on this crazy trip of yours. You basically just went ‘yeah, okay’,” Clarke says with a laugh.

“Oh. I didn’t want to pry and I figured you gotta have a good reason if you’re willing to come with me, and I will respect whatever it is. But it’s okay if you still want to change your mind.”

“Too late for that. Our friends are already throwing us this party. Even if they’re the ones enjoying most,” she replies and nods her head towards the window. Things get quiet again before Clarke continues. “It’s my mom, the reason I’m going. She’s… trying to push me into med school and I really don’t want to go.”

“Aren’t you pre-med?”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t my choice. I wanted to be an artist. I’ve wanted to be one my whole childhood life. I still do, I guess, but it doesn’t matter now.”

Lexa looks down at Clarke. She’s surprised at the revelation and at the same time disappointed at herself for not making the observation that the blonde had an artistic side much sooner. Looking at her now, it seems painfully obvious.

But she remembers clues she might have glossed over too. She saw a glimpse of it in Clarke's car where parts of the dashboard had been painted on with tiny, colorful swirls and other different patterns. She saw it in the little splotches of color in that shirt the blonde wore that one time. She saw it in Clarke's Chuck Taylor's that might have been plain white but instead, has an intricate hand drawn picture of a galaxy.

It’s weird but all of a sudden, she sees the girl in a different light. Like there’s more to Clarke than meets the eye, and she’s just so naturally curious to find out. But she realizes that once again, she is blatantly staring so she looks away and clears her throat before speaking.

“I don’t see why you can’t do both. I mean, you must like the course well enough to stick with it. Maybe you can do a bit on the side,” she suggests.

“You’ve obviously never met my mother,” Clarke scoffs and she nods in understanding, knowing full well what it’s like to have someone try to impose their will on her. And this time, she can’t stop herself from uttering the next words.

“My father… he’s been trying to get me to work for his company, Krause Munitions. Which would be fine if he didn’t despise me and he wasn’t the reason I got myself into all sorts of trouble in the first place,” she says and sees Clarke’s eyes grow wide, probably recognizing the name of one of the largest arms manufacturers in the country. Before the blonde asks, she decides to cut to the chase. “Yes, that Krause."

“Wait, so you’re-”

“The elusive, mysterious ‘delinquent son’ of Barrett Krause the tabloids have been going on about for years. The only reason they can't find me now is because I had my name changed and took my mother's last name. I guess it's good that my father didn't bother to correct them on the ‘son' part too.”

“I… I get it now. Why you want to leave. Thank you for telling me that,” the blonde says with a small smile. “Running away from our parents, huh? Guess that’s something we both have in common now.”

“It doesn’t have to be the only thing we have in common, Clarke,” she replies before even thinking about the implications of her words or how the blonde would take them. Too late. Clarke’s face has already turned beet red and her mouth closes and opens, struggling to get out a reply. “I just- What I meant was- You know… Like, we may share some interests or something! Dammit, just forget about it. I’m sorry, I didn't mean for it to come out like that.” At this point, Lexa’s just hiding behind her hands from embarrassment. But Clarke’s laughter pulls her right back.

“It’s okay, really. I just never thought cool, calm and collected Lexa Woods is capable of blushing,” she says in a teasing tone.

“I don't blush,” Lexa huffs.

“Keep telling yourself that.”

They’re both smiling now, the useless, bumbling idiots that they both are. Until Raven butts in and shouts: “Hey, lovebirds! Stop making heart-eyes at each other. You have plenty of time for that and more tomorrow. Come party!”

So, they go inside where Lincoln and Anya act like they’re giving her away for marriage. They drunkenly tell Clarke to make sure Lexa doesn’t go anywhere near a stove because she can’t cook to save her life. That she sometimes needs to exhaust herself because she’s too restless to go to bed. That she drives like a maniac on minor roads for shits and giggles. The last one got Clarke a little bit worried, she can tell.

She just lets it slide and thinks this is her cousins’ way of sending her off. There wouldn’t be any hugging or kissing cheeks, that’s for sure. They never really were the touchy, feely bunch. For now, she just enjoys the feeling of being surrounded by friends. And the feeling of lightness that has settled on her chest since her talk with Clarke. It feels a little bit like hope. For what, exactly, she doesn't know.

xxxxxxx

Clarke throws herself on her bed, too exhausted to even take off her shoes. She just submitted the last major requirements, and it's all finally done. She's technically but not officially graduated. She should be happy, but it feels like a shallow victory no matter what she does. So, she just distracts herself by thinking about being on the road with Lexa. The thought makes her giddy.

Raven and Octavia join her on the bed shortly. It's cramped but she's too tired to protest and with her leaving soon, she’ll get in as many hugs as she can from her best friends.

“I love you guys,” Octavia sighs out.

“Yeah, you're my bitches. So, promise me we’ll keep in touch. Especially you, Clarke. God knows where you'll end up with Lexa,” Raven says.

“Probably in  one of those wedding chapels in Vegas,” Octavia snickers at her own joke and Raven joins in. Clarke rolls her eyes. She does that a lot with this kind of company.

“Fuck you guys very much,” she replies.

Loud knocking at the door startles them. She disentangles herself from the other two girls to answer the door because it could be the Chinese delivery guy and she's really starving. She wasn't prepared to see Lexa standing there however, and she almost chokes on nothing at the sight of startling deep green that meets her eyes.

“Hey,” the green eyed girl says casually but her feet seem to be doing some sort of nervous shuffle. “Can I talk to you?”

“Sure, come in,” she answers and steps aside to let her through.

“Hey, guys,” the brunette nods at her roommates.

“Yeaaahhh… Hey, Lexa. Rae, do you wanna step out with me for a bit?” Octavia says, already pulling the other girl to the door with her.

“Why would I- Ohhhh… yeah, sure,” Raven says as she throws a poorly concealed wink to Clarke's direction. In response, she mouths a fuck you to both of them.

She and Lexa are alone now, awkwardly looking at each other. Clarke decides to break the silence. “So… what's up?”

“Right. Clarke, are you sure you still want to come with me?”

“Lexa, if you don't want me to, just say so,” she answers with a stern voice and a frown.

“No, it's not that. I just don't want you to feel like you're in the dark so I think I should come clean to you about the purpose of this trip,” Lexa says while she fidgets with her hands.

“What do you mean?”

“This trip… it's supposed to be my ticket to a new life. Away from my father. And I can't do that without money.”

“Oh, I can pay you. I don't plan to be a freeloader.”

“No, that's not the issue.” Lexa obviously has something in her mind so Clarke decides to wait patiently until she spits it out. “Look, my father is a powerful man. He has a lot of connections. And when he finds out that I ran from him, he's going to look for me. What I'm saying is that I need to disappear completely. That means no paper trail, no communication, no electronic evidence.”

Clarke catches on. “So you can't just walk up to a bank every time you need money.”

“Yes. And if you're doing the same thing with your mother, I suggest you follow my lead.”

“But… but how are we going to survive without money?” She did not think this through, clearly. Maybe her mother was right in saying that she's incapable of making sound decisions.

“That brings me to the next point of discussion. How do you feel about committing illegal acts?”

Clarke is dumbfounded. She never thought that it was possible for one person to make so much sense and sound completely insane at the same time. She comes to the conclusion that Lexa Woods is a walking miracle. Still, the brunette looks like she's waiting for an answer so she responds.

“What?”

“Nothing serious like killing people or anything. There may just be some lying, stealing and cheating involved. Think of them as small-time cons,” the green eyed girl states.

“You talk like that's not a big deal. Shit, Lexa, I don't want to end up in jail.”

“I promise we won't end up in jail. I've done this a few times before. If you're not comfortable with it, you can still walk away,” Lexa says in a reassuring tone.

Clarke stops a moment to think again. What will she do if she stays? She’s going to the graduation ceremony alone, probably cry herself to sleep afterwards. Then her mother will demand that she come home. Then they'll have a huge argument about med school again and again and again. She doesn't want that. Maybe carving a new life for herself with money earned from morally questionable means is the better choice.

Then Lexa surprises her with a question. “Do you trust me?”

Her blue eyes immediately seek out Lexa’s green ones. For a few seconds, she sees something that looks like her own vulnerability reflected back at her.

“Yes,” she finally says.

Chapter Text

Off to the side, Clarke's friends are giving her a group hug. Sitting on the GT 40’s hood, under the warm morning sun, Lexa just looks on in amusement. She looks beside her to see her cousins wearing the same expressions on their faces. They were never really the affectionate type. Even when Lexa lived with them, her cousins’ parents, Indra and Gustus, never did any sort of mushy stuff with their kids, let alone her. She wasn't used to it anyway.

“Lex, you good?” Lincoln asks.

“Yeah, Linc. Why, is something wrong?” she replies.

“Uh, it's just that I talked to mom and dad last night, and I might have let it slip that you're hitting the road. Again,” he says, scratching the back of his head.

“What? I told you not to blab!” She then looks at Anya next to him.

“Hey, don't look at me. That was all this idiot's fault,” she says with both hands up in front of her.

“Dammit, Lincoln.”

“It's okay, though! They understand, I think. I mean, they did say you were being reckless again but they didn't exactly tell me to sabotage your car to stop you or whatever.” Her eyes grow wide and Anya lets out a gasp. If Lincoln touched this car in any way, there's gonna be hell to pay. Realizing his poor choice of words, he quickly tries to diffuse the situation. “I didn't tamper with your car, I swear!”

Lexa makes him sweat for a few seconds, narrowing her eyes at him. It's kind of funny how he cowers whenever she gives him this look despite him being at least twice her size. But she lets it slide. “Alright, I believe you. What did they want then?”

“They're just worried about you, you know? Dad's hoping that maybe you could visit sometime,” he shrugs.

It has been a while since she's seen them. Sophomore year was the last time she remembers being back in Nevada. And she does miss them and her dog Fish. “I’ll think about it.”

“You just take care of yourself out there, kid,” Anya says.

“Yeah. Don't forget to take my bike-”

“Into storage, I know. You've said it like twenty times. And I’ll have the rest of your stuff stored too.”

“Okay. Thanks, guys,” she says as she sees Clarke walk up to them. Her friends seem a bit less likely to assault Lexa with hugs again so she stands up and meets the younger blonde halfway. “All set, Clarke?”

“Yeah,” she answers with a determined nod. “What about you?”

“I've said my goodbyes. Both to my cousins and your friends. You're the one who needed, and I quote, ‘extra hugging time’".

“Awwww… you jelly?” she playfully swats at her shoulder.

“Nope. Not even a little bit,” she deadpans.

“Are you gonna be like this the whole time?”

“Yep. Better get used to it.”

“I dunno, Woods. I'm pretty good at sensing other people's taste in music for road trips. It's one of my hidden talents. I bet I could get you singing like crazy behind the wheel.”

“You can try,” she smirks.

They drive out of Ark U, finally, after a few more last minute goodbyes and shouts from Raven and Octavia to “try the watermelon flavored ones”. Whatever that meant, it got Clarke blushing and dishing out curses back at them. The university is located in the middle of D.C. so they're practically at a crossroads, the perfect setup to a journey with no particular destination.

“Are you okay, Clarke?” she asks the blonde who is oddly silent in the passenger seat.

“I guess? I mean, I've never done anything like this before, so I'm a little bit nervous,” Clarke replies with an awkward laugh.

“You're doing pretty well so far,” she says with a genuine smile. “But I can still turn back if you want. We're not that far yet.”

“No! No, I want this. Trust me, I want this,” the shorter girl says with conviction, and Lexa believes her. “There’s just something about the uncertainty of this whole thing that’s really scary but at the same time, very exciting. Am I making sense?”

“You are. The first time I did this, I felt the same way.”

“Yeah, you mentioned something about this not being the first time. You’ve been on a road trip to nowhere before?”

“I did run away when I was thirteen. It wasn’t pretty. Did it again a few more times as I got older, which is why my cousins and their parents are cool with it. For me, the open road just gives this… freeing experience,” she explains. She looks slightly to the side to see Clarke staring intently at her with her head tilted to the side. “What?”

“Nothing.” The blonde hesitates for a few seconds before continuing. “It’s just that I feel like you get me and it’s creeping me the fuck out.”

“How is that creepy?” she questions with a raised eyebrow.

“We barely know each other!” the other girl throws up her hands. “And it’s like… like you can put into words the feelings and emotions I don’t even know I’m experiencing.” She was expecting some smartass reply to her question, but not this. Lexa turns her head fully to the side to look at Clarke directly. The blue of her eyes is too vivid and it makes her feel something so foreign that it leaves her speechless. So, she looks back to the road and takes a deep breath.

“Um, so since you’re my… travel buddy? I think you should have the honor of picking the general direction we’re heading to,” she says without taking her eyes off the road.

“Really? You’re giving me that choice?” Clarke says skeptically.

“Sure.”

“But wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of traveling to nowhere?”

“Well, we can’t move forward without a direction, can we? Think of it like this - when you flip a coin to make a decision, some small part of you is secretly hoping that the side you favor turns out on top. This is no different.”

Clarke thinks deeply about it for awhile then says: “South.”

Lexa smiles at that, a plan of what their next step could be quickly forming in her mind. “Perfect. That’s going to give us the opportunity for shopping.”

Clarke perks up at the mention of shopping. “We’re going shopping!?”

“Yep.”

xxxxxxx

“Okay, when you said road trip, I didn’t think we’d have to fly out of the state or something. I’m pretty sure doing that doesn’t qualify this for a road trip anymore,” she says as she and Lexa walk towards the airport.

“Relax. I intend for us to keep our feet on the ground for the duration of this trip. Plus, we could do with some time to stretch our legs,” the brunette replies.

Four hours of driving led them here. Stopovers for bathroom breaks and food in between all included, at Clarke’s suggestion. She was quite enjoying her comfortable seat in the car, even if it’s quite cramped at the back because they had to stow their bags right in the cabin with them. Curse Lexa and her car that doesn’t have a trunk and is shaped more like an electric razor than an actual car. And now they’re in an airport for some reason. She doubts it’s shopping.

“And I thought you said we were going shopping. The fuck kind of cop-out is this, Woods?” she grumps. Lexa just snickers like the deceiving asshole she is. Clarke takes shopping very seriously. And the last time she’d been lured to an event she didn’t want to go to on the pretense of shopping, she had broken one of Octavia’s fingers. Accidentally, of course.

They walk through the entrance and she’s panicking slightly now because she doesn’t have her passport with her. She grabs Lexa’s arm to stop her from moving. “What are we doing here? And don’t give me your cryptic bullshit because I swear, I will walk out on you,” she threatens the green eyed girl, who just rolls her eyes then continues looking around the place like she’s trying to pick out someone she knows from the people milling about the busy airport.

“I told you. Shopping.” Before she can even reply, Lexa is already walking away. The girl stops an airport staff she comes across. They talk for a while. A few minutes later, she sees the girl pull out something from her pocket and hand it discreetly to the man. It looked like money, but from this distance, it’s a little bit hard to tell. Then she turns back around to Clarke and gestures for her to come closer. With an exasperated sigh, she does.

“This your friend?” the man asks as he gives Clarke a once over.

“Yes,” the taller girl answers for her.

“Alright. Just the two of you, for two hours. Follow me.”

Clarke is beyond confused. Because what the hell were these two talking about? But then Lexa is pulling her forward to follow the overweight airport staff. She looks at the other girl with an expression that’s somewhere between annoyed and confused. “Lexa, what the hell are we doing? Where’s this guy taking us?”

“You’ll see,” the brunette replies.

That doesn’t really do anything to dispel the horrible thoughts she has in her mind right now. Like, what if Lexa sold her to gypsies for gas money? Or she just unwittingly agreed to be a drug mule. Somehow, she thinks Lexa wouldn’t do any of those but it doesn’t stop her from worrying. Still, she keeps up with Lexa’s ridiculously long strides until they stop in front of  a room with large, grey double doors.

“Remember, two hours. You go over that and get caught, I’m not bailing you out,” the man says as he opens one door to let them in. Lexa walks in and nods at the man. Clarke follows hesitantly because she doesn’t see any other option. As soon as the door closes, she lets Lexa have it.

“Okay, this is me being serious right now. If you don’t tell me what the fuck is going on right this second, I will-”

“This is the area where they keep unclaimed baggage,” the brunette cuts her off. “Now, bear with me here, okay? Obviously, we don’t have the kind of money to buy the clothes we need to pull of what we’re going to do. So, this is us improvising.”

“Did you just insult my fashion sense? What’s wrong with my clothes?” In her opinion, she looks pretty damn good with her plaid shirt and black jeans combo.

“Really? that’s what you get out of what I said? Never mind. Look, we need to look less like broke college students and more like high rollers.”

“And how does being here help us do that?”

“You’d be surprised what you’ll find here. This place is practically a gold mine for designer clothes. Versace, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Prada, Armani, you name it. It’s all here, courtesy of forgetful, snobby, rich people who can afford to wear expensive clothes just once,” Lexa says with her signature smirk. “Two things though - put things back in order because they’re going to auction all these in a few days and don’t touch anything that smells funny.”

She wasn’t quite on board with the idea of sifting through other people’s luggage until Lexa pulls out a gorgeous black Dolce & Gabbana cordonetto lace sheath dress from one suitcase. That’s all the convincing she needed. Because holy shit, she’s gonna have to do all her “shopping” this way now if all it takes is giving one guy a hundred bucks to get luxury clothing that’s at least worth tens of thousands. Lexa has some supernatural level, borderline black magic persuasion powers, she concludes.

And the best part is that some of these clothes are in great shape, like they’ve never been worn. Who knew that ransacking baggage from first class will feel like winning the lottery? So, she makes the best of it.

By the end of their two hours, she ends up with five different dresses and some shoes, while Lexa makes off with some suit jackets, formal shirts and dress pants. With some minor adjustments and alterations, no doubt, the clothes that are a little loose will fit them like a glove. They pack a pretty good haul into a single suitcase that they carry out of the airport. And she was grinning like an idiot the whole time it took to walk back to their car.

xxxxxxx

They sleep in the car their first few nights on the road, and it’s looking like they have to do it again for two more days. What surprises her is that Clarke doesn’t complain about any of it. Maybe it’s because she finally discovered Lexa’s weakness for Britney Spears songs from the 90s. “Baby One More Time” was and is a guilty pleasure, and dammit, Britney is a national treasure. She’ll gladly challenge anyone who says otherwise to a fistfight. They’ve been playing her songs loudly in the car for days now, and it never gets old.

At least they’re making good time even if Lexa is taking the longer routes as they head to Washington's coast. Still, they really need a break from greasy gas station food and showering in public bathrooms soon. They’re parked in a quiet spot, the cool breeze blowing from the west gives them a bit of comfort as they sit on the hood of the car.

“You want us to what?” Clarke asks with a mouthful of hot dog they’re having for dinner.

“Look, I’ll go over it one more time,” she says. “We pose as buyers interested in coastal real estate, the larger ones. Think mansions, beachfront properties, summer vacation homes. Then, we hit a few open houses on our way to the next state.”

“Back up. You skipped a few things. The last time you went over ‘the plan’, you said something about prescription drugs.”

“Oh, right. I will distract the realtor, let them give me a tour around the house. While you, the pre-med graduate, snoop around the house for prescription drugs. Party drugs like Xanax, Ambien, Adderall, OxyContin, that kind of thing. They usually keep those in medicine cabinets of master baths.” Clarke lets out a long sigh. As far as plans go, it’s not that ambitious but it’s a solid way to earn cash when you know who to sell to.

“Then what? What do we do with the drugs?” the blue eyed girl asks.

“We sell them at clubs,” she states.

“To who exactly?”

“Spoiled brats who have nothing better to do than blow their daddies’ money on booze.”

“Are you absolutely sure this will work?”

“A hundred percent. I’ve made a lot of money from this kind of work. That bike I ride around? The money I used to buy that is from this,” she explains. Clarke gets this look on her face, it’s unreadable. “What?”

“Nothing. I just automatically thought you were loaded.”

“Why? Because of my father?” Clarke nods looking rather guilty. Lexa smiles at the other girl to let her know that it’s okay. “He does send me checks. I never cash them because I refuse to take his charity and have him use it against me someday. Then once I gain legal independence, I’m going to send it all back to him in a box. Or in a flaming bag filled with dog poop, depends on my mood.”

There she goes again, spilling secrets. After just a few days on the road with Clarke, she has grown more fond of her. This blue eyed girl is tearing her apart but she’s oddly okay with it. She thinks Clarke’s unladylike laughter, with bouts of loud snorting in between is worth it. Lexa takes the time to really look at her in this moment. She looks beautiful under the moonlight and the soft glint of street lamps nearby. Even without a proper shower and her hair in a messy bun, she is stunning.

“I personally like the flaming dog poop option,” she says with fading laughter. “That’s just so not your style and I think it’s perfect. Like a giant fuck you to your old man.”

After finishing their mediocre dinner of hot dogs, they both settle inside the car to get some sleep. The pushed back seats and tilted backrests are the closest thing they can get to beds right now, and it’s enough. For Lexa at least. She can always just stretch out the kinks in her back when she wakes up in the morning to do some push ups and crunches.

Clarke is right beside her in her own seat with her eyes already closed. Lexa starts to drift off as well until she hears the other girl’s raspy voice again.

“Hey, Lexa.”

“Yes, Clarke,” she replies.

“Thank you. For this. For everything.”

“Why are you thanking me?” she questions as she turns to the side to find Clarke already in that very position. The blonde has her head resting on one arm against the backrest and is looking at her shyly.

“Because you let me come with you,” she says. “I was just thinking about what I would be doing right now if I stayed. You know, my mom traded being present during my fucking graduation for some other event halfway across the country.”

“That’s… that’s awful.”

“Yeah. Because of you, I’m not moping around an empty dorm. I want to thank you for that. And I’m learning a lot of things too. About cars because you won’t shut up about it,” she says with a chuckle. “About all sorts of illegal shit that I happen to find really fun. And… about you. You’re something else, Lexa Woods. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like you.”

She doesn’t know how to respond to that. So she just goes with a generic cocky line. “That’s because there’s no one else like me,” she says with a smirk. Clarke rolls her eyes in response and scoffs. But she doesn’t want to end it right there, not when the blonde has given her nothing but pure honesty using her words. “But I can say the same thing about you, Clarke Griffin.”

Clarke blushes and smiles. “Good night, Lexa.”

“Good night, Clarke.”

Chapter Text

“Okay, tell me one last time,” Lexa says.

“Your name is Cameron Hayes. My name is Lindsey Farrow. And we’re looking for our first home,” Clarke answers in monotone. They’ve been over this several times now while they’re sitting in the car parked just outside of the first mansion on their itinerary for today. She’s wearing a floral cotton sundress and Louboutin heels while Lexa is sporting a navy blue button down with the sleeves hiked up to her elbows, suspenders and chinos. Considering they changed clothes in a gas station bathroom, they cleaned up pretty well. In fact, Lexa looks downright dapper and she can’t help but admire the view.

“Uh huh. And?” the brunette presses on.

“We’ve been together for three years and we’re planning to move in together,” she replies. “You know, I just don’t understand why I have to be your girlfriend for this to work.”

Lexa quirks an eyebrow at her. “Is there something wrong with being my girlfriend that you are so against it, Clarke?”

Well, no. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Except for the fact that maybe she likes it way too much. Likes hearing Lexa call her her girlfriend and the idea that they’re buying a home together. The feeling is so irrational and came completely out of nowhere that she starts to sweat a bit, in really inconvenient places. That’s the kind of effect this green eyed girl has on her.

“No!” she says rather too loudly so she clears her throat and tries again. “No. Nothing wrong with that at all. Just… what if we’re cousins or friends instead?”

“Clarke, no one will believe that you and I are even remotely related. And have you ever heard of two platonic friends buying a sprawling beach house together?”

Damn. She has a very good point there. There’s no use arguing, she knows, but it’s better than acknowledging the fluttering in her stomach for now at the thought of being in a relationship with Lexa. So she tries for a new angle to deflect.

“Okay. But can I do an accent? I feel like Lindsey Farrow is a Southern belle, and I can do a pretty good Southern accent. Just listen, okay?” Lexa slaps her forehead at that and she laughs. “Darlin’, life is like a box of chocolates…” she says in her best genderbent Forrest Gump impression.

“No, Clarke. I already said no to accents. And that was a terrible one, by the way. I can’t believe I subjected my ears to that,” the other girl whines but she’s smiling slightly.

“Fuck you. That was spot on,” she insists but she’s laughing really hard now that it ruins the angry facade she’s trying to keep on her face. “Alright, fine. No accents.”

“Are you ready or do you need more time to prepare?” the brunette asks.

“No. I’m good. Let’s do this,” she answers with a nod.

Lexa steps out of the car first, fixing up her shirt and suspenders while she goes around to the other side. She opens the door for her with that smirk of hers, and Clarke’s heart rate picks up again. But she takes the hand the taller girl offers her anyway and they walk to the gates of the mansion. She just hopes her hands aren’t too sweaty. Due to her nervousness or holding Lexa’s hand, she doesn’t really want to find out.

The realtor greets them as they come to a stop, she’s all smiles. Clarke doesn’t miss the way the woman looks them each from head to toe, like she’s appraising their value. She doesn’t miss the way the realtor’s eyes linger at the car they pulled up in either, clearly liking what she sees because she and Lexa look every inch the power couple with a fuckton of money to blow. The brunette was right when she said they needed to look like high rollers, it’s clearly paying off already.

The woman looks to be in her early thirties, wearing the standard suit pants and blouse combo that all real estate agents wear everywhere. “Good morning! Ms. Hayes, right? We spoke on the phone. And you must be Ms. Farrow. I’m Mia Lambert but you can just call me Mia,” she says as she shakes their hands one at a time and doesn’t waste any time leading them inside. “If you’ll follow me, we can get started on the tour. Oh, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions while I show you around.”

Lexa gives her hand a squeeze at that, a non verbal prompt to get her game face on.

“As you can see, the foyer as well as the rest of the home’s interior on the first floor has pure marble tile flooring with a gorgeous pattern. It’s all originally shipped from Madrid,” Mia drones on. She goes on about the solid mahogany front door and the floor-to-ceiling windows that show a view of the beach for a while. Then they are led to the living room. “The furniture here, particularly the sofa and the recliners, are made from one hundred percent wool felt in a lovely, neutral grey.”

Clarke tries her best not to gawk. She was raised in a pretty large home because both her parents bring in a decent amount of money. But she’s never really been around this much luxury and very breakable stuff. With their hands still intertwined, Lexa looks at her from time to time, as if checking if she’s still cool with the plan. She is. She has to be because they need the money. And she made the brunette promise her that they could at least eat something actually edible for a change and sleep on actual beds if they pull this off. So, she gives Lexa a subtle nod that yes, she’s still in the game, while they’re climbing up the stairs to the second level of the house.

“I’m going to show you the master bedroom now,” Mia says as she opens more mahogany doors. The room is not like a room at all. It’s more like a full-size hotel suite hiding inside a house, and Clarke’s jaw almost drops to the floor. She turns her head to Lexa to see that the other girl is doing a very good job of playing it cool. Of course she is, she’s probably seen lots of rooms like this. The brunette is doing a really good job of keeping the conversation going too, throwing in comments and asking questions about items in the room. Clarke takes mental notes because Lexa is such a fucking natural at this conning people shit, it’s kind of scary but also amazing.

The realtor takes them around the room, showing them the giant king size bed, bear skin rug, and cream colored rayon challis drapes. But what they’re really interested in is the master bath. “The master bath has a large classic clawfoot tub, a double vanity and a large enclosed shower with a full shower jet system. Perfect for beautiful couples like you,” Mia says, and they laugh along.

“What do you think, honey?” Lexa asks her with a smile, putting an emphasis on the “honey”. It’s their codeword for game time.

Clarke just hopes she doesn’t stutter or she might make the realtor suspicious. “Oh, I love it, babe,” she gushes and puts her arms around Lexa’s torso from the side. “I like the feel of this room, and the whole house in general.”

“Well, this home seems to have everything we’re looking for, Mia. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to see the backyard and the indoor pool area first. I was hoping to get a closer look at the four-car garage you’ve mentioned as well? I’m a huge car buff, you see,” the brunette says giving her shoulder a squeeze. This is it. It’s her time to work her magic.

“Of course, Ms. Hayes. It’s my pleasure.”

“Actually, babe, why don’t you guys go ahead. If it’s alright, I’d like to use the bathroom?” she says pointing back to the master bath. Her heart races for the split seconds it takes Mia to reply.

“Of course, Ms. Farrow. You can just follow us down when you’re done. Or do you want us to wait for you?”

“Oh, that’s not necessary. Right, honey?” the brunette answers for her and she shakes her head. “Just meet us downstairs after, okay?” She startles when Lexa plants a kiss on her forehead but she is able to keep her expression calm. She knows it’s all for show.

As she closes the door to the master bath, she tries to slow down her breathing and the beating of her heart. What a fucking roller coaster of emotions this is. Eventually, she gets her shit together to rummage through the large medicine cabinet on the vanity. She smiles as she takes in rows upon rows of prescription drugs lining the inside. OxyContin, Adderall and Xanax. Jackpot. She takes a few handfuls of pills from the bottles and places them carefully inside the separate pockets Lexa had sewn in her purse. Looks like they’ll be eating like royals tonight.

xxxxxxx

They drive off with a pretty good haul from that first mansion and three other open houses. Not bad at all for a first job. And Clarke is definitely high on the feeling of getting away with what they’ve just done. She smiles widely at the blonde who was talking excitedly and bouncing in her seat. Driving on a practically empty coastal road in the dark on their way to where the nightlife is, she speeds up a little bit. Just so she can get more of those priceless smiles and laughter from her travel buddy.

“Faster!” Clarke says as she shakes her hair out of her ponytail and rolls down the window on her side. “Come on, faster!”

She complies with a loud laughter of her own and presses down the gas pedal a little bit more. Clarke lets out a whoop and pumps one hand up in the air. The blue eyed girl puts on her iPod and blasts out a track. It’s not something she’s familiar with but as the bass line and the melody reach her ears, it just felt right. The words of the song speak to her on a completely different level too. So tell me, are you in? Because tonight, we are infinite. She lets it wash over her as Clarke sings along and pops her head out of the window because it’s just perfect and fitting.

Lexa doesn’t have the heart to tell her how dangerous she thinks what the blonde is doing. Not when she looks completely free, happy and just so beautiful with her hair blowing in the wind. Clarke’s laugh echoes through the car, the highway, and Lexa feels it echo in her chest too.

Moments later, they pull up to a club. Everything looks so shiny and high end to the point that the whole thing comes off as pretentious. The music playing from the inside is too loud. Even the name of the club, Purgatory, gives off an ostentatious vibe. But that’s exactly why she picked this place. Already, she sees potential customers from the line outside. Still, they’ll need to get in so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb or get caught.

“Alright, Clarke. I’ll handle this part. You can just sit this one out when we get inside,” she tells the blonde as she adjusts the suit jacket she has on. Like Clarke’s handbag, it has compartments lined with plastic sewn on the inside as well. It’s where the individual baggies of pills are, ready for the hand off.

“Yeah, okay. So, do you want me to just sit at the bar or…?”

“You can sit in the booth with me. But no drinking or drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.”

“Got it, boss,” the girl says with a mock salute.

“What the hell? Didn’t I just say not to call me boss in the car.”

“Alright, alright. Jeez, I was just messing around,” Clarke says with a small laugh.

They walk up to the bouncer at the front, bypassing the line and hearing the other patrons who are stuck outside curse at them. Lexa just shrugs it off. They’re here on business. And the sooner they’re done here, the better. She goes in to shake the bouncer’s hand and slips him a bill, which he takes with no question. He pulls up the line and lets them through.

She sits at one end of a well-hidden booth, Clarke on the other. In no time, clubbers looking to score approach them. She doesn’t discriminate when it comes to who she sells to. So long as they look to be in the legal age and not taking the harder kinds of illegal drugs, she delivers. She also charges much higher than she’s really supposed to, but none of them need to find out. They don’t know better anyway. These people have the money, and they’re willing to spend. That’s all that matters.

It’s all going pretty smoothly. A few guys sometimes come around to hit on either Clarke or her, but they send them away. Some women from two tables down even send her some drinks but she always politely declines. If it were any other time, any other place. If she was someone other than who she was right now or if she was the old her who had no qualms about picking up random women from clubs, she might have walked over to introduce herself. But she doesn’t have time to think about any of that between dealing with customers and eyeing Clarke from across the table. The blonde does some looking of her own too, and Lexa enjoys the attention. Soon enough, they run out of product to sell though.

“Wanna get out of here?” she asks.

Clarke scoffs but they walk out together anyway. “You know, that line only works in movies. Never in real life.”

“What, you think I’m trying to pick you up? Please. I’m your ride out of here. You’re coming with me either way,” she smirks.

“Wow. Way to be an arrogant douche. You’re lucky that’s true or I’d be slapping you right now,” the blonde jokes.

“Oh, we don’t want a repeat of that, do we? I can still feel the sting. How can someone so small pack that much slapping power?”

“You underestimate my abilities. You think you’re the only one who can beat people up? I went to an all-girls Catholic school, I’ll have you know. I’ve been involved with countless fucking catfights over who gets to use the bathroom and other equally trivial things. That’s real world combat experience right there.”

“Woah. Alright, you’re clearly someone I don’t want to mess with,” she laughs at Clarke’s boasting. “How about we get some dinner instead and rent a room so we can sleep on beds tonight?”

“Now you’re speaking my language, Woods. God, my back hurts a lot. How much did we make anyway?”

“I didn’t get a chance to really count inside. But by my estimate, we have at least under two grand.”

Clarkes eyes bug out and she stops in front of their car. “Seriously? We made that much in one night?”

“I told you this makes good money. I completely ripped all of those buyers off but none of them know that. We’re not heading back here anyway so we won’t get made,” she replies.

“Holy shit. I can’t believe it.”

“You better. Because we’re going to reap the fruits of our labors,” she says as she gets in the driver seat.

They drive for a few minutes around the area in search of a motel, which they find fairly quickly. The establishment looks sanitary enough that they won’t get diseases just by breathing in the air so they decide to spend the night here. She and Clarke agree on the way to just rent out one room with two beds to save money. After pigging out on various room service food, they lay on their own beds.

Clarke surprises her by getting up from her bed and plopping down on hers. She has this really goofy grin on her face and Lexa can’t help but give her a smile too. Clarke’s hair is now a disheveled mess and her sundress needs a good washing but she looks great anyway in Lexa’s opinion. The blonde turns to her side on the bed to face her, and she motions for Lexa to do the same. She does and waits for whatever the other girl wants to say.

“So... I had a really great time today. Who knew this would be both fun and profitable?” Clarke says, retaining the grin.

“Really? Are you sure you’re not due an internal conversation about morals with your conscience right now?” she teases.

The blue eyed girl gives a mighty shake of her head. “No. I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to come with you. It’s not like I was completely innocent before I ran away with you,” she replies. “Besides, this is so much lighter on my conscience than say… stripping or dancing on a pole in some dark room somewhere.”

Lexa’s eyes widen slightly. Great, now her mind is conjuring up images of Clarke stripping for her. She just chalks it up to being celibate for about two weeks now. So, she maintains eye contact but then she catches blue eyes dart down to her lips. Oh. That has to be a mistake.

Except it’s not.

Without a second thought, she puts a hand behind Clarke’s neck and pulls her face closer. Their lips meet in a tentative kiss, touching fully but with a certain gentleness to it. She feels Clarke’s exhale on her face as her eyes flutter shut. The lips against hers start to move, trapping her bottom lip in between them. She allows it and tilts her head further to the side to deepen the kiss. It's sweet and slow, like they have all the time in the world, and it's everything she never thought she needed. She loses herself in the moment and all she can think of is Clarke, Clarke, Clarke.

It’s unclear when the kiss ended and when they drifted off to sleep. But they fall asleep wrapped up in each other’s arms.

Chapter Text

To say that the morning after they kissed is awkward, was a huge understatement. And Clarke is royally pissed. Who wouldn’t be if you woke up snuggled up to someone like Lexa and then they all but jump out of bed upon seeing your face? It’s insulting at the least but that’s not the only reason she’s mad. No, after trapping herself in the bathroom for about half an hour, Lexa comes out like nothing happened. Like she didn’t kiss Clarke so thoroughly her toes involuntarily curled up and she had to grab the lapels of Lexa’s jacket to pull the other girl in closer and stabilize herself at the same time.

Then the brunette just goes about her business, green eyes never looking at her for more than a second when they talk. So, that’s why they’re sitting silently in a cafe. Well, Lexa is sitting silently while she reads through listings on a newspaper like a goddamn hipster. Research, according to her. Clarke, on the other hand, is boiling in contained rage and fury, glaring angrily at her companion like she’s trying to make Lexa’s head explode through sheer force of will. It’s not working, as far as she can tell.

She’s really offended. As far as she knows, she’s an excellent kisser. Fucking terrific even. She’s dated a fair number of people, both men and women, and none of them have ever complained about her technique or anything like that. And she knows Lexa enjoyed last night too if her barely heard sighs and moans were any indication. Why the green eyed girl was avoiding the talk is a complete mystery to her.

“I think we can hit a few more houses along the coast before we have to move on. I’m seeing a lot listed on here with potential, easy pickings,” the brunette says behind her newspaper.

Oh, now she talks, Clarke thinks. But if Lexa wants to play the silent game, she’s going to play it too. In fact, she’s going to commit to it and beat the other girl at her own game. Hell, she’s going to go above and beyond. People always said Clarke was nothing if not determined, even it was just to prove a stupid point or win a ridiculous argument. She resolves that if the green eyed girl won’t bring it up, then she wouldn’t say anything about it either.

“Did you hear me, Clarke? I said we can go through a few more houses before we get out of the state,” she repeats. When Clarke doesn’t answer, she speaks again. “Listen, you have to tell me if you don’t agree. Is there something wrong?”

“Oh, no! Nothing’s wrong. Why would you think anything is wrong, Lexa?” she replies without taking her eyes of her plate of waffles in a tone that says otherwise.

“I can tell there’s something bothering you. If you have objections to the plan, you are more than welcome to voice them out.”

She catches Lexa’s eyes on her when she looks up before they drift away again to the side. Fucking typical.“ Nope. No objections here. You can just do whatever the fuck you want without worrying about the consequences,” she grits out before standing up abruptly. “I'm gonna go change in the bathroom now before we hit the road.” She leaves Lexa ttheir, who at least had the decency to look guilty. Good. At least they both know what Clarke is blabbering angrily about. Maybe letting her wallow in that horrible feeling for the whole day will finally do the trick.

She changes as quickly as she can out of her t-shirt and jeans and into another one of the dresses they got from the airport. It's a flowing silk chiffon from Gucci in a light blue that makes her eyes pop out and a neckline that shows off the goods. She puts on a little bit of makeup just so she doesn't look like she's been living on the side of the road for weeks. Jimmy Choos and her purse with the secret compartments complete her look.

When she gets back to their table, she sees that Lexa has changed out of her shirt and cutoffs as well. The brunette is now wearing a crisp burgundy shirt tucked into fitted black pants. Her hair has been neatly combed back, long, thin strands braided at the back. A white jacket is slung on her left arm as she looks at the time on her gold Rolex. It would have been so easy to hate her more if she didn't look so damn good. Especially when they dress up for the open houses, and Lexa looks like she got lost on her way to a fashion show runway.

Oh, but Clarke looks pretty fucking great too. And Lexa was definitely aware of that fact. Green eyes run slowly over her figure and linger on her breasts for a few seconds before snapping up to her face. The brunette’s cheeks tint red at being caught checking her out, and she gives herself a mental pat on the back for getting that kind of reaction. The girl gulps audibly and clears her throat before trying and failing to speak. Clarke decides to put her out of her misery.

“Let's go.”

The first house they stop at was a complete waste of their time. The realtor made sure never to leave either of them alone. Apparently, the seller was a paranoid nutcase. The second house was slightly better, and they got a few pocketfuls of Ambien and Adderall without a hitch.This third house looks a bit more promising though. It's entirely out of place for its location near the beach but this is exactly the kind of properties Lexa prefers. The kind that belong to gullible, rich people who take their wealth for granted.

“Last one. If we make off with a decent haul, we can be on our way,” the green eyed girl says. “Mind if we switch up? You play rich buyer, I’ll raid their bathroom.” She just nods in confirmation as they greet the sellers, a lovely couple who introduced themselves as Henry and Susan. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she thinks that they look familiar, but she just ignores it in favor of nodding along and praising the house's interior. “Henry, Susan, do you mind if I use the bathroom here for a bit? You can go on ahead and show Lindsey the rest of the house,” Lexa says with a polite smile as they make to get out of the master bedroom.

“Oh, sure, Cameron. We'll be back downstairs. I can show your lovely fiance the wine cellar,” Susan replies.

“Great. Honey, is that good for you?” The brunette says giving her a look that says “you know what to do”.

“Of course, dear. Just don't take too long,” she answers with just a hint of annoyance in her voice. They're not as convincing as they were before at pretending to be in a relationship. Mostly because Clarke just wants to slap Lexa’s ridiculously attractive face. But, whatever. They have a job to do, and she can always just do the slapping later. She then grabs the taller girl's arm and pulls her in for a kiss right on the cheek. She hears Lexa let out a stuttered breath before awkwardly nodding several times at the sellers and then walking away without saying a word.

She wants to laugh but that has a good chance of blowing their cover. Clarke lets herself get toured around the house instead. They end the tour in the hallway they started from before. And as she drones on, commenting on the unique strokes used in one painting displayed there, she hears  familiar voice.

“Mom, Dad, how's the open house going?”

No. No, it can't be. Out of all the houses in the state, why did they have to end up here? She doesn't turn towards the voice because she already knows who it is.

“Pretty well, son. We're just finishing up with Linsey here. She and her fiance really like the house,” Henry replies.

“Oh, that's good. Wait… Is that- Clarke, is that you?”

Well, shit.

“Finn,” she breathes out as she faces him.

xxxxxx

Lexa carefully shakes out more Xanax out of the bottle and into her hand. There’s some Prozac here too. That's good, there are always buyers for that. When she's done putting the pills in the custom pockets in her jacket, she looks at herself in the mirror to make sure that there are no lumps visible.

Hopefully, things are going just as well on Clarke's end or she will continue to suffer the wrath of the blonde girl. She can only tolerate “Grumpy Clarke” for so long. Then again, she is partly, if not entirely, the one to blame for that. Last night was… impulsive, unexpected, mind blowingly amazing. Most of all, something she feels a strong desire to do again. But she can’t. She has enough problems as it is. Still, she can’t deny the way her heart beats three times faster (yes, she checked), and how she just seems to swallow her own tongue when Clarke is near.

She's suddenly brought out of her thoughts by a sound like someone screaming her name. Clarke. She quickly runs out of the bathroom to follow the sound of commotion that leads to the hallway. She sees Susan standing at the side, eyes wide and mouth agape while watching two people struggle. It's Clarke and she looks to be fighting some guy. She sees Clarke pull her hand back and throw a punch which lands squarely on the guy's face.

Wow, that's… kind of hot. She's seen her fair share of punches and fighting stances in her years of MMA training, and she has to admit that the blonde girl has really great form. And all that while wearing high heels.

“What’s the matter with you?” Susan shouts at her. Oh. She just said that first line of her thoughts out loud. So, she just moves forward to stop the fight by pulling Clarke back instead of explaining her violence induced arousal. Clarke tries to shake her off for a few seconds before going along. Closer now, she can make out the features of the man and she recognizes him. Finn. Clarke's ex-boyfriend. The guy whose nose she broke.

Her fighter instincts immediately take over when she sees the flicker of recognition on Finn’s face. She puts up a high guard even before he can go on the offensive. When he finally throws a punch, she's already waiting for it. She deflects it with her elbow, effectively breaking his fist, causing him to yelp. Then she swiftly brings up her right fist to connect with his face. As he staggers back, she follows his movements and throws a forward kick to one of his knees. That's probably broken too. He goes down hard, screaming in anger and pain.

She stops there, seeing that her opponent is already down. But Clarke has other ideas. She walks to Finn and stomps her heeled foot down on his crotch. He lets out a high pitched scream.

“You're a fucking pig. If you ever touch me or say things like that to me again, I will lawnmower your balls,” Clarke grunts out in between her panting.

It's as if Lexa could feel the pain down on her crotch too and she winces. But then she hears the unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked behind her. She turns to see the previously absent Henry pointing a Glock at her. His gaze drops down to the floor and her eyes follow. The pills she tucked away in her jacket are now on the floor because of the fight.

“You come into my home, steal from us and attack my son,” Henry murmurs angrily. She puts up her hands and looks to the side to see Clarke doing the same thing. “Get out of my house!”

She didn't need to be told twice. She bolts out of there and into the car as fast as her legs would take her, dragging behind her the blonde who seems to be disoriented. As soon as they get in the car, she speeds off to the most accessible direction.

Clarke is hyperventilating in the passenger seat when she looks at her. “Slow down your breathing, Clarke. In and out, in and out,” she says as calmly as possible. The blue eyed girl complies and settles down a bit but, she's still visibly trembling.

Lexa pulls up at the side of the coastal road. But before she can reach over to Clarke, the other girl is already getting out of the car. She stumbles as she walks to the railing facing the water, and just decides to kick off her shoes. Lexa follows her out, grabbing a water bottle. She puts a hand on Clarke's back but instead of comforting her, it does the opposite.

“Don't you fucking touch me!” the girl screams at her.

“Clarke, you're in shock. Let me help you,” she says.

“No shit, I'm in shock! I almost got shot, you asshole!”

“Here, drink this. It will help.” She hands over the bottle.

The blonde takes it but not before shoving her hard with one hand. She just watches as Clarke gulps down the water and waits. The girl calms down a bit more but now the look of fear in her eyes is replaced by fury. “You fucking idiot! That was Finn’s house!” the blonde says as she throws the bottle at Lexa’s head. She narrowly dodges it.

“I didn't know, Clarke! Do you know how many people have Collins as their last name? And it's not me who assaulted him first at his own house now, is it?” she reasons out.

“Fuck you! It's all your fault!” Clarke screams again before she breaks down in tears. She almost falls down to the road but Lexa catches her with both arms.The girl sobs against her chest, and it's all she can do to hold her tighter. “He… he said things to me. Then he put his hands on me. I… I couldn't- I had to-”

“Hey, it's okay. You're safe now,” she says while running a hand over Clarke's back. “I'm sorry. About the house, and for lashing out at you. Come on, let's get you back to the car.” Without letting go, she leads her back to the passenger seat and kneels down in front of her. Clarke's eyes are red and wet. As she goes to wipe away the tears, the blonde slumps down to embrace her. They stay like that for minutes until the crying stops.

“Can we stay here for a little bit more?” Clarke asks against her neck.

She hopes the blonde doesn't notice her shudder. “Of course. Whatever you need,” she replies in a shaky voice.

Clarke pushes at her and points to the railing. She helps her up and leads her back out there so they can both sit on the railing and look towards the water and the setting sun. “My grandfather cheated on my grandmother. He had not only a second family, but a third one too,” the blue eyed girl eventually says.

“Okaaay…” she replies because she doesn't know what else to say or why Clarke is bringing this up.

“I just thought I should tell you why I hate cheaters with a passion,” the blonde explains. “We were the first family. I was still young but I saw how that hurt everyone. I was so mad at the other women who were involved. Kind of ironic that I became one too.”

“You didn't know,” she says.

“No, not for sure. But I had my suspicions. I should never have let it get as far as it did. I... thought I loved Finn.”

“I thought I loved Costia too. At the beginning, at least. It took some time before I realized that it wasn't love. At that point, she was just using me,” she answers.

“So why stay?”

“I thought maybe things would change in time. That maybe what I felt would turn out to be what I thought it was. I made a mistake.”

The blonde turns her head to her, piercing blue eyes directed right at her. “Is that what last night was, a mistake?” she whispers.

It wasn't. It was probably one of the actions she took with a startling clarity. But it can't happen again, for both their sakes. “We should never have done that. It won't end well, Clarke,” she says simply.

“Why? How can you know?”

“Because I'm broken. I've done terrible things. And that's excluding the fact that I've had sex more times than I can count with a woman who's probably going to get married to a poor, clueless sap. I'm a monster. I’m broken, Clarke, and you can't fix me,” she says and begins to turn away. But Clarke puts a hand against her cheek and turns her back again.

“I don't want to fix you, Lexa. You're flawed, so what? I am too. But I don't intend to take advantage of your imperfections,” the blonde replies. “I… I like you. Like, really like you.”

Lexa  doesn't answer with words, but she lets her lips get the message across. She kisses Clarke again, this time with more certainty. The blonde responds immediately, changing the angle of the kiss. She feels a tongue prod at her lip, asking for entrance. She allows it and meets Clarke's tongue with her own.

The kiss is different from last night's. It's undeniably more open, hotter and wetter, and just better in every way. She feels her body react. There's that familiar heat stirring in her gut and she can feel herself get excited down there too. Lexa breaks the kiss and smirks when Clarke chases after her lips. She rewards her with one last peck and bumping their noses together before pulling away completely.

“We need to slow down,” she says panting.

Clarke is breathing heavily too. “But why?”

She sighs and looks down to her crotch. There's already a sizable bulge there. The blonde gasps before falling into loud laughter. “It's not funny, Clarke,” she whines.

“I'm sorry but it kind of is,” the blue eyed girl replies in between giggles.

“You suck,” she says and she instantly regrets it.

“Oh, you wish, Woods. You wish,” Clarke retorts with a wink and even more loud laughter.

Chapter Text

People are really stupid. That's the only thought in Lexa’s mind right now as she watches another guy get sold on Clarke's fake sob story. After what happened in the Collins household, they both decided that laying low and getting out of Washington is the best course of action in case they file charges. She figures they'll be busy trying to put Finn back together again and reattaching his testicles for now though. Still, it's not wise to wait around. That's how they find themselves heading further down south to Oregon.

But they do need more money to fund their trip. So, Lexa comes up with another brilliant scam after seeing these fake rings a vendor was selling on the streets. The setup is simple. Clarke drives up to a gas station alone in the GT40 and pretends to lose her very expensive engagement ring. Then she draws attention to herself as she bends down and pretends to look for it, while showing off her assets. Then an unsuspecting, gullible and horny storefront attendant will try to swoop in to help the damsel out. Said damsel will then cry crocodile tears, saying she can't lose it, but she's in a hurry to go somewhere. She offers to pay him too if he finds it. And in response, the poor sucker will offer to FedEx it to her if he does. Meanwhile, Lexa just stands by to watch the exchange until Clarke drives off. Then she pretends to find the ring and hustles the gas station guy into buying it from her. It's a really efficient money-making system that runs on nothing but pure stupidity of people. It's perfect. So perfect that this is the sixth guy they've been able to rob blind.

“What's in it for me?” Lexa asks the skinny guy manning the station.

“I’ll pay you for it. Look, I’ll give you everything in the register,” he stutters out as he starts to count the money. “There’s… $937 here.”

Well, this is easier than she thought, but she's not going to complain. This guy is giving her a wad of cash willingly, after all. “Deal,” she replies as she swipes the money and puts it in her pocket. He beams and thanks her profusely. The damned idiot didn't even question her purpose as a car-less individual in a gas station. She gives him one last nod before exiting the store. A short walk away, Clarke is waiting for her while sitting on the parked car's hood. She smirks at the blonde as she draws nearer.

“Hey, you,” Clarke greets her as she throws her arms around Lexa’s waist.

“Hey, you,” she calls back and rests her chin on the girl's head. Then she draws back a bit to put a finger under Clarke's chin and pulls her in for a kiss. It quickly becomes heated as the blonde digs her teeth in her lower lip. She moans in pleasure but retaliates by running her tongue along lips and teeth. Clarke frees her lip to suck on her tongue instead. Lexa gets drawn further into the embrace so she's standing between her legs.

They've been doing this a lot for the past few days. It's a wonder they got anything done at all because Clarke demands routine make out sessions, claiming that Lexa’s lips are the only acceptable form of entertainment since she's only allowed to use her phone for emergencies. But she's not putting up any fight against that. Not even now as she feels Clarke's wandering hand travel under her shirt and to her abdomen, tracing lazy patterns on her now tingling skin. A shiver runs through her spine and she knows they have to stop. One, because they're in public. Two, because they have to find a place to camp out for the night. And three, because she's starting to get stiff again. The last one is a common occurrence now. So, before it gets out of hand, she reluctantly backs away. Clarke whines in protest and tries to catch her lips again but she doesn't give in.

“We have to get going, Clarke. It will be dark soon,” she says.

“Ugh. Fine. Can we at least find a place with actual beds this time?” the blonde replies as she stands and gets inside the car.

“We’ll see. This area looks mostly residential though,” she answers as she settles in the driver's seat and starts the car. “There might be some good places near the waters.”

A couple of miles and an entire playlist of Disney songs later, they reach a gated subdivision. The gates might as well be nonexistent because they were let in anyway. Stupid rich people and their false sense of security. But that's well and good for them because Lexa is full of great ideas today. As they stop in front of an empty house, Clarke gives her a confused look. She just smirks in response.

“We're going to break in and sleep here for the night.”

Clarke ponders that for a bit. “Why not? We're probably wanted fugitives by now. What's one more offense?” Clarke says with a shrug and a wicked grin of her own.

Lexa decides that their best point of undetected entry is through the garage. People always think that a closed garage door is protection enough, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. She makes quick work of the automatic opener by picking at it from the outside and pushes the door up.

“Do you always carry a lockpick?” Clarke teases.

“I don't know why you think that's funny. I only started bringing it along after you locked us out of your own car,” she says with a laugh. The blonde slaps her arm playfully.

xxxxxxx

Lexa insisted on not switching the power on in the house so they don’t attract unwanted attention or set off any alarms. Now everything they have to do, they do by candlelight. It has accidentally created a romantic atmosphere, especially with her and Lexa alone in the house while they eat a pretty okay dinner of canned tomato sauce and pasta from the cupboards that Clarke put together. Then the brunette just had to suggest they light up the firepit in the backyard and head to the pool so she can cool off.

Clarke, on the other hand, is doing the opposite of cooling off as she watches Lexa swim lap after lap. She’s quite entranced by the play of muscles on her companion’s back as she executes precise strokes in the water. Blue eyes roam over exposed tanned skin and the intricate tattoos that she didn't get a chance to see before. Now she wants more than just to see. She needs to touch, to taste. Following Lexa’s example, she strips down to just her underwear. She silently thanks whatever higher power there is that she's wearing a matching set. She sits on one end of the pool, letting her legs play in the water while waiting for the brunette to finish one more lap and reach her. When Lexa’s head breaks the surface, she playfully kicks some water in her face and laughs. But the green eyed girl recovers quickly and pulls her down into the water.

“Nice of you to join me,” Lexa drawls as her arms find their way around Clarke's waist.

There it is again. That devious smirk that spells mischief. Clarke is a goner. She doesn't waste anymore time and just lunges forward to crush their lips together. Hungry lips glide along her own as she puts her arms around strong shoulders and wraps her legs around a slender waist to draw the other girl even closer. Lexa pulls back but Clarke doesn't release her hold.

“Woah, slow down,” the brunette says in between breaths.

“Why?” she asks coyly as she runs a fingertip on the outer shell of Lexa’s ear. She grins when the girl shivers. “Seems like you like it.”

“Maybe I like it way too much,” Lexa stutters out.

Oh. Well, that was fast. It surprised her at first that the brunette didn't need much stimulation to get in the mood, but she's not going to complain about that. If anything, it just made her more curious. The problem was Lexa is a little bit too considerate about Clarke's dignity that she always puts a stop to things when they got too heated. Something about not wanting to “defile her in a car because it's not appropriate”. She leans in to whisper lowly in her ears. “Maybe I like you that way. We're not in a car anymore, Lex. You can defile me all you want.” She pulls back to see deep green eyes with a predatory look to them. She's also pretty sure that she'd be dripping if they weren't in the water. A grumble sounds from the brunette’s chest and she finds herself being backed to the pool wall. Lexa kisses her again, this time with a little bit more teeth and tongue before abruptly pulling away.

“Are you sure you want this?” the girl whispers.

“Fuck. Yes, I want it. I want you,” she moans. Then she feels Lexa’s hands on her ass as she is lifted up out of the water. She barely registers being laid down on the large cushioned pool recliner as she pulls the brunette down on top of her. They both groan as their bodies and lips meet again. Lexa’s hips jerk involuntarily against Clarke's and she gasps as she feels just how hard she is. Her hands slide down to a toned back and then to firm cheeks to encourage the action more. Lexa complies and rubs herself against Clarke a few times while kissing and sucking at the side of her neck.

Clarke then realizes that they're wearing too much clothing even with just their undergarments on. Her hands move up higher to the waistband of Lexa’s boxers. Sensing her intentions the girl draws back and pulls her up to a sitting position. Tanned hands reach around to unclasp her bra while green eyes blown wide with desire drink in each inch of revealed skin. Lexa moves further down to her hips, digging her fingertips underneath the waistband of Clarke's panties. The brunette looks her in the eyes, silently asking for consent, and she gives it immediately with an eager nod. With her panties off, she's now fully naked under Lexa’s intense stare. Clarke pushes at her so she stands.

“Off. Take those off,” she begs. The half-smirk reappears as Lexa swiftly pops off her sports bra, revealing firm breasts and dusky nipples. The girl goes to dip two thumbs down the garters of her boxers but Clarke stops her and takes over. She pulls it down to Lexa’s thighs and moans at the sight. Lexa is huge, bigger than she expected. Her length is definitely above average though not by much but she is really thick. She pulls the boxers all the way down and it's kicked off to the side.

Clarke drags Lexa down again to the recliner and bites at her bottom lip. She parts her thighs to make room but Lexa suddenly stops. “What's wrong?” she asks in concern.

“I… I uh, don't have protection on me,” the brunette replies sheepishly.

Clarke laughs. “I got us covered,” she says as she reaches down to the bag beside the recliner and pulls out a foil packet.

Lexa’s eyes grow wide but she laughs too. “You just happen to have that in your bag?”

“Shut up. Just put it on.”

“Yes, ma'am.”

A few moments later, Lexa already has the condom fitted on her cock. She watches Lexa stroke it a few times before hovering on top of her again. Clarke puts a hand behind her neck to drag her down for an open mouthed kiss while she wraps her other hand around the hardened length. She gives it a couple of good tugs that has Lexa groaning into her mouth before positioning it at her entrance. But Lexa thrusts up to run her cock slowly through her wet folds, making sure to bump the head against Clarke's clit. She moans in appreciation but she needs her inside now.

“Fuck, Lex. I want you in me now,” she whines. Lexa growls but she does as she's told. Clarke looks down between them to see Lexa guide her cock to the slick opening. She throws her head back and yelps in pleasure as the blunt tip starts to sink in. The brunette keeps pushing in slowly until she gets half of her length in and she savors the delicious stretch. “Oh, god. Keep going,” she moans.

A few more seconds later, and Lexa is fully sheathed inside her. Her lover holds herself in place to let her adjust. But she's desperate for  Lexa to start moving, so wet and ready. So she squeezes down the cock with her inner walls. That makes Lexa groan and push further into her, letting her know that her nonverbal request has been acknowledged. Hard it is, then. The brunette slowly pulls out until only the head remains inside then snaps her hips forward until she bottoms out again. She sets off in a steady pace, fucking Clarke hard and slow and oh, so thoroughly. Clarke screams out her satisfaction up to the night sky.

Lexa hikes up her right leg and pins it down on the cushions while she grabs the other to wrap around her waist. She keeps the rhythm of her thrusts but she adds a rolling motion to each one that has Clarke keening and arching her back. The ridged head of Lexa’s cock drags deliciously against the sensitive spot of her front wall. She feels herself get closer to an orgasm and she knows it's inevitable. “Fuck me faster!” she husks against Lexa’s ear and her lover growls in response.

Lexa stops her movements to reposition herself. She grabs the backs of Clarke's knees and rests them on her shoulders for a deeper angle. Her hands rests on either side of the blonde’s head while she plants her feet and knees onto the cushions. Without warning, she drills into her faster and harder than before, making Clarke howl. The sound of sweat slicked skin slapping and the creaking of the recliner echoes throughout the space. She comes within seconds, groaning and scratching at Lexa’s back. The brunette gently fucks her through the spasming of her walls, extending her release. More wetness seeps out from her cunt and runs down to drench the fabric beneath her.

She comes down from the intense high a few minutes later and reconnects their lips in a languid kiss. Then Lexa is pulling out of her and flipping her onto her stomach. She feels herself get aroused again at the display of her lover's agility and strength. She's more than ready for a second round as a strong arm pulls her ass up into the air. Two dexterous fingers find her clit then pinch hard, and she moans in approval. A lone finger then begins to trace random patterns on the hardened bud as Lexa pushes her cock back inside with one brutal thrust. The brunette fucks her just as hard and fast. In this deeper angle, the head nudges almost effortlessly at that delicate spot along her front wall.

“Oh, fuck! Right there, don't stop!” Her squeals are almost drowned out by the loud slapping of thighs against her ass. Lexa gives her an answering grunt and grabs her hips for more leverage as she continues harshly pounding into her. There's going to be bruises there in the morning. Her hands hold tightly on whatever solid part of the recliner she can grab as she starts to feel the pressure build again. The constant throbbing and twitching of Lexa’s cock inside tells her that she's close too. So she gives her a bit of motivation since Lexa seems to be the quiet kind of lover. “Fuck, babe. You feel so good in me, so big and hard,” she says in between hard breaths. “I want you to come inside me.”

Lexa whines as her thrusts falter but she perseveres and picks up the pace again. Clarke is helpless as her second release catches up to her and she buries her head in the cushions to poorly muffle the loudest scream she ever lets out tonight. An embarrassing amount of wetness soaks both their thighs, the hot fluid running down to the cushions. Her inner walls clamp around the cock and the brunette stops her thrusting to keep herself buried inside the clinging heat. Lexa goes rigid behind her as she roars out her own release. She pumps her hips a few more times as she empties herself into the condom.

Spent and satisfied, they both slump forward and down onto the recliner. Lexa’s weight settles on top of her as the brunette nuzzles at the crook of her neck. She sighs in contentment. Then her lover pulls out and rolls off of her, onto her back to lie beside her.

“Damn,” Lexa says.

“Mhm,” she hums as she scurries over to rest her head on the brunette’s chest. She splays the fingers of one hand on top of the hardened plane of Lexa’s abs and feels a lingering kiss on her forehead. “Hey, can I text Raven real quick?”

“Whatever you want.” Well, apparently a post-coital Lexa is much more accommodating to requests. She sits up to find her phone in the bag before settling back into her previous position. It's a good thing Raven keeps odd hours and responds right away to her texts.

you were right

i’m right about lots of things

you have to be more specific

about what?

Lexa’s crotch rocket

OH.MY.GOD

you took a ride on her disco stick

give me details you bitch

gotta go good night ;)

 

Clarke you human buttwipe

don't leave me fucking hanging

love you bye

CLAAAAAAARRRRRRKKKKKKEEEE


Clarke chuckles at that and turns her phone back off. Beside her, Lexa is already snoring softly while she sleeps. Snuggling further into the warmth of the brunette's body, she reaches for the thin blanket folded at the foot of the recliner. She spreads it over them and kisses the girl good night before closing her eyes.

Chapter Text

There’s a weird ticklish sensation going on at her chest and abdominal area. It’s not random though, more like purposeful strokes set on creating a pattern. More importantly, it’s incessant and it’s pulling her out of her peaceful slumber. But she’s not going to let it disturb her precious sleep when she feels nice and comfortable, so she resolves to just ignore it. And that’s when the tiny, cool gusts of air start blowing over her skin. Her muscles automatically flex at the feeling.

“Don’t. Move,” says a familiar husky voice from somewhere above her. She cracks open her eyes immediately to see where it’s coming from, and she’s greeted by tousled blonde hair and startling blue eyes. It’s Clarke. Her gaze travels down to whatever Clarke was doing before she woke up. From this angle, she doesn’t see much but she has a good enough idea from the paint brush in the girl’s hand and the patches of colors on her bare skin. They’re still clearly both naked with just their lower bodies covered by a blanket and they’re still in the backyard.

“I found watercolor paints in the house,” Clarke says with a grin.

“I can see that,” she replies with a small smile of her own, while putting her arms behind her head. She’s intrigued as to what will come of this recent development so she just lies there and lets the blonde continue. “And why are you painting on me exactly?”

“I didn’t see any canvases inside,” the blue eyed girl reasons. “And you were just sort of lying here, so why not?” Soft lips plant a kiss on an unpainted part of her midsection. She hisses at the contact and the flood of last night’s memories that hit her with a force. Clarke smirks at her reaction and kisses her exposed midriff some more.

Somewhere inside her head, alarms start blaring for her to put a stop to this or she’ll have a big problem. “Clarke,” she warns. “We don’t have time for that. If we overstay, there’s a good chance we’ll get caught.”

“Alright,” the blonde drawls as she gets up, taking the blanket along with her and leaving Lexa bare. Clarke looks down at her newly exposed lower body and smiles smugly. Her eyes follow and grow wide to see that she’s already sporting a semi. She tries to cover it with her hands. “Well, looks like someone disagrees.”

“Clarke, please,” she pleads. “I’m serious. Just… ignore it, okay?”

“Fine, fine. I’m going,” the girl says in a teasing tone while walking to the house. But before she throws open the door, she gives her a very seductive wink.

Lexa sighs in relief once the blonde is finally inside the house. She gets up to look for the undergarments they shed off last night to find that Clarke already took the initiative of collecting them and folding them up neatly on top of their “go bag”. She digs around the bag for a fresh set of underwear before putting them on and following her companion inside with the bag in tow. Thankfully, the traitorous appendage between her legs appears to be more cooperative when clothed.

She passes a full body mirror on her way to the kitchen where Clarke is probably trying to find something to eat and sees what is painted on her skin for the first time. It looks like a portrait of a forest with a multitude of green in a variety of shades as well as some blue and yellow, and it’s beautiful. She’s so captivated by it that she didn’t see the artist herself walk up behind her.

“Not bad, huh?” Well, at least Clarke is dressed now.

She looks at the girl in disbelief. Because how can she describe a masterpiece like this as “not bad”? Really, it’s a shame that the portrait is temporary and painted on her body when it should be preserved somewhere. “Not bad? Clarke, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Literally, anything other than not bad. You should be doing this for a living.”

“What, painting on naked people?” she says with awkward laughter. Of course, she will deflect it with a joke. In the entirety of their time together, it didn’t take Lexa long to realize that Clarke’s inclination to art is a sensitive topic, like the subject of her father. From there, it was easy to deduce that the two were connected, so she’s careful never to bring either up. Something significant must have happened to spark something like this, and she doubts it’s last night.

“Hey. We can… talk about it. If you want to, that is,” she answers tentatively as she takes a few steps towards the shorter girl. Clarke’s hands instinctively wrap around her waist as she buries her face at the side of Lexa’s neck. Hot breath grazes her skin and she feels a slight tingling.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” comes the muffled reply.

“Okay. We can talk about something else then.”

“Or… we don’t have to talk at all,” Clarke answers as she pushes her down to a leather sofa.

Apparently, Clarke is more persuasive than she gave her credit for. Lexa has no recollection of how she found herself in this situation. The situation being her helplessly gasping to the ceiling while Clarke works her harder from between parted thighs. She looks back down again and groans as a warm mouth sucks the tip of her cock back inside and a hand pumps fast at her hard shaft. It’s a small mercy that she’s wearing a condom or the strong sensations would send her over the edge instantly.

A loud moan escapes her lips as a tongue licks at the already sensitive head. In her desire to hold out, she’s resorted to mentally counting backwards from one hundred. In German. Neunundfunfzig, achtundfunfzig, siebenundfunfzig… It’s no use though. There’s no way she can last under such sweet, sweet torture. So, she gently pulls at blonde hair. The girl stops, but not before slowly running her tongue from the base to the tip of her cock. Fully naked, her lover straddles her and the action brings their sexes in contact. She tries to catch her breath but Clarke’s lips are already on hers, spreading a familiar fruity flavor in her mouth.

Somehow, she finds the strength to break the kiss. “Is that… watermelon?” she asks panting.

“Mhhmm. You like it?” the blonde replies as she begins to grind her cunt against the underside of Lexa’s cock, painting it with wetness. On an uncontrollable impulse, her hands grab at the ample ass to get more friction. She finds it physically impossible to reply so she just closes the distance between their lips again. Clarke moans into her mouth as she speeds up her movements. And still, it’s not enough. She needs more, much more. Her right hand finds its way between them to Clarke’s clit, and she uses her thumb to put a little pressure on it. “Oh, Jesus fuck!”

That stops the girl from humping her but one hand reaches down to wrap around her cock. She looks down as a pale hand guides it into position. And it seems that Clarke is even more impatient because she starts to sink down immediately, taking about half of her length inside. They both cry out in pleasure. She palms at Clarke’s ass to push more of herself inside the heavenly heat. Clarke is so deliciously tight that she has to stop for a few seconds before nodding at her lover to continue.

She starts out slow, lifting up only an inch before dropping back down with a circular twist of her hips. But soon enough, Clarke is keening and occasionally shouting out profanities while riding her wildly. She thrusts up with equal fervor, keeping the pace her lover set. Looking up, she sees Clarke’s face contorted in an expression of bliss, her breasts bouncing along with her eager movements. She takes pride in that and decides to redouble her efforts.

Her arms tighten her hold around lithe body and catches a pink nipple with her mouth. She sucks at it and rolls it around with her teeth as she changes the angle of her thrusts. And then Clarke is gone, screaming out her pleasure. “Oh, shit! I’m gonna- fuck, fuck, fuck!” The clenching around her cock almost makes her explode but she manages to hold out and wait until the blonde begs for more. She’s determined to fuck Clarke into exhaustion for a change.

They left the house sometime in the middle of the afternoon. Lexa’s conscience didn’t allow her to walk away without leaving a note for the homeowners that they should probably have the whole house sanitized just to be safe. Because after having sex on the recliner last night and the leather sofa this morning, she and Clarke ended up on the kitchen countertop, the dining room table, the area rug of the living room and finally, in the shower. The locations are all Clarke’s fault, really. Lexa wonders if she somehow got too accustomed to not sleeping on a bed.

By the end of it all, Clarke had to finally admit that Lexa’s stamina is indeed the stuff of legends and they’ve considerably dwindled down their supply of condoms. But the best part, at least for her, is that she had to give the blonde a piggyback ride to the car because she claimed that her legs refused to work.

xxxxxxx

After a few hours of driving, they find themselves at a night market. Hand in hand, they walk around, stopping at stalls from time to time to buy items. Or in Lexa’s case, steal from right under vendors’ noses with nimble hands and impressive distraction tactics. Now though, the brunette is busy frowning at her emergency phone that hasn’t stopped pinging since she turned it on to check for urgent messages. Clarke finds that odd because Lexa uses an unlisted number, and only a few people have it.

“What the hell? How did Raven and Octavia get my number?” Lexa asks as they come to a halt.

“I don’t know. Even I don’t know your number,” she replies while pulling them to the side so they don’t get in the way of other shoppers.

“Clarke, they flooded my inbox with messages that solely contain emojis depicting what I can only assume to be sexual acts.”

Oh, whoops. She forgot about that. Her friends probably bribed and bullied Lincoln to give up Lexa’s number since she hasn’t turned her phone back on again. Clarke snorts out a laugh. “Let me see,” she says as she takes the phone from Lexa. And sure enough, what Lexa described is what she finds there. Her laugh increases in volume as she scrolls further down the thread until the brunette snatches the phone back. “I, uh… might have said something to Raven about what happened last night. With your permission, of course.”

“What? I don’t recall agreeing to that.”

“You did. I asked you if I could text Raven, and you were all like, sure, go ahead.”

“When exactly?”

“Right before you passed out last night.”

“Crap. Yeah, I kind of remember,” Lexa says while scratching the back of her head and looking at the phone. “Oh, look at that. Anya baked us a cake that has the words ‘congrats on the sex’ on top. And she took pictures of her, Lincoln, Bellamy, Monty and Jasper eating it.”

She's going to kill Raven. But then again, it's her fault for telling her. She reads the expression on Lexa’s face to see if she's mad. Because what if she doesn't want anyone to find out about them? But as usual, the brunette’s face remains stoic. Lexa must have sensed what she was thinking from her silence because she puts an arm around Clarke's shoulders to pull her into an embrace.

“Hey. Look, I'm not mad. I don't care if they know,” the taller girl says. Clarke backs away a bit to look at her again. Lexa is smiling now, with a gentle expression on her face. “I mean, I'm also flattered that you felt the need to tell people about what I'm like in bed. Or should I say lack of bed?”

“Oh my god. Shut up,” she whines. But Lexa is already kissing her lips, slow and sweet. Her knees grow a bit week but she just stands firm and grabs the girl's waist for support. She's not going to give Lexa more reason to tease her. Still, they break the kiss sooner than she likes.

“So, are you going to tell me now why you needed to distract me with sex? I know something's bothering you, Clarke.”

Oh. She hoped that Lexa would forget and move on from that. It's no use staying quiet about it now though. “This is my dad's hometown. I haven't been back here since he died,” she answers. Her eyes look anywhere but Lexa’s face as her hands fidget with the loops of the other girl's jeans.

Being in Oregon is unsettling to say the least. She never thought she'd set foot here again ever since her father's family declared that they didn't want anything to do with both her and her mother. They hated Abby for euthanizing Jake and they just assumed that Clarke was in on it. But they hated her even before that because they are a bunch of homophobic church fanatics. She often wondered how a pack of close minded bigots raised someone as loving and accepting as her dad. What hurt the most was that they were banned from the funeral and the burial services. She tells Lexa all of it while the green eyed girl patiently listens and catches tears that fall with her thumb.

“That's just wrong. I'm sorry, Clarke. You deserved to be there to lay your father to rest,” Lexa says with her lips pressed to Clarke's temple. “When my mother died, there wasn't a body left to bury. Typical for a plane crash from a ridiculously high altitude. I remember them saying that there wasn't even enough of the plane to salvage.”

“Lexa, that's…”

“Horrible, I know. But I like to think that I gave my mother a proper send off to wherever it is people’s souls go when we die. So, I'm not going to stand for this injustice your father's family committed.” Lexa pulls back and Clarke sees this determined look in her deep green eyes. And at that moment, she believes what Lexa is saying, takes her words to heart and latches onto it like it's a lifeline. “Do you know where he is buried? We're going to pay our respects to an outstanding father if it's the last thing we do.”

She doesn't think it's possible to fall for someone so fast and for that realization to come to her so suddenly, especially given their history. But Lexa, she learns, is an anomaly. It's like she's an impossible phenomenon that took her by storm. Like a being created from two contradicting realities. Lexa is controlled chaos, an orchestrated madness. She ponders if that's why it's hard to capture her essence perfectly with pencil and paper. That's what she was trying and failing to do before giving up and painting on her skin instead this morning.

And Clarke has never felt so strongly for someone, she doubts she ever will. She just hopes that Lexa feels at least a fraction of what she does. So, she kisses her with a wave of emotions behind each glide of her lips and tightens her hold on the girl's waist. Lexa kisses her back with just as much tenderness as she did before.

Until they're interrupted by a the ringing and vibrating of Lexa’s phone.

“Hold that thought,” the brunette says after one last peck on her lips to answer the phone. “Hello? Uh, yeah, she's here. Okay, give us a second,” she utters to the phone's receiver.

“Who is it?”

“It's Octavia. She says she has something important to tell us. Come on, let's find somewhere a bit quieter.”

They walk until they reach a makeshift food court made from various food trucks, chairs and tables, and lights hanging from above. Lexa finds them an empty table to sit at before putting the phone on speaker for Clarke to hear too.

“Oh, good. You finally step out of your sex dungeon," Octavia says. "Are you guys fully clothed right now? Because I don't like being cut off by sex noises when I'm explaining important shit."

“For fuck’s sake, O. Yes, we're fully clothed. Besides, we're in public,” Clarke replies.

“Never stopped you before, Griffin. Don't you bullshit me.”

“Octavia! Just tell me what you called to say. God, you're worse than Raven sometimes.”

“Alright, jeez! Calm your mammaries!” Clarke rolls her eyes while Lexa just chuckles at their exchange. “Okay, so your mom called this week to ask me if I know where you are.”

“Gee, and it only took her about a month to look for her daughter. What did you say?” she asks.

“Nothing that could give you away, of course. But I did have to tell her some bullshit about you having secret summer plans instead of going home. Sorry.”

“No, no. That's good, O. And how did she take it?”

“Honestly, she sounded pissed. But it's not really the first time you hid from her for an entire summer so she's handling it better, I think. I just thought I'd give you guys a heads up.”

“Okay. Hey, O? Thanks.”

“I got your back, bitch. Just stay safe out there, alright?”

“We will. Love you,” she says before ending the call.

“Well… what do you want to do? Your mom is looking for you now.” Lexa says with a concerned look on her face.

“It doesn't change anything. What we're going to do is get some food because I'm starving. And then we're going to head back to the car where we’ll make out like horny, pubescent teens. After that, we're going drive until we get to my dad's grave. Okay?”

Lexa gives her that signature half-smirk. She wonders if her heart will ever not start racing immediately at the sight. “Sounds perfect.”

Chapter Text

As Clarke drags her along to what seems like the tenth store they stop at in the mall, Lexa has an epiphany. Clarke is purposefully delaying their inevitable arrival to their intended destination, which is Jake Griffin’s grave. They’ve been on the road for days because Clarke insists on lengthy stopovers. For her part, Lexa is doing one hell of a job declining her travel buddy’s sexual advances because that would set them back more. And the car’s suspension would probably suffer too, along with the interior that would need cleaning in that event.

She doesn’t know why her companion is hindering their progress, but she knows it’s something the girl has to do. She’s not going to call Clarke out on it because Lexa has always been a firm believer that one has to face their own demons alone. Maybe the pressure of never having been there is getting to her, and spending her cut from their engagment ring scams on random things is a coping mechanism of some sort. So far, the blonde already has a pack of googly eyes in different sizes, a french fry holder and a lion onesie. All completely and utterly useless.

“Clarke, you do realize that you’re needlessly spending money on worthless things, right? Money you should maybe be saving instead?” she asks.

“Well, what’s the point of having money if you’re not going to spend it? That’s how the rich do things,” the blonde replies with a shrug as they walk by more shelves in the store.

“Actually, the rich stay rich by not spending money. So, no, that’s not how they do it.”

“Is that what you’re doing with your cut?”

“Yes, I intend to have a considerable amount of savings by the end of this trip.” Clarke suddenly stops dead in her tracks at her reply. She knits her eyebrows together in confusion at the abrupt action and grows even more puzzled as she registers the lost look on the other girl’s face. “What?” she asks.

“I just- I guess I never thought about what to do after. I mean, I don’t even know where we’ll end up,”  the blue eyed girl says. “Do you… where do you see this going?”

Oh. She feels like she’s been hit by a brick on the head. It’s a loaded question, one that might have a deeper meaning than Clarke intended. Her brain goes on overdrive thinking way too much ahead. Because by “this”, did she mean “them”?

At that moment, a sudden clarity washes over her, and it’s like she’s seeing the blonde with brand new eyes. Clarke is wearing her letter jacket and her crown buckle belt, with her aviators hanging on the shirt. When did that happen? she asks herself. But there’s this unexplainable rush of delight that spreads through her chest at seeing Clarke wearing her things.

All of a sudden, things click into place. She might have feelings for Clarke, and she can’t even pinpoint to the exact moment it manifested. How embarrassing for someone who says nothing gets past her. Her heart starts beating so wildly that she feels the pounding at her temples.

“Um, do you mean the trip or… this thing between us?”

The blonde’s eyes grow wide as if she’s now just realizing the weight of her words. “Oh! I didn’t- That’s not what I wanted to say. I mean, I suppose we have to talk about it sometime but… You know what, just forget about it. I… don’t think that’s a conversation we should be having right now.”

Lexa feels both relieved and disappointed, but Clarke has a point. “Okay. Yeah. Good. So, do you wanna wrap up your shopping now?” she asks.

“Yeah, let’s go.”

xxxxxxx

It’s turning out to be an eventful day for Clarke. On top of the mixture of emotions she’s feeling for finally going where her father’s body has been buried, Lexa brings up the thing. She honestly can’t concentrate on anything now, and just thinking about both matters is taking up all of her brain’s processing capabilities. She’s never been a multi-tasker so she needs to take things one at a time. She’s just thankful that the brunette agreed to put that conversation in the back burner for now.

“Are you going to tell me why you asked to park here?” Lexa asks pointing her thumb at the church from across the street. It interrupts Clarke’s train of thought.

“Huh? Oh, right. This is the old church we used to go to,” she replies.

“Uh huh. And you want to tell me how this connects to your father and why we’ve been sitting in the car for half an hour now instead of going inside?” Lexa must have seen the hesitant expression on Clarke’s face. “Hey, are you okay? If you’re not comfortable with this, we can just go on ahead to the cemetery.”

“No. We have to be here.” A bell tolls from the church, signaling the end of a mass. Clarke turns her head toward the opening double doors. There, she sees her father’s family exit. “And that’s the reason why. Aunt Marge got fat, serves her right. Oh, and Uncle Marius is now bald, terrific,” she says as she looks them over one by one.

“Really, Clarke? We’re going to ridicule churchgoers?”

“No, you dumbass. That’s my father’s family,” she says while rolling her eyes and gesturing at the people who are now walking away from them.

“Oh, I see. You want me to beat them up or something?,” the green eyed girl asks rather too seriously for her liking. “I could probably take that bald guy while you distract the others and-”

“Woah there, Tyler Durden. I know you can probably take them all down without my help, but that’s not why we’re here. I’m not looking for a possible second assault charge.”

“Okay. So why are we here then?”

“I’m trying to think of a good revenge scheme. They’re all homophobic, religious fanatics anyway, so I think we’ll be doing the world a favor by putting them in their place,” she says with a grin directed at Lexa.

The brunette’s green eyes light up in what she can only describe as mischief and she smirks back at her. Then she goes to stroke at her chin and narrows her eyes in thought. Clarke can almost hear the gears turning in the other girl’s head. “Tell me, Clarke, have you ever defaced public property before?”

After buying the necessary supplies for their latest stunt in what’s turning out to be an impressive streak of misdemeanors, they go back to the parked car. They wait until late into the night, drinking cup after cup of cheap coffee to stay awake. And when the last light from inside the church shuts off, they share a look.

“You ready?” the brunette asks.

“Yeah. I can’t believe we’re doing this!” she exclaims as they walk towards the back door. “It kinda feels like justice, you know?”

“It will be once we’re done here.” Lexa smiles wickedly at her and then she picks the lock in record time. She opens the door for Clarke. “After you, partner,” the taller girl says with an exaggerated wink.

“Why, thank you, partner,” she replies with her own wink as she steps inside.

The church’s interior is very dark, but that’s what they brought big ass, super bright head-mounted flashlights for. With one last nod at each other, they get to work. Lexa helps her set down the bag and unpack the cans of spray paints they got earlier that day. Clarke stands up straight, looking around to shine light around the place with her flashlight while finding a good spot on the walls for her “revenge artwork”. She sees one near the altar and grins.

“All set?” the brunette asks her.

“Yeah. What about you? You just gonna stand there and watch?”

“Of course not, Clarke. I’m going to make myself useful.”

“Doing what exactly?”

“You mean aside from being the lookout? See those boxes over there?” she questions as she points to the large collection boxes standing at the far end of the hall. “That’s the motherload. From my experience, these idiots never empty the boxes as much as they should. That means there’s a whole lot of money in there right now.”

“We’re going to steal from the church?”

“Eh, why not? We already broke in, you’re going to vandalize their walls. Might as well go the extra mile.” Cue the devilish half-smirk.

“I fucking love it,” Clarke replies and pulls Lexa in for a quick but very passionate kiss. They pull apart to catch their breaths but they’re both laughing and grinning like a couple of goofs.

“Okay, you go do your thing. I’ll check back on you in an hour,” the green eyed girl says. She walks away and leaves Clarke there.

Her one hour isn’t even up yet, but she’s already done with the mural. Considering that she only had spray paint to work with, it turned out pretty well. She steps back now to admire her work. Really, there was no better choice for what to paint but naked women getting it on. A side boob there, a full frontal here, butt naked ladies everywhere. It looks like a lesbian version of the Kama Sutra.

Clarke deems it a fitting payback for all those times she had been dragged here by her bitch of a grandmother and forced to endure the judging stares of people who shamed her for her sexual orientation. An appreciative whistle sounds from behind her, and she can tell from the second spot of light on the mural that it’s Lexa.

“Damn. That’s really hot,” the taller girl says as she stands beside her. “Not gonna lie, but I’m really turned on right now.” Clarke turns to her with a smug grin and a predatory look in her eyes. “Oh, no. I know that look. We’re not going to have sex in a church, Clarke.”

“Why not? What was it you said about going the extra mile?” Clarke asks sultrily, stalking forward while Lexa backs away and puts her hands up in front of her in an attempt to keep her away. Oh, but she knows how to manipulate the brunette by now. In one swift motion, she takes off her shirt and the flashlight along with it. Immediately, wide green eyes dark with desire zero in on her boobs. Hook, line and sinker, she thinks as Lexa’s jaw drops open and the girl stops on the spot. She moves to close the distance between them and sees the exact moment the brunette’s precious restraint snaps as the girl takes the flashlight off as well.

Lexa’s hands grabs at her waist as her arms find their way around a slender neck. Their hungry lips meet at last, sliding fluidly against each other as if they’ve done this a thousand times before. Soon enough, they’re both licking and moaning in each other’s mouths. In search of more contact, Lexa backs her up against something solid. She breaks the kiss to look down where her ass landed. It's the altar. She feels a pool of warmth spread between her legs.

In short order, the taller girl strips them both of their clothes because by now, Clarke's an uncoordinated mess of lust. At least some light from outside allows her to admire her lover’s strong figure in all its toned and tanned glory. Looking further down, she sees that Lexa is already hard. Biting her bottom lip, she finds a more comfortable seat and swipes an arm to clear the top of the altar. Things fall off with a noisy clanging against the tiled floor.

And then Lexa steps between her legs, pushing her down and taking a stiff nipple in her mouth. She moans loudly, and the sound reverberates through the echoey chamber. Strong hands seize her thighs and parts them while pulling her down to the edge. Her nipple is released with a loud, wet pop as Lexa kneels down, and she shivers in anticipation. Her legs settle on strong shoulders as the brunette kisses at an inner thigh. Feeling the warm breath so close to her glistening folds doubles her arousal.

The first stroke of the hot tongue forces out a high pitched scream from her lips. She looks down to find eyes almost black with want watching her intently. A warm mouth closes around her clit. “Oh, fuck! Right there, babe.” Her lover hums against her cunt and she moans at the vibrations. Lexa begins lightly sucking on the hardened bud as a hand wraps more forcefully around Clarke's thigh to bring her even closer.

This time, the brunette uses her tongue as well while she sucks at Clarke’s clit. “Ah, Lexa! Fuck, give me more,” she begs. Lexa listens. A finger swirls around her entrance, running through the dampness seeping out before slowly pushing in and immediately taking a pumping pace.  With both her lover's mouth and finger working her, she’s already on the brink of an orgasm. “Shit, I'm so close.”

Lexa sucks at her clit harder as her finger thrusts in with more purpose. Then her lover uses her teeth to gently pinch at the sensitive nub. And Clarke comes hard, her legs clamp down on shoulders as she rocks against Lexa’s mouth. “Oh, fuck me! I’m coming!” she screams.

She doesn't have time to bask in her high because Lexa is already pulling out her finger and replacing it with her tongue. The brunette eagerly laps at the flood of release that comes out, groaning at the taste.

Lexa makes her come three more times like this. But as her lover stands back up to kiss her again, she knows they're far from done.

xxxxxxx

Finally pushing her cock inside Clarke's velvety warmth is a huge relief. Lexa’s cock was achingly hard and leaking precum from watching Clarke reach peak after peak before. She barely had the sense to put on a condom the first time. It was really difficult with the blonde writhing and saying filthy things from underneath her. But she managed well enough to at least have an orgasm of her own before going at it again.

Legs dig firmly against her ass as she slams into the tight heat again and again. “Oh god, Lexa! Harder, fuck me harder!” She'd laugh if she could. They must have defied half of the ten commandments with everything they've done here so far. Instead, she just gives her lover what she wants. She grips supple thighs more forcefully, draws back and then thrusts harder in an angle that she knows will drive Clarke crazy. And she's right because the blonde cries out and her back arches off the altar.

She continues her pounding and waits for the blue eyed girl settles back down the flat surface. She grunts in pleasure, savoring the sensations of the clinging heat closing around her cock, the wet sound of flesh slapping, and the sight of Clarke's breasts bouncing.

The pressure builds fast as her cock twitches inside with each thrust. The soft, warm walls enclosed around her length flutter wildly, and that's the only warning she gets before Clarke comes again while chanting her name over and over. This time, she can't hold back and comes along with the blonde. She pushes in as far as she can and holds herself inside there, groaning loudly as her release spurts out from her. Her thrusts grow weaker with each jet of come that escapes.

Clarke recovers before she does and puts a hand at the back of her neck to pull her down for a kiss. Her lover's tongue quickly finds its way inside her mouth. She sucks at it and wraps her arms around Clarke's sweat slicked torso. Lost in the heated kiss, she feels her cock start to get hard again.

Clarke moans in approval. “Mmm… already? Shit, Lex. That's so fucking hot,” the blonde says as her fer finger traces circles at the back of her neck. She lets out a deep groan in response and pulls her cock out from Clarke's cunt. She hisses as she feels the cold air hit it, but that only makes her work faster to get the used condom off and replace it with a new one.

Once the new condom is in place, she gives her cock a few good strokes with her right hand. She brings her left hand to Clarke's entrance to gather some of her release and then uses it to lubricate her length.

“Oh god. I need you to fuck me now, Lex. Please,” Clarke pleads. In response, she lifts her up and bends her over the altar. She doesn't waste time, and immediately parts her lover's legs to bring the tip of her cock to the slick opening. At the first thrust, the thick head sinks in along with a few inches of her shaft. The blonde’s back arches again as she screams out and Lexa sighs loudly. She continues her thrusting until she bottoms out.

With the rhythmic clenching and unclenching of Clarke's inner walls, she knows the blonde is already close. Fast and precise then, she thinks. She grabs her lover's hips again and positions it so that each one of her thrusts will hit the sweet spot. As soon as she starts pumping her hips, Clarke keens. She sets a quick, shallow pace that would bring them both over the edge fast.

Her left hand travels up to the blonde’s neck to keep her head there as her mouth latches on the skin behind her ears. Clarke tastes like sex and sweat, and she loves it. A few more thrusts and she’s rolling her eyes back as her third release of the night crashes over her. The tightening around her cock and the warm fluid that soaks her thighs tells her that Clarke is right there with her.

As their passions die down and their hoarse cries of pleasure fade away, they both slump down on the floor, backs against the altar.

“Holy mother of fuck. That was amazing,” Clarke says breathily.

“I think that's blasphemy, Clarke,” she replies.

“Pffft. Add it to the list.”

They both laugh at that. After a while, silence settles over them as they look at Clarke's mural of naked women. But Lexa suddenly remembers something.

“Hey, I need to tell you something.” The blonde turns to her, worry etched on her face. “Don't worry, it's nothing bad. I just feel like I have to say it.”

“Okay, shoot.”

“That day, after we got out of the Collins’ house. I never got to say ‘I like you’ back. So… I like you,” she says.

But Clarke only laughs. “You idiot, I know that. I wouldn't be sleeping with you otherwise.”

“Oh, that's good. I guess.”

“You dork,” the blonde says before kissing her again.

Chapter Text

Of course, Clarke would insist that they stay to witness the aftermath of that night at the church. Somehow, while she's in a daze from some of the most intense orgasms she ever had in her entire life, Lexa agreed. It was a poor decision on her part but she really doesn't have the strength to deny Clarke what she wanted. She can almost hear Lincoln and Anya making whipping noises if they ever find out about the blue eyed girl's power over her.

They’re still in the same spot they were parked before, and it's a beautiful, bright morning. It's a good thing the windows were heavily tinted and the cabin dampens noise or they'll be caught. Because said blonde is now laughing so hard, her face is tomato red and her breathing is labored. She can't blame her though, because it is quite hilarious.

At least two priests have already fainted, likely from seeing the mural of naked women doing unspeakable things. Little kids ran out screaming their heads off at the horrors inside while mothers cross themselves. Lexa’s favorite, however, are the faces of the fathers who look like they are low-key enjoying the images while trying to keep a straight face for their wives. The goddamned hypocrites.

But the main show was the Griffin family who turned out to be the biggest benefactors of the church. It was funny to watch them all stomp around angrily, blaming the local punks and threatening to sue. If only they knew who really was behind it. And what else happened in there aside from painting vulgar murals.

“I hope you're happy now,” she deadpans at Clarke who is shaking from laughter and slapping her knees like a trained circus seal. She waits a good 15 minutes for the girl to finally stop cackling.

“Oh, man. That was really satisfying to watch. Would have been even better if we left the condoms behind,” the blonde replies while wiping at her eyes.

“Yeah, then we’ll both be arrested because they'll test those for DNA.”

“Hah. And we both know how much ‘DNA’ those condoms have in them. Right, Crotch Rocket?”

“You're one to talk, Squirtle,” she teases back with a sly smirk and receives a light slap to her shoulder.

“I told you not to call me that!” Clarke crosses her arms across her chest.

“Well, don't call me Crotch Rocket then,” she answers as she starts the car.

They end up spending more time in the area, falling back into the same old routine. It’s a good thing Oregon doesn’t have a lack of idiotic rich people to prey on. Within a few days, they make the kind of money most people won’t make in a month.

Still, there’s a heaviness in the air around them whenever they go out on the road. Because Clarke still doesn’t feel like it’s time to go to her father’s grave, and they can’t exactly move on without doing so. But right now, none of that matters with Lexa’s head resting on the heavenly softness of Clarke’s stomach. Lazing on the bed, she nuzzles at the warm, bare skin and smiles to herself when she hears the blonde’s breath hitch. Hands pull her head up and she sees a face she’s come to know so well. Bright blue eyes, tiny nose, thin lips with that beauty spot, and the cleft chin.

Lexa doesn't subscribe to the idea of an all powerful man in the sky who created life, never believed in a higher power. If there is a god up there, he is a cruel sadist who got off on suffering. But looking at the beautiful creature beneath her, she thinks she can be convinced that some divine being made the masterpiece that is Clarke Griffin. It’s one of the evenings Lexa likes best even if they are in a cramped motel room. She smiles fondly, but as always, Clarke has a talent for ruining moments like these.

“Do you think it’s possible to lose a lot of weight just by having tons of sex?”

“Right. I’m gonna get dressed,” she sighs. As she gets up, she lets out a laugh and shakes her head because Clarke can be utterly ridiculous at times.

The girl on the bed giggles along with her, the sound of it almost being drowned by the noise of the TV in the background. “No, look. I’m serious. Cause that’s really like, a workout routine I can get behind. You’ll just have to be my ‘gym equipment’ from now on,” her companion replies as she settles further down on the bed.

“Well, consider me flattered then. I’m glad you think so highly of me to give me an offer of being your gym equipment,” she answers to keep up their banter as she goes around the room putting on clothes that were haphazardly thrown around last night. The blonde throws a pillow at her, which she only sidesteps with ease, much to Clarke’s annoyance. She finds her pants on top of the TV. But as she moves to grab it, something on the screen catches her eyes and she stops.

There’s a familiar face on the TV. She blinks once, twice, shakes her head a few times to make sure she’s not seeing an illusion. But the image is clear and she’s certain it’s not a dream. It’s Clarke’s face on the TV. She looks more closely to read the text that came along with the picture, anxious to see if the Collins have finally decided to report them to the police. Except, instead of “WANTED”, it’s the word “MISSING” in bold print right underneath the photo along with a flashing contact number. She feels a hollow sense of relief that they’re thankfully not wanted criminals, but this is still a problem if they’re both trying to remain under the radar.

“Clarke… you need to see this,” she says without taking her eyes of the screen, but the sound that comes out is only a little bit louder than a whisper. She turns back towards the direction of the bed to see that the girl didn’t hear her and is sleeping again. “Clarke,” she repeats louder and it startles her. “Come here. There’s something important you need to see. Quick.”

Clarke glares at her but does as she’s told and groans loudly several times, wrapping a blanket around to cover her nakedness. “Ugh. What?” she asks as she stops beside her. Lexa only points at the TV in silence. She sees Clarke’s eyes narrow in confusion and then grow wide as she realizes what she’s looking at. “That’s my face! Oh my god, someone reported me missing? I swear, if this is Raven’s idea of a practical joke, I’ll-”

“I don’t think it’s a joke, Clarke. Why would Raven do this when she knows we’re in hiding?” she reasons.

“Fuck, you’re right,” the blue eyed girl says as she runs her hands through blonde hair, clearly thinking deeply about who to blame. But Lexa already has a pretty good idea. She’s just waiting for Clarke to catch up. “Shit. It’s my mom, isn’t it?” By her tone, it’s more of a statement than a question. Lexa just nods. Clarke starts frantically walking around the room, gathering her own scattered clothes and putting them on in haste. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” she mumbles as she digs around the bag and pulls out her phone “I have to call them.”

Lexa can tell that she’s panicking now. “Who?”

“Raven, Octavia, Bellamy! Shit, everybody!”

“That’s not a good idea, Clarke.”

“What do you want me to do then? Sit around on my ass?” Clarke yells angrily.

“No. Listen to reason, will you? Your mother pays for your phone bill, correct? She can track you. See, this is why we limit communication. At least the fact that she reported you missing means that she hasn't done that yet,” she says with a hint of impatience in her voice.

Clarke, at least, has the sense to look apologetic. “I’m sorry. You're right. I didn’t mean to snap at you.”

“It’s okay. We’ll handle this.”

“I can't believe she will do something like this! On national fucking news!”

“Yes. It does sound like your mother's trying to smoke you out. I take it that you didn't contact her since we left?

“No. I stopped talking to her even before that.”

“Okay. Look, I suggest you use my phone to text your friends that you're okay at least. Then we get rid of your phone.” Clarke starts nodding immediately. “As for your mother…”

“She's still not getting shit from me. Let's see how she likes being ignored for a change.”

She puts her hands on Clarke's shoulders and looks her in the eye. “Deep breaths.” The girl inhales deeply and calms down a bit. “Okay, now what do you want to do?”

“I think I want to see my dad,” the girl answers.

xxxxxxx

They leave early the next day. Lexa speeds down the road on her request. The window on her side is rolled down as she gets ready toss her phone out. “Faster. I want this thing to fucking shatter to a million pieces,” she shouts so she can be heard.

“You got it,” Lexa replies. She shifts to a higher gear. The purr of the engine and the roaring of the motor grow louder as the car cuts through air. They're running at 85 miles per hour at least, and Lexa only continues to pick up speed. That's one thing she can count on with the brunette - she never does things half-assed.

Her hair is already blowing in the wind and whipping almost painfully at her cheeks. That's fast enough, she thinks. She reaches her arm outside with the phone in her hand. And she just lets go. There is no crashing or breaking sound to be heard, but it's just as satisfying nonetheless. She peeks at the side mirror to see the phone get smaller as the car continues gaining momentum. Somehow, she feels lighter. That's good. If she's going to visit her father, she wants it to be with a mind free of worries. She’ll deal with her mom when it's her only option.

They take a detour to a mall where they can buy things they will take to her dad's grave. Flowers, snacks they used to eat together when she was younger. Lexa just follows her, holding her hand tightly and giving the occasional encouraging smile. She always smiles back in gratitude because she doesn't know what she’ll do if she was alone.

Once they get everything they needed, they got back on the road again. They found the cemetery soon enough. It's one of those elegant places with one too many acres of land for its own good. They were let in easily. Once they were in though, they encountered a new problem. They have no idea exactly where the grave is. So, they spent hours walking around and reading tombstones until it was almost dark enough to make it difficult. The sun was already setting when they finally see the one with the name Jake Griffin on it. They’re now sitting on the grass in front of it.

“Look at that. ‘Beloved son and brother’. Those assholes didn’t even acknowledge that he was a father and a husband too,” she complains, pointing at the inscription on the headstone.

“Why’s that?” Lexa asks beside her.

“Because in their minds, it was my me and my mother’s decision to take him off life support. In reality, it was just my mom. I wasn’t even there when they pulled the plug,” she replies and rests her head on the brunette’s shoulder.

“That’s awful, Clarke. Was there no way to save him?”

“Multiple doctors, including my mom, said he wouldn’t wake up ever again. Substantial damage to internal organs, they said, and he was already brain dead when they got him to the hospital. I just wish I could have said goodbye to him one last time.”

“You can do it now,” Lexa offers while she takes Clarke’s hand.

“Not until we do the stuff I used to do with him when I was younger,” she answers as she squeezes the hand in hers. Then she lets go to take out some of the things from the shopping bag they brought. Twizzlers and Skittles, her father’s favorites.

“Do you want me to go away for a while, give you some privacy?”

“Nope. You’re staying right here,” she says and she can’t help but think about what it would be like if her father was actually here with them. “He would have liked you, you know. Like, if he met you, I bet you and him would be thick as thieves.” She lifts her head up to look directly up at deep green eyes.

Lexa lets out a small huff of laughter. “Is that right? What makes you say that?”

“He’s an engineer too. Plus, he’s a huge car nerd, like you. You can talk each other’s ears off debating shit like the carburetor, revolutions per minute, and all that other gibberish you keep trying to get me interested in.” They both chuckle at that. “So yeah, he’d like you a lot.”

“He sounds like a fun guy.”

“He was,” she says as she takes a bite of licorice and offers Lexa one. “These were his favorites. Mom used to scold him all the time, saying that he needs to keep his blood sugar down. He never listened, of course. He’d sneak me some sweets too so we’d be partners in crime. And he used to say that if he was going to die, it wasn’t sugar that would kill him, but that it was not a bad way to go. I miss him so much, Lexa.” She can now feel the prickling behind her eyes as the tears start to cloud her vision.

“I know.” The brunette puts an arm around her shoulders and she tucks her head under her chin. It’s weird that she feels vulnerable and safe at the same time, but she settles further in the girl’s embrace and basks in the comforting scent that’s uniquely Lexa. “When my mother died, I found that talking to her was a good way to grieve. Better than any therapy session I’ve ever been in, at least. She wasn’t really there but I like to think that she can hear me somehow.  Maybe you can do that with your father too.”

“What do I even say?” she mumbles against Lexa’s neck.

“Anything you want. Trivial stuff like how your day went or maybe the things you didn’t get a chance to tell him before.”

She pulls away from the embrace to look at the green eyed girl again. Gentle hands find their way to her face to wipe away tears, and she lets them. As soon as Lexa’s hands stop moving, she lunges forward to kiss her. Because what else is there left to say or do? Lexa’s presence in her life is something she never thought she would need, but she desperately does right in this moment. And as always, the brunette kisses back. But too soon, the girl pulls back a bit with this adorably shy smile on her face.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to shove my tongue down your throat in front of your old man,” Lexa says.

Clarke laughs against her lips and gives her one last peck before settling back down her previous seat. “Yeah, you’re right. I guess I should introduce you then, huh?” Clarke turns her head to the tombstone and takes Lexa’s hand back in hers. “Hey, dad. I want you to meet someone. This is Lexa.”

“Hello, sir. It’s nice to meet you,” Lexa says with a tiny smile and a reassuring squeeze of her hand.

“Yeah. So, um, dad. Do you remember that time you promised to go on a road trip with me when I got my license? It sucks that we never got to do that.” She’s sniffling now and the tears are falling freely again. “But Lexa here is sort of making that a reality. She’s the reason I’m here right now. I’m so sorry that it took me so long to visit you. Your side of the family didn’t really make it easy. But I promise to come by as often as I can. I love you, dad.”

She cried for a good half hour at least and Lexa just held her through it all. It’s a clear cloudless night. Just like those times her father would sneak her out of the house in his truck on school nights to go stargazing. Looking up at the sky now while lying on the grass beside the brunette took her back to those nights.

“My dad and I used to lie under the stars just like this. He’d tell me all about the constellations and call me his Sky Princess.”

“Oh, wow. I had no idea I was running with royalty,” Lexa teases beside her.

“Shut it,” she replies with a laugh. “See that constellation right there? That’s Pictor. In Latin, it means painter. He showed me that the first time I drew a picture for him. It’s in his office at home. He had this big smile on his face when I gave it to him. And I remember thinking that making art is the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life. After he died, I think I lost my way and all it took to find it again is getting even more lost. With you.”

There’s a pause before Lexa replies. “And do you regret it? Getting lost with me?”

“No. Not even a little bit,” she answers as she grabs the brunette’s hand and intertwines their fingers.

Chapter Text

Vegas. That's where Lexa said they’ll go next. After leaving Oregon behind, they speed right on through to Nevada. It's a really long drive, and patience was never Clarke’s strongest suit. But at least her designated driver seems to know these roads really well, even playing the role of tour guide when they pass by landmarks and noteworthy locations. They take lots of shortcuts and minor roads to avoid heavy traffic and travel faster, which is really good. The downside is that the empty roads allow Lexa to drive like she's trying to use the car as a shuttle to fly off into space.

Still, what she decides to take from that is that they’re making good time. Until she gets a bad case of… horny. From watching Lexa shift gears and mouth the lyrics of Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha”, all without taking her eyes green eyes off the road. So, she thinks now’s a good time to get rid of that no car sex rule Lexa imposed on them. Her hands start wandering, fingers tiptoe their way to the center console and further onto a clothed thigh.

“Clarke,” the brunette says in a warning.

“What? I’m just gonna rest my hand here,” she replies innocently.

“That’s dangerous, you know.” A loud gasp escapes from her mouth as Clarke’s hand go up higher and squeeze. “We can get in an accident,” she stammers.

“So… pull over.”

“We can’t. It’s a busy road, Clarke. Look, we’re almost there. Just wait- ah!” Another squeeze, this time firmer and brushing directly at the crotch. She leans over to breathe right into Lexa’s ear.

“I don’t wanna wait,” she whispers seductively as her finger traces at the zipper line. Lexa mumbles something under her breath that sounds German but shows no sign of stopping so she continues her ministrations. There’s this conflicted look on the green eyed girl’s face now.

Eventually, she does pull over to the side. As soon as the car stops, Clarke unbuckles her seatbelt and leaps over to straddle the brunette’s lap. Her lips immediately find Lexa’s as her hand continues the rubbing pattern she started earlier. It’s still bright out and anyone who drives by closely will definitely know what they’re doing. But she couldn’t care less.

“We should… really… stop this…”  Lexa breathes out.

Clarke can tell she’s doing her best to stay coherent through the constant rubbing on her crotch and the kisses that interrupt every two syllables. But she doesn’t have it in her to stop when she’s already this worked up. The quickly growing bulge underneath her hand and the strong grip on her hips aren’t really doing a good job of convincing her to stop either. She grabs the back of Lexa’s neck more firmly and bites down on a bottom lip.

And that’s when she hears a loud knock at the window. They both startle and turn to the source of the sound. Even through the heavy tint, Clarke can make out the police badge the officer wears around a chain on his neck. Oh god, this is how it all ends, she thinks. Their little joyride that spanned three states ends because she can’t keep it in her pants. How anticlimactic. In more ways than one.

To her surprise, Lexa remains level headed, like they're not  about to get arrested for public indecency, and rolls down the window. She tries to stop her but it’s already too late. So, she’s just there, wide eyed, still straddling the brunette's lap, and inappropriately turned on when the officer bends down and pokes his head through the window.

“Afternoon, ladies,” he says in a deep voice. The man is downright terrifying with his buzzed haircut and full beard. But his eyes have this amused look to them.

“Hey, Uncle Gus,” Lexa sighs and puts an arm over her eyes.

“Wait, what? What do you mean uncle?”

xxxxxxx

“Um, yeah. I might have forgotten to mention that Anya and Lincoln’s parents live in the area. And that I lived here for a while which is why I know the roads like the back of my hand. And that Uncle Gustus is a cop so...” she explains.

The blonde in the passenger seat is still furious at her. She’s been silent throughout the entire ride as they follow her uncle’s squad car. This is exactly what she was trying to avoid in the first place. But there really was no arguing with Gustus, to be honest, and no getting out of it now.

“And you just didn’t think of telling me that before we drove here? God, that was so embarrassing!” Clarke mutters angrily.

“Well, I was hoping to just speed through. But noooo… you just had to jump me in the car!” she replies.

“Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you complain at the time.”

“I did! Several times!”

Clarke opens her mouth to counter but thinks better of it. “Huh. I guess you’re right. So what, is he going to arrest us for… you know?”

“No. He's my uncle. I have ‘get out of jail free’ privileges for things like this.”

“Where are we going then?”

“Home. Well... their home.”

“Oh my god. I'm going to meet the parents?” the blonde asks in a shocked whisper.

“They're not my parents. They're my aunt and uncle.”

“But it's kind of the same thing. Although, I can honestly say I’ve never been introduced to the family of someone I'm dating after getting caught almost having sex in a car.”

Lexa’s brain short circuits, she almost drove past the driveway of her uncle's house. Dating. Clarke said they were dating. She feels like she'd been sucker punched in the gut, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. They've been avoiding this conversation and then Clarke just casually brings it up. She slams on the breaks and whips her head around to the other girl who looks like she just realized the meaning of what she said.

“We're… dating?” she asks slowly.

But before Clarke can answer, Gustus is knocking at the window again.

“You and your girlfriend can continue talking inside, kiddo. I texted your Aunt that you'd be coming. Best not keep her waiting,” he says with a wide grin before walking away.

She hurriedly turns off the engine and nods at her companion, a silent understanding between them. There's an unfamiliar black Lexus on the driveway when they step out, but she doesn't pay it any mind while she chases after her uncle. Clarke is right on her heels. “How did you find us?” she asks the tall man.

“Luck, kiddo. I was on my way home from a crime scene. Then I recognized your car. Not many of those around here. And your plate had ‘Washington’ on it,” he replies. Anyway, you wanna introduce me to your girlfriend?”

“Uh…” That's the best the normally articulate and eloquent Lexa Woods can do at the moment.

Thankfully, Clarke decides to intervene. “Clarke Griffin. Sir. Um, officer?” she stammers out as she shakes his hand.

“No need for formalities here, Clarke. I'm off duty, and it's very nice to meet you,” he answers with a warm smile. “Now, come on. I'm sure my wife would want to meet you too.”

They make their way inside. But as they get near the living room area, she hears a voice she would know anywhere, making her stop in her tracks. Titus. Her father's lawyer and trusted lackey is here. This can't be good.

Then she sees the man himself walking towards them. At least it's not father himself, she thinks. Titus had always treated her with respect, and if he didn't work for her father, she might have even liked him. But at the end of the day, she knows that it's her father's words coming out of his mouth, just altered to sound sweeter. His eyes immediately lock onto hers then drift to Clarke behind her. Lexa takes a few steps back to shield her from his gaze in case he recognizes her face from TV.

“What are you doing here?” she growls at him.

“Ah, Lexa. Perfect timing. I knew you'd turn up here soon enough," he says in that controlled manner he always speaks in. "Your father was worried when he heard you skipped town before your graduation.” 

“Him, worried?” she scoffs. “That's hilarious.”

He ignores the snide comment and continues walking until there's only a foot of space in between. “He wants to talk. It's an important legal matter. I can arrange for a private jet to fly us there within the hour.”

“Are you insane? I'm not going anywhere with you.” She stands her ground and looks to her uncle for some support.

“Fine. But at least talk to me in private,” he says warily eyeing Gustus. “I'll wait outside by my car.”

“Absolutely not. The last time I agreed to something like that, you and that ape you call a bodyguard practically abducted me.”

“Try anything like that again, and you'll regret it," Gustus says calmly, thumbing the butt of his holstered gun. "I know you're some kind of hotshot lawyer, Titus. But I'm pretty sure any half decent lawyer can make a solid case against you. If that doesn't do it for you... Well, let me just remind you that you're on my property, you're unwelcome, and I have a gun.”

“I'm within rights. Your legal guardian gave me authorization,” Titus insists.

“Which isn't worth anything if I don't come willingly. I'm legally incompetent, not mentally challenged, Titus,” she grumps.

“Alright, I'll go. But believe me when I say that you need to talk to him, Lexa. It's of the utmost importance. Sooner would be best,” he says with an odd look of sadness in his face.

He walks out, and Lexa finally can breathe again. She feels warm hands rubbing soothing patterns on her back. It's Clarke, and she's now standing beside her. “Are you okay?” the blonde asks quietly.

Lexa gives a curt nod before turning back to Gustus. “What the hell was that, Uncle? You didn't think to warn me about him being here?” she shouts.

“That was my fault,” Indra interrupts from behind her. “He's been coming around here for some time because he was convinced that we were hiding you. He threatened to have the house searched, so I let him in.”

“He's been harassing you the whole time I was gone?” She now feels guilty for her outburst. Turns out that Titus was so desperate to find her that he went through such lengths. The why is now even more mysterious.

“Not the whole time, kiddo. Just recently. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you,” Gustus answers.

“No, I'm sorry. I didn't know.”

“It's alright, Lexa. No harm done. Now, I understand you brought someone with you,” Indra says.

They all turn to Clarke who, at that very moment, looks like a deer caught in headlights.

xxxxxxx

Dinner is an interesting event. While eating her steak, Clarke quickly finds that despite their intimidating appearances, Gustus and Indra are kind people. And like their children, they’re fiercely protective of Lexa. So, after answering the usual “new girlfriend" questions, she's starting to feel comfortable.

Lexa, however, is silent and brooding, even more than she usually is. But it looks like Gustus and Indra are used to it because they don’t say anything about it. At least the green eyed girl does seem calmer than before with the huge dog on her lap as she feeds him strips of meat. It's more like a small bear or a tiny lion, actually. Clarke got introduced to Fish when he tackled her to the ground just before dinner. Apparently, that's how they know if he likes someone.

Polite conversation at the table ends when Lexa excuses herself to go on a run with Fish. Nobody protests, of course, because the brunette looks like she’s going to explode if she doesn’t get out of the house soon.

“I’m sorry about earlier. There’s nothing like talking about her father that gets Lexa upset so fast. She’ll be okay after she runs herself ragged,” Gustus says with an awkward laugh.

“Oh, it’s okay. I understand,” she replies.

“How much do you actually know about her father?” Indra asks with a serious expression.

“Just what she told me. She doesn’t talk about him much, but I know who he is.”

“So, she told you. She must trust you,” the older woman replies. “How long have you two been seeing each other?”

There it is. She really needs to have a long conversation about this with Lexa.

“Uhhh… we’re not really seeing each other. I mean, not officially.”

That makes Gustus laugh. “And you’ve been driving around together since Washington? That’s typical of Lexa. She likes to keep it all bottled up, that one. Then she runs, disappears for months,” he says.

“Yes. Quite a runner, not a talker. Though I must say, this is new. She never did this with anyone. You mean something to her, Clarke. Even if she doesn’t say it,” Indra adds.

Oh, she sees where they’re going with this. The subtle ‘what are your intentions with my niece?’ Very well played. “I care about her too. Maybe I didn’t know her long and she’s not exactly an open book, but I like to think I know more about Lexa than most people could say.”

She sees Gustus and Indra share a look before turning back to her with smiles. Gustus’ was wider and more pronounced, while Indra’s was more of a smirk. Then Gustus lets out a deep, hearty chuckle. Clarke just sits there confused.

“Well, I like this one, Indra.”

“Yes. I think I do too,” Indra laughs along.

Lexa’s still not back from her run well after dinner, so Indra set Clarke up in her old room. It’s bare, almost spartan, like nobody ever used it before. Like, Lexa was so careful not to leave any trace of her existence here. There’s the single bed, the drawer and a desk. But beyond that, there’s nothing else. Not even books, posters, trophies, medals, or anything that might tell her what young Lexa was like. She wonders why.

After some time, she fell asleep on the bed only to be woken up by the feeling that someone’s watching her. She waits until her eyes adjust in the dim surroundings and finds two chocolate brown eyes peering at her from across the room. It’s Fish, who runs and jumps on the bed with a happy bark when he sees that Clarke is awake. The giant dog goes to lick at her face so she pets him fondly while pushing him away.

If Fish is back, that means Lexa is too. But it doesn’t seem like the girl went to her room at all. She gets up to look for her. Down the hall, she hears the unmistakable sound of running water. Clarke walks to the bathroom door and knocks.

“Lex, is that you?”

“Yes. Do you need something, Clarke?”

“No, I just wanted to see if you were okay. Can you let me in?”

“Um, I’m naked, Clarke.”

“You dork, it’s not like I haven’t seen everything before,” she scoffs.

Moments later, the door opens slightly to reveal Lexa wrapped in a maroon robe and her wet hair slung on one shoulder. She slips inside and closes the door behind her.

“I’m sorry I left the way I did,” the taller girl says as she stands there awkwardly.

“Don’t worry about it. You had to go, I get that. But are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m okay,” she replies but her eyes don’t meet Clarke’s.

“Hey, look at me.” She waits a beat before green eyes finally land on her. And her heart almost breaks at the clouded look of them, like there’s a storm of emotions in there. She extends both arms out to Lexa. “Come here.”

Lexa shuffles forward. When she reaches Clarke, she rests her head on one shoulder and nuzzles in the crook of her neck. Strong hands wrap around her waist as her own hands find their way around the other girl’s neck. They stay like that until their breathing is synchronized.

“I am okay, Clarke. You don’t have to worry. I’m just too restless to go to sleep,” the brunette mumbles against her neck.

“I know, babe. I can stay up with you if you want.” Lexa pulls away abruptly but doesn’t let go of her. “What?”

“You… you called me babe.”

Oh. That’s the second slip-up today. Damn her clumsy tongue. “Yeah… um, I did.”

“Are you trying to tell me something, Clarke?” Lexa smirks, her problems forgotten for now in favor of teasing Clarke. “Just an observation. You only ever call me babe when we’re having sex.”

“What? I do not!”

“Yeah, you do. I don’t remember exactly how many times but you definitely do. And earlier today, you implied that we’re dating.”

“Shit.” She’s right and Clarke’s caught red handed. Better to deal with it fast, like ripping off a band-aid. She looks Lexa straight in the eye. “Do you not like that? I mean, if you want to keep things casual, we can-”

“That’s not what I’m saying at all, Clarke. When I first brought up what this is between us, you didn’t seem ready. I don’t want to force you into anything.”

“You’re not forcing me into anything. I want this with you, Lex.”

“Okay,” Lexa whispers then goes in for a kiss.

The kiss quickly becomes heated. That seems to be a common occurrence whenever they’re together. Whatever this thing between them is, it burns like a fire. And Clarke would gladly let herself get consumed completely if it means that she will always feel this way. Like, every fiber of her being is alive as the brunette’s hands roam, leaving goosebumps in their wake. Her hands unclasp from Lexa’s neck to the robe’s tie, and she yanks it open, making her lover gasp against her mouth.

“Not fair,” Lexa husks. “I’m already more naked than you.”

“Well, are you going to do something about it? Babe? ” It’s her who smirks this time when Lexa shivers and groans. The firm hands on her waist lift her up and sets her down on the bathroom vanity. She takes her top and bra off while tan hands unbutton her denim shorts and drag them down along with her panties. Lexa was always impatient when it comes to peeling clothes off of her.

Her lover shrugs off the robe and steps between her legs for another kiss. But those nimble hands find their way to Clarke’s breasts, kneading them gently. She moans and tightens her hold on Lexa’s shoulder, bringing them impossibly closer. Then one of those hands slowly drift down to her stomach and further down to parted thighs. She breaks off the kiss to look down. Two long fingers stroke slowly up and down at her wet folds.

“Oh, fuck,” she gasps.

“Shhhh… you have to be quiet or they'll hear us.”

Shit. She forgot that they were not alone. It's all she can do to bite her lip while Lexa continues the motions of both hands. Then the fingers take a more definitive, circular pattern over her sensitive clit. Lexa is quick to silence her yelp with a kiss. The circles being drawn become tighter, but Clarke craves more. She lets Lexa know by biting down at a soft bottom lip. Her eyes flutter shut when two fingers push inside of her.

She immediately starts rocking her hips in search of more friction as her lover's other hand pinches at a nipple. Then Lexa releases her lips and closes her mouth around her other nipple. She leans back for a better view of what the brunette is doing and so she can fuck herself better on those delightful fingers that are now curled, hitting that spot along her front wall. She's really close now.

But Lexa suddey stops, pulling out her fingers and sucking at them. Clarke whimpers at the sight and parts her legs wider, hoping that it's enough to make her lover pick up where they left off. Lexa only shakes her head as she opens a drawer on the vanity and takes out a box of condoms. She understands her intention now so she waits until the taller girl is wearing a condom.

Lexa wraps a hand around her cock, bringing it to the slick entrance. But Clarke can't wait any longer. Her legs trap her lover in between as her hands palm at a firm ass. The thick head and several inches of the hard length immediately sink inside, and they both sigh in relief.

“Do it, babe. Please, I need you. Fuck me,” she husks at Lexa’s ear.

Lexa pushes into her hard to bury the rest of her cock inside. Then she draws back to thrust in again more forcefully. Soon enough, Clarke is moaning loudly each time Lexa bottoms out. To stop the noises escaping her mouth, she gets a bright idea. She grabs one of Lexa’s hand that were clutching firmly at the granite surface of the vanity, and takes them in her mouth. These are the same fingers Lexa used to pleasure her earlier. She groans at tasting herself and sees Lexa’s eyes darken further with desire. The other tan hand grabs her thigh as Lexa fucks her harder. The girl grunts with the effort and rolls her hips with each thrusts.

Clarke is close to an orgasm again. She only holds out for a few more hard thrusts until the feeling of Lexa’s teeth sinking in the skin of her shoulder sends her over the edge. She comes hard, and she’s sure that if Lexa’s fingers weren't in her mouth, she'd be screaming out loud. A gush of wetness drenches the brunette’s cock and thighs.

And it seems her release is all Lexa needs to reach her peak too. The girl goes rigid, and then starts pumping her hips slowly while groaning through her own orgasm.

After that, they ended up going at it again and again and again. Needless to say, that when they finally made it to bed, Lexa was no longer complaining about restlessness.

Chapter Text

Clarke wakes up sore all over, memories of last night putting a drowsy smile on her face. With eyes still closed, she stretches her arm out to make contact with the warm body that should be beside her but her hand only meets cold sheets. Every morning, Lexa wakes up way ahead of her. It’s like clockwork. It’s all worth it though when she wakes up to the green eyed girl grunting and sweating through her morning workout. But that’s not what she opens her eyes to this morning. Instead, the room is dead silent. The only sounds she can hear are coming from outside so she decides to get her lazy ass out of bed.

After a quick detour to the bathroom to wash her face and change clothes, she goes downstairs. Immediately, her ears register voices of children coming from the backyard. On an instinct, she follows the noises. And there, through the glass doors, she sees Lexa dressed in a worn out jersey and sweatpants combo. The commotion appeared to be Lexa and a group of children in the middle of a soccer game. The sight of the brunette laughing as she playfully hoists up a little girl on her shoulders makes her grin and her stomach do backflips.

“She has a way with children,” a voice from beside her startles her. It’s Indra. She was so caught up in staring at Lexa that she didn’t hear the older woman walk up to her. “And the children... well, they love her,” she finishes with a nod at Lexa’s direction.

Clarke turns her head back to the backyard with a smile. The children are now lined up on one side, jokingly saluting and calling Lexa their commander. “I didn’t know that about her. Are these children from the neighborhood?”

“They’re from a shelter a few streets away. Children abandoned by parents or rescued from abusive homes. When she lived here with us, Lexa used to volunteer there all the time. The children never forgot her, even the ones that have already been placed in  new homes. We still get some letters from children addressed to her sometimes,” Indra says with a small laugh. “Lexa always writes them back. And whenever she passes through here, she invites the ones at the shelter over for playtime.”

“That’s really kind of her, helping those children.”

“Yes,” Indra replies but with a sadder tone. “But sometimes, I think they’re the ones helping her.”

Clarke turns to her with furrowed brows. “What do you mean?”

“I assume she told you about her past? Her childhood?”

“Yeah, but not with great detail.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s not something she’s comfortable discussing. I was her shrink for years, yet she never told me the full story.”

“You were her psychologist?”

“I was. She’s a remarkably strong-willed individual to recover from all that, turn her life around. And while her dark past didn’t exactly leave physical marks on her, she’s scarred nonetheless. So, this - helping other children who went through the same things she did - is somewhat therapeutic.”

Clarke ponders that for a bit. It all makes sense now why Lexa is so reserved when it comes to her past. She had years to build up strong walls to protect herself and keep the horrors she had to endure a secret. And with her, actions always speak louder than words so it’s only logical that something like actively helping children would work better than therapy in a clinic. Clarke looks at her now playing the role of commander to the little rascals, and she sees it. How free, happy and uninhibited her movements are. Clarke smiles.

“She’s even more beautiful like this,” she blurts out and immediately tries to cover her mouth. But going by the smirk she has on her face, Indra heard it loud and clear.

“Yes, she is. And you're one of the few who ever got to see her like this,” the older woman says and walks away, lips still set in a smile.

She just stands there, still in awe of the girl. The children now seem to be chanting Lexa, Lexa, Lexa loudly as they move to surround the brunette. Then together, they pounce at her, taking her down to the ground. Clarke laughs at Lexa’s overly dramatic declarations of death, blood and vengeance.

A hand shoots up from under the pile of children, asking for help. She's just about to step out to lend a hand when a dark skinned woman with mid-length frizzy hair pulls at Lexa’s hand while she asks the children to get off.

Back on her feet now, Lexa’s cheeks are red from exhaustion but she’s still smiling that charming smile of hers. Clarke would have been content to let the scene play out but then the other woman’s hand travels up to Lexa’s bicep and lingers there a little too long. Oh no… Some bitch is about to lose a hand if she doesn’t let go, she thinks as she storms outside.

xxxxxxx

Lexa dusts herself off. The jersey’s gonna need a good long soak in the wash to remove grass stains and mud but she’d gladly do laundry for an entire month if it means that the shelter kids had fun. And by the looks of it, they did, even if they’re grumpily walking back to the van that got them here. She waves at them and tells them that they’ll play again next time. Luna gives her bicep a squeeze to get her attention.

“Hey, thanks again for inviting us over. The kids had a blast. They really missed you,” the dark skinned girl says with a smile.

“Yeah, I haven’t been by in a while because of school. Man, they all got really big!” she replies and Luna chuckles.

“Well, maybe you should come around more often so you don’t miss out.” The girl pauses before continuing in a shy voice. “You know, I was wondering. If you’re not doing anything tonight, maybe we could-”

“Hey, babe.”

She and Luna both turn to the other voice. Clarke is walking out from the house, taking long strides. She doesn’t even have shoes on and looks a little… pissed off. But even in her slightly disheveled state, Clarke never failed to make her heart race and her lips curl up in a smile.

“Hey, you. Good morn-” That’s all she manages to get out before Clarke’s hand grabs the back of her neck and pulls her down for a kiss. A really open mouthed kiss, with tongue and everything. She finds herself immediately responding anyway, wrapping her arms around the blonde’s waist, lifting her up a bit. The sound of loud cheering, clapping and the occasional wolf whistling from the van brings her back to her senses. Oh, right. They have an audience. She breaks off the kiss, panting and grinning. “Uh… let’s keep it PG for now. For the kids,” she says with a nod to the van’s direction.

“Sure,” Clarke says in a suspiciously sweet tone, her hand now playing with the tiny hairs at her nape. “You wanna introduce me to your friend?”

Oh. That clears things up a bit. Clarke is jealous. On the one hand, she finds it amusing, flattering even, that Clarke feels strongly for her to behave like this. But on the other, Lexa feels like she’s walking through a field of landmine. So, in an attempt to calm the feisty little blonde, she hooks one arm tighter around her waist. “Of course. Clarke, this is Luna. She does volunteer work down at the shelter with the kids,” she answers. “Luna, this is Clarke, she’s-”

“Her girlfriend,” Clarke interrupts again and holds out a hand to Luna, who shakes it warily. “It’s nice to meet you, Luna.”

“Oh, I didn’t know Lexa had a girlfriend. It's good to meet you too,” Luna says with a nervous smile. “Well, we have to get going. I’ll see you guys around.”With that, Luna walks to the van, ushering in the children that were still reluctant to leave.

Using her grip on Clarke’s waist she pulls the shorter girl in front of her and wraps her up in an embrace. Clarke melts into it and leans back into her front more. “So… you're my girlfriend, huh?” she teases, lips lightly brushing the blonde’s ear.

“Yes, and don't you dare forget that,” Clarke answers while elbowing her playfully. She hums and places a kiss at the back of the other girls ear in response. “So… Luna, huh?”

“What about her?”

“You guys used to be a thing?”

Well, it turns out that Clarke is very perceptive with things like this. Because Lexa and Luna were sort of a thing once. She's really impressed.“Wow, you picked up on that? Just by that brief interaction?” she asks as she turns Clarke around in her arms so they're facing each other.

“I took psych classes, and paid special attention to discussions about body language. So yeah, there was this tension there. Definitely sexual.”

“Oooh. You're pretty good.”

“I know. So?”

“So what?” she replies innocently.

“You're avoiding the question, Lexa,” Clarke grumps, tugging at the hem of her jersey.

“Okay, fine,” she concedes with a chuckle. “We were not in a relationship but I did sleep with her once.”

“Just once? Because speaking from experience, you never do things just once,” the blonde says with cocked eyebrow.

Dammit. She really is good. Maybe the combination of pre-med student and jealous girlfriend is not going to be good for her health. Field of landmines, indeed. “Alright, more than once. Like, a bunch of times, but it was nothing serious.”

Clarke narrows her eyes, weighing her answer as her hands travel up to Lexa’s arms “Okay, I believe you. But I'm gonna have to lay down some rules. Because these,” she emphasizes with a squeeze on her biceps. “And these.” The hands are now trailing down her abdomen, and moving further down between her legs. “And this. All mine,” Clarke finishes as she cups her cock.

Lexa whimpers, pushing her hips forward automatically. What a wonderful discovery it is that Clarke's possessiveness is such a huge turn on. But really, she shouldn't be surprised because the blue eyed girl already seems to know the right buttons to push. It's like her body is a symphony and Clarke is the conductor. It should scare her how fast she loses control, and how willingly she gives it up. But the rush it brings her is addictive. It's undeniably better than any high she ever experienced with drugs or adrenaline.

She kisses her hard, much like how the blonde kissed her earlier. Her head tilts to the side to slip her tongue past the lips against hers. Clarke eagerly allows it, meeting it with her own tongue. The hand on her crotch is now gently squeezing. Even through sweat pants and compression shorts, she’s starting to get hard.

“Hey!” a shout from the house causes them to separate and look to the direction it came from. It's Gustus.  “Don't make me arrest you for public indecency and making those poor children watch. Come and eat breakfast,” he says with a grin before walking away.

“We're never gonna live this down, are we?” Clarke sighs.

“Probably not.”

They both totally forgot that they're still outside. And that's the second time her uncle had to stop them from doing it in public. After some adjustments down there and taking a few deep breaths to compose themselves, Lexa and Clarke sit down for breakfast. But any hopes of getting through the morning in comfortable silence is completely shattered when Gustus speaks again.

“So, Lexa, how was your run last night?”

“Great. I did about five laps before I had to carry Fish’s fat ass home.” From under the table, Fish barks at the sound of his own name. Lexa feeds him some bacon and gives him a couple of pats on the head.

“I see. It must've been quite a run if Clarke had to help you clean up in the upstairs bathroom,” he drawls from beside her. Across the table, Clarke’s eyes widen in absolute horror and Indra hides her smirk behind her coffee cup.

Oh, hell. Maybe they weren't as quiet last night as they thought. But she'd be lying if she said that seeing Clarke blushing terribly doesn't give her a bit of satisfaction. After all, it's been some time since she was able to fluster the girl. She glances at Gustus who is wiggling his eyebrows at her. Ah, what the hell? Might as well play along, she thinks.

“Well, you'd be surprised what an extra pair of hands can do,” she says with her very own smirk.

Gustus bursts out laughing and gives her an under-the-table fist bump. Indra just shakes her head. But Clarke is even redder now, and her expression is somewhere between annoyed and embarrassed. A foot kicks her under the table. By her best guess, it's Clarke's. She's definitely gonna pay for this later.

“Alright, that's enough from the two of you. Leave the poor girl alone,” Indra says. Clarke breathes out in relief but shoots another glare at Lexa.

“We're just having fun, love,” Gustus reasons out.

“You're acting like seven year olds, more like,” she replies. “Now, Lexa. Seeing as you didn't plan on stopping here at all, I assume you're going to leave soon?”

Ah, good ole Aunt Indra, always cutting to the chase. For as long as she can remember Indra is a no nonsense kind of person. Lincoln and Anya used to joke about their mother having a bullshit-o-meter, and Lexa has seen it in action more times than she would like.

“Yeah. We were just supposed to pass through. Considering what happened, maybe we shouldn't have stopped at all.”

Gustus clears his throat. “I promise Titus won't lay a finger on you while you're here.”

“That's a poor attempt at making me stay, Uncle. You can't make me.”

“And you can't keep running, Lexa,” Indra says with a sad sincerity.

She knows Gustus and Indra are only trying to help, like they always are. But Lexa hates dragging them along into whatever this is. They've already done so much and more when they convinced her father to let her live with them on the condition that Gustus keeps her from - according to her father - “becoming a menace to society and negatively affecting his reputation”.

Just thinking about the man makes her angry. The next words she utters come out harsher than intended, as a result. “I can and I will. I’m grateful for all that you've done for me, but I need to do this.”

“We’re just worried about you, Lexa,” Gustus sighs.

“Is this about me going bad again? I promise I won’t. I’ve been clean for years, and there’s no way in hell I’m falling off the wagon,” she says through gritted teeth. “I’m an adult, I can handle myself just fine.”

“It’s not about you going bad, and we know you can manage. God knows you’ve been taking care of yourself since you were young,” Indra explains.

“What’s this about then?”

Gustus turns to Clarke. “Clarke, can you give us a minute to talk with Lexa? Just for a bit.”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll just… step outside,” Clarke replies as she stands up. She hesitates for a bit and gives Lexa a reassuring smile before walking out of the dining room.

A heavy atmosphere fills the room, the silence is almost unbearable until Indra speaks again. “What exactly are you planning here? You’re just going to wander around until you’re 25 and you expect Clarke to just follow you like a lovesick puppy?"

She's right, of course. Taking to the road was never Lexa’s best plan. It’s more of a temporary solution, really, though not a very good one. And she was supposed to be alone in all of this so nobody else would have to deal with her problems. By taking Clarke along, she unwittingly dragged her into the middle of it. She’s bringing her into her world, introducing her to things most people should not be exposed to. She realizes now the selfishness of her actions.

But Clarke is not something she can just let go. She doesn’t want to. Yet the fact remains that one way or another, their journey will reach its inevitable end. Clarke has her own life, and Lexa can't ask her to put everything on hold for her. So, the best she can do is hold on for as long as possible.

“She can go anytime she wants and I’ll take her as far as she’s willing to go,” she answers with a shaky voice. Gustus puts a hand on her shoulder. “But I’m going to keep going until my father can’t call me his anymore.”

xxxxxxx

Lexa comes out to sit beside her on the stairs leading up to the front door of the house some time later. The brunette wordlessly takes her hand to plant a kiss at the center of her palm and looks up to the clear morning sky, squinting at the brightness. Clarke studies her face and intertwines their fingers. Lexa is more subdued and distant now, and it’s probably because of her conversation with Gustus and Indra.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” she asks, nudging her shoulder against the other girl.

Lexa only squeezes her hand but doesn’t take her eyes off the sky. “Nothing.”

“Okay, that’s no way to talk to your girlfriend,” she tries to lighten the mood.

It makes Lexa laugh and roll her eyes playfully. “Oh, I'm sorry, girlfriend. Come here,” Lexa says as she pulls Clarke down to sit a step below her. Then she hugs her from behind, both arms wrapping around her midsection. The taller girl places gentle kisses along the side of her neck, and she sighs in contentment. “You really like that word girlfriend, don't you?” she teases.

“Shut up. Don't think you're getting off easy from that shit you pulled back there.”

“Why not? I should get three strikes before you dole out punishment. I believe that's standard girlfriend rule.”

“That's a load of bull. There's no such thing,” she replies with a laugh.

Lexa chuckles and then hums in agreement before continuing the trail of kisses she's leaving on her skin. She's quiet again, but in a much better mood. She figures that Lexa will talk when she's ready. So, Clarke just leans back more, tilting her head further to the side to give Lexa more skin to kiss and closing her eyes.

“I want to take you somewhere before we go to Vegas. Just a little detour,” Lexa mumbles against her neck.

“Where exactly?”

“A place I've never taken anyone before. Will you come with me?”

She turns her head to the side so she's looking straight into Lexa’s eyes. “Babe, at this point, you can take me anywhere you want and I won't complain.”

Lexa smiles and dips her head down to take her lips in a proper kiss.

Chapter Text

Saying goodbye to Gustus and Indra was bittersweet, words that were said during their last conversation still hanging heavy on their lips. But at least her aunt and uncle sent them on their way with warm smiles and handshakes. Lexa briefly considered whether to bring Fish along or not, but they really can’t afford to look after a pet where they’re headed to.

“Are you gonna tell me where we’re going now? And why the hell do we have to be dressed up?” Clarke asks impatiently in the passenger seat.

She laughs in response. “It’s a surprise.”

“Okay, now I’m really intrigued. What’s going on in your devious head, Woods?”

“You’ll see,” she says with a smirk.

They’re just outside of Vegas now. And this close, everything just feels more alive. There’s an electric energy all around, something very familiar to Lexa. After all, this isn’t the first time she passed through here, and if it were up to her, it would not be the last. She’s determined to make it a profitable visit just like the ones before, and Clarke is just as excited with the prospect of that. But before they can drive away with a bag of money, she needs to bring Clarke up to speed. So, she pulls up in front of a fine dining restaurant, some place that looks like they charge a hundred bucks just for a bowl of soup. It’s the perfect training ground.

“Why are we stopping here? Oh my god. Is this a date? Are we going on our first date?” The blonde rambles excitedly beside her.

“It’s a date alright,” she chuckles. “But we also have an ulterior motive for being here. I figured that if we want to make serious money on high stakes gambling at the Strip, I should know just how well you can read people. Let’s see what you really learned from those body language lessons you keep bragging about.”

“Oooh… a romantic evening with a side of mischief. Me likey. But wait, is this the detour?”

“Nope. Detour before the actual detour,” she replies as she opens the door of the car to step out. She hands the keys to the valet and takes that time to rake her eyes appreciatively all over Clarke’s figure as she steps out from her side. The classic little black dress hugs every curve well. And for someone who has seen what’s really underneath, Lexa doesn’t have to use her imagination now. Then, as always, her eyes get stuck on the ample cleavage being shown off. Clarke snapping her fingers at her draws her attention to a smug smirk.

“Eyes up here, babe. Show a girl a good time, and maybe you'll get lucky,” the blue eyed girl says with a wink.

“I don’t know,” Lexa answers with a shrug. Then she offers her arm for Clarke to take. “I think I've shown you plenty of good times before. Like that time when we broke into a house, that church, or my uncle's upstairs bathroom. So, maybe if you impress me, you'll get lucky.”

Clarke narrows her eyes at her in challenge then grins. “You're on. But if I win, I get to do naughty things in the car with you.”

xxxxxxx

“Those two near the door. Go,” Lexa says.

Clarke turns to the direction Lexa nodded her to. There are two good looking men at the table wearing tailored suits, which means that they're both probably loaded. Shit, I'm fucked, she thinks. She's really desperate now. So far, she’s losing at this ‘Who's Got the Money?’ game they have going on. The score is currently 3-1, in favor of Lexa. But it’s not her fault her girlfriend is the modern day equivalent of Sherlock Holmes, if he ever used his deduction powers for conning people. She takes a sip of her wine to wash down a bite of ravioli and stall for time.

The brunette chuckles lowly in teasing. “You're really terrible at this. You may as well give up on your car sex fantasy.”

“Shut up. What do you say we make it a little more interesting? All or nothing. Whoever gets this right wins everything.”

Lexa smirks wickedly. “Wow, you've definitely got the right attitude for the Strip. Alright, I'll indulge you. Give it to me.”

Clarke looks back one last time to the two men for one last analysis. She then faces Lexa again with more confidence. “Okay, I got it. They're obviously together, maybe for a few years.” Lexa nods in agreement. “The guy with the fancy red tie, he's got the money. I'm 90 percent sure.”

She searches Lexa’s face for any indication of whether she got it right or not. But the green eyed girl's poker face is just out of this world good. “Final answer?” Lexa asks and she nods in answer. “Good because we're about to find out if you're right.”

They both look at the two men in question. A waiter passes by their table, and one of them signals for the check. It's not the guy with the red tie, and he's not the one who pays for their dinner either. Clarke exhales long and loud. Game over. To make it worse, Lexa’s smirk reappears and it's now more smug.

“Ugh, I don't get it! How's he not the guy with the money? He's got the better suit, the fancy tie, and everything.”

“Looks can be deceiving, Clarke. It's the really rich people who like to dress down a bit. The other guy's wearing more expensive stuff because he's the ‘trophy husband’ in this situation.”

Fuck, she's good. Really good. And to be honest, the cockiness is not annoying her. In fact, it's really turning her on. Combine that with the black jacket and crisp grey shirt Lexa is wearing, and her libido just skyrocketed. She's not even mad about losing the game anymore.

Lexa’s smirk turns into a full grin now. “Better luck next time. Also, the moral of the story is to never bet against me,” she finishes with a wink.

“Oh, really?” she challenges.

“Really. You wanna put it to the test?”

“Please. Demonstrate.”

“Alright. I bet you I can get us free dessert. In about five seconds, I'm gonna make a move and all you have to do is say yes. Got it?” As soon as she nods, Lexa scrambles out of her seat and gets down on one knee. She then pulls out one of the leftover fake engagement rings from her jacket pocket and holds it out to her. “Clarke Griffin, love of my life, will you marry me?”

The entire restaurant goes silent and everyone is looking at them now, waiting for her answer. Holy shit, that's a lot of pressure. She's just sitting there, mouth open wide. It's all in the name of free dessert, she knows, but the way her skipped a beat was way too real. And the thought of really marrying Lexa is way too enticing. It's an unreasonable thought considering that they only just started dating, but she just can’t help it.

By some miracle, she manages to croak out a yes. The next thing she knows is that everyone starts clapping and Lexa is kissing her and putting the ring on her. A waiter brings out a chocolate souffle, on the house, and congratulates them. Lexa must have noticed that she's still in shock.

“What's wrong?”

“Nothing. That was impressive, but maybe give me a heads up next time,” she says with a small laugh, snatching the fork Lexa was about to stick into the souffle. “You planned that, didn't you?”

Lexa shrugs. “Maybe. Free dessert, Clarke. How can I resist?”

“You're ridiculous.”

“I'll take that as a compliment.”

xxxxxxx

After paying for dinner in cash, they walk out of the restaurant holding hands. Lexa takes back her keys from the valet and they drive off to their next  destination. Less than an hour later, they arrive at the place.

“What's this place?” Clarke asks as she backs into a parking spot.

“Storage facility. I have some stuff here,” she replies. “Come on.”

She takes Clarke's hand back in hers as they walk towards her storage unit. It's been awhile since she's been here, but she knows the way very well. Soon enough, they arrive at unit 307.

“You're not secretly a serial killer, are you? Because this is shady as fuck.”

She laughs as she unlocks the door with her key and pulls it open. “Really, Clarke?” The blonde nods enthusiastically and she rolls her eyes in response. “You wanna come in or not?”

“Coming through.”

She flicks the lights on then closes the door behind them. The room still looks the same, a little dusty in some places, but practically untouched. There's the huge safe where she keeps a considerable amount of cash, her mother's old Grand Piano and a small wooden desk. She watches Clarke's face as she takes in everything and sees that her blue eyes are fixed on a cork board. Oh, right. There's that too. She follows closely behind the girl as she walks closer to the board.

Pinned up there are various news clippings and pages from tabloid publications. All about her. There's one when she was arrested for her illegal drag racing stint. That time she was arrested for DUI. There's a huge picture of thirteen year old her with a shaved head when police found her unconscious during a crack house raid. A grainy photo of her when they buried an empty casket for her mother. A lengthy article of the trial where the judge declared her legally incompetent. More reports of riots, thefts, assaults, and other offenses are scattered throughout.

She tries to gauge Clarke's reaction to a lifetime of bad decisions bared to her. But her expression is unreadable. And when she turns back to Lexa, there’s sadness in those blue eyes. Instinctively, her arms take their rightful place around the girl's waist.

“I'm sorry,” Clarke mumbles against her shoulder.

“What for?”

“That you had to go through all of that.”

She pulls back to look into watery blue eyes. “All of that is what made me who I am,” she whispers.

“No. I know who you are. And that,” she says pointing at the board. “That's not you. Jesus, why would you even keep those around? It's like you have your own personal hell here.”

Clarke is right. That's exactly what this place is. It's a place that reminds her of every wrong thing she has ever done. But it's also what keeps her on her toes, what motivates her to keep going because she doesn't want to go back to that miserable state of existence.

“Hey, listen to me. You're not your past, Lex,” Clarke says sincerely.

“Are you… Are you afraid of me? The horrible things I did-”

“Don't matter now. And I'll never be afraid of you.”

She closes her eyes and leans further down to rest her forehead on Clarke’s. Hearing these very words is something she never thought she needed. Soft hands caress her face, and she can feel warm breath ghosting at her lips. “Thank you,” she whispers again as she tightens her hold around the other girl’s waist to let her know she means it. She has never felt more accepted in her entire life than in this moment. And her heart swells with affection and warmth all directed at this person in her arms.

They stay entwined like that for awhile because there’s nothing else to say or do. Until Clarke starts fidgeting and shuffling her feet. “I’m sorry. It’s just that my feet hurt from wearing these fucking heels,” the blonde murmurs. Lexa chuckles. On purpose or not, Clarke just knows how to put her in a better mood.  She lets go and gets quite an eyeful of cleavage when the girl bends down to loosen the straps of her shoes, using Lexa’s arm to balance herself. “Oh, I didn’t realize there’s a piano here. Can you play something for me?” she asks when she straightens back up.

“I don’t know,” Lexa drawls. “Wouldn’t you like me to do something else with my hands instead?” She lets her hands settle back on her waist, and then travel lower. For a split second, Clarke’s face has an expression of surprise before it turns to one of hunger and lust.

“Well, I thought you dropped the Casanova act back at the restaurant, but I guess I'm mistaken,” Clarke says sultrily while she slowly smooths out the lapels of Lexa’s jacket with her hands. She stands on tiptoes to whisper. “Show me what you got then.”

She surges forward, taking long strides as she almost half carries Clarke to the nearest surface. The blonde bites her lip and lets out a long groan when her back hits the wall. Lexa immediately dips her head down for a kiss, taking the the girl's bottom lip between her teeth and pulling at it. The hands on her jacket yanks her forward and she squeezes Clarke's ass in response.

Ever impatient, Clarke hurries to rid her of her jacket and shirt. She shrugs both off to be thrown on the floor and breaks the kiss. She turns her lover around and pins her against the wall again. “Your turn,” she growls before nipping and licking at the side of the other girl's neck. Clarke moans loudly and reaches a hand around to Lexa’s nape when she grinds her quickly growing bulge on her ass. She repeats the action a few more times to get more of those sounds.

Satisfied, she uses her teeth to peel down the zipper on the back of Clarke's dress until she’s kneeling down. Then she kisses her way up, starting from from just above the garter of red lace panties. Once she slips down the straps, Clarke turns to face her, wiggles out of the dress and kicks it to the direction of Lexa’s discarded clothes. She takes a moment to admire the sight before leaning down again for another kiss, this time parting Clarke's lips with her tongue.

A hand brushes at her bulge and it causes her to moan into Clarke's mouth. Her lover makes quick work of the belt, the button of her pants and then the zipper. The hand reaches down into her boxers. There's not enough room in there but Clarke is able to wrap around her hard shaft and give it a couple of pumps before she’s reaching for the condoms in her wallet. Clarke swats her hands away and rolls one on her cock as she gasps up to the ceiling.

They’re not even fully naked before her lover’s legs are around her waist and her own hands on her thighs to pin them against the wall. With one hand, the blonde swipes her panties to the side and Lexa rubs her cock against the slick cunt. “Inside,” Clarke husks. “Fuck, babe, I need you inside now.” She complies, pushing in until the head of her cock pops through the opening. “More. Give me more.” She thrusts in slowly, watching Clarke’s face with rapt attention as she works herself inside inch after inch. She holds still once she bottoms out and sucks at the other girl’s collarbone.

Clarke pulls at her hair to reconnect their lips, and she takes that as a sign to start moving. She starts with swift, shallow pumps of her hips, angling it just right so the tip of her cock meets the sensitive spot she knows so well now. “Mmm, fuck... right there. Yes!” Clarke screams out as she starts rocking up and down against the wall. She picks up the pace and the depth of her thrusts now, fucking Clarke hard into the wall until they’re both just shamelessly moving against each other to get off.

Clarke comes hard, trembling as the waves of pleasure run their course. Lexa whimpers, barely managing to avoid her own orgasm as warm fluid soaks her cock and thighs. She waits for her lover to recover enough before laying her down on the ground, right on top of their pile of clothes, and stripping off the rest. She’s not gentle, but the sound of tearing fabrics seem to reawaken Clarke's desires. “Again,” the blonde begs before she finds herself being dragged back down for a passionate kiss.

She grabs both of Clarke's thighs and hikes them up, running her hands over the wetness covering the skin there as she pushes them further apart. Then she takes her cock in one hand to guide it back inside her lover. She thrusts hard until she’s fully sheathed inside the blissful heat, groaning as she does. Clarke’s lips detach from hers to bite down gently on her earlobe. “Fuck, don’t hold back, babe. You know how I like it,” the writhing girl beneath her whispers. Her eyes flutter shut and her hips snap forward automatically, drawing another moan from Clarke.

Lexa sets a rhythm with her thrusts, hard and fast like how they both like it. Soon enough she can feel herself getting closer to the point of no return. And by the incoherent, wanton sounds Clarke is making, she’s almost there too. So, she grips the girl’s thighs tighter, and drills into her harder until the pressure along her cock becomes almost unbearable. She lets out a loud howl as she comes, spilling her release into the condom. Seconds later, Clarke follows her over the edge, screaming out a string of curses. Lexa keeps thrusting shallowly and kisses Clarke again while they let their orgasms play out.

xxxxxxx

She looks down again at Lexa’s face between her thighs. The brunette proves once again that her tongue is exceptionally talented as she continues swiftly lashing it against Clarke’s clit. She moans as more slickness seeps out from her cunt to run down her lover’s chin. “Mmm… God, you’re gonna fucking kill me one of these days,” she says breathily. Strong hands on her waist pull her up and the tongue that was doing wonderful and wicked things to her clit suddenly makes its way to her dripping slit. “Oh, shit!” She holds on tighter to Lexa’s hair as the tongue pushes further inside her and immediately begins pumping in and out.

She just can’t help but rock back against the warm tongue, and going by the guttural groan from the girl beneath her, Lexa approves of the action. Tan hands help her continue her movements above, pushing and pulling her to another orgasm that takes her completely by surprise. The scream that bursts out of her mouth was one of pure, unadulterated pleasure. More surprise comes her way when Lexa’s tongue pulls out to lap greedily at her release.

Clarke gets off Lexa’s face to lie on top of her instead. Her poor lover must be desperate for air after that. But apparently, Lexa can hold her breath for a really long time because her hand yanks Clarke down for another kiss. She groans when she realizes that she’s tasting herself on those lips and the tongue that slips inside her mouth. She pulls away to look down on the self-satisfied expression on the brunette’s face. “You smug, little bastard,” she says with a laugh and Lexa chuckles along.

As she settles more comfortably on top of the lithe, sweat slicked body, her thigh brushes at Lexa’s hard shaft. It’s her turn to smirk now when her lover hisses and tries to grab at her body. “Uh-uh. No hands, charming. Put ‘em up. You’re not allowed to touch right now. All you need to do is stay down,” she says with authority. Lexa lets out a shuddering breath but does as she’s told, putting her hands behind her head and lying flatly on the floor. “That’s it, babe.”

She brings her wet center in contact with the underside of Lexa’s cock, sensuously moving her hips to spread the slick coming out of her cunt. Looking back up at her lover’s face, she sees those deep green eyes blown wide with lust watching her intently. Maintaining eye contact, she props herself up on her knees and wraps her hand around the hardened length. She gives it a few full strokes before sinking down on it in one fluid motion. She throws her head back, her cries of pure ecstasy blends with Lexa’s loud groans.

Clarke braces herself by putting one hand on Lexa’s chest and the other on the girl’s quivering abs as she begins to move. Faster now, she rolls her hips forward each time she slams back down so the tip of Lexa’s cock hits her where she desperately needs it. Her nails scratch down the hardened plane of the brunette’s abs, and it sends Lexa bucking up into her. They’re thrusting wildly against each other now, the wet sounds of slapping skin grows louder.

All too soon, she feels herself approaching her peak. But Lexa is already way ahead of her, roaring up to the ceiling as the shaft twitches inside of her. The added sensation triggers her own release, and a flood of warm wetness pours out of her. When the spasming of her inner walls stop, she slumps down onto Lexa’s body to nuzzle at her neck. Her limbs just can’t hold her up anymore. Chest heaving and completely soaked in sweat, she sighs contentedly against her lover. And when warm arms pull her in closer, she knows that there’s nowhere else in the world she’d rather be right now.

Chapter Text

The walk back to the car was perhaps the worst (or best, according to Clarke) walk of shame she ever had to go through. They were forced to leave because apparently, they made too much noise that some people who were unloading stuff a few units down thought that there was a crime happening in the vicinity. They then called a guard from the security booth to investigate. Loud knocking on the door prompted Lexa to scramble right back on her feet, dress herself and a groggy Clarke, and grab the bag of cash sitting inside the safe. Lexa doesn’t really want to move all her stuff out of this unit, so getting out fast was the best thing to do.

It would all have been bearable if they just had to walk out with tousled hair, disheveled appearances, sticky and slightly torn clothing, and guilty faces. But then, upon walking out, they saw that a handful of people were gathered nearby to see what the commotion was about. Going by the knowing looks and smirks they were throwing, they totally knew what happened.

And then Clarke just had to make it even more awkward. Because as they walked through the crowd, she started waving demurely and blowing kisses, like those goddamned beauty pageant contestants do. To make matters worse, someone from the crowd started slow clapping, and soon enough, all of them were doing it too. Through the thundering sound of mocking applause, Lexa did her best to keep a straight face to preserve her dignity while resisting the urge to punch any other faces they passed by. Both were equally difficult tasks made even harder because she had to pull Clarke along to the car.

Lying on a motel bed and freshly showered now, she waits for the blonde to finish in the small bathroom. Clarke comes out a few moments later dressed in Lexa’s tank top and compression shorts, identical to what she's wearing now. She raises an eyebrow at the girl who is currently preoccupied with toweling her hair dry.

“Are those my undergarments?”

Clarke grins, tosses the towel to the side and hops on the bed. “Twinsies,” she coos as she snuggles up to Lexa. Her arm automatically wraps around her girlfriend’s torso to pull her closer. “This is payback for ripping those red lace panties, just so you know.”

“Mmm. An acceptable payment. Besides, I like seeing you in my clothes,” she answers with a kiss on Clarke's forehead.

The silent drone of the air conditioner in the background and the other calm girl's breathing are enough to lull her to sleep. It's also very late, and the day’s events really did a number on her. But Clarke starts to get uncharacteristically fidgety against her.

“You know, we're going to have to get up before lunch tomorrow. Try to get some sleep,” she says without opening her eyes.

“Um, actually, I wanted to talk about something,” Clarke stammers out as she sits up beside her. She hums in response. “It's about what happened... back there.”

She smirks at that. “You mean the walk of shame?”

“Stride of pride, babe, stride of pride. Clarke Griffin doesn't do walk of shame,” the blonde laughs.

“Whatever you say, Clarke Griffin,” she teases.

“But that's not it. Come on. I'm serious, Lex,” Clarke says sounding somewhat nervous.

Hearing the anxiousness in the girl's voice, she opens her eyes and moves back to lean against the headboard. “Alright, come here,” she says, inviting her into her arms. Clarke crawls back to her and tucks her head under Lexa’s chin. “Tell me what’s bothering you.”

“Okay. So… I think we got a little carried away back there,” Clarke begins as she plays with Lexa’s hand. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we forgot to use um... protection during that last round.”

She had this inkling feeling that she forgot something, and she knows now exactly what. Lexa suddenly sits up straighter, startling Clarke. Damn it all to hell, she thinks as she goes to run her hands through her hair and breathes harder in a panic. How could she have been so foolish as to forget? She was always so careful about things like this. Practicing safe sex was one thing she had to learn the hard way during that chlamydia scare when she was fifteen. But STDs weren't the only reason. Really, it's for her peace of mind and to allay her fears.

“Hey, hey, it's okay. Let me just assure you that I'm clean. I get tested regularly,” Clarke says in a soothing voice, rubbing circles on her back.

She settles back down as she takes a deep breath. “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to freak out. It's just that-"

“I know, and it's okay. Plus, I'm not ready to have kids either,” the blonde says with a laugh to reassure her. “Look, we can drive by a drugstore tomorrow for the morning after pill.”

“I’m really sorry. I don't want you to feel offended by how I reacted,” she says solemnly, putting her arms back around Clarke and normalizing her breathing.

“It's alright, babe. I get it. Heat of the moment and all that shit,” Clarke murmurs against her collarbone. “So um, you're clean too, right?”

“I am. I promise.”

“Okay, cool. Pretty sure I'm the one who should be losing my shit here, by the way,” Clarke jokes. When she notices that Lexa is not laughing along with her, she props herself up on one hand. “Babe, you still have that look on your face. You know you can talk to me about anything.”

She reaches out to Clarke, lovingly taking a loose strand of blonde hair and tucking it behind her ear and then running her thumb gently on her delicate jawline. “Thank you for always being so understanding,” she whispers. Clarke leans into her touch and gives a small smile which she returns. “It's just… the idea of having children, it terrifies me.”

Clarke looks down at her in confusion, her eyes silently asking why. It all really boils down to her father. Somewhere at the back of her mind, Lexa has this great, big fear. That if she got someone pregnant and faced with the challenge of raising a child, she will see just how much she is like her father. Her mother always said that she got her genius and the unwavering determination from him. And if she looked long enough in the mirror, she sees him too.

“What if, let's say, I have a hypothetical child. I'm not exactly the kind of person who’s settled down. Hell, I'm more at home on the road than I am in any house I ever lived in. My most valued possessions are in storage units that I pay for through my uncle. I've grown accustomed to this kind of life. I'd be a horrible parent, Clarke. I don't… want to be like my father,” she explains.

Clarke takes her hand and presses gentle kisses along her knuckles. “Hey, listen to me. I don't know him personally, and frankly I don't give a fuck, but I know you. I've seen you with those kids, Lex. Indra even told me about them. If it ever happens, you'd be a great parent.”

“That's a different story. They're troubled. They're me when I was younger. And I think that's the only reason I get along with them.”

“God, you're such an idiot sometimes,” Clarke huffs. “Don't you see it? It’s not because you have similar pasts. It’s you. I don't really know how to explain it, but you have this uncanny ability to make people feel safe and valued. I feel that way with you. And I believe that's how those kids, your friends and loved ones feel too.”

Clarke's words are overwhelming. She never really thought about it before. But maybe Clarke sees something in her that she doesn't. So, she just sits there looking directly at those blue eyes that seem to still shine through the dimness of the room. “Do you really mean that?” she asks.

“Yes, you knucklehead.” Clarke sighs as she rests her head on Lexa’s chest. “And Lex, you're not your father. All those shitty things he did, I don’t believe you’re capable of that.”

“Maybe,” she mumbles.

They’re both silent after that. Lexa still has that seed of self-doubt in her mind but she’s willing to believe anything Clarke says. For now, at least.

Clarke chuckles, deep and low. She feels the movements and vibrations on her chest. “Shit, listen to us. We've only been dating for one full day and we're already having the kids talk.

She lets out a genuine laugh because it is ridiculous. Her relationship experience consists entirely of casual hookups and that disaster with Costia. None of those even count as real relationships. And yet, here she is, with Clarke who she is only learning to… like more day after day. “I suppose we are moving fast, aren't we? Do you think we should slow down?”

Clarke lifts up her head again to look at her and grins. “I don't really think slowing down is our thing, babe.” It's said humorously, but it's also loaded with emotions. “But yeah, hold off on the kids. That's like, a topic to talk about on the 250th date, a year after being married or something.”

Her heart clenches at the idea her girlfriend is painting with words. She’s never been one to dream about her own wedding or a fairy tale happily ever after. But looking at the gleam on Clarke's blue eyes, it doesn't seem like bad thing to fantasize about. She feels warm and fuzzy all of a sudden.  She just can't help but wrap her arms tighter around Clarke and pull her down against her chest again. “Of course,” she says and kisses the top of the blonde head. Clarke curls up further into her and mumbles something that sounds vaguely like good night. “Sweet dreams, babe,” she replies.

The girl in her arms tenses a little bit at the pet name before settling back down more comfortably on top of her again. “Took you long enough,” Clarke drawls.

xxxxxxx

“Pay attention, Clarke,” Lexa says with a loud tap on the table. Then she goes on to speak words that Clarke doesn't even have the time to process. They're sitting in a crowded, noisy diner and halfway through their breakfast. Honestly, Clarke can't focus on anything right now. Between Lexa’s distractingly revealing shirt and her unfinished breakfast, it's hard to concentrate on what the brunette is doing or saying.  

She wonders if there is a word that can encapsulate what she is currently feeling, which is both hungry and horny. Horngry, maybe? she thinks. Hungry because every time she tries to take a bite, Lexa is already spouting about poker or blackjack, asking for her ‘undivided attention’. And horny because, much to Clarke’s dismay, they have somewhat hit a speed bump in their sexcapades four days since they got to Vegas. She even started taking contraceptive pills just in case they forget the condoms again.

But apparently, Lexa is too preoccupied with the whole Vegas thing to fool around with her. The brunette spent a lot of time scoping out casinos in the area and learning their rules for card games. Clarke's job, on the other hand, was to find a place they can rent classy clothes and buy other props for disguises. Her girlfriend made it clear that they can't walk in and cheat their way to a golden payday as themselves. They'd be caught immediately especially if they were suspected of counting cards. Disguises and fake personas can be discarded while they make a quick getaway if necessary.

“Lexa,” she says flatly. Machine gun mouth Lexa doesn't stop though. “For fuck’s sake. Lex!” she shouts louder so she can be heard. The girl stops in the middle of shuffling a deck of cards and raises both eyebrows at her. “Sorry, I didn't mean to shout. Look, you barely touched your food. I haven't finished mine, and I'm still starving. Can we just stop with the cards for now?”

“I'm sorry,” Lexa sighs and plants her face on the table. “I just want to make sure we get this right, babe. We can’t get caught.”

“I know, I know but you need to relax for a bit,” she says while she smooths out unruly strands of hair at the back of Lexa’s head. “Lex, you haven’t been eating and sleeping right for four days. You’re gonna burn out. I’m worried about you, okay?”

“I know you are,” comes Lexa’s reply, voice slightly muffled since her face is still flat on the table. Then she straightens back up to look at Clarke and takes the hand that was stroking curly, brown locks. “I’m grateful for your concern. But you need to understand that this - what we’re planning - is really risky business. And we cannot get caught.”

She gives the strong hand in hers a reassuring squeeze because clearly, this whole thing is putting a lot of pressure on Lexa. She still has the strong, silent type thing going on but Clarke has learned how to read between the lines when it comes to her girlfriend. The green eyed girl has become more agitated, almost to the point of paranoia. When she’s not silently going over every possible scenario in her own head, she’s teaching Clarke how to properly play with cards in the car or helping her memorize their signals. And when she’s not polishing her skills in counting cards, she’s going over their “escape plan” if anything ever goes wrong.

“Hey, it’s gonna be fine. We’ve gone over everything we need to. Plus, I already promised to do what you say the whole time. We’ll be fine,” she replies with a small smile, hoping to put Lexa at ease. But Lexa only sighs long and deep in response, eyes dropping down to the table again. “Okay, you gotta tell me if something’s wrong. You’re making me nervous.”

After some seconds of silence, Lexa speaks again. “It’s going to be more difficult than all the other stuff we’ve pulled because we’ll be watched constantly inside casinos. And… there’s a lot riding on this.”

“You mean the money?” she whispers, looking around warily. It made her a little bit uneasy at first when she found out that they’re carrying around that kind of money. But it’s as Lexa said - if they wanted to win big, they have to bet big too. And Lexa wasn’t bullshiting her when she said she made and saved a lot of money doing this sort of thing. It’s dangerous but it’s also exhilarating, much like everything that had to do with the brunette.

“Partially. Listen, if we make enough money here, we can maybe buy a new life. Like, enough to go to a different country. I’m thinking Canada,” Lexa answers. Then her eyes grow wide and her cheeks turn red, realizing that she may have just asked Clarke to start a life in new country. She starts tripping over her words. “I mean, if you want to. Just if you want to. I don’t want you to feel obligated to come with me. You have your own life and all that. If you think that you-”

“Oh my god,” Clarke chuckles. “Have I ever told you how adorable you are when you ramble and stutter?”

Lexa pouts and frowns. “I’m not adorable,” she grumps.

“Yes, you are,” she insists and laughs a few more minutes just to get Lexa more flustered and uncomfortable. Lexa lets her hand go then and sits sideways while looking anywhere other than Clarke. “That’s it then, huh? You’re already planning our lives together in Canada?” she teases. Honestly, it’s sweet that Lexa is thinking that far ahead and including Clarke in the picture. It’s probably the sweetest thing she ever heard from anyone, ever. Their relationship is new and she may not have a lot of experience with dating in general, but she can confidently say that nothing felt as right as being with Lexa. Also, it’s nice to finally not be the only one who slips up like that in this relationship.

Lexa just sinks further down in her chair and covers her face with a hand to save herself from even more embarrassment. Clarke reaches for her girlfriend’s hand again, surprised when she didn’t feel any resistance. “Ladies and gentlemen, the rare blushing Lexa Woods,” she continues to tease.

“You’re insufferable,” Lexa grumbles as she tries to stand up.

Clarke only pulls her back down with a solid grip on her arm. “Hey, come on. I’m not complaining. I think it’s cute,” she says when Lexa peeks from behind her fingers. “And I mean, yeah it’s a big step, moving to a different country. But I think I’ve already told you before that you can take me virtually anywhere. I still stand by what I said.”

Lexa puts down the hand obscuring her face and sighs. “But it’s a huge thing to ask.”

“It is but I think I like the idea. Right now though, nothing’s set in stone. How about we just focus on the here and now before we worry about future?”

“Yeah, okay,” Lexa says as she lets out a calming exhale.

“Eat your food though. No more cards for you until you finish that plate,” Clarke says, gesturing at the untouched platter of steak and eggs and taking the deck of cards Lexa was playing with.

“Yes, ma’am.”

xxxxxxx

Lexa looks at her face one more time in the rearview mirror. She looks like a completely different person with the short black wig and makeup to make her look older. Disguising herself is a timeless technique that got her through a lot of things whenever she hits the road, especially back when she was just a lanky teenager. She adjusts the blue tie she’s wearing again and looks over to her companion who is looking at her own reflection on the side mirror. Clarke looks as stunning as ever with her very own mid-length strawberry blonde wig and her flowing green dress that shows off a lot more cleavage and legs than Lexa would like her to, but it’s absolutely necessary.

“Are you ready?” she asks.

“Just about,” Clarke hums as she pushes down the front of her dress some more. More of her cleavage gets exposed, and damn if Lexa doesn’t feel her pants get tighter at the sight. “Okay, I’m good. Let’s fucking do this,” she says firmly.

“Remember, follow my lead and always wait for my signals before doing anything,” she says.

“I know. You said that like six times already. Jeez, have some faith in me, will you?” Clarke replies with a roll of her eyes.

“Right. Sorry, babe. You can do this. We can do this,” she breathes. Really, she’s convincing herself because Clarke doesn't seem to need the pep talk.

“You better believe it,” Clarke drawls with a grin fixed on her face as she steps out of the car.

She follows her outside shortly where the air has a humid feel to it, and it makes her unbutton her jacket. They walk hand in hand to the casino for their first taste of the famous Las Vegas gambling culture.

Chapter Text

The key to everything is to play it safe. That means never playing in the same casino twice. Never wearing the same disguise. Never betting higher than what they’re willing to lose without the intention of winning it back later. Never losing count of the cards at all times. Never drawing too much attention. Never getting too distracted or too invested in a game. Those, at least, are Lexa’s rules for herself. So far, within three nights, they’ve made a decent amount of money. She starts to become more confident that they can pull this off and get away with it.

Even now, with tensions running high during a particularly competitive game of poker, she has complete faith in her skills. She directs her gaze to Clarke across the table. Her girlfriend is doing an exceptional job of playing the role of rich, ditzy blonde who’s only playing because she’s bored. She may be overselling it with the southern accent and the whole Marilyn Monroe look, but it works just as well with practically every man on the table paying attention to her. They buy her drinks, make small talk and openly flirt. If Lexa isn't dead certain that she’d be the one to take Clarke home by the end of the night, she’d be jealous.

She lets her eyes linger on Clarke before darting back down to the table just so she gets the message. Then she interlaces her fingers on the table where Clarke can see. It’s their sign for her to fold.

“I fold. Deal me out,” Clarke says with her fake southern accent and raspy voice. “Tonight’s just not my night.”

“You’re doing pretty good, Ms. Hale,” says the middle aged man named James to Clarke’s right. Lexa has to fight the urge to roll her eyes for the seventeenth time (yes, she's been keeping count of that too). This sleazebag has been hitting on Clarke the moment she sat down and joined the game. He’s also been putting down more and more money, likely to try and impress the blonde goddess beside him enough to follow him to his hotel room. Objectively, it’s just working to their advantage, and it would mean Lexa can gloat more later when she puts him in his place.

“Yeah. For someone who’s fairly new to the game, I’d say you’re doing juuuuuust fine,” says another horndog named Harvey to Clarke’s left. Lexa wonders how many women he used that line on and if the number matches up with the women who rejected him. That’s probably the case because he looks like he’s undressing Clarke with his eyes like he hasn’t gotten laid in twenty years. Oh, Lexa is going to enjoy rubbing it in his face in about a minute.

Pretty soon, all the guys on the table are murmuring their agreements to the two men. A chorus of enthusiastic yeah and murmurs of flattery sound around the table. Lexa doesn’t know how Clarke manages to wrap all of these hopeless losers around her finger, but she’s not going to complain because it’s working wonders for h

“I don’t know. I think I have horrible luck,” Clarke whines, playing her part rather too well. She pointedly looks at Lexa “Wouldn’t you say so, Ms. Meer? All I’ve done tonight is lose a huge chunk of my money to you.” It’s all part of the plan, of course. Clarke gets everyone to fall in love with her, except for Lexa. Then the blue eyed girl will make it a little bit too obvious that she’s into her. The result is nothing short of a work of genius because all the guys will try to match and even go higher than her bets at every turn in an effort to make the blonde swoon, making it easier to rob them all blind.

Lexa takes a swig of her sparkling water as all eyes turn to her. She makes a show of swallowing the mouthful of her refreshing drink slowly while fixing her eyes on Clarke and smirking in the most arrogant way possible. “I think with a little bit more practice, you can probably win against me. Maybe to the point that all I would have left to bet are the clothes on my back,” she replies in her most seductive voice.

Clarke smiles back at her, looks down shyly on the table and tucks a lock of hair behind her ear for full effect. When she looks back up, she has a wider smile on her face and speaks in a voice that’s a few octaves lower than normal. “Maybe I don’t want to stop there, with just your clothes left.” Oh, she’s too good at this.

The entire table of horny men collectively lets out a poorly disguised groan because now, they know that they’re not getting anything from Clarke. Beside her, the dealer clears his throat to get her attention. “Right. Sorry, what’s the current bet?” she asks without her smolder faltering or her eyes starting from Clarke.

“Thirty thousand, ma’am,” he replies.

“I’m all in,” she answers and pushes all her chips to the center of the table. Spectators around the table gasp audibly and murmur to each other excitedly. The other three players who haven’t folded have a mildly surprised look on their faces. Even Clarke frowns at her discreetly.

“Bet. Forty-five thousand. All in,” the dealer announces.

The cards on the table are the ace of hearts, the ace of spades, and the four, six and eight of spades. She’s pretty sure she’s going to win this, and if everyone would just take the bait, it would effectively end the game. James and Harvey all step up readily to the challenge, and eventually, the old geezer at the end of the table jump in too. With all bets in, the pot is currently at two hundred thousand. In all their time here, this is potentially their biggest win. They’re going to be set for life after this.

The dealer calls for a showdown. The old man turns up with a flush with both an ace of spades and a queen of spades. James throws down his eight of clubs and eight of hearts for a full house. Harvey gets a higher full house with an ace of clubs and six of hearts. Everyone is now waiting with bated breath for Lexa’s hand. She looks at Clarke again. It’s obvious that the blonde is very nervous now, with a light sheen of sweat on her forehead. Lexa doesn’t let her poker face fall apart though. She just takes her two cards and turns them face up. Five and seven of spades.

“Straight flush. Four to the eight, the high hand. Ms. Meer wins,” the dealer declares. The spectators clap and Clarke lets out a shuddering breath in relief. Only then did she grin wide like the Cheshire Cat. The other players sulk and mourn their losses but they all remain good sports, shaking her hand, congratulating her and murmuring good game under their breaths before slinking away. She walks around to Clarke’s side of the table and offers her hand.

“Wanna get out of here?” she asks in a very cocky tone.

“You’re lucky you won or I’d be cringing at your repetitive and terrible pickup line,” Clarke replies with a laugh and a playful shove on her shoulder before entwining the fingers of their hands.

xxxxxxx

As soon as the elevator doors closed, Clarke slamnmed Lexa against the wall and attacks her mouth with lips, teeth and tongue. Nobody even stepped inside the elevator with them, maybe because they saw the look on Clarke’s face. She’s a woman on a mission to get laid, and nothing’s going to get in her way. Not even the ridiculously complicated buttons on Lexa’s shirt.

“Wait, wait. Hold up, Clarke,” the brunette protests when she pops open the top button.

“No. Lexa, we haven’t had sex in almost two weeks!” she pants against Lexa’s lips. The green eyed girl has the audacity to chuckle. “What the fuck are you laughing at? I have needs!”

“I know, I know,” she replies in gentle voice and a smile. The fingers around her waist trace circles on her clothed skin, but the touch still sends a shiver down her spine. “But if you wait until later tonight, I promise it’s going to be worth it.”

She narrows her eyes at her. She knows that look. Lexa is planning something. “What have you been up to, Woods?” she asks with a smirk.

“It’s a surprise.” The elevator doors open with a ding then. Hands tangled together, they step out to where the hotel’s restaurant is. Lexa looks sheepishly at her. “I know we haven’t been spending quality time together lately, and I’m sorry for that. So tonight, you have my undivided attention. First, I’m going to wine and dine you.”

“Oh, babe. You’re so sweet,” she gushes and puts her arms around her girlfriend. “I get it, you know. You don’t have to apologize because all that was worth it. Look at us, we’re filthy fucking rich!”

“Well, not that rich but close enough,” Lexa says with a shrug.

“It’s enough for me. It feels kinda surreal though,” she answers.

“You’ll get used to it,” Lexa replies with a kiss on her forehead. “Now, come on.

Dinner was spectacular. Clarke has never sampled so many rich and decadent delicacies in her entire life. Lexa really spoiled her with each dish she ordered. As they’re finishing their lemon sorbet and enjoying the soothing music from the live band on the stage, she smiles again at Lexa. “Well, babe, you outdid yourself this time.”

“Eh, we deserve this,” Lexa says with another shrug and a smirk. “I’ll be right back.” The girl stands up and walks up to the stage to exchange some words with the musicians. Clarke takes that as an opportunity to ogle her girlfriend. The tuxedo lends her a very James Bond vibe that’s really made it hard for Clarke not to jump her back at the car, when they were in the middle of the poker game, and right now in this restaurant with about fifty other people. Honestly, she doesn’t know how long she can wait before she begs Lexa to ravish her.

Lexa strides back to her with this goofy grin on her face and holds out one hand. Behind her the band starts out playing a slow, soft melody. “Would you like to dance with me?” she asks. And Clarke doesn’t have it in her to resist so she stands up and takes the offered hand with a smile of her own. Lexa leads her out to the middle where other couples started waltzing around the dance floor to Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’.

“I… I don’t really know how to dance,” she admits. “I might step on your foot.”

Lexa chuckles softly. “It’s alright. Just follow my lead. I’ve got you.” With her hand in Lexa’s and the other on one shoulder, they glide through the throng of other dancing pairs. Right now, she only has eyes for one green eyed girl who is looking at her like she’s the only person in the entire galaxy that matters. Lexa dips her head down for a chaste kiss. When they break apart, Clarke sighs happily and rests her head on Lexa’s other shoulder. Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful? Lexa quietly sings along. And Clarke just closes her eyes to really savor the moment, the warmth of the body against hers, the smell of vanilla and jasmine in braided brown hair, and the feel of expensive fabric under her hand. She wants to remember this.

She feels the other girl press a kiss on her temple moments later. “You look gorgeous. Well, you always do but tonight, you’re captivating."

“Careful there, stud muffin. You might sweep me off my feet,” she says.

“You mean I haven’t already?”

Clarke can just imagine the smirk that goes along with the teasing tone. She pulls back to look at Lexa again, and sure enough, there’s the half-smirk that makes her knees go weak. But there’s also the green eyes that are alight with playfulness and so much affection. She kisses her again, this time a little less innocently and Lexa hums her approval. A tongue licks at her bottom lip which she eagerly sucks into her mouth. Soon enough, they’re both panting, moaning and touching places that aren’t exactly appropriate in public.

She breaks off the kiss and stares directly into green eyes that are wide with want. Leaning further up, she whispers in Lexa’s ear. “I think I’m ready for the rest of my surprise now.” She enjoys the way the brunette shudders. And it doesn't take long before Lexa is dragging her back to the elevator and pushing her up against the wall, leaving a hot, wet trail of kisses along the side of her neck. She lets out a moan, not caring that there were other people in there with them.

Clarke is so distracted by wonderfully wicked things Lexa is doing to her body that she didn’t realize the elevator was going up instead of down. By then, her girlfriend is already pushing her out to the hallway. “Wait, we’re not going back to the car?” she asks as she turns around.

“Nope. I figured we should celebrate so I booked us a room,” Lexa says and holds up a keycard.

“Oh, really?” she says, drawing out each syllable. She puts her hands on each of Lexa’s shoulders and pulls the girl forward until they’re nose to nose. “What kind of celebration did you have in mind?”

Lexa gives her a peck on the lips before taking her hand again and pulling her forward as she walks. “You’ll see.” They stop at one door which quickly gets pushed open. Clarke walks in to marvel at the huge, lavishly decorated suite. With wide eyes and mouth ajar, she looks at Lexa in disbelief. This room must cost a small fortune. “I know, it’s a bit on the pricey side. But we’re probably only going to do this once so I thought we might as well go all out. Then it’s back to motel rooms and cheap takeout. Plus, with how well we work together, we can win all this back in two, maybe three days.”

Clarke walks closer to Lexa so she can put her arms around her and bury her face on her neck. She pulls back again after a few seconds to kiss Lexa’s cheek. “No one’s ever done anything like this for me,” she mumbles.

“Their loss,” the girl laughs before leaning forward for a short kiss. “Come on, I think it’s time for a bath.” Tan hands snake around her body to find the zipper of her dress. The garment falls to the floor a few seconds later.

“That was really smooth,” she says as her own hands unbutton Lexa’s shirt.

“I try.”

They slowly undress each other on the way to the bathroom, pausing every once in awhile to plant kisses on newly exposed skin. It’s very different from the other times they’ve done this, when they’re both too impatient for skin to skin contact. They have a pile of torn clothing in their car to prove that. Now, they’re taking the time to really explore each other’s bodies. With both of them fully naked, Lexa turns her around and gently nudges her to walk inside the bathroom where a huge tub filled with bubbles was waiting for them. There were candles everywhere and the smell of lavender in the air. Her snarky comment of whether Lexa was trying to fuck her or burn her alive quickly gets forgotten because the brunette’s mouth is back on her neck, kissing, licking and sucking marks into her skin. All she can do is moan loudly instead.

Lexa’s hands crawl up to her sides, slowly making their way further up to her breasts and it almost makes her melt into a puddle. She closes her eyes as incredibly dextrous fingers put some pressure around her nipples. Then one hand slides down to her front, lingering a bit on her stomach before traveling further down between her legs. At this point, she’s beyond worked up and wet, as Lexa discovers when she cups Clarke’s sex. She hears an appreciative moan from behind her.

But then Lexa pulls her hands away, and she whines at the loss of warmth. The girl only laughs at her protests and places a kiss at the back of her ear. “Patience. I promise it’ll be worth your while,” her lover whispers. “Let’s get you into the tub. You don’t want to waste all the good work that went into getting all this ready, do you?”

Well, Lexa certainly has a point. And she’s certainly not going to pass up the chance to soak in a lovely bubble bath after a long day spent looking pretty for those perverts, putting on a very convincing act, and sitting on her ass for hours on end. So, if her girlfriend wants to pamper her, who was she to deny her the opportunity? She walks to the large tub that looks like it can comfortably fit about four people. Lexa helps her step inside before following after her. She feels her skin tingle when she submerges in the warm, soapy water.

With her back to Lexa’s front, she leans in further and shivers as a pair of hands roam over her body once more. “This is nice, right?” Lexa asks. She can only hum in response because Lexa’s hands have once again rendered her speechless. Really, those hands should be outlawed for all the sinful things they can do. The brunette just laughs at her again before reaching for a loofah beside the tub and uses it to scrub them both gently. She’s so relaxed, practically boneless right now that she almost drifts off to sleep until she hears the water being drained. She also feels something hard behind her, which can only be Lexa’s cock.

Clarke tilts her head up at Lexa who is looking down at her with a wry smile. Then she pulls the girl down by the nape of her neck for a languid kiss. It quickly becomes heated once again and Lexa’s hands wander over the length of her body, bringing her right back to her previous state of arousal. Her breath hitches when one hand reaches her thigh and she automatically parts her legs. Even though she was underwater for quite some time, she’s still wet. And Lexa certainly appreciates that fact because she groans against her lips.

As Lexa’s finger swirls around the hardened bud of her clit, her other hand find its way to her breast, playing with her nipples. Lexa hikes up one of her legs and hooks it at the side of tub as she nips at Clarke’s neck. She sighs loudly and shudders when the finger that has been teasing her finally pushes inside her. Her lover pulls out her finger slowly. Before she can object, Lexa pushes back inside with two fingers and sets off on a rhythm that has her gasping and rocking back eagerly.

But she wants more, so much more and she’s going to do something about it because goddammit, the lack of sex has been driving her crazy. And based on how hard Lexa is behind her, she suspects it has the same effect on her too. With some reluctance, she tugs at a tan arm until she pulls out Lexa's fingers. Then with a nimbleness that shocks even herself, she turns around and straddles her lover’s thighs. She reaches down to wrap a hand around Lexa’s shaft and immediately begins a slow pumping motion. “I have to say… this is one of the best surprises I’ve ever gotten from someone. But I’m sure you know how to make it even better,” she says sultrily, emphasizing her point with a hard jerk of her hand.

Chapter Text

Lexa feels like her body is going to suddenly levitate at any moment. Between Clarke’s lips leaving a blazing trail of open mouthed kisses on her neck and the warm hand that’s wrapped around her cock, she’s all but powerless. All she can do is moan and hang on tighter to the edges of the tub. She tilts her head further to the side as Clarke sucks and nibbles at the newly exposed flesh of her neck, and then down to her collarbone. At the same time, the hand around her hard shaft starts to move up and down faster and faster.

Clarke stops pumping at her length and pulls away a bit to look at her smugly in her helpless state. Even after a nice, relaxing bubble bath, her body feels so very hot that she’s already slightly sweating and breathing heavily through her mouth. The blonde shifts further up on top of her, and she feels Clarke’s wet center come into contact with the base of her cock. She hisses at the sensation and her hands instinctively grip her lover’s hips. Clarke gives her cock a particularly firm squeeze in response, and it makes her gasp.

Then without missing a beat, Clarke starts grinding against her, gyrating her hips. Fingernails dig against her shoulders now as the blonde’s movements become more erratic above her. Lexa looks down briefly between her legs and groans at what she sees. Clarke’s cunt glides along her length, painting it with her own arousal. But she’s also equally turned on that beads of clear fluid have started leaking from the tip of her cock to drip down the shaft.

It’s too much. She feels like she’s going to come anytime soon so she resolves to distract herself. She leans up to capture Clarke’s bottom lip in between her teeth, biting down harder than she intended to. Going by the blonde’s needy whimper, she likes it.

But Clarke abruptly breaks the kiss and stops grinding. Clarke’s hand takes its previous place back around her hard shaft, thumbing at the sensitive head and picking up the slow pumping motion again. “Mmm… someone’s getting impatient,” her lover teases, whispering the words in her ear. Those same sinful lips plant a kiss on the skin between her neck and shoulder. “Are you that desperate for me, babe?” Clarke says against her clavicle as she moves further down her body. “Just look at how hard you are.” Another kiss in between her breasts. “How hot and heavy.” One more kiss on her abdomen. “I want to take you in my mouth,” Clarke husks, looking up at her with heavy lidded eyes. She shudders at the words, breathing more labored now. When she doesn’t answer, Clarke gives her cock another squeeze and places a wet kiss at the base that makes her groan. “Let me take care of you.”

She nods immediately, because she’d be lying to herself if she said that she has never thought about it. What it would be like without the rubber serving as a barrier between her and the delicious warmth of Clarke’s mouth. With one last grin, Clarke gets down to business. Her lover moves further down the tub, bending down to lick her from base to tip before sucking the head into her mouth. She grunts and exhales heavily as she fights off the urge to jerk forward. The heat, the constant suction and the occasional licking around the head are already enough to turn her into a whimpering mess. But then Clarke starts to move down and take half of her inside, lips sliding smoothly along her length. The girl pulls back again, letting a few inches of her cock slip out before taking it back in again. The hand wrapped around her shaft tightens and twists each time it reaches the bottom of her length.

She experimentally puts one hand on top of her lover’s bobbing head, which Clarke doesn’t object to. In fact, the blonde moans in approval as she speeds up and lets Lexa direct the motion of her head now. She tips her head back and closes her eyes, willing herself to hold off. She’s so close to the edge now. But she also doesn’t want Clarke to slow down because it feels so damn good, she can hardly remember her name. Her cock throbs, matching the wild beating of her heart. Still, she wants to last long enough not to be embarrassed by a premature orgasm. So, against her better judgement, she gently urges Clarke to go faster and take her even deeper with a nudge of her hand.

Faster and deeper is exactly what she gets, and more. Clarke ups the pace and sucks harder, her tongue working the tip each time she pulls up her head. The hand stroking the base of her cock now moves more frantically. Her groans increase in volume and echo around the bathroom, drowning out the tiny whimpering sounds coming from Clarke. She’s closer to blowing her load now, but she’s still confident that she can take more. That is until her lover brings her unoccupied hand to her balls, cupping gently at first and then fondling more deliberately to match the rhythm of her mouth and other hand. She lets out a loud growl at the added sensation, feeling her testicles grow tighter. Then Clarke tugs firmly at her balls. And Lexa is gone before she can even process it. Her hips involuntarily thrust upwards and more of her length slides inside Clarke’s mouth as she comes. She feels her release travel along her shaft, burst out at the tip of her cock and shoot up into her lover’s mouth.

She’s still coming when she settles back down and Clarke helps her along by stroking the lower half of her cock. As her orgasm tapers off, the blonde continues sucking her dry until she becomes too sensitive. When Lexa finally opens her eyes, her vision is blurry. And the first thing she sees is Clarke wiping her mouth with a thumb and then sucking it into her mouth with a smirk. It’s almost enough to make her stiff again. But right now, she can hardly steady her breath and figure out how to speak again so she just sits there dumbly looking at Clarke while the rest of her brain catches up. Clarke’s laughing doesn’t help her predicament at all.

“Good?” Clarke drawls. “I mean, I assume it was good because you sort of spaced out there for a second.”

“I just- I’m going to need a minute,” she breathes. An absolutely pathetic comeback.

“Sure, sure. Take your time, space cowboy,” the blue eyed girl quips as she crawls back up and sits down on Lexa’s thighs again.

“You won't look so smug later,” she says, slowly regaining her ability to function. “I’m not planning on stopping until you can’t walk properly anymore.” That’s better, she thinks.

Clarke’s eyes darken with desire. “Promises, promises.”

xxxxxxx

How Lexa manages to be good and ready again after a mind blowing orgasm, Clarke will never know. That’s why it’s such a surprise that she finds herself on her back with the brunette’s weight on top of her. But she’s not going to complain, not when she’s about to reap the benefits of her girlfriend’s legendary stamina. After all, she’s been waiting for this and fuck all else because she’s going to get what she wants one way or another. Lexa kisses her hard, biting her bottom lip and then slipping her tongue inside her mouth. Both of her hands are held in place above her head by Lexa’s right hand. Her lover’s left hand, in the meantime, is slowly, torturously crawling up and down on the inside of her thigh that’s been pulled up and pinned down on the tub. Occasionally, Lexa lets her hand wander closer to her core, fingertips ghosting at the slick, pouting outer lips of her cunt. She shivers as she feels Lexa’s hard cock straining against her thigh. And all she wants is to just shift until she can just thrust up and take it where she badly needs it to be.

“Come on, babe. Stop teasing. I need you,” she whines. Lexa grunts an affirmative but does the opposite of what she asked. Her lover pulls away and goes to stand but she grabs her by the arm. “Wait, where are you going?”

“Condoms,” Lexa pants.

She pulls Lexa down on top of her again. Curious green eyes look at her in confusion as the girl holds herself up on hands and knees above her. “There’s no need,” she begins. “I’ve been- I’m on the pill.” Lexa’s brows scrunch in a nonverbal question. “I decided on it about two weeks ago. It’s better like this so we don’t panic every time we forget to um, wrap you up?” She searches Lexa’s face for any sign of reluctance but finds a small smile on those plump lips instead.

“Okay,” the girl mumbles before kissing her lips again. It's a slower kind of kiss this time, thorough and exploratory in nature. She hums as their tongues meet once again in the middle of the heated kiss. But as always, she wants more. Her hands settle on Lexa’s shoulders to satisfy her craving for skin to skin contact. Her lover lies back down fully on top of her, and she groans upon feeling the familiar hardness of Lexa’s cock against her thigh.

Before she can begin to beg Lexa to start fucking her, strong hands part her legs and wrap them around a slender waist. The brunette then starts kissing along the side of her neck and rocking her hips ever so slightly, causing the tip of her cock to nudge at her clit. She gasps and wraps her arms around Lexa’s neck. “Please,” she breathes. And it seems that the single word is all Lexa is waiting for because she releases her hold on one of her thighs to position the tip of her cock against the dripping slit. As soon as the broad head starts to push in, Clarke moans and throws her head back. She’s more than ready, worked up for so long from the teasing even before they got into the tub. Giving Lexa a blowjob turned her on even more, especially with the deep, satisfied noises she was making as she came.

Lexa continues to thrust forward slowly until she’s fully sheathed inside Clarke. She lets out sighs of pleasure at finally feeling the burning stretch she’s been aching for. At this angle, Lexa reaches deeper inside of her. Lexa’s hips draws back, pulling out until only the head remains before slowly pushing back inside so she bottoms out again. The brunette repeats the action again and again, plunging back in with a little more force that has Clarke groaning with each thrust. If she wasn’t busy losing her mind to Lexa’s agonizingly slow rhythm, she’d be mortified at the squelching sound and the excessive amount of wetness she is producing down there.

But it seems that Lexa doesn’t even give a damn because she only drives into her harder and harder. “Faster, babe,” she pleads. And Lexa complies, picking up the pace and gripping her thighs tighter. Each roll of her hips now makes the ridged head of her cock drag deliciously along the sensitive spot of her front wall every time she pushes in. “Oh, fuck! Yes, right there!” she breathes in the brunette’s ear. Lexa bites down on her shoulder in response and ruts into her even harder and faster.

After just a few more seconds of Lexa’s relentless thrusting, Clarke comes hard, screaming at the top of her lungs. Even more wetness pushes out of her cunt as her whole body spasms in wave after wave of pleasure. Even with her opening clenching around the thick shaft inside her, Lexa continues to fuck her gently to ease her through her release. Finally, she comes down from high, and sighs in contentment. When she regains her ability to talk, she speaks in a scratchy voice. “Wow. That was something else. I mean, shit, I’m glad we’re already in the tub or housekeeping is gonna complain about the mess.”

Lexa pulls back to look at her with her incredibly smug face in an expression that says we’re not done. That’s when she’s reminded of the hard shaft still sitting inside her and that Lexa hasn’t come yet. She can only mutter an oh, fuck under her breath and squeal as she finds herself being lifted up and propped up on the edge of the tub. It’s all she can do to wrap her legs tighter around Lexa’s waist when her lover starts to move inside her with slow, full strokes. “Mmm… more,” she whispers. “Give me more.” Because god, she needs more.

Lexa grabs at her waist and rocks against her hard and fast. Then the brunette shifts between her legs to change the angle, making her scream up to the ceiling. She doesn’t know how Lexa finds that swollen spot along her front wall so easily. But now that she has, the head of her cock hits it so perfectly with every thrust. Her fingernails dig and scratch at Lexa’s shoulder and further down the defined muscles of her back. “Fuck, babe, I’m so close,” she grunts.

She’s not sure if she was heard over the wet sound of slapping skin. But the brunette answers with a growl and then nipping at her jawline before licking it to soothe the skin. The rhythmic twitching and throbbing of Lexa’s cock inside her tells her that the girl is close too. But she comes with another scream, way ahead of her lover again as a hand finds its way between her legs. Lexa’s fingers pinch her clit and it triggers a second, more intense release. The girl stills her hips in favor of putting more pressure on her clit as her orgasm goes on for far longer than she thought possible. Her release comes out in strong splashes around the hardened length inside her. By the end of it, she’s trembling from the aftershocks that course through her body.

The unintentional fluttering of her inner walls around Lexa’s cock sends the girl to her own peak. Lexa pushes inside of her more forcefully until she bottoms out. She feels the first spurt of come shoot up deep inside her followed by a couple of weaker pulses. Lexa grunts as she climaxes, thrusting in shallowly as the last jets of come rush up into her cunt. Their combined release drip out of her and down to the brunette’s things.

They hold each other’s bodies tight as their breathing evens out. And as soon as she’s able, she grabs the back of Lexa’s head to pull her into a languid kiss that’s filled with all the affection she can’t express in words right now. She hopes it’s enough. Lexa kisses her back with equal fervor and drags her back down to lie on top of her in the tub again. It’s a bit more difficult to accomplish since she finds that most of her limbs won’t support any of her weight after two powerful orgasms in quick succession. Thank fuck for Lexa’s Greek God physique.

They continue their heated kiss until Lexa’s cock softens enough to slip out of her. Clarke pulls her head back moments later to look down on Lexa. “Well…” she starts. “Mind blowing bathtub sex just made it on top of the list of things I’d like to do again.” Lexa quirks an eyebrow at her. “Not right now though. I’m pretty sure we’re both dehydrated after that. But fuck, was it worth it.”

“You can say that again,” Lexa mumbles.

Clarke lies back down and settles her head on Lexa’s chest. She doesn’t care about their sweaty, clammy skin that feels a bit uncomfortable. Or the wetness between her legs slowly turning colder and stickier. Or the damp bathroom becoming hotter with every breath. As far as she’s concerned, being held by Lexa’s strong arms is not something she will give up for anything in this moment.

xxxxxxx

“Do it,” she says.

Lexa rolls her eyes at her. But the small smile she’s trying to hide tells her her girlfriend is enjoying this too. The brunette is currently standing at the side of the bed where Clarke is lying down on her back. “You’re gonna help me clean up after this, right?” Lexa asks.

It’s mid-morning now and they’re supposed to check out of the suite in two hours. But Clarke refuses to leave without doing this one last thing. “Yes, yes. Now just fucking do it already!”

Lexa just shakes her head and bends down to collect the duffel bag from underneath the bed. Clarke closes her eyes and smiles wide in anticipation. Then Lexa holds the bag over her and tips it so the bills of money they’ve amassed over the last few days rain down on her. It’s a childhood dream come true. Not quite the Scrooge McDuck diving in a pile of gold coins fantasy she always had, but it’s close enough. And all it took was coaxing Lexa to say yes when she was in that blissful post-sex haze.

She laughs and lets out a few whoops as she pumps her fists up. When the bills of money eventually stop falling from the bag, she kneels, scoops up a few handfuls of cash and tosses them into the air. She starts laughing like a money-crazed maniac and motions for Lexa to join in. The girl shrugs and breaks into a grin before jumping on the bed, causing some of the bills to fly off in different directions.

They didn’t stop playing around until the money was well scattered around the room that it took more than the allotted two hours for them to clean up. And by then, the housekeeping staff that came to kick them out after they gathered all the bills again was really pissed off. But neither of them cared. They were both on cloud nine and on their way to the hotel restaurant that promised a complimentary continental breakfast buffet.

Lexa places a gentle kiss on the top of her head as she sits down by the small table. “You stay here. I’ll go get us something to eat,” her girlfriend says with a wide smile.

Clarke smiles back and sighs happily as she watches Lexa stroll at a leisurely pace to the buffet table. Until her daydreaming gets interrupted by some woman calling her name. She doesn’t turn immediately, because this someone could be calling someone else that’s not her. But she frowns when the seemingly familiar voice grows louder, like its owner is moving closer and closer to her. Clarke startles when she feels a hand settle on one of her shoulders. She turns then, with eyes wide in shock and mouth open, gawking at the person whose hand is shaking her gently by the shoulder.

“Clarke! I’ve been shouting your name for five minutes,” the woman says far too cheerily for her liking.

And suddenly, she feels a sinking feeling in her gut and her appetite leave her.

Chapter Text

“Well, don't act like you don't know me! Um, are you okay? You look a little pale.”

Clarke does feel like all the color on her face suddenly just drained. Where it went, she doesn't know. And now, she can taste something sour in her mouth as she struggles to at least say one word back. Failing that, she looks to the side where she thinks Lexa is. She sees her girlfriend's distinct, unkempt brown hair now on the far end of the buffet table, too far to call out to without causing a scene. Resigning to her fate, she turns back to stammer out her reply.

“C-Costia?”

The redhead smiles and plops down at the seat beside hers, folding her arms atop one another on the table. Clarke doesn't fail to notice the diamond encrusted ring on one hand. So, Noah did propose, she thinks rather bitterly. “I have to say, I didn't peg you for a head to Vegas after ditching graduation kinda gal,” she says with a laugh. “Caused quite a stir back at Ark U, you know. Are you here alone or… with someone?” Clarke chokes on nothing at the question because Costia seems like she knows more than she’s letting on.

She and Costia had always been on somewhat friendly terms. Civil would most likely be the right word to describe how they acted around each other during encounters that can be counted on one hand. Most of what she knew about the girl came from Noah. She used to think Costia was the perfect match to Noah’s easy-going and charming ways. She’s not blind either. Obviously, Costia’s parents must be a couple of drop dead gorgeous people. With everything from the luscious red hair to the lightly freckled porcelain skin, the woman is a vixen. These same features must have been the same things that Lexa saw in her. At that stray thought, a heavy feeling of jealousy settles at the pit of her stomach. And given that she knows too much about the girl's dirty secrets, there's an uncomfortable crawling under her skin to go with the jealousy.

Costia raises her perfectly manicured eyebrows at her, prompting her for a reply. But before she can trip over her words in an attempt to answer, she sees Noah walking up from behind the redhead.

“There you are, love. I've been looking everywhere for you,” he says, gaze fixed only on Costia. He looks the same as Clarke saw him last. Buzz cut, ice blue eyes, soft features, fair skin and the ever present thousand megawatt smile. She takes the time to look at them both now and she admits that they look every bit the handsome couple in their Sunday’s best.

“Sweetheart, look who I found!” Costia exclaims and points to Clarke. She pulls him down to one of the seats.

“Clarke? Wow, are the odds, huh? What are you doing here?” he asks with a good natured laugh, one arm resting at the back of his fiance’s chair.

“I- I, um…” she stutters.

Just then, Lexa returns to the table, still oblivious to the disastrous situation quickly unfolding because she's too busy trying to balance two heaping plates of food. She looks to the brunette pleadingly, but the girl only puts the plates down. “Okay, so I don't know which kind of jam you'd like best on your toast, so I got a variety…” she trails off, only now noticing that Clarke isn't alone.

Deep green eyes dart between the two other people, taking it all in in a calculating manner. The only thing that gives away Lexa’s irritation behind the cool facade is the clenching of her jaw. She doubts anyone else but her can notice it. Once the girl has taken stock of the situation, her questioning eyes finally settle on Clarke. And all she can do in response is look back in desperation.

She tugs at her girlfriend's arm in an attempt to calm her down. Lexa has never been one to instigate violence, but there’s just no way to tell what she would do. Better to just try and diffuse the tension now rather than later when someone is lying on the floor in a puddle of their own blood. And her touch seems to do the trick because Lexa does visibly relax and clasps her hand as if to say it’s okay.

Lexa, you’re here too,” Costia says, enunciating each syllable of the name and drawing attention back to herself. “What a coincidence. And... you guys are together. How… interesting.” When Clarke turns back to her, she sees lime green eyes glued on Lexa and filled with a malicious sort of amusement. Then without taking her eyes off of Lexa, she addresses Noah. “Sweetheart, do you remember when I told you about my Advanced Calculus study buddy who you never met? Well, that’s Lexa.”

Noah beams at Lexa. “Oh, so that was you! Cos tells me she’d never pass if it wasn’t for you.” He extends one hand to Lexa. “It’s nice to finally meet you face to face.”

The brunette ignores the offered hand and makes no effort to shake it. “Charmed,” comes the Lexa’s clipped reply.

He frowns slightly but only laughs off the rejection. “Okay… not big on handshakes, I see.”

“Noah, do you think maybe we could ask the staff to bring over our breakfast to this table? You know, so we could catch up with our friends here,” Costia tells him, eyes still firmly set on Lexa.

“That's a great idea. I’ll be right back,” Noah says as he stands up, unaware of what's going on between heated stares.

Lexa doesn't break eye contact with Costia either but Clarke can tell that she's really furious now. They're all silent as Noah walks off. The look on Lexa’s face is unreadable as she exhales heavily and practically slumps down beside Clarke. And all Clarke really wants to do is get out of this fucked up encounter from the moment it started. Especially now that one corner of Costia’s lips lifts up, like she’s getting some sick sort of satisfaction in this.

“You should leave,” Lexa tells Costia through gritted teeth.

The redhead only smirks. “And here I thought you missed me. But I see you’ve added another notch to your bedpost, so maybe you didn't,” she says with a nod towards Clarke.

Clarke bristles at the implication. She would have been more than happy to give this arrogant bitch a piece of her mind but Lexa beats her to it. “No. You don't get to talk like that about her. Not unless you want your fiance to know what we've been doing during those ‘study dates’ you lied to him about.” Costia’s eyes widen at that. “Nice rock, by the way,” the brunette finishes with a pointed glare at the ring on the girl's hand.

“Is that a threat?” Costia asks.

“What do you think?”

Noah comes back then, a couple of hotel staff carrying plates of half eaten breakfast in tow. He sits back down once the table is set, still painfully clueless. “What’d I miss?” he asks as he places a light kiss on his fiance’s cheek.

“Not much, just catching up,” Costia replies in a sickeningly sweet voice and smile. “I’m gonna go to the bathroom for a while, darling. I’m sure Lexa and Clarke will be glad to keep you company while I’m gone.” As she stands and walks away, all eyes follow her. Clarke notes that where Noah’s eyes are filled with nothing but love for the woman, Lexa’s were dark and swimming with what looks like remorse and anger. Like there’s an internal conflict going on somewhere in there. She knows that look very well. Lexa has climbed inside her own head again, and Clarke knows enough to leave her be when she’s like this.

But as Costia rounds the corner, Clarke gets this idea. It’s arguably not her best idea, but she’ll never be able to live with herself if she doesn’t go through with it. Besides, that fucking slut had the audacity to insult her right to her face. And nobody gets away unscathed after mocking Clarke Griffin. Maybe while she’s at it, she’ll find out what the hell is wrong with this evil bitch of a girl who hides behind her Little Miss Perfect cover. So, before she starts to second guess herself, she stands up to follow the redhead.

The action pulls her girlfriend out of her own thoughts for a while. “Clarke, where are you going?” the brunette asks, bewildered but she can tell that Lexa’s still not all there.

“I need to use the restroom too, be right back.” Lexa’s expression shifts to panicked confusion, probably at the prospect of being left alone with Noah. “Don’t worry, I’ll be quick,” she finishes with a reassuring smile. The answer she gets is a reluctant nod.

She gets up quickly and gets on her target’s trail. It doesn’t take her long before she finds the women’s restroom on the far side of the restaurant. She pushes the door open and slips by two other women who are on their way out. As she moves further into the room, she immediately spots a familiar figure standing right in front of the huge mirror by the sinks, primping her red hair. Each of her steps echo through the empty bathroom, announcing her presence. Costia’s eyes lock onto hers and she stares glares right back into the other girl’s reflection. The red haired girl has that tiny, infuriating smirk on her face, like she’s waiting for her to make the first move.

Clarke leans back on the wall just in front of the mirror and crosses her arms, lime green eyes carefully tracking her movements. The silence that follows is charged, only interrupted by the occasional sound of dripping water that echoes through the room. Ever impatient, she decides to just get on with it. “So, what’s your game here, Costia? Making your fiance sit in the same table as the girl you were cheating on him with? That’s gotta be the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

Costia laughs bitterly as she calmly turns around to face her. “My, my… what a mouth you have on you. Noah did tell me once that you can be aggressive. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting you to follow me here, but it’s good to know you don’t just let other people talk for you.”

“Wow, have you always been this bitchy or is it just me?”

The redhead laughs again. “Lexa always did have a thing for girls with dirty mouths. I think it’s the contrast from her own personality. Opposites attract and all that.”

Clarke silently fumes from her spot. “I don’t know why you think it’s still a good idea to talk shit about me. Or Lexa, for that matter. A few words to your fiance is all it would take to permanently wipe that grin off your face.”

“Oh, is this you trying to scare me? It’s not very effective. Who’s gonna tell on me? Lexa? It’s all idle threats with her.”

“How about me, you fucking cunt? Lexa might hesitate to throw you under the bus but I won’t. Hell, I’d gladly watch you get mowed down to bits,” she says, seething now and unconsciously moving closer to the red haired girl.

Costia’s grin gets wider. “Mm… I think I see what’s going on here. Feeling a little insecure, Clarke? Worried that Lexa might crawl right back to me? I always did prefer her on her knees, with her head between my-”

Clarke sees red. “That’s it, I’ve had enough of you, you psychotic slut!” she growls as she lunges forward. Costia’s going to learn why she was called Clarke “Catfight” Griffin back when she was in Catholic school.

xxxxxxx

Lexa’s trying her hardest not to look like she’s going through a moral crisis. With everything she’s been through, there’s only a few things in this world that can make her skittish and stumped. Running into the woman who she had a “relationship” built on infidelity and carnal needs with definitely fits the bill. Seeing Costia again definitely knocked things off balance, and not because she still feels something for the girl. No, being with Clarke cured her of that. Whatever it was she felt for the redhead had long since fizzled out and had been replaced by something… more for Clarke.

And then, there’s this oblivious fool who has somehow managed to fail to notice anything wrong through it all. The rational part of her mind bids her to just run, like she always did when things got too out of hand for her. Her flight or fight response is impeccable, and listening to her gut literally saved her life more than once. But there’s also this tiny voice at the back of her head compelling her to do the right thing and just tell Noah everything.

The point of her running away from everything in Washington was to just leave it all behind, completely cut herself off. Getting involved would surely negate that. And would it really be so bad to let the guy live in a state of blissful ignorance and let him believe that Costia never cheated on him, especially if they appear to be happy?

Noah clears his throat, and she’s suddenly reminded of the awkward silence between them. It also interrupts her internal strife. “So um, how long have you and Clarke been together?” he asks. Lexa snaps her head around to him. She must have had a furious look on her face because he recoils. “I was just asking a question, alright? If I offended you or anything, I assure you, it wasn’t intentional. It’s cool if you don’t want to answer.”

Lexa draws in a deep breath and struggles to smooth her expression because Noah doesn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of her rage. She decides to humor him out of pity or regret, maybe a bit of both. “A few months,” she answers bluntly.

Pleased with himself that he got her talking, he smiles again. This guy’s too nice for his own good, Lexa thinks. “Oh, that’s great! You both have ‘honeymoon phase’ written all over you when you’re together. But I can tell you guys are in it for the long haul.” Lexa raises an eyebrow in a silent question. “Trust me, I should know. Just look at me and Costia. Been together through high school and college, and still going strong.”

Lexa’s innards roil and clench. She never knew about this particularly significant detail about Noah and Costia’s relationship. Mostly because Costia never talks about it and she never bothered to ask. The question of whether it’s possible to feel worse than she already does by breathing in the same air as the man across from her is a resounding yes. She chokes at something that’s not really there at the back of her throat.

“Hey, you and Clarke should come by. We’re having an engagement party right here in this hotel. I know Costia would like you to be there, seeing as you helped her a lot. And Clarke is a good friend of mine.”

She opens her mouth to say no because it doesn’t seem right for her to be there after everything she’s done with Costia. But a commotion from somewhere in the distance catches their attention. It looks like there’s some trouble at the other end of the restaurant’s dining area. All of a sudden, she feels her heart sink to her stomach. Clarke. What if she’s in trouble? Without another thought, she jumps out of her seat and sprints towards where her girlfriend went. She ignores Noah’s shouts of concern along with the confused looks of the other diners and just keeps going until she reaches the women’s restroom.

And sure enough, trouble is what she finds when she shoves at the people who gathered nearby and pushes open the door. Clarke and Costia are locked in a battle of scratches, slaps and hair-pulling, shrieking and cursing at each other as they go. Lexa doesn’t know how this came to be but she knows that she should put a stop to it. The last thing they need is to cause something the hotel staff will remember them by. She steps closer and clasps both her arms around Clarke’s torso to pull her away. But her girlfriend doesn’t let go of her grip on the red hair in between her fingers.

“For crying out loud, Clarke, let go! We need to leave now!” she says sternly right against the blonde’s ear. And Clarke, being the stubborn person she is, doesn’t let go. Instead, the girl yanks down Costia by the hair. Lexa winces at the tearing sound and the redhead’s bloodcurdling scream. There’s no way the people outside didn’t hear that.

So, she changes tactics. With one arm firmly wrapped around Clarke’s waist, she steps to the side so she can put herself between the two women. She places her other hand on Costia’s shoulder and pushes her away with a little more force than she’s really comfortable with. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Thankfully, it works and Costia staggers back before falling flat on her ass. The girl looks to her with pure anger etched on her face. But she tears her eyes away to make sure that her girlfriend is okay. She’s all that matters anyway. Apart from the rumpled clothing and disheveled hair, the only noteworthy injury Clarke seems to have is a busted lip.

“Who’s all idle threats now, bitch? Come at me!” Clarke taunts as she struggles to wiggle out of Lexa’s grip.

“No, that’s enough, Clarke,” Lexa sighs. When Clarke only tries to dart forward again, she tightens her hold on her. “Desperate times,” she whispers to herself as she drags Clarke forcibly away despite the girl’s protests and last nasty remarks to Costia. The crowd that gathered parts to let them pass and Lexa keeps focus on the task at hand to drown out everything. She’s practically carrying the furious blonde in her hurry to get out of the restaurant that’s conveniently on the first floor for a quick escape. Good thing she had the sense to stow away their stuff back in the car beforehand.

As soon as the valet brings the GT40 around, she puts down Clarke who is still weakly struggling. She throws the passenger door open. “Get in quick. We have to go right now,” she says in a tone that brooks no arguments. The blue eyed girl obeys but makes a show of stomping her feet and slamming the door. Lexa walks around to the driver’s side and settles into the seat. Once her hands are on the steering wheel and her feet are on the pedals, she drives off, tires screeching. Beside her, Clarke huffs angrily.

And she thinks that maybe she really can’t run away from this one after all.

Chapter Text

If it was up to Lexa, they would only stop when she feels that they’re far enough away. Like, maybe when they're out of the state. Unfortunately for her, Clarke’s lower lip is really swollen now and still bleeding, which is probably the only reason why the girl has been quiet. They really need to do something about that. With how much trouble they get into and how many fights Clarke picks, they should probably keep a first aid kit in the car.

To top it all off, the gas indicator light on the dashboard started blinking, like it's mocking her. With a drawn out groan, she veers left to where an overhead sign points to a gas station. When they arrive, she pulls up right beside a pump, thankful that the station was not that crowded. She turns to the blonde and fishes around in her pocket for a handkerchief before holding it out. “Here, hold that to your lip.” Her girlfriend takes it with an annoyed grunt. But she does as she's told. “Put a little more pressure on it to stop the bleeding.”

“I'm a pre-med, Lexa, I know how to do shit like this,” Clarke snaps at her, speech a little muffled but irritable nonetheless.

In an effort to stall an impending, inevitable argument, she just sighs. “Right. I'm gonna go buy some ice and some first aid supplies from the store. You stay here and fill up the tank.” Clarke only answers with another grunt as she gets out of the car.

As fast as she can, she picks up some ice, a pack of cotton, antiseptic cream and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and pays for them along with the tank full of gas. She finds Clarke leaned against the side of the car when she steps back out. Setting down the bag on the hood, she motions for the girl to come closer. “Let me take a look.” Dragging her heels, the girl walks and stands right in front of her. She puts a finger under Clarke's chin, careful to ignore the blue eyes boring into her face, as she inspects the injured lip. Now that it has stopped bleeding, it’s easier to see. The cut at the right side of the lower lip is relatively small, and it's not very deep either.

“It's not that bad. Are you hurt anywhere else?” Lexa asks after giving the blue eyed girl a good lookover. Clarke shakes her head. She lets her hand drop and steps away just in case Clarke is not done raising hell for one day. “Good. Well, go on then, pre-med. You got yourself into this mess, fix yourself up,” she says with a nod to the bag containing the first aid supplies. She knows it's incredibly rude, a literal insult to injury. But if Clarke is going to be difficult, she’s going to return the favor. Besides, after what happened back at the hotel, she figures she has the right be mad. The police could have been involved with the altercation. And with a rap sheet as long as Lexa’s, it could have spelled the end for them.

Clarke glares at her, red faced and angry. Lexa just calmly leans back on the car to watch the numbers count up on the gas pump’s electronic display. “Oh, great. You’re gonna be a fucking ass now?” the furious blonde grits out as she rummages around the bag and goes to fix her lip up in the tiny side mirror.

“I’m the ass?” This is it. There’s no stopping the next words that will come out of her mouth now. “You’re the one who goes around starting fights! In a public bathroom, too! What the hell were you thinking? You could have gotten arrested!”

Clarke whirls around, still looking pissed. The sheer intensity of the rage pouring off of her is almost enough to make Lexa stagger, but she’s already backed up against the car with nowhere else to go. “At least I fought, Lexa,” she says, stalking forward and cornering Lexa. “Not like you,” she emphasizes with a jab of one finger on Lexa’s chest. “You just sat there and took it, let her walk all over you,” Another jab. “All those things that fucking bitch said, and you didn’t... Lift. One. Finger,” she finishes, punctuating the last three words with particularly hard jabs of her finger.

Clenching her jaw now in anger, Lexa grabs the pale hand to stop the annoying pokes to her chest that seem to dig far deeper than the skin. “I was being rational. At least one of us needs to be,” she breathes. Somewhere inside her head, she knows she should have handled the encounter with Costia differently. Maybe if she wasn’t afraid to do the right thing in the first place, this whole mess would never have happened. It’s all messed up how a morning that started out so perfectly turned into a disaster so fast.

“No. You were being a coward,” Clarke replies, snatching away her hand. And it stings, being called a coward. Mostly because there's truth in it. She starts to go back to tending to her lip but then turns right back around. “Tell me, are you even really over her? Because it seems to me like she still has you wrapped around her finger.”

“What?” she stammers, confused. She knew Clarke has a jealous streak, but this seems to be a tad bit excessive. “Look, just because I didn't punch her lights out, doesn't mean I have feelings for her.”

Clarke’s expression softens. She now looks less angry. In fact, she seems a bit dejected. Blue eyes dart down to the ground. “I don't know…”

“What's going on, Clarke? Where is this coming from?” she asks in a much gentler tone than before. When Clarke just shrugs, she moves closer, grateful when the shorter girl doesn't shrink away from her. “Did she say anything to you?” she questions, anger edging back into her voice again. Costia must have. That's the only reason she can think of.

Clarke’s eyes never meet hers when she starts rambling. “It's just that she said something about you crawling back to her.” There it is. Costia did always have a way with words and manipulating people. She knew that much from more than two years of being in an affair with her. It may just be the redhead’s bad luck that Clarke wasn't one to just take crap from anybody. “So that's when I lost my shit. I didn't know what else to do. She was just smirking at me like she's so pleased with herself. And I couldn't- I didn't like how it felt when she started saying all that stuff about you-"

Lexa suddenly tugs Clarke forward by her neck and crushes their lips together, making sure to avoid the wound. She wants the blonde to stop rambling. But most of all, she wants there to be no shred of doubt that she doesn’t have any lingering feelings for Costia. Kissing her hits two birds with one stone.

After a brief moment of shock, Clarke reciprocates. Their lips interlock with each other in a slow, gentle kiss. After a while, Clarke tilts her head for a different angle, accidentally putting pressure on the tiny gash. “Ow,” she whines, pulling back before diving back in for another kiss and then grabbing the seams of Lexa's shirt to bring them closer together. She breaks it off again after a few seconds. “Wait, why am I kissing you? We're in the middle of an argument.”

Lexa snorts out a laugh. When Clarke rolls her eyes and tries to pull away, she only curls her fingers tighter around the back of the girl’s neck. “Hold on. Just let me say what I have to say,” she says looking directly into Clarke’s eyes. “I don't feel anything for Costia that should cause you to worry. What I had with her is over, believe me. There's no way I'm going back to that because it will never compare to what I have with you. I think…” she trails off, trying to word it just right because she herself isn’t sure if there are even words that would suffice for what she feels. She closes her eyes, rests her forehead on the blonde’s and breathes in deeply. “I think I’m in love with you,” she whispers.

xxxxxxx

It takes her brain a while to process the last words Lexa said so softly. But the meaning behind the message is loud, and so is the beating of her heart. Speechless, she does the only thing she can to tell Lexa she feels the same way. She leans up again and fists her hands on the bottom of the brunette’s shirt to reconnect their lips. Screw the pesky cut on her bottom lip. Lexa kisses her back with the same delicate glide of her lips. Clarke notices that the girl is probably holding back for her sake, and she doesn't think it's possible to fall any further in love for Lexa at that considerate action.

Even when they're both panting really hard, they're reluctant to pull away from each other. Not even when some other car started honking at them. She only raises one hand to flip the driver off. The barrage of cuss words that the driver hurls towards them eventually makes Lexa put a stop to their make out sesh, to Clarke's disappointment. Her girlfriend turns to the driver, holding her hands out in front of her with an apologetic look on her face.

Soon after, Lexa puts the nozzle back on the pump and tosses the bag inside the car before shoving Clarke into the passenger seat and driving off. She would have thought something was wrong were it not for the grin on the brunette’s face. But she didn't have time to dwell on what it was about because Lexa is pulling over to the side of the road after about ten minutes.

Clarke suddenly finds herself being practically lifted off her seat by strong arms and then deposited on Lexa's lap. Not that she minds the rough treatment anyway. And then Lexa is kissing her again, and her hands automatically wind around the girl's neck. This time, the kiss doesn't end until their need for oxygen wins out over the need to taste each other's lips. Now, they're both giggling like a couple of school girls.

“So, now what?” she asks breathily.

“Well, now we actually try to use the first aid stuff on your split lip,” Lexa replies with a kiss to the side of her jaw.

“No, I meant after that, obviously.”

Lexa's expression changes to something more serious, and she wonders if maybe that was the wrong thing to ask. The brunette must have read her mind because she only wraps her arms tighter around Clarke's body to reassure her. “The smart thing would be to run and never look back. At least, that's the logical next step for us but…”

“But?”

“But sometimes, what's right and what's logical aren't always the same thing.”

Clarke swallows the lump that has formed at the back of her throat. She has a good idea of where Lexa is going with this. “You're talking about Noah and Costia, right?”

Lexa only nods her head and exhales heavily. They both fall silent but neither of them let go. “I’d be lying to myself if I said that what I did with Costia doesn't eat me up inside. I should've told Noah all those years ago, or before we left Washington, but I didn't. I just didn't want to deal with it, I guess. I thought I could just put it behind me.”

Clarke puts one hand on Lexa's cheek. “Hey,” she starts. “Now, you know how I feel about cheating. It was wrong but you did the right thing by walking away.”

“It's not enough though,” she says solemnly, green eyes filled with sadness and guilt.

“No, it wasn't. It was a good start though. And it may just be pure coincidence or fate intervening when we ran into the bitch, but maybe this is you being given a second chance to set things straight.”

“Maybe,” Lexa repeats slowly. “I'm sorry about dragging you into this, by the way. And the busted lip.”

“Oh, trust me, the busted lip part was worth it,” she says with a smile. Because it really is. Especially when she knows that Costia’s in a much worse shape than she is.

Lexa chuckles. “Look at you, such a badass.”

“Maybe you're rubbing off on me.” When Lexa smirks and wiggles her eyebrows suggestively, Clarke laughs. “Not that kind of rubbing, you dork. And normally, I wouldn't object to having my way with you inside the car, but we're on a mission here, babe.”

“Ah, yes. Let's go save a good man from a bad decision,” the brunette says.

In the end, she lets Lexa help her back to her seat and patch her up. But it was only so she could get away with occasionally kissing her and smearing antiseptic cream on her face.

xxxxxxx

She doesn't know if it was a stroke of good luck or some freaky ccoincidence, but it turned out that they had more time to try and crash the engagement party. Apparently, Noah and Costia, along with their families and friends are staying in the hotel through the weekend for the party.

She and Clarke spent a full day lurking around the hotel and subtly asking hotel staff to get as much details as they can. Of course, they're doing it all in hastily put together disguises since Lexa doesn't want to chance getting recognized for the bathroom fiasco. And that's how Operation Fuck Shit Up got started. She blames Clarke for the awfully unimaginative name, but the blonde was so adamant about it that she had no choice but to concede defeat. Her girlfriend’s adorable pouting may also have something to do about it.

So far, all they knew was that the party is going to be held at a private function room and security is bound to be tight. But Lexa had her fair share of party crashing back in her day, and there's almost always a band playing at these things. So, after buying an empty violin case for Clarke and a guitar case for her, they have their covers as hired musicians established.

It's just a matter of convincing the guard out front now. Lexa can't help but think that the whole thing feels like one of their scams. The only difference is that it's a lot more difficult to tell the outcome. She shakes her head to get her head back in the game. There's no turning back now. She's going to see this through even if they have to execute Plan B, which is to knock the guard unconscious and then hide him somewhere no one will find him for the next few hours. It's not ideal but it's nice to have something to fall back on.

They can already hear the chatter, music and clinking silverware from inside. Lexa has a simple suit on minus the tie while Clarke is in a tight red dress, the last of the clothes they rented. How fitting it would be to wear them in what looks to be their last night in Vegas. “You look gorgeous,” she tells Clarke with a smirk, not even bothering to hide the way her eyes roam over the blonde’s figure.

Clarke grins at her. “You don't look so bad yourself. But keep it in your pants for now, babe. We have to pull this off before we start pulling off clothes.”

“Of course,” she drawls before dipping her head down to take Clarke's lips between hers in a soft kiss. Before they get too carried away, she pulls back and adjusts her jacket. “Alright. Now, remember, let me do the all the talking.”

“Got it,” Clarke replies with a nod.

Side by side and carrying their empty instrument cases, they walk up to the man. “Guten Abend, mein herr,” she says. “Wie geht es Ihnen?”

The man looks at her confused before looking at Clarke too. That's good. He doesn't seem to know German. In her experience, it's easier to get away with things when you speak an unfamiliar language, and that's what she's counting on right now. “Uhhh… can I help you?” he asks scratching the back of his head.

She starts going on and on about music while gesturing at the instrument cases. At one point she even recites an old German rhyme just to see how far she could take it. The poor man just looks perplexed, muttering things like “they don't pay me enough for this shit", “oh, god, help me” and “somebody put me out of my misery”. But he somehow still manages to nod along politely while trying to explain that he doesn't understand whatever Lexa is saying.

At least one of them is enjoying the situation. She side eyes Clarke and sees the girl trying hard to contain her laughter. She's not doing a very good job of it judging by her red face and shuddering shoulders. It's a miracle the man doesn't notice her. But maybe the wild movements of Lexa's hands are helping too.

Finally, the guard just decides to give up and throws his hands up. “Musician, yes?” he says, miming the action of playing guitar.

“Jawohl,” she confirms.

“Alright, I'm gonna let you in. Nobody said anything ‘bout goddamn foreign band geeks getting in late, but that ain't my problem,” he says as he pushes open the door of the function room.

Lexa and Clarke slip through with grateful nods and smiles. “Danke,” she says to the man.

“Yeah, good luck with all that,” he says shaking his head.

As soon as the door closes, Clarke bursts out in laughter. “Oh my god, that was so funny. I thought he was gonna bolt out of here any second,” the blue eyed girl wheezes.

“Yeah,” she chuckles. “I was honestly surprised he lasted for as long as he did.”

When the laughter dies down, they both finally take in the room. It's already filled with people but they don't see either Costia or Noah yet. Clarke intertwines their fingers and gives her hand a squeeze. “You ready?” she asks.

“This was long overdue, so yeah. I'm ready,” she answers with a confident smile.

“Operation Fuck Shit Up is a go,” Clarke says.

Chapter Text

Just act normal. Just act normal. Just act normal. For the past twenty minutes they’ve been inside the function room, this has been Clarke’s mantra. She repeats it over and over in her head as they walk past the tables and the people around them that are in the middle of noisy reunions. But it’s clearly not working because Lexa is looking at her like she’s lost her goddamn mind. She just shrugs her shoulders at her.

“You’re going to give us away,” Lexa whispers to her through gritted teeth as they walk further to the side to avoid running into people and drawing attention to themselves.

“Shit, sorry,” she whispers back. “I’m just a little nervous. You know, because we’re in the enemy’s territory.”

“Just relax. We do this right, we’ll be in and out before anybody notices.”

Lexa pulls her to the side and towards the raised platform they’re using as a stage at the far end of the room. She’s gotta give it Costia. As much of a psycho bitch she is, she has good taste, as to be expected of someone who majored in interior design. The stage is beautifully set and lit where a quartet is playing. It looks like Lexa was right about the musicians. Everything just ties in with the color scheme of the tables and the flower arrangements scattered all around. There’s even a champagne fountain on the buffet table. For an engagement party, they really went all out. She almost feels sorry that it would all have been for nothing once they’re through here.

It seems that nobody noticed two completely out of place musicians sneaking about, and they finally get to the back of the stage. Crouched down now, Lexa sets down the guitar and violin cases and pops them open. Tucked away inside the case are a couple of flashlights, a wire cutter, some screwdrivers and a bunch of other tools they took from the car’s toolbox. The brunette carefully checks each tool before closing the case and picking it up again.

“Alright, are you ready?” the green eyed girl asks as she stands back up. Clarke nods in answer. “Remember, as fast as you can.”

“Yeah. Good luck,” she says. She grabs at the lapels of Lexa’s jacket and draws her in for a sweet kiss.

“You too, babe,” Lexa says with a smirk. And with that, she bounds off.

The goal is easy enough. They need to get Noah alone. If the guy hadn’t been practically stuck to Costia’s hip even days before this stupid party, they wouldn’t have resorted to such a bold action. They already assumed that Costia told him about the bathroom brawl anyway, so this was really the only choice. At least it’s easy to see where he is, sitting right in the center of the room at the biggest table.

But getting him away from all these partygoers was the challenge. So her evil genius girlfriend came up with a plan. They’re going to cut the room’s power out and delay the standby generators from picking up the slack. And when everyone’s panicking, Clarke will swoop in and drag Noah to the bathroom, under the cover of darkness before the generators kick in. Lexa will already be waiting there to tell the poor groom everything to spare him the embarrassment. Hopefully, their conversation in the bathroom will end up better than the one between her and Costia.

Clarke takes a deep breath to ready herself. She unties the stylish sash wrapped around her torso and ties it around her eyes so she can see better once the lights are off. Believe it or not, this is also planned because Lexa thinks about everything. She only had to wait what feels like fifteen minutes before the lights flicker off and the music from the stage fades into nothingness. Already, she hears some screaming from the people at the middle of the room. She takes that as her sign to start moving.

Slipping the sash off her head, she squints as her eyes adjust to the darkness. The emergency light at the side of the room turns on. As soon as she can clearly make out shapes, she starts to walk to her destination. It’s a little harder to get there though because people are running around and bumping into each other like crazed maniacs. You’d think adults would handle being in the dark a little better by now. But she pushes on, even going so far as shoving people to get there since time is of the essence.

Eventually, she gets to the biggest table at the center, but it took her a lot longer than she would have liked. She can just distinguish Noah’s figure at the middle. He’s clutching someone close to his chest, someone who she can only assume is Costia. Determined, she walks up to him anyway.

“Noah, you need to come with me,” she says with a tap on his shoulder.

“What? Who’re you?” he asks.

Clarke curses under her breath. She was supposed to address him with his last name so she doesn't come off as suspicious. “Mr. Bennett, I’m from the hotel’s security staff. I need you to come with me,” she tries again.

“Uh, shouldn't you be getting the lights back on?”

“We’re working on that, sir. But I need you to come with me. It’s important.”

“Wait a minute. Why do you need him?” Costia asks. Of course she just had to butt in. Seriously, fuck this bitch. She’s running out of time.

“It’s a matter of security, ma’am. We just need-” Before she can finish her sentence, the lights come back on. “Oh, fuck me.”

“You fucking bitch!” Costia shrieks at her once she recognizes her. “You have the nerve to come here after what you’ve done to me!” Noah makes no move to restrain the girl as she stalks menacingly towards Clarke.

Clarke takes a step back. This was not how things were supposed to go. They clearly messed up with their calculation of how long until the power will kick back on. “Look, just calm down,” Clarke says with both hands out in front of her.

Before Costia can let out another screech at her, the loud, ear-splitting sound of microphone feedback fills the room, causing everyone to cover their ears and shut their eyes, including Clarke. When the sound dies down, the whole room looks to the source. And there, right in the middle of the stage stands Clarke’s knight in shining armor. Or more accurately, knight in fine formal suit. Of course, it wouldn’t be anybody else other than Lexa Woods who would come to her rescue. She turns her head to Costia to catch the look of complete horror on her face before fixing her eyes on Lexa again.

“Good evening, everybody,” the brunette says into the mic. “Don’t mind the power outage, it’s just a minor problem. You can all take your seats again.”

Partygoers look around to their peers, confused, before finally finding their seats again in no time until it’s only Clarke, Costia and Noah who are left standing. But everyone’s eyes still stay glued on Lexa. She has witnessed Lexa’s ability to command the attention of an entire room before, but she’s never seen it to this extent. And it maybe turning her on a little bit. Still, she doesn’t know what the girl would do next now that their plan fell through.

“I would just like to take this opportunity to say a few things about the lovely couple right there seeing as I will not make it to the actual wedding, if there ever is one,” she starts, pointing to Noah and Costia. Clarke tries to stealthily walk away now that there’s a distraction. “I only met the groom earlier this week, nice guy. I wish it would have been under different circumstances but… Well, what’s done is done. Now, Costia’s someone I’ve known since sophomore year in college. Some may even say that I know her way too well.”

“Do something, Noah! Get her off the goddamn stage!” Costia shouts and shoves at Noah, finally snapping out of her previous state of shock. She knows what Lexa’s trying to get around to.

“What do you want me to do?!” Noah shouts back.

Costia runs her hands through her hair in a fit of panic and anger. “Call security, fucking tackle her to the ground, I don’t care! Just get her out of here!”

But it’s too late because Lexa is already launching off to the next point of her impromptu speech. “I’m just going to say this outright, not much sense in beating around the bush. I’m sorry for doing it this way but I’ve got to do the right thing here,” the brunette says. “I’ve been sleeping with Costia for over half my college life without Noah ever knowing.”

A hush falls over the room, accompanied by some glass breaking and silverware falling to the floor, as all eyes turn to a wide-eyed Costia. The awkward silence lasts longer than Clarke thought possible until Noah breaks it. “Is- Is it true? What she’s saying?” he asks, eyes firmly set on Costia.

“Noah… please let me explain. It’s- it’s not what you think,” Costia tries to reason.

He yanks his arm out of Costia’s grip. “Who else have you slept with?!”

“No one else. Noah, please. I’ll make it up to you. Just let me-”

“Let you what, Costia? I can’t believe you would do this to me! It’s like… like I don’t even know you.”

Just then, the older woman who sat beside Noah stands up and faces Costia. Based on her appearance alone, she looks like a close relative. His mother, maybe. “That’s it, the engagement is off. I knew you were no good for my son. You’re just like your whore mother!”

Another woman on the opposite side of the table shoots up from her seat. “Say that to my face you old hag! Maybe your son doesn’t know how to keep women satisfied!”

In a few blinks of an eye, the two arguing women circle around the table to cuss more and shove at each other. It was a shock to see that the union of the two families are tenuous at best because soon enough, other people around the table started getting in their own fights. Somehow, in the middle of all the chaos, Lexa finds her. The brunette immediately pulls her to the door and out to the hallway where the guard just stands confused. When Clarke said fuck shit up, she was pretty sure she didn't mean this.

xxxxxxx

Hand in hand, they walk to the elevator in silence. Despite leaving the room where all hell broke lose, Lexa feels lighter than she has in years. Truthfully, she didn’t expect it to go that way at all but she wasn’t just going to leave without doing what she set out to do. And maybe it was for the best if the two families inside clearly can’t stand each other. The doors ding open when they reach the ground floor, and they both step out.

“Are you okay?” Clarke eventually asks her.

“Yes,” she answers with a small smile and puts a kiss at the back of the blonde’s hand. “Let’s get back on the road. I think it’s about time we leave Las Vegas behind.” Clarke returns her smile.

Since they didn’t bother with the valet earlier, they walk the rest of the way to the open parking. As they draw nearer to the car, Lexa spots a familiar figure pacing back and forth in front of it. She’s not sure how he could even have beaten them to the ground floor, but there he is. His white shirt is drenched in sweat, which gives her the idea that he must have taken the stairs and ran here.

“Noah? What are you doing here?” Clarke asks for her.

“Why did you do it?” he asks, voice barely louder than a whisper.

Lexa knows exactly what he’s asking. With a gentle nudge and a nod, she silently tells Clarke to step aside. This, after all, is between her and Noah. “I’m sorry, Noah. I really am. I wish I had more to say, but I’ve got nothing. What I did with… with her was wrong, and I regret all of it.”

Noah looks at her with bloodshot eyes brimming with tears. “No, you don’t just get to say that you’re sorry,” he sobs. “You ruined my life!” The tears start to fall now. Lexa has never seen a man so broken as the one in front of her, and she’s seen her fair share of people who’ve hit rock bottom in her life. The guilt hits her in full force.

“I know. I’d take it all back if I could,” she says remorsefully. “You’re a good man, Noah. You deserve better.”

“I don’t need your fucking pity!” he shouts. “Not from you of all people.” He lunges forward then, grabbing her by the collar and succeeding in lifting her up about an inch from the ground. Clarke gasps loudly and tries to move towards her. Lexa calmly lets herself be handled and puts up a hand to signal Clarke that it’s okay. Noah pushes her away again after glaring at her.

This was a possibility even before their original plan failed. And if it were to happen, she had it in her mind that she was just going to let Noah take out his frustration on her. Sure enough, he strikes. While Lexa’s conscience is telling her to take the beating as punishment, it’s much harder to make her body defy the rigorous training it went through. And that’s counting out the honed instincts that guide her and the adrenaline coursing through her veins. She sees the punch coming from a mile away and ducks her head down before it could touch her.

Noah snarls viciously and attacks again, aiming at her face. This is common behavior for people who don’t have much fight experience. They always target the head in an attempt to inflict as much pain, whereas seasoned fighters know to vary their attacks, hitting other vital parts of the body to effectively cripple their opponents. She dances away just in time and curses inwardly at the futility of this plan. While she’s busy dodging punches, she contemplates how she can let Noah win.

But as he continually throws strong punches that Lexa only shrugs off, barely breathing hard, Noah is exerting more effort. And now, he’s starting to tire. His strikes aren’t that straightforward anymore and his arms don’t reach up as high as they did before. It’s quickly becoming embarrassing for him again so he gets even more aggressive and sloppier with his movements.

Finally, Lexa realizes that in order to end this, she has to finish this herself. So, she stands her ground and lets Noah get in close. She dodges a straight jab but presses forward still, grabs at his arm and places it right over her shoulder in one fluid motion. Using his momentum, she drags him forward and down to the ground. She hears his breath get knocked out of him as he hits the flat surface. Now he just stares up at her, not even surprised at how things turned out. Like he wanted it to happen all along.

“Stop. Just stop for a second,” she sighs. “I don’t want to hurt you. You’ve been through enough for one day already. But I think I understand how you feel, I see it. You think that you’re somehow to blame for this. Am I right?” He doesn’t answer, just averts his eyes and takes in deep breaths. Lexa lets his arm go and kneels down. “I get it, you know. Sometimes, it’s just easier to blame yourself when things go wrong. I may not know the full story between you and her but I know that you’re not to blame here.” She sits down facing him with his back still flat on the ground. “If you need someone to hate, hate me. I deserve it. So, if it would make you feel better, I'm just going to sit here and take your hits if you want,” she says, closing her eyes so she can trick herself into being a willing punching bag.

“Lex,” Clarke says from beside them, voice tinged with concern.

“It's alright, Clarke. Everything will be okay,” she answers calmly without opening her eyes.

The shuffling sound of fabric and the grunts of exertion tell her that Noah is getting up to sit as well. He's right in front of her now, can even feel the puffs of his breath on her skin. But he's not doing anything. “I can't,” he sighs. She opens her eyes just in time to see him putting down his fist and falling forward to bury his face in her shoulder. She holds onto him as he cries and his body gets rocked by his uncontrollable sobbing. Minutes pass before he finally stops, and Lexa helps him to regain his footing. “I would never forgive you for what you did,” he says through his sniffling. “But I thank you anyway for letting me know before I... God, you think you know someone.”

“I never expected you to forgive me, Noah. You have every right to hate me,” she says.

Noah just nods dejectedly. “You should get out of here,” he says. “I don’t think the rest of my family will pass up the chance to beat you up or something. I’m pretty sure I heard Costia’s dad say something about filing charges too.”

Her ears perk up at the mention of adding more blemishes to her criminal record, which she really doesn’t need if she wants to stay off her father’s radar. With one last nod to Noah, she hopes she conveys the message of thanks that can’t seem to make it past her lips. But before she can walk to the direction of the car, someone shouts her name from across the lot. They all turn to find Costia standing there, pristine white dress now torn up, mascara running down her tear-streaked cheeks, and eyes fixed solely on Lexa. The redhead starts stomping angrily towards her, and she’s just rooted to the ground.

But before she could get to them, Clarke somehow manages to intercept her. And since Costia is so intent on unleashing hell at Lexa, she never sees the sucker punch coming her way. Clarke clocks her clean on the head, and she hits the ground fast on impact. Lexa’s jaw drops and her eyebrows shoot up in surprise. Gobsmacked and a tiny bit hot underneath her clothes, her eyes dart between the blonde just standing there triumphantly and Costia’s unconscious body sprawled on the ground. She looks to her side to see Noah slack jawed as well, and they share a look of complete disbelief.

And then Clarke is barrelling into her, bodily pushing her towards the car. “You heard the man. Time to go, Lexa,” she huffs. She lets herself be dragged into the passenger seat while Clarke takes off her shoes, tosses it into the back and plops herself down on the driver’s seat.

The blonde has already started the car and driving out of the lot when Lexa finally regains the ability to talk, and all she can say in a slurred voice is “I’m so hot for you right now.” Clarke’s loud laughter sounds like music in her ears, and it fills her chest with something that chases away all the negativity they just went through. And after the exhausting day she had, it’s the last thing in her mind before she promptly passes out.

Chapter Text

Lexa wakes up to the sound of a car door closing. In the instant that her eyes open, she jolts up from where she’s seated and tenses up, readying for an intruder’s attack. Only, what kind of car burglar has flowing blonde locks, an adorably round face and a bagel caught between her teeth? She blinks away the remnants of sleep from her eyes and realizes that it’s only Clarke, who looks really good in more comfortable clothes and bathed in the golden light of the morning.

She settles back down on her seat and lets out a relieved sigh as she watches her girlfriend in a kind of dream sequence vision. Not even the constricting feeling of the day old suit she's wearing can dampen her good mood now.

“Well, a pleasant morning to you too, jumpy,” Clarke drawls as she chews on the bagel, and sets down a small paper bag and two cups of coffee on the dash. “Breakfast is served.”

Lexa smiles at her. Maybe she should sleep in more if this is the sight that would greet her when she wakes. She yawns while she takes in her surroundings. They look to be parked at the side of the road, near some small shops. “Where are we?” she asks.

“Honestly? I don't know. Your fault for passing out on me last night,” she says with a mouthful of bagel. “Right after telling me that you're so hot for me, by the way. Just saying.”

Lexa blushes because that she definitely remembers. Along with everything that happened with Costia and Noah and the half-formed plan that popped up in her mind before losing consciousness last night. From there, her train of thought just jumps from one possible step to the next. An overactive mind has always been something that worked well for her, even if it freaks out Anya. And boy, the gears are really turning now.

“I can almost see the smoke coming out of your ears,” the blonde teases. “Seriously, you should handle thoughts of having sex with me a little better now.”

“Really, Clarke? It's not the sex I'm thinking about,” she answers, rolling her eyes.

Clarke gasps audibly, feigning offense. “Why not?” she asks with a pout.

She narrows her eyes at Clarke. “I need to talk to you about something important.”

Clarke's face grows serious in record time. “What's wrong? Are you okay? Is this about what happened last night because I-”

“Hey, it's alright,” she says to cut off the girl's nervous rambling. “I'm perfectly fine, and it's not about last night. But it's related to that.” Clarke nods in understanding so she continues. “I think that given everything that's happened, we would both agree that getting out of Nevada is the best course of action. With the money we have right now…” she trails off, not sure how to broach the subject to Clarke.

“We have enough to leave the country if we want,” the blonde fills in for her. Maybe Clarke has been thinking about it since the last time it came up too.

“Yes. We talked about it before. Now, I don't want you to feel pressured to say yes. It's just a possibility I'm considering, but-”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“You heard me, I said yes.”

“But you didn't even think about it.”

“I don't need to.”

“Clarke.

“Lexa.”

They're in a silent staring contest now because the blonde is just that bullheaded sometimes. Clarke may be quite impulsive, and the last thing she wants to do is make the girl agree to something she might regret later, recalling clearly her conversation with Gustus and Indra. Taking in a deep breath, she starts again. “You do understand that you’ll be leaving everything behind, right?”

“Doesn’t mean we can’t come back later. Besides, isn’t that what we’ve been doing this whole time, leaving everything behind?”

Well, the girl does have a point. And maybe Lexa likes the way she said we instead of just I, like Clarke is thinking in long-term.

“Oh, my god. Stop that,” Clarke scolds her. “Stop disappearing in your head every five seconds.”

“Sorry, I’m just really thinking this through.”

Clarke leans over the console to rest her head on her shoulder, interlacing the fingers of their hands as she goes. “Care to share?” she drawls, burrowing in further into Lexa’s body.

“Okay, before you say I’m crazy-”

“You kinda are, babe.”

Clarke. Do you wanna hear it or not?”

“Okay, okay, go ahead,” Clarke snickers.

“Right. So… how do you feel about Mexico?” she asks uncertainty while playing with Clarke's pinky.

Clarke pulls back to look at her with a frown. “You want us to go to Mexico?”

“With our current trajectory, if we continue heading south, that's where we’ll end up. We just keep on the I-15 and drive right through California. Plus, it's easier to pass through the border from this side.”

Clarke doesn't take her blue eyes off her green ones. Not even when she reaches out for a cup of coffee and takes a sip. “Well, it's not Canada but I do prefer the warm weather. Besides, I've always wanted to go,” the blonde finally says with a grin.

Lexa lets out a sound that's somewhere between a sigh and a laugh. That's one more thing off her chest for now. But they've got a long way to go, and other things to take care of before crossing the border.

xxxxxxx

After changing into faded jeans and a sleeveless black shirt, Lexa gets them right back on track. She doesn't know how her girlfriend does it, and Clarke is seriously in awe. While her sense of direction is mostly determined by Starbucks shops that she treats as landmarks, the brunette seems to have a built in GPS in her brain or some supernatural navigating ability. Stocked up on water for the car, as well as food and drinks for them, they make it fairly quickly on the I-15. It's quite a scenic route, especially breathtaking in the sunset.

“You ever been camping before?” Lexa asks her with a smirk.

“Nope, not really a fan. Why are you asking?”

“I was going to suggest that we camp for the night,” the girl shrugs.

Clarke looks at her in horror because she was never the outdoors kind of person. And even if she was, the idea of camping in the middle of the interstate is absurd. “You want us to camp right here? On the paved road where cars zip by?”

“Well, not here, dummy,” the brunette scoffs. “We're coming up on the Mojave preserve. Bonfires, a quiet night under the stars, some food. We’ll still have to sleep in the car because we don't have camping gear, but it could be fun. What do you say?”

Clarke grins. She decides that she likes Lexa's secret romantic side, particularly if this night ends up the way the last one did. “Only if you promise to build the fire.”

“Consider it done,” Lexa replies with a charming smile.

The preserve is a lot bigger than she expected. There's miles and miles of canyons, mountains and woodlands. Clarke would have been intimidated if Lexa didn't look like she knew what she was doing. The brunette even convinces a group of campers to give them some firewood before driving them to a secluded part of the campgrounds. Clearly, she's done this before.

Lexa immediately gets to building them a fire while Clarke rummages around the car for anything they can use as a blanket. It's a little hard to find anything in the dim lighting since they have a lot of stuff. Or more accurately, she has a lot of stuff. She huffs and puts her back into it anyway. Standing right outside the door, she pushes the passenger seat forward and folds it down so she has more room to move. When she bends down to reach for Lexa's duffel bag, she feels a pair of toned arms wrap around her waist followed by a solid wall of flesh behind her back. She smirks and straightens up when she recognizes Lexa's familiar warmth and scent.

Warm lips latch onto the back of her neck as she settles into the embrace. She’s suddenly more glad that she put up her hair. “Did you get the fire going?”

“No. I got distracted by your marvelous ass,” comes the girl's muffled reply since she's so intent on kissing at her neck.

She chuckles lowly and looks over their shoulders briefly to where the firepit is. “You barely got started.”

“Like I said, I got distracted.”

“Mmm… my ass does look pretty awesome in these shorts.” She grinds her ass into Lexa's front, making sure to sway her hips a little. The answering groan that escapes Lexa's lips makes her want more. And going by the growing bulge pressing up against her ass, Lexa does too. So, she grinds back into Lexa's crotch harder as the girl's lips travel further to the side of her neck, blazing a hot, wet trail on her skin.

After a while, Lexa starts thrusting up gently into her as the hands around her waist grow restless. Warm fingers find their way under her shirt, just above the waistline of her denim cutoffs. She shivers at the feel of those fingers gently drawing invisible patterns on her now overheated skin, slowly inching higher and higher. The touch also reminds her that her hands are awfully idle, just resting on Lexa's forearms. She swiftly turns around, looping an arm around Lexa's neck to drag her into a kiss. As soon as their lips touched, Clarke moans. Kissing Lexa feels as good as the first time, right down to the fluttering of butterflies in her stomach.

They start out slow, but it soon becomes heated at the swipe of the brunette’s tongue. She parts her lips, eager to meet it with her own. As they kiss, Lexa's hands continue their lazy exploration of her skin, this time skimming at her sides and then the small of her back. But Clarke's other hand wanders too. She quickly pushes up the thin fabric of Lexa's shirt to palm at bare abs, tracing the deep contours between firm muscles before drifting further below. Her fingers hook on the inside of her girlfriend's jeans to pull her in so there's no space left in between their bodies.

But Lexa just keeps moving forward until Clarke's back is flat on the car's side and breaks their kiss in favor of sucking at Clarke's collarbone. She places a hand at the back of the girl's head in a silent plea for more. She's practically putty in Lexa's hands by now. And with each lick and kiss that paints her skin, she's becoming more aware of the heat pooling in between her legs. She also remembers that they're in a very public place. “Lex- oh, fuck,” she gasps after a hard nip at her neck. “Are we really going to have sex outside?”

She basically doesn't care at this point so long as Lexa gives her the unique brand of pleasure she's become addicted to. But she really doesn't think fucking on the rocky ground would be comfortable for either of them. In response, Lexa just grunts, grabs onto her hips, and drags her to where the car door hangs open. Then the green eyed girl pulls away completely, leaving her confused.

Lexa ducks into the car and flips the passenger seat back into place before turning back to Clarke, green eyes overflowing with need. She now knows what Lexa wants to do, and she smirks at finally being able to break the girl’s resolve to avoid having sex in the car. If she had known that all it takes is wearing denim shorts and bending down, she would have done it long ago. But she’s not just going to leave it there after all the torment she’s been through. “Whatever happened to the no car sex rule?” she asks with a smug smirk.

She doesn’t get to rub it in long though, because Lexa’s hands and lips are back on her in an instant. “Once. Just this once, we break that rule,” Lexa whispers hotly against her lips. “I just have to have you. I need to have you. Right now.” These words are not even remotely lewd or dirty. But the way Lexa says it, in a firm voice and in between ragged breaths. Damn, does it make her want to drop her panties right then and there.

She pushes Lexa through the door and on the passenger seat and climbs in shortly after, straddling her lover. As soon as she closes the car door behind her, Lexa takes both their tops off in quick succession, followed by bras that were tossed somewhere in the back. With seat pushed and tilted back, they have more space to work with. She gets off of Lexa's lap to swiftly unbutton her shorts and drags it down along with her ruined underwear. The brunette wriggles out of her jeans too, drawing Clarke's attention to Lexa's hard cock jutting out from between her legs. The broad tip is already leaking pre-cum, telling her that Lexa wasn't lying about what she said earlier.

She doesn't have it in her to deny Lexa what she needs. Especially since she's in much worse state, with her arousal already coating the inside of her thighs. She grabs the thick shaft and gives it a couple of pumps before lining it up with her entrance. When Lexa puts her hands on her hips, she sinks down, making them both moan loudly. As soon as the head of the cock makes it past her tight opening, she takes the rest of the length inside her in one fluid, downward motion. “Fuck, babe. You feel so good,” she says in between gasps.

She sets off in a slow grinding motion, rocking back and forth to get that delicious friction. From this position, her clit rubs deliciously against Lexa's pelvic bone. Lexa’s hands dig into her hips as her movements increase in speed. Bracing herself on Lexa’s shoulders and putting her weight on her knees, she lifts up her hips. She lets a few inches of the hard length inside her slip out before slamming back down, and repeating it over and over. Clarke rides the brunette harder and faster, like her life depends on it. The car creaks as she rocks her hips above Lexa, but the sounds of pleasure falling from both their lips are louder still.

She keens when Lexa suddenly shifts underneath her and leans back into the seat more, meeting her downward movements with upward thrusts. This different angle allows the flared head of her cock to nudge at the swollen spot inside her. “Oh, god… Yes, right there! Fuck, Lexa!” She grinds down harder as she feels the pressure inside her build up faster than she could have expected.

But it’s Lexa who tips over the edge first, coming with a deep, drawn out groan. The hot jets of come that shoot inside her are powerful enough to trigger her own release. She cries out hoarsely with her head thrown back as her inner walls flutter around Lexa’s cock. It’s only when she comes down from her high does she notice that her release had soaked them both, and maybe the seat too. If Lexa had any complaints about the mess, she’s not voicing them out. She just surges up to wrap her lips around one of Clarke’s strained nipples. With that, Clarke knows that they’re not done, and that this night is about to get less quieter than originally advertised.

xxxxxxx

Sometime in the middle of another heated makeout session, she finds herself painfully hard again. Seeing and feeling her girlfriend come around her always seems to put her right back in the mood. There’s just something immensely satisfying about watching Clarke come undone because of her. And more than anything, Lexa wants to take her to the highest point of ecstasy just so she can watch and hear Clarke fall apart.

She kisses her way down the writhing pale body above her again, pushing the girl down so her back rests on the dash. The way Clarke is shivering and moaning in her arms tells her just how desperately she is wanted. Her lips close around a puckered pink nipple again, making the girl scream and arch up into her. And as she softly bites down and pulls at the nipple, she brings her other hand to stroke slowly at her hardened shaft so she doesn't soften.

Her cock is still wet and slick from their previous orgasm, making it easy to jerk herself off. She presses it up against Clarke's dripping folds as her lover whimpers. “Please,” the blonde begs. “Please. More, I need more. Need you inside.” She releases the nipple with a loud pop and looks up to see Clarke's face scrunched up with need. But she doesn't give in easily. She just rubs her length at Clarke's heated sex until the girl is mewling.

Then without warning, she lifts Clarke up and turns her around. The blue eyed girl yelps in surprise but she gets what is needed of her and does her best to comply on wobbly legs. Lexa only has a split second to line her cock up properly before Clarke's cunt is hovering over the head again. She holds her lover up with one hand, makes her take her cock slowly. She watches entranced as inch after inch disappears inside the heavenly silk.

They both groan as she bottoms out, and Clarke is finally settled back on her lap. It doesn't take long for the blonde to start riding her again, slowly at first but constantly building up speed. With fingers curled around curvy hips, she ups the pace still and bucks up, ignoring the car's sounds of protest at their vigorous movemets. Because being inside Clarke just feels too good. Soon enough, each thrust is drawing out a moan from the girl. “Lexa! I'm so- ah! Fuck, I'm close, babe.” She halts her movements, holding down a whining Clarke on top of her too. “Mmm… shit, why'd you stop?”

She's not stopping really, just changing angles. With her hands under each of Clarke's thighs, she hikes her legs up in the air and pulls them further apart. Lexa then lies back down on the reclined seat so Clarke's back is laying on her front. “Put your feet up on the dash for me,” she husks against her lover's ear as her right hand slowly makes its way to Clarke's cunt. The swollen bud of Clarke's clit is easy to find. It's practically poking out and begging for attention. Using her finger, she gathers up some of the wetness seeping out from where they're joined and spreads it on Clarke's clit. The blonde cries out in pleasure when she starts drawing tight circles on her clit.

When the moans are loud enough for her liking, she fucks into the tight channel wrapped around her length again. Barely pulling out of Clarke, she thrusts hard and fast. At this angle, the fat head her cock effortlessly reaches that spot that drives her lover wild. And with the rhythmic clenching of velvety walls around her, she knows that the girl is close, and that her approaching orgasm is going to be more intense than the last. So, she puts more force into the movements of her hips and speeds up the circling of her finger on Clarke's clit.

It only takes seconds before Clarke reaches her second climax and screams up into the car's roof. Warm wetness gushes out around Lexa's cock and into her hand, dripping down to their thighs. She grits her teeth through the harsh contractions of Clarke's inner walls and waits patiently for her lover to come back down from her high.

When she finally does, the girl's body is trembling from the aftershocks, obviously a little bit overwhelmed. Lexa gently pulls out her still hard shaft. She's sure that she's going to bust any second now. Still, she picks the blonde up and turns them around so she can set her down on the seat and drape her body protectively over Clarke's. Seeing Clarke boneless and purring in satisfaction fluffs her ego a little bit.

Lexa takes Clarke's lips in a gentle kiss. But that's when her girlfriend notices something. “I want you back inside me,” Clarke whispers against her lips as she wraps her hand around Lexa's cock. She groans, barely keeping it together, but lets herself be guided back in the heavenly warmth. With her face snuggled up into the side of Clarke's neck, she sinks in until she's fully sheathed.

Lexa can no longer resist the urge to move, so she just starts thrusting into Clarke. “Go ahead, babe. You can let go,” the blonde urges her on in a strained voice. She pumps in and out faster now, grunting with the effort it takes. “Come, Lex. I want you to come inside me.” She feels the pressure coiled in her gut travel down to her shaft. And then Lexa finally lets go, roaring out as blissful release washes over her. She jerks mindlessly against the girl as thick ropes of come shoot inside the tight cunt, sending Clarke into her third peak of the night.

Moments pass before either of them can speak. It's Clarke who speaks first as she runs her hands over Lexa's sweat covered back. “I love you,” she says, and it stuns Lexa. She draws back to look into blue eyes to make sure she didn't dream it, and sees a playful smile on Clarke's lips. “Well, don't look so surprised. I love you. Now, aren't you going to say it back?”

Her heart swells upon hearing those three words. She swallows thickly before attempting to open her mouth. “I love you too,” she replies before sealing their lips in a gentle kiss once again.

Chapter Text

Clarke wakes up to a really sticky situation, and a quite literal one at that. In hindsight, maybe having sex in the car wasn’t such a good idea. Aside from being sore all over from their activities last night and the less than ideal sleeping arrangement, her skin on her back sticks uncomfortably to the leather seat. Even worse, she’s still completely naked, with only Lexa’s jacket protecting what little dignity she has left. Her girlfriend must have wrapped her up in it some time during the night.

And speak of the devil, Lexa is no longer in the car with her. Some metallic clanking sound from the front draws her attention. She sees the hood of the car propped up, which could only mean that Lexa is working on something under there. And Clarke, being the little shit that she is, naturally can’t pass up an opportunity like this. As quietly and slowly as she can, she hauls herself out of her seat and into the driver’s seat. After mentally counting to three, she presses heavily on the horn.

Immediately after, something bangs under the car’s hood, making it lift up a few centimeters. “Ahhh! Oww! Son of a- Clarke?!” comes Lexa’s sudden cries of pain. Clarke just answers in the form of loud, wheezing laughter. “It’s not funny, you maniac!”

She’s still shaking and laughing uncontrollably when Lexa, who now has a red spot on her forehead, walks around to glare at her through tinted glass. She rolls the window all the way down. “Oh, I’m so sorry, babe. Come here. I’ll make it all better,” she says through her more subdued chuckles. Lexa rolls her eyes but shuffles forward to poke her head through the crack. Clarke holds her face in place with two hands and peppers kisses over her forehead. It goes on for quite sometime, and she would gladly go on for longer had she not noticed where Lexa’s eyes are looking. “Are you seriously staring at my boobs right now?”

Lexa pulls back a bit but makes no effort to tear her gaze away from Clarke’s exposed breasts. In fact, the cheeky little bastard just smirks and lets her eyes rake over every inch of her bare skin. “Hey, it’s not my fault that they just happened to be mere inches away from my face,” the girl says with a shrug. She then backs off and stands just outside the door, still with that annoyingly smug face of hers. “And that you didn’t even bother to put on any clothes the moment you woke up. Speaking of which, why are you still naked?”

“Ugh. Because I need a shower or something. I’m like, super filthy.” It’s only when she said it that she realizes her poor choice of words, and Lexa is already wearing a shit-eating grin.

“After last night, I’m inclined to agree,” Lexa drawls and gives her teasing wink.

“Shut it, Woods,” she grumbles.

After more teasing and spouting sly innuendos, Lexa eventually points her to the direction of another campground about ten minutes away with complete restroom facilities. She showers as quickly as she can manage and comes back to her girlfriend sitting by a newly made fire. Lexa also has some of the food they got from the other day laid out. “You do realize that it’s morning and we don’t need a fire anymore, right?” she asks as she unceremoniously dumps herself on Lexa’s lap and gobbles up the last bite of the granola bar in her hand.

“Yes, but I promised to build you a fire. So, a fire you shall have,” the brunette replies as she wraps her arms around Clarke’s middle and kisses her by the nape of her neck.

“You’re a fucking sap,” she replies with a smile.

“You love it,” Lexa whispers against her skin before cupping her jaw and turning her face to the side for a kiss. Eyes immediately fluttering shut, Clarke eagerly kisses back but lets the other girl direct their pace. Full lips glide along hers slowly and softly while trapping her bottom lip in between. Lexa sucks at it, quickly following it with a hard bite. The sudden roughness makes her moan loudly. Then a tongue flicks out to soothe the bitten spot, moving past her lips and curling at the roof of her mouth. She tilts her head to deepen the kiss further but Lexa just pulls away after one last peck on her lips.

“Stop. We’re going to get carried away again, and I'm not sure my car could take another beating,” Lexa pants.

“Well, you started it, you know,” she points out.

Lexa lets out a contented sigh, winding her arms around Clarke tighter and takes the time to look at her face. Like she’s mapping every inch of her face, committing them to memory. “I love you,” the brunette says with a startling sincerity.

Clarke feels like she’s floating on a cloud with how good it feels to hear Lexa say those three words. She leans down, resting her forehead on Lexa’s and staring right into those eyes of deep verdant green. “I love you too,” she replies. And as soon as the words leave her mouth, she feels calloused hands creep their way to her sides, softly caressing her skin through the thin layer of her shirt. She shivers at the contact, and whimpers when she feels Lexa’s hot breath on her cheek and near her ear.

“You’re starting to warm up, babe. I bet I can make you feel hotter,” the brunette whispers breathily, before taking her earlobe in between her teeth. Clarke can only moan and nod, as tan hands move higher up her body. In all the time they’ve been together, the instances when Lexa initiated sex can be counted on one finger. And it’s never been done with dirty talk, because her girlfriend is always too dignified to utter lewd words. So this new development is something she is very interested in.

Lexa’s lips are now pressed flat on her ear, occasionally blowing out warm puffs of breath. “Do you want to hear all the dirty things I want us to do?” Clarke answers with another overly eager nod and closes her eyes, as those same hands start to knead at her sides gently. “First, I want you to use your hands…” Fingers now trace the outline of her bra’s underside. She lets out a high pitched moan because fuck, she wants to know just how nasty Lexa can get. “To clean up the mess inside my car.”

Clarke's eyelids fly open, and she automatically scowls at Lexa. If she wasn't really turned on and slightly shaking from excitement, she might have been a little more convincing at putting on an angry face. Meanwhile, the brunette bursts out in a roaring laughter, letting go of Clarke to clutch at her own sides instead. “You're such a dickhead,” she says as she playfully pushes at Lexa's shoulder.

“I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I just couldn't resist,” the girl replies when she finally caught her breath. “That was payback for honking the horn. We're even now.”

She slumps back down into the brunette’s embrace, a little harder than she usually would. Because Lexa, the devious little fucker that she is, deserves it for getting her all hot and bothered. If she were in a relationship with someone else, she would have withheld sex as punishment. But with Lexa, she's not sure she could survive the lack of intimacy. She’ll just have to demand lots and lots of makeup sex later. “Alright, I'll give you that. Well played, you slimy bastard,” she grudgingly admits with a smile.

Lexa chuckles and plants another kiss at the side of her neck. “Thank you. Now, come on, we'll finish eating breakfast later. We're going to need it to regain our strength after,” she says as she pushes Clarke off her lap. When she cocks an eyebrow in question, Lexa just smirks. “Oh, I wasn't kidding when I said we have to clean up before we drive off.”

Clarke groans but she stands up to follow Lexa to the car. Her wobbly legs kind of make it hard, and Lexa is definitely taking notice based on the smug grin that seems to be permanently stuck on her stupidly perfect face. She rolls her eyes at the taller girl. “Fine. Don't think that we're done here. I'm gonna get you back.”

“Sure, you are,” Lexa says in a teasing tone.

xxxxxxx

They do their best tidy up the car's interior. Lexa has never been overly fond of leather but she's glad for the fact that most of the inside was either made of pure leather or coated in the material. The rest was conveniently covered in rubber or plastic. Otherwise, cleanup would have been much more difficult. But at least, teasing Clarke about getting really worked up so easily made the task that much more bearable. After munching on food with intervals of making out in between, Lexa then takes them back to the interstate. They drive with the windows rolled down all the way to air out the car and had to make a stopover at a gas station too because the tire pressure felt off to her. No way she's agreeing to have sex in a car again after all that. At least not if it's hers anyway. And definitely not if Clarke seems to treat the fact that they nearly wore out the springs in the car’s suspension system like one of her life’s greatest achievement.

Still, Lexa can’t deny that last night was amazing. Heck, she can't remember feeling this good in a really long while. It may have had something to do with the life-affirming sex or the rush she always gets from being behind the wheel. But she suspects that it's mostly an influence of just being near Clarke. Either way, she can't seem to give her cheeks a break from smiling too much. They are cruising down the road in a relatively good mood, bobbing their head and singing along to another Britney Spears playlist. Traffic on the I-15 is moderate, just perfect for the easy pace she's setting. They're not in a hurry, after all Everything was well and good until Clarke suddenly lets out a loud gasp. Lexa's eyes quickly scan the road in front of her, and then her mirrors, for anything that could cause her girlfriend to panic. Finding no immediate cause for alarm, she turns to the wide eyed blonde and turns down the volume of the music.

“What? What's wrong, babe?” she asks, feeling concerned.

“I just realized something. Don't we need passports and shit to cross the border?”

“Yes, we do.”

“Um, I don’t know about you but I don’t have my passport with me. I don't even have any IDs. How do you expect us to get through?”

“Don’t worry, I’ve already got a plan. There’s this guy I know, owes me a huge favor. I’m going to make him fix us up with fake passports and papers for this car. We just have to track down that scumbag. Last I heard, he’s still somewhere in L.A.,” she says to reassure Clarke. But her words seem to be doing the opposite since the blonde’s frown just deepens. She has half a mind to pull over so she can get to the bottom of what is making her girlfriend worry. “What is it, Clarke?”

“How long do you think it would take?”

“The passports? Two maybe three days. Why?”

“It's just that I don't think we should stay long in L.A.,” Clarke answers with a shrug. The way her blue eyes dart to the side as she says it tells Lexa that there's something else.

“Is there something you're not telling me?”

The blonde sucks in a deep breath and then lets it out in a long exhale before looking squarely at her. “My mom lives there. Well, I guess I did too up until I ran away with you.”

This is news to Lexa. They very rarely talk about Clarke's mother except in the context of her horrible parenting skills, so she doesn't know much about the woman. However, she does know what Abby Griffin looks like from a picture Clarke showed her before they threw her phone out of the moving car. She gets why the girl is worried. But Lexa also has deep roots in California and L.A. in particular, ones that were established during the darkest periods of her life. And she has every intention to stay on the down low as they pass through.

“It's a large city, Clarke, with millions of people. I doubt we'll ever run into your mother,” she says, taking Clarke's hand in hers and giving it a tender squeeze.

Clarke gives her a small smile, looking more relieved. “I guess you're right.”

It takes them two more days to finally arrive in L.A. Traffic is hell, just as Lexa remembers it being. It only gets worse as they get closer to the more densely populated areas of the city. But that's where they need to be to find their guy. Sitting in the parked car, she fires up her phone. It has been years since she ran around with the bad crowd, but she still has a few connections in this city. She even has their digits memorized and programmed into her phone on the justification that it might come in handy some day. And it looks like today is that day. By no means does she feel comfortable reaching out to her old contacts, but it has to be done. Four calls later, and she gets a location. Apparently, the guy hangs out a lot at some popular club downtown. Clarke looks at her amusedly while she makes her phone calls. “What?” she asks with an uncertain smile.

“You sound different when you talk to your goons.”

“Oh, yeah? What do I sound like?”

“A mafia boss checking in on his underlings,” Clarke snorts. “It's really weird.”

“They're not my goons or underlings. But that's how you have to talk so they know you mean business.”

“How do you know so many people here anyway?”

She smiles weakly, recalling the bittersweet memories. “Remember when I told you about my drag racing stint? This was my usual haunt.”

“Oh, wow,” Clarke starts with a look of fascination on her face. “If you think about it, we could have met or crossed each other's paths before.”

She laughs because Clarke really looks like she thought about it. “Crossed each other's paths? Now, who's such a sap? Who are you and what have you done to my girlfriend?” she teases.

“Ugh. You think you're so funny,” the girl says with another scowl.

Lexa hurries to reach over and cups Clarke's chin so they're face to face. “I am funny,” she replies with a grin. Whatever the blue eyed girl's reply was gets quickly swallowed up by her lips as she kisses her. Their lips tangle together in a slow, sensual kiss. They only part with wide smiles on their faces when they need to come up for air.

“Let's go. I know where our guy is,” she says as she starts up the car again.

xxxxxxx

The club turned out to be one of those places where all the servers are women wearing skimpy outfits. They would technically be in just their underwear were it not for the angel wings or devil tails and horns they are wearing. Needless to say, almost all the patrons are men. Clarke sticks close to Lexa to ward off any drunk assholes, and it's working perfectly so far. Beside her, Lexa is eyeing up everything in the club in search for this guy. Finally, those green eyes focus on a man sitting at one of the private booths. They can't hear each other over the heavy throbbing of the music so they have to resort to nonverbal communication. Clarke sees Lexa's trademark smirk as she signals that they've found who they are looking for. 

The brunette takes her hand and they walk up to their target. The man is dressed in a black shirt with long sleeves, a girl in one arm and a drink in the other hand. Maybe he looks familiar or maybe he just has one of those common faces but Clarke could swear that she's seen him before. She didn't have long to ponder on it though because the moment they're within the guy's field of vision, his eyes snap up to Lexa. She sees the exact moment realization washes over his face. He turns pale and immediately tenses up.

“Don't you dare run,” Lexa shouts at him to be heard over the loud music.

And, of course, the guy would do the opposite of what Lexa asked. He stands up abruptly, sending his drink to the floor and toppling over the table as he bolts. But instead of heading to the exits, he carves a clean path through the crowd and runs straight for the bathrooms. She sees Lexa shake her head, smirk back in place as they follow calmly. They find the guy unsuccessfully trying to fit himself through the small window a couple of feet overhead in the men's room. He eventually gives up and drops back down on his feet to face them. His only way out now is the single door, and he has to go through them. With an exasperated grunt, he sprints forward in desperation. But as always, Lexa reacts freakishly fast. The brunette lets him advance a couple of paces, then throws a high kick that hits his face. His momentum probably did all of Lexa's work for her, and Clarke winces when she hears the loud crack of possibly his nose breaking. He falls down to the ground with a bleeding nose, looking up at them defeated, sweating and breathing heavily.

Lexa crouches down. “I told you not to run. You know, that's no way to greet an old friend, Murphy.”

Chapter Text

Murphy is the personification of the term “scum of the earth”. It’s been years since Lexa has seen his face, but apart from his longer hair, he doesn’t seem to have changed that much. And his rotten attitude certainly hasn’t undergone any life-changing development. He still has that air of arrogance around him and the cruel curl to his upper lip when he grins underneath the blood coming out from his nose. His eyes, however, tell a different story. There’s shock and pain in those dark blue pools, but fear may be the most dominant emotion.

His gaze falls to the side where Clarke is, and Lexa sees a tiny flicker of something there. But it's gone before she can analyze it because Murphy's dark blue eyes are back in hers. “Fancy meeting you here, Krause,” he says through a nervous breath. “Been awhile, huh?”

Lexa bristles at the sound of her father’s last name. “Don’t call me that,” she snaps, “That’s not my name.”

“Alright! I’m sorry, jeez! I’ll call you whatever you want. Just don’t kick my face in. It’s bad for business,” he says, shielding himself with his hands. When Lexa stands back up and relaxes, he sits down more comfortably on the dirty bathroom floor and uses his sleeve to wipe at the blood from his nose. “Listen, I don’t know what you’re here for-”

Lexa cuts him off, and suddenly pulls him up to his feet by the collar of his shirt. “Don’t play dumb with me, Murphy,” she snarls. “I know you haven’t forgotten when I said I was coming back for you. You owe me a huge favor, remember? And I’m here to collect.”

If anyone were to ask Lexa to pinpoint the exact moment her life got more messed up than it already was from the start, it would be when she met Murphy. He never joined any of the races but he liked to hang out at the start or finish lines. She made the mistake of being too trusting, never discriminating against anyone who wanted a piece of the action so long as she got to race. Her only rule back in the day was to be careful, both in handling the wheel or dealing with law enforcers. Sure, occasionally getting chased by a police cruiser adds to the thrill, but she had never done anything to increase the risk of getting caught.

It all worked fine until Murphy started bringing around people who always rubbed her the wrong way. She found out too late why they all seemed off to her. They were junkies, and not the kind that took recreational drugs like marijuana or prescription drugs. No, they dealt with the hard stuff like cocaine and heroin. Murphy was the delivery boy who brought them all the goods. She didn’t even see it coming when the police finally cracked down on them, and it was over very quickly. In one night, most if not all the regulars who showed up during races were arrested, charged and jailed. The kids who were younger than eighteen were sent to juvy, save for her. But Murphy got away clean, and that was what Lexa couldn’t bear to live with.

“I- I told you, I don’t have any money on me!” he says as he shrinks back. Lexa only tightens her hold on his collar.

“You can keep your money, I don’t want it. What I need from you is to fix us up with passports and papers for the car. Good enough to fool Customs and Border Patrol.”

“Y-yeah, sure. I can do that. I’ll uh, even give you a discount.”

Lexa chuckles darkly. “No, not this time. You're going to do it all for free, and in just two days.” She lets him go then, smoothing out the creases on his shirt and enjoying the way he squirms under her hands.

“But that's- You're asking for too much. All that costs five grand at least, and it'll take at least a week to finish,” he argues weakly.

She gives him an unamused look. “Do I look like I care? Frankly, you owe me more than that after what you did. So I don't give a damn what you have to do to make it happen.”

He swallows thickly. Lexa can tell that he's carefully thinking about the next words that would come out of his mouth. “Okay. I’ll do it.”

Lexa gives him a rather hard pat on his head. “Good man. Now give me your wallet,” she says holding out a hand. Murphy looks confused for a second, but he knows better than to say no by now. He reaches for his wallet in his back pocket and hands it over. Lexa takes one of his business cards and tosses the wallet to one of the urinals where it landed with a loud plonk. “I’ll be in touch. And you better answer when I call.” Murphy nods, and Lexa takes that as their cue to leave. She turns around and puts a hand at the small of Clarke's back to lead her away. She's had enough of his company and the strong smell of piss permeating through the air. But she turns around one last time just to drive home her point. “Oh, and Murphy? If you so much as think about bailing on me, I’ll do more than break your fingers like I did the last time.”

They walk to the club’s parking lot. Now in an immobile car, they sit idly and quietly since Lexa hasn’t calmed down enough for her hands to be steady on the wheel. Her hands are shaking from the barely contained fury she feels towards Murphy. Truth be told, it took a gargantuan amount of self control not to beat him senseless the moment she laid eyes on him. The only thing that stayed her hands was the fact that he was useful.

“Are you okay?” Clarke asks her after a long moment of silence in the car.

Clarke’s voice snaps her out of her dark thoughts. She looks across the console to see her girlfriend’s face contorted in an expression of concern. She smiles weakly at the blonde to reassure her. “I’m fine. I just… need a moment.”

“Sure, babe. Take all the time you need,” Clarke says soothingly. After a beat, she speaks again. “That must have been hard, talking to that guy.” Lexa lets out a heavy sigh, lets her forehead fall on the steering wheel. Clarke may not have any idea how right she is. “I take it that he was someone you knew from… before?”

She picks up her head to look at Clarke. It suddenly occurs to her that Clarke has never seen her like how she was back there with Murphy. She was always level-headed even in the middle of a fight. But she couldn’t help it that a small part of the old her made it through the cracks when she saw Murphy. “Yes. He was,” she says softly. “I’m sorry you had to see that. I’m… not usually like that…”

The blonde puts a comforting hand on her shoulder, smiling slightly and nodding in understanding. “I know, babe, I know.”

Clarke is probably one of the few people in the world who knows her this well. But she wants her to understand, to hear the story from her. Lexa takes Clarke’s hand from her shoulder and cradles it gently between hers. “I wanted to hurt him. Even after all these years, I wanted to see him in pain. And I know that makes me a horrible person, but I can’t help it.”

“Lexa, listen to me. You’re not horrible, far from it.”

Lexa laughs bitterly. “No, it’s true. You should have seen what I did to him the last time I saw him. He had three broken fingers and one eye swollen shut. He pissed himself when I was through with him.” She pauses and takes the time to read Clarke’s expression. But instead of pure disgust or judgement, what she finds there is acceptance and compassion. The blue eyed girl nods for her to continue. “Murphy was the guy dealing drugs at my races, and the reason why I got caught. He only got away clean because he made a deal. He ratted out his supplier, fellow dealers and buyers just so he could save his scrawny ass. The only thing that spared me from real jail time was my father’s money. Police officers, judges, jurors, prosecutors and eye witnesses were all bribed so the outcome of the trial was what my father wanted.”

“And that’s why you’re legally incompetent now,” the blonde concludes. Lexa just nods, eyes straying away from blue ones. “Hey, look at me,” Clarke tugs at her hand, and she reluctantly turns. “I understand where you’re coming from. If it were me in your place, I’d want revenge too. But that doesn’t make you a horrible person, that makes you human.”

Lexa leans over and takes the girl’s lips in a soft kiss. When they break apart, she rests her forehead on Clarke’s. “I don’t know what I did in this life to deserve you, but I’m glad I did it,” she whispers.

“I believe that was beating up my cheating, douchebag ex-boyfriend in spectacular fashion,” Clarke replies teasingly, a grin on her face.

“And just like that, the moment is gone,” she answers with a laugh, pulling away to put her hands on the steering wheel once again and starting the car. Now that she’s feeling better, she can’t wait to put some distance between them and this place.

xxxxxx

Two days later finds them riding the elevator up to this Murphy guy’s apartment downtown. The building doesn’t look that impressive to Clarke. It definitely doesn’t scream “home to a former drug dealer and now accomplished forger”, but maybe that’s so he can stay off the radar. Beside her, Lexa is looking around critically, like she’s already looking for escape routes in case anything goes wrong. The elevator finally stops at their floor, and they step out hand in hand.

“Just let me deal with this scumbag, okay? Then we can leave,” the brunette says as they walk.

Clarke just nods. Fuck, she wants so desperately to get out of the city. She’s maybe a little paranoid because being in L.A. makes her feel like her mother’s breathing down her neck. And Clarke’s certainly not going to forget that stunt she pulled when she put her face up on TV a few months ago. But so far, she and Lexa had been careful. They avoided crowds, popular spots and basically any place that Clarke thinks her mother’s shadow might make an appearance. Now, there’s just one thing that needs to be done.

Lexa knocks harshly on the door. From the other side, they can hear panicked mutterings and heavy footfalls before the door opens. Murphy pokes his head through the half-opened door and eyes them up. Lexa looks at him through eyes narrowed in annoyance and impatience. She pushes the door in and it hits his nose which hasn’t fully recovered yet. “I don’t have time for your games Murphy. Just give me what I came for.”

With a hand on his nose, Murphy steps to the side and lets the door swing open to let them through. “Right. Sorry, I was just making sure you were alone,” he says. “ Can’t be too careful these days.” Clarke doesn’t fail to notice how Murphy’s eyes are glued to her, like they were at the club during one point. There’s also this faint sense of familiarity to him that she still can’t place. It makes her uneasy, but she decides to ignore it as he leads them in the sparsely furnished apartment.

“Where is it?” Lexa asks. Murphy wordlessly points her to a desk across the room where a some papers and things are neatly placed. The brunette immediately busies herself looking them over and inspecting the details.

Meanwhile, Clarke stands idly, suffering the roving gaze of Murphy. “What the fuck’s your problem?” she snaps. Lexa turns her head and looks at them warily but doesn’t move.

“Sorry. I’ve been trying to figure out why you look familiar, and I think I’ve got it. You’re Clarke Griffin, right?” Clarke instantly pales and feels her stomach drop. How does he know who she is? “You don’t remember me,” he continues with a knowing smile. “What’s the name of that all-girls catholic school? You used to hang out with that Octavia chick and her brother. I used to sell you guys a few blunts after school.”

Clarke remembers him now. She went through a phase of questioning the existence of everything and painting while stoned. He used to go by the name Jonathan and sell weed to students. There’s no surprise there that he went on to be an even bigger sleazebag as the years went by. “Well, I see you’re still an asshole even if you go by a different name.”

He laughs. “You’ve always been the condescending rich girl, but look at you now. I wonder… what’s a girl like you doing with Lexa? Does your uptight mommy know you’re running with the bad crowd?” Murphy finishes his little speech walking even closer to her, taking advantage of Clarke’s shock at her mother being mentioned. But before he could close the distance, Lexa’s already there, pulling him back roughly by his shirt and tripping him. He falls to the floor on his back, grunting in pain.

“If you know what’s good for you, Murphy, you’ll change your tone. And if you ever try to come near her again, I’ll start breaking things,” Lexa snarls at him, putting Clarke behind her.

“Fuck you, you half-breed bitch!” he shouts back. Lexa springs forward, too fast for Clarke to stop. She watches helplessly as her girlfriend straddles Murphy, pinning his hands using her knees and fisting at his shirt’s collar. He laughs again, goading Lexa on. “Do it, you motherfucker, hit me! Either way, I win.”

“What? What do you mean you win?” Lexa growls, shaking him by the collar.

Murphy lets out another laugh, his most sinister one by far. “You think you’re so smart, don’t you? You think you can just walk back here and do the same thing to me? I’ve got you by the balls now, you asshole.”

Lexa slams his head down on the ground, drawing out a pained moan from Murphy. “What the hell are you talking about?” She repeats the action a few times until he finally breaks.

“Your father sent out word a few months ago… offered money to anyone who can point you out… that fucking spook, Titus… I told him everything. Told him you were here. No way you’re gonna get to run aw-”

His next words get cut off by strong punches and hammerfists dropping down on his face faster than Clarke could count them. The sound of flesh hitting flesh combined with the thuds of Murphy's head repeatedly slamming on the ground and his loud screams, it's all sickening to hear. But she's just stuck there, an unwilling witness to Lexa's rage-induced violence. Shit, what do I do? she asks herself. Lexa's angry roars and grunts of exertion make the decision for her. She puts both hands on the brunette’s shoulders and tries to pull her off the now unconscious man beneath her. Lexa shrugs her hands off to continue her assault, and Clarke falls back on her ass.

At this point, she’s afraid that Lexa might end up beating Murphy to death. And that won't help anyone, so she tries again. “Lexa, stop! Please!” she begs as she pulls at Lexa more forcefully. “You're going to kill him!”

That got Lexa's attention. The brunette stops mid-punch, breathing hard through her mouth. Wide green eyes roam over her face, and then drift down to trembling blood soaked hands. She scrambles off of Murphy, crawling on her back. Lexa just looks utterly lost at this moment, not even able to speak. Clarke approaches the cowering girl. “Lex, we have to go. Babe, please get up.” They have to leave right fucking now. There's no way the neighbors didn't hear the commotion. The cops are probably on the way.

As if on cue, they hear a siren far away from outside. That snaps Lexa out of her haze, bringing some semblance of control back to her movements. The girl stands up and spares a glance at Murphy's direction. He's still breathing, but barely recognizable now what with all the blood and deep gashes covering his face. Then she takes Clarke's hand, and they race down the hall and the emergency stairs to the parking lot.

xxxxxxx

Lexa knows the look on Clarke's face all too well. It's the same one she saw on Gustus when he found her going through withdrawal syndrome at thirteen. The same one Indra had when she told her some of what she went through during her time on the streets. It's identical to Anya and Lincoln's expressions every time she got arrested. She's knows that it's fear. Maybe of her, what she could do, the kind of destruction she brings everywhere she goes.

She swerves and speeds down the road to lose their tail. But hell, the squad car is proving to be more persistent than she anticipated. And it's much harder to see oncoming traffic in the dark. At this rate, they're going to get caught, and she can't put Clarke through that. Lexa turns abruptly to the right to break the cop’s line of sight and stops dead center on the road, letting out an exasperated breath at what she sees up ahead. She can just make out the outline of another police car in the distance, towards the direction they're going. “Get out,” she tells Clarke pleadingly.

“What? The fuck are you doing? Drive!” the blonde sputters at her.

“Listen to me,” she tries to say as calmly as she can, despite her shaky voice. “They’ve already cut us off. They're going to catch up with us one way or another. If you get out now, you can get away.”

The sirens are stronger now, and the dreaded flashing blue and red lights are getting closer still.

“No, fuck that! I'm not leaving you, Lexa!” Clarke says defiantly, tears running down her cheeks.

“Clarke,” she sighs. “I can't- I can't put you through that.”

“No, Lex, please. Please. We can pay for bail, we have the money.”

What Clarke doesn't know is that it's different for Lexa. Clarke can get out on bail and maybe get charges against her dismissed since she didn't really do anything. Lexa, on the other hand, is a repeat offender, with years of misdemeanors on her record. They'll probably take her straight to lockup. Unless… no, she can't think about that now.

“Okay,” she concedes. It's better to just let Clarke believe that it's all going to be fine than watch her heart break right in front of her. She reaches for the blonde’s face, wiping away the tears with bloody hands. “I'm sorry, Clarke. I'm sorry I got us into this.”

“Don't say that,” Clarke sobs. “Just- Tell me... tell me that we’ll be okay.”

She can't bring herself to lie, so she just kisses the crying girl. If this is the last time she could get to do this, she’ll make it memorable. Somehow, when their lips met, it didn't mirror the desperation and hopelessness they feel. The kiss is slow, heartfelt. And Lexa wills her mind to remember everything she feels, from Clarke's soft lips to the salt of her tears. She pulls away to look one last time at those sky blue eyes that remain vibrant even in the dark of night. “I love you,” she says.

Lexa just hopes that she can be heard over the police officer telling them to get out of the car through his megaphone.

Chapter Text

In all her twenty one years of living, Clarke has never been arrested or so much as seen the inside of a police car. Until now. She’s terrified, nervous and uneasy sitting cuffed in the cruiser’s backseat. But most of all, she just feels alone. She keeps turning around and peering out through the back to see where the other cruiser is. The last time she saw Lexa was when she was being ushered into the car. The brunette was being bodily tacked to the ground then. Obviously, the arresting officer didn’t take too kindly to the sight of blood on Lexa’s hands, shirt and face. Yet even then, the girl’s green eyes stayed on her as she mouthed soothing words to Clarke. It felt like being underwater at the time, with everything else dulled down so all her senses could focus on the woman she loves. Lexa told her not to be afraid, not to fight. She heeded her words and clutched onto them like a lifeline, even now as she trembles and sheds more tears.

“We’re here,” the officer says, turning around to face her. Clarke startles at the sound of his voice and looks around to see that they’re approaching a police station. “You’re going to come with me, but don’t you even try starting any trouble. I’ve already had to chase you guys down, and more than anything, I just want this night to end.”

Clarke nods weakly and wipes at her eyes, letting herself be led inside the station. It’s not as chaotic as she expected it to be inside. There’s about a dozen uniformed officers milling about, a few people being detained and some civilians talking to the man at the front desk. She can’t help it if she strains her neck to look at anyone has even the barest resemblance to Lexa, even if they don’t have the right shade of brown hair. The officer holding her by the arm looks at her oddly.

“Where’s Lexa? Is she here?” she asks uncertainly.

“You mean Bloody Mary back there? Yeah, she’ll be here,” he replies with a huff of laughter.

That's good. For a second there, she thought they were going to be separated. She silently lets herself get pulled to a room with the word  PROCESSING printed on the door. She was then asked to surrender her belongings, which she had very little of since all her things are back at the car. They didn't even let her keep the fake engagement ring from that night Lexa “proposed" to her for a free dessert. After that, she was photographed and fingerprinted. Another officer sat her down in an interview room to get personal information from her shortly afterwards.

“Alright then, Ms. Griffin. You wanna tell me why a man got beaten within inches of his life and why two squad cars had to be dispatched to chase you down?” her interrogator asks. It's a female officer named Maya Vie this time. They probably think she'll crack easier because of girl-to-girl talk, basic psych tactic. She scoffs as she wonders when the bad cop counterpart to this officer good cop will show up. “Something funny, Ms. Griffin?”

She stares dead ahead at the cop's eyes with that same cold gaze that's as good as plastered permanently on her face now. It's better not to speak lest she make both her and Lexa seem guiltier than they already are. Right now, she knows how precarious the situation is. She feels like an animal backed into a corner, just waiting for the hunter to strike. But she still has an ace up her sleeve. Granted that she will probably regret doing it later, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

“Ms. Griffin,” Officer Vie sighs at her silent treatment. “I can't help you if you won't talk to me.”

“I want my phone call,” she states with a shaky voice, trying as hard as she can to hide just how frazzled she really is. She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly through her nose before continuing. “And I won't say anything else without a lawyer present.”

Officer Vie lets out a little groan. “Fine,” she says as she reluctantly hands over a phone. Clarke takes it with unsteady hands and dials the number she has memorized since high school. She holds it against her ear and listens to the familiar hum of the phone. It picks up after four rings.

“Doctor Griffin,” her mother says on the other line. The scratchy sound of her voice suggests that she just woke her up from sleep.

“Hey, mom,” she replies, readying herself for the scolding of a lifetime.

“C-Clarke? Is that you? Where are you? What took you so long to call?” She holds the phone away from her ear now since each question gets asked a little bit louder than the next. “Do you know how worried I was? How could you be so irresponsible?”

Abby’s shouting now. She'd almost feels embarrassed at being chewed out right in front of a cop if she isn't feeling furious too. “Mom,” she tries and fails to interrupt her mother's angry babbling. “Mom! Jesus fucking Christ, would you please just let me say what I have to?!”

She hears a sharp gasp from the phone's speaker. “You dare talk back to your mother? After what you-"

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, mom! You can scold me all you want later. But right now, I need you to listen to me carefully.” She pauses and takes in another deep breath. “I've been arrested and I need you to get in touch Attorney Jaha.” There's nothing but absolute silence after that. “Mom?” she prompts after a few seconds.

“What have you done, Clarke?” her mother asks, disbelieving. There's also something in the tone of her voice that sounds oddly like genuine concern too. Somehow, she's grateful that her mother is not giving her the “I told you so" speech.

She looks at Officer Vie across from her. No way she's going to spill the beans here. “Mom, I’ll be more than happy to give you an explanation when you get here. Please just come get me,” she pleads, tears starting to cloud her vision again. There's an unspoken statement somewhere at the end there. In one way, she knows that she's putting herself under her mother's control again, but she doesn't care about that now. The sooner she's out of here, the sooner she can do something about Lexa since she doubts the girl has someone to call in the city. The only other people who care about her are states away after all.

“Tell me where you are,” her mother finally says.

Just over an hour later, the woman arrives with both Marcus Kane and Atty. Jaha in tow. She’s looking a little worse for wear but that hasn’t done anything to soften the expression on her face that’s somewhere between relief and totally pissed off.

xxxxxxx

They take Lexa straight to an interrogation room upon arriving at the station. There's no need for photographs and fingerprints. She's a familiar face around here anyway with how many times she got arrested and then sprung out by Titus. Plus, most of these people must already be in her father's back pocket. She sits up straighter at the sound of the door knob turning and warily eyes the person who comes through.

“Woods,” he says in greeting. “Why am I not surprised to see you here?” He takes a seat and sets down a bucket of ice in front of her.

Lexa knows him very well. Quint is as dirty as dirty cops can get. He's the kind of cop who can be easily swayed. For the right price, of course. And that's what she's counting on right now because she desperately wants to find out where Clarke is or if she's unharmed. Maybe if she picks her next words wisely, she can bribe him with the bag of cash under the car seat.

“Officer Quint,” she answers as she pulls the ice bucket closer and dunks both of her bruised and bloody hands in. It's hard when she's cuffed to the table but she manages it anyway.

“It's Detective now, actually,” he says with a small smile. “Wanted to thank you for that. Your little stunt with the racing and the drugs set me up on a path to a promotion.”

“I'm glad one of us is getting something from that then, detective,” she replies unamused. Lexa pauses and looks him straight in the eye. “How would you like to get something more?”

He frowns at her, already considering what she's going to say next. “I'm listening.”

“A friend of mine got picked up with me tonight, came in a different car. I've got a bag of almost $350,000 in cash with your name on it. It's yours if you let us go and forget everything that happened. Forgo the processing and all that.”

He doesn't appear to be affected in any way, much to her dismay. Quint just shakes his head and chuckles. “You know, on any other day, I would have taken that offer. But I'm already bought and paid for, lass. I’m just here to make sure you don’t try to be an escape artist again.”

Lexa feels her stomach fall and cold sweat settle on her skin. It's too late now. She thought she and Clarke had more time before her father catches up, but it's sadly not the case. In terms of screwing up her life, Murphy really outdid himself this time. Whatever remorse she felt for almost punching his head to nothing but bloody chunks of brain and bone suddenly vanishes. She retracts her hands from the bucket with a heavy sigh. Her entire body feels just as numb as her hands.

Just then, the door swings open again. She looks.up from her hands and glares at the next person to come inside. If she wasn't angry before, she definitely is now because the man who pushes in is no other than Titus. He taps Quint on the shoulder. “I’ll take it from here, detective.” The detective gives them both a curt nod before exiting and closing the door behind him. Lexa’s furious gaze never leaves the figure of Titus, not even as he takes the seat opposite hers.

A deafening silence and a tension so thick fills the tiny room, just like on the many other occasions like these before. Lexa just wants to get it all over with so she speaks up first. “You got here fast,” she points out humorlessly.

“You’re not as hard to find as you think. I just had to follow the trail of violence you leave behind,” he says as he looks at her like a disappointed parent.

“Sure it’s not because of Murphy?” she grits out.

“You mean the man you almost beat to death? You’re lucky he has a history of criminal activity or it’d be harder for me to get you released this time. How could you be so reckless, Lexa?”

“You forced my hand, you and father!” she shouts at him, banging her hands on the table.

Titus doesn’t flinch, but he sighs like he’s tired of this conversation. “None of this would have happened if you just agreed to come with me back in Nevada.”

“Why, so my father can lock me up again?”

“Stop being so stubborn, Lexa. Would you rather be in a cell your whole life? Barrett only has so much sway in this precinct, but he can give you protection. Like he always does.”

But at too high a cost, she thinks to herself. Merely thinking of seeing her father again incites a crawling feeling under her skin. Still, there’s one other person who can benefit from this kind of leniency. And if she has to endure three more years of living under her father’s roof, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad so long as she knows that Clarke wouldn’t take the fall for this. She swore to the girl that they wouldn’t end up in jail before they left Washington. At least that’s one promise she wouldn’t break.

“If I come with you voluntarily… If agree to what he wants, will you be willing to extend that offer of protection to someone else?” she asks with a trembling voice.

Titus frowns but he gets her meaning fast enough. “You mean that girl you were with? What was her name?”

“Clarke. Clarke Griffin,” she utters the name like she would a prayer if she believed in a god. Like if she says it clearly enough, Clarke would just magically appear right beside her. Right where she belongs. But one can only hope.

“Yes. Clarke Griffin,” he says slowly as he gives Lexa’s counter offer some serious thought. Titus looks back at her in that criticizing manner he always adapts. “Very well. I’ll see what I can do.” He starts to stand up, but Lexa reaches over and tugs down the sleeve of his expensive suit.

“No, that’s not good enough. I want you to promise that you’ll get her out. Otherwise, we don’t have a deal, and you may as well personally take me to a cell,” she states firmly just so he knows how serious she is.

He slumps his shoulders a bit and shakes his head, but it’s clear that he’s already resigned to the idea. “Fine,” he sighs. “I hope you know how much harder you just made this.”

“I don’t care,” she snaps at him. “That’s your job, Titus. Clarke is all that matters.”

He nods then, and Lexa lets him go so he can do what he needed to do. She was certain she would be left in the silent room again. But before she can slouch down on her uncomfortable seat again, Quint and three large men dressed in gray suits come inside. “You’re free to go, lass,” Quint says as he steps forward to unlock her cuffs. “Your lawyer buddy said these men are supposed to escort you outside. I’d follow them without making a fuss if I were you.

Lexa rubs at her wrists to get the circulation of blood in her hands back to normal and looks at the group of intimidating men. She should have known something like this was going to happen. This whole day was just her father being one step ahead of her. “Can I talk to someone first?” she asks hopefully so she could make sure Clarke is fine and that Titus is keeping his end of the deal. One last goodbye wouldn’t hurt too. Or maybe it will.

The leader of the trio steps up and puts a hand on her shoulder, already pushing her forward to the door. Another one of the suited men flanks her other side, and the other one takes point. Clearly, they’re taking every precaution so she can’t get away. “Sorry, Miss. We’re under strict orders to get you out of here as soon as possible. Your father’s waiting for you."

At that moment, Lexa knows that hell existed on earth. It’s wherever they’re carting her off to that she must face the devil himself.

Chapter Text

Clarke shifts uncomfortably in her chair, barely even listening as Jaha talks to Officer Vie. She's just thankful that her mother isn't in the room with her since she's no longer a minor. She doubts she can endure Abby’s nagging and berating with her lack of focus. All she wants to do is get out of this fucking room to find Lexa.

The door suddenly swings open, revealing a man with a shaved head and a mustache-goatee combo wearing casual clothes. Before Jaha can even demand to know who this intruder is, he flashes them a badge. “Detective Quint,” he introduces himself and turns to Clarke. “Looks like you're off the hook, Ms. Griffin. Charges against you have been dropped. Officer Vie will give you back your belongings.”

Clarke just looks at him with mouth open wide. She honestly didn't think it was going to be this easy, and it all seems fishy to her.

“But sir, I thought-” the officer starts to protest only to get cut off.

“This order comes straight from the chief, Maya. Just do it,” he tells her pointedly, and she just nods. Quint then walks the rest of the way to stand in front of Jaha to shake his hand. “Atty. Jaha, sorry for the inconvenience.”

“Why exactly are the charges against my client being dropped?” Jaha questions dubiously.

“Look, I'm just the messenger here, counselor. The answer to that question is frankly above my pay grade. This thing's between the chief and Mr. Krause.”

Her eyes grow wide and her breath hitches as she recognizes the name. “Krause? As in Barrett Krause?” she asks, standing up abruptly.

“Yes, how do you-”

She doesn't let him finish and just bolts out of the door. She runs as if her life depended on it, even passing by her mother who called after her. No, no, no, she keeps repeating inside her head as she looks around the station. Lexa better not have done what she's thinking. It's impossible, Lexa would never. She runs up to the next cop she sees. “Lexa Woods. Tell me where she is,” she demands. When the startled cop only looks at her blankly, she starts giving a description of her girlfriend. “She's tall, has long brown hair and green eyes. She was wearing- fuck, I forgot the color of her shirt,” she mumbles in a panic.

Her mom, Marcus, Jaha and Detective Quint have caught up with her now. “Clarke,” her mothers says, putting a firm hand on her shoulder.

Clarke turns just as her vision starts to swim. If she didn't almost bawl her eyes out on the way to the station, she's certain that she'd be crying again. “I have to find her. I have to find Lexa. She couldn't have-.” She turns her attention to Detective Quint. “Where is she? You know where she is, don't you? Tell me!” she begs.

“Sorry, Miss. I have no idea where she is. She left with her lawyer half an hour ago,” Quint replies.

“You must have some way to contact her. How does her father get in touch with you?” she says shrugging off her mother's hand. “Please tell me. Please.”

“Like I said before, I'm just a messenger. Orders just get passed down to me. I can't help you.”

Lexa, the fucking idiot, did it. She probably knew that the odds were stacked against them from the beginning. Did she call him on her own volition or did they find her and take her away? Clarke can taste bile on her tongue now, sick at the idea that either way, Lexa exchanged one life of captivity for another. And it's all so she could be free. She falls down on her knees as everything starts to reel right in front of her eyes. Her breaths come shorter, her heart beats erratically in her chest and her whole body feels cold as if she was submerged in ice. She can vaguely hear her mother's voice trying to calm her down, telling her to remember her breathing techniques.

Detective Quint shouts out for a medic. It's only then does she realize that she's having a panic attack. The last time she had one was years ago, when her father's death was still fresh in her memory. Abby moves behind her, whispering soothing words in her ears and gently rubbing circles on her back. It helps enough that she doesn't feel like she's choking but the crippling anxiety of losing Lexa is still there. Eventually, Clarke manages to get her breathing back to what could be considered as normal.

“It's alright, Clarke. I'm going to take you home, okay?” her mother says. She feels too weak right now that she's in no position to give a coherent answer. So, she just lets herself be half carried by Marcus and her mom to the car. All the while, she swears to herself that she would track down the girl she loves even if it's the last thing she ever does.

 xxxxxxx

Lexa left her heart back at that police station, that she is sure of. And now, everything just looks dull, like all the color and everything good in the world suddenly just vanished. If there's one particular emotion that's left, it's anger. She's angry at her father for getting the better of her. At Murphy for being the lying bastard that he is. At Titus for being her father's obedient, little lap dog. But most of all, she detests herself for putting Clarke through all that.

To her credit, she maintains her composure even if she's practically being crushed in the sedan’s backseat, with Titus sitting to her left and his hulking bodyguard to her right. It's just four of them in the car, including the driver, since the other guy in a suit was tasked to follow behind in the GT40. Everything's too eerily quiet. But despite their resolve to not give her an answer as to where she's being taken, Lexa already has a pretty good notion based on the roads they are taking. They're headed straight to Malibu. There's only one place there where her father could be staying at - the mansion where he kept her hidden away in after getting caught. How fitting it is that she would go back there after all these years. At least she's already familiar with the place if she needs to escape.

She turns to Titus after a while. “Clarke,” she says. It was meant to be a firm question but it comes out as nothing but a faint whisper.

“I made sure she was released,” he replies. “You can trust me to keep my word, Lexa. Detective Quint can confirm it if you want.”

“Did anyone come for her?” she asks. The thought of Clarke being left to herself at this hour definitely doesn't calm her nerves down. In fact, it makes her want to hijack this car and turn right back around. Rational thinking be damned. She'd gladly take whatever punishment her father would inflict on her if it means that Clarke is safe.

“Quint told me that the girl called her mother and a lawyer.”

Lexa nods weakly and lets that bit of information settle. It’s good to know that even if their relationship is strained, Abigail Griffin still cares enough to personally come to her daughter’s rescue. If only she could say the same for her father. But it’s just as well since using her father’s resources is a low enough blow. She doesn’t think she can take the hit to her pride if Barrett Krause himself sprung her out of jail. Speaking of the despicable man…

“What does he want with me?” Lexa doesn't need to specify who she is referring to. Titus already knows.

“That's really not for me to say. You should talk to your father about that,” he says with finality.

She doesn't get anything from Titus, no matter how hard she presses for more. And soon enough, they arrive at their destination. She looks up to the sprawling mansion looming at the distance. From the outside, everything looks largely unchanged. There's the same high gates, fences and guard booth all in boring gray. The huge yard out front is just as well-manicured and decorated with topiaries, illuminated now at this time of the night. The mansion still has the same brick colored roof and cream walls.

“Come on, let's go inside,” Titus tells her as the car stops by the front doors. “You must be tired… and you might want to bathe and change your clothes.” Lexa looks down at what she's wearing. Her white shirt has some blood splotches on it courtesy of her fight with Murphy. The goon on her right throws open the door and steps out. With a sinking feeling, she snaps her eyes back up to Titus. “Go on,” he urges.

Lexa takes a deep breath and exits the car, Titus following closely behind her. She stands still in front of the doors, not making an effort to move until they open. But instead of her father coming out to greet her, it's a strange middle aged bald man dressed in similar fine clothes as the guards. “Good evening, Miss,” he greets with a warm smile. “I'm Tristan, chief servant of the household. I've already instructed the maids to draw you a bath in your own room. If you’d follow me, I can take you there.”

This is new. Her father had a handful of servants in this house, but never a butler before. It makes her overly suspicious. Setting her face in a stoic expression, she follows the man inside where about a dozen other members of housekeeping staff are lined up in waiting. Their polite greetings fall on her deaf ears since she’s deep in thought. Does her father plan to live here now instead of New York where the main offices of Krause Munitions are located? And If it's just going to be the two of them here, this whole team of maids and menservants is a tad bit too excessive. She lets her eyes take in the big picture then. Apart from the servants, there are also a couple more guards doing their rounds, and that's just at the first floor. She looks up, and sure enough, there are more security personnel looking down at her from the stairs and the railing on the second floor.

“What the hell is going in?” she mutters to herself. The security cameras scattered all around, and high-end bio-metric scanners by some of the doors also catch her eye. Clearly, her father has upgraded the security in the place since she last spent time here. Suddenly, she realizes that her chances of breaking herself out from the inside and finding her way back to Clarke just got slimmer. She turns back around to Titus who was just about to stride closer to her. “What the hell is going on, Titus?” she growls.

“Lexa,” a voice calls to her from the direction of the stairs. She doesn’t need to look to know who it is. After all, she’s had vivid nightmares hearing that voice. At least, he called her Lexa this time. She refuses to turn around to acknowledge his presence even as she starts to hear the careful clicking of shoes on the lavish marble floors that are amplified since everyone is dead silent.

“Mr. Krause,” Titus greets her father, straightening up like the faithful, little lackey he is. The rest of the people around them do a little bit of curtsying. “I thought you’d be asleep, sir.”

Barrett only hums in response as he reaches them. Lexa would never be caught dead with her back exposed to an enemy, so she turns to face him with a scowl. The last time she saw her father was just before she went off to college, but it may as well have been a few days. The man looks like he hardly aged a day during that time. His appearance is still the same way as she remembered. His jet black hair streaked with white at the sides and his stocky built contrasted her brown hair and lean frame. But they have the same deep green eyes, sharp jawline and tall stature. Anyone only had to look at them side by side to know that they are indeed father and daughter, and she hated that.

Titus clears his throat. “I’ve taken care of the matter with the police. Although…” he pauses as his eyes flit to Lexa. “There was a small complication. Rest assured that it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. If you would like to discuss-”

“That’s enough for now, Titus. It’s already late. You should rest, but I expect you to be back here tomorrow,” her father tells him curtly.

“Of course, sir. I’ll take my leave then. Have a good night,” he says and walks back out.

Barrett only nods and fixes his gaze on her once again. Lexa mentally psychs herself and physically prepares for what her father might do. There were a few times in the past when he lost his temper and hit her - mostly backhanded slaps that split her lip open and sent her face down on the floor. Right now looks like one of those moments, but the blow never came. Instead, he dismisses the servants. The guards resume their patrol, occasionally looking at them with poorly disguised interest.

Lexa is beyond confused now. First, there was her father’s questionable and persistent efforts in trying to find her. Then, the increased security and serving staff in the mansion. Now, he’s not acting quite like himself. It’s unlikely that he suddenly had a change of heart about her. She knows a trap when she sees one, and this whole thing smells like one. He’s planning something. Something big that involves her. And the unknown nature of that plan fills her with ice cold fear.

“The wayward daughter returns,” he says, looking her from head to toe. If he’s bothered by the sight of blood on her, he doesn’t show it.

“Not by choice,” she bites out.

“No, obviously not. But you are here now, and that is what matters.”

He motions for one of the guards behind him to come forward and holds out his hand. The other man places something in the palm of his hand. Barrett drops it to the ground, and that’s when Lexa sees what it is - her phone. The guy driving her car must have taken it. Her father stomps down on it half a dozen times, barely breaking a sweat. She only closes her eyes as she hears the shattering of the device.

“Take what’s left and burn it,” her father instructs the guard. The man scoops up the pieces of plastic and glass as best as he can with his hands and hurries to follow the order. “I can’t have you contacting your criminal friend or those bothersome cousins of yours.”

She opens her eyes, they’re heavy with tiredness and despair. “Why do you feel the need to take everything I love away from me?”

“Love is a fallacy,” her father answers sharply. After a long pause, he continues. “Get some sleep, child. You will need your rest. We can talk more tomorrow.”

Her father walks off, leaving her staring at the spot of the ground where her phone used to be. There goes another means for finding Clarke.

xxxxxxx

Hours later, Clarke lies wide awake in her old bed. No matter what she does, she just can’t seem to fall asleep. Maybe it's because her childhood home holds millions of haunting memories of a happier time when her father was alive. Or maybe because her mother tucked her into bed herself, something she hasn't done since Clarke was a little girl. It was awkward to say the least, but Abby had insisted and even played the “I'm also your doctor" card. What’s worse is the lingering, unspoken truth that they would have to talk about everything that happened in the last few months come morning.

But maybe the restlessness is because she’s not used to the absence of Lexa's comforting warmth wrapped around her body. Or the sweet nothings whispered in her ear so lovingly as she drifts off to unconsciousness. The swirling thoughts inside her head almost make her cry yet again, but she holds herself together. If she wanted to get things done, she’d have to stop acting like a goddamn crybaby. She angrily kicks off the comforter and slips out of bed, cursing herself for being helpless and powerless. The feeling is multiplied tenfold each time she's reminded of the last time she saw Lexa, beaten and bloody.

But there’s one way she knows of to ease the pain enough so she can think. Silently, she pads across the corridor and down the stairs to her father’s old office, careful not to wake her mom. She pushes the heavy wooden door open and breathes in the familiar atmosphere. Everything is illuminated by the faint glow of the moon shining through the large window behind the desk. Since Jake Griffin’s death, his office remained mostly untouched, save for the regular cleaning so dust don’t settle on the surfaces. She walks around and sits herself on the comfortable armchair, imagining that it’s as soothing as her father’s embrace if he were here.

Her eyes fall on the ever present framed picture, the first one she ever drew. She runs her fingers gently on the crinkling paper and over the deep ridges of where she had pressed her charcoal hard on the surface. She smiles fondly at the memory of her drawing of a black and white sunset, and then giving it to her father. Somehow, she doesn’t feel bitter about it as she used to because in her heart, she knows that she had made her peace with it. She grieved for her father as she should have done years ago. And that’s one thing she greatly owes to Lexa.

Feeling more motivated now, she flips open the laptop on the desk and boots it up. She immediately opens up a browser to look for any clue as to where Lexa’s father may have taken her. Searching the name ’Lexa Woods’ didn’t turn up any results, as expected. She knows that Lexa valued her privacy but she hoped there would be something. Failing that, she instead looked up information about Barrett Krause. Most of what she finds is about his arms company, little to do with his personal life. A couple of links directed her to articles about his wife’s death with brief mentions of a son named Alexander Krause, who she knows is Lexa. Unfortunately, the last article she could find that mentioned Lexa’s birth name was dated years ago. There’s nothing new about her now.

Clarke huffs in frustration. She might not be able to do this all alone. But she knows just the right people to ask for help - her friends.

Chapter Text

Clarke feels hands shaking her gently by the shoulders. Try as she might, she can’t find the strength to open her eyes. She’s so terribly tired, but she doesn’t remember exactly why. With an annoyed grunt, she swats at the hands and burrows further into the comfort of… whatever she fell asleep on last night. The hands don't stop trying to shaking her back into the land of the living however, and this time, someone’s calling her name.

“Clarke. Clarke, wake up.”

“Mm... so tired. Five more minutes, Lex,” she grumbles just so her girlfriend would let her sleep longer.

“I’m not Lex,” the person answers.

It feels like a Herculean task, but Clarke manages to crack open one eye and sees that the person standing over her is in fact not Lexa. Her mother looks down on her with an unreadable look on her face. Or maybe she’s just that out of practice from deciphering her mother’s emotions since the only interactions they’ve had in the recent past are screaming matches. All too suddenly, she’s hit by a strong feeling of sorrow at the realization of where she is. She sits up straight, fully awake now. Apparently, she fell asleep in the small leather couch in her father’s office.

“I’ve been looking all morning for you. What are you doing here?” her mother asks.

“Nothing,” she says quickly. “I couldn’t sleep in my room so...”

“I see. Well, how are you feeling now? Last night, you-”

“I’m fine, mom. Really, I am,” she cuts off her mother and stands up, knowing all too well where this conversation is headed. She would much rather not have that talk with her mother because they would only end up reopening old wounds and tearing up new ones. Clarke starts walking away, but Abby follows her out of the room.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“Out.”

“Out? What do you mean out?” her mother says harshly. “I didn’t go through the trouble of bailing you out of jail just so you can walk out on me again.” Abby stops her on the way up the stairs, holding on tightly to her wrist.

“Technically, you didn’t bail me out,” Clarke answers defiantly, pulling her wrist out of the woman’s grip and continuing up the stairs.

Abby doesn’t miss a beat and chases after her as she enters her room. “I seem to recall you calling me in the middle of the night to ‘come get you’. That’s what you said, right?”

Clarke throws open her closet doors and rummages around for a bag. “Yeah, well, that was clearly a mistake,” she grits out. She finds an old backpack that looks clean enough and stuffs it with haphazardly folded clothes enough to last her a week.

“Would you just stop for a second? You can’t just disappear for months and then leave again,” her mother says, turning her around and stopping her from packing up the rest of her clothes.

“What do you want from me, mom?” she sighs tiredly. “You want an explanation for what I did? Fine, I’ll give you the short version right now. I left, ran away, skipped town because I needed to get away. From school, from the enormous amount of pressure you put on me, from your impossibly high expectations of me, from you.”

Abby narrows her eyes at her, unimpressed and probably pissed off. “So, what? You decided to be a delinquent and ran away with some felon? I thought I raised you better than that. Jesus Christ, Clarke, that girl almost killed a man. You shouldn’t be associating yourself with someone like her.”

“Don’t talk about Lexa like that! You don’t know her,” she shouts.

“Oh, but I know her better than you. The police told me all about this Lexa Woods,” Abby says the name like she’s trying to get the bad taste off her tongue. “She’s a criminal, Clarke, a good-for-nothing you’d be better off cutting ties to.”

“No! Lexa might have made mistakes in the past but she’s not good for nothing. You don’t know the horrors she’s been through, mom,” she stalks forward to let her mother know how serious she is. The action makes Abby take a couple of steps back. “She’s the wisest, most compassionate and strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. And she’s done more for me than you could ever imagine, so don’t you go talking about her like she’s something worthless.” She goes to turn around and resume her packing but it seems like the woman behind her isn’t quite done.

“Done more for you? I am your mother. I gave birth to you, raised you, fed you, and put you through school. Don’t you dare tell me that some stranger you ran away with gave you more. What exactly has she done for you? Nicked you something pretty from the mall?”

Clarke spins around, and fixes her mother with the meanest glare she can muster. “She did for me what you couldn’t. She took me to my father’s grave to pay my respects, something you couldn’t do because of your fucking pride. After years of bottling up all my grief, I finally got to let it out because of her. Because of Lexa. And now, I actually know what I want to do with my life because she helped me see my own worth.”

Abby just stands there, wide-eyed and stunned to silence. Seeing that her mother doesn’t have anything else to say, she turns back around to finish her task. While she was fitting the last of her essentials and her old laptop in the bag, the woman speaks again.

“Where will you go?”

She lets out another tired breath through her mouth. Her mother seems to be genuinely concerned for her, so maybe telling her would actually make her back off for once. “I’m going to stay at a friend’s place. Bellamy told me his girlfriend Gina needs a house sitter,” she says, zipping up her bag and strapping it onto her shoulders. Clarke turns around again to face Abby who looks a bit apologetic with sad eyes. “I contacted Bell, O and my closest friends from college last night. They suggested I live there for a while, just until we can figure out how to find…” she trails off, not wanting to start another argument about Lexa.

When she passes by her mother to go through the door, she was surprised that the woman didn’t grab at her again. But as she walks down the hallway, Abby calls out to her again. “Wait. Did- did she really take you to Jake’s grave?”

“Yeah, she did. I didn’t even have to ask. She just offered,” she answers whirling around to look at Abby. Clarke can’t help the small smile making it up to her lips at the memory of Lexa telling her that she wouldn’t stand for what her father’s family did. That was also the day she realized that she was falling in love with the green eyed girl.

“Would you mind… telling me about it before you go?” Abby asks with a trembling voice. Her mom seems to be on the verge of crying now. “Maybe over some food? I’ll make you anything you want for breakfast.”

Clarke and Abby rarely saw eye to eye, but they have both experienced the pain of loss. She may never forgive the older woman for letting her father go just like that but she’s still her mother. And she’s the only family she has left apart from distant relatives. Just this once, she decides and nods at her mom.

She tells her mother about the day she and Lexa went to her father’s grave over blueberry pancakes. Abby sniffles for most of the story and then invites her to look at some old family photos and pictures of Jake. They ended up taking all of it back to the office, laughing softly at memories of Jake. And as they’re sitting down on the carpeted floor, finally finished flipping through photo albums, her mom speaks again.

“The day Jake died, I know you’re hurting about that still. I should have handled that better, talked to you. But you have to understand that that’s how he wanted it.”

“He wanted to die like that? I refuse to believe that.”

“No, he wouldn’t want you to see him like that,” Abby explains, with tears welling in her eyes. “He and I both agreed to an arrangement. That if one of us were to be tragically injured with no possibility of ever regaining consciousness, we were to let the other person go and spare you from having to make the decision. I tried to save him, Clarke, I did. That’s why he had many doctors looking after him that day. But he was already gone, and I couldn’t do anything about it.”

They’re both crying now, and Clarke hugs herself tightly to try keep from shaking uncontrollably. If she had known about this, maybe things would have been different between her and her mother. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that Abby hid things from her, and practically stopped being the caring, nurturing parent she needed.

“You should have told me,” she sobs.

“I know, I can’t take it back now. I’m sorry, Clarke. I’m sorry that you had to seek consolation from someone else. I was- am a terrible mother,” Abby says through her crying as she crawls closer to Clarke. “I’ll understand if you never forgive me, but please don’t cut me out of your life. I’ve already missed enough of it.”

Clarke breathes in deeply through her nose, wiping away the tears on her cheeks. “Okay,” she says plainly. She figures she needs all the help from everyone who cares for her now anyway.

xxxxxxx

Lexa wasn’t at all surprised that Barrett couldn’t even keep his word of talking more after the night she was brought here. He didn’t show up the following day or the day after that. Neither did he seek her out any other day to speak to her. Most of the time, he’s away on business, according to Tristan. At least the butler had the decency to apologize for his absence.

Him being out of the mansion often actually comes with some perks. For one, she doesn’t have to glare at him and strain the muscles of her face for hours at a time. She also finds that exploring the mansion and looking for exploitable weaknesses is much easier when he’s gone since the maids just leave her be. The guards are another story. Men in gray and white tactical uniforms roam the house day and night in shifts. Lexa dedicates a huge chunk of her time figuring out when they switch posts. She’s almost sure that she has the pattern memorized, but she would need to test it soon.

At least two security personnel stand by doors leading to rooms, hallways and entire wings of the mansion that her father has deemed her “restricted” from. To make matters worse, there’s always one guard (who she finds out is called Ryder) tasked to follow her wherever she goes. He follows her virtually everywhere and even stands by the door of the bathroom when she uses it. Her crude joke of whether he would to like to hold her genitalia for her while she takes a piss gets old quickly. That, or he doesn’t know what the hell genitalia even means to appreciate her wisecrack. Lexa strongly suspects that it’s the latter.

There are also certain times during the day when they confine her in her room. Like right now. All of these just make her more suspicious. There’s definitely something they don’t want her to see.

The room they put her in is large, but bare aside from the bed and the closet. There’s absolutely nothing electronic she can use to contact anyone. The window only offers a view of the side of the house, where nothing really happens. So, she had asked Tristan for some reading material a couple of days ago, listing off her favorite novels. So far, she’s almost through the pile of books delivered for her because she just reads throughout most of the night. It’s almost impossible for her to fall asleep no matter how comfortable the bed is, especially if her mind is filled with memories of Clarke. The bed is still a poor substitute to the warmth of her lover’s embrace or the softness of her lips as she kisses them. She never understood the true meaning of the term “heartsick” until now.

Lexa closes the book in her hands with a heavy sigh after she realizes that she’s been reading the same sentence for what feels like the hundredth time. Rubbing at her eyes, she lays down from her sitting position. A knock on her door draws her attention, but she makes no effort to stand or even sit up. “Come in,” she says with a groan. “Not like I can stop you anyway,” she adds silently so only she can hear.

“Excuse me, Miss. You have a visitor,” Tristan tells her through the half-way opened door.

“Are you kidding?” she deadpans at him and raises an eyebrow just to demonstrate how ridiculous she thinks that is. There’s no one else who knows where she is apart from Titus, her father, and their army of lackeys.

“Well, no, Miss. Someone is here to see you,” he says.

“Just let me through. I’m sure she won’t mind,” says another voice from the other side of the door. It belongs to a female, as far as Lexa can tell and it sounds oddly familiar. Then again, that might just be the sleep deprivation taking its toll on her. Before she can contemplate further who her visitor might be, the door is already pushing open to reveal Ontari, who is wearing her signature ensemble of black clothing. “Hey, Lexa,” she says with a smile, confidently making her way to the bed.

Lexa sits then pushes up so her back is against the headboard. “What are you doing here?” she asks uncertainly.

Ontari merely shrugs, sits by the foot of the bed and turns to Tristan. “You may leave us now,” she orders him. Tristan complies with a polite bow of his head and leaves them alone. She then starts inching closer to Lexa while still wearing the same smile.

“What are you doing here?” she repeats.

The girl just chuckles lowly, reaching over with one hand to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “Well, your father says you’re feeling awfully lonely in here by yourself.” Her hand continues to brush at the shell of Lexa’s ear, down to her cheek and eventually landing at her collarbone. “So, I thought I’d keep you company.”

Lexa grabs the hand and pushes it away before it goes any lower. No, never again, she thinks to herself. Truth be told, she only slept with the girl once in an attempt to sabotage her father. She almost succeeded too, but her plan eventually backfired. Ontari is the adoptive daughter of Azgeda Corp’s CEO Nia Queen. Nia, being the head of a private security and tech firm, is a valuable business partner to her father’s arms company. During her more rebellious teenage years, Lexa thought that by bedding the girl, she can somehow break up their partnership and make Barrett lose an ally. She didn’t count on her father being quite skilled at solving disputes through diplomatic means.

She also didn’t expect Ontari to be… the words Anya used to describe her back then were “batshit crazy”. The girl had become completely obsessed with her at some point before she went off to college. She thought the distance would have killed whatever the hell that was but looking at Ontari now, that is sadly not the case. If only she had listened to Lincoln’s advice to “never stick her dick in crazy”.

Lexa sighs yet again and scoots further away from Ontari. “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I already told you before - I’m not interested.”

The brown eyed girl just hums and smirks. “That’s okay. You’ll change your mind eventually.” She stands up and calls for the guard to let her out. Before she’s fully out the doorway, she turns back and winks at her.

Lexa groans loudly and slumps back down on her bed. Oh, this is going to be a longer day than usual. She’s going to have to figure out how to escape the mansion sooner if there’s going to be more of Ontari. Still, the girl’s sudden appearance makes her wonder if she has something to do with what her father is hiding. But it explains the gray and white color scheme of the guards. They must have been supplied by Azgeda.

Come nightfall, Tristan comes again to tell her that Barrett wishes to see her. Lexa takes her sweet time getting ready, much to Ryder’s annoyance. After all, her father made her wait days, so he can’t really blame her for being petty. She walks slowly on her way to his office too for good measure.

When she finally arrives, she doesn’t bother to knock and just pushes in the door. He’s already waiting there for her, sitting behind his desk and drinking what looks like whiskey from a highball glass. She sits down on one of the chairs without being invited. Her father’s eye twitches in irritation at her brashness, but he doesn’t reprimand her. Instead, he gestures at the decanter of whiskey at the side of the desk to offer her a drink.

Lexa shakes her head. “Why don’t we just get this over with? Just tell me what you want to tell me.”

“Very well,” he starts, standing up and turning around to peer through the window where the backyard is. “A little over a week from now, I will make a formal announcement that I am stepping down as Krause Munitions CEO. I will, however, take a new position as head of the company’s Board of Directors. I’ve invited members of the press and other key business connections for the event.” Lexa frowns in confusion, but then Barrett turns back around. “At the same time, you as my heir, will be publicly declared as my successor.”

Lexa stands up abruptly, toppling over the chair in the process. It hits the wooden floor with a loud snap. All of a sudden, everything that’s happening in the mansion makes sense. It would certainly be a huge event when the infamous Krause heir finally shows her face in public after all these years. “No. No, you can’t do that. I won’t be your puppet!"

“Yes, you will,” Barrett growls at her and slams down his hands on the desk. “In case you have forgotten, I am your father and legal guardian. I have the right to do with you as I please, and you will do as I say.” Filled with rage now, she swipes her hand over the desk, sending the glass of whiskey and the decanter to break on the floor. Her father looks at her angrily. “You dare raise a hand against me?”

Lexa throws all caution to the wind and spits at his face. There’s nothing else he can do now to screw her over even more. She doubts he’ll hit her anyway if she is to make a public appearance. Only, spitting at him is not nearly as satisfying as she thought it would be.

“Guards! Take my daughter to her room,” he shouts as he wipes at his face. In just a few seconds, three guards burst into the room to restrain her. She struggles and shouts, but in her current sleep-deprived state, they soon overpower her and start to drag her out of the office. But just as they’re walking past the doorway, her father speaks again. “Before I forget. Play nice with Ontari Queen. You are to be my bargaining chip for a merger with Azgeda Corp. And you’re going to be engaged to her by next week.”

xxxxxxx

Gina’s apartment is not as small as she expected. It’s actually pretty spacious. The downside is that it’s also empty, and it makes her feel lonelier than she really is. Her mom comes by every once in awhile for a brief chat and to drop of groceries. It helps sometimes, but she still feels the heartache after she leaves.

So, to distract from her from feeling too blue, she makes herself useful throughout most of the day. Clarke scours the internet for any shred of information she may have missed and talks to her friends to ask them for suggestions. She even made calls to the carrier network Lexa used for her unlisted number, which proved to be unsuccessful. The number doesn’t work anymore and the company refuses to give up any information about their users no matter how hard she pleads.

When she’s not trying to track down her missing girlfriend, she draws on paper. But these days, the only thing that she’s capable of drawing is Lexa’s face. At least she hasn’t forgotten what she looks like. She doesn’t know whether to find it a curse or a blessing that she has no pictures of Lexa. And then she has to spend an hour trying to stop the tears from falling again.

As Clarke prepares to put the dishes of her half-eaten lunch away, she hears loud knocking and voices by the door. She hurries to open it and gets shocked at the sight of her closest friends. Bellamy, Octavia, Raven, Jasper, and Monty, they’re all here. “CLARKE!” they all shout at once. And before she can say something back in greeting, they’re already enclosing her in a warm hug.

“Oh my god, what are all of you doing here? I thought it was just going to be Bell and O,” she says after they let her go.

“Oh, come on. You think we’re going to let you go through this by yourself?” Raven replies with a small smile.

“Couldn’t have stopped them from coming here even if I tried,” Bellamy says with a laugh.

“Yeah, Clarke. We look after our own,” Jasper declares with a puff of his chest.

“Plus, if you’re gonna take on some evil douchebag like Lexa’s dad, we’re totally in,” Monty tells her sincerely.

“Also, I thought you could use all the help you could get. So, we brought our resident Lexa experts with us,” Octavia answers and points to her back where Lincoln and Anya are standing.

“Right then, Griffin,” Anya starts with a wicked smirk that oddly reminds her of Lexa. “Let’s go find my stupid cousin.”

Chapter Text

Lexa stands in the middle of the large hall where a large gathering of strangers are milling about, chatting to each other and well on their way to getting drunk even though the party hasn’t formally started yet. Her father has this tradition of allowing guests to freely mingle and drink beforehand. If you ask her, it’s just an excuse so Barrett can enjoy all the ass-kissing from these suckups. But that also means that most of those who are in attendance have no idea yet who she really is. And if things go as planned, that’s how it will stay. It’s easier to slip back into a life of anonymity that way. Oh, there are the curious glances and hushed conversations regarding her identity, of course. After all, how can they not wonder who she is if she’s the spitting image of their gracious host?

Beside her, Barrett stands tall and proud in his tailored suit. She's wearing one of her own, which her father had made for her specifically for this event. He suddenly puts a hand on her nape and digs his fingernails on the skin there. Gritting her teeth, she fights off the urge to cry out in pain. He directs her gaze to where Nia and Ontari Queen are just making their way inside.

“You better be on your best behavior tonight,” he snarls hotly against her ear. “I will not tolerate your insolence. At the very least, give your future wife the attention she seeks."

She almost gags at the thought of marrying Ontari, but it has also served to motivate her for the entire week. This event has given her the opportunity of a lifetime for escape. But the stakes are at an all time high. Either she gets away tonight or she’ll have to live as her father's pawn for the foreseeable future. So, she planned and plotted. When she's not going over the different scenarios in her head, she sleeps or works out. It certainly won't do her any good to be sluggish for what's about to come. With this many people in one place, security is spread very thin. She's still being tailed by Ryder, but when it comes down to it, she's confident that she can get rid of him. And she knows just the right tool for the job.

Her father finally lets her go when the Queens are near enough. His facial expression effortlessly transitions from anger to one that's friendly.

“Barrett, this is quite a party you put together,” Nia says in greeting, her eyes briefly settling on the man as she shakes his hand before flicking to Lexa’s direction. She stares right back, her gaze hard and cold. There will be no trying to be amicable with this woman. After all, the last time they saw each other was years ago when Nia found her sixteen year old daughter naked with Lexa in her own bed.

“Of course. This is a joyous occasion for both of our companies. We deserve the best, and I have spared no expense,” her father replies with a smile.

“It definitely shows,” the woman answers, nodding appreciatively at the room. Then her eyes land on Lexa once again. “I see you’ve also got the runaway heir under your thumb once again.”

“That she is,” her father says, looking at her pointedly before directing his gaze back to Nia again. “Your people have certainly been a big help.”

“I’m always happy to lend a hand to friends in need,” Nia replies, wrapping an arm around her adoptive daughter’s shoulder who is eyeing Lexa like she’s a piece of meat. “Speaking of friends… Ontari, darling, I’m sure you’d like to catch up with your old friend Lexa rather listen to us talk about business.”

The younger brunette positively lights up and grins at her. Maybe that’s what passes as a seduction tactic to the girl. “I’d like that very much,” Ontari tells her mother.

She almost cringes, but she puts on a neutral expression and offers her arm instead to Ontari, who latches onto it all too eagerly. She catches her father’s approving nod before leading the way to the open bar, Ryder following closely behind. While walking, Ontari’s hands inch higher up on her clothed arm and eventually stop at her bicep for a strong squeeze.

“I can’t wait until this party is over. I want to have you all to myself,” Ontari whispers the words in her ear. Lexa nearly trips but manages to grab the edge of the bar to steady herself just in time. “Careful there, sweetheart. I wouldn’t want you to wear yourself out. That part comes later, when you take me to bed.” She sighs and tries to ignore the crawling of her skin underneath the layers of clothes she’s wearing.

She turns to her supposed date for tonight and does her best to give her a smile. It’s not the least bit genuine but it does wonders since the girl grins and moves in closer. Lexa wills her body to stay put as Ontari’s hands slowly move up to wind around the back of her neck. “You know, the event’s not going to start for another hour at least. Do you want to come up to my room?”

Ontari giggles flirtily and leans in, her lips faintly touching her cheek. “Mmm… I knew you wanted me.”

Lexa suddenly finds herself getting pulled away from the bar and up to the winding staircase. Lexa’s tail does his best keep up with the frantic pace Ontari has set. The hallway leading to her room is thankfully emptier than the first floor of the mansion. There are no servants at least since they’re all busy downstairs. But there are a handful of guards who warily watch their every move. They look on, some with knowing smirks and others with wry interest, as Ontari pushes her hard up on the closed door of her room.

The younger brunette moves in for a kiss, but Lexa reacts fast enough to avoid it. Ontari whines as her lips meet the side of Lexa’s neck instead, but she continues to kiss at whatever she reaches. Lexa firmly grabs the girl’s shoulders to push her away. “Tell your mother’s guards to disappear first,” she says in a commanding voice. “You wouldn’t want them to tell her about this, do you?”

Her words make the girl stop and groan in frustration. But it achieves the desired effect. Ontari swiftly turns around. “All of you, beat it! Find somewhere else to be useful,” she shouts at the startled guards who make no moves to follow the order. “Well, what are you waiting for? Do you want me to tell my mother just how incompetent you all are?” At the mention of Azgeda’s CEO, they all scramble and walk briskly to the stairs, leaving the two of them and Ryder. The poor guard clears his throat as Ontari glares at him. “That means you too, you idiot.”

“Pardon, Miss. My orders are to follow Ms. Krause wherever she goes and to make sure she’s present for the announcement.”

“I’m practically your boss,” Ontari growls at him. “You follow my orders. I’ll see to it that she’s there on time.” Ryder looks to Lexa, clearly conflicted as to what he should do. She only offers him a shrug. Eventually, he lets out a long sigh and nods before going away as well. Ontari turns back around to face her. “Now, where were we?” she asks sultrily, her hands moving to unbuckle Lexa’s belt.

“That’s enough,” she says assertively, grabbing Ontari’s wrists before the girl succeeds in pulling down her pants. She reaches for the knob behind her and throws open the door. “Inside,” she orders, keeping up the authoritative tone since the shorter girl responds so well to it. Ontari hurries to comply and kicks off her heels. Lexa follows her inside, closing the door behind her. The girl looks at her with unbridled lust and goes to strip off her dress. “Stop,” Lexa says. “Stay there.Turn around.”

With Ontari’s back facing her, she walks forward and gets close. “I’m sorry about this,” she says insincerely before putting Ontari in a strangle hold. Alarmed, the girl starts to struggle against her, but it’s already too late. Her right arm is placed effectively under the chin to cut off both air that’s coming in and any sound that may come out. She waits patiently until the body in her arms goes limp. With some effort, she carries the unconscious girl to her bed, haphazardly tossing her onto it.

Lexa takes off her jacket and folds up the sleeves of her shirt before running for the door. Now that the entire second floor is completely empty, and no one is dogging her heels wherever she goes, she’s free to wreak some havoc.

Twenty minutes later, she smiles at the commotion she caused down below. It never fails to amaze her how easy it is to make people panic. This time, all it takes is a bunch of improvised smoke bombs made from salt, ammonium nitrate from a couple of instant cold packs, sugar, aluminum foil and a yard of rope. It took her days to steal the ingredients and make the bombs, but looking at the carnage where she chucked them, it’s all worth it. It’s a stampede down there, and all the guards have been dispatched to sort out the mess. Lexa lights up some more smoke bombs and throws them down just for good measure. She even thinks she caught a glimpse of her father, Nia and Titus being herded away from the horde of screaming people.

Satisfied that she has stirred up enough trouble, she runs up to the third floor where her father’s study is. With the ruckus down at the first level, the fire exit by the huge window is the most direct route to the outside and the garage. She kicks down the door by its hinges, the biometric scanner practically useless in this scenario. Just as she’s about to leap out of the window, she spies something on the desk. Barrett’s work laptop. It’s certainly valuable, and she can think of no less than a thousand people who will pay handsomely for the wealth of privileged data inside. But maybe she can use it to her advantage too, so she tucks it under one arm and makes her way down the long emergency stairs.

When she gets to the bottom, she breaks open the glass case containing some fire prevention equipment. She grabs the fire axe and tests it weight in her right hand before taking it to the side of the house where the main electrical box is. Lexa hacks away at the wires and averts her eyes as sparks fly out. In a matter of seconds, the entire mansion is plunged into darkness and the screaming from the inside of the house grows louder. She takes a moment to catch her breath. That should buy her more time to break into the garage and find her car.

xxxxxxx

“Are you sure she’s in there?” Raven whispers to her from the passenger seat.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Clarke tells her without tearing her eyes away from the large grey gates of the mansion. “She has to be.”

After a week of nothing, they finally got a solid lead to follow up on. And it’s the most promising one yet. It all started when Gustus and Indra went to New York to confront Barrett Krause as soon as they heard about Lexa. It took them a few days to even get a chance to talk to anyone from Krause Munitions, only to be told that the man they’re looking for has been away on business for months. They’re now on their way to California to meet up with them.

While the rest of her friends and Lexa’s cousins took this all as bad news, it got Clarke thinking outside the box. If there’s anything she learned from Lexa the whole time they were together, it’s that things aren’t always as they seem. To pay attention to even the smallest details. To closely look at not only what’s there, but at what’s missing as well. And there’s definitely a lot of things missing there. A company as big as KM shouldn’t be as quiet as it is. Not unless they’re hiding something big.

That’s when Monty and Jasper found a press release online about the company holding an event somewhere in Malibu to announce a significant change in the command structure and a merger with the tech giant Azgeda. Clarke just knows somehow that that’s where they will find Lexa. Both Anya and Lincoln agreed with her. And that’s why they’re all sitting in Bellamy’s rented minivan, parked just outside the huge property that’s crawling with guards.

“I don’t know, Clarke. This place seems sketch,” Octavia says from the backseat. “And even if she is in there, how the fuck are we supposed to get past all those military looking dudes?”

“Maybe we should um, rethink this whole thing. I mean, we don’t even have a plan,” Bellamy pipes in beside her. “We just found out about this today. Maybe we can get another chance to find Lexa.”

Anya scoffs. “I doubt it. I know Lexa’s asshole father, he’s my uncle. He’ll probably whisk her away somewhere else after this. It’ll be years again before we see my cousin.”

“That won’t happen,” Clarke snaps at her.

“Hey, relax, Clarke. We’re all on the same team here,” Lincoln tells her while giving his sister a pointed look. “What Anya is trying to say is that this is the best shot we have. If Barrett’s here, there’s a strong chance that Lexa is here too.”

“Look, no offense, but we’re all basing this on a hunch,” Jasper points out. “I’d say the possibility of her being there is slim.”

Soon enough, they’re all arguing with each other. It gets to a point where Bellamy and Lincoln started shoving at each other even though they’re both one row apart. The rest of them keep shouting at each other while trying to break up the fight until Monty speaks up.

“You guys!”

“WHAT!?” They all yell at once.

“Shut the fuck up for a second! Something’s happening in there.”

They all stop and turn back to the mansion. The guards outside seem to be pacing around faster now and listening intently to the radios mounted on their shoulders. In a few more seconds, the uniformed men form up in a group and run through the opened gates. Before the gates close quickly behind them, Clarke hears loud screaming coming from the inside. She looks at all her friends frozen in shock.

“What the fuck?” she utters in astonishment.

Anya smirks. “You want your proof that Lexa’s really in there? There it is.”

That’s all she needed to hear. Who knew the sound of people screaming in absolute terror could be so comforting? But it could also mean that Lexa is in some sort of trouble. Clarke opens the driver side door and just runs like hell to the direction of the gates. She doesn’t even care that her friends don’t quickly follow her outside. Upon reaching the gates, she starts looking for any visible seams so she can pry it open if need be. Finding none, she knocks on the metal to test it thickness. It makes a full ringing sound, which probably means it’s thick as fuck.

“Clarke, what are you doing?” Bellamy says from behind her.

She turns around to see that the rest of the group are now outside with her. “What’s it look like? I’m trying to figure out how to get inside. Does the minivan you rented have a crowbar or something like that?”

“Uh, no. I don’t think so.”

“Fuck. Okay, well… help me try to find a way to get this motherfucker open then.”

“I doubt a crowbar can crack that. It looks pretty tough,” Raven comments as she walks closer to examine the gates. “Huh. That’s something.”

“What?”

“This looks like one of those automated gates. You know, the ones that only open electronically.”

“Shit. Do you think we can blow it open?”

“Probably. We’d need some strong kind of explosive to-”

“Woah, woah, hold up for a second,” Lincoln interrupts. “No one’s using explosives. Do you guys want to end up in jail?”

“Yeah, Griff, calm the fuck down,” Octavia says. “Let’s just think this through, okay?”

“But Lexa’s in there! She could be hurt or worse!” she answers. She’s growing desperate now, and when she panics, she usually can’t think straight. So, she does something really stupid. She shouts for Lexa at the top of her lungs.

Anya shoots forward to put a hand on Clarke’s mouth. “Are you fucking crazy?” the taller blonde growls at her. “That’s not going to work-” Before Anya can even finish chastising her, a familiar but muffled voice from the other side answers.

“Clarke?”

She and Anya share a look of surprise. She knows that voice from the intimate moments she shared with its owner. Knows it from the full-bodied laughter she has come to love so well. Knows it from the resounding words of I love you from the last time she heard it. She almost chokes on the surge of emotions that come bubbling up from her chest. Clarke takes Anya’s hand off her mouth to answer. “L-Lexa? Is that you?”

“It’s me. It’s me, Clarke,” Lexa confirms.

“Well, fuck me sideways. That actually worked,” Jasper says with a laugh.

She sighs in relief. “Wait. Babe, are you okay in there? We heard screaming and-”

“I’m fine, I promise. As for the screaming, well… I caused that. Don’t worry, no one died. I think,” Lexa replies rather sheepishly. “I had to do it. I needed to get out of here to find you.”

“Okay, Romeo and Juliet, not that this isn’t touching, but we should probably hurry this up before the cops show up,” Anya says.

“Uh, right,” Lexa begins. “Listen, I’m kind of stuck here. I already cut the power before remembering that these gates only operate with electricity. I’m going to need you guys to back away.”

“What? What do you mean back away?” she asks. “What are you doing in there?”

Her girlfriend’s heavy sigh can be heard even through the thick gates. “I’m gonna ram my car into the gates.” They all answer in variations of ‘are you crazy’ and ‘you’re out of your fucking mind’ at the absurdity of what Lexa is proposing. “I don’t like it either, okay? But I’m running out of time here. Just trust me, it’s going to work.”

Clarke looks back to her friends to see that they’re already walking away. Looks like she’s the only one who has doubts about this plan. But if it means that she can finally take Lexa away from here, she doesn’t have much choice. “I swear to god, if you get hurt from this and die, I’m going to kill you myself,” she warns.

Lexa chuckles. “That makes no sense at all, but okay.”

“Lex?”

“Yes, Clarke?”

“Just be careful, alright?”

“I’ll try my very best.”

“I love you,” Clarke says as seriously as she can, and continues on before Lexa can answer. “No… don’t say it back yet. Tell me when you’re out.”

“Okay, I will,” Lexa replies. “Run along now.”

Clarke runs to join their friends by the minivan parked just at the curb. All eyes are now fixed on the looming grey gates, everyone holding their breaths. It takes a while before they hear the loud revving of the engine and the screeching of tires. She takes a deep breath in anticipation. Seconds later, the gates burst open, and out comes Lexa’s familiar black muscle car that’s running in full speed. It stops abruptly when it reaches the sloped end of the driveway. Clarke rushes first to the car, the others following closely.

The car’s front looks crumpled, the windshield is covered in huge cracks, and the headlights are all but hanging out of their sockets. There’s also smoke coming from under the hood that makes it hard to see through the glass. But before she reaches the car, the driver’s side door is already being kicked open. Lexa stumbles out on shaky legs, looking a little worse for wear with blood running down the side of her face. And she looks to be carrying the duffel bag they put their money in before they got separated.

Clarke runs as fast as her legs would take her. The brunette drops the bag and readily wraps her up in her arms. She closes her eyes as she settles into the embrace. “You’re a fucking idiot,” she mumbles as she pulls away to look at those green eyes she missed so much. She uses her hands to turn Lexa’s face to the side so she can inspect the wound on her forehead. Thankfully, it’s not that deep.

“I love you too,” Lexa tells her. Clarke laughs and pulls her in for a quick kiss. “Also, I didn’t die.” Clarke lets out a louder laugh.

Chapter Text

“This is the lamest getaway car ever. Like, in the entire history of everything,” Octavia says from the backseat.

“Yeah, whose bright idea was it to rent the minivan, huh?” Anya drawls sarcastically.

“It was on discount, okay?! Get off my back!” Bellamy defends himself.

“Shut the fuck up, you guys! I’m trying to drive here!” Clarke shouts back from the driver’s seat.

Sitting on the passenger’s seat, Lexa whips her head around again to peer through the back. They’ve been driving down the road as fast as the minivan can go, trying to lose the two blacked out Land Rovers that followed them from the mansion. With the heavy load of passengers and the subpar performance of the car, it’s proving to be quite a difficult task, and the hulking SUVs are getting closer and closer still. In hindsight, she should have axed all the tires of every car back in that godforsaken place.

Right now, what they need to do is drive smarter instead of faster. Somehow, this brings back memories of her illegal drag racing days.

“Clarke, give me the wheel,” she says.

“What? No, absolutely not. You’re injured, you probably have a mild concussion,” her girlfriend tells her. “And by the way, we need to talk about you doing daredevil stuff like that. You almost gave me a heart attack.”

She rolls her eyes. “Really, you want to do this now? Look, I’ll give you unlimited nagging privileges later. But right now, can we just focus on losing these chumps? Give me the wheel.”

“Ugh, fine,” the blonde replies.

“Here, make a hard right over here,” Lexa instructs as she sees an intersection coming up.

When the car rounds the corner and slows to a stop, she immediately unbuckles her seatbelt and hoists Clarke up from her seat. With some difficulty, they managed to switch seats just in time. As soon as her right foot is on the gas pedal, she floors it. The minivan lurches forward and continues to build up speed as she switches to higher gears. She swerves in between lanes, and slams on the breaks to drift for a bit so she can make a turn coming up fast on the left. Somewhere in the back, she thinks she can hear Lincoln saying ‘oh, dear god’ but she can’t be sure since Octavia and Raven’s loud whooping drowns out almost any complaint her other passengers are muttering.

She can still see the headlights of the Rovers. They really need to disappear right now or risk getting the cops on their tail too. So, Lexa veers off to a connecting road and then drives down to a sloped ditch, effectively breaking their pursuers’ line of sight. She then shushes the occupants of the car and cuts off the engines to turn off the lights. In mere seconds, they hear the loud roaring of the Rovers as they speed on through and pass them by. Everybody lets out a sigh of relief.

“That… was… fucking awesome!” Jasper cheers, pumping both his hands up in the air. The rest of their friends readily chiming in excitedly.

Lexa breathes in deeply through her nose. But before she can let it back out, Clarke is already throwing herself onto her lap and yanking her forward so they’re eye to eye. “Okay, I take it back. That daredevil shit is so fucking hot.”

The blonde barely gets the last word out before pulling her forward again for a bruising kiss. She eagerly responds, wrapping her arms around the girl and tilting her head back so they can further deepen the kiss. It hits her at that second - just how much she missed holding Clarke. So, she winds her arms tighter around her body as if they’re going to be pulled apart from each other at any moment. She kisses like it’s going to be the last time yet again.

When Clarke pulls back to look at her again, it’s as if those blue eyes can see right through her. “Hey,” Clarke begins, caressing her cheek. “I’m never letting you go. Never again, okay?”

Lexa nods and buries her head in the crook of Clarke’s neck, inhaling the familiar scent of rose and vanilla from blonde tresses. They would have stayed happily wrapped up in each other had it not been for the chorus of coughing and throats clearing coming from the back. With a laugh, Lexa helps Clarke back into the passenger’s seat again and drives, following Raven’s directions to where the so-called headquarters is.

Forty minutes later, they arrive at an apartment building in L.A. When they push open the door, they’re immediately greeted by the disapproving stares of her uncle, aunt… and Abby Griffin.

xxxxxxx

Clarke hums contentedly, snuggling further into Lexa who is lying wide awake on the bed. Her poor, little daredevil couldn’t sleep just yet since she might have a concussion. Thankfully, Indra, Gustus and her mom held off on chewing them out in favor of tending to Lexa’s injuries. It turns out that the girl has lacerations on her left arm as well. One gash needed six stitches, which Abby took it upon herself to close up. That certainly wasn’t weird like, at all.

Oh, who was she kidding? It totally was.

Meanwhile, Clarke fell asleep almost immediately when the brunette’s right arm wrapped around her waist. But she’s conscious now, though her eyes are still closed while listening to her girlfriend’s beating heart and even breathing. It’s almost enough to lull her back to sleep but then, she hears the door creaking open, followed by footsteps coming closer. Still, she doesn’t open her eyes.

“Hey. Uh, Lexa,” Abby says a little awkwardly. “I just need to check on your stitches and that small cut on your head.”

“Sure, Dr. Griffin,” Lexa replies.

Clarke continues listening to the exchange, finding it endlessly amusing since both her girlfriend and her mother sound very stiff. She almost laughs a couple of times but manages to stop until Abby eventually finishes up her tests.

“Okay, you’re good. No concussion, so you can sleep now if you want. The stitches will dissolve eventually,” her mom says, waiting a beat before speaking again. “Are you at all comfortable here? My daughter… seems to be lying half on top of you.”

Clarke tenses a bit at that, but feels a strong arm press her closer to the warm body beneath her. “Uhh… it’s alright Dr. Griffin. I uh, actually feel a whole lot better with her here. But if you’re uncomfortable with Clarke and I… uh, sharing a bed, I can-”

“No! No, not at all! I just- Never mind. Get some rest, Lexa,” her mom answers. And for a few seconds, it seems that the older woman would be making her way out of the room. But then, the clicking of shoes on the floor stop again. “I actually wanted to talk to you. No, don’t get up. Just let me say what I have to say. I wanted to thank you for what you did for my daughter. She… loved her father very much. I’m grateful that you took her there when I couldn’t.”

“It’s really no problem, Dr. Griffin. You don’t need to thank me for doing what’s right.”

There’s a brief silence after that, and Clarke fears that her mother might have taken what Lexa said the wrong way. “I have misjudged you, I admit. But I can tell you care about Clarke.”

“I love your daughter, Dr. Griffin. And while I’m not exactly the poster girl for good behavior given my past, I can assure you that I would never hurt her in any way. You can cut me open with a scalpel if I ever do.”

Then something completely unexpected happens. Her mother is chuckling like, really chuckling. “That’s good enough for me then,” Abby answers before walking away again. “Oh, and you can just call me Abby.” She hears the door click shut.

“Well, that went better than expected,” Lexa tells her, squeezing her side. “Care to explain why you just pretended to sleep through that and left me to fend for myself, Clarke?”

“What the fuck? You knew I was awake? How?” She says skeptically, pulling herself up to look down at Lexa.

“You snore when you sleep,” the brunette replies with a smirk.

“I do not!”

“Alright, you don’t snore. I could tell when your breathing pattern changed.”

“Is it weird if I say that I find that incredibly adorable instead of super creepy?”

“Nope, not weird at all,” Lexa says, pulling her down for a quick kiss. “So, are you going to come clean about pretending to sleep just now?”

She shrugs. “How ‘bout we talk about this later and do something else instead?”

“Like wha-”

The question turns into a moan as she suddenly cups Lexa’s cock through fitted slacks. She leans in closer to whisper hotly in the other girl’s ear. “Like this,” she says, enjoying the way her lover’s body responds so beautifully to her touch. Rubbing at the quickly hardening shaft, she plants open mouthed kisses to the side of her girlfriend's neck.

“I don't- oh, Clarke!” Lexa stutters. “I don't think having sex right after I got your mother's dubious approval is wise.”

It feels like years since she last felt Lexa's bare skin against hers, and she hungers for it. But more than anything, she needs the reassurance that Lexa is real. She stops stroking Lexa's cock and swiftly throws a leg over waist. Clarke settles on top of Lexa, her core brushing at the growing bulge. She grinds down hard and moans with no reservation since both her leggings and underwear are indefinitely ruined anyway. She’s also sure that the warm dampness dripping from her cunt is soaking Lexa’s pants.

“You let me worry about my mom and everybody else,” she breathes. “I need you right now. I want to feel you.”

Clarke originally intended to tease the brunette mercilessly, but her own raw need and impatience won out. She leans down to kiss Lexa, slipping her tongue in to curl at the roof of the girl's mouth as soon as plump lips parted. Her hands wander up the wonderfully toned body to unbutton her lover’s shirt. To her delight, strong arms wind around her waist so Lexa can pull herself up. She groans when she feels firm abs flex as Lexa sits up and just rips open her own shirt before grabbing Clarke’s legs and wrapping them around her waist.

She uses one hand to hold Lexa by the nape of her neck, while she lets the other slide down to palm at those newly exposed chiseled abs.Then she’s taken by surprise when Lexa surges up with a growl, lifting her off the bed and flipping her over so she’s pinned on the mattress near the end of the bed. If she wasn’t completely soaked before, she totally is now because the girl somehow manages it all without breaking off their kiss, even starting a grinding motion to maintain the delicious friction. The combined sensations overwhelm her that she can’t even say anything coherent other than her lover’s name.

But she doesn’t need to voice out her desires because Lexa knows her body so well. She feels the brunette shift on top of her, and hears the telltale sound of a belt being unbuckled and a zipper being pushed down. Clarke pulls away to look down between them where Lexa has tugged down her pants to her thighs, and she gasps at the sight. She can just make out the outline of Lexa’s hard cock through the thin material of her boxers.

Before she can begin to plead for more, Lexa’s lips are back on hers, taking them in a demanding kiss. Then that prominent bump is settling in between her legs again as her lover takes off in a swift jerking motion. With less barriers in the way, the pressure on her clit makes her moan into Lexa’s mouth and arch her back. A hand burrows in the gap between the mattress and her body, grabbing at her ass to keep her in place as Lexa rocks against her harder and faster. And that is all it takes to send her to an orgasm that has her screaming, clawing at Lexa’s back and bucking up her hips.

She lays back down, enjoying the waves of pleasure still coursing through her body as Lexa peppers kisses on her neck. “Wow, you’re really something else,” she says breathily. “I didn’t think I could come just by you dry humping me.”

Lexa hums and chuckles lowly. “Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it dry…”

“Oh, ha-ha. Fuck you,” she replies sarcastically.

“That can be arranged,” Lexa says with a smirk, suddenly hoisting herself up to hover over Clarke, those wide, green eyes boring into her blues. Tan hands run up her sides, lifting up her shirt as they go. Lexa lifts her back up and takes off the offending garment, her bra following soon after. Clarke moans when the brunette latches her lips on a straining nipple while her left hand kneads at the other breast. Her lover’s right hand continues its way down her hips, snapping the garter of her leggings against her skin, and it makes her hiss.

“Fuck, babe,” she husks. “Just take it off. Take it all off.”

Lexa does as she’s told, dragging her leggings along with her panties down her legs with a grunt and throwing it to where the rest of her clothes ended up. Something about being entirely naked while Lexa is still half-clothed is so incredibly arousing to her. And with the lust-filled eyes her lover is roaming her body with, it’s hard to not just beg.

“Lex. Lex, please,” she says, looking up at Lexa.

Her lover releases her nipple with a loud pop and starts to kiss down the length of her body, sucking love bites into her skin from time to time. When she gets to her hips, Lexa lays flat between her parted legs and drapes them across her shoulders. The brunette blows at her heated sex, the cool air running through the remnants of her release makes her shiver. Then without any warning, she licks at her glistening folds, humming in approval at the taste. Lexa lets her tongue swirl a few times around Clarke’s dripping entrance before slipping in and curling inside her.

It doesn’t take long before Lexa has her groaning loudly and bucking up into her face. The broad licks of her tongue against her clit makes her wrap her legs around Lexa’s head. She grips at her lover’s hair when she’s close to another release.“Oh, Jesus fuck! I’m gonna come!” But Lexa suddenly pulls away and pins her down by her thighs with both hands. With hard breaths and wetness still dripping from her lips and chin, the girl goes to kneel between her legs. She whines in frustration, but Lexa only shushes her and rubs soothingly at her thighs.

xxxxxxx

“Why- why did you stop?” the blonde asks- no, demands from her.

Even with her chest heaving and smooth, bare skin gleaming with sweat, Clarke still manages to look breathtaking. And for some reason, Lexa finds that the look of annoyance on her face makes her infinitely more attractive. She would have taken her time admiring her lover’s body, but her underwear is starting to feel awfully tight. Her cock is almost painfully hot and hard, and it throbs against her thigh without her even touching it. Bringing Clarke to the brink of a second orgasm had her almost  blowing her load in her boxers, but she held off.

Lexa,” Clarke says firmly. It sounds like a warning, but with her voice tight with need, Lexa can’t tell for sure.

She doesn’t answer her with words but with actions. Blue eyes grow wide with want at the sight of Lexa quickly shrugging off her shirt and popping off her sports bra. Lexa growls with irritation when she goes to take off her pants and underwear. She has to pull away and do a good amount of wriggling out of her remaining clothes before she’s fully naked and kneeling again. When she looks back up, she finds her girlfriend with legs wide apart and furiously circling her clit while eyeing up her cock with lust. Lexa gulps audibly and makes a show of slowly pumping at her length, making the drops of pre-cum gathering at the swollen red tip trickle down to the rest of her shaft and hand.

Clarke lets out a wanton moan. “Babe, please. Fuck me.

Lexa rushes forward and lays on top of her lover, her stiff nipples brushing with Clarke’s. They both let out sighs of relief at the feeling of fevered flesh slick with sweat coming in contact. She leans down to kiss the girl lazily and drag her hard length repeatedly through the warm and welcoming folds of the blonde’s cunt. The wetness that coats the underside of her cock makes her groan in pleasure. She makes sure to bump the ridged head of her cock on Clarke’s clit each time to get more of those sinful sounds falling from her mouth.

Clarke writhes beneath her, digging her nails on her back. “God, I said fuck me, Lexa. Stop teasing.”

Lexa would have laughed if she wasn’t equally desperate for release. With a growl, she kneels back up and grabs Clarke’s thighs, pushing her further to the end of the bed. She only stops when the blonde’s head is hanging off the edge. Lexa uses her hand to get a solid grip on her lover’s hip while she lines her cock up to the dripping slit with the other. Clarke moans and throws her head back, disappearing at the edge of the bed. As soon as the tip rests within the tight ring of muscle, she feels like her cock is getting sucked in, and it’s too difficult to hold back.

Still, Lexa works herself inside inch after inch, groaning as she finally bottoms out. She takes both of Clarke’s legs and puts them up in the air, and hugs them against her chest with her left arm. In this position, the blonde is unbelievably hotter and tighter and it feels too good that she couldn’t stop herself from immediately thrusting. But this angle also allows her deep penetration so the head of her cock can effortlessly nudge the sensitive spot on Clarke’s front wall going in, and catch it again each time she pulls out. And Clarke is certainly enjoying that added perk if her loud wailing and unintelligible words are anything to go by.

She looks down at where her cock is pistoning in and out of Clarke, and sees her swollen clit practically peeking from its hood. With her unoccupied hand, she reaches for the blonde’s hand and places her fingers at the bundle of nerves. “Play with it,” she says slightly louder so she can be heard over the sound of slapping skin. Clarke complies, drawing tight circles on her clit as she screams. Lexa grunts as she feels the inner walls around her quiver, and she knows that the girl is close. But so is she.

Her eyes travel up to the expanse of the pale, nude body, searching for those sky blue eyes. But Clarke’s head is still dangled at the end of the bed, like she’s staring at something across the room. Her gaze follows and lands on a full body mirror where an upside down, red-faced Clarke is staring at her intently. The vision is so arousing that she almost busts, her thrusts faltering and her eyes clamping shut.

“Babe, look at me,” Clarke whines. “I want your eyes on me.” Lexa’s eyes flutter open to look at the blonde through the mirror again. Clarke’s walls clench hard around her length, causing her to groan. “Go on. Fuck me like you mean it,” her lover says it like a challenge.

Lexa leans forward to rock harder against Clarke and reaches out with her free hand to fondle her lover’s breast. She keeps eye contact even as she speeds up and plows into the girl with a little more force. Before long, Clarke reaches her peak, shouting her pleasure and snapping her eyes shut. The blonde comes so hard that the gush of wetness that floods from her cunt pushes Lexa out. She hisses and pulls her hips back before plunging back into the heavenly heat. Clarke’s inner walls squeeze her cock so tightly, she can barely keep rutting into her.

After a couple more hard jerks, she follows Clarke over the edge. Lexa releases all the pent up tension coiled in her gut from having no sexual release in what feels like years. She pushes in as far as she can as strong jets of come burst from the tip of her cock and shoot up into Clarke. It triggers another orgasm for the girl, and Lexa feels the hot fluid splash against her abdomen before leaking down to both their thighs and the bed. The ecstasy of her release lasts for far longer than she can imagine as the tight heat enveloping her length keeps fluttering, until finally it tapers off.

With the last of her strength, she pulls Clarke up and away from the edge and rests her legs down on the mattress. Lexa then lies on top of the blonde, purring in satisfaction as Clarke’s slender arms wrap around her, fingers tracing patterns at the dimples of her lower back. They lie together, waiting for their breaths to even out. Somewhere in her heart, Lexa promises to herself that not even hell itself can tear her away from Clarke again. There’s just no way she can give up this feeling.

“So, you and my mom are best friends now?” Clarke teases after a while.

“Hardly,” she replies, kissing the girl’s cheek. “I’m not sure I can even look her in the eye after this.”

“Pshh… It’s fine. It’s kinda odd, but I think she likes you.”

“Uhuh. I take it you two made up then?”

”Yes… no. Actually, I don’t know. Things are kinda bonkers right now. But she’s my mom, and I can’t just cut her out of my life,” Clarke trails off. “So, what now? What do we do about your… daddy issues?”

Lexa looks directly at Clarke’s eyes. “I think it’s time for me to stop running and start fighting back.”

Chapter Text

Despite having only a couple of hours of shuteye, Clarke wakes up from the most gratifying sleep she's had in years. Maybe even her whole life. And the reason for that is lying belly up beside her, breathing softly and bathed in the gentle, blue light of the early morning. The brunette looks divine, almost ethereal and otherworldly. Her fingers itch with the desire to sketch the perfect specimen that is Lexa, or at least try to replicate what's clearly sculpted by the gods themselves. But without her art paraphernalia, she’ll just have to settle for tracing delicate lines and sharp angles with her fingers. Clarke smiles drowsily at the sight and snickers when she hears the brunette mumble her name.

Yawning, she stretches a hand out to brush away some of the unruly curls of long, brown hair from Lexa's face. She pushes off the cocoon of blankets that she somehow hogged last night so she can press her body closer to Lexa's and reach more skin. But that's when she notices that her girlfriend's lower half is also completely exposed. And of course, being the horndog she is, her eyes automatically survey the impressive expanse of a defined torso, starting from the ample sized breasts. Then, her gaze finally settles on the area between the sleeping girl's legs.

What she finds there causes her to let out a suppressed moan and bite her lip. Lexa is almost fully hard, the length pointing upwards and slightly curving. A rush of heat shoots straight to her core, making her shiver. With how fast she got worked up, you'd think her lover didn't leave her thoroughly fucked and immensely satisfied from the night before. If her libido had a gauge, it had probably been broken long ago because of Lexa. Her hands unconsciously get drawn to the toned midriff she was appreciating just a few hours ago. She scoots in closer to plant butterfly kisses on Lexa’s cheek.

“Lex. Wake up, babe,” she whispers as her fingers run over the lines of Lexa's abs.

Lexa stirs, verdant eyes flutter open and do a quick sweep of the room before landing on her. “Hmm… Clarke? What's wrong, babe?” she rasps in that adorable sleepy voice, brows furrowing in concern.

“Nothing's wrong. Not with me, at least,” she says and pecks at a cheek. Her girlfriend only looks at her in confusion. She still hasn't noticed, Clarke thinks amusedly. “I'm just peachy. You, on the other hand, have a really big problem.” She points to the raging boner Lexa is now sporting with a smirk.

“Oh.” Her lover's eyes now wide with surprise. “Oh. Oh, jeez. Uh, it's morning. Sorry.”

“Don’t be. I’m not,” she replies, letting her hand drift lower to the girl's hips. The action makes Lexa hiss. “Would you like some help with that?”

Clarke cuts off whatever Lexa was going to say by grabbing the base of her cock, gently squeezing at it. She jerks the brunette off slowly, while taking her lips in a languid kiss. Before long, the girl is groaning against her mouth, and she decides to change things up a bit. She jolts up and quickly straddles Lexa's middle, grinding down on impulse so her clit gets some much needed stimulation from the chiseled abdomen beneath her. Lexa's calloused hands eagerly clutch at her hips as she bends down for another kiss, this one with more tongue and teeth.

“Feel that? That's what you do to me,” she husks, painting Lexa's bare stomach with more of the warm dampness steadily pouring out of her. Lexa whimpers and tries to capture her lips again, but she puts a hand on her chest to push her back to the mattress. “Stay down, babe.”

The brunette gives a shaky nod. Clarke grins at her before bowing her head down to lick and nibble at Lexa’s ear. She plants open mouthed kisses on a slender neck and a sharp jawline. Moving further down, she sucks lovebites in between breasts, and then licks at straining nipples. Eventually, she reaches the mouthwatering muscles on her lover's torso. She lets her tongue map out each smooth bunch of flesh and the crevices in between, humming when she tastes her own arousal. This is definitely better than sketching.

Clarke takes pride in the way her mouth has Lexa moaning and panting. But she's just getting started, and she plans on driving Lexa wild through the teasing she never got to last night. For now, she does her best to ignore the throbbing of her wet center and locks eyes with her girlfriend. Lexa is flushed and looking at her through half lidded eyes. A good start.

Without breaking eye contact, she moves lower still and wraps her hand around Lexa's cock. “Fuck, I love how big you are. You're so thick and long. So hot and hard,” she says, giving the hard shaft a full stroke at each praise. As soon as Lexa starts helplessly thrusting up into her hand, she pins down the stiff length on the girl's stomach and parts tanned legs so she has more room to work with. Clarke shushes the needy whine that falls from her lips by bending down and licking at the base of the shaft. A few more precise movements of her tongue has the brunette gasping for air. She lets her tongue wander lower to her girlfriend’s balls, getting them slick. She alternates between light sucking and licking with the flat of her tongue, and both draw out loud moans from Lexa.

Clarke eases up to look at Lexa again. Her lover is breathing hard with her eyes shut and balling her fists around sheets. She takes Lexa's cock by the base again and dips down to lick at the flared tip where a thin stream of precum began leaking out. She swirls her tongue around the fat head and moans at the familiar taste before letting it slide past her lips. Clarke sucks at it gently while stroking the base, lashing her tongue at the divot for more. With one hand on Lexa's thigh, she slowly takes more of the ramrod shaft inside. Closing her mouth around Lexa’s cock, she sets off on an even pace. She strokes the base with one hand, as she bobs her head up and down faster now. She makes sure to suck at the tip each time she pulls back.

She moans in response to the sounds of pleasure falling from her lover’s mouth and bends lower to take even more of the thick shaft inside her mouth until she feels the head of Lexa’s cock hitting the back of her throat. When Clarke looks back up, she knows she has succeeded in breaking her girlfriend’s self control yet again.

xxxxxxx

Every single nerve ending on Lexa’s body is on fire. She doesn’t know how Clarke manages to do this to her with just her mouth. And all she can do is hold on tighter to the sheets or she might actually go insane. The warmth, the pressure, the smoothness of Clarke’s mouth, and the vibrations each time the girl above her moans lewdly - it’s all she knows right at this moment. It shouldn’t surprise her at all since it happens every time. Whenever she’s lost in pleasure with Clarke, it’s like everything else is dulled, forced to the background, thrown into an insignificant existence. There’s no other feeling like it in the world.

Her eyelids flutter open when she feels an even tighter squeeze at the head of her cock. Looking down, she balks at the sight of Clarke taking her entire length in her mouth, nose grazing her pelvis. But it’s the glint of mischievousness she glimpses in those blue eyes that makes her whimper. Her shaft twitches and throbs inside the clinging heat of Clarke’s mouth. It’s all suddenly too much and not enough all at once. She needs to pull out before she comes prematurely, but at the same time, she wants to pull the blonde closer to her still so she can find blissful release. In a span of milliseconds, she makes up her mind. She wants to be inside Clarke.

“Clarke,” she grunts. “Clarke, please.”

With a hum, her girlfriend draws back at a torturously slow pace, and releases her with a slick pop. Just as she’s about to speak again, Clarke kisses the sensitive head, making her throw her head back down to the pillows with a moan. She takes in several gulps of air as a moist tongue licks a wet line from her balls to the underside of her shaft, and then swirling at the tip. Her body involuntarily shudders.

“What is it, babe?” Clarke asks her with a smirk, already wrapping a hand at her length and pumping lazily. “What do you need? You want my mouth again?”

“N-no… I need- Need to be inside you.”

She treats the answering whimper as a small victory. Clarke hurriedly sits upright and then crawls up so she can kneel over Lexa. In no time, she’s groaning as she feels her cock pressing up to the dripping slit. But she lets out a frustrated huff when the blonde doesn’t immediately sink down to take her inside. Instead, the blonde only looks down at her with a sly smile as she lets half the tip glide past the slick entrance before pulling it back out again. And when the blue eyed temptress tires of it, she starts gyrating on top of her.

Apparently, Clarke is in a teasing mood today, and it’s probably going to be the death of Lexa. She’s so worked up that her hands are trembling. It’s then that she realizes she’s going to have to take matters in her own hands. Literally. With shaking hands and a growl sounding from her chest, she reaches for Clarke’s hips. Her nails dig lightly on the soft flesh there as she pulls the girl down on top of her. To her surprise, Clarke doesn’t resist. If anything, the sigh of relief she hears tells her that the action is something that the girl is waiting for.

Lexa continues to push more of herself inside as slowly as she can. But their eagerness, the wetness coating her shaft, and Clarke’s own dripping arousal makes her efforts useless. Soon enough, they’re both groaning as she bottoms out. Without prompting, Clarke starts moving her hips in a grinding motion, switching between circular and side to side movements. It’s all part of a deliberate dance to goad her on, she’s sure, and it’s very effective.

Lexa finally snaps. She grabs Clarke’s hips more forcefully and pushes her up several inches off her cock before slamming her back down again. The wanton gasp and the warm fluid that trickles down her length only encourage her. Before long, the blonde is wildly riding her and throwing her head back to scream hoarsely up at the ceiling. Lexa bucks her hips up to meet each downward movement, to get more of the delicious friction she has been craving.

She lets out a roar before holding Clarke down against her, wrapping both pale legs around her waist and flipping them over with practiced ease. With her on top, she takes off in hard, long thrusts right away. Her speed picks up gradually as her lover’s satisfied wailing only grows louder. “Oh, shit fuck! Mmm… yes, keep going. Fuck, just like that!” Clarke cries out, and Lexa takes some satisfaction from the gravelly sound of her voice. She rams harder into her girlfriend again and again until her name is steadily pouring out of Clarke’s swollen lips.

When she feels the familiar stirrings of an incoming orgasm, she halts her movements. She’s not going to last long, and damn her if she doesn’t take Clarke over the edge with her. Ignoring the whimpers of protest from the blonde, Lexa plants her knees firmly on the bed and grabs at Clarke’s ass with one hand. The blonde clutches at her body with arms and legs as she pushes herself up using the other hand. With another grunt, she manages to sit on her haunches, still sheathed inside the tight channel. Lexa silences a needy whine by crushing their lips together, greedily nipping at Clarke’s bottom lip whenever she catches it between hers. She lets the girl ineffectively rock against her a few times before breaking the kiss and taking over.

Lexa winds her arms around Clarke more securely so she can lift her easier while she gets up on her knees. Without any warning, she snaps her hips forward, repeatedly thrusting up into the tight heat closing around her cock. She raises Clarke up, and then lets gravity do most of her work for her to slam her back down. Her reward is a series of high-pitched moans as Clarke’s legs and arms coil tighter around her. The bed starts creaking loudly, and the headboard even knocks noisily at the wall. But she doesn’t care. For right at this moment, nothing else matters but Clarke and the overwhelming burn of her mounting pleasure.

After a few more seconds, a torrent of slick warmth splashes against her as the hot walls engulfing her cock flutter wildly. She looks up just in time to see the blonde’s face contort in an expression of pure bliss. It only takes a few more swift thrusts before she’s crying out and hurled into a mind numbingly intense orgasm. She jerks her hips up unevenly before finally pushing her cock all the way inside Clarke. Lexa’s whole body vibrates in pleasure as she feels her come travel along her spasming length to burst at the head. Several strong jets of her release rush up into her lover’s cunt. The inner walls seem to suck her farther in still, draining her of everything she has to give. Her cock gives a few more weaker pulses before her orgasm tapers off.

She topples backwards and falls onto the mattress, taking a shivering Clarke along with her. Lexa stares at the ceiling, getting her breathing to normalize and trying to blink away the black spots swimming in her vision from coming so hard.

“Wow,” Clarke starts with a gruff voice. “I have to wake you up with handjobs and blowjobs more often if that’s what happens after.”

Lexa wraps her arms around Clarke, splaying her fingers on pale skin covered with a layer of sweat. “I didn’t hurt you, did I? That was- I was pretty rough with you back there.”

Clarke pushes up to look down at her with a reassuring smile. “You were amazing. I don’t mind the extra rough treatment. I fucking loved it, even. I mean, I didn’t even know you could like, lift me up like that.”

“That was your fault,” she points out, with a snort. “All that teasing.”

“Pretty sure we have to replace the sheets, the mattress… fuck, maybe the entire bed after this,” her girlfriend replies with a grin. “Totally worth it, though.”

xxxxxxx

“Hey, babe,” Clarke says as she hands Lexa her empty mug. “Can you get me more coffee, please?”

“Anything for you,” the brunette replies with a smirk and a kiss on her cheek.

Clarke smiles back as Lexa takes her mug and pushes her seat away from the table where the rest of their friends are sitting. Her eyes follow her girlfriend’s long strides to the kitchen where Indra, Gustus and Abby are busy whipping up a breakfast for eleven. It doesn't take long for her gaze to wander to Lexa’s firm butt cheeks that are really showing in the sweatpants Clarke lent her. It’s the baggiest one she can find, but it’s still pretty snug because of Lexa’s muscular thighs and… the extra padding in the crotch area.

“I think you broke my cousin, Griffin,” Anya quips.

She stops ogling Lexa’s backside to reply distractedly. “Huh?”

“Seriously, I haven’t seen her this whipped since… well, since ever. She’s never this affectionate with anyone.”

“Oh, come on, An. I think it’s cute,” Lincoln pipes in.

“Says you, you pussy-whipped blockhead. You’re just as bad as she is with Octavia,” Raven tells Lincoln with an unamused expression. Both Monty and Jasper snicker at that, while Bellamy cringes at the term ‘pussy-whipped’.

“No, I’m not,” he grumbles and rests his head on Octavia’s shoulder. The petite raven-haired girl pats him on the head.

“Case in point,” Monty drawls.

“Anyway,” Anya continues, looking at Clarke. “You broke Lexa.”

Raven’s eyes light up in that way they always do when she’s about to say something extremely inappropriate. And Clarke just doesn’t have enough caffeine in her system or energy to stop whatever form of evil is about to spill from her best friend’s mouth. “Oh, please. If anything broke, I’m pretty sure it’s the bed you and Lexa slept in,” Raven says, wiggling her eyebrows. “I mean, how are you still able to walk after all that?”

“And damn, I thought Raven was loud when she brings people home,” Octavia adds. “But, Clarke, you were like, outright shamelessly howling.”

Clarke’s eyes widen in horror and her jaw drops. She honestly didn’t think they were that loud last night. Feeling like she’s being ganged up on, she turns to find her girlfriend for some backup. But the brunette is currently in an intense staring contest with the coffee pot, trying her best to avoid looking at Abby who is asking for a refill. Her mother seems to be making polite conversation but all Lexa is capable of nervously and repeatedly uttering in return is ‘Yes, Dr. Griffin, ma’am’.

Realizing that Lexa has her own set of problems right now, Clarke she turns back to the shit-eating grins of her so-called friends. “Please tell me you’re joking,” she sighs, shoulders slumped in defeat. “Like, you guys didn’t um, hear everything, right?”

“Oh, boy,” Jasper chuckles. “Sorry to tell you, but everybody heard everything. And I mean everything.

“Yeah, we were sleeping in the next room,” Bellamy throws in with a smirk. “And the walls are really thin.”

“Why’d you think we were all outside this morning? Jeez, Clarke, have some consideration for the rest of us who are sex-deprived,” Monty laughs.

“And can you please never loudly describe my cousin’s junk?” Lincoln butts in. “That was the breaking point for me this morning. I just- I can’t. We had to evacuate, Clarke.”

“Oh my god,” Clarke gasps. “This can’t be happening.”

“Ooh! Ooh! My favorite line from last night was,” Raven pauses to clear her throat before continuing in what Clarke assumes is an impression of her. “‘God, I said fuck me, Lexa!’”

“Nah, I’m pretty sure the line of the night award goes to ‘Fuck me like you mean it!’” Octavia unhelpfully interjects.

By then, the assholes sitting around the table are all laughing uncontrollably. As if that wasn’t enough, she suddenly hears Gustus’ booming laughter coming from the kitchen. The big man is clutching at his stomach and using his flustered niece’s shoulder to keep himself upright. Meanwhile, Indra is shaking her head, but the small smile she is wearing shows just how much amusement she is getting from the scene. Her mother, at least, has the decency to cover her face with a hand. Though, the shaking of her shoulders suggests that she finds her daughter's morning after shame fest utterly hilarious. Clarke’s face heats up in humiliation as their boisterous cackling reach a higher volume.

Thankfully, the growling of their stomachs finally put a stop to the annoying laughter. But their friends still found time to throw in more jokes about breaking beds, ruining sheets and being loud during sex in between bites of food. At that point, Lexa has been reduced to nothing but a blushing mess, sidling up to Clarke to hide unsuccessfully from Abby.

Chapter Text

“No. Absolutely not, Lexa,” Indra seethes from across the room. “There will be no more convoluted plans to get back at your father. You’re going to leave the country as soon as possible.”

“Well, you’re the one who told me to stop running,” Lexa points out.

“Yes, but we didn’t tell you to beat a man senseless, get arrested for it, and then hightail it on the freeway in a minivan a couple of weeks later,” Gustus says. He turns to his children then. “And you two, don’t think we’ll let you off easily.”

“Dad, we had nothing to do with that,” Anya reasons out. “Well, except the minivan thing. But come on, that asshole Murphy deserved it.”

“And you can’t tell us you’re not glad Lexa’s here with us, and not with her dad,” Lincoln adds. “It’s all worked out fine so far. Just hear her out.”

“I can’t believe you’re both in on this,” Gustus sighs.

“There’s no way this will end well. Have you forgotten who he is?” Indra tells her pointedly.

“Have you?” she answers. “I know my father better than anyone. He’s not going to let me go just like that, not when he needs something from me. He’ll tear the city apart looking for me if he could. He’s petty like that.”

“So, what you’re proposing is going directly against him?” Gustus says. “Lexa, you’re going to play right into his hands. Leaving would be the smartest thing to do.”

Lexa closes her eyes and breathes in deeply. They’ve been in this room for what feels like hours, going round and round in circles, never reaching an agreement. It always just goes back this no matter how many times she stressed that she already tried the very thing they wanted her to do. Or that if she left, her father would likely come after the few people she cares about here. She also knows that they'll insist on leaving Clarke behind, and that's just not something she can live with. Just as she's about to restate how valid her points are, someone pushes open the door.

“Oh… hey uh, sorry,” Bellamy mumbles. “You guys better come see this. They're freaking out.”

“Clarke?” she asks. Bellamy just nods and Lexa doesn’t need to hear more. She stands up from where she’s sitting and heads out of the room.

“This conversation isn’t over, Lexa,” Indra calls after her.

She’s already out of the door, so they have no choice but to follow her. When she gets to the living room, she sees everybody gathered around the TV. Her eyes immediately search for Clarke and find her staring at her with a worried expression. Lexa shuffles closer and puts an arm around the blonde before directing her eyes to the TV. She only had a few seconds to make sense of the images but she follows along pretty quick.

A clip of what appears to be security footage from outside the mansion last night rolls as the reporter launches off on a story about her supposed abducting. It shows the minivan driving away from different angles. She can even see the wreck of her GT40 and the grey automated gates that have been busted open. The camera zooms in on the plate number of their rented vehicle. Then an old photo of her is displayed along with the changing headlines. The ticker tape at the bottom of the screen reads: Krause Munitions heir kidnapped at private company event… Investigation by the police is ongoing… Possible suspects identified…

Apparently, her father didn’t waste time in putting together a counter attack for the stunt she pulled that night. He even got the police out on a manhunt. But that’s not the worst of it all, it seems. The news anchor says something about going to a live location, and her eyes widen at who comes on next. Decked out in black is Ontari Queen, standing at a podium surrounded by various members of the press. She can see Titus and a stoic Barrett standing a couple of paces behind her.

“As you all know, Lexa Woods was kidnapped last night,” Ontari begins with watery eyes. She can be quite the convincing actress when she needs to be. “We urge the public to come forward with any information regarding this matter. I know her father, Mr. Krause, will greatly appreciate any aid you can provide. We're even offering a reward of $100,000. Please help us find my fiancée.”

The news program moves on to another segment. Oh, this is seriously bad, she thinks. While the general public might read this all as genuine concern and those in the room with her now see this as just her father being the despicable man he is, Lexa interprets it differently. Somewhere in between Ontari’s obviously scripted announcement and the words flashing on the screen, there lies a threat and a taunt. She can just hear his voice at the back of her head daring her, saying “Go on, make a move.”

Her mind goes on survival mode, thinking of any alternative courses of action. So far up in her own head, she doesn't register the collective gasp everyone lets out. It's moments later when she notices the shocked stares directed at her. Oh, right. She has to clear up the fiancée thing.

“Look, my father plans to marry me to that… nut case,” she explains, letting her hand slip down from Clarke’s waist. “I almost got engaged. Almost, but I got out before he can make it official. Anyway, that’s not important. Right now, we need to-”

“Right now, we need to make arrangements for you to hop on a plane,” Gustus states firmly. “No other way around it, kiddo.”

“No. I can fix this, uncle. I can make it so he will leave me alone. So he will leave all of us alone,” she says, turning to them. “You just have to trust me.”

“Enough, Lexa,” Indra sighs. “Listen to your uncle.”

“You don’t understand. The report says I was kidnapped and that they have suspects. Who do you think they’re hinting at?” That gives them both pause, but she can tell by Indra’s expression that she’s already made up her mind. “He's going to blame you for all of this! You set yourself up for that the day you went looking for me, and he’s using it to draw me out. If you’d just let me, I can-”

Gustus suddenly crosses the room to stand right in front of her. “You listen to me,” he says with both his large hands on her shoulders. “I lost your mother and almost lost you when you were young. I don’t care what anyone else says. You’re like a daughter to me, and I’ll be damned if I let you go through with this revenge plot of yours.”

The entire room falls silent, save for the drone of the TV in the background. Her friends, cousins, even Abby and Indra avert their eyes. Except for Clarke who is staring at her with blue eyes filled with sympathy. Lexa just shakes her head and walks away in the direction of the room she shared with Clarke, now feeling their eyes at the back of her head.

xxxxxxx

Lexa leaves behind an eerily silent room with tension so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Clarke, along with everyone else, stares at her girlfriend’s retreating form.

Lincoln walks up beside her and gives her a nudge. “Go see if she’s okay. We’ll take care of things on this end.”

“Okay. Thanks,” she replies before following the brunette to their room.

She doesn’t bother to knock and just opens the door. But instead of finding Lexa sulking in a corner like she expected, she finds her darting around the room to grab items and stuff them in a bag. The bag full of money lies unzipped on the bed right beside a laptop she’s never seen before. Lexa doesn’t even acknowledge her presence and just proceeds to walk back and forth.

“Lex. Lexa, for fuck’s sake, just stop for a second.” That makes Lexa skid to a stop in front of her. She immediately reaches out to cup her cheek. “Are you okay?”

Lexa closes the tiny gap between them, wrapping her up in her strong arms and leaning forward to press their foreheads together. “I’m fine, I promise,” she says softly. She dips her head down to take her lips in a gentle kiss. Somehow, it’s both reassuring and comforting to Clarke.

“So, I’m guessing the flying out of the country thing is out of the question,” she says once they break apart. The brunette pecks her lips one last time before resuming whatever it is she’s doing before Clarke barged in.

“Definitely out of the question.”

“Are you gonna tell me what it is you’re doing then?”

“I’m preparing to confront my father.”

“Wait, what? How do you know he’s not just going to lock you up again?”

“Because I have leverage.” Lexa turns around and points to the laptop on the bed. “See that? That’s his. My father’s such a control freak that he keeps his company’s financial reports, legal documents, prototype schematics and all sorts of important things in this. I stole it, which is probably why he’s so mad.”

“Right. And what do you plan to do with it?”

“Blackmail. He’s never played fair, so why should I? If it gets him to back off…” Lexa trails off. “I just-  My uncle, my aunt, Anya and Lincoln, they’re my real family. And he’s threatening them because of me. Uncle Gus will probably get kicked off the force, Aunt Indra might lose her license to practice, and who knows what will happen to my cousins. I can’t do that to them.”

Clarke walks forward and takes one of Lexa’s hands in hers. “Hey, it’s not your fault.”

“It is. This is all happening because of me.”

“Or because of your asshole father,” Clarke offers, and it makes Lexa snort.

“Yeah, that too,” she says with a small smile mirroring Clarke’s.

“So, what’s the plan?”

“I suppose it’s too much to hope that I can persuade you to stay here.”

“No fucking way, babe. You’re stuck with me,” she replies firmly and slides both her hands up to clasp behind her girlfriend’s neck.

“Okay then,” Lexa laughs. “First, we have to get rid of the minivan because it can be tracked back here. We’ll also need a new getaway car and someone to distract my aunt and uncle so they don’t suspect a thing. You think you can convince your friends to help us with that?”

“Oh, trust me, they won’t need any convincing,” she replies with a grin.

After that, Clarke and Octavia spend the rest of the day running interference for Lexa, saying that she was sleeping or just wanted time to be alone. At the same time, they’re tuned in to the news just in case there’s some new development. Meanwhile, Lexa is busy doing some tech whiz kid shit on the laptop with Monty and Jasper. Raven and Anya ended up with the task of getting rid of the minivan, while Lincoln and Bellamy were given cash to buy some guy’s car from Craigslist. Fortunately, Indra and Gustus are preoccupied with their own business that they don’t notice anything odd. And her mother already left for her shift at the hospital. So far, so good.

Around the middle of the afternoon, Lexa and the two boys step out of the room, sending a nod to Clarke’s way to let her know that it’s all good. Soon enough, the rest of their co-conspirators file inside the house, giving a subtle thumbs up to signal that they’ve done their parts. They’re all sitting around the table, sipping on coffees under the watchful gaze of Gustus and Indra when something that sounds like a small explosion draws their attention to the window. There in the middle of the parking space behind the building is a flaming car. It takes her a few seconds to realize that it’s their minivan with what looks like gang signs painted on the windshield and doors. Likely so it appears as if the local punks did it.

Clarke looks around in a panic, all her friends except for Raven and Anya are wearing the same expression. The two seem to be having a small argument, cursing and elbowing each other. In an instant, she knows that Raven had something to do with whatever happened. Everyone scrambles to get out of the apartment, but she pulls Lexa by the back of her shirt and sits her back down. She glares at the other duo across the table and crosses her arms on her chest.

“Explain,” she growls. Both the two girls start stuttering out explanations.

Lexa holds up her hand, causing them to stop. “Please tell me you didn’t rig the minivan to explode.” But by her tone, she already knows that they did.

“You said to get rid of the minivan so…” Raven replies.

“I meant take it apart and sell it off to a scrap yard or something!”

“Oh, uh… whoops? Well, you should’ve been more specific then,” Raven says. Then she punches Anya’s shoulder hard. “The premature explosion was this idiot’s fault anyway!”

“I told you my pockets were too tight for your fucking detonator!” Anya grunts.

Lexa sighs heavily and slaps her forehead. “I don’t even know how you managed to blow it up. And why?”

“Oh, it’s quite easy,” Raven says with a proud smile. “First, you siphon off all the fuel and-”

“No time for that,” Anya cuts her off and tugs at Lexa’s arm, pulling her up. “That’s your distraction, kid. Two birds with one stone and whatnot. You better get out of here. Lincoln and Bellamy parked the car by the front.”

Clarke springs into action and rushes to their room. Their things are already neatly packed in two bags and waiting by the bed. She slings one on her shoulder and grabs the other before going back to the dining room.

“Thanks, Anya. I swear I’ll make this right,” Lexa says. “If you can, try to urge them to go back to Nevada. And tell them… tell them I’m sorry.”

“Sure thing, cous. But just come back in one piece. That’s all they’ll care about.”

“Lex, let’s go,” she says walking to the door. Her girlfriend nods and follows her.

“Good luck, you guys!” Raven shouts after them.

Lexa takes one of the bags from her as they walk briskly across the hallway and into the emergency exit. After going down a couple flights of stairs and exiting the building, they find themselves out by the sidewalk. Clarke fishes around in her pockets for the key fob of their new ride and presses the unlock button. A short distance away, an old, beat-up sedan chirps and blinks its headlights. It was probably too much to expect getting a sportscar out of a Craigslist listing, but she’s disappointed nonetheless.

The frown on Lexa’s face as they look at each other tells her the girl felt the same. “Well, it won’t outrun police cruisers or SUVs,” Lexa comments with a shrug. “But with any luck, it won’t need to. It’s inconspicuous at least, so it will have to do.”

xxxxxxx

Lexa drives cautiously, careful not to exceed speeding limits and attract unwanted attention. She also has Clarke looking up checkpoints locations on the phone she borrowed from Octavia so they can avoid those. She’ll probably get recognized now thanks to her picture being broadcasted, so she’s not going to take any chances. She’s even wearing Clarke’s ill-fitting hoodie and a pair of aviators even though it’s getting dark out.

“You think he’s still here?” the blonde asks as she pulls up to the side.

“I hope so. I need something from him,” she answers while scanning the building and the perimeter. "I’ve also got a bone to pick with him.”

“Lex, the last time we were here, we got caught.”

She turns around to her worried girlfriend and tangles their fingers together. “It’s going to be different this time, babe. I promise.” She looks back out the window again and sees just the man they’re looking for, hobbling towards a car on the opposite side of the street. Well, at least she doesn’t have to trudge up the stairs to his apartment. “Wait here then follow me out after five minutes,” she tells Clarke and kisses her forehead for good luck before swinging open the car door.

Lexa slowly walks closer to Murphy who is currently struggling to stuff some bags in the trunk of his car. The forger is still painfully unaware of her presence when she reaches over and slams the lid down on his hands. The sound that comes out of his mouth is somewhere between a pathetic whimper and a pained yelp.

“Hello, Murphy. Going somewhere?” she snarls as he retracts his hands and crumples to the ground. His face is covered in bruises and cuts, and his prominent nose is now bent in an awkward angle. She takes a peek in the loaded trunk. “Somewhere far away it seems. Guess you did get smarter over the years if you figured that I would come find you after all the mess you caused.” Behind her, she hears someone running towards her. She looks over her shoulder to find Clarke panting and staring Murphy down.

“Holy fuck, he looks like shit.”

“It’s an improvement, you ask me,” she says and hovers her booted foot over his crotch. “You so much as scream, and I’ll make sure nothing will be left to identify you as a man.”

He nods quickly and groans while clutching both his hands close to his chest. “Wha- what do you want? I still got those passports upstairs if you need them. Just- just please don’t hurt me. I’m sorry about turning you in, I shouldn’t have-”

“Shut up,” she spits out. “I need you to tell me how you got in touch with Titus.”

“He came lo-looking for you and left his private number. Told me to call if I hear anything a-about you.”

“You still have his number?”

“Yeah… in my- my phone. Please, I just wanna get out of here. I promise you won’t see me ever again.”

“Give Clarke your phone and then, we’re going for a ride.”

“What? But-”

“Just hand it over, Murphy,” Clarke tells him. He holds up his trembling hands that are swollen and aching from being crushed by the trunk lid. “Oh, for fuck’s sake,” she huffs and kneels down to take it from one of his pockets.

Meanwhile, Lexa gives his car a good look-over. It’s a 1971 Dodge Charger coupe in a lightning blue color, with a fake government official use plate. Clearly, Murphy is living the high life if he’s immune to traffic tickets with this car. Too bad she’ll be the one getting more use out of it now. At least they’ll be in a different car just in case her uncle manages to get her cousins talking. Lexa drags him up by his shirt when Clarke stands back up. She swipes the car keys strapped to his belt and opens the passenger side door.

“We’re borrowing your car. Get in the back.” He looks at her pleadingly and whimpers. “Unless you want to spend the entire ride in the trunk?” Murphy hurries to flip down the passenger seat and crawl to the backseat before closing the door behind him.

“What do we do with him?” Clarke asks her. “You’re not seriously thinking about lugging him along with us, right?”

“No, but I won’t risk leaving him where he can tell on us. We’re just going to drop him off somewhere.”

After getting their stuff from the other car, she and Clarke get inside the Charger. The entire drive of over two hours is silent, or it would be if it wasn’t for Murphy’s sobbing and sniffling. The only reason he hasn’t started screaming his lungs off is the threat that if he does, Clarke is going to empty a full can of pepper spray on his face. Lexa only stops when she gauges that they’re relatively in the middle of Palm Desert. The cool night wind makes her zip up the hoodie around her when she steps out of the car and motions for Clarke to do the same. She walks around and lets Murphy out from the back and nods her head at the blonde to get behind the wheel. He doesn’t protest when she tells him to get his stuff from the trunk.

“Here’s a water bottle,” she says, tossing it to his feet. “Nearest town is approximately three hours that way. Better start walking because I don’t think you can hitch a ride at this hour.”

Lexa doesn’t wait for his reply and makes her way to her seat. He doesn’t have anything to say anyway, because he just starts weeping loudly. Lexa glances at his shrinking silhouette against the background of mountain ranges and clear night sky through the rearview mirror. Without a word, Clarke tosses Murphy’s phone to her lap and continues driving back the way they came. She looks for Titus in the contact list and puts the phone against her ear. It rings five times before someone picks up.

“Mr. Murphy, unless you have anything worthwhile, I can’t spare time on the phone with you,” Titus says in his stern voice. “I’m a busy man, and I have my hands full at the moment.”

“I have a feeling you’ll want to hear what I have to say,” Lexa answers. For a long while, there’s only silence on the other side. She would have thought that the call got dropped if it wasn’t for the background noise she can hear through the phone’s speaker.

“Le-Lexa? Is that you?”

“Obviously.”

“What do you want?”

“My father’s undivided attention,” she grits out.

Chapter Text

Lexa scans the overhead menu of this quaint, hipster coffee shop in the ass-end of Downtown L.A. Aside from her, there seems to only be one other patron inside. That somehow gives her the impression that the food and coffee in this place are nothing to write home about. But she knows Clarke will want a strong pick-me-up this morning, so here she is. The barista eyes her impatiently as she stands at the counter. Maybe she'd order faster if the items on their menu didn't have ridiculously pretentious names. She settles for a simple BLT sandwich and a cup of earl grey for her. A cream puff pastry, a blueberry muffin and a latte with two shots of espresso for her non-morning person girlfriend. She ignores the barista’s exaggerated eye roll and even leaves a generous tip since she’s in a fairly good mood.

Three days after giving Titus a mini-heart attack on the phone, she’s content to just let things simmer down for a bit. With a few choice words, she managed to strong arm Barrett into calling off his witch hunt. And so far, he’s keeping his end of the bargain. She hasn't seen anything on the news about her supposed kidnapping or any suspects (namely her aunt and uncle) being arrested. The few texts she exchanged with Anya also confirmed that. It's great to have the upper hand for a change.

It's all just a matter of waiting now, and it’s nice that she's not the one who's anxious this time. Maybe she also enjoys the mental image of her father squirming in discomfort and sweating buckets in his tailored suits. If she plays her cards just right, she's confident that she can break free from his clutches this time. Her plan is virtually flawless, she’s in a good mental state, and she’s motivated. Maybe after all this, she won't have to live her life constantly looking over her shoulder for his shadow. So yes, she feels phenomenal.

While Lexa walks back to the hotel she left a slumbering Clarke in, she decides to shoot one last quick text to Titus. With the assumption that her father and Azgeda are both actively trying to locate her, she ditched Murphy’s phone and invested on a couple of burner phones. She types out her message: Tell my father I want to meet with him tonight. I’ll contact you again for the location. She ends the message with her acronym and presses send before turning the phone off. The phone gets tossed in the nearest trash bin too, since there's no such thing as being too careful when it comes to her father.

When she gets back to the hotel, she finds a familiar head of golden hair still half buried under the duvet. Lexa walks over and sits at the edge of the bed. She chuckles fondly when a pale hand slides out from under the covers and starts to feel around for her. Slim fingers claw at her shirt and her side before Clarke's entire arm winds around her middle.

“Come back to bed, Lex,” the blonde mumbles.

It's impossible to say no to Clarke. So, with a sigh, Lexa kicks off her shoes and lays down beside the big lump in the middle of the bed. She slips under the duvet and gasps as her body comes in contact with nothing but warm, bare flesh. Her girlfriend laughs lowly when her hand jerks away upon touching exposed skin. She glares at the girl hiding under unruly blonde tresses.

“Clarke?”

“Hmm?”

“Why are you naked again?”

“You’re assuming I got dressed after you ripped off my clothes last night,” Clarke answers with a grin while she crawls up to lie on top Lexa’s body. “Besides, you don’t seem to mind.”

“You weren’t even sleeping when came in, were you?” Her fingers run over the smooth skin of her lover’s back. When she reaches Clarke’s ass, she kneads the soft flesh gently.

“No. I was… thinking. Just lost in thought.”

Lexa furrows her brows and looks into Clarke’s eyes. The two blue orbs staring right back at her seem to be unfocused. She reaches up with one hand to cup the girl’s chin and pulls her down for a quick but sweet kiss. “Hey. What is it?”

“It’s nothing,” the blonde answers distractedly. Lexa narrows her eyes at Clarke. “Okay, fine. I guess I was just thinking… that I could be more helpful, you know? Like, your psychopathic jackass father is hunting us down and everything, and I just kinda feel useless. But you’ve done so much for me with my dad, my relationship with mom. I just want to return the favor.”

“Babe, you’re not useless. And this is not supposed to be a give and take kind of thing. I’m not with you because I think you can do something for me,” she says with a mighty shake of her head. “But you’re wrong in thinking that I did more for you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Before I met you, I never would have thought of going up against my father. I would have just kept running around aimlessly. But being with you made me realize that I have to fight for things that I want. For things that matter. You brought that out in me. There’s a fire inside you, Clarke, and I can’t help but love you more for it.”

Clarke crushes their lips together in a kiss that starts out so frantic and urgent, but slowly turns into one with soft passion and and affection. Lexa savors each glide of Clarke’s lips along hers and winds her arms tightly around the pale body above. Seeking to deepen the kiss, she swipes her tongue at the blonde’s bottom lip. Clarke moans and allows her tongue to slip past. The moment she has been granted entrance, Lexa flips both of them over so she’s on top without their lips parting. Her tongue tangles with Clarke’s and eventually scrapes at the roof of her mouth. When they’re both sufficiently breathing harder, she draws back to gaze adoringly at Clarke.

“I love you, Lexa,” Clarke breathes.

“I know,” she whispers back with a smile.

Her girlfriend’s cheeks are flushed and her eyes are blown wide. Her own eyes wander lower to her neck and bare breasts underneath her. Her breath hitches at the sight of them, immediately feeling the burn in her gut that signifies the spike in her arousal. When she looks back up, Clarke’s eyes seem to be significantly darker. The smirk adorning her lips gives Lexa the idea that Clarke can feel the bulge quickly growing between her legs. Soft hands settle at her sides, rubbing at clothed skin before dipping lower.

Lexa gets the message. She gets on her knees between Clarke’s parted legs and starts stripping off her clothes slowly while blue eyes roam every inch of her body. She sighs in relief when she takes off her boxers, freeing her throbbing cock from its tight confines. She’s surprised that she’s already so hard and dripping clear fluid at the tip. When she finally looks back up, she finds Clarke looking at her hungrily with her mouth hanging open.

When the girl tells her to come closer with a come hither gesture, she immediately complies. She crawls forward slowly and plants kisses at fair skin as she goes, even pausing for a few seconds to lick at straining pink nipples. Clarke wraps one hand at her hard shaft and gives it a couple of slow pumps, making Lexa groan as she hovers above. She dips down to take her lips in another sensuous kiss. At another light tug at her cock and an insistent pulling at the back of her neck, she settles fully on top of Clarke.

They both sigh at finally being skin to skin, face to face. Caught up in an intimate moment where nothing else exists but the two of them and the synchronized beating of their hearts melding with soft breaths. There’s no need for words, not when their bodies are doing the talking for them. Lexa breaks the kiss to look directly into sapphire eyes as she shifts her hips forward. Clarke moans when Lexa’s cock comes in contact with so much wetness and heat. She repeats the action a few times to get herself slick. She makes sure to drag the swollen head through Clarke’s folds and clit to get more of those tiny mewling sounds.

She nudges the tip of her cock at Clarke’s dripping entrance. At the blonde’s eager nod, she begins pushing in as slowly as she can, her eagerness and arousal making it quite difficult. But by her last shreds of self control, she manages to maintain the easy pace until she’s her entire length is buried in deliciously tight heat. She hisses and struggles to hold herself inside when Clarke’s nails leave a trail of shallow scratches on her back.

Slowly, Lexa pulls her hips back until only the head of her cock remains inside. Then she pushes back all the way in the same controlled pace. She repeats the action again and again, watching Clarke’s face with rapt attention. She reconnects their lips again in a languid kiss to hold off from coming too fast because Clarke is tightening around her just right and tracing lazy patterns on her back. Despite there not being enough force behind her movements, the sensations combined with her emotions are enough to drive her insane. In an attempt to stave off the pounding at the base of her shaft, she takes the blonde’s hand in hers and pins it beside their heads. Lexa intertwines their fingers and squeezes gently.

xxxxxxx

Each full stroke has her gasping and moaning against Lexa’s lips. Clarke revels at the feeling of Lexa above her, around her, inside her. Never in all her years of being sexually active has fucking felt like something else entirely. This isn’t like all those times with her past partners where she was just in it so she can get off. Or those times where she just needed some outlet to relieve stress and work out her frustration with her problems. No, this is completely different, something she has never experienced until now. She had many firsts with Lexa but this has to be her favorite.

The knowledge of that somehow just makes everything she’s feeling more intense for her. Somewhere along this journey of theirs, a need for sexual release became a strong desire to intertwine their souls in the most intimate way possible. This must be what the romantic poets and lyrical geniuses were talking about when coined the term making love, she muses. And she loves Lexa, loves the two of them together, so she loses herself more in the moment. Her right hand grips back against the squeeze of Lexa’s in hers and she tangles her fingers in brown hair to further deepen the kiss.

After a few moments of gentle thrusting and kissing, Lexa draws back, her green eyes swimming with adoration for her. Clarke slides her hand down to caress a tanned cheek red from their activities. The brunette leans into the touch and presses a soft kiss at her wrist before dipping down again, this time to bury her face in the crook of her neck. Clarke clenches around the hard shaft inside her when Lexa’s lips begin planting a string of kisses on the sweaty skin there. Her lover grunts hard and grinds down on top of her.

The sudden movement causes her cock to push against her stretched opening even though it’s already fully sheathed. Clarke moans in pleasure to let Lexa know just how much she liked it. And like the attentive lover she is, Lexa listens and does it again. Pretty soon, the slight pushing turns into constant grinding, and it feels so good that she’s sure she’s going to come any second now. But by the way Lexa is pulsing and twitching inside her, she can tell that the other girl is close as well.

Clarke wraps her legs over Lexa’s calves to encourage more of the movements above her. And she whimpers when the brunette starts moving her hips in tiny circles while grinding before switching to small side to side movements. Lexa alternates between the two patterns, and Clarke moans as each shift of the hardened length inside her causes the broad tip to reach places she didn’t even know about. Just when she thinks that she can’t hold back anymore, Lexa picks her head back up.

“I love you,” her lover gasps. “So much.” Lexa trembles above her, like she’s also barely hanging on.

“I know,” she says in between stuttering breaths.

This time, Clarke clamps around her cock deliberately to tip the brunette over the edge with her. She comes with a long, drawn out moan, her mouth forming a “o” shape and her head thrown back against the pillows. Lexa follows her after a few more sway of her hips, grunting and jerking mindlessly above her. The harsh jets of hot come that coats her inner walls sends her crashing into another release just on the tail end of her previous orgasm. Somehow, Lexa manages to capture her lips again as they bask in the afterglow.

After exchanging a few more lazy kisses, they finally find the strength to leave the bed around the afternoon. The food has gone stale and the coffee's already cold but they happily consume it all before showering. They still haven’t stopped smiling by the time they check out of the hotel and get back on the road. And that’s good because she knows how much pressure this impending meeting with Barrett has on Lexa.

“You ready, babe?” she asks when they get out of the car. “You know you don’t have to do this, right? We can always just go…”

“No, no, I’m ready,” Lexa replies as she takes Clarke’s hand and begins a slow walk. “Ready as I’ll ever be. No more running for me. This ends today. Come on.”

They stop in front of a minimalist 30-floor building with the Krause Munitions logo looming high above them. Lexa told her earlier that Barrett had a building that serves as a meeting place/product showroom for their wealthiest investors on the nicer part of town, but Clarke didn’t expect this. It’s huge and lavish and honestly, kind of intimidating with the guards in full gear and armed to the teeth. Lexa squeezes her hand and smiles to reassure her.

“How do I look?” the green eyed girl asks, gesturing to her get up. She’s wearing a black shirt with sleeves ripped off and the words fuck you you fucking fuck printed in bold, red letters, blue jeans and her go-to black combat boots. To tie it all in, her long brown hair is done up in neat braids. If it wasn’t for the manila envelope tucked under her arm, she’d look like she’s going to some rock concert.

Clarke snorts and pretends to think about it. “Hmm, I’d say… like an entitled fuck boy on your way to wreck your father’s day.”

“That’s exactly what I was going for,” Lexa answers with a smirk as they stride up to the entrance.

At their approach, the guards stiffen up. Clearly, they know who’s swaggering up to them based on how wide their eyes are. Lexa doesn’t even stop to acknowledge their presence or even greet the employees at the desk in the lobby. By now, everybody is staring at them in shock. Some even scramble to get on their phones to inform Barrett of their arrival, she assumes. But Lexa just soldiers on with a determined look on her face. People go out of their way to let them pass, letting them have a whole elevator to themselves.

The elevator ride is short and it opens to an elegantly decorated office. There are shelves lined with rows upon rows of books, an expensive looking mahogany desk paired with plush swivel chairs and glass cases of prototype weapons placed all around. In the middle of the room is a stunned woman who looks to be in her late twenties. Clarke guesses that she’s Barrett’s assistant.

“Ms. Woods, I- I’m sorry, we weren’t expecting you for another half hour at least,” the woman stutters.

“That’s alright,” Lexa answers as she takes the seat behind the desk and makes herself comfortable. “I’ll just wait for my father here.”

“Of course. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll go tell him that you’re already here.”

Lexa nods and Clarke has to stop herself from giggling when the assistant all but sprints to the elevator. She walks behind the desk and stands beside the tall classic armchair Lexa is sitting on. She looks down at the girl who has a self-satisfied grin and sitting poised on the chair like it’s a throne. Clarke just smiles and shakes her head at the obvious sign that Lexa is enjoying this.

Only a few minutes have passed when the elevator doors open again, revealing two men arguing with each other and a woman with ash blonde hair trailing after them. Clarke instantly recognizes Titus and his bald head. She almost gasps when her eyes flit to the other man with a startling resemblance to Lexa. Barrett, she thinks.

“I told you, I didn’t call for a senior management meeting!” Barrett shouts at Titus. They still haven’t noticed Lexa and Clarke.

“Well, neither did I, sir,” Titus says.

“Then would you care explain to me why they show up here asking questions?”

“That was my doing,” Lexa declares, making no move to stand up in greeting. Both men turn to them in shock. “I hope you don’t mind that I decided to include them in this little meeting of ours.”

“You,” Barrett practically snarls. “You have the gall to walk into my building? What is the meaning of this? And what is she doing here?” The last question referring to Clarke.

“This is me taking my life back, father,” Lexa says the last word mockingly. “And her name is Clarke. She’s here because I want her to be here. That’s all you need to know. Now, if you would just sit down and listen to me, maybe I’ll take pity on you enough that you will still have a company left after I’m done.”

“You let your daughter talk to you in such a disrespectful manner, Barrett?” the woman says.

“Be quiet, Nia,” Barrett growls before turning back to Lexa. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t just have you dragged out of here like the petulant child you are.”

“Go ahead,” Lexa challenges. “But we both know you wouldn’t do that. I have your precious company at the palm of my hands and you know it. I could have sold all your secrets and lived out the rest of my life in some tropical beach somewhere but I chose to confront you instead.”

His eye twitches in annoyance but he sits down all the same. He knows that Lexa clearly has the advantage. “I assume you’ve come here to bargain with the things you stole from me then.”

“No, this isn’t a negotiation. This is… a demonstration, if you will.”

“A demonstration of what?”

“Of what I am capable of. That if I put my mind to it, I can tear down this so-called empire of yours, father,” Lexa spits out. “But I won’t do that. In fact, I’m going to do you a favor.”

“A favor?”

“Yes. Tell Titus to call up your highest ranking officers.”

Barrett hesitates for a brief moment, but he eventually orders Titus to do just what Lexa said with a swipe of his hand. The minutes they spend waiting for the senior officers are charged with so much tension. The woman - Nia, she recalls - glares disapprovingly at Lexa the whole time. The elevator doors open for the third time, and in walks a group of men and women dressed in expensive looking business suits. They all look very confused at the sight of a twenty-something punk dressed in rugged clothing, but they soon relax when they see Barrett sitting on the other side.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,” Lexa says. “I’m sure you’re all very busy, but this won’t take long at all.”

Chapter Text

Her father sits in front of her in resigned discomfort. It’s quite a rare sight so she immediately commits it to memory. Only then does Lexa make a quick sweep of the room, making note of the looks of equal curiosity and apprehension. Some of these faces (like Nia Queen’s) she knew from being forced to attend corporate events from what feels like lifetime ago. It might as well be an entire life separate from the one she’s living now. But after this day, there’s going to be nothing that will link her to that bitter past. And she feels it. Feels it in the thick air all around her, in the steady thudding of her heart in her chest, and the ever solid presence of Clarke that tethers her to the ground.

In the eerie silence, Lexa looks up and beside her, searching for the calming cerulean of her lover’s eyes. Clarke nods at her in wordless encouragement. She smiles at her before turning her attention back to the group of bewildered men and women around in the room, zeroing in on Nia standing just behind Barrett. The woman looks like she wants to vault over the desk to throttle her. But years of controlling boardrooms and societal norms dictates that she stay in place instead. Lexa lets her steely glare linger just a little longer to get under her skin. The Ice Queen, as she’s so often called by her underlings, just looks at her with disdainful, glacier-like eyes.

“Now,” she says to the room with a clap of her hands. “I’m sure you’re all aware who I am, and I know you’re all wondering why you’re here. So let’s get started, shall we? Our first order of business is this merger with Azgeda Corp-”

“I have neither time nor patience to listen to the ramblings of this… this conceited, arrogant child, ” Nia growls abruptly at the whole room. “If you’re all so intent on staying for this utter nonsense, then I will just see myself out.”

“You could leave, Ms. Queen,” she says. “Or… you can listen to something worthwhile this child has to say.”

“What could you possibly have to say that would interest me?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she drawls, feigning nonchalance and leaning further back to her chair. “Maybe the fact my father is cheating you out in this merger deal of his.” That got the older woman’s attention. She looks at the back of Barrett’s head in questioning suspicion. Lexa smirks at the pained expression on her father’s face. “I suppose he would have left that out when the two of you are conducting negotiations.”

“Left what out?”

“Krause Munitions is on the verge of bankruptcy. Essentially, you’re getting the short end of the stick,” she announces. The bold declaration draws sharp intakes of breaths and nervous murmurs from the rest of the room. But Barrett remains uncharacteristically still and quiet. Before Nia can even dare contest what she said, she reaches for the envelope she brought. In it are printed copies of the company’s financial reports, statements - ones that were doctored to hide the existence of financial crisis to investors and the real ones that show the sudden dip of sales and profits. It’s no wonder why her father was desperate to make the deal with Azgeda Corp.

She slides the documents to the edge of the desk, beckoning Nia to come closer and take a look for herself. Reluctantly, the old woman walks forward to do just that, and Lexa enjoys the sight of the color draining from her face as her eyes move further down the pages. As the seconds go by, the look of confusion on Nia’s face turns to anger. She throws the documents back on top of the desk. “What is the meaning of this?” she shouts at Barrett.

Her father calmly turns to face the woman, a perfect picture of indifference. “You would have done the same thing in my place. Besides, weren’t you the one who wanted a merger all those years ago?”

“Not like this. I can’t believe you would something like this,” Nia growls. She paces around frantically, the people in the room taking a few steps back to give her space. Then she stops abruptly. “It’s off. Azgeda Corporation withdraws from this deal, and will hereby cease all operations with Krause Munitions. Effective immediately.” The woman stomps her way towards the elevator before halting again and turning back around. “Good day to all of you,” she says with gritted teeth, and promptly steps inside the elevator, almost bowling over Titus in her haste.

Only when Nia Queen is out of the picture and the room falls into another uncomfortable silence does she speaks to her father again. “I’ve done the math. Your stocks will drop at least another 40 percent, sales will plummet too fast to even predict, even your investors will almost immediately abandon you. But… I’m offering you a solution. For a price.”

When Titus steps forward to protest, Barrett only puts up a hand that instantly shuts him up. With a frown on his face, he regards her curiously. “Name it.”

“There’s no way for me to get the court to change their ruling regarding my legal incompetence so…” she briefly glances again at Clarke, who just puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. Lexa doesn’t miss how Barrett catches the small and subtle display of affection. “I want you to transfer your legal guardianship to my aunt and uncle.”

She expected him to put up some kind of fight or even lose his composure. But neither of those is what happens. Instead, he just nods slowly, mulling over what she said. Even more surprise comes her way at what he says next. “If that is what you want.” Titus tries to protest, only to be shut down yet again and sent away to follow orders. “And this solution you promised?” Her father asks.

“Hmm? Oh, right. I almost forgot,” she says with a laugh. “It’s simple really. Fire your higher ups,” Lexa tells him, waving a hand to the general direction of the wide-eyed group of company executives who are all starting to look paler by the minute. Barrett only looks at her in question. She rolls her eyes. “Did you ever find it odd why your Chief Financial Officer suggested the idea of hiding the company’s state of financial ruin? Or why the rest of your senior management staff readily went along with it?”

Lexa waits a beat before Barrett’s confusion changes into realization. She can tell that it’s a bitter pill to swallow for him, but what Lexa found when she dug through all the digital paperwork is irrefutable evidence. They were embezzling and transferring the money to who knows where, for who knows how long. Sure, there were far too many red flags but they were covered up. And if Lexa wasn’t looking for something she could exploit, she would have probably never seen them.

“Numbers don’t lie and your employees are a bunch of thieving rats,” Lexa finishes.

xxxxxxx

The silence after Lexa drops the bomb is almost suffocating. Nobody even dares to breathe, as far as Clarke can tell. They’re alone now, just the three of them with her still standing awkwardly beside Lexa. Barrett had long since had his executives escorted out of the office as soon as the familiar face of Detective Quint showed up. Never has she seen police response that fast, not even in movies. The asshole even had the nerve to wink and smile at Clarke as he left. Titus follows them out, most likely to handle the legal side of things. No doubt the embezzlers are going to pay dearly for this.

She’s amazed that Barrett hasn’t lost his shit yet. In fact, it’s a little unsettling that he’s just calmly sitting there and pouring himself a drink, his face weirdly devoid of any emotion that could be considered anger. The man just looks too fucking zen in a creepy sort of way.  Even Lexa quirks her eyebrows a few times at her in question.

“I’m surprised you’re taking this all so well, father,” Lexa finally says. “No threats to my life or promises to get back at me?”

Barrett lets out a laugh. “Give me some credit, Lexa. I have the sense to know when I’m beaten. And as much as I might resent the fact that you outsmarted me, I cannot help but admire from an objective point of view how you methodically and meticulously executed this move.” He pauses, drinks his bourbon in one long gulp and then fixes his green eyes on his daughter. Clarke is somewhat thankful that he’s ignoring her for the most part because she doesn’t know if she can handle the intensity of his glare.

“Is it just me or does that sound like approval?” Lexa asks sarcastically.

“You know that I’ve always recognized your talents. But I have to ask. You could have destroyed all my hard work with what you had on me, why didn’t you?”

“I’m not that heartless. You have thousands of employees across the country dependent on their jobs. Not to mention, the blowback this could have on the economy.”

Barrett scoffs. “You remind me so much of myself when I was younger.”

“I’m nothing like you,” Lexa stresses. For some reason, Clarke’s heart starts to beat faster and she can feel herself sweating, getting nervous. She knows how much Lexa hates being reminded of the similarities she has with her father.

“No? But you proved the opposite of that today.” Barrett says with a mean smirk. “You’re cunning and ruthless when necessary, logical and rational when you need to be, as you’ve demonstrated. Even dressed in that ridiculous garb, you look like this is where you belong. Commanding the boardroom, at the helm of this company. Your company, if you want.”

Clarke wants nothing more than to just speak up and call Barrett out on being a giant fucking dick. Because how dare he say such bullshit after everything he put Lexa through. But she knows it’s not her place, and that it would do Lexa good to be the one to put him in his place. She almost jumps when the brunette stands abruptly. Clarke grabs onto her arm just in case her girlfriend gets the urge to attack her own father.

“No. I want nothing to do with you or your company. I’m done,” Lexa hisses and thrusts the documents that would change her legal guardianship status towards him. “Sign the damned papers, and then just leave me alone for the rest of my life.”

Barrett laughs again bitterly, but takes out a pen from his coat pocket to sign. “You are giving away the opportunity of a lifetime for what? For an illusion. For love? Is that what you think this is?” he says, pointing at Clarke in contempt. This fucking asshole , she thinks as she stares right back in equal amounts of hatred pouring off of her.

“You have no right to tell me what I think! You know nothing!” she hears Lexa shout. “You’re a greedy, selfish man, and you will die alone. No less than you deserve for how you treated me, my mother and everyone around you. And you know what the worst part is? I would have been happy to do what you wanted me to do if you had just given me an ounce of respect, if you had treated me like a human being. So yes, I’ll be glad to trade in a life of luxury for something you will never understand.”

Barrett sits there speechless, clearly taken aback by what Lexa said. Clarke then takes the signed papers, hastily folding them up and tucking them in her back pocket. “Come on, Lex. We’re getting out of here.” Lexa lets herself be pulled away for a few steps, but then she turns to stare at the back of her father’s head.

“Just tell me this one thing,” Lexa starts. “Did you ever feel anything for my mother or did you just use her to get a green card?” Barrett doesn’t even move, and the silence confirms it for Lexa. “I thought so. You know, I never thought I’d say this but I’m glad mom’s not here to witness what kind of wretched monster it is she married.”

The man turns then, huffing in rage as he hurls his empty glass at their feet. “Out! Get out and don’t you ever come back!”

“Gladly,” Lexa answers curtly and squeezes Clarke’s hand as they take the elevator down. Their hands never untangle for longer than a couple of seconds, even as Lexa drives the car in silence through traffic.

It isn’t after hours of driving to nowhere in particular that she manages to convince Lexa to park the car for a few minutes of rest. The brunette is currently lying on the backseat looking up and through the window. Clarke is resting her head on Lexa’s chest, her body nestled in between Lexa’s legs and wrapped up in a strong pair of arms. She leans up to kiss the green eyed girl’s jaw from time to time.

“Hey,” she says. “You okay?”

“I guess,” Lexa replies uncertainly. “I don’t know. I feel kind of lost.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve dedicated my entire life to cutting ties with my father, which I achieved,” Lexa answers as she starts to comb her fingers through blonde hair. “And now, I just realized that I’ve got no plan for what comes after. No direction, no purpose, no goal.”

Clarke pushes herself up so she can look down at Lexa. “That’s a little bit over dramatic, don’t you think?” she asks with soft laughter. She kisses the frown that appears on Lexa’s face at her reply. “As for what you’re going to do next, that’s easy. You go find a new dream, and I’ll be right there with you.”

“You were my new dream,” Lexa says with a smile, lighting up the mood.

“Did you just- you did not just answer me with a Disney quote.”

Lexa’s lighthearted chuckle almost makes her melt. “I did. Finding a new dream with you, huh? I guess I can do that.”

Clarke gets the overwhelming urge to kiss Lexa. She crushes their lips together just because she can. The kiss is slow, and it’s just their lips moving together lazily, but it’s everything they both need right at this moment. And when they break the kiss, they fall into an easy banter, holding onto each other just for the sake of touching. They exchange I love yous often in between just because they also can.

“So, how pissed at us do you think my mom, your aunt and your uncle are?” she asks.

“My uncle would probably get over it quickly. I think your mom and my aunt are trying to decide among themselves who will get to castrate me or something.”

“Hmm… you’re right. You never should’ve said something about scalpels and shit. Wanna just wait until everything blows over?”

Lexa smirks at her in that way she always does when she’s about to pitch one of her ideas. “You know, I don’t think we’re quite done with this road trip yet.”

xxxxxxx

Lexa shifts nervously on her feet. She and Clarke decided that a week is enough time to give everybody some breathing room to cool down. And now, they’re back to Gina’s apartment where the rest of their family and friends have apparently been staying at still. She just hopes her aunt and uncle will understand why she left to do what she did.

“Just knock, babe,” Clarke tells her. “They’re your family. It’s not like they’re going to turn you away or anything.”

“Right. Okay, here goes nothing.” Lexa knocks on the door three times, fully expecting to be greeted by Indra’s signature scowl. But Octavia is the one who answers the door. As soon as it swings open, she hears some faint music. There’s also the pleasant aroma of food in the air, and the distinctive tang of alcohol. The apartment looks festive for some reason.

“About time, dipshits,” Octavia says with a grin and a party hat of all things on her head. She yanks at Lexa’s arm to pull her in. “Come on in.”

“Uh… why are you wearing a party hat?” she asks, eyes darting between Clarke and the short raven-haired girl. The blonde only shrugs at her.

“Why’d you think, dingus? It’s your welcome home party!” Octavia answers just as she spots Indra and Gustus making a beeline for her. Right behind them are Lincoln and Anya who are also wearing party hats.

Lexa puts her palms up in surrender, readying for a long-winded explanation and apology. “Now, before you start berating me, I just want to say-” she never got to finish, because she’s already getting swept up in Gustus’ giant arms. He laughs as he spins her around a couple of times and sets her down, but he doesn’t let her go. She gets even more shocked when Indra and her cousins join in on their awkward hug. It feels unnatural because they have never done this before, but nice at the same time. But then the embrace lasts for far longer that what’s socially acceptable and the room has grown very quiet. Clearly, they all don’t know what the protocol for family hugs is.

“Okay, this is starting to get weird,” Anya points out from somewhere inside the tangle of limbs.

“Yeah…” Lincoln agrees.

“I guess we should let go now?” Gustus asks.

“What if we count to three and then we let go?” she suggests.

“Yes, that’s a good idea,” Indra says.

At the count of three, they all unwind from each other and take a respective steps back. Before it gets awkward again, Raven decides to comment on whatever it was that transpired. A loud the fuck was that? was heard from the back where the rest of their friends, along with Clarke and Abby were. Clarke was quick to hit the obviously inebriated Raven at the back of her head. But the highly inappropriate comment was enough to make them all laugh. Soon enough, they’re all chuckling and shaking their heads at the silliness of it all.

After that, no words need to be said again. Gustus’ firm squeeze on her shoulder and Indra’s approving nod were enough to tell her all she needs to know. That she will always be welcomed back with open arms, she will always have a family to call her own. She smiles back at them gratefully before finding her place beside Clarke where she gets handed a party hat of her own.

Chapter Text

“Babe,” she rasps right against Lexa’s ear. “Babe. Come on, wake up. Babe.”

Clarke chuckles when Lexa only grunts and turns to lie on her stomach instead. She feels a little bad about waking her girlfriend up like this at 7 AM on a Saturday, especially since Lexa got home late from an important, physically draining meeting last night. But she just can’t help but be a little bit excited. Today, after all, is Lexa’s 25th birthday and Clarke’s got plans. Plans that include getting the brunette out of the house for a couple of hours so she can get everything set up.

“Baaaaaaaabbbbeee…” she drawls again as she crawls on top of Lexa, ignoring the answering groan that sounds from the woman beneath her.

“Urrghh, what?” Lexa grumbles.

“It’s your birthday today,” she replies, trying hard not to giggle when Lexa wrinkles her nose.

“I know.”

“So, get up.”

“No. My Birthday. Means I can sleep in,” Lexa mumbles sleepily.

“Oh my god, no. That’s not how we do birthdays in this household. We get up early so we can carpe the fuck out of this diem.”

“I don’t think the Roman poets would appreciate you bastardizing that meaningful phrase, babe.”

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere, she thinks. Now she just needs a little bit more motivation. Since putting all of her body weight on Lexa doesn’t work that well, she decides to switch tactics. Clarke brushes away the sleep tangled locks of brown hair to expose the nape of her girlfriend’s neck and presses her lips against it in a really wet and open-mouth kiss, right on the infinity symbol tattooed there. Immediately, the body under her tenses up as she hears a soft catch of breath from Lexa. She continues on her way down, only letting her lips part from deliciously warm skin just to press it against a previously un-kissed portion. Thank the heavens Lexa likes to sleep in her boxers and nothing else.

The farther down she gets, the more signs she sees that Lexa is stirring. There’s a twitch of a finger there, an involuntary knee jerk, and a shudder running through a lithe body. “What if,” she husks and pauses to run her tongue down the length of the intricate tattoo that covers her lover’s spine. “I tell you that awesome morning sex is going to be a part of our birthday tradition.” She punctuates her sentence by planting one more kiss just above the waistline of Lexa’s black boxers.

“I might be amenable to the idea,” Lexa answers breathily.

“Mm-hmm,” she hums as she kisses her way back up and settles beside Lexa.

The brunette turns again, this time so she can face Clarke. Not even a second later, Lexa is already pulling her in close and crushing their lips together in a heated kiss. She reciprocates right away, darting out her tongue to swipe at Lexa's bottom lip. The action draws a deep, guttural groan from Lexa which causes her to smirk into the kiss. Her lover then grabs at her hips in an attempt to bring their bodies closer together. She lets herself be drawn forward for a bit, just enough to feel the growing hardness between Lexa’s thighs. But Clarke puts a hand on the brunette’s chest and suddenly breaks the kiss.

“I think it’s time for breakfast,” she tells a confused, still groggy Lexa whose eyes are almost black with lust. Clarke stands up abruptly and saunters out of the room, putting a little more sway to her movements. She knows the effect her ass has on her girlfriend, especially since she’s wearing nothing but Lexa’s discarded button up from last night.

“Clarke, where are you going? I thought we were going to-” she hears Lexa call after her but the rest of it is cut off by a frustrated groan. “Come back here and finish what you started!”

Lexa can be quite dramatic at times. She only lets out a teasing laugh in response as she continues on her way to the kitchen. No doubt Lexa would be following behind her in just a few seconds. As she waits for the brunette to catch up to her, she pretends to start preparing breakfast. She makes some loud noises with a spatula and a pan when she hears the heavy footfalls on the wooden floor that are headed towards her.

In a few more seconds, Lexa reaches her. After three years of living together, the sight of her in the morning still takes her breath away. Even now with long brown hair flying off in different directions, bare chest heaving, and sun-kissed skin with visible sleep marks, Clarke still thinks Lexa is the most beautiful creature in existence. She turns around to hide her grin and resume her charade of fixing up breakfast, committed to teasing the hell out of her lover.

“That was mean,” Lexa points out with a gravelly voice. She knows the green eyed woman is trying to play it cool. But Clarke also knows that it’s taking her everything not to pounce on her.

“Was it?” she replies sweetly, feigning innocence. She’s also wiggling her ass a little bit, but she’d deny it if Lexa calls her out on it. “I thought I’d make us breakfast first. You know, since you said it’s important to eat something in the morning...” In an instant, Clarke finds herself pressed up on the kitchen counter with her back to Lexa. She smirks when she feels toned arms wrapping around her center from behind, hot, ragged breaths blowing on the back of her neck.

“I’d rather eat you,” her lover whispers as her hands start to slide down the curve of her stomach.

Holy fuck. She did not expect that reply at all, and now she’s quite possibly dripping. She moans as Lexa’s hands start a slow exploration of her body, drifting lower and lower still. Until finally, they get to their destination. Clarke instinctively parts her legs when Lexa’s fingers slide through her folds, playing around with an embarrassing amount liquid heat pooling there. But before she can get used to the heavenly feeling of Lexa’s fingers, they’re already being pulled away.

Lexa grabs her by the waist again and turns her around. Her whine gets cut off by plump lips roughly taking hers in a deep, all-consuming kiss. But then her lover draws back and starts to plant wet kisses on her body until she’s kneeling down before her. She squeals when Lexa hikes up her right leg to rest on her shoulder and buries her face between her legs without any warning. A warm tongue immediately parts the outer lips of her cunt, and all she can do is grab onto Lexa’s hair and hope that she survives the onslaught.

The movement of Lexa’s tongue is unfocused and without any pattern, specifically meant not to apply pressure where she desperately needs. Each long swipe of the flat of her tongue punches out a lewd moan from Clarke. “Fu-fuck, Lex,” she stutters. “You weren’t kidding when you said you’d rather eat me.” In answer, Lexa roughly sucks her clit inside her mouth and lashes her tongue at it. “Ah- oh shit! Fucking hell, Lexa!” Clarke’s eyes roll to the back of her head. It’s kind of pathetic that she’s so out of breath despite them only getting started. Still, she can’t help but think she deserves the satisfaction of such sweet torture.

xxxxxxx

Lexa has gotten very good at reading Clarke’s body during sex. It’s quite useful for “punishing” her lover whenever she’s in a teasing mood, like today. Or when she wants to keep them both on the edge of orgasm. It still surprises her when she thinks about how this almost primal hunger for each other has never decreased in intensity as the years pass. If anything, it’s become stronger as they learn new things about each other. And maybe the fact that having sex on things that aren’t quite beds turns them both on has something to do with it. It's a habit from their time on the road that hasn’t really gone away.

She only releases Clarke’s clit with a loud pop once it’s swollen red, and the blonde’s screaming turns incoherent. Lexa runs her tongue languidly along the puffy outer lips a few times for good measure, but she’s nowhere near done. She pulls back just enough so she can have room to spin Clarke around, and then she dives back in. This time, she doesn’t beat around the bush, shoving her tongue inside the quivering opening. She thrusts in and out until her girlfriend is helplessly grinding back into her face and letting out a series of high pitched moans, until the breathy sounds stop altogether when Clarke comes. She groans as her lover convulses and a burst of wetness drips down her chin. It only makes her cock harder, if that’s even possible.

She then decides to stand up. As soon as she’s back on her feet, Clarke is quick to turn back around. Nails dig on her shoulders as she is pulled in for another kiss while Clarke’s other hand rids her of her boxers. Her own fumbling fingers work to take off the loosely draped shirt over her lover’s body before reaching down to pale thighs to hoist her up on the counter.

The cold tiles of the countertop makes Clarke hiss. "Now that was mean,” Clarke pants against her lips, pulling her in between her legs. Then she goes to lick at Lexa’s chin and throat where some of her own arousal has trickled down before eagerly sticking her tongue into her mouth. The kiss that follows is all tongue and teeth and it tastes of Clarke. She almost gets lost in the heated exchange but the hand that wraps around her hard cock causes her to refocus. A drawn out groan bursts from her lips when she looks down to see Clarke’s hand slowly pumping at her length. The tip is already leaking clear fluid, and it’s running down to coat Clarke's fingers.

“You like that?” Clarke coos at her as she speeds up the movement of her hand. “Fuck, you're so hard. And god, you're dripping so much. I need you inside me now.”

Lexa didn't need to be told twice. She brushes away the blonde’s hand to take over. Stepping in closer, cock in her hand, she lets the flared head graze Clarke’s swollen clit. But before she can get to further teasing, legs are already eagerly winding around her waist and nails are clawing on her shoulders. She looks up to the annoyed glare of the blue eyed woman. Clarke drags her forward again in a bruising kiss, biting harshly on her bottom lip until she finally succumbs and guides the tip to her lover’s entrance.

At this rate, she knows neither of them will last long, so she pushes her hips forward. Her shaft is halfway through when Clarke deliberately clenches her inner walls around her, making her groan. She retaliates by sinking her teeth into the blonde’s shoulder, and it makes her throw her head back. Lexa takes advantage of the reaction and slides her cock all the way inside in one thrust. Her eyes flutter closed at the feeling of so much slick and warmth closing tightly around her. Being inside Clarke makes her forget her name almost all the time.

“God, babe, you hit me so deep.” Clarke whispers harshly in her ear as her hands grab hungrily at her ass, and it makes her start with a pattern of slow, full strokes. “You feel so good inside me. Oh, fuck! Harder, faster!” The scream is punctuated by a light but loud slap on her buttcheek. With her hands finding purchase on the counter surface, she sets off on quick, rough thrusts. She fucks Clarke hard, her hips rolling and moving at a blinding speed. Wet slapping sounds and cries of pleasure echo through their open floor plan home.

And still, it's not enough. She needs to be deeper, closer. So, she surges forward, pinning Clarke's body down with her own. The stiff points of her breasts rub along sweat covered skin and the blonde's hard nipples. She pumps her hips forward, growling as she bottoms out inside of Clarke’s fluttering walls. Lexa positions her hands on Clarke’s hips to hold her in an angle that would allow her to hit the spot that drives the blonde crazy. Then she slowly draws back before thrusting in again, repeating the actions over and over until she’s established a harsh pattern that has them both crying out in bliss.

A few more seconds of wildly thrusting is all it takes for her to get thrown into an intense orgasm. She’s breathless when she comes, her body slumping forward and involuntarily jerking above the blonde as white hot pressure bursts from the tip of her throbbing cock and into Clarke. The loud wailing and the rhythmic tightening of Clarke’s dripping cunt tells her the her lover has tipped over the edge with her. Hands on her ass and her back draw her in closer as her release tapers off into weaker pulses. Clarke clutches onto her until she's drained her of everything she has.

Lexa was just about to drift off to that half-asleep state she always gets after a good orgasm when she feels Clarke’s hips start moving in small circles under her. It pulls her right back to the present where her semi-hard cock is still buried inside damp, velvety heat. She draws back and looks down to see Clarke’s lips set in a mischievous smirk. Then the smirk grows into a wider grin as she feels a tight squeeze on her cock that makes her groan and her hips jolt forward.

“What? You didn’t think I was done with you, did you?” Clarke asks her in that sultry voice she loves so much.

Lexa just gulps as her cock starts to harden again. Clarke pushes her off with a gentle nudge to her shoulders, and she complies. She pulls out and stands up, fully expecting her girlfriend to be sluggish with her movements. But Clarke just nimbly gets back on her feet, takes her hand and walks backwards to where their living room is. They stop in front of the plush, black leather couch that she had just cleaned every inch of the other day with a special leather upholstery cleaner that she painstakingly hunted down. She opens her mouth to point that out, but all coherent thought goes out the window when Clarke sits down and puts her hands on Lexa’s hips.

Her breath catches in her throat at the sight of the woman below her, close to where her hard length is now jutting up. Clarke pulls her closer with one hand on her hip, the other skimming over her heated skin to roll around one of her nipples. Lexa’s eyes flutter closed just as Clarke’s tongue peeks out to lick at the twitching muscles of her abdomen. The hand that was on her hip then wraps around her shaft, swifty taking up a slow pumping motion that has her gasping to the ceiling.

“Look at me,” Clarke says with a demanding stroke of her hand. But Lexa is so lost in the sensations that she couldn’t follow fast enough. So, Clarke tightens her fist around the base of her cock. Only then does she look down. “That’s it, eyes on me. You’re going to watch me while I suck you off and make you come in my mouth.”

She whimpers but nods eagerly. Clarke resumes the motion of her hand around her cock and brings the other one to fondle her balls. As the blonde jerks her off faster, Lexa already knows that she’s going to come crashing over the edge of another orgasm in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Still, she forces herself to watch as Clarke leans forward and wraps her lips around the tip of her cock and sucks. Wide blown blue eyes stay glued on her as her girlfriend takes her deeper inside, immediately falling into a rhythm.

Lexa reaches down to sweep away long locks of blonde hair as the wet, sucking sounds pick up in volume. Clarke answers with a grateful moan and ups the pace, sucking harshly at the flared head each time she pulls back. Her jaw drops when her girlfriend suddenly grabs her by the ass and takes her all the way inside. She chokes on air at the feeling of the tip moving past Clarke’s throat, powerless as the rush of release takes over. Her shaft pulsates as strong jets of come travel along the length and down Clarke’s mouth. It’s all she can do to stay still and let her lover ease her through probably the best orgasm of her life.

Clarke keeps her inside through most of the heavy pulses of her release before pulling back halfway and lashing her tongue against the head to lap up the weaker spurts. One hand strokes the base of her cock while the other tugs gently at her balls as Clarke sucks her dry. With labored breathing and shaky knees, Lexa feels like she ran a marathon by the end of it. Clarke winking before planting a wet kiss on the head of her cock only makes her feel weaker.

“Come on,” Clarke says smug laughter as she pulls Lexa down. “Lay down with me for a while. You look like you’re about to fall over.”

Lexa gives her a satiated, sleepy smile and lets herself be dragged down to the couch. Soft arms wrap around her torso as she rests her head on Clarke’s heaving chest. She sighs happily as delicate fingers start to draw invisible patterns on her sweat slicked back. They stay tangled up in each other for what feels like hours. Lexa uses that time to let her eyes wander around their home. It used to be a closed down two-storey dance studio smack dab in the middle of DC with a huge basement before they had it repurposed to be fit for living. But it was perfect for both of them. It felt right.

It also just made practical sense to move with Clarke back to the city since it held endless opportunities for the two of them. DC has an excellent art culture and a host of promising career options for an engineering major. And, it’s where they first met, after all. Funny how things go full circle, she thinks.

Clarke’s artistic side can be seen through vibrant splashes of colors scattered about. There’s that comically large accent wall across the room where Clarke’s hand drawn and painted world map is (they put a pin on each state, country or province they visit). A few of her paintings hang on the walls while some of her crafted pieces serve as decorations. The handful of multi-colored decor and furniture the blonde picked are also artfully placed all throughout. They also turned the first floor into a small studio/gallery for Clarke, where Fish serves as the dutiful guard dog/cute mascot to reel in potential patrons.

Meanwhile, Lexa’s personality shows through precise lines and minimalistic designs. The lighting fixtures hanging from the high ceilings have the brass, industrial look - each one Lexa handpicked. The walls are painted in neutral colors and light tones that she prefers, a compromise she had with Clarke so their home doesn’t look like someone vomited skittles on it. She also chose most of the appliances in the kitchen and the general layout during renovation. The best part, for her at least, is that she gets her own private workshop down at the basement where she can work on her pet projects. Clarke calls it her nerd cave.

And all around the second floor, there are traces of the life they’ve had. Pictures of their families and friends are littered about, as well as polaroids of them or memorabilias from the road trips they try to take every year. A portrait of Jake Griffin hangs on one wall, right beside the framed picture of the first drawing Clarke ever made. There’s also her mother’s Grand Piano brought out from storage, which she makes a point to play on daily.

“I must’ve done a number on you if you’re still incapable of speech right now,” Clarke teases. “Was the orgasm so good? Seriously, what are you thinking?”

She puts her weight on her elbows to raise herself up. They’ve been together for years, but Clarke still looks like a golden goddess in her eyes. She leans down to place a soft, chaste kiss on the blonde’s lips. “I love our home,” she sighs with a grin.

“Pfft. That’s not what you said when we were viewing this place the first time.”

It’s true, she didn’t like it at first glance. But Clarke clearly had a vision for the place, so she had relented. And it was worth it. “No, but it grew on me. Kind of like how you grew on me,” she replies with a wider smile this time.

“You fucking sap,” Clarke answers before crushing their lips together again.

xxxxxxx

“Raven, I swear to god,” she hisses. “If you don’t stop eating all the chips, I will smash that bowl on your head. And then, I’m going to shank you with one of the glass shards!”

“Jesus, Clarke,” Raven answers, spit and bits of chips flying out of her mouth. “Did Lexa not give it to you good last night or something?”

“Shut the fuck up,” she groans. “She’ll be here any second and your loud chewing is gonna give us away.”

Frankly, keeping Raven away from the food is the hardest part of throwing together the surprise birthday party. At least she had help from their friends and family who arrived to help her get the house ready after she tricked Lexa into taking Fish to the groomers. Indra, Gustus, Abby and Marcus had volunteered to do the cooking, with help from Anya, Bellamy and his girlfriend Gina. Octavia and Lincoln were in charge of livening up the place with some party decorations. Monty set up the sound system, leaving Jasper to take on the role of the DJ. She invited some friends from her Art Therapy classes at Ark University. There’s also some people Lexa closely worked with on different projects as a consultant.

They’re all now hiding and waiting for the brunette to return, eyes locked on the door where they expect her to go through. But so far, there’s no sign of her yet, and the guests are starting to get antsy. She pulls out her phone to text Lexa, asking where she is for the third time. She’s still waiting for a reply after about three minutes when someone breathing through their mouth crawls up next to where she’s crouched. Clarke turns to tell them off, but when she whips her head to the side, she realizes that the heavy breathing is coming from a freshly groomed Fish. And then there’s Lexa, kneeling down beside her with that signature smug smirk of hers.

“Who are we waiting for?” the green eyed woman asks.

“You asshole! How the fuck did you get in?” she shrieks in surprise when she stands. “Ugh, it’s really annoying how I can never surprise you.” The rest of the room bursts in laughter as Lexa hugs her. “What gave it away?”

“Honestly, there’s too many to count, babe. But sending me to the groomers was a dead giveaway.”

“Goddammit.”

The party went on swimmingly after the failed surprise. The food and drinks taste great, and the music is surprisingly fitting for the occasion. Lexa had been going around their place, mingling and thanking everybody who came, while Clarke watched her laugh, talk and goof around with their friends. Clarke knows how important this day is to Lexa since today signifies her legal emancipation. She no longer needs permission from her guardians to do something as simple as taking up a contract or opening an account at a bank, and she really cannot be happier for her.

“What are you doing all the way here, honey?” Abby asks with a smile as she leans on the kitchen’s center island. “Shouldn’t you be out there with Lexa?”

Her relationship with her mother had been repaired in the last three years. No, in fact, it’s better than it’s ever been, especially after the first time they visited Jake’s grave together. Surprisingly, her mom and her girlfriend had grown very close too. Lexa even sends postcards and packages to Abby and Marcus when they go out of the country or to some other state. She had also discovered that Lexa texts Abby almost as often as she does.

She returns her mother’s smile. “No, it’s alright. I’m happy to just watch for awhile.”

“Are you? Happy, I mean?”

“Yeah, mom. Lexa, she’s… she’s so good, mom,” Clarke gushes. “I just- I love her so much.”

Abby chuckles and puts an arm around her. “I know, Clarke, I love her too. I love both of you.”

“I love you too, mom.”

“So, how are you doing, career wise?”

“Good. I’m just waiting for my adviser’s verdict on my master’s degree thesis and the studio below is bringing in decent cash,” she tells her mother happily.

“I’m proud of you, sweetie. I know your dad would be too.”

“Thanks, mom,” she answers, bumping their shoulders together.

“I heard Lexa is working with NASA as a consultant now, with Raven’s team.”

“Oh, yeah,” she laughs. “Sometimes, I worry about those two burning down the NASA headquarters.”

“Who’s going to burn down the NASA headquarters?” Lexa says cockily as she walks up beside her and kisses her cheek. “Hey, Abby, enjoying the party?”

“Seeing as I helped organize it? Yes. Yes, I am,” her mother says with a grin.

“Mind if I borrow your daughter for a second?” Lexa asks.

“Of course,” Abby answers as she stars to walk away. But then she turns around again with a smirk. “Just remember, you have guests. And I don’t think they’d appreciate it much if they experience hearing the two of you go at it.”

Clarke eyes go wide as her face heats up. “Oh my god, mom. Go away!” she shouts as she starts pushing a laughing Abby to the opposite direction.

Lexa just chuckles and interlaces their fingers together. “Come on,” the brunette says, leading her to the stairs going down to the studio.

“What are we doing?”

“I have something to show you. It’s a surprise.”

“Okay, you know, you don’t have the best track record with surprises.”

“What do you mean? I’m great at surprises.”

“Not really, no. You remember that time you surprised me with sky diving?”

“That was one time! And we were completely safe.”

“Or how about when you blindfolded me and put me on a chopper but you only told me that you got your private pilot license when we were airborne?”

“Yeah, that was uh, bad planning on my part.”

“Or that time when you-”

Lexa cuts her off by putting a hand over her mouth. “Okay, I get it,” her girlfriend laughs. “I promise you will like this surprise. It doesn’t involve any aircrafts at all.”

The studio is bathed in soft, yellow lights when they finally get to the bottom of the stairs. But there’s one white spot light shining down on a lone pedestal placed at the center of the room. On it is something covered in silky black cloth. Clarke quirks an eyebrow at Lexa, who only smirks at her and walks her closer to it.

“Go on, lift up the cover,” Lexa tells her.

Clarke puts a hand on the cloth and slowly takes it off, letting it fall to the floor. Underneath is a large, plain wooden box. It’s smooth to the touch when she runs her hand on top of it. She looks at Lexa again in a nonverbal question, but the brunette only motions for her to open it. She finds the latch in front of the box and pushes the lid open. Inside are clockwork mechanical parts, most of which she can’t even name. But off to the side, she recognizes what looks like a tone arm of an old record player.

“It’s called phonograph or gramophone. They were used to play old vinyl records,” Lexa explains to her. “But I made this one special for you.”

Clarke may not know much about old record players or mechanical things, but she certainly appreciates quality craftsmanship. “Wow, you made this?” she asks with a smile. Lexa nods sheepishly. “It’s beautiful, Lex. But I don’t see where you can put a vinyl to play it.”

“That’s because you don’t use it to play a vinyl,” Lexa replies before reaching for something in her pocket. “It’s only meant to play this.”

Clarke’s breath hitches at what she sees. “That- that looks like a ring.”

“It is.”

Lexa puts the silver ring on a rod in the phonograph and drops the needle of the tone arm on its surface. The machine whirrs into life when a switch at the side is flicked on. As soon as the ring spins, Clarke hears a familiar soft piano melody wafting through the air around them. It takes her a few seconds to recognize it as the piece the brunette liked to play for her, an original composition penned by none other than Lauren Woods, Lexa’s mother. Clarke’s eyes start to tear up as she begins to understand what Lexa is trying to convey to her.

“I tried to find the right ring for you. But I don’t think any ring would really get my message across. So, I decided to make it myself with some help from this jeweler I met,” Lexa starts. She then turns off the machine, and takes the ring back in her hand before getting down on one knee. “I wanted this to be the first thing I did now that I can do whatever I want. When I met you, I had many fears and insecurities, but being with you made me want to take the leap. You’re it for me, babe. You’re the one. I knew that the moment I heard you say that you loved me the first time. And I’m ready for the rest of our lives together, whatever that might bring. So… Clarke Eliza Griffin, will you marry me?”

This time, the tears of joy flow freely down her cheeks. “Yes! Yes, a thousand times, yes!” Clarke pulls Lexa up by the collar of her shirt and brings their lips together again and again in series of kisses. She whispers I love you against the brunette’s lips in between and hugs her tightly. They’re both laughing now as Lexa wipes away her tears and puts on the ring on her finger. “Can we agree that we won’t have an engagement party or get married in a church, seeing as we have weird experiences with both?” she asks in between giggles a few moments later.

“Agreed,” Lexa replies.

“Hey.”

“Hmm?”

“Wanna know the best way to celebrate getting engaged?”

“What?”

“A road trip.”

Lexa pulls back to look at her, but she has that wicked glint in her green eyes and a sly smile on her lips. “What do you say we ditch this party, take Fish and my car, drive around to somewhere and then try to race back here on Sunday?”

“Fuck yeah,” she replies. “Besides, I really don’t feel like cleaning up a messy party now that I’ve got this fancy thing on my finger.”