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HSAU Christmas Special 2017

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The pilot’s voice sounded over the PA, rousing the plane’s passengers back to a state of coherence.

“We will be landing in Aspen shortly-”

The words drowned out as Clarke turned to face the woman in the seat beside her, a Polis University hoodie pulled over her head, as she dozed off against the window.

Clarke leaned over, studying her face for just a moment with baited breath.

God, Lexa was beautiful.

She had a certain sharpness to her. Clarke didn’t know how to describe it, but when she thought about it, she imagined the razor sharp jawline, the high defined cheekbones, the laser focused eyes.

When she was asleep, it was like getting to see a different side of her entirely.

Sharp lines and hard edges became rounded, softened. There was no crease in her brow, her pouty lips pulled into an almost-smile, dreamy and soft.

Her wavy brunette locks spilled around her from underneath the hoodie.

She looked ethereal, tired as she was.

Clarke leaned in close, eyes scanning every feature she loved so much.

She wasn’t sure what it was about love that made her so weird and sappy.

If someone had gone back in time to tell her that she’d find Alexandria Anastasia Woods’ ears or nose cute, she’d have laughed herself into a puddle on the floor.

But love was a strange, potent drug.

Clarke found herself smiling as she spotted the little freckle above Lexa’s upper lip, and the even tinier freckles above her cheeks.

She finally looked stress free, careless and happy, as a twenty-two year old should have been.

Clarke hated to ruin her sweet dreams, but they were landing, and she needed to straighten her chair.

Slowly, she kissed Lexa’s cheeks, until she saw long lashes flutter, and her eyes were met with a verdant gaze.

“Hi.” Clarke whispered.

Lexa smiled lazily, bringing long fingers up to cup Clarke’s cheeks.

“You were tired.” Clarke remarked amusedly, turning her cheek to kiss Lexa’s palm. “You feeling any better?”

“Mhmm.” Lexa sighed, leaning forward. “Still wouldn’t mind a good night’s sleep in a fluffy resort bed with silk sheets-”

“And there she is.” Clarke laughed. “It was cool, being down to Earth for a second.”

Lexa grinned, lacing her fingers with Clarke’s.

“Just wait ‘till you see the resort, sunshine. You might want to end our relationship.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “I’m starting to grasp just how extra your family is. I think I can imagine it.”

“Too bad we invited those... delinquents .” Lexa’s lip curled in faux disdain.

Clarke teasingly smacked her arm. “Why? Any special plans that you think they’ll impede?”

Lexa shrugged, sipping the last of her wine from the cup as the flight attendants came around to collect the trash.

“Just our sex marathon.”

Clarke huffed, but turned to kiss her cocky little grin anyway.


 

“Fuck.” Clarke huffed, her breath pooling in a cloud out in the open air, where they had just been dropped off by a taxi. She shivered through her clothes, no match for the cold weather.

“Here.” Lexa shucked off her coat, long and elegant, draping it on Clarke’s shoulders.

“No!” Clarke huffed. “What if you get cold?”

“I won’t.” Lexa promised, pulling Clarke into her arms as they waited for their luggage.

“I...may have gotten a little too used to LA weather.” Clarke grumbled, turning into Lexa’s neck.

Lexa rubbed up and down her back, grinning into her hair, a golden halo with little snowflakes sitting atop.

“I offered to buy you a coat.”

“Lexa, those were, like, a thousand-”

“I’ll buy you one tomorrow. First thing. Alright?” Lexa left little to no room for argument.

Clarke gripped her tighter in response.

Fine .”

“Now cheer up. We have dinner with my parents.”

What? They’re here?”

Lexa nodded, tipping the driver as she took hold of her luggage, Clarke swatting her hand away playfully to carry her own. “ Both our parents are, yes. And Aden.”

“I thought they flew in tomorrow.” Clarke pried, trailing after Lexa.

“No, tomorrow the delinquents fly in. With their...significant others.” Lexa waved a hand.

“How….are they affording this?” Clarke queried. “Your parents, I mean. Because I know you convinced everyone to come, for my sake, by offering them free lodging.”

Lexa smirked. “Co owners.”

Clarke froze, coughing suddenly, likely having choked on her own spit.

“What?”

“Are you alright?” Lexa paused, her brow furrowed in a look of concern.

Clarke sputtered her response. “Wha- yes, I’m fine. What the hell, Lex? What else don’t I know?”

Lexa grinned. “I want our marriage to be full of surprises.”

“Oh, don’t do that .” Clarke whined.

“What?” Lexa asked innocently.

“That thing when you bring up our marriage and I forget why I’m mad.” Clarke huffed.

Lexa quirked a brow. “Well? Is it working?”

“Yes.” Clarke sighed breathily, glancing at the promise ring on her finger, smiling when she felt Lexa’s lips press against her temple.


 

“Oh my god.” Clarke breathed, leaving Lexa behind at the door to their room in their cabin, already barreling towards the window, taking in the majestic view of the mountains and the ski village lights, glimmering in the night. “Oh my god, I’m so mad, I wish I brought my paints- this place is amazing, Lexa! Lex. They have two lifts right by us! Oh wow, there’s champagne up here already! Oh my god, I-”

When Clarke turned, she was face to face with her smiling girlfriend, who looked absolutely thrilled that Clarke was so excited.

None of this meant anything to her, but for Clarke?

It meant the world.

“How are you not excited?” Clarke breathed, cheeks rosy.

“I spent a lot of time here growing up.” Lexa shrugged, coming to wrap her arms around Clarke. “Seeing you happy makes it exciting, again.”

Clarke was practically whining at how cute Lexa’s sentiment was. Reaching over, she curled her fingers in Lexa’s brunette locks.

“Oh, and Clarke?” Lexa hummed amusedly.

“Hmm?” Clarke breathed absentmindedly, love-drunk, getting her fix of being pressed against Lexa.

“Your art set is in the closet.” Lexa smirked, jerking her head in the direction of the closet door, to the far side of the room.

“Oh my god.” Clarke gaped.

Lexa searched her eyes for any clues to how she was feeling, but received an even stronger answer when her shirt was being practically yanked off.

“I could jump your bones right now.” Clarke huffed decidedly, tossing Lexa’s shirt to the floor as she pushed her back to the bed.

Lexa was laughing, joy overtaking her as Clarke climbed atop her, dotting her neck with kisses.

“Clarke!” Lexa laughed between kisses. “We have dinner!”

“I know.” Clarke purred by her ear. “But I want to thank you, first. A quickie.”

Lexa laughed, pulling Clarke down to her lips.

“It physically pains me to say this, but no time.” Lexa drawled.

“Seriously, though.” Clarke mumbled against her kiss-swollen lips. “Can I just tell you how much you mean to me? Like, aside from the presents and the extra vacationing?”

Lexa smiled sheepishly, and Clarke grinned, wanting to savor the mental image forever.

“I love you, Woods. Always have, always will. I’m just...so glad we get to spend another holiday together.” Clarke buried her face in the crook of Lexa’s neck, leaving sweet kisses there. “I remember I wanted to go to Polis, and you were going to go to D.C, and I thought my life was over.”

Lexa smirked, rubbing along Clarke’s back soothingly. “I chased you, though.” She whispered.

“I’m so glad you did. I love you more than anything. Ever. You know that, right?” Clarke gushed, hugging her even tighter, clutching her dearly, the soft snowfall outside contrasting with the heat and passion of their love.

“As long as you know I feel the exact same way.” Lexa whispered reverently.

“Great, so can we-”

“Nope. It’s family time. Unfortunately.”


 

“Come here, you not-so-little shit.” Lexa grinned as Aden greeted them at the front of the lodge’s restaurant.

Clarke let out a whistle.

Aden, once the scrawny little boy who could barely hold his own was...well...not that, anymore.

In the five or so years since high school, Aden had quite the growth spurt. Now, he was a little taller than Lexa, and damn had he inherited the Woods’ genes. He looked regal, like a prince, toned and built, a complete reversal of what Clarke had truly remembered him as.

“Hi, Lex.” He greeted, still soft as ever, hugging his sister tightly.

Clarke swore she felt tears in her eyes, and blinked them away rapidly.

He moved to Clarke next, pulling her in for a hug, and she startled at his strength. In her head, he would forever be the small, fragile freshman of her memory, not this gentle young man before her.

“You’re so tiny,” he grinned into her hairline, laughing as Clarke scowled and good-naturedly punched him in the chest.

“Just because you’re an Ivy League hot shot doesn’t mean you get to disrespect your elders,” Clarke threatened, “remember who has all the embarrassing stories of you.”

“She’s right,” Lexa chimed in, “we have all the good dirt on you.” Aden rolled his eyes at them fondly.

“Atom was there for most of it, anyways.” Clarke knew that the two of them had taken a break during college, the struggles of long distance getting to them, but had been thrilled upon hearing that they’d gotten back together. “He’s waiting with mom and dad. Abby and Marcus are here already, too, Clarke.” He pulled a face and shuddered. “It’s still so weird calling a former teacher by his first name.”

“Try having your mother be married to him,” Clarke challenged, to which Aden raised his hands in surrender jokingly. Kane was just as much a part of their mismatched family as any of them nowadays. And his demon of a dog, Pauna.

They made more idle chat as they walked into the restaurant, and Clarke’s eyes brightened when she spotted her mother, Kane, and her soon-to-be in-laws sitting with Aden’s boyfriend.

Anastasia spotted them first, and she stood immediately, a dazzling smile spreading across her face.

“Clarke! Lexa, darling! It’s been far too long!” Really, it’d only been a few months since they’d last visited the Woods family, but Anastasia, as with all the other members of her family, had a flair for the dramatic. Clarke supposed it was a hallmark of their personality. “Come here!” She swept them both into hugs, and they were quickly passed around from person to person, enveloped in warmth and love and the feeling of family.

“Mom, Marcus,” Clarke greeted, while Lexa was in a huddle of Woods family members, “good to see you.” Abby hugged her tightly once more and Kane squeezed her arm comfortingly.

“I’ve missed you, honey,” Abby said, “you need to visit more often.”

“We’ll come every week if you want us to,” Lexa said from over her shoulder, and Clarke fought the urge to roll her eyes, knowing how much the flights would cost alone. Abby just laughed it off, not knowing how serious Lexa was.

“No need to visit that often, sweetheart, just indulge an old woman every now and then.”

“If you’re old I must have one foot in the grave,” Anastasia scoffed as she sat down with a poise Clarke could never dare hope to possess, “you still look wonderful as ever, Abby darling, don’t you ever think otherwise.” She fixed Kane with a heady look. “And don’t you let her forget it.”

“Yes ma’am,” he chuckled, ducking his head slightly, as Abby and Anastasia exchanged a look that Clarke didn’t quite understand, but shrugged off. The two of them were good friends, and that was that.

“How’s training to be the next CEO of the family business going, Aden?” Lexa asked, once they were all seated. He perked up slightly in his chair, and Clarke couldn’t help but feel a surge of pride at the confident young man he’d become, such a far cry from the boy she remembered.

“Great, actually, mentoring alongside Al has actually been endlessly enlightening despite all the horror stories you had of your time with her.” Lexa’s eyes narrowed and Clarke choked on the drink she was sipping on.

“You call that crazy toad Al?”

“She’s not that bad,” Aden brushed off, “really, I think the two of you were just too busy posturing to get to know each other, she’s much more pleasant now.” Lexa scoffed, leaning back into her chair.

“I do not posture.”

“Baby,” Clarke intervened, kissing her gently at the nape of her neck, “I love you dearly, but you definitely posture. It’s hot, sometimes.”

“Only sometimes?”

“Don’t push it.”

Aden laughed into his drink, and Atom rolled his eyes.

“Don’t act like you don’t Mr. I-went-to-an-Ivy-League. You’re just as guilty of acting like a massive peacock as your sister.”

Ha! Take that, pipsqueak!”

“Pipsqueak? Last time I checked I was taller than you. And I’m pretty sure my biceps are bigger, too.”

“Why you little―” before anyone could do much of anything, the two Woods siblings were engaged in a scramble of strength, and, well, posturing, wrestling a few feet away from the table, and the scant few waiters and waitresses just rolled their eyes and walked around them, collecting menus.

“There’s this one wine that goes particularly well with the salmon,” Ana pointed out to Clarke while Aden had Lexa in a rather convincing looking headlock. At Clarke and Atom’s concerned glance over at the siblings, Ana brushed them off. “Don’t mind them, this happens at least once every time we visit the lodge, except I think this is the first time Aden’s big enough to stand a fighting chance.”

“Come on, son!” Alex encouraged. “You’ve lost for too many years, don’t let your sister beat you into submission again.”

Clarke and Atom exchanged a look as if to say, are we really joining this family? But Clarke knew she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Did you bring Goose along for the trip?” Abby asked, to which Clarke shook her head.

“No, our friend Luke’s catsitting for us, Goose is just as high-maintenance as Lexa when it comes to the weather, and would throw a hissy fit if we took him away from his California sun.”

Concede!”

There was more rolling around, and then a distinct thud as the two of them made contact with another table, and then, finally, silence.

“You only won because I’m jet-lagged,” Lexa grumbled, while Aden preened, chest puffed out.

“Whatever makes you feel better about yourself, Lex, but victory is finally mine.” Alex high-fived him as he went to sit back down, and Ana absentmindedly fixed his hair while Lexa sulked.

“It’s okay baby,” Clarke consoled, “you’re still a winner to me.”

The tensions settled as the food arrived, alongside a very, very expensive selection of wines that Clarke didn’t want to think about.

“Oh, Lex, by the way, Forbes wants to do that photoshoot with us when we get back. We’re getting the cover.”

“I do remember getting that email, it got lost somewhere in all the promotions. Forward me the details?”

Sometimes, Clarke was still stunned by the way Lexa handled things so casually, that this was her life now, but she was slowly getting accustomed to it. To the magazine covers and televised interviews and invitations from Ellen ―that one Clarke didn’t think she’d ever get over―to events around Hollywood. This was her life now, so different from anything she could have imagined as a teenager back in the small suburbs of Arkadia.

She could have never seen herself sitting here, among one of the most successful families in the country, having dinner and laughing with them, leaning into the side of the woman she loved more than anything in the world, her own career soaring, happier than she’d ever been.

Sometimes things just worked out for the better, she supposed.   


 

A little wine drunk, and very Lexa-drunk, Clarke didn’t expect to get back to the room in their cabin, to find that .

Lexa had wrapped her scarf around Clarke, pulling her closer, the two kissing as they pushed the bedroom door open.

Clarke had been giggling, her eyes glowing with adoration, tasting the wine off Lexa’s plump lips, already a little kiss swollen.

“Your cheeks are so red.” Lexa whispered, cupping her gloved hands around Clarke’s face. “Are you cold?”

“No.” Clarke grinned. “But I am looking forward to laying down by the fire with you.”

“Tired already?” Lexa pouted. “I have plans for us.”

“What kind of plans, pretty girl?” Clarke asked, turning around and gasping.

While they were gone out to dinner, Lexa had arranged, somehow, for Clarke’s new art kit to be splayed out along a mat, in front of the fireplace. Paints, brushes, anything Clarke could ask for had been neatly organized.

Clarke froze, gaping, and then turned to Lexa.

“How?” She demanded.

Lexa smirked, shrugging.

“Lexa!” Clarke shrieked, as if the excitement was just now hitting her. “How?!”

“Don’t worry about it. Go check it out. It’s an early present.” Lexa was foolish to think Clarke wouldn’t attack her in a fierce hug, rendering her unable to breathe.

“Whoa, hey-” Lexa wheezed.

“I fucking hate how amazing you are.” Clarke grumbled into her coat. “I don’t have an early gift for you.”

“Well, this one is for both of us. It’s interactive.” Lexa laughed lightly, and Clarke’s heart throbbed at the sound. “Go look.”

Reluctantly, Clarke released her girlfriend to go observe the paints. Lexa shucked off her coat and watched with amusement as Clarke eyed every paint, making silent gasps at the obvious quality.

“Lex.” Clarke made a face. “This is amazing, baby, but I don’t have-”

“-A canvas?” Lexa quipped.

Clarke turned, and found Lexa stripped down to her underwear, kept warm by the crackling fire.

Clarke’s breath hitched, and she swallowed the lump in her throat.

“Um…” Clarke breathed. “I uh...wow.”

Lexa chuckled, motioning to herself. “Here I am.”

“Sexiest canvas I’ve ever seen…” Clarke whispered, standing up shakily. “Lex, are these-”

“Body paints.” Lexa explained. “Oh, and they’re edible .”

“Shut the fuck up.” Clarke gasped.

Lexa grinned. “I thought it’d be a fun treat to-”

Clarke was already stripping. “Sit!” She commanded. “Get some pillows. Get comfy. Play our sexy playlist.”

Lexa was laughing at her enthusiasm, enthralled by her passion for art. “Okay, love. Remember to breathe.”

Clarke waved her off, shaking her head. “Best girlfriend ever.” She mumbled jovially under her breath, watching as Lexa moved with the pillow before her.

“Face up or down?” Lexa queried.

“Well, first up. Then down.” Clarke decided. “I want to cover you in paint.”

“Whatever you like.” Lexa smiled, handing her wine glass over for Clarke to have a sip. “You’re the artist.”

“You’re the art.” Clarke countered, unscrewing the cap off a bottle to take a whiff. “Oh my god it smells...good. And not like flavored lube that tastes passably edible, like...good.”

“A beautiful similie.” Lexa praised, earning an eye roll from Clarke.

“Lex. I’m going to stroke your ego.” Clarke sighed, setting the bottle down. “And I’m going to say this once so it doesn’t go to your head.”

Lexa smiled, propping her head up, clearly enjoying herself.

“You are the most romantic human being I have ever known.” Clarke informed her, leaning down to kiss her softly. “I love you, and I love this gift. Thank you.”

“Clarke, it’s my pleasure.” Lexa whispered, stroking Clarke’s hip, where her tattoo was, a reminder of her love for Lexa.

“Really? I’m sure you could think of better things to do then just lie still with me for hours on vacation.” Clarke snorted.

Lexa’s eyes remained serious and true. “I really couldn’t.” She promised.

Clarke’s heart just about melted, and she leaned into Lexa’s hug, closing her eyes to savor the feeling.

“Thank you.” Clarke whispered into the crook of her neck.


 

“Is it done?” Lexa asked, turning her head to look at Clarke. She was face down in the pillow, Clarke straddling her ass to paint on the beautiful, toned and muscled expanse of Lexa’s back.

“Just about. The fire is drying it out quickly.” Clarke noted.

Lexa tapped her phone, sliding it back to Clarke.

“Take a picture.” She reminded.

“Right. I hope you like it.” Clarke whispered nervously as she snapped the picture.

Lexa scoffed into the pillow. “How could I not? It’s you.”

Clarke smiled warmly. “Alright. Have a look.” She presented the phone to Lexa, who took it, and fell silent.

Clarke had painted a scene straight out of a winter wonderland. A forest- their forest, covering in frost and snow, powdering the tips of the leaves. A starlit sky, with swirling, colorful constellations above. There, blending into the constellations, Lexa’s warpaint shape- dripping into the tops of the trees.

At the bottom of the trees, into the blanket of snow, Clarke had elegantly wrote A.A.W. and a small infinity sign.

When Clarke glanced up, Lexa was crying.

“Don’t cry.” Clarke whispered, leaning off her. “Please don’t cry.”

“It’s beautiful, Clarke.” Lexa sniffled.

She always loved the way she could feel through Clarke’s art. It said what words could not, it conveyed Clarke in layers, in such a depth that Lexa could not even begin to explain, but she could perceive every sentiment.

She could feel Clarke’s love- in every stroke, in every swirl in every constellation, in every edge of every leaf, covered with snow.

And where she’d written Lexa’s initials, with the infinity sign, it made Lexa’s heart ache uncontrollably.

Clarke was telling her she loved her, in so many ways.

Clarke came down to lay beside her, the two sharing a pillow, both bare in front of the crackling fire.

“It’s dry, don’t worry.” Clarke whispered, stroking her face as Lexa adjusted to get closer.

“It’s so beautiful. I...I…” Lexa choked, and couldn’t find the words.

“It reminds me of you. I...I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it. I’m just glad you love it.” Clarke smiled, kissing away her tears.

Lexa wound her arms around Clarke, the two slowly kissing as she managed to catch her breath.

“You have…” Lexa paused, breathy at her lips. “Such a gift. It’s incredible, Clarke. I…”

Clarke was blushing furiously, as if it wasn’t her long time girlfriend telling her something she told her every day.

“This is supposed to be fun.” Clarke sniffled herself, now emotional as well.

“Sorry.” Lexa laughed softly, burying her face in Clarke’s neck.

“Don’t be.” Clarke gripped her hips, needing to feel Lexa’s skin.

She loved the closeness, the way they constantly liked to be touching, to simply give in to their aching love for one another. It felt so right , without the need to explain it to one another.

She loved Lexa more than she thought it was possible to love anyone in a single lifetime. She loved Lexa enough for a hundred lifetimes, and she knew Lexa felt exactly the same.

And in some cliche sense, she realized, that was truly the greatest gift in the entire world.

Lexa’s love for her, and her love for Lexa.

They stayed like that for a while, simply touching, trading kisses to warm and tender skin, nuzzling and smiling.

Eventually, Clarke broke the mold of the silence, reaching over to Lexa’s hand, grasping it in her own, examining her fingers, long and elegant.

“You have an artist’s hand.” Clarke told her with a grin.

“I can do a lot of things with these, but drawing isn’t one of them.” Lexa chuckled.

“I don’t know...what about painting? You’re pretty good at stroking.” Clarke teased.

Lexa blushed and smirked simultaneously, perhaps the perfect character description for her.

“Wanna try?” Clarke prodded.

“On..you?” Lexa asked.

“Well you said it’s edible. And...you’re going to need something to eat.” Clarke teased once more, licking her lips.

Lexa eyed Clarke with a knowing grin. “I can think of a few things…”

“Woods.” Clarke huffed. “Paint on me! It’s fun.”

“Alright.” Lexa leaned back. “Where should I paint?”

“Anywhere!” Clarke grinned, splaying herself out for her.

Lexa smiled, leaning forward to kiss Clarke’s stomach first.

She glanced up at Clarke’s eyes, her lips against Clarke’s skin.

“Love you.” She mumbled, partially muffled by Clarke.

“Love you too, beautiful.” Clarke ran her fingers through Lexa’s hair, the position awfully close to when Lexa was between her legs. “Now focus.”

“Yes ma’am.” Lexa grinned. “Why don’t you get a brush and paint on me, too? Away from the masterpieces, though.”

Clarke grinned back, excited at the mere idea.


 

An hour later, the two girls were giggling, hysterically, almost. The wine had increased, the fire had glowed to embers, and the two naked girls were completely buzzed, enjoying the tickles of the wet brush against each other’s skin.

“Can I look?” Clarke asked, as Lexa worked on her stomach.

“No.” Lexa huffed, incredibly focused, tongue in cheek.

“Let me see.” Clarke whined.

“Clarke.” Lexa mumbled, eyes glued to her work. “This is a very delicate process.”

“Lex.” Clarke grinned, leaning up just to cup her cheeks, ignoring her whine of protest. “You’re such a nerd. It’s fucking cute.”

Lexa’s pout morphed into a giggle at Clarke’s lips.

“Hey!” Lexa whined. “I’m not cute. I’m fierce.”

“You’re both. And it’s sexy.” Clarke confirmed. “So finish this up.”

Lexa gulped, dropping the brush. “It’s not important.” She confessed, upon hearing that sex was now on the table.

Clarke laughed, rolling her eyes. “Oh come on, what can it- LEXA. Seriously?”

Lexa smirked. “It’s great.”

It was really only classified as a beginner stick figure drawing. Lexa had drawn herself (denoted by the eye paint that made it look like she was crying thick mascara filled tears) and Clarke (denoted by her veil and an arrow that pointed to her character and the sloppy writing of “C L A R K E” underneath). They were holding hands and stepping on a bunch of other stick figures, with a huge heart surrounding them.

The other stick figures were labeled “Luna, the Queens, Jasper-” and so on.

“It’s us getting married on top of our enemies.” Lexa puffed out her chest proudly, her wine drunk smile enough to send Clarke into a fit of laughter.

“I see that.” Clarke laughed. “It’s wonderful. Kind of ruined the sex vibe with your toddler-esque drawing skills.”

“What did you draw?” Lexa remembered, glancing down at her thigh.

A very well illustrated golden retriever wearing her jersey (complete with number 13 and eyepaint), with a football in its mouth.

“Airbud?!” Lexa huffed. “On my thigh, Clarke?”

“Your abs were taken!” Clarke defended, pulling Lexa down onto her. “C’mere.”

“Mood killer.” Lexa huffed, burying her face in Clarke’s neck.

Clarke played with her baby curls, smiling dumbly to herself. She loved this idiot on top of her so much, it hurt. They could go from having a serious conversation between lovers to being completely moronic best friends in seconds, and she cherished it.

Lexa was truly everything to her.

“It’s okay that the mood is killed.” Clarke whispered. “I love holding you, anyway.”

Lexa hummed, almost purring, like a pleased kitten. Clarke smiled at the sound, hugging her closer.

“Me too.” Lexa agreed softly, kissing the soft spot at the base of her neck.


 

The next day, Clarke and Lexa were indulging in a moment of relative peace, tangled up together in front of the fireplace, limbs intertwined, soaking in the warmth of the flames and the presence of each other, basking in the tranquility of a rare moment of silence.

“STOP WHATEVER GAY BULLSHIT YOU’RE DOING! MAMA’S HOME!”

Though she would never admit to it, even under threat of death, Lexa yelped―startled by the very violent intrusion on their peaceful moment―and fell gracelessly off the couch she and Clarke were situated on, landing on the ground in an uncomfortable pile of limbs.

Raven, as it seemed, just had a talent for catching Lexa off-guard.

“One of these days,” Lexa swore, rubbing at her head, “I’m going to kill you, Reyes, mark my words.”

“I’m too pretty to kill,” Raven brushed off, flinging herself onto the spot on the couch now vacated by Lexa, “and besides, Anya would kill you.”

“That’s debatable,” Anya muttered as she trudged through the door, lugging along all of Raven’s bags, “family first, and all that.” Raven shot her a betrayed look to which Anya responded with an eyeroll, and Lexa groaned as the rest of the delinquents, and a few of their significant others, began filing in after her.

“I forgot what it was like for them to all be in the same room together.”

“You’ll survive, baby, don’t worry,” Clarke assured, patting her on the head as she rose up to greet her friends, some of whom she hadn’t seen in months.

“Woods.”

“Murphy.”

“Oh stop pretending you hate each other and hug already, I hear your sappy friendship FaceTimes.” Clarke grinned and hugged Emori, who shoved a begrudging Murphy towards Lexa, and the two of them hugged for a scarce moment.

“Whipped,” Monty coughed into his jacket sleeve.

“Oh shut up giggles .”

“Where’s Jas?”

“Here!” he popped his head out from behind Lincoln. “Sorry, I had to hide.”

“He tried to sell weed to the doorman,” Octavia explained, “the doorman took offence.” Lexa took a deep breath and rubbed at the bridge of her nose, casting her eyes skyward as if to ask for divine help.

“Do you just always have weed on you? Like, all the time?” Bellamy asked. Jasper blinked at him owlishly, then looked at Monty as if to say look at this idiot. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

Lexa was introduced to Bellamy’s girlfriend―how he managed to get one, she couldn’t fathom―a kind young archeologist he’d met while abroad in Greece named Gina, and immediately decided that she liked her infinitely more than she liked Bellamy.

Miller was present as well, just as Lexa remembered him, only with significantly more facial hair. Jasper’s girlfriend―the fact that he had a girlfriend shocked Lexa to the core more so than even Bellamy, as she’d never thought he’d find time away from being stoned to successfully score a date―couldn’t make it, as she was off celebrating Hanukkah with her family somewhere in the Alps.

 “Your family is crazy, Lexa,” Octavia complimented as she took a seat opposite Clarke, “like, this lodge is straight out of High School Musical. Except more extravagant. And we’re adults instead of high schoolers, and we all already have significant others. So, really, not much like High School Musical at all.”

“We’ll find Kane’s mutt love, I’m pretty sure I saw a skier with a monster of a mastiff on our way up,” Murphy consoled, and, as if she knew she was being talked about, Pauna raised her head from where she was keeping watch near the balcony, and thumped her tail a few times on the heavy woolen carpet underneath her.

“The last thing we need is baby Paunas,” Lexa shuddered at the very thought.

“I don’t know, babe, I have been wanting a puppy lately.”

“You can have any other puppy in the world, just not one of hers . It’d kill Goose.”

“That cat needs to be scared a little.” Lexa glared at Anya as she came to sit by Raven. “You spoil him too much, he’ll end up being as much of a brat as you if you keep going down the path you’ve set.”

Lexa looked offended, but Clarke jumped to console her.  “You’re a wonderful mother to our cat, and eventually, you will be to our future baby, Alexandria Anastasia Woods.” The two of them stared into each other’s eyes for a long moment, forgetting about the gathered crowd, focused entirely on one another.

“Do you see this shit? I swear, they get gayer and gayer every time I see them. You’d think this would’ve worn off after their first couple months of dating, but noo, they’re still all sappy and shit.”

“Don’t be jealous, Raven, it doesn’t suit you,” Clarke grinned, and Raven rolled her eyes.

Everything suits me, I’m fucking hot.”

“Thanks, babe,” Anya smirked.

Things simmered down after that and the conversation settled as they caught up, banter flowing between the friends easily. Though she protested their presence as often and as loudly as she could, Lexa loved the delinquents as much as Clarke did, even Jasper.

“He sort of grows on you,” she murmured to Clarke, while he was busy beguiling Raven with the latest stories of his misadventures as an ardent chemist and part-time weed dealer, “like a fungus.” Clarke snorted up some of her champagne and Lexa grinned wickedly. “You know I’m right.”

“Worse things have been said about Jasper, I’m sure he’d like that one.”

“Oh, hey, Woods, remember those jerseys you signed for me back in college? I put them up on ebay and I was totally right, your signature aged like a fine wine, they are just rolling in the numbers! I’m gonna use the money to fund my research on―” Lexa drowned out the rest of his speech and rubbed at her temples.

“I take back what I said. We’re never letting him near our children, he’s going to be a terrible influence and probably going to make them take pictures with strangers for money.”

“He’ll be the weird uncle who visits on holidays,” Clarke bartered, “besides, Monty’ll be able to keep a tight leash on him, he’s always been able to.”

“I don’t trust it.”

Lexa liked Emori and Murphy the most, other than Anya and Lincoln. Somehow, amongst all the chaos, they were the most sane out of all the people amassed at her family’s lodge. Murphy had his legs thrown up on Emori’s lap, and she was tracing absent patterns on the exposed skin of his knee, because despite the frigid weather and the snow, Murphy was still wearing ripped jeans.

“Sometimes you have to suffer for your aesthetic, Woods,” he’d explained with a disdainful sniff, “not like you’d understand, or anything.”

He looked the most at ease Lexa’d ever seen him, and she was flooded with gratitude towards Emori for providing him with such a safe little cocoon of love to exist in, especially after all the pain he’d suffered before she’d even gotten the chance to know him. Truly, they were suited for each other better than most couples Lexa knew―she would still be biased and say that she and Clarke reigned supreme in the couples category, though. Emori’s free hand was laced with one of Murphy’s, and he was smiling almost absentmindedly as he talked to Clarke, just happy to be in the company of the woman he loved the most, and his friends.

Lexa was happy for him.

“I still can’t believe I missed out on so much by not going to Polis,” Emori said as she shook her head, “John would tell me about all the crazy things that happened to you three and I wouldn’t believe him, but then something would pop up on social media about it and I’d be like well fuck .”

“College was a pretty hectic time in our lives,” Clarke agreed, “Lex’s fans can be a bit much. We love them, but they’re… intense.”

“It’s much better now that they’ve warmed up to Clarke,” Lexa assured, “and that they can see that she’s just as special, if not even more special, than I am.”

“Flatterer,” Clarke grumbled, pressing a quick kiss to Lexa’s knuckles.

“It’s not flattery if it’s true,” Lexa defended.

Emori made a happy little sound and Murphy smiled down at her adoringly. “You two are just adorable together, I’m so happy we get to be those couples together.” The simple yet elegant band on her ring finger glimmered in the light―Lexa had helped Murphy pick it out―and Murphy squeezed her hand tighter.

“I was just thinking the same thing about you two,” Lexa admitted, sinking further into Clarke, who snuggled into her side. Emori’s attention was grabbed by Monty, who was gathering everyone for some card game he’d concocted that involved heavy drinking, and Clarke smiled at Lexa.

“See? Aren’t you glad we had them come?”

“They’re alright,” Lexa said, but her smile gave it away.   


 

“Clarke, what are you worried about?” Lexa nudged her as the white powder fell all around them, blanketing everything on their way to the slopes. They were to meet with the rest of the group by the lifts, after they got their equipment.

Clarke took a moment to answer, eyeing Lexa up and down in her outfit. Damn, she even knew how to make winter sport clothing look good. Lexa wore a beanie (a rarity, for the brunette), her hair falling down the side of her shoulder in waves. Her scarf was tucked into her jacket, and frankly, she looked like a goddess.

Clarke, on the other hand, had an older jacket on, and threw her hair in a messy bun, not realizing that Lexa was drooling over her just as much.

“What am I worried about?” Clarke echoed. “Uh, you said you’re not an olympic skier.”

Lexa snorted. “Hardly.”

“But is this one of those things where only you think you’re not good and you actually are? Or is this the kind of thing like….you and ice skating.”

Lexa pouted. “Clarke, I can’t help that I’m bad at ice skating- it’s designed to be slippery!”

Clarke smiled, and then remembered the issue at hand.

“Clarke.” Lexa drawled. “Who are you trying to impress, anyway?”

“You!” Clarke gaped. “Your family!”

Lexa smiled, pulling Clarke close. “Relax.” She murmured. “I wouldn’t let you fall, Clarke.”

“You can’t control it when we’re hurtling down a mountain at the speed of light.”

Lexa grinned. “I sure can.”

“Cocky.”

“You love it.”

“It’s...attractive.”

“Mhm. Besides, Clarke, how experienced can the rest of the Delinquents be, anyway? You’ll be in good company.”


 

Monty and Jasper’s skis were stuck together, Raven and Octavia had collided whilst trying to get up and slammed their heads, Bellamy and Lincoln were trying to race each other in the bunny slope area, Anya and Lexa had already skied a black diamond with Ana and Alex (and Abby, whom Clarke didn’t know to be a pro skier until now), and Clarke was struggling to move a few feet without falling.

Ah, winter sports.

“Guys! Stop flailing!” Clarke warned at Raven and Octavia, who were dangerously near her boots. “Or you’ll- oh shit -”

Clarke fell backwards dramatically, tripping over Raven’s arm.

She braced herself for impact, only to be buoyed by Anya’s hand on one side, and Lexa’s hand on the other, just coming down from their run.

“Whoa.” Clarke gasped. “Thanks.”

“Least I can do, considering it was mine who tripped you.” Anya playfully glared at Raven, who huffed, “Hey Shaun White, if you’re done peacocking the whole mountain with your cousin, wanna help?”

Lexa’s arm, however, lingered around Clarke’s waist, as she teetered easily on her skis.

“You okay?” Lexa questioned.

“No.” Clarke huffed.

“Let me help you.” Lexa grinned, and god, she looked beautiful with the little flakes of snow clinging to her hair.

“Away from the circus?” Clarke glanced at the motley group, still mostly on the floor.

“Away from the circus.” Lexa confirmed with a smile. She moved backwards, arms outstretched. “Come to me, Clarke.”

“I feel like a toddler.” Clarke grumbled.

Lexa bit back a smirk. “You’re doing great.”

“That’s it. Now straighten out your skis so they’re parallel.”

“Lexa I’m- Hey! It’s working! I’m moving!”

“Good!” Lexa beamed. “Close the gap.”

Slowly but surely, Clarke slid over to where Lexa was, hands wobbly as Lexa supported her weight.

“My legs hurt.” Clarke groaned.

“I’ll massage them tonight.” Lexa promised.

“You’re just sweet talking me to get me on the slopes already.”

“Is it working?”

“No.”

“Massage and chocolate?”

“Now you’re talking, Woods.”

“Hm. If I knew you could be bought so easily, Pride and Prejudice would’ve been far less of a debate.” Lexa smirked, and watched as Clarke lunged for her. “Catch me if you can, Clarke.”

“Oh, I will!” Clarke huffed. “I’m taking your cocky ass down a notch.”

Lexa grinned as Clarke subconsciously began moving towards her, far quicker than previously expected.

If there was one thing that fueled Clarke, it was her own stubbornness.

And Lexa was happy to help.


 

“Holy shit.”

“Clarke-”

“Holy shit -”

“Clarke-”

“That’s a long way down.” Clarke murmured.

They were just seated on the chair lift, going to meet the others at the top of the slope, Clarke just having gotten the hang of it.

“Hey.” Lexa squeezed her hand. “Don’t even think about it.”

“Distract me?” Clarke batted her lashes, and Lexa smiled.

“With what exactly?”

“An Alexandria Anastasia Woods childhood story.” Clarke smirked.

“You just had that prepared, huh?” Lexa smiled amusedly.

“Yes.”

“Okay.” Lexa leaned back in the chair. “Well, when I was younger, we were always making trips out here.”

“With your parents?” Clarke questioned.

Lexa tsked. “No, not always. On the times they did come, they were usually entertaining clients, so we didn’t see much of them anyway.”

“Aw.” Clarke murmured softly.

“Well, we started coming here when I was four or five- my parents purchased their share by then. Most of the time, Aden and I would be put in daytime lessons, and then we’d finish by late afternoon. We were too exhausted to cause trouble, and our parents had our au pair look after us.”

Clarke frowned, biting her lip.

“My favorite days were the ones where clients would cancel.” Lexa continued thoughtfully. “Mother and father would take Aden and I out to race.” Lexa’s eyes were full of wonder. “I was young, but I wanted to compete with them.”

Clarke’s heart clenched at the thought of little Lexa, practicing so hard just to impress her parents.

“We’d retire early to go sledding, and have snowball fights. I remember going to bed on those nights, after a cup of hot chocolate, and thinking….that I never wanted those nights to end. They were such a rarity.”

Clarke squeezed Lexa’s gloved hand with her own, and Lexa smiled.

“And then, my parents stopped coming altogether.” Lexa sighed. “Work picked up, and the resort was an afterthought. In my teens- I’d come with Aden. As you can remember I found my….womanizing self by that point, and I was just so angry . I would spend my winter break chasing after girls and never pursuing anything, and even Aden was fed up with me. It just wasn’t the same, and we never came back.”

Clarke blinked. “Until...now?”

“Until now.” Lexa confirmed.

Clarke glanced at her, wishing she could hug her properly, but their skis would tangle.

“I’m so sorry.” She whispered instead.

Lexa shook her head. “It’s all better now, Clarke.”

Clarke nodded, and then wore a quirky smile.

“What?” Lexa chuckled amusedly at her expression.

“So, you were chasing other women…” Clarke drawled playfully.

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Girls, Clarke. I was, like, sixteen.”

“....Were they hotter than me?” Clarke teased, feigning her jealousy, enjoying the way it took Lexa’s mind off her parents.

“No one is more beautiful or radiant than you.” Lexa informed her, leaning over to kiss the corner of Clarke’s mouth. “Oh, look! We’re at the top.”

“Great.” Clarke mumbled.


 

By the time the group was finished skiing, everyone was semi-exhausted, moving to return their equipment.

Clarke plopped her ass into a chair, skis still attached.

Lexa stepped over, kneeling in front of her.

“Assistance?” Lexa offered with a knowing smile. “I would call you princess, but I know you hate that.”

Clarke leaned forward. “I’d like it coming from you.” She informed her. “But Wanheda, the commander of death will suffice.”

Lexa snorted a laugh, taking Clarke’s skis.

“Thank you.” Clarke called after her.

Lexa did a little bow and smiled before turning around.

As quickly as she could, Clarke shucked off her boots, heading over to the chair where Abby, Ana, and Alex were seated.

“Hey, guys.” Clarke drawled, glancing over her shoulder. Lexa was still in line, so she had time.

“Hi honey.” Abby smiled. “Did you have fun?”

“Yeah.” Clarke nodded quickly. “Actually, I was wondering- what are your plans for the rest of the evening? All of you?”

Ana and Abby exchanged a glance. “I think we were going to settle in by the fire with some wine, why?”

Clarke rocked on her heels awkwardly. “Well. I was talking to Lexa, and she was reminiscing about her favorite times here...and she mentioned your tradition of sledding, snowball fights, and hot chocolate. I was thinking, if it’s not too much, because I know you guys are busy….but I would love to recreate that for her.”

Alex and Ana exchanged what could only be described as a look of pure adoration.

“Oh, dear, that’s a wonderful idea. Right, Alex?” Ana asked, her voice softer than usual.

“Yes. I think it’s fantastic.” Alex nodded.

“Great.” Clarke beamed.

Just then, Clarke felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Are Aunt Ana and Alex bugging you?” Anya teased, having warmed up to Clarke considerably after truly understanding how deep her affections ran for Lexa.

“No, but I could use your help, if you and Lincoln are willing?” Clarke turned with a smirk.

“...Sure, with what?”

“I need you to take Lexa on a walk in the woods.”

“...That’s not sketchy at all.”


 

“Guys.” Lexa sighed as she trudged through the snow, Anya, Aden, and Lincoln at her side. “Not that I don’t love good old family time. But it’s freezing, and this is time we could spend cozying up to our significant others, instead of...I don’t know...Wandering through the woods.”

Aden and Lincoln exchanged grins at her antics.

“Has the big bad commander gone soft?” Anya teased.

“Shut up, An.”

“Anya’s right, Lexa, you love exercise.”

“Lincoln, we went skiing for hours.”

“Stop complaining, Lex.” Aden nudged her. “It’s like the good old days!”

“Yeah, as in mom and dad aren’t here.” Lexa mumbled.

The group shuffled through the snow.

“She’s just moody cause she misses Clarke.” Aden told the group in a sing-song tone.

Lexa didn’t argue, just wore a tiny little pout because maybe that was one hundred percent true.

“Stop!” Anya lifted her head, eyes wide.

Lexa froze. “What?” She whispered.

Anya turned to Lincoln. “Skaikru.” She whispered.

Lexa’s brows furrowed adorably.

“This deep in Azgeda territory?” Aden supplied, his jaw tensed.

Lexa frowned. “What the fresh fuck are you tal-”

“Do we have scouts?” Lincoln hissed.

Anya nodded to the trees behind them, where something moved.

Lexa froze. “Okay, seriously, guys, what the fuck is-”

“Kom war!” Aden screamed, as something whizzed past Lexa’s head.

“Protect heda at all costs!” Lincoln shouted as he pulled Lexa down on top of him.

A clump of snow fell apart in the ground beside her head, and Lexa froze, a slow grin spreading on her face.

Oh, god, she fucking loved Clarke so much.

From behind, a hand reached out, helping her up.

“Dad?” Lexa whispered in awe.

Alex smiled, keeping Lexa crouched as he escorted her to their makeshift “fort”- a long wall of snow they’d built while Lexa made the long walk out.

Clarke had planned all of this, for her.

Lexa truly had no words.

And there was the ever regal Ana, scooping up ammunition in the form of snowballs, and piling them for Lexa’s troops.

“Mom?” Lexa gaped, feeling giddy, like a child.

“I have the opposition report, Heda.” Ana shook her head, staying in character.

“I….uh…” Lexa blinked. “What is it?”

“Their numbers are stronger. They outnumber us by two.” She replied. “I suggest taking prisoners.”

“And Clarke?” Lexa grinned.

“I know not of “clarke”. Wanheda, however, is leading the opposition. She needs to be put down at all costs, Heda.”

Lexa’s eyes widened as she watched the trees across the clearing. There, Monty, Jasper, Bellamy, and Octavia ran out, launching snowballs left and right.

Lincoln grinned at Octavia, dodging her throws with ease, as Anya made it her personal mission to take down Bellamy, Jasper, and Monty with a single throw. When they all slipped and landed on their asses, she murmured, “Triple kill. Nice.”

Lexa thought she saw a halo of blonde move behind the trees, and decided to take the offensive.

“I’ll be back.” she announced as she slipped out of view, going to flank the trees. While everyone else was busy at war, she slipped around to the other side, watching Abby run to war with her mother.

Shaking her head with amusement, she continued sneaking past.

“Uh uh uh.” Raven tutted. “That’s far enough, don’t you think, Woods?”

Lexa whipped around, eyeing her as she held a snowball, ready to launch.

Lexa put her hands up. “I’m only here for Clarke.” She laughed nervously.

“I know. But she’s the leader of our resistance. I can’t let you do that.” Raven sighed dramatically. “So I’m going to have to kill you.”

“Come on now, Reyes.” Lexa smirked. “You don’t wanna challenge a quarterback to a throwing contest.”

“You have nothing to throw.” Raven smirked. “I’d say it’s fair.”

“Don’t do this.” Lexa warned.

“I’m sorry, Lexa. This is for my people.” Raven huffed, the two girls hiding their grins of amusement. Raven moved to launch the snowball, but instead, lurched forward.

When she fell, it was revealed that a snowball had hit her in the back.

Lexa heaved a sigh of relief, glancing up.

Clarke was standing there, breathing hard.

“What the fuck?” Raven sat up. “Griffin, you traitor!”

Clarke only smiled, waving her off.

“Go catch Octavia or something.”

“I died protecting you!”

“I appreciate it.” Clarke grinned, watching her run off to join the rest of the fight.

“Hi.” Lexa breathed, eyes wide, breathless at the sight of Clarke.

“Hi.” Clarke echoed, heart pounding.

“You….planned all this?” Lexa practically whispered.

“Mhmm. I like that childish gleam in your eyes when you’re having fun.” Clarke replied, moving forward to close the space between them.

Lexa’s breath caught in her throat, and she couldn’t remember the last time she felt so achingly in love- so much so that it felt like she couldn’t breathe.

“Hey.” Clarke whispered, wrapping her arms around her. “You okay?”

“I’m…” Lexa trailed off. “I….”

Clarke cocked her head curiously.

“Marry me.” Lexa whispered.

“This again?” Clarke grinned. “I said yes a million times.”

“I...I don’t know how else to…”

“Oh god, I broke her.” Clarke murmured amusedly. “Come here, you.”

Lexa dipped her head instantly, kissing Clarke with unmatched vigor.

“This is my early present, then.” Clarke whispered against her lips. “I don’t want you to waste this precious time kissing me. Go to war, Commander. We can kiss a whole bunch after.”

Lexa remained steadfast, pulling her close.

“I love you, Clarke Abigail Griffin.” She brushed her nose against Clarke’s. “So much.”

Clarke smiled, closing her eyes, enjoying the close feel of Lexa, enjoying the radiant happiness that came off her in waves.

“I love you, too, Lex.”


 

Christmas went as fast as it came, and while the exchange of gifts was always fun, Clarke was beginning to enjoy new year’s just as much.

Something about a new year with Lexa had her incredibly excited, more so than reflecting on the year they spent together.

It was truly something, to be so in love that the prospect of 365 more days together was enough to send Clarke’s heart into a fit.

And now, on the new year’s eve party in the lodge, it was all coming to fruition.

Aside from Octavia’s “Oh my god this really fucking is high school musical”- everyone was excited to celebrate the new year.

By 11:50, everyone had either gathered around the bar or the lounge, some by the television, most of the couples finding each other.

The lodge played classic, old style tunes, and Clarke and Lexa had gravitated to each other in a sort of slow, swaying motion, with Lexa’s hands at Clarke’s hips, and Clarke’s arms wound around her neck.

“So.” Lexa whispered, swaying slowly with Clarke amidst a few other couples. “What do you think this year will bring us?”

Clarke scoffed. “Hard to tell, these days. I mean, you’re already on the cover of Forbes. What else is there?”

They both knew exactly what was next on life’s grand to-do list.

“I’m proposing.” Each girl announced at the same time, and then fell into a fit of laughter.

Clarke watched Lexa laugh, her heart fluttering once again at the beautiful sound.

“Me first.” She mumbled, leaning up to steal a kiss.

“Stop.” Lexa whined. “I’m going to beat you to it.”

“So competitive.” Clarke snorted.

“Okay, ignoring that, what else?” Lexa teased.

“Babies.”

“Oh, really?”

“Lexa. I saw you playing with that toddler in the lounge yesterday and I swear to god, my ovaries exploded.”

Lexa cocked a brow. “You saw that?” She asked.

“Yes. You were so sweet with her.”

“Okay, so next year we have: A proposal, a wedding, and apparently a pregnancy.”

“Okay….maybe not all at once. Not that I don’t want it, but...for the sake of our sanity.” Clarke clarified, still swaying with Lexa.

“Any resolutions I should know about?” Lexa asked amusedly.

“Same lies. I’ll eat better or exercise more or whatever.” Clarke mumbled with a laugh.

“Any truthful ones?”

“Yeah.” Clarke’s eyes twinkled. “I want to pay attention to the things that make you happy and surround you with them, because you deserve the best.” Clarke admitted, and then moved to kiss a tear away. “Oh, don’t cry.” She chuckled. “You’re so emotional.”

Lexa sniffled softly. “My resolution is to love you more.”

“I don’t think that’s possible.”

“Well, it’s my resolution to try.” Lexa admitted valiantly.

A glance at the clock and a sudden upheaval in the noise of the lodge told them the countdown was beginning.

“A minute left.” Lexa whispered. “Anything you want to tell me?”

Clarke grinned. “Alexandria Anastasia Woods- I have enjoyed spending every second of time with you this year. Waking up next to you is the best part of my day, rivaled only by nights where I fall asleep with you in my arms. You’re the one beautiful constant in my life, and with you by my side, I couldn’t care less what year it is- I know it’s a great one. Thank you for making my life so special.” She whispered, lining Lexa’s face with kisses. “You have thirty seconds to top that, baby.”

Lexa grinned, eyes watering like Clarke’s.

“Clarke Abigail Griffin, you changed my life entirely for the better. You’re everything to me and I live to see your smile. You challenge me every single day, and I love you for it. I have never loved anyone or anything as much as I love you, and every day feels like a new year with you. Thank you for saying yes.”

“Oh. Good one.” Clarke teased, leaning forward as the final seconds were called.

“Love you.”

“Love you more.”

The new year was sealed with a kiss, a kiss soon interrupted by joyful laughter, as Clarke and Lexa continued to sway. The music was long gone and changed around them, to a cacophony of shouts and laughter, but they continued to sway, smiling knowingly against one another’s lips.

They would do so, again and again, for many more years to come.