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My Heart is the Hardest to Break

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Lexa tangles her hair up, scooping up curly strands in her hand and winding a band around it, adjusting it carefully. “I’ve been meaning to ask, why on earth is getting up at five in the morning something you want to do? To work out no less?” Costia’s voice is scratchy with sleep and if Lexa were looking at her she’d be able to see the look of pure horror on her roommate’s face at this decision.

Lexa snorts and turns from the mirror to look at Costia who was too light of a sleeper for her own good. Her hair scraggly and drowsiness still in her eyes. “I had a system back home, I kind of lost track of it.” She shrugs nonchalantly as she ties her shoes.

“Okay psycho, I mean, I guess it explains your body. I was wondering how it looked so good.” Costia grumbles and turns toward her wall, pulling her blanket back up to her neck. “Turn your lamp off before you go.” Her voice muffled into the pillow.

She’s never been so glad for the dim light and Costia not looking at her. It’s too early to be teased about her blushing habits. “See you later.” She offers as she switches off the light and pulls the dorm room door open, exiting once she hears Costia’s tired grunt in goodbye.

The hall has a few dawdlers, but Lexa doesn’t notice as she makes her way out of the building to begin her jog, a path she mapped out last week in her head. She takes the turns and enjoys the quiet of the morning, the whip of the wind in her ears and the casual increase of her heart rate. She’s always enjoyed this, especially very early in the morning just as the sun is beginning to rise. There’s hardly any people out and about and the world feels quiet. It’s a kind of peaceful Lexa can never achieve any other way.

She doesn’t know at exactly what time in the planned out run that she veers off across campus. She doesn’t know at what time she had stopped jogging to climb the hill and she really doesn’t know at what time she finally got to the top and was now staring at the back of a blonde head, hunched over a book or maybe a sketchpad, Lexa isn’t sure. From here she can’t exactly see it.

She wanted to say something, anything. Even a simple hello, but again she felt shy and a little bit nervous and kind of stupid, after all, she didn’t exactly know why she came this way in the first place. She sighed to herself and was just turning to leave since she couldn’t figure out a good opening line when Clarke twisted her body to look behind her. She smiled instantly, and Lexa’s heart stuttered for a second. “Good morning,” She told her brightly. “You always sneak up on people?” She teases, that signature smirk in place and the blue in her eyes is too blue for Lexa to properly think before 6 A.M.

Lexa blushes and rubs the back of her neck awkwardly. “I was just running.” She mumbles, voice too quiet she’s almost sure Clarke doesn’t hear her.

But the blonde seems to, only turning back around and hunching over her book again. “You can sit if you want?” She calls, and Lexa bites her bottom lip briefly contemplating it before taking a seat next to her, conscious that she’s sweating so she makes sure there’s a bit of space between them.

“What are you drawing?” Lexa mumbles, pulling her knees to her chest so that she’s almost sitting in the same position as the day before.

“The sky, do you always get up before the sun to run?” Clarke’s focus is fully on the pad in her lap, the furrow of her brows as she draws is always quite interesting to Lexa, like her mind is working overtime and she can’t possibly imagine drawing the sky can really cause such a mental dilemma, but Clarke always looks at her notebook like it’ll explode if she doesn’t draw every line exactly right.

She wonders why, if it’s only a quirk that all artists have in their own way, or if it’s yet another form of Clarke’s personality reaching out and scraping the surface so Lexa can see her. “I used too.” Lexa mumbles. “Do you always get up before the sun to draw?”

Clarke stops for a moment, again like she’s thinking too hard, but it lasts only a moment before she’s shrugging her shoulders and is back to drawing. “Something like that.” Her voice is quieter when she says it, like there’s more to it than just the simple movement of her pencil against paper to copy the image unfolding in front of her.

If Lexa were braver, she’d ask Clarke what she means by “something like that”. Instead, she deflects. “You um, didn’t text me.” She hates the way her voice can only seem to rise a little above a whisper. She really hates the way the words sound when they leave her mouth, like she’s desperate for Clarke to talk to her.

But Clarke doesn’t seem to realize the way it sounds, or maybe she just pretends she doesn’t for Lexa’s sake. “I was going to this morning, I didn’t think you’d be up at five thirty.” Clarke smiles over at her, glancing just briefly and the rising sunlight in the sky brushes across her features perfectly so her eyes look just as blue as the day before as the sun had been setting.

“We could talk about it now?” Lexa asks shyly, and Clarke’s pencil stops as she takes her gaze from her drawing to fully look at Lexa now. Lexa looks away so as to avoid the way her heart races when their eyes meet.

“Okay, what day is good for you during the week, for the tutoring?”

“Um, Thursday, in the evening?” She grabs a leaf off the dried ground, dead and already withering. She slowly pulls it apart, it crumbles in her palm.

From the corner of her eye she can see Clarke’s normal wide smirk, that pencil behind her left ear again as she shuts her notebook. “I can do Thursday.” Clarke is watching her carefully now and as the silence suddenly carries Lexa wishes she knew what to say to break it.

She just felt like she was awkward, and she didn’t want Clarke to think she was awkward. “Are you still…” Lexa takes a small breath. “Do you still plan on helping me?”

Clarke’s smirk widens, eyes lighting up with pure amusement. If Lexa knew her better perhaps she’d understand the look, but now she can only assume that perhaps it’s either apart of Clarke’s façade or Lexa just genuinely interests her. “Helping you get a girl? Of course, that was the deal though I stand by what I’ve said before. Lexa, I really don’t think you need it.” The blonde shrugs and Lexa hides behind her hair to avoid the blush being noticeable.

“You don’t know me that well.”

“Hmm,” Clarke tilts her head to the right and again Lexa has turned her head without having noticed it to stare at her. “I suppose that’s true, but I hope that changes.”

Lexa’s heart picks up a beat even though she’s trying to tell it to stop. “Yeah?”

Clarke chuckles. “Yes, I mean tutoring would be kind of awkward if you don’t like me and I’m trying to help you get laid, so we should probably be friends.” The blonde shrugs and drops her gaze down at her notebook though the pencil remains behind her left ear. It’s almost as if she’s drawing even when she’s not drawing.

Lexa scoffs, “I didn’t say anything about laid.”

Clarke waves her hand. “Get laid, hook up, go on date whatever, point is I’m helping you.” The blonde smirks widely at her as she again removes her gaze from the notebook in her lap so that their eyes can meet.

Lexa wonders what it is about Clarke that makes her heart do funny things. “Do we need… um like a set day for that too?” She picks up another dried leaf and tries to focus on it as it crumbles but finds that it’s too hard to keep her stare from meeting Clarke’s. She doesn’t exactly know what that’s about either.

“Oh no, no we’ll just talk, and I’ll give you tips and maybe we can go out together some time and I’ll show you some stuff?” Clarke’s still grinning, and Lexa thinks that if she could draw people like Clarke can she’d draw Clarke in this moment.

“Out?” She asks feeling a little perplexed at the concept of actually leaving campus with Clarke, at Clarke showing her how to flirt? How would that work?

Lexa blushes at the thought. “Yes, like test runs and examples? I don’t know that’s what I did with Octavia.” The blonde shrugs and picks at the spiral of her notebook, something she must have done a few times throughout the year with how bended and out of shape it already is.

“That’s who you love doctored?” Lexa thinks the question sounds weird as it leaves her tongue, but she tries not to shy away from it.

Clarke giggles. “Yes, she’s pretty happy. They’ve been together a year.”

“Oh,” Lexa mumbles a bit impressed with that. She doesn’t exactly have long term goals or anything, she just… needs some help socially and Clarke’s very popular and with what Anya says she’s good at this kind of thing so. And maybe Lexa just wants to get to know her a little better, to understand her, to strip away the reputations and labels and see her for just her? Whoever that might be. She bites her bottom lip and looks out at the view, getting distracted for a moment by the colors and the light that slowly descends upon campus.

“Can I…” Clarke seems to almost nervously run her fingers through the side of her hair, pushing the locks back behind her ear. Lexa isn’t sure if it is nervousness or not, she doesn’t know Clarke well enough to identify it. From what she’s seen so far Clarke is rarely nervous, maybe she doesn’t even have the actual capability of being nervous. Lexa doesn’t know… she would kind of like to know. “draw you again?”

Lexa’s so tired of blushing but it’s relentless nonetheless, spreading up her neck and flushing her face before she can stop it. She pulls her hair down from where she had it wound up and fluffs it out to try and hide her face. “I should be running.”

“Okay.” Clarke nods and looks out at the view too.

“Maybe… tonight?” She offers up a little more confidently than she’s expecting, which seems to surprise the blonde a bit.

Clarke looks at her again and she meets her gaze, she’s probably still blushing, can sort of feel it, knows she must be with Clarke’s eyes straying along the features of her face temporarily before meeting her own green eyes again. “At sunset than?” Clarke’s smile is genuine and soft.

Her gaze is softer… Lexa thinks she’s too incredibly gay for this. “Yes, at sunset.”

 

***

 

Lexa runs back with little understanding of who Clarke actually is. She’s quite a mystery, so much so that it almost makes Lexa physically laugh out loud when she remembers Clarke telling her that she was the mysterious one the day before. There’s just something about Clarke. She’s very hard to read.

Lexa hopes that’s not just a façade like Anya says.

It’s near 6:15 when she finally makes it back to her dorm room and Costia is up and bright eyed by that point. Her hair styled and her make-up on point as usual. “Hey hot stuff, you want to go down to that place across the street for breakfast instead of hitting up the cafeteria?” Costia greets her with a warm smile and Lexa corks an eyebrow at her.

“You have time for that, I thought your class is at 6:45?” She grabs a water bottle out of the mini fridge set up on the left side of her desk by the door and starts to guzzle it, watching Costia watch her for a moment, an unreadable expression on her face.

Costia looks away from her briefly. “It… is.” She seems to say like she hadn’t realized her own schedule.

It’s curious but Lexa doesn’t really contemplate it. “I have to shower, maybe we can meet up and go down there after your class?” She offers instead, screwing the lid back on the over half empty water bottle and placing it on the desk.

Costia seems to think it over a minute. “But you’ve got Kane at,”

“There’s time.” Lexa smiles at her sweetly and watches Costia’s eyes as they examine her for a brief moment. She looks one hundred percent ready for the entire day, no trace of exhaustion that she had indicated at when Lexa had left for her run can be seen and Lexa wonders how she managed to wake up so fast.

“Alright, sounds good to me.” Costia shrugs and turns around to pull her backpack from the corner of her bed and grab a pencil from her nightstand.

“Have a good class.” Lexa offers sweetly and can’t help but smile as Costia seems to offer her one as she heads for the door, walking past her.

“Thanks Lexa, you too.” She strays for a minute, a genuine and friendly smile on her face. She really is very pretty, Lexa thinks maybe she’s lucky to have a roommate that’s so nice to her and so comfortable with Anya already.

The brunette lets out a long heavy sigh once she’s gone, dropping on her bed and staring at her ceiling while she thinks of the hill and Clarke’s eyes in the sunlight and what the hell is always going through her head and why does she have to be so damn curious about it? Is it because Clarke is so pretty? Or is it because she’s Anya’s nemesis and it’s a natural protectiveness that sisters get?

Protective is a weird word for this situation, protect Anya from Clarke? That sounds weird to her… it’s still hard to imagine Clarke as someone who would be mean for the intention of hurting someone else. Then again Clarke’s reputation, or at least what she’s been told by others (though they’re not exactly friends of hers, so is what they’ve told her even unbiased truth?) is another interesting and intriguing turn to her.

Does Clarke care about people? Or does Clarke give a shit about nothing but herself?

Really Lexa doubts the answer is so one dimensional as Clarke has many motives for the way that she is and the way that she acts the same way that Anya or Lincoln or even she does as well. A person is not just one façade they are multiple and though Lexa is probably wrong to be so damn inquisitive she’s adamant to figure out all of Clarke’s.

If not for any other reason, for the soul purpose to know her sister’s enemies, as she’s here to keep her calm and sane and figuring out how to make her experience at this university more peaceful is one way to do that. Clarke is a direct disruption of that peace whether she’s meant to be or not and Lexa would like to find some way to solve that.

She huffs out that last thought and pulls herself from her bed to make her way to the shower, moving mechanically through the motions and trying hard to not think about tonight, and the sunset and being captivating enough to draw? But it’s something else… Clarke wants to draw her because of something and it has nothing to do with captivating, Lexa’s almost sure of it.

It’s really just her luck that her sister’s enemy would be so beautiful and so talented. She shuffles through the rest of her morning routine deep in thought until the vibration of her phone alerts her from across the room, just as she’s tossing her used towel in her hamper. She crosses the space and picks it up, unlocking it to look at the message from the unknown number.

1-213-203-0313 (6:53 A.M.): how about around 5 on Thursdays?

Lexa (6:55 A.M.): that sounds good to me

Clarke (6:55 A.M.): Good, see you then Lexa :)

Lexa stared at it for an unreasonable amount of time. She knows she does. It’s probably absurd, if anyone knew that she spent this amount of time smiling and looking down at her phone just because Clarke Griffin texted her, not only would Anya’s head explode but she’d get made fun of for eternity.

And yet… she’s still doing this.

 

***

 

“We should really check out that club across town.” Luna says as Anya pulls the door open to the restaurant across the street from the University.

Lexa’s thinking by Costia’s expression that maybe she should have avoided mentioning it earlier after running into Anya and Luna. Maybe she hadn’t wanted them to come. “No, I hear it sucks.” Anya mumbles in reply.

Lexa pushes her fingertips through the side of Anya’s hair, brushing strands back behind her ear and watching the calming effect it has on her. “Oh, look it’s Clarkey, all alone!” Niylah taunts from across the small space as they stand to await a seat. The blonde doesn’t look up, flipping through a text book and biting into a sandwich on her plate.

Lexa tried her best not to look at her, and to somehow block Anya’s vision of her because Anya had been a little on edge today and though Clarke seemed to be minding her own business, it was just her existence that could set Anya easily off. “Where are your friends Clarkey, did they leave you?”

Lexa rolls her eyes. “What do you want, I’ll pay for it.” She smiles kindly at Anya and watches her sister contemplate participating or not. It must be Lexa standing next to her, Lexa’s fingers still running through the side of her hair, Lexa smiling sweetly at her that keeps her in such a calm mindset. “Let’s just get a burger.” Anya finally mutters after moments of contemplations.

“You got it.” She responds softly, keeping up the movements in her hair and trying her best to keep Anya distracted and relaxed. It mostly seems to be working.

“How much would you pay me to accidentally spill something on her?” Echo asks from beside Niylah behind both Lexa and Anya. She grits her teeth; the whole thing is ridiculous.

“Please, why do I have to pay you? Just do it.” Niylah snickers.

Lexa knows that her movements through her sister’s hair won’t be enough if their friends keep going, she needs to nip this in the butt before it continues. “Can we please just eat?” Lexa pipes in, uninterested in the drama beginning to brew.

Anya seems to sense her mood. “Leave Griffin alone, we have better things to do.”

She shrugs but Luna looks surprised at her. “Anya,”

“What? I said leave her alone.” Her voice is sharp, but her expression is more relaxed and Lexa knows it’s because she’s next to her.

“Fine.” The pair grunts behind them in disappointment, looking at Clarke’s figure almost longingly as if they can’t tolerate not being somewhat petty for twenty-five minutes.

It’s a little dramatic and below Lexa’s interest bar but her sister seems to be in a less agitated mood and that’s where her focus lies. If her eyes happen to stray to Clarke every few minutes it has nothing to do with the fact that her hair is up in a messy bun and has straggling strands of blonde around her face and for some reason that’s really, really quite thought-provoking to her.

“How many?” The hostess asks once she returns to her podium.

“Six,” Costia says like she dreads the number and glances at Lexa, but Lexa isn’t exactly paying attention. When she’s not stealing glances in Clarke’s direction she’s mainly focused on her sister as if she can see her mood shifting like different colors.

“Follow me.” The woman is all kind smiles and bright eyes as she grabs six menus and heads toward the same direction that Clarke is sat in. Lexa hopes for not only Anya’s sake but the blonde’s (since Anya’s friends seem to be on the antagonistic side today) that they are seated faraway.

She pretends she and Clarke’s eyes don’t meet for that half a second that it takes as they pass her table, she pretends Clarke’s smirk doesn’t appear and make her heart skip its own beat like she’s never experienced a nice smile shot in her direction before. She pretends she’s not blushing even as she feels the heat rush across her face and even as Clarke noticeably examines it before they’re completely past her.

She pretends she can’t feel Clarke’s eyes on her back, but she can, and she wonders if to anyone else that it’s obvious, that it’s obvious that Clarke is so beautiful that Lexa’s eyes stray to her or that it’s obvious that she can’t help thinking about her even as she’s shoved in a booth and pressed between her sister and her roommate.

She wonders if Clarke has any of these kinds of problems? From what people say, no… no she doesn’t.

Lexa hopes that’s not true.

They hostess tells them the name of their waiter and disappears from the table, kind smile still in place. When she’s gone Lexa, flips open her menu and listens to the chatter of her friends as they try to decide what to eat. She searches out the burger section to check the prices though she gets distracted by a picture of a dish that looks particularly good when her phone vibrates in the front pocket of her jeans.

She frowns for a second, still looking at the contents on the page in front of her as she’s pulling out her cellphone. She pretends she doesn’t feel her heart stutter at Clarke’s name lighting up on her screen.

She unlocks it too quickly to seem casual but makes sure neither Costia or Anya can see her phone.

Clarke (12:32 P.M.): baby woods needs practice

Lexa (12:33 P.M.): if you call me that again we will never be friends

Clarke (12:33 P.M.): phew sassy, now that’s more like it if you’re going to make it Anya’s posy.

Lexa (12:33 P.M.): I’m terrible at group things

It’s no lie. She’s always been good at taking care of people but when it comes to fitting in, or more like following people she’s always been quite bad at that. Her mother always said it was because she was more of a leader, Anya seemed to think it was because she was shy. Lexa figured out that it mostly was just because she was never that interested in everything that others seemed to be interested in.

Clarke (12:34 P.M.): Is it even possible for you to be mean to somebody Lexa?

Lexa (12:34 P.M.): yes

Lexa (12:34 P.M.): sometimes

Lexa (12:34 P.M.): maybe

Lexa (12:35 P.M.): no

She can hear Clarke laugh from two table’s away even though she can’t see her and her heart skips on its own accord. It definitely doesn’t skip because Clarke’s laugh is raspy and beautiful, most certainly not.

Clarke (12:35 P.M.): I’m sure you could be mean if you were defending somebody

Clarke (12:35 P.M.): otherwise you’re too sweet.

Lexa (12:36 P.M.): Ur underestimating me, I could be mean to you.

Clarke (12:37 P.M.): oh I’m sure

Lexa (12:38 P.M.): give me time to think about it

Clarke (12:39 P.M.): cute, but not how this works Lexa

Lexa (12:40 P.M.): Aren’t art students supposed to smell like paint?

Clarke (12:41 P.M.): Is this ur attempt?

Lexa (12:41 P.M.): Becuz u smell nothing like paint

Clarke (12:42 P.M.): Ouch Lexa, you got me, that really hurt, how cruel.

Lexa (12:43 P.M.): I think I’m starting to dislike you as much as Anya does

Clarke (12:44 P.M.): U r not, face it Lexa, I’m charming. You like me.

“Who are you texting Lex?” Costia cuts into her daze, head tipping as if she’s trying to see but Lexa locks her screen just in case.

“Oh, just someone from Indra’s class. They need help studying.” She shrugs it off, like it’s no big deal and goes back to looking at the menu in front of her down on the table.

Anya had been distracted in a discussion with Niylah across the way about something to do with Kane’s boring tone when he talks but she seems to drift off from that when she catches Lexa’s response. “Well you can’t tonight, remember, Harry Potter marathon?”

Costia tips her head forward so she can see Anya. “Is that what we’re watching?” Her tone seems to hold some disinterest.

Lexa glances at her, “you don’t like Harry Potter?”

“I just thought we could watch like Buffy or something,”

“We’ve seen Buffy ten billion times.”

Lexa chuckles a bit. “Why don’t we go see something instead, something we haven’t seen before?” She offers as Anya and Costia both look at her.

“But you’re the one that wanted to watch Harry Potter?” Anya says higher pitched and Lexa knows just by glancing at her that really, it’s her that wants to watch it the most.

“But Costia doesn’t?”

Costia is quick to interject after that. “We can watch it if you want to watch it Lexa.”

“Well, okay.” Lexa shrugs and looks back down at her menu, filtering through the options before she focuses back on the phone in her lap.

Lexa (12:55 P.M.): That’s yet to be decided ;)

 

***

 

 “Hey Lexa, how was lunch?” Clarke is smiling down at her in front of her desk and it takes the brunette a second to realize that she’s even talking to her or that its taking her an unusual amount of time to respond.

She blushes because what else can she do? “Fine, yours?”

“Quiet, I didn’t realize today was Thursday? Did you want to jump onto that studying tonight or start next week?” Clarke’s smirk is as it always is, pretty and stapled there holding together her normal image.

Lexa’s eyes only glance briefly at the freckle above her upper lip before she’s meeting Clarke’s gaze, hoping she hadn’t noticed. “Oh, uh,” Lexa licks at her lower lip in thought and pretends she doesn’t notice the way Clarke’s eyes dip lower to watch the action. She wonders if Clarke’s mind thinks in pencil because sometimes when she sees something her left hand twitches like it’s looking for a paper to trace it on. “Did you want to do tonight?” She wishes her voice was louder as she said it.

Clarke still looks at her with her usual smirk in place, though her eyes keep tracing different areas of Lexa’s face and her hand twitches every few moments. Lexa wonders if Clarke finds her as fascinating as she finds Clarke or if it all means something else entirely. “I’d love to tonight, I don’t have plans, do you?”

“Oh…” Lexa thinks about the planned movie night with Costia and Anya she had been invited to in her sister’s dorm room. “No, I don’t.” She doesn’t know why she says it, like spending time with Clarke is suddenly a pull and Lexa (though she’s aware of how gay she is) will still blame it on the intrigue.

“Great, still five than?” Clarke’s smirk has turned into a hopeful smile. It’s different from her usual smirk but Lexa tries not to be noticeable about studying it.

“Yeah.” She manages to say evenly.

“Alright, see you than Lexa.” Clarke smiles wide and genuine, or at least it feels genuine, Lexa’s still trying to learn her smiles.

The conversation seems to end there and though Lexa begs herself to think of something to say, she can’t manage it and Clarke is walking up the steps in the room to her normal seat behind her before she does. It’s not a big loss, if anything it’s a good thing as Lexa is already breaking her own rules at staying away from her and if Anya knew who she was about to ditch their movie night for her head would actually explode.

It’s about ten minutes into class when the phone in her pocket vibrates. Normally she’d have it on silent, maybe even stuffed in her bag, because school had always been a big focus for her. But since she’s gotten here, her focus and priorities have been mostly revolved around Anya and because of that she keeps her phone on her and at least on vibrate, just in case Anya every really, really needs her.

It’s not Anya though.

Clarke (1:32 P.M.): Have you decided if I’m charming enough to like yet?

Lexa frowns for a second as she types her reply.

Lexa (1:33 P.M.): you can’t be that desperate for friends?

Clarke (1:34 P.M.): Who said anything about desperate. I’m just as shocked as you about this, I mean ur a Woods… that name is my sworn nemesis.

Lexa (1:36 P.M.): That sort of makes you sound like a fifth grader.

Clarke (1:36 P.M.): A fifth grader that you like tho?

Lexa (1:37 P.M.): Our friendship depends on the answer to this next question.

Clarke (1:37 P.M.): wow, pressure already, our relationship only just started.

Lexa (1:38 P.M.): Shut up, Hogwarts house?

Clarke (1:39 P.M.): Guess

Lexa (1:40 P.M.): Do I look like the sorting hat to you?

Clarke (1:41 P.M.): Well, I mean, you do sort of get this look like ur trying to decide where everyone goes all the time

Lexa (1:41 P.M.): the fate of our future is now on your shoulders, bare the weight.

Clarke (1:42 P.M.): Poetic, I’m a Gryffindor, wbu?

Lexa (1:43 P.M.): Slytherin.

Clarke (1:44 P.M.): And who said all Slytherin’s were evil

Clarke (1:44 P.M.):

Clarke (1:45 P.M.): Ironic don’t you think?

Lexa (1:46 P.M.): what is?

Clarke (1:46 P.M.): Ur sister and ur friends hate me and my friends and yet here we are trying to be friends and we just happen to be in Hogwarts houses that clearly directly oppose each other.

Lexa (1:47 P.M.): Not ironic, only accurate

Clarke (1:48 P.M.): So what house would I have had to say for this friendship to be even more impossible than it’s appearing now?

Lexa (1:49 P.M.): Hufflepuff

Clarke (1:50 P.M.): Hufflepuff hate, I thought you were better than that Woods

Lexa (1:51 P.M.): Well, we can’t all be mature 100% of the time.

If anyone were to ask Lexa would deny that she spent most of the class texting Clarke rather than paying attention.

 

***

 

“So, I was thinking.” Clarke clicked her pen a few times against the paper of her notebook. “If I’m going to properly help you, even though you one hundred percent don’t need it, I should know some things about this girl? Everyone’s different, sure you can spill a few lines but if you’re genuinely interested you’ve got a long-term focus, right? You need more than just a few lines. You need to impress her.” Lexa wonders if Clarke is aware that her hands move when she talks too much.

She furrows her brows, glancing up from the notes she had been distracted on taking before Clarke’s mind veered off on a different subject. “What do you mean?”

Clarke looks at her for a second. “Well if you don’t want to tell me who it is, give me something to work with? What does she look like, what does she smell like? What’s her interests, has she shown any interest in you?” For a second Lexa is sure her head is visibly spinning. She hadn’t expected the topic to come up so soon and for some reason she hadn’t at all prepared for these questions. She had no idea what she was supposed to say here, what the right answers were.

Lexa bites her bottom lip and hides behind her hair, scribbling a few words into her notebook to finish the thought she had, had before Clarke’s own thoughts had swerved off topic. “She’s…” She takes in a breath, trying to think of the best way to phrase all her answers to Clarke’s many questions.

Clarke seems to cut her some kind of break. Not a big one though. “Okay, let’s start with something simple? When did you meet her?”

Lexa licks her lower lip in thought, even though this answer doesn’t take that much. “Um, my first day here.” She says simply.

“Okay, did she express interest in you that first day?” Clarke’s gaze is wholly on her, as if she’s completely fixated. She is giving her undivided attention and Lexa almost doesn’t know what to do with it. She almost doesn’t know if she wants to keep it or if she’d prefer Clarke to be looking somewhere else while she asks her these questions.

“I… think so?” She answers with a quiet voice and eyebrows still furrowed in question.

“You think so?” Clarke’s smirk appears suddenly with that twinkle of amusement in her eyes. Lexa thinks she’s learned this smirk by now, this humored one she always gets when Lexa’s sort of shy about anything. She doesn’t completely understand the reason behind it, but she does know what it means.

She shrugs and looks away from the blonde to glance at the straggled words in her notebook. “I really… I’m not good at this stuff so I don’t know.”

“That’s okay… how about you tell me what you want?”

Lexa licks her lower lip again. “Her?”

“Well duh, I mean, when you talk to her, how do you imagine the conversation going? What do you want her to do and say?” She can still feel Clarke’s eyes on her and because this always seems to happen, she can’t control the turn of her head so she’s meeting her gaze again.

Unlike Lexa normally feels with most people when she looks into their eyes, she finds she’s actually not uncomfortable. There’s something about Clarke’s blues that makes them easy to stare into and Lexa’s not willing to dissect that information, she’s only willing to admit it. “I…” Lexa frowns as she thinks about it. “I don’t know. I guess I just want her to open-up to me. She’s… interesting.” She admits quietly before shyly looking down at her notebook again. She can feel the beginnings of a blush and would prefer to hide it behind her hair.

“Yeah, sure, you need my help.” Clarke rolls her eyes playfully and seems to scribble something onto a blank page. “What about her is interesting?” She asks after a moment of silence.

Another lick to the brunette’s lower lip and she knows they’re going to be chapped soon but it’s a habit. “She’s just… there’s just…”

Clarke snorts. “You really aren’t good at this.”

Lexa lets out a heavy sigh as a calm embarrassed blush makes its way across her cheekbones. “I told you.” She mutters in slight defeat.

“Okay, I can work with nothing.” Clarke flips the notebook shut. “I’m going to offer up a few pointers now, basics and you can try them, and I want you to tell me later if you like them or how they worked, sound good?”

Lexa takes in a breath and turns in her seat so she’s facing more toward Clarke. “Yeah.”

“Okay so you want to express your own interest so that the girl can be aware that you like her maybe and it doesn’t come out of left field. Flirt with her.” The blonde shrugs like that’s the most obvious thing in the world.

Lexa isn’t sure she knows how to flirt properly, as she’s always had a hard time identifying when someone was flirting with her. “Flirt with her?”

“Come on that’s not a surprise. Tell her her hair looks nice, compliment something she does, make her laugh, laugh at her jokes, flutter those long eyelashes of yours, undivided attention, girls love that.” Clarke waves her hand like all of this is obvious stuff that Lexa should already know. Or maybe she thinks she doesn’t need to be saying them because Lexa already does know them.

In a sense Lexa does know them, it’s just putting them into the right action she’s always had trouble with. “Oh yeah?” Lexa leans on the table propping up her elbow and resting her head in the palm of her hand, pushing away her notebooks and focusing on what Clarke is saying, watching the movement of her hands and the way her lips move.

“Yeah, they eat that shit up. Listen when she talks, but put yourself out there a little? This is all basic stuff, so I feel like you probably already do it.” Clarke frowns as she says it, looking away from Lexa as if a deeper thought has entered her head and she can’t get it to leave. Lexa would ask if they were closer friends.

But they’re not, so Lexa doesn’t. “You think?” Lexa watches Clarke eyes as they shift into a twinkle with the small grin on her face to accompany it.

“Yeah, you definitely already do it.” She’s grinning wider now, eyes shift across Lexa’s face and apparently Lexa’s posture.

Lexa blushes briefly as she realizes where she’s allowed her focus to stray too and sits up straight again, pulling her books back close to her. “I really feel like you don’t need my help, are you sure you’re having trouble?”

Lexa lets out a soft sigh. “Haven’t you noticed conversation is a little… lacking for me?” She glances at Clarke through the corner of her eye but quickly look away again as she shuffles through her notebooks to organize them for when she wants to shove them away in her bag.

Clarke chuckles. “Yes, but I feel like it’s part of your charm.”

“Charm?” Lexa snorts and Clarke’s grin grows wider.

“Don’t tell me you don’t realize you have charm? I’m pretty sure your roommate is in love with you.” The blonde rolls her eyes at that one and seems to want to distract herself from the topic as she pulls her notebook close and begins a new doodle next to whatever notes she had started but pushed away about Lexa.

Lexa frowns a moment, in thought. “Costia?”

Clarke scoffs. “You bought her flowers the second day you were moved in, she gushed about it in Pop Culture class.”

“Gushed?” The brunette asks a bit shocked.

“Oh my god Lexa, yes.” The blonde’s eyes roll again as she meets her gaze. There’s something in it again, something deeper with more meaning than she normally lets on. Lexa would love to know what it means.

The brunette blushes and hides her face behind her hair again. “Costia’s pretty.”

She doesn’t look at Clarke after she’s said it. “Is it Costia?”

Lexa shakes her head.

“Are you lying? You really don’t want to tell me who it is.” The blonde sounds a bit pouty as the words leave her mouth, Lexa thinks it’s almost cute when she glances at her and sees her arms cross along her chest.

She grins a little. “I’m not comfortable disclosing that information.” It’s mostly a tease but Clarke’s posture is already relaxed.

A soft smile shuffles across those lips but Lexa isn’t sure if it’s actually a real smile or not, as it doesn’t seem to touch her eyes. She’s starting to notice her most common smile, the façade one, never touches her eyes. “Okay, fair enough. I can work with a mystery.”

 

***

 

“I’m telling you Lexa, you don’t need help.” Clarke continues to insist as she’s shoving books and notebooks into her bag.

Lexa rolls her eyes like she’s done every other time Clarke has said that this evening and zips up her bag. “You can say that a hundred times, but I don’t believe you.” She admits honestly, feeling less shy the more time she spends with Clarke. The longer they talk the easier it is to be louder with her.

She begins walking toward the library door after that, seeing Clarke sling her bag along her shoulder and knowing she’ll be following her. “The thing is,” Clarke tugs on her sleeve to get her to stop walking toward the library door and Lexa turns to look at her. “If she isn’t already into you she’s probably an idiot.” The blonde discloses softly, and Lexa thinks she’s telling the truth because there’s a softness to her gaze that she only ever sees when the blonde is asking to draw her.

Lexa can’t help the small smile that attaches itself to her lips, stretching across her face so obviously that she feels like the blonde will be able to read every emotion she has with a single glimpse at her face.

Clarke smiles too, a real one, Lexa is sure this time. “Though it could be Anya’s fault, she is your sister.” The blonde breaks the moment naturally, eyes glancing down at her own shoes with a shifting grin, back to the one that doesn’t touch her eyes.

She wants to ask again, why her sister and Clarke hate each other so, but she doesn’t. “So I should just blame Anya for my lack of love life?” She narrows her eyes at Clarke briefly as the blonde only chuckles.

“Oh definitely, you’ve met her right?” She’s mostly joking but Lexa doesn’t laugh.

She rolls her eyes and turns back around.

Clarke stops her again, hand back on her sleeve only briefly skimming to stop her from leaving. “I’m serious though, if she’s not an idiot all you have to do is flirt a little and you’ll already have her on her knees.” The blonde shrugs, that smirk still in place and Lexa has a sudden need to see the other one, the one that makes the blue in her eyes twinkle, or to get that soft look again. There’s just something about managing to see even a glimpse behind whatever walls Clarke has built that Lexa is becoming addicted too.

She shakes her head. “That’s not the goal.”

“What is the goal?” Clarke laughs loudly, and Lexa thinks that sound is really quite lovely, even if the librarian is glaring at them from across the room.

“To get to know a girl that really intrigues me.” She says honestly, expression studying every inch of Clarke’s face that she can see.

“Really intrigues you huh?” Clarke studies her curiously back, that expression back on her face that she had seen earlier at one point when she had examined her drawing of her. It’s a distinctive look than any other, one that must be rare because the only time Lexa has ever seen it is in moments where it seems to be just the two of them.

“She’s… hard to understand, like she can’t figure out which part of her she’s willing to let the world know and which part of her she’s willing to bury so far below the earth that no one will ever find it.” She doesn’t know why she says that, or why it manages to tumble from her mouth so easily when she is gazing into Clarke’s eyes, but it does. Because there’s just something about Clarke that makes her so easy to talk too.

Though she’s quickly beginning to learn that Clarke, is not big on conversations that involve a deep microscope on feelings. She normally reverts to a joke and Lexa thinks maybe that’s just one of her many façades. “You’re kind of a nerd.” She says light heartedly, her hand reaching out to tap at Lexa’s upper arm playfully.

Lexa grins. “You’re kind of a dick.”

Clarke laughs beautifully again, and Lexa’s grin only grows widely at the sound. “Touché.”

“Goodnight Clarke,” She replies softly and goes to turn around again.

But before she can leave, Clarke is reaching out to her again, voice squeezing into a new tone that Lexa hasn’t heard from her before… desperate. “Wait the hill?”

She furrows her brows as she turns her attention fully back on Clarke. “Hmm?”

Clarke blushes now, like she hadn’t meant to voice the question out loud at all. “I thought we were meeting up at the hill tonight, for the sunset?”

Lexa smiles again. “Yeah maybe we are.” She likes knowing that Clarke wants to spend time with her. It’s possible that’s not what it is, but in a moment like this it’s hard to decide if it could really be anything else. Then again, this could all be a big game to Clarke depending on what’s really beyond those walls.

But Lexa has a strong feeling that Clarke only plays certain games, and it has nothing to do with being her friend. “I’d really love to draw you again; your face is so… expressive… beautiful.” Lexa blushes fully and it appears so quickly before she can retreat and hide behind her hair, though she still tries to escape it.

Clarke seems to decide now wasn’t the time to be quiet about seeing it. “I like it when you blush.” Her tone is light and teasing and full of something bright and shiny that it almost feels like Lexa can see it sparkling from her gaze.

Of course, she only blushes more but this time she’s not exactly afraid of Clarke seeing it, as the blonde seems so intrigued by her, so invested in her reactions, so genuinely interested in making her smile that it’s hard for her to imagine that being embarrassed by her blush should even be a thing.

She realizes that feeling must be only a shade of weakness as Raven appears next to Clarke with a grin wider than the sun itself and looking incredibly evil. “Are you making fun of baby Woods’s glasses Clarke because they’re kind of dorky.”

Clarke’s genuine wide happy grin has been replaced with something else, something less recognizable. “Shut up,” Clarke rolls her eyes and slowly there is no longer a smile there at all.

Lexa surprises herself when she feels desperate to make it return, not that she could with Raven standing right there. She sighs and doesn’t offer any words. The less time she spends with Raven the better anyways. “Bye baby Woods!”

“What do you want Ray?”

Lexa pretends she doesn’t miss the conversation she didn’t get to finish.

 

***

 

She decides to not go back to her room, in desperate need to avoid getting roped into the rest of movie night, or guilted, though she knows that Costia is most likely at her sister’s dorm room by now. She does feel somewhat guilty for ditching, after all she had helped plan it. But she can just make it up to them. Not on Thursdays however.

So instead she heads toward Lincoln’s gym, down the road from the University. She has no workout gear, she’s not even prepared for it. She just heads there, to check it out, to feel the environment, to decide if she wants to be there. She doesn’t expect Lincoln to actually be there when she shows up, as she didn’t plan it out, but he is, and he spots her pretty quickly with an excited smile on his face.

She grips the side of her bag as she waits for him, that large smile somewhat contagious and causing Lexa’s own to surface across her lips, though it’s noticeably much smaller. “I didn’t know if you’d actually come!” He says excitedly when he’s standing in front of her.

“Surprise!” She jokes, Lincoln’s grin growing even wider.

“Well let me show you around yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay so this is the cardio room,” and she listens as Lincoln takes her through the different areas, very much a normal gym with the same rooms and a nice sized pool. It’s when Lincoln takes her down some stairs that she gets curious. “This is where we kickbox late at night.” He swipes a card once they reach a heavy metal door and pulls it open.

“So, this is like an exclusive thing?” Lexa’s brows furrow curiously as she studies the large heavy door and Lincoln’s keycard as he moves to place it back in his pocket.

“Eh, not really, we mostly keep it on the downlow because we aren’t exactly interested in teaching, just mostly in somewhat skilled members.” She shrugs like it’s no big deal.

“It looks a little like an illegal operation, heavy metal door, keycards.” Lexa teases, grinning widely as Lincoln laughs at her.

“You could teach Anya to have some of that sense of humor you know.” Lincoln teases light-heartedly and Lexa laughs with him, feeling relaxed.

She waves her hand. “Please that’s a lost cause.” Lexa chuckles and glances around the room, various punching bags and other various objects designed for training scattered around the small area, an arena in the center that the janitor is in the process of cleaning.

“She’s happier with you around though. For a while there, I don’t know, was worried about her.” The taller guy says as they begin to walk further into the room. Lexa only glances at him before she focuses on a few pieces of wall art, her normal fascination clearly taking over briefly as she examines the pieces.

“She’s… she’s going to be okay. I’m sticking around.” She admits softly, letting her eyes trial past the art back to the main focus of her visit, the gym.

“That’s good, and not just for her because we’re looking for someone new for the competition this year.” He’s grinning again now that the possibility of a heavy topic has been moved past.

“Competition?” She quirks an eyebrow at her friend, a small grin fighting its way across her lips. She does like a good competition, she can’t lie about that.

“Oh, it’s not like professional, it’s just fun, between all of us, and a few other clubs that belong to a few other colleges around the state, some out of state.”

“So, like a competition than?” She confirms with a laugh.

“Yeah maybe.” Lincoln chuckles and begins to show her around the area.

 

 

“Hey what’s the deal with like you and Clarke?” Lincoln asks as they go to leave.

Lexa’s steps falter, nearly having her trip over the staircase. “I’m sorry?” She asks trying for clueless but probably sounding more like she’s chocking on her own air.

“She like throws erasers at you in Professor Indra’s class?”

Lexa lets out a breath. “Oh, oh yeah. I think she does. Or it’s just Jasper and Monty, she seemed pretty adamant on it not being her.” Lexa shrugs but just the mention of Clarke has her heart going crazy and she doesn’t know what that’s about.

“Oh, you talk to Clarke?” Lincoln asks curiously.

Lexa blushes, “Not… that much we have a class together so…”

“I’m sure Clarke comes to find you, she loves annoying Anya.” Lincoln laughs amusedly at that.

Lexa can’t explain it but the thought of Clarke only talking to her because it might annoy Anya makes her stomach turn in on itself. After learning Clarke a small bit, she can assume that, that is possibly not true, but it’s still a factor she hasn’t been able to rule out yet. “She does?”

“Yeah, you’ve noticed, haven’t you? Flirting with you and hanging around you is probably the best way to get on her nerves the quickest.”

Lexa frowns immensely but hides behind her hair so that Lincoln won’t be able to see it. “What is that anyway? Like how did it start?”

“I don’t know, I think it was over some girl originally back in Clarke’s freshmen year. But that could not be right? I transferred my sophomore year, so I came in the thick of it like you.”

“Huh, well.” Lexa lets out a little sigh. “My goal this year is too eliminate Anya’s stress, so with this whole, petty feud stuff I’ve got a lot of work to do.” She brushes her fingertips through her hair to push back messy strands from her face.

“Easy, get Clarke to fall in love with you.” Lincoln laughs. “If she even can fall in love.”

“You know, I hear that a lot.” Lexa is frowning again, she isn’t sure she’s a big fan of this conversation.

Lincoln shrugs. “I don’t exactly agree with her reputation, it’s a little exaggerated, I just meant… she’s a bit closed off that one.”

“Yeah? You talk to her then?” She asks, curiosity piqued.

“Oh.” Now Lincoln seems to be the one panicking. “Not much, just a few mutual friends so I see her sometimes. She’s mainly nice to me though, but… It just seems like she’s distant even when she’s not trying to be.”

Lexa can understand that, very well by now. “I see.”

“Yeah, anyways you’ll think about coming one night, test it out?” He smiles at her hopefully and friendlily.

“Yeah I’ll definitely think about it.” Lexa smiles widely, pulling her phone out of her front pocket to glance at the time. Her heart gives a small tug at the message icon and the time.

“That’s great, alright, I’ve got to get back to teaching kids karate.” He winks at her and squeezes her shoulder as he jogs off toward a room full of basketball hoops and gym mats.

Lexa watches him disappear before she opens her phone.

Clarke (8:15 P.M.): you standing me up Woods?

“Damn it,” She says under her breath and rushes out of the gym, uninterested in identifying this frantic motion to get to the same place as the pretty blonde girl who she greatly wants to strip the mystery away from.

 

***

 

“I didn’t think you were coming.” Clarke is sitting on the picnic table with her feet on the seat, looking out at the view. Her sketch pad is next to her, a bigger one this time and a pouch probably full of specific kinds of pencils beside it.

Lexa feels self-conscious just looking at it. “I… got held up with some stuff.” She offers as casually as she can, shoving her hands into the front pockets of her jeans as she makes her way across the pathway to sit on the top of the table next to Clarke.

She pretends she can’t feel the way her heart is beating by the proximity, pretends that it has nothing to do with the fact that she can smell Clarke’s normal scent and see the blonde of her hair whipping in the wind. “I know I’ve asked a billion times, but it’s still okay that I draw you right?” Clarke’s voice is slightly quiet, maybe a bit insecure and Lexa is surprised by it for some reason, so used to Clarke’s tone being full of nonchalance and confidence.

Though by now she’s starting to learn that when it comes to her own art, she seems a bit shyer about it. “I am here right?” Lexa tries for slight teasing, since they’ve been sort of doing that all day, but Clarke doesn’t seem to pay attention to it.

Clarke shrugs. “Well yeah but…” Clarke bites her bottom lip as she seems to think, and Lexa’s eyes follow the action curiously. She examines the features of Clarke’s face. Is she genuine, would Clarke draw her if she wasn’t? Or maybe her letting Clarke draw her is a direct risk? If Clarke is always a façade like Anya has said, like Lincoln had mentioned at the gym, then is she using one right now, with her, while they’re alone, while she offers to draw her? Is nothing about her real? Is she only the product of false geniality or is there so much more to Clarke than Lexa knows, than Lexa ever could know, than Clarke would ever let anyone know?

That option seems more likely.

How long will she struggle trying to dissect it and will it be too late by the time she gets the answers? “You can draw me.” She tells her finally, vocalizing it as she turns away from Clarke to watch the pretty scene of the sun setting in front of her, hoping that if she somehow avoids staring at someone who looks so much like the sun that maybe she could manage to ignore the feeling of her heart still beating aggressively against her breast bone.

She can’t help but think: Why is she more interesting to draw than this sunset? why would Clarke do it if she was only using a façade on her? With the way she seems to be about her art, she can’t imagine that Clarke would ever intentionally be fake or having some kind of ulterior motive for it. It just doesn’t seem like her… though Lexa can admit that she really doesn’t know Clarke that well. But what she does know, this just wouldn’t fit. “Do you want to keep this one too?” The blonde’s voice breaks her from her thought process.

She sets the contemplations aside for the time being. “Yes.” She says after a moment.

“Do you still have the other one?” Clarke seems to ask more for conversation and evading quiet as she flips open her large notebook and unzips the pouch of pencils she had brought to the hill with her.

“Yes.” Lexa says almost sternly, like it shouldn’t even be a question that Clarke has to ask. She blushes after that because that must sound like a bit too much for someone you’ve only just started talking too? She must sound like too much? But then again, isn’t asking to draw someone not once, but twice also a bit too much?

It doesn’t feel like too much, so perhaps neither one of them is crossing any sort of invisibly drawn lines. “That’s… nice. You know I don’t usually…” Clarke trails off for a second as she seems to sketch out the lines of Lexa’s face onto the paper in her lap. “draw people, nor do I share my drawings with people.” The blonde shrugs again and Lexa moves her gaze from the corner of her eye where she can see Clarke back to the sunset, trying her best to not stare.

She’s very interesting when she draws. Her focus is so clearly visible, it’s kind of magnificent. “What do you mean?” She asks to further the conversation after the quiet has extended for a bit of time longer than she had meant for it too.

“I mean… these kinds of drawings feel personal… I don’t know why I’m suddenly…” Clarke trails off again, focusing a bit too much on her paper and Lexa gets distracted by the scrunch of her eyebrows again. “so invested in getting you right.” The blonde shakes her head like she doesn’t exactly know what she’s trying to say, or maybe she doesn’t mean to say exactly what she’s saying out loud.

Lexa decides that maybe she needs to relax a bit because she’s looking at that paper like it might blow up in her hands if she makes one wrong mark. “Because I’m kind of cute?” She tries to tease, feeling a bit nervous as the comment leaves her lips. She’s really not good at this kind of thing but this seems like something Clarke has told her is okay to say.

Clarke laughs without restraint and Lexa’s heart swells on its own, she knows she’s said something somewhat right at least. “Yeah sure.” The blonde rolls her eyes but it’s clearly playful, and full of something completely new, something Lexa hasn’t quite seen before.

It’s soon replaced by the look of focus that had been there before, but she won’t forget it soon. “You’re really talented you know, that drawing you did and the paintings I’ve seen, they’re beautiful.” She compliments shyly, voice a little low again like she’s afraid of Clarke hearing the compliment.

It makes Clarke smile. “You think a drawing of yourself is beautiful?” Clarke teases lightly, smirking playfully in her direction.

Lexa rolls her eyes. “I think you drew someone else, she doesn’t look like me.” The brunette shrugs her shoulders and looks away from Clarke again to glance at the sunset, but Clarke has a pull to her, stronger than the beauty of a sunset and soon her eyes are back on her, her head turned toward the right to examine her expressions as they surface.

“Are you kidding? I know I need work getting you right, but she definitely looks like you. Captivating and… so fascinating.”

Lexa blushes. “Right.”

The conversation trails off for a bit, the sound of Clarke’s pencil and the slight ruffle of leaves and noise of the wind in her ears the only thing to accompany them while the sun is disappearing behind a few mountains. Lexa isn’t sure at what time she became comfortable with the lack of conversation, but she didn’t feel any desire to fill it like she normally would in most social situations and instead only sits, listening to the scratch of Clarke’s pencil and watching the sun disappear before her eyes, stealing glances as Clarke focuses with almost a frustrated look on her gorgeous features.

Eventually Clarke seems to think of something to break the silence though and the peace is momentarily disrupted. “I’m sorry about Raven.” She says softly, like the comment isn’t exactly intentional to say, but it sounds sincere despite it escaping on its own.

Lexa’s eyebrows only furrow as she thinks it over. “What do you mean?”

“She just… gets invested I guess. She shouldn’t be bothering you though, knocking your books over and stuff.” Clarke shakes her head as she says it, the scrunch of her eyebrows changing from focused to something else, something that Lexa also can’t quite identify yet. Another emotion that Clarke Griffin gets that the others must think she’s immune to or just doesn’t have.

But Lexa knows she has them, Lexa knows she has a lot of them. If she’s learned nothing about Clarke in these last two days, at least she’s learned that there’s a spectrum of emotions that shuffle through that pretty blonde head. Whether she chooses to acknowledge them and feel them or not is still up for debate. “You talk to Anya?”

“Me,” Clarke laugh but this time it’s not genuine or full and Lexa’s heart misses the other sound. “No, I try to avoid that thanks, but I did hear her yelling at Raven about it.” Clarke hunches closer to her page before she glances at Lexa’s face for a long moment as if imprinting her into her memory yet again.

She wonders how many times Clarke will look at her like that, and why that look always makes her feel so nervous and maybe a little exposed. “She yelled?” She can’t help her thoughts trailing off to her sister, slightly worried as she thinks about the scene that could have unfolded.

She should probably talk to her tomorrow, make sure she’s doing alright still. Sure, she checks every day in her own way, but she should make sure about this. The last thing Anya needs right now is to be worrying about her and scared she’s going to leave her. “Yeah Raven thought it was hilarious.” Clarke rolls her eyes.

Lexa frowns and turns away from Clarke to watch the sunset again, her focus lost for a second on the intriguing character that is Clarke Griffin and now on her sister. “I told her not to worry about it.” She sighs softly because of course Anya wouldn’t listen to her, Anya wouldn’t be Anya if she wasn’t stubborn.

She’ll have to do better at convincing her that she wasn’t going anywhere, and maybe getting Anya off her own back since that seems to be something that might cause unwarranted stress. “She’s your sister though, why wouldn’t she?” Clarke’s pencil stops scratching along the paper to glance up at her curiously, her brows furrowed and curious.

Lexa swallows, “Look um, if you see Anya yelling again can you do me a favor?” Maybe asking this of Clarke is the wrong idea, maybe this is a terrible idea and maybe trusting Clarke in any way is wrong, no matter how simple it is or what it’s even for, but Lexa can’t help it.

“Uh, what?” Clarke’s pencil is behind her left ear temporarily as she stares at Lexa with her right eyebrow raised.

“Text me.” She states simply and watches the expression on Clarke’s face morph into different emotions as she seems to contemplate the request.

She doesn’t give her a direct answer when she opens her mouth again. “Lexa… why are you here? Like, where did you come from?” She asks full of curiosity and that expression; god Lexa wishes she knew what that expression was. So deep in thought and feeling something that makes her seem like she’s ready to run or escape or maybe even scream.

What is it? “Washington D.C.” She says simply, herself not exactly comfortable enough with Clarke in this moment to disclose that information, despite her odd sense of placed trust she’s suddenly put in her hands.

Clarke scoffs, “Are you serious that’s across the country.” She seems shocked and so, so curious. Like its Lexa that holds all the mystery and all the buried emotions and quizzical expression on her face.

Lexa feels like an open book compared to the pages that are locked to the novel that is Clarke Griffin. “I’m not here for me.” She reveals.

“What do you mean?” That right eyebrow corks up again and Lexa finds for a few long seconds she only watches the arch of it.

Clarke is very pretty, and as she’s slowly getting bathed in darkness somehow her eyes are still as bright as the sky when it’s blue and clear on its sunniest days. “You’ll text me?” She says instead.

Clarke studies her for a long time. “I’m not averagely in the interest of helping my enemies but sure. I’ll text you.” She mumbles it before she’s removing the pencil from her left ear and hunching over her notebook again, eyebrows scrunching back into the position they’re normally in when she’s concentrating very hard.

“Thank you.” Lexa says after a moment and looks out at what’s left of the sunset, the sun long gone behind the mountains.

“God you’re jawline.” Clarke sighs heavily like it’s the hardest struggle she’s ever faced as her eraser moves across the page until she’s tracing patterns into the paper again. Lexa doesn’t peek, too self-conscious to look.

“What about it?” She asks shyly, licking at her lower lip with a sudden nervousness.

“It’s fucking perfect.” Clarke scoffs like it’s directly offensive to her. “Impossible to draw.”

Lexa can’t help the soft giggle that escapes its way from her chest up through her throat. “I’m sorry?”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re really sorry for being a gorgeous human being.” The blonde rolls her eyes playfully and Lexa’s blush is back, she lets her hair fall in her face. “Hey,” Clarke mumbles delicately, pushing back the soft strands of hair. She pulls her hand back after a moment. “Sorry, I… I’m just trying to draw and I… sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Lexa is still blushing, she’s well aware, but she’s more distracted by the blonde’s own blush, flushing across her cheeks. Clarke has sort of blushed before, when she’s asked to draw her, but it was always light, briefly there to hint that maybe she was nervous at sharing something kind of personal to her… this blush was not like those blushes.

This blush was stunning and adorable, and Lexa’s heart was beating too hard against her ribcage again, like her and Clarke have known each other longer than a few weeks and have had more conversations on this hill than the two that are currently in existence. “I didn’t make you uncomfortable right?” Clarke’s voice is quiet and vulnerable and so real.

“No.” Lexa shakes her head, watching Clarke’s blue eyes glittering slightly from the left-over sunlight. She focuses completely on her notebook, that curious furrow back to her brows as something floats through that mind of hers.

Lexa wishes she knew what she was thinking. “Good, I… I don’t want to ever. I mean I wouldn’t want that to happen.” She seems to have a slight nervous twitch to her now, maybe messing up her drawing enough times that she’s nearly cursed at it, erasing Lexa’s jawline again before she tries to sketch it down again.

“It didn’t. It’s okay.” Lexa looks at her curiously. “Are you normally this afraid to touch someone’s hair?” She doesn’t mean for the question to sound so incredibly curious, for it to even come off as invasive? She had only been trying to tease but Clarke seems to tense at the question and she wishes she could take it back.

But after a moment Clarke’s shoulders relax and she blushes more, and Lexa feels briefly confident, like there’s power in her hands for once. “No, I just… you seem so reserved and stuff I just wouldn’t want to cross whatever boundaries… I don’t know your boundaries. So, I shouldn’t like, touch your hair without knowing them.”

“That’s…” Lexa’s own eyebrows furrow as she stares at the side of Clarke’s face. “Really nice actually.”

Clarke still doesn’t look up, that look on her face, so expressive and serious. “It’s not finished, um, maybe bring it back with you tomorrow?” Clarke rips the page from her book and hands it over, avoiding eye contact.

Lexa’s hoping she hasn’t done, or managed, to say anything wrong. “Clarke,”

“I’ve um, got to go. Tomorrow?”

“Clarke, you don’t have to leave.” Normally she’d be mad at herself for sounding suddenly desperate to extend their time together, but Clarke looks slightly panicked and Lexa never meant to somehow upset her, doesn’t know how she managed to do it. She only wants to fix it.

Clarke stops for a second, placing her bag down that she had hurriedly picked up as that look remains on her face. She’s so lost in thought, so in depth and Lexa is so curious, so anxious to know what’s going through her head but she doesn’t push. Watches as the expression softens briefly until Clarke is looking up and into her eyes again. “I really want to be friends.” She says softly, and her tone is so gentle.

She couldn’t be hiding behind a façade when she looks so vulnerable with the statement. It’s so interesting to Lexa, she’s so incredibly interesting, like a damn puzzle and Lexa is weak to conundrums. “I would like that too.” She admits softly, hoping her expression is as soft as she’s suddenly feeling.

Clarke smiles lightly, and she thinks that maybe it is as blue eyes meet green. “Bring the drawing back tomorrow?” Clarke’s raspy voice wraps around the words and Lexa feels the urge to shiver at her tone, she doesn’t know what that’s about but she’s not about to investigate it.

“Okay.”

“Alright.” The blonde grabs her bag and slings it over her shoulder. Lexa watches the sway of her hips as she leaves, unable to help it.

Only when Clarke is gone does she look at the half-done drawing of her face, the freshly sketched part of her jawline before Clarke had stopped moving her pencil, the slight piercing of her eyes staring off somewhere away from her.

Lexa doesn’t know how Clarke sees her like this, but she does know that no one could fake this kind of eye. Clarke is more than she lets on, and Lexa would really like to know the things that she normally keeps to herself. She’d love to see the stripped-down version of Clarke, without the barriers and glowing sunlight to hide behind.

Lexa would love to know Clarke, and she finishes watching the rest of the sunset thinking about the ways to earn her trust to get there.

 

***

 

“Where were you, I thought you were supposed to come to movie night?” Costia asks with slight disappointment in her tone that can’t be missed.

If Lexa wasn’t so tired from her day and didn’t have her thoughts still so focused on Clarke Griffin, she’d have taken more notice to it. “Yeah, I’m sorry about that, I just got caught up.” She admits softly, and it’s partly true.

“With what?” Her pretty roommate asks with furrowed brows.

“I…” Lexa bites her bottom lip briefly before she looks up from where she had set her bag on her bed. “Study group, Indra asked me to help a few people for some extra credit.” She lies and feels bad about it immediately. Lexa’s not really a liar, she doesn’t prefer to do it. But Costia and Anya are too close, and Anya can’t know that she’s hanging out with Clarke, not right now anyway. Perhaps when Lexa solves this feud for them, then Anya can know about their new friendship. But that’s going to take some work and Lexa knows she has a long way to go, so telling Costia about it, isn’t much of an option right now.

“Oh,” Costia sighs slightly but Lexa can’t identify what kind of sigh it is. “Okay, I mean that’s good that your meeting people and stuff.” Her roommate shrugs and seems to tune back into the book she was reading when Lexa had entered.

“Yeah.” She responds, looking away and pulling her phone from her pocket as it vibrates.

Clarke (10:55 P.M.): is it wrong that I’ve started practicing your jawline?

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Lexa bites her lip and moves to hide behind her hair like someone is looking at her well enough to notice the blush that surfaces across her face. Her back is too Costia, it’s ridiculous but she still feels like a giant red sign is above her head.

Lexa (10:56 P.M.): still suggest that she looks like a fairytale version of me.

Clarke (10:57 P.M.): Lexa, ur face is a fairytale.

Lexa (10:58 P.M.): now who’s the dork. :P

Clarke (10:58 P.M.): funny, now if you’ll excuse me I have some art to get back too

Clarke (10:59 P.M.): Goodnight Lexa

Lexa (11:00 P.M.): goodnight Clarke.

She places her phone on the charger and grabs some clothes to change into for sleeping, ignoring the glance Costia sends her way that looks a lot like suspicion. Lexa really isn’t good at keeping secrets, but if she could just get to know Clarke a little bit before Anya finds out and she no longer has the chance maybe she can really change things. Help Anya make peace with her enemies, and… well Clarke is a mystery that Lexa is almost dying to solve.

She just needs some time.