The moment she saw the height of the tower, Clarke knew that her fate was sealed. The nightblood solution wouldn’t hold against the death wave that she knew was coming in a matter of minutes, minutes in which she had to climb up the tower, do what needed to be done according to Raven’s instructions, climb down, get back to the lab and join the others in time for the rocket to launch.
But there was no way she could do all of that and get back in the 10 minutes Raven gave her to do it and she knew that if they waited for her for too long, her friends would die as well, so all she hoped for was that she could at least help them by getting this done in time for them to get into space and into what is left of the Ark and that her talk with Bellamy, about using his head more often, would help him now to make the hard choice of leaving without her since it was for the best. It had to be done.
She looked up and took a deep breath before she recited the grounder’s passing phrase as she remembered when she heard those words coming from the lips of the love of her life. Yes, that is right, Clarke thinks as she starts the climb. Despite whatever she had with Niylah which was nothing more than a physical companionship and what was the beginning of a friendship, it was obvious to her who was the sole owner of her heart.
And it was the Commander of the 13 clans, the last true Commander as Roan had referred to her during his speech after they brokered a truce so she could find a way to save them from Praimfaya. Lexa was a part of her, the other half of her soul and much like all the losses she experienced on earth, they barely had time to be together, to explore their feelings and each other and she had even less time to grieve her love’s death with an apocalypse coming their way and having to save humanity once again.
However, now as she reaches the middle of the tower, she lets herself cry silent tears for the pain of losing someone that changed her life and changed her in so many different and beautiful ways. She lets herself feel everything she has been running from ever since that fateful afternoon where a beautiful memory ended up followed by a terrible and endless nightmare. That is one of the worst parts for Clarke, given that not a couple of minutes before she lost Lexa, she finally found herself ready to let the brunette into her heart and mind again, not that she ever left really, along with a promise of someday that turned into never.
She had tried and tried and tried and then tried some more to forget the girl with eyes as green as the Earth, she even went to bed with someone else in a mix of needing human contact and punishing the person who hurt her so much but those eyes, they’ve always found a way to come back and haunt her, when she was dreaming and also when she was awake, always there to remind her of one of the many things she lost to the Mountain besides her battered innocence, a huge part of her soul already incomplete and her peace of mind and spirit which she didn’t have for quite some time anyway.
She had been so angry at Lexa and her betrayal but more than that, she had been hurt by it and by her. She blamed Lexa for what she did, unfairly so. But it was the only way she found to not drown in guilt every single second of every single day and that is also because she knew that Lexa would let her.
She would have let Clarke blame her if it meant the blonde would spare herself from the crushing weight of the guilt she carried and that was what Lexa did when Clarke threatened her with the knife and instead of attacking her back, she let her go back to her people despite the dangers it could pose to her own position and her Coalition. Go back to her mom, to her people, if it could mean she would feel better. That is how selfless Lexa was beneath the tough façade she wore of the Commander.
Seeing Lexa fight with Roan and worrying about her safety was an eye opener for Clarke about the state and depths of her feelings regarding the Commander. Like, she was ready to kill the Ice Queen just so she could stop the fight from happening, could keep Lexa from danger but she wasn’t able to thanks to the Queen’s bodyguard, if you could call Ontari that, saw right through it and stopped her though Lexa won either way and beautifully so as she punished and killed the real culprit and made Roan the new King.
That night, until this day, Clarke has no idea how she was able to resist the urge to jump on Lexa and make love to her or why she resisted at all. That black nightgown did nothing to help her reel back from her desires but she found the strength to do so anyway. But now, looking back at it, Clarke shouldn’t have resisted.
She should have let it happen, she should have just asked Lexa to stop when she was about to leave, walked up to her, closed the door and claimed the brunette’s lips and let herself fall into the steady and waiting arms of the woman she loved, at least she would have had more memories with her than just the last one. After that night which nothing of the sort happened, Clarke could feel herself entertaining the idea of letting Lexa inside her heart again, more and more so since the next day they even flirted a little on the way to Arkadia.
But when she was finally ready to start opening up to her, Pike and Bellamy screwed up big time. Yes, Bellamy screwed up royally, now that she is about to die, Clarke could let herself be angry at him as she reaches the top of the tower and start working the way Raven instructed her to. Clarke had lost her father thanks to her mother, her… whatever Finn was, was murdered by her in an act of mercy, her love shot and killed by the hands of someone who was supposed to protect her.
Yet all she did after all of those losses and in spite of the excruciating pain she felt every single time was continuing to work towards saving everyone and keeping the peace between both people and keeping her people safe. He loses his girlfriend, tragically and meaninglessly yes, but what part of it makes it suddenly okay to massacre more than 300 innocent people just because you are hurting? What in the name of hell was he thinking letting Pike convince him of that? What was he thinking by agreeing to such cruelty? What was he thinking?
The answer is he wasn’t thinking at all past his pain which was such a Bellamy thing to do. Raven had been right when she said that people usually paid the price for his decisions. The 300 people on the Ark who sacrificed themselves for more air for the others to survive did so because he destroyed the radio because he was afraid for his ass once the rest of the Ark got down and he was accused of killing Jaha.
The grounder army who Lexa said she would send to protect the Sky People, protect, which was something she said she would do right in front of him and Pike when they stormed the summit after learning of the attack ended up being victims of a pointless and cruel slaughter. He was someone she cared about deeply, one of her best friends and someone she needed by her side but she couldn’t be blind to his many mistakes anymore.
Which is why when they talked, she tried to advise him to start thinking before acting. It’s the reason why she was the brain between them and he was the heart. She would think of the bigger picture, of the consequences, of what would help them the most while he inspired people and did what she asked. When she left, he crumbled and let a maniac take over and destroy whatever was left of she had built with the grounders through blood and sweat. Now, up in space and without her, he needed to start thinking too. To start worrying about all the things it had been her responsibility to think about until now.
With Raven by his side, Clarke had a little bit more of faith that he could learn to do it. Not a lot more, just a little bit, she hoped enough. She looked down at the watch of her wrist and see that her ten minutes are up. They should start launching the rocket right about now, as Raven said that any later and they wouldn’t be able to fly at all, given the radioactive power of the death wave that Clarke could almost feel getting closer and closer. Like a predator that has its prey trapped with no place to escape to, no way to survive it. Deadly and silent. What a combination.
She continued to work on the antenna as she heard it before she saw it. They did it. They were launching the rocket without her. She followed it with her vision while sending a silent ‘well done, Bellamy’ along with it before she turned her attention back to her task. These past couple of days had been tiring and stressful to say the very least and now that she thinks about it, Clarke can recognize that her little stunt with the bunker and getting her people in though well intentioned, trying to save the human race and all, was shameful and completely uncalled for. She, who preached about equality to Roan that same day, backstabbed everyone and kept the bunker for her people. Hypocrite.
Thing is she was so desperate to make sure that Luna didn’t get her wish of seeing everyone dead that she came up with that idea, that needless to say Jaha loved it, to put it mildly. She was so afraid and fear makes you do stupid things. If she could, she would apologize to Lexa, who she knew would never have done what she did but instead would have found a common ground for everyone to share the bunker, much like Octavia did. She can admit she was a complete asshole but what is done is done.
Meanwhile, she finally got the antenna to work and was relieved to know that Raven could work out the rest. She then looked to her right and could see the death wave coming her way, so she started to come down the tower as fast as she could while hoping that the suit would hold at least until she got to the lab. She finally managed to get down and started running away from the deadly cloud as fast as she could since it was quite a way to the lab.
She continued running through a part of the forest but just as she was coming out of it, her foot got caught on a fallen branch of a tree and she fell to the ground. The first thing she noticed which was in her line of sight was the big hole in the helmet, she tried covering it with her hand and tried to stand up but she felt a sharp pain on her ankle and she knew she had sprained it and running was not an option anymore.
She fell down on the ground and immediately realized that it was the end of the line for her. This was it. She let her hand fall from the hole on the helmet, closed her eyes and imagined Lexa’s face as the sunrays hit her olive skin while they were in bed and that was the last thing she remembers thinking before a strong light blinded her.
Where am I? Is this heaven? Hell? The afterlife? There is one? Where the hell was she? All she could see or not see was the bright light while her thoughts filled with questions left unanswered. That is until her vision started clearing little by little like she was beginning to see things in focus more now than she was before.
That went on until her vision was fully back, then she looked around her and it looked like she was in a white room, which reminded her of the white of Mount Weather’s Quarantine rooms. She then looked down at herself and she was dressed in what seemed like her outfit from when she came down to the ground and the one she used in the City of Light.
She stood up and took a full turn looking around for a door but there was no door, nothing she could find which left her confused about exactly where she was. Just as she though that, beside her on her left side a video started playing and it was the video of her 15th birthday, that she spent alone with her dad because her mother had a pretty big surgery that day. They had so much fun, Clarke almost didn’t remember that anymore. In front of her the video of getting arrested and her father being floated play out and her heart clenched at the scene again as she felt tears starting to form on her eyes.
To the right side, the video of her night with Finn started playing, a moment which she regretted and didn’t regret it simultaneously. She didn’t regret it because it was her first time and she liked him and it was a beautiful experience despite everything that came after, rushed and sloppy but beautiful. She regretted it because of the pain it caused Raven to find out that the boyfriend she risked her life coming down to Earth for hadn’t waited 10 days before going to bed with another girl. She, being the girl in question. She wishes she hadn’t hurt Raven like that.
Behind her, it’s the video of her talk with Bellamy by the ocean as they waited for Luna’s people. It was a beautiful memory she had, they had been honest and vulnerable with each other understanding what the other was going through and offering support. That is the moment where she believes or at least likes to believe that she got through to him like she couldn’t do it during that fateful encounter on Arkadia which ended up with handcuffs being used on her wrists.
To her front, the moment she and Lexa had in the latter’s tent before the battle with Mount Weather, where they shared their first kiss which was the moment Clarke knew she was falling in love, deeply. The intensity of her feelings for the girl she barely knew yet knew so much about, Finn’s recent death on top of the upcoming battle being what contributed for her to find the strength to pull back and stop the kiss when what her heart wanted was for her to keep going and let herself live a little and enjoy what was happening to her.
Slowly the walls started filling themselves with video after video of things she lived through before and after coming down to Earth, her first day at school, killing Atom, closing the dropship door, fighting the panther, laughing at the floating prank on Jaha and all she could do was watch them pile up one after the other and so on while she continued to understand nothing of what was going on in this place. Was she dead? Dreaming? Hallucinating? Is this real? Where was she?
“None of the above, Clarke and I assure you this is very real.” Said a voice from behind her, one voice that she recognized instantly which made her freeze a little before she turned to face this intruder and be shocked by seeing her again. “Becca?” she asked as she saw the woman smile at her. “Hello Clarke, it is nice to see you again.” She said politely in that husky tone of hers. She was wearing her commander outfit, the one Titus gave Clarke before she left Polis.
“What the hell is going on? Why are you here? Where the hell am I?” she asked and Becca smiled, the questions being exactly what she expected from the blonde girl. “For the question number one, a lot is going on, Clarke but it will all be explained quite soon. Question number two, I am here to be your guide through this experience and as for question number three, I am proud to welcome you to the Valley of Time.”