There was something calming in the way the rain hit the lake house old tin roof. The way the sound would bounce off the walls, encasing Lexa as she lay amongst ruffled sheets, arm propped behind her head as she stared blankly at the ceiling. It was like white noise, soothing, calming. The window cracked, just enough so that she could smell the rain, sweet, intoxicating, pure.
It had been months of isolation in her tiny lakeside cabin. Like a bear hibernating for the winter she lost all point of contact to the outside world. The phone had been disconnected and thrown swiftly out the kitchen window. The television a relic, collecting dust, had a dead pot plant she still watered daily sitting upon it. The radio was her fathers, but reception was hard to come by. Her only source of entertainment for the winter was the old record player and the large book case, shelving mostly historical biographies, her Fathers personal collection.
She would on occasion venture out onto the frozen lake, a spot of ice fishing and a six pack of Heineken. She did not do this often, felt like too much of a good time. The evenings she would have the fire going a glass of whiskey in one hand and a book in the other. When she grew bored of reading she played chess, something that would chew away at the hours. She had discovered that she was a fierce opponent. Well as fierce as one could be when playing against yourself.
Finally, the snow had all but turned the ground into sludge, and puddles of mud and the ice melted away, spring creeping up on her by mid-March. She had become slightly stir crazy, locked away in the small two-bedroom cabin. The first chance she got she set out on a three-day exhibition into the heart of the woods, hunting, surviving off the land. It was primal, and Lexa reveled in it.
She had more sensed the change of weather than saw it. She had always sworn that her knees ached before rain. So with her hunting trip a success, Lexa set off back home. And that night as she sat on the front porch eating her kill the heavens opened.
Laying in bed Lexa had come accustomed to her sleepless nights, had come accustom to the horrors she would witness when her eyes finally gave into her own bodies will. She had tried suppressing them with whiskey and tequila. And when that didn’t work, she’d tried the sleeping pills her Dr had prescribed before she had left DC. They worked for a while, but when they ran out, stubbornly she had refused to drive take the 2-hour drive into the nearest town to get another prescription. In truth she hadn’t been back into town for over month and a half.
The rain gets heavy and her eyes begin to respond to its calming call. She fights for as long as she can, she has always loved the sound of the rain. When her eyes close, for a brief second, she feels at peace.
The sound of car tires on gravel rips her from her sleep. A cold sweet had forming along her brows. Lexa springs from her bed and hastily grabs her shot gun from behind the bed frame. She Makes a beeline for living room window, sees the silver Prius slowing to a stop behind her truck. Her heart in her throat she exhales a shaky breath she had not realised she had been holding.
Her body coursing with adrenaline she kicks the screen door open and jumps off the porch just as the intruder opens the car door. Lexa Fires a warning shot. The stranger ducks behind the car door.
“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! LEXA ITS ME PUT THE FUCKING GUN AWAY!” The woman’s voice is like a cool slap across Lexa’s face.
“This is private Property. You’re trespassing!” Lexa calmly yells back, her gun aimed and at the ready.
“Last time I checked, that was my name on the letterbox too!” the woman seems pissed now, irritated
A beat of silence passes and slowly, still unsure whether she’s about to be blown apart, her hands up to show she’s no threat, the woman stands. Lexa watches calmly, almost bored.
“You look like shit.” The woman finally says, and blinks as if surprised to have said her thoughts out loud.
“Yeah and you look just about the same as the last time we spoke.”
“Last time we spoke, you sucker punched me and I had a black eye for weeks. So how about you put the fucking gun down and we go inside and talk.” The woman returns Lexa’s cold stare.
Finally, Lexa breaks, a small smirk slowly taking over her face, “Yeah well you pissed me off.” Lexa lowers her gun and makes her away over to the car. The woman’s shoulders slumps in relief and she slams the car door close.
The woman reaches out for Lexa and pulls her in for a hug, she squeezes and Lexa pats her back awkwardly
“Alright Anya,” Lexa clears her throat, “That’s enough.”
Anya bristles and backs up, giving them both space. Lexa takes her in. In truth Anya had not changed, not in the slightest. Her hair dirty blonde and impeccably pulled back in a tight braid. Dressed in uniform, standard attire for those in the business of personal body guards, a light blue tie, (Anya’s favourite one). Sun glasses pushed atop her head.
“So are we going to go inside to talk or are you going stand around with our dicks out.” Anya breaks the tension.
“I see you’ve maintained your crude sense of humour. Charming.” Lexa rolls her eyes and leads Anya towards the cabin.
Anya scoffs, “I’m not paid to be charming Lex.”
“Clearly.” Lexa deadpans. She stops in front of the screen door. “Shoes off”
“Seriously.?” Anya complains but complies as Lexa blocks the entrance shot gun resting on her shoulder.
“Fucking…. Can’ believe… the nerve.” Anya mumbles half-heartedly to herself.
Once shoes are off and placed by the front door they continue. For a moment Anya takes the cabin in, she had not been back since their father had passed away her Senior year at college. He had left it to the sisters to share in his will, but the memories of him had been too painful. She had all but signed her rights over to Lexa it was her younger sisters now. It smelled old and musty, like the first day of summer after spending months locked up they would have to ‘air the place out”
Anya swallows heavily. “It hasn’t changed.” She looks to the pictures on the walls and smiles sadly. Her mother and father smile back. Frozen in times, in a memory forever captured.
Lexa disappears silently behind her bedroom door, hastily she pulls on a pair of jeans sitting at the end of the bed and smells a black t-shirt before pulling it over her wild mane.
“I see you took mum and dads room.” Anya comments with a hint of mirth in her voice.
Lexa just raises a single brow as if challenging her older sister. She walks to the kitchen Anya in tow.
She pours herself a glass of bourbon and offers Anya a glass. Her sister shakes her head, eye brows creased.
Lexa takes a swig from her glass and after a contemplative silence she says “Well Mum and Dad aren’t around anymore Anya. The dead are gone, life goes on.” Lexa downs the remainder of her glass and refills it.
“Well that’s rich coming from you isn’t it Lex. Maybe take some of your own advice kid.” Anya leans against the kitchen bench arms crossed.
“Anya” Lexa says warningly, “Don’t.”
“No Lexa, don’t what? You’re a god damn mess. You smell like you haven’t showered in weeks. Seriously kid its time to…”
Jade eyes flash in white hot anger. “To what Anya? Why are you here, you haven’t been to the lake house since Dad died? Thought maybe you’d get the hint. I want to be left alone.”
“You don’t call, you don’t text, email, nothing. I had to call that twat of a Sherrif to check come check on you like a child left to her own devices.” Anya pushes off the bench.
“I’m fine Anya, I’m facing this my way.” Lexa grits and takes a step into Anya’s space the height difference much more noticeable.
“Looks an awful lot like running away from where I’m standing kid.”
Lexa bites back her response grinds her teeth, her jaw twitching. Fists balled by her sides, nostrils flared neither of them ready to back down. Its always been like this, one of them says something to rile the other up, whether the other takes the bait has always been the game.
Something dark crosses Lexa’s face a flash of something Anya has never seen on her sisters face before. Lexa sighs her wild angry sea green eyes looking away. Lexa takes a step back and reaches for her glass and downs it.
“Why are you really here Anya? I’m not in the mood for games.” Lexa pours another glass.
“No you’re to busy drinking at 9am on a weekday.”
Lexa stops mid pour, looks over to her sister’s judgmental glare. Just as quickly as she had poured it into her glass Lexa pours the glass into the sinks and slams the glass down.
“Are we happy now?” Lexa says lips pursed hand on hip.
“Ecstatic.” Anya mumbles and turns her back on the younger Woods sister to make a fresh pot of coffee.
“By all means make yourself at home.” Lexa bites back but Anya ignores her going about the kitchen like she had when they were kids
Lexa watches on in silences taking her sister in once again. She looks good, healthy, her shoulders seem straighter. When the coffee is brewed and Anya has poured them both a mug she carries them out towards the porch. Lexa follows in silence. They sit by the porch swing and drink from their mugs. No one speaks. They just sit in each others presence.
Something about it is so familiar, they had done this on the job countless times, early mornings and late at night. They sit there a while as a cool morning breeze rustles though the trees and the birds sing their morning songs.
This is nice Lexa thinks as she sips gingerly on her coffee. The coffee was burnt, Anya had always sucked at brewing a decent pot, but for the sake of silence Lexa drank it. The silence was nice, her sisters presence was nice, the breeze on her face, the sun in the sky. It was all too nice. And Lexa was sure that she was not supposed to have nice good things, not after everything that had happened.
So she clears her throat and breaks the nice silence. “Been to any games recently?” It’s an easy out and she knows it. It’s one thing they could talk for hours over. And they do. The spend the morning talking about basketball, arguing light heartedly, like they used to. Lexa even manages a small chuckle.
When lunch time rolls around Lexa disappears back inside the house and rustles up a couple of sandwiches before returning back to her sister on the porch. Anya is looking at her phone brows knitted together in frustration.
“No reception?” Lexa asks as she hands over a P&J sandwich.
“Not a single god damn bar.” Anya takes the sandwich and shoves the phone back into her pocket inside her suit.
“Got someone you need calling?” Anya doesn’t miss the double meaning behind the words.
Anya waves her hand is dismiss “Just work stuff. You know how it is.”
Lexa does, or rather did knew how it went. But something in her sisters’ tone didn’t quite convince her it was just work thing. Lexa offers a single raised brow in response and continues to eat her sandwich.
“So, you never answered my question form earlier.” Lexa remarks, her face calm and collected.
“Yeah and what’s that?” Anya plays dumb and her words are muffled as she takes another bite of her sandwich.
“What you’re doing out here, what exactly it is you want.” Lexa leans back in her seat her eyes never leaving her sisters face, reading her every movement. From the way Anya’s back stiffens to the way she avoids Lexas’ gaze.
“Maybe I just missed seeing your ugly mutt.” Anya shrugs her shoulders and smirks.
Lexa just shakes her head and sighs, running her hand through her hair in frustration.
“Doubtful.” Lexa mutters but smirks back.
Anya finishes her sandwich and turns to her, all jokes aside, concern crosses her face. “I did though, miss you that is, Lex. After we had that fight...”
“Ahn,..” Lexa interrupts.
“No Lex let me say this. After we had that fight and you left, it.. It took me a while, but I understand, you needed time. Time to heal, to move on. There’s a reason why I haven’t been back here to since dad died.”
Lexa nods slowly in understanding as Anya continues, “You gave me time, so I figured I’d give you time too.”
“But?” Lexa says with a knowing look.
Anya smirks, “But you’re a stubborn pain in my ass and its been 5 months of absolute radio silence. I was worried. You’re still my kid sister, no matter how old you are. I wanted to check in and I knew the only way of making sure you were alive was if I marched my sorry ass out here and looked at you myself.”
Lexa just looks at her passively, absorbing her words, contemplating her next move.
“And what’s your conclusion then?’ Lexa says as she stands to stretch. She offers out a hand to Anya. Anya looks at her extended hand for a brief second before grasping it and nearly having her arm ripped out of her socket.
“Like I said before you look like shit.” Anya gives a quick playful jab it her sisters arm.
Lexa smirks and jokingly replies, “Careful Ahn, wouldn’t want to have to give you another shiner.”
‘Pfft, it was a cheap shot and you know it.” Anya bites back
“Whatever gets you to sleep at night.” Lexa chuckles as she saunters off towards the dock.
Anya follows before giving a playful shove to the younger womans’ back.
“Oh you’re on!”
They break out into a friendly sparring match, which ends in race to the end of the lakeside dock. Anya claims she lets Lexa win and Lexa only half believe her. She knows she’s out of shape. They sit by the end of the dock their feet skimming the water they dangle their legs casually off the edge. The sun begins to set, turning the sky into a brilliant array of apricot orange which turns into a soft salmon pink. When Lexa spies Anya peaking at her phone again she smiles softly to herself. Whoever was taking up her sisters’ time must be special she thinks to herself.
“Head inside?’ Lexa breaks the mundane silence.
Anya sighs and tucks her phone away but nods in agreement.
Lexa stands, “If you really want to get service, go by the old tool shed, you can usually get a couple of bars, ‘work’ seems important at the moment.” Lexa gives her a knowing look.
And Anya looks sheepish, something Lexa has never seen before. Its all the confirmation Lexa needs
“I’ll make a start on dinner and then I want to know who’s got you so whipped, she must be special.”
In the past a comment like that would have earned a slap on the back of the head, but instead Anya smiles a toothy grin.
“Thanks Lex, and she is special.”
Lexa simply nods and heads back inside the cabin.
Anya reappears around 45 minutes later, noticeably more relaxed. Lexa finishes serving up the left overs onto plates. Anya goes to the fridge and pulls out two beers before they both settle in at the dinner table.
Lexa learns that the woman who has her sister acting like a love-sick puppy is one Raven Reyes. They met on the job, because of course they did. That’s all there ever seemed to be room for, the job and little else. Anya had knocked her over at a party, she had been working a job for some actress , a one off contract, when she had knocked over “Hottest babe I’ve ever fucking seen” (Anya’s words not her) A few insults later a couple of death glares and Anya had the Latina woman number. Lexa never understood the ‘treat em mean keep em keen” mantra her sister had always lived by, but it seemed she had been on the reciprocating end of the schtick. Anya seemed happy and happy looked good on her.
With this she also learns that Raven had been the driving force in Anya taking a step back from body guarding, less hours. This had shocked Lexa but Anya just shrugs and says it was time. She learns that her sister had branched of from Titus, their old mentor to start her own company “Trikru Industries.”
“She’s so fucking smart Lex, like crazy smart. Got a degree in engineering, worked with NASA for a while, Fucking NASA LEX!”
Lexa just smiles and sips from her beer.
“She’s absolutely the most terrifying person I’ve ever met. Intense and passionate and funny in a fucked up dark humour kind of way.” Anya gushes, her hands gesturing wildly.
“Sounds like you guys are pretty serious.” Lexa smiles , pushing away her empty dinner plate.
“She’s moving into my apartment at the end of the month, before she goes back on tour”
“Jeez, don’t ya think that’s a bit soon?” Lexa teases
Anya just shrugs, “When you know you know.” And the way Anya says it that determined glint in her eye Lexa knows that this woman, Raven Reyes , is the woman Anya will marry. She doesn’t say anything though just nods and sips on her beer.
“So, you mentioned a tour, what does she do now?” At that Anya bristles and finishes off her beer before rising and grabbing another two from the fridge.
“She’s currently working as a light technician.” Anya half answers.
“For an Artist?” Lexa guesses.
Anya offers a single nod before taking a long swig of her beer, Lexa mirrors her.
“Ever heard of Clarke Griffin?”
Lexa rolls the name around her mind searches for any recognition of the name and comes up short.
“Lonely Nights, Kiss To Kill?” Anya lists song titles and sees a flash of recognition cross Lexas’ jade green eyes.
“Yeah, yeah, Clarke Griffin, America’s sweet heart or some shit. Hot shot singer, right? What about her?”
“Well Raven and Clarke grew up together. Offered Rave a job, she gets to tour the world with her best friend, it’s a pretty sweet gig.”
“Yeah sounds like it.” Lexa mumbles and puts her beer on the table waiting for what’s about to come next.
“You didn’t just come here to ‘check up on me’ or even have a drink with me did you?” Lexa bites almost sad, it’s masked behind her anger.
“Believe what you want Lex but I have missed you, a lot. But you’re right, I haven’t come to here in the middle of bumfuck nowhere to share a drink. I’m here because, I need your help.”
Lexa sits and boils, can feel her ears begin to burn red hot, can feel the familiar shake in her hands and balls them into fists, unkempt nails biting into her now sweaty palms.
Anya remains passive she’s slipped into business mode. “I have a job, I need you to take it.”
Lexa’s jaw flexes and Anya can see the storm brewing behind her sisters’ eyes. Can see the rage written all over her face.
“Work for you?” every syllable drips with venom, is spat out in disgust. “I’m done, I’m out. Nothing has changed from the day I walked away. Nothing.” Her eyes are wild with fury she can feel the sting of her nails more prominently, it fuels her rage.
“I wouldn’t ask if I weren’t desperate Lexa. I’m desperate. Clarke she….”
“Enough ANYA! I will not hear this again!” In one fluid movement Lexa is out of her chair swiftly picking up the plates from the table and stalking off to the kitchen.
“You must, and YOU will!” Any returns the animosity in her voice.
The dishes are all but chucked into the sink and Lexa begins to run the water, tries to focus on the noise, tries to ignore Anya, but persistent as ever Anya stalks into the kitchen and stands behind her, arms folded.
“You’re wasting away here Lexa, wasting away for no good reason.”
“No good reason! I put my life on the line every Fucking Day for that job and for what, for this?” Lexa lifts her top to reveal the scar, round and tiny barley 4mm in diameter. The bullet had nearly killed her, she had been lucky, or so everyone had said.
“It was never your fault, Lexa, the only person to blame is rotting in a jail cell. The bastard will never see the day of light in this life time. You didn’t pull the trigger he did!”
“It doesn’t matter, none of it does, cause I’m here and SHE’S DEAD ANYA!”
Anya looks away pity prevalent on her features.
“She’s dead, and I couldn’t protect her. That’s the job, the one job we have. I threw my body on the line and it wasn’t enough.” The room grows quiet.
Lexa allows her anger to fizzle out, wills it to leave her body. She leans back against the kitchen bench and crosses her arms. They remain like that, in a silent battle, the air still filled with unspoken tension.
“Lexa, no one blames you except for yourself. You survived Lex, cause that’s what you and I do, we survive, and you’re out here killing slowly killing.”
Lexa refuses to meet Anya’s eyes, can feel the sting of unshed tears brimming the corner of her eyes. She refuses to let them escape.
“I wouldn’t be asking for your help if I wasn’t desperate. Lexa I am begging you please, it’s personal. I’m not asking as your former partner or as a potential boss, I’m asking as your sister. Help me please.” Desperately Anya begs, prays that she’s getting through to her younger sister.
Lexa just shakes her head. She can’t, could she? Anya was right though, she was slowly wasting away, killing herself in a mundane life.
“It’s late.” She finally says, voice strained. “You can take our old room or the couch. There’s fresh towels in the hallway closet.’ She pushes off the bench and walks away from her sister to sit out on the porch.
Anya sighs in defeat, watches as the screen door closes and her sister disappears into the darkness. She turns on her heels and retires for the night.