Clarke entered the clearing with hesitation. She had never seen so much water before coming to Earth. On the ark it had been rationed. They had fallen to the ground weeks before and seen little sign of life. The blonde leaned over and brought the water to her face. It was refreshing and cool and no mutant serpent creature had ever attacked them in this place.
She pushed her hair back, letting the water drip over her and twisted her hair to drain the excess, running her fingers through the wet waves.
"Clarke! Quick! Finn was injured. We need you."
It was Octavia. The young brunette's voice was urgent. Clarke got up and followed her. Since she was the only one with any real medical knowledge, everyone turned to her in a crisis, despite Bellamy being in charge most of the time. She had few friends. They all called her Princess in a mocking tone, thinking her more privileged than they were. They knew nothing about her and yet they judged her.
Lexa watched the blonde stride away with her friend, ready for action. She seemed so serious, so determined. She had been crouched in the undergrowth after her change, searching for her clothes. She'd been half way through dressing, pulling the top over her head when she'd spied the blonde.
At first she had just been curious at catching the scent of a stranger in her vicinity, her wolf senses still heightened from her change. Anya was a little ahead of her, Lincoln lagging much further behind with Indra, Luna, Gustus and Ryder. Then the blonde had brought the water to her skin and the sun had glistened on her. She opened her eyes and they were as blue as the water and Lexa hitched her breath as time stood still.
When she ran her hands through the damp, blonde waves it was like the world was moving slower than usual and Lexa was enthralled by the image of her.
It had been so long since she'd felt this way, since she'd felt anything. Her heart had been encased in ice. Now it was beating fast in her chest and she felt a surge of desire she knew she shouldn't.
To be Heda is to be alone.
She still heard Titus' voice in her head even though it was no longer relevant. She wasn't the Commander. She was pakstoka. Either way it wasn't possible. Lexa slinked away as soon as the brunette appeared. To be seen was dangerous for their kind. No one must know she was still alive.
"Keep him still. We don't have any meds and this is gonna hurt."
Finn flailed as Bellamy and Atom held him down. He'd fallen in one of their traps, impaling his leg on a wooden spike. Clarke removed the object with difficulty and cleaned and stitched the wound. Finn passed out and Clarke rushed out into the woods to compose herself. She kneeled by the river to wash the blood from her hands, pushing her hair out her eyes with her wrists. She was sweating. She was no real surgeon, her mother was but she was all they had.
She heard the snap of a twig nearby and turned to see a deer. Her heart stopped and a smile spread across her face. She'd never imagined seeing such a creature. It was beautiful and so innocent and then it turned and she saw the mutation, a second head that snarled at her and she flinched back. The deer sped away and she exhaled. She got to her feet, wiping her hands dry on her black trousers and that was when she saw two green eyes staring back at her.
It was a woman. One of the grounders as they called them. Clarke froze, her hand moving to her gun. The woman frowned at her actions and then sped away, disappearing through the trees.
"Wait! I'm not going to hurt you."
Clarke chased after the woman, catching only glimpses of tattooed arms and long, chestnut hair as she slipped away. She reached to grab her arm to stop her but suddenly she was flipped on her back and landed with a thud with the woman on top of her.
The woman's was practically straddling her, long, toned thighs holding her in place, her lips pulled back in a snarl. Clarke could feel her strength. She wanted to speak but the danger that had been in the stranger's eyes was replaced with curiosity and she leaned in to Clarke's neck inhaling deeply.
Clarke froze where she was, not sure what to do.
Was she-? Was she smelling her?
When the woman rose, green eyes bore into hers and Clarke couldn't describe the rush of desire she felt. She knew nothing of this woman but her body responded to her presence as if she did. The woman lifted her head high and turned as if hearing something. Clarke couldn't hear anything but a few seconds later Bellamy's voice called her name through the woods and before she knew it, the woman was gone.
Clarke spun around trying to spot the mysterious stranger but as Bellamy made his way to her, she got to her feet in embarrassment brushing herself off.
"You taking a nap on the ground Princess?" he asked, quirking an eyebrow.
"I tripped," she lied. "What do you want?"
"Are you okay? That was pretty intense."
Clarke glared at him, her bottom lip pouted.
"Do you care?"
Bellamy leaned against a tree, resting his head on his forearm.
"I know we've had our differences but we need you. We can't survive out here alone."
Clarke didn't meet his eyes. He was trying to be better. She got that. They'd argued over everything since they'd landed.
"Besides. If something happens to you, who'll be there to tell me I'm being dumb when I make a mistake."
"Your sister, Finn, Wells..."
"Alright, I get it. Don't stay out here alone. It's getting dark soon. There are wolves."
He glanced up at the sky a wide smile on his lips and Clarke's serious demeaner cracked.
"There are no wolves," she said with cynicism. "We haven't seen a single one since we landed."
"Just because you haven't seen, them it doesn't mean they aren't there. Jasper swore he heard howling."
Clarke shook her head.
"Jasper has been eating the wrong sort of mushrooms. Half the time he doesn't know what he's seeing."
They walked back to camp as night began to fall, Clarke glancing back over her shoulder at where she had last seen the stranger. She wondered if she would ever see her again.
Lexa stopped running once she was nearly home. She was out of breath but not from her run. She had nearly been discovered by more of the humans. She hadn't even intended for the blonde to see her but she had been caught by surprise, not expecting to see her again.
Once she'd caught her scent again she hadn't been able to resist moving closer. Lexa had edged closer, watching the bluest eyes she'd ever seen light up with wonder at the sight of the deer. She'd flinched back in surprise when she'd seen the mutation.
I should've moved sooner she thought. I was careless.
"Hey. What's with you?"
Lexa kept her face a mask of indifference. It was worrying that she had given anything away, even to someone as perceptive as Anya.
"There are new people in the woods. There are many new scents by the river."
Anya narrowed her eyes in concern.
"Heda..." she started, ready to give Lexa a warning about being too close to humans.
"Don't call me that!" Lexa snapped. "Nou laik heda. Ontari is heda."
The blonde wasn't happy with this answer but they had discussed this over and over again. The pakstoka saw her as their leader because she was still natblida, out of respect for her position but she had no real rank anymore, no authority and yet Anya in particular refused to accept it.
"Ontari is only heda because you wouldn't go back for the conclave. You would have won and you know it."
Lexa raised her hands in frustration.
"We've discussed this. A pakstoka cannot be heda. It is unheard of."
"You are the rightful commander. No one would dispute that. The only reason you refuse to return is Costia."
Lexa snapped her eyes to Anya's, snarling with fury. She stepped closer and Anya turned her head, avoiding eye contact.
"Don't mention her name. I will not speak of it. Costia is no longer mine. She never will be. She is married to the new Heda."
Anya didn't reply but Lexa could feel her gaze as she stormed into the large caves they called home.
Those words resonated inside her. She still mourned for the loss of her lover but Costia was gone and Lexa was only a wolf now.
I'm a fool she thought as she lay down on her bed of animal furs and turned to her side. First Costia and now this blonde.
Clarke. She had heard the boy call her that and was sure that was her name. He'd called her a prisa. Was she royalty of some kind? She didn't appear to be. She was a mystery to Lexa. When she'd grabbed her, Lexa had flipped her out of instinct and she'd carried a weapon of the mountain men, one of their greatest enemies.
Lexa gripped her makeshift pillow and shifted her head. She closed her eyes unable to get the woman's scent from her memory. It had been heavenly. Like the feeling she had when she was running as a wolf with her pack. Like a fresh meal, like a cool drink by the river. It was intoxicating.
She allowed herself to dream of the moment by the water, to relive the sight of her, droplets glistening on her pale skin. Her mind drifted to the woods, to the moment she had leaned in to Clarke's neck. In her daydream she pressed her nose against her skin and inhaled deeper before nuzzling and then kissing her soft skin. Lexa allowed herself the fantasy telling herself that she could never act on it and for the first time in forever she felt her broken heart beating again.
Mine she thought rubbing her nose into her pillow as she indulged the fantasy further. She could be mine.
She never could be yours a small voice told her. To be pakstoka is to be alone too. You can never love her.