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Running Away, Only to Run Into You

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Clarke was fuming. She couldn’t believe the nerve of some people. Or, more accurately, she couldn’t believe the nerve of her now ex-boyfriend. They had only been dating for two months, but it was enough to know they complemented each other in a good way; she was happy and looking forward to a future with Finn, which was something that she, Clarke Griffin, did not do. She was more of an ‘in the moment’ kind of person, so when she planned ahead with someone in mind, they were pretty fucking important. Or they were, until she walked into their apartment to find them having dinner – a candle lit dinner – with some other girl.

And that’s how she found herself speeding down the backroad of a town she wasn’t even certain the name of. All she knew was that she needed to get away and she needed to get away fast, and she headed west to do it. Unfortunately for Clarke, who is usually very calm headed in situations that drive her friends crazy with road rage, driving when she’s already angry just doesn’t work well, the proof in the flashing red and blue lights of a dark trooper car behind her. She groans as she looks at her speedometer – 65 in what was probably a 45 at best, though she couldn’t say for sure – and starts pulling to the shoulder, which is mostly dirt at this point. Where the hell was she? Nothing even looked familiar.

Clarke sighed and rubbed her eyes as she waited for the trooper to give her her inevitable reprimand, with a side of speeding ticket. Today was just not her day.

She tried not to groan when she heard the tap on her window, and instead rolled it down, finally looking at the Trooper. The woman Trooper. The very attractive woman Trooper, who was unreadable behind her aviators. Clarke gave a sheepish smile, wondering if the day could get any worse. (It could).

“License and Registration,” the Attractive Trooper said. Clarke shook her head slightly; of course she would have a voice to match her face, pretty, yet reserved. Clarke wondered briefly how it would sound under different circumstances, perhaps breathless and needy, before she snapped out of it. This was not the time to be thinking about rebounds, and certainly not with the law enforcement official who just pulled her over. I would likely get charged with soliciting an officer if I tried anything anyway, she scolded herself as she dug through her purse, grabbing the required paperwork.

The Trooper – A. Crew, her name badge read – took them when Clarke offered the documents up, before turning and walking away a few feet in front of Clarkes car and looking the information over. It was only a moment before she came back, Clarke keeping her eyes focused on Officer Crew the whole time.

“So Ms. Griffin,” Officer Crew started when she got back to the open window, “do you know why I pulled you over this evening?”

Clarke knew, of course she knew, she was speeding. What she didn’t know was what the best tactic in this situation was, to tell the truth or to play dumb. All Clarke was able to form was the word “umm…” as she tried to process both the sound of “Ms. Griffin” coming from the mouth of this beautiful stranger, and how to possibly escape a speeding ticket, before Officer Crew spoke again.

“Do you have any idea how fast you were going, Ms. Griffin?”

This time Clarke spoke without thinking, something she sometimes did under pressure. It usually works out. “Not fast enough to run away from my problems, but apparently fast enough to catch some more.”

Officer Crew raised an eyebrow coolly above her aviators. “Sorry,” Clarke said, “I’ve just had a rough day, if you were wondering where that came from. No excuse for speeding though, I know.”

Officer Crew gave a slight nod, as if she was agreeing with Clarke, before continuing, “You were going 67 and the speed limit here is 40. Mind telling me where you’re off to in such a hurry, Ms. Griffin?”

Clarke winces, damn. 27 miles over the speed limit. I sure fucked up this time. “Um, actually, it’s not where I’m going, but where I came from. This is actually a bit embarrassing, but I’m not even sure what town this is.”

Officer Crew took a cautious step back, hand on her left hip, where her taser rested. “Have you been drinking tonight, Ms. Griffin?”

Clarke barked out a laugh, before responding with “I wish!” only to then cover her mouth with her hands as her eyes went wide as she looked at Officer Crew. “Oh my God I didn’t mean it like that. I would never drink and drive, I swear. Sometimes I just talk without a filter” like when I’m talking to pretty women, Clarke thinks, but luckily stops that part from slipping out. “But I’m working on it. Talking with a filter. Not the drinking and driving part.” Clarke closed her eyes in embarrassment, she really did need to work on that filter. “And now I’m going to stop talking,” she said as she looked back up to Officer Crew, who seemed to have an amused smirk on her face, but it may have been a trick of the fading twilight and Clarkes thought addled brain.

“I see. So then, Ms. Griffin, where are you running from, if you don’t have a place you’re running to?” Officer Crew was as professional as ever, but Clarke thought there might have been still a trace of her amusement in that question. “You must be from out of town, I’ve never seen you around these parts before. Oh, and you’re currently in the small town of Heda,” she tacked on as an afterthought.

“Heda? Damn I made good time,” Clarke murmurs to herself, with a bit of pride, as she glances at the dash clock. She had left about 30 minutes ago and Heda had to be at least three towns over from Skyville. Officer Crew clearing her throat as she leaned her hand against the top of Clarke’s car caught her attention again. “Oh, um, I mean to say that I’m from Skyville, about three towns over I think?”

“And why are you running from Skyville, Ms. Griffin? Is there something I need to be concerned about? Drugs, kidnappers, a blackmailer perhaps?”

Clarke looked at Officer Crew, she couldn’t tell if she was joking or not. Those damn glasses hid too much of her face, but her mouth and lips were set in a stoic line, so she just answered as truthfully as she could. “Ah, no, nothing of that sort,” Clarke said with a nervous smile, “just your run of the mill domestic problems.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she knew she could have said that in so many different ways, all of them so much better. Before she could correct herself though, Officer Crew dropped her arm from the car and straightened up, looking even more serious than before, this time lips pressed into a thin line.

“Is someone abusing you at home, Ms. Griffin? You can report them – ”

“No no no, nothing like that! I can assure you,” Clarke says quickly before Officer Crew could say any more. Honestly, this misunderstanding was Officer Crew’s fault in the first place. Clarke couldn’t talk without sounding like an idiot, because every time she says “Ms. Griffin,” in that voice, Clarke loses her train of thought. Her explanation tumbles from her lips without thinking as she rushes to placate the officer, “I just meant to say that I caught my boyfriend – Ex-boyfriend – cheating on me, so I left angry, drove angry, and now here I am talking to a seriously attractive cop.” Clarke’s eyes went large again as she registered what she just said. Out loud. To said seriously attractive cop. Seriously attractive cop who could arrest her if she wasn’t carful, and fixed this immediately. “I meant to say serious. You’re a serious cop. And yes, you are attractive, but I didn’t mean to say that part out loud, I swear. I didn’t mean to flirt with or harass you. Oh god why can’t I speak coherently around attractive people?” she mumbles the last part into her hands, as she rests her elbows on the steering wheel.

Due to Clarke’s head face first in her palms, she didn’t see the amused expression and cocky smirk Officer Crew had upon hearing this unwilling and accidental confession. “That’s quite alright Ms. Griffin, at least your flirting was accidental. Most people – most guys, really – try flirting with me to get out of a speeding ticket. They seem to think that because I am a woman, using flattery and fluffed up words will help them get their way.”

Clarke finally looked up again, curious, seeing the amused expression now on Officer Crew’s face. “Seriously? And they think that works? Does that work? Should I have been laying on my charm this whole time to get out of a ticket and possible court appearance?”

Officer Crew tilted her chin down, peering out from behind her glasses as she slowly shook her head back and forth. “No, they are all sadly mistaken to consider my gender a weakness that they can exploit. Not to mention, most are most definitely not my type.” Clarke nodded once, a satisfied smile on her face that she was right about this woman, and that she had taken the right route in not trying to get out of her ticket, and also more than slightly curious about what or who her type was. “You are however, wrong on two points.” Clarke now looked confused more than anything.

“What points…?”

“One, I am not an ‘Attractive Cop’. I am an ‘Attractive Trooper’.” Officer Crew smirked as Ms. Griffins face cleared briefly before turning red, but if it was at self-admitted attractiveness, or from calling her a cop instead of Trooper, Crew wasn’t sure.

“And what’s the other point, Trooper Crew?” Clarke mumbled from where she was pointedly staring at the ground. Officer Crew let her smile expand some more, seeing how visibly awkward this woman was. She was actually really adorable like this, this blonde woman with eyes like sapphire and a pink tint to her cheeks. She waited until Ms. Griffin looked back up, at least fractionally.

“The second point, Ms. Griffin, is that I don’t really think you ever turned your charm off,” Trooper Crew smirked more as Ms. Griffin looked up fully in surprise, mouth slightly open, before snapping it shut. “After all, some people like the awkward flustered types,” finished Trooper Crew, as she lifted her aviators onto her head and winked at the blonde, who was now seeming to be going into shock. “I’ll be right back with these,” she said as she waved the license and registration at Clarke before she turned and went back to her waiting Trooper vehicle, smug smile still on her face.

Clarke watched the Trooper swagger back to her vehicle, not completely sure what just happened. Had that attractive Trooper just flirted back? Clarke was usually really good at knowing when someone was interested in her. But in this situation, getting pulled over after catching her boyfriend cheating, she was clearly not on her game. It also didn’t help that Trooper Crew had an uncanny ability to make a trooper uniform look good. Really, who looks good in all tan and khaki? No one Clarke has ever seen. Until now.

She focused on not staring at the Troopers retreating figure, and instead decided to blame Finn for this mess. She absently wondered if she could somehow make Finn pay the upcoming ticket. Most likely not, but it was fun to think about and worked to divert her attention long enough that Trooper Crew returned unnoticed.

She rapped on the top of Clarkes car, making Clarke jump, eyes wide and startled again. “Jumpy today, aren’t we, Ms. Griffin? You wouldn’t be hiding something I should know about, are you?”

Clarke looked at the Trooper who was making her so jumpy, and decided it was not fair that she could pull off intimidating and sexy at the same time. Not to mention that she had left her aviators in her vehicle, and her eyes were a steel grey that seemed to look right through Clarke. She decided to talk without a filter again.

Propping her elbow on the open window frame, she leaned her head in her hand and looked up through her lashes, tilting her head slightly to the side. “Just trying to figure you out, office-” Clarke caught herself and paused briefly at the slight smirk spreading on Crew’s face, “-Trooper. Trooper Crew.” Well. That settles it. I officially am off my game today. Clarke shook her head slightly and decided to change the subject, shifting back to lean into her seat again. “And I was also picturing Finn’s face when I make him pay for my speeding ticket. Improbable, of course, but still fun to think about.”

“And is Finn the cheating ex?”

Clarke beamed, “You know, if you weren’t already a Trooper, I would say you’d make a great detective.”

“Mockery isn’t the product of a strong mind, Ms. Griffin.”

“No- I wasn’t – that’s not” Clarke gave up trying to explain and returned her head to her hands on the wheel for a second, then turned to look back at the Trooper. “Look, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean that to sound- ” she finally noticed the amused grin and lax form of stance as she looked at Clarke. “Oh my god, are you teasing me? That’s just. That’s just rude.” Clarke could not believe her day. Was this actually happening?

“Not at all, Ms. Griffin, I had no intention of being rude. I just find it unbelievably adorable when you get flustered.”

“So you said that just to get me flush-” She stopped as the rest of the sentence caught up to her brain. She just called her adorable. “Are you flirting with me?” If Clarke didn’t know any better, she would have thought that her amused expression was a permanent feature on Trooper Crews face, except she remembers the stoic expression when she first walked up to the car.

“What do you think, Ms. Griffin?”

“I think you need to stop calling me Ms. Griffin” Trooper Crews eyebrows shot up, “and start calling me Clarke instead.” Clarke congratulated herself on that recovery and not saying what she actually wanted to say, which was something along the lines of ‘I think you need to stop calling me Ms. Griffin because it’s doing unmentionable things to my body and I can’t focus when you say it like that’.

“If you say so.” Trooper Crew paused and tilted her head down a bit, “Clarke.”

Oh no, that’s worse. How does she make my name sound so good? She must be doing that on purpose. No going back now. “I do say so. So tell me, Trooper Crew, does this mean that you found it in the goodness of your heart to not give me the speeding ticket we both know I deserve?” Clarke scanned Crew’s hand hanging by her hip, it was empty but she couldn’t see the one on top of her car. She put on her best puppy dog eyes and clasped her hands in front of her in supplication, fluttering her lashes at the Trooper. “Would it help if I said I was real sorry?”

Trooper Crew smiled and even gave a small chuckle at Clarkes performance, before shaking her head slowly. “Sorry, Clarke,” yes, it was definitely a bad idea to let her use my first name, “but I wouldn’t be worth the title of ‘Trooper’ if I let someone going almost 30 miles per hour over the speed limit get off with no repercussions.”

Clarke dropped her hands with a sigh, “Yea I figured as much. But I guess I can’t really complain about competent law enforcement,” she said with a small smile, “especially when they look so good in their uniform.”

“You already know you’re getting a ticket, there’s no use flirting with me anymore you know.”

“I am shocked, Trooper Crew! To think I would only flirt with you to get out of a ticket. After it was established it wouldn’t work.” Clarke shakes her head in mock surprise.

“No, I said it didn’t work for men. I said nothing about it not working for you, or women in general.”

Clarke raised her eyebrows, her heart beating a bit faster. Oh. Oh. “Well I clearly didn’t think of that, and my charm has clearly not worked, so I guess you should just give me my ticket so we can both be on our marry ways. You to catch some more law breakers, and me to – well. Do something very important, I’m sure.”

Trooper Crew gave a slight smile at that, and handed her her paperwork back, along with a yellow ticket. “I am sorry for this thought.”

“You’re sorry for doing your job?” Clarke smirks, drawing out a matching grin from the Trooper.

“No, I’m not sorry for doing my job, which seems to have the added perks of getting to pull over beautiful blondes. What I’m sorry for, is making your already crappy day worse.”

Clarke grimaced at the ticket, shit did she mess up, but waved away the comment nevertheless. “Don’t worry about it. Believe it or not, this has been the highlight of my evening. Ticket and all.”

Trooper Crew gave her own grimace at that, that bad huh? “Still, I’d like to make it up to you. How about I take you to dinner one evening, and we can call it square?” She seemed to have shocked Clarke into silence once again. “Listen, you don’t have to answer me now, I realize this is really bad timing with your ex and all, but here, take my card and call me if you ever decide I’m worth your time,” Trooper Crew said as she held out her card for Clarke to take.

Clarke chuckled weakly as she took the card, “so I shouldn’t just call 911?”

Trooper Crew gave a slight smile, but in a serious tone said, “The emergency hotline is not a joke or for personal use, Clarke.” She looked up into Crews eyes as she pointed, “that card, however, IS for personal use. Please, feel free to use it.” She turned and started to walk away before stopping again, “Oh, and Clarke?”

“Yes Trooper Crew?” Clarke said, as she stuck her head out of the window to maintain eye contact.

“Try and keep it at the speed limit, shall we?” Clarke blushed as Crew smirked, “Have a good evening, Clarke. May we meet again.”

“Of course,” Clarke said to the retreating figure, glancing down at the card in her hand, “Trooper Alexandria Crew.” She stayed parked in her car for ten minutes after the Trooper had left, staring at her card. “May we meet again.”