There’s warm blood dripping from your knuckles and for a couple of seconds you let yourself wonder how all this managed to get so out of control, how it had spiraled and crashed and burned right in front of your eyes. But then Clarke’s fingers are gently wiping away the tears you hadn’t noticed streaming down your cheeks, and just like that all you can focus on is the glistening ocean in her eyes.
Her gaze is pulling you in like a tidal wave and you can feel yourself getting lost, submerging and drowning in the depths of the emotions crashing into you. The friendship you’ve spent months carefully building around the more-than-friends feelings you’ve kept hidden with flitting glances
and locked with strained smiles
(you’ll never be more than friends)
whenever you stared a little too long at her crumbles when Clarke’s thumb brushes against your lips in a way it hadn’t before; with purpose and meaning, and everything besides the beating of your heart and Clarke’s heavy breathing is muffled as if you were sinking, deeper and deeper to the bottom of the ocean. and you anchor yourself there as you cling to her waist, your bloody fingers staining Clarke’s smooth skin
(friends don’t touch friends like this)
you get lost in the warmth burning its way over your skin, setting your veins on fire with each breath Clarke takes. Her lips part, she gasps and her breath pulls you in like a wave washing onto shore. There’s no going back, God you know there’s no going back if her lips touch yours. But your temple is pulsing along to the thump-thump-thumping of Clarke's heart, the scrapes across your face are starting to sting and your crimson knuckles ache. The sheer proximity of Clarke; her breath against your lips and the lavender of her shampoo, is not helping clear your mind, at all, and before you can shake off the trance she has you drowning in, her lips are there, pressing roughly against yours and fuck, this is what it’s like to be breathless.
(there’s no going back)
(neither of you want to go back)
You see her in a rainy morning, black backpack held over her head to shield her from the rain, and you wonder why anyone would even consider going out in this kind of weather in shorts and a black tank top, while you’re hunched under the rain in worn out skinny jeans and a sweater you’re pretty sure Raven left at your apartment months ago.
And then you remember that this is California, and weather like this is rare, so you shrug off the strangers choice of attire and glance at her face. Her bag doesn’t seem to be doing a good job of protecting her from the water because there are loose strands of wet hair clinging to her cheeks, and you find the glare settled between her brows amusing as she gives up the fruitless effort and slumps her arms to her side, backpack swinging along her thigh as she does so.
You shake your head when she turns to glare at the sky, only to jerk her head down when rain drops into her eyes.
At this point you’re more than intrigued and you lean against the pole of the bus stop, head tilted in curiosity as she walks closer to you. Her back is rigid when she stops near the group of people huddled under the bus stop, shoulders tense and bag clutched in her fists. You glance at her profile; her hair is now damp and clinging to her skin.
The sky is dark and her eyes are blazing, water caresses her face (a drop of rain traces the contours of her jaw, another the slope of her nose and pout of her lips) and you’ve never felt more jealous of something as simple as water.
There’s something about her that makes you keep staring, even when she quirks her eyebrow without looking away from the street, and it might be the rain, or the commotion of people shuffling closer to the edge of the sidewalk when the bus approaches, but you swear her lips twitch with a smile and the hardness in her eyes melts just the tiniest bit like dew in the winter when you blush.
Y ou shake your head as she steps into the dry bus, and take a few seconds to get yourself together because it’s really not like you to get this spaced out over a girl whose name you don’t even know. When you step into the bus and glance down the aisle you don’t know whether to curse or thank the universe, because the only seat that’s vacant is the one right next to her. You only hesitate a second before moving towards her after you pay your fare, and you’re pretty sure the driver doesn’t like you (he hates how many almost fights he’s had to break up because you always feel the need to speak your mind when some sexist asshole decides to harass women) so you shouldn’t be surprised when he jerks the bus to a start, the sudden movement making you stumble forward and onto the girl.
There’s enough time to be grateful for your fast reflexes when you stop yourself from landing on her lap by placing your hand on the back of her seat, the other coming to rest on her knee. Her face is only inches away (warm breath brushes across your lips) and your eyes flicker across her face, and maybe you just hadn’t looked close enough or maybe she was too far away before for you to notice but her eyes hide a foggy morning deep within the forest, all mellow grays and vibrant greens.
Except the forest never gazed back at you with this intently, and the forest didn’t make you swallow with it’s intensity, and this girl’s eyes are everything and nothing you ever experienced within the vastness of the trees in the too early hours of the morning.
(Everything because the same warmth you felt when you breathed in the fresh air expands within your lungs with her gaze)
(Nothing because you never felt as hopelessly lost in the forest as you do when you meet her eyes)
Her eyes flicker with amusement and that’s when you notice her hands gripping your waist and you jerk back at the spark you feel from her touch.
“Sorry,” You mutter quietly, mustering a small smile and taking the seat next to her. You try to stare ahead, you really do, but her thigh is pressing against yours and when you glance down her skin is glistening, still damp from the rain. The thin material of her tank top clings to her skin and you stop yourself from ogling her with a bit more effort than you’d like to admit. Goosebumps cover her arms and you’re pretty sure she shivers, and that’s when you bite your lip. You’re wearing a long sleeved shirt under your (Raven’s) sweater and you can just hear her scolding you for not doing this sooner (“Honestly Griffin your game is so weak”) but there was something in the strangers stare when she first glared at you that made you think she wouldn’t appreciate what you’re about to do.
The bus is still moving down the street and the jerking of the vehicle and the small space you’re sitting in makes it harder than you would have thought to remove the sweater that long ago stopped smelling like Raven’s perfume and more like yours. She can tell what you’re going to do, you know because her back gets even more rigid (you didn’t think that was possible) than it already is and her chin juts out just the slightest. You shake off the remaining water droplets that cling to the warm material, and you shift in your seat to face the stranger, who is pointedly avoiding your eyes. You thrust your hands at her awkwardly, sweater hanging loosely from your grip and water drips onto the girls lap.
She clenches her jaw, and mutters in a soft voice, “I’m fine. Thank you.”
Rolling your eyes you drop the sweater on her lap and she turns to you, eyes narrowing in annoyance. “It’s just a sweater.” You say. “It’s clean, I swear. ”
She looks less than amused at your playful grin, “It’s just as wet as I am.”
You widen your eyes and she rolls her eyes.
“You know what I mean.” She grabs the sweater and dumps it on your lap. “Thank you anyways.”
Raven would be disappointed if you gave up now (not that you would because you’re stubborn as hell) so you grab the sweater again in one hand and grasp her hand with the other
(you try not to notice how soft it is)
and place the sweater in her palm, surprised when she doesn’t pull away. You graze her knuckles with your thumb before letting go, her eyes flicking down to your hands
(you notice anyways)
“Please. Just wear it.” She stares at you for a few moments and you can see the forest come alive in her eyes.
Something, maybe your pleading grin or the puppy eyes you’re unintentionally giving her, must convince her and with a defeated huff she nods and struggles to put the sweater on. You smile and study her. Your sweater looks good, like really good, on her and you feel the familiar burn on your cheeks when she drags her fingers through her damp hair (it’s a weakness you still can’t overcome) and you want to tell her that you see lighting lit forests in her irises and late nights under the stars in her pupils. that you’re sure her lips are as soft as grass under your back and her arms look as warm as the campfire you helped your dad build when you went camping.
But you don’t say any of that because you just met her (if you can consider this meeting her) and she probably won’t be flattered, much less overjoyed, that a complete stranger is hitting on her. Almost as if she’s read your mind she says, “I’m Lexa.” hand stretching towards you once it’s free from her curly hair.
“Clarke.” You take her warm hand in yours, and something about the way your heart races when she squeezes your hand makes you think that whatever happens from here on out will be something special.