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Today couldn't get any worse... Clarke thought to herself as she jogged across the forest floor with Anya in tow, rain teeming down on them despite the tree cover, wind roaring through the pines and only growing more powerful. First, she'd been abandoned in Mount Weather by Anya, who she'd rescued and hoped would work alongside her to escape. Then she'd been attacked by the reapers and mountain men in the tunnels. Then she'd survived a jump from the dam only to nearly drown in the river below. And when she woke, Anya had hit her over the head with a rock. Which, of course, led to her capture, then the tiring and paranoid chase through the woods with Anya snapping at her the whole way, and ultimately to their battle.

And sure, she'd managed to win that, but Clarke was pretty sure she had some knife wounds that desperately needed treatment, at least a minor concussion, and it was so freaking unnecessary. Besides, she'd only won due to Anya's injury, and the fact that the warrior was emaciated and still drugged from the tranquilizer. A second round wasn't anything she wanted, but while that wish was granted, she'd gotten a second massive storm-front since she'd fallen from space.

A hurricane, I think it was called... She mused, pounding her way through the forest, feeling thankful that the leaves and underbrush kept it from getting too muddy to run on.

"There's a cave over there, we need to get shelter!" Anya yelled out from behind her, and it was a tempting idea, but Clarke was finally in an area of the woods she was familiar with. The bunker was just a minute or two away, and it'd be better shelter to ride out the storm. "Clarke!"

"Just a little further!" She shot back at the wounded woman, feeling a little bad for having roped her hands together, basically pulling Anya on a leash, but they were nearly there.

Mere seconds later, the entrance came into sight, but a loud thump sounded behind her, dragging her attention from the bunker to a kneeling Anya. As quickly as her tired, bleeding body could muster, she rushed back to lift the woman to her feet, angry hands swatting away Clarke's attempted aid. "We will have escaped for nothing if we don't find shelter." Anya growled as she struggled to her feet, noticeably dizzy. Probably from the amount of punches to the head that it took to subdue her...

"It's right over there, follow me." Clarke called out, gesturing for Anya to follow just a little further. It was a little uphill, and neither were in any condition to run after having broken their previous momentum, but eventually Clarke pulled open the ladder hatch to the bunker, relief flooding her at the notion of rest.

Carefully, she positioned herself on the ladder, helping support and lead Anya down from beneath her. The shaft was narrow, so she knew if Anya fell, she'd either take Clarke with her, or she'd catch the warrior.

Thankfully, they managed to make it down safe, Clarke immediately stumbling through the darkness towards the footlocker by the table. With more haste than was probably advised given her injuries, she pulled it open and dragged out a lantern and the two towels she and Raven had salvaged from a military bunker weeks ago. It took a moment to light the room up, and while the dim, soft light made the hard lines of the bunker cozier, the presence of her guest nullified that a little bit. Anya was standing there, taking in the underground bunker warily, more than a little unsteady on her feet, so Clarke more or less walked the tired warrior over to the table and had Anya sit on it.

"Gonna dry you off, alright?" She asked as she lifted the towel to Anya's face, the warrior recoiling at the action. "Hey, whatever was going on between us...the fighting, the feud, the battles...it can wait until the storm passes, alright? Right now, we need to dry off and warm up. We're already hurt, we don't need to get sick."

Anya glared at her, eyes narrowing as she spoke, but the warrior allowed Clarke's touch, the towels helping wick the rain and grime away pretty quickly. It took some work, and a little more effort than she thought she had in her tank, but soon enough the warrior could at least make the claim of being reasonably dry. Dry enough for her to bandage those wounds.

Clarke made her way over to where she'd kept some spare medical supplies, grabbing what she needed, and perhaps a little more given how shaky her hands were, but when she turned around, she found herself bumping into Anya.

"You're soaking wet. Whatever healing you plan on doing will be a waste if you're dripping all over it." The woman practically sneered. And sure, Anya may have had a point, but it was just a little hard to think straight around her.

Still, she nodded her head, placing the supplies down on the table before moving over to a closet and using its door for cover.

"What are you doing?" The warrior asked flatly, bringing a blush to Clarke's cheeks that Anya may have expected something different.

"Changing out of my clothes. I have some open wounds that need healing, and I need access." She explained tiredly, soon finding herself with wet undergarments on. Well, I don't feel like being naked, so they'll just have to stay on for now. Better than nothing.

As quickly as she could manage once her wounds were much more apparent, Clarke dried herself off, wincing as she dabbed at the two shallow knife wounds along her ribs. Content with no longer being soaking wet, she crossed the bunker over to Anya, who looked to be putting up a fight against passing out, that usual stony stoicism fading as exhaustion started taking over.

"I'll fix up your arm and check your head, then you're resting, okay?" She asked, even if it was more rhetorical than anything, because that was the plan, and she was determined enough to get Anya cleaned and patched up so that the warrior could sleep uninterrupted. And also so Clarke could patch herself up and plan uninterrupted, of course.

Anya let out a half-hearted grunt, which was about as much of a sign of permission as anything at that point, really. Thankfully, the warrior's vicious bit of self-mutilation was pretty minor; while Anya was more awake after cleaning and stitching up the wound, the warrior hadn't made a peep. It was honestly pretty impressive.

Feeling content with how things were going, knowing she'd have plenty of time to digest their collective situation soon enough, Clarke led Anya towards the bed, only for the warrior to turn around and shove Clarke back against the table.

"You will heal yourself." Anya bit out, Clarke feeling a retort on her lips until a lazy swat landed against her wounded ribs. "The mountain might still track us here. Heal yourself."

Clarke let out a sigh, not particularly agreeing with the woman's method of pushing her point home, but she supposed it did make some sense. And it at least revealed that Anya trusted her enough to fight alongside her, worst case scenario.

And so the next fifteen minutes were filled with wincing and grunts as she cleaned and stitched herself up, Anya watching curiously from her seat on a nearby bed. It was a little strange to have someone just silently watch her for so long, but Clarke figured she was fortunate not to be chewed out or harassed instead. Silence was hardly the worst thing that could have blossomed between them.

Of course, it wasn't the best thing, either, even if Clarke hadn't really allowed herself much of any energy to think about their dynamic ever since laying eyes on Anya in those cages. It had actually been offensive to see the woman locked up like that, knowing how strong and proud Anya was, how fierce and capable she was. Though, when they'd made it down to the tunnels, and Anya had been so heartbroken over her people's dying bodies and corpses, Clarke had believed in something deeper than that pure warrior persona.

Not that she imagined she'd witness it now, but perhaps whatever respect she'd earned from the fight would at least make Anya a little less hostile towards her? Clarke certainly hoped so.

It was when her stomach rumbled that she went still, knowing she and the other forty-eight had been fed well enough, yet knowing nothing about how the grounders had been treated. "When was the last time you ate something?"

Predictably, Anya shot her a blank, unimpressed stare. Of course...she was locked in a cage, no windows, no clocks, no way of telling time...

Feeling a little motivated over their probable collective hunger, Clarke stalked off to the closet and flipped open the floor hatch, pushing Monty's backup herb collection to the side and pulling out the box of food rations they'd stored there in case of emergency. With the grounders having grown so hostile leading up to the big attack on their camp, one of the contingency plans if things went wrong was to escape to the bunker and regroup if they were scattered trying to escape Trikru territory.

Inside weren't the most amazing cuts of dried, cured meat, but it was something. Clarke took a large handful and returned the box to its hiding spot, shutting the floor hatch before returning to the bedside.

Anya's curious wary eyes had followed her the entire way, but had apparently missed the food in her hands, faintly startling when Clarke held out the strips of meat to the woman. About as cautiously as she'd ever seen her, Anya took a strip and nibbled on its edge, clearly testing it out for any dangerous properties.

After a few seconds of nothing happening, Anya took a larger bite, but still cast a suspicious glare at Clarke. "What is this place?"

Clarke plopped down beside Anya, taking her own strip, but keeping her nearest hand open so Anya could take more when she wanted it. "It was...I guess a place where my people could come and regroup if we were attacked and chased out of our camp. There's not a lot of supplies, but we tried to keep it stocked with enough to last about a week with a small group. We'll be safe from the storm here, we've got some food, and while water might be a bit of an issue, I'm sure we can figure something out."

Her eyes caught Anya glancing at the bed with a sort of longing, clearly wanting to rest, but not feeling comfortable enough to. Well, Clarke Griffin would just have to fix that; they both needed rest, Anya more than her. While she wasn't too worried about mountain men tracking them down, Clarke still wanted one of them to be awake most of the time.

"You should just sleep when you're done eating. I'll take first watch tonight." Clarke spoke, surprised that Anya didn't have whiplash after the woman's head spun so quickly to face her, clearly not believing her plans. "Look, Anya, me and my people aren't like you and yours, and...and that's okay. We have our differences, and that's what makes us stronger."

Anya's expression wasn't confused or disbelieving anymore, but it was still unreadable, which wasn't great. And while Clarke knew she should probably hold off on more talking when they were both so sore and exhausted, she'd left the mountain with hopes for a plan. One she still wanted to happen, so they could free their people from the mountain, and stop the maddening war between them. With that in mind, she untied Anya's hands and tossed the rope aside.

"Our people are different, but together, those differences would be powerful enough to get our people back...but only if we can come together as one." Clarke asserted, growing in confidence as she relayed her hopes to Anya. Her brain was fried, and she was having a hard time finding the right words, but it was the goal of it all that mattered in the end. "I want to...to...unite our people...form a union...bring everyone together so we can bleed the mountain and bring our people home."

Clarke wasn't sure what to expect for a response, but she had expected one from the warrior. Instead, Anya's brows furrowed in thought as they kept eating, the older woman's cautious hands taking strips from Clarke's. Still, at the very least, it made for a decently quiet few minutes, even almost relaxing if not for her worries over Anya flat out rejecting the proposal. She just wanted to bring their people together in a, well, an alliance of sorts. A union. One of those things.

"I knew you needed me. But you will need my commander as well." Anya stated firmly, tearing into another bit of meat as she stared off at the other side of the bunker intensely.

Clarke shook her head, though, because it wasn't entirely what she wanted. Not yet, at least. The movement managed to catch Anya's attention, dark eyes watching her carefully. "Of course your commander will have to agree to it eventually, but we can figure it all out right here, get it done between the two of us. We've got time, right? And then we can present it to the commander to confirm and make official after...at least, that's what I'm thinking."

If there was one thing Clarke didn't want, it was to rush and stumble into something last minute, without being at all prepared. She didn't want to meet this grounder commander empty-handed; she wanted a plan ready to go at their first meeting to prove she was capable. That they could work together. Anya was clearly intelligent, and if they brainstormed together, using the knowledge they gained from being trapped inside and escaping the mountain, then their wisdom would shine through in an effective plan. A true leader would see that, the grounder commander would have to see that.

Clarke almost missed Anya's features losing their hard edge, a confused curiosity replacing the usual grumpy suspicion. "You want to form a union with me?" The woman asked, voice uncharacteristically lacking that flinty tone, all silky smooth syllables instead in the question. It was almost enough to make her sweat a little.

Instead, she just smiled, trying her best to ignore how much she liked hearing that tone of voice from the woman. "I...we...need this union, for our people. But I want to do this with you. I wouldn't want anyone else at my side." She spoke in hopeful reassurance, praying that Anya wouldn't take offense to her basically asserting Anya as an equal, knowing they'd feuded a bit over worthiness and all that in the recent past. For whatever it was worth, they escaped the mountain together. They could concoct a plan to invade it together as well.

Clarke watched as Anya's gaze shifted to take in the bunker again, and then to the younger woman's hand, still a few strips left. She watched the woman swallow once, twice, before lifting her focus to Clarke's face, Anya seeming to move from feature to feature, her expression still unreadable as she seemed to assess Clarke's sincerity.

Still, it was taking a long time, so Clarke decided to just cut things off a bit and let the woman have a little time to make a call one way or another. "Hey, you don't need to make a decision right now. We're both exhausted, and you could use some time to rest and think it over. You know what I want with you, Anya...get some sleep and we'll see if you have an answer after you've woken up."

At that, Anya seemed to agree, the woman offering a slow nod, those deep brown eyes still fixed on her studiously as she manoeuvred around on the bed. That gaze only shifted away when Anya poked at the mattress and the pillow curiously before settling down. It was pretty chilly there in the bunker, however, and Clarke knew the woman would be cold while sleeping, so she went back over to the storage closet and pulled out three of the fur pelts they'd made a few weeks ago.

Anya's reaction to the added comfort draped over her was minimal, but there was a hint of a smile on the woman's lips, and hands that pulled the pelts snug around her. It was enough to know it was appreciated, really.

With Anya set up for sleep, Clarke found herself with a lot of time on her hands, and not a lot to do. Her hunger sated, her body wiped mostly free of grime, and being forced to stay awake for another half dozen hours or more, she didn't really have much left to work on or accomplish.

The sight of the half-ruined scrapbook and some minor art supplies off in the corner called to her, though. And really, maybe a little art could free her mind, even temporarily, from all the horrors she'd come to know, and all the worries of the future.

 


 

The first thing Anya was aware of when she woke was that she was in pain. Her arm still hurt like hell from biting it open, and she could tell her face was swollen in spots from the fight she had with Clarke. Still, as she flexed her toes and fingers, and moved her head side to side, it clearly wasn't life-threatening and wouldn't limit her abilities. And she certainly felt better than when she went to sleep.

It was still an odd feeling, sleeping in the shelter's bed, with it oddly adjusting to her body and providing a strange level of support and cushion. It'd made it a little difficult to fall asleep, but her body ached far less than sleeping on the floor would have made her feel.

The second thing Anya was aware of was the smell of food, and her stomach growling like a pauna. Letting out a groan from still feeling like she could use a few more hours of sleep, Anya worked her eyes open, spotting Clarke at the table with some book and a few slabs of dried meat. The food looked enticing, even if it was a bit old and flavourless; still, she took a few moments to really study her potential houmon, who had apparently managed to bathe herself and scavenged some dry clothing from the shelter's storage during her sleep.

Truthfully, the Skaikru leader had caught her eye from the start. Even through the rage of one of her villages burning to the ground, she'd seen something in the girl with hair like sunlight caught in strands. Anya had never underestimated the survivability of the Skaikru, but she had underestimated Clarke and her resourcefulness. As infuriating as the woman was, as heartbreaking as it was that Clarke killed hundreds of her people in battle with fire, she'd grown to respect the woman's mind. Especially after the escape from the mountain, something none of her people had ever accomplished. If that mind could take so many lives, how many could it save?

But it was their fight that had forced Anya to respect Clarke's body and spirit. Sure, she'd been halfway incapacitated, but Clarke had never given up, had taken tremendous punishment, and still managed to use Anya's weakness against her to claim victory. It had been an honourable fight.

So there Clarke was, an honourable, respectable leader of a clan, so different from her and yet so strong. Their people WERE different, that was evident, but both had exhibited strengths across the past weeks. Both had a common enemy. With her people's numbers and the Skaikru's familiarity with the Maunon's technology and weapons, there was a chance that they could defeat the demons that had been bleeding her people dry and probably turning them into monsters. For once, her people could be free of the terror from Mount Weather.

So Clarke's plan to combine their forces? It was a sound plan. Anya wasn't certain about the logistics, or getting all the unified clans to agree to working with the Skaikru, but the possibility for the longest war in their history to end in victory? It was something her people needed to consider deeply. A union would force that process, given that with Lexa officially representing all clans as Heda, she was left, at least prior to her capture, as the highest ranking general of the Trikru. Anya technically had the power to unite clans leader to leader, even if Lexa still outranked her, and could overrule the decision.

But Lexa would see the wisdom in this. Anya had fostered that brilliant mind when their heda had been her second.

It was the personal element to the union that had Anya curious. Ever since shortly before she'd stood in as Trikru Heda, holding the position until Lexa came of age, she'd been alone. Led keryon, or a 'wounded spirit', was what she'd been living with; it was how she'd led her people effectively, from an emotional distance, having known the difference in leading alone, and leading with a lover.

Yet, leading alone had lost her two villages, hundreds of warriors, and dozens of innocent Trikru. Her head hadn't been clouded by the love that ultimately cost Anya her houmon years ago, but it had been clouded by her own narrow judgments. Sometimes it was so easy to forget the value in having someone she knew deeply to talk tactics with, to ensure she was approaching situations rationally, with everything accounted for. Her own warriors and advisors had rarely ever questioned her decisions, and those few Trikru who did were often more reckless and headstrong, like Tristan. That was where Clarke's mind would hold definite value.

Clarke was a leader, but not a warrior. She was a healer, but a capable tactician who had a knack for misdirection and siege warfare. Clarke was kind when needed, ruthless when necessary, and clearly inspired hope among her people. With her mind to collaborate with, would her people be safer? With Clarke there to heal her villages, would her people prosper? If the great war ended for the first time in generations, would having Skaikru affiliated with her help in translating her people from wartime survival to peacetime lives?

There were a lot of questions Anya wanted answers to. What wasn't in question was Clarke's beauty. While some in the Trikru may criticize the woman's softness, Anya found it fascinating. In her world, children were soft, the weak were soft, not strong adults, and certainly not leaders. Yet, Clarke was soft in a way no child or weakling could ever be. That only rare people had managed to be. And even they lacked the gold-spun hair, the eyes of a summer sky, the smile of a long fought victory, the spirit of a true leader.

And then there was the fact that Clarke clearly knew of her people's customs, likely from that Octavia who Lincoln had fallen for. The young woman had proposed a union, in those very words, and wanted to claim her as her houmon. Clarke had wanted her.

Not only that, but the Skaikru leader had also seen to provide two of the three primary offerings; shelter from the storm and the mountain being an offering of protection, and the dried meat from the food stores providing an offering of nourishment, if on a necessarily smaller scale. All that remained was an offering of creation, and connection of spirits, both of which she expected would be provided soon enough, with how passionate the woman was. Clearly, Clarke had planned this ahead of time, and that level of confidence, of certainty in the unity of their peoples, and of certainty in wanting Anya...it was very appealing.

What wasn't appealing, Anya found, was her own behaviour, laying in bed, awake and resting while Clarke was slumped over the table trying her best to remain awake. Clarke, who had held first watch in her stead. Clarke, who had fed her, sheltered her, and healed her.

Feeling selfish for having taken advantage of the hospitality shown to her, Anya willed herself to shift in bed; her body complained through fresh aches as she moved to her feet, only for Clarke to rush over and guide Anya back down to a seated position.

"Hey now, you just woke up after a hard day yesterday. You'd been trapped in cages for who knows how long, and then were forced to dive, swim and run for half a day. Your body's going to be stiff and sore, don't rush yourself. Let's get you stretched out, alright?" Clarke rambled, though Anya supposed the woman made sense. And Clarke was a healer, so perhaps she would take the advice just this once.

Slowly, Clarke started working her body over, joint by joint, limb by limb, those mostly callous-free hands feeling wonderful on her body, softly lingering in places that had her skin tingling with anticipation and only encouraged Anya of their mutual attraction.

"So, how did you sleep?" Clarke asked quietly after Anya had stretched her legs out and had a brief, wonderful 'massage' from the woman. Such touches were usually done personally, or with the aid of a houmon. That Clarke was positioning herself in such a role was unsurprising, but perhaps bolder than expected with how soon it all was. It was intriguing, and Anya was definitely warming to the thought of a future together. Especially if it involved more of those touches.

Anya let out a tired grunt. "Well enough." Her words were true enough, even if she would have preferred more. More sleep would delay Clarke's rest, and Anya would not be selfish in the face of the other woman's efforts.

"That's good to hear." Clarke noted, prodding Anya to lie back down on the bed and roll onto her stomach. It was an odd request, but she'd allow it. Clarke was not a danger to her, not when the woman could have killed her numerous times since their fight. "I'm just going to massage your back and shoulders a bit, I can only imagine how tense you must be after everything."

Anya would have nodded were she capable, her jaw jutting into the mattress. It was hard to relax knowing how so many of her people were being tortured and bled. How so many of her people needed her, and were relying on her to free them. "You can't be faring much better. Do you also need a...massage?" She asked, trying the word out, not feeling familiar with it, but it was a word Clarke used for it. May as well apply it, especially if the healer's method was better than she'd ever had, and superior to the hot springs she and others frequented. If anything, it was only more reason to go through with the union.

There was a brief hesitation before Clarke let out a small laugh. "I wouldn't turn one down, but maybe later, after I've slept." The healer said, and Anya could understand that. If Clarke knew her body well enough to know it needed sleep more than touch, then that was how it would be. That Clarke admitted to wanting Anya's touch in return only solidified her understanding of the woman's attraction. It was relieving to know they were on the same level.

Anya was just starting to consider the possibilities of Clarke's offering of creation when those soft, supple hands began kneading and working at her back in a way that stole her breath. Moment by moment, touch by touch, Anya felt her body loosen up and flood with blissful tingly comfort, Clarke rendering her into an entirely relaxed mass, as if her body was hollow and her spirit was floating around inside freely.

It was fascinating. Clarke was fascinating.

And it was honestly all Anya could do to keep from being vocal about the healer's ministrations. Clarke had VERY nice hands. "Feeling better now?" Clarke asked, which was thankfully straightforward and simple enough to answer without concern.

"Yes." Anya noted hoarsely, closing her eyes as Clarke's wonderful hands worked away around the base of her neck, the warrior feeling positively weightless as skilled digits relieved the tension there.

She wasn't sure how much time passed before Clarke's hands left her, but it was disconcertingly disappointing when they did, Anya unsure at first what was happening, having slipped into a bit of a haze at her touch. Clarke was only gone a few seconds, though, returning once Anya had somewhat managed to roll onto her side, the healer holding strips of food in her hand that reminded Anya of how hungry she was. She, of course, happily began feasting on them.

"You need to eat now, and then you'll need to get up so I'll be able to sleep." Clarke spoke, her words only emphasized by a yawn. Still, Anya didn't have to look around to notice that there were other options for sleeping arrangements, other beds available.

"On this bed?" Anya asked, cocking an eyebrow in sheer curiosity over why Clarke would sleep where Anya had just spent the past few hours.

The healer let out a minor shrug. "You kept it warm. AND you slept for a long time, so I know it's good." Clarke noted with a yearning look at the pillows by Anya's side, before turning her full focus to the warrior. "Anyway, if you're going to be on watch for us, you should know the lamp will probably have enough fuel to go another four or five hours. I put a bottle of fuel beside the lantern, so if it's starting to flicker out, just add some more. There's a match or two on the table if you absolutely need them, as well."

Anya nodded at the instructions; she wasn't entirely unfamiliar with the concept, even if the lantern wasn't exactly like the ones she and her people occasionally used. "I can handle it."

"Good, good." The younger woman said, appearing and sounding distracted for a moment before seeming to find clarity. "Oh, and while you were sleeping, I...well, I made you something. It's over on the table."

Anya's eyes widened slightly at the prospect of Clarke having created something for her, fulfilling the last condition before the offering of one's spirit in union. It was rare for all three traditional offerings to be made so quickly, usually there was time between each offering to test compatibility, to gauge the merit of the offerings, but in that moment, Anya wasn't sure she cared much about that part of the tradition.

With her body still feeling a little light, Anya manoeuvred out of bed, her first few steps surprising her at how she felt. Anya had expected to be tremendously sore for days, and while her face still hurt, the rest of her body was only feeling a little achy. It honestly had her wondering what methods and secrets Skaikru healers had that could allow for such revitalization; pain was necessary, but often a distraction, and having healers to aid new warriors in surviving to become veteran warriors would be a huge boost for her people.

Feeling much better, much more confident now, Anya crossed over to the table and moved Clarke's book closer into the light, the lantern illuminating a face she thought she'd never see again. "Tris?" She mused openly, fingers reaching out to graze the monochrome drawings of her former second's face. Or, well, faces; a series of expressions filled the page, and even though Anya knew Clarke had never seen Tris smile, the woman had managed to perfectly capture it.

"That night still haunts me." She heard Clarke whisper, the shelter's steel walls amplifying the woman's voice to an audible level. At the very least, the words drew Anya's attention, even if her eyes refused to leave the page. "I thought I could save her. I almost did...if I'd just had tools from the dropship...not even from the Ark, just basic things from the dropship, she'd be alive right now. Just days before, I'd managed to keep from losing one of my friends, only to have my best friend murdered right after. Then to know you lost your second? And there was nothing I could do?"

Anya allowed her eyes to shift focus back to Clarke, who had sunk down onto the edge of the bed, one hand buried deep in golden curls. "Death...it's inevitable, we can't avoid it forever, but she was so young. I wanted to give her more time. Anya, I fell from space with ninety-nine others, and I still don't know much about this world, but I'm trying to give us all more time. And...since I couldn't save Tris, maybe I could honour her, help keep her memory alive so that when this hell is all over..." Clarke continued, words trailing off as the healer gave another shrug, though Anya didn't need to hear any more. It wasn't a weakness not to speak the words, only if they weren't known, and by the pain in Clarke's eyes and the invisible weight sagging her shoulders, she knew.

Anya couldn't help but stare at the Skaikru woman sitting there, releasing her remorse over their shared experience, as houmons often did to maintain stability and trust in each other, where they could heal through words where words were appropriate. Clarke had given her more than the usual offer of creation; usually, ornamented pelts and forged swords were provided, yet Anya could go to any tanner or smith in her villages for those. She could not be provided the security of memory like Clarke had provided; ten years after Anya's first houmon had died and she'd already forgotten parts of her. Something like that drawing would help preserve Tris' memory, and it honoured both her second, and her own connection to the fallen warrior.

There was no need to deliberate anymore. Anya was committed now.

"Your gift is generous, Clarke. You have done Tris and me an honour." Anya spoke, confidence blooming through her body as she stood up straight, knowing this was the best path for her life. For her people. "Would you like to complete our union?"

Perhaps a little predictably, Clarke tiredly waved her off. Again, the healer had noted that rest was more important than touch at the moment. Anya was patient, she would wait. "I'm too tired right now, but I'd really like to do that when I wake up. Thank you, Anya."

Happy to hear that Clarke had no reservations, Anya crossed over to the bed and guided Clarke down onto it, much like the golden-haired beauty had done with her. "Then you will rest...and I will keep you safe until then."

Clarke smiled at that and let out a laugh when Anya tossed one of the furs that had migrated partway down the bed at the blonde's head. Anya rolled her eyes at the playful glare Clarke shot her before the girl pulled the furs up past her shoulders, snuggling into their warmth, settling in almost exactly in the spot and position where Anya had woken up. Clarke was a very endearing person, but the healer didn't need to know exactly how she felt about that just yet. For whatever reason, their spirits were clearly calling to each other, and Anya was more than willing to see it through, with Clarke kom Skaikru at her side.

It was almost comical how quickly the younger woman fell asleep, leaving Anya to her own devices. In truth, she could certainly manage sitting around and waiting for a few hours. She'd done it before while on watch duty, or while in her tent, waiting for news. However, Clarke had proposed to her in a manner that deserved to be honoured, and reciprocated. It wasn't terribly uncommon for both leaders to provide offerings when forming a union.

Anya knew the storm would rage for a day or so yet, and that it would be difficult to get what she needed, but this was for her people. This was for herself. This was for her houmon.

She rose from her seat and decided to rummage a little in the storage area, to see what she could find that could help accomplish her goals. Today her spirit would unite with another, and she wanted to be as full in spirit as possible when that time arrived.

 


 

It was the sound of wind that penetrated the haze of Clarke's sleep first, whipping and roaring gales swirling off in the distance. A loud clang followed suit, stirring the blonde nearly the rest of the way from her slumber, eyes fluttering open, her tired body protesting the interruption. Still, it was quiet after the clanging sound, almost enough for her to give in to the urge to fall back to sleep, but a grunt, followed by a thump and a sharp inhale, had Clarke sitting up in bed, disoriented and confused.

It was the sight of Anya on her side, by the ladder leading out of the bunker, soaking wet and bloody, that annihilated any remaining haze and had her on her feet, rushing across the large room.

"Anya!" She yelled out at the older woman who was struggling to stand, drawing Anya's sharp gaze. Except, well, this time it wasn't as sharp, and there was a hint of a smile on the warrior's face, but Clarke chalked it up to Anya being relieved about returning to shelter from the storm.

"Clarke kom Skaikru..." Anya rasped out, moving to a kneel and wincing at the effort, the warrior's leg more than a little wounded at the moment judging by the slash marks through her bloody pants.

"Oh, can it with the formalities, I could freaking fillet you for going out into the storm and nearly getting killed! What were you thinking?!" Clarke raged, letting all her anger, and the surprising amount of fear, saturate her words enough to leave her touches gentle. Or, well, gentle enough while also helping Anya up onto her feet for as long as it took to sit the warrior on the table.

It was only then that she realized Anya was holding a number of things against her chest with both her arms. Whatever those are, they'd better have been worth her nearly dying out there, or I swear...

"Protection..." Anya mumbled, grabbing the largest of the items from her arms and holding it out to Clarke. It was all madness, and Clarke could barely think straight at how dangerous of a risk the warrior had taken, but she took the item and carried it with her as she grabbed the towels, her first aid kit, and the two small tubs of rainwater she'd collected while Anya had slept earlier.

"You're going to need protection alright..." Clarke grumbled to herself, unable to imagine throttling Anya there in the bunker without frowning, so her memory returned to the fight about a day ago now. Though, even then, it had Clarke's chest tightening at the memory of having hurt the grounder warrior. Which was unfair, since she should be able to feel guiltless about being angry and worried.

With as much grace and care as she could will herself to embody, Clarke slipped Anya's pants down to reveal the open wounds she'd suffered. Other than that, the other injuries just seemed to be minor scrapes, but the leg wounds needed looking after. She quickly got to work cleaning both wounds, drying them with some of the gauze that she hoped was still alright given its age, and sewing the two slash marks shut.

As she bandaged Anya's leg, and the danger was finally over, Clarke allowed herself a look at the item Anya had offered her. Honestly, it almost looks like...

"Anya!" Clarke blurted out, eyes widening at the realization. "Did you really just give me the top half of a wolf skull?"

It was just about too much to handle, so Clarke refocused her efforts on Anya's leg, knowing when she was done patching the woman up, maybe she could smack some sense into her about reasonable things to give another person.

"For a pauldron...you're a leader, you need one. I hollowed it out, made it wearable...and its skin is in a nearby cave set up to be tanned for a new pelt." Anya spoke, her voice hoarse still, clearly trying to keep from expressing pain. And alright, maybe the gift was practical and sort of thoughtful, given the cold season was upon them now, but was it worth the danger of heading out into a damn hurricane? No!

Clarke nodded at the explanation and got to finishing up the last few wraps of Anya's leg, smiling to herself when she finished. Not particularly good as new, but it was a good bit of patchwork. As she stood up fully from where she'd been kneeling, Clarke found another thing practically shoved in her face.

Specifically, a hollowed out turtle shell full of nuts and berries. "Nourishment." Anya added, which sort of sounded unlike the woman, given its formality. Sure, Anya's English was great, but she was sort of stilted with it like the other Trikru, and it made the woman sound serious and formal a lot of the time, even if her word selection rarely was. 'Nourishment' instead of 'food' was a little odd, and it had Clarke curious.

Still, she quickly realized she was hungry, having slept for a good amount of hours, and having only nibbled on a bit of meat between now and when she'd first brought out the meat stores. A little thankful for the chance to sate her hunger, Clarke took a handful of the assortment and shoved it in her mouth, chewing happily before placing the rest on the table so she could start cleaning Anya up.

Clarke had barely managed to rinse and partially dry Anya's now damp hair and the woman's shoulders when she felt something hard poke at her sternum. "Creation." Anya whispered, eyes suddenly glossing over, as if far off in thought. "The signs from the time you fell from the stars."

Her brow furrowed at the odd choice of words until she looked down and saw a makeshift knife made of a razor-sharp looking rock and a wooden handle that had clearly been carved. Curious, Clarke took hold of the item and lifted it up to her face, smiling at the sight of an obscure, if familiar constellation in the Phoenix carved into one side. She flipped the handle over and let out a curious hum at the sight of Pisces. Reborn through flame, and two opposing fish sharing a common star. It wasn't enough to kill her annoyance towards Anya, but it was enough to douse what was left of her anger.

"You made this?" Clarke asked in disbelief, wondering exactly how long she'd slept for. Sure, she felt very well rested, if certainly sore around her wounds, but the knife would have taken time to make. Still, Anya offered a firm nod, those dark brown eyes never leaving her own. "For me?"

Again, Anya nodded, a newly free hand reaching up to play with a lock of her hair. Which, okay, might have made her blush a little, because it wasn't every day she was given a bunch of thoughtful things, or had a gorgeous warrior twirling her hair around deft fingers.

"Offerings to solidify our union. I needed to bolster my spirit." Anya explained, as if any of that made a lick of sense. It wasn't like Clarke had asked or demanded anything of Anya except her cooperation in trying to secure a union between their people. Still, there was a saying 'it's the thought that counts' and she happened to subscribe to that when it came to receiving nice things. Even if they were a result of a reckless adventure out into a potentially deadly stormy wilderness.

Clarke allowed one last happy glance at the ornate knife before placing it with the other two gifts on the table. Anya was still pretty wet and grimy, and had clearly earned some rest, despite worrying Clarke half to death. "Well thank you, but maybe next time you feel like bolstering your spirit, you can wait until after the hurricane."

"I worried you?" Anya asked as Clarke continued cleaning and drying the warrior off, occasionally removing the odd article of clothing to help out the process. "I am a strong warrior, Clarke. The general of the Trigedakru."

Clarke looked up from where she was toweling off the woman's abdomen. "I'm aware. It had nothing to do with that, and everything to do with wanting a union with you, and the fact that something could have happened to you out there. I could have lost you before we had a chance to get this started for us and our people."

Clarke returned to her work and decided that the soaked and torn up tank top Anya was wearing just wasn't capable of drying out any time soon. "I'm going to need this off you." She added, tugging at the hem and looking up at Anya expectantly.

Those oddly warm brown eyes of Anya's widened slightly, the minor shift in expression not preparing Clarke for the warrior stripping her jacket and top off in a single, smooth movement, both articles practically flung to the ground with a wet splat. It left Anya with a thin layer of medical wrapping over her breasts, which Clarke felt conflicted about, both relieved for its presence and yearning for it to be gone, much like Anya's undergarments. The internal conflict only managed to last a few seconds, though, because Anya quickly tore the wrapping off, revealing her upper body completely.

Clarke knew she should be doing something, that she had some goal to accomplish, or something to do, but Anya topless in front of her just had her gaping as her mind tried to catch up with what was happening. Anya was half naked, and fuck was she glorious.

After a few long seconds, Clarke registered the materials in her hand and decided to get back to work, gently wiping and dabbing away at Anya's chest and abs to help out, but Anya seemed to have other plans, resting a hand over Clarke's towel hand as another wrapped around the base of her neck and pulled her closer.

"I need to dry you off." Clarke whispered, feeling pretty foolish at how red her face must be, and how quiet she was being. She'd only been trying to help, and now, well, she was just confused as anything.

"Very well, Clarke. Do what you will." Anya spoke almost teasingly in return, those fingers at Clarke's neck lightly trailing over her skin in patterns as the blonde continued drying the warrior off, the hand that had once covered her towel hand having migrated to her hips. Almost as if...

Clarke shook away the thought internally as she continued, but Anya was touching her with tenderness and curiosity. Anya's eyes were flickering all over her face, but mostly between her eyes and lips. And maybe Clarke started to wonder why SHE was cleaning and drying Anya off when the warrior was more than capable.

That stray thought had Clarke dropping her rag and towel to the floor and practically rushing off towards the sleeping area, needing to gather her thoughts and figure out what was going on. Okay, so Anya went out and risked life and limb to get me...well, gifts, basically. Which...is confusing as hell, and more than a little absurd with the hurricane, but she's her own woman. And they WERE nice. Ever since we fought, she's been more respectful of me...ever since I brought her here and healed her, she's been a lot nicer...so maybe I won her respect with the fight, and won her...her affection by taking care of her down here? Clarke mused to herself, figuring it was as good a reason as she could think of for the unexpected behaviour.

But even still, it was immensely frustrating. Her skin felt aflame where Anya's hands had been; being trapped in the mountain, away from the immediate and dire need to survive, had illuminated some more dormant needs of hers, and one of those was some damn intimacy. Her and Finn making out for a little while a ways back had provided a spark, and while he'd been more a friend than anything still, especially later once when she learned about Raven, it started something in her. Something that the ongoing battles for survival against the Trikru had muted and masked for a time.

But now, free from battle, free from the mountain, survival assured for at least the near future, Clarke felt a deep need to do away with her sexual frustration and loneliness, to find someone she could connect with even if just for the time being. After everything she'd endured, Clarke knew she deserved at least the possibility of that. And Anya touching her just exacerbated things, because as incredible as that woman was, it wasn't realistic to think anything could happen there.

"Clarke..." Her name spilling from Anya's lips was the only real warning she had before a hand took hold of her right wrist, another hand gently grazing up the inside of her forearm to her biceps. The whole gesture had her hair on end, breath caught in her throat as Anya's hand stilled on a small pair of moles on the inside of her arm, thumb lightly caressing the small marks. "Clarke, I wish to begin the keryon splor raun with you." Anya's whisper was warm like the morning light after long nights where she'd been desperate for more time, more opportunities, simply more of everything, those rays of sunshine reassuring her of the granted wish.

Regardless of how confused she was, Clarke felt herself nodding, turning to face the other woman who was intently watching those intriguing hands map the expanse of her arm. Again, the tenderness struck deep into the heart of Clarke's desires, Anya's touch far from the realm of friendly curiosity or apathetic lust. No, the warrior was touching her, practically memorizing her, as if every inch of her held a secret, and Anya was desperate to uncover each and every one.

It was Anya stepping ever so closer, head ducking low to trail the tip of her nose across Clarke's exposed shoulder, that forced words up her throat and past her lips. "Is this really happening?" She breathed out in the last puff of oxygen left in her lungs, a light gasp drawn by Anya's lips against her neck hardly providing relief.

"Are you not familiar with this?" Anya murmured as she moved behind the blonde, hands shifting from Clarke's thoroughly investigated arm to her shoulders, confident digits lightly grazing and massaging at her newly tense muscles.

The question honestly had Clarke blushing a little, because while it all felt new, it wasn't like she hadn't touched others, or been touched. She'd made out before, if only just a little bit, but she still knew what foreplay was. This, though, this was different; Finn's touches had never held such a sense of enormity behind them. As if every graze of Anya's hand was resonating deep inside of her, pulling them closer together. "I'm just...you're more...thorough than I thought you'd be. More intense."

Anya let out a hum at that before tugging at Clarke's tank top, hot breath washing against her neck. "I need to feel you, Clarke."

Clarke felt her proverbial floodgates open at the brazen, clear want Anya confessed, hardly needing a moment to digest the words before she was stripping her top off as fast as possible. Anya apparently took that as a sign of things to come, practically tearing Clarke's pants down to the ground and lifting her up by her ass. Clarke's legs immediately wrapped around the warrior's hips, disregarding any thought of the woman's prior exhaustion as Anya carried her over to the bed and sat her down onto the mess of furs.

She felt thankful for the momentary reprieve when Anya sunk to her knees and ran firm, calloused hands down the blonde's legs. It gave Clarke time to catch her breath, time to understand what was going on, time to try and steady her heart at the thought of making something special with Anya. She let her gaze drop to the bedside, Anya wide-eyed and staring reverently at her calves, fingertips brushing down her shin.

"You're so smooth." Anya spoke in hushed wonder, nuzzling her cheek against Clarke's legs as hands grazed and caressed their lengths. "Are all Skaikru like you?"

Clarke swallowed back a moan at the sight of Anya's eyes practically saturated in lust and awe. "I...no. We grow hair too, but I shaved when I was trapped in the mountain." Clarke explained as she blushed; back then, she'd been a little embarrassed for taking part in the luxury, but now, it all seemed worth it, with Anya looking at her like she hung the damn stars in the sky.

Feeling a little more confident now, Clarke reached out and ran a hand through Anya's damp locks, spurring the warrior's head to duck and allow better access. "You have a freckle on your leg, Clarke. I might not have seen it..." Anya whispered with clear relief, impulsively lifting Clarke's right leg and pressing soft lips to it.

The feeling of Anya practically worshipping her legs had a surge of adrenaline thrumming through her veins, the war drum of her heart pounding its song louder and harder through her skull, her core awash with a building heat that seeped throughout her body and had every nerve prepared for what was to come. Or, rather, for whom.

She hardly had time to react to the feverishly hot skin the warrior's lips had affectionately branded, Anya swiftly tangling a hand in her hair and rising into a kiss that was all at once consuming. Vaguely, Clarke knew it was dangerous to let herself be entwined in whatever this was with Anya, but she found all of her concerns, her worries, her suspicions...all of them fading along with the fear for her people, the mounting sexual frustration, and the near debilitating loneliness.

With each and every second their lips met, with each and every press of Anya's lips to her own, every graze of tongues or the warrior nibbling her lower lip, Clarke felt weightless and warmer with want. She'd been lonely up in space, even with Wells around. She'd been especially lonely in the prison cell. Coming down to the ground, and all the fighting for survival, had helped mask it until she'd been trapped in Mount Weather, but it returned with a vengeance there.

And now, Anya was in her arms, kissing Clarke like each press of lips was keeping her alive. Keeping them alive.

"Come here..." Clarke gasped out, scooting backward on the bed during a break between kissing, Anya's body following wordlessly, rising to crawl onto the sheets and furs, pursuing the blonde. The brief moment of separation allowed Clarke enough time to fully strip off the rest of her clothes, feeling a distinct need to be naked with how Anya had been with her.

The gesture had Anya stalling for a moment of excited appreciation before pulling her final article of clothing off, tossing it behind her blindly, and continuing to prowl closer on her hands and knees. Clarke felt her heart stutter as the woman drew closer, Anya dropping to her side as she pulled the blonde's left leg into her hands. Soft lips pressed across her foot, her ankle, and up her calf towards her thigh, Anya's hands caressing and kneading at her all the while, and it had her eyes rolling back from relief. If this was the kind of massage Anya had offered earlier, she would damn well take it.

Whatever she'd predicted about Anya's ability to give a massage, and she honestly hadn't expected much, apparently the woman was capable of learning by example. Clarke sunk back against the wall as Anya worked the tension and knots out of her leg, lips burning each and every area that drew a gasp or sigh from Clarke's lips. By the time the warrior had made it up to her thigh, Clarke was gasping for air and embarrassingly aroused, feeling it dripping out of her, but like hell if she was going to stop Anya.

Still, she could speed things up a bit. "Anya, I need you...I need you up here..." She spoke in a single, long exhale, hoping her words were discernible as she trailed off into a moan, nimble fingers working at her upper thigh as teeth nipped at the soft inner skin.

A hardly stifled moan met her request, Anya once again crawling up her body to possess her lips, fingertips holding her chin in place as the other calloused hand cupped her cheek. Where the last kiss had been a fiery mess of lips meeting again and again, this one was slower, simpler. Anya's lips softly pressed against hers, the shift in pace both surprising Clarke and settling her nerves. Even though she'd only ever made out, Clarke could see where this was going, could oddly enough feel their heartbeats nearly in sync, and Anya's simple affection only helped her to the conclusion that this was what she wanted. Anya was who she wanted.

It was the beginning of a new world, and as far as Clarke was concerned, there really wasn't anyone better to share her first time with. And maybe that was a little impulsive of her, but with Anya's hand softly caressing and stroking her face as they shared a simple, earnest kiss, she had no doubts her Trikru companion would treat her well.

Feeling a little compelled to give back now that Anya was in reach, Clarke shuffled in place, blindly maneuvering them both until she'd slid herself onto Anya's lap. One of Anya's hands sliding down her back to clutch her ass only emboldened the blonde to run her hands through the warrior's braided hair, treating Anya to the same sort of thorough exploration she'd been gifted with.

When a stray finger skimmed a small patch of skin where neck met shoulder, forcing Clarke to swallow an impassioned moan from her companion, well, she could only smile and refocus her efforts. As kindly as she could manage, Clarke ended their kiss, peppering Anya's lips, nose, and jawline with kisses before tugging those braids to gain better access to Anya's neck.

"Clarke..." The warrior sighed, relenting immediately, one hand repeatedly combing through Clarke's hair as the other continued to knead her ass, apparently more than content to let Clarke ravage her neck with kissing, licking, and biting. Where Finn, weeks ago, had been resistant, Anya practically rolled out the welcome mat, at times pushing Clarke's face against the tender skin, absolutely thrilling and delicious sounds escaping the older woman.

Hell, Clarke couldn't help her own little mewls and moans, feeling an overwhelming and addictive sense of satisfaction in the fact that Anya was practically writhing because of her. The 'Princess' of the Ark, the buzzkill, the spoiled rich kid, the reluctant leader, the very girl who Anya had refused a simple handshake once upon a time.

It was nothing short of amazing, feeling Anya in her inexperienced arms, the slightest of movements and responses alerting Clarke as to where she was needed and what felt good. It was a masterclass in Anya of the Trikru, and like hell if she wasn't going to excel.

Still, when Anya pulled Clarke's head away from her neck for a brief kiss, the blonde was hardly about to complain, each more consuming than the last. Each press of her lips to Anya's only made her more certain that there was something special growing between them, and Clarke didn't want it to stop building, feeling near feverish in want as she gripped and held Anya close.

The warrior broke the liplock tantalizing moments later, forcing just enough space between them for Anya to dip her head down and suck at the edge of one of Clarke's areolas, the pressure and sensitivity forcing her body to arch into her companion as arousal blitzed through her like lightning. A brief glance down, looking through Anya's lashes and into devious brown eyes, let her know that the woman was not above doing a little teasing for both of their benefits.

Clarke met Anya's efforts with her own; each lick, suck, nibble and flicking of nipples were met with whimpers and gasps and mewls that clearly fed the older woman's well-earned pride. For all the satisfaction Anya had seemed to draw from the sounds forced from her earlier, there was a change in the way the woman worked at her. Clarke could hardly deny that Anya was building her up and up, breathless as she wondered where in the hell the cliff of her arousal was. However, the warrior's flushed face and staggered breath, Anya's hands clawing at her with less and less control and purpose, it all had Clarke realizing that Anya was as turned on as she was.

Her nipple rolling in Anya's teeth drew a cry from her throat, legs immediately wrapping around the warrior's waist as her hands went on autopilot in their exploration. "Anya, please..."

"Tell me what you need, Clarke..." Anya murmured against her other breast, sounding more than eager to continue her efforts in evening out the pleasure.

"I need...Anya, I've never..." Clarke started, the woman ravishing her breaking apart just about any coherent thought, though after a few nonsensical syllables, Anya mouth stilled mid-nibble, dark eyes peering up at her with more patience than Clarke honestly would have shown in her position.

Still, it was enough to continue her train of thought, wanting to offer a final warning, to let Anya know what she was getting into. "I've never gone this far before, I've...I've never had sex. I just..." Clarke began again, face flushing red as she lost track of her words for a moment. That moment, however, was long enough to see clarity form in Anya's eyes, which only seemed to grow more intense as the weight of Clarke's reality sunk into her. "I need you, Anya. I just don't know how."

Anya detached from her thoroughly ravished breasts, posturing up fully to bring their faces a breath apart, those intelligent mocha eyes scanning her over as if she were new. "You're offering me your blood?" Anya whispered, face angling closer in that moment, nose gently nuzzling her cheek in a moment that lost no intensity, any fading sparks of arousal more than made up for by the swelling heat in her chest from the immense care and patience Anya was showing her.

Perhaps it was a bit of an odd way to describe it, but Clarke was aware there were many words and phrases for it. Whether it was her blood, her virginity, her 'first time', or some other combination of culturally specific words, that was indeed what was happening.

Clarke answered with a short nod, head angling to press a kiss against Anya's cheek. "You're my first."

Anya let out a quiet sigh, eyes fluttering closed as her forehead gently pressed against Clarke's temple. "Our firsts are almost all under the stars, by our rivers, our fires, our lands, all that's become part of us over the seasons. I'd thought..." Anya spoke, voice trailing off for a moment, followed soon by a thoughtful hum. "But you fell from the stars to the ground. Maybe it fits that your first is here, surrounded by the world that allowed you a second chance."

It was an interesting take on what was apparently appropriate, and had Clarke smiling at the thought that maybe this bunker wasn't such a cold, dark place after all. Especially with her current company practically emanating heat and warmth enough for both of them.

"I want to make you feel good, too, Anya." Clarke spoke as she stroked Anya's shoulders, wanting to ensure that the warrior knew this wasn't a selfish endeavour, that she truly did want to do the same with Anya, and fill the woman full to bursting with pleasure.

"I expect no less, Clarke kom Skaikru. But right now, I will open you to the world in full." Anya returned, the back of her hand stroking gently down Clarke's cheek once, twice, before their lips met. Anya's were swollen from before, but it only reminded Clarke of her hypersensitive, overworked nipples; arousal roared back to the forefront as the warrior's fingertips gracefully skimmed down her body as if they were blazing a trail, only momentarily slowing to scrape lightly across her abs.

Clarke let out a content hum at the light pressure of Anya's dull nails, squirming as a chill of pleasure ran up her spine when those hands gripped her ass and pulled her impossibly closer. The warrior's lips broke away, only for Anya to plant a kiss on the small mole above her lip, then on the one beneath her right eye, then the one above her left eyebrow. She's...actually exploring me. Finding every little part of me that's unique and memorizing it... Clarke mused in utter wonder, heart swelling at the thought of Anya cherishing each and every mark and imperfection on her body simply because they were hers.

"Clarke..." Anya breathed out, nose blazing a trail down her cheek to her jawline, fingertips wonderfully kneading her ass in a way that would have got her attention with or without her words.

"Mmhmm?" Clarke hummed, running a hand through Anya's hair and angling her head to steal a nibble at the woman's lower lip. The amused grin that spread across Anya's face had Clarke thankful that the storm was still raging, that they'd have plenty of time together to explore whatever connection was growing between them.

"I need you to lift up for me." Anya whispered with a gentle smile, hands lightly smacking at Clarke's ass. And while she was entirely happy to remain in the warrior's lap, she was definitely up for suggestions.

However, it was when she moved to a kneel, knees planted at the side of Anya's hips, that she became immediately aware of wetness that should not have been on the backs of her thighs. A quick glance down at Anya's lap revealed the obvious culprit, that the warrior's stitches and bandages had come loose in their heated touching, and re-opened the wound.

Anya's fingers once again found the underside of Clarke's chin, pulling her worried gaze back up to meet the warrior's determined amber eyes. "You cared for me before. And after this, you will again?" The woman asked, though it was pretty clear that Anya expected her to provide the service, an expectation that was on point. She wouldn't let Anya bleed and hurt just to give her pleasure, not a chance.

But, at the same time, she knew Anya had a whole lot of stubbornness tied up in tradition and self-image, and knew there'd have to be some compromise if she wanted to care for her lover-to-be as soon as possible.

"My strong warrior..." She let out softly, the back of her hand grazing along Anya's cheek as the woman's watchful eyes shone with pride. "I could lay down, or, maybe you could, just to help with..." Clarke continued, only for Anya's lips to silence her, an interruption she wasn't at all averse to.

"I'm to bring you into your second life, Clarke. We must be aligned." Anya spoke, one of her hands drifting across Clarke's hip, fingers skimming at the apex of her thighs and stealing the breath from her lungs as her body trembled with anticipation.

"Well, then, don't keep me waiting, Anya." Clarke murmured, taking hold of all the courage she could muster as she took Anya's hand and moved it the two or so inches to where she truly needed the woman. "I'm all yours."

Once more, Anya's lips met hers, soft pressure and a skilled tongue drawing out a moan as Clarke's hips rolled against the woman's hand that cupped her core, so close to earning release after the slow burn she'd endured so far. Anya's fingers rubbed gently at her folds, Clarke's hips bucking at the touch, not feeling at all satisfied.

"Please..." The word escaped in a whimper when the warrior's fingers skimmed her clit as they ran up her entrance again, Clarke's fingers gripping hard into Anya's shoulders. The outburst only earned another feather-light brush across the nub, pushing Clarke to duck her head into Anya's neck, peppering the tender column with kisses as she clung to the woman. "Anya, please..."

Clarke had her lips planted against Anya's pulse point when a sudden sensation of pressure stole her breath, teeth clamping down hard on skin from the foreign tightness at her core. She felt the single digit that had entered, entirely stationary now as Anya's lips graced her temple, reassuring her that all was well, that this was finally happening.

Her eyes welled with tears against her will from the sheer feeling of connection blooming through her, Clarke moving her mouth to mark Anya, even if temporarily, in an effort to share what she was feeling. Anya's tiny little surprised squeak only had Clarke lifting her head, teeth taking hold of the woman's lower lip and drawing her lover into a kiss.

That single digit began to move as they met in a messy union of lips and tongues. The blonde had already been awash in arousal, but as Anya's kissing turned feverish, as the warrior's remaining hand laced itself with Clarke's, as a second finger entered her and stole her breath for a second time, things started getting hazy.

Each stroke relieved more and more of that tight tension, replacing it with a more familiar pressure building in her core, but it was different this time. It all felt fuller and hotter as her hips rolled and rocked in time with Anya's hand, as Clarke rubbed her body against Anya's with each rhythmic motion.

"C...close..." She panted between crashing of lips, feeling that pressure building a lot quicker than she might have hoped, for her pride's sake; still, relief was coming soon, she could feel it, and she was doing all she could with her free hand to show her appreciation. With her other hand clasped with Anya's, her free hand tweaked and pinched at the warrior's nipples as she writhed against the woman. Clarke Griffin was feeling damn good, and she wanted Anya to feel it, too. Honestly, she needed Anya to feel it.

Feeling brazen, she dropped her hand from Anya's breasts, swiftly trailing it down the woman's abs to cup her core and flick a thumb across her clit. The breathless moan was music to Clarke's ears, even when it faded into a weak laugh. "Patience, houmon..." Anya breathed out, another ministration sending a shiver through the warrior's body, drawing another laugh.

"Come with me, Anya." Clarke whimpered, her body's movements growing unsteady with each new, sharper thrust, fingers curling inside her and building that molten-hot pressure inside.

Anya's small nod and warm eyes were all she needed to see to push two fingers into the woman and flick at that swollen clit again, Anya hardly stalling in her own efforts as Clarke's hips began grinding erratically at the woman's hand.

She wasn't sure whether it was the woman's over-active thumb, the explosive kiss that swallowed her cries, or the sudden squeeze of her hand, but Clarke felt herself tumbling over into orgasm, muscles contracting hard against Anya's fingers, body shaking and tense as wave after overwhelming wave of pleasure washed over her. Anya's fingers slowed their rate and seemed to draw the experience out, but it was feeling the warrior bucking hard against her hand, Anya letting out a sharp cry as she bit into Clarke's bottom lip, a sticky wetness erupting over her digits, that had the blonde feeling a second rush of arousal and pleasure flood through her body and light her nerve endings on fire.

Anya was tense and shivering up against her, foreheads resting together, breasts touching, lungs sharing each other's staggered and shallow breaths as their hands clung fast to each other.

Clarke knew that before Anya, she'd never really orgasmed. Not truly, because as her mind worked through her haze, nothing compared, nothing had her pulse pounding through her skull and core with such wondrous intensity. She'd made herself feel good before, but Anya...Anya had made her feel whole, and full, and connected as if they'd literally bound themselves into a single being for a few moments. It was all new, and exciting, but she needed to just catch her breath for a bit, and Anya was being more than accommodating, taking to kissing at whatever tears had fallen down her cheeks instead of stealing her ability to breathe again.

"That was..." She let out, gently biting her wounded and bleeding lower lip to keep from smiling too widely. Clarke wasn't too sure what words she was looking for that could express what she was feeling, and after a moment or two of Anya pulling back, staring at her expectantly, all tired eyes and softly grinning, she wasn't sure she needed any. She let out a giddy laugh and leaned forward, her bruised lips meeting Anya's in a simple, lingering kiss; no urgency, no fire, just the recognition that they had time, and each other.

Reluctantly, Clarke removed her hand from Anya, the woman's breath hitching from the movement as the blonde brought her hand up to her face for a curious sniff. It was all new territory, but she'd read up on sex. There had been some videos on the Ark.

"Clarke..." Anya spoke lowly, perhaps a bit of a waver in her voice, but the blonde paid it little mind as she brought those soaked fingers to her mouth and took in the warrior's taste, tongue swirling around her digits in curiosity as Anya watched on, wide-eyed. It wasn't strong, but it was musky, somewhat salty, with a hint of sweetness, and Clarke wasn't at all averse to more.

She let a smile spread across her face as she brushed her lips against Anya's once more. "I'm going to take care of you now, okay?" She asked, even if it was rhetorical. It wasn't like she wanted to move from where she was, all wrapped up in Anya's arms, enjoying the press of their bodies together, enjoying the warrior's warmth. Duty called, however, and she wanted Anya to stop bleeding as soon as possible, even if it wasn't bleeding too badly.

At Anya's slow, dazed nod, Clarke untangled herself from the older woman and made her way off the bed and across the room to her first aid kit, grabbing it and the mass of towels there as well, as an idea came to mind. She made a brief escape to the storage closet to relieve herself in one of the jugs assigned for that purpose, before hauling all the supplies she needed across the room.

"So the storm's probably still raging for a little longer, and you've been awake for a while now." Clarke noted casually as she returned to Anya and padded the floor with towels, the blonde kneeling by the side of the bed and patting the space in front of her. The warrior didn't take long to shuffle over, swinging her legs to each side of Clarke. "Here's what I think...I'm going to patch you up again, and because you're clearly tired, I'm going to eat you out until you're exhausted enough to rest. And then we'll rest for a while together, because we both need to be as healthy as we can be when we get out of here, and because we still have some time left until the storm is over. Deal?"

Anya's glazed eyes slowly focused on her, eyes narrowing as the woman cocked her head to the side. "Eat me out?"

Clarke grinned and leaned forward, letting her tongue trail up Anya's glistening folds, punctuating it with a fleeting kiss. She'd honestly never given another woman oral, but once upon a time back on the Ark, she'd crushed on Raven Reyes, and had hoped to convince the girl to experiment a bit with her. Of course, she'd been jailed not long after that plan had hatched, and she hadn't been aware that Raven was dating Finn at the time, either, but it had been a good plan, with a lot of research.

Clarke's gaze shot upwards as she leaned backwards, spotting Anya all tense, eyes closed and mouth clamped shut. "If anyone deserves to sit back and relax for a while with my soft, wet tongue between her legs, it's you. And you...you know, you can make noises, Anya. I...actually really like hearing you."

"Well, then, you'll have to earn that privilege, my houmon." Anya noted with a teasing grin, amusement sparkling in her tired eyes that had Clarke quickly pulling her first aid kit open and getting to work on the reopened wound.

It didn't take too long to clean the wound and redo the stitches, Anya soon sporting a clean bandage over the previously seeping wound. It might have taken Clarke a minute or two of kissing up Anya's thigh to regain her confidence in what she was about to do, though.

Anya's scent helped, its familiarity lulling her back into that heady state of arousal, wanting Anya to feel good, wanting to keep feeling so immensely connected to the woman. Her tongue traced along the edges of Anya's labia, cleaning up the thicker trails of cum that dripped from her lover, eager hips twitching forward at Clarke's ministrations.

Feeling settled and ready, Clarke laid a hand on Anya's hip to steady herself while the other took hold of one of Anya's, wanting that sense of connection she felt from it minutes ago. Thankfully, Anya didn't seem to mind at all, giving her hand a little squeeze while the woman combed through Clarke's hair with the other, letting out a pleased, if faint, hum when the blonde's lips met her pubic bone.

Clarke took another long lick up her lover's folds, savoring Anya's taste as her nose rubbed at the woman's clit. She felt fingers freeze for a half second in her hair as she practically dove in, cheeks meeting soft hair as her mouth went to work, the heady salty-sweetness intoxicating as she lapped greedily at Anya's core.

Hips bucked forward at her, trying to match Clarke's arrhythmic movements, the blonde happily mixing up long strokes through her swollen folds, with flicks and nibbles to the woman's sensitive clit, and curling thrusts inside of her lover. The lack of consistency seemed to frustrate Anya a little, calloused hands coming to wind through her hair and hold her head steadier, though Clarke could hardly complain. Not when her warrior was starting to get a little vocal, the tiniest of hums and gasps escaping.

Clarke would have smiled were she able, and rewarded Anya with a hum of her own that had the hand in her hair pulling her fast against hips that jolted forward against her mouth. "Clarke..." Anya let out, moaned syllables escaping in a harsh exhale. It was music to her ears, and had her hand migrating from Anya's hip to the woman's pubic bone, fingers massaging and palm applying gentle rolling pressure as she scraped her teeth against Anya's swollen nub.

She could feel Anya building towards an orgasm, breaths growing heavier and sharper, the hand in her hair and rocking hips more desperate in trying to find purchase and relief, tiny gasps and grunts growing into moans and cries that echoed throughout the bunker. Her warrior was wetter than Clarke had expected, her juices surely covering the blonde from nose to chin, some of Anya's wetness dripping down her neck and onto her chest. It was glorious, lips wrapped around Anya's clit, hand massaging the woman's hip, drawing sharp gasps of pure pleasure.

It was Anya's thighs closing in on Clarke's head, hips beginning to buck erratically, that signalled to her that her lover was close. She swiftly brought her hand down, two fingers entering Anya and curling at the same spot where Anya came apart on her before, insistent in her pace as she ravaged the woman's clit. Feeling Anya come apart around her was an experience she could only describe as religious, the strong stoic warrior's body slipping into minor convulsions from her tongue, lips, teeth and fingers. Clarke kept Anya's hand clutched in her own, not letting go as she felt Anya near her peak, those laboured breaths hitching, moans twisting into whimpers, thighs quivering against her ears.

Hearing Anya cry her name out with such desperate need had Clarke sealing the deal with a sharp flick and hum to the woman's clit, three fingers curling firmly in that special spot. All at once, legs clamped hard against her skull, muscles clenched hard against her fingers like a vise, and Clarke got a spattering of thick globs of cum spraying on her mouth and chin as Anya convulsed and shook against her. That heady, musky scent was overwhelming, and bringing her lover to orgasm was phenomenal, but Clarke pulled her fingers from Anya slowly and gently, unsure if it was particularly safe for the injured woman to continue such a physically intense climax.

Her hand migrated to the woman's pubic bone instead, having read that pressure there was enjoyable during orgasm, tongue still lapping and flicking away, refusing to let Anya come down too far. She found herself enjoying where she was, the feeling of being surrounded by Anya, being covered in Anya's come, only the scent of the warrior in her nostrils as she worked at those swollen, soft folds over and over, cherishing each sharp buck of Anya's hips against her mouth.

"Oh....oh no..." Anya let out in a choked whisper, the hand in Clarke's hair unraveling its grip, digits scrambling to leave her head, only to push weakly against her forehead a second or two later as Clarke hummed with amusement at the apparent loss of coherence. Another hum, a few sharp flicks against her clit, and some immediate firm pressure against her public bone had Anya's hips jolting violently against her, the hand in hers squeezing painfully as the warrior slipped into her second orgasm.

All of that was interesting, and new, and exciting, but it was the subsequent eruption against her face and the associated hoarse scream that reverberated throughout the bunker, that had Clarke falling backward to sit on her feet, a rush of liquid forcing her eyes and mouth shut as she startled in wonder over what the hell was happening.

Still, despite the shock, despite the confusion, that pained grasp of her hand brought Clarke back to the present, knowing whatever it was, Anya needed her. She forced her eyes open as her head ducked to the right, spotting Anya's body just shaking on its own accord, the warrior moaning and biting hard into her palm as her pussy gushed with liquids. Clear streams were leaking in short bursts as thick white-ish globs covered her core and dripped down her thighs and onto the floor.

It took her mind a moment or two to catch up before Clarke swallowed the cum in her mouth and rushed her body forward, kissing tenderly at Anya's thighs, hand caressing the warrior's hips and sides, needing for Anya to know she was here, that she'd try to work her down from this. The sound of a whined gasp was Clarke's only warning before Anya was sharply pulling her upwards into a kiss.

Though the woman's initiative was lovely, Clarke found herself leading the kiss as she used her free hand to gently cup Anya's core, tender touches seeming to steady the orgasmic aftershocks as well as the woman's breathing, thankfully. Still, after nearly a minute of languid, patient kissing, she wasn't getting much response from the warrior, and all the shaking and tremors had been replaced with stiff tension.

"Hey, talk to me. What's wrong?" She whispered against Anya's lips, letting her nose nuzzle up against her lover's. "Did I do something wrong?"

A grunt, and Anya shuffling backwards, hand swiftly untangling from their collective grip, was all the answer she received. Still it was enough to give her a glimpse of the mask of defiance Anya had slipped on, eyes not quite fully hiding a glimmer of what looked a lot like regret or shame.

Clarke's heart dropped through her chest at the sight, the blonde falling back onto her feet once more in confusion and worry. Things had been going so well, and a second orgasm had suddenly put so much distance between them.

"I thought...I thought you were enjoying me. You were still holding my hand, so I thought... I didn't mean to..." Clarke stumbled out, unsure of what she was supposed to say, just knowing she wanted to fix what had broken.

"You are not at fault, my houmon." Anya spoke quietly and firmly, voice steely as if they were back on that bridge so many days ago. As if Anya was facing down an enemy again. "I...understand if you want to be apart after this. I will still respect and support the union, if you keep this a secret."

Clarke sat there, trying to digest Anya's words, but coming up blank as to what the woman was getting at. "Keep what secret? That we had sex?" She asked, figuring pulling at the 'secret' discussion thread might get her some sort of answer.

"That I relieved myself on you." Anya spoke in a quiet growl, cheeks blushing about as fiercely as the woman was glaring at the furs bunched up beside her.

Again, Clarke needed another second or two to figure out what Anya was talking about, and though a laugh escaped her, she truly did feel bad about it. Especially when that glare of Anya's shifted to her.

"Whoa, hey now, I'm sorry for laughing. It's just...a bit more complicated than that, okay?" She asked, as she got to her feet and crawled onto the bed, seating herself directly in front of Anya. Clarke was pretty sure that she looked like a mess; she could feel Anya's juices all over her hands, face, neck, chest, and stomach. Still, she pieced some words together in her mind as she licked her fingers clean, a passive show that she wasn't at all disgusted.

Anya's eyes tracked the movement of her hands, growing wider as Clarke lapped and sucked at them, brow furrowing in clear confusion. "It's not what you think. You're aware I'm a healer, right? I was trained enough about our bodies where I was born, and I promise you, Anya...what you let out was not the same as how you'd relieve yourself outside of sex."

Clarke reached out for Anya, and while the warrior was hesitant, Anya took her hand. "I want you to smell me, okay? I'm gonna lean up close to you, and I want you to smell me." Clarke started, before leaning in close, Anya shooting her a reluctant look before leaning in herself and sniffing.

There was a pause before Anya sniffed once, twice more, head angling up with a question in her eyes. "I smell sweet, don't I? When you came, you let out some thicker...ejaculate, for a lack of a better word, I guess...and that's just your usual concentrated fluids you let out when you're aroused...musky and salty with a little sweetness. That's not uncommon." Clarke explained to Anya's skeptical, but watchful eyes, holding her lover's gaze, wanting to transfer her own confidence in this to the warrior. "The other stuff you let out, the clearer, sweet-smelling watery stuff...well, it's sort of complicated what happens, but basically it's a mixture of water and a few chemicals that are made by your body when you're aroused, which is made of different chemicals than what you let out at other times. And it builds up inside you...you get to feeling a pressure there as it builds, right?"

Anya allowed a nod at that, skepticism fading from her eyes as a sense of curiosity took over. "Now, when you're aroused, and orgasming, your muscles will contract and relax...a lot of women won't squirt out like you did, because they might produce less of that liquid than you, or the muscles in that region might not relax as much, but what you did? Totally natural, a sign that you're aroused, and a way for your body to keep from getting infections. And honestly?" Clarke asked rhetorically before wiping her hand across her chest and slipping wet fingers into her mouth. "Kind of delicious. So please, don't feel bad or weird about it. It's all good, and you were pretty amazing."

Clarke offered Anya a reassuring smile that seemed to dissipate any remaining concern in the woman's eyes, giving the blonde the courage to close the distance between them with a kiss, Anya thankfully more than a little enthusiastic returning it. Clarke smiled into the kiss as Anya's hand stroked her cheek, as teeth nipped playfully at the unwounded portions of her bottom lip, as Anya pulled her closer into a possessive embrace that turned Clarke's insides into a warm, gooey mess.

"Hey, come on. Let's get cleaned up so we can rest. Don't know about you, but my stamina's not where I want it to be." Clarke noted with a happy laugh, earning a small grin from her lover.

Anya's hand left her cheek, dropping to her cleavage to scoop up some globs of cum before lightly smacking Clarke's cheek. "You talk too much, my houmon."

Clarke rolled her eyes at the warrior's apparent love of hitting her in the face with whatever was readily available, unable to keep from smiling at whatever grounder nickname she'd earned during their time together. She made a mental note to figure out what it meant someday or another before pulling Anya off the bed and towards the table so that they could wash more easily. Besides, they'd need to get up to change the bed's sheets, anyway.

For sure, they probably had a few hours left until the storm subsided enough to travel in. Enough time to rest together, prepare together, and figure out where to go from there. What Clarke did know, though, was that Anya was going to be there every step of the way. As Clarke ran a wet washcloth over the warrior, Anya's hand atop her own guiding each movement, she had no doubts that the woman she'd grown connected to would help her make it all work out.

They'd join forces, combine their people, and get their prisoners back safe and sound. They would topple the mountain together and bring justice down on them for their crimes.

But for now, they'd enjoy the simplicity of cleaning each other, and they'd rest up for the assuredly difficult weeks ahead of them.

Together, the "we" that Anya once assured did not, and would not, exist. Funny how things could change so fast.

 


 

A brief kiss to Lincoln's cheek, and Octavia was off to find the rest of her friends, wanting to catch up with them, rejoice in their victory over the mountain, and generally just celebrate the fact that they'd survived to live another day. The battle had been hard fought, they had lost many brave warriors along the way, and so much had been sacrificed, but neither group of people would have to live in fear of the mountain anymore, neither would be drained for blood, drilled for marrow, or witness their people turned into violent raging addicts. They were free.

And it felt fucking great.

To be honest, Octavia felt a little guilty passing up checking on Miller and Monty, even though they were mere feet away; she knew Monty was capable of talking her ear off, and frankly, she had a few higher on her priority list than them that she needed to meet up with before losing half of the evening to him. She wanted to check in with her brother again. She wanted to check up on Jasper, knowing he'd taken Maya's death badly.

The third person on her list's tent came into view, and with the other two nowhere in sight among the celebration, Octavia decided she'd visit Clarke. Clarke, who had made the call to sacrifice TonDC to hold Bellamy's cover. Clarke, who she'd been incensed with for letting Bellamy risk his life, for risking her life without her goddamn consent, for risking everyone's lives without their fucking consent. Clarke who had taken a leadership role that reminded her so much of the council on the Ark that had cost Octavia her mother and the sense of belonging that came with a regular life.

She had dozens of reasons to hate Clarke, and to live up to the words she'd spat at Clarke, saying they'd work together during the war, but would be done with each other afterward. And there was a part of her heart that still wanted to stick to those words.

But she knew what Clarke had done for her people, for everyone. She'd watched all the people in the mountain die burning to death, to save them all from the drilling and death, from the mountain's shadow ever falling upon their peoples again. She'd heard from other arkers that she'd made the call, she'd radiated the maunon. She'd finished what they started.

A simple push of a lever, and two civilizations would continue while the third vanished into history.

Octavia couldn't imagine the toll of that kind of responsibility; it was hard enough imagining the scale of the deaths, knowing there were plenty of innocents within the mountain, plenty who had helped their cause. It had Octavia revisiting the decisions Clarke had made earlier in the war, all the gambles, all the bluffs, all the tactical maneuvers and decisions. One slip along the way, and her and the sky folk would have been killed off, even the coalition could have. And while she still didn't agree with all of Clarke's decisions, she could respect them, and the toll it took to make them, especially knowing Clarke felt each death.

Quietly, she called out at the entrance of Clarke's tent, earning a muffled 'Come in'. Octavia lifted the tent's doorway covering and stepped into the small abode, finding Clarke over by her bed of furs, getting dressed in more weather-appropriate clothes, given the dropping wintery temperatures.

She was about to speak some admittedly awkward crack about their earlier spat, but the words froze in her throat as she spotted a very particular tattoo spanning the blonde's right hip and leading up her spine. Maybe she even let out a gasp, apparently one loud enough to spook a half dressed Clarke enough for the blonde to trip as she was putting on a warmer, much furrier coat.

Octavia lunged forward to steady the girl, earning a sheepish smile in thanks. "Is...there anything you need, Octavia?" Clarke asked, wary blue eyes looking her over for any potential reason for her visit. She knew she deserved that much with how things left off between them.

Her jaw clenched a bit in uncertainty of what to say, but it was the first time she'd seen Clarke since the girl was sobbing in her mother's arms in the drilling room, and she'd made a hasty exit back then. With Clarke's face washed clean, only marred by a few scratches that would do no justice to the damage the battle inflicted on the blonde, Octavia just couldn't help stepping forward and pulling her leader into a hug.

It's not like they hadn't before, even if they'd been brief, but she could feel Clarke sink against her, if just for a moment. If just for a brief bit of comfort. She could hear a clear, if faint sigh of relief escape the blonde, and felt words spilling out of her mouth. "I didn't mean it. You're stuck with me for a bit longer, Clarke."

Clarke's weak laugh, matted blonde curls rubbing up against her cheek as the girl nodded, was a pretty big weight off her shoulders.

"Wouldn't have it any other way." Clarke noted with more warmth than she might have deserved, but if Clarke wanted to be happy, she wouldn't get in the way. After what the blonde did, any happiness was probably a step towards keeping the leader sane.

Octavia stepped away and gave Clarke another look over as her friend adjusted her clothes. The tattoo was covered up now, but it had her curious. There was no way anyone got one of those by accident.

"So...when the hell did you get unioned?" Octavia asked after a few silent seconds, breaking out into a grin as Clarke's face went beet red.

Clarke was only startled for a moment before her posture straightened a bit, clearly composing herself in response to her probably maybe invasive question. "A little after getting free of the mountain." The blonde spoke succinctly, a look of realization flickering across her when Octavia gave her a bewildered look, because they'd just won the damn war maybe an hour ago. "The first time. When I escaped."

"Ohhhh..." Octavia let out, figuring that made sense, except her brain quickly compiled a number of reasons why that still didn't make any sense. "Wait, even still, when did you have time? You came back to Camp Jaha, went out looking for Finn, came back around when Lexa and the rest tried to intimidate us, then we got the truce, and...well, here we are."

Clarke let out a sigh and leaned up against the nearby table. "It's a bit more complicated than that. After I escaped, that hurricane ran through the area. I spent a few days in the wild before I got to camp."

Octavia let out an easy laugh. "What, you find a random grounder in the woods and shacked up with them? Come on, Clarke. You can tell me the truth."

Clarke's brow furrowed in frustration, arms crossing in clear annoyance. "I didn't escape alone, I had Anya with me. We waited the storm out in one of our storage bunkers."

Her mind flashed with memories of the intimidating woman, and particularly ones where she'd seen Anya interact with Clarke. Sure, they'd touched each other a few times here and there, but it seemed more friendship than anything. "Anya. Like...Anya, who we shot at. Anya, who abducted you and Finn and tried to kill you both before Lincoln saved you. Anya, who led an army into our dropship camp and raided the hell out of us? That Anya?"

Clarke's shrug wasn't unexpected, but the small smile on the girl's face definitely was. "After we escaped, she slapped me in the face with a handful of mud, hit me in the head with a rock, and tried to take me prisoner so she could hand me off to Lexa. She stabbed me when we fought it out by the dropship, and beat my face in pretty badly, too. I know how...severe she can seem."

Octavia's jaw dropped at hearing more and more about the Trikru general. "And...you got freaking unioned, even after that?!"

"Especially after that. I won the fight because I'd hit her with a tranq dart and tore at one of her open wounds, and I guess that impressed her enough to earn her respect." Clarke added, which only had Octavia leaning against a support beam because she wasn't sure her legs would hold her up with all her energy trying to figure out how Clarke's story made any sense. Her and Lincoln had been much easier to wrap her head around.

Still, besting Anya in combat, handicapped or not, was pretty impressive. "So, what, she respects you, you respect her, you're both bored...and you just fucking get it done?"

Clarke let out a laugh at that, eyes practically sparkling in amusement. "We got unioned by accident, actually." Clarke said with another laugh as she shook her head. "I honestly didn't mean to. I stumbled into it, really."

Octavia's hands went to her own hair, gripping her braids in frustration, because she and Lincoln had endured a few LENGTHY talks about getting unioned, and what all was involved. It wasn't a simple process. Nothing someone could or should 'stumble into'. People stumbled down ravines, not into lifelong commitments!

"When the hell did you have time for that? Like...that takes TIME. And RESOURCES. And...and..." Octavia started, before images of Clarke and Anya fucking each other flashed across her mind, which she really didn't want to think about. "You know. It's very specific. How is that even possible?"

"Bad wording on my part, a bunch of coincidences, and...honestly...years of built up tension." Clarke noted with another shrug, and okay, Octavia understood the tension. She spent her teens living below the floor, or in an isolated prison cell. She knew the tension, the loneliness, and the desperation to connect and feel. "It started with me wanting an alliance. When I escaped with Anya, I had an alliance in mind between our people, so we could right the wrongs the mountain made against us, and...well, you know."

Octavia nodded, knowing Clarke's plans for their people had been pretty damn clear throughout. Clarke preferred peace to war, healing to violence. She wanted stability and for everyone to have somewhere to live.

"Except, I wasn't sure what words the Trikru used, or knew. And I was running on over twenty hours without sleep, and I was concussed, wounded, and starving, and soaked to the bone from the storm. I wanted some resolution. And I guess I asked her for a union between our people, because at the time, it seemed like a good word. I wanted to bring our people together and unite against the mountain. It made sense." Clarke continued to ramble, and okay, Octavia was starting to get a clearer picture, but Anya was smart and calculating. The woman wouldn't just take Clarke at her word and accept, would she?

"Okay, so you ask for a union, and what, Anya tells you how to get one with her? You've already stepped in it, so you feel you can't back out?" Octavia asked, taking a wild guess at how things might have gone, because she honestly couldn't imagine many other ways. Clarke was great at improvising when plans went off-key, so it'd make sense if Clarke rolled with it.

Another laugh burst out of the blonde, which sounded great, but only left Octavia more frustrated. "Not even. I went on this big spiel about wanting to unite our people, and when Anya went to push talks to later, when Lexa could be a part of them, I got a little worried. I didn't want to meet the leader of the grounders with empty hands...it didn't seem smart. I thought if Anya and I worked out a plan to unite our people in advance, and presented it to her along with a basic battle plan for attacking the mountain, it'd be better. She was in there with me, she knew the tunnels as well as I did, it was a good plan."

Octavia just shook her head at the explanation, unable to keep her own laughter in check. "And of course you pressed Anya specifically to do this with you, together." Octavia added, realizing how it all went down.

"Yeah, and she seemed reluctant at first, so I told her she could sleep on it. Little did I know, I'd already provided the first two parts of the union...protection in the bunker shelter that kept us from the storm, and our food stores as nourishment." Clarke spoke with a wistful grin.

"Oh, float off, Clarke. No way...no way..." Octavia let out, eyes bulging as she realized the scope of it all.

Clarke just kept laughing and nodding. "I felt guilty about not saving her second a ways back, and I was bored, so I drew her some pictures of Tris. You know, as goodwill, to get her to accept the union." Clarke added, stepping away from the table and allowing herself a good stretch. "I went to bed, and when I woke up, Anya had returned from fighting wild animals practically unarmed so she could give me union offerings as well. She confused and worried the hell out of me, but it was thoughtful, and then...well..." Clarke finished with a growing blush and soft smile, that wistful, adoring expression more than enough to let Octavia fill in the blanks.

She honestly couldn't help but shake her head, it was so freaking implausible. Yet, clearly, Clarke and Anya got unioned. But if they got unioned...

"Wait, if you're unioned to Anya, are both of our people united? What, with her being the top of the Trikru foodchain, and you being...you?" Octavia asked, earning a simple nod and a bit of silence that frustrated her, enough for the blonde to notice, at least. The war had been a frenzied mess, and there hadn't really been any serious word about anything official, at least that she'd heard.

"That made our people's alliance dead-easy, something I first learned about in front of Lexa, by the way. Before then, I had no idea what 'houmon' meant, or that I was unioned to Anya specifically. But Lexa, as leader of the coalition, felt it was good enough to give us a temporary place in the coalition until a vote could be cast by the rest of the nations after the war. The vote's more of a formality, though, since Lexa has the final say, anyway, and she was happy with the union, especially after we healed Lincoln." Clarke explained, before breaking out into another silly grin. "Anya was really impressed with my hands after that..."

"CLARKE. I don't need details." She stated firmly, only for Clarke to shoot her an expectant look. And okay, maybe the blonde was right to do so. "Okay, so I don't want ALL the details. Only you could pledge your life and spirit to another person and not know. Speaking of... the Exploration of Spirits isn't universal, it's kind of different with each person, so..."

Clarke's eyes glanced off towards the doorway, those blues brightening under the dim torchlight. "Anya was very curious and thorough. She's perfect for me." Clarke answered, returning her gaze to Octavia as her smile morphed into a smirk. "And you and Lincoln aren't much different. You fell in love with a man who imprisoned you, and who you later held prisoner twice. At least Anya just beat my face in with a plank of wood a few times."

"You fought honorably Clarke. Just as Octavia and Lincoln fought tonight...it's good you two survived." Anya's voice washed over her, freezing Octavia to the ground a mere second before a firm hand rested on her shoulder, the warrior somehow having managed to sneak in without her hearing. "Is everything alright, Clarke?"

Thankfully, the blonde just shot Anya a bright, relieved smile. "Yeah, we were just talking about the day we were unioned."

The pressure on her shoulder lifted as Anya moved to the table and began scribbling on one of the nearby rolls of paper. "That was a good day." The warrior spoke with uncharacteristic warmth, returning Clarke's smile with an adoring one of her own that had Octavia convinced that there was much more to her general than she'd once thought.

Octavia didn't have much time to appreciate that interesting reality, a firm object sailing hard into her face stealing away all of her attention as her nose throbbed in pain. A little annoyed, but far too smart to show it, Octavia knelt to pick it up, realizing it was a wood-bound scroll wrapped with string.

"Bring that to Indra. It's a pardon for Lincoln so you both can do what you will with each other." Anya explained, immediately bringing Octavia's attention up to the warrior's once more emotionless face. "I appreciate you keeping my houmon company, but she needs rest."

The dismissal was clear as day, and her heart was racing with shock and happiness over her and Lincoln's fortune, but she couldn't just leave like that. Still, she bolted up to her feet and cross the tent to bring Clarke in for another hug. "For what it's worth, I'm happy for you and Anya." Octavia whispered into her friend's ear as she gave another squeeze. "Let her share the weight, Clarke. I'll help you, Bellamy too, but please, let her help."

With that, Octavia stepped back, offering Anya a formal salute before leaving Clarke with a wave. "Take care, Clarke."

Her legs carried her out of the tent and towards the large bonfire where her eyes spotted Bellamy talking with Lincoln. She let a smile stretch across her face as she jogged over, happy to celebrate their victory and all the good that came with it. They'd lost a lot, but they all came together.

That mattered, she figured. And it was all in part because Clarke was a clueless idiot who stumbled into Anya's arms.