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Laeti Triumphantes

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“You don’t have to stay, you know,” Raven says. It’s edging on towards midnight, and she’s used to being the only one at the office at these hours. She likes it, honestly. Her coworkers are broadly cool, but she works better alone.

She especially works better without Clarke Griffin, all warm and relaxed in a t-shirt and jeans instead of her regular office attire, watching her with open curiosity.

Raven hired onto Clarke’s campaign because she wanted to work for a female democrat who seemed to have a chance in hell of doing some real good, and all her research showed Clarke was the best match for that. Her mother is in politics too, so she’s got a legacy, and she’s openly liberal and well-spoken, appealing across demographics. She and Raven are in agreement on most policies, and once she met Clarke, she found she liked her as a person too.

That is, in fact, her biggest issue. After six months of working on Clarke’s website, social media, and general IT shit, Raven has found she really likes her. And thinks way too much, in her idle minutes, about how soft Clarke’s hair would be under her fingertips and how nice her smile would look in the morning, in Raven’s bed, her head on Raven’s pillow.

Yeah, bad thoughts to have about the boss. Even if Raven mostly answers to Kane, the campaign manager, and not Clarke herself. Clarke’s contributions to the website tend along the lines of more pictures of my dog, people love dogs and I checked my email and it’s all spam about penis enlargement how do I stop that.

Which is why it’s even weirder that she’s still around. The only other person who ever stays as late as Raven is Bellamy, the speechwriter, because he’s a workaholic, but when he saw Clarke was hanging around, he fucking winked at Raven and said he had shit to do.

So, yeah. She’ll definitely murder Bellamy at some point in the near future. But she still has her current problem, which is that she’s supposed to be working and Clarke is smiling at her.

“I know I don’t have to stay,” Clarke is saying. “But I don’t really like you being here alone.”

“I’m here alone a lot.”

“Why?”

“It’s pretty busy in here during regular work hours.” She grins. “No offense, but you do not have a quiet campaign staff. And it’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but it can be fucking distracting.” Clarke looks guilty at that, much guiltier than Raven would have expected. “What?”

“You shouldn’t have to stay late because it’s too noisy during work hours. That’s so unfair. Have you told Marcus? He could figure something out so you could have more privacy.”

Raven snorts. “It’s fine. I don’t do it that often. Do you yell at Bellamy about this too?”

“I’ve given up yelling at Bellamy,” she says, making a face. “He doesn’t know how to stop working. I thought you knew better.”

“Based on what?”

“General optimism.”

Raven actually laughs at that. Clarke is honestly kind of the best.

She needs to deal with this.

“Besides, I figure your girlfriend must hate you being out so much,” she continues, overly casual.

“What makes you think I have a girlfriend?” Her heart is hammering in her chest. She never has had a girlfriend, but she’s wanted one a couple times. She wants one now.

“General optimism,” she says again, her smile soft. A late-night kind of smile, the kind that’s warm around the eyes and hazy around the edges. “I have faith that someone as cool as you isn’t single.”

“And the girlfriend part specifically?”

“Specific optimism. I want you to be into girls.”

“So you want me to be into girls but you also want me to be taken?”

“I basically want everyone to not be straight,” Clarke says. She’s openly bisexual, doesn’t ever shy away from it in her campaign, but Raven has never said it about herself. Thought it, worried about it even, but never said it. “And I think this might already count as sexual harassment, so it’s better for my, um–better for me if you’re taken.”

“I’m not,” says Raven. “Totally single.”

“There goes my faith in the universe,” she says, with a teasing smile.

“Yeah, well,” says Raven, cracking her neck and leaning back. It’s easier to act casual, to pretend she isn’t hoping she’s going to hook up with a congressional candidate in the office. That she isn’t hoping Clarke’s looking for more than a hookup. “I work a lot. What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Girlfriend?”

“Definitely not,” she says, smiling at Raven through her eyelashes. “I’m enough of a creep to kind of hit on people who work for me, but not nearly enough of a creep to cheat on someone I’m dating.”

“How many of your employees have you hit on?”

“Just you,” she says. “Well, um, okay, I dated Bellamy in college, but I don’t think that counts. Since he wasn’t working for me.”

“No, it doesn’t.” She lets out a breath and tries to remember what she was doing. Or to figure out what she should be doing. Maybe she should just google How to hit on the political candidate you’re working for and not cause a sexual harassment case or a sex scandal. But she’d probably just hit a bunch of West Wing fanfic. “I’ve never had a girlfriend,” she finally says, and responds to a couple assholes on Twitter, just so she feels like she’s being productive.

“Have you ever wanted one?”

“Once or twice, yeah.” She pauses. “Currently.”

“Cool,” says Clarke, coming to lean over Raven’s shoulder. “What are you working on?”

The change of subject throws her, but she recovers fast. “Just finished Twitter, moving on to Tumblr. Deciding which trolls are bad enough to troll back.”

“Troll back?”

She gestures to the screen. “You get a lot of nice messages, those are easy. Then you get some kind of shitty ones that are mostly ignorant. Those are the trickiest, I have to be polite but firm and not alienate people. But the troll ones are awesome.”

“Yeah?”

“I convinced Kane that our best option is to let me be snarky at stuff like–” She scrolls through the asks, pulls up someone being really fucking homophobic. “Stuff like that.”

“Fuck,” says Clarke. “We get stuff like that?”

“Sometimes, yeah. So the thing is, anyone who thinks this is an okay thing to say already isn’t going to vote for you. Ditto anyone who thinks they deserve to be taken seriously. We’re a lot better off coming up with hilarious responses that will go viral. It helps your name recognition. It’s happened a couple times already.”

“Wow,” says Clarke. “I had no idea. That’s–awesome, actually. Thanks for talking Kane into letting you do that. So, what are you going to say?”

She opens up her gif folder and grabs Prince Zuko saying That’s rough, buddy. It’s always a fan favorite. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” She glances at Clarke, grinning, and finds that Clarke is right at her shoulder, close and smiling, looking at Raven like this is the best day of her life. “I mean, uh,” she tries, eyes flitting down to Clarke’s lips, unconscious. When she meets Clarke’s eyes again, they’re sparkling, and she realizes a second before it happens that Clarke is going to kiss her.

Her mouth is soft and gentle, different from the men she’s kissed. There’s the taste of lipstick, and less demanding without really being less passionate or firm. Her hand threads into Raven’s hair when Raven begins to kiss her back, and Raven’s mouth opens on a moan as Clarke presses in. Her tongue traces Raven’s lips and then slides in, and Raven’s hands find Clarke’s hips, pull her in, onto Raven’s lap.

She has no idea how long the kiss lasts; time melts, stretches out, becomes meaningless, and there’s only Clarke’s mouth, Clarke’s hands tracing over her. No clothes come off, but it doesn’t matter. Nothing else has ever been like this; nothing has been this hot.

“Are you done with this?” Clarke asks, when she finally pulls back. It takes a minute for the question to penetrate, but once it does, she starts to grin.

“I’m done,” she says. “But I’m starving. Have you had dinner?”

“Not yet.”

“You want to?”

Raven generally does not pick political candidates based on how beautiful their smiles are, but Clarke might become an exception, and this is her best smile yet. “Love to,” she says. “My place or yours?”