Clarke Griffin was lucky, she had lead a very privileged life, never wanting after anything. Her parents had always made sure she had the best of everything, most of it she hadn’t asked for, but one thing that she was very thankful for was the education she had got. Private schools, the best colleges, everything. She always knew that she would follow in her mom’s footsteps and become a doctor, it wasn’t something that was ever forced on her, it’s what she wanted to do. Her parents were involved with an NGO, a charity that helped refugees the world over. She was always involved in the fundraising side of it, but had never seen where the money went or the people it helped. The charity held fundraising events every few months, it seemed like rich people could sleep better at night thinking they had done something to help the less fortunate.
As yet another of these parties was coming to an end, Clarke was talking to Raven and Octavia, two girls who worked for the charity, even though they came from very different backgrounds it hadn’t taken them long to become friends. Clarke never really felt like she belonged around her parents and their rich friends, with Raven and Octavia she could be herself, not the person she was expected to be. The three of them were sitting on the steps outside the hotel where the latest benefit party had been held when a taxi pulled up. Raven and Octavia were on their feet as soon as the taxi door closed and they could see who had got out.
“Oh this should be fun…” Raven said sarcastically.
As Clarke looked at the girl who had got out of the taxi, a girl who wasn’t much older than she was, she could see that she was angry about something. No, angry didn’t even cut it, she was livid.
“Lexa…” Octavia said as the girl made her way up the stairs, stopping Lexa in her tracks.
“Where is she?” Lexa asked, looking between Octavia and Raven,
“You’re not going to help yourself if you go in there all guns blazing.” Raven said, trying to calm the other girl down.
“She’s cut my funding,” Lexa replied, “you of all people know what that means.”
“You can’t just go rushing in there like this, Lexa,” Raven said, “call her office in the morning, make an appointment.”
“And how many people are going to die while I wait for her to fit me into her busy schedule?” Lexa asked, her hands balling into fists, “Do you know how many sick kids are relying on that money? How many families won’t eat because of this?”
“Lexa, I get it, trust me I get it,” Raven replied with a sigh, “but Abby and the board decided that the money would be better spent elsewhere… you know that it was only a 12-month thing and after that it would be reevaluated.”
“What’s going on?” Clarke asked, looking between the three of them.
“Clarke, this is Lexa Woods she runs the TriKru Foundation,” Octavia said, “Lexa, this is Clarke Griffin.”
“The TriKru Foundation,” Clarke said, “I’ve read about the work you do, you’re ex-forces right?”
“I am,” Lexa replied with a nod, “and your mother has just cut the funding that we had for three of our camps.”
“Did she give a reason?” Clarke asked.
“It was a 12-month contract,” Raven said with a sigh, “your mom and the board re-evaluated last week and think that the money could be better spent in other areas…”
“That money paid for doctors, medical supplies,” Lexa said, “it allowed us to keep people fed, give them tents to live in. If she even bothered to take a step out of her privileged life and actually saw the good we do…”
“I think Abby is more concerned about the fact that you need armed personnel at your camps,” Octavia said, “something about angering the locals.”
“We stopped them raping a 6-year-old girl,” Lexa said as she looked at Octavia, “I’m all for angering the locals if it stops shit like that.”
“Maybe if you called my mom,” Clarke said, “try talking to her calmly, she might reconsider…”
Lexa took a small envelope out of her pocket and held it out to Clarke.
“Give that to your mother,” Lexa said, “it’s photographs of what we deal with on a daily basis. I would suggest that she doesn’t look at them while eating breakfast. I’ll call her office in the morning, I’m only in the city for two days then I need to get back.”
Raven, Octavia and Clarke stood and watched as Lexa walked back down the steps before the brunette turned and looked back at them.
“Shouldn’t you be in there enjoying the party?” Lexa asked, “from what I heard it’s like $5000 a head right, but how much of that money is going where it’s supposed to be going, and how much of it is going on keeping the champagne chilled?”
“Well…” Clarke said as Lexa walked away down the street, “she’s… interesting.”
“She’s passionate about what she does,” Octavia replied, “she’s seen the mess that war creates, she’s just trying to put that right…”
The three of them walked back into the hotel and into the ballroom where the party was still going on, it was nearly midnight, which meant that people would soon be leaving. Clarke walked over to the table where her parents were sitting, she dropped the small envelope on the table in front of her mother.
“What’s that?” Abby asked.
“Lexa Woods asked me to make sure you got it.” Clarke replied as her mother picked up the envelope and opened it.
The blonde brought her hand up to her mouth and swallowed hard as she saw the first of the pictures. A small child’s body which had been left beaten and bloody. The next picture was of a small wooden hut which looked to be doubling as a medical center, it was full of people with injuries and young children who were severely malnourished.
“What is she hoping this would achieve?” Abby asked, putting the pictures face down on the table.
“I’m thinking that she’s hoping you’ll reconsider cutting the funding.” Clarke replied.
“And she didn’t think about calling like a normal person.” Abby said.
“She did call, Mrs Griffin,” Maya said from her seat across the table, “12 times last week. She emailed as well, countless times, none of which you replied to.”
“I was very busy in meetings.” Abby replied.
“And you couldn’t take 5 minutes to reply to an email?” Clarke asked in disbelief, “she obviously found the time to call and email you while out in the ass-end of nowhere.”
“Clarke…” Abby started to say.
“I thought the whole point of this was to help people like her to save lives,” Clarke said, interrupting her mother, “isn’t that what this whole thing is about? Or is it so you can make yourself feel important?”
“Funds are not endless, Clarke,” Abby said, looking at her daughter, the look in her eyes was a pleading one, she was hoping that Clarke wouldn’t make a scene, “we have to look at each proposal and see where the money can be best spent.”
“Right, so you cut the funding for three of her camps, where is that money going instead?” Clarke asked, “who have you decided is more deserving?”
“We recently got a proposal from the Mount Weather Corporation…” Abby started to say.
“The Mount Weather Corporation which is run by Dante Wallace and his idiot of a son?” Clarke asked, “the same company who was recently investigated because they decided that most of the money that people donated to them was better spent on new air conditioned offices and expensive cars?”
“They do a lot of good, Clarke.” Abby replied.
“Yeah, for themselves.” Clarke said, shaking her head, “I cannot believe you are cutting the funding for someone who actually does what she says she will and giving it to idiots who would much rather line their own pockets.”
“Clarke…” Abby said.
“No,” Clarke said, shaking her head a little, “I’m done with this. Enjoy your overpriced champagne.”
Clarke left the ballroom with Raven and Octavia following her.
Clarke was sitting in the study in an oversized t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants, her laptop open on the desk in front of her. Her mother still hadn’t come back from the benefit party. The door to the study opened and Jake, Clarke’s dad, walked in.
“I thought you’d be asleep by now.” He said walking over to the blonde.
“Too much running through my head,” Clarke replied with a small smile, as she rubbed her eyes a little, “do you know where mom has the TriKru Foundation file?”
“What’s going on, Clarke?” Jake asked, pulling up a chair and sitting next to his daughter.
“You know Lexa Woods?” Clarke asked, turning the chair a little and looking at her dad.
“Yes, I do,” Jake replied with a nod, “she’s extremely passionate, her foundation is doing great things in warzones.”
“Mom cut her funding,” Clarke said, “choosing the Mount Weather proposal instead.”
“That was a board decision.” Jake said.
“I was just looking through the proposal,” Clarke said, motioning to the laptop, “most of their focus is on medical equipment, they have a worked in percentage to give to local tribes people and governments, less than 3 cents out of every dollar is actually going to the people who need it…”
“There’s always a worked in percentage that goes to governments and locals,” Jake said with a sigh, “it’s the way charity works. We have to pay them to allow us to be there.”
“But that’s $35 million over three years,” Clarke said, “can you imagine what a foundation like Lexa’s could do with that kind of money…”
Jake stood up and walked over to the filing cabinet that was towards the back of the room, the cabinet that Clarke didn’t have the key for. He unlocked it and took out a file, before walking over and putting it down in front of his daughter.
“What’s this?” Clarke asked, looking from the file to her dad.
“The TriKru Foundation file.” He said with a small smile.
The sun was coming in through the windows in the study when Clarke finally finished going through everything. Raven, who had been sleeping in one of the spare rooms walked in with two cups of coffee.
“What you up to?” she asked, putting a cup on the table in front of Clarke.
“Trying to save the world…” Clarke replied with a shake of her head, “I’ve worked it out, with the savings I have, and my trust fund, I could keep Lexa’s whole foundation running for two years.”
“She really made an impact on you huh.” Raven said with a small smile, sitting down next to Clarke.
“It’s more than that,” Clarke said with a sigh, picking up the coffee, “for as long as I can remember my mom has talked about the good that she does, with her benefits and everything else. But it’s people like Lexa who are actually out there doing the good, and people like my mom get to sit back and feel better about themselves.”
“The money that your mom donates to foundations like Lexa’s do help, Clarke.” Raven replied.
“Yeah, but my mom would much rather give her money to people like Dante Wallace,” Clarke said, “people who would rather sit in air conditioned offices rather than take a step outside into the real world…”
“Lexa isn’t going to take your money; you know that right.” Raven replied.
“She will if she thinks that it’s come from my mom’s company…” Clarke said.
“Your mom isn’t going to stand for that.” The other girl said with a sigh.
Clarke was standing outside her mothers office building, leaning against her car, when Lexa walked from the building.
“What are you doing here?” Lexa asked as Clarke pushed herself away from her car.
“Here.” Clarke replied, taking the cheque out of her pocket.
Lexa took the piece of paper and opened it, she looked from the numbers back to the blonde.
“I ran the figures last night,” Clarke said, “going on the numbers in the file my mom has, that should be enough to keep you going for another couple of years.”
“Why?” Lexa asked.
“I’m trying to do the right thing…” Clarke replied.
“The right thing would be convincing your mother that she’s making a mistake,” Lexa said, holding the cheque out to Clarke, “not emptying your trust fund because you feel guilty about the life you have.”
“I just want to help.” The blonde said.
“You want to help?” Lexa asked, to which Clarke nodded, “have you ever been out to a refugee camp, Clarke?”
“No…” Clarke replied.
“Didn’t think so,” Lexa said, “you’re a doctor, right?”
“Yes.” Clarke said with a nod.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” Lexa said, “you come out to one of my camps, work for two weeks, if you last that two weeks, I’ll take your money.”
“You don’t think I’ll be able to do it?” Clarke asked.
“I think you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into,” Lexa replied, “seeing photographs and reading about numbers and figures is one thing, being out there and actually seeing it is something totally different.”
Clarke took the cheque back from Lexa.
“Okay,” the blonde said with a nod, “I’ll do it.”
Lexa nodded a little.
“Oh,” Lexa said, as she turned and started to walk away, “bring Raven with you, the water pump broke last week.”
A week passed and Lexa was sitting in the admin tent in the middle of the desert. They were quickly running out of everything as the summer sun made just existing difficult. The last of the money they had from the Griffin fund was almost gone.
“How long?” Lexa asked as she looked at Anya.
“Two weeks, tops,” Anya replied, shaking her head, “Lincoln and Gustus fixed the water pump three days ago and already its broken again. The water tanker is nearly empty. We’ve had to cut down the food rations, again…”
Anya was interrupted when Lincoln came running into the tent.
“We’ve got incoming.” He said.
Lexa stood up from where she was sitting and made her way out of the tent. She looked up the long dusty road, where people were still making their way to the camp, she saw a line of trucks in the distance.
“What the fuck…” she said, shielding her eyes from the sun.
Lexa, Lincoln and Anya walked over to the gates to the camp and waited as the trucks pulled closer. The passenger door of the first truck opened and Clarke jumped out.
“What is this?” Lexa asked her, motioning to the trucks.
“You said you wouldn’t take my money,” Clarke replied, folding her arms across her chest, “you said nothing about me bringing stuff with me.”
“Get these trucks unloaded.” Lexa said, looking back at Gustus and Lincoln.
They both nodded and directed the trucks through to an area where they could be unloaded. Raven, Octavia, and Bellamy walked over to where Clarke was standing with Lexa.
“You said something about the water pump being broken.” Raven said to Lexa.
“Go with Anya,” Lexa said with a small nod, “I trust you won’t try and kill each other this time.”
“No promises.” Ravens said with a smirk as she followed Anya.
“Octavia,” Lexa said, “go and find Indra, she should be on rotation near the far fence.”
“Sure thing.” Octavia said to Lexa before she looked at Clarke, “see you later.”
Clarke nodded a little as her friend walked away.
“And you are?” Lexa asked, looking at Bellamy.
“Bellamy Blake,” he said, “Octavia’s older brother. When Clarke said she was coming out here, I figured I might be able to help with something.”
“I guess we’ll see about that.” Lexa said, before looking back at the blonde, “ready to get to work, doctor?”
The sun had long since set on Clarke’s first day in the camp, while the people in the tents around them slept, with full stomachs for the first time in days, Lexa, Lincoln, Anya, Raven, Octavia, Gustus and Bellamy sat around a small fire. Everyone was exhausted.
“So with the supplies that Clarke brought with her, we’ll be good for at least a month.” Anya said, looking across the fire to where Lexa was sitting.
Lexa nodded a little.
“Where is Clarke?” Bellamy asked, looking around the fire.
“Still with Nyko in medical.” Lincoln replied, “she hasn’t left all day. We had a little boy arrive with his mother this morning, his chances aren’t good.”
“Nyko said he’d be dead by sundown,” Anya said, “his mother has been walking for a week to get here…”
Lexa stood up and walked away, nobody said anything, they all just watched her leave.
“She didn’t think Clarke was going to come, did she.” Raven said looking to Anya.
“The whole world is full of people with good intentions,” Anya replied, “Lexa doesn’t tend to believe anyone will do anything until they actually do it.”
Lexa stood in the doorway of the medical hut, the only light was the small electric lantern that sat by a small battered cot. The room was quiet apart from the small whispers she could hear coming from the blonde who was sitting next to the cot.
“Come on little guy…” Clarke said, “you’ve got to eat…”
Nyko walked over to where Lexa was standing.
“How is everything?” she asked him quietly, not wanting to disturb Clarke or the others who were sleeping in the room.
“3 dead.” he said with a small nod.
“How many was it yesterday?” Lexa asked.
“7…” he replied, “the supplies that Clarke brought with her are helping. We have high protein supplements, which will help with the malnourishment. IV drips and saline to help with dehydration…”
Lexa nodded a little.
“The others are around the fire, go get something to eat.” She said, not taking her eyes off Clarke.
Nyko nodded and left the hut. Lexa watched as Clarke dipped her finger into a cup which was on her lap, before reaching her hand over the side of the cot towards the small boy who had arrived earlier that day. Lexa slowly made her way over to where Clarke was sitting, the blonde looked up at her as she heard Lexa approach.
“How is he?” Lexa asked motioning to the boy.
“He’d be better if he’d eat something,” Clarke said with a sigh, “I can’t get any fluids into him because his veins just collapse…”
A small smile played on Lexa’s lips as the small boy took Clarke’s finger into his mouth and sucked the protein paste from it.
“Finally…” Clarke said with a sigh.
“Patience.” Lexa replied.
“His mom died…” Clarke said, glancing up at Lexa, “she had internal bleeding, Nyko thinks she was raped with something on her way here… I couldn’t help her.”
“You’re helping her, by helping him.” Lexa said, resting her hand on Clarke’s shoulder lightly.
Clarke nodded a little before letting out a long breath.
“We can’t save everybody…” Lexa said, “it’s an unfortunate part of life out here. We do what we can and sometimes that’s not enough.”
“I don’t know if I can live like that…” Clarke said quietly.
Lexa didn’t say anything; she didn’t know what to say. She’d thought the same thing when she and Anya first set up the foundation, they had wanted to save everyone, it didn’t take her long to realise that it just wasn’t possible.
“Does your mom know you’re out here?” she asked, deciding the best thing was to change the subject.
“No,” Clarke said, shaking her head a little, “she thinks I’m in Europe… my dad knows though.”
“Your dad was the first person from the company that I spoke to,” Lexa said, smiling a little as she remembered that initial conversation, “he told me that he thought I was crazy.”
Clarke laughed a little.
“Sounds like my dad.” She said.
“He’s a good man.” Lexa said.
“Yeah,” Clarke said with a nod, “he is.”
“Try to get some sleep, Clarke,” Lexa said as she looked back at the blonde again, “tomorrow is going to be a long day.”
Clarke nodded a little as Lexa quietly walked away.