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Bright Lights

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"What do you want from me, Clarke?" Lexa sighed.


I want you! I just want you to be here in this moment with me!"


Lexa's nostrils flared as she exhaled deeply through her nose. "I am here."


When there was no immediate response, Lexa resumed typing up her assignment. With her back to her girlfriend, she couldn't see the look of despair on the other woman's face.


"I need you here - PRESENT - with me!" Clarke cried out.  "Even now. I just want to talk with you and you won't even look at me. You're working on your paper. Your probably making a mental list of the errands you need to run, or planning your next workout, or... just anything rather than being here with me in this moment."


"Perhaps I'd be more willing to be present if it was for something more than just constant arguing." Lexa retorted calmly.


Clarke deflated. She couldn't remember the last full conversation she'd had with her girlfriend that didn't end in an argument. She couldn't remember the last time she had felt the warmth and safety in Lexa's arms that she had first felt when they had started dating 2 years ago. When had things changed? When had they become...this?


Clarke made her way over to the kitchen table were Lexa was working. Pulling out the seat beside her girlfriend, she could tell the that the other woman had completely tuned out of the moment by how startled she was by Clarke's sudden presence in the chair beside her. Their eyes met, and after a tense moment holding each others gaze Clarke moved to gently close Lexa's laptop.


"I don't want to argue with you. I hate arguing with you." Clarke sighed. She leaned forward placing her elbows on the table and her head in her hands. Blonde locks fell forward and obscured her face from Lexa's view.


"I don't want to argue with you either." Lexa reached out, gently to tuck the loose hair behind Clarke's ear, her hand coming to rest gently at the nape of the other woman's neck.


"What are we even arguing about? Half the time I don't really know anymore." Clarke turned her head and let her eyes trace over Lexa's face. The bright wonderful eyes. The strong jawline. The soft lips. "This used to be easy. When did it get so hard?"


"Relationships take work." Lexa shrugged. She was really as lost with the situation as Clarke was. She doesn't recall the exact moment she had started finding reasons to avoid being in their shared apartment. She doesn't know when excited conversation about the most insignificant things in their days turned to stony silences. When had the relationship started to feel like a burden instead of the wings that made her feel light. "It's not just you, Clarke. I suppose there are some things we both need to work on."


They studied each other as the silence stretched between them, seemingly pull them further and further apart.


"Should we?" Clarke asked hesistantly.


"Clarke, I lo-" Lexa paused, still taken aback. Her brow creased in confusion. "Why wouldn't we?"


Clarke let out a hollow chuckle. "You can't even say it. Do you even remember the last time we said it?"


Lexa felt like ice was trickling up her spine.


She couldn't.


"I love you, Lexa." Clarke moved to cup the other woman's cheeks, giving her the half smile of a breaking heart. "This isn't working. We can't keep going like this."


Her mind knew that Clarke was right. They had spent so much time in the last several months tearing each other down, that they were too raw and fragile to trust in building each other up again. But her heart, Lexa's heart couldn't bear the idea of letting go.


"I love you, Clarke. We can survive this." Lexa clutched at the soft hands cupping her cheeks. Green eyes desperately sought out that familiar spark in shining blue.


Clarke shook her head slightly before leaning in and capturing Lexa's lips in a gentle kiss. She leaned their foreheads together. Lexa could feel everything shattering in that brief moment.


"Maybe it should be about more than just surviving. Don't we deserve better than that?"


Lexa wasn't sure if the wetness slipping down her cheeks were Clarke's tears or her own. Tugging Clarke forward, she crashed their lips together in desperation. Their bodies moved against each other, tangling, and entwining late into the night.


Clarke wasn't there when Lexa woke up the following morning. 


It was a few days later that Lexa returned to the apartment to find Clarke's belongings gone. All that remained was a short note in Clarke's neat script on the kitchen table.


Bright lights tend to burn out fast. I can't sit by and just watch as the flame on our candle fades.