Lexa awoke in the woods with little memory of how she had gotten there. Well, actually, with little memory of anything, really. The grass was wet below her; the air was musty and chilly and on top of that, Lexa’s body felt extremely cold. It made her shudder. Warmth was being provided by the sun that peeked through the trees, but little of it got to her and the little that did, didn’t seem to help that much. It felt almost as if Lexa had been lying in ice for days, weeks, maybe even months.
She was surrounded by trees and absolutely no people. No inclination that a living soul was even close by. She had no idea where she was and no idea who she was. It caused an unsettling feeling to form in the pit of her stomach the moment she opened her light green orbs to unfamiliar surroundings.
Her head was pounding fiercely, even aching. The first thing she did when she shot up from the place on the grass she had been laying on was grab it. The second thing was instinctual. She moved quickly once her eyes had adjusted, she was graceful getting up, but standing was another story. She caught a tree instantly, leaning on it as a groan released from her dry throat. Where was she? And by god, why did her entire body hurt?
After leaning on the tree for longer than she’d like to admit, she managed to begin to move, no matter how much her body screamed at her not to do so. She released another groan as she took a couple steps forward; her body was aching and begging for her to sit back down. But she wouldn’t. Being in this kind of position, in an unfamiliar location with no memory of who she even was made Lexa feel vulnerable, and something in her head was telling her that she hates feeling vulnerable.
The pounding in her head didn’t subside as she moved. In fact, with every step it seemed to get worse. However, this time she held back her groans of pain and managed to walk without scrunching up her face to the prickling that would occur all over her body from a single movement. Once Lexa had gotten the hang of walking normally, and it was no longer so painful, she began to move around her surroundings in search.
Lexa was looking for anything that would strike some kind of familiarity in her, some kind of lost memory of something to give her some kind of clue as to who she is and what she might be doing here. She was freezing, her limbs hurt, her head pounded with questions and ached with pain, she didn’t know who she was, she didn’t know where she was, and anyone else would have panicked uncontrollably. But again, some kind of feeling within Lexa told her she’d never do such a thing.
Her eyes grazed fresh green grass, an abundance of trees that almost seemed never ending, large rocks scattered around in different places and she thought she could hear flowing water somewhere nearby. She liked the sounds and smells of her current location. Something about it had managed to relax her. But regardless of how peaceful it was, she was still very cold and very confused. And the sound of water allowed the realization to dawn on her that she was actually extremely parched.
So she turned around a few times listening in which direction the sound of flowing water was coming from, and when she had picked up on it, she took off. Lexa found the river rather quickly for someone that was as lost as she was. She had a small nagging feeling at the back of her mind that told her maybe she has been here before, even though no memory or familiarity managed to creep its way into her brain.
Once Lexa had satisfied her thirst and had gotten comfortable with her surroundings, she began to search for some kind of road or people that might be able to direct her somewhere. Maybe someone would even remember her since she couldn’t seem to remember herself. And so she walked. She walked for what felt like hours before she found road. She was tired and hungry and still clueless, but her confidence boosted a little at the sight of the dirt path. But this didn’t help her frustration which had grown immensely since starting her journey, and a voice in her head told her she’d feel this way often. It unsettled Lexa even more. She wished the voice would tell her who she was and what she was doing here, otherwise it felt rather useless to her.
The confidence she had gained from finding the dirt path had quickly diminished when she realized there wasn’t a single person on it. And she walked for what felt like more hours without passing a living soul. Wherever she had been dropped it was vacant land, and Lexa got this nagging feeling that maybe that was the point after all.
It wasn’t until Lexa – exhausted, hungry, and still very much confused – sat down that someone actually appeared on the road. She had been looking for people, but she grew weary at the sight, and she suddenly stood, not allowing herself to show how weak she truly felt. The man stopped close to her, his eyes squinting with suspicion. He examined Lexa’s face and though it made Lexa uncomfortable she kept her eyes on his.
“What is your name girl?” The man’s voice was thick, and Lexa was actually surprised she knew what he was saying. And that’s when Lexa had her first memory. The memory was black, but she could hear a voice, and a desperate cry of a name, her name. It was a girl’s voice, she sounded distraught and it caused Lexa to gasp and stumble back slightly. Pain hit Lexa’s stomach at random and she grabbed at her side without understanding. The girl’s voice came again, the same desperation, the same pain in it as the name echoed through Lexa’s head. Lexa…
The man in front of her widened his eyes slightly in curiosity. He didn’t seem like a threat, but as the voice faded from Lexa’s mind, she couldn’t manage to find the nerve to tell him of the name she just learned. She wanted too, she even started too, and she needed help, food, rest. But Lexa couldn’t help but be suspicious of a perfect stranger when she was a stranger to herself.
“Alex,” Lexa heard herself saying it before she had fully thought it through, and the man before her narrowed his eyes in further suspicion. He let his dark brown gaze sweep down her again, taking in her smallish frame though with a confident stance, before letting his gaze and stature visibly relax.
“I’m Gustan, but you can call me Gus.” He replied gently. His eyes crinkled with his smile and Lexa suddenly felt that maybe she had found help. Gus turned around briefly pulling out a bottle of some kind and offered it to her. “You look like you need assistance.” He mumbled gently, and though the man was large and intimidating, his eyes spoke the opposite. They were a gentle warm brown, and his smile lit up his face making him seem smaller than he really was.
Lexa hesitated but eventually reached out to take the bottle offered, and was rather happy when the liquid made its way down her throat. Gus observed her gently, waiting for her to finish before handing her a piece of bread which she devoured rather quickly. Gus tried to hold back, but a small chuckle escaped his lips before he could stop it, causing Lexa to snap her spine back into overly straight posture. She didn’t want to appear vulnerable and weak, no matter how hungry she was.
“Are you lost?” He asked gently, noticing the sudden change in demeanor and was now trying to find a way to get her to relax again. She only stared at him sizing him up again. Should she admit that she is lost? Would that be putting her in danger, in a vulnerable place? She does need help… “You can follow me back to town; keep as much distance as you want.” Gus says gently, his smile appearing again, crinkling his warm brown eyes.
Lexa let out a breath. “kei,” She whispered softly. To this, Gus replied with a toothy grin this time, lighting up every single feature on his face. It almost made Lexa smile too. They walked mostly in silence with Lexa on guard for who knows what and Gus peeking glances at her. His long beard flowed in the wind, and his hair was covered by a dark blue colored cloth. Lexa figured he has a weapon, he seemed like the type, but she was fairly confident he wouldn’t be using it on her.
That voice in the back of her head told her she could handle it even if he tried.
“Want to know something funny?” Gus said after a long bout of silence. Lexa felt herself stiffen slightly at his words. Her brain processed them quickly, the language coming easy to her. Muscle memory she supposed. If only she could remember more.
She didn’t reply to him and she had no intention of doing so, and somehow Gus knew this. His grin stayed in place as he pulled the cart behind him with one of his hands and waved the other in front of him as a gesture for him to speak. Lexa found it to be an odd gesture, but didn’t say anything. “Our former Heda looks just like you.” He let out a low deep chuckle that was rather contagious and caused Lexa’s lips to tug upward slightly.
“Former?” She questions quietly. Her voice is thick and scratchy, but not as limp as it had sounded when she first used it to respond. The big guy glances at her with sparkling eyes and nods his head.
“Leksa kom Trikru.” He says her name proudly; as if she had been the best leader he could have asked for. “Heda gon peace.” His grin widens and he looks down at Lexa with a rather toothy grin. Lexa finds herself responding with a small smile before she can stop herself. This seems to make the big guy happy and he even bobs his head a little as they continue walking the dirt path. “Of course, klark kom skaikru is heda now.” He’s still bobbing his head happily as Lexa looks to him.
“Klark?” As the name is squeezed through her lips, tested on her tongue, another memory is flashing through her. It makes her stop her movements, another gasp coming from her lips. Gus stops as well, curiously looking over the strange girl he had picked up whom looks suspiciously like Lexa. The memory is black, but somehow it renders Lexa motionless. A soft voice, her voice, yes that’s her voice is breaking through the silence in her head. It’s saying that name… but different than the man had said it. Clarke… It is gentle and delicate, almost as if the small name is cherished. The sound squeezes Lexa’s heart as if it was more important than anything else, even her own life.
When her own voice is fading from her mind she shakes it off. Her eyes instantly meet the brown orbs of Gus who is still observing her curiously. “I apologize,” Lexa mutters quietly, looking down at the ground and kicking her feet a little. Gus hesitates but places a comforting hand on the girl’s shoulder.
“How about we get back to the village and get you some food and a place to rest and you can tell me why I found you all alone on the side of the road?” He asks gently, his touch gentle enough that Lexa doesn’t feel threatened. She nods slowly her eyes meeting his, and she finds comfort within his wide smile and crinkling eyes. They begin to walk again and this time, Lexa finds herself speaking up to make the conversation.
“I cannot tell you why, because I do not know.” She mutters quietly, and shivers a little as a breeze starts to pass through the air. It’s getting colder, and Lexa isn’t in much to keep her warm. Her brown hair down in braids, a grey shirt covered her body but it was sleeveless and only warmed her so much. She had black jeans that fit snuggly around her waist and legs, and shoes that matched the color of her jeans, but the outfit felt as if it didn’t belong on her. Something in the back of Lexa’s mind was telling her she usually carried weapons and looked rather threatening, even though no image ever surfaced.
“What do you mean, girl?” He replies softly keeping his eyes ahead of him. He bobbed his head as if music was playing behind them. His soft smile remaining on his lips, growing and shrinking but always staying. His eyes were alit with some kind of humor mixed with friendliness. Gus’s entire demeanor encouraged Lexa to open up further.
“I do not… remember things.” She whispers and looks away from Gus as he looks at her. His gaze is curious, in fact, Lexa was sure it had remained curious since they had met up miles back.
“Not a thing, gada?” Why he continues to call Lexa girl, when she had already given him a name didn’t make much sense to her. She didn’t question it though and only nodded in response to his question. Her gaze falling ahead of her as fire light appeared ahead. They must be close to the village, and at this thought, Lexa’s stomach grumbled hungrily. Gus released a soft affectionate chuckle at the sound and turned into his cart to pull out some more bread. “Here you are gada, to tide you over.” Lexa managed a blush and took the bread willingly, trying to eat it slower than she had her last piece.
“Mochof,” She muttered halfway through the piece and took a small amount of pride in the way his features lit up at her politeness. His behavior was contagious and Lexa found that she must be very lucky to have found someone on the dirt path like him. It just as easily could have been someone terrible.
“We’re almost there gada, and then maybe you can tell me you’re real name huh?” He only stared ahead of him still, smiling with amusement as Lexa whipped her head up to look at him in surprise. He stopped a moment, Lexa still watching him with wide eyes, as he pulled a long green cloth from his cart. It seemed rather clean and looked warm, and Lexa took it instantly as Gus handed it to her. He chuckled at her eagerness. “Wrap that around your face as well, gada.” He urged gently and even helped her as she shuffled the cloth around her arms and shoulders. It was brought up into a hood around her head and a piece of it wrapped around her mouth and nose, covering up most of her face. Good thing she finished that bread.
This man knew. He knew who Lexa was, or he assumed he knew. And Lexa, Lexa didn’t know herself at all so what right did she have to say that he didn’t know? In fact, if he did know, that could help her immensely, since her memory seemed to come back very little and without any detail.
Lexa let her wonderful green eyes meet his soft brown orbs. The sun was setting, and darkness was descending upon them and the village that grew closer. But Lexa suddenly didn’t feel as scared standing beside this man. He gave her a comforting pat on the shoulder, and urged her forward, and they did not speak again until they entered the village.
Clarke twirled the small dagger in her lap. The throne beneath her felt foreign, though she had been reassured time and time again that she’d get used to it. Clarke didn’t want to be commander, not really. But she was the one the grounders had looked to after saving everyone from the City of Light. And Lexa had trusted her, which improved her reputation immensely after the City of Light fiasco.
Lexa’s legacy remains to be peace, though Clarke feels rather bitter without her by her side, where she belongs. The bitterness grew as she thought about the former commander, the dagger in her fingers, and the throne beneath her. These things belong to Lexa. The sash on her side – wrapped tightly around her waist because she didn’t believe she deserved to be wearing it at all – belongs to Lexa. All of it, all of polis, all of its people, all of the thirteen clans, they belong to Lexa. Lexa, who fought so hard for peace, and a better future. Lexa.
Clarke shook her head, feeling the tears well up in her eyes and she quickly fought them down. She had cried enough. Weakness. She felt the word shuffle through her head bitterly. She wouldn’t be weak anymore. Not for Lexa, not for her people, not for Polis. She’d be ruthless and strong, and think of Lexa as she led their people. Because Lexa may be gone, but not truly. Lexa lives. She lives in the young nightbloods that now no longer hold the pressure of a conclave. She lives in the citizens in Polis and all of the villages that no longer have to be afraid of weapons and war. She lives within Clarke, who thinks of her with every decision she makes, who thinks of her with every command she gives, who thinks of her with every twirl of her own blade. Lexa’s spirit remains alive within Polis and all over the thirteen clans. Lexa is the commander of peace, her legacy will never be forgotten.
Clarke is, and will always be sure of that.
The doors to the throne room slam open rather heavily making Clarke jump out of her reverie in her seat. She had only been commander for two weeks, and it was possibly the most stressful thing she’s ever had to do. Beyond leading her 100, and even some of the skaikru. She prepared herself as her guards marched into her room, but visibly relaxed when Octavia came into view, rolling her eyes at the way the guards insisted on not leaving Clarke alone with her.
“Heda,” Octavia shot up teasingly, knowing how Clarke hates it when Octavia uses the title against her. Clarke stepped down from her throne to meet Octavia somewhere in the middle of the room. She only had to meet her eyes once for her to know that Octavia wanted to speak to her alone.
“Bants osir,” Clarke muttered out confidently to the guards, who stared at her with a moment’s hesitation before listening and exiting the room to stand right outside of the door. Octavia just grinned at her amusedly before turning her head to the side slightly to allow one of her famous smirks to settle in place. “Shut up,” Clarke says rolling her eyes and shoving the dagger into strap in her boot.
“Sinking into this commander role I see,” Octavia tries anyway, since Clarke doesn’t often joke anymore, or show signs of amusement at all. Octavia wants to string it out, to make her smile, but this attempt doesn’t work. She does receive an affectionate glare though, which counts for something in Octavia’s book.
“What did you come for Octavia?” Clarke asks gently. Her eyes softening as she looks at the brunette. Octavia returns her soft smile, a sadness eating away at her as she takes in the blonde before her. Clarke wasn’t wearing any war paint, as she had previously the last time Octavia had seen her. But regardless of that, she looked more like a grounder then Octavia was completely used to. Her hair was clean and long down her back, but it was pulled into those braids that the warriors wear in their hair. Octavia herself sports those same braids. The red sash that was given to every commander was snug around her waist, while the rest of her was covered in black clothing from head to toe. Octavia couldn’t help but think how the outfit reflected Clarke’s attitude since Lexa’s demise the second time. Clarke wore a long sleeve black shirt that stopped at the edge of her hands, snug black skinny jeans that fit nicely around her body and hugged her curves, and black combat boots that easily hid the dagger she just shoved into it. Octavia would have complimented the outfit, if she didn’t miss the old Clarke so much.
“Bellamy’s sentence starts tomorrow. You know it’s not grounder tradition to hold prison sentences. I just wanted…”
“I assure you Octavia, Bellamy will be safe.” Clarke interrupts, looking away from Octavia as if almost bored. Octavia knows why she gives that looks. It’s to appear ruthless, disinterested, and emotionless. Clarke schooled her features constantly, hid her feelings every day. It slightly angered Octavia that she did so, though she understand why.
“It’s not that.” Octavia wanted emotion from the blonde, she yearned for it. Her friend was in there somewhere screaming, and Octavia wanted to help her get out. But she knew she had to be careful, and though right now it seemed there was no hope in finding the loving blonde, Octavia knew she’d eventually come back. Clarke was to sweet, to compassionate to pretend to be ruthless and heartless for the rest of her life as Commander. Clarke would come back, but it would take time.
“What is it than Octavia?” Clarke asks gently, the only sign that she holds affection still in her heart for the boisterous brunette. Octavia heavies a sigh and looks down at the ground. Her heart still hurts from all that Bellamy has done, even the thought of a dead Lincoln still haunts her dreams at night. It's only until he wakes her and she realizes he is right next to her that she is able to calm down. Bellamy almost took him away, and Octavia hasn’t completely forgiven him for that.
“I wanted to visit him. I’m trying to…” She releases an unsteady breath. “Forgive him I guess, it’s just.” Clarke’s hand is suddenly on Octavia’s shoulder, and it’s gentle and easy and Octavia almost melts into the touch. For a second, old Clarke is back, and how much Octavia misses Clarke starts crashing down on her.
“I know it’s hard, for the both of you.” Clarke whispers gently, and even her expression is soft when Octavia looks up to meet her delicate blue eyes. “But you have to remember it’s not completely his fault that Lincoln…” Clarke can’t say it, for some reason she can’t manage to talk about Lincoln’s death, even though he isn’t dead. It shook her too much. She knew why, she knew where Octavia would be if Lincoln had really died in Arkadia those months ago. She knew how hurt Octavia would be, how broken, because that’s Clarke now. “He saw what he was doing. It took him time to stop being such an idiot, but, he was able to see. He helped save Lincoln, yes maybe after putting him in danger, but…” Clarke sighs now, removing her hand from Octavia’s shoulder and straightening her posture again. Compassionate Clarke was fleeing quickly and Octavia wanted to scream at the sight.
“Will I be able to visit him? I’m not sure how you’ve set up imprisonment.” Octavia mumbles out gently. Her voice is soft, lacking her normal rasp. She wants loving Clarke to stay, to comfort her, to laugh with her, to just talk to her. But Clarke was taking a step back from Octavia now, her posture straighter than ever, her eyes hooded with indifference once again. She looked like Lexa in this moment, and Octavia supposed that maybe that was because that’s who Clarke thought of most of the time.
“Of course you’ll be able to visit him. Talk to Damon, my guard on the right on your way out. He’ll give you all the details you need.” Clarke’s voice is demanding and controlled. It makes Octavia ache with longing.
She nods briskly and turns to leave. But Clarke is grabbing her arm again and pulls her into a hug before she can go. “He’s alive, Octavia. Try to remember that.” Clarke whispers in her ear, holding her tight and close for a couple seconds longer before letting go. Octavia stares at her as Clarke turns her back and heads back up the small steps toward the throne.
Clarke makes to look like she is going to be seated, but once she hears the doors of the room open and close she quickly heads in the direction of the balcony. It looks out on all of Polis, and even though the night is cold and the moon only half full, she can’t imagine spending another second in that room. Lexa is everywhere, suffocating her, and she isn’t even alive. Clarke reaches out, her breath unsteady, clasping onto the railing, looking down at the ground.
She can feel her lungs tightening; it’s getting harder for her to breath. She feels pressures of things that aren’t necessarily visible. It isn’t long until she’s seeing image after image of Lexa and her deaths, and the people that have died because of her. She has these attacks sometimes, and she’s learned when they come. Now wrapped up in a ball at the edge of the railing she waits for them to leave, making no sound. And when it finally subsides, and Clarke’s face is stained with tears and her breath is ragged, she looks up at the stars.
She wonders if Lexa is amongst the stars, or if she’s floating somewhere around the grounds, or if she’s still hanging out in this universe or at least looking down at it. Looking down at Clarke while she cries, while she’s weak. “I’m sorry Lexa,” She whispers, her voice catching in her throat and cracking with vulnerability. “I’m so sorry.” She mumbled out again and the tears keep coming again. She hates crying, but she’s learned that she can’t really control them. Eventually she’s burying her face in her arms, mumbling out apology after apology as if Lexa can hear her. As if Lexa has anything to forgive her for. But in Clarke's mind, she has everything to be apologizing for. Clarke blames herself, continuously. There's never going to be a day where Clarke doesn't blame herself.
She doesn’t find comfort. And when she’s exhausted herself from tears and the heartache of missing Lexa, she eventually retires to her room, Lexa’s old room, and wraps up in furs that somehow still carry her scent. She cries until she falls asleep, and when she sleeps it’s restless, tainted by images of Lexa dying. When she wakes in the morning it is no different than every other morning.
The bags remain under her eyes, her cheeks stained with tears another morning, and a heavy heart barely beating in her chest as she sits up to begin another day.