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from ruins flowers bloom

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Raven slams the canister down on her worktable and Jasper jumps two feet straight up, nearly dropping and juggling the container he’s working on attaching a fuse to. 

He shoots her a look like she’s crazy, and she nods her head back and forth, rolling her eyes. He has a point. She could have blown them up, but it’s been hours since Anya went out with the other scouts and she hasn’t returned. The others have. 

And she’s stuck here making bombs the grounders can lob at the mountain men, but that hopefully won’t explode and kill them before they get into the fight. 

Her last test was a little too explosive and unstable, and they’d lost a few good warriors when one of the bombs was struck during a skirmish.

“Sorry,” Raven mutters and moves the container away from the edge of the workbench gently.

It wouldn’t be so terrible if she wasn’t trapped in camp still recovering from surgery, her back and half her leg still black and blue from internal bleeding, wondering if she ever wouldn’t be in pain again. The pain made everything worse, drew out every moment until she thought it would never end and that she would never make it through.

Usually focusing on being useful helped. If she could make something that helped their fight, or if she could help Clarke lay out plans with Lexa and Anya she didn’t feel so much like she was useless and damaged.

“You alright?” Jasper asks quietly, as if he’s afraid to spook her.

“Yeah… yeah… I’m fine.” Raven shrugs and grabs a reel of twine that they’ve been fashioning into fuses and starts to cut lengths of it.

Except she isn’t because she can’t stop thinking about how Anya isn’t back yet and she should have been back before dark, and she’s been working by lamplight for the better part of the last hour. Least of all she isn’t because she really doesn’t want to think about why she’s really worried about why Anya isn’t back.

The nagging voice in the back of her head tells her that it’s more than just the fact that the intelligence the scouts went out to collect is vital to their attack being successful in the morning. She tries to keep herself focused on the task at hand, keeping everyone alive, because it always comes down to her to keep everyone alive.

Her stomach clenches at the thought, that what if… Raven hasn’t eaten all day, first because she was too busy and now because she’s too worried and wrapped up in what she’s trying so very hard not to feel.

She still goes to sleep at nights seeing Finn bleeding out and dying, nothing anyone could do for him, not Abby, not any of the grounders, and Clarke, taking the act of mercy and putting him out of his misery, letting them say goodbye and then taking away his pain. She remembers the way his body had gone still, the heartbeat gone. She wakes up screaming.

Raven shoves the twine away from her and reaches for the gunpowder and other materials that they’re fashioning into bombs. She sets it back down when she catches Jasper eyeing her out of the corner of his eye.

“I’m not, okay?” She snaps. Raven breathes in sharply through her nose and makes a slow labored circle away from the table. Her back is killing her, pain shooting both up her back to her neck and shoulder, and down her leg. “I’m sorry… can you keep going with this? Maybe grab Monty, we need to make as many of these as we can, and I need a break.”

Raven limps toward the opening in the tent, one hand pressed firmly to her low back. 

“Yeah, no problem. Try to rest,” Jasper’s words trail after her.

That’s when she hears it, a horse approaching, guards moving, quiet whispered shouts echoing through camp.

She limps faster not certain if she should head toward the stables or Lexa’s tent. Anya’s faster though and by the time Raven has to pick a direction Anya is there, blood caked on one cheek, her clothes covered in mud and what might be more blood, but it’s hard to tell in the dark.

Raven’s heart leaps in her chest and she doesn’t know if she should yell or cry. With Anya standing in front of her, all she knows is that the intensity she’s felt all day grows worse. The ache to reach out and touch Anya, to say something stupid just so she can see the ghost of a smile touch her mouth and light up her eyes.

Then again, she’s still mourning Finn and she doesn’t know if she can risk getting her heart caught up in someone again. 

It’s too late, the voice in the back of her head reminds herself.

She’s been impatiently waiting Anya’s return all afternoon, she can’t deny it. 

“Took you long enough,” Raven finally manages to spit out with enough sarcasm, ennui, and accompanying eye roll that Anya claps her on the shoulder.

“Had to make sure you had time to finish your little project commander of boom.”

Raven winces at Anya’s touch as pain shoots down her back, and she leans heavily onto her crutch. She tries to swallow it down, not wanting to be seen as weak. She doesn’t miss the way Anya’s gaze flicks over her, checking for signs of further injury.

Anya narrows her eyes, “You didn’t rest today.”

Raven shrugs and turns to start walking toward Lexa’s tent, “Someone was late getting back and pushed back my final meeting of the day.”

In reality it’s more leaning on her crutch and half hopping half dragging herself along. Until she can find something to form a proper brace out of she’s stuck like this. The further away she gets from the surgery the more she realizes this may be as good as it gets.

She’s surprised when Anya doesn’t shoot a scathing comment back but instead takes Raven’s crutch and wraps Raven’s arm around her shoulders, even though Anya is slightly taller. Anya wraps an arm around Raven’s waist and grunts when she straightens up. She’s practically carrying her instead of just supporting her as they continue on toward Lexa’s tent and their meeting with Lexa and Clarke and Abby and Kane and Gustus.

Raven doesn’t complain about being half-carried and instead leans into Anya, her exhaustion and pain finally winning out now that Anya is back and safe. She’ll think about what this all means in the morning, but really, she knows. She doesn’t want to admit it, but she knows.