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Back from Black

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The sounds are getting louder, closer, and suddenly she can’t ignore them anymore. Her eyes open tentatively, wincing at the dim light that is coming from a crack in the wall. When some shots are heard, followed by loud yells, she blinks a few times, trying to send the sleepiness away.

She needs to be fully awake when the door opens. Needs to slip back the stoic mask she has been wearing for God knows how long.

Soon it becomes clear that the shots are being fired really close to the room she was thrown in after her last interrogation session, and she tries to raise her torso, a trembling forearm pushing against the dirty floor. But the effort is too much and soon she gives up, content to just lie there hopping the commotion will mean freedom, one way or another.

The door opens with a loud bang, her body recoiling at the loud song, but then she spots the uniform and it’s the first time she is feeling peaceful in a long while.

And then all becomes dark.

“It’s too soon, Woods. We rescued you only a month ago”.

The glare that is coming from the other side of the desk of the desk isn’t enough to stop her so she shakes her head twice, not allowing the pain the move originated to show on her expression.

“I politely disagree, Ma’am. I’ve been cleared for all the doctors and therapists you forced me to see. I swore I’d protect my people no matter what. I can’t be resting at home while those men are free.”

The nightmares and the thoughts that are freaking her out remain unmentioned, even if they are the main reason why she wants so desperately to be back in the streets.

Solving a couple of crimes would be such a distraction.

“Look Woods, I’m -” The woman sighs loudly, bringing both of her hands to the table “- really worried about you. You’re one of my best detectives and I’d love, as your captain, to have you and your brilliant brain back. But you’re also one of my best friends, Lexa. I thought I’d lost you and it hurt more than I could imagine.” She closes her eyes briefly, shaking her head lightly, as if trying to send the memories away, and when she opens her eyes again her expression is almost neutral. “I know I can’t protect you from the world and deny your request without a good reason. But I need to know if you’re really ready to come back, if you’re perf –“

“Indra, don’t.” Lexa’s eyes are pleading, and she lets her body fall against the chair, her shoulders lowering. “I’ll be forever grateful for everything you did to me. And I know you’re concerned about my health and wellbeing. But you know me too well to think I’d be better stuck at home. They killed him, Indra. I can’t –“

Indra reaches for her hand again, squeezing it before letting it go.

“It wasn’t your fault, Lexa. You did everything right, everything you could. And I can’t let you come back if you think about this as some kind of vendetta. You can’t be back if you are blinded by rage.”

Lexa shakes her head, never letting her eyes move away from Indra’s.

“It’s not rage. It’s…” Guilt? Sadness? She can’t name it. “I miss him and I want answers and justice. But I’m not blind, Indra. I’m not a vengeful person and you know it. And I promise you I’ll let you know if I eventually struggle with anything. But, please, I need to be back.” She takes a deep breath, straightening her body and nodding almost imperceptibly at her before looking away. “Can I come back, Ma’am?”

It takes a while for Indra to break the heavy silence, and when she does her voice is stern.

“On 2 conditions. You need to write daily reports about your cases and condition -” a glint of annoyance crosses Lexa’s eyes, but she nods politely “- and you will work with a partner.”

The annoyance is now very clear on Lexa’s expression, but she nods again.

“It’s not like I can fight your rules.” She glances at the filling cabinet on one corner of the room before locking eyes with Indra. “Will it be Blake?”

“No. She’s not ready for you. Yet.” Indra glances tentatively at the door, her eyes darkening. “I’m thinking about someone, but I need to talk with some people before telling you the name.” She looks back at Lexa, an unexpected fondness on her eyes. “You can go now, Woods.” 

Lexa stands up, nodding politely and hoping it will convey how thankful she is for everything Indra did for her.

“Thank you for your time, Ma’am.”

“It’s good to have you back, Woods. I was going crazy without your monotones responses to my awesome questions.” Lexa tries to use the cup of chai latte to hide de small smile which is forming on her lips, but the wide grin on Octavia’s lips tells her she did a poor job on the task. “I saw that, Lex. Wait until I tell Linc I was able to put a smile on your lips. I will be 10 bucks richer.”

“You did no such thing, Octavia. And I already told you not to bet on me or call me Lex.”

The major eye roll Octavia performs isn’t enough to wipe the grin from her lips.

“Whatever, Commander.” She lets go of her cup of black coffee to squeeze Lexa’s hands, her smile disappearing and her eyes saddening. “It’s good to see you back on your feet, Lexa. Seeing you on that bed wasn’t a pleasant experience.”

Lexa nods once before freeing her hand and bringing the cup to her lips, taking a large gulp of the warm liquid.

“It’s good to be back, Blake.” She puts the cup back on Octavia’s desk, clearing her throat lowly and letting her eyes wander around the room. “So, the new detective. Griffin, right?” Octavia nods, the smile back on her lips. “Is she good?”

“She is. A little bit intense, but -”

“Look who is talking about being intense.”

“Hey!” She throws a paper clip on Lexa, who dodges it easily. “I prefer you when you aren’t sassing around. Anyway, as I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me, she is intense, headstrong and stubborn as hell but very loyal. Actually, she reminds me of you. You will either hate each and end making angry sex or -”

“Octavia!” She looks around, sighing when she confirms that no one is looking on their direction. “You can’t say things like that. And I surely won’t have sex with her.”

Octavia scoffs loudly, shaking her head.

“Wait until you meet her. She’s your kind of woman. Anyway, as I was saying, you will either hate each other or love each other. Or a little bit of both. And either way you will end having sex.” Octavia just shrugs when Lexa glares at her, throwing her coffee cup in a bin next to her desk after taking a last sip. “We went to Police Academy together a few years ago so I’m helping her to settle. We’ve been spending some time together, remembering the old and golden times and all this bullshit.”

“Do you like her, then?”

“She knows how to thrown darts, drinks a lot, and her answer to Bellamy’s attempt to bed her was a loud laugh. How could I not like her?” A small smile forms on Lexa’s lips at the mention of Bellamy being rejected, and that’s enough to widen Octavia’s grin. “See? I think even you may like her already.” 

“Don’t push your luck, Blake.” 

“Anyway, you will meet her soon. Either because we’ve been hanging out a lot or because she is working on some of your cases.” 

Lexa nods, but before she could say anything, Lincon is staring at them from the door. 

“Blake, Captain Forest wants to see us.”

Octavia frowns, glancing at Lexa before standing up.

“We’ll ride you home today, so don’t even think about leaving this building without us. Copy that?”

Lexa nods, her eyes following Octavia’s until she’s out of the room.

“Did you want to see us, Ma’am?”

“Yes. Please, take a seat, Blake, Baobab. I want to talk with you about Woods.” They nod, reaching for the chairs. “As you might know she wants to come back already. I think it’s too soon, but she was cleared and you know Woods, so you also know I really can’t keep her away indefinitely.”

“Yeah, she is a stubborn pain in the ass, Ma’am.”

Lincoln is grinning at Indra, whose expression softens.

“I’m worried about her safety, Weald. She went through a lot recently and I’m afraid she’s hiding her real feelings from us. So, if she wants to come back, she needs a good partner.” Octavia and Lincoln nod at her, and she sighs worriedly. “But all my good men already have partners. Like the older Blake.” She glances at Octavia, her expressions unreadable. “And you aren’t ready to be her partner. And I can’t move you now, Weald. You’re too important for the task force.” They nod one more time, and Indra relaxes against her chair. “I was wondering about partnering her with Griffin. I read her jacket, she did a really good job in Arkadia, despite one big problem. But Woods is really important to me, so I need more evidence that she is a good one. Not only a good cop – what I’m pretty sure that she is – but a good person. Lexa will ne-“

Lincoln raises a hand, shaking her head.

“Stop rambling, Ma’am.”

Octavia grins widely, her eyes locking with Indra’s.

“If I didn’t know better I’d say you’re an emotional mess right now, Captain.”

Indra scoffs, and a huge grin appears on Lincoln lips.

“We get your point, Ma’am. We are worried about Lex too. And I’m glad that you’re being so careful on your choice.” Indra sighs, her shoulders relaxing. “You must have heard that Griffin and O went to police school together, right?” The captain nods, her eyes not leaving Lincoln’s. “Octavia swore to me she is a good cop and a good person, and she knows better than lying to me about something that could mess with my little cousin’s life.” Octavia rolls her eyes at Lincoln, but nods, once. “What you may not know is that Anya’s path crossed with Griffin’s a few years ago. She was fresh out of police school, but she still managed to earn Anya’s trust. I don’t know many people who can say that, so she must be really good.”

Indra nods relieved, interlacing her fingers and placing her hands on her table.

“Could you ask Griffin to come to my office? I need to talk to her before telling Woods the good news.”

“Sure thing, Ma’am”

“And thank you for the help. But don’t think you’re out of my black book yet. Sleeping with your partner isn’t allo-“

“Oh, believe me, Captain. We already understood that.”

Indra straightens her shoulders and Lincoln places a hand on Octavia’s back, gently pushing her out of the room.

“What she meant is we are so thankful for the chance you gave us, Ma’am.”

After half an hour in Indra’s office, Clarke is staring at her own hands, which she awkwardly placed at Forest’s desk. After a while, she looks up, finding expectative eyes on her.

“Why not the younger Blake?”

“Why not Woods?”

Clarke sighs, trying to tuck a few strands of wild hair on her ponytail.

“I’ve heard she is intense. And, pardon my French, kind of bitchy. And I bet her latest experience didn’t help her with that. Also, I think she is kind of… damaged? And I’m bad at all this emotional stuff.”

Clarke shakes her head weakly, trying to send away the memories from the day Lexa was finally rescued. She looked so fragile and broken and Clarke knows that no one who’s been kidnapped and remained missing for 37 days would walk out of it without huge traumas. She isn’t sure if she could handle her ghosts and Lexa’s demons.

“She is one of my best uniforms, Griffin. Yes, she went through a lot, but it doesn’t change the fact she is smart, loyal, resourceful and fierce. And the Blakes, Weald and I will be keeping an eye on her. I just need you to be a good partner, look after her and let me know if she freaks out.” Indra stops talking, letting the words sink in Clarke’s mind. All the blond can think, though, is that Lexa seems to be the kind of person who messes with your life. And her life is just now starting to go back to its place. “Apart from that, from what I’ve heard, you can be headstrong and intense too.” She stares suggestively at Clarke, who blushes lightly. “Can I call Woods and introduce you as her new partner, Griffin?”

“She’s a legend.”

Indra raises an eyebrow, a tight smile on her lips.

“Well, it’s not an answer. And neither a question, I guess.”

Grace places her hand on her forehead, trying to make her brain work.

“I didn’t hear only bad things about her, Ma’am. I know she’s a great detective, who was about to be promoted when everything went to shit. And yes, I can be as stubborn and uptight as she is –“ She sighs loudly, letting her body fall against her chair. “What if we can’t stand each other? Or if I fail and –“

“I know your history Griffin. I trust you. And I’m pretty sure Lexa will trust you too.”

Grace nods, defeated. There’s no point in fighting the inevitable.

“Excuse me, Ma’am. Did you want to see me?

“Come on in, Woods. Take a seat, please.”

Lexa nods, entering the room, her eyes immediately fixing at Clarke. She looks back at Indra, raising an eyebrow almost imperceptibly, before sitting next to the blonde.

“Woods, this is our new Detective, Clarke Griffin. She joined our team while you were off duty, almost a month ago. She came from Arkadia with high recommendations from her Capta-“

“So I’ve heard.”

Indra sighs, her pointed look direct to Lexa.

“I was speaking.”

Lexa opens her mouth to reply, but seems to think about it and nods politely.

“Sorry, Ma’am. Go ahead.”

Clarke resists the impulse to rolls her eyes and whisper a very audible I told you so to Indra, because rude.

“Griffin was a great addition to our team, and since you need a new partner, I’m sure she’s our best choice.” 

They stay in silence for a couple of seconds, before Lexa breaks it, her discomfort clear on her voice. 

“Am I allowed to speak now, Ma’am?” Indra glares at her one more time, but nods. “I trust your judgment.” She turns to Clarke, offering her a hand. “So you’re the one who beat my darts record.”

A small smile appears on Clarke’s lips when she nods.

“And you’re the one who left that poor score to be beaten.”

Clarke’s eyes are locked with Lexa’s, expecting for a any kind of reaction, and she lets out a breath she didn’t know she was holding when Lexa nods once, accepting her hand shake.

“Lexa Woods.”

“Clarke Griffin.”

They stare at each other until a knock on the door draws their attention. Soon Octavia’s head is peaking from the crack.

“Excuse me, Ma’am.”

“Come on in, Blake.”

“Is Woods officially back? Because we’re planning a darts and shots night to celebrate her return, and you might have some stuff to say these ladies, but y’know what people say, Ma’am – alcohol always come first.”

Indra shakes her head, but a small, amused smile is on her lips.

“We are finished here.”

Octavia claps excitedly, glancing at the other detectives.

“Let’s go, then. And you can join us later, Captain. I’m sure a couple of drinks would do you some good.”

“I have some paper work to do after my shift, Blake. But have some fun, don’t drink and drive and…” she nods towards Lexa, lowering her voice. “… make sure Woods finishes the night safe in her bed, right?”

Lexa scoffs, already leaving room.

“I hear that, Ma’am.” 

Octavia laughs hard, and it takes only a few seconds for Clarke to join her.

Lexa Woods is respected and loved by everyone, that much is clear. And Clarke never could understand why, since almost all of the stories she heard about the other woman – especially when she was still working in Arkadia – picture her as coldhearted, uptight bitch.

But now she thinks she is beginning to understand all the fuzz, because Lexa Woods is one of a kind.

It takes her only a few hours to notice that she is a good person. That her green eyes, despite her famous stoicism, are kind and gentle, and that she offers to everyone who speaks with her the same attention. And then, suddenly, Clarke is envying the ones who are receiving all of her attention – Lexa wasn’t cold with her, but she didn’t really try to talk to her, either. 

“She’s captivating. I understand your fascination.” 

She turns to look at Octavia, rolling her eyes at the grin she is sporting. 

“She’s my new partner, O. I’m merely studying her.”

“You mean the artist on you is studying her fine angles and that perky ass? Gotcha.”

Octavia laughs loudly at Raven’s words, offering her hand for a high five, which the latina promptly meets.

“I shouldn’t have introduced you two.” When the laughter only gets louder she rolls her eyes again, harder this time, reaching for her pint of lukewarm beer and making a face at the taste. “Anyway, I’m just surprised. I’ve heard so many stories about Woods before, and I didn’t expect her to be so –“

“Pretty?”

“- considerate.” She shoves Raven’s shoulders, signaling to the barman for another beer. “For fuck’s sake, Rae. Get your mind out of the gutter.”

“Nah. I’d be too much trouble.”

Clarke scoffs, glancing at Octavia, who is staring at her with a curious expression.

“I can understand why you expected her to be a bitch. Most of the people who hear stories about her but don’t know her can’t understand why she’s like this.” She glances at Lexa, who is smiling at something Lincoln is telling her, and an affectionate smile forms on her lips. “She didn’t have an easy life, but she survived everything life threw in her way. And maybe she is a little rough sometimes, but she is also loyal and caring, and she always think about the others’ needs first.” She scoffs lowly, shaking her head, and the genuine smile is still on her lips when she looks back at Clarke. “Lexa’s façade may make you believe she is the toughest human being live, but don’t let that fool you. She is bleeding inside. But neither all the pain made her stop trying to protect other people. She wants to make people’s lives better, even if that means she will only survive.”

Suddenly Clarke’s throat is too dry, the lump on it hard to swallow, and she reaches for her now cold beer, talking a large gulp.

“Jeez Octavia, I didn’t know you could be this emotional.” Raven raises her hand, waving at the barman. “If we will hug and cry, I think we need to be drunker.”

Octavia laughs loud at that, asking the barman for some shots of tequila when he approaches them. But Clarke is too focused on Lexa, who walking towards them, to tell Octavia she doesn’t want to be hangover in the morning.

“Are you enjoying yourself, Clarke?” She nods towards Octavia, who is grinning at them. “Isn’t this one giving you so much trouble?”

“She kind of is. But I know how to hand some trouble.” 

Clarke winks at Lexa, her own eyes widening when she spots green own going wide for a split second – and the answer and the wink might be caused by the way Lexa pronounces her name - and her elbow connects with Raven’s ribs when she hears something that sounds like fucking smooth, Griff. 

“Oh, hm, I’m glad she wasn’t too much of an inconvenience.” 

This time Octavia is the one who snorts, rolling her eyes and throwing her arm over Lexa’s shoulder, pulling her towards the bar. 

“Shut up and have a shot with us, you grammar nazi.”

“I would rather not to be hangover in the morning, Blake.” She takes a seat on the stool next to Clarke, reaching for Octavia’s beer. “And if you think I was being a grammar nazi, you really don’t kno-“

“Shut up, Lexa. And at least order you own beer. I don’t want to have your spit on my lips.”

“You would be really lucky if you had her spit on your lips, O.”

“Raven!”

Clarke is glaring at the latina, who just shrugs, nodding towards a reddening Lexa.

“What? I’m just saying. She’s hella hot.”

Octavia laughs one more time, patting a clearly smug Raven on the back, and Lexa clears her throat before taking a large gulp of Octavia’s beer. She glances at Clarke when she places the glass back on the counter.

“Anyway, one of the reasons for us hanging out tonight was to know each other better, but since it was impossible with all these people around, do you want to have a coffee with me tomorrow morning?” She ignores the funny look Octavia is giving her and Raven’s wolf whistle, her eyes still locked with Clarke’s. “I think it would be good for us. As partners.”

“So smooth, Woods. You asked my hometown girl on a date. A fucking breakfast date, I may add. But you never bought her a drink. Buy a girl a drink first, Commander.”

Raven is staring at Lexa, whose expression is unreadable. Clarke is ready to excuse herself and drag her best friend away from the bar – and the city, if necessary - when Lexa leans over the counter, signaling to the barman.

“It’s not a date, Reyes. No need to get jealous. But -” She turns to the barman, who is staring expectantly at her “- four tequila shots, Jack, please.” Raven is grinning when Lexa looks back at her. “Now I’m allowed to ask Clarke on a date. Live with it.”

Raven laughs loudly, offering her hand for a high five, which Lexa ignores completely, and Clarke takes a large gulp of her beer, trying to clench her sudden thirsty.

It seems she was right about at least one thing about Lexa: she is the kind of people who messes with other people’s lives.

Chapter Text

Her ceiling has three little cracks. The paint has a different color in the corners of the room. Her window gives her a nice view, and she can spot forty-three stars through it. And two beautiful trees.

Eventually everything becomes blurry, then dark. And she is suddenly back to the room. That room. 

She smells blood, and touches her own body, searching for new injuries. Suddenly she feels in pain and can’t breathe. Then the water is touching her face and the pain goes away because of the cold, but soon the refreshing sensation is replaced. Water invades her lungs and she gasps, and gasps again, desperately trying to breath. And then she sobs, and she knows, in that moment, that something is wrong. She shouldn’t be able to sob under the water. But only when she heard a familiar voice calling her name she dares to open her eyes. The kind eyes she spots gives her the last hint.

It was a nightmare. Only a nightmare. She is okay, she is free, she is safe. Or safe-ish, who knows. But she can’t stop sobbing, anyway. 

After a few minutes she stops crying, and just let her head resting on Anya’s shoulder. They spend a lot of time in this position, with her sister rubbing her back, and it’s just the tiny sobs which leave her trembling lips stop completely that Anya lies behind her, running a soothing hand over her arm. 

Soon enough everything becomes dark again but this time she doesn’t smell blood.

When Octavia wakes up, earlier that she would like, she immediately searches for her phone, worried she is late to her meeting with Ontari, her partner. A few minutes later, when she finds it under her bed, she notices a message from Anya on their group chat with Lincoln. 

It’s time for the daily report. 

She almost didn’t sleep. She also cried a lot. PLEASE, take care of her today. Extra care. And call me if anything happens. I’ll rip your heads off if something happen to her. 

Thinking about the day ahead, she renews her hope for Clarke and Lexa getting along. She has a hint that the beautiful, stubborn and fierce Clarke Griffin could be the one who would be able to make Lexa sleep peacefully again.

Sighing, she types an answer to Anya before leaving the bed.

When Lexa opens her eyes again Anya is gone, replaced by a piece of paper.

 

Lex,

Have a nice day.  

Hope you and the owner of the beautiful blue eyes and of the generous cleavage get along.

Remember what I told you: you can trust Clarke.  

Call me if you need anything, 

A.

 

A small smile forms on Lexa’s lips and she shakes her head, placing the note back on the pillow before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. 

Of course calling her a gay mess wouldn’t be the only thing Anya would do to tease her after she casually mentioned Clarke’s beautiful eyes to her. And she didn’t say anything about Clarke’s cleavage because it would be so wrong, but Anya knows Clarke and her breasts are kind of hard to miss, so her sister accurately supposed Lexa had liked them too. 

She makes a mental note to stop acting as if she had a crush on Clarke – because she definitely don’t – before she opens her eyes, already reaching for her phone. 

Three new messages are waiting for her, two from Octavia and one from Clarke. Felling guilty, she chooses the last one to read first. 

Hey. I’ll pick you in 30 minutes. Is that okay?  

She sends Clarke a short message in return letting her know she will be ready and then opens Octavia’s messages, instantly regretting it. 

The messages are short and make clear Octavia’s effort not to be too personal or to show how much she cares, but Lexa knows her friend is concerned about her. That she’s concerned about being far from her on her first day back. 

She wonders if the brunette begged Clarke to keep her eyes on her all the times, and groans when she decides that would be such an Octavia thing to do.

Ignoring the guilt that settles on her chest for making her friends and her sister worry about her she shots a quick it’s NOT a date to Octavia and drags herself slowly out of her comfy bed. 

She is tired. The lack of sleep and the constant nightmares are bringing her down. But she knows things will get better, or that she will get used to this new reality. A few days in captivity couldn’t break her for good, she’s sure, and as soon as she finds another distraction to pass the time - losing herself in crosswords is getting a little boring nowadays – the tiredness will disappear. 

Her shower is longer than it should be, but she enjoys the feeling of warm water relaxing her shoulder. Picking an outfit also takes her more time than usual and she tries not to think that she is, maybe, trying to amuse Clarke.

The dark green button up shirt makes her eyes more evident, and the black skinny jeans and the black boots completed the look. She grabs a leather jacket – the Polis Fall could be full of surprises – and goes outside to wait for Clarke, already a couple of minutes late.

She still needs to wait more than 10 minutes before Clarke’s car is parked in front of her apartment.

“I’m late, I know. Sorry.”

Clarke is smiling to her, the light blue eyes staring at green ones, and Lexa can’t fight against her own smile.

“No problem. I was a little late myself.” She buckles her seatbelt up before glancing at the blonde, the small smile still on her lips. “But as your partner I need to know: are you always late?”

Clarke blushes and looks away from Lexa, her fingers tapping against the wheel while she starts the engine.

“Maybe? I don’t know. Not always ALWAYS, but kinda. I guess.”

Lexa chuckles, absentmindedly cleaning her aviators on her shirt.

“Okay. I get it. You’re always late.”

Clarke blushes a little, glancing at her partner and clearing her throat lowly.

“And what about you?”

“Well, I’ve got 99 problems, but being late isn’t one.” Clarke’s eyes widen and Lexa laughs, a full laugh that has Clarke slapping her shoulder playfully. “What? You begged for this joke. You’re the one who asked to a lesbian if she -“

“You’re an idiot, Lexa.”

Lexa shrugs, looking away, a smug small smile on her lips.

“Takes one to know one.”

Clarke raises an eyebrow, glancing quickly at Lexa before focusing back on the road.

“I wander what people would say if I told them ‘broody Lexa’ is all smile-y when she’s around me.” She glances at Lexa again, noticing the way her cheeks are warming. “I could destruct your reputation, Woods.” Lexa rolls her eyes, mumbling whatever, and this time Clarke is the one chuckling. “Anyway, I was thinking about having a coffee at that place near the precinct. Is this okay for you?”

Lexa gives her a short nod, a genuine smile forming on her lips.

“It’s perfect. I really like their green tea.”

Clarke looks briefly at Lexa before focusing on the road again.

“Green tea? Why are you so disgusting?”

“I’d like to let you know green tea is really good for our health, unlike coffee. I read several articles about it.”

Clarke chuckles loudly, shaking her head.

“Oh, God. I have this feeling that you’re such a nerd. Worst: the science kind of nerd.”

“I’m not a nerd. I just like reading about things.”

Clarke rolls her eyes, laughing.

“Weirdo.”

“Shut up.”

It’s almost 8 am, and the place is full of cops and detectives. Lexa and Clarke wave at some people a few times before grabbing two cups of coffee and taking a place at a small table near the corner of the cafe.

“Whoa, the healthy weirdo decided to drink some coffee? Are you feeling wild this morning, Lexa?”

“Whatever, Clarke.” Lexa’s voice cracks a little and Clarke just notice the fact because she is paying full attention to the girl. “I didn’t sleep very well last night. I just need some stimulation.”

Sensing the conversation could get too deep too soon, Clarkes searches on her brain for something light to talk about. But Lexa is the one who breaks the silence. 

“I wish I hadn’t forgotten to eat my banana this morning. They only sell these stupid apples here.”

“You eat a banana every morning?”

Lexa nods, placing her cup of tea back on the table.

“Bananas have a lot of potassium. It helps me to avoid cramps when I have to run after someone.”

“Oh, God.” Clarke cuckles one more time, a wide grin on her lips. “You’re such a cutie.”

“Am not. I’m badass. You acknowledged it when you spoke about my rep.”

“Whatever helps you too sleep at night, Lexa.”

A somber look cross Lexa’s face and Clarke curses her big, insensitive mouth one more time. But before she could say anything, Lexa is speaking again.

“God, this muffin sucks. Next time I’ll cook some breakfast for you at my place.”

“Next time?” She laughs at Lexa’s pink cheeks, sipping her coffee. “Don’t be so full of yourself, Woods.”

“You know what? Never mind. You will be stuck with these terrible muffins for breakfast till the end of times.”

Clarke laughs loudly, throwing a crumpled napkin at Lexa.

“Come on, Lex. Don’t be like that!”

When they arrive at the precinct, one hour later, Lexa already knows Clarke is an only child but she considers Raven and Wells, her best friends, as siblings. She also found out Clarke hates all sports but used to take her dog, Fish, to long runs. She knows her father almost died, and that it put a dent on her relationship with her mother, but now her father is doing great again and they are working on rebuilding their relationship. 

Clarke told her all these things. 

But Lexa also knows other things, things Clarke didn’t tell her.

Lexa noticed Clarke would try to downplay any kind of compliment, and she thought the color of her cheeks after it was really cute. She also noticed Clarke would hold her breath after making a joke, waiting for Lexa’s reaction, and that she smiles shyly when Lexa smiles at them. And she noticed, too, that Clarke’s laugh is the most infectious she knows. The blonde laughs with her full body, sometimes arching her back backward and raising her legs, sometimes arching her torso and patting her knees. I could hear her laugh forever.

Clarke, in turn, discovered Lexa was adopted by Niko, Anya’s father, when she was four years old, and that she doesn’t like to talk about her time on the system neither about her first years with the Woods. She also found out  she is really into classic and indie music, and it’s obsessed with crosswords. Oh, and that she really love candles.

Lexa told her all these things. 

But Clarke also knows other things, things Lexa didn’t tell her. 

She knows Lexa will clench her jaw when talking about something she isn’t comfortable with, and will easily slip a mask on when she is 0trying to avoid showing the other her real emotions. She also noticed Lexa’s lips will curl into a tiny smile when she is amused by something, and that the regal manner she holds herself didn’t made a single appearance when they were alone. 

Both of them have a small smile when they enter the precinct, and they walk towards their desks, but before Lexa could throw her eather jacket on the back of her chair Ontari appears.

“Detectives, Captain Forest isn’t assigning you two for any cases today.” She looks at Clarke, nodding once. “Detective Griffin, she’s suggesting you to update Detective Woods about your current cases. You can call me if you need anything.”

Clarke nods absentmindedly and Ontari walks away. When the blonde turns to face Lexa she is sporting a confused look.

“Captain Forest is… suggesting?”

Lexa chuckles, placing the jacket on the chair.

“She doesn’t need to order. People respect and fear her too much to see these suggestions as anything but orders.”

“You have the same effect in most of the cops, Woods. The only difference is most of the female cops would also like to follow your orders in other environment.” They turn their heads at the sound of the voice, Lexa already glaring at Octavia, what makes her chuckle. “So, how was your da-“

“Octavia.”

”Jezz, Lex. No need to worry, I will not ask for the sordid details.” Lexa scoffs and now Clarke is glaring at Octavia too, what makes the younger brunette place a hand on her chest, sighing loudly. “I came here to say hello and I’m feeling so attacked right now. So it’s time to leave.”

Before any of the girls could say anything, Octavia walks away, yelling a “See you later” over her shoulder.

Lexa shakes her head before pulling her chair and taking a seat.

“She is even more dramatic lately.”

Clarke nods, pulling her chair before turning to her desk.

“I know. I shouldn’t have introduced her to Raven. They seem to be competing against each other to see who is the dramatic-er one.” Clarke takes a seat beside Lexa, putting several folders in front of them. “Well, let’s start the hard work, shall we?”

They just stopped to lunch, and when they were finally past all the files it was almost 8pm. Clarke stands up, stretching her back and throwing the 6th cup of coffee of the day in the trashcan.

“I think we’re done, for now. Do you want a ride?”

“Mmhmm.”

Lexa’s lack of answer surprises Clarke, and she stares at her partner, who is frowning and looking at the folders.

“What’s wrong?”

“Are you sure that you didn’t forget any file? Because I thought that…”

Clarke stares at a mute Lexa for a while before realizing what the brunette is thinking.

“Oh, that case… We are not in the task force, Lexa. After -” Fuck, how can I say it to her? “y’know… your rescue, they moved the investigations back to Narcotics.” 

“But a homicide happened. And a kidnap.”

“Yeah, and they’re investigating those crimes. They chose two from Homicide and two from Missing Persons to compose the task force with Narcs. And that’s all I know. Sorry.”

Lexa nods at her, attempting a smile.

“It’s okay.”

Lexa grabs her jacket and follows Clarke to the garage, not a word being sopken. She only breaks the silence inside Clarke’s car.

“Who are the two from Homicide?”

Shit. Shit shit shit. 

“The older Blake. And…”

“Lincoln. Of course.”

“I’m really sorry, Lex.”

 “No, It’s fine. I should have known.”

They stay in silence for a while, Lexa trying to understand why Lincoln didn’t mention anything to her and Clarke doing her best to respect the space her partner clearly need.

Several minutes later, when Lexa exits her car while thanking her for the ride for the hundredth time, Clarke can’t help but being a little bit upset and very concerned about her wellbeing. 

She drives away, already aware that the first day of her partnership with Lexa confirmed the suspicions that she will have problems with the “don’t you fucking dare to date another partner” rule.

Chapter Text

Octavia and Lincoln are standing next to their desks when they arrive, talking and laughing, and Lexa stops as soon as she spots them, causing Clarke to collide on her back.

The low oof that leaves Clarke’s lips startles the couple and soon two pairs of eyes are on them.

“Hey, weirdos.”

Clarke raises her hand, offering the a wave, but Lexa only nods, turning to her partner.

“I need to grab my stuff, but I’ll be back in ten.”

Clarke nods at her, and before Octavia or Lincoln could say anything Lexa is leaving the room.

“What the fuck just happened?” Octavia turns to Clarke with an arched eyebron, her confusion evident. “Who spat on her green tea?”

Clarke, offering her an shy smile.

“She found out about the task force.”

“Fuck.” Octavia turns to Lincoln, who is grimacing, a finger pointed to his face. “I told you to tell her before other people did. Oh boy, Anya will kill us.”

Lincoln sighs, running a hand on his bald head, and Clarke mumbles I’m sorry, making him shake his head and place a hand on her shoulder.

“You don’t have a reason to be sorry, Griffin. As Octavia said, I should have talked to her as soon as she was reintegrated.” He turns to Octavia, offering her a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry about Anya, O. I’ll explain to her why I kept them on the dark.”

“Okay.” Octavia nods is unsure, her pleading eyes locked with Lincoln’s. “And it’s not like we could really talked to Lex about it, right? I mean, if we had, Captain Forest would be the one who would kill us.” 

He nods, doing his best to smile reassuringly at her, and she nods one more time. 

I’ll talk to her later. Don’t worry.” He glances at his watch, sighing. “Now I need to go.” He glances at the door before leaning forward and pecking Octavia’s lips. “See you tonight.” 

“Okay.” 

He turns to Clarke, a smile on his lips. 

“Watch her back, will you?” 

His eyes are sad, despite the smile, and Clarke wants to assure him everything will be fine, that Lexa is fine, but she can’t, so she just nods, watching Lincoln leave the room.

Before any of them could say anything Lexa is back, sending a guilty smile on Octavia’s direction before turning to look at Clarke.

"Let’s go? I grabbed your coat and the Benton file. Do we need anything else?”

You to be okay. 

“No. We can go now.”

They discuss the case one more time while heading to the crime scene.

“No Lexa. The surveillance tapes didn’t show anything other than usual. And we didn’t find any fingerprints on the body. We had no suspects until now. If Mr. Benton isn’t able to explain why he lied to me, he’ll be our only suspect”

Lexa nods, her eyes on the piece of paper on her hands.

“So you only have the body? With rope marks on the neck?” Lexa glances at Clarke and she nods, sighing. “You didn’t find the rope, though?”

Clarke sighs one more time, tiredly.

“Just the body, Lexa. As I said to you before, a thousandth of times.”

“And are you sure this isn’t an X-File case?”

Clarke rolls her eyes, her eyes on the road.

“Lexa, for the last time, X-Files cases don’t exist!”

“Don’t be so closed minded, Clarke.” Lexa looks at Clarke, a playful look on her eyes and a small grin on her lips. “Maybe we could try to talk with some ghosts at the crime scene, see if they have some hot tips for us.”

Clarke rolls her eyes again, but a huge smile is on her lips.

“Can we focus on our human suspects, Lexa Mulder? Please? We only need to confront Mr. Benton about his fake alibi and all this crime will make sense, I’m sure.”

“Whatever, Clarke. One day you will accept the supernatural. Even Scully kind of did it.”

Clarke laughs loud, shaking her head.

“Do you think that I would look good as a redhead?”

Lexa is sure Clarke would look good with any hair color, but her partner doesn’t need to know that.

“Get a life, Griffin.”

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Benton. We’ll call you if we get any news.”

After the man closed the door, they walk back to Clarke’s car. When they take their seats, Lexa sighs.

“And I was thinking about ghosts. This case is getting boring. He lied because he was with his mistress?So stereotypical.”

“Yeah, but boring or not, he has an alibi. A different one, but still an alibi.” Clarke sighs, running her hands on her hair. “I feel the answer is in front of me, but I can’t see it. It’s so frustrating.”

“We’ll find the murderer soon,. At least we can talk with this Sonia woman now, maybe she knows something Mr. Benton doesn’t know. The mistresses are always full of dirty secrets.”

Clarke laughs, punching Lexa slightly on the shoulder.

“In movies and TV shows, Lexa!”

“Come on, Griffin. Have a little faith.”

“I have a lot of faith in Sonia, but only because she’s our only hope right now.” She starts the engine, glancing at Lexa. “Let’s have some lunch and talk with her.”

“And why didn’t you tell us this entire story soon, Miss Barrios?”           

“I was afraid. I don’t know who her amante was. If he killed Catia, he could kill me too. And Tony would never believe Catia was cheating on him, so I kept the facts to myself.”     

Lexa nods, offering the woman a reassuring nod.

"We will keep these facts private, Miss Barrios. No need to be scared.”

Lexa smiles shyly at Lexa, clearly relieved.

“Thank you, Detective Woods.”

Clarke places both of her hands on her knees before standing up, followed by Lexa.

“Thank you for your time, Miss Barrios. If you remember anything else, please call us, okay?”

When they take their places at Clarke’s car, Lexa has a cocky smile on her lips.

“Wipe this cocky smile off of your face, Woods.”

“I don’t want to tell you that I told you so, but…”

“Yeah, the mistresses always know the dirty secrets. Whatever.”

Lexa’s smile widens, but it disappears as soon as she glances at her phone.

“What’s wrong?”

“Did you tell Lincoln I know about the task force?” Clarke mumbles a low yeah, keeping her eyes on the road. “He sent me too much messages this morning.”

“And why you don’t message his back?”

“I’m angry at him and I don’t want to fight.” She sighs, locking her phone. “And it wouldn’t be fair, because it isn’t like he could tell me everything about the case.” She sighs again, closing her eyes and pushing her head against the headrest. “I shouldn’t be mad at him.”

Clarke nods, because she understands Lexa. She knows this mixed feeling, this mix of guilt, anger and embarrassment. 

“I understand why you’re mad and disappointed, Lex. He’s more than a colleague, so it’s a big deal. But he cares a lot about you, y’know that, right?”

“I know. I’ll talk to him later. I need to talk to him about Anya’s dinner plans anyway.” She opens her eyes, glancing at Clarke. “She asked me to invite you, by the way.”

“Yeah?”

Lexa nods, not missing how Clarke’s eyes widened at the news.

“Yes. Just come over on Friday night. She will cook something and we will have some drinks. You can bring Raven with you. I’m sure they will get along just fine.”

Clarke smiles, eyes never leaving the road.

“I have a feeling those two sarcastic little shits will get along better than just fine.” The corner of Lexa’s lips curl into a small smile and she nods, reaching for the Benton file. “How is Anya?”

"Being a huge pain in my ass. Since I woke up at the hospital she never left my side. She has been sleeping over, watching every step I do. And I’m sure she didn’t sign up to join the force just because she makes sure Octavia and Lincoln keep an eye on me all the time.”

Clarke smiles, nodding.

“I’m sure all this attention can be overwhelming.”

“It is. But I’m very glad she is being a pain in my ass.”

She only nods this time.

When they arrive at the precinct, Lincoln is on Lexa’s chair, reading a huge file. Clarke glances at Lexa, sighing when she offer her a short nod.

“I’ll re-watch the surveillance tapes. You can join me later.”

“I’ll be with you in five, Griffin.”

Clarke nods and smiles apologetically at Lincoln, leaving the room, and he sighs when Lexa refuses to make eye contact.

“Really, Lex? Not looking at me is a thing now?”

Lexa knows she should raise her head and lock her eyes with Lincoln’s. But she also knows this conversation has the potential to bring down all the walls she carefully built after her rescue.

She isn’t ready to let Lincoln see behind the walls. She knows he is already worried about her, and she doesn’t like to be the reason her friends stay awake at night.

But she can’t avoid his gaze forever, so she raises her head, staring at her cousin and moving a hand, trying to encourage the conversation.

Lincoln shakes her head and takes a deep breathe before locking eyes with hers.

“Look kiddo, I know that you’re mad at me and I understand your motives. God knows I do. But all this bullshit is hard for me too, Lex. I’m trying not to show to you how hard this thing is for me, but my heart is broken too. And I see what you’re doing, all this I’m protecting my friend’s feelings bullshit, but I’m done with this, Lex. You need to let me in.” 

Lexa closes her eyes for a moment, her walls almost collapsing. She wants to let Lincoln be closer, she wants to be hugged and protected. But it’s time to be brave now. And be brave means not let the tears fall.

“I’m fine, Lincoln. We can forget this entire thing. I know you can’t share details about open cases with me. I was being a fool. I’m sorry”

Lincoln looks at Lexa, sighing. He can see the pain beside the facade, but he knows Lexa will not giving it up so easily.

“For God’s sake, Lexa. Let me help you. I love you and I’m -”

“Woods, Griffin is calling you. She needs to see you right now.”

They turn their heads and take a glimpse of a very concerned Ontari at the corner of the room.

Lexa nods at her and walks toward the door quickly. When she reaches it she turns to look at a very frustrated Lincoln.

“I’m fine, Linc. I promise you. Let it go, please.” 

The final word is barely a whisper and Lexa’s weak voice breaks Lincoln heart. So he nods, trying to smile, while watching Lexa leaving the room.

“Look, our suspect is near the fountain. I’ll approach him and talk, trying to convince him to come with us. And you will be near that tree -” Clarke points at her left side “- out of his field of vision, so you can intercept him if he runs.”

They are in the Brenton mansion again, since they found new evidences on the surveillance tapes – better, on this manipulated excerpt of the surveillance tapes – and now they have a new suspect: the gardener, also known as Mrs. Benton’s affair. 

Lexa nods, staring at Clarke with a clenched jaw.

“I’m moving now, can we start in, like, five?” Clarke nods and Lexa offers her a small smile. “I got your back, Griffin.”

“I know.”

Lexa nods before leaving, walking toward the tree. She tries to breathe calmly, but she is nervous. 

She reaches the tree and looks at Clarke, who is now approaching the suspect. She can see her partner is speaking now, but when she is close enough to do something, the man starts to run.

Soon he is getting close to Lexa, so she starts to runs toward him, trying to get close enough to intercept the man, but before she could do that he throws a chain at her. She barely has time to dodge it and it hits the concreted floor with a loud thud.

That sound. 

Lexa tries to keep running but her legs are refusing to move. She also can’t breathe, apparently. All she can do is hear that sickening sound, again and again. Repeatedly. And now she also can feel the pain, smell the blood. And hear that sound.

The pain, the smell, the noise. Suddenly, all that sensations become too much and Lexa drops to her knees, hands against the grass.

She barely notices a worried Clarke Griffin passing on her side, confusion in her eyes. She barely heard Clarke yelling her name, twice.

Because now everything is dark again. She is back to that room.

Clarke immobilizes the suspect, pressing him against the ground. She handcuffs him, knee on his back, and then brings her hand to her forehead, feeling the blood above her eyebrow.

A sigh leaves her lips but she keeps her knee on the suspect back, trying to gather her thoughts. She looks across the garden, searching for Lexa. She saw the man throwing a chain on her, but she was close enough to see Lexa had avoided being hit. But then Lexa suddenly fell on her knees, pain in her eyes. Panting. 

A panic attack? 

She stands up, bringing the man with her. She knows she needs to think fast. Lexa is somewhere, needing her help, but she can’t go after her with the man under her custody, and if she calls for back up the Captain would find out that Lexa froze in action and her partner would be in trouble.

When she pushes the suspect toward her car, her decision is made: she’ll lock the man inside the car and looks for Lexa. They’ll talk and return to the precinct together. Everything I’ll be fine.  

After locking the suspect inside the car and ordering him to not create more troubles, she goes after Lexa. She knows that something must have caused her to flip during the chase, which means that she must be in emotional pain right now.

When she spots her partner her heart breaks a little. She’s kneeling on the grass, one fist against the floor and the other hand in her chest. Her eyes are closed, and Clarke fights against the urge to hug her tight. She moves slowly, though, afraid to scare the human form in front of her.

“Lexa?”

The brunette woman doesn’t move, and Clarke notices that she is trying to breathe. She also notices that her partner is failing at that task.

She still doesn’t know what triggered Lexa’s attack, but she had a lot of panic attacks herself so she knows that she needs to try and calm her down, bring her back to reality. She needs to talk, then. But she doesn’t know what to say.

Clarke kneels in front of Lexa, not too close, and when she speaks her voice is almost a whisper.

“Lex.”

Nothing.

Clarke takes a deep breath. She needs to keep talking, just to Lexa know she isn’t alone. She looks around the beautiful garden and a shy smile appears on her face, the artist on her making the decision.  

“We’re at all a beautiful garden. It’s really, really beautiful, Lex. Full of colors and shapes. Can you feel the wind on  your face? It’s refreshing.” She breathes again, trying to steady her voice. “The trees are shaking and the floor is full of brown leaves. Like the Central Park at this time of the year? Everything is messed up and beautiful, like in Autumn in New York.” She chuckles lowly, shaking her head. “This movie is so cheesy and crappy and sad.” She turns her head, looking at the other side of the garden. “I can see some birds near that huge and fancy fountain we spotted earlier. I think they are … singing? The birds, I mean. Can you hear it? I don’t know, but it’s pretty Lex, and the yellow birds are flying around the water.” She looks back at Lexa and notices she is breathing slightly easier now. Good. “Oh, now the wind is messing with the leaves and they are kind of flyi -“ 

Lexa opens her eyes slowly, locking them with blue ones, and Clarke offers her a small smile, trying to not show how worried she is. Her partner’s breathing is almost normal now, but the pain on her eyes is so huge that Clarke’s hand immediately searches for Lexa’s.  

“Don’t touch me.”

Clarke lets her hand fall, still staring at Lexa. Tears are forming on her partner’s eyes.

They share an awkward silence for a couple of minutes, Lexa trying to breath and to not cry and Clarke trying to have a moment of enlightenment and to try and find out what Lexa needs. When it’s clear that both girls are failing in their tasks, Clarke clears her throat.

“Take your time. I’m here to help you.”

Lexa shakes her head, looking at Clarke and sitting on her own heels.

“You can’t help me.”

“I can, Lexa. You just need to le-“

Lexa shakes her head one more time, bringing one hand to her face and wiping the tears.

“You can’t help me. Just leave me alone.”

Now is Clarke who shakes her head, her own jaw locked.

“No. We need to go back to the precinct. I got the suspect and you need to help me to condu-“

“You don’t need me, Clarke. You don’t need my help. You got the suspect. All by yourself.” 

“We did it together, Lexa. You’re my partner.”

Lexa laughs, but not the kind of laugh that Clarke was expecting. A harsh and bitter laugh.

“I’m your useless partner, Clarke. And I can’t go back to the precinct looking like shit.”

“We can wait a little, you can recompose yourself. I’ll wait fo-“

“Fuck, Clarke.” She is speaking louder now, almost yelling, her tone surly “I don’t want to be around you, can’t you see it? Why don’t you leave? Leave me alone, for fuck’s sake.”

Clarke stares at Lexa, her mouth open in shock. She shakes her head but stands up, slowly, her eyes never leaving Lexa’s.

“I can’t lea-“

“Go. Just go.”

Clarke looks at Lexa one more time before turning her back to her, walking toward her car. She tries to play cool, but she is feeling like shit right now.

This is the moment that she feared. She shouldn’t have said yes to Indra Forest and her dumb plan. She shouldn’t have accepted to be Lexa’s partner because Lexa is damaged and she is damaged and she doesn’t know how to make things better. And now she hates herself, because she really should go back to the precinct and tell Captain Forest everything went to crap. 

And on top of that, the only thing she wants is to be around Lexa and help her, but Lexa is pushing her away. 

And it fucking hurts.

Lexa remains kneeled on the floor, trying to breathe. She stops crying, eventually. And she looks around the garden, smiling shyly when she realizes Clarke didn’t lie. It’s a beautiful garden, and it seems like a scene from Autumn in New York. 

The thought warmed her heart up a little, but then she remembers why she is kneeling on the grass, and breathing becomes harder again. 

She keeps trying to win this battle against herself for a long time, and eventually a man speaks with her. She can’t understand what he is saying, though, so she just gets back on her feet.

She needs to be alone, so she walks. And keep walking. 

She feels her phone buzzing in her pocket, but walking seems more important than phone calls and messages now. So she walks a lot, trying to go as far as she can from that moment, that moment when she froze and let Clarke all by herself. But she fails. She can’t.

So she stops in the middle of that street that she doesn’t know and cries again. 

I put Clarke in risk. She was bleeding. She could be dead right now.  

She wants to be all alone, but her loneliness is very noisy right now. And she needs calm, quiet. She needs someone to make all this noise stop.  

Perhaps, loneliness is better when shared.  

So she takes a cab, saying the first address that crosses her mind to the driver. And when she is standing in front of that door, crying and shaking, she accepts that is time to be brave. And this time, to be brave means to be vulnerable.

So she knocks on the door, hoping that it also knocks the pain away.

Chapter Text

It’s past nine pm when she hears a knock on her door, and her heart immediately bounces inside her chest. It must be Lexa, who has been unreachable for too long.

So she jumps out of the sofa, walking towards the front door and taking a deep breath when she confirms that yeah, it’s Lexa fucking Woods who is standing in the corridor.

A devastated Lexa, with red eyes and a few tears running across her face. She steps forward, wrapping her arms around her body and holding her tight, because the younger woman seems incapable of remaining on her feet by herself. And also because she isn’t sure if she is able to remain standing by herself either.

The contact does something to Lexa, and now she is sobbing, her arms hanging alongside her body, which is shaking hard. Soon, Anya is crying too, tears that taste like pride, fear and relief. She can hear Octavia’s and Lincoln’s whispered words but she isn’t really trying to understand what they are saying, because Lexa’s walls are finally crumbling and she couldn’t be prouder and more relieved. 

They remain in this position, with Anya holding Lexa, who is limp on her arms, for a long time. Too long, maybe. But she doesn’t dare to move, not now that her sister’s breathing is calmer and her sobs are subsiding.

It’s just when Octavia gently asks them if they want some tea that the younger girl breaks the hug, leaning back and looking at them with red but steady eyes, mumbling I yelled at Clarke that Lincoln steps ahead, gently placing an arm over Lexa’s shoulders and conducing her towards the couch without a word. 

The brunet seems calmer now, but Anya is afraid that a direct approach could start another storm of tears, so she decides to use an indirect and lame approach to talk to her sister. 

“I’ll help Octavia with the tea and then you could tell me why you yelled at Griffin. Sounds good to you?”

Lexa just nods slowly, leaning back against the blue sofa and closing her eyes, pressing a trembling hand on her forehead and letting her head drop on Lincoln’s shoulders when he sits next to her. Anya stares at them for a couple seconds and then sighs, walking toward the kitchen.

She nods at Octavia, who does the same before wiping some tears and looking back at the kettle, and leans against the counter, fighting new tears and trying to get ready for what is coming. She knows Lexa is broken. She has met with her as soon as she was extracted from the dark-ish and smelly room and she is very aware of the things Lexa had to endure. But hearing it will make everything so real, and she doesn’t know if she is ready for this level of real.

Octavia’s ringtone is a welcomed distraction, and the brunette mumbles something about sending Clarke, who apparently needs to calm her tits, a message to let her know Lexa was safe before answering the phone. 

“Hey Clarke.”

If Octavia voice is almost a whisper, Anya can’t say the same about Clarke’s, and she shakes her head at the brunette at Clarke’s plead to come over, already reaching for the phone.

“Griffin.”

“Anya. Is she okay? I will co-“

“Calm down, will you?” She sighs before speaking again, trying to remind herself that she needs to be the sane one. “She’s sitting on Lincoln’s couch, but I’m sure I can’t say that she is okay.”

She hears a deep breathe, and Clarke sounds more unsure when she speaks again.

“I knew it. She freaked out and I left her all alone, of course she isn’t okay.” Clarke sighs again, now sounding defeated. “I’m a terrible friend.”

Anya smiles at Clarke’s word choice, because despite the fact everything seems to be falling apart, she is sure this experience will result in something good. 

“You did wel, Griffin. You called Octavia, you didn’t tell Indra anything, and from what Linc told me, you also arrested the suspect. Plus, it is no use arguing with Lexa, she can be really stubborn when she wants, especially when she is feeling guilty.”

“Guilty? Why the fuck she would feel guilty?”

“Well, the only thing she said since she knocked on the door was I yelled at Clarke, so I’m supposing that she’s feeling guilty.” 

She scrunches her nose when she spots Octavia putting puts some leaves into their mugs because gross, picking up the kettle with her free hand and filling them with hot water. 

“But why? That makes no sense.”

Clarke’s tone reveals confusion and Anya rolls her eyes at the blonde obliviousness, but now isn’t time to discuss Lexa’s guilt complex.

“I have an explanation to that, but I can’t give it to you right now. I need to go back to Lex. But I’ll call you as soon as possible, right?”

Another deep breath.

“I need to see her, Anya. I just ne-“ 

Anya sighs, because she really doesn’t need lesbian drama in her life. She already watches reruns of Lost Girl, it’s enough.

“Not now, Clarke. But I’ll call you later, blondie. I promise you.”

Clarke sighs again, this time dejectedly.

“Okay. Thank you.”

When Anya ends the call, grabbing the two remaining mugs and turning, she spots Lexa standing at the doorway.

“Clarke?”

She offers a mug to Lexa, who accepts it with a half-smile.

“Yeah. She’s worried.”

She turns, walking towards the couch and taking a seat next to Octavia. A few seconds again Lexa joins them, sighing.

“I can’t be her partner. I can’t be anyone’s partner. Not anymore.”

Anya already knows what happened between them and she understands why the younger girl is thinking this way, but she needs to hear Lexa tell her truth. So, despite the urge to hold Lexa closer and tell her that everything is fine and that the pain will stop soon, she encourages the conversation.

“Why? You’re a fucking good detective, little one. Why are you thinking about giving up?”

Lexa glances at Lincoln and Octavia before staring down and sipping her tea, and when she speaks again her voice is cracking.

“I’m damaged beyond repair.”

The urge to tell Lexa that it’s a big and lame lie is still present, but Anya doesn’t dare to speak, so she waits. For a long time.

“I froze today. I left Clarke by herself and she got injured.” Lexa wipes some tears away, and Anya nudges Octavia when the brunette opens her mouth to say something. “I swore to be a good partner, to always get her back, and I fucking froze when I heard that noise.” Lexa places her mug on the coffee table and smiles, sadly. “This is so stupid. My brain froze and my body collapsed because of a sound. How can I be a detective if a simple sound knocks me down?” Her voice is getting louder and her distress is evident, but Anya takes a deep breath, still waiting for Lexa to offer them more. And she does, after running a shaking hand through her hair. “What if I hear this sound again? What if I freeze again, and this time Clarke, or Octavia, or even Lincoln get seriously injured? What if someone dies because of my stupid damaged brain?” Lexa’s tone is angrier now, but when she speaks again, after a while, her voice is barely a whisper. “I have so many triggers to fight against that it’s not even funny. And I don’t know if I can do it. If I can fight. I had given up before.”

Anya glances at Lexa and her eyes are dry now, but there isn’t any light behind those piercing green eyes. They are full of pain and despair, but it’s a hint of acceptance in it. It’s like she already gave up.     

“Maybe if you talk about what happened in those days we would be able to fight against the triggers together.”

She turns to Lincoln, who has a reassuring smile on his lip despite the pain on his eyes, and Anya gives up on her urge to tell Lexa the don’t need to talk about it. So she places a hand on her knee and squeezes it reassuringly, nodding when their eyes lock.

“I was in that room all the time.” She takes a deep breath before closing her eyes, her hands trembling now. “I can see those white walls every time I close my eyes. I can see the blood spattered in those badly painted walls. I even can smell the blood. My blood. It’s like I’m back to that room.” She stops speaking and shakes her head, as if trying to avoid those vivid memories, and Octavia leans forward to squeeze her hand, as if just to remember Lexa she is safe and free now. It works, somehow, and Lexa opens her eyes, locking them with Octavia’s. “I think they knew, from the start, that I didn’t know anything about the narc investigation. They tried to get some information for a few days, of course, but the questions were so vague, y’know? They wouldn’t go anywhere with those questions. And when they -“ She breathes, deeply “- hurt me, they always stopped before it got too far. And then, suddenly, the questions stopped. But every day these two guys would come to the room and they would -” she closes her eyes again and Octavia holds her hand tighter, guessing what is coming next “- do things to me. So many things. They would hit me, kick me, mess and play with me. And they would always yell at me, tell me I deserved that treatment because I was fucking up their business.”

Lexa opens her eyes and smiles sadly at Anya, who now has tears in her eyes.

“One day they brought this bucket filled with cold water to the room. And my face was so hurt that I was almost happy when they pushed my head into the water. I almost drowned so many times in that day. But they always brought me back to the surface when my lungs were burning. Every fucking time. And I got seriously confused that day, because I couldn’t understand why they didn’t let me die. So I asked them why they were inflicting me so much pain, but not too much pain and one of them told me they didn’t want me dead. They didn’t want any kind of information either. But they couldn’t let me go, so they had orders to inflict moderate pain forever.” 

Now some tears are running in their faces and Lexa leans forward, letting one thumb wipe Anya’s tears, gently.

“For a long time I was… optimistic. Every day, when they came with that chain and whipped my back, I thought our guys would find me soon and all that pain, all that blood, would disappear from my life. But time was passing and I started to lose my hope. So I started to wish that someday they would -” Lexa lowers her eyes, her voice lowering “- kill me. So I was still optimistic about the end of that situation, because if our guys didn’t find me I would at least die. The pain would stop, one way or another. So when they told me they wouldn’t kill me I lost all my strength. I lost my hope. I gave up.” Lexa starts sobbing and Anya hugs her, trying to comfort her sister, trying to comfort herself. “I lost myself in that day. I wanted to die, Anya. I don’t deserve to live, not after had wished my fight was over.”

Now Anya and Octavia are sobbing too, and Lincoln stands up, walking towards Lexa and crouching in front of her.

“You went through a lot Lex. You endured things we can’t even imagine. And while lost in the chaos, in the dark, you wanted to die. So what? I would want to die, for fuck’s sake. It doesn’t make you weak. Especially because you didn’t die. You stayed alive and we went to rescue you.” Lexa sighs, her face still buried on Anya’s neck, and Lincoln squeezes her knees. “I’m sure you don’t remember it, but I was the first person to enter that room. You blacked out almost instantly, but when you were going to the hospital you opened your eyes and smiled at me, and then you mumbled I knew you were coming, Linc.” Lexa peeks at Lincoln and he offers her a small smile, squeezing her knee one more time. “You didn’t lose your hope, Lexa. Not really.” 

“And you’re trying so hard to be okay again, Lex.” She glances at Octavia, who also her a reassuring smile on her lips. “To appear to be okay, at least, so we won’t be too concerned about you. You’re in pain and you’re literally wiping our tears away. And I know every day you woke up thinking that soon everything will be better. You came back to work because you want to help and protect people, no matter how much you need help and protection yourself.”

Anya nods at Octavia’s words, placing a hand on Lexa’s cheek and smiling at her.

“No matter what had happened in that fucking room it didn’t change you, Lex. You’re the same person. The same optimistic, generous, kind and caring person.”

Lexa stares at her for a few seconds before nodding hesitantly and using the back of her hand to wipe some tears.

“I still can’t be Clarke’s partner, tough.”

Anya leans back quickly, raising an eyebrow at her sister.

“What the fuck? We just did the most inspiring speech of our lives and you’re still not convinced about your fucking capacity?”

“You can’t dispute the fact I’m a damaged version of myself, full of fears and triggers. I can freeze again and if tha-“

“Shut the fuck up, Lexa. Yeah, you’re a damaged version of yourself right now. But you’re still good. You just need to let some people come closer. And Clarke Griffin, your partner, is one of these people. So, you’ll –“ Lexa tries to object, but Octavia just shakes her head. “- no, don’t you dare to disagree, because I’m fucking right and you know it. You could go back to your shrink appointments. And you’ll talk with Clarke, you’ll tell her all the things that happened to you and you two will find a way to fight against your panic attacks and learn how to deal with it.”

Octavia glances at Anya, looking somewhat scared, before squeezing Lexa’s shoulder.

“She’s a good one, Lex. And she’s sincerely worried about you. You two can be great friends and partners, you just need to let her come closer.”

Lexa sighs, defeated. She knows there’s no point in arguing with Anya when she is set on accomplishing something – specially not when Octavia is on her side.

“Okay. I’ll talk to her. If she still wants to talk with me, since I was a jerk to her earlier.”

Octavia chuckles before grabbing her phone and showing the screen to Lexa.

“Well, she sent me ten fucking messages in the last two hours, so I guess she still wants to talk with you.” She looks at the screen, scrolling the messages and raising an eyebrow. “Or more like need to talk to you, since she is in front of my building, waiting for news.”

Lexa’s eyes get wide.

“She’s here? Oh, shit!”

“Don’t freak out, you dumbass. What we talked about how you need to let Clarke come closer? You can start now. Anyway, you need a ride, because I need to stop at the grocery store to pick up some ice cream to your gay ass eat while you watch RuPaul’s or whatever.”

“Anya!” Lincoln chuckles before standing up and offering Lexa a hand. When she is standing up she sighs deeply, running a hand through her hair. “I’m probably looking like shit.”

Octavia rolls her eyes, smiling before pocking Lexa on her abdomen.

“Thank God you weren’t using mascara or you would be looking like a sad raccoon now.” Now is Lexa who is rolling her eyes and Octavia shoves her playfully. “Whatever, Lex. Just go to the bathroom and wash your face while I text Clarke, telling her you need a ride.” 

“I could go with Anya to the groce-“ 

“Not happening.” 

She ruffs, rolling her eyes and walking toward the bathroom door while flipping Anya and Octavia off.

Clarke is worried about Lexa. More: she’s feeling guilty, somehow. 

I shouldn’t have left her alone. Not when she was having a panic attack.  

She shakes her head, trying to send those thoughts away, and trying to remember she really needed to take the suspect to the precinct, because what else she could do? But she fails, the guilt refusing to go away. 

When Octavia texted her telling her Lexa was at her place, she felt kind of relieved. And this sudden urge to see Lexa hit her. So, here she is. Waiting inside her car, in front of Octavia’s building. And hoping Lexa agrees to see her, at least.

Clarke doesn’t understand her feelings or this urge to hug Lexa, to be near her all the time, and she’s terrified with this weird connection. But she is equally glad for it.

So she tells herself that it’s okay to want to hug Lexa and tell her that everything will be fine. Because it hurt to think about her so vulnerable and alone, and Clarke doesn’t want to hurt. She wants to feel at ease and happy, and near Lexa she feels all those things at the same time. She feels much, almost too much. And she usually doesn’t like to feel, but it’s Lexa who is making her feel, for God’s sake, and it just seems right. It’s just feels good.

She also tells herself, then, that although she doesn’t really understand science, she’s sure that science can explain these weird feelings. Lexa isn’t an easy-going person per se, but everybody seems to loves her, so this connection must be natural.

And she’s also sure that science must have a good explanation for the fact she doesn’t feel the same around Octavia, who is an easy-going person. But everything must be fine and scientifically verified.

She is sure Raven’s answer will be exactly the same when she asks her about it later.

And that’s the reason she doesn’t worry when Lexa appears, that half smile on her lips, and her heart starts beating faster than ever. Because science is telling her it’s okay, and who is she to fight against science?

She gets out of the car quickly and stares at Lexa briefly, searching for Anya’s eyes. The older Woods just nod, and Clarke hugs Lexa in a weird way, with one arm and trying not to reveal how much this simple gesture is calming her down.

Lexa accepts the half hug, sighing tiredly, and bringing her arms to Clarke’s waist. Anya stares at the duo, smiling, and clears her throat, trying to break the moment subtly, avoiding another breakdown from Lexa.

“See you in a bit, ‘kay? We can even watch one of those feminist documentaries you love so much.”

Lexa just nods, walking to the passenger side of Clarke’s car and Clarke offers Anya a wave before following her.

They share a comfortable silence during their trip. Lexa is calmer now, and keeps her gaze at her hands, and Clarke casts some looks at her multiple times, as if reassuring herself that her partner is beside her, fine and safe.

But soon they are getting near Anya’s house, and Clake urges to finds some words, sighing before starts talking.

“Look, Lex, I’m so so so so sorry for lea-“

Lexa is quick in shaking her head, eyes on the road.

“You have no reason to be sorry, Clarke. I pretty much yelled at you and told you to leave. It’s not your fault, I’m the one that have reasons to apo-“

“Don’t you dare to apologize, Lexa Woods.” Clarke’s voice is louder then she expected, and she manages to lower it before speaking again. “I mean, you were pani-“

“Yeah, I was freaking out. But it didn’t give me the right to be a jerk. So I’m sorry, Clarke. I really am. For the yelling, for freaking out. For everything.”

Clarke sighs tiredly. Anya was right. There is no point to fight against Lexa, who seems as stubborn as she is. She decides to compromise, then. 

“I’m accepting your apologies if you accept mine.”

Lexa looks at Clarke for the first time since they entered the car, the small but genuine smile playing in her lips.

“It’s a deal.”

Clarke nods, looking away from Lexa and focusing her eyes on the road. They stay in silence until she is parking in front of Anya’s building.

Lexa, knowing that it’s her last opportunity to follow her sister’s and friend’s advice and be honest with Clarke now, so she starts speaking. 

“It was the chain. The trigger.” Clarke nods too quickly, because yeah, she suspected, and she also doesn’t want to imagine why the chain is the trigger. But it’s too late, and a shiver runs her spine. “They think I need to talk to you because you’re my partner. And I think I kinda need to talk to you because you’re my friend. I guess. I mean, I know that we just know each other for a couple days, but I feel very comfortable around you.” She sighs, the signature small smile back on her lips. “I’m talking to you, then. I don’t want to put you in danger.  But I also don’t want to throw all these sad stories about chains and buckets of water and all this shitty stuff at you -“

Clarke turns her body to Lexa, grabbing her hand. Her honesty is touching, and she feels it’s time to be honest – and maybe a little brave – too.

“We are friends, Lexa. Who cares if we just know each other for a few days? I also feel this weird connection between us. I care about you, a lot, and maybe it’s because the things I heard while I were missing or at the hospital, or maybe it’s just because we got along really well and I feel comfortable around you. I don’t know. But I do know I wanna be the person that will be with you, no matter what. I wanna know about chains and buckets of water and all this shitty stuff. And next time your brain freezes, I’ll stand by your side, helping you fight against all these memories. Next time I’ll stay. Even if you freak out and think your only choice is push me away. Because it isn’t.”

They stay in silence for a while, Clarke blushing because what the fuck was this emotional speech and Lexa trying to process her partner’s words. It takes her a while, but she manages to squeeze Clarke’s hand one time, trying to show all her gratitude. 

“Thank you. I guess we need to talk about those days, then.” Clarke nods, smiling at Lexa, as trying to say it’s okay, I can handle it. “But I’m so tired now, can we talk about it another time? Like tomorrow?” 

She smiles, her eyes lighting up a little, and Clarke nods, watching Lexa exit the car.

The next two days pass in a blur, between interviews, the resolution of Benton Case – the gardener’s father was the killer, not a vengeful ghost, much for Lexa’s sadness – and a lot of chitchat.  But a lot of dense talking was done too, between callings and new cases.

Lexa had told Clarke a lot about those days and about her nightmares. She had told her they need to avoid chains, iron bars, mashed potatoes and steaks – and why.

Lexa also had told her partner about how she had felt about many things, but she didn’t tell Clarke everything, because it’s too much to handle and she is already feeling a little vulnerable after her talk with Anya, Lincoln and Octavia.

She knows Clarke knows she isn’t telling her all the truth, but she doesn’t seem to mind it, and the younger girl couldn’t be happier with jer understanding and support.

And then, suddenly, it’s Friday afternoon, and Octavia and Clarke are happily babbling about a party they want to go when Lexa’s eyes light up.

“Luna!”

She rushes to hug the newcomer, and Clarke gives Octavia a curious look.

“It’s so good to see you, Commander! I was missing you, girl!”

“Me too. But now you’re a fancy fed, living in D.C., and your old and poor friends don’t matter anymore.”

“Shut up, Woods!”

Both of the girls laugh, and Clarke tries to catch Octavia’s attention to ask what is happening, but Lexa is speaking again before she could say anything.

“Is she here too?”

Luna smiles, squeezing Lexa’s shoulder.

“Yeah. She’s talking to Captain Forest now. She’ll met us soon, though.”

Lexa says something to Luna, but Clarke doesn’t hear it, because now she is poking Octavia’s arm and whispering.

“Who is she?” 

“Luna? A former detective. She’s in FBI now.”

“No, the other one. The person for whom Lexa asked about.”

“Oh, Lex’s ex-girlfriend. Costia Green.”

Clarke’s eyes get wide and she does her best not to gasp.

The Costia Green is Lexa’s ex-girlfriend?” 

Before Octavia could laugh at Clarke’s surprise a blonde-ish woman enters the room, smiling widely. And after looking at Clarke’s and Costia’s expressions, Octavia smiles too.

Oh, boy, this lesbian drama just got more interesting than The L Word.

Chapter Text

They go for a quiet cafe a little far from the precinct because it’s easier to talk without a lot of familiar faces staring at you. But Lexa is missing one familiar face. 

“Lex?”

Shit. 

“Sorry. Were you saying something?”

She sighs relieved when Costia smiles, shaking her head teasingly.

“Typical Lexa Woods. And I’m sorry for interrupting your daydreaming, but I was saying your partner seems a little intense.”

“Clarke? No, she’s fine. I mean, she is intense, but she’s a nice person. A funny one. It’s good having her around.” 

Costia nods before taking a sip of her coffee, her eyebrow raising almost imperceptibly.

“How long have you guys known each other?”

“Since Monday. She came to Polis from Arkadia when I was gone. Octavia knows her for a few years, though. And her path crossed with Anya’s once. Anya even likes her.”

“Woah! She must be an incredible person, then. God knows I tried very hard, but I never earned one those grimaces Anya calls smiles.” She chuckles when Lexa blushes and shrugs, reaching forward and squeezing her hand. “Relax, Woods. I’m joking with you. It’s only that you two seem very close for who only known each other for a few days.”

Lex shrugs again, focusing her stare on her fidgeting hands.

“She’s my partner, Cos. We’re supposed to be close.”

Costia chuckles, shaking her head.

“Okay, Lex. I’ll play you lil game.” She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively when Lexa looks back at her, grinning when she scoffs. “You seemed a little upset when she declined your invitation to join us, Lex. It was also because you’re partners or that’s more going on between you two?”

Lexa stares blankly at Costia, as if trying to decide how to answer the dirty blonde’s question. But she can’t make up her mind about her reply, because despite the fact nothing is going on between them, a lot seems to be happening at the same time, and the entire situation is a little confusing.

When Costia is opening her mouth to speak again Luna comes back from the restroom, taking her seat next to Costia and smiling at Lexa.

“I’ve been missing having you around.”

Lexa offers her a small smile, mumbling a low me too while grabbing her tea cup. But the look Costia sends her makes her sure she will not drop the subject.

Clarke is late to the party, because when she isn’t late to a party?

But besides her usual late self, the fact she would rather attend a small get together was the reason for her late arrival.  

Why a girl can’t have a nice party without FBI agents who look so fucking stunning and happens to be the ex-girlfriend of your crush? 

She chuckles at her own thoughts and grabs a drink from the bar, and now that her hands have something to do other than sweat at the anticipation of meeting Lexa, she feels ready to walk around the party.

Soon she is next to Octavia and Lincoln, who is shaking his head at something Anya said. The older Woods turns to her when she notices her, her expression softening. 

“It’s good to see you again, Griffin. I’ve been hearing about you all week, but somehow it wasn’t enough.”

Octavia leans back, laughing hard at Clarke’s blushing cheeks, and Lincoln smiles at her, squeezing her arm very gently.

“I’m happy you joined us, Clarke.”

She shrugs, offering him a shy smile.

“Better late than never, right?” She turns to Anya, who is smirking at her, and clears her throat. “It’s good to see you too, Anya. I –“

She instantly regrets her decision to take a look around the room, because she spots Lexa, immediately forgetting what she was saying at Anya.

She also regrets leaving the handcuffs at home, because she is sure it’s a crime looking that good.

She stares at Lexa and her white button up and black vest and tie for too long, for sure, because now Octavia and Anya are smirking at her. And it isn’t a good sign.

“She was asking about you earlier. You should go talk to her.”

Anya nods excitedly at Octavia’s words, but Clarke shakes her head, because she’s spotting a certain blonde next to Lexa and she doesn’t want to interrupt something or pour her drink, accidentally, all over Costia’s dress.

“She seems to be very busy right now.”

Octavia rolls her eyes and suddenly Anya is yelling bring you ugly ass here, Lexa, Clarke arrived, and two women are staring at her. And then, suddenly, Clarke needs to remember herself how to smile and speak, because now Lexa and Costia are waking towards them.

Shit.

“I was starting to think you decided we weren’t worth your company, Clarke.”

Lexa seems to hesitate for a second but then she places, briefly, her hands on Clarke’s waist and leans forward, kissing her cheek.

And Clarke’s heart is pumping against her ribcage and her brain is melting, so she just shrugs.

“Netflix almost won the battle against you, I may confess.”

“You wound our hearts, Griff.”

Lexa chuckles at Octavia’s words, glaring at a smirking Anya before looking back at Clarke.

“I’m happy –“

“Lex.”

She turns to Costia, who has all eyes on her, and holds her gaze. But then Lexa is touching her eyes and sending her a guilty look and her own smile disappears from her face. 

“We were supposed to say hi to a few old acquaintances.” 

She nods, but before she can say anything Anya is holding her wrist and pulling her across the dancefloor, mumbling something that resembles to why did she come back, and Octavia glares at Lexa after following them.

Lincoln follows then after a few seconds, but not before shrugging apologetically at Lexa.

She is avoiding me. Why she is avoiding me? 

Lexa is looking at her sister and her friends, who are talking and laughing and having a good time, and trying to understand why every time she and Costia join the group Clarke need to, suddenly, be elsewhere. 

She is distracted by her own thoughts and only notices the dirty blonde when she is really close. She freezes. 

“Costia.”

“Lex.”

She sighs at the seductive smile addressed at her, closing her eyes briefly.

“You need to stop it. You know we can-”

Costia is impossibly closer now, her hand on Lexa’s waist.

“We can’t or you don’t wanna? Because back on that time you told me we couldn’t be a thing because we were working together. You didn’t want to risk our safety neither our lives because we belonged to each other. But even if I think your excuse was bullshit, due the fact you seem really invested in someone who is working with you right now, we don’t work together anymore. So why the fact I’m trying to seduce you is a big deal?”

“Do you have a problem with Clarke? Because it’s like the hundredth time you talk about her in the last few hours.”

Costia scoffs before bringing her free hand to Lexa’s face, a thumb caressing her jaw.

“Dumbness doesn’t suit you, Lexa. I don’t have a problem with her, I barely know her. What I’m asking is if you don’t wanna remember the good old days just because you’re fucking your new partner. I’m not that jealou-”

Lexa steps back, shaking her head, her expression somewhat stoic.

“Let it go, Costia. I’m not in the mood and that’s all, right? And I don’t owe you anything, so stop acting as if you were my owner or my girlfriend, because you aren’t.”

When Lexa walks away, Costia frowns, sighing. 

This will be more difficult than I thought.

Clarke is having a great time. Octavia is hilarious, Lincoln is funny and attentive and even Anya seems to be in a good mood. So yes, she’s definitively having a good time.

Of course her night would be so much better if Lexa was a bigger part of it, but Costia is beside her all the time, and she isn’t ready to have another bout of jealousy, revealing her feelings – no, crush – to the entire world. 

Of course it didn’t stop her of making the mistake of being all by herself for a brief moment and now Lexa is coming on her direction, alone, and Clarke is certain that there is no way to escape. 

She tries, though. 

When Lexa is in front of her, she mumbles I need to grab a drink, trying to walk away, but she can’t move because Lexa is holding her wrist. 

“No.”

The harsh reply makes her eyes widen and she laughs in disbelief.

“If I wanna have another drink, I’ll have another drink.”

Her words hint her angriness but if Lexa noticed it she doesn’t show. So they just glare at each other for a few seconds, until Lexa relents and sighs, defeated.

“You can have all the drinks you want to, Clarke. But I’d like to know why you’ve been avoiding me before you go.”

“I’m not avoiding you.”

Clarke speaks too quickly and Lexa shakes her head, almost rolling her eyes.

“You are. I know yo-”

“You barely know me, Lexa. I’m just the partner you met five days ago.”

Clarke regrets the words as soon as they leave her mouth, because Lexa’s jaw hardens. She knows Lexa is a split second from doing the stoic thing, so she reaches for her hands, guilt all over her expression. “I’m sorry, Lex. I real-”

“No need to apologize, Clarke. I shouldn’t have pushed. You clearly don’t want to tell me what is bothering you and that’s fine. I’ll leave you alone.” She nods somberly at Clarke, freeing her arm. “Have fun. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Lexa is ready to leave, so she reaches for her arm again, hopping her expression doesn’t show her despair.

“I am sorry. I guess I am tired and grumpy and I really don’t like crowded spaces. I spent the last days thinking our get together wouldn’t be this wild and I’m a little bit uncomfortable with all these people around me.” She takes a deep breath when Lexa’s shoulders relax, even if just a little bit, and offer her a small smile. “I was also trying to leave you alone, because you’re with Costia all the time, so I figured out that you were trying to have some quality time with your ex-girlfriend and I would hate to -” 

Lexa frowns, sending Clarke a weird look.

“My ex-what?”

“Girlfriend?”

Lexa chuckles nervously, her free hand running through her hair.

“Well, apparently you talked to Octavia or Anya about Costia. But you should have asked to me about her before assuming I was trying to have some quality time with her or whatever.”

Clarke just shrugs, trying to gain the courage she needs to let go of Lexa’s arm, and deciding that making circles with her thumbs it’s a better idea, though.

“You were so excited to see her earlier, and then you left with her and spent all the last hour beside her, I assum-” 

“Your assumption was wrong, Clarke. I offered you a ride, didn’t I? I invited you to grab some coffee with us.”

“I was giving you some space. Octavia declined your invitation, I guess -”

Lexa sighs tiredly.

“Your guess was wrong as well.” She closes her eyes briefly, sighing again. “Octavia and Costia don’t get along that well. And I invited you because I wanted you with us, with me. So next time you guess or assume anything, just make sure you really know what I need or want.” 

Clarke nods at Lexa, because her tone is soft despite the somewhat harsh words. She bites her lower lip, her eyes still locked with Lexa’s and never letting go of her arm.

“So, huh, for the sake of our friendship I need to tell you I’m wondering if you’re mad at me?”

Lexa raises an eyebrow, the corner of her lips hinting a smile. Some rearrangements are quickly made and then she is holding Clarke’s hand.

“Our friendship? I thought that we were just partners, Griffin. We barely know each other.” 

Clarke rolls her eyes, blushing and squeezing Lexa’s hand.

“Shut up, you idiot. You know I didn’t mean it.”

Now Lexa is smilling, her piercing green eyes lighting up.

“I know. But you were a dick for a brief moment, so you gave me the right to tease you. Anyway, now we are good, could you go back to the dance floor with me? I want to have a good time with all my friends before it’s too late.”

Clarke nods, smiling, and then Lexa starts to walk back to their group of friends, pulling her gently.

She doesn’t fight against the grin forming on her lips when they arrive at the dance floor, hand in hand, and Lexa playfully smacks Octavia’s arms and shoves Anya’s shoulder, mumbling something like you need to stop telling people Costia is my ex. We just went out like five times. 

She smiles shyly at Octavia when she notices their intertwined hands, and accepts Lincoln’s half hug happily, because she wants to have a good time with these four dorks too. And when she notices Costia glancing at her and Lexa, frowning and with a raised eyebrow, she squeezes her hand. 

Because maybe, just maybe, the legendary Costia Green isn’t unbeatable.

... 

When Lexa arrives at the precinct, a few minutes before 8am, with puffy eyes, Clarke engulfs her on a tight embrace. Octavia doesn’t tease her, and soon she is doing the same thing, and Lexa takes a deep breath before releasing the younger brunette.

“Isn’t today your day off?”

Lincoln stays forward, placing a hand over Lexa shoulder and squeezing it.

“As if a day off would stop her from being here today.”

Lexa nods, offering Octavia a small smile, and Lincoln smiles at her. “Are you ready? Captain Forest is waiting for you.”

“I need to be ready, don’t I?” Her eyes meet Clarke’s and the blonde nods. “So I am.”

“Detective Woods, I understand this must be really hard for you. And I want you to know we have no other option but interviewing you again, okay?”

“I know, Captain. And I’m fine, you don’t need to worry. I am just slightly surprised to see Agent Green here.”

Costia clears her throat, raising an eyebrow at Lexa and staring pointedly at her.

“I can’t discuss this matter with you, Detective Woods. I hope you can understand that.” Lexa nods at her, her expression unreadable, and Costia offers her a small smile. “Can we start now? We’ll do it at your pace.” Lexa nods one more time, sending Indra a reassuring look before locking eyes with Costia’s again. “Well, so can you tell me, in detail, what happened at that morning, Detective Woods?”

Lexa takes a deep breath and places both hands on the table, holding it together.

“I was leaving the precinct with Detective Underwood. We were using his car that day, and it was parked at that alley two blocks behind the police station, so we were walking there.” She sighs, her expression softening. “It was a beautiful sunny day. A typical August day. Gustus was telling me a history about his dog when we turned the alley’s corner and suddenly a white van appeared, blocking the street.”

Lexa stops, as if hesitating, and Costia frowns, staring at her.

“Are you sure of what you just told me, Woods? You seem a little uncomfortable.”

Lexa clenches her jaw, her face contorted on her best stoic expression.

“I’m sure, Agent Green.” 

Indra clears her throat, glaring at Costia before looking back at Lexa, her expression softening.

“I’m sure this isn’t an easy subject for you, Woods, so take your time. No need to hurry the story.”

Lexa nods, turning to lock back at Costia.

“The van’s door opened and two masked men jumped from the back. We were surprised and I remember being unable to react at first, everything was very fast. One of them grabbed my arm and started to pull me towards the van, and the other man pushed Gustus away. He fell on the ground, but I noticed he was good. I tried to escape, but the second man grabbed my legs and they threw me inside the van -” she takes a deep breath “- and then I heard the shot and one of the bad guys feel on the van’s floor. When I look outside, Gustus was standing up and pointing his gun to the other man. He fired, but the man who was inside the van with me fired too, two times.” She breathes again and stays in silence for a while. “I heard two other shots and I tried to stand up, but the same man held me down and the car started to move. Before he could close the van’s door I saw Gustus on the floor, a lot of blood on his chest.” She shakes, slowly, her head. “I tried to fight, but then I was punched and I was knocked out. When I woke up I was inside a tiny and dark room.”

Indra nods at Lexa, as if reassuring her she’s doing a good job revealing all those sad memories.

“And when you discovered Detective Underwood was dead? When you were rescued?”

Lexa shakes her head.

“No. It was two or three days after that morning. One man told me before punching my face. When Gustus fired his gun, he hit two of the four men who kidnapped me. One of them died. They were really upset about it.”

“And why did you believe them?”

Lexa shrugs, her expression still cold and unaffected.

“I saw Gus on the floor, and there was a lot of blood in his chest. I just… knew they were telling me the truth.”

“I understand. And what was your routine in captivity?”

Lexa sighs deeply, clearly trying to gain strength to tell the whole story again.

I just need to do it one more time. Just one more time. 

She looks at Costia and nods, as if she is trying to tell her she is ready. And then she is back to that room. Again.

Lexa sighs, walking around the room.

“I told you a million times, Agent Green. Just a few people knew our itinerary. Lincoln, Octavia, a few other uniforms. I don’t know whom Gustus talked to that morning.” 

Costia stares impatiently at Lexa, sighing too.

“Woods, I told you this seems to be an inside job. I need you to try harder, to jog your memory.”

“You threw all this information about it being an inside job on me, you didn’t explain what the hell the FBI is doing stuck in this investigation and are doubting everything I’m telling you. My memory is okay Costia, you just need to accept I’m telling you everything I know.”

Costia sighs, one hand pressing her forehead.

“I believe you, Lexa.” She breathes deeply, nodding at herself. “Okay, so Lincoln and Octavia knew about your iti-”

“Are you blaming them for my kidnapping, Green?”

“I’m not accusing anyone, Lexa! Stop being so stubborn? I just need to think of all the possibilities.” Lexa opens her mouth, ready to speak, but shakes her head, just staring at Costia. “And Griffin? She seems a lit-”

“I didn’t even know Detective Griffin at that time, Agent Green. I told you yesterday she came by when I was gone.” Lexa’s tone is almost icy, her jaw clenched. “Do you really think my friends could be responsible for kidnapping me, torturing me and almost destroying me? Do yo-”

Indra steps forward, squeezing Lexa’s shoulder, and Costia looks at her with sad eyes.

“Woods, calm down. She isn’t accusing our guys. She just need to inves-”

“No. I already told you two all I know. I’m stuck in this room for more than two hours now and I will not stay here listening to someone who clearly hates my friends throwing charges at them.”

She opens the door and walks to the precinct’s exit without even looking at Clarke and Octavia, who are chatting in a low voice at the corridor. She hears Costia calling her name, but she doesn’t turn around because screw Costia and her strategies. 

She stops at her car, leaning against it and breathing slowly, trying to calm herself. She hears footsteps, but she keeps staring at the car, because she needs to get her emotions back on track before facing anyone.  

Soon a hand is placed on her shoulder. Clarke’s hand, she notices. But the blonde doesn’t speak, just squeezes her shoulder, and she is grateful for it, because she needs both: the affection and the space.

After a few seconds she turns around to look at Clarke, who nods at her, raising an eyebrow as if asking if everything is okay.

She offers her a small smile, searching for her hand and squeezing it one time. Clarke’s shoulders immediately relax and she opens her mouth to say something, but Octavia is near them, so she just smiles at Lexa, dropping her hand.

Octavia stares at the pair for a moment, and seems to be happy with what she sees, because she just walks toward the driver’s door.

“Give me the keys and let’s have some fun. Anya is already at the paintball field waiting for us.”

Clarke chuckles, entering the car, and Lexa sighs, her expression softening.

She’s stressed out. She can barely sleep. But she feels that she is leaving that room for good.

And she has wonderful friends waiting for her outside.

Chapter Text

She had been able to avoid Costia for three long days. But on Wednesday, after the fifteenth message, she texted back. And that’s the reason she is seated in front of Costia, instead of having drinks with Clarke, Raven, Octavia and Lincoln at the karaoke bar. 

“No, I did not! Luna was the one who kissed the handsome cop.”

They laugh, hard, and Lexa smiles at Costia, nodding at her.

“It’s good to spend some time with you after all these months.”

Costia reaches for her hand, placing her own over it.

“Even after last Saturday?”

“Of course, Costia. We had a disagreement but you’re still my friend. And I still like you, even if you were rude to insinuate bad things about my friends.”

Costia rolls her eyes.

“As if your friends liked me. And I will not even start talking about A-”

Lexa shakes her head, crinkling her nose.

“You and Anya hate each other because you are two idiots. That fight was a long time ago, but whatever. And come on, you don’t even know Clarke. She’s great. I’m sure you two would get along if you just tried to know each other.”

Costia licks her lips, holding Lexa’s hand tighter.

“Hm, about that… I don’t know. I guess the fact that both of us want the same thing could stay on the way of our plans of getting along.”

Lexa raises an eyebrow, frowning.

“What are you talking about?”

The agent creases her brow, chuckling.

“Oh God. How can you be so oblivious sometimes? You, Lexa. I’m talking about you.”

Lexa removes her hand from Costia’s grip, laughing nervously.

“I already told you Clarke is just my partner. My friend. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want me.”

Costia shakes her head, smiling sadly.

“You’re in love with her, aren’t you?” 

“You’re out of your mi-”

“I pretty much told you I want you and you only focused on the fact I told you Clarke  want you.” 

Lexa sighs tiredly, her shoulders slumping.

“Cos-”

“Don’t you dare to deny it, Lexa. I know you. I saw the way you look at her, with heart eyes. You seem different since the last time I saw you. And I was expecting it, you went through some tough stuff. Your eyes were always sparkling, y’know? You were always offering people your signature small smile, even when you tried to be stoic and detached.” She slowly shakes her head. “Now you smile, too. But your smile only reaches your eyes when Clarke is around you. And God knows I don’t believe in this love at first sight bullshit, but, well, it must be some of these weird connections. And I can’t compete with something crazy and strong.”

Costia reaches for her glass of wine and Lexa sighs one more time, closing her eyes briefly.

“I don’t know if it is love. You know pretty well I don’t go there, usually. But I do know we have a strong connection.” Costia’s eyes are slightly wide, as if she’s surprised with Lexa’s admission, and Lexa shrugs. “I don’t know if I’ll be with her, one day. I don’t even know if I’ll be in love with her someday. But I can’t love you the way you want and deserve, Cos. And I’m so sorry about that.” 

Costia takes a deep breath before smiling at her.

“When I heard about the kidnapping I freaked out. I spent almost 40 days crying over the fact you could die without knowing my feelings for you.” She laughs, twisting her mouth. “It’s funny, because I only found out the intensity of my feelings for you when I realized you were gone. And then they found you and I started to imagine ways to come here and tell you I’m in love with you.” She blinks, trying to send the tears away. “I guess I took too much time. I’m at least a week and a half late.”

Lexa hesitates only a few seconds before grabbing her hand, holding it tight and maintaining eye contact.

“I wish I could say it back, Costia. I really do.”

“And I wish I hadn’t lost my chance.” She pulls her hand and stares at Lexa with raised eyebrows. “Take care, will you? Promise me you will take care, Lex. And that you will send me news every week. I miss you, I miss my friend.” Lexa nods, fighting against the knot on her throat. “And I’m an idiot to tell you this, but I know you’re afraid. I know you’re thinking you don’t deserve to be loved because you’re too damaged. But go for it, Lex. I mean, I don’t like Clarke, but I saw the way she looks at you. She cares about you. Screw it if she is your partner. Make this love your strength.” 

Costia’s face is wet when she stands up and walks toward Lexa, placing a kiss on her head and mumbling go for it

She leaves, and Lexa doesn’t dare to look back, because life is too difficult sometimes.

“I didn’t know he could sing so well.”

Octavia nods, sipping her drink and looking at the stage.

“He doesn’t let go of his inhibitions to sing very often, but when he does he kills it.” 

“And it doesn’t hurt that he is easy on the eyes, too.”

Octavia leans forward to slap the back of Raven’s head, earning a chuckle from Clarke.

“Shut up, Raven. He is pretty much taken.”

“Chill, O. I’m not planning on stealing your man. And I’m pretty sure our blonde friend rather to chuckle than to agree with me only because she is whipped by her own muse.”

Clarke blushes, opening her mouth to argue with Raven, but before she could say anything, Octavia is talking again, a big grin on her face. “Oh, speaking about muses -” She waves at the door, yelling. “- Hey, Lex! Over here!”

Clarke can’t fight against a smile when she notices Lexa walking towards their table. Alone

“Hey. I’m glad I’m not too late for this get together.”

Lexa’s smile is tired, and Clarke wonders if her date with Costia wasn’t that good.

“Linc is a little excited with this entire karaoke thing. We couldn’t leave even if we tried.”

Lexa chuckles laughs, taking a seat between Octavia and Clarke and waving at the barman.

“You know him. He takes his damn time to grab the mic, but when he does he doesn’t let go of it that easily.” She frowns, sighing. “Shit, the bartender didn’t see me.”

Raven clears her throat, standing, a smirk on her face.

“I was wondering if that handsome bartender could give me some tips about concoctions, so I guess I’ll use this opportunity to talk to him and grab Lexa a drink.”

While Raven leaves the table, Lexa turns to Clarke, sighing one more time. 

I’ll never see my drink now, will I?” 

Clarke laughs, shaking her head and offering Lexa her own drink. 

“Here. We can share. If you don’t mind, I mean.”

Lexa smiles gratefully at Clarke, ignoring the look an amused Octavia is sending on her direction.

“Vodka soda?” The blonde nods and Lexa takes a sip, humming contentedly. “Thank you. I definitely need some booze.”

Clarke doesn’t want to speculate, but she can’t stop wondering if Lexa’s request has something to do with her date. So when Octavia decided to speak, she couldn’t be more thankful.

“The dinner with Costia wasn’t that good?”

Lexa runs a hand through her hair, pinching her nose and shakes her head.

“It wasn’t. But everything will be fine.” Octavia raises an eyebrow at her and she sighs deeply, her body relaxing on the chair. “She is going back to D.C. tomorrow.”                    

“Oh. Good. I’ll tell Anya that the evil blonde is leaving tomorrow.” Lexa’s jaw clenches, and Clarke sends a glare at Octavia, who just shrugs. “I know their fight was a long time ago and you think she’s a good person, but Anya says you wouldn’t think it if she hadn’t toke off your pa-”

Lexa shakes her head, a hand pressing her forehead.

“Not now, Octavia.”

The brunette tilts her head, her tone immediately softening.

“What’s wrong?”

Lexa glances quickly at Clarke, who is staring at her, before nodding at Raven, who places a glass of whiskey on their table.

“She told me she has feelings for me.” She sighs again, taking a sip of her beverage before speaking again. “And I told her we can’t be together.”

Clarke just stares at Lexa, who seems very interested in the ice rocks on her glass. She glances at Raven, who is opening her mouth to say something – something dirty, by the smirk on her lips – and shakes her head at her. Raven just rolls her eyes.

 “It sucks, Lex.” Octavia reaches forward and squeezes her hand very quickly. “But let’s worry about it later. Now it’s time for us to find out if Clarke is as good as Raven says she is with a microphone in her hands.” She nods at the stage, grinning. “Linc is calling her for their duet.”

Lexa turns to look at Clarke, who was a light tone of pink on her cheeks. 

“Hm, yeah. I’ll join him.” She stands up, reciprocating the smile Lexa is offering her. “Brace yourselves, ladies. Your lives are about to change.”

The next month passes in a blur, between cases, drinks, coffees, teas, laughs, morning joggings, a birthday celebration and some nightmares.

Between I can’t kiss her! She’s so focused in getting better now, and she probably doesn’t have this kind of interest in me anyway and I can’t kiss her! I’m still a mess, no way she is interested in me in a romantic way thoughts. 

Oh, and between many eye rolls and swearing, because Octavia, Anya and Raven are sure they are doing the impossible to drive them crazy.

But everything is fine. Lexa would even risk saying things are promising.

Until one Monday in which Clarke doesn’t go to the precinct.…

“Woods, what are you doing here? I thought you would be in Arkadia with Griffin today.”

She raises an eyebrow, staring at a very confused Indra Forest.

“Griffin is in Arkadia?”

She opens her eyes widely, understanding crossing her face.

“Oh, she didn’t tell you, did she?”

“She didn’t tell me what, Captain? I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

“Clarke’s disciplinary hearing. Today they’ll look upon the charges regarding her involvement in a bribery scheme and decide if she’s guilty or not. But the look on your face is telling me you didn’t even know about Clarke’s issues.”

Lexa shakes her head slowly, looking somewhat ashamed.

“No, I didn’t. But I’m sure you’ll update me before I leave to Arkadia.”

Indra nods, already walking towards the door.

“I can tell you everything while you drive to home. You should pack some changes of clothes before leaving. I’m sure you’ll spend at least one night at Arkadia.”

Lexa is mad. She tried to calm herself while driving to Arkadia because Clarke needs her, but she can’t fight against her broken heart, because Clarke should have told her about all this crap.

Why she doesn’t trust me? 

She enters the Arkadia PD HQ and walks toward the reception desk, smiling politely at the cop behind it.

“Hi. I’m Detective Lexa Woods, from Polis PD. I’m here for Detective Clarke Griffin’s hearing. Could you tell me where can I find Captain King? Police Commissioner Forest sent me.”

The young officer smiles at her, waving at another cop who is standing at the other side at the glass door.

“You arrived on time. The hearing will begin soon. Officer Stevens will escort you to the anteroom.”

“Thank you officer.“

“It was a pleasure.”

Lexa follows the tall man though some corridors, trying to calm herself. If she knows Clarke, she’ll be pissed when she sees her, and if Lexa is mad herself… well, the fight their stubborn asses and heated heads are avoiding for a month could happen. 

When Lexa reaches the end of the corridor she spots Clarke at the corner of the room, talking to two guys. At the other corner of the room four people chat, and two other men are standing at the center of the room, talking quietly to each other.

Officer Stevens raises a hand, as if trying to ask Lexa to wait for him, and then walks toward the two men at the center of the room. One of them – Captain King, probably – looks at her, smiling, after listening mindfully to the officer. 

“Detective Woods, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

He walks toward her, raising his hand, which Lexa grabs, shaking it firmly.

“Pleasure is mine, Captain. Commissioner Forest sent his regards.”

Lexa can feel the other occupants of the room staring at her, but she chooses to ignore all their eyes, especially Clarke’s.

I can face the beast later. 

“If Nyko Forest sent you I guess you have something for me?”

“Yes, Sir. Commissioner Forest sent me to deliver you this letter. I’m also here to be Detective Griffin’s defense witness on Captain Indra Forest’s behalf, since as you must know Griffin is one of our own now.”

The old man nods, smiling politely at Lexa and grabbing the white envelope.

“Thank you, Detective. We will start the hearing now, you can take a seat here. We’ll call you when we need your testimony.”

“Thank you, Sir. Could I speak briefly to Detective Griffin before the hearing, though?”

“Sure. You have five minutes kiddo.”

He shakes Lexa’s hand again before looking at Clarke, who is clearly fuming.

“Detective Griffin, Detective Woods is here to talk to you. We’ll be waiting for you at the other room.”

The old man walks toward the door, entering the next room, followed by the other, except for Clarke and other two people.

“What are you doing here?”

Lexa walks toward Clarke, nodding at her companion. The blonde has her arms crossed in front of her chest, her face flushed.

“It’s good to see you too, Clarke.” Lexa stares at her partner, and when is clear that the taller woman isn’t saying anything, she speaks again. “Captain sent me, since you ignored her orders and didn’t tell me about your trial. I’m here to he-”

“You can’t fix everything.” Clarke is almost yelling, her eyes rough and a little sad. “I don’t want you here. Go away.”

And then she enters the next room without looking at Lexa again. She stares in silence at the closed door until she hears someone’s short laugh behind her.

“Well, based on Clarke’s reactions, I guess you are the famous Lexa Woods, am I right? Lexa nods tiredly, sighing. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Lexa. I’m Jake, that one’s dad. And I’m buying you a green tea while we wait.”

“No, Mr. Griffin. She is clearly not amused by my presence. She didn’t look at me during my testimony, she didn’t look at me when she left the room. I’ll stay at a hotel.”

Jake shakes his head, smiling widely.

“I already told you to call me Jake, kiddo. And she is happy you’re here. She’s just embarrassed. And probably a little afraid, since she doesn’t know how you will react after hearing all those accusations against her.”

Lexa takes a deep breath, pressing her forehead.

“She should have told me, Mr. Griffin. We went through a lot these past months. She should trust me by now, but she didn’t. Of course I’m upset. But, anyway, I’m here. For her. She should see it too.”

Jake grabs Lexa arm, squeezing it once.

“She sees it, Lexa. I know my daughter and I’m sure she sees it. Just give her some time. She will talk to you, I’m sure.”

Lexa nods at him, still looking uncomfortable.

“Anyway, I don’t want to bother your family. Mrs. Griffin isn’t expecting any guests, and I’ve heard she is a very busy woman.”

Jake laughs, and Lexa can’t fight against a small smile, because she recognizes the Griffin’s signature laugh.

Before Jake could reply Clarke is back, looking at everywhere but Lexa, hands in her pockets.

“You have a great timing, sweetheart. I was trying to convince Lexa to stay at our place tonight. Care to help me?”

She looks down, blushing.

“Oh… No. You should, Lexa. Stay with us, I mean. You totally should.”

Lexa wants to punch Clarke’s face, because now she is playing with the hem of her sleeves just to avoid eye contact

But nods, instead. 

Clarke is still looking down at her sleeves, but the small smile playing in her lips give Lexa hope that the awkward situation between then will be over pretty soon.

She’s been at the Griffin’s house for twenty minutes and she smiled at least seven times.

I could get used to it. 

After thanking Lexa multiple times and telling her Clarke’s has been talking about her new partner for the past couple months, Abby tells to a blushing Clarke to show Lexa her room.

“You don’t mind sharing a room with Clarke, do you, darling? The other spare room is a mess.”

Lexa mentally slaps herself for accepting Jake’s invitation, but shakes her head, quickly, and starts to plan a couple of ways to survive the night. 

“So, what are you waiting for, Clarke? Go upstairs, show Lexa your room.”

Clarke blushes, looking at her feet.

“I could finish dinner, mom. So you could show Lexa the room?”

“Clarke Elizabeth Griffin, you are being a poor hostess. I’d like Lexa to enjoy the food, so you can’t cook sweetheart. Go show your room to her, I’m sure she needs a little rest.”

Clarke nods, sighing, and gestures to Lexa to follow her. She walks too slowly, as if buying some time before facing Lexa alone.

Lexa decides Clarke’s old room is very… Clarke. The walls are colorful, lots of draws and paintings hanging on them, alongside some band posters.

A cushion with the Slytherin emblem is over a double bed and - Oh, fuck. A double bed

“Don’t worry, I can sleep on the floor.”

Clarke looks at Lexa for the first time since her arrival, and sighs before speaking.

“Are you crazy? It’s a double bed you and I don’t mind sharing.”

Lexa chuckles bitterly, staring at Clarke.

“Oh, you barely can look at me, but you don’t mind sharing a bed?”

Clarke holds Lexa’s gaze for a while. Then she sighs.

“I’m sorry.”

“Never mind, Griffin.”

Lexa starts turning her body to the door, but Clarke holds her wrist.

“I said I’m so-”

“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you trust me?”

Clarke shakes her head quickly, because Lexa needs to know this isn’t the point.

“I trust you, Lex. Of course I trust you. You’re my friend, you’re - I trust you. But I really hate this story, I feel angry and ashamed. And I kinda don’t know how to ask for help.”

Lexa steps forward, invading Clarke’s personal space and grabbing her hand.

“You could have told me. I’ll be always on your side, and by your side. Especially when some jerk is trying to screw you.” She squeezes Clarke’s hand once. “You don’t need to be ashamed. Yeah, you made a mistake when you didn’t tell your captain about the bribery scheme your former boyfriend was involved. But I understand your actions and your reasons. I’m still here.”

Clarke wants to tell Lexa what these words mean to her. She wants to tell Lexa she is glad for having her by her side. But she can’t find the words, so she goes for an unconventional hug, hoping her gesture will tell all these things.

She breathes and Lexa’s scent invades her lungs. She feels the other woman’s arms embracing her waist and she buries her head on Lexa’s neck. After a few minutes, a small part of her brain tries to alert her that there is a limit of time you can hug a person without it being too creepy, but she tells to that part of her brain to go screw itself, because she isn’t hugging Lexa. Not anymore. She is just letting Lexa hold her, and her friend doesn’t seem to mind, so she keeps breathing her scent, happily.

After a few more moments, Clarke mumbles on her neck.

“I’m happy you’re here, Lex. Sorry for yelling at you earlier. Thanks for coming for me.”

Lexa sighs, holding Clarke tighter before leaning back, locking her eyes with hers.

“Always.”

They stare at each other for a while, smiling shyly, and then the moment is over, because the door is open and Jake’s head is suddenly invading the room.

He throws a weird look at the pair, who now is staring at him, before speaking.

“Abby asked me to tell you dinner will be served in twenty. She also told me to lend you this towel, Lexa.”

Lexa nods, stepping forward and grabbing the towel, and mumbling a thanks, Mr. Griffin before kneeling beside her backpack. 

Jake shakes his head, smiling and staring at Lexa. Clarke stands awkwardly at the middle of the room, and Lexa seems very interested in the contents of her backpack. After a while she stands up, some clothes on her hands. 

“I’ll take a shower now. Thank you for the towel, Mr. Griffin.”

When Lexa leaves the room Jake grins at Clarke, who buries her face on her hands, groaning.

“Food was delicious, Mrs. Griffin.”

“You’re too nice, Lexa. Clarke’s comments about you were completely accu-“

“Mom, I think Cece is calling you. Or one of her grandkids.”

Abby raises an eyebrow, looking around.

“Are you sure? I didn’t hear anything.”

“I’m sure, mom. They need you. Urgently.”

Abby sighs tiredly, shaking her head.

“Somebody is calling me all the time. Well, excuse me, Lexa. And call me if you need anything.”

“I’ll help Lexa if she needs anything, mom. You can chill.” As soon as Abby is far enough, Clarke locks eyes with Lexa’s, her cheeks tinted with red. “She’s giving you the wrong impression. I didn’t talk that much about you.” She chuckles lowly, shrugging. “It’s not like I’m obsessed with you or something like this.”

Lexa smiles, then places a hand on her chest, sighing.

“You just broke my heart. I was enjoying thinking you talked a lot about me to your mom.”

She winks at Clarke, who playfully slaps her arm.

“You’re the wors-”

“Lexa, Lexa! Do you have a dog?”

One of Cece’s grandchildren is standing beside Lexa and pulling the hem of her sweater, so she lifts the kid, placing the little human on her lap.

“I don’t have a dog, sadly. But I’m thinking about adopting a cute puppy.” She pokes the little girl’s belly, making her squirm and giggle. “Do you have a dog?”

The girl’s expression changes to a sad one, a pout on her lips.

“No. I want a dog, but daddy doesn’t want one.”

“Oh, that’s bad. But if I adopt a dog you can visit us. This way we could take the puppy to the park together.”

The kid smiles widely, nodding excitedly.

“And we could have some ice cream?”

“Sure thing. I know the best place to have ice cream.”

“Oh, cool. Can I have chocolate, and strawberry, and vanilla?”

Lexa smiles at her, poking at the kid’s belly one more time.

“But you’re so tiny. Does your belly have space for all these flavors?”

The girl nods, and Lexa babbles something to her Clarke can’t really understand.

She is too busy making heart eyes at her partner to notice anything else.

The night goes by fast, between talks about ice cream, football and the educational system, because Lexa seems to know – and be happy to speak about – pretty much anything.

She chatted about all the subjects with enthusiasm and by the end of the night Clarke’s parents – and Cece’s entire family - are in love with Lexa, hugging her and making her promise she will come back soon. 

Clarke had observed all that human interaction with a smile on her lips. And maybe they aren’t the only ones who are in love with Lexa, because Clarke had never seen her friend so happy and comfortable, and her smile is breathtaking.

But the smile disappears as soon as Clarke gets to her room and remembers she needs to share a bed with Lexa, because she isn’t sure if she can control herself. She is sure it’s all Lexa’s fault, because why she is so stunning? 

All her worries are replaced with new ones when Lexa enters the room, visibly nervous.

Whoa, it’s a big change in the mood. 

“Lex? Is anything wrong?”

Lexa looks at her before looking back at her phone.

“No. Everything is fine. O says hi, by the way. So, hm, I was wondering if I could grab one of your dad’s books? I’m thinking about reading for a while.”

Clarke raises an eyebrow, because she remembers Lexa halfheartedly complaining about being tired and sleepy half an hour ago.

“Come on, Lex. What’s wrong?”

The brunette sighs, walking toward the bed and taking a seat on it.

“I can’t sleep with you. I mean, I have these -” she sighs again, looking at her feet. “- really bad nightmares sometimes and I’m not sure I’ll not have one of tho-”

“Shut up!” Clarke walks toward the bed, taking a seat and placing a hand on Lexa’s knee. “I don’t mind if you have a nightmare beside me. I mean, I’m not happy about your nightmares, but I’d be happy to be by your side, helping you or something like this. So, shut up, put your pajamas on and meet me under the blankets, okay?”

When Lexa’s eyes meet Clarke’s she has a shy smile in her lips.

“Okay. But I’ll kick you if you snore.”

“Shut up!”

Lexa is waiting alongside Abby and Jake, and trying to do small talking. But the three people are too concerned about the future of the blonde who is at the other side of the door to talk about anything.

“They can put an end to her career, can’t they?”

Lexa shakes her head slowly, looking at Abby and squeezing her knee.

“Calm down, Mrs. Griffin. I looked at the files yesterday and they don’t have any proof against her. Everything will be just fi-”

The door opens and Clarke appears, smiling at them and giving them a thumbs up. Soon, Jake and Abby are engulfing her on a hug.

Lexa looks at them, smiling, until a hand is on her shoulder.

“So, Detective Woods, you must be really happy, since your little intervention guaranteed Clarke walked away from this situation without any kind of punishment.”

Lexa turns, facing Clarke’s former partner – and boyfriend.

“You’re right, Collins. I’m happy. But I’m also sure my little intervention didn’t have such an impact, since an innocent person doesn’t need much help to walk away without any kind of punishment. You, on the other hand, must be really happy about your father pulling the strings to save your ass.”

Finn grins at her when Clarke grabs her elbow, whispering he is not worth it on Lexa’s ear. 

“Oh, I see why you’re so invested in this case, Detective Woods. I’ve heard you’re a dyke, and Clarke has this tendency to end on her partner’s beds, so -”

Lexa’s fist is connected with Finn’s face before he could finish the sentence, and then his lawyer and another cop are grabbing his arms and dragging him to outside, his shouting getting lower every minute.

“Lexa! What the fuck?”

Lexa ignores Clarke’s question and pointed glare and turns to her parents.

“I promise you I’m not a violent person, but he was so rude about Clarke that I couldn’t help myself.”

Jake steps forward, placing an arm over her shoulder and squeezing her arm.

“Don’t worry, kiddo. I was hoping he had any kind of punishment. Well, I guess he had.”

“Well, here we are.”

Lexa stares at Clarke, smiling.

“Are you sure you don’t want a ride? I could drive you home.”

Clarke shakes her head, rolling her eyes.

“As if you could drive with your hand this injured. Relax, will you? Raven is coming to pick me and drive me home.”

“Ok. Let’s wait for her outside, then. We can take a seat at the doorstep.”

They take a seat in front of Lexa’s building in silence. After a while, Clarke grabs Lexa’s injured hand, looking carefully at it.

“Are you sure about the hospital thing? We could go with you, y’know.”

Lexa shakes her head, trying to not flinch under Clarke’s touch.

“No need. Your mom handed me those painkillers, and I have an icepack. It’ll be fine.”

“You had no need to punch his face but I’m kind of glad you did.”

Lexa nods, her expression sobering.

“He was talking bullshit and being really disrespectful. He was part of a bribing scheme and tried to incriminate you just because you broke up with him. He deserved worse.”

Clarke smiles shyly at Lexa, one finger running softly over her hand.

“I don’t know how I could spend almost three years of my life with him.”

“We all make mistakes.”

Clarke nods at Lexa, sighing.

“Anyway, I’m driving you to the precinct until your hand heals completely. I owe you that.”

“You don’t owe me anything, Clarke. But I’ll accept the rides.”

They share a few minutes of silence, Clarke staring intensely at Lexa’s hand. Her voice is hoarse when she speaks again.

“Would you also accept to go out on a dinner with me? You went to Arkadia and stayed even after I yelled at you. I know I don’t show it very regularly, but I have some manners, and I need to say thank you properly, so…”

Lexa shrugs, looking at Clarke’s finger and welcoming the warmth on her hand.

“You already thanked me a hundred times. You don-”

“Hey lovers. What are you talking about? The world peace? Because I parked like two minutes ago, got out of my car and you didn’t even notice my presence.”

Clarke and Lexa stands up quickly, looking at Raven uncomfortably.

“Raven.” Lexa nods at her, sighing lowly. “Clarke was just pointing how brave I’m for punching this incredibly tall and strong man on the face. She’s sure I’m a kind of hero or something like this.”

Raven rolls her eyes and Clarke chuckles at Lexa’s attempt to lighten the mood.

“Did you punch someone else, Woods? Because fuckboy Finn isn’t that tall or strong.”

“And I’m pretty sure I didn’t use brave to qualify your action, Lex. It was dumb.” She chuckles at the look of outrage Lexa sends her and reaches for her arm, squeezing it. “Put some ice on this gross swollen hand, okay? I’ll let this idiot drive me home.”

“Okay.” She turns to Raven, offering her a small smile. “Thanks for driving Clarke home.”

Raven waves her hand dismissively.

“Relax, Woods. It’s the least I could do after you so brave-“

“Rae.”

“See you later, Woods!”

Raven enters the car and Clarke turns to Lexa, hesitating a little before leaning forward and kissing her cheek. She is already inside the car when she speaks again.

“And what about our dinner?”

“You don’t need to take me out just because I went to Arka-”

“For fuck’s sake. Now I get why someone so hot is so desperately single.” Raven scoffs, leaning over Clarke and smirking at Lexa. “Griffin is trying to ask you on a date, Woods. Could you just say yes and save her the embarrassment?”

Lexa looks at a flushed Clarke with an open mouth.

“Oh! Oh.” She clears her throat, a small smile forming on her lips. “You can take me out anytime, Clarke.”

Clarke ignores the hand Raven’s raises for a high five, looking anywhere but Lexa.”

“On Saturday, then?”

“Saturday it is.”

When Lexa closes her building door behind her Clarke punches Raven’s arms, placing her hands on her own face.

“Oh God. I wanna kill you. Or die.”

The latina laughs, starting the engine.

“Nah. I’m pretty sure you will call me Sunday to say thank you for the best sex of yo-”

“RAVEN!”