Chapter 1: The Things I Don't Know How to Tell You
Today you asked me why I stopped writing letters to my dad, and I didn’t know how to tell you that I stopped because I thought he would be ashamed of me, and because whenever Finn found one of my notebooks, or sketchpads he’d shred it and make me clean up the tiny pieces of paper.
Sometimes I still think he’s ashamed of me, so whenever I find myself holding a pen over a piece of paper, I rethink it, and rethink it again, and then I overthink the entire thing and end up staring at a blank piece of paper.
I don’t know what I’d tell him, I don’t know how to write to him anymore, what to say, how to start, how to end.
But with you Lexa, I sometimes feel like I can’t stop damn talking. And somehow I never know how to tell you the things that are actually important.
I’m constantly talking around you and sometimes I wish I could just slap tape over my mouth before I say something stupid. Or at least stupider than some of the other things I’ve said.
I still can’t believe I didn’t notice you when you were with Anya, because every time I saw you sitting alone on that bench it was like you were the only person I could see (which was quite problematic because I have a four year old son who doesn’t make a sound).
Raven still teases me about how I tried to introduce you and Anya because I thought you didn’t know each other. In my defence, Anya never told me that you went by Lexa , she just told me that she had a sister named Alexandra , and that her sister had moved in with her after the apartment caught fire (Raven says that Anya started the fire, is this true?).
See? Again with the damn talking, apparently you’re ridiculously easy to talk to, even when you’re a piece of paper.
Sometimes I wonder if the reason you say so little is because everyone around you says so much. Is this why you don’t talk so much Lexa? If I speak less, will you speak more?
I wish you would say more. I want to know what you’re thinking when you’re sitting cross legged on the floor and staring at Aden as he plays, or when you’re watching something outside that I can’t seem to find. I want to know what you thought of when you smile to yourself, or nod your head slightly even though no one asked a question, or when you write so carefully in your notebooks.
What do you write? Who are you writing to?
I hope you’ll tell me eventually.
I know I fucked something up when I kissed you and I’m really really sorry Lexa. I won’t do it again, I promise. I just...God Lexa, you’re so...I don’t know!
Sometimes I have to cancel plans with Octavia and Raven because my apartment is too big and the walls are too thin and I get so scared that Finn’s going to come back and that he’s going to hurt Aden because I’m not strong enough to stop him and then I just spiral into nothing but fear again.
But with you...the sky seems too small. And even though you’re so quiet, and you look really small, especially compared to Anya, and Lincoln, and you’re quiet and look at the floor, and the sky all the time, I know that you’re more than capable of handling yourself.
And I’ll admit this here, but I don’t know if I’ll ever tell you, but one day I told Raven that I was worried about you always walking around alone, and Raven laughed for a solid five minutes before texting me a photograph of you and Anya in high school.
Sweet Jesus Lexa, warn a girl when you boxed in high school, please. Also, please tell me how you managed to get Anya on the floor, because Raven’s dragged me to one of Anya’s competitions before, and your sister is brutal . But I guess Raven also made me follow you and Octavia to one of your lessons with Indra by the park, and we all know you’re holding back. I guess I’m grateful for that, because if you’re anything like your sister, giving it your all would really hurt Octavia.
When I heard Anya had a sister I really wasn’t expecting you. Not that there’s anything wrong with you, but you two are so...different. But somehow, you two are also really similar. I don’t know how to describe you. Somehow you manage to be really cold and intimidating, and warm and comforting at the same time.
And it breaks my heart when I see you sitting with your legs drawn up to your chest and your head resting on your knees and your arms wrapped over your head, and I know you only do that when you think no one else is watching, but I have a four year old who likes to play hide and seek in the park, and I’ve seen you doing it. Maybe one day, you’ll tell me why you’re so sad.
You were sad the first time I saw you. You were wearing the grey beanie that I don’t ever want to return to you. You were sitting all alone on a bench, and watching Aden. The reason I first noticed you, and I mean actively noticed you was when he fell and I saw you half-stand, and then you saw me, and you sat down again, then stood up again and left.
After that I started noticing you a lot more, always on the same bench. Sometimes you brought your notebook. Other times you didn’t, you just watched. At first I was a little bit worried that you were watching my son so carefully, but I used to see you sitting in the park on my way home from work, and I realised that you weren’t a creepy person watching Aden.
You’re not a creepy person at all. You’re one of the kindest people I know, and you don’t even need words to be like that. Your kindness, compassion , is so much deeper than compliments. You wore a wet beanie in winter so Aden wouldn’t get cold. You always take flowers to Costia’s grave, and you always put one on the grave in the third row that’s broken, and worn smooth by the weather.
Your habits are so...you. You take as much of your time as you can and give it to other people. If other people were anything like you Lexa, I wouldn’t be so scared of everything.
Thank you for giving me another chance after I fucked up. I’m not going to fuck this up again. It means too much.
The next ambulance just pulled in, so I can’t ramble anymore.
See you soon,
Chapter 2: Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday I Can't Stop Rambling...
This is (sort of) coinciding with Letters to the Lost, Chapter 217
This is for alyciasavocado because I made them sad with the last chapter after they arrived with such enthusiasm.
You’re never going to get this note because I’m a chicken!
Also because I’m writing it at 3am the morning after your birthday
Today (well, yesterday) I gave you a painting that I’ve tried to destroy nearly three times because it upset you so much but everytime I try, I chicken out.
More like Anya sent me a long text with a not-so-disguised threats telling me how I need to give the stupid painting to Lexa
It’s too personal to sell, and I didn’t make it for me to keep, so…I gave it to you.
That didn’t sound polite at all. Jeez, I’m bad at this. This is why I paint Lexa, this is why I paint.
But when you flapped your hands up and down, and smiled, and I mean really smiled, it made all of Anya’s threats seem empty because I would paint that picture a thousand times more just to make you do that again.
Oh, yeah, I nearly killed Raven yesterday, stupid grease baboon doesn’t understand that I’m trying to not fuck this up, and is intent on fucking this up for me.
And because Raven left me alone in a room with you, I spouted off some stuff that probably doesn’t get said in a platonic relationship and I’m really, really glad you hugged me when you did, because holy shit was I going to go on a long ramble.
I was also going to cry because I really meant it Lexa. I really do wish I could be like you.
And I wish I could give hugs like you because I when you hug me I never, ever want you to let me go. You’re so warm, and you’re always so gentle, and you smell nice, and your hair is soft (although sometimes it tickles my nose and makes me want to sneeze a bit).
And also because when I tap you on the shoulders, you let go, and you step back, and...I’m not scared of you. I know if I tap your shoulders you will let me go, and that just…
I wish I could be like you, I wish I could make myself feel as safe as you make me feel
And in that moment while you were hugging me I thought about it for a moment too long and realised that if I didn’t get out of there soon, I was going to do something stupid (again) like kiss you (again) or burst into tears and make your shirt all wet (not again, but there’s a first time for everything).
That’s why I asked you to let go, not because you did anything wrong, but because I don’t trust my own damn impulse control. Also because I know Raven and I know she’ll immediately take Aden somewhere where they can both get sugar, or adrenaline highs as fast as possible.
See? This is what I mean about the rambling Lexa! This was supposed to be a damn birthday card! Now it’s passable essay !
Stop being so easy to talk to! (Please don’t)
Chapter 3: Stop Being Cute You're Driving Me Insane
Links with chapters 225 and 230 of Letters to the Lost
Have I gone crazy, or are you just getting cuter? I think I might be going crazy because you’re so damn cute .
So it all started when I saw you wobbling your way around the ice rink like a penguin on crutches. Seriously, how are you so bad at ice skating, but so good at running? Both require balance you know?
Anyways, you were looking like an adorable penguin, because you were concentrating really, really hard,and I don’t know how I could not offer to help you
And when I asked if you trusted me and you thought about it, and that little frown spread across your face because you were actually thinking about it I swear Lexa, I wanted to draw that face right then and there (I am going to draw it by the way)
Usually people just smile and say of course but nooo, Lexa, you actually thought about it and then said you didn’t know, and then you called me out on my grammar like some kind of English teacher. But you didn’t irritate me, so you’re unlike any kind of English teacher that I’ve ever met.
I’m not going to go into detail about the douchecanoe, but I am going to promise that I really don’t normally refer to violence as a way to solve my problems. Only special occasions, like Raven, or toilet rolls who run their mouths.
(Can you tell I have a young child by my playground insults? Personally, I think they’re classy and creative!)
Then you came over for movie night and just watching you interact with Aden mad me melt into one of those gay puddles that Raven’s always giving me grief about. How do you do it Lexa? How are you so you? How are you so quietly perfect?
You always move so quietly, and when you crept into the kitchen while I was washing up and told me that I have a nice voice, I freaked. Finn hated singing. For a moment I thought I was still in that piece of shit apartment, and Lexa you just reacted in such a...Lexa way.
You stopped talking, you stepped back, you made sure I was comfortable before worrying about yourself, or about what you wanted. You offered to leave, and I had to wait a few moments to stop myself from screaming no , because I never really want you to leave.
I want you to stay, because you make me feel safe, because I can trust you with Aden, because Aden loves spending time with you.
I don’t know if, or how you knew I was still afraid, but you moved to the middle seat, and you shared the blanket with me, and Lexa…
Raven and Octavia are great, don’t get me wrong, but they would’ve gotten up and fetched another blanket, or snuck into my blanket cocoon, you shared your blanket with me, made sure I was warm.
I felt...safe. Comfortable. Warm.
Things I still sometimes question if I’m allowed to feel, I feel all the time with you
I don’t remember how I got to my bedroom, but I remember you pulling the blankets up to my chin, and I remember you kissed your fingers and touching my forehead with them. I remember you turning off the lights, and I remember hearing you lock the door.
Lexa, I wish that this could be us every evening.
And even though I don’t think you’re ready, and even though I know I’m not ready, I wish you would’ve crawled into bed next to me, just so I could wake up and know that things really are different now.
I lift my cup of shitty hospital coffee to you Lexa, and to the hope that one day I will wake up, and the first thing I will feel is warm, comfortable, safe.
God, I really am a gay mess.
Chapter 4: Sometimes You're the Knight and I'm the Princess, Other Times I'm Just a Mess
Chapter 254 According to Clarke
What to say? Everything. But also nothing.
Sometimes when you look at me I feel like you don’t see my skin, muscles (fat), bones, organs, nothing. Sometimes I feel like you see me . My dad once told me we’re all made of stardust, to which Raven replied that we’re just cosmic space goo in meat sacks, time is an illusion, and Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer.
Sometimes when you look at me I feel like you don’t see the meat sack at all, and that all you see is the cosmic space goo. Sometimes that makes me feel safe and warm, and other times it terrifies me because I think you will finally realise how broken and flawed I really am, and how leaving my apartment everyday is something terrifying.
You came to Aden’s birthday party and played dancing games with me even though you don’t really like them (don’t think I didn’t notice). Don’t think I don’t notice when you express emotions, because I do. I see you do it all the time, and yet you continue as if nothing happened. You copy Anya when you’re not sure which expression to make, but it’s when we’re alone that I really, really see you.
You don’t use your face all the time, which can get a little confusing, because sometimes you’re smiling, but you’re also rocking side to side which means you’re unsure. Lexa you always say that you don’t understand how facial expressions and social undercurrents work, but I think you understand them far more than the rest of us. You have your own body language, but you also learn the body language of others. You study a social situation so carefully before you do anything, which is something that very few people do.
But that time, you didn’t study anything. You didn’t pause and watch, you didn’t copy me, you didn’t copy him, you didn’t look to see Anya’s reaction, you just… reacted
You stepped in front of me and you stood up straight, and when he started talking, you reacted
If I hadn’t seen you and Octavia training with Indra, and if Raven hadn’t sent that photo of you and Anya boxing, I would’ve sworn you were taking supplements, because there is no way you should have been able to move like that.
You pushed him away from me, and in the same movement slammed the door behind the two of you and when Anya ran past me and opened the door, he was on the floor, and you were on top of him, and that’s when Raven pulled me into the living room
I know she’ll never tell you, so I will, I punched Raven to try get to you. When I saw Anya carrying you back inside, I thought he’d hurt you, I thought I’d let him hurt you, that you were hurt because of me , and Lexa…
I’m so sorry that I didn’t help you. I’m sorry that you got hurt, and instead of helping you, I was being held by Raven and crying and crying and crying
It felt like the walls were all falling down, that the roof had blown away, and that the floor was crumbling at the edges, because Finn wasn’t supposed to know where I lived, he wasn’t supposed to know it was Aden’s birthday, he wasn’t supposed to be here, which means I wasn’t careful enough and because I wasn’t careful enough you got hurt.
Lexa I don’t know how to thank you enough. How to tell you how sorry I am.
When you and Anya left I wanted to scream after you, I wanted you to come back, and I wanted you to tell me it was okay and I wanted to press ice to your hands and check if you had a concussion, if he hit you, if you were okay
Raven always has. Right from the beginning, Raven has been there.
Once you and Anya had left, Raven called Octavia to pick up Aden, and I convinced him that everything was okay. He’s so smart Lexa, I don’t know how long he’s going to stay happy with only one parent. He already knows he’s different from all the other children because he can’t hear. Hopefully he’ll be okay with it for a little while longer, I don’t think I’m ready to tell him. I don’t want him to hate me.
Raven got me into a shower, like she always does. She used to have to carry me into the bathroom and turn the cold water on me before I gave her any kind of reaction. I heard she did the same thing to you once. It sucks, but you can’t deny it’s effective.
I don’t think I’m ready to leave my apartment just yet. I haven’t even gotten out of bed since yesterday. Raven has to go tomorrow, and even though I don’t want her to, I know I must also get up. I have to keep moving, if not for me, for Aden.
But I think one more day should be okay
Just to break some things, clean them up, install new locks make the apartment mine again. One more day to mope around, and after that I must move again.
Aden’s home again, he’s a bit upset I didn’t take him to school today, and I’m not sure how well he’d take it if I told him I can’t take him tomorrow either. I think I’ll ask you to take him. He really adores you Lexa, I don’t know how you managed to charm him so fast. Maybe I just want to see you as well, but let’s pretend I’m a good mother trying to make my child happy with no ulterior motives.
Please say yes. I want to see you.
Chapter 5: I Can't Help But Have Heart Eyes For You
Links with 255-260 of Letters.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
How do you do this?
When I feel like the sky has fallen, how do you pick it up and stick it back where it belongs?
When I opened the door as a total mess, you didn’t try hug me, or barge past me, you just stood there and waited, keeping so, so still
You asked me if I was okay in sign, and I’m so, so grateful that you didn’t speak, because I think I would have fallen apart if I heard your voice, and I can’t fall apart in front of Aden again, not when he doesn't understand why
It was only after you left that I realised that you recognised your shirt, and then I blushed like a fool. Maybe, just maybe, I wanted to wear your shirt to pretend that you were still around me. I wanted to pretend for just one day that I hadn’t messed everything up, and that someone like you might even consider being with someone like me.
I broke some things. I broke lots of things. Plates and bottles and a few wine glasses. I thought it would make me feel better, but it didn’t, not really. It is symbolic though. Maybe one day I’ll paint it. Pieces of coloured glass in a sink. I probably won’t.
When you brought Aden home, and I opened the door to find him holding your hand, I felt better. Smashing things didn’t make me feel any better, a shower didn’t make me feel any better, but the sight of my son holding your hand made me feel like I could breathe again. You were wearing my hoodie. I was wearing your shirt, and you were wearing my hoodie.
I could hear you clattering in the kitchen when Aden dragged me to his room to show me the drawing he’d done, and I assumed you were throwing out the glass in the sink. I didn’t want you to cut yourself, I didn’t want you to clean up my mess. I wanted you to erase every single thought and reminder of what happened. I contradict myself in everything I do, but that might be the greatest contradiction of everything. I don’t want you to find out what Finn did to me, but I want to tell you everything.
But you weren’t cleaning, you were laying things out on the table, and so yeah, that made me cry a little, because you managed to make me feel human without erasing my past. Without making me think that I’d lived like a not-human before.
You were holding Aden and I was crying and I had to touch everything to make sure that it was real, and that I hadn’t finally managed to give myself blood poisoning from the sheer amounts of paint, charcoal, and lead that cover my skin on my days off. Days spent trying to mix the right colour for your eyes and failing miserably because I swear they change.
And then I hugged you. And I held onto your (my) hoodie because it reminded me that you were real, and it let me pretend that just for one moment you wouldn’t leave. And when Aden went to go draw, I hugged you again, because I wasn’t ready for you to go. I wanted you to stay. I wanted you to hold me and not let me go because you’d put the sky back where it was supposed to be, but it was still to big for me to face alone.
So you hugged me back, and you held me tight, and I felt like I had found a place that wasn’t so big that I felt small and weak, and wasn’t so small that I felt like there was not enough air, but perfect. A place where I fit.
And I jumped when your phone rang, and when I saw Anya’s face I felt all the warmth leave my legs because she looked stressed. Anya never looks stressed. She asked you to stay here and my heart missed a few beats because you were so cute when you frowned and said “we didn’t ask” like we were preteens who needed permission for a sleepover.
So I spoke for the first time in nearly two days and said you could stay, and that I could lend you clothes. Maybe, I just wanted to see you in more of my clothes.
You played with Aden for a while, and then you washed your hands and sat on a stool in the kitchen and asked me what you could do to help. I didn’t really need help, I liked hearing you talk about your childhood. It made you more human, but also infinitely more adorable, because I keep imagining a baby Lexa following a baby Anya (who looks just like Anya now, but maybe shorter) to and from classes.
Stop. Being. Cute.
And on that note, how and why do you look so normal in the mornings? Tell me your secrets?
I woke up looking like the Loch Ness Monster rising from the depths, and you’re in the kitchen with Aden, looking like it was one in the afternoon?
Your hair was in a plait which may have aided the “awake” look, and you were already dressed, and you were wiping Aden’s hands with a cloth because they were covered in butter, and when he jumped off his chair like the tiny menace that he is, you calmly caught all the cooking utensils that he sent flying, and continued to dish up. Never in my life have I felt so grateful that people in the city were protesting something that didn’t need to be protested about, because it meant that I got to spend the morning with you and Aden, and that was enough to make me feel like a human again.
And then you gave me a turtle. Why you had a turtle in your backpack, I don’t know. I was shivering on the couch because I was cold, but didn’t exactly want to leave the room, and you appear out of nowhere and offer me a hoodie and a turtle.
You’re not getting the hoodie, or the shirt back, and the turtle is not leaving my bed.
It’s my hoodie now, and so what if I dress the turtle in it and hold it when I can’t sleep. It smells like you, and it’s soft, and makes me feel like the sky is in the right place.
And that’s probably why Raven and Anya tease me for having heart eyes.
I can’t help it that you hold up the sky and carry turtles in your backpack.
I can’t help but have heart eyes for you
Do you beautiful people want the coinciding chapters of Letters as the summary or not?
Chapter 6: I Dreamed a Dream Where You Held Me Tight...
Follow up to 272/273 of Letters to the Lost
How to say this without being creepy....
Last night I danced with you in the hallway, and even though we were only swaying, you were concentrating so hard that I… smiled like an absolute loon because dear Lord, Lexa, you’re so magnificent
You offered up your bed, even though I know that your space is important to you
You walked Aden up to bed when he asked you too, and when you came back, you tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I would dance with you and
I nearly swooned Lexa, because you are too damn attractive when you’re shy, when you’re confident, when you’re breathing.
I slept in your bed, it still feels surreal. Your sheets smell like you, and they’re so soft, and oddly heavy, but I think I like it. I held Aden, in case he woke up and didn’t know where he was, and I haven’t felt so safe since…
You make me feel so safe Lexa. Even when you’re not actually in the room, the thought of you makes me safe, the fact that you offered up your own bed to Aden and I, that you gave me clothes this morning because Octavia spat her drink all over me last night.
You sat on a stool in the kitchen while I cooked, and you asked if you could help, and when I said no, you still sat with Aden and entertained him. You’re so good with him Lexa, he loves you so much. He told me a few weeks ago that he wants to be just like you when he grows up, except he also wants to be a fireman.
My son wants to be like you because you’re strong, and funny, and you bake with him, and you “give good hugs”. He also said… he also said he wants to be like you because you make me smile. And Lexa… he’s so right. We need to give children more credit because… Lexa I…
Lexa, I think I really like you, and I’m terrified that I’m clinging to the idea of you like this, because the what ifs are starting to circle.
What if you don’t like me
What if I have to move again because of Finn
What if I screw this all up again
I don’t want these what if s Lexa, because I’m going to be happy with you as my friend. You’re my friend. I need to start realising this, because I don’t want to fuck this all up. You’re too good to be caught up with a mess like me Lexa, you don’t deserve this.
But the thing is…
Anya came to me last night and warned me not to fuck it up
And even though she was drunk, she was being serious
So can I dare to dream that maybe, just maybe, I’m not imagining things when you hold me tightly, like you don’t want to let go
Let me have this dream Lexa
Please tell me it might come true
Please hold me close and don’t let me go
Chapter 7: I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty, Pretty, And Glittery And GAY
Meanwhile, on Lexa's side... (279, 280 of Letters to the Lost)
Please tell me why I let Raven talk me into asking you to the Gala Dinner?
Usually I take Octavia, or Raven, and once I went with Wells, and not that I don’t want to go with you, I do, I really do, but I’ve never been so nervous before
I asked Echo to make me a dress, just for this. I need this to be special, and up until ten minutes ago, Aden had coerced me into dolling him up, and my hair was a frizzy mess, and I was a frazzled mess, and it was going to be a mess. But thanks to Aden, I was at least a frazzled mess covered in silver glitter.
But now O’s here, and she’s wrangling my hair into something manageable, and Lincoln’s taken Aden out somewhere so my makeup is staying on the counter where I leave it and there may be a chance that I will look respectable tonight. I’m still a frazzled mess though.
I’m scared you’ll look right through the makeup and the hair, and jewelry and dress, and just see... Me . Even though that’s what you always do, today it seems… important.
Today I want to try and impress you. I want you to see where I work, I want you to understand why it’s so important to me to be a doctor. That I need to be able to fix people, to help people. I need to feel like I’m helping people, that I’m not useless. Today I want you to see Dr. Clarke Griffin, the ER doctor who has her life put together.
Maybe I’m thinking about this too much.
I probably am, but Lexa…
Shit, I just… I care about you. I just want you to know that. I care about you Lexa, so damn much, that sometimes when I see you my head spins for a few seconds before I can remember how to speak in sentences.
I just hope that maybe tonight I won’t be the only one with a circus trying to escape my stomach. I’ll definitely be the only one glittering like a pixie’s disco ball though.
See you in a few (if Octavia doesn’t take my eye out with the eyeliner)
Chapter 8: A Dream I Dreamed Came True
Matches up with 281 of Letters to the Lost
I just… How do you…. Wow.
So when I saw you in that suit with your hair like that and your face like that and you like that I may have inhaled a mouthful of water and nearly spat it all over your living room like a malfunctioning whale.
Then on the car ride there you drummed small beats on your leg, and you were blushing slightly and it was so cute that I nearly pulled over just so I could watch you properly, maybe pull the notebook out of the cubby and do a quick sketch, maybe freeze time forever.
I asked if you wanted music on or not (Raven doesn’t like driving with music) and your cheeks turned slightly pink, and you looked at my phone, the radio, the traffic light, and then at me before asking softly if I had Halsey because Raven hadn’t downloaded her albums onto your phone yet
Of course I have Halsey Lexa, I always have Halsey with me, I think everyone (including Lincoln) has Halsey’s music.
And then when I parked you practically flew around the car and opened my door like a classy gentleman, and then you offered me your arm, and I nearly became a puddle again.
Why must you have this effect on me Lexa? Must you be polite? Could you not be rude? Slightly less attractive? My heart Lexa, my heart can’t handle this level of attraction.
I didn’t want to let go of your arm, I really didn’t, but I figured leaving you with Wells would be better than dragging you around to greet some old men who would have slobbered on your cheek and then asked all about your boyfriend and slash or husband and his profession and what a good friend you were and-
No, I thought Wells was much better company than the old men. I think you thought so too, judging by the look you were sending in their general direction as you upended your glass of water all over my friend. Wells will always get something spilled on him, no matter where he is.
If I was lost in the desert, I would choose Wells to be my companion because he’d find some source of liquid in under an hour. He’s like a liquid-magnet, which is not a good thing when you work surrounded by body fluids.
Even when you spilled the water, you looked to Wells first, checking that he was okay, and only after you were sure he was okay, did you check if you had gotten any water on yourself. You hadn’t, and you looked so cute that I had to kiss your cheek. I wanted to aim a little lower, a bit more central, but that is not a platonic thing to do, so I settled for your cheek.
You watched carefully the whole evening, smiling when you realised people were joking, mumbling quiet hilarities under your breath when you thought people couldn’t hear you, and all in all Lexa, you were the perfect gentleman. Gentlewoman. Gentleman is now gender neutral, I’m a doctor (almost), you can trust me on this.
Even when I dropped you off Lexa, you just…
I was leaning against the car, and you were standing in front of me, and I was about to say something (probably something stupid) when you met my eyes and in a very serious voice said,
“Clarke, may I kiss you?”
And I felt like I was surrounded by falling stars, and when I said yes you touched my face so, so gently, and your lips were so, so soft, and I felt like we were spinning in the night sky because one of your hands slid behind my neck, and your fingers were in my hair, and your other hand was somehow on my hip and there was fire and ice along my entire spine
I kissed you back, of course I fucking kissed you back, and it felt like it was over in a heartbeat except I was dizzy because I wasn’t breathing (or thinking) and you were breathing through your mouth, and your eyes were so big, and so green, and when I gently pulled you back for more, you left more fire and ice along my arms, and then you whispered
Except you said Klark , and kissed my forehead and then disappeared inside.
And we’re going to pretend that I didn’t spend five minutes leaning against the side of my car, and ten minutes sitting in my car before I deemed myself fit to drive again.
Shit Lexa. You kissed me, and I didn’t ever want you to stop. I wanted to kiss you again and again, and again, and I wanted you to hold me like that for eternity.
I still want to kiss you, want to hold you, want to hear that soft sound you make somewhere in the back of your throat. I want to feel your hands holding me like I might vanish from beneath your fingers, holding me so close, but so gently.
I want you, Lexa.
I want tonight to happen again. Please, can this not be a dream. Please can this happen again.
Chapter 9: My Knight in Shining Armour Built Me A Snowfort
Clarke's view on chapters 294-295 of Letters
How do I begin to thank you?
When my phone rang and I heard his voice, I felt like I was stuck under a pile of rubble, because my lungs couldn’t pull air, and my ribs ached, and I know it was because I was panicking but shit Lexa, I thought I was going to die. Panic is so irrational, “Oh hey, your life is in danger, let’s just make it hard for you to breathe and move real quick..” Seriously, what the fuck Panic?
I don’t know why I called you, I knew you were away. I panicked, I guess, and I just wanted to not-panic, and Lexa, somehow you make me not-panic in a way that I don’t medically understand. You do lots of things in ways that I don’t medically understand.
You answered, and I physically felt like a wall had been lifted off my back. You answered, and your voice was so calm, and I don’t know how you did it, but you spoke to me for hours. You spoke to me about someone called Joe, telling me how Raven was going to fix the lawnmower, painting verbal pictures about the snow, and how Anya pushed you into a snowbank, and when I felt like I could breathe enough to answer, you asked me questions. Questions about hot drinks, and pastries, and fireworks, and penguins, and then you told me all about cephalopods and their importance in the ecosystem. And when you suddenly said “I’m here.” I hadn’t even realized that I was breathing normally, that somehow you’d warded off the anxiety that comes with an abusive ex-boyfriend deciding to phone you and tell you he’s boarding a flight to come “visit you like old times.”
I went to grab my coat and pack a bag, because that sounded like a good idea, but really only because you told me to. You were in Aden’s room, packing his schoolbag with clothes and toys, and I stood in the doorway for a moment, watching you frown and scan the ground, but then you spotted his fireman’s hat under his bed, and you packed that carefully into the bag too. You looked for his favourite toy, and packed it right at the top. Lexa, when I see the two of you together, my heart melts. Colours are brighter, my fingers itch for paint, for charcoal, fuck, a wax crayon would be fine as long as I could capture the way you look at him, the way he looks at you, the way you two play, the way you two speak, the way he falls asleep on your lap sometimes, and even though I can see you’re slightly unsure about what to do about it, you hold him close. But I can’t capture that, not properly at least, so everytime I see you two together, I try take as many mental pictures as I can.
Aden woke up when you gently shook his shoulder, blinking up at you. You asked him if you could pick him up, and he didn’t fight you, saying he could do it by himself, he didn’t scream and try go back to sleep, he just nodded and held up his arms for you. He was asleep before we were even down the stairs, holding a handful of your hair in one hand.
I saw a taxi pull up as you buckled Aden in and I ducked into the car, suddenly panicking again, hands shaking, feeling like I was both too hot and too cold all at the same time. Why didn’t I move after he found us the first time, why did I waste time panicking inside when I should’ve been packing and why did I call you when you were hours away instead of just going to Octavia’s apartment. WHY why why why why.
Air got trapped somewhere between my lungs and my nose, between my stomach and my mouth, I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t speak, I just... whined . You drove for a bit, then pulled into a rest stop for a few minutes, and offered me a tissue because somewhere down the line, I’d started blubbering like a thirteen year old after an argument with their mother. You fixed Aden’s blanket, plugged your phone into the speakers and fiddled until soft music started playing, and then you started driving again.
You didn’t make me speak. You didn’t try to reassure me. You just drove, and you checked on Aden every twenty minutes, and you checked on me every ten minutes. The sky stopped spiralling like helicopter blades, my heart settled down, the too-hot-too-cold feeling of panic slowly faded as you steered me further and further away from him. I don’t remember falling asleep, but I remember you touching my shoulder to wake me up.
We were in a driveway, it was still dark. You picked up Aden for me, and showed me to a room, which I only realised was yours when my eyes were closed and I was under the covers. I only noticed that you’d brought our bags up too when I woke up.
And when I woke up, I was okay.
Well, as okay as one can be after yesterday.
Thank you Lexa. I really don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t answered the phone. Thank you.
This weekend was...perfect. Your mother didn’t ask questions when I came down, she just held a finger to her lips as she handed me a mug of hot chocolate, and then pointed at the couch. You were asleep, your feet on Anya’s lap, crunched up to fit on the couch. She waved at Aden, and asked him what he wanted for breakfast. Sometimes people will talk to me instead of him because they can’t sign and he can’t hear. He hates it, and to be fair, I do too. I translated, and he asked if there was enough bread for toast, and she laughed softly.
Fifteen minutes later, he was sitting on the counter next to the stove, snacking on dry Cheerios while she cooked him scrambled eggs and bacon. Why is everyone in your family so easy to trust?
You were gone when Aden and I came back downstairs after a bath, but your mother promised us that you’d be back. Aden asked Anya why she had a moustache on her face, and Raven quickly mumbled something about milk and fled in the car, and Joe just laughed. It felt nice, sitting in front of the fireplace with a group of people who were being socially not social.
It reminded me of Christmas when Dad was still alive. Hot chocolate, Christmas trees, and full-tummy-smiles. I’ll never be able to fold a paper crane again without thinking of you and Aden, huddled together under a light pink blanket and colouring in.
I wish that this holiday would never end.
Chapter 10: I'm Dr. Clarke E. Griffin and I'm In Love With You, Lexa Woods.
Letters to the Lost, chapters 316-318
I could listen to you talk all the time. I wish you would speak more. I love your voice, the way it tilts, the way you have an accent sometimes, the way you skip words, the way you repeat words over and over until they sound the way you want them to.
It’s calming. Soothing. You put thought into your words before you say them, and it shows. Can you teach this skill to Raven?
You listened to my rambling story about Max like it was the only story that mattered, and to me, that means the world. You listen to me.
You listen to me, and you think before you speak, and you’re so… respectful, kind, honest, gentle, I’ve exhausted these words but they’re true. You asked if you could kiss me.
Yes, Lexa, a thousand times, yes, please kiss me.
You asked if you could walk me home after lunch yesterday. We walked with Aden between us, connected by a suspension bridge of held hands. You lifted him up to choose an ice cream for himself, and you gave him the money when he wanted to pay. You both took it so seriously, I wanted to film it. I think I’m going to paint it.
Picture it, Lexa, picture it with me.
A young woman in a grey beanie with words in her heart, holding a little boy dressed like a fireman with words in his hands.
You joked about throwing him in the fountain when he got ice cream all over his face, and when he screamed and ran, you looked concerned for a moment, looked at me, panicked. I smiled, and started to chase him, because this is how we play. I guess you figured it out, because you trapped him in your arms and held him still so I could wipe his face.
It felt normal. Domestic. It felt like you’d always been there, chasing after him with me, letting him run a bit ahead for a while so he feels fast.
When I’m with you, I don’t feel scared. When I’m with you, I don’t feel like a single mother who relies on her friends to babysit her child because she works stupid hours because her mother was a doctor, so she has to be a doctor too.
When I’m with you, I feel like I’m Clarke E. Griffin, I have a son named Aden J. Griffin, and I control my own life.
I’m Dr. Clarke E. Griffin, and I’m in love with you, Lexa Woods.
And some day (but not today, because there’s only a few hours left of today, and I’m at work) I’ll tell you that.
Chapter 11: You Make Train Stations Feel Like Ballrooms
Chapter 326 of Letters to the Lost
Lexa, Lexa, Lexa
We need to establish some rules here, I think. The rules are as follows.
- You need to tell me about all the things that you can do that make my heart malfunction so I can avoid an early death
And that’s what I’ve got so far because hot damn, holy shit, what the fuck, you play the violin?
Since when? And how? And why? And… you’re seriously fucking good at it.
Here I am, an innocent (not really) bisexual, just trying to get off the train to go home, and there you are on the platform with a battered violin playing so… so beautifully. My dad’s favourite song… You were real, and you were standing there, playing his song. The song that used to play when he picked me up and swayed around the room with me.
I dropped my bag. I dropped my bag, because it was taking everything in me to just… stand. I wanted to close my eyes, to pretend I wasn’t in a train station, to pretend he was still holding me, that we were dancing around the living room in the old house. But I didn’t. I couldn’t.
Because you were standing there, in the train station with the shitty lighting, entirely focused on the instrument in your hands. I’ve already got it sketched out. Blurry people passing in the background, and you’re in sharp focus, tall, willowy, cradling a bag of stars which are spilling over the floor, spinning through the air.
You glanced up and saw me. And as soon as you were finished playing, I half fell into your arms because you saw me, and I couldn’t stand anymore, not by myself when you were so close. And I was crying, and you were holding me, and you’re so…
Fuck, words are hard when I can’t think past the smell of your hair, the way your voice cracked slightly when you said my name. When you say my name, it sends electricity down my spine.
Klark you say, Klark . Not Clarke. I don’t know how it’s different, but it is. It’s different because it reminds me of glowing embers in a fireplace, of soft blankets, gentle sunshine, a light breeze. It reminds me of all the things that I think are home.
One day, I’m going to tell you this. I’m going to ask you to play my father’s song so that I can sway with Aden around the room before he gets too big to do that with. I’m going to record you playing it, and then I’m going to dance with you around the room the same way my father did with my mother.
One day, I won’t be scared to acknowledge how much you mean to me.
One day, I’ll tell you how much I love you.
Chapter 12: My Apartment Smells Like Flowers (But Really, It Smells Like You)
Chapter 332 of Letters to the Lost
It was only after you left that I realised that I was wearing my painting clothes and then I wanted to sink into a hole on the floor, because you arrived looking nothing short of amazing, and holding a giant bouquet of flowers and you said such kind, beautiful things that made my heart melt, and my blood fizz, and then there was me
Standing in the doorway wearing jeans that are too big and so covered in paint that they leave flakes of colour wherever I walk, and a shirt that I slept in for at least two years of med school, forgetting how words worked
You gave me flowers. My entire apartment smells like flowers, smells like.. You. Not really, but each time I smell the flowers I think of you, ergo, the entire apartment now smells like you. It’s nice.
You also gave me a piece of wood with Stars burnt onto it in cursive. Are we going to the planetarium? What does this mean? Is it a clue? Is it just a piece of wood with writing on it?
You really did ask Aden if he was okay with you taking me on a date, can you get any cuter? He came running out of school and jumped into my arms, hands racing through the signs before I even caught him. I can’t tell who’s more excited, Aden or me.
Holy shit, Lexa, what am I supposed to wear? How is this supposed to go? I haven’t been out since Finn and I don’t know how this is supposed to go. What am I supposed to wear? Am I allowed to kiss you? Do you even like-
Yeah, that’s stupid. I think. No, it’s stupid, because you usually kiss me first, so yeah, I’m going to gamble that you do like being kissed. Holy shit Lexa, I need to stop over thinking everything. I like being kissed by you. Just for the record because now I’m confused, I do like being kissed by you.
I like most things you do. I like it when you bump your head against my shoulder as you walk past, I like it when you tap on my hands to get my attention because you don’t like to yell. I fucking love it when you just… sit on the floor to greet Stamp, or play with Aden, no grumbling or creaking or generally grouchiness about how far away the floor is, you just sit. I love it when I’m sitting next to you on the couch and you curl your legs up onto the cushion next to you, because it means that you’re going to lean against me.
You like leaning on things. Things being doorways, trees, walls, counters and people. But only certain people. By that I mean Anya, rarely Raven. And now me I guess. I like it, you’re warm, and you don’t do it when I’m busy with things. Except the dishes. Why are you so affectionate when I’m doing the dishes?
I guess I can’t really speak, because I’m always affectionate whenever people are doing the dishes. Raven once said that the only reason she ever does the dishes is to get “Griffin Cuddles”, Anya wasn’t too impressed with her. I reckon that people just need motivation, because sometimes washing up is difficult.
I’m rambling. I’m excited. I’m anxious.
I’m very hopelessly in love with you