Lexa felt the back of her throat push back slightly, and for a moment she wondered if she was going to throw up. Shallow breath. Another. Nope. It's safe. So she indulges in another gulp of… whatever it was she was drinking. She hardly even knew anymore. The bar was crowded and she had strangers paying for her drinks all night, so she was obviously shit-faced by now. Which one could say was textbook definition of a bad idea, even in a gay bar, but Costia left, and everything sucked, and she was definitely going to drink about it, thank you very much.
She glanced at the bartender, who was preoccupied with making a margarita. It had been a very busy night, and there was a visible streak of sweat running down her shirt and between her breasts. Which was around the time when Lexa realized it was probably inappropriate to keep staring at her cleavage and moved on to her face. And sure enough, the tired blue eyes of that beautiful bartender were staring back at her.
"Hey. You want something?" she asked with a hint of a smile, while shaking the mixing glass. Her voice was low and raspy, which was… slightly intimidating. Or arousing. One of those.
"Sorry" Lexa mumbled, "didn't mean to be rude".
"I'm guessing water, then" the bartender laughed, and it was beautiful. Lexa understood, at some level, that the laugh was directed at her, but the way she threw her head back even while pouring the drink in the mixing glass was so casual and effortless and cool that she didn't even care. She wanted more of it, if anything.
"I can hold my liquor, you know" Lexa trailed off.
"Sure you can, honey" the bartender smiled, and slid the margarita off to a customer on the other side of the bar. When she came back, she brought a glass to Lexa. "This is the hardest drink in the house, so be sure to drink all of it"
"Your hardest drink sure looks like water" Lexa said, looking at the clear liquid in the glass. The bartender sighed with amused annoyance and took the glass back. She looked beautiful. The stray locks of golden hair under the bar lights were like a vision. Nothing like Costia. Different. But still beautiful. She barely noticed when the glass got back to her.
"There you go" the bartender smiled at her. The glass now had a greenish liquid in it, with a few slices of lime and mint on top. "What does it look like now?"
"Like a mojito for kids" Lexa guessed. She was pretty buzzed, but downed the drink in no more than a few seconds. "Thank you".
The bartender winked at her and left Lexa with her empty glass to get another customer's check. Looking around, Lexa couldn't tell when the bar got so empty. Which was probably the reason why the bartender was suddenly so interested in striking conversation. She was probably getting bored, now that the service slowed down.
Then, with little warning, Lexa realised what a huge mistake shoving all that into her stomach was, because a sudden nausea washed over her, and she was certain she would greet that mojito knock-off soon enough. She ran to the restroom as quick as she could, which was admittedly not very fast considering how drunk she felt.
Clarke was cleaning some tables with the vigour one could only know being an underpaid, underemployed, pissed off artist near the end of their double shift. She scrubbed furiously, hoping that if everything was ready she could go home soon enough. It did help that when the customers saw her do that they would usually get the message that it was time to get the fuck out. But Clarke would be lying if she denied that the pretty brunette who vanished from the barstool not ten minutes ago was a reason for her being upset. She couldn't officially come on to her during her shift, and she certainly wouldn't try anything with that girl's intoxication and all that, but she wanted to catch her name, or number, or anything by the time the bar closed. And then she realised. With the few customers already about to go, she didn't have to feel anxious about leaving the bar for an extra long bathroom break.
She quickly confirmed her theory upon getting there. The brunette was passed out by the toilet, which she had the surprising consideration of flushing beforehand at some point. She was quite a neat drunk, considering. Clarke took a deep breath and crouched by the girl. This close, Clarke found her even prettier. But she shook it off, and got to it. She shook the girl a little bit by the shoulder, and called her softly.
It didn't work.
And… it didn't work for a while.
And then it did. Bright green eyes opened lazily.
"Hey" Clarke greeted. "How about we get off the floor now?"
The girl seemed slightly embarrassed - at least as much as a drunk person could. She tried moving, and from her face you could tell how dizzy that felt. It was surprisingly… sweet. She wasn't Clarke's first drunk, not by a long shot. But she was the first cute one.
"Come on, let me help you", Clarke continued, and threw the girls arm across her shoulder. Clarke pulled herself and her pretty drunk off the floor, and so they got to their feet. "So, what's your name anyway?"
"Lexa", she mumbled after a moment or two. And of fucking course her name was also pretty. She looked as if she wasn't sure whether she would be sick again.
"Hold that in, champ. We're getting you a bucket, but first we gotta get you away from that toilet", Clarke talked Lexa through taking the first few steps. "It reeks so much in here it can't be helping your case much".
They took their time, mostly because Lexa wasn't contributing to the whole walking thing much, but they eventually got to a table near the bar's exit. Clarke went to get her the bucket she promised, but as she got back Lexa was sleeping again, her pretty face resting on the table. Thankfully, the last customer was finally leaving. Well, second to last. Clarke shook Lexa awake again.
"Hey. Where do you live?" Clarke asked, trying to stay patient, but also looking to hurry this process up a bit. It was late, and there was definitely no socializing to be had with mrs. vomit pants as of right now.
Lexa seemed confused for a second, and looked around. "Here", she said softly, "Manhattan". Then, Lexa looked up at Clarke, her hazy eyes studying her Clarke's face. "You're beautiful".
Clarke sighed. "Okay, Lexa, you're coming with me. We'll figure things out in the morning", she declared, and got to finally closing up and leaving the bar with the drunken brunette.
The ride home was relatively uneventful, and even pleasant - it was quite nice to have some company, leaving work so late at night. Which isn't to say that the fear of another surge of vomiting wasn't a pressing concern, but there was hardly anything Clarke could do to prevent that at that point.
Finally getting to the studio apartment without Lexa being sick at all felt like an achievement in itself, and by then she was slightly soberer, though clearly not enough to realise she probably shouldn't be stepping into a stranger's living space.
Clarke guided Lexa to the bathroom with some clean clothes and a spare toothbrush, and hoped she had enough sense to figure it out by herself. While that was going on, she made the bed for Lexa and threw some sheets on the sofa for herself. Her back was going to be a bitch in the morning, but she was Abby Griffin's daughter, and couldn't force herself to not be a decent hostess.
Clarke was barely awake when she heard her guest's feet, slowly making her way back to the main room.