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Capes and Candy

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Clarke’s legs were freezing. It was an abnormally cold Halloween night and she was growing increasingly jealous of her friends’ costumes. Clarke was trick-or-treating with her two best friends and she wanted so badly to dress as Luke Skywalker since Raven was Han Solo and Octavia was Princess Leia. Unfortunately, her mom waited until the last minute to get the Luke Skywalker costume Clarke had been begging for since August and came home after her shift at the hospital yesterday with the Supergirl outfit that now adorned Clarke’s eight-year-old frame. She was envious of her friends, not only because their costumes matched, but they also got to wear pants or a long tunic. She was grateful she remembered to bring her coat, but unfortunately, it covered her whole costume - even the cape. This led to people constantly asking what she was supposed to be. She vowed then and there to save up and buy her own costume next year.

Octavia’s aunt was chaperoning the three friends but agreed to stand at least twenty feet away from them at all times so as not to ruin their “cool factor” in case they ran into other kids from their school. Third grade was brutal and they didn’t want to take any chances. Clarke’s bag was already getting pretty full of candy, but Raven was determined to hit the fancy houses that gave out full-sized candy bars. Clarke and Octavia were ready to call it a night. She had enough smarties to get her through to next Halloween and she was excited to get started on their annual candy-trading tradition.

Clarke was absentmindedly walking while surveying the contents of her bag when she accidently bumped into someone. She immediately apologized and when she looked up to see who she slammed into, she stopped dead in her tracks. She was face-to-face with a young brunette dressed as Wonder Woman. Clarke stared with her mouth half open and only got a brief moment of eye contact with the girl before she was dragged away by her taller, seemingly bossy friend who was dressed as a rather terrifying zombie.

“Come ON, Lexa! We’re almost to the houses with the really good candy!”

Lexa offered Clarke an apologetic look as she was led away. Clarke watched the exchange, unable to take her eyes off the girl.

“Do we have to, Anya? I’m ready to go home. I’m freezing in this skirt!”

“Hey, it’s not my fault your crush on Wonder Woman made you want to be her for Halloween.”

Clarke could see Lexa blushing at the comment as she gave Clarke one last look before the older girl pulled her away.

Clarke was paralyzed. Frozen in time. Afraid to turn her focus anywhere else for fear of forgetting what the most beautiful girl in the world looked like. She just kept staring long after Lexa disappeared.

“There you are! We got three houses ahead of you before we realized you weren’t with us,” exclaimed Raven. “Clarke? What are you looking at?”

“Oh no.” Octavia rolled her eyes. “She’s got that look.”

“What look?”

“You know...THAT look. The one she got when that new girl joined our class last year?”

“Ontari? The one that got expelled for punching Clarke in the face when Clarke told her she liked her?”

“Yeah. That girl. Clarke’s got THAT look again.”

“I thought Ontari moved away.”

“She did. Clarke must have seen some other pretty girl that’s going to ruin our lives.”

Clarke could hear their entire conversation, but was still too preoccupied with the greenest eyes and sweetest smile she had ever seen. It took Raven snapping her fingers repeatedly in front of her face to get her to finally acknowledge them.

“Guys?”

“Yeah?”

Clarke sighed heavily.

“I think I’m in love.”

Raven shook her head. “Here we go again.”

“I mean it! She’s…she’s beautiful.”

“She’s gone, Clarke.”

Clarke grabbed her friends by their hands and led them away.

“Not if we catch up to her. Let’s go!”

Two blocks and several complaints from Octavia later, Clarke spotted a familiar looking Wonder Woman costume and watched as the most beautiful girl she had ever seen walked down the path from one of the bigger houses on the block, falling behind her very impatient friend.

“Lexa, you’re killing me!”

“Sorry! I’m just really, really cold. Besides, aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating by now?”

“Hey, I’m only three years older than you. And this will probably be my last year, so I need to stock up and do it right. Maybe jog to the next house. It’ll warm you up.”

Lexa lowered her head and followed Anya. Clarke took this opportunity to make her move. She ran up and started walking next to her, trying to appear as cool as possible.

“Hi!”

Lexa looked at her, seemingly shocked that someone was even talking to her.

“Uh...hi.”

“You want my coat? It’s really warm.”

Lexa slowed her pace and contemplated Clarke’s offer.

“Won’t you be cold?”

“I’ll be fine.” She started taking off her coat. “Besides, now everyone will actually know who I’m supposed to be.”

Lexa blushed while looking down at Clarke’s costume.

“I like Supergirl,” she mumbled quietly as Clarke placed the warm jacket around her shoulders.

“Yeah. Though, I’ll admit it’s not as cool as Wonder Woman.”

“I don’t know, I think Supergirl is pretty cool.” Lexa pulled the coat tighter around her body. “She’s very...heroic.”

She flashed Clarke a shy smile as her face turned the color of Clarke’s cape. Clarke was hooked, officially a goner.

“Wanna hang out with me and my friends? We’re trick-or-treating on this block, too.” She gestured to her friends who were waiting patiently for her, while catching a glimpse of Octavia’s aunt yawning and checking her watch.

“Can my cousin, Anya, join?”

“Sure!” Clarke took Lexa’s hand and the five of them walked up to the next house.

Clarke was pretty much freezing for the rest of the evening, but it was worth every little goosebump knowing that Lexa was wearing her jacket. She didn’t talk much, but Lexa allowed Clarke to hold her hand the rest of the night as they shared little glances and smiles with each other.

When one house gave Clarke a king-size Payday candy bar, Lexa’s eyes lit up. Clarke noticed the box of Red Vines Lexa had received.

“Wanna trade?” Clarke handed her the Payday.

“Are you sure? Those are the best and no one ever hands them out on Halloween.”

“Are you kidding? You got a full size box of Red Vines. I’m getting the better deal. Payday doesn’t even have chocolate in it.”

“But it’s sweet AND salty. That’s the best.”

Clarke wholeheartedly agreed with Lexa. But she wasn’t about to back out of the deal now. Not with those green eyes staring back at her, looking ever so grateful for the offer.

“I can turn Red Vines into straws for my soda.” She completed the trade by stuffing the Payday into Lexa’s bag. Lexa smiled and looked to the ground.

“Thank you for being so nice to me.”

“Thank you for letting me.”

Once they reached the final house on the street, Octavia’s aunt announced it was time to go home. The thought of being in her warm house trading candy with her friends was very enticing to Clarke, but it also meant having to say goodbye to Lexa. She watched as Lexa took off the coat and handed it back to her.

“Thank you. This really helped.”

Clarke took the coat, brushing against Lexa’s fingers as she did so. She never wanted to let go.

“You’re welcome.”

You’re really sweet.”

This time, it was Clarke’s turn to blush. Lexa’s compliment warmed her more than any coat ever could.

“Clarke! Let’s go!”

Her friends were already halfway down the block and she knew her mom would be mad if she stayed out much later. But she also couldn’t let the night end like this, so she made a bold choice.

“Lexa?”

“Yeah?”

With every ounce of bravery she could muster, Clarke took two steps forward and planted a kiss on Lexa’s cheek. She could have sworn she felt a spark, but it could very well have been a reaction from her cold lips on Lexa’s warm cheek. She stepped back gave her a sheepish grin.

“I think you’re really pretty. Bye!”

Without another word, she ran off to join her friends, too nervous to look back and too scared to see Lexa’s reaction.

She spent the rest of the night thinking about Lexa. And the following night. And every night after that. Sadly, that’s all she was able to do about the situation: think. Because in her excitement, she didn’t think to get Lexa’s last name or her phone number or her address or the name of the school she went to. And she was pretty sure she didn’t even tell Lexa her name.

So Clarke kept that special memory locked away in the back of her mind, always remembering it as being the greatest night of her life and wondering if she would ever have another one like it.

__

 

Ten years later…

Lexa didn’t know how it happened, but tonight, she was right back where she was ten years ago. Same neighborhood, same costume. Tonight, she was taking her little brother Aiden trick-or-treating and since he dressed up as Superman, he insisted Lexa dressed up as Wonder Woman. She initially refused, but after days of Aden begging and pleading, she finally gave in.
She hadn’t dressed as Wonder Woman since she was nine years old. It was a sacred night for her and a sacred costume. It was the night the mysterious blonde warmed her hands and her heart. The night she hadn’t stopped thinking about since it happened. The night that always brought a smile to her face.

 

Sometimes she’d allow herself to think of what would happen if she ever saw the girl again. She had hoped eventually their paths would cross once more, but sadly it never happened. Now every Halloween, she’s faced with the memory of the girl who kissed her cheek and made her feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. She’d give anything to feel that way again.

There wasn’t much she wouldn’t do for her little brother and she figured tonight would be a decent night for nostalgia, so she hunted down a Wonder Woman costume. And at least now, the costume looked pretty damn good on her. She was also thankful that it was a warm night so she wouldn’t be freezing.

By 7pm, it was already dark and Aden, hopped up on sugar, was running door-to-door trying to get as much candy as he possibly could. Lexa struggled to keep up with him, wondering if she was ever this energetic when she was his age.

After visiting another house, he came bounding up to her.

“Lexa look! Look how full my bag is!”

“That’s awesome, kiddo. Does that mean you’ll share some with me?”

Aden paused to think for a moment.

“You better share! Especially after you insisted I dress up like this.”

“You can have my Tootsie Rolls,” offered Aden.

“That’s the throwaway candy!”

Aden giggled and started to run away before she could chase him. Unfortunately, he didn’t see the girl right behind him and he accidentally slammed right into her, knocking her to the ground.

Lexa immediately ran to help her, but Aden beat her to it. He reached out his hand and pulled her up.

“Gosh, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

The young girl shook her head.

“I’m fine. I landed on my candy.”

“Well if anything is squished, I’ll give you some of mine.”

When Lexa reached them, she breathed a sigh of relief seeing that the girl was okay. She was also coincidentally dressed as Wonder Woman, just like Lexa.

“I’m Aden.” He stuck his hand out to shake hers.

“Hi. I’m Madi.”

“This is my sister, Lexa. She likes Wonder Woman, too.”

Lexa scoffed and shook her hand.

“He likes to embarrass me. But I guess he’s right. I dressed as Wonder Woman when I was your age, too. Are you okay? That looked like a hard hit.”

“I’m okay. Thank you. I think I scraped my knee. My sister’s gonna be really mad at me. I wasn’t supposed to run ahead, but I got excited.”

“Madi! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere! You can’t just run off like that.”

Lexa watched as a very worried blonde in a Supergirl costume came running up to them. She instantly felt her heart flutter as she was transported back to Halloween night ten years ago, but her logical side kicked in, knowing that there was no way this was the same girl. She had just never been that lucky.

“I’m sorry, Clarke. I thought you were right behind me.”

“What happened to your knee?”

“I fell.”

“Oh my God. How? We need a band-aid.” The blonde frantically searched around and called out to no one in particular. “Does anyone have a band-aid?”

“It’s my fault. I accidentally ran into her,” Aden confessed.

“I’m okay, Clarke. I promise,” assured Madi.

Lexa just stood there, completely immersed in her memories, fighting to get control of reality. But she remembered the young blonde she was with being so concerned about her comfort. But there was no way this was her. And dressed in the exact same costume, no less. It just wasn’t possible.

Finally taking action, she pulled the mini first aid kit from her purse.

“Here, I have a band-aid.” She knelt to the ground and applied the bandage to Madi’s knee.

The blonde cocked her head as Lexa got up.

“Do you always carry a first aid kit with you?”

“It comes with the territory hanging around this guy all the time.” She pointed to her accident-prone brother.

The blonde smiled and Lexa could feel her chest tighten. She knew that smile. Didn’t she?

She could have sworn there was a hint of recognition in the blonde’s eyes as they both stared at each other. Lexa could swear the girl was trying to place her. But this couldn’t be her. Not ten years to the day after they met. Not wearing the exact same costumes they had before.

“Yeah, my sister Madi is a bit of a disaster, too. I should learn to be more prepared.”

“Shut UP, Clarke!” Madi whacked her with her bag of candy.

“You two are wearing the same costume,” observed Clarke.

“Oh...yeah. I guess we’re twins for the night.” Lexa tried to swallow the lump in her throat before pressing a bit. “I suppose it’s an homage. I dressed as Wonder Woman ten years ago.”

Screaming kids surrounded them as adults were trying to keep them in line. Lexa was pretty sure Aden was talking to Madi about something, but suddenly, everything became dead silent as she waited for a response from the girl. She searched her eyes, bright blue like the girl she met this very night ten years ago. The girl who stole her heart. The girl whose name she never learned until now, and spent countless nights wondering what it was.

Those blue eyes suddenly grew wide with realization, as if something clicked within her. The girl took a step back and looked Lexa up and down.

“Oh my God. Lexa?”

Lexa smiled and nodded. It took everything within her not to run straight into her arms. Apparently Clarke had no reservations about doing that exact same thing because within seconds, her arms were wrapped tightly around Lexa and Lexa happily and seamlessly fell into it. She felt Clarke’s hands rubbing her back, so she slid her hand up to Clarke’s neck and played with the tendrils of her hair - something she had dreamt about doing for a decade.

“I can’t believe it’s you,” whispered Clarke as she pulled back from the hug. “I mean, it IS you, right? That night? With your cousin and my friends…”

“And you gave me your coat and held my hand.” Lexa had to laugh at Clarke’s need to make sure this was real. She found herself wondering the same thing. “And you’re…Clarke.”

“Yes! Clarke. I’m Clarke. Griffin. I can’t believe I didn’t tell you my name that night. One of my top five biggest regrets.”

“What are the other four?”

“Let’s just say they all pertain to that night.”

“Clarke, can we go?” an impatient Madi tugged at her costume.

“In a minute. Sit down for a bit to give your knee a rest.”

“Aden, sit with Madi while I talk to her sister.”

She was thankful her brother thought the world of her because he hardly ever put up a fight when she asked him to do something. And tonight was no different. He didn’t seem to mind talking to Madi, anyway.

Lexa looked back at Clarke, still unable to fully grasp the reality of tonight’s events.

“So what are the odds of this happening?”

“You and I meeting again?”

Lexa nodded. “Well, that. And the fact that it’s exactly ten years later and we both happen to be wearing the exact same costumes we were wearing that night. Unless....do you dress up as Supergirl every year?”

Clarke scoffed. “God no. I made a promise to Madi that she could pick my costume this year. And boy did I regret that. A grown ass girl running around in this ridiculous costume. I’m mortified.”

“Hey, I’m a grown ass girl running around in a costume, too.”

Clarke grinned. “Yeah, but you look really hot in it, if you don’t mind me saying.”

Lexa could feel her entire face go flush. “Well, you certainly fill out your costume pretty well, yourself. Besides, I’ve always had a soft spot for Supergirl. She was kind of my hero one night when I was freezing and miserable.”

Clarke smiled at the memory, suddenly looking rather nostalgic.

“I looked for you, you know. The following Halloween. I spent more time looking for you than I did getting candy with my friends,” admitted Clarke.

“I was sick that year. I begged my mom to let me go, but she refused. I wanted to look for you. I tried the following year.”

Clarke nodded. “That was the year I was visiting my grandparents.”

“And the year after that, I was sort of too old for trick-or-treating.” Lexa took a step closer. “I wanted to try other ways to find you, but without your name, it just wasn’t possible.”

“See? One of my top five regrets.” Clarke started digging through her bag and pulled out her phone. “What’s your number? I’ll text you mine. That way you’ll have it in case, God forbid, something forces us apart before we can say goodnight.”

“Probably a good idea.”

After exchanging numbers, Aden came up to them.

“Lexa, can Madi come trick-or-treating with us for the rest of the night? She’s really nice. Her sister can come, too.”

Lexa looked at Clarke and shrugged.

“What do you say? I think we have a lot of catching up to do. You want to go on a second date?”

Clarke smiled and bit her lip. “Was that one night our first date?”

“You gave me your jacket and it ended with a kiss. I’d say that was a date.”

Clarke reached out and took Lexa’s hand.

“Sure. I’ll go on a second date with you. Under one condition.”

“What’s that?”

“Our third date isn’t another ten years from now.”

Lexa smiled. “I’m hoping it’ll be tomorrow night.”

As they walked hand-in-hand, Clarke leaned over and whispered, “And I’m hoping it’ll end with another kiss.”