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Mile High

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Clarke squirmed in her seat, trying to find a more comfortable position. She fidgeted with the belt strap secured around her midriff, readjusting it several times to little satisfaction.

After five minutes of the useless dance, she sighed and gave up, throwing a look full of envy to the blissfully asleep lady in 10A. The woman had gone out like a burnt light bulb after one dry martini from the drink trolley and hadn’t stirred since. Clarke had never mastered the art of sleeping on planes, no matter the prescription for Ambien her mother periodically refilled for her. The drug made things worse in a way; she’d get drowsy and woolen-headed, drifting towards sleep but never quite getting there.

Several unsuccessful attempts later, Clarke had developed a mild resentment toward anyone who could so easily treat an airplane seat as if it were their bed.

Not that there really was a comfortable way to sleep in coach, and, working for the very airline she was flying on didn’t grant her any special privileges.

The distant, half-perceived glow of business class was the one source of light inside the darkened main cabin other than the washed out luminescence of the in-flight entertainment systems. It felt almost like catching a glimpse of a forbidden kingdom - and the heavy curtain between business and coach may as well have been a wall considering how impassable it was for those who could not pay for the privilege of venturing beyond. Clarke had worked shifts in business often enough to know that a lot of the things people said you got as part of the service were bullshit, but the spacious seats who could be converted into beds during long flights were real, and ten times more comfortable than a cramped economy seat.

And fuck, her sore back could use that.

Long flights never bothered her when she was working, but as a simple passenger she flew with a perpetual chip on her shoulder, so to speak.

She was used to being sardined inside a plane, the fact that crew was free to move about counterweighted by having to deal with spoiled alpha kids in business, or adults who should know better behaving worse than that. And it sure wasn’t the scent, even though that had given her some trouble in the beginning. The suppressants everyone took dampened the individual scents somewhat, and people weren’t allowed to fly during ruts and heats - one could easily get off a bus, but on a plane there was nowhere else to go. Still, the different scents could not be completely eliminated, despite the airplanes’ air recycling systems working for the entirety of a flight. Some scraps always lingered, an almost-there-smell that tickled the nose if one concentrated on it. It wasn’t musty, but not entirely pleasant either.

What it all boiled down to was idleness, Clarke had decided a while back, the six hours it took her to fly to see her mother twice a year feeling like a tunnel without exit. In a way she was glad, for while the trip seemed endless, she knew what waited for her on the other side. Year in year out her mother promised not to hound her about her career path, year in year out she invariably broke her promise.

It must be a hard pill to swallow for Abigail Griffin; full with all the natural arrogance of an alpha and Chief Surgeon of Arkadia’s most renown hospital, she was used to getting her way.

Too high strung to sleep and too headachy to read or watch one of the movies on the in-flight entertainment system, Clarke was condemned to see the plane around her grow still as people settled in to sleep after the complimentary dinner. It was small consolation that Raven was part of the crew for this flight, her friend stopping by briefly whenever she passed by her seat, but too busy to exchange more than a few whispered jokes, or complain about the drunk guy in back that every single flight they’d both ever been on seemed to have.

“Can’t sleep either, uh?”

The soft, feminine voice coming from across the aisle had Clarke grit her teeth. If there was one thing she hated more than flying off-duty, it was talkers. They were a certain breed of people who just assumed that, because you were stuck inside a tube shape piece of metal tearing through the skies, you wanted to talk to them. Headphones or a book often failed to be a deterrent, and, now that the woman had seen her move, Clarke could scarcely pretend to be asleep.

She half-twisted in her seat, a dismissive reply she hoped would convey her desire to be left alone already forming on her lips.

Words died on her lips the moment she connected the voice to a face.

Even in the uncertain, flickering light of the small TVs embedded in the back of every seat, Clarke could tell that the woman leaning across the isle was beautiful. The monitors’ bluish tinge merely rendered her features - which already seemed chiseled by an artist’s hand - diaphanous.

Clarke swallowed her retort back, gulping it down with difficulty under that magnetic stare. Eyes the deep green of a virgin forest pierced her own and, when she didn’t reply right away, the woman tilted her head to the side, curiosity and encouragement mixing on her face.

She was an alpha, Clarke was sure of it. Not because she could pick her scent out among that of all the other passengers, but because of how she held herself. The stranger radiated self-assurance, a kind of quiet dominance which would cause every head to turn whenever she entered a room.

At least *I* can’t take my eyes off her.

The thought blared through her dazed mind as loud as her alarm clock in the morning, and Clarke shook herself, snapping her mouth shut with a loud click when she realized she was gaping.

She cleared her throat, glad that the darkened cabin hid her furious blush.

“I guess,” she whispered back quickly, hoping to cover any stumbles. Her tongue felt thick, unyielding, and at least three sizes too big for her mouth. “I never can, really.”

“Good to know I’m not alone.” The woman reached out, offering her hand. “I’m Lexa by the way.”

“Clarke.”

The moment Lexa’s hand clasped hers, the handshake firm and measured, Clarke’s brain shit the bed again. The alpha - any shred of doubt about that had fled her mind - the alpha held her hand a moment longer that was proper, slender fingers curled around her own and effectively caging her without the need to grasp any tighter.

Lexa’s skin was warm against hers, the palm of her hand rough with callouses that told Clarke she either did some sort of manual work or lifted weights a lot and, suddenly, she was particularly glad for the stiff seat holding her back upright. She would have melted into a puddle otherwise.

Every hair on her body was trying to stand on end as if Clarke was a conduit for static, and her head felt light, all of her blood rushing elsewhere.

Southbound.

When Lexa let her hand go, eyes bright and all too knowing, Clarke could breathe a little easier, but only just. Her body was going through the shock of being dunk somewhere unexpected except it had been someplace blazing hot instead of icy.

Lexa’s face had been the perfect picture of composure throughout but, just as Clarke managed to tear her gaze away, busying herself with a tray that didn’t need adjusting, she caught a flash of white out of the corner of her eye.

It was most definitely a smirk but, when she turned her head and double checked, Lexa looked back placidly.

Clarke had the distinct impression she was being toyed with, that the alpha knew exactly what her touch had done to her. Brazen enough that people sometimes grew confused when she mentioned being an omega, Clarke was used to being the one doing the chasing. She did like a good game of cat and mouse if she was leading, but being prey left her uncomfortable. It hadn’t always been like that, but Finn had broken her heart, then curb stomped it for good measure, and Clarke had sworn she’d never let another alpha make her feel so vulnerable. The irritation she had managed to forget surged forward, making her blood boil, and the words she had previously discarded pressed against her teeth, ready to be unleashed.

Her scent must have spiked, because the woman sitting next to her, who had been sleeping like the dead thus far, stirred and whined softly, before setting down again. It was enough to bring Clarke back to her senses; she needed to control herself, especially now and especially here. She sat back, trying to take a deep breath, but her chest was tight with anger. There was something about the alpha that, judging by the way her panties were sticking to her sex, her omega quite liked, and Clarke didn’t know what to make of it. This is stupid, you barely know her name.

Her words rang hollow, and she had to press her thighs together to stop her clit from throbbing. It helped. Barely.

Her anger mounted, sizzling along her veins like molten wax and Clarke knew she needed to get as far away from the alpha as she could. Not out of feeling threatened, but to clear her mind, and hopefully unravel the giant knot that had formed at the mouth of her stomach.

“I need the restroom.” She hissed at nobody in particular, pawing at the seat belt buckle and standing with enough momentum she bruised her legs against the food tray.

Before traipsing down the aisle, she had time to register Lexa’s surprise, quickly replaced by a worried frown, Clarke’s seat was at the front of economy class but, rather than use the restrooms that were just two rows ahead, she made for the back of the plane, the soft glow of the galley guiding her.

Much to her dismay, the restroom was occupied.

Figures.

Clarke leant against the opposite wall, throwing a distracted look inside the well lit space where the crew heated up meals for the entire plane. The galley was currently empty, both people staffing economy class having moved up to business to help dispose of dinner leftovers. Gathering up the trays in business always took more time and care as the passengers there were afforded the luxury of actual plates and silverware. Besides, since alcohol was free for them, there was always someone sneaking in one last shot of bourbon before sleeping the rest of the way through the flight.

In Economy, people were lucky to get food for free, and that only for flights that lasted more than two hours. Arkadia Air, despite marketing itself as a better vector than the competition, skimped on everything it could, like everyone else in the industry did.

Clarke stopped her inner monologue with a grimace. She was thinking of everything that blazed through her sleep deprived brain, just to ignore what had prompted her to seek the relative solitude of the plane’s tail in the first place.

“She’s hot, isn’t she?”

The words were whispered right beside her ear, and Clarke jumped, letting out a yelp. Whirling around, eyes wide, she was met by one of Raven’s patented smug looks.

She opened her mouth to give her friend and colleague a piece of her mind, but the passengers closest to them had turned, a white-haired lady bringing a finger to her lips to intimate silence when she saw her staring.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Clarke whispered heatedly, letting Raven herd her into the galley

Her body picked that moment to call out the lie.

Another wave of slick soaked her panties, copious enough that some of it dripped past the fabric to dampen the inside of her thighs. Taking advantage of the little privacy the galley afforded her, Clarke pressed her legs together, shooting another glare Raven’s way.

The other omega stared back over the rim of a disposable cup. Her grin may be hidden now, but Clarke knew it was still there.

“I don’t know what you are talking about.” She repeated defensively, the words lacking heat. Clarke folded her arms across her chest as if she could hide behind the gesture.

“Sure thing, Griffin.” Raven sipped at her drink before continuing. “And there isn’t a bucket worth of drool under your seat right about now.”

“I wasn’t-! I didn’t-!” Clarke bristled, the flush creeping up her neck ruining the effect. Drool . Her mind completed. You did, and you know it.

“Maybe you didn’t,” Raven relented, draining her cup and tossing it in the trash,”but you stared, and gaped. And God, I can smell you Griffin.”

Clarke’s blush deepened, and she lowered her gaze.

“You saw everything?”

“The whole thing.” Raven confirmed, her tone softening. “Look, Clarke, I just meant to tease you a bit, but maybe you ought to take the chance?”

Clarke blinked, Raven’s words making her mind spiral in disbelief. Surely, she had misheard. She can’t possibly mean…

The Mile High Club was something every frequent flyer worth their salt knew about. People getting it on inside a plane, under the figurative noses of crews and other passengers alike. Once she’d learned how a plane actually worked, Clarke had scoffed at the notion, but there was always someone that knew somebody that had friend who’d managed to have sex on a plane. Sure enough, since sex was forbidden right alongside smoking in lavatories, a sufficient number of people must have tried .

Every crew member Clarke had worked with seemed to have stories too; some, like Monty and Jasper had gone as far as to boast about having managed it themselves, but she’d attributed their assertions to one too many beers and the posturing every beta and alpha engaged in when trying to impress an omega.

“Oh yeah.” Raven, who must have guessed her thoughts, nodded for emphasis. “A blanket and some fingering can go a long way. And, I’ll have you note, the seat next to hers is vacant.”

“You can’t be serious!” Clarke protested hotly. The blush warming her face, however, refused to go away, and she had to admit there was a certain thrill attached to Raven’s words. What her friend proposed was risky, but the images that were being conjured in her mind pleasingly jolted her spine.

“Totally am. Totally would work too.” At Clarke’s disbelieving noises, Raven laughed, clamping a hand over her mouth to muffle the sound. “I’m still working here, ain’t I?” Raven’s voice was disarmingly conversational, and Clarke sputtered, unable to form a coherent retort.

Fine .” She managed after some time. “Let’s pretend I take your advice into consideration, for a minute.” The click of the bathroom door unlocking made her pause, and she threw a look into the cabin, waiting until the man who’d been inside the lavatory was out of earshot before resuming.

“She’s an alpha , Raven.” She’d meant the statement as an end to her discussion, but apparently the other omega didn’t agree.

“Not every alpha is Finn.” Raven’s voice was so low that Clarke had to strain to hear the words. Coming from anyone else, that statement would have provoked her anger, but Raven understood her better than anyone else could. Finn was - no, he had been - their starting point, having duped them both into believing they were the one he meant to mate, while in truth he’d been sleeping with them both.

When they’d uncovered his deceit, Raven’s heart had broken alongside Clarke’s but, instead of pitting them against one another, the pain had helped them bond. When she allowed herself to linger on it, Clarke still felt it; the betrayal, the loss of trust, the gut-rotting fear that Finn had gone looking for something outside what she could give, because she hadn’t been enough .

Whoever had said that time healed all wounds was a fucking liar.

“Just think on what I said.” Raven touched her hand briefly, before squeezing past her to head back toward the front of the cabin. “If you change your mind, I’ll be happy to help.”

A parting wink, the brief flash of a grin and her friend was gone, leaving Clarke to the company of her troubled mind.

She had thought that, a bittersweet sort of ache aside, she had recovered from what Finn had done to her. There had been other people in her bed, but Clarke had to admit they had been nothing more than a series of short flings.

She wondered, perhaps honest with herself for the first time in a long while, whether she had been projecting without noticing.

Raven was right - not every alpha was going to be another Finn - but she was behaving like they were. He was long gone, cut off from hers and Ravens lives, but he influenced her still, like a ghost haunting her heart.

Remembering why she'd come to the back of the plane in the first place, Clarke stepped inside the lavatory, releasing the breath she had been holding as she slid the lock in place. The toilet was cramped, more a coffin than a bathroom but, aside from the small alcoves over the galley that the crew slept in during red-eye flights, it was the one solitary spot within the plane.

She squinted at her reflection, the neon strip above the mirror all too bright after the softer galley lights. It highlighted her every imperfection with unforgiving clarity, and Clarke grimaced, her thumb tracing the black circles that tiredness had dug under her eyelids. The blue of her eyes looked watery and dull, as if she had been crying.

It would make things easier in a way if she could. Instead, she forced herself to swallow past the lump of emotion constricting her throat, and pushed everything away, in a well-oiled coping mechanism she'd practiced since the death of her father, when she'd still been a pup.

Washing her face helped, but only just. It certainly didn’t improve her looks but, after toweling herself dry, Clarke found she could breathe easy again. She gave herself a last once over, combing her tousled hair as best as she could, then squared her shoulders and opened the door.

There was a certain alpha up front, whom she owed an apology to.

Chapter Text

The main cabin was just as she had left it, dark and - for the most part - soundly asleep. Clarke made her way back to her seat with much more care than when she’d left it: she would already find it hard to admit when she’d been wrong, or quick to judgment, and she’d rather do without an audience when she cleared the air with Lexa.

As she drew closer to her row, she noted that the alpha had turned on her overhead light, the narrow beam haloing the top of her head in white. Lexa wasn’t rising from her seat, or twisting around to sneak peeks toward the back of the plane, but Clarke had the impression that she was waiting for her to reappear.

She paused, wiping sweaty palms on the front of her jeans, and took another deep breath. There hadn’t been nearly enough time to rehearse what she meant to say, and now the words that had been crowding her mind just moments before, melted away like snow at the onset of spring.

When she got to her seat, Lexa looked up, relief flashing across her face before her sculpted features stilled. In direct light she looked even more beautiful than Clarke’s mind had painted her to be in semi-darkness. The alpha’s eyes were dark, serene pools in which it would take effort not to drown, and the curve of her lips seemed kind, her mouth more prone to smiles than the condescending, lascivious sneers Clarke had come to associate with her kind.

Under her study Lexa sat up straighter, leaning forward, and Clarke felt another blush blaze across her cheeks.

“Look-” The alpha began, hands playing with her seatbelt.

“I’m sorry, I-” Clarke’s mouth clicked shut, and she had to stifle a nervous giggle. Lexa was smiling too, her mouth working noiselessly as if she wasn’t quite sure whether she should resume or let Clarke speak first.

“Move over.” Clarke grumbled, gesturing for Lexa to move to the empty seat next to hers, “we’ll talk better if I sit next to you.”

She could almost feel Raven’s eyes on hers as she said that, and could definitely picture her smirk.

Lexa obeyed without question, and Clarke lowered herself into the seat the alpha had been previously occupied. She regretted it instantly; despite the suppressants she could smell Lexa everywhere on it, and the heat the alpha’s body had left behind seeped under her skin, adding fuel to the flames that were already burning inside her.

She was attracted to Lexa in a way she couldn’t quite explain, with a clenching of the heart that went well beyond a possible one night stand. They had exchanged but a handful of words, so few in fact that Clarke could easily count each individual one, but shockwaves ran through her whenever the alpha’s eyes met hers.

When Lexa’s eyes zeroed in on her, the air seemed to grow electric and the world faded to something distant and unimportant. Life had taught Clarke to not believe in love at first sight, but here she recognized the signs.

A sane person would return to their seat and ignore the alpha for the rest of the flight, before they got down the plane in a hurry and let the bustling airport swallow them. Yet here she was, about to make the one mistake she’d promised herself she’d never make again.

“If I overstepped in any way, I apologize.” Lexa kept her voice to a low whisper, the words gentle as they rolled out of her mouth. She was looking at Clarke with genuine concern, and again she had the impression that, right in that moment, she was the only one worth of attention in the alpha’s world. It made her inner omega purr in delight. Nobody had ever looked at Clarke that way: not the men and women that had warmed her bed over time, their gazes barely meeting hers as they left in a hurry the morning after, and certainly not Finn.  

At the time, Clarke had really believed he was the one, and only after she was tasked with cleaning up the shattered mess he’d made of her heart, had she realized that the looks she had mistaken for love and adoration were nothing but the worst kind of possessiveness. To Finn she had been something to adorn himself with. He’d changed between her and Raven the same way someone would change coats, and, when they’d finally faced him and demanded he’d finally be truthful with them both, Finn had run with his tail between his legs. Sometimes Clarke wondered if he was doing it all over again to other unsuspecting omegas.

The traitorous lump that always clogged her throat at such thoughts resurfaced, and Clarke clutched the seat’s armrests in a white-knuckled grip. She gripped the cheap plastic until it dug into her palms and made her hands hurt, her heart racing so fast that she could taste its beat, like an unwelcome heaviness atop her tongue.

“It’s not you.” Clarke choked past the tightening of her throat. “You did nothing wrong.”

How could she explain? How could she tell Lexa that all it had taken to tear down defences she had thought impenetrable had been a touch of the alpha’s hand? One thing was realizing she had been deluding herself for years in believing that she was strong and her heart was safe, and that no matter what she’d never let herself be swayed by the promises bedding an alpha entailed. Admitting that she’d been a fool out loud, was an entirely different story.

Somehow the words crowding her mind took a life of their own, flooding her mouth until all Clarke could do was let them flow and fill the space between them.

She watched herself tell Lexa of her pain and her past as if she were in the throes of lucid-dreaming. Her startled reflection, blue eyes wide with shock and horrified disbelief stared back from the darkened  screen of the entertainment system, but Clarke couldn’t stop talking or take her eyes away from the unfolding disaster.

“And I guess it threw me off how much I like you.” She heard herself finish, the roar of blood in her ears adding a tinny quality to her voice.

Oh no. Oh no, no, no, NO! If Lexa hadn’t thought her crazy before, she certainly would now.

Clarke covered her face with her hands and groaned.

***

Lexa blinked, taking some time to absorb everything Clarke had said. The omega had whispered her story in a rush as if she were afraid that floundering would make her take everything back. The stunned expression she had worn through the deluge, told Lexa that the late night confession wasn’t meant to happen. She found herself the witness of some terrible catastrophe, like the collapsing of a dam under the unrelenting force of flooding water. She could see the tide approach, but she couldn't move to get away from it.

In truth, she wasn't sure she wanted to.

There had been a quiver to Clarke's voice as she spoke, which she managed to detect despite the hushed tone of the omega’s voice. It spoke of a pain long past but not forgotten, the wound that had caused it still not healed. Her inner alpha rumbled in displeasure but, rather than silence it, Lexa let anger swell inside her. It was a pity she’d never have the chance to teach this Finn a lesson or two.

She ached to take Clarke’s hands into her own and pull them away from her face. It wasn’t Lexa’s place to comfort the omega, but she yearned to wipe away the tears she knew Clarke was trying to hide, and whisper in her ear that everything would be alright despite the damage having been already done.

“I want you too.”

Lexa sputtered and turned the words into a cough. “Like you.” She raised her voice just enough to make it firm. “I like you too.”

Perhaps Clarke hadn't caught on to her blunder.

She shot a careful glance to the omega and clamped her teeth around a whine. Clarke had dropped her hands to her lap and was staring at her, her face suffused with red. The blush didn’t stop at her cheeks, but somehow seeped into her gaze and made her blue eyes sparkle even as she lowered them, suddenly shy and demure.

Lexa could only watch, totally enthralled, as the omega worried her lower lip between her teeth, fingers fretting on the clasp of her seatbelt. Her lips were full, looked soft, and Lexa wondered how it would be to cup her face right then and kiss her.

Which you won’t do, because you’ve already embarassed her enough.

Another alpha wouldn’t have cared about that; too many still looked at unmated omegas like property-in-waiting they could just win over with one whiff of alpha pheromones. Sure, some things had changed and omegas now mated later in life than previous generations, some even choosing not to mate at all, but the idea that an omega was truly fulfilled only after finding a mate and bearing pups still lingered unpleasantly, like a guest having overstayed their welcome.

Lexa had lost a few friends over it, especially in college. At the time it had hurt to see people she’d shared a lot with. choosing to hold on to outdated views as they walked away from her. There had been a lot of self-doubt too; nights spent tossing and turning in bed as she wondered if there was something wrong with her, like some of her former friends had told her, their sneers full of contempt.

The day she’d met Costia, things had clicked into place for Lexa and, even though it had not worked out between them, she had come away from their relationship reassured that she’d been right to stand her ground. She’d been protective of the quiet omega girl who had so easily taken residence inside her heart, but never considered he as something that she owned . When Costia had told her she wanted to move somewhere Lexa wasn’t willing to follow, it would have been easy to mark her and forcibly keep her by her side. Instead, they’d talked about it and set one another free, knowing that the empty space the other had left inside their heart would ache for years to come.

Her different way of thinking may have set her apart but, while she’d agonized over it before, Lexa was now proud of it.

“I want you.”

Clarke’s words jolted her in her seat, and Lexa straightened, not sure she’d heard her right. She wondered briefly if the moment she had noticed Clarke, the omega sitting despondent and a bit bored at the gate while they waited to board the flight, was always meant to bring them to this.

To confess their attraction for one another, the fact they knew nothing of their respective lives making the whole thing seem… almost forbidden in a way. She could almost believe she’d fallen asleep, her encounter with Clarke nothing but a dream, if it weren’t for the omega’s tantalizing smell.

This close, it made its way into Lexa’s lungs despite the suppressants everyone was required to take by law, the scent that of the fields in which she’d spent such a large part of her youth. If she closed her eyes she was transported there; to rolling hills over which wheat grew as high as a man was tall under July’s beating sun, the landscape swallowed by a sea as golden as Clarke’s hair under the overhead light.

Before she could stop herself, Lexa had inhaled deeply, nostrils flaring and mouth hanging slightly open. Realizing what she was doing, she snapped her teeth together, hard enough to make them hurt but, while she’d expected to read disgust in Clarke’s eyes at the blatant display of alpha behavior, she found instead a rapt expression plastered all over her face.

The omega was clearly scenting her back, one hand still on her lap, while the other spasmodically gripped the armrest between them as if she were trying to keep herself from touching Lexa.

On a whim she reached down, her hand covering Clarke’s and squeezing lightly. The omega’s skin was hot against hers, almost feverish, and the air grew heavy and still around them as soon as they touched.

For a moment nothing happened, Clarke motionless as she peered into Lexa’s face. Under that unwavering blue stare she couldn’t breathe, the fine hair on the nape of her neck trying to stand on edge.

“You know,” she croaked weakly once she found her voice, “we could be like normal people and grab a coffee or something when we touch down.”

“No.” Clarke bit her lip and shook her head. “I want you. Here. Now.”

To that, Lexa could only nod her assent, her mouth and throat too dry to speak.

***

Clarke watched Lexa’s mouth work, satisfaction flaring inside her chest at seeing the alpha more than a little wrongfooted. The quiet self-assurance was still there, visible despite the blush that had invaded Lexa’s face, but the more she and the brunette talked, the surer Clarke was that this particular alpha was of a different nature. She wasn’t dominant in the traditional sense of the word, but rather chose to use the strength she had to shelter others. Perhaps that was part of the reason Clarke was so drawn to her.

She’d learned to be strong all the time, but it was tiring. Clarke had let what had happened with Finn govern the rest of her existence, living in some sort of tense, highly-strung alert, always on the lookout for the next betrayal. That was why it was easier for her to pick up strangers at a bar in between shifts, in different towns from that in which she lived. Nobody knew her there and she could use the next flight as an excuse to kick them out of bed and away from her heart come morning.

It was the same reasoning that had led her to refuse Lexa’s offer. Maybe shagging each other first was not the right way to go, but right now Clarke felt vulnerable enough to let the alpha in beyond the physical. Left to her own devices for the rest of the flight, with enough hours to mull the situation over a thousand times, Clarke knew she would return to her old habits. Back to the sanity of the ground, it’d be much easier to dismiss this moment of weakness as a crush brought on by boredom and walk away.

Whatever plan she came up with, she’d need Raven’s help to see it through, and her friend had been too adamant about this alpha being potentially good for her to let Clarke walk away from Lexa at touchdown.

“So…” Lexa’s hand was still on hers, and the alpha seemed to take reassurance in the fact Clarke hadn’t moved away. “how do you...how do you want to go about it?”

“Oh, I think I have an idea.”

Holding Lexa’s gaze with her own, Clarke reached over with her free hand and pushed the call button.

***

“You know the blanket and fingering idea?”

Raven served them soft drinks they hadn’t asked for, grinning when they both blushed.

“What about it?” Clarke took a sip of coke, hoping it would cool her down a little, and grimaced at the flat taste. The paper cup made for a poor hiding place from Raven’s amused stare, but she took what she could get, trying to make herself a little smaller behind it.

Raven would make sure Clarke didn’t just run from Lexa out of fear, but tease her plenty in the meantime. Whether that was a good tradeoff, she hadn’t yet decided.

Based from the squirms and the little grumbling noises she was making, Lexa wasn’t faring much better.

“Well, I totally forgot that Nia is in charge of business upfront, so that option’s out.”

Clarke groaned. She hadn’t spotted the haughty woman upon boarding and, since she wasn’t working this flight, she had definitely not bothered to check the roster beforehand.

Arkadia Air was by no means a big company, mainly operating domestic flights in codeshare with United, which meant that, among staff, everyone pretty much knew everyone else.

Standoffish in nature - when not openly arrogant - Nia had been nicknamed “the Ice Queen” and everyone who’d ever flown a shift with her agreed it was a well earned moniker. Chances were she wouldn’t even deign to poke her nose in Economy, but she had an uncanny talent for getting other staffers into trouble.

After all, Raven’s epithets of choice when it came to Nia were far less PG-13.

“Then this is it.” Clarke gave a little shrug, trying to hide her disappointment. She hadn’t thought she’d feel so strongly about this, but Lexa hadn’t let go of her hand, and Clarke imagination was running wild. She couldn’t help but think of the alpha’s strong fingers making their way under her clothes and touching everywhere. A shiver coursed down her spine, heat gathering at the apex of her thighs and making her lower belly clench. She was sure Lexa hadn’t noticed, but Raven shot her a knowing look, and Clarke titled her head away to glare back.

The other omega huffed back a snort, and gathered their empty glasses.

“You give up too easily. I didn’t say you couldn’t get it on, just that you need to find a different way.”

“Raven,” Clarke threw her friend a long-suffering look that promptly went ignored, “we’re on a plane, it’s not like there’s many options.”

“Planes have bathrooms.” Raven’s tone was that of someone pointing out the sky is blue. “Of course, you’ll have to use the one in the back.”

Lexa, who had simply watched the exchange unfold, leaned forward, shoulder pressing reassuringly against Clarke’s. Hot breath tickled Clarke’s cheek, the ghost-touch of Lexa’s lips against her earlobe making her shiver again as the alpha whispered in her ear.

“I’m game if you are.”

Oh great, now I have to choose.

The bathroom would be a tight fit, in more ways than one but, if they were quiet, it was doable. It didn’t occur to Clarke that, if discovered, she would risk her job, despite being off-duty. Rather, she briefly entertained the thought, but chose to ignore the lone voice yelling reason inside her head. The rest of her brain had nothing to object, too busy thinking of Lexa to do anything else.

“Okay.” She agreed quickly, before the little courage she had left deserted her. “What’s the plan?”

Raven’s eyes glittered with mischief.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

Chapter Text

If the bathroom had reminded Clarke of a coffin before, with the two of them squeezed inside it, the space became positively cramped.

They’d snuck their way to the back of the plane separately, stealing around like thieves. Clarke had gone first – heart thumping so fiercely inside her chest that she could almost taste its beat – feeling as nervous as if she was working through an emergency landing the whole time. Everyone around was still mostly fast asleep, or absorbed in their entertainment of choice, yet the imagined, combined pressure of their gazes was a sort of pinch between her shoulder blades. The sensation was purely in her head, but Clarke could not help and stop every few rows, throwing guarded glances all around the darkened cabin.

Nobody was paying her any attention – after all a near constant pilgrimage of passengers towards the toilet was a common sight on long haul flights – but the sensation accompanied her all the way. At one point, she got so caught up in it that she bumped into a sleeping passenger. Cursing internally, and trying her best to look nonplussed, Clarke muttered an apology as she shimmied by, but the man simply shifted in his seat and two steps later he was snoring again, louder than before.

Finally she made it to her destination and, hurried along by Raven, slipped inside the bathroom.

They had agreed beforehand that Raven would be close at hand in the galley: she was to be there anyhow to heat up food for breakfast service and, to anyone bothering to look, she’d simply appear intent on her job. It would have been far more suspicious to have them stand guard for them outside the toilet door.

A toilet that, if everything went according to plan, Raven would lock them into, on the grounds that it was “supposedly” out of order.

“As long as you two manage to keep quiet.” Her friend had smirked at them somewhat maniacally as she outlined her plan. “I can’t really pass moans as a noise any working engine should be making.”

While she waited for Lexa inside the bathroom, Clarke had sufficient time to let herself be eaten up by doubt. What if they got caught? What if the other woman suddenly got cold feet?

Lexa’s arrival was providential and, in fact, Clarke had been so lost along the downward spiral of her thoughts that her appearance made her jump a little.

The alpha was no taller than she, even though the aura of self-assurance that surrounded her made it seem that way – but a touch broader at the shoulders than she was and had to sort of work her frame through the tight entrance.

Wonder what other tight entrances she’s adept at working her way into.

Heat shot down Clarke’s spine at the stray thought, and right to her core. She had to stifle a small whimper - by biting the inside of her cheek hard enough her whole mouth began to sting - and quickly averted her gaze. Her face, when she caught a glimpse of it in the bathroom mirror, was flushed a bright, almost virulent shade of red, and her eyes were wide and dark, and full to the brim with lust.

The blush spread from her face to her neck and well below her collarbone. On one hand, Clarke was glad she’d chosen comfortable, non-revealing clothes for the flight. On the other, the heat her body was producing had turned to the sweltering one of a desert, and she could feel the fabric of her t-shirt stick unpleasantly to her skin. In other circumstances – namely if she’d listened to Lexa’s reasonable suggestion of grabbing coffee ( and perhaps find a hotel room ) once they landed – Clarke would have undressed, but here there would be none of that. What was to happen between the two of them would be quick and maybe rough and most likely a little more than dirty.

The omega inside her thrilled at the prospect.

Struggling to refocus, Clarke returned her attention to Lexa. She meant to ask the alpha how she planned to go at it, but the question dried up on her tongue – along with the rest of her mouth - and she swallowed hard instead. Not even the click of the toilet being locked from the outside could tear Clarke away from her mesmerized study of the other woman.

Despite the dim light offered by the entertainment monitors in the main cabin, she’d already been able to tell that Lexa was beautiful. But here, the glare of the neon strip above the mirror left no room for doubt. The alpha’s eyes caught the light and seemingly refracted it, their green growing in intensity as she met Clarke’s gaze with a hungry one of her own.

Lexa’s hair was well below shoulder-length but, where Clarke’s had frizzled and knotted over the long hours of travel, hers fell in soft, caramel-tinted curls that looked artfully tousled.

Clarke’s cheeks burned all the harder as she took in the alpha’s attire. Lexa must have been flying for business, because she wore a suit that, while simple, had clearly been tailored for her. Clarke couldn’t help but notice the way it hugged the alpha’s body, clinging in all the right places, flowing looser at the hips, and the simple button up Lexa had picked out to complement it was a shade of smoky grey-green that perfectly matched her eyes.

By comparison she felt as if she’d just tumbled out of bed after a particularly awful night. It seemed to Clarke that there was nowhere safe for her to look. Staring into the mirror was out of the question: it would only serve as a stark reminder of how inadequate she felt. Looking back at Lexa was equally dangerous: the heat suffusing her body had coiled inside her lower belly – a white-hot snake with countless heads, ready to wrap around her spine at any moment.

The warmth pervading her had now become quite pleasant: her skin prickled with each new wave of it, her senses heightened despite the suppressants in her system. Whenever Clarke was on heat-blockers, which was all the time since she hadn’t cared to experience a cycle since Finn, scents were pale and muted. Washed out like they’d been rained away by an unexpected downpour. While most omegas she knew hated being on suppressants for too long a time, for Clarke it made things easier. Considering how many hours she spent on planes, it certainly helped her in her job.

But what had worked just fine in the main cabin didn’t seem to apply inside such a confined space. Something untamed exuded from Lexa, something wild and dangerous in an exhilarating sort of way. In the neon’s white glow, Clarke fancied she could almost see a nimbus of pheromones surround the other woman.

Before her brain could register what her body was doing and attempt to put a stop to it, Clarke had leaned forward, her nose inches away from the curve of Lexa’s jaw. Here the alpha’s scent was even stronger, so much so that it made her head spin.

The muskiness reached deep into her lungs, and Clarke felt herself sway in place as her knees grew weak. She didn’t have to turn toward the mirror to picture which expression must have descended on her face. Slack-jawed, lips quivering a breath away from Lexa’s smooth, warm skin, the blue of her eyes dimming as desire glazed over them. It was the pheromone-struck look she’d seen a million times before on horny alphas.

She remembered scenting Lexa back in the main cabin, but that had been discreet in comparison for the wanton abandon she was displaying now.

Anyone doing the same to her would have earned a well-placed slap but, to her omega’s delight, Lexa was scenting her back. The softest of rumbles tumbled from the alpha’s lips then she leaned forward. Copying Clarke’s posture, the other woman sniffed along Clarke’s jaw, her damp breath drawing goosebumps as it skidded across sweat-slicked skin.

When Clarke risked a look at Lexa’s face, she found that her eyes had fluttered shut, contentment and primitive, bottomless hunger flitting across her features.

The intimacy of the shared moment sent a violent shiver down her spine. Heat needled her thighs with a sharpness she’d never experienced before, and arousal spread from her core everywhere else, trickles of it dripping past her underwear.

The thought that she ought to pull away buzzed at the back of her mind, like a mosquito she wanted to swat away. She tried to think of an apology, but words slipped from her mind’s grip like too fine sand and instead she blinked stupidly, Lexa’s closeness too overwhelming to do anything else.

The air inside the toilet had grown still and stifling with their scents but, the more she breathed of it, the more Clarke wanted. How can they not know what’s going on? The thought skipped across the surface of her  mind, barely leaving any ripples in its wake. It seemed that the voice of reason had been silenced for good: only electricity remained, lightning sparking over her skin.

Oh God…

The plane seemed to tilt beneath her feet and Clarke threw a hand out, intending to steady herself against the wall. Cloth and firm flesh met her grasping fingers instead, and she gasped, her eyes flying open.

Lexa stared back at her, as wide-eyed as Clarke was sure that she must be.

“I’m sorry, I-“ Clarke barely recognized her own voice. It had climbed at least an octave higher. Breathy. “I didn’t mean- I shouldn’t have-“ She made to take her hand away, but the alpha’s strong fingers covered her own, trapping her in place.

A moment later Lexa had stepped into her space - not that she had far to go at all - and they were kissing with a fierceness that left Clarke panting and short of breath. The alpha’s arm snaked around her waist and she found herself plastered against Lexa’s shuddering frame.

Clarke kissed back just as hard: it was a spur of the moment kind of thing, a mad rush that would have swept her off her feet had there been somewhere for her to fall to. In her haste to cup Lexa’s face she knocked her elbow against the soap dispenser: white-hot pain laced through her arm and made her hiss even as she crushed their mouths together with abandon.

Teeth bumped against teeth and there was a moment of confusion during which they almost broke apart. It was awkward and yet exhilarating to feel Lexa’s mouth curve up into a smile against her own.

Slowing down a little helped and Clarke allowed precedence to Lexa, her fingers mapping the alpha’s jawline as the kiss deepened. She didn’t feel demeaned by it: the alpha had not demanded what she was more than freely giving. Lexa’s tongue stroked along her own and licked the inside of her mouth with an assurance that had Clarke melt on her feet.

With each expert movement of her tongue Lexa coaxed the the rest of Clarke’s resistance out of her. She almost moaned, but the sharp bite of the alpha’s fingers at the nape of her neck reminded her that she couldn’t.

A tiny noise escaped her anyhow: a sigh that Lexa eagerly devoured.

Whatever qualms Clarke may have felt before dripped away from her like water, and the momentary emptiness they left behind was filled, more than readily, by swelling need.

Need wasn’t the only thing swelling between them: something warm and firm pressed into her upper thigh and, when she pushed against it experimentally, it was Lexa’s turn to suffocate a moan.

“Fuck.” The curse word was an exhale shared between them.

She’s so hard already. Clarke completed mentally, her every instinct demanding that she keep grinding against Lexa’s bulge, if only to see how long it’d take for the alpha to lose all semblance of control and tear what layers of fabric she could out of the way.

It was all too easy for Clarke to imagine how it’d feel to have the same firmness pushing against her thigh thrust inside her instead: Spear into her deeply, her cunt deliciously stretched around its girth until the fine line between pleasure and pain was met. The thought was enough to make her clench. How does Raven expect me to stay quiet? Clarke rested her forehead against Lexa’s. She felt feverish, or maybe it was the other woman’s skin that burned against her own. I shouldn’t have listened to her. This is crazy. It’s-

But Lexa was kissing her again, and her mind short-circuited.

The warm heat of Lexa’s breath inside her mouth made Clarke feel alive. She was driven to new heights of desire by the alpha’s closeness, a tingling sensation spreading from her lips to the rest of her body. Electricity sparked up and down her spine and she writhed in the alpha’s grasp, like a live wire which had fallen onto the ground.

Had they been anywhere else, she would have ripped Lexa’s clothes off of her back until she could touch the skin beneath. The rest of the plane may have somewhat receded from her mind but, even in the small bubble they had managed to find for themselves with Raven’s help, Clarke was aware they had little time for foreplay and less for the slow, leisurely exploration that she fantasized about.

With that knowledge like a set of teeth incessantly gnawing at the edge of her thoughts, Clarke contented herself with more kissing and let her hold on Lexa’s shoulder slacken.

Practically molded to the alpha as she was, there was no need for her to seek support. Lexa’s firm grip on the nape of her neck was enough to keep her upright while leaving her enough wiggle room for the little exploring she dared allow herself.

Under her fingers, the fabric of Lexa’s shirt was soft, and cool when compared to her fevered skin. Yet it was nowhere near thick enough to shield her from the alpha’s burning heat. It radiated from the woman in waves, hotter than an open furnace and left a sort of itch on Clarke’s own flesh as if she’d fallen asleep under the sun.

“Clarke…”

She’d never thought it would be possible for her to taste her own name, but she found herself drinking it as it spilled from Lexa’s mouth to hers. Clarke’s head spun, her body drunk with it and thirsting for more. She wanted to hear Lexa call it again, to see how far she could push the alpha’s limits before Lexa was forced to choke back a scream.

It was a scary thought, yes, and the way the other woman had so easily torn down all her defenses by merely being in her shared space troubling for sure, but Clarke would think about consequences later.

Later she would think about… About what, exactly? She tried to snort the silly thoughts away but her mind had latched onto half-formed, embryonal possibilities, refusing to let go. Coffee dates and hotel rooms and, eventually, the normalcy of a routine she had not known for years.

Not now.

Now she was too intoxicated on the joining of their bodies to care for anything else, and the danger of discovery seemed trivial.

Her fingers completed their descent and came to rest on the stiffness at the front of Lexa’s pants. The alpha rumbled in response, so softly it was almost like a purr and, enraptured as she was, the heavy, hopeful leap of Clarke’s heart went completely unnoticed.

It was mirrored, however, by the eager twitch of Lexa’s bulge against her fingertips.

Clarke gasped and, feeling another blush ignite her cheeks, used a lone finger to outline the alpha’s straining erection through the fabric that was concealing it so poorly. She was certainly not inexperienced nor, usually, this shy, but perhaps the awareness that only a thin partition separated them from more than a hundred other people hadn’t slipped from her mind as entirely as she had thought.

Lexa’s eyes widened and her mouth hung – almost comically – open as she fought to gulp down air.

Desire darkened the green of her irises to midnight black, her pupils blown so wide that only a trace of their vivid green remained visible. A thin, outer ring besieged by darkness, which was completely swallowed the moment Clarke’s hand covered Lexa’s crotch to stroke more firmly.

“Please….Clarke…” The pitch of the alpha’s voice had considerably lowered, her words distorted by a half-swallowed whine. It grated like sandpaper across Clarke’s skin and made her shiver. Elation burst through her like current from a battery and, inside her chest, her omega let loose a joyful howl. Clarke buzzed all over from the sheer, momentous understanding that she – quite literally – held the alpha in her hands.

“Clarke…” Urgency tinged her name this time.

Lexa’s hand at the back of her neck was moved away, and the alpha reached behind her to brace herself against the wall. Her eyes sought Clarke’s out, their plea silent, but quite clear.

No more stalling. Clarke nodded, making short work of Lexa’s belt and buttons. We’ve wasted enough time as it is.

Just as she discovered that Lexa was wearing boxers open at the front, it hit her that there may not be enough room inside the bathroom for actual fucking.

She shrugged away a pang of disappointment: having Lexa in any way beat not having her at all.

The first brush of fingers against bare skin brought another hiss to the alpha’s lips. Lexa had lowered her head almost to Clarke’s shoulder, her hair cascading forward to cast her face in shadow. Her breath came in short, labored bursts and itched and slowed in time with the motions of Clarke’s hand.

When she closed it around Lexa’s cock to tug it free of the boxers’ confines for better access, Lexa’s breath halted completely. Rather, she sucked a lungful of air in – so hard it whistled through her teeth – then when Clarke was about to ask her if she was okay, let it out all at once. It buffeted Clarke’s cheek and tickled her neck like wind, making her hide her face against the mass of Lexa’s hair to mute a soft giggle.

The alpha’s body gave a violent shudder against her own, bringing Clarke back to her task  She pumped her hand up as slowly as she dared, and closed her eyes to savor the sensation.

Lexa felt hot in her hand, thick and marvelously heavy. Clarke had thought she would regret not being able to see what she was doing, but quickly realized that she could picture it just fine. The alpha’s heartbeat thumped steadily against the palm of her hand, the pulsing sensation increasing the closer Clarke’s fingers moved toward the tip. When she rubbed her thumb along the flaring edge of Lexa’s cockhead, the alpha actually whimpered - right into her ear.

Clarke didn’t know if the noise carried, and neither did she care. She was too busy running her fingers all over the warm length of Lexa’s cock. The alpha’s hips gave a forward jerk in search of more contact, and Clarke happily obliged. She pumped her fist up and down again, a bit faster, a touch harder this time, amazed at how slick with pre-come the shaft already was.

Not that she should be overly surprised: her own arousal was overflowing and spilling down the inside of her thighs. There was so much of it that she could smell it - layered and mixed with Lexa’s - and it held the same metallic tang of lightning striking the ground.

I wonder what she tastes like. Again Clarke mentally lamented the lack of room. Or how she’ll feel inside me.

Her thoughts were echoed a moment later by Lexa. The alpha whispered, rough and ardent, into her ear. Her lips were pressed right to it, what she said transporting Clarke someplace else entirely.

“God, you feel so good.” Lexa whimpered between an inhale and the next. “I wish I could feel your heat around my cock. Your mouth...your….” Clarke squeezed a bit too hard around the base and Lexa faltered. “Fuck, Clarke… please, don’t stop. Please-”

She had no intention to. She wanted to stroke Lexa to release, and the plane could be crashing to the ground for all she cared. They had to jostle around a little as she increased the pace - and somehow she managed to hit her head this time - and everything felt a bit haphazard, with Lexa panting with need in her ear, but nothing could have torn Clarke away right then.  

The alpha had grown, if possible, even harder under her touch. They were angled a bit differently now and Clarke risked a glace between them, unable to suffocate a whine at what she saw. Lexa’s cock was absolutely glistening with pre-come, every vein, ridge and little detail standing out in stark relief. Clarke’s hand was completely covered in slick too and, as she watched, more pearlescent droplets spurted from the head.

“Close.” Lexa groaned and pressed her open mouth to her neck. “Close…”

A wave of dizziness swept over Clarke as she felt the alpha’s teeth graze lightly against her skin. Her thighs parted instinctively and her mouth, which had been watering at the sight of Lexa’s erection, dried up again.

She didn’t know who between the two of them had the presence of mind to do it, but paper towels were pressed into her other hand. Understanding parted through the fog addling her mind and she wrapped the towel around the cockhead as delicately as she could, just as the first, heavy jet of come drooled from it. The orgasm raced through Lexa like a storm, and Clarke’s bones shook right alongside her.

Despite the paper towel, some of the overflow leaked down to the floor with a steady dripping noise. Clarke was too caught up in the moment to worry about the fact they’d need to clean after themselves and, when Lexa’s fingers pulled at waist of her pants, unable to think past the clenching of her cunt.

“....Out of order?” Nia’s clipped tones doused the fire that burned inside her as if it had never existed. “Why was I not informed?”

Clarke and Lexa could only stare in abject horror as the door handle began to turn.