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I Take My Heart out of My Chest (Tell Me You Are Here to Stay)

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Bellamy goes to Mt. Weather and Clarke goes to Lexa.

The constant council meetings had kept them in the Grounder camp for days but with their plan actually set in action there was a startling pocket of down time. Clarke isn’t sure what she’s supposed to do now. Are they going to head back to their respective camps and wait for contact, or are they supposed to stay together, and most importantly, is she really supposed to sit idly by and pretend she isn’t scared shitless for Bellamy and Lincoln?

“Clarke.” Lexa says in greeting when she walks into her tent. The official one where people talk to her, that is; Clarke hasn’t seen the tent she actually sleeps in yet. “What can I do for you?”

Clarke isn’t sure. She isn’t sure what she’s here to talk about, really. When she doesn’t answer Lexa looks up, her eyes washed of makeup and deeply focused. She doesn’t look half as tired as Clarke feels, who can barely keep her eyes open. Obviously her endurance, much like her ability not to love, is much stronger than Clarke’s.

“I’m surprised you allowed your boy to go with Lincoln to the mountain.” Lexa says, finally. “It’s a risk.”

“He’s not- my boy.” Clarke frowns. “And you’re the one who told me love is weakness. I can’t let personal feelings get in the way of our best option.” Lexa nods, considering.

“And that’s ok with you?” Lexa asks. Always at the heart of the matter in seconds. How does she know? Clarke holds up her facade for another moment before it slips away.

“How can it be?” Clarke whispers, “I can’t just turn it off and stop caring. I can’t do that.”

“You’ll have to learn.” Lexa says, not without sympathy. “For the good of your people, you’ll have to learn.”

Learn to live without love. Clarke’s throat tightens. “Sounds like a lonely life.”

“Depends on what kind of love you’re looking for.” Lexa gestures for Clarke to join her at the table. “Love for your mother, your friends, your...Bellamy; all good in moderation. It will keep you striving, keep you focused on your goal. But too much and it will blind you. Emotions make it a most dangerous game. That is the love to be wary of.”

Clarke nods. All in moderation. She thinks about Bellamy, attempting assassination to be with his sister, and then sacrificing 300 lives just to stay with her; about Raven falling to earth in a could-be coffin to be with the boy she loved, begging Clarke only nights ago to start a war over his life. A part of her wishes she could love like that.

“Then there is physical love.” Lexa continues. “A much safer bet, if you must have something.”

“Physical love?” Clarke repeats, pulling herself out of her thoughts.

“The act of being with another person.” Lexa explains. She watches Clarke curiously. “I assume you are at an age where this is not a mysterious subject?”

“Oh.” Clarke blushes. “Yes, no. I understand.” She catches Lexa’s drift but it only fills her with bittersweet memories of Finn, and by extension, Raven.

“I need to go.” She decides, standing. For some reason she really doesn’t want to discuss sleeping with people with Lexa. Lexa smiles a little and gives her permission to exit with a wave of her hand.

“Think on what I’ve said.” She calls after Clarke. “If not one of your people, than one of mine. I’m sure your friend Octavia can vouch for the skills of my men.” There’s laughter in her voice and it makes Clarke want to turn around and see the laughter on her face, but she doesn’t.

//

She goes back to the Camp Jaha, and it’s too days before she reconsiders Lexa’s advice. Bellamy and Lincoln are still gone without communication. Raven is glued to her radio, and Clarke thinks she’s going to lose her mind if she doesn’t find a distraction. The only problem is, she doesn’t actually know any of the men in Camp Jaha. Expect for-

She finds Wick in the Mechanics tent and doesn’t let him say anything before she’s kissing him. He makes a muffled sound but kisses back and it’s fine for a moment, until his lips and chest against hers make her think of Finn, and then his face his swimming behind her eyelids and bile threatens the base of her throat and she pulls back retching.

“Woah, ok, first of all, you kissed me, and second, I am not that bad of a kisser.” Wick says indignantly as Clarke puts her hands on her knees and groans. The flash of Finn is gone but the foul feeling remained.

“It’s not you, Wick.” Clarke says, leaving, “Believe me, it’s me.”

Physical love, Lexa had said. Big help that was when all her experiences in that field were so tied up with her damn emotions.

//

She ends up taking Lexa up on her offer, of having a Trigedakru man, because she can’t go the rest of her life kissing boys and thinking of Finn.

The mans name is Tristan and when she kisses him she thinks of Finn. She has to push him away, and this time she cries.

Tristan leaves and Clarke cries herself to sleep, to the sound of Ravens voice, two tents over, repeating, “This is Raven, this is Camp Jaha, do you copy, this is Raven, this is Camp Jaha, do you copy, Bellamy do you copy, Bellamy please….”

It’s true. Everyone is ruined by love.

//

The councils meetings have begun turning into discussions of alternate plans, now that a week has passed with no word from inside the mountain. After one meeting Lexa calls for Clarke to stay behind.

“Have you been feeling better?” She asks Clarke, lightly. Her face conveys no proof of whether or not she actually cares. Only her eyes, coated with coal, betray her worries.

“Honestly? No.” Clarke sighs. “Loving or not loving; either way I think it’s going to destroy me.”

“Forget love.” Lexa says. “I’ll tell you again Clarke- the dead are gone. Leave them to rest! Your people need you here, Clarke. They need you, clear-eyed and angry, and unafraid.” She raises her hand and for a moment Clarke thinks she means to strike her, but instead she grabs the back of Clarke’s neck and pulls her closer, so their faces are inches apart. Lexa’s eyes are burning and Clarke considers her words, finally thinks she understands them. There is no more time for wallowing, no more time for pity, for blame, for forgiveness. It’s time to leave the past where it lies.

All she has to do is lean forward.

Clarke kisses Lexa and it’s nothing like Finn and it’s nothing like love.

It’s simply that, the living are hungry.