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there's no us in winning

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Her hand falls apart among a mortar, twisted and ugly, splitting at the seams and red, red blood spills out into the grass. A random warrior is by her side in an instant, wrapping the useless appendage in a makeshift bandage of salve and ripped cloth, not even bothering to apply a tourniquet to her forearm - she would either survive with the minimum medical aide or her body would bleed until she passes out and dies, but Lexa is young and strong and healthy and though the nerves in her hand have gone numb from shock, clotting is already beginning. She stands, grips her sword and draws a line through a suited mountain man before striking down another that walks free, filled with the blood of her people.

Lexa has lost her horse in the explosion, it most likely did not survive or ran off in the confusion and pain - these weapons the mountain men and sky people have are devastatingly unfair to all who come into contact with them. The clans flood the entrance, fear of the acid fog removed, driven by the need for vengeance, by the overwhelming grief of years of loss - they pound on the doors, rushing the open tunnels and bursts of light strike them down but they are five to one mountain men and they do not fear the earth or death. Clarke's inside man had succeeded and now her warriors would finish the job - not a single enemy would make it onto the Earth alive.

 


 

 

 

 

She sits in a private room, away from the other injured - of which there are an innumerable amount and wakes to silence and sunlight and Clarke. The girl kneels at her side, slowly picking out pieces of shrapnel from the mess that was once her hand. Lexa is fairly she still carries all her fingers - but cannot be entirely sure since she hasn't felt anything from her left side in hours. She is also fairly sure that whether all fingers are present, that hand will never move the same way - will never twist and cut with the same severity as it once did. Clarke draws out a particularly large sliver of metal from inbetween her thumb and forefinger and Lexa flinches involuntarily - not in pain, merely shock at the sudden twinge of some feeling returning to the area.

"Sorry. It all has to be picked out before we can bandage it and others needed the anesthetic more." Lexa hums in agreement, senses still slowly returning.

Clarke is covered in ash and there is a small smile on the edges of her lips which are split and bloody, matching the state of her forehead. Her right ear looks like someone took a bite out of not, a large chunk of lobe and upper cartilage missing, and Lexa unconsciously reaches out to touch it, only realizing what she's doing when Calrke flinches backwards.

"I'm sorry." Lexa says, pausing, "I did not think."

Clarke laughs a little hysterically, "It's fine, it's still tender though. Another bomb - probably same type that got your hand. Bastards had them planted everywhere. I'm just a little sensitive on that side - can't hear a thing anymore."

Lexa nods, not exactly sure how to respond, "War has its sacrifices."

"Yeah. Your hand, my ear," She pauses and Lexa knows she is thinking of the missile from the way she her hand draws patterns above the line of her right hip, right where Lexa knows pock-marked burn scars lie. "other's lives."

Lexa averts her eyes to the ground and they sit in silence for quite a bit after that, reveling in the win and the loss - the utter contrariness of war and survival. Clarke has to dig around in her skin at places, reaching for pieces of metal that are tiny and obscured by muscles and nerve and it rips her skin apart even more - forcing Clarke to dab at the rivulets of blood that drip into the ground from her body. Lexa does not flinch and when, Clarke pulls back to survey her work, Lexa traces her face with her eyes, before looking down to watch the girl pull out some sanitized thread and needle - beginning the next step of patching up the network of deep cuts. Only a few need stitches.

"This might sting." Clarke warns unnecessarily.

"I have had worse." And the skygirl looks at her hand, the cross crossing scars on her chest and arms of fights long past and nods.

"Of course."

The sharp point of the needle slips easily beneath her skin, Lexa imagines the most difficult part d stitching up the deep cuts is finding unmarred skin to pull together, making sure that other marks are not made worse as these are put back together. She can feel it. A little. Like a dull pressure, but true sensation still only exists in certain places and a part of her mourns the loss of her hand, despite the rational side that is well aware others have fought fiercely with much worse disabilities and that she has her diplomatic position to follow through with as well. Warrior is not her primary position - though it is how she has chosen to define herself internally for so long.

"All done." Clarke says blankly, snipping the thread and throwing the needle back into the kit to be sanitized and reused. Another minute and a clean bandage is wrapped efficiently around her entires hand, twisting between her fingers and around her wrist. "Does that feel okay?"

Lexa nods silently and it not that it's sudden or unexpected - quite the contrary, in fact, Clarke knew exactly her opinion of the Commander and the Commander was well aware of it as well - it was the tenderness, the time, the complete effect of the moment as Clarke lifts Lexa's hand and lays a small kiss on the inside of her wrist, the curve of her palm - small and light against the multitude of bandages staunching the flow of blood. Lexa swallows tightly and licks her lips, watching Clarke lift her head after and catch her gaze. They stare for longer than appropriate, holding hands and Lexa can feel the heat from Clarke's fingers, her thumb tracing delicate circles around the indent of her lifeline. She does not withdraw first, and that is a mistake. "You'll want to come back, let someone take a look at it for infection - so many open wounds in a small area can be tricky." Their hands no longer touch, but Lexa lets hers linger in the air, still reeling at the phantom feeling of Clarke's lips on her skin, or, well, on the wraps around around her wounded skin. Her body throbs, like an exposed nerve and it's completely Clarke's fault.

"Of course." She says it numbly, a little high pitched - certainly betraying how off-balanced she is and Clarke smiles at the ground like the Commander's embarrassment is a joke to be enjoyed. Lexa frowns and flexs her fingers, the cloth is tight but she still retains most of her flexibility. "May I - Would you - Clarke, " her hand drops and she feathers out frustratingly, "I request that you check on my wound in the days to come?"

Clarke rocks on her heels, coming up on all fours to lean forward towards Lexa, smiling, "Sure, Heda." And then she's pressing her lips against Lexa's and the girl sits there and let's Clarke cup her face, and coax her mouth open, slipping a tongue in and biting a little on her bottom lip and it takes Lexa a good minute to respond and then, she's pushing them both so hard that Clarke topples back with Lexa on top, pressing their lips together again and again as If she could devour skygirl in this moment. Clarke wraps her arms around Lexa's neck, and her legs around her waist, tangling her fingers among the braids and pressing her head in closer and they just lay there kissing until oxygen calls to them, ignoring the sting and bite of every wound and scar this war has left on them. They pause and breathe before moving back in and Lexa's heart is already breaking and burning because they have only just won a single battle and the Leader of the mountain man still walks free with the codes to an underground stock of nuclear missiles and Clarke tastes like fresh meat and clean water and smells like blood and antiseptic and she would give anything to stay right here and not have to walk out the flaps of this tent ever again (this is a lie - Lexa loves her people, they are her destiny, her fate, they are the ones she was born for, the ones she will die for - probably young, and probably soon, without ever tasting Clarke's lips again. But that is at it goes.)

Lexa can feel Clarke's hands groping at her bare breasts, avoiding the bandaged areas, and she inhales sharply when the other girl's mouth manages to find an exposed nipple - lips wrapping themselves around the bundle of nerves and Lexa attempts to distract herself from how her body sings to every ministration Clarke makes by sucking and nipping at the naked skin of her neck, dotting it with bruises that will be extremely hard to hide. 

She tries to finally get up, remove herself from the compromising situation, but Clarke grabs her by the hem of her shirt and pulls her back down for a final open-mouthed kiss, and they lay there together for a second, lips and foreheads touching, noses brushing, breathing each other in and out. Lexa's legs are shaky when she stands and she forgets to collect her armor and furs, barely remembering to grab a tunic (much needed, since Clarke had been apparently marking her chest in the same manner Lexa had been attacking her neck whipping out of the tent in a calm, collected ball of confusion. She spares one last glance to Clarke who is simply staring up at the ceiling of the room, tracing her lips with her fingers, before moving away.