It was some kind of heaven to wake up to Clarke.
Her head was in Clarke’s lap, a hand sifting gently and slowly through her hair over and over. Her first step, naturally, was to roll away and shuffle her way blearily into the bathroom where Octavia had - very kindly the night before - set out a new toothbrush for her.
Teeth clean, she crawled back into bed with Clarke, took her hand, and returned it to her scalp. Clarke obliged, playing again with the soft curls upon curls.
“Did you go clean your teeth?”
“You got out of a perfectly warm and comfortable bed with me to clean your teeth?”
“Okay then,” Clarke said, smile obviously in her tone. “Just checking.”
Lexa waited a few moments, luxuriating in the gentle scrape of Clarke’s nails on her scalp and the slow tugs in her hair before she sighed.
“Why do you ask?”
“No, I’m serious, no reason. It’s just very cute, that’s all.”
“It’s good manners, Clarke.”
“Not even a good morning or anything. Nothing.”
Lexa turned her face, pressed it a little against Clarke’s knee. “Good morning, Clarke,” she said, and she hoped that her position hid the light flush of red that rose to cover her cheeks.
But Clarke didn’t mention it, just continued stroking Lexa’s hair and smiled again. “Good morning, Lexa.” She moved her laptop to her bedside table and lifted Lexa’s head with an “up” and a gentle urging press of her hand under her neck, shuffling down the bed so they were laying next to one another. “Hi,” she whispered and Lexa felt like pulling the blankets over their heads and hiding them away from the rest of the world. Clarke was looking at her with such simple and close affection she was sure she didn’t need anything more, and she certainly didn’t wish to share it.
“Hi,” she said back. Then, “Thank you for letting me stay here last night.”
“Any time.” Clarke shuffled a little closer. “So.” she paused. Lexa waited. “Are you okay?” she asked quietly, eyes ducking down so Lexa couldn’t read the worry in them. “You seemed a little upset last night.”
“Dinner with my parents was…” Lexa searched for the right word. “Trying.”
“Sure. trying. Trying is why you and Anya showed up like you each had your own personal storm clouds following you around.” Lexa turned away at that, onto her back, and her lips flattened.
“Sorry,” Clarke offered after a moment.
“No. You aren’t wrong.”
“No, I’m not. But sometimes it’s nice to apologize.”
“You didn’t mean it?”
“Not at all.”
“Clarke, that isn’t a good precedent to set! How will I know if you are genuine next time?”
“I’ll tell you.” Clarke tapped Lexa’s hand. “Good attempt at deflection, by the way, but I’m not biting. Do you want to talk about it?” Lexa hesitated. She did want to talk. But with Anya first. When she told Clarke that, the blonde just nodded. “Do you want to invite her over for breakfast?”
“What’s the time?”
Clarke arched back over to her laptop, tapping it to wake the screen. “Umm. Just past nine.”
Lexa sighed. “No. I think she’ll be at my dorm. I should go and talk to her.”
“Do you want breakfast first?”
Lexa shook her head no.
Lexa shook her head again.
Clarke sighed. “Water? That’s my third and final offer and I’m afraid you have to accept.” At that, Lexa nodded and mouthed a thank you. Clarke tapped her hand again to make her look at her. “Hey. If it helps at all, I had a really great time with you yesterday.”
It took a moment but that smile Clarke adored bloomed and Lexa’s socked feet shuffled in the blankets. Her cheeks darkened, just a touch. “I had a lovely time as well,” she murmured, catching Clarke’s eyes.
“Good. So, you want to do it again sometime?” Clarke grinned. “Because there is this great bookstore and bar I want to check out in the city.” She raised her eyebrows.
“I, yes, that sounds like fun.”
“Yes?” Clarke checked. Lexa nodded. “Okay. Okay, great.” She slid her hand up to Lexa’s wrist. “Can I kiss you?”
Lexa’s face exploded into a blush when Clarke laughed at her eager nod, but she couldn’t find it in her to care. There was only a gentle warmth and a flutter in her stomach and a want, kicking right up to a whole marching back of stomping when Clarke slid closer. Want stuttered an evolution into need when Clarke brushed her nose slowly against Lexa’s and her fingers delicately pressed against suddenly burning points of skin on Lexa’s neck.
Their kiss was quiet and slow, Clarke smiling into it. Lexa was the one to catch Clarke’s lip between her teeth and tug, soothing it with another sweet kiss.
Clarke took it as a challenge. Lexa had pulled a small sound from her, surprise and delight mixed, and Clarke thought it only fair to let Lexa experience the same.
“Can I touch you?” Clarke asked and Lexa whimpered at that. Clarke smiled. “Lex?”
“May I touch you?” Her fingers grazed Lexa’s side and Lexa let out a shaky breath.
“I - over the shirt?” Lexa suggested, a tightening around her eyes hinting that she perhaps thought Clarke wouldn’t be okay with that, would want more, that the suggestion was a bad one. But Clarke’s smile never shifted, in fact she took it very much as a go ahead and she nodded.
“May I touch you over your shirt?” she clarified. Lexa nodded. Clarke grinned. She didn’t have to, but the thought of teasing Lexa was a happy one. “Say it out aloud, please.”
Lexa huffed. “Clarke. Yes, I would like you to touch me.”
“You know,” Clarke said, “There’s no need to be grumpy.” That earned her a glare.
“I wouldn’t be if you would just - oh.” Lexa cut herself off in a sigh, eyes fluttering closed again when Clarke flattened her whole hand against Lexa’s waist. She was warm and smooth and Clarke was of the firm opinion that Lexa’s skin would feel better - smell and taste amazing too - but this, just this, was good. So good. It wasn’t time yet but this? Clarke could work with it, very happily.
“I’m just making sure I have your complete and willing consent, Lexa,” Clarke said, hand inching slowly up Lexa’s side. They were both still - Lexa, barely breathing in case the movement would dislodge Clarke; Clarke with no intent whatsoever of stopping but enjoying very much taking her time. “It’s the right thing to do in this kind of situation, right?”
Lexa nodded. “Ye-es,” she croaked out, Clarke’s hand taking that exact moment to fit neatly against Lexa’s ribs, just below her breast. “Oh my god,” she let out slowly. One hand came up to cover her face.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” Lexa waited for Clarke to move for what seemed like an age but finally, with a huff, had to do it herself. She tugged on Clarke’s wrist, pulling her hand up that final distance and she pressed her lips closed firmly around a soft “oh” when Clarke’s hand cupped her breast. She cleared her throat. “Move please,” she commanded.
“Move away?” Clarke teased. She just smiled sweetly when Lexa glared at her again. “You’re so bossy,” she teased, and Lexa would have replied, only Clarke grazed her fingers ever so gently over her nipple and it was through the fabric of the shirt still but it sent shivers through Lexa. The soft and lovely laugh Clarke laughed at the expression on Lexa’s face - dual surprise and desire - was another bonus.
She wasn’t laughing for long. Lexa had placed her hand on her breast, and she was soft and morning rumpled next to her so it wasn’t really a time for laughter, she thought. Clarke moved closer, to lay right next to Lexa and she kissed her as delicately as she could, hand shifting to cup Lexa fully, to trail her fingers over her, knead and hold her, until her kissing wasn’t delicate anymore and Lexa had lifted a hand to clutch Clarke’s shoulder. She made the most wonderful noises each time Clarke shifted her pattern and when Clarke settled on gently kneading in a slow, regular pattern, she noticed Lexa’s hips settled into the same rhythm. Only very slightly. But enough to make Clarke’s breath catch at the idea of a future time when that would mean something. Big.
She nipped at Lexa’s neck, pulled her hand away to run trails over her side, her stomach, and Lexa combed a hand through her own hair.
“Clarke,” she hissed when the blonde dragged her blunt nails down Lexa’s side, contrasted with the slow soft kisses she pressed down the column of her neck.
“Yes?” she mumbled, loath to pull herself away.
“You scratched me.”
“Yes,” Clarke agreed. “How did it feel?”
Lexa grinned, eyes still closed. “Good.”
“Good.” Clarke lowered her head again, lips teasingly brushing at the skin. But before she kissed her again, she lifted her head. “Was that all you wanted to say?”
Lexa moved her hand to the back of Clarke’s neck and pressed, pushing her head down.
“Bossy,” she felt mumbled against her skin, before it was lost in nips and sucks along Lexa’s collarbone. The attention pulled a pleased sigh from Lexa and it was lovely but Clarke wanted to hear that groan again. The one Lexa had treated her to when they shared syrup kisses and - oh. Maybe if she…
Clarke pushed up and away from Lexa, grinning when she made a noise of complaint and reached for Clarke.
She was appeased when Clarke hovered over her, pushed a leg carefully between Lexa’s. “Is this alright?” she asked, searching for a reaction. On the lookout for any sign of nerves or a negative, but relaxing and pressing further against Lexa when the only response was a “yes, oh god” and wide brown-black eyes.
Lexa pulled Clarke down into a kiss, groaning when Clarke’s thigh pressed harder against her. It was entirely Lexa’s fault, that, her teeth had scraped lightly against the sensitive skin of Clarke’s neck and Clarke reacted.
“Jesus, Lexa,” Clarke laughed. “Warn a girl.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” Lexa answered, a little distracted as she ran her eyes over Clarke to decide where she wanted to sink her teeth next. She pushed her hands under the soft fabric of Clarke’s shirt, dug her fingers into the skin.
Clarke’s arms threatened to give out, and they did when Lexa tugged on her and urged her to lie on her so their bodies were aligned. Both of them took a moment then - it was warm in Clarke’s bed and they were both soft and Lexa smelled of shampoo and mint and Clarke like morning coffee and sunshine, the barest hint of sweat, and Lexa’s breath was shaking and hot against Clarke’s neck, her nose brushed up lightly leading her mouth to underneath Clarke’s jaw, nipping at the skin there.
“Kiss me,” she demanded of Clarke, who obliged.
It was hot, the kiss, hot and open and Lexa lost a little of herself the instant Clarke dragged her tongue along the seam of her lips, melted into the mattress, and her mouth fell open in a gasp. Her mouth, Lexa’s, tasted like toothpaste.
She wondered if Lexa had planned it. This.
No, she guessed Lexa just liked to brush her teeth first thing and that was almost better. Lexa, Clarke thought. Lexa brushed her teeth first thing in the morning. She wanted to make a note of the feeling that travelled through her then, like a small victory. She had learned something about Lexa and it was small and sweet and so Lexa. Though, if she had been planning for it, Clarke had no objections whatsoever.
“You’re smiling,” Lexa commented, gasping when Clarke sucked lightly on her neck. Light enough to not leave a mark, hard enough to make Lexa feel it.
“Because.” She sucked again, after moving the tiniest distance down her neck. She was intent on adoring every little bit of her.
“That’s not an answ- oh, oh-kay,” Lexa sighed, Clarke scraping her teeth against the patch of skin hard enough to make Lexa roll her hips down onto Clarke’s thigh. She pulled Clarke up to her, kissing her again, and there was more of tongue and teeth and Clarke happily went where the kiss led.
She couldn’t pinpoint the moment it changed. It wasn’t something that Lexa had done, or Clarke, but all of a sudden Clarke felt it had changed. There was a hint of desperation, a hint too much of teeth and nails digging into her back, and normally that wouldn’t bother Clarke. But something was different about it, something distant and rough in a way that Clarke wasn’t sure Lexa really intended. Clarke couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. She pulled back.
“Clarke,” Lexa groaned. But Clarke was already pulling away. “Clarke?”
“I, uh,” Clarke shook her head. “I don’t want to do this right now.” The words made Lexa flinch and slip out of the bed, stand, a reaction Clarke didn’t miss at all. “It’s not that I don’t want to. Honest. I really, really,” she paused, “really do. You’re beautiful and I like you a lot. But,” Clarke shrugged. “I’m really sorry, this doesn’t feel...right.”
“Right,” Lexa echoed.
“I don’t know.” Clarke sighed and pushed her hands through her hair. “It felt like maybe you were doing this because you’re bothered by something instead of because you...actually wanted to,” Clarke suggested.
“I’m not bothered by anything.”
“Yes, you are,” Clarke returned, equally stubborn. “And I’m serious. I will be so happy to continue this later but, just, I don’t want it to be something you feel you have to do or something, I don’t know. I just. I want it to be good and fun and because,” Clarke rubbed her hands over her face, hid behind them for a moment. She couldn’t tell if she was being stupid or not, if she had made the wrong call. But she had been sure that something wasn’t quite right and she stuck with it. “I want it to be for the right reasons,” she said softly.
Lexa wrapped her hands tight around her waist, face suddenly solemn. “I didn’t mean to,” she said.
“I know. And it’s okay. Really. Like I said, I will be totally thrilled to pick this up later. But maybe you should talk to your sister first, have some breakfast, I don’t know.”
“Yes. I suppose I should. Excuse me.” Lexa collected her things - her dress, her bag, her shoes she remembered vaguely she had toed off, exhausted, at the door - and started to leave. Clarke scrambled out of the bed after her.
“Lexa,” she called, “Lex, I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Her movements were stiff as she pulled on her shoes. “I will return your clothes at the earliest convenience.”
“Wow, okay, back to formal talk,” Clarke sighed, running her hands through her hair to scoop it up into a bun, wincing when a finger caught in a knot. “I fucked up,” she said quietly to herself when Lexa moved to the door. “I fucked up. Shit.” Then, “ Lexa, please, just, let me drive you back to uni,” she offered more loudly.
“It’s a twenty minute walk and those shoes look really uncomfortable.” Clarke reached out but Lexa’s arm tightened around her waist and Clarke turned the movement as easily as she could, as gently, into reaching for the door. “Please,” she said softly.
After a moment, Lexa accepted with a nod.
“Good. Thank you, Lex.”
“She dropped me off here and left. If she even is my girlfriend,” Lexa told her very calmly. Only her slightly jerky movements betrayed just how she actually felt. Anya sat and watched - Lexa cast her sleep shirt off onto her bed, leaving it in a crumpled mess. Her fingers trembled just slightly, pressing hard against her eyebrows. Headache then, Anya guessed. “I’m going to have a shower, excuse me” Lexa murmured, collecting her things.
“Hey.” Anya caught her arm loosely as Lexa moved past her and let go when Lexa shook her head. “Hey,” she repeated softly. “You’re okay though?”
“I’m fine. I’m safe.”
“Okay. I love you.”
“Sappy, Anya,” Lexa teased as well as she could, lips curling up even if her eyes didn’t change at all from tired and nervous and deep and nervous.
“Hit the showers, kid. I’ll have coffee and breakfast ready for you in a bit.”
“Where’s Raven?” Lexa asked as she turned the shower on.
“Oh, I wore her out. She’s sleeping off the exhaustion.”
“Ew. I didn’t need to hear that.”
“I’m kidding. She was super great about me sleeping over, made sure I had a blanket, made me coffee, and went to class.”
“This class?” Lexa peeked out the door, holding her towel to her front. “Her eight am one?”
“Huh. No, she just never goes to it.”
“Maybe waking up to my stunning face put her in a good mood.”
“Or scared her away,” Lexa said, and she laughed when Anya turned to glare at her.
“Shower. And I’m gonna look for some poisonous shit to put in your coffee.”
“We have some bleach in the cupboard over.”
“You aren’t supposed to help me - you know what, I’m tired of your rude ungrateful little ass,” she said, opening the cupboard to find cups and bowls. “Go away.”
Anya made her tinkering in the kitchen as loud as possible so Lexa would know that she was still there the whole time. Coffee for two, a reheated stir fry (found in the fridge with a post it reading Lexa’s and Sunday and keep away from my FOOD RAVEN on it) and mindless clattering later, Lexa stepped out of the bathroom towelling off her hair. Anya didn’t react at all but she had a very good idea of what kind of mood Lexa was in and it belonged to the slouchiest, most comfortable sweater, distressed jeans, and socked feet.
“Oh kid,” she sighed, and Lexa stepped in toward her and leaned her forehead on her big sister’s shoulder. “Hey, hey,” she said, “what is it? What’s wrong?”
“What isn’t wrong?” Lexa grumbled.
“Alright grumpy butt.” Anya pushed her back a little, squeezed her shoulders. “Talk to me. Sit,” she commanded, “and talk. What’s going on?”
Lexa let herself be guided to a seat and picked up her coffee mug, wrapped her hands around it, and stared down at the counter for a long time.
“Have you thought of something?” Anya asked eventually. Lexa nodded. “Are you going to tell me?” She got a shrug in return. “Okay. I’m just going to guess, alright? Jump in and correct me whenever.” Lexa nodded slowly. “Last night sucked. A lot. The parental units were being crap as per usual and it hit you pretty hard.” Lexa’s grip shifted a little on her mug and Anya picked up her own, noting how warm it was. Lexa’s hands had to be burning. Anya set her mug down quietly and reached over and, with a look and a tug, convinced Lexa to relinquish her own. Anya continued. “You went to Clarke’s. She asked some questions. You two had a fight and you’re feeling a bit weird because you don’t know what you feel and now you aren’t sure where you stand. How did I do?”
“We didn’t fight.” Lexa paused. Frowned. “I think. I don’t know.”
“How about you tell me what happened? You can do this, Lex,” she prompted when her sister opened her mouth and froze. “You can.”
“I can’t. The words won’t come out, okay?” Lexa snapped. “I think of what I want to say and the words won’t come out because I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to think about what it, I don’t want to say it, I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want you to hear it. So just leave me alone.” She shoved her way to standing and strode to the other end of the room. “What about you? Tell me about what happened last night,” she demanded. “I know our parents and that was something different and I am very, very confused.”
Anya hesitated. She scratched at her arm before taking a sip of her drink.
Lexa pressed her knuckles against her eyebrows hard. “It really is something to do with me, isn’t it?” she said very quietly.
“No. No, kid, not really.” At a look, Anya shrugged. “It isn’t. Directly.”
“Look, it’s just something that when you find out what it is, it’ll be pretty shit okay? You won’t be happy which is why I don’t want you to know.”
“I’m a big girl. I can handle it.”
“Maybe I don’t want you to have to.” Anya lifted her eyebrows. She was the big sister - she got to do the protecting.
Lexa forced herself not to grind her teeth in response. Her reply was, as always, quiet and controlled. With the faintest hint of a growl. “Maybe you don’t have to carry everything by yourself. Maybe you can let someone help for once.”
“Maybe.” Anya scratched at her arm again. Made herself stop when Lexa narrowed in on the movement. “Fine. They were pissed at me because they think I’m gay. Okay?”
Anya sighed. “It’s an epic. Carol - Nina’s mother? She was at the shopping centre the other day when I was hanging out with Basil. I think it was Basil, from the description Mother gave me they’re the most likely candidate.” Lexa nodded. “Anyway, so she saw me and Basil and told Linda, from soccer. Linda told the soccer moms, one of them is Pe - P something?”
“Really? Well thanks, that ruins Agent Carter for me.”
“I know. Continue.”
“Well Linda told Peggy and Peggy is in mother’s bookclub and apparently ‘all the girls’,” she said with a mock frown and an affected pose Lexa recognised as their mothers, “‘knew about your....colourful company before I did and it was a disaster, Anya, a disaster. I didn’t have any time to come back with anything. I floundered. You should be ashamed of yourself’.” Anya shrugged, carefully with ease. “And I guess that was one notch too many on the belt of disgrace because they don’t want me being too close with you anymore. You know, spending time with you. Sitting next to you. Looking at you, probably.”
“Because Basil has their head shaved and wears a little rainbow badge and I hugged them goodbye.”
“They look queer. I am queer by extension.”
“Do they know-” Lexa’s hand pressed into her sternum and Anya shook her head.
“No. No way. I wouldn’t tell them that.”
Lexa nodded quickly because of course, of course she wouldn’t. She folded and unfolded her arms, laid a hand protectively over her hip. Anya closed her eyes. “So they’re homophobic,” she said after a moment. “We knew that already.” Plucked at the sleeve of her sweater. “We knew that,” she repeated, before sinking down onto Raven’s bed and pressing tiredly at her eyebrows again.
“It’s fine,” Anya said.
“Fine? How is this fine?” Lexa wanted to be loud, wanted to be angry, but her throat closed around the words so they came out small and pained. “She separated us at dinner because she didn’t want your gay cooties to contaminate me.”
“I prefer the term iridescent germ cloud thanks very much.” Anya grinned, laughed when Lexa rolled her eyes. “My homosexual cloud spore.”
“Anya. Please, be serious.”
“Rays of radioactive ultraviolet gayness.”
“They don’t want my queer to just rub off on you.”
“That’s not a good one.”
“Well it’s hard to think of them off the cuff. I’ll text you more when I think of them.” Anya stood and moved over to her, dropping onto Raven’s bed next to Lexa and, waiting for her permission, hugged her. “It’s fine,” she said.
Lexa nodded. She pulled the ends of her sweater over her hands. “Anya?”
“I don’t think I want to see them for a while. Do you think we can do that?”
Lexa leaned into her and for a while they just sat there together.
“Our parents are shit,” Anya sighed.
“Here’s a hint, kiddo, maybe don’t sound so disappointed. I am your girlfriend’s sister.”
“Not disappointed. Just surprised.” Clarke smiled and gestured into the room, moving in when Anya stepped to the side. “Lexa in?”
“She stepped out for something, I wasn’t really listening.”
Clarke nodded. She fiddled with the strap of her bag and peeked quickly into the bathroom - it wasn’t that she didn’t trust Anya but what she needed to say definitely needed Lexa not to overhear and misconstrue anything. She had seen and read too many of those scenarios to know that would be terrible.
“Can I talk to you for a second?” she asked. Anya shrugged and nodded. “Okay great.”
A few minutes later, Anya cleared her throat. “So, did you want to say something?”
“Yeah. Yes. Just...thinking.”
“Okay sure. Take your time. Coffee?”
“Please.” Clarke fell gratefully into the seat by the counter. “Okay here’s the thing. I think I may have really hurt Lexa?” She saw the way Anya’s fingers clenched on her mug and hurried on. “And I didn’t mean to, I just wanted, I want us to do this right? I really, really like her and I want to do this right,” she repeated. “And I don’t want us to do anything that Lexa might regret, I don’t want her doing something because she had a bad night or-”
“Okay stop.” Anya rolled her eyes. “Wow, you two are gross. If I have to listen to you and Lexa freaking out about this any more I’m going to do something drastic. Talk to her. She feels like shit because she thinks maybe she was taking out the wrong emotions on you, you feel like shit because you told her to stop - which, by the way, you should never feel shit about. If you don’t feel like something is right, trust your gut. Okay?” Clarke stifled a grin and nodded very seriously. She had never wanted a sibling before - she had Octavia and that was very, very close - but all of a sudden she wanted one, just for a second. One that looked out for her like Anya did for Lexa. But the way it bled over to her automatically was a very nice benefit. “Just,” Anya sighed. “Talk to her, okay?”
“Yeah. Okay. Thank you.”
“Sure. Anyway, I gotta run. Work,” she explained.
“Do you want me to tell Lexa anything?”
“Nah. I’ll text her later. Be safe,” she called back over her shoulder.
She allowed herself a huge smile when she closed Lexa’s door - her sister had found a good girl for herself, she was talking, she was fine, she would be fine.
It was a good thought.