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Lead Me Home

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Days since outbreak: 700
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota

 

Lexa spent the next six minutes with her squad discussing what exactly the council had offered them, they spent one minute in complete silence and the three minutes after that they used to discuss as well as vote. Everyone was extremely cautious of the situation they were facing; they needed this, they really needed this win because things were getting difficult. They were also warned by Clarke that this community the council was talking about was large and there were many people living in there. They would not only be endangering innocent lives within the community but if they went in now, it would be very possible for them to die trying to get The Ark’s people out of there.

 

The one thing they had going for them was they would have time to do some reconnaissance; they could have a limited amount of time to find out what it would take to get in there as well as get out safely. They had time on their side and they would be able to stay in The Ark helping out and most importantly healing up until they were given the word to go.

 

“Can we trust these people?” Indra asked quietly as she leaned forward on the couch she was sitting on, looking to Raven and Bellamy who stood in the hallway outside the door “They are asking for a lot”

 

“They are asking for a lot” Lexa nodded with a sigh “And I don’t know whether we can trust everyone here but I think we can trust some”

 

“Some meaning Clarke” Echo added quickly “Which I will add now that I think was the right decision in the first place because look where we are, but can we trust the rest of them?”

 

“I think if she trusts them then we can too” Lincoln jumped in

 

“She’s also one of them though” Indra added cautiously “Do we think we can pull this off if we do decide to stay?”

 

“I don’t see why not” Nyko shrugged “We have gone through worse things, we could just find out how Clarke escaped and see if we can manage something similar. We have done extractions before, I think we can do this”

 

“This place itself is everything we could have hoped for and more” Lexa began “It’s just whether we’re willing to make this deal. They’re giving us every chance to succeed but we’ve also got every chance to fail. The only problem is that if we live like these people then we have to do that in all aspects. We have to follow the council, we have to follow all the rules and personally I just think that if we stay here for too long we could start to become comfortable in here”

 

“I don’t think that will happen” Echo replied with a shake of her head “We’ll still be going out and hunting as well as going with their people on scouting missions so we will still have exposure to the outside”

 

“We should just vote now so I have a decision to go back in with” Lexa said as her heart rate picked up slightly, feeling the increase in blood pumping through her veins and the nervousness in her stomach “Indra?”

 

“Yes” She nodded “Although hesitantly, we need this”

 

“Nyko” Lexa looked to the large man next to Indra who had a small smile on his face

 

“Yes”

 

“Lincoln” Lexa continued

 

“I vote yes” Lincoln responded confidently “We deserve this and I think we can do this”

 

“Well even though we are already staying because of those numbers, Echo”

 

“I agree with Lincoln, we deserve this” Echo nodded as a smile tugged on her lips “What about you commander?”

 

“What about me?” Lexa raised an eyebrow

 

“What would you vote?” Echo asked

 

“Personally if I was picking for myself and myself only I would vote no” Lexa shrugged

 

“What?” Echo asked leaning forward “Why?”

 

“We have no control in here, that’s all” Lexa shook her head “At least we got to make our own decisions on how to survive on the outside. I just don’t want to feel trapped in here but we do need this as a group and we do deserve this so I’m happy with your votes. We just have to remember to stick together in here, no matter what happens”

 

“Like it would be any other way” Echo responded with a small smile “We’re all stuck with each other after surviving together for so long”

 

“I just wish Gustus could have been here” Indra said honestly “It would have been nice for us all to be here together”

 

“Lexa, time’s up” Raven said approaching the doorway “Are you ready?”

 

“Yeah” Lexa nodded as she stood from the stool she was sitting on “We’ll talk more about this later”

 

She was escorted by Raven and Bellamy back to the same room she had been in before, taking her seat at the table next to Clarke who was watching her intently.

 

“We’ve decided we want to stay and be a part of your community” Lexa said immediately, not wanting to waste any time “So I hope that means we don’t have to be blindfolded anymore”

 

“That is excellent news” Abby said with a grin as she stood from her chair “We will talk about the condition very soon but I think you need a little bit of time to heal your wounds, regain your strength and recharge; the better you are feeling the more chance we have to get our people back. Now all that is left to do is show you around the place and get you to your houses”

 

“Houses?” Lexa asked “More than one?”

 

“We’re going to provide you with two houses, one for your squad and as a leader you will have a house yourself” Abby said as her smile was still evident on her face

 

“I don’t need a house to myself” Lexa shook her head quickly “I mean thank you but it’s unnecessary”

 

“How you use them is up to you but that’s just how they have been assigned” Abby nodded “Now I think Clarke is eager to take you all to your homes, they’re right next to each other so you’ll be close. Octavia is waiting to show your squad around their house and the community. There isn’t that much to show but at least you will know how to get around the place when you need to and where everything is. I imagine you’re eager to go use your showers and get some rest as well so you can use the next two days to do whatever you need”

 

“The next two days?” Lexa questioned

 

“It will take a few days to adjust but we want to make it up to you for how we have treated you through this process so tomorrow night we’re thinking we will have a welcome party in your squad’s honour to introduce you to everyone” Abby continued happily “After that we’ll assign you to simple things like watch duty or hunting, something that will keep you active but use your skills to our advantage. A few days after that we’ll get you to go on a scouting mission to the other community and from there you will figure out your plan to get our people back. Does that sound good?”

 

“That sounds good” Lexa said raising her eyebrows

 

“Well unless there is something else you want to say, I think you should go and check out your new homes” Abby smiled “Welcome to The Ark”

 

Lexa exhaled in relief, thankful to have secured her squad’s place in The Ark at least for that moment. She knew that it was going to take a while for her to get used to her new surroundings and all the while she needed to start thinking of a plan as to how they were going to get the kidnapped community members back. For now though, she wanted to just enjoy the huge victory they had just achieved; even if Lexa was a bit apprehensive to let herself get settled in.

 

---

 

Lexa sat down on the edge of the bath in the beautifully tiled upstairs bathroom of her house, she tried not to think about that too much knowing that it wasn’t really her house but it was unbelievable to know she was about to have a shower for the first time in almost 2 years. A week ago Lexa would have never guessed she would be in a community like she was, in an actual safe location, in a bathroom with running water with a proper double bed in the next room across the hallway. A week ago Lexa also didn’t know about Clarke Griffin who had been the catalyst for all of this to happen. Although she knew when things weren’t going to be smooth sailing and they were going to need to work to earn their permanent place there, she was thankful to have just made it there alive and be in the position she was in.

 

Lexa smiled to herself as she felt the clean clothes next to her as she looked into the clear glass shower door, holding the soft cotton shirt between her fingers before picking it up and breathing in the clean soapy scent deeply. Clarke had walked her and the squad back to their houses, noting that they lived only up the street from her if they ever needed anything. She had shown the squad their house before taking Lexa to her own next door, taking her straight up to the bathroom after showing her around the house quickly so she could have the shower the blonde had promised her. She was incredibly sweet in leaving her brand new clothes to change into, letting her know to take her time but she would be waiting downstairs for her when she was done to show her around the community.  Lexa knew this wasn’t all free, they had to pull their weight but she just wanted to enjoy herself at that moment; knowing that they had been hoping for something like this for a long time.

 

She ran her fingers over the fluffy white towel before standing up with a sigh, ridding herself of her muddy and bloody clothes before stepping into the shower. Lexa flinched as the water first hit her skin, smiling to herself as she turned the hot water up generously until steam soon filled the room. She stood under the falling stream of water, running her hands through her now untied but knotted hair and reaching for shampoo that she found at the edge of the glass door. The hot water tingled against her skin, her cheek aching as her blood rose to the surface from the heat but she didn’t care, she was too wrapped in how good the water felt. She probably spent over half an hour in that shower, washing her hair multiple times and scrubbing her body to the point where she had almost used a full bar of soap. The brunette spent five minutes brushing her teeth while she stood under the hot water, not wanting to ever get out because in the world they lived in they were never promised anything but what they were doing in that moment and what she was doing in that moment was unbelievable.

 

 She quickly realized how different priorities were on the inside of a community compared to being on the outside. On the inside, people could afford to have a thirty minute shower, people made a point to take the time to do something simple as brush their teeth but on the outside the only thing you could worry about was when the next bad thing was going to happen or what was going to attack you next.

 

She changed into the black jeans and navy blue tank top she was left by Clarke, catching her reflection in the mirror that was almost all clouded by steam and not almost recognizing herself now that she was completely clean. Her towel was sitting over her shoulder as her wet but still wavy hair was pushed around to one side. The bruise on her cheek was still purple, swelling still evident but she could tell it was healing well after just a couple of days.  

 

The brunette took one last look at her new self before she opened the door of the bathroom, steam escaping the room quickly with her before making her way downstairs barefoot on the wooden floor. She found Clarke sitting on the couch with a book in her hands, pausing as she observed that the girl had made herself very comfortable lounging in the house. The blonde looked up from her book, setting it down on her lap with a small smile and a sigh as she took in the soldier’s appearance.

 

“I hardly recognise you now that you’re not caked in mud or covered in blood” Clarke’s grin increased “Find everything okay?”

 

“Yeah, thank you” Lexa nodded “I almost used a whole bar of soap, I just kept finding dirt”

 

“How do you feel?” Clarke chuckled “Besides clean that is”

 

“New” Lexa nodded as she looked down to her feet, wiggling her bare toes against the wooden floor before looking up again and catching Clarke’s gaze once more “Well…almost”

 

“I have a few things for you but I need you to come and sit down please” Clarke replied with a nod as she pat the empty spot on the couch next to her

 

Lexa hesitated only momentarily as she took a few steps towards the couch, sitting down next to the blonde, shuffling as close to her as she could subtly manage; encouraged when Clarke moved herself a little closer as well. Lexa was a hard soldier, she had been through a lot and she had done that because she was strong but she almost felt as if Clarke was her safety net. The Ark was strange, she didn’t understand how people lived like that anymore or how they made it work but it was going to take a while for her to adjust. Lexa was just thankful she had Clarke to make the transition a little easier, having someone within the community that she not only trusted but that she was completely drawn to like some kind of magnetisation.

 

“I got you some new clothes” Clarke said as she pulled a pile of neatly folded clothes from beside the couch to stack on Lexa’s lap “I’ve got some warm stuff, pajama’s, clothes for the summer and you can borrow whatever you want from me if you need to”

 

“Thank you” Lexa said looking at the clothes that were generously on her lap

 

“And I washed this” Clarke placed Lexa’s old, but now clean red baseball cap on top of the clothes with a grin “It took a while to get all of the stains out but at least it’s not full of mud and you can wear it again”

 

“You didn’t need to do that” Lexa said picking it up before looking at Clarke who was smiling softly “I haven’t worn this since…”

 

“Since you slammed it down in the Pickup, I know” Clarke continued with a nod “I knew it was in your backpack so I just took it out and cleaned it, so I hope that’s okay”

 

“Thank you, for helping us out so much” Lexa said with a furrowed brow “This is all a bit strange”

 

“I know it is, that’s why I wanted to wait down here for you and show you around” Clarke shrugged before her eyes lit up, seemingly remembering something as she reached down once more at the side of the couch before placing Lexa’s notebook on the top of the pile “They went through your pockets when they were taking weapons so I kept this for you and I got you a new pen”

 

“You realize how much this is adding to my tally of owing you, right?” Lexa cocked an eyebrow, shaking her head quickly

 

“Well my people knocked you out and handcuffed you after getting me back here safely” Clarke shrugged, nudging the brunette in the ribs gently “When you’re ready though I can take you around the community, without a blindfold this time”

 

“Oh great” Lexa chuckled to herself

 

“Octavia has taken your squad for a tour so we can catch up with them when we leave so you’re all together”

 

“Sounds good” Lexa nodded and swallowed thickly as she looked up to notice her just how closely the blonde was sitting to her, their faces were practically just inches apart

 

She had to fight the urge to place a hand on Clarke’s cheek, wanting to feel the soft skin against her rough palm. Lexa caught Clarke’s gaze shifting to her lips for a moment before the brunette had to clear her throat, standing up quickly to place the clothes on her lap where she had been seated.

 

“Can we walk now?” Lexa asked anxiously “Can I just leave my clothes down here?”

 

“It’s your house” Clarke smiled as she followed Lexa’s lead and stood as well from the couch “You can keep whatever you want in here”

 

“This isn’t my house” Lexa shook her head “It’s The Arks; I’m not under any illusion that it’s actually mine”

 

“It is though” Clarke replied with a small smile “And I think that will take time for you to figure out but this place is yours now”

 

Lexa didn’t respond to the blonde so Clarke took it as a signal that she was uncomfortable and wanted to leave. Clarke moved towards the door, looking back at Lexa who just stood in place by the couch with the wet towel still around her shoulders.

 

“You might want to lose that before we go” Clarke spoke with an amused tone as she gestured to a pair of shoes next to her feet by the door “I mean if you want to bring it with you, by all means but I would suggest you leave it. You might want to put some shoes on too; I got you some other shoes so we can wash your boots”

 

Lexa nodded, completely bewildered by the situation considering twenty-four hours ago they were travelling towards the very place she was standing and having no real idea as to what they would find. Once she finally put shoes on, she followed Clarke out into the community outside of her house, deciding to take her to the front gates first and work their way back. Lexa looked at the reinforced wooden walls at the front of the community when they arrived, pushing against one of the strong pillars that supported the weight of the fence. She winced in pain as her arm ached against the weight of her body pushing against the solid wall but tried not to let it show.

 

“How was this done?” Lexa asked looking back to Clarke who was watching with her arms folded and a very entertained look on her face

 

“We have a few engineers here who designed the walls pretty quickly and everyone pitched in to put it together” Clarke said with a nod “The double gates add to the security as well”

 

“I have to admit, it is pretty impressive” Lexa nodded as she looked up to the community member who was on watch where they had seen Octavia the day before “How many people watch over the front at a time?”

 

“Just the one” Clarke responded “We have two people on duty at a time walking around the community and one on the armoury”

 

“That’s it?” Lexa spoke dryly “You have four people at a time covering this whole place?”

 

“It’s worked so far” Clarke challenged

 

“What about the infected, there have to be some around here but I didn’t see any bodies”

 

“We have people clear them from the road and we burn them. Avoids any horrible smells coming through the community” Clarke replied simply

 

Lexa went to respond before she caught sight of a few community members who had stopped what they were doing outside their houses to watch the brunette as she pushed against the wall. Lexa looked straight back at them with a clenched jaw, watching as they shied away from her gaze immediately, moving on with what they had been doing before she had spotted them.

 

“You know they are just curious, right?” Clarke asked as she looked back at those same community members “They saw the commotion yesterday and found out that I was back so we had to tell everyone what happened”

 

“Well they look terrified” Lexa replied with a shake of her head

 

“They’re a little intimidated by you guys and I don’t blame them but that’s why my mom wants to have that welcome party tomorrow night, people can get to know you” Clarke nodded with a small smile “I know, it’s really weird but my mom likes to hang on to the outside world a little bit but she’s good at bringing people together”

 

“They might not have to get too used to us anyway”

 

 “I didn’t know she was going to ask you to get our people out of that community in order to stay here permanently. I was as surprised as you were” Clarke admitted seriously “It’s a lot to ask”

 

“It is considering I only know what you have told us, it is a lot to ask but we have to find a way if we want to keep having showers” Lexa said lightly as she pushed off the wall to approach Clarke, stopping directly in front of her “These people sound like they need to be stopped anyway”

 

“Honestly though, it isn’t really your problem” Clarke shook her head

 

“It is now” Lexa shrugged as she gave Clarke an even smile “Everyone pulls their weight here and I get that, we have a lot to offer and if we are going to be a part of this community then we need to try and get these people back”

 

“Well you’re going to need more people to go with, you’re going to need more than five” Clarke folded her arms with a nod “So I’m going to go with you when you go. I know the area, I know how to get around in there and you need more guns. You can’t do it with five”

 

“You’re volunteering to go with?” Lexa raised an eyebrow

 

“Yes” Clarke responded with a quick nod

 

“Okay, I guess that is your choice to make” Lexa replied skeptically “But why?”

 

“Because they held me there for a month and I saw first-hand what they were doing” Clarke spoke adamantly with another nod “I don’t think I need any more reason than that”

 

“You realize that your mom just wants it to be an extraction?” Lexa raised her eyebrows “Her plan is just wanting us to get your people back and that’s it”

 

“You and I both know that’s not possible” Clarke replied seriously, leaning her head in a little closer to Lexa as her voice lowered “And we both know it’s not going to be that easy or that peaceful”

 

“Which is why I’m surprised you are volunteering to go” Lexa countered “You don’t have to do anything, you have held up your end of the deal and you’re back at home”

 

“And you held up yours by getting me here” Clarke answered with a furrowed brow

 

“My squad all agreed to be here under the circumstances that were presented to us; we voted four to one as a yes to stay. We knew what was being asked of us before we agreed to live under that condition” Lexa just shrugged simply

 

“You voted no, didn’t you?” Clarke raised her eyebrows, a small frown appearing on her face “That was you”

 

“That was me” Lexa nodded but bravely reached out to take Clarke’s hand for a moment “Staying here isn’t so bad though”

 

“I understand why you said no and I don’t blame you” Clarke responded looking down at Lexa’s hand on hers, her tone evening out in distraction “But I’m glad your squad voted yes”

 

“We should probably move on from the wall, right?” Lexa asked with a small smile, tearing her eyes away from their still joined hands to look around the community

 

“I have a lot more to show you” Clarke nodded with a grin before giving the soldier’s hand a squeeze as they started walking once more, letting it go slowly “And we’ll start at the infirmary so I can check your stitches that hopefully I can take out tomorrow”

 

“Shouldn’t a doctor be taking them out now?” Lexa said in amusement with a raised eyebrow “You guys have doctors here, right?”

 

“My mom is a doctor but I’d rather do it myself” Clarke shrugged, her smile growing as she took a few steps out in front of the brunette only to turn around so she could face Lexa as she walked “Besides, if we go past the infirmary it will be the quickest way to catch up to your squad who I’m sure are having a great time with Octavia”

 

“Where’s the armory?” Lexa asked looking around the area with a hand moving up to shield her face from the sun

 

“Your weapons are safe” Clarke replied seriously as she continued to walk backwards “I can’t get your assault rifle out for you but I can get your hunting knife back without any questions if you want”

 

“Seriously?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows

 

“Yes but you’ll owe me” Clarke joked with a nod

 

“I can live with that I think” Lexa responded with a small smile and a nod of her own “I can definitely live with that”

 

---

 

Lexa sighed deeply as she rolled to her side, kicking the blanket away from her feet after waking up dripping with sweat from a nightmare that still plagued her even in the safety of The Ark. She lifted her head from the comfortable pillow to look around the bedroom of her now home to make sure she was where she thought she was but most importantly that her squad were all around her. They had agreed to sleep in the master bedroom of Lexa’s house, grabbing mattresses and cushions to sleep on the floor of the bedroom so that they were all together. They made a pact to stay like that for as long as it took for them to feel safe, still not knowing whether this community had something to hide or whether it was as good as it seemed. They weren’t used to sleeping apart, they weren’t used to all being able to sleep at the one time so it wasn’t going to change or feel comfortable quickly and Lexa was hesitant to split at night for the moment.  

 

Lexa’s dream had startled her, it was the same dream she always woke up from after what felt like every time she fell asleep but something she saw completely unsettled her this time. Lexa narrowed her eyes to strain her vision through the darkness, noticing that all of her squad on the floor and Echo who was in the double bed next to her were all awake. She pushed herself up from her pillow, sitting up against the wall and folding her arms to her chest tightly to look over her squad.

 

“I’m assuming you’re all awake because of me?” Lexa asked awkwardly

 

“Well your nightmares aren’t exactly quiet” Echo said hoarsely as she moved herself to sit next to the other girl, giving her a soft nudge with her shoulder “Same dream?”

 

“Mostly” Lexa mumbled as she leaned her head back against the wall, shutting her eyes tightly “But this time when Costia turned around it wasn’t her, it was Clarke”

 

“I knew it” Echo whispered “I saw you out by the front yesterday holding her hand”

 

“What?” Indra hissed “Holding her hand?”

 

“We weren’t holding hands” Lexa denied feebly “I just grabbed it for a moment, a gesture of thanks”

 

“If you like Clarke then why did you vote no to staying?” Lincoln asked from his spot on the ground

 

“Because what they are asking of us isn’t small and these people haven’t accepted us yet, they also hold a lot of power over us right now. They have our weapons, they have separated us into two houses and won’t give us permanent placing until we rescue their people” Lexa replied cautiously as she looked around her group “I like it here, I really like it here but I just don’t want to get too comfortable. Nothing lasts forever, especially now so we just need to keep that in the back of our minds because that’s what has kept us alive”

 

“That’s all we were doing though, just surviving” Echo responded quickly

 

“Surviving is lucky enough out there and we know that judging by what has happened over the last few days” Lexa countered as soon as Indra finished speaking, her tone harsher than she had intended

 

“I just think that it’s nice that we have a bed to sleep in, we can all sleep without having to watch our backs from zombies and we have a guaranteed meal when we wake up” Echo chimed in optimistically “No, this is not all free and we know that but we’re soldiers. If this goes south then we get our gear and leave, it is as simple as that. These people don’t pose a threat to us, not even that girl who was carrying that huge shotgun”

 

Everyone is a threat” Nyko retorted cautiously in disagreement

 

“Is Clarke a threat, Lexa?” Echo asked looking to the brunette who was deep in thought

 

“I think Clarke is on our side” Lexa mumbled thoughtfully

 

“And I think everyone else in here is on our side too” Echo replied “Because they need us. This place has no security, how they have survived with just one person on the gate, I will never know but we can provide that at least. Just let us have this happiness for this one moment because you know we needed this or we were probably just going to die before we got to Texas. You made the right decision coming here so maybe you should trust yourself more”

 

“I do trust myself, its other people not so much” Lexa refuted before she sighed “Once we meet their condition we will stay as long as we can to try and make this work. If I see any sign of trouble though, we are getting our stuff and we are going. That’s as a group too”

 

“You got it but hopefully it won’t come to that” Lincoln nodded

 

It was needless to say that Lexa didn’t get much sleep that night. She had too many things running through her mind, there were too many variables going on in her head to let her sleep peacefully. Instead she spent the night by the window, watching the empty street but seeing nothing except for the two people on patrol duty that passed her every so often. The most outstanding thing in her mind that was preventing her from sleep though was seeing Costia transform into Clarke during her dream. The Clarke in her dream wasn’t infected but for some reason, Lexa still felt as if the dream version of her was still scared of the blonde appearing in front of her though perfectly fine.

 

The real Clarke definitely scared her because she obviously didn’t have time for a relationship during the zombie apocalypse because she was too busy trying to stay alive. Now though, she didn’t have to look over her shoulder for infected or people trying to kill them for their possessions but Lexa knew it had nothing to do with that at all and everything to do with the fact that this girl was Clarke Griffin. It simply scared her because she never thought she would or could develop feelings for someone other than Costia but now that she had, she wasn’t sure what to do. She had a very good idea that Clarke felt the same but she didn’t know to what level she reciprocated feelings to, for all she knew Clarke was just an affectionate person.

 

The brunette had never even thought about another girl or taken a second look at anyone while they were on the outside. That changed though when Clarke came running through an uneven field being chased by a horde of hungry infected. Having feelings for someone was honestly a detriment in the world that was now practically dictated by the infected, you lived in their world and you had to survive despite them. Feelings caused pain when you attach yourself to someone only to lose them, letting someone into your heart could cause you to make a stupid mistake, and love was a weakness just waiting to be tested.

 

At least that’s what she thought in her Pre-Clarke Griffin, Post-Apocalyptic world.

 

Days since outbreak: 700
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota