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Lexa felt the cool breeze sweep against her skin, blowing a few loose strands of hair into her face that were tucked under her red baseball cap but she only smiled as she pushed the brown locks away from her eyes. She stretched her arms high above her head, feeling a release of tension between her shoulders whilst wiggling her fingers as they reached up towards the warm afternoon sun.

 

She felt the coolness of the water on her feet as her legs dangled off the boardwalk she was sitting on, enjoying the relative silence around her. The only thing that she could actually hear was the sound of birds chirping happily in and crickets calling behind her on the outside of the lake. Things were okay, for the first time in a while, Lexa knew that things were going to be okay and she felt as if she could breathe the fresh air properly with ease.

 

The brunette kicked her legs in the water gently, enjoying the simplicity of the light breaking against the surface of that water to form different colours and patterns. Her smile only widened as she saw a bird fly overhead, circling around the lake as it looked curiously over Lexa who stood from the boardwalk; placing her hands on her hips to admire the graceful creature. The large bird circled the lake once more before, using its powerful wings to guide it effortlessly through the air. As it finished it’s circle though, something changed and Lexa had no idea what caused the change but suddenly the bird was in a direct line that headed towards her. She took a step backwards, faltering at the sight of the bird traveling at speed while aiming itself right at her; only turning on her heel to run as she heard it squawk deafeningly.

 

When she turned around though she wasn’t at the lake where she had spent her childhood summers anymore, but instead she was in downtown LA. She turned around quickly to see if the bird had followed but it was gone and so was the lake, even stranger she was now dressed completely in her military gear. She recognised where she was instantly as the place where her company had been deployed to on some kind of containment mission they were told nothing about. Whenever Lexa asked for answers from superiors she would be told it was classified and needed to follow orders; those orders though were to shoot anyone on site who tried to leave the containment area without question.

 

Sirens sounded loudly in her ears, screams echoed through the warm summers night as the power cut in the section of town her company was guarding. Lexa wasn’t sure what exactly they were guarding it from and she didn’t know whether they were positioned there to protect the people on the inside or the outside because she was surrounded by chaos. All she knew was that she had to stand there, no matter what was happening around her and shoot anything or anyone that approached her to leave.

 

She heard distinct loud pops of gunfire up ahead, looking to her fellow squad member Indra who was looking back at her for possible guidance or an order. The gunfire came from an area that was also being patrolled by their company and these were the first shots anyone had heard being fired; causing instant panic behind them in the containment area. Lexa gave her a nod and they pushed through into the darkness and chaos to try to find the source of the gunfire to try and bring a relative calm back for the people who were trapped in the area.

 

They heard more screaming which lead to even more gunfire but these rounds weren’t contained like the last ones had been, they didn’t stop for a while. They reached the corner of the street that the gunfire was coming from, a sluggish moving yet aggressive pack of people surrounding two soldiers in the distance.

 

“Step away or we’ll be forced to shoot. We understand your frustration but need you to back away now” Lexa called down the street commandingly to try and help her fellow soldiers as she raised her assault rifle to aim at the increasing group of people that were emerging from the other side of the street. Her eyes widened in disbelief as they pounced on the soldiers who were trying to back away, stray bullets flying through the air as blood curdling screams make her skin crawl

 

Lexa looked through the scope that she had fitted to her rifle with and paused, feeling blood drain from her face as her mouth went dry. The people weren’t beating the soldiers, they weren’t even trying to steal their weapons; they were eating them. Lexa saw their hands grabbing and pulling, blood flowing from the bodies now limp on the ground; only shaking from the frenzied attack caused by the mob.

 

“Oh my god” Lexa mumbled to herself as a few of them looked up with blood dripping from their still hungry mouths, turning their attention to Indra and herself “We have to move”

 

“What the hell are they?” Indra asked, the harden soldier’s fear was evident in her tone

 

“I don’t think we want to find out” Lexa replied with a shake of her head

 

She turned with Indra to flee but when she turned she was somewhere completely different again. She was away from the containment area, in a neighbourhood that she recognised instantly; she was on the street of her childhood home. It was where her parents still lived, it was where she lived until she had moved out to base not too far away, and the house next door to that was where her girlfriend of 3 years had lived before she also moved to base with Lexa.

 

The soldier ran towards her home as fast as her legs could carry, hoping to find her parents safe and sound inside so she could take them with. Suddenly she stumbled though, her foot tripping over themselves as she rushed towards the people who meant the most to her. She fell with a grunt, knowing it would sting later but had no time to waste; she quickly pushed herself up only to freeze as she saw the outline of someone in front of her.

 

Costia.                                                               

 

She reached her hand out to place it on her girlfriend’s shoulder, spinning her around with a grin on her face. Her grin quickly turned to horror though as the other girl lunged at her savagely, a searing pain ripping through her body as the woman she loved attacked her violently.

 

Lexa felt a rush of blood and took a loud gasp of air as her eyes shot open, pushing her cap away from her face quickly as she breathed frantically. Her heart raced in her ears, feeling her body covered in sweat as she looked around the campfire she was sleeping next to. Memories quickly began flooding through her mind: Outbreak, Government Shutdown, Costia, Killing, Loss, Survival.

 

 She sat up quickly, gripping her custom AR-15 rifle next to her and looking around in the dark to see the reflection of light illuminating what was left of her squad or now dysfunctional family who either resting or on look out around the fire.

 

It was a dream.

 

“Those nightmares are becoming more frequent” She heard her friend Echo mumble from behind her

 

“It’s a mix of nightmares and flashbacks” Lexa grumbled as she rubbed her eyes roughly before yanking on the long sleeve of her green button up shirt “And I don’t know what’s worse”

 

“Probably the flashbacks” Echo answered shaking her head “You need to talk about it?”

 

“No” Lexa mumbled simply “But I’m done sleeping for the night so you rest and I’ll take over watch”

 

“Are you sure?” Echo asked raising an eyebrow “Indra and I are on rotation for the night”

 

“It’s fine” Lexa replied turning her body to face the other girl “Get some sleep”

 

“Whatever you say, Commander” Echo smirked, moving from where she was sitting to be a little closer to the fire

 

“Don’t call me that” Lexa snapped as she moved herself to rest her back against a large tree, still gripping her gun closely to her body with her finger resting gently under the trigger

 

She looked across the fire to see Indra staring out into the darkness of the forest they had pushed into for the night off the road they were traveling, her expression hardened as she clutched her pistol in her hands readily. Lexa sighed to herself quietly feeling a pain in her stomach from hunger while she tried to push the tiredness from her eyes away. She needed to be awake and she needed to be alert; she definitely could have done with more sleep because she had driven for hours that day but she knew if she slept she would just have those nightmares or flashbacks again.

 

She pulled her notebook from the pocket of her black jeans, flipping it open to the most recent page that she had written in; squinting slightly to read the very last number on the tattered paper. Lexa estimated that it was well past midnight so she pulled out the pen in that same pocket, scribbling on the side of the page to try and get some ink in the ball of the pen to write down the new day.

 

Days since outbreak: 697
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Gustus, Lincoln, Echo, Nyko and Quint.
Destination: Army Base, outside Dallas Texas

 

It had been just under 2 years since the outbreak was first reported, 697 days since the world went to complete and utter hell. Lexa and her squad had been together in downtown LA when the containment began, what they hadn’t realized was that the Government knew what exactly was going on but none of the soldiers were told so they went into that containment area without a proper brief. The general public were told not to panic but to just stay inside saying that there was a sickness spreading which was causing people to think irrationally and aggressively but in an age of social media; this calmness was quickly turned into wide spread chaos as the number of infected quickly exploded across the country.

 

As the infected increased, the order and law quickly crumbled away; the government disbanding almost instantly while a survival of the fittest state of mind quickly replaced any kindness or humanity the world had left. When the government disbanded after not knowing how to deal with this problem, Lexa followed her captain with a small convoy of vehicles towards the nation’s capital in hope of some kind of plan or hope from the nation’s leader to defeat the infection that was taking over or to at least try to restore some order. They knew it was a long shot, they knew that they might not even make it there so the captain released all remaining soldiers from their duties, only asking those who wanted to go to join him rather than feeling like it was an obligation. After those who had wanted to leave had left, they set out on their ill-fated journey to Washington DC.

 

Things seemingly went from bad to worse as the days moved by, people were turning into savages and Lexa was losing faith in humanity more and more as she saw how people exploited each other; not in the name of survival but pure selfishness. The infected, or Zombies, as they were calling them, were overrunning the cities and pushing out into country land but it was the people that weren’t infected that soon became the real danger.

 

No one respected their authority anymore, trying to hunt them down for supplies or their vehicles; which was a sure sign for Lexa that people had lost all hope that there was a way out of it. She didn’t blame them though;Lexa had lost all hope herself when she saw the woman she loved turned into one of those things after they had quickly swept their base to check for any surviving loved ones. The brunette even had to kill the un-dead version of her girlfriend herself, not willing to let Costia’s body to roam around like that after her soul was long gone.

 

That was just one of the things that had hardened Lexa during her 697 days of survival, many of the other things occurring as they made their way to Washington DC only to arrive and find that there was nothing or no one left. It took them a lot longer to get there than they thought because of road blockages and all of the complications they came across so those that were left were tired, deciding to camp out in an abandoned grocery store for the night.

 

The next day, day 389, Lexa woke to a very loud gunshot in the middle of the night. Her captain had shot himself because he didn’t want to live any longer knowing that there was nothing they could do to prevent what was happening. Unfortunately though that loud gunshot and his freedom cost a lot of people their lives, catching the attention of a large horde of infected that quickly stormed the weakly reinforced grocery store; killing everyone inside except for Lexa and 6 of her squad. 

 

Thankfully something that night told Lexa to stay by the back door of the store, grabbing all the squad-mates she could before they fought their way into 2 vehicles and took off as fast as they could. They left the East Coast to try and make it somewhere in the country where the space of the land was greater than the number of infected, their focus quickly turning to surviving from day to day. They ditched their uniforms and became what they needed to in order to make it in the post apocalyptic world that was now indeed survival of the fittest, but rallied her squad together knowing that they were much stronger as a group than they were as individuals. Lexa became the leader of their group, not by her choice but mostly by default seeing as she was the most senior ranked member of the group left alive but was the youngest by far.

 

She was a great leader and an even better soldier, thanking her father almost daily for constantly taking her hunting when she was younger and of course her army training that gave her a bit of an advantage than a civilian when it came to her weapon handling abilities. She was the best shot in the group, which made it all the more difficult when she was usually on point and having to take infected down when they largely still looked human. As the number of days went on, the less human the infected were looking as the bodies began to soften or decompose. It wasn’t nice and it wasn’t pretty at all but it made things a little easier on Lexa’s conscience knowing that she didn’t have a choice but to put them down or she would become one of them; even if she was going to become one of them anyway when she eventually died.

 

The group had learnt a lot in their travels and had come across some interesting people. Around day 630 they learnt from a very smart yet crazy group of people that everyone had already been infected by this strain of disease and it took over the body 1 of 2 ways. The first way was either to be bitten or scratched by one of the infected; the other was to simply pass away. They also figured out very quickly that the only way to kill the infected was to inflict a fatal wound within the brain, which was something that may have seemed obvious but they would have liked to know that before they wasted many rounds of ammunition on shots to the body. Knowing that just made Lexa want to work that much harder to try and find some kind of hope, not wanting to turn into one of the infected once she died.

 

She didn’t want to become one of them. She was the leader of the group, charged with making all of the big decisions and she wasn’t proud of some of the things she had to do in order for them to survive. She had to make hard decisions that she normally would never even consider in the old world but she did what she had to do and there was no other choice. Lexa refused to let go of her humanity though, she refused to become greedy or selfish just for the sake of it; reminding her group constantly that their humanity was what separated them from the so called zombies.

 

It was day 697 and their current location was somewhere just south of the Nebraska and South Dakota state line; continuing South after hearing of a rally point, a safety zone as such in Texas that had apparently been established. They had heard the call over their radio for any able military to try and head to an army base just outside of Dallas, the communication coming from inside said base. It was risky for a multitude of reasons, it would take a lot to get there and they didn’t know whether there was anything in the first place for them at that base or whether it would still be standing once they got there, if the call was legitimate. It was a huge decision; upon which the outcome was vital to their survival so Lexa decided to put it up to a vote and after a lengthy debate they decided that’s exactly where they were headed.   

 

Lexa sighed, tucking her red, worn baseball cap tightly back on her head and brushing her hair behind her ears before stuffing the notepad back into her pocket. She put her pen into the other before standing up against the tree she had been leaning against to look out into the darkness; silently praying that the decision the group had made was the right one because she needed hope. She needed something.

 

---

 

Thankfully morning had broken quickly for Lexa, she had spent enough time that night with her own thoughts and she was ready for the distraction she knew the day would bring. She looked up at the blue sky and couldn’t help but smile a tiny bit; it was one of the most beautiful days she had seen in a while and if she wasn’t in the middle of what she considered a war zone, she might have been able to appreciate it more.

 

The group sat around the now only smoking camp fire, getting ready to start moving for the day; it was the second day though that they had gone without much food. They had been low on food after a trade for gas they had completed with one of the only friendly groups of people they had come across. They needed to eat, Lexa knew that but they needed to also be able to move their vehicles far enough for them to get to Texas. She figured that they could suffer and survive for a few days before they came across something more substantial to eat than half a can of beans a day.

 

“There’s a few farms only 3 miles or so back south that surely should have supplies” Gustus said looking around the group, his eyes falling to Lexa who was staring intently in front of her at the smoking wood “We need food, water and if we keep trading our ammunition we’re going to have nothing left”

 

“But that’s going backwards” Indra disagreed “I’m sure we could find food somewhere else without having to double back and waste gas that we traded that very food for”

 

“I would just like to say I still disagree with that trade” Quint grumbled “We could have taken them”

 

“Enough” Lexa growled looking to the older man “That trade will keep us moving in a direction to get us food. Gas is scarcer than food right now and you know it. We are lucky to even have all the supplies that we do have right now”

 

“It was the right decision” Lincoln stated firmly “So let’s make another good decision and keep heading towards Texas”

 

“Who knows how long it will be before we find a clear road though, we could starve to death before we find somewhere going through a place we know nothing about when I know there is food in those farms” Gustus added, his eyes still focussing on the young leader “So what do you think?”

 

“I agree with Gustus” Lexa said after a moment of deliberation, her eyes shifting from the fire to look at the group around her “He makes sense and we’ve hardly come across anyone whilst we’ve been here so seeing as there’s a lot a land out here and not a lot of people I think we should be able to hopefully find some food supplies that have been relatively untouched”

 

“We don’t know that though” Echo protested

 

“Well we don’t know anything” Lexa said as she stood quickly “We need all the daylight we can get so let’s go now and be long past here by the time night falls. I’ll go in the Jeep with Indra, Gustus, Quint and Lincoln. Echo you take the Pickup with Nyko, got it? Use the walkies if you have any problems”

 

“If you get us killed, my zombie ass is coming to haunt yours” Echo said gruffly as they moved to their vehicles they had parked away from the road to hide them as well as they could

 

After clearing the area, they were on their way back towards the location Gustus had scouted. Lexa left him to drive as she sat in the passenger seat with her gun on her lap and her hunting knife in her belt around her waist.

 

“I have to say; the one good thing about this whole un-dead thing is that I get a new car just about every month or so” Gustus mumbled as he took a quick look into the revision mirror “And I think this wrangler is my favourite so far”

 

“This was a good find” Lincoln added “Plenty of leg room back here”

 

“Yeah because that’s our biggest concern” Indra scoffed with a smirk “Leg room”

 

“Well at least we have a vehicle that fits mostly all of us” Lexa muttered as her eyes caught sight of an infected on the side of the road struggling to get onto the road

 

“You guys seeing this?” Echo’s voice interrupted through the walkie talkie

 

“Seeing what?” Lexa asked after Indra handed her the walkie from the back

 

“A klick away, in the field to your right. Oh my god” Echo’s voice falling silent at the end of her sentence 

 

“Is that?” Lincoln began as their eyes all turned to the direction of Echo’s focus

 

“There’s a girl running through the field being chased by a pack of at least 20 zombies and they’re trailing her pretty quickly” Echo called quickly “What do we do?”

 

Lexa grabbed the binoculars from the side of the door to look out the window into open, old farming field ahead to find what Echo had relayed correct. A girl with tied back blonde hair, who looked about her age, was literally running for her life; albeit sluggishly, she was running as fast as she could through the uneven ground but she noticed something else too. Her hands were bound by rope tightly in front of her as she ran, only looking back on occasion as the determined horde of infected followed her closely.

 

“She’s already a goner” Quint said cautiously “And I know that sounds bad but all this is going to do is waste ammo and supplies we already can’t afford to lose. We have to just keep going”

 

“We can’t just leave the girl” Indra protested leaning forward to be in between the driver’s side and passengers seat to stare directly at brunette “We can’t just leave her, what does that make us?”

 

“Heartless” Lincoln said before adding reluctantly “But honestly smart in the long term”

 

“Speed up Gustus, we’re not going to let her die out here” Lexa said putting the binoculars down to pick up the walkie talkie once more “We’re going to pull up, we’ll get her attention and when those things start coming at us we start firing at anything that gets close”

 

“We’ll follow your lead” Echo confirmed as Lexa watched the girl running in the field as they got closer, urging her silently to look up and see them so she could start moving towards them

 

They stopped the cars clear of the road, catching the blonde’s attention immediately but Lexa saw her hesitate and she didn’t blame her. For all she knew they were all aiming their guns to shoot at her for no good reason because she wouldn’t put it past people to do that; so to prove their intentions quickly Lexa lined her first shot up. Exhaling a deep breath she fired her first single round, hitting the infected who was closest to the girl right between the eyes. It went down hard like a sack of potatoes behind the running girl, which made Lexa smile a little more than it probably should have.

 

She caught the blonde’s eye once more and frantically waved her over towards them as her squad began to unload their ammunition on the infected. She fired off a few more shots, hitting every single target she aimed for and quickly there was only one trailing sluggishly at the back of the pack. Lexa lined it up, hitting the slow moving un-dead with ease; leaving just the girl herself still rushing towards them.

 

“Why are we waiting for her?” Quint asked “We saved her, so let’s go. Not only would any zombies have heard that and will come running but I’m sure people around here heard that too”

 

“Keep your guns pointed but that’s it” Lexa said glancing back to Quint as the girl approached the fence of the field, stepping between the wires, pausing as she saw the intimidating sight of 7 guns trained on herself “We’re not going to shoot you if you just cooperate”

 

“If you’re going to shoot me, why save me?” The blonde gasped, trying to catch her breath shaking her head “Listen, I need your help and thank you by the way for saving me”

 

Everyone needs help out here sweetheart” Quint smirked with a shrug of his shoulders as he looked unnecessarily through his scope

 

“Check her for bites or scratches” Lexa said looking to Gustus and Indra “Before we do anything”

 

“I’m fine” The stranger shook her head once more, her eyes blue eyes grasping more of Lexa’s attention than she had intended to give the blonde girl

 

“Check her” Lexa repeated as her gun stayed aimed now reluctantly at the girl while Indra and Gustus moved towards her cautiously

 

“My hands are tied, what am I going to do?” She asked sarcastically as she held her arms out for presentation

 

The sharp comment causing a smile to tug on the corners of Lexa’s mouth as her squad members checked the girl for any signs of bites or abrasions but she looked to be in good condition. Her jeans were a little torn, her long sleeved blue shirt very dirty with a few holes down the bottom of the hem but otherwise she looked fine.

 

“Okay, you can see that I’m not infected and I know you guys are good enough people or I would be dead right now” Clarke said as she looked around cautiously “But I need your help  and if we don’t get off the road now we’re going to be in trouble”

 

“Why are your hands tied?” Lexa asked as she lowered her gun to take a small, cautious step into the other girl

 

“I’m from a community of survivors, we’ve built walls around a small portion of a neighbourhood. It’s safe; we have food, water, shelter, ammunition and we could offer you a home, somewhere to live” She began “But I need you to help me because there are going to be a group of men looking for me within the hour and I need to be gone by then”

 

“A group of men?” Indra asked “What are you talking about? I thought you said that your community was safe?”

 

“It is safe” She nodded before looking around again “But I was out on a scouting mission, looking for anything we could salvage around the area and just to see what the activity was like outside the community and these guys kidnapped me. They have their own community North West of here; I’ve been running for a few days”

 

“Where is your community?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow as she processed what she was hearing

 

“South of Minneapolis”

 

“You’re a far way from home” Quint said sceptically “This is obviously a trap, we need to either shoot her and be done with it or leave”

 

“No, it’s not a trap. I swear it’s not a trap” The girl said frantically “They took 2 of us while we were out on this scouting mission and they have been kidnapping people for a while. I was there for a month; it’s a large community which is I’m sure full of innocent people but the people actually run it are insane. They take your things, make you work and entertain themselves by forcing people they’ve captured to fight in these zombie pits. They’re trying to find some kind of a cure by using people they’ve captured”

 

“How did you escape?” Lexa questioned

 

“After a month of trying I got a group of zombie loose within the walls and used the chaos to escape” She replied as she kept her eyes on Lexa this time “I started moving North and I ran into that horde this morning, they’ve been chasing me for hours”

 

“Wait, so you were just going to run your way back to your community?” Lincoln asked

 

“If I had to” She nodded quickly “Please, I am one of the leaders of my community. I can promise you that you’ll get food, water and shelter. You’ll get a permanent place; somewhere you can settle in if you just take me back there”

 

“What’s your name?” Lexa asked raising her eyebrows

 

“I’m Clarke Griffin and if you weren’t all pointing guns at me, I’m sure it would be great to meet you” Clarke said anxiously

 

“Clarke” Lexa said pensively as she looked at the girl in front of her  

 

“So will you help me or should I keep running?” Clarke asked looking between her rescuers, her voice growing in anxiousness

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 697
Survivors: Lexa, Gustus, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo and Quint.
Additional: Clarke Griffin
Destination: Army Base, outside Dallas Texas

 

“You’re not actually considering this, are you?” Quint asked aggressively as he took a step towards the brunette raising his eyebrows “It’s madness, she literally just appeared from no where; promising us the impossible and you’re considering it?”

 

“It’s not impossible” Clarke retorted without acknowledging the other man “And I can take you there if you let me”

 

“I want to believe she is telling the truth” Lincoln said narrowing his eyes as he looked at the blonde “And if she is, we need to get off this road before these people come to find her”

 

“We’re going to Texas” Lexa said shaking her head as she looked at the blonde “We heard that there’s a rally point at an army base located just outside of Dallas, it could be some kind of safety zone”

 

“Listen, I don’t know about Texas and honestly it’s probably not a sure thing by my community is” Clarke said with her eyes looking at Lexa and only at the leader of the group intently “I can give you a permanent place to live and I know you’re tired of running or moving around. You can’t run forever, sooner or later something is going to give whether that be food, ammunition or fuel but if you live in our community you don’t have to worry about that”

 

“Honestly Clarke, it all sounds far too good to be true” Lexa snapped, waving her squad off to put down their guns

 

“It’s not perfect and it’s not always easy but it is very real” Clarke said, her tone dripping with conviction “I swear to you that it is real and I can show you that if you take me there. It’s a hell of a lot closer than Texas too”

 

Lexa sighed as she held the gaze of the blonde, noticing just how blue her eyes were for the first time and how her eyebrows creased slightly as she spoke with meaning, what she thought to be true.

 

“Can you guarantee us all you have promised if we return you?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow

 

“Commander you can’t be serious” Echo said from behind the brunette “I mean I’m glad we saved her but we’re not just going to go blindly with her to this mystical camp, are we?”

 

“If this is all true then we might have a place to stay” Lexa turned around to face the group “At least just for a little while. Isn’t that what we want? What we have been working endlessly to find?”

 

“We want to stay alive” Indra shook her head “That’s what we want”

 

“Listen, I know what it is like living from day to day knowing that this day could possibly be your last. You guys look like you are tired and you look like you are hungry. You have my word that I’m telling you the truth; The Ark is much closer than Texas and at least it’s a sure thing” Clarke began quickly

 

“The Ark?” Lincoln asked raising an eyebrow “It’s called The Ark?”

 

“How many people are living there now?” Lexa asked taking her cap off to run her hand over the top of her hair before turning back to the blonde

 

“Our community is called The Ark. Believe me, I don’t like the name either and we have about 30 people at the moment” Clarke answered without hesitation “We don’t usually take people in but we could use you guys, I mean clearly you know how to use your weapons and you look in pretty good condition considering everything so you must know what you’re doing. You need to make a decision now or I need to go because these guys are going to be on my trail soon and they will put me into a zombie pit or shoot dead on the spot if I’m lucky”

 

“Why would they care so much to go after you?” Gustus questioned curiously

 

“I told you, I’m a leader of my community and I think they know that” Clarke shrugged “That and I’m fairly sure I got a few people killed when I let those zombies loose, which wasn’t my intention but they were going to start experimenting on me so I had to make my move”

 

“8 and counting Infected on our 6” Echo called cautiously as she looked behind them on the road, the commotion they had caused was starting to attract attention “We’ve got to go”

 

“We’ll go to The Ark” Lexa said taking two steps towards Clarke so she could be face to face with her, their noses almost touching as the brunette’s jaw clenched “But if this is a set up and I even smell anything like this is a set up, I will leave you on the side of the road not caring where we are or who wants you”

 

“Fair enough” Clarke nodded, her expression not changing as she looked right back at the brunette, showing no sign of intimidation before holding her hands up “Can I be untied though?”

 

“Not yet” Lexa shook her head as she turned once more to her group “You have to trust me on this, I just think this is our better option considering how far away Texas is and we don’t even know what we are going for. We could run out of supplies by the time we even get there, I know we were hoping for something in Texas but what happened in Washington is still playing heavily on my mind”

 

“So what do we do? Just let her ride shotgun and navigate the way?” Echo grumbled, glancing but at the infected who were making their way closer to the group

 

“We are going to go find those farms to get supplies. While we are doing that, I’m going to have Clarke take me through the best way to get there on the map. Once I know where exactly this camp is; I will decide what I think is the best way” Lexa looked around to each of her group members “Gustus, you drive the jeep to where you saw those farms and I’ll ride in the back of the pickup with Clarke. It was my decision so I will be the one taking responsibility for her”

 

“You better watch her real closely then” Quint grunted as he pushed past Lexa to make his way to the Jeep once more

 

“Thank you” Clarke said sincerely to the brunette who just tugged her cap back on her head tightly

 

“You better be telling the truth” Lexa warned fiercely as she grabbed Clarke’s arm gently but firmly to guide her to the relatively new, blue pickup truck

 

Lexa climbed in first before holding her hand out to help Clarke up and the blonde decided it was a good idea to take the help considering her hands were tied together. The brunette opened the back window into the cab of the truck before sitting down against it next to the blonde girl they had just rescued; watching the infected try to sluggishly catch up with them as Echo began to drive.

 

“So I don’t really know how to thank you for all of that back there” Clarke spoke just loudly enough for it to be audible to Lexa next to her

 

“You were in trouble, I wasn’t going to let those things get to you” Lexa shook her head as her eyes stayed focussed on the road behind them, wanting to put down every single one of the infected chasing after them but knew it was just wasting much needed ammunition “You looked tired”

 

“I was tired” Clarke nodded, using her tied hands to push some matted hair from her face “I am tired”  

 

“I can tell” Lexa answered simply

 

“But you do too” Clarke counted quickly “Look tired that is”

 

“You saw what we were capable of, granted those infected couldn’t shoot back but you know what you are screwing with if you are trying to send us into a trap, right?” Lexa raised her eyebrows looking to Clarke as her hand gripped tightly on the gun in her lap

 

“That’s why I wouldn’t screw with you” Clarke responded with a quick nod “Honestly I thought I was seeing things when I saw that one right behind me drop; you guys didn’t waste a bullet. Which leads me to believe that you’re military”

 

“We’re not military” Lexa mumbled shaking her head as her eyes averted out to the road they were travelling once more, her jaw clenching tightly

 

“Obviously not now but you’re ex military, all of you” Clarke pushed “You’re very young for a commander”

 

“I’m not” Lexa spoke strongly through gritted teeth “I’m not a Commander; they just call me that because I’m in charge for now”

 

“But you all met in the military?” Clarke asked curiously, holding onto the side of the pickup as they turned a corner “Decided against keeping your uniforms?”

 

“We were all in the same company” Lexa confirmed, her voice dropping instantly “Before the outbreak that is and seeing as there is no Government, there is no need to wear our uniforms. Plus people see it and think supplies or ammunition, which was something we learnt very quickly”

 

“Well you’ve done a great job staying alive out here together” Clarke complimented honestly “You guys look to be in good condition for living out here”

 

“How long have you been in your community for?” Lexa questioned quickly, looking down to the blonde’s bound wrists and noticing the rawness the tightness of the ropes had caused against her skin

 

“My mom and I reached it a year ago; they started building it around a small neighbourhood when the outbreak first started. We helped them finish it, fortify it and now we’re leaders within The Ark” Clarke answered with a sad smile “I was on the outside for almost a year so I know you probably think I have no idea what it’s like, but I do. I know what it’s like to be on the run and living day to day”

 

“While I know you are trying to just make conversation with me here but don’t try and relate to what we have been through yet. You have no idea just what we have been through” Lexa snapped, her eyes shutting tightly as the image of Costia filled her mind “It’s gotten a lot worse over the past year…people have become worse than the infected”

 

“Case and point” Clarke said holding her hands up in front of her, the sad smile still on her face “I know that you’re hostility towards me is warranted but there are some good people left in this world. If there weren’t, I would be dead by now” 

 

“So why should I trust that you’re a good person?” Lexa opened her eyes once more but wouldn’t meet the blonde’s glance again

 

“Nothing I can say can convince you but what I do can change your mind” Clarke shrugged, leaning her head up against the back of the pickup cab “My father always reminded me that words meant nothing if they weren’t backed up by action. I’ll get you into the community and your group will be safe from the outside, you will have a place to stay permanently. We’ve got some really smart people there; an engineer, my mom is a doctor, teachers, therapist, politicians”

 

“You can’t just erect walls around a few houses and keep the world from coming in, one way or another those walls will break” Lexa shook her head “That’s just what happens”

 

“So why make this decision then? Why not leave me and go to Texas?” Clarke retored without missing a beat

 

“Because you needed help” Lexa responded just as quickly “And my group needs hope. I don’t know whether we would make it to Texas or not with everyone the way things were going. You were right, something had to give and I could see it was going to so I made a decision. I don’t know why I just told you all that but there you have it”

 

“Well I’m just thankful it was you guys who I stumbled across”

 

“So you and your mom just came across this community?” Lexa questioned once more “And they just let you in?”

 

“They needed manpower and we were able to help so we earned our place. My father was ex-military too and he knew one of the guys who had the idea to start the Ark.” Clarke paused, breaking her sentence to swallow a lump in her throat “He died trying to get us there so my mom and I promised we’d help form it, making it what it is today”

 

“You’re a pretty young leader” Lexa commented with a hint of suspicion

 

“So are you” Clarke shrugged simply, seemingly completely unthreatened by the other girl

 

The pickup rolled to a stop as they reached one of the farms Gustus had spotted while they had moved through this particular area the previous day. Everyone but Lexa and Nyko went inside to quickly comb the area, finding anything of use they could possibly take with them. Lexa climbed out of the pickup truck, pausing to look at Clarke who was sitting there patiently and watching her.

 

“Don’t worry, I probably couldn’t run if I wanted to” Clarke said wearily as she shook her head

 

The brunette sighed, her sharpness causing a smile to pull on her lips once again but she made sure to turn away before the reaction took over her features. She was interesting, Lexa would give her that and she did seem genuine but she still wasn’t going to completely trust her until she knew she could. Lexa put her gun over her shoulder to hang around her back, grabbed her old, worn backpack from the jeep; closing the door very quietly before she returned to the back of the truck to set her bag down next to the blonde where she had been seated before they stopped. Silently, she pulled the tattered map out of the bag but left it folded beside her before digging through the bag once more to grasp the half full water bottle sitting right down the bottom.

 

“You said you were running for hours” Lexa said quietly as she undid the cap of the water bottle, holding it out in front of Clarke who only watched her “You can have as much as you want”

 

“Why?” Clarke asked, her eyes dropping to the clear liquid inside the bottle while her thirst hit her like a lightning bolt

 

“Well because I need you hydrated and alive to get us to your community” Lexa shrugged, shaking the water in front of her very slightly as a gesture for the other girl to take it “And you can’t have had any water since you left wherever you did. I know what it’s like to be running and thirsty like that, you need to drink”    

 

Clarke took the water from Lexa’s hand quickly but she didn’t snatch it from her hands. She consumed the water greedily, unable to contain her thirst any longer and finishing every drop in Lexa’s bottle. She pulled the now empty, plastic bottle from her mouth sheepishly to hand back to the other girl who wordlessly screwed the top back on and pushed it to the bottom of her bag once more. Still without speaking she spread the map out in front of them both, placing her finger on a spot between South Dakota and Nebraska to show Clarke their current location.

 

“So where is this so called Ark?” Lexa asked raising her eyebrows while glancing to Clarke

 

“It’s outside of West Bloomington, Minnesota” Clarke pointed to the exact location on the map “We’ve made the main road impassable for cars so you’re going to have to hide your vehicles before we get there. My suggestion is to head as East as we can before we head North, stay out of the way of the camp I was held at”

 

“Quint was right” Lexa said cautiously as she looked down at the map “You are a long way from home”

 

“We were on a scouting mission” Clarke replied “It was almost like these people were just looking for us because our people have been out that way before”

 

“So this other camp, they just steal people?” Lexa asked looking up from the map

 

“They kidnap people all the time, or some people go willingly with them thinking they are going to a safety zone because that’s what they tell people” Clarke explained “They have been doing this for the past few months, I knew about it as I was going out on that particular scouting mission. The kidnappings increased over the time that I was there and I saw a few people from the Ark being brought in. I still know people in there”

 

“So why didn’t you try to escape with them?”

 

“Because I had to go myself, I didn’t have time to discuss what I was doing with anyone and I plan on getting them back somehow but I saw an opportunity. I feel terrible for leaving them there but I’m pretty sure I was next in line for cure experimentation so I had to go” Clarke tried to explain herself once more, the one thing stopping Lexa from completely discrediting her story was the complete look of guilt on the blonde’s face “I know what I did was wrong but I had to go”

 

“You survived” Lexa shrugged “Sometimes you have to make the decision to survive”

 

“But I’ve probably caused them to pay” Clarke sighed as she raised her bound hands from the map to scratch her forehead with the palm of her hand

 

“What is the cure experimentation?” Lexa asked next, pulling the pen from her pocket to circle the location of the Ark; frustratingly scribbling on the side of the map to get the ink working once more

 

“They try and play God but have no idea what they are doing. They seem to think they are coming close to a cure or an immunisation from the infection so they’re using people they kidnap to test it on. They inject people with whatever they think is going to work that week and then let them get bitten. Of course this always ends in the other person either getting eaten alive or infected themselves if they live through that” Clarke said quietly, a sarcastic laugh leaving her still dry throat “I’ve seen it happen so many times while I was there and it never works but they still think it’s going to”

 

“There’s no cure for this thing” Lexa snapped more to herself than Clarke “It’s been almost 2 years, if there was a cure then it would have been found by now. There’s no cure”

 

“I agree” Clarke responded with a shrug “They regularly put people in pits with zombies and force them to fight before they eventually die. For some reason to them it’s entertaining”

 

“How many people in that community?” Lexa asked quickly “Not including those who have been kidnapped or held against their will?”

 

“Maybe 60?” Clarke said in an unsure tone

 

“And you think they are coming after you?”

 

“I know they are, I saw them follow me out” Clarke replied “And they’re probably still looking for me after I just let out a pack of the zombies they were keeping”

 

“Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if we did come across them” Lexa said gripping the pen tightly between her fingers

 

---

 

The group went through all the farms on the stretch of road that they could with a little luck and success; finding some left over cans of food, a small amount of ammunition as well as some medical supplies before they decided it was best that they moved on. They were going to look for a place to stay that night so Lexa could discuss the best route to The Ark with Gustus and Indra who she looked to for guidance when she thought she may have been out of her depth. For the time being though they were moving North while they could without problem or obstruction, knowing that their luck would probably run out sooner or later so they had to take it while they had it.

 

“Commander there’s something interesting going on up ahead” She heard Indra walkie over the sound of static filling the air

 

“What do you see?” Lexa asked placing the walkie in front of her to speak as she leaned out to peak at the 2 cars by the side of the road in the distance

 

“Movement next to those cars, there are people behind them” Indra spoke ominously “Looks like about 6 guys”

 

“It’s a trap, clearly” Nyko said from inside the pickup

 

“Are they armed?” Lexa asked

 

“Not that I can see” Indra answered after a moment of observation “What do you think?”

 

“Let’s approach with extreme caution; this is the only unblocked road for miles so we don’t really have a choice but weapons at the ready” Lexa said with a sigh “We’ll just keep going if we can, if they move to stop us then we stop a distance away from them to give us some time”

 

“It could be them” Clarke said quietly as she looked to Lexa who just kept her eyes on the blonde while she tried to think

 

“I think we’re about to get into a shootout” Echo said as she looked back into the revision mirror

 

“I hope not” Lexa swallowed thickly, turning to look through the middle of the cab at the jeep in front “God I hope not”

 

They kept the same speed as they approached the cars on the side of the road, all eyes focussed on what was going on around them. Lexa had hoped that their cars had just broken down and they could bypass quickly without too much trouble but she knew that was probably too simple; and it was.

 

“A few of them are walking onto the road and waving us down” Gustus said into the walkie “I’m going to stop away from them and see what they want, you guys have less protection so stay back there”

 

“Copy that, confirmed 6 possible hostiles?” Lexa asked peaking around the cab of the pickup as they slowed

 

“Confirmed” Gustus replied “Keep an ear out”

 

The pickup rolled to an uncomfortable stop a distance away from the Jeep, Echo keeping the motor running as they watched Gustus, Lincoln, Quint and Indra all step out of the car with their guns pointed.

 

“We don’t want any trouble” One of the guys said calmly as he stepped out of line of his group with his hands raised “I don’t have a weapon but we are looking for someone”

 

“We haven’t seen anyone for miles” Gustus said with his gun still aimed directly at the guy speaking

 

“My friends and I are looking for our cousin, her father sent us to look for her. She ran away a few nights ago and we’ve been looking for her ever since. We’re just worried about her because she’s… you could say unwell. She’s got blonde hair, lovely blue eyes, a smart mouth” He explained slowly, glancing back towards the Pickup where Lexa was watching “And we think she went the way you guys have just come from. She’s unstable and needs to go home if she’s still alive”

 

Lexa’s eyes tore away from the scene in front of them to look at Clarke who sat frozen in the back of the pickup. She sunk down to hide herself a little further with wide eyes, the blue orbs silently screaming to Lexa to help her out of this situation. Lexa wasn’t sure what to think but she could see the fear in the other girls eyes was more than real, whatever she was running from, whoever these guys were; made her terrified beyond words. It was something that Lexa couldn’t deny; it was something that she couldn’t stand for either.

 

“Which one of you is in charge?” That same member of the group spoke hopefully

 

Lexa pulled out her hunting knife from her belt to lean forward into Clarke, the blonde flinching as Lexa inched closer but pausing when she realized the other girl was cutting her loose from the rope around her wrists. Lexa’s eyes stayed on Clarke’s as she pulled the rope away, touching her raw skin gently to calm the blonde down before putting her knife away. She reached into the bag beside her, pulling out the suppressor before attaching it to her rifle quickly.

 

“If we are going to die then you don’t deserve to have your hands tied” Lexa spoke morbidly as she pulled at something on the other side of her belt under her shirt once more to produce a pistol, holding it out to Clarke “You shoot?”

 

“Well” Clarke nodded

 

“Good because I don’t plan on dying today anyway and we might need to help each other here” Lexa said quietly “Stay here and don’t move”

 

Without another word Lexa jumped out from the back of the pickup, making her way to the jeep and heard the doors to the truck open and closed as Echo followed closely with Nyko.

 

“We don’t know where the girl is” Lexa said as she picked up her gun to aim at the man who had been talking “And we’d like to be on our way before daylight fades so if you’d kindly move out the way, we’d be grateful”

 

“You guys are fairly well stocked” The man said with raised eyebrows “Did you raid a police station or something?”

 

“These weapons are ours and I suggest you don’t try and take them because we know how to use them” Indra snapped “Now move out of our way so we don’t have to kill you”

 

“Are you sure you haven’t seen our cousin?” He pressed impatiently

 

“We haven’t seen her but there was a big horde of zombies back where we just came through so if she is as unstable as you say she is, unfortunately she might not have made it” Lexa shook her head, wiggling her fingers to grip her gun tightly once more “Again, we’d be really grateful if you just moved but we will keep an eye out for her”

 

“I don’t know why you are making this so difficult” The demeanour of the hunting party leader changing drastically between sighs “But your weapons will be a good steal”

 

Lexa heard the echo of a single shot fired, not seeing where it came from but she felt a piercing burn in her left upper arm. She squeezed the trigger to fire her gun into the chest of the guy who had been talking, as soon as her shot was fired there were bullets flying dangerously everywhere. The 7 of her squad easily took out the guys they could see but as they started to fall back to their vehicles, Lexa heard movement to her left.

 

She turned to see a young man with an assault rifle who had slinked away from the main group, aimed right at her with a merciless look on his face. She heard 3 loud shots ring out through the air but felt no pain. Instead, she saw the young man who had been aiming at her fall to the ground where she found Clarke standing behind him with her pistol aimed; her chest rising and falling quickly.

 

“This is all her fault” Quint said aiming his gun at Clarke as he rushed to step towards her “We were almost killed for her”

 

“Quint, enough” Lexa snapped “She just saved my life, possibly a few of our lives. At least we know she is telling the truth now, they were after her.

 

“But we have no idea why still” Quint protested

 

 “We don’t have time to argue, we need to leave now” Lexa warned as she looked back at her soldier “Stand down and we can talk about this when we find somewhere to spend the night”

 

“We will be talking about this” Quint grumbled

 

Lexa glanced back to Clarke who only had eyes for the young man who was dead on the floor in front of Lexa, her lips pursed while her eyes displayed the disgust she felt inside. Lexa rushed past the now dead guy, grabbing his rifle from the floor before pulling Clarke away by the arm to the back of the pickup once more. They moved straight away, driving around the dead bodies of the people who were shooting at them just moments ago.

 

“Here” Clarke said while holding out the pistol in front of Lexa, handle first

 

“Keep it” Lexa shook her head as she rested it against the window of the cab before sighing deeply “I think that horde will be coming back towards this way after that commotion”

 

“Giving me up would have been easier” Clarke said honestly as she moved to tuck the gun away “You all could have been killed”

 

“You’d think it would have been easier, huh?” Lexa mumbled as she shifted her body with a grimace

 

“You okay?” Clarke asked raising an eyebrow

 

“Fine” Lexa nodded looking down to her left arm to see a bloodstain covering most of her sleeve, edging closer to the other side of the truck so that the blonde couldn’t see “Thank you for saving my life back there”

 

“Thank you for trusting me enough to untie me and give me a gun” Clarke replied with her own nod “You can trust me by the way, I’m telling you the truth”

 

“The truth can be whatever you want it to be if you believe it enough” Lexa said sceptically as she kept her eyes on her wound “All I know is that those guys were hunting you and you deserved to be able to defend yourself if it came down to it. I don’t know, maybe I’m too optimistic about you because you’ve given us hope. I mean you could have shot me before he did if you were a part of their group”

 

“I could have but I wouldn’t and I’m clearly not a part of their group”

 

 “Well I know that you aren’t a part of their group now” Lexa confirmed, wincing as they went over a pothole before turning her head to face the other girl “I didn’t really think you were in the first place”

 

“This is only going to work if we can trust each other” Clarke said openly “Though I think a few of your squad are ready to shoot me on sight”

 

“If you can deliver what you are promising then I can trust you” Lexa mumbled “And leave them to me, they’re just a bit unsure”

 

“I guess I don’t blame them” Clarke replied with a quick shrug

 

“You’re definitely unique, Clarke” Lexa admitted with a small sigh as her arm pulsated in pain, moving her right hand to quickly grab her wound to try and stop the flow of blood after realizing her wound might have been a little more serious than she thought “I think I was hit”

 

“You think you were hit?” Clarke asked raising her eyebrows “What are you talking about”

 

“That guy with the rifle must have fired first because I think he grazed my arm” Lexa said taking her hand away from her left arm, shaking as the redness of blood now stained her palm

 

“Oh my god” Clarke said furrowing her eyebrows in concern “Is the bullet in your arm?”

 

“No it cut through my skin” Lexa flinched as she moved her arm to look down at the wound with a wince “It’s just a graze”

 

Clarke moved from Lexa’s side carefully as the Pickup drove along the dirt road, positioning herself to be directly in front of the brunette who watched her cautiously. Clarke’s eyes held Lexa’s  gaze for a lingering moment, both of them pausing as they looked at one another. Lexa opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, she was only able to blink quickly as she watched the other girl intently.

 

“Can I see your arm please?” Clarke asked quietly, breaking the silence between the pair

 

Lexa nodded silently, turning her body to show Clarke the wound on her arm; the blonde girls concern evident immediately

 

“You’re right, the bullet didn’t go through you but it certainly grazed you badly” Clarke said grabbing Lexa’s right hand to place it over her wound for pressure “Keep that there”

 

Clarke reached for the knife on Lexa’s belt quickly, pulling it out before the brunette could realize what was happening. She didn’t know whether it was the pain or the blonde that was contributing to her lack of concentration but she had a pretty good idea that she was in incredible danger with this girl reaching for her knife. She moved her arm from her wound, grabbing Clarke’s forearm forcefully which caused the blonde girl to freeze.

 

“I’m only going to use it to cut the hem of my shirt so I can tie something around the wound before we stop” Clarke said with wide eyes “I’m not going to stab you”

 

“Can you blame me?” Lexa muttered, her grip still firm on Clarke’s arm

 

“No” Clarke replied honestly “I told you though, you can trust my actions”

 

Lexa deliberated for a moment as she watched the blonde’s unchanged expression of determination, watching the brunette patiently as she deliberated within her own head. Lexa slowly let go of Clarke’s forearm and watched her do exactly what she said she would do, cut a hole in her shirt so she could rip the hem into a long ribbon of material. Clarke handed Lexa the knife as soon as she was done, offering her the handle as the blade sat in her own hand and Lexa obliged immediately to take the hunting knife back so she could put it back in it’s sheath. Clarke shifted to basically straddle Lexa’s waist as they moved through bumpy terrain, her focus fixed on the bullet wound while the brunette could do nothing but focus on the almost strangers body contact.

 

She felt a sharp pain in her arm as Clarke tied the material tightly over her wound before moving quickly from her waist to sit next to her once more against the back of the cab. She wiped the blood from her hands onto her pants like it was nothing before running a now clean hand through her hair. Lexa tugged tightly at her baseball cap with her right hand as her wound throbbed only for a moment longer before the pain began to fade into the background.

 

“Do you have a first aid kit?”

 

“In the jeep” Lexa nodded “Why?”

 

“I’m going to need to stitch that up when we stop” Clarke nodded as well “That’s too deep to leave”

 

“Do you know how to do that?” Lexa cocked an eyebrow as she looked down to her assault rifle next to her, knowing that Clarke could have taken that if she had wanted to

 

“I’ve watched and learned from my mom a lot” Clarke answered “I know what I’m doing” 

 

“Everything okay back there?” Echo glanced backwards for only a second as she drove

 

“Fine” Lexa replied firmly as she looked down to her wound “It’s fine”

 

Days since outbreak: 697
Survivors: Lexa, Gustus, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo, Quint and Clarke Griffin
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota  

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 697
Survivors: Lexa, Gustus, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo, Quint and Clarke Griffin
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota  

 

Lexa and her squad located a relatively old, white cabin to stay in for the night. The weather looking as if it were going to rain so they knew they needed shelter and it was remote enough that they didn’t think they would be spotted. Lexa’s arm still ached when she jumped out of the Pickup as the sun finally began to set, ending the very long day they had just endured. 24 hours ago Lexa had no idea that Clarke Griffin existed and they were headed to Texas. Now they were on their way to a community located in Minnesota with a girl who they had saved from a small horde of infected.

 

Lexa pulled her assault rifle out with her, hearing Clarke jump out behind her as she approached the rest of her awaiting squad while they scanned their surroundings with their weapons. Indra gestured to Lexa’s arm silently as they continued to look around for any movement but Lexa waved her off, knowing she would have to answer questions later.

 

As a unit, they moved together to the door of the cabin noticing that the lock had already been broken off but the door was still closed. Lexa put her ear against the door, hoping to hear anything inside to deter them from going in if things were too dangerous but she couldn’t hear much movement at all. She did hear the moaning of 1 or possibly 2 infected but as long as they knew what to expect, they could handle it quickly and most importantly quietly.

 

Lexa turned back to her squad, holding up two fingers and pointing inside the cabin before holding her finger over her mouth. They didn’t know how many infected were around the area and the last thing they wanted to do was attract any unwanted attention from both infected or people. She hung her assault rifle over her shoulder, pulling out her hunting knife from it’s sheath as the rest of the squad followed suit. The brunette leader held her left hand up, her arm aching at the movement but she held all five fingers up before dropping one to signal a countdown. As her last finger dropped she pushed the door open silently, the abandoned cabin smelt of death and rotting but it wasn’t the worst place they had been in so they pressed on. The grunt of an infected to her right warned her of its presence, using her wounded arm to push under its throat so she could trap it against the wall before driving the knife directly through its temple.

 

The zombie fell limp and Lexa let it drop to the ground, turning to hear another infected being taken care of on the other side of the cabin as her squad swept through efficiently. After checking all corners and inch of the cabin, before removing the bodies of the infected, they were satisfied that they had cleared it of any immediate dangers and began to bring in their supplies for the night.

 

“Commander…your arm” Echo said with wide eyes as she dropped a backpack on the ground, being the first one back in

 

Lexa looked down to the sleeve of her shirt, covered in dark red stains but thanks to Clarke, the blood flow had been stemmed a while ago. She looked back to her squad who were all eyeing her cautiously as Gustus was the last one to re-enter the cabin with supplies, closing the door behind them.

 

“I didn’t get bitten or scratched” Lexa shook her head with a roll of her eyes “I was grazed by a bullet back on the road but I’m fine”

 

“Speaking of that, I need a first aid kit so I can stitch it up” Clarke added as she looked to the group collectively “Who has it?”

 

“You are a prisoner” Quint snapped as she raised his rifle to aim at Clarke, his finger sitting on the trigger “Why are your hands untied and how did you get that pistol in the first place? What else are you lying about?”

 

“Quint” Lexa warned lowly “Lower your weapon, now

 

Quint looked towards his leader, visibly clenching his jaw tightly before he put his gun down with a huff but if looks could kill then Clarke would have been dead three times over with the glare he had still aimed at her.

 

“I was the one who untied her, I gave her the pistol and I’m glad I did because she saved my life. I already told you that. She is not a prisoner, she is an asset to us and as long as we get her back to her community safely, I do believe that she will deliver on what she has promised” Lexa took a few steps in towards Quint so she could talk with him face to face “Your threats against Clarke stop now, do you understand? Those people were after her because she escaped from their community and they wanted revenge. Yes, we were put in unnecessary danger but we were headed up that road anyway and we would have come across those guys at one stage or another”

 

“Apologies Commander” Quint said through gritted teeth as he looked to the younger girl

 

“Let’s have something to eat and get some rest because I’m going to look for the best route to get to The Ark so we can leave at first light tomorrow” Lexa took a step backwards from Quint so she could look between Indra and Gustus “I’m going to need your help with that”

 

“Of course” Indra nodded

 

“We need to use wood or something to jam both entrances of this cabin from the inside, we’ll need to also take turns at being on watch; on outside and one inside” Lexa spoke clearly and concisely “Questions?”

 

“Yes, where is the first aid kit?” Clarke asked once more from the back of the group

 

“I’ve got it” Echo nodded holding it out to the blonde

 

They quickly settled into the cabin for the night, keeping their weapons and supplies close as they heard a storm also deciding to settle over their heads. Soft thunder rumbled in the clouds above, lightning flashing outside in the dark night; adding to Lexa’s level of stress and anxiety over their journey to West Bloomington. Lexa spent a large portion of her night sitting in the corner of the cabin with Gutsus and Indra as they tried to find the best route to get to The Ark, knowing that most if not all major roads would be blocked or at the very least largely obstructed so they decided their best course of action would be to take back roads. They knew it was going to add a significant amount of time to their trip but they didn’t want to get trapped anywhere knowing it could have been prevented.

 

Once that was planned Lexa went outside to relieve Echo of her watch duty as she sat under the awning against the door of the cabin, looking out at the darkness as rain beat down loudly on the ground surrounding them. The cabin was overlooking a now dead old farming field and she couldn’t see anything past that due to the mass of trees surrounding the rest of the area. The tree cover around the area made it a perfect place for them to hide their cars but it also made it a little difficult for her to see much from a distance. Lightning illuminated the night as if it were daylight for a moment before a very loud clap of thunder shook the ground as the violent storm sat right above them. She jumped slightly as the door pushed against her back at the same time, causing her to move to her feet only to see Clarke closing the door in the darkness behind herself.

 

“Can you even see anything out here?” Clarke asked looking around the cabin with the first aid kit in her hand, a small camping lamp they had found in the other “All I can see is a whole lot of darkness”

 

“I can see” Lexa nodded as she sat back down once again to look out at the distance again “Did you get any rest? Have something to eat?”

 

“I did both of those” Clarke nodded as she walked around to Lexa’s left side to sit down, opening up the first aid kit in front of her “Something tells me you’ve been awake this whole time though”

 

“I’ll get some sleep later” Lexa shrugged as she spoke quietly “Maybe on the way”

 

“I was going to do your arm after you finished planning but I fell asleep and Indra told me you were outside” Clarke explained with her voice just above a whisper as she paused, pulling a small bottle of clear liquid from her pocket “Gustus gave me this for you seeing as we don’t have any anaesthetic obviously”

 

“I don’t need it thank you” Lexa shook her head with a smirk “Keep it for a rougher time”

 

“You know we have anaesthetic at The Ark, if you had just done this closer to home I could have stitched you up there” Clarke added lightly with a small smile, untying the cloth ribbon on the brunette’s arm before rolling up her sleeve gently “On second thought I might have to use that to clean out your wound, it’s not looking too great and we don’t want any infection creeping in”

 

“No we do not” Lexa shook her head once more as she took her baseball cap from her head, bringing her knees up to her chest to hang the cap off her right knee before placing her assault rifle down next to her

 

“So this is going to hurt a bit” Clarke said as she opened the bottle of clear liquid to pour over the wound, letting the excess drip into the dry ground between them

 

Lexa flinched slightly, sighing quietly as she looked to Clarke who had a look of utter concentration on her face. Lighting flashed once more followed by another loud clap of thunder as the rain continued to fall around them, Lexa becoming more and more thankful for the shelter they had stumbled upon. She flinched once more as she felt the blonde cleaning her wound with anti-bacterial wipes, reaching into her pocket to pull out her notepad to write down the new day.

 

“What’s that?”

 

“A notepad of mine” Lexa said simply as she then took the pen from that same pocket “I just write down how many days it’s been since it all started. Not that time really matters anymore but I feel like this kind of keeps me at grips with the past I guess, it’s stupid but it’s just what I do”

 

“That’s not stupid” Clarke shook her head as she searched the first aid kit, pausing as she found it “What day are we up to?”

 

“Day 698 after outbreak” Lexa answered as she wrote down the number in her notepad

 

“Wow” Clarke said raising her eyebrows as she concentrated her gaze on what she was doing beside the other girl “Honestly it feels like longer, I hardly remember what the world was like before this all happened”

 

“It’s just something you have to forget because it’s never going to be like that again” Lexa mumbled negatively before glancing to the other girl who had her eyebrows knitted together in concentration “Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

 

“I’m sure” Clarke nodded “I just don’t have all of the things I’m used to having in order to do something like this”

 

“Does it really need stitches?” Lexa asked looking down at her arm

 

“Yes” Clarke said with wide eyes as she looked up at the other girl “I don’t know whether we are looking at the same wound here but you definitely need stitches, which I’m about to start doing and it’s definitely going to more than sting”

 

“I’ve been through this more than once” Lexa nodded as she tucked her notebook into her pocket along with her pen roughly, looking to the blonde as she put the needle against her skin “How are your wrists?”

 

“A lot better now that they aren’t tied thank you” Clarke said, piercing Lexa’s skin and earning a sharp gasp from the brunette who waved off the blonde’s concern so she could keep going “Sorry”

 

“It’s fine” Lexa said through gritted teeth as Clarke continued carefully

 

“Did you recognise any of those guys that confronted us earlier?” Lexa asked curiously “The ones who said they were your cousins?”

 

“I recognised all of them” Clarke nodded but her eyes stayed firmly on the task at hand as more loud thunder echoed through the air “I probably should have felt worse for shooting that guy but he was one of the worst”

 

“It was us or them unfortunately” Lexa grumbled through the pain she was feeling

 

“So where are you from?” Clarke asked quickly “I’m making a really pathetic effort at trying to distract you from pain here so while I am doing that, I might as well try and get to know you a little bit. Where were you before the outbreak?”

 

“I’m from Los Angeles originally, I moved just South of San Francisco to my army base of course once I finished basic training. I only lived there for a year before the outbreak, before we were deployed into the containment area” Lexa admitted with another wince as Clarke continued to stitch her wound “Where were you from?”

 

“Colorado but I went to college in Arizona. I had actually just graduated before the outbreak and I was home for the summer, which was lucky because my dad was the one who found out about The Ark from his old army buddy” Clarke said quietly “The 4 of us were doing what you were doing, living day to day for almost a year before going to West Bloomington”  

 

“You have a sibling?”Lexa cocked an eyebrow

 

“No, it was my college boyfriend” Clarke exhaled shakily “He was bitten just before we left Colorado to go to Minnesota”

 

“I’m sorry” Lexa said quietly as her own thoughts automatically turned to Costia “I know what it’s like to lose someone you love”

 

“Who did you lose?”

 

“My girlfriend Costia. She had only just started living on the army base with me with it all happened so I’ve always kind of thought it was my fault for convincing her to move with me” Lexa admitted as her eyes fell to the baseball cap on her knee

 

“What happened? Was it recent?” Clarke asked cautiously as the rain seemingly began to fall harder around them

 

“It wasn’t recent” Lexa shook her head before sighing “So we were deployed to the containment area because the government clearly had no plans for anything like what happened so they put up a fence and told us not to let anyone in or out. The infected ran wild obviously and as you know the outbreak happened pretty quickly all over the world, it wasn’t just isolated to one spot so the containment area was a waste of time. A few squads left to return to the military base we were stationed at after everything fell apart to find loved ones. Some were alive, most weren’t though because the infected were a little faster back then and people had no idea what was going on. I went back to my house and I found her on the driveway, crouching over someone else’s body and…well eating them. I got out of the car knowing it was her and she turned when I caught her attention, it’s something I will never forget because it was her body but it wasn’t her. There was nothing in her eyes and I couldn’t bring myself to leave her like that so I used my hunting knife to end it”

 

“Wow” Clarke mumbled as she pulled her hands away from Lexa’s wound with a sharp exhale, the brunette could feel the eyes of the other girl focussed on her but she refused to look at her fearing she might crumble “That’s terrible”

 

“It is what it is” Lexa said clearing her throat, squeezing her eyes tightly before finally turning to the blonde whose expression was painful enough for the both of them  “Are you finished?”

 

“I’ll just patch it up but that took 6 stitches, it wasn’t a small wound” Clarke rasped as she swallowed the lump forming in her throat “So you were there from the very beginning”

 

“Unfortunately but at least I was with these guys” Lexa said honestly “We’ve been through a lot but we’ve made it through a lot more because of each other. Thank you for the stitches by the way, I probably would have gotten pretty sick without you”

 

“Just trying to pay you back for saving my life when you didn’t really need to and for defending me against Quint” Clarke shrugged as she dug out a patch to cover Lexa’s stitches “We’ll have to keep an eye on this”

 

“We just don’t trust people” Lexa replied quietly, trying to explain the hostility towards her “But you’re getting there”

 

“I just wish I could prove to you that you can trust me” Clarke said quietly “I’m not lying, we have a community and you’ll be safe there”

 

“I don’t think that safety is achievable anymore and if you think it is then you’re being lulled into a false sense of security” Lexa answered honestly “And I know I haven’t seen your community but your walls aren’t going to keep everything out forever”

 

“Maybe we don’t need to keep it all out forever, maybe until this is all over” Clarke said hopefully, placing the patch over Lexa’s stitches

 

“This is never going to be over, people aren’t ever going to recover from this even if the infected do die off” Lexa answered before bowing her head “But I want to believe you are right”

 

“We all need hope Lexa, even you” Clarke shrugged as she tugged Lexa’s sleeve down gently “All done”

 

“Thank you” Lexa repeated with a humble tone

 

“You could be right, maybe the world won’t ever recover but maybe it will” Clarke shrugged as she packed up the first aid kit, rubbing her hands with an antibacterial wipe “People are worse than the zombies, I get that so I get why you guys don’t trust me because I’m claiming a lot but it’s true. I know the world won’t be the same but I definitely think it could be better than what it is now and those walls, the way we all work together within them; is enough proof for me”

 

“You know you are very convincing when you talk” Lexa said looking back out into the dark

 

“That’s because I believe it’s true” Clarke said with a shrug once more before standing to her feet “I’m going to and get some more sleep so I’ll see you at sunrise because I’m guessing you are going to take the whole rest of lookout shift”

 

Lexa didn’t respond verbally but only nodded as she blinked slowly, looking out to focus on the tree cover in the distance; only letting a smile tug at her lips once she heard the door close behind the blonde. Clarke Griffin was sharp and Lexa appreciated that.

 

---

 

Lexa’s arm throbbed from the stitches Clarke had put in her arm, deciding against pain killers because it wasn’t like they had an endless supply to use constantly and the pain was actually keeping her awake and alert from drifting off to sleep. The brunette figured that the sun was going to rise soon and the storm had eased a little, the rain was still relatively heavy and lightning still flashed occasionally but the brunette had hoped the worst had passed.

 

She narrowed her eyes in concentration as she looked out into the distance, standing to her feet immediately when she noticed movement coming from the trees. She picked her assault rifle up to look through the scope for a clearer view to see an infected pushing through the tree cover and headed their way. It clearly hadn’t noticed her yet because it was walking aimlessly and Lexa knew she could shoot it from there with her suppressor still on and the sounds of the storm filling the night so that was exactly what she did. She squeezed the trigger, firing a single, neat shot hitting the infected directly between the eyes before it fell down on the ground.

 

Lexa kept her eye on the distance through her scope, scanning the area and pausing as she saw another breaking through the tree cover. It was a middle aged woman who could have reminded Lexa of her mother if half of her skin wasn’t falling off or rotting. She exhaled once more, squeezing the trigger like she had done many times before to put the infected down. The rain made it even harder for her to see but she spotted further movement in the corner of her eye as she re-gripped her hand to her rifle before two more infected appeared through the tree cover. She dropped those two before she paused, her heart falling into her stomach while she looked through her scope as lightning illuminated her surroundings.

 

There were infected everywhere. A wave of at least 30 in a single line emerged through the tree cover and there were plenty more of them following that first initial line. Lexa knew that they couldn’t fight their way out of this one, they had to leave and they had to leave quickly or they were all going to die that night.

 

She put her gun down, rushing into the cabin before quietly closing the door to look at Nyko who was the only one awake inside.

 

“Infected, lots. Leave now” Lexa mouthed to Nyko in the dimness of the morning, who stood with wide eyes as he turned to rouse Indra who was sleeping soundly beside him

 

 Lexa moved to Quint, shaking his shoulder signalling danger before taking a quick step towards Echo and waking her as well. Indra had woken up Gustus so Lexa moved to Clarke, shaking the other girls shoulder very quickly to see her sleepily open her eyes but saw them immediately widen at the terrified expression on Lexa’s face. Lexa mouthed the same thing to Clarke as she did to Nyko and they quickly collected their things to leave the cabin immediately. Lexa opened the door quietly to exit the cabin, peaking around the side to see even in the dark that the infected weren’t far away from reaching the other side of the small cabin and they were still emerging from the trees. It was the biggest horde Lexa had ever seen and they were coming straight for them. She turned back to her group and pointed out to their vehicles, which were in sight across a wide dirt road and behind a few trees knowing that once they started running the infected would hear them and there would be no turning back.

 

She exhaled deeply, saying a silent prayer to no one in particular but to anyone who would listen before signalling Echo and Gustus to go first as the drivers of the vehicles and everyone would follow. She followed at the back after Clarke, ensuring that their tail end was covered, hearing the groans and almost hisses of the infected picking up in urgency as well as volume; knowing that they had been spotted. They ran for their lives through the steady rain as the infected picked up their speed walking towards them, hearing many of them hitting against the cabin as they reached it but most of them were now following the trail of her squad.

 

They reached the vehicles with relative ease, Lexa jumping in the back of the pickup to ride with Clarke because she was supposed to be charged with watching her but more than anything she didn’t want her to be alone in that moment or the only one at risk being on the outside of a vehicle. The cars started loudly, the noise only encouraging the infected as they passed the cabin, getting far too close for Lexa’s comfort. The jeep took off first, heading towards the road north and away from the horde of infected while the engine of the Pickup roared to life drowning out the sounds of everything else going on around her. She felt the wheels of the Pickup move violently, the engine revving deafeningly as if the truck knew they were in a very deadly situation, but they did not move.

 

The engine revved again but the Pickup had just been parked in the wrong place, the ground now soaked through and the wheels seemed to be stuck on something which was stopping it from moving at all.

 

“We’re stuck” Lexa yelled through the rain as she watched the infected reaching the beginning of the dirt road, inching closer with every passing second before turning to Clarke, noting that Gustus had stopped the jeep ahead after seeing they were in trouble “Go get into the Jeep”

 

“Not if you’re still out here” Clarke yelled as she stood in the back of the pickup, watching Lexa jump from the tray behind the Pickup

 

“Then get your gun out and start shooting anything that gets close” Lexa called as she began to try and push  against the Pickup to try and push it free from the hole in the ground it was stuck in, finding it extremely difficult to find any traction against her feet as her shoes sunk into the soaked ground

 

She heard shots being fired coming from the jeep and Clarke started picking her targets carefully as well all the while the horde of infected approached, now only feet from where Lexa was pushing. Her heart had never beaten so fast in her life, she had been through some close calls in the 698 days since the outbreak, she had even had some close calls before the outbreak but that was potentially the most deadly situation she had ever been in.Lexa turned her body to place her back against the Pickup, pushing backwards as she watched the faces of the infected eye her as her heels dug into the sinking mud below her feet. She was covered in mud from the spray of the wheels still turning and it filled her shoes; feeling like she was in one of those nightmares where no matter how fast you tried to run, you couldn’t move even when you tried.

 

The next thing she felt was another push against the Pickup, looking next to her to see Gustus and Nyko joining her at the back to push as hard as they could into the sinking ground as the infected began to surround them from the back of the truck. The gunfire was persistent as the squad from the Jeep as well as Clarke continued to drop the front of the horde. Knowing they couldn’t hold them off like that forever Lexa opened her mouth to abandon the Pickup in the mud and make a run for the Jeep, just to try and fit everyone in. As she opened her mouth to yell the instruction though she felt the Pickup jerk behind them as it started to move in the mud, but by the time it started moving the infected had reached them.

 

Lexa pushed off the back of the Pickup, pulling her hunting knife from her pocket and lined up the closest infected to her before driving the knife directly through the top of its skull. She pushed the now dead infected aside as another reached out to grab her, she used its momentum to push it to turn it around against the truck and drive her knife through its chin. The Pickup then moved freely, Lexa heard Nyko tell for them to jump in the tray so they could make a break for it she felt hands on her back as another infected reached for her but felt it being ripped off her straight away, turning to see Gustus using his knife to dispose of it quickly.

 

The Pickup started moving and Nyko jumped in the back, yelling urgently for the two left on the ground to follow his lead. Lexa turned to Gustus once more who took a rushed step towards the truck before an infected grabbed him by the waist, taking a large chunk out of his shoulder.

 

 He had been bitten.

 

Lexa’s eyes widened as she saw the infected rip away the flesh from his shoulder, blood now streaming down his side as he screamed in agony. The gunfire had stopped and she heard Indra yell out to Gustus before she heard the Jeep engine start once more in the background.  The next thing Lexa heard was a gunshot close behind her, turning to see the infected right behind her dropping to the ground that Clarke had just taken out as she screamed for Lexa to get in the back. Gustus through his pain yelled at her to leave as another infected reached him and bit his other shoulder, before yet another chewed at his waist.

 

She shook her head quickly to try and clear her mind as she pushed her feet through the mud, still hearing the bloodcurdling sound of Gustus scream before taking Clarke’s hand to be helped into the back of the tray. The Pickup kept moving as Lexa pulled her rifle from her back to kneel in the tray for balance they pushed through the muddy grounds, aiming and firing at any and all infected on Gustus as she saw more attach themselves on him. He screamed as they began to surround him, the sound of his scream was something she would never forget and she knew she couldn’t just stand there and watch him suffer, she had to do something.

 

With that thought in her mind she moved her aim from the infected to Gustus, her hands shaking as she tried to steady herself while they moved further and further away. Most of the infected had their attention focussed on Gustus, trying to reach him even though he was already now surrounded by a wall of them but some were still trying to chase the Pickup down. She exhaled deeply, saying a silent goodbye and thank you for surely saving her life before squeezing the trigger to deliver a single shot at his head.

 

The shot echoed through the night as the rain had suddenly stopped falling, deciding it had caused enough damage for one night. It was the single most haunting shot Lexa had ever fired, she shot to kill Gustus and she did, but she wanted to kill him to end the suffering he was so clearly experiencing. She showed him mercy because she hoped that if she was in the same situation, her squad would do exactly the same for her. She lowered her gun as she watched the infected now jump upon his collapsed body, she shut her eyes tightly as she felt her legs ache like they were on fire and she fell back into a sitting position. She held onto her rifle to her chest tightly, pulling her cap from her head to throw it down next to her as she opened her eyes once more while they reached open road as the cabin began to face away in the darkness.

 

Devastated didn’t quite cut what Lexa was feeling now that she had lost Gustus, who had been one of her biggest confidant and best friends over the past 2 years. Not only that, but as she lost her friend while she fired the fatal shot; she felt as if she had lost a small piece of her humanity. A piece of humanity that she knew would never be replaced or repaired.

 

It was gone.

 

Just like Gustus.

 

Days since outbreak: 698
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo, Quint and Clarke Griffin
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota  

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 698
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo, Quint and Clarke Griffin
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota 


Lexa sat in the back of the Pickup with her knees pulled up to her chest and her forehead rested on her knees with her assault rifle sitting by her side as Echo drove through the bumpy terrain of a back road they were taking towards Minnesota. While they had been driving for hours, it had felt like years since they left the cabin; since they had left Gustus. Lexa had been unresponsive to everyone since the Pickup pulled away from the cabin, Indra taking charge of finding a new way to get to their desired route because they couldn’t back track and they couldn’t go the way they had planned thanks to the massive horde of infected.


The sun was well and truly up and they hadn’t stopped since they left besides a brief pause for Nyko to get back into the cab of the Pickup. They were all exhausted, it hadn’t helped that Lexa didn’t get any sleep the previous night either. She could feel herself wanting to drift to sleep but when she closed her eyes she saw the look on Gustus’ face as he screamed in pain, what shook her the most was the fact she could see the look of relief when her gun was aimed directly towards him knowing that his suffering would be over soon.


No one had spoken much the whole day from what Lexa could hear, Indra only occasionally communicating through the walkie talkie that was in Echo’s possession. The static breaking the silence was all Lexa could hear because she was ignoring the actual words that Indra was speaking. No one had spoken of the fact that Lexa had been the one to end Gustus’ life; she figured there wasn’t much to say about it because she knew they all would have understood why she did it.


Clarke had tried communicating with the other girl multiple times during the drive; from simply asking whether she was okay to holding a one sided conversation in hopes that the brunette would respond. Clarke had stopped trying though after a while, leaving Lexa to her own, destructive thoughts in hoping that she would speak when she felt the need to. The blonde had checked Lexa for bites and scratches along the way, moving herself right in front of the other girl to check through the mud and infected blood that she was covered with. The young leader didn’t say a word still but she allowed herself to be checked over by Clarke for some reason, finding a little bit of comfort within the other girls touch.


Lexa clenched her jaw as she pressed her forehead into her knees with little force, trying to dispel the sound of Gustus screaming from her mind. The Pickup truck rolled to a gentle stop as the brunette heard the engine turn off with a click and the doors shutting with a slam. She looked up from her knees for the first time in a while to notice that they had parked by an old abandoned gas station, knowing that they needed a break but also needed to figure out what they were doing from there. Lexa looked down at her body, finally noticing the filthy state she was in; her legs caked in mud that had now hardened and the mud was mixed with blood against her shirt. She heard talking feet away as the group conversed quietly without her, feeling as if she had been trapped behind a thick layer of glass; only being able to make out voices but not actual words.


“I need to check your stitches” She heard Clarke speak carefully beside her “I just need to check that the patching kept all of the mud out”


Lexa sighed, looking down to her arm as Clarke pushed the sleeve up gently before exhaling deeply herself with a furrowed brow.


 “I’m going to get that first aid kit from Indra and patch it back up again” Clarke said as she stood quickly “Your squad needs to Lexa, you can’t just check out forever or you’ll see more of them die. At the very least you should get out and stretch your legs”


Lexa’s attention was completely grabbed, her eyes darting to the blonde who jumped from the cab of the Pickup, making her way towards the squad who were huddled around each other near the jeep. She heard mumbling continue but her focus shifted out to the long road behind her, spotting a few infected limping aimlessly a far distance away.


The next thing she heard though brought her back from the abyss that she had fallen off into, Quint yelling loudly and aggressively at who she assumed was going to be Clarke.


“This all happened because of you” Quint accused, the tone of his voice enough to make Lexa turn her head to see Quint pointing his gun towards Clarke’s head “We would have been going to Texas if it weren’t for you and Gustus would still be here. No one else from my squad is going to die because of you”


“Quint put it down” Echo tried to reason with him calmly as she place a firm hand on his arm but he kept his eyes fixed on Clarke who to her credit, was looking right down the barrel of the gun with no fear


“If you don’t go to the Ark now then he died trying get us out of there for nothing” Clarke snapped defensively “He knew that there was hope”


Before Lexa knew what she was doing she rose to her feet calmly, picking up her rifle to regretfully aim it at the back of Quint’s head


“Get your gun out of her face, now. I warned you before and I’m not going to ask again” Lexa spoke forcefully as everyone turned to her, Quint’s eyes growing wide as he saw her aim on him “You back off right now or I will make you back off”


“I should be pointing my gun at you” Quint retorted as he turned to re-aim at the brunette, both looking at each other with such animosity “You’re the one who decided to go along with all of this so you’re to blame”


“If you want to be leader, Quint then be my guest” Lexa seethed “I didn’t ask for this, you all just decided to make me leader. Make decisions if you want, take responsibility if you feel the need to because I didn’t ask to have all of this on my shoulders. I didn’t ask for Washington to happen so I could take over, it happened because our captain abandoned us and no one at the time was strong enough to take over. By all means, Quint you be the one who kills your squad member while you watch him being torn apart by the infected but I don’t think we would have gotten this far without me”


“Quint she’s right” Lincoln said from behind him “Put your damn gun down, blaming each other isn’t going to help. We just lost Gustus and Lexa just had to put a bullet between his eyes so why don’t we all just calm down”


“Clarke is right; we have to keep going because Gustus knew this was our best chance. We can’t go South anyway because we’d hit the same horde” Lexa said as she dropped her gun from aiming at Quint to hold it by her side “If you don’t want me to lead then I’m fine with that but if you do then I need you to trust me”


“I just think we need to take a short break and keep moving. We still have a while to go today to reach the point where we can get to the Ark by sunset tomorrow night” Indra said before turning to Quint “And you need to cool off”


Lexa simply sat down in the Pickup once more; taking her hair out from the ponytail it was tied in to comb her fingers quickly through the wavy mess


“Are you just going to stay in here?” Clarke asked as she reached the Pickup once more, leaning her arms against the side with a clean dressing in her hand for Lexa’s arm “You should probably stretch your legs”


“My legs are fine” Lexa shrugged her off “I’m sorry I ignored you the whole way here”


“What you just went through was horrific” Clarke reasoned quietly “Thank you for helping me out”


“I warned him already” Lexa shook her head quickly “He shouldn’t have done that”


“I know what it’s like” Clarke said as she walked around to climb back into the tray, kneeling down next to where Lexa was seated against the back of the cab “To have leadership thrust upon you”


“I wouldn’t so much say thrust as forced” Lexa replied with a small sigh “And though I say that, I’m the one who took it in my stride”


“You know what’s best for your squad and you do what you have to do in order to make it happen” Clarke responded, pulling the dirty old patch from her arm “You can’t blame yourself for what happened back there like I think you are”


“Why do you think I’m blaming myself?” Lexa questioned quickly


“Because I would be too” Clarke shrugged simply as she looked at the stitches on the brunette’s arm “For a lamplight job, this isn’t bad”


“I just keep thinking would he still be alive if I had been quicker to wake everyone or if I had told everyone just to leave the Pickup and go to the Jeep? It could have easily been me rather than him” Lexa replied, leaning her head back against the window of the cab “I know in my head that I probably couldn’t have done anything to stop it but that’s not going to stop me thinking about it”


“When Finn died, my boyfriend who I mentioned, I thought it was my fault for so long. I kept blaming myself, thinking about all the scenario’s that could have saved him, what I could have done to save him but it’s not good for you” Clarke said quietly as she patched up Lexa’s wound once more “You are doing a great job and you have gotten your group this far. Nothing you could have done would have changed the outcome of last night. What you could change and did do was stop the pain for Gustus, I think that kind of proves what kind of a leader you are”


“That’s funny because when I shot him I felt a piece of me just fall away” Lexa mumbled, pulling on her own hair lightly with her right hand


“What you did was merciful” Clarke responded as she sighed before moving to Lexa’s other side and sitting close to the other girl so that their shoulders were touching, the brunette finding comfort in the action once more “I don’t think that anyone but you can lead this squad and they know that they need you. I need you because you’re the one who made the call to go to the Ark”


“I made the call to go to the Ark because we need it” Lexa said glancing at Clarke who was toying with her own fingers as they rested in her lap, her legs out in front of her but her knee just close enough for Lexa to subtly move her own to rest on the blonde’s “You saw the breakdown we almost just had then, Quint and I almost shot each other. Gustus was a huge calming influence on us and now that he’s gone, it just makes me want to get there even more. We have been travelling with no purpose for a very long time, just surviving. Now we have a purpose, and I think after you have saved my life more than once I actually owe you now”


“We’ll figure a way for you to work it off” Clarke joked harmlessly with a small smile


---


The group drove for the entire rest of the day until sunset, stopping when they circled back after finding a few abandoned cars; being lucky enough to find some gas still in the tanks for them to take. Lexa had been quiet still for most of the trip, keeping her position next to the blonde in the back of the Pickup, even though they both could fit in the Jeep now with Gustus not being around but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. They arrived in a seemingly abandoned neighbourhood by sunset, clearing out and barricading a house for them to stay in for the night before they made their final leg to the Ark. If everything went to plan, they would be at the The Ark by that time the next day.


The spirits of the group was understandably low and Lexa couldn’t bring the morale up because she was the one at her lowest. She knew she was just going to have to deal with it and move on but she wasn’t sure how quickly she could do that. Lexa had volunteered to be on watch for the night but Clarke had quickly mentioned to Indra about the fact that the brunette hadn’t slept for quite some time.


So Lexa was given a room upstairs in the house, collapsing on the old bed with a sigh as her eyes grew heavy straight away. She exhaled deeply, not realizing just how tired she was until she set herself down to actually rest. She had used a cloth they had found in the house to clean herself from the mud that was still left on her before she laid down, opting to keep her dirty clothes on seeing as she didn’t have a spare pair; being reassured by Clarke that she’d be in clean clothes tomorrow in the Ark. When she finally fell asleep though all she saw was Washington, Gustus, Costia and it looped over and over until her eyes sprung open to see a figure in front of her in the dark next to the bed.


She immediately pushed herself backwards into the wall reaching for her knife that was still in her belt but paused as her eyes adjusted when she saw that it was Clarke standing in front of the bed with wide eyes.


“You were yelling in your sleep so I thought you might want to be woken up” Clarke said quietly and calmly “Are you okay? You’re sweating a lot”


“Yeah” Lexa said nodding as she felt her heartbeat slow down, bringing her hand up to rub the back of her neck awkwardly “I’m sorry, I was having a nightmare and I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there”


“No I probably shouldn’t have woken you in the first place but I know I would prefer it if someone did that for me” Clarke shrugged as she moved to sit down tentatively on the very edge of the bed “At least you’ve gotten a little sleep, though it didn’t sound too restful”


“How long was I yelling for?”


“Not too long” Clarke shook her head


“I should probably get up and see if someone needs to swap from rotation” Lexa said as she placed her hands beside her to push herself up from the bed, feeling Clarke’s hand grip her ankle gently


“You need more sleep, you’ll be no good tomorrow if you don’t get more sleep” Clarke shook her head “Everyone needs to rest, even you”


“I guess you’re right” Lexa replied with a sigh, rubbing her eyes tiredly as she scooted down the mattress to be sitting where the pillow was position at the head of the bed


“I’ll leave you to get some more sleep if you can” Clarke said with a half smile pulling at her lips, standing from the edge of the bed that she had hardly been sitting on


“Clarke” Lexa said as her eyes stared at her feet as they rested on the bed, not looking at the other girl but feeling the gaze of the blonde on her even through the dark before she rasped; feeling uncharacteristically vulnerable “Can you just stay here for a little? I don’t think I’ll fall asleep again if I’m not distracted enough and you did an okay job at it when you were doing my stitches”


“An okay job?” Clarke raised an eyebrow jokingly before the smile grew on her lips as she nodded “Of course”


Clarke sat down on the edge of the bed once more while Lexa settled down on the mattress once more, looping her arms around the back of the pillow to hold it closely to her head. The brunette sighed quietly into the dark of the room that was only highlighted by the full moon that was surprisingly bright in the warm summers night.


“Do you have nightmares often?” Clarke asked quietly, breaking the silence


“Mostly every time I go to sleep” Lexa confirmed quietly, tightening her grip around the pillow


“Is that why you don’t sleep much?”


“I see a lot of things that I don’t want to when I have nightmares, I remember a lot of things I try really hard to forget” Lexa replied grimly as she pulled her legs up into her body to curl up into a protected ball


“Can I ask what you see?” Clarke asked cautiously


“I’ve seen a lot of things not only over the past few years but even before the outbreak but my dreams are usually of Costia, when the outbreak first started or even Washington” Lexa answered “But now I guess I have what happened to Gustus to add to that list”


“You’ve mentioned Washington a few times” Clarke observed quietly as she pushed herself back against the wall next to the bed “A few of you had but no one has actually mentioned what happened”


“When we left our base after looking for our loved ones we began to head to Washington with what was left of our company. Our captain seemed to think that Washington would be a rally point for the armed forces or there would be something there that the Government had set up so we all had our hopes up for when we got there” Lexa began as she stared into the dark, her eyebrows knitting together as she recounted the events “When we got there, the city was destroyed and it was just crawling with infected. By that stage the Government had totally disbanded and just left everyone to fend for themselves because no one knew how to deal with an outbreak like that so our entire company secured an old grocery store to stay for the night. Our Captain was a strong man but he had seen his entire family killed when he arrived home and having no hope really got to him so he shot himself in the head while we were all sleeping”


“Oh”


“But the problem was that the gunshot echoed and it attracted a large horde of infected, only a little smaller than what we just escaped from. They got into the store because it wasn’t as secure as we thought it was. Thankfully I was by an exit at the back so I grabbed whoever I could and we took a vehicle, leaving the store to regroup” Lexa explained before pausing momentarily “It’s been a long time since I spoke about it but I feel terrible for just fleeing but I knew we couldn’t fight them off. That’s kind of how I just fell into my leadership position within the group”


“You did the right thing though, I’ve definitely learnt that being a leader is about making difficult decisions to better your own people” Clarke replied with a sigh “And you have to make unpopular decisions for the sake of the people you are leading too, even if they don’t realize what you are doing for them”


“Are your people going to accept us?” Lexa asked suddenly as she rolled over to her back to look up to the ceiling, her legs extending out to rest over Clarke “Is that what you are talking about with an unpopular decision?”


“They’ll be uneasy” Clarke replied honestly “We haven’t really taken in a lot of new people but they have to realise that they are in there because they were accepted into the community themselves and that you guys are going to really be an asset to us. Not only are you ex-army but you’re smart and you’re capable, you guys can bring a lot to the table”


“You promised us that we would be given a place” Lexa said flatly as she closed her eyes, resting her hands on her stomach


“I’ll keep my promise” Clarke said reassuringly


There was another moment’s silence that passed between the pair, Lexa felt Clarke’s hands come to rest on her shins. The blonde’s two thumbs began rubbing circles gently against the material covering Lexa’s legs, her grip loose enough for the soldier to pull her legs away if she wanted to but they both knew she wouldn’t. They both found an unspoken comfort between each other that Lexa didn’t quite understand yet but it made her feel a little less alone and withdrawn so she was going to let it continue.


“What about your parents?” Clarke asked quickly “Do you know what happened to them?”


“I have no idea” Lexa shook her head as she opened her eyes once more to look up at the ceiling, noticing the glow in the dark star stickers above her for the first time “I’m a soldier, I can be ruthless when I need to be at times when it’s called for but people in this world now use the infected as an excuse to act the way they do. I understand it’s now survival of the fittest, I understand what living like this has done to people’s mental states and I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not proud of in the name of survival but you can survive just fine without killing an innocent family with kids for a backpack or hunting people down because they escaped from your community that you are wrongly trapping. Honestly I hope they aren’t still around but I just hope it happened quickly because people are worse than the infected now and that’s why I think there’s no turning back now”


“You hope they’re dead?” Clarke asked, her voice unsure and hesitant in asking the question


“I just hope they aren’t suffering, they deserve better than that”


“Everyone does” Clarke responded “I guess I’m lucky that I stumbled upon some good people”


“Once you lose your humanity, once you give up on doing what you know to be the right thing then you’re just like the infected and you might as well be dead” Lexa said through gritted teeth as her eyes shut once more “Maybe I just care too much though, maybe that’s why I have these nightmares”


“Why don’t you call them zombies?”


“I don’t believe in Zombies” Lexa shook her head “Zombies are make believe, these things are very real. They don’t walk around with their arms out, calling for brains or anything like that. They were infected with a virus, we’re all infected”


Ever wondered what started it?” The blonde asked inquisitively as her hands squeezed Lexa’s legs gently


“Nope”


“I didn’t think so” Clarke chuckled quietly “We’re going to be at The Ark tomorrow and you’re going to get a good night’s sleep after having a warm meal and a shower”


“You realize how crazy you sound, right?” Lexa asked, an amused look covering her features as she kept her eyes closed


“I know” Clarke responded earnestly “But you’ll believe me when you get there”


“Okay”


“Honestly I’m worried about Quint though” Clarke said with a sigh “And I appreciate you trusting me enough to defend me but I’m worried about him”


“Quint has always had an anger problem, it has gotten worse over the past few months but I can’t leave him out of there or just abandon him. He’s a part of my team and I care about him even if he doesn’t think before he acts sometimes” Lexa replied firmly “If one of us isn’t allowed in then none of us are coming in”


“Are you willing to take that away from everyone just for the sake of one person?”


“Unpopular decisions” Lexa said simply before exhaling deeply “I’m not too sure how much of a distraction you are providing but I like talking to you. You make me think”


“You’re pretty challenging yourself” Clarke replied, her smile evident in the lightness of her tone “For a while I didn’t think I would be going home at all”


“Do you think that your people assume you’re dead?”


“Of course they would” Clarke said honestly “You know how it is now. It’s hard when someone dies and you have to remember them but you also have to move on really quickly or you’ll miss the next thing you have to protect yourself from. Even within those walls we’ve put up life isn’t perfect, people still have secrets and flaws because it’s just human nature”


“So they’re going to get one hell of a surprise then tomorrow night” Lexa replied with a small smile


“They definitely are” Clarke responded “I can’t wait to see my mom and my friends”


---


Lexa sat on the floor in the room she had slept in last night with the map spread out across the ground in front of her. She had fallen asleep after talking with Clarke for a while, waking up to find the blonde had fallen asleep herself on the ground next to where the brunette was sleeping on the bed. Lexa wanted to wake Clarke to tell her she could share the bed if she wanted but she didn’t want to bother the other girl and she also didn’t know how that would go over with her either.


They sat together on the bed in the morning as Lexa wrote in her notepad of the new day; day 699 and another day that Lexa counted herself lucky to be alive. They ate a can of tuna for breakfast next to each other as well, Lexa almost having to hold her nose at the taste of the fish but she knew she needed to get her energy from somewhere and that was all they had. She knew that they were taking a big gamble in heading to the Ark, in pinning their hopes on the community but she also felt like she was running out of options anyway. The two girls sat closer than necessary together once again; Clarke even letting her head rest of Lexa’s shoulder for a few minutes as they spoke of their favourite foods to distract themselves from the taste and smell of tuna so early in the morning.


Lexa felt a tightening in her chest as she sat on the floor alone looking at the map, remembering the feeling of the churning in her stomach from the simple contact. It was so simple, so small and relatively minuscule but it was the most comfortable the brunette had felt for a very long time. She was a good judge of character, she could usually see right through someone when they weren’t being honest so she trusted her judgement when it came to Clarke. Lexa had just hoped that she was right in thinking she could trust the other girl because she was beginning to grow very attached to her.


The brunette circled the very location of the Ark distractedly multiple times, the almost baron pen wearing out the paper of the map to the point of tearing as she aimlessly circled the location that all her hopes were resting on. She was alone again in that same room as she got back into her role of leading her squad, planning multiple alternate routes to the sight should things go a little pear shaped like they tended to in the Post-Apocalyptic world.


Clarke had been downstairs with the group discussing any questions they had about the Ark, though they were a little hesitant about her still and understandably, they were starting to warm to the blonde after what they had been through together. Lexa folded up the map on the floor, putting her pen and notebook back into her pocket as she picked up her assault rifle next to her bed. She caught a glimpse of movement out the front window of the room, pausing as she saw Clarke walking with Quint towards the cars that were parked at the back of the house. She raised an eyebrow but watched on closely, reading the both of their body languages to be relaxed and almost comfortable; leaving her to wonder whether her words had actually gotten through to Quint.


She pocketed the map, putting her rifle over her shoulder and hurrying downstairs to find the other 4 members of her squad silently repacking their bags with any supplies they had found within the house.


“Why are Quint and Clarke going out towards the cars?” Lexa asked looking out the still opened front door


“I think Quint is trying to talk to Clarke like a reasonable human being” Indra mumbled “Honestly though, I’m a little worried about him”


“He’s beginning to get a little unstable” Lincoln agreed


“I think we all have been on edge though” Echo said shaking her head as she concentrated on her pack “Even you, Commander”


“You’re right” Lexa conceded “The last 48 hours have been…trying…but I’ve gotten some much needed rest and I think I’m back to myself again. We just need to hold together today more than any other day because what happens today is either going to make or break us”


Lexa exhaled to herself as she pondered, putting her bag down next to the rest of her group and placed her hands on her hips while looking around the living room.


“This would have been a nice house 699 days ago” Lexa noted as she looked up at the high, white ceiling “These people were rich”


A loud, close gunshot echoed loudly through the warm morning air. Lexa’s body fell numb as she realized just where the gunshot had come from because it certainly hadn’t come from the inside of the house but it was close. Close enough for it to have been directly outside the house; where Clarke and Quint had been heading.


Days since outbreak: 699
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo, Quint and Clarke Griffin
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota 

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 699
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo, Quint and Clarke Griffin
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota 

 

Without a second of hesitation, Lexa ran as fast as her legs would carry her out the front door of the house and around the back where she saw Quint positioned over Clarke with his hands wrapped around her neck, choking the blonde. Clarke’s pistol was on the floor beside her, the puzzle quickly putting itself together to the fact that the shot had been fired in self-defense but obviously failed.

 

“Quint get off her now” Lexa yelled commandingl at the solider  as she sprinted to reach them, Quint only pressing down harder on the other girls throat. Lexa seeing the red face of the Blonde who was in extreme trouble was enough for her to put her assault rifle down and away from reach before she ran directly into Quint.

 

She tackled him to the ground beside Clarke, hearing her violently gasping for air as she heard the footsteps of her squad arriving to the scene behind her. Quint pushed Lexa off himself, sitting up to reach for his gun that was in his holster but Lexa tackled him to the ground once more to be positioned over him. Quint drove his fist across Lexa’s cheek, a forceful punch connecting with her face before the raging man stood to his feet but took his knife out from the sheath while standing above his Commander.

 

“You’re going to get us all killed” Quint yelled loudly, his chest heaving as his veins popped out of his neck

 

Quint swung the knife down violently and Lexa brought her arms up to block the contact, hoping to deflect the blow from her face but she heard 2 further gunshots boom through the otherwise picturesque morning. She felt blood splatter on her clothes as she looked up at Quint who now had two exit wounds through his chest, his eyes wide before he collapsed on the ground next to Lexa. She could feel her racing heartbeat through her cheek where Quint had punched her solidly, her ears were ringing and voices muffled as her blurry eyes revealed it was Lincoln who had fired the shots into the other man.

 

She sat up slowly, holding her hand to her injured cheek; looking down beside her to see the now dead body of a man she actually considered to be a good friend and comrade whom had seemingly just snapped. Her ears were still ringing as she felt Indra helping her up very slowly, the throbbing pain in her head causing her to shut her eyes tightly as the other woman helped her steady herself.

 

Lexa turned her head to see Nyko and Echo standing with Clarke who had one hand on her throat, reddened eyes; knowing that her neck was probably going to bruise from the force Quint was exerting. The brunette pulled her hand from her cheek, noticing the small amount of blood that came with it before looking down once more at Quint. Lexa approached Lincoln who nodded to her wordlessly, his expression was blank but she could see the conflicting emotions swirling through his eyes as he clenched his jaw tightly. He handed her the gun and Lexa hesitated instantly realizing what she needed to do.

 

They had shot Quint through the chest but in order for him not to turn she needed to put one more bullet into his body. She took the gun from Lincoln, trying to show strength to her squad who had just experienced something so strange yet so shocking. They had lost people along the way, they had argued and fought battles but no one had ever turned on someone else within the squad the entire 699 days they had been together.  She took the few steps back towards Quint’s body, standing beside him and blinking away a tear of anger mixed with sadness before it could fall and pulled the trigger and delivering the final shot that would spare him his dignity instead of letting him turn.

 

Lexa didn’t know whether it was from the pain and possible concussion she had just experienced through the sheer force of the large man’s punch or if it was from the emotional trauma that scene had just caused all of them but she had to take a few steps away so she could throw up the small contents of her stomach. The brunette wiped the edges of her mouth with the back of her hand before standing up straight with her back towards the rest of the squad, or what was left of them. Still without speaking she took Quint’s gun from its holster to place in her own vacant one, taking the hunting knife from its sheath on his belt before returning Lincoln’s gun to him as well as handing him the knife in her hand.

 

With one last look at Quint, she turned her back on the body regretfully, eyeing the cloudless sky for a moment before stopping in front of Clarke.

 

“Can I please have a second with Clarke” Lexa rasped quietly through the lump in the back of her throat, looking directly into the bloodshot, deep blue eyes of the girl in front of her “I’ll talk to you all in the house but I just need a moment with Clarke”

 

“Yeah” Echo replied quietly before the 4 remaining squad members began to slowly make their way towards the front of the house

 

Lexa swallowed thickly as she stood in front of the blonde who was looking directly at her, the soldier was surprised by the number of emotions stirring within her seeing Clarke being hurt by Quint or at all made her feel. Lexa placed a very gently hand on Clarke’s neck, her eyes tracing the outline of the marks Quint’s hands had made while her thumb rubbed very gentle patterns as if she was trying to soothe the other girls pain.  

 

“Are you okay?” Lexa asked quietly as she looked up to meet Clarke’s

 

“I’m fine” Clarke said with a stiff lower lip, she was tough and Lexa had to give her credit for that

 

“You don’t have to be after that” Lexa shook her head

 

“I’m fine” The blonde repeated as her voice steadied “Thank you”

 

“I need you to tell me exactly what happened so I can explain it to the rest of my squad” Lexa requested quietly

 

“He told me he wanted to talk to me and he was going to check the cars so I said I’d go with. He started apologizing for the way he was acting saying that he had to do what he thought was best for the squad because you were so wrapped up on the idea of The Ark. At that point he tackled me to the ground, I pulled my gun out to stop and I wasn’t going to shoot him but I just wanted him to back off. He pushed my hand to the ground and that’s when I fired the shot, hoping to either hit him on the way down or at least get someone’s attention. He started choking me as you came out and that’s what happened” Clarke said before exhaling a shaky breath “He punched you really hard”

 

“It wasn’t that hard” Lexa shook her head but couldn’t deny her pain as she flinched away from Clarke’s cool fingers who reached out to touch her cheek gently

 

“Sorry” Clarke mumbled

 

“I’m sorry he came after you” Lexa apologised seriously “I never actually thought he would do anything like that. Quint was a good guy and I guess I can’t really justify that to you because you don’t need to accept that after what he just did but he wasn’t bad”

 

“Lexa it’s my fault he’s dead” Clarke said shaking her head quickly as she blinked quickly “He didn’t want you going to the Ark in the very beginning so it’s my fault”

 

“No” The brunette answered very quickly “No, it’s not your fault. He made the choice to do what he did; he could have talked to me about it separately if he felt so strongly about it. Quint got heated, I knew that but I’m sorry I let it get this far. He’s just never done anything like this before and we have never fought within our squad because I thought we were like a family”

 

“I didn’t think he would do anything like that either because I know he was just reacting to me out of protectiveness of you all”

 

“I’m sorry, Clarke” Lexa repeated, swallowing thickly once more before moving her hand down to squeeze Clarke’s “I’m really sorry”

 

“It’s okay” The blonde replied, gently wrapping her arms around Lexa’s neck loosely to pull her into a hug

 

Lexa was surprised with the close contact of Clarke’s body, almost having forgotten what it was like to share human contact like hug because she hadn’t had one in quite some time. Lexa didn’t usually initiate contact with anyone, the one person she had ever done that with was Costia. Although she wasn’t the one who just initiated the hug with Clarke in that moment, she felt as if she might be able to find the courage to do so the next time. Lexa wasn’t ready to let herself realise it yet but something was steadily building inside her when it came to the blonde girl they had rescued.

 

It had literally only been a few days but Lexa already liked Clarke more than she liked pretty much the rest of the human race that was left besides her squad. Clarke challenged Lexa into believing that maybe there were still good people left in the infected world, that maybe some people hadn’t gone to hell when the world did. Yes it had only been days but they were just living in the infected world now and every sunrise they got to see was a complete bonus, to Lexa though it was more the fact that she couldn’t deny how intrigued she was by Clarke as soon as she saw her running through that field.

 

The brunette soldier wasn’t going to let Clarke know any of this let alone let herself realise it until her squad were safe in Clarke’s community, at the very least justifying what they had been through to get them there. For that moment though Lexa indulged herself, wrapping her arms tightly around the other girl’s waist, resting her chin upon her shoulder.

 

“We should probably go” Clarke said clearing her throat, pulling away from Lexa’s body and taking a step backwards “That commotion probably attracted a few zombies”

 

“Yeah” Lexa replied, attempting to half smile before the pain in her cheek caused her to wince once more “Damn it”

 

“We’ll get ice on that when we get to the Ark” Clarke suggested with a nod as they walked towards the house once more

 

Lexa picked up her rifle but she couldn’t help the fact that she was walking closely to the other girl, wanting to make sure that she could reach her at all times for her own comfort. Clarke had already begun to mean something to her, it was evident on how they got along but the soldier knew she needed to be careful about it.

 

When they walked back into the house her squad-mates were waiting for them both with their packs on and weapons in hand. Lexa grabbed her own bag, throwing it over her shoulder before sighing as she stood in front of them.

 

“We’ve been through a lot. Not only in the last few days but in the last 699 and we have seen a lot. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve probably lead you in the wrong direction at times but I am only following this trail because I think that we are due to catch a break. I think that we are so close to finding something that is going to give us some stability that we clearly need” Lexa said looking at the remaining four members of her squad “We’re going to have to walk the last half mile because we physically can’t drive right to the gates but also so we have a plan should we need to leave immediately. We’ll hide the cars, take anything we can from it and make our way on foot to the walls. From there we’re going to have to trust Clarke to get us into the walls and I do trust that she will get us in there. Questions?”

 

No one spoke a word to Lexa as she looked to each one of her squad. They were clearly tired, hungry, anxious, mentally drained and completely distraught by the events of the past few days. Her cheek continued to throb, feeling the swelling that had started the moment quint had punched her and she knew it would have already started to bruise but she had to forget that. She had to push everything aside for the sake of the four people in front of her; she had to ensure that what Clarke had promised was going to come into fruition. Lexa liked Clarke, she could carry an excellent conversation, they related on many different levels and in her opinion she was one of the most beautiful women the brunette had ever seen. All that had to be pushed aside though because all that was irrelevant to getting her squad to a safe place; giving them whatever stability was left in the world.

 

“Hopefully after today we’re not going to have to be on our guard all the time. Maybe we’ll be allowed to have a small fraction of time where we can actually rest. As much as we want to we can’t fight forever and we haven’t stopped for almost two years so I know we need this, I know you need this” Lexa continued earnestly “In saying that, if this doesn’t work out for us then we stick together as a family. We do everything as a family and the four of us will move on if we need to”

 

“No this has to work out” Echo said with a shake of her head as her eyes were fixed on Clarke “Quint was wrong to do what he did to you and I understand he had to be stopped but this has to work, after what we have been through you need to come up with the goods”

 

“I will” Clarke said with a nod “I’ll come through for you all because you have come through for me”

 

“Let’s move out then” Lexa said with a sharp exhale at the end of her sentence

 

They moved out to the vehicles, Lexa opting to move herself and Clarke into the Jeep as it was the lead vehicle and they would be relying on the blonde for a lot of the navigation at the end of the day. Nyko and Echo followed closely in the pick up behind as they continued north towards The Ark. Lexa began to grow anxious as the hours passed, sitting in the backseat with the map in between herself and Clarke who was talking her through the best possible places to hide their vehicles as well as how to get to the front gate safely from there. The bruising on Clarke’s neck was becoming more evident as time passed as well, wondering what reaction that was going to bring from her people.

 

She glanced at the blonde for a moment, letting her eyes stray from the map she had been so focussed on for so long. Clarke had her eyes set on that same map, her eyebrows creasing in concentration as she traced a finger over the map before glancing up to meet the brunette’s gaze.

 

“You okay?” Clarke asked, a small smile tugging at her lips

 

“I’m trusting you” Lexa said quietly with an even expression “We’re trusting you”

 

“You know I think you and I have a lot to talk about once we’re inside the walls of The Ark” Clarke replied after a few seconds passed between them

 

“Maybe” Lexa muttered with a small nod

 

---

 

After a long day of travel they reached half a mile to The Ark, driving out of the way into tree cover where they found a number of abandoned, older looking vehicles parked in the exact same spot. Lexa turned to Clarke who was leaning in towards the middle of the car and watching through the windscreen as if there was nothing unusual about the group of abandoned cars. Lexa’s anxiety levels picked up at the very sight, wondering whether this was all one big mistake or trap that she had fallen for but she had to try and push that aside for that moment to be strong for her squad.

 

“I knew these cars were here, that’s why I told you to come in here. No one will suspect that yours actually work if they come across the area” Clarke said reassuring them “It’s fine”

 

“Infected to your ten and to your three” Echo radioed through as they slowly followed behind

 

“I’ll jump out and get one, you get the other?” Lincoln said turning back to Lexa who just nodded wordlessly

 

They stepped out of the Jeep that had now completely rolled to a stop next to the other abandoned cars, Lexa pulling out her hunting knife from her belt to approach the female infected that was limping towards her. It growled lowly after spotting its intended prey so Lexa used her arm to push under its neck so she could pin it against a nearby tree as it gnawed and snapped its teeth at her. Lexa quickly drove her knife through the female’s skull and it fell limp to the ground when Lexa let go of it. She bent down to wipe the blood of the now dead infected on its own clothes as she heard the hissing like sound of another approaching her from the same direction as she was facing. Lexa looked up to see another 3 limping her way but also heard the car doors shut to their vehicles as her squad gathered their things to make their way out onto the road.

 

“Lexa, let’s go” Indra suggested quietly from behind her but she kept her eyes focussed on those infected as they eyed her hungrily on their approach “They aren’t fast, we can easily just walk away”

 

Instead of listening to the wise advice of Indra she took few steps to meet the first infected; kicking it down onto the ground before using her knife to kill it. She took a few further strides towards the next in line before driving the knife through its chin up towards the brain. Last but not least she met the infected that was female who looked about her age before the disease took over her, half of her face missing so Lexa could see the inside of her mouth as her teeth aggressively snapped at her. Lexa pushed the infected to the ground and ended its life just like she had the other two, her chest heaving rapidly as she stood to turn back to her squad.

 

They all stood on watching as Lexa made her way back to them, taking her bag from the back of the Pickup before stopping in front of Clarke as her heart rate subsided almost instantly.

 

“You’re leading from this point” Lexa said simply as she placed her knife back in the sheath

 

“You okay there Commander?” Lincoln asked from behind her “We could have left them”

 

“They saw us, they would have followed and why would I leave one when I could kill it” Lexa shrugged “That’s one less thing we have to worry about” 

 

“That did look pretty cool” Echo admitted quietly as they began to walk from the thick tree cover back onto the road

 

“If you spot anything unusual, announce it immediately” Lexa spoke quietly as they reached the quiet road that they needed to follow in order to get to The Ark “We’ll turn back only if necessary”

 

It was eerie how quiet it was around them as they walked down the baron road, it was so uncharacteristically peaceful from what they had experienced lately. They could hear no sounds but their own footsteps as they continued walking through the straight stretch of road, thick tree cover surrounding them on either side. Lexa kept her gun in front of her cautiously, gripping it tightly so she could use it at any given moment. As they continued walking Lexa noticed that the road simply stopped; an old worn dead end sign stuck into the ground that backed onto more tree coverage.

 

“I’m not seeing any walls” Lincoln grumbled from the back of the pack

 

“We’re not there yet” Clarke shook her head as she continued walking with a small smile on her face “I’m almost home and you’re almost at your new one”

 

“Where do we go after the dead end?” Lexa asked quietly as she looked at the blonde beside her

 

“We keep going through. We’ll hit old train tracks which we will follow for only a few minutes before you’ll see a road and that’s where you will see the walls” Clarke nodded “We are almost there, I swear”

 

Lexa’s fingers gripped her gun tightly as her stomach grumbled quietly; they hadn’t eaten since that morning and whatever small food the brunette had eaten was long gone after she emptied the contents of her stomach when she put a bullet in Quint’s head. They had finished off any water they were carrying as well on the way to where they were at that very moment, the group dragging their feet as they continued down the stretch of road. There were so many things going to Lexa’s mind as Clarke walked them past the dead end sign, slipping between wires that had clearly been set up as a perimeter to try and stop any infected from wandering past that point. Once they were clear of the wire they hit the old train tracks Clarke had mentioned only minutes ago.

 

Lexa’s stomach began to churn from not only hunger but heightened anxiety as Clarke lead the way confidently, it was judgement time for her leadership. They were either about to uncover a great triumph or Lexa had been completely played by Clarke into believing her words about The Ark. Lexa didn’t want to think there was a chance that the other girl had been deceiving her, she trusted her better judgement in taking this journey with the blonde but there was always a chance that the girl they had rescued didn’t really need rescuing at all. She pushed that thought to the back of her mind, although it was only a small thought that was floating around in her brain, it was a heavy one that was starting to carry more weight as they moved further away from their vehicles.

 

She swallowed thickly as Clarke strayed to their right, walking up a small hill and the squad just followed her but all paused once they reached the top. They could see another, short old road but at the end of it was a ten foot high, wooden but obviously reinforced wall that stretched around what Lexa assumed to be the community Clarke had been talking about. It was something Lexa hadn’t seen done properly before; she had seen people trying to emulate something as strong or protective as what she was looking but had all failed when tested. She had instantly wondered whether it had really been tested completely but she figured they had been in their community for a year so it had to be stronger and more stable than anything they had witnessed. There was a long metal gate at the front, leading Lexa to believe that there was a way to get into The Ark with vehicles which was something she would remember to bring up with Clarke later if she had the opportunity.

 

“Just stay behind me” Clarke said quietly as she stepped out onto the road from the tree cover with her hands up in the air

 

“Stop!” Lexa heard a voice standing above the gate, the squad’s guns all aiming at the brunette who stood up the top of the structure to look down on them “Holy crap, Clarke. You’re alive?! Who the hell are these guys with their guns pointed at me?”

 

“Octavia put your gun down; these guys are my friends” Clarke said as she dropped her hands to her side “And please open up the gate so we can come inside”

 

“Yeah” Octavia nodded with wide eyes as she looked down at the blonde girl for a second more before disappearing from sight

 

Clarke glanced back at Lexa who had repositioned her aim to the front of the gate, placing a gentle hand on her shoulder as she now stood beside the soldier.

 

“You can put it down” Clarke said quietly “You’re with me, you won’t be harmed”

 

Lexa sighed quietly as she lowered her gun to her side, giving her squad a nod for them to lower their guns as well. The next thing they heard was a gate being moved but they saw no immediate movement in front of them.

 

“Double gates” Clarke said simply as if she was reading Lexa’s mind and the question she was trying to figure out

 

She then saw the big gate sliding sideways just enough for them to inside, Octavia stood at the entrance anxiously; waiting for them to hurry up and enter the community. Clarke squeezed Lexa’s uninjured arm gently, gaining her attention once again.

 

“Trust me” Clarke said seriously before she looked over Lexa’s shoulders to the rest of the squad “All of you”

 

 With one final look Clarke began walking towards the gates, rushing to her friend and hugging the girl who they had just learnt was called Octavia tightly. Both girls laughing quietly with joy as they broke away from the hug, looking back to the squad of 4 who were cautiously making their way over. Lexa paused as she stepped inside the community, seeing the street lined with multiple houses and people standing outside on their driveways curiously. She could only see about 8 houses in the immediate area but could seethat the road veered left so she assumed there would be another block of houses on the next street too. It was bizarre for Lexa and her squad to see because the walls kept these people from knowing the reality of what was actually happening outside; it was like these people were still living in the world pre-infected. The lawns were mowed, the grass was relatively green; by the neatness and cleanliness of people’s clothing she knew they definitely hadn’t seen the outside world in a while. If they had, they would have been covered in mud, dirt, blood and bugs just like Lexa was.

 

“Octavia this Indra, Nyko, Echo, Lincoln and Lexa” Clarke said introducing the squad to her friend “They are the ones that got me here”

 

“Nice to meet you all” Octavia said with a small smile before her eyes landed on Lincoln “You’re all staying, right?”

 

“Let’s get the gate closed” Clarke said shaking her head with a small smile

 

The group did just that, Lexa wondered how a small girl like Octavia managed to open the gate as quickly as she had because it was pretty heavy duty; many hands made light work of closing it quickly but Lexa was impressed.

 

“Clarke!” They heard yelling as a middle aged woman who Lexa could tell was clearly her mother running down the street with a group of at least 8 people behind her

 

“Mom” Clarke responded and Lexa smiled to herself in being correct but also watching the blonde she had taken to caring about rushing towards her mother and hugging her tightly

 

“What happened? You’ve been gone a month, we thought you were dead” She said as she squeezed her girl tightly

 

“I’m fine, I’m okay” Clarke reassured her mom as they broke away from their embrace but not before her mother placed a few quick kisses on the side of her head “I’m okay”

 

“And who are these people?” She asked taking her eyes from her daughter to see four strangers standing within her community

 

“This is Indra, Nyko, Echo, Lincoln and Lexa here is their commander. Guys this is my mom Abby Griffin who is Chancellor of The Ark. They’re all ex-army from the same company and they are the ones who saved my life to get me back here” Clarke said with a small smile as she looked towards Lexa “I think they’ll be a good addition to our community”

 

“You saved my daughter’s life?” Abby asked taking her daughters hand in her own to approach the 4 soldiers who hadn’t moved an inch from where they had been standing as more people gathered around them, like they were some kind of freaks from the outside world which made Lexa more nervous than she wanted to admit

 

“Your daughter is a survivor, that’s for sure” Lexa nodded as she looked directly at Clarke’s mother “And she wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way of getting her home”

 

“But I survived because of them all” Clarke replied “I had a few close calls”

 

“We’ll discuss that soon, we’ll hold an urgent council meeting” She nodded, placing another kiss on her daughters head as she kept Clarke close “I can’t thank you enough for saving her life and I look forward to finding out exactly what you’ve done for my daughter so I really do have to apologise for this”

 

Lexa looked to Clarke whose eyes turned wide and the brunette’s world turned back suddenly as something was pulled over her head roughly. She heard yelling from her squad before she felt a blow to the side of her head that doubled the already intense pain her face was feeling. Her legs buckled, falling to the ground almost instantly after the blow until she hit the concrete below her harshly, losing grip on her gun and her ears began to ring loudly. She heard Clarke’s voice yelling something that she couldn’t quite make out while she felt her arms being placed behind her back forcefully, as if she were in a state to resist or defend herself.

 

But that was the last thing she remembered before she passed out.

 

Days since outbreak: 699
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo and Clarke Griffin
Location: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota 

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: Unknown
Survivors: Unknown
Location: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota 

 

Lexa’s head pounded as her heart pumped quickly, the blood flow and pain signalling to herself that she was still alive at the very least. She opened her eyes slowly, groaning as light streamed blindingly through a window directly into her eyes. She took a quick look around her, noticing she was in a small room as her vision cleared; on a single bed that was pushed into the very corner of the room. There was nothing else in the room besides the bed and a small bedside table next to her but from what she could see out another window beside her, she assumed she was in the second story of a house in the community. Judging by the sunlight she also made a calculated guess that it was now day 700 since the outbreak and she wondered whether that would be the furthest her story would take her. She attempted to move her arms to shield herself from the light as it grew to become too painful for her eyes but they was stopped by a loud clash of metal against metal, realizing that her arms were handcuffed above her head between the frame of the single bed.

 

She cursed aloud in frustration as she pulled once more on the bed frame harshly, hoping to weaken it somehow but all it did was cut into her wrists. She pulled herself up to sit on the bed, shuffling up to the bedframe so she could look at her handcuffs and see if she could glance out the window for any reference points. Her head throbbed at her movement, bending down to touch her hand to her face and pausing when she felt a small patch over her very sore cheek. Her eyes then moved to her left arm, seeing the sleeve cut off but her wound had repatched neatly and even bandaged up completely. Lexa was smart enough to know from the look in Clarke’s eyes that the blonde was surprised at what was happening to them before a sack was pulled over their heads, her yelling evident enough to the brunette that the other girl didn’t want them harmed.

 

The bedframe was strong and the handcuffs tight, meaning Lexa was going to have to think of another way to escape the room. She needed to find her squad; she needed to make sure they were okay because it was her fault they were in this mess. She just hoped for the people’s sake in the community that her squad were okay and unharmed otherwise there was going to be hell to pay. Seeing as her injuries were patched up and she was otherwise unharmed, she had a feeling that her squad were were alive but at the same time, she wondered why exactly she was knocked out, why she was handcuffed to a bed in a strange room.

 

Her mind blanked immediately while her senses heightened as she heard a key in the door before the doorhandle turned and the door opened quietly. Lexa watched curiously as she saw Clarke back her way inside the door, shutting it very quietly behind her after looking out the door from side to side a couple of times. She jumped as she turned around with a white plate in her hands, a pile of still steaming pancakes, bacon, sausages and scrambled eggs filling the flat surface to the absolute brim with cutlery resting on the side while holding a glass of water in her other hand.

 

Clarke looked different from the last time Lexa had seen her; her washed wavy hair was loose, sitting over her shoulders neatly while she had changed into a grey long sleeved shirt and brand new looking jeans. Any traces of dirt from the girl had been removed, her wrists were bandaged from where the rope had been cutting into her just days ago but the bruising was now becoming more evident around her neck. Lexa knew her eyes should have been drawn to the huge plate of food in her hand but she couldn’t help but look at the other girl who was cautiously approaching her. Lexa had thought Clarke was beautiful before so that tightening in her chest only increased as she saw the blonde when she was all cleaned up.

 

“I was hoping you’d be awake” Clarke said quietly “I’m going to come and drop this on the bedside table for you, so please don’t kick me or anything”

 

“Why am I handcuffed to a bed?” Lexa rasped, her throat dry and scratchy

 

“I’m sorry for that and for what they did to you last night” Clarke said with wide eyes “I had no idea they were going to do that”

 

“I believe you” Lexa replied quietly “But that still doesn’t answer my question”

 

“The Council thought you might do something thoughtless when you woke up” Clarke replied with a sigh, her awkward expression conveying her further apology

 

“Well I wouldn’t need to do anything thoughtless if they didn’t knock me out” Lexa snapped “Did they touch anyone else?”

 

“No” Clarke answered quickly “They blindfolded them but you were the only one they hit”

 

“Why?”

 

“Honestly, I have no idea. Whenever we bring someone in we do blindfold them before their questioning in case they aren’t accepted into the community” Clarke tried to explain “So they don’t learn the layout of the place in case they are here to spy for another group. Believe me; I explained to them all how many times you saved my life and everything we went through just to get back here. I’m sorry they hurt you, I didn’t know that was going to happen but you’re ex-army, they thought they had to protect The Ark because they haven’t talked to you yet. It’s kind of just the process”

 

“The process is crap” Lexa snapped immediately “They didn’t need to knock me out or blindfold me to talk to me”

 

“I know that” Clarke said firmly

 

 “My squad?” The brunette sighed

 

“They’re fine, I just went and saw them” Clarke answered “They’re in the house next door all together but the council wanted to separate you because you’re the leader”

 

“I thought you said you were a leader in this community” Lexa said gruffly

 

“I am” Clarke replied patiently “And I tried to keep you all together but they overruled me until the council bring you in for questioning”

 

“Bring me in for questioning?” Lexa raised her eyebrows before wincing as the sunlight caught her eyes again “Can you at the very least please close that blind”

 

“Your head hurt?” The blonde asked sympathetically

 

“Well guns don’t particularly tickle when they hit you in the temple” Lexa retorted sarcastically “Not too sure how necessary that was but I guess I will bring that up with the council too”

 

“I have something that will help” Clarke said with a nod as she approached the other girl slowly, placing the food down on the bedside table beside the water and fishing her hand into her back pocket to pull out two small white tablets “Painkillers, I thought you might need them”

 

“Thanks” Lexa mumbled as she held her hand flat to receive the tablets but saw the hesitation in Clarke’s actions to give them to her “What am I going to do to you with my hands in handcuffs anyway? I know you weren’t aware this was going to happen to us so I don’t have a problem with you”

 

“I just know if it were me, I’d be pissed” Clarke said as she stood in front of the girl, leaning over to hand her the painkillers

 

“I am pissed” Lexa grumbled as she looked down at her hand “Just not with you”

 

“They’ll let you stay if you just answer the questions we’re going to ask honestly. My mom is smart, she and the rest of the council know how valuable you will be to this place but they just need some extra convincing” Clarke explained slowly as she backed her way towards the window “You just need to answer a few questions and that’s it”

 

“Why would I want to stay here after I just woke up handcuffed on a bed from being knocked out?” Lexa asked raising her eyebrows, wincing as the light hit her eyes once more

 

“Sorry” Clarke said awkwardly, reaching up to close the blind “You went through a lot to get here and now you’re just a few questions away from having stability”

 

“Or being in captivity” Lexa responded as her eyes fell to the water sitting on the bedside table beside her “I was free outside and now I’m being treated like I’m a prisoner, my squad are being held in a house next door”

 

“I know and I’m sorry but it won’t be for long. I will get you out of this and you’ll be able to make whatever decision you want from there” Clarke urged “The people here are good, you can trust me Lexa; as much as you resist it you know you can. If you want to leave then you can leave after you talk to the council but when you hear and see what we can offer I think you will want to stay”

 

“Do you have breakfasts like this all the time?” Lexa asked gesturing to the food as her stomach rumbled once more “Did your people send you in to answer your questions with a bribe of food and water? Try to calm me down a little?”

 

“Well first of all no, we don’t eat like this all the time and second of all I’m not supposed to be in here. No one is but I couldn’t just stay and eat breakfast at my house, which you can see across the street by the way, while I knew you were in here” Clarke said with a heavy sigh, running her hand through her hair “I took your squad some food, the girl guarding this house is my friend so she had no problem letting me in”

 

“You’re not going to try and feed me though, are you?” Lexa asked with a furrowed brow as she gestured to her hands “These don’t really give me a great range of motion”

 

“No, I’ll do you one better” Clarke said as she reached into her other pocket to pull out the keys to the handcuffs, Lexa’s eyebrows creasing further as she watched the blonde stop in front of her once more

 

Clarke reached out to place her hands on the cuffs, holding the key by the lock before her eyes met the brunette’s.

 

“I’m going to take off the cuffs because I know you’re not going to do anything, right?” Clarke raised her eyebrows

 

“Clarke, I fought Quint because he was trying to kill you. Do you really think after I did that, I would hurt you?” Lexa asked rolling her eyes “Even though your people knocked me out, handcuffed me and locked me in a house all by myself”

 

“You’re going to have to let that go at some stage” Clarke joked awkwardly as she unlocked a cuff, Lexa pulling her hands out from the bed quickly and holding her other hand out for the blonde to unlock but the sudden movement of the brunette caused her to flinch

 

Once Clarke saw that Lexa was only presenting her other hand to be free, she unlocked the other cuff and the girl rolled her wrists around freely.

 

“Why isn’t anyone allowed in here?” Lexa asked before popping the painkillers into her mouth, leaning over to the table to pick the water up and gulping it down in one go, looking to Clarke whose eyes were wide as she watched her

 

“I’ll have to get you some more water” Clarke said with a furrowed brow as she moved to sit next to Lexa on the small bed, sitting almost close enough for their knees to be touching like they had grown accustomed to sitting on the outside “And no one is allowed in here because it’s a precautionary thing but I know you”

 

“Thank you for bringing me this anyway” Lexa mumbled as she pulled the plate of hot food into her lap and picked up the cutlery, her stomach rumbling loudly once more “Who patched me up?”

 

“I did” Clarke shrugged “I did it when you were brought in here last night, we had the equipment and I didn’t want anything getting infected so I did it”

 

Lexa couldn’t hold back from eating any longer, she wanted to be polite as she could in front of the blonde but she couldn’t help but practically inhale the food in front of her, she had forgotten what it was like to eat a proper breakfast like that. She hadn’t eaten a full meal in months, relying on canned goods to get them through the days and only occasionally stumbling across something that could be considered as a meal.

 

She could get used to the food at least.

 

“You should probably slow down” Clarke suggested quietly with an amused smile on her face, nudging the other girl gently

 

“Sorry” Lexa mumbled through a mouthful of food

 

“I know I have said this already but I’m really sorry, Lexa” The blonde said quietly “You brought me here in good faith and you got this as a result of it”

 

“You’d be surprised how many times that has happened to me” Lexa said light heartedly, almost forgetting her anger while scooping a chunk of pancake in her mouth “The food is kind of making up for it right now”

 

“How’s your cheek?”

 

“Hurts” Lexa mumbled with a shrug “But I’m more hungry than anything”

 

“I can see that, I promise I will get you some ice after” Clarke said nudging the other girl once more “It’s going to be nice having you here, I think everyone will love it”

 

“Why do you think that?” The brunette swallowed the food in her mouth, pausing to look down at her now mostly empty plate

 

“I think everyone will feel a little safer having you guys around” Clarke replied quietly “I told the council everything that happened, I told them how I was kidnapped by the other community and apparently more people from our community go missing each week so we’ve had to stop scouting missions. We’re limited in our supply runs too apparently, I think if you’re willing to help out it will go a long way with the community”

 

“How’s your neck feeling?” Lexa asked after a moment’s silence passed between them, the only sound coming from the room otherwise was the cutlery being placed against the plate as Lexa finished her food “Did they ask you about that?”

 

“I told them everything that happened” Clarke repeated simply “My neck is fine thank you, it’s just a little tender but it will heal. Physical pain is the easy one; it’s all the other stuff that’s difficult”

 

“You know, I think you pull off this whole apocalypse thing pretty well” Lexa chuckled quickly “I mean I might have military training but you seem to handle yourself well, you have a positivity that I just don’t understand and you clean up very well all things considering”

 

“I’ve had a lot of help along the way and picked up a lot of things as I’ve gone” Clarke smirked while she shrugged “I don’t give up, I’m very persistent and I’m sure you’ll feel like a whole new woman after you have a shower too”

 

“I haven’t had a proper shower in almost 2 years” Lexa replied with a smile as she glanced sideways at the blonde who was concentrating her gaze on the soldier intently 

 

“Oh I’ve noticed” Clarke joked as she reached out to place a hand atop one of Lexa’s, squeezing it gently and running a thumb over the red marks from the cuff on her wrist “You could do a lot of great things here for the people here Lexa and the people here can do a lot of great things for you”

 

The door opened slowly with a creak, causing Clarke to stand quickly from the bed and Lexa exhaling deeply at the loss of warm contact the blonde had given her. A tanned brunette girl stood at the door with a shotgun in her hand and her lips pursed as she looked at Lexa with the empty plate of food on her lap then to Clarke who returned her gaze. Lexa watched the other girl carefully, her reaction wasn’t one of surprise so Clarke must have told the other girl about her and she must have been the one on guard outside the house.

 

“I didn’t know you were going to free her when you brought food” She muttered, her eyes once again falling on the cutlery on Lexa’s lap “No matter how attractive she might be”

 

“It’s a butter knife” Lexa said picking it up to emphasize her point “I could hardly cut through the scrambled egg let alone anything else”

 

“Raven she can’t eat in handcuffs” Clarke dismissed firmly “She shouldn’t have been in those cuffs anyway”

 

“I agree with you” Raven said with a nod, looking back to her friend “But don’t you think you would react if that happened to you?”

 

“None of you made the call, I don’t have a problem with you” Lexa shook her head as her eyes fell to the shotgun in the slim girls grip “Do you know how to use that?”

 

“I can show you if you’d like” Raven responded

 

“Raven” Clarke warned raising an eyebrow

 

“Why is she out of her cuffs?” A raven haired boy appeared in the doorway behind the two girls “And why are you even in here Clarke?”

 

“She needed food and water” Clarke replied turning back to the young man, Lexa noting that out of the community members she had seen so far; a lot of them were around her age “And she isn’t a criminal Bellamy, she got me back here alive so I owe her”

 

“She’s being summoned for questioning anyway” Bellamy responded gruffly looking to Clarke “So you need to get to council”

 

“I’m not putting those cuffs back on” Lexa said shaking her head, her eyes also falling on Clarke “I’ll walk there with a blindfold on but I’m not wearing cuffs”

 

“No, you’re not putting those cuffs back on” Clarke said firmly as she turned around to Bellamy “And I’m walking with her”

 

“Okay fine, but hurry up” Bellamy nodded anxiously as he handed the blindfold to Clarke

 

Lexa stood from the bed, placing the plate down on the bedside table along with the cutlery and took a few steps towards Clarke who gave her a small smile

 

“I’ll let you get down the stairs first before I put it on” Clarke offered gently “You’re going to be fine”

 

“When will I see my squad?” Lexa asked quickly

 

“As soon as you’re done with questioning” Clarke confirmed with that small smile still lingering on her face

 

“Come on” Bellamy said as he walked backwards out of the room towards the stairwell

 

Lexa went down the stairs second after Bellamy, Clarke and Raven following them as they reached the end. She heard Clarke mutter an apology as her eyes were covered and a blindfold was tied gently behind her head. Her heart began working overtime as Clarke looped her arm around Lexa’s to guide her slowly out of the house, being helped down one single stair slowly when exiting the house. Clarke had tied the blindfold so that Lexa could see a tiny bit out of her left eye, the brightness making her wince but she also tried to adjust so she could take note of a few things if the questioning went badly. Before any decision was made she knew she was going to have to speak to her squad and get their opinion, she was making the decisions but she needed to consider them as well.

 

They only walked a short distance before she was taken up one stair and Lexa knew she was going into another home. She heard a door open, Bellamy greeted someone else before Clarke let go of her arm but placed her hand on the small of Lexa’s back to continue to guide her and the brunette appreciated the contact; it was reassuring. She wasn’t used to being placed in a situation that she wasn’t in control of, it was something extremely unnerving but she knew she had to play along for now. She had to play by their rules and she needed them to trust her in order for them to let herself and her squad live there. She knew they couldn’t stay forever, those walls couldn’t shield them from everything because nothing ever lasted forever; especially in a zombie apocalypse. For that moment though they could provide herself and her squad stability, shelter, meals and it would buy them a few extra days that maybe they weren’t guaranteed on the outside. Life was fragile, now more than ever and anything that could preserve that was a positive, it also didn’t hurt that she would be living in the same community as Clarke Griffin.

 

She would deal with those odd feelings that had begun to stir within her later, something that she hadn’t felt since Costia and something she hadn’t been able to focus on or anything but survival because of the constant danger around her. For now though, she needed to continue to focus on just that; her ability to survive in whatever situation was thrown at her.

 

Lexa was sat down in a chair, her hands resting on a table in front of her as she heard a few whispers around the table. From what she could gather there were at least 3 people sitting around the table, both male and female and that was confirmed as her blindfold was untied. Lexa’s eyes quickly adjusted to the light before she looked around the round wooden table she was seated at. She noticed Clarke’s mother sitting on the opposite side of the table to herself, two middle aged men sitting on either side of her and Clarke was positioned closest to the soldier.

 

“First of all I want to apologise for our first meeting yesterday afternoon” Abby said as she leaned forward into the table, positioning her clasped hands in front of her on the table

 

“Are you going to put a bag over my head and knock me out after apologising again?” Lexa raised an eyebrow as she looked around her

 

She was in the dining room of a very large house; the walls were eggshell white, there were paintings lined up neatly on the walls and even a chandelier above where she was seated. Raven and Bellamy stood only a few feet behind Lexa with their weapons clasped tightly in their hands but she knew they were no danger, the brunette knowing she had the complete advantage over the two guards combined with her training.

 

“That won’t happen again and it doesn’t usually happen so I do feel terrible about it” Abby said shaking her head “But I’m sure you understand that sometimes you have to do things you aren’t proud of to protect the ones you love”

 

“You didn’t need to protect them from me though” Lexa answered quickly “I brought your daughter back here”

 

“Yes but you have to understand that we didn’t know a thing about you and you were inside our community” Abby countered instantly “A community that we have worked so hard to protect and cultivate over the past year. We are extremely careful with the people we bring into The Ark because of all the sacrifice that has gone into making this place the community it is. We believe that is why we have lasted so long and everyone here brings something to the table”

 

“I understand the blindfold but I don’t understand why you needed to knock me out” Lexa pressed her hands into the table firmly

 

“Unfortunately we just needed to show what we were capable of. We had to show you that we were serious about defending this place” Abby said with a sigh “And I know that Clarke is alive because of you. I know you saved her from a pack of zombies, that you defended her against the men who wanted to take her back to the community she was kidnapped into, that you stood up against your own squad for her and I can’t thank you enough”

 

“I still don’t think what you did was necessary, especially after Clarke said we saved her” Lexa countered with a raised eyebrow

 

“We needed to make an example and you are the leader so we had to do it to you” One of the men sitting at the tabled said evenly

 

 “So this is the council?” Lexa asked gruffly as she looked to Clarke

 

“This is it” Clarke nodded

 

“Lexa we have a few questions for you in order to decide your compatibility to our community. What will happen is that the council will take a vote on whether your squad stays or not after we have finished asking you what we would like to know. Once that decision is made, it is final” Abby began “Do you understand?”

 

“Yes” Lexa answered simply as her hands pressed into the table once more, the tips of her fingers whitening with the pressure she was exerting

 

“You’ll be able to ask us some questions once we are done” Abby nodded before gesturing to the two middle aged men on either side of her “These are Councilmen Marcus Kane and Thelonious Jaha, you of course know my daughter Clarke already”

 

“Okay” Lexa said evenly with a small shrug

 

“You are ex-army, is this correct?” Abby asked looking intently towards Lexa with her eyebrows raised

 

“Yes, so are the rest of my squad” Lexa confirmed

 

“How did you become leader of your group?” Jaha questioned with a raised eyebrow

 

“It kind of just fell upon me, I was highest ranked but I just kind of took it on” Lexa answered reasonably “How did you become leader?”

 

“How many squad members do you have? Are there any still on the outside?” Councillor Jaha asked coolly, ignoring Lexa’s question “Has it been the five of you the entirety of your journey here?”

 

“I have four squad members left. There were seven of us before we changed our mission from Texas to here but there are no more of us from the original group, that’s it” Lexa answered honestly, glancing to Clarke who gave her an encouraging nod

 

“What happened to the other two?” Jaha pressed, lifting his chin as he spoke but his eyes stayed on Lexa’s

 

“Gustus died when we came across a horde of infected and he was bitten, Quint tried to kill Clarke before he tried to kill me when I stopped him” Lexa responded, a clench in her jaw indicating the weight in her words “I’m sure Clarke’s story would confirm what I have just said”

 

“It does” Abby replied with a simple nod “Why were you on your way to Texas?”

 

“We received radio communication that we believed to be true telling us that there was a rally point seven klicks North East of Dallas”

 

“Why did you believe it to be true?” Marcus Kane questioned, finally speaking

 

“We had just searched a base beforehand and we heard the looping call on a military radio frequency that was calling for all ex-military personnel to make their way to a rally point at a base we were given coordinates to” The brunette replied before looking around the room “Can I get some water please?”

 

“Raven?” Abby asked looking to the young community member

 

“She knows this isn’t a hotel, right?” Raven asked cocking an eyebrow as she looked to the back of the soldiers head

 

“I would stand to get it myself but I would probably get a bullet in the back of my head where I can feel you are looking” Lexa responded looking down to her hands

 

Lexa saw Abby give Raven a nod out of the corner of her eye and she moved off into another room, the soldier astounded to hear the sound of running water before a clear glass of pure water was placed in front of her.

 

“You do know that the government has disbanded completely? There are no more rally points or safe holds” Jaha added as his eyes narrowed in disbelief

 

“I’m very aware the government has disbanded but I believe that while Texas might not have been a sure thing, it could have been a chance for us”

 

“A chance for you against what?” Abby questioned carefully

 

“Against what is going on outside these walls, that you probably have no idea about because you’re in your big houses with showers and pancakes” Lexa knitted her eyebrows together as she looked directly across the table towards the council members, including Clarke “Texas wasn’t a sure thing though and Clarke gave me her word that The Ark was the real deal; which I can see now was the complete truth”

 

“You didn’t believe her?” Kane asked with a small smirk

 

“What Clarke was promising was almost impossible in the world today” Lexa responded with a shrug, glancing to the blonde who had a smile tugging at her lips “But she has proven me wrong about a few things”

 

“Is that why you decided to come here instead of Texas?” Abby probed instantly “Because of Clarke?”

 

“I came here because I decided that it was the smartest decision for my squad and we were struggling. As a group, we were struggling because we had no hope or direction and when you lose hope out there then you have nothing but that’s what The Ark gave us.” Lexa answered justly “If this works out then this gives my squad something they haven’t had for years and that’s stability. It was also a much shorter distance to West Bloomington than Texas so here we are”

 

“So your squad want to be here?” Jaha questioned further

 

“I think once everything is explained to them they will want to be here because they know that right now, this is what’s best for them” Lexa replied honestly and earnestly

 

“What about you?” Clarke asked, breaking her relative silence “Do you want to be here?”

 

“That depends under what circumstance” Lexa challenged with a cocked eyebrow “As a free member of the community or someone who is handcuffed to a bed after being knocked out with a bag over their head?“

 

“Do you want to be here as a free member of The Ark?” Clarke rephrased her question with a smirk and a shake of her head

 

“I don’t know yet” Lexa replied honestly after taking a moment to think of what exactly she wanted to say, knowing this question had more weight on it than many others “I want to because I think my squad will want to and if I am completely honest with myself, I would love to have the complete stability this place would supply. Then again, I don’t believe that you can be in the reality of what is going on out there when you are surrounded by high walls and the memories of what it used to be like to live before the outbreak. I think it is dangerous to desensitize yourself to what is happening or what the people are like out there because I don’t think your walls can keep you safe forever. Whether something comes from the inside or the outside, infected or human; unfortunately things don’t always go to plan”

 

“Do you want to be here or not?” Jaha grumbled 

 

“I don’t know” Lexa answered honestly, tightly shutting her eyes for a moment “I could have lied and said yes but I’m being as honest as I can with you all despite what happened yesterday” 

 

“If you don’t want to be here then why did you bring back my daughter?” Abby leaned back into her chair “Why not just leave her after you saved her?”

 

“When Clarke spoke about this place I could see the absolute admiration for everyone in this place, I felt her need for her to get back here so I knew that had to mean something. My squad want to be here, I saw the looks on all of their faces when we saw the walls of this place. They are exhausted, hungry, injured and scarred because we have been on the move for what I think is now 700 days” Lexa spoke as her eyes shifted to lock onto Clarke’s blue ones who gave her a subtle nod “Maybe I’m not exactly sold on this idea yet but my squad need this and they have undoubtedly supported me as a leader to get them to this point so now I need to reward them. You all would do anything for those you love as you said before and this is no different”

 

“So what can your squad bring to The Ark?” Jaha asked, clearing his throat to gain back Lexa’s attention

 

“Well we have military training, we can hunt, we can provide security, we can help defend this place should there be a need and we can teach your people how to defend themselves as well” Lexa shrugged “We haven’t survived those 700 days just by luck”

 

“I think that’s enough questioning” Clarke suggested as she looked around the table to receive agreement from the 3 other council members “We should vote”

 

Lexa exhaled sharply at Clarke’s words, hoping she had been honest and forthcoming enough for the council to let them stay; even if it’s just for a little while. She didn’t need a permanent place in The Ark but her squad needed some time to rest, they needed some time to recover without having to always look over their shoulder. Lexa thought it would be nice to get through a day where she didn’t need to worry about where they were going to get their food from or where they would find some water to drink in the middle of a hot, dry summer. Losing Gustus and Quint had hit them hard emotionally but it would also have hit them hard physically if they had continued the way they were going on the outside of those walls. Losing two big, skilled guys was a huge blow to their ability to defend themselves as a whole; it was two less guns firing and two less bodies to place on a lookout shift.

 

She balled her fists into hands as she said a silent prayer to anyone listening; her knuckles had turned white when she looked down at them which warned her to loosen the pressure on her own hands. She looked up once more to see the council members looking between each other, everyone but Clarke impossible for Lexa to read.

 

“Obviously my vote is a yes” Clarke said with a nod “We would be stupid not to take you in and I know firsthand what you all went through just to get me back here. I can’t thank you enough but getting you a place in here could be a start”

 

“My vote is a yes” Marcus Kane folded his arms with a small smile “We need people like you in here, we need your squad because things are hitting closer to home”

 

“Councillor?” Abby asked looking to Jaha

 

“I use my vote to say no” Jaha replied evenly “And I know how much of a benefit your squad would be but if you don’t want to be here then you shouldn’t be”

 

“It’s not that I don’t want to be here, it’s just that I feel it’s dangerous to get used to all of this” Lexa responded with a clenched jaw, a ripple of pain from her cheek shooting through her body as a result

 

“So Chancellor you cast the final vote in this” Marcus Kane spoke looking to Abby who had her eyes fixed on Lexa “You vote yes then they are now members of The Ark, you vote no then we have a tie and we’re going to have to do this all over again until someone sways”

 

“I’m voting a conditional yes” Abby said quickly with a small smile on her face

 

“A conditional yes?” Lexa raised her eyebrows “I mean we’re either members of this community or not. I’m not being held up in a bedroom with my hands cuffed and no freedom”

 

“That’s not my condition” Abby responded, unaffected by the soldiers reply

 

“What is the condition?” Clarke asked, shaking her head in confusion

 

“As you know, we’re facing a bit of an unprecedented threat to our way of life from the community that kidnapped Clarke. They have a total of 6 of our people and they’re getting bolder in their kidnapping attempts, coming closer to The Ark every time they do so. I know my daughter has told you what they were doing there and I think we can both agree that it’s completely wrong” Abby pushed her seat back, the wooden chair squeaking quietly before she stood at the head of the table to look down and across from the soldier “We want our community members back. We believe from Clarke’s reports that all of our people are alive at the moment but we want them back. I want you in The Ark; I can see what an asset you and your team will make here but we all have to contribute when it’s needed”

 

“So you want us to march into this community filled with gun wielding lunatics and just get your people back?” Lexa cocked an eyebrow, her tone incredulous

 

“Clarke told us how your squad defended her against the group that were hunting her down a few days ago. She told us how you stopped them pretty easily” Abby continued

 

“Well first of all there were 2 more of us than there are now, 3 if you include Clarke who saved my life I might add” Lexa replied quickly “We outnumbered them at that stage, it is going to take more than 5 of us to get even close to your people.”

 

“We know that this can’t be done right now, we are very aware that you’re going to need to scout out the area first and figure out what you are dealing with. Some of uur people who are willing to fight will go with you once you know how you want to do this. When the time is right we want you to go and we want you to get our people back, causing little harm to the innocent people in that community. In the mean time we will need your help with security, we will need your help with hunting, and we will need  your squad accompanying our scouting missions if we do have to go on any. We want an extraction team and your squad are perfect for this job” Abby said as she leaned her hands down on the table while her eyes stayed firmly fixed on the younger soldier “If you can do this, we will offer you a permanent place”

 

“And if we can’t? If I don’t think this is achievable” Lexa asked “You’re just going to kick us out?”

 

“If you can’t pull your weight then you have to leave” Jaha interrupted “That’s just how it is here”

 

“I want to talk to my squad before I make a decision” Lexa countered firmly “And I want availability to my weapons, which I know you have”

 

“We are keeping your weapons safe and locked up in the armoury. You are welcome to go and get them whenever you want whilst you are on security, guard or going outside but they stay locked up on the inside” Abby explained “That’s just how it is here but as I said, you can get them at anytime”

 

“Any time conditionally” Lexa rolled her eyes with a sigh “I still want to talk to my squad”

 

“We’ll bring them here” Abby said giving a nod to Bellamy who lifted his walkie talkie to his mouth to have someone bring her squad “You can go into the room next door, you have 10 minutes with them but we will need an answer from there”

 

Lexa swallowed thickly, in her eyes the condition Abby had set on her squad had changed the game utterly and completely. What The Ark had to offer was massive but what they were asking was arguably greater so Lexa needed to make sure they were making the best decision for them. She needed to work out whether they could continue on as they were on the outside or whether they could pull this off and have a place inside the walls.

 

She looked to Clarke who was looking directly towards her, a look of sympathy shining through her features as she reached over to place a hand over Lexa’s clasped fist. The brunette looked down at Clarke’s hand on her own, also wondering whether she had another reason to stay or whether she was just overthinking things. When Clarke had shown up, it had been the first time since Lexa had actually even noticed anyone else or listened to her heart as it beat quickly from something else other than danger.

 

Whatever happened, she knew the next 10 minutes in her life were going to be critical.

 

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 

Chapter Text

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

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 701
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 made the most of their free day settling into The Ark. People still were unsure of them, her especially for some reason but she didn’t particularly want to get to know them either. Lexa had adapted her way of thinking that other people besides her squad were threats; they were to be approached cautiously and not engaged if possible so she didn’t mind the distance. She spent most of her day observing the structures of the community, learning possible entries or exits for any outsiders and looking for possible weak spots in the walls. She did quite a few laps of the community, her squad joining her for some of it but they were actually making an effort to try and blend with the people of The Ark.

 

Lexa sat on the lawn of what the community called her house as the welcome party went on down in the Chancellor’s house on the other end of the street. She sat with her legs pulled up to her chest, her arms resting on her knees and her notebook hanging loosely in her hand as she listened to the sounds of social interaction on the opposite end of the street. Lexa was tired, she didn’t get much sleep the night before because she couldn’t turn her brain off and she used the day to distract herself from any thoughts of Clarke. She had managed to keep her distance from the young council member for most of the day while she was helping prepare for the party, only seeing her when Clarke took Lexa’s stitches from her wound. Though she found the blonde wandering through her brain more often than not, she tried to push it aside by giving herself things to do. She wasn’t used to having time to think about other things than what move to make next and how to keep her squad alive for just another day.

 

Her squad sat with her for a while before she saw Lincoln catching Octavia’s eye as she walked down the street, telling him to leave if he wanted to go to the welcome party so he did. Indra left with Nyko when there was food served and Echo followed not too long after she received a blessing from Lexa to go. She wasn’t prepared to go and socialise with the community because she wasn’t convinced that it was worth it yet, she wasn’t prepared to go to a party like there weren’t infected just outside their gates or there were people everywhere who were a threat to them all. She wanted to believe it so much though and that’s why she wasn’t allowing herself to go to the party, she wouldn’t allow herself to forget any of that.

 

So there she sat by herself, outside her house in the light of the front porch, listening to everything that was going on but watching the street around her and the guard that was lazily on watch by the front gate.

 

“So you’re not going to the party at all?” Lexa heard a familiar voice speak from her other side

 

“I’m not really in the mood” Lexa turned her head, pausing as she saw Clarke walking towards her with two plates in her hand with a half-smile on her face

 

“I thought I would bring the party to you seeing as you won’t come to us” Clarke nodded as she held out the plate for Lexa to take and waited patiently as the brunette only looked curiously at what was in front of her before she finally took it so the blonde could sit down

 

“You brought me cake?” Lexa raised her eyebrows as she looked down at the plate now in her hands, putting her notebook down next to her but keeping her legs close to her chest “Someone made a cake?”

 

“What is a party without a cake?” Clarke countered with a shrug as she shuffled close enough to lean her body against Lexa’s as they sat, pulling something from her belt that was wrapped in a cloth “And what is a party without a present”

 

Lexa took what she knew was her hunting knife from Clarke’s hand, their fingers brushing quickly as she accepted the ‘gift’, unfolding the cloth so she could place her hunting knife in its sheath on her belt.

 

“Thank you” Lexa mumbled as she turned back to the blonde, the brunette not being able to shake the way her eyes seemed to gleam with the reflection on the moonlight “How did you get it?”

 

“I went to the armory and I took it” Clarke said simply with a shake of her head “It wasn’t difficult for me because people don’t really ask my questions”

 

“Well you are in charge” Lexa nodded as her eyes fell down to the plate sitting in her lap, picking up the fork that was resting on the side to hold it over the hunk of chocolate cake “This does look pretty good after not seeing anything like this in almost two years”

 

“Your little protest doesn’t have to end just because you’re eating cake” Clarke pushed the brunette gently before taking a small piece of her own cake to pop in her mouth, chewing with a satisfied smile

 

“I’m not protesting” Lexa replied with a shake of her head, leaning her body a little further on Clarke’s because she was enjoying the warmth and contact way too much to do anything else “Everyone is just scared of me and I don’t want to awkwardly socialize with people I don’t know. That was at least one benefit of the world going to hell”

 

“But that’s not why you’re out here on your lawn, is it?” Clarke countered, looking to Lexa who was only pushing her cake with the fork “You just don’t want to give in”

 

“I just don’t think there should be a party going on while everything is still going on around us outside” Lexa said gruffly, looking to the blonde who was still staring at her and finding their faces just inches apart “And I don’t want to let myself get used to this”

 

“You don’t have to get used to it but you could enjoy it” Clarke shook her head as her eyes fell to Lexa’s lips momentarily “It doesn’t make you soft or any less of a survivor if you become a part of this community and eat a little cake every once and a while. We don’t often do this and I know it’s over the top but my mom is just trying to welcome you guys”

 

“We feel welcome” Lexa nodded, feeling a haze take over her senses as she felt her chest tighten with the blonde so close to her

 

“Listen Lexa, I really like having you around and I think if you just let everyone else interact with you then they will think the same. You’re a good person, you’re one of the only few left and I know you have been through a lot but you guys have a lot to offer this place. I think with your squad here we could last twice as long here as we might have without you, honestly I’m not stupid enough to think it’s completely permanent but don’t you think you could just enjoy it while it’s here?” Clarke spoke with a tone that was just above a whisper, her eyes continuing to dart between Lexa’s lips and eyes “If you aren’t happy here then you don’t have to stay but I think your squad could be and I think you could be if you just let yourself”

 

Lexa swallowed thickly as her eyes stayed locked on Clarke’s; feeling her heart rate begin to increase with the passing moments and waking the butterflies in her stomach that hadn’t stirred since she lost Costia. She had been nervous for many other reasons in the past 701 days but she hadn’t felt the type of nervousness that was exciting like this, she wasn’t fearing for her life but she was curious as to how Clarke elicited this reaction from her.

 

“I probably wouldn’t still be here if you weren’t here” Lexa rasped honestly, shrugging her shoulders lazily “This place is weird”

 

“This place is weird?” Clarke quietly asked raising her eyebrows, chuckling as she spoke “Tell me why you think my home is weird?”

 

Lexa sighed deeply, not being able to help the smile on her face as she looked at the amusement in Clarke’s expression. She bit down gently on her cheek in thought, breaking their intense eye contact to look up at the clear summer night’s sky. She shifted her relatively untouched cake off her lap to place next to her all the while keeping her eyes on the calm, beautiful sky above her.

 

“Because I could sit up and look at the stars and I could almost let myself think that what is happening out there isn’t really happening and I’m safe. I could just look up here peacefully and think I am back at home before this all happened, enjoying a nice night outside” Lexa smiled to herself as she saw Clarke’s head move to look up above her in her peripheral vision but feeling Clarke place a warm hand on her knee “I could just look up there and almost forget about the horrors I’ve seen or been through”

 

“And you think that’s weird?” Clarke asked, her confusion evident in her tone

 

“I just didn’t think I would feel like that again” Lexa admitted quietly, taking in the starlit sky for a moment longer before she looked towards Clarke once more “All I could think about outside these walls was surviving and trying to keep my squad alive”

 

“Well I imagine you would still think about that in here” Clarke shrugged but she stayed looking at the nights sky, squeezing Lexa’s knee gently “I doubt your brain would stop working like that no matter how long you were in here. You put your people first and it’s admirable”

 

“You’re a leader though so you understand what it is like to put yourself second and everyone else in front of you” Lexa said evenly “It’s nothing admirable”

 

“In this world it is” Clarke met Lexa’s eyes as she watched the blonde, a small smile growing on the blonde’s lips

 

“It’s weird that I can just talk to you like this as well” Lexa admitted as heat began to rise to her skin, feeling awkwardly exposed but not being able to stop herself “It’s weird that you make me feel less alone in this world and I don’t understand why”

 

“It’s not weird” Clarke said quickly with a small shrug “I know it can feel lonely being a leader, I understand you on that level at the very least”

 

“I just keep thinking that Gustus died trying to help us get here, Quint died trying to stop us from coming here” Lexa began quietly, pausing in the middle of her sentence to just watch Clarke, unable to deny the attraction she was feeling towards the other girl “And I’m not sure what I should be thinking now that we’re here”

 

The world had turned to hell, they could die at any moment but there Lexa was; sitting on a lawn in front of a house that she was staying in next to Clarke Griffin who seemed to make the Post-Apocalyptic world a little better. In that moment Lexa remembered that there were no second chances in the world they lived in so she sighed, searching for the courage from within her that she would so readily display if it were a life and death situation.

 

With a deep exhale she reached her hand to cup Clarke’s cheek gently and slowly, giving the blonde every chance to move away if Lexa was doing anything she didn’t want to happen. Clarke didn’t move away though, leaning into the brunette’s touch and letting her eyes flutter closed as Lexa inched her face closer until she captured the blonde’s lips in a slow, delicate kiss. Clarke’s lips were soft and warm as they responded to Lexa immediately, reciprocating the kiss almost as quickly as it had started. Lexa let a hum of approval slip from the back of her throat, shifting her body a tiny bit to place herself in a better position to continue the kiss. Clarke’s hand left Lexa’s knee, burying itself in the brunette’s wavy hair at the back of her head; being aware enough not to touch her sore cheek.

 

For Lexa it felt like the kiss ended far too quickly but she had to pull away so she could regain some air in her lungs, feeling the burn deep within her chest. She rested her forehead on Clarke’s momentarily, her eyes opening as the blonde’s stayed closed, the butterflies in her stomach building once more.

 

“I hope that wasn’t too fast” Lexa whispered through the sounds of celebration in the distance “I just had to kiss you”

 

“We’re in the zombie apocalypse” Clarke grinned, her eyes opening as she pulled back a small distance to look at the other girl “We aren’t really promised time right now so I’m glad you did that because I was about to anyway”

 

“You’re just…you’re something else and you’re something I never expected to come across in the post-apocalyptic world” Lexa nodded, her eyes dropping her the grass below her as the corners of her mouth lifted in a smile “And that’s the only way I can explain it”

 

“I’m okay with that” Clarke nodded herself, bringing her hand to hook her index finger under the soldiers chin to tilt her head up so she could press her lips to the brunette’s once more

 

Lexa smiled against Clarke’s lips, actually enjoying the distraction the blonde was providing and the calming affect she seemed to have over her. They broke away as a single shot rang through the air, both of their attentions turned to the community member that was on watch duty who had obviously spotted an infected on the outside of the wall. Lexa cleared her throat, picking up her plate of cake to rest on her lap as she shifted back to her previous position before she had kissed Clarke but making sure to stay as close as possible still to her.

 

“Just so you know, I never expected to come across someone like you either” Clarke admitted as she leaned her head against Lexa’s shoulder “And I know we haven’t known each other for long at all but things kind of change when you fear for your life everyday”

 

“They definitely do change” Lexa nodded with a deep sigh “I’ve never really considered being with anyone or having feelings for anyone since Costia, which I probably shouldn’t talk about”

 

“You can talk about her” Clarke shrugged “I still talk about Finn sometimes”

 

“And I guess in part it’s because I haven’t had time to think about it and you can’t really date during the zombie apocalypse but as I’ve gotten to know you over the past few days, I’ve noticed that I care about you” Lexa mumbled as she once again pushed her fork into the chocolate cake “And we have come across a few groups who we had spent a little time with but it’s hard not to notice you when you’re running through a field with a horde of infected chasing you. You’re a little bit of a bad ass, Clarke Griffin”

 

“Well you’re pretty bad ass yourself” Clarke joked “We’ve just been through a lot together over the past few days and I think we understand each other”

 

“We do” Lexa confirmed quietly “But I hardly know anything about you or who you were before all of this”

 

“Does it matter who I was before all of this?” Clarke countered quickly as she reached her fork out to take a mouthful of Lexa’s cake seeing as she hadn’t eaten any yet

 

“It made up who you are today” Lexa shrugged “What did you study in college?”

 

“Well I was a qualified high school arts teacher until the outbreak started 3 weeks after I graduated” Clarke nodded with a sarcastic laugh “Glad I spent all those years doing something that was completely useless before this all happened”

 

“Well it’s not like anyone knew this was going to happen” Lexa shook her head “So why high school arts teacher?”

 

“I love art, I love sketching and I love painting. It was always something that I was kind of drawn to and I liked the thought of helping others so that’s what I did” Clarke reasoned before picking her head up from Lexa’s shoulder to look at the other girl “But seeing as no one really needs to learn art here I have been helping mom out in the infirmary a lot, training myself up medically with her help, running scouting missions, working out rotations and just that kind of stuff”

 

“Who taught you how to shoot?” The brunette questioned carefully “Your dad?”

 

“He sure did. My mom never wanted me to learn, she hates guns but in hindsight that’s one thing I’m glad I’ve learnt” Clarke responded, turning her head to look up the street where the party was happening only momentarily before her attention turned back to the girl beside her “So I’ve paired you with Raven tomorrow on watch duty on the gate tomorrow, you okay with that?”

 

“You didn’t pair me with one of my squad?” Lexa raised an eyebrow with a shake of her head

 

“No, it won’t kill you to be on watch with someone else besides someone on your squad. I’m trying to integrate you a little so you can at least get to know a few people around here and I think you’ll get along with Raven” Clarke explained quickly before pausing “Or you’ll both shoot each other and it actually will kill you to be on watch with her but I’m hoping for the former”

 

“Thanks” Lexa nudged the other girl with her shoulder, earning quiet laughter from the blonde “So why do you have two people on watch duty instead of one?”

 

“We have more people with capabilities now and I heard the skepticism in your voice when I told you we only had one person on watch”

 

“That’s because you should have two” Lexa nodded over-zealously “Someone could easily shoot down your single gate guard and no one would know the difference”

 

“We need to do a supply run in a few days as well so I’ve rostered myself on for that and I’m hoping you’ll come along too” Clarke suggested as her gaze fell to Lexa’s lap “I think it would be good to have you come along with us for support”

 

“Who else is going?”

 

“Just a small team I think; Bellamy will be there because he goes on all the supply runs, Wells, myself and Raven or Octavia depending on who wants to go out of the two of them” Clarke shrugged “I’m hoping if I can convince you, we could take the jeep out to the location we need to go”

 

“Okay well first of all, don’t you have your own vehicles?” Lexa asked knitting her eyebrows together tightly in confusion “Your gates are large enough for a car to go through”

 

“We don’t have vehicles anymore; we used to have an off-road vehicle but we lost it when a run went wrong” Clarke admitted reluctantly “We need medical supplies, we’re running out of a few things pretty quickly and there’s an old hospital in the area but we need a car to get there”

 

“Who’s Wells anyway?” Lexa raised an eyebrow

 

“Jaha’s son, you probably haven’t met him yet but you would if you just walked down the street to the party” Clarke suggested hopefully but only received a grimace from the brunette

 

“I’ll meet him when we go on the supply run” Lexa commented dryly

 

“The hospital is far away enough for you to have a conversation with him at the very least” Clarke chuckled lightly

 

“An old hospital, Clarke?” Lexa asked sceptically as she shook her head “No, there will be nothing left in there, it would have been cleaned out a long time ago”

 

“My mom seems to think that if we go further enough in we will find something”

 

“Like infected or people living in there” Lexa added very quickly before leaning her face in close to the blonde once more “This isn’t something small, Clarke. To me this sounds like a risky supply run”

 

“It is but this place needs medication and we need your help to get it” Clarke said confidently

 

“When?” Lexa sighed, leaning her forehead against Clarke’s once more

 

“2 days” Clarke nodded lightly, keeping their foreheads connected as her eyes fluttered closed

 

“I guess I’m going on a supply run” The brunette commented quietly but pulling away to look Clarke in the eyes once more “Are you just taking me because you want to use our car?”

 

“I’m taking you because if it turns into a disaster, I feel a lot more comfortable having you there because you know what you’re doing” Clarke shook her head, her voice making her light frustration obvious as she had just missed out on another kiss “We can handle ourselves but you’re a huge asset for us and we need to use you if you’re willing to go”

 

“If you say the community needs it then I’ll go” Lexa admitted quietly

 

“Now, are you going to eat your cake or are you just going to poke at it with your fork?” Clarke pointed to the cake with a frown “I went to some trouble getting a big piece for you and sneaking it out here. Everyone was asking where you were”

 

“No one was asking where I was because they are scared of me” Lexa looked down to her cake “Honestly though, I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake”

 

“You’re what?” Clarke raised her eyebrows jokingly “I’m going to have to rethink how my feelings then”

 

“I don’t blame you” Lexa mumbled with a smirk, trying to play along but failing miserably “I’m more of a cheesecake kind of person”

 

“Noted” Clarke nodded with a small smile “You’re a good person, Lexa. I’m glad we ran into each other”

 

“Yeah, me too” Lexa replied after a pause between them, leaning in to place a chaste but meaningful kiss on Clarke’s lips “You should get back to the party, I’ve been selfish with you for a while”

 

“If you’re going then I will go but otherwise, I’m pretty happy here” Clarke explained simply as she leaned her head on Lexa’s shoulder once more, exhaling deeply as she looked out at the empty house across the road “This should make things interesting”

 

“Yeah” Lexa replied, placing the cake from her lap onto the ground beside her once more so that she could wrap her arm around Clarke’s waist gently, pulling her in a little closer if that was at all possibly “It definitely will”

 

---

 

Lexa stood at the top of the gate to the entrance of The Ark, her rifle ready in her hands with a watchful eye cast over anything she could see in the area. She had been on watch for over an hour that morning and had seen nothing. She glanced at the girl beside her, who was sitting on a fold out chair but reclining backwards with a hat covering her face and her gun in her lap. Lexa couldn’t believe how casual the other girl was while on watch, the brunette tugged on her newly cleaned baseball cap as the hot morning sun beat down on them relentlessly. It was tedious and it was uncomfortable but she was happy to have her rifle back in her hands for the first time in a few days, it helped her feel a little more in control.

 

Lexa didn’t attend the party at all last night and Clarke had stayed with her until they both agreed it was time to go to bed. That night Lexa didn’t have any nightmares and it was the first time in a while that had happened, the brunette curious about the affect the other girl seemed to have over her. Abby invited the squad over for breakfast that morning to discuss their duties but also to discuss the supply run that would be taking place the very next day to the hospital. Lexa would be the only one from her squad attending and she was extremely uneasy about this but the Chancellor seemed to think it was imperative that her community members go as a priority. Lexa figured the only reason she was going was to drive the car but deep down she was happy she was going, she wanted to go back out there to keep herself sharp and she was happy to be out there if Clarke was. Lexa didn’t trust people to do anything correctly, she had issues of relinquishing control because she was confident in her abilities so knowing she could be there to possibly help made her feel a little better.

 

The brunette sighed deeply as she narrowed her eyes out to the trees by the side of the road, an even smile tugging at her lips as she saw an infected emerging from the trees with a groan. She moved her rifle into position before firing neatly upon the infected and dropping it almost as soon as it had appeared. She turned her attention to another that followed, firing upon that one and hitting it between the eyes, falling limp upon the other infected that had appeared only moments ago. She heard a shot come from beside her and looked to her left, Raven had shot and hit her targeted infected but the shot was messy; hitting it in the neck but leaving it alive. Lexa moved her gun into position to finish it off but the girl next to her had already taken care of it properly when she moved to squeeze the trigger.

 

“Worry about your side” Raven mumbled with a shake of her head as she lowered her gun to her side

 

“Your gun is loud and it’s clumsy, that’s only going to draw more of them here” Lexa observed “What else do you have in your armoury?”

 

“This was my dad’s gun, I don’t use anything else” She replied quickly “And I killed the zombie, so it’s fine and I bet I could take out more zombies than you can even with my clumsy gun”

 

“Okay, how about we have a competition to see how many infected we both take out by the end of the day” Lexa challenged harmlessly “Because I know you don’t think you can actually shoot more than me”

 

“You’re on” Raven countered with a firm nod  

 

Lexa nodded wordlessly with a smirk, turning back awkwardly to look out to the road in front of them before sighing quietly as silence took over.

 

“How did you get that wound on your arm?” Raven asked as a moment of silence passed between the two girls “Clarke said someone shot you”

 

“A bullet grazed me, I don’t know what exactly happened but we came under fire when we were blocked on a road when we started out journey here. It wasn’t as dramatic as Clarke probably gave me credit for” Lexa nodded but kept her eyes focussed on the area she was supposed to be defending “Those guys that kidnapped Clarke were looking for her so it was us or them”

 

“Why did you save Clarke anyway? Why go through all that trouble just to get her back here?” Raven asked curiously, her voice dripping with scepticism “You don’t seem to want to be here so why did you save her and why are you here?”

 

“I saved her because it was the right thing to do and I would hope if I were in the same situation someone would do the same for me” Lexa shrugged, her voice even but her words honest “And we have been on the move since the whole outbreak happened. My squad were tired and what Clarke was offering was too good to pass up, I do want to be here but I’m still getting used to it”

 

“I have to give you credit, you reacted better than I would have if someone put a sack over my head and knocked me out” Raven nodded as she sat back down in her chair, reclining back once more but glancing to the soldier next to her “I would have snapped”

 

“Believe me; I wanted to” Lexa admitted quietly, her eyes catching a small amount of movement in the distance to her right “So how did you end up here? I take it you didn’t have a sack put over your head and knocked out”

 

“Far from it, I actually lived the a few blocks away when they started setting this place up. My family and I were in an old small shopping mall for a while and we came across Councillor Jaha there who knew Marcus had started this place so we came here” Raven explained, the soldier hearing the other girls voice begin to waver the longer she talked “We were about to leave and we came across who I think are those same guys that took Clarke, well away from where they are based now. They killed most of the people there but I was one of the few survivors along with Jaha and here I am”

 

“Why do you think it was the same people who took Clarke?” Lexa questioned curiously, her eyes narrowing as she moved her gun so she could look through the scope into the distance, pausing as she saw a reflection from something against the sunlight

 

“Because they come looking for people by the sounds of it and these guys didn’t want our stuff, they wanted us. There weren’t many of us in that mall but they managed to take a few people alive, the rest of us either died or escaped after we put up a fight” Raven continued, her tone changing from shaky to firm and harsh “I know the people they took that with me are dead, but I want to go there when you guys do. I want to help kill every single one of those bastards because as far as I’m concerned none of them are innocent, they all have to know what is going on in there”

 

“Do you have binoculars?” Lexa asked quickly as soon as Raven finished her sentence

 

“Yeah, why?” Raven raised an eyebrow to look at the other girl

 

“Out on my one, can you see that reflection?” Lexa questioned sceptically, unsure of what she is seeing

 

“You know it’s probably just a watch or something from a zombie” Raven sighed as she picked up the binoculars under her chair to look out where Lexa had directed “Actually I see it and I see it moving too”

 

“I think someone is out there” Lexa confirmed, taking the few steps towards Raven and holding out her rifle for her to take but she just looked at her with a confused expression on her face “I’m going to jump down and you throw me it down once I’m there”

 

“You don’t just want to go out the gate?” Raven raised an eyebrow

 

“If I do, whoever is there will be long gone by the time I get out there”

 

“Yeah okay but anyone coming in or out of this place has to be approved by the council” Raven explained quickly before pausing “Which I know doesn’t make much sense but they have kept us alive this long”

 

“Just take it” Lexa replied, pushing the rifle against Raven’s chest before turning around to face the community to bend down and place her hands on the top of the wall so she could save her body some trouble. She held herself up against the wall momentarily before letting herself drop down to the ground

 

She looked up at Raven who was watching her with a smirk before dropping her rifle down to her, the brunette catching it safely before turning around and aiming out towards where the reflection had come from but it was gone. She took a few rushed steps forward, scanning the immediate area around where she had spotted the reflection but didn’t catch any further movement. Whoever had been there was now gone because Lexa took too long to get down to the outside.

 

She heard groaning to her left, seeing an infected approaching her swiftly so she pulled her hunting knife out; letting it approach her before driving the knife into its skull as it reached to grab her.  She withdrew it quickly, turning back to Raven who was watching with wide eyes as the infected fell limp on the floor behind her.

 

“I’m going to go check it out, see if I can find anything” Lexa said with a nod “Can you cover me if anything comes out behind me?”

 

“You got it” Raven replied, glancing back into the community before looking back to Lexa with a smirk “You’re probably going to get dragged over the coals for this”

 

“I was told that I could leave whenever I want” Lexa shrugged as she turned to walk towards where she had seen that reflection

 

After a few minutes of looking around outside The Ark, she came back to the gate after only spotting a half-eaten candy bar exactly where she had made the sighting before. She sighed to herself, picking up the candy bar before tucking it into her pocket and walking backwards a few paces while not wanting to turn away in hopes she would spot something else. She heard a shot ring through the air and she towards the gate to see Raven had dropped an infected that was approaching her from a distance, taking that as a queue that it was time to go back inside.

 

“Okay I need you to open the gate” Lexa called as she approached The Ark, looking up to Raven as she stood above her on watch where she was supposed to be

 

Raven didn’t have to move because she heard the gate opening from the inside, Raven looking down with now wide eyes before Lexa understood why when she saw Clarke, Abby and Marcus Kane all standing at the gate while Bellamy was the one who had opened it.

 

“What are you doing out there?” Clarke asked shaking her head as her eyebrows bunched in confusion “You’re on watch duty”

 

“I made an observation in the distance so I jumped down to have a closer look” Lexa said looking between the three leaders as she dug her hand into her pocket to pull out the candy bar “And I found this”

 

“You went outside for a candy bar?” Abby asked with her arms folded, her body language displaying her disapproval for Lexa to see without even having to look at her in the face “You do understand that no one is allowed to leave unless we know about it so you can be accounted for”

 

“I went outside because someone was hiding and eating this candy bar, someone was watching this place and I don’t need to take many guesses as to who I think it was” Lexa focused on the only community member she really trusted, taking a step towards the youngest leader “I think they sent someone here to watch The Ark”

 

“Come inside so we can close the gate and talk about this” Clarke nodded as she looked at Lexa intently, reaching out to take her hand and squeeze it gently “If you think someone was out there then I think it’s worth listening to what you have to say about it”

 

“There was someone out here” Lexa said with a frantic nod

 

“Come inside, we’ll talk about this at my house” Abby spoke reassuringly as she glanced between her daughter and the brunette “But let’s make it clear that while you are here, you follow our orders. You aren’t allowed to leave the compound unless you have permission from the council, you can’t be accounted for if you don’t tell us. I understand that you might not have been aware about this but I don’t want that happening again, okay?”

 

“Okay” Lexa clenched her jaw as she let go of Clarke’s hand slowly, watching Abby and Marcus turn around quickly and begin to walk back into the community for the others to follow “This isn’t good that they’re watching The Ark, who knows how long they have been watching”

 

“I know” Clarke confirmed as she looked over Lexa’s shoulder, shuddering subtly as she thought of the fact that there was a possibility of someone watching their community “We’ll talk about it inside but we need to get the gate closed now”

 

Lexa nodded wordlessly as Clarke took her hand once more, linking their fingers to calm down the soldier a little as they began to walk back into the community; Lexa turning around to see Bellamy pushing the gates closed quickly.

 

“There was someone there, Clarke” Lexa repeated quietly, looking back to the blonde girl beside her whose expression displayed her concern

 

“I believe you” Clarke nodded “Don’t worry, I believe you”

 

 Days since outbreak: 702
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

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 702
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

 

“Okay, so you’re telling us that you saw a reflection out by the trees at the end of the road and you just jumped the wall so you could have a look?” Councillor Jaha asked skeptically with a raised eyebrow as the council sat across from Lexa in the Chancellor’s dining room

 

“I had to go and see what was out there, I couldn’t just leave whoever was out there to sit and watch” Lexa replied with a shake of her head “You can live happily in your houses with your breakfasts and parties but the world is still turning out there and those people who kidnapped Clarke still have your people. I don’t think it could have been anyone else but them, they are close enough and you said it yourself; they keep taking people from you, they are getting bolder so why not just take over the whole Ark if they have the man-power”

 

“Well first of all, you didn’t actually see anyone” Marcus Kane reasoned calmly as he sat back in his chair, his hands resting on the table and clasped together “How do you know it wasn’t the reflection of the candy bar you found? How do we specifically know it was them?”

 

“Because candy bars can’t flee the scene. It moved, the reflection moved; it was a watch, binoculars or even a gun” Lexa reasoned, growing frustrated with the lack of seriousness this matter was being treated with “I don’t know specifically if it was them or not but why would you wait to find out? This could be a very real threat to all of these people that you are supposed to protect and you need to address this rather than just dismiss it. You can’t afford to otherwise the next time someone goes missing for a month, they probably won’t come back. ”

 

“If it’s worth anything” Raven said taking a step towards the table the council and looking directly at Abby “I saw what Lexa is talking about and she is right, there was someone out there and they probably were just watching us; watching our rotations, learning our patterns”

 

“So what course of action do you suggest we take?” Abby asked turning her attention to the soldier

 

“You need to let us carry our weapons around this place, you need to boost numbers on duty and I think we need to go to this other community soon but it can’t be a as simple as an extraction” Lexa said as she placed her hands on the table, leaning on it from her standing position “We all know in this room that if we go for an extraction mission then they are just going to come in here and kill whoever they can anyway. If we go, we need to go to destroy or we don’t go at all and that’s a condition that I’m setting”

 

“You can’t set conditions” Abby shook her head

 

“But she has a point” Clarke admitted with a small sigh “They came after me with six guys after I escaped, what do you think they are going to do when we go in there to take back our people?”

 

“We want a peaceful extraction” Councillor Jaha replied “That’s what the Ark is; peaceful. We aren’t like them”

 

“I can appreciate what you all are trying to do in here, what you are trying to protect and we can get these people out of there but I can guarantee you that they will come here and they will tear through those walls, no matter what they have to do” Lexa’s voice rising the longer she spoke, pressing down on the table as she looked directly at Councillor Jaha “You might want peace Councillor but they don’t. I don’t want to go in and kill anyone as much as you don’t want me to but I understand the difference between the world before the outbreak and the world after. Not only do we need to deal with the infected but we need to deal with these people as well, whoever they are. It’s either their innocents caught in the crossfire or it’s yours Councillors when they inevitably come here, I think it would be wise to choose theirs if you want to keep this way of life. In order for this community to continue how it is now, that one needs to be destroyed”

 

“So you just want to go in there and kill innocent people from that community? We only want our people back” Marcus shook his head as he looked around the table “You were brought in here to carry out an extraction not to kill. We don’t even know if it was the same people anyway, we could be completely overthinking this. It could have been someone who was just observing, someone who was passing by”

 

“But we also don’t know that it wasn’t them” Clarke said seriously in support of the soldier “Lexa knows what she is talking about, times have change and we need to adapt with them. I have seen how these people are and they won’t show any mercy if we do go in there and rescue our people. They might not do it straight away but they will make their way back here, the only difference is that they won’t be as humane”

 

“You’re either the predator or the prey with these kinds of people; so you need to decide what you are” Lexa reasoned earnestly “You have given us a place to stay and we are grateful but if you don’t listen to me then we’re going to have to consider leaving. I would rather take my chances outside than just wait to be attacked during the middle of the night by the people who have taken yours because we didn’t protect ourselves”

 

“She has a point” Abby said with a sigh after tense silence filled the room “I think we all know she has a point, we might not like it but I guess that is how it is now”

 

“So you are siding with her in this?” Jaha raised his eyebrows looking to the Griffin women intently

 

“I think she knows what she is talking about and I’ve seen these people, they aren’t reasonable” Clarke answered calmly as she looked to Lexa “So what do we do now? What do you think we need to do immediately?”

 

“I think you need to find more people willing to come with us and I think we need to do some scouting just like they are, sooner rather than later” Lexa explained firmly as she looked around the room “I think we need to find out who is running that place and we need to take them out, cut the head off the snake. There will be collateral damage, innocents will probably die in the crossfire but I assume you would rather it be them than you all. I can get your people back but it’s going to come at a price that you need to be willing to pay”

 

“All this from what you thought you saw outside?” Marcus Kane asked skeptically “Is this not jumping the gun?”

 

“I’d rather make an early decision than be too late, what the Commander is saying makes sense” Abby said with a grave expression as she stood at the middle of the table “We don’t need to overreact but we do need to be vigilant. We will boost our numbers on patrol, you may carry one firearm with you at all times and we will send a scouting team towards their compound in the next few days. We will make a judgement from there but if we have to do what Lexa suggests then for the sake of everyone here, we will do that. Our focus firmly stays on rescuing our people and sustaining life here, which means we concentrate on that supply run tomorrow first of all. Once that is done, then we will reconvene and discuss what needs to happen for this scouting mission as well as who needs to go. As chancellor I am taking charge of this one and I’m overruling any objection, it’s done”

 

“Okay” Lexa nodded firmly as she took a step backwards to walk away

 

“No, I’m not done” Abby snapped as her focus turned back to the brunette standing on the other side of the table to her “You were a leader outside our walls and I appreciate your natural ability to lead but in here, we’re in charge. If you want to live here and enjoy what we have to offer then you need to try harder to be one of us. We need to see you making an effort and actually trying to blend into this community”

 

“If this is about your party” Lexa began quickly before she was interrupted by Abby as she began to speak once more

 

“We threw a party to welcome you into the community because our people need to get to know you. I suggest if you want to remain a part of this community then you should make an effort to get to know the people in it or I don’t really see the point in you staying here”

 

Lexa clenched her jaw as she looked at the chancellor; the tension in the room could have almost been physically tangible the way things were going. Abby and Lexa stared each other down for a few seconds before Abby gave a small nod before leaving the room wordlessly. Clarke stood from her seat looping her arm in Lexa’s to tug her out of the house, being followed closely by Raven and Bellamy.

 

“Well that was one of the more eventful council meetings I’ve seen” Raven said with wide eyes as he they stopped on the driveway outside the house where they were greeted by Lexa’s squad who approached quickly

 

“What the hell happened?” Indra asked

 

“This place is being watched and I think it’s being watched by the same compound that took Clarke, that tried to kill us” Lexa said quietly, looking to her squad “Go to the armory now and you can carry one firearm with you at all times. Our patrol and watch numbers will be boosted until we find a way to shut down this other compound as well as getting their people back but we will be going sooner rather than later”

 

“That’s a tall order” Nyko said honestly with raised eyebrows “What did the council say?”

 

“They agreed that we have to take first action” Clarke confirmed with an earnest expression “And these people won’t stop if we take what they think is theirs. The only way is to destroy that place and the hierarchy in there beyond repair. We have to go to them before they come to us”

 

“You still take your order from me” Lexa continued, holding her squad’s attention once more “If the council pull back on what they have just agreed to, we might have to leave here. If they work us on this and do exactly what I have suggested then we will go to the other community and we’ll shut it down before it’s too late. We’re not going to hunt down the innocent but we will stop anyone who gets in our way in bringing that place down because if we don’t, we’re all dead”

 

“I’ll go with you to the armory and tell whoever is guarding it to give you your weapons” Bellamy said to Lexa’s squad with a nod before turning to Lexa “I might not agree with your method of just jumping the wall but you made some good points inside. I’ll help with whatever you need, we need to be strong enough to go through with this”

 

---

 

After dinner was served that night Lexa sat downstairs in the house while Nyko and Indra were scheduled on watch, Lincoln was on patrol with a few Ark members and Echo was asleep upstairs. Lexa sighed quietly as she leaned back into the chair she was sitting in, rubbing the back of her neck roughly as she ran through the day’s events in her mind for what felt like the millionth time. She was sure that the other community was watching them but she didn’t know how long they had been watching them and she didn’t know why exactly they were being watched.

 

They had made an agreement to help get The Ark’s people away from the other camp and after the way they had chased Clarke down so relentlessly, gave Lexa a little further motivation to want to do so. If the council weren’t going to back her though in what she was suggesting and still wouldn’t listen to her about what needed to be done, then she would be forced to pull her squad out and they would have to leave The Ark. Even though they all had been enjoying the luxuries they found inside the community, they also knew what it was like on the outside and they knew that things couldn’t stay perfect forever.

 

Lexa found a complication in Clarke though; she made things a little less black and white for her ever since the first time she saw her. Clarke made Lexa remember how good it felt to connect with someone and how good it felt to contemplate a better life than what she had lead after the outbreak started. Lexa wanted to protect Clarke, from what she had told her it made her sick to think of those people having the blonde in their captivity. The thought of her being in captivity made her sick but it also gave her an idea, a brainwave as she sat on what The Ark wanted her to think was her own couch.

 

She stood from where she was seated, calling out to Echo that she was leaving before heading into the street of the Community. It was quiet, everyone was inside their own houses after dinner like she had been; their lights were on and their blinds were all closed. She quickly made her way down the street, her rifle slung over her shoulder as she constantly looked around her for any kind of threat like she might have had to while on the outside. She arrived at Clarke’s doorstep, seeing the lights on and the blinds were also drawn just like every other house but she could hear quiet talking coming from the inside of the house.

 

She lifted her hand to knock on the door until it opened in front of her; Clarke appeared in the doorway with a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eyes that made Lexa pause in awe for a moment. Clarke Griffin could seemingly make Lexa forget about everything around her and she could make the world stop spinning around her even for just a moment.

 

Which Lexa recognized as incredible but also a little bit dangerous.

 

“How did you know I was going to knock?” Lexa asked with a furrowed brow

 

“I was upstairs and I saw you walking up the street, you looked like you were on a literal mission” Clarke shrugged, her smile still tugging on the corner of her lips “Not that I’m anything but happy to see you…”

 

“You said you’re a qualified art teacher, right?” Lexa asked quietly, looking behind Clarke into the seemingly empty house where she could hear talking still “Is this a bad time?”

 

“No, I’m just watching a DVD actually” Clarke shrugged once more, reaching her hand out to take Lexa’s “Do you want to come in?”

 

“Uh sure” Lexa said as her eyes immediately fell to the hand in her own, Clarke’s thumb stroking the back of her palm “Yeah that would be great”

 

“The bruise on your cheek is starting to go away” Clarke noted as Lexa stepped inside the house, the blonde closing the door behind her and locking it with a click

 

“Why do you lock your door?” Lexa asked curiously, taking her rifle from her shoulder and placing it to rest against the wall

 

“I trust everyone here but I don’t trust people on the outside who might try and get in” Clarke shrugged with a small sigh as she reached to brush the back of her hand against Lexa’s cheek gently “Still looks painful though”

 

“It’s fine, can’t hurt any more than your neck” Lexa said, leaning into Clarke’s touch, her eyes fluttering closed for a moment and she couldn’t help the smile that grew on her face “You’re very distracting”

 

“I could say the same about you” Clarke nodded, feeling Lexa place her hands on her hips and pulling their bodies flush up against each other “Hi”

 

“Hey” Lexa said, her grin only increasing as she gripped the material of Clarke’s shirt tightly against her hips. She exhaled sharply before pressing her lips to Clarke’s, taking a step to gently press the blonde against her own front door with an almost silent thud

 

Clarke laughed into the kiss, causing the brunette to smile against her lips but the kiss continued and the blonde moved her arms to hang lazily over the slightly taller girl’s shoulders. Her hands joined behind Lexa’s neck loosely as she gently and playfully bit down on the brunette’s lower lip only to sooth it with another gentle kiss. Lexa was the one to break the kiss, eyeing Clarke curiously as she did so and waiting for the blonde to open her eyes to look at her once more.

 

“This place is really weird” Lexa said playfully as she recalled their conversation from the previous night “You can’t be possible”

 

“I can’t?” Clarke asked quietly with a slight shake of the head and a raised eyebrow

 

“Nope” Lexa shook her head herself but leaned in once more to press a delicate kiss on the blonde’s lips before pulling away once more “You’re too good to be around now”

 

“Not that I’m unhappy to see you here but why did you come and ask me if I was an art teacher when you know I am?” Clarke asked, her eyes falling to Lexa’s lips as she spoke

 

“Do you have material to sketch here?” Lexa asked curiously, pulling her face away from Clarke’s a little so she could actually concentrate

 

“I do” Clarke nodded with an amused but curious expression “I have a feeling you don’t want to do any drawing though or painting though”

 

“Do you think you could sketch the compound you were held captive in?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow “The compound we have to go into?”

 

Clarke paused for a moment, exhaling quickly and moving her arms from the brunette’s shoulders but taking Lexa’s hand once more as she began to tug her further into the house

 

“So you want me to sketch the other community?” Clarke asked curiously, glancing over her shoulder

 

“I don’t think that a scouting mission is going to be enough because if they have 60 people living in that place then they will have quite a defensive hold on it” Lexa reasoned as she followed Clarke where she was pulling her, pausing as they reached a door down the end of a hallway

 

“This is my studio, all equipment is in here” Clarke nodded as she opened the door, flicking on the light switch and waited momentarily for the room to be illuminated

 

When the light did eventually flicker on Lexa looked around the room in astonishment, the room was relatively small but it was full of paintings and sketches that either lined the walls or were piled in a corner. There was a painting station and a sketching station next to each other, with paint cans piled together in another corner of room opposite to where the painting station was.

 

“This took me a while to put together and you can imagine it’s really difficult to find this kind of stuff now so I try not to do much in here unless I’m stressed or inspired” Clarke reasoned, pulling the soldier to the sketching station and pushing her down on the chair in front of the desk. The blonde moved to sit on the edge of the desk facing Lexa, placing a piece of paper next to where she sat “So what do you want me to sketch?”

 

“I want a general outline of the place, where you escaped from, entrances, possible exits, the armoury, where watch towers or patrols are situated, where the infected are kept and of course where your people are” Lexa said with a nod, her eyes falling to the paper as Clarke quickly jotted down the information that was being relayed to her “If you have any information on who is in there as well, that would be helpful”

 

“As in who runs the place?” Clarke asked

 

“Exactly. Names, houses or whatever you can remember from your month there” Lexa nodded, looking around the room once more “You did all of this?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a good outlet when I need it” Clarke nodded herself as she continued to write on the paper next to her roughly

 

“You’re really good” Lexa noted, the corners of her mouth curving into a small smile “Extremely good”

 

“Thanks” Clarke chuckled to herself quietly, putting down the pencil once she had finished and turned back to the brunette “So you think this will help you?”

 

“I think this will give me an even better idea than what the scouting mission will because I have a feeling we aren’t going to be able to get too close if they have their people actively looking for people to take. This might help save some lives too” Lexa responded honestly with a sigh, bringing a hand up to rub her neck awkwardly again “I don’t want to just go in there and kill innocent people, I don’t want to destroy their community because I feel like it but if we don’t stop the people in charge there; they are only going to come for us”

 

“You don’t need to justify yourself to me” Clarke replied fairly with a shrug “I understand, probably better than anyone because I have been there. There are some innocent people in there who have no idea what is going on but at the same time they have to know something is happening when other people are brought into their camp but are kept in a different place to them. Maybe it’s naïve of me to think anyone is completely innocent anymore”

 

“All I want to do is get your people back and get out of there alive but we both know that if we don’t strike hard, the retaliation will be twice as bad because they are going to know it’s us. We will have one shot at this and one shot only” Lexa responded quietly as she looked down to her lap “And I just found something to give me some purpose, I don’t want that being taken away from me so soon after I have been struggling for hope for so long”

 

“We’ll work it out” Clarke nodded as Lexa stood from the chair to approach the blonde. She stood between Clarke’s legs as she still sat on the desk, placing her hands on the blonde’s upper thighs with eyes only for the other girl

 

“We don’t have a choice” Lexa said with a sad smile, her eyes searching Clarke’s for something she couldn’t put her finger on just yet “I could take my squad and we could leave here, we could probably leave this place behind with no problems. We have tasted what it’s like to be here, to have this safety and luxury around us but we could be be back out there again with no problems. Just because we leave though, it doesn’t mean that these people will stop doing terrible things because we don’t hear about it anymore. It doesn’t mean that it will stop happening if we don’t think about it anymore and what’s to stop them from coming after us if we were close to their community as well? What’s to stop them from coming here and hurting you?”

 

“Nothing” Clarke said with a deep sigh and a shake of her head, understanding the heaviness of the situation that was weighing on the soldier “But I’m not your concern, you don’t have to worry about me in this equation”

 

“You might be a council member here but you’re a part of my squad too now” Lexa admitted quickly “If I left here knowing what I do now, knowing what these people have done and that they still have your people then that makes me as bad as them”

 

“No it doesn’t” Clarke reasoned, cupping Lexa’s unharmed cheek gently in the palm of her hand “It would just make you reasonable and in a way smart. What we do out there in order to survive doesn’t have to define us”

 

“But it does define us, it’s exactly what defines us” Lexa’s eyebrows bunched together in confusion “Humanity has a price Clarke, maybe it will cost me my life and as much as I just want to leave; I don’t know if I can now”

 

“So why did you say that you would take your squad and leave to the council earlier?” Clarke shook her head, her voice just above a whisper

 

“Because I have to make sure that the council knows we’re serious. If they don’t listen to me for the good of their own people because they are too stubborn to change their ways; then I will have to do what is best for my squad and discuss leaving” Lexa mumbled, her eyes dropping from the blonde’s down to the hands that were firmly planted on Clarke’s thighs “I have to put them before my guilt or ability to sleep at night”

 

“You’re one complicated soldier” Clarke said with a small smile as she used her hand to tilt Lexa’s head so she could demand eye contact from the brunette and pausing when she received it “I’ll get this sketch to you by tomorrow, we will focus on the supply run and then we will work quickly from there. Okay?”

 

“Okay” Lexa nodded with a quiet exhale

 

“If your squad needs to go, then you have to go. You have to do what is best for them and I totally get that, I have to do what is best for my people” Clarke suggested quietly, her blue eyes screaming with sincerity “But just to make myself clear, I quite like having you around here and I’d love you to stay for as long as you can”

 

Lexa couldn’t say anymore that would positively add to the conversation so she closed the gap between their lips to kiss the blonde cautiously. She sighed into the kiss, Clarke moving her hand from her cheek to place at the top of her chest; Lexa was sure that the blonde would be able to feel her thumping heart. The kiss grew quickly from cautious to intense, Lexa’s hands shifting from Clarke’s thighs to her waist so she could hold her that little bit closer. Lexa couldn’t explain the way that Clarke made her feel just yet because she couldn’t really figure it out herself. The blonde who she was holding so tightly made her want to expose everything she was and everything she had ever been out for Clarke to see, she made her want to be vulnerable so the other girl could understand her. Lexa felt the warm, soft skin of Clarke’s waist under her thumbs as her right hand continued to bunch up the material of the other girl’s shirt, unintentionally pushing the loose fitting shirt from her skin. Lexa heard a tiny sound of satisfaction leave Clarke’s mouth as their lips continued to move with each other whilst being completely in sync, both girls quickly beginning to lose themselves in that moment.

 

A loud but distant knock on the door broke them apart, both breathing deeply and wearing slightly flushed cheeks as Clarke looked in the direction of her front door while Lexa kept her eyes focussed on the blonde in front of her.

 

“I should probably get that” Clarke rasped as she leaned in to place a quick yet meaningful kiss on the soldiers lips before gently moving her a step backwards so she could stand from the desk

 

Lexa was still completely lost, her head clouded with the feeling of Clarke against her and the feeling that took over her whenever she kissed the blonde. Lexa could have been anywhere else at that time and she wouldn’t have even known because all she could do was think about the girl she had been kissing moments ago. Lexa followed Clarke to the front door who tugged her shirt straight before opening it, finding a young man standing stationary with his hand up to knock once more and Bellamy next to him.

 

“Hey” Clarke greeted, the tone of her voice showing her surprise of the two community members at her door “What’s up?”

 

“I didn’t know you had company, I thought you said you were going to just be watching DVD’s” He said quickly as he glanced back to Lexa who stood closely behind the blonde

 

“I was but then Lexa came by to ask me something” Clarke shrugged “Are you both on patrol?”

 

“Just finished” He nodded, his eyes shifting back to Lexa uncomfortably

 

“Oh, right. You two haven’t actually met yet” Clarke said with wide eyes “Lexa this is Wells Jaha, Wells this is Lexa”

 

“Hi” He said with a very brief smile

 

“I’m going to go” Lexa said after clearing her throat to speak, taking a step forwards to be standing awkwardly in between the two “When are we going tomorrow?”

 

“Tomorrow morning at 8, we’ll have breakfast and then we’ll go” Bellamy nodded “Does your car have enough fuel?”

 

“We’ll need to take more if you have some” Lexa confirmed with a nod of her own “Otherwise we just have to risk it and then find a way to get some more”

 

“We have some” Wells replied confidently as he turned his attention to the blonde, his expression softening as he looked towards her which was something that Lexa certainly didn’t miss “We’ll make sure to take it”

 

“Okay, great well I’ll see you in the morning then” Lexa replied uncomfortably as she picked up her rifle from the entrance of the house, exhaling before she turned to Clarke who watched her regretfully “I’ll see you in the morning”

 

“Goodnight Lexa” Clarke said softly, a warm smile tugging at the corner of her lips

 

“Night Clarke” Lexa gave her a small nod, another shiver rippling through her body as she looked towards the blonde before turning away quickly and shoving her hands into her pockets after throwing the strap of her rifle over her shoulder once more

 

The boys parted for her to exit and she did just that, glancing over her shoulder as she reached the end of the driveway to see Clarke now talking with the two boys but meeting the brunette’s glance for a moment, a smirk on her lips.

 

Lexa was beginning to wonder if she would even be able to leave the blonde if the time came.

 

---

 

After breakfast the next morning Lexa grabbed her newly washed baseball cap, tugging it onto her head roughly before grabbing her assault rifle from her bed and making her way to the front of her house. She hadn’t slept that much that night for a number of reasons despite being quite tired. She couldn’t get Clarke out of her mind, the blonde seemed to circle around her brain even when she wasn’t trying to think about her but Lexa welcomed the other girl as a distraction in her thoughts. She had a few nightmares that kept her up for a little while but mostly she was anxious about the supply run the next day.

 

If she was honest with herself, she was excited to go back to the outside, to go out to the place where she felt most comfortable because she knew exactly how to react when situations were presented to her. She hadn’t been on the outside for a few days now and she was starting to get a bit anxious, hoping that she would be the same tactical, efficient soldier she came into the community as. Lexa also couldn’t shake a bad feeling that was seemingly hanging over her head though, for some reason something just didn’t feel right about the fact that they were going on a supply run to an old hospital even though they had to have known it was going to be overrun with infected. She understood that they needed medicine desperately but she had to be cautious, with not only her own life but with Clarke’s as well now and going to a hospital that had most likely been ransacked already was not the smartest idea in her opinion.

 

Her squad sat on the porch as they ate their breakfast, halting their conversation as Lexa closed the door behind her to look up at the clear blue sky; noting to herself silently that it was a picture perfect day but she still felt a dark cloud hanging over her head.

 

“You ready to go?” Indra asked standing to place her plate on the ground where she had been seated

 

“I have a bad feeling about this supply run” Lexa mumbled, looking to her supply run group as they stood waiting for her at the front gate, noticing Clarke squinting in the sun as she glanced towards her direction “But I’m going to be more ready for this then they are”

 

“So why is it just one of us going when the rest of us could go with as well?” Echo asked folding her arms, leaning back against the outside of the house

 

“I have no idea” Lexa sighed as she tugged at the brim of her cap “But I guess you guys are needed here. I’m getting Clarke to sketch the compound for me; we’ll have a look at that as soon as she is finished tonight so we can start planning”

 

“Be careful out there” Lincoln said with a nod as he looked over to the group as well, seeing Octavia who had obviously been chosen to go on the supply run rather than Raven “Take care of them too”

 

“Your lover will be fine” Echo rolled her eyes with a smirk “Her brother will be on her like glue so she will be fine”

 

“She’s not…So maybe we like each other but let’s not forget that the Commander and Clarke clearly have something going on too” Lincoln raised his eyebrows as he glanced between Echo and Lexa

 

“Oh thanks” Lexa shook her head, raising her own eyebrows “Way to throw me under the bus”

 

“We all knew that was happening” Indra responded as she reached to the side of her belt, pulling out her pistol and holding it out for Lexa to take “I’ll go get yours from the armory, this one is fully loaded”

 

“Thanks” Lexa nodded as she accepted the pistol by the handle, placing it in the empty holster attached to her belt “Wish me luck”

 

“Good luck” Echo said with a small smile “You’re probably going to need it Commander”

 

“Thanks” Lexa repeated as she placed the assault rifle over her shoulder to hang off her back, taking a few steps away from the house

 

“You might need these though” Indra called out to get the brunette’s attention, finding keys flying towards her as she did “You’re the ride”

 

She caught them as they hit her chest with a thud, giving her squad a quick wave before turning around once more and making her way to the front gate.

 

“That’s everyone accounted for then” Bellamy said looking around the group “Any questions?”

 

“How do we know we aren’t going to a hospital, using fuel and endangering our own lives lives when it’s probably just overrun with infected or has been ransacked a long time ago?” Lexa questioned cautiously as she looked to each member of the group, stopping when her eyes reached Bellamy

 

“We have been there before, months ago and it wasn’t overrun” Wells spoke calmly with a nod “We know what we are doing”

 

“I’m not saying you don’t” Lexa countered evenly “I just think there are a lot of things we can’t control out there but there are some things we can and one of those is the choice of place we go on a supply run to”

 

“The hospital is where we are going” Bellamy confirmed “Anything else?”

 

“Gas?” Lexa asked

 

“Right here” Octavia said lifting her arm up to show the small red gas container she was carrying in her hands “All ready to go”

 

“I’m in charge for this run, so what I say goes” Bellamy announced as his eyes scanned the group once more “No questions”

 

“You were just fielding questions” Octavia said with a shake of her head and a roll of her eyes “Let’s go already, I want to be back for beef stew night”

 

“Of course we will be back for that” Wells smirked with a nod

 

“I’m not sure it’s as easy as one person in charge” Clarke disagreed as she looked to Bellamy “You have quite a few other people here who could give directions and honestly, if I was picking I would make Lexa leader of this supply run. She’s the one who has been out there the longest and she’s a commander for god’s sake”

 

“I’m not a Commander” Lexa said with a furrowed brow before turning to Bellamy “And I don’t care if you are leading this supply run but if I disagree with something you order, I’m going to tell you”

 

“Okay” Bellamy nodded “That’s fair. We should get going though, get a jump start on the day”

 

“I guess I’ll get the gates” Raven said as she jumped down from the watch platform “Good luck”

 

Lexa gave the girl a quick nod on the way out, gaining a large amount of respect for her after she had vouched for her in front of the council the day before. Lexa pulled her rifle from her back to hold it by her side, pushing the jeep keys into her pocket as they began to make their way out towards the road. Lexa gave The Ark one last look behind her as the gates closed, catching a glimpse of her squad as they all were now standing outside the house to watch them leave.

 

Lexa would have much preferred to be on this supply mission with them; she knew their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses but most importantly knew how to bring them all together as a team. Lexa didn’t know the people very well she was going on the supply run with besides Clarke, she didn’t really know if she trusted them all yet besides the blonde. She had no reason not to trust them in reality but she also had no concrete evidence to completely trust them either. She exhaled deeply as she looked around the immediate area not only for infected for any signs of people, more to the point people from the other community.

 

She jumped slightly as she felt Clarke’s hand on the small of her back, gently guiding her in front of herself into the trees because she was about to step too far for the path that best lead to the car. Lexa gave Clarke a small smile at the back of the group and a nod to thank her before she continued walking as she found the familiar sight of the old abandoned train tracks in front of her.

 

“Have we thought about if our cars aren’t there?” Lexa asked quietly, turning back to Clarke quickly who had her focus on the trees around her

 

“Not really so hopefully they are there” Clarke admitted with a small shrug “I bet you’ll be pissed if they’re not”

 

“Of course I will be” Lexa grumbled quietly “How was the rest of your night?”

 

“Could have been better” Clarke smirked as she spoke playfully “But fine thank you, I started my sketch and I just need to finish it off when we get home”

 

“Thanks” Lexa nodded as she tore her eyes from the almost hypnotic blonde to check her surroundings “Was everything okay when I left?”

 

“Fine, they just wanted to talk about today” Clarke responded quietly, looking down to the pistol by her side “I know you’re nervous about this run but we’ll be okay. I need you to help lead though, this will be dangerous no matter what we find in that hospital but the only way we are going to get in and out alive is if we all just swallow our pride”

 

“You’re right” Lexa nodded once more, looking to Bellamy who was a few feet in front of her “I just hope he knows that too”

 

“He does but you and I stick together out here today, okay?” Clarke spoke quietly, but not intentionally trying to keep her voice out of hearing range from the others “No matter what”

 

“Okay” Lexa agreed firmly

 

The group walked silently through the trees until they reached the Pickup and Jeep that were thankfully still parked by the other broken down cars, safe just like Clarke had predicted when they first arrived. The group stood around the Jeep as Octavia quickly refueled the car with what gas they had in their possession, Lexa hearing a moan coming from her right to see an infected approaching. Bellamy pointed his gun in its direction but Lexa just shook her head, pulling out her knife before putting the infected down by driving the hunting knife directly through its soft skull. She shook off the residue the infected had left on her knife with a grimace on her face before receiving the signal from Octavia that they were good to go.

 

The solider approached the car door, hearing the crinkle of a wrapper under her foot and pausing as she glanced down at her feet to see a candy bar wrapper sticking out from under her shoe. She lifted her foot to see the very same kind of candy wrapper to the one she found the previous day outside of The Ark but this one was laid out flat below her. She picked up the wrapper from the ground, turning it over and pausing as she saw thick, black writing on the other side that increased her anxiety levels even though were already rising rapidly.

 

‘Not long now’  

 

She swallowed thickly as she heard the other doors open, feeling the blood drain from her face while she read the statement silently over and over. Not only had these people left this message for them but they knew they were going to the Jeep. Lexa questioned the legitimacy of the timing, unsure as to how these people knew they would be using the Jeep on that very day or whether they had just placed it there hoping that it would be seen by someone coming to use it. She also didn’t know whether these people had just placed that message there to completely throw them off in hopes that whoever would be using the Jeep would be utterly distracted by it. The bottom line for Lexa though was that they were being watched, closely at that; and by the looks of it they had been watched ever since they arrived at The Ark.

 

She heard the trunk open, assuming the group had dumped their empty backpacks inside before hearing Clarke call her name from the back seat as she stayed standing outside the driver’s door still, frozen in her position. She knew that she was about to have enough to worry about on the supply run on top of what she had just found and the immediate danger was at the hospital so she made the decision to bring up the wrapper when they were behind the walls of The Ark after they returned. She stuffed the wrapper into her pocket roughly, her eyes scanning the area around her quickly before opening the car door to hop into the driver’s seat and taking off even before she had buckled herself up. She didn’t want to be a sitting duck if someone was waiting for them and she wanted to get out of the immediate area as quickly as she could, she had enough to worry about without that hanging over her head too. She had to focus otherwise she knew she wasn’t going to come home from what should have been a standard supply trip.

 

Days since outbreak: 703
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy, Wells Jaha.
Destination: Hospital, Bloomington Minnesota

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 703
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy, Wells Jaha.
Destination: Hospital, Bloomington Minnesota

 

Lexa drove almost silently as she was directed where she needed to go, she felt the simple candy bar wrapper practically burning a hole through her pocket into leg as she drove, wanting to mention it immediately but knowing it would just cause a huge distraction for everyone if they knew about it. They had been driving for a few hours and while there had been plenty of conversation going on within the car, the only thing Lexa could think about was what she had just found. She couldn’t figure out how these people knew they were going to their jeep that day or if they even knew that, whether they were just playing more mind games.  Bellamy was sitting in the front seat with Wells, Clarke and Octavia in the back; all conversing about what they were having for dinner that night and what supplies they were hoping to find in the hospital.

 

“Now there’s fencing around the hospital, it’s been there since the local government tried to make the hospital into a quarantine zone so we’re going to have to go over that” Bellamy noted as he looked to Lexa

 

“There’s no gate we can open?” Lexa asked as she turned the car right

 

“No gates” Bellamy shook his head “Clearly they didn’t want anybody getting in and out of this place”

 

“But you’ve been in here before, right?” Lexa questioned with raised eyebrows “Inside this very hospital?”

 

“Yeah, we have” Bellamy replied confidently “5 Months ago we came here to get some supplies”

 

“You said a few months ago, that’s more than a few” Lexa responded with the tone of her voice rising in concern “You couldn’t just be transparent with me?”

 

“I wasn’t purposefully trying to lie to you, we will be able to get in and out safely” Bellamy answered quickly

 

“I came past here on a scouting mission about a month ago, it still looked in tact” Wells added “Not too many zombies walking around so we should be okay. If it’s too dangerous then we leave but The Ark really needs even the basic medicines”

 

“I hope you’re right” Lexa mumbled as turned the corner into the street of the old hospital and she couldn’t help but pause

 

The way the place was set up brought back a few memories. The fencing, the road blocks, abandoned old military vehicles; everything just reminded her of when she was right in the middle of the containment zone. There were at least 30 infected walking around aimlessly by the front of the fencing, some still dressed in hospital gowns, police uniforms and army gear but some just looked like civilians as well, which kind of worried Lexa because it meant that people had been in there to attempt what they were about to and they had failed. The bodies of the infected looked relatively old but Lexa spotted a few that could have passed for only a month or two being infected, meaning that there was a real danger in doing what they were about to do. Bellamy asked Lexa to stop the car but she didn’t, under protest she drove around to the back of the hospital, noticing a very small hole that was cut through the fencing that people had clearly used to get in before. She stopped the car several feet from the fence, placing her finger over her mouth as she got out of the car and moved to the trunk while hearing the car doors close quietly.

 

“Why didn’t you stop? I don’t know how to get in from the back” Bellamy whispered harshly

 

“Too many infected” Lexa shook her head as she pulled out an old backpack that she knew they hadn’t taken inside The Ark with them “Someone has used this route before to get in and out, there has to be a way in somehow”

 

“I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this too” Octavia said awkwardly as she looked around “Did anyone else see the massive spray paint sign on the wall that said keep out on the other side?”

 

“People could have put that there for a few reasons” Wells replied with a shake of his head “We have to do this, we need those supplies”

 

“There has to be another way though” Octavia hissed “I mean can’t we go find some houses or something?”

 

“We’ll be fine” Bellamy nodded as he began grabbing the empty backpacks for him to hand out individually “We just have to stick together at all times; no one breaks from the group”

 

“Here” Lexa said as she dug out 5 flashlights from her backpack, handing them out to the group “I agree; if we are going to go in there we stick together. It will be dark and we need to be as quiet as possible, hopefully the sun will give us some light but it looks like a lot of the windows are boarded up on the lower level. The deeper we go the darker it will get, thankfully we have just enough but I don’t know how long they will work”

 

“We need to get to the emergency department, that’s where the medicine we are after is located. If you find anything else along the way then we will take it but we keep moving” Bellamy noted “I think we all agree that we want to get in and out as quickly as we can, the longer we are in there the less of a chance we have to come out”

 

“We need to go in if we are going and we make as little noise as possible” Lexa said wearily as she looked inside the area, noting that a few infected had been made aware of their arrival “I’m on point though, that’s how this is going to be done”

 

“You got it” Clarke nodded, agreeing firmly so no one would have a chance at overruling but she knew no one else would want the job of being on point

 

The trunk door closed quietly and Lexa pulled her old backpack over her shoulder before placing her rifle behind her and pulling her hunting knife from its sheath. Clarke kissed Lexa on the cheek quickly, something that she hadn’t been expected and no one else had really either but the brunette couldn’t help but smile as she looked at the other girl momentarily. Lexa gave her a nod, letting her know that their deal of sticking together was definitely still on, but they had a job to do first.

 

Lexa exhaled deeply before she turned towards the fencing, signalling for the group to follow her wordlessly and they did. She was the first one to crawl through the hole, striding towards an infected that was approaching while the rest of the group made their way through the fence. She kicked the infected in the stomach, making it fall to the ground before stomping down harshly on its head and killing it instantly.  She wiped her boot against the concrete ground as she looked back to her group, seeing that they were all inside before signalling to form a circle so they were covered as much as possible and they all did so. They began walking quickly and quietly towards a small set of stairs that lead to a loading dock, hopefully a way into the hospital.

 

They made their way up the stairs, an infected waiting at the top of the short staircase so Lexa disposed of him silently, grabbing him by the back of the neck, driving her knife through its chin and pushing it over the rail beside her; the infected landing with a quiet thud. She removed a thick plank of wood blocking the entrance; the soldier paused at the door, looking back at the group who were looking towards the door before she turned the handle to get the door open. As she pushed, the door opened a fraction before it stopped; her eyes dropping down to the floor to see several bodies were blocking the door from opening completely. She used her shoulder to try and push against the door, finally opening when she received help from other members of the supply group. Light pushed through the door along with them, illuminated the reasonably dark area inside the hospital as they stepped over the bodies of the dead below them. Lexa looked down as she stepped over those who had been torn to complete shreds; they hadn’t turned because of a few bullets to the brain that looked to be self-inflicted. Dry blood covered the floor, causing their feet to stick as they walked through the back entrance and the stench was unlike anything Lexa had ever smelt before.

 

Everything about that hospital from the moment they walked in there screamed death to Lexa. She saw blood on the walls, looking down to the nearly cleaned up corpses below her, feeling terrible for the people below her who clearly knew they were going to be eaten by infected and didn’t want to become one after.

 

“Close the door behind you” Lexa hissed to Bellamy at the back of the group who just looked at her questioningly “We need to keep those infected out more than we need the light, we have flashlights”

 

Bellamy nodded reluctantly as he pulled the door quietly, darkness overcoming them all with a click of the door closing. There were few windows inside the hospital and a lot of the lower level had been boarded up so Lexa knew it was going to be dark but she didn’t know it was going to be like staring into the abyss; she wouldn’t admit it aloud but it was confronting. Being in such darkness in the middle of the day with the danger they knew they were facing was extremely confronting, they would only have seconds to react from disaster in order to save their lives.

 

One by one the group turned on their flashlights, illuminating the dark hallway they were starting to make their way down as they held their circle and Lexa stayed at the front. The brunette’s heartbeat was racing, her hands sweating as she gripped the torch and her hunting knife in front of her as the eerie silence filled the air, only hearing moans of infected coming from what sounded like a distance. The soldier had been through some sticky situations in the 703 days since the outbreak but being in that hospital was probably the most danger she had placed herself in yet, those people who had ended their lives by the door obviously were trying to escape from infected that were still going to be inside the area.

 

They slowly moved down the almost silent hallway, the sounds of the infected outside becoming louder as they moved towards the emergency department; Lexa thankful for the windows and doors being boarded up because she knew that was the reason that the whole hospital wasn’t completely overrun. She heard the hurried but limping footsteps coming from behind her to her right, looking to see Octavia taking care of an infected with the crowbar in her hands. The solider tightened her grip on her torch before they reached the doors of the emergency department, breathing a sigh of relief knowing that they had gotten through one phase with relative ease but worrying as to why it was so easy.

 

Lexa turning back to her group quickly, giving them brief nods before she pushed the doors open into the emergency department. A confronting sight of 5 infected greeted her as soon as she opened the doors, thankfully a few were pushed backwards but the group broke their formation to take care of an infected each as quietly as they possibly could. It was dangerous but Lexa couldn’t do anything to stop them all as the group separated out to begin looking for the medicine they needed. Lexa wasn’t exactly sure what they were looking for but she stuck to her word and stayed by Clarke’s side wherever she moved through the area. The Ark people had been right, there was still a significant amount of medicine left over in the hospital, which genuinely surprised the soldier but also made her a little cautious thinking about why it was still there.

 

The group progressed from room to room, gathering all they could and then moving onto the next part of the darkened emergency department until they reached what looked to be a storeroom at the very back of the area. The group stopped in their tracks as their torches illuminated the dark room, looking around in stunned silence at what they had just found. The storeroom was completely emptied and trashed, shelves were pushed down, walls were kicked in and glass crunched underfoot which caused Lexa to look above to notice the lights were all smashed. What concerned Lexa the most though, as it should have too, was the padlocked door that she assumed lead down to the basement at the end of the room with giant spray painted letters reading ‘Stay Away’.

 

Her stomach churned, swallowing thickly as she looked towards the door. She stood there frozen, feeling Clarke stand directly behind her with her body pressed into the soldiers back as she observed the door for herself.

 

“We need to go now” Lexa mumbled quietly “You’ve got enough, we need to leave”

 

“I agree” Octavia hissed from the back of the room “This place is creepy enough without all of this. We’re done”

 

“You know that bandits do this for a reason right” Wells whispered from the edge of the group, taking a step forwards to the door “They stash stuff in a place that people won’t look because they think Zombies are inside. We don’t know what could be down there, maybe it’s stuff we need. We’ve found a lot but you all know we haven’t found enough to keep us going for more than a month”

 

“Or maybe what’s down there is exactly what we think it is” Clarke reasoned quietly “I don’t know about yours but my torch is about to go and I think we have been lucky enough to get through here like we have”

 

“Bell?” Octavia asked anxiously of her brother

 

“I agree, we can’t take the chance” Bellamy shook his head “Who knows what could be down there”

 

“Or who knows what isn’t down there” Wells replied with a sigh “Guys, if we are thinking long term then we need to consider this”

 

“There’s no reason why we need to go down there” Lexa snapped quietly “No one wants to do it, we need to leave”

 

“I’ll do it then” Wells urged as he walked to Octavia, taking the crowbar from her hands and approaching the door “We can’t hear anything coming from down there and this place has clearly been trashed for a reason, I think we would be stupid not to try”

 

“I’m telling you not to do this” Bellamy said firmly “What would be stupid is to actually try”

 

“I’ve seen this set up a dozen times out on runs” Wells said with a shake of his head as he placed the crowbar in position to break the lock “People play mind games, that’s what they do”

 

Lexa reached for her assault rifle around her back as Wells took a visible deep breath before applying pressure to the crow bar and breaking the lock relatively easily. Lexa took a step backwards from the door, pushing Clarke behind her to be closer to the exit if need be. Lexa’s heart raced more than it already had when she walked into the hospital, not being able to slow or control it even though she was trying. Wells pulled is pistol out, aiming it in front of him as he nodded to himself before pushing the door open. 

 

Silence. The only sound they could hear was the door hitting the side of the wall after it was pushed open and the stairway looked clear as the shone their torches down below to notice there was another door down the bottom to the right of the stairwell. Wells flashed them a grin as he held his arms out wide and pointed to the stairs below.

 

“I told you” Wells grinned widely “I told you, it’s mind games”

 

“Do we really want to go down there?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows

 

“We’ll be fine” Wells nodded “Hopefully we will find some useful stuff”

 

Without another word Wells began to make his way down the stairs, the group hesitating but Lexa knew that she was a part of the supply group so she had to back him up and she did. She followed Wells down the old, steel stairs and stood a few steps from the bottom as Wells looked back at the group.

 

“We get in and then we get out” Wells commented “If we find nothing then we leave straight away”

 

“More than happy to leave straight away” Clarke commented from behind Lexa

 

Wells placed his hand on the doorhandle to push open the door but it wouldn’t budge. He looked back to the group with an unsure expression before pushing the door once more with a little more force but nothing happened. He squared his shoulder up against the door pushing until finally the door shifted and opened. Lexa realized very quickly though that there was something wrong and there was a very good reason as to why the door wouldn’t open. The room was full of infected.

 

Wells didn’t have a chance, the grabbed him as soon as he pushed the door open; the first infected sinking its teeth into his shoulder almost immediately. Lexa felt Clarke stiffen behind her as hands began to grab Wells everywhere, his torch dropping to the ground as a blood curdling scream filled the air. Lexa turned around immediately as infected pulled Wells down to the floor because she knew they would soon be coming after them once they were done with Wells.

 

Clarke stood there frozen as she saw what was happening to her friend but Lexa quickly grabbed her by the waist, turning her around to push her up the stairs. Bellamy and Octavia had already begun their ascent up into storeroom as they heard the loud moaning of infected below them. Wells had stopped screaming so Lexa knew he was dead, she couldn’t imagine the pain he would have been in before he died and she didn’t want to try because she didn’t want to consider it; he should have listened to her. If he had listened to her then he would still be alive, but now all of their lives were in danger because they were about to have a large group of infected chasing them through a dark hospital.

 

Lexa was the last one to leave the stairwell, hearing gunshots outside the storeroom only to find 6 infected had heard the commotion on the floor and made their way to where they were. Octavia quickly disposed of two, Bellamy also fired shots to take care of three and Lexa took care of the last one.

 

“We have to find a quick way out of here because every infected in this hospital would have heard that” Lexa spoke quickly as they began to run out towards the emergency department doors to exit

 

“My torch is gone” Clarke noted as she trailed closely behind Lexa who turned back wordlessly to hand the blonde her own

 

They heard the moaning’s and movement behind them of the infected that had spilled out of the basement, pushing into the hallways as they chased the now group of four. Lexa spotted two approaching them so she put them down efficiently, their bodies crumbling beneath them after she nailed them directly between the eyes. Lexa pushed forward, the group behind her falling behind a little but she was trying to clear a path for them to go out of immediate danger. They pushed through the emergency room doors with no problems, only spotting the occasional infected but easily dropping them when needed as they headed down the seemingly endless hallway. Lexa stopped in her tracks as she saw a group of at least 15 infected rounding the corner closest to their exit.

 

“We have to split up or we’re just going to be trapped if these two groups come together” Bellamy yelled as he grabbed his sister by the arm “I saw an emergency exit before so Octavia and I are going to go there. You two make your way out and meet us by the car; we’ll wait for however long we have to”

 

“We shouldn’t split up” Clarke disagreed

 

“We have to take some away from this hallway or we won’t be able to get out” Bellamy shook his head “We will be fine”

 

With that, Bellamy pulled Octavia through a room and into another hallway, leaving Lexa and Clarke staring down the middle of an infected sandwich. Without another word or hesitation Lexa grabbed Clarke by the waist and pulled her into what she assumed to be a supply closet, making sure that nothing was in there with them quickly before turning off the torch in Clarke’s hand so they were in complete darkness. Lexa pulled the door to the closet closed silently and pushed Clarke up against the wall in the corner of the room, placing her body in between Clarke and the door hoping that if infected had indeed noticed them she could at least shield Clarke to find a clear path out.

 

“What are we doing?” Clarke hissed into Lexa’s ear

 

Lexa turned around instantly, their bodies flush up against each other and their faces just inches apart.

 

“We can’t fight through that with the two of us. They didn’t spot us in the dark, we have to hide here until they pass” Lexa nodded as her eyes adjusted to the new level of darkness in the supply closet “Then we run for it”

 

Clarke nodded wordlessly as Lexa took in the blonde’s outline one last time before turning around again so she could aim her rifle towards the door as the infected began to pass through the hallway. Lexa was nervous, she had no idea if this plan was actually going to work or not but she knew when to fight and she knew when she needed to hide; this was one of those times when she knew they needed to hide in order to survive. She felt Clarke’s warm breath against the back of her neck, her breathing erratic as she stood behind the brunette, a hand gripping tightly at the back of her shirt. The moans and groans of the infected passing just by the door made her heart thump almost out of her chest, her stomach churned and sweat formed just above her eyebrows as she looked at the small door that separated them from certain death.

 

The heard multiple shots being fired in the distance and she heard Octavia scream loudly, causing her body to jolt unexpectedly. She could hear the infected increasing their speed through the small gap under the door in front of her knowing that it would be long before they were clear but Octavia and Bellamy were obviously in some trouble.

 

“We have to do something” Clarke whispered urgently, Lexa nodding in agreement before turning around to face the blonde

 

“I’ll run out and distract the infected to lead them away. You go to Octavia and Bellamy once you are clear, they are close” Lexa nodded as she reached for the doorhandle to the supply closet but felt a tight hand on her shoulder

 

“I’ll run and lead them away; you are better off going to Octavia and Bellamy because you are a better shot. You do this better than I do, I saw light under a door on the way in a little further back so I’ll try and escape through there” Clarke responded as she took a step into Lexa “I will meet you outside”

 

“You better” Lexa said firmly before pulling her pistol out of the holster to hold out to the blonde “It’s fully loaded, better having two guns than one”

 

“You better be out there too” Clarke nodded, accepting the gun from Lexa “See you soon”

 

Clarke pushed through the supply closet door, pushing it closed behind her as Lexa cursed to herself silently. Hearing the blonde yelling out for the attention of the infected made her skin crawl, she wanted to be out there with the blonde because they promised to stick together and now she was alone. Lexa was confident in the other girl’s ability but sometimes all it took was bad luck and you were dead, that was the world they lived in. She heard infected moving past the door once more, Clarke had done her job in distracting some infected but she had no idea how many stood between herself and where the other two Ark members were. The unlucky one could easily be her and she knew that, she knew she could have worked so hard to stay alive for 703 days just for someone else’s mistake to cost her dearly.

 

She swallowed thickly, she was without a torch but knew she could find her away around anyway the closer they got to the exit. Exhaling sharply she pushed out the door, hitting an infected on the way through and putting a bullet through its skull. She heard moaning from all directions, hearing gunshots once more from where Octavia and Bellamy were so she took that as a good sign that at least someone was alive. She followed the echo of the gunshots, firing at anything that got in her way. The darkness disguised the infected but it also gave her a small advantage as well, as far as she knew they couldn’t see through the dark either so if she moved quietly enough she knew she had a small chance.

 

Lexa rushed to the other side of the hall where she saw ten infected pushing against a door that was ripped off the hinges in the corner of a room, seeing a gunshot come from behind the door as the infected tried to grab who she assumed was Octavia and Bellamy behind it. Lexa started picking a few off before some turned their attention to her, a few came within arm’s length but she managed to just put them down in time before rushing towards the corner of the room, shooting the one remaining infected in the back of the head. Lexa helped pull the door from the two, whose eyes were visibly wide even in the darkness. Lexa saw Octavia raise her gun towards her, pausing as she saw the gun pointed directly towards her, the younger girl’s hand shaking as she fired a shot.

 

Instead of pain she heard a thud behind her, looking behind her quickly to see an infected dropping down directly behind her. Lexa held her hand out towards the both of them, pulling them up before placing her finger over her mouth and heading out towards the hallway once more. She grabbed Bellamy by the shoulder and he nodded, understanding that Lexa needed him to lead the way to the exit he had spotted so they could get out of there. They moved as a triangle with Bellamy on point, the three taking out any infected as they rushed through the hallway before they reached the emergency exit.

 

Thankfully the doors opened with ease, the sunlight burning their eyes instantly as they struggled to adapt to the brightness that assaulted them immediately. Bellamy closed the door behind them, leaning against it to hold in any infected that might try to push through while their eyes adjusted to the outside. They had come out on a side entrance of the hospital, the front swamped by now curious infected while the back looked reasonably clear but they knew they were going to have to make a sprint for it if they were going to get out without the infected swarming together.

 

“We have to make a run for the fence” Lexa said quickly “Don’t hit anything if you don’t have to, just run”

 

“Where’s Clarke?” Bellamy asked

 

“She’s meeting us at the car” Lexa urged quickly “We have to go”

 

“Okay” Bellamy nodded

 

Wordlessly they took off in a sprint for their life across what used to be the hospital car park towards the Jeep. Lexa’s leg’s felt as if they were going to give out because she had that much adrenaline pumping through her veins, she was tired and sore but she had to give one final push and hope sprinting like that so obviously out in the open was the right move. Bellamy shot down a few infected that came close but surprisingly they had a relatively clear path out towards the jeep because they were much faster than the infected that were giving chase. They reached the hole in the fence; Octavia jumping through first followed by Bellamy and Lexa crawled through last, watching the infected that noticed them move towards the hole in the fence.

 

“We’re going to have to move soon” Bellamy exclaimed as he began to fire shots at any approaching infected through the fencee, doing what he needed to but also just increasing the infected’s attraction to them “We can’t hold off all of these”

 

“We can’t leave without Clarke” Octavia disagreed as she too began to fire off at the infected

 

“We’ll wait until she comes” Lexa said shakily as she stood from the ground ,walking up a length of fence away from the small hole she just crawled out of so she could watch the back entrance intently  “Come on Clarke, you have to get out of there now”

 

“Give me the keys, I’ll start the car” Bellamy said as he appeared beside her, holding out his hand as his sister continued to drop infected that came close to the fence “When she comes we need to be ready to go”

 

Lexa reached into her pocket, pulling out the keys to the jeep without even looking at Bellamy; unwilling to take her eyes off the exit in case she spotted a glimpse of Clarke. The Raven haired boy rushed to the car, starting the engine but leaving it running as he returned to the fence to help defend it.

 

That was when Lexa saw the doors to the loading dock they went in through burst open, the blonde stumbled as the light hit her eyes, bringing her hand up to shield her face as her eyes adjusted and she made her way down the stairs.

 

“Clarke!” Lexa exclaimed, knowing she was attracting attention but also knowing that Clarke needed to find her bearings and that was the easiest way for her to do so “This way!”

 

Lexa’s eyes went wide as she saw the number of infected pouring out of the door behind her; she had at least twenty trailing her aggressively as they stumbled over each other. Clarke began to run towards the group, picking up speed as she edged closer and closer to safety. Lexa focused on any infected in the blonde’s way, dropping any that Octavia and Bellamy may have missed in order to clear a path for the other girl. The brunette thought she had been nervous before but watching Clarke run towards them for her life made her more nervous than anything she had experienced that day. If she wasn’t so worried about her just living then she would have realised just how much the blonde had come to mean to her in such a short amount of time, pushing that to the back of her mind so she could focus on that when she had a moment to actually think.

 

Clarke glanced behind her quickly to see all of the infected trailing her as she reached the fence, getting to the ground urgently to have Bellamy and Octavia pull her through the hole in the fence. Lexa sighed shakily, firing at a few more infected as they advanced the fence but dropping her gun as soon as Clarke approached her so she could throw her arms around the blonde tightly. She felt Clarke hug her back tightly, pressing a kiss to the side of her neck before leaning back from the hug with a determined look on her face.

 

“You’re okay?” Lexa questioned quickly

 

“Fine, you guys?” Clarke asked with a brief nod

 

“Fine but we have to get out of here” Lexa said turning to Bellamy “You drive”

 

Bellamy agreed with a nod and without another moment to waste they jumped into the car, speeding away from the hospital almost instantly. Lexa swallowed thickly as she placed her rifle down next to her as she looked at Octavia who was sitting in the front passenger seat, her hands covering her face as she shook violently. She didn’t know their history but she didn’t think either Bellamy or Octavia had experienced something as shocking or confronting as what they just had then. It was going to take a little while for everything to settle within them to realize what exactly had just happened, they were extremely lucky to be alive but they had lost someone along the way. They still had adrenaline pumping through their veins but Lexa knew that soon she would calm and she would be nothing but tired and worried about how close they had all come to losing their lives because of one simple mistake that could have been prevented. Lexa also knew that Councilman Jaha would be looking for someone to blame for the loss of his son and she would be directly in the firing line for that.

 

For that moment though she sat in the back seat, pulling Clarke close to her wrapping her arm around the blonde’s waist and holding her as tightly as she could manage without hurting her. She felt Clarke plant a soft kiss on her cheek, her eyes closing momentarily at the contact so she could savour the feeling.

 

“I’m so glad you’re okay” Lexa said quietly with a shake of her head “I wasn’t leaving here without you, I can’t anymore”

 

“Thank you for not leaving without me” Clarke shook her head “We’ll talk about this tonight, okay?”

 

Lexa nodded silently, feeling Clarke take her free hand and intertwining their fingers together before resting her head on the soldier’s shoulder.

 

“What the hell happened to you two anyway?” Bellamy asked after a few moments of silenced passed between them all, Octavia sniffling in the front seat but her face still covered

 

“We heard Octavia screaming and gunshots so we had to do something” Lexa explained quietly “Clarke distracted a bunch of infected and that’s when I found you two”

 

“I was just lucky I didn’t run into another wall of them because I had a few close calls” Clarke admitted as she lifted her head, placing a quick kiss on the point of the brunette’s shoulder “I ran out of ammo so your pistol definitely came in handy”

 

“I can’t believe he’s dead” Bellamy said flatly with a shake of his head “They just grabbed him and he didn’t have a chance”

 

“He almost got us all killed, that’s what happened” Octavia said angrily, her hands coming away from her face as she wiped her eyes “He stupidly did what we all told him not to do and he almost got us all killed. Bellamy and I would have been dead if you two didn’t do what you did but you never should have had to split up”

 

“We all know the decision he made was wrong but he’s dead” Clarke said with a shake of her head “And we have to somehow break that to his father”

 

“I know and that’s why I’m so upset but he was so stupid” Octavia responded with a sigh “Why did he do that? He would have still been here if he would have just listened”

 

“I hate to be that person but he also had a lot of medication in his backpack that we aren’t going to get back” Lexa said quietly “And I’m going to be directly in the firing line for this whole thing, his dad will be looking for someone to blame and that will be me”

 

“We won’t let him think that” Bellamy replied as she looked back into the revision mirror “You saved our lives, that won’t be forgotten anytime soon”

 

Days since outbreak: 703
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 703
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota

 

It was nightfall before the group dragged themselves to the gates of The Ark; Lexa’s mind was pulled in so many different directions as the gates opened. She was angry with Wells due to the danger is stupid decision had made, she was concerned about what was going to happen when the council found out about his death, she was nervous about the note she had found by the jeep and was scared of just what repercussions telling the council about it was going to bring. The group had been mostly silent as they made their way back towards the community, parking the car where they had previously and not wasting any time getting back to their homes. The whole walk back though all Lexa could think about was that candy bar wrapper that was stuffed roughly into her pocket, crinkling quietly whenever she moved her leg. Indra was on watch with Echo, both of them hugging Lexa tightly as they stepped inside the community but looking at her questionably as they noticed that one person was missing. Lexa just shook them off, silently letting them know that she would explain but the brunette figured that his father deserved to be the first person to find out what happened. 

 

“Where’s Wells?” Raven asked, rushing up to the group with wide eyes

 

“He didn’t make it” Octavia said with a stiff lower lip and a shake of her head “We almost all didn’t make it because of him”

 

“Octavia” Bellamy warned lowly

 

“We have to go tell Jaha” Raven replied quietly “They’re at the Chancellor’s house anyway so we should go there now”

 

“I’ll come and see you when I get out” Lexa confirmed to her squad members before she began following Raven, ready to face what she knew was coming “I have to talk to you all about something”

 

“Octavia” Lincoln called as he rushed out from the house towards the Blake sibling, wrapping her up in a tight hug “Are you okay?”

 

“We’re fine” Octavia answered firmly with a nod “Come and find me later”

 

“Commander?” Lincoln asked looking towards Lexa as he broke away from the hug, walking along side of his squad leader

 

“We lost Wells on the supply run but the rest of us are okay. I need you to tell Nyko that I want to meet at the front with you all after, I will debrief you then”

 

“Understood” Lincoln nodded, patting his commander on the back firmly before he dropped back from the group walking towards the Chancellor’s house

 

“I know you're a leader but let me handle this, okay?” Clarke asked as she took Lexa’s hand in her own, giving it a gentle squeeze

 

“Okay” Lexa said simply, looking to the blonde by her side who was putting on a brave face but she knew how heartbroken she was by the loss of her friend. Clarke just knew she didn’t have time to grieve yet, she had another fire to put out before they could think about mourning.

 

They arrived very quickly to the Chancellor’s house, Raven waiting outside as Clarke opened the door and lead the group into the dining room where they were all eating together. Smiles appearing on their faces as the visibly exhausted group began to file into the room but all pausing when they noticed they were one person short. Lexa’s heart broke for Councilman as she saw the look in his eyes when he realized that Wells wasn’t with them, connecting with the fact that he wasn’t ever going to be coming back to The Ark and that he had lost the one surviving family member he had left.

 

“Clarke” Abby said as she stood from the table immediately, hugging her daughter tightly as she saw the blonde shake in the safety of her mother’s arms

 

Lexa’s eyes dropped to her feet feeling awkward at the intimate family moment as she heard an almost silent sob escape from the blonde’s mouth, tearing her heart even further knowing exactly the heartbreak she was feeling after losing Gustus only days ago.

 

“What happened?” Thelonious Jaha asked quietly as he sat down in his chair again, Marcus Kane placing a hand on his shoulder for comfort "What happened to my son?"

 

“In all honesty, we came across a storage room with a padlocked door that we were all against going into but Wells. He thought that bandits might have just locked it to deter us from going in so he opened the door down to a basement. We followed him down and it seemed safe until he opened the actual basement door and a group of zombies got to him before we could even do anything about it” Bellamy spoke quietly, his voice uneven as his chin wobbled slightly while holding his arm around his sister’s waist “What happened with Wells was a complete tragedy but his actions almost got us killed too. We had to split up, Octavia and I were cornered but Clarke and Lexa saved our lives”

 

“Clarke was extremely brave and lead a whole group of infected away from me so I could go and help Octavia and Bellamy” Lexa added with a shake of her head, her jaw tightening “We should have never had set foot into that hospital”

 

“You just let him go down there?” Jaha asked quietly as he looked around at the group “You just let him go down there and open that door?”

 

“We couldn’t really do anything to stop him” Bellamy defended “Short of shooting him; he had made up his mind”

 

“I thought you were supposed to be a Commander” Jaha said weakly, his fists curling into a tight ball against the table “You couldn’t get him out of there?”

 

“I followed him down those stairs against my better judgement to give him back up even though we told him not to go” Lexa replied calmly, knowing she needed to be as delicate as possible “I couldn’t have done more if I had tried because he wasn’t changing his mind and we almost all died because the sound of those infected triggered the attention of the others in that death trap”

 

“They have been to that hospital before and didn’t lose anyone” Marcus Kane added with a confused expression "We were assured it was safe"

 

“Sir that was 5 months ago and it was completely different in there” Bellamy admitted evenly “This was bad

 

“I just don’t understand how no one is looking at the fact that she has lost two squad members on the way here and has just lost my son under her watch” Jaha replied with a sigh

 

“This wasn’t Lexa’s fault” Clarke spoke shakily as she separated from her mother “You weren’t there and everyone who was there is telling you what really happened. Wells shouldn’t have gone down to that basement, I loved your son to pieces but what he did was dangerous and it almost cost us our lives too”

 

“I have to be alone” Thelonious said as she stood from the table, walking directly past the group to leave and causing everyone to flinch as he angrily slammed the door

 

“I’ll go with him” Marcus mumbled with a nod as he followed his fellow council member out the front door leaving the Chancellor and a group of exhausted, emotional, weary young adults standing around the dining area of her house

 

“I’m just glad you are all okay” Abby said calmly as her eyes landed on Lexa “And I am going to need Clarke to give me a complete description of what happened but I do have to ask if you got the supplies we needed”

 

“Wells had some in his backpack too but we obviously lost that” Clarke nodded as she took hers from her back and placed it on the table, the rest of the group following her example

 

“I understand that you all must be suffering right now so I will have dinner brought to each of your houses. Thank you for getting this much needed medicine for the community, we understand that it came with great cost” Abby said calmly as she looked around the group before she turned her attention to the soldier once more “Thelonious doesn’t mean what he is saying, I can’t imagine what it is like losing a child but he has a lot running through his mind right now and I’m sure he will apologize at a later stage”

 

“It doesn’t matter if he apologizes or not” Lexa said firmly with a shake of her head “I know what happened in there so I know I’m not to blame for this. I feel for him, I can’t imagine what it must be like either but I have lost people that same way and it’s hard”

 

“It might be best if you all go and shower, have something to eat and I’ll talk over everything with Clarke” Abby responded with a nod “We will debrief about this all tomorrow but tonight I think you all need to try and get some rest”

 

The three looked around at each other quickly before making their way out to the driveway of the house, standing awkwardly looking to each other once more as they waited in complete silence for someone to say something.

 

“Thank you for defending me in there” Lexa broke the awkwardness between them “And for trusting me in the hospital”

 

“You and Clarke saved our lives” Bellamy nodded “We owe you one”

 

“Will you be okay tonight?” Lexa asked carefully looking between the two siblings

 

“We’ll be fine” Octavia nodded stiffly, looping her arm around her brothers’ “We’ll have a sibling sleep over like the good old days before zombies started to eat people”

 

“Okay” Lexa offered awkwardly as she rubbed the back of her neck, understanding that they had all now bonded whether they liked it or not because of the situation they went through but not really knowing how to properly connect with the two just yet “Well if you need anything, you know where the house is”

 

“Don’t be alone tonight either, okay?” Octavia responded gently

 

“I’ve got my squad, I’ll be fine” Lexa nodded “Unfortunately this is the infected world, we just live in it. You mourn and then you have to move on”

 

“Goodnight Commander” Octavia replied with the smallest of smiles before tugging her brother down the driveway and walking towards their house

 

“Goodnight” Lexa called out after them, both Blake siblings looking over their shoulders to offer a mirrored tired smile

 

Lexa expelled a loud sigh, rubbing her eyes tiredly and looking up to the clear sky for a moment knowing how lucky she actually was to still be alive to see it. The hospital had been way too close a call for her to accept and she was ready to put the day behind her by having a shower, washing the infected blood from her skin and trying to go to sleep. She knew today’s events would only just add to her nightmares, she knew that the reality of what had happened today would hit her later while she tried to sleep but he needed to rest. That was until she moved to take a step and remembered the candy bar wrapper she had stuffed in her pocket that she had somehow forgotten for just a moment.

 

“Lexa” She heard the very familiar voice say as she looked down to watch Clarke approach her quickly from the front door

 

“Hey” Lexa greeted quietly, watching the blonde stop directly in front of her “I know it’s a stupid question but are you okay?”

 

“I will be” Clarke croaked, offering up the very same sad, small smile that Octavia tried to pull off “Can I come and find you later? After I talk to my mom about everything?”

 

“I would like that” Lexa nodded as she reached out to take the blonde’s hand, linking their fingers gently “I have to talk to you about something later, maybe not tonight but maybe tomorrow”

 

“Is everything okay?” Clarke asked with a furrowed brow “I mean besides the obvious”

 

“I don’t know” Lexa said with a shake of her head, her resolve wavering as she looked at the blonde in front of her “But you have enough to deal with right now so I will see you soon”

 

“You will” Clarke nodded, sighing quietly before she leaned in to kiss the brunette gently. Lexa feeling tension leaving her body instantly as the other girl took her bottom lip between her own soft lips momentarily before pulling away slowly but staying relatively close together

 

“Not to be all cliché but honestly the scariest moment about today was waiting for you outside the fence by the car” Lexa rasped through her scratchy throat, sincerity dripping through her tone

 

She watched the blonde’s expression completely soften and that was when she knew the other girl felt exactly the same way as she did, which was extremely comforting in that moment. Lexa meant it when she said that Clarke made her feel a little less alone in the harsh world that was on the outside of those walls and the day they had just gone through was a bleak reminder of that. The brunette wasn’t one to give into her feelings, she didn’t usually feel the need to express herself and it had been a very long time since she had let herself truly care enough about someone outside her squad to not be okay with the idea of losing them but Clarke changed a lot of that for her.

 

“I know” Clarke responded, tugging on Lexa’s hand gently “I was scared I wouldn’t find you out there either but we’re okay”

 

“We are” Lexa answered simply “Do you think Jaha will continue to blame me?”

 

“He might” Clarke admitted honestly “But we will talk about all of this later, okay? I’ll come to your house”

 

“I’ll see you then” Lexa nodded, placing a quick kiss on Clarke’s cheek before releasing her hand and watching the blonde walk back into the house until the door was closed behind her

 

Lexa tugged on the front of her cap, looking at the house for only a moment longer before turning and making her way down to her squad who were waiting by the front gate.

 

---

 

The solider sat on the couch of the lounge room a few hours later, her hair still wet from being washed with the still full bowl of beef stew sitting on the coffee table in front of her and the straightened out candy bar wrapper sitting next to the bowl; the words catching the brunette’s attention every single time she looked down. She had briefed her squad about what had happened that day as they stood by the front gate while Indra and Echo had been on watch duty. She explained what happened with Wells and how Jaha had reacted to the news of his son passing; assuring Lexa that she had their full support. 

 

Indra and Echo were still on duty, Nyko was rostered on patrol around the inside of the community because of the boost in numbers and she had assumed that Lincoln went to see Octavia to make sure she was okay. She hadn’t told anyone about the candy bar wrapper yet, she didn’t know how to tell them what she found because she didn’t know what it meant yet and it didn’t know just what repercussions it was going to be.

 

There was a quiet knock on the door, Lexa’s eyes shifting from the wrapper in front of her to look towards the front door as the person who she assumed was Clarke tapped lightly again. Lexa placed the wrapper into the pocket of her pajama pants before standing slowly to her feet and walking to the front door, opening it to see a tired blonde standing in front of her with a chocolate bar in her hands.

 

“Want to buy some chocolate?” Clarke joked wearily as she held out the bar in front of Lexa, a smile covering her otherwise tired expression

 

“If it makes you come inside then yes” Lexa replied with a small smile of her own as she stepped aside so the blonde could come inside “How did the talk with your mom go?”

 

“Fine, she’s with Jaha now but she believes everything I told her because it’s the truth” Clarke responded with a small nod “No one actually blames you for what happens but he just lost his son and he said what he said out of anger. Your position in this community isn’t under threat and it won’t be”

 

“Thank you” Lexa nodded, closing the door behind Clarke and walking into the lounge room where she had been sitting in previously

 

“Why haven’t you touched your food?” Clarke asked with more than a hint of concern as she observed the full bowl of stew sitting on the coffee table when taking a seat directly next to the brunette “You need to eat”

 

“I’m not hungry” Lexa said simply with a shake of her head

 

“Well you’re going to have to eat dinner if we’re going to split this chocolate” Clarke responded jokingly, bringing her legs up to her chest in front of her and leaning her body completely against Lexa “Which isn’t easy to get so believe me when I say that we will be eating it”

 

“How did you get it then?” Lexa asked quietly, pressing a kiss to Clarke’s newly washed hair

 

“As a council member I have my ways” Clarke answered with a small shrug “And besides, we had a rough day so the rations officer thought we deserved it”

 

“It could have all been preventable” Lexa mumbled as she shut her eyes tightly “We could have all survived. All he had to do was listen when literally all of us told him not to open that door”

 

“Everyone who went on that trip knows that” Clarke responded with a nod, sighing at the end of her sentence “Wells was the first friend I made here. He was the first person to kind of take enough interest in me before I was voted onto the council and was the first person who actually listened to me when I talked about Finn or my dad. He was a really good guy; he had his issues like everyone else and I think he just got cocky after making so many supply runs. He just got used to this world and too used to what he thought was going to happen out there”

 

“I’m sorry, Clarke” Lexa said sincerely through gritted teeth “I’m angry though at the decision he made because it almost cost us our lives, we could have died for no good reason”

 

“I know that” Clarke replied instantly “I know and I don’t blame you. I hated the feeling I got when I left you in that supply closet, I hated that feeling in my stomach when I ran towards the exit of the hospital not knowing whether you would be out there or not but I things happen that we can’t control. I understand that he had warning and he shouldn’t have gone into that basement but I can’t be mad at him. He was one of my best friends, he helped me through a lot to get me to how I am today and I don’t know exactly what this world looks like without him yet”

 

Lexa wasn’t sure how to respond to the girl next to her, she could only wrap her arm around her waist, pulling her as close as she could possibly manage. Lexa wouldn’t stop being mad at Wells for a while, she almost died because of him and she almost lost Clarke but she understood that the blonde needed to mourn so she would let her.

 

“At least I don’t have to face it alone though, right?” Clarke mumbled hopefully, asking Lexa to confirm her question and ending the brief silence

 

“Not alone” Lexa replied instantly “Not anymore”

 

“Good” Clarke responded “You should eat something though; you expended a lot of energy today”

 

“I’m not hungry” Lexa repeated

 

“That doesn’t matter, you need to eat” Clarke pushed gently

 

“You don’t need to worry about me; you have enough on your plate to worry about than adding me to it” The soldier grumbled tiredly “I don’t need to be worried about”

 

“I might not have known you for long Lexa but I have learnt that I do need to worry about you because you don’t worry about yourself” Clarke answered in a firm tone, gently hitting the chocolate bar that was still in her hands against Lexa’s leg

 

“Nothing like a daily near death experience to bring people closer together, right?” Lexa remarked sarcastically with a shake of her head

 

“Well it worked for us” Clarke replied lightly

 

“You know that I was never going to leave you in that hospital though, right? In all seriousness” Lexa began, focussing her gaze on the now cold stew in front of her “I would have gone back in there if I had to”

 

“And you would have gotten yourself killed” Clarke mumbled with a shrug before shifting herself forward to reach into her back pocket to pull out a neatly folded piece of white sketch paper, placing it on Lexa’s lap “While I remember, I finished the sketch and brought it straight over”

 

“Thank you” Lexa mumbled, regretfully retracting her arm from Clarke’s waist and leaning forward to push her now cold dinner to the corner of the coffee table so she could unfold the sketch

 

She ran her eyes over the very detailed map of the compound; every detail she had asked for had been included as well as some she hadn’t even thought to think about like water supplies or fuel, giving her every chance to figure out a way to use their own environment against them. She ran her fingers over the outline of the compound, looking for anything that stuck out to her immediately as she felt Clarke shift next to her

 

“This okay?” Clarke asked in an unsure voice “I put down everything I could think of so hopefully that will help as much as it can without actually seeing the place for yourself”

 

“It’s great, thank you” Lexa muttered as she felt the candy bar wrapper in her pocket practically burn against her skin once more, knowing she was going to have to tell Clarke about it sooner or later “We’re going to have to move in on this soon, before they get a chance to come here”

 

“Why do you think they would come here?” Clarke asked with a shake of her head and a confused tone

 

“I found this by the driver’s side of the Jeep this morning before we went out to the hospital” Lexa said as she pulled the candy bar wrapper from her pocket, smoothing it out on her leg as Clarke re-positioned herself to have her feet planted firmly on the ground in front ofher

 

“Not long now?” Clarke raised her eyebrows

 

“It had to have been left by them, they knew I found that candy bar” Lexa replied with a shake of her head “I think they are planning to come here”

 

“Why didn’t you tell me about this straight away?” Clarke questioned curiously

 

“I haven’t told anyone, I haven’t even told my squad because it was too much of a distraction while we were going to the hospital. God knows we had enough to deal with” Lexa answered as she placed the candy bar wrapper on top of the map “You are the first person I have told about this”

 

“You should have told me straight away” Clarke shook her head stiffly as her eyes were wide looking to the map

 

“They’re watching us Clarke, my guess is that they have been watching us since we got here. I mean how else did they know where our cars were? How else did they know we were going to go there and find it” Lexa replied urgently  “We have to move in quickly before they move in here”

 

“I have to show this to the rest of the council” Clarke muttered more to herself than anything as she moved to stand

 

“Showing this to the council right now isn’t going to do any good, all they are going to do is panic because they don’t know how to handle this and I think you’re aware of that” Lexa countered with a shake of her head, placing her hand on Clarke’s knee “I’m showing you this because I trust you and because I need your help, not theirs yet. I will show the council but only once I have a plan and once I present this to them, I want to go to this compound. They might be watching us but if we go soon then maybe we will have some kind of element of surprise. We just got here, they won’t be expecting us to go so soon but I just need a few days to think of something that isn’t going to get us all killed”

 

“I have to show this to them Lexa” Clarke shook her head as her eyes stayed locked on the wrapper “This isn’t something I can keep from them”

 

“Just for a few days until I think of a plan, please” Lexa replied desperately to the blonde next to her “Your council are going to overreact and they are going to send us straight away with no plan at all. We have to consider as well that these people want us to make a decision on a whim because of this; the best thing we can do right now is be calm and vigilant. If we go in there without a plan then none of us are going to survive and they are going to come here and kill everyone else once they are done with us.  Plans might not last very long in the heat of the battle but at least we will have some direction”

 

“A few days” Clarke confirmed as she finally looked to Lexa who had her gaze only on the blonde “But if something else happens then I am going to have to tell them”

 

“That’s reasonable” Lexa nodded with a furrowed brow “Thank you” 

 

“I spoke to Bellamy and Octavia; they’re going to come with on this as well. Raven mentioned that she was on board too” Clarke responded as she pushed the wrapper from the map so she could stare at her drawing “We’re going to need as many people as we can get”

 

“I don’t want anyone else to have to come but you’re right, we do need as many as we can get” Lexa agreed, leaning her head to rest on Clarke’s shoulder “I don’t want you to have to come but we need you probably more than we need me going. You know where everything is, you know how to get around and you know these people; you’re too important not to come”

 

“I know and there’s no way I would let you all go and stay here”

 

“But you’re becoming too important to me for you to go on a personal level” Lexa processed verbally with a nod as she felt Clarke pressing a kiss into her hair quickly “I don’t know how this happened or how we slipped into this but I’m glad we did”

 

“Me too” Clarke answered, pressing a quick kiss into the brunette’s hair once more

 

“Besides, you have saved my life a few times and you’ll probably need to do the same again” Lexa joked weakly “Can we have some of that chocolate yet?”

 

“After this development, yes” Clarke responded as she picked up the chocolate bar from her right hand side to place on her lap before opening it quietly and breaking it in half “You and me, remember?”

 

“Yeah, I know” Lexa nodded with a sigh, picking her head from the other girls shoulder to accept her half of the chocolate bar “Why do I feel like this is going to be almost an impossible task?”

 

“Because it is” Clarke reasoned honestly “We don’t have many people compared to them, we have less weaponry and less resources”

 

“But if we are desperate enough we will find a way” Lexa added, bringing the chocolate to her nose and inhaling the sweet smell with a grin “You know I don’t even like chocolate that much but this is amazing”

 

“Chocolate is probably the most rationed thing in this place” Clarke began, nudging the brunette “So consider yourself lucky”

 

“If this goes south and we have to leave for some reason, would you consider coming with us?” Lexa asked suddenly, uncharacteristically leaving herself open with asking the question whilst looking at the chocolate bar in front of her face

 

“Coming with you?” Clarke paused as her eyes locked with Lexa’s earnest ones again

 

“If we had to leave, would you consider leaving with my squad?” Lexa elaborated lowly

 

“I don’t know” Clarke answered honestly, exhaling sharply “I mean my home is here, my friends are here and my mom is here. In saying that, I know this place won’t last forever and honestly you guys are probably my best chance of survival. I also think it goes without saying that I would want to go wherever you do”

 

“But?” Lexa asked as she sensed a complication

 

“These are my people and I’m on the council, I can’t just leave them” The blonde reasoned with a heavy shrug “It’s the same for you though, I know at some point you are going to have to choose between what is best for your squad and what is best for this community and if you have to leave, I wouldn’t blame you”

 

Leadership” Lexa said sarcastically with a quiet sigh

 

“You’ve kept them alive for this long against massive odds, you’re the right person for the job” Clarke nudged the brunette once more as she popped a small piece of chocolate in her mouth, chewing thoughtfully “But we’ll figure out a way to get my people out of there the best way possible together”

 

“I’m going to tell my squad about this wrapper when they are all back in the house” Lexa admitted, holding a piece of chocolate she had broken off to her mouth “We’ll put our heads together and work something out”

 

“Do you think I could stay with you tonight?” Clarke asked, breaking up the silence that had fallen over the room whilst Lexa’s eyes poured over the sketch once again “I don’t know if I can sleep alone after what happened today”

 

“Of course” Lexa responded without even a second thought and turning her body to face the blonde, raising her hand to cup Clarke’s cheek gently “I would really like that, I don’t want to be alone either”

 

“You have your squad” Clarke reminded her with her voice just above a whisper

 

“And you’re a part of that now” Lexa replied with a brief nod as her face gravitated towards Clarke’s, kissing her softly with a quiet sigh

 

She felt Clarke moving her hand to the back of her neck, holding her in place as the kiss became a little more desperate, the blonde’s nails digging into the soldier’s skin sharply but it didn’t hurt enough for her to pull away. Lexa’s hand automatically grasped Clarke’s knee loosely as she sat in front of the girl she was kissing, her mind racing more than it normally did when she kissed Clarke and that was saying something. Lexa was going to make some hard choices soon and she knew that, she was going to have to make some possibly unpopular decisions and she knew she was probably going to have to choose between the safety of her squad and their alliance with The Ark community if things became as bloody as she thought it might.

 

For that perfect moment in time though, all she wanted to think about was the girl in front of her because she made her happy in a very depressing world. She wanted to hang onto that for as long as she could because she knew she would never experience something like that again; even if that happiness only lasted a short time.  

 

Days since outbreak: 703
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Nyko, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Destination: The Ark, West Bloomington Minnesota

Chapter Text

 Days since outbreak: 704
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

 

The sun hit Lexa’s eyes sharply, groaning quietly as she heard birds chirping loudly and the sounds of life filled the downstairs area of the house. She shifted to sit up but was quickly stopped by the fact that her body was being latched onto by the blonde girl who had curled herself up next to the soldier. Lexa paused, having forgotten momentarily that Clarke had slept in her bed last night but a tired smile covered her features as she felt the other girl breathing deeply into her neck.

 

Lexa was on her back with Clarke on her side with her head buried in the brunette’s neck and her arm tightly holding Lexa in place. Lexa’s right arm was looped around Clarke’s shoulder, holding her close as they slept through the night. Lexa looked up to the ceiling, bringing her hand to rub her eyes quickly as the smile grew on her face realising that last night was the first night she hadn’t had a nightmare since she could remember and she knew that was thanks to the girl next to her. They had spent most of their night in the lounge room with her squad once they all returned, Lexa informing them what she had discovered and showing them the sketch Clarke had drawn so they could go over it further that morning. Lexa and Clarke retired to bed in the early hours of the morning, whispering quietly as they lay in bed and holding the other tightly as if each of them would float away if they weren’t entangled.

 

Lexa felt the impossible for the Post-Apocalyptic world in that moment while she lay closely with Clarke because for that moment she felt safe. As if reading her mind, Clarke spoke of the same thing once their conversation had stopped but their eyes were still locked on each other’s through the dark night where the moonlight was the only source of illumination. Lexa had only felt like that once before in her life and that had been with Costia; as that thought came over her she also felt an intense sense of guilt. Costia was dead and Lexa was lying in bed with someone else, whilst nothing happened but just kissing; it was one of the most intimate evenings the brunette had ever spent with anyone. After they day of close calls they had, Lexa was just feeling lucky to have Clarke with her at that moment.

 

She pushed the sense of guilt from her mind, all she had been doing previously was surviving and thanks to Clarke Griffin; she wanted to really live again. What she felt for Clarke was magnifying by the very day; their close calls, confrontations and daily battles pushing them closer together even if they hadn’t intended it to be that way. Lexa wanted to be with Clarke without the impending doom of the other community hanging over her head and the brunette needed to accept that if she wanted Clarke then she was going to have to want to be in The Ark too. Clarke and The Ark community were a package deal and she needed to accept that now, just like Clarke had accepted the fact that the squad came with Lexa wherever she went.

 

“Can we stay in bed all day?” Clarke mumbled into Lexa’s neck as she pulled the brunette from her thoughts, feeling the blonde’s lips move against her skin while she spoke “I think that is a great idea”

 

“I wish we could” Lexa replied, the smile returning to her face “But we have a seamless plan to put together”

 

“Seamless would be nice” Clarke agreed with a nod “How did you sleep?”

 

“The best I have slept in 704 days” Lexa answered honestly

 

“No nightmares?” Clarke asked as she propped herself up on her hand to look Lexa in the eyes, the brunette turning her attention from the ceiling to look at the other girl

 

“No nightmares” Lexa confirmed, bringing her spare hand up to tuck a stray strand of blonde hair from Clarke’s face “You seem to be the cure to that”

 

“We might have to do this again tonight just to make sure” Clarke smiled sleepily at her suggestion, earning a chuckle from the brunette

 

“We might just have to do that” Lexa grinned herself “I’m glad you stayed last night”

 

“I’m glad that I stayed here last night too” Clarke responded almost instantly before leaning in to place a chaste kiss on Lexa’s lips and moving to sit on the bed “I should go though, I think we’re having a council meeting this morning”

 

“About yesterday?”

 

“About everything” Clarke sighed, running her hand through her hair “But once it’s done I will come back. I’m on duty this afternoon though around the perimeter and I think you might be as well too”

 

“That’s fine” Lexa responded quietly, sitting up in the bed next to the blonde “Clarke…”

 

“I’m not going to say anything about the note you found but we’re going to need to tell them soon” Clarke said with a heavy tone, the guilt evident in her voice “I agree with what you are saying, I think they probably will overreact when they find out and send us to the community immediately before we can think of a plan but if something happens within that time and we could have prevented it then I won’t forgive myself. I’m on the council; I have to do what is best for this place because that’s my job”

 

“Us having time to think about this and plan is what is best for this place” Lexa reasoned “Because if we don’t succeed then everyone here is going to die too”

 

“That’s why I’m keeping quiet for now” Clarke nodded, reaching out to run a hand through Lexa’s messy hair “I trust you completely but I’m kind of caught in the middle here so I can only keep quiet for a few days”

 

“That’s all I need” Lexa replied with a firm nod and an even smile on her face “A few days”

 

Clarke nodded once more, her eyes moving between Lexa’s and after a few seconds passed between them she moved to climb over Lexa, pausing as she was basically straddling the brunette. Lexa’s eyes caught the intensity in Clarke’s gaze as their eyes locked; the brunette’s breath hitching in her lungs as she witnessed fire in the blonde’s eyes. She could see Clarke reasoning internally with herself before leaning down to kiss the soldier fervently. Her hand moved to the top of Lexa’s chest, pressing her back against the headboard as their bodies meshed together. Lexa held placed her hands on Clarke’s thighs in front of her, squeezing gently as the kiss continued and grew with urgency. Clarke gripped the back of Lexa’s neck, weaving her hand through her messy bed hair and tugging on the wavy locks; causing the brunette to emit a hum of satisfaction just as Clarke pulled away to rest her forehead against Lexa’s.

 

“Wow, I’m sorry” Clarke said, almost gasping for breath and shutting her eyes tightly in embarrassment “I wasn’t planning on doing that”

 

“You should never apologize for that” Lexa replied with a dazed smirk while her hands gave Clarke’s thighs another gentle squeeze “You are welcome to do that at any time”

 

“I’ll remember that” Clarke chuckled, placing a gentle kiss on Lexa’s lips once more before shifting herself from the bed and walking backwards towards the door “I’ll come and see you guys later. It might be an idea to bring Bellamy, Octavia and Raven into this whole thing so we can plan this together. The only way this is going to work is if we actually all work as a team, not as two groups of people”

 

“If they can keep this to themselves for now then I agree” Lexa responded, shifting herself to her side again and propping her head up on her hand “I think it would be a great idea to bring them into it”

 

“I’ll talk to them” Clarke nodded, flashing a soft smile as she let her eyes take in the other girl one last time while reaching for the door handle behind her “I’ll see you soon”

 

“You will” Lexa nodded as well, frowning as she saw Clarke leave the room and shutting the door once more behind her

 

Lexa sighed heavily, rubbing her eyes with both hands and groaning loudly. Lexa cared for Clarke a dangerous amount, a dangerous enough amount for her to possibly do something stupid and get herself killed in order to protect the blonde. She was sure now more than ever that the very humanity within herself that told her to save Clarke in the first place was probably going to get herself killed and she had to be okay with that. If that were the case though she would rather die a hero than die a coward and leave nothing behind.

 

---

 

Lexa sat staring at the map on the table in the lounge room all morning. There she sat, staring at the wrapper and the sketch Clarke had so vividly drawn, trying to work out the best way to get her now extended squad in and out with minimal casualties but maximum damage to the leaders of that community. Her squad sat with her patiently as she mulled over the sketch, waiting for Clarke to return so they could properly discuss their options because unlike Lexa, she had an actual idea of the area and the people of the other community.

 

“Staring a hole in the paper isn’t going to help” Indra said gruffly “We have been sitting here all morning and you have hardly said a thing”

 

“I’m thinking” Lexa defended quietly, placing two fingers on her temple and rubbing it gently “I’m thinking so much that I’m getting a headache”

 

“You’re going to hurt yourself commander” Lincoln replied with a sigh “We just have to wait until Clarke gets here”

 

“From what Clarke has drawn here, we don’t even know if this is possible” Nyko offered honestly as he looked around the group “I know we want to stay here and this is great but do we have the manpower to do this? Do we have the weaponry to do this? We have military training but these Ark people coming with us are just kids”

 

“They’re my age” Lexa interrupted

 

“And you’re just a kid too” Nyko said before he paused “And I mean that in the nicest way possible Commander but you are young but at least you have a lot of training behind you, they don’t”

 

“I don’t think this is about just staying in this community anymore” Lexa reasoned as she looked to each member of the squad “We are being watched, what is to stop them from hunting us down if we leave and us suffering the same fate as those people we are trying to rescue? Can we live with ourselves knowing that we could have stopped what is going on in that place but just chose to walk away in the name of self-preservation?”

 

“We survive, that’s what we do” Indra responded “Nyko has a point”

 

“A few days ago you were all telling me that we could do this and that’s why we stayed, you all voted yes” Lexa said with a frustrated sigh, bringing her hands to rub her fac roughly “I agreed to this because you all wanted to give this a shot”

 

“But now we have facts” Nyko answered

 

“Clarke escaped there by herself and managed to let a bunch of infected out on the community. That was one girl, what do you think we could do to that place provided we are given the right directions and access in?” Echo added sharply to her squad “We gave our word; we made Lexa agree to their terms so I say we do this because I think we can kick their asses as well as rescue the people. They tried to kill us when we had Clarke; they are following us and threatening us”

 

“I just don’t know if I could walk away from here knowing all that we do when we have a chance to stop this” Lexa said through gritted teeth as she stood from her place on the couch “I am happy to take a vote on this but since when have we walked away from someone who needs help? That’s not who we are and I wouldn’t consider this if I didn’t think we had a shot at this. It won’t be easy and it’s not going to come without a price but it will be worth it. You know we would stop at nothing if one of us were captured somewhere like that”

 

“But we’re not, what’s left of us are here” Nyko countered honestly but cautiously “And we’re together, alive. Commander I want to help these people, I want to stay and I do feel for those who are trapped but I’m concerned. It’s all well and good for us to be going but these people haven’t really accepted us yet and you know that more than anyone. They lose nothing if we die in the process, they risk nothing”

 

“They are sending their own people; Clarke is going herself along with a team of her own and they are going to give us every chance to succeed but we need to work out a plan in order to do this” Lexa responded just before they heard a quiet knock on the door “Fold that up”

 

She stood and made her way to the door, only opening it after glancing back to her squad and was satisfied that the map and wrapper were out of sight from anyone, even if it were Clarke but she had a feeling it wasn’t going to be her at all.

 

“Bellamy” Lexa greeted as she opened the door, only opening it halfway “Did Clarke talk to you?”

 

“That’s why I’m here” Bellamy confirmed with a nod “Raven and Octavia are coming straight from watch duty in a few minutes, Clarke’s had them replaced because she told us about what you found yesterday”

 

“What did I find yesterday?” Lexa asked, raising an eyebrow

 

“The note” Bellamy responded with a confused tone “She sent me here because we’re going with you to the other community to get our people back and she said you wanted to talk to us all because you found a note”

 

“Come in” Lexa said opened the door for Bellamy to enter; quickly closing it behind him “You know it’s important for you not to tell anyone else about this, right?”

 

“Clarke’s told me to keep quiet about this for now” Bellamy responded as he looked around the room “I understand why for now but we’re going to have to tell the council sooner or later, they have to know”

 

“We will” Lexa nodded “We just need to work out a plan first and once we work out the plan, we’ll go straight to the council with it”

 

“What’s the plan so far then?” Bellamy asked

 

“Your guess is as good as ours right now” Echo responded to the Ark member, running a hand through her hair “You’re willing to come with us?”

 

“I’m supposed to be head of security here, they have our people so it’s only right that I should go” Bellamy answered with a nod “But Lexa saved my sister and I yesterday so we owe her”

 

“Whatever way we do this, it’s going to be risky so don’t do this because I saved your life” Lexa interrupted “I didn’t save it to get you killed later”

 

“Then we think of a really good plan” Bellamy replied nervously “Do you have the map that Clarke drew?”

 

Lexa gave a nod to Nyko who spread the map our once more against the coffee table and Bellamy sat down in front of it with his eyebrows knitted together in concentration.

 

They heard yet another knock on the door, Lexa moving back to open it and feeling a wave of relief come over her as she saw Clarke in front of her with Raven and Octavia as well. Lexa wordlessly held it open for them all, closing it behind them once they were inside and leaning her back against the white, wooden door.

 

“How was the council meeting?” Lexa asked as she watched Octavia take a seat next to Lincoln and noticed how Clarke stayed close to herself at the front of the room

 

“Councilman Jaha wasn’t there, understandably he is taking a little time out but no one blames you for anything” Clarke replied with her eyes fixed on Lexa before she turned towards the group “My mom brought up the fact that they want to start sending you on scouting missions soon to the other community so I think we need to get a plan together and tell them”

 

“If we go on a scouting mission then we won’t come back, they’ll take whoever goes” Lincoln responded “They are watching us way too closely by the sounds of it so we have to go once and once only”

 

“That’s why we need to think of a plan” Lexa answered with a nod, connecting the dots with what Clarke was suggesting

 

“Exactly” Clarke nodded, still looking at Lexa “First thoughts?”

 

“We’re going to need someone to take out the two watch towers first of all that they seem to have” Lexa responded instantly as she gestured towards the sketch on the coffee table “It won’t be possible for us to get in without being seen from a distance if we don’t take them out. They usually only have one person on them?”

 

“The whole time I was there it was only ever one person” Clarke confirmed

 

“Well I dare say you’re the best shot here Commander” Indra added

 

“I can’t do it; I have to be with the rest of the group. This person is going to have to break away and take them out from a distance. The rest of the group will stick together for entry, there should be one entry point and we’d be foolish not to consider the same one that Clarke escaped from because clearly it’s a place that works but it’s towards the back of the compound and right next to where they keep infected” Lexa pushed off the door and approached the coffee table to look down at the map, using the opportunity to subtly give the back of Clarke’s arm a small yet reassuring squeeze as she passed the blonde “The only sensible thing to do would be to go late at night, we can’t leave from the front gate if we are being watched, we can’t take our vehicles so we’re going to have to hope we can source our own somewhere along the way to make it there. The one thing that could give us an edge is the element of surprise so we need to hold onto that tightly”

 

“We have some vehicles you could use” Bellamy said honestly “We use them for emergencies only but we have some a few miles from here we could use”

 

“And you never cared to tell us this before?” Echo raised an eyebrow “That you have your own vehicles that you can use?”

 

“You didn’t need to know and there were no emergencies” Bellamy reasoned seriously as he looked down at the map before changing the subject “We’re going to have to move pretty quickly once the watch towers are taken out”

 

“We move immediately, no questions about that” Lexa responded, noting the vehicle comment to bring up later with Clarke “We stay as a group and from that point we need to cause as much chaos as possible, without being the source of chaos that is because we’re going to need a pretty big distraction for us to get through to where your people are being held”

 

“Well obviously we’re going to release some zombies then” Raven nodded with raised eyebrows and a smirk

 

“Or it could be something as simple as taking out their water supply, shooting a hole through the tank it’s kept in and starting a fire somewhere” Lexa suggested with a shrug “We set fire to food they are growing by the water supply and cut them down structurally more than anything”

 

“What about the spotter?” Lincoln asked leaning over the map “After they take out the watch tower they could have a shot at the gas tank by the front of the compound, from Clarke’s map it should block the path to their armory as well”

 

“It’s small but it would cause some damage” Clarke agreed reluctantly “It’s only small though, don’t expect too much”

 

“At that point they will know they are under attack but that will cause enough chaos for us to move through the compound. We shoot anyone who is armed, whether they are firing at us or not because if they get a chance they will take it” Lexa continued with a sigh “You have 6 people captured there but we release everyone, I’m not going to leave anyone in there because before we leave we will release infected and I’m not going to let anyone who was captured by this place just be a sitting duck to be eaten alive”

 

“So what do we do with the others then?” Nyko asked uneasily

 

“We get them out of there if we can but we will leave it up to the council whether we can bring anyone else here besides the 6” Lexa answered as her eyes scanned the group “I’m going to break off with one of you and we’re going to go find the person at the top of the hierarchy and we’re going to kill them”

 

“What?” Octavia asked with wide eyes

 

“It has to be done; he could just start all over again somewhere else” Clarke reasoned quietly “I don’t like the idea of it but it has to be done” 

 

“I’m not concerned about killing this guy but that’s a suicide mission” Octavia responded looking around the group

 

“This whole thing is basically a suicide mission” Lexa retorted quickly “If you don’t want to be a part of this then you don’t have to be, I wouldn’t blame you but if we don’t stop these people then no one else will and they’ll come here to kill every single person in here; it is us or them and I would suggest that you choose them”

 

Silence filled the room as Lexa finished talking, all eyes were on her but no words were spoken. They began looking around the room at each other for reactions but all they received from each other was sideways glances and unsure nods as they mulled the shell of their newly formed plan over.

 

“So what about the rest of us?” Echo asked breaking the silence

 

“The rest of you will get the people; on the way out you release the infected and get the hell out of there. You’ll return to the cars, the spotter will have to try and cover you all as best as they can but you’re going to need to look out for each other” Lexa spoke firmly as she looked around the group

 

“Hell of a first thought” Bellamy said with a smirk

 

“It’s an idea and we can work around it” Lexa shrugged evenly “And I want to hear what you all have to say as well but Clarke told me something this morning that I think is the key to our survival. We have to become one squad for this; we can’t be my squad and Ark people, and we have to be one. You take orders from me, you answer to me and I will take responsibility for you; there will be bloodshed and we will be outnumbered but we have to be smart about this. If we are than I think we have more than a shot at this if we go into this mission as a cohesive unit”

 

“With that being said, if we iron out a plan in the next day or so; when do we go to the other community?” Clarke questioned, approaching Lexa to stand next to her and place her hand on the small of the soldiers back while she looked down at the map “Because we can’t keep this from the council for long and we can’t wait for long either”

 

“Once we have a complete plan then we will present it to the council and I’ll present that note” The brunette answered honestly “From that point it’s pretty obvious that they will send us almost straight away”

 

 ---

 

“What did you think of my idea?” Lexa asked as she held her rifle tightly by her side, reaching up to pull at the brim of her cap to block the afternoon sun shining in her face as she and Clarke walked the perimeter of The Ark

 

“I think it’s a very good place to start” Clarke replied with a nod as her eyes scanned the trees in front of her before glancing to her side to look at the brunette “I think you know what you are talking about and anything you come up with will be our best option but we have a lot to figure out still before we go”

 

“A plan is all well and good but things change when you get thrown into that situation” Lexa admitted with a shrug “I know there will be variables we can’t plan for, things might go wrong and we’ll have to change our plan completely but at least this gives us direction and this gives us a starting point”

 

“Well I think taking out their supplies and using fire as a distraction all at the same time will be beneficial. I think going at night and using our vehicles is the smartest ideas as well, if they are watching us then we can’t be obvious” Clarke nodded with a sigh “A spotter is perfect but I don’t like the idea of you splitting off from the group”

 

“Yeah but I will have someone with me and we can’t take the whole group with us because if this guy is the kind of person I think he is, he will have a guard or two around his house and he will have locked himself inside” Lexa responded as she stopped walking so she could look at Clarke intently “Correct me if I’m wrong here but you know we can’t just leave him, right?”

 

“I don’t think you are wrong at all but I don’t understand why it always has to be you who takes the risks like that” Clarke replied very quickly, her voice sounding slightly irritated

 

“Because I can’t ask my squad to do something that I’m not willing to do myself” Lexa answered as if it were that simple and in her mind, it was.

 

“Well I want to go with you then” Clarke challenged “And you can’t say no because I’m a leader of my people so I should be going as well”

 

“I can say no because you’re on my squad for this mission and you agreed in that house that what I say goes”

 

“I didn’t say anything” Clarke grumbled

 

“I took your silence as an agreement” Lexa smirked as she watched the blonde’s face flushing in annoyance “Clarke the smart thing to do with you is have you leave everyone else out of there because you know where you are going and you know another way out if you can’t get out the way you came. That has to be you; it can’t be anyone else so you can’t come with me”

 

“Who are you going to take then?” Clarke asked after a short pause

 

“I’m not sure yet” Lexa shook her head, looking to her feet in thought “I think I’m going to need a volunteer for that one because that will be a risky job”

 

“I just volunteered” Clarke said flatly

 

“A volunteer except for you” Lexa elaborated seriously as her eyes met Clarke’s once more “I think it’s going to have to be someone from my squad, maybe Indra or Echo. You’ll need Nyko with you and I’m thinking of stationing Lincoln as spotter because he’s good at long range”

 

“Are you saying no just to protect me?” Clarke cocked an eyebrow “Because you can’t make that decision for me”

 

“If I wanted to protect you, which for the record I certainly do but if I wanted to protect you in this instance then I wouldn’t let you come with us at all” Lexa countered with a shake of her head, taking a step into the blonde “But you’re far too valuable to keep here considering you have already been in that community and escaped. That and you already volunteered to go the moment we were given this condition, you make your own decisions but you’re too valuable to the rest of the group to not lead them to safety”

 

“Okay” Clarke grumbled with a nod “If that’s the best way for this to work then I’ll accept it”

 

“It’s the best way for it to work” Lexa confirmed with a nod  of her own“What do you think you guys will decide in regards to the people that we free from there?”

 

“I don’t know” The blonde sighed deeply, Lexa knowing instantly that the thought had been weighing heavily on her mind “My vote only counts for one and of course I will vote to bring them in here because I know some of them but I don’t know what Kane and my mom will think let alone what Jaha will vote right now. There were 6 of us there and only six others that weren’t from here so it’s not a lot to take on; it’s just whether the rest of the council thinks they can trust them”

 

“I’ll bet this is a lot more complicated than the council thought when they asked us to do this”

 

“Yeah but they were never going to contemplate the complexities because they figured it was your problem” Clarke replied honestly “I love this place and obviously I love these people but we have survived so long because we can make smart decisions and my mom made this your problem and not ours when she gave you this condition”

 

“You really are caught in the middle” Lexa said sympathetically as she reached her hand out to brush her hand gently cross Clarke’s cheek “I’m sorry about that”

 

“I’m obligated to take the council’s side on everything but at the same time, I can see where you are coming from too with the whole note thing. I trust you, I trust you more than a lot of people inside those walls but it’s my job to do what I think is best to protect them” The blonde responded, a smile tugging at her lips as Lexa turned her cap backwards, leaning in so close to her face that their noses were touching “What are you doing?”

 

“Honestly I think you are made of magnets because I can’t help myself” Lexa said with her voice just above a whisper before she pressed her lips into the blonde’s, feeling the tug of her rifle strap against shoulder as it hung at her side while she used her hands to cup Clarke’s face gently

 

“As much as I really really like this” Clarke said in between kisses but allowing Lexa to kiss her once more before she pulled away to look the brunette in the eyes “I think that maybe we should continue this inside”

 

“You’re right” Lexa said clearing her throat as she took a step backwards “Sorry, that was very unprofessional of me whilst we are on duty”

 

“Yeah okay” Clarke chuckled to herself as she tugged on the material over Lexa’s abs to start her walking once more “Can I ask you something?”

 

“Sure” Lexa pulled her gun from her side, holding it with both hands in front of her as they resumed their duty

 

“Did you mean what you said?” Clarke asked cautiously “About me leaving with your squad?”

 

“I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t mean it” Lexa responded truthfully with yet another shrug “Hopefully it won’t come to that”

 

“Well hopefully it won’t come to that” Clarke agreed quietly, her eyes falling to the ground directly in front of her

 

“Can I ask you something?”

 

“Okay” The blonde nodded

 

Lexa opened her mouth to ask a question when they heard movement to their right, both of their heads turning in that direction sharply and they aimed each of their weapons into the distance where the movement had come from. Lexa tapped Clarke on the shoulder and signaled for her to follow as she stepped quietly towards the rustling behind a thick set of shrubbery. The shrubbery began to part as they heard the groan of an infected before they saw the rotting body walk towards them.

 

“I’ve got it” Lexa said lazily to herself than anything as she pulled her hunting knife from its sheath and approaching it relentlessly as it limped towards her aggressively

 

She quickly pushed it to the ground, wasting no time in driving the knife through its skull as the moaning stopped and the infected died instantly. Lexa grimaced at the smell of the rotted corpse, figuring that this one had been wandering around for quite some time. She wiped the knife on what was left of the clothes on the now dead infected before standing again and turning back to the blonde.

 

She felt two arms grab her firmly by the wrist through the shrubbery, an infected emerged just like the other as it snapped at Lexa’s arm but before it could reach her, Lexa saw a shot go directly through its head; blood splattering over her shirt as it released her arm and dropped the floor. This infected had been strong, he looked relatively new compared to the other one, Lexa knew he couldn’t have been infected for long; it would have only been a case of days for him. Clarke rushed to Lexa, putting her gun back in her holster and taking her forearm gently with her hands, rotating her arm around slowly to check her skin.

 

“Any scratches?” Clarke asked in a panicked tone as she checked Lexa’s entire arm “No cuts?”

 

“No, I’m fine” Lexa shook her head quickly with wide eyes “Thank you”

 

“Why didn’t you kill it?” Clarke questioned, pulling Lexa away from the shrubbery so they were out of reaching distance should any infected come their way

 

“It happened in about 5 seconds, your reaction time was on point but I wasn’t expecting that” Lexa responded slowly “We should move away from this side because that’s going to attract anything around here”

 

“Oh my god” Clarke said with wide eyes as she looked across at the now dead infected, Lexa’s eyes following her line of sight but not seeing anything out of the ordinary

 

“What?” Lexa asked looking back and forth between the blonde and infected “What is it?”

 

“He’s one of ours, he was one of our 6 left in that community” Clarke said, creasing her eyebrows in confusion “He used to live down the street from me, his wife is in here”

 

“Are you sure?” Lexa asked carefully, ducking her head to try and meet Clarke’s gaze “Are you sure that’s him?”

 

“More than sure” Clarke replied quietly as her eyes connected with Lexa’s, her expression changing from shock to angry “They brought him back here, they dropped him outside The Ark”

 

“Well I don’t think he is here by chance” Lexa responded with a sigh as she looked around the immediate area

 

“I have to tell the council” Clarke shook her head as she went to step away “I have to tell them about the note and I have to tell them about this right now”

 

“No you can’t” Lexa replied instantly, reaching to grab Clarke’s arm gently “You can’t do that, we aren’t ready to go”

 

“They turned him into an infected and brought him back here” Clarke shook her head frantically once more “His wife thinks that he is still alive”

 

“I know this is hard and I hate myself for asking this of you but I need you to please just keep all of this to yourself for just a few more days like we agreed” Lexa practically begged, her heart beat increasing as she tried to convince the blonde to listen “I know these are your people but the best thing you can do for them now is allow us some time to figure out this plan. Once we do, we will go to there and we will make sure they can’t do this again but most importantly we will get your people back”

 

“But how many of them will die while we wait?”

 

“I don’t want to be doing this either Clarke but a lot more will die if you don’t listen to me right now and that could very well include you and I” Lexa urged regretfully as her hand slipped down to take the blonde’s “I am so sorry to have to ask that of you because I know you’re in the middle here but if you want to do what is best for your people then I need you to listen to me”

 

Clarke shut her eyes tightly, opening them moments later only displaying the same amount of anger and sadness as they had tried to blink away only seconds before.

 

“Okay” Clarke mumbled, nodding slowly “Okay fine but when I say it’s time in a few days then it’s time”

 

“I won’t need long” Lexa replied with a nod

 

Clarke sighed heavily, leaning her forehead against Lexa’s briefly before stepping up on her toes to place a kiss on the brunette’s forehead and then taking a few steps backwards to begin walking again.

 

“Come on, we need to keep moving” Clarke said quietly

 

Lexa just nodded without saying a word, turning her cap around and tugging on the back so it sat right before she took a few big strides to catch up to Clarke, walking so close to the other girl that their shoulders were touching as they continued their perimeter patrol.

 

“They might think they have the upper hand Clarke, they are playing mind games” Lexa said looking directly in front of her as they walked “But they don’t have the upper hand, not now anyway”

 

Days since outbreak: 704
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

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 707
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 exhaled deeply as she shifted her hands to interlace her fingers as they rested just above her stomach, her skin itching slightly as she lay on the grass in front of her house looking up at the shining stars in the night’s sky. She had just finished watch duty for the night with Lincoln and knew she should really have been going to bed because it was late and needed to sleep but she wasn’t tired. Lexa was just nervous and she was nervous for good reason because when the sun breached the surface tomorrow morning it would all begin.

 

They weren’t leaving until nightfall the next night but they would have to start preparing; gathering weapons, gear, supplies for their exit from the Ark in the cover of darkness to go and get the Ark’s people back. They had presented to the council that very morning, detailing their plan, the note, the news of the infected Ark member and what happened was exactly what Lexa expected; they were given the orders to leave the very next night just like she had predicted. The council had decided unanimously that they would take in anyone who would come with them to join the community from the other compound they were being held prisoners at, which surprised the brunette solider but she was happy to be surprised.

 

The group would exit through a previously broken panel in the wall tucked away at the side of The Ark in the cover of night. They would then walk for several miles before taking three vehicles that the Ark had recently acquired in the space of a month so they had enough room to bring anyone who wanted to return with them. They would travel to their destination overnight and if all went as planned; the journey should take them just under five hours to reach a safe perimeter from the other community. Clarke would be in the lead car with Lexa to ensure they were moving in the right direction even though they had already mapped out that this other community was located in Doland, South Dakota thanks to the blonde’s photographic memory of any signs she may have passed while escaping.

 

Upon arrival Lincoln would break from the rest of the group as spotter to find a location in the area high enough to take out the community’s make-shift watch towers in two swift shots. He would take out the back watch tower first to clear the group’s path immediately before taking out the front watch tower and from there all he could do was try and take out a medium sized gas cylinder on the path to the armory, left to hope the rest of the group could do what they had set out to do. It had been decided that Indra would be going with Lexa to find the man in charge of the whole community once they had set all the prisoners free, Clarke sketching his appearance for the soldiers to take with them even though the brunette had a feeling she would find him in his own home while chaos erupted around him. Once she had done what she needed to do in order to complete the mission, she and Indra would leave through the side of the community and meet up with the rest of the group at their designated rendezvous point. 

 

The entire exercise gave Lexa anxiety like nothing she had ever felt before because she was leading a group of two factions and although she wasn’t worried about how they would follow her orders; she was worried how The Ark people would react under the extreme pressure they were about to face. She as worried how they were going to react when plans began to fail and what they were going to do when things began to go very wrong because things weren’t going to go as smoothly as they had planned, they might have to do something completely different but she was going to be held personally responsible by the council for the success of this mission. Originally she had estimated that the stakes were relatively low; if they failed they would be kicked out The Ark and sent on their way but it had become very clear now that if they failed then a lot of people were going to die and that included everyone who went on the mission.

 

She had the weight of the entire community on her shoulders so she wasn’t going to allow herself to fail and although she knew there was very little chance, she had to try and bring everyone home safely. Clarke, Bellamy, Raven and Octavia had all volunteered to go on this mission for their own reasons but Lexa just appreciated the fact that they were still willing to go even though they knew the risks so she had to reward them for their bravery by being the best leader she could be for them.

 

The brunette sighed deeply once more to herself, closing her eyes tightly before hearing dry grass crunching below quick footsteps but not even needing to open them to know it was Clarke because the other girl wordlessly sat down closely next to the brunette and reached over to place her warm hand on those resting on Lexa’s stomach.

 

“You should be asleep” Clarke spoke with a sigh of her own

 

“So should you” Lexa mumbled while Clarke gave her hand a gentle squeeze before feeling the girl shift her body to lay down next to her so their shoulder were touching

 

“I just finished checking off all our supplies and I was on my way to my house” Clarke shrugged her shoulders “You’ve been off duty for a while”

 

“Too much on my mind” Lexa responded evenly before turning to sarcasm “No wonder my captain shot himself”

 

“This is going to work” Clarke reassured her firmly “Your plan is good, this will work and we’ll get this done”

 

“It’s going to come at a cost though” Lexa replied quickly as her eyes opened to look up at the stars shining brightly in the sky once more

 

“We all know that” Clarke reasoned “This is bigger than us. This is about getting our people back and shutting this place down”

 

“I just know that this is all on me and if we fail then I have a lot of blood on my hands” Lexa added morbidly “Which I know I have to own but it’s a little difficult to accept”

 

“We all know the risks” Clarke shook her head as she repeated herself “Your squad can handle themselves and we can hold our own as well, we just have to do what we need to and get out of there”

 

“What do the council really think?” Lexa asked turning her head to look at the blonde who had turned her attention to the soldier only moments ago “Do they think this is going to work?”

 

“They would have told you if they didn’t” Clarke nodded as she reached her arm out to stroke Lexa’s cheek gently “You have come up with a good plan, you have a good team and now the one thing left to do is to actually execute it. You’re a bad-ass Commander, these guys don’t have military training and they might be brutal but they’re unorganized; they won’t know what’s hit them”

 

“I’m not a Commander” Lexa insisted with a small smile threatening to crack through her worried expression

 

“You may as well be” Clarke chuckled with a shake of her head

 

“I am bad-ass though” Lexa joked lightly as Clarke rolled to her side, propping herself up on her elbow and brushing a few strands of hair away from the soldier’s face

 

“Sometimes” Clarke quipped playfully before leaning down to kiss Lexa softly

 

“I don’t mean to interrupt” They heard a deep voice say from in front of them as they broke away from each other to look up

 

Lexa pushed herself immediately up from the ground to stand, brushing any grass from her pants and she looked at Councilman Jaha who was just feet away from her.

 

“Councilman” Lexa greeted with a brief nod

 

“I just wanted to come here and wish you luck for tomorrow night” Jaha spoke quietly “I might not get to see you all before then so I just wanted to come and wish you good luck”

 

“Oh” Lexa spoke, her surprise evident in her lack of words

 

“I know we have had our differences but I wanted to apologize for how I might have acted in the past few days” Jaha continued quietly before repeating shakily “I just want to apologize”

 

“Is everything okay?” Clarke asked from her now seated position on the grass behind the pair

 

“It’s fine” Jaha nodded glancing back to Clarke with a small smile before his attention turned back to Lexa “We all have a lot riding on this mission so I just want you to know that we’re all supporting you and whatever tension you and I have had between us wasn’t on a personal level, I am always just trying to do what is best for my people”

 

“And so am I” Lexa replied with a furrowed brow

 

“I’ll leave you to it” Jaha nodded as he took a step backwards “Hopefully I’ll see you before you leave tomorrow”

 

He took one last look at Clarke before turning around, tucking his hands in his pockets and beginning his walk down the street as he kept his eyes on the road in front of him. Lexa turned on her heel to look at Clarke who was still watching Jaha with a questioning yet sympathetic expression on her face.

 

“What exactly was that?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow

 

“I don’t know” Clarke replied slowly a shake of her head as she met Lexa’s gaze “He’s had some time to think I guess. He’s been quieter over the last few days. He’s just lost his son; you can’t blame him for acting a little off”  

 

“I guess not” Lexa mumbled, turning her head down to watch Jaha turned the corner on the end of the street to walk out of her view

 

“You should try and get some sleep” Clarke said with an exhale as she stood from her sitting position “We’ve got a lot to organize tomorrow before we leave”

 

“Are you staying with me tonight?” Lexa asked tentatively

 

“We haven’t slept alone since the day we came back from the supply run” Clarke said with a small smile “I don’t think we should break our tradition just yet”

 

“I agree” Lexa said with a small smile as she took a step towards Clarke, reaching for her hand once more “I don’t want to be away from you tonight anyway”

 

“Come on” Clarke replied bringing Lexa’s hand to her mouth quickly to place a gentle kiss on the back of her hand before pulling her towards the front door

 

The lights were off in the house; Lincoln was spending the night with Octavia, Echo was asleep in a bedroom downstairs while Indra and Nyko slept in two bedrooms upstairs so Lexa took the lead and pulled Clarke up the dark staircase towards her room. She opened the door for the blonde, switching the light on so they could see and closing the door behind them once they had entered. 

 

“So we leave just after sunset tomorrow night?” Clarke questioned even though she was very well aware of the plan

 

“As soon as it’s dark enough” Lexa responded with a nod as she gave Clarke’s hand a squeeze before letting go and taking a seat on the edge of the bed so she could remove her shoes

 

“Right” Clarke nodded herself; her response was almost automatic as Lexa saw her brain ticking away behind her eyes

 

“What’s wrong?” Lexa questioned, cocking her eyebrow in confusion

 

“No, nothing” Clarke responded quickly with a frantic shake of her head , looking down to her hands in front of her before her eyes held the brunette’s once more “You and I kind of happened pretty quickly, I definitely wasn’t expecting this”

 

“Either was I” Lexa added quietly “Has something changed?”

 

“No” Clarke said taking a step towards Lexa quickly so she could be in front of her while the soldier sat on her bed “Not at all but I was just thinking today how I never thought I would experience this feeling again with…for someone and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about what was going to happen tomorrow night”

 

“I know”

 

“I wasn’t expecting any help when I saw your cars driving past when you found me, I was kind of expecting to die that day” Clarke admitted quietly as she rested her hands on Lexa’s shoulders “I wasn’t expecting you guys to be decent people but you’re some of the best I have ever met. I just want you to know before we get all caught up in what is going to happen tomorrow that I don’t take this for granted, I don’t take what you did for me for granted and I don’t take how I feel about you for granted because I never expected this to be so strong”

 

“How quickly is too quick to feel like this in the post-apocalyptic world?” Lexa asked with a shaky tone, her hands reaching to take Clarke’s waist

 

“I don’t think there’s such a thing now if it feels right” Clarke replied, her voice just above a whisper as she moved to kneel on the bed with her legs either side of Lexa to be straddling her lap “I just get scared of how you make me feel sometimes since it did happen so quickly and because I know how suddenly it can get taken away”

 

“We aren’t really rich with time these days” Lexa joked quietly as her hands stayed gripped on Clarke’s waist, feeling something stir deep within her chest as she kept her eyes locked on the blonde’s blue ones

 

“But it wasn’t the zombie apocalypse that made me feel this way about you or made me feel as much as I do as quickly as I did” Clarke countered with a shake of her head “It was just you and I know this is all kinds of cheesy but I’ve kind of learnt the hard way that you have to tell people how you feel because you don’t know what the next day is going to bring or if you’ll get another chance”

 

“You’re right” Lexa responded, moving one of her hands to hold the side of her face gently so she could bring Clarke’s lips just inches from her own

 

“What I am trying to say is that I don’t want to waste tonight with you” Clarke shook her head as her eyes glanced down to Lexa’s lips as she spoke “And I know the smart thing is probably to just sleep but…”

 

Before Clarke could finish her sentence she was cut off by the brunette kissing her urgently, her hand on the blonde’s waist moving to the small of her back to press their bodies as close as possible from the position they were in. She instantly felt Clarke’s hands shifting from her shoulders to cup both sides of her face gently, holding her in place even though Lexa had no plans of going anywhere from her current position. Lexa sighed deeply as she sucked on Clarke’s bottom lip gently as their lips moved together completely in sync; as if they were sharing the same thoughts at that time. Her chest felt as if it were about to explode, the butterflies in her stomach forming a stirring feeling within herself as she gripped Clarke’s shirt on the small of her back tightly.

 

She felt Clarke pushing against her body to try and lay the brunette down but this only caused her to smirk into the blonde’s lips; using her core to keep her upright and playfully frustrating the other girl. Clarke nipped at Lexa’s lip harmlessly with her teeth, causing a shudder to ripple through the soldier’s body before she quickly turned the tables so that Clarke was the one who ended up with her back against the bed and Lexa on top of her.

 

The blonde wrapped her legs around Lexa’s waist, holding her body down close to her own to ensure there was no break in contact between them even though she knew that Lexa wasn’t going to pull away. They had been building to this, since the day they had met they had been building to that moment but it was more than physical between the two girls and the time they took to figure it out was proof of that. Lexa scooted them up the bed slightly, breaking from Clarke’s lips only to kiss a warm spot on the blonde’s neck just under her jaw line; smiling against her warm skin as she felt the other girl move her neck to give the soldier better access to the area. She move to suck on her pulse point very gently, dragging her teeth lightly against her exposed neck but feeling the blonde withdraw slightly with a quiet chuckle.

 

“No biting allowed in the zombie apocalypse” Clarke muttered breathlessly, playfully swatting Lexa on the shoulder before she used her other hand to pull Lexa back to her lips and pressing their lips together once more delicately

 

“Sorry” Lexa mumbled into the kiss with a shake of her head before pulling away suddenly but keeping their faces close “You were biting me on the lip before”

 

“Hardly” Clarke laughed with a shake of her head leaning up to try and continue the kiss, only having Lexa withdraw further with that same smirk playing on her features “Okay, no biting me then”

 

“I don’t like double standards” Lexa responded playfully as her eyes flickered between Clarke’s lips once more and her blue eyes that were shining with happiness and vulnerability all at the same time.  There was something so raw and so genuine about the blonde that Lexa couldn’t deny, something that made her attracted to her as if she actually were made of thousands of little magnets; something that was so rare in the world even before the outbreak “Would it be cliché right now if I told you how beautiful I think you are?”

 

“Yes, extremely” Clarke chuckled with a soft smile “But we seem to be running with the cheesy theme tonight so thank you”

 

Lexa couldn’t help but pause as she watched Clarke’s expression change to a somewhat awkward grin as the brunette continued to stare at her with a look of softness and almost astonishment. The solider muttered a quiet apology before claiming Clarke’s lips as her own once more but trying to move as slowly as she possibly could because she knew that once they woke up entangled in each other the next morning they were going to have to separate and begin their preparations for their mission. There was a chance that it was going to be the only time she would ever share this intimacy with Clarke so she was going to make sure they took it slow and savored every waking moment of it.

 

---

 

Lexa caught herself thinking about the previous as she sat in the back seat of the lead car with Indra driving and Clarke navigating. She was looking out the window into the blackness of the night as she contemplated what was about to happen and tried to manage her own nerves so she could manage any nerves of her extended squad as well. She smiled herself as she caught Clarke’s reflection in the window as she looked outward, remembering the moments from last night that would stay with her for a long time. Her notebook rested in her lap, peering down to the number ‘708’ that she had written moments ago and wondering whether she would find the time to write ‘709’ later or even be alive to do so.

 

After gathering their supplies before sunset, reloading all weapons and receiving a very detailed brief from Lexa, the group left from the side of The Ark before making their way to the vehicles in the cover of darkness. It had been a painfully long drive, the five hours feeling like they dragged forever but thankfully they came across no major roadblocks or obstacles to set them back. The solider tapped her new pen against her old notebook, silently hoping for luck to continue to be on their side that night because even though they had a plan she was always aware that things could change within the blink of an eye.

 

“Commander we’re approaching our rendezvous point” Clarke said glancing back to Lexa whose attention was captured immediately “Half a mile”

 

Lexa wasn’t in the frame of mind to come back to Clarke with a witty response to her formality, only nodding as she met her blue eyes before bringing the walkie up to her mouth to speak “Car two and three we’re just under a klick away from rendezvous point, follow our lead when we pull over”


"You got it” Bellamy responded, hearing Raven question loudly in the background why Lexa couldn’t just say half a mile before receiving a confirmation from Lincoln on the other radio

 

“We made it here pretty quickly” Indra said as she looked back into the revision mirror through the darkness of the car

 

“Hopefully we can make it back pretty quickly then” Lexa mumbled more to herself than anything as she closed the notebook on her lap and tucking it deep into her pocket along with her pen as she looked out the window once more

 

She stayed silent until they arrived, giving herself a moment to think before she stepped out of the car to join her group as they checked their weapons and grabbed any supplies they might need to before they broke off.

 

“So Lincoln will break off now and find a place to spot from” Lexa explained quietly in the middle of the group “Clarke has said there is some higher ground east from here that should be a good place for you to start”

 

“Understood” Lincoln said with a clenched jaw as rolled his neck to try and shake out any anxiety he was feeling as he pulled the strap of his sniper attached to his back

 

“Make those shots count” Bellamy said turning to the soldier “That thing has been known to jam ever since we found it so make it count”

 

“I’m not going to fail” Lincoln muttered with his jaw still clenched

 

“No one is going to fail anyone” Lexa added as she looked around the group “We can’t fail, if we fail then we die and I don’t want to die tonight. Any last questions?”

 

No one said a word; they were either too focused, too anxious or just too quiet but no one said a thing to the brunette as she looked around her now extended squad with a nod.

 

“If you are split from the group at any point then fight your way out and come back here or go to the rendezvous point that Indra and I will meet the rest of you at” Lexa said taking a step backwards from the group and towards the direction they were about to start heading to before turning on her heel “We’re not going to have long so we need to move”

 

Lincoln soon broke off from the group, receiving a hug from all of Lexa’s squad and a kiss from Octavia that brought a small smile to everyone’s faces. They began to walk carefully and silently in formation as they moved away from the compound into the limited tree cover in order to get around the perimeter safely before they were to cut back in so they could reach the back entrance. Lexa kept her gun close to her side and Clarke even closer to her other side, unwilling to allow the blonde to move away from her while she could still have the other girl beside her. The comfort any accidental or purposeful contact provided was invaluable to Lexa’s frame of mind which she knew she was going to have to suppress once they were inside the walls of the other compound.

 

Lexa was a hardened soldier, she had a killer instinct but her ability to keep her humanity was something that separated her from what she considered to be the bad guys, it was what separated her from the infected; but she knew her best chance was to try and switch it off for that time.  She wouldn’t allow herself any hesitations; she wouldn’t allow herself any doubts because she knew if one of their people had a shot at her, they would take it so she would need to do the same. Lexa didn’t enjoy taking lives but she was very aware of the fact and hoped that everyone else was as well that it was certainly kill or be killed and any mercy shown on those who intended to hurt them would have them punished.

 

Lexa held her fist up in beside her head as she heard movement in the distance. She could hear moaning on at least two infected up ahead, pulling out her hunting knife as she looked to Nyko and Indra; signalling for them to come with her but for the rest to stay for the moment. Her two squad members followed her closely through the darkness, stopping them as they spotted three infected walking slowly towards them. Lexa pulled out her knife, approaching the infected with gritted teeth before putting it down with a quick blow to the head and hearing her fellow squad-mates dispose of the other two easily.

 

The three soldiers wasted no time getting back to their group and Clarke soon signaled it was time to cut in to make their final approach into the compound. Almost halfway into their walk towards the compound her radio that was attached to her belt crackled lightly twice, Lincoln signalling he was in place and was ready when she gave the signal. Lexa held her gun tightly in front of her, aiming at any sound she may have heard as she still walked directly beside Clarke who was leading the way. Her heart was pounding out of her chest as they made their approach, Lexa knowing she was going to have to make the call very soon to Lincoln and then there was absolutely no turning back for them.

 

The brunette paused as she heard something once more, grabbing a fistful of Clarke’s shirt on her back to stop her from moving any further as the compound wall came into view. She signaled for the rest of the group to stop moving once more as they heard movement all around them, the sounds of footsteps against leaves and snapping branches filling the silence when a fog light switched directly onto them from the wall; causing Lexa’s stomach to drop as the light illuminated a dozen armed community members surrounding the group.

 

The group raised their guns to aim, shifting into a circle to that their backs were all facing towards each other but they were outnumbered and by the looks of it they were outgunned too.

 

“Don’t shoot!” They heard a loud voice yell from the darkness as a man emerged into the illuminated area, stepping through the gun wielding community residents and approaching the extended squad “Don’t shoot or you’ll all die and you know that. Put your guns down, I just want to talk”

 

“Who are you?” Lexa asked as she kept her gun trained between his eyes but he continued to approach her, Nyko breaking formation to stand in front of Lexa protectively

 

“My name is Lieutenant Carl Emerson and I’m here to talk” He said with his hands up by his head “And I would appreciate it if you put your guns down too”

 

“We’re not going to do that” Lexa shook her head as she re-wrapped her fingers around her gun, holding it steadily

 

“We knew you were coming” Carl said as he watched Lexa intently “We let you get this far because we needed to talk to you, if we wanted to we would have killed you already”

 

“You’ve been watching us” Lexa responded evenly “That’s not a surprise to any of us”

 

“We didn’t know you were coming tonight because we were watching you, to your credit you probably would have succeeded if we didn’t know. We have been keeping an eye on your movements, your rotations but you’ve made some smart moves to get you here” He admitted seriously “We knew you were coming because your council made a deal with us”

 

“What?” Lexa asked as her mind began to spin hearing the words he had just spoken, turning to Clarke who looked just as shocked as she did before her eyes shifted back to Carl

 

“You’re lying, we did no such thing” Clarke snapped as she held her aim

 

“We would know about it” Bellamy added

 

“We had someone approach your leaders Thelonious Jaha, Abby Griffin and Marcus Kane and just late last night we reached a deal” He nodded with a small smile as he clasped his hands together in front of him “They were pretty reluctant but I think they realized it was for the best after we had a good talk to them, they realized they could do what is best for their people by working with us rather than against us”

 

“What was the deal?” Lexa asked with wide eyes

 

“It’s more of an exchange than anything and some of you should be happy we made this deal or all of you would be dead by now, especially you considering the trouble you caused us last time we saw you” Carl said calmly as he glanced to Clarke who still had her gun aimed firmly at him “We’re going to give you your people back that we have in our community so you’re going to go back to The Ark and you’re not going to come back. We’re not going to bother you anymore and we’re not going to take your people any longer provided you keep your end of the deal and stay away from here, ensuring the safety of your community”

 

“What’s the exchange?” Octavia asked quickly

 

“Your leaders have made the exchange for the military personnel among you that killed 6 of our men, including the President’s son whilst you were on the road and on the way to The Ark” Carl spoke calmly in an even voice “I understand that there were seven of you at the time but we were made aware by your council that there only five of you left. Don’t try and say that you’ve only got four because your council also made us aware of your plan so we have another group searching for your other squad member right now”

 

“My mom would never agree to this” Clarke said with gritted teeth “Our people would never do this”

 

“They have done a great thing for you all, for your whole community. They’ve saved the people they loved and have ensured the safety of your community from a very big threat” Carl shook his head “What they did was smart and I think everyone here knows that”

 

“If you think we are going to leave Lexa and her squad here then you have another thing coming” Clarke warned as her arms held firm, her aim staying fixed directly at the man in front of them “Now back away before I make you back away”

 

“Clarke” Lexa warned quietly as she could only stare at the man in front of her, they had been completely sold out by people she was beginning to trust and she couldn’t think of any way around it. That was what she got for depending on someone else, that was what she got for trusting another group and everything that was about to happen was all on her “How do you know we killed six of your men?”

 

“We aren’t negotiating, that has already been done” He shook his head as he took a step towards Lexa “But we always send two groups of people out at a time, I was with the other one and we saw you putting bullets through Cage Wallace’s chest as he talked with you when you had Clarke hiding in the back of that truck”

 

“So take me, you know I’m the one who killed him” Lexa responded as she reluctantly put her gun down “Take me instead seeing as I’m the one who did it”

 

“The rest of your squad fired bullets too and that was the deal that The Ark council made” Carl denied firmly “Now drop your weapons because as soon as you do I’m bringing your people out and we’re making the exchange”

 

“We’re not letting you just take them” Clarke retorted with a shake of her head “That’s not going to happen”

 

Carl sighed heavily, bringing his hands to rub his jaw in frustration before he moved quickly to pull his gun out and fired a bullet directly into Nyko’s head. Screamed filled the dark night as Nyko dropped dead to the ground, his blood splattering on Lexa as she could only watch on in complete shock while her world crumbled apart in front of her. Her entire body just fell into a numbness as his body hit the floor with a thud, she couldn’t feel anything and knowing that she had to take responsibility for what had just happened but not yet being able to fathom that he was just gone. She knew if she was still alive later it would hit her but as quickly as the pull of a trigger, a life of someone she cared dearly about had ended; all because of her actions and because of people she was supposed to trust.

 

“Nyko!” Indra exclaimed as she rushed to his side but he was clearly gone before he hit the ground in front of Lexa

 

“And your exemption runs out if you don’t take your people out of here and leave now” Carl added as he moved to hold his gun against Clarke’s forehead

 

“We’re not leaving them” Clarke spoke defiantly but her voice shaky considering the gun metal that was pressed firmly into her forehead

 

“Yes you are” Lexa spoke quietly as she looked down at Nyko’s body by her feet, eyes locking on at a crouching Indra who had her shaking hand over her mouth “You’re going to take your people and you’re going to leave here”

 

“We’re not going anywhere” Raven exclaimed as she looked around at the people surrounding them “We can take them, you know we can”

 

“One last chance or I pull the trigger” Carl warned seriously

 

“Just leave” Lexa exclaimed angrily as she turned to the group “It’s stupid for all of you to die too when it’s unnecessary, just take your people and go

 

Carl lowered his gun from Clarke’s head with a nod, taking a step back and raising his hand to signal something to his people before Lexa saw the five Ark members emerge with black bags over their heads, struggling with their arms behind them.

 

“Lexa” Clarke muttered quietly as she turned to the other girl

 

“Just go, Clarke” Lexa said with a quiet sigh as she admitted defeat within herself for that moment

 

She wanted to fight, she wanted to shoot Carl Emerson in front of her but she knew if she moved then they would all die and the smartest thing for her to do right now was to agree to the exchange so she could try to find an out for herself and her squad. Lexa took a step into the blonde to press her body into Clarke’s quickly, subtly taking her walkie from her belt to tuck into Clarke’s pocket in the hope that the blonde would know that she needed to order Lincoln to get away from where he was once they were clear of the compound. If Clarke could give Lincoln a warning then he stood a chance at getting away, he stood a chance of not suffering the same fate as them.

 

“What am I supposed to do?” Clarke asked shakily “You and me, right?”

 

“Take your people back to The Ark where they are safe, that’s all you can do”

 

“They sold you out, I can’t forgive them for that” Clarke replied kitting her eyebrows together “I can’t go back there”

 

“I’m not really sure you have a choice” Lexa said as her head dropped to look at Nyko’s dead body next to her once more before she locked eyes with the blonde “Go, take your people and go”

 

“Your weapons on the floor” Carl demanded as the community members began to move in closer, grabbing the two other remaining squad members by the arms and tugging them to the front of the group where Lexa was standing


The brunette gave Lexa one last look before sighing with a nod, turning around to face Carl; looking at all the guns pointed at their faces as she pulled the strap of her rifle over her shoulder to place it on the ground in front of her. She reached for her pistol and placed it next to her rifle but pulled her shirt down past her hunting knife subtly, hoping that they wouldn’t see the knife under her loose fitting button up shirt she had thankfully changed into for this mission. She swallowed thickly, nodding for her fellow squad members to do the same as they looked to her with tears in their eyes at the loss of Nyko and confusion of what exactly was going to happen.

 

“We’re going to kill you” Lexa said casually as she looked along the line of community members who were stone faced and pointing guns

 

“I’m not too sure you’re in a position to threaten” Carl spoke evenly as he nodded for the Ark people to have the bags on their heads removed; as they did they flinched from the brightness of the fog light shining down on them

 

“Jasper” Lexa heard Octavia call desperately to one of the boys in line

 

“You’re free to go” Carl nodded as he looked towards them, gesturing towards the rest of the group and they took a few large strides before they were reunited with their own people but no one wanted to celebrate, no one could be happy knowing what was going on “Put the bags on their heads”

 

“I’ll figure this out” Lexa said as she looked to Indra and Echo before darkness was forced upon them, the bag pulled roughly over their heads and their arms pushed harshly behind their backs as she felt a zip tie fastening them uncomfortably

 

“Let’s go” She heard Carl speak firmly as she was pulled with both arms roughly, knowing very well that she could be in the very final hours of her life as her arms were tugged roughly and the barrel of a gun pressed against her small of her back

 

They had been blindsided by the council, one of her squad had just been murdered in front of her and Lexa wasn’t too hopeful that she would survive the remainder of that night but she had to do the best she could to ensure the survival of what was left of her squad because everything that happened was on her. As much as she had to worry about herself and her squad, she was also a little concerned about what hell she figured Clarke was going to raise when she got back to The Ark knowing that her fellow council members had betrayed and sabotaged the entire mission.  She closed her eyes tightly in the cover of darkness as they were pulled further and further away from Clarke, from where she wanted to be. She could only hope that it wasn’t the last time she had ever seen the blonde but she couldn’t help but have the feeling that she had shared her last moments with the girl that had captured her heart so quickly.

 

Days since outbreak: 708
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: Unidentified Community, Doland, South Dakota

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 709
Survivors: Lexa, Indra, Lincoln, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: Unidentified Community, Doland, South Dakota

 

They had been blindsided, separated, handcuffed and defenselessly beaten in captivity but for some reason, Lexa was still alive. She sat in the corner of a darkened room, tasting her own blood in her mouth from her now busted lip with her arms bound together painfully behind her back as she leaned her head against the wall and her legs out in front of her. They had been in the community for a few hours now, they were separated immediately as soon as they entered the compound and Lexa figured that they were keeping her alive for some reason that she wasn’t aware of yet. The brunette wasn’t convinced she had a real shot at getting out of that place but if she was going to die then she was going to choose how she died and that meant not going down without a fight or without trying to drag a few of the community members with her.

 

She hoped Clarke had communicated to Lincoln in time, she hoped they were well on their way back to The Ark and to safety for their sake. Lexa knew she should have seen that coming, she shouldn’t have let those walls bring her guard down for even a moment but she made the mistake of trusting the council and it cost her dearly. She didn’t blame Clarke; she knew that if she had been aware of this plan she would have put a stop to it or at least told her about it but on the unlikely chance that she would ever see the Ark again; she would make sure to show them exactly how she felt. Lexa understood self-preservation, she understood that they had to look out for the best interest of their people but one of her squad members was just shot in front of her, the rest of them were facing mortal danger because the council decided to sell them down a river when they were pretending to support them.

 

Nyko’s death hadn’t quite hit her yet, she would either mourn him while alive once this was all over or she would simply join him wherever he may have been but she had a few scores to settle before she went anywhere else. She knew the sun would be rising outside very soon, so she knew her time was running out to try and think of a plan to get herself and her other two squad members out of the situation she was ultimately responsible for. Her head pounded as she looked up towards the dark ceiling while she shifted her arms behind her, the zip ties cutting into her skin as she tried to slip her hands out. These people were fairly inexperienced from Lexa’s observations, she knew that only Lieutenant Carl Emerson was military personnel and maybe a few others looked as if they actually knew how to carry a gun properly but otherwise they were inexperienced and unorganized. Her zip ties were loose enough for her to have a chance to slip through, they didn’t even check her for concealed weapons so hunting knife that was still in its sheath on her belt and she could see could partially see through the bag they had placed over her head on the way into the compound; she had to be patient about it but she knew if she found an opportunity she had to take it.

 

The brunette shifted her hands behind her, grimacing as she felt the zip tie cut into her skin further but persisted knowing that she was close enough to having her hands loosened. With a jerk her left hand slipped free from the zip tie, biting her cheek as she felt her skin slice further as her hand finally escaped the restraints, pulling off the zip tie completely and dropping it behind her. She brought her hands up to her face, seeing her bloody wrists in front of her before she stood in place with the help of the wall behind her. Lexa was injured, the community members hadn’t taken it easy on her when they beat her; they hadn’t been pleasant about the way they handled her when the first shoved her in the room but she was okay and she’d still be able to fight when the time came. She shuffled her way to the side of the room to a window that was protected by a set of metal bars, grabbing a hold of them and pulling herself up painfully to look out the window and notice that she was in a basement. The faint light of the early morning sun dimly illuminating her surroundings, noticing the compound was larger than she had expected and that she was located somewhere in the middle of the community by the looks of it.

 

She heard a door open, light streaming through the door and sounds of multiple footsteps approaching the stairs but from where she was positioned she couldn’t see the door, she could only see the end of the staircase. She quickly dropped back to the ground to sit down in the corner of the room once more, pulling her arms behind her and holding them in place.  She saw Carl Emerson’s legs before she saw the rest of him, pausing as he reached the bottom of the stairs with his eyebrows raised.

 

“I’m surprised you’re awake, you must be pretty tired”

 

“Is that your concern?” Lexa snapped, swallowing thickly

 

“You got yourself into this situation, you should have just left Clarke when we were looking for her. It would have been as easy as admitting you had her and none of this would have happened” Carl shrugged as he placed his hands on his hips “But you had to be the hero and now Nyko is dead because of you”

 

“I don’t regret what decision I made” Lexa responded quickly “I'm going to get out of here and I'm going to kill you”

 

“Well while you’re thinking of plans to overtake us alone, I thought I would bring you some company” Carl shrugged as he brought his hand up to his mouth to whistle “Your squad are a handful and we’re still looking for Lincoln, we’ve had a few close calls with him but he’s still out there. The President isn’t too concerned though because you’re the prize here”

 

“He got away?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow, a flicker of hope filling her chest

 

“Seems like it” Carl replied with a shrug once more as he looked up to the stairs as she heard more footsteps before the loud, startling sounds of an infected filled the room as three men struggled to walk down the infected with a bag over its head as it struggled against them “It gets a little lonely down here so we wanted to bring you someone to talk to, if you survive the rest of the morning the President wants to talk with you”

 

Lexa’s eyes widened as she recognized the boots straight away of the infected that was being pushed down the stairs, feeling an intense numbness take over her body as she was presented with the infected in front of her. They didn’t need to remove the bag for Lexa to know who it was, everything around her felt as if it had stopped moving; her body freezing upon the sight as the pulled the bag from the head of the infected and there stood Indra in front of her but it was just the shell of her body, the real Indra was gone. Her teeth snapped at her captors before they shoved her to the ground harshly and rushed to exit the room, closing the door of the basement as quickly as they had come down; leaving Lexa in the corner of the room with one of the people who had meant the most to her, who was now an infected.

 

Lexa managed to find her feet clumsily, using the wall once more to stand as Indra slowly stood to her feet, making a loud gurgling noise from within the back of her throat while she snapped her now yellow teeth towards the brunette.

 

“What did they do to you?” Lexa muttered hollowly as she watched Indra stumble towards her in the corner of the room “Indra, stay there”

 

The infected Indra obviously didn’t listen to Lexa’s weak warning and the brunette hadn’t expected it to work but she knew that Carl only brought Indra down there so that she would have no choice but to have to put her down if she wanted to survive. Indra reached Lexa and the brunette only kicked her harshly in the stomach, causing the infected to fall the ground once more as the brunette rushed to be on the other side of the room with a shake of her head; Lexa couldn’t process what was happening in front of her. She was overcome by debilitating shock, grief, fear, anger, depression, confusion and every other emotion that would surely break her down in a negative way because she knew in order to survive she was going to have to put Indra down but she didn’t know if she had it in herself to do it.

 

Indra stood to her feet again, rushing towards Lexa who just moved out of the way to kick her in the back causing her infected friend to fall to the ground once more. The brunette knew she couldn’t keep doing that and it was going to have to end either way soon but she wasn’t willing to make her decision yet. Lexa had lost her hope; Indra was dead, Echo would probably suffer the same fate and she didn’t know what they had in store for her but the brunette wasn’t too sure she wanted to find out. She couldn’t bear to look at Indra the way she was now, she knew that if Indra could talk she would be telling her to just get it over with; the real Indra was gone and all that was left was an infected shell of her body but Lexa just didn’t know if she could do it. Lexa  pulled out the hunting knife from it’s sheath with a shaky hand as she felt the unfamiliar sting of tears forming in her eyes, she hadn’t cried in a while because she never had time to cry but ironically when she realized that her time was now limited all she wanted to do was sit in the corner and let her tears flow.

 

Indra moved towards her once more and Lexa moved out the way once more to kick her in the back, sending her to the ground again but this time the brunette moved swiftly to kneel on Indra’s back, preventing her from moving. The soldier gritted her teeth as she looked down at her former squad-mate who snapped her teeth furiously and moaned angrily; closing her eyes tightly she mercifully took her hunting knife and pushed it through the infected’s temple and her thrashing instantly stopped.

 

Lexa withdrew the knife with a shaky hand, dropping it to the ground besides Indra’s now still body. She quickly collapsed down next to the body, placing her hands over her face as her shoulders began to shake violently in grief; tears openly flowing as she lay next to the dead body of someone she had truly cared about more than she had cared about herself yet she failed her. Lexa in that moment could only think of Indra, Gustus, Quint, Nyko, Costia and all of the other people she had failed, all of the people who were dead because of her and her decisions. 

 

“I’m sorry” Lexa muttered through her quiet sobs as she turned her head towards Indra’s body “Oh god, I’m so sorry”

 

She pushed herself backwards using her legs so that she was in the corner of the room once more, her eyes staying on Indra’s body as the hollowness in her chest slowly spread through her entire body. She leaned over to her side, throwing up any contents left in her stomach as she finally grasped the fact that not only was Nyko shot in the head directly in front of her but she just had to kill one of her squad mates who had become an infected. Whatever positivity she may had been harboring was gone, whatever spark of hope she had inside her had been smothered and whatever humanity she still had left inside of her was being stripped away until she was sure she would be left with nothing.

 

---

 

She didn’t know how long she sat there for just staring at Indra’s lifeless body in the middle of the room, her hunting knife still directly beside the body as she curled herself up in a ball in the very corner of the room, she wasn’t thinking straight. Light streamed through the small window above ground, the sun well and truly shining into the basement; the direct sunlight only hitting a very small portion of the ground. Lexa couldn’t process any constructive thoughts, she didn’t know how she was going to get out of this; she was expecting them to bring down an infected Echo the next time the door opened but thankfully she had been left alone since they had come down last. Lexa knew that she should get her hunting knife back, she should put her hands behind her back like they were still zip tied but she didn’t have the energy to pretend and she didn’t see the point. Her friends were dead and it was only a matter of time before they came to kill her as well and she had the council to thank for that.

 

As she heard the door of the basement open with a loud creak, she kept her eyes on Indra and not bothering to check who was coming down because she knew it was going to be Carl Emerson and she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of showing any emotion. She could see him standing at the base of the stairs in her peripheral vision with his hands on his hips, a quiet sigh leaving his mouth.

 

“I guess we should have checked you for concealed weapons” He said with an even tone

 

“I guess you should have” Lexa mumbled as her eyes glanced up to the man who stood there with a smirk

 

“Well seeing as you survived your morning President Wallace wants to see you” Carl said with a nod “So we’re going to need you to hold out your hands in front of you so we can zip-tie them again and I’m going to have to check you for any other concealed weapons”

 

“I’m not carrying anything else” Lexa responded with a small shrug

 

“You’re certainly in different spirits from when we first captured you” Carl said with raised eyebrows and a small smirk “What’s changed?”

 

“You turned my best friend into an infected and forced me to kill her” Lexa replied, tilting her head to the side as she watched the Lieutenant “And my guess is that you’re going to do the exact same to Echo so what is the point?”

 

“You have no idea what we have planned for you”

 

“Does it matter?” Lexa asked with a shake of her head “It all ends the same way”

 

“And how is that?” Carl questioned with a raised eyebrow as two community members hurried down the stairs to stop behind him; one with zip-ties and the other with the same bag in their hand as she had over her head when she was first taken in

 

Lexa sighed, not answering the question but dropping her eyes down to Indra once more and knowing that her memories now of the woman she so admired were going to be sabotaged by how she had last seen her. The armed community members approached her cautiously, throwing the bag over her head as if capturing a prized possession though Lexa didn’t even bother to try and resist them as she felt her hands being bound painfully in front of her once more before being pulled to her feet harshly.

 

As if she were in a trance she was lead without trouble a short distance through the community, happy to be out of the same room as Indra’s body and hoping it would be gone by the time she went back but she wasn’t holding her breath. She didn’t even know if she was going to be back in that room anyway or whether they were just going to get it over with and end it for her. Nyko and Indra’s death had worn Lexa down to the point where she didn’t know if she could return from the guilt that she felt could have been insurmountable; as if it could have all been too much and she was ready for it to just go away. She heard voices all around her as they pulled her through a street, being spotted by some community members who obviously knew what was going on which lead Lexa to believe that maybe they all weren’t so innocent after all.

 

Lexa was pulled into another house, dragged up a flight of stairs and shoved down onto an uncomfortable wooden chair before she felt a handcuff being attached to one of her wrists, guessing the other side was attached to the arm of the chair she had been seated in. The bag was pulled from her head as she caught sight of the older, grey haired man sitting across as desk from her with an emotionless expression and his hands clasped together as they rested on the desk.

 

“Hello Lexa” He said with a nod

 

Lexa didn’t respond to him verbally but she clenched her jaw upon the sight of the elderly man, wondering whether this was the man who was actually in charge because his gentle face didn’t seem to match the cruelty that the community had so readily displayed.

 

“She had a knife concealed so she killed her friend pretty easily” Carl Emerson said from behind her chair, Lexa glancing behind her momentarily to see him with his arms folded and looking directly ahead to his President

 

“It is a shame that we are meeting like this, you’re a natural born leader and you’re an extremely talented young lady. It would have been great to have you on board and on my side” The elder man noted with a nod “My name is President Dante Wallace; my son was the man you killed when they stopped you on the road looking for Clarke. Unfortunately that event is the whole reason why we are here today”

 

The brunette just looked at him as he watched her; taking in the sight of her wrists, blood spattered clothing and newly roughed up face. She could see that her silence was beginning to frustrate him already, his eyebrows bunching together in confusion of her muteness.

 

“You could have been an excellent addition to this place but my people need to see that I can be a strong leader for them, some are beginning to doubt me because of my age but I have kept them all alive for 600 plus days. We would have loved to have you and your squad here instead of you going to The Ark, we needed you more than they did” He said leaning back into his chair, his hands resting in his lap “It has to be an eye for an eye though now that we have you because that’s how things are run here”

 

“An eye for an eye?” Lexa spat angrily as she broke her silence, feeling her devastation quickly swing towards anger at his nonchalant statement “Your wannabe military leader shot my friend in the head directly in front of me; you turned one of my best friends into an infected so I would have to kill her and god knows what you have done to Echo”

 

“She speaks” He said with a small smile

 

“Your son deserved to die because he was trying to kill my squad and you were hunting after a girl you brought here against her will but I can still see we did the right thing by keeping her away from here” Lexa responded quickly and angrily “I shot him straight through the chest with my rifle three times because he was going to kill us”

 

“You know your friend Echo is fine right now, she is being guarded and is safe but if you don’t watch yourself when you talk to me then she is going to end up like Indra and Nyko” Dante threatened coolly

 

“Do you actually think what you are doing is just?” Lexa raised her eyebrows “Do you really think that holding people here, taking them from their communities is right? That testing the impossible on innocent people is okay?”

 

“We are working towards a cure because we will not accept that this way of life is permanent, unlike you we haven’t accepted defeat to this outbreak” Dante Wallace disputed quickly “We all have roles to play in finding that cure and that is theirs”

 

“So why don’t you try and test it on people who were already within your community?” Lexa asked as she felt a fight stirring within her once more as she stared across the table at a man who was so willing to throw away the lives away of those he didn’t care about but would kill people who attempted to defend those who he had wrongly captured

 

“Because these people have faith and hope in me, they are relying on me to keep them safe from this outbreak and to cure it so we can rebuild” Dante nodded firmly “We are talking about saving humanity here, Lexa. You can’t stand in the way of progress or you will get run over, this will happen and we will find this cure”

 

“You are delusional” Lexa said with knitted eyebrows as she looked back to Carl Emerson “You’re actually delusional”

 

“This new world forces you to make tough decisions, decisions that might not be moral but they are vital for your survival” Dante reasoned, his voice calming once more “You as a leader I would think you understand that more than most”

 

“I would never do what you’re doing” Lexa responded with a shake of her head

 

“From what I hear you were willing to come here and kill our innocents just to shut us down” Dante countered with a shrug “How are we different?”

 

“Because I felt the weight of my decision, you think you’re doing a noble thing”

 

“You are an outstanding leader, Lexa. From what I have heard you have overcome a lot that you ordinarily shouldn’t have overcome but you messed with the wrong people when you crossed us”

 

“I was defending Clarke who you kidnapped for a month and I returned her back to her community where she belonged” The brunette reasoned

 

“You should have given her up when you had the chance. If you had given her up then your entire squad would be in a different position right now rather than mostly dead. Who knows, maybe even Gustus and Quint would have been alive too should you have actually gone to Texas” Dante noted, keeping his face expressionless as he observed the surprise on Lexa’s face by his extended knowledge of her squad “I quite liked Clarke, I even had a soft spot for her until she broke out of here and caused the deaths of five of our people”

 

“She was innocent and you were hunting her like it was a game” Lexa argued through gritted teeth

 

“She killed five of my people”

 

“And how many people have you killed?” Lexa responded evenly “Or how many people have you had killed on your behalf?”

 

“I could ask you the same question” Dante countered instantly 

 

“What do you want from me?” Lexa asked shaking her head “If you’re so eager to kill me then why haven’t you done it yet? Why am I sitting here?”

 

“You took away the last family member I had in this world so I’m taking away those people you have left until it’s just you” Dante retorted venomously “Until it’s just you left with nothing to live for anymore so you understand how I felt when you killed Cage”

 

“I’m not left with nothing, i’ve still got a mission to complete and that’s why I came here in the first place” Lexa answered as she looked down to her hands, leaning as forward in her chair as she could manage

 

“You came here because the council asked you to” Carl Emerson said from behind Lexa “That’s why you are here”

 

“Actually I came here because I was going to kill you” Lexa retorted honestly as she looked towards Dante Wallace who squirmed uncomfortably in his chair

 

“You wouldn’t have been able to kill me, your morals are what separates us according to you” Dante responded, waving Lexa off dismissively “It’s why I’m sitting in my own office and why you’re in zip-ties and handcuffs. You’re a good person Lexa and I’m able to admit that for the right reasons, I might not be”

 

“Maybe there are no good people anymore, that’s just become very clear to me” Lexa said with a nod “There’s only survival and in order for me to survive, I’m going to have to kill you and anyone else in here who tries to stop me”

 

“If you understand survival than you would understand that you’re not going to make a miracle escape from here, you aren’t going to be rescued and you’re not going to see the outside world again” Carl interrupted once more from behind her “Your luck has run out now, Commander

 

“Actually Carl, Lexa is here because of survival” Dante began as he stood from his chair “We actually found you by chance, Carl here was on a scouting mission to try and find the people who killed my son when he came across you all walking towards The Ark. We had people monitoring that place, watching from separate sides of the walls and learning your rotations. We knew where your cars were so we left you a message, we knew someone would find the Ark Member that we unfortunately failed a trial on so we released him back to where he came from so you knew we were around. We just kept an eye on you and we waited until we thought of something good enough to get you outside and we did figure that you’d be coming after us sooner or later but we’re lucky we sent someone in when we did. You’re here because The Ark council realized that they ran the risk of being wiped out if you failed so when we came to them, we appealed to their sense of survival to give you up in exchange for peace. We were holding people vital to The Ark; a doctor, midwife, engineers and a police officer and they needed them back so they saw yet another reason to make the exchange"

 

Dante paused in the middle of his explanation, pressing his hands against his desk as he sighed quietly with a small shake of his head before continuing his words.

 

"Thelonious Jaha was a father too and understood loss in its rawest form like I do so he knew in order to protect what he had left in the world he voted to give you and your squad up so we would leave them alone. Carl himself was the one who brokered the deal the night before last while the rest of The Ark, yourself included I’m sure were sleeping. It actually took a lot less convincing than we thought it would so I’m not sure whether they actually had faith in your plan to take over this place. They had to ensure the survival of their people and we wanted to do the same so we came up with a solution that fit both parties. Survival doesn’t come without sacrifice or loss and unfortunately for you, you’re the ones who had to pay the price in this case”

 

“Why did you bring me in here and tell me all of that if you are just going to kill me?” Lexa questioned as she yanked her hand foolishly against the handcuff, as if trying to break out so she could reach Dante “Why are we having this conversation?”

 

“Because I’m not a savage; if I’m going to kill you then at least you’re going to know why” Dante said with a small nod, walking towards the window of the room and pushing the curtains open only to flinch at the harsh light against his eyes “At the very least I have given you some time to contemplate the the choices that lead you here”

 

“You honestly think you are righteous” Lexa responded disbelievingly with a shake of her head as she eyed Dante’s reaction to the light “Just to humour you here; what are you going to do if you find a cure for this outbreak? How are you going to distribute it?”

 

“We’ll take it to Washington” Carl Emerson announced confidently “We’ll get it to someone there and at the right price we’re going to manufacture it”

 

“Okay well first of all there is nothing in Washington but infected” Lexa glanced behind her to look directly at Carl “And second of all, what exactly is someone going to pay you with in order to get it? It's not like money has any value anymore”

 

“I don’t really think that is something you need to know” Dante said with a shake of his head as he closed the curtain and turned back to Lexa with a frown “There is something in Washington DC, we know that for a fact, we have only just had scouts return from there and by the looks of it; they are starting to form some kind of exclusion zone. After almost two years people are starting to fight back against this outbreak, against these creatures so we can stop people becoming them when they are bitten or scratched”

 

“Just when they are bitten or scratched?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow before she paused, the penny dropping very quickly within her mind “You don’t know, do you? You have been locked inside these walls that you don’t know. Has anyone died in here?”

 

“No one has died in here, that doesn’t happen inside these walls” Dante snapped with a hint of spite in his tone

 

“We’re all infected” Lexa looked back and forth between Dante and Carl with a small smirk on her face, finding some satisfaction in her truth “All of us turn into an infected even if we aren’t bitten or scratched when we die. Your son is probably walking around somewhere in Nebraska as an infected because he didn’t get shot in the head, this outbreak attacks…”

 

“I know exactly what it attacks, I’m the one curing it” Dante interrupted loudly, slamming his fist down against his desk before he paused and looked over Lexa’s shoulder “This talk has gone on long enough”

 

“You can’t cure what is already spread” Lexa said raising her eyebrows “You are killing people and trying to do something that you can’t cure because it’s already inside everyone, including you”

 

“We are very close to a cure, I can assure you that and it will stop the spread” Dante shook his head, sitting down in his chair as his chest heaved  

 

“You might try and hide in this house, behind these walls and willing to put everyone else in danger but yourself” Lexa responded seething at his ignorance “But these walls can’t keep out the imminent, they can’t prevent the unstoppable and the hard fact is that everything is different now. Nothing is the same as what it used to be and communities like this or The Ark are bound to fail one way or another because no one here has learnt to adapt to what is going on in the outside of the world. You can’t protect these people from the inevitable because in the first sign of panic they will turn on you and turn on each other. I mean that’s why I’m here, right? Because you want to prove a point to your people that you aren’t a push over?”

 

“You’re here because we believe in an eye for an eye, which is something we live by”

 

“So why are you still alive then after everything you have done?” Lexa asked furrowing her eyebrows “Because you kill anyone who stands in your way?”

 

“Is that not exactly what you said you were going to do only moments ago?” Dante questioned “That you were going to kill anyone who got in your way?”

 

“Survival is a confusing thing, morality gets lost and lines get blurred” Lexa stood from her chair, yanking on the handcuff against her wrist again “Maybe we aren’t so different, maybe I am the one lying to myself because I’ve done things I’m not proud of at times when I needed to protect my squad but I don’t kill someone and call it science to justify my actions. I will say it openly and I will admit it for what it actually is and killing for survival, any way that you look at it is murder but at least I can admit that. I’m going to kill you and then I’m going to wait until you turn into an infected just to prove my point before I kill you again”

 

“We’re done here” Dante said as more of a warning than anything before Lexa felt the bag being thrown over her head once more, pulled on much rougher than necessary before the cuff was taken off her and she was pulled to her feet

 

Lexa was quickly walked out of the house and was taken straight back to the same basement she had been held in only a short while ago. The room smelt even worse now that Lexa’s nose had experienced the fresh air and was now returning to a vent-less room that was storing the dead body of her friend and the small contents of her stomach she had lost earlier. She was walked down the stairs, pushed down to the ground as she reached the last step before the bag was taken off her head and thrown down next to her by Carl. He gave Indra’s body a look of disgust from the smell before he stomped his way back up the stairs and slammed the door behind him.

 

Her hunting knife was gone so she instantly regretted her stupid decision to leave it out but hearing Dante talk like he did; as if he were doing all he was for the greater good while Lexa knew he was doing it just because he could or because no one would stop him made something inside of her snap. Lexa was always taught to be the bigger person, when she was younger her grandmother would always tell her that one someone struck her cheek she was to turn the other so they could strike that one too but she never was too good at that. They had taken away her squad, they had taken away her hope, they had taken her sense of morality, and they had taken away her chance at a fresh start with Clarke until all she was left with was her chance for revenge. Dante Wallace was in over his head and Lexa could see that just from his worn and old exterior, he was hanging onto his power and influence because he knew the minute that his people saw his weakness then he would be gone so the young soldier was going to solve that for him.

 

First she was going to take away his protection in Carl Emerson, then he was going to take away his community and finally she was going to kill him. She didn’t know when or how but she was going to figure out a way because if she didn’t then she would be killed herself, meaning that Indra and Nyko died for nothing in that community. Lexa was proud of how she had kept her humanity and morality throughout the period of the outbreak so she could only hope that she could forgive herself for what she was going to have to do in order to keep herself alive.

 

There was no higher cause or morality to her motivations; Lexa was out for blood. 

 

Days since outbreak: 709
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: Unidentified Community, Doland, South Dakota

Chapter Text

Lexa opened her eyes with a quiet gasp as light streamed through the window, rousing her from her sleep and she stirred in her bed, stretching her arms out on front of her as she opened her eyes. She felt hot, as if she had been sweating, heat radiating from her body so she pushed the blanket off herself immediately. She rolled over to see Clarke next to her, awake with her eyes sparkling and a tired smile that brought a comfortable warmth to Lexa’s chest, all the while stirring those newly rediscovered butterflies within her stomach.

 

“Good morning” Clarke said huskily as she pulled up the sheet against her bare body tightly, reaching out to tuck a knotted strand of Lexa’s hair behind her ear “Did you sleep okay?”

 

“I slept like a baby” Lexa said with a small smile, turning her head to kiss Clarke’s palm after it had tucked her hair behind her ear “I don’t know if I can ever sleep alone anymore because I never have nightmares when you’re here”

 

“Well then I guess you and I are just going to have to make sure that doesn’t happen again” Clarke chuckled to herself, sighing quietly as she looked between the brunette’s eyes and lips “Are you ready for tonight?”

 

“Tonight?” Lexa raised an eyebrow

 

“Yeah” Clarke cocked an eyebrow “You know, leaving for the mission you planned to go and get my people back?”

 

“What? We haven’t gone yet?” Lexa asked as she propped her head up to rest on her palm, still facing Clarke as she eyed her sceptically

 

“No” Clarke shook her head slowly “Are you okay?”

 

“Clarke we’ve already been” Lexa shook her head as well “We’ve already gone and your council sold us out. They killed Nyko and killed Indra; they were going to kill Echo and I as well”

 

“Lexa, I think you did have a nightmare last night” Clarke responded quietly, stroking the brunette’s cheek with her thumb before joking lightly “And I hope you can’t see the future or anything because that sounds like the worst possible outcome”

 

“I…are you sure?” Lexa asked swallowing thickly “It seemed so real”

 

“Do your dreams usually feel real, though?” Clarke questioned gently

 

“Yes” Lexa answered truthfully as she brought her hand up to her face to rub her eyes roughly before falling back to lay on her back and look up at the ceiling “I was going to die, they were going to kill me”

 

“No one is going to die today” Clarke responded firmly as she shifted to rest her head to Lexa’s chest and wrapping her arm around the brunette’s waist “Your plan is great, it’s going to work”

 

“Would your council ever sell us out?” Lexa asked with a heavy sigh “Do you think they would actually do that?”

 

“No” Clarke said firmly “No, they wouldn’t do that”

 

“My dream just felt so real, it has to mean something” Lexa said shaking her head “It has to mean something”

 

“Well by the sounds of it I hope it doesn’t mean a thing at all” Clarke said cautiously before she lifted her head to press a kiss just under Lexa’s chin “You’re here, with me. When the sun sets we are going out the back of The Ark to the cars and we’re going to get my people back; we’re going to shut that place down”

 

“I need to go get some water, do you want me to bring you back some?” Lexa asked, kissing Clarke on the top of the head meaningfully as she inhaled the scent of the blonde’s shampoo “Though I definitely wish I didn’t have to get out of bed to get it”

 

“I would love some water if you are getting it please” Clarke nodded as she gave Lexa’s waist a squeeze before shifting off the other girl so she could reluctantly move

 

The brunette sat up in bed, quickly reaching for her shirt and pants, feeling the blonde scratching her nails playfully against her lower back as she dressed. She swatted Clarke’s hand away lazily, earning quiet laughter from the girl next to her before she stood from the bed and turned to walk backwards so she could keep her eyes on the blonde.

 

“What are you doing?” Clarke asked sitting up in the bed with the sheet to her chest but a grin on her face

 

“Are you sure I’m here?” Lexa asked as she slowly backed out the door, her eyes staying firmly fixed on Clarke

 

“You’re here with me” Clarke said with a soft expression “Now go get water so you can come back please”

 

“I will be right back” Lexa nodded, taking in the sight of the beautiful woman in front of her before finally turning around and making her way downstairs to the kitchen, pausing as she saw her squad cooking breakfast

 

“You okay Commander?” Nyko asked as he leaned by the stovetop, watching eggs as they cooked

 

“Nyko” Lexa said quietly before taking a few big strides to hug the oversized man with her seemingly small arms

 

“Good morning to you too” Nyko laughed as he pat the girl on the back gently

 

Lexa pulled away from the hug with a smile on her face, she knew it was uncharacteristic for her to be doing that but she didn’t care. She looked around at her squad and they were all watching her with a confused expression, wondering what was going on with their leader.

 

“Where’s Indra?” Lexa asked looking to Lincoln and Echo who were eating cereal at the kitchen table

 

“She just went out to get some bread but she’ll be back in a second” Echo shrugged with a smirk “Is Clarke upstairs?”

 

“Yes” Lexa said with a shrug “She slept here last night like she has for the past few nights”

 

“Well I don’t know how much sleep you got but okay” Echo replied jokingly, her face displaying how she was just waiting for a reaction from the other girl but it didn’t come

 

The reaction didn’t come because Indra had walked through the door with a fresh loaf of bread in her hands wrapped up in a towel only to have it squashed against her as Lexa rushed to hug the other woman tightly.

 

“Woah, what is going on?” Lincoln asked from the table “She is hugging everyone”

 

“She didn’t hug us” Echo shook her head “Thankfully because that is weird”

 

“Uh Commander?” Indra asked as she awkwardly stood in place with the bread still in her hands “I would be happy to hug you if you let me put the bread down but can I ask why you are doing this?”

 

“Sorry” Lexa said sheepishly as she stepped away from her friend but as soon as the now squashed bread was on the kitchen counter she hugged Indra tightly once more “I’m just glad you’re here”

 

“I went out for a second to get bread” Indra answered with a shake of her head but to humor her Commander she made sure to hug her back before stepping away from the brunette “Are you okay? Did something happen last night?”

 

“I just had a very realistic dream” Lexa said with a nod and a sigh “Are we all ready to leave tonight?”

 

“We are more than ready” Nyko nodded as he turned back to his pan

 

“Do we have anymore eggs?” Indra asked looking to Nyko who was facing away from her “Gustus is coming over for breakfast”

 

“Gustus?” Lexa asked taking a further step away from her friend

 

“He stayed in the other house last night” Indra replied with a small shrug “I saw him before and he said he would be right over”

 

“Gustus is dead” Lexa said quickly as she looked to her group “What are you talking about?”

 

“Lexa I don’t think you are okay” Echo said with a concerned frown “Did you eat something bad? Did you not get enough sleep?”

 

“Gustus is dead, you all know that” Lexa replied urgently

 

“He’s fine” Nyko said turning around to face Lexa once more

 

The brunette’s eyes widened in horror as she looked back to Nyko; his face and body now pale as well as blue. She heard a loud bang ring through the air as, looking out of the window to see that the light of the morning had been replaced by darkness. She turned towards the table only to find Lincoln and Echo gone but their cereal still sitting there while Nyko’s eggs in the pan were now catching fire.

 

Lexa’s eyes opened with a jolt, gasping for air and feeling the pain in her face; tasting her own blood once more in her dry mouth. The stench was unbearable, the light above her burning her eyes as she took in her surroundings only to realise that it hadn’t been a nightmare; she was still in the other community and Indra was still dead in front of her.

 

Days since outbreak: 710
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: Unidentified Community, Doland, South Dakota

 

She pushed herself further into the corner of the room, her hands still bound by two sets of zip-ties that were cutting into her wrists behind her back and she wondered how she had managed to fall asleep in the first place after trying so hard to stay awake. Carl Emerson had left her in the basement for the entire day with the still rotting body of her dead friend and waiting in fear to see whether they were going to bring Echo down to her in the same state. No one had come down to see her at all; they hadn’t given her water, which probably why she dreamed about needing water because she could hardly produce saliva to dampen her dry throat with the only moisture in her mouth being the blood from her lip when the cut tore again. They certainly hadn’t given her food, which she was actually happy about because she knew she wouldn’t be able to actually eat it considering her surroundings.

 

They had left the bright light on all night for her, not for her benefit but to try and keep her from sleep in the uncomfortable, foul smelling room. An old military tactic that Lexa rolled her eyes at because she had slept in much worse conditions but she was trying to will herself to stay awake just in case they were waiting to do something when she fell asleep. She wasn’t sure how they were going to try and kill her, Dante never made that one clear but she was expecting it and had been working on freeing herself once more. Lexa had been through a lot, she had seen a lot and had done a lot of things she wasn’t proud of; she could have given up and she could have let Indra kill her but for some reason Lexa still wanted to live. Although she was having pieces of her being ripped away little by little, something was holding her together and that was the chance of redemption; it was the chance of revenge.

 

Lexa paused as she heard a quiet pop outside, wondering if it had been a shot that had woken her up from her sleep but knowing the shot was only at an infected on the outside of the walls. She let her head rest against the wall behind her, hitting it against the brick wall gently a few times in frustration until she heard another quiet pop. Lexa pushed herself up to her feet sluggishly and made her way over to the barred window, trying to look outside but could see nothing that low to the ground in the pitch black. The brunette heard panicked movement upstairs before a loud explosion nearby filled the air. A flash of flames caught her attention outside before black smoke began lifting through the sky only down the street from where Lexa was being held; whatever was happening, she knew she could use the distraction to her advantage.

 

She pulled against the zip-ties, grimacing as she felt it cut deeper into her skin but tried to tighten them until she couldn’t move her hands at all. She was going to try something that she hadn’t been taught in basic training, she hadn’t been shown this by someone else in her squad or company but it was a video she had come across when she was bored one day at home and aimlessly wading her way through the internet. She lined her arms up square against the back of her hips before she pulled her arms back behind her as high as they could go as she heard a set of keys being dropped loudly in front of the basement door, bringing them down against her hips to snap the zip-tie’s from her hands. With wide eyes and a disbelief of that actually working, she quickly moved under the stairs hearing the door open and Carl Emerson curse loudly as he noticed Lexa wasn’t where he had left her.

 

Lexa watched intently at the wooden steps above her, wanting to charge at Carl but knowing she needed to wait for the right time so she could successfully make her move. She heard more chaos faintly from the outside; another explosion, screaming and increased gun fire when the lights cut. Lexa swallowed thickly as her eyes struggled to adjust to the darkness after hours of light, only the faintest of lights from the fire outside keeping her vision from being engulfed from pitch blackness. She heard the creak of the steps in front of her face, seeing Carl’s foot as her eyes began to adjust so she decided it was now or never and pulled on his shoe; causing him to fall only a few feet but it was enough for Lexa to even the playing field.

 

She quickly darted out from behind the staircase, rushing around to the base of the stairs where Carl Emerson was pulling himself to his feet to drive her shoulder into his ribs and hearing a sickly thud as the back of his head bounced off the brick wall behind him. He was dazed but he pushed Lexa off him, her feet tripping over Indra’s dead body and sending her to the floor but she was able to stagger back immediately to have Carl rush towards her and throw a heavy punch into her stomach. She doubled over, one knee falling to the ground as he stood in front of her reaching for something in his pocket but was stopped when Lexa pulled on his leg harshly which sent him directly onto the ground with his head bouncing once more onto the concrete of the floor.

 

Lexa heard increased yelling coming from the outside of the basement, hearing more and more gunfire as the seconds ticked by. She reached for Carl’s belt to grab his gun from his clipped holster but as soon as she got her hand to it she was kicked harshly in the chest, knocking the wind out of her and sending her to the ground. Carl pounced on Lexa to sit on her chest, wrapping his hands around her neck and began squeezing the life out of the young soldier’s body. Lexa gasped for air as she saw the veins popping out of the man’s neck above her, she brought her hands up to try and push him away but she was having trouble reaching him to do anything to help herself. He moved one hand from her neck to push the other away, Lexa’s eyes darting quickly beside her and noticing that she had pulled enough on his gun to loosen it from the holster. She reached out immediately, pulling it to hit him in the temple with the butt of the pistol and pushing him off her as he held the side of his head. Lexa shuffled herself as far away as she could from the man who was still on the ground holding his head, using her legs to push herself up against the wall as she gasped for air and held the pistol firmly aimed on Carl.

 

He looked up with his hand on the side of his head, his hardened expression fading as he saw Lexa with the gun pointed at him and his eyes widening while holding his other hand out in front of him.

 

“You don’t understand” Carl said quickly “What we are going here is trying to find a cure, we are doing it for the survival of the human race”

 

“People sure change their tune when a gun is pointed at them” Lexa muttered sharply, her throat burning as she spoke

 

“Just…let me show you” Carl begged as he stood slowly to his feet “We are close, the closest we have ever been but you need to call your people off. Call them off and we will let you go, you have my absolute word”

 

“My people?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow as she gritted her teeth “You’ve killed my people”

 

“The Ark people you came here with, they're the ones doing it” Carl corrected himself with a shake of his head, Lexa hearing yelling directly above her in the house “Please, call them off and we will let you go”

 

“You were going to kill me” Lexa shook her head in confusion, not really processing the fact that people had come back to seemingly rescue them before pointing down to Indra “You killed my friends and you turned one of them into that”

 

“I know, we got carried away and it was wrong but you don’t understand” Carl said bringing both hands out in front of himself “I am sorry, okay? Is that what you want me to say? That I’m sorry?”

 

“Does sorry bring my friends back?”

 

“Does killing me?” Carl questioned quickly

 

“Does that matter?” Lexa snapped

 

“Please, I have a family in here” Carl begged once more “I have a kid that I have to go make sure is okay”

 

“Well I had a family too” Lexa responded in an emotionless tone before exhaling shakily and pulling the trigger four times quickly directly into Carl’s chest. He fell backwards to the floor, his body next to Indra but still alive as he gasped for air, blood leaking from his mouth as he clung to life momentarily and Lexa took a few steps towards him with a still stone cold expression “And now I don’t because of you

 

She fired one more shot into his head, it was overboard and she didn’t need to do it but she also didn’t want him turning into an infected. She scared herself as she almost felt joy looking down to the man who had shot Nyko in the head and turned Indra into an infected. Further noise from above her pulled her from the dark place she had entered, leaving her to grab her hunting knife from his belt and placing it back in its rightful place on her own before starting her slow ascent up the stairs.

 

The house was dark but she could hear movement as soon as she reached the top of the stairs. She moved quietly towards the front door as she heard it close, whoever was inside had decided to leave and as soon as she looked out the window she could understand why. All Lexa could see was fire, chaos and infected tearing through the community that she didn’t recognise through the darkness. She pushed the blinds closed to avoid detection, wondering how she was going to get herself through that destruction to find Dante Wallace’s house; unable to let herself leave before finishing what she had started. Lexa felt a hand tug on her shoulder firmly, spinning her around and startling the brunette so much that she quickly grabbed the hand and pushed the person attached to it against the wall with her forearm now jammed against their neck tightly. The only thing that stopped her from pulling out her hunting knife was the dim light the fires caused outside, the flames reflecting against the blue eyes like she had seen so many times before; like she never thought she would see again.

 

It was Clarke.

 

Lexa immediately removed her arm from her neck to pull the blonde into a tight hug, holding her close as she felt her body shake in complete shock of seeing the blonde in front of her and being able to touch her once again. She felt Clarke loop her arms around her neck tightly, pressing frantic kisses into the brunette’s neck before pulling her head back so she could look Lexa in the eyes.

 

“I’m so glad you’re alive” Clarke said as she checked over Lexa’s face gently “Are you okay?”

 

“What are you doing back here, Clarke?” Lexa asked shaking her head in confusion “You were safe”

 

“We would have come sooner but we had to go back and get anyone who was willing to help, we needed more weapons. I’m sorry it took us so long” Clarke responded quickly “We have to get you and Indra out of here, we found Echo with the other prisoners by their labs. She let them go and we’re pulling whoever we have left out to meet at the rendezvous point we originally planned. We have to go to the point where you and Indra were meeting”

 

“Is Lincoln with you?” Lexa questioned quietly, her hands shaking by her side as she dropped them from Clarke’s body but keeping a firm grip on Carl Emerson’s pistol

 

“I got him on the walkie when we left you here, he’s fine and helping” Clarke nodded as she reached out to run her thumb gently over Lexa’s cut lip and apologizing quietly when the other girl recoiled from pain “Have you seen Indra since you were taken? Is she near here?”

 

“She’s dead” Lexa said suddenly but evenly “They had an infected bite her and she turned so I would have to kill her, she’s dead down there in the basement”

 

“Oh god” Clarke said with a furrowed brow “You had to kill her?”

 

“I had to kill the infected, she was already dead when they brought her to me” Lexa responded with a quick shake of her head “Where is Dante Wallace’s house?”

 

“He’s probably gone by now, Lexa”

 

“He will be exactly where I said he would be because he doesn’t have the guts or the heart to leave this place” Lexa replied with a shake of her head as she took a step backwards from Clarke “Where is his house?”

 

“Lexa we have to go, we practically let a horde of zombies loose on this place after setting fire to everything we could” Clarke said urgently as she placed a firm hand on Lexa’s shoulder “We have your weapons, we got a hold of those from the armory but we have to get you out of here now”

 

“If we leave him here he will just rebuild somewhere else” Lexa protested shaking her head once more “He will just do this all over again”

 

“I think we’ve broken him enough to stop that from happening” Clarke replied as she ducked her head to try and recapture Lexa’s eye contact “Carl is probably with him anyway so we should just go”

 

“Carl is dead in the basement too” Lexa countered, her eyes meeting Clarke’s as the blonde flinched subtly as her statement “I told him I would kill him, so I did”

 

“Lexa killing people isn’t going to bring Indra or Nyko back” Clarke said firmly, raising her hand once more to cup the brunette’s cheek gently “Killing someone won’t make you feel better, that isn’t who you are”

 

“Maybe not” Lexa said after a moment’s pause, leaning in to place a lingering kiss on Clarke’s cheek “But I can’t live with myself if I don’t do this. You’ve seen the horrible things he’s done, I’ve heard the horrible words that have come out of his mouth and I can’t live with myself if I just leave him here alive”

 

“I don’t know where he is but you’re alive and if he stays then he won’t be” Clarke said urgently “You’re alive and that’s all that matters to me so let’s get out of here”

 

“I will meet you outside” Lexa shook her head

 

“Then I’m going with” Clarke replied with a sigh, her eyes searching Lexa’s for any sign of her old self “I literally just found you so I’m not letting you out of my sight until you are out of here together, this is all my fault after all”

 

“Do you really not know where he lives?” Lexa asked as she looked around the room quickly before her eyes fell back to the blonde

 

“I have an idea but I don’t know which house exactly” Clarke responded seriously “I was always blindfolded as well when I went there”

 

“Okay” Lexa nodded “Can you please show me where you think it is?”

 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Clarke asked cautiously “I know you said you can’t live with yourself if you leave him here but are you sure you can live with yourself after you do what you’re about to? After you have time to think about all of this and it all hits you?”

 

“I’m sure” Lexa responded simply

 

Clarke sighed again, searching Lexa’s eyes once more before nodding to herself and grabbing the brunette’s hand to tug her out the back door of the house. She pushed the door open quickly, shooting an infected as soon as she stepped out the door and Lexa followed closely behind as she kept her eyes peeled for any immediate dangers that Clarke didn’t have covered. If Lexa would have had time she would have stopped to look at the community that was literally a war zone. There were infected crawling through the place, fires lit, people screaming to the point where Lexa almost felt as if she was back in the containment zone at the very beginning of the outbreak. Lexa could have left if she wanted to, the area was completely destroyed and there was no way they could rebuild but the brunette wanted her final revenge against the man who had orchestrated everything without leaving the comfort of his home. She wanted revenge for herself, her squad but the more she thought about it the more she wanted revenge for every other person who had to experience the horrors that Lexa thankfully hadn’t been subjected to yet; she couldn’t bring herself to call it justice because that’s not what it was. She knew within herself that there was no justice anymore in the new world, justice had dissolved with everything else; she would call it exactly what it was and that was revenge.

 

Lexa shot down an infected that rushed up towards Clarke, feeling her protectiveness over the girl kick in once more; knowing that if she lost the blonde it would be too much for her to cope with. Clarke lead them through the street, shooting down anything that stood in their way whether that be people who tried firing at them or infected who tried to hunt them. Most people had fled by the time Clarke pushed into the house of whom she thought the owner was Dante Wallace. Lexa paused at the base of the stairs in the lounge room, exhaling deeply before turning back to the blonde who was looking at her intently.

 

“Don’t do anything stupid to get yourself hurt, I’m not leaving here without you” Clarke warned weakly "I don't care about anything else in here, I just care about you"

 

“You and me” Lexa said quietly with a small nod, her cut lip aching as she attempted to give the other girl the tiniest of smiles and reaching to squeeze her hand before heading up the stairs quickly

 

The solider searched through the house until she reached the only closed door, ghosting her hand over the door handle before opening it swiftly, pushing it with all the force she could muster and holding the pistol out in front of her as it found Dante Wallace sitting at his desk with a gun sitting in front of him and a drink in his hands.

 

“Looks like your original plan worked huh?” Dante said with a nod as he looked down to his gun, Lexa’s eyes also drawn to the pistol within his reach “I don’t want to shoot you, I’m not going to”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because I want to live and I think the best way for me to do that is to try and talk to you rather than try and fight you” Dante said with a shrug and a brief nod

 

“Carl Emerson tried to fight me and that ended with me putting five bullets into him” Lexa responded, closing the door behind her but keeping her eyes on the pistol on the desk “I put him out of his misery though and for some reason I prevented him from turning into an infected”

 

“You did that’s because you are a good person” Dante answered with a nod “Which is why you are going to let me live, I’ve learnt my lesson here”

 

“You’ve learnt your lesson here? So after all of the murder you have committed, I should just leave you and it's okay because you've learnt your lesson?” Lexa shook her head as she approached the desk slowly, her shaky hands trying to steady as she kept her aim fixed on the man in front of her “You won’t stop until you get what you want”

 

“All I want to do is cure this outbreak” Dante said raising his eyebrows “Can you live with yourself knowing you killed the person who had the chance of putting a stop to all of this?”

 

“All I want is to have my friends back but we both know that isn’t going to happen” Lexa mumbled, quickly reaching for the gun on the desk to place in her empty holster without any movement from Dante “You can’t cure this and even if you can people can’t go back to what they were before, there is no way society can ever get back to what it was because we are all scarred in one way or another. Even if you could cure this, you have proved to me that people have completely lost it and can’t come back from them”

 

“People want order and they want rules, they will jump at the chance to have their old lives back after they have lived through this” Dante urged with a frantic nod “The only people who have survived this far are the strongest, can you imagine what kind of a new society we could build with only the strongest?”

 

“I just don’t think it works like that because there are people like you out there who think they are doing the right thing when really all you are doing is murdering and kidnapping” Lexa responded re-gripping her gun in her hands

 

“You probably think you are doing the right thing too and you’re murdering” Dante countered

 

“To stop you from going somewhere else and doing this all over again” Lexa replied quickly

 

“Lexa I built this place because I made a promise to my wife that I would build a better way of life than what was out there and I would help people. I admit, I have strayed off that path and I’ve done wrong but we all have slipped up and made mistakes” Dante said as he brought his hand to his face “Maybe what I have been doing is wrong but I have been trying hard to fix this problem, I have been working tirelessly to try and make this place a better world. I’ve probably done more harm than good but everyone deserves a second chance, right? If you let me live I will leave here and I won’t come back, I will go to Washington and I will take my findings there so I can do this the right way. I have nothing left, you have taken it all from me and I guess seeing that happen before my very eyes has made me realise that I have gone about it the wrong way”

 

“You are miraculously figuring that out now?” Lexa asked curiously with a cocked eyebrow

 

“It’s funny what realizations you can have when a gun is pointed at your face” Dante said with a nod as he put his drink down to stand in his chair with his hands up in front of him “I’m an old man, Lexa. I don’t have much left to give but this cure is something I have been working hard and I am so close. You are a military woman, you are a good person and you have my word that I will go to Washington and I will get my findings to them the right way. I know what you are feeling right now, you have a good conscience and I have learnt that much about you or you wouldn’t have protected Clarke like you so fiercely have”

 

“I protected her because you would have put a bullet between her eyes if I hadn’t” Lexa snapped angrily

 

“I am sorry for what I have done to Indra and what Carl did to Nyko, that was a step too far but you have to understand that we were trying to defend ourselves” Dante nodded as his hands shook in front of him “You were coming here to kill us, to kill me”

 

“You are the one who kidnapped Clarke in the first place to start this whole thing. You are the one who sent people to watch The Ark, you would have killed everyone in The Ark if we hadn’t beaten you to the punch” Lexa responded with a shake of her head, her voice increasing with anger by the second “You can’t turn this around on me, on anyone else”

 

“You’re a good person, you don’t want to kill me” Dante reasoned as he took a step out from behind the desk towards Lexa, his hands still raised in surrender “You don’t need to do this”

 

“Yes I do” Lexa responded before squeezing the trigger twice, hitting Dante in the stomach and lowering her hands as he fell to the ground. Lexa felt the stinging of tears in her eyes as she watched Dante push himself up against the wall, his hands covering his stomach as it bled heavily

 

The brunette’s chest heaved deeply and she swallowed thickly as she watched Dante close his eyes tightly in pain before he opened them once more to look directly at Lexa. She watched him as he gasped for air, a single tear falling from her right eye as if she physically felt that one last piece of morality and humanity leave her body but Clarke had been wrong; she did feel better seeing Dante in front of her after she shot him. Lexa was in a dark place and she didn’t know whether she would be able to pull herself out of where she was, she didn’t know if it were possible but for that moment she realized that she had stopped someone who had hurt a lot of people; who had destroyed a lot of lives because he thought it was the right thing to do.  She knew later it might be a different story, she would feel the complete weight of what she had done that day and what had happened once she was out to relative safety but for that moment, she was proud of the destruction she had caused because Dante had taken almost everything from Lexa and Lexa wanted Dante to feel what she felt in the only way she knew how to inflict that. 

 

“I told you that I was going to kill you” Lexa said quietly as another tear fell to her cheek but the brunette quickly brushed it away "And now I'm going to wait"

 

Days since outbreak: 710
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: Unidentified Community, Doland, South Dakota

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 710
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo
Ark Members Identified: Clarke Griffin, Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy.
Location: Unidentified Community, Doland, South Dakota

 

The door quickly opened behind her as Lexa stood watching Dante Wallace’s now dead body in the corner of the room, waiting for him to turn into an infected in a matter of minutes. She heard footsteps behind her, knowing it was Clarke; she only glanced over her shoulder momentarily before turning back to the now dead community leader.

 

“Lexa you killed him, it’s over and we have to leave” Clarke replied quietly from behind the soldier

 

“I told him I would wait until he turned into an infected and kill him again” Lexa rasped thickly, a lump forming in the back of her throat as she quickly wiped away any moisture on her cheeks “After all he did to you and after all he did to everyone else, he deserves this”

 

“He does deserve this, I agree with you but if we don’t leave soon we are going to die right along with him. The infected are only growing in numbers and all of the noise will attract even more that aren’t in the compound yet so you know that we have to leave” Clarke said, placing a gentle hand on Lexa’s shoulder “He deserved everything you gave and probably more but I want you more than I want revenge so we have to leave”

 

Lexa sighed deeply, her jaw clenching and her eyes narrowing as she watched Dante’s motionless body with a shake of her head.

 

“No” Lexa grumbled quietly “No. You go; I will meet you out there”

 

“You and I both know that if we don’t go together then we’ll die, if you don’t come with me right now you will die in here” Clarke said urgently as she pushed past the solider to line up a shot and hit the already dead Dante Wallace in the head to prevent him from turning into an infected “No revenge is worth your life so let’s go”

 

“I want this whole place burnt to the ground, everything” Lexa said through gritted teeth whilst turning to Clarke, her eyes holding on Dante for one final moment before she turned to the blonde who had an exasperated look on her face

 

“Lexa this place won’t be able to be rebuilt, you know that” Clarke shook her head as she grabbed Lexa’s hand and began pulling her from the room “We will talk about everything when we get out but in order to do that we need to actually get out”

 

“Okay” Lexa said with a nod as she pulled back on the arm on the blonde, pulling her to a halt so she could take point in front of the other girl “But I take the front”

 

“You got it” Clarke nodded

 

Clarke wasn’t wrong about the need to leave at that very moment because when they reached the outside of the house the community was about to be completely overrun on one side because of a hole in a wall one of the explosions had made. Lexa couldn’t hear much screaming anymore, nor could she hear much gunfire, the only sounds coming from the area were the moans of the infected and the roar of flames engulfing the area.

 

“See what I mean” Clarke said anxiously as they sprinted for the very front of the compound, the only clear path they could find; knowing it was a far distance away from where they needed to meet the rest of the group but it was the only way

 

Lexa picked off any infected that they needed to in order to make a clear path for them, only coping with the complete destruction around her by focusing on the fact that she needed to get out of there and needed to ensure Clarke’s safety after the blonde had gone especially to find her. Most of the infected were coming from behind them so it wasn’t too difficult but the heat was intense, the roars of the flames were becoming deafening but that was nothing compared to the sound of the explosion that went off in a house that the girls had just managed to pass.

 

The force of hot air pushed them both from their feet and sending them backwards to the other side of the street. Lexa’s ears were ringing, her chest pounding and her lungs burning with smoke as she struggled for breath after being winded by the fall. She was completely dazed as she looked up to the stars in clear night’s sky, watching the black smoke fill the sky above her as it streamed from the house they had just passed. She saw an infected approach her slowly to stand over her, hearing a muffled yell from Clarke before she saw a knife being driven into the infected; blinking heavily as she gasped for air once more. Clarke quickly pulled Lexa up to her feet, the brunette almost falling over as soon as she stood and placing her hand behind her head to feel a warm, wet substance on her fingers. Her head began to throb immediately, knowing she had hit it against the driveway, she knew she was going to be dazed for quite some time but she had to keep going.

 

Clarke’s voice became a little clearer, asking her if she was okay but the brunette didn’t respond; only taking the other girl’s hand in her own and continuing to move through the compound until they reached the gate. Lexa gave Clarke a boost to the top of the wall and in turn Clarke pulled her up until they were both sitting on the top of the fence; taking a moment to breathe before they lowered themselves as far as they could go before dropping down to land shakily on their feet.

 

Nothing had ever felt so surreal to Lexa before in her life; she had been through a lot before but she had never expected to reach the outside of those walls alive after they were captured, she was sure she was going to die inside that compound. She couldn’t think about that now though and she knew that because they still had a fair way to go until she could consider being out of trouble; the infected in the area would be heading towards the compound and they would be dealing with multiple hordes soon if they didn’t reach their rendezvous point quickly. The two girls trekked towards their meeting point with urgency, their hands joined the whole way and their focus placed on the road ahead of them and by some miracle they soon reached the three vehicles waiting for them with relative ease; including the squad’s pick up that they had brought to The Ark in the first place.

 

The first person Lexa saw was Echo and she couldn’t help the tears that began to surface in her eyes, letting go of Clarke’s hand reluctantly before limping towards the other girl who rushed forward to meet her Commander and hugging her tightly. Lexa’s arm’s wrapped around Echo’s shoulders tightly, squeezing the girl as strongly as she could manage before pulling away and holding her at arm’s length.

 

“Are you okay?” Lexa muttered “Did they do anything to you?”

 

“No, I didn’t see anyone the whole time besides when they took me to where they were holding the other prisoners” Echo said with a frantic shake of her head “You look like hell”

 

“I feel like it” Lexa responded before she noticed Lincoln standing anxiously behind Echo

 

Lexa broke away from Echo to give Lincoln a warm hug, a sad smile on her face as she looked around the group as she stepped away from her squad-mate.

 

“Where’s Indra?” Lincoln asked anxiously looking to Lexa with fear in his eyes, her fellow solider looking behind her to look at Clarke as well

 

“She’s not coming” Lexa said simply, swallowing the ever-growing lump in her throat “She didn’t make it”

 

“Oh my god” Echo gasped with a shake of her head, her eyes instantly glassy “What happened?”

 

“We don’t really have time to talk right now” Clarke said shaking her head as she looked around the group “Lexa and I will go in the back of the Pick-Up to fit the extra’s, once we clear the immediate area we can stop and debrief because I think we all need some rest after all of that but we should drive for at least a few hours just so we can clear any infected who might have heard all the noise”

 

“Where are we going to drive to?” Bellamy asked with a shake of his head as he took a step towards the blonde

 

“Just away from here” Clarke shrugged “I don’t know where we are going but I think we just need to let ourselves get some clarity, maybe find something to eat if we can and then we will figure it out”

 

“So we have a plan that is not to have a plan?” Raven chimed in as she pushed off the car she was leaning on, her gun resting by her side

 

“For now” Clarke replied with a nod “We need to move but we will talk about everything once we get out of the area”

 

“We’ll drive only as far as we have to but then we stop, I’m not wasting gas on going nowhere” Bellamy confirmed with a sigh before returning to one of the vehicles

 

---

 

They had only been driving for thirty-minutes and had passed many infected that were making their way towards the community, proving that Clarke had been right to want to clear the area almost immediately. Lexa hadn’t said a single word since they had left, her eyes firmly focused on the road behind her but only a few minutes into the drive she had reached over to take Clarke’s hand in her own and linking their fingers gently. Clarke pressed a soft kiss into Lexa’s temple, pulling the brunette’s head down onto her shoulder and turning to wordlessly kiss the side of her head every so often.

 

Clarke had been right, the full weight of everything was beginning to hit Lexa and she was beginning to realize just how much she had lost it inside that compound now that she knew she was out of that compound with her life. She felt a certain darkness hanging over her head as she replayed the moments she had killed both Carl Emerson and Dante Wallace but what struck her the most was that she wasn’t sorry and she didn’t regret it, in fact if she had a chance she would do it all again. Lexa had killed people before and this was no different to any other time because if she hadn’t done so, they would have killed her but it was more than just about her; it was about Indra and Nyko as well. She knew she would have to tell Echo and Lincoln what had happened as soon as they had stopped and she wasn’t looking forward to that, she was enjoying the silence the drive was providing her but she wasn’t enjoying the time it allowed her to think and process her thoughts.

 

“What do you think we should do?” Clarke asked quietly, leaning her head back against the cab of the pick-up

 

“I don’t know” Lexa mumbled with a shake of her head

 

“I know this is a stupid question but are you okay?”

 

“I don’t know” The brunette responded in the same, monotone yet honest voice

 

“You know we got inside with the plan you thought up, it worked perfectly” Clarke said with a quiet sigh and a squeeze of Lexa’s hand “It was perfect”

 

“Why did you risk coming back?” Lexa asked quietly, her eyes dropping to Clarke’s fingers as the intertwined with her own “You had your people, you shouldn’t have come back”

 

“Not all of them, you and your squad were still in there. We weren’t going to leave you there” Clarke answered simply, her tone thick with frustration “I’m going to need your help dealing with the aftermath in all this so I’m going to need a few more words than ‘I don’t know’ okay?”

 

“I don’t really have any other words right now” Lexa murmured with honesty “I don’t think I’m fit to lead anymore”

 

“What?” Clarke asked shaking her head “You can’t just quit, your squad needs you”

 

“All I’ve done is gotten my squad killed” Lexa responded quickly, bringing her free hand to rub her eyes roughly “I don’t want to have anyone else’s blood on my hands, I can’t deal with that. I’m not doing it”

 

“You don’t have blood on your hands” Clarke replied instantly, exhaling loudly

 

 “Clarke you saw me back there, there is no way I am fit to lead these people anymore. I honestly don’t think I am mentally stable to do so after what I just did back there, I don’t know why you think I am in the first place”

 

“I knew this would happen”

 

“No, I don’t regret killing them, I am glad I did but I do feel the weight of the situation. I still feel like I am back in that basement, mentally I don’t know how to get out of there because I thought I was going to die. I tore and tore away at myself, at my character trying to figure out ways to fight back; I did some terrible things and though they were to terrible people it doesn’t change the fact that murder is murder. It doesn’t change the fact that I actually enjoyed doing what I did and I know that is wrong. I don’t know where I am right now let alone where to go with people’s lives in my hands” Lexa responded truthfully, her voice raw with vulnerability “Why aren’t you all just going back to The Ark?”

 

“Do you honestly think that we would want to be there after what they did to you?” Clarke asked sceptically “They sold you out, Lexa. I told them exactly how I felt when I went back to get more help after I told people what they did, I can’t live there anymore; not after what they did to you. I pointed a gun at my own mother and threatened to shoot all of them, very nearly doing so because they were going to try and stop me from coming back for you. I can’t go back there again, I just can’t”

 

“Your mom is there though”

 

“There is no way she should have agreed to that deal, she knew exactly what she was doing when she did that; she knew that she had every chance of losing me and that’s on her. I don’t know if you grasp just how much you mean to me or how much I was willing to go through to get you back; that was completely my fault” Clarke retorted sharply “Listen, I know what you just went through was horrific but you are the best person still for the job. You have kept a lot of people alive when honestly they would probably be dead without you. I know Bellamy and Octavia would agree but we need you right now, okay? I need you right now because I need you to help me figure out what our next move is”

 

“So you’re saying that you are willing to leave that life behind those walls? You’re willing to give up hot showers, meals, parties, cakes and everything else?” Lexa raised an eyebrow as she lifted her head from Clarke’s shoulder “You’re willing to leave the last family member you have because of all of this?”

 

“I already have” Clarke responded before continuing quickly, only pausing for a moment to search for the right words “It’s not just because of you either and I mean, it is a big part of me wanting to leave but they could have done this to anyone and I wouldn’t have agreed. That was not what The Ark was supposed to be, I know they were thinking they were doing the right thing by their people but they asked you to be a part of that community only to toss you out when it worked for them. They completely cut me out of the decision making process and that’s not the type of place I want to live in”

 

“What about your friends?” Lexa asked quietly “What are they going to do?”

 

“They don’t want to go back either” Clarke answered with a shake of her head, bringing Lexa’s hand up to kiss the cut skin on her wrist gently “I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, I know what it is like to be so desperate for your life like that and I’m sorry that happened. I’m sorry for what they did to Indra too”

 

“That wasn’t your fault” Lexa said through gritted teeth “None of it was your fault, Clarke”

 

“It’s okay to get lost sometimes, you know? You don’t always have to know where you are going but you will find your way again and whenever you do I think you are the best person to lead this new squad of yours. They need you more than I do, they have lived in a community for so long that they are going to have to get used to being on the outside again and you’re the best one to show them how” Clarke replied with a firm nod

 

“But that’s a lot of responsibility to put on my shoulders”

 

“It is but you’re our best chance of survival and I think you know that” Clarke responded quietly as she placed another kiss to Lexa’s wrist “You’re the way we get through this thing alive”

 

“Maybe I am” Lexa mumbled in agreement with a shrug  

 

“So why are you so reluctant then?” Clarke questioned curiously

 

“I just don’t think mentally I can do it right now. I always said that once your lose your humanity then you might as well be an infected but I’ve now become one of those people. I’ve become one of those people who have developed into something worse than the infected. I could have left Carl and I could have left Dante but I didn’t. I shot Carl Emerson five times, I shot Dante twice and was waiting for him to become an infected before I killed him again; I was going to fire until I emptied my rounds” Lexa shut her eyes tightly, her voice growing shaky and unsure “I’ve become just like them and I don't know how to come back from that”

 

Okay” Clarke said with a loud sigh, moving without another word to throw her leg over Lexa’s waist and sitting on the brunette’s legs to straddle her waist in the back of the pick-up, bringing her hands up to cup the soldier’s face to demand her attention “You are not like those people and I know that because you feel the burden of what you had done, you said it yourself. You had to do what you had to and I understand that, you’re not perfect but you’re human; it’s survival. You still have your humanity because you still feel that pain, you still have your morality because you knew that they were doing was wrong and you put a stop to it. Yes, maybe right now mentally you aren’t a hundred percent but you will get there because you’re a good person Lexa. You make me remember that maybe there are some decent people still left in this world. I don’t know where we are going to go and I don’t know what we are going to do but I want to go wherever you do because it’s you and I together now, that’s it”

 

“Quint was right. I lead my squad into their grave’s Clarke, why did I survive and not them?” Lexa said unsteadily, shaking her head lightly as her bottom lip quivered and her eyes shimmered “I don’t want to do the same to you and your friends”

 

“You’ve lost a lot in a very short space of time so I understand why you would think like that, you haven’t even had time to mourn Gustus let alone Indra or Nyko” Clarke replied very carefully, her eyes darting between both of the brunette’s as she watched the other girl on the verge of breaking “But you didn’t cause their deaths”

 

“So why did I manage to survive and why did four of my squad die?” Lexa shook her head once more, her hand quickly coming to wipe a tear that fell on her cheek “If it’s not my fault then why am I still alive?”

 

“Lexa” Clarke whispered as she rested her forehead against the brunette’s, closing her eyes tightly at the pain the soldier was clearly enduring “It’s okay, it will be okay”

 

“They’re dead, Clarke” Lexa croaked with a sniffle, shutting her own eyes tightly “Gustus, Quint, Nyko and Indra are all dead”

 

Clarke couldn’t give Lexa a response that she thought would even come close to providing the brunette the comfort she so obviously needed so she slipped off Lexa’s lap to sit beside her again and pulled the soldier’s body delicately into her grasp as if she was made of glass. She pulled Lexa’s head to her chest and wrapped her arm around the brunette’s neck gently, pressing a kiss into her hair once more hushing the other girl as she shook quietly. Lexa knew Clarke was worried about her and she had no idea what their next move was going to be but at that moment she needed to mourn, she needed to acknowledge her loss so she could try and move on. She understood how the world worked now, she understood better than most that when you lost someone you did have to move on but all the brunette could think about was how they were dead yet she was still alive. All Lexa could think about was how she managed to escape from that situation with her life when she was the one making the decisions to get her squad killed.

 

She felt every emotion possible in that moment as the weight of the situation she had just faced collapsed on her; she felt guilt, anger, sadness, relief, regret, anxiety and frustration as just the feelings she could comprehend. Clarke held her tightly against her chest as her tears for her friends fell, a true sign of trust and understanding between the two girls; the blonde willing to try and take away the soldier’s pain whilst Lexa actually displayed her vulnerability for her to see openly.

 

---

 

Lexa sat in the back of the Pick-Up by herself after the group had stopped by an old abandoned barn to try and figure out exactly where they were but also where they were going to go. Her notebook sitting on her lap but the pen in her pocket was broken so she couldn’t make up for the few days she hadn’t been able to include in her journal of sorts. Clarke had left Lexa with food and water that she so desperately needed, instructing her to stay outside for as long as she needed but she also knew that the group needed her too. Lincoln and Echo had left Lexa be for the time being, they both lost their friends as well but they understood that their leader needed a little space after Clarke had explained to them briefly what had happened. Lexa gulped the water down as soon as she was given it, feeling weak from the lack of food she had experienced over the past few days but it wasn’t enough for her to actually be able to stomach anything she put in her mouth.

 

The sun was rising in the horizon so she knew that soon it would be time for her to go inside and talk to the group about what their next move was going to be. Clarke had been right, Lexa knew she was the best chance the group had and she wanted to help the people who had saved her life by getting her out of that community. Leadership was lonely, it put a huge weight on her shoulders and it gave her extra responsibilities that she really could have done without but she was good at it; she could make tough decisions but she could also lead by example.  She knew at the very least though that she had Clarke and to some extent she had Bellamy to help carry that burden, a burden that she was just born to bear.

 

“I just wanted to come and check if you were still here” Echo said as she approached the Pick-Up, standing beside it to rest her arms over the side and rest her chin on her hands “I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t, I guess”

 

“Where else would I have to go?” Lexa asked looking up to meet her squad-mate’s gaze

 

“I don’t know, I don’t know where any of us are going to go” Echo said with a sigh “You know I could have gotten comfortable in The Ark, that would have worked out great if they didn’t sell us out”

 

“I need to tell you and Lincoln exactly what happened” Lexa said firmly as she nodded “Can you please bring him out here?”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

Lexa swallowed thickly, nodding once more as she felt the churn in her stomach increase with her approving nod.

 

Echo disappeared without another word before returning only moments later, Lincoln trailing closely behind to take a seat in the tray of the Pick-Up with their Commander; the brunette smiling sadly at what was left of her squad.

 

“Well this is depressing” Echo mumbled as she looked between Lincoln and Lexa

 

“Firstly I’m sorry” Lexa said quietly, shifting her gaze between the two “If I had known anything like what happened was going to happen then I wouldn’t have even considering saying yes to the condition the council set for us to stay at The Ark. If I had known what I do now I would have told you no and we would be in Texas right now”

 

“Well you couldn’t have possibly known” Lincoln responded as he nodded slowly “And we all voted yes, you were the only one who voted no in the first place”

 

“Yeah you need to stop being so hard on yourself, it sucks and I don’t know what to feel right now but I do know it’s not your fault” Echo added with a firm tone “So don’t get that caught in your head”

 

“I don’t know what happened with Indra but she had a bite mark on her and they brought her down to me as an infected. After they kept me down in that basement they brought her down there and basically just let her loose. I had my knife still and after a few attempts of just trying to knock her down I had to…you know what I had to do” Lexa began, her eyebrows knitted together in thought and her voice low with a shaky tone “Their leader took me to his office and threatened you Echo, so I was sure they were going to do the same. I had no idea what was going on when that raid started but I killed Carl Emerson for shooting Nyko and then I killed Dante Wallace who was the so called president of that god-forsaken place”

 

“Is that why you and Clarke were so late to get to the rendezvous point?” Echo asked raising her eyebrow “They thought you were dead”

 

“I lost control a little bit in that place but they got what was coming to them” Lexa grumbled after shrugging

 

“They probably deserved more” Lincoln responded firmly “And I know you think you cost Indra and Nyko their lives but you couldn’t do anything to prevent that. You did have the opportunity to save my life though and you did just that by putting the walkie in Clarke’s pocket before you were captured. Clarke told us that you don’t know whether you think you can lead anymore but that to me proves that you make smart decisions when it’s critical, no one else is better for that job” 

 

“I don’t know who I am leading, I don’t know where I am leading to” Lexa shook her head “We were dead in the water before Clarke showed up and offered us a place at The Ark, we had no hope and now we’re back to square one with just three of us”

 

“Those people in that barn are good people, we have a few survivors in there from the compound that Echo managed to save but everyone else in there chose to come back to get you guys. There might not be many of us left but they don’t want to go back to The Ark” Lincoln explained quickly “That’s who you are leading and they need you, they don’t know how to live out here anymore so they need someone who can help them”

 

“You aren’t alone either, you don’t need to carry all of that responsibility” Echo chimed in helpfully “You have the both of us and you have Clarke”

 

“We just have to figure out where to go from here” Lincoln shrugged “I mean Texas is always still an option”

 

“I just…if you want to go somewhere else or you don’t agree with what I decide you know you can go wherever you want, right?” Lexa asked carefully with a hint of awkwardness

 

“Why do you say that?” Echo raised her eyebrows

 

“Well I don’t know what Octavia’s plans are but I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to stick with her if she wanted to go back to The Ark” Lexa shrugged understandingly as she looked towards Lincoln “What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to feel obliged to stay with me”

 

“You’ve finally taken one too many head knocks” Echo said dramatically “Of course we aren’t going to separate, you’re not as intelligent as I thought if you even considered we would do that. We are a family, a smaller one albeit now but we are a family and we stick together”

 

“Okay” Lexa said with a small smile and a quiet sigh “It’s going to take a while for us to get over this and get through it but I’m going to try, I just might need some help figuring this all out now. It’s going to be rough on them; they’re not used to struggling for food or not having water coming from a tap”

 

“We’ll figure it out” Echo responded simply “We just have a few big decisions to make”

 

“That’s not an understatement either” Lexa shook her head, running her nails through her hair quickly and flinching as she reached the back of her head

 

“You should come inside” Lincoln said as he stood in the tray to jump over the side “Everyone needs you in there and maybe we can figure a few things out”

 

Lexa nodded wordlessly, standing and gingerly stepping down to walk slowly towards the door of the barn. Lincoln opened the door for her, the brunette swallowing the lump that formed in her throat at the sight in front of her. Octavia, Bellamy, Raven, Clarke and two younger boys that she recognized as being two of the five Ark members that they were traded for sat in the middle of barn with their heads huddled closely together as they talked while six other visibly shaken people sat in the other corner of the barn, looking towards the door as Lexa entered.

 

“Decided to join us, huh?” Clarke asked in a quiet voice as she stood from her group to approach the brunette “Did you eat anything?”

 

“I couldn’t” Lexa responded with a shake of her head as she glanced at the six others sitting in the far corner, lowering her voice immediately “Are they the ones you rescued?”

 

“Yeah” Clarke replied “We gave them all the food and water we had, they’re pretty malnourished and obviously they’re still pretty terrified. One of them was saying that yesterday there were ten of them, they killed four yesterday trying to figure out this cure”

 

“I don’t know how to do this” Lexa said honestly as her eyes fixed on the surviving prisoners with a shake of her head “I can’t lead civilians”

 

“Yes you can” Clarke replied with a nod as she reached out to take Lexa’s hand gently “You can”

 

“I’m glad to see you’re back in the land of the living” Raven said approaching the remaining squad members and Clarke before pausing with wide eyes “Poor choice of words, sorry”

 

“Were they the same people that killed your friends and family?” Lexa asked looking to Raven, recalling their first conversation on watch duty at The Ark

 

“I think so” Raven responded with a nod “So thank you for raising hell”

 

“That was all you guys” Lexa replied with a shrug, looking over to the other Ark members “I owe all of you so thank you”

 

“As happy as I am to have you back and alive, we still have no idea where we are going” Bellamy said from where he was seated as he looked over at the surviving prisoners “And I think we need some direction”

 

“But first of all we’re sorry about Indra and Nyko” Octavia said nudging her brother firmly in the ribs “And thank you for getting the walkie to Clarke so she could warn Lincoln”

 

“And sorry about being traded for us” The boy Lexa remembered as being Jasper spoke awkwardly “That’s why we came back to help and we wanted to destroy that place”

 

“Jasper was the one I was kidnapped with” Clarke added with a nod “And that’s Monty next to him”

 

“Hi” He said with an awkward smile

 

“So…where to Commander?” Raven asked as she cracked her knuckles lightly, Lexa flinching at the sound

 

“I don’t know yet” Lexa replied honestly with a shake of her head “But we have to get these people taken care of first by the looks of it”

 

“Well here’s an obvious suggestion” Echo offered quietly “Texas?”

 

“These people aren’t going to make it to Texas” Lexa shook her head before letting out a deep sigh “I don’t know if we would even make it to Texas right now”

 

“We would make it easily” Octavia responded “We have supplies”

 

“Not enough to get us all there” Lexa replied looking to Clarke who confirmed Lexa’s suspicion “Do you think these people would make it to Texas?”

 

“I think these people have been through a lot” Clarke said with a shrug “You’d have to ask them”

 

“None of them really talk though” Monty interjected quickly “After what they saw today, I don’t blame them but we’ve tried”

 

“I’m just going to throw an idea out there” Clarke said cautiously, giving Lexa’s hand another squeeze before releasing it “What about Washington DC?”

 

“What about it?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows taking a step backwards from the blonde

 

“I know that Dante would have mentioned Washington with you if he spoke to you” Clarke explained quickly, taking that step back into the soldier so they were only inches apart “And I know he mentioned the whole cure thing to you”

 

“Dante said that there was an exclusion zone being formed there but the last time we were there, it was overrun by infected” Lexa shook her head “We are not going back there”

 

“I overheard Dante talking with Carl when they came and took a few people away the night before you guys came” Jasper said quietly, trying not to raise his voice enough for the surviving prisoners to hear “He said the scouts came back and there were signs of life, signs of that exclusion zone and civilization”

 

“He said he was going to take the cure there” Lexa grumbled “Which is also complete crap so we aren’t going to Washington”

 

“Well…” Jasper began as he stood from his spot

 

“Not now” Clarke warned quietly as she looked backwards towards her friend

 

“What’s going on?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow, looking between Clarke and her friends

 

“We’ve seen DC” Echo interrupted with a frown “There is no way, absolutely no way that anything could come back from the number of infected that were there. I’m not going back there and if that’s the decision you make, I’m not going”

 

“I agree with Echo” Lexa responded as she eyed Clarke curiously

 

“Well we have to go somewhere, we can’t stay here in this barn” Bellamy replied with a shake of his head “We have to make a move somewhere. We have food, we have water and fuel to last a day or two but we need medicine, we need things to help these people out but also for ourselves too”

 

“Well we certainly aren’t going back to that hospital” Octavia objected loudly

 

“No, I wasn’t suggesting that” Her brother replied with a frustrated sigh “I was just saying, we might need to consider how far we can go on what we have now”

 

Lexa looked over to the cowering group once more, her eyes filled with pity even after what she had been through; she knew that they probably would have been through more. Lexa had lost most of her squad but she still had some support around her, she guessed that these people had all been strangers before they were captured and they clearly hadn’t been treated well. They looked as if they hadn’t eaten properly in quite some time; they looked dehydrated and were covered in blood or dirt. What she noticed the most though was the looks of complete loss and lack of hope on their faces, expressions she could read all too well because that’s exactly how her squad would look at her before they considered going to The Ark; that was how they looked at her when things got desperate.

 

“We have to take them to The Ark” Lexa said slowly with a furrowed brow

 

“What?” She heard numerous voices chime in surprise and anger all at the same time

 

Days since outbreak: 710
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Ark Members Identified: Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane
Others: Six Unknowns
Destination: Undecided

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 710
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Ark Members Identified: Abby Griffin, Thelonious Jaha, Marcus Kane
Others: Six Unknowns
Destination: Undecided

 

“Not for us but for them” Lexa replied as she looked around the barn, pointing to the group huddled in the corner “The only scenario where they survive after all the stress they have been through is The Ark”

 

“You want to go back to The Ark after everything they did?” Lincoln raised his eyebrow “To the same place to see the same people who traded us to die?”

 

“I’m not setting foot back inside those walls but the council will take these people” Lexa said looking to Clarke “They don’t really have a choice considering what they did and what I will do if they refuse”

 

“Can I talk to you outside?” Clarke asked with a cocked eyebrow and a small frown

 

Lexa nodded silently, Clarke taking her by the hand and following her her outside the barn to stand by the cars once more.

 

“The Ark?” Clarke asked simply with a shake of her head

 

“We drop those people off and we go to wherever we decide from there but I don’t think they will make it and it’s just more mouths we need to feed” Lexa said honestly “They’re in no condition to travel that far”

 

“Honestly Lexa I’m just worried about the reaction you’re going to have when you see the council again” Clarke admitted, running a hand through her hair before resting her hands on her hips “Whatever you did to them would be justified but you have to live with yourself still”

 

“I’m not going to set foot in there and I’m not going to hurt anyone Clarke, the chancellor is your mother” Lexa said referring to Abby and shaking her head quickly with a tightly clenched jaw “I don’t want to go back there again and I would be happy to never see their faces again either but that’s what those six people need, they need The Ark. We are going to need more supplies and medicine anyway, we can get that from The Ark and they owe me”

 

“They do owe you” Clarke responded after exhaling deeply “So I guess we are going to The Ark”

 

“Just to drop them off, get what we need and leave straight away” Lexa reiterated “And if anyone wants to stay there then they can”

 

“No one here is going to stay, they all came because they never expected to see The Ark again after finding you” Clarke replied quickly “We will get supplies and leave as soon as we drop those people off. You’re right, they do need The Ark and you’re making the right call but what are we going to do after that? We can’t just drive aimlessly and waste the supplies we take from there”

 

“That’s a group decision” Lexa nodded

 

“Except if we go to Washington” Clarke countered with a raised eyebrow

 

“There’s nothing in Washington” Lexa retorted irritably

 

“It’s almost been a year since you have been there, you know how things can change in a year” Clarke answered patiently “You know how things can change in a day even”

 

“The only way things have changed there is if it has gotten worse, which I don’t doubt it has” Lexa dismissed with yet another shake of her head “When we get to The Ark I’m going to need you to talk to your mom and convince her to take these people in, I don’t think it will take much though”

 

“So you want the group to make a decision but you won’t accept that decision if it is Washington?” Clarke questioned curiously, folding her arms against her chest tightly

 

“You said I’m the best person to lead this group, right?” Lexa asked as she stepped into the blonde so their bodies were flush up against each others, her hands dropping to grip Clarke’s waist firmly

 

“Yes” Clarke answered, her eyes searching Lexa’s

 

“If I lead you all then I don’t want to send you into an overrun city just because some crazy old man who tested an impossible cure on innocent people said that there was something there” Lexa shook her head, her voice dropping to just above a whisper “I’ve lost more than half of my squad, I can’t and won’t be responsible for losing anyone in that barn; especially you. If I lost you now then I don’t know what I would do”

 

“I just think you should consider it as an option” Clarke offered quietly with a nod before leaning in to press a chaste kiss to Lexa’s lips quickly “Wherever you go, I go now but I just think you should consider it”

 

“Why?” Lexa asked pulling her face away from the blonde so she could look at her properly

 

“Come back inside so we can talk to you” Clarke replied with a sigh “We’re going to The Ark to drop these people off but we need to decide where to go after that before we leave here. We’ll tell you why we think Washington, if you still decide you don’t want to go then we will take that option off the table and go to Texas”

 

“I just can’t afford to make the wrong decision, Clarke” Lexa said carefully, shaking her head subtly

 

“We can’t afford to be scared now either” Clarke countered gently with a nod of understanding as she uncrossed her arms and took the brunette’s hand once more as they walked back towards the barn

 

“Okay so now that you guys are back; is it a good time to raise all of the stuff that I found in the lab?” Jasper asked as soon as Clarke and Lexa entered the barn once more “Because I think it would be pretty stupid for us not to consider this”

 

“Stuff you found in the lab?” Lexa asked looking to Clarke who gave Jasper a nod

 

“When we were clearing the place of prisoners, I broke away to try and find some medical equipment but stumbled upon the lab they have obviously been using for testing the cure Dante was talking about” Jasper said pulling the backpack from behind him to dump at Lexa’s feet, unzipping the bag and opening it wide to show that it was stuffed with different sized papers, manila folders and notebooks “I grabbed everything I could when I saw what was inside that lab before I had to go”

 

“What else was inside that lab?” Echo asked cautiously with a wide eyed expression “And why are we only being told about this now?”

 

“Because we wanted to wait until you guys had a little time to process and mourn before presenting this to you” Clarke offered warily as she looked around at the three remaining squad members

 

“I wanted to tell you” Octavia explained with her eyes locked on Lincoln who glanced to Lexa as she stood looking down at the backpack

 

“I saw a body that they must have just finished testing on” Jasper said quietly as his eyes flickered to the group still huddled in the corner, looking towards them in the front of the barn “This person was dead, they had been bitten quite a few times and obviously died of blood loss but they didn’t change into a zombie after they died, even after being bitten so many times”

 

“How do you know that there weren’t any head wounds?” Lexa asked shaking her head with a skeptical tone “That would have prevented it”

 

“There were no visible ones that I could see” Jasper reasoned as he pulled out a notebook to hand to the Commander “I think they might have found a cure, I don’t think Dante Wallace was as crazy as we thought”

 

Lexa only looked at Jasper as he held the book out in front of her, not accepting it from his hands as she processed what she had just heard. She didn’t want to accept that Dante Wallace was anything but insane after he and his people killed Nyko as well as Indra. She swallowed thickly as her eyes finally dropped to the large notebook in his hands, the pages worn and tattered and the cover was stained with what she figured was dry blood.

 

“Open it to the back” Jasper urged as he patiently held it out for her to take

 

She finally took the book from his hands cautiously, glancing over at Echo and Lincoln who both looked equally apprehensive about the suggestion of a cure working. Lexa turned to the last page of the old book, pausing as she saw what looked like log notes of the medical trial that was obviously being detailed in the lab.

 

‘Trial successful’

 

It was written as the very last entry into the book after a series of notes and observations listed above it that Lexa didn’t quite understand and she wasn’t sure she was meant to. She flicked through the pages before that and every other trial had been unsuccessful, a new page signalling a new trial. She peered down into the backpack again and noting the number of notebooks just like that one and feeling that sickness in her stomach return as she realized just how many people had died for all of those unsuccessful trials.

 

“Is this all we have?” Lexa mumbled “A notebook saying it was successful?”

 

“I have reports, I have paperwork, I have notes and codes that detail everything that was written down, even a few pictures. I took as much as I possibly could and I’m confident that I have enough in here to establish what exactly they figured out the cure to be” Jasper said firmly “We just have to get this into the right hands and I think that is Washington”

 

“If Dante Wallace was right about this, could he be right about Washington?” Lincoln asked quietly, looking to his Commander with a confused expression

 

“Dante Wallace also thought that killing all those innocent people was justified” Lexa muttered lowly as she glared towards her squad member “He also thought it was justified to have me kill one of your fellow squad members and best friends after turning her into an infected”

 

“I’m not saying he was sane, I was just asking if he was right” Lincoln said holding his hands up in front of him defensively

 

“Just because people working for him may have found a cure and I use the word may very loosely, but just because he may have, why does that automatically make him right about Washington too?” Lexa snapped angrily as she handed back the book to Jasper, shoving it against his chest “Is that all the proof you have? Notes, paperwork and reports?”

 

“They had some pictures too and drawings, some kind of genetic structuring” Monty added as he reached over for the bag to pull out a manila folder to hold up to a shocked looking Jasper

 

“I have to agree with the Commander on this one” Raven said with a shake of her head “This dude was crazy and so was everyone else in there”

 

“But clearly some of them knew what they were doing” Jasper responded “I’m sorry but we would be stupid not to consider this”

 

“Show me the pictures” Lexa grumbled as she held her hand out for Jasper and he gave the folder to her wordlessly

 

She opened the folder and was confronted with pictures of bodies that were clearly parts of unsuccessful trials, limbs removed but the torso and head were clearly turning into infected and bite marks were visibly obvious for anyone to see. There were dozens of the same photo’s but with all different bodies, the photographs only angering Lexa further until she flicked to the last one. Her stomach dropped at the sight of a body that had been bitten and the person was dead but they had not turned into an infected.

 

“Why didn’t you show me this in the first place?” Lexa asked slowly as she looked at the photo with wide eyes

 

“Because you needed to see the failures first” Clarke admitted from beside the other girl, her voice drawing Lexa’s complete attention “Because you needed to see how far they had actually come”

 

“So…Dante Wallace and his insane asylum actually found a cure to this thing?” Echo asked shakily

 

“Seems like it” Jasper responded “Which is why we have to go to Washington, hopefully someone there will know what to do with it and they can start developing whatever they need to develop”

 

“Well if this is actually a cure then the best place for this is Texas” Lexa nodded as she looked down at the photo once more before handing the folder back to Jasper who opened his mouth to protest “You can go to Washington if you want, that choice is up to you but based on the facts I have; Texas is the best place for us to be. I don’t know what Washington is actually like, Dante Wallace was telling the truth about this it seems but I don’t have facts that Washington is back online or that it’s stable. We heard radio communications coming from Texas and that’s all I can base my decision on”

 

“What about a vote?” Bellamy asked raising an eyebrow

 

“Vote whatever you want but I won’t be responsible for the same thing happening in Washington as it did the last time I was there” Lexa mumbled looking around the group “I’m not going to lead you across the country only to find nothing but hordes and hordes of infected. Are we all overlooking the fact that he was delusional, that he justified the killing of innocents to find this cure?”

 

“No one is denying that, I was in there for over a month so I know exactly what he was capable of but this isn’t about him. This isn’t about any of us or anyone we have lost but this is about the human race, this is about saving the world” Jasper said with a small smile “Wouldn’t that be awesome to be the Commander who saved the world?”

 

“While I like the idea of saving the human race; we can’t save people from themselves” Lexa answered sharply as she looked around the group “If you think about it, the worst things that have happened to you all after the world went to hell wasn’t because of infected but it was because of the people still left. I am willing to take this backpack to Texas but this isn’t going to save the world, it’s just going to cure the whatever it was that caused people to get infected”

 

“That was truthfully depressing” Raven said with crinkled eyebrows after a few minutes of silence passed the group

 

“I want the infected gone but I think we are kidding ourselves as well if we think we are going to save the world” Lexa replied shaking her head “The world doesn’t want saving because now people can do whatever the hell they want”  

 

“So what’s the point then?” Octavia asked, her voice scratching against her throat “Why bother risking our lives going anywhere when we could just stay here?”

 

“There’s nothing for us here” Clarke shook her head quickly “We can’t just hide out in a barn”

 

“I’m not saying that we should just give up, that’s the furthest thing from the truth because we have a lot to live for” Lexa said with a sigh “And if I didn’t really think that then I would have just given up without a fight back in that community. What I am trying to say is that we can’t save humanity but we can only give hope to those who want it”

 

“Lexa does have a point though, we can’t get our hopes up that things are going to be like they used to” Clarke reasoned looking around the group “How we lived in The Ark wasn’t reality, we were hiding away”

 

“I want to take that backpack and all the information in it to someone who can help us and I truly believe that the place we need to take it to is Texas” Lexa reasoned calmly “And I hope you all trust my decision”

 

“So I guess we are going to Texas then” Bellamy said with a nod

 

“I’ve always liked Texas better anyway” Raven said jokingly

 

“And if there is nothing in Texas?” Jasper asked raising his eyebrows

 

“Then I’ll admit I’m wrong and we’ll head to Washington DC” Lexa conceded “But I don’t think I’m wrong”

 

“We should get going” Bellamy responded with a sigh “We have a lot of traveling to do if we are going to get back to West Bloomington and then head to Texas”

 

“If everyone is ready then we’ll go” Lexa replied with a firm nod, watching the group break away and Raven approach the six surviving prisoners

 

“Are you sure about this?” Clarke asked quietly as she tugged on Lexa’s fingers “Texas is a long way if we fail and you didn’t know if you would survive the last time, remember?”

 

“I think it’s our best shot” Lexa said with a shrug, her eyes meeting Clarke’s again “You and me, right?”

 

“Yeah” Clarke responded, leaning in to kiss Lexa on the cheek softly

 

---

 

“Can I ask you something?” Lexa asked of Clarke as they sat in the back of the Pick-up, a few hours into their journey

 

“Sure” Clarke said quietly, her eyes closed as she rested her head on Lexa’s shoulder

 

“Do you honestly think that this whole cure thing is legitimate?” Lexa asked looking down at their joined hands, finding that both girls seemed to need some kind of contact with the other in order for them to be comfortable

 

“I think so” Clarke replied as she tried to nuzzle her head deeper into Lexa’s shoulder, the brunette resting her head against the other girl “I think there is enough evidence to prove that it is for real”

 

“I didn’t mean to be too harsh back in the barn but I don’t want everyone to get their hopes up and then have them come crashing down again if this isn’t for real or if this cure can’t be reproduced” Lexa continued quietly, rubbing her thumb against the back of Clarke’s hand soothingly “And I’m sorry I just shut down the idea of Washington but I can’t bring myself to do it”

 

“Honestly Lexa, to me DC makes more sense but if you think Texas then that’s where we will go” Clarke mumbled tiredly “I can totally see why you don’t want to go though”

 

“I just think we need to be smart about this” Lexa reasoned “Three of us are trained military personnel, the rest of us are civilians so we can’t do things like we did before. I know you all are very capable of looking after yourselves, I mean you came in and saved my ass back in the community but I don’t want to risk losing you all over something that I feel I could prevent”

 

“I know” Clarke responded “The decision is made and we’re fine with it, Jasper and Monty might take a little time to come around but you’re the best one to be making these decisions”

 

“I just don’t want us to be too hopeful or distracted and rush into making a decision we know nothing about”

 

“You know for someone who is confident, you can be pretty insecure sometimes” Clarke chuckled to herself quietly, nudging the other girl gently

 

“Why do you say that?” Lexa asked in a confused tone

 

“You made a decision and we’re sticking with it” Clarke replied with a small shrug “You don’t need to justify your decision to anyone, you’re a Commander”

 

“I just know the dynamics have changed; I think I will have to be a bit more diplomatic” Lexa pondered more to herself than anything “And I’m not a Commander, you have to stop calling me that”

 

“Mmhmm” Clarke mumbled sleepily “Aren’t you tired?”

 

“I’m exhausted” Lexa replied as she settled her body a little further into Clarke, enjoying a moment she never thought she would get again when she was taken into the other community; another moment that she wasn’t promised to ever receive again either “I’ll sleep when I’m dead I guess”

 

“Morbid” Clarke muttered, bringing her hand up to her mouth to stifle a yawn

 

Lexa turned her head once more to place a series of small kisses on the blonde’s head, the last kiss she held for a few seconds as she squeezed her eyes tightly. She exhaled deeply, resting her cheek against the spot on the blonde’s head that she was just kissing and giving Clarke’s hand another gentle squeeze.

 

“I hate the apocalypse” Lexa grumbled as she looked out to the road behind them “It sucks”

 

“You already knew that”

 

“If the world wasn’t in complete shambles I would be able to take you out on a date, we’d be able to have dinner together or watch a movie or something lame and cliché like that” Lexa said quietly, hearing Clarke hum tiredly in approval “I’d ask you to be my girlfriend and you’d tease me for being so lame or whatever. We’d argue about stupid little things like an insensitive comment I made or the fact that you forgot my birthday one year. Maybe your mom and I could have had a decent relationship instead of her trading me to a murderous community to die, getting two of my friends killed in the process”

 

“You okay?” Clarke mumbled tiredly, concern pushing through her tiredness “You sound delirious”

 

“Unfortunately I know more dead people than I do people who are alive now, there’s no point really being hung up over it when I can’t change anything about that fact” Lexa responded as she leaned her head back against the cab of the Pick-Up “I’ve had time to mourn and now I guess I need to move on, you don’t get an opportunity to say goodbye like you could before because we’re too busy worrying about where the next threat is going to come from. The dead are gone Clarke and the living are hungry”

 

“Lexa what are you trying to say?”

 

“Just…stay alive please, okay?” Lexa asked weakly before exhaling deeply “I’m not sure how to get through this Post Apocalyptic world without you anymore and I don’t know if I could say goodbye if something happened to you, I don’t know if I could worry about the next threat”

 

“You know you are pretty sappy for someone who is so…stiff” Clarke jokingly teased before lifting her head from Lexa’s shoulder to place a lingering kiss on the brunette’s cheek, feeling the other girl’s skin pull back in a small smile

 

“I’ve been told that before” Lexa responded with a small nod as she pulled her head back to lock eyes with the blonde “I know, I can be a sap sometimes but you said it yourself; sometimes you just have to say it while you can”

 

“I will try my hardest to stay alive” Clarke mumbled

 

“Okay” Lexa replied, her voice just audible above the sounds of the Pick-Up engine

 

“Will you be my girlfriend?” Clarke asked raising her eyebrows; a tired smile covering her expression after their conversation paused for a few beats

 

“Clarke” Lexa frowned at her comment, sure that Clarke was only making fun of her by asking

 

“No I’m serious” The blonde urged with a firm nod “Don’t leave a girl hanging here”

 

“You’re ridiculous” Lexa chuckled to herself and she nodded herself “Yeah”

 

“And also, you can’t get mad at me for forgetting your birthday because I don’t actually know when it is” Clarke responded after pecking Lexa on the lips quickly and dropping her head back to the soldier’s shoulder “So when is it? Just so I can forget and we can argue about it”

 

“I’m not telling you” Lexa’s smile faded slowly, her eyes shifting to Clarke’s hand that she still held in her lap; unwilling to let go as if the blonde would float away if she did so “As far as this world is concerned I’m 710 days old anyway”

 

“And counting”

 

“And counting” Lexa confirmed with a brief nod to herself “I’m a little nervous as to how I’m going to react when we get to The Ark, when we see the council”

 

“Just stay at the back of the group and let me talk, okay?” Clarke asked tiredly

 

“Get some sleep, I’ve bothered you enough” Lexa sighed loudly as she brought Clarke’s hand up to her lips to kiss delicately “You need some rest”

 

---

 

A bizarre feeling swept over Lexa’s body as the cars rolled to a stop in the tree cover outside The Ark where they had originally parked the first time they had come to the community. Lexa jumped down from the cab of the Pick-Up gingerly, flinching as her head pounded at the sudden jolt through her body.

 

“This is yours” Raven said as she approached Lexa, holding her rifle out by the strap for the soldier to take but she didn’t straight away; Lexa just looked at her AR-15 for a few moments before reaching out to take it with a small nod in thank you to the other girl

 

“You okay there?” Echo asked cautiously as she approached her squad leader “Okay as you can be of course”

 

“Yeah” Lexa replied as she continued to look at the rifle now back in her hands “But honestly, I don’t know if I should be given this considering where we are going”

 

“You won’t shoot anyone” Echo said shaking her head “I’m not going to stop you though if you do”

 

“Well I will” Bellamy said as he closed the door of the lead car loudly, tucking his pistol back into his belt before tossing an empty backpack at Lexa “We’ll get this done quickly, Clarke will talk for us and we’ll get supplies after we drop the six of these guys off”

 

Lexa nodded wordlessly, happy to be taking the backseat on this one because she already had a lot of weight on her shoulders once more. They began walking towards the old train tracks, the brunette lagging quite a distance behind the rest of the group and catching Clarke’s eye every so often as she glanced back just to ensure that everyone was okay; mostly though to make sure that Lexa hadn’t dropped too far behind. She found little comfort as Raven dropped back to walk wordlessly next to the soldier, offering her non-verbal support because she knew it was going to be difficult for the other girl to be standing outside of the gates that sold herself and her squad out.

 

The brunette couldn’t really process what she was thinking too clearly as she dragged her feet behind her, keeping her eyes firmly set on the group of six surviving prisoners as they struggled to keep any kind of pace due to their exhaustion. She might not have wanted to be there, the very last thing she wanted to see was the walls of The Ark or the council but at least she knew she was making a good decision for those people who had come under their care for a very brief window of time. She was just unsure how she was going to control herself seeing the council after they were directly responsible for the deaths of Nyko and Indra; the one thing she was aware of though was just how unstable she still was.

 

She took a moment to calm herself as she held her rifle at her side when they emerged through the trees onto the road that lead directly into The Ark, Clarke leaving the tree cover first with her hands raised in surrender.

 

“Open up the gate, I need to speak to your council” Clarke spoke calmly as she signaled for the rest of the group to follow behind her slowly

 

“Clarke?” The community member stationed on the wall called, bringing their hand to block the sun from their eyes

 

“Please get the council” Clarke responded patiently as they continued their slow approach to the gates

 

“Infected on your three” Echo called from just in front of Lexa, the soldier moved to approach the infected but her Commander pulled her back by the shoulder so she could make an approach herself

 

Lexa threw her rifle over her shoulder, pulling out her hunting knife from its sheath as she approached the infected quickly. She felt the eyes of the group on her as she heard the movement of the loud gate to her side in the background; focusing on the moaning infected that was aggressively approaching her with a heavy limp. He was huge, he looked like he had been an infected for a while with the way his skin was rotting but all Lexa could see when she looked at it was red. She kicked the infected down as it approached her but he didn’t fall to the ground, he stumbled backwards before regaining his footing.

 

“Lexa just do it” Echo said with a concerned voice from behind her “Don’t mess around with it”

 

Lexa nodded to herself and she took a further step in towards the infected once more, wasting no time to drive her hunting knife directly through its skull and letting it fall to the floor. She moved to stand over the now dead infected, her chest heaving at the simple interaction with the monster; remembering for a moment what it was like when she had to do the same to not only Costia but to Indra now as well.

 

Lexa turned her body to face The Ark once more, pausing as she caught sight of Abby standing at the gates with wide eyes as she watched on; Jaha and Marcus Kane behind her among a crowd of Ark members. Lexa clenched her jaw as she locked eyes with the Chancellor before flicking off any infected blood from her knife; her eyes staying locked onto Abby’s as she did so. She heard Clarke clear her throat and the brunette tucked her knife back into its sheath before returning to the back of the pack, behind the group of surviving prisoners.

 

“You’re back” Abby said shakily as she turned her attention to her daughter who stood several feet away from the now opened gates “I didn’t think I would see you again”

 

“I’m not back” Clarke said quickly, folding her arms to her chest tightly “We came to drop these people off so they have somewhere to live and we came to get supplies but we’re leaving straight after”

 

“Who are they?” Marcus Kane asked quietly as she stepped out to be beside Abby

 

“We rescued them from the other community when we went back to get Lexa and her squad” Clarke explained stiffly “They need food, water, they need a roof over their head and they need protection; which is something The Ark is going to provide them with”

 

“We are?” Abby asked raising her eyebrows with a small shake of her head “Clarke it’s admirable but we don’t know these people”

 

“What are you going to do?” Echo muttered at the back of the group “Throw a sack over their heads and knock them out?”

 

“The Ark is supposed to be about peace and acceptance” Clarke replied as she eyed her mother intently “You were going to accept them anyway before you sold out Lexa and her squad so you can take them now”

 

“Clarke” Abby raised her eyebrows

 

“You’re going to give us medical supplies, food, water, fuel and ammunition and we’re going to leave” Clarke responded instantly as she glanced back to the group of surviving prisoners, giving them a nod for them to walk towards the gates before turning back to her former community “The plan worked by the way, Lexa’s plan worked”

 

“Lexa, I’m sorry” Abby said with a tone of sincerity, finding Lexa at the back of the group “It wasn’t personal at all, you have done nothing but great things for my daughter and I know how much she cares about you but we had to do it”

 

“You didn’t need to do anything” Clarke countered fiercely, taking a few steps towards her mother as the surviving prisoners approached the gates very slowly

 

“We will take care of you” Abby said with the tiniest of smiles as she looked towards the group of six approaching them, glancing over her shoulders at her community members as they parted for the six to enter  “Someone take them into the infirmary and we’ll evaluate them first, see what they need. I’ll meet you in there soon”

 

“You can’t leave on this note with your mother, Clarke. You know how important you are to her, how much you mean to her” Marcus said sympathetically with a shake of his head “I know what we agreed to wasn’t nice but you have to understand that we decided this for the sake of the community, for you”

 

“Don’t drag my name into this, I had nothing to do with it because you cut me out of the decision making process” Clarke replied immediately as her attention turned to Marcus Kane “You made sure I didn’t know about this deal until I had a gun pointed in my face”

 

“It wasn’t personal” Jaha repeated quietly

 

“Two of my squad members are dead because of you, it's definitely personal” Lexa interjected firmly from the back of the remaining group, gripping her hunting knife tightly on her belt in her hand “The only reason why I haven’t reacted to that is because Clarke cares about you”

 

“You have to appreciate though that it is just survival. You do horrible things for the people you love and we are entrusted with the lives of these people here, it is our job to take care of them and Dante Wallace came to us with an offer to do just that without any bloodshed” Abby replied with a nod “We didn’t take this decision lightly, we didn’t want to do this but we made a move to ensure the future of The Ark”

 

“By selling my squad out in the process” Lexa added as she moved forward from the back of the group “Nothing you tell me or no reasoning is going to make me understand why you did what you did. I had a plan, we were going to go in there and do the job; we were going to risk our lives for your community just so we could stay there”

 

“I know and I know whatever I say won’t make up for your loss or how you are feeling about the whole situation but I just want you to know that it wasn’t personal at all”

 

“Well I guess all is forgiven then” Raven spoke sarcastically with a scoff and a shake of her head when she turned her attention to Jaha “I believed in this place, we all believed in this place and that’s why we were willing to go fight for it but what you did to these people who only came to help was disgusting. I came here with you because this place was going to be better than being outside, we were going to be civil and be build something better than what was offered outside but honestly I would much rather be out here than in there any longer”

 

“Raven I promised your family that I would take care of you” Jaha said quietly

 

“You seem to be pushing responsibility on everyone else for this, for trading my squad to die” Lexa responded with a furrowed brow, squeezing her jaw tightly before she continued talking “You wanted to ensure the survival of your people, as a leader I can see where you are coming from. You weren’t even the ones who were willing to go and fight for this place though, you had five strangers and some young community members go fight for you. At least if I made this decision I would own up to what I did, I would accept the fact that you sold us out instead of saying it was about survival or it was to protect your people. Stand up tall and accept the truth of what you really did; you committed murder”

 

“So you’re telling me that you wouldn’t do the same thing?” Jaha asked quickly with a furrowed brow “You’re telling me that if presented with the same offer, you wouldn’t do the same thing?”

 

“What was to say that these people would have even kept their side of the deal of leaving you in peace? Sure, they released your people but when they ran out of others what was to say that they wouldn’t come to The Ark, knock your walls down and taking as many people as they wanted?” Lexa snapped angrily as she pulled her rifle from her back to hold at her side “We weren’t the problem, they were so I don’t think I would do something like that if I were in your situation. Maybe you are right though, maybe I would have but I would have the guts to admit that I was responsible for the fact that I saw my friend Nyko being shot in the head and having his blood splatter all over me from it. I would admit that I was responsible for my other friend Indra being bitten by infected and then brought down to me while I was in zip-ties to kill her or die myself. You have blood on your hands and I’m not going to make you feel better about what you have done by justifying it for you”

 

“Lexa I know our decision has cost you a lot and I am truly sorry for that but I can’t apologize for keeping my community safe” Abby said regretfully, her chin shaking subtly as she held herself together in front of her daughter “If I could go back then maybe I would do it differently because I know I’ve lost my daughter out of this but I had to do what I thought was best at the time”

 

“Make no mistake but if you weren’t Clarke’s mother, I wouldn’t just be holding my gun at my side right now. None of you would be standing there if Clarke didn’t care about you” Lexa grumbled as she broke eye contact to look to Clarke “I think we should get what we need to before I do something really stupid, will you get any of my things I had left from the house for me please?”

 

“Sure” Clarke replied with a small nod of understanding before she turned back to Abby “We just need some supplies and we’re going to leave. We’ll leave The Ark’s cars for you but we’ll be taking the squad’s Pick-Up and Jeep”

 

“Clarke…” Abby said with a shake of her head as her daughter approached her, only for the blonde to brush her shoulder past her own mother and continue her way into the community followed by Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty as Lincoln stayed outside with his Commander and Echo

 

As much as she tried not to think about it, Lexa did feel for Abby as she watched her close her eyes tightly when Marcus laid a hand on her shoulder in support after her one surviving family member had just pushed past her like she wasn’t even there. Lexa understood the sacrifice that Abby knew she was making when she decided to trade Lexa’s squad for her people, knowing it was more than likely going to cost her the one person she had left in the world in her daughter. Lexa watched Abby with a firm stare as she held her rifle by her side tightly; unwilling to actually admit she could sympathise with the Chancellor but knowing she couldn’t stop her expression from displaying the pain in her understanding. What broke Lexa’s heart the most though was knowing just how much pain Clarke was hiding behind her stern expression; being very aware of just how much her mother meant to her and knowing how painful it would be for her to leave The Ark even if she didn’t admit it. After all, it was the place her dad had died to get them to; it was the place that she had helped build from the ground up and knowing the blonde genuinely cared for those people inside the walls.

 

“I would have gotten your people back” Lexa mumbled as she looked at the now three council members as they took a few steps back into the gates “You didn’t need to do what you did”

 

“We don’t know that” Marcus said with a small shrug, a sad expression covering his face “I am truly sorry, to all of you”

 

“Sorry doesn’t bring my friends back” Echo snapped painfully, shaking her head “You’re kidding yourselves if you don’t know people are going to lose faith in you after this”

 

They heard the gates reclosing before turning back to her squad members as they watched on while the gates closed to The Ark. Echo reached out to her Commander, giving a gentle squeeze to her forearm before sighing loudly and looking to the gates again.

 

“I’m actually scared of how much I wanted to kill them then” Lexa said with gritted teeth, shutting her eyes tightly “They deserve to die after what they did”

 

“They do” Lincoln nodded “But that’s not who we are”

 

“I was just getting used to that place” Echo mumbled with a sigh “I’ll miss the showers”

 

“You can stay if you want” Lexa offered weakly, knowing her friend wouldn’t leave nor would she agree to such a thing but just offering it on the chance she needed a signal that it would be okay for her to stay

 

“No” Echo said seriously with a frown “I’m a little offended that you would suggest that but it’s cool”

 

“What do you think about Texas?” Lexa asked with a loud sigh of her own “Do you think we should be going to Washington? Do you think I’m wrong?”

 

“I’m not going to DC” Echo said immediately with a flat tone “Those kids have never been there after the whole zombie apocalypse, we have. We know what it’s like and even if they think it’s the right thing to do, it’s not”

 

“They are practically the same age as us” Lincoln disagreed with a shake of his head

 

“Yeah in age” Echo responded “But not experience, we know exactly what it’s really like. They’re going to struggle out here though, we all know that”

 

“Maybe it’s changed though” Lincoln suggested carefully as he looked between his two remaining squad-mates “Maybe it is different and maybe Dante Wallace was right”

 

“Are you feeling okay?” Echo asked with a shake of her head before pausing “You were awfully quiet when we first started talking about this today. Do you want to go to Washington D.C?”


“I am going wherever you are going” Lincoln said firmly “But I just think I see both sides of the arguments and maybe Washington D.C could be worth another try”

 

“Did you forget the fact that a super horde of zombies killed literally everyone we were with except for us because we just so happened to sleep at the back of the store?” Echo questioned seriously “With the increase in the rate of infected we have seen, do you really think it could be any different in any major city?”

 

“If there is military involved, yes”

 

“The military was disbanded” Echo countered with a raised eyebrow “I mean you’re literally looking at the remaining military”

 

“There’s obviously more than just us but Echo has a point” Lexa added with a small shrug

 

“I’m just not sure we can completely discredit the information about Washington” Lincoln replied simply, unwilling to take the conversation any further as they waited

 

Ten minutes of silence passed over them as they waited patiently on the outside for Clarke and her friends to return, Lexa having little doubt that Clarke was still set on leaving but wondering why things were taking longer than expected when they knew what they needed. Lexa sat on the road in front of The Ark as she looked out into the trees, waiting for any infected to approach as her squad stood next to her. It was safe to say that she was exhausted and now that she was sitting in front of The Ark she wished she could sleep in that comfortable bed for the last time but she knew now that what she was living in that moment was reality; what the people in The Ark were doing was hiding. Her thoughts were completely derailed when they heard the first gate opening, voices from behind the gate becoming clearer as the heavy gate was shifted as well with the group emerging with now full backpacks and a few other weapons in their hands.

 

The crowd had disappeared from behind them as Octavia, Bellamy, Raven, Jasper and Monty took their last look at The Ark before making their way back out to the remaining squad members. Lexa stood immediately as she waited for Clarke who emerged from a house at the front of the community, throwing what she recognized immediately to be Indra’s old backpack over her shoulder while she made her way to the gate. Abby followed closely behind her daughter, a broken expression on her face but Clarke refused to turn back or acknowledge her mother as she approached the gate for what she figured was the last time. Clarke was hiding it well but Lexa could see the blonde’s heart breaking through her blue eyes once she locked her gaze on the soldier who was waiting on the outside for her.

 

“Clarke where are you going to go?” Abby asked desperately from behind her daughter to stand on the outside of the gates as Clarke continued her quick walk towards her group “You’re safe in here”

 

“We’re going to Texas” Clarke mumbled but kept her eyes on her group, unwilling to shift her focus back towards the Chancellor “And you know that I can’t stay here, not after what happened”

 

“Just…take care of her please” Abby said as she looked towards Lexa, locking eyes with the brunette who looked at the Chancellor as she spoke the words

 

Lexa didn’t give her a verbal response, giving her a small nod with the same clenched jaw that she had held when they had talked previously before turning her attention back to the blonde who was only a few steps now from the already retreating group.

 

“I love you Clarke” Abby called desperately to her daughter, the words only ripping further at Clarke’s torn heart

 

“Goodbye Mom” Clarke muttered when her glassy eyes closed tightly, reaching her girlfriend who placed a supportive hand on her hip to usher her into the tree cover beside the road

 

Lexa took Indra’s backpack from Clarke’s shoulder to lessen her load as they walked slowly at the back of the silent group who had just left their home for the final time. Lexa glanced at Clarke every few steps, knowing that the blonde was struggling to hold herself together and the soldier didn’t blame her. She had left the place she had fought so hard to get back to because of what her mother did, because she didn’t think she could live there anymore; because she chose Lexa over living in The Ark for any longer.

 

The walk back to the cars was completely silent and awkward as the now officially conjoined group set out on their journey to Texas; a potential cure in their hands and a weight of responsibility on their shoulders. Once they arrived back to the cars Lincoln checked the Jeep to make sure everything was in working order before jumping into the driver’s seat with Octavia, Jasper, Monty and Bellamy in the car with him while Raven go into the Pick-Up with Echo driving. Echo opened the small cab window so Lexa could communicate with her and hear the walkie talkie as Lincoln’s car navigated. Lexa stepped up into the Pick-Up tray looking down to hold her hand out to help Clarke up and the blonde took her hand without a word and closed the tray door before sitting her back against the cab to look out at the world behind the Pick-Up like she had done so many times now. Lexa watched her for a moment before she took her seat next to the blonde, sighing loudly as she placed her arm around Clarke’s shoulder; knowing that Clarke had been the one who had been strong for her over the past few days and now she needed to be the one who the other girl could depend on.

 

“That was the last time I’m ever going to see my mom” Clarke muttered shakily as she looked down to the few duffle bags full of supplies by her feet “I’m never going to see her again”


“You don’t know that” Lexa said soothingly, reaching over to gently pull Clarke’s head onto her shoulder and placing a delicate but lingering kiss on the top of her head “You can always go back”

 

“We both know that I can’t” Clarke responded seriously with a heavy sigh, a sad smile pulling at her lips “And I couldn’t even look her in the eyes”

 

“I’m sorry”

 

“No, that’s on her” Clarke muttered stiffly as she quickly raised her hand to wipe away a tear that threatened to fall “She deserved more than what she got from me”

 

Lexa wanted to reassure Clarke that she was wrong, that she would see her mom again. She wanted to whisper comforting words to the girl that meant so much to her but she couldn’t lie to her and tell her that everything was okay. Everything was far from okay; the blonde had just left her mother and a lot of other people she considered family, unlikely to ever see them again. Although they might have still been alive, Clarke was feeling the pain of loss which was unlike no other; a pain that Lexa knew all too well.

 

“I got you something though” Clarke said pulling Lexa from her inner dialog as she held out a silver pen in front of her “I took it from my house, yours is broken so I figured I would get you a new one so you could write in your notebook again”

 

“Thank you” Lexa whispered, placing a lingering kiss into Clarke’s hair once more before taking the pen from her hands “We stick together no matter what, you and me”

 

“More than ever now”

 

Days since outbreak: 710
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Destination: Army Base, Outside Dallas Texas

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 711
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Destination: Army Base, Outside Dallas Texas

 

The newly formed group had spent the entire day traveling to try and put as much distance between themselves and The Ark as possible. Clarke had been very quiet the entire way and Lexa understood why, she understood that she had now let go of the only part of her old life she had left in her mother; leaving The Ark and everyone in it behind. It was a relatively smooth day of travel for them as they started their journey; Lexa spent the majority of the time in the back of the Pick-Up with Clarke in her arms and her eyes fixed out on the roads behind them. The brunette was beyond exhausted, to the point where she found herself dozing off every few minutes towards the end of the day but quickly waking as soon as her head dropped quickly.

 

Lexa was just happy that she wasn’t going to have to worry about food, water or fuel for a while as long as they rationed all of their supplies; which she knew the majority of the group weren’t used to doing but they would have to learn. Lexa understood it would be difficult for a few of them to adjust but they were going to have to if they wanted to be a functioning member of the squad and Lexa didn’t carry dead weight, she couldn’t afford to. Before nightfall they had reached an abandoned gas station across the road from a large old car yard; Echo pinpointing their location to be just north of Missouri. They arrived in the edge of town, noticing that a lot of the houses on the main road had been burnt down and there was hardly anything left in the car yard but thankfully the barbed wired fence surrounding the now mostly empty block of land was keeping at least a dozen infected contained.

 

They parked the cars out the back once the gas station was cleared of the two infected that were still left inside and the group cleared the little supplies they could from the gas station before setting up for the night. Bellamy and Raven would be in the cars for the night, volunteering to stay up on the outside to ensure the safety of the cars while Octavia would stay awake inside the gas station for another gun on watch which left the two drivers Lincoln and Echo able to rest up for what would be a long day of driving again.

 

Lexa sat in the corner of the gas station by the window with her notebook resting on the floor beside her while her new pen tapped against it silently, looking around in the darkness at her new squad. Octavia sat up on the gas station counter, looking out the window to the road with her gun resting on her lap and her head leaning up against the glass that separated the front and back of that counter. She felt Clarke shift in front of her, the blonde resting her weary head in the soldier’s lap as she slept beside her on the cold, hard floor. Lexa’s free hand was weaved deeply into her wavy blonde hair, scratching her fingers against Clarke’s scalp very gently to aid her peaceful sleep.

 

She had been sitting there for a few hours, her legs beginning to grow numb with her lack of movement but it didn’t bother her because she wanted Clarke to be as comfortable as possible seeing as she had a rough day also. Lexa looked down to the blonde with a small sigh, her chest tightening as she watched the other girl sleeping soundly; hoping that she was having as sweet of dreams as she deserved. Lexa tapped her head against the wall a few times quietly, feeling Clarke shift slightly and her hand came up to grip the loose material over the soldier’s abdomen.

 

“Why aren’t you trying to sleep?” Clarke asked huskily, her voice so full of sleep

 

“Because if I sleep then no one else will” Lexa shook her head as she ducked her head slightly so she could whisper quietly to the girl on her lap “I don’t want to attract too much attention here either, there are infected around”

 

“I know you don’t want to have nightmares but I just think you should try and sleep” Clarke suggested quietly “You are exhausted and you look like hell”

 

“Oh thanks” Lexa responded sarcastically with a shake of her head

 

“I just mean that it’s not good for you to be so tired when you could be sleeping” Clarke replied, pushing against the brunette’s abdomen lightly as she spoke “We need you to be as alert as possible, not seeing things or passing out because you haven’t had a good nights sleep for a while”

 

“If I sleep properly then I will see Indra, Gustus, Nyko, Quint or Costia again” Lexa grumbled firmly “I think about them all the time, I don’t want to think about them in my sleep as well”

 

“You can’t really help what you dream about” Clarke answered moving her hand from Lexa’s shirt to reach up and stroke her cheek gently in the darkness “You need sleep; you will be way more use to the group after you get sleep and you can’t keep putting it off forever”

 

“I told you, I can sleep when…” Lexa began seriously

 

“Yes when you’re dead” Clarke rolled her eyes, pausing for a moment “But you’re going to be awake for a very long time in between if that’s the case so you need to get some rest”

 

“Okay” Lexa responded with a small smile tugging on her lips “Very smooth”

 

“Thank you” Clarke grinned tiredly “Sleep”

 

“When I wake you up screaming though don’t say I didn’t warn you”

 

“I’m fully aware” Clarke added

 

“Okay” Lexa said with a small nod, her eyes fluttering closed and her hand still tangled in Clarke’s hair as she exhaled deeply; waiting for sleep to overcome her

 

It didn’t take her long at all to fall asleep; her body needed the rest and her mind even more so. Physically Lexa was running on empty, not willing to let herself sleep because she didn’t want to be reminded of the horrors she had seen and the horrible things she had done. The only reason she decided to sleep was because Clarke asked her to; proving a very good point that she was no good to the group if she couldn’t even keep her eyes open or she couldn’t make a vital decision.

 

Her eyes snapped open but all she could see was darkness, struggling to see her hands as she waved them in front of her face. She sighed to herself, knowing she was in a dream but she didn’t know where exactly she was within that dream. Over the course of the past few weeks her same exact recurring dream hadn’t been so recurring and that was not only because she hadn’t slept as much but also because she had other things on her mind too so her dreams tended to deviate a little more. She could still feel herself sitting on the end of the boardwalk, feeling the terror wash over her as she had to kill Costia over and over again every night that she had dreamt it.

 

Sometimes she just let Costia attack her, sometimes she ran away from Costia but always found it difficult to outrun the infected version of the woman she once loved; other times Costia turned around and Clarke would be in front of her instead. Lexa wasn’t sure what it meant, she knew that what happened to Costia haunted her on a daily basis but she didn’t understand why all of a sudden she was seeing Clarke instead.

 

She found herself though in the pitch black of a room, unable to see anything but she could hear the quiet moans of infected around her.

 

“Clarke?” Lexa called as her name was the first that came to mind “Echo? Lincoln? Anyone?”

 

Silence, all she could hear was silence and that wasn’t something that gave her any comfort. Lexa moved quickly to the wall with her hand out in front of her to try and feel for anything to give herself some bearing. She finally reached a wall, conveniently finding a light switch as she moved her hands clumsily; switching it on to see a bright light fill the room. She found herself in the basement of Dante Wallace’s community again and she soon realised the moaning was coming from multiple infected that were blocking her path to the stairs, to the way out of the basement. She paused as she looked at the infected, seeing many familiar faces and seeing other faces that she had recognised in passing but didn’t know well.

 

Her eyes watered as she saw Indra, Gustus, Quint, Dante Wallace, Carl Emerson, both of her parents, a man who she could only assume was Dante Wallace’s son, a few other faces she couldn’t name and of course Costia. They were all snarling at her, eyeing her body as their next meal but none of them moved to attack her as she quickly pushed herself backwards to the opposite side of the room.

 

“Just attack me” Lexa called angrily as she looked at Costia in the eyes “This never ends any differently so just do it and get it over with”

 

Costia didn’t move though, the shell of her body just continued to growl and wait for something that was unclear to the soldier. She heard a door open, a brighter light streaming out from the top of the stairs and she heard slow footsteps as the unknown person moved slowly down to the basement; the infected simply parting ways for them.

 

It was Clarke.

 

“You got them all killed, you know?” Clarke asked with a shake of her head “They are all dead because of you”

 

“I know that” Lexa said with a clenched jaw “What do you want from me?”

 

“I don’t want to end up like them” Clarke shook her head before she pointed to the ceiling “The rest of your squad don’t want to end up like them either”

 

“I don’t want this for anyone” Lexa responded quickly “Especially you of all people”

 

“The only good ending left in this world is death, all you do to survive is suffer” Clarke replied as she looked beside her at the infected “They’ve all learnt that because of you”

 

“Stop” Lexa warned, raising her voice as she tried to pull her hunting knife from it’s sheath but it was stuck

 

“Just let it happen” Clarke responded as Lexa continually tried to take out her knife from her belt, unable though to find any luck in doing so

 

She looked up and found the infected now approaching her, pouncing on her only to pull her down and sink their teeth into different parts of her body. She didn’t scream though, she gritted her teeth as the sharp teeth bit into her flesh; knowing it would be over soon and she would wake from her nightmare.

 

She didn’t completely wake though because suddenly the infected were gone from her body and lying in an open paddock with no injuries or bites as the bright sun forced her to cover her eyes. She could hear birds chirping happily, the sounds of the trees blowing in the wind were the only other noises her ears could register. A small smile crossed her face as she looked up into the blue sky, feeling completely free for the first time in quite some time; which the symbolism wasn’t lost on Lexa seeing as she had died in her previous dream.

 

She stretched her arms out in front of her with a quiet sigh before sitting up, hearing a loud scream ripple through the otherwise beautiful day. The soldier stood to her feet, looking around her for any signs of where that person had been who had screamed and finding her answer when she felt a hand tap her on the shoulder. She turned around abruptly to see Costia standing in front of her with a small smile on her face but bite marks all up her arm and blood dripping from her fingers.

 

“Costia?” Lexa said quietly with a shake of her head, swallowing thickly as her eyes welled up “Why do you keep doing this?”

 

“You have to be reminded” Costia said quietly, reaching her uninjured arm to stroke Lexa’s cheek gently “She’s been good for you, calmed you down”

 

“Clarke?”

 

“Yes” Costia said with a nod as she searched Lexa’s eyes

 

“What do you want from me?” Lexa asked weakly, squeezing her eyes tightly for a moment “Why do you keep coming back in my dreams? I am always reminded of you every day; I don’t need it while I’m sleeping too. I’m exhausted”

 

“The only good ending left in this world is death, all you do to survive is suffer” Costia said, echoing the very same words Clarke had spoke beforehand “You need to go to Washington DC but you know that”

 

“Texas, we’re going to Texas” Lexa muttered under her breath “We are not going to DC because there is nothing left”

 

“Yes there is” Costia responded quickly as she looked down at her arm “You have to get that information to DC and you have to go today”

 

“You are a dream, you don’t know what is going on” Lexa shook her head as she took a step away from Costia “You’re dead”

 

Lexa heard glass shattering loudly before feeling herself being pulled away from dream Costia, the other girl’s skin changing to a yellowish tone before her very eyes

 

“You can’t continue to outrun death like you have been” Costia’s voice echoing from a distance

 

Her eyes opened widely as she gasped heavily, trying to fill her lungs with air like she had woken so many times before. She looked around the room for a moment, everyone still sleeping but she heard the sounds of glass breaking outside once more before yelling quickly woke the rest of the squad inside of the gas station. Yelling turned to gunshots and gunshots meant that something terrible was happening outside so as Clarke sat groggily from her sleep, Lexa stood to her feet, grabbing her rifle from her side and ducking to peer out of the window as more gunshots echoed through the air.

 

She looked to Octavia who had moved down beside her to take cover, a few stray bullets flying through the glass window where she had previously been seated. Octavia gave her a nod as the rest of the group quickly joined them as they became very aware of something going on outside; Lexa spotted some unknowns outside by the jeep. She quickly stood from her position to fire off multiple rounds in the unknown’s direction; hearing the group yell in a panicked frenzy when they realised the group was armed.

 

They were clearly bandits looking for supplies or looking to steal their cars because as soon as the heavily armed group began to fire upon them; they decided to make a break for it. Lexa and the squad pushed outside as they heard car doors slam, tires screeching through the otherwise silent evening as the bandits took off as fast as they could manage. Lexa, Lincoln and Echo rushed to the road and opening fire once more on the now speeding off cars in hopes that they had done enough to scare them off for a while. Her attention soon turned to both Raven and Bellamy who were white faced through the reflection of the rising sun, sitting in the back of the Pick-UP.

 

“Are you both okay?” Lexa asked quickly as she moved to the Pick-Up “No one got shot?”

 

“No” Raven said quickly with a shake of her head “We must have fallen asleep and we heard the glass smash of the jeep window. They didn’t see us in the Pick-Up or they would have killed us”

 

“You fell asleep?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows “You were on watch”

 

“We know that” Bellamy said shaking his head as well with a frown “We shot at them as soon as we heard them”

 

“They could have killed you” Lexa responded harshly “They could have killed all of us too”

 

“As long as you’re both okay” Clarke said quickly

 

“Oh crap” Jasper said with wide eyes as he looked into the jeep through the smashed window, opening the door and searching the backseat frantically “No, no, no, no”

 

“What, Jasper?” Octavia asked as she peered over the boys shoulder into the backseat of the jeep

 

“The backpack” He said shaking his head as he pushed broken glass aside, cutting his hands with tiny shards of glass as he continued to search “It’s gone”

 

“What do you mean it’s gone?” Lexa asked raising her voice along with her eyebrows once more before pointing back into the gas station “How can it be gone when it was in there with you?”

 

“I just left it in there, I didn’t mean to but I did” Jasper responded in a panicked tone “The cure is gone”

 

“What the hell, Jasper?!” Raven exclaimed as she approached the panicked young man, moving Octavia out of the way and yanking on Jaspers arm to pull him away from the backseat “Why the hell would you leave it in there?”

 

“Well they will be thoroughly disappointed to find what they do when they open that backpack up” Echo said quietly as she approached the group once more “So now what?”

 

“We have to get it back” Jasper responded, his eyes locking to Lexa “We need that backpack”

 

“How do you suggest we do that?” Lexa asked angrily “All you had to do was keep it with you”

 

“I know” Jasper said ducking his head

 

“And all you two had to do was stay awake” Lexa said turning to Bellamy and Raven who now both stood near Jasper “It isn’t a difficult task”

 

“Listen, it’s happened and yes all of these things shouldn’t have happened” Clarke said with her hands on her hips as she looked around the shell shocked group “But now we need to figure out what to do to get it back”

 

“I’m not so sure that will be possible” Lincoln responded honestly “They are gone and by the looks of it, so is that backpack”

 

Lexa walked out to the road with her hands on her hips, looking into the direction that the cars had sped off; hearing Jasper apologise quietly to everyone as they stood by the car. They were well and truly gone, much like the backpack by the looks of it.

 

“Let’s get the rest of our stuff and go” Lexa called as she narrowed her eyes to look into the darkness before turning back to the group “We aren’t safe here and we need to keep moving”

 

She heard Jasper protest, understanding he had been dealt a big blow with the loss of that backpack but they were all in the same boat and that was exactly why Lexa refused to pin her hopes on any kind of cure. Lexa watched the group as they all filed slowly back into the gas station before turning her head to look down the other end of the road, noticing a sole of a shoe sticking out from a deep ditch by the road. She took a few steps forward, straining her eyes to try and see a little better in the dull light but as she moved; so did that shoe.

 

The soldier furrowed her eyebrows as she held her gun tightly to her side, watching the ditch intently until she saw a head of a boy in his late teens pop up from the ditch and his eyes widening as he knew Lexa had spotted him. He quickly scrambled to his feet, blood staining the material of his jeans over his shin as he stepped back onto the road and began to limp away. Lexa wondered whether it was her lack of sleep that was making her imagine this or whether it was real but her self questioning stopped when she saw the boy throw their missing backpack over his shoulder.

 

“Hey!” Lexa called loudly as she pushed off her back foot to begin her run towards him, he was a small distance in front of her but she was running a lot faster than the boy who clearly had a bullet in his leg “Stop!”

 

“Lexa?” She heard Clarke call from behind her as she ran but Lexa didn’t take her eyes off the still hobbling boy

 

She had to give him credit, he was very determined and he was going at a reasonable pace but Lexa wanted to get that backpack, for the sake of her group she wanted to get it back from the teen. It didn’t take long for her to be caught up with him and when she did reach him she tackled him from behind and slammed the boy into the ground. He quickly scrambled from Lexa’s grasp, kicking at the soldier as he broke free and turned to attempt an escape through a row of caravans left behind.

 

“Not a good idea” Lexa said as she held her rifle up to aim at the back of the boy’s head “I need that bag back so you can give it to me and live or I will take it from you”

 

“I need food” He said shakily, pausing in his tracks “I wasn’t with them; I just saw an opportunity so I took the bag while you were all shooting at each other”

 

“You won’t find any food in there” Lexa responded quickly “But if you give me the bag then I can get you some food, we have plenty of it”

 

“So why do you want this bag so much?” He asked turning around, flinching as he saw the gun pointed directly at his head “Is it weapons?”

 

“No” Lexa answered cooly “It’s a set of documents and I need them”

 

“What do you need documents for?” He asked raising an eyebrow “What are you going to do? Send a letter to the zombies and ask them to stop biting people?”

 

“Something like that” Lexa mumbled as she readjusted her grip “I can already see you’re wounded; I can give you food and medical supplies to clean that up if you just give me that back”

 

“I want the food and the medical supplies first” He shook his head, folding his arms “Then you can have your bag back”

 

“Okay fine” Lexa grumbled “So come with me then”

 

“I’m not going anywhere with you” He responded immediately “You could all shoot me dead as soon as I go back”

 

“I could shoot you dead now if you’d like” Lexa mumbled impatiently, glancing back towards the gas station where she could see her extended squad watching from a distance “I don’t have time for this, it would save you the walk too”

 

“If you were going to kill me, you would have done it already” He countered smartly “So?”

 

“You know I’ll bet your smart mouth has gotten you injured more times than not” Lexa said as she dropped her gun to her side after a quick moment of deliberation “If you move, you will leave a trail of blood and I will find you; I am ex-military and my tracking skills are excellent. When I find you, I won’t talk to you, I will shoot you or maybe the infected will get to you before I do and maybe I will let them. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes” He said swallowing a lump in his throat as Lexa gave him one last look before turning away to jog quickly back towards the squad “I need supplies”

 

“Who the hell is that and why are we giving supplies to someone who stole the backpack?” Raven asked raising her eyebrows “It’s ours”

 

“Well I’m not going to shoot him” Lexa responded with a shake of her head “He’s just a kid”

 

“A thieving kid” Raven replied

 

“We’ll give him a few cans of food, a bandage and I’ll get the backpack” Lexa replied looking around the group “Do we have any empty or near empty bags?”

 

Once the group emptied a backpack, leaving a few cans of food and a few medical supplies as promised; Lexa hurried back to the waiting young man outside the caravan park. She threw the backpack down at his feet, he eyed her suspiciously as he opened it but his eyes soon lit up when he saw the food inside. He dumped the bag by his feet before sitting himself down on the ground and opening the can of food immediately; Lexa picking up the backpack and frowning.

 

“You’re welcome” Lexa shook her head before turning back towards her group who were watching eagerly for her return down the long stretch of road

 

“He actually gave it back just like that?” Clarke raised an eyebrow as she arrived back at the gas station only a few minutes later

 

“He was hungry, that’s all it took” Lexa sighed with a nod and a shrug“We should leave, it’s light enough for us to get on the road”

 

“Uh Commander?” Lincoln spoke quietly by the Jeep, his eyes looking down to the large puddle of fuel and oil that had formed under the Jeep, bullet holes riddling the entire length of the Jeep “I don’t mean to add to our problems…”

 

“This is a joke, right?” Lexa asked with a groan “Anything else?”

 

“Don’t ask” Echo mumbled, folding her arms tightly before making her way to the front of the jeep “We have to see if we can fix that, we can’t walk to Texas”

 

“I don’t think we can fix that” Lincoln responded as he laid himself down on the ground to peer under the jeep to see the steady flow of liquids escaping from their car, sighing in frustration as he looked up to his Commander “I don’t have anything to fix it with and even if I could, I don’t even know if it would be possible”

 

Lexa pinched the bridge of her nose tightly, wondering if all survivors in the apocalypse had received as much bad luck as they had. She inhaled and exhaled deeply a few times, trying to work out her anger knowing that it wouldn’t be helpful for anyone if she lost her cool now. She knew that Indra or Nyko would have known exactly what to do in that situation, they would have not only known how to calm her down but also what decisions to make to help the group the most and yet there she was without them.

 

It was becoming very clear to Lexa now the different kind of squad she was dealing with as compared to her original one. Her original squad were all trained military personnel; her new squad was mostly made up of civilians who had never seen a conflict before the outbreak and had been living behind walls for most of it. Things weren’t going to be so easy for them and that was becoming clear for her very quickly because she was still getting used to all of them; to be fair though they were all still getting used to her too. Things weren’t going to be automatic as they were before; Lexa was going to have to spell things out to her new squad for a while before they understood what life was really like outside of The Ark. It blew her mind that the two people on watch outside allowed themselves to fall asleep, that Jasper had left a very important piece of their inventory just sitting in the car and that the group were all just awaiting instruction from her instead of making suggestions; giving Lexa the clear idea that things were very different now but that was who she had and those were the conditions she had been dealt with.

 

“Okay well we’re just going to have to try and pile everyone in the back of the Pick-Up with our bags as well until we come across a working car” Lexa suggested as she opened her eyes once more to lock eyes with the group “Maybe someone else can fit in the cab of the Pick-Up as well, you’re just going to have to squash in”

 

“So we have to fit six of us in there and three of us in the cab?” Echo raised her eyebrows before nodding slightly “Well I guess we’re going to get to know each other really quickly then, huh?”

 

“Looks like it” Lexa mumbled before rubbing her eyes roughly “Anything else before we leave?”

 

Screams of the young man filled the air in the distance, Lexa closing her eyes tightly knowing that he had been found by infected in that trailer park and was being eaten alive. She wanted to help, she wanted to do something to save him but she knew she couldn’t; she would be too late anyway. The screams of agony stopping almost as quickly as they had started, reminding Lexa if she thought she had any chance of forgetting the horrors they faced daily she was very wrong.

 

“Let’s go” Lexa grumbled “We’ll get my backpack back on the way through”

 

Without another word she grabbed two backpacks from Clarke’s hand before jumping up into the tray of the Pick-Up, squashing herself into the very corner while she waited for everyone else to pile in. Clarke sat next to her, pressing closely into the soldier’s side, which she was quite happy with anyway but had to keep her legs hugged to her chest while she dealt with the now little space she had. Clarke looped her arm around Lexa’s, placing a gentle kiss on the point of her shoulder before leaning her head back against the cab as the engine started loudly. Echo gave the all clear through the cab window before they began driving street before pulling up across the other side of the road from the gruesome sight of the teen she had just been talking to being eaten by two infected.

 

Lexa stood in the tray of the Pick-Up, lifting her rifle to aim at the infected that had now turned their attention to her. She fired off two quick shots to put them down before jumping out of the tray, walking quickly towards the now dead teenager and two infected. She sighed quietly, the words that Clarke and Costia had said in her dream were echoing within her mind. Death looked to be the easiest option in the world now; they couldn’t trust anyone and they weren’t promised any other moment than the one they were living at that time. The teenager was hungry, he had been suffering and was clearly alone and although he had suffered what would have been an unimaginably painful death; his fight was over.

 

She raised her rifle to fire a single shot to prevent him from turning into an infected before picking her backpack up and jumping back into the crowded Pick-Up tray. She had the duty of getting her new squad to eventual safety; she had the duty now of ensuring Clarke’s safety and that was something she was going to take very seriously. It would be easy to give up or check out considering what she had lost; considering what she was facing but she couldn’t and she wouldn’t because her fight wasn’t over, as far as she could see it was almost like a beginning.

 

Days since outbreak: 711
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Destination: Army Base, Outside Dallas Texas

Chapter Text

Days since outbreak: 711
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Destination: Army Base, Outside Dallas Texas

 

The squad had been driving for most of the day when Echo pulled over for a much needed break bringing the Pick-Up to a rolling stop. Lexa had to pull her mind from her own thoughts as the group began jumping out of the Pick-Up. She stood from the cramped space, happy to stretch her legs out but feeling them wobble as she jumped out herself; grabbing the side of the tray to steady herself quickly.

 

“You okay?” Clarke asked from beside the soldier

 

“Yeah” Lexa nodded quickly, shaking the numbness from her limbs “I hope I can still feel my legs by the end of this trip”

 

“So what are we going to do if there is nothing in Texas?” Jasper asked as he pulled a bag from the Pick-Up “Can we even make it to DC?”

 

“Well we won’t really have a choice” Octavia shook her head as she sat down on the side of the road, opening her bag to pull out a chocolate bar with a grin on her face “This is the one thing I will miss about The Ark”

 

“We basically cleaned out their entire chocolate stash, take that one council” Monty said as he took a seat next to Octavia and held his hand out “You’re sharing by the way”

 

“We have heaps of chocolate for everyone” Octavia said shaking her head, holding the block of chocolate to her chest

 

“We have to ration that if you want that to last” Echo suggested in a serious tone as she too sat down with her hand out in front of her “And by ration I mean give me some right now because I haven’t had chocolate in almost two years. I will probably shoot you for it if I have to and I feel like I’m pretty serious about that”

 

“Echo” Lincoln mumbled as a harmless warning but she just shrugged and gave Lincoln a smile

 

“There’s no way we will have enough fuel to get to DC” Jasper said as he approached Lexa who was leaning back on the tray, her arms folded in front of her as she stood shoulder to shoulder with her girlfriend

 

“We can find more fuel if need be” Lexa said with a sigh “And I’m keeping that backpack with me because we almost lost it back there”

 

“That’s fine” Jasper nodded as he backed away slowly before turning back to the rest of the group

 

“I don’t think your friend likes me” Lexa said, glancing to Clarke quickly before looking to the group who were now all sitting or standing by the side of the road “I don’t think Monty has said a word to me either”

 

“They’re just not used to you” Clarke responded, giving the brunette a small nudge “You’re a bit intense sometimes”

 

“We are living in the apocalypse, if I wasn’t intense then I would probably be dead” Lexa said with a small smirk, her eyes dropping down to her boots as she shuffled her feet below her slowly “I don’t need them to like me but I need them to trust me. I can’t appreciate them more for helping to rescue me and everyone else but I need them to trust me”

 

“They do” Clarke replied “But I think you just need to remember that you’re dealing with people who have lived inside walls since pretty much the beginning of this. They aren’t going to be like trained soldiers, they’re going to have to get used to this kind of life”

 

“I know” Lexa mumbled with a small nod “And I’m trying to help them adjust but you do realise just how much danger we were put in this morning because Bellamy and Raven fell asleep on watch? I mean a horde could have come through or we could have been found by a much deadlier group; we got lucky”

 

“Which is something we need to remember when the next bad thing happens” Clarke chuckled to herself “This isn’t going to be easy, nothing is ever easy but these people want your help and they want you to lead them. They just need some time to adjust to you and you need some time to adjust to them”

 

“How old are you under that skin of yours?” Lexa asked with a small smile, turning her head to meet Clarke’s gaze “Because you give advice like you are in your sixties at the very youngest”

 

“I’m not sure whether to be insulted or take that as a compliment but thank you” Clarke replied with a nod “I can’t believe you got that backpack”

 

“That kid was just hungry” Lexa said as she stifled a yawn

 

“Did you manage to get much sleep?” Clarke asked leaning further into the brunette, Lexa reminded of the first few days they had met when they would both subtly move together as closely as they could without being too obvious “You didn’t wake up screaming”

 

“I probably would have if we didn’t get woken” Lexa explained with shrug “You know I never really liked sleeping before all of this because I just thought it was a waste of time but now I would do almost anything to have uninterrupted, dream free sleep”

 

“Still having the same nightmare?”

 

“Not as often as I used to and it changes as things happen but last night was…odd” Lexa responded, shuddering to herself as she recalled the dream “I had two last night; you were in one and Costia was in the other”

 

“What happened in them?” Clarke asked quietly

 

“Nothing that hasn’t happened before but it was weird; Costia told me to go to Washington DC and you both told me that death was the only good option in the world anymore. Costia also told me that I can’t outrun death like I have been” Lexa admitted with a shudder as she rested her head on the slightly shorter girls shoulder “I don’t want to die but apparently my subconscious is thinking about it”

 

“We’re always thinking about death though” Clarke responded, her tone then turning to heavy sarcasm “Unfortunately death is more of a fact of life than ever now”

 

“How are you anyway?” Lexa asked steering the conversation away from her nightmare, not wanting to give any further thought to it “You had a rough day yesterday”

 

“We all had a rough day” Clarke shook the question off quickly

 

“No seriously” Lexa quickly moved her body to be standing in front of Clarke, both of her arms resting against the tray of the Pick-up to keep the blonde from moving

 

“Mom and I promised my dad we would stick together before he died” Clarke said as her eyes flickered between Lexa’s “And I know that was almost two years ago but if it wasn’t enough just leaving my mom, I feel like I’ve broken a promise to him as well”

 

“I’m sorry” Lexa said flinching slightly

 

“It’s not your fault” Clarke shook her head with the smallest of smiles “Even if you weren’t in the picture I would have still left The Ark for doing what they did to anyone who was only trying to help us. My mom made her choice and I made mine, unfortunately for them though I think I left a sinking ship”

 

“I’m sure she will be fine” Lexa replied quietly “Your mom is smart, she’ll do what she needs to in order to survive”

 

“At least I still have my friends” The blonde looked over Lexa’s shoulder before returning her gaze onto the soldier in front of her “And I still have you”

 

“I’m here if you need to talk about it, okay?” Lexa asked softly “I’m not the best talker but I know what it’s like to leave someone like that behind and I am pretty good at listening”

 

Before Clarke could say another word the sounds of a loud engine filled the air, everyone’s heads turning quickly to the direction of noise that was coming from up over a far hill. Whatever was being driven was loud, it was close and Lexa didn’t want to be out in the open enough for them to be spotted.

 

“Get your bags and get into tree cover, now” Lexa hissed from the other side of the pick up to the rest of her squad who were sitting on the side of the road before grabbing Clarke’s hand and tugging her down to the ground to take cover under the Pick-Up

 

“Why aren’t we with them?” Clarke whispered frantically as looked out from under the Pick-Up to see their squad scrambling deep into the tree cover

 

“If they find either group then at least whoever is left can help” Lexa said quietly as she pulled Clarke into her further “I know splitting up is not the best idea but at least we can see from a few different angles. Hopefully they just pass on by”

 

The roar of the multiple obnoxiously loud engines increased instantly as two green, military grade jeeps appeared over the horizon on the road; approaching the Pick-Up and the squad with speed. Lexa said a silent prayer, knowing those Jeeps were ex-military and they wouldn’t have been easy to obtain so she figured this group was armed and hoping they would just pass by without taking any notice of the Pick-Up. Her heart rate increased as she glanced over at Clarke for a moment who had a look of determination mixed with fear etched on her face as the vehicles began to slow. The brunette cursed silently as the ex-military jeeps rolled to a stop right in front of the Pick-Up, six pairs of boots stepping out from the two jeeps to approach the Pick-Up.

 

Lexa held her rifle at her side as Clarke slowly pulled out her pistol from her holster, watching nervously as two feet appeared right in front of their faces.

 

“The engine is still warm” A deep voice said, hearing a hand tapping loudly on the front of the Pick-Up “Should we search for survivors?”

 

“Do we have time?” They heard a female voice ask as a second pair of boots appeared in front of their faces, Lexa swallowing thickly knowing that she could reach out and touch these people

 

“All we have is time” Yet another male voice responded “There could be people hiding, you wouldn’t just leave your functioning car here unless you were hiding from something or someone took them”

 

“Four of you go and see if you can find anyone, we’ll wait here but you go in for a few minutes and then you come back” A fourth commanding female voice spoke “We’re not losing anyone else today”

 

Lexa watched on anxiously as she heard the group of four move towards the tree cover, directly into where her squad was waiting and knowing that she couldn’t do much to help them at that moment. She turned her head to watch the people walk out of sight and into the trees, hoping her squad had gone far enough to prevent them from being seen because she wasn’t sure whether she could deal with losing anyone else at that time and point. Lexa turned her attention to the two staying behind, knowing that her best chance of defending her squad was going to be attacking the two people who were left behind.

 

They moved back towards the other side of the jeep and Lexa gave Clarke a quick nod, gesturing towards the other jeep in hopes that Clarke knew what the brunette meant. She figured that the blonde picked it up straight away when her eyes grew wide and she shook her head swiftly but she couldn’t do anything to protest when Lexa pressed a firm kiss to her lips before quickly sliding out from under the Pick-Up and stalking silently towards the Jeep. She pressed her back against the green jeep as she slowly began to circle the vehicle, watching the two sets of boots on the other side of the vehicle. She paused as they began moving back around towards her, swallowing thickly knowing that she was about to take the two of them head on; which was something she didn’t want.

She heard the sound of tapping against the Pick-up, knowing that Clarke was making noises to gain the attention of the two people so Lexa knew she had to pounce as soon as she had the chance. She took her pistol out and held it in front of her as she slowly moved to be on the opposite side of the still shifting people, looking under the car to notice she had lost sight of the male who had stayed behind. She didn’t lose sight of him for long because when she turned back to look in front of her, he was there; knocking her pistol out of her hand and driving his shoulder into her ribs to push her harshly against the Jeep.

 

She not only felt the wind leave her lungs but she felt a stabbing pain in her ribs, knowing that the heavyset man had done more than a little damage to her ribs by ramming his shoulder into her midsection. She couldn’t help but let out a yelp of pain but brought her knee up, driving it into his stomach to try and create some space between them. As he backed off to let go she threw the hardest punch she could muster, sending him backwards but not strong enough to knock him to the ground so she grabbed his arm and tried a throw technique she had learnt in basic training to use his own bodyweight against him as she heard scuffling near the Pick-Up. The man fell with a thud, his head hitting the concrete and dazing him instantly which gave Lexa an opportunity to pick up her pistol from the ground and turning her attention to the dark haired woman who had Clarke pinned up against the Pick-Up with her hands around her neck.

 

“Let go of her now or I make you let go” Lexa said venomously through gritted teeth, taking a few quick strides towards the woman and pressing the barrel of the gun to the back of her head “Now”

 

“Okay” She heard the girl said firmly, moving her hands up beside her in surrender “I’m going to turn around and talk about this, we’re only fighting because you attacked us”

 

“You sent your people out to find mine” Lexa said calmly “I’m going to suggest you call them back”

 

“Okay” She nodded, still with her back to Lexa as she locked eyes with Clarke who gave her a quick nod to signal that she was okay. The woman moved her hand to her mouth, whistling very loudly as a signal for her people to come back before raising it in surrender once more “I’m just going to turn around and we can talk about this, no one has to get hurt”

 

Lexa wasn’t expecting it when the woman turned around quickly, pulling her gun out to hold to Lexa’s forehead whilst Lexa still had her pistol aimed at her in some kind of a stand off position. The brunette also didn’t expect for her stomach to drop completely when she saw the face of the woman; not out of fear or anger but out of surprise because she was looking into someone’s eyes that she never thought she would see again.

 

“Anya?” Lexa asked with wide eyes as she dropped her gun immediately

 

“Lexa” Anya responded in the same tone with the same facial expression before pulling the other girl into a tight hug, Lexa locking her arms around Anya’s shoulders tightly “Oh my god”

 

“How?” Lexa asked as she pulled away from the hug to hold her old friend at arms length “I thought you were dead”

 

“I thought you were dead” Anya countered with wide eyes “You look horrible”

 

Lexa glanced to Clarke who had a dumbfounded expression covering her features, the brunette gestured to the blonde with her still shocked tone.

 

“Uh this is Clarke, she’s my girlfriend; you were just choking my girlfriend” Lexa said quickly before putting her pistol back in it’s holster “Clarke this is Anya, we were in the same company up until the whole Washington DC thing happened”

 

“Girlfriend?” Anya said raising her eyebrows as she turned to the blonde “Wow, I’m sorry”

 

“It’s fine” Clarke shook her head quickly as she tried to wrap her head around the situation

 

“Only you could find a girlfriend in the zombie apocalypse” Anya said with a small smile before pulling Lexa back into a quick hug “God I am so glad to see you”

 

“What in the hell are you doing here and why were you trying to find my squad?” Lexa asked raising her eyebrows as she doubled over once she separated from her old friend, holding her arm tightly around her ribs “I think I might have concussed your guy too”

 

“Right” Anya said as she glanced over to her soldier who was sitting up against the Jeep holding the back of his head painfully “We were trying to see if anyone is alive, we’re military; we’re not killers”

 

“Where did you get these Jeeps?” Lexa asked curiously, feeling Clarke’s hand on her back

 

“I told you, we’re Military” Anya responded “There’s a rebuild happening”

 

“There’s a what?” Lexa asked standing up straight, wincing but wanting to look her old friend in the eyes

 

“Listen, we were just going to find a place for the night because the sun will be down soon and there are a lot of Z’s around this area” Anya said looking towards the tree cover as her group began to emerge once more “Follow us and bring your people, we have plenty of food and supplies for everyone; we can catch up and I can tell you what is going on”

 

“Yeah, okay” Lexa said with a nod, her stunned expression still on her face “Though I don’t have a cool signal to bring my squad out”

 

“I’ll go” Clarke responded quickly, giving Anya a glance once more before walking around the Pick-up and heading into the tree cover after Anya nodded at her people to let the blonde pass

 

“How the hell did you get out of there?” Lexa asked turning her attention back to Anya who signalled to her people to drop their guns

 

“Out of the store?” Anya asked, only receiving yet another nod from Lexa “There was a storeroom that a few of us found so we hid in there for a few days until the zombies passed through. We found a vehicle and we took off; we were on the road just traveling around for about a year and a half until we went back to DC”

 

“Why the hell did you go back to DC?” Lexa wincing sharply as she reached down to grab her rifle from under the Pick-Up

 

“We got word that a few government officials who had survived were trying to make a containment zone in DC. We fought for almost a six months against zombies and people alike until we managed to get some kind of stability, that’s where we were are on our way to now” Anya responded quickly “That’s where you need to be too, we need people like you”

 

“We’re going to Texas” Lexa replied with a shake of her head “We heard radio contact from there a while back”

 

“There is a stronghold in Texas” Anya confirmed “But we could really use you in DC”

 

“I was about to shoot you in the back of the head” Lexa said in a stunned tone, exhaling with a wince “You were choking Clarke”

 

“Where did you meet her?” Anya questioned curiously

 

“Oh you know, at a bar” Lexa quipped sarcastically with a frown “On the road, where else would I have met her?”

 

“Who else is with you? Anyone else I know?”

 

“Lincoln and Echo” Lexa confirmed with a nod “Quint, Gustus, Indra and Nyko were with me but they didn’t make it”

 

“Damn” Anya said with a sigh “That sucks”

 

“We have had a hard run” Lexa agreed

 

“What happened with you guys when you left?” Anya queried quickly as Lexa’s new squad began to slowly emerge

 

“I’ll explain everything later” Lexa responded with a nod once more, watching Echo and Lincoln’s face light up as they recognised who she was talking too

 

“Holy crap” Echo said with wide eyes and a grin as she rushed over to Anya and all but jumped into her arms “What the hell?”

 

“I’m glad to see you too” Anya chuckled to herself, letting go of the hug to hold Echo’s shoulders gently “I’m glad you’re still alive after all this time”

 

“What happened to you?” Lincoln asked as she approached Anya, hugging her quickly before taking her place next to Echo “We thought everyone else died”

 

“I left with a few other people out the side of the store but I’m the only one who’s still here” Anya responded with a sympathetic smile “I hear you’ve lost a few”

 

“What’s going on?” Raven asked as Lexa walked back to her new squad, standing closely to
Clarke as she watched the exchange carefully

 

“I’ve known Anya since the first day I joined the military” Lexa turned her head to look at Raven very quickly “Apparently there is some kind of rebuild going on and she’s military again, so are all the other guys here”

 

“Why don’t we go and find somewhere to stay for the night” Anya suggested once more looking to the younger leader “We can tell you about what’s going on in DC”

 

“Washington DC?” Jasper asked with raised eyebrows

 

“Yeah” Anya furrowed her eyebrows in confusion as she gestured for her people to get back in their vehicles “Follow us”

 

Lexa watched the new military group move to the cars wordlessly, watching the man she had concussed stand with his hand still holding the back of his head before jumping into their cars. Anya gave her a small nod before she got into the large vehicle but left the door open as she watched the unmoving group.

 

“I hate to be the one to ask this but can we trust them?” Raven asked quietly, glancing between Anya and her new Commander “Do we know we aren’t going to be ambushed again or anything?”

 

“We can trust her” Lexa nodded as she looked to her group “We’ll be safe with them”

 

“Let’s go” Anya called from the passenger seat of the Jeep, closing the door quietly before pointing in the distance “Z’s”

 

---

 

The squad followed Anya and her people to a small, remote cabin they had come across whilst driving through the mostly open roads. Lexa didn’t want to stay at the cabin, it reminded her far too much of the cabin they had been staying in when Gustus died but they didn’t really have many other options. The sun was setting and everyone was tired so when Anya and her group pulled over, they followed and quickly cleared the cabin of any infected. Lexa was impressed by the group Anya had with her; they were efficient, cohesive and strong, instantly signalling to Lexa that they had all come from a military background someway or another.

The squad sat on one side of the cabin while Anya and her group sat on the other, Anya’s people volunteering to take watch for the evening to leave Lexa’s squad to rest. Lexa sat uncomfortably in the corner with her rifle on the side closest to the wall and Clarke on her other side, watching her with a concerned expression as she brunette shifted with an audible wince.

 

“I’m starting to think you just like being hurt” Clarke said quietly as she reached down to place a very gentle hand on Lexa’s ribs “I should see if I can feel anything sticking out”

 

“I’m fine” Lexa reassured her, giving her a small smile as she nodded “So what do you think?”

 

“What do I think?” Clarke raised her eyebrows

 

“About Anya” Lexa responded in a hushed tone

 

“Well I’m glad it was someone you knew because I didn’t really want you to have to shoot anyone in the back of the head” Clarke reasoned seriously as she took in Lexa’s even expression, the brunette gazing over to her old friend who was watching them carefully with a small smile “Why? What’s wrong?”

 

“We went through a lot together to even get to Washington when we did a year ago but I don’t know” Lexa replied with a shrug “The apocalypse has ruined my ability to trust because if you trust it leaves you open to betrayal”

 

“And I wouldn’t blame you for not being willing to trust anyone” Clarke answered honestly

 

“So what happened to you guys?” Anya asked as she stood from what was left of her group to walk cautiously to the middle of the room, trying not to startle any of the squad “Do you mind if I come over to your corner”

 

“Come on over” Echo nodded as she glanced over to Lexa who just gave her a nod “We have a few stories we can tell you”

 

“Anyone who has survived this long…how many days, Lexa?” Anya asked raising an eyebrow teasingly at her friend

 

“Seven hundred and eleven” Lexa humoured her old friend with a subtle roll of her eyes

 

“Anyone who has survived seven hundred and eleven days has more than a few stories to tell” Anya said sitting down between Echo and Bellamy, looking around the group “I mean you guys don’t look like you’re from the military”

 

“We were based inside a community in West Bloomington called The Ark” Clarke spoke with a nod, feeling Lexa’s warm hand on her knee “I met Lexa and her squad when they saved me from a horde of infected and I’ve been with them ever since, the rest of the group met them when they were in the community”

 

“You were in a community?” Anya asked curiously “Why didn’t you stay then?”

 

“That is a long and complicated story that I don’t really think anyone wants to rehash” Lexa mumbled with a shake of her head “But it just didn’t work out and it’s the reason why Indra and Nyko aren’t here so I don’t want to discuss that”

 

“Okay” Anya nodded understandably “What about Quint and Gustus? You said they were with you?”

 

“They died very different ways” Echo admitted with a small sigh “Typical Gustus had to be the hero and was bitten while getting us away from a huge horde of zombies”

 

“And Quint?”

 

“Quint tried to kill Clarke” Lexa said quickly “And then he tried to kill me so we had to stop him”

 

“Wow” Anya said with raised eyebrows, shaking her head slowly “I mean I knew he had a temper”

 

“Everyone knew that” Lincoln interrupted gruffly “He didn’t think we should have been going to The Ark so he tried to kill Clarke”

 

“Maybe I should have listened” Lexa mumbled more to herself than to anyone else as her eyes dropped her her boots in front of her

 

“So you guys just all left in a Pick-up and decided to head to Texas?” Anya questioned

 

“We had a jeep but we encountered some bandits who took it upon themselves to shoot it all up” Octavia took over answering a question, seeing Lexa’s discomfort “Lexa says that there is a rebuild in Texas as we have some important information we have to get there”

 

“Octavia” Bellamy hushed his sister quickly with wide eyes

 

“Information?” Anya raised her eyebrows as her attention flickered to a still quiet Lexa “What is she talking about?”

 

“It’s nothing” Lexa mumbled quickly, turning her head to look at the blonde next to her who had her gaze firmly fixed on her own “We just found something”

 

“What did you find?” Anya questioned, scooting closer to her friend cautiously with a sigh “You’ve been through hell, I get that but you know me. You and I are friends; we roomed together, we watched each others backs when we went to Washington…we cried when you found Costia”

 

“I know that” Lexa responded instantly, her attention focussing on Anya with a clenched jaw as her mind instantly went back to the nightmare she had experienced the previous night.

 

“We found a set of documents” Clarke spoke confidently, taking charge of the conversation as a fragile Lexa regathered herself quickly “Another community we had issues with were doing human trials for a cure to this infection”

 

“They what?” Anya asked pausing “Human trials?”

 

“I was captured in that community for a while so I saw what they did and it was horrible. We cleared the place out and on our way Jasper found documents, journals, test results and even photos to prove that they had found a cure by the end of their experimentations” Clarke continued with a firm nod “Now I know we are all infected already with that virus but whatever they figured out, stopped someone from turning even when they were bitten”

 

“Show me” Anya said with wide eyes, her attention turning to Lexa “Show me what Clarke is talking about, that is impossible”

 

“That’s what we all thought” Clarke responded with a shrug “But apparently it’s not”

 

“I need you to answer a few things for me first” Lexa responded as her eyes focussed on Anya once more “What has been happening in Washington and Texas? How long has there been a rebuild on for?”

 

“There is a rebuild in Washington DC right now, any Government officials or Army personnel that were left and have heard the call have cleared a containment zone which has been expanding constantly. We clear out the Z’s and then we fence it off; we have at least a hundred military personnel on base right now after starting only with a dozen eight months ago. We’ve worked hard to get what we have and it isn’t perfect but we are trying to fight back, trying to find anyone who wants help and safety so we can bring them back to DC” Anya explained with a small smile “There is a stronghold in Texas, we use both as bases but DC is much bigger and that’s where the rebuild is starting”

 

“So what you’re saying is that you basically have a zombie free town in Washington DC?” Raven asked raising her eyebrows, her eyes widening as she spoke “Is that possible?”

 

“We want to try and rebuild for those who want it, we are trying to take the world back from the Z’s and the people who are using this breakdown of society to their advantage. We want to restore some order but most of all we are trying to protect the innocent” Anya said looking around the group “Which I think is where you all come in”

 

“The innocent?” Lexa scoffed with a shake of her head

 

“Maybe not innocent but the good” Anya corrected herself quickly “Does that answer your questions?”

 

“Anya you know how much you mean to me but I don’t know if I believe that” Lexa said seriously “I’m not sure that is possible”

 

“We didn’t think a cure was possible a few days ago” Lincoln responded as he looked to his Commander

 

Lexa sighed to herself as she looked around her group, looking to her hopefully at this news and knowing that she didn’t have any right to stand in their way of going to Washington DC if they wanted to; but she would soon make it clear that if that’s where they chose, she wasn’t sure she could go with. She presented the backpack to Anya, pulling out everything they had found and spreading it out in front of her old friend; seeing her eyes widen as she looked over everything she could get her hands on. She sat there wordlessly for at least five minutes, seemingly not blinking or pausing as she looked at everything before placing her hands on top of her head and locking eyes with other squad leader.

 

“We have to get this to DC, this is the right place to take this information” Anya said quietly, swallowing thickly “I don’t know much about science but this is at the very least worth presenting to officials. The person who was doing this testing is dead?”

 

“Yes” Lexa said simply with a small nod

 

“Then we need to get you guys to Washington along with this information” Anya said urgently “This is the exact breakthrough we need”

 

“I’m not going to Washington” Lexa said honestly with a shake of her head as she looked around the group “I’m going to Texas”

 

“But you just heard what she said, we need to get this information to DC” Jasper said with a shake of his head “We can’t let this go to waste”

 

“I said I’m not going, I think you should go to Washington with Anya if you want to” Lexa said as she looked around the group once more “I think all of you should if you want to”

 

“Well we’re not leaving you” Lincoln protested “But I think we would be more beneficial in DC by the sounds of it”

 

“We’re making more headway in DC, we have soldiers in Texas but they aren’t really progressing. They are there as a strong hold, they are there to protect what we have there for the moment but DC is about expanding and it’s about beating this thing” Anya responded with a nod “DC is the place that we need the best and I know you Lexa, you are exactly what we need in DC. We need leaders, we need soldiers, we need people who are willing to take a risk for the sake of expansion and claiming some kind of normality back”

 

“The world can’t be saved if it doesn’t want to be” Lexa countered quickly “These people don’t want help, they want to kill each other and they want to be the ones in charge”

 

“That’s because they think they’re alone” Anya replied firmly “That’s because they have lost all hope”

 

“I’m sorry” Lexa said standing “I’m not going to DC, not after what happened last time”

 

Without another word she walked to the outside of the cabin, pushing the door open roughly and leaning against the outside, allowing her body to slide down into a seated position. She gripped her rifle in front of her and looked out to the darkness before hearing the squeaky door of the cabin open almost instantly to find Anya standing beside her.

 

“Okay so what has happened to you that you are so scared to go back to DC?” Anya asked raising her eyebrows “I’m telling you that it’s as safe as it can be right now. We’re at an army base, we have literally a hundred army personnel there, we have Government officials and really smart people there who know what they are talking about. We need that best so I need you to come with us”

 

“Anya the last time I was there I saw dozens of people get eaten alive in a grocery store” Lexa said with a sigh, rubbing her eyes in frustration

 

“I told you that it’s different now” Anya said with a shake of her head “These people need you, the people in DC are going to need you and you’d only be going to waste in Texas”

 

“But there is a stronghold there” Lexa countered instantly “I don’t want to lead these people to their deaths, I already have enough blood on my hands and I can only go by what I know. The last time I trusted someone, two of my squad members were killed and we were sold down the river because of a decision I made, I won’t let them pay for my mistakes”

 

“Then come to DC. Washington is where the progress is being made; DC is where your people will be the safest” Anya responded “Lexa we’re not trying to save the world, okay? We know that it can only be saved if people want that but we want to show people who need this that they can survive. We want to show people that there is a better life than just trying to live from day to day, worrying about where they will sleep the next night or who they have to kill in order to steal their next meal. We can’t go back to the way it was and we know that but we want to do better than what is going on now and I truly believe you can help us to do so”

 

“Why do you think I can help?” Lexa asked weakly “I’ve got nothing left Anya; I’ve been torn at and broken down so many times that I honestly don’t know how many more times I can build myself back up; it’s too much”

 

“It’s not too much; you have everyone inside that cabin and you have me too” Anya urged with a small sigh “You can go to Texas and you will be safe, you will survive. Otherwise you can go to Washington DC with us and help rebuild, you can do something more than just surviving. You have a chance to help make a difference here so you can either go to Texas and take whoever you will go with you or you can swallow your pride and do something to stand for the future for those who want one, a real one”

 

“What if this cure doesn’t work out?” Lexa questioned “What if nothing changes?”

 

“Maybe this cure will work or maybe it won’t but we have to take the chance and get it to the place where it is most useful” Anya shrugged “It was only a matter of time before we started looking for a cure and even if this doesn’t work it could be helpful to finding one. You have to make your own decisions and I get that but I know you and I think I know that you’d rather be doing something useful than just getting by”

 

“I don’t know” Lexa muttered quietly, looking up at her old friend with a shrug

 

“Just think about it” Anya said nodding “You have until morning but we’re going to need to take that backpack and we’re going to take anyone who will go with us”

 

Lexa nodded wordlessly as she watched Anya walk back inside, closing the cabin door behind her. She soon heard soft, rolling thunder in the far distance and the sounds of very light rain against the roof; feeling the chill of a cool breeze that preceded the storm as it headed their way. She folded her arms tightly against her body and rested her head against the cabin once more, letting her eyes flutter closed momentarily until she heard the cabin door open yet again. She didn’t need to look to know it was Clarke, she knew the other girl had left her to give her some space but when she saw Anya return the blonde knew she needed to go check on the mentally worn soldier.

 

“I’m not sure you should sleep on the outside of the cabin” Clarke said quietly, closing the door behind her and moving to sit shoulder to shoulder with the brunette “But maybe I shouldn’t say anything because at least you’d be sleeping”

 

“Do you want to go to DC?” Lexa asked quickly, leaning her head against the blonde’s shoulder as she looked out into the darkness whilst the light rain continued to fall

 

“Yes” Clarke responded honestly with a shaky tone “But I came out here to find out why exactly you don’t want to go and I’m pretty sure you haven’t listed all the reasons why so I want you to be completely honest with me”

 

“Do you really think a rebuild is possible?” Lexa questioned skeptically “Do you really think that we can rebuild the world?”

 

“Well no, I don’t think that’s possible but I think it’s possible to make a place where it’s better to live and you can actually live rather than just going from one place to the next” Clarke reasoned sensibly “I know that things could never go back to how they were before but you don’t think it could at least improve?”

 

“To me it just sounds like Anya is promising everything I was promised about The Ark or what I’m sure Dante Wallace promised people in his community” Lexa responded with a shake of her head, reaching down to take Clarke’s hand in her own “You can’t put walls up and just think everything is going to be better or things are going to change”

 

“I don’t think this rebuild is about that” Clarke replied “To me, this rebuild sounds like it is trying to give people hope to those who think they have lost it. To me it’s trying to give people a home who think they don’t have one and we’re all of the above, Lexa. We have something that could really make a difference and I think it’s our responsibility to see it through but if you choose to go to Texas than that’s where I’m going to”

 

“Why?” Lexa asked, picking up her head to look the blonde in the eyes “You want to go to DC”

 

“You know that I’m going where you are, I don’t think that should come as a surprise to you” Clarke responded with a small smile “We’re a package deal whether you like it or not so I’m going wherever you decide to go; I would just prefer it if you chose to go to DC”

 

“You don’t have to do that” Lexa responded quietly

 

“I know” Clarke nodded, leaning in to press a chaste but meaningful kiss on the brunette’s lips “But I don’t think that you’d make a different decision if you were in my shoes and I don’t want to be separated from you again so you make the decision and I’ll go”

 

Days since outbreak: 711
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Destination: Undecided

Chapter Text

Days Since Outbreak: 1132
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Location: Fort Woods, Washington DC

 

Lexa smiled to herself as the military jeep’s engine fell silent, unclipping her seatbelt as her transport squad piled out of the car after a week’s worth of driving. She gladly shook her legs out, shaking her arms out beside her as she listened to the instructions of the many soldiers who greeted them on base. They had been assigned to collecting some people in Minnesota that had signalled for assistance, making the long trip as the rebuild began to gather momentum and those who wanted help tried to communicate with those in DC for refuge from the outside. After shaking the numbness from her limbs, she grabbed her rifle before closing the door quietly with a click while she watched the new refugee’s being gathered by a very patient Lincoln.

 

Lexa had made the decision to go to Washington DC simply for the fact that she knew Clarke had sacrificed her home and her family for her so although she had major hesitations, she wanted to do what would make Clarke happy because in the end; that was what she deserved. She didn’t get any sleep the night she made her decision, only watching Clarke as she slept peacefully as she tried to come to terms with the decision she knew she had to make. She could see the look of pure relief on her squad’s and Clarke’s face when she announced she would be going to DC, knowing that was that they all really wanted. The trip to DC was long and it wasn’t without complication, especially because when they arrived they were taken through a trying decontamination procedure that tested everyone’s patients but in the end they were accepted into their new camp. Everything Anya had told them was true; the Military and Government were regrouping and although Lexa was extremely weary after what had happened at The Ark, she almost felt a sense of normalcy or a sense that maybe the world could return even just a little from the current state of hell it was in.

 

They were taken immediately to an office only to find out that the Secretary of Defence had survived the outbreak and was being protected by a group of military personnel who had protected him the entire time and started the rebuild. Lexa and her new squad presented their findings, although the Secretary of Defence was a bit sceptical about the cure he sent it to a group of scientists that had come to Fort Woods. They were completely stunned by the findings and immediately began to try and replicate a vaccine to stop the infection within the body, meaning that when someone died they shouldn’t turn into an infected; even if they were bitten by one. The medical trials were ongoing, nothing had been finalised yet and the vaccine hadn’t been established even a year after Lexa’s squad had presented it but the scientists and doctors were being patient about it because like any other vaccine; in order to become immune to it they would need to also inject a small strain of the infection itself.

 

Though Lexa did wonder why it was taking so long, she was assured time and time again that they needed to be patient and that Dante’s people weren’t scientists so they had made many shortcuts along the way to stumbling upon the cure. As Lexa already guessed; all of the experiments they had made previously were unsafe and the way they were conducted were inhumane; so the military scientists were trying their best to find a way to do everything safely.

 

Things were certainly not perfect in Fort Woods, though they willingly took members of the community in and the numbers were increasing every day; some people’s intentions weren’t so pure as most. Fort Woods now had at least 150 military
personnel and 200 civilians living inside meaning that any bandits who did attempt a take over or anyone who came into the camp with harmful intentions were quickly stopped and although people within the fences had their own issues; they knew they were in a much better place than on the outside so they did what they had to in order to stay.

 

Needless to say, Lexa and her squad were offered a very permanent place within Fort Woods on the condition that they would work towards helping the rebuild and commit their skills to helping out those who wanted help. As Anya had said; they weren’t under any illusion that a rebuild would be for everyone but they wanted to try and protect the good that was left in the world and keep those who needed it safe against not only the infected but also those living who had grown to be worse. Lexa had found her place along with the rest of her squad, she was offered a position as an actual Commander within Fort Woods after the Secretary of Defence had heard what they had been through and her past experience.

 

They were given full military uniforms and offered new weapons but the squad opted to keep what they had, the former Ark members adjusting to the fact that they had essentially joined the military by default. Her old squad was kept with her and she had made frequent trips to Texas, seeing first hand when they had arrived the less than ideal conditions in the stronghold; knowing at that point that her decision to follow Clarke to DC was actually the best thing for them. Things were a little less stable in Texas, they had half the resources and half the number of military personnel so it was difficult work keeping all of those who acted out in line.

 

In the beginning Bellamy, Octavia, Raven and Clarke had all come out on many missions with Lincoln, Echo and herself while Jasper stayed with Monty inside Fort Woods to help with the structural side of the compound but also because they just weren’t made for combat situations. Clarke had been spending more and more time in the compound after receiving further medical training; only going out on missions when necessary so she could stay and continue her training as well as help out anyone who might have needed it inside Fort Woods. Lexa hated leaving her and Clarke disliked it even more when the majority of the people she had left in the world went on missions without her and the brunette soldier sometimes had to convince Anya that it was a waste leaving Clarke back in the compound. Fort Woods frequently received communications from people needing help after a broadcast was established on the East Coast for any survivors who had radio access and although they wanted to help as many people as they could, they also had to consider their own safety so they would deploy no less than a 20 person squad for a single mission in case of ambush.

 

Lexa threw the keys to the military Jeep at Echo who caught it quickly against her chest and a cocked eyebrow with a small smirk on her lips as she watched her Commander.

 

“Where do you think you’re going?” Echo asked shaking her head “You have to go debrief Anya”

 

“Where do you think I’m going?” Lexa asked with a smirk as she took a step backwards and away from her squad-member “Do you think you could take the Jeep back for me please?”

 

“Only because I’m a romantic” Echo nodded with a grin

 

“Did I hear romantic?” Octavia asked as she approached the other two girls, folding her arms tightly to her chest as she leaned against the Jeep “Are you going to find Clarke?”

 

“Yes” Lexa said simply, tugging on her old and worn out cap that she refused to give up or stop wearing with her uniform “Is it okay with you guys if I go and see my girlfriend who I haven’t seen in a week?”

 

“You got it Commander” Octavia said jokingly with a brief nod “Go get her”

 

“Make sure these people get screened properly, no one gets assigned housing until that happens. Get them to the outbreak screening area and then get them some food, they have to be starving by now. I’ll see you at dinner no doubt, try not to cause too much trouble while I’m gone” Lexa nodded herself before she turned on her heel, dodging a few people who crowded the area to watch some new refugee’s arrive in the hopes that it could have been a loved one or someone they knew

 

It was always a heartbreaking moment for Lexa as she watched the disappointment on people’s faces when it wasn’t their loved ones they had been separated from that had arrived or the anguish when they realised that they weren’t with a group they had been with previously, when they realised that someone they loved was dead. Lexa made a point to never say the word goodbye to Clarke whenever they were separated by a mission, she would tell the blonde that she would see her soon but refused to say goodbye because it was such a final word for her.

 

She had been in bad place when they arrived at Fort Woods at first, after she had lost Indra and killed both Carl Emerson and Dante Wallace; she had slipped into a dark place that she wasn’t sure she would be able to exit from. She was too busy trying to keep them all alive and used so much energy to try and keep them in good spirits on their journey that she blocked out her real thoughts until she actually had time to consider what she had done. She had been torn apart so many times by the post-apocalyptic world and she knew that every time she was torn down, she lost a piece of her that wouldn’t be replaced but thanks to Clarke being around; she lost less than what she would have if she had been alone.

 

She had her squad and they were a close group but Lexa knew she probably would have been dead a few times over if she hadn’t found Clarke in the first place, she had no idea where they would have been or if she would have even been alive. She was still haunted in her dreams every night by Gustus, Quint, Nyko, Indra and of course Costia because she would always harbour the guilt of their deaths in her mind until the day she died as well. Some nights the dreams were unbearable and she would wake up gasping for air, refusing to go to sleep the next night and sometimes things felt so real that she would question whether she was actually awake when she opened her eyes but Clarke was always next to her when those moments took over her. She just looked forward to the day when the cure was finalised and they could live without fear of becoming infected, it would be one less thing for them to worry about.

 

Lexa put her rifle over her back as she made her way to Fort Woods’ makeshift hospital, knowing Clarke would either be there or in the portable cabin that they had been assigned to. She was tired and she was hungry but she wouldn’t be able to think about anything else if she didn’t go to Clarke first. She walked the first level hall of the two level temporary hospital and pausing to look down the empty hallway of the small building. Fort Woods was looking to extend the hospital as their population grew but they were also struggling to find the materials to make this extension, having to shift the injured into a smaller building until they finished the extension.

 

“You’re back early” She heard Clarke’s voice from behind her, her smile growing to an extent that only the blonde could trigger, a smile that her squad had never seen her pull before she had met the other girl

 

“I thought you might miss me” Lexa turned around quickly, her eyes locking on the blonde who was leaning against the wall a few feet away from her with her arms folded and a knowing smirk on her face

 

“Oh you thought I might miss you?” Clarke asked with a raised eyebrow, chuckling lightly “I see”

 

Lexa took a few long strides to stand directly in front of the blonde, happily pulling her cap from her head only to drop it on the ground beside her so she could cup both of Clarke’s cheeks gently and capturing her lips in a delicate kiss.Lexa feeling any stress she had been harbouring drop from her shoulders instantly as the other girl sighed quietly. She felt Clarke’s lips smile against her own as she returned the kiss, only to pull away reluctantly a few moments later to rest her forehead against the soldier’s.

 

“I missed you and I love you but you are covered in infected blood and you smell horrible” Clarke laughed lightly with a shake of her head

 

“Sorry” Lexa responded as she looked down to her uniform, splattered in red and black stains from the infected they had come across during their mission “So you did miss me, huh?”

 

“A week is the longest we have been apart since I met you” Clarke said simply as she shrugged “And I would have kicked myself for saying what I just did before the whole zombie apocalypse but a week is a very long time now”

 

“Yeah I know what you mean” Lexa nodded, her grin still covering her face as she leaned back so she could take in Clarke’s face “I missed you a lot”

 

“How was it out there?” Clarke asked quietly after she paused momentarily, concern flashing in her eyes quickly “Did you see anyone?”

 

“No, sorry” The brunette responded carefully as she dropped her hands to her sides only to reach out and tug Clarke’s hips flush up against hers once more “Maybe she got out, your mom is a smart woman”

 

Clarke swallowed thickly, Lexa knowing she was thinking of the sight that they had come across almost six months ago whilst they were travelling through Minnesota. They were running low on water at the time because they had done a large pick up of refugee’s who had called for help a number of times and Bellamy made the suggestion to see if The Ark would assist them with any water. Though both Lexa and Clarke were personally against it, the Commander knew that they were going to need water so she agreed to take one vehicle to the community while the others waited for them nearby.

 

As they approached they noticed a black smoke filled the air in the distance and the squad made the decision to approach anyway only to find the gate was broken down and the charred remains of houses was all that was left of the once strong community. They didn’t enter The Ark, Lexa deeming it far too risky considering all of the infected she could see inside even from just a distance and although they wouldn’t admit it after everything that happened; the former Ark Members on Lexa’s squad were all torn by the finding.

 

Every time Lexa and her squad went in the direction of Minnesota they would keep their eyes out for the very unlikely chance they would spot Abby alive but they had never had any luck. Lexa would never forgive the council for selling her out, she would never forget how they traded the lives of the people she cared about most for their own safety but she also knew what it was like to not know the fate of someone so important as a parent and although Clarke would never forgive the council either; Abby was her mother after every thing was said and done.

 

“They would have had no chance” Clarke said quietly with a shake of her head before exhaling deeply “Seeing as you’re back I should get ready to do some health checks for the people you just brought in, will you be at home later?”

 

“I don’t know if I would call the portable cabin a home”

 

“That’s our home” Clarke countered quickly “I’m not too sure it matters what it looks like or what is or isn’t in it but I don’t really care”

 

“As long as we are in it together, right?” Lexa finished her sentence as she kissed the blonde quickly

 

“That and at least we have a small bed to sleep on rather than the floor” Clarke replied with a smirk, reaching her hand out to anchor it behind Lexa’s neck as her eyes did a quick sweep of the brunette’s exposed skin “You don’t need checking out after your mission? No injuries?”

 

“Everyone is fine, myself included” Lexa confirmed with a nod “I’ll see you later?”

 

“You will” Clarke said as she ghosted her lips over Lexa’s and placed a chaste kiss on the brunette’s mouth before pushing her shoulder off the wall and taking a few steps backwards away from her girlfriend “I don’t like it when you’re gone”

 

“Either do I” Lexa agreed as she bent down to pick her cap up only to watch her girlfriend turn the corner of the building and leave her sight

 

The brunette sighed loudly to herself, her head tilting upwards to look at the ceiling but a small smile stayed on her face.

 

Home

 

That was something she never thought she would find again, or thought it impossible to find in the post-apocalyptic world but somehow she managed to and she managed to find it with the woman that had literally appeared from nowhere as she escaped a small horde of infected. Lexa would never forget that day, any day with infected would be difficult to forget but she would never forget the moment she saw Clarke running desperately for her life through the uneven field in Nebraska; having a feeling that she was about to change the game completely for herself and her squad.

 

Lexa left the makeshift hospital quickly, a tiny smile pulling at her mouth as she watched soldiers walking through the Fort; watching children that had come into the safe zone following them around and mimicking everything they did. The brunette was good with children, though her tough exterior never really showed that on first glance but she was always good with them; ensuring they were safe and talking to them about their day when they approached her. It tore at her a little to know that some of those kids would probably never remember any memories of the world before the outbreak started and all they would know was the reality they were in now but she had put her faith in a rebuild for those who wanted it and would do anything to ensure it’s success.

 

She passed through multiple guards that stood outside the demountable Anya was based in, knocking on the door and hearing her old friend signal for her to enter as she pushed it open quietly.

 

“You’re a few hours early” Anya said with a grin, standing from her desk “Everything okay?”

 

“Fine” Lexa nodded, closing the door behind her and standing on the other side of the desk to her commanding officer and saluting quickly “Ma’am”

 

“You know you don’t need to do that, right?” Anya asked raising an eyebrow “We’re friends”

 

“Yeah but we’re trying to make this place as stable as possible, I know where I fit in and who I need to report to” Lexa shrugged quickly “The run went well, we secured and brought back a total of eight men, seven women and three children who were hiding out in an old butchery of all places”

 

“No casualties on the way back?” Anya questioned, sitting down in her chair and leaning back with a curious expression

 

“None” Lexa responded before looking down to her uniform “But I think I’m going to need to pick up a spare uniform. We had to get through a storeroom in order to get to these people and it was packed with infected. Honestly it was a bit of a close call and as you can tell by the state of me, it was close quarters so I’m starting to wonder when this vaccine is finally going to be developed”

 

“We needed to take our time with it, the original cure that Dante Wallace developed was good and it worked but it was also extremely risky. I know it was frustrating for you to wait knowing what you did, seeing what you saw but we just had to make sure that our scientists had everything they needed in order to do this. Funny that you say that though because as of yesterday though we are officially ready to start trialling the vaccine on people” Anya said with a small smile and a nod “We just need to work out what that looks like”

 

“So you’re ready to trial it on people?” Lexa asked with wide eyes “How are we going to test that?”

 

“That’s what we need to work out” Anya nodded once more with a sigh “I have people suggesting to me that we need to inject people and have an infected bite them after the vaccine has had some time to work it’s way through the blood system”

 

“Who is telling you that?” Lexa asked shaking her head with wide eyes “That’s possibly the worst idea I have ever heard”

 

“I know” Anya chuckled to herself at her stubborn friend “We’ve also got an option of taking blood from a Z and injecting it into the person who receives the vaccine because we know this is something that develops through the bloodstream”

 

“And no one knows what originally caused it?” Lexa questioned

 

“Well it started off as a common cold or a flu that just developed over time from what we know. It attacks the brain, the nervous system but no one actually knows how it evolved into what it is now, why it turns people into a shell of what they are and makes them want what they do. I don’t know if we’ll ever know that but thanks to the information you gave us, we know how to stop it from developing” Anya rubbed her forehead in frustration with a furrowed brow “And I probably don’t have clearance to be telling you this”

 

“Does it matter?” Lexa raised an eyebrow “I think what matters is the way we carry out these trials”

 

“That part we’re still trying to figure out” Anya agreed with a nod

 

“But this cure only works if someone has it in their system before they get bitten, right?”

 

“It’s more of a prevention than a cure I guess” Anya responded evenly “We’re military, we’re not God. We can’t cure someone who is already dead and a Z, we can’t cure someone who has been bitten already because as soon as you are bitten then the infection starts but we can prevent people from turning if they survive the attack and we can prevent them now from coming back as a Z when they die”

 

“So effectively we can wipe this out by preventing people from getting it” Lexa nodded as she followed Anya, a tiny smile pulling at the corner of her lips “But we’d have to vaccinate people when they are born too by the sounds of it”

 

“You used to get injections when you were born before this whole thing so why not add an anti-zombie one to the list. If this works then this vaccine is going to be a condition of living here, some people might be scared of having a small strain of the
virus injected into them and I get that but if they don’t get the vaccine then they can’t stay”

 

“So who is going to do it then?” Lexa asked with a shake of her head “Would anyone even volunteer for this job?”

 

“Actually that isn’t something we need to worry about because one of our medical staff has volunteered” Anya offered cautiously as she stood from her chair “And you need to think about this before you react”

 

“Do not tell me that you let Clarke volunteer herself for this” Lexa said as she swallowed thickly, feeling the colour draining from her face immediately and a chill running through her body “Don’t you tell me that Anya”

 

“She volunteered”

 

“She’s all I have left” Lexa responded loudly as she shook her head again furiously “Someone else will volunteer, I’ll volunteer. You can’t let her do this Anya, you shouldn’t have agreed”

 

“Lexa I tried to talk her out of this but she is sure she wants to do it” Anya replied calmly “We have been talking all week about it because I knew we were close to the trialling stage. I think you might need to ask her about it so you can understand where she is coming from but she has been trained up by some of the best military doctors we have”

 

“We have left” Lexa corrected her friend quickly “The best military doctors we have left, the rest of them are dead and probably because of stupid decisions like this”

 

“They are still the best” Anya responded, moving towards her old friend who only backed away with wide eyes “She knows better than either of us what is going on with this vaccine now because she’s been working closely with the doctors and some of the scientists who are developing it. Clarke is stubborn, you know that more than anyone here and I know you love her but this is for the human race, Lexa. I’m not going to stop this trial because we need this and Clarke has volunteered, the longer we leave this the worse it gets out there and you know that”

 

“So what am I supposed to do?” Lexa snapped angrily “Just let her get bitten by an infected?”

 

“We’ll inject her with infected blood 48 hours after she has been injected with the vaccine” Anya responded calmly, holding her eye contact firmly with her younger friend “No Z will touch her”

 

“I have to go find her” Lexa replied as she took a few further steps backwards, her hand resting on the door handle

 

“Give yourself some time to think about it before you talk to Clarke” Anya suggested calmly “She has her reasons and she can make her own choices, okay? Just like you can make your own. Just listen to her when you talk to her instead of doing what you do sometimes when you get mad”

 

“Which is what?”

 

“You don’t listen to reason” Anya responded quickly

 

---

 

Lexa sat on top of the portable cabin she shared with Clarke, her legs dangling above the space that separated herself and the ground. She affectionally called it a shipping container with windows and although it was no house like she had been given in The Ark; it was certainly better than nothing. She also knew that it was a nice medium between the luxury she had encountered in The Ark and the hardships she had suffered on the outside just to find some shelter. Most importantly she was with Clarke and that’s what mattered the most to her; she didn’t care where they were living but just that she was living in relative safety with the blonde and her squad were only a few cabins away if need be.

 

She sighed quietly as she looked at the cabins surrounding her; they were in the makeshift part of Fort Woods while the refugees stayed in barracks together to provide them with a better sense of safety whilst housing assistants assigned them a place within the compound. Lexa was happy to not be living in the barracks; she was provided a bit more privacy having four, albeit small walls surrounding her and a door to keep other people out when she needed it. The brunette had kept to herself all night; she hadn’t seen Clarke since she first got back because the blonde had been busy checking over the new arrivals and making sure that they were healthy enough to be placed into general population. She had been silent during dinner and hardly touched her food, unable to think about anything else than what Anya had told her earlier and posted herself on a watch duty while she waited for the night to pass.

 

Lexa groaned to herself as she looked up at the sky, questioning as to why she had to have met Clarke when so much horror was occurring in the world; wondering why she couldn’t have met the girl when things were safe or normal. She tried not to think about it because it became too difficult to process but she knew there was a huge risk of losing the blonde and that was something that Lexa knew she wouldn’t be able to pull herself through. That would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as they say and she wouldn’t be interested in surviving anymore, she knew she wouldn’t be able to pull through that even as she thought about it.

 

“Why do I always find you up there?” She heard Clarke’s voice say in an amused tone, causing the brunette to look down with a grin to see her girlfriend standing with her hands on her hips

 

“I like it up here” Lexa shrugged as she felt the tugging on her chest that never failed to take over her whenever she looked at the blonde

 

“I know that” Clarke said with a grin, disappearing from Lexa’s view to walk behind the portable cabin and climbing up the small makeshift ladder to find her place next to the solider

 

“It’s better when you’re here though” Lexa responded with a nod, wrapping her arm around Clarke’s waist tightly “I just like looking up at the stars, you know that”

 

“It helps you remember” Clarke nodded herself as she leaned her head on Lexa’s shoulder

 

“And it helps me forget” Lexa shrugged slightly, turning her head to press a kiss on Clarke’s hair “It’s more peace than I get when I’m sleeping so looking up at the stars for me is as good as it gets”

 

“How were your nightmares on the road?”

 

“Terrible” Lexa replied simply after exhaling sharply “But I’m sleeping next to you tonight so it should be better”

 

“You do know that I could give you something to sleep better” Clarke pulled her head from Lexa’s shoulder, locking eyes with the soldier as she spoke seriously

 

“No thank you” Lexa refused politely with a shake of her head “I don’t want to knock myself out and then be needed at night, I can deal with constant tiredness”

 

“You shouldn’t have to though” Clarke responded sympathetically before exhaling deeply as her eyes searched Lexa’s “It’s not fair for you to have to relive everything when you close your eyes”

 

“It’s okay” Lexa shrugged again, her mouth curving up into a smile “How was your week anyway?”

 

“It gets a little boring when all of you go” Clarke admitted with a quiet laugh “But we got to the point that we’re ready to trial the vaccine on people now while you were away”

 

“I know” Lexa broke eye contact with her girlfriend to look out over Fort Woods once more “Pretty crazy, huh?”

 

“What is?” Clarke asked curiously, leaning in to place a gentle kiss to Lexa’s cheek which sent a shiver down the brunette’s spine from the simple touch “The fact that we could be living without infected in a few years time?”

 

“I mean we don’t know what caused it so we probably can’t completely wipe it out but there should certainly be a lot less infected to deal with” Lexa responded with a nod “It should make life a little better”

 

“And cleaner judging by your uniform earlier, what happened with that?” Clarke asked cocking an eyebrow

 

“We had to get to a storeroom in order to get to the people we rescued and the place they were in was just packed with infected” Lexa responded honestly as her voice quietened “It was actually a miracle that we all made it back and we had some close calls”

 

“How is it out there?” Clarke shuffled herself further into Lexa’s body at the brunette’s admission

 

“It’s gotten worse” Lexa confirmed, her eyes locking onto the blue orbs that had held her attention since the first day she saw them “It’s just going to keep getting worse until something changes and for once I’m glad I’m behind fences”

 

“Well hopefully the vaccine will give people a little hope” Clarke replied with a nod

 

“You know what else is pretty crazy?” Lexa asked, reaching her free hand to take Clarke’s

 

“What’s that?”

 

“If you asked me where I was going to be a year ago, I never would have thought I would be in a military safe zone with a changed squad and someone who means as much to me as you do” Lexa grinned as she moved her legs from hanging over the edge of the cabin so she could turn her body completely to face the other girl, prompting Clarke to do the same so they could sit face to face “I don’t know even know if I would have thought I would be alive or not”

 

“I would definitely be dead if you hadn’t been driving past” Clarke shrugged quickly as she stated her simple fact “I mean if the infected didn’t get me than Dante’s search crew would have”

 

“I think we both would be dead a few times over if it weren’t for each other” Lexa responded carefully “I don’t know where I would have been if I didn’t have you to pull me out of the headspace I was after Indra and Nyko died”

 

“You lost a lot in a very short period of time; I think a lot of people would have reacted worse than you did” Clarke sighed heavily, reaching out to place a hand on Lexa’s knee “We have each other and we have our friends”

 

“Clarke I know you volunteered to trial the vaccine” Lexa said painfully and weakly, shutting her eyes tightly for a moment “Anya told me this afternoon when I went to see her”

 

“Oh” Clarke said with a frown “I was going to tell you tonight”

 

“You can’t do it” Lexa responded quickly “I can’t let you do it”

 

“Well first of all I have already agreed and since when do I let you tell me what to do?” Clarke replied lightly, giving Lexa’s knee a squeeze as she tried to lighten the suddenly dark mood “This vaccine has been ready for trial for months but they’ve just been waiting to ensure it’s perfect”

 

“Why does it have to be you though?” Lexa questioned, her stomach churning as she looked at her girlfriend while she felt her lower lip falter slightly “I mean why do you have to be the one to do it? Surely we can find someone else who is willing to try”

 

“We have to get this done quickly, you said it yourself that it’s gotten worse out there” Clarke reasoned sensibly but carefully “The sooner this is trialled and cleared, the better. I’ll be injected tomorrow and 48 hours later I will have infected blood injected. If it all goes to plan then the trial will be successful and we can start vaccinating people within the base. This is a huge thing, Lexa and I’m not doing this just because I feel like taking a risk”

 

“And what happens if it doesn’t work?” Lexa questioned, her eyes slowly clouding as she tried to hold her emotions in check “What happens if you turn into an infected after being injected with it’s blood and I lose you too? Then what? Where does that leave me?”

 

“That’s not going to happen”

 

“But what if it does?” Lexa asked as she looked down to the hand on her knee “What am I supposed to do without you now?”

 

“You’re not going to have to be without me” Clarke shook her head, moving her hand from Lexa’s knee to place on the base of her neck and demanding the brunette’s eye contact “You’re a bad-ass Commander though, you’d be okay”

 

“You seriously overestimate my ability to be a bad-ass then” Lexa shook her head frantically, leaning into the contact that the blonde was providing “I would have never pulled myself out of that abyss I was staring straight into when we first came here if it weren’t for you, I don’t know where I would be right now. If something happens to you then there is no way I’m going to be able to pull myself out of that”

 

Clarke sighed deeply, her eyebrows creasing in concern as she watched the fragile brunette in front of her, something that she had only seen a few times but it was something she never liked seeing and she knew how difficult it was for Lexa to display that. Lexa’s eyes searched Clarke’s expression, feeling her lower lip tug slightly as she tried not to even think about the possibility of her life without the blonde after everything she had already been through. She was just starting to find some stability; she was just starting to find some normality if that were such a thing in the Post-Apocalyptic setting.

 

“You’re being dramatic, Lexa. I have been here while you’ve been away; I’ve seen all of the trials that have happened already over the past few months” Clarke spoke quietly with a nod “This is going to work, okay? If there was even a chance that it would fail then I wouldn’t have volunteered to do this. I don’t want to lose you just as much as you don’t want to lose me. I love you and you know that”

 

“That’s why I can’t let you do it, because I love you too much” Lexa muttered quietly, squeezing her eyes shut tightly and opening them only to have her vision blurred momentarily “Why don’t you let me do it?”

 

“That’s really sweet of you Lexa but I’ve already made up my mind” Clarke shook her head “This isn’t something you can do for me, this is something that I am doing because feel like I need to”

 

“So I can’t change your mind?” Lexa asked carefully, her voice catching in her throat

 

Clarke didn’t respond but she leaned in to capture Lexa’s lips in her own, sighing into the kiss as she moved her hand to press into the soldier’s upper chest; the brunette reaching out to grab at the material of Clarke’s shirt on her waist. She tightened her fist into a ball and tangled the loose blue material of her shirt around her fingers as her other hand gravitated towards the back of Clarke’s neck. Clarke pulled at the material just over Lexa’s chest and tugged her girlfriend towards herself as she leaned back so she was lying down against the top of the cabin. Lexa moved with Clarke with fluidity, placing her hands either side of Clarke’s head so she could hold herself up as she kissed the blonde with urgency. She exhaled shakily as Clarke moved her hands to the soldier’s lower back, pressing her body down as tightly as she could against herself; feeling the electricity growing between them with every passing second.

 

“Guys, seriously” They heard Raven’s voice from the ground causing Lexa to finally break the kiss so she could peer over the edge of the portable cabin that they were so close to “I’m all about you two being reunited and it was cute the first time but you have a room you can use for this; so please use the inside of it”

 

“Are you on patrol?” Lexa asked raising an eyebrow as she reluctantly pushed herself from Clarke’s body to kneel and having the blonde sit up with her “How are you on shift when we just got back?”

 

“A couple of people were feeling sick so I decided to fill in and help Anya out” Raven shrugged as she shone her torch up at the two women “Now you two move along into your little love cabin, okay?”

 

“Sorry” Clarke said awkwardly to her friend, running a hand through her hair to straighten it out “It won’t happen again”

 

“I would think not” Raven smirked with a small shake of her head “At least I didn’t hear anything that woke me up this time”

 

“Okay, well now that we’ve got that sorted” Lexa said with a clenched jaw, sending a glare towards their friend “I think you should keep going”

 

“You got it Commander” Raven said with a chuckle before she gave them both a small wave and continued on her patrol

 

“Well that was embarrassing” Lexa said as she looked with wide eyes to the blonde who was biting her cheek to hold back laughter “What?”

 

“You’re just funny” Clarke replied with a shake of her head and a wide grin “It just reminds me how much you’ve relaxed around me since we first met”

 

“Yeah well a year is a long time and I’m not constantly worrying about a lot of things I had to when I first met you” Lexa responded with a shrug, reaching her hand out to tuck a loose strand of blonde hair behind Clarke’s ear “And you might have softened me up a little”

 

“I’m going to remember you said that and remind you every time you mention that you’re a tough military woman” Clarke said leaning her head up to press a chaste kiss to Lexa’s lips “Which happens more often than you probably think”

 

“Are you sure I can’t change your mind about tomorrow?” Lexa asked with her voice just above a whisper as her eyes searched Clarke’s once more “I can’t do this alone anymore”

 

“Do you remember how I asked you to trust me when you first found me and I told you about The Ark?” Clarke asked quietly as she rose to her knees as well so she could be at the same eye level as Lexa “Do you remember how your squad were so desperate for hope or direction and you trusted me because you needed to?”

 

“Yes”

 

“So just trust me again” Clarke said simply with a pained smile as she watched the brunette in front of her “It will be fine, I promise you that I will be fine so I need you to trust me just like you did back then”

 

“Okay” Lexa replied with a husky tone, her voice scratching against her now dry throat and exhaling deeply “You and me, right?”

 

“Yes” Clarke replied with a nod, leaning forward to kiss Lexa on the cheek firmly before standing to her feet and holding her hand out “Come on, let’s get inside before Raven comes back”

 

“I’m her Commander” Lexa cocked her eyebrows as she took Clarke’s hand whilst standing “She can’t do anything to me”

 

“I know but I kind of just want to get you inside” Clarke replied with a smirk “It’s going to be okay”

 

“You better be right, Clarke Griffin” Lexa mumbled as she glanced up to the sparkling sky above her once more “I’m at least coming with you tomorrow then when this vaccine trial happens”

 

“All I’m going to be doing is getting a needle tomorrow, that’s it” Clarke replied shaking her head “Only in 48 hours will I have the infected blood injected into me”

 

“I don’t care” Lexa replied quickly, shuddering at Clarke’s last sentence before swallowing thickly “I’m going with”

 

“Aren’t you rostered on duty?”

 

“Then I’ll get out of it” Lexa answered quickly with a shrug “You’re not doing this alone, any of it”

 

“Come on” The edge's of Clarke’s mouth tugging with a thoughtful smile before she turned away from Lexa to make her way down to the ground from the roof of their demountable

 

Days Since Outbreak: 1132
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Location : Fort Woods, Washington DC

Chapter Text

Days Since Outbreak: 1133
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Location : Fort Woods, Washington DC

 

Lexa’s eyes shot open suddenly, inhaling sharply as she took that familiar gasp of air that her lungs so craved whenever she woke up from a restless night’s sleep. She blinked quickly as she reached her hand up to rub her eyes roughly, trying to expel the same nightmare that haunted her for the past month. It was a nightmare she hadn’t told anyone about, she had told her girlfriend that she was having the same one as she always had but at some point it changed from Costia being the one confronting Lexa about dying with bite marks on her arm, to Clarke. Truthfully she hadn’t dreamt of Costia in a while and although she thought of the other woman daily, it was nice for it to be on her terms rather than being haunted by the infected version of the woman she once loved.

 

Instead, she was dreaming of Clarke being the one who was talking to her about the fact that she could not outrun death, her arm dripping blood after infected had bitten her; instead she was haunted by what she thought could be a horrific omen to something she wasn’t sure she was capable of dealing with. Although the nightmare was shorter, her mind knowing that Clarke was lying in bed right beside her; it didn’t make Lexa feel any better when she woke up.

 

Her stomach churned as she remembered what Anya had told her yesterday and what Lexa had spoken to Clarke about the night before, Clarke was going to be the first human trial subject to the newly developed vaccine and it wasn’t sitting right with the brunette at all. She rolled from her back to her side, a soft smile on her face as she saw the still sleeping blonde with her bare back towards her; freckles she had grown accustomed to seeing over the past year was just a symbol of of stability Lexa had found with her girlfriend. Her chest tightened as her heart felt full in that moment where she could forget about the world outside, she could forget about all she had lost and what she had been through whilst she looked at Clarke sleeping peacefully.

 

She shuffled her body the short distance to be pressed up against the blonde, nuzzling into the back of her neck to inhale the familiar smell of her hair; which still managed to smell intoxicating to Lexa even in the conditions they were living in. She looped her arm around Clarke’s waist gently, feeling the blonde take her hand instantly and pull it towards her mouth so she could place a gentle kiss on Lexa’s knuckles whilst their legs tangled once more on the small bed.

 

“Morning” Clarke said huskily, sleep still extremely evident in her tone

 

“Good morning” Lexa said nuzzling further into her girlfriend, placing a delicate kiss on a spot on the back of her neck

 

“Waking up in his bed is much better when you’re in it with me” Clarke admitted quietly as Lexa felt her nod slightly “You had a nightmare last night, didn’t you?”

 

“Did I wake you?” Lexa asked in a hushed tone, allowing her eyes to close once more as she settled herself against the blonde, feeling her heartbeat settle into a content rhythm

 

“Yeah but that’s okay” Clarke gave Lexa’s hand a squeeze before she rolled herself over to face the brunette, a tired smile on her lips “Hi”

 

“Hey” Lexa rested her forehead against Clarke’s gently, exhaling sharply “Are you sure you have to do this today?”

 

“Yes” Clarke replied with a nod, pulling her head back so she could actually look her girlfriend in the eyes “I’m sorry but I’m not going to change my mind”

 

“I guess it wouldn’t be you if you did” Lexa chuckled darkly to herself as she squeezed her eyes close tightly momentarily “Well I’m still coming with you”

 

“You really don’t need to do that”

 

“Yes I do” Lexa responded instantly “What time are you getting this done?”

 

“Just after breakfast” Clarke nodded “The infirmary is pretty busy right now, there’s a bug going around so people are getting a little unwell and dehydrated”

 

“You’re being careful around them, right?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows

 

“Yes, Lexa” Clarke said with a small smile “Your concern is cute but you don’t need to be worried. You’re the one who is always out there bringing people back into Fort Woods and risking your life”

 

“And you’re sure that this thing is going to work?” Lexa asked, her eyebrows stayed raised “You’re sure that this trial is going to be a success and I have nothing to worry about?”

 

“People here have been working for a year on this, making sure to fill in any shortcuts that Dante Wallace might have taken to get to his results. We have tested it time and time again to get it to a human trial” Clarke said with confidence “So yes, I’m sure it will be a success and you have nothing to worry about”

 

“I’m just not completely convinced considering you’re going to have infected blood injected into you in a few days” Lexa replied shaking her head subtly, her eyebrows furrowing in concern “And I don’t think you can blame me for that”

 

“No I can’t blame you for that so maybe you don’t need to be convinced, you just need to trust me like we talked about last night” Clarke replied with a small shrug as she leaned forward to press a chaste but meaningful kiss to Lexa’s lips “Trust me that it will be okay and it will work out like it’s supposed to”

 

“No offence Clarke but since when have things ever worked out for us?”

 

“Well this place has worked out for us so far” Clarke reasoned with another shrug “And your squad have all managed to stay together since we got here so that has to mean something”

 

“Of course it does but it doesn’t make me feel better” Lexa said honestly

 

“Lexa I’m doing this for a great reason, I’m doing this so maybe we can go back to a world without infected or at least fearing turning into one if we get bitten” Clarke shook her head “I’m doing this so we can gain some dignity back in death when it’s our time, I’m doing this so maybe the world can improve from what it is now”

 

“And you are amazing for doing that” Lexa said seriously as she brought a hand up to cup Clarke’s cheek gently while her eyes moved between the blue ones in front of her “But to me and I know this will be extremely sappy or whatever; but to me if I lose you then I lose everything”

 

“You’re not going to lose me” Clarke said with a heavy sigh as she leaned into Lexa’s touch “I know it’s not easy, I would feel the same if you were the one doing this but I just need you to trust me”

 

“I do”

 

---

 

Lexa sat in the room when Clarke was injected with the vaccine, she felt sick from the moment she walked into the makeshift lab inside the makeshift hospital. Watching uncomfortably as one of the military scientists injected the woman she loved with the vaccine that they had been working on from all the work her squad had brought with them into Fort Woods. She wasn’t so worried about Clarke being injected with the vaccine but it was the fact that it meant in fourty-eight hours later she would be subjected to infected blood and Lexa just had to hope that all the work they had done would prove to be a success or she would lose Clarke in the most devastating way possible.

 

Lexa reluctantly left Clarke at the makeshift hospital half an hour after her injection; the blonde had to get back to work and Lexa needed to get out to perimeter patrol like she had been assigned. It took her three attempts to say goodbye before she could actually leave; only after multiple reassurances from Clarke that she was fine and a few kisses she was able to part from her girlfriend to start her patrol.

 

She wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about the trial that Clarke was undertaking, it was completely confidential and classified but she wasn’t sure whether she would actually be able to keep what she knew from Lincoln and Echo at the very least. She held her AR-15 at her side, her cap pulled down tightly to shield her eyes from the sun as it beat down on them on the particularly hot day. She could feel the sweat rolling down her neck after they had been walking around for a few hours, missing the tank top she was permitted to wear when she wasn’t on rotation. Perimeter patrol at Fort Woods was different to anywhere else Lexa had been, they had two groups outside the fences and the Commander’s group were patrolling a mile away from the actual perimeter to stop any threats coming an closer to their safe hold.

 

“You okay, Commander?” Echo asked quietly as she approached her friend giving her a small nudge to bring her back down to earth as the group of eight patrolled the outside of Fort Woods “We kind of need you to look alive out here”

 

“Sorry” Lexa said with a loud and frustrated sigh

 

“What’s going on?” Echo questioned with a shake of her head “And I’m not going to believe you if you say nothing”

 

“Well then you’re not going to believe me” Lexa mumbled as her eyes continued to focus on her surroundings “Because nothing is going on”

 

“I’ve known you for too long to believe that” Echo responded quietly, glancing back to Lincoln who was walking behind them with his eyes on the pair “We can both see that there is something going on”

 

“I can’t tell you” Lexa answered quickly “Even if I wanted to, I can’t tell you”

 

“Does it have something to do with that bug going around?” Echo asked, her nervousness evident in her tone “I was talking to Bellamy and he seemed to think that the group of 6 of refugees that came in before we got back yesterday were pretty sick but we accepted them anyway”

 

“Why does he seem to think this?” Lexa asked as her eyes moved to meet Echo’s, also glancing back at Lincoln who took a few big strides to be directly behind the two “Why is it those refugees in particular?”

 

“Well no one was sick here before they came in” Lincoln muttered carefully “And now they’re trying to find more places for people with this bug going around”

 

“It’s just a bug, it’s fine” Lexa dismissed with a shake of her head as she paused in her tracks, picking out at least a dozen infected that had somehow made their way through the few safeguards that the military had set up to block approaching infected “We’re going to have to check the perimeter for holes by the looks of it”

 

“I don’t think it’s just a bug though, I mean yeah we have a hospital and we have some doctors; a few scientists to help our cause but we’re in no way shape or form capable of taking care of another outbreak on top of what is already going on right now. We just have to hope that it doesn’t spread and we haven’t isolated them too late” Echo said seriously, looking to Lincoln who just shrugged “Apparently the upper command is pretty on edge about it so I assumed that’s why you were but I’m guessing not now”

 

“No, that’s not it” Lexa responded honestly “But if there is something going on with this bug, then I haven’t been told about it”

 

“Maybe you should ask Anya then” Lincoln suggested cautiously “Not that they wouldn’t tell us everything but this might be something we need to know”

 

“I think we need to be more concerned about those infected coming towards us” Lexa hissed as she paused in her tracks, turning her head so she could speak quietly to her two friends “They’ve started a human trial for the cure Dante Wallace found”

 

“What?” Echo asked with wide eyes

 

“We have to take care of these infected first, then I’ll tell you about it” Lexa muttered, looking to the other five military personnel on their rotation for that day “We need to take care of these infected quickly, the less rounds we use the better so we’ll get a little closer and start taking them out. Don’t let them get too close to you though”

 

“Let’s get this over with” Lincoln agreed as he brought his rifle up to aim at the infected as they approached slowly

 

Lexa watched the infected carefully as their limping increased in pace after spotting the group, watching their teeth snapping through her scope as she held her aim. She exhaled slowly before pulling her trigger and the group followed suit. The infected were dropped with ease until there was one left walking towards them, Lexa was unsure as to why the other members in her group hadn’t put it down yet.

 

“Don’t shoot” One of the group members said as he took a few steps towards the approaching infected, blocking Lexa’s shot “That…I know her”

 

“You don’t know her” Echo called quickly “She’s an infected, you don’t know her”

 

“That’s my ex girlfriend” He said with a shake of his head, his eyes wide as he took a few more steps towards her with his hands out “Hannah?”

 

“She’s dead!” Lexa exclaimed quickly “Put her down or she’ll kill you”

 

“Hannah” He said slowly as she was now feet from the solider, the angle he was standing in was still blocking Lexa’s shot of the infected “Hannah, it’s me”

 

“Put her down!” Lexa called as she moved from her position so she could gain a clear shot of the infected who was now reaching for the soldier who held her at arms length whilst she attempted to bite him

 

Lexa had no choice but to take her shot as he looked on with a stunned expression, hitting her cleanly in the head before she fell to the ground and from his arms. The soldier turned to Lexa with wide eyes, his expression wasn’t one of anger but it was one of shock and loss; it was an expression she was all to used to.

 

“That was stupid” Lexa snapped with a shake of her head “You could have died”

 

“I knew her” He said hesitantly before repeating shakily “I knew her”

 

“She was dead” Lexa responded “And she would have killed you too if you held her like that for much longer”

 

“No, she loved me” He shook his head as he looked down at the infected’s body “She loved me and I still loved her”

 

“You’re from around here?” Echo questioned cautiously, trying to calm her fellow soldier down

 

“She lived here, she went on a supply run a few months back and never made it back but I thought she survived. I just thought she got lost or found another group, I didn’t think she would be dead” He looked back up to the group of soldiers in front of him, Lexa not lowering her gun as she watched him drop his rifle only to reach for his pistol “Everyone I love is dead”

 

She couldn’t do anything to stop him because the only thing she could was the exact same thing that he was planning to do himself. She held his gaze as he raised his gun to his temple quickly and pulled the trigger, causing Lexa to flinch and shut her eyes tightly as she heard Echo gasp next to her. Lexa exhaled deeply before opening her eyes once more, letting her rifle hang by her side as she placed her hands on her hips and turned to the other members of the group.

 

“He was hanging on by a thread” One soldier reasoned with a sad smile “He has been for a while since she went missing”

 

“Honestly I thought he would have done that sooner” Another said, not with malice or to be spiteful but Lexa could tell that she was just being truthful “I’m not sure he was cut out to be in this world”

 

“Are any of us?” Echo asked with a shrug

 

“Get his gun and take his knife if he is carrying one” Lexa mumbled as she turned to Lincoln and Echo “We’re going to have to go out and see how those infected got through”

 

“The sad thing is that we’re used to seeing that now” Echo said quietly as she sighed herself with a shake of her head “It’s just sad that it seems like it’s the only option, that because of the state of the world doing that seems to be like the easiest option out”

 

“Living is harder now” Lincoln mumbled darkly

 

Lexa felt a shiver run down her spine through the intense heat, remembering her dream vividly from the night before as her squad members practically voice aloud what had been said by both Costia and Clarke. She swallowed thickly as she looked down to the body of the now dead soldier, almost ashamed at the fact that she was more numb to his death than what she should have been. She didn’t know him, she had only spoken to him a few times but a loss of human life used to be a big deal and now; it was just another part of their day that they had to move on with.

 

Something inside of her just clicked something that gave her a realisation as to why Clarke might have thought she needed to do what she was doing. Clarke didn’t want to live in a world like she was living in now; where the dead greatly outweighed the living and where death wasn’t even properly mourned any more because it happened far too often. Clarke knew that it wouldn’t change the world completely but it would improve it, it would help those who needed it and would stop the dead from coming back instead of resting like they were supposed to. Clarke also knew that if she wanted to see some kind of change, she was probably going to have to be the one to do it seeing as no one else would.

 

Lexa’s thoughts were completely disrupted when she heard the faint sound of old sirens sounding in the direction of inside Fort Woods; knowing that the only time they were ever sounded was when there were infected inside the walls. She had never heard the sirens before because no incidents with infected had ever occurred inside Fort Woods but she had been briefed during her training on first arrival at the rebuild sight. Lexa looked to her group who all looked to her, confirming that she wasn’t hearing things her thoughts went directly to Clarke and everyone else who was inside Fort Woods.

 

“We’ll come back and check those safeguards as soon as we find out what is going on inside there” Lexa said as she took a few hurried steps backwards towards Fort Woods “A siren means they need all soldiers in the immediate area”

 

“Don’t have to tell us twice” Lincoln said with a shake of his head as they all exchanged glances before turning on their heels and began running towards Fort Woods

 

Lexa wasn’t thinking about anything else but the people she cared about inside Fort Woods as they ran, the absence of gunfire puzzled the brunette as they pushed forward through the hot afternoon.They weren’t supposed to be on the distant perimeter patrol that day so they didn’t take vehicles, Lexa swapped her patrol squad out for the other group simply to do a few who had done a double shift a favour. They dragged their gear and their tired, worn feet through the heated streets; thankfully not having to deal with any other infected along the way that would slow them down. It took them 7 minutes to reach the gates of Fort Woods, they were opened immediately for the returning perimeter watch rotation and they quickly found a crowd gathering outside of the makeshift hospital; numerous soldiers standing guard and keeping people away from the entrance.

 

Lexa pushed through the crowd of refugees as she saw Anya standing at the outside of the makeshift hospital, talking with Bellamy with their heads close together and the brunette noticed Bellamy’s pale complexion immediately.

 

“What’s going on?” Lexa asked as she reached the two after being waved through by her superior “We heard the sirens and we came back”

 

“Something happened, Lexa” Anya said slowly, her voice very careful and giving Lexa cause to sound alarm bells within her head “A few refugees were pretty sick, they died of a respiratory bug that was brought into Fort Woods a few days before you came back. They’ve been in quarantine but unfortunately one died and they obviously came back as a Z”

 

“That’s why the siren sounded?” Lexa asked raising her eyebrows as her stomach churned, knowing the story didn’t end there

 

“In part” Anya responded “They were in quarantine so the Z got to the other refugees within that ward and they were killed too, they were too weak to defend themselves or were sleeping at the time. We had three doctors in there at the time; one of them was also killed. Now I need you to be as calm about this as you can but Clarke was in quarantine with them at the time, she was one of the doctors on shift as you know”

 

“Where is she?” Lexa asked with wide eyes, her heart felt as if it had stopped and dropped to the ground as she waited for what felt like years for a reply “Where is Clarke?”

 

“She’s inside, she’s alive” Anya nodded with a sad smile “She actually got to the Z’s before anyone out here did and she managed to stop quite a few of them”

 

“Well where is she?” Lexa questioned anxiously as she looked to Bellamy who wouldn’t look Lexa in the eyes, the brunette feeling worse and worse as the seconds ticked by without a clear answer

 

“As I said; she’s inside but she was in the quarantine area” Anya said shaking her head “We can’t let anyone in or out because there are still people inside with the bug and it’s turned out to be more serious than we thought”

 

“Anya cut the crap, what happened?”

 

“Clarke was bitten” Anya said regretfully as she looked at her younger friend

 

Lexa froze as the words echoed through her ears but didn’t register with her mind until a good few seconds after the words were spoken. She was sure that if anyone was listening close enough they would have heard the shattering sound of everything around her, a loud ringing began in her ears instantly as she felt the contents of her stomach churn once more. Lexa looked to Bellamy who had a faltering stiff upper lip as she felt Echo place her hand on her shoulder, only to shrug it off unintentionally as she took a step towards Anya.

 

“Did…did you just say she was bitten?” Lexa asked shakily “Clarke?”

 

“On the arm” Anya confirmed quietly “She was fighting off one and another caught her. She killed them both and she is still alive inside but she is been kept separately from everyone else inside as you can probably understand”

 

“But the vaccine” Lexa said with wide eyes, the brunette completely unaware of the words leaving her mouth as her entire body shook “She has the vaccine”

 

“Vaccine?” She heard Echo ask from behind her but Lexa kept her eyes on Anya

 

“We think it’s too early for it to do anything, it’s only been hours” Anya responded doubtfully, in a hushed tone as she looked to those surrounding the makeshift hospital “But that’s why we are keeping her in there for observation. If she turns then we will be able to contain her but if she doesn’t then I guess we will know it works”

 

“I need to go in there” Lexa said as she moved to push past Anya only to have the older girl block her path, unable to make eye contact with the Commander “Anya”

 

“Lexa it’s quarantined for a reason, no one is allowed inside” Anya said regretfully with pursed lips “I know you want to go in there but you could get sick if you go in there. We have to contain the risk in order for us to manage this”

 

“Anya I don’t want to make a scene here but if you think anything you say to me is going to keep me from going inside then you better have something planned that involves more than words because you’re going to need something with more force” Lexa responded with a clenched jaw, her heart rate increasing by the second “Let me go in there”

 

“Maybe you shouldn’t” Bellamy offered quietly “I hate suggesting this but maybe it’s better if you don’t see her like she might be later”

 

“Let me in” Lexa replied as her chest heaved and her expression hardened “Now”

 

“Just let her in” Echo snapped angrily “You can’t possibly make her stay out here when Clarke is inside”

 

“Octavia and Raven are inside there as well, they’re watching over the quarantine ward so she has company” Anya offered weakly

 

“But she’s locked up in a room by herself?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows

 

“It was her idea, she suggested that we don’t let anyone in” Anya admitted “She doesn’t want this to spread and she wanted herself locked in a quarantined room for when she…”

 

“I’m going in and you’re going to have to shoot me to stop me” Lexa snapped angrily as she attempted to push through Anya but her older friend held firm once more “So pull your gun out now if you’re going to do it”

 

“If you go in there then you can’t come back out until you are medically cleared, do you understand that?” Anya asked cautiously “That could take days or maybe even a week or two”

 

“Do you understand that if that vaccine doesn’t work than I’m not coming out of there at all?” Lexa responded quickly with a shake of her head, her resolve slowly breaking as her lower lip began to falter once she considered the ramifications of the situation she was facing “I’m not coming out unless Clarke is coming with me”

 

“That’s a stupid and rash decision that you are making in the heat of the moment, Lexa” Anya said gripping her arm tightly “Don’t make one death into two when it’s unnecessary, you know how foolish that is. People need you here, you can’t just check out”

 

“Then hopefully you’ll see both Clarke and I when we’re cleared” Lexa snapped angrily as she pushed past Anya and rushing through the makeshift hospital door as she heard Echo calling out from behind her

 

Lexa knew she would regret that later, she knew she would feel horrible for not saying goodbye to Echo and Lincoln if things didn’t go the way she was hoping but all she could focus on was Clarke. She walked with urgency towards the quarantined ward of the hospital, knowing where it was because she had seen Clarke leave that area a number of times. She couldn’t describe how she felt if she tried because she wasn’t sure if she could feel anything at all. She was in complete disbelief on how her day had turned from being unbelievably happy as she woke up next to the woman she loved; to being told she was bitten by an infected and now was just being held on her own as her chain of command basically waited for her to die or waited to see whether the vaccine they injected such a short time ago could work.

 

She rounded the corner quickly, her shoulder hitting the corner of the wall as she tried to hurry her movements as much as possible and paused as she saw the sight of Raven and Octavia sitting closely together outside of the door they were supposed to be guarding; Jasper and Monty sitting on the other side of the hall with their head in their hands.

 

“Is she in there?” Lexa asked quietly, all of their eyes moving to the brunette as they pulled themselves out of a trance “Is Clarke in there?”

 

“Yeah” Raven rasped with a nod, Octavia’s arm around her shoulder as she exhaled shakily “We’re not supposed to let anyone in there and she won’t let us go in there with her but I mean if we were going to get sick then we would already have caught the bug being in here”

 

“I think it’s about more than that” Octavia said sadly

 

“I’m going in there” Lexa said as she took a few steps towards the door but Octavia stood quickly with a broken expression

 

“I know and I know that I can’t really stop you” Octavia began

 

“You can’t” Lexa said looking directly at the door, not able to meet Octavia’s eyes

 

“Just look after her, okay?” Octavia asked “Do whatever she asks you to do”

 

Lexa exhaled a shaky breath, her legs feeling as if they were going to fail as she took one last step towards the door. She swallowed thickly, her shaky hand on the door-handle before turning her wrist quickly and pushing the door open gently incase Clarke may have been sitting against it.

 

After closing the door behind her she felt herself break a thousand times over as she took in the sight in front of her; Clarke was huddled into the very corner of the small quarantine room. She had her back to the wall, hugging her legs to her body and resting her forehead on her knees. Lexa couldn’t believe just how small the other girl looked before she paused as she saw the bandage over the wound on her forearm; the white material was stained with red, knowing that the infected must have taken quite a bite of her arm but at least it looked like they managed to stop the bleeding. She paused because it was the exact spot she had seen Clarke bitten in her dream the previous night, her body weakening once more as she observed the blonde’s shoulder’s shaking slightly.

 

“Clarke” Lexa said with a voice just above a whisper, surprised she was even able to open her mouth

 

“Why are you in here?” Clarke asked unevenly, her tone not angry but more concerned than anything

 

“Really?” Lexa asked evenly “Did you really not think I would come in here?”

 

“You shouldn’t have” Clarke said as she looked up to the brunette, their eyes meeting and the soldier reading the distress, anxiety and pain that was being so obviously broadcasted through the blue orbs she loved “I quarantined myself in here for a reason. I didn’t even want them outside but they wouldn’t leave”

 

“We love you Clarke, we’re not going to leave you” Lexa shook her head quickly, her eyes stinging with the now familiar feeling her eyes beginning to water subtly as her vision blurred slightly

 

Lexa could have broken down at the sight in front of her; Clarke looked pale, she looked unwell and she looked tired. She looked nothing like Lexa was used to seeing, nothing like Lexa ever would have guessed after seeing her that morning. She could have broken down because her world was crashing down around her but she knew that wasn’t good enough for Clarke. She knew that she had to be as strong as she could manage because Clarke was the one who had been bitten, she was the one who was infected and she was the one quarantined in the hospital by herself; Lexa couldn’t even imagine the thoughts that were running through the blonde’s mind at that moment.

 

“You should though” Clarke croaked weakly, not even able to mean the words she was speaking “You’re going to be in here for a few days now because you’ve been exposed to the bug”

 

“I don’t care” Lexa responded instantly as she took her rifle off to place it by the door as she approached Clarke, sitting down next to her without hesitation and placing her arm around her waist to pull the blonde against her “And I’m not going anywhere. You and me”

 

“You and me” Clarke replied quietly with a small sigh “You can’t stay long, it will only take a few hours at the most for the infection to set in”

 

“But you had the vaccine this morning” Lexa said with a stiff upper lip “I mean that could work, right?”

 

“It hasn’t been in my system long enough” Clarke shrugged as she succumbed to their usual position by resting her head against Lexa’s shoulder “After all that, I get bitten in a safe hold trying to treat refugees. I think I would have preferred to go out a bit differently, maybe fighting a horde or courageously blowing myself up to destroy something. I don’t know, dying in a quarantined room after being bitten by an infected just seems like a bit of an anti-climax”

 

“Clarke” Lexa protested weakly, shutting her eyes tightly as she tried to deal with everything inside of her that just wanted to implode

 

“I mean I survived the whole month at Dante Wallace’s compound, I survived running for hours from a horde, Quint trying to kill me, the whole hospital supply run, the compound…1133 days of this new world and I get bitten after someone got sick” Clarke said with a sigh “I guess that’s just how it is, huh? How it’s supposed to be”

 

“No” Lexa shook her head “No, that’s not just how it is Clarke or how it’s supposed to be”

 

“You’re going to be okay, Lexa” Clarke said quickly, the brunette hearing the pain in Clarke’s voice “You’ll be fine”

 

“You can’t possibly believe that” Lexa mumbled quietly as she tightened her grip against Clarke’s waist “The only way I leave this room is if you leave with me”

 

“Don’t be stupid” Clarke scolded weakly, lifting her hand to wipe away sweat from her forehead before reaching out to take Lexa’s other hand in her own “You can’t do that. Everyone out there needs you”

 

“I told you that I can’t do this without you anymore” Lexa shook her head, shutting her eyes tightly as she tried to blink away the tears still forming in her eyes “I meant it when I said it”

 

“Your squad needs you, these people need you” Clarke responded immediately

 

“And I need you” Lexa shrugged simply, as if no other thoughts mattered to the brunette and at that moment; nothing else did matter to her but the girl in her arms “You would be the same if it were me in this situation”

 

“And you’d be saying the same thing that I am” Clarke quipped quietly “I’m glad it’s not you though”

 

“I wish it was me instead of you” Lexa disagreed as she looked down at the reddened bandage on the blonde’s arm “Does it hurt a lot?”

 

“Yeah, it wasn’t a huge bite but it definitely hurts. It kind of just burns, I feel like I’ve got fire running through my veins” The blonde confirmed nodding “I thought I cleared them all, I was so careful and as I was putting one down he just came from nowhere. It was pretty stupid of me to try and contain them by myself so I guess that’s what I get”

 

“It wasn’t stupid” Lexa countered firmly “I mean it might have been but you’re more stubborn and brave than anyone I have ever met”

 

“Do you plan on staying with me?” Clarke asked quietly after a moment of silence passed between the two girls “I mean I’m not stupid enough to actually think you’ll agree to leaving me, even if that is exactly what you should do”

 

“Do you want me to leave?” Lexa asked carefully, almost flinching as she waited for the response. She wanted to do what the blonde desired but she didn’t want to leave the other girl, she wasn’t sure if she could “Do you want me to go?”

 

“No” Clarke said with a small shake of her head “I want you to stay right here”

 

“Then we’re on the same page” Lexa said nodding, turning her head to place a delicate kiss to the side of Clarke’s head; feeling the heat radiating from her skin and the dampness of her hair against her lips “You’re burning up, Clarke”

 

“That’s what happens I guess” Clarke just shrugged as she picked her head up from Lexa’s shoulders to look her in the eyes “Can you do something for me?”

 

“Sure”

 

“When I turn into an infected…will you end it quickly?” Clarke asked cautiously as her eyes searched Lexa’s; the brunette feeling as if her heart had just fallen out of her chest “And I know that’s a lot to ask but I just want it done quickly”

 

“Clarke…”

 

“Please” Clarke said with desperation, her eyes pleading with the brunette “I don’t want to be one for long. I don’t want to be one at all”

 

“You’re not going to be” Lexa said with a clenched jaw “We don’t know that this vaccine won’t work”

 

“Yeah but I’m getting sick just like people do when they are bitten and not killed by an infected” Clarke countered with a furrowed brow “I mean look how unwell I am”

 

“But you’ve been exposed to this bug”

 

“I’ve been bitten by an infected, Lexa” Clarke countered once more as she reached her hand to stroke Lexa’s cheek gently “I know I’m asking you a lot considering what you had to do with Costia but I would like you to please do that for me”

 

“I don’t know if I can” Lexa shook her head as she muttered “I can’t hurt you”

 

“It won’t be me”

 

“Stop” Lexa’s eyes slammed shut once more, resting her forehead against the smouldering skin of the blonde “I thought I could do this Clarke but I can’t. I can’t do this without you; you’re the only reason why I’m still around”

 

“Lexa I don’t like this either, it’s not like I wanted this” Clarke countered painfully

 

“I know but I’m going to be the one left behind without you” Lexa shook her head urgently, pushing back from Clarke so she could look her in the eyes “I’m the one who has to be in the world without you and I just don’t see a point in trying anymore. Why bother trying to survive anymore if I don’t want to? Why bother when it’s just easier to give in?”

 

“Because that’s not who you are” Clarke responded quietly “I’ve never seen you give up on anything Lexa and you’re not going to start now”

 

“I’ll do it but I’m not walking out of here” Lexa mumbled, bringing her hand up to wipe her eyes quickly “You and me”

 

“I don’t want to argue” Clarke shook her head, swallowing thickly as she winced in pain “I just want to talk with you”

 

Lexa nodded in silence, resting her forehead once more against Clarke’s with a jagged exhale.

 

“This is not how I expected today to go” Lexa said quietly with a shake of her head

 

“How did you expect it to go?”

 

“I don’t know but I wasn’t expecting this” Lexa responded instantly “I know that we’re never promised anything else but the moment we’re living in; I mean we both knew that but it kind of seemed like no matter what happened we’d be okay”

 

“We went a long time avoiding something we can’t really avoid” Clarke replied with a shrug “We were really lucky”

 

“I guess so” Lexa shrugged herself “Not lucky enough by the looks of it. I kind of thought we were going to have more time than this so it was stupid to think that. It was stupid to get my hopes up because I’m not supposed to hope anymore, I’m not supposed to be foolish enough to think I’m guaranteed time”

 

“I’ve been outrunning this for a while though, I mean I would have been dead in that field over a year ago if you hadn’t come along” Clarke admitted with a nod

 

“I think we’d be dead a few times over” Lexa responded with a quiet chuckle, finding peace in that moment with Clarke as she watched the blonde in front of her reacting so bravely to the situation she had been placed in “I never ever thought I would love someone else let alone find them in the post apocalyptic world so thank you for making all of this more bearable than what it probably should have been”

 

“It’s not over for you though” Clarke rasped her she placed a gentle kiss on the corner of Lexa’s mouth “You’ve still got things you need to do, you need to get this vaccine to anyone who wants it and you need to help a lot more people out there who ask for it”

 

“Do you remember how I said the apocalypse sucked?” Lexa asked quietly, shifting her lips to ghost over the blonde’s

 

“When I asked you to be my girlfriend?” Clarke responded playfully

 

“Yeah” Lexa smiled sadly with a nod “When you made fun of me and asked me to be your girlfriend”

 

“I wasn’t making fun of you” Clarke whispered, her warm breath tickling against Lexa’s skin

 

“Anyway, I gave you hypotheticals of what I thought would have happened if the apocalypse hadn’t happened”

 

“I’m not sure we would have met if it didn’t happen” Clarke countered with a shrug, giving in and placing a chase kiss against Lexa’s lips but the brunette pulled away only because she was yet to finish her point

 

“Maybe not and I don’t know what would have happened but I’m glad I had you to go through it with me for the past year” Lexa responded with a nod “I would have given up long before now if you weren’t in the picture”

 

“Well good thing I was then because people need you and they still do” Clarke replied seriously “You can’t give up now”

 

Lexa didn’t say another word because she had waited long enough, she leaned in to capture Clarke’s lips in her own in a kiss that was worthy of something she thought as possibly their last one. If Clarke was sick with the bug then she didn’t care, it was the very last thing that was on her mind because the only thing on her mind was the blonde in front of her and the lips she was kissing. Lexa turned her body to face Clarke’s completely, sitting like they had been last night on the top of their demountable; cupping the blonde’s feverish cheeks in her cool hands as if she were glass and any further pressure would result in her shattering. She felt Clarke exhale deeply into her lips as their lips moved together, the brunette wanting to capture that feeling in her mind because she knew she would never be able to replicate the complete peace and the contentment she felt whenever she was kissing the other girl.

 

They both pulled away reluctantly, wordlessly they returned to their previous position of Clarke resting her head on Lexa’s shoulder and the brunette protectively encircling the blonde in her arms. The soldier swallowed thickly as she felt Clarke shiver against her, wiping a matted strand of blonde hair away from Clarke’s face.

 

“If this vaccine had worked and things went back to the way they were, which I know they wouldn’t but if they had where do you think we would be?” Clarke asked quietly, her throat scratching as she spoke “Playing hypotheticals again, where do you think we would be?”

 

“Well I think in an alternative universe to what the world is now I definitely think we would definitely be living with each other” Lexa nodded, resting her head on top of Clarke’s gently and taking the blonde’s hand in her own once more “I think that we’d be in California, you would have moved there by now”

 

“Oh so I would have moved to you then?” Clarke asked jokingly, a tone of defiance in her voice

 

“Definitely, you’d come live with me but I’d probably quit the army and find something else to do so I didn’t have to go anywhere or away from you” Lexa said honestly with a small shrug “I think we’d get a dog…”

 

“I picked you as more of a cat person” Clarke responded playfully, clearing her throat painfully

 

“Nope, definitely a dog person” Lexa said as she tried to continue her charade of being okay or at the very least brave when all she wanted to do was crumble; having to exhale deeply before she could continue “As I said, we would have a dog and maybe live somewhere near the beach. You could either be a doctor or you could go back to teaching art. Maybe we could get a boat or something, there has to be a heap of boats left behind by people who didn’t make it; I don’t know, the options are endless”

 

“That would have been nice” Clarke whispered with a nod “I would have loved that”

 

“Me too” Lexa said in a sobered tone “That would have been really nice”

 

“Just don’t give up, okay?” Clarke asked softly “You have to pick yourself after this and keep taking it one day at a time”

 

“It’s not that easy”

 

“I know, and I know it’s difficult because I kind of just wanted to give up when we found The Ark in the state that it was but I couldn’t” Clarke responded with a shake of her head “And I know that was because I had you but other people needed me too. The people outside the door, who you fight so hard for are going to need you. You’re stronger than anyone I know and I love you for that”

 

“I love you too”

 

Lexa couldn’t say another word, all she could do was shake her head silently as she bit down on the side of her cheek to stop herself from completely just letting herself go. She couldn’t lie to Clarke and she couldn’t lie to herself to try and think she was going to survive without the other girl any longer; she relied on her far too much and it would cut to deep for her to be able to push through after everything else they had experienced.

 

Lexa didn’t want to die, she didn’t want to end her survival and she didn’t want to let anyone down but she just wasn’t sure how she would continue without the blonde next to her any longer. It would be too much, she had already passed her limits but was holding on because Clarke made her life bearable and without her she didn’t see much point to continuing if everything was going to end like that. Truthfully Lexa was afraid of dying, she didn’t know what happened once you passed but she feared being the one left behind the most; she feared being left alone in the world and having to watch the people she loved suffer.

 

Lexa sat with Clarke for what felt like a lifetime inside that room; there were no windows, there was no clock so she was unsure as to how long she had been in there for when the silence took over her and the brunette’s eyes closed. She wasn’t sure how she even managed to fall asleep, it certainly wasn’t on purpose but the blonde had drifted off; still breathing as Lexa checked numerous time but it turns out the impending doom makes someone extremely tired.

 

For the first time in a very long time Lexa slept without any dreams, maybe it was because her mind was so full that it couldn’t possibly squeeze something else inside her brain or maybe it was because she just felt so numb with everything going on but she knew it had everything to do with the fact that she was next to the blonde. She knew that it had everything to do with the fact that she was with the person she was supposed to be at that time and they were where they were supposed to be; she just didn’t understand why Clarke was in that situation when she really thought she had more time with the blonde.

 

She knew she was foolish for thinking that, she had never gone along with that frame of mind before; that she was guaranteed time but with Clarke she felt as if she deserved that time having only known the other girl for just over a year. Lexa had long ago realised that she wasn’t concerned with where she ended up; but it just mattered that her squad was with her and Clarke was by her side. That was partially one of the reasons why she agreed to go to DC and stay in DC; not only because of the rebuild but also because she was going to need to go wherever they went.

 

Lexa stirred from her shallow sleep with movement beside her, freezing as she felt Clarke squeezing tightly on her hand, the blonde whispering her name in a hushed but urgent tone. The brunette’s eyes open straight away, turning to Clarke to see the girl looking completely and utterly different to what she had looked like what Lexa had figured was hours ago.

 

She didn’t look sick anymore, she didn’t look pale and she certainly didn’t look as if she was about to be an infected. Her skin had dried and colour had returned to her face, animation filling her expression again as a small but still pained smile tugged at her lips.

 

“I think it worked” Clarke whispered with wide eyes “I fell asleep and I woke up and I feel better…I think it worked…”

 

“How?”

 

“I don’t know” Clarke shook her head quickly “I mean there was always a chance but I didn’t want to get any of my hopes up knowing it hadn’t been in my system long enough…I guess I’m just lucky I got it done this morning”

 

“Octavia! Raven!” Lexa called instantly as she placed a very firm kiss on the top of Clarke’s hair, unable to stop a tear from falling but swiftly wiping it away as she stood; moving to the door and banging on it loudly

 

The door opened and Octavia stood in front of her with Raven, Jasper, Monty, Echo and Lincoln all gathered behind with ominous expressions on their faces. Lexa blocked their view of Clarke in the corner as the brunette stood in the doorway with wide eyes as she could see they were torn with not wanting to look at Clarke; knowing she would have been an infected right now and just wanting to get it over with.

 

“How long have I been in here for?” Lexa asked quicky

 

“About 5 hours maybe” Octavia said with a shake of her head “You’re going to have to stay in here until we can find someone else to move you. We can get someone to move Clarke out too”

 

“The vaccine worked” Lexa said with a furrowed brow, her eyes still wide as she processed the fact that the woman she loved against all odds was still alive

 

She took a step away from the door so the group could see a tired but healthy and very alive Clarke still sitting in the corner of the room, lifting her uninjured arm to wave at them with the smallest of smiles.

 

“Holy crap” Raven said with wide eyes

 

Days Since Vaccine: 1
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Location : Fort Woods, Washington DC

Chapter Text

Days Since Outbreak: 1133
Survivors: Lexa, Lincoln, Echo, Clarke, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Location : Fort Woods, Washington DC

 

Lexa’s eyes shot open suddenly, inhaling sharply as she took that familiar gasp of air that her lungs so craved whenever she woke up from a restless night’s sleep. She blinked quickly as she reached her hand up to rub her eyes roughly, trying to expel the same nightmare that haunted her for the past month. It was a nightmare she hadn’t told anyone about, she had told her girlfriend that she was having the same one as she always had but at some point it changed from Costia being the one confronting Lexa about dying with bite marks on her arm, to Clarke. Truthfully she hadn’t dreamt of Costia in a while and although she thought of the other woman daily, it was nice for it to be on her terms rather than being haunted by the infected version of the woman she once loved. Instead, she was dreaming of Clarke being the one who was talking to her about the fact that she could not outrun death, her arm dripping blood after infected had bitten her; instead she was haunted by what she thought could be a horrific omen to something she wasn’t sure she was capable of dealing with. Although the nightmare was shorter, her mind knowing that Clarke was lying in bed right beside her; it didn’t make Lexa feel any better when she woke up.

 

Her stomach churned as she remembered what Anya had told her yesterday and what Lexa had spoken to Clarke about the night before, Clarke was going to be the first human trial subject to the newly developed vaccine and it wasn’t sitting right with the brunette at all. She rolled from her back to her side, a soft smile on her face as she saw the still sleeping blonde with her bare back towards her; freckles she had grown accustomed to seeing over the past year was just a symbol of of stability Lexa had found with her girlfriend. Her chest tightened as her heart felt full in that moment where she could forget about the world outside, she could forget about all she had lost and what she had been through whilst she looked at Clarke sleeping peacefully.

 

She shuffled her body the short distance to be pressed up against the blonde, nuzzling into the back of her neck to inhale the familiar smell of her hair; which still managed to smell intoxicating to Lexa even in the conditions they were living in. She looped her arm around Clarke’s waist gently, feeling the blonde take her hand instantly and pull it towards her mouth so she could place a gentle kiss on Lexa’s knuckles whilst their legs tangled once more on the small bed.

 

“Morning” Clarke said huskily, sleep still extremely evident in her tone

 

“Good morning” Lexa said nuzzling further into her girlfriend, placing a delicate kiss on a spot on the back of her neck

 

“Waking up in his bed is much better when you’re in it with me” Clarke admitted quietly as Lexa felt her nod slightly “You had a nightmare last night, didn’t you?”

 

“Did I wake you?” Lexa asked in a hushed tone, allowing her eyes to close once more as she settled herself against the blonde, feeling her heartbeat settle into a content rhythm

 

“Yeah but that’s okay” Clarke gave Lexa’s hand a squeeze before she rolled herself over to face the brunette, a tired smile on her lips “Hi”

 

“Hey” Lexa rested her forehead against Clarke’s gently, exhaling sharply “Are you sure you have to do this today?”

 

“Yes” Clarke replied with a nod, pulling her head back so she could actually look her girlfriend in the eyes “I’m sorry but I’m not going to change my mind”

 

“I guess it wouldn’t be you if you did” Lexa chuckled darkly to herself as she squeezed her eyes close tightly momentarily “Well I’m still coming with you”

 

“You really don’t need to do that”

 

“Yes I do” Lexa responded instantly “What time are you getting this done?”

 

“Just after breakfast” Clarke nodded “The infirmary is pretty busy right now, there’s a bug going around so people are getting a little unwell and dehydrated”

 

“You’re being careful around them, right?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows

 

“Yes, Lexa” Clarke said with a small smile “Your concern is cute but you don’t need to be worried. You’re the one who is always out there bringing people back into Fort Woods and risking your life”

 

“And you’re sure that this thing is going to work?” Lexa asked, her eyebrows stayed raised “You’re sure that this trial is going to be a success and I have nothing to worry about?”

 

“People here have been working for a year on this, making sure to fill in any shortcuts that Dante Wallace might have taken to get to his results. We have tested it time and time again to get it to a human trial” Clarke said with confidence “So yes, I’m sure it will be a success and you have nothing to worry about”

 

“I’m just not completely convinced considering you’re going to have infected blood injected into you in a few days” Lexa replied shaking her head subtly, her eyebrows furrowing in concern “And I don’t think you can blame me for that”

 

“No I can’t blame you for that so maybe you don’t need to be convinced, you just need to trust me like we talked about last night” Clarke replied with a small shrug as she leaned forward to press a chaste but meaningful kiss to Lexa’s lips “Trust me that it will be okay and it will work out like it’s supposed to”

 

“No offence Clarke but since when have things ever worked out for us?”

 

“Well this place has worked out for us so far” Clarke reasoned with another shrug “And your squad have all managed to stay together since we got here so that has to mean something”

 

“Of course it does but it doesn’t make me feel better” Lexa said honestly

 

“Lexa I’m doing this for a great reason, I’m doing this so maybe we can go back to a world without infected or at least fearing turning into one if we get bitten” Clarke shook her head “I’m doing this so we can gain some dignity back in death when it’s our time, I’m doing this so maybe the world can improve from what it is now”

 

“And you are amazing for doing that” Lexa said seriously as she brought a hand up to cup Clarke’s cheek gently while her eyes moved between the blue ones in front of her “But to me and I know this will be extremely sappy or whatever; but to me if I lose you then I lose everything”

 

“You’re not going to lose me” Clarke said with a heavy sigh as she leaned into Lexa’s touch “I know it’s not easy, I would feel the same if you were the one doing this but I just need you to trust me”

 

“I do”

 

---

 

Lexa sat in the room when Clarke was injected with the vaccine, she felt sick from the moment she walked into the makeshift lab inside the makeshift hospital. Watching uncomfortably as one of the military scientists injected the woman she loved with the vaccine that they had been working on from all the work her squad had brought with them into Fort Woods. She wasn’t so worried about Clarke being injected with the vaccine but it was the fact that it meant in fourty-eight hours later she would be subjected to infected blood and Lexa just had to hope that all the work they had done would prove to be a success or she would lose Clarke in the most devastating way possible. Lexa reluctantly left Clarke at the makeshift hospital half an hour after her injection; the blonde had to get back to work and Lexa needed to get out to perimeter patrol like she had been assigned. It took her three attempts to say goodbye before she could actually leave; only after multiple reassurances from Clarke that she was fine and a few kisses she was able to part from her girlfriend to start her patrol.

 

She wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about the trial that Clarke was undertaking, it was completely confidential and classified but she wasn’t sure whether she would actually be able to keep what she knew from Lincoln and Echo at the very least. She held her AR-15 at her side, her cap pulled down tightly to shield her eyes from the sun as it beat down on them on the particularly hot day. She could feel the sweat rolling down her neck after they had been walking around for a few hours, missing the tank top she was permitted to wear when she wasn’t on rotation. Perimeter patrol at Fort Woods was different to anywhere else Lexa had been, they had two groups outside the fences and the Commander’s group were patrolling a mile away from the actual perimeter to stop any threats coming an closer to their safe hold.

 

“You okay, Commander?” Echo asked quietly as she approached her friend giving her a small nudge to bring her back down to earth as the group of eight patrolled the outside of Fort Woods “We kind of need you to look alive out here”

 

“Sorry” Lexa said with a loud and frustrated sigh

 

“What’s going on?” Echo questioned with a shake of her head “And I’m not going to believe you if you say nothing”

 

“Well then you’re not going to believe me” Lexa mumbled as her eyes continued to focus on her surroundings “Because nothing is going on”

 

“I’ve known you for too long to believe that” Echo responded quietly, glancing back to Lincoln who was walking behind them with his eyes on the pair “We can both see that there is something going on”

 

“I can’t tell you” Lexa answered quickly “Even if I wanted to, I can’t tell you”

 

“Does it have something to do with that bug going around?” Echo asked, her nervousness evident in her tone “I was talking to Bellamy and he seemed to think that the group of 6 of refugees that came in before we got back yesterday were pretty sick but we accepted them anyway”

 

“Why does he seem to think this?” Lexa asked as her eyes moved to meet Echo’s, also glancing back at Lincoln who took a few big strides to be directly behind the two “Why is it those refugees in particular?”

 

“Well no one was sick here before they came in” Lincoln muttered carefully “And now they’re trying to find more places for people with this bug going around”

 

“It’s just a bug, it’s fine” Lexa dismissed with a shake of her head as she paused in her tracks, picking out at least a dozen infected that had somehow made their way through the few safeguards that the military had set up to block approaching infected “We’re going to have to check the perimeter for holes by the looks of it”

 

“I don’t think it’s just a bug though, I mean yeah we have a hospital and we have some doctors; a few scientists to help our cause but we’re in no way shape or form capable of taking care of another outbreak on top of what is already going on right now. We just have to hope that it doesn’t spread and we haven’t isolated them too late” Echo said seriously, looking to Lincoln who just shrugged “Apparently the upper command is pretty on edge about it so I assumed that’s why you were but I’m guessing not now”

 

“No, that’s not it” Lexa responded honestly “But if there is something going on with this bug, then I haven’t been told about it”

 

“Maybe you should ask Anya then” Lincoln suggested cautiously “Not that they wouldn’t tell us everything but this might be something we need to know”

 

“I think we need to be more concerned about those infected coming towards us” Lexa hissed as she paused in her tracks, turning her head so she could speak quietly to her two friends “They’ve started a human trial for the cure Dante Wallace found”

 

“What?” Echo asked with wide eyes

 

“We have to take care of these infected first, then I’ll tell you about it” Lexa muttered, looking to the other five military personnel on their rotation for that day “We need to take care of these infected quickly, the less rounds we use the better so we’ll get a little closer and start taking them out. Don’t let them get too close to you though”

 

“Let’s get this over with” Lincoln agreed as he brought his rifle up to aim at the infected as they approached slowly

 

Lexa watched the infected carefully as their limping increased in pace after spotting the group, watching their teeth snapping through her scope as she held her aim. She exhaled slowly before pulling her trigger and the group followed suit. The infected were dropped with ease until there was one left walking towards them, Lexa was unsure as to why the other members in her group hadn’t put it down yet.

 

“Don’t shoot” One of the group members said as he took a few steps towards the approaching infected, blocking Lexa’s shot “That…I know her”

 

“You don’t know her” Echo called quickly “She’s an infected, you don’t know her”

 

“That’s my ex girlfriend” He said with a shake of his head, his eyes wide as he took a few more steps towards her with his hands out “Hannah?”

 

“She’s dead!” Lexa exclaimed quickly “Put her down or she’ll kill you”

 

“Hannah” He said slowly as she was now feet from the solider, the angle he was standing in was still blocking Lexa’s shot of the infected “Hannah, it’s me”

 

“Put her down!” Lexa called as she moved from her position so she could gain a clear shot of the infected who was now reaching for the soldier who held her at arms length whilst she attempted to bite him

 

Lexa had no choice but to take her shot as he looked on with a stunned expression, hitting her cleanly in the head before she fell to the ground and from his arms. The soldier turned to Lexa with wide eyes, his expression wasn’t one of anger but it was one of shock and loss; it was an expression she was all to used to.

 

“That was stupid” Lexa snapped with a shake of her head “You could have died”

 

“I knew her” He said hesitantly before repeating shakily “I knew her”

 

“She was dead” Lexa responded “And she would have killed you too if you held her like that for much longer”

 

“No, she loved me” He shook his head as he looked down at the infected’s body “She loved me and I still loved her”

 

“You’re from around here?” Echo questioned cautiously, trying to calm her fellow soldier down

 

“She lived here, she went on a supply run a few months back and never made it back but I thought she survived. I just thought she got lost or found another group, I didn’t think she would be dead” He looked back up to the group of soldiers in front of him, Lexa not lowering her gun as she watched him drop his rifle only to reach for his pistol “Everyone I love is dead”

 

She couldn’t do anything to stop him because the only thing she could was the exact same thing that he was planning to do himself. She held his gaze as he raised his gun to his temple quickly and pulled the trigger, causing Lexa to flinch and shut her eyes tightly as she heard Echo gasp next to her. Lexa exhaled deeply before opening her eyes once more, letting her rifle hang by her side as she placed her hands on her hips and turned to the other members of the group.

 

“He was hanging on by a thread” One soldier reasoned with a sad smile “He has been for a while since she went missing”

 

“Honestly I thought he would have done that sooner” Another said, not with malice or to be spiteful but Lexa could tell that she was just being truthful “I’m not sure he was cut out to be in this world”

 

“Are any of us?” Echo asked with a shrug

 

“Get his gun and take his knife if he is carrying one” Lexa mumbled as she turned to Lincoln and Echo “We’re going to have to go out and see how those infected got through”

 

“The sad thing is that we’re used to seeing that now” Echo said quietly as she sighed herself with a shake of her head “It’s just sad that it seems like it’s the only option, that because of the state of the world doing that seems to be like the easiest option out”

 

“Living is harder now” Lincoln mumbled darkly

 

Lexa felt a shiver run down her spine through the intense heat, remembering her dream vividly from the night before as her squad members practically voice aloud what had been said by both Costia and Clarke. She swallowed thickly as she looked down to the body of the now dead soldier, almost ashamed at the fact that she was more numb to his death than what she should have been. She didn’t know him, she had only spoken to him a few times but a loss of human life used to be a big deal and now; it was just another part of their day that they had to move on with.

 

Something inside of her just clicked something that gave her a realisation as to why Clarke might have thought she needed to do what she was doing. Clarke didn’t want to live in a world like she was living in now; where the dead greatly outweighed the living and where death wasn’t even properly mourned any more because it happened far too often. Clarke knew that it wouldn’t change the world completely but it would improve it, it would help those who needed it and would stop the dead from coming back instead of resting like they were supposed to. Clarke also knew that if she wanted to see some kind of change, she was probably going to have to be the one to do it seeing as no one else would.

 

Lexa’s thoughts were completely disrupted when she heard the faint sound of old sirens sounding in the direction of inside Fort Woods; knowing that the only time they were ever sounded was when there were infected inside the walls. She had never heard the sirens before because no incidents with infected had ever occurred inside Fort Woods but she had been briefed during her training on first arrival at the rebuild sight. Lexa looked to her group who all looked to her, confirming that she wasn’t hearing things her thoughts went directly to Clarke and everyone else who was inside Fort Woods.

 

“We’ll come back and check those safeguards as soon as we find out what is going on inside there” Lexa said as she took a few hurried steps backwards towards Fort Woods “A siren means they need all soldiers in the immediate area”

 

“Don’t have to tell us twice” Lincoln said with a shake of his head as they all exchanged glances before turning on their heels and began running towards Fort Woods

 

Lexa wasn’t thinking about anything else but the people she cared about inside Fort Woods as they ran, the absence of gunfire puzzled the brunette as they pushed forward through the hot afternoon.They weren’t supposed to be on the distant perimeter patrol that day so they didn’t take vehicles, Lexa swapped her patrol squad out for the other group simply to do a few who had done a double shift a favour. They dragged their gear and their tired, worn feet through the heated streets; thankfully not having to deal with any other infected along the way that would slow them down. It took them 7 minutes to reach the gates of Fort Woods, they were opened immediately for the returning perimeter watch rotation and they quickly found a crowd gathering outside of the makeshift hospital; numerous soldiers standing guard and keeping people away from the entrance.

 

Lexa pushed through the crowd of refugees as she saw Anya standing at the outside of the makeshift hospital, talking with Bellamy with their heads close together and the brunette noticed Bellamy’s pale complexion immediately.

 

“What’s going on?” Lexa asked as she reached the two after being waved through by her superior “We heard the sirens and we came back”

 

“Something happened, Lexa” Anya said slowly, her voice very careful and giving Lexa cause to sound alarm bells within her head “A few refugees were pretty sick, they died of a respiratory bug that was brought into Fort Woods a few days before you came back. They’ve been in quarantine but unfortunately one died and they obviously came back as a Z”

 

“That’s why the siren sounded?” Lexa asked raising her eyebrows as her stomach churned, knowing the story didn’t end there

 

“In part” Anya responded “They were in quarantine so the Z got to the other refugees within that ward and they were killed too, they were too weak to defend themselves or were sleeping at the time. We had three doctors in there at the time; one of them was also killed. Now I need you to be as calm about this as you can but Clarke was in quarantine with them at the time, she was one of the doctors on shift as you know”

 

“Where is she?” Lexa asked with wide eyes, her heart felt as if it had stopped and dropped to the ground as she waited for what felt like years for a reply “Where is Clarke?”

 

“She’s inside, she’s alive” Anya nodded with a sad smile “She actually got to the Z’s before anyone out here did and she managed to stop quite a few of them”

 

“Well where is she?” Lexa questioned anxiously as she looked to Bellamy who wouldn’t look Lexa in the eyes, the brunette feeling worse and worse as the seconds ticked by without a clear answer

 

“As I said; she’s inside but she was in the quarantine area” Anya said shaking her head “We can’t let anyone in or out because there are still people inside with the bug and it’s turned out to be more serious than we thought”

 

“Anya cut the crap, what happened?”

 

“Clarke was bitten” Anya said regretfully as she looked at her younger friend

 

Lexa froze as the words echoed through her ears but didn’t register with her mind until a good few seconds after the words were spoken. She was sure that if anyone was listening close enough they would have heard the shattering sound of everything around her, a loud ringing began in her ears instantly as she felt the contents of her stomach churn once more. Lexa looked to Bellamy who had a faltering stiff upper lip as she felt Echo place her hand on her shoulder, only to shrug it off unintentionally as she took a step towards Anya.

 

“Did…did you just say she was bitten?” Lexa asked shakily “Clarke?”

 

“On the arm” Anya confirmed quietly “She was fighting off one and another caught her. She killed them both and she is still alive inside but she is been kept separately from everyone else inside as you can probably understand”

 

“But the vaccine” Lexa said with wide eyes, the brunette completely unaware of the words leaving her mouth as her entire body shook “She has the vaccine”

 

“Vaccine?” She heard Echo ask from behind her but Lexa kept her eyes on Anya

 

“We think it’s too early for it to do anything, it’s only been hours” Anya responded doubtfully, in a hushed tone as she looked to those surrounding the makeshift hospital “But that’s why we are keeping her in there for observation. If she turns then we will be able to contain her but if she doesn’t then I guess we will know it works”

 

“I need to go in there” Lexa said as she moved to push past Anya only to have the older girl block her path, unable to make eye contact with the Commander “Anya”

 

“Lexa it’s quarantined for a reason, no one is allowed inside” Anya said regretfully with pursed lips “I know you want to go in there but you could get sick if you go in there. We have to contain the risk in order for us to manage this”

 

“Anya I don’t want to make a scene here but if you think anything you say to me is going to keep me from going inside then you better have something planned that involves more than words because you’re going to need something with more force” Lexa responded with a clenched jaw, her heart rate increasing by the second “Let me go in there”

 

“Maybe you shouldn’t” Bellamy offered quietly “I hate suggesting this but maybe it’s better if you don’t see her like she might be later”

 

“Let me in” Lexa replied as her chest heaved and her expression hardened “Now”

 

“Just let her in” Echo snapped angrily “You can’t possibly make her stay out here when Clarke is inside”

 

“Octavia and Raven are inside there as well, they’re watching over the quarantine ward so she has company” Anya offered weakly

 

“But she’s locked up in a room by herself?” Lexa asked with raised eyebrows

 

“It was her idea, she suggested that we don’t let anyone in” Anya admitted “She doesn’t want this to spread and she wanted herself locked in a quarantined room for when she…”

 

“I’m going in and you’re going to have to shoot me to stop me” Lexa snapped angrily as she attempted to push through Anya but her older friend held firm once more “So pull your gun out now if you’re going to do it”

 

“If you go in there then you can’t come back out until you are medically cleared, do you understand that?” Anya asked cautiously “That could take days or maybe even a week or two”

 

“Do you understand that if that vaccine doesn’t work than I’m not coming out of there at all?” Lexa responded quickly with a shake of her head, her resolve slowly breaking as her lower lip began to falter once she considered the ramifications of the situation she was facing “I’m not coming out unless Clarke is coming with me”

 

“That’s a stupid and rash decision that you are making in the heat of the moment, Lexa” Anya said gripping her arm tightly “Don’t make one death into two when it’s unnecessary, you know how foolish that is. People need you here, you can’t just check out”

 

“Then hopefully you’ll see both Clarke and I when we’re cleared” Lexa snapped angrily as she pushed past Anya and rushing through the makeshift hospital door as she heard Echo calling out from behind her

 

Lexa knew she would regret that later, she knew she would feel horrible for not saying goodbye to Echo and Lincoln if things didn’t go the way she was hoping but all she could focus on was Clarke. She walked with urgency towards the quarantined ward of the hospital, knowing where it was because she had seen Clarke leave that area a number of times. She couldn’t describe how she felt if she tried because she wasn’t sure if she could feel anything at all. She was in complete disbelief on how her day had turned from being unbelievably happy as she woke up next to the woman she loved; to being told she was bitten by an infected and now was just being held on her own as her chain of command basically waited for her to die or waited to see whether the vaccine they injected such a short time ago could work.

 

She rounded the corner quickly, her shoulder hitting the corner of the wall as she tried to hurry her movements as much as possible and paused as she saw the sight of Raven and Octavia sitting closely together outside of the door they were supposed to be guarding; Jasper and Monty sitting on the other side of the hall with their head in their hands.

 

“Is she in there?” Lexa asked quietly, all of their eyes moving to the brunette as they pulled themselves out of a trance “Is Clarke in there?”

 

“Yeah” Raven rasped with a nod, Octavia’s arm around her shoulder as she exhaled shakily “We’re not supposed to let anyone in there and she won’t let us go in there with her but I mean if we were going to get sick then we would already have caught the bug being in here”

 

“I think it’s about more than that” Octavia said sadly

 

“I’m going in there” Lexa said as she took a few steps towards the door but Octavia stood quickly with a broken expression

 

“I know and I know that I can’t really stop you” Octavia began

 

“You can’t” Lexa said looking directly at the door, not able to meet Octavia’s eyes

 

“Just look after her, okay?” Octavia asked “Do whatever she asks you to do”

 

Lexa exhaled a shaky breath, her legs feeling as if they were going to fail as she took one last step towards the door. She swallowed thickly, her shaky hand on the door-handle before turning her wrist quickly and pushing the door open gently incase Clarke may have been sitting against it.

 

After closing the door behind her she felt herself break a thousand times over as she took in the sight in front of her; Clarke was huddled into the very corner of the small quarantine room. She had her back to the wall, hugging her legs to her body and resting her forehead on her knees. Lexa couldn’t believe just how small the other girl looked before she paused as she saw the bandage over the wound on her forearm; the white material was stained with red, knowing that the infected must have taken quite a bite of her arm but at least it looked like they managed to stop the bleeding. She paused because it was the exact spot she had seen Clarke bitten in her dream the previous night, her body weakening once more as she observed the blonde’s shoulder’s shaking slightly.

 

“Clarke” Lexa said with a voice just above a whisper, surprised she was even able to open her mouth

 

“Why are you in here?” Clarke asked unevenly, her tone not angry but more concerned than anything

 

“Really?” Lexa asked evenly “Did you really not think I would come in here?”

 

“You shouldn’t have” Clarke said as she looked up to the brunette, their eyes meeting and the soldier reading the distress, anxiety and pain that was being so obviously broadcasted through the blue orbs she loved “I quarantined myself in here for a reason. I didn’t even want them outside but they wouldn’t leave”

 

“We love you Clarke, we’re not going to leave you” Lexa shook her head quickly, her eyes stinging with the now familiar feeling her eyes beginning to water subtly as her vision blurred slightly

 

Lexa could have broken down at the sight in front of her; Clarke looked pale, she looked unwell and she looked tired. She looked nothing like Lexa was used to seeing, nothing like Lexa ever would have guessed after seeing her that morning. She could have broken down because her world was crashing down around her but she knew that wasn’t good enough for Clarke. She knew that she had to be as strong as she could manage because Clarke was the one who had been bitten, she was the one who was infected and she was the one quarantined in the hospital by herself; Lexa couldn’t even imagine the thoughts that were running through the blonde’s mind at that moment.

 

“You should though” Clarke croaked weakly, not even able to mean the words she was speaking “You’re going to be in here for a few days now because you’ve been exposed to the bug”

 

“I don’t care” Lexa responded instantly as she took her rifle off to place it by the door as she approached Clarke, sitting down next to her without hesitation and placing her arm around her waist to pull the blonde against her “And I’m not going anywhere. You and me”

 

“You and me” Clarke replied quietly with a small sigh “You can’t stay long, it will only take a few hours at the most for the infection to set in”

 

“But you had the vaccine this morning” Lexa said with a stiff upper lip “I mean that could work, right?”

 

“It hasn’t been in my system long enough” Clarke shrugged as she succumbed to their usual position by resting her head against Lexa’s shoulder “After all that, I get bitten in a safe hold trying to treat refugees. I think I would have preferred to go out a bit differently, maybe fighting a horde or courageously blowing myself up to destroy something. I don’t know, dying in a quarantined room after being bitten by an infected just seems like a bit of an anti-climax”

 

“Clarke” Lexa protested weakly, shutting her eyes tightly as she tried to deal with everything inside of her that just wanted to implode

 

“I mean I survived the whole month at Dante Wallace’s compound, I survived running for hours from a horde, Quint trying to kill me, the whole hospital supply run, the compound…1133 days of this new world and I get bitten after someone got sick” Clarke said with a sigh “I guess that’s just how it is, huh? How it’s supposed to be”

 

“No” Lexa shook her head “No, that’s not just how it is Clarke or how it’s supposed to be”

 

“You’re going to be okay, Lexa” Clarke said quickly, the brunette hearing the pain in Clarke’s voice “You’ll be fine”

 

“You can’t possibly believe that” Lexa mumbled quietly as she tightened her grip against Clarke’s waist “The only way I leave this room is if you leave with me”

 

“Don’t be stupid” Clarke scolded weakly, lifting her hand to wipe away sweat from her forehead before reaching out to take Lexa’s other hand in her own “You can’t do that. Everyone out there needs you”

 

“I told you that I can’t do this without you anymore” Lexa shook her head, shutting her eyes tightly as she tried to blink away the tears still forming in her eyes “I meant it when I said it”

 

“Your squad needs you, these people need you” Clarke responded immediately

 

“And I need you” Lexa shrugged simply, as if no other thoughts mattered to the brunette and at that moment; nothing else did matter to her but the girl in her arms “You would be the same if it were me in this situation”

 

“And you’d be saying the same thing that I am” Clarke quipped quietly “I’m glad it’s not you though”

 

“I wish it was me instead of you” Lexa disagreed as she looked down at the reddened bandage on the blonde’s arm “Does it hurt a lot?”

 

“Yeah, it wasn’t a huge bite but it definitely hurts. It kind of just burns, I feel like I’ve got fire running through my veins” The blonde confirmed nodding “I thought I cleared them all, I was so careful and as I was putting one down he just came from nowhere. It was pretty stupid of me to try and contain them by myself so I guess that’s what I get”

 

“It wasn’t stupid” Lexa countered firmly “I mean it might have been but you’re more stubborn and brave than anyone I have ever met”

 

“Do you plan on staying with me?” Clarke asked quietly after a moment of silence passed between the two girls “I mean I’m not stupid enough to actually think you’ll agree to leaving me, even if that is exactly what you should do”

 

“Do you want me to leave?” Lexa asked carefully, almost flinching as she waited for the response. She wanted to do what the blonde desired but she didn’t want to leave the other girl, she wasn’t sure if she could “Do you want me to go?”

 

“No” Clarke said with a small shake of her head “I want you to stay right here”

 

“Then we’re on the same page” Lexa said nodding, turning her head to place a delicate kiss to the side of Clarke’s head; feeling the heat radiating from her skin and the dampness of her hair against her lips “You’re burning up, Clarke”

 

“That’s what happens I guess” Clarke just shrugged as she picked her head up from Lexa’s shoulders to look her in the eyes “Can you do something for me?”

 

“Sure”

 

“When I turn into an infected…will you end it quickly?” Clarke asked cautiously as her eyes searched Lexa’s; the brunette feeling as if her heart had just fallen out of her chest “And I know that’s a lot to ask but I just want it done quickly”

 

“Clarke…”

 

“Please” Clarke said with desperation, her eyes pleading with the brunette “I don’t want to be one for long. I don’t want to be one at all”

 

“You’re not going to be” Lexa said with a clenched jaw “We don’t know that this vaccine won’t work”

 

“Yeah but I’m getting sick just like people do when they are bitten and not killed by an infected” Clarke countered with a furrowed brow “I mean look how unwell I am”

 

“But you’ve been exposed to this bug”

 

“I’ve been bitten by an infected, Lexa” Clarke countered once more as she reached her hand to stroke Lexa’s cheek gently “I know I’m asking you a lot considering what you had to do with Costia but I would like you to please do that for me”

 

“I don’t know if I can” Lexa shook her head as she muttered “I can’t hurt you”

 

“It won’t be me”

 

“Stop” Lexa’s eyes slammed shut once more, resting her forehead against the smouldering skin of the blonde “I thought I could do this Clarke but I can’t. I can’t do this without you; you’re the only reason why I’m still around”

 

“Lexa I don’t like this either, it’s not like I wanted this” Clarke countered painfully

 

“I know but I’m going to be the one left behind without you” Lexa shook her head urgently, pushing back from Clarke so she could look her in the eyes “I’m the one who has to be in the world without you and I just don’t see a point in trying anymore. Why bother trying to survive anymore if I don’t want to? Why bother when it’s just easier to give in?”

 

“Because that’s not who you are” Clarke responded quietly “I’ve never seen you give up on anything Lexa and you’re not going to start now”

 

“I’ll do it but I’m not walking out of here” Lexa mumbled, bringing her hand up to wipe her eyes quickly “You and me”

 

“I don’t want to argue” Clarke shook her head, swallowing thickly as she winced in pain “I just want to talk with you”

 

Lexa nodded in silence, resting her forehead once more against Clarke’s with a jagged exhale.

 

“This is not how I expected today to go” Lexa said quietly with a shake of her head

 

“How did you expect it to go?”

 

“I don’t know but I wasn’t expecting this” Lexa responded instantly “I know that we’re never promised anything else but the moment we’re living in; I mean we both knew that but it kind of seemed like no matter what happened we’d be okay”

 

“We went a long time avoiding something we can’t really avoid” Clarke replied with a shrug “We were really lucky”

 

“I guess so” Lexa shrugged herself “Not lucky enough by the looks of it. I kind of thought we were going to have more time than this so it was stupid to think that. It was stupid to get my hopes up because I’m not supposed to hope anymore, I’m not supposed to be foolish enough to think I’m guaranteed time”

 

“I’ve been outrunning this for a while though, I mean I would have been dead in that field over a year ago if you hadn’t come along” Clarke admitted with a nod

 

“I knew you were going to be a handful the moment I asked my squad to check you over and you told me you couldn’t really do anything with your hands tied up. Also when I left you in the back of the Pick-Up when I went to get my backpack and you gave me some attitude” Lexa smiled sadly as she turned her head away momentarily to steady her tone so she looked at the white of the wall on the other side of the room, her heart clenching knowing that she was never going to be able to create any further memories with the woman she loved “I was curious about you from the moment I saw you”

 

“I saw you turn away and try to hide your smile” The blonde returned, her breathing beginning to become more labored than Lexa was comfortable with, which caused her to bite her own cheek gently and shutting her eyes tightly before turning her head back to hold the blonde’s gaze. What cut Lexa the deepest was seeing the pain in Lexa’s expression, all the brunette wanted to do was help her somehow but she knew it wasn’t possible “I thought you were going to shoot me first of all. I thought you were all just lining me up and then you called me over to you. I didn’t know what to expect but I kind of figured if you were going to kill me then you would have done it while I was running but I knew I would be smart not to mess with you; which I was right about”

 

“When did you know you had feelings for me?” Lexa questioned more out of curiosity than anything as she pressed her forehead to Clarke’s once more and feeling the heat radiating off her skin so much that she almost felt as if her own temperature was rising because of the contact

 

“I’m not sure there was a particular point, I think it kind of happened quickly but we waited enough to figure it out” Clarke shrugged with a pained expression once more as she swallowed thickly “I think that we kind of saved each other in more ways than one more than just a few times; I think we were both a bit lost”

 

“I think we’d be dead a few times over if we hadn’t met when we did. I don’t know where I would be, where we would have ended up, who would be alive or even if I would have wanted to even be alive still” Lexa responded with a quiet chuckle, finding peace in that moment with Clarke as she watched the blonde in front of her reacting so bravely to the situation she had been placed in “I never ever thought I would love someone else let alone find them in the post apocalyptic world so thank you for making all of this more bearable than what it probably should have been”

 

“It’s not over for you though” Clarke rasped her she placed a gentle kiss on the corner of Lexa’s mouth “You’ve still got things you need to do, you need to get this vaccine to anyone who wants it and you need to help a lot more people out there who ask for it”

 

“What’s the point though?” Lexa shook her head quickly as she tried to come to terms with her own words and what weight they carried for both she and Clarke “I mean if I don’t want to live then what is the point struggling and fighting through every day when I don’t want to? I know that you don’t want to argue but I can’t lie to you”

 

“I know” Clarke replied simply; the simplicity in her response surprising Lexa momentarily

 

“Do you remember how I said the apocalypse sucked?” Lexa asked quietly, shifting her lips to ghost over the blonde’s

 

“When I asked you to be my girlfriend?” Clarke responded playfully

 

“Yeah” Lexa smiled sadly with a nod “When you made fun of me and asked me to be your girlfriend”

 

“I wasn’t making fun of you” Clarke whispered, her warm breath tickling against Lexa’s skin

 

“Anyway, I gave you hypotheticals of what I thought would have happened if the apocalypse hadn’t happened”

 

“I’m not sure we would have met if it didn’t happen” Clarke countered with a shrug, giving in and placing a chase kiss against Lexa’s lips but the brunette pulled away only because she was yet to finish her point

 

“Maybe not and I don’t know what would have happened but I’m glad I had you to go through it with me for the past year” Lexa responded with a nod “I would have given up long before now if you weren’t in the picture”

 

“Well good thing I was then because people need you and they still do” Clarke replied seriously “You can’t give up now”

 

Lexa didn’t say another word because she had waited long enough, she leaned in to capture Clarke’s lips in her own in a kiss that was worthy of something she thought as possibly their last one. If Clarke was sick with the bug then she didn’t care, it was the very last thing that was on her mind because the only thing on her mind was the blonde in front of her and the lips she was kissing. Lexa turned her body to face Clarke’s completely, sitting like they had been last night on the top of their demountable; cupping the blonde’s feverish cheeks in her cool hands as if she were glass and any further pressure would result in her shattering. She felt Clarke exhale deeply into her lips as their lips moved together, the brunette wanting to capture that feeling in her mind because she knew she would never be able to replicate the complete peace and the contentment she felt whenever she was kissing the other girl.

 

They both pulled away reluctantly, wordlessly they returned to their previous position of Clarke resting her head on Lexa’s shoulder and the brunette protectively encircling the blonde in her arms. The soldier swallowed thickly as she felt Clarke shiver against her, wiping a matted strand of blonde hair away from Clarke’s face.

 

“If this vaccine had worked and things went back to the way they were, which I know they wouldn’t but if they had where do you think we would be?” Clarke asked quietly, her throat scratching as she spoke “Playing hypotheticals again, where do you think we would be?”

 

“Well I think in an alternative universe to what the world is now I definitely think we would definitely be living with each other” Lexa nodded, resting her head on top of Clarke’s gently and taking the blonde’s hand in her own once more “I think that we’d be in California, you would have moved there by now”

 

“Oh so I would have moved to you then?” Clarke asked jokingly, a tone of defiance in her voice

 

“Definitely, you’d come live with me but I’d probably quit the army and find something else to do so I didn’t have to go anywhere or away from you” Lexa said honestly with a small shrug “I think we’d get a dog…”

 

“I picked you as more of a cat person” Clarke responded playfully, clearing her throat painfully

 

“Nope, definitely a dog person” Lexa said as she tried to continue her charade of being okay or at the very least brave when all she wanted to do was crumble; having to exhale deeply before she could continue “As I said, we would have a dog and maybe live somewhere near the beach. You could either be a doctor or you could go back to teaching art. Maybe we could get a boat or something, there has to be a heap of boats left behind by people who didn’t make it; I don’t know, the options are endless”

 

“That would have been nice” Clarke whispered with a nod “I would have loved that”

 

“Me too” Lexa said in a sobered tone “That would have been really nice”

 

“Just don’t give up, okay?” Clarke asked softly “You have to pick yourself after this and keep taking it one day at a time”

 

“It’s not that easy”

 

“I know, and I know it’s difficult because I kind of just wanted to give up when we found The Ark in the state that it was but I couldn’t” Clarke responded with a shake of her head “And I know that was because I had you but other people needed me too. The people outside the door, who you fight so hard for are going to need you. You’re stronger than anyone I know and I love you for that”

 

“I love you too”

 

Lexa couldn’t say another word, all she could do was shake her head silently as she bit down on the side of her cheek to stop herself from completely just letting herself go. She couldn’t lie to Clarke and she couldn’t lie to herself to try and think she was going to survive without the other girl any longer; she relied on her far too much and it would cut to deep for her to be able to push through after everything else they had experienced. Lexa didn’t want to die, she didn’t want to end her survival and she didn’t want to let anyone down but she just wasn’t sure how she would continue without the blonde next to her any longer. It would be too much, she had already passed her limits but was holding on because Clarke made her life bearable and without her she didn’t see much point to continuing if everything was going to end like that. Truthfully Lexa was afraid of dying, she didn’t know what happened once you passed but she feared being the one left behind the most; she feared being left alone in the world and having to watch the people she loved suffer.

 

Lexa sat with Clarke for what felt like a lifetime inside that room; there were no windows, there was no clock so she was unsure as to how long she had been in there for when the silence took over her and the brunette’s eyes closed. She wasn’t sure how she even managed to fall asleep, it certainly wasn’t on purpose but the blonde had drifted off; still breathing as Lexa checked numerous time but it turns out the impending doom makes someone extremely tired.

 

For the first time in a very long time Lexa slept without any dreams, maybe it was because her mind was so full that it couldn’t possibly squeeze something else inside her brain or maybe it was because she just felt so numb with everything going on but she knew it had everything to do with the fact that she was next to the blonde. She knew that it had everything to do with the fact that she was with the person she was supposed to be at that time and they were where they were supposed to be; she just didn’t understand why Clarke was in that situation when she really thought she had more time with the blonde.

 

She knew she was foolish for thinking that, she had never gone along with that frame of mind before; that she was guaranteed time but with Clarke she felt as if she deserved that time having only known the other girl for just over a year. Lexa had long ago realised that she wasn’t concerned with where she ended up; but it just mattered that her squad was with her and Clarke was by her side. That was partially one of the reasons why she agreed to go to DC and stay in DC; not only because of the rebuild but also because she was going to need to go wherever they went.

 

The way she figured it, everything that had happened to Clarke from the point of when they had met to that moment in that very room was her fault. Lexa was the one who ultimately agreed with her squad’s original decision to go to Dante Wallace’s compound where they had found the information for the vaccine, she was the one who had connections with Anya and that was how they ultimately found out about Washington’s rebuild. Clarke had become the most important member of her squad and as a good squad leader; she had to take responsibility for everything that had happened and how they ended up in that room was no exception.

 

The soldier knew deep down that whilst she had been foolish for thinking that she had more time with Clarke, she wondered how she let herself pull her guard down for the blonde in the first place. She could never put her finger on the exact moment she had decided to be what she considered to be reckless and let someone else into her heart knowing that one day it was more than likely going to be the one thing that completely destroyed her.

 

She opened here eyes slowly as she felt a slight movement against her shoulder, turning her head to glance at the blonde woman next to her. Her body had grown limp, her chest was impossibly still and the furnace like heat that was radiating from her skin had completely cooled to the point that Lexa knew she had lost the woman she loved. Lexa moved quickly from Clarke’s side to kneel in front of the blonde, using one arm to grip her waist and the other to check her pulse and feeling her stomach churn violently as she confirmed what she had suspected. Lexa pulled her trembling hand away from Clarke’s neck, reaching reluctantly to push a matted clump of blonde hair away from her face as she felt her vision blur and her throat burn as a lump quickly formed.

 

What bothered Lexa the most was the fact that Clarke didn’t look peaceful like the blonde deserved to be in her death; Clarke was trialling the vaccine to regain dignity for the human race when it came time for their lives to be over and it pained Lexa to know that she wasn’t able to do so herself. Her skin had turned a pale shade of yellow and blood had soaked through the bandage of her arm, though the still expression on the blonde’s face brought Lexa some relief to know that Clarke could no longer feel the pain she had been experiencing after the bite any longer.

 

The Commander shut her eyes tightly, unable to contain or stop a quiet whimper that left her mouth as she leaned in to place a lingering kiss on the now cool forehead of the woman she loved. Lexa knew it hadn’t hit her yet, she knew she was still in complete shock but as she felt her body begin to shake violently; she knew her mind was quickly coming to terms with the situation. Lexa had experienced this pain before, but the pain she felt for losing Clarke seemed to be magnified tenfold on what she had felt when Costia died. Maybe it was because she knew what was coming next, maybe it was because she had been broken down so many times and put back together since then but she didn’t remember feeling her whole world shattering as harshly as it was in that moment when the Costia died.

 

Lexa felt a jolt against her body, startling the brunette so much that she pushed herself backwards away from the blonde’s body; stumbling to create some space between herself and Clarke as she heard a guttural moan leave the back of her throat. Lexa quickly blinked away her tears quickly as the now infected version of Clarke’s eyes shot open; breaking Lexa to a point that even she didn’t know was possible. It pushed her to a point that she didn’t know she could go, it made her stomach churn to the point where she felt as if she was on fire and her limbs quickly became numb. What she saw in front of her shattered any remaining hope of rebuilding her life; the blonde eyes she had fallen so hard in love with were gone and were replaced by cloudy mix of black and grey, so vacant of any emotion.

 

“Clarke” Lexa spoke weakly, surprised that she could even form a single word as the infected locked eyes with the brunette “Clarke…”

 

The Commander struggled to gain traction against the tile floor, her limbs unable to heed the warning that her brain was giving to create more distance between herself and the infected. It’s teeth snapped harshly as it eyed Lexa hungrily whilst it slowly crawled towards the soldier. Lexa managed to push her body up against the wall, using it for support so she could regain her balance and stand shakily to her feet. Her knees feeling as if they were going to buckle at any moment as she watched the infected version of the woman she loved move towards her, remembering exactly what happened to the soldier she had been with whilst they were on patrol only hours ago. She understood why he tried to reason with the infected, she understood why he didn’t want to hurt his ex girlfriend but what she understood the most was the pain he must have felt when she was put down.

 

Her trembling hand moved to her belt, pulling her hunting knife from her sheath and wondering whether she was actually going to be able to put the infected in front of her down or whether she was just going to end up being eaten alive by the shell of what she believed to be her soulmate. The infected managed to push itself to it’s feet and growled towards Lexa as the brunette quickly ducked out of it’s way in the small room, rushing to the other corner.

 

She had a flashback of when she tried to run from Indra after she had been turned into an infected, remembering the completely hollow feeling that she succumbed to once she had ended the short lifespan of Indra’s regenerated self. Lexa wasn’t sure how she was going to take the hunting knife and harm the body that she so delicately handled when Clarke was alive; afraid that what she saw in front of her was going to haunt her to the point that she wouldn’t be able to remember anything else about the blonde but what was happening in that moment. The infected turned around quickly, taking a few big strides towards Lexa but she ducked it’s attempts to grab her. She pushed it against the wall with it’s arms pinned in between the wall and it’s body whilst using her arm without the knife to try and hold the infected still.

 

She felt her lower lip tremble as she raised her unsteady hand, her fingers tingling uncomfortably as she tried to keep a tight enough grip on the hunting knife in order to do what she promised Clarke she would. She swallowed thickly as the infected struggled violently against her, pushing her own devastation aside for just one moment as she tried to give Clarke the last bit of dignity she deserved in death; as she tried to give her some peace that death was supposed to bring. Gritting her teeth as she numbed herself completely and quickly pushed the hunting knife into the infected’s temple. Much like Indra, the struggling stopped as soon as she did so and the body went limp but Lexa didn’t let Clarke’s body fall; she quickly dropped the hunting knife to the ground and grabbed the blonde’s now still body as it fell and feeling her knees almost giving out beneath her.

 

Lexa gripped Clarke’s still body against her, unable to feel or process anything as her eyes vacantly looked straight ahead at a point on the wall opposite to where she was now sitting. Everything within her was broken, every inch of her body ached as she looked down to the now dead infected covering her lap. She felt a strange moment of complete ease, knowing that she had done what she had promised Clarke; knowing that the next choice that she was going to make would be hers and hers alone. Lexa knew that she was never in control of what happened in the post-apocalyptic world, very aware that they were simply living in the infected’s world and having to react to situations rather than being able to be in control of their own destiny. In that very moment Lexa felt peace in the fact that the next thing that happened was her choice; nothing or no one was pushing her to make the next decision and she was going to be one of the lucky ones who was able to decide her own fate.

 

She looked down at Clarke’s body, unable to look the now dead infected in the eyes; unable to accept that the blue eyes she so adored were no longer shining at her. She rested her head against the wall, shutting her eyes tightly as she felt tears flow freely down her cheeks and her body shake violently. The brunette brought a hand up to cover her mouth, trapping any sounds of a whimper under the palm as the realization of what had just happened hit her suddenly. It wasn’t lost on her at all that she had started the morning with Clarke in her arms and would end her last day with the body of the blonde within her tight grip.

 

Lexa didn’t want to make too much noise, she didn’t want to alert whoever was waiting outside the door of anything that they might already suspect because she knew they were going to try and stop her from doing what she knew she was going to have to do. She wanted to be able to make a final choice in her life to go out a way she wanted to, she didn’t want to die; Lexa was afraid of what was waiting for her on the other side but the fact that she didn’t want to live in the messed up, horrifying world without Clarke far outweighed her depleted will to live. She tried to steady herself as she inhaled deeply before exhaling slowly, moving her hand from her mouth to reach for the handle of her pistol that was sitting loosely in it’s holster. She swallowed down the lump that filled her throat as she gripped her fingers around her gun, pulling it slowly from her belt and holding it to rest against the ground next to her.

 

Lexa knew what she was doing was weak, it was easier for her to end her life than try to rebuild without the woman she loved but she didn’t see the point. She didn’t see the point in surviving when she didn’t want to, she didn’t want to fight when she had no fight left inside of her. She knew that somewhere Clarke was watching over her and was talking furiously at her whilst she watched Lexa contemplate her next move. Lexa understood why her Captain did what he did in that grocery store, she understood why the soldier outside the compound ended his life when he saw someone he loved turned into an infected. The brunette had been through so much and had lost even more because of the world they were living in; knowing that it was never going to end and there was no turning back.

 

She wanted to be around for the successful implementation of the vaccine, she wanted to be around for the rest of the rebuild but she didn’t want to have to deal with the unbearable pain nor the hollow feeling deep within her chest that she knew she would never shake. Lexa was grateful for the time Clarke had given her, she was thankful to whomever sent the blonde art teacher into her life and knew she was only still alive because Clarke had given herself something else to survive for. It pained her to think of what she was going to leave behind; knowing that she was going to break Echo and Lincoln’s heart beyond anything she could comprehend at that point but she just didn’t see reason enough for her to continue through the sheer pain she was experiencing. She knew her squad would hurt and they were going to miss her; she knew that they were going to be angry with her but she also knew that in some way they would understand why she was about to do what she was going to.

 

With her hand still trembling erratically, she brought the barrel of the pistol to her temple; hearing her racing heartbeat echo through her ears as she inhaled and exhaled slowly. She felt the impossibly cool metal of the pistol against her temple, a chill ripping through her body as she bit down on her cheek gently to try and control her emotions that she had tucked away for so long.

 

Lexa took a moment to silently apologise to anyone she had let down or anyone she was going to let down by taking the action she was about to; hoping that she would see those she had lost in another life. She pushed away the haunting feeling that everything she had experienced now lead to nothing seeing as she was about to end her own life but she couldn’t see any other way around it and even if she could; there was no possible way that she could move on from what she had just experienced. There was no way she was going to be able to rebuild from that point and have any kind of life that was worth living.

 

She had fought hard for everything she had, she had battled for the people she had loved; she had spent so long making decisions in order to benefit the people she was leading and now she was making a decision for herself. Lexa wasn’t aware just how much both her and Clarke’s loss was going to shake Fort Wood’s to it’s core but she did know that she was leaving it in good hands and the people who were still around would pick up from where she left.

 

With one last deep and burning inhale she tightened her grip on the gun, squeezing the trigger as the loud echo of a single gunshot ripped through the halls of the makeshift hospital in the middle of the night. Lexa had survived 1133 days of the world altering outbreak, having nothing else left to give she decided that she could fight on no more. Though she left any loved ones she had remaining behind and they would suffer with the combined loss of both girls within a matter of minutes; Lexa could finally rest and find peace with everything she had been through knowing that any trials she may have suffered during the outbreak were over.

 

With that single hollow, haunting pull of the trigger; her fight was over.

 

Days Since Outbreak: 1133
Survivors: Lincoln, Echo, Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, Jasper and Monty
Location : Fort Woods, Washington DC