I've got a heavy little secret
I'm about to fall in love with you
- let me take you away, wilhelm tell me
It’s only a kiss.
It isn’t even a surprise, because they mention it early on: So this is a story about two girls in love, they say. Last chance to get out. Lexa remembers standing there and smiling, taking the script and saying, I don’t mind. After all, it’s not like a girl like her is about to balk at a challenge like that.
“It’s a good story,” she remembers saying, too. “I’ll do it.” There’s clapping and hugging and people saying, We can’t wait to tell you who you’re working with, and Lexa doesn’t even remember being nervous, at the very least. Whoever it is, she just thinks, I’ll do it anyway.
All considered, Lexa does not have a problem with it. Until she meets Clarke.
It’s not even that she doesn’t like Clarke – Clarke’s one of the good ones. Can act with a quirk of her brow, or the quiver of her lip, and don’t even get Lexa started about that thing Clarke could do with her eyes.
(And then, there’s Clarke’s laugh.)
Yet despite being actually all that, Clarke is never late – Lexa’s heard horrible diva gossip about actresses their age, and truth be told, she’d braced herself for something like that with Clarke, only to be proven wrong. Despite the ungodly hours, Clarke has always seemed to manage her temper, and she is always considerate, always walking around with an extra cup of coffee for Lexa.
What’s not to like, really? She has great eyes, and is actually, quite absurdly beautiful. She never touches Lexa without telling her first where her hands are going to be (I am going to touch you here, then here – is that okay babe?), and Lexa thinks it’s so polite and endearing, like Clarke is always on her side.
Relax, Clarke would murmur, hand high on Lexa’s thigh. This is just me.
Yet always Lexa shivers anyway.
The first time around, Lexa chalks it up to the outdoor weather – their first kiss happens on a lakeshore, surrounded by trees, and they’re damp from the rain. The skies are overcast and the wind is chilly, and Lexa just thinks, of course it’s the weather when Clarke moves in to kiss her finally and she shivers under Clarke’s cold hands wrapped gently around her neck.
They do it in three takes, and afterwards Clarke wraps the towel she is handed around Lexa first. “You’re shaking,” she just says, off the question in Lexa’s eyes. “You all right?”
“Yeah,” Lexa manages eventually. “You?”
Clarke smiles. “That nose bump thing was a killer,” she says instead, leaning back in to press a playful peck on Lexa’s cheek, laughing as she pulls away to start walking back to her trailer. “See you later at dinner!”
Lexa nods, swallowing hard, watching her move away, a hand against her cheek. Of course, it’s only a kiss. And it’s only a show, and it’s only acting. Yet how to ignore the drumming inside Lexa’s chest at that?
It’s not even that she doesn’t like Clarke – it’s that she does.
(It’s only a kiss. But it is a problem, nevertheless.)
Weeks pass between the shoot and the episode airing, and Lexa watches it over dinner at Clarke’s flat. They’re all housed near the studio where they have been taping these days, and though Clarke lives three floors down, Lexa doesn’t mind hanging out, not really. The weeks between have been comfortable at best – like Clarke’s almost a friend, which shouldn’t be so bad, considering how they have been spending more hours in a day pretending to be lovers.
Tonight, though, Clarke’s just Clarke – she’s lounging on the couch beside Lexa, wearing an oversized shirt and eating chicken wrap for dinner.
Lexa looks up from her pasta, surprised at Clarke’s cursing as the first few minutes of the episode flash on the TV. “Hm?”
“They’re airing the kiss tonight.”
“They are?” asks Lexa.
“I recognize this editing,” says Clarke, before: “Oh, here we are. That’s the dirt road to the lake! And that’s you!” Clarke giggles at that, and Lexa leans forward, squinting at the screen. “You look so cute on your bike.”
“Check out how shaky my handle bars are,” says Lexa, laughing nervously, and when Clarke moves, Lexa feels their knees touch. It puts goosebumps along her arms. “I always wanted a re-shoot of that.”
“I think they didn’t want to let go of how authentically nervous you looked,” Clarke teases. “Which, by the way – nice touch.”
Lexa rolls her eyes. “I haven’t been on a bike in ages, Clarke. The danger was real.”
“Sssshhh,” says Clarke, pointing to the screen. Night has fallen and now their characters are huddled together on a mat under a tree, waiting out an ill-timed thunderstorm. “God, do you remember how cold this was?”
Lexa lets out a shudder; she does, that night was chilly as fuck, but that’s not what puts the shake in her shoulder, not really. Beside her, Clarke is looking intently at the screen, almost like she’s evaluating the scene, her lips moving slightly with the dialogue, and Lexa has to look away upon realizing that she’s staring. Fuck.
On-screen Clarke says, Maybe life should be about more than just surviving, and fuck, Lexa thinks. Here we go.
“Here we go,” Clarke mutters, elbowing Lexa lightly, and Lexa holds her breath.
The final cut puts the kiss at maybe twenty seconds long – it’s much shorter than Lexa remembers, and though she does not entirely remember doing that nose bump thing that Clarke raved about, seeing that moment played out does fill her with warm memories.
Shit. Lexa breathes out only as the moment is broken and the show goes into commercial.
There’s a moment of still and quiet before Clarke finally screams. “That was gorgeous!” she says, tackling Lexa into the couch, arms around Lexa’s shoulders. “God. We should totally take a photo of us right now – we would break the Internet!”
“Clarke,” says Lexa, struggling to get the sound out with Clarke heavy on top of her.
“I mean, look,” Clarke says, lifting her head temporarily off Lexa to reach for her phone. “We’re trending. Have been all night.”
“We’re sitting on your couch in our pajamas. I look like a mess – unlike some people, I don’t look nice disheveled.”
Clarke sticks her tongue out. “Whatever,” she says, pulling Lexa back up with her and tugging Lexa’s hair loose from her ponytail. “You look fine with your hair down.” Clarke runs her hand into it once, pushing some of it away from Lexa’s face. “There. Now come closer.”
“We’re still taking a photo?”
Clarke holds her phone at arm’s length. “Ugh, fuck it, let me climb onto you for a bit—there. Don’t move.” Lexa puts a hand on her forehead to disguise just how flustered she is, and Clarke just grins smugly at the screen before snapping it.
“There,” says Clarke, after a while. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”
Lexa breathes in – Clarke’s still so close. “Um, you’re still on my lap, actually,” she points out, and she freezes at the feel of Clarke pushing back against her. Too warm, too warm, too—
“This is actually quite comfortable.”
Fuck. Lexa forces a laugh out, just to salvage the moment. “Get off my lap, Clarke.”
“Fine,” Clarke says, pouting as she slides off Lexa and onto the couch, phone in hand. “Uploading, uploading—done.”
“You should call Kane to inform him we’re wrecking the Internet tonight,” says Lexa, slipping her phone out in kind to see what Clarke has posted.
@IamClarkeG: Now *that’s* a kiss. Totally worth the wait @LVine xx pic.twitter.com/E5hf7jpKoT
Right on cue, Clarke’s phone starts ringing, and Lexa’s phone starts beeping, and at the time Lexa doesn’t quite know what hit them, not just yet.
Of course, it goes viral; nothing like a small, grainy photo from the actress’s phone herself to jumpstart a minor Internet breakdown. When Lexa wakes the following morning, Clarke has already sent her several screenshots of the previous night’s Internet shenanigans, and Lexa is almost too mortified to open her own social media.
Lexa has just slipped back into bed with her cup of tea when her phone starts ringing. Clarke.
“Good morning,” Clarke greets. “You’re up early.”
Lexa yawns. “As are you,” she says. “Tea?” She can’t quite remember when it became so ordinary for Clarke to call so early in the morning.
“Coffee now,” says Clarke. “Did you get my screencaps?”
Lexa chuckles. “You’re insane, Clarke. It’s like you spawned a little revolution.”
“Well. Kane was happy about it,” she says. “Or at least, happy enough to want to take us out to lunch today.”
Lexa feels her brow lift at that. Kane, their show’s producer, has been a really hard read; she doesn’t quite know if she’s doing well or not. Well, at least he’s happy about this one thing. “Lunch, huh?”
“One of his chef friends is opening this new restaurant downtown—”
“You are not talking about—”
“Yes, I am totally talking about The Ark.”
“Holy shit.” Lexa sits up straighter in bed, tea in her hand now growing lukewarm.
“So. Eleven? What the fuck are we wearing?”
“I don’t know. Is it a dress up thing?”
“When has a function with Marcus not been a dress up thing?”
Lexa groans. She had been looking forward to this day as a laidback one – no makeup, no hair, just tea in bed and maybe a book. “I think all my clothes are in the laundry.”
“Come over and check my closet out?”
Lexa considers the suggestion briefly, before actually remembering that one time she shared a dressing room with Clarke. That was… interesting, Lexa recalls, though the struggle not to stare as Clarke slipped in and out of clothing is something she’d rather not relive.
“I’ll think of something,” Lexa says instead. “Eleven, right?”
Clarke is already in the lobby when Lexa steps out of the elevator, and she sees the exact moment that Clarke lights up upon meeting Lexa’s eyes.
“Hey,” Clarke greets, leaning in to kiss Lexa’s cheek. “You look amazing.”
Lexa swallows hard as Clarke tugs at her lapels, smoothing them. “As do you,” she just says softly, looking Clarke’s dress over – red and criminally short, which is actually par for the course, as far as Clarke is concerned, but still, Lexa just swallows harder. “Should we go?” she asks as she looks away. “It’s almost eleven.”
“Kane’s driver is out front,” says Clarke. “You ready?”
Not that Lexa ever is, but she nods anyway, breath taken as Clarke grabs her by the wrist and pulls her out of the door and toward Kane’s car.
It’s one of Kane’s smaller sedans, and Lexa feels Clarke press against her as she closes the door. Christ. Clarke then threads an arm into hers, hand coming to rest upon Lexa’s knee warmly. Well, shit.
“You all right?” Clarke asks, squeezing lightly.
Lexa nods, and, as if to prove she’s a functioning human inside a moving vehicle, Lexa slides her phone out for show. “I believe it’s my turn to start the Internet breakdown for today,” she says, tilting her head just so. Clarke follows suit, though in that split-second it takes Lexa to actually take the photo, Clarke manages to turn her head.
When the frame freezes, Lexa’s winking at the screen, and Clarke’s leaning in looking like she’s about to kiss her, and Jesus Christ, Clarke really knows how to work this.
“How does it look?” asks Clarke, leaning in and trying to get a glimpse of Lexa’s screen. Lexa relents and hands her phone over. “Damn, we look good.”
“Would that make Kane as happy?” asks Lexa, and Clarke just laughs.
“Only one way to find out,” she says, handing Lexa’s phone back, a smug grin on her lips; a challenge in her eye.
@LVine: otw to lunch with the amazing @IamClarkeG in a few :) pic.twitter.com/KL8jgT4anM
(“Who uses ‘otw’ really?” Clarke teases, as she helps Lexa out of the car.)
The Ark’s interiors are as breathtaking as promised, and they are greeted at the door with flowers. Clarke lets out a soft giggle, and Lexa blushes as she takes the bouquet and cradles it in one hand, resting her other hand at the small of Clarke’s back out of habit, ushering her past the threshold.
They are led into a small room at the back. The place is surprisingly well-lit, much to Lexa’s surprise – their table is beside a huge window that opens to a view of a pond.
“This place is amazing,” Clarke murmurs, and when Lexa looks at her, she’s already picking up a note from the table. “It’s from Kane – Have a great lunch, ladies. –Marcus.”
Clarke shrugs. “I guess he’s not joining us for lunch?”
Lexa lowers her bouquet on the empty chair to her right. “He’s not?”
“So… it’s kind of like he’s paying for our date or something?”
Lexa laughs. That explains the window, she thinks, peering past the pond and onto the street. Paparazzo party. “Of course,” she just says. “Might as well make the most of it? I’m starving.”
“Same,” Clarke says, making a face as she reaches over for the menu. “What are you having?”
Clarke orders for the both of them. While they wait, they talk about the previous night’s episode, and the shooting schedule for the weeks ahead. “I can’t wait to go on location shooting again,” says Clarke, taking a sip from her glass of water. “The studio gets kind of suffocating sometimes.”
“I heard we’re going to have a beach shoot soon,” says Lexa, and Clarke lets out a low whistle in approval. “Last I heard, it’s on for the end of this month.”
“Jesus Christ, I am so ready to hit the beach,” Clarke says. “I don’t even care that it’s for work.”
Lexa laughs, and right on cue, their order arrives. “All work and no play?” she asks, looking at Clarke before digging in.
“Oh, never,” says Clarke, picking up her fork. “All work, all play,” she corrects, and Lexa tries to ignore the twinkle in Clarke’s eye as she says it, turning her attention back to her steak instead.
@IamClarkeG: Thank you @MrMarcusKane for the lunch and the flowers!
I & @LVine love @TheArkRestaurant <3
Clarke likes taking pictures; she likes taking pictures a lot. She also likes sending Lexa lots of stolen ones that she shoots between takes, often catching Lexa napping somewhere.
“God, you could sleep anywhere, can’t you?” says Clarke, grinning, and Lexa just pouts until Clarke concedes to delete them. However, this was before Clarke discovered she could actually use them for show promotion. Now with Kane’s implicit approval, Lexa has to fend off Clarke’s insistent May I post this? questions every so often.
“Do what you want Clarke,” Lexa sighs, finally. They’re in Lexa’s trailer, and Clarke is seated across her on the bed, browsing over her script notes. “They’re your photos in your phone.”
“But this is your face,” says Clarke, not looking up from her script. “I don’t want to invade your privacy or something.”
Lexa smiles. “These are all photos of me with my eyes closed. I think privacy is pretty much already out of the question.” Clarke just giggles as she nudges Lexa’s shin with her toe. “And besides—they’re not even my entire face.”
“You’re always sleeping with half of it covered in something.”
“I should probably start covering all of it, no? As a precaution.”
“Lexa.” And then, growing more serious: “No, really, I’m serious – the uploads are for fun, you’re in no way required to just say yes all the time—”
Lexa can’t help the laugh that escapes her lips. Is she even serious? she wants to ask. Of course I’ll always say yes.
This is you.
“I’m not—” she begins instead, and even then, Lexa has to pause when Clarke lifts her head to look at her. “It’s not a problem. Really.”
“Even when you’re sleeping?”
@IamClarkeG: If you think she’s adorable awake, you clearly haven’t seen her asleep @LVine :* pic.twitter.com/J5ghYi06f7
@LVine: @IamClarkeG =)
It’s not a problem, not really; Lexa gets the hang of being so socmed visible after a while, though she still gets jarred whenever she gets recognized in public as that girl who is probably dating Clarke Griffin.
“Do you mind though?” Clarke asks her on the plane over to location. Earlier, they had signed autographs after being recognized together at the airport, with a couple of fans asking if they were really together. Lexa can’t remember how she responded, though the blush on her face must have been unmistakable. “Because if you’re uncomfortable, maybe we could lay off the socmed for a bit?”
Lexa shakes her head. “Don’t be ridiculous,” she says. “Strike while the iron is hot.” And it is hot – Lexa knows this, and she also knows there probably is no better way to ride a wave that is peaking, so to speak. “But if you’re uncomfortable—”
Clarke tugs her headphones off entirely – they’re the same color as Lexa’s, completely coincidental, but it looks like they’re also matching headphones and Lexa just has to laugh at the absurdity of it all. “Me, uncomfortable?”
Lexa just gives her a look. All these weeks they’ve spent together, and already Clarke has become comfortable enough around Lexa to tell her bits and pieces of her actual life – and this is how Lexa knows about the guy that Clarke has been dating for a while now.
“What about Wells?” says Lexa, trying to pass it off as a completely casual question.
“What about Wells?” Clarke asks back.
Lexa averts her eyes at that. Well, shit. “I’m sorry,” she backtracks. “I shouldn’t have—it’s not my place.”
Clarke shakes her head, leaning in closer. “No—really,” she insists. “What about Wells?”
What about him, then? Lexa wonders, biting down on her lip, staring at Clarke’s watch. That he is dating you outside of work? That he gets the non-onscreen version of you?
That he gets the realest you?
Lexa blinks, catching these thoughts running through her head. What even am I thinking?
“What?” she asks, jolted for a moment as Clarke’s face comes into view clearer. “Sorry. I really don’t have anything to say about Wells.”
“Except of course that you do,” says Clarke. “Come on.”
Lexa hesitates for a moment before: “I just think between the two of us, you should be more concerned about our socmed because you have a boyfriend?” There. I said it. Lexa bites down on the tip of her tongue, like she’s trying to take the taste of that last word out of her mouth.
“Wells is not a boyfriend.”
“Just someone you’re dating?”
“Just someone I’m going out with,” says Clarke. “He knew what he was getting into – if he doesn’t like it, then he doesn’t.”
Lexa finds herself giving in to a slow grin at that. “Strong words,” she teases. “You sure about that?”
“Not to be cocky, but—I am TV-dating a superstar, am I not?”
Lexa laughs. “Nope, that would be me – I am TV-dating a superstar.”
“We’re clearly made for each other,” says Clarke, laughing along and repositioning her headphones to cover one ear with one hand before touching Lexa’s on the armrest between them with the other. Lexa feels her insides get cold as everything outside of her warms up with Clarke so close.
“So,” Clarke says again, and Lexa feels herself breathing out as Clarke withdraws her hand slowly. Gently. “We’re good?”
Lexa nods. “Yeah,” she says. “We’re more than good.”