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A Soccer Love Story

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Lexa Woods is a warrior.

She is a competitor.

She is the goddamn Commander.

When Lexa had gotten her first call up to the senior national team at the young age of 18, her unshakable demeanor and immediate impact when she stepped onto the field had earned her the nickname.

She was the youngest on the team at the time, but it was a position she thrived in— Lexa had been taken under the wings of the all-time greats, learning and growing from the likes of Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly and Tobin Heath, to name a few.

Aptly nicknamed “The Commander” by her teammates, Lexa lived up to the hype. Under their tutelage, Lexa had soon become a household name and by the time she was 25, had helped the U.S. Women’s National Team earn gold at two Olympic games and keep the championship trophy in the U.S. at the past two World Cups, the last time happening a mere month ago.

So yes, Lexa lived up to her nickname.

But she certainly didn’t feel like it, as she clung to Heather’s jersey.

In fact, Lexa was pretty sure she might have accidentally wiped some snot on the older woman’s jersey, she was bawling so hard.

“Pull yourself together, Commander,” she heard from behind her, though it was said in the teasing lilt she knew so well. Lexa took another shuddering breath and turned around before latching onto Carli, whose arms wrapped around Lexa as she buried her face into her mentor’s shoulder.

“Whoa, who broke the Commander?” Lexa heard, and she took a step back to glare at Tobin, though the effect was lost due to Lexa’s tear-streaked face.

“So I guess you told her, huh?” Alex asked, appearing next to Tobin and giving Lexa a small, understanding smile.

“I don’t—I can’t…why?” Lexa asked, the words escaping her as she felt a pair of arms wrap around her, and turned her head slightly to find Ali standing next to her.

“It’s time, Lex,” Ashlyn said patiently, giving Lexa a pat on the arm.

“We’ve all thought about this for a long time now,” Heather continued.

“And what’s a better send off than winning another World Cup?” Carli asked, shrugging.

“But the Olympics…surely you can wait another year to retire,” Lexa reasoned, waving her arms around as she paced back and forth.

“Lex,” Amy said, stepping into Lexa’s path. She placed her hands on Lexa’s shoulders, forcing the younger girl to meet her eyes. “It’s ok,” she said. She smiled sadly at Lexa, giving the midfielder’s shoulder a squeeze. “We have talked about this with our families, with our friends, with ourselves—we’re all talked out.”

“We didn’t plan on retiring all at the same time,” Ali said, picking up the conversation. “But it’s just the way it happened.”

“They’re still going to finish the victory tour,” Becky added.

Kelley nodded, patting the youngest player’s arm. “We’re going to send them off right,” she said. “A victory tour to remember.”

“But it also means there’s going to be a lot of new blood being brought up,” Carli continued. “And you’re one of the leaders of this team now,” she said, looking Lexa in the eyes. “It’s going to be your job to get them in shape for the Olympics.”

Lexa took another deep breath, wiping the stray tears on her cheeks with the sleeve of her jersey. She looked around the room, taking in the faces of the women who have helped shape her soccer career. When she was first called up to the senior national team, she had only been a sophomore in college, and despite the cool demeanor she was known for, she had been terrified.

Lexa had been called up just before the Olympics, a few months after the USWNT had won their second consecutive World Cup. There had been a “mass retirement”, as the media had called it—and Lexa had gotten the call from Jill Ellis, telling her to report to her first training camp.

The first person to greet her had been one of the assistant coaches, who had met Lexa at the entrance of the hotel the team was staying. She had arrived a few days later than everyone else because of her finals schedule, which didn’t help her nerves. Lexa didn’t know what to expect, but she certainly never imagined that Abby Wambach would be the first one to greet her as she stepped off of the bus.

Abby had a warm smile and made Lexa feel more relaxed, and then she was taken to a room where the team meeting was being held—and immediately she was nervous again. The duo had stepped through the door and immediately all eyes were on Lexa.

Carli Lloyd.

Heather O’Reilly.

Becky Sauerbrunn.

Ali Krieger.

Alex Morgan. Tobin Heath. Julie Johnston.

Holy shit, Lexa was in the presence of her childhood idols.

The players from the 15ers—the American heroes who had finally brought the World Cup back to the United Sates and—holy shit, Hope Solo was there as the newly appointed goalkeeper coach, and Abby Wambach was still standing next to her, and everyone was staring at her and she was only vaguely aware of Jill introducing her to the team.

Lexa had the presence of mind to give a slight wave, but her face was starting to burn up with all eyes on her. Walking to an empty seat, she turned slightly to see Ashlyn Harris giving her a slight smile. And then, in what was perhaps the most embarrassing moment of her entire life, she had taken her sweater off, forgetting that she had thrown on the first shirt she could find before racing to her last final, and then to the airport because holy shit she was on her way to her first senior national team camp.

Which wouldn’t have been an issue, except the shirt she was wearing was a freaking Alex Morgan jersey.

Lexa was at her first senior national team camp, surrounded by her idols, quickly turned teammates, and she was wearing a player’s jersey.

A player who was literally sitting two rows in front of her.

Lexa internally cursed herself, and then cursed her professor for having an 8 am final time, and then cursed herself again for not recognizing what she had thrown on in her haste to make it to her final on time.

Slowly, as to not draw attention to herself, she tuned into the camp schedule Dawn Scott, the head strength and fitness coach, was going over while discreetly attempting to put her sweater back on.

And then Dawn was done, and the lights were back on, and she hadn’t been able to get her sweater back on before Ashlyn had turned to face Lexa, giving her a wide smile.

“Hi,” Ashlyn said, sticking her hand out. “I’m Ashlyn,” she continued, and pointed to the girl sitting next to her. “This is Ali.”

“I know,” Lexa had blurted out, immediately groaning at the zero amount of chill she had as she met one of her favorite players. “I mean, hi, I’m Lexa. It’s nice to meet you,” she continued, shaking Ashlyn’s hand.

“Yo, Woods!” she heard, and turned around, seeing Tobin Heath standing in front of her with—Lexa immediately tried to quell the blush she knew was spreading across her face, thankful that her tanned skin would lessen the effect, because standing next to Tobin, smiling with her signature pink pre-wrap in her hair, was Alex Morgan.

“Welcome to camp,” Tobin continued. “Tobin,” she said, gesturing to herself. “This is Al,” Tobin said, putting her arm around the forward next to her.

“Lexa Woods,” Lexa said, reaching down to grab her bag. “Do you know who I can talk to about my room assignment?” she asked, determined to get out of the shirt as soon as possible, hopefully before she was introduced to the rest of the team.

“You’re actually rooming with me,” said a voice next to her, and Lexa turned once more to face Kelley O’Hara. “And we have a few hours before we have to meet in the weight room, so I can show you to the room now.”

Lexa smiled, the welcoming looks on everyone’s face relaxing her. She stuffed her sweater in her bag and slung it over her shoulder. “Thanks,” she said, forgetting for a moment about her predicament.

Until—

“Whoa, check it out, she’s got a two-star shirt,” Meghan Klingenberg said, joining the circle of teammates, Morgan Brian standing next to her.

“You need to upgrade your shirt, dude,” Morgan chimed in. "We've got more stars than that."

The comment made everyone focus on Lexa’s shirt, and she saw Ashlyn smirk.

“Alex Morgan fan, huh?” she asked, and Lexa groaned, bringing her hand up to cover her face as the team laughed.

Lexa only removed her hand when she felt a tug on her shirt. She opened her eyes to see Alex Morgan smirking in front of her, blue-eyes twinkling. Alex held her hand out and Abby handed her a sharpie, and she proceeded to sign Lexa’s shirt, while she was wearing it.

The fan girl in Lexa just about died screaming.

The soccer player Lexa, the one who just got called up to her first senior national team camp almost died as well—but mostly from embarrassment as the rest of the team continued to howl with laughter as Alex signed Lexa’s shirt.

“Flattery will get you everywhere,” Alex said, capping the sharpie and taking a step back.

“Well, this is officially the most embarrassing moment of my entire life,” Lexa said, cheeks burning.

“Ehh, you’re only eighteen, kid,” Heather said. “You’ll have a bunch more in the future.”

“Great,” Lexa muttered.

Once the team finally calmed down, Lexa had in fact followed Kelley to their room where she changed her shirt.

And well, if she nicely folded her Alex Morgan shirt and placed it in a separate section of her bag, smiling the entire time, well that was nobody’s business but her own.

“Lexa?”

She was broken out of her reverie as Alex said her name, placing an arm around Lexa’s shoulders.

“We’re going to be ok,” Alex said, their teammates nodding around them. “I’m not sure how yet, but we’re going to figure it out together.”

Lexa nodded, wiping her face one more time.

She could be the leader this team needed.

There were only five months until Olympic qualifiers, and while they still had a good chunk of their core team, Carli was right—there would be a lot of fresh blood being called into camp. They needed to fill those roster spots, and Lexa was determined to live up to the legacy her mentors were leaving behind.

* *

“Clarke! Hey, Clarke! Oi, Griffin!”

Clarke shot up at the sound of her last name being barked like an order, opening her eyes and looking around wildly.

“Wha—what? What’s happening?” she asked, looking around, her eyes landing on her best friend, Raven Reyes. “Rae? What happened? What’s wrong?”

Clarke took in her best friend’s demeanor, noticing she was leaning a little harder on her cane than normal. She stood up from the couch, stretching her arms as she did so. She looked down at the table, where dozens of studies on muscles and bones and other medical journals were spread out, left open from when she had been reading through them the night before.

“What’s up?” she asked again, swiping her face with her hand and trudging to the kitchen. She poured herself a cup of coffee and took a sip, sighing happily before turning around to face her friend.

Raven shrugged her shoulders. “Not much,” she said, leaning on her cane.

Clarke narrowed her eyes, staring at her friend. “Liar,” she said, putting her coffee down and stepping closer to the other girl.

“You’re a liar,” Raven scoffed, though she walked over to the couch and plopped herself down.

“What do you need?” Clarke asked, standing at the edge of the couch.

“Well, I wouldn’t say need…” Raven said, fiddling with her leg brace. “But like, if you had the time—I mean, if you wanted to…maybe you could,” she continued, gesturing to her leg.

Clarke gave a slight chuckle, knowing her friend was asking for help but was reluctant to clearly ask for it. The hit and run accident that had put Raven in a leg brace permanently had happened when they were in high school, and Clarke had discovered a newfound respect for her best friend’s resilience as she watched Raven battle back against the odds, relearning how to walk at the mere age of 17.

“Lay down on the couch,” Clarke instructed, and Raven grinned as she swung her legs up onto the cushions and laid back.

“Thanks Griff,” Raven said, smiling at her friend.

“Yeah, yeah,” Clarke said, deftly unbuckling Raven’s leg brace and putting it aside.

“You’re my most favorite doctor, you know?” Raven asked, sighing lightly as Clarke started to massage her leg.

Clarke snorted. “Last week you told me that I was the reincarnation of the devil in human form.”

“You ate all of my cookies!” Raven exclaimed.

“I did not eat all of them,” Clarke protested, gently bending Raven’s knee and putting more pressure on the muscles in her calf.

Raven quirked an eyebrow. “Oh? Then who did?”

“Perhaps our third roommate?” Clarke asked.

“Lies,” Raven said, waving her hand in a dismissive gesture. “Octavia doesn’t eat cookies, and I know you know that.”

“Yeah, well—”

Clarke was cut off as her phone rang, and she glanced down to see the number for U.S. Soccer. “Sorry Rae, I’ve gotta take this,” Clarke said, giving her friend an apologetic look.

She reached over, hitting the answer button before wedging the phone in between her shoulder and ear.

“Hello?” she asked, going back to massaging Raven’s calf.

“Hi, Dr. Griffin?”

“Yes, this is she,” Clarke responded, moving higher up Raven’s leg.

“My name is Dawn Scott, I’m with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team,” the caller continued. “I’m calling to officially offer you the position of team doctor and trainer.”

Clarke stopped massaging Raven’s leg, ignoring the questioning look on her best friend’s face.

“Wait, seriously?” Clarke asked. She quickly cleared her throat. “I mean—wait, seriously?” she repeated.

Dawn laughed, answering Clarke with a chuckle in her voice. “Yes, seriously,” she said. “Your resume is quite impressive, you had several outstanding letters of recommendation and your interview went quite well.”

“Wow, thank you!” Clarke exclaimed. “I mean—thank you!”

“Thank you, Dr. Griffin,” Dawn continued. “Plus, between you and I, it helped that one of your references was Raven Reyes. If you’re friends with Reyes, then you clearly know your football. That girl is one of the best assistants I’ve had.”

“Oh god, don’t inflate Raven’s ego anymore,” Clarke said jokingly, to the sound of Raven’s protests.

Dawn laughed again, before talking again. “Alright Dr. Griffin, can I assume this means you’ll take the job?”

“Absolutely,” Clarke said, grinning.

“Great. Someone will be in touch soon with the necessary paperwork,” Dawn said. “Congratulations again. I look forward to seeing you at the next team camp.”

“Thank you so much,” Clarke said. “I look forward to seeing you too.”

Clarke hung up, placing her phone on the table in front of her. She turned back to Raven, continuing her ministrations on Raven’s leg.

“Sooo…” Raven prompted.

Clarke feigned nonchalance, shrugging her shoulders. “What?” she asked.

“Don’t play with me, Griffin,” Raven said, flicking Clarke in the forehead.

“Ow! Is that any way to treat your best friend?” asked Clarke, scowling and rubbing her forehead.

“When she’s being annoying, yes,” Raven said, crossing her arms. “Are you going to tell me what that phone call is about?”

“Oh, that?” Clarke asked. “It was nothing,” she hummed, gently bending Raven’s knee back and forth.

“Coy doesn’t suit you, Griff,” Raven said. “Now spill.”

“Well, I think you and I are going to be seeing a lot more of each other,” Clarke said.

“How is that even possible?” Raven asked. “We already live together. Unless—” Raven placed her hands on top of Clarke’s, sitting up. “Don’t fuck with me right now. You got the job?”

Clarke squealed, unable to keep it in. “I fucking got it,” she said, grinning.

“Clarke! I knew you would!” Raven said, and Clarke yelped as Raven wrapped her arms around the doctor, Clarke landing on top of Raven.

“Holy shit, we get to travel together and watch soccer and you get to meet the team, they’re so awesome, and oh my god, there’s so many places we can—”

“Slow your roll, Reyes,” Clarke laughed, placing her hand over Raven’s mouth and cutting off her rambling. “Ew!” she said, removing her hand as Raven licked her palm.

“When do you start?” Raven asked, ignoring Clarke wipe her hand on Raven’s shirt.

“Next camp,” Clarke said, smiling.

“This is so awesome!” Raven yelled. “The victory tour just got so much better.”

“Yeah, but now we have to tell Octavia that—”

Clarke was cut off as their front door swung open with a bang, revealing their third roommate and best friend.

“You guys!” yelled Octavia, hand gripping her phone tightly, eyes sparkling with excitement. “I—what are you doing?”

Clarke and Raven looked at each other, realizing they were lying on the couch, Clarke on top of Raven.

Clarke shrugged, before standing up. “Just chilling,” she said. “What were you saying, O?”

“I just got off the phone with Jill Ellis,” Octavia said, voice becoming louder as she continued. “As in Jill Ellis, coach of the senior national team. I got the call!”

“Holy shit!” “No fucking way!”

“I’m reporting to the next team camp, bitches!” Octavia yelled, laughing as Clarke launched herself into the soccer players’ arms. Raven stood up from the couch, limping slightly over to the other two girls and joining in on the hug.

“O! This is amazing!” Raven yelled, slinging her arm around the girl’s shoulders. “I knew you would get the call soon. Looks like we’re all going to camp!”

“Wait, all?” Octavia asked, pulling back slightly.

“Griff here is the new team doctor!” Raven said, grinning.

“Seriously?” Octavia squealed, pulling Clarke into another hug. “Holy shit. You guys, this is going to be the fucking best!”

“Soccer and my best buds,” Raven said, slinging an arm around each of them. “Yeah, this is going to be the fucking best.”

Clarke grinned before stepping back. “Ok, we’re going out to lunch to celebrate! Half an hour! O, go call your brother. Raven, go call the gang. I’m going to call my mom, and then we’re leaving.”

She gave Octavia one more tight hug before the young forward disappeared to her room, squealing into her phone as she called Bellamy. Raven gave Clarke a salute before grabbing her brace and plopping onto the couch, scrolling through her phone. Clarke smiled, grabbing her own phone and heading to her room.

She sat down on her bed with a happy sigh, needing a moment to soak in all that had happened.

Clarke had never imagined her life turning out this way. She had never thought that at the mere age of 25, she would have gotten not only her dream job, but the chance to travel the world with her best friends.

Clarke thought back to meeting Octavia and Raven, and the memory always warmed her heart. Ten years old, Clarke and her mother, Abby, had moved to Seattle, where her mom had taken a new position as the Chief of Cardiology at the hospital there. Clarke and Abby had moved after Clarke’s father had passed away in a car accident—a drunk driver had t-boned her father as he was driving home from his work. Passing the spot everyday on her way to work had proved to be too much for Abby, and so Clarke and her mother packed up their belongings, Clarke said goodbye to her friends, and they moved across the country.

The first day in the new town, Clarke had walked to the park across the street from her new house, kicking a soccer ball as she went along. Her mom had allowed her to go by herself because their house had a clear view of the park, and Clarke had insisted on going by herself.

Clarke had been so sad, losing her father and the familiar place she had grown up in such a short amount of time, and had kicked the ball as hard as she could, not paying attention to where she had kicked it.

“Ow! Hey!” she had heard, and quickly wiped her tear-filled eyes and looked up to see a girl in cleats and a soccer jersey rubbing her forehead, Clarke’s soccer ball in the other hand.

Clarke quickly walked over to the other girl, stumbling over her words. “I’m so sorry,” Clarke had said. “I wasn’t paying attention and I just kicked it as hard as I could and—”

“Hey, don’t worry about it!” the girl said, grinning. “It was a great kick. Do you play soccer?”

Clarke shrugged, fidgeting with the bottom of her shirt. Soccer had been a sport her dad and her had played together, staying out in the backyard after he had gotten home from work until their mom made them stop for dinner. “Kind of,” she responded.

“I’ve never seen you around before! Are you new here? I’m Octavia, by the way,” said the girl, still smiling. “I’m ten. I live at that house right there,” she said, pointing to the house next door to Clarke’s.

“I’m Clarke. I’m your new neighbor,” Clarke responded, still fidgeting.

“You’ve got a great kick, Clarke,” Octavia said. “You want to come watch my game? I’m walking over there now.”

“Well—”

“O!” yelled a voice, and they both turned to see another girl running towards them. “Hey, wait up!”

Octavia smiled and waved at the girl, waiting until she was next to her before speaking again. “This is Raven, she’s my best friend and my teammate,” Octavia said. She gestured to Clarke. “This is Clarke. She just moved here!”

Raven grinned, and it was infectious. Clarke found herself smiling as well. “Hi,” she said, waving.

“Hi,” Raven greeted her. “You coming to our game?”

Clarke turned, glancing back at her house, then back at her new friends. “Umm…let me just ask my mom?” she said, grinning as they both nodded their heads and Clarke turned to run back to her house.

Abby had said yes, thrilled that Clarke had already found friends to play with, and after a brief meeting with Octavia’s mom, where she learned that Octavia’s older brother was going to walk them to the game, had agreed that Clarke could go.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

Octavia and Raven had saved Clarke that day, though she wouldn’t recognize it until they were older. She was lost in the grief she felt over her dad, and at such a young age too. It was only the combination of her best friends and her mom that pulled Clarke out of the pit of despair threatening to consume her when she thought about her father.

The three had remained best friends all through elementary school until the present day, even attending the same college, though Octavia was clearly the only one who continued to pursue soccer, as Clarke studied medicine and Raven studied engineering and nutritional science.

“Hello?” she heard her mom’s voice say, and Clarke shook her head, returning to present day.

“Mom?” Clarke asked through the phone.

“Clarke! Hello, honey,” her mom said, and Clarke could picture Abby’s grin in her mind, making a mental note to visit her mom sometime soon.

“Hi Mom,” Clarke said. “I miss you.”

“I miss you too, sweetie,” Abby said. “How is everything?”

“Good,” Clarke responded. “Great, actually. I’m calling because…well, I got the job with the National Team!” she squealed, becoming lost once again in the excitement of her new job offer.

“Clarke! I knew you would get it! Congratulations!” Abby said, Clarke’s heart swelling with love and pride at her mom’s voice.

“And O got the call!” Clarke continued.

“Oh my goodness! What a big day for you guys!” Abby exclaimed, excitement coloring her tone.

Clarke grinned, nodding her head despite the fact that her mom couldn’t see her. It really was a big day. She continued her conversation with her mom until Raven pounded on her door as a ten-minute warning.

“I’ve got to go Mom, we’re going out to lunch to celebrate with the gang,” Clarke said. “I’ll call you later though when I know more about my schedule, ok?”

“Ok, I love you honey! And I’m so proud,” Abby said.

“I love you too Mom,” Clarke replied, grinning. “Thanks.”

Clarke hung up, flopping back and resting her head on her pillow for a second. She grinned, squealing one more time at herself.

Big day, indeed.

* *

“So, you ready?”

“Yup.”

“You sure?”

“Yup.”

“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”

“Shut up, Raven.”

“Just saying, you look sort of pale.”

“Is this your version of a pep talk?” Clarke asked, scowling at her friend. The two were sitting in the U.S. team van, on their way to the team hotel. “No wonder O always calls me before her games.”

“Ouch, that was a low blow, Griffin,” Raven said, placing a hand over her heart. She grinned, wiggling her eyebrows. “You know there’s nothing to be scared of, really. Only a few of the players bite.”

“You’re the worst,” Clarke responded, unbuckling her seatbelt as the car came to a stop in front of the hotel. “Maybe it’s a good thing Octavia flew in a day earlier than us. At least you weren’t there to freak her out.”

Clarke opened the door and hopped out of the van, thanking the driver. She grabbed Raven’s cane and handed it to her friend, who stepped out of the van after her.

“So, we’re rooming together,” Raven said, checking her phone. “We just have to go to the team meeting that’s happening in like an hour, and you can talk to Dawn and Jill and they can let you know what’s up.”

Clarke nodded, grabbing her bag and after ignoring Raven’s protests, grabbed her friend’s bags as well.

“You’re gonna do great, Griff,” Raven said, smiling.

Clarke smiled back, nodding her head. “Right, let’s go meet the team,” she said.

The two entered the hotel, walking through the lobby and checking in at the front desk. Dropping their stuff off at their room, the two decided to hang out inside until it was time to go to the meeting. A knock on their door interrupted their debate about tacos and burritos (which believe it or not, was actually on ongoing thing).

“Hi,” Clarke said, swinging the door open to reveal Dawn Scott.

“Hello Dr. Griffin,” Dawn greeted, and stepped into the room after Clarke gestured for her to come inside. “Raven,” she said, nodding at her assistant who was sprawled out on one of the beds.

“Hey Dawn,” Raven said, throwing up a peace sign.

“Please call me Clarke,” Clarke said, smiling. “It’s nice to see you again.”

Dawn nodded her head, acknowledging Clarke’s request. “Nice to see you again too. I just came by to give you a brief overview of what’s going to happen this next week, with training the next couple of days leading up to the next victory tour game.”

Clarke nodded, and settled into the chair at the desk as Dawn went over the schedule, Raven throwing in comments every once in a while, until Clarke had an understanding of what the next week consisted of.

“Basically, your duties will include ongoing physical tests with the players, as well as the needs of the players in terms of pre-game and post-game stretching, and Raven and you will work together to come up with treatment plans and recovery,” Dawn finished. “If you have any questions, you can ask me or Raven.”

Dawn nodded, satisfied, and moved towards the exit. “I’ll see you two at the meeting, where we’ll introduce you to the players. Glad to have you on board,” she said, and left.

“You ready now, Griff?” Raven asked, as Clarke plopped down on the bed next to her. She rested her head on Raven’s shoulder, her friend’s arm wrapping around Clarke.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” she responded, and the two stayed in that position watching TV until it was time to go to the meeting.

Entering the conference room, Clarke saw that all of the players were already sitting down, the coaches setting up a projector in the front of the room. Dawn looked up and waved the two of them over, giving a nod to Jill who cleared her throat, the room quieting down.

“As you all know, Dr. Jackson left to go back to his post at the hospital, and we’ve hired a new team doctor. Everyone, say hello to Dr. Griffin,” Jill said, gesturing for Clarke to introduce herself.

Looking around the room, she felt slightly intimidated at the sight of nearly thirty world-class athletes staring at her.

Her eyes scanned the room, and stopped on a girl with green eyes who was staring intently at her, mouth slightly agape.

A nudge from Raven had Clarke looking around the room again, and seeing Octavia grinning at her had Clarke smiling as well.

She took a deep breath and gave a small wave.

“Hi, I’m Clarke,” she said.

* *

Lexa scowled as Alex and Tobin laughed at the look on the young midfielder’s face.

“Lighten up, Commander,” Tobin said, giving her a nudge.

“Yeah, maybe you’ll win next time,” Alex said, chuckling.

“Probably not though,” Anya chimed in.

Lexa glared at her cousin. “Don’t you have a goal to go stand in?” she asked.

Anya just laughed again, Alex and Tobin joining in. The four had just finished another round of Monopoly Deal that Alex had won again. Ever since she could remember, Lexa had been trying to beat Alex Morgan at the card game and still had yet to do so.

It was the only team tradition she couldn’t stand.

“So, what do you think of the new kid?” Anya asked.

“Blake?” Lexa asked. “She’s alright.”

“Kid can shoot,” Anya commented. “She got one past me that rocketed right into the upper ninety.”

“She’s fast, too,” Alex added. “I think she can really do well up front.”

“Maybe she’s the next Alex Morgan,” Tobin teased.

“Does that make you the next Abby Wambach?” Lexa asked Alex, grinning.

“Shut up,” Alex said. “I just mean she has a lot of potential. She’s pretty raw though. I think she just needs a good mentor, someone to help her fine tune some things,” she continued, looking pointedly at Lexa.

“What, me?” Lexa asked. “No, I don’t do newbies.”

“You still are a newbie,” Tobin said, chuckling. “You youngin’, you.”

“Shut up,” Lexa said. She sighed. “Fine, I’ll help her.”

“Maybe drop the whole Commander act before you approach her,” Anya said, as she started to clean the cards up, the four of them getting ready to go to the team meeting. They walked out of the hotel room to the elevator. “Don’t want to scare her off.”

“If the Commander can scare her off, then she’s not worth mentoring,” Lexa said.

Tobin and Alex just chuckled, shaking their heads. Lexa grinned at them, leading the way to the conference room as the elevator doors opened.

Tobin and Alex went to sit next to Kling and Moe, the four of them starting to talk immediately. Anya sat down next to Becky, and Lexa scanned the room before her eyes landed on Octavia, sitting in the front row. With a sigh, Lexa walked over to the young forward, sitting in the seat next to her.

“Hey Lexa,” Octavia greeted, smiling.

Lexa nodded at the girl, and Octavia must have taken it as a sign to continue talking. “We’re meeting the new doctor today. She’s actually—”

Lexa was vaguely listening as Octavia rambled on about something, only snapping to attention when she heard Jill clear her throat.

“As you all know, Dr. Jackson left to go back to his post at the hospital, and we’ve hired a new team doctor. Everyone, say hello to Dr. Griffin,” Jill said, and Lexa turned her head slightly to see where Jill was gesturing.

Her mouth dropped open as she saw the blonde haired girl standing at the front of the room.

She was maybe the most beautiful girl Lexa had ever seen.

Then, the girl’s blue eyes locked with Lexa’s, and she felt like she was in a trance.

The girl opened her mouth to speak, and her voice was deeper than Lexa expected, but enticing all the same, pulling her in even further.

Lexa couldn’t stop staring.

“Hi, I’m Clarke,” the blonde haired, blue-eyed girl said.

Lexa groaned internally.

She was so fucked.

Chapter Text

“…lastly, make sure you pay attention to your scheduled day to visit Dr. Griffin, which will be tied into your post-workout treatment schedules,” Dawn said, glancing around the room at the players.

Jill nodded and stepped forward. “Ok, that’s all we have for today. See you all in a few hours for team dinner,” she said, and turned off the projector that held the week’s schedule on the wall.

Lexa briefly acknowledged everyone around her starting to talk again, but her eyes where still locked on the girl she now knew as Clarke, standing with Dawn’s assistant, Raven.

Holy shit the girl was beautiful.

Lexa couldn’t even remember the last time she had experienced immediate feelings for someone she just met (that was a lie, she could remember exactly the last time it had happened—it was her senior year of high school and Costia had been new in town, and they had fallen into a relationship quickly, one that ended rather abruptly as Lexa devoted more time to soccer and according to her ex-girlfriend, less time to their relationship).

Lexa had been devastated when Costia had broken up with her, though when she looks back on it she was sort of surprised their relationship had lasted as long as it did—Costia had broken up with Lexa during their sophomore year. She had been in the heart of soccer season, thriving at UNC while Costia was across the country, studying media studies at Berkeley.

Costia didn’t understand why Lexa spent so many hours training, why she devoted so much time to a sport.

She didn’t understand why Lexa had decided to give so much of her life to soccer.

And Lexa had been heartbroken.

And then she had gotten her first call up to the senior national team. And there was no time to be heartbroken after that.

So she pushed the feelings down, adapting the stoic façade of The Commander. Between Anya at UNC with her and her new teammates on the National Team, slowly but surely Lexa’s heart had been mended, until it was all patched up, replaced by her love for club and country and soccer and everything it had brought her. Soccer had broken her heart plenty of times, but it had also brought her the highest form of happiness she had ever known.

She didn’t have to worry about heartbreak when she had Carli Lloyd showing her the ropes, or when she had Alex Morgan analyzing her play, or Becky Sauerbrunn helping her find the best way to approach a situation.

Thoughts of love, and thoughts of Costia, were firmly rooted in the back of her mind, behind a closed door that screamed STAY AWAY, only cracked open during small moments of longing, when she watched Alex and Tobin’s easy relationship, balancing their children with their national team responsibilities, or when Ashlyn and Ali’s kids ran towards her after a game, leaping into the air, ignoring their parent’s scolding because they knew without a doubt that their beloved Auntie Lexa would catch them.

Which is why Lexa’s typical, calm demeanor had immediately vanished when she saw Clarke. She was so caught off guard by the intensity of the feelings that drew her to the doctor, Lexa seemed to revert back to her default self, which according to her teammates, was a huge fucking dork.

“Lexa? You ok?”

She shook her head, turning to see Octavia give her a questioning look.

“What? Yes, I’m fine,” Lexa replied, standing up quickly, Octavia following.

“Ok…you kind of spaced out there for a second,” Octavia said.

Lexa opened her mouth to respond, but was cut off by a voice, the same one that had her so flustered only moments before.

“Hey, O!”

Lexa turned to see Clarke walking towards the two of them, and oh shit her eyes were even more blue up close, and why was she walking towards them with that smile on her face—

Lexa’s thoughts were interrupted as Clarke’s opened up her arms, laughing as Octavia launched herself at the doctor.

“Whoa, new girl knows the doc, huh?” Lexa heard, and turned to see Alex and Tobin standing beside her.

“Uhh—what?” Lexa heard herself saying.

How did the new girl know this glorious goddess?

“Knows her very well,” she heard Anya add, and turned to see Anya quirk her eyebrow as Clarke spun the young forward around.

“Glad to see you finally made it here, Princess,” she heard Octavia say, her voice only slightly muffled by her face buried in Clarke’s neck.

“Yeah, yeah,” Clarke said, rolling her eyes.

“Hey, what about me?” Raven asked, tapping her cane on the ground impatiently as she joined the group.

Octavia grinned before hugging Raven as well, giving her a resounding smack on the cheek as Clarke rolled her eyes, smiling fondly at the two.

“So needy, Reyes,” Clarke said, but at the same time took a step closer to Raven and wrapped her arm around the girl’s waist, allowing Raven to lean slightly into her rather than the cane in her hand.

Clarke turned to the soccer players then, blue eyes sparkling and Lexa felt her breath hitch and just knew that Alex, Tobin and Anya were giving her a strange look because of the uncharacteristic display of nerves she was showing.

“Sorry for interrupting. We just wanted to say hi to Octavia before Raven and I went to meet with the rest of the staff,” she said, running the hand not wrapped around Raven through her hair.

“Clarke, this is—” Octavia began, gesturing to the group of soccer players in front of them.

“Oh I know who you all are,” Clarke cut in, interrupting her friend. “Alex Morgan, one of the fastest players on the team and well on her way to beating Abby Wambach’s record.”

Alex raised her eyebrow at that, but shook Clarke’s outstretched hand with a grin.

“Tobin Heath, most technical player in the world,” Clarke continued, smiling at Tobin whose ears turned a light shade of red as Alex laughed, nudging her wife.

Clarke turned to Anya now, who was intrigued to see what the blonde doctor would say next. “Anya Woods, goal keeper who stepped in and blocked the shot from Germany to keep them from advancing to the semis last year.”

And then Clarke turned to Lexa, and blue met green, and Lexa swears she felt her heart skip a beat as Clarke directed that radiant smile towards her. “Lexa Woods, youngest on the team called up before the Olympics. The attacking mid position is your specialty.” Lexa’s eyes darted down to Clarke’s outstretched hands and back to the doctor’s eyes, the smile on Clarke’s face never faltering, even as an awkward silence stretched on as Clarke waited for Lexa to shake her hand.

A nudge from Anya reminded Lexa that yes, she has in fact successfully managed social interaction with beautiful girls before. But her internal freak out plus the realization that all eyes were still on her meant that instead of Lexa doing the normal thing, like shaking Clarke’s hand, she instead reached out and slapped the doctor’s palm.

She heard Anya, Tobin and Alex stifling their laughter next to her.

Octavia looked like she was trying to hold in laughter as well.

Raven had no such qualms, and was actually laughing out loud.

And Clarke, beautiful, blue-eyed Clarke, was giving her an amused smile.

Lexa wanted to bury herself in a hole and stay there for a while.

She had just given Clarke a high five.

Tobin, taking pity on the younger girl, cleared her throat. “So, how do you know Clarke and Raven, Octavia?”

“Griff and Reyes?” Octavia asked, a twinkle in her eye. She threw an arm around Clarke’s shoulders. “They’ve been my best friends since we were ten.”

“Wow, and all three of you are here?” Alex asked, impressed.

“Yup,” Raven nodded, smirking. “We’re just all kinds of awesome.”

Clarke snorted lightly, shaking her head. “When we first met we all bonded over soccer. Raven and I stopped playing after high school, but O went on to play in college, obviously,” she said. “Now, we’re just her biggest fans.”

“Nah, these two have their own brilliance going on,” Octavia said, and everyone could notice the pride in her voice as she spoke fondly of her best friends. “Griff is one of the youngest doctors ever to be promoted to resident, and Raven is literally a certified genius.”

“I’m brilliant, shhh,” Raven said, winking.

“What made you want to be here then?” Anya asked. “I mean, no offense. But if you’re as smart as Octavia says…”

Clarke shook off the comment, grinning widely. “Well, we love soccer,” she said simply, shrugging.

“And Clarke just really wanted her Lexa Woods jersey signed,” Raven added, snickering.

Lexa, who had been trying to turn invisible after giving Clarke a high five, smiled at the comment as she watched a slight blush creep over the doctor’s face.

“Shut up, Raven,” Clarke said, scowling.

“But I saw it in your bag when I—”

“Well, it was nice to officially meet you all, but we really have to go meet with the staff now,” Clarke interrupted, covering Raven’s mouth with her hand. She smiled at the soccer players, dropped a kiss on Octavia’s cheek, and turned around, dragging Raven with her. “See you guys later!”

The teammates all watched as Clarke dragged Raven out of the conference hall, their voices becoming fainter until the door slammed shut.

“What’s wrong with you?” Anya asked bluntly, turning to face Lexa.

Lexa felt her face heat up as they all stared at her, and she fought to keep a disinterested look on her face.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Lexa said, trying to sound normal.

“You gave the doc a high five,” Alex pointed out.

Lexa glared at the forward, scowling. “Yes, I’m well aware. Thank you, Alex.”

Alex shrugged, reaching down and taking Tobin’s hand. “Well, we’ve got a skype date with the kids so we’ll see you all at dinner,” she said, and with a wave her and Tobin left, off to their room.

“I told grandma I would call her later,” Anya said. She shook her head. “We’ll talk later, Lex. Try not to be so weird while I’m gone.”

And then it was just her and Octavia, who was still looking at her with an analyzing look on her face.

“What?” Lexa asked.

“Nothing,” Octavia hummed. “I was just wondering if you could go over a couple scenarios with me?”

Lexa took a minute to gather her thoughts and compose herself. She was a leader on this team, and as a leader she knew that people were looking to her to set an example. She couldn’t afford to be anything less than perfect right now, which means she could not turn into the stuttering fool she had been only five minutes earlier.

Lexa needed to go full Commander mode.

It was the road to the Olympics, after all. No distractions allowed.

Even if it was in the form of a beautiful, smart doctor who also happened to love soccer.

* *

Clarke was going to kill Raven.

Well, not really. But she did eat the chocolate bar Raven had been saving.

“You bitch,” Raven said, swiping the wrapper out of the trash, and throwing it at Clarke.

“That’s what you get,” Clarke said petulantly, grabbing the bags of medical equipment she needed to take with her to the training facility.

It was their second day at training camp, and Clarke and Raven were about to leave for the training facility to set up their makeshift medical area in order to do the physicals for the team. Clarke was making a mental checklist in her head, sitting on the edge of her bed, scanning the equipment in front of her.

“Oh, come on. What I said was true. You do want Lexa’s autograph,” Raven whined, and she plopped down on Clarke’s lap to gain her attention. “Besides, that was way less embarrassing than when she high fived you.”

“I thought it was cute,” Clarke said, grinning.

“The Commander?” Raven snorted. “She has never in her life been referred to as cute. You better not let her hear you call her that.”

“Oh please, I can be professional,” said Clarke, pushing Raven off of her lap and standing up. She grabbed as much as she could as Raven grabbed the rest, and the two left the room, heading to the van that would take them to the training facility.

Clarke thought about her first interaction with Lexa.

Lexa Woods.

The Commander.

Aka one of Clarke’s favorite players of all time.

Here’s the thing—Clarke was able to keep her cool when she was officially introduced to Lexa, but just barely, because what Raven had said was true—Clarke did have a Lexa Woods jersey, and she certainly remembers painting her face with Octavia and watching the World Cup with their friends, screaming at the top of her lungs when Lexa scored in the quarterfinals.

It was kind of surreal to be meeting Lexa—to be meeting any of the players, really. Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Sydney Leroux—just yesterday Clarke had been standing in the same room as Carli Lloyd. And now, she was actually going to be meeting each and every one of them and running medical tests on them.

How did her life go from zero to one hundred so quickly?

Of course she knew Octavia was a world-class athlete, and there had never been a doubt in her mind that her best friend would one day make it on to one of the most elite soccer teams in the world.

Octavia and Clarke had been with each other since they were little—she was in detention with her when Octavia had punched Nick Randolph in the face in sixth grade after he had pushed Clarke to the ground, had laughed with her when Raven had gotten stuck in the slide they TOLD her she was too big to go down but she insisted anyways when they were in high school, had cried with her when Clarke had gotten her heart broken for the first time—Octavia, Clarke and Raven had been through it all together.

So yes, Clarke was well aware that Octavia was a world-class athlete, but growing up together meant Clarke never treated her any differently than her best friend Octavia. World-class athlete Octavia, who held the record for most goals at their college and was being scouted as the next Alex Morgan, was the same Octavia who had built a blanket fort with Clarke and Raven and had a Harry Potter marathon, the three of them bawling their eyes out at the end of it.

She would credit that experience, combined with her practiced bedside manner as a doctor with why she didn’t externally freak out as hard as she internally was when she had shook hands with Ali fucking Krieger, the best right back in the world. And refrained from asking Ashlyn Harris if she could look at her tattoos up close. And clamped down on her urge to squeal when Christen Press gave her a smile and a wave.

With a large number of players retiring during the victory tour, Clarke knew how important it was for Octavia to prove herself during this short amount of time between now and Olympic qualifiers. She thought about how she had seen Lexa sitting next to Octavia in the meeting the day before, seemingly reaching out to her best friend.

That seemed sort of out of character for Lexa Woods.

Though what Clarke actually knew about the infamous Commander was very little—Lexa was one of the faces of the National Team, her rise to fame a product of her hard work and talent on the pitch, and it didn’t hurt that she was a green-eyed, brunette beauty. Clarke had just about swooned when she discovered a picture of Lexa Woods on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The interview Clarke had read made it seem that Lexa was nice and genuine, but overall very professional—she seemed to be a serious person a majority of the time. She knew that Lexa was close with her teammates; that much was clear when they played together—the team’s chemistry on the pitch was a credit to how close they all were off of it.

To Clarke, The Commander persona was fascinating.

She couldn’t believe that Lexa was as serious as the media and everyone else made her out to be. Lexa was praised for her cool demeanor and ruthless style of play—she was a no holds barred, one hundred percent grind it out type player. She made her teammates better with how hard she played, and had opponents scrambling trying to defend her.

Clarke knew that if Lexa took Octavia under her wing, her friend had a good chance of making it onto that Olympic roster. Octavia had the drive, she had the work ethic, and most of all she had the passion—Clarke had seen it first hand, from the first time she watched Octavia step onto the pitch at age ten.

“You know she’s not nicknamed The Commander for nothing, right Clarke?” Raven asked as they pulled into the parking lot of the training facility. “She’s one tough chick.”

“I know, Rae,” Clarke said. “Doesn’t mean she can’t be cute too.”

“I think she’s more hot than cute,” Raven said absentmindedly, the two unloading their equipment and heading into the building.

“She’s freaking beautiful,” Clarke replied.

Raven wiggled her eyebrows, smirking. “You should go for it, Griff.”

Clarke scoffed. “Yeah, ok.”

“I’m serious!” Raven said. They walked down the hall, heading into the locker room where they were to set up their equipment. “You’re hot. She’s hot.” Raven started unzipping the bags, setting up her laptop while Clarke got out her medical bag. “You’re single. She’s single.”

“And how do you know she’s single?” Clarke asked.

“Because she’s freaking famous and if she was with someone the entire world would know about it?” Raven replied. “Also because I’m actually sort of friends with her and she’s never mentioned anyone.”

“She’s Octavia’s new teammate,” Clarke pointed out. “And technically my new patient. So she’s off limits.” She shook her head. “Besides, who’s to say she would even be into me?”

Raven scoffed, taking a seat on the padded table Clarke had finished unfolding. “You’re amazing. Of course she would be into you,” she said, leaning back on her hands. “And if she isn’t I’ll fight her.”

“Aww, you’re too cute Rae,” Clarke cooed, stepping in between Raven’s legs and squeezing her friend’s cheeks with her hands. “Offering to defend my honor.”

“Shut up, Griffin,” Raven mumbled, scowling, though the effect was lost as Raven’s brown eyes twinkled, the corners of her mouth turning slightly up.

“You love me,” Clarke declared, and then peppered Raven’s face with kisses, ignoring her friend’s cries of protests.

“Clarke! We said no more ambushes!”

“You love the love ambush!”

“No more kisses!”

“Just let me love you!”

“Umm…hello?”

The two abruptly froze, Raven peering over Clarke’s shoulder to see Alex Morgan and Lexa Woods standing in the doorway.

“Hi!” Raven chirped, and Clarke took a step back from her friend, grinning sheepishly. “Hello,” she added, waving slightly.

“Are we interrupting something?” Alex asked, smirking.

“Nope,” Raven said happily, hopping off of the table. “Clarke was just declaring her love for me again.”

Clarke nodded solemnly, giving an exaggerated sigh. “Alas, t’was not meant to be.”

“Oh? And why is that?” the forward asked, stepping into the room, Lexa mechanically following her.

“The lady has spurned my advances for the last time!” Clarke declared, slamming her hand onto the table for full effect. “It’s time I turned my affections towards someone more deserving.”

Raven broke out into hysterical laughter, followed quickly by Clarke.

Alex shook her head at the two. “You guys are weird.”

“Thanks,” Raven said happily, catching her breath. “So, what can we do you for?”

“Lex and I are here for our physical evaluations and nutritional plans,” Alex explained.

“Awesome,” Clarke said, pulling her hair into a bun. She patted the table once more. “One of you with me to start the physical tests, the other with Raven to go over your nutritional plan.”

Alex nodded and followed Raven over to the corner of the room where her laptop was set up, taking a seat across from her.

“Looks like you’re with me,” Clarke said, smiling at Lexa.

The midfielder gave a slight smile, though Clarke noticed that it looked forced. Lexa sat down on the padded table, sitting up and looking straight ahead.

“So, I’m just going to do some routine check up stuff to make sure everything is up to world-class athlete excellence,” Clarke said in a teasing voice, attempting to draw Lexa into conversation as she wrapped the blood pressure arm around Lexa’s bicep. “Whoa, that is an awesome tattoo.”

Clarke was intrigued by the tribal-like tattoo that wrapped around the player’s arm, following it with her eyes as it disappeared under Lexa’s sleeve.

Lexa just nodded.

“Oh…kay,” Clarke said, awkwardly. “I’ve got a tattoo that goes along my side. It’s of this tree that was in the backyard of my old house, where my dad and I used to play soccer every day.”

Clarke wasn’t sure why she was telling this to the unmoving player sitting in front of her, except she felt like maybe she should fill the silence as Lexa awkwardly avoided eye contact with her.

With a sigh, Clarke got back to her examination, determined to not reveal anything else personal. It seemed Lexa was content with not getting to know Clarke, which she was bummed about, but respected the athlete’s wishes.

“Ok, so that was the last thing,” Clarke said, scribbling in her chart. “I would offer you a lollipop, but I’m pretty sure that’s in the no column of Raven’s nutritional plan,” she said jokingly, chuckling slightly at her own joke.

Clarke was such a dork.

“Are you and Raven dating?” Lexa blurted out.

Startled, Clarke looked up from her clipboard. Those were the first words she had heard from the stoic player the entire time she was examining her, save for answering Clarke’s questions, and even those had been answered with a monosyllabic yes or no.

“Oh. Umm, no,” Clarke answered, closing the chart she was holding.

“Sorry,” Lexa said, and her face looked flushed. “I just was wondering, because when we walked in…” she continued, hands gesturing helplessly.

“Oh. I can see how…no,” Clarke said, shaking her head. “We’re just best friends. That’s sort of a running joke between us.”

“Well…thanks for the exam Dr. Griffin,” Lexa said, back straightening. They both looked up as they heard Raven yell from the corner.

“Yo Woods, your turn. Step into my office,” Raven yelled, shooing a chuckling Alex towards Clarke.

With a nod towards Clarke, Lexa walked towards Raven.

“It’s Clarke, by the way,” Clarke called after her, Lexa pausing in her steps. She looked over her shoulder and the doctor saw the same strained grin on Lexa’s face, before the midfielder gave her another brief nod and sat down in front of Raven.

“Ok Clarke, no offense because you seem like a lovely person, but if I have to get a shot I will run out of here and not look back,” Alex said, smiling and sitting on the table.

“Not a fan of them, eh?” Clarke asked, chuckling. “Nobody is. Actually, it’d be weird if you were,” she said, frowning. She shook her head. “Anyways, no shots today. Just routine check up stuff.”

“Great,” Alex said. “I’ve got a skype date with my kids after this and I’d rather not have to explain to a six-year-old and a two-year-old that mommy’s eyes are red because she was crying from a shot.”

Clarke grinned. “Well I don’t believe for a second that the great Alex Morgan would cry from a little shot,” she said, attaching the blood pressure monitor on Alex’s arm. “Where are your kids staying while you’re at camp?”

“With Tobin’s parents,” Alex responded, humming a bit. “They’ll come up for the actual game, along with the rest of the little Tribe of Five.”

“Tribe of Five?” Clarke asked, quirking her eyebrow as she put her stethoscope in her ears.

Alex chuckled. “It’s what we call Kellan, that’s my daughter,” she explained, lying down as Clarke prompted her to. “And her best friends, who also happen to be the children of our teammates. Chloe is an O’Solo kid, Vanessa is Sydney’s daughter, Kaitlan is HAO’s, and little Hallie is Ashlyn and Ali’s.” She shook her head. “I swear, when those kids get together…well, you’ll see for yourself. You can meet them this weekend after the game.”

Clarke grinned, writing in Alex’s chart. “I absolutely look forward to it,” she said.

The rest of the examination passed with pleasant conversation, until Clarke had wrapped up her tests and Raven had finished going over Lexa’s nutritional plan with a loud, “Woods, you can have all the goddamn ice cream you want if you bring some back for me too.”

Alex chuckled, used to Dawn’s eccentric assistant, before waving to Clarke and pulling a still strained-smiling Lexa out of the room.

“So the Commander looked majorly uncomfortable,” Raven began, sitting down next to Clarke. “What did you say to her?”

“I didn’t say anything!” Clarke defended. “I guess she really is serious all the time,” she said, shrugging.

“Well she was joking around with me,” Raven teased. “So maybe it’s just you.”

Clarke furrowed her eyebrows, thinking about her brief interactions with Lexa thus far before she was startled out of her thoughts by another knock on the door. She looked up to see Tobin and Ashlyn waiting in the doorway.

“So, Al says I’m supposed to show you pictures of our little Tribe of Five,” Tobin said, grinning as she walked into the room.

Clarke smiled, gesturing for Tobin to take a seat on the table while Ashlyn walked over towards Raven, calling over her shoulder at the two. “Make sure you show her the Halloween one with Cap and the Avengers!” she said, chuckling. “They ate so much candy that night.” She shook her head, plopping down in the seat across from Raven. “Those kids know exactly how cute they are.”

“Well, this I’ve got to see,” Clarke said. She stepped closer to the midfielder, adjusting the blood pressure band around her arm. “I love the Avengers,” she said, her grin matching Tobin’s as she looked at the offered photo on the proud mother’s phone.

* *

“Why are you being weird?”

Lexa, who had closed her eyes while soaking in an ice bath, cracked one open to see Anya settling into the tub across from her.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Lexa replied, closing her eyes again.

“I mean your weird high five with the doc,” Anya said. “And Alex said you were being awkward during your physical. So I ask again, why are you being weird?”

Lexa sighed, knowing her cousin wasn’t going to let it go. Ever since they were little, Anya had this look that automatically had Lexa spilling her guts to her older cousin. It was the look that Anya used when a seven-year-old Lexa had lied about breaking the window with her soccer ball, and the look that had eighth-grade Lexa almost break down into tears as she confessed that she had taken one, tiny sip of alcohol, and the same look that had Lexa pouring her feelings about the breakup with Costia to Anya late one night during their sophomore year at UNC.

“It’s Clarke,” she said, sighing again. “She’s—she is making my head fuzzy.”

“Fuzzy?” Anya asked, quirking her eyebrow. A smirk grew on her face, and Lexa just knew that she had figured it out. “Oh my god, you have a crush on the doc.”

“It is NOT a crush,” Lexa denied vehemently, shaking her head. “She just…makes me nervous. I don’t know why.”

“Because you have a crush on her,” Anya replied, slowly, as if she was talking to a toddler.

“No, that can’t be it,” Lexa responded.

“And why not?”

“Because I don’t do feelings,” Lexa said. “You know that.”

Anya scoffed. “Ok, Commander,” she said. “That’s bullshit.”

“Excuse me? I was entirely professional the whole time Dr. Griffin was doing her examination,” Lexa said, glaring at her cousin.

And she had been.

She had felt the butterflies in her stomach return as soon as her and Alex had stepped into the room, and a small surge of jealously in the pit of her stomach when she had watched Raven and Clarke interact with such ease.

When Clarke had touched her arm, she had to physically stop herself from jumping, startled by the warm touch. Lexa had answered each one of Clarke’s questions efficiently and quickly, but the thought that Raven and Clarke being in a relationship actually caused her discomfort, to the point where she had just blurted out what she was thinking.

She had to know.

For clarification purposes, only. She chose to ignore the sense of relief when Clarke had told her that Raven and the doctor where not romantically involved.

“Alex said you were being all Commander-like, giving one word answers and generally not smiling much,” Anya replied.

“I smiled!” Lexa retorted.

“Yeah but it was probably the awkward, forced smile that you put on when you feel like you have to smile,” Anya said. “The one that looks like you just ate a whole bunch of rotten yogurt.”

“Ok, that was ONE time, and who the hell puts the expiration date on the INSIDE of the yogurt?” Lexa asked, crossing her arms.

“Anyways, I know you think love is weakness and all that crap, but it’s ok to have feelings, Lexa,” Anya continued, ignoring Lexa’s outburst. “Costia was a long time ago. And she didn’t understand you.”

“I was a bad girlfriend,” Lexa said. “I put soccer above her.”

“Lex, she didn’t understand why you were playing. Which wasn’t even the issue, actually. She didn’t have to understand, she just had to support you,” Anya said. “Which she didn’t.”

Lexa shook her head, remembering the heartbreak she felt after Costia had ended their relationship. She couldn’t afford to feel that ever again, especially with the Olympics right around the corner. She resolved to stick to her Commander persona at all times regarding Clarke.

Love is weakness.

She looked down at her watch, relief flooding her as she saw her ten minutes were up. “And on that note, I’m leaving. I’ll see you at film.”

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!” Anya called after her.

“Shut up!” Lexa called back, not bothering to look at her chuckling cousin.

She wrapped her towel around herself, shaking her head as if to shake away the stray thoughts of Clarke that their conversation had brought up.

Love is weakness.

And Lexa couldn’t afford to be weak. She had a gold medal to win.

Chapter Text

Lexa was avoiding Clarke.

Well, Clarke thinks that Lexa is avoiding her. Honestly, she doesn’t really know Lexa well enough to make that assumption—but that’s another direct result of Lexa avoiding her.

And yes, Clarke understands that Lexa is busy. Obviously, they’re all here for the players to train, the game fast approaching and the team starting to get into the groove for Olympic qualifiers. Becoming friends with Clarke probably isn’t even on Lexa’s radar because, hello? Lexa is the leader of the number one team in the world—she’s literally one of the best on the best.

So Clarke gets it. She doesn’t register on the infamous Commander’s radar (she can’t deny that hurts a little bit, because ever since their first meeting Clarke has been thinking more often about Lexa and the Commander and wondering if they’re one in the same).

Still, Clarke can’t help but think that Lexa is actively avoiding her.

Like, see her in the locker room and immediately turn the other way, avoiding her.

Which actually happened two times the other day, while Clarke was helping Raven tape copies of the nutritional plans to the inside of the players’ lockers.

Clarke had met with the players after finishing their physicals, going over the pre-workout and post-workout treatments she and Dawn had come up with. Nearly every player had come to talk to her more than once, whether to clarify something on their plan or see if they could substitute a different post-workout plan for another—except for Lexa.

In fact, Clarke had only seen Lexa when the stoic midfielder had entered her makeshift office to initially receive her plan.

For a professional athlete, Lexa actually did have quite a few moments where she seemed overly clumsy, Clarke had noted. First was the high-fived handshake, then the random blurting of questions, and the tripping—watching Lexa Woods on the pitch, there was no way anybody would call her clumsy. But Clarke found all of these quirks oddly endearing, a vast contrast to the stoic Commander façade Lexa seemed so intent on keeping up around the doctor.

Clarke brushed off her intrigue about Lexa as mere curiosity , and the fact that the soccer player was so closed off only made her want to know more. Plus, Clarke couldn’t help but find it cute when Lexa had taken a slight stumble when she had first entered the room and then glared at the floor, calling it a “son of a bitch”.

She couldn’t help but giggle, but stopped abruptly as that same strained smile appeared on Lexa’s face.

“What did you do to Lexa?” asked Octavia, striding into the room and plopping down on Clarke’s examination table.

“Uhh…I really don’t know,” Clarke answered, shaking her head. “Why? Did she say something?”

Octavia shook her head. “No, but I was just with her and when I told her I was coming over here to say hi, she just glared and left.”

“Glared?” Clarke questioned. That was new. Lexa always had a look on her face like she was uncomfortable around Clarke, but she hadn’t glared at the doctor yet. Clarke just shrugged. “I don’t know, O. Honestly.”

And if Clarke continued to be honest, it did bother her. Everyone else on the team seemed to be friendly and genuinely getting to know her whenever they stopped by except for Lexa. But she wasn’t going to make it into a thing, mostly because they were all here for soccer—the greater good, to do their part in helping the national team win another gold medal. Her best friend was a part of that now, and she wouldn’t mess with that.

Octavia shook her head. “Oh well, her loss if she can’t see how amazing you are,” the young forward said, grinning. “Anyways, I came over here to tell you that Bell said he could make it to the game!”

“O! That’s so great!” Clarke said, pulling her friend into a hug. “I thought he had to work?”

“He was able to cash in some favors and get another professor to take over his lecture,” Octavia explained.

“Whoa, Professor Nerd is coming to the game?” Raven asked, seemingly appearing out of nowhere. She hopped up onto the table next to Octavia, grinning. “Sweet. I thought he never left the library.”

Clarke chuckled, shaking her head. “You know he’s O’s second best fan.”

“Oh my god, not this again,” Octavia groaned. “You all support me, I get it. You’re all my number one fan. Let’s not fight about it anymore.”

“There was no fighting!” Raven defended. “There was just a teeny, tiny prank war.”

“…”

“Ok, so there was one broken arm.”

“…”

“And I paid for the replacement table!”

“…”

Raven opened her mouth to say more, and Clarke decided she should intervene before they all had to relive the disaster that was Raven’s last attempted prank.

“Lexa is avoiding me,” she blurted out.

Octavia and Raven both turned to Clarke, questioning looks on their faces.

“I mean, I’m not sure, but it seems like she is,” Clarke continued, rolling up the sleeves of her lab coat. “Which sucks because she’s my favorite player.”

“Why do you think she’s avoiding you?” Raven asked.

“Well everyone else has been stopping in at random times, making conversation and attempting to get to know me. I get the feeling they’re sort of…seeking me out? Except for Lexa. Which I know sounds super egotistical, especially because they’re all professional athletes so there’s no way they’re actually seeking me out but I just feel like—”

“Whoa, Griff,” Octavia said, cutting her off. “Chill.” Clarke took a deep breath, slightly embarrassed at her rambling, but then remembered that these were her best friends so there was nothing to be embarrassed about.

“Lexa is actually really nice,” Octavia continued. “She’s really been helping me out with my game.”

“Although, there is the smile,” Raven said slowly.

“What smile?” Octavia asked, looking at their friend.

“Well, every time Lexa is around Clarke there’s this smile on her face, sort of more like a grimace, almost like she ate rotten yogurt or something,” Raven said.

“Why is someone smiling at you with a rotten yogurt smile?” Octavia asked Clarke, raising an eyebrow in question.

“I have no idea!” Clarke answered. “But it seems like she doesn’t want to get to know me at all, and I don’t even think I can be mad about that because obviously she has more important things to do?”

“First of all, you’re the most important thing,” Raven said, cutting in. Clarke smiled at her friend as Octavia nodded in agreement. “Secondly, I think it’s bothering you because you have a crush on her.”

“What?” Clarke choked out. “I do not. I don’t even know her.”

Octavia stared at Clarke for a bit, stretching out the silence after Clarke’s denial. “I think Raven is right,” she finally said. “You’re doing that thing you do when you like someone.”

“What thing? I don’t do a thing. Shut up,” Clarke rambled.

“You’re fidgeting with your dad’s watch,” Octavia pointed out. “You only do that when you’re nervous.”

“And you’re spinning the ring on your finger,” Raven chimed in. “I saw you doing it when Lexa came in to get her treatment plan.”

“You two pay too much attention to me,” Clarke said. “I do not have a crush. I’m just…disappointed.” She sighed. “You know when you have a picture of someone in your head and they turn out to be something completely different? I guess I just imagined that the Commander thing was a façade. Like, it was who she was on the field but I guess she’s actually the Commander all the time.”

Raven opened her arms, and Clarke stepped closer, closing her eyes as Raven’s arms wrapped her up in a hug. She hummed, Clarke feeling the vibrations as she rested her head on Raven’s shoulder. “So you’re just disappointed because your idol turned out to be a rotten yogurt-smiling person who sometimes glares at you,” Raven said, making Clarke laugh.

“But you’re doing the thing so you must still like her regardless of the picture in your head and the real her you’ve met,” Octavia pointed out.

Clarke shrugged, sighing. “There’s just something about her,” she said. “She’s so sure of herself, so…absolute in her convictions. She knows who she is. That’s attractive.”

“Hasn’t she spazzed out in front of you every time you’ve seen her?” Raven asked.

Clarke chuckled, thinking about Lexa’s awkwardness. “I think it’s cute.”

“The dorky type really does it for you, huh Griff?” Raven asked, wiggling her eyebrows.

Clarke snorted and Octavia laughed, as she nudged Raven in the arm.

A knock on the door interrupted the moment, and Clarke turned around to find Anya in the doorway.

“Hey Anya, what’s up?” Clarke asked, leaning back against the table.

“I was hoping to talk to you about substituting one of my post-workout treatments with another?” she asked, stepping into the room.

Clarke nodded, reaching back to pat Raven and Octavia on their legs. “They were just leaving,” she said.

Octavia gave her a wink before nodding at Anya, and Raven gave her a slight nudge before hopping off of the table and following Octavia through the doorway.

Clarke shook her head, as if it rid herself from her thoughts on Lexa before grinning at the goalkeeper, gesturing to the paper in Anya’s hand.

“So, what did you want to change?”

* *

Lexa was avoiding Clarke.

She knew it was childish, but her initial plan of keeping up her Commander façade at all times went down the drain as soon as she had met with Clarke once more and gravity had betrayed her.

She had tripped.

Over nothing.

Lexa Woods—whose livelihood literally depends on the mastery of the body because she is a professional soccer player, had tripped over her own two feet as soon as Clarke had directed her smile Lexa’s way, blue eyes twinkling and blonde hair shining.

So yes, Lexa was avoiding Clarke because she had literally fallen head over heels for the doctor (plus, she sort of cussed at the floor, as was her initial reaction, and that had made Clarke laugh and holy shit her laugh was perfect too, what the fuck).

Which wouldn’t be a problem, if she wasn’t so goddamn obvious about it.

She didn’t think it was obvious to Clarke yet. But Anya had already cornered her, demanding that Lexa figure her shit out because she was being weird again.

And honestly, if it was just a physical attraction Lexa had towards Clarke, she thinks she might be over this little (it’s big, definitely big) crush on the doctor. Clarke was beautiful, there was no doubt about that, but apparently she was also an amazing human being as well.

Not that Lexa would know this first hand, because she had been avoiding the doctor all week. But for some unknown reason (Lexa knows it’s because they think its hilarious how flustered she becomes around Clarke, but she refuses to acknowledge their childish schemes, and honestly, you are mothers, Lexa had pointed out to Ashlyn and Kelley, who insisted that they had a foolproof plan to get Clarke and Lexa together, and then continued to argue about the validity of something called Operation Talex, that Lexa refused to ask about) her teammates insisted on keeping her updated with new information they learned about Clarke every chance they got.

Alex had cornered her under the pretense of saying hello to her children over skype (and that crafty bitch knows that Lexa loves those kids) and had forced Lexa to sit next to her as she googled Clarke Griffin, MD, and thanks to her facebook page, Lexa now knows that the doctor has an eclectic taste in movies, apparently enjoying a movie like Pride and Prejudice as much as she enjoyed Zombieland (both of which Lexa loves to watch on rainy days).

Carli had hopped into an ice bath with her and bluntly told her that Clarke was single and the last person she dated was a girl (I asked her Lexa, duh, Carli had said and then they sat in silence for ten minutes after that while Lexa had a minor freak out because now Clarke actually could like Lexa back, that is if Lexa was hoping for that sort of thing which she definitely, definitely wasn’t).

Ashlyn and Ali had double-teamed her, sitting on either side of her during dinner and telling her that Clarke loves dogs (Lexa had raised an eyebrow and asked why the hell that was relevant, to which she received a dumbfounded look from the couple and Ashlyn answering something about must love dogs).

Kelley had lured her into a false sense of calm by bribing her with ice cream and then told her that Clarke’s tattoo was really pretty and the doctor had a hot body (Lexa had choked on a piece of cookie dough when Kelley explained that Clarke had pulled her shirt halfway off of herself to show Kelley the tattoo that started on her arm and wrapped around her shoulder after Kelley had asked).

Tobin had stood between Lexa and her favorite yogurt bars in the snack room and told her that Clarke liked to draw in her free time, and when Tobin had requested to see some of her artwork Raven had pulled up a website where Clarke sold them and they were all really awesome (Lexa may have asked for the url, but that was her business).

Anya had straight up cornered her in the locker room, told her to woman up and ask Clarke out on a date because so far she wasn’t able to find anything that she hated about the doctor yet and the longer Lexa waited, the greater the chances were that she would (which was true, Lexa knew, and that was as close to any type of approval Anya was going to give in terms of Lexa’s dating life).

So despite her best efforts of ignoring the doctor, Lexa now had an ongoing list in her head of things she learned about Clarke—things that didn’t make getting over the whole feelings things any easier.

Lexa had vowed not to be cornered by her cousin again, lest she spill more of what she had been feeling for the doctor unwillingly. Which is why she cursed herself when she opened the bathroom door after her shower to find Anya sitting on Lexa’s bed, arms crossed and glare in place.

“What?” Lexa asked as Anya continued to glare at her as she threw on shorts and a shirt.

“She thinks you’re a horrible person,” Anya said bluntly.

“Wha—wait, what?” Lexa asked, doing a double take.

“Clarke,” Anya clarified, as if it hadn’t been obvious who she had been talking about.

“Clarke,” Lexa repeated, blinking. “She thinks…that I’m a horrible person?”

“Yes.”

Lexa’s heart sunk to her stomach, and she felt a tightness in her chest. She cleared her throat, trying to ignore the feeling like it was closing up as her cousin’s words sunk in.

“She told you that I’m a horrible person?” Lexa asked, sitting down next to Anya.

“No, I heard her talking to Raven and Octavia,” Anya said. She sighed, patting Lexa on her leg. “Ok, maybe I exaggerated. She doesn’t think you’re a horrible person. She’s just sort of…disappointed, is the word she used.”

“Disappointed…with what?” Lexa questioned, still uncomfortable at the thought that Clarke had used the word whilst describing her.

“That she didn’t get to meet Lexa Woods.”

Lexa’s eyebrows furrowed, confused. “I don’t understand.”

Anya shook her head, crossing her arms again. “The Commander,” she clarified. “She’s only dealt with the Commander. She hasn’t met Lexa. So she thinks that the Commander is all you are.” Anya nudged her with her shoulder.

“Oh,” Lexa replied dumbly. “Well the Commander is who I am. If she doesn’t like the Commander, then she doesn’t like me.”

“That’s not what I said,” Anya said. “She’s disappointed that her favorite soccer player doesn’t seem to have any interest in getting to know her. And despite the fact that you’ve been downright weird around her, she still somehow likes the Commander.”

Lexa’s head snapped up at that. “She said that?” she asked, her heart pounding.

“Well it doesn’t really matter, does it?” Anya questioned. “Since the Commander refuses to acknowledge any feelings anyways.”

The two sat in silence as Lexa absorbed the new information. She knew that Clarke would see that Lexa was avoiding her; Clarke was, after all, a smart person. The Commander had only given her strained smiles and absolutely no conversation besides the necessary during their interactions, which were all kept professional, all Lexa’s doing.

“Look, I just don’t want you to miss your chance because you’re afraid,” Anya said, breaking the silence. “Maybe it’s time to introduce her to Lexa.”

Lexa shrugged, torn between the intense feelings of liking someone for the first time in a long time, and remembrance of her first heartbreak.

“I can’t go through that pain again,” Lexa said quietly.

Anya sighed, wrapping an arm around Lexa’s shoulders. “Lex, you might get your heart broken a hundred more times,” she said. “But the good part is that you know you’re strong enough to get through it. You can’t go into every new thing thinking that you’re going to get hurt. That’s no way to live.”

“Love is weakness,” Lexa murmured. “I can’t afford to be weak. I need to lead this team.”

“Love isn’t weakness, Lex,” Anya said. “Look, you play this sport because you love it right? You love soccer, and you love this game, and it has given you so much, right?”

Lexa nodded, agreeing.

“Then how is that a weakness?” Anya pointed out. “And you play hard for yourself, but you play hard for your teammates too, because you love them right?”

Lexa nodded her head again, quiet as she listened to her cousin.

“Love is one of the most powerful emotions in the world, Lex. Which is why it hurts so much when it ends.” She placed her finger under Lexa’s chin and lifted the younger girl’s head, locking eyes with her cousin. “But that means that when it works, the opposite will be true—love will make everything that much better.” She gave Lexa a small smile. “But nobody said anything about love just yet. I’m just saying you should get to know Clarke, explore your feelings. Maybe it’ll be amazing.”

The two sat in silence once more, and Lexa could feel Anya’s strong, sturdy arm supporting her. Her cousin had never steered her wrong, and Lexa knew that her teammates only had the best intentions when it came to her.

Maybe it was time to take a chance.

“I think I’d like to introduce her to Lexa,” she said quietly.

Anya grinned, pulling back from Lexa. “Good. Because you’re a huge fucking dork, but I have it on good authority that she finds that cute.”

Lexa knew that Anya was messing with her, but she couldn’t help the smile that crossed her face.

“She thinks I’m cute?”

“Oh my god, you are such a dork.”

* *

Lexa was exhausted—she had played the entire game, and was the last one on the field as she stayed to give as many autographs as she could. The game against Brazil had been hard-fought, as it usually was. But Jill had elected to try out a lot of the newbies in the second half, and Octavia had impressed her—she had picked up an assist after Octavia had finished a nice ball she sent in from the corner.

She bent down to pick up her water bottle, taking a gulp.

“Auntie Lex! Auntie Lex! Auuuuntie Leeeeeexxxx!”

Lexa turned around immediately at the high-pitched voices yelling her name, grinning at the sight she was greeted with.

Five little girls, running as fast as their little legs could carry them, were headed directly towards her. They were so focused on their intended target that Lexa could see two hats on the ground behind them, seemingly from two of the little girls who couldn’t be bothered to stop and pick it up when it flew off of their heads.

She dropped down to her knees and opened her arms, waiting for impact.

“Munchkins!” she yelled back, and laughed as the first ones reached her.

Little Kaitlin Werry launched herself into Lexa’s right arm, giggling, followed quickly by a gap-toothed Chloe O’Hara-Solo, who occupied Lexa’s left one.

Kellan Morgan-Heath ran directly at Lexa, colliding with the midfielder’s chest as little arms wrapped around Lexa’s neck.

Somehow, Lexa had managed to stay upright—that is, until the weight of two more little girls in the form of Hallie Harris-Krieger and Vanessa Dwyer, jumped on top of the group. Lexa fell on to her back, laughing under a pile of giggling five and six-year-olds.

“Fall in line, soldiers!” Lexa shouted, once she caught her breath.

Lexa felt little feet kick her as the five girls scrambled off of her, before standing in a line, all grinning from ear-to-ear.

Lexa tried to put on a straight face, but it was impossible with her teammates’ daughters standing in front of her, those bright eyes and glowing smiles directed at her.

The Tribe of Five, as their team affectionately called the little group of best friends, stood up straighter as Lexa stepped closer and paced back and forth in front of them. It was just about the cutest thing she had ever seen (she says that every time she interacts with these kids, because the truth was Kaitlin, Chloe, Kellan, Hallie and Vanessa were literally the cutest kids on the planet and anyone who says otherwise can fight her).

“Report, Captain Kaitlan?” she asked.

“We had Hallie ask,” Kaitlan answered, solemnly. It took everything Lexa had not to laugh at the seriousness that tinged little KAO’s voice.

“Cuz they never say no to her!” Kellan piped up, grinning and grabbing little Hallie Blaire’s hand, swinging their arms back and forth.

“And they didn’t!” Vanessa chimed in.

“They said yes!” Chloe yelled excitedly, bouncing up and down.

“They said yes?” Lexa asked, quirking her eyebrow. She looked at Hallie, who squealed as she jumped up and down.

“Yes Auntie Lexa!” Hallie said, the five girls in front of her nodded their heads ferociously, and Lexa broke out into a full on smile.

“Well then, what are we waiting for troops?” she asked. “Let’s get going!”

The little girls all shouted with excitement, and Lexa crouched down as Kaitlin clambered onto her back while Chloe clung to her front, arms wrapped around her neck. She stood up, grunting.

“Oof, you’re getting bigger, Chlo-bear,” Lexa said, Kaitlin giggling in her ear from her back. She felt two tiny hands slip into hers, and looked down to see Vanessa grabbing her right hand and Hallie holding her left, little Kellan still holding onto Hallie’s hand.

She walked closer to where the girl’s parents were all standing, laughing at the sight of Lexa Woods, international soccer star know as The Commander, struggling under the weight of five little girls, all giggling and talking excitedly, competing for Lexa’s attention.

“Ouch!” Lexa heard from her left side, and quickly looked over to see that Kellan had taken a tumble onto the turf. She immediately set Chloe and Kaitlin down before crouching down in front of Kellan, the little Morgan-Heath sitting on the ground, holding her knee. Lexa could see Alex and Tobin moving forward out of the corner of her eye, but shook her head, waving them away. She had dealt with the Tribe of Five so often that she knew what to do during little accidents such as this.

“You ok buddy?” she asked softly. Lexa could see that Kellan was struggling to keep the tears from falling, and gently removed the little girl’s hand to see that she had scraped her knee, a little blood appearing.

“I hurt my knee,” Kellan sniffed. The other four girls crowded around them, worried looks on their faces as they watched their friend. Hallie reached for Kellan’s hand, grabbing the one that didn’t have blood on it and Kaitlin placed her hand on Kellan’s shoulder. Chloe and Vanessa both sat down next to Kellan, concern on their faces.

“Does somebody need a doctor?” Lexa heard from behind them, and turned her head to see Clarke standing there, small smile on her face.

“Clarke!” Lexa said, surprised. “I uhh—yes, actually. Kellan took a little fall and scraped her knee.”

Clarke smiled, nodding at Lexa before crouching down in front of the little girl.

“Kellan?” she asked, and the little girl nodded her head, sniffling slightly. “Hi, I’m Dr. Clarke. It’s very nice to meet you.”

“Hi,” Kellan said in a small voice.

Clarke opened her bag and pulled out a band-aid and a wipe, opening the latter and gently wiping away any turf pieces stuck to the little girl’s knee and hand.

“Where were you going in such a hurry when you fell?” Clarke asked, distracting Kellan as she quickly swiped the small scrape before opening the band-aid.

Kellan rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “Auntie Lex taking us to get ice cream,” she said quietly.

“Ice cream?” Clarke gasped. She placed the band-aid across Kellan’s knee. “I love ice cream!”

“You do?” the girl next to Kellan asked excitedly.

“It’s my favorite food!” Clarke said, grinning.

“This is Chloe,” Lexa chimed in from behind them, watching the interaction with a smile on her face. “Vanessa, Hallie and Kaitlin.”

“Ahh, the little Tribe of Five,” Clarke said solemnly. “I’ve heard a lot about you guys.”

“You have?” Hallie gaped.

Clarke nodded her head. “Yes, I’ve heard that you guys are best friends.”

“We are!” Vanessa yelled excitedly.

“I can tell,” Clarke said. “It was very nice of you to sit with your friend while I was fixing her knee.” She looked at Kellan once more, giving the little girl a smile. “And you were very brave. Didn’t even cry once.”

Kellan smiled back at the doctor, and Clarke opened her bag once more, pulling out a lollipop. After a small nod from Lexa, she handed over the lollipop to the little girl. “You were a great patient, and great patients get treats,” Clarke said, Kellan’s eyes widening as she took the offered piece of candy from the doctor.

The other girls looked at each other excitedly, eyes wide, and Clarke had no idea what had passed between the five because no words were actually said, but then all five of them were sitting around her.

“I have a scrape too,” Chloe said, her little voice serious.

“Me too,” Kaitlin said, nodding her head.

“Me too!” Vanessa yelled.

“And me!” Hallie exclaimed, bouncing in place.

Clarke burst out laughing at the friends’ antics, Lexa joining in from behind her.

“Oh my god, this is so precious,” Clarke said, wiping her eyes as her laughter had turned to tears.

Lexa sat down next to Clarke, shaking her head. “This isn’t even the half of it,” she said. “One time, I was babysitting and instead of a seven thirty bed time and one story, we ended up watching three different Disney movies and eating cookies until their parents came home.”

Lexa turned to the little girls, who were still looking at Clarke expectantly. “Kellan is going to save that lollipop for later, because we’re going to get ice cream, right?” she asked, receiving a reluctant nod from Kellan and the rest of the girls. “Good.” She stood up, wiping the turf off of her shorts, Clarke standing up next to her. The five girls all followed, Kellan shyly putting her hand in Clarke’s.

“Thank you, Dr. Clarke,” she said softly, and Clarke smiled, giving Kellan’s hand a light squeeze.

“You are very welcome, cutie,” Clarke said, chuckling at the little blush Kellan had on her face.

“Ice cream, Auntie Lex?” Vanessa asked.

Lexa rolled her eyes but smiled, nodding her head. “Yes, yes, ice cream,” she said. “Let’s go find your parents first.”

Kaitlin and Chloe each grabbed one of Lexa’s hands, while Vanessa skipped in front of them. Hallie grabbed Kellan’s hand and the two looked up at Lexa, who smiled at Clarke.

“Thanks Clarke,” Lexa said.

Clarke smiled back at the soccer player. “No problem, Lexa. I should go make sure Raven isn’t getting into any trouble,” she said, gesturing towards where Raven was standing on the sideline.

Lexa nodded, smile still on her face as she took in the doctor’s features. The easy grin on Clarke’s face, blue eyes bright and the softness in her voice as she had conversed with Lexa’s favorite little kids had her crushing even harder.

Lexa thought about her talk with Anya the day before. Yes, it was time for Clarke to meet Lexa—the real Lexa.

“I’ll see you later,” Lexa said, her and Clarke staring at one another with smiles on their faces, before she felt a tug on her hand, Chloe staring up at her impatiently. “Ok, ok, we’re going. See you later Clarke. Everyone say bye to Dr. Clarke!”

“Bye Dr. Clarke!” said a chorus of voices, the little girls waving.

Lexa shook her head, knowing the effect the little Tribe of Five had on anyone who met them—they were seriously the cutest little kids she had ever met. Sighing, she and the kids walked over to where the parents were huddled, who had unbeknownst to the young midfielder, been watching Clarke interact with their children and Lexa, grinning in approval.

* *

Clarke was swooning.

Legitimately, straight up, swooning.

The U.S. had beaten Brazil in the friendly 3-1, and Octavia had scored a goal in the 79th minute that had Clarke and Raven yelling at the top of their lungs on the sideline. The two were waiting on the field for Octavia to come out of the locker room so they could all go out to eat with Bellamy.

“I’m just saying, if the dinosaurs hadn’t gone extinct it could have happened by now,” Raven said, arguing her case.

“I don’t think so, Rae,” Clarke responded, skeptical.

“How can you say that? You’re a person of science,” Raven said passionately. “I’m telling you, as the certified genius, if dinosaurs had existed all this time then Pokemon definitely would be a real, actual thing by now.”

Clarke opened her mouth to respond, but got distracted by five little girls shouting on the field.

“Clarke?” Raven prompted.

“Shhh,” Clarke hushed her friend, eyes fixated not on the little girls, but the target they were headed towards.

Clarke was surprised, because the five little girls were running directly at Lexa, who had her arms open, waiting for them to reach her. She smiled as she watched the kids launch themselves at Lexa, the soccer player going down at the combined weight of the five. They were all laughing and smiling, and the sight warmed Clarke’s heart. Maybe it was because it was the first time Clarke could only see Lexa—not the Commander, or the front Lexa had apparently been putting up around the doctor.

Lexa, who was smiling and laughing and seemingly joking around with the five little girls who were all hanging off of Lexa as she tried to walk across the field.

And the sight of Lexa staggering across the field, one of the girls on her back with another latched onto her front, and the other three walking as close as possible to the soccer player, had Clarke swooning.

Her smile turned to a frown as she watched one of the little girls trip and fall, and she quickly reached down to grab her medical kit. Ignoring Raven’s question, she walked quickly to where Lexa was crouched down in front of the little girl.

And then Clarke was swooning again, because she had just met the little Tribe of Five she had heard so much about, and they were as adorable as their parents had made them out to be.

Lexa had smiled at Clarke the entire time she was interacting with the kids, and it wasn’t the usual forced, strained, rotten yogurt-eating smile either. It was a genuine one, the same one she saw on Lexa’s face when she was with her teammates.

“I’ll see you later,” Lexa had said, and it had sort of felt like a promise.

Chapter Text

Message thread: MARAUDERS

Prongs: So remember how we keep talking about wanting to visit home but we never have time off?

Padfoot: I mean, I visited Mama G and Mama B like a month ago. You two are the bad daughters.

Moony: Ok Raven, not everyone can make impromptu trips back home. Some of us have jobs with everyday hours.

Padfoot: Welllll, now we all work for the same team so you don’t have that excuse anymore.

Prongs: Let’s go home!

Moony: When?

Prongs: In 2 days? That’s sort of when I need to be in Seattle anyways.

Moony: Wait, why do you need to be there O?

Prongs: Well Lexa’s grandparent’s live in Seattle and so that’s where she’s staying during these next couple weeks we have off. And she agreed to continue to train with me!

Padfoot: Coming homeeee, coming homeeeee, tell the world we’re coming homeeeee

Moony: Did anybody even call our moms to let them know that we’re going to be staying with them for a couple of weeks?

Prongs: Since when have we ever had to call? Let’s keep it a surprise!

Moony: …fine. I’ll book the flights. So we fly home with the team tomorrow, pack, and we’ll leave the next day. If we’re gonna be gone for weeks I need to take care of the mail and all that other adult stuff that you two refuse to acknowledge.

Padfoot: COMING HOMEEE, COMING HOMEEE, TELL THE WORLD WE’RE COMING HOMEEEEEE

* *

“So what are you doing during your time off? Do you go back to working at the hospital or do you get a vacation too?”

Clarke finished wrapping the ace bandage around Alex’s wrist before looking up to address the forward’s question.

“Actually, I’m going home,” Clarke replied happily, cleaning up her materials and putting them back into her bag. Alex hopped off of the table and Tobin took her place, stretching her leg out as Clarke pulled out the material to patch up the turf burns on the midfielder’s leg.

“Where’s home?” Tobin asked, wincing as Clarke peeled the current band aid off of her leg as Alex placed a reassuring hand on Tobin’s shoulder.

“Seattle,” Clarke said. “Octavia, Raven and I are actually all going. We live together in DC right now, and our parent’s live next door to each other back home so we’re all just going to go together.” She hummed a bit as she cleaned Tobin’s leg and placed a new gauze pad on top of the wound. “I guess Lexa told Octavia she was staying with her grandparents who also live there? And Octavia asked if she could train with her during the break.”

“That’s great,” Alex said happily. “Octavia will learn so much from Lexa.”

“Yeah, she’s really excited,” Clarke agreed, wrapping prewrap around Tobin’s leg. “And I’m excited to go home for a few weeks. It’s been a while.”

A knock on the door had them all pausing in their conversation, heads turning to see Lexa standing in the doorway.

“Lexa T-Rexa!” Alex said, grinning.

Lexa rolled her eyes and stepped into the room. “Just because Kellan has a thing about dinosaurs right now doesn’t mean you can call me that,” she said dryly, with a hint of a smile on her face.

“But I heard Kaitlin calling you that when we went out for ice cream,” Tobin pointed out, grinning. “Not so badass, are you Commander?”

Clarke grinned as well, trying to stifle her giggles as she watched the tip of Lexa’s ears turn pink. She watched Lexa scowl at her two teammates before turning towards Clarke.

“How can I help you, Lexa?” Clarke asked as the two older players continued to snicker behind her.

“I—uhh…well I was looking for…” Clarke watched Lexa’s eyes sweep the room before settling on the prewrap in the doctor’s hand. “Prewrap! I was wondering if you had anymore prewrap. Because I ran out,” Lexa said quickly, glaring at Alex and Tobin behind Clarke who were valiantly trying to hold in their laughter at Lexa’s words.

“Of course!” Clarke responded, walking over to the cabinet. Back turned, she missed Tobin shooting Lexa a thumbs up while Alex muttered sarcastically “Real smooth, Lex.” Lexa shot the two another scowl before gesturing towards the door.

“Well, we’re going to take off,” Tobin said, jumping down from the table. “Rose and Lindsey are watching the kids right now and if we leave them alone for too long there will probably be some crying.”

“Your kids don’t seem like they cry easily,” Clarke commented. “Kellan didn’t shed any tears when I was patching up her knee.”

“Yeah, she’s as tough as her mama,” Alex said, nudging Tobin with her arm.

“We’re talking about crying from Rose and Lindsey,” Tobin said.

Alex nodded her head in agreement. “Last time we left the five with them there was a soccer game gone wrong.”

“Apparently none of the other parents thought to tell those two just how competitive our kids are,” Tobin continued, chuckling. “And also how big of a kick they’ve got. It’s surprisingly strong for five-year-olds.”

“Well maybe not that surprising,” Alex chuckled. “Like I said, Kellan takes after her mama. Anyways, thanks Clarke!”

Alex gave Lexa a wink, and Tobin wiggled her eyebrows at the younger player before leaving the room, both laughing as Lexa continued to scowl at them.

“Here you go,” Clarke said, handing the prewrap to Lexa. “Is there anything else?”

Lexa looked around the room, stalling for time. She knew it was a bad idea to come down here without a plan. Anya had convinced her to go talk to Clarke before they all left for the airport tomorrow, but now that she was here—well, she could always use more prewrap.

“My grandparents live in Seattle,” she blurted out, remembering that Octavia had said something about Clarke and her being from there.

Clarke nodded her head, smiling. She leaned back against the table, crossing her arms. “Yeah, Octavia told me,” she said. “We’re actually going to spend a few weeks there so that Octavia can train with you. That was really nice of you to offer to work with her.”

Lexa nodded her head, and found that a smile had made its way onto her face as well. It seemed that she couldn’t help but smile whenever she was in Clarke’s presence, and when the doctor’s beaming smile was directed at her—well, could she really be blamed for tripping over nothing the last time they had met? Clarke’s smile was blinding, her blue eyes shining as she focused her gaze on Lexa.

Lexa could feel the butterflies in her stomach flapping their wings hard.

She thought about the talk she had with Anya (and the not so subtle hints from her other teammates, and she just knows that Ashlyn had told her daughter to ask Lexa if she had a crush on Clarke, which had caused Lexa to almost choke on her ice cream, and then Chloe had screamed something about saving Auntie Lexa before throwing a cup of water at her face, which had the whole table erupting in laughter while Hope patiently explained to the little girl that when people are choking they should drink water, not have water thrown on their face).

Let Clarke get to know the real Lexa.

She took another deep breath, remembering that she in fact did know how to talk to a pretty girl.

“We should get together sometime,” Lexa said, finally. “I mean, if we’re both going to be in Seattle during the break.”

Clarke visibly startled, and Lexa inwardly cringed. She could tell that she had caught the doctor off guard, and to be fair, Clarke’s reaction was not unwarranted. Lexa had made no attempts to get to know Clarke before now—in fact, she had actively been avoiding the doctor, something Lexa was sure Clarke had picked up on.

“I mean, unless you don’t want to do that at all,” Lexa continued, eager to break the silence. “Because that’s fine too, I mean like I know I don’t really like to leave my house except for soccer really so it’s not like, I mean you don’t have to—”

“I would love that,” Clarke interrupted, taking a step closer and placing her hand on Lexa’s arm.

Lexa’s eyes shot to where Clarke’s hand was, feeling like her skin was burning under Clarke’s touch. Clarke seemed to notice Lexa’s reaction (don’t be weird, don’t be weird, don’t be weird, Lexa chanted in her head, and it sounded suspiciously like Anya’s voice telling her to stop being fucking weird), and quickly removed her hand, stuffing it in her pocket.

“I mean, I would love to get together for some coffee or something,” Clarke said. “It’s been really nice getting to know your teammates.”

Lexa grinned, knowing that despite how much of a handful her teammates could be, they were some of the best people in the world. She knows how lucky she is to call these girls her best friends, and she’s even more blessed that she gets to share this journey with her cousin as well.

“Yeah, they’re the best,” she said.

Clarke nodded her head in agreement. “Yeah, everyone has been really welcoming,” she said. “Though there was this one weird moment when Ashlyn and Ali asked me about what kind of dogs I liked for almost twenty minutes.”

Lexa heard a choking sound escape her throat as she cringed, thinking about Ali and Ashlyn cornering her during dinner one day, spewing something about Clarke and must love dogs.

“I do love dogs though, so I guess I didn’t mind…” Clarke mused. “It just seemed a little intense for a conversation about dogs?”

“They’re just doing research about what type of dog would be best for Hallie,” Lexa said quickly. “They’re very thorough in their…research?”

Clarke nodded, an understanding smile on her face. Lexa breathed a sigh of relief (she takes it back, her teammates are the worst and definitely not as subtle as they think they are). She opened her mouth to say something else, but before she could Clarke’s phone started ringing.

“Sorry,” Clarke said. She glanced down at her phone. “It’s Raven. I should take this, sorry. Hello?”

“GRIFFIN!” Lexa heard yelled through the phone, Clarke cringing as she held the phone away from her ear.

“I’m just gonna…let you take that,” Lexa said softly, backing slowly out of the room. She exited the doorway and walked quickly down the hall, not stopping until she reached outside before leaning against the building, letting out a deep breath.

Progress.

Sort of.

Lexa would call it progress, anyways. She had successfully managed to talk to her crush without tripping, or stuttering (barely), or anything embarrassing (see: previous handshake-high five mishap).

It had been a while since Lexa had a crush. Especially one that she let herself feel—since her first heartbreak, Lexa had vowed never to put herself in a position of vulnerability again. She always believed that the more you had to gain, the more you had to lose as well. But Anya was right, and it was time to open herself back up to the possibility of more.

Watching her teammates and their families enjoying this journey together—that was something she wanted as well. Someone to share her ups and downs with, the good and the bad. And maybe Clarke wasn’t that person—she didn’t want to put too much pressure on something that was only a possibility on her end at the moment.

But just the fact that she was accepting that the possibility was there—well, progress.

Sort of.

“What are you doing, nerd?”

Lexa looked up to see Anya standing in front of her, ice wrapped around her shoulder. She smiled before surging forward and pulling her cousin into a hug, excited about her progress with Clarke. She released Anya and stepped back, grinning.

“I just talked to Clarke,” she said.

Anya quirked her eyebrow, scanning Lexa up and down. “And without doing any bodily harm to your body? No tripping, or running into any walls or getting caught up in the doc’s eyes?”

Lexa scowled at her cousin. “Shut up.”

Anya laughed, smiling. “I’m just messing with you, Lexa,” she said. She slung her other arm that wasn’t wrapped in ice around Lexa’s shoulder. “Tell me all about your encounter with Clarke, please. And why do you have prewrap? Did you injure yourself?”

Lexa turned her head to gauge Anya’s expression, and saw that her cousin was being sincere. The small quirk of her mouth and the bright glint in her eyes let Lexa know that her cousin actually was happy for her.

“So, I went to see Clarke and Alex and Tobin were there…”

* *

“Mom, I can’t breathe,” Clarke wheezed.

“I just missed you so much,” Abby said, squeezing Clarke one more time before finally releasing her from her arms.

Clarke took a gulp of air and stepped back before smiling at her mom, taking in Abby’s features. The bright smile and the shine of her eyes—Clarke had really missed her mom. Since her residency started she had been a lot busier, and one of the perks of taking this position with U.S. Soccer was so she could hopefully spend some more time with her mom before really settling down in a specialty at the hospital in DC.

“I really missed you too, mom,” Clarke said. She reached down and grabbed her bags. “I’m gonna put these in my room.”

“We’re going over to the Blake’s house for dinner in about half an hour, ok?” Abby said, taking a bag from Clarke. “I want to hear all about your new position, and I want to hear about Octavia’s training, and whatever Raven is working on nowadays—oh, I missed you girls so much!” she said again, pulling Clarke in for another hug.

“Mom,” Clarke groaned, though she secretly relished this time with her mother.

After her dad had passed away, Abby and Clarke were both buried in grief—Clarke had lost her father—the person she looked up to most, and Abby had lost her husband—the love of her life. It was a difficult adjustment, and Clarke is just thankful that instead of pulling away from one another, they instead leaned on one another to get them through the dark times. Abby had made sure to be home as much as the hospital would allow, and Clarke made sure to do everything she could to help her mother—she learned how to cook, worked hard in school, and despite not particularly needing money (her mother’s salary as the Chief of Surgery plus her dad’s life insurance meant the Griffins were very well off), she applied to all the scholarships she could find, cutting a lot of expenses down when she went off to college.

“Ok, ok,” Abby said, and she released Clarke again before following her to her childhood room. “I’m going to go check on the pie I made for dessert.”

“Pie?” Clarke asked excitedly.

“Apple pie,” her mom confirmed. “I know it’s your favorite.”

Clarke grinned and flopped back on her bed as her mom left the room.

She took in the pictures on her walls, and the academic awards on her desk, and the stuffed animals on her bed—everything felt so familiar and comfortable, and she smiled as she closed her eyes.

It was really good to be home.

A sharp rap on the window had her eyes flying open, and she sat up as another sharp rap sounded against her window. She walked over to the window and rolled her eyes as she opened it to a very familiar sight. Growing up, Octavia’s room was right across the way from Clarke’s, and the two houses were close enough that they could talk to one another from their own rooms. Raven moved into the Blake’s house her freshman year of high school after things with her mother finally got so horrible that she felt she couldn’t return—Raven’s mom had taken off and they had never heard from her again. Since then, it’s always been the three of them, and Raven would join Clarke and Octavia during their late night windowsill talks.

“You called?” Clarke asked, sitting sideways on the bench under her windowsill. Her two best friends were staring at her with matching grins on their faces.

“We heard a rumor about pie,” Raven began.

“And we just wanted confirmation,” Octavia finished. “Also, where’s my picture Griffin?”

Clarke rolled her eyes again at the ridiculousness of her best friends. As for the picture—when they had started high school, Octavia had made the varsity soccer team her freshman year. She was so nervous the night before her first game, and nerves were never something Octavia had to really deal with before—she was Clarke’s fearless friend, the one who dove headfirst into any situation. Clarke had doodled a drawing of Octavia raising a trophy into the air and taped it on her window, and Octavia had seen it the next morning. She went on to score two goals in her varsity debut and credited Clarke’s drawing as her good luck charm—it had helped soothe her nerves and reminded her that her best friends were always in her corner. After that night, Clarke had drawn a new picture and taped it onto her window before every game Octavia had.

“There’s no game tonight, Blake,” Clarke responded, crossing her arms and leaning against the side of her window. “And I thought we were too old for that sort of stuff.”

“Then why did I find a new drawing in my locker before the game against Brazil?” Octavia asked, smirking.

“Well who am I to break tradition?” Clarke responded, crossing her arms and resting them on the windowsill. She rested her head atop of her folded arms and smirked back at her friend.

“And you did score, O,” Raven pointed out from next to Octavia. “Anyways, pie?” she asked, turning back to look at Clarke.

“Yes Raven, there will be pie,” Clarke said. “I think I’m actually going to have a piece right now.”

“Wait, what?”

“See you at dinner! Love you both,” she said, and stood up to close the window.

“No—hey, wait! Griffin!” “Clarke!”

Clarke smirked again, waving at her friends through the window before exiting her room and heading down to the kitchen.

“Need any help, mom?”

Abby opened her mouth to respond when a loud bang came from the living room.

“What the—”

“Griffin!” “Pie!”

Clarke recognized her best friend’s voices, and rolled her eyes and Octavia and Raven came skidding to a stop in the kitchen.

“Seriously?” Clarke asked, crossing her arms and leaning against the counter. “You ran over here?”

“Mama G’s pies are the best,” Octavia said.

“And let’s not forget the pie incident at last Thanksgiving,” Raven added.

“Ok, that’s not even fair because you know I love pie,” Clarke argued.

Abby scoffed and turned back to the pies on the counter. “You ate the only pumpkin pie I had made and then passed out on the couch with the pie tin on your stomach,” she said.

“One of my most impressive feats,” Clarke said, smiling happily at the memory.

“Well this one is done,” Abby said, turning around with a pie in her hands. “And Clarke will not be eating it before we have dinner,” she added, giving her daughter a pointed look. “Now let’s head over to your house Octavia. Aurora and I want to hear all about the team!”

Clarke followed her mom out of the kitchen, the three friends bickering all the way down the front pathway and into the Blake’s house.

“What are you three arguing about now?” Aurora Blake asked, walking out of the kitchen when she heard their voices in the living room.

“Pie,” Abby answered, rolling her eyes. She and Aurora shook their heads as Abby placed the pie in the kitchen before the two sat down at the table where dinner had been laid out.

“Sit down girls,” Aurora said.

“Yes Mama B,” Clarke and Raven said together, sticking their tongues out at each other again. They took their normal spots at the Blake’s dining room table, Octavia sitting across from them and their moms sitting at the ends of the table. The only empty seat was Bellamy’s, who had a staff meeting that night and wasn’t able to make it to dinner.

After each girl filled their plates, the only sounds to be heard were scraping forks against the plates as they devoured the pasta.

“So, how’s the team going? We watched your game on tv Octavia!” Abby exclaimed. “That goal was beautiful, dear.”

“So proud of you, baby,” Aurora added, smiling at her daughter.

“She killed it,” Clarke said, Raven voicing her agreement.

Octavia grinned, basking in the compliment from a few of her most favorite people in the world. “Thanks, but it was easy with that pass from the Commander. It was a perfectly placed ball.”

“How is playing with all of them?” Aurora asked excitedly. “I bet you’re learning a lot.”

“Loads,” Octavia said, nodding her head. “I never thought I would be getting pointers from Alex Morgan and Christen Press, and Lexa offered to work out with me during the break.”

“Ooooh, the Commander? Did you get to meet your favorite player, Clarke?” Abby asked, turning to her daughter.

Raven snorted as she took another bite of her pasta. “She sure did.”

“What does that mean?” Aurora asked curiously as Clarke scowled at Raven.

“Clarke made Lexa have rotten-yogurt face,” Octavia said.

“Hey!” Clarke protested, to the laughs of her two best friends.

“Rotten…yogurt face?” Abby repeated, looking between the girls.

“For your information, Lexa doesn’t make that face around me anymore,” Clarke said, pointing her fork between Octavia and Raven. “She actually asked me if I wanted to hang out while we were all home.”

“She what?!” Raven and Octavia exclaimed together.

Clarke slouched down in her seat a bit, her face feeling hot with her mom and Aurora’s eyes on her.

“She asked if I wanted to grab coffee or something while we’re in town,” Clarke said, twirling some pasta on her fork.

“She asked you on a date?” Raven asked.

“No! Not a date,” Clarke denied. “Just to get to know each other better.”

“Wow,” Octavia said. “The Commander asked Clarke out on a date.”

“Not a date!” Clarke said again.

“Who knew that Clarke would grow up to date her celebrity crush?” Abby asked, smirking.

“Still not a date!” Clarke repeated.

“Well, the Commander should consider herself lucky to have a date with our Clarke,” Aurora said.

Clarke groaned, covering her face with her hand as the conversation continued around her.

“What are you going to wear?”

“Ask her about that penalty shot she took in her first Olympic games!

“Are you gonna ask her to autograph the poster you have of her?”

“Do people actually still go to coffee shops for dates?”

Ahh yes, it was good to be home.

Chapter Text

@OctaviaBlake: Training with @LexaWoods today! She has agreed to treat me to breakfast if I beat her in sprints. Wish me luck, folks. #OperationFreeWaffles

@OctaviaBlake: Update on #OperationFreeWaffles: @LexaWoods is still faster than me, and I’m still hungry. #ineedfood

@LexaWoods: You’re never getting those free waffles, friend. But it was quite the valiant effort. #nowgetbacktotraining

@ClarkeGriffin: @OctaviaBlake @LexaWoods Come home! @RavenReyes said she’ll make us waffles!

@RavenReyes: @ClarkeGriffin @OctaviaBlake @LexaWoods I said no such thing! You sit on a throne of lies, Griffin!

@ClarkeGriffin: @OctaviaBlake @RavenReyes @LexaWoods need I remind you who the current holder of The Cape is?

@RavenReyes: @ClarkeGriffin @OctaviaBlake @LexaWoods GLOAT ALL YOU WANT CLARKE BUT THE CAPE WILL SOON BE MINE

@LexaWoods: @OctaviaBlake @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin …The Cape?

@OctaviaBlake: @LexaWoods @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin we’ll explain later. So…there will be waffles when I get home, right?

* *

“Ready? Last one. Three, two, one!”

Lexa took off, sprinting hard across the pitch. She could see out of the corner of her eye that Octavia was even with her, and she kicked it up one more notch, beating Octavia over the sideline by a few steps.

“Whew!” Octavia said, flopping onto the ground.

Lexa straightened up and put her arms above her head, catching her breath as Octavia sat up, grabbing her water and taking a drink. “I almost got you on that last one,” she said, grinning. “Next time for sure.”

Lexa snorted. “Good luck with that,” she responded, though she was grinning.

She found Octavia’s work ethic refreshing—the young forward had the same type of drive that she saw in herself when she had first been called up, wanting to prove that she belonged with the senior national team. It was the third time they had met to workout, and Lexa found that Octavia was a great workout partner. She was also coachable, which is something Lexa was thankful for—too often younger players would nod their head, but refused to turn words into action. Octavia knew how to receive constructive criticism, and she wasn’t afraid to ask questions when she had one.

“Good job today,” Lexa said, vocalizing her happiness at the potential Octavia showed. “If you continue to work hard you have a good shot at the Olympic roster.”

“You think?” Octavia asked happily. She wiped her face on her shirt before untying her laces. “God, I hope so. That would be a dream come true.”

Lexa nodded her head, sitting down to take off her boots. “Just keep working hard, and good things will come,” she said, pulling on her sweater.

“I really appreciate you working with me,” Octavia continued. “What else have you been up to during the break?”

Lexa shrugged, standing up and throwing the soccer ball up into the air, catching it on her foot before starting to juggle. “Not much. Just spending time with my grandparents,” she said. She frowned slightly. “My grandma made me paint their kitchen.”

Octavia laughed, standing up and putting her jacket on. “Well if you feel like hanging out with people your age, you’re welcome to swing by my place,” she said. “Actually, you should come over! Clarke is making Raven make waffles.”

Lexa’s heart jumped at Clarke’s name.

She had been in Seattle for a few days now, and Lexa wasn’t sure how to go about making concrete plans after the vague “Let’s get together sometime” she and Clarke had agreed to the last time they had talked. Since then she hadn’t been able to get the doctor off of her mind, and being in the same city certainly didn’t help.

Lexa frowned, thinking about her schedule for the day. “I actually told my grandma that I’d take her shopping after my workout,” she said regretfully.

“Well you should swing by for dinner then!” Octavia continued. “It’s Clarke’s turn to cook.”

“I—” Lexa started, pausing. She knew she wanted to go but—she was nervous.

She got along with Octavia really well (which surprised her at first, because yes, she was best friends with her teammates, but Octavia was relatively new and it usually took awhile for Lexa to shed her Commander façade in front of new people until she was sure she could be comfortable around them), and Raven had always been nice to Lexa (minus the sarcasm, but Lexa appreciated it because it matched her dry wit well). But her reluctance to admit her crush meant that she hadn’t really spent any time with Clarke.

And so she was nervous.

The only thing she knew about Clarke so far are what other people have told her (after the whole twitter exchange that wasn’t really an exchange and more of a brief interaction where her name was mentioned, she had gotten a text from Ashlyn reminding her that Clarke loves dogs, which turned into an hour long phone conversation with the goal keeper’s daughter about possible dog names and because Lexa was completely whipped by Hallie Blaire Harris-Krieger, she enthusiastically debated the merits of naming a dog Stitch versus Simba, and another from Alex letting Lexa know that Clarke had updated her favorite movie list to include the Star Wars trilogy, and Anya had asked if she had woman’ed up and asked the doctor out yet, which what the hell, how could her teammates be simultaneously the best and the worst she would never know), and while they were little tidbits and details, Lexa still doesn’t know Clarke.

It was time that changed.

She took another deep breath. “I would really like to join you guys for dinner, actually,” Lexa said, and smiled as Octavia’s face broke out into a wide grin.

“Great! I’ll text you the address,” Octavia said happily. “Now come over here and take a selfie with me. The twitterverse has demanded proof that we’re actually friends.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, but begrudgingly scooted closer to Octavia. While she wasn’t super active on social media, she knew that it played a large role in allowing her and the rest of her teammates connect with the fans. Lexa had gained a bunch of followers on her twitter and instagram since she had rocketed to stardom after her first Olympics, and her agent was always encouraging her to post more once her follower count had reached one million. It’s not that she didn’t like it—Lexa did love how the platform allowed her to interact with her fans, it’s just that she had a tendency to forget to post anything in the moment.

“Smile!” Octavia said as she slung her arm over Lexa’s shoulders and pulled her closer. Lexa put on her best Commander face, a stoic look as she stared down the camera until the telltale signs of the camera click went off.

“Oh my god, why does this picture represent us perfectly?” Octavia asked, and laughed before typing on her phone. “Alright, I’ll text you the address. See you later tonight!” Octavia said, grabbing her bag and slinging it over her shoulder.

She smiled and waved, and Lexa returned it. She gathered the rest of her stuff as Octavia walked towards the parking lot to her car, before heading to the parking lot herself and getting in her car.

Lexa unlocked her phone and opened her instagram, seeing that Octavia’s picture already had over 100 likes. It featured a grinning Octavia and a stoic looking Lexa, and the caption made her laugh, thankful once again how well she got along with her teammates.

@OctaviaBlake: She loves me. Workout days with @LexaWoods are my favorite kinds of days! #workhardplayhard #newfriends

She smiled and shook her head, liking the picture before putting her phone back in her bag and starting her car to head back to her grandparent’s house.

She hummed along to the song on the radio, thinking about her next move to get to know Clarke better. She just needed to remember that Clarke was just a person (with a perfect smile and beautiful eyes and hair that shined in the sun and gave Lexa butterflies and was super smart and also liked soccer which was just a really wonderful bonus and holy crap Lexa had a crush on this girl), and she had successfully interacted with people before, obviously.

The last time Lexa talked to her cousin, Anya had (not so helpfully) pointed out that Lexa had already made a fool of herself in front of the doctor before, so things could only go up from here. And while that made Lexa groan at the thought of her first encounter with Clarke, she realized that Anya had a point. She just needed to be herself. So she didn’t know how to act now that she had a crush—so what? Lexa wanted Clarke to get to know the real Lexa, anyways.

She didn’t want Clarke to think the Commander was all she was—Lexa and the Commander overlapped, but (as her teammates pointed out) the former was a dork who had Disney marathons with her teammates’ kids and liked to lounge around the house in her pajama pants and glasses, and the latter commanded the field with a strong presence and accuracy, taking the fight to the opponents and picking apart their defenses with precision.

Lexa pulled into her grandparent’s driveway, letting out a sigh. Maybe doing some work for her grandparents would help her calm down and not stress about the impending dinner (it was just dinner, and it wasn’t even a one-on-one thing, and she was already friends with Octavia and Raven so she wasn’t sure why she was nervous but that was a lie because it’s been awhile since she attempted to make new friends).

Since she was 18-years-old, her best friends had all been on the national team with her. With all of the fame and lack of privacy that came with being one of the faces of National Team, Lexa hadn’t really ventured out of her comfort zone of her teammates and her cousin in terms of friends. And these were people she spent more time with than anyone—Lexa felt like she had to relearn how to interact with people outside of her soccer family, and that was the main source of her nerves. Most of her teammates’ successful romantic relationships happened before they were called up to the national team (or their teammates fell in love with one another because they did have an unusual amount of couples on their team but it was fine because Lexa thought their families were literally the cutest and her most favorite families to spend time with), and so Lexa didn’t really have an example to look to in terms of how she should go about doing this.

She jumped in her seat as she heard a tap on her car window, startling her out of her thoughts (which was just as well, because she was getting way ahead of herself and it was literally just dinner she was going to with a few friends).

“What are you doing, child?” her grandma asked, peering down at her through the window. “Get inside the house. Your grandpa made cookies.”

Lexa grinned, unbuckling her seat and opening the door as her grandma stepped back, following the older woman into the house. She closed the door behind them, the scent of cookies wafting from the kitchen. Lexa took in the pictures along the walls, as she always did—pictures of herself and her cousins, her parents and aunts and uncles. She entered the kitchen, and her eyes automatically settled on the fridge, the one that was overflowing with clippings of articles and magazines and pictures of Lexa and Anya and their soccer journey. There was the picture from Lexa’s first ever soccer game at the mere age of five, the one of her during her middle school years, and her first varsity game her freshman year, Anya and Lexa standing arm in arm in their UNC jerseys, receiving their Olympic medals, and another of Lexa standing on the podium, hoisting the World Cup trophy, medal around her neck.

It was clear that Lexa’s grandparents were her biggest fans.

She turned her attention back to the stove, where her grandma was scolding her grandpa about something, though there was a hint of a smile on her grandma’s face and her grandpa had a wide grin on his. The scene made Lexa grin as well—it was a familiar sight, watching her grandparent’s in the kitchen, bickering lightly over something.

While Lexa’s grandparents were her biggest fans, Indra and Gustus Woods were Lexa’s favorite people in the world (though if Anya asked, Lexa would always say it was her cousin).

Her grandmother was a formidable woman—a no-nonsense, unusually strong for a 70-year-old, most badass woman Lexa had ever known (she had once called her grandma while she was away at camp and Indra had casually dropped that someone tried to mug her earlier in the day, and before Lexa could freak out and run as fast as she could to find Anya, her grandma had then mentioned that the mugger was currently in the hospital from the injuries he sustained once Indra unleashed what she had learned at the karate class she was taking at the Y). Her grandma usually had a stoic look on her face that intimidated her neighbors and kept the kids off of her lawn, and frankly, her bite was as bad as her bark (see aforementioned story of mugger being hospitalized)—she was the original Commander, and Lexa made sure to credit her grandma Indra for the famous cool gaze that Lexa maintained on the field.

But Indra had always had a soft spot for Lexa (and Anya, and their cousin Lincoln, though the three of them often argued over who was the very favorite). The three of them visited most often, and it was perhaps Lexa’s most favorite place in the world besides the pitch. But her grandma shared the title of most favorite person with another—her grandpa, Gustus.

While Indra was the original Commander, all serious and strong, Gustus was basically a giant teddy bear. He was a large man, who always made Lexa feel simultaneously safe and small when he wrapped his arms around her. She was dwarfed by her grandpa, and had to look up when she talked to him, but he always had a smile on his face. Gustus was the first one she went to whenever she needed advice—the place she ran to when she had torn her ACL right before her freshman year at UNC, who she went to when Costia broke her heart, and the first one she celebrated with when she had gotten called up to the senior national team.

Her grandparents seemed like the exact opposites in personality, but Lexa knew that they loved each other—growing up, she loved spending the night at her grandparent’s house. It was filled with love and warmth and everything else Lexa cherished, and some of her best soccer memories happened in their backyard, kicking the ball with her grandpa, or the park ten minutes away, where her and Anya and Lincoln would go and she would take shots at Anya in the goal while Lincoln cheered them both on.

“Here you go, Alexandria,” Gustus said, turning around and holding a plate of cookies in his hand. “Take a cookie.”

“Take more than one cookie,” Indra added. “You’re too skinny.”

Lexa grinned, taking two off of the plate and biting into one.

“Your Gramps and I are going to bingo tonight,” her grandma continued. “I will leave you money for pizza.”

Lexa chuckled, shaking her head. Even at the age of 26, her grandmother was still trying to give her pizza money. “Nona, it’s ok, I have money,” she said. She hopped up onto the counter, leaning against the cabinets. “But I’m actually going to my friend Octavia’s house for dinner.”

“That new forward that scored against Brazil last game?” Gustus asked, sitting down at the kitchen table.

Lexa nodded her head, humming a bit as the chocolate melted in her mouth. Her grandpa was the best baker.

“I like her. She has spunk,” Indra said. “You’ve been training with her, yes?”

“Yeah,” Lexa confirmed. “And she invited me to have dinner with her and Raven, you know the team nutritionist? And the new team doctor, Clarke. I guess they’re best friends and grew up here, and they all came home during the break.”

“You’re close with these girls?” Indra asked, grabbing a glass from the cabinet and pouring Lexa some milk. She handed her the cup and Lexa dutifully drank from the glass.

“Well we’re new friends,” Lexa continued after washing her cookies down with the milk. “Raven I sort of knew before, and she’s always been friendly. And Clarke seems to know her soccer. And they’re all really nice.” She sighed, and her grandpa handed her another cookie. “Clarke especially. There was this moment after the game when Kellan—you know, Alex and Tobin’s little girl? She fell down and I thought I was about to have a crying toddler on my hands, but then Clarke came out of nowhere and patched her up and gave her a lollipop. It was really sweet.”

She finished her milk and looked back up at her grandparents, who were staring at her. “What?” she asked, wiping her mouth on her sleeve.

“You like this Clarke girl,” Indra said bluntly.

“What? What makes you—”

“Your eyes lit up and you’re telling us about her even though we never asked,” Gustus pointed out.

“I don’t—”

“I need to meet this girl if you’re going to date her,” Indra continued, and Lexa felt a blush cover her cheeks as she scowled at her grandpa, who was stifling his laughter behind her grandmother.

“Nona, I’m not dating her,” Lexa said quickly.

“But you want to,” Gustus teased, this time chuckling.

Lexa scowled again.

“Take me to the grocery store now,” Indra said, standing up. “You can tell me more about Clarke on the way there.” She walked out of the kitchen, and Lexa heard her grandma gathering her jacket and keys.

“There’s nothing—” Lexa began, slapping her grandpa lightly on the arm.

“Now, Alexandria!” her grandmother said, cutting her off.

With a sigh, Lexa stuck her tongue out at her grandpa and grabbed her jacket and car keys and followed her grandma outside, opening the passenger door for her before closing it and walking around the car to slide into her own seat.

“So, what kind of doctor is Clarke?” Indra asked, and Lexa took a minute to let her head hit her steering wheel.

It was going to be a long few hours before dinner.

* *

“You look stupid.”

“You’re only saying that because it’s mine this month.”

“You won on a technicality.”

“I straight up beat you.”

“Shut up.”

“Make me.”

“I’ll—”

“Honey, I’m home!”

Clarke and Raven stopped their bickering and looked up to see Octavia enter the house, training gear still on and a bag slung over her shoulder. The soccer player paused at the threshold of the kitchen, taking in the sight before her.

Clarke was currently standing with her hands on her hip, a blue and gold cape fastened around her neck and tumbling down her back. Raven had a scowl on her face, arms crossed as she gripped a spatula in her hand. The two were hanging out at the Blake’s house while Abby was doing an overnight shift at the hospital and Aurora had work before going to Bellamy’s for dinner.

Octavia let her bag drop to the ground before entering the room. “Why is the cape out? What are you making Raven do now?”

“The waffles!” Clarke exclaimed. “She’s being difficult.”

“I curse the day we thought of The Cape,” Raven scowled.

“You’re only saying that because you don’t have it this month,” Octavia pointed out, grabbing one of the strawberries from the cutting board in front of Clarke and popping it into her mouth.

“Stupid cape,” Raven grumbled, turning back to her waffle batter.

Ahh, The Cape.

A wonderful concept—or so they thought when they first came up with it.

It started back in their freshman year of college, when the three of them couldn’t decide what movies to watch during their marathon movie night. They argued well into the night (and that’s not an exaggeration because movie night was serious business, and one wrong movie choice could really make or break the rest of the night) until finally Octavia suggested that they have a dart competition with the board hanging on their dorm door. The winner got to pick the movie, and because the three of them were competitive little shits, the winner would get to pick the movie for every movie marathon they held that month.

Raven had scoffed at the idea, knowing she was the worst at darts—until Clarke had pulled out a blanket from under her bed and silently sat down, grabbing her scissors and cutting the edges. She went to her closet and pulled out a pair of overalls, cut the clasps off of them, and rummaged through her desk, pulling out a thread and needle and quickly sewed the clasps onto the ends of the blanket. When she was finally finished, she held up the blanket, announced that the winner would get it and wear it around their shoulders like a cape, which signified the holder’s dominance over the other two for a month. The other two’s eyes widened at the prospect of that (and because all of their childhood dreams consisted of being a superhero who wears a cape so hell yes they were going to compete).

And thus, The Cape was born.

Was it a weird tradition?

Sort of.

Was it slightly ridiculous that three grown women wore a cape every once in a while?

Well frankly—yes.

But it was tradition nonetheless, and so a new kind of competition occurred every other month, with the winner taking home The Cape. Over the years, new rules had been added in order to provide guidelines for the holder of The Cape (after a power trip by Raven where Clarke was forced to do her biology homework for an entire month) once the three decided there would be limitations to its power.

Unfortunately for Raven, making breakfast for the other two was not on the restrictions list.

Which is why Raven was currently in the kitchen making waffles while Clarke and Octavia happily waited at the breakfast bar.

“Oh, don’t complain Raven,” Clarke said happily. “I told you I would make fish tacos for dinner tonight.”

“Don’t try to butter me up by cooking my favorite, Griffin,” Raven scowled, though there was a hint of a smile on her face as she poured the batter into the waffle maker.

Clarke smiled and turned to Octavia, who was happily eating more fruit as she listened to her two best friend’s banter.

“How was your workout, O?” Clarke asked, reaching for a strawberry.

“Good,” Octavia replied, humming slightly. “Oh, by the way. I invited Lexa over for dinner so you should probably make more tacos than usual.”

Clarke suddenly started coughing, choking on the strawberry she had just put in her mouth. Octavia whacked her on the back a few times, dislodging the fruit and Raven was suddenly next to them, putting a glass of water in Clarke’s hand.

“Jesus, Clarke! Are you ok?” Raven asked, concerned. Octavia had switched from hitting Clarke on the back to rubbing circles, and Clarke just nodded, her eyes watering.

“Sorry,” Clarke gasped slightly after she had taken a few gulps of water. “Did you just say Lexa was coming to dinner?”

Octavia raised an eyebrow, turning to share a look with Raven. “Yes…” she replied slowly.

“Here? Tonight?” Clarke asked.

“For fish tacos,” Octavia confirmed.

“Lexa is come here tonight to eat fish tacos? With us?” Clarke asked.

Raven sighed and turned Clarke’s stool until she was facing her and placed her hands on Clarke’s shoulders. “Griffin, pull yourself together. Lexa is coming here tonight to eat your bomb ass fish tacos. Is that going to be a problem?”

“Wha—no! No,” Clarke said hurriedly, taking another few gulps of her water. “I was just—it just surprised me. But it’s—I’m—it’s fine.”

“Are you sure?” Octavia asked, a smirk on her face. “Because you sort of just majorly spazzed out when I told you.”

“Like literally choked on your food,” Raven added.

Clarke scowled at her two best friends, shooing Raven away as the other girl returned to the waffle maker. Octavia gave a slight laugh before turning her attention back to the cutting board, popping another strawberry into her mouth.

Lexa was coming over for dinner.

Here.

For dinner.

For…fish tacos?

Clarke hadn’t talked to Lexa since their encounter on the last day of camp, when Lexa had asked her to get together sometime for coffee. Since then, Clarke had convinced herself that Lexa asking to hang out wasn’t the same as Lexa asking Clarke on a date (despite her friends and her mom and Mama B teasing her that it was a hint at a date)—the other girl was probably just being friendly, and trying to reach out and get to know the new team doctor as her other teammates seemed to have taken the initiative of doing. Clarke would say it was embarrassing at how eagerly she jumped at the chance to get to know more about Lexa, but all she could really think about was how excited she was.

In the short time she had known the star soccer player since their first meeting a few weeks ago, Clarke felt like she had seen a bunch of different sides to Lexa and she was really looking forward to learning more.

She had seen the stoic and straight faced Commander, who controlled the pace of the game and helped crank out a win against Brazil.

She had seen the teasing and smirking Lexa, who appeared when surrounded by her teammates.

She had seen the unabridged joy and childlike behavior of Auntie Lexa, who allowed herself to be scored on by five-year-olds and lost in a race against a seven-year-old, laughing and shrieking along with the children the whole time.

She had also seem the clumsy, cute Lexa who tripped over her own two feet and cursed at the floor.

Clarke couldn’t help but wonder what else she would see when Lexa was actually willing to open up and offer information about herself.

Frankly, Clarke couldn’t wait.

“Raven and I will go grocery shopping after we finish breakfast then,” Clarke said.

Octavia grinned and nodded. “Fish tacos,” she said happily.

Clarke just shook her head.

“Here you go, loves,” Raven said in an exaggerated posh accent. She placed a plate piled high with waffles in front of Clarke and one in front of Octavia, before hopping up onto the breakfast bar and grabbing her own plate.

“Raven, I love you so much and I want to marry you,” Octavia said, grinning before cutting into her waffle and taking a large bite.

Clarke laughed, shaking her head before pouring syrup on her stack and taking a bite. “Ugh, no. Raven, I love you more and you should marry me,” Clarke groaned, taking another bite of her waffles.

Raven just winked at the two of them before happily digging into her own stack, as Octavia continued to fill them in on her morning workout.

* *

“How about this?” Raven asked, holding up a can of ravioli.

Clarke shook her head, looking at the item Raven was holding in her hand. The two of them were at the grocery store getting ingredients for their dinner, and it was taking twice as long as it normally would because Raven kept insisting on adding things to the cart (but Clarke, I need this mac and cheese, they’re literally shaped like rocket ships and I am an actual rocket scientist, to which Clarke scoffed and said Raven worked as a nutritionist, to which Raven argued that it didn’t negate the aerospace engineering degree she had tucked in her back pocket and the multiple offers from NASA she’d been fielding, so Clarke threw the mac and cheese into their cart) even though Clarke reminded Raven that they had already done grocery shopping a few days earlier and were only there to get stuff for the fish tacos.

“So are you nervous?”

“Hmm?” Clarke hummed, scanning the aisle for tortillas.

“Are you nervous about the Commander coming over tonight?” Raven asked again.

Clarke grabbed the tortillas from the shelf and moved on to the produce section, looking for cabbage.

“Kind of,” she responded as Raven followed behind her. “More excited than nervous though.” Clarke paused, scanning the vegetables. “There’s just…there’s something about her, you know? Something that draws me to her.”

“It’s those eyes,” Raven said, grabbing a couple of apples and putting them in the cart.

“Oh my god, those green eyes,” Clarke agreed, pushing their cart around the corner.

“And the legs?”

“Those soccer shorts…they just do her legs so much justice,” Clarke groaned. “But it’s not just that she’s freaking gorgeous.” She sighed, stopping in front of the drinks and grabbing some beers and sodas. “She’s sort of…adorable? Like, I get the feeling that she’s kind of a major dork.”

Raven snorted. “The Commander? A dork?”

Clarke shrugged. “I don’t know. She…” Clarke trailed off as she spotted an older woman trying to reach a bottle of juice on the top shelf. She quickly walked over until she was next to the woman. “Here, let me help you,” Clarke said, reaching up and grabbing the offered item.

The woman had a scowl on her face, though Clarke could see her eyes were shining. “Thank you,” she said. “Damn juice should be put in a more reachable place. This is my granddaughter’s favorite.”

Clarke smiled at the older woman. “That’s so nice of you.”

“She—”

“Nona! I couldn’t find the whole milk, but they did have two percent and I assume—Clarke,” a familiar voice said, rounding the corner and cutting off the older woman. Clarke took in Lexa’s appearance, eyes wide in surprise as she took in Clarke and the older woman standing next to one another. “Oh. Hi—umm, hi Clarke,” Lexa said, placing the milk in the older woman’s cart.

“This is your Clarke?” the older woman asked, looking between Clarke and Lexa.

Clarke looked to Lexa, seeing the soccer player’s ears turn a slight shade of pink, something that was becoming a somewhat familiar sight when it came to interactions between the two.

Lexa cleared her throat, before gesturing towards Clarke with her head. “Nona, this is Dr. Griffin, the new team doctor.” She saw the familiar smirk on Raven’s face as she stood behind Clarke. “This is Raven, the team’s nutritionist. Clarke, Raven, this is my grandmother, Indra.”

“Hi!” Clarke said, sticking her hand out. Indra smirked at Lexa, who could only look on as she recognized the mischievous glint in her grandmother’s eyes despite her mouth being in a straight line. And then Lexa was slapping a hand to her face and groaning as her grandmother looked at Clarke’s offered hand and promptly gave it a slap.

Clarke blinked, staring for a second.

Lexa’s grandma just high fived her.

And then Clarke couldn’t help it—she burst out laughing.

The corners of Indra’s mouth twitched up.

Raven was laughing so hard she was leaning on her cane.

Lexa groaned again, ducking her head slightly as if she could disappear behind the collar of her jacket.

Lexa was going to kill Anya (because she knows her cousin had something to do with this—she had probably told their grandmother about the high-fived handshake that same night while she was on the phone with Indra).

“It’s so nice to meet you,” Clarke said once she finally caught her breath.

Indra gave her a slight nod. “You as well, Dr. Griffin.”

Clarke waved her hand. “Please, call me Clarke,” she said.

Raven scoffed from next to her. “If I went to medical school for four years I would make everyone call me Doctor all the time. You earned that shit…take mushrooms,” she said, finishing her sentence sheepishly as she glanced at Lexa’s grandma. “Anyways, are you ready for fish tacos Lex?”

Lexa quirked her eyebrow at the shortening of her name from the other girl, but nonetheless felt slightly touched that Raven felt comfortable enough with her that she did. She nodded her head at Raven’s question.

“No—Lex,” Raven continued. “Are you ready for fish tacos?”

“I—yes?” Lexa answered. She looked at Clarke hoping to gain a clue about why Raven was being so intense, but found her in a conversation with her grandmother.

“—the most damage you could do—”

“—use my elbow to—”

Lexa quickly turned her attention back to Raven’s intense gaze, deciding she absolutely did not want to know what her grandmother was asking Clarke (probably about the effectiveness of something she learned in her karate class, and Lexa really didn’t want to get in the middle of that because her grandma would get these really intense eyes when she talked about the class and then insist on demonstrating, and Lexa had been forced to buy a new coffee table for her grandparents after Indra had broken their old one impressively with one strike).

“Yes, I’m ready for fish tacos,” Lexa confirmed.

“Good, because Clarke’s fish tacos are literally the best thing on this entire planet,” Raven said, leaning on her cane in order to lean closer to Lexa. “The secret is in the sauce. It’s a secret sauce.”

Lexa grinned. “Well now I’m really ready for dinner tonight,” she said.

“Atta’ girl,” Raven said, nodding her head decisively. The two turned back to where Indra was now thrusting her arm out in front of her while asking Clarke something, and Lexa definitely recognized the look in her grandma’s eyes and decided she should probably step in before something happened (like her grandma breaking the bottles of very expensive alcohol directly behind her with one misplaced back swing).

“Umm, excuse me?”

The small voice stopped Lexa before she could say something to her grandma, and it caught the attention of Clarke, Indra and Raven as well. She turned and saw a little girl about seven-years-old standing in front of her, wearing soccer shorts and a Lexa Woods jersey.

Lexa smiled and knelt down so she could look the little girl in the eyes. “Well hi there, sweetie,” she said.

“Are you Lexa Woods?” the girl asked softly, eyes widening when Lexa nodded her head yes. “Do you think—would it be ok—” The little girl cut off, turning behind her to look at who Lexa assumed was her mom. The mother nodded her head, giving her an encouraging smile. The little girl turned back towards Lexa and gave a shy smile. “May I please have your autograph?” she asked, holding out a sharpie.

Lexa smiled and took the offered pen. “Well of course, cutie! What’s your name?” she asked as the little girl turned around and Lexa uncapped the pen.

“Alex,” the little girl said.

“One of my best friend’s name is Alex!” Lexa said.

“Alex Morgan?” the little girl said excitedly. “She’s my other favorite!”

“She’s a good favorite to have,” Lexa said, nodding her head as she wrote out a message. “Do you play soccer, Alex?”

“Yeah! I had a game yesterday! I got to play in the middle!” Alex said excitedly.

“Wow! Midfielder?” Lexa exclaimed, signing her name. “That’s my position!”

“I want to be just like you!” Alex said, voice rising as she became more excited.

Lexa capped the pen, and the little girl turned back around. She handed Alex the pen and smiled again at her. “Well, keep working hard Alex, and pretty soon you’ll be a better soccer player than me!”

Alex gasped, before nodding her head rapidly. She lunged forward and wrapped her tiny arms around Lexa’s neck before waving and running back to her mom, chatting excitedly as the mom laughed and gave a wave and a nod at Lexa, who returned the gesture.

She stood up and turned back around, her face flushing slightly as she took in the look on her grandma’s face—it was one of pride, and a rare smile had made it’s way onto Indra’s face.

Clarke’s eyes were shining and a soft smile was on her face, and Raven was grinning at Lexa, shooting her a thumbs up.

“Sorry,” she said sheepishly, fidgeting with her jacket zipper.

“No worries,” Raven said. She elbowed Clarke, knocking the blonde out of her staring.

“What? Right. Umm—right,” Clarke said hurriedly.

“Well…” Lexa stretched out. “Umm…I guess I’ll see you guys tonight?”

Clarke smiled at her, and Lexa’s heart did a little dance in her chest. “See you tonight,” she confirmed. “Indra, it was really nice to meet you,” Clarke continued. “If you need any other pointers on the best places to hit someone, just let me know.”

Lexa’s mouth dropped open, a horrified expression on her face as Indra just nodded and patted Clarke’s shoulder solemnly.

“See ya later, Commander,” Raven said, saluting Lexa. She turned and saluted Indra too. “Commander’s grandma.”

With that, the two of them continued on down the aisle, Clarke looking back only once to meet Lexa’s eyes.

“She is pretty,” Indra said. “And informative.”

Lexa simply smiled before commandeering the cart from her grandma, humming lightly as they made their way to the checkout line.

She was so ready for fish tacos (and Clarke).

* *

Lexa was so not ready.

“Anya!” Lexa yelled into her phone as soon as her cousin had answered. “What do I wear! What the hell do you wear to a casual hang that doesn’t include all soccer players? Can I just wear my standard sweats and a shirt? Is this a jean thing? A dress-y thing?”

She heard Anya sigh, before she heard light tapping coming from the other girl’s phone. “Anya!” she yelled again as her cousin still continued to be silent.

“Just wear some jeans and a shirt, Lexa,” Anya said finally.

“What if it’s a dress-y thing?” Lexa groaned.

“It’s not,” Anya said. “I just texted Octavia. Just wear jeans and a flannel. And stop being weird. You act like you’ve never had any social interactions before.”

Lexa sighed, and after another short pep talk from Anya (which really just consisted of Anya telling Lexa not to be weird again and to not do “that thing where you make a bunch of puns to break the silence, it’s not funny it’s mostly just sad”). She double checked the address Octavia sent her and put it in her navigation, and blinked as she realized that it was only a twenty minute drive from her grandparent’s house. Putting on her pump up playlist (and she’ll never admit to anyone that she needed to use her pump up playlist from game days to go to a dinner with new friends), she pulled out of the driveway, and was on her way.

Chapter Text

“The Commander is here!”

Clarke looked up from her task where she was putting the fish in a pan on the stove. The three friends had been in the kitchen where Octavia and Raven were having a mini food fight with marshmallows (guys, why are the marshmallows even out, Clarke had complained after being hit numerous times in the forehead while trying to cook, and the only reply was more being thrown at her) when the doorbell rang. Raven had opted to get the door and Clarke smiled at Raven’s announcement.

“Hi Lexa!” Octavia chirped happily, hopping off from where she was sitting on the counter and scooping Lexa into a hug.

“Ooomph,” Lexa grunted. “Hello.”

Clarke noted the mild look of discomfort on Lexa’s face—she realized that Lexa was one of those people who had to get used to physical contact from new people. It wasn’t that she was uncomfortable with Octavia, but it seems like she kept people at arms distance until she really got to know them. Clarke really hoped tonight’s dinner would get them all one step closer to getting to know the real Lexa Woods.

“Commander brought booze,” Raven said happily, holding up a pack of beer.

“I didn’t know—I mean, because tacos, I assumed beer was ok but if you would rather—”

“Beer is fine, Lexa,” Clarke interrupted, smiling at the light blush that dusted Lexa’s cheeks. She wiped her hands on a towel and walked closer to where Lexa was standing. “Hey,” she said, grinning at the soccer player before pulling her into a hug.

“Hey—hi,” Lexa said, clearing her throat. Clarke felt Lexa’s arms come up and wrap around her, and she smiled again. “Hello.”

Clarke released Lexa, and stepped back over to the stove, putting more fish in the pan.

“I hope you’re hungry. I made extra because Octavia usually eats a lot on training days so I figured you do too?” Clarke commented, humming lightly.

Lexa nodded, taking a seat at the breakfast bar next to Raven. She took a deep breath, remembering to relax—this was just a hangout between friends. “I’ve heard lots of good things about these infamous fish tacos,” she said. “I’m kind of expecting them to be life-changing, to be honest.”

“They are,” Raven said, nodding.

“Best fish tacos you’ll ever have,” Octavia added.

“Aww, shucks. You two,” Clarke cooed exaggeratedly. “The secret is in the sauce.” She turned her head slightly to look at Lexa as she flipped the fish in the pan. “It’s my dad’s recipe. They’re O’s favorite, and she got to pick the menu for tonight since it’s a celebration!”

“What are we celebrating?” Lexa asked.

“You and O doing well during the first leg of the victory tour,” Clarke said, smiling.

“We’ve had these for almost every special occasion,” Octavia chimed in. “They’re the best.”

“Do you need any help?” Lexa asked, rolling up the sleeves of her flannel.

Clarke shook her head and smiled again. “No thanks, I’m almost done. You can sit with Raven if you want—I’ll open up a beer for you.”

“I was banned from the kitchen,” Raven informed Lexa as she sat down on the stool next to the other girl.

“But I thought you made waffles this morning?” Lexa asked, intrigued.

Raven nodded her head. “Yeah, but I’m not allowed to use the stove top because of one teeny, tiny incident.”

“Can you blame us? You set it on fire, Raven,” Clarke replied, pulling things out of the fridge and placing them on the counter.

“That was one time,” Raven argued. “And I wasn’t even cooking.”

“What was one of the only rules we had in our apartment, Raven?” Octavia asked.

Raven mumbled something unintelligible, taking a sip from her beer.

Octavia cleared her throat and continued to stare at Raven. “What was that, Reyes?”

Raven gave a loud sigh and put her drink back on the table. “Not to use the kitchen for my experiments.”

“And what were you doing when the kitchen exploded?”

“Ok, the kitchen didn’t explode exactly,” Raven said. “It was only the stove top.”

“And the microwave,” Clarke chimed in, cutting up some lime.

“I still don’t think that earned me a lifelong ban from the kitchen,” Raven argued.

“We are not having this argument again,” Clarke said.

Raven scowled. “It’s been two years. I think we should lift the ban,” she said.

“I don’t know why you care, you can’t even cook,” Octavia chimed in.

“I can make waffles!” Raven exclaimed. She turned to Lexa and nodded her head seriously. “I can make waffles.”

“Rae, we let you use the stovetop as long as you have supervision,” Clarke said calmly, throwing a few tortillas onto the open flames.

“Look, it’s not my fault the kitchen exploded,” Raven explained. “This goes back to a very traumatizing cooking experience that has left me scarred for life, and thus unable to properly work the appliances.”

“What happened?” Lexa asked, finding herself smiling at the banter between the three friends. The dynamic between the three was entertaining for sure—their relationship was so fluid and easy, and Lexa had never really witnessed anything like it before. It was also slightly intimidating at first, but after learning more of their history together, found it made a lot of sense.

“Ahh, very good question, my dear Commander,” Raven said solemnly, standing up and grabbing her cane. “The year,” she continued loudly, making Lexa startle in her seat a bit, “was 2012. I, a young, impressionable genius at the age of—”

“Raven, be quiet,” Octavia cut in. “Lexa doesn’t want to hear your made up story. We all know what really happened.”

Clarke turned to Lexa from where she was standing at the stove, stirring something in a pot. “Raven tried to recreate the sauce I’m making right now and she put too many peppers in it,” she explained. “We came home to her chugging milk and screaming her head off.”

“It’s not as simple as that!” Raven exclaimed, crossing her arms. “Besides, Lexa wants to hear the story. Don’t you, Lexa?”

The three friends turned and stared at Lexa, who fidgeted under the intense scrutiny. She wasn’t sure what they wanted her to say as the silence stretched on.

“Well…it sort of seems like you wanna taco ‘bout it?”

More silence.

Lexa blinked.

And then grimaced.

Probably not expecting her to say that.

Lexa jumped in her seat as the kitchen was suddenly filled with Octavia and Raven’s laughter, while Clarke groaned loudly.

“Did you just make a taco pun?” Octavia asked incredulously.

Lexa gave a sheepish grin and took a long drink from her beer, shrugging her shoulders.

“I love that,” Raven said, grinning.

Lexa grinned, taking another small sip of her drink as she made a mental note to rub it in Anya’s face later that her pun successfully filled a silence with laughter for once.

She so totally got this.

* *

“So then what happened?”

Clarke leaned forward, fully immersed in the story Lexa was telling. The four of them were sitting at the dining room table, all of the food having been consumed. Raven had asked Lexa what her most embarrassing moment of her professional career had been so far, and to Clarke’s surprise, Lexa had actually grinned and began to tell a story.

“I said, these are not the droids you are looking for, and hightailed it out of there,” Lexa finished, crossing her arms and leaning back in the chair as the table erupted in laughter.

“Oh my god,” Clarke said through her laughter. “I bet they didn’t expect that.”

Lexa shrugged, and Clarke smiled at the bashful look on the soccer player’s face, as if she hadn’t expected the genuine laughter from telling her story.

“That’s probably why I was able to get away,” Lexa said. “Stunned them enough to freeze. So in a way, my jedi mind trick worked.”

Octavia shook her head, chuckling. “Of course you’re as big of a Star Wars nerd as Clarke and Raven.”

“Excuse me, need I remind you that you’re the one who went to Costco to buy us some paper towels and came back with the entire master set collection of Star Wars?” Raven asked, looking at her friend.

“It came with a light saber!” Octavia exclaimed.

Clarke shook her head and Lexa chuckled, watching the pair go back and forth.

“No way Griff, we got this,” Raven said as she diverted her attention away from her current argument with Octavia to see that Clarke had grabbed her plate and cup.

“You cook, we clean,” Octavia added. “And since you’re a guest or whatever, I guess you can just sit her with Clarke.”

“But the next time you’re over your guest status if officially over,” Raven chimed in, collecting Lexa’s plate. “So you can either cook or clean.”

Lexa grinned, nodding her head. She couldn’t remember the last time she had been so readily and easily accepted (well actually, she absolutely could—it was the first time she had been called up to the senior national team and was introduced to the people she would come to know as her best friends). She could hear Octavia and Raven continuing their argument in the kitchen and as she watched Clarke take a drink from the beer in front of her, she felt something in her chest—it felt like this was a turning point in her life, the start of something new.

“So, how has your break been?” Clarke asked.

Clarke’s question had Lexa realizing that this is the first time she and the doctor had been alone together since their encounter in Clarke’s office when Lexa had sort of asked her on a vague coffee date.

“It’s been really good,” Lexa said. “It’s always nice to go home after being away for a long time.”

Clarke nodded her head. “I know what you mean. I didn’t even realize how much I missed my mom and Mama B until I came home,” she said. “How’s living at your grandparents?”

Lexa smiled, thinking about the eccentric people that her grandparents were. “It’s good—their house is one of my favorite places in the world,” she answered.

“Your grandma seems really interesting,” Clarke said. “She asked me the best way to give someone a dead leg.”

“Oh god,” Lexa said, covering her face with her hands. “She’s been taking a self-defense class.”

Clarke laughed, and Lexa took note of the doctor’s blue eyes shining.

“Do you want to get coffee with me tomorrow?” Lexa blurted out, and immediately winced.

That was so not smooth.

“I mean, would you like to—you know, because we talked about it before but I forgot to get your number, and I didn’t mean to just ask you out of the blue—”

“I would really like to,” Clarke cut in, interrupting Lexa’s rambling.

“—have to say yes—wait, what?”

Clarke grinned, and Lexa felt her heart beating faster. She really couldn’t wait to get to know this girl. After vocalizing her openness to get to know Clarke and allowing this crush to turn into actually having feelings for the doctor, it’s as if a weight has been lifted off of her shoulders. Clarke was nice, she knew that from what little time she had already spent with the doctor, and she was interesting too. And if her friends were any indication, it meant Clarke had a good sense of humor too—Anya was always telling Lexa that she needed to be with someone who reminded her of her funny side (because she was a dork, she could fully admit that, but sometimes she got so lost in the seriousness that was required to be the Commander that she forgot to just step back and enjoy the incredible journey she was on, and sometimes just laughing with her friends was the thing she needed to remind her of that). Watching Clarke talk, having a simple conversation with her—Lexa couldn’t wait to get to know Clarke better.

“Here,” Clarke said, and reached across the table to pluck Lexa’s phone out of the pocket of her flannel. Lexa watched with a fond smile on her face as Clarke typed something into Lexa’s phone, tongue sticking out slightly in concentration.

Was there anything this girl did that wasn’t ridiculously cute?

“Now you have my number,” Clarke said, leaning over again and placing Lexa’s phone back in her pocket (and jesus christ, this girl smelled great too, and it’s no wonder Lexa was continuously flustered around the doctor—she really couldn’t be blamed by her abnormal behavior because anyone could get caught up in the essence that was Clarke Griffin). “Shoot me a text tomorrow to let me know when and where.”

Lexa nodded, finding that she had trouble talking as she looked down at the new contact in her phone.

Clarke Griffin.

If Lexa wasn’t sitting across the table from her current crush, she would most definitely be doing a fist pump right now.

“Yo nerds! Get in here!” Raven’s voice sounded out around the corner, and Clarke shrugged at Lexa before standing up, leading the way into the living room.

Octavia and Raven were sitting on the couch, controllers in hand and two more sitting on the coffee table in front.

“Any good at Mario Kart, Commander?” Raven asked, picking up the third controller and offering it to Lexa.

Lexa quirked an eyebrow and sat down next to Raven, Clarke plopping down on top of Octavia’s lap, ignoring the other girl’s protest.

“I’m alright…” Lexa began, her competitive spirit beginning to emerge as Clarke got comfortable, her top half resting on Octavia’s lap while her legs stretched across Raven’s. “If you call alright being the current holder of the Crown of Glory.”

“Crown of Glory?” Clarke asked, navigating the screen to pick her player.

“It’s a national team thing,” Lexa said. “Very competitive Mario Kart tournament. You’ll probably hear about it in a few weeks.”

“Well then it’s on like Donkey Kong,” Octavia said, grinning.

Lexa grinned back before turning her attention back to the screen. Being surrounded by new friends (and Clarke, especially Clarke, who Lexa found cussed like a sailor during video games), Lexa felt something shift—the promise of something new, something bigger than just the possibility of her first serious crush—it was the beginning of new friendships.

* *

“So you got her number?”

Lexa grunted, concentrating on lifting the bar she was currently bench pressing. “Yes Lincoln, for the third time, I actually got her number.”

Lexa and Lincoln were at the gym, the two cousins doing their normal weight routine they did whenever Lexa was in town. Lincoln was currently spotting for Lexa, asking her more about Clarke.

“I’m just making sure,” Lincoln said, hovering as Lexa finished her last rep and put the bar back in its place. He busied himself with taking the weights off of one side while Lexa took the other. “I mean, it’s been a really long time since you’ve even asked a girl for their number. But I’m happy for you!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Lexa said, wiping her face off with her towel. “You and Anya act like I’ve never talked to a pretty girl before.”

“…”

“Ok, but you two could be a little more subtle about the fact that I haven’t really,” she grumbled.

Lincoln laughed, reaching for his water bottle as Lexa smiled at the sound. Besides Anya, Lincoln was Lexa’s favorite cousin—the three of them had grown up together, and he was always willing to act as Lexa’s workout partner, whether it was fetching ball after ball for her while she worked on her crosses or waking up early and timing her as she worked on her agility, Lincoln was always there to help. He was also one of her biggest supporters. When she had first gotten called up to the senior national team, he made sure to attend every single game he could, and when he couldn’t, made sure to call her before and after every game to wish her luck or let her know that he was proud of her.

“So how is training for the Olympics going, anyways?” he asked. “How are the new call ups?”

“Actually, there’s this one girl that I really think has a shot to make the roster,” Lexa answered. “Octavia Blake—she’s a hard worker, and I think she can be a game changer. Play sort of an energizing role.” She slung the towel over her shoulder as the two of them moved over to the dumbbells. “She’s got a really powerful kick. And from what I’ve seen so far, she can finish. I’ve been training with her during the break.”

“She’s from here?” Lincoln asked, picking up two of the dumbbells and starting his reps.

“Yeah, her and Clarke and Raven. They’re all best friends,” Lexa said. “They grew up here and when I told her I was coming here for break they decided to come back for awhile so Octavia could work out with me. Actually, she’s supposed to be meeting us in about—”

“Hey Lexa!”

Lexa turned to face a smiling Octavia, wearing workout clothes and a bag slung around her shoulders.

“Hey O,” Lexa said, and noticed Octavia smile wider at the use of her nickname. “This is my cousin Lincoln,” she continued, gesturing to her cousin.

“Hi,” Octavia said, giving a small wave.

“Uhh, hi! Hi,” Lincoln said, his voice sounding rushed. “Hi! I umm—it’s nice to meet you!” he continued, and Lexa watched in horror as Lincoln put his hand out to offer to Octavia.

Which wouldn’t normally be an issue, if he hadn’t completely just dropped the dumbbell he was holding in his haste.

Right onto his foot.

“Ahh! Mother fu—”

“Oh my god! Are you ok?” Octavia asked, rushing closer and picking up the dumbbell, putting it back on the rack.

“What the hell, Lincoln?” Lexa asked, guiding him to one of the benches. “What were you thinking?”

“I’m fine, it’s fine,” he said, waving his hand. “I’m fine, really.”

Lexa gave him a pointed look, and he grimaced. “I mean, my foot really, really hurts,” he continued. “But otherwise, I’m fine.”

“I think we should take you to the hospital,” Lexa said. “You could have broken something.” She turned to Octavia, who had a worried look on her face. “Sorry, O. I have to—” she said, gesturing to Lincoln.

“Oh, no—I totally understand!” Octavia said. “Actually, let me drive you guys. Mama G is working at the hospital today. I’ll text her on the way and let her know we’re coming.”

“You don’t have to—” Lincoln began to say, but was cut off by another look by Lexa.

Octavia waved her hand. “No worries. I’ll go get my car and pull it up in front,” she said, before turning and heading back the way she came.

“This really isn’t necessary, Lexa,” Lincoln whined.

“Shut up,” Lexa said. “You don’t get to talk. You literally saw a pretty girl and dropped a weight on your foot.”

“You high fived your crush when she tried to shake your hand,” Lincoln countered.

“I—”

Lexa was cut off as her phone in her pocket started to ring, and she reached into her pocket, rolling her eyes when she saw who it was.

“Hi Anya,” Lexa sighed, answering the phone.

“Don’t tell her what happened,” Lincoln whispered.

“Lincoln dropped a weight on his foot because he met a pretty girl,” Lexa said, snickering.

Lincoln groaned, covering his face with his hand.

“It was Octavia,” Lexa continued. “No, that’s not—ok, I’m hanging up now. I’ll call you later.”

“What did she say?” Lincoln asked. Lexa helped Lincoln stand up, letting him lean his weight on her as she picked up her bag and they headed towards the exit.

“That she was the only cousin who had any game,” Lexa grumbled. “I am never living that high five down.”

Lincoln laughed as they went through the door, Octavia standing next to a black jeep waiting for them. The two soccer players helped Lincoln into the back seat before Lexa went to the passenger’s side while Octavia hopped into the driver’s seat, putting on her seatbelt.

“So,” Octavia said, smiling as she started the car. “Not how I imagined you’d be meeting Mama G, but let’s get going anyways.”

* *

“Clarke! Finally decided to transfer to the best hospital in the world?”

Clarke turned, smiling as she spotted the speaker. Marcus Kane, Chief of Pediatric Surgery, returned the smile and held his arms open as Clarke laughed, launching herself at her mom’s old friend and her surrogate uncle.

“Hi Kane,” she said, grinning as she hugged him.

“Clarke,” he said, hugging her just as tightly. “How are you?”

Clarke released her hold and took a step back, still grinning. “Really great,” she answered. “I’m on break from the victory tour right now and thought I should spend some time at home.”

Kane smiled, giving her a one armed hug as the two walked down the hall. “So, when are you going to transfer from DC back here, huh?” he asked. “You know that there’s a spot here for you.”

Clarke shook her head, chuckling. “I’ve still got a year of residency left,” she said. “And I have to actually pass my boards. Plus I haven’t even decided which specialty I want to go into.”

“Oh Clarke, you’re breaking my heart,” he said exaggeratedly. “I thought we agreed that you would be my protégée and take over the pediatric wing when I retire!”

“We made that plan when I was eleven, Kane,” Clarke said, rolling her eyes.

“We have a binding contract, Clarke!”

“It was a pinky promise.”

“Still binding!”

“What are you two bickering about now?” Abby asked as the two approached the front desk. She was standing with her lab coat on, chart in her hand.

“Just wondering when she’s finally going to transfer here,” Kane said as Clarke rolled her eyes again.

Abby just chuckled, shaking her head. “I’ve been trying for years, Marcus. Just won’t budge,” she said, pulling Clarke into her side. “So stubborn, this one.”

“Yeah, I wonder where she gets it from,” Kane teased, grabbing a chart. “I expect to have lunch or dinner before you leave town to hang out with all those superstar soccer players, yes?”

Clarke grinned again, nodding her head. “Promise.”

“Pinky promise?”

“Don’t you have a consult to get to?”

Kane just laughed before waving and heading down the hallway.

“So what brings you by, hun?” Abby asked, signing something before putting the folder back in its place.

“Just wanted to see if you had time to grab lunch?” Clarke asked.

“I would love to, but I’m swamped today,” Abby responded. “But I’ll be home for dinner and we can order a pizza from Blondie’s? TLC marathon?”

“Our favorite,” Clarke said, grinning. “Sounds good to me.”

“Well, if you wanted to hang out for awhile, I—oh, hold on,” Abby said, taking her phone of her pocket. “Huh. It’s Octavia. She said her friend is injured and she’s bringing them in to get looked at?” She looked down at her pager going off. “Oh shoot, I have a consult. Can you…?”

“Yeah! I can handle Octavia’s friend,” Clarke said. “Do I have privileges here?”

“Well, as the Chief of Surgery, I can grant you privileges,” Abby said, grinning. “There’s an extra set of scrubs and a lab coat in the closet in my office, Dr. Griffin.”

“Thanks, Dr. Griffin,” Clarke said, chuckling. Abby laughed before giving Clarke a quick hug, and the two went their separate ways.

Clarke hummed as she headed down the hall, going up the steps until she reached her mother’s office. She swung the door open, noting with pride the Chief of Surgery nameplate on the door. She scanned the pictures that took residence around her mom’s office, seeing pictures of just her, pictures of both of them, and pictures of Octavia, Raven and Clarke as well. Reaching the closet, she grabbed the scrubs that were her size, making a mental note to ask her mom exactly why she had scrubs that were exactly Clarke’s size in her closet (and she knew it was because Abby was still hopeful that Clarke would one day join her at the hospital in Seattle). She took the lab coat off the hanger and put it on, rolling the sleeves up to her elbows before tucking her phone in her pocket. She tied her hair into a ponytail with the hair tie around her wrist before exiting her mom’s office, closing the door behind her. She walked back down the steps, heading down the hallway to the waiting area for general patients.

“O?” she asked, spotting her friend standing at the front desk.

“Dr. Griffin,” Octavia said, grinning. “Thought I texted the older Dr. G.”

“She’s busy, so you’re stuck with me,” Clarke responded. “Also, we’re doing Blondie’s for dinner tonight.”

“Yesss,” Octavia said, fist pumping.

“So, what’s up?” Clarke asked.

Octavia turned and Clarke followed her to where a familiar figure was sitting in one of the waiting room chairs.

“Lexa? Are you ok? What happened?” Clarke asked quickly, scanning the soccer player form head to toe in an attempt to figure out what was wrong.

“Clarke! Hi,” Lexa said, standing up abruptly. “I umm—I was expecting your mom.”

Clarke stepped closer, putting her hands on Lexa’s shoulders, sliding them down the soccer player’s arms and back up to her neck, tilting Lexa’s head a bit to the side. “Everything feels normal, is it something internally?” Clarke asked. “I can run a full diagnostic and—”

Octavia cleared her throat loudly, making Clarke pause in her actions. Her eyes widened as she realized that her hands were currently placed on Lexa’s neck. She quickly took a step back as Lexa let out a cough, fidgeting with her shirt.

“Lexa’s not the patient, Dr. Griffin,” Octavia said, smirking. “Lincoln here is.”

Clarke turned her head to see a large man sitting in the chair next to where Lexa had been sitting, and he too had a smirk on his face, offering her a small wave.

“Clarke, this is Lincoln, my cousin,” Lexa said, rubbing the back of her neck with her hand. “He dropped a weight on his foot.”

“Oh! Oh, ok. Great. I mean, not great, obviously, I just meant—” Clarke rambled, something that was new to her. She felt a bit flustered, and readjusted the sleeves of her lab coat, securing them around her elbows. “Let me just—hey, Harper?” she asked, catching the attention of one of the nurses on the floor. “Do you think you can bring me a wheelchair for Lincoln and set him up in whichever bed is open?”

Harper nodded her head, throwing Clarke a thumbs up. “Will do, Dr. Griffin. Nice to see you back here, by the way,” she said, before disappearing through another door to grab a wheelchair. She came back with one, and Clarke and Harper helped Lincoln settle into it before wheeling the chair to an open bed, Lexa and Octavia trailing behind them.

“So, dropped a weight on your foot, huh?” Clarke asked, examining Lincoln’s foot.

“Yeah, I uhh—” Lincoln began, clearing his throat. “I got distracted.”

“He tried to give Octavia a hand shake and instead of putting the weight down like a normal person, he just dropped it,” Lexa said, rolling her eyes. “Directly on his foot.”

“What is it with your family and handshakes?” Clarke teased, taking note of the way Lexa’s ears turned a faint shade of red.

She hummed a bit, continuing with her examination while she asked Lincoln a few questions, Lexa and Octavia talking quietly behind her.

“I believe you have a stress fracture,” Clarke said, taking her gloves off. “I’m going to send you with Harper to get an x-ray just to be sure, but I’m pretty positive that’s what it is.”

Lexa and Octavia stepped closer to the bed, helping Lincoln back in his wheelchair while Clarke left to find Harper.

“So, Clarke’s cute,” Lincoln said, poking Lexa in the stomach lightly.

“Shut up,” Lexa hissed, conscious of Octavia standing right next to them. The last thing she wanted was Clarke’s best friend to know about her major crush on the blonde doctor.

The two cousins turned to Octavia, who shrugged. “I mean, Clarke is cute,” she said. “And also the best person in the world, so.”

Lincoln and Lexa chuckled, and the curtain was pulled back once more. Harper stepped behind Lincoln, wheeling him away, leaving Octavia and Lexa to wait.

“You should take Clarke out for coffee after this,” Octavia said, breaking the silence.

“Huh?” Lexa startled.

“Coffee. You and Clarke,” Octavia repeated. “She told me you two were trying to set something up for today. You should go after she’s done here.”

“Isn’t she working the rest of the day?”

“Nah, she just came in to visit her mom,” Octavia answered. “But Mama G keeps an extra set of scrubs on hand for Clarke. She thinks it’ll help convince Clarke to transfer here. Sort of show her that she already has a place here, kind of thing.” She shook her head, chuckling. “Anyways, you should ask her. She’s really been looking forward to your coffee date.”

“She has?” Lexa asked hopefully.

“Yup,” Octavia confirmed. “She’s been—”

“Ok!” a voice said, cutting off whatever Octavia was going to say. The curtain opened again, and Clarke was pushing Lincoln in the wheelchair this time, a large folder tucked under her arm. “So, I took a look at the x-rays and as suspected, it’s a stress fracture. Make sure you wear this boot for at least six weeks,” she said, gesturing to the new boot Lincoln had on his foot.

“Thanks so much, Dr. Griffin,” Lincoln said, standing up.

“Clarke,” she said, smiling. “Call me Clarke.”

“Clarke. Right. Thanks so much, Clarke,” Lincoln said. He turned to Lexa. “Are you…?”

“I can take you home, Lincoln,” Octavia cut in, smiling. “Lexa, why don’t you catch a ride with Clarke?” And without waiting for a response, Octavia was gone, dragging Lincoln along with her.

Lexa stared at Clarke, who was putting the x-rays back in the folder.

“I, umm…” Lexa started.

“Hmm?” Clarke asked, turning to face her. “What was that?”

“I was wondering…umm, if you aren’t busy right now, maybe we can get that coffee we talked about?” Lexa asked, tapping her fingers against her thigh.

Lexa took note of Clarke’s growing smile, and the familiar twinkle of the doctor’s blue eyes.

“Let me just change, and I’ll meet you at the entrance?” Clarke asked. “There’s a nice place around the corner.”

Lexa smiled, feeling the butterflies in her stomach return. “Really? Ok, awesome. Great. I’ll just—” she took a deep breath, remembering to keep her cool. “I’ll wait for you outside then.”

“Great,” Clarke said, backing away slowly. “I’m gonna go—do that, then.”

Lexa nodded, watching as Clarke walked down the hall until the blonde doctor disappeared around the corner.

“Yes!” Lexa exclaimed, doing a fist pump.

“Excuse me?” a voice asked next to her, and she turned to see a few teenagers standing next to her.

Lexa cleared her throat, straightening her shirt. “Yes?”

“Oh my god, you are Lexa Woods. Do you think we can get an autograph?” one of the teenagers asked excitedly, a smile on each of their faces.

Lexa nodded her head, reaching for the offered pen as she willed her cheeks to cool down, slightly embarrassed that fans caught her fist pumping and celebrating to herself. But then she remembered that she had a coffee date with Clarke in a few minutes, and a smile found its way onto her face once more.

* *

“So what made you want to be a soccer player?”

Lexa smiled at the question, taking a sip of her mocha before leaning back in her seat, the two of them sitting at a table tucked into the corner of the coffee shop. So far, Lexa found that after she relaxed around Clarke, the two of them had a natural banter—there wasn’t ever an awkward lull in the conversation. Lexa found once again that she was amazed at how comfortable she felt around Clarke, and she found herself smiling at practically everything the blonde doctor was saying as their conversation continued.

So far, Lexa had found out that Octavia and Raven are Clarke’s favorite people in the world (and Lexa couldn’t help but admire the genuine love and affection that tinged Clarke’s voice as she talked about her best friends), that she preferred milk chocolate over dark (and preferred was putting it lightly, because Clarke actually went on a mini rant for a full minute before noticing that Lexa was staring at her with a smile, causing Clarke to blush a bit and mumble out an apology which Lexa found ridiculously cute), that Leslie Knope was her idol (which led Lexa to confess that she never finished watching Parks and Recs because she just didn’t have the time, which then led to Clarke demanding that the next time Lexa has some free time the two of them were going to binge it on Netflix), and that Clarke was overall, an amazing person (this was Lexa’s opinion, but she was sure anybody else who had a conversation with Clarke for any amount of time would come to the same conclusion).

“Honestly? It wasn’t really one thing,” Lexa answered. “It was more about realizing that soccer made me happier than I’ve ever been.” She paused, taking another sip of her drink. “But there was this one moment…when I realized that if I could do this—soccer—for real, as my job, then maybe I could be happy forever.”

Clarke leaned forward, resting her elbows on the table. “Can I ask what the moment was?”

Lexa leaned forward too, smiling slightly. “My dad, he’s a dentist,” she said. “He’s been a dentist for over 25 years now, and he’s still going to classes, keeping up to date with new techniques, teaching lectures. And he absolutely loves it.” She chuckled lightly. “Which sounds horrible to me, because honestly—dentistry? But he really does love it. He works hard, and I know he has his rough days, because its still work—but, he really enjoys what he does. He’s happy.”

“That’s really nice,” Clarke commented, taking a sip of her drink.

Lexa nodded her head, continuing. “My mom is a professor. She teaches sociology, and she’s still doing research, and publishing work, and continuing to learn new things about the subject. She loves it,” she said, thinking of her mom and grinning. “All of that school work…I couldn’t even imagine, but she absolutely loves to learn and share what she learns.”

“Your parents sound like passionate people,” Clarke said.

“They are. They love what they do,” Lexa said. “Anyways, when I was like ten or eleven, I stepped onto the field and never looked back. Soccer—there was something so freeing about playing, so satisfying. I didn’t get serious about soccer until maybe a few years after that, when I started getting looks from Olympic development programs and different club coaches.” She fiddled with the lid of her cup, pausing for a second. “My parents thought it would be overwhelming, you know. I was only a teenager, and soccer was slowly taking over my life. They were worried that I would start seeing soccer as something I had to do rather than something I wanted to do. But when I scored my first goal for my first serious club team—they sat me down after the game, and told me they saw so much joy on my face. They had never seen anything like it—the passion, the work ethic, from a kid my age. They said they knew because they felt the same way about their own work.” She smiled, thinking about her parents. “And that’s when I got it in my head that if I loved soccer as much as my parents love their professions, then why couldn’t my passion become my work too?”

“That’s really nice,” Clarke said, placing her hand on top of Lexa’s that was resting on the table. She removed her hand, and Lexa could still feel her skin tingling from where Clarke’s hand had covered hers. “Being around you, your team—it’s just really refreshing to see people so passionate about what they do.”

Lexa shrugged, suddenly feeling a bit bashful. Usually when journalists asked her what made her want to be a soccer player, she told them a shortened version of what she just told Clarke. Her thoughts felt a little too private to share with the rest of the world, but with Clarke, she couldn’t help but want to tell the doctor everything.

“Did you always want to be a doctor?” Lexa asked, switching the focus back to Clarke.

“I wanted to be an artist,” Clarke answered, and Lexa was slightly taken aback by how immediately the doctor answered.

“So then…?”

“I wanted to be an artist up until my senior year of high school,” Clarke continued. “And then Raven had her accident, and had to have major surgery on her leg. I visited her at the hospital everyday, and Octavia visited every night after soccer practice was over.” She shook her head, remembering the summer that changed Raven’s life forever. “And when she started physical therapy, I went with her everyday to that too. And sometimes there were hard days—tough days.” She smiled slightly as she thought about her friend’s resilience. “But she got through it, and spending all that time at the hospital with her—that’s when I realized that I wanted to do what my mom does. I wanted to help people through medicine—someone helped put Raven’s leg back together again, and I wanted to give that to people too. So, I switched gears, applied pre-med to Cal, and a year later Raven, Octavia and I were on our way to Berkeley, all of us doing what we were passionate about.”

“That’s great,” Lexa said, in awe of the girl in front of her. Clarke became a doctor because she genuinely wanted to help people. “I saw some of your artwork, you know.”

“How…? Oh, Raven, right?” Clarke asked, laughing. “She loves to show people.”

“It was really good,” Lexa added. “I think Tobin might of actually bought one of your pieces for Alex.”

Clarke laughed again, and Lexa thought she could probably listen to that laugh for a really long time and never get tired of it.

“I’m glad we did this,” Clarke said. “Getting to know you has been really nice.”

“Do you want to go to dinner with me?” Lexa asked in return.

She hadn’t planned on asking Clarke out on an actual date so soon, but there was just something about the doctor. She couldn’t help but be drawn to Clarke, and she found herself wanting to spend more time with her.

Clarke blinked, obviously surprised. “I—yes,” she answered.

Lexa felt her smile grown on her face, and she was sure her eyes were shining. “Great! That’s great,” she said. “I...umm—well, I know we’re leaving for Portland in a few days for the game against China…but maybe when we get back we could set something up?”

“I would really like that,” Clarke said, smiling at the soccer player.

“Great,” Lexa said again, covering her face with her hand. “Oh my—I know more words than just great, by the way,” she said through her fingers.

Clarke just laughed, and Lexa couldn’t help but smile again.

“Well I look forward to learning about your expansive vocabulary at dinner,” Clarke said, giggling.

Lexa had to resist the urge to do a fist pump right there.

Chapter Text

@ClarkeGriffin: Portland is lovely…and it would be even more lovely if @RavenReyes would make up her damn mind already. #ineedcoffee #anykindofcoffee

@RavenReyes: @ClarkeGriffin look, we are in PORTLAND. And your taste buds will be thanking me once I discover the best coffee place in town, but that requires extensive research! #scientistfirst #methodtothemadness

@ClarkeGriffin: @RavenReyes I’m cold and I want coffee. #nomethodjustmadness

@RavenReyes: @ClarkeGriffin whatever. You’re not even paying attention you’re too busy texting @LexaWoods.

@OctaviaBlake: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin @LexaWoods damn is THAT why Commander’s phone rings every thirty seconds?? #imtryingtowatchamovie #putitonsilent

@LexaWoods: @OctaviaBlake @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin this movie sucks anyways.

@OctaviaBlake: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin @LexaWoods is that why you made me start it over from the beginning when you came back from your ice bath?

@ClarkeGriffin: @RavenReyes @OctaviaBlake I hate you both.

@LexaWoods: @OctaviaBlake @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin I second that.

@OctaviaBlake: @ClarkeGriffn @RavenReyes well that’s just untrue. Now come watch this movie with us. And also bring us coffee.

* *

“Oh my god, can you just pick a place already? This is the third one we’ve walked into and immediately left,” Clarke said exasperatedly. She wound her scarf a little tighter around her neck before adjusting her beanie. A ping let her know that she had a new text message, and Clarke smiled at her phone, reading the new message from Lexa.

The two had been texting back and forth ever since their coffee date a few days ago, and Clarke found that Lexa was—well, sort of dorky. She had a tendency to make cheesy puns and jokes so corny that Clarke couldn’t help but laugh. Lexa had sent one that put a smile on Clarke’s face even after she had lost to Octavia in an intense Mario Kart race that led to the soccer player being the new holder of the Cape for the next month.

Clarke was beginning to know Lexa—not just the Commander, but Lexa Woods, whose favorite meal was the mac and cheese her grandpa made, and who was actually a really big baseball fan, and who had all the Harry Potter audio books on her iPod. Clarke found herself wanting to talk to Lexa at all hours of the day, wanting to know more about the soccer player—and Lexa seemed equally as interested to know more about Clarke.

“…not really asking for much, I just want to find the best—yo, Griff! Are you paying attention to me?”

Raven’s voice pulled Clarke’s attention from the text she was reading, which really consisted of Lexa complaining about Octavia’s movie choice for the afternoon but still managed to put a smile on Clarke’s face. She typed out a quick reply before putting her phone back in her pocket.

“So did you pick a place?” Clarke asked, looking at her friend.

Raven tapped her cane on the ground impatiently, rolling her eyes. “You know, if I didn’t know about the huge crush you have on Lexa, I’d be sort of offended that you’re not paying attention to your oldest and dearest friend.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, but stepped closer to Raven, putting her arm around the other girl’s waist and letting Raven lean on her for support. “I’m sorry, babe,” Clarke said exaggeratedly. “Let’s go find you a perfect cup of coffee.” She finished her sentence with a sloppy kiss to Raven’s cheek, causing the other girl to scrunch up her nose and wipe off her face.

“Eww, Clarke,” Raven whined. “That was a wet one.”

“That’s what she said,” Clarke said.

Raven laughed, and Clarke grinned, pleased with herself.

“You’re an idiot and we’re getting too old for those jokes,” Raven said as the two continued to walk down the street.

“Ok first of all, we’re never going to be too old for those jokes,” Clarke said. “And second—I just really want a cup of coffee, Rae,” putting a pout on her face as she leaned her forehead against the side of Raven’s head. “Pleaseee.”

“Get off me Griffin,” Raven said, though there was a smile on her face. “Save that puppy dog look for your girlfriend.”

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” Clarke responded, sticking her tongue out at her best friend. But she knew that her cheeks showed a slight blush, and she definitely couldn’t ignore the butterflies in her stomach at the thought of Lexa being her girlfriend. They had only gone on one date so far, after all—and it wasn’t even a date, really. Just coffee together, but Lexa had asked Clarke a couple of questions in regards to the date she was planning when they got back from Portland in between the getting to know you text messages they’ve been exchanging back and forth, and Clarke knew that her crush on Lexa had grown from just a crush to really liking the other girl.

“But you want her to be,” Raven teased.

Clarke just shrugged, not wanting to jinx anything. “I mean, we’re just getting to know each other,” she answered. “I don’t even know if she’s looking for anything serious.”

“Are you?” Raven asked, tugging on Clarke lightly as she stopped in front of another coffee shop and peered through the window.

Clarke just raised an eyebrow until Raven turned back around, the two staring at each other until Raven let out a small chuckle. “Yeah, I know. You’re a relationship person, Griff,” Raven said, giving an exaggerated sigh before they continued on their way, the coffee shop seemingly not living up to her demands. “And if I didn’t love you so much, I would be so in love with you I would have already wifed you up by now.”

Clarke snorted, shaking her head. “So you’ve said, several times,” she said, grinning at her friend. “Which is really the only reason we wouldn’t work out, by the way, since I want someone who both loves me and is in love with me.”

“So demanding,” Raven teased. “I wish I was in love with you. It would make things so much easier. But alas, you and Octavia are my hetero soulmates for life, and tragically that is as close as we will be.”

Clarke laughed before turning and wrapping her arms around Raven, pulling her best friend into a tight hug.

“Ugh, get off me, Clarke,” Raven’s muffled voice said against Clarke’s jacket. “You’re suffocating me.”

Clarke gave her friend another squeeze before releasing her, taking a step back. “You just broke fourteen-year-old me’s heart, you know that?” she asked with a grin, before continuing down the street again.

She heard Raven laugh, before it abruptly stopped. She could tell her best friend was walking quickly to catch up with her.

“Wait, what do you mean by that? Clarke? Wait a minute—Clarke?”

Clarke just laughed, and the two continued on their way, the doctor grinning as she checked her phone to see another text message from Lexa.

* *

Lexa grinned at her phone, her eyes sweeping across the screen.

She didn’t normally put too much thought in keeping her phone around all the time—she wasn’t really like her teammates, who religiously kept their phones within arm’s reach. Lexa had never actively ignored her phone—it was more like if it fell under the bed by accident, she couldn’t be bothered to pick it up. Or sometimes she forgot to plug it in overnight, but it didn’t really bother her that it wasn’t fully charged the next day.

But then Clarke started texting her, and she found herself patting her pocket to make sure her phone was there and double-checking that she packed her charger before leaving for the airport.

Her teammates had already noticed the change (and they spent the entire bus ride back from their morning session teasing Lexa after Kelley and Ashlyn had overhead Anya asking how her coffee date went, but when her phone dinged again letting her know Clarke sent her another text, she couldn’t help the smile, which just led to another round of teasing), and Lexa had successfully managed to convince them all not to do anything to scare the doctor off inadvertently, because her teammates were kind of a handful (we haven’t even officially been on a date yet, Lexa had argued). Octavia had merely smirked the whole time, being very tight lipped about her best friend’s thoughts, which Lexa respected.

She sent her response before turning her attention back to the TV, where the movie Octavia had picked was still playing.

“What is this about again?” Lexa asked, turning her head slightly to look at her roommate.

Octavia rolled her eyes, though she was smiling. “It’s about gymnastics,” she said. “And I’m not starting it over again. Also, I can’t believe you haven’t watched this yet.”

She opened her mouth to respond, but paused when there was a knock on their door.

“Yay!” Octavia said, pausing the movie and bounding off of the bed, practically skipping to the door. She flung the door open. “Coffee!” she said, grabbing the tray with her and Lexa’s cups from her best friend before turning back into the room.

“Hello to you too, O,” Raven deadpanned. “So happy to see you. Our morning has been great, thanks.”

“If you call great being dragged to five different coffee shops before Raven finally let us order something,” Clarke said.

Lexa stood up from her bed, smoothing out the nonexistent wrinkles on her shirt. She looked down then, realizing that she was wearing a Nike shirt and a pair of soccer shorts, but then remembered that she was a soccer player and the first time she saw Clarke she was in her practice gear—a shirt and soccer shorts.

She barely refrained from rolling her eyes at herself as Raven and Clarke entered the room.

“Hello Clarke,” she said, catching the attention of the blonde doctor.

Clarke turned around with a smile on her face, and Lexa couldn’t help but smile back.

“Hi,” Clarke said, taking a few steps more into the room.

Lexa felt those butterflies again, and she wanted nothing more than to reach out and give Clarke a hug.

“Hey!” Raven said, looking back and forth between the two and smiling. “How’s it going, Commander?”

Lexa chuckled, knowing Raven was not one to be ignored. “Hello, Raven. Are you two here to watch the movie with us?”

Octavia snorted from where she was lying on her bed. “Us? You’ve been glued to your phone the entire time.”

Raven leaned her cane against the nightstand before plopping down on the bed next to Octavia, leaning against the headboard. “Well, now Clarke’s here so they can both put their phones down,” she said, wiggling her eyebrows at the two. “Now sit your asses down so we can start the movie.”

Lexa felt her face heat up, clearing her throat. “Yes, well…I mean—Clarke,” she said, turning again to face the girl. “I can sit on the ground or on the chair if you don’t—”

“Don’t be silly, Lexa,” Clarke said, taking off her scarf and beanie. She removed her jacket, hanging it on the back of the chair before hopping onto the bed. She scooted back so she could lean against the pillows Lexa had piled up earlier, patting the space next to her and smiling. “Come on, let’s watch the movie.”

Lexa grinned, sitting gingerly in the space next to Clarke. Raven and Octavia shared a secret look, before Octavia hopped up and closed the curtains before turning the lights off so the room was engulfed in darkness. “Ok, this is the last time I’m restarting the movie so everyone better be paying attention,” she said, plopping down again next to Raven.

As the movie started up again, Lexa still couldn’t relax—her shoulders were tense, and she was sitting up straight against the pillows. Clarke was sitting right next to her, not so close that they were touching, but close enough that Lexa could smell the perfume that the doctor was wearing (which was Lexa’s new favorite scent by the way, for completely unrelated reasons). Lexa’s hands were resting on her legs, folded together as she tried to be completely still.

“Lexa,” she heard Clarke whisper, and she turned, managing not to appear startled by the bright blue eyes only a few inches from her. “Are you ok?”

She gulped, nodding her head. “I’m fine,” she whispered back. “Why?”

“You kind of…look sort of uncomfortable,” Clarke said, brows furrowing. “If I’m too close, I can just squeeze in with O and Raven. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable in your own room.”

“No!” Lexa said a little louder than a whisper, and the two looked over to see Octavia and Raven totally engrossed in the movie, undisturbed by her response. “I mean, no. It’s fine.” She took a deep breath. “I’m just sort of…nervous? And you smell really nice.”

Lexa closed her eyes, groaning as she wondered exactly how many times she was going to embarrass herself in front of Clarke. For some reason her brain to mouth filter seemed to shut off whenever she was in close proximity to the other girl. She heard Clarke chuckle and opened her eyes to see Clarke still looking at her, this time with a smile on her face.

“You smell nice too,” Clarke whispered, and Lexa relaxed, grinning back at the doctor. Clarke turned her head back towards the movie, and Lexa looked at the space between their shoulders. She took another deep breath before moving over an inch, and then one more, until her shoulder was touching Clarke’s. The other girl’s eyes never left the TV screen, but Lexa saw the corners of Clarke’s mouth turning upwards and mentally gave herself a high five. She relaxed further into the pillows, maintaining contact with Clarke. And then she did a mental fist pump, because only a minute later, she felt a weight on her shoulder and looked down to see Clarke’s head lightly resting there.

Lexa felt like a teenager again, trying to work up the courage to put her arm around Clarke. She shifted slightly, internally debating if that was going too far. After all, they were just watching a movie, and she didn’t want Clarke to think that Lexa was attempting to make a move on her while they were sitting in a room with her two best friends only a few feet away. She simply wanted to hold the girl, having wondered what it felt like ever since their coffee date last week.

Do it, her head said.

Her arm wouldn’t listen.

It’ll literally take two seconds to put your arm around her, her head said again.

No movement.

I swear to god, arm, move! Before you miss your chance!

Lexa felt like her heart was pounding so loud that Clarke would be able to hear it.

She slowly stretched her neck from side to side, before moving her arm a little bit. Clarke, sensing the movement from where her head was resting on Lexa’s shoulder, picked her head up slightly and turned to look at Lexa.

Now! Do it now, Lexa’s head screamed at her.

This time, Lexa’s arm seemed to get the message, and she brought her arm up and over Clarke’s head, her hand resting on Clarke’s outside shoulder.

Lexa froze, unsure of Clarke’s response until she felt the other girl scoot down a little more before leaning her head against Lexa once again. She felt like her face was going to split from how wide she was grinning. Her arm slowly relaxed, no longer tense as it rested over Clarke’s shoulders. Clarke must have felt the tension drain from Lexa, because she scooted a little closer so that she was slightly facing the soccer player, relaxing against Lexa’s side.

“Smooth, Commander,” Lexa heard from her other side, and turned her head to see Raven giving her a thumbs up from the other bed.

She felt, more than heard, Clarke chuckle—the vibration of Clarke’s laugh against her chest where the girl’s head rested. The smile never left Lexa’s face as she turned back to the movie, very pleased with the position she found herself in.

* *

“She’s gonna kill you.”

“Only if she finds out.”

“Of course she’s gonna find out! You’re posting it on the internet!”

“Its just twitter. I could put it on instagram?”

“Ooh yeah! Do that!”

“Make sure you tag her! That way she’ll—”

“Shhhh! She’s waking up!”

Lexa felt the haze of sleep clear up as she heard voices coming from above her, waking her from the nap she hadn’t meant to take. She blinked a few times, opening her eyes to the brightness of the daylight spilling into the room past the open curtains.

“What?” she mumbled, using one hand to wipe the sleepiness from her eyes. She blinked a few more times, adjusting to the brightness before turning her head slightly. “Oh my—jesus, guys! What are you doing?” she asked, startled.

Kelley, Ashlyn and Alex were all standing right next to the bed, staring down at her with unblinking eyes and matching grins on their faces.

“Why are you in my room?” Lexa grumbled. She turned her head to the other side in an attempt to bury her head back in her pillow, and caught a flash of blonde before her eyes closed.

Blonde?

Lexa’s eyes snapped open, and she didn’t know how she didn’t feel the weight against her side before now. Clarke was tucked under Lexa’s other arm, her head resting against Lexa’s shoulder. The blonde doctor was facing towards her, with one of her legs overlapping Lexa’s.

Lexa turned back towards her teammates, shit eating grins on their faces. “Not a word,” she whispered, careful not to jostle the other girl resting against her. “Why are you even in here?”

“We came to see if you wanted to play charades with us,” Alex answered, smirking. “Octavia said you were napping…”

“…so we swiped her key to wake you up,” Kelley finished, a smirk on her face as well. “But she failed to mention your sleeping companion.”

“Nice job, Commander,” Ashlyn added, wiggling her eyebrows.

Lexa groaned, covering her face with her hand. “You guys are the worst. We literally just fell asleep watching a movie,” she said softly. “Now go away so she doesn’t wake up with you three watching her. You’re so creepy.”

“Excuse you,” Alex said. “We are not creepy.”

“Yeah, we didn’t know you had a lady friend in here with you,” Ashlyn said.

“But like, congrats,” Kelley added.

Lexa groaned again before scowling at them until the three left the room, snickering the whole time. She relaxed back into the pillow, swiping her face with her hand before turning to once again look at Clarke. The other girl was beautiful, that much was certain—but she looked so serene while she was sleeping, and Lexa couldn’t help but brush a piece of blonde hair that had fallen across Clarke’s face behind her ear.

“Clarke,” Lexa said.

“Hmm, five more minutes O,” Clarke muttered, attempting to bury herself deeper into Lexa’s side.

“Clarke,” Lexa said again, chuckling. “Wake up.”

The doctor let out a yawn, before rubbing her eyes, blinking a few times. “Lexa?” she said groggily, eyebrows furrowed. “Lexa!” Clarke said, immediately sitting up. “Sorry! I—umm, sorry!”

Lexa quirked an eyebrow, watching the other girl run a hand through her hair. This is the first time Clarke was flustered around Lexa, and she had to admit, it was a nice change of pace.

“It’s ok,” Lexa said, stretching her arms above her head. “I guess we both fell asleep during the movie.”

Clarke nodded, clearing her throat before looking around for her phone. Spotting it at the edge of the bed, she picked it up, unlocking the screen. “O went to go hang out with your teammates, and Raven went to pick us up some snacks for later,” she said, swiping through her messages.

Lexa nodded, unsure of what to do next. She was about to say something when Clarke’s phone started to ring.

“Sorry, it’s my mom,” Clarke said. “I should probably…”

“Yeah! Yeah, no problem,” Lexa said, standing up as Clarke ran a hand through her hair once more before standing up as well. “I should probably go join my teammates. Lord knows what they’ve been up to without supervision. Which is not something I ever thought I would say about moms?”

Clarke grinned, nodding her head. The two continued to stare at each other, before Clarke reached out and wrapped her arms around Lexa. “Thanks for letting me cuddle up to you during the movie,” she said softly.

Lexa nodded, returning the hug. “Anytime,” she said, feeling Clarke’s arms release her. She took a step back, nodding again.

Clarke smiled at her again, and Lexa felt the butterflies flapping hard as the other girl leaned forward and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.

“See you later, Lexa,” Clarke said, before grabbing her jacket and heading out of the room.

Lexa stood there, hand on her cheek where Clarke had kissed her. She stood like that, grinning to herself like a maniac until the door banged open again, Kelley, Alex and Ashlyn coming back into the room.

“We just saw Clarke leave, so it’s time for charades!” Kelley exclaimed, doing a weird hop skip thing towards Lexa.

“What are you doing? Let’s go!” Alex said, grabbing Lexa’s hand and dragging her out of the room. The three soccer players continued to fill Lexa in on the plans they had for the rest of their time in Portland, but Lexa couldn’t even pay attention.

She was still thinking about a certain blonde doctor, and her hand came up to touch her cheek again, the smile never leaving her face (that is, until she saw Ashlyn’s instagram picture of her and Clarke sleeping, and then proceeded to chase the goalkeeper around the room until Ali finally stepped in and forced Ashlyn to apologize, though Lexa clearly saw the smirk that was on Ali’s face the whole time, and her teammates were seriously the worst).

* *

“Damn! Nice shot, Commander!”

Lexa grinned, jogging back to her teammates and receiving high fives and pats on the back (and even a chest bump from an overly excited Kelley).

“What’d you have for breakfast today, girl?” Ali asked grinning, bumping Lexa’s shoulder as they walked over to the sideline.

The team was having another practice session before the game against China the following day, and Lexa felt great. Her passing had been on point—her crosses were landing exactly where she wanted, she was feeding Alex and Octavia assist after assist (who were making equally as excellent finishes), and she herself had scored a goal during the scrimmage with a rocket she shot from almost 28 yards out, going past Anya’s outstretched arms and hitting the back of the net.

Lexa just grinned, grabbing her water bottle and taking a gulp. “It’s just a really great day,” she said, shrugging.

Yesterday after her accidental nap with Clarke, she and the doctor had continued to talk for the rest of the evening. She had eventually fallen asleep, but had woken up to a text from Clarke that had left a smile on her face that lasted until practice. Lexa’s good mood had continued after she had run into Clarke in the elevator on her way down to the bus, and the other girl had given Lexa a lingering hug before they parted ways, Lexa joining her teammates and Clarke going to the staff van that would take her to the training facility.

Lexa didn’t think about how being happy in her personal life would carry over into her work ethic, but apparently it did—she was having one of her best practices today.

Spending time with Clarke, talking to her—Lexa was just in a really good mood, and she’s sure that the fans watching their open practice noticed that she was smiling more than usual, and laughing a little bit harder. She felt more relaxed than she had in a long time, and that’s not to say that she was tense before, but she did notice that her movements were a little more fluid. She was happy, and she and Clarke hadn’t even gone on their first official date yet—it made her think about how much more was to come, and she just knew that she was grinning like a fool.

“Looks good on you, Lexa T-Rexa,” Tobin said, as the midfielders sat on the sideline together taking off their boots.

“What’s that?” Lexa asked, humming lightly as she focused on untying her laces.

“Happiness,” Tobin clarified, smiling at the younger girl. “It looks good on you.”

Lexa just chuckled, the grin remaining on her face. “Thanks, Tobs.”

“Well, just be prepared,” Tobin said, standing up and slinging her shoes around her shoulders.

“For what?” Lexa asked, looking up at the other girl.

“For the questions,” Tobin answered, grinning. “At the barbecue tomorrow. Alex has been dying to ask how your coffee thing went ever since she found out.”

Lexa grimaced, thinking about what was in store for her tomorrow. “Maybe I’ll spend some quality time with the munchkins tomorrow instead,” she said.

Tobin just laughed, holding her hand out to help Lexa up. The two continued their walk towards the sideline, where some of their teammates were already signing stuff for the fans who had stuck around for the entire practice. “Well, I hope this good mood lasts through the game tomorrow,” Tobin said, bumping Lexa’s shoulder lightly with her own. “China won’t know what hit ‘em.”

Lexa just shrugged, but she knew that if there was another message waiting for her on her phone from Clarke, then she was sure her newfound happiness would last. “I hope so too,” she said, before the two went their separate ways, going to different groups of fans who were all shouting their names.

* *

Lexa’s good mood did last through the next day, and it showed during the game.

China was usually a formidable opponent, but right out of the gate Julie had cleared the ball to Lexa, who gathered it and in two touches sent it in front of Alex, who did what Alex Morgan does best and finished, putting the U.S. up in in the first five minutes. It only got better from there, with Lexa gaining another assist when Sydney scored off a well-placed ball by the midfielder in front of the goal before the half. The team was connecting on all fronts, playing like a well-oiled machine.

Lexa was also really happy to notice that Octavia seemed to fit right in with the group’s chemistry, which was made obvious to everyone else watching when she connected with a pass from Stephanie and sent the ball into the back of the net. The young forward pointed to the sideline during the celebration, and Lexa followed the line of sight to see Clarke and Raven screaming their heads off on the sideline, Raven having climbed on Clarke’s back, the two of them both cheering for their best friend.

The smile Lexa had on her face barely left the entire time. It had first showed up when she had run into Clarke again in the morning, when her and Anya had gone down to the lobby to get coffee. Clarke was in line, getting something for her and Raven and while Anya was ordering, Lexa got a chance to talk to the blonde doctor. Before they parted ways, Clarke had given Lexa another hug (which Lexa actually remembered to return this time) and a quick kiss on the soccer player’s cheek, which was the source of Lexa’s beaming smile. Not even her teammates’ teasing when Anya had relayed what happened could wipe the grin off of her face.

And it remained all through autographs, and the bus ride back to the hotel, and while she showered and got ready to go to the Morgan-Heaths, and was only reinforced when she and her teammates arrived at the couple’s house and she was immediately greeted by a gap-toothed Kellan Morgan-Heath, who apparently had lost a tooth the day before. She was dressed in shorts and a little shirt that simply said SURF, a small U.S. Soccer hat on her head. Definitely Tobin’s child, Lexa thought, grinning.

“Auntie Rexa!” the little girl screamed, jumping from the couch and into Lexa’s arms.

Lexa laughed, catching the little girl and resting her on her hip. “Hey munchkin, still on that whole dinosaur thing, huh?” she asked, shaking her head as she remembered a few days ago when Kellan had called her “Auntie Rexa” over skype, very seriously explaining that Lexa T-Rexa was too long so she was going to give her beloved aunt a nickname.

Kellan just grinned and roared in response, holding her hands up in the shape of claws, making Lexa laugh again.

“Where are the rest of the troublemakers?” she asked the little girl, who just grinned and snuggled closer to her aunt, little arms coming to wrap around Lexa’s neck. She smiled, carrying Kellan out to the backyard where Tobin and Ashlyn were standing at the grill on the patio, her teammates milling around outside and inside the house.

Lexa always looked forward to going to her teammates’ house—the Morgan-Heaths tried to have a get together at their home whenever the team was in town, and Lexa absolutely loved the atmosphere, full of love and laughter and some of her favorite people.

“I see my daughter found you,” Alex said, grinning, as Lexa approached the outside table where a few of her teammates were sitting. “She’s been asking for the past three days when Auntie Rexa was coming over.” The rest of the table chuckled, Lexa rolling her eyes, but she hitched the little girl in her arms up a little higher, tightening her hold on her.

“Oh yeah? Did you miss me, munchkin?” Lexa asked, as Kellan nodded her head, giggling. She peppered the little girl’s face with kisses, and the giggling turned to laughing and squeals as Kellan fidgeted in the soccer player’s arms.

“I missed you too, kiddo,” she said, readjusting the hat on top of Kellan’s head so that it was facing backwards. Lexa sat down in an open seat, pulling Kellan onto her lap while the little girl was content to snuggle back into one of her favorite people in the world. “Where’s the rest of the kids?” she asked the adults at the table.

“They should be waking up from their nap soon,” Ali answered. “They’re all sleeping in Alex and Tobin’s room.”

“Kellan here woke up when the doorbell rang and raced downstairs to meet you,” Alex said, nodding to her daughter, who just grinned and continued to play with the little dinosaur figurines she had apparently pulled out of her pocket. Lexa returned the grin, her heart full as she gave the girl another hug.

“So what’s going on with you and the doc?” Kelley blurted out from next to Ali.

“Kelley!” Alex exclaimed, giving the other girl a stern look.

“What?” Kelley asked, shrugging. “You were dying to ask too.”

“Yeah, but we decided we should at least be somewhat subtle about it,” Alex argued.

“Oh yeah, because you two are just the definition of subtle,” Ali said, rolling her eyes.

Lexa looked around the backyard, and noticed Octavia talking with Anya, Christen and Moe over in front of the fire pit on the other side of the yard. She didn’t want to put Octavia in an awkward position, with Lexa talking about her best friend in front of her, even if they were all good things. Lexa made a mental note to talk to Octavia later, to make sure that she was ok with the midfielder possibly dating her best friend. So far, Octavia seems to have been encouraging it, but Lexa just wanted to double check—the bond between teammates was a special one, and she didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that with Octavia, especially since she’s come to really respect the younger girl.

She sighed, knowing there was no way to escape this.

“What do you want to know?” she asked, looking down slightly when Kellan tapped on her arm wrapped around the little girl’s waist. She opened her hand and Kellan dropped a dinosaur figurine in it, and Lexa smiled as she had the figurine climb up the little girl’s arm.

“Everything!” Ali blurted out, not looking sheepish at all. Lexa looked around at her teammates’ expressions, all focused on her as she absentmindedly continued to play dinosaurs with Kellan.

“There’s not much to tell yet,” Lexa answered finally, shrugging.

“Yet! You said yet,” Alex said, clapping her hands excitedly. “What’s happened so far?”

“We went out for coffee,” Lexa said. “And we had a really good time getting to know each other.”

“And you fell asleep watching a movie together,” Kelley added.

“Yes, thank you Kell, I know that happened,” Lexa said sarcastically. “As did the rest of the world, since you posted it on the internet for everyone to see.”

“It was so cute, Lex,” Ali squealed. “You two together…you’re just so cute! Did you ask her on a date yet?”

“As a matter a fact, I did,” Lexa replied with a triumphant smile. “Before we left for Portland, actually. We’re going to have it when we get back to Seattle.”

“We’re so happy for you, Lexa. We expect full details after your date,” Alex said, a smile directed towards her friend. She looked down at her daughter, who was still sitting contently in her aunt’s lap, her dinosaur toys having a conversation with one another. “Clarke is really nice.”

“And really pretty,” Ali added.

“Oh my god, those eyes?” Kelley drawled, pretending to fan herself with her hand.

“You guys are the worst,” Lexa said happily, not meaning that in the slightest.

Ali pouted, opening her mouth to reply when she was cut off with a peel of laughter coming closer to the group.

“Auntie Lexa!” a chorus of voices called, and the soccer players all turned in their seats to see the rest of the tribe had apparently woken up from their nap and realized their favorite aunts were there.

Lexa grinned, lifting Kellan up and resting her against her hip again as she stood up to face the beaming faces of Kaitlin, Hallie, Vanessa and Chloe. “Hey, munchkins,” she said, as the little girls continued to speak over one another. Lexa turned back to the moms at the table and stuck her tongue out, taking a few steps closer to the goalpost that was set up in the grass. “I’m going to hang out with the cool kids now,” she said, and laughed at Alex, Kelley and Ali’s exaggerated expressions of offense before running towards the goal, four little girls following as they shouted, Kellan giggling the whole time as she held on tightly to Lexa.

Yeah, Lexa was really freaking happy.

And the text she received from Clarke right before she lost to five little girls in soccer kept the smile on her face the entire time.

Chapter Text

Lexa threw another pair of sweatpants on the bed, sighing. “Why do I have so much soccer clothes?” she asked exasperatedly.

Anya raised her eyebrow, not taking her eyes off the magazine she was reading. “Are you serious?”

The two were in Lexa’s designated bedroom at their grandparent’s house, where the cousins were going over Lexa’s wardrobe (more like Lexa was freaking out, and Anya was trying to patiently calm her down). Anya had gone back to Seattle with Lexa from Portland, both to help her cousin prepare for her date and to visit her grandparents.

“Can you please help me choose what to wear?” Lexa asked, standing up again. She went over to her dresser and threw a few pairs of jeans on the bed, before standing in front of them. “Blue, black or grey?”

“Grey jeans, white shirt, leather jacket,” Anya answered, finally looking up from her article. “You look good in that. Clarke won’t know what hit her.”

“Are you sure?” Lexa asked, pulling out one of her looser white shirts.

Anya nodded, sitting up. “Look Lex, there’s no reason to be nervous. You’re gonna be fine.”

Lexa bit her bottom lip, fidgeting with the outfit now lying in front of her on the bed. “What if she wants—”

“—to hold hands? My hands are perpetually clammy. I don’t want her to think I have gross sweaty hands!” Clarke exclaimed, waving her hands in the air. She paced in front of her closet, pausing to pull another shirt out and adding it to the potential outfit pile on the end of her bed.

Octavia rolled her eyes from where she was sitting against the headboard, spinning a soccer ball on her finger and Raven just continued to fiddle with the wires in her hands. “Ew, can you be a surgeon with clammy hands?” she asked, not looking up from whatever she was building.

Clarke stopped pacing long enough to glare at her best friend. “Yes, Raven, I can be a surgeon with clammy hands. Focus please. I’m sort of freaking out.”

“Look, all you have to do is look for the signal,” Octavia said, standing up and throwing the ball into the air before juggling it with her foot.

“Wait, what’s—”

“—the signal? There are signals?” Lexa asked, rummaging through her closet in an attempt to find her leather jacket. She knew it was in there somewhere.

“Yeah, signals,” Anya said, rolling her eyes. “Like, if she brushes her fingers against yours. Then you know she wants you to hold her hand.”

Lexa sighed, plopping down next to Anya. “Ok, so there’s a signal for hand holding. Anything else?”

“Lexa, you’re acting as if you’ve never gone on a date before,” Anya scolded. “You’re going to be fine. Clarke already likes you.”

“It’s just…we’re only home for another week, and then we’re off to Orlando for the next victory tour game,” Lexa said, lying on the bed next to Anya. “This might be our only shot at a first date for awhile, and I don’t want—”

“—to screw it up,” Clarke said, plopping down on the bed next to Raven, watching Octavia continue to juggle the soccer ball. She sighed heavily, and Octavia kicked the ball up a little higher, catching it on her back before letting it hit the ground again.

“Why are you so nervous? You never get thisnervous before a date,” Octavia said, kicking the ball up again and catching it on her foot this time.

“I really like her,” Clarke said, quietly. She sighed again, leaning against Raven’s shoulder. “And I sort of feel like…I’m out of my league here. Like, she’s Lexa Woods.”

“Ok, why would you think that?” Raven asked, putting down the wires in her hands and looking at Clarke. “You aren’t—”

“—out of anybody’s league,” Anya scoffed.

“She’s just…so pretty and smart and funny, and she smells nice all the time,” Lexa rambled, turning so she was lying on her stomach, face buried in her pillow. “I’ve got butterflies in my stomach every time I’m around her.”

Anya just smiled, before tapping Lexa on the head until her cousin turned to look at her. “It’s going to be fine, Lex. Actually, it’s going to be more than fine—you’re going to have a great time!” She slapped Lexa on the back, prompting her cousin to sit up. When she did, Anya put her hands on the other girl’s shoulders, nodding her head. “You are Lexa Woods. You are an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion. You can do this! Don’t—”

“—put so much pressure on yourself, babe,” Raven said, patting Clarke on the leg before bringing her attention back to the wires in her hands.

Octavia nodded her head in agreement, eyes still on the soccer ball she was juggling. “I mean, the worst that can happen is you have a horrible time, and—”

“—then we’d have to see each other around camp all the time, and it’ll just be so awkward and then our teammates would have to pretend like they didn’t know that I screwed anything up,” Lexa groaned, covering her face with her hands.

“Except you’re not going to mess anything up,” Anya said, removing her cousin’s hands from her face. She gave her a nudge, prompting her to stand up. She grabbed Lexa’s phone and dropped it in the girl’s hand. “Why don’t you text Clarke saying that you’re looking forward to tonight? That’ll let her know that you’re thinking about her.” She paused, watching Lexa’s fingers hover over the keyboard before rolling her eyes again, snatching the phone out of the other girl’s hand. She quickly typed out a message and hit send, ignoring Lexa’s cries of protest. “There. Now go shower, get dressed, and go pick up your girl. You’re—”

“—going to have a great time,” Octavia reassured her best friend, placing her hands on Clarke’s shoulders. “You’ve got this, Griffin. Just go have fun!”

“Fun, right,” Clarke said, rolling her shoulders back. Her phone beeped, signaling that she got a new message. She reached across Raven, who simply held her arms up with her new contraption in her hands, grabbing her phone and reading the new message. She grinned, biting her bottom lip slightly at Lexa’s new text.

Lexa Woods: I’m really looking forward to tonight. See you soon, pretty girl ☺

“Whoa, pretty girl?” Raven asked, reading the message from next to Clarke. “There’s no way that was the Commander. That was dropped way too casually and smooth.” She snatched the phone from Clarke’s hand, much to the doctor’s protests, and quickly typed out a message before hitting send.

“Raven!” Clarke exclaimed, swiping the phone back. “What did you send?” She read the message out loud to a curious Octavia. “Can’t—”

“—wait, gorgeous,” Anya read out loud. “Nice. See? Nothing to worry about.” She dropped Lexa’s phone on her bed before giving her cousin another nudge. “Go. Shower. I’m serious. You smell like you just worked out.”

“I did just work out,” Lexa grumbled as she made her way towards the bathroom. But she still had a smile on her face at the thought of seeing Clarke soon. Her excitement was currently overpowering any nervousness she felt, and truthfully, she couldn’t wait to be in the presence of the blonde doctor again.

* *

Lexa took a deep breath, her cousin’s advice rattling around in her head.

”Just be yourself, Lexa, and the rest will fall into place.

Smoothing down her jacket, Lexa held the bouquet of flowers in her hand tightly before reaching out and ringing the doorbell. She furrowed her eyebrows as she heard scuffling on the other side of the door, and several voices shouting over one another. Lexa hesitantly took a small step back as the door swung open abruptly.

“Commander! And you brought flowers!” Raven said, leaning against the doorway. She scanned Lexa up and down, before whistling. “And you look good.”

Lexa chuckled nervously, fidgeting with the bouquet in her hand. “Hello, Raven,” she said, giving a small wave.

She saw Raven about to say something, before seemingly changing her mind. The other girl smiled at Lexa—not with the smirk usually found on Raven’s face—but a genuine smile, one that Lexa was becoming more accustomed to as she spent more time with her. “Relax, Commander. You’re gonna be fine,” she said, taking a step away from the doorway and gesturing for Lexa to come in.

Lexa cleared her throat slightly, stepping through the doorway. “How could you tell?”

“You’re fidgeting,” Octavia said, emerging from the kitchen with a soccer ball tucked under her arm. She threw the ball into the air towards Lexa, whose reflexes kicked in and she caught the ball on the top of her foot, juggling it a few times. Octavia and Raven smirked at each other before turning their attention back to the juggling soccer player. “You never fidget, even when you’re nervous,” she continued.

Lexa felt her shoulders relax as she lightly juggled the ball before catching it on her foot once more and tapping it back in Octavia’s direction, who caught it and tucked the ball under her arm once more. Lexa grinned, feeling the tightness in her muscles gone, and she felt as loose as she normally does before a big game.

“Thanks guys,” Lexa said, smiling at the two. Her chest felt a little lighter at the thought that Octavia and Raven saw she was nervous and decided to help her relax, not just because she was going on a date with their best friend, but also because they genuinely cared about her. “Is Clarke ready?”

“I’m ready,” said a voice echoing down the staircase. Lexa looked up and her breathe hitched at the sight of Clarke, who was now walking down the stairs. She was wearing dark blue skinny jeans and knee high boots, with a light blue shirt underneath a red sweater. Lexa took in Clarke’s appearance—this girl was so beautiful. Once her eyes met those bright blue ones, she couldn’t look away. “And you’re early,” Clarke continued, but she was smiling as she reached the bottom of the stairs. She paused before giving a look to both Raven and Octavia, and the three were locked in some sort of staring contest until Octavia and Raven both sighed and made their way out of the room.

“Have fun!” “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”

Lexa chuckled as Clarke rolled her eyes, and their eyes locked once more. Lexa remembered the flowers in her hand, and held them up, offering them to the other girl.

“These are for you,” Lexa breathed out. “You look really beautiful, Clarke.”

Clarke smiled, taking the offered flowers. Lexa noticed the light blush on Clarke’s cheeks, and she did a mental fist pump.

“You look great too,” Clarke said, and Lexa just shrugged, making the doctor laugh. “Let me just put these in some water, and then we can go.”

Lexa nodded, and Clarke hesitated for a second before stepping forward and wrapping her arms around the soccer player, giving her a hug. Lexa barely had time to put her arms around Clarke before the other girl stepped back again, and she watched with a smile on her face as Clarke left the room and disappeared into the other room. She heard some more whispering, seemingly from Octavia and Raven who were also in the other room before Clarke stumbled back into view.

“Well, O and Raven are taking care of the flowers. You ready?” Clarke asked, grabbing her purse from the coffee table. Lexa nodded and followed the other girl out the doorway, walking a little faster to beat Clarke to the passenger door. She reached for the handle and opened the door, holding it open. Lexa smiled at the girl, and she felt her face heat up as Clarke leaned over and gave the soccer player a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thanks,” Clarke said softly, before sliding into the seat.

Lexa closed the door, and then she couldn’t help it.

She did a mini fist pump, but froze when her eyes connected with Octavia and Raven’s, who were watching from the window with a smirk on their faces.

She quickly walked over to the driver’s side, and got in, putting on her seatbelt.

“So, still not telling me where we’re going?” Clarke asked, as Lexa started the car.

“Nope,” Lexa responded, grinning. She pulled out of the driveway, and maneuvered down the street, but the closer they got to the restaurant, the more her nerves were starting to creep up on her.

What if Clarke hates the restaurant?

That’s stupid, who hates Italian?

Well what if she had some traumatic experience with pasta in her childhood and she can’t stand it?

Ok, now THAT is stupid.

What if you spill the water all over the table?

Give yourself some credit, you’re a professional athlete for gods sake.

You tripped over the floor the last time you were with her.

Shut up, that was a one-time thing.

“Lexa?” Clarke asked, interrupting Lexa’s internal freak out. “Are you ok?”

Lexa stopped the car at the stop sign at the end of the road, noticing that she had a death grip on the steering wheel, her knuckles turning a shade lighter. She took a deep breath, and turned slightly towards Clarke. Blue eyes shined back at her, and a soft smile was on the other girl’s face. That smile—it did something to Lexa, and suddenly she didn’t feel unsure anymore.

In fact, she felt inspired.

A smile of her own grew on her face as she looked at Clarke, and the other girl raised her eyebrow in response. “What?” Clarke asked.

“Do you want to do something else?”

“Something…else?” Clarke asked, blinking.

Lexa nodded her head, the smile still on her face. “Something fun?”

The other girl’s face conveyed confusion, but before Lexa’s nerves returned and she took it back, Clarke blurted out, “Let’s go for it.”

Lexa felt like her face might split with the beaming smile that took over, but it was a freeing feeling, especially when Clarke’s grin matched her own. She reached out, fiddling with the radio before finding the station she wanted, and cranked up the volume. She looked over at Clarke and wiggled her eyebrows, and the other girl let out a laugh that Lexa swore was her new favorite sound in the world. She watched as Clarke bopped her head along to the song blasting out of the stereo, and turned back to the road, letting her hands relax their grip on the wheel as she took off once more.

* *

“Can I get two bulgogi sandwiches with everything, and two waters please?”

Clarke started to take her wallet out, but was stopped by Lexa’s hand on top of hers.

“Nope, this one’s on me,” Lexa said, smiling.

Clarke just shook her head, still wrapping her head around the enigma that was Lexa Woods. The two sang along to the radio all the way to their destination, which turned out to be a food truck that was parked near a small shopping center. Clarke was surprised that Lexa hadn’t taken her to a restaurant—but it was a pleasant one, and the food smelled phenomenal while they waited for their order to be ready. Once their food was up, Lexa grabbed the bag and walked back over to Clarke, smile still on her face. Clarke had seen that smile before—it’s the one Lexa has on her face when she’s with her best friends, or with her honorary nieces, and she feels her heart beat a little faster when that smile is directed at her.

Lexa walked next to Clarke, the bag of food in one hand while her other one brushed slightly against Clarke’s as they headed to their next destination—a bench that was sitting underneath a tree, away from the crowds of people.

Wait, was that the signal? Clarke asked herself.

Just reach out and gently grab her hand, you can do it, her head said, coaxing her to reach her hand out slightly.

Ah-ha! Clarke’s mind shouted, but she immediately frowned when she missed and had only hooked Lexa’s pinky with her own.

Oh great, now we’re just holding pinkies? What the hell was that, Clarke?

But she didn’t have too long to internally berate herself, because in that moment she felt Lexa slide her palm fully into her own, lacing their fingers together. She turned her head to look at the other girl, and that smile that was quickly becoming Clarke’s favorite thing to see was directed at her once more.

As they approached the bench, Clarke felt Lexa give her hand a light squeeze before releasing it.

“So, do you come to this food truck often?” Clarke asked as Lexa handed her a sandwich and water.

Lexa nodded her head, grinning. “This is my grandpa’s favorite secret spot,” she said.

“Secret?” Clarke asked, unwrapping her food and taking a bite. “Oh my god, this is so good!”

Lexa just laughed, taking a bite of her own sandwich before answering. “Secret because he’s not supposed to be eating this kind of food but he comes every weekend on his way back from the farmer’s market,” she answered. “And my Nona doesn’t know.”

Clarke giggled in response, shaking her head. “I doubt there’s not much your grandma doesn’t know.”

Lexa sighed fondly, leaning back against the bench. “You got that right. Sometimes I think she has eyes in the back of her head,” she said. She leaned closer to Clarke, lowering her voice. “Honestly, Anya, Lincoln and I have this theory that she used to work for the CIA.”

Clarke wasn’t expecting that, and burst out laughing once more. “What?” she giggled.

Lexa nodded her head, keeping a serious expression on her face. “I’m talking spy kids style. No joke,” she said, taking a sip of her water. “When I was little, I was convinced that the day would come when I got a call from the OSS, telling me that my grandma needed me, and I would straight up be living the plot of Spy Kids.”

Clarke threw her head back, laughing. She could tell Lexa was pleased with herself—she had a grin on her face that Clarke just knew was because she had made the doctor laugh so heartily.

“I’m still not entirely convinced that I won’t get the call someday,” Lexa said, leaning back against the bench and taking another bite of her food.

Clarke just chuckled, taking a sip of her water. “I would never have thought that about my grandparents,” she said. “My grandma is a quilting, knitting, likes to make pillowcases and blankets, kind of grandma. And my grandpa mostly spends his time gardening.”

“That sounds really lovely,” Lexa said, smiling.

Clarke nodded her head in agreement. “Yeah, it is. My grandma sends me a lot of sweaters that she’s knitted for me. And she sends me an email after she mails them, but she doesn’t really know how to use the computer so I end up getting an email full of all caps locked words. So it feels like she’s yelling everything.”

It was Lexa’s turn to chuckle, imagining Clarke opening up an email from her grandma yelling at her about the new tomatoes her grandpa had planted in the garden.

Clarke grinned, happy to see that the smile on Lexa’s face had yet to disappear, and it stayed their all through their dinner in the park. The two talked more about their families, and their hobbies, and even at one point about the likelihood of surviving the zombie apocalypse should it ever happen (Lexa would last longer than Clarke because Clarke doesn’t know any hand-to-hand combat, so as soon as she ran out of bullets she would be toast, Clarke had argued, much to Lexa’s amusement). Clarke found it immensely easy to talk to Lexa, and the longer they sat there, on that bench in the park, talking about both everything and nothing at all, the more Clarke found herself gravitating towards the other girl, wanting to just simply be in the presence of Lexa.

When they finished with their meal, Lexa gathered the trash and threw it away before coming back and standing in front of Clarke, rocking back and forth on her heels as she looked at the doctor.

“What?” Clarke asked.

“Ready for the fun part?” Lexa asked excitedly, hands in her pocket and her eyes shining.

“I thought this was the fun part?”

Lexa offered her hand to Clarke, and the doctor took it without hesitation, lacing their fingers together again. “We’re going to the fun part right now,” Lexa answered, grinning as they took off in the direction of the car.

When they reached the car, Lexa opened the door for Clarke once more, bowing exaggeratedly and sweeping her arm in front of her. It made Clarke laugh, but she felt those butterflies in her stomach again at the small gesture.

God, Lexa was such a dork.

And Clarke was totally into it.

Lexa got in the car, starting it up and turning the radio up again, grinning at Clarke as she rolled the windows down, the stereo blasting out music.

Clarke had never felt so comfortable on a first date—she wasn’t worried about saying something wrong, or doing something wrong—instead, she felt excited to learn more about Lexa and to share more about herself in return. And as they drove to their next destination, Clarke had the urge to reach out and hold Lexa’s hand again—and so she did, earning another smile from the soccer player.

* *

They end up at the beach.

Lexa felt at ease as she stepped out of the car, and had no time (or reason) to second guess her choice of foregoing the restaurant for a food truck and a walk on the beach when Clarke smiled at her from across the hood of the car, before the blonde doctor turned towards the water, blue eyes shimmering just like the ripples in the waves.

So far, following her gut has led to a slight impromptu picnic in the park, some great food, and taking Clarke to the place that held some of her favorite childhood memories. Feeling confident in her decision to go with her gut, she walked around the car and slipped her hand in Clarke’s for the third time that night, smiling as their fingers intertwined. Lexa led the other girl closer to the water before they walked along the sand, just beyond the reach of the water.

“This place is beautiful,” Clarke said, breaking the comfortable silence that had fallen over them.

Lexa felt Clarke give her hand a squeeze, and she smiled, walking a little closer to the other girl.

“My parents used to take me here when I was little,” she said. “Before my family moved, we used to live a couple minutes from my grandparents, and we had dinner with them every Sunday.”

“That sounds really nice,” Clarke said, and Lexa turned her head slightly to see the other girl already smiling at her.

“It was,” Lexa continued, nodding her head. “And after dinner we used to come here, and my dad and I would kick a soccer ball around.” She laughed, shaking her head. “He’s horrible at soccer, but he would always play with me when I asked.”

“I bet you were a cute kid,” Clarke said, grinning. “A mischievous one.”

Lexa raised her eyebrow, looking at Clarke. “What makes you think I was mischievous?”

Clarke just shrugged, bumping Lexa lightly with her shoulder. “I bet you were the kid who broke the lamp kicking the soccer ball in the house even though your mom told you not to, and then you got away with it anyways.”

Lexa laughed lightly. “I can neither confirm nor deny that,” she replied. She paused, before continuing. “Although Lincoln may or may not hold a grudge to this day about a certain vase being broken and blamed on him, despite the fact that he was outside at the time the incident occurred.”

There it was—Clarke’s laugh again. If Lexa was being honest, she was legitimately proud of herself for getting Clarke to laugh as much as she did tonight. Her biggest fear about this date is that she would be too serious, too stoic—the more she thought about being herself, just Lexa, the more she became anxious about it. But ever since she decided to ditch the traditional sit down dinner for their first date, she had felt freer. Spontaneity was not something she indulged in often, but with Clarke—the other girl seemed to spark something in Lexa, something she used to have but had buried deep inside after her first heartbreak, and never looked back.

It wasn’t the best kind of evening, where the weather was warm and the water was calm—in fact, the wind was blowing, and it was cold, and the waves were crashing into the shore before rolling back into itself, the action repeating over and over again. The sky was a mixture of pink and grey, and in any other moment, Lexa might have stopped to take a picture at the view.

But she didn’t—in fact, Lexa didn’t even notice the sky.

Not until Clarke turned to her, the other girl’s eyes a lighter shade of blue than Lexa had ever seen before, and the pink and grey of the sky framed her blonde hair, making her the most beautiful view Lexa had ever seen.

“What?” Clarke asked, and Lexa realized she was staring at the other girl, lost in what was rapidly becoming her new favorite color.

Lexa shook her head slightly, in an attempt to bring herself back to the moment. “You’re so beautiful,” she said quietly. Lexa didn’t feel any embarrassment when she said what she was thinking out loud—because it was absolutely true. Clarke was beautiful, and Lexa felt the overwhelming urge to let Clarke know.

And then the view changed again, because suddenly Clarke was leaning closer, and Lexa didn’t even have time to be nervous before Clarke’s lips met her own.

The kiss was soft.

It was tender.

It was gentle (and later, Lexa would think back on the kiss and realize it was the best first kiss she had ever had, because it was with Clarke, this blonde doctor that had come into her life and taken her feelings by surprise but allowed her to open her heart back up at the possibility of love and hope and so much she wouldn’t realize until much later, and it was soft and meaningful and absolutely right for the moment).

Clarke kissed her lightly, and only for a few seconds, before leaning back—but only far enough so that Lexa could brush her nose against Clarke’s—and then Lexa was leaning in this time, kissing Clarke equally as softly.

The kiss remained gentle, until Lexa felt Clarke’s hand on the back of her neck, and the other cupping her cheek, and she felt the other girl’s lips move a bit more urgently against her own.

Lexa responded in kind, her lips molding to Clarke’s, her hands moving to wrap around Clarke’s waist and pull the other girl closer. She felt Clarke pull back slowly, and she opened her eyes, green meeting blue as the two stood there, both grinning with only an inch or two between them.

This time it was Lexa who leaned in, and Clarke met her halfway, their lips coming together once more. Lexa felt Clarke’s tongue lick her bottom lip tentatively, almost shy-like, and she opened her mouth, letting the other girl in. That seemed to encourage Clarke, and Lexa felt the other girl’s tongue explore her mouth before tangling with her own. Lexa felt like the kiss lasted forever, and yet it was all too soon when she was forced to pull away due to lack of oxygen. She felt Clarke rest her forehead against her own, the other girl’s breath against her mouth.

Lexa was unaware of anything else around them—honestly, the only thought she had was that she had to kiss Clarke again, soon, right this moment. She leaned in again and captured Clarke’s lips with her own; this time she put her tongue into Clarke’s mouth, taking her turn to map out the other girl’s mouth. Lexa’s lips molded with Clarke’s easily, almost like they had been kissing each other forever. She felt Clarke capture her bottom lip between her own, before pulling away, a breathless giggle escaping the other girl’s mouth.

Lexa opened her eyes and met Clarke’s bright blue ones, shining as she looked at Lexa.

“Wow,” Lexa said quietly, before clearing her throat. “I mean—wow.”

Clarke giggled again, shaking her head as she wrapped her arms around Lexa’s neck.. “You’re so smooth,” she said.

“I got you to kiss me, didn’t I?” Lexa asked, wiggling her eyebrows and tightening her hold on the other girl. She grinned, brushing her nose against Clarke’s before leaning in and giving the other girl another soft kiss, much like the first one they had shared only moments ago.

“Oh please, you were falling all over yourself when we first met,” Clarke said, chuckling when Lexa pulled away. “Not very coordinated for a professional athlete.”

“Excuse me, the Commander is the epitome of a professional athlete,” Lexa said, grinning. “That whole dorky thing was all a part of my elaborate plan to get you to fall for me.”

“Oh, the Commander’s got moves, huh?” Clarke teased, taking a few steps back.

“Mockery is not the product of a strong mind, Clarke,” Lexa responded, trying to keep a straight face, but the slight twitch of her mouth gave her away.

Clarke just laughed, taking another few steps away and quirking her eyebrow, a teasing glint in her eyes. Lexa took a step as Clarke took another, their eyes locked onto one another’s before Clarke suddenly turned and ran, Lexa following just as quickly. Lexa could hear Clarke’s laughter echoing in front of them, and she couldn’t help but let her own happy laughter escape as she chased the other girl down the beach.

Clarke was surprisingly fast, but Lexa was a professional athlete, and caught up to the other girl quickly, wrapping her arms around Clarke’s waist from behind and picking her up, spinning the two of them around. Laughter filled the air, and Lexa put Clarke down when the giggling subsided only to be met with the other girl’s lips once more, pulling her closer as she felt Clarke’s hands wrap around her neck.

Lexa relaxed into the kiss, and she felt Clarke smile against her lips, before the other girl broke it with a grin. She opened her mouth to ask Clarke what she was smiling about, but abruptly closed her mouth and looked up when she felt something wet drop on her face. Lexa was surprised to see that it was starting to rain, the pink and grey skies they were walking along had changed to just grey, rainclouds forming above them. She looked back down to meet Clarke’s grinning face, and the other girl just laughed again before reaching down and lacing her fingers with Lexa’s before taking off down the beach, running in the direction they had come.

The skies suddenly seemed to open up, and the rain came down hard as the two ran back to the car, laughing and smiling the whole way. By the time Lexa opened the passenger door for Clarke and then got in the driver’s seat, they were both soaked, their clothes sticking to them.

“So I definitely didn’t see that rain coming,” Lexa said, reaching behind her and grabbing the blanket she kept in her back seat. She leaned over the middle console and wrapped the blanket around Clarke, pulling the ends together before gently moving strands of blonde hair stuck to the other girl’s cheek behind her ear.

“Well, you were pretty busy doing something else,” Clarke responded, grinning.

Lexa just laughed, before starting the car and cranking up the heater. “I guess that’s our cue to head home,” she said, smiling at the other girl.

Clarke just nodded her head, wrapping the blanket around herself a little tighter as Lexa pulled out of the space. On their way again, Lexa felt Clarke’s hand slip into her own, and she grinned, bringing the other girl’s hand up to her mouth and giving it a soft kiss. And that’s how they drove all the way back to Clarke’s house, with their hands intertwined, letting the music from the radio wash over them as the rain pelted against the car outside.

* *

“I had a wonderful time,” Clarke said, leaning against the pillar that held up the front porch hangover. Lexa had driven Clarke back and insisted on walking her to the door, and Clarke wasn’t about to argue—she was fully expecting a good night kiss.

“Yeah?” Lexa asked, grinning.

Clarke nodded slowly, reaching out and grabbing both of Lexa’s hands in her own before pulling the girl closer. Lexa closed the gap between them, smiling at Clarke as she leaned in before their lips met again in a soft kiss, one that Clarke reveled in. She sighed lightly as Lexa pulled back, before opening her eyes.

“I’ll call you later,” Lexa said, walking backwards slowly down the steps into the rain, standing on the pathway.

“Make sure you do,” Clarke responded, smiling.

Lexa just laughed, nodding her head before making her way down the pathway to her car. Clarke stayed under the overhead until she saw Lexa’s car disappear around the corner. She squealed—actually, legitimately, squealed as she thought about the kiss they had just shared—before turning around and unlocking the door, closing it shut and leaning her back against it.

“Clarke?” she heard, and she opened her eyes to meet the stares of Octavia and Raven, who were sitting on the couch, sharing a bowl of popcorn with the TV on.

“Why are you all wet?” “Was your date out in the rain?”

Clarke just laughed before pushing herself off the door, walking over and dropping a kiss on the top of Octavia and Raven’s head.

Raven and Octavia took in their best friend’s appearance, before looking at each other and having a silent conversation.

“We’re having a Harry Potter marathon,” Raven said finally.

“Go get out of those wet clothes and then come join us,” Octavia added.

Clarke nodded, smile still stretched across her face as she turned and walked up the stairs.

“But we expect to hear all about your date after Clarke!” she heard Raven yell up the stairs.

Clarke just chuckled, her phone buzzing as she reached the top landing.

Lexa Woods: I had a great time tonight Clarke. I’ll call you tomorrow? I can show you some more of the Commander’s smooth moves.

Lexa Woods: Ahh, immediate regret from referring to myself in the third person.

Lexa Woods: …please don’t say no to a second date.

Clarke grinned to herself, laughing before sending off a reply.

Lexa was such a dork.

Yeah, there would definitely be a second date.

Chapter Text

@OctaviaBlake: Orlando, we’re coming for you soon!!! Also, how old is too old to dress up for Harry Potter world? Asking for a friend…#GoGoGryffindor

@TobinHeath: @OctaviaBlake apparently we’ll be “too busy” to go to Harry Potter world……that’s what my wife said anyways……#skeptical #AlexMorganHeath4Slytherin

@AlexMorgan13: @OctaviaBlake @TobinHeath we ARE going to be too busy! Now go pack Kellan’s suitcase. #dontforgetthesunscreen #youwishyouwereinslytherin

@TobinHeath: @OctaviaBlake @AlexMorgan13 we don’t leave for another three days! #hufflepuffiswhereitsat

@LexaWoods: @TobinHeath @AlexMorgan13 @OctaviaBlake leave the rookie out of your lover’s quarrel, Morgan-Heaths. Also Toby, #witbeyondmeasure

@TobinHeath: @OctaviaBlake @AlexMorgan13 @LexaWoods you’re not cool. And don’t call me Toby, Lexa T-REXA.

@AlexMorgan13: @LexaWoods @TobinHeath @OctaviaBlake Alexandria Woods you promised me a skype date. I BETTER SEE YOU ONLINE IN TEN MINUTES.

@LexaWoods: @TobinHeath @AlexMorgan13 @OctaviaBlake …yes mom…

@OctaviaBlake: @LexaWoods @TobinHeath @AlexMorgan13 my role models, ladies and gentlemen #welcometotheuswnt #teamoftotalprofessionals

* *

“Princess! Let’s go!”

Clarke rolled her eyes, grabbing her jacket and purse from her bed.

“Clarke! I’m hungry!”

“Just hold on Bell, geez,” Clarke called out, exiting her room and walking quickly down the stairs. She got to the bottom step, rolling her eyes again at the smirk on Bellamy’s face. “You know for someone who works with kids, you’re not very patient.”

“I work with college students, Clarke. Not kids,” Bellamy replied, opening the door and stepping aside to let Clarke through the doorway. “And I didn’t get to eat breakfast this morning. I’m starving.”

“God forbid you miss a meal,” Clarke said, rolling her eyes again. But there was a smile on her face as she got into the car, fiddling with the radio once Bellamy started the engine. They rode in silence for a few minutes, the radio playing a mellow song.

“Missed you, Princess,” Bellamy said, breaking the silence.

Clarke turned her head to look at Bellamy. She smiled, reaching over and punching him on the arm lightly as he grinned and chuckled. That chuckle made Clarke laugh too, feeling comfortable and at home.

If Octavia and Raven were Clarke’s best friends in the entire world, Bellamy was her partner in crime. When Clarke had met Octavia and Raven, she had also met Bellamy who, despite being a couple of years older than the three of them, never thought it was uncool or lame to hang out with them. The Blake siblings loved each other and weren’t afraid to show it, and when Clarke had been added into the group Bellamy never hesitated to extend the same care and devotion to Clarke that he gave to his actual sister.

Over the years, Bellamy was a strong, sturdy force in Clarke’s life—he was the person she turned to whenever she was feeling overwhelmed with school, work, and just life in general. The two of them were the de facto mom and dad of their group of friends, and their close friendship meant most of the time they were in sync. But they were also both very strong-willed, which meant that when they disagreed, they really butted heads. There have been some fights of epic proportions, but the two of them always made up and came back stronger, and Clarke was grateful that Bellamy and her have remained close for all of these years.

“I missed you too, Bell,” Clarke said, grinning.

Bellamy hummed along to the radio, bopping his head to the beat as Clarke watched the view change through the window. They rode the rest of the way to the restaurant like that, and as Bellamy pulled into a parking space Clarke felt herself becoming more excited at their mini lunch reunion.

“Everyone’s already here because somebody took a long time to get ready,” Bellamy teased as he turned the engine off.

“Whatever,” Clarke grumbled. “Wait, Bell,” she said, putting her hand on his arm to get his attention before he got out of the car. “Before we get pulled into the crazy that are our friends…I want to—I mean…”

Bellamy grinned, leaning back into his seat and turning to face her. “You want to tell me about your new girlfriend,” he teased. “I was wondering when you were going to say something.”

“Not my girlfriend,” Clarke said, grinning.

“Yet,” Bellamy said in a singsong voice, drawing out the word.

Clarke laughed, shaking her head. Of course Bellamy would know what she was trying to say. She wasn’t sure why she had trouble starting the conversation—maybe it was because the last time she met someone she thought she could be serious about, it blew up in her face. Bellamy was there for all of it—the cliché meet cute (at a coffee shop of all places, and thinking back on it she can only laugh about how ridiculously cliché it all was), the happiness Clarke felt in the beginning of the relationship, how hard she had fallen in the middle of it, and then the devastating end that had left Clarke heartbroken for months.

“It was one date,” Clarke pointed out, leaning her head back against the headrest.

“But it was one hell of a date,” Bellamy said, grinning.

Clarke laughed again, turning her head to look at her best friend. “It was one hell of a date,” she repeated, nodding her head. “Bell, she’s so amazing. There are so many different layers to her…and it’s like, at first I thought it would be super complicated to get to know her. But the more I spend time with her, and talk to her…it just makes me want to know more.” She shook her head, smiling at the thought of the adorable, awkward, charming soccer player who she had been talking to nonstop since their date a few days ago. “I’m really excited to learn about every single one of her layers.” She made a face, eyebrows scrunching together. “Ew, that was a weird way to say it.”

Bellamy laughed, and Clarke reached out to punch him lightly on the arm once more. “Stop laughing at me, I’m trying to explain my feelings,” she said, though she had a smile on her face.

Bellamy’s laugh reminded her of when they were in high school, and the two of them would take late night drives to get milkshakes at whatever drive thru was open. While Octavia was busy with soccer and Raven was working at the auto shop downtown, the two of them would waste the summer days and nights away listening to music, reading books and watching movies, and discussing everything and anything.

But what Clarke thought was equally important was the time they spent not talking, simply taking in the moment. She would never and will never tire of Octavia and Raven—they were her best friends, her sisters, her idols all in one; they made her brave—but Bellamy was whose presence brought her strength. The type of friend who didn’t need to fill the silence with noise.

“Clarke, you know you don’t have to explain yourself to me, right?” Bellamy asked softly, patting her on the leg. “You’re a big girl, you can make your own decisions. If you say Lexa is amazing, then Lexa is amazing.” He smiled at her, the charming one that all the girls in high school (and then college) used to swoon over, but to Clarke it just reminded her of home—almost like her safety net. “But I do want to meet her.”

“Duh,” Clarke said, reaching out to open the door. She stepped out of the car and closed the door as Bellamy did the same on his side, the two of them facing each other over the top of the car.

“So you think you can get my World Cup shirt autographed?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

Clarke just laughed, shaking her head as the two of them started to walk towards the restaurant where their friends were waiting.

“You know that you could just ask your sister, right?” she asked. She bumped his shoulder with her own as he placed his hands in his pockets.

“Yeah, but what’s the point of you having a famous girlfriend if you can’t even get me an autograph?” he teased.

Clarke scoffed before pausing in her steps, and then jumped on his back, catching a piggyback ride the rest of the way to the entrance.

“Here’s our stop, Princess,” Bellamy said, rolling his eyes as they made it to the door.

“Thanks Bell,” she said, hopping off his back and swinging the door open, walking through the doorway with Bellamy right behind her.

“Yo! Griff! GRIFF! CLARKE!” they heard, the sound obnoxiously loud for the restaurant they were standing in.

They turned their heads and spotted their friends standing up, waving their arms around and making dramatic gestures as if they weren’t seated at a table 30 feet from the entrance.

Clarke rolled her eyes as she heard Bellamy chuckle, and the two made their way over to the table, shushing their friends as they cheered once they reached the table.

“You guys took forever to get here,” Jasper whined.

“They literally got here ten minutes after us,” Monty said, smiling as Clarke took the empty seat next to him and pulled him into a hug. “Hi Clarke,” he said, returning the embrace.

“Monty, love of my life, I missed you so much!” Clarke exclaimed, squeezing him a little harder before placing a smacking kiss on his cheek. “You got cuter while I was away!”

Monty’s cheeks turned a light shade of red as Miller threw an arm around the other boy, grinning and ruffling his hair a bit.

“What about me, Clarke? Did I get cuter?” Raven asked from her spot in between Jasper and Octavia, batting her eyelashes exaggeratedly.

“You know you’re the girl of my dreams, Raven,” Clarke said, sending her best friend a wink.

“Oh shucks, you say the sweetest things,” Raven said, fanning herself with her hand.

“I think you got cuter too, Raven!” Jasper piped up, wiggling his eyebrows.

“I’m still not dating you, babe,” Raven responded as the rest of the table laughed.

“Ok, you delinquents, settle down,” Bellamy said, putting an arm around Octavia’s shoulders and giving her a one-armed hug.

“Yes sir,” a chorus of voices rang out, and Clarke laughed as it was Bellamy’s turn to roll his eyes.

She had really missed her friends.

* *

“Holy shit! I’m the best soccer player in the world! Holy shit! Everyone bow before me!”

“Jasper, nobody is going to bow and you still suck at soccer,” Raven called from where she was sitting on the bench, Clarke seated on the top of the table behind the other girl. Raven was leaned back in between Clarke’s legs, resting her weight against the doctor. The group of friends had gone to the park after their lunch, and Bellamy had pulled a soccer ball out of his car, which had turned into a pick up game. Clarke and Raven were sitting at one of the wooden tables set up for picnics, cheering their friends on.

“Jasper, you literally picked up the ball and threw it into the net,” Monty said, picking the ball up and tossing it to Bellamy.

“Yeah well, O wasn’t letting me kick it past her!” Jasper replied, throwing his hands up into the air.

“Because we’re playing soccer idiot,” Octavia said, rolling her eyes.

“Who thought it was a good idea to play soccer with the professional soccer player?” Miller asked, shaking his head.

Bellamy just dropped the ball on the ground again, rolling his eyes as the game started back up again, Clarke and Raven watching and throwing out comments, laughing at the trash talk between the two teams.

“So when’s your next date with the Commander?” Raven asked, tapping a beat against Clarke’s knee as she rested her arms on top of the doctor’s legs, leaning her head back against Clarke’s stomach.

Clarke continued to braid Raven’s hair, humming slightly. “I’m not sure,” she replied. “We haven’t set anything up yet. But we’ve been texting for the past few days.” She chuckled, thinking about her ongoing conversation with Lexa. “She’s really, really great Rae.”

“So you’ve said,” Raven said, and Clarke couldn’t see it, but her best friend had a soft smile on her face. “I’m really happy for you, Griff.” She patted Clarke on the knee a few times. “Which is why you should get your ass in gear and ask her out on another date.”

“I will! I’m just…working up to it,” Clarke said, deftly finishing the braid and running her fingers through Raven’s hair, pulling it up into a ponytail. “Our first date was really great, so I want to take her somewhere awesome too.”

“You know where you should take her?” Raven asked, tilting her head back to lock eyes with Clarke.

“Hmm?” Clarke asked, smiling down at her friend.

“To same old,” Raven said. “We haven’t been there in a long time but if I recall correctly, that place had a certain kind of magic to it.”

“Same old?” Clarke repeated, thinking about their old high school hang out. Same old wasn’t the official name, but they found themselves there so often on a Friday night that they referred to it as “the same old”. She grinned, thinking of all the fond memories she’s had there. “That’s a great idea!” She let out a laugh before bending down, placing a kiss on Raven’s forehead. “You’re always saving me, you know Reyes?”

“I’ll be here all week, folks,” Raven responded, humming happily before turning her attention back to the soccer game. The two sat in silence for a little bit, watching Octavia weave through the boys and easily score a goal. The two laughed and cheered as Octavia hopped on her brother’s back, the two of them spreading their arms out and doing a victory lap around the small field.

“So are you gonna do it?” Raven asked.

“Do what?” Clarke asked, looking down at her friend.

“Call Lexa and ask her out!” Raven responded, resuming her tapping on Clarke’s knee.

“What, like right now?”

“No time like the present, Griffin!” Raven exclaimed. She reached out for her cane, standing up and stretching her arm. “I’m gonna get closer to the action and help Octavia talk shit to Jasper,” she said, winking at the doctor before walking away, laughing as Octavia picked her up and spun her around once she reached the group.

Clarke watched her friends for a few more seconds before rummaging through her bag next to her, pulling out her phone. She scrolled through her contacts, taking a deep breathe before reaching Lexa’s info and hitting the call button. The phone rang a few times before Lexa picked up.

“Hello?”

“Hi Lexa! It’s Clarke,” she said, rolling her eyes at herself. Of course Lexa knew who it was, she had caller ID.

“Can you please hold on a second, Clarke?” Lexa asked, and Clarke voiced her agreement, tapping her fingers on the tabletop as she waited. She heard muffled voices, some laughter and then silence. “Sorry about that. What’s up?”

“No worries,” Clarke said, smiling. “And I was wondering if you were free this Friday?”

* *

“…and then, mommy said Simba’s treats look like cookies but they’re not Hallie cookies,” the little girl rambled, and Lexa had to stifle her laughter as the two other little girls whose faces filled the Skype boxes nodded along to the story, a serious look on their faces. “And then we went to the park and mama and I played soccer!”

Lexa watched as Chloe O’Hara-Solo’s eyes lit up, a smile taking over her face. “I played soccer too! Mommy let me wear her gloves!” she said, leaning closer to the computer camera.

“I skated yesterday!” Kellan Morgan-Heath chimed in from her end, throwing her hands up into the air in celebration.

“Tobin!” Lexa heard, and she saw Alex enter the frame, picking up her daughter and sitting in front of the computer, placing Kellan on her lap. “I said no skateboarding until she’s at least seven!”

“You try saying no to those puppy eyes, Al!” Lexa heard Tobin reply to her wife somewhere out of frame. “Besides, Ashlyn let Hallie skateboard the other day so I thought it would be fine to take Kellan out!”

“Ash!” Lexa saw Ali appear on the screen behind Hallie, picking her daughter up as well before sitting down. “You let Hallie go skateboarding?!” she yelled.

“What? No! Of course not! You said not to!” Ash said, appearing behind her wife and daughter. “Snitches get stiches, Toby!” she yelled into the camera.

“Mommy, can I skate?” Chloe piped up, and Lexa heard Kelley and Hope answer at the same time.

“Yes.” “No.”

Lexa shook her head as Kelley appeared on the screen, picking up Chloe and handing her to Hope. “Go with your momma, baby squirrel,” Kelley said, bopping Chloe on the nose lightly as the little girl giggled. “You can have some cookies.”

“Hallie cookies?” Hallie asked, leaning closer to the camera from her spot on Ali’s lap.

“Cookies!” Kellan yelled, clapping her hands. “Auntie Rexa! You gots cookies?”

Lexa just laughed as Ali and Alex handed their daughters over to their wives, the both of them shaking their heads as the Kellan and Hallie continued to ask for sweets.

“Great, now Kellan definitely won’t be taking a nap,” Alex sighed.

“I’m just gonna have Hope run around with Chlo in the backyard until she passes out,” Kelley commented.

“I’ll let Ash deal with Hal when she comes down from that sugar high,” Ali said. “Why did we let our children talk to Lexa before nap time?”

“Well, you guys were the one’s who insisted on Skyping!” Lexa exclaimed, leaning back in her chair.

“Because you went on a date with the doc days ago and we still haven’t heard anything about it!” Alex exclaimed, her voice echoing loud and clear through Lexa’s computer speakers.

“Where did you go?”

“What did you do?”

“Did you guys kiss?”

“Is she your girlfriend?”

“Ok, slow down, crazies,” Lexa said, holding her hands up in front of her. “You know, I think I’d rather continue talking to your kids…”

“Oh, shut up Commander,” Kelley said.

“We’ve been patient!” Alex added. “You said you would share!”

“We want details!” Ali chimed in. “Let’s just start with a general overview. How was the date?”

Lexa sighed, shaking her head. But she wasn’t really annoyed—her teammates cared about her, and she knew they had her best interests at heart. The fact that they cared so much about her personal life was something she would never take for granted. She had gained a whole second family the day she had joined the senior national team, and sometimes she thought that she got the better end of the deal—she was embraced by these women immediately—these strong, hard working, amazing women.

When she joined the team in her teens, she had only been a sophomore in college. These women helped Lexa grow up during the years she was just discovering who she really was as a person, and taught her how to be comfortable in her own skin. They were around during those transition years from teenager to adult, and all of them had helped influence Lexa for the better. They provided her with real life role models that she could look up to, and (Lexa still found this to be true) the kind of person she could aspire to be.

“The date was amazing,” Lexa replied finally, grinning as she remembered Clarke’s response to the impromptu food truck and walk on the beach. “We didn’t actually end up going to the restaurant.”

“Lexa! You took the girl out to dinner though, right?” Kelley asked, Ali and Alex leaning forward in their chairs.

“Yes, moms,” Lexa answered, rolling her eyes. “We actually ended up going to a food truck. And then we went for a walk on the beach.”

“The beach in Seattle?” Ali asked, raising an eyebrow in question. “Wow. You were lucky there was no rain.”

“It did rain,” Lexa said, smiling. “We got soaked.”

“There’s a joke in there, somewhere,” Kelley chimed in, while the other girls chuckled.

“So despite the rain, the date was a success?” Alex asked. “Did you walk her to the door? Did you kiss her on the front porch?”

Lexa chuckled, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair. “Oh, so you want me to skip to the end of the date? I guess you don’t want to hear about when Clarke kissed me on the beach,” she said, feigning nonchalance.

“What?!” “Kiss on the beach?!” “Lexa Woods, you better start talking right now!”

Lexa opened her mouth to respond, but was cut off as her phone rang. She looked down at her phone sitting on the table next to her computer, smiling when she saw Clarke’s name on the screen. She held her hand up towards the computer screen, picking up her phone and hitting accept.

“Hello?” she answered.

“Did you just shush us?” “Who is that?” “Is that Clarke?!”

“Hi Lexa! It’s Clarke,” she heard, smiling as she heard Clarke’s voice.

“What’s happening?” “Is she asking you on another date?” “You still need to tell us about the kiss!”

“Can you please hold on a second, Clarke?” she asked, before attempting to cover the end of her phone. Lexa reached over, hitting the mute button on her keyboard. She watched as Alex realized they had been muted, and the older woman crossed her arms, scowling. Kelley and Ali quickly followed, and Lexa smirked, letting out a laugh as she brought the phone back up to her ear. “Sorry about that. What’s up?” she asked.

“No worries,” she heard Clarke say. “And I was wondering if you were free this Friday?”

Lexa smiled again, feeling those butterflies in her stomach that always seemed to appear whenever Clarke was involved.

“I am, actually,” she answered. “We don’t leave for Orlando until Monday.”

“Great! That’s great,” Clarke said, and Lexa smiled as the other girl paused. “I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me Friday night?”

“I would really like that,” Lexa said, her eyes catching something on the computer screen. She rolled her eyes at the sight of Ali, Alex and Kelley all holding up pieces of paper with question marks drawn on them.

“Awesome! I’ll pick you up at seven. Is that ok?” Clarke asked.

Lexa nodded her head, before realizing Clarke couldn’t see her. “That sounds great, Clarke,” she said. “I look forward to this Friday.”

“Great! Make sure you bring a sweater,” Clarke said.

Lexa scoffed. “The Commander doesn’t get cold, Clarke,” she said, and immediately regretted it. “Oh my—please ignore that. Don’t—I don’t—I didn’t mean to say that.”

Lexa heard Clarke let out a peal of laughter, and she smiled despite her lack of brain to mouth filter whenever she was talking to the blonde doctor. She heard people talking in the background, and thought she could make out Raven’s distinct yell.

“Oh sh—Lexa? I’m sorry, I have to go,” Clarke said hurriedly. “My friends are being idiots and thought it would be a good idea to go down the park slide made for children. I kind of have to go take care of this.”

“No problem,” Lexa said, chuckling.

“I’ll text you later?” Clarke asked.

“Yes please,” Lexa responded. “Bye, Clarke.”

“Bye Lexa,” she heard. “Stop pulling—”

Lexa looked at her phone, seeing that the call was disconnected. She chuckled again, before turning back to her computer screen and hitting the sound button again. Alex, Ali and Kelley’s laughter filled the air.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“Do you often refer to yourself in the third person, Commander?” Kelley asked, snickering.

“Your mic was still on,” Ali explained, smirking at the younger soccer player.

Lexa just groaned until their laughter died down.

“So, another date, huh?” Alex asked, wiggling her eyebrows.

“Ugh, you guys are the worst,” Lexa said, slouching down in her seat.

“You love us,” Kelley said.

“Now finish telling us about your first date!” Ali added.

Lexa sighed, knowing her teammates wouldn’t let her go until she told them all about her and Clarke’s first date. She sat up a little straighter, before launching into her story.

“Well, when I first got to her house to pick her up I was really nervous, and Raven answered the door…”

* *

“Nona, I really don’t need any money,” Lexa said, putting the cash back on the table. “But thank you.”

“How are you going to pay for food?” Indra asked, furrowing her eyebrows. She pushed the money back towards Lexa. “Take the money.”

“Nona, really—”

The doorbell cut off Lexa’s sentence, and she sighed in relief as her grandma left the kitchen to answer the door.

“Clarke,” she heard her grandmother say, and she quickly looked down at her watch to see that while she had been arguing with her grandmother about taking her money it had reached seven o’clock. She quickly stuffed her wallet and phone in her pockets, exiting the kitchen and walking to the front door.

“Hi Clarke,” she said, taking in the other girl’s appearance in the front doorway.

Clarke was dressed in a simple pair of jeans and a Berkeley hoodie, and looked just as beautiful as their first date. “You look great,” Lexa said, stepping closer next to her grandma.

“Thanks,” Clarke said, grinning. “I like your sweater.”

Lexa looked down at her U.S. Soccer sweater and shrugged. “Nona, we’re going to leave now,” she said, turning to her grandma.

Indra nodded her head. “Alexandria, that money better not be sitting on that table when I get back to the kitchen.”

She heard Clarke stifle her laughter as Lexa nodded her head, clearing her throat. Se leaned forward and gave her grandma a kiss on the cheek. “Bye Nona,” she said quickly, exiting the house and grabbing Clarke’s hand, pulling her down the walkway.

“Bye, Indra!” she heard Clarke say behind her.

She turned her head to see her grandma nodding her head at the both of them, and she quickly reached Clarke’s car parked in front of the house. She raced to the driver’s side door, opening it as Clarke let out a laugh.

“So chivalrous, even when you’re not the one driving,” Clarke teased, getting into the driver’s side.

Lexa just shrugged, grinning. “I do what I can,” she replied, before closing the door and walking quickly to the other side, sliding into the car and shutting her own door. “We should get out of here. That money is definitely still sitting on the kitchen table.” She smiled as Clarke laughed again, the other girl turning to face forward and starting the car.

“What a rebel you are,” Clarke teased, pulling away from the curb.

“You joke, but I actually am,” Lexa said, keeping a serious look on her face as she nodded. “Nona doesn’t take no for an answer when it comes to spoiling her grandkids.”

Clarke just laughed again, nodding her head. “Somehow, I very much believe that,” she replied. “It’s really great how close you are to your grandparents.”

“I don’t want to exaggerate, but they’re literally the best people in the entire world,” Lexa said, grinning. The smile on her face grew as Clarke’s laughter filled the car, and she felt a sense of pride at making Clarke laugh once more. She didn’t think of herself as particularly funny—she had a dry sense of humor most of the time, often using sarcasm that not everyone thought was funny. But Clarke never gave her a pity laugh—she actually found Lexa funny, and the soccer player reveled in the way she could get Clarke to laugh often.

Clarke reached out, turning the radio up as they continued on their way. Lexa liked the way Clarke hummed along to the song, and found herself joining in—something she didn’t often do. She saw Clarke briefly look at her with a smile on her face, and then the blonde doctor was singing, her voice growing louder.

“I don’t mind spending every day, out on your corner in the pouring rain,” Clarke sang, bopping her head along to the beat.

Lexa let out a laugh. “Of course you can sing too,” she said, shaking her head.

Clarke just sang louder in response, poking Lexa in the leg until the soccer player finally caught on to what the other girl wanted.

“Look for the girl with the broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay awhile,” Clarke’s voice rang out.

She poked Lexa once more, and the soccer player let out a sigh before joining in, their voices filling the car. She rolled her eyes when Clarke let out a small cheer when she heard it, but nevertheless the smile remained on her face.

“And she wiiiiill be looooved, and she wiiiill be loooooved.”

* *

“Ok, so you stay right here,” Clarke said, opening her door and hopping down from her seat. “Right there.”

Lexa quirked her eyebrow, but nodded, and Clarke grinned, walking behind the car and opening the trunk.

She was excited.

Clarke had been looking forward to this date since Lexa had said yes, and she just knew that Lexa would appreciate what this place meant to her.

Drive-in movie theaters were far and few between, but Clarke had always had a soft spot for them—she can remember when she was little, her dad would take Clarke and Abby to the drive-in, parking the car so the trunk would be facing the large screen. They would load the trunk with blankets and pillows, eating pizza before the movie and once the lights dimmed, they would open the top hatch of the trunk door and settle back into the pillows and blankets, huddling together and watching a movie. Once Clarke and her friends were old enough to drive, they frequented the drive-in, keeping the Griffin family tradition alive. Octavia, Raven and Clarke spent many nights huddled together in the trunk of Raven’s old CRV, warm and comfortable surrounded by pillows and blankets and each other.

Clarke climbed into the trunk, reaching for the pile of blankets and pillows she had stashed in the back. She spread out the blanket, arranging the pillows and adding blankets to the pile, leaving one draped along the back seat so they could put it over their laps during the movie. She removed the cooler and hot bag, taking out drinks and the box of pizza she had brought with her. Finally, she climbed back out of the trunk and ran over to the passenger side, opening the door.

“Ok! All ready,” she said, grinning at Lexa’s questioning gaze.

“You do know that you were literally right behind me, right?” Lexa asked, smiling. “I could have helped you spread out those blankets.”

“No way, you planned the first date, I’ve got this one,” Clarke said, lacing their fingers together and pulling Lexa towards the trunk. She climbed into the trunk once more, Lexa climbing in next to her as they sat next to each other. Clarke handed Lexa a plate with pizza on it before grabbing her own, smiling as the other girl took a bite.

“You know, I’ve never been to a drive-in movie theater,” Lexa said, her green eyes shining. “I’ve always wanted to go though. I’m really excited.”

Clarke grinned, taking a bite of her own pizza before responding. “We used to come here all the time in high school,” she said. “Almost every weekend. My dad loved going to the drive-in when I was little, and I guess he passed that love down to me.”

“That’s really great, Clarke,” Lexa said, putting her hand over Clarke’s. The two shared a smile, and Clarke couldn’t help it—she leaned over and placed a soft kiss on Lexa’s cheek.

You’re really great,” Clarke said, and she felt butterflies in her stomach at the sight of Lexa’s grin, a faint blush on her face. “Anyways, I just wanted to share this with you, since you took me to one of your favorite places for our first date.”

“I really like learning new things about you,” Lexa said softly, and Clarke smiled at the bashful look on the soccer player’s face.

Their meal passed with more conversation, filled with laughter and stories, and learning more about each other. Clarke saw the lights outside of the car dim, and she paused in her story as she looked at her father’s watch that rested on her wrist.

“The movies gonna start in about five minutes,” she said.

“Should we rearrange some of these pillows?” Lexa asked, and Clarke nodded her head. The two moved around until they were both comfortable, leaning back against the back seats, and Clarke threw a blanket over them. But she must have forgotten to pack a few of the blankets because she was still cold, shivering slightly.

“Are you cold?” Lexa asked, and Clarke turned her head to meet the other girl’s gaze.

“A little bit,” she admitted. “But it’s ok.”

“Here, scoot forward a bit?” Lexa asked, and Clarke moved forward, closer to the trunk door. She heard Lexa rustling behind her before warm hands gripped her waist, pulling her backwards. She scooted back, letting Lexa’s hands guide her until her she was sitting between Lexa’s legs, her back meeting Lexa’s front. Clarke leaned back, her head leaning against Lexa’s collarbone, the other girl’s chin resting on top of Clarke’s shoulder. She felt Lexa’s arms wrap around her, and she snuggled back into the soccer player’s chest, relishing in the warmth that surrounded her as Lexa draped the blanket over them.

“Better?” Lexa asked softly, and Clarke felt the other girl’s breathe on her ear.

Clarke turned her head slightly, meeting Lexa’s gaze. She saw Lexa’s eyes drop down to her lips, and she leaned closer. “Better,” she said just as quietly, before leaning forward and closing the gap between them.

Her lips met Lexa’s softly, reminiscent of their first kiss, before she felt Lexa take her bottom lip between her own. She let Lexa control the pace of the kiss at first, reveling in the feeling of the other girl’s lips against her own. Clarke reached her hand up and cupped Lexa’s cheek, rubbing it gently before trying to turn her body to get a better angle. They broke apart as Clarke readjusted herself, completely facing Lexa before sitting back down, straddling the other girl as she threaded her fingers through Lexa’s hair. She dove back in with more insistence, connecting their lips again. She felt Lexa open her mouth slightly, and she took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, cupping the other girl’s cheek once more. She felt Lexa’s hands creep under her sweater, grazing the skin above her jeans and couldn’t help the moan that escaped her at the feeling of Lexa’s warm hands on her waist.

Suddenly the car was filled with noise, startling the two of them apart. Clarke looked up, her hands still cupping Lexa’s face, and turned her head to see the opening credits of the movie on the large screen. She looked back at Lexa, whose mouth was still slightly open, face flushed and green eyes shimmering. She turned her head to see the lights outside had been turned off, and she laughed as she took in the state of the windows. Lexa followed Clarke’s gaze and let out a laugh of her own, the two of them chuckling at the sight of the fogged up windows.

“I feel like I’m back in high school,” Clarke said, chuckling.

“You take all your dates to the drive-in theater and make out with them in the back of your car?” Lexa asked, laughing breathlessly.

Clarke’s gaze softened once more, leaning her forehead against the other girl’s. “No, just you,” she said softly. She placed another gentle kiss on Lexa’s lips before pulling back, readjusting until she was sitting in between the soccer player’s legs again, her back to Lexa’s chest.

The other girl’s arms wrapped around her from behind once more, and she smiled as she felt Lexa’s lips leave a lingering kiss on her cheek. Clarke reached down, placing her hands on top of Lexa’s that were resting on her stomach, and laced their fingers together.

“How did you know I love black and white movies?” Lexa whispered in her ear as the opening scene of Casa Blanca began on the screen.

Clarke just shrugged, smiling to herself. “Lucky guess,” she whispered back. “Also, Octavia said you made her watch multiple Humphrey Bogart movies on the plane ride home.”

Lexa chuckled, and Clarke felt the other girl rest her chin on Clarke’s shoulder once more. She snuggled back into Lexa, letting out a happy sigh as they settled in to watch the movie.

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake named the conversation “COMMANDER BADASS”

Octavia Blake: Are we meeting at the park or the gym tomorrow?

Lexa Woods: Park. We’ll just skip the weights and work on circuits tomorrow.

Octavia Blake: Sure you don’t want to finish early so you can spend time with Claaaaarke?

Lexa Woods: Shut up.

Octavia Blake: You two have major heart eyes going on, I’m just saying.

Lexa Woods: We’re not talking about this. She’s your best friend. I’m your teammate. It’s weird.

Octavia Blake named the conversation “COMMANDER HEART EYES”

Octavia Blake: Whatever, dude. Anyways, my mom wants to meet Indra and Gustus.

Lexa Woods: Why?

Octavia Blake: She said so they could watch the next game together. She’s having Abby and Kane over when we play against Ireland.

Lexa Woods: Actually that’s…a good idea. My grandma recently broke her tv doing jujitsu in the living room…

Octavia Blake: You know that your grandma is a badass, right?

Lexa Woods: I know.

Octavia Blake: Anyways, you and your grandparents are cordially invited to the Blake/Griffin household for dinner tomorrow. Bring Anya too.

Lexa Woods: Your mom really doesn’t have to do all that.

Octavia Blake: Shut up. It’s no trouble. She wants to. Besides, Claaaarke will be there.

Lexa Woods: See ya then, kid.

Octavia Blake named the conversation “COMMANDER WHIPPED”

Octavia Blake: …I’m literally like two years younger than you.

Lexa Woods: Semantics.

Lexa Woods: …also, I see what you’re doing. Stop.

Octavia Blake named the conversation “CLEXA IS MY OTP”

Lexa Woods: …

Lexa Woods: I’m not even going to ask.

Octavia Blake: It’s best if you don’t.

* *

“Oh my god, that feels so—uhh—good, Clarke. Please don’t stop.”

“I won’t.”

“Ooooh, right there. Yes, yes—ahhhh.”

“How does this feel?”

“You have magic hands, you know?”

Raven let out another groan, and Clarke just chuckled and shook her head, continuing her ministrations on the other girl’s leg.

“You know I don’t mind doing this, Rae,” Clarke said, repositioning Raven’s leg before hovering over it again, massaging out the muscles where she knew was sore from wearing the brace. “You can ask me more often.”

Raven sighed, nodding her head. “I know, babe. I just don’t want to…you know, be a burden or whatever,” she said. She closed her eyes, sighing in relief as the soreness faded from her thigh where Clarke was kneading the flesh. “I’m dealing with it. You shouldn’t have to worry about me.”

Clarke paused, waiting until Raven had opened her eyes again before speaking. Her blue eyes bore into Raven’s brown ones, a serious expression on her face. “Raven, you’re never a burden,” she said. “I’d pick you first. Every single time.”

Raven smiled, her eyes suspiciously shiny as Clarke repositioned her self so she could stretch out the limb. “Of course you would, I’m awesome,” Raven joked.

Clarke had enough sense to just hum in response, ignoring Raven’s watery smile, knowing bringing attention to her friend’s emotional response to what Clarke had said would just embarrass Raven. She finished up with the massage, patting Raven’s leg gently with a smile before laying down next to the other girl.

“Thanks, Clarke,” Raven said, turning her head.

Clarke nodded her head, smiling. She scooted closer, and Raven lifted her arm, allowing Clarke to snuggle up to her best friend, resting her head on Raven’s shoulder.

“Anytime, Rae,” she responded, humming as she felt Raven drop a kiss on her forehead in thanks.

The two laid in silence for a bit, Raven playing with the ends of Clarke’s hair as the doctor closed her eyes, feeling warm and comfortable on top of her bed. The two were in Clarke’s room, hanging out until Abby got home from the hospital. Octavia was out training with Lexa, so Clarke’s phone was currently silent too.

“So Mama G approached me about moving back home again,” Raven said, breaking the silence.

Clarke stayed in her position, keeping her eyes closed as she sighed. “What did you tell her?”

“That I wasn’t moving anywhere unless you were with me,” Raven answered honestly, and Clarke smiled at her friend’s loyalty.

She opened her eyes, scooting back until she was sitting, leaning back against the headboard. “Raven, you know that you don’t have to stay with me, right? If you want to move back home, you should,” she said, patting her friend on the hand. “I would miss you like hell if you left, but I want you to be happy.”

Raven sat up too so she was sitting next to Clarke, furrowing her eyebrows as she readjusted her leg. She turned her head to look at the other girl. “Clarke, of course I want to move back home. Our family is here, our friends are here,” she said, a serious look on her face. “But the most important part of my family is you. And I don’t want to be anywhere that you aren’t. I’m happy wherever you are.” She smiled, brown eyes twinkling. “You’re my home, Griffin. You and O. You guys are my family. If you hadn’t been around while I was growing up…” she trailed off, shaking her head. “You saved me, you know. You and O. All the stuff with my dad just disappearing, and then my mom…I could have been really messed up, Clarke. You two made sure I wasn’t.”

Clarke could feel her eyes filling with tears, and she laughed, getting choked up. “Who says you aren’t, Reyes?” she asked, attempting to lighten the mood.

Raven laughed along with her, and Clarke pulled the other girl into her arms. “Seattle, DC…it doesn’t matter to me, Clarke,” Raven said softly.

Clarke scooted the two of them back down the bed, lying comfortably against her pillows. “I still have my last year of residency before I have to start worrying about my post residency plans,” Clarke said. “Maybe…maybe that could be here, in Seattle.”

She felt Raven shake her head, and she looked down to see Raven already staring back at her. “Clarke, you gotta pick what’s best for you,” Raven said. “If the hospital in DC is where you wanna be, then DC is where we’ll be. If you truly think Seattle is a good fit for you, then here’s where we’ll be. And if it’s somewhere else entirely, we’ll go to wherever that is.”

Clarke nodded, sighing as she thought about her future. She had a long conversation with her mentor in DC, Dr. Jaha, before she took a short leave of absence to accept her current position with U.S. Soccer. He knew that Clarke had been torn between which specialty to choose, and where she wanted to end up after that. Jaha had suggested she take the position with U.S. Soccer, and use the short reprieve from the hospital to really think about what she wanted in terms of her post residency plans.

She scanned through the ongoing pros and cons list she kept in her head about taking a position at her mom’s hospital. The obvious pros where that their families were here, and she did miss her friends from back home. But she didn’t want to get her mom’s hopes up since she was still considering staying in DC, or going someplace else entirely. For right now, DC was a good fit for Clarke, and she had been happy so far with her residency there. Plus, there was the added bonus of Octavia playing for the Washington Spirit for the past year, which meant next season she was going to be living with Clarke and Raven during the NWSL season.

“Just let me know where we’re going,” Raven said, startling Clarke out of her thoughts. “And I’ll pretend to be sleeping until you finish packing the car.”

Clarke let out a laugh before pulling her friend in closer, Raven snuggling up to her side. “I love you,” Clarke said fondly.

“Love you too, Griffin,” Raven said, smiling brightly.

“Can I get in on this?” a voice asked from the doorway, and the two turned their heads to see Octavia standing there, smiling. Her smile turned to a smirk, and Clarke and Raven barely had time to protest before Octavia took a few steps before launching herself towards the bed, landing on top of her two friends (though she was careful not to land on Raven’s left leg). “Sup bitches?” she asked casually as Clarke and Raven groaned, Octavia’s arms spread out so she was lying on top of both of them.

“O, get off,” Clarke said, struggling under the athlete’s weight.

“You’re all sweaty,” Raven added, swatting away Octavia’s hair that had landed on her face.

Octavia snuggled in closer to the two, wrapping her arms around her friends. “No,” she said, grinning.

Clarke turned her head towards her bedside table as her phone chimed in rapid succession, and attempted to wiggle her arm out from where it was wedged under Octavia. She reached out, groaning when she couldn’t reach it.

“Octavia,” she whined, and her best friend laughed before scrambling off of them, sitting back on her legs across from Clarke and Raven.

Clarke let out a grunt as she sat up, reaching for her phone and seeing it was a text from Lexa.

Lexa Woods: So this is awkward to text but I feel like it’ll be more awkward if we don’t establish it before tonight…am I allowed to kiss you when I see you?

Lexa Woods: Ahh, you can’t see it but I’m actually cringing from sending that.

Lexa Woods: But I already sent it so…I guess the question still stands.

Lexa Woods: And it’s like, totally fine to say no. Like, if you don’t want me to kiss you in front of everybody, that’s cool. Whatever is cool with you is cool with me.

Lexa Woods: Ahh, I’m cringing again. I also used cool too many times in that last text?

Lexa Woods: I’m gonna stop now. Yeah. Ok. Sorry. That was…ok, I’m stopping.

Lexa Woods: Now. Stopping now.

Clarke felt her smile grow as she read each new message, finally letting out a laugh as she received the last one.

Lexa Woods: For the record though, I would like to kiss you when I see you. So, you know. That’s my vote.

Clarke tapped out a response, ignoring her friends making cooing sounds from next to her. She put her phone down after responding and turned towards Octavia, who was currently buckling the straps down on Raven’s brace.

“Why is Lexa asking me if she can kiss me tonight?” Clarke asked. “I wasn’t aware we had plans?”

“Our moms invited Lexa’s family over for dinner,” Octavia said, finishing the last strap. She stood up from the bed, stretching her arms. “They want to watch the Ireland game together this weekend so mom and Mama G told me to invite them over so they could get to know Indra and Gustus before then.”

“Oooh, meeting the family,” Raven said, wiggling her eyebrows at Clarke, who simply rolled her eyes and snorted.

“Shut up,” Clarke said. She smiled, looking between the two. “Besides, she already met my sisters.”

It was Octavia’s turn to roll her eyes, but there was a smile on her face as she headed towards the door. “Right, well I’m going to go shower,” she said, picking up her bag on the way. “Then we have to head to the grocery store for our moms to get stuff for dinner.

With a wink and a wave, she left the room, leaving Clarke and Raven to sit on Clarke’s bed. The doctor turned to her friend, who was fiddling with her phone.

“Want to go eat the pie I saw my mom put in the fridge before she left for work?” Clarke asked.

Raven looked up immediately, face breaking out in a grin. “What are we waiting for, Griff?” she asked, hopping off the bed and snatching her cane from where it was leaning against Clarke’s dresser. “Last one there gets the smaller half.”

Clarke laughed as Raven turned and left the room, before getting up and following her friend.

* *

Clarke Griffin: I vote for hello kisses too. And goodbye kisses. And all the kisses in between.

Lexa tried to tame the large grin she felt spreading across her face, knowing her cousin was sitting on the couch next to her but she couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped her as she read Clarke’s reply.

“What the fuck are you all smiley about?” she heard from beside her, and she turned to glare at Anya, who had a bowl of popcorn in her lap, eating the snack as she watched tv.

Lexa opened her mouth to reply, but stopped when her grandma entered the room, carrying two big books that, when Lexa looked closer, saw they were photo albums.

“Nona, what are you doing with those?”

Indra grunted, putting the photo albums on the (new) coffee table. “I got the photo albums to bring to dinner tonight,” she said simply, grabbing the bowl of popcorn from Anya before sitting down in her reclining chair.

“Photo albums for—Nona, why are you bringing those to dinner?” Lexa asked exasperatedly.

“We’re meeting your girlfriend’s family, no?” Indra asked, turning towards her granddaughters. “I assumed they would want to see what you looked like growing up.”

Lexa was very much aware that she was gaping like a fish, trying to come up with a response. She heard Anya snickering next to her, and she reached out to slap her cousin in the stomach.

“Lexa, don’t hit Anya. Anya, stop laughing at Lexa,” Indra said sternly.

“Yes, Nona,” the two of them murmured, properly chastised.

Lexa cleared her throat before sitting forward, turning towards her grandma. “Nona, this dinner isn’t for you to meet Clarke’s family,” she began. “I mean, her mom will be there, but it’s so you can meet Octavia’s family too. That way you and Gramps have someone to watch the game with this weekend.”

“But we will be meeting Clarke’s family, yes?” Anya asked, and Lexa sent her cousin another glare before turning back to her grandma.

“Well yeah, but that’s because Octavia and Clarke’s families are pretty much each other,” Lexa explained. “They grew up together, and their moms live next door to each other. Anyways, you don’t need to bring the photo albums, Nona.”

“You were a very cute child, Alexandria,” Indra said. “You should not be embarrassed about your baby fat. You were very chubby.”

Lexa groaned. “No, Nona, that’s not—it’s not…” She shook her head, turning to look at Anya. “Help?” she mouthed to her cousin.

Anya rolled her eyes, but sat up straighter, looking at their grandma. “Nona, you don’t have to bring the photo albums tonight,” she said. “Clarke can just see them the next time she comes over here.”

“That’s really not any better,” Lexa muttered.

Indra, however, just nodded her head before standing and picking up the albums again. “Yes, that will work. I’ll save them for later then,” she agreed, tucking them under her arms and heading back towards the dining room.

Lexa just groaned again, letting her head fall back onto the couch cushions. She turned her head slightly to look at Anya.

“Why?” she whined.

Anya just laughed again, patting her cousin on the leg. “Look, Nona and Gramps are just excited,” she said. “It’s been a really long time since you’ve had a girlfriend.”

“Not my girlfriend,” Lexa muttered. “But continue.”

“They just want to see you happy,” Anya said. “So just let her be excited in her own weird, stoic way. And hey, at least she likes Clarke. I think that’s a feat in and of itself.”

Lexa smiled faintly, thinking of the prior interactions between Clarke and her grandma. She knew that Indra liked the doctor, mostly because if her grandma didn’t like someone, she wasn’t shy about letting it be known. Indra didn’t bullshit—she was a straight shooter, and Lexa always admired that about her grandma. Her phone buzzed in her hand again and she looked down, goofy grin back on her face as she opened the new message from Clarke.

Clarke Griffin: Also, tell your grandma I finished that self-defense book she lent me and it was awesome! And if she wants to bring the other one tonight we can trade.

Lexa shook her head, chuckling at the memory of Indra practically forcing Clarke to take a self-defense book she had read the last time the doctor had come over. Clarke had been very gracious about it, but Lexa didn’t actually expect her to read it—though, she’s not sure why she expected Clarke wouldn’t, because the blonde doctor was literally the nicest person ever. She could be sarcastic and sassy, from what Lexa was learning, but she was also learning that Clarke was also a person of her word.

“So fucking smiley,” Anya muttered.

Lexa just reached over and slapped her cousin in the stomach again before standing up, stretching her arms above her head before going in search of her grandma.

* *

“Be quiet! Do you want to get caught?”

“Octavia is hogging the fork!”

“Well why didn’t you grab more than one fork?”

“I was in a hurry, ok? I didn’t want to get caught!”

“Will you two just—”

“What are you three up to?” a voice from the doorway said.

Clarke, Octavia and Raven all looked up quickly, sitting up straighter as Marcus Kane stood in the doorway, arms crossed and eyebrow raised.

Octavia had a neutral expression on her face, the one she adopted during a game and she was about to take a penalty kick. Raven was subtly attempting to scoot the entire banana cream pie the three of them were sharing behind her back, and Clarke was sure she had the same guilty look on her face she did back in high school when Kane had caught the three of them attempting to glue a vase back together after it had broken during a particularly rough game of indoor sock hockey.

“Hi Kane!” Clarke said awkwardly, waving.

“I thought you were helping Mama G and Mama B with dinner next door?” Raven asked, scooting the pie tin a little farther away from them.

“Is that the pie Abby made for after dinner?” Kane asked, taking a step into the dining room.

“What pie?” Octavia asked, face still blank.

“No pie here,” Clarke added, shaking her head.

“Just best friends hanging out,” Raven continued. “Normal times over here.”

Kane rolled his eyes, walking closer until he was standing across the table from them. “Honestly, you three. I feel like we’re back in high school again and you’re trying to convince me that a bird flew into the window and shattered it,” he said, crossing his arms, though there was a small smile on his face.

“Hey! That actually did happen!” Raven exclaimed, pointing at Kane before realizing she still had a fork in her hand, and quickly brought her arm back down again.

Kane snorted, shaking his head. “Yes, I’m sure it had nothing to do with Octavia’s numerous attempts at the bicycle kick the three of you were working on before we left the house.”

“Anyways,” Clarke said loudly, clearing her throat. “Whatcha doing here Kane? Hiding from my mom?”

Kane just shook his head again, smiling. He went through the doorway that led to the kitchen, his voice echoing from there. “Actually, I was sent over here to get you three,” he said, coming back into the room with a fork in his hand. He reached behind Raven and grabbed the pie tin, taking a bite. “Chores to be done and such, before Clarke’s girlfriend and her family get here.”

Raven and Octavia snickered, nudging Clarke who felt her cheeks flush. “She isn’t my girlfriend,” Clarke protested. “We’ve been on a few dates.”

“Great dates,” Raven added.

“Awesome dates,” Octavia supplied.

Kane just chuckled, taking another bite of pie. “Clarke, I’ve known you since you were ten. I think I know when you like someone,” he said. He offered the pie back to Raven, who happily took it and promptly stuffed a forkful into her mouth. “Plus, your mom says you’ve been walking around with heart eyes since your first date.”

“Shut up,” Clarke grumbled, crossing her arms as her friends and Kane laughed.

“Well, I’m gonna go grab the backup pie your mom put in the garage fridge,” he said, standing up. “Apparently she was afraid the three of you would eat the one intended for dessert before dinner.” He narrowed his eyes at the three of them, who all adopted innocent looks on their faces. “I expect to see the three of you over there shortly.”

“Yes, Kane,” they said in sync, saluting him before cracking up. He simply rolled his eyes, used to their antics, before heading off towards the garage.

“So when do you think Mama G and Kane are gonna tell us they’re together?” Raven asked, scraping the bottom of the pie tin.

Clarke rolled her eyes, standing up and grabbing the empty tin from Raven. “Probably not until like, before their wedding day.”

“They’re gonna sit us down like we’re in high school again and explain ‘When two people love each other…’,” Octavia said, dodging Clarke’s swatting hand.

Octavia stood up, followed by Raven as the three made their way through the house. Clarke deposited the empty pie tin in the trash before they went through the sliding door that led to the backyard. Octavia went to the fence first, kicking one of the panels of wood that made up the fence that separated the Griffin’s backyard from the Blake’s. The hidden door the three of them had begged Kane to build for them into the fence when they were in middle school swung open, and she went through, followed by Raven and then Clarke.

“We have arrived!” Raven yelled as the three entered the house through the Blake’s sliding back door.

Abby and Aurora both let out a startled yelp before turning around at almost exactly the same time.

“Honestly, you three,” Aurora said, swatting her dishtowel at Octavia, who effortlessly dodged it. “Why can’t you use the front door like normal people?”

Octavia just shrugged, before grabbing a tomato from Abby’s cutting board and popping one into her mouth while Clarke and Raven chuckled.

“What do you need us to do, mom?” Clarke asked, leaning against the island counter.

“Can one of you set the table please?” Abby asked, turning back to her cutting board. “And one of you pick out a wine for dinner.”

“And one of you finish dusting the living room,” Aurora added.

“Wine!” Raven called out quickly.

“Table!” Octavia said immediately after.

“Dammit!” Clarke cursed, and wasn’t quick enough to dodge Aurora’s dishtowel. “Ow!”

Raven and Octavia smirked before heading off to their separate tasks, and Clarke begrudgingly headed to the living room, spotting the cleaning supplies already sitting on the coffee table. With a sigh, she picked up the duster before moving to the shutters. She hummed to herself, moving along the shutters before stopping in front of Bellamy’s old stereo system. She smiled, taking her phone of her pocket and plugging it in, turning the stereo on before choosing a playlist. Clarke turned the volume up as she bopped her head along to the opening rift, moving back to the shutters and resuming her cleaning. As she continued to clean, she started to get more into the song, moving her hips and arms before finishing the shutters and dancing to the other side of the room, singing along to the next song as she dusted the picture frames on the mantle.

“I’m just a notch in your bedpost, but you’re just a line in a song,” she heard Raven’s voice sing loudly, and smiled before turning around to see her best friend dancing in the middle of the living room, singing. Clarke laughed before skipping over to Raven, joining in. “Drop a heart, break a name! We’re always sleeping in, sleeping for the wrong team!”

“We’re going down, down in an earlier round!” they heard Octavia all but shout from the dining room, before Octavia appeared in the doorway, sliding across the wood floors with her socks. She hopped over to her friends, still singing. “And sugar, we’re going down swinging!”

Clarke smiled wider as Octavia joined them in their dancing, the three of them scream-singing in the middle of the living room, chores all but forgotten.

“I’ll be your number one with a bullet, a loaded God complex, cock it and pull it!”

The three of them broke out in their best air guitar impression, getting more into the song as it went on. Octavia had hopped onto the couch, while Raven was head banging and Clarke had sunk to her knees, still air guitaring as all three of them continued to sing along as loudly as they could to the song.

“—down, down in an earlier round!”

The three stopped, swinging their heads over to the stereo system as the music abruptly cut off.

“Honestly, it’s like you’re back in high school…” Abby muttered, shaking her head at them from where she had unplugged Clarke’s phone. “Lexa’s family is going to be here any minute and—”

The doorbell rang out, cutting off Abby’s sentence as she shook her head at her daughter and her daughter’s best friends, who were just as much family to her.

“I’ll get it!” Clarke called out, scrambling to her feet and beating Abby to the door. Her hand flew to the doorknob before she paused, taking a deep breath and running her fingers through her hair. “Shut up,” she hissed back towards Octavia and Raven, who were laughing at her.

She took another deep breath before swinging the door open to reveal Indra and Gustus in the doorway, a smirking Anya and a scowling Lexa standing behind them. But as soon as Lexa’s eyes met Clarke’s, the scowl on the soccer player’s face turned to a smile, which Clarke was quick to return.

“Hi! It’s so good to see you again, Indra,” Clarke said, taking a step to the side so the Woods family could enter the house.

“Hello Clarke,” Indra said, clasping Clarke’s forearm with her hand. “This is my husband, Gustus,” she said, gesturing to the large, towering man who had a wide grin on his face.

“Nice to meet you, Clarke,” he said, pulling her into a hug.

“Gramps!” Clarke heard Lexa whisper, and she smiled as Gustus released her with a laugh and a wink back towards his granddaughter.

“Woods,” Raven said, stepping up behind Clarke and looking at Anya.

“Reyes,” Anya replied, smirk still on her face.

“Octavia!” Octavia shouted, looking around as everyone looked at her in confusion. “What? I thought we were going around and saying names?”

Aurora emerged from the kitchen, rolling her eyes at her daughter as she approached the Woods family.

“Hello! It’s so nice to meet you all. I’m Aurora, Octavia’s mom,” Aurora said. “Lexa, Anya, you played a great game against China last week.”

“Thank you, Ms. Blake,” Lexa responded, and Clarke had to hold in her cooing as she saw the tip of Lexa’s ears turning pink.

Anya echoed the statement, and everyone turned their attention to the next people to enter the room.

Abby and Kane approached Indra and Gustus with smiles on their faces, and Clarke refrained from rolling her eyes at their obvious heart eyes for one another, but did allow a small smile to appear on her face.

“Hello, I’m Clarke’s mother, Abby Griffin,” Abby said, shaking Indra and then Gustus’ hand. “This is Marcus Kane, he’s a good friend of the family.”

“Great friend,” Raven muttered, while Octavia and Clarke snickered.

“Lexa, Anya, it’s so nice to meet you. You two are amazing soccer players,” Kane said, his eyes shining with excitement at meeting the two soccer stars.

“Thank you,” Anya said, a genuine smile appearing on her face before the smirk was back.

“Let’s move to the dining room, yeah?” Aurora suggested. “Dinner is ready, I just need the girls to put the dishes on the table.”

“You got it, Mama B,” Raven said. She dragged Anya towards her, forcing the other girl to follow her towards the kitchen as Indra and Gustus continued to talk with Abby, Kane and Aurora. Octavia winked at Clarke before following Raven and Anya to the kitchen.

Clarke turned, finding Lexa already looking at her.

“Hi,” Clarke breathed out, smiling.

Lexa closed the distance between them until she was standing directly in front of the doctor. “Hi,” Lexa replied, before leaning forward and kissing Clarke softly.

They broke apart, and Clarke took note of the way Lexa’s green eyes seemed to sparkle. Smiling, Clarke reached down and grabbed the soccer player’s hand, lacing their fingers together. She leaned back in for another kiss, reveling in the way Lexa’s lips molded against her own.

“I hope you’re ready for dinner with the family,” Clarke said after they broke apart. She tugged lightly on Lexa’s hand, leading her into the dining room where the rest of their families were chatting animatedly.

“That’s so fascinating! So you were able to incapacitate him with one blow?” Kane was asking Indra, who nodded and stood up, thrusting her palm up and out in example.

“Just like that, and then…”

Clarke heard Lexa groan next to her, and she chuckled before pulling Lexa all the way into the dining room, taking the two open seats next to each other. She smiled at the faces around the table, all of them absorbed in conversation. Clarke felt Lexa’s hand drop to her knee, squeezing lightly, and she leaned over to place a soft kiss on the soccer player’s cheek before tuning back into the conversations around them.

* *

Ireland seemed to be playing to not lose the entire time, and while the game wasn’t as hard fought as Lexa would have liked, she was still happy with the outcome—a 5-0 final score, with Octavia adding another goal to her growing list of goals since being called up to the team at the beginning of the victory tour.

She was currently sitting on the field, drinking water under the hot Orlando sun as she watched her teammates who didn’t play do their post-game workout.

“Auntie Lexa!” she heard, and turned her head in time to see Hallie Harris-Krieger running towards her. She smiled, catching Hallie as the little girl launched herself at the soccer player.

“Hal!” Lexa said, giving the little girl a tight hug. “I missed you, munchkin!”

“Guess what!” Hallie yelled, plopping down on top of Lexa’s legs.

Lexa chuckled at the little girls wide-eyed stare, bopping Hallie on the nose lightly with the tip of her finger before responding. “What?”

“We having a sleepover!” Hallie cheered, throwing her hands up in the air in celebration.

“Oh yeah?” Lexa asked. “Who is we?”

“Me an’ Kellan an’ Chloe an’ Nessa an’ Kaitlin!” she yelled, clapping her hands. “We having a sleepover at my house!”

Lexa gasped, before smiling again at the little girl. Ashlyn and Ali had no doubt offered for the tribe of five to hang out at their house since all of the little girls had taken the trip to Orlando with their moms. “That sounds like so much fun, Hal! I’m so jealous!”

“Auntie Lexa sleepover?” Hallie asked, meeting Lexa’s eyes with what the soccer player could only describe as a serious face. Well, as serious as a six-year-old could be.

Lexa frowned, remembering that she and Clarke had planned to grab dinner that night. She knew the little girl’s bedtime was fairly early, and she was certain she and Clarke would still be out to dinner before they were asleep. Lexa knew that Clarke had been looking forward to some alone time, and she had as well. She paused before answering, realizing it was actually the first time she would have to tell one of her teammate’s daughters no.

“I’m sorry sweetie, I don’t think I can…” she trailed off, her voice fading as Hallie frowned at her.

“I mean, I can’t—I’ll—Hallie honey—I just” Lexa began to stutter out, horrified to see tears fill the little girl’s eyes. Her eyes widened as a lone tear dripped down Hallie’s face before the little girl burst out crying. Lexa looked around quickly, hoping to spot Ashlyn or Ali before remembering they had gone to the locker room to get Ali’s leg bandaged up. Hallie had been left with their teammates, and as was usual, had found her way to Lexa. “No, no! Don’t cry, Hal. Don’t cry! Of course I’ll come play with you guys tonight!”

Hallie sniffed, rubbing her eyes. “Really?”

“Of course! You’re my favorite girls, you know that!” Lexa said, and her body sagged with relief as the little girl smiled and launched herself into Lexa’s arms, hugging her aunt around the neck tightly. Lexa wrapped her arms around Hallie before standing up, resting the little girl on her waist. “How about we go find your moms now and let them know, huh?” she asked. Hallie nodded her head before resting it in the crook of Lexa’s neck. Lexa sighed, heading to the locker room and thinking of a way to let Clarke know that she would have to cancel their plans for tonight, hoping the doctor would understand.

She passed the screaming fans in the stand, chuckling when Hallie waved at them before they entered the hallway to the locker room. She walked down the hallway towards where the medical staff was set up, entering the room and spotted Ali immediately, Clarke bandaging her leg.

“Hi Mommy!” Hallie yelled excitedly, waving from her spot in Lexa’s arms.

“Hi honey,” Ali said, smiling and waving back.

“Doctor Clarke! Hi! ‘Member me?” Hallie continued as Lexa put her down next to her mother. The little girl waved up at Clarke, who chuckled and waved back.

“Of course I remember you!” Clarke said. “Where are the rest of your little friends?”

“Having sleepover with Auntie Lex tonight!” Hallie said, bouncing in place as she became more excited about the fact that Clarke had remembered her.

“You are, are you?” Clarke asked, humming slightly as she looked towards Lexa, raising an eyebrow.

“I meant to…that is,” Lexa began, rubbing the back of her neck. “I sort of…told Hallie I would hang out with them tonight?” she finished, the sentence coming out more like a question.

“Lexa, you don’t have to do that,” Ali cut in, knowing that Lexa and Clarke had made plans for that night. Clarke had been telling Ali about the date they had planned while she was getting her leg patched up. She turned towards Hallie, her daughter blissfully unaware that she had successfully conned her aunt into spending time with her. “Hallie honey, Auntie Lexa can’t hang out with you tonight,” she said softly.

The little girl looked between her mom and her Auntie Lexa, and Lexa was once again horrified to see tears welling up in Hallie’s eyes. Apparently Clarke was too, as she interjected this time.

“Your mommy was just kidding,” Clarke said, and Lexa and Ali both looked up at the doctor, who gave them both a nod and a smile. “Auntie Lexa is really looking forward to hanging out with you tonight. I know she really missed you guys when she was back home.”

Hallie smiled, snuggling into her mom’s side in response. “Doctor Clarke come over too?” she asked, looking up at her mom.

Ali looked down at her daughter, shaking her head. “I don’t…Doctor Clarke has…things to do?” she asked, turning back to the blonde doctor.

Clarke just laughed, shaking her head. “You know what? I would love to hang out with you, Hallie. If it’s ok with your mom, that is,” she added, looking towards Ali who smiled and nodded in confirmation.

“Clarke,” Lexa said, who had been silent up until now. She placed her hand on the small of Clarke’s back. “You don’t have to—”

“I want to,” Clarke interrupted, giving Lexa a small smile. She turned back towards Ali, who was watching the two with a soft smile on her face, arm wrapped around her daughter. “In fact, you and Ashlyn should go out, take a date night,” she continued. “I’m sure the other parents are as well. You should too.”

“Oh, we couldn’t ask you to do that,” Ali denied, shaking her head.

“You’re not asking, I’m insisting,” Clarke said, looking towards Lexa for confirmation.

Lexa, who had been looking at Clarke in awe this whole time, shook out of her reverie as she realized both the doctor and her teammate were looking at her. “Yes, we insist Ali,” Lexa said, shaking her head. “You two deserve a night out. Alex was telling me that her and Tobin were going out to dinner with Hope and Kelley. I’m sure they would love for you to join them.”

“If…you’re sure?” Ali asked, still a bit hesitantly. “I know the two of you had plans…” she trailed off.

“We’re both going back to Seattle after this weekend,” Clarke answered easily, waving her hand. “We can have plans then. Please Ali, I insist.”

“Go have fun,” Lexa added, and Ali’s resolve crumbled as she smiled.

“You two are the best, you know?” she asked, standing up from the exam table and scooping her daughter up. “I’m gonna go tell Ashlyn about the change of plans.”

“See you later,” Lexa said, and with a wave, Ali left the room, Hallie babbling on excitedly in her arms.

Lexa turned back to Clarke, wrapping her arms around the other girl and pulling her in closer. “Thank you,” she said, smiling at the doctor. “I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

Clarke just hummed, grinning. She leaned closer and Lexa closed the gap, meeting Clarke’s lips with her own. The kiss was soft and gentle, and Lexa reveled in the feeling. They broke apart and Lexa reached down, grabbing both of Clarke’s hands.

“So do you think you’re ready for this?” Lexa asked, swinging their connected hands side to side.

Clarke just laughed, leaning forward to give Lexa a kiss on her nose. Lexa grinned at the action, wiggling her eyebrows as Clarke let out another soft laugh.

“They’re five little girls,” Clarke replied. “How hard could it be?”

“Famous last words,” Lexa said, her face breaking out into a smile as Clarke laughed again.

* *

“Ready, soldiers?”

“Yes, Commander!” the little girls screamed, all doing some form of saluting. The five little girls were lined up, and Clarke had to cover her mouth before a laugh escaped her.

“Hey! I thought I was the Commander!” Lexa complained, appearing in the doorway with oven mitts on her hands.

The five little girls never took their eyes off of Clarke, who simply winked at the soccer player before turning her attention back to them. Lexa grumbled, returning to the kitchen to take the dino nuggets out of the oven.

“Ok, here we go!” Clarke said, and hit play on the tv. The opening riff of the song filled the room, and the five girls squealed excitedly, jumping around.

“Let’s get down to business, to defeat the Huns…” the tv blared, Clarke and the five girls singing along, each doing their own kung fu moves.

Lexa shook her head as she listened from the kitchen, smiling as she put even amounts of dino nuggets on seven plates. She grabbed the ketchup from the fridge, carrying it over to the table before moving the plates to a spot in front of each chair at the dining room table. Lexa poured a glass of apple juice for each place setting, putting napkins next to each plate before walking over to the living room, watching the scene in front of her from the doorway.

“…mysterious as the dark side of, the mooooooon!” the group all sang, posing as the song ended.

Lexa clapped from the doorway, and the little girls all grinned as they look at her.

“Wow, you guys were amazing!” Lexa said, Clarke nodding her head in agreement. “Dinner’s ready, if you guys are hungry.”

“Dinosaurs?” Kellan asked, looking up at Lexa and then Clarke.

“Of course!” Lexa said, picking up the little girl and swinging her around. Kellan laughed before Lexa put her down, scrambling to the dining room table, Kaitlin, Chloe, Vanessa and Hallie all following her.

Lexa watched fondly as the little girls all sat down at the table, talking excitedly about whatever five and six-year-olds talked about. She felt Clarke wrap an arm around her waist, and she turned her head to meet the blue eyes she was beginning to think were her favorite shade of blue.

“Come on, I’m excited for dino nuggets,” Clarke said, pulling Lexa towards the table.

Lexa laughed, dropping a kiss on Clarke’s forehead before sitting down in between Kellan and Chloe. She watched as Kaitlin and Vanessa immediately turned towards Clarke and began talking, the blonde doctor smiling the whole time as she took in the little girl’s words.

“Auntie Rexa! Dinosaurs!” Kellan said happily, grabbing Lexa’s attention. Lexa just laughed again, tapping the bill of Kellan’s hat before turning her attention to her own food.

Chapter Text

“…and lastly, we’ll need to keep track of their endurance, so each player will get one of these monitors to wear during all of their tests,” Dawn said, finishing her presentation.

Clarke nodded her head, placing the pen behind her ear after she had finished taking notes on what Dawn was saying. Raven shot Dawn a thumbs up, causing the fitness trainer to just roll her eyes.

“New year, new physical tests,” Raven sighed, standing up from her chair and stretching her arms.

“Fun times,” Dawn said, smirking.

Raven snorted. “For you, you evil queen. It’s hard for me to even watch those beep tests,” she said, shaking her head.

Clarke shuddered, remembering Octavia coming home from her very first beep test back in college, collapsing on the couch and not moving for the rest of the night. “Yeah, no. I’m glad I’m not a professional athlete. I hate running in any capacity,” she said, putting her clipboard back in her bag.

“Didn’t you play soccer?” Dawn asked.

“Yeah, until she realized that she hates running in any capacity,” Raven quipped, yelping as Clarke swatted her on the arm.

Dawn chuckled at the two friends, amusement shining in her eyes. She had to admit, bringing Clarke into their team had only made them run smoother—everything was more organized and the team worked together well, probably a result of Clarke and Raven’s already established relationship.

“Well, I’d much rather be watching the running than doing it,” Clarke agreed.

“You mean you’d rather be watching Lexa run,” Raven muttered. “Damn, that girl has some legs.”

“Raven!” Clarke hissed, swatting her friend again.

Dawn burst out into laughter this time, catching the attention of the two friends.

She and the rest of the coaching staff hadn’t been blind to Lexa’s growing feelings for the team doctor. At first they had been wary, but it wasn’t their place to say anything about the personal relationships their player’s kept. But as they noticed the new team doctor and their star midfielder grow closer, they also noticed an elevation in Lexa’s play—it’s like the midfielder had discovered a whole other level. While Dawn wasn’t sure how much that had to do with Clarke’s influence, she was nevertheless thrilled that Lexa had found someone who made her happy.

Plus, Dawn had taken a liking to the blonde doctor, especially after discovering what a great addition to her training staff Clarke was. Well, that, and it was always amusing to see Lexa Woods, star of the USWNT and one of the best midfielders in the world, go from the stoic Commander to an awkward, clumsy girl with a crush around Clarke.

“It’s ok, Dr. Griffin,” Dawn said, still chuckling. “There’s no rule that says who our players can and cannot date.”

“Clarke,” the blonde doctor corrected automatically, blushing lightly as she fiddled with the zipper of her jacket. “Right, sorry,” she said. “It’s just…umm, you know. Because I’m the team doctor, or whatever…”

“It’s really ok, Clarke,” Dawn repeated. “As long as it isn’t directly detrimental to the organization of the team, you can do anything you want.”

“Or anyone she wants,” Raven muttered.

“Raven!” Clarke hissed again.

Raven held her hands up innocently as Clarke just sighed, and Dawn let out another chuckle at the two friend’s antics before gathering her stuff. “Ok, well the team should be finished with their lunch by now, so I’m going to go meet with Jill and give her an updated schedule of when we’re doing each physical test. I’ll see you two bright and early tomorrow morning.”

Clarke waved goodbye, and Raven saluted at her boss as Dawn left. The doctor gathered her things, putting the rest of her papers in her bag before grabbing Raven’s cane and handing it to the other girl, who nodded in thanks.

“So, that was properly mortifying,” Clarke commented, slipping her bag over her shoulder.

Raven snorted, zipping up her jacket. “Dawn is on the level, Griff,” she said. “If you’ve got her seal of approval, you’re golden. And it’ll probably be a big relief off of your girlfriend’s shoulders. That girl could seriously stress about anything.”

“Not my girlfriend,” Clarke mumbled, starting towards the door.

Raven rolled her eyes, following the other girl through the doorway. “Semantics,” she said. “Now can we please go get some ice cream? Also, I saw a movie theater around the corner and since we have the rest of the day off…”

“As you wish,” Clarke teased, laughing as Raven reached her cane out to tap the doctor from behind.

“You’re the only princess here, Buttercup,” Raven shot back, and Clarke just laughed again before the two fell into step together, heading down the hallway to the elevators.

* *

“Rawr! Rawr! Raaaawr!”

Lexa’s face broke out into a smile, but she didn’t turn around, even though she knew the sight that would greet her would be the absolute cutest thing in the world. She deliberately looked up and around the table, her teammates grinning at her as Lexa continued to exaggeratedly search for something.

“Raaaawr!”

“Anya, do you hear that?” Lexa asked, looking at her cousin who was seated next to her.

Anya, for her part, smirked at the other girl before taking another bite of her salad. “Sounds kind of like a…cat?” she asked, shrugging her shoulders.

“Rawr! Rawr!”

“No, no,” Lexa said, shaking her head. “It sounds like a…dog? Or maybe a bear?”

“Could be a lion?” Anya suggested, continuing to play along.

The rest of the table were in fits of laughter as Lexa and Anya continued their banter, the noise behind them rising in volume, growing louder (well, as loud as a six-year-old’s voice could actually be).

“Maybe it’s a tiger?”

“Or some other big cat.”

“RAAAAAWR!”

Finally, Lexa turned in her seat, eyes widening comically as she gasped, clutching her chest. “Oh my—it’s a dinosaur!” she exclaimed. Kellan Morgan-Heath stood behind her chair, hands in the air, fingers curled slightly to mimic claws and her eyes narrowed as she stared at the soccer player in what Lexa was sure an attempt to be intimidating, but really made her look even cuter. “A tiny, tiny dinosaur!”

Kellan’s eyes widened, and she stomped one of her little feet against the floor. “I’m not tiny Auntie Lexa! I’m big dinosaur!”

It took all of Lexa’s effort to not burst out laughing—this adorable little girl, who was wearing her U.S. Soccer hat she never seemed to be without, covered in signatures from her moms’ teammates, sitting backwards on her head. She had on toddler sized nike shorts that only Alex Morgan’s child would probably own, and a Becky Sauerbrunn t-shirt that was obviously one of the little girl’s favorites, the faded design on the front a sign from having been run through the washing machine numerous times.

Lexa smiled at the little girl, nodding her head as she agreed. “I’m sorry munchkin, I meant you’re a big dinosaur!”

Kellan huffed before moving forward and scrambling up onto soccer player’s lap. The little girl plopped down with a sigh, leaning back into the comfort of her aunt as Lexa’s arms wrapped around Kellan.

“What’s up kiddo?” Lexa asked, frowning slightly as she took in the seemingly defeated posture of the little girl. She thought it was a bit strange, since Kellan would usually draw out their dinosaur game, roaring at Lexa until the two of them dissolved into a fit of giggles.

“Hallie not here,” Kellan said sadly, and Lexa felt her heart break a little as the little girl let out another tiny sigh.

Lexa held the little girl a little tighter, dropping a kiss on top of her head. Kellan had accompanied her moms to their January camp, which wasn’t unusual, but Kellan wasn’t usually the only one. While it was true that when Kelley, Sydney and Heather reported to training camp Chloe, Vanessa and Kaitlin usually stayed with their other parent, Hallie’s moms had both been on the team like Kellan’s were, and little Hallie usually accompanied Ashlyn and Ali for the month. Kellan and Hallie would stay with the team nanny while their moms had training, and the team loved to have them around during their off time.

But the victory tour had ended in December, and preparations for the Olympics were in full swing with the start of January camp, which meant Ashlyn and Ali had officially retired. So had Carli and Heather, retiring during different stops of the victory tour, in the state of their respective hometowns. It had been particularly hard for Lexa to watch her mentors say goodbye to the game. She had shed her fair share of tears, crying particularly hard after Carli’s last game, when Carli had been subbed out for the final time and before walking to the bench, attached the captain’s armband to Lexa’s arm with a firm hug and pat on the back that spoke louder than any words ever could.

Lexa was officially one of the veterans on the team, and though she might have been considered that before this moment, when Carli and Heather and Ali and Ashlyn were still on the team, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Now, however—she was considered a seasoned veteran, up there with Becky, Alex, Tobin, Kelley, and the rest of the players who still remained from the 15ers. And though they hadn’t said it out loud, she knew that for a lot of them this would be their last Olympics. It made her sad to think about, but as she continued to work with Octavia and the rest of the new players she could see that the future of the team did indeed look bright.

“Auntie Lex?” she heard Kellan ask, knocking her out of her thoughts. She looked down, the little girl’s head tilted back so she could look at her aunt.

“Yes, munchkin?” Lexa asked, smiling softly at the little girl.

She released Kellan from her hold as the girl scrambled once more on Lexa’s lap until she was turned around, facing the soccer player. The little girl put her small hands on Lexa’s cheeks, and the soccer player let out a chuckle as she adjusted Kellan’s hat so it was sitting straight on her head.

Kellan stared at Lexa for a beat, hands on either side of Lexa’s face.

“We go get ice cream?” Kellan asked seriously, eyes wide.

Lexa laughed then, scooping the little girl into her arms and peppering her face with kisses. She couldn’t help it—Kellan was so freaking cute, and the little girl shrieked with laughter, mixing with Lexa’s as she tickled Kellan’s stomach. Lexa stopped to let Kellan catch her breath, and she tapped the little girl on the nose lightly with her finger.

“Of course we can go get ice cream,” Lexa said, smiling.

“Yay!” Kellan exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air. “I want chocolate!”

“Chocolate is the best,” Lexa agreed, picking Kellan up and putting her back down until the little girl was standing on the ground, before standing up herself. She felt small weights on top of her feet, and just shook her head with a smile as Kellan reached for her hands. She let the little girl adjust her feet on top of Lexa’s own, holding Kellan’s hands as she took a step forward, the little girl catching a ride on top of her aunt’s feet. “Let’s go tell your mommies we’re going to get some ice cream.”

“Ice cream!” Kellan repeated, smiling up at Lexa as the soccer player continued across the room, heading towards where Alex and Tobin were sitting with Julie and Christen.

“Mama! Auntie Lexa and I going now!” Kellan said excitedly once they reached the table, catching the attention of the four occupants.

“Oh really?” Alex asked, grinning at her daughter before raising her eyebrow at Lexa. “And where exactly are you going?”

“Ice cream!” Kellan answered happily, blissfully unaware of the sheepish grin Lexa had on her face as Alex just shook her head, fully aware that her daughter had the stoic, serious Commander wrapped around her finger.

“Is this just an Auntie Lexa and Kellan trip?” Tobin asked, catching the attention of her daughter. “Or can mommies come?”

“Mama and mommy and Aunt Juju and Aunt Chris!” Kellan said all in one breath, her little face sporting a large grin.

JJ and Christen laughed, smiling fondly at the little girl as Tobin chuckled as well. Alex just sighed, a smile on her face as she grabbed her daughter’s jacket from the seat next to her and handed it to Lexa, who helped Kellan put it on.

“Well, let’s get some ice cream then,” Alex said, standing up. Tobin, Julie and Christen followed her lead, and the group of them headed towards the exit, Kellan talking excitedly to Julie and Christen about something from her perch on Lexa’s shoulders, where she had decided she wanted to sit on the way to the ice cream shop that was a few blocks from the hotel.

* *

“Clarke!”

Clarke turned around at the sound of her name, and broke out into a grin when she spotted who had called her. Kellan Morgan-Heath was waving furiously from where she was perched on Lexa’s shoulders, the both of them grinning at the doctor. Alex, Tobin, Julie and Christen were with them, all smiling as Clarke and Raven approached the group.

“Fancy seeing you here,” Lexa said, wiggling her eyebrows at the other girl.

Clarke just rolled her eyes, but there was a smile on her face as she leaned over and gave Lexa a quick kiss on the cheek. “Well if it isn’t my favorite dinosaur,” she said, shooting Lexa a wink before turning her attention back to the little girl who was signaling that she wanted to get down. She reached up and grabbed Kellan from Lexa’s shoulders, setting her down. “This is a very nice surprise,” she continued, smiling as Kellan slipped a tiny hand into her own.

“How’s it going, doc?” Tobin asked, flashing her a peace sign. “Raven?”

“We just came to get ice cream to quell Clarke’s embarrassment,” Raven said, and Clarke whipped her head around to give her a warning glare. But that had never stopped her best friend before, so naturally Raven continued, unperturbed. “Dawn called out Clarke for dating Lexa like, five minutes ago.”

The rest of the group held in their laughter as Clarke groaned, rubbing her forehead with her hand while Lexa’s ears turned a slight shade of pink.

“Come on, daughter of mine,” Tobin said, chuckling as she picked Kellan up and rested her on her hip. “Let’s get in line.”

“Ice cream!” Kellan cheered, snuggling into her mom’s side and waving at Clarke and Raven as they moved past them. Alex smiled fondly at the two before following, Julie and Christen each giving Lexa a wink before shuffling over towards the line.

“I’m gonna go…over there,” Raven said, pointing to the line. “Banana split, right Griff?”

Clarke nodded before turning back to Lexa, who was still smiling at her.

“You know, I’m not sure your doctor would approve of you eating ice cream the day before your physical fitness testing…” Clarke said, tapping her finger against her chin.

Lexa chuckled, stepping closer to the other girl and placing her hands on Clarke’s waist. “You try saying no to Kellan,” she scoffed. She pulled Clarke a little bit closer, smiling as she felt the doctor’s arms wrap around her neck.

“The almighty Commander, taken down by a six-year-old?” Clarke teased. “What would your fans say if—mmphh”

Clarke blinked in surprise as Lexa’s face was suddenly right in front of hers, the doctor’s sentence cut off as the soccer player connected their lips. She felt Lexa smile into the kiss, causing her to chuckle against the other girl’s lips before bringing her hand up, wrapping it around Lexa’s upper arm. Clarke pulled back slightly, and she smiled as Lexa’s nose rubbed against hers, the soccer player switching her angle before capturing Clarke’s lips once more in a soft kiss, the smallest amount of pressure against the doctor’s lips.

“Hi,” Lexa whispered as they broke apart softly.

Clarke sighed, cupping the back of Lexa’s neck and playing with the baby hairs there. “Hi,” she breathed out, smiling as the soccer player placed another soft kiss on the corner of her mouth before leaning back.

“How’s your day going, doc?” Lexa asked, taking another step back so there was some space between them. She was suddenly very aware that they were in public, standing in an ice cream shop with her teammates only a few feet away from them. So wrapped up in the other girl’s presence, Clarke had the tendency to make Lexa forget about her immediate surroundings. Lexa gave a sheepish grin, which turned into a full-blown smile when Clarke reached down and linked their fingers together.

“Great,” Clarke answered, squeezing Lexa’s hand softly. “Getting better by the second.”

Lexa snorted, covering her mouth with her other hand. “That was so cheesy, Clarke.”

Clarke pouted as Lexa laughed at her. “I thought it was sort of smooth.”

“Definitely not,” Lexa said, shaking her head. She led Clarke through the door and to an empty table large enough for everyone to sit. “It was so cheesy I’m actually kind of offended.”

“Oh, I forgot,” Clarke said, smacking her forehead with her palm exaggeratedly. “You’re the dorky one in this relationship.”

“Excuse you,” Lexa responded, feigning offense. “I am not dorky. And furthermore—wait a second, relationship?” she asked, raising an eyebrow in question.

Clarke opened her mouth to respond, but was interrupted by a familiar little voice.

“Clarke! Auntie Lexa!”

The two girls turned their heads to see Kellan heading towards their table, and immediately burst into laughter at the ice cream smeared across the little girl’s face as she held a cone of chocolate ice cream in one hand and Tobin’s hand in her other.

“Chocolate!” the little girl continued happily, letting go of her mother’s hand and running towards her Aunt and her new friend.

“Whoa, hey munchkin!” Lexa said, lifting the little girl up and placing her on the bench in between Clarke and herself. “I see you’re enjoying your ice cream,” she said, taking off Kellan’s hat and brushing the loose hairs that had fallen in front of the little girl’s face back, before putting the hat back on her head.

Kellan smiled happily, nodding her head as she continued to eat her ice cream. The rest of Lexa’s teammates sat down around the table, all chatting happily.

“Umm, excuse me?”

The players stopped talking as Lexa turned, three young girls standing in front of her.

“We were wondering…if we could possibly get a picture with you guys?” one of the girls asked, fiddling with the bottom of her shirt.

“Sure, sweetie,” Julie answered, smiling. Christen and Julie stood, Alex and Tobin following as they walked around the table.

“Clarke, could you…” Lexa trailed off, gesturing towards Kellan. She didn’t want Alex and Tobin’s daughter in fan photos she knew would be posted all over the internet within minutes of their meeting, and saw Tobin nod gratefully at her teammate as the soccer players all grouped together around the fans.

Clarke nodded, grinning.

“Thanks, Clarke. Sorry about this,” Lexa said sheepishly, standing up.

“Not a problem, Lex,” Clarke said, giving the soccer player’s hand a reassuring squeeze before dropping it.

She scooped the little girl up in her arms, Kellan pausing in her eating as she offered the cone out to the doctor. Clarke laughed, shaking her head. “No thank you, cutie,” she said, standing up and bringing Kellan off to the side of the table as Lexa walked to the group. The players stood together as the teenagers took their phones out, and Clarke watched with Kellan perched happily against her hip as the player’s signed the girl’s shirts.

“Crazy, huh?” Raven asked, coming up from behind Clarke to stand next to her friend.

Clarke watched as more people recognized the soccer stars, approaching them. The players were all smiles, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

“Yeah, crazy,” Clarke agreed absentmindedly. She watched as one girl talked animatedly with Lexa, making the soccer player laugh before she pulled the young girl into a hug. She blinked a few times as Tobin approached her, smiling.

“Hey there kiddo, let’s not spill ice cream on Doctor Clarke’s clothes, huh?” Tobin commented, nodding her head in thanks as Clarke transferred Kellan to her. “Sorry about all this, Clarke. I’d like to say this doesn’t happen all that often but…” she trailed off, shrugging her shoulders.

Clarke shook her head, waving off Tobin’s comment with a smile. “You guys are role models for so many girls across the whole world,” she said. “I think it’s really wonderful how you guys respond to your fans.”

“Yeah, it’s rewarding but it can be a bit exhausting,” Tobin sighed, gesturing to her wife who was surrounded by fans. Lexa, Christen and Julie all had people around them still too, and Clarke caught Lexa’s eyes over the growing crowd. Lexa gave Clarke an apologetic smile, and Clarke just smiled back, nodding her head.

“Hey Princess,” Raven said, knocking Clarke’s shoulder with her own. “We better eat this ice cream on the way to the theater.”

“Going to the movies?” Tobin asked, wiping her daughter’s face with a napkin. Kellan had managed to get ice cream on her cheeks, and it was possibly the cutest thing Clarke had ever seen.

“Yeah,” Clarke confirmed. “We should take off…the preview starts in about twenty minutes and Raven gets cranky when she misses them.”

“Hey, I paid for a movie, I’m gonna watch the whole thing, previews included,” Raven ranted, and Clarke rolled her eyes, having heard the spiel before.

“Do you think you can tell Lexa…?” Clarke trailed off, gesturing in the direction of the soccer player.

Tobin nodded her head, transferring Kellan to her other hip. “No problem,” the soccer player said. “I’m not sure how long this will actually take…but I’ll let her know you had to leave.”

Clarke nodded her thanks before tapping lightly on the bill of Kellan’s hat. “See you later, kiddo,” Clarke said, smiling when the little girl grinned widely up at her.

“Bye!” Kellan yelled as Clarke and Raven walked away, making the two laugh. Clarke took one last look at Lexa, who was absorbed in a conversation with a few teens. She smiled, feeling proud of the soccer player, before facing forward.

“I’m going to eat this whole thing if you don’t get in on this, Clarke,” Raven said through a mouthful of ice cream.

Clarke just rolled her eyes, but smiled at her friend before plucking the spoon from Raven’s hand and digging in.

* *

“Holy….shit…” Lexa panted out, collapsing on the ground next to Alex. “How…is…your…wife…still…going…?”

“She has excellent stamina,” Alex replied, smirking as she took a sip from her water bottle.

“Gross,” Lexa said, scrunching her nose, before sitting up to grab her own water bottle. She watched as Tobin raised her hand to indicate that she could go another round. Though her lungs were slightly burning, she was satisfied knowing the dreaded beep test was over and done with.

“One more, Tobs!” she heard Kelley call out, and Alex clapped next to her.

“You got it, Tobin!” Lexa called out, clapping with the rest of her teammates. She smiled as Tobin seemed to catch a second (or possibly third, or fourth, or fifth) wind, making it over the line before the beep. The soccer player put her hands on the top of her head, taking in deep breaths of air.

“And Tobin has officially set the new record on the beep test with 70!” Dawn called out, and the team whooped and hollered, Alex winking down at Lexa before walking over to her wife, handing her a bottle of water.

“Ok, that’s all for today,” Dawn said, writing something on her clipboard. “Remember to check the schedule to see what day your appointment with Dr. Griffin is. I don’t have to remind any of you to be on time.” She looked up from her paper, raising an eyebrow. “I expect you all to continue to behave professionally during training hours,” she continued, smirking in Lexa’s direction.

Lexa cleared her throat, looking with renewed interest at her water bottle as her teammates snickered all around her.

“Ok, get out of here everyone,” Jill called out. “Team dinner tonight!”

Lexa looked up as she felt a pat on her back, and scowled at the smirk Anya had on her face.

“Come on, Commander,” her cousin said, slinging her arm around Lexa’s shoulders. “We’re doing a Monopoly deal tournament in my room. Winner gets the last blue Gatorade.”

Lexa just sighed, knowing that she probably wouldn’t get to see Clarke until the next day. The doctor was busy all day going over the results of the fitness tests with Dawn and Raven and the rest of the training staff. She nodded her head, following the rest of her teammates towards the exit.

“Hey Lexa!” Octavia yelled, jogging over to the Woods cousins and bumping the midfielder’s shoulder with her own. “You ready to get your ass kicked?”

Lexa quirked her eyebrow, narrowing her eyes at the younger girl. “I’m going to let that comment slide because you’re somewhat new here, and clearly have not been witness to exactly how good I am at this game,” she said, pushing Anya’s arm away from her shoulders as her cousin laughed.

“Not as good as me,” Alex yelled back towards the group, all of them cracking up as Lexa just stuck her tongue out at them.

“I hate you all,” Lexa deadpanned. She rolled her eyes, but nevertheless walked outside towards the team bus with a smile on her face, Anya’s arm once again flung over her shoulder.

* *

“I swear to—ok, one of these days, Morgan,” Lexa scowled, throwing her cards down on the table. “One of these days I will beat you.”

“I mean, it’s actually pretty impressive that you’ve lost to her every single time you’ve played against her,” Octavia commented, shrugging.

“Shut up,” Lexa muttered, crossing her arms.

“Aww, cheer up Lex,” Anya said, patting her cousin on the head. “Maybe next time.”

“Probably not though,” Alex quipped, the rest of the table laughing.

The team had in fact held a Monopoly Deal tournament after training, each of them going back to their rooms at some point to shower and change before dinner. Now they were all sitting in the designated room the hotel had given them for their meals, waiting for the food to be put out. Lexa had insisted on one more game though, after Alex had beaten her for the third time that day, and had brought the deck of cards downstairs with them.

She opened her mouth to reply, but was interrupted when Tobin appeared at the table, Kellan balanced in one arm and a magazine in the other.

“Lexa,” Tobin said, voice tinged with a seriousness that rarely appeared in the older woman’s tone. “You need to see this.”

Tobin and Kelley had forgone the Monopoly Deal tournament, and instead had taken Kellan to the park. They must have just gotten back, as Tobin took a seat next to her wife and offered the magazine to Lexa.

Lexa furrowed her eyebrows, face set in confusion as she took the item from her teammate’s hand. It was already open, and her eyes widened when she saw that she was looking at a page-long spread about the team, with a picture of her at the very top. Her eyes jumped lower to the page where she spotted another picture, one of her and Clarke holding hands as they exited the ice cream shop from earlier in the week. Another smaller picture showed Lexa with a wide smile on her face, Clarke kissing her cheek. Her eyes scanned the title, ignoring the questions from her teammates around her as she took in the headline: U.S. Soccer stars enjoy day off during training camp

She flicked her eyes back to her teammates, who were eyeing her with concern before turning her attention back to the article.

Love off the pitch:
Usually very tight lipped about her personal life, Lexa Woods—also known as her fierce on-the-field alter ego “The Commander”—enjoys a rare day off during January Camp as the U.S. Women’s National Team prepares for Olympic Qualifying.

With the start of the new year comes the start of another Olympic season, and the road to the Olympics have officially begun for reigning gold medal champions, the United States Women’s National Team.

The players headed down to Southern California last week for a month long training camp in sunny Los Angeles. Among the players called up were several familiar faces, including Alex Morgan-Heath, Becky Sauerbrunn, and of course, star midfielder Lexa Woods.

Lexa Woods is somewhat of an enigma—when she was first called up to the senior national team, Woods was just a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the young age of 19, she burst onto the scene, stealing the show with her crafty play and commanding presence in the midfield.

Woods became a household name after helping the team bring home another World Cup as the public quickly fell in love with the young player. Now, at the age of 26, Woods is a seasoned veteran on the team, known as one of the players that will help lead the team to another Olympic gold medal.

The star midfielder is a role model off the field as well—Woods is an active member of the LGBT community, openly coming out as gay in her early years with the team, as well as a part of the charity To Write Love On Her Arms, working closely with former teammate Ashlyn Harris. However, while she interacts with her fans across social media platforms, Woods is careful not to reveal anything in regards to her personal life.

Until now, that is.

Woods and her teammates were spotted at an ice cream shop in downtown LA, and were kind enough to stop and take pictures and sign autographs for those lucky fans who happened to be in the area. While it is not uncommon to find Woods in the company of her teammates, onlookers captured pictures that have since gone viral of the soccer star and her new girlfriend.

While it is uncertain at this time the identity of the soccer star’s companion, it is the first time since joining the team that Woods has given any sort of glimpse into her personal life.

We wish the young soccer star good luck on the road to the Olympics, and with what seems to be her brand new relationship. It’s safe to say Woods will once again remain in the spotlight, both for her ability on the field as well as her persona off of it.

Lexa finished the article, looking up once more to meet the concerned eyes of her teammates. She put the magazine down before closing her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose.

It was silent as everyone waited for Lexa to say something. She sighed, opening her eyes as she leaned back in her seat.

“Fuck.”

Chapter Text

“Lexa? Lexa!”

The soccer player didn’t lift her face up from where she had buried it in her pillow, remaining silent until she felt someone poking her in the arm.

“What?” her muffled voice replied.

“Lexa, will you please look at me?”

She sighed, rolling over as she stared at the ceiling. Anya and Lexa had retired to their room after dinner, and Lexa was having a hard time quelling the panic she felt rising inside her.

The article hadn’t been bad—in fact, it had been rather innocent, but it had caught her off guard. The media during the victory tour had been heavy, but after a few weeks off in between the end of the tour and January camp spending time in her hometown with her grandparents and Clarke, she had been able to relax and let her forget about the scrutiny that she was usually exposed to.

But now the Olympic qualifiers were a couple months away, and the focus was back on their team. So wrapped up in this new thing with Clarke, Lexa hadn’t even given a second thought about the fact that more than just their family and friends would be interested in who she was dating. She was a public figure, and she was used to her life being put on display for the world to see. Clarke, however, was not—she was just a girl training to be a surgeon, who loves her best friends and loves soccer.

Lexa hadn’t thought to forewarn Clarke about their relationship drawing public interest, but she wishes she had, because now the two of them were out in the open, and Clarke would be exposed to the public as well. Maybe if they had talked about this being a possibility before it happened, Lexa wouldn’t freaking out as much as she was. But the fact remains that they didn’t, and on top of that, Lexa realized that her and Clarke had never even defined their relationship—were they casually dating? Exclusive? How is it a magazine called Clarke her girlfriend when she herself hadn’t yet?

All of these thoughts had been floating around in her head throughout dinner, resulting in one final conclusion: she had to talk to Clarke.

The only problem with that was Clarke was tied up with the rest of the staff while the team was at dinner, and by the time Lexa had finished, Clarke had gone out with Dawn and Raven and the others for dinner. Lexa knew this was a conversation they needed to have in person, and so she just hoped Clarke hadn’t seen the article before they got a chance to talk.

But that meant Lexa had to wait until after their morning training was over tomorrow, and unfortunately, her brain was in overdrive, thinking of all the possible horrible outcomes that could stem from this.

“Lexa, stop thinking so hard,” Anya said, knocking the other girl out of her reverie. “You’re giving me a headache.”

Lexa just groaned again, before grabbing a pillow and covering her face with it.

“Lexa, seriously,” Anya said, removing the pillow from Lexa’s face. “Why are you freaking out so hard about this? You knew it was bound to happen eventually.”

Lexa sat up, leaning against the headboard as she sighed, looking at her cousin. “It’s just…we’re just starting this thing, you know?” she said, looking down at her hands. “I don’t want to scare her away.”

“Why do you think this will scare her away?” Anya asked, shuffling closer to sit next to her cousin.

“Because those pictures went viral!” Lexa exclaimed. “Because normal people don’t sign up for all of this,” she trailed off, waving her hand in the air. “Normal relationships aren’t mentioned by the media.”

“Lexa, this is a reality of who you are,” Anya said, furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. She still wasn’t sure why her cousin was freaking out so badly over this—Lexa often appeared in pictures or little blurbs that floated around the internet. “Why is this really bothering you so much?”

Lexa was silent, fiddling with the bottom of her shirt. She looked up then, green eyes locking onto her cousin. Anya could see the look in Lexa’s eyes—the fidgeting of her hands, the slight furrow of her eyebrows—Lexa was worried.

“Because what if…she decides it’s not worth all the extra attention?” Lexa asked quietly. She darted her eyes back down to her hands, continuing. “What if…what if she decides I’m not worth it?”

“Oh, Lex,” Anya sighed, wrapping an arm around the other girl and pulling her in closer.

“I’m not ready for this to be over,” Lexa confessed. “It’s only really just begun, and it’s…amazing,” she said, looking up again, her eyes shining bright as she thought about what Clarke has brought into her life since she met the doctor only a few months ago—though it felt simultaneously longer and shorter than that. “I’m so happy. Clarke makes me so happy. And I think I make her happy too.”

Anya smiled, her heart filling with love and pride for her cousin, who for a long time thought love was a weakness. Anya patted Lexa on the leg gently, as Lexa rested her head on her cousin’s shoulder.

“I could really fall for this girl,” Lexa said quietly. She was silent for another beat, before confessing quietly. “I think I already am.”

Anya nodded her head, resting her chin on the top of Lexa’s head. “I know, Lex,” she said softly. “But Clarke is a big girl, and she can make her own decisions. Just talk to her, before you convince yourself that you’re not worth all of the attention being in a relationship with you will bring.” She pulled away from her cousin in order to look her in the eyes, wanting to make sure Lexa took this to heart. “Because you absolutely are worth it, Lexa. And from what I’ve seen, Clarke will think so as well. She’s just as infatuated with you as you are with her.”

Lexa smiled at her cousin’s words, know that Anya always told her the truth. She wasn’t one to mince words, and so if Anya said Clarke was just as into Lexa as she was into the doctor, then Lexa hoped that it was enough to keep Clarke around.

Her phone chimed, and she reached for it on the nightstand, hands fumbling to unlock her screen when she saw there was a new message from Clarke.

Clarke Griffin: I hope you had a good night. Sorry we didn’t get to see much of each other today.

And then another one that had Lexa’s heart pounding.

Clarke Griffin: I think we need to talk tomorrow after your morning session.

* *

“Ok, we’re here,” Clarke huffed out, looking up and seeing they were only a few feet away from their room. She took those last final steps before bending down to let Raven hop onto the ground.

“Thanks for the lift, Clarke,” Raven said, sliding the card key into the slot and opening the door.

She gave her friend a pat on the cheek before entering the room, Clarke trialing behind her. The two had just gotten back from dinner with the rest of the staff, and Clarke had a great time getting to know her coworkers better. She flopped down onto her bed with a sigh, closing her eyes as she was finally able to lie down after a long day of paperwork. Clarke and Raven had spent most of the day cataloguing the player’s physical fitness tests so the next day they could adjust each player’s nutritional plan accordingly.

“Oh shit.”

Clarke opened her eyes, tilting her head up to look at Raven standing at the end of her bed. “What?”

“Monty just sent me a link to an article,” Raven said. “You might want to take a look.” She handed her phone to Clarke, who furrowed her eyebrows in confusion before she looked down at the scream.

“What the…why is there a picture of me in people magazine?” Clarke asked, zooming in on the picture. She scrolled down, eyes widening when she saw there was an actual article accompanying what looked like even more pictures. Pictures of Lexa and her, pictures of just Lexa, and even a picture of her, Raven and Octavia laughing about something—her and Raven in their training staff jackets, and Octavia in her training kit.

Raven was silent as Clarke continued to read the article, unsure of how the doctor was going to react. Clarke read the article, making comments every once in a while, though it seemed like just for the sake of making a comment.

“…viral…personal life…girlfriend!?”

Clarke looked up when she was through, her eyes meeting Raven’s, still wide with shock.

“Umm…Clarke?” Raven prompted, taking a seat next to her friend on the bed.

“Viral…a picture of us went viral? What does that even mean?” Clarke asked, turning to look at Raven.

Raven shrugged, plucking her phone from Clarke’s stilled hands. She typed in Lexa Woods to the search bar, and multiple articles came up, the headlines all saying a variation of the same thing: the usually very private Lexa Woods has a new girlfriend, and they were spotted in downtown LA over the past week.

“Oh fuck,” Clarke groaned, flopping back onto the bed. She covered her eyes with her hands, her mind racing.

Lexa was famous.

Lexa was famous, and people were actually interested in what was going on in her life.

How had she forgotten that Lexa Woods was a famous international soccer player?

Well actually, she knew exactly how she had forgotten—Lexa was a world-famous soccer player, that is true. But she was also the Lexa who she poked in the arm until the other girl eventually laughed and sang along to the radio with her.

And the Lexa who told her cheesy jokes, a proud smile on her face whenever she made Clarke laugh.

And the Lexa who had spent a day baking pies with Abby while Clarke and Indra had gone to a signing by the author of the new self-defense book they had both read.

And the Lexa who pouted adorably whenever they had to say goodnight at the end of a date, before Clarke would kiss the pout off of her face.

Lexa Woods the soccer star was the same as Lexa Woods, the girl she had been dating for the past month or so.

Obviously Clarke knew that the media was interested in Lexa, but she had expected sports media outlets to be the ones who were the most invested. That’s what it was like with Octavia, anyways—her best friend was an up and coming star forward, vetted to be the next Alex Morgan.

Octavia had dealt with her fair share of interviews and stories written by her, and Clarke had always felt so proud to read about her best friend. But Octavia’s personal life had never been discussed—perhaps it was because she was still fairly new on the senior national scene, but she certainly didn’t have any pictures of her holding hands with her date in Sports Illustrated.

Clarke had assumed Lexa received the same kind of attention, just at a more heightened level—but she hadn’t imagined that Lexa was discussed in a magazine that had nothing to do with sports, and everything to do with reporting on people’s personal lives because the nation was so invested in it.

“So…at least you look pretty in these pictures?” Raven asked as Clarke sat, leaning against the headboard.

Clarke was silent as Raven continued to scroll through the pictures. “Are you upset?”

Clarke searched her feelings, eyebrows furrowing as she thought about her best friend’s question. “Not…upset? Just…I guess I hadn’t realized how much all of this was,” she finished slowly.

“How much all of what was?” Raven asked, turning her attention to her friend.

“Dating Lexa. And what comes with it. The fans, the media, the pictures in magazines,” Clarke said. “People asking about her love life. Making assumptions. They called me her girlfriend,” she continued, trying to organize her thoughts by speaking them out loud. “We haven’t even had the girlfriend talk yet. It’s just…weird. I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m in a magazine?” she finished, rubbing the back of her neck, turning to look at her friend. “What should I…I mean, I’m not mad? But what should I do?”

Raven took note of the confusion that tinged Clarke’s voice, and the furrow of her eyebrows meant she was thinking hard about the situation. She knew that she should step in before Clarke started to spiral, imagining all the ways being with Lexa Woods would bring unwanted attention to her own life.

“Well, what do you wanna do Clarke?” Raven asked seriously. “I think this article means you have to decide.”

“Decide…?”

Raven put her phone down on the bedside table before turning back to Clarke. “Decide if you’re all in, Griff. There’s no half ass-ing this thing anymore,” she said, holding her hand up to stop Clarke’s protests. “I don’t mean you were half ass-ing your feelings for Lexa. I mean now that you have an idea of everything that comes with being in a relationship with a professional athlete, you have to decide. I don’t think casual dating will work in this situation,” she continued. “She’s a professional athlete, which means she’s traveling all over the world. You won’t always be in the same place, especially once you go back to work at the hospital. So you have to decide: all in or all out?”

Clarke was silent still, thinking about what Raven was saying. It was true—Lexa and her had so far remained untouched by outside factors, but this article served as a reminder that Lexa wasn’t someone who could live her life under the radar. Not to mention Raven’s last point—her and Lexa wouldn’t always be in the same place. Lexa was always traveling with the National Team, and when she wasn’t, she played in the NWSL for FCKC, which meant she lived in Kansas City for a good chunk of the year.

“What…I mean, what do you think I should do?” Clarke asked, all of these points floating around in her head.

Raven took in her friend’s demeanor, staying silent before taking a deep breath. “Ok, do you remember when we were in high school, like a year after my accident, when we went on that vacation to Hawaii?” Raven asked.

“You mean that vacation where my mom got so sunburned she couldn’t leave the hotel room for an entire day?” Clarke asked, snorting at the memory.

Raven laughed, nodding her head. “And Mama B stayed with her, so Bell took us cliff diving even though we weren’t supposed to?”

Clarke smiled, thinking of the memory. It was a great trip—the beach, the sun, and her best friends. It was one of the last family vacations all of them had been able to go together, the one before Octavia started to get serious looks from the national teams, and Clarke became more invested in studying medicine, and Raven delving deeper into engineering.

“And we stopped at that stand on the side of the road to get banana bread,” Clarke remembered. “Best banana bread.”

“Best banana bread,” Raven agreed. “Wait, but that’s—ok, we’re getting off track. So the cliff, right?”

“Right, the cliff. Go on,” Clarke said, nodding her head.

“We got there and Octavia immediately ran the whole way towards the edge before just leaping off,” Raven continued. “And then Bell went, and it was just me and you. And you told me to go next, remember? But I didn’t think I could, because of my leg?”

“You can do anything you want, Rae,” Clarke interrupted, placing her hand on top of the other girl’s and lacing their fingers together.

Raven smiled softly, giving Clarke’s hand a squeeze. “We both know that’s not true, but I appreciate you saying that,” she said, knowing that Clarke believed in her unconditionally.

When Raven had first woken up in the hospital, the day after her accident unable to move her leg, she had immediately begun to freak out. She couldn’t remember how she had gotten there, or why she was hooked up to an IV, a cast on her arm and her leg immobilized. And then everything had come flooding back to her at once, and she felt overwhelmed, unable to comprehend what was going to happen next.

But before she could shed a tear, Clarke and Octavia were there, on either side of her. Octavia had held her hand, stroking her hair away from her face while Clarke had climbed onto the bed and held her loosely around the waist. The two of them had held Raven together as she fell apart, crying for the tough road she knew was ahead of her. They had been by her side since they were ten-years-old, and had been by her side ever since.

“Anyways, I wanted to turn back around and wait for you guys to get back, remember?” Raven said. “But you wouldn’t let me. You grabbed my hand, and said we would take the leap together.” She leaned her head against Clarke’s shoulder, taking a deep breath. “I was scared, but you said to think of it as a leap of faith. So we took a few steps back from the edge, and right before we took that running start, you turned to me. And do you remember what you said right before we jumped?”

“Hmm?” Clarke hummed, resting her head on top of Raven’s.

“Say geronimo, babe,” Raven answered, smiling softly. She took Clarke’s hand in both of hers, bringing it up to her chest. “And then you held my hand when we went over the edge of that cliff, and we screamed the entire way down. But it was one of those moments that made me realize that just because I’m in a brace doesn’t mean I should limit myself before I even try.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Clarke asked softly, turning to look at her best friend.

Raven smiled at her. “Because you’re standing on another cliff, Clarke. You can either take the leap, or turn around and head back the way you came,” she said. “And if I know my best friend like I think I do, then I’m pretty sure I know what you’re gonna choose,” Raven said, standing up and stretching.

She shuffled over to her suitcase, pulling out her pajamas before turning back towards Clarke. “So, you like this girl, Griff. What are you gonna do about it?” she asked.

Clarke sighed, taking in Raven’s words. Her best friend was right—she needed to take a leap of faith. She reached for her cell phone lying on the bedside table.

It was time to be bold.

She unlocked her phone, typing out a new message. She paused, her thumb hovering over the send button.

Yes, she could be bold.

She hit send, before turning her attention back to Raven, who had plopped down on her own bed, television remote in hand.

“I’m about to do something really fucking cheesy,” Clarke stated firmly, watching as a smile grew on her best friend’s face.

“Now that’s what I like to hear, Griff,” Raven said, smirking at her friend. “Say geronimo, babe.”

* *

“Ok, great job today, everyone! Make sure to double check your cool down schedules!”

Lexa stood up straighter, resting her hands on top of her head before walking to the sideline to grab her water bottle. She plopped down on the ground, staring at the laces on her cleats, but not making a move to untie them.

“Why the long face, Lex?” she heard, and saw Anya standing above her.

She held her hand up, blocking the sun as she squinted up at her cousin. She sighed, taking a sip of her water.

“I’m supposed to have my talk with Clarke after training,” she explained, lifting up the bottom of her shirt to wipe the sweat off of her forehead. “But she hasn’t texted me since last night, and I only caught a glimpse of her while she was taping up Alex’s wrist earlier.”

“So…what’s the problem?” Anya asked, crossing her arms.

“I can’t get a read on her,” Lexa groaned. “For all I know, she could be coming out here to break off whatever…this thing is that we’ve been doing.”

Anya snorted, lightly kicking Lexa’s foot with her own. “If that girl breaks up with you, I’ll eat my socks.”

Lexa frowned, looking up at her cousin again. “That’s a weird thing to say.”

“Shut up,” Anya replied. “Look, everything is going to be fine. And if it’s not, then…well…we know where she works.”

The goalkeeper let out a chuckle, and Lexa cracked a smile. “You’re an idiot.”

“You’re an idiot,” Anya fired back. She bent down slightly to pat Lexa on the head. “Everything will be fine, Lexa. Don’t worry.” She straightened back up, gesturing towards where the rest of their teammates were making their way off the field and to the locker room. “Meet you in there?”

Lexa nodded her head, watching Anya walk away before turning her attention back to her cleats. She let out a sigh, reaching down to slowly untie her laces. Once she got them loose she took her boots off, slipping on her tennis shoes instead. She slowly stood up, grabbing her cleats and water bottle before stretching her arms above her head.

“Hey Woods!” she heard from behind her, and quickly turned around, dropping the items in her hand when she spotted Clarke, ball at her feet.

She watched, face set in confusion as Clarke kicked the ball (in pretty good form too, Lexa would note later) towards the soccer player. Lexa automatically brought the ball down, as was her instinct, in one touch. She glanced down at the ball at her feet, but did a double take when she noticed what looked to be letters written on it. She picked up the ball, spinning it around until the words, written in block letters with a sharpie, were facing her.

I BET YOU PLAY SOCCER BECAUSE YOU’RE A KEEPER

Lexa burst out laughing, holding the soccer ball with both hands.

“Did you know there’s a severe lack of soccer related pick up lines?” Clarke shouted from her spot where she had kicked the ball.

Lexa just continued to laugh, tucking the ball into her side as Clarke jogged over to her, smile on her face. “This doesn’t even make sense, Clarke. I’m a midfielder.”

“Yeah, well,” Clarke said, shrugging. She stopped in front of the soccer player, reaching for the hand that wasn’t holding the soccer ball. “Hi,” Clarke greeted as Lexa chuckled, before capturing the soccer player’s lips with her own, Lexa’s chuckles fading away as she lost herself in the sensation of Clarke’s lips.

Clarke broke away with a soft kiss to the corner of Lexa’s mouth, grinning as the soccer player smiled back.

“Hi,” Lexa offered back, smiling as Clarke let out a soft laugh. “What’s this?” she asked, holding the soccer ball up between them.

“Well, I thought it was about time I asked you properly to be my girlfriend,” Clarke said, bringing her arms up and linking her hands together behind Lexa’s neck.

“Girlfriend?” Lexa asked, eyes widening.

“Yeah, I thought, ‘What’s the absolute cheesiest way I can ask?’ and then well,” Clarke continued, gesturing to the soccer ball. “Raven and I might have taken this one from the equipment room.”

“You know the equipment team keeps track of the number of soccer balls they have, right?” Lexa asked, grinning. She dropped the ball, letting it rest in the space between her feet before placing her hands on Clarke’s waist.

Clarke just shrugged, grinning. “I can be very stealthy,” she answered easily.

Lexa let out a laugh, slowly closing the gap between them. “You know, I very much believe that,” she replied, before connecting their lips once more.

Lexa felt a surge of affection well up inside of her for the girl in her arms, and she moved her hands to the doctor’s back as she pulled Clarke closer, deepening the kiss. She felt Clarke open her mouth slightly, and their tongues met as she lost herself in the kiss. One of Clarke’s hands cupped Lexa’s cheek, while the other slid behind the soccer player’s neck, keeping her in place.

They broke apart as Lexa placed a series of softer, gentle kisses against Clarke’s lips before pulling away, but instead of taking a step back, she rested her forehead against Clarke’s.

“So, you still haven’t answered me,” Clarke breathed out into the small space between them.

“I’ll be your girlfriend if you’ll be mine,” Lexa said, grinning. She placed another kiss on the corner of Clarke’s mouth, moving across the other girl’s jaw before peppering Clarke’s face with kisses until the doctor began to giggle. She wrapped her arms tighter around Clarke, picking the girl up, spinning the two of them around, their laughter mixing together.

When she put Clarke down, she reached down and grabbed both of Clarke’s hands in hers, linking their fingers together. “I thought you were coming out here to break up with me,” Lexa confessed, almost breathless from how happy she felt that the exact opposite had happened.

Girlfriend.

Clarke Griffin was officially her girlfriend.

She was Clarke’s girlfriend.

She grinned again at the thought, Clarke’s hands giving her own a light squeeze.

“Because of the article?” Clarke asked.

Lexa nodded her head, looking down at the soccer ball that rested near their feet before looking back up, meeting her favorite pair of blue eyes. “I thought it would scare you away,” she said.

Clarke smiled softly at the other girl. “Honestly, it did freak me out a little bit. But Lexa,” she said, releasing one of Lexa’s hands and bringing her hand up to cup the soccer player’s cheek. “You’re so worth it. We’re so worth it. I like you, Lexa.” She shrugged, grinning. “So you come with millions of adoring fans and the paparazzi every once in a while? I’m a big girl. I can deal with a few photos being taken.”

Lexa let out a breathe she didn’t know she was holding.

Clarke hadn’t been scared off. She thought Lexa was worth it.

Clarke still wanted her.

Clarke was her girlfriend.

She let out another grin, giving Clarke a quick kiss before tapping the ball over to the bench, leading the doctor over to where her bag was sitting. She rummaged through it before finding her phone, turning back to Clarke.

“Wanna really give them something to write about?” Lexa asked, holding her phone up.

Clarke just laughed before nodding her head, plucking Lexa’s phone out of her hand and pulling up the camera. Clarke held the phone up as Lexa looked at the camera. Clarke kissed her cheek, and she smiled as she felt something in her chest warm at the simple act of affection.

“You’re so cute,” Clarke commented, and Lexa rolled her eyes, smile still on her face as she grabbed the offered phone.

Lexa looked down at the picture, heart pounding. It was a simple picture, really—she was smiling at the camera, Clarke leaning in close, kissing her cheek. The doctor’s blonde hair seemed to shimmer under the LA sun, both of their eyes sparkling with happiness. She pulled up her instagram app, typing out a caption before posting the picture, knowing the next time she looked there would be an insane amount of likes.

“We have tomorrow off,” Lexa said suddenly, looking up.

“Oh yeah?” Clarke asked, watching as Lexa stuffed her shoes and water bottle in her bag, slinging it around her shoulders before reaching for Clarke’s hand again, intertwining their fingers once more.

The two started walking towards the locker room, Lexa tapping the soccer ball lightly in front of her.

“Can I take you out on a date?” Lexa asked.

Clarke smiled, leaning over to place a soft kiss on Lexa’s cheek. “I would really love that,” she answered.

Lexa grinned in response, and the two entered the locker room, riding a high of happiness and something that was suspiciously feeling more and more like love.

* *

@LexaWoods: She doesn't play soccer, but she's definitely a keeper.

Chapter Text

“Clarke, you and your girlfriend broke the internet,” Bellamy’s voice said, filtering through the phone.

“Over a million likes!” Miller’s voice echoed.

“She’s hot! Well done Princess!” Jasper added, and Clarke snorted as she heard multiple slaps being doled out to what was presumably the back of Jasper’s head.

“You look really happy,” Monty’s soft voice said.

Clarke smiled, moving her phone from one ear to the other, holding it in place with her shoulder as she tied her shoe. “I am really happy,” she replied, humming lightly.

“So now that you’re basically famous can you get us Taylor Swift tickets?” Jasper asked.

The sounds of slaps could be heard again, mixed with Jasper’s affronted cries.

Clarke just laughed, straightening up as she grabbed her bag. “As much fun as this has been, I’ve got to get going now,” she said, looking over the room one last time to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything. “We’re heading to the training facility so I can finish the rest of the fitness tests.”

“Ok, we’ll let you go Princess. We just wanted to let you know how happy we are for you,” Bellamy’s warm voice said, making Clarke smile as she heard the rest of her friends echo his sentiment.

“Thanks guys,” Clarke responded. “Talk to you later.”

She heard a chorus of goodbyes before hanging up and exiting the room, closing the door behind her. Clarke still had a smile on her face as she walked to the elevator, thinking about all that had happened since Lexa had posted that picture of them a few days ago.

Her mom had called her immediately after one of the nurses had seen the picture, demanding that Clarke and Lexa have dinner with her once they got back to Seattle.

She’d gotten texts from her colleagues in DC, all of them a variation of excited emojis and gifs (which Clarke thought was slightly ironic, seeing as they were some of the most intelligent brains of their generation and yet conversed solely through gifs).

Her friends had immediately contacted her as well, all of them separately texting her and adding to the ongoing group chat labeled “The Delinquents” (which was an inside joke from when they were in high school, and the principal had called them that after Clarke and Raven had successfully talked their entire group out of detention due to a prank gone wrong that had left the cafeteria covered in jello).

Clarke had been nervous for the reaction of the rest of the training staff—she wasn’t sure if a team doctor had ever dated one of the players before, but Dawn had given her a pat on the back and a wink, and the rest had confessed about the ongoing pool they had about when her and Lexa would admit that they were dating.

But for Clarke, the best thing that came as a result of that picture was why it was taken—Lexa is her girlfriend.

She is dating Lexa Woods.

Lexa Woods is her girlfriend.

She is Lexa Woods’ girlfriend.

The beautiful, amazing, talented, awkward dorky girl that Clarke had come to know over the course of these past few months never failed to put a smile on her face.

“Finally,” Clarke heard, and grinned as she looked up from her phone to see Raven standing in front of the elevator, tray of coffee in her hand, leaning against her cane. “What took you so long?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, taking the tray from her friend as the two walked through the lobby towards the front where the van was waiting to take them to the field.

“You were waiting maybe five minutes,” Clarke pointed out, taking a sip of her coffee.

Raven scoffed as they reached the car, holding the driver’s side door open for Clarke and receiving a pat on the cheek for her chivalry. She walked back around, climbing into the passenger’s seat.

“Do you know what could happen in five minutes, Clarke?” Raven asked, picking up her own coffee. “I could have choked on a sandwich. I could have met Ed Sheeran. I could have been kidnapped. I could have launched a rocket!”

Clarke, used to her best friend’s antics, just shook her head as they drove down the streets of LA. “None of those things happened,” she replied. “Also, I’m certain you could fight a kidnapper off.”

“Well, yes, but that’s beside the point,” Raven argued. “You’re lucky I love you, Griff. I hate waiting.”

“Please, you and I both know you’d wait forever for me,” Clarke teased, poking her friend in the arm a few times.

“Well, yeah. But I wouldn’t be happy about it,” Raven grumbled, knowing her best friend was right.

Clarke just laughed before turning the volume on the stereo up, music filling the car as she and Raven continued on their way.

* *

“Ok, so everything looks good,” Clarke said, finishing up a note on her clipboard before looking up. “You can take a seat again. And you’re all set with the cool down exercises we discussed?”

Anya nodded, wiping her face with a towel before sitting back down on the padded table. She was finishing up the last of her fitness tests, the other goalkeepers currently with Raven across the field, going over their nutritional plans.

“Ok, cool. Well that’s all the business you and I have for today. You can go see Raven…” Clarke said, trailing off when Anya shook her head. “Oh, did you have any questions?”

“No, I want to talk to you,” Anya said.

Clarke frowned, pulling her chair closer to the exam table before sitting down, giving Anya her undivided attention. “Ok, what’s up?” she asked the older girl, Anya’s face remaining as stoic as ever.

“It’s about Lexa,” the goalkeeper said.

Clarke furrowed her eyebrows, waiting for Anya to continue.

“I think you’re good for Lexa,” Anya said bluntly. “You make her happy, and since she’s met you, Lexa has been acting more like herself than ever. She no longer walks around like the weight of the world is on her shoulders.”

“Ok…” Clarke nodded her head, but didn’t add more. She knew what was happening—Anya was giving her the best friend talk.

“You make Lexa happy,” Anya repeated. “And so far, you’ve been able to win over most of my family as well. My Nona actually respects you, and there are only a handful of people who I can truly say that about. And so far you haven’t pissed me off. So I’m only going to say this once: if you hurt my cousin, I will show you exactly how hard a goalie can punch.”

Clarke couldn’t help but smile softly. She knew Anya was completely serious, and normally she would be offended—but Anya’s threat stemmed from her love of her cousin, wanting the best for Lexa. Clarke admired the bond Anya and Lexa had, and from the stories Lexa had shared with her so far it was clear that Anya was one of the most important people in her girlfriend’s life.

“Understood,” Clarke said, standing up. She grinned, and stuck her arm out. Anya looked at Clarke for a beat before taking Clarke’s arm, clasping her forearm much like Indra always did in parting.

“Woods! Get your fine ass over here!” Raven yelled from across the field, catching the attention of their teammates who were spread across the sideline, practice having just ended. Clarke and Anya laughed as Lexa shot Raven a confused look, before turning to look at Clarke. “Not you, Commander. I’m talking to the hot goalkeeper!”

Clarke snorted, covering her mouth as she shook with laughter. “I believe she’s talking about you,” she said to Anya, gesturing to where Raven was standing, an innocent look on her face as she smiled in their direction.

Anya sighed, but her signature smirk was on her face as she gave Clarke a nod before walking over towards where Raven was waiting, tapping her cane impatiently.

Clarke busied herself with putting all of her stuff back in her bag, making sure she had everything to give to Dawn later that day.

“Sup doc?”

Clarke grinned, looking up to meet Lexa’s sparkling green eyes.

“Hi,” she greeted, brushing a piece of hair that had fallen out of her loose bun behind her ear.

Lexa smiled, stepping closer and reaching down to lace her fingers with Clarke’s free hand. The soccer player leaned in, giving Clarke a soft kiss on the lips. Clarke laughed into the kiss as she heard the hollers and whistles from Lexa’s teammates behind them.

Lexa sighed, rolling her eyes with a fond smile on her face. “They’re literally the worst.”

“You love them,” Clarke replied. “They just like to see you happy.”

“They like to embarrass me,” Lexa corrected. “And they’ve never actually seen me with a girlfriend before, so they’re all being SUPER IMMATURE ABOUT THIS,” she continued, voice becoming louder at the end of her sentence as she threw a look over her shoulder to her teammates, who only continued to let out cheers. “Honestly, you are mothers!” Lexa shouted to Kelley and Alex, who had broken out into a somewhat provocative dance as the rest of the team egged them on. The midfielder just sighed, turning back to the doctor, who had large grin on her face as she stared at her girlfriend.

“What?” Lexa asked, raising an eyebrow in question as Clarke continued to stare.

“I like the way you say girlfriend,” Clarke said, putting her bag down and wrapping her arms around Lexa’s neck.

“You wanna know a secret?” Lexa asked in a mock whisper, looking around with her eyes before they landed on Clarke again.

Clarke nodded as Lexa’s hands landed on the doctor’s waist, circling around and resting on Clarke’s lower back.

“I like the way it sounds,” Lexa said, smiling proudly.

Clarke laughed again, and then she couldn’t help it—she closed the gap between them, capturing Lexa’s bottom lip in both of hers. She knew that they were still on the training grounds, and still very much in the view of Lexa’s teammates, but the happiness that coursed through her body and the fast beating of her heart were all she could really register.

She felt Lexa smile into the kiss, and Clarke leaned even closer, placing a firm kiss on her girlfriend’s lips before leaning back. She dropped one more soft kiss on the corner of Lexa’s mouth before taking a small step back.

“No, wait—more please,” Lexa whined, stepping forward as Clarke stepped back.

Clarke just laughed, shaking her head. “Maybe later, Commander,” she teased. She looked over Lexa’s shoulder at the rest of the midfielder’s team. “But if you don’t get going you’re gonna miss your ride,” she continued, gesturing behind Lexa. The soccer player turned, noticing most of her teammates were done changing and were heading towards the bus.

“And I can’t give you one, it would make it seem like I favor you or something,” Clarke joked.

Lexa just grinned, shaking her head again before leaning in to place one more kiss on Clarke’s lips—this one quick, but still rendered the blonde doctor weak in the knees.

“I’ll text you later,” Lexa called over her shoulder, waving as she jogged to catch up to the rest of her team.

Clarke chuckled, watching her girlfriend give a goofy grin before jumping on Anya’s back, making the goalkeeper let out a surprised yelp.

“I swear to god,” she heard Anya say. “Don’t make me kick your ass, kid.”

“You’re literally a year older,” her girlfriend whined, as the two disappeared onto the bus.

Clarke shook her head before picking her bag up again, being joined by Raven.

“Let’s go get burritos,” Raven said.

Clarke turned towards her friend, eyebrow raised. “How is it you always know exactly what I’m thinking?”

“Because I’m in tune with all things Griffin,” Raven responded easily, nudging Clarke with her shoulder.

Clarke just smiled, and the two of them made their way back into the facility to meet up with the rest of the staff before heading to lunch.

* *

“Octavia,” Lexa greeted, blinking as the other girl plopped down in the seat next to Lexa. The team was headed back to the hotel after their morning training session, and Lexa had just put her phone back in her pocket in case Clarke texted her. Normally, the seat next to her remained unoccupied, as Lexa preferred to put her headphones on and drown out the world on bus rides.

“Lexa,” the other girl said, nodding her head.

Lexa studied the girl next to her, noticing the serious look on the young forward’s face and the hard glint in her eyes. She looked around briefly, noticing the rest of their teammates weren’t paying attention to them, except for Anya who gave Lexa a questioning look, to which the midfielder just shrugged her shoulders towards her cousin.

“What’s up?” Lexa asked, breaking the silence that had settled between them.

“I like you,” Octavia said, crossing her arms. “You’ve taken me under your wing, and I’ve learned so much in just a few months. I respect the hell out of you, and I’m glad we’re becoming better friends.”

“I’m glad we’re becoming better friends too, Octavia,” Lexa stated happily, smiling slightly at the other girl.

Octavia returned her smile briefly, before she put a hard look back on her face.

“I like you,” Octavia repeated. “But I love Clarke.”

Lexa’s confused look morphed to one of understanding—she was currently getting the best friend talk. To say she wasn’t nervous would be a lie—Lexa had never really been on the receiving end of this kind of talk, and the bond Clarke and Octavia had spanned years. She knew Clarke loved Octavia like a sister, and Octavia felt the same way—they had a genuine friendship, one that Lexa knew could never be broken. Clarke had once told Lexa that Octavia and Raven were her home—Clarke said she never felt more safe and at peace than when she was with her two best friends (and Lexa secretly hoped she would one day be added to that list of people Clarke could call home).

“Clarke is my family,” Octavia continued. “I was there to push John Murphy to the ground in the fourth grade when he pulled Clarke’s pigtails, I was there to punch that bitch Sarah Lam sophomore year when she called Clarke a dyke after she came out as bisexual, I was there in college when she had her first heartbreak. I was there for all of it, and I had Clarke’s back because she’s always had mine. Clarke is special.”

Lexa could only nod, sensing the other girl wasn’t done.

“She was there when I got cut from the middle school soccer team my first year,” Octavia told the other girl. “She was there when I tore my ACL sophomore year of high school, and she was at every single one of my college games despite being pre-med and basically living at the library.”

“Clarke is a big girl, and she definitely can take care of herself,” Octavia said. She took a deep breath, turning to face Lexa. “But Clarke is my family,” she said again, her eyes boring into Lexa’s own. “And I always protect my family.”

Normally, Lexa would bristle and become defensive if someone ever subtly threatened her like this. And she could tell Octavia’s threat was not an empty one, but she couldn’t help but be more in awe at the loyalty and friendship between Clarke and Octavia.

“I understand,” Lexa answered, patting Octavia on the leg. “And I certainly have no intention of hurting Clarke,” she said softly.

She saw Octavia’s shoulders drop, tension leaving as she slumped back into her seat. “Ok, good,” Octavia said. “Because I like you, and we’re teammates and friends, but that doesn’t make you exempt from the best friend talk.”

Lexa laughed, nodding her head. “I appreciate the loyalty you have for your friend, Octavia,” she said.

Octavia just shrugged, smiling. “Yeah well, like I said. Clarke is special. And you’re damn lucky to be with her,” she said, nudging Lexa in the shoulder.

Lexa thought about her girlfriend, who was rapidly becoming one of the most important people in her life. “I know,” she replied.

Octavia laughed, shaking her head. “You two are so disgustingly cute,” she teased.

“Shut up,” Lexa replied, but couldn’t keep the smile off of her face at the comment. She opened her mouth to say more, but paused when her phone buzzed in her pocket. She pulled it out, expecting a text from Clarke, but instead was met with a notification from an instagram picture she had been tagged in.

Lexa tapped on the notification, jaw dropping as she looked at the picture Kelley had posted.

It was her and Clarke, and it looked like it had only been taken mere minutes ago.

Clarke had her arms wrapped around the soccer player’s neck, laughing at something Lexa was saying. Lexa’s hands were resting on Clarke’s waist, and she was smiling at her girlfriend. Her eyes dropped down to the caption below it.

Commander Heart Eyes

She groaned, eyes closing as her head fell back into the headrest.

“You guys are literally the worst,” she complained loudly, to the laughter of her teammates. Lexa opened her eyes before sighing again, but couldn’t quite keep the smile off of her face. “And send me that picture,” she said to Kelley, who was grinning at her from across the aisle.

“Yes ma’am, Commander,” Kelley saluted, a cheeky grin on her face.

Lexa’s eyes went back to the picture, hitting the like button before locking her phone. She ignored Octavia’s laughter from next to her, and Kelley’s wink as Alex and Tobin snickered in their seats behind her.

Her teammates were literally the worst (but not really, because they were seriously the best kinds of people).

* *

Lexa smoothed down her tank top, tightening the flannel tied around her waist before knocking on the door. The team had a rare off day, and she was there to pick Clarke up for a date. She didn’t think Clarke would want flowers—after all, there would be nowhere to keep them since they were all living out of a hotel for another week—but she did manage to buy some chocolate from the store in the hotel lobby.

“Commander Heart Eyes,” Raven greeted as she opened the door, smirking at the soccer player. “Right on time.”

“Hello, Raven,” Lexa said, rolling her eyes at the nickname. Her teammates had taken to calling her that ever since Kelley’s instagram post, which (to Lexa’s dismay) had over a million likes and counting. “Is Clarke ready?”

“She’s just finishing up a call from Mama B,” Raven explained, leaning against the doorframe. “She should be wrapping it up right now though.”

Lexa nodded, and was suddenly nervous at the look Raven was giving her. It wasn’t the other girl’s usual smirk—in fact, the girl seemed to have the rare serious look on her face, and Lexa had a feeling she was about to get a second round of the best friend talk.

“So, Lexa,” Raven drawled, tapping her cane on the floor a few times.

“Yes?” Lexa asked a bit wearily.

With Octavia, she knew what to expect—she had spent more time with Octavia than Raven, seeing as she was teammates with the former. Where Octavia was more brazen and headstrong, Raven was more calculated, her brain collecting and storing information before making a decision. Lexa acknowledged that while Octavia and Raven were different, they both tolerated zero bullshit, and were also devoted to Clarke in the same way—unconditionally and unapologetically.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of my proclivity for making things go boom?” Raven asked.

Raven paused as Lexa nodded her head slowly, remembering a few stories Clarke had told her that clearly highlighted Raven’s genius as well as her mischievous streak.

“You play against the best soccer players in the world,” Raven continued, nodding her head. “The competition is tough, and I’m sure you’re used to your share of dirty tackles and hard fouls. And you survive,” she stated, pausing as she crossed her arms, still leaning against the doorframe. “But hurt Clarke, and I guarantee you won’t survive me. Pick up what I’m putting down, Commander?”

Lexa nodded her head—she took the words Raven was saying very seriously. Raven, like Octavia, was one of the most important people in her girlfriend’ life. She knew that the two of them were just looking out for Clarke like they had been their entire lives—it was like Octavia had said, they always protect their family. She had no doubt that Clarke had given her fair share of best friend talks over the years as well.

“Got it, Reyes,” Lexa answered, feeling the tension leave her shoulders as Raven gave her a genuine smile, before her usual smirk appeared on her face.

“Hey,” Clarke said, appearing behind Raven.

“Hi,” Lexa replied, a smile automatically appearing on her face at seeing her girlfriend. “Ready to go?”

Clarke nodded, walking past Raven and reaching for Lexa’s hand, intertwining their fingers. “See you later, Rae,” Clarke said, pulling Lexa down the hallway. The soccer player waved at Raven as the other girl called out after them.

“Later, Griff. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Raven said as the elevator doors opened and the couple stepped inside.

Lexa just chuckled at the other girl’s antics, before Clarke abruptly cut her off. More specifically, Clarke’s lips, which had found their way to Lexa’s. She closed her eyes, bringing a hand up to cup Clarke’s cheek as her girlfriend’s tongue met her own. She moaned as she felt Clarke nibble on her lip, before pulling back slightly, teeth scraping against her bottom lip.

“Whoa,” Lexa breathed out. “Umm, hi.” She cleared her throat, feeling her face flush at her inability to string together an actual sentence. Clarke seemed to have that effect on her. “What was that for?”

“Just because I can,” Clarke said, grinning as she leaned over to give Lexa a kiss on the cheek. “And because you’re really, really cute.”

“I am not cute, Clarke,” Lexa scowled as the elevator doors opened. She and Clarke stepped out of the elevator, walking across the lobby. “I’m one of the most feared soccer players in the world. I’m a warrior. I’m the Commander.”

“Whatever you say, babe,” Clarke teased, not noticing the smile that bloomed on her girlfriend’s face when she used the pet name.

“I do say,” Lexa agreed, nodding her head. “I also say that I’m going to kick your ass in mini golf.”

Clarke snorted, shaking her head as the two reached the taxi Lexa had requested waiting out front. Lexa took Clarke’s non-response as an agreement, and happily opened the door for her girlfriend, earning a kiss on the cheek. She slid in next to Clarke, giving the driver their destination before turning back to Clarke.

“So you want to make a bet?” Lexa asked, smirking at her girlfriend. “I’ll even go easy on you and everything,” she added.

Lexa would chalk up missing the mischievous look on Clarke’s face as a byproduct of being caught up in the bright, sparkling blue of her girlfriend’s eyes.

“Sure,” Clarke agreed, and Lexa rubbed her hands together before laying out the terms of the bet.

Lexa was going to have so much fun.

* *

Lexa was not having fun.

Well, that’s a lie, and an exaggeration—she was having more fun on this date than she thought possible considering the fact that she was losing spectacularly to her girlfriend, who was currently doing a happy dance that could have been interpreted for a moon walk but was really just Clarke shuffling her feet back and forth.

“You totally played me,” Lexa said, still staring at her dancing girlfriend.

Clarke just shrugged, shuffling closer to Lexa and taking both her hands, swinging their arms back and forth.

“Totally hustled me,” Lexa stated.

“You don’t have any real proof of that, babe,” Clarke said, leaning in and giving Lexa a quick kiss before picking up her putter, taking a step back. “Your turn,” she said happily. “Good luck!”

Lexa shot Clarke a look, making the doctor burst out laughing.

Lexa didn’t think it was possible, but they were on the last hole of the course and Clarke had gotten at least three hole-in-ones. Three. She was also generally three or four strokes less than Lexa on each hole.

“I can’t believe I fell for that whole innocent act,” Lexa grumbled, lining up her shot.

“There was no act,” Clarke scoffed. “You simply said you would kick my ass, and I didn’t respond.”

“Whatever,” Lexa mumbled, concentrating on taking her shot.

“Would it be totally cliché for me to stand behind you and help you take this shot right now?” Clarke asked.

Lexa turned her head to look over her shoulder at Clarke, sticking her tongue out.

“Wow. Rude. I was just trying to help,” Clarke said, grinning.

“I don’t need help,” Lexa replied, turning back to her ball. “I got this,” she muttered. She pulled the club back and tapped the golf ball, watching its trajectory. It seemed to be on course until the dinosaur closed its mouth, preventing the ball from going through the tunnel and to the other side where the hole was. “Son of a—”

“Language, Commander,” Clarke teased, cutting her off. “There are children around.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, but smiled as she felt Clarke place a kiss on her cheek. She draped her arm around Clarke’s shoulder, the two of them walking over to where Lexa’s ball was sitting in front of the dinosaur’s mouth.

“Tell you what,” Clarke said, leaning closer to Lexa until her mouth was practically on Lexa’s ear. “If you can finish this hole in under four strokes, I’ll give you a treat,” she said softly, and Lexa felt a shudder go through her as she felt Clarke take her earlobe between her teeth, pulling lightly before taking a step back and walking to the sideline, an innocent look on her face as she waited for Lexa to take her next shot.

Lexa concentrated on her shot, determined to finish in under three strokes (because she was a competitive asshole, and now she just wanted to finish this last hole quickly so she could collect on whatever treat Clarke had in store for her). She lined up her shot, waiting until the dinosaur opened his mouth again before hitting the ball, getting more excited as it looked to be on line.

“Yes!” she shouted, pumping her fist up and down as if she had just scored a goal when the golf ball landed in the hole. She turned towards Clarke, who was laughing and holding her phone up, recording the moment. “Clarke, what are you doing?”

“Just documenting the moment,” Clarke replied innocently, putting her phone back in her pocket.

Lexa knew that video was going to end up on the internet sometime later that night, but she found she didn’t really care as she bounded over to Clarke, wrapping her arms around her girlfriend’s waist.

“I did it. Did you see that?” she asked excitedly, making Clarke laugh again.

“I did,” Clarke said, nodding her head. “Good job, babe.”

She smiled as Clarke leaned in, brushing a strand of hair behind Lexa’s ear before planting a kiss on her girlfriend’s lips.

“Mmm, you ready for your treat?” Clarke asked as they broke apart.

Lexa nodded excitedly, and Clarke grinned, taking Lexa’s hand and pulling them towards the inside of the building, where the arcade was. They stopped to return their putters before Clarke dragged her over to the corner, smiling at the soccer player. Lexa felt Clarke’s hand in the back pocket of her jeans suddenly, and stifled a gasp as her girlfriend’s other hand landed on the small of her back, just under her shirt.

“For your treat…” Clarke said softly, leaning closer.

Lexa gulped, nodding her head.

“…I won’t completely destroy you in skee ball,” her girlfriend finished, leaning back with a grin as she turned, gesturing to the machines in front of them.

Lexa blinked rapidly as Clarke put tokens into two machines, watching with her mouth slightly open as Clarke picked up one of the skee balls and tossed it up in the air.

“Well, what do you say, Commander?” Clarke teased. “Ready to get your ass only mildly handed to you this time?”

That was enough to snap Lexa out of her stupor, and she shook her head, stepping up in front of one of the machines.

“Oh, it is so on,” Lexa said, grinning as her competitive nature overtook her.

Clarke just laughed, and Lexa couldn’t help but give her girlfriend another quick kiss before turning her attention to the game.

Lexa was having so much fun.

And as Clarke broke out into another happy dance when she managed to sink a shot into the 100 slot, Lexa could only laugh and kiss her girlfriend again.

* *

@ClarkeGriffin: Turns out @LexaWoods isn’t so great at mini putt and should most definitely stick to soccer…but how cute is this celebration when she finally sank the shot? #datenight

@LexaWoods: @ClarkeGriffin that’s it. Your phone privileges are revoked. #canyoubelievethisbs #myowngirlfriend #makingamockeryofme

ClarkeGriffin: @LexaWoods you’re not fooling anyone, babe #CommanderHeartEyes

Chapter Text

Lexa took a deep breath, eyes on the ball.

She looked up briefly, noticing Canada had finished setting up their wall.

She glanced to her right, and saw Tobin give her a slight nod.

She stared back at the ball, almost glaring at the ball, a look of concentration on her face—Lexa was in Commander mode.

The United States had qualified for the Olympics just a few days before, and now the U.S. were playing Canada in the finals—and it wasn’t in their nature to take it easy. Despite first and second place both heading to the Olympics, the rivalry between the two countries had only gotten stronger as the years went on.

Lexa and her teammates had come out fighting—there was still a first place trophy to be won, after all. And a game against Canada always meant a more physical game than most.

The tone of the match was set in the first five minutes when a Canadian defender had made a late slide tackle, taking Alex down near midfield. The forward had shaken it off, but it had added fuel to the already blazing fire that was lit under the U.S.

Now in the 50th minute of the game, Lexa was waiting for the referee’s signal after Octavia had been taken down hard by the Canadian defense, earning a free kick for the U.S. from 36 yards out. The young forward had been down for a few minutes, trying to catch her breath as Lexa had crouched down next to her teammate, reminding her to take slow and steady breaths. She had seen Clarke getting ready to storm the field, medic bag in hand after Octavia had finally gotten up, but with a slight shake of Octavia’s head, her best friend and team doctor had slowly sat back down in her seat.

Lexa took one more look at the wall and where the goalie was placed as the whistle blew.

She took a deep breath, jogging up to the ball before striking it with her right foot.

Hard.

She looked up as the ball sailed over the wall.

She saw it curve to the left.

She watched the Canadian goalie’s outstretched hands.

Watched as the ball flew past them—right into the upper left hand corner.

Cheers reverberating through the stadium as it hit the back of the net .

1-0, United States.

“HELL YEAH!” she heard, before being wrapped up in Tobin’s arms.

She smiled and laughed, yelling with her teammates who had sprinted to her when the ball hit the back of the net, all of them shouting.

“Damn Commander!”

“Way to go, Lex!”

“What a fucking shot!”

“FUCK YEAH!”

Lexa simply laughed again, still wrapped in Tobin’s arms. Her teammate finally released her, and she took a glance towards the sideline as she jogged back to midfield.

Maybe it was her teammates, still giving her pats on the back.

Maybe it was the fans, still screaming their heads off.

Maybe it was seeing Indra and Gustus standing, cheering their hearts out from where they were sitting in the player’s family section.

Maybe it was the thumbs up she got from Anya, who was standing at the edge of her box smiling at her cousin.

Or maybe it was because Lexa actually was a sappy, lovesick fool.

Whatever the reason, Lexa lifted her hand to her mouth, giving her fingers a kiss before throwing her hand out in the direction of the bench.

Right where her girlfriend was standing, smiling and clapping.

Yeah, Lexa was a sappy, lovesick fool. And as she watched Clarke pretend to catch it in with one hand, before patting a hand right over her heart, Lexa decided she didn’t really care.

Heart soaring and a wide grin on her face, Lexa turned her attention back to the field, waiting for Canada to start the game again.

* *

“Clarke.”

Clarke’s head shot up, smiling as she took in the sight in front of her.

Lexa, her hair down, warm up jacket and pants on, face still slightly glistening with sweat.
“Great game, babe,” Clarke said, hopping off the exam table and wrapping her arms around her girlfriend’s neck. “Congratulations.”

Lexa smiled, leaning in and nudging Clarke’s nose with her own.

“Thanks,” she replied, grinning.

Clarke let out a breathless laugh as Lexa’s hands landed on her waist, before leaning in and closing the distance between them.

Clarke felt Lexa take her bottom lip between her own as their lips molded together. She felt Lexa’s tongue enter her mouth, the soccer player pulling her even closer until their bodies were pressed together. She moaned into the kiss, feeling Lexa’s hands slide from her waist to under her shirt, lightly caressing her just above her pants.

She felt Lexa pull back slightly, and Clarke tilted her head to change angles, not giving her girlfriend time to catch her breath.

Clarke needed to kiss Lexa.

Now.

Clarke’s fingers tangled in Lexa’s hair, her other hand cupping her girlfriend’s cheek.

Despite being together for a little over a month now, Lexa’s kisses still left Clarke weak in the knees. She kissed Clarke softly and gently, and deeply and passionately, and every way in between. Lexa always kissed Clarke as if she were the most important thing in the world—the only important thing in the world.

Clarke hoped that feeling never went away.

(She was sure it wouldn’t.)

She felt Lexa slow down the kiss, placing one, two, three soft kisses on Clarke’s lips before leaning back, a soft smile on her face.

“Hell of a congratulations,” Lexa said, grinning.

Clarke laughed, reaching down and lacing her fingers with her girlfriend’s.

“Well, you played a hell of a game for the good ole’ U.S. of A,” Clarke said. “I’m just congratulating you for the country.”

The two walked out of tunnel to the parking lot, hands tangled together.

“Oh, so you’re just kissing me as your patriotic duty?” Lexa asked, eyebrow raised.

Clarke hummed, a serious look on her face. “For my people,” she agreed, nodding her head.

Lexa stopped, pulling on Clarke’s hand lightly, causing her to turn back to look at the soccer player. A smile adorned Lexa’s face, green eyes shimmering under the sunlight.

Clarke quirked her eyebrow in question, the corner of her lips tugging upward.

“I adore you,” Lexa said simply, stepping closer and giving Clarke a firm kiss on her lips.

Clarke smiled into the kiss, causing Lexa to as well. The two broke apart, matching grins on their faces.

“You’re alright,” Clarke teased, shrugging her shoulders.

Lexa just laughed before slinging her arm over Clarke’s shoulders, the two of them making their way to where the bus was parked. They stopped just before they reached the fences that separated the players and the fans, and Clarke smiled as she placed a kiss on Lexa’s cheek before taking a step back.

“Go sign some autographs, take pictures. Make some little girls day,” Clarke said, smiling.

Lexa grinned at her girlfriend as the hoards of fans waiting for the players continued to cheer. “I’ll see you at dinner?” Lexa asked, taking Clarke’s hand.

Clarke nodded her head, swinging their connected hands side to side between them. “Family dinner, this should be extremely embarrassing,” she confirmed.

“Why did we think it was a good idea to have both of our families dine together?” Lexa questioned, thinking about the baby picture she’s sure Indra and Gustus had brought with them, despite having to fly to Texas for the final match of Olympic Qualifying.

Clarke just shrugged, leaning over and giving Lexa a quick kiss. “We’ll be fine,” she said. “Mostly. At least Raven and O will be there too.”

“I’m not sure if that’ll make tonight better or worse…” Lexa said, and grinned as Clarke gave her a wink before releasing her hand.

“Go on, your adoring public awaits,” Clarke teased.

Lexa simply shook her head, smiling at her girlfriend before pulling a sharpie out of her bag and heading outside to where the fans were waiting.

“Lexa!”

“Commander!”

“Great game Lexa!”

“I love you!”

“Can you sign my jersey please?”

Lexa smiled as she signed a little girl’s jersey, laughing as the little girl promised never to wash the hand Lexa gave her a high five with.

She had the best job in the world.

* *

“I don’t see why I have to sit back here,” Octavia grumbled, arms crossed.

“Because I called shotgun,” Raven said, rolling her eyes as she looked behind her and stuck her tongue out.

“Both of you be quiet,” Anya snapped, but the corners of her mouth were lifted as she spoke.

“They’re being all gross and couple-y,” Octavia whined.

“Shut up, O,” Clarke said, before giving Lexa a kiss on the cheek that put a goofy grin on her girlfriend’s face.

The five of them were headed to the restaurant to meet their families with Anya driving because she insisted on controlling the radio. Raven was sitting in the passenger seat, the two of them tossing insults back and forth, though there was no real malice behind their words. Octavia was sitting in the back with Clarke and Lexa, who were currently only paying attention to each other.

“You guys want to break the internet again?” Raven asked from the front.

She pulled her phone out, holding it up as Octavia put a disgruntled look on her face, rolling her eyes. Clarke and Lexa didn’t seem to hear Raven, as the two were conversing quietly with one another, letting out the occasional laugh. Lexa’s arm was resting on the seat behind Clarke, and she was leaning into her girlfriend, still whispering in her ear. Clarke was giggling, hand resting comfortably on Lexa’s thigh.

“Say cheese!” Raven said before snapping the picture and turning back towards the front. She grinned as she looked at the picture—Octavia, scowling and Clarke and Lexa wrapped up in their own little world. Clarke’s head was titled back in laughter, and Lexa’s forehead was pressed against the side of Clarke’s head, smiling.

@RavenReyes: Headed to family dinner. Clexa is still cute and Octavia is still annoyed. #CommanderHeartEyes

“What the hell is Clexa?” Lexa asked, frowning at her phone. She had pulled it out after it had buzzed in her pocket, clicking on the notification that told her she had been tagged on instagram. “And seriously, with the Commander Heart Eyes thing again?”

“Clexa is your couple name,” Raven answered.

“Couple name?” Clarke asked, leaning forward to flick her best friend on the ear. “You gave us a couple name?”

“Ow!” Raven exclaimed, rubbing the side of her head. “I didn’t!”

“The world did,” Octavia answered nonchalantly. “It’s all over the internet.”

“What is?”

“Clexa,” Anya said, eyes never straying from the road. “And Commander Heart Eyes. It’s all over the internet.”

“If they keep using that, it’ll never die,” Lexa grumbled quietly, frowning.

“I think it’s cute, babe,” Clarke said softly, grinning. She moved her hand further up her girlfriend’s thigh, squeezing lightly. “And you kind of do have heart eyes.”

“So do you, Clarke,” Octavia stated.

“Total heart eyes,” Anya agreed.

“Major heart eyes,” Raven quipped.

Lexa turned her head to look at Clarke, grinning victoriously. “You totally have heart eyes,” Lexa said. “How embarrassing for you.”

“Babe, we’re dating,” Clarke answered, shaking her head.

“Yeah but, still,” Lexa replied, shrugging her shoulder.

“You’re an idiot,” Clarke said.

“Your idiot?” Lexa asked, leaning closer.

“Mhmm,” Clarke said, turning her head slightly to connect their lips.

Their lips met in a soft kiss, before they were both jerked violently forward, the car coming to screeching stop.

“And we’re here,” Anya stated loudly, turning the engine off. “Get out.”

Clarke looked around, noticing that they had, in fact, reached the restaurant and Anya had parked the car.

“You’re the worst,” Lexa grumbled to her cousin, taking her seatbelt off.

“Thank you, Anya,” Octavia said. “You’re my hero. If I had to see them give heart eyes to each other one more time…”

Clarke hopped out of the car, sticking her tongue out at her friend, before lacing her fingers with Lexa’s. The five of them walked to the front of the restaurant, entering and glancing around.

“There they are,” Anya said, nodding her head towards a table on the right.

Raven led the way, the rest following as the adults stopped their conversations to greet the five girls.

Abby, Aurora, Indra and Gustus were all seated around the table on one side, leaving five chairs on the other side of the circled table open.

“Great game girls!” Aurora said, giving her daughter a tight hug.

“What a goal, Lexa!” Gustus said, hugging Lexa so hard he picked her up.

“Another clean sheet,” Indra added, a small smile on her face as she patted Anya on the shoulder.

Abby gave Clarke a hug, before moving on to Raven.

“What an exciting game!” Abby exclaimed, as the rest of the table continued with their greetings.

Finally, everyone was seated.

“Octavia, how’s your shoulder? I saw you land on it when you were taken down earlier,” Abby said, a concerned look on her face.

“Little Dr. Griff already checked it out, Mama G,” Octavia said, smiling at the woman who was like a second mother to her. “All good.”

“Abby here had to hold me back from storming the field,” Aurora joked, patting her friend on the arm.

“I had to hold Clarke back,” Raven said, earning laughs from the table as Clarke rolled her eyes.

Octavia just grinned, giving Clarke a loud kiss on the cheek. “And that’s why I love you, Clarke.”

“Hey, hands off the girlfriend,” Lexa teased, wagging her finger at the younger girl.

“Whatever you say, Commander Heart Eyes,” Octavia said, smirking as she held her hands up innocently.

“What is this Commander Heart Eyes?” Gustus asked, intrigued.

Lexa groaned as Raven, Octavia and Anya all scrambled to explain, eager to let the adults in on the soccer player’s new nickname.

“Oh Lex,” Clarke cooed, patting her girlfriend on the cheek. She gave Lexa a quick kiss before leaning back again. “So cute.”

And despite her family’s teasing, Lexa couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face, especially when Clarke let her hand rest on Lexa’s leg under the table. She turned to look at her girlfriend, grinning as she watched Clarke laugh along with their families.

Commander Heart Eyes, indeed.

* *

“Auntie Rexa!”

Lexa smiled, crouching down as Kellan ran towards her, little legs pumping as fast as they could before launching herself into her aunt’s outstretched arms.

“Munchkin!” Lexa greeted, scooping the little girl up and holding her in her arms. “How was dinner?”

“I had mac and cheese!” Kellan cheered, throwing her arms in the air.

Lexa laughed along with the little girl, who was just happy to be spending time with one of her most favorite people in the world.

“Hi Clarke!” Kellan greeted, turning her head to look at the girl standing next to her aunt. “I had mac and cheese!”

“You did?” Clarke gasped, before smiling at the little girl resting in her girlfriend’s arms. “That’s so awesome!”

“Now we getting donuts!” Kellan said excitedly, practically vibrating with excitement.

“That sounds like so much fun!” Clarke said.

“I have no idea where she got her sweet tooth,” Alex said, approaching the couple. She watched fondly as her daughter smiled up at her, reaching out to adjust the little girl’s hat. “Must be from her other mother.”

“Alex Morgan-Heath,” Tobin said, joining the group. “Are you spreading rumors about me again?”

Alex just rolled her eyes as Tobin smiled at her wife, before turning to their daughter. “Sweetie, why don’t you go ask Auntie Christen and Auntie Jules if they’re ready to go?”

Kellan squirmed in Lexa’s arms until the soccer player put her down, smiling up at her aunt before running to where Christen and JJ were standing at the front desk, talking to the concierge.

“So how was dinner with the family?” Alex asked the couple.

“Well, Commander Heart Eyes is officially a thing,” Lexa said, frowning. “So, that happened.”

“It was great,” Clarke said, rolling her eyes. “Ignore grumpy, here. She refuses to believe she’s cute.”

“I’m not cute, I’m badass,” Lexa muttered under her breath.

Clarke just rolled her eyes again as Alex and Tobin laughed.

“Donuts!” Kellan yelled, approaching the group, holding one of Christen’s hands and one of Julie’s. “Ready, Mama!”

Alex sighed as Tobin grinned, holding her fist out for her daughter to bump. Kellan did, offering up a grin of her own that matched her mom’s.

“Well, we better get going before Kellan decides she wants ice cream too,” Alex said. She scooped up her daughter, who waved at Lexa and Clarke, making them laugh. “See you guys tomorrow.”

The group headed out of the hotel, Kellan still waving over Alex’s shoulder. “Bye Auntie Rexa! Bye Clarke! Going get donuts now!”

Lexa and Clarke laughed again, smiling and waving at the little girl until the group disappeared around the corner.

“That little girl is seriously the cutest,” Clarke said as Lexa wrapped her arm around Clarke’s shoulders, the two of them walking over to the elevator.

“The best little kid in the world,” Lexa agreed.

They stepped onto the elevator, and Lexa leaned against the back of it, rolling her shoulder. It was a bit tight from earlier in the day, when she had been shoved onto the ground by one of the Canadian defenders.

“Is your arm ok?” Clarke asked, taking a step closer and placing her hand on her girlfriend’s shoulder. “Do you want me to take a look at it?”

“My arm is good,” Lexa replied, shrugging. She smiled as Clarke turned to face her, wrapping her arms around the soccer player’s waist. “Want to head to my room so I can show you exactly how good it is?” Lexa asked.

Clarke blinked, staring at her girlfriend. “Wow. That was…actually really smooth,” Clarke said, letting out a breathless laugh.

Lexa’s eyebrows furrowed as she met her girlfriend’s gaze. “I…know,” she said slowly. “I’m kind of surprised too.”

Clarke laughed again, before grabbing the collar of Lexa’s shirt and pulling her closer, lips meeting as she smiled into the kiss.

The elevator dinged, signaling they had reached Lexa’s floor and Clarke leaned back, grabbing Lexa’s arm and leading her out of the elevator and down the hallway.

“Let’s see what other smooth moves you’ve got, Commander,” Clarke said, shooting Lexa a smirk.

Grinning, Lexa walked a little faster before scooping up her girlfriend as Clarke let out a yelp. One arm under her girlfriend’s legs and the other under her back, Lexa smiled as Clarke wrapped her arms around the soccer player’s neck.

Clarke sighed as Lexa walked quickly down the hallway, reaching up to give Lexa a kiss on the cheek.

“I adore you,” Clarke said, repeating what Lexa had said to her earlier that day. Lexa shot Clarke a wink of her own before picking up the pace, suddenly unable to wait to get back to her room.

Chapter Text

“But why isn’t there a space between the words?”

“I don’t know Clarke, that’s just how it’s always been since the first time they held it.”

“But…it doesn’t make sense?”

“I didn’t pick the name, Clarke.”

“But didn’t somebody tell them it doesn’t make sense?”

“I’m sure they have, Clarke.”

“But…it’s two words? Two separate words.”

“Clarke, I don’t know. Can we stop talking about this please?”

Lexa heard Clarke sigh, and she turned from where she was packing her things in her U.S. Soccer luggage. She glanced up, noticing Clarke’s pout as her girlfriend sat on the edge of her bed, and couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face at the sight.

She stood up, walking over to the bed and cupping the side of Clarke’s face, her other hand brushing a stray piece of hair behind her girlfriend’s ear.

“You’re pouting,” Lexa said, brushing the tip of Clarke’s nose with her thumb before cupping her girlfriend’s jaw.

“How observant of you,” Clarke deadpanned, though the corner of her mouth was tugging upward as she tried not to smile.

“Why?” Lexa asked, leaning down so her face was a few inches away from Clarke’s.

Clarke shrugged, looking away. Lexa chuckled, closing the distance and placing a soft kiss on Clarke’s lips. She brushed her thumb along the underside of Clarke’s jaw, smiling as she felt her girlfriend place her hand on top of Lexa’s that was resting on Clarke’s cheek.

Lexa broke away gently, smiling softly as she stared into her favorite pair of blue eyes. Clarke had a matching grin on her face, before she wiggled her eyebrows, making Lexa laugh. The soccer player lowered herself onto her girlfriend’s lap so she was straddling Clarke, the doctor’s hands resting against Lexa’s back to hold her in place.

“I’m gonna miss you,” Clarke said, tilting her head up to look at Lexa.

Lexa chuckled, shaking her head. “Clarke, you’re coming to SheBelieves with us,” she responded. “You don’t have to miss me. I’ll be right next to you.”

“But we’re on a different flight and Seattle to Florida is far,” Clarke said, pout back on her face.

“You’re literally the cutest, you know that?” Lexa asked, grinning before leaning down and connecting their lips once more.

Lexa opened her mouth slightly, deepening the kiss as her tongue reached out to meet Clarke’s. She shivered as she felt, more than heard, Clarke let out a moan into her mouth, her girlfriend’s hands roaming from her back to her sides, sliding down until they were caressing Lexa’s skin underneath her shirt. Lexa leaned in closer, increasing pressure as their bodies came together, her hands tangling in Clarke’s blonde hair.

“Cl-arke,” she let out, tilting her chin up as Clarke moved from her lips to her jaw, dropping kisses along the way. Lexa let out another moan as Clarke made her way to the sensitive spot just below Lexa’s ear, feeling her girlfriend smile against her skin at the noise.

“Don’t be…so smug….” Lexa managed to say in between gasps, letting her head tilt to the side as Clarke continued her path of kisses, now focusing her attention on Lexa’s neck.

Lexa ran her hands down Clarke’s arms before lifting her girlfriend’s shirt slightly to run her fingers up and down Clarke’s back. She let out a groan as she felt Clarke suck on her neck, surely leaving a mark, before her girlfriend’s tongue darted out to soothe the spot.

Lexa moved her hands back up on either side of Clarke’s face, pulling her girlfriend back before crashing their lips together again, kissing her harder and gliding her hands up and down Clarke’s back. She guided her girlfriend down on the bed until they were lying down, Lexa on top of Clarke, lips still connected. Lexa broke away to kiss the corner of Clarke’s mouth, before returning the favor and moving along her girlfriend’s jaw down to her neck, finding the sensitive spot between Clarke’s head and shoulder and biting down lightly, grinning as her girlfriend moaned. She sucked on the spot, being sure to leave a similar mark to the one Clarke left on her neck only moments before.

“Lexa,” she heard Clarke breath out, and lifted her head up to meet her girlfriend’s dark, deep blue eyes. “You—”

“Alexandria!”

Clarke yelped as the door opened with a bang, accidentally throwing Lexa off of her and sending the soccer player tumbling to the ground.

“Nona?” Lexa asked, bewildered, as she looked up at her grandma standing in the doorway. “Wha—huh?” she spluttered out, trying to catch her breath as she felt her face heat up. She glanced towards Clarke, who had a hand covering her neck where Lexa knew a dark, purple mark was beginning to form.

“I’ve been calling you for the past five minutes,” Indra said, face remaining as stoic as ever. “Dinner is ready.” The older woman turned to look at Clarke, sitting on the bed still looking flustered. “Clarke, stay for dinner.” With a nod to them both, Indra turned and left the doorway, leaving behind a stuttering Lexa and blushing Clarke.

Lexa looked at Clarke, who was still staring at the doorway before her girlfriend blinked a couple of times and turned her attention back towards the soccer player. They stared at each other for a moment, before both bursting into laughter.

“Oh my god,” Clarke said between laughs. “Your grandma totally almost caught us about to have sex.”

“Wait, that’s where that was leading?” Lexa asked, raising an eyebrow. “See? Told you I had game.”

Clarke snorted, grabbing a pillow from Lexa’s bed and throwing it at the soccer player, who caught it with a laugh.

“I just figured you’d want some, seeing as we’ll be busy with this tournament for the next week and a half,” Clarke said, smoothing down her shirt before standing up. “Oh well, guess you’ll just have to wait.” With one last look at Lexa, she stepped over her girlfriend still sitting on the floor before walking out through the doorway.

“Wait—what? Clarke—wait a minute,” Lexa said, hearing Clarke’s laughter down the hall. She scrambled to get off the ground and catch up with her girlfriend. “Clarke? Wait a minute!”

* *

@LexaWoods: Off to #SheBelieves with my favorite plane buddy! #MorganHeathoffspring #lookatthatgrin #mybestfriend

@AlexMorgan13: @LexaWoods did you just refer to my daughter as “offspring”?

@TobinHeath: @LexaWoods @AlexMorgan13 cute kid. Must get it from her mom. Ignore Al, Lexa. She’s just pouting because the munchkin wanted to sit with Auntie Rexa, not Mama.

@AlexMorgan13: @TobinHeath @LexaWoods shut UP wife of mine, unless you want to sit alone on this plane ride too.

@LexaWoods: @AlexMorgan13 @TobinHeath only cool kids can sit with us.

@TobinHeath: @LexaWoods @AlexMorgan13 guess Al can’t sit with us, then.

@AlexMorgan13: @TobinHeath @LexaWoods you guys are dumb and I’m not sharing my snacks.

@TobinHeath: @LexaWoods @AlexMorgan13 I mean…you’re the love of my life?

@LexaWoods: @AlexMorgan13 @TobinHeath so WHIPPED Toby.

@TobinHeath: @LexaWoods @AlexMorgan13 you’re one to talk Commander HEART EYES.

@LexaWoods: @AlexMorgan13 @TobinHeath ……shut up……

@AlexMorgan13: @TobinHeath @LexaWoods lol

* *

“Clarke, pay attention to me,” Raven whined, tapping her cane impatiently.

Clarke finished off her text to Lexa before hitting send, putting her phone down and staring at her best friend.

“Ok, you have my undivided attention,” Clarke said, clapping her hands together. “What’s up?”

“Let’s go get pizza,” Raven said, grinning.

Clarke glanced at her watch, knowing the team was just about to head to the training facilities. Clarke and Raven were only required to be at the session that afternoon towards the end of practice to go over cool down with Dawn. She nodded her head, walking closer and wrapping her arm around Raven’s waist, letting her best friend lean her weight against her.

“Let’s—”

“Oh, Clarke! Good, I was hoping to catch you,” Dawn said, appearing in the doorway.

“What’s up?” Clarke asked, pausing in her steps.

“I wanted to talk about your position with U.S. Soccer,” Dawn said. “I know your contract only extends through this tournament and through the end of March, and I was just wondering if you had given any thought to staying on staff for longer?” she asked, crossing her arms.

Clarke let go of Raven, the other girl plopping down on the chair as Clarke leaned back against the examination table.

“You’re a really good fit for the staff, and you do your job exceptionally well,” Dawn continued. “Plus, the players really love you. That’s one of the most important things about working with the team—having a good relationship with the players. It’s ideal if the players have a mutual respect for the staff and vice versa, and I think you would make an excellent addition to our team moving forward to the Olympics.”

“You want me to go with you to the Olympics?” Clarke asked, raising an eyebrow. It was true that she had only signed on in a temporary capacity, through the Victory Tour, Olympic Qualifying and the SheBelieves tournament. The Olympics weren’t until August, which meant she would be extending her contract through the entire summer.

“And hopefully beyond that,” Dawn confirmed, nodding her head. “Like I said, you’ve done a wonderful job and I believe you would make a positive impact on this training staff moving forward.”

Clarke bit her lip, glancing at Raven. Her friend was just staring at her, eyebrow raised in question, and Clarke knew that Raven already knew Clarke’s answer.

“I’m flattered, and I’m so thankful for this experience,” Clarke said finally, turning back towards her boss. “But I still want to be a surgeon, and I have to head back to DC to finish my residency and take my boards. This has been a really nice change of pace from the hospital, but the plan was always to get back to it.”

Dawn nodded her head, giving Clarke a smile. “I understand,” she said. “I just thought I’d throw the offer out there.” She turned to go, before pausing and facing Clarke once more. “Are you sure you don’t want to take a few days to think about it?”

Clarke shook her head, offering her boss a smile of her own. “I’m sure. Thank you, but I’ve got to get back to DC and finish up there,” she said.

“No problem, Clarke,” Dawn said. She held her hand out, prompting Clarke to take it in her own and give her a firm handshake. “It’s been great working with you. I’m sure this last month will run just as smoothly.” Dawn took a step back, giving a nod towards Raven. “I’ll let you two go. See you back here in a few hours.” With a wave goodbye, she exited the room, leaving Clarke and Raven in their spots.

“Wow, look at you,” Raven said, whistling. “Fancy doctor getting fancy job offers.”

Clarke just laughed, rolling her eyes. “You know the plan was always to be a surgeon,” she said. “This has been fun, but the real world beckons.”

“Just saying—you, me and O at the Olympics together?” Raven drawled. “Would have been epic.” She grinned, nudging Clarke with her shoulder. “Well, you’ll at least look into being able to come for a game or two, right?”

“Duh. And we still have a whole month before I go back to the hospital,” Clarke said, slinging her arm around Raven’s shoulders. “Now, let’s go get that pizza.”

Raven grinned, giving Clarke an exaggerated kiss on the cheek. “You say the sweetest things to me, darling.”

“Yeah well, my momma always told me to treat a pretty lady right,” Clarke replied, winking at her friend.

The two laughed as they left the room, heading out to the van in search for a pizza place.

* *

Lexa bent her knees, arms outstretched as she braced for impact.

It came a moment later as Octavia launched herself into the midfielder’s arms, shouting with excitement as the rest of their team huddled around the two, joining the celebration.

Octavia had just scored in the 70th minute against England after Lexa’s ball in had found Octavia as the forward sprinted down the sideline. The young forward’s first touch was precise, and she had beaten her defender until she had a 1 v 1 against England’s goalie. In a move very Alex Morgan-esque, Octavia had blasted a shot with her left foot towards the opposite post, past the goalie’s outstretched hand, and into the net.

It was the first goal of the game, and the U.S. was up 1-0 with 20 minutes left.

“Nice pass, Commander,” Octavia said, grinning as they jogged back towards midfield.

“Nice shot, kid,” Lexa said back, patting Octavia on the back a few times before taking up her position.

Octavia’s goal seemed to shake England’s defense, and the U.S. scored twelve minutes later when Tobin had sent a cross into the box and Alex connected with her head, the ball soaring past the goalie who had been lunging the other way.

Lexa smiled as she watched Alex kiss her the plastic ring on her fourth finger and wink at Tobin, who gave her wife a smirk and a shrug. Ten minutes later, the referee blew the whistle, signaling the end of the game.

The U.S. had beaten England in the first round of the tournament, 2-0, earning themselves three points and tying them for first place with Germany, who had beaten France earlier in the day.

Lexa found herself looking towards the bench where she knew her girlfriend was sitting with Raven, catching Clarke’s eye as her teammates were congratulating one another.

Lexa knew she would get so much flack for this, but she figured Commander Heart Eyes wasn’t going anywhere, so she might as well live up to the name.

Just like last game, she kissed her fingers before throwing her hand out towards Clarke, who just laughed before reaching up and closing her hand, bringing it down and patting above her heart.

Lexa wasn’t sure if this was a new routine she would be having, but she knew for sure that it felt damn good having Clarke there on the sideline, watching her play. She still felt butterflies in her stomach whenever she looked at her girlfriend, and she hoped they never left.

She was so wrapped up in all things Clarke—Lexa knew, realistically, that they had only been dating for a few months, but she also knew she was rapidly falling for the Clarke, toeing that line between like and love. If she was being completely honest with herself, she knew she had fallen for Clarke the first time she saw the blonde doctor .

Lexa thought maybe she should be scared or anxious—for such a long time, she fooled herself into believing love is weakness, not even acknowledging the possibility of letting anyone back in.

And then she met Clarke.

And suddenly, she couldn’t remember why she had convinced herself that love was weakness. How could something that made her feel so happy, so content—so absolutely amazing—be weakness?

For the first time, Lexa was thinking about a future past soccer—Clarke made her want to do that—plan for the future. She often caught herself thinking of things she wanted to do, or places she wanted to go with Clarke by her side. Soccer was still her priority—that has always been her priority—but Lexa was starting to think that maybe it didn’t have to be her only one.

Anya was always telling her that love is strength, and as Lexa smiled, watching from across the field as Clarke laughed at something Raven had said—well, she was finally starting to believe it.

* *

“Clarke.”

Clarke furrowed her eyebrows, taking out one of her earbuds. She turned her head to find her girlfriend sitting in the seat next to her instead of Raven.

“Lexa? What are you doing here?” Clarke asked, leaning over Lexa to look at the rest of the plane.

Raven was now sitting next to Octavia, the two of them talking to Becky and Kelley who were seated in front of them. The team was flying from Florida to Tennessee for the next game of the tournament, and Clarke and Raven had been sitting together when the flight first took off. Lexa had sat with Kellan, the two of them playing with the little girl’s dinosaur figurines.

The sight had Clarke swooning, fighting back the urge to kiss her girlfriend senseless in front of Lexa’s teammates.

“I brought you something,” Lexa said, smiling.

“Oh yeah?” Clarke asked, raising her eyebrow in question. “What is it?”

Lexa reached into her pocket before pulling out a small box, and Clarke leaned closer to see that it was a box of animal crackers.

“You brought me animal crackers?” Clarke asked, leaning back into her seat.

Lexa nodded her head, a serious look on her face. “Kellan gave them to me because she had an extra box, and she told me I had to share them with someone special,” she explained. “Apparently, Kellan always shared her animal crackers with Hallie, but since little Harris-Krieger isn’t here, she let me have this box.”

“And you’ve decided to share them with me?” Clarke deduced, placing her elbow on the armrest between them, head resting on top of her hand.

Lexa nodded her head, face remaining serious, though the corners of her lips were tugging upwards as she struggled not to smile. “This is a very prestigious honor, Clarke,” she said slowly. “Everyone knows that animal crackers are sacred, to be shared only with those most special to someone.”

“Oh?” Clarke questioned, grinning at her girlfriend. “And I’m that special someone to you?”

Lexa nodded her head again. “Do you accept all of the expectations that come with sharing these sacred and scrumptious snack treats?” she asked seriously, the smile threatening to escape finally growing as Clarke leaned closer over the armrest.

“Absolutely, I do,” Clarke said softly, eyes darting down to Lexa’s lips briefly before meeting her girlfriend’s green eyes, sparkling with happiness.

Lexa closed her eyes as Clarke leaned forward, lips meeting in a soft kiss. She felt Clarke’s nose nudge her own, before her girlfriend switched angles, placing another gentle kiss against Lexa’s lips.

Lexa sighed as they broke apart softly, opening her eyes as Clarke leaned back into her seat, snatching the animal crackers out of her girlfriend’s hand and gleefully opening the box.

“I love animal crackers,” Clarke said, popping one into her mouth. “They were my favorite snack during snack time.”

Lexa reached over to grab one of her own, taking a bite. “Mine was teddy grahams,” she said, smiling as Clarke slipped her hand into Lexa’s.

Clarke laced their fingers together before bringing their joined hands to her lips, placing a soft kiss on the back of Lexa’s hand.

“You know what though?” Clarke asked, smiling at her girlfriend.

“What?” Lexa questioned, turning her head to place a kiss on the top of Clarke’s head as her girlfriend leaned against Lexa’s shoulder.

“These ones are the best I’ve ever had,” Clarke said. “Might have something to do with who I’m sharing them with.”

Lexa laughed, shaking her head. “You’re so cheesy,” she said. “That was horrible.”

Clarke just shrugged. “Ehh, love me or leave me, babe,” she said, popping another animal cracker in her mouth.

Lexa didn’t respond, but the soft, lingering kiss she left on Clarke’s forehead spoke louder than any words could.

Chapter Text

“…in a week. Is that doable?”

The hotel door opened, causing Lexa to look up from her computer. She held up her hand towards Anya as she finished up her phone call.

“Ok, great. Thank you so much!” she said into her phone. “I’ll see you in a week then.”

She ended the call, spinning the desk chair around as she looked at her cousin. “How did you get into my room?” she asked, raising an eyebrow in question.

Anya flopped back down onto the bed, arms spread out. “I swiped O’s key card,” the goalkeeper explained. “She was roped into watching Mighty Ducks with mini Morgan-Heath.”

Lexa laughed, remembering the obsession her little friend had with the entire Mighty Ducks series. There was something about the hockey in the movie that held Kellan’s attention, making her eyes light up.

“Who were you just talking to?” Anya asked, sitting up and leaning against the headboard.

“Moving company,” Lexa replied, crossing her arms and leaning back in her seat. “I’m having my stuff delivered so it’ll be in KC after we’re done with this tournament.”

“Ahh, good ole’ NWSL,” Anya sighed, putting her hands behind her head. “I’ve decided you’re going to score zero goals on me this season.”

Lexa snorted. “And what’s your realistic goal for the season?” she asked.

“Shut up,” Anya retorted. “You should just ask for a trade to Portland. We’re gonna be holding that first place trophy at the end of the year.”

“Tell that to my FCKC two-time league champions shirt,” Lexa replied, smirking at her cousin.

“You’re a little shit,” Anya shot back.

Lexa just grinned, shrugging.

“You excited to head back to Kansas?” Anya asked.

Lexa nodded her head. “I love Seattle, and being around Nona and Gramps has been really great,” she said. “But I’m excited for the season to start. Sometimes I wish I was closer to home but…it is what it is, you know? I’m used to being far away by now.”

“Yeah but this is the first time you’re gonna be far away from Clarke,” Anya pointed out. She stared at her cousin, who had a small grin on her face. “Unless…you’re gonna ask Clarke to go back to KC with you?” The goal keeper scrambled to the edge of the bed, sitting to face Lexa. “Are you?”

The smile on Lexa’s face grew as she nodded her head slowly, biting her bottom lip. “I figured Clarke could come visit and stay with me for a few days after the tournament,” she said. “And then we could fly out to the friendly in Connecticut together.”

Anya blinked, before a smile stretched on her face as well. “Wow, that’s…big, Lexa,” she said. “So things are going really well, huh?”

“Things are going really well,” Lexa confirmed. “I think…I mean…I can see myself having a future with this girl.” She shook her head, grinning. “And it’s only been a few months.” Lexa looked up, eyes connecting with those of her cousin’s. “Is that crazy?”

“No,” Anya said bluntly. “You feel how you feel, kid. And…I’m really happy for you, Lex.”

Lexa smiled at her cousin, noting the sincerity in Anya’s words. “Thanks,” she answered softly. “I am really happy. It’s too bad her contract is over at the end of the month,” she sighed. “I love that she’s here with us.”

“Hey, maybe Clarke will get offered a full-time position,” Anya suggested. “Then she could come to the Olympics with us.”

Lexa grinned, thinking about her and Clarke going to the Olympics together—they could walk hand in hand around the Olympic village, away from the media and fans and general craziness that surrounded the games.

They could ask around and go to local spots for a date on the rare day off, and Lexa would tell Clarke cheesy jokes and puns that never failed to make the blonde doctor roll her eyes, but nevertheless kept a smile on her face.

They could visit all the historic sites and Lexa could tell her girlfriend a bunch of random facts she read on the plane ride in, and Clarke would nod her head and let Lexa ramble on like she tends to do about historic facts and figures she finds interested.

They could simply be together in yet another amazing place that Lexa had been blessed enough to visit because of this sport she loved—she would never, ever take for granted the joy and exhilaration and happiness soccer brought to her life, and she knew that she would hold on for as long as she could because if anything had been proven true over the years, it was that soccer was always treated her well.

Soccer had brought Lexa her teammates, who had turned into her second family.

Soccer had brought Lexa the opportunity to play on the same team as her cousin, who was also her best friend.

Soccer had brought Lexa the competition she craved and the level of intensity she enjoyed, challenging her to strive for greatness every single day.

And as if that wasn’t enough—soccer had also brought her Clarke.

Clarke, with her golden blonde hair and bright blue eyes, filled with both a lightness that showed the playful, quick-witted side on par with her “Princess” nickname, and the depth that portrayed the intellect and seriousness of the doctor.

Clarke, who Lexa was rapidly falling for everyday, to the point where those three words she would normally be panicking about brought her excitement and comfort when she thought about saying them.

And if Lexa was being honest with herself, she knew that she wasn’t too far away from those three words slipping out—that’s how at ease and at home she felt with Clarke, and the fact that she was more excited than scared about a long-term future with her girlfriend spoke volumes.

On the pitch, Lexa was fearless—she played hard and took the necessary chances in order to succeed. Playing at the highest level possible, Lexa knew that no risk equals no reward.

In life, however, Lexa was calculating and cautious—she didn’t jump into anything with both feet without weighing all the possible outcomes and deciding if the chance of success was higher than the potential failure.

And Clarke—well, Clarke made her forget all of that.

Clarke made Lexa want to take chances, and out of all the ways Lexa had acknowledged her changing feelings, that was the one that stuck out—the one that spoke volumes to the soccer player.

The one that made Lexa certain she was falling in love.

“I don’t see why Clarke wouldn’t be asked to stay on,” Anya continued, unaware of Lexa’s internal dialogue. “Everyone loves her.”

Lexa shrugged, flopping down on the bed next to her cousin. “Well, I don’t want to jinx anything,” she said. “And it would be pretty unprofessional of me to ask Dawn if my girlfriend got a job offer from us.”

Anya snorted, patting Lexa on the leg. “Yeah, you two are already so disgustingly cute,” she said. “Better to just wait until you hear something or you’re going to give them more ammo to tease you, Commander Heart Eyes.”

“Shut up,” Lexa grumbled. She sat up, hopping off the bed. “Let’s go get smoothies.”

“Only if you’re paying,” Anya quipped back, standing up as well. “Let’s go, kid.”

“Don’t call me that,” Lexa mumbled, but found a smile on her face as her cousin slung an arm over her shoulders as the two made their way out of the hotel room.

* *

“HELL YEAH! GO O! WOOOOO!”

“THAT’S MY BEST FRIEND! FUCKING REPRESENT!”

Lexa laughed as she heard Clarke and Raven cheering from the sideline, any trace of professionalism gone as Octavia quickly scrambled off of the ground, eyes alight with excitement as she threw her hands up in the air. Lexa herself was sprinting towards the young forward, jumping atop the group hug that had formed around Octavia.

“What a fucking shot!” she heard Alex yell, the forward’s arms wrapped around the younger girl, grinning from ear to ear.

“Way to finish, O!” Kelley yelled, slamming into Lexa’s back as she joined the huddle of teammates.

“Great ball in,” Octavia said, eyes sparkling as her she looked towards Lexa.

Lexa simply shrugged, patting the other girl on top of the head, a broad grin on her face.

The German defense had been tight all game, and the U.S. hadn’t got that many great opportunities at the net—that is, until the 60th minute when Lexa had tapped the ball over her head, past the German defender on her back before turning quickly and collecting the ball. She looked up and saw Octavia in front of her and kicked the ball hard, watching it soar through the air until it dropped practically at the forward’s feet. Using her speed, Octavia beat both defenders scrambling to keep up with her, earning herself a 1 v 1 against the German goalie.

Even before Octavia let the shot fly, Lexa knew where it was going—despite the goalie cutting the angle off, Octavia blasted the ball with her left foot to the opposite post right before she got tangled up with a German defender who had finally caught up with the forward, the ball passing the outstretched hands of the German goalie as she dove in a desperate attempt to stop the ball.

The ball found it’s target—right into the corner of the net, and the U.S. was up 1-0 in the championship game of the tournament.

Giving Octavia one more pat on the back, Lexa jogged back to midfield, taking her position. She glanced towards the sideline, where Clarke and Raven were still cheering for Octavia, who had a broad grin on her face as she shot a wink in her best friends’ direction.

Lexa simply laughed again, shaking her head before turning back to the circle, waiting for Germany to put the ball in play.

* *

Lexa handed the first place trophy to Anya, who grinned before thrusting it into the air, their teammates letting out cheers and hollers as she did.

Lexa slung her arm around Octavia, who was holding the medal around her neck and staring at it in awe. “How’s it feel, champ?” she asked.

The young forward turned her head to look at her teammate, eyes sparkling bright and a large smile on her face. “Fucking amazing!” Octavia shouted, and Lexa laughed as their teammates echoed Octavia’s sentiment all around them.

Lexa and Octavia followed the rest of their teammates back towards the hallway that led to the locker room, all of them chatting excitedly as they approached the doors.

“You had a great tournament, O,” Lexa said sincerely, the two of them stopping at their lockers and plopping onto their seats.

“You think?” Octavia asked, an excited smile on her face as she bent down to unlace her boots.

“Definitely,” Lexa responded, loosening her own cleats. “You’ve really proved yourself over these past few months.”

Octavia sat up straight, cleats in hand as she turned to look at the other player. “You think it was good enough to make the Olympic roster?” she asked quietly.

Lexa nodded her head, shooting the young forward a grin. “I think if you keep doing what you’re doing, then you have a really great chance of being on that roster,” she replied honestly. “Just keep up with your workouts when you go back to DC for the start of league.”

Octavia nodded, pulling her jersey over her head. “Going to the Olympics…I’ve been dreaming of that since like, high school,” she said softly, letting out a small laugh. “I used to get so nervous before big games, and Raven and Clarke were so good at making me feel better.” She gestured to her locker, where Lexa saw a picture her girlfriend had drawn of Octavia’s arms raised in celebration, trophies and medals surrounding her head. “They used to joke around, saying that if I ever went to the Olympics the two of them would be in the front row, faces painted and screaming louder than anyone in the stadium was booing.”

Octavia sighed then, pulling on a clean shirt. “But I think Clarke will probably only be able to make it to a game or two, depending on if she can get any time off from the hospital,” she continued. She nudged Lexa in the arm, smiling at her teammate. “Too bad Clarke didn’t take that full-time position Dawn offered her, huh? Between her and Raven, I’m actually pretty sure they could cheer louder than anyone was booing. Did you hear them today?”

“I think everyone heard them,” Lexa laughed, pulling on a clean shirt as well. Her head snapped back towards Octavia as her teammate’s words sunk in. “Wait—what?”

“What?” Octavia asked absentmindedly as she worked on pulling her socks off and putting her shin guards in her bag.

“What did you just say?” Lexa asked, turning her entire body so she was facing Octavia.

“About Clarke and Raven being loud?” Octavia questioned, standing up and pulling her warm-up sweats on. “That was nothing. You should have seen them in high school. One time, at an away game, they yelled at the refs so loud that they actually got kicked out of—”

“No,” Lexa cut off her teammate. “The other thing. Did you say Clarke got offered a full-time position with the team?”

“Yes?” Octavia answered, though it came out sounding more like a question. “But she’s going back to the hospital to finish her residency and take her boards…” she trailed off, pausing as she took in the look on Lexa’s face. “You didn’t know?”

“I thought…” Lexa trailed off, swallowing hard as she felt a lump forming in her throat. “I mean…she turned down a full-time position with the team?”

Octavia looked at her teammate nervously, pulling on her jacket and zipping it up. She picked up her bag, slinging it around her shoulders. “I’m sorry Lexa, I thought you knew…” she said, fidgeting with the strap of her bag. “I think you should probably talk to Clarke about this though.” She gave Lexa a pat on the shoulder, offering her a small smile. “I’m sure she was going to tell you after the tournament was over.”

“Yeah,” Lexa agreed faintly, though her own voice sounded like it was echoing from far away. She felt the lump in her throat grow bigger and her chest begin to tighten.

Clarke had been offered a full-time position.

Her girlfriend had been offered the chance to travel with the team—with Lexa—through the Olympics and possibly beyond.

And she had turned it down?

Lexa felt a flood of emotions hitting her at once, and she quickly threw on her sweats and jacket before stuffing everything into her bag, picking it up and rushing out of the locker room.

“Lexa!” she heard, and turned to see Clarke leaning against the wall across from the locker room entrance, a smile on the doctor’s face.

Clarke approached her, placing a kiss on Lexa’s cheek. “Great game, babe,” Clarke said.

Lexa, who was still reeling from the new information she had just been given, didn’t react. Blinking a few times, she stared at her girlfriend as Clarke’s smile started to turn into a concerned frown.

“Lexa?” Clarke asked, taking one of the soccer player’s hands. “Are you ok?”

“You turned down a full-time position?” Lexa blurted out, thoughts still swirling around in her head.

Lexa watched as understanding dawned on Clarke’s face, and that was enough for her—Clarke had been offered the job, and she had turned it down.

All of Lexa’s hopes about her and Clarke at the Olympics together disappeared all at once. She pulled her hand out of Clarke’s, suddenly feeling overwhelmed in the presence of the other girl.

“Lexa?” Clarke asked, a hurt look on her face as Lexa ripped her hand away. “Are you—are you mad about this? You…wait a minute,” she continued, shaking her head. “This was always the plan. You knew I was hired in a part-time capacity.”

“And then Dawn offered you more, and you turned her down,” Lexa responded. “Without even talking to me about it?”

Lexa met Clarke’s stare as they stood in silence for what seemed like eternity but in reality was only a few seconds. “Lexa, I had a dream long before I met you,” Clarke said, voice quiet. “And I wasn’t just going to quit when I’m this close to achieving it just because I was offered a different position.” She took a deep breath, shaking her head. “And frankly, I’m disappointed you’d even ask me to do that. You of all people know what it’s like to have a dream and work for it to come true! You knew I always planned on going back to the hospital after this month.””

“Yeah well, that was before you got offered a full-time position that let you be in the same place as me!” Lexa snapped, suddenly feeling guilty on top of all the other emotions that were warring within her as Clarke took another step back, the hurt look deepening as blue eyes grew darker, swirling with their own emotions.

Lexa was sure her green eyes were just as dark.

“Before you turned down the chance for us to be together,” Lexa continued quietly.

Clarke opened her mouth to respond, but was cut off by a different voice.

“Lex! Let’s go! You’re the only one not on the bus yet!” they heard Anya’s voice echo down the hallway.

Lexa stared at Clarke for a beat before shaking her head, feeling defeated. She hiked her bag up farther onto her shoulder and turned, walking down the hall quickly towards the parking lot.

Lexa made her way up the steps of the bus and plopped down onto her seat, putting her headphones on immediately. Sinking back into her seat, Lexa let out a sigh as she remembered the hurt look on Clarke’s face as she walked away. Closing her eyes, she drowned out the world around her, ignoring her teammates still celebrating their first place victory as music filtered through her headphones.

* *

“Are you alright, Griff?”

Clarke looked up from her plate where she was pushing her salad around, not really feeling like eating. She met Raven’s concerned look, giving her best friend a weak smile. The two of them were currently eating in their hotel room, waiting until they had to leave for the training facility to help monitor recovery for the players who had played the night before in the final game of the tournament.

Clarke hadn’t heard from Lexa since their argument in the hallway after the game, and she wasn’t sure how to feel.

Sad, definitely. Hurt. Angry—she felt like she had the right to be upset. After all, Lexa had snapped at her and then just left, knowing that the two of them wouldn’t have the chance to talk the rest of the night, with Lexa spending the night with her teammates and Clarke conferring with the training staff.

“Alright Griff, that’s the third time you’ve sighed into your lunch,” Raven said, putting her fork down. “What’s up with you? Spill it.”

Clarke leaned back in her seat, rubbing her forehead. She sighed again before putting her hands flat on the table, looking at her best friend.

“Lexa and I had a fight,” she finally said.

“Whoa, really?” Raven asked, raising an eyebrow in question. She leaned back into her own chair, crossing her arms. “Well actually…I guess it’s about time you had your first fight. It’s been what, like two and a half months since you guys got together?”

Clarke nodded her head, taking a sip of her water before responding. “Yeah, but this was kind of a big one,” she said. “And it was only like, five minutes long.”

“What do you mean?” Raven questioned.

“I mean last night, after the game. Lexa snapped, I snapped, and then she walked away and got on the bus,” Clarke responded. “And I haven’t heard from her since.”

“Snapped? What were you even arguing about?” Raven asked.

“She found out that I had been offered a full-time position with U.S. Soccer and turned it down,” Clarke answered. “O texted me last night. I guess she didn’t know that I hadn’t told Lexa about the offer.”

“You didn’t tell your girlfriend?” Raven questioned. “Why not?”

Clarke sighed again, crossing her arms to mimic her best friend’s position. “I guess I didn’t even realize I should have,” she said. “That sounds horrible, doesn’t it?” She shook her head, and Raven stayed quiet, knowing it was a rhetorical question. “I mean, the plan was always to go back to the hospital to finish my residency. I’m going to be a surgeon. That’s what I want to do—that’s what I’m going to do. I thought Lexa knew that too.” She looked up, eyeing her friend. “I mean, am I in the wrong here?”

Raven was quiet for a few more seconds, taking in her best friend’s demeanor. Clarke’s shoulders were hunched, and her blue eyes, usually so bright and vibrant, were a dull blue, mirroring what Raven guessed was the swirling of different emotions Clarke was feeling.

“I can’t tell you that, Clarke,” Raven answered, shaking her head. “You need to talk to Lexa about this. Maybe it’s not so much that you turned down the position, it’s that you didn’t tell her in the first place?”

“Ok, yes,” Clarke replied. “I admit that I should have told her about the job offer. I just didn’t think it was a big deal because I was never going to consider it.”

Raven shrugged, taking a sip of her drink. “I mean, taking the position would have meant you and Lexa get to spend more time together, right?” she asked. “She’s going back to KC, you’re going back to DC…and then she’s going to be out of the country for almost an entire month come Olympics time. Not to mention all of the camps and games she’ll have to travel for before then. Maybe she thought you turning down the job meant you didn’t want to be with her. ”

Clarke was silent as she thought about her best friend’s words.

The reality of the situation was that her and Lexa would be in a long-distance relationship—and they had yet to talk about it.

Clarke could acknowledge that the two of them were getting serious—at least, it felt that way on her end. She was falling for the soccer player further every single day, and she could feel those three special words bubbling in her throat at different moments in time.

She had first realized Lexa was someone she could love when the two of them had been out on a date and the soccer player had been stopped by a group of little girls, looking up at her girlfriend in awe as Lexa talked to each one of them. The soccer player was an inspiration to them—Lexa was a role model, and Clarke loved that her girlfriend recognized the responsibility that came with that.

She had first realized she might actually be approaching being in love with Lexa when the soccer player had scored during a game, and after celebrating with her teammates, her girlfriend had done the most corny thing in the history of mankind, and threw Clarke a kiss—Lexa was a dork, and honestly, Clarke found herself happier than she had ever remembered feeling.

She had first realized that she had the urge to actually say she was in love when Clarke had been slightly sick, and instead of cancelling their date, Lexa had driven from her grandma’s house to Clarke’s, arms laden with movies, different kinds of soup, Gatorade, and cough medicine. The two of them had watched rom coms while Clarke was burrowed into a pile of blankets, Lexa lying next to her and dropping the occasional kiss on Clarke’s head despite the doctor’s insistence that Lexa should stay away lest she get sick too.

Yes, Clarke was rapidly approaching the point where she would say those three words out loud, and the more she realized it, the more she became aware that her and Lexa hadn’t discussed the fact that they would be in a long-distance relationship come the end of the month.

“Clarke?”

Raven’s voice startled Clarke out of her thoughts, and she turned her attention back to her friend.

“We’re going to be in a long-distance relationship,” Clarke said, vocalizing her thoughts. “We’re both going to be so busy…what if this fight is just a preview of things to come?”

Raven shook her head instantly, disagreeing with her friend. “Clarke, no,” she said. “Look, couples fight. It’s normal. Now you just have to figure out where to go from here.”

“Where’s that?” Clarke asked, eyebrows furrowing.

“Well that’s up to the two of you, isn’t it?” Raven asked. “You can have an argument and still love each other, Clarke.”

“Love?” Clarke repeated. “Isn’t this…I mean, kind of fast?”

Raven quirked her eyebrow towards her friend, small smirk on her face. “Clarke, your entire relationship has been fast,” she answered. “But that’s because the Clarke Griffin I know doesn’t do anything half-assed. Remember what we talked about?”

“Hmm?” Clarke asked.

“Take the leap, Clarke,” Raven said, waving her hands in the air for emphasis. “You’ve gotta find Lexa and have an actual, adult talk. One fight does not a failed relationship make.”

Clarke sighed, picking up her fork again and spearing some of the lettuce. “Right, ok,” she muttered, taking a bite of her salad. “As long as she doesn’t run away again. I mean, talk about dramatic, right? Freaking soccer players. Honestly.”

Raven just laughed as she resumed eating her own lunch. “All in means all in, Griff,” she said, smiling. “You already jumped off the cliff. Now it’s time to decide if you’re gonna sink or swim.”

* *

“Why are you being weird?”

Lexa turned to see Anya, Alex and Kelley join her in the water, the three of them opting to do recovery in the pool as well.

She rolled her eyes at Anya’s statement, twisting as she stretched her back. “I’m not being weird.”

“You’re being all stoic and silent,” Alex pointed out.

“And I haven’t seen you throw any heart eyes Clarke’s way,” Kelley added, nodding her head towards where the blonde doctor was currently taping up Tobin’s ankle.

Lexa sighed, knowing her friends wouldn’t let it go. “We got into a fight last night,” she answered quietly.

“And you haven’t made up yet?” Anya asked.

Lexa shook her head. “We haven’t even talked since last night after it happened,” she said. The group reached the other edge of the pool, turning around and resuming their stretching. “I sort of snapped at her…and then got on the bus and left?” she continued, closing her eyes as she waiting for the berating she knew her teammates were about to bestow upon her.

“Alexandria Woods,” Alex scolded. “You ran away from her?”

“The bus was leaving!” Lexa defended.

“So you send her a text and let her know you want to talk when you get back,” Kelley replied.

“We were out celebrating all night!” Lexa answered.

“So you tell her that you want to talk this morning,” Anya said.

“I…promised Kellan I would eat breakfast with her?” Lexa tried.

“Oh no you don’t,” Alex said. “Don’t use my daughter as an excuse for your running.”

“Why are you avoiding this?” Anya asked. “Every couple fights.”

“Tobin and I have had some epic arguments,” Alex said. “But we always make sure never to go to bed mad.”

“Hope and I don’t leave the room until whatever we’re fighting about is resolved,” Kelley added.

“Yeah, well you guys have been married for like, ever,” Lexa grumbled, pulling her knee to her chest.

“The point is, a relationship takes two people,” Anya said. “You can’t just run away when you have an argument. What were you even fighting about?”

Lexa sighed again before responding. “Clarke turned down an offer for a full-time position with the team,” she said. “And I didn’t find out until Octavia accidentally told me.”

“Ouch,” Kelley said.

“But I thought Clarke was always planning on going back to the hospital at the end of this month?” Alex asked, remembering the conversation she had with the doctor a few weeks before.

Lexa nodded her head in confirmation. “She was. But I mean, this was before she got offered the job,” she said. “I just…I don’t know, I guess it caught me off guard that she just turned it down and didn’t even talk to me about it.”

“She wants to be a surgeon though,” Anya said. “I mean, yeah she could have told you about the offer. But you always knew she was going to go back and finish her residency.”

“Your girlfriend is fucking smart, Lex,” Kelley added, making the four of them chuckle and the mood to lighten up a bit.

“I know,” Lexa said after the laughter died down. “It’s just…I don’t think I’m really mad about that. I’m not,” she continued, shaking her head. “I’m not mad about her wanting to follow her dreams. And she made a good point last night—she had dreams before she met me, and she should absolutely follow them.” She sighed, stretching her leg out. “It’s just…when I found out that she had turned the job down, it just felt like she turned down the opportunity for us to be together.” Lexa bit her bottom lip slightly, the hurt look on Clarke’s face lingering in her mind. “I’m going to be gone so much over the next few months, and I just…I mean, of course I want her to be there with us, you know? To be there with me.”

She heard Anya sigh quietly, and turned her head to look at her cousin.

“What is it?” Lexa asked, knowing Anya had something she wanted to say.

“Clarke isn’t Costia, Lex,” her cousin said softly.

Alex and Kelley kept quiet, knowing the details about Lexa’s ex-girlfriend, and also knowing that Anya was the best person to handle this.

“I know that,” Lexa snapped, feeling defensive at the mention of her failed relationship with her ex.

“Then you also know that you’re not the same Lexa from before,” Anya replied, unfazed by the bite in her cousin’s tone. “Lexa, you’re not a teenager fresh out of high school, trying to make a high school relationship work through college, anymore. You’re an adult. A long distance relationship is not going to be the end of you and Clarke.”

Lexa paused, knowing Anya had gotten to the root of the problem.

Long distance had been what killed her and Costia’s relationship.

That, and the fact that Lexa was always traveling—it was difficult when two people in a relationship were in two different places, but it was even harder when one of them was constantly on the move, bouncing around the world, different time zones every few weeks. Not to mention that for the next few months, soccer would be the only thing Lexa was focusing on. Standing on that top podium, earning another gold medal for the U.S.—that was what Lexa and the rest of her teammates would be working towards.

She just didn’t want to lose sight of her relationship in order to make that happen.

“I don’t want to lose Clarke,” Lexa said quietly, vocalizing her thoughts.

“You won’t,” Anya replied immediately, Alex and Kelley voicing their agreement. “You just need to communicate with her.”

“And not run away every time you have an argument,” Alex added.

The four of them reached the edge of the pool, all hopping out and grabbing towels.

“Just go talk to her, Lexa,” Kelley said, nudging Lexa in the direction of the exam table where Clarke looked to be finishing up with Tobin. “Tell her you want to talk after you finish with recovery.”

“It’s gonna be fine, kid,” Anya said, nodding her head.

“Don’t call me that,” Lexa grumbled, but felt a surge of confidence from her friend’s words. Grabbing her shirt, she slipped it on, body still a little damp from the pool. Wrapping the towel around her waist, she walked over to where Clarke was writing on her clipboard, unaware of Lexa’s approach.

“Clarke.”

Clarke’s head whipped up, pen hovering over the clipboard. She leaned against the table, crossing her arms. “Lexa,” she greeted.

Lexa gulped nervously, taking the last few steps between them so she was standing in front of her girlfriend.

“Can we…get together after I’m done here?” she asked softly.

She heard Clarke sigh, and suddenly felt a sense of relief flood through her as the doctor reached out and gently grabbed Lexa’s hand.

“Sure,” Clarke agreed. “Why don’t you come by my room later?” she asked. “I’m just wrapping up here.”

“Ok,” Lexa said, nodding her head. She paused, giving Clarke’s hand a soft squeeze. “I’ll see you later, then?”

“Later,” Clarke confirmed, before dropping Lexa’s hand.

“Right…” Lexa trailed off, suddenly feeling overwhelmed with her feelings. She knew that she had a lot to say to Clarke, but also knew that now wasn’t a time—it would have to wait until later, after she was done with her recovery and Clarke was finished with her job. “Bye, Clarke,” she said, offering a wave before slowly walking backwards, turning around and practically sprinting to where Anya, Alex and Kelley were waiting.

“Well?” Anya asked as she approached the group.

“We’re talking later,” Lexa said.

“Good,” her cousin said. “You’re gonna be just fine, kid.”

“Oh my—ok, again, you’re literally a year older than me,” Lexa replied exasperatedly.

But she couldn’t help but smile back at the grin Anya sent her way.

Her cousin was right—she wasn’t that kid trying to balance a long-distance relationship with her high school sweetheart.

She and Clarke were going to be just fine. Lexa was sure of it.

Chapter Text

“Well that’s not fair,” Clarke blurted out, hand still on the handle, holding the door open.

Lexa, who to Clarke’s knowledge did not wear glasses, was currently standing in front of Clarke, hair down, soccer shorts and shirt on, and green eyes peering through glasses to meet Clarke’s gaze.

“What’s not fair?” Lexa asked, clearing her throat.

“You wear glasses?” Clarke blurted out. She felt her face heat up, and she shook her head slightly—now was not the time to swoon over how cute her girlfriend is. They were supposed to be having a serious talk about their future. “I mean, never mind,” she continued. She stepped to the side, gesturing for Lexa to come into the room.

“Oh, yeah,” Lexa answered, taking a seat on the bed. “I umm…sort of dropped my contacts in the sink after my shower and it went down the drain. I didn’t want to keep you waiting while I searched through my stuff for another pair so…I just threw my glasses on.” She fiddled with the frame, readjusting the glasses on her face. “I don’t normally wear them.”

Clarke blinked, staring at her girlfriend.

“Are you kidding me?” Clarke asked abruptly, cursing the effect Lexa had on her. It seemed she was in the habit of simply blurting out whatever was on her mind when it came to her girlfriend. “How are you so freaking cute all the time?”

She watched as Lexa’s mouth gaped open, and Clarke could tell she was flustered. Chuckling slightly to herself, she plopped down on the bed next to her girlfriend.

“I don’t…I mean…” Lexa stammered. “Are we—aren’t we fighting?” she asked, scratching her head.

Clarke sighed, turning to look at her girlfriend. “You’re still cute,” she grumbled. “I can still like you even though we’re fighting.”

Lexa nodded her head slowly, as if just realizing that was a possibility. “Right, ok,” she said. “Ok.”

The two sat in silence for a few seconds, before Clarke felt Lexa’s hand cover her own.

“Clarke…I’m sorry for walking away,” Lexa said solemnly. “That was a shitty thing to do.”

“A little bit,” Clarke responded, sitting up straighter. “But I get it. The bus was leaving, duty calls.”

“It was still shitty,” Lexa replied. “And I…I’m sorry I snapped at you.”

Clarke shook her head, lacing their fingers together. “I shouldn’t have snapped back,” she said. “And…I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean to keep the job offer from you. I guess I just thought it was irrelevant because I was never going to take it.” She waved her free hand in the air, gesturing towards the two of them. “I guess I’m not as great at this whole relationship thing as I thought I was.”

“No, that’s not—Clarke,” Lexa cut in, giving her girlfriend’s hand a squeeze. “What you said…about having a dream before you met me. Wanting to be a surgeon. You were right,” she said. “I don’t have a right to be mad about it, either. And I’m not,” she quickly added. “I’m not upset you’re following your dream—of course I’m not. I just…I got scared.”

Clarke put a finger under Lexa’s chin, turning her girlfriend’s head until the soccer player was looking at her. “Lexa, talk to me,” she said quietly, giving her girlfriend a soft smile.

The soccer player was silent for a beat, gathering her feelings. She wasn’t used to being vulnerable—to having these types of vulnerable conversations, and pouring her heart out to someone else.

But this was Clarke.

And if she wanted to reach that future she dreamed her and Clarke could have—well, it was time for her to start talking.

“I got scared when you said you turned down the job,” Lexa replied, quietly. “It’s…I mean, I know realistically we’re going to have to deal with a long-distance relationship. And I thought I wasn’t scared but…when I heard you had turned down the position, I felt like you were turning down a chance for us to be there, together.”

“That’s not—” Clarke cut in, but stopped abruptly when Lexa shook her head.

“No, I know. Clarke, I know,” Lexa said. “I know that’s not what you meant. But all of a sudden I was remembering the last time I had a long distance relationship…and how it fell apart.”

Lexa closed her eyes, remembering the heartbreak. And it was, at the time—it was heartbreaking. Lexa was just a sophomore in college when Costia had broken up with her. She had been 19-years-old, on the cusp of figuring out who she was and who she wanted to be. She had been staring to plan for the future—and Costia had been in it.

Until the heartbreak.

Costia’s words echoed in Lexa’s head.

I’m sorry, Lexa. I’m…exhausted. I’m so tired of trying to make it work. To make us work. It’s just not worth it.

Lexa closed her eyes, taking a deep breath before speaking again. “And I can remember how it felt…Clarke, I was devastated. And when you turned down that job, all of a sudden I was back in that place, when she said that it was too much…that it wasn’t worth it.” Clarke felt her heart drop to her stomach at the broken look on her girlfriend’s face as Lexa’s voice wavered. “That I wasn’t worth it.”

“Oh, sweetie,” Clarke said softly, pulling Lexa into a hug. She felt the other girl burrow her head into Clarke’s neck, and the doctor brought her hand up to tangle in her girlfriend’s hair.

Now Lexa’s sudden reaction made much more sense to Clarke.

But Clarke also felt she was just as much to blame as Lexa for their fight.

They were equals in this relationship—they were their own people, yes. But they were also part of a unit—they were partners—and partners talk to one another.

“Lexa, this isn’t all on you,” Clarke said. “It takes two to argue. We both could have done things differently. But I want you to know something.” She pulled away, placing one hand on Lexa’s thigh and the other on the side of the soccer player’s face, gently brushing her girlfriend’s cheek with her thumb. “You’re worth it, babe.”

Lexa opened her mouth to respond, but paused when Clarke shook her head gently. “Lexa, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s going to be a little bit tough,” she said, dropping her hand and grabbing Lexa’s. “I’m heading back to DC at the end of the month, and you’re going to Kansas City. And you’ve got friendlies from now until the Olympics…and then you actually go to the Olympics. Not to mention the camps you’re gonna be gone for in between. And even after that you’ll have all the media obligations, and you’ll be back in KC for the rest of the regular season…”

“Not really making me feel a lot better, Clarke,” Lexa cut in, and Clarke smiled at the small smirk the soccer player had on her face.

“Hush,” Clarke said, nudging Lexa’s shoulder with her own. “Let me finish.”

Lexa nodded, adopting a serious expression but couldn’t help the tug at the corner of her lips. Clarke simply shook her head, but leaned in and gave Lexa a quick kiss on the cheek.

“You’re going to be busy,” Clarke continued. “And I’m going to be busy, too. I’m finishing my final year of residency and taking my boards soon, and then I’ll have to wait and see what my post-residency plans are going to be based on which hospitals offer me a position.”

“Sounds like we’re just going to be a whole lot of busy…” Lexa murmured, serious once more as she thought about how feasible a long-distance relationship between a professional international soccer player and a surgeon was.

“But Lexa, I so want to try,” Clarke said. Lexa’s head shot up, green connecting with blue as Clarke continued. “Because I’m falling for you. I am absolutely falling for you.” She chuckled lightly, shaking her head. “I think I was already falling for you the moment you high fived my handshake.”

“It was an honest mistake,” Lexa grumbled, smiling when Clarke laughed again. “I’m falling for you too, Clarke,” she said softly, once her girlfriend’s laughter died down. “ I want to try too. Because I am in this, Clarke,” she said, giving the other girl’s hand a squeeze. “I am all in.”

“Good,” Clarke replied, leaning closer until she captured Lexa’s lips with her own. The kiss was soft and gentle, reminiscent of the first one they had shared on the beach what seemed like ages ago but in reality had only happened a few months prior.

Lexa broke apart gently, leaning her forehead against Clarke’s.

“What are we going to do about this long-distance thing?” Lexa asked softly, eyes still closed as she felt Clarke’s breath on her, lips only inches away.

Clarke sighed, opening her eyes and leaning back to look at her girlfriend. “I think we just…be,” Clarke said. “Does that make sense? Maybe it’s not so much as solving the long distance thing, but more like living with it.” She leaned forward and nudged Lexa’s nose with her own before speaking again. “I don’t have any specific answers for this, Lexa. I think we just work at it, and do what we can. We’ll make it work,” she said, nodding her head decisively. The conviction in Clarke’s voice made Lexa smile as her girlfriend continued. “But I don’t think there’s necessarily finding a solution to the long-distance thing. It’s just something we do…just let it be.”

Lexa thought about what Clarke just said, and realized the truth in her girlfriend’s words.

Long-distance was something that they were going to have to live with.

There wasn’t any solution because that would imply that it was a problem—and it wasn’t, it was just the reality of the situation. And if Lexa had to make phone calls, or send text messages, or spend more time on social media than normal—whatever it took to stay in communication with Clarke as much as she could—then she would do it.

“This relationship is worth the effort, Lexa,” Clarke said. “You’re worth it. And I will tell you that everyday until you believe it too.”

Lexa smiled softly, before letting go of Clarke’s hand and scooting back until she was resting against the headboard of the bed. She patted the spot in between her legs, grinning when her girlfriend scooted back as well. Clarke leaned back against Lexa’s chest, the soccer player’s arms coming up to wrap around Clarke’s waist.

“So we’re going to do this, then?” Lexa asked softly, resting her chin on Clarke’s shoulder, her lips brushing against her girlfriend’s ear.

“We’re going to do this,” Clarke said, smiling. She turned to rest her forehead against the side of Lexa’s head. “Say geronimo, babe,” she said softly.

Lexa, despite not being completely sure what Clarke meant by that, somehow knew it was more than just words—that it held a deeper meaning.

She turned her head to meet Clarke’s lips with her own, and couldn’t help but grin as she felt Clarke smile into the kiss. They broke apart with a chuckle, and Lexa nuzzled her face into Clarke’s neck, dropping a kiss onto the flesh there. She kissed up Clarke’s neck and along her jaw, before placing a kiss on the corner of Clarke’s lips.

“Geronimo,” Lexa said softly, before connecting their lips again.

She brought her hand up, cupping Clarke’s cheek as her girlfriend opened her mouth slightly, deepening the kiss. Lexa felt Clarke turn her body until she was facing the soccer player, the doctor straddling her legs. Clarke’s fingers threaded through Lexa’s hair, attempting to pull the other girl closer. Lexa moved her hands from Clarke’s waist to her back, her hands finding their way under the other girl’s shirt. Lexa was just about to move her hands lower when Clarke pulled back slightly to switch sides, her nose suddenly bumping Lexa’s glasses, causing the other girl to pull back fully, chuckling.

“Claaarke,” Lexa whined, bringing her hand up to readjust her glasses as her girlfriend laughed. “Don’t laugh at me,” she pouted. “I’m trying to get our first make up sex on.”

“I’m sorry,” Clarke laughed. “You’re so cute. It’s adorable.”

Lexa wiggled her eyebrows, wrapping her arms tighter around the girl in her lap and pulling her closer. “I’ll show you adorable,” she growled, grinning as Clarke let out a shriek when Lexa flipped them, now hovering over the other girl.

Clarke’s laughter was abruptly cut off.

Make up sex, indeed.

* *

“Why are you wearing a neck warmer?”

“What? Why not? I’m cold. Why? What’s with the inquisition, sheesh,” Lexa rambled, pulling on her neck warmer and clearing her throat.

Anya eyed her cousin, dropping her bag onto the seat next to Lexa. The tournament was officially over and everyone was going their separate ways, and Lexa and Anya were currently waiting at the gate, both headed back to Seattle to pack up their stuff before going to Kansas City and Portland, respectively.

Anya continued to stare before her hand shot out and yanked the neck warmer down, bursting into laughter when she saw why her cousin was wearing the article of clothing in an airport.

“More hickeys?” Anya asked through her laughter. “What are you guys, teenagers?”

“Shut up,” Lexa hissed, pulled her neck warmer back up. “It’s not my fault. Clarke is the one who did it,” she grumbled, crossing her arms.

Anya opened her mouth to respond but was cut off by the arrival of Octavia, Raven and Clarke, arms laden with snacks and drinks. The three were going back to Seattle too, spending a last few days at home before going back to DC so Octavia could start preseason training with the Spirit and Clarke could check back in with the hospital before she started there again at the end of the month.

Octavia and Raven plopped down on the seats across from the two cousins while Clarke sat down next to Lexa, handing her a bag of Doritos.

“Here ya go, babe,” Clarke said happily. “What?” she asked, registering Lexa’s glare and Anya’s smirk.

“The hickeys, Clarke,” Lexa whispered, scowling. “The reason why I’m wearing this dumb neck warmer and sweating while sitting in an airport is because of you.”

Clarke snorted, covering her mouth as she tried to hold back her laughter.

It didn’t work.

“I’m sorry, babe,” Clarke said, chuckling and lacing their fingers together. “I’ll make it up to you later. Promise.”

“Isn’t that what led to the hickeys in the first place?” Raven piped up from across the aisle, shoving skittles into her mouth.

Anya and Octavia just laughed, while Clarke tried not to as Lexa scowled at her friends.

“You guys suck,” Lexa said, glaring at them.

“Well we know Clarke certainly does,” Octavia quipped, starting another round of laughter from her, Anya and Raven.

“Don’t listen to them, babe,” Clarke said, waving their connected hands together in the air as Lexa’s cheeks turned red. “Aww. You’re blushing. Like I said,” Clarke whispered, leaning closer to Lexa. “So cute.”

“Is it your mission in life to embarrass me?” Lexa grumbled, crossing her arms. Though she was struggling to keep a smile off of her face as she felt Clarke place a kiss on her cheek.

Her phone buzzed, and she took it out of her pocket. Seeing the new notification from Octavia’s instagram handle, she tapped on the app and saw a picture of her and Clarke, Lexa smiling at the other girl as their connected hands waved in the air as Clarke gestured while she was talking.

“Dammit, O,” she sighed, reading the caption. “Again with the Commander Heart Eyes thing?”

Octavia just smirked, shrugging as Anya and Raven continued to laugh.

Sighing, Lexa just put her phone back into her pocket (after she liked the picture, of course) before turning her attention back to her girlfriend. Clarke smiled at her, lifting the soccer players’ arm and snuggling up under it.

Octavia Blake: Heading home with my crew! Spotted: Griff and Commander Heart Eyes cuddling up to each other. WE GET IT, YOU’RE CUTE. #lovebirds #clexa #itsathing #ravenmademeusethathashtag #itsnotactuallyathing

* *

“I’m home! You can all stop moping around now!” Raven yelled, swinging the door open.

“Raven, stop yelling,” Clarke grumbled, pushing past her friend. “Nobody is even home.”

“Mom and Mama G are at work, dummy,” Octavia added, also stepping around Raven who was still standing in the doorway, her arms held up after her declaration.

“What’s the point of coming home if nobody is actually home?” Raven grumbled, dropping her bag next to the couch and following the other two into the kitchen.

“We’re having family dinner tonight,” Octavia pointed out. “Did you invite Lexa?” she asked Clarke, hopping onto the kitchen counter and swinging her legs back and forth. “Thanks,” she said, taking the offered cup of water Clarke had gotten her.

“She’s having dinner with her grandparents tonight,” Clarke answered, leaning against the island in the middle of the kitchen. “Since she’s leaving in a few days to head back to KC. I’ll see her tomorrow.”

“Is she leaving for KC the same time we’re leaving for DC?” Raven asked, taking Octavia’s offered hand and hopping up onto the counter next to the soccer player.

“The day before,” Clarke replied.

Raven nodded, the three of them silent for a beat, just relishing in the feeling of being at home. It was nice coming home after a long trip—Clarke always found she was a little more at ease, being in her childhood home. The place where she met Octavia and Raven, and gained a second family in the Blakes, and where she had met Kane for the first time who had managed to bring a different kind of happiness back into Abby’s life after her father’s passing.

It was true, what they said—there’s no place like home.

“So are you gonna visit her in KC?” Raven asked, breaking the silence.

“I want to,” Clarke said. “I’m planning on a trip next week, actually. The last week of the month. I want to visit before I start back up at the hospital and I won’t be able to leave again for awhile.”

“Maybe she could visit you?” Octavia suggested.

Clarke crossed her arms, nodding her head. “We discussed it,” she replied. “FCKC is on the schedule to play you guys in about a month. Hopefully I can get Wells to cover for me that night. We’re just going to play it by ear,” she continued. “I can’t make any definitive plans past the end of this month until I know my schedule better. And Lexa has her whole training schedule…but we’ll figure it out.”

“I’m sure you two will,” Octavia answered. “Lexa is great for you. You’ve been so happy, Clarke.”

“And less stressed,” Raven added. “Plus Lexa is a cool chick.”

Clarke grinned at her two friends, cooing. “Aww, is this your guys’ official seal of approval?” she teased. She walked closer, pulling them both into a hug. “You two are the best. I love you so much.”

“Love you too, Griff,” Octavia’s muffled voice said.

“I can’t breath,” Raven said, head buried in Clarke’s shoulder.

Clarke just squeezed her friends tighter, laughing as the two pretending to groan and shirk away from the doctor.

“Griff, you’re smothering us with all this love!”

“Seriously, can’t breath!”

* *

“Hello Clarke,” Indra said solemnly, nodding at the girl.

“Hi Indra,” Clarke greeted, smiling as Indra offered her arm to her. She took it, grasping the other lady’s forearm. “How are you?”

“Good,” Indra answered, ushering Clarke inside. “I signed up for karate classes and already earned my green belt.”

“That’s great!” Clarke said, smiling at the stoic old lady.

Indra nodded, face remaining impassive. “I will demonstrate for you after dinner,” she said. “You will stay for dinner tonight.”

Clarke just grinned, nodding her head. “Yes ma’am,” she said.

Indra gave her one more nod before gesturing down the hall. “Alexandria is in her room packing,” she said. “You can go and see her.”

“Thanks Indra,” Clarke said, waving at the older woman before making her way to her girlfriend’s room.

Clarke made her way down the hall, pushing open Lexa’s door and smiling at the sight. Her girlfriend was lying on the bed, passed out with clothes around her. It was clear she had, in fact, started to pack but seemed to fall asleep halfway through it, if the folded clothes on one side of Lexa and the unfolded clothes on the other side was any indication.

Moving as quietly as she could, Clarke went about folding the rest of Lexa’s clothes, placing them in her girlfriend’s suitcase that was on the floor. She hummed lightly to herself as she worked until she was done, before sitting down softly on Lexa’s bed next to the other girl.

She stared at her girlfriend, who had a slight smile on her face as she slept. Clarke swept a piece of hair away from Lexa’s face before lying down next to the soccer player, smiling as Lexa’s arms immediately sought her out, even in sleep. Clarke placed a soft kiss on Lexa’s cheek, before moving closer to the other girl’s mouth, dropping kisses along the way. She felt Lexa smile against her mouth, and giggled as the arms around her tightened before letting out a yelp as she was suddenly on her back, Lexa hovering over her, green eyes staring into blue.

“Well, this seems familiar,” Clarke mused, rubbing her hands up Lexa’s arms.

“Hi,” Lexa said, smiling.

She dipped her head, connecting their lips.

“Hi,” Clarke said back as Lexa pulled away.

Lexa grinned at her girlfriend before dropping a few more kisses on Clarke’s mouth before sitting up, straddling Clarke’s legs. She looked around the room, spotting her full suitcase.

“You packed for me?” Lexa asked, raising an eyebrow at Clarke. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Clarke hummed, smiling up at her girlfriend.

“You trying to get rid of me faster or something?” Lexa teased, leaning down again.

Clarke shook her head, grinning before pulling Lexa all the way back down.

“Stay here with me forever,” Clarke said exaggeratedly, putting a pout on her face.

Lexa let out a chuckle before it was swallowed as Clarke connected their lips once more.

“Ok,” Lexa mumbled against Clarke’s mouth, nodding her head slightly before losing herself in her girlfriend.

Chapter Text

@LexaWoods: On my way to KC! Can’t wait to get back with my team! #FCKC #letsdothisthing #threepeat #workhardplayhard

@ClarkeGriffin: @LexaWoods good luck in KC, darling! I miss you! #didyoulikehowisaiddarling #fordramaticeffect

@LexaWoods: @ClarkeGriffin we’ll always have Seattle.

@ClarkeGriffin: @LexaWoods did you just Casablanca me? You’re such a dork. #mygirlfriendladiesandgents

@RavenReyes: @ClarkeGriffin @LexaWoods didn’t Bogart say that right before they broke up?

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin shut up Reyes.

@ClarkeGriffin: @RavenReyes @LexaWoods don’t make fun of her Raven. I thought it was romantic.

@RavenReyes: @ClarkeGriffin @LexaWoods #CommanderHeartEyes #Clexa

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin #Clexa is not a thing. Clarke, make her stop!

@OctaviaBlake: @LexaWoods @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin oh are we talking about #Clexa?

@AnyaWoods1: @OctaviaBlake @LexaWoods @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin did someone mention #Clexa?

@RavenReyes: @AnyaWoods1 @OctaviaBlake I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @AnyaWoods1 @OctaviaBlake I hate you all. And don’t use Casablanca after I used it as a romantic gesture for my girlfriend.

@AnyaWoods1: @LexaWoods @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin @OctaviaBlake #CommanderHeartEyes

* *

*You have (1) new Instagram notification*

ClarkeGriffin: Missing this one! Sending good luck your way for your first game of the season @LexaWoods! I’ll be cheering for you from DC!

* *

Beeeep “Hey, this is Lexa. I’m probably playing soccer right now. Leave a message and I’ll call back when I get a chance.” Beeeep

* *

*You have (1) missed call*

*You have (1) new voicemail*

“Hey babe, I watched your game at the bar across the street from the hospital! Me and a bunch of other surgeons went over there and Raven rigged it so we could hook your game up to one of the big screens they’ve got in there. A brace babe?!!! You’re so amazing! And awesome! And badass! And amazing! Did I say that already? Sorry, I may be a tiny bit tipsy. Wells and Monroe bought shots for us in celebration of your win. And then I took a shot for every goal you scored. Two goals babe! I miss you like crazy! Have a good night’s sleep, babe. You earned it. Talk to you soon!”

* *

To: ClarkeGriffin_MD@gmail.com
From: Lexa_Woods@gmail.com
Subject: Nona broke the coffee table again

Hi Clarke,

I miss you like crazy.

So as you probably guessed from the subject title, Nona broke the coffee table again. Apparently she’s already earned herself a blue belt. Did you know that your mom and Aurora and Kane had dinner with my grandparents last weekend? And Nona broke the table showing Kane how to flip someone.

Guess who volunteered to be flipped.

Kane is fine though, apparently. He was more excited than anything that Nona was able to flip him.

I miss you like crazy.

Did I already say that? Well that’s ok, because I miss you twice that much and then some.

The team is looking really good, and I’m counting down the days we travel to DC to play the Spirit. Also, I sent you an FCKC jersey in the mail because for SOME REASON it seems like you only own Spirit stuff. I threw in a beanie and scarf too now that your favorite player is on FCKC.

(Did my sarcasm translate ok through this email? It’s certainly harder to convey through a written message.)

I miss you like crazy, Clarke.

Talk to you soon,

Lexa

* *

To: Lexa_Woods@gmail.com
From: ClarkeGriffin_MD@gmail.com
Subject: To make sure you don’t die of starvation

Hey babe,

I attached a few recipes of some simple pasta dishes for you to try out. I think these would be good to bring to that team barbecue this weekend. I know you said you were just going to buy some potato salad at the store, but pasta isn’t that hard and it’ll be good practice for when you have to cook for yourself. You know, for a professional athlete you eat an alarming amount of takeout and fast food.

Oh, wow.

I can actually imagine your cocky grin as you lift your shirt and say, “I think I’m good.”

Stupid, cocky, beautiful, wonderful girlfriend.

Don’t deny it, that’s what would totally have happened if we were having this conversation in person. But if we were together I would have offered to show you how to cook these recipes, and then you and I would have spent the day in the kitchen, and your comment would have led to kitchen sex and overcooked pasta noodles.

(Close your mouth, Lexa. We are not a codfish.)

Talk to you soon, sweetheart.

Ugh. Yeah. I know. I heard it as I typed it. I already hate myself enough for the both of us.

- Clarke

* *

Lexa Woods 10m ago
I know you’re working, but something happened.

Lexa Woods 10m ago
Something horrible, Clarke.

Lexa Woods 9m ago
Devastating.

Lexa Woods 9m ago
Heart wrenching.

Lexa Woods 9m ago
Brace yourself, Clarke.

Lexa Woods 8m ago
Are you ready?

Lexa Woods 7m ago
I dropped my iPod in my ice bath during recovery this morning.

Lexa Woods 7m ago
Over 2,000+ songs.

Lexa Woods 6m ago
I’ve had that iPod since college.

Lexa Woods 7m ago
That’s 8 years, Clarke.

Lexa Woods 5m ago
Let’s have a moment of silence for my fallen friend.

Lexa Woods 4m ago
I can hear you laughing from here, Clarke. Stop laughing.

Lexa Woods 4m ago
Stop laughing! This is serious.

Lexa Woods 4m ago
2,000+ songs, Clarke!

Lexa Woods 4m ago
8 years!

Lexa Woods 3m ago
You should probably call me, later. I’m still kind of in shock.

Lexa Woods 2m ago
Hearing your voice will make me feel better, I’m sure.

Lexa Woods 2m ago
I’m gonna go to Costco now and see if I can buy a new iPod.

Lexa Woods now
And I’m not talking some iPod touch shit. I’m talking a classic iPod video.

* *

Dear Lexa,

I’m sitting in an on-call room right now, and I’m supposed to be sleeping. Wells is lying in the cot above me. I promised him I would get some sleep but I’m spending my time writing this letter to you, instead. We’re sort of killing this long distance thing, don’t you think?

I still miss you though.

Nothing can replace seeing you in person. But my heart skips a beat when I get a new notification on my phone and see your name on my screen.

How’s the final year of residency going? Actually, really, really well. It helps that I’ve finally locked down a specialty. Dr. Carter—she’s my attending—is the head orthopedic surgeon. She’s kind of stoic, and doesn’t show much emotion. But she’s amazing, and she’s showing me some great stuff. I feel prepared for my boards.

Jaha has been hinting about making me an offer here at Ark Memorial for my post-residency plans, but I haven’t really been thinking about it. I don’t think I can focus on that until I’m done with my boards and I know that I passed.

I treated a teenager the other day—she tore her ACL and her MCL in her right knee during a soccer game. They wheeled her into the ER, and she had her full soccer kit on, cleats and all. Her teammates camped out in the waiting room until they could see her.

When I told her she needed surgery, she was absolutely devastated. I mean, full on sobbing, and my heart cracked a little as she told me that she was being looked at by colleges to play soccer. I know I’m not supposed to promise anything, but this wasn’t like the case I told you about last week when we had to treat all those car crash victims.

(I’m fine, Lexa. I promise. Don’t worry about me, babe. Just knowing you’re there for me to talk to helps, seriously.)

I told this girl that she was going to play soccer again. And then I performed her surgery, and it all went perfectly, and I just know—I saw the fire in her eyes, babe. It reminded me of the look in Octavia’s when we were growing up, and she wanted to prove herself. Wanted to commit to this game that you both love so much. Wanted to prove she was worthy of the game’s love in return.

This girl is going to play soccer again.

I also might have mentioned you’re my girlfriend and promised to get her an autograph. Yes, I name dropped, ok? But she so looks up to you, babe. And it just made me fall even more for you, Lexa. You’re such a great role model for these girls, these young children who want to make something of themselves. When they see how hard you’ve worked, and how hard you continue to work—all that you’ve accomplished, it’s all been something you have earned.

I’m so proud of you.

Ok, I really should try to get some sleep. I’ve still got another 6 hours before I can go home. I hope Raven will make me waffles when I get back.

Missing you like crazy,
Clarke

* *

Beeeep “Hi, you’ve reached Clarke Griffin. I’m not available right now, but if you leave your name and number I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks! Beeeep

* *

*You have (2) missed call*

*You have (1) new voicemail

“Hey, it’s me. Just thought I’d call in between training sessions. You’re probably doing rounds right now, or charting, or saving someone’s life—you know, all that important stuff you smart doctor people do. Make sure you carve out some time to get some food. I mean it, Clarke. Don’t make me call Raven and Octavia to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Also, I got the letter you sent me. Gotta admit, when you told me you wanted to send letter I thought it was pointless since, you know. Cell phones. But I couldn’t stop smiling while I was reading your letter. I sent you one back, so I hope you get it soon…I miss you, Clarke. Also, my teammates have been calling me Commander Heart Eyes. And they’ve been teasing me about Clexa. So kindly slap Raven in the back of the head for me, ok? I can’t believe that is actually a thing now. Have a great day, Clarke. I miss you. Bye.”

* *

@LexaWoods: On the way to DC with the team! FCKC vs. Spirit this Saturday night! Can’t wait to see you all there!

@ClarkeGriffin: @LexaWoods ☺

@LexaWoods: @ClarkeGriffin see you soon, gorgeous.

@RavenReyes: @LexaWoods @ClarkeGriffin what about me?!??

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin see you soon, butthead.

@RavenReyes: @LexaWoods @ClarkeGriffin Commander! Such language. You kiss your grandma with that mouth?

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin Claaaarke! Make her stop.

@ClarkeGriffin: @LexaWoods @RavenReyes both of you cut it out or neither of you are getting any fish tacos this weekend.

@RavenReyes: @LexaWoods @ClarkeGriffin not fair! She started it!

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin I did not! Raven did!

@OctaviaBlake: @RavenReyes @LexaWoods @ClarkeGriffin ahh, classic she said-she said. Guess that means more tacos for me.

@ClarkeGriffin: @OctaviaBlake @RavenReyes @LexaWoods …why do I put up with you all?

@RavenReyes: @LexaWoods @ClarkeGriffin @OctaviaBlake because 15 years ago of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, you walked into ours...

@LexaWoods: @RavenReyes @ClarkeGriffin @OctaviaBlake stop quoting Bogart to my girlfriend!

@OctaviaBlake: @RavenReyes @LexaWoods @ClarkeGriffin #Clexa

@ClarkeGriffin: @OctaviaBlake @RavenReyes @LexaWoods …sigh…

* *

*You have (2) missed call*

Clarke Griffin 2hrs ago
Hey babe, thought I’d give you a quick call before I head into surgery. I’ve got this one and then another one, and then (barring any emergencies) I’m off for the night!

Clarke Griffin 2hrs ago
Can’t wait to see you! Woooo! Game day!

Clarke Griffin 2hrs ago
On a completely unrelated note, how mad would you be if I wore my Octavia Blake Spirit jersey to the game tonight?

Clarke Griffin 2hrs ago
Just kidding!

Clarke Griffin 2hrs ago
…not really though. See you soon, babe! ☺

Raven Reyes 10m ago
Ok, Wells just texted me. Griff just got out of surgery and she has about an hour before her next one. Now is good.

Raven Reyes 10m ago
This isn’t doing anything to discourage the whole Commander Heart Eyes thing, btw.

* *

“Can I help you?”

Lexa looked up from where she had been looking at her phone screen, replying to Raven’s message. A handsome man was smiling at her, lab coat on and a stethoscope around his neck.

Lexa cleared her throat, pocketing her phone. “Yes, I’m looking for Dr. Griffin?” she asked, fiddling with the box of chocolates in her other hand.

“May I ask what for?” he asked kindly.

“Oh, I’m…umm, I’m her girlfriend?” Lexa said, though it sounded more like a question. She didn’t know why she was so nervous—Lexa had been nothing but excited since she saw that her team was scheduled to play the Washington Spirit in early April. She and Clarke had been apart for a little over a month, and Lexa couldn’t wait to see Clarke again—to have the doctor in her arms once more.

She watched as the doctor’s eyes widened, a large grin spreading across his face.

“You must be Lexa!” he exclaimed, laughing and pulling her into a hug once she nodded her head yes.

Flustered, Lexa awkwardly patted the man on his back before he released her.

“Sorry! Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “That was weird. I shouldn’t have hugged you without asking. I’m just so excited to meet you. Clarke has been talking about you nonstop since she got back to the hospital.” He held his hand out, offering it to Lexa. “I’m Wells. Cardio resident. And Clarke’s friend.”

Lexa’s eyes lit up with recognition as she reached out and shook his hand. “Wells! Yeah, Clarke has told me all about you,” she said, finally connecting the dots. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”

Wells gave her a smile, eyeing the chocolates in her hand. “Chocolate? Good idea. Clarke will need the sugar boost before her next surgery,” he said. “If you follow me, I can take you to where she’s supposed to be napping but will really be on her phone looking through photos of you. Lately she’s been forcing all the nurses to swoon over them with her.”

Lexa felt her cheeks warm as Wells chuckled again before gesturing for her to follow him down the hall. They passed what looked to be the nurse’s station and a few rooms, people calling out a hello to Wells as they passed as he offered them all a wave in return.

“Sorry I didn’t recognize you right away. I guess the hair down confused me. We all went to the bar across the street to watch your season opener against the Dash,” he said as they continued down the hall. “Those were some awesome goals! I don’t think that bar has ever seen doctors cheering that loudly before.”

Lexa laughed, remembering Clarke’s voicemail from that night and the excitement in her girlfriend’s voice when she had called back later, the two talking on the phone for a few hours before Clarke finally went to bed.

“Thanks,” she said, shaking her head. “Doctors gone wild, huh?”

“Well, I don’t think it started that way,” Wells admitted, grinning. “But then Raven bought us a round of shots, and then there was another, and you know how those things go.”

He stopped in front of a room labeled ORTHO. Wells gestured to the door, taking a step back. “She should be in there,” he said. “It was really nice meeting you, Lexa. Good luck in your game tonight!”

“Thank you,” she replied, shaking his hand again before he continued on his way.

Lexa looked at the door, taking a deep breath. She raised her hand, hesitating for only a second before knocking on the door twice.

“Just a minute!” she heard Clarke’s voice ring out.

Lexa smiled, and suddenly she couldn’t wait any longer—grabbing the handle, she pushed down and forward, the door swinging open.

“I said—”

Clarke’s voice caught in her throat, her words dying abruptly as she took in the girl in front of her.

“Lexa!” Clarke exclaimed, eyes wide with shock before a grin erupted onto her face.

Taking the few steps between them, Clarke launched herself in the other girl’s arms.

“Clarke,” Lexa exhaled, burying her face in her girlfriend’s neck.

The two stood there for what seemed like hours but was really only seconds, just basking in the presence of one another.

“I missed you,” she heard Clarke murmur in her ear.

“I missed you,” Lexa replied, pulling back slightly and grinning.

She stared into her favorite pair of blue eyes—the ones that pictures and video calls didn’t do justice—the ones she missed so much over the last month. Lexa smiled as Clarke brushed a piece of her hair behind her ear, and then she was kissing her.

Lexa kissed Clarke without reservation—it had been too long since she felt Clarke’s lips against her own. She deepened the kiss, lost in the sensation of Clarke—touching her, surrounding her, enveloping her—Lexa had missed Clarke so much. She felt Clarke’s tongue slip into her mouth, and she barely had the presence of mind to kick the open door behind her as it slammed shut.

And then Lexa was sliding her hands down, gripping the back of Clarke’s thighs before hoisting her up. Clarke let out a startled yelp, wrapping her legs around the soccer player’s waist. Lexa peered up at the blonde doctor, who was grinning at her, hands coming up to cup the soccer player’s cheeks.

“I forgot how strong you are,” Clarke teased, before closing the gap between their mouths once more.

“It’s all in the legs,” Lexa murmured against Clarke’s mouth, grinning as she felt her girlfriend chuckle, Clarke’s breath hot on her face.

Lexa wiggled her eyebrows, smirking at her girlfriend. Letting out a real laugh now, Clarke dropped a few quick kisses onto Lexa’s lips, before peppering kisses all over her girlfriend’s face. She hopped down, dropping her hands to Lexa’s waist and spinning them around. She backed the soccer player up until Lexa’s legs connected with the small cot in the room, pushing her girlfriend so she was flopped down on the bed.

“Want to see what else on-call rooms are for?” Clarke asked, smirking down at Lexa.

She straddled Lexa’s hips, leaning down slowly until their faces were only a few inches apart.

Lexa couldn’t help the soft smile that crept on her face, and her hands found their way just above the blue scrub pants Clarke was wearing, caressing the skin there.

“I really did miss you, Clarke,” Lexa said softly, eyes shining.

Clarke cupped Lexa’s cheek, rubbing her thumb against it.

“Me too, babe,” Clarke replied, before closing the gap once more, kissing her girlfriend softly. The two of them were soon lost in the sensation of each other, spending the next half hour making up for the time they were apart.

* *

“You look hot in your scrubs,” Lexa commented, watching from the small bed as Clarke retied the strings on her pants before pulling on her top.

Clarke snorted, running her fingers through her hair before putting it back up in a bun. “You say the sweetest things to me, babe,” she said, grabbing her lab coat from the chair in the room and pulling it on over her scrubs.

Lexa laughed, sitting up and grabbing her own shirt, throwing it on before putting on her jacket and zipping it back up.

“So I’m gonna see you at the game later, right?” Lexa asked, reaching out and grabbing Clarke’s hands, pulling her closer so the doctor was standing in between Lexa’s legs.

Clarke smiled down at her girlfriend, running her fingers through her girlfriend’s hair. “Definitely,” Clarke replied, leaning down as Lexa lifted her chin up, meeting Clarke’s lips in a gentle kiss. Clarke pulled away after a moment, brushing her thumb against Lexa’s bottom lip. “I’ll be in the one in the Octavia Blake jersey,” she said, taking a few steps back and putting her stethoscope around her neck.

“Wha—Claaaarke,” Lexa whined.

Clarke just laughed before grabbing Lexa’s hand, pulling her up from the bed.

“Come on, there’s someone I want you to meet,” Clarke said, opening the door and leading Lexa down the hall.

“Are you really going to be wearing a Spirit jersey tonight?” Lexa asked, following along behind her girlfriend. “Clarke? Seriously—Clarke?”

Clarke simply turned her head to look at Lexa over her shoulder, sending the soccer player a wink. She pulled Lexa into a room with a bunch of lockers, and Clarke quickly approached her own, spinning the lock’s combination and opening the locker door. She grabbed something and stuffed it into her lab coat pocket before pulling Lexa out of the locker room and further down the hall. The two stopped in front of a door, and Clarke turned to face her girlfriend.

“Ok, wait here until I tell you to come in,” Clarke said, before knocking on the door. They heard a faint, “Come in,” and Clarke opened the door, entering the room as Lexa stood patiently outside.

Lexa fiddled with her zipper, looking up and down the hall. The hospital was busy—and she felt a sense of pride swell in her chest when she thought about Clarke walking these very hallways, helping and healing people. It amazed Lexa how smart and intelligent her girlfriend is—how kind and thoughtful Clarke continued to be no matter what. If Lexa had a bad day, it meant she didn’t perform as well as she knew she was capable of, or she lost a game. If Clarke had a bad day, she could have lost a patient—a human life.

“Lexa,” Clarke said, stepping out of the room and interrupting Lexa’s train of thought.

“I am in awe of you,” Lexa said, voicing her thoughts out loud as she pulled her girlfriend in closer.

Clarke smiled, though there was a look of confusion on her face as she wondered what prompted Lexa’s statement. “Babe?”

“I just—your job, what you’re dedicating your life to,” Lexa said, wrapping her arms around Clarke’s waist. “You’re helping people, Clarke. Healing them. It just helps put things into perspective. What’s important, and all that.” She leaned forward, resting her forehead against Clarke’s. “It helps me remember that losing a game isn’t the end of the world.”

“Lexa, what you do is important,” Clarke said, shaking her head. She brought her hand up to rest against Lexa’s face, the soccer player leaning into the doctor’s touch. “Don’t diminish all that you’ve accomplished and all you’re going to accomplish. Your thing is just as important as my thing. And I’m in awe of you.” She smiled, taking a step back and linking their fingers together again. “Speaking of people in awe of you, I have someone I want you to meet.” Clarke pulled Lexa through the doorway, smiling at the teenage girl sitting on the bed, right leg in a full cast.

“Lexa, this is Spencer and her mom, Cassidy,” Clarke said, gesturing to the girl sitting in the bed, propped up with pillows and the woman sitting next to the bed. “Spencer, this is—”

“Holy shit,” the teenager interrupted Clarke, eyes widening. “Lexa Woods.”

Lexa chuckled as Clarke struggled to keep a straight face.

“Spence, language,” the teen’s mom said, though she too was struggling to not smile.

“You weren’t joking,” Spencer continued, ignoring her mom’s comment. “Holy shit. You’re actually dating Lexa Woods. Wha—Dr. G! This is so cool! Lexa Woods is in my room. Holy shit. Holy shit.”

Lexa laughed again, and Clarke couldn’t help the smile that crept up on her face. “Spencer tore her ACL and her MCL, and—”

“Dr. G fixed me all up so I could get back on the field as soon as possible,” Spencer interrupted, a grin on her face.

“You know, I tore my ACL and MCL—”

“Right before your freshman year at UNC,” Spencer finished, and Lexa grinned.

“Yup, and I had to have surgery,” Lexa continued, nodding her head. “But I worked hard and got back to the pitch, and I’m certain you will too.”

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Spencer’s mom said, grinning at her daughter.

“Oh!” Clarke exclaimed, pulling out a rolled up article of clothing from her lab pocket. “What’s this?” she asked, feigned surprise as she unrolled the piece and held it up to reveal a Lexa Woods USWNT jersey. “And this?” she asked again, pulling a sharpie from her pocket. “Huh, weird that I have both of these things just lying around,” Clarke continued, and Lexa just shook her head at her girlfriend’s antics.

“Give me the jersey, Dr. Griffin,” Lexa said playfully, grabbing the jersey and pen from her girlfriend. She walked over to the bed, laying the jersey on top of the sheets and signing her name.

“I’m sure you’re gonna be back before you know it,” Lexa said to the wide-eyed teen, picking up the jersey and walking to the side of Spencer’s bed. “Just work hard. You’ve got a long road ahead of you, and it’s gonna get tough. And that’s when the tough get tougher,” she continued, putting the jersey on Spencer’s lap. “You’re gonna find out what you’re made of.”

Spencer nodded her head frantically, hanging on to every word Lexa was saying. “Thank you,” the teen breathed out, picking up the jersey and staring at it reverently before looking back at Lexa. “I’ll work hard. I promise.”

“Good,” Lexa said, nodding her head.

“Thank you so much,” Spencer’s mom said, eyes shining with gratitude at the soccer player.

Lexa just smiled, nodding her head. She looked back at Clarke, who was giving Lexa a huge grin.

“Ok, I’ve got to scrub in for another surgery, but a nurse will be in to hand you the discharge papers,” Clarke said to Spencer’s mom. “Spence, I’ll see you soon,” she said to the teen, who had a full-blown smile on her face.

“Thank you Lexa! And thank you so much, Dr. G!” Spencer gushed. “You’re seriously the best.”

“Thank you,” Spencer’s mom said kindly, nodding to Clarke.

Lexa followed Clarke out of the room, and quickly found herself being kissed firmly on the mouth.

“See?” Clarke said when they broke apart, smiling at Lexa. “What you do is important.”

Lexa nodded her head, reaching down and intertwining their fingers. “How about I treat you to a quick coffee before I go?” she asked, giving Clarke’s hand a squeeze.

“I would love that,” Clarke hummed, leaning forward and giving Lexa a quick kiss on the cheek.

The doctor pulled the soccer player down the hallway once more, before turning back to look at her girlfriend.

“But no amount of caffeine bribery is gonna get me to leave my Blake jersey at home,” Clarke teased.

Lexa just shook her head, pulling Clarke closer and slinging her arm over the other girl’s shoulders. She dropped a kiss on the side of Clarke’s head, smiling into her girlfriend’s blonde hair.

“I adore you,” Lexa simply replied.

Clarke turned her head and just grinned, the two making their way to the cafeteria.

* *

“Yo Commander, your girlfriend is waving at you.”

Lexa whipped her head towards the stands where her teammate was pointing. She let out a snort when she spotted the blonde haired doctor, sitting in the stands next to Raven near midfield.

The two were decked out in Spirit jerseys, the number on the front signifying that they were, in fact, Octavia Blake jerseys. She squinted her eyes, feigning a pout at the smirk Clarke was giving her as the doctor pointed to the Spirit crest on her chest. But Lexa let out a laugh as she watched Clarke pull out a blue and white FCKC scarf and wrap it around her neck, before producing a matching beanie out of her bag and placing it on her head.

Lexa simply shook her head as Clarke mouthed, “You’re welcome”. Lexa gave an exaggerated bow, tipping an imaginary cap Clarke’s way as a sarcastic thank you. She watched Clarke laugh before she turned back to her warm up, continuing with her stretching.

She jogged to midfield and caught Octavia’s eye across the field. The younger player wiggled her eyebrows at Lexa, who very maturely stuck her tongue out at her friend and national team teammate.

“This is gonna be fun,” Lexa murmured to herself, smiling.

Chapter Text

“Ok, time to close up. Dr. Tanner, do you think you can handle that?” Clarke asked the first year resident. She looked up across the table at the resident, who was nodding her head eagerly. “Ok, great. Good work everybody. Thanks!”

She took a step back from the operating table, holding her hands up and gave nods to the people she passed as she walked to the scrubbing room. Stripping off her gloves and gown, she turned the water on, cleaning her hands.

“Great job Clarke,” Wells said, appearing at the sink next to her. The two of them had been working together on the patient who had been wheeled into the ER with multiple injuries received during a building collapse.

Clarke took a deep breath, feeling slightly more relaxed. There was post-ops to do, but so far they had been able to save the majority of patients who had been injured in the accident.

“Thanks Wells. You too, buddy,” she said, nudging him with her shoulder as the two walked down the hall. She glanced down at her watch, and did a double take when she saw the time. “Oh shit, I didn’t realize that was the time! I gotta go!”

“Have fun!” Wells yelled after her as she took off down the hall, running to the locker room.

Clarke opened the door with a bang, letting out a hurried apology as someone in the room let out a startled yelp. She quickly opened her locker, stripping off her scrubs and throwing on her jeans and a flannel, slinging her bag onto her shoulder. She slipped on her shoes, buttoning her shirt as she raced out of the room and towards the front of the hospital. She ran through the front doors, waving at the people calling out goodbyes after her.

“Griff!” she heard, and came to a screeching halt, almost tripping over her feet in her haste.

Clarke turned her head to see Raven hanging out of the window of her truck, waving her hands from where she had parked her car. She smiled, buttoning the last button on her shirt before heading in Raven’s direction, opening the passenger side door and climbing into the front seat.

“Sup Griff,” Raven said, wiggling her eyebrows, sunglasses perched on her nose.

“You are a lifesaver, Raven,” Clarke said, buckling her seatbelt and leaning back into the seat with a sigh. “I thought I was gonna have to grab a cab back home and then head to the airport.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Raven replied, pulling out of the spot. “I put your suitcase in the back so we can go straight from here.”

Clarke grinned before leaning over the middle console and placing a kiss on Raven’s cheek with a resounding smack. “My life would certainly fall apart without you,” she declared, settling back into her seat.

Raven just sighed loudly, but a smile crept onto her face as they pulled out of the hospital parking lot.

“So are you excited?” Raven asked, fiddling with the radio before finding a song she liked.

Clarke nodded her head, digging through her purse to find her cell phone. “Ah-ha!” she exclaimed, pulling it out of her bag. As expected, she had a couple of texts waiting for her.

Mommy 3hrs ago
Have a safe flight! Call me when you get a chance. I miss you, sweetie.

Better Blake 1hr ago
Is the spaghetti in the fridge still good? How long ago did we make this?

Better Blake 1hr ago
Ehh, what’s life without a little risk?

Better Blake 1hr ago
Octavia Blake ain’t no bitch baby. GO BIG OR GO HOME.

Better Blake 30m ago
Update: I feel not so great, and we should really clean out our fridge more often. Ugh.

Better Blake 30m ago
Have a safe flight. Also, tell Raven to pick up some Gatorade on the way home. She’s still ignoring me because I wouldn’t let her perform her latest science project in the kitchen.

Hot Soccer GF 20m ago
Headed out to breakfast with Anya, Alex and Tobin. Hope you have a great day!

Hot Soccer GF 20m ago
I miss you. I’ll call you after my game tonight.

She laughed when she read the new name in her phone for Lexa. “Raven, stop changing the names in my contacts,” she said, shaking her head.

“It wasn’t me!” Raven said, holding one of her hands up in the air. “Probably O. You know she changed her name in my phone to ‘The Better Blake’?”

Clarke hummed along to the song on the radio, responding to her mom and Octavia before sending a text to Lexa.

I’m about to go into a surgery and then I have another one after that, but good luck in your game tonight! Wish I could watch but I’m sure you’re gonna be amazing ☺

Clarke slipped her phone back in her pocket, grinning. “Lexa told me she was gonna call me after her game,” she informed Raven.

“Nice! Girl still has no idea then,” Raven said, nodding her head.

“Well it was such a last minute thing,” Clarke explained. “I didn’t know if I was gonna get the weekend off. Plus I figured she would like the surprise.”

“If my hot long distance girlfriend showed up at my game out of the blue I would be stoked,” Raven replied, yelping as Clarke pinched her arm. “Hey! What? You’re hot. You know this. I know this. It was a compliment.”

“Anyways,” Clarke said, interrupting Raven’s feigned offense. “You sure you’re good to pick me up on Monday morning?”

“Yup,” Raven confirmed. “Look at you, with the romantic gestures Griff. You seem really happy.”

Clarke smiled, thinking about her girlfriend. “I am really happy,” she said, sighing softly.

“And how’s the whole long distance thing going?” Raven asked. “Gotta admit, it was a little weird to not have you on the sideline next to me during that friendly last week.”

“It’s been good,” Clarke said. “Well…good considering the circumstances. I miss her like crazy. But Lexa’s been surprisingly good at staying in contact. It’s just sort of frustrating when I have overnighters at the hospital. I feel like she’s always waiting for me to get back to her a lot of the time.” She sighed, crossing her arms. “But she’s been so great about it. But I haven’t seen her in person in like, two and a half months or something.”

“The last time was when she was here to play against Octavia’s team?” Raven asked.

“Yup,” Clarke replied. “We have officially been apart longer than we’ve been together. Physically in the same place, anyways.”

“Wait, how long have you guys been dating?” Raven inquired, scrunching her eyebrows in concentration as she tried to remember when her two friends had made things official.

“About five months,” Clarke answered. “Honestly, she’s been so great. It’s been tough being away from her but this whole thing…it just made me realize how much I like her.”

The two let Clarke’s words linger between them, the radio the only thing filling the car with sound.

Clarke thought about how her and Lexa’s relationship was going since the reality of long distance had finally caught up to them. Most days it was good, and Clarke relished the moments when she would get out of a long surgery and find a new voicemail waiting for her, or wake up to a good morning text that let her know Lexa was thinking about Clarke just as much as Clarke was thinking about her.

They had little arguments—nothing serious, just ones that cropped up every once in awhile when the frustration of not seeing each other or playing phone tag one too many times boiled over.

And sometimes, when Clarke had a bad day—she lost a patient, or she got a flat tire on her way to work, or she had to yell at her first year residents because they made mistakes that should never have happened—all she wanted was Lexa’s arms wrapped around her, and her girlfriend’s soft breath on her ear as she told Clarke everything was going to be ok.

Yes, long distance was difficult—but she was dealing with it.

Just a few more months and she would be taking her boards, which meant Clarke would be almost unreachable with how busy she would be studying and preparing for the rest of the year. Not to mention that Lexa would be on her way to the Olympics with the national team around the same time Clarke was taking her boards—in fact, if the U.S. made it to the final, Clarke would be finishing up her boards pretty much the day before. Plus, the time leading up to the Olympics would be spent training and traveling, playing friendlies and attending camps for Lexa. They would both be increasingly busy soon, and Clarke wanted to make sure they carved out some time to spend together before their schedules really took off.

Hench, why she was flying out to Kansas City despite only have two days off—Clarke wanted to see Lexa, to hold the other girl in her arms, and to feel her kiss and hear her laugh in person and just simply be in the presence of her girlfriend.

She hoped Lexa felt the same way.

(She had a feeling her girlfriend did, in fact, feel the same way, if the amount of effort Lexa was putting into their long distance relationship was anything to go by.)

“I’m pretty sure I’m in love with her,” Clarke finally said, breaking the silence.

Raven remained silent, and Clarke took that as a sign to keep talking.

“I know it’s only been five months, but I just—she’s so amazing,” Clarke continued. “I’ve never felt this way about someone before. Lexa makes me feel safe—she makes me feel like I can do anything. But it’s not a safe where I feel like I’m settling, you know?” she asked, though it was clear to Raven it was a rhetorical question. “It’s a safe where I feel warm and fuzzy and happy and like I want to be around her all the time. She continually surprises me, too. Good surprises.”

Clarke closed her eyes, thinking of the time a few weeks ago when her and Lexa had been on the phone, watching late night television together on the rare night Clarke didn’t have to spend at the hospital and Lexa didn’t have to be up early for training. They were watching reruns of I Love Lucy, and an infomercial for edible arrangements had come on during the commercials.

* *

“But who would spend money on this type of thing, Clarke?” Lexa asked incredulously, after Clarke had mentioned how pretty the edible arrangements were.

“It’s a nice sentiment,” Clarke commented. “I don’t know why it’s not more popular. I mean, a bouquet of flowers is nice, but you can’t eat flowers.”

“You technically could,” Lexa said. “I mean, as a doctor I’d hope you’re smart enough not to? But if you really wanted to…”

“Oh, shut up,” Clarke said, chuckling. “You know what I mean. Edible arrangements are pretty to look at, and then when you get hungry you have a snack right there!”

“If you want fruit, just buy fruit,” Lexa argued. “I don’t want my fruit to be in any artsy, fancy display. If I’m hungry, I just want to eat it. No muss, no fuss.”

“There’s a joke in there, somewhere,” Clarke teased. “And I’m just saying, it’s just a nice thing to receive.”

Lexa snorted, and Clarke could practically see the eye roll her girlfriend was giving the TV. “I guess,” Lexa said, her voice tinged with skepticism. “It doesn’t seem that hard to make, either. Don’t you just need like, shape cutters and sticks?”

Clarke laughed, shaking her head. “I don’t know, babe. I’ve never tried to make an edible arrangement,” she said.

“Oooh! This is the episode where Lucy and Ethel work in the chocolate factory!” Lexa said, and Clarke turned her attention back to the show, smiling at her girlfriend’s enthusiasm.

“You’re so cute,” Clarke sighed into the phone.

Lexa scoffed. “You have no proof, Griffin,” she said.

Clarke simply smiled as Lexa’s laughter filtered through the phone, the two of them watching Lucy and Ethel cramming chocolate anywhere they could.

The next day, Clarke had been paged to the nurse’s station and when she got there, found a comically large edible arrangement bouquet waiting for her. Her coworkers all teased her playfully as Clarke bashfully plucked the card off of the basket, a smile growing on her face as she read the message.

Clarke,
Call me a sucker for a spectacle.
I miss you,
Lexa

Afterwards, Clarke had whipped out her phone, taking a picture and posting it on Instagram with a caption that simply said: @LexaWoods proof.

* *

Clarke opened her eyes, smiling at the memory.

“And Lexa is funny! She’s so funny, and nobody knows it but she’s just a huge dork, and she makes me laugh,” Clarke continued, her blue eyes shining, and Raven smiled softly at the look on her friend’s face. “And Lexa is just—she’s so inherently good. She’s genuinely a good person. She puts on this serious façade, but underneath it all she’s the kindest person. She’s got a heart of gold.”

Raven pulled the car up to the curb in the drop off zone of the airport, and Clarke turned to face her friend.

Clarke didn’t know when it happened, exactly. There wasn’t a specific moment when it started.

But she knew she was falling in love.

“Do you think that’s crazy? That I fell so fast?” Clarke asked. “I feel like…I feel like I really do love her.”

Raven smiled at her friend. She shrugged, before covering Clarke’s hand with her own. “You’re falling hard and falling fast, Griff,” she said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

The two climbed out of the car, and Raven grabbed Clarke’s suitcase from the backseat before wheeling it around the car to the curb, where Clarke was double-checking her purse to make sure she had everything she needed for the weekend.

“Thanks, Rae. Love you,” she said, pulling her friend in for a quick hug.

“Love you too,” Raven said. “Now go get your girl. Text me when you land.”

Clarke nodded her head once more before turning and heading into the airport. “Later, Rae,” she said, waving to her friend, and headed towards the security line.

* *

“And then Mama said not to tell Mommy cuz it’s a secret!” Kellan finished her story with a flourish, making a face that could only be described as exasperated.

Lexa stifled her laughter, but Anya, who was sitting next to her, had no such qualms and burst out laughing. Alex was scowling at Tobin, who was looking anywhere but her wife, all the while Kellan continued to happily eat her pancakes, pausing only to take a sip of her apple juice.

The Morgan-Heath family and Anya were in town with the Thorns, who were taking on FCKC later that night. Lexa always jumped at the chance to hang out with her cousin and one of her favorite soccer families, the group usually catching breakfast or lunch together whenever they were in town for the game.

“Kellan, I thought we agreed to keep our long boarding adventures to ourselves?” Tobin asked her six-year-old daughter, leaning over and wiping the syrup off the little girl’s face.

“I didn’t tell Mommy,” Kellan said matter-of-factly. “I told Auntie Lexa and Aunt Anya!”

That comment did it—Lexa burst out laughing as well, joining Anya. Tobin simply sighed, watching her daughter eat her breakfast with a fond smile on her face, and even Alex had to smile after her daughter’s comments.

“Never mind,” Tobin muttered, shaking her head.

“Serves you right,” Alex said, turning to look at her wife. “Telling our daughter to keep secrets from me?”

“I love you?” Tobin said, though it sounded like a question.

Alex rolled her eyes. “That won’t work every time, you know.”

Tobin grinned, leaning over and pressing a kiss to Alex’s cheek.

“I love you too,” Alex grumbled back.

“You Morgan-Heath’s are so disgustingly cute,” Anya commented, taking a sip of her coffee.

“Especially you, munchkin,” Lexa chimed in, tapping the bill of Kellan’s hat.

The little girl looked up at her aunt, giving the soccer player a smile despite not knowing what the adults were talking about. Lexa let out another laugh when she saw that Kellan’s mouth was full of pancakes, and her cheeks were puffed out when she smiled, making her look like a tiny chipmunk.

“You want to talk about disgustingly cute?” Tobin asked. “What about the doc and the Commander?”

“What about us?” Lexa asked, raising an eyebrow in the other midfielder’s direction.

“Clexa?” Alex asked, quirking her eyebrow.

Lexa groaned, crossing her arms. “Oh my god, that is not a thing,” she said. “Stupid Raven.”

The occupants at the table laughed, and Lexa scowled at her friends.

“No, but really,” Alex said, once the laughter died down. “How is that going? The whole long distance thing?”

“It’s definitely been tough,” Lexa replied truthfully, smiling as Kellan offered her some of her pancakes. “No thank you, munchkin,” she said to the little girl before turning her attention back to Alex. “It’s been tough, but it is what it is. We talk as often as we can. I miss her like crazy all the time.”

“But you two are ok?” Tobin asked.

Lexa nodded her head, taking a sip of water. “Yeah, we’re doing really well,” she said. “It helps that we communicate over a bunch of different platforms. Twitter, text, phone calls, emails—Clarke even got me to send hand written letters,” Lexa confessed, grinning at the thought of her girlfriend. “She makes me so happy.”

“That is so sweet,” Alex sighed. “Tobin and I used to write letters to each other when she was playing in Paris. She used to say the sweetest things.”

Used to?” Tobin asked, feigning offense. “Excuse you, I still say the sweetest things.”

Alex snorted, shaking her head. “The other day you came home and greeted me by saying, ‘what up baby mama’,” Alex said, holding her hands up to use air quotes. “And then asked me to make you a sandwich.”

“Well what I said was true. You are my baby mama,” Tobin argued.

“What up baby mama,” Kellan said, and the adults at the table all turned to look at the little girl, who had seemingly finished her breakfast and was now making her little dinosaur figurines trot across the table in front of her.

Anya and Lexa just laughed, while Alex gaped at her daughter and Tobin stifled her laughter. Kellan looked up, a wide grin on her face at the laughter of some of her favorite people.

“What up baby mama,” Kellan repeated, gap-toothed grin on display as Lexa and Anya laughed harder.

Alex sent Tobin a look, and Lexa decided she should probably divert the little girl’s attention.

“All done, munchkin?” Lexa asked, picking the little girl up from her seat and plopping Kellan down in her lap.

Kellan nodded, looking up at her aunt. “Go to the park, Auntie Rexa?” she asked.

Alex and Tobin each gave Lexa a nod, and the soccer player smiled at Kellan. “Sure,” Lexa said.

“Swings?” Kellan asked as Lexa picked up the little girl once more, placing her on the ground.

“You bet,” Lexa answered, smiling and readjusting Kellan’s hat so it was sitting backwards on the little girl’s head.

The adults all stood up too, Tobin beating Lexa and Anya to the front counter where she settled the bill.

“You guys can get the next one,” Alex said, giving the two a placating pat on the back.

Though they all knew that Alex and Tobin would always try to pay for them—the Morgan-Heaths were just the best kind of people, and Anya and Lexa had a special place in Alex and Tobin’s hearts ever since the two cousins had been called up to the senior national team while they were still in college.

“Come on, little one,” Anya said. She shook her head at Alex before reaching down and lifting Kellan up, the little girl squealing as she was placed on the goalkeeper’s shoulders. “The park awaits!”

The two took off out the door, peels of laughter echoing back from the soccer player and the little girl. Alex, Tobin and Lexa followed, the group walking down the street to the park the group had passed on their walk from Lexa’s apartment to the diner.

“Tobin!” Anya called out from ahead of them. “My grandma is calling. Can you…?”

Tobin jogged to catch up with Anya and Kellan, scooping the little girl into her arms. The mother and daughter walked over to the swings as Anya answered her phone, walking over to sit at one of the empty tables that were set up at the park.

Lexa and Alex headed towards a park bench, perched on the edge of the sand and watched as Kellan’s face lit up with a grin when her mother went down the slide first, the little girl following shortly after.

“So how are you doing, really?” Alex asked, breaking the silence. “With the whole long distance thing? I know how tough it can be…when Tobin was away, I felt like I was missing a part of myself, you know? Like, I was ok without her. But it was nothing compared to the feelings I have when I get to live my life with her, by my side.”

“I do miss Clarke a lot,” Lexa sighed, putting her hands behind her head and leaning back against the bench. “But this distance has also made me realize just how important she’s become to me.” She paused, looking up at the clouds in the sky, remembering an afternoon spent at the park with Clarke, lying on the grass and finding shapes in the clouds. “I think I’m in love with her,” she admitted. Lexa turned to Alex, green eyes meeting blue—a different shade Lexa was used to, but brought her comfort nonetheless as she her mentor and one of her best friends pull her into a sideways hug. “How do you know for sure that you love someone?”

Alex hummed, giving Lexa a squeeze. “How do you know?” Alex repeated. “Well, that’s really up to you. I could tell you the first time I realized that I was in love with Tobin.”

“When?” Lexa asked, curious. She had heard the infamous story of ‘Operation Talex’, as Kelley and Ashlyn had a tendency to call it, but never from Alex or Tobin themselves.

“It was a normal day,” Alex said. “Ordinary, really. We were sitting in our apartment in Portland watching a soccer game on TV—I don’t remember who was playing—and Tobin turned to me and said, ‘Let’s go on an adventure.’ And I agreed, and do you know where she took me?”

Lexa thought about it, knowing that Alex and Tobin had traveled all around the world—both for soccer and for vacation. The couple had been on some epic adventures, most of them because Tobin had an itch to do something out of the ordinary and got Alex to come with her.

“Where?” Lexa finally asked, not able to pick a place out of the numerous ones the couple had been.

“To the grocery store,” Alex said.

“Wait—what?” Lexa asked, surprised. “The grocery store?”

Alex laughed, nodding her head. “The grocery store,” the older woman said. “And we bought some kraft mac and cheese and supplies for s’mores. And we ended up camping in the living room that night, having a Harry Potter marathon.” Alex smiled, thinking of the memory. “It was perfect.”

“So you knew you loved Tobin…because she took you to the grocery store?” Lexa asked, confused.

“I knew I loved Tobin when she referred to a trip to the grocery store as an adventure,” Alex corrected. “And I realized that everything the two of us did together was something I could label an adventure—it’s new and exciting and fun, even if it’s something as monotonous as going to the grocery store.” Alex placed her hand on top of Lexa’s, giving it a squeeze. “As long as I was with Tobin, it didn’t matter what we were doing—it was an adventure. One that I would gladly take with her, everyday for the rest of my life. That’s when I knew.”

“Wow,” Lexa breathed out. She had a whole new insight into her friend’s relationship—and honestly, the way Alex was talking about Tobin was humbling and inspiring all at once.

Alex gave her a look of understanding, a small grin on her face. “Yeah,” Alex said. “It hit me pretty hard at the moment, too. I was so happy when I realized what it was that I was feeling, and then I was terrified, and then happy again.”

Lexa nodded her head, going over the thoughts swirling through her mind. “I’m more…exhilarated? More excited than scared,” Lexa admitted. “That’s a good sign, right?”

“Falling in love—that’s not really a choice,” Alex said, nudging Lexa with her shoulder, eliciting a smile from the other girl. “It’s more like a free fall.”

“Mama! Come play!” they heard Kellan squeal, and both looked on as the little girl laughed as Tobin pushed her on the swing, giggling as she went higher and higher.

Alex stood up, stretching her arms above her head before patting Lexa softly on the shoulder. “It’s not so bad to fall, Lexa. Look what it can lead to,” she said, gesturing to her family, a smile on her face. “After all, the best thing about falling is that somebody has the chance to catch you, right?” She waited as Lexa nodded her head, taking in her words. “And Lexa, I’m really certain Clarke will,” Alex finished, giving Lexa another pat on the shoulder before walking over to her wife and daughter, Kellan shouting with excitement when her other mother joined them.

“Mommy! Look how high up I am!” Kellan yelled, and Lexa laughed as Alex made a big deal out of it.

Anya plopped down next to Lexa, stretching her arms above her head.

“Nona says to call her later,” Anya said.

Lexa nodded in acknowledgement, still smiling at the small family playing on the swings.

“I’m in love with Clarke,” Lexa said casually, leaning back next to her cousin.

Anya, for her part, simply snorted with laughter. “No shit,” Anya replied. “Congrats, Commander Heart Eyes.”

Instead of being offended, Lexa just laughed, the two cousins sitting and laughing before Kellan demanded the two of them play sandman with the small family.

* *

Lexa cursed under her breath, watching the play unfold as she sprinted to catch up. She knew it was no use though. When Tobin sent that cross to where Lexa just knewAlex already was—well, it was almost always a guaranteed goal once the ball meets Alex Morgan’s feet.

And it was.

Alex managed to beat FCKC’s goalie 1 v 1, and the Thorns took the lead 2-1 in the 90th minute.

“Damn you Morgan,” Lexa said as Alex jogged past her, sending the younger player a wink.

“That’s Morgan-Heath to you,” Alex quipped back over her shoulder before jumping into her wife’s outstretched arms in celebration.

Lexa patted her goalkeeper on the back before jogging back to midfield. There were three minutes of stoppage time, and Lexa was determined to get away from this game with at least a tie.

Refocusing, Lexa grit her teeth before kicking the ball off, and play started again.

* *

“Anya!” Clarke called out.

She had made her way down to the front row, catching the attention of the Portland goalkeeper once the final whistle blew. Portland had taken the game 2-1, and she was hoping to catch Anya’s attention so she could get down onto the field to surprise Lexa before her girlfriend headed into the locker room.

She watched as Anya looked towards the stands, and then did a double take. A grin spread across the goalkeeper’s face as she realized who was calling her name.

“Clarke?” she asked, and quickly walked over to the stands, waving and nodding at the fans screaming her name. “What are you doing here?”

“Surprising your cousin?” Clarke asked. “Think you can get me on the field?”

Anya nodded, signaling to the security guard standing in front of the steps that led to the field. “She’s with me,” Anya said, gesturing to Clarke, who hurried past the security guard and down the field.

“Thanks,” Clarke breathed out, giving Anya a hug. “Great game, by the way. That was a great save. Lexa is gonna be pissed she couldn’t get that one by you.”

Anya let out a laugh, smirking. “Yeah well, I told her she wasn’t gonna get one by me this year,” she said. One of the Portland trainers approached them, and Anya nodded towards where Lexa was chatting with Alex and Tobin on the sideline near midfield, both team’s players mingling with one another. “Go on then. Get your girl.”

Clarke laughed, nodding her head before turning around and walking quickly to where Lexa was standing in front of Alex and Tobin. She saw the couple’s eyes widen as they recognized Clarke, who put a finger to her mouth to let them know to not give anything away.

“Are you a soccer player? Because I’m gonna need your name and number,” Clarke said loudly, grinning as Alex and Tobin started to laugh.

Lexa turned around to see who had been talking to her, the confused look on her face being replaced by joy as she took in the girl standing in front of her, decked out in a Lexa Woods FCKC jersey, matching beanie and scarf on as well.

“Clarke!” Lexa exclaimed, wrapping her arms around the other girl, hugging her tightly. Clarke laughed as Lexa picked her up, spinning her around.

“Hi,” Clarke breathed out once Lexa put her back down, arms still wrapped loosely around Clarke’s waist.

“What are you doing here?” Lexa asked, green eyes sparkling with excitement.

“I’ve kind of got a thing for one of the players on the team,” Clarke said, feigning nonchalance as she brought her arm up, resting her palm on the back of Lexa’s neck. “It’s a crush, really. Sort of embarrassing. She’s kind of out of my league.”

“Oh yeah?” Lexa asked, playing along. “I bet she’s not out of your league. Pretty girl like you?”

Clarke shrugged, pulling Lexa closer by tugging on her jersey. “I don’t know,” she said, sighing exaggeratedly. “I think Alex Morgan is already married.”

“You’re a jerk,” Lexa laughed out, placing her forehead against Clarke’s as the doctor chuckled too. “I missed you,” Lexa said softly.

“I missed you too, babe,” Clarke replied, before closing her eyes and meeting Lexa’s lips with her own.

The two shared a soft kiss, before Lexa wrapped her arms tighter around the other girl, attempting to bring her closer.

Clarke, remembering they were in public surrounded by Lexa’s teammates and fans, pulled back slightly, smiling at her girlfriend.

“Lexa, we’re in public,” Clarke said.

“Don’t care,” Lexa responded, before capturing Clarke’s lips again.

Clarke felt Lexa tug lightly on her bottom lip, before pulling away slightly and nudging her nose against Clarke’s, switching sides and kissing her firmly on the mouth again.

Clarke grinned into the kiss, causing Lexa to grin too, and the two broke apart with a shared chuckle. Lexa took a step back, dropping her hands from Clarke’s waist to grab the doctor’s hands, intertwining their fingers together.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” Lexa said, swinging their arms side to side between them. “How long do I have you for?”

“The whole weekend,” Clarke answered, laughing at her girlfriend as Lexa let out an excited yelp, fist pumping as if she was celebrating a goal. “You’re such a dork.”

“And I adore you,” Lexa shot back.

“Charmer,” Clarke replied, giving Lexa a quick kiss on the cheek. “But dammit if that line doesn’t work on me every single time.”

Lexa just grinned, wiggling her eyebrows at her girlfriend before leading Clarke over to where Tobin and Alex were playing with Kellan, the little girl dribbling the soccer ball and attempting to kick it past Tobin.

“And Kellan Morgan-Heath scores!” they heard Alex yell, mimicking an announcer as Kellan jumped up and down, her hands in the air. Tobin had a dejected look on her face, though Lexa and Clarke could tell she was struggling not to smile. She was lying down in defeat after her daughter had kicked the ball between her legs and into the goal. “Morgan-Heath with an incredible goal, nutmegging the keeper and winning the game! What a victory for the U.S.!” Alex continued to yell. “We have seen history in the making here tonight, folks!”

Kellan’s eyes lit up as she spotted Clarke and Lexa walking towards them, and she ran to the couple, arms spread out in a goal celebration very reminiscent of her mother’s.

“Auntie Lex! Clarke!” the little girl yelled, before launching herself into her aunt’s arms. “I scored! Did you see me?” she asked excitedly.

“Sure did, munchkin!” Lexa replied enthusiastically. “What a goal!”

Clarke held her hand out and Kellan gave her a tiny high five. “Where’d you learn to do that?” Clarke asked, smiling at the little girl who scrambled down from Lexa’s arms, adjusting her snapback from where it had fallen a little bit in front of her eyes.

“Mama taught me!” Kellan yelled.

“Your mama’s got some moves,” Tobin said, appearing behind her daughter. “Hey Clarke!” she greeted the doctor, giving her a hug.

“Clarke!” Alex said as she joined the group, pulling the doctor in for a hug of her own. “It’s so great to see you! Lexa didn’t tell us you were coming!”

“Lexa didn’t know,” Clarke said. “I happened to get this weekend off last minute so I decided to surprise her.”

“The best surprise,” Lexa chimed in, slinging her arm around Clarke’s shoulders and pulling her girlfriend closer. She turned her head and placed a lingering kiss on Clarke’s cheek.

“Clarke come to dinner too?” Kellan asked, referring to the family’s plans to grab dinner with Lexa and Anya after the game.

“Oh sweetie, I think Auntie Lexa and Clarke are gonna go to dinner on their own,” Alex said, crouching down in front of her daughter.

“Actually, we’d really like to go with you guys,” Clarke informed the family, catching Lexa’s grin in her peripheral as the frown Kellan had on her face after her mother’s comment turned quickly to a smile. “If that’s ok with you guys,” Clarke continued.

“We’d love for you both to join us,” Tobin said, picking up her daughter and putting her on her shoulders. “If you really want to.”

“We really want to,” Clarke confirmed, nodding her head.

Alex smiled, pulling Clarke and Lexa into another hug. “Great! Well then we should go get changed,” Alex said after she released them.

“I can hang out with Kellan while you three go to the locker room,” Clarke offered, grinning at the cheer the little girl let out from her spot perched on her mother’s shoulders.

Kellan reached out to Clarke, and Tobin picked her daughter up once more, handing her to the doctor.

“Thanks Clarke,” Alex said. “We’ll be quick.”

I’ll be quick,” Tobin said. “Al will take a little longer.”

Tobin laughed, dodging the towel Alex snapped at her wife as the two headed towards the visitor’s locker room.

“I’ll be right back,” Lexa said, turning to Clarke, who was holding Kellan’s hand in her own.

She leaned in, giving Clarke a soft kiss before turning around and jogging to the locker room, a large grin on her face. She looked back towards the field to see Clarke standing in the goal as Kellan lined up to take a (shortened) penalty kick, laughing as the little girl let out another cheer as she kicked it past the doctor.

* *

Lexa stared at her the girl lying next to her, brushing a piece of hair out of her girlfriend’s face.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” Lexa said softly, smiling as Clarke turned to look at her.

The two were lying in Lexa’s bed, having gotten back from dinner with the Morgan-Heaths and Anya. A movie was playing on the TV, but Lexa hadn’t paid attention since the girl next to her had laid her head on Lexa’s chest.

Lexa dipped her head as Clarke tilted her chin up. She felt the other girl smile against her cheek as Lexa left a lingering kiss on Clarke’s forehead, before pulling back and resting her chin on top of Clarke’s head.

“I’m glad I’m here too,” Clarke said softly, moving her hand under Lexa’s shirt, letting her palm rest against the warm skin of the soccer player’s stomach.

Lexa felt a shiver go through her body as Clarke’s fingers started to scratch lightly against her stomach. She tilted her chin up as Clarke turned her head and placed a kiss on Lexa’s neck. She groaned as Clarke’s mouth lingered on a spot, before moving up Lexa’s neck and placing a kiss on the spot just below her ear.

“Clarke,” Lexa breathed out, tilting her head to the side to give her girlfriend more access.

She let out another groan as Clarke climbing on top of her, straddling her hips. Clarke broke away from Lexa’s neck, sitting up and pulling her shirt up and off of her. Lexa shuddered as Clare bent down again, kissing along her jaw as the doctor pushed Lexa’s shirt up, hands exploring the skin underneath.

Lexa sat up, bringing Clarke with her as the doctor pulled away and lifted Lexa’s shirt up, pulling it off completely and throwing it to the side. Clarke’s hands cupped Lexa’s cheeks, and the two shared a soft smile.

“I missed you so much,” Clarke said, and Lexa closed her eyes at the feeling of Clarke resting her forehead against her own.

“I miss you everyday,” Lexa replied softly, caressing the skin above Clarke’s jeans.

Clarke let out a soft chuckle. “Always so competitive,” she said, nudging Lexa’s nose with her own.

Lexa shrugged, pulling back as green met blue, both pairs of eyes shining.

“What did you say? Oh right,” Lexa teased. “Love me or leave me, babe.”

Clarke just grinned, before pulling Lexa in for another kiss, the soccer player’s soft chuckle turning to a moan fairly quickly.

Chapter Text

Lexa took a deep breath, sitting down in front of her locker. She grabbed her headphones and put them over her ears before grabbing her phone, bringing it to life.

*You have (1) missed call*

*You have (1) new voicemail*

Lexa smiled when she saw the voicemail was from Clarke—she knew that her girlfriend had a surgery to perform before the game and wasn’t sure if the doctor would be done in time to catch any of the game. Figuring that listening to the message could only help during her pregame routine, Lexa hit play and smiled as Clarke’s voice filtered through her headphones.

“Hey babe,” Clarke’s voice said, and Lexa’s smile grew as she took in the familiar sound.

She felt her shoulders relax, and she knew that if anybody were to look in her direction they would have definitely made fun of her for the surely goofy smile she had on her face.

“I’m about to head into surgery, but I wanted to call and hopefully you’ll hear this voicemail before your game. Good luck today, Lexa. You’re going to be amazing. You’re the best soccer player in the world—no, I’m not being biased, I have several sources that also claim such a thing so just hush and listen to me. Where was I?”

Lexa let out a chuckle, shaking her head as she remembered the conversation she had with her girlfriend a few days ago when Clarke was reading an article about the USWNT as they climbed closer and closer to that final match.

“Right. Best in the world. That’s you. And you’re going to kill it, babe. I’ll be cheering for you. I miss you like crazy, but it helps to see you doing your thing on my TV. Now just go do the damn thing, Lexa. I’ll talk to you later. Good luck, babe.”

Lexa let out another laugh, shaking her head at her girlfriend’s words.

Clarke was amazing, truly. Her ability to make Lexa smile while halfway across the world was pretty incredible, and spoke volumes about their relationship.

Looking down at her phone, Lexa’s thumb hovered over her pregame playlist before bringing up her voicemail again, hitting play and listening to Clarke’s voicemail one more time.

“Hey babe…"

* *

“Lex!”

Lexa’s head shot up, her eyes finding Alex instantly as the forward ran full speed down the sideline. She brought her foot back and kicked the ball, watching as it sailed through the air and landed at Alex’s feet.

And then she watched as Alex Morgan did what Alex Morgan does.

She watched as the forward took one touch, two touch—and then the third, striking the ball with authority as it sailed past the goalie and into the back of the net.

Lexa was grinning widely as she sprinted to meet her teammate, jumping in on the group hug that had already started forming, all of them screaming.

In the 37th minute of the semi-final game of the Olympics, the U.S. was up 1-0 against Brazil.

“Alex fucking Morgan!” Lexa shouted as the huddle of players started to disperse and make their way back to their positions.

“Morgan-Heath,” Alex corrected with a grin, laughing as Lexa playfully slapped her ass.

“We winning this thing, then?” Lexa asked, turning her head slightly to look at her teammate.

“Let’s do it,” Alex answered, nodding her head. The two exchanged a high five before taking their respective spots, waiting for Brazil to start the game back up.

Lexa took a deep breath, digging back in.

“Here we go,” she murmured to herself, watching as the ball was put back in play.

* *

“You found a 7.5 centimeter triple-A on your 85-year-old patient. Now what?”

Clarke’s blue eyes stared into her young patient’s brown ones as Spencer lowered the flashcard she had just read from, meeting the doctor’s gaze.

“I would get an angio, assess his pulmonary and cardiac function, and see if he’s a candidate for an endovascular repair,” Clarke answered, nodding her head decisively.

Spencer’s neutral face broke out into a grin as she scanned the card. “That’s right! Nice Dr. G!” the teenager exclaimed, picking up the next card. “That’s like the tenth one in a row you’ve nailed!”

Clarke grinned back, glancing at the TV before doing a double take. “Oh! It’s back!” she said, and turned her body so the two of them faced the TV screen The two were sitting in the resident’s lounge in between Clarke’s surgeries, and they had commandeered the television in the resident’s lounge for the day—it was, after all, the semi-finals of the Olympics. Spencer had been helping Clarke do last minute cramming for her boards while the two of them watched the game.

“If you’re just joining us, we return to the second half as the U.S. holds a one to zero lead over Brazil thanks to an Alex Morgan goal. She was calm, she was composed, and she finished with authority. Classic Alex Morgan,” the announcer’s voice rang out through the hospital room.

“And how about that assist from Lexa Woods?” the other announcer’s voice said. “Woods is another one of those stars for the U.S. that has just really showed up this tournament. She’s done her job beautifully—the combination of her and Heath in the midfield has been dominating. What can we expect to see in the second half for the United States?”

Clarke laughed as Spencer hit the doctor’s arm a couple of times as the announcer said Lexa’s name, smiling with pride at what the announcers were saying about her girlfriend.

“Look for the U.S. to keep attacking,” one of the announcers answered. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see the rookie, Octavia Blake, come into the mix later in the game and provide that extra spark from the bench, much like the role Alex Morgan played when she was first called up to the senior national team.”

Clarke squealed, which would have been embarrassing, but Spencer simply laughed and cheered with the doctor, knowing how special it was for Clarke to see her best friend playing in the Olympics.

“Those late game drives are so important, especially when you have the depth the U.S. has where they can bring in a player like Blake and the level of play doesn’t drop dramatically,” the announcer continued. “This kid is good, and she has a very Alex Morgan-esque finish, taking on the goal keeper 1 v 1. We saw in the group stage just how effective she is when she nabbed a couple of goals when she came into the games around the 70th minute mark.”

The screen changed and panned to the field, where the teams were huddled. Clarke smiled softly as the camera zoomed into the U.S. team’s huddle, watching as Lexa was talking while the rest of their teammates were nodding their heads in agreement. Her heart leapt when she caught sight of Octavia in the red, white, and blue jersey, a large, bold BLAKE with the number 2 on her back. Her heart swelled with pride as she watched Octavia nodding her head along with her teammates, and knowing that her best friend was living out her childhood dream—Clarke felt all warm and fuzzy on the inside, witnessing first hand how hard Octavia had worked to get there.

“We’ve so totally got this,” Spencer announced as the players took the field to start the second half.

Clarke nodded her head in agreement, her eyes never leaving Lexa’s figure as her girlfriend laughed at something Tobin had said as the two lined up at midfield.

“Totally got this,” Clarke repeated, as the whistle blew and the game resumed.

She watched as Lexa slipped into Commander mode, the look on her face a fierce glare as she concentrated. Clarke smiled, nodding her head again.

Yeah, they totally got this.

* *

“You ready for this, kid?” Lexa asked.

Octavia nodded, bouncing on her toes. The young forward had just been subbed into the game around the 70th minute, and Lexa was hoping Octavia could provide the answer they needed to wrap the game up.

The U.S. still had the 1-0 lead, but Lexa knew all too well how one mistake could lead to a goal. Ideally they would score another goal to help the U.S. secure that spot in the finals.

“We got this,” Octavia said, her eyes practically glowing.

Lexa knew, in that moment—Octavia was going to get the job she was given done. The look in the young forward’s eyes were a familiar one—the determination, the drive, the absolute conviction. It was the same look all the great goal scorers got before they made something happen. Nodding her head, Lexa jogged to her spot, waiting as Anya placed the ball on the ground before looking around, jogging up to it and letting the ball fly through the air.

And then, in the 81st minute it happened.

Brazil had been trying their hardest to get the ball back in U.S. territory, but the backline hadn’t been dubbed “The Brick Wall” for nothing—a touch that was too far away from a Brazilian player headed towards Kelley, and she cleared it out past midfield—right to the head of Alex Morgan.

Alex flicked the ball on, and Lexa watched as Tobin ran past Alex, the ball meeting her foot as she simply redirected the ball with one touch to a streaking Octavia, who had been running the whole time. She caught up with the ball in between two Brazilian defenders, and then she was off, a hoard of Brazilian players chasing after the young forward.

Octavia’s first touch was a tad wide, but the second touch redirected it as the forward’s foot connected with the ball, lifting it up over the Brazilian keeper and into the net.

“Holy shit! Yes O!” Lexa yelled, racing towards her teammate, joining in on the screaming.

* *

“…Blake managed to deftly lift the ball up over the Brazilian keeper for the second goal of the game, and securing the lead for the United States with about eight minutes left to go!”

“YES! THAT’S MY BEST FRIEND! GO O! HELL YEAH!” Clarke yelled, jumping up from the couch (though mindful of Spencer’s casted leg resting on the footrest in front of them), arms raised as she jumped up and down.

“WHAT A BADASS GOAL!” Spencer shouted, throwing her hands up and fist pumping the air.

Clarke turned to Spencer, offering up her hand for a high five that the teenager returned enthusiastically, the two of them still shouting their excitement.

“What is all the shouting about?”

Clarke and Spencer both paused in their celebration, hands in midair. Jaha was standing in the doorway, hands on his hips as he took in the scene.

Clarke cleared her throat, rolling up the sleeves of her lab coat. “Nothing, Dr. Jaha,” she answered. “Just umm…studying?” Clarke continued, gesturing behind her to the couch where Spencer had the presence of mind to hold of the flashcards.

Jaha raised his eyebrow in question, though there was a small smile on his lips as he looked between his doctor and her patient, the two of them adopting innocent expressions.

“And aren’t you supposed to be in physical therapy, Ms. Rollins?” Dr. Jaha asked Spencer.

“Umm…not for another hour,” Spencer replied sheepishly. “I came early to say hi to Dr. G and to…help her study?” she finished, the sentence sounding more like a question than a statement.

“Right,” Jaha drawled out. He chuckled, shaking his head. “Well I’ll leave you to your…studying, then,” he said. With a slight wave, he closed the door shut, leaving Clarke and Spencer in silence, save for the game continuing on the television.

Clarke turned towards Spencer, and the two of them burst into laughter at what had just happened.

“That was such a beautiful goal,” Spencer said once they caught their breath.

Clarke grinned, nodding her head. “It really was,” Clarke replied.

The teenager held up the flashcards, quirking her eyebrow. “Should we get back to these?” she asked.

Clarke sat back down on the couch, glancing towards the screen. “There’s only a few minutes left,” she answered, shrugging. “How about we wait until after the game is over.”

Spencer grinned, nodding her head. “Agreed.”

Clarke and Spencer both settled back in, waiting anxiously for that final whistle to blow.

* *

“We going to the ship! We going to the ship!”

Lexa laughed as Octavia jumped onto her back, screaming in her ear as the rest of their teammates joined in. When the final whistle had blown, Lexa and the rest of their teammates had raced to the young forward, burying her in a dog pile. Octavia had helped them seal the game, and the U.S. were officially playing in the Olympic finals for a gold medal in three days.

The two of them walked towards the locker room with the rest of the team, all of them laughing and smiling.

“O! Octavia!”

The two soccer players turned their heads to see Raven walking towards them, U.S. Soccer bag slung over her shoulder.

“Great game you two,” Raven said once she approached them, grinning. She pulled Lexa into a hug first, catching the midfielder slightly off guard. Before Lexa could return the hug, Raven had released her, before grabbing Octavia and pulling her into a bone-crushing hug. “So proud of you, O.”

Octavia smiled, returning the hug from her best friend. “Thanks Rae,” she said back, tightening the grip around the other girl. Raven knew just how special going to the Olympics was for Octavia—she and Clarke had been around for most of Octavia’s life, and knew this was literally a dream come true.

“Someone else wants to tell you how proud they are of you,” Raven said as she released Octavia from her arms, holding out her phone.

“Hello?” Octavia asked, taking the phone from Raven and putting it to her ear.

“O! YOU DID IT! YOU FREAKING DID IT! WHAT A GOAL! GOING TO THE SHIP!” Clarke’s voice echoed through the speaker, loud enough so Raven and Lexa could hear the doctor’s enthusiasm as she talked to her best friend.

Raven and Lexa just laughed as the smile on Octavia’s face grew, realizing that Clarke was able to catch the game despite having to work.

“Thanks Clarke,” Octavia said sincerely, suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the emotions whirling inside her. “I—this is so crazy, Clarke. I wish you were here.”

“Me too,” Clarke sighed through the phone. “But Raven gave you my pictures, right?”

“Yes!” Raven said, leaning closer to Octavia to shout into the phone.

Octavia laughed, nudging Raven with her shoulder. “Yeah, I got them. Clearly there’s still some magic left in those drawings,” Octavia replied, smiling as she thought about the picture hanging in her locker.

“No way, the magic is in you, O,” Clarke answered.

Octavia felt her heart warm at the words, and just grinned before responding. “I love you, Griff.”

“Love you too, O,” Clarke said. “Well I’ve got to take Spencer down to her physical therapy session now. I’ll talk to you guys later, ok?”

“Great game! Woooo! U-S-A! U-S-A!” Octavia heard a teenage voice shout in the background.

Clarke simply laughed before a muffled exchange took place.

“Alright O, later. Great job!” Clarke said.

“Later, Griff,” Octavia replied, ending the call and handing the phone back to Raven. “Oh shit,” she said, turning to Lexa. “Sorry Commander, she had to go and I didn’t—”

Lexa waved her hand dismissively, smiling at her teammate. “No, it’s ok,” she said. “I told Clarke before the game that I would call her when I got the chance.”

Octavia nodded, and the two of them continued on to the locker room with a wave to Raven, who went back to help the training staff gather up the equipment.

* *

“Are you nervous?” Lexa asked, lying down on her bed, letting her laptop rest on her stomach.

She watched as Clarke shook her head, though the doctor’s eyebrows were furrowed, a telltale sign that she was nervous about something.

“I mean, I’ve done all that I can to prepare,” Clarke answered, leaning back against the headboard.

“You’ve got this, Clarke,” Lexa said, smiling at her girlfriend.

The two were video chatting as Lexa relaxed in her hotel room, just two days before the final against Japan. It was also the day before Clarke was taking her boards, and the doctor was currently sitting in her own hotel room in San Francisco, prepping for the biggest test of her life taking place the next day.

“Are you nervous?” Clarke asked the soccer player.

““I mean, I’ve done all that I can to prepare,” Lexa said, echoing her girlfriend’s words with a smirk on her face.

Clarke just raised an eyebrow at Lexa, giving her an unimpressed look.

“I miss you like crazy,” Lexa sighed, smiling softly as Clarke’s blue eyes shone through the screen. “I can’t wait to see you.”

“Well I might not be much fun,” Clarke warned. “My results come out the next day. If I don’t pass I’m sure I’ll be horrible to be around.”

“Ok first of all, you’re going to pass,” Lexa said. “And secondly, you could never be horrible to be around.”

Clarke smiled at her girlfriend before sighing. “I miss you too, babe,” she said softly. “It’s been way too long.”

“I know,” Lexa agreed.

And it had been way too long since they’ve seen each other in person—the last time was when Clarke had surprised Lexa in Kansas City for the weekend, which was months ago. Then Clarke was busy studying for her boards, and Lexa was traveling with her NWSL team and the national team for international friendlies, working on preparing for the Olympics. And now the games were here, and Lexa was spending almost three weeks in another country for the Olympic games.

“We’re kind of really awesome at this long distance thing though, don’t you think?” Lexa continued after a moment of silence, grinning when Clarke smiled at her.

“Yeah, babe,” Clarke responded with a soft smile. “We really are.”

The two reveled in the silence together, simply content with staring at the other—Clarke’s eyes swept over the sharp jawline, the bright green eyes, and the intricate braids in Lexa’s hair while Lexa continued to take in Clarke’s deep, blue eyes and the golden hair that had caught her attention that very first day she had been introduced to the doctor.

“I want to see you before the game,” Lexa said, aching to physically hold her girlfriend in her arms.

“My flight gets in about two hours before the game starts babe,” Clarke replied, shaking her head. “You’ll be on the field already by the time I make it to the stadium.”

“I’ll hop the barrier,” Lexa offered, grinning as she heard Clarke laugh again—still one of her most favorite sounds in the world.

“Oh yeah, so you injure yourself right before the game starts?” Clarke asked through her laughter. “I don’t think so.”

“You can hop the barrier?” Lexa suggested.

“So I’m tackled by security and banned from the stadium before the game even starts?” Clarke asked, shaking her head at her girlfriend, though there was still a wide smile on her face. “There will be no hopping of any barriers, Lexa.”

Lexa pouted exaggeratedly, crossing her arms.

“Live a little, Clarke,” Lexa said. “What happened to saying geronimo?”

“You’re an idiot,” Clarke replied fondly.

Lexa just shrugged, smiling at her girlfriend. “I adore you,” Lexa responded.

Clarke simply chuckled. “Every time,” she said, shaking her head.

* *

Clarke exited the room, shoulders still tight from the first half of the test. She turned to see Wells exiting the room next to hers, and smiled at her friend.

“How’s it going?” Well asked.

“I think good,” Clarke answered. “It’s kind of hard to tell…I can’t get a read on my examiners.”

“Me either,” Wells replied, shaking his head. “They’re so stoic. This one lady has these beady eyes…it’s like I feel her staring into my soul.”

Clarke chuckled as the two walked down the hallway and into the elevator, nodding a greeting at the other doctors.

“Grab some lunch?” Wells asked as they stepped off of the elevator, gesturing to the café in the hotel lobby.

“Just a light snack, I think,” Clarke replied. “I’m gonna go to the bathroom first.”

“I’ll grab us a table,” Wells said, nodding before they went their separate ways.

Clarke continued to the bathroom, leaning over the sink and taking a deep breath. She splashed some water on her face, suddenly feeling warm in her blazer. Standing up straight, she sighed, pulling her phone out of her pocket.

Mommy 2hrs ago
You are smart, accomplished and wonderful. You’ve got this, Clarke. I love you sweetie.

Better Blake 2hrs ago
Got get em’, Griff. I’ll fight them if they fail you. But I won’t need to because you’re gonna ace that test. Love you.

Bell1hr ago
You’re going to do amazing, Clarke. Good luck.

Raven 2hrs ago
You’re the best doctor in the world and I love you very much and you’re going to ace this test. Go get em, Dr. Griffin.

*You have (1) missed call*

*You have (1) new voicemail*

Clarke took a deep breath and felt herself relaxing as she saw that Lexa had called and left a voicemail. With the whole second half left to go on the test, Clarke hit play and brought the phone up to her ear, automatically smiling as she heard her girlfriend’s voice filter through the phone.

“Clarke,” Lexa’s voice said.

Clarke smiled, pressing the phone harder against her ear as she heard the distinct way Lexa said her name, rolling the word off her tongue.

“We just finished training for the day and I’m heading to the ice baths. I know you’re taking your test right now, and you’re probably doing that thing where your shoulders get tight because you’re stressing out. So first things first, take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders, Clarke.”

Clarke let out a chuckle, doing exactly what Lexa said—she felt her shoulders indeed return to their normal spots, and she felt like a weight had been lifted off of her chest.

“You worked so hard for this, baby.”

Clarke’s grin widened as she heard the pet name Lexa had just recently taken to calling her, the word slipping out one night while they were on the phone and Clarke had told Lexa a dumb joke, making the soccer player laugh.

“You don’t need to stress—you’ve got this. You’re the best doctor I know, and that’s saying something because I’ve met lots of doctors during my time playing soccer. And you’re definitely the smartest, clearly the prettiest.”

Clarke smiled, covering her mouth with one hand because she felt a goofy grin starting to form and despite being in the bathroom by herself, she still felt silly.

“I adore you, Clarke. And I miss you like crazy but I’m going to see you really soon, baby. Now go do the damn thing.”

Clarke pushed herself off of the counter she was leaning against, feeling all warm and fuzzy inside as she listened to the words she had said to Lexa before the semi-final game repeated back to her.

“Good luck, Clarke.”

Clarke pulled the phone away from her ear, letting out a laugh as she looked at her reflection in the mirror, a wide grin on her face. Feeling much better, Clarke slipped the phone back in her pocket before nodding her head decisively, turning and exiting the bathroom to meet up with Wells in the café.

She had the second half of the test to crush, and then she had a plane to catch.

* *

“Clarke! Yo! Griffin! Over here!”

Clarke look up and away from her phone where she was refreshing the page, grinning when she spotted Bellamy waving his hands in the air from across the baggage claim. Hitching her bag up farther onto her shoulder, she walked quickly over to where Bellamy was standing.

“Bell!” Clarke said, hugging her friend tightly.

Bellamy wrapped his arms around her, picking her up and twirling her around. “Princess!” he said, greeting her with a smile.

Bellamy put her back down, grabbing her bag for her as the two made their way out of the airport.

“So how are you feeling?” Bellamy asked as they approached the curb. He held his hand up, flagging down a taxi. The car pulled up to the curb, and Bellamy held the door open for Clarke as she slid in, Bellamy following.

“Half relieved, half anxious,” Clarke answered. “Relieved that I’m done, anxious because scores come out in a few minutes and I just really want to know if I passed or not.”

“You passed,” Bellamy said confidently. He leaned forward and gave the taxi driver the address to the hotel before leaning back. “You probably aced it.”

Clarke just shrugged, trying to maintain the delicate balance of hopefulness and dread that has been inside of her ever since she finished the boards.

“So how excited are you to be at the Olympic finals?” Bellamy asked, changing the subject.

Clarke grinned, turning to look at her friend. “So freaking excited,” she answered, laughing. “I haven’t seen Lexa in so long, and I haven’t seen her play in person in a while either. Plus, I think this is like, the longest O, Raven and I have been apart. Like, ever.”

Bellamy just shook his head, chuckling. “You three,” he said. “I knew you three together were going to be trouble that very first day I walked you guys to Octavia’s soccer game.”

Clarke let out an exaggerated gasp, hand to her heart. “You knew no such thing!” she exclaimed.

“Did to,” Bellamy argued. “You three were already plotting how to get mom to take you out for ice cream after the game.”

“Did not,” Clarke retorted, sticking her tongue out at her friend.

“Did to,” Bellamy said, making a funny face towards her.

“Did not,” Clarke said back, making a different face at him.

“Did—”

“We’re here,” the taxi driver cut in, and Clarke and Bellamy stifled their laughter as they climbed out, Bellamy paying the man before the taxi drove off.

“So drop your bag off in my room, change into your Blake jersey, and then we’ll head to the stadium, yeah?” Bellamy asked as the two entered the lobby. “It’s only a ten minute walk from the stadium and we still have about an hour before the game starts.”

“Also food?” Clarke asked hopefully as they approached the elevator.

“And food,” Bellamy confirmed.

Clarke let out a little cheer, smiling as Bellamy rolled his eyes at his friend.

“I’m telling you, trouble,” he said, shaking his head.

Clarke simply stuck her tongue out at him, opening her mouth to respond before her phone chimed, cutting off her response.

Wells now
SCORES ARE UP. I PASSED!!!!!!!!

Clarke let out a shaky breath, immediately pulling up the page she had been staring at earlier. She hit refresh, waiting for the page to reload. It only took seconds, but seemed like forever before the screen filled with her results.

“Oh my god,” Clarke said shakily. “Oh my god.”

“Clarke? What is it?” Bellamy asked.

“Oh my god,” Clarke repeated.

“What’s wrong?” Bellamy asked, eyebrows furrowing.

“I…passed,” Clarke said, re-reading the words on the screen over and over again. “I passed! Bell! I passed!”

Clarke laughed in disbelief as Bellamy let out a whoop, scooping her into a hug.

“I passed!” Clarke shouted. “I’m going to be a doctor! A surgeon! I passed!”

“You did it Clarke! We all knew you would!” Bellamy shouted, joining Clarke in her laughter. He spun her around a few times, the two of them cheering in the lobby of the hotel. They were definitely getting looks from the other people in the lobby, but Clarke didn’t care—she had passed.

She was going to be a doctor.

A surgeon.

Her dreams were coming true.

“I can’t believe I passed,” she said in awe, her feet finally back on the ground. She quickly typed out a response to Wells before a flood of messages from her fellow residents came in, all of them equally excited as they let their friends know they too had passed the boards. She quickly sent her mom a message, knowing the older woman was in surgery but would come back to her phone to find the news waiting for her.

“This is…this is a dream come true,” Clarke said, looking up at her friend who was still grinning widely at her.

“Let’s go tell my mom,” Bellamy said, pulling Clarke into his side for another hug. “She’s going to freak!”

Clarke and Bellamy stepped onto the elevator, the two of them laughing and smiling.

“I passed,” she said again, a little softer, as if she was trying to convince herself it was really happening. Clarke let out another laugh, shaking her head.

She couldn’t wait to tell Lexa.

* *

Clarke watched with her hands clenched together as Lexa stared down at the ball, waiting for the ref to blow the whistle.

It was the 60th minute of the final game, and Octavia had just earned her team a corner kick.

Clarke and Bellamy had joined Aurora at the stadium, and she was currently sitting in between Bellamy and Indra, who had also made the trip with Gustus. Lexa and Octavia had spotted the group at halftime, and Clarke had endured a bunch of teasing when Lexa threw her a kiss from the field.

Clarke didn’t even care that the moment had probably been on national television—it had been too long since she had seen her girlfriend in person, and Lexa was just as stunning and gorgeous as she remembered the soccer player being.

Octavia had come into the game earlier than usual, and immediately had made an impact on the 0-0 game—a ball in from Tobin had found her foot, but the ball had just barely been deflected by a Japanese defender as Octavia had looked to send the ball into the vicinity of the goal.

Clarke watched as Lexa raised her hand, before jogging up to the ball and striking it hard, the ball soaring through the air.

Her eyes widened as she watched the players fight for position, before Octavia managed to free herself and jumped to meet the ball with her head.

And then Clarke was screaming her head off as Octavia headed the ball over the outstretched hands of the Japanese goalie into the back of the net.

1-0, United States.

Clarke cheered as loud as she could, clapping her hands and screaming as she watched Octavia be tackled by her teammates. Her heart felt like it was going to burst with the amount of joy she was feeling, watching her best friend score a goal in the Olympic final match.

She cheered as Octavia was finally released from the group, and scanned the stands behind the bench for her family. Spotting Clarke and Bellamy with Aurora, Octavia pointed in their direction, causing Clarke and the rest of the family to let out more whoops and cheers for the young forward.

“There you go, O!” Clarke yelled, waving at her friend as Octavia sent a wink towards them before jogging back to her position.

Clarke caught Lexa’s eye, smiling as her girlfriend’s green eyes shone brightly as the two looked at one another.

Clarke felt her heart literally skip a beat in her chest, and in that moment—surrounded by thousands of people, not even within reaching distance of one another, Clarke knew for certain—she was in love with Lexa.

Clarke Griffin was in love with Lexa Woods.

Lexa turned back to the field, waiting for the game to start up again, having no idea that Clarke had just experienced the most freeing and exhilarating revelation she had ever had—Clarke loved Lexa.

Clarke loved the happy, goofy Lexa who had thrown her a kiss during halftime.

She loved the serious, stoic Lexa who took over on the field, dismantling opponent’s defense with her quickness and skills.

She loved the broody, quiet Lexa who sometimes showed up after a loss, and then she loved the small smile that appeared when Clarke successfully managed to get the soccer player to laugh by telling a dumb joke or pun.

She loved the passionate, beautiful Lexa that held Clarke like she was the most important thing in the world, and the playful, teasing Lexa who caught Clarke off guard by picking her up and carrying her to the bedroom.

Clarke loved everything about Lexa—all the different things that make Lexa who she is, Clarke had fallen in love with all of them.

Clarke let out a giddy laugh, reveling in the new feeling that had started in her heart and was blooming outwards, engulfing her whole body with warmth and comfort and love.

“What’s so funny?” Bellamy asked, leaning his head down slightly so Clarke could hear him over the background noise that surrounded them.

“Nothing, nothing,” Clarke replied, laughing. “I just really, really love Lexa.”

Bellamy let out a laugh of his own, patting Clarke on the back. “Yeah, I know,” he said. “Gonna tell her?”

Clarke nodded her head, knowing the answer. “Immediately,” she said.

“We’re at the Olympics,” Bellamy pointed out.

“I love her!” Clarke said, laughing again as the words left her mouth. “I really, really love her!”

Bellamy just laughed along with Clarke then, nodding his head. “Ok, then tell her!”

The two sat back down as the game resumed, and Clarke nodded her head, her eyes never leaving the sight of Lexa on the field.

“I will,” Clarke said, mostly to herself. “I will.”

* *

Lexa sprinted down the right side as she tracked the ball at Alex’s feet, the U.S. moving farther into Japan’s half. Japan had managed to tie the game during the 80th minute, and she could feel the time winding down as stoppage time continued. With four minutes of stoppage time, Lexa knew they had to score again—she didn’t want it to have to come down to PKs.

She timed her run as Alex slotted the ball across the top of the box, Tobin feigning and leaving the ball to continue on its path where Lexa had just arrived.

Turning her body, Lexa brought her left foot back and struck the ball, putting as much power into it as she could. The Japanese goalie was scrambling back to the right side, having committed too far left when Alex had the ball, thinking the forward was going to take the shot.

Lexa watched as the ball soared through the air, the goalie diving too late as the ball hit the back of the net in the upper right corner.

“Holy shit Lexa! Yes!”

“Commander!!!”

“Fuck yeah Lexa!”

Lexa was surrounded by her teammates, arm raised triumphantly in the air as they celebrated.

2-1, United States in the 92nd minute of the final game.

“That’s how you do it, Commander!”

“Let’s go! Fuck yeah!”

When her teammates finally released her, Lexa couldn’t help but look at the stands where she knew Clarke was sitting with her family. Her girlfriend was already looking at her, clapping and cheering. Indra and Gustus were on their feet as well, jumping up and down and generally showing much more emotion than Lexa had ever seen them displaying in public. Bellamy and Aurora were screaming something as well, throwing her a thumbs up.

Lexa grinned, feeling her heart soar at the fact that the most important people in her life were here, sharing this moment with her. She turned to look down the field, where Anya had a rare grin on her stoic face, and gave Lexa a slight nod.

Letting out a laugh, Lexa jogged back to her position, knowing that there was only at the most one minute left in the game. The Japanese players put the ball back in play, and Lexa joined her teammates in ensuring the ball stayed out of their half.

The ball went back and forth, and Lexa could feel the Japanese players becoming more and more desperate.

And then Becky reared back and cleared the ball, kicking it well over the midfield line deep into Japan’s half.

And Lexa just knew.

The three whistles that came seconds after her feeling confirmed it—the game was over.

The United States had won the gold medal over Japan, 2-1.

Octavia reached her first.

The young player jumped into Lexa’s arm, shouting and laughing.

The rest of the team soon followed, all of them dog piling onto one another as they celebrated their win.

Olympic gold.

Lexa felt tears welling up in her eyes as her teammates surrounded her, all of them shouting incoherently.

When they finally were able to stand up, all of them were laughing and cheering, waving to the stands at their family.

Lexa’s eyes connected with Clarke’s from across the pitch, and the next thing she knew she was jogging, and then running across the field to where her family was sitting. She hopped the barrier before climbing up the railing that separated the stands from the field.

“Clarke! Clarke!” Lexa yelled, and watched as her girlfriend made her way down to the railing.

“Lexa!” Clarke yelled, finally making it to where Lexa was hanging onto the railing.

The doctor reached out, pulling the soccer player in for a hug.

Lexa buried her face in Clarke’s neck, breathing in the scent of her girlfriend. She felt Clarke’s arms tighten around her, and Lexa brought one of her arms up to wrap around the other girl.

“You did it babe,” Clarke said, laughing. “You did it!”

“How about you?” Lexa asked, and Clarke’s heart nearly melted at the thoughtfulness Lexa was showing. Here she was, having just won an Olympic gold medal, and she still was asking about Clarke’s test.

“I passed, babe,” Clarke responded, smiling. “I’m going to be a doctor.”

“I knew you would!” Lexa exclaimed, tightening her hold on the other girl. “Clarke,” Lexa said again, and for some reason, she felt her cheeks wet with tears—she was crying, though she wasn’t exactly sure why. Overwhelmed with the joy and happiness and love and ever other emotion she was feeling, Lexa just held onto Clarke tighter, burying her face further into Clarke’s neck.

“Lexa,” she heard Clarke say. “Babe. Lexa.”

Lexa lifted her head, and Clarke’s lips were immediately on her own. Clarke kissed her hard, cupping the sides of Lexa’s face with her hands. She felt Clarke smile into the kiss, and she broke apart, her eyes meeting her favorite shade of blue eyes as her girlfriend stared at her.

“Lexa,” Clarke breathed out, smiling widely.

She produced an American flag seemingly out of nowhere, handing it over to the soccer player. Lexa took the flag, eyes never leaving Clarke’s.

Lexa was suddenly transported back to the first time she saw those bright blue eyes, and the feeling she got when Clarke had introduced herself.

Clarke—who was beautiful and smart and kind and funny and good and everything that Lexa had secretly longed for, but had never been able to verbalize until the blonde doctor showed up.

Clarke, who came into Lexa’s life and turned it upside down, making Lexa realize that love wasn’t weakness—it couldn’t be, not with the way Clarke made her feel, at all times, even if the doctor was wrapped tightly in her arms or halfway across the world.

Clarke, who made Lexa’s heart pound whenever she thought about the other girl.

Clarke, who she loved.

“I love you,” Lexa said, never breaking eye contact with the other girl.

She watched blue eyes widen before crinkling at the edges as Clarke gave Lexa a brilliant smile.

“Yeah?” Clarke laughed, still holding onto Lexa across the railing.

Lexa nodded her head, grinning. “I love you, Clarke,” she said again.

“I love you too,” Clarke said, leaning her forehead against Lexa’s. “So much. I really, really love you Lexa.”

Lexa let out a breathless laugh, feeling her eyes becoming suspiciously wet again. Clarke leaned back, giving Lexa a lingering kiss on her forehead. “I love you,” Clarke said. “Now go take that victory lap, babe.”

Lexa nodded her head, letting out another giddy laugh as she gave Clarke a quick kiss on the cheek. She jumped down from the railing, looking back at Clarke once more who had the same brilliant smile on her face. Clarke sent her a wink, which had Lexa smiling so hard she felt her face might split, before she turned back and hopped the barrier once more, racing towards her teammates who were still shouting and celebrating on the field.

“Ready, Commander?” Octavia asked, grabbing the other side of the flag Lexa was holding.

Lexa laughed, pulling the younger player into a hug before released her. “Let’s do it,” she said.

Octavia grinned at her, nodding her head before the two of them took off around the field, American flag flying in the wind behind them.

Chapter Text

“Auntie Lexa! Auntie Lexa!”

Lexa turned her attention away from her conversation with Kelley, spotting Kellan waving at her from the little girl’s spot on her mother’s shoulders. Grinning, Lexa bounded over to the Morgan-Heath family, scooping the little girl into her arms.

“Munchkin!” she said, hugging the little girl tightly.

“Auntie Lexa! Look it!” Kellan yelled excitedly, holding up the gold medal that was draped around her neck.

Lexa smiled, picking up the medal. “Wow! This is great!” she said, Alex and Tobin laughing as Kellan continued to hold the gold medal up.

The team was currently at the victory party, gold medals displayed around their necks. Lexa was waiting for Clarke to arrive with the rest of her family, anxious to hold the girl in her arms again after what they had exchanged after the game earlier.

Lexa was happy—she knew she was happy, she and her teammates had just won an Olympic gold medal, after all.

But the knowledge that she was in love with Clarke, and that Clarke loved her back—it made everything seem like more.

More happier, more brighter, more everything—just more.

Being in love with Clarke felt like more—a feeling Lexa would never get tired of, and one that she could only imagine would grow stronger as time went on.

“Alexandria!”

Lexa turned once more to see her grandparents standing with Anya. Clarke and the Blakes were with Raven and Octavia a few feet away. Tobin scooped Kellan out of Lexa’s arms, nodding her head as Lexa waved and made a beeline for her family.

“Nona! Gramps!” she said, reaching them in record time and being wrapped up in a hug from her grandpa.

“You did so wonderfully, Lexa,” Gustus said, releasing her. He reached out and pulled Anya in next, praising her as Indra grasped Lexa’s forearm.

“Alexandria, you should be proud of how you played today,” Indra said, the corner of her mouth upturned slightly.

Lexa grinned back at her grandma, before pulling the older woman into a hug. She smiled wider as Indra returned the embrace, patting Lexa on the back a few times. “I am proud of you, Alexandria,” Indra said.

“Thanks, Nona,” she said, taking a step back.

“Go on,” Gustus said to her, gesturing to where Clarke was currently jumping up and down with Octavia and Raven a few feet away. “Go see your girl.”

Lexa grinned, saluting her grandpa before speeding away. She came up behind the group, wrapping her arms around Clarke’s waist as her girlfriend let out a startled yelp. Clarke turned around, blue eyes shining as she looped her arms around Lexa’s neck.

“Babe! Oh my god, you were so amazing!” Clarke exclaimed, smiling widely at the soccer player.

Lexa just grinned before leaning closer, capturing Clarke’s lips with her own. Despite being in a room full of people, Lexa wrapped her arms tighter around the other girl, deepening the kiss.

It had been too long since she had held Clarke in her arms, since she had kissed her.

That, plus the fact that she had told Clarke she loves her, and Clarke had said it in return, meant Lexa was feeling especially giddy.

Lexa felt Clarke cup the back of her neck, and she moved her hands from Clarke’s waist to the small of her back, softly rubbing the other girl’s skin through the shirt Clarke was wearing. She pulled back slightly, rubbing her nose against Clarke’s before switching the angle, capturing Clarke’s bottom lip between both of her own. She felt Clarke’s lips mold against hers, before her girlfriend’s lips suddenly upturned into a smile, a breathless laugh against Lexa’s mouth.

“Hi,” Lexa breathed out, pulling away so she could look at Clarke.

Clarke grinned back, tangling her fingers in Lexa’s hair. “Hi,” she said back.

“I missed you,” Lexa said.

“I love you,” Clarke replied.

Lexa laughed, rolling her eyes, but with a giddy smile on her face. Her heart soared as she heard those words from Clarke—she was certain she would never tire of hearing them.

“I love you too,” Lexa said softly, leaning in closer.

The smile that lit up Clarke’s face was one of Lexa’s favorite sights, giving her butterflies in her stomach and a warm, fuzzy feeling in her chest. Clarke gave Lexa another quick kiss before stepping away.

“You should go celebrate with your team,” Clarke said, gesturing to where some of her teammates were gathering, getting drinks.

Lexa wrapped her arm around Clarke’s waist, pulling the other girl in closer to her side. “I want to celebrate with you,” she said, before pulling Clarke over to where the Morgan-Heath family was dancing on the dance floor.

“Clarke! Hi Clarke! Look it!” Kellan shouted, waving and holding up her gold medal, stomping her feet as she danced with her moms.

Clarke laughed, eyes lighting up as she held her hand up for a high five, which Kellan enthusiastically slapped with her own.

“That’s amazing!” Clarke said, before giving Tobin and Alex a hug. “Congrats you guys!”

“Thanks!” Alex yelled over the music, Tobin nodding her head.

“I’m going to get Alex a drink!” Tobin said loudly, stepping off of the dance floor. “Do you guys want anything?”

Lexa stepped up next to Tobin, putting her hand on Clarke’s arm. “I’ll get you something,” she said, Clarke grinning and nodding at her. Lexa turned, following Tobin to the bar.

“So that was some congratulatory kiss!” Tobin said as they waited by the bar for their drinks. The two of them leaned against the bar, looking out onto the dance floor.

Lexa smiled, laughing as she watched Alex, Kellan and Clarke doing a wave with their arms, hands connected.

“I told her I love her!” Lexa said back, eyes never leaving her girlfriend, who was now attempting to do the robot with Kellan.

“Whoa! That’s huge!” Tobin said, handing Lexa a drink. “What’d she say?”

“She told me she loves me too,” Lexa said, finally breaking her stare from the dance floor as Tobin patted her on the back.

“Well isn’t that something,” Tobin said, smiling at the younger player.

“It’s everything,” Lexa responded.

Tobin simply laughed, nodding her head. “Yeah, I know the feeling,” Tobin said, looking at Alex and Kellan dancing together, the little girl’s hands in the air as she bounced up and down to the music.

Lexa and Tobin made their way back to the dance floor where Anya, Raven and Octavia had joined the dancing trio, all of them laughing and egging Kelley on, who was attempting to moon walk in the small dance circle they had started.

“Come on Commander! Show us those smooth moves!” Raven yelled, nudging Lexa into the circle.

Surrounded by her best friends—the people she loved the most, Lexa felt invincible. Especially when Clarke—beautiful, wonderful, Clarke, whom she loves, and who loves her in return—looked at her with those bright, shining blue eyes—Lexa felt infinite.

All that was left to do was break out her best running man.

(Which she absolutely nailed, no matter what Clarke said, thank you very much.)

* *

“DC, Boston, Columbia, Seattle…damn Griff, you’re a hot commodity!” Raven said, scanning over the list again.

The two were sitting in their apartment, waiting for Octavia to come back from training so they could go get dinner.

Clarke chuckled, shaking her head at her friend.

“I’m serious Clarke! These are some great offers!” Raven continued, waving the pro and con lists around. “Are you leaning towards one?”

Clarke just shrugged, pouring herself a glass of water. She sat down on the couch next to Raven, leaning back into the cushions. “I don’t know…I mean, I think I know but I’m not sure?” she answered, scratching her head.

Raven rolled her eyes, nudging Clarke in the shoulder. “Well when you decide let me know. If we’re moving I’m gonna have to mentally prepare myself for packing up everything,” she said.

Clarke just hummed as Raven rested her head against the doctor’s shoulder.

“What does Lexa think?” Raven asked.

“She said it doesn’t matter to her,” Clarke said. “She’s pretty adamant that I make this decision on my own.”

“That’s nice of her,” Raven commented. “She wants to make sure you do what you really want to do.”

“Well she did make some good points,” Clarke replied. “She said anywhere I choose, she would still be spending half the year in KC. So during the off season she can just move to where I’m going to be.”

“That girl would follow you anywhere,” Raven teased.

Clarke smiled softly, thinking about her girlfriend.

Lexa was training hard with FCKC as the month of September came to a close, the NWSL semifinals happening during the upcoming weekend. Clarke knew how determined Lexa was to win another championship.

“Sup bitches?” Octavia’s voice rang out through the apartment. Clarke and Raven both turned to look over the back of the couch where Octavia was standing in the doorway, plopping her training bag on the floor. “What are we talking about?”

“Everybody wants a piece of Griff and she’s torn about who to choose,” Raven responded.

Octavia plopped down on the couch, squeezing herself in between Clarke and Raven. Turning, she rested her head on Raven’s lap and her legs on Clarke’s.

“Why don’t you do that Friends thing?” Octavia asked, humming as Clarke started to massage her calves.

“I thought that only works if you’re choosing between two things,” Raven commented.

“And I don’t think I should leave such a major decision up to a game,” Clarke added.

“It worked in Friends,” Octavia grumbled, crossing her arms.

“Too bad our life isn’t like Friends,” Clarke quipped back.

“Aww, O,” Raven cooed, pinching her friend’s cheek. “Did no one tell you life was gonna be this way?”

“You guys are the worst,” Octavia muttered, standing up and stretching her arms above her head. “I’m gonna shower and then we can go get food.”

“Hurry up,” Raven said. “You smell.”

“That’s the smell of victory,” Octavia retorted over her shoulder, already walking towards the bathroom. “We’re going to kick your girlfriend’s ass this weekend, Clarke.”

“Either way I get to see her this weekend,” Clarke called back, smiling at the thought of seeing Lexa. FCKC was traveling to DC to take on the Spirit in the semifinals, and Clarke was counting down the days until she and Lexa could be together again.

“Woo! Clexa lives on!” Raven shouted, raising her arm in triumph.

Clarke turned her head to stare at her friend.

“Why are you the way that you are?” Clarke asked.

“You mean amazing?” Raven asked. “Don’t worry Clarke, you’re not so bad yourself.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, ignoring Raven’s outstretched arms that were attempting to wrap the doctor up in a hug.

“Clarke? Clarke! Just let me love you!” Raven continued as Clarke disappeared down the hallway.

* *

“Good game, O,” Lexa said, hugging her friend.

“Yeah, yeah,” Octavia grumbled, though she returned the hug. “Next year, you’re mine Woods.”

Lexa let out a laugh, patting the younger girl on her back. “Keep telling yourself that,” she said, releasing her friend.

Octavia gave her a smile before the two went their separate ways—Octavia towards the home locker room and Lexa towards the visitor’s side.

FCKC had beaten the Spirit 3-1 in the semifinal game of the NWSL playoffs, with two goals coming from Lexa herself.

Lexa hurriedly took her dirty clothes off before hustling to the showers. She washed off quickly, throwing on some clean clothes before rushing out of the locker room, her teammates hollering after her as she went.

“See ya later, Commander Heart Eyes!” she heard her teammates echo, and she just grinned wider as she got closer to the exit, knowing who was waiting for her on the other side.

“Clarke,” she said, finding the blonde doctor leaning against the wall opposite the locker room. Lexa rushed over to the other girl, wrapping her arms around her girlfriend and burying her face in the doctor’s neck.

“Hi babe,” Clarke greeted her, returning the embrace.

The two held on to one another, reveling in simply being in the same place—something they wouldn’t take for granted, especially since they knew just how often they were forced to be apart for their careers. Lexa leaned back, smiling at Clarke before giving the other girl a soft kiss.

“Great game,” Clarke said once the two broke apart. “Congrats. Those goals were amazing.”

Lexa linked their hands together, pulling Clarke closer as the two started down the hallway to the parking lot.

“Thanks,” Lexa replied, swinging their arms back and forth. “I’m not gonna lie, I was a little worried when Octavia scored that goal in the first ten minutes.”

Clarke laughed, nudging the soccer player with her shoulder. “Couldn’t tell,” she said. “You were in full Commander mode.”

“Well, best me I can be, or whatever,” Lexa replied, shrugging her shoulders.

Lexa stopped in front of Clarke’s car, waiting until her girlfriend unlocked the door before opening the driver’s side for the other girl. Clarke simply rolled her eyes, but rewarded Lexa with a kiss on the cheek before sliding into the seat. Lexa jogged over to the other side of the car and slid into the passenger’s seat. Clarke started the car, grinning as the radio started up and a familiar song came blaring out of the speakers.

“Oh god,” Lexa groaned, but couldn’t help the smile that tugged at the corner of her mouth.

“I don’t mind spending every day, out on your corner in the pouring rain,” Clarke sang, turning the radio up.

“Don’t make me, Clarke,” Lexa whined as her girlfriend ignored her, singing louder.

“Look for the girl with the broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay awhile,” Clarke’s voice rang out.

The soccer player simply sighed, but knew it was just a matter of time before she caved—Clarke was shooting her that smile, the one that made the butterflies in her stomach flap harder.

“And she wiiiiill be looooved, and she wiiiill be loooooved,” Lexa sang along, being rewarded with a small cheer from Clarke.

* *

“Eat my dust, bitch!”

“Ha! Green shell coming at ya!”

“What? Noooo. No no no.”

“Andddd winner winner chicken dinner! Yeah!”

Clarke watched fondly from the doorway as Raven covered her face, groaning while Octavia did a happy dance, controller in hand. She had come home from her shift at the hospital to the two of them playing Mario Kart, hearing the competitive voices of her friends as she was unlocking the front door before she even entered the apartment.

“Hey guys,” Clarke cut in, interrupted Octavia’s taunting as she continued to dance around the couch while Raven scowled.

“Griff! You want next game?” Octavia asked, plopping back down on the couch next to Raven.

Clarke shook her head, pushing off of the doorway and coming to stand in front of her two friends. “No thanks. I actually have something I want to tell you guys,” she said, fiddling with her keys.

Raven and Octavia put their controllers down immediately, giving Clarke their full attention.

“You decided?” Raven asked.

Clarke nodded her head, and the two leaned forward in anticipation.

“I want to go home,” Clarke said.

The room was silent for a beat before Octavia broke it.

Home home?” she asked.

Clarke nodded her head.

“We’re going back to Seattle?” Raven asked, voice rising in excitement.

Clarke nodded her head again, face breaking out in a grin. “We’re going back home,” she confirmed. “Seattle.”

“Hell yeah!” Raven cheered, jumping up from the couch and wrapping her friend in a hug. “Oh my god! Mama B and Mama G are going to be so happy!”

Clarke laughed, returning Raven’s hug enthusiastically. Octavia stood up, wrapping her arms around the two as well.

“Congrats Clarke,” Octavia said happily, smiling softly at her friend.

“O, I know that we’ll be leaving you here…” Clarke said, eyebrows furrowing.

She knew that picking somewhere other than DC meant that Octavia would be on her own for half the year during the regular season with the Spirit. It would be the first time the three of them weren’t going to be within walking distance of one another, and Clarke couldn’t help but feel bad for leaving Octavia on her own as she and Raven moved back to their hometown.

“Don’t even worry about that Griff,” Octavia said, hugging her friends tighter. “I’ll be joining you in Seattle during the off season. It’ll be fine.” She released her friends, the three of them plopping down on the couch. “I’ll just live with a teammate during the season here. I expect my own room at your place in Seattle though.”

“It’ll be waiting for you when the season is over,” Raven promised, nodding her head.

Octavia grinned, leaning over and giving Raven a kiss on the cheek. “It better be,” she said, nudging Clarke with her shoulder. “So, what made you decide on Seattle?”

Clarke smiled, shrugging her shoulders. “They have a great orthopedic program—one of the best in the world,” she answered. “It was definitely one of my top choices, even before I knew that I had passed my boards.”

“I thought you weren’t sure if you wanted to work with your mom?” Raven asked.

Clarke shook her head. “I wasn’t,” she said. “But then I realized that not going to Seattle despite it being one of the best fits for me just because my mom was the chief there was essentially me doing the very thing I wanted to avoid—choosing where I end up based on my mother.”

“Well, Mama G is going to be so psyched,” Octavia said, grinning. Abby was never exactly subtle about wanting Clarke to move back home.

“We should celebrate!” Raven announced. She slapped Clarke and Raven on their thighs before standing up. “Let’s go get some ice cream.”

Clarke and Octavia looked at each other before grinning, getting up from the couch as well.

“Your treat,” the two said to Raven at the same time.

* *

Clarke Griffin 2hrs ago
Hey babe, call me when you get a chance. I have big news! Have a great day. Love you.

Lexa grinned while reading the message before grabbing her towel and heading towards the ice baths. She slowly lowered herself down into the ice cold water, shivering as she adjusted to the cold before deciding to facetime Clarke instead, hoping to catch the doctor during a break.

“Lexa!” Clarke said, her smiling face appearing on Lexa’s phone screen.

“Hi Clarke,” Lexa said, still shivering slightly.

“Are you ok?” Clarke asked, eyebrows furrowing in concern.

“Yeah, yeah,” Lexa said, waving her hand dismissively. “Just currently freezing my ass off in an ice bath.”

Clarke laughed, making Lexa smile. “Such dedication,” she said. “What a professional. Facetiming your girlfriend during recovery.”

“You said to call you!” Lexa argued, though the grin remained on her face. She was always in a good mood when she got to talk to Clarke, and despite being in an ice bath, now was no exception.

“I meant when you weren’t busy, obviously,” Clarke replied.

“I missed your face,” Lexa responded, fist pumping triumphantly when she made Clarke laugh again. “Yes! I am on a roll today!”

“You’re trouble,” Clarke said, shaking her head.

Lexa just shrugged. “So what did you want to tell me?” she asked, switching the phone to her other hand.

“I decided where I’m gonna go!” Clarke said excitedly.

Lexa felt her heart beat a little faster at those words.

She knew that Clarke was considering a few different hospitals, and they had all made some really great offers to the doctor. Lexa had made sure to let Clarke know that she would support her decision no matter what, especially since she would be away for half the year during the NWSL season.

Still, there was one Lexa preferred Clarke chose above the rest—she didn’t voice it, though.

She never would have.

She wanted Clarke to make this decision on her own, without factoring in Lexa—this was Clarke’s future, her career. And while Lexa was going to be a big part of Clarke future, she didn’t want the doctor regretting her decision because she based it on what Lexa wanted.

“So where will I be living for half the year?” Lexa asked playfully, hoping to hide how nervous she actually was about Clarke’s answer.

Clarke smiled, bright and wide. “Seattle,” she answered.

“What?” Lexa asked, eyes widening.

“Seattle,” Clarke repeated, Lexa’s smile growing as the word sunk in. “I’m going home, babe.”

“Seattle!” Lexa exclaimed. “That’s amazing, baby! Oh wow! I’m so happy for you!”

Clarke laughed happily at Lexa’s response. “My mom was so excited, babe. You should have seen her face when I told her,” Clarke continued. “I facetimed her, and I swear she was starting to cry.”

“This is really, really amazing, Clarke,” Lexa said, smiling softly at her girlfriend.

“Yeah?” Clarke asked, grinning.

Lexa nodded her head in confirmation, matching Clarke’s grin.

“Huh? Now? Ok,” Clarke said, her face turned to speak to whoever had showed up. “Sorry babe, I’ve got to do a consult. I’ll talk to you later?”

“Definitely,” Lexa replied. “I love you, Clarke. Congratulations. I’m so happy for you.”

“I love you too,” Clarke responded with a soft smile, before waving and ending the call.

Lexa put her phone down on top of her towel next to the tub, closing her eyes.

She thought about the conversation she just had with her girlfriend—the excitement that tinged Clarke’s voice when she said she was going home, how bright her girlfriend’s blue eyes were shining at the declaration.

A tiny seed of thought had been planted in Lexa’s brain ever since she had found out Clarke was seriously considering the offer from Seattle, and now that she knew Clarke had accepted, the seed was starting to flourish and grow.

She grabbed her phone again before dialing her cousin’s number.

“Sup loser?” Anya answered.

“It’s Seattle,” Lexa blurted out.

“And a hello to you too, Lexa,” Anya said dryly. “I’m great, thanks for asking.”

“Sorry,” Lexa replied. “Hi. Great. I’m glad. Listen,” she continued. “Clarke chose Seattle.”

The phone was silent, causing Lexa to wonder if her cousin had heard her. “Anya? Are you there?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Anya responded. “I’m here. Seattle?”

“Seattle,” Lexa confirmed.

“So does that mean…” Anya trailed off, referring back to an earlier conversation the two of them had on the flight back from the Olympics.

Lexa let out a deep breath, smiling as she thought about Clarke, and her future, and how those two were starting to be one in the same.

“Yeah, yeah it does,” Lexa said, grinning.

“And this is what you want? You’re certain?” Anya asked.

“Yes,” Lexa answered immediately, no doubt in her voice. “This is what I want.”

Anya was silent for another beat, before her voice filtered through the phone once more. “Well then congrats, Lex,” Anya said, genuine happiness in her voice. “I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks, Anya,” Lexa replied, closing her eyes. “I am really happy.”

“Well, I’m about to head out to meet the Morgan-Heaths at the park,” Anya said. “Apparently Kellan is insisting she needs to practice on quote, a real goalkeeper, not on her moms who don’t even play goalkeeper, unquote."

Lexa laughed, thinking about Kellan’s declaration a week ago when she said she wanted to be “just like Mama and score the goals!”, Alex beaming with pride while Tobin rolled her eyes, though she too had a smile on her face.

“Call me later,” Anya continued.

“Have fun,” Lexa said. “Bye.”

Lexa sank back into the tub, waiting for the timer to go off. Ten minutes later, Lexa shot out of the tub, grabbing her phone and wrapping her towel around her shoulders.

Lexa walked towards the locker room, a determined look on her face.

She, too, had made a major decision.

Now, she just had to put it into action.

Chapter Text

*8 months later…*

“Clarke? Have you seen my UNC sweats?”

“What?”

“My college sweats! The lucky ones! Have you seen them?”

“Your what sweats?”

“Lucky!”

“Your what?”

Lexa turned around, hearing her girlfriend’s voice in the doorway. She opened her mouth to respond when she spotted what Clarke was wearing—her faded grey sweatpants, with the words ‘Tar Heels’ printed down the side.

“You’re wearing my sweatpants,” Lexa pointed out, standing up from where she was crouched, rummaging through the cardboard box marked ‘clothes’.

Clarke smiled innocently at her, stepping closer. “I thought the whole point of moving in together was so we could share everything with each other,” she said, looping her arms around Lexa’s neck. “Clothes included.”

“They look better on you, anyways,” Lexa replied, grinning as she rested her hands on Clarke’s waist.

“Flatterer,” Clarke quipped back, gently tapping her finger against the back of Lexa’s neck. “You say the sweetest things to me, darling,” she said exaggeratedly, putting the back of her hand to her forehead and pretending to swoon.

Lexa just grinned. “I adore you,” she declared, taking a moment to stare into sparkling blue eyes, before closing the gap between them, bringing their lips together. She felt Clarke’s tongue touch her bottom lip and she opened her mouth, deepening the kiss as she toyed with the elastic band of the sweatpants Clarke was wearing. Her fingers dipped lower, before she moved her hands back up, caressing Clarke’s skin just under her shirt.

“Yo! Clexa!”

The door to their apartment banged open as Raven announced her presence.

Lexa broke the kiss with a sigh, dropping her head against Clarke’s shoulder.

“Seriously?” she asked, her voice muffled against Clarke’s shirt. Clarke just laughed, rubbing her hands up and down Lexa’s back comfortingly.

Lexa picked her head up, holding Clarke against her as she turned her head, seeing Raven standing in their living room.

“Seriously?” Lexa asked, this time directing her question towards Raven.

“Sorry,” Raven said, shrugging, though she didn’t seem very sorry at all. She tapped her cane against the floor. “You’re the one who wanted to move in to the apartment across from mine.”

“You mean we picked this apartment, and you and O decided to rent the one directly across from us,” Lexa retorted, raising her eyebrow at the girl.

“Semantics,” Raven replied, waving her hand dismissively. “Besides, get used to me being over here a lot. O is only living with me for half the year, anyways.”

Lexa just sighed, but there was still a smile on her face—she wasn’t actually upset. She knew how difficult it was for Clarke, Raven and Octavia to be away from each other. Besides, Raven and Octavia had also become two of her best friends as well—the trio of friends had never made Lexa feel unwelcome or on the outside despite their deep-rooted history with one another, and Lexa was just grateful that she got along so well with her girlfriend’s family. That, plus the fact that she now had a new handful of really great people in her life, Raven and Octavia at the top of that list.

“Anyways, I came over to ask Clarke what time we’re leaving for the game,” Raven continued. “I thought you would have gone to the field already.”

“I’m leaving now,” Lexa answered, releasing Clarke and turning back to the box that held the majority of her clothes. “I was just looking for some sweats to wear to the field.”

“You’re not unpacked yet?” Raven asked, plopping down onto the couple’s couch.

“I haven’t had time,” Lexa said, rummaging through the box. “Ah ha!” she exclaimed, pulling out a pair of U.S. Soccer sweats. “These will do.” She left the room to go change as Raven turned to look at Clarke.

“You guys moved in like, two weeks ago,” Raven pointed out.

“We’re spending this weekend unpacking,” Clarke answered. “I’ve got today and tomorrow off.”

“Ugh, so responsible,” Raven scoffed. “Is this what happens when a couple moves in with each other? They just become all domesticated and boring?”

“We are not boring,” Clarke said, walking behind the couch and flicking Raven in the ear.

She ignored Raven’s outcry and turned to Lexa, who had returned, bag slung over her shoulder and car keys in hand. “Ready to go, babe?” Clarke asked.

Lexa nodded, stepping closer and giving Clarke a soft kiss.

“I’ll see you at the game?” Lexa asked.

“I’ll be the one in the Blake jersey,” Clarke replied happily, laughing as she dodged Lexa’s feeble attempt to swat the doctor’s arm.

“Claaaarke,” Lexa whined.

“I’m kidding!” Clarke said, laughing at the pout on her girlfriend’s face.

“But are you?” Lexa asked, hitching her bag up further on her shoulder.

“Guess you’ll find out soon,” Clarke said, winking.

Lexa simply shook her head before leaning forward and giving Clarke a quick kiss on her cheek.

“Bye,” Lexa said softly, smiling at her girlfriend. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Clarke replied just as softly, matching grin on her face.

“Bye! Love you!” Raven yelled from her spot on the couch.

Lexa rolled her eyes, opening the front door and waving at Raven before closing it.

Clarke turned to Raven, who had taken to rummaging through the box labeled ‘Soccer Stuff’.

“Do you think Lexa would mind if I took this U.S. Soccer windbreaker?” she asked, holding up the item of clothing.

Clarke rolled her eyes, grabbing the jacket and throwing it back in the box. She picked up the box before heading out of the living room and down the hall to her and Lexa’s bedroom, Raven following her. “Let me just change and then we can go pick up Indra and Gustus,” Clarke said, entering the closet in their room. “Mom and Mama B are meeting us at the stadium.”

Clarke stood on her tippy toes, grabbing the jersey she had stashed under all her sweaters on the top shelf in the closet. She held the new jersey up, smiling at the name and number on the back. She quickly changed into a pair of jeans before pulling the jersey on over her head, followed by a jacket and scarf.

“Ready?” she asked, exiting the closet to find Raven sitting on her and Lexa’s bed.

“Let’s get to it, Griff,” Raven replied, nodding her head.

* *

“So you ready for this, Commander?” Kelley asked, turning her head slightly to look at Lexa, who was standing next to her.

Lexa unzipped her jacket before nodding her head, grinning. “Oh yeah,” she replied.

Kelley smiled back before turning back towards the stands, just in time to hear the announcer introduce her name. The older woman smiled, waving towards the crowd before blowing a kiss to little Chloe O’Hara-Solo, who was sitting happily in her other mother’s lap in the stands behind the player’s bench.

“…grew up in Seattle, please give a loud, homecoming welcome to—World Cup Champion and Olympic gold medalist, making her debut for the Reign—number twelve, Lexa Woods!”

Lexa smiled and waved, feeling completely overwhelmed at the reception she was receiving from the fans.

She knew her decision to come home was a major one, a decision that shook the NWSL world—asking to be traded wasn’t something players did that often, and it was a bold move, but ultimately Lexa knew it was the only choice for her.

She had always dreamed of playing in the place she grew up, in front of her friends and family. Lexa always figured she would eventually end up back in Seattle, but when Clarke announced she was moving there—well, it was no longer a matter of eventually. Her grandparents were ecstatic when they found out she was going to be coming back home to Seattle, and had immediately purchased season tickets.

Plus, the look on Clarke’s face when Lexa told her she was being traded to Seattle made any tiny nugget of doubt that was left vanish. Her girlfriend had immediately begun looking for places the two of them could live—one that was close to the field and the hospital.

Lexa had never been happier, and she owed it all to the girl currently screaming her head off in the stands, clapping her hands together with gusto. She spotted Indra and Gustus cheering as well, Lincoln standing next to them, all sporting Seattle Reign jerseys with proud smiles on their faces. Abby was also there, clapping and cheering for Lexa along with the Blake family, though they were all sporting Octavia Blake Spirit jerseys.

Lexa laughed as she spotted what Clarke was wearing—a Seattle Reign jersey, with the number 12 on it.

And somehow, that simple act was what pushed Lexa over the edge, and she felt tears welling up in her eyes as she thought about all that had gotten her here, to this moment.

Playing for her hometown, in front of her friends and family, the love of her life in the stands, cheering for her.

Lexa felt her own heart swell, full of love and happiness, and she gave the still-screaming crowd another wave.

As the announcer finished up, she jogged to the sideline, taking off her jacket and huddling up with her team.

“Why don’t you start us off, Commander,” Kelley said, giving Lexa a smile. “It’s your homecoming, after all.”

Lexa laughed, nodding her head before leaning closer into the huddle, her teammates’ eyes on her.

“Alright ladies,” Lexa said, looking around at her teammates. “Let’s go do the damn thing.”

Her teammates laughed before putting their hands in, Kelley shaking her head.

“Short and sweet, I like it,” Kelley teased.

Lexa just shrugged before laughing, putting her hand on top of the pile.

“Reign on three,” Kelley said, her teammates nodding in agreement.

“One, two, three—”

“REIGN!”

Lexa jogged out of the huddle, jumping up and down a few times. She took her spot near midfield, nodding to Octavia, who was lining up on the Spirit’s half of the field. Lexa quickly glanced out into the stands, her eyes finding Clarke immediately.

Green met blue from across the pitch, and Clarke was smiling that brilliant smile, the one that made Lexa's chest warm and her heart skip a beat.

In a move that she knew would bring a fresh wave of ‘Commander Heart Eyes’ jokes, Lexa brought her hand to her mouth, giving her fingers a kiss and throwing her arm out towards Clarke.

And Clarke—her dear, sweet, beautiful Clarke—simply laughed, before pretending to catch it and pat her chest, above where her heart rested.

Lexa grinned before turning her attention back to midfield. She took a deep breath, shoulders relaxed.

“Do the damn thing,” Lexa muttered to herself.

The whistle blew and the ball was put in play, and the crowd cheered again as Lexa took her first touch in a Seattle Reign uniform, gathering the pass from her teammate.

Lexa was pretty certain the grin on her face remained for the entire 90 minutes.