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Our Hearts (Have Minds Of Their Own)

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Clarke Griffin’s Apartment Complex: February 2016

 

“I’m not saying it’s weird or anything, but I mean…Don’t you want to stop relying on Mommy and Daddy Griffin to pay your swanky apartment’s bills?” Raven Reyes was never one to mince words.

Today was certainly no different.

Clarke eyed her best friend with little enthusiasm. She envied the way the brunette always looked so damn good with her hair in a simple ponytail with adorning braids. So effortlessly cool, and relaxed, all the time.

Then again, Clarke would be too, if she had her boss wrapped around her finger the way she Raven had with Wick.

But of course, Clarke’s bosses were curators, and patrons. They were a little harder to sleep with.

“No, Raven.” Clarke rolled her eyes, hoping it added to the already dramatic effect she was trying for. “I adore being twenty-five and relying on my parents because my career in art is failing miserably.”

Raven shot her an amused smile, straightening out her leather jacket. “Okay, Griff, I get it. There’s nothing wrong with relying on your parents, you know, but….I don’t get it. Your art is so good.”

Clarke smiled as they approached her apartment door, turning her key into the hole with a chuckle. “Thanks, Reyes. Maybe if you and Wick get married and get loaded, you can buy all my pieces.”

Raven blushed at that, her cheeks matching her the crimson color of her jacket. “Okay, Clarke. Shall we?” Raven first headed to the fridge, swinging it open and grabbing herself a frosty bottle of beer. Then she tossed all the mail she’d been holding onto the barren coffee table, grabbing a seat beside Clarke.

“It’s a good thing you’re good with numbers, or else I wouldn’t let you mooch off my fridge so much.” Clarke grumbled.

“Yup.” Raven popped the ‘p’, tearing into the first set of envelopes.

“Trash, trash….trash.” Clarke mumbled, going through the white envelopes one by one. Each time she found something worthwhile, she’d slide it over to Raven.

“Oh….my….shit….” Clarke suddenly breathed, dropping the envelope she’d torn into.

“What?” Raven glanced up, brows furrowed in questioning. “Who died?”

“Me…” Clarke shook her head frantically. “Please, kill me. No….no….no..no…”

“Griff!” Raven stood up, grabbing her shoulders. “What the hell?”

“Here.” Clarke reached into the envelope, throwing a glossy looking card at Raven’s unsuspecting hands. The card flitted down to the table, landing face up, like a butterfly bearing the mark of death.

Or, at least, that’s how it looked to Clarke.

“Holy shit…” Raven breathed out with an amused smile. “Has it been five years already?”

Clarke’s eyes widened as she actually counted aloud, backwards, on her fingers. “I’m twenty-five, so….twenty-four, twenty-three….Twenty. Oh, god….yes.”

Raven barked out a laugh. “Nice! Where’s the venue this time?”

Clarke took the card up in her hand, holding it under the sharp ceiling light. It was a picture of basically everyone that once meant the world to her: Her parents, the Blake family, Raven and Finn, Murphy, Jasper and Monty…Every little friend, all dressed up from their last “family” reunion, a camping trip to the famous Mount Jaha.

Or, in other words, Clarke’s personal living hell.

Clarke turned the card over, reading the words out slowly:

“ It’s been too long! Please join us for our quinquennial family reunion,

Hosted by Abby and Jake Griffin at Polis Resort in Los Angeles, CA”

Followed by several lines of contact information.

Raven grinned. “I love your parents.”

Clarke frowned. “Oh, was last time not enough for you?”

Raven smirked. “No, I met Finn, had the summer fling of a lifetime…I’d say it was pretty damn good.”

Clarke sighed, throwing her head into her hands, her elbows propped up on the table before her. “Ugh.”

Raven quirked a brow, taking a sip of her beer. “What’s got your panties in a bunch?”

Clarke raised her voice to an over dramatically high pitch, imitating her relatives and friends, “Clarke…don’t you have a boyfriend?”

“Clarke, don’t you like that Finn boy? He’s so strong and…rugged.”

“Clarke? What about Raven? Hmm, I know how much you love her?”

“ Clarke, you’re not getting any younger. Clarke, look at the way Octavia just attracts people.”

"Grandchildren, Clarke. I want grandchildren!"

“What about Bellamy, hmm?”

Raven’s grin was back, full force. “Oh yeah! The great Bellamy and Clarke movement of 2011. Good times.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “It’s as if I’m not worth anything by myself. Like…why can’t I just be happy?” her eyes trailed to the apartment wall when she heard the distinct noise of the door shutting from the other side.

Her neighbor.

Clarke zone out for a moment, lost in deep thought until Raven roused her by taking the card and pinning it to the cork part of her whiteboard-calendar by the door, perhaps the only hint of organization in Clarke’s chaotic, art filled apartment.

“What about the ‘commander’?” Raven smirked, tracing Clarke’s gaze.

“What about her?” Clarke sighed, getting up.

“Have you gotten into her pants yet?” Raven’s bluntness made Clarke feel thankful that she wasn’t drinking anything at the time.

“Uh…. no.” Clarke’s cheeks turned red. “Some people prefer not to move so quickly in a relationship, I mean…when’s Wick gonna pop the question, am I right?” She asked no one in particular for backup.

Raven rolled her eyes. “We’ve been together for like three months. Don’t be so overdramatic.”

“I’m not. I’m just saying…there’s no way in hell I would….that she would….we’re just not…” Clarke struggled to make sense of it.

“Right….” Raven nodded exaggeratedly. “Good point.”

“Shut up.” Clarke turned to the fridge to begin making dinner.

She thought of the first time she’d ever laid eyes on Lexa Woods.


 

NOVEMBER, 2014

Clarke had spent nearly an hour trying to perfect her eye makeup for some stupid party that Raven only wanted to attend to meet guys or girls, all for a screw.

Clarke was…focusing on her art. She’d actually been in a rut lately, unable to really capture anything. She felt it was mainly due to a lack of inspiration.

Nothing wowed her anymore. Nothing made her cerulean eyes twinkled with curiosity, and nothing made her heart flutter and sing.

Was she in an artistic rut? Or a early-life crisis?

Either way, she was determined to get her smoky-eye perfect, crises be damned.

“Ray!” She called out, still adjusting her makeup in her bathroom mirror. “How does this look?”

Clarke frowned when no one replied. Stepping out of her bathroom, she zipped the side of her dress by herself, making her way into the living room of the apartment. “Reyes!” She called curiously, now genuinely concerned.

And then she heard, “Anya! You never told me you have friends as hot as you are! Damn, were you all hatched in a lab, or something?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, fearing for Raven’s life. 

“Griffin!” Clarke heard a thick, angry voice call for her. “Get your sidekick off my property!”

“Hey!” Clarke heard Raven protest. “If anyone’s the sidekick, it’s-“

Clarke stepped out, trying to keep her balance in her heels. She turned to the right, ready to receive a mouthful from Anya.

Instead, Clarke figured she’d died somehow and stumbled into heaven, because she was sure she was staring at a literal angel.

She was tall, about Clarke’s height, maybe a centimeter taller. Her olive skin glowed in the halls, the light reflecting off a tan, toned body. Her full lips were pulled in a curious half smile, but what Clarke truly fell for were her eyes.

Wide, brightly lit, virid gardens reflected back at Clarke, taking in her dress clad figure.

Her eyes locked with Clarke’s blue gaze to form an aqua colored bond, a sort of unspoken song that they both seemed to know the words to.

And the Raven ruined it by saying something utterly…tactless. “Oh, Griff, I haven’t seen you stare at something like that since the pizza you were dying to eat last night.”

Clarke glared at Raven, and Anya heaved the greatest of sighs. “This is what you’ll be living next to, Lex.”

“Lex…” Clarke repeated before she could stop herself.

And then the angelic girl stuck her hand out, revealing muscular definition, as if she wasn’t perfect enough. “Lexa Woods. I’m moving into Anya’s apartment.”

Clarke blinked. “Clarke Griffin.” She shook Lexa’s hand, holding on for perhaps a bit too long.

“Okay Romeo…” Anya stepped between them. “We have a lot to do, so…take your lapdog here with you.”

Raven smirked. “Lapdog, huh? That’s not what you called me when we-“

Lexa’s eyes widened simultaneously with Clarke’s, and Anya whipped around, glaring at Raven with a silent “Shut up or I will make you, Reyes.”

“Um…when are you moving?” Clarke tried to ignore the fresh hell that unraveled before her.

“Right now, actually…” Lexa motioned to several cardboard boxes in the doorway.

Clarke’s eyes widened. “Oh! Do you need any help? I could totally help.”

Lexa’s cheeks turned slightly red. “I think I have it, thank you. Besides…it appears as though you’ve a party to attend…” She motioned to Clarke’s outfit.

“Oh!” Clarke nodded. “Oh….Yeah, I’d forgotten. Well…uh…if you need anything….anything at all, just let me know.”

Lexa dipped her head thankfully. “Thank you, I will…Clarke.” The way she rolled Clarke’s name off her tongue made Clarke weak in the knees.

Raven was the one to drag Clarke away in the end, because she kept looking back, yearning to make contact with those verdant eyes once more.


 

DECEMBER, 2014

Clarke dragged her suitcase behind her, thankful to escape the biting cold of Washington D.C. for the golden state’s mild winters.

She barely balanced the gift in her arm, the purse, and the suitcase as she struggled to lock her door. Taking a breath, she turned and carefully knocked on Lexa Wood’s apartment door.

Once.

Twice.

Three times.

On the third knock, the door unlocked and swung open, Lexa leaning against the frame.

Clarke’s breath caught in her throat. She was in sweats, her hair tied in a loose bun. She glanced at Clarke curiously.

“Clarke Griffin?” She offered a hint of curiosity in her schooled tone.

“Happy holidays, Lexa.” Clarke smiled. “I know we haven’t really been able to talk much, but-“

“Here!” Noticing she was about to drop the gift, she stepped aside, letting Clarke in with haste.

The first thing Clarke noticed was the organization. For identical layouts, their apartments sure were different.

Though they both had very few items. Clarke noticed that Netflix was on her TV, and Clarke decided against asking what her holiday plans were. Maybe her familial relations weren’t so great?

“What can I do for you?” Lexa turned, eyeing Clarke as she set down her suitcase. “You look like you’re in a hurry.”

“I am.” Clarke replied, smiling all the while. “I’m catching a plane to see my family in Los Angeles.”

Lexa smiled politely. “Oh. I used to live there.”

Clarke thought Lexa looked like she belonged to a beach city. She made a mental note. “Oh, small world, huh? Anyway…I uh…. overheard you complaining about how Anya left that gaping hole in the wall…” Clarke nodded to the aforementioned hole, sitting just above Lexa’s couch.

Lexa frowned. “Yes…Anya wasn’t the best past resident, I’ll admit.”

“Well…I made you this painting in case…. well, I figured you liked the sunset, since I’ve seen you hanging around our patios… so, I…” Clarke sputtered, trailing off. Why was she so damn nervous? She noticed her heart was racing.

Lexa’s brow furrowed in confusion as she opened the rectangular wrapped gift.

Clarke watched her jaw drop in awe, the quickened rise and fall of her chest.

“Clarke…” Lexa’s eyes traced the bleeding orange sunset Clarke had poured hours of work into, the clouds meeting on the distant horizon where the sun fell behind shadows of trees. “This is….your work….it’s beyond words.”

Clarke inhaled, unaware that Lexa’s praise would feel so satisfying. “Thank you. Um. I know we don’t know each other that well, and I don’t want to pester you, because you seem like a very busy woman but…consider this…an open offering of friendship, maybe?”

Lexa smiled, clutching the photo like it was her firstborn child. “I’d like that very much, Clarke.”


 

APRIL 2015

Lexa knocked feverishly at Clarke’s door, though she was sure it couldn’t be heard over the ungodly, loud music that resonated throughout the thin walls of Clarke’s apartment.

She opted for just pushing the door open anyway, not surprised to find the lights dimmed and replaced with more colorful alternatives, with bodies dancing everywhere, an abundance of alcohol and likely other substances.

“Clarke?” Lexa practically mumbled. She saw Raven Reyes, Clarke’s best friend, playing beer pong with some guy with curly hair in the corner.

“Heathens.” Lexa mumbled disapprovingly, eyes darting past them for Clarke. She pushed her way through the crowd, out onto the cold air of the balcony, where Clarke Griffin was drinking, alone.

She was sitting on the edge of the rail, feet dangling.

Lexa’s heart was racing just looking at her.

“Clarke?” Lexa hoped her voice didn’t sound as uncomfortable as she felt.

“Hmm- Oh, Lexa?” Clarke immediately hopped back onto the safety of the balcony floor. “Oh god, I didn’t know you were here.”

“I…actually…” Lexa admitted sheepishly. “I’m here to complain about the noise. I can’t focus, Clarke.”

Clarke turned beet red. “Right. Yeah….oh my god, sorry. It’s just….spring break, some friends were over….things got out of hand…”

Lexa put her hand up regally. “No need to apologize for having fun, Clarke.”

Clarke huffed out a breath. “I wish I were having fun.”

Lexa’s brow furrowed in confusion. Was she supposed to respond to that? “Uh…” she began.

“Sorry….” Clarke trailed off, laughing awkwardly. “I didn’t mean that…It’s not your concern. I just…I’m not in the mood to party, but…they’re all here, so….”

Lexa tilted her head, like a thoughtful puppy, and Clarke melted instantly. “Well…you could come over to my place.”

Clarke’s eyes lit up. “Really?”

Lexa nodded slowly. “I’m just…trying to read. I wouldn’t mind.”

Clarke nodded then, voice cheering up. “I’ll turn down the music. Thank you so much!” She threw her arms around the brunette, and then disappeared off into the tiny, crowded apartment.

Lexa was stunned into silence.

They spent that evening debating classic novels, a passion for which Lexa never suspected Clarke had.

“Pride and Prejudice?” Clarke tried, hair tied up in a messy bun, leaning against the foot of Lexa’s couch, while Lexa sat on the couch itself.

“A guilty pleasure.” Lexa admitted.

“No frickin way.” Clarke was surprised. “I’m shocked.”

“What?” Lexa raised a brow. “Is it a sin to enjoy a good, pure romance?”

Clarke mumbled to herself. “Would’ve been better if it was Ms. Darcy.”

Lexa quirked a brow, wearing an amused smile. “What, you mean if Elizabeth were a man instead?”

Clarke blushed immediately, evading her inquisitive green gaze. “No…I mean…they both should’ve been women.”

“Oh…” Lexa nodded.

Clarke felt suddenly very awkward, like she had coming out in high school. “I’m sorry if-”

“I agree.” Lexa hummed quietly, mostly to herself, as she tilted her head back.

Clarke’s heart jumped out of her chest.


 

MAY 2015

“Good morning Clarke.” Lexa’s voice hardly matched her body, slick with sweat from the run she’d just returned from.

Clarke, on the other hand, had barely gotten up in time to meet Raven for breakfast.

Well, after seeing Lexa in a sports bra and tights, she did wake up more.

“Do you…always exercise?” Clarke scratched the back of her head, feeling suddenly self-conscious.

“Regularly. A fit body is a temple for a fit mind.” Lexa replied, stretching her legs as Clarke locked her apartment door.

“I’ll bet you eat really well, too.” Clarke grumbled.

Lexa glanced at her amusedly. “I don’t order pizzas at two in the morning, if that’s what you’re asking…”

Clarke whipped around, eyes taking in the glorious brunette. “You heard that?” Her tone reeked of embarrassment.

“The walls are….thin, Clarke.” Lexa’s voice dropped a bit, and Clarke wondered what else she’d heard. She wanted to run for the hills.

“Yeah…”Clarke gulped, turning away. “How’s that finance business of yours coming?”

“It’s…difficult, to start a company under such…turbulent times.” Lexa spoke poetically, all the time, and Clarke envied that.

“Right well…least you’re not a starving artist.” Clarke shrugged.

“Starving?” Lexa queried. “You have pizza.”

“Shut up.” Clarke smacked her on the arm playfully. “Maybe I’ll join you one of these days….?”

Lexa cocked her head to the side. “Do you think you can keep up, Clarke?”

Clarke balked. “I uh…well, actually….” And then she realized Lexa was teasing her. “Hey! I’m not that out of shape.”

“You certainly don’t look out of shape, Clarke.” Lexa’s voice was gone and in a split second she was safe in her apartment, away from Clarke’s reaction.

Clarke bit her lip. Okay, this crush was getting out of hand. Did Lexa just…hit on her? Lexa the monotonous nerd?


 

JUNE 2015

 

Clarke could hear Lexa’s new girlfriend, all the time.

Every fucking minute it was  “Costia” this and “costia” that.

Clarke wondered how long they’d actually been dating.

Lexa even stopped running with her in the mornings, which forced Clarke to stop altogether.  

Clarke heard Lexa’s laughter, and singing- she wished, no….longed for her to be in that stupidly neat apartment instead of “Costia”.

Clarke had only seen her once, through the peephole.

She was blonde, and fit, and of course she was a perfect match for Lexa, who deserved nothing but the best.

Clarke’s paintings came out harsher, and angrier than she’d intended. Her commissions had to be done over and over and over again because she couldn’t get her shit together.

She spent as much time as she could at Raven’s, for fear of snapping at Lexa or just hearing them together happily.

Clarke wasn’t sure why it bothered her so much.

She decided on the fact that it reminded her how utterly single she was. Yes, that was it, and nothing more.

Clarke had survived being Raven’s roommate during her most…active years in college, and she’d survive this.

Headphones had never been more welcome.

 


 

SEPTEMBER 2015

It was late, maybe one or two in the morning.

Clarke had been trying to finish her piece for Mrs. Blake’s office, just about the only piece she was actually getting compensated for, when she heard a loud crash.

And then another.

Like glass was being thrown and shattered against their shared apartment wall.

“You…I can’t believe you would….” Lexa’s voice was strained, caught in her throat.

“Things change, Lexa. You can’t expect the world to stop revolving because you did!” Costia’s voice, Clarke could tell, was livid.

“Get out.” Lexa’s voice was icy, venomous and biting. “Get out, now.”

The fight lasted for several minutes, and then a door was slammed. Clarke knew Costia had left because she heard Lexa slide against the wall, on the other side, quiet controlled sniffles filling the air.

Clarke went against the bedroom wall they shared, sliding against it as well. By the grate on the lower side, ever so quietly, Clarke whispered, “Lexa?”

No response. Not verbally, not explicitly. But the sniffling ceased for a second.

“I’m….I’m here.” Clarke murmured as she shut her eyes, imagining Lexa on the other side of the wall, her neat apartment thrown completely out of balance.

Just like her life.

Clarke hummed against the wall for hours until she fell asleep, and she never heard Lexa’s sullen, grateful whisper of “Thank you, Clarke.”


 

 

NOVEMBER 2015

“Clarke?” Lexa rapped against Clarke’s door lightly, fist closed.

“Lexa?” Clarke’s voice was surprised. She hurried to open her door, greeted by the sight of Lexa dressed quite regally, sweater and collar overshadowed by an elegant scarf. “What’s up?”

“I’m…going home for thanksgiving, to see my uh….family.” Lexa sounded strange when she said that.

“That’s good.” Clarke smiled, feeling oddly empty without her presence. “You deserve to have fun.”

They both knew she was referring to the breakup, since which Lexa had been even more quiet than before, with fewer amused smiles.  

“Thank you, Clarke.” Lexa’s voice was gentle, unlike the firm demanding tone she usually addressed people with.

“Can I…get you some coffee?” Clarke offered unsurely. “Some leftover three am pizza?”

Lexa let out a soft chuckle. “No, thank you, Clarke. I have to get going.”

Clarke stuck out her tongue. “So you only came by to brag about having plans?”

Lexa looked worried. “No! Clarke, I wouldn’t-”

Clarke laughed, feeling warmth bubble within her. “Lex, I was kidding.”

“Lex….” Lexa murmured with a faint smile.

“Sorry…” Clarke winced. “Not a keeper? Maybe…T-Lex? Flexa?” She motioned to her biceps, grinning.

“I believe you are a hypocrite, Clarke.” Lexa announced, eyeing her carefully.

“Me?” Clarke frowned. “What? Why?”

“Because you call me the nerd, when you are, clearly…” she motioned to Clarke, causing her to grin.

“Nerd implies being smart.” Clarke argued. “I think the word you’re looking for is…dork?”

Lexa tilted her head back, and it felt good to laugh freely after such a long time of depression and remorse. “Anyway…dork….”

Clarke rolled her eyes, but allowed her to continue.

“I came to tell you that…well…I’m thankful for you Clarke. You’re a wonderful neighbor…and dare I say…friend.”

Clarke couldn’t help the grin that broke out on her face. “Not too shabby yourself, nerd.”


 

DECEMBER 2015

“Another gift, Clarke?” Lexa looked incredulous. “Seriously?”

“Well, you got me one…” Clarke grinned at the organizer Lexa had bought for Clarke’s art supplies. “So…just…open it.”

Lexa unwrapped the paper slowly, maybe just to irritate Clarke a little extra.

Inside the box were two leather bracelets- with names inscribed: Dork and Nerd.

“Are you serious right now, Clarke Griffin?” Lexa admonished her through a toothy grin.

Clarke threw her head back, laughing hard as she took Lexa’s wrist, failing to notice how her breath caught in her throat as she did so, sliding the “Nerd” bracelet on her delicate hands.

“Your turn, dork.” Lexa grinned as she took the other bracelet, doing the same for Clarke.

Neither noticed the other’s rapidly racing hearts.

 


 

PRESENT DAY: FEBRUARY 2016

“I haven't spoken to the nerd in a while...she's been so busy with work, and especially since they upped the rent again." Clarke sighed as she shut her fridge door. 

Raven looked at her like she'd just spoken aloud in a foreign language. "Huh? The nerd? You inhale some paint fumes or something, Griffin? " 

Clarke chuckled, shaking her head. "No...it's just....I think I have an idea." 

Chapter Text

“Anya, listen.” Lexa’s sigh of exasperation filled the crisp evening air, and it was music to Clarke’s ears.

Well, perhaps not the self-deprecating tone of the conversation, but Lexa’s low, even voice was just…something else.

Clarke Griffin was not an eavesdropper.

Okay, so maybe she liked to listen in on the drama her friends would dish every now and then, but a fully-fledged eavesdropper? Certainly not.

Clarke just happened to be airing and drying out some paintings on her balcony.

At the same time Lexa was out on hers, bothering Anya on the phone.

It was all just a coincidence.

It especially wasn’t because Clarke had gotten frustrated after knocking on Lexa’s door several billion times without a response. That definitely wasn’t it.

“Anya, I’m not giving up.” Lexa sighed. Clarke quietly took in her beautiful figure, leaned over the railing, phone in hand as she gazed off into the distant horizon. “It’s just…It’s going to become difficult to make ends meet. I mean, pretty soon…I think I’ll have to move.”

Clarke felt her heart drop. Move?

Okay, now she was eavesdropping.

“No, Anya…I don’t need your handouts. You’ve invested enough in this company.” Lexa sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

Clarke bit her lip when one of her paintings began sliding over.

Her cover was blown.

She caught it, but not before it hit the balcony railing with a loud ding, causing Lexa to whip around in surprise.

Clarke’s cheeks burned as Lexa’s emerald gaze found her own in surprise.

“Anya? Can I call you back?” Lexa asked gently, an amused smile on her full lips. She hung up after that, coming over to the far end of her balcony, so that she was right beside Clarke’s.

“I have never found ‘dork’ to be a more fitting title for you.” Lexa mused, folding her arms over the railing as she watched Clarke salvage the painting sheepishly.

“Sorry for uh…ruining your call.” Clarke mumbled, glancing at the now very ruined rose she’d painted out of sheer boredom while Lexa hadn’t answered her door.

“Sorry for ruining your painting.” Lexa responded wryly. She knew she had a little hand in that.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “We both know it was my amazing hand eye coordination. Well great, guess I have to make a trip to the dumpster.”

Lexa smirked. “Couldn’t you just…stack it, like you do with all the other trash in your apartment?”

Clarke stuck out her tongue childishly. “I’ll have you know, I cleaned it out this morning.”

“And you haven’t invited me over?” Lexa teased in a faux hurt manner. “I’d love to see your…new place.”

Clarke bit her lip. “Well…actually…I’ve been trying to get a hold of you like…All day.”

Lexa glanced up in surprise, her lips forming a gentle frown. “Really?”

Clarke nodded awkwardly. “Yeah…I uh…called, but I think you’re busy with work stuff.”

“Did you knock?” Lexa asked in surprise. Clarke usually just walked in with leftover pizza whenever she wanted to hang out.

Clarke watched the way the breeze gently tossed strands of Lexa’s brunette hair behind her. She was glorious in the early evening glow. She wanted nothing more than to freeze that moment in time and capture her essence with the paints she had.

She could never truly capture Lexa’s essence, but she always wanted to try.

“I did. But…” Clarke shrugged, feeling suddenly very lame. “It’s no big deal. I just wanted to chat, but I know you have work and stuff…”

Lexa shook her head. “I must have been on the phone with a few investors.”

Clarke raised a brow, voice gently chiming in “You…going through a hard time with work?”

Lexa looked mildly disappointed.

“Not that I’m a stranger to that…starving artist and all.” Clarke added with an amused smile.

Lexa sighed, offering Clarke a melancholy smile. “Yes. I…lost my major investors, and they were really keeping things going. I think…something about a family accident and having to withdraw funds…”

Clarke nodded, eyes meeting Lexa’s in a comforting gaze. “Well…from what I know, you’re a hell of a business woman. You’ll turn it around.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “I. Thank you. It’s just…tough, sometimes. I’d hate to move again after just settling in. I need…I need to think of a solution. Soon.”

Clarke nodded, leaning against the railing dejectedly at the thought of Lexa leaving.

The two remained like that for a while, only a gap between their respective balconies separating them.

The silence was comfortable. The plants on either balcony danced a little with the same warm breeze that carried the scent of Lexa’s perfume to Clarke’s attention.

Clarke watched the way the sun began to set over the horizon, pulling with it all the light it bestowed during the day, leaving behind an orange glow.

She watched the way the wispy clouds, coming from different sides of the horizon met perfectly, like pieces of a puzzle that were lost and reunited once more.

Clarke’s head shot to Lexa with an idea. Her features brightened, her grin was full and bright. Her eyes twinkled.

Lexa seemed to realize they’d done nothing in the last few minutes. She spoke up apologetically. “I’m so sorry Clarke. I’ll go around and unlock the door now.”

Clarke took a long stride to the edge of the railing, pushing against it, nodding with satisfaction as it failed to waver under her considerable strength.

She plucked a flower from her vase of roses she’d so (desperately) put out to make it look like she had order and cleanliness in her mess of an apartment. She bit down onto the stem, and carefully lifted her leg over the edge of the railing.

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Clarke!” She snapped to attention, body stilling. “What the hell are you doing?”

Clarke grumbled something unintelligible as she eyed the short distance between the balconies.

“No.” Lexa shook her head. “Clarke….” She warned, fear penetrating her tone. 

Clarke grinned, rose still in her mouth.

“No. Clarke.” Lexa’s pleas were for naught. She readied her arms as if to catch Clarke. 

Honestly, it was few feet.

But in midair, it seemed like a few yards.

Clarke took the leap of faith, landing somewhat gracefully on Lexa’s side, in a squatting position.

“What the hell were you thinking?” Lexa demanded, eyeing the drop below. That would’ve resulted in at least a few broken bones.

Or brain damage. But maybe Clarke already had that.

Clarke smirked, rising, taking the rose out of her mouth. “I wanted to visit.” She said simply.

“Are you drunk?” Lexa asked wearily, heart hammering in her chest. “You could’ve used...I don't know...the door.”

“Ah, but I couldn’t.” Clarke grinned. “Not for such a dramatic, romantic gesture such as this.” She spoke in a faux pompous tone, kneeling on one knee.

Lexa froze, eyes widening. "Ro...romantic?" 

What the hell was going on? Sure she'd thought about Clarke at night, maybe once or twice, but... this...

Her heart was frantic now, her hands curling into fists at her side. Clarke looked golden in the orange glow, her grin telling a tale Lexa was just dying to hear.

“Lexa Woods…” Clarke puffed out her chest as she announced it loudly, with a great sigh of drama and theatrics. “Will you be my fake girlfriend?”

Lexa let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding in, and suddenly felt chills. When had it gotten so cold?

“I…uh…” Lexa felt what Clarke called her “inner nerd” coming back to haunt her. “…What?”

“Just take the rose.” Clarke rolled her eyes and Lexa obliged, careful to avoid the thorns.

“Care to…explain?” Lexa asked, feeling her heart return to its normal rate slowly, but surely.

“You’re gonna love this.” Clarke smirked, leaning against the railing.

“Does it involve more acrobatics?” Lexa raised a sculpted brow, curiosity piqued.

“No, it’s much much worse.” Clarke sighed, shaking her head. “I have a family reunion to attend.”

Lexa cocked her head curiously. “And this is a bad thing?”

“That’s right.” Clarke nodded, turning to Lexa dramatically. “Oh, Clarke!” She clasped her hands together, overly acting the part of one of her relatives, no doubt. “Are you married yet? How’s that Bellamy boy, hmm? I want grandchildren, Clarke!”

Lexa allowed her lips to curl into an amused grin, watching Clarke’s antics.

She certainly knew how to put on a show.

“It’s disgusting.” Clarke continued. “Which is where you come in.”

“I come in at the disgusting part? Clarke, you know how to woo a woman.” Lexa’s response was teasing.

Clarke loved seeing this side of her. After a year of getting her walls down, Lexa had finally let her in as a friend.

God, friendship with Lexa was beautiful.

God, Lexa was beautiful.

Clarke glanced at her lips, licking her own. “That’s uh…that’s not what I meant. You know that.”

“Oh.” Lexa nodded, deciding to bite. “So, let me guess from context, here. You want me to…lie. To your entire family. About being your…girlfriend.” The words gave Lexa an odd, fluttering feeling in her stomach. “So you can shut your family up about questions that everyone else normally just…suffers through?”

Clarke nodded. “I knew you were a nerd. You’re quick.”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Clarke. No way.”

Clarke’s smile turned into a pout, and Lexa felt her heart sting. Her cerulean eyes were pleading.

But this was insanity, wasn’t it?

“Lex.” Clarke’s use of that nickname was rare. It gave Lexa that same fluttery feeling.

“Clarke.” Lexa responded evenly.

“Come on. You’ve never met my family and friends. It’ll be good for you.” Clarke encouraged desperately.

“No.” Lexa sighed. “Clarke…you know I’d love to help you out…” her mind flew to Clarke’s silent humming when Costia left her. The way she stayed up all night on the other side of the wall, keeping Lexa’s company without invading her space.

Clarke was, besides Anya, her only friend. That gave her fluttery feelings. This seemed like an ill-conceived plan. It couldn’t end well.

“-The company is falling apart.” That part was true.

Clarke nodded slowly. “Which is why I have this…fantastic idea.”

Lexa turned around, eyeing Clarke with shameful curiosity. “…Oh boy.”

“Lexa, you’ve never met my mom and dad, but…I’ll let you in on a little family secret…” She motioned Lexa closer.

Lexa took an apprehensive step forward.

“They’re loaded!” Clarke announced loudly, causing Lexa to roll her eyes. “They are the perfect candidates to support you. And they will, once they meet you! They’ll love you!”

Lexa’s response was sharp, her brain processing everything at a mile a minute. “Clarke, they’ll just withdraw if they find out we broke up. Or worse, find out we’ve been lying to them this entire time!”

Clarke shook her head. “I know them, Lex. They’ll never find out. We’ll just say we…amicably parted ways.”

Lexa looked unsure. “Clarke…” she began.

Clarke was adamant. “Hell, I’ll even say I cheated on you if it comes to that. They’ll support you, Lexa, I promise.”

Lexa’s eyes went wide. “You…You’d cheat on me?”

Clarke let out an amused chuckle. “Whoa there Lexa, we haven’t even started yet. But for the record, never.” She winked, and Lexa felt a blush rising up her cheeks.

“I…I don’t know.” Lexa admitted shyly. “This is all so…crazy.”

“Lexa, I don’t…I don’t want you to move away.” Clarke admitted gently. “The last year or so…we’ve gotten close. I don’t want to lose that.”

Lexa felt a warmth spread through her. She nodded, swallowing the tiny lump in her throat. She didn’t want to uproot all she’d built here. The good memories, the bad. It was home.

Clarke Griffin was part of her home.

“When…when is it?” Lexa sighed.

Clarke nearly jumped in the air. “Is that a yes?”

Lexa held up a hand regally. “It’s a maybe. Answer my questions first, and…I’ll think about it.”

“You got it, Commander.” Clarke teased excitedly.

“Why does everyone say that?” Lexa muttered as she turned towards the door to go inside.

“Raven.” Clarke replied, shaking her head in amusement. “It kind of fits, though.”

“You coming?” Lexa motioned to the door.

Clarke glanced back at her balcony. “I should go get the invitation…” she murmured to herself.

Lexa’s eyes widened as she tugged Clarke inside, by the arm. “Please, for the love of god, Clarke…use the damn door.”

Clarke laughed deeply as Lexa guided her out of the evening air and into the warmth of her apartment.


 

“You’re kidding me right?” Anya was relentless in her pursuit of Lexa’s reasoning for not wanting to follow Clarke’s plan.

“I don’t know, Anya.” Lexa sighed, rubbing her temples as she leaned forward at her kitchen table, refusing to make eye contact with her friend on the other side.

“Lexa, Lexa, Lexa…” Anya sighed, shaking her head. “Do this. Don’t ask too many questions…just shut up, sleep with the pretty girl, lie and get yourself a big, fat check.”

Lexa bristled at Anya’s words. “Don’t…talk about her like that. It’s not about the check.”

Anya smirked.

Lexa mentally slapped herself. Anya wasn’t like that. She’d been playing Lexa to see where her affections for Clarke were. And she’d just gotten a damn good idea.

Not that Lexa knew it herself, of course.

“Lexa.” Anya mirrored her sigh with one of exasperation. “You know I love you, right?”

Lexa glanced up in confusion. “I’m…hoping so?”

“So then you’ll know what I mean when I’m saying you’re a complete idiot.” Anya replied with a smirk, leaning back in her chair.

Lexa threw her a glare. “That’s not necessary, Anya.”

“It is. What you need is a good hard slap, Lexa.” Anya pressed on relentlessly.

“Oh, please…” Lexa mocked. “Enlighten me.”

“Mockery is not the product of a strong mind, Lexa.” Anya reminded gently, being the older sister figure that she was.

Lexa sighed, leaning back. “It has been a while since I’ve heard that.”

“Look.” Anya glanced around the table, frustrated only to find a salt and pepper shaker. “Ugh. Fine. Take these.”

“They’re supposed to represent Clarke and me, aren’t they?” Lexa sighed.

“Yes. Now, shut up.” Anya snapped. She pushed the salt towards Lexa “This is you.”

“Why not the pepper?” Lexa asked wryly, deciding to buy into Anya’s little act.

“Because you’re salty.” Anya replied matter-of-factly.

 “Salty?” Lexa questioned with a grimace.

“Yes. Lexa, it means you’re…bitter, upset…kind of abrasive…. salty.” Anya wore a shit eating grin.

“Have you been hanging out with Raven Reyes again?” Lexa rolled her eyes. “She’s happily dating, you know.”

Anya blushed a little and pressed on. “Clarke is the pepper.”

“Because she’s spicy?” Lexa blurted out, covering her mouth when Anya’s grin widened.

“Now you’re getting it.” She offered Lexa a wink.

“What is the purpose to this…delusion you’re experiencing?” Lexa demanded, lips pressed in a thin line. That was embarrassing.

Anya shrugged, pushing both the shakers away. “I’m just saying, your life is boring as hell. Why not try…spicing it up a little?”

“Honestly, you’re such a loser.” Lexa flipped her hair indignantly. “I can’t believe you would condone this. I’d be lying. To her family.”

Anya shrugged once more. “So…?”

Lexa’s frown deepened. “I…that’s not right.”

“Lex, I know you’re morally sound…but this is for the business.” Anya pointed out mildly. “I mean, look at it this way: A couple of months cozying up to this…not-so-shabby blonde….”

Lexa rolled her eyes. Anya was such an awful influence.

“And one week of showtime…” Anya was referring to the actual reunion. “In a nice resort. And then…do what you do best. Be a callous heartbreaker.”

Lexa took a swing at Anya’s arm, missing as she moved to the left effortlessly. “You’re mad because I’m right.”

“I’m mad because this is never going to work.”


 

“Hell yeah, Griff!” Raven grinned as she tossed Clarke a beer. “This is so going to work.”

The marble counter reflected bright lights and Raven’s cheeky smile right into Clarke’s view.

“You think?” Clarke asked, muttering her thanks as she pried the can open.

“I wouldn’t lie.” Raven nodded. “You just need to get…Sexy Lexy to be a little…loose.”

Clarke cringed at the old name. “I called her that one time! I was drunk!”

Raven wore a telltale smirk. “Drunk people don’t lie.”

Clarke shuffled in her seat uncomfortably, grateful she was at Raven’s and not her apartment, where the walls were so thin Lexa would surely hear. “Where’s Kyle?” Clarke piped up after a moment of silence.

Raven glanced away. “Wick’s out of town.”

Clarke’s brow furrowed. “Hey, Ray…everything good?”

Raven put on her best fake smile, nodding. “You know it. Just…getting pumped for our trip to L.A.”

“So you’ve invited yourself?” It wasn’t really a question. Clarke knew there was no way in hell Raven wouldn’t come.

Abby and Jake adored Raven like she was their own. It was as much her family as it was Clarke’s.

“Obviously.” Raven’s cheeky tone was back, and Clarke forgot all about her melancholy tone from before.

“Hey…is…Anya coming?” Raven asked curiously, quite obviously pretending to glance at her phone, eyeing Clarke from the corner of her eye.

“Hah! Raven, she hates me.” Clarke replied, thinking of all the embarrassing times she’d had with Anya.

“It might make Lexa more comfortable.” Raven suggested.

“Since when do you care about other people’s comfort?” Clarke asked teasingly.

“Since…Hell, I don’t know.” Raven set her phone down with a sigh.

“I can…ask, I guess.” Clarke shrugged. “She was at Lexa’s when I left.”

Raven’s eyes lit up. “Yes. Do that. I’ll come with you.”

Clarke raised a brow but said nothing. “Alright…” she drawled, standing to grab her coat. “Heard anything from Octavia lately?”

Raven shrugged. “Uh…she’s with that damn fine guy…what’s his name again? The one with the good ass?”

Clarke’s eyes widened. “Uh…I don’t know…How do you know what his ass looks like?”

Raven’s eyes lit up. “You should check out his Facebook. Or insta. Or something. He’s like a model.”

“I don’t stalk people, Ray.” Clarke’s clever retort was there in seconds.

“Yeah, just your neighbors.” Raven rolled her eyes, dodging a slap on the arm from Clarke.

“I wasn’t stalking her.” Clarke sighed. “I just…jumped onto her balcony for a few seconds.”

Raven spat out her drink. “You what?” Her voice was quite literally dripping with surprise.

“Yeah I wanted to make a grand gesture…” Clarke shrugged amusedly.

“Killing yourself is the fucking grandest gesture, Clarke!” Raven couldn’t shake what she’d just been told. “I thought you stopped doing stupid shit in high school.”

“No, apparently I still do ‘stupid shit’, Raven.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “I made the jump too.” She added the last part with a grin.

“Well damn, Griffin.” Raven smirked. “You sure you’re not in love with her?”

It was Clarke’s turn to spit out her drink in surprise.

“Nice.” Raven sighed, turning to grab some towels. “We’ve both watered my floor.”

“Sorry…” Clarke winced, voice husky and scratchy from the little choking episode she’d just experienced. “You caught me off guard.”

“Because it’s true.” Raven shrugged absently.

“Because that’s…. that’s…. ludicrous!” Clarke immediately regretted that.

Ludicrous, huh? Jeez, you even sound like her.” Raven’s smirk was back as she wiped the floor.

“I don’t like her…like that.” Clarke clarified. “Besides…She kind of still seems…I don’t know…hurt. From Costia.”

“Costia…Costia…Costia…” Raven murmured, pretending to seem forgetful. “Is she the one you wouldn’t shut the hell up about every day for like three months?”

“Hey!” Clarke reddened. “I didn’t do that!”

Raven grinned, taking the opportunity to mock her. “Oh, Raven it’s terrible! Lexa’s happy, Lexa’s laughing! Lexa has sex too much next door!  It's so loud! Oh, Raven. She's so blonde and fit! Raven, I exercise too! I’m so single. Oh blah blah blah.” Raven’s voice was at least two octaves higher than normal.

Clarke stiffened, trying not to sound as hopelessly compromised as she felt. “I never said half of that.”

“Yeah?” Raven smirked. “Want me to pull some receipts?”

“Receipts?” Clarke echoed unsurely.

“Screenshots.” Raven grinned, brandishing her phone.

“No!” Clarke replied a little too quickly. “Ha! Look at the time, Ray! We should go before Anya leaves!”

Clarke nearly shoved her out the door.


 

Just as Clarke and Raven had reached the top of the stairs leading to Clarke’s apartment, all rosy cheeked and out of breath, they bumped into Anya and Lexa outside Lexa’s apartment door.

“Hey.” Clarke smiled politely at Lexa.

“Oh, hello Clarke.” Lexa turned, mirroring her smile.

Blue eyes met green eyes, and for that moment, everything else was forgotten.

“Uh….” Raven coughed after a minute of silence. “Earth to Griffin! We have some questions.”

“Huh? Oh! Sorry!” Clarke’s cheeks burned red as she shrugged off the strange haze she felt when her gaze connected with Lexa’s.

“Questions?” Anya smirked, folding her arms. “This ought to be good.”

“Uh…can you come inside, for a minute?” Clarke offered, opening her door.

Lexa looked unsure, opening her mouth to say something.

Anya cut her off. “We’d love to, Griffin.” She tugged Lexa inside, giving Raven a hungry once-over.

Raven gulped audibly and she and Clarke stepped inside, shutting the door behind them.

“You weren’t kidding; Clarke’s place isn’t a pig sty anymore.” Anya grinned, earning an actual hit from Lexa.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Good to have you back Anya.”

Lexa nudged Clarke’s shoulder gently. “That’s not what I said.” She assured quietly, smiling a little.

Clarke felt her insides melt. That smile. Wait. They spoke about her?

“I’m assuming this is about Griffin’s proposition.” Anya declared as she sat at Clarke’s table with a huff, Raven joining her on the side.

Clarke whipped around at Lexa, who blinked in surprise.

“You told her?” She cried out in disbelief.

“You told Raven!” Lexa accused defensively.

“Yeah but that’s…that’s…different.” Clarke tried, and failed, to make her case.

“Hmm…She’s got you there.” Raven commented aloud while she took a piece of popcorn from the bowl on Clarke’s table.

She and Anya gently brushed hands as they both went in for more popcorn, both recoiling immediately, blushing at the contact.

“What are we, three?” Anya muttered, blushing harder under Lexa and Clarke’s gazes.

“That’s not what you said when I-” Raven’s retort was cut off by a handful of popcorn thrown into her face. “What the fuck?”

Anya smirked. “I told you to shut up about that.”

Lexa sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose like she always did in exasperation. She turned to Clarke, who shared an amused grin. “Do we need to give them time-outs?”

Clarke shrugged. “Kids will be kids.” She teased, going to grab a few drinks from the fridge.

“So, what’s the big news?” Anya asked. “You getting cold feet on my girl here, Griffin?”

“Okay.” Clarke sighed, setting down the drinks. “First of all, it’s not a wedding. We’re supposed to be fake girlfriends. Second of all…No, I’m not getting cold feet on ‘your girl’.”

Lexa watched her with a hint of amusement, but mostly anxiety.

“That’s just what Clarke and I were talking about.” Raven smirked. “Easing your…anxiety.”

Lexa looked defensive. “I’m not…anxious.” She snapped.

“Right, commander. Easy.” Raven put her hands up.

Anya snickered at the nickname.

“Would it help if…Anya came too?” Clarke sighed.

Anya smirked. “Oh, now this? I didn’t see it coming.”

Lexa looked horrified.

“Her face says no.” Raven muttered.

“Oh, what’s the matter, kid?” Anya smirked. “Afraid I’ll embarrass you in front of Clarke’s family and friends?”

“Yes, but that is….so far beside the point.” Lexa shot back. “You can’t…Anya, it’s on Clarke’s parent’s dime. You can’t come.”

Clarke shook her head. “It’s not a problem.”

Anya grinned. “Wow, this keeps getting better and better.”

“Anya…” Lexa growled gently.

“Too late!” Raven grinned, standing up. “It’s settled. We’re going to L.A!”

“I cannot believe this.” Lexa rolled her eyes.

A chance with Clarke, however slim it might have been, was gone. Anya would surely try to push them together with her delusional ideas about love and romance, and Clarke would be offended, and…oh god, this was going to be a disaster.

“Okay…” Clarke breathed, leaning back against the counter. “So it’s settled? This is going to be…one hell of a trip.”

“Buckle up, Lexa.” Raven smirked. “You two have a lot to learn about each other…in…” she glanced at Clarke’s hanging calendar. “…very little time.”

Lexa looked perplexed. “I thought we had months?”

Raven’s smirk was unsullied. “Yeah, but for the interrogation you’re going to get? You’d probably need years of practice. Get kissing, ladies.”

 

Chapter Text

Lexa nearly jumped out of her chair in surprise when Clarke shot through her apartment door, carrying a box of random items, settling them on her kitchen table with a huff. She was dressed casually, her golden locks tied behind her in a low ponytail.

Lexa rolled her eyes as Clarke’s unceremonious slamming of the door behind her knocked over the little wooden chess pieces she’d been busying herself with. Scrambling to pick them up and return them to their designated spots on the board, she felt Clarke gaping at her, her blue gaze boring into Lexa’s general direction.

She felt nervous, fluttery and unsure of herself under that gaze, and that gaze alone.

It was pathetic.

“Chess?” Clarke scoffed. “By yourself? Seriously?”

“Hello, Clarke.” Lexa drawled in exasperation.

“Hello, nerd.” Clarke grinned, sitting across from her with a huff, eyes catching the way the light framed Lexa angelically as she clenched her jaw in focus.

“Was the art of knocking not part of your…intensive art schooling and education?” Lexa asked plainly, emerald eyes glinting with humor.

Clarke smirked. “Girlfriends don’t knock.”

Lexa glanced up in surprise, mouth parting slightly. “I…right.” She sighed, shaking her head.

Why, oh why, did Clarke do that to her? She was bright, the best of her class. She was more than capable of coming up with witty responses, and Clarke was just a bubbly, funny,…beautiful, intelligent….

Focus, Lexa.

“So…I seemed to have walked in on you playing with yourself.”

Lexa’s jaw actually dropped this time as a crimson blush made its way to her cheeks, her now shaking hand knocking over a poor bishop.

Well, that comment was unholy, wasn’t it? Poor Bishop.

Clarke bit her lip to keep from laughing at her own juvenile joke. “You okay there, slick?” She smirked.

Lexa took in a sharp breath, steadying herself. “This game requires focus, Clarke.”

Clarke reached over and propped the bishop back up, eyes never leaving Lexa’s gaze. “Sorry.” She murmured, but her voice was clearly unapologetic.

“Let’s…see what you have…” Lexa made a motion to rise, but Clarke caught her wrist.

“No, Lexa…” Clarke stifled a laugh. “That can wait. We have, like, months. Let’s play.”

Lexa’s eyes widened in surprise as she slowly sat back down, wrist burning where Clarke touched her. “You…know how to play?”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “I’m not an idiot, Lexa.”

Lexa immediately reproached herself mentally. “I…That’s not what I meant. I…it’s just…from what I gather, you were the…cool girl, in school. The socialite with fantastic art skills and no time for…menial games.”

Clarke quirked a brow, wearing a smirk. “You weren’t cool? No way.” Clarke folded her arms over her chest, leaning back in her seat.

Lexa shook her head. “No one wants to be friends with the foster kid, Clarke.” She spoke like it was an old wound that had scarred over without ever completely healing.

Clarke’s very soul ached for Lexa.

She’d heard the stories. Lexa was a product of the foster system, sent from house to house until her final years of high school, where she’d forced herself to get perfect grades for scholarships to prestigious schools.

And she’d become an incredibly astute business major, in the hopes that she could provide for herself.

It was, seemingly, much more noble than Clarke’s history of wealth and overbearing family.

Clarke glanced at the way the light illuminated the amber flecks in Lexa’s eyes. She was breathtaking, but Clarke had no more air left in her lungs to spend looking at Lexa. She’d suffocate before she could ever be sated.

“I would.” Clarke pressed earnestly.

Lexa glanced up with a small smile of appreciation.

“Besides…” Clarke leaned forward, wearing a smirk. “Don’t tell her I told you, but…I think the foster girl’s pretty hot.”

Clarke smirked when Lexa’s cheeks flushed, and she dodged a pen that came flying her way from Lexa’s swift throw.

Clarke knew humor was the quickest way to segue out of those conversations with Lexa. They’d had a few, over the year, but…something told Clarke Lexa was never fully ready to open up.

Clarke respected that.

“So…” Clarke drawled out, re-setting the pieces on her side. “Who was winning that last match there? You, or you?”

“Shut up.” Lexa rolled her eyes. “It…relaxes me.”

Clarke let out an amused chuckle. “Your chess is my art.”

Lexa smiled, blinking in surprise. “I’d hardly claim to be that good.”

It was Clarke’s turn to blush heavily, looking away suddenly. “Thanks but…I don’t think the rest of the world shares your sentiments.”

Lexa frowned. “What makes you say that?”

Clarke shrugged sadly, eyes finding a knight on the chessboard to be particularly interesting. “It’s not really…getting me anywhere, you know? I wish…I’d been a pragmatist, like you, and went to business school. At least then I wouldn’t be pathetically relying on my parents…”

Lexa shook her head, cutting her off. “Clarke.” The way she spoke, so sharply and eloquently enunciating the name, gave Clarke chills. “Don’t.” she warned.

“Don’t what?” Clarke sighed, watching her friend, eyes falling to the dust particles between them, illuminated by rays of the afternoon sun, bleeding meticulously into the apartment from the window.

“Don’t doubt yourself.” Lexa spoke in a gentle, even tone. “There’s nothing better than just…taking a chance. I don’t want to say follow your heart, because that’d just be…trite, but…really. What you’re doing is admirable.”

Clarke lifted a brow in surprise.

“You’re doing what you love, without fear of consequence. Without fear of how you’ll appear to others, which….is incredibly cool, by the way.” Lexa murmured teasingly, causing Clarke to mirror her smile. “I guess…I’m trying to say that…. I envy you. You get dreams and smiles and art…while I have pragmatism and boring suits and business calls.”

Clarke let out a light, delicate, breathy little laugh that sent Lexa over the edge.

“Let’s uh…” Lexa cleared her throat, shifting awkwardly. “Let’s play.”

Clarke’s features were wiped, a smirk in their stead. “I’ll have you know; I was in chess club in high school.”

Lexa glanced up, eyes widening in surprise. “Seriously?” She gasped.

Clarke nearly fell over in her self-induced laughter. “No…” She grinned, recovering slowly.

Lexa rolled her eyes and gave Clarke the courtesy of the first move.


 

 

“Oh my god.” Clarke groaned, burying her face in her hands. “Shut up, Lexa.”

Lexa’s telltale smirk was driving Clarke insane from her position just across the table.

“I didn’t say anything, Clarke.” Lexa’s voice was just dripping with humor.

“Yes, you did.” Clarke grumbled. “You and those…incredibly stupid, full lips in that stupid, stupid smirk.”

Lexa feigned a look of hurt, mostly to cover up for her flattered expression.

Clarke was staring at her lips.

“You get injections, right?” Clarke fired off, licking her wounds from a terrible defeat.

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Yes, Clarke, I’m financially struggling to keep my company afloat because I just have to get my lips plumped.” The sarcasm was evident.

“I’d believe it.” Clarke muttered, causing Lexa to blush harder.

Luckily for her, Clarke’s head was still down and buried in her hands, the ultimate expression of shame.

“You’re just…salty because you lost.” Lexa commented wryly, testing out Anya’s proposed vocabulary.

Clarke’s eyes shot up as a grin broke out on her face. “What?” She grinned. “Did you just use the term salty?”

Lexa shook her head, pinching the bridge of her nose in exasperation. She really needed to stop hanging out with Anya. “I…suppose I did.”

“Nice!” Clarke smirked. “You secretly sleeping with Reyes too?”

Lexa shook her head, rising to stretch her legs. Her shirt drifted just above her toned abs, and she missed Clarke completely gaping at her. “I’m afraid not. Seeing as I’m going to be…taken, quite soon.”

Clarke’s voice sounded a bit scratchy. “Um…yeah, yeah.” She nodded slowly. “I…I think I need some water.”

Lexa made her way to the cabinet, reaching for a glass. “You never ask for anything.”

Clarke rubbed her temples as if she had a massive headache. “I… uh…” she couldn’t formulate an answer in time, so she simply snatched the glass and took it to the fridge, filling it.

“Okay….” Lexa muttered to herself, shrugging as she eyed the box Clarke had brought. “What’s all this?”

After several gulps of water, Clarke approached the table, leaning forward. “My memoirs.”

“You write?” Lexa asked in confusion, glancing at the books and binders included in the box.

“No. But my parents are camera freaks. There’s a picture of me for just about every damn seconds of my life up until I moved the hell away.” Clarke replied, annoyed.

Lexa smirked. “Baby pictures of Clarke Griffin? Wow, I must have done something good in my past life to get this kind of reward.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Not so fast, champ. I’ll only be showing you the relevant ones.”

Lexa smiled, sitting back in her chair. “Lead the way…”

Clarke sat beside her, taking in a breath. “Lexa. In the next few months…” Clarke began with a dramatic huff. “We have to convince everyone that we are madly, deeply in love.”

Lexa’s eyes widened, but she said nothing.

“Now, my parents might have worked for the CIA before, I’m not entirely sure…” Clarke sighed.

Lexa stiffened. “What? Really?”

Clarke let out a laugh at Lexa’s response. “No, but damn, the way they interrogate my significant others….They probably should have.”

Lexa gulped audibly, and Clarke smirked. “Oh yeah. This is serious business. Ready to learn every aspect of each other’s lives until we have it down to a science? Since you are a nerd and all…”

Lexa blinked. “Couldn’t we just tell them that we’re a new couple?”

Clarke sighed. “I…I thought about that. Thing is…you want a loan, or an investment. There’s no way in hell my parents would give that to you unless they thought you were committed to me.”

Lexa looked guilty as ever, remorse in her green gaze, but Clarke went on with her charade.

“Second of all- why would I bring someone I wasn’t really serious about to meet my family?” Clarke proposed her thoughts to Lexa fairly. “They would see something wrong from a mile away.”

Lexa nodded, sighing. “I suppose I should trust you.”

Clarke gave her a reassuring smile. “We’re already close, Lex. I know a lot. We just have to…stretch it out. Dig deeper. The juicy stuff.”

Lexa found her throat drying. “Juicy?” She echoed unsurely.

Clarke nodded. “You know…little nuances, things that only couples would know about each other…some…sexy stuff…” Clarke wiggled her eyebrows.

Lexa’s mouth was definitely dry. “Your parents would ask about…. ‘sexy stuff’ ?”

Clarke made a face of disgust. “No, but…my friends probably will, the nosy little shits they are. And remember, we’re selling this to everyone.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “Let’s…cover the basics.”

Clarke leaned back, lacing her hand with Lexa’s.

Lexa’s heart was hammering in her chest for some reason, at the contact with Clarke. Before she could ask what Clarke was doing, Clarke took a breath and then began reciting lines like it was a play she was rehearsing for.

“Oh my god, Clarke, honey…” Clarke’s voice was high pitched and dramatic. “You never told me she was gonna be so beautiful!”

Lexa rolled her eyes, blushing, while Clarke smirked. “Thanks, mom.” She answered her own statement.

Clarke broke character for a moment, facing Lexa. “Now here’s the sucker punch: my mom’s kind of….protective? No, I’ll say it…bitchy. She…she’s gonna be on your ass from the moment we get there till the moment we leave.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Uh…may I ask why?”

Clarke nodded. “She’s always wanted me to get with Bellamy. So does Bellamy’s mom, Mrs. Blake. But…ew.”

“Ew?” Lexa repeated, feeling a tinge of…was that jealousy? No, it couldn’t be. Maybe she just disliked him because of the way Clarke did.

“Ew.” Clarke confirmed, nodding. “He’s like…a brother.”

“Ew.” Lexa commented, chuckling at Clarke’s nod of approval. “So…you’re basically telling me that your mom will hate me?”

Clarke nodded.

“So….what is the purpose of this?” Lexa sighed. “What if I can’t win her over? What if it’s just an exercise in futility?”

Clarke grinned. “Daddy.”

Lexa nearly choked. “Uh,,,what…did you just…call me?”

Clarke’s blush was almost instant. “Oh! God, no! I wasn’t talking about you…I was actually…my dad, I meant my dad.” She clarified.

“Oh…” Lexa fanned herself, wondering why she suddenly felt so hot. That was so unnecessary.

Dammit Lexa, you and your perverted mind.

“My dad…” Clarke cleared her throat, redder than a tomato. “My dad will love you.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “Oh…I see.”

Clarke grinned. “Don’t worry, it’s not like a good-cop bad-cop routine. My dad’s just…genuinely nicer. It’s weird, I know.”

Lexa nodded once more, taking mental notes. “So….” She began. “Mrs. Griffin is the one I need to watch out for. And Mr. Griffin-”

“-Jake.” Clarke interjected.

“Jake?” Lexa quirked a brow. “That’s…rather impolite, isn’t it?”

Clarke’s grin widened. “Oh, he’s going to adore you.”


 

The weeks flitted past Clarke and Lexa, and an entire month of the two they had two practice had ended.

Sunrises and sunsets were accompanied by the sound of their laughter and teasing as they explored every topic about each other.

What Lexa imagined to be difficult and grueling was fun, and light hearted.

What else had she expected from Clarke Griffin? The girl radiated joy and laughter wherever she went. They spoke of almost everything and anything, with intimacy being the one topic they reserved for the last few weeks.

It was their friendship in its finest form.

Lexa had learned so many things about Clarke Griffin, and vice versa.

Clarke had seen Lexa as a rose, budded and closed, with a gorgeous, delicate petal of a layer to peel away at every turn. She watched Lexa blossom, her beautiful characteristics coming to light over the passing weeks’ conversations and late night talks and “rehearsals”.

Neither girl had more fun in years.

Neither one would fully admit it, either. After all, it was supposed to be a strenuous task.

Who wanted to admit they were wrong?

Clarke often spent much of her time, when she wasn’t with Lexa, thinking about their discussions.

They’d discussed Bellamy:

“So that’s what he looks like.” Lexa murmured as Clarke scrolled through his social media account’s pictures.

“Hot stuff, huh?” Clarke teased, watching Lexa frown in disapproval.

“He’s…decent, yes.” Lexa admitted. “You’re sure you’re not interested?”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Lexa, please…you’re breaking my bi little heart over here.”

Lexa shrugged apologetically. “He’s my competition. I have to be somewhat hostile, right?”

Clarke bit her lip to hide a smile. “Competition would imply that he wants me.”

Lexa glanced up. “And?”

Clarke shrugged. “I don’t know that he does.”

She kept scrolling through his pictures, various images of him hiking, surfing…a lot of shirtless photos. It was enough to make any girl swoon.

Clarke was staring at Lexa’s gaze, trying to gauge her thoughts.

“Why wouldn’t he?” Lexa retorted carefully.

“You sound like my mom.” Clarke mumbled, feeling her heart thud at Lexa’s words.

Clarke scrolled to the next photo, an image of him and Octavia on motorcycles, grinning. It was captioned: Miss riding with my baby sis. Can’t wait to see you in a few months, O!

“His sister Octavia is stunning.” Lexa’s response made Clarke drop the phone several inches on to the table, causing Lexa to glance up in surprise.

What the hell was wrong with Clarke?

Clarke looked bashful. “Uh…sorry.” She muttered, grabbing the phone and wiping the screen with the lower end of her flannel shirt.

Lexa nodded in response, eyeing Clarke with curiosity. Did she not like Octavia? She’d been under the impression that Clarke, Octavia, and Raven were the best of friends.

“No, yeah…” Clarke sighed, straightening up. “Octavia’s hot….But, Lexa Woods, do you have wandering eyes already?” She questioned with what was, mostly, a teasing tone.

“My eyes are only for you, dear.” Lexa’s saccharine response earned her a grin from Clarke.

“Dear?” Clarke grinned. “Little old-fashioned.”

Lexa frowned. “Uh…”

“Love.” Clarke murmured.

“Hmm?” Lexa hummed, eyes snapping up to meet Clarke’s.

“My eyes are only for you, love.” The way Clarke murmured it, so well polished and rehearsed, it almost seemed true.

“Oh…” Lexa murmured, nodding. “Okay. Love. I’ll remember that.”

 


 

Clarke remembered talking about Lexa’s family situation:

“Clarke…you should know.” Lexa pressed earnestly. “Really.”

Clarke shook her head, eyeing Lexa from her spot beside her on the couch. “Lexa, this isn’t part of our story. You don’t owe it to me, and you don’t owe it to anyone else. It’s private. I respect that.”

Lexa’s eyes glistened briefly with a tender emotion. When she spoke up, her voice was small. “And…that’s why I want to tell you.”

Clarke’s eyes widened slightly as she nodded. “Okay…whatever makes you comfortable, Lexa.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “I…I didn’t originally grow up, here. I went to school…in California.”

Clarke’ nod was reassuring. “You mentioned living in LA for a while…”

Lexa glanced up in surprise. “You…you remembered that?”

Clarke nodded with a smile. How could she ever forget anything about Lexa?

“Right, well…” Lexa huffed. “I was a foster child. You know that much. I…moved from family to family, I never really knew my biological parents…they passed away, before I ever was old enough to seek them out. Well, that's what they told me, growing up. They don't like to inspire hope. I'm sure they're still around somewhere, forgetting they ever had a child. I had to move on, anyway.”

Clarke couldn’t help it. She was an emotional wreck. Her eyes were already watering, like rainy blue skies turned grey.

Lexa heard a sniffle. She glanced into Clarke’s gaze. “Clarke?” Her voice was tinged with sad humor. “Are you…are you crying?”

Clarke shook her head wordlessly.

“I…” Lexa seemed lost for words.

No one really cared like that before.

“Don’t let me stop you.” Clarke’s mumble was silent, but Lexa heard.

 “I…” Lexa sighed. “There really isn’t much else to say, Clarke. I was a product of the system. I made a few friends along the way…Anya, for example.”

“And that boy…” Clarke murmured sadly. “The one you still skype call.”

“Aden.” Lexa replied with a smile. “He’s…like me.”

Clarke felt guilt ball up in her gut. She was living life in the lap of luxury, and here was Lexa, busting her ass to stay afloat. She felt undeserving. She felt awful.

“And then I…just…kept my head down in high school. I was offered a scholarship to Georgetown…and well, you know the rest.” Lexa finished quietly.

She was surprised, and even let out a gasp, when she was pulled into Clarke’s embrace, warmly and tightly secured.

Words weren’t adequate to describe what they felt.

Silence, in the form of unspoken words and declarations of love and friendship, filled the void between them.


 

And now, Clarke coached her about lighter topics, like the names of their friends, their interests, favorite shows, and the like.

“What’s my favorite TV show?” Clarke grinned, quizzing Lexa as she took a sip of her beer, Lexa doing some sort of yoga-like workout on a mat in the center of her living room, furniture pushed aside.

She couldn’t lie. The view was fantastic.

Lexa was in a sports bra and yoga pants, and she was currently bent over, ass in the air waving temptingly at Clarke.

Her hair was neatly tied behind her, revealing her chiseled facial features.

And she had no idea what she was doing to her.

She’d offered to make room on the mat for Clarke to join her, but Clarke laughed in her face and said she’d rather die than lift a finger to work out again after their morning runs.

Clarke took another sip of the beer Lexa had bought especially for her, and awaited a response.

“That’s a trick question.” Lexa replied coolly, mid-stretch. “You have approximately five or six.”

“Name them.” Clarke challenged.

Lexa rose to a tall position, bending over flexibly, leaning down and stretching her right leg. “You enjoy Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Old Friends re-runs…. amongst other things.” Lexa replied.

Clarke’s eyebrows were raised. “Nice.” She commented wryly.

“You also consume a lot of pornography.” Lexa smirked.

Clarke nearly dropped her drink. “Wh…what? No I don’t!”

Lexa’s gaze bore into Clarke’s. “I could hear it.”

Clarke looked taken aback. “You…. you could?”

Lexa shook her head, smirk widening. “I was bluffing, Clarke.”

Clarke’s jaw nearly dropped. “You learn that in business school or something?”

Lexa grinned. “I had to manipulate people at every stage in my life. Comes in handy.”

Clarke’s eyes widened. “You…you are not as dorky and innocent as you seem.” She wagged her finger in the air accusingly.

Lexa shrugged with a knowing smile, switching to her other leg. “I’m simply…not as forward when it comes to staring at people’s asses.”

She knew, deep inside, there was no way Clarke was into her. But hell, she could learn to play along if it would eventually result in the company’s success.

Clarke reddened, rolling her eyes. Okay, Lexa was really fucking smart.

“What are my favorite shows?” Lexa challenged cockily.

Clarke rolled her eyes once more. “Uh…anything about old dead white guys.”

Lexa tutted. “The history channel has a name, you know.”

Clarke laughed. “Yeah, that. I also know you love Game of Thrones and House of Cards; so don’t even pretend you’re not listening when I watch it.”

Lexa nodded slowly.

“And your favorite animal is the shark, so…. Shark week.” Clarke grinned.

Lexa smirked at her. “I’m impressed.”

“What about Harry Potter?” Clarke tried once more. “What house would I be in?”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “This won’t even come up in discussion.”

Clarke gave her a small smile. “I just want your evaluation.” She admitted.

Lex froze, straightening up as she sat face to face with Clarke. “How do you know I’ve read them?”

Clarke smirked. “I bluffed. I just figured you were a nerd, and you didn’t disappoint.”

Lexa’s features softened. “Reading was a favorite pastime of mine, because you know…used books being cheaper than TV and all that.”

Clarke nodded, heart melting.

She could imagine little Lexa, sprawled under a tree, soft grassy field beneath her as she read while other kids shoved each other around.

She must have smiled at the thought, because Lexa was staring at her confusedly. “What?” She asked gently.

“Nothing.” Clarke shook her head, smiling still. “I read them too. What’s your label for me?”

“Oh.” Lexa bit her lip. “Arrogant…kind of annoying…” she teased.

“The houses, Lexa.” Clarke rolled her eyes, laughing still.

“Slytherin, maybe?” Lexa guessed.

Clarke’s eyes widened. “Do you think I’m evil?”

Lexa laughed. “Slytherin isn’t evil, Clarke. You could be a Gryffindor, though.”

Clarke shrugged, seeming to accept either fate. “As long as I’m in the cool house or the badass house, I’ll survive.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, what was becoming a habit around Clarke. “And let me guess…you think I’m a Ravenclaw? The nerd house?”

Clarke smirked. “Actually…maybe you’re evil too.”

Lexa pouted and Clarke’s smirk widened.

“Maybe little nerdy Lexa Woods is actually a badass.”

Lexa smirked. “About time you realized it.”

They began to banter like a married couple, their practice effectively paying dividends in their ever growing chemistry.


 

 

Clarke was up in the kitchen, drooling over Lexa’s cooking, while Lexa diligently set about working on the pasta.

It was amazing, how terrible Clarke was at cooking.

Once, when she’d been starving, she’d bought a cheap packet of Ramen noodles, the kind you could just pour in a pot and boil for three minutes.

Clarke melted the pot handle, and, in her haste to see what the hell was causing her to scream, Lexa took the painting off the wall that had a hole in it, and peered through.

“Clarke?” She called hesitantly, feeling suddenly very invasive for staring into Clarke’s living room.

“Fire! The plastic! It’s melting!” Clarke’s hurried cries were enough to send Lexa running to her apartment door, which was, as always, unlocked.

“Clarke?” Lexa tried, running into to see Clarke slapping at the fire with a towel, the smell of melting plastic assaulting Lexa’s lungs.

“It’s fine!” Clarke heaved a sigh of relief as the flames died down. “I’m good.”

Lexa quirked a brow, adrenaline still pumping through her. “Are…you? What were you making?”

She expected some sort of elaborate dish, maybe some sort of flambé. Instead, she heard Clarke murmur, “Uh….Ramen?”

Clarke ate dinner with Lexa and slept in her apartment while she aired out her own.

Clarke grinned fondly at the memory, while inhaling the strong scent of basil and tomatoes.

Thank god for the ever competent Lexa Woods.

“That smells….so good.” Clarke commented from over Lexa’s shoulder.

Lexa smirked. “Back off there, Ramen girl. These are real noodles. Can’t have you burning them.”

“Shut up.” Clarke grinned. “You were so worried about me.”

“I was worried that your apartment fire would result in the entire building catching fire.” Lexa defended stubbornly.

“Yeah? That why you stuck your head in the impromptu peephole in the wall?” Clarke smirked, jerking her head in the direction of said wall, which now had the painting back up.

Lexa reddened slightly. “What can I say? I’m nothing, if not heroic.”

“Heroic?” Clarke drawled. “Is that what you tell yourself when you stare at me change?”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “I have done no such thing!”

Clarke grinned. “Whoa, easy, girl. I’m kidding. But maybe you should start…”

Lexa nearly dropped the pot of boiling water she was holding. “Wh…what?”

Clarke smirked. “I mean…we are supposed to be girlfriends, right?”

“Girlfriends, not perverts.” Lexa muttered, cheeks red once more.

“I’m just saying…” Clarke teasingly lifted her shirt, revealing the very hint of toned abs underneath. “You can’t be acting surprised when I’m in a bikini and-“

Lexa bit her lip, hard.

What the hell was wrong with her? She never lost her self-control.

“You’re already getting a free dinner, no need to compensate me for it.” Lexa found herself muttering.

Clarke grinned, dropping the hem of her shirt. “I thought you’d never offer.”


 

They finished dinner with haste, and Lexa spent most of it busying herself with learning about Clarke’s family.

Clarke, ever the gentlewomen, offered to wash the dishes.

When Lexa protested, she rationalized that it water was a much safer element for her to use than fire, apparently.

Lexa’s laugh was a symbol that she was in the clear.

“You know…” Clarke called over the sound of the water pouring over the sauce pot. “I uh…should probably tell you something.”

“Hmm?” Lexa glanced up in concern.

“My family does this really stupid thing…” Clarke sighed, shutting the water off as she took the towel that was draped over her shoulder.

“Where they love you?” Lexa teased.

Clarke bit her lip. “No….it’s just…my birthday always ends up being during the reunion.”

Lexa nodded. “Yes, Clarke, birthdays tend to fall on the same day, every year.”

Clarke threw the towel at her, watching as she caught it with a swift motion. Of course she did. Stupid athletic nerd.

“You know what I mean!” Clarke argued. “What I’m trying to say is…they always end up throwing me a surprise party. But…it’s never really a surprise, because…they do it every time.”

Lexa couldn’t help the grin on her face. This was priceless.

“I know. It’s stupid.” Clarke shrugged, looking sheepish.

“It’s…admirable.” Lexa tried, snickering just a little.

“Just…I’m warning you ahead of time. They might put you in on it or something….Lexa, tell me.” Clarke pleaded. “I hate surprises.”

Lexa faked a gasp. “You mean….lie to you? My fake girlfriend? How could I ever?”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Ha, very funny. Just…a heads up, okay? My family is just…weird.”

Lexa tried not to feel the pang of emptiness whenever Clarke brought up her family.

She’d wished someone had been there to throw her a surprise party she didn’t want.

She, instead, returned to reciting the names from the picture Clarke had handed her.

She tried not to focus on how cute Clarke looked five years ago.

She also tried not to focus on the aching feeling it gave her when she saw the happy, wealthy, closely knit families smiling back as if they had no pain or troubles.

She couldn’t afford to be petty.

She’d agreed to confide in Clarke about the birthday, and moved on.

“Okay so there’s…The Blakes, Jasper and Monty…Raven, of course, and…” Lexa trailed off, staring at the last reunion picture.

“-Murphy, the sadistic little shit.” Clarke quipped.

“Murphy.” Lexa nodded. “Not John?”

“Not unless you’re looking for a black eye.” Clarke grinned, patting the spot beside her on the couch.

“As if.” Lexa muttered.

“You could…probably take him.” Clarke mumbled.

“You think so?” Lexa retorted in surprise.

“Uh…yeah. Have you seen yourself….?” Clarke motioned to the episode of Game of Thrones she’d been watching while Lexa studied her friends.

Lexa blushed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Clarke smirked. “Fishing for compliments, are we?”

Lexa frowned. “I wasn’t-”

“Lucky for you, my love, I’ll bite.” Clarke grinned, turning to face her.

Lexa was still unused to the new nickname. It made something in her stomach churn, and it made her heart beat a little too fast.

“You…” Clarke began with a deep breath, “are, and hear my theory out here….a secret badass.”

Lexa’s eyebrows shot up. “This is quite a change from nerd. Care to elaborate?”

“I will.” Clarke nodded. “Okay, if we’re talking about looks…Well, if looks could kill, I’d be dead.”

“Be still my heart.” Lexa rolled her eyes, trying to cover for the embarrassment and pleasant feeling it gave her.

“No, seriously…” Clarke motioned to the Targaryen princess, the one she always drooled over. “You’re like…at her level. But better. I feel like you can kick major ass.”

Lexa smirked. “Danerys Targaryen?”

Clarke nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah but…You could totally fit into that show. Some, I don’t know…war paint? A few swords? Commander Lexa could be a real thing.”

Lexa chuckled, shaking her head. “That’s very flattering. Somehow…I peg you as the protagonist, though?”

Clarke smirked. “I love taking charge.”

Lexa paled suddenly, her heart thumping.

Clarke had a tendency to slip little innuendos into her conversations, and it drove Lexa crazy. Was she doing it purposefully? Did she know what effect it had on Lexa? Was she testing the waters for their big talk? Was she supposed to say anything about that?

“I…I think we should have the talk.”

“Hmm?” Clarke hummed, turning towards Lexa. “What talk?”

“The sex talk.”

Chapter Text

It wasn’t really shocking. It was supposed to be inevitable, right? Like the sun would rise the following morning, and Clarke would forget to lock her damn apartment door.

The sex talk was inevitable.

“I…I think we should have the talk.”

The initial shock wasn’t as bad.

“Hmm?” Clarke hummed, turning towards Lexa. “What talk?”

“The sex talk.”

Lexa’s lips were numb when she uttered the words, as if they were taboo, like a child in primary school. She twiddled her thumbs like a reproached schoolchild.

Clarke’s eyes widened and she paused the show, eyes freezing when she noticed it happened to be in the middle of one of Game of Throne’s many risqué sex scenes.

“Well…that’s fitting.” Clarke muttered as she promptly shut the screen off, not missing Lexa’s reddened cheeks.

Clarke then turned to her, legs dangling off the couch, as she and Lexa were just inches apart.

“Lexa…listen very carefully.” Clarke spoke, and Lexa’s eyes were fixated on the lips that had just uttered the command, as she found herself licking her own.

Lexa nodded just a bit, a signal that she understood.

“Well, Lexa…” Clarke sighed. “When two people love each other very very much…” Clarke smirked, doing her best impression of an elementary school teacher trying to describe intercourse to her students.

Lexa smacked Clarke on the arm, eyes narrowing in response as a hidden smile graced her full lips.

“Ow!” Clarke rubbed her arm, frowning. “What was that for?”

“I know what sex is, Clarke.” Lexa rolled her eyes. “I meant…what about…our sex? How do we…” Lexa was fumbling for the correct terminology, and Clarke was enjoying every damn second.

Clarke’s smirk returned. “I like to think you’re a top, but-”

Another slap on the arm.

“Christ, Clarke…” Lexa bit her lip in embarrassment. “Not what I meant.”

Clarke sighed, smiling still. “Okay, okay. I couldn’t resist.”

Lexa cocked her head to the side. “I…what’s our stance on it? And …public displays of affection in general?”

Clarke grinned. “Pro-sex, obviously.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, rising. “If you’re not going to take this seriously…”

“Lexa, wait! I’m sorry.” Clarke’s apology wasn’t enough to stop her.

Clarke pulled her back down, perhaps with a bit too much force, as Lexa fell backwards into Clarke’s lap.

Both girls froze, hearts hammering, chests rising and falling particularly quickly.

“See?” Clarke breathed. “Top.”

Lexa immediately blushed at feeling Clarke’s breath on her exposed neck.  

“So…we’re…comfortable with it?” Lexa asked meekly.

Clarke cocked a brow. “What’s got you so worked up about this? You’re never this…jumpy.”

Lexa’s rebuttal was fair. “You said that your friends would ask this kind of stuff.”

Clarke smirked. “Oh yeah. That’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.”

“So, we need to get our story straight.” Lexa cleared her throat. “Like…our intimate story.”

Lexa blinked in the moment of silence, realizing what she’d said was, perhaps, not specific enough. “You know…” she added. “To, erm…determine how our dynamic will be.”

“Right, right.” Clarke nodded, blowing out a breath. She wasn’t exactly sure how to proceed. “So you mean… Like…what are our roles?”

Lexa choked a little on her own spit. “That’s…maybe a bit specific. Just…in general…what are we like? What is our relationship like?” She began to sound frantic. “God, if they found out we never slept together, it’ll ruin everything I worked for and memorized, and…Clarke, we need this, I can’t-”

“Lexa!” Clarke’s eyes widened. “Whoa, slow down!”

Lexa took a breath, reddening. “Sorry, I…uh…I panicked.”

Clarke nodded, smiling amusedly. “I’m good at this stuff.”

Lexa raised a sculpted brow. “How does one become good at ‘this stuff’…?”

“Just…follow my lead.” Clarke announced, facing her fully once more.

Everything was silent. The hum of the television was gone, the neighbors eerily quiet, and the street traffic dimmed to a minimum.

The evening light, combined with a few of Lexa’s scented candles, created a tangible peace between the two.

Lexa could hear Clarke’s deep breaths, and tried to conceal her own shallow attempts at getting sufficient oxygen.

She hated how Clarke did that to her.

She felt like a lame nerd who’d fallen hopelessly for the cheerleading queen in high school.

Except Lexa Woods didn’t fall for anyone.

“So, we need to discover our dynamic.” Clarke clapped her hands together, Lexa’s attention snapping back.

“No big deal, we’re already close, right?” Clarke added.

Lexa nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat.

“So…let’s just….” Clarke shrugged. “Maybe I’ll try a few signature moves…”

Lexa raised a brow. “Signature moves? What is this, a slam dunk contest?”

Clarke smirked. “It’s only a slam dunk if we go all the way, babe.”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Clarke, are you sure you’re not a secret frat boy?”

Clarke let out an amused chuckle, and Lexa mirrored her grin. “Sorry, couldn’t resist.”

“I seriously don’t understand how you expect to...OH, hmmm…. Clarke…” Lexa was cut off mid-sentence by the tiniest of surprised whimpers, Clarke pulling her over her waist, so that Lexa was facing her, knees on either side of Clarke.

“What are you-”

“Shh…” Clarke hushed her. “Relax. I’m getting a feel for you.”

Lexa’s eyes widened as Clarke’s hand supported her, while the other traced the ghosts of patterns on her thigh.

And Lexa was reacting.

Lexa was turned on by her best friend touching her.

God, this was so perverse and wrong.

And right.

The evening air wasn’t causing the chills that were raised on Lexa’s exposed skin as she struggled to keep herself together.

“Your hands.” Clarke murmured. It wasn’t demanding, it was just…right.  “My hair.”

“I…what?” Lexa balked.

“Tangle your hands in my hair…” Clarke repeated softly, and her blue eyes bore into Lexa’s virid gaze, both challenging her and telling her to let herself go simultaneously.

Lexa released long, slender fingers into Clarke’s blonde locks, fighting off a sound at the base of her throat.

What the hell was happening?

She’d only had dreams like this, maybe once or twice.

Clarke leaned forward, her grasp on Lexa tightening as she breathed along Lexa’s neck.

Lexa’s chills intensified.

Clarke’s lips were just centimeters away from Lexa’s.

Lexa closed her eyes, her mouth parting slightly, inviting Clarke to taste her, to connect them fully.

It was going to happen. She’d thought about it and fixated on it for so long, and now it was going to be a reality and she wasn’t sure how to react.

She swore she felt Clarke brush against her lips just the absolute tiniest bit, but when she opened her eyes, they were distanced from her own.

“So…” Clarke shrugged awkwardly. “I mean…That felt okay to me.”

“Um…” Lexa breathed. “Yeah.”

“Of course, if we kiss there, we’ll actually…do it.” Clarke muttered as Lexa slid off her numbly.

“Yes.” Lexa nodded slowly, turning to Clarke. “Are you…exhausted? I’m exhausted. I think I should…retire, for the evening.”

Clarke raised a brow. “Really? It’s 7:45.”

Lexa blushed as she glanced at the clock.

 Oh.

“Right…” Lexa nodded. “I think I’ll just…take a bath? I don’t know, Clarke, work has me stressed.” She rose promptly.

Clarke nodded, eyebrows furrowed. “You want a back massage or something? I’m told I’m great with my hands…”

Lexa’s eyes widened as she immediately thought of terribly obscene scenarios. “Oh, I um…No, thank you, my…I…I’ll be good.”

Clarke watched her disappear into her bedroom wordlessly. What an odd one Lexa was.

“Night, Lex!” Clarke called after her, eyeing the remote. Lexa had HBO, and she had to finish that episode.

 Besides, she couldn’t go back to her apartment. She’d just replay the almost-kiss over and over again, and how much Lexa…didn’t want it.

“Goodnight, Clarke.” She heard Lexa sigh from the other side of the wall.

Neither of the two girls slept particularly well, their dreams plagued by each other.


 

The following day, Clarke made herself scarce by taking a trip to the local art gallery, hoping to perhaps find some peace of mind.

Instead, she found perhaps a little too much peace of mind.

Clarke had never been more bored in her life.

People passed in and out in awe of the works displayed before them, some of them even people Clarke had considered “hot regulars” in the past.

There was that blonde she’d been eyeing for at least a year. And that guy who always came with his lame artsy girlfriend. He’d been the highlight of Clarke’s day at one point.

And now, it all meant nothing.

The worst part was, she knew why. She’d just had an adrenaline inducing, full on nearly sexual encounter with Lexa Woods.

 It made her heart hammer and her palms sweat just thinking about it.

She’d tried to play it off by acting cool and collected, but that was hardly it.

How could she be?

Clarke had never felt like this in her life.

And even there, amongst the champagne and chatter of wealthy patrons and great masterpieces, Clarke felt hollow inside.

So she succumbed to the temptations of her generation and pulled out her cell phone, leaning against the wall on the quieter side of the gallery, near her favorite work by a local artist like herself.

Clarke’s thumbs twitched in anticipation as they embarked on a familiar game of “will they won’t they?”.

They did.

Pulling up Lexa’s contact in her phone, neatly organized and labeled, “Nerd” with a red heart next to it, Clarke decided to try and mend their awkward encounter.

God knows it had seared her mind long enough.

Dork (4:15 PM): Hey.

Dork: Srry I missed our run today.

At first, there was nothing. No response, no lighting of her screen, no tri-tone warning of relief.

And then, after several minutes, the gods took pity on Clarke Griffin.

Nerd: Well, I don’t blame you. I’m pretty sure I heard you cussing out Cersei Lannister in the wee hours of the morning.

Clarke snorted at her screen. She had done that.

Dork: Wait u were up?

Clarke sniggered to herself, knowing full well that Lexa had an aversion to texting grammar.

Nerd: …

Nerd:

Clarke reddened, realizing she’d probably just realized that she relayed that information unwillingly.

She decided to save Lexa the pain of having to explain herself.

Dork: I hope I’m not interrupting ur work schedule or anything

The answer came quickly, this time.

Nerd: Of course not, Clarke. I wouldn’t respond if I couldn’t.

Clarke heaved a sigh of relief.

Okay, so…last night was a bit awkward. Sure, the pasta and the wine Lexa had so maturely paired it with was fantastically numbing.

And yes, maybe she did almost make out with her best friend. For practice reasons.

Okay, so it was…less than ideal.

But Clarke Griffin was never one to back away from a challenge, and she certainly wasn’t going to let the awkwardness between them get to her. Especially seeing as they had only a few days before the big reunion.

She figured she had to mend the bridge before it broke off completely, into the raging waters of shame below.

Dork: Dinner at my place @ 7?

Nerd: Aren’t we past the “asking out” phase?

Clarke rolled her eyes. How was she like that even over text?

Fine, Clarke could be grammatically correct if she had to play Lexa’s game. Texting lingo didn’t do her sass the justice it deserved.

Dork: You can’t lie about having plans, by the way. I’ll just look through the hole in the wall and spy on you.

Nerd: …how romantic.

Dork: ;)

Nerd: I’m assuming you’ll be ordering pizza.

Dork: …yes.

Nerd: …fine. 7 it is.

 


 

Lexa’s senses were greeted by the kind, warm, inviting aromas coming from Clarke’s kitchen.

Lexa pushed the door closed behind her, making sure to make some noise to signify that she’d arrived, since Clarke never bothered to lock her doors anyway.

The apartment was bathed in the fleeting light of the golden, setting sun, and Clarke looked remarkable.

She was wearing a light blue summer-dress that brought out her eyes.

That was the first thing Lexa noticed, besides her freely flowing golden hair, trailing behind her as she turned to greet Lexa.

And for once, Lexa Woods was oddly breathless.

It was the good kind of breathless, the one that made her lungs burn, dying for some sort of relief, and yet, she enjoyed every second of the pain.

Clarke had gone all out.

Flowers were on the center of her (cleaned) kitchen table, and the apartment was neater than Lexa had maybe ever seen it.

And there was a single, aromatic candle in the middle of the table, separating the two place setting from each other.

This was impressive.

(Lexa was often called the “candle hoe” by Clarke, and while she knew that aromatics didn’t go with meals, because come on that was an amateur move, she adored Clarke for trying.)

“Lexa!” Clarke turned from her spot, cutting what appeared to be vegetables from the kitchen counter.

“Clarke.” Lexa nodded, mouth feeling dry. She glanced down, cursing herself for coming straight from the office, in just a business suit.

She must’ve looked quite the idiot.

“This isn’t pizza.” Lexa’s wry comment was completely not what she’d intended to say. But Clarke did that to her. She didn’t know how to function properly.

“It’s not.” Clarke grinned. 

Lexa’s eyes widened as she stiffened. “I…was under the impression you couldn’t cook?”

Had she spent endless nights making Clarke dinner for nothing? Not that it particularly bothered her, but if she didn’t know that simple fact, what else didn’t she know about Clarke? What if her parents could detect their freshly hatched lies from the start?

“Lex.” Clarke grinned, nodding towards the trashcan in the corner.

Lexa stepped over, eyeing the trashcan and then rolling her eyes.

Clarke had pulled, what she so eloquently called, “Take-out and fake-out.”

“All this for me?” Lexa teased mildly.

“This…” Clarke motioned to the pots. “-is not just any old dinner.”

Lexa cocked a brow. “Oh?”

Clarke smirked. “It’s our first date.”

Lexa’s heart suddenly took off at full speed, and she toyed with the watch around her wrist. “Uh…” she began unsurely. “It is?”

Clarke turned off the low heat, turning to Lexa, nodding enthusiastically. “That way, if anyone asks us about it, we can…kind of give them an honest answer.”

Lexa nodded slowly in understanding, trying to fight off how nervous she felt, how the dynamic suddenly changed. “That’s…smart.”

Clarke smiled, coming to envelop her into a greeting hug, since she’d been occupied when Lexa had first entered.

She took a step back, running her hands along the lapel of Lexa’s suit coat, smiling softly to herself. “You look perfect, Lexa.”

Lexa tried not to shiver under Clarke’s touch.

She was definitely just imagining things now.

Clarke had always been a bit feely, and Lexa knew that.

So why did this feel so damn different? So electrically charged and unbelievably good?

Lexa’s voice was raspy, as her throat had gone dry. “I…uh…thank you, Clarke. You look…beautiful as well.” She murmured.

Clarke smiled, and Lexa failed to notice the reddening of her cheeks as she turned to grab Lexa a wine glass.

“What’ll you drink?” Clarke called from over her shoulder.

“Clarke, I shouldn’t.” Lexa warned gently.

“Oh, could you drop your ‘I’m Alexandria Woods and I’m a health nut’ act for like five minutes?” Clarke teased, ignoring her request.

Lexa couldn’t fight the amused smile on her lips. “Fine. I’d like whatever my host is having.”

It wasn’t entirely the health thing. It was also the fact that Lexa feared what she might say under the influence of Clarke, let alone any other substance.

Clarke smirked, turning with the bottle in hand. “This was a gift from daddy dearest when one of my pieces was chosen for display at the local gallery.”

Lexa glanced up in surprise. “You’d use that on…this occasion?”

Clarke smiled genuinely. “I think you’re worth it.”

Lexa felt a sudden heat envelop her, a warmth so tender and sincere that she felt overwhelmed.

“We are besties, after all.” Clarke added, motioning towards the table. “Sit.”

Lexa took a seat at the table, emerald eyes lit up by the flame from the candle.

Clarke worked on bringing the food to her plate, generously loading everything on.

It smelled fantastic, and Lexa licked her lips.

Clarke raised her glass, and Lexa mirrored her, her virid gaze finding Clarke’s blues in seconds.

“Uh…” Clarke cleared her throat, voice a little raspy. “To us.”

Lexa smiled gently, and clinked her glass against Clarke’s, tossing the wine back with mild enthusiasm.

Lexa waited for Clarke before digging in, and immediately let out an ungodly moan when the food touched her lips.

Clarke’s eyebrows shot up. “Vocal. Noted.”

Lexa blushed deeply, setting her fork down for a moment. “This is our first date, Clarke. None of that….nonsense.”

Clarke chuckled. “Well, I suppose we should talk about…first date stuff.” She shrugged. “What is it people talk about on first dates, again?”

Lexa looked thoughtful. “We seem to have all those bases covered. I know what you do, who you are, where you work…”

Clarke chimed in, “I know you’re a workaholic, and workout-aholic, and you’re anal about….everything.” She spoke cheekily.

Lexa choked on her wine, shaking her head. “That’s charming.” She muttered.

“Oh but it’s so endearing.” Clarke pressed on, her voice coming to a gentle murmur. “I think it’s amazing how passionate you are, and how you’re so well-read and formal and just…perfect.”

Lexa froze, an odd silence enveloping the two.

“Your…friends would buy that.” Lexa spoke hazily. “That was…good.”

“My friends?” Clarke repeated unsurely, as if she hadn’t been thinking about their evaluations at all.

As if it’d been real.

“Oh, yeah!” Clarke nodded, snapping out of her trance. “Sure, sure.”

Lexa eyed her food, digging back in to avoid any more awkward bouts of motionless behavior.

Why did she have to be so awkward around Clarke?

“So…” Clarke breathed out. “Do you…play…any instruments?”

Lexa nodded. “The piano.”

Clarke nearly choked on her food. “You…what?”

“You asked…” Lexa defended wryly, unsure why her cheeks were burning at Clarke’s intense reaction.

“You don’t…I was….I was making awkward first date conversation! I didn’t think you actually knew how to play!” Clarke recovered. “That’s amazing!”

Lexa smiled gratefully. “I…dabble in a few genres. Classical, mainly.”

Clarke looked confused for a moment, but smiled nonetheless.

“Clarke.” Lexa drawled patiently. “That’s your confused face.”

Clarke snapped to attention, trying to alter her facial expression. “My what?”

“Your confused face.” Lexa murmured. “You get that look when we’re watching House of Cards and they start bringing in political terms.”

Clarke glanced away bashfully. Lexa was watching her face during their Netflix marathons?

“Oh.” Clarke nodded slowly, twirling her fork aimlessly. “I guess…I guess I was just wondering how you…had time to…learn the piano if you were…fostered…and moving a lot.... I don’t know, Lex, it’s a stupid question.”

Lexa’s features softened at Clarke’s embarrassed behavior. “Clarke, it’s okay…”

“No, Lexa.” Clarke defended softly. “I know that it’s none of my business… I mean, we’re not really dating and I wouldn’t-”

“Clarke.” Lexa cut her off, putting a hand over hers across the table, feeling that intoxicating electric spark once more at her touch. “We’re best friends. It’s alright, really.”

Clarke nodded slowly, swallowing. “I just…I hate to think of you like that, you know?”

“Like what, Clarke?” Lexa asked softly.

“Like…like you were some charity case who needed help, or something pitiful…because I know you aren’t. I know you’re better than me, and everyone else I know, and…I know that your past shaped you into the amazing woman you are today, but…I…I can’t help but feel sorry for little Lexa who moved from house to house…” Clarke let out a breath, her hand shaky.

Lexa blinked back tears that threatened to fall.

No one had ever cared like that.

Not a single damn person in Lexa’s existence.

And then came Clarke Griffin.

She didn’t need these feelings. She wasn’t even sure she wanted them.

It was as if her body was a mess of jumbled signals that she couldn’t rationalize, and they overwhelmed her, consumed her.

It was as if her brain told her one thing, while her heart had a mind of its own.

And god, she knew which one she wanted to listen to.

“I…” Lexa found it hard to speak, to verbalize her feelings, or anything at all in that moment. “Clarke, thank you. I….”

Clarke’s apartment door swung open, and Lexa’s eyes widened as her grip around Clarke tightened.

“Hey hey!” Raven called as she entered the apartment, yanking off her leather jacket. “Clarke, you’re not gonna believe-” Raven stopped dead in her tracks, jaw agape as she took in the two girls fighting off tears, fingers interlaced over the table. “-What the fuck?”

Anya followed in, nearly bumping into Raven’s back when she stopped suddenly. “Uh…” she began unsurely.

Lexa narrowed her eyes, and Clarke’s cheeks were at an all new shade of red as she detached from Lexa, rising.

“Is…this…what I think it is?” Raven smirked.

Lexa rose from her seat as well, folding her arms. “Did you two come together?” She fired back.

Raven and Anya wheeled around, both stuttering messes.

“Uh…”

“Erm…”

“Yes…?”

“No!”

“Well, we saw each other in the park…”

“Yeah, the park!”

Anya slapped Raven’s arm. “I…was going to say the parking lot.” She cleared her throat, eyes challenging Lexa to bring it up again.

Clarke stared at Raven, who looked mortified.

“Anyway….” Clarke sighed, running a hand through her hair. “What brings you here?”

Raven clapped her hands together, yanking Lexa’s bowl of food from her hands. “…Food.” She began. “Mmm…” she moaned. “Shit, Griff, this is good! You stopped burning Ramen and learned to cook!”

Anya looked mildly interested. “You burn Ramen, Griffin?”

Clarke grumbled something unintelligible and shrugged it off.

Lexa rolled her eyes, carrying her dishes to the sink. “Anya? What about you? Since, apparently, you’re not here together.”

Anya smirked. “Funny you should ask, Lexa.”

Lexa took a step back, glancing up in surprise.

Raven turned to Anya and when she nodded, continued. “Look…” She put an arm around Clarke, and another around Lexa, awkwardly yanking them together. “Since Anya and I are the only two in on your little…act…. We figured it’d be beneficial for us to see the show…in person.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Is this you asking to watch Lexa and I sleep together?”

Lexa dropped the dish she’d been holding and it landed a few inches lower in the sink with a dull thud. Her eyes widened as she quickly glanced away at Clarke’s mention of getting intimate.

Raven let out a low whistle. “Wow. She gets that jumpy just talking about sex? That’s gonna put a dent in our plans.”

Clarke pinched the bridge of her nose in exasperation, much like Lexa did. “No, she doesn’t…could you maybe butt out, Ray?”

Anya shook her head. “Maybe Reyes has a point.”

“Yeah, you would think that.” Lexa grumbled.

Anya rolled her eyes. “You two need to make sure you’re on the same page, or, come Monday…You’re going to be screwed.”

Clarke sighed, pulling Lexa away from the sink, as if telling her not to bother washing the dishes. “Alright, we’re listening.”

Lexa grumbled, then. “We are?”

“Yes, Lex…” Clarke sighed. “If it’ll help our case….”

Anya clapped her hands together. “Good. Sit.” She motioned to Clarke’s couch.

Lexa looked at Clarke wearily, but her best friend shrugged it off, sitting opposite her in a love chair.

Raven was smirking when she emerged from Clarke’s room, carrying a pad of paper and a pens.

“What is this, an exam?” Lexa snorted, earning a grin from Clarke.

Raven grinned. “Yup. I’m keeping score.”


 

“Okay, lovebirds…” Raven announced, watching Anya as she amusedly sat beside Clarke, eyeing her currently blank paper. “Here’s how this works: I ask a question, such as….I don’t know…what is Clarke’s favorite band? Clarke has to write it down before you answer, and hide it from you. You have to take turns guessing, and if you cheat, Clarke….I’ll tell everyone you sleep with a stuffed unicorn named Rainbow. You ready?”

“I think it’s cute.” Lexa teased, earning a glare from Clarke.

“Okay, first question…” Raven looked like she was improvising. “Clarke’s favorite food.”

Lexa snorted with laughter as she triumphantly grinned, watching Clarke deftly write in an answer.

“Lexa.” Raven smirked. “What’s your answer?”

“Pizza.” Lexa grinned, watching as Clarke bashfully nodded, flipping the paper over to show that she wasn’t lying.

“Okay, everyone knows that.” Raven smirked. “Let’s ramp up the heat, shall we?”

Lexa smirked. “Bring it on, Reyes.”

“Okay, sure….” Raven drawled. “Favorite TV show?”

 Lexa was delighted to remember their conversation from the days prior. “That’s a trick question. She has many.” And began to list them all.

Raven glanced at Anya, impressed. “Wow. Okay….are you sure you’re not sleeping together?”

Lexa’s eyes widened a little, as did Clarke’s, and Anya had her answer.

The questions rolled on and on from there. Both girls took turns answering confidently, using their year plus of knowledge of each other as a foolproof database.

“Favorite movies?”

“Lexa loves documentaries. She also likes The Lord of The Rings series.” Clarke smirked.

Lexa took her shot. “Clarke loves crass humor. Mean Girls is her favorite film to quote.”

Correct again.

“Hobbies?”

“Being anal about work.” Clarke snickered to herself, earning a glare from Lexa. “I…uh…I mean reading…”

“Clarke enjoys wasting away in front of the television.”

“Games?”

“Clarke enjoys poker, and robbing people by cheating.” That sounded as if it had a story to accompany it.

“Lexa loves Chess.” Clarke smirked.

Lexa had to admit, Clarke had come a long way in breaking down her barriers.

“Sports?”

“Everything. My god, what doesn’t she do?” Clarke grumbled.

Lexa blushed.

“No flirting, Griffin.” Raven commanded, and they both rolled their eyes.

“Clarke enjoys watching basketball, but playing soccer.” Lexa commented cockily.

“Weaknesses?”

“Me.” Clarke fluttered her eyelashes, earning an embarrassed look from Lexa.

“Locked doors, since she’d apparently leap balconies rather than waiting a few seconds.” Lexa smirked as Clarke reddened this time.

“Actors?”

They both fired this off at the same time: “Olivia Wilde!”

Anya smirked. “You two are so…gay.”

“Hometown?”

“Los Angeles.” Clarke smirked.

Lexa repeated it with a competitive grin.

They were crushing this.

“Best friends?”

They named each other for that one, earning mock puking sounds from Raven and Anya, who had, little by little, sidled closer and closer to each other throughout the evening.

Clarke had to play stupid to pretend she hadn’t noticed, and Lexa didn’t seem to care about anything other than Clarke.

“Well…of the….seventy-ish questions I just tore through here…You got them all right.” Raven grumbled with a furrowed brow. “But…uh…something is missing here.”

“What?” Lexa shot out of her seat defensively, missing Clarke’s amused smile. “How do you figure that, mechanic? Isn’t your math supposed to be superior to most?”

Raven grinned at her competitive edge. “Easy, commander.”

Anya shared her smile, and it drove Clarke and Lexa nuts. “We’re talking about chemistry.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Chemistry? No, this is basic addition…”

Anya rolled her eyes, and Clarke barked out a laugh. “Not that chemistry, genius. I mean…Couple’s chemistry. Your…sexual tension…”

Lexa stiffened, freezing as Clarke had gotten up to wash the dishes, now frozen next to her as well.

“It’s uh…” Raven chortled. “Not your forte.”

Clarke’s eyes narrowed. “Hey! What the hell does that mean?”

Anya smirked, “It means we can’t see you as a couple. You don’t…show it. You’re too stiff, together. It doesn’t work.”

Lexa folded her arms over her chest. “I think that’s an unfair assumption.”

“Yeah!” Clarke chimed in childishly, defensively. “We can be hot if we want to.”

Raven smirked. “Yeah? Prove it.”

Clarke balked. “Uh…what?”

Anya pressed on with Raven, knowing what her angle was. “Yeah, you two. Prove it. Kiss each other.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “I wouldn’t…no…I wouldn’t take advantage of the situation…”

“What’s the matter, Lex?” Anya smirked. “Don’t find Clarke attractive?”

Lexa blew out a frustrated breath. “Of course I find her…attractive…I just…This is wrong.”

Clarke turned to Lexa. “Lex, it’s fine.” She shrugged nonchalantly.

Lexa’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “It is?” She almost whispered.

Raven and Anya were like hungry wolves, staring down their prey.

Clarke initiated it, at first. She leaned forward, cupping Lexa’s cheeks as she closed her eyes.

Lexa’s heart was hammering, and it was all she could hear, as she closed her eyes too.

And then Clarke’s lips captured hers, and she found her hands going to Clarke’s waist, pulling her flush against her body as Clarke ever so silently let out a surprised whimper into her mouth.

And then the heavens shone down on Lexa and she could taste the wine on Clarke’s soft lips, and the tiny edge of Clarke’s teeth as she pulled on Lexa’s bottom lip suggestively.

Lexa’s hands slid down Clarke’s waist sensually and everything else was forgotten.

No Raven.

No Anya.

No Work.

No Reunion.

Just the taste of Clarke, soft and tender and whimpering beneath her, and she felt an urge inside her to take control, to show Clarke that she was unafraid of dominance.

She almost growled against Clarke’s lips, biting back as she ran her tongue across Clarke’s bottom lip, teasing and soothing where she’d just nipped.

She was rewarded with a yelp of surprise from Clarke, which settled into its own moan.

Nerd no more.

And her heart stopped beating, and she couldn’t hear Anya and Lexa smirking and wolf whistling, and everything was Clarke Griffin, who was like a fine wine on her swollen, full lips.

Clarke hated the need to breathe, the dull, fiery ache in her lungs as she pulled away.

And that was the best part.

The kiss itself was searing, otherworldly, inexplicably delicious and good. But the moment after, where Clarke’s swollen lips grazed against her own, their foreheads touching as they shared a breath of air. That was the part that was going to haunt both Clarke and Lexa for days and days after.

They finally broke apart, and Clarke half expected to find the sun rising outside her window, as time was no concept when she was on Lexa’s lips like that.

Lexa couldn’t feel her legs, they went numb and helpless.

Clarke’s chest was heaving for air, and for more.

Instead, she found Raven and Anya who both looked stunned into silence, staring at them with wide eyes.

“You two sure can act.” Raven mumbled as she tried to close her jaw.


 

Lexa had bid a hasty farewell, Anya practically tugging her out of the apartment to share a few prompt words with her while Clarke was left mostly speechless and rather awkward for the rest of the evening.

Her lips burned.

Her skin tingled where Lexa’s hands had grazed her.

She was a woman possessed.

And Raven knew it, staring at her with her arms crossed as Clarke finished the dishes that needed to be washed hours ago.

Raven propped open her balcony door so that a cool breeze could sweep in and kiss Clarke’s reddened cheeks as she scrubbed away senselessly at pots and pans that were long clean.

“So….” Raven drawled. “We’re not gonna talk about it?”

“No.”

“But, Clarke….”

“What’s there to talk about?” Clarke turned, snapping her gloves off with attitude.

Raven looked exasperated. “Plenty, Griffin. Don’t be a bitch.”

Clarke winced, shaking her head. “Okay, sorry.” She took her dish towel off her shoulder and laid it onto the counter. “You wanna talk? Talk.”

“So…” Raven let out another low whistle. “That was…uh…something else.”

“Yeah.” Clarke shrugged. “I’ve had better though.”

Raven rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Griffin.”

“I…Yeah, whatever it was good.” Clarke nodded. “So?”

“That means you have chemistry.” Raven prodded.

“Which will be good for our lie.” Clarke emphasized the last part with a shake of her head.

“But-”

“Ray.” Clarke bit her lip. “This…I can’t afford to complicate things.”

“But you’re so into her.” Raven gushed finally. “I can see it from miles away. Hell, I could probably smell it…”

Clarke made a face of disgust. “Eww…”

Raven shrugged nonchalantly. “So…You’re saying you’re not into her?”

“No.”

“Not even a little?”

“Absolutely not.”

“But you admitted you find her attractive.”

“Well…I have eyes, Ray.” Clarke sighed.

“That was some kiss.” Raven tried again.

“Fuck!” Clarke wheeled around. “Okay, yes, it was everything I dreamed of and more! But you know what? Ray, she’s out of my league, okay?”

Raven’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped. “Come again, Griff? I couldn’t hear that quite right.”

Clarke frowned and folded her arms over her chest. “You heard me.”

“You? The social cheerleader Queen Bitch?” Raven sneered. “You’re saying she’s out of your league?”

Clarke shifted uncomfortably. “Yeah. She…she’s not into me, okay?”

Raven cocked a brow. “Based on what evidence? Cause I just saw a kiss that says otherwise…”

Clarke shook her head. “She’s…a good kisser. That’s it.”

“Clarke! You’re the popular one! She’s the awkwardly uptight business nerd….” Raven shrugged.

“Hey don’t call her that.”

“You do.”

“We’re best friends.”

“You sure that’s it?”

“For fucks sake, Raven, yes!” Clarke sighed, leaning back against the counter. “What about you and Wick, huh?”

Raven flashed Clarke a defensive look. “What about him?”

“Where’s he been?” Clarke shrugged, tossing Raven a drink from the fridge.

“He’s fine. We’re fine.” Raven mumbled.

“Ray…”

“Clarke…” Raven bit her lip. “Please. I get enough of this from his family, from mine…I just….I don’t want to talk about him, alright?”

“What about Anya?” Clarke queried gently, nodding her support.

“What about Anya?” Raven mocked. “Nothing there, Griff.”

“Right.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “Same way there’s nothing between Lexa and me?”

“I knew it!” Raven leapt off her seat.

Clarke smiled amusedly and shook her head at her friend’s antics. “Not another word, Ray.”


 

“Anya, keep your voice down, they’re next door!” Lexa hissed.

Anya let out a smirk, sprawled lazily on Lexa’s couch. “Someone’s still hot and bothered.”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Shut up, Anya. I’m not.”

Anya sat up, patting the spot next to her. “How long have you and Griffin been friends?”

“A year.” Lexa shrugged, biting her lip anxiously.

An Anya interrogation was always trouble.

Her mind flew to Clarke, and she hoped that Raven was posing less of a threat.

“Right…” Anya smirked. “And how long have you been eye-fucking like that?”

“Anya!” Lexa snapped. “Stop.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re full of shit.”

“Oh, angry Lex, coming out to play.” Anya grinned. “I like any girl that brings out that fire in you.”

“You must love yourself.” Lexa quipped.

“I do.” Anya nodded, smiling. “But that’s not what’s up for debate here. It’s actually that…hell of a kiss…. with Griffin.”

Lexa shrugged. “So we’re both good kissers? Is there a point tot this inquisition, Anya? I have to sleep soon.”

“Whoa, hold up there kiddo.” Anya tugged her back. “I’ve kissed Griffin, and she didn’t react like that.”

Lexa’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped.

A deep, dark, unfurling feeling writhed in her gut. She felt betrayed. Anya kissed Clarke? When?

“You…you kissed Clarke?” Lexa couldn’t hide the anger, the hurt seeping into her tone.

“Of course not, genius.” Anya smirked. “But now I know how you feel about that idea.”

Lexa threw her pillow at Anya, shaking her head. “Honestly, you’re such a child.”

“I am? I’m not the one who can’t admit my feelings for my best friend and neighbor.” Anya teased.

Lexa felt a fire within her. “What about admitting your feelings for Raven Reyes?”

Anya looked as if Lexa had just stricken her across the face. “Excuse me?”

Lexa smirked. The “Commander” in her was showing. “You heard correctly.”

Anya let out a cough, likely just to buy herself time, but the excuse coming was inevitable. “She was a good screw, and it happened a long time ago. Let it go.”

“Yeah, ever since she started seeing Kyle Wick, you’ve changed.” Lexa pressed.

Anya rolled her eyes. “Baseless accusations. And weak ones at that.”

“Yeah? So you don’t foresee any problems sharing a hotel room with her?” Lexa smirked.

“Hardly.” Anya rolled her eyes. “I’m going for you.”

Lexa’s tone was excited suddenly. “I’ll make the arrangements with Clarke, then.”

Anya shot up out of her chair. “Like hell you will! You get a separate room! I do too.”

Lexa’s smirk was a telltale one. She rose, tall and poised as she stretched her back, pausing for dramatic effect. “Who’s the child now?”

 

Chapter Text

Lexa nearly jumped up in surprise at the frantic knocking on her door, the echoes reverberating through her apartment walls.

She knew it was Clarke, and yet, she was still a bit surprised.

Clarke Griffin, just like her friends, had never really taken to knocking.

At least as far as Lexa knew, anyway.

“Lexa!” Clarke called exasperatedly, deciding to screw formalities and push the door open regardless of Lexa’s position. “We have to move!”

Lexa glanced up at her from her position on her couch, laptop hot on her lap as she listened to the rhythmic ringing of her outgoing Skype call.

Lexa was probably saying bye to Aden.

Clarke’s gaze softened immediately as she trailed off. “I can come back.” She murmured.

“No, you’re fine.” Lexa patted the seat beside her on the couch, and Clarke padded over silently, sitting with her knees up, hugging them as she eyed the screen, and then her best friend’s gaze.

“Aden?” Clarke asked gently, heart warming just thinking of the boy with bright eyes and his love for Lexa.

Lexa nodded. “I…I promised him I’d say goodbye, in case I wouldn’t be able to call him while we were at the reunion.”

Clarke frowned. “Aren’t you bringing your laptop?”

Lexa hummed her affirmative response.

“Then why don’t you just call him and stick to your schedule?” Clarke asked genuinely.

Lexa made a face. “I…wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing. I wanted to be committed to your cause fully, without distractions, and I….” she trailed off. “I didn’t want to get his hopes up.”

Clarke’s hand slid over Lexa’s as she squeezed gently, reassuringly. “Lex, you know that this is important to me. Of course I want you to have time for things like this.”

Lexa looked surprised, her eyes widening a little, allowing light to flood their verdant depths. “You…you do?”

“Yeah…” Clarke nodded. “I know how much it means to you, and Aden, and I would never infringe on that-”

Lexa looked slightly emotional, but before Clarke could finish, Aden’s beaming face filled her screen as the call connected.

“Lexa!” Aden’s voice was alight with childish glee upon seeing what was, essentially, the best role-model in his life.

“Hey, Aden.” Lexa greeted softly, a smile melting onto her features as she subconsciously brushed her thumb over Clarke’s hand.

Clarke reddened, inhaling at the touch, before she realized Lexa was doing it subconsciously.

“Is Clarke there?” Aden asked hopefully.

Lexa rolled her eyes, pivoting the computer slowly so that the lens adjusted to Clarke’s smiling face, cheeks still a bit rosy. “She’s here, too.”

Aden grinned once more. “Hey Clarke!”

Clarke waved to him. “Hey buddy. How’s it going?”

“Good!” Aden smiled proudly, turning his head to grab something, when Lexa noticed a large black looking spot on the side of his forehead.

She gasped and Clarke nearly jumped at the sudden change in Lexa’s demeanor.

“Aden…” Lexa began, trying to contain her fear and what sounded a lot like rage. “What…what’s that on your forehead?”

Clarke looked concerned. Lexa had said Aden’s latest foster parents had been kind enough.

“Oh, this?” Aden shrugged nonchalantly. “I got hit playing hockey yesterday.”

Lexa heaved a sigh of relief, though concern was still tinging her tone. “Hockey, huh?”

Aden nodded excitedly. “Look at this trophy I got!” He held up the likely plastic, golden cup from the handle, grinning all the while.

“Wow!” Lexa exclaimed, beaming, and Clarke couldn’t help but chuckle softly. “That’s amazing! Congrats!”

“Can Clarke see it? Show her.” Aden ordered excitedly.

Lexa murmured something like, “Thanks for replacing me, Griffin.” Before turning the laptop so that Clarke could see it.

“Wow, dude!” Clarke cheered. “I’m so impressed!”

Aden’s cheeks reddened, and Lexa fought off her smirk.

She’d never admit it, but Clarke and Aden’s skype calls had quickly become highlights of her weeks.

“Why can’t I see you both?” Aden complained, setting his trophy down.

“Because my camera is tiny.” Lexa murmured, shaking her head in amusement.

“Well, squeeze.” Aden folded his arms defiantly.

Clarke smirked as she threw an arm around Lexa, pressing herself up against her as she rolled her eyes. “You heard squirt.” Clarke announced happily. “Squeeze, Lex.”

Lexa sighed as Clarke found her nook against Lexa, saying something to Aden which caused him to laugh violently.

Lexa hadn’t heard it, being so busy thinking about Clarke that she couldn’t help but let out a little laugh at Aden.

They were so cute.

“Are you guys best friends?” Aden asked after discussing sports with Clarke for a solid few minutes. “Still, I mean?”

Clarke nodded, and Aden glanced away clearly disappointed.

Lexa looked surprised, brows shooting up. Aden never had a jealousy problem with Clarke before. He’d always adored her since their first impromptu meeting.

Lexa remembered the moment it happened rather vividly, almost a year ago, when she and Clarke were still learning the ropes and boundaries of their budding friendship. 

Lexa had sat on her couch, admiring Clarke’s newly gifted painting that covered up the hole connecting their apartment walls. She turned abruptly when her laptop started ringing with a familiar tone: Aden was ready to skype.

Smiling to herself, she accepted the call, and her smile widened even more at Aden’s toothy grin filling the screen.

“Aden.” She greeted calmly, amused smile still in place.

“Hey!” Aden’s voice was chipper upon seeing his “older sister”.

“How are things with Sinclair?” Lexa asked tentatively.

Aden hadn’t had the best experience with foster parents, particularly since they’d both fled the care of Nia Quinn.

Aden’s grin brightened. “Sinclair’s the best! He said I could try out for soccer, hockey, and lacrosse! He said if I make the teams, he would take me to all three!”

Lexa couldn’t help the grin she felt forming.

Aden deserved the world.

He deserved a happy childhood, away from Nia, and anyone else cruel enough to torment children physically or emotionally.

“Yeah?” Lexa played along, eyes widening. “You think you can handle three sports and school?”

“Yeah, I can just-” Aden paused, his face screwing up in confusion. “Wait.”

“What’s wrong?” Lexa asked instantly, worry seeping into her tone.

“You look…different.” Aden murmured, mostly to himself, leaning in closer to his computer screen comically, trying to get a better look at Lexa.

Before Lexa could respond, there was a knock at her door. She glanced at her watch, eyes widening at the time.

“Aden…I…” Lexa began unsurely.

Aden sighed, shaking his head. “It’s okay Lex, go. I know you’re having someone over.”

Lexa’s heart was aching. How could she have been so stupid and scheduled her dinner during her skype time with Aden? It was supposed to be sacred, untouchable.

Now he’d resent her, thinking she’d forgotten him for her new, better life.

Lexa glanced at the camera. “Hold on.” She murmured, rising from her spot on the couch, signaling for him to wait.

She had to keep from wincing when she heard him sigh, knowing he was feeling trampled on.

Lexa opened the door wearily, fighting the intense burst of warmth she felt when she saw Clarke Griffin there, in a beautiful little dress, holding what appeared to be a white pastry box.

“Hey!” Clarke chirped brightly, stepping inside.

Lexa felt her mouth dry.

She couldn’t turn Clarke away….she was just building that relationship.

She couldn’t hang up on Aden.

She was stuck.

“Hi Clarke.” Lexa’s voice was audibly shaky. “I...Uh….”

“Hey, do you mind if I charge my phone?” Clarke asked, already moving towards the couch, where she’d seen an outlet before. “I killed it on the way here because I got SO lost in this sketchy area downtown, and when I-”

Before Lexa could respond, Aden had caught sight of Clarke, and seized the opportunity with leisure.

“Hey!” Aden grinned, realizing it was a pretty girl in Lexa’s apartment, and not some boring business person he’d seen Lexa with before.

Lexa liked pretty girls, and that meant she was having fun, being her normal self.

Aden hated Lexa’s business persona, knowing that was what took her so far away.

This was an improvement, despite the interruption.

“Hey!” Aden waved vigorously.

“Oh!” Clarke jumped nearly a foot in the air, whipping around to see the bright grin and sandy haired boy. “Hey?” Clarke offered a confused smile. “Lexa! Your laptop is waving at me.”

Lexa’s eyes widened as she smacked her forehead, instantly moving between Clarke and Aden’s view. “Uh….”

“Lexa, move, I can’t see your girlfriend!” Aden whined, and Lexa would never have forgiven him for the slip up, if he weren’t so damn adorable.

“Girlfriend?” Clarke quirked a brow from behind Lexa, grin in place. “I missed the part where you asked me out.”

Lexa’s cheeks reddened as her mortified expression came into full view. “No! I….uh….Aden….Clarke….” she paused, taking a deep breath, pinching the bridge of her nose in exhaustion and annoyance at her own flustered display. “Clarke, this is Aden, my…little brother.”

Clarke smiled, never missing a beat, remembering Lexa mentioning him once before. “Hey Aden! I’m Clarke Griffin! I’m Lexa’s neighbor.”

Aden’s face fell a little. “Oh…” he mumbled. “So you’re not dating?”

Aden had just recently had his world opened to the dating scene, and as far as he knew, it was holding hands and few pecks here and there.

Lexa, of course, deterred him wholeheartedly.

“Not that I know of…” Clarke drawled amusedly, eyes taking in Aden’s adorable face. “Hey! Wait! Is that….an Xbox One in the background?”

Aden’s eyes lit up. “Yeah! Sinclair got it for my birthday!” He grinned. “Wanna see?”

Clarke grinned. “Heck yeah I do! What games do you have?”

Aden’s eyes widened as he began counting them off on his fingers. “Um….FIFA, Call of Duty,…” he trailed off into a bunch of titles Lexa assumed were gory, and frankly, ridiculous.

Clarke was nodding enthusiastically, actually commenting with her opinions on each game from time to time.

Lexa watched the entire exchange with her jaw to the floor.

Clarke was such a natural, and Aden was always a handful.

“I’ll…start dinner?” Lexa mumbled quietly, not wanting to interrupt their conversation.

“Yeah yeah…” Clarke waved her off with a wink. “Aden and I will be here.”

Lexa smiled on through that entire night.

So why was Aden behaving this way now? Was it jealousy? Why would he be asking if they were still friends?

“Why?” Lexa asked gently, glancing up as if she were looking directly into Aden’s warm eyes in person.

“Oh, nothing.” Aden shrugged sheepishly. “I just thought you two were…I don’t know…dating and stuff.”

Lexa choked a little and Clarke smirked. “Really?” She pressed.

“Yeah. It would be good, I think.” Aden decided that he was either too bored or too embarrassed to continue with that topic, so he shifted gears seamlessly. “Are you coming to visit me soon?”

Lexa recovered, cheeks burning red. “I hope so. I miss you.” She admitted gently, and Clarke’s heart melted right there and then.

Aden smiled goofily at her. “You’re coming too, right Clarke?”

Clarke looked genuinely surprised. She glanced at Lexa, raising her eyebrows. She’d never met him in person, but he seemed like a hell of a kid.

Clarke liked to imagine he was like a young Lexa.

Lexa bit her lip. “Uh, maybe…” She drawled.

Aden looked dissatisfied with that. “But…you talk about Clarke all the time!”

“Listen, Aden.” Lexa smiled in the camera’s direction, pinching Clarke’s thigh when she smirked triumphantly. “Clarke and I have to catch a flight, soon. But we’ll be in touch, okay? I promise.”

Aden’s grin lit Clarke’s entire world, and apparently, Lexa’s. “You mean, you’ll call me even on your trip?”

Lexa nodded, smiling as Clarke squeezed her hand once more. “You bet.”

“Great! I gotta go to school soon but…I’ll see you later.” Aden smiled. “Love you, Lexa.”

Lexa froze, her smile fading slightly before she could muster a simple, “you too, Aden.”

Seconds later, the call was dropped, and Lexa shut her laptop, sucking in a breath.

Clarke smiled. “You made his morning.”

Lexa smiled somewhat sadly back at Clarke. “You helped.” She rose, her fingers slightly grazing Clarke’s as she stretched a little.

“You all packed, nerd?” Clarke asked gently, standing as well.

Lexa nodded, smiling slightly at the nickname as she felt her bracelet around her wrist. “Can you still call me that?” She murmured.

Clarke looked at her quizzically. “Because of the kiss? I mean, sure, you were in control for a bit but that doesn’t mean-” Clarke’s rambling was cut off by Lexa’s look of pure embarrassment.

“No!” She quickly recovered. “I mean…can we still wear these? For the next week…We’re not friends, right?”

Clarke frowned, shaking her head. “Not necessarily.”

Lexa glanced at her, eyes beckoning her to come forth with an elaboration.

“Lexa you’d always be my friend.” Clarke murmured thoughtfully. “Even if we were, hypothetically dating…I’d be dating my best friend, which would make it even better….y’know?” Clarke looked incredibly insecure and vulnerable in that moment.

Lexa’s heart hammered as she nodded slowly. “I…I think I do, yeah.”

Clarke clapped her hands together abruptly, as if to fight off the lingering moments of silence between them. “Cool, let’s get our stuff down. I should probably hail a cab.”

“There’s that driver that’s parked just up the road…” Lexa suggested, retreating to her room to get her suitcase as she called it over her shoulder. “What’s his name? David? Dimitri?”

“Dax.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “And, ew. No.”

“Why not? It’s convenient.” Lexa replied, the sound of her suitcase hitting the floor as she pulled on the handle, entering the living room where Clarke was waiting patiently.

“Because he always hits on you….I’ll drive.” Clarke grumbled as she took the suitcase handle from Lexa’s grip, wheeling it out the door wordlessly.

Lexa looked at Clarke with a bemused smile as she wondered why that was suddenly an obstacle.


 

Clarke was behind the wheel, while Lexa was in charge of manning their group chats with Raven and Anya to coordinate the times.

Clarke’s eyes were busy with the road, but every once in a while, they’d land on Lexa’s high cheek bones or sharp jaw line, illuminated by the golden morning sun, bathing her in holy light.

“I…I feel like I’m forgetting something.” Clarke mumbled, hands turning the wheel with smooth ease.

“Clarke, I looked over your suitcase and put it against my checklist. It looked fine.” Lexa sighed, ever the pragmatist.

Suddenly Clarke’s face lit up. “Oh!” She grinned. “It’s in my notes, somewhere, I think!”

Lexa looked at Clarke quizzically.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Ask Siri to read my latest note.”

Lexa did as she was told, asking Clarke’s phone to do just that.

Siri’s nearly monotonous artificial voice filled the car’s Bluetooth connected speaker, reading: “Okay, Clarke. You have one note from yesterday. Would you like me to read it?”

Clarke snickered at Lexa’s eye roll and dry response of: “Well, obviously.”

Siri’s voice sounded once more. “Okay, Clarke. Your note from yesterday reads: Don’t forget Lexa’s mixtape! Heart emoji heart emoji, heart emoji.”

Lexa’s eyes widened and Clarke turned beet red.

“My…my what?” Lexa asked softly, eyes searching Clarke’s which were fixed on the road.

Clarke swallowed, pausing for a moment. “Oh, right…That was it.”

“Clarke.” Lexa smiled gently. “What did you do?”

Clarke smiled sheepishly. “Well, it’s actually a playlist. I uh…made you two playlists and I put them on your phone, in case you got bored or…something, I don’t know…”

Lexa’s mouth parted slightly in surprise. So that was why Clarke was so adamant on playing games on her phone the evening prior.

“Oh…” Lexa breathed, unsure of how to respond to Clarke’s thoughtfulness. “I…thanks, Clarke…That’s so sweet…” Her heart felt light and free for once.

Clarke did that to her.

Clarke did that for her…

Clarke smiled. “What are best friends for?”


 

The trip to the airport was a short one, thanks to Lexa’s genius idea of beating rush hour traffic, and the girls passed through the ever glamorous Ronald Reagan National Airport security with ease, checking their bags as they made their way to the terminal with time to kill.

 “Aren’t Anya and Raven supposed to be here by now?” Clarke asked, frowning as she and Lexa took seats at the largely empty terminal seating area.

Voices and alerts filled the speakers above every now and then, and endless hordes of people would pass by, but none of them gave any hint to Anya or Raven’s presence.

“No…” Lexa glanced at her watch. “We’re early…by an hour and a half.”

Clarke’s eyes widened as she buried her head in her hands. “Oh my god, traveling with you is so…over the top…”

Lexa narrowed her eyes. “Punctuality is a key to business success.”

“I guess this is a business transaction for you.” Clarke grumbled.

Lexa opened her mouth to protest, paused, and then went on once more. “Clarke, no- That’s not what I meant…”

Clarke glanced up, gaze unreadable. “No, it’s fine. Really.” She shrugged, reaching for a magazine she’d yanked off a stand.

Lexa knew she’d screwed up there, so she scrunched her face in thought of how to repair it.

“Do you want something to eat?” She offered quietly.

“Nope.” Clarke’s response was bored as she turned the pages absently.

“I can get you some chocolate?” Lexa offered again.

“Pass, thanks.” Clarke’s response was, yet again, dry.

“We could go over some more questions?” Lexa tried.

“I think we’re pretty solid.” Clarke shrugged, standing. “I think I’m going to go buy some water.”

Lexa frowned. She’d had water up until they made her dump it at the security check. “I’ll come.”

“No, you watch your laptop and the other stuff.” Clarke decided, her voice even. “I’ll be back.”

Lexa bit her lip, watching Clarke leave.

Had she done something wrong? It was a business transaction after all, wasn’t it?

Lexa watched a few planes roll by outside the grand window before her, wishing she’d thought of a better way to verbalize it. She hadn’t meant it that way. Clarke was just teasing her and she’d gone and made it a serious ordeal again.

Dammit, Lexa.

No one wanted to be with someone so unpleasantly cold, and calculating.

The person she’d become to succeed.

This was why she didn’t do relationships, fake or real.

She simply wasn’t cut from the same cloth as Clarke Griffin.

Lexa eyed the clock, leaning back into her chair with a sigh, as she knew her best friend would likely drag it out and take a lot longer than the five minutes she needed to get water.


 

“Woods.” Anya, clad in sweats and a tight sweater, touched her shoulder, causing her to nearly jump out of her seat. Lexa glanced up from all the business emails she’d been reading off her phone.

How long had it been since Clarke left?

She glanced at her phone once more, this time, eyes flying to the digital clock.

Half an hour.

Clarke had been gone for half an hour, and Lexa had buried herself into her work affairs, as usual.

How typical.

A part of her suddenly felt a pang of worry for Clarke. Where was she? Was she alright?

“Damn, what’s going on in that genius mind of yours?” Anya murmured, glancing down at her friend curiously.

Lexa’s emerald gaze snapped up. “My apologies.” She murmured. “Where’s Raven?”

Anya looked suddenly defensive. “I don’t know! What am I, her keeper?”

Lexa resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Okay then.”

“Where’s your fake girlfriend?” Anya smirked, folding her arms.

Lexa bit her lip, stowing her phone in her pocket, in an attempt to keep her from worriedly calling Clarke. “I…Uh…She…she went to get…um…” She rattled off every stalling word she knew, and Anya’s smirk only grew.

“You don’t know, do you?” Anya tsked, grinning.

“She said she went to get water.” Lexa sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“And you pissed her off.” Anya added knowingly.

“I…said something stupid.” Lexa sighed. “I called this whole thing a…business transaction.”

Anya winced. “Seriously, Lexa?”

Lexa sighed. “You know I didn’t mean it.”

“Yeah, but Griffin didn’t it. Poor girl doesn’t even know you drool just thinking about her.” Anya retorted.

Lexa shook her head. “Just…shut up. Do you know where she is?”

Anya nodded slowly. “Saw her coming in. Your girl is flirting with a hot little piece.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “A…she…what?”

Anya jerked her head in the direction of one of the smaller restaurant outlets, where travelers were enjoying incredibly overpriced breakfasts while waiting for their flights.

Her eyes fell to Clarke, who was leaning against the bar-styled front counter, flirting with a busty dirty-blonde waitress about their age.

Lexa stiffened.

“Ooh…” Anya smirked. “Let me get my camera out for this one.”

Lexa froze. Ever the stubborn one, she shook her head. “No.”

“No?” Anya teased.

“No.” Lexa repeated. “Clarke can…do what she wants. I don’t have any say over that.”

“Yeah?” Anya prodded, sitting in Clarke’s seat beside her. “Some girlfriend.”

Lexa’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not her girlfriend, Anya.”

“You tell em!” Anya smirked once more. “No wonder she calls you nerd. You never take what you want.”

“Don’t.” Lexa warned, but oh, how Anya knew just how to get a rise out of her younger friend.

“So that kiss, it was all for nothing?” Anya pressed, her voice enticing Lexa to get up and leave.

“Why do you say that?” Lexa asked, nearly through clenched teeth.

“Because it looks like Griffin is about to pull the same thing with that blonde right there. But you can go be her girlfriend…for practice, of course.” Anya shrugged, and Lexa’s eyes flew to Clarke, the way she flirtatiously leaned across the counter, one hand twirling a blonde lock, the other reaching across.

Anya grinned. “Can you get me a water, Lex?” She handed her a ten-dollar bill. “I’m feeling a bit…thirsty.”

Lexa muttered some inaudible profanity before rising from her seat, running a hand through her glorious brunette mane as she made her way over, ignoring Anya’s sniggering from behind.

Lexa’s long strides carried her right beside Clarke in a matter of seconds, and Clarke’s amused laugh echoed in her ears as she quickened her pace, slipping onto the stool beside Clarke, her arm sliding around Clarke’s waist.

Clarke yelped in shock and turned to Lexa, eyes widening. “Lex?” She asked, all traces of annoyance replaced by pure surprise. “Uh…I…uh…what are you….”

The waitress, who’d been drying a glass, froze in place. She cocked an eyebrow in their direction, looking perhaps genuinely insulted that she’d wasted time flirting with a taken woman.

“Hey love.” Lexa smiled softly, eyes avoiding Clarke’s gaze. “I missed you back there.”

“I…you…Lexa, who’s watching our stuff?” Clarke sputtered, the glass of water before her looking suddenly inviting.

“Anya is, sweetheart, don’t worry about it.” Lexa’s voice was almost teasing, inviting, and Clarke couldn’t help but want to buy into the scenario.

It wasn’t like she hadn’t thought about it, after all.

“I uh…was just getting some water…” Clarke murmured, getting chills as Lexa’s hand brushed the small of her back.

“Can we actually get two more to go, please?” Lexa smirked, slipping the bill across the table as she watched the waitresses’ look of disdain. “Are you making friends, Clarke?”

“Friends?” The waitress almost scoffed, and Clarke reddened slightly, feeling a hot rush of guilt for whatever apparent reason.

“Yeah.” Clarke smiled. “This is…uh…” She paused momentarily. She realized she hadn’t even remembered her name.  

“Well thank you for entertaining my girlfriend for me.” Lexa spoke in a low, challenging, even voice. “You ready to go, Clarke?”

Clarke glanced up at her with a blink. “Um, yeah. Yeah, I guess.” She smiled numbly, watching Lexa expertly weave in and out of her façade.

“Here.” Lexa reached for the glass, holding the straw out to Clarke. “Don’t want you overheating…” She chose her words carefully, eloquently, articulating each and every vowel and consonant with sharp elegance.

Clarke’s eyes widened from Lexa’s prompting and she felt her body overcome with a strange mix of desire and overwhelming confusion as she wrapped her fingers around Lexa’s, sucking from the straw with her full lips, Lexa keeping eye contact the whole time.

The waitress stared, mouth agape, and Lexa put the now empty glass on the table. “Keep the change.” She smiled saccharinely and guided Clarke up with one hand, waters in the other.

Clarke felt the feeling return to her legs after a few steps.

Once they were out of earshot, and around the corner, Clarke whipped around on Lexa.

“What the hell was that?” She demanded, heart pumping rapidly.

“Anya told me I don’t play the part convincingly enough!” Lexa defended, handing her a bottle of water. “I was…practicing.”

Clarke swallowed the lump in her throat.

Anya gave good advice.

“Was that too much?” Lexa asked, arm in arm with her best friend as they made their way back to Anya, who’d been smirking at them since they came into view.

“Uh…I mean…for the part you were playing…I guess…no…It was…. hot.” Clarke stuttered.

What the hell was going on?

Lexa nodded, face showing no discernable emotion.

Anya cocked a brow, looking impressed. “That was…. pretty damn good.”

Lexa looked pleased with herself as she sat beside Clarke, who tried to bury her face into a magazine once more, cheeks flushed with color and an embarrassing heat between her legs.

“Hey.” Raven’s voice caused them all to turn around, bag slung lazily over her shoulder, hair in bun, looking good as ever. “What’d I miss?”

Clarke and Lexa glanced away almost immediately while Anya chuckled, “Proof that this little charade is going to work.”


 

The plane was boarded promptly, and Lexa and Clarke found themselves seated together, without the typical argument of who would get the window seat.

Clarke’s parents had pulled all the stops, giving them the most luxurious class possible for such a short trip.

They knew Clarke was bringing a few friends, but Clarke knew they must have had a hunch that one of them was more than just a friend.

Clarke hadn’t explicitly said anything, for fear of giving away something she couldn’t correct later. It was nerve wracking.

“Clarke, go ahead.” Lexa motioned to the window seat, watching Clarke pause in the aisle beside her, making Lexa glad that they weren’t holding anyone else up.

Anya and Raven had been sentenced to their doom in coach, towards the rear of the aircraft, likely separated.

“Lex, seriously, go.” Clarke nudged her with a smile, color returned to her face and humor returned to her tone. “I want you to sit there.”

Lexa raised a questioning brow. “Would…that…make you more comfortable?” She clearly had no idea why Clarke wouldn’t take it.

Clarke smiled a little. “Yes, Lexa, now sit.”

Lexa shrugged and stuffed her bag in the overhead compartment, sliding into her seat. “Alright.” She sighed.

Clarke leaned against her, huffing out a breath. “You’ll see why in a bit.” She winked.

Lexa’s heartrate quickened. Clarke was so soft, so warm, so close…She thought about the searing kiss they’d shared a few nights ago and blinked hard, praying Clarke wouldn’t notice how nervous she was.

It was ridiculous, they were best friends.

Clarke had a right to lay her head on Lexa’s shoulder and tell her whatever she wanted.

Lexa owed her that much, right?

Clarke herself sighed contentedly, her own heart rate picking up. Lexa was so strong and stable and always warm.

She felt guilty, laying her head against Lexa like that. The thoughts that swam around in her melted brain weren’t always the kindest to her ever increasing hunger for Lexa.

It was ridiculous, they were best friends.

Clarke had to repress them.

Clarke owed her that much, right?

“What are you thinking about?” Lexa asked softly, eyes following the stewardess as she made her way down the rows.

“Hmmm.” Clarke hummed against her, her throat rumbling against Lexa’s arm. “Nothing, I’m just so tired.”

“You did have to get up a bit earlier than your usual time.” Lexa conceded, folding her hands in her uncertainty with what to do with them.

“Not all of us are bionic business women who rise at the crack of dawn, Alexandria.” Clarke tutted, smiling lazily up at her friend, eyes close.

Lexa’s breath caught in her throat.

Clarke was so beautiful. So perfect, so relaxed, so calm.

So light and happy and teasing.

Lexa chuckled lightly, nudging Clarke as the seatbelt lights and signals went on overhead. “Sorry, dork. Rise and shine.”

Lexa wished she had the ability to lighten up like that. She did, sometimes.

Clarke brought that out in her.

The plane rumbled to life as it began rolling forward, and Clarke was forced to sit up with a frown, leaning back. “There goes my sleep.”

Lexa glanced timidly outside the plane window, and for a long while, the two fell silent, watching the city fade beneath them as they ascended into the clouds, a short distance away from the heavens themselves.

The stewardess came around, smiling brightly. “May I get you ladies anything? A drink, maybe?”

Clarke looked thoughtful, glancing at the way Lexa professionally straightened up, though she didn’t miss the way her eyes roamed the stewardess’ blue, tight fitting uniform and scarf ensemble.

“Clarke, a water?” Lexa murmured, ever the gentlewoman.

“Hmm?” Clarke nodded. “Oh, yeah, please.”

“Two waters, then.” Lexa smiled politely.

The stewardess looked perplexed. “Are you sure you and your girlfriend wouldn’t like something…else…to drink? It’s complimentary.”

Lexa’s mouth slighted partly and Clarke swooped in to save her, blushing profusely herself. “No, thank you though!”

The stewardess nodded and poured out the two waters, leaving them on Clarke’s tray table as she wheeled the cumbersome cart to the next row.

Lexa’s eyes had been wide, taking in the views below her wordlessly.

Clarke decided it was best not to press the issue, so she handed Lexa’s cup to her, tracing her gaze.

“Well…” Lexa sighed, eyes falling to the cup. “Alcohol might have been pleasantly numbing.”

Clarke raised a brow. “You scared of flights, Lex?”

Lexa shook her head. “No, but…They’re not my favorite, either.”

“Why?” Clarke asked, blue eyes searching the depths of Lexa’s green gaze for secrets and answers.

“They’re…a waste of time.” Lexa mumbled, loudly still, over the sound of the plane launching itself into the air. “Time spent…sitting around…It could be put to good use doing something productive.”

Clarke barked out a laugh, grateful not too people were around them. “I should have known.” She teased as Lexa frowned. “That’s so very…Lexa.”

“Yeah?” Lexa raised a brow. “Are you familiar with a way to pass the time productively?”

“Aww, are you nervous?” Clarke smirked.

“Hardly.” Lexa scoffed.

“Fine, well…let’s see…” Clarke glanced off into the distance. “There’s the….mile high club.” Clarke smirked once more, wriggling her eyebrows as Lexa spat out the sip of water she’d been taking.

“You…you’re not…” Lexa stuttered. “There’s no space. It’s unsanitary.”

Clarke shrugged, leaning back. “It’s honestly not.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Have….have you…?”

Clarke laughed a beautiful little laugh, winking at Lexa. “Of course not.”

Lexa exhaled, shaking her head. “Okay, but what are things that…we can do?”

“Sleep.” Clarke suggested gently, glancing into Lexa’s tired eyes. “You were up all night tying loose ends for work.”

“How do you know?” Lexa asked suddenly.

“I heard you.” Clarke reminded.

“Oh, I can’t believe I kept you up!” Lexa sighed. “I’m so sorry, Clarke, I didn’t mean to be so loud, but-”

“Lex!” Clarke smiled brightly. “Relax. Do I look mad?”

Lexa shook her head.

“So sleep…” Clarke offered, downing her water as she shut their tray tables.

Lexa made a face. “I can’t…it’s uncomfortable.”

Clarke glanced at her sympathetically. “Okay…let’s see…” She began by taking off her jacket, bunching it up as she handed it to Lexa. “Here.”

Lexa looked concerned almost immediately. “Clarke. It’s cold.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Thanks, mom, but I’ll be fine.” She teased. “There’s your pillow.”

Lexa’s heart ached. Clarke Griffin was so…light, and pure, and so…Lexa didn’t have words to describe her.

She wished she’d had Clarke when she was a child, and she’d so desperately needed someone so warm and bright in her life.

Hell, she wished she’d had Clarke now, in a different way.

 But Lexa would take what she could get.

“I…are you sure?” Lexa repeated once more, still a bit in shock.

Clarke chuckled. “Lexa, it’s a pillow, not a diamond ring. Relax.”

Lexa nodded, leaning the pillow against the window. She felt Clarke undo her seatbelt, lifting Lexa’s legs so that they were lying against Clarke’s warm body.

Lexa didn’t know how she wasn’t hyperventilating. Clarke was so…loving. So gentle, and soft, and so careful.

Lexa felt undeserving.

Clarke leaned back in her chair and, as if reading Lexa’s thoughts, murmured. “You’re welcome. Now sleep.”

Lexa squeezed her eyes shut, willing the sweet release of sleep to carry her thoughts away, as she couldn’t bear them much longer without saying something.

Sleep came easy to her, Clarke’s sweet perfume faintly on her jacket as Lexa began breathing deeply, a small smile on her lips.


 

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re beginning our descent into Los Angeles, so if you could please stow away any-”

Lexa’s eyes opened abruptly, and they were greeted with the harsh light of the afternoon sun reflecting on wispy white clouds from the window beside her, casting a golden glow into the plane’s interior.

Clarke noticed her stirring and gave her a smile. “Hey.” She murmured gently, adjusting Lexa back to normal volumes. “You slept well, huh?”

Lexa nodded, surprised. “I…I did, actually. First time in a while.”

Clarke grinned. “Well I guess we’ll just have to fly together every night, then.”

Lexa couldn’t help the smile that made its way onto her face. Cheeks burning, she averted her gaze from Clarke’s, settling it instead on the artwork Clarke had been sketching, on her untucked tray table.

Lexa’s eyes widened a little as she tentatively reached forward, fingers meeting the paper with a delicate grasp.

Clarke’s eyes followed her hands, an embarrassed little smile in place. “It uh…It’s not done, yet. But…” She rarely ever stumbled over her words like that.

Lexa felt her throat tighten, and she blinked a few times, not trusting her own voice. “Clarke…I…”

There, on the paper before her, was an intricate sketch of Lexa, sleeping peacefully against Clarke’s balled up jacket.

She looked beautiful. From the long lashes adorning her closed eyes, her full, luscious lips pulled into a graceful smile.

Clarke saw her that way?

Surely not. Surely it was an exaggeration. For artistic purposes, right?

Clarke cleared her throat, noticing that Lexa trailed off. “It’s a…gift.” Clarke sighed. “For coming along with me on this crazy, stupid adventure.”

Lexa felt a smile tug at her lips, heart soaring higher than the plane itself. “Always, Clarke.” She responded, and locked gazes with Clarke, both their eyes shimmering, lips slightly parted in gentle affection.

Moments like that, of course, never lasted long.

This was no exception.

The stewardess, who’d seemingly snuck up on the entranced fake couple, cleared her throat, startling them both out of their haze.

“Yes?” Clarke asked, whipping around.

Lexa could detect the briefest sense of annoyance in her tone.

“Your tray table, miss.” The stewardess motioned to it. “We need them all locked in place for our landing.”

Clarke nodded, turning with a huff. “Right. Of course.”

Some things were too important to be ignored, but tray tables didn’t quite make her list.


 

The hot desert like air enveloped Clarke and Lexa like the warm hugs they shared, gently blowing away their goosebumps from the airports’ chilled interior.

“Ahh…. Home.” Clarke took a deep breath.

“Yup.” Lexa mumbled, wheeling her suitcase behind her. “Certainly a change from D.C.”

“Remind me…why did we have to bother with renting a car?” Clarke asked as she glanced at the Car Rental garage with a furrowed brow.

“Because Raven said she wanted a back-up plan in case the reunion, and I quote, ‘sucked major ass’.”

Clarke barked out a laugh, grinning as she linked her arm into Lexa’s.

Raven and Anya were already there, leaning against a black suburban, bickering about something no doubt. They stopped when they saw Clarke and Lexa approaching.

“Well if isn’t the Queen of first class.” Raven rolled her eyes, smirking when she saw their arms linked together. “Gee, guys, enough with the couple act. Save it for the show!”

Clarke and Lexa both turned beet red, glancing down at their arms.

“We’re best friends.” Clarke protested indignantly. “That’s what we do all the time.”

“Really?” Anya chimed in. “I’ve been friends with Lexa for a while and she’s never been touchy with me.”

“Maybe you’re not her type?” Raven quipped, earning her a slap on the arm.

“Feel free to remind me why you thought bringing them was a good idea.” Lexa muttered, loading her luggage into the trunk.

“Who’s driving?” Clarke asked, shaking her head in disbelief.

Raven smirked. “Take a wild guess.”


 

Clarke and Lexa clung to each other for dear life, huddled in the back seat, while Raven weaved in and out of Los Angeles traffic like a madwoman.

Anya didn’t seem phased, legs up on the dashboard lazily as if it were a grueling road trip, occasionally popping a sunflower seed into her mouth from the small packet she’d received on the plane.  

“Raven!” Clarke screeched. “This isn’t a Porsche, its’ a huge ass SUV! Slow down!”

Raven rolled her eyes, glancing in the back window. “This is the only way I can make you two get close.” She teased.

Clarke eyed Lexa, realizing she was pressed up against her. “Sorry.” She mumbled sheepishly, leaning back.

Lexa’s eyes were fixed on the palm trees that dotted the pacific coast highway, emerald eyes taking refuge in the golden sands and sparkling waves on the not too distant shores.

“Lexa?” Clarke prodded her thigh, making her jump a little.

“Sorry.” Lexa murmured. “I…was…lost in thought.”

Clarke glanced at her curiously. “What about?”

Lexa glanced down into her lap unsurely. “Us.” She admitted.

Clarke feigned look of concern. “Lexa, are you breaking up with me? We…we haven’t even gotten there yet!” She clutched at her heart dramatically, and Lexa looked away, faint smile in place.

“No breaking up!” Anya chucked a sunflower seed at Lexa, hitting her square in the face. “We didn’t haul our asses over here to see you get cold feet, sweetie.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, making a face of disgust. “I’m not getting cold feet. I’m just…thinking.”

“About what?” Clarke pressed once more. “What could go wrong?”

Lexa’s eyes widened, and Clarke knew she’d asked the wrong question. “What if your parents hate me? Or your friends? What if they can tell that we’ve been secretly meeting and they decide that we’re worth investigating and then-”

“Hey!” Clarke took Lexa’s hand, lacing it with her own. “Lex! Calm down!”

Raven watched with mild amusement as she exited, making a turn. “Get your shit together, kids, I’m pulling up. And knowing Clarke’s parents…they’re probably waiting for us by the door.”

Lexa sucked in a breath, realizing that skin on skin contact with Clarke, even in the most minuscule form of holding hands, was giving her a heart attack.

That never happened to this extent before.

“They’ll love you for being you.” Clarke promised with a knowing smile. “Besides, that’s not the part we’re lying about.”

Lexa nodded slowly.

She could do this.

For the money.

For her business.

For Clarke.

Raven pulled up towards the front of the hotel entrance, and Lexa’s eyes widened.

It was like a small beachside palace.

Palm trees everywhere, likely part of the summer décor, giving Lexa the tropical feel she’d longed for in D.C’s biting cold. The main fountain was on, and the sound, hopefully, was covering her beating heart as she stepped out of the car, straightening her shirt, wishing that she’d chosen something more suitable than jeans to meet Clarke’s parents.

Clarke herself was wearing a thin little dress, and Lexa swore, with the golden sunlight illuminating her hair and her smile, she looked like a goddess.

She hadn’t noticed Clarke staring at her similarly.

Raven tossed the keys to the valet, grinning as she muttered, “Not a scratch on her, boys.”

Anya stepped out as well, cupping Lexa on the shoulder on the way to grab her bags from the trunk. “You have this, Lexa.” She winked, passing her without another word.

Immediately they were greeted by a lanky, pubescent bellboy, uniform and all, who froze and stared at Lexa, eyes widening. “Uh…Uh….”

Clarke smirked. “You wanna take our bags?”

Lexa was completely, utterly oblivious, glancing at the tall entrance’s impeccable architecture instead.

“Uh…Yes! Right away!” The Bellboy smiled awkwardly, reaching forward to lift the bags onto the luggage cart.

“Come on.” Clarke returned her attention to Lexa, who had her hands folded behind her back, always formally standing at attention. “Now or never.”

Lexa nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat. “There’s Abby and Jake, and…Octavia, and Bellamy, and…Clarke.” She paused, eyes widening.

“Did you just forget my name?” Clarke teased, tugging her forward.

“No, I’m….prepping.” Lexa replied.

Clarke leaned forward and kissed her cheek briefly, before moving on, slipping her hand into Lexa’s, lacing their fingers together.

Lexa reddened, and Clarke watched the blush blossom throughout her features. “What was that for? Is someone watching us?”

Clarke smiled sweetly. “Nope. Just warming you up.”

Lexa glanced down, eyes tracing the elegant meshed stone tiles leading to the main entrance.

Well, it certainly did the trick.

As they stepped into the foyer of the hotel, Lexa’s eyes began to dart around, taking everything in.

There were so many voices, lofty arrogant tones of wealthy families on vacation, employees hurrying around, business associates sharing their ideas.

With great annoyance, Lexa noticed that there were stupidly beautiful arrangements of exotic flowers on nearly every goddamned table and countertop, making it impossible to spot out Clarke’s family.

“Lexa, you’re squeezing.” Clarke murmured amusedly, stepping slowly towards the main desk.

“Sorry.” Lexa whispered, hoping she would be able to school her features in time for the Griffin’s arrival.

And then she heard it.

A gasp.

“Is that her?”

A deeper voice.

“Yes, baby, don’t be embarrassing. She’ll kill us.”

“Oh my god and look it’s Raven!”

The voices were getting closer.

Raven smirked and yanked Anya forward, towards the check-in desk, ahead of Clarke and Lexa. “Don’t wanna interrupt the family reunion! Plus, front row seats to Lexa probably throwing up on Clarke’s parents!” She added when Anya shot her a look of confusion.

Anya stifled a laugh before following wholeheartedly.

Clarke squeezed her eyes shut, as if the voices she’d just heard physically pained her.

“Here we fucking go.” Clarke muttered, turning around and plastering an unbelievably fake, happy grin onto her features.

If Lexa hadn’t been about to be judged into oblivion, she would have died laughing.

Instead, she did the exact same thing, forcing a smile onto her features.

‘Be Eloquent, Be Elegant’ Lexa’s mind coached itself.

Lexa’s eyes flicked to the blonde woman striding towards Clarke with her arms wide open.

The first thing Lexa noticed was how beautiful she was, just like her daughter. Abby Griffin was blonde, with her hair in a beautiful side braid, with a figure most mothers would kill for.

She threw Clarke into a hug, effectively separating Clarke’s hand from Lexa’s by force as she yanked Clarke closely, murmuring, “Oh baby look at you! You’re so grown up! I missed you so much.”

Clarke rolled her eyes from her resting position against her mom, smiling nonetheless. “Mom, it’s been a few months!”

Abby sniffed indignantly, taking a step back, proud gaze taking all of her daughter in.

The man, presumably Jake Griffin, stepped forward, and Lexa got her first good look at him.

He was tall. His well-built figure was overshadowed by one of the kindest smiles Lexa had ever seen, and his sand-colored hair reminded her of Aden.  His eyes reflected the happiness he felt at seeing Clarke, and Lexa knew that on some deep level, she could relate.

Clarke brought out that light in people.

“Hey, kiddo.” Jake grinned, stepping forward to envelop his daughter in a hug, kissing the top of her head.

“Hey dad.” Clarke smiled up at him genuinely before taking a step back.

Lexa stood a little taller, smile in place.

This was it.

The big moment.

Her first impression.

Abby smiled kindly at Lexa. “So, Clarke, will you introduce us to your beautiful friend?”

Lexa struggled to not blush as much as she did.

“Mom, Dad…” Clarke took a breath, intertwining her fingers with Lexa’s, watching their eyes widen in surprise. “This is Lexa Woods, my neighbor, my best friend, and girlfriend.”

Jake smiled politely, allowing Abby to step forward first, ever the gentleman. 

Abby’s eyebrows shot up, but she wore a veiled smile like Clarke's. "Lexa." She took Lexa's hand in her own, shaking it, surprised at the younger woman's firm grip. 

"A pleasure, Mrs. Griffin." Lexa responded in kind, assuming some control over the odd situation. 

Clarke felt herself swoon internally, just a little, at Lexa's formal demeanor. She certainly was one of a kind. 

"Please, call me Abby." Abby offered, stepping back. Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly, and Clarke saw what she called "predatory mom mode" switched on. 

Clarke swallowed audibly. The last time Abby did that, she scared off her boyfriend of three weeks, and Clarke locked herself in her room. 

There was nowhere to hide, this time around. 

Jake stepped forward, shaking Lexa's hand. "Firm grip there, kiddo. You're a business woman, right? I can tell." Jake offered her a wink. 

Lexa gave him a nod and an affirmative smile, and Clarke smiled as she seized her first opportunity to boast about Lexa's work.

"Well that is something we have in common, and I'll be sure to pester you all about it over dinner with the others." Jake suggested wryly, and Lexa couldn't help but mirror his smile. 

"Why don't we grab a cocktail now? We have some time..." Abby suggested, brown eyes settling on Lexa. 

Clarke knew it was a trap, an interrogation. Cocktails? Alone? With just Lexa and her parents? On the first day of their charade? 

Hell no. 

Lexa was about to respond, but Clarke threw her arm around her waist, pinching gently at her side in an effort to warn her, trying not to laugh at the way she heard Lexa stifle a yelp. 

"Oh, no, mom." Clarke glanced up at the main, elegant clock hanging on the uppermost wall of the bustling lobby. "We've gotta go get checked in, and unpacked, and- Whoa, look, Raven!" Clarke waved Raven over, who'd just finished checking in with Anya. 

Abby was about to protest, but Clarke was quicker to the draw. "We'll meet you guys for dinner!" She yanked Lexa away, passing Raven on the way to the check-in desk, grateful for her friend's provided distraction. 

Raven smirked as she shouldered past Lexa, muttering, "Oh, tough luck. Mama Griffin's gonna be on your ass all week." 

 

Chapter Text

“Wow.” Lexa’s eyes widened as they took in the sight of the expansive suite before her, complete with a balcony, a spa-like bathroom, and a master bed that put Clarke and Lexa’s apartments to shame. “This…is…”

Clarke rolled her eyes, shaking her head. “Ugh. Sorry. My mom must not have heard me when I told her to get two beds. She wants grandchildren.”

Lexa lifted a sculpted brow, cheeks reddening almost instantly.

Clarke shrugged casually, as if it were a question she answered every day. “The woman’s a doctor, but doesn’t seem to get basic biology.” She made her way over to the welcome basket, completely with pre-sliced pineapple, on display on the main counter.

Lexa chuckled, watching Clarke’s reflection off the polished marble of the counter, taking a step towards her. “It’s fine. I’ll just sleep on the couch.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, turning to Lexa with a piece of pineapple in her hand. “Shut up.” She mumbled through her full mouth, stuffing the piece into Lexa’s with a smirk.

Lexa immediately reddened once more, wondering if wearing blush was even necessary if she was going to be spending all her time with Clarke Griffin. She bit down on the fruit, savoring the sweet juices that flooded into her mouth.

“You get off on pineapple?” Clarke raised a brow, leaning back against the counter with an amused look.

Lexa hadn’t realized her eyes were closed in pleasure. She opened them, glancing up in surprise. “I…what?”

“You were moaning.” Clarke teased, eyes glimmering with wry amusement. “Good to know.”

Lexa shook her head, stepping away from Clarke, turning towards the bedroom, yanking her suitcase from the front of the door. “You are incorrigible.” She muttered, hoping Clarke wouldn’t notice the way she almost stumbled over her words.

Clarke grinned, following her into the bedroom, dragging her own suitcase behind her. “Nice digs, right?”

Lexa nodded, making her way over to her suitcase, kneeling as she unzipped it.

“What are you up to, Woods?” Clarke as with a huff as she sat back onto the bed, feeling out the mattress like an excited twelve-year-old.

“What does it look like, Clarke?” Lexa replied. “Unpacking.”

Clarke grinned, sitting up. “Oh, this is classic Lexa.”

Lexa wheeled around, unaware that she was holding a bra. “What is?”

Clarke’s eyes widened. “Whoa, you brought lingerie? Lex, is there something you want to tell me?” She teased.

Lexa’s eyes widened as she dropped the lacy bra, watching it fall into her suitcase with a soft thud. “Clarke!” She sighed, bending over. “It’s not…lingerie.” She mumbled, setting back to taking out her clothes, which looked like they were organized by color, size, use, and possibly something else Clarke couldn’t think of. “I…I didn’t know what kind of clothes would be needed, so I simply prepared, for the…event, that might…I don’t know!” Lexa huffed.

Clarke chuckled to herself, shaking her head. “Relax, I’m kidding. Is this your idea or foreplay? Rambling?”

Lexa blushed profusely. “Clarke Griffin, you can sleep on the couch tonight.” She scolded teasingly, watching as Clarke hopped off the bed, turning to her suitcase.

“What are you wearing?” Clarke murmured, gazing at her haphazardly thrown clothing.

“Tonight?” Lexa asked tentatively. “I don’t know…a dress?”

“Nothing too formal.” Clarke nodded in agreement. “But, hey…with your body, who needs formal, am I right?” She shrugged nonchalantly, leaving Lexa gaping at the bathroom door that had now just shut before her.

She couldn’t help the shy smile that found its way to her lips.


 

“Clarke…” Lexa knocked on the bathroom door tentatively. “It’s been…” she glanced at her watch. “-two hours. I can hear you pacing in there.”

Clarke’s protests were for naught.

“I’m not pacing.”

“Why are you still in there? I changed already.” Lexa called back, leaning against the door.

“I…This dress isn’t going to work.” Clarke sighed from her side. “Can you maybe…look into my luggage and choose something else?”

Lexa’s eyes widened, and she immediately caught onto what was happening. “Again?” She asked somewhat incredulously. “Clarke, you’ve been out maybe three times. What’s gotten into you? You’re supposed to be the cool one.”

“I am the cool one.” Clarke’s teasing was half-hearted.

Lexa straightened up, knocking on the door.

“Yes?” Clarke sighed, unsure of why Lexa just bothered knocking after their entire exchange.

“Clarke.” Lexa murmured. “May I come in?”

“Yeah, yeah.” Clarke sighed once more. “It’s open.”

Lexa stepped in, pushing the door open tentatively as her eyes went up to meet Clarke.

Lexa gaped.

Clarke looked simply stunning. She was wearing a summer dress, in a cool cerulean blue hue that matched her eyes. Her earrings were just visible, sparkling behind her loosely styled hair, her makeup light and soft.

Clarke Griffin was a goddess.

“You look-”

“Terrible, right? Over the top?”

“What? God, no. Clarke, you look so beautiful.” Lexa murmured, forgetting where she was and why she was there.

She was losing herself into Clarke’s gaze, and she was fine with drowning in those pools, allowing the currents to float her away into Clarke’s embrace.

She snapped out of her haze when she noticed Clarke’s intense blush.

“What, seriously?” Clarke gaped back at her, glancing in the mirror, her frown slowly fading. She then wheeled around, her eyes taking in every inch of Lexa’s body.

Lexa herself was wearing a green dress, the straps thin on her tanned shoulders, revealing her athletic physique under her wavy brunette locks, which sat freely on her shoulder. Her emerald eyes danced with light, the dress matching her own gaze.

“Huh.” Clarke shook her head, leaning back against the sink.

“What?” Lexa asked, slightly self-conscious, heart sinking. Clarke didn’t like the dress?

“Do you ever look bad?” Clarke shook her head, voice in awe. “I just…you always look so damn good.”

Lexa blushed, heart pounding against her chest, feeling foolish for having doubted Clarke in the first place. “I’m sure that’s best friend bias.”

Clarke shrugged. “I pity your future girlfriend. Everyone you date will just…pale in comparison.”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “We’re already dating Ms. Griffin. No need to charm me.”

Clarke smirked. “Shut up, nerd.” She slapped Lexa’s arm lightly.

“Clarke?” Lexa asked after a moment of silence, grabbing Clarke’s wrist gently to capture her attention.

“Hmm?” Clarke hummed, turning to meet Lexa’s gaze.

“Why are you nervous?” Lexa asked softly.

“How could you tell?” Clarke mumbled, stepping out of the expanse of the bathroom, secretly admiring how Lexa had so neatly unpacked and organized both of their personal belongings.

“I’m your best friend. Comes with the territory.” Lexa affirmed. “Also, the pacing is a dead giveaway.”

Clarke blew out a laugh, shaking her head. “I don’t know. It’s just…this has always been a challenge for me. The first time I came out to my family, the first time I told them I wanted to pursue art…” She trailed off, eyes glazing with the memories.

“Were they unkind to you?” Lexa asked, suddenly quite defensive.

“What?” Clarke looked up in sudden surprise. “No, no…” she shook her head. “Nothing like that. I just…I’ve found that I’m always under the heaviest judgement here. And I guess, some part of me just wants to make them proud. But lately, with my art career, and no boyfriend or girlfriend…” She sighed, shaking her head once more. “I don’t know. I can’t help but feel a bit like a disappointment.”

“You have me.” Lexa nudged her arm with a small smile.

Clarke sighed. “I…I know. And thank you for agreeing to do this. But, I guess…It’s me that I’m having trouble convincing. I’m the one who doesn’t really believe in myself.”

Lexa sighed, pulling Clarke into a deeply expressive hug as she rubbed her back comfortingly, allowing Clarke to melt into her.

“I can’t think of a way to say this that won’t sound trite, or dull, but…. god, Clarke, if someone deserves to hear this, it’s you.” Lexa mumbled. “You’re perfect.”

Clarke fought off the tears that threatened to spill, opting for a hoarse laugh instead. “God, Woods…Don’t go falling in love with me.” She teased, but the sentiment behind the idle words were strong.

Lexa shook her head, hugging Clarke closer as she laughed in turn. “Don’t worry, I won’t.”

Clarke took a step back, drying the mist from her eyes with a tissue she plucked from the nightstand beside her, careful not to ruin her immaculate eyeliner. “Ready?” She asked gently.

“Always.” Lexa smiled, offering her hand as Clarke laced it with her own, beginning the great pilgrimage to the restaurant.


 

The sounds of the buzzing restaurant set Lexa on edge.

Okay, so she was nervous. A little.

She knew that it was all fake, that the impressions she made with Clarke’s friends and family weren’t so important in the long run, but she still felt as if she owed it to Clarke to be on her best behavior.

Clarke had still been holding her hand, idly brushing it with her thumb every now and then, without noticing. Of course, each time, Lexa had gotten chills, but she simply attributed it to the “chilly air”.

Granted, Los Angeles knew no such thing in the summer, but it was the best excuse she had.

They approached the two doors marking the entrance of the hotel’s main restaurant, which had a line wrapping around the back end of the hall.

Lexa fought the urge to gape. “Clarke, you said your parents already have a table?”

Clarke nodded. “My dad can pull some serious strings.”

Lexa nodded slowly, taking in the glory of it all. That kind of power, the influence…she wanted it all. She wanted to have that kind of control over her life.

Maybe Jake’s support of her business was her first step towards that.

They approached the hostess, who stood behind the podium looking particularly flustered. When Clarke approached, however, she perked up.

At first, Lexa thought it was because she was interested in her. Her grip on Clarke’s hand tightened ever so slightly.

Then she actually spoke.

“Clarke Griffin?” She asked, forcing a smile onto her tired features.

“Yeah.” Clarke nodded. “I’m here to meet-”

“-right this way. Your family is in the private room towards the back.” The hostess replied promptly, turning on her heels.

Lexa gave Clarke a look of surprise, while Clarke herself muttered, “Perfect.”

They followed the hostess into the restaurant and Lexa’s senses were immediately assaulted in a dramatic fashion. The first thing that Lexa noticed was how dim the lighting was. This was, mainly, due to the fact that Clarke miss-stepped and nearly stumbled into her; had it not been for her smooth catch, keeping Clarke perfectly on track as the hostess didn’t turn her head at all.

“Easy.” Lexa murmured in her ear, unaware that her simple motion gave Clarke chills of pleasure.

“Sorry.” Clarke croaked. “This place is darker than Anya’s soul.”

Lexa held back a bark of laughter, trying her best to maintain her polite manner. “They’ll be here, right?”

Clarke nodded. “Are you kidding? Raven missing dinner is about as likely as the sun not coming up tomorrow.”

Lexa smiled to herself, eyes taking in her surroundings as they made their way past elegantly set tables, mostly with dates over candle lit dinners, or groups of wealthy friends who’d come out to celebrate.

High ceilings boasted elaborate chandeliers, and plants filled the vacant corners beside the bustling tables, waiters passing them left in right, heavy looking trays of irresistible smelling dishes in hand.

A jazz band played in the corner, and Lexa couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen a restaurant with such good live music.

Clarke’s parents had really gone all out.

Lexa hoped that with their help, someday, she’d be able to return the favor. To Clarke, at the very least.

“Here we are.” The hostess stopped in front of two double doors in the back, pulling one open with minimal effort. “Enjoy your evening, ladies.” With that, she turned and left Clarke and Lexa to their own agenda.

Lexa could hear the chatter pouring out of the open doors, and straightened slightly.

“You’re going to be fine.” Clarke reminded with a smile, not hesitating to push the doors open all the way, forcing a smile as she pulled Lexa into the room.

The room was long and rectangular, boasting a table with a great many seats all the way across, elaborate place setting in each spot. No one was seated- everyone was standing, mingling, chatting about their achievements and failures for the past five years.

The room all but fell silent when Raven piped up from the back, Anya beside her, the two both elegantly cleaned up. “Look, Griff’s here!” She cried out, directing each and every gaze to her helpless friend.

“Son of a-” Clarke began, but stopped when Lexa stepped ever so gently on her toe. “Hey guys!” Clarke corrected her course with haste. “I’ll come around and say hi to everyone individually just…uh…do your thing!” She offered rather lamely, to which Lexa responded with a sympathetic gaze.

That relative moment of peace, of course, didn’t last.

Clarke was thrown out of Lexa’s grasp, not for the first time that day, by a gorgeous brunette, who now had her arms laced around Clarke’s neck.

“Hey Octavia.” Clarke grinned, stepping back from her friend’s embrace.

“Hey yourself.” Octavia responded coolly, her straight brunette hair falling around her shoulders gracefully. “Looks like we both have significant others to introduce, huh?”

“So I’ve heard.” Clarke took a step back, re-lacing her fingers with Lexa’s, while Octavia turned, bringing forward the very attractive man Clarke had seen while stalking Octavia’s social media accounts.

“Clarke, this is Lincoln. He’s my boyfriend.” Octavia smiled.

Clarke took in the man before her, taller than any of them. His head was shaven, and he wore a wry smile. “Clarke.” He stuck his hand out. His tone was warm, welcoming, the kind of tone Clarke wanted to lose herself in. Like Lexa’s. “Pleasure to meet you.”

Clarke shook his hand with a smile of her own. “Hey, I’m honored to meet anyone who meets Octavia’s standards.” She teased. Clarke watched the way Octavia made a motion to flip her off from behind Lincoln, hiding her grin. “And this-” she turned to Lexa, allowing her to step forward. “Is my girlfriend, Lexa.”

Lexa shook Octavia’s hand, and then Lincoln’s, a smile on her lips.

“So, Lexa…” Octavia smirked, slyly wrapping her arms around Lexa, who immediately blushed at the contact. “You want to hear some embarrassing Clarke stories?”

Clarke rolled her eyes at her antics. “Ha! No, thanks, O. We have better things to do.”

Lexa bit her lip. “Well, now that you mention it…”

“Lexa!” Clarke pressed her lips into a line, resembling Abby when she got impatient. “Baby, you don’t want to hear any of that…” She tugged on Lexa’s arm, and Lexa snapped out of her reverie upon hearing Clarke’s pet name for her. She wasn’t sure why it made such a brilliant warmth radiate within her.

“Sorry.” She smiled apologetically to Octavia, who winked in response, as if excusing her to move forward.

Clarke dragged Lexa over to the next group- Anya and Raven were there, surrounded by three boys. Clarke motioned to the first one, an Asian boy with a polite smile and an extended hand. “This is Monty, genius of all things techy.”

“Techy?” Lexa repeated amusedly, shaking his hand.

“She’s trying to call me a geek without actually saying it.” Monty elaborated. “You sure know how to choose them, Lexa.”

Lexa hid her grin at the exchange, eyes turning to the next boy Clarke motioned to, with shaggy hair and a flirtatious smile.

“Jasper, this is Lexa Woods, my-”

The boy leaned forward, pulling Lexa into a hug which lasted about a second too long, murmuring, in a faux debonair manner, “Hey, I’m Jasper Jordan, and I’d like t-”

Lexa froze, unsure of what exactly had happened in the split second between their meeting and his romantic advances.

“-And that’s my girlfriend.” Clarke specified once more, voice low, tugging Jasper off. “As in, off limits.”

“I thought you were kidding.” Jasper defended, eyebrows shooting up. “Have you seen her?”

Lexa blushed slightly and Clarke rolled her eyes, shoving him out of the way. She turned to the final boy with long locks that he combed back, and yet another flirtatious smile, which had been aimed at Raven, until that point.

“Finn Collins.” He grinned, offering up his hand. “I hear you’re quite the entrepreneur.”

Lexa felt Anya’s hard stare at the back of his head. So Anya had already decided that she didn’t like this Finn character?

“Lexa’s talking business with my dad later, Finn. You can join them if you want.” Clarke cut in, knowing full-well that Finn’s wealth wasn’t something to be taken lightly.

“Sure.” Finn nodded, settling his gaze back on Raven and Anya. “So, you two are just friends?”

“Yes.” Anya answered, her tone short and clipped.

“Why, Collins?” Raven smirked. “Looking for round two?”

Anya clenched the stem of her glass tightly, and Lexa feared her white-knuckled grip would soon send glass shards into her friend’s hand.

What the hell was going on there?

Lexa was dying to hear more, but Clarke wasn’t finished guiding her through the tangled web of friends and family.

Nearing the far end of the table, Lexa approached Jake and Abby, who were conversing with another woman who looked to be about their age.

“Mom, Dad, Aurora…” Clarke cleared her throat, and they all turned, grinning at Clarke delightedly. “You two know Lexa, my girlfriend, but…this is Aurora, Bellamy and Octavia’s mom.”

Clarke allowed Lexa to step forward and shake her hand, offering a polite greeting.

Clarke did a quick sweep of the room with her eyes. “Where’s Bellamy? And Murphy?” She asked.

Aurora smiled knowingly. “Bellamy is coming with Murphy in an hour or so. They arrived later than everyone else. I’m so glad you thought of him, though. He’ll be absolutely thrilled to see you, Clarke. He doesn’t ever stop talking about you.”

Clarke offered a small thanks and a smile, and she felt Lexa suddenly slip her arm around her waist, pulling them side by side, anchoring her to Lexa. She felt the familiar sensation of thrill sweep through her entire body at Lexa’s touch.

Abby stepped forward. “Lexa, honey, you look beautiful. How about that drink, sweetie?” She motioned to the bar.

Clarke knew this was Abby’s shot at one-on-one time with Lexa, and if she approved, then all Lexa had to do was convince Jake. This was her shot.

“I’d love to, Mrs. Griffin.” Lexa nodded, but Clarke interrupted.

“Sure, sure, no problem mom.” Clarke nodded enthusiastically, perhaps overly so. “Can I just steal her for a quick second?”

Abby nodded, turning back to Jake and Aurora, but Clarke could see that she was still watching from the corner of her eyes.

“Clarke, I’ll be fine.” Lexa murmured. “We’re ready for this.”

Clarke leaned forward, sliding her arms around Lexa’s neck for show, and she felt her friend stiffen beneath her. She leaned forward, towards Lexa’s ear, so that she could hear the whispers over the sound of music and chatter. “-Just be you. She’ll love you. Everyone does.” She murmured, and she felt all the eyes in the room, suddenly on them.

Lexa took in a sharp breath through parted lips, hoping she didn’t look as nervous as she felt.

Octavia, Anya, Raven, Jasper…They all looked on expectantly, shamelessly.

“See you in a bit, baby.” Clarke cooed as she leaned forward, enveloping Lexa’s soft, pillow-like lips into a tender kiss, feeling Lexa’s electric-like shock at the contact. It was a chaste, tender kiss, but both girls melted into it almost instantly. Clarke felt heat spread all over her body as she fought it off, leaning back.

“See you, love.” Lexa murmured before detaching herself with a smile, following Abby, who’d been staring at them rather pointedly, out the door and back into the main restaurant.

Clarke was still smiling stupidly, feeling her lips with the tips of her fingers. “Man.” Octavia smirked, coming up beside Clarke. “You’ve got it bad.”


 

Abby had guided Lexa to the bar, where two seats were reserved at the center, amidst a bustling scene.

Lexa fought the urge to look surprised. Had Abby booked this in advance? Had she been plotting this?

Lexa sat quietly beside her, straightening up, knowing that this was her ticket to impressing Abby, or satisfying her, at the very least. If she did that, Jake would be willing to do anything for her.

She just had to play her cards right.

Abby looked entirely predatory as she sat beside Lexa on the stool, leaning forward, motioning for two drinks, effectively ordering on Lexa’s behalf.

The barkeep nodded, and Lexa had to gape at the efficiency with which Abby was served.

Clarke wasn’t kidding about money carrying weight and importance.

And ordering a drink for her? That was certainly bold.

“So…” Abby began, swiveling to face Lexa, taking the entirety of her figure in with a hard glance. “Lexa.”

“Mrs. Griffin.” Lexa replied evenly, a small smile gracing her lips. She had to keep it amicable, even though she knew Abby’s game.

“You and Clarke met…how long ago?” Abby asked with a wry smile.

“About…a little over a year ago.” Lexa replied, thinking back to their first meeting, and how Raven hit on Anya while Clarke and Lexa gaped at each other.

“I see.” Abby nodded. “Neighbors, right?”

“Yes ma’am.” Lexa responded.

“And when did you two officially get together?” Abby prodded. “Clarke hardly keeps me up over the phone.”

Oh, shit. Had they gone over that? Lexa’s mind was drawing a blank. She decided to go with the time Clarke had “asked her out” after her stupid balcony-hopping stunt that left Lexa breathless for several reasons.

“A few months ago. But, of course, we were always friendly from the start.” Lexa replied smoothly.

“Friendly as in casual sex?” Abby pressed, eyebrows raised.

Lexa’s eyes widened as she struggled to hold Abby’s gaze, her cheeks burning, the dim lighting hopefully masking that. “What? No, I mean…we’re best friends, Dr. Griffin. We were friends before we pursued a relationship.”

It didn’t help that Lexa was now imagining sleeping with Clarke. She crossed her legs, glancing away momentarily.

“Right. That’s good. Relationships based off friendships tend to be more satisfying, in the long run.” Abby nodded, sounding satisfied.

Maybe she believed Lexa because Lexa actually sounded like she and Clarke were some celibate couple who’d never been intimate in their lives.

Lexa wanted to internally kick herself for not having prepared for that question, but who knew Abby was going to be so forward?

The bartender set their drinks down, and Lexa realized that Abby had ordered what was no doubt two glasses of an expensive looking scotch, neat.

Maybe it was a metaphor for Abby. No games, no fancy cocktails, just hard, a little abrasive, and to the point.

“I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of ordering for you.” Abby slid the drink towards her. “Clarke usually dates people who can handle her partying lifestyle.”

Well, that was certainly a challenge, wasn’t it?

“I’m not one for partying, Dr. Griffin.” Lexa replied, taking a sip, her expression indecipherable.

“Really?” Abby shot back, taking a sip of her own. “One would think that, maybe you and Clarke aren’t compatible, then?”

Lexa wore a smirk. It couldn’t have been liquid courage. Not after one sip, that was still in the process of burning her throat. “Quite the opposite, I think. It just means I’m better equipped to care for her.”

Abby would have sputtered or choked on her drink if she didn’t have the self-control of a practiced woman of her age. “I see.” She nodded. “And what is it you do for a living, sweetie?”

Lexa cleared her throat. “I have my own financial company.”

Abby was nodding now, as if testing the waters. “Clarke tells me you’re quite the scholar.”

“Georgetown.” Lexa shrugged nonchalantly, as if it hadn’t been one of the greatest achievements of her short lifetime. As if she hadn’t spent nights studying, dying to put her own miserable past behind her and begin anew.

“Impressive.” Abby gave her credit where credit was due. “You and Clarke don’t exactly seem like a match.” She sighed.

Lexa cocked a brow. “I’m sorry?”

“Lexa. You’re a numbers girl, a dedicated scholar, and you seem like you like a good amount of order in your life. I like that. Very much.”

Lexa nodded slowly, accepting the compliment, wondering when the big “but” was coming.

“But…” Abby began.

Fantastic.

“-Clarke is a wild spirit, a free soul, an artist. That’s a lot of Jake’s doing, I’m afraid. Clarke loves intensely, and deeply…”

Lexa stiffened, feeling entirely too uncomfortable. This all felt a bit real, a bit too genuine and authentic, and Lexa had to wonder if she’d maybe gone too far down the rabbit hole with this entire charade. But Abby admitted that she respected her. That was something worth fighting for, wasn’t it? So that all this effort, all her schooling, all the hours she’d poured into her business wouldn’t be for naught.

“I just…I’d hate to see her heart broken.” Abby spoke softly and tersely all at once, a warning and a threat.

Lexa froze, swallowing almost audibly. “Dr. Griffin, I…I would never hurt her. She’s my best friend.”

Well, that part wasn’t a lie.

Abby nodded, eyes locking with Lexa’s, and Lexa felt as if she were being hunted by a predatory Lioness, defending her cub with great intensity. “That’s what makes this so…tricky. Lexa, I know my daughter. One glance into her eyes tells me that she’s head over heels for you. I’ve never seen Clarke like this, in all her years.”

Lexa’s heart was hammering inside her chest as she struggled to keep from spilling her drink on herself, taking a steady sip to numb her senses, to no avail.

Abby wasn’t simply trying to get under Lexa’s skin. She feared for Clarke, and as far as Lexa was concerned, that meant they shared the same views.

“What exactly are your intentions with Clarke, Lexa?” Abby asked, her voice fair but threatening, as if she were giving Lexa one chance, and one chance only, to answer correctly.

Lexa took in a breath, deciding to go with a simple truth, as it would sound more believable in the end. “I don’t know, Dr. Griffin. What I can guarantee you, however, is that Clarke is one of…No, the most important person in my life. I cannot speak for her, or our future as a couple, but I know that I will always love and care for her.”

Abby nodded, tossing back the rest of her drink, looking satisfied. “You’re not sugar-coating it. I like that, Woods. Let’s get back to the others, the kids are dying to get to know Clarke’s new love.”

Lexa wanted to heave a sigh of relief, but she couldn’t muster the strength.

So she’d survived the first round of Abby Griffin.


 

Clarke’s eyes shot forward as she saw Lexa step back into their private dining room, Abby in tow. Her blue gaze searched Lexa’s for any clues, any answers at all, but Lexa remained stoic, her expression schooled.

Clarke had been chatting with her father and Lincoln, and had turned to approach Lexa, who instead motioned for her to stay and finish her conversation with Jake.

Lexa knew it was her time to assimilate into the group, and she knew it would feel more natural if Clarke wasn’t looming beside her nervously.

She missed Clarke’s adorable pout as she approached Raven, Octavia, and Anya, who’d formed their group off to the side.

“Hey Lex.” Anya muttered, out of earshot of the other two girls, allowing the best friends some time to catch up.  “Tell me you’re having a better time.”

“Hardly. I was attacked.” Lexa muttered her response, trying to keep the scowl off her features.

“Who’s the thorn in your side?” Anya smirked, watching Lexa fight away any aggravation.

“Clarke’s mom.” Lexa replied, nudging her gently.

“Yikes. She looks like a hardass.” Anya muttered apologetically.

“She is.” Lexa grunted.

“I heard she really wants Clarke to get with this one’s-” she jerked her head to Octavia, “-brother.”

Lexa’s eyes narrowed.

“Easy there, Lex.” Anya smirked. “It’s just for a week. You don’t need to get all riled up. Unless, of course…you’re actually whipped for Griffin.”

“Yeah?” Lexa countered with a hiss. “I saw how pleased you were when Finn Collins was approaching Reyes back there. What was that? You’re not even fake dating, no excuse there.”

“Lexa.” Octavia’s low voice interrupted as she tossed a friendly arm around Lexa, who immediately relaxed her features to eliminate any trace of the little friendly spat she’d just had with Anya.

“Octavia.” Lexa greeted politely, forcing a smile for the umpteenth time that evening.

“I promised you some dirt on Griffin, and I…” Octavia fished her phone from her purse, slung over the back of the chair in front of her. “-am a woman of my word.”

Raven smirked, going to stand beside Anya, who mirrored her expression.

“Well, I couldn’t possibly lie and say I’m not interested.” Lexa admitted, shifting to turn to Lincoln and Clarke, who were at the other side of the room, still talking with Jake. “Fine.” She sighed. “Something quick.”

Octavia smirked. “That’s my girl. Let’s see here…I saved some screen shots of our award winning texting conversations just for this moment.”

Lexa’s brows shot up, and she ran a hand through her hair nervously. This wasn’t planned. Clarke never mentioned that she’d been texting Octavia about Lexa.

This was real. These were Clarke’s actual thoughts and feelings about her.

Lexa readied herself for whatever was coming her way. Was it awful? Did Clarke hate her? Lexa steeled herself.

“Okay, first one dates back to…Oh! Clarke was at a party with Ray, so…The first day you moved in, I think. Let’s see…” Octavia’s screen lit up as deft thumbs scrolled through various screenshots until she landed on one, grinning. She passed Lexa the phone.

The conversation read:

Clarke (10:42 PM): O, you’re not gonna believe my luck

Octavia (10:43 PM): Did Raven lose another bet?

Octavia: I told her she’s not as smooth as she thinks she is

Clarke: NO

Clarke: BETTER

Octavia: It’s a girl, isn’t it?

Clarke: Yes

At this point, Lexa’s heart was racing as she scanned the screen, scrolling to the next portion of the conversation, trying to look amused, but worrying herself to death internally.

Octavia (10:45 PM): Damn. Fill me in.

Clarke: O, my new neighbor is probably the hottest person I’ve ever met.

Octavia: Shit really? Like hotter than that girl you dated from the coffee shop?

Clarke: YES. Like stunning. Insanely hot. And her VOICE.

Octavia: Her voice?

Clarke: It’s low and commanding and ugh just take me to bed already

Lexa had to keep from choking, unable to fight the grin that made its way onto her face. She never had any idea.

Octavia: Wow Clarke calm the thirst there. You get her name? Her #?

Clarke: …No…

Octavia: What? Why lol?

Clarke: Idk her! She’s probably not even into girls.

Octavia: wow she must be something, you’re never nervous

Clarke: she is.

Lexa was unable to contain the immense rush of warmth that spread throughout her body, just knowing how Clarke thought about her. If only Clarke knew that Lexa, while not an avid fan of texting, had the exact same thoughts about her at the time.

They were both such idiots.

Clarke: Her name is Lexa. Like…Even her name is Sexy, O.

Clarke: Oh. I got it! Sexy Lexy.

Clarke: I’m a genius.

Lexa’s blush burned her cheeks as Raven and Octavia burst into tears of laughter, effectively alarming Clarke from the other side of the room, as she now hustled over, yanking the phone from Lexa’s grasp.

“Octavia!” Clarke’s eyes scanned the screen and her voice was hoarse with humiliation. “What the hell?”

Lexa couldn’t mask the giddy feeling she felt inside, yet she still felt awful for the violation of Clarke’s privacy. In her defense, it was to better her budding relationship with Clarke’s friends, of course.

“Oh come on!” Octavia grinned, snatching her phone back. “You’re dating! It’s not like its news!”

“Yeah.” Anya pressed, smirking at Griffin. “Sexy Lexy, huh? Way to be subtle.”

Raven was still shaking with laughter, leaning against Octavia for support.

Clarke’s cheeks flushed as she hid her gaze, shaking her head. “Unbelievable. Who can I trust anymore?”

Lexa then realized that everyone was glancing at her expectantly. She cleared her throat, turning to Clarke with an apologetic smile. “Clarke, I’m sorry…I thought it was…very flattering.” She admitted, causing Clarke to turn beet red.

“You suck.” Clarke muttered, getting more laughs from her companions.

“Oh, come on, Clarke.” Lexa spoke soothingly, wrapping her arms around Clarke, Clarke mortified into stillness, leaning her head against Lexa’s chest. “It was cute.” Lexa added.

Of course, Clarke was actually mortified because that was what she actually thought about Lexa, outside of their little fake couple arrangement.

Now Lexa truly knew how attractive Clarke had found her. Perfect. This totally wasn’t going to add to their already awkward dynamic at all.

Lexa knew she was playing the part right, as everyone watching “awed” in approval.  It also just felt like the natural thing to do. She really was consoling Clarke, telling her that her feelings and…compliments…were valid.

“Seriously, I’m flattered.” Lexa murmured to Clarke’s ear, knowing that at least some part of Clarke would know that she was being genuine.

“You’re totally sleeping on the couch tonight.” Clarke muttered, but Lexa knew she was only teasing her best friend. She knew Clarke well enough to know the difference between grumpy Clarke and actually-angry Clarke. This was certainly the former.

“Sexy Lexy, huh?” She teased, earning her a jab to her stomach.

“Don’t let it go to your head.” Clarke muttered, cheeks still rosy, friends still laughing.

This certainly changed things, didn’t it?


 

It was right as the appetizers started coming in platters through the double doors, that Lexa first laid eyes on the notorious Bellamy Blake.

He was tall, and true to his pictures on social media. Lexa could see why he was such an item of…attraction within the group. His mop of curly brown hair was brushed out of his eyes, and his smile was warm.

Lexa hated that he actually looked decent in a black button up, next to the man who was presumably John Murphy, who wore a leather jacket and a bored expression, drink already in hand.

As Bellamy made his rounds, greeting everyone, he made eye contact with Clarke over a hug from Lincoln, winking at her with a smile.

It wasn’t even flirtatious. It could have been interpreted as any number of things. It could have been a greeting, or an inside joke…It could have been anything.

But Lexa didn’t like the feeling it gave her in the pit of her stomach.

“Clarke, look!” Abby smiled, just having greeted Bellamy. “Bellamy’s finally here.”

Clarke muttered under her breath, “I have eyes, mom.”

Lexa stifled a laugh at that, politely following Clarke, stiffening when Bellamy enveloped her into a hug, lifting her slightly off the ground.

“Hey, princess.” He smiled, voice deep and smooth.

“Hey Bell.” Clarke smiled and Lexa could tell it was genuine.

“How’s my best friend from the east end?” Bellamy teased, setting her down.

Best friend? Lexa ignored that little stinging sensation she felt.

“Busy, and broke.” Clarke replied with an airy laugh. “Bell, I have to introduce you to someone.”

“Sure.” Bellamy smiled, stepping forward with his had extended for Lexa to shake. “You must be Lexa Woods, right?”

Lexa looked surprised. Had Clarke spoken to him about her? When had Clarke even spoken to him?

“I uh…Yes.” Lexa wanted to curse herself for the lamest reply she’d ever given. “You must be Bellamy. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Bellamy nodded. “All good I hope? Clarke and I have had some…questionable experiences. Like that time in Aus-”

“Bell!” Clarke smacked his prominent bicep, and Lexa resisted the urge to act possessively. She was being irrational. “Stop! I’ve been embarrassed enough tonight!”

Lexa Woods always kept a level head.

Even if Abby was staring lovingly at Clarke and Bellamy like they were some picturesque celebrity couple out of the magazines.

Murphy just nodded to Clarke and Lexa from afar, slinking beside Raven, his most trusted companion in the group.

Jake lifted his glass, tapping on his flute of champagne with his knife lightly, the ringing bringing everyone to attention. “Guys.” He smiled. “Our little family is back, with some new faces…” He smiled at Lexa, who blushed lightly. She’d decided that she’d taken a liking to Jake. “And some old ones.” He smiled at Octavia, who’d been chatting with him moments ago. “I think we’re all starving, and this dinner should get underway! I’m just…so happy to see all of you again. I can’t wait to spend the next few days catching up, and I’d just like to welcome Lincoln, Anya, and Lexa to our family. I hope we don’t scare you off.” He winked at Lexa, and Clarke shook her head, amused by his antics. “Let’s eat.”


 

Lexa had been seated next to Clarke, of course, with Bellamy a safe distance away across the table.

Unless of course, they’d been brushing feet together under the table.

Which Lexa totally hadn’t checked for, while picking up Clarke’s dropped napkin for her.

The food was delicious, and though Lexa was a bit of a health freak, even she splurged on the elaborate dishes brought before them, courtesy of Jake and Abby.

Chatter filled the table at every level. Octavia told Lincoln all about her college antics, while Raven and Anya snickered to themselves. Finn and Murphy were arguing about football, while Jasper and Monty fought over a piece of chocolate cake when the dessert trays arrived.

When Clarke’s eyes spotted a cookie, she instinctively reached for it, her arms not quite reaching the platter.

“Here, love.” Lexa murmured instinctively, earning an adoring look from Clarke when she handed her the cookie.

Jake smiled at Lexa. “Good looking and you pay attention to her cookie needs? There’s a keeper, Clarke.” He grinned.

“Dad…” Clarke groaned, shaking her head in embarrassment as Lexa blushed.

“You know…” Bellamy began by clearing his throat. “Clarke’s always been a cookie person.”

Of course Bellamy would have some adorable little anecdote about Clarke’s eating habits.

Lexa narrowed her eyes, schooling her expression. It wasn’t a competition.

“You said you were neighbors, right Lexa?” Aurora Blake spoke from her end of the table, a smile on her features.

Lexa nodded. “We are, yes.” She replied with a smile.

Abby smiled to herself, eyes glazed over with memories. “I remember when the Blakes moved next door for the first time. Clarke, you were maybe…five?”

Bellamy grinned. “Yeah, and even then you were a thief.”

Clarke dropped her cookie, playfully offended. “Am not!”

“You were!” Bellamy smirked. “I remember we heard a crash from the kitchen, and everyone ran over, and you tried to climb the sink counter to get to my personal cookie stash!”

The whole table combusted into a laughing fit at the familiar memory, and Lexa felt oddly left out.

Clarke’s cheeks reddened as she muttered, “Almost had them, too.”

Bellamy nodded, continuing. “Yeah, you were always adventurous like that.”

Lexa saw her opportunity and seized it, consequences damned. “Yes, like…how she asked me out for the first time. She scaled her balcony and leapt over to mine.”

Abby choked on her food and the table roared in approval, Jasper and Monty banging their fists down in laughter while Clarke smirked triumphantly, Bellamy’s jaw dropping.

“You what?” Abby demanded but by that point the conversation was out of her hands.

“Well…” Bellamy recovered airily. “I actually believe that, because Clarke’s never been afraid of heights.”

“Oh holy shit.” Raven muttered under her breath to Anya.

“This is a pissing match, isn’t it?” Anya agreed, smirk on her features.

She’d take Lexa’s side any day of the week.

“But, you know what Clarke is afraid of?” Bellamy began, looking as if he had a fantastic story on the tip of his tongue.

“-Snakes.” Lexa supplied, watching his face fall slightly.

Everyone at the table watched the match like it was a tennis rally, eyes going back and forth between Lexa and Bellamy, their eyes wide and their jaws hanging.

Clarke seemed to realize what was happening, and she froze, unsure of what to do.

“You know, once, we were playing in the backyard at our old place…” Bellamy began confidently.

“The one with the treehouse!” Octavia chimed in. Lincoln smiled at her enthusiasm, pressing a quick kiss to her hand.

“Oh, you and Bellamy used to pretend to get married in that treehouse.” Aurora smiled fondly.

“And one day, I was digging a pool, for my beautiful wife…” Bellamy teased, watching Clarke bury her head in her hands. “And we came across a rattlesnake. I’m pretty sure Clarke started sobbing.”

“I was eight, let it go!” Clarke rolled her eyes, smiling nonetheless, and the table once again found themselves laughing at a fond memory.

“Well…” Lexa shrugged. “I mean, we don’t have a yard at our place, so Clarke just paints incredible views from the balcony.”

“Aww, Lex…” Clarke turned to her with a genuine smile.

Clarke blushed at Lexa’s compliment, meeting Jake’s eyes, brimming with pride at the mention of his daughter’s artistic talents.

 “I’ll bet you’re painting sunsets.” Bellamy chimed in. “We always used to watch those together. You love them.”

“Well I mean-”

“Well, she certainly loves pizza, but you don’t see her painting that.” Lexa quipped bravely, earning a roar of laughter from the table.

“I’d actually believe it if she had a few ‘pizza portraits” Raven smirked, dodging a bunched up napkin that Clarke threw at her.

“Clarke used to challenge me to pizza eating competitions.” Bellamy challenged, leaning forward. “She can’t do more than four slices in a sitting.”

“But she can eat an entire carton of chocolate ice cream.” Lexa countered.

“Oh this is just so flattering.” Clarke muttered, shaking her head. “Thanks, guys.”

Anya snorted with laughter at that, the entire table grinning, oblivious to their obvious competition.

“Speaking of ice cream…” Bellamy began.

Murphy smirked from behind his bite of cheesecake, readying himself for the grand finale that was so inevitably coming.

“Bell…” Clarke whined, eyeing him.

“Clarke accidentally dropped an entire cone of vanilla ice cream on her chest at prom, and her dress was-” Bellamy never finished.

“Blue, because she wanted it to match her eyes. And its also Clarke’s fa-”

“Favorite color. Which I know, because…” He turned to Clarke with a wink. “We’ve been best friends for years. We’re close.”

“Damn.” Finn muttered under his breath. How was Lexa going to top that outright statement this time?

Lexa Woods was never one to back down from a challenge, no matter how petty. In retrospect, she probably should have.

Maybe it was one too many drinks.

Clarke looked red in the cheeks, reaching forward in an odd attempt to distract them both. “Look, guys. Cake.”

That statement was thoroughly ignored.

Clarke sighed, biting into the frosted edge, hoping that it would end right there and then.

“Well, I mean…there’s no competition here.” Lexa reminded with a light laugh and a wry smile.

Bellamy smiled, thinking that Lexa was formally backing down. Until she opened her mouth again.

“I wouldn’t beat myself up, if I were you, Bellamy. I suppose I know her a bit more…intimately.” Lexa replied coolly, leaning forward to kiss a little frosting off the edge of Clarke’s lips.

Abby began coughing.

Anya grinned and Raven dropped her fork, not bothering to miss a second of the apparent show Lexa and Bellamy had just put on.

Clarke’s eyes went wide as she felt Lexa’s lips brush against the corner of her own, so unexpectedly, tasting a tiny bit of Lexa mixing with the frosting. It was heavenly.

There was a moment of silence, likely for Bellamy’s dignity.

Lexa’s heart was beating so hard against her chest that she thought she might have been having a heart attack.

And then Raven muttered, “Holy shit, nicely done Woods!” Under her breath, and the so called
“delinquents” began barking out laughs of their own.  Lexa was earning smirks and smiles left and right as Raven slow clapped it out for her.

Bellamy laughed himself, likely to avoid the awkward tension he and Lexa had just built up.

Jake himself broke out into a grin, having never been fond of Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship, knowing how uninterested Clarke was. He only stopped when Abby roughly elbowed him in the side.

Clarke turned to Lexa with a look of utter attraction, a numb smile on her lips as she eyed Lexa, who licked her own lips in a satisfied manner. 

Just then, the waiter came back into the room, platter in hand. “Who ordered seconds?” He grinned.

Chapter Text

By the time Clarke and Lexa reached their room, they were both thoroughly exhausted from the trying experience of dinner with Clarke’s friends.

Lexa was still somewhat proud of her apparently extensive knowledge of Clarke, cementing her place as her rightful best friend, as if there was any doubt to begin with.

Clarke, on the other hand, had been pleasantly intrigued and confused by Lexa’s brief display of passionate enthusiasm, and credited it to nothing more than nerves. It’s not like Lexa had to be jealous of Bellamy. Clarke wasn’t even interested in him.

Clarke, while fumbling with the keycard in the slit of the lock, decided to mildly press Lexa for information, since they’d mostly discussed the food (which was mainly Clarke’s doing), on the way up.

“Clarke, may I help you?” Lexa asked softly, amusedly watching Clarke struggle.

She hadn’t even had anything to drink, she just didn’t have what Lexa called the “magic touch” when it came to inserting the keycard properly.

Clarke had later made a joke saying she’d show Lexa how magical her touch could be, earning herself a smack on the arm and an eye roll.

“Sure.” Clarke mumbled dejectedly, handing Lexa the card. “Have at it.”

Lexa chuckled, stepping forward, sliding the card through in one motion, becoming cheekier by the second as the small light blinked green and she held the door open for Clarke.

“Thanks.” Clarke muttered teasingly, snatching the key from her as she made a beeline for the bedroom, eager to take her heels off.

“Clarke?” Lexa asked tentatively. “Are you changing, or-?”

“Lexa, please.” Clarke rolled her eyes, stepping through the doorframe to grab Lexa’s wrist, pulling her into the room. “We’re not those awkward friends who have to avoid each other. I’ll just take the bathroom.”

Lexa nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat as she removed her own heels. She watched Clarke pick up a few pieces of clothing from the dresser she’d unpacked everything into earlier, and then march into the bathroom, closing the door slightly.

“So.” Lexa paused for a moment, sliding the straps off her shoulders as she set about changing. “When you said a family reunion, I’ll admit, this isn’t what I pictured.”

“You pictured my family? Gross.” Clarke’s teasing call echoed in the bathroom.

Lexa shook her head, well aware that Clarke couldn’t see. “Clarke.” She sighed. “You know what I mean.”

“What? You pictured great aunts and uncles and just a bunch of wrinkly people in general, pinching my cheeks?” Clarke replied, laughing a little at the sight she’d conjured in her mind.

“Well, yes.” Lexa admitted, pulling on her nightgown: a short black dress with a thin, breathable material, and a slit on the left leg. She hadn’t considered how…risqué it might have looked until the moment she saw herself in the mirror on the back of the bathroom door, where Clarke changed on the other side.

“Nope.” Clarke’s voice sounded muffled, and then came a grunt. “That’s…Ugh, that’s my family. They’re- Uh- all friends, really. We’re all just- Dammit! We’re all close.”

Lexa’s brows furrowed in absolute confusion. “…Clarke?” She questioned.

Whatever Clarke was up to, it sounded…dirty.

Lexa immediately scolded herself for thinking that, and instead eyed the soft looking carpet, deciding that, if Clarke was taking as long as she was, she might have been able to slip in a few yoga poses.

“Sorry.” Clarke heaved on the other side. “I almost suffocated trying to get this god forsaken dress off.”

Lexa chuckled amusedly to herself. Clarke certainly was the girlier one, but after a long evening of socializing and heels, she knew Clarke got all wound up and flustered, until she changed into something baggy and lazy.

Lexa secretly adored it.

“Okay.” Clarke sighed, pushing the door open. She froze, dropping the dress as she caught sight of Lexa, who’d been in the middle of a side stretch, her dress and leg slit rising tantalizingly up her side.

“Whoa.” Clarke breathed, eyes fixated on Lexa’s figure. She was pretty sure her mouth parted and she started drooling a little. Lexa Woods was such a goddess.

Lexa had stopped mid-stretch, freezing as she caught sight of Clarke’s tight fitting tank top and roomy boy-shorts, her breathing suddenly labored. She tried to play it off like she had been at it longer, and she was merely fatigued.

“Yoga?” Clarke asked incredulously.

“Care to join?” Lexa teased, knowing Clarke abhorred any physical activity that wasn’t one-hundred percent mandatory.

“Uh…” This time, Clarke’s refusal came much more slowly than it normally would have. Lexa couldn’t understand why, even though it was so obviously the advantage Clarke possessed, of seeing her figure in such a kind nightgown. “Mmm…Oh, no!” Clarke’s brow furrowed and she pouted, shaking her head.

“That’s my girl.” Lexa chuckled, straightening as she turned to her other leg.

Clarke smiled numbly to herself as she yanked the mini-fridge open. Her girl. She liked that.

“So.” Clarke began, delighted to find a chocolate bar towards the side of the fridge door. “You did…well, tonight.”

Lexa smiled in response, murmuring a quiet thank you. “I think Bellamy doesn’t like me.” She added, unable to conceal her smirk of satisfaction.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Bellamy can leave, then. Clarke Griffin defends her girlfriends.” She added with a faux triumphant voice.

Lexa watched her with a raised brow. “Girlfriends? As in plural? More than one?” She teased. “Clarke Griffin, are you telling me that I’m not the only one?” Lexa batted her eyelashes as she pulled herself into a crisscross seating position, stretching her arms out before her.

Clarke’s pupils dilated uncontrollably when she saw Lexa’s toned arms inching forward, long fingers curling at the tips. She shoved a piece of chocolate into her mouth.

Oh, wonderful, an aphrodisiac.

Just what she needed.

“Octavia likes you.” Clarke mumbled, but before Lexa could make any snide remarks regarding the valuable secrets she’d learned earlier, Clarke threw a hand up. “And shut up.”

Lexa merely smiled in response, eyes failing to miss the way Clarke sucked a little chocolate off the tips of her fingers.

Suddenly, Lexa wanted chocolate.

“Hey!” Clarke asked suddenly, eyes widening.

Lexa looked alarmed, mirroring her expression as she stood, smoothing out her dress. “What is it?”

“What did my mom say to you?” Clarke asked, scrambling to the edge of the bed, closest to where Lexa was standing.

Lexa looked relaxed, then, as she realized it wasn’t an emergency. “Oh.” She took a breath. “Nothing, really.”

She decided against telling Clarke about the bit where Abby called her fragile and a wild soul, incompatible with Lexa’s need for order and consistency. Lexa didn’t want to believe it herself.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “What, did she swear you into secrecy?”

“She grilled me.” Lexa shrugged nonchalantly, as if it wasn’t one of the more intimidating things she’d ever done. “She ordered me a scotch, asked about us…”

Clarke pouted. “Tell me.” She sighed. “She’s done this and I want to know what her secrets are, she scares everyone away.”

Lexa smiled. “I’m still here, aren’t I?”

Clarke got onto her knees, leaning forward, wobbling slightly. Like she’d predicted, Lexa’s hands were out in seconds, preventing her from falling.

“Can I bribe you?” Clarke asked with a playful grin. “I saw the way you’ve been eyeing this chocolate.”

“Bribe?” Lexa scoffed. “Please, I was just working out, I-”

“I noticed.” Clarke blurted out, immediately reddening and covering her mouth.

Lexa glanced away, cheeks rosy.

“Lex, come on.” Clarke groaned, waving the chocolate in front of her face, “A bite for an answer.”

Lexa cocked a brow. “That is…an enticing offer.” She decided. “Move over.”

“Yes commander.” Clarke laughed, moving aside so that Lexa could sit beside her. Clarke yanked the covers over them for good measure, though they stayed upright against the pillows.

“So, what questions did she ask?” Clarke inquired innocently.

“When we met, how we met…” Lexa shrugged. “Typical parent questions, I suppose.”

Clarke nodded, breaking off a piece of chocolate and handing it to her.

Lexa put it in her mouth, cursing herself for being so weak, yet savoring each and every second of the sweet flavor.

“Oh, she was trying to figure out how long we’ve been sleeping together. If, at all.” Clarke nodded suddenly, causing Lexa to choke on her chocolate altogether. “Whoa, easy there tiger.” Clarke laughed lightly, patting Lexa’s back, as if it did anything.

“She what?” Lexa croaked after a moment. “If I’d known, I wouldn’t have been so headstrong,  I-”

“Lex, Lex…” Clarke turned to face her, shaking her head. “It’s fine. You’re good. She’s just trying to get a feel for you.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “Is there a reason why she pushes you towards Bellamy?”

Clarke nodded in response. “Well, I think she thinks it’s the safe route. She worries about me having big dreams and getting my heart broken…” She shrugged. “I mean, I know she doesn’t approve of my art career.”

Lexa frowned. “What makes you say that?”

“You can tell. She’s always telling me to go back, finish med…”

“But you abhorred pre-med.” Lexa mumbled to herself, missing Clarke’s smile when she recited the fact.

“Right.” Clarke nodded. “Thankfully, there’s dad for that department. With whom, by the way, I’ve set up a little talk with.”

Lexa’s heart hammered slightly. “For me?” She asked softly.

“Yeah.” Clarke nodded. “You two can get lunch tomorrow while I catch up with my mom or Octavia and Lincoln. Just meet me whenever. And don’t worry. He’s nothing like my mom.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “I…thank you, Clarke.”

Clarke smiled back. “Cheer up, Lex. Your business is going to be fantastic, and this nightmare will be over soon.”

Lexa wanted to tell her it wasn’t a nightmare. That she was actually enjoying her time with Clarke, and even her interestingly weird friends. She hadn’t felt like this in years. Tonight, with Bellamy, she’d proven that she was worthy of a spot in their presence.

It was oddly satisfying, and Lexa wanted more of it.

“Clarke?” Lexa asked, glancing at Clarke’s inquisitive blue gaze. “May I ask you something?”

“Best friends typically don’t have to ask, Lex.” Clarke replied amusedly.

Lexa was always so polite, so formal…it was endearing.

“Was today too much?” Lexa’s voice sounded unsure.

“With Bellamy?” Clarke asked, brow furrowed. “Of course not.”

“Really?” Lexa looked perplexed. “I think I might have misread the signs…I understood that he was interested in you, and so I took the liberty of defe-”

“-Lexa.” Clarke cut in. “You’re fine. It was funny. Everyone thought so. Plus, you made us look convincing.”

Lexa nodded slowly. “Alright.”

“Plus…” Clarke glanced up into her virid eyes. “The kiss?”

Lexa’s heart was erratically pumping as she struggled to maintain a calm demeanor.

“Nice touch.” Clarke offered. “I was a bit surprised.”

“Sorry.” Lexa winced. She hadn’t meant to-

“Pleasantly surprised, Lex.” Clarke responded, and then suddenly, her mind flew to the way Lexa ever so gently sucked the icing off her bottom lip with those luscious lips in the brief kiss, and heat flooded south from where it had pooled in her stomach. “Oh, hey! TV…” Clarke glanced at the blank TV screen mounted on the wall, directly across from their view. “Shall we browse, Lex?” She wiggled her eyebrows and Lexa caved, hard.

“Fine.” Lexa threw her head back in a silent little laugh. She was used to reading in the evening to calm her nerves about business, and Clarke knew that. Sometimes, she even wore glasses on the bridge of her nose, which Clarke promptly laughed at. Little did Lexa know that Clarke then secretly fantasized about Lexa’s glasses and rolled up sleeves for the next week and a half.  “Browse away.”

Clarke grabbed the remote from her side of the nightstand, switching the TV on. “I wonder what’s on.”

The first channel was a news channel that Lexa listened to regularly. Her emerald gaze lit up when she heard them talk about politics, but Clarke just glanced at her, making a face.

“Seriously? Politics gets you all hot and bothered?” Clarke teased.

Lexa blushed at the lewdness of the comment, rolling her eyes. “I enjoy being informed.”

Clarke chuckled. “Well, with me, you’re going to be very ignorant, thank you very much.” She changed the channel.

Lexa pondered her words. Ignorance? That sounded about right. She felt almost blissful, after all.

“Oh, Grey’s Anatomy!” Clarke clasped her hands together in adoration.

It was Lexa’s turn to use her vetoing powers. “Clarke, no.” She glanced at Clarke, then disdainfully at the screen. “It is a universal truth that House MD was the superior hospital drama.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “No one gets laid on House.”

Lexa snatched the remote from her hands, smirking at Clarke’s whine of protest.

And then the torture continued.

“Soap operas?”

“No.”

“Spy drama?”

“No.”

“Clarke, we’re running out of options.”

“Disney channel!”

“Clarke, no.”

“Wait! Go back!”

Lexa tapped the button, returning to the previous channel she’d breezed right through. “Discovery channel? That’s fair.”

“It’s shark week.” Clarke grinned. “Who doesn’t love a little danger?”

“I think they’re docile, for the most part.” Lexa responded, watching as Clarke slid further under the covers, resting her head on Lexa’s chest as she leaned her entire body against Lexa’s.

Lexa’s heart was pounding, and she prayed Clarke couldn’t hear it.

On the screen, a shark was, as the narrator pointed out, stalking another shark, lurking in the shadows, jagged teeth visible through the murky waters. The narrator explained that the other shark was encroaching on the main shark’s territory, and it felt threatened, getting ready to strike to defend itself.

“Reminds me of your mom.” Lexa muttered, earning a bark of laughter from Clarke, who shook heavily against her, burrowing herself deeper into Lexa’s warmth.


 

Raven and Anya were both fully, unfortunately, sober upon their return to their shared room, something which neither woman had come to accept.

It was already a bit unkempt, with Raven’s laptop and electronics spilled everywhere in the living room, while Anya’s various collections of what Raven dubbed “badass stud clothing” were draped across every surface, in their haste to get ready.

Raven and Anya had both been absolutely ecstatic regarding Lexa’s earlier semi-confrontation with Bellamy, ending with her surprisingly sexual little kiss with Clarke.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting that.” Raven muttered with a grin as she shut the door behind them.

“Really? Woods was losing it. You could see the vein about to burst in her forehead.” Anya smirked, exaggerating greatly like usual.

“You know, it’s weird, because…Bell isn’t even into Clarke like that. I think.” Raven shrugged, glancing behind her at Anya, who’d leaned against the counter with her arms crossed.

“It’s really frustrating that those two idiots can’t tell how badly they’re in love.” Anya murmured, rubbing her temples.

“Yeah.” Raven growled, trying to reach her dress zipper on the back of her dress, clearly without much success. “Or at least how badly they want to fuck. Did you see the way Lexa licked her-Fuck! This is so hard!” Raven had her tongue poking out in focus, and she missed Anya’s adoring gaze. “Unzip this damn thing, would you?”

Anya smirked, stepping forward, eyeing Raven’s dress zipper with a dark look in her eyes. “What’s the matter? Can’t reach?”

“Obviously not.” Raven snorted. “Aren’t you supposed to be some genius lawyer? That’s a bit of a stupid question.”

Anya was the perfect match for Raven’s snark.

“Why, Collins usually unzip these for you?” Anya drawled, fingers wrapping around the zip as she softly tugged down, her hands then following the expanse of Raven’s bare exposed back, watching as the other girl got chills.

“Shit.” Raven mumbled, whipping around, glad that the straps were still holding the dress in place. “And no.” She added defensively. “…Wick did.”

Anya froze at that. “Did?” She repeated unsurely.

“We’re not having this conversation. What is this, desperate housewives of LA?” Raven scoffed, stepping into the bedroom to change.

Anya chuckled at Raven’s antics and headed for the couch, putting her legs up on the coffee table as she switched the TV on.

In a few moments, Raven came back out in a tight tank top and shorts, hair in an easygoing ponytail. “You can have the room.”

“I’m in my room.” Anya replied, glancing at the shows available. “Oh, look at that. Finn’s on TV.” She muttered, jerking her head towards a Great White that filled the screen, titled in the corner: Shark Week.

Raven smirked. “You’re so jealous.”

Anya rolled her eyes. “Of what exactly, Reyes?”

“Finn and I have a history.” Raven pressed, glancing at Anya. “You don’t like that.”

“Is that what you think?” Anya sneered. “Nice try, Sherlock. I just don’t like him.”

“Whatever.” Raven’s smirk never faded. “Now get off my bed.”

Anya glanced down at the couch, eyes sparkling with recognition. “Your bed? Oh no, yours is in there.” She jerked her head towards the bedroom.

"Ha. Funny." Raven rolled her eyes. "Move." 

"Seriously Reyes, I'm not screwing around." Anya folded her arms. "Go." 

Raven plopped herself down beside Anya, there arms brushing slightly. "No." She smirked. 

Anya matched her smirk with an intensive gaze of her own. "You want to try and sit through this? I guarantee you, you'll wake up in that bed by morning." 

"Is that threat, or a promise?" Raven teased. 

"Neither. You're going to fall asleep here, and I'm going to claim this couch as my own." Anya decided comfortably, confidence radiating in her voice. 

"You're not even changed." Raven scoffed. "You have to get clothes from your bag in the bedroom at some point." 

"I'll just sleep in my bra." Anya smirked. 

"You really wanna challenge me, Anya?" Raven sneered. 

"Yes." Anya grinned. 

"Fine." 

"Fine." 

"Good." 

"Great." 

"Change the goddamn channel. I hate sharks." 


 

When Lexa woke up, she had no recollection of how she’d managed to end up entangled in Clarke’s embrace, with the TV off and long forgotten.

She blinked hazily as she took in her surroundings, especially aware of just how numb her right arm was, crushed by the sleeping form of Clarke Griffin, hair splayed across Lexa’s chest, breathing slow and even.

Lexa felt her heartrate quicken all over again. She’d made sure, once Clarke had fallen asleep, that they were on vastly different sides of the bed. But now? Clarke was climbing her like she was goddamn Mount Everest, her legs tangled with Clarke’s.

She watched the rays of light pour in through the window she had uncharacteristically forgotten to close, bathing Clarke in a golden light, adding an angelic layer to her already beautiful appearance.

Lexa took in a silent breath. “Clarke?” She whispered, wincing as Clarke rolled ever so slightly, the familiar pang of “pins and needles” shooting up Lexa’s arm, which was now thoroughly numb and asleep.

Clarke didn’t budge, and Lexa bit her lip, not wanting to wake her up.

Lexa moved slightly, ever gentle in order to keep Clarke from stirring, glancing at the illuminated LED clock beside her nightstand. 6:03 AM. Lexa winced, knowing that it was her internal clock that, despite their late evening, caused her to get up for work.

Lexa glanced down at Clarke, sucking in a breath as she tried to slide her hand from under Clarke, sorry to have disturbed her at all.

“Mmm.” Clarke grumbled incoherently, a silent frown forming on her lips.

Lexa froze, unsure if Clarke was fully awake or not. She felt Clarke’s hand slide up her taut stomach, her eyes remaining closed.

“Clarke?” Lexa whispered, feeling pain shoot up in her cramped arm, chills engulfing her body from Clarke’s touch. There was no way this could end well.

“Stay.” Clarke huffed, burrowing back into Lexa’s side, as if it weren’t awkward at all.

As if they were dating.

“Clarke, I have to go-”

“No.” Clarke grumbled. “Too early. Too cold.”

Lexa smiled softly at that, knowing that Clarke was now fully coherent. “I’m going to go for a run, okay?”

“You’re insane, Woods.” Clarke grumbled, rolling off Lexa, her fingertips accidentally grazing Lexa’s inner thigh as she did.

Lexa shot out of the bed like someone had lit a flame beneath her.

“I’ll be back.” She murmured, grabbing her clothes from the drawer as she slipped into the bathroom, careful not to disturb Clarke, who went back to sleep as easily as a hibernating bear.


 

Lexa would never admit that running was a source of sweet solace for her just because it felt good to run away.

Lexa tried not to think about it that way.

Instead she tried to focus on the pristine beaches before her, the way the palm trees swayed in the beginnings of a sunny, gilded day. She tried to enjoy the breeze that carried little strands of hair over her shoulder, or the tan she was getting from wearing nothing more than a sports bra and tights.

She tried to act like she wasn’t terrified.

Because on some intimate level, Lexa knew she was. She was never one for familial affairs, what with her incessant bouncing around from house to house and family to family in her early childhood.

She had no one but herself. She’d learned to be her own best friend, to take care of herself and rely on herself only, because everyone else was a disappointment.

And then Clarke strolled into her life, with a bright smile and a cerulean gaze that told tales of rebellion and indulgence, and the simplest pleasures of life.

And Lexa tried to convince herself that it was because Clarke was one of her first, and only friends, that she felt such immensely strong feelings that washed over her and left her hazy.

She tried to convince herself that she only got chills when Clarke touched her because she hadn’t been touched often in her lifetime. She lied and told herself that her heart hammered when she looked at Clarke because she felt happiness and that was “what best friends do, right?”

And she certainly didn’t want to think about how the taste of Clarke’s lips in hers made her knees buckle, and Clarke’s soft whines of pleasure, her whimpers, begging for Lexa to just take control and-

She certainly hadn’t been thinking about that.

And that wasn’t the only issue with Clarke.

Her “family” was threatening, in the best way possible. They were so sweet, and accepting, save for two individuals Lexa didn’t care to name. They welcomed her like she’d been married to Clarke for decades, and she’d never wanted to belong to a niche more in her lifetime.

That was troubling, because she’d never really belonged anywhere before.

She’d never had a family, friends to tease her and ask about who she liked, caring parents who interrogated her significant others at every turn.

She feared that she was actually enjoying herself.

She feared that Clarke was all she had, and god, she adored every second with her best friend.

When the seagulls squawked ahead, and Lexa truly opened her eyes, she found that she was almost back to the hotel, dripping after what was, at least, an hour and a half of jogging throughout the resort and down the stretch of golden coast that Los Angeles had to offer.

She had never felt at home there, before.

But she did with Clarke.

She beat her legs against the pavement faster, willing her back to the hotel entrance, and eventually to the room she shared with her best friend, willing away her feelings and her desires to be revisited again in her dreams and idle thoughts.

Clarke didn’t deserve that.


 "Lexa." Clarke panted. "Please, I want you to f..." 

Lexa glanced up from between Clarke’s thighs, grinning mischievously as Clarke gasped for air, watching as Lexa licked her soft, pillow-like lips, dripping with-

The blaring of Clarke’s 7:30 AM wake-up call was not much better than Lexa’s rude awakening only an hour and a half prior.  

Clarke had risen next to Lexa’s empty spot, and she thanked every god and deity she had ever heard of that Lexa wasn’t there because she swore she was grinding down on a pillow between her legs.

That pillow had been cast as the star of her dreams that morning, and it had been playing the part of Lexa Woods, who’d had her head tipped between Clarke’s thighs with her husky low tone and commanding voice.

Clarke shot out of bed, not bothering to fully close the door behind her as she all but leapt into the shower with her clothes on, allowing the freezing water to scold her.

Clarke had never enjoyed cold showers, but nothing was more relieving at the moment.

Water and designer hotel soaps didn’t seem to wash away the guilt she was feeling. That was Lexa Woods. Her nerd. Her best friend. She just tarnished a completely good mental relationship with those…mental images.

Okay, but it wasn’t Clarke’s fault. It wasn’t as if she’d intended for it to happen. Hell, it could have been any old brunette.

Except she’d woken up whimpering Lexa’s name.

Clarke scrubbed furiously at herself, a sort of repentance for having experienced those sickly delightful thoughts about the beauty that was her best friend. The one she was supposed to be fake-dating. The one she needed to get her father to sign a check for.

“Jesus, Clarke.” Clarke muttered to herself, shutting off the water as she reached for her towel. “Get it together.”

She stepped out of the shower, body alive with goosebumps from both the cold and the residual effects of her thoughts. She wrapped the luxuriously soft towel around herself loosely, stepping forward to get a glance of herself in the mirror.

Unfortunately, that was when Lexa had chosen to come in from her run, thinking the open door meant Clarke was decent. She’d bumped smack into a completely startled Clarke, who’d then dropped her towel, causing both the girls to gape.

 Lexa’s eyes tried desperately not to roam the expanse of Clarke’s goddess-like figure, her cheeks getting redder and redder by the second.

Clarke, at a loss for words, immediately bent over to pick up her dropped towel, unaware that Lexa was bending over to do it herself, ever the apologetic gentlewoman.

Instead, they ended up smacking foreheads, sending Lexa careening backwards and Clarke into a heap on the floor, where she meekly covered herself with her towel before even acknowledging the pain that was now shooting through her forehead.

“Fuck!” Clarke muttered, though it was mostly a reaction of embarrassment. “I’m sorry, I-”

“Clarke, I…” Lexa swallowed audibly, emerald gaze focusing on anything but Clarke. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to…But…You-”

Lexa was cut off by the sound of Clarke’s husky laughter. She nervously dragged her gaze up, visibly heaving a sigh of relief when she realized Clarke was now covered, laughing hysterically on the bathroom floor, a beautiful mess of wet blonde hair and dripping eyelashes.

Lexa’s breath caught in her throat as she realized she might have seen the most beautiful view in the world, far greater than the pacifying oceans and soft ripples of the waves on the horizon she’d seen just that morning.

Lexa’s cheeks were burning as her eyes slowly rose up to meet Clarke’s blue gaze, vibrant with the effects of her laughter.

Lexa let out a quiet huff and a chuckle, and Clarke swore it was music to her ears.

“Sorry.” Lexa mumbled one last time, watching as Clarke waved it off.

“Don’t be. I just got scared. Didn’t realize you’d be back.” Clarke replied, still shaken from her laughing fit.

“I went for a run.” Lexa huffed, standing shakily.

Clarke’s eyes froze on Lexa’s toned abs, and for a moment, she forgot how to reply. “Uh…um…” She mumbled, then she snapped out of it. “You would.” She rolled her eyes. “Heat depriver.” She accused childishly.

Lexa smiled at that. “Sorry. Habits.” She murmured.

Clarke nodded, blankly staring at Lexa’s offered hand.

“Clarke?” Lexa asked, slightly confused. “Do you want to get up?”

Clarke blinked, cheeks turning crimson all over again. “I uh…maybe it’s better if you…”

Lexa nodded. “Uh…Right.” She smoothed out her tights, turning away. “I’ll wait for you to come out before using the shower.”

Clarke nodded back, licking her lips awkwardly. “Okay!” She answered a bit enthusiastically. “I’ll stop by Raven and Anya’s room and you can meet me there. We’re all getting breakfast and my dad said he has a surprise planned, so…” She rolled her eyes.

“Right.” Lexa cleared her throat, hiding her smile. This was her opportunity to really appeal to Jake.


 

“Guys?” Clarke peered into Anya and Raven’s hotel room, which was opened by a slit. The room was dark, and the curtains were closed.

“Ray?” Clarke called out softly.

Was that…snoring?

Clarke pushed the heavy door open, praying she wouldn’t find Raven and Anya in some compromisingly sexual position. Biting her lip, she glanced around, eyes widening when she found them both asleep on the couch.

Anya had her head down, like she’d fallen asleep from exhaustion. Raven, on the other hand, was sprawled over her, fully clothed, her neck uncomfortably cramped as she frowned in her sleep. 

It seemed that neither girl was prepared for the slumber that overtook them.

“Ray…” Clarke whispered sharply, trying not to startle the girl. “Ray…”

“Shut the fuck up.” Anya groaned, blinking as she clutched her neck in agony. “Wait.” She froze, eyeing Clarke, who was looking at her with shock. “Griffin? What the hell?”

Her eyes fell to Raven, who was still fast asleep on her side of the couch, liable to have one hell of a neck ache.

Clarke came over to Raven’s side, smirking. “Come on Raven, we have to go.”

“I don’t wanna go to school.” Raven mumbled, throwing a dull hand in Clarke’s way.

“Anya will be there.” Clarke smirked when Raven stiffened at that, eyes shooting open as she licked her lips, her face furrowing in pain and confusion as her hand shot to her neck.

“What the hell?” Lexa blinked, arms folded, amusedly standing in the doorway, wearing a summer dress and her bathing suit under, like Clarke had instructed, via her father’s orders.

“What is this, a goddamn party?” Anya grumbled, rubbing her temples.

“You know, Anya.” Lexa smirked, coming to sit beside her. “There are these unbelievably useful items called beds….”

“Oh, piss off, Woods.” Anya pushed her, barely moving the brunette who quirked a brow curiously.

“Seriously though.” Clarke smiled as she helped Raven sit up, who’d still been blinking the haze out of her vision. “What happened to you two?”

“We were…” Raven cleared her throat, her voice particularly husky, which did not go unnoticed by Anya. “Arguing over who should take the bed.” She admitted the last part sheepishly.

“So…you both took the couch?” Lexa murmured, smirking. “Something tells me your logic is a bit…flawed.”

“Yeah yeah, Mrs. Georgetown Business graduate.” Raven snapped. “What would you have done?”

“Hey!” Clarke defended Lexa with a smirk. “We shared a bed and we survived.”

“You two finally slept together?” Anya’s eyes widened as she smirked.

“What? Anya, no, don’t be so lewd-” Lexa cleared her throat, blushing once more.

Clarke was in mental hysteria just thinking of that dream.

“You’re right.” Anya clicked her tongue, rising with a great sigh. “You sure as hell haven’t been getting laid. You’re as stiff as a board, Lex.” She grinned, clasping her hands together, ignoring Lexa’s shocked gaping.

“Who wants breakfast?”


 

“A boating trip.” Clarke grumbled as she followed the entirety of their group to the docks, shaking her head. “A goddamn boating trip? Why? Pools are a thing, you know.” She had yanked Lexa’s arm and dragged her to the back of the group.

Bellamy had maintained a friendly, respectful distance since their last encounter, and Lexa couldn't help the proud little glowing smirk she'd donned.

Damn straight. 

Lexa had been more than patient. Jake had been so busy arranging their little boating excursion that he hadn’t had time to do more than give Lexa a quick good-morning kiss on the cheek, just as Abby did, but that was all.

Clarke promised Lexa that she’d get some prime time with her father, if she had anything to do with it.

But for now, Clarke was simply fuming at the idea of a boating outing with the “delinquents” and her parents, and Lexa couldn’t seem to grasp why.

“You’re particularly irritable.” Lexa observed quietly, watching as Clarke’s blonde hair waved in the breeze.

“It’s LA, we don’t need a boat.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“What’s bothering you, Clarke?” Lexa asked softly, in that tone of voice she had, that was so serious and caring all at once, the one that made Clarke swoon. “Is it what happened between Bellamy and me?”

Clarke shook her head profusely. “Oh, god, no.” Clarke promised quickly. “It’s just….I hate swimming.” She admitted somewhat bashfully.

Lexa cracked a small smile. “Really?” She asked quietly.

Clarke’s cheeks reddened and she rolled her eyes. “Yes, really.”

“But…You…know how?” Lexa clarified.

“Of course, Lexa.” Clarke mumbled, tugging her arm for good measure. “Why is this so funny to you?”

Lexa chuckled, and Clarke’s heart fluttered a little. “I used to be a lifeguard, in one of my old towns.”

Clarke’s jaw dropped and she tried not to think of Lexa in a red one-piece, watching from her perch, diving into the water majestically. She obviously failed at that. “Seriously? This isn’t a lie? Like when I told you I was in my high school chess club?”

“Seriously.” Lexa nodded. “I enjoyed the community center and the pools…It was a good escape from home.” She shrugged and before Clarke could do anything more than give her hand an apologetic squeeze, the group had stopped, facing a decently sized white boat, with two stories and a broad deck.

“What the actual fuck.” Raven muttered from beside Anya, right in front of Clarke and Lexa. “Your dad has a boat?”

“That’s a yacht, moron.” Anya rolled her eyes.

Lexa’s heart stopped beating. If Jake and Abby were these kinds of high rollers, they’d have no issues bankrolling her startup company, right?

Finn smirked. “Nice model, Mr. Griff.”

Bellamy and Octavia were already shoving each other to get on, while Aurora and Abby had already boarded, looking effortlessly like the privileged parents they were.

“This…” Jake turned around to Lexa, putting a hand on her shoulder, “Is my pride and joy.” He grinned like he had when Clarke was born, and Clarke rolled her eyes.

“It’s…very impressive, sir.” Lexa offered unsurely, trying not to snap at Clarke, Anya, and Raven, who’d begun to snicker at her lame responses.

“I call her the Dropship.” Jake grinned, motioning to the name painted in royal blue on the side of railing. “And I want you to be my co-captain, Lexa. What do you say?”

Lexa couldn’t help the smile that formed on her lips. She felt more like Jake’s daughter than she did a business partner, and it felt…. oddly refreshing. Lexa wasn’t used to having someone so much older treat her like she was anything more than an object, or an employee, or a business partner. There was something warm in Jake’s smile, and his eyes, and Lexa knew that was where Clarke got it from.

Lexa chanced a glance at Clarke, who offered her a wink of support, and allowed Raven and Anya to usher her on board.

“C’mon, kiddo.” Jake grinned. “Not a bad view from my seat. I’ll show you the ropes, we can chat a little…gossip about Clarke…” He said that last part loud enough for Clarke to hear, and he watched as she stuck out her tongue, glancing back at Lexa with a smile.

Jake shook his head. These two were so madly in love.


 

“And that’s how Clarke broke her arm skiing.” Jake finished, clinking his glass of water with Lexa’s in a salute as they both fell into quiet laughter, everyone else on the front deck while they sat at the perch, pleasantly anchored in what Lexa could only describe as the middle of nowhere.

Jake seemed to know exactly where they were.

Lexa’s eyes swept the deck for Clarke.

First they found Lincoln and Octavia, with Bellamy eyeing Lincoln like the older protective brother he was, happily chatting with Abby and Aurora. Lexa smiled. Lincoln was, at least in some way, in the same predicament as she was. She felt bonded to him by that, besides the fact that he genuinely seemed like her type of person.

Her emerald gaze found Clarke talking to Murphy by the boat’s edge on one side, while Finn sat with Raven and Anya on the other, flipping his hair and discussing how eco-friendly his family company was becoming.

Raven looked like she could have been interested.

Anya looked as if she wanted to murder him with her glance alone.

Lexa’s eyes settled on Clarke, and she ignored the little somersaults her heart did. Her golden hair was blowing in the gentle breeze, and she’d stripped her sundress for her bikini underneath, which made Lexa think of unholy things, particularly in her father’s presence.

Lexa had apparently been smiling at Clarke, because Jake let out a little chuckle.

“So, you like my daughter, huh?” Jake quipped.

“Yes, sir.” Lexa responded instantly.

Well, they were best friends.

“I could’ve gleaned that much from the way you look at her.” Jake offered, smiling at Lexa warmly.

“Sir, my intentions with her are-” Lexa’s valiant offer was never completed.

Jake put up a hand. “Whoa, easy there. I’m not Abby. I know a good person when I see one, kid.” He smiled, putting a comforting hand on Lexa’s shoulder.

And Lexa wanted to cry, because for the first time in a long time, she felt at home.

“You know, I looked into your business.” Jake started back up again, and Lexa turned to face him, eyes slightly wide. “That’s a good set up you have there.”

Lexa nodded slowly, blushing at the praise from such a successful man himself. “Thank you…” She nodded. “But, it’s…”

“I heard your major investors pulled out.” Jake nodded, carefully watching Lexa’s expression, which remained stoic, though a little disappointment clouded her gaze.

“They did. Though I am keeping things afloat, it’s very difficult to manage when you have next to no funds for growth.” Lexa responded, and her voice didn’t sound needy, or wanting. Rather, it was full of promise and opportunity.

Jake nodded, rubbing his chin. “You and I…Let’s strike a deal.”

Lexa’s eyes widened, but she listened intently, mouth dry, heart racing wildly.

“I will write check after check to get you going, Lexa. Whatever it takes.” Jake began, his confidence washing over Lexa in waves. “But, I have something that’s not an easy task, in return.”

Jake and Lexa turned when they heard a splash, and Lexa watched as Murphy and Clarke appeared to be wrestling or roughhousing in the water, while the others cheered on.

Lexa’s look of concern was wiped away by Jake’s dismissive hand wave. “Happens all the time, with those two. Clarke thinks she can take Murphy, and he never holds back.” He shrugged with a chuckle. “Kids.”

Lexa let out a smile, eyes locking with his. “Alright, if you’re sure. You were saying, Mr. Griffin?”

“Jake.” He reminded softly, a smile on his features. Lexa mirrored his look, feeling right at home for such a vital business transaction. “And, hear me out. I know I’m asking a lot but…God, I’ve never seen Clarke this happy. Not since I told her I’d fund her art career until she could handle it all on her own.”

Lexa’s heart practically stopped altogether.

Oh, no.

“I just…Love is a powerful thing, Lexa.” Jake sighed happily. “I’m happy for you two.”

Lexa opened her mouth to speak. Nothing came out.

“Listen, I know you might not be there in your relationship yet, and I won’t make assumptions. But, a father has his instincts.” Jake smiled, tapping his forehead lightly to illustrate his point. “My offer is this: You take care of Clarke, Lexa. When her mother and I aren’t there. Take care of her, be there for her, support her dreams…be happy together.” He pressed on. “I know that we just met you, but Clarke’s been talking about you for ages, before you were even dating.” He chuckled, watching Lexa gape. “She’s never been so…dedicated, before. She talks about you like she talks about her art.”

Lexa felt her body go numb, heart hammering in her chest, eyes unable to focus.

What the hell was happening?

Clarke’s father thought that they were in love.

Oh, no.

“So, what do you say, kid?” Jake smiled, extending his hand out.

Lexa froze. She thought a million thoughts at once, but before her mind could formulate a reaction, she heard a loud yell from the deck. Both whipping around, they saw Raven and Finn perched over the edge, watching Murphy with looks of shock.

“Murphy, you idiot, that was too hard!” Raven yelled. “I don’t see Clarke!”

Bellamy and Octavia both calmly glanced up, as if this were some common occurrence. Lincoln, cocked a brow, making a motion to stand up to help Clarke, but Octavia put a hand on his arm, muttering, "Give it a sec." 

Murphy glanced around him hurriedly, but Lexa was on the deck in seconds, tearing her top layer of clothing off, diving off the railing and into the water, where Clarke was clearly under.

“Holy shit.” Finn grinned. “Baywatch, anyone?”

"Shut it, Collins." Bellamy reproached from his uneasy seat, hands nervously clenching as he watched the events unfold. 

Lexa reached Clarke relatively easily, pulling the girl up without much effort, as she was light in the water, and not deep at all.

Clarke came up, choking up a little water, her hair swept behind her by Lexa, who was holding her with great concern, getting a good look at her face.

“Clarke?” She asked, relief flooding her chest when she saw that Clarke was perfectly fine. “Are you hurt?”

“Hey.” Clarke croaked with a smile. “No, Lex, I’m fine.”

Lexa heaved a great sigh of relief, slowly kicking towards the steps of the folding ladder that hung into the water, gently pushing Clarke up. Clarke sat onto the deck, hugging her knees into a tight ball while Lexa climbed up, reaching for a towel hanging off the side.

Without thinking, she wrapped Clarke in it, wrapping her arms around her from behind as she offered her a smile.

Jake, arms folded from his view on the upper deck, nodded once in approval, likely a mental note about Lexa’s priorities.

“I didn’t need saving.” Clarke murmured, but the smile on her lips was undeniable.

“I know.” Lexa responded with a smile. “Instinct, I suppose.”

Clarke leaned back into her warm embrace, amused at how unaffected her family was at the ordeal, so used to Clarke and Murphy’s antics.

“You okay?” Murphy asked from his spot in the water.

“I’m fine, but you hit like a guy.” Clarke smirked, and Lexa rolled her eyes at Clarke’s perseverance.

“Honey are you alright?” Abby called from her spot with Aurora, lifting her sunglasses questioningly, seemingly allowing Lexa to be the one to care for her.

It was a test, of sorts. Everyone watching to see how the new girlfriend handled Clarke’s adventurous side.

Lexa was completely oblivious, the family, Jake’s offer, everything but Clarke long forgotten.

Clarke turned, planting a soft kiss on Lexa’s jaw, causing her to freeze up, her heart likely on the verge of imploding. “Thank you.” She murmured against Lexa’s now salty skin, arms moving from the towel to Lexa’s neck as she pulled her against her lips, capturing them with her own.

Lexa’s hands tightened around her as she leaned into Clarke’s kiss hungrily, unable to get enough of Clarke’s sweet taste against the saltiness of the water that coated them, her world shattering around her with every breath Clarke took.

Lexa’s lips quivered against Clarke’s, all the pent up want and raw need in her body, as well as all her fears and trepidation spilling out in wordless breaths, and Clarke took the time to stop and gently place a kiss on Lexa’s forehead, calming her, as if she knew the turmoil in Lexa's heart.

“You okay, love?” Clarke murmured, and it was obvious that no one could hear the words exchanged between them.

Love. Lexa swooned a little. 

She didn't have to say that. But of course, Clarke always took precautions.

“Yes, Clarke.” Lexa hummed against her lips. “As long as you are.”

The words rang with subtle honesty. 

Clarke smiled, pressing her forehead against Lexa’s. She watched the way little droplets of water clung to Lexa's lashes, accentuating her already flawless face. “A lifeguard, huh?” She chuckled. “Do you always kiss everyone you save?”

Lexa knew that one kiss was enough. That they'd done their part in convincing everyone. Her heart was aching and hammering and her lungs burned, her lips were swollen. 

But it wasn't enough for her. And the need to taste Clarke took over; Lexa found her rationale jumping off the edge of the railing itself, and she was overtaken by her emotions. 

“Just the cute ones.” Lexa mumbled, wasting no time tangling herself back with Clarke’s lips, thrills shooting through her when Clarke let out the tiniest whimper of pleasure, as Lexa placed the smallest of bites to her bottom lip. Clarke's whimpers and moans always did something to Lexa as she let out a soft growl. 

They'd seemingly forgotten their surroundings, like any young love-struck couple, and lost themselves in each other. 

“Get a room, right guys?” Finn smirked, eyes turning back to Raven.

Anya stood up, not bothering to disguise her noise of disgust. “I think I’ll jump in, now. And never come back up.” She muttered, eyeing Raven with a look of disapproval.

“You know Reyes, I think you’d look pretty hot in a biki-” Finn never finished, because Anya’s foot had sent him flying over the edge, right onto Murphy, who growled, “Dude, what the fuck?!”

Raven eyed Anya, gaping, a grin finding its way to her features.

“Oh, shit.” Anya shrugged nonchalantly. “My foot slipped.”

Chapter Text

So maybe Clarke was abusing the fact that she was on a “tiny” boat with Lexa, in front of the full view and attention of all her family and friends, who fully expected her to display her affection for Lexa for everyone to see.

Okay, maybe that was another lie she’d told herself.

But Lexa seemed to be just as easy-going and along for the ride as before, and Clarke really was enjoying their seating arrangement, Lexa sprawled out over the deck of the boat, glorious legs open for Clarke to sit between, to lean back into her.

And it wasn't like they were acting that differently. They were still the same old nerd and dork, gossiping about life and making the absolute lamest jokes to each other in hushed whispers that confused just about everybody else.

Occasionally, Clarke would lean back into Lexa. Lexa, ever the helpful friend, found that it was her duty to wrap her arms around the blonde, and murmur things into her hair, and to yelp out cutely whenever Clarke would pinch her after a particularly cruel comment.

They had sat like that, enjoying the LA sun beating down on them, tanning them further, while breathing in the scent of each other’s faint perfume amongst the salty mist they were sprayed with from time to time, as Jake enjoyed the only other lady he loved more than Abby, his beloved “Dropship.”

“Why the Dropship, Clarke?” Lexa asked in her curious tone, cocking her head to the side innocently, and Clarke swooned internally for maybe the eightieth time that day.

“Why the name?” Clarke clarified, clearing her throat. “Is that what you’re asking?”

“Yes.” Lexa smiled apologetically, her arms resting on either side of Clarke, who was absently playing with her fingers, trying not to notice how long and elegant they looked.

“Well, if you follow me to the tiny little bathroom, I’ll show you.” Clarke quipped, smiling wickedly.

Lexa frowned. “I’m afraid I don’t follow, Clarke.”

Clarke’s smirk deepened. “Because I can drop your panties on this ship-”

Lexa swatted her arm, cheeks burning. “That doesn’t even sound good, Clarke.”

Clarke barked out a laugh, glad to hear Lexa’s soft chuckle behind her. She sighed contentedly for a moment, wishing away everything and everyone else in the world.

For just a second, she pretended Lexa was there because she liked Clarke, and not for some business transaction with her father. God, it felt so right.

But Clarke knew better than to ruin a perfectly smooth plan with crazy ideals of perfection and love.

She wouldn’t do that to Lexa.

“A penny for your thoughts?” Lexa mumbled into her ear. "Although, Clarke, I've never understood the saying. Your thoughts are priceless."

Why did Lexa have to go off an be like that? For such a nerd, she was one hell of a smooth talker. And it was genuine, which made it all the worse.

Clarke blushed profusely. “I was just thinking…Anya and Raven. They make a cute couple.”

Lexa nodded, her emerald gaze finding her friend and Clarke’s friend, both sitting by the edge of the railing to the far left, appearing to be deep in conversation.

“They do.” Lexa mumbled, her eyes watching the way Anya’s softened, and they didn’t do that for just anyone. Raven Reyes was special.

But, like Clarke Griffin, Raven Reyes was off limits. Perhaps for different reasons, but untouchable, unattainable all the same, like a beautiful mirage that tempted and tantalized until the hallucination was no more.

“They should go for it.” Clarke shrugged.

Lexa’s brow furrowed. She felt her throat dry a little. Swallowing rather numbly, she pressed on. “What do you mean by that?”

“I’m saying they’re a match made in heaven.” Clarke chuckled, eyes still trained on the two girls in question.

“So you’re saying they should sleep together?” Lexa asked quietly.

“Well, hell yeah.” Clarke smirked. “But…more than that. I’m saying she should grow one and ask her out.”

Lexa laughed softly. “Grow one? To the best of my knowledge, they come in pairs, Clarke.”

Clarke made a face. “Okay, A, you’re one to talk, Ms. I only date girls, and it was the same girl for the past year. And B, I’m talking about female anatomy. Because honestly, we go through so much more shit.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, nodding at the latter statement. “Is this a reference towards Costia, Clarke?”

“Yes.” Clarke grumbled.

“Why don’t you like her, again? You had, what, all of two conversations with her?” Lexa asked amusedly, seemingly unable to mope about her ex-girlfriend while she was fake dating Clarke.

“I don’t like her because I like you.” Clarke answered with a huff, turning around to face Lexa, glaring at her. “You’re my best friend.” She added quickly.

“I appreciate the sentiment.” Lexa murmured, her smile soft and her heart aching.

“She hurt you.” Clarke sighed absently, her fingers tracing the tips of Lexa’s features dreamily.

Lexa’s breath hitched in her throat. “I’m fine, now, Clarke.”

“You’re my best friend, even more so than everyone else here.” Clarke mumbled again, pouting ever so slightly. “I want to make sure you’re always happy. You deserve that, Lex.”

Lexa felt emotions threaten to overwhelm her. “Clarke, I…” She sighed, lacing her hand with Clarke’s own, eyeing the matching bracelet on her wrist. “You make me happy.” She settled on that, failing to notice the rosy tint it brought to Clarke’s cheeks.

“Well, I-”

“Hey hey, heads up!” Lincoln called from his seat by Octavia, the ball Murphy had thrown from his spot in the water whizzing way over his head, hurling towards Clarke and Lexa.

“Shit.” Clarke ducked, squeezing her eyes shut for the inevitable impact that never came. She cracked an eye open, after a moment, noticing those long fingers of Lexa’s curled around the football. “Huh?”

Lexa smirked, tossing it back in a neat spiral, landing it into Lincoln’s waiting arms. “Here.” She called out confidently.

Lincoln smirked. “That was very impressive. Care to come here and show these amateurs how its done?”

Lexa laughed, turning to face Clarke. “Do you mind?” She asked softly.

Clarke was busy staring at her in awe. “You’re a jock too, nerd?”

Lexa blushed a little.

“Seriously?” Clarke whined from her seat, which was Lexa. “There’s not even room to play. You’re my seat.”

“There’s room to throw it to Murphy.” Lexa pointed out. Then she felt a tug in her chest, telling her to forget everything and cater to Clarke’s whim, and she happily would’ve done so, because she lived for Clarke’s smiles.

“Oh, come on, Clarke.” Octavia rolled her eyes. “Let’s let our kids have a playdate. We can catch up.”

Clarke was now fully aware of how everyone was watching her, and her response to Lexa.

“Fine.” Clarke smirked, pulling Lexa down as her hands went around Lexa’s neck. She shocked Lexa by pulling her into a hot, suggestive kiss, biting Lexa’s lip softly as she soothed it with a quick brush of her tongue before releasing Lexa.

Lexa, knees buckling, struggled to stand, eyes dazed, heart hammering. “I…” she swallowed the lump in her throat. “Um, I-”

“Have fun.” Clarke teased, leaning back in the space where Lexa had just been sitting, patting it for Octavia to come and switch spaces with Lexa. “Bye, babe.” She waved innocently, dismissing her.

“Uh…” Lexa inhaled sharply. “Bye.” She mumbled, stepping over to Lincoln, who looked eager to spend some time socializing with Octavia’s friends and family.

“Wow.” Octavia smirked, flipping her brunette locks over her shoulder as she sat beside Clarke on the deck, nudging her with her elbow playfully. “You finally got a keeper.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “You think?” She asked playfully.

Octavia nodded. “What’s not to like? Hot, pretty damn smart, knows how to put Bellamy in his place…”

Clarke chuckled at that, watching Lexa’s retreating figure. “Hah. Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

“You guess?” Octavia scoffed, angling her chest up to get a better tan. “Your heart eyes are a little sickening, to be honest.”

Clarke bit her lip.

Oh, no. Was it that obvious?

“Well, same for you.” Clarke shot back. “How long have you been seeing Lincoln for?”

“Almost two years.” Octavia admitted somewhat sheepishly.

If Clarke had a drink, it would’ve been sprayed all over the deck in her shocked gape. “What?” She blinked. “Since when? What happened to Atom?”

“Well…” Octavia sighed, averting her gaze. “We were on and off for a little bit. Atom was a dick, and I ended that faster than you could imagine. I was pretty pissed after that, and so obviously not ready for another casual hookup, and…Lincoln happened. He was sweet, wanted to take things slowly…I let him in, I guess.”

“You never said anything. I…didn’t see you settling down like that.” Clarke admitted. “You were always Octavia the party animal. The casual relationship type of person.”

“I love Lincoln.” Octavia shrugged. “A lot.”

“How’d you know?” Clarke asked, her tone softening as she smiled in happiness.

“That I loved him?” Octavia thought for a moment, blinking in surprise. “I don’t know, honestly. You just feel it. Clarke, whenever I look at him…I don’t know, this is some sappy shit, but…It makes my whole world brighter. He makes my heart beat faster even now, and all I can think is…Damn, I want to wake up next to him every morning. I want to share his good days and his victories, and his bad days and his defeats. I just want him…” She trailed off, glancing at her boyfriend.

“Whoa.” Clarke breathed, her cerulean gaze settling on Lexa, who was leaning against the railing with Lincoln, her head tilted as a beautiful laugh escaped her lips.

Octavia smirked. “Hitting pretty close to home, am I?”

“Whoa!” Clarke reiterated, this time in pure panic as she faced her friend with shock. “Huh? No! I mean, we’re so not there!”

“You haven’t exchanged ‘I love you’s’?” Octavia scoffed, eyes widening. “What are you, twelve? Waiting for the perfect time to say it? It’s not during sex, by the way.”

“It’s…complicated.” Clarke sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. “We’ve only been together for a little while.”

“Clarke, you’ve been pining over this girl for a year and a half. You became best friends. That’s the foundation for a perfect relationship. Beyoncé said that about Jay in an interview.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. Now she had to take advice from her family and Beyoncé? “Thank you very much, Octavia.”

“Lincoln started out as my friend.” Octavia pressed on diligently. “But I mean, I always knew we’d be something more. Just felt that way. Clarke, I would do anything for him now, because that trust is already there. There wasn’t a huge transition because we already knew all there was to know about each other.”

Clarke realized that she really did know Lexa better than she knew anyone else. The time they shared was quality, unaffected by the trials of dating and the façade of trying to be someone she wasn’t, or a better version of herself.

They truly loved everything about the other in the purest, most wholesome form, without expectations of reciprocation. Wasn’t that special? Didn’t that have merit?

“You weren’t afraid of damaging what you already had?” Clarke asked, her voice small and insignificant.

Octavia paused for a moment. “Damn, Griffin, you’re deep today. But, no, I guess. I mean, of course I valued our friendship, but I knew I’d never be satisfied like that. I can’t put it into words, Clarke, it was beyond frustrating. Could you even imagine what its like to be in love with your best friend, but neither one of you is brave enough to actually sack up and just tell each other? It’s the dumbest situation, I swear to god.”

“HA!” Clarke laughed, feeling a hollow ache inside. “That is….wild, Octavia.”

“Tell her you love her.” Octavia muttered lowly as she heard Lincoln and Lexa approach. “You won’t regret it. I mean, shit, it’s very obvious that those feelings are mutual.”

Clarke’s throat dried as she glanced up at Lexa, hair wind tossed and exotic, her tanned, toned arms extended out to Clarke in a playful invitation.

“Where are we going?” Clarke asked numbly, knowing their options were severely limited.

“I don’t know.” Lexa hummed thoughtfully. “The back, maybe?”

Clarke nearly stumbled at the thought of being alone with Lexa at the back end of the boat, content to watch the sun set with her best friend that she might have had intense feelings for. Unreciprocated feelings, she reminded herself.

Clarke swallowed the lump in her throat. “Uh, yeah. Okay…” She took Lexa’s hands, allowing her best friend to pull her up.

“Go get ‘em, Tiger.” Octavia winked, causing both girls to blush profusely.

Clarke was sure, in that moment, in the heat of the slowly descending sun, bleeding into the horizon’s waters, that she would follow Lexa anywhere and everywhere, if only she asked.


“Oh my god.” Clarke’s eyes widened as she grinned at Lexa through the doorway of the hotel bedroom to the suite’s balcony. “Seriously?”

Lexa glanced up from her game of chess, part of the lavish and expensive décor of the suite, likely untouched by ninety percent of the guests who came to actually have fun outdoors.

Lexa glanced up at Clarke with a sigh. “Are we going to discuss this again?” She asked, tongue sticking out adorably as she pondered her move against her own opposing pieces.

“You know, I’m sure there’s an old geezers club in the hotel that does chess in the mornings! Oh, and bingo if you’re really feeling loose.” Clarke smirked, making her way over, failing to notice the way Lexa’s mouth dried at the sight of Clarke, freshly showered, changed into her dress.

“Ha.” Lexa rolled her eyes. “Rather clever, Clarke. Might I remind that, last time you cockily challenged me, I…how did you put it, again? Beat your ass into next year?”

Clarke laughed, a husky sound, tilting her head back. She stepped out onto the balcony, allowing the cool evening air to kiss her warm skin. “It’s beautiful out here.” She murmured, eyes finding the dark and placid ocean across the way.

Lexa’s eyes were on Clarke. She nodded slowly, murmuring, “It is.”

“These balconies are so private.” Clarke noted, grateful that a wall separated her from Raven and Anya’s balcony, just imagining how positively annoying Raven would be with that advantage. “I mean, technically, Raven could scale it if she were drunk enough. The dividing wall is…just an obstacle.”

“And it’s about seven stories higher than the one you had to so bravely leap across back home.” Lexa muttered, her focus on the game at hand, her eyes narrowed at the white rook. “So, you’d have to be drunk to try something that stupid.”

“Yeah.” Clarke chuckled to herself. “The things I do for you, Lexa.”

“Don’t say you did that for me.” Lexa rolled her eyes. “That would look bad if you fell and injured yourself in the process.”

“But I didn’t, did I?” Clarke hummed cockily.

Lexa glanced up at her with an amused smile before looking back down at her game.

“Well, as much as I love watching you play with yourself…” Clarke smirked, and even in the relative lack of light, she could see Lexa’s blushing and inability to respond properly. “We have to go.”

Clarke stepped inside, turning her attention to the wall that separated Clarke and Lexa’s suite from Anya’s. She knocked on the wall, taking little to no care when she bellowed, “Ray, Anya! If you two are done eye fucking, we have to get to dinner!” And really, she was one to talk.

Lexa stepped inside, eyes widened and gaping at Clarke in horror as she hurriedly shut the sliding door of the balcony, practically yanking Clarke from the wall.

“Ow!” Clarke whipped around, eyes widening. “Lex, what the hell?”

“Clarke.” Lexa couldn’t help it. She burst out into a fit of laughter, which was incredibly rare for the usually composed businesswoman.

Clarke’s eyes widened even more, her blue depths searching Lexa, who was now heaving, for answers. “What?” She demanded. “Was that too blunt?”

Lexa nodded, wiping at the tears that had formed in her immaculately made up eyes. “Yes. Because you just disturbed a couple on their honeymoon. Raven and Anya share that wall with us.” She grinned, flicking her gaze to the complete other side of the hotel room.

“Oh.” Clarke suddenly remembered that, blinking several times. “Oh, yeah.”

Lexa was still chuckling and Clarke would’ve loved the melodious sound, if she weren’t so busy cursing herself and blushing.

“Well.” Clarke bit her lip. “Fuck.”


“I’m just saying, you didn’t have to kick him off.” Raven smirked. “You could’ve just bought me dinner.”

“As if that was my intention.” Anya rolled her eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

“Oh, so you just don’t like Finn?” Raven challenged.

Anya shrugged. “Am I experiencing déjà vu, or did we already have this conversation?” She asked in exasperation.

“So, you wouldn’t mind if I asked him out?” Raven teased.

“I wouldn’t, but I’m thinking Wick, your boyfriend, might.” Anya retorted.

Raven paused, a look of disappointment on her features. Before she could answer to break the silence she’d awkwardly created, she blinked, hearing a muffled cry.

From somewhere, someone yelled “If you two are done eye fucking, we have to get to dinner!”

Anya was busy opening the door, holding it for Raven. “You coming or not, Reyes?”

“Did you…hear that?” Raven muttered, walking slowly over to Anya.

“Hear what?”


 

“Another dinner.” Clarke scoffed as she and Lexa made their way downstairs, figuring that the lack of response from Anya and Raven’s room symbolized that they were already down. Or, incredibly occupied, which Clarke doubted, claiming she “would’ve heard something” from Raven. “How many times are we going to do this?”

“Likely a few more, considering your birthday is in two days.” Lexa responded playfully.

“Shut up.” Clarke grumbled, pressing the elevator button with disdain. “How’d the talks with my dad go? He ask you to replace me as his daughter yet?”

Lexa chuckled softly. “Is that jealousy, Ms. Griffin?”

“Yes.” Clarke teased, and Lexa knew she was incredibly happy for her. “He really likes you.” She added the last part with a tinge of sadness.

“He essentially offered me the deal.” Lexa admitted sheepishly.

“What?” Clarke wheeled around on her, grinning in delight. “Lex, that’s fantastic! Did you discuss terms? Did you accept?”

Lexa frowned momentarily, realization flashing across her features.

“Oh…” Clarke froze. “You didn’t?”

“You had actually disappeared beneath the surface, and I was worried. I completely left him there.” Lexa recalled quietly.

Clarke frowned. “Fuck, seriously, Lex? You left him for me?”

Lexa’s expression softened, and she gave her best friend a smile. “My best friend was drowning.” She shrugged. “Not much room for options.”

“Okay, firstly, I was not drowning.” Clarke retorted airily. “Secondly, Murphy probably would have gotten me if you waited a sec.”

“Right.” Lexa shrugged with a knowing smile. “I’m still glad it was me. I actually was concerned, Clarke.”

Clarke’s heart melted as she watched the elevator descend to her mother’s second dinner, or, better yet, the depths of hell itself. “Afraid I’d leave you all alone with this hell family?” Clarke teased.

“I quite like your family, Clarke.” Lexa responded optimistically. “They’re so…warm.”

“Yeah, well…” Clarke rolled her eyes. “Warm only does the trick for so long. And you know what tonight is, right?”

Lexa shook her head innocently.

“The trip down memory lane.” Clarke’s response was dry and her eyes narrowed at the thought.

“What does that entail?” Lexa smirked, knowing it wouldn’t end well for Clarke.

“Old pictures, old photos, bad memories.” Clarke grumbled.

“Bad?” Lexa asked, mild concern in her tone.

“No. Embarrassing memories. Like, when I had a bowl cut when I was five. And a bob that made look like I was forty when I was twelve. I had cruel parents, my dad wanted to fend off the boys.” Clarke muttered, folding her arms like a petulant child. She gave Lexa a once over. “Well, technically, he succeeded. Maybe that’s why he likes you so much.”

“Oh, this…I have to see.” Lexa grinned, and it was so brilliant and bright that Clarke felt her insides melt all over again, swooning over Lexa Woods for the billionth time that day.

And, wow, it was never this bad before. Had she damaged her brain a little when she’d gone underwater earlier?

The elevator doors slid open, revealing the ever bustling lobby, which Lexa cut through, absently grabbing Clarke’s hand, much to Clarke’s secret delight, so that she wouldn’t lose her in the crowd.

“I cannot believe my mom booked an event room.” Clarke grumbled as they made their way down to a decently sized room, brightly lit with chandeliers and elegant tables, frosted with fine white table cloth and table settings.

“Isn’t this for weddings?” Lexa asked, biting her lip.

“Here’s hoping you and I get married right here and now and call it a week.” Clarke retorted absently, missing the way Lexa’s heart skipped a beat, or twenty, at the mention of being with Clarke for life.

“Isn’t that a bit sudden? We’ve only been dating for months.” Lexa responded playfully.

“Hell, we’re already there, right?” Clarke shrugged as her eyes scanned the room. “We already know everything about living together, and I- God damn.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“What?” Lexa asked softly. She wanted so badly to hear Clarke finish that sentiment. She knew it was her own little fantasy, and that Clarke was just being Clarke and saying things she didn’t mean, but she couldn’t help the aching, the longing in her chest, in the pit of her stomach. A permanent future with Clarke seemed so idealistic.

Of course, she was the posterchild for the number one trope: Don’t fall in love with your best friend. It felt like a cliché movie. She hoped, in whatever twisted universe this was, that her audience was getting a good kick out of the torture she was going through for Clarke. And her business, of course.

“Girls, glad to see you made it on time.” Abby smiled when she saw Clarke and Lexa enter, Clarke grumbling incoherently and Lexa looking at her as if she were the moon and the stars.

“Mom, you got the room with the projector and the screen?” Clarke sighed, shaking her head. “This is for weddings!”

“I don’t see that written anywhere.” Abby replied, rolling her eyes. “God, Clarke, always the theatrics with you.”

Clarke squeezed Lexa’s hand, and Lexa stifled a laugh.

“Go ahead and grab a seat, they just served food buffet style tonight. Your father and I are trying to get the damned disk to play.”

Clarke nodded, dragging Lexa to the table where the delinquents were sitting.

“Hey guys.” Monty smiled at the girls, offering up the space beside him that wasn’t occupied by Jasper.

“Here.” Lexa pulled out Clarke’s seat for her, and when Clarke visibly swooned, Lexa offered her a wink.

“Damn.” Jasper nodded in approval. “She’s got game.”

“Hey, where were you today?” Clarke frowned.

“Jas gets sea-sick.” Monty replied with a knowing smirk. “But I did brew up something special for our celebration tomorrow.”

Clarke grinned. “You didn’t.”

“Didn’t what?” Lexa asked, now completely confused.

“Moonshine, kid.” Raven announced, clapping Lexa’s back from behind as she made her way over, Anya in tow. “Monty’s famous moonshine.”

“No fucking way.” Octavia smirked. “Last time we had a delinquents’ club night, Clarke couldn’t remember her own name. That shit is brutal.”

Lincoln and Lexa exchanged looks, both clearly newcomers.

“You’ll see, baby.” Clarke smirked, patting Lexa’s thigh. “It’s tradition.”

Anya had sat beside Raven, and the two were now bickering over where Finn was going to sit, as he approached the table with a smirk.

“Why do we invite him, again?” Murphy piped up from his seat, already digging into his dish.

“Because he doesn’t drown people.” Clarke fired back, smirking.

“You started it, princess.” Murphy smirked right back, watching Clarke bristle at the nickname.

“You don’t like being called Princess.” Lexa noted quietly, watching Clarke’s back and forth with an amused smile.

“Not unless you treat me like one.” Clarke whispered back, licking her lips.

Lexa stiffened, feeling an odd rush of heat. Okay, that wasn’t supposed to be suggestive, right? But Clarke’s hand was still on her thigh, which was mostly covered by the table cloth, and she was beginning to feel overwhelmed.

Bellamy had come over, a frown on his features, glancing back at the group parents, who were staring awkwardly at Jake’s laptop with little to no knowledge of the situation.

“Guys, looks like we might not get to see bad hair cut Clarke after all.” Bellamy sighed, taking a seat beside Lincoln.

“Aw, what?” Finn sighed, shaking his head. “I got all excited. I’ve heard the legends.”

“Fuck you.” Clarke grumbled, tossing back her drink with an air of exasperation.

“You’re just jealous you don’t have locks like these.” Finn smirked, flipping his hair dramatically.

“Yeah, you look like you’re straight out of a Pantene commercial, we get it.” Anya chimed, earning raucous laughter.

“I’ll go have a look.” Lexa rose, feeling the loss of Clarke’s hand on her thigh.

“Fine.” Clarke pouted. “That’s two strikes today, Woods, that’s the second time you’ve left me.”

“Ooh, someone’s in the doghouse.” Raven muttered with a smirk, watching Lexa wink at Clarke before slipping away.

“She’s so hot.” Finn commented to his “testosterone corner” of the table, as the girls had dubbed it.

Lincoln glanced away disapprovingly, ever the gentleman, while Bellamy looked for Clarke’s reaction.

Murphy, however, nodded in agreement.

“I know.” Clarke smirked, deciding to be honest for once. “Too bad she’s taken.”

Raven and Anya exchanged surprised glances.

Their eyes followed Lexa as she leaned in to greet Jake, hugging him briefly and then pointing to the computer, explaining something with a laugh.

“Damn, Griffin, is Woods dating you or your dad?” Murphy smirked, earning him a punch on the arm from Bellamy and a few shocked laughs.

Clarke grit her teeth, unsure of how to rationally explain why Lexa was spending so much time with him at every available occasion without giving away any secrets. “They’re being friendly.”

“A little too friendly.” Bellamy nodded in agreement. “I mean, not the way that this idiot is suggesting, but…I’ve never seen your parents so…nice to any of your dates before. It’s like they’re actually rooting for you this time.”

“Maybe that’s because Lexa doesn’t look like she’s in a biker gang.” Octavia smirked.

Clarke rolled her eyes, covering her face in embarrassment. “That was ONE guy!”

“Remember the way Abby reacted when she saw him?” Raven grinned, mimicking Abby’s stern voice. “Clarke! He’s like a human pin-cushion! Are you on drugs, Clarke? Didn’t we raise you better than that?!”

The table erupted into a chorus of laughter, and Clarke banged her forehead on the table, avoiding everyone’s gaze.

Anya watched the entire ordeal with a grin, enjoying the new gossip she’d not heard before.

"Abby thought he had piercings..." Raven motioned to her crotch with a smirk. "Down there." 

“Okay, kids, it’s working!” Jake called from the corner of the room, giving Lexa a pat on the back. “Grab your dessert and have a seat!”

Lexa made her way over, cocking a brow when she saw Clarke with her head down in embarrassment. "What did I miss?" She asked curiously, leaning back in her seat, a hand going to Clarke's back gently. 

"Oh, nothing. We were talking about how hot you are. Oh, and Abby's just glad you're not pierced below the belt." Anya smirked, enjoying Lexa gaping at her in shock. 


 

“How many fucking pictures did you guys take!” Clarke grumbled, her profanities muffled by Lexa’s arm, which she buried herself into to avoid the glowering screen, filled with what she politely called “fashion mistakes” from her early childhood.

Lexa had laughed, the vibrations calming Clarke, and Clarke instead focused on the way her best friend’s arm came around her.

The group had enjoyed every little memory, and even though Lexa, Lincoln, and Anya were newcomers, they enjoyed watching the adventures of their significant others, fake, real, or otherwise.

“God, why was I wearing overalls?” Clarke mumbled. “On the first day of school, too. Way to be cool, Clarke.”

Lexa surprised her by pressing a kiss to her forehead, drawing a silent squeal of approval from Octavia, who’d been sitting beside them.

“Oh, and there’s little Clarke crying because she missed her dad.” Abby commented as the screen filled with a picture of a little blonde version of Clarke, pouting adorably as tears stained her cheeks.

Lexa’s heart clenched a little, as her emerald gaze took in every bit, every second, every aspect of Clarke’s life and childhood.

“But there he is, picking her up!” Abby grinned, as a picture of Jake filled the screen, his younger, smiling face looking down at Clarke like she was his world.

Lexa swallowed the lump in her throat.

“Oh, the family dance!” Octavia cried out, squeezing Lincoln’s hand fondly at the memory.

The picture filled the screen until it displayed little Clarke and Octavia holding hands, wrapped in the tight embrace of Jake, Abby, Aurora, and Bellamy.

Lexa’s breath hitched, and Clarke heard it. She glanced up in concern, any façade of their fake relationship gone. This was Clarke worrying about Lexa, her best friend, the most important person in the world.

“Lex?” She asked in a mild whisper.

“Excuse me, for a moment.” Lexa murmured, rising out of her seat, turning sharply on her heel, making a beeline for the hallway.

Abby cocked a brow and Clarke murmured, “I’ll handle it.”

The group continued to “ooh” and “awe” as Clarke slipped out of her seat, stepping into the comparatively bright hallway, her eyes finding the restroom sign. She followed the hall, her concern written all over her face as she pushed the door open, finding Lexa leaning against the wall by the sink, taking a deep breath, her eyes welling with unshed tears.

“Oh my god, Lexa?” Clarke asked, her voice ever so gentle, grateful that the restroom was seemingly empty.

“Clarke.” Lexa’s voice was a civil war: two sides, one controlled, and the other emotional, desperately trying to gain control over the other. “I’m so sorry, I just-”

“Hey.” Clarke shook her head, approaching slowly, taking both of Lexa’s hands in hers. “Don’t. It’s me. Do you…want to talk about it?”

Lexa took a breath, keeping herself from crying.

“Was it the haircut?” Clarke teased gently, watching as a smile found its way to Lexa’s previously quivering lips. “I mean, I know it was awful, but it wasn’t that bad, right?”

Lexa allowed her shoulders to shake softly as she laughed quietly, allowing Clarke to envelop her in a hug.

Lexa clung tightly to Clarke, breathing in the scent of her shampoo, allowing herself to simply be. But, she felt she owed Clarke some sort of explanation, if Clarke wouldn’t allow her an apology.

“It’s just…” She sniffled ever so gently.

God, even her crying was heart-wrenchingly cute.

“It was the family pictures, Clarke.” Lexa breathed gently. “I know this is…petty, infantile, but…I never had that. I don’t even remember some of the people I lived with, I-” She trailed off, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment.

“Shh.” Clarke nodded, still embracing Lexa in the tightest of hugs. “I know. It’s not. It’s perfectly okay. I’m so sorry.”

Lexa fell silent on Clarke’s shoulder, allowing Clarke to hold her, like she was a pillar, keeping Lexa from colliding into ground.

Octavia’s words echoed in her mind.

“Hey, Lexa.” Clarke murmured softly, rubbing circles on her back, soothing her. “I love you.”

And it was natural. It wasn't overt, forced with sexual tensions or desires, or expectations that came with love and courtship. It was love in its purest form, unquestionable and trustworthy as the sunrise the next morning.

Clarke loved Lexa with all her heart. She never imagined her telling her this way, but Lexa needed to hear it now, more than ever. She loved Lexa to a degree that hurt. She knew it. She’d come to terms with it. But there were a million ways to love Lexa, and she needed Clarke, her best friend, now more than ever.

Lexa let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding, her head against Clarke’s shoulder. “I love you too, Clarke.” She whispered quietly. Her heart was like a jackhammer in her chest, never thinking she'd get to hear those words uttered from Clarke's lips. 

It came naturally, like the waves that lapped at the shore just outside their view. It wasn’t a confession, because it was so blatantly obvious that both women felt for each other.

If they’d been staring into each other’s gazes, they might have realized that they both meant a lot more than what was said.

“Hey, let me see you.” Clarke murmured, stepping back.

Two little trails of wetness grazed Lexa’s high cheekbones, hardly noticeable.

Clarke felt her very soul ache as Lexa smiled through her tears, and Clarke beamed at her, her thumbs caressing Lexa’s cheeks as she wiped away the wetness, leaning up to plant a kiss on her cheek.

“We can just leave, if you want.” Clarke murmured. “And not just this dinner. If you want to leave early, to go home-”

Lexa shook her head, lacing her hand with Clarke’s, clearing her throat. “No, Clarke, don’t be ridiculous. I’m fine, now.”

“Okay. If you’re sure.” Clarke nodded, squeezing Lexa’s hand.

How could Clarke expect Lexa to go home when Clarke was her home?

Chapter Text


By the time Lexa and Clarke had made it back to the others, they’d calmed down considerably. Both girls had their hands laced, comfortably pressed against each other’s shoulders as they stepped back into the grand room, surprised to find the slideshow paused on teenage Octavia’s face.


The lights, while dimmed, were significantly brighter than before, when Clarke had blindly stumbled out to chase after Lexa.


Clarke furrowed her brow, noting that everyone at the tables had stood, eyes fixed on something she couldn’t see. Clarke pulled Lexa behind her, frowning. “What’d we miss?”


Anya delivered an accurate blow to her side and Clarke huffed out in surprise.


Lexa’s jaw tightened and she made a movement to step in front of Clarke protectively, a look of indignation on her face at her friend, until Raven chimed in with a hiss.


“Lincoln’s proposing, shut up!”


Clarke and Lexa both froze in place, craning their necks to see.


Lincoln had, in fact, stepped forward, kneeling in front of Octavia, his eyes regarding her as if she were some holy goddess, descending from miles above, just to see him smile.
Clarke swallowed audibly. That was oddly familiar.


Octavia was blinking back tears, her hand clapped over her own mouth in shock, while Aurora was absolutely the giddy mother of Clarke’s nightmares, giggling and squealing and making all sorts of incomprehensible noises while Abby patted her back supportively.


“Octavia Blake.” Lincoln cleared his throat, the emotions thick and tangible in his deep baritone voice. “We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?” He chuckled when she nodded.


Bellamy was watching with his arms folded, looking like he was trying not to cry. Clarke smirked and gave him a little nudge.


“We’ve been through it all. We’ve broken up, we’ve made up, and we’ve been lovers, acquaintances, friends….maybe that last one for a little too long.” He added with a wry laugh.
Lexa wasn’t sure when or how her hand had found Clarke’s again, but she felt a squeeze, and her heart tripped over itself in pure bliss and exhaustion.


“What really makes us special is that friendship.” Lincoln spoke , his intense gaze boring into Octavia’s cobalt stare, his hand in hers, while the other clutched a small velvet box. “We’ve really gotten to know each other, as more than lovers. As best friends. Your good days are mine, your bad days are mine. Your happiness is mine, your sadness is mine. Your darkest days will be mine, and the best days of my life will be every day I get to wake up to that beautiful smile. That’s what makes this so sweet- I’m marrying my best friend. I already know what the future holds for us, this way. You pick me up, you help me stand up every time I’ve been knocked down. I hope to do the same for you. I couldn't think of a more beautiful love story than ours, the one that’s written in your gaze every time I see you. And now…” He turned to motion to all the delinquents. “You’ve broken the final barrier. I’ve met your wonderful family, and…I’m ready to take them as my own, if you’ll all have me. If…you will marry me.” He finished, turning to Octavia with a grin that rivaled anything Clarke had ever seen.


Octavia nodded her head so vigorously that Clarke thought it was liable to fall off. She laughed out a little, “Yes, Lincoln. Yes!”


Lincoln grinned and slid the diamond ring onto her finger, watching the way the light danced off the simplistic design, ever fitting for Octavia’s simple nature.
“I love you.” Lincoln grinned once more against her lips as she leaned in, pulling him into a searing kiss as his arms went around her.


“Oh my god!” Aurora cried, a sobbing mess already. Abby grimaced slightly, and Clarke stifled a laugh into Lexa’s shoulder. “My baby! Oh my god, we have to plan the wedding!”
“Mom.” Bellamy grumbled in embarrassment. “It just happened. Maybe…ten seconds ago.”


When Octavia and Lincoln parted from Aurora’s bear hug and hail of kisses, they accepted individual congratulations from everyone, stopping at Clarke and Lexa.
“Congratulations.” Lexa smiled sweetly, hugging Octavia, and laughing in surprise as Lincoln swept her into a hug as well. Clarke had noticed the two bonding earlier. She felt her heart swell.
Nothing, no sound was more melodious and pleasing as Lexa’s laugh. It rivaled the voices of the angels singing, the harps of the heaven themselves. It meant Lexa was happy, and Clarke was soon realizing that was all she wanted in life.


“So, can we expect a double wedding?” Octavia smirked, over the sound of Aurora hailing the waiters to come with celebratory champagne for the toast.
Lexa froze and Clarke laughed nervously, glancing back at her.


“Uh.” Clarke spoke, her throat suddenly dry.


“No rush.” Octavia smirked, looking ever like the confident little girl Clarke had known all her life. “Has she told you that she loves you?” Octavia added, glancing at Lexa’s forest green gaze. “Clarke’s a bit…obvious.”

Lexa nodded, licking her lips and then smiling, completely unsure of what to do.


Luckily, though, Jake had come to her rescue, tapping her and Clarke on the shoulder to hand them two flutes of champagne.


“Just sip and smile.” He winked as he whispered to Lexa, as he’d warned her earlier that their so called “family” was prone to interrogating their newest additions.


Lexa felt Clarke give her hand a squeeze, and she turned her attention back to the toast, feeling light and heavy all at once.


She wasn’t sure about her resolve, about the entirety of the plan itself, and it was only the second evening of a seven day venture.


Oh, this had to have been some sort of divine torture.



“Can you believe that just happened?” Raven asked in awe as she, Clarke, Lexa, and Anya stepped off the main elevator, onto the carpet of the lavish hotel hallways.


“I know.” Clarke nodded in agreement, regretting letting Lexa’s hand go from the minute they stepped into the elevator. “That’s Octavia. O. Party girl extraordinaire, never tied down by just one man. This seems so…sudden, doesn’t it?”

“They were together for years.” Raven countered.


Lexa and Anya remained silent, watching the conversation with curiosity, lingering towards the back of the group together.


“What’s your minimum?” Clarke asked suddenly.


“Huh?” Raven echoed, tossing her brunette hair over her shoulder with a look of confusion.


“Like, your minimum amount of time before a proposal is acceptable?” Clarke shrugged.


“A minimum time?” Raven scoffed. “That’s stupid. Everyone takes their own time.”


Clarke smiled, inwardly delighted at the answer.


“Why, you planning on popping the question to my girl?” Anya teased, smirking at Clarke and Lexa with a devilish look in her eyes.


Clarke froze, and Lexa walked right into her back, arms going out to steady herself.


“No.” Clarke shot back with a smirk of her own. “I was wondering when Raven and Wick were gonna tie the knot, actually, but…” She eyed Anya with a knowing look.


Lexa breathed a silent sigh of relief. She’d been on the hook too many times for one evening.


“Anyway…” Anya rolled her eyes, tone suddenly sharp.


Raven swallowed loudly, eyes finding the floor pattern suddenly incredibly interesting.


“Do you mind if I have a word with Lexa for a moment?” Anya addressed Raven and Clarke with a tone that was just begging for them to argue. “Maybe in one of our rooms?”


Lexa’s brow shot up in surprise, tone hardening, her more commanding side surfacing. “Anya.” She tsked. “You can’t just kick Clarke out of our room-”


“No, go ahead.” Clarke offered kindly. “I’ll just…hang out with Raven until you guys…are finished.” She added the last part awkwardly.


Lexa nodded slowly, watching Clarke carefully, looking for some sign of discomfort, anything at all to symbolize that she wasn’t alright.


She just smiled back.
“We’ll be quick.” Lexa promised, turning to follow Anya into the room, key card in hand.


Raven shrugged. “Well, Clarke.” She rolled her eyes. “Those two have a flare for the dramatic, huh? Let’s get some drinks from the mini-fridge and enjoy the breeze.”


“More?” Clarke sputtered behind her.


“It’s called a nightcap, Clarke.” Raven informed her as if she were new to the concept of imbibing alcohol to induce sleep.


Clearly, she hadn’t seen Clarke in her neediest days when Lexa was just a wall away.

 



“Do you want to sit outside?” Anya offered as she followed Lexa into the hotel room, noting how orderly and clean everything was. Lexa ran a tight ship.


“No, Clarke will be out there.” Lexa replied, stepping off of her heels, knowing that Clarke was a few walls away, likely doing the same with an over-exaggerated moan. The thought made her chuckle.


“You know this because…?” Anya decided to bite, her hands on her hips.


“Clarke has a thing for balconies. You know what, never mind.” Lexa shook her head, motioning to the couch. “You so rudely kicked Clarke out of the room her own parents paid for, mind you, so what is it? What’s going on?”


“Nothing. I just missed you.” Anya smirked, plopping herself down on the couch like it was her home.


Lexa sighed, neatly tucking her legs as she found her seat in the comfortable chair in the corner, where Clarke’s laptop had been sitting. “Bullshit, An. What’s the meaning of this?”


“Look.” Anya sighed, her smirk fading slowly. “Woods. Think. Why did you invite me to this?”

Lexa made a face, and yet, she allowed herself a little chuckle at her friend’s antics. “I don’t believe I did.”


“Okay, kid, ignoring that blow to my self esteem right there.” Anya quipped, lax and at ease with Lexa, as always. “But my point is, I’m here for you.”


“That would explain why you’ve been spending so much time with me.” Lexa retorted playfully.


Anya averted her gaze, unable to face the truth spelled out in the forested expanse of Lexa’s eyes. “You wouldn’t want me interrupting your quality time with blondie, would you?” She challenged.


Lexa bit her lip.


What was she supposed to say? That she’d made a dire mistake by coming? That she’d done the one thing Clarke had warned her not to do, jokingly or not, and fell in love with her? That she felt like, maybe even for a moment, a passing second, she’d lied to herself and pretended that this wonderful, amazing family could love her for who she was?

Of course not.


Anya was a fellow pragmatist. Anya believed that Lexa was here with purpose, with circumstance, and reasoning.


“I see you’re getting closer to her father.” Anya remarked, eyes now investigating, prodding, searching the depth of Lexa’s as the assault was flipped onto her. “What’d he say?”


“He essentially told me to take care of his daughter.” Lexa replied, her jaw tightening, her knuckles whitening as her vice like grip on the edge of the seat tightened.


Anya let out a low whistle. “Cool it, Woods. What’s got you all wound up, then?”


Lexa glanced away shamefully, as if she were a monster, an abomination. “He offered me the deal.”


The silence after that comment was thick, palpable.


Anya broke it first. “And this is unsatisfactory because…?”


“Because it’s a lie, Anya!” Lexa hissed, careful not to raise her voice in volume, but in intensity. “All of this! These fake smiles, these stories….” She shook her head. “I resent it all.” Her bottom lip quivered like it had earlier, but this time, she bit down, keeping from exposing herself in yet another display of pathetic weakness.


Anya’s expression softened immediately. “No, it doesn’t have to be, Lexa.”


Lexa sniffled in response, glad the tears that were going to pool in her eyes had ceased.


“I saw you leave, earlier.” Anya spoke gently, her tone uncharacteristically soft. She knew what Lexa had been through. No prodding was necessary. “Did Clarke understand? Did she take care of you?”
Lexa nodded, feeling a simple warmth bloom in her chest at the mere mention of Clarke.


She tried not to think of her soft touches, her bright smiles, the way she whispered “I love you” with such beautiful intent.


But Lexa wasn’t ready. She wasn’t ready to accept whatever turmoil was burning within her. She wasn’t ready to fall and pick herself up all over again. All she’d known was heartbreak. All her life. From her lack of a childhood, tossed around in the system, forgotten and unwanted, to her romantic endeavors, Costia leaving a foul taste in her mouth.


Lexa was exhausted, and she didn’t want to hurt again. She’d thought it all through. Pragmatically. With hard facts and evidence, leaving feelings out of the equation completely, she decided that she could pull through and solider on for just a few more days.


For the company. For herself.


“What about Reyes?” Lexa’s voice was quiet, and her tight grip relaxed.


“What about her?” Anya asked, suddenly finding the ceiling to be rather interesting.


Anya was using the best tactic she and Lexa knew of. Failure to acknowledge the issue at hand.


So that was the way it was going to be. Unrequited love? Or, worse, in Lexa’s case: possibly mutual love, built on a foundation of lies, and abuse, and a very broken heart.


At least, then, they had each other.


“Oh.” Lexa nodded, reaching her hand out to squeeze Anya’s. “Me too.”


 

The familiar warmth of Raven’s chosen scotch radiated throughout Clarke’s body, and within seconds, she was feeling more relaxed than she’d been earlier.


Of course, that was no menial accomplishment, considering she’d been worrying about Lexa ever since she saw the tears on her cheeks, and the little wobble of her normally set lower lip and chiseled jaw.


It tore Clarke up inside.

Suddenly, life was very much all about making Lexa smile again, making sure that she was alright and happy. Clarke never wanted to feel that hollow ache within her soul again. She wanted to simply scoop Lexa up and protect her, as ridiculous as it seemed.


Lexa needed no protection. She was intelligent, incredibly so, as well as tough, hardened by a life Clarke never knew, sheltered by privileges she wished Lexa could have had instead.


Clarke's mind was rampant with thoughts as she stepped out onto the balcony, allowing the breeze to counteract the effects of the alcohol, which had warmed her considerably.


Clarke’s eyes found Raven’s, in the darkness, and the two clinked glasses before settling into the chairs.


“So.” Raven began wistfully. “I’m pretty sure that we did this exactly five years ago. Although…I’m also pretty sure we were drinking some shitty vodka instead.”
At that, Clarke grimaced, embarrassed for her past self. “And you were hung up on Finn.” She added with a wry smile.


Raven shrugged. “I was hot. He was available. It happened.”


Clarke always admired her confidence, her ability to accept her decisions and her choices with such open mindedness. It was so beautifully, uniquely Raven.
“And now you’re almost engaged. Octavia’s engaged.” Clarke shook her head, numb to the sensation. “Wow. Who’s going to have a kid for the next one?”


Raven averted her gaze instead of laughing at Clarke’s joke, and Clarke found herself frowning.


“Ray.” Clarke cleared her throat slightly.


No response.


Clarke had her suspicions. She bit her lip, allowing the moonlight to bathe them in a natural glow.


Raven’s eyes met Clarke, and they weren’t teary or hazy like Clarke had expected them to be. They were sad, however, lacking their usual glimmer of humor that endeared her to Clarke and so many others.


“When?” Clarke asked softly, without every directly asking. She’d known Raven long enough to know when they were on the same wavelength.


“A few months.” Raven admitted, taking another bold gulp. She blinked hard, and then met Clarke’s cerulean gaze once more. “He’s been living…God, I don’t know.” She shook her head. “I don’t know.”


Clarke’s heart clenched, and she felt the familiar sensation of secondhand heartbreak rage through her system. She shook her head, hand falling to Raven’s thigh comfortingly.


“You knew?” She asked softly, assuming Raven was comfortable discussing it.


“I caught them.” Raven admitted sullenly, and yet, there were still no tears.


Clarke was thoroughly impressed. “I’m so sorry.” Clarke whispered.


Raven deserved everything in the world, as far as Clarke was concerned. She was gorgeous, brilliant, and insanely well humored. It destroyed Clarke to think that some asshole like Kyle Wick could just trample her feelings and her trust with his infidelity, as if she weren’t human.


“You know what?” Raven chuckled softly. “I’m not.”


“You…you’re not?” Clarke repeated, unsure.


“Fuck no.” Raven allowed herself a wry smile, and it was contagious. “It was my way out. I was scared. It…it wasn’t right, Clarke. I guess we weren’t loving each other in the ways we wanted to be loved.”


Clarke suddenly felt incredibly sick to her stomach. Those last words hit hauntingly close to home.


Clarke shoved down her thoughts of Lexa and nodded.


This was about Raven.


“Why didn’t you say anything?” Clarke asked. “Does Anya know?”


Raven shook her head immediately. “No. I didn’t…I don’t want everyone worried about me. I…He’s moving out. After that, it’ll be official, and…I’ll tell the world. Hell, I’ll shout it from rooftops.” Raven grinned.


Clarke had to crack a smile at that. “So…Anya…”

“So…Lexa.” Raven countered with a smirk.


Clarke’s blush gave her away. “Is it that obvious?”


“To everyone but her, apparently.” Raven snorted. “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you just sit her down and talk?”


Clarke shook her head. “It’s not that simple, Ray. Lexa’s…special. She’s been through so much, and this can’t have been easy for her, given her past. I just…I don’t want her overwhelmed. Besides, I’m her best friend. I’m supposed to be here to mitigate the damage, not cause it.”

Raven nodded, tapping the wall behind her. “No heroic balcony stunts, then?” She smirked.


Clarke rolled her eyes at the sudden change of pace. “Do you know how hard it would be to get across with that stupid dividing wall?”


Raven snorted. “It’s possible.”


Clarke sighed and stood when she heard Anya slip into the room, her cue to leave.


“Share the bed, guys.” Clarke smirked as she set her glass down, slipping past Anya by the entrance.


Anya grabbed her wrist, and not too delicately, either. She turned Clarke around, locking gazes with her, a fire in her eyes.


“Don’t hurt her, Griffin.” Anya spoke solemnly, and the threat was received. “I’ve never seen her like this.”


Clarke simply gaped. “Huh? I…I wouldn’t, ever, she’s my best friend. Why-”


“Good.” Anya cut her off, noticing Raven coming over. “We’ll see you tomorrow, then.” She relinquished Clarke instantly, closing the door with a thud.


Clarke blinked, numb, as she leaned against the wall for support. What had Lexa told her? What had just happened?



“Hey.” Clarke greeted Lexa, who’d been sitting under the covers, reading something on her laptop, glasses sitting on the bridge of her nose.


Clarke swooned for Lexa in glasses.


“Clarke.” Lexa greeted with a questioning gaze. “How was your interrogation?”


“Probably no better than yours.” Clarke blew out a breathy laugh, heading towards the bed to grab her designated “pajamas”, which she’d haphazardly thrown on the bed that morning, much to Lexa’s dismay.


“Anya can be intense.” Lexa murmured, her eyes emptily scanning the words on the page to ensure that she wasn’t staring at Clarke, who was changing just a few feet away.


“I’ll say.” Clarke grumbled, donning her short shorts and thin top, carelessly tossing her dress aside with a grunt of disdain. She made her way for the bathroom, where Lexa had organized all of their toiletries for perhaps the billionth time.

 
Lexa sat up immediately, eyes widening. “She spoke to you, too?”


Clarke smirked, her mouth full of toothpaste, muttering an answer that sounded something like: “Oh yeah.”


Lexa folded her laptop with a sigh, rising to put it on the dresser, not noticing how Clarke’s eyes were glued to her “leg slit” in what was becoming Clarke’s favorite little dress that Lexa wore to sleep. She patiently waited for Clarke to finish cleaning up, and then she prodded once more. “Well?” Her voice sounded anxious, unsure.


Clarke bit her lip. Okay, maybe she shouldn’t have mentioned that. “I’m kidding, Lexa. She just said goodnight.”


Lexa heaved a visible sigh of relief.


“Why?” Clarke countered with a smirk. “Got some big secret?”


“Hardly.” Lexa scoffed.

“Hmm, you’re not a secret murder, are you?” Clarke grinned, making her way for the bed.


“Clarke. You ask that on the first date, not after being best friends with someone.” Lexa reproached, tactfully directing the conversation elsewhere.


Clarke giggled and kneeled on the bed, putting both her hands on Lexa's shoulders. She eyed Lexa with great concern. “You’re okay, right? This isn’t…too much for you?”


Lexa’s heart hammered and she felt an indescribable warmth spread through her entire body, weaving its way into her aching soul. She nodded slowly, shaking her head. “I’m so sorry.” She winced. “I cannot believe I just…”


“Hey.” Clarke tilted her chin up, forcing Lexa to meet her eyes. “Don’t ever apologize for feeling the way you do. This is a favor to me, and I don’t want it to hurt you. Say the word, and we’re gone. No questions asked. And…I’ll always be your dork. Nothing changes if you want to go, Lexa. We can figure out your business some other way.”


Lexa shook her head slowly, allowing a light smile up at Clarke. She didn't understand what she was feeling, but it overwhelmed her, in the sweetest way. Clarke had her unraveling with simple, caring words, words that she’d never heard growing up, words that she needed. That it was okay to feel a certain way, to have doubts, to be less than stoic and unfeeling.


She’d forgotten that, somewhere, along the way.


“Clarke.” Lexa sighed. “I’m fine. I’m enjoying myself, even. I…we’ll be fine.” She assured, mostly herself, as her eyelids felt heavy. She stifled a yawn, and Clarke chuckled.

“Me too. Did you have a nightcap?” Clarke asked, courteously sliding Lexa’s glasses off for her, folding them and setting them on her nightstand.


Okay, maybe that was a bit more than courteous, but neither girl had time to analyze it, past Clarke’s sudden realization of what she was doing, and Lexa’s little reaction of touched surprise.
“Hmm? Oh…No.” Lexa shook her head. “I guess I’m just exhausted.”


“Saving people will do that to you.” Clarke winked, referring to her lifeguard antics from earlier as she dimmed her lights, turning to Lexa. “I’m freezing, Lex.”


Lexa rolled her eyes. “You’re always freezing.”


“You’re always hot.” Clarke smirked, watching Lexa shift slightly. “C’mere.” Clarke grinned, wrapping her arms around Lexa as she spooned her, giving her an extra squeeze.


“Oh, so in this relationship, I’m the little spoon?” Lexa sighed, melting into Clarke’s touch.


“Mhmm.” Clarke hummed. “You can call it the front spoon, if it makes you feel any better.”


“Shut up.” Lexa grumbled into her pillow, eyes closing.


“Love you, Lex.”


“Love you too, Clarke.”

 



Lexa was coming back from her early morning run, disappointedly thinking of how Clarke had gotten hot and rolled away in the middle of the night.


Not that it mattered, or anything.


Little had she known, of course, that Clarke had woken up not too long after her departure, and sighed at the missing warmth.


Lexa had slipped her keycard into the slot, slick with sweat, absolutely dying to take a shower. She pushed the door open when the lock turned green, and then froze in place when she heard Clarke’s voice, specifically uttering her name, in conversation.


She knew eavesdropping was wrong, but technically, she was just coming back to her hotel room.


She cringed at the argument- she would have made a shitty lawyer.

“Right, exactly.” Clarke’s voice was awfully chipper, and the entire room smelled of fresh coffee. “Just…don’t tell Lexa. Perfect, I’ll see you then. I’m excited. Bye!”


Lexa heard the click of the phone’s receiver, and before she knew it, Clarke was walking into the living room, already showered and smelling of coconut and vanilla.


Her eyes locked with Lexa’s and she nearly jumped in surprise, cheeks turning red, smoothing down her summer dress with a gasp. “Lex.” Her eyes tried not to linger on Lexa’s toned abs, and failed considerably.


Lexa decided to play it cool. Was Clarke having an affair? During their, albeit fake, relationship? Who was on the other end of the line? Was it Finn? Bellamy? Murphy? Raven? Anya? Lexa bit her lip, forcing out a smile. What didn’t Clarke want her to know?


“Hi.” Lexa breathed, removing her earbuds and their wire from her neck, where they’d been sitting. “You’re up early.” She commented.


“It was cold.” Clarke replied, heading over to the coffee pot.

Lexa nodded awkwardly, licking her lips.

“So, Clarke…” She drawled. “What’s on the agenda today?”


Clarke rolled her eyes to the heavens and back, and Lexa bit her cheek to keep from smiling. “Octavia wanted to go shopping. And then, of course, there’s the dumbest tradition we have, aside from celebrating my birthday on these damned reunions.”


“What’s that?” Lexa hummed.


“Family game night.” Clarke almost growled, her grip like a vice around the mug. “Which we will own.”


Lexa actually snorted at that, and Clarke grinned at the sound.


“Competitive much?” Lexa teased. “I hope you don’t play like you play chess. Otherwise, we’re screwed.”


Clarke feigned a look of hurt. “This coffee was for you, but…”


Lexa smirked. “How sweet.”


Clarke handed it to her with a smile. “Don’t say I can’t cook.”


“This is not cooking, Clarke. Might I remind you of the ramen incident?” Lexa reminded, savoring the hot sip.


“Shut up and take your shower.” Clarke teased. “I’d hug you but…you’re wet.”


Lexa shook her head, stepping into their bedroom with a smile, trying to ignore the feeling of despair in her stomach.

What was Clarke planning, and more importantly, what was she hiding from her best friend?



The brights sun’s light filtered its way through the slits in the palm trees as the group made their way down the strip of stores, everything particularly boutique and expensive looking.
Lexa had been watching Clarke like a hawk, noticing the way she’d check the time on the lock screen of her phone every so often, or check her messages.


Lexa hadn’t noticed that Clarke was watching her as well, giving her small smiles when Lexa would talk to Octavia or laugh at Lincoln’s jokes.


They walked down the little strip, hand in hand, enjoying the breeze that flitted by. The boys had opted to stay at the hotel poolside, save for Lincoln, who was ready to follow Octavia to the ends of the earth, and Murphy, who claimed he needed “more leather.”


Every once in a while, Octavia would tug her fiancé in the direction of a store she wanted to see, and he’d kiss her hand, and follow along blissfully.


“That’s fucking sad.” Murphy muttered. “Poor dude’s more whipped than a horse.”


Raven smirked, “Why? Because you asked Octavia out and she straight up rejected you at senior year homecoming?”


Murphy rolled his eyes, muttering something unsavory.


Clarke smirked, mimicking Murphy’s impression. “Hey babe, why don’t you and I head over to the bathroom and really score some touchdowns.”


Lexa chuckled at Clarke’s deep tone, wishing she’d known Clarke even then.

"Be honest...Would you have slept with me if I used that on you?" Clarke teased.

Honest? Lexa could do honest.

"Probably." She smirked, watching Clarke's jaw drop. 


She loved Clarke, but knew the girl was like the ever changing seasons. She wanted to experience more of her, all of her. Sure, now was the sweltering heat of Clarke’s life, the summer love, metaphorically. But what about the spring that made her who she was? Clarke thought Lexa wasn’t fond of her wealth, her privilege, her careless lifestyle.


The truth was, Lexa was fond of everything and anything that was innately Clarke.


“Oh, Clarke….” Abby sighed, pausing at the window front of a particularly expensive looking store. “How about a few dresses?”


Clarke made a face, and Lexa stifled a laugh.


“Mom, after last night’s photos, you have lost all dressing privileges.” Clarke grumbled.

 

“I’m sure Lexa would agree with me.”Abby tried once more. “Wouldn’t you love Clarke in some new dresses?”


Lexa cleared her throat and tried to embody Switzerland itself, the voice of neutrality. “I think Clarke looks stunning in anything, Mrs. Griffin.”


Abby smiled at that, and Jake nodded. “Good answer, kid. You sure you don’t want a job at a PR firm or something? I know a guy who-”


Clarke glanced at her watch, cerulean eyes widening, and then froze, stopping Lexa as well. “Dad. She doesn’t want the job. We have to go get ice cream, though.”


Anya lifted a brow, and Raven followed suit. “Is that an innuendo for something?”


“What? No.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “You guys go ahead. We’ll be back.”


“Clarke, what are we-” Lexa’s question was halted when Clarke squeezed her hand and offered her a breathtaking smile.


“It’s a surprise.” Clarke grinned, tugging her towards the cute little ice-cream shop on the corner of the strip.


“Clarke?” Lexa asked, brow furrowed.


“Lexa.” Clarke sighed in exasperation, handing Lexa a twenty. “Please, just get me a mint chip cone.” She batted her eyelashes. “Please.”

Lexa’s brows were up in confusion. “But…you hate mint chip…I remember, because of that one time at-”


Clarke’s look was all Lexa needed to shut up and wheel around into the bustling store, wondering why Clarke was trying so desperately to rid herself of her. She was acting beyond strange. She tried to glance back to stare at her best friend, but the line was long and Clarke had already left.


By the time Lexa ordered the cone and stepped back into the sweltering heat, she’d realized that Clarke was sitting at a table with someone. Lexa squinted. It was a man, who looked oddly familiar. And suddenly, it all clicked.


“LEXA!” The familiar high-er pitched voice echoed as Lexa felt the breath knocked out of her with a tight hug, sandy blonde hair the only thing visible at her side.


Lexa’s heart stopped, and a smile flitted across her face, and before she knew it, she was kneeling and grinning.


“Aden?” Lexa breathed, careful not to drop the cone, her emerald gaze searching his face, his grown features. He looked so much more different than on FaceTime or Skype, he was starting to fill out his soccer jersey more and more.


“Hey Sis!” Aden grinned. “Surprise! Are you surprised?”


Lexa felt her heart clench as her eyes found Clarke’s gaze. Clarke was beaming at her a little further down at the table, the man Lexa now recognized as Sinclair doing the same.
So this was Clarke’s grand affair, her big surprise, her reason for acting so strangely.


She had gotten into contact with Aden.

For her. 


Sure, Lexa had thought about it, but she never wanted to take time away from Clarke, this being her family and her operation.
Of course, Clarke had to go off and do something amazing.


“Give the kid his ice cream.” Clarke smirked, standing with Sinclair to come over.


Aden grinned as Lexa handed him the cone, beaming up at her. He gave Lexa an embarrassed glance. “Lex, introduce us.” He whispered offhandedly, and she rolled her eyes.
“Clarke, now you can say you’ve officially met my-”


“-Brother.” Aden supplied with a proud grin.


“-Brother.” Lexa winked at Clarke.


Clarke knelt down and Aden threw his arms around her, narrowly missing her dress with the ice cream. “Hi Clarke.” He smiled.


Lexa turned to Sinclair, offering him a smile.


“Your girlfriend is quite the keeper, Lexa.” Sinclair offered politely. “This was all her idea.”


Lexa and Clarke both gaped at each other awkwardly, and Aden’s eyes seemed to sparkle.


“You’re dating?” Aden asked between frantic licks of his dripping mint chip ice cream. “About time.”


Lexa reddened and her mouth opened a little in shock. So the kid had a mouth on him, just like she did when she was his age. Perfect.


Clarke let out a laugh and Sinclair shook his head apologetically. “I meant to make no assumptions.”


Lexa waved it off entirely too awkwardly, her entire body simply radiating the joy she felt. She glanced at Clarke with a numb, blissful smile.


“Clarke? Do you mind if I speak with you for a second?” She tugged Clarke’s wrist, excusing herself from Aden, and Sinclair, who’d ran into the shop to get napkins for the boy.


“I hope this is alright.” Clarke murmured, and Lexa could tell from her best friend’s body language that she was nervous, with her rosy blush and the way she rubbed the back of her neck. “I mean, I didn’t want to overstep my bounds, but-”


Lexa pulled Clarke into a hug, effectively shutting her up as both girls melted into it. Lexa couldn’t fathom how much Clarke meant to her in that moment.


“Clarke.” Lexa’s voice was a little choked. “This is….incredible. I can't thank you enough.”


“Don’t thank me.” Clarke shrugged nonchalantly, a pleased smile on her face. “We’re best friends, it's what we do.”


Lexa frowned momentarily. “Clarke, how long do we have? I don’t want to keep your family waiting, because-”


“Lex.” Clarke shook her head with a knowing smirk. “It’s fine. They all knew. They were playing along.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Clarke…you went to all this trouble for me?”


Clarke blushed once more. “Don’t even mention it. Just…maybe keep them away from my family, because the fake girlfriend thing might be a bit hard to explain to Aden.”


Lexa nodded, shaking her head. “Clarke Griffin, you’re amazing.”


Clarke sighed. “It was just…I know this can’t have been easy for you, seeing my family so…overwhelming. I just…I wanted to remind you that you’re not alone. My family is yours, but…you have people out there who love you, myself included.”


That was the least painful way of admitting it.


Lexa took one glance into Clarke’s blue eyes and she knew she was gone. Clarke was the single greatest thing to happen in her existence. Clarke was the star that lit up the darkened sky of her background, her childhood. Clarke was laughter, and smiles, and everything she could ever hope to look forward to.


Clarke was it, for her.


“Go on. Spend time with them. I’m a text away.” Clarke spoke gently, her smile never fading.


Lexa frowned almost immediately. “You’re not coming?”


“They’re your family, Lexa.” Clarke nudged her. “Go. Rebuild. I’ll deal with my hell-family.”


“No.” Lexa shook her head, and Clarke cocked hers in confusion.


“No?”


“You’re my family, Clarke.” Lexa spoke softly, pressing a grateful kiss to Clarke’s cheek, before turning back to Aden, laughing at the mess he’d already did managed to create.


Lexa’s laugh, ever so gentle and amused, was Clarke's favorite sound. A grin broke out on her features just hearing it.


And that was when Clarke Griffin started to realize that was spiraling deeper and deeper into love with Lexa Woods.

Chapter Text

The sun had enjoyed the peak of its daily reign, and began to descend for its exit, to be swallowed by the placid sea, a sight Clarke would have enjoyed taking in, if she hadn’t enjoyed watching Lexa’s graceful smile so much more.

In the few short hours that Lexa had to spend with her prior foster brother, Clarke had learned many things about her.

She’d learned that Lexa’s laughter was the sweetest sound she’d ever heard in the world, though, to be fair, Clarke already knew that. It was light and airy and incredibly honey-like, a compliment to her typically lower, calm voice.

She would have blindly follow that laugh into the darkness at a moment’s notice.

She’d learned that Lexa had been a fighter in her younger days, defending Aden from just about everything and anything that crossed his path. Clarke had to bite back a smile and young, fiery Lexa, defensive and perhaps a bit much.

She’d learned that their time spent under Nia Queen, whom Clarke hated without knowing, had made them nearly inseparable. They didn’t go into specifics; Clarke had surmised that it was too painful. But she understood what was implied, she’d read between the lines.

The fact that Lexa ever had to throw herself in front of Aden to shield him from their own mother, foster or not…It broke Clarke.

She’d managed to hide her tears with her sunglasses, careful only to allow herself a sniffle when Lexa was busied with Aden’s ramblings.

Clarke had managed to fend off her own family, as they respected her wishes to give Lexa the privacy she so deserved with Aden.

They had settled for walking and talking, with Clarke doing a great bulk of the listening. She noticed the way Aden squirmed and wiggled his way between herself and Lexa, greedily taking one of their hands each in his own as he swung them on his walk, chest puffed proudly as he told Lexa of his many accolades and accomplishments.

Occasionally, Aden would turn and smirk at Clarke, as if sharing an inside secret with her, like they were the best of friends.

Occasionally, Lexa would glance at Clarke over Aden’s ramblings and give her a knowing smile, rolling her eyes at the way her little brother would huff exaggeratedly when he’d found they’d been “canoodling”, as he put it, behind his back.

Clarke swore, it was a wonder the two weren’t related.

Sinclair was long gone, seizing the rare opportunity to get some errands done without Aden, who’d proven to be more than a handful. He’d promised Lexa to pick him up as soon as they needed him, and was off before a word could be put in edgewise.

Between his ramblings and his inability to hone his focus on one single subject for more than three seconds, Aden had declared his hunger, glancing up at each girl with a hopeful smile.

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Of course you played Clarke to get you dessert beforehand.”

Aden smiled proudly, chuckling to himself at Clarke’s feigned gape of protest. “I knew you wouldn’t let me. You’d probably make me run it off, or something.”

At that, Clarke was in hysterics while Lexa scoffed, rolling her eyes as she dragged her two idiots to the café by the edge of the corner, feeling an odd sense of completion in her life that she never knew she needed.


 

“How does this look?” Raven asked, narrowing her eyes at her own reflection as she took in her dress clad body in the boutique dressing room.

Anya tried not to gape from her nonchalant seat in the back, arms folded, legs crossed lazily. “Fine.” She replied briskly.

Raven smirked. “I am fine, aren’t I?”

Anya rolled her eyes, but found a smile tugging at her lips. “You don’t need me in here. Or the mirror. You’re your own biggest fan.”

Raven shrugged, “If I won’t be…who will?”

Anya bit her lip. This was ridiculous. This was some schoolgirl crush. This was pathetic, and slightly unnerving. And yet, she found herself unable to move on.

I will.

The words were dancing on the tip of her tongue, begging to be shared, their results to be explored.

Instead, Anya settled on a tight smile. “I like that about you, Reyes.” She muttered, and Raven’s smile only grew in the reflection.

And then, Raven’s phone went off, slicing into the thick silence like an unwelcomed blade, ruining any sense of serenity the women shared for a moment.

“Finn?” Anya guessed dryly, not bothering to check. “That’s the fifth time in the last hour, Reyes, maybe it’s a hostage situation. Or something needs to be neutralized before it explodes. What is it you do again?”

Raven ignored her with a huff, turning her attention back to stripping, wondering why she’d let Anya into her changing room. One glance back at Anya’s sharp jawline and little half smile, similar to Lexa’s, was enough of an answer.

“You gonna answer that?” Anya cocked a brow. “Finn is waiting.”

Raven sighed. “No, it’s not a booty call from Collins, would you lay off? I told you I’m not into him.”

Anya rolled her eyes. “He’s very into you.”

Raven shrugged off the dress, and Anya took a moment to appreciate the perfection that was Raven’s body, all toned, slicked, and tanned to perfection. Her abs were a work of art, firm and inviting.

Raven Reyes was a spectacle.

“So why don’t you do something about it?” Raven smirked, slipping her old outfit on with a sigh of effort.

“Like what?” Anya scoffed. “Pop a squat and ask you to marry me, like Lincoln and Octavia?”

Raven grinned. “Oh, so in this relationship, you’re proposing now? I always thought it’d be me.”

Anya froze, giving Raven a look. “You imagined our relationship?”

Raven nodded, exaggerating every aspect of her delivery, from her features to her tone. “Oh yeah. Married, kids, the whole nine yards.”

Anya rolled her eyes once more, feeling an odd tingling at the pit of her stomach. That wasn’t disappointment, no, it was…relief, she told herself. “What would we name our kids?” She asked, deciding to buy into Raven’s madness.

“Clarke and Lexa.” Raven snorted. “We already have them.”


 

“I’m just saying, it’s obvious you two like each other.” Aden slurped happily on the straw to his lemonade, eyeing Clarke and Lexa with a cheeky grin.

Lexa buried her face in her hands, mortified, while Clarke blushed and glanced away.

“Aden, shut up.” Lexa growled, but the threat was void.

Clarke smirked, turning to Aden with a look of intrigue. “Don’t listen to her.”

“I never do.” Aden returned proudly, watching Lexa glare at him murderously.

“What makes you say that?” Clarke decided. “That we like each other?” Clarke elaborated once more.

“Lexa likes pretty girls.” Aden shrugged like it wasn’t rocket science, and Clarke found herself grinning.

“Aden.” Lexa’s tone was warning slightly, but the boy found that he was on a roll with Clarke, and the reward of her laughter outweighed Lexa’s embarrassed pleas for help.

Besides, it looked like Lexa needed a wingman. Badly. She never operated this slowly, and the boy was simply perplexed as to why.

Bigger concepts like the loss of the only true friend, hell, family, that Lexa had didn’t even occur to him as a risk.

It was a no-brainer.

“I’m flattered.” Clarke hummed, blue eyes sparkling across the table to find Lexa’s embarrassed emerald gaze. “But, I mean…how do you know we like each other?” Clarke had to wonder if her attraction was simply that obvious.

It was.

“It’s in the little things.” Aden shrugged, like he knew exactly what he was talking about.

Clarke smirked at Lexa from across the table, enjoying the way the brunette wanted to melt into her seat. This was certainly more entertaining than shopping.

“Aden don’t-” Lexa’s protests were cut off.

“Lexa doesn’t usually giggle.” Aden began, dutifully betraying Lexa right before her eyes. “She giggles a LOT with you.”

Clarke nodded, making a face at Lexa. “Interesting. Continue.”

“Lexa’s trying extra hard.” Aden replied matter-of-factly. “She’s wearing makeup.”

“Aden, shut up.” Lexa rolled her eyes.

Clarke smirked. “Come on Lex, I’ve seen you on your worst days, and even those are beautiful.”

Aden coughed awkwardly between them, and they returned their attention to him, Lexa blushing and muttering something particularly unsavory.

“You call her Lex.” Aden spoke wryly. “That’s rare.”

“Really?” Clarke glanced at Lexa in surprise. “I just started calling you that, if I’d know you didn’t like it-”

Lexa shook her head almost instantly. “No.” She corrected. “I…like it when you call me that.” She admitted.

She blinked as an arm occupied the space between them and a personal pizza was set down in front of Aden, while a single sandwich split into two halves came down for Lexa and Clarke.

“Also…” Aden began, reaching gingerly for a slice of pizza. “She hates sharing food. She acts like she likes to be healthy but…I’ve caught her stealing pizza from me before.”

Lexa’s eyes widened as she ever so gently slapped Aden’s arm, watching as Clarke fell into another fit of laughter.

“Aden, are you trying to help me, or make me look like a complete idiot?” Lexa mumbled, burying her face in her hands.

Aden’s cheeky smile was priceless.  “She already likes you.” He shrugged. “I’m just helping my sister out.”

Clarke took in a breath of air, cheeks hurting from all the laughter and the genuine smiling. It was so nice to see Lexa at ease around someone. Even if he was exposing every intricate little detail about their relationship.

 “You know, Lex, you should meet my girlfriend.” Aden chirped between a bite of pizza.

Lexa nearly choked on her bite, and Clarke immediately gripped her knee under the table to check if she was alright.

“What?” Lexa demanded, instantly falling into her protective sister function. “Aden, you’re only-”

Aden snorted with laughter, watching the way Lexa’s expression softened when she realized he was kidding.

“Please, Lexa. If it takes me as long as it takes you, I won’t have one until I’m seventy.”

Lexa narrowed her eyes at him, trying to ignore Clarke’s snickering from the other side of the table.

Clarke thought of talking to Lexa seriously, about their relationship, and where they stood.

But there was time for that later. Clarke knew she couldn’t let these feelings go unaddressed. More than anything, she wanted to keep her position as Lexa’s confidant and best friend, until she was emotionally ready, however long it took.


 

“Excuse me for just a sec, guys.” Clarke murmured apologetically as she slipped her money onto the table for when the bill arrived.

As soon as she excused herself to the bathroom, out of earshot, the war of siblings began.

“Aden!” Lexa admonished, but there was no malice behind her quiet hiss. “What was that?”

Aden was calm, cheeky as ever. “Lexa, you like her.”

Lexa sighed in exasperation. “Aden, things are more complicated than you’d think.”

“I don’t get adults.” Aden mumbled, rolling his eyes. “You used to make sense.”

Lexa sighed, shaking her head. She pushed Clarke’s money away, readying her own for the bill.

Aden noticed that, being the sharp boy he was. “You can afford this?”

Lexa gave him a small smile, ruffling his hair. “You don’t have to worry about me, Aden.”

“Because Clarke’s taking care of you?” Aden asked gently, clearly not entirely grasping the situation.

Lexa stiffened at that. That was essentially what was going on, right? Lexa was practically using Clarke. She felt sick. All the meals, the drinks, the fun nights, the hotel…she hadn’t paid a dime. And she was only there to get Jake’s funding. She bit her lip, swallowing the bile that rose in her throat. She was disgusted with herself.

Aden seemed to pick up on her discomfort. “Lex, why don’t you just talk to her?”

As if it were the simplest thing in the world.

And maybe it was.

“I’m not ready.” Lexa mumbled. That much was true. Even without all the obstacles in place, she wasn’t sure if she was emotionally ready to let someone back in. Sure, Clarke made her heart flutter and her insides ache, but Clarke was also the only best friend and family she truly had. After Nia, she was terrified of losing that. She’d found the strength to build herself up once more, with help from people like Anya. But now? She didn’t have the strength for a repeat performance.

Aden nodded slowly, always the understanding soul. He owed Lexa that much, though she never held him accountable for anything.

“So just be with her.” He shrugged. “I guess…maybe you don’t have to say anything. Sometimes, when I don’t feel like talking to Sinclair, he just…keeps doing other stuff with me anyway. So we don’t avoid it, but we wait until I’m ready. Maybe you can do that with Clarke.”

Lexa’s eyes widened in surprise, at Aden’s insightful comment. Maybe he was right. Maybe she needed to at least give Clarke some inkling of how she felt, some morsel of fondness before the main course. They’d already confessed their love for each other in a way, right? Even if it had been platonic in intent, Clarke wouldn’t rescind her love if Lexa interpreted it for more, right?

“Do what with me?” Clarke hummed as she slid into her seat.

Lexa blinked in shock and Aden was the first to recover. “You could show Lexa how to draw. She’s terrible.”

Clarke let out an airy laugh, and met Lexa’s smile across the table. “Really? Lex, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you draw.”

“Clarke, I draw like you play chess.” Lexa replied smoothly, sipping her drink.

Clarke’s jaw dropped. “Wow. Going for the kill today, are we nerd?”

Lexa was about to respond when the waiter arrived, bidding them all a wonderful afternoon.

“Excuse me, what about the check?” Lexa asked curiously, her card in her hands.

The waiter smiled. “Your friend handed me her card as soon as you entered.” He winked at Clarke who offered Lexa a cocky smile as they stood, gathering their things.

“Unbelievable.” Lexa murmured, shaking her head as Aden grinned at their antics.

“Hey.” Clarke whispered in her ear, walking behind her. “Next time, if you want to pay, ask me out on a proper date.”

Lexa had to fight off the chills that came with Clarke’s husky, breathy voice in such close proximity to her ear.

So maybe she wasn’t just imagining things.


 

Lexa’s farewell to Aden was more difficult for Clarke than it was for either party actually involved.

Aden had whispered a “thank you” to Clarke as she bent down to hug him, and then added, “Please don’t hurt her feelings.”

Clarke’s lip actually trembled at that and she whispered back, “I would never.”

Lexa watched the two of them with mild curiosity, but asked no questions, simply kneeling and enveloping Aden into the biggest of hugs when it was officially her turn. Aden clung to her, taking in her scent.

Clarke felt her heart beat violently in her chest. Lexa Woods would be the death of her.

“You should be brave and go for it.” Aden whispered, nudging her with his elbow.

Lexa just gave him a little smile and shook her head, rising up from their hug.

“Hey, keep in touch, okay?” Lexa murmured. “I don’t want to wait this long to see you again.”

Aden nodded enthusiastically. “I will. Love you, Lex!” He called, before turning to dart over to Sinclair, who’d respectfully given them space.

“Bye.” Lexa gave them a small wave, trying to fend off the wave of emptiness that seemingly swept over her like the orange that now dominated the late afternoon sky.

Lexa watched their receding figures with a small smile, blinking in surprise when she felt Clarke’s arms wrap around her from behind, pulling her into a tight hug.

“He’s cute.” Clarke commented wryly, smiling when Lexa leaned back into his embrace.

“Maybe you should fake date him, then.” Lexa rolled her eyes, smiling nonetheless.

“Mmm, tempting, but…” Clarke shrugged. “Isn’t it against the rules to date your best friend’s brother?”

Lexa shook her head. “Nevermind that he’s like fifteen years younger.” She teased, turning to face Clarke fully.

Clarke allowed her to shift, smiling genuinely, searching Lexa’s eyes for unspoken feelings, traces of emotion she was so proficient at guarding with her words.

She found her own heart fluttering in response. Lexa had the most beautiful eyes.

“Are you happy?” Clarke asked softly.

“More than I ever have been.” Lexa admitted with a whisper, wishing she had the courage to convey all of her sentiments to Clarke. She’d never been particularly good at that.

“I’m glad.” Clarke smiled. “If anyone deserves happiness, it’s you.” She offered her hand to Lexa, nodding towards the beach. “A walk?”

Lexa glanced behind her wearily. “What about your family?”

“You’re right here.” Clarke grinned, tugging her hand as soon as she laced it with Lexa’s.

 Lexa couldn’t help the smile and nervous laugh that bloomed within her.

She and Clarke had never been closer. She couldn’t have imagined this in her wildest dreams. She’d gone from the bookish, standoffish loner, with practically no one by her side, to Clarke Griffin’s family. To Clarke Griffin’s best friend.

She’d always felt lost, alone. She’d always envied those around her who’d had everything, while she struggled to make a name for herself, to tell herself that eventually, through hard work and sacrifice, she too could have a home.

As she was quickly learning, Clarke’s arms felt a lot like home. Clarke’s smiles and whispers, her giggles, and oh god, the taste of her lips on Lexa’s.

She knew that, when the time was right, she’d have to say something to her. To share some speck of what she was feeling, to give Clarke even the vaguest idea of how she felt. She promised she would.

“It’s really beautiful here.” Clarke sighed, shaking her head as they stepped onto the golden sands, admiring the way the breeze tossed Lexa’s hair. “Why the hell did we move to that damn arctic tundra again?”

Lexa snorted. “D.C. is not arctic.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Always picking on the specifics. You know what I mean. Why’d we move to the center of all evil, home of the American government? Oh quick, Lexa, give your phone, we have to go into hiding now.”

Lexa bit her lip to keep from laughing at Clarke’s antics. After she took a moment to recover, eyeing the way Clarke’s shoes left gentle prints in the somewhat-packed sand, she gave her response, her true thoughts on the matter.

“I’m glad you did.” She murmured quietly, eyes training on the horizon as they made their way back in the general direction of the hotel.

Lexa wasn’t really sure how they were going to get back. She wasn’t sure where they were going, or how long it would take. She also didn’t care, at all. If Clarke decided to turn halfway and instead lead Lexa into the ocean with a simple tug of her wrist, Lexa would have followed, blindly, unflinchingly.

It was terrifying. Lexa was terrifying herself, and she didn’t know how to stop it. Clarke was both the cure and the disease. Only Clarke had the capability to calm the butterflies she herself had caused in Lexa’s stomach.

Such cruel, sweet torture.

“Hmm?” Clarke hummed in question as Lexa remembered that she’d said something.

She cleared her throat in a meek attempt to speak. “I’m glad I found you.”

“Oh.” Clarke sounded surprised, her tone softening when she added, "I know. You made the hellish weather worth it.”

Lexa felt her heart swell at that. “Could you imagine what would’ve happened if Raven never came out to hit on Anya the day we met?”

Clarke smirked at the memory, shaking her head. “I would’ve found you some other way, I’m sure.”

Lexa took in a breath, curiously asking, “You think so?”

Clarke shrugged. “Soulmates typically do.”

She said it as if the words were weightless, as if they rolled off her tongue with little to no resistance, no consequence. As if it came naturally to her.

Lexa took a shaky breath. That’s how soulmates were supposed to make each other feel. Weightless and fluttery, and so very alive.

“Clarke, I…” Lexa began with a sigh, and Clarke stopped walking, turning to face her with a frown.

“Lex? What’s up?” Clarke asked, her voice gentle and coaxing.

“I wanted to talk to you about something.” Lexa began, remembering Aden’s words. She needed to initiate this, at the very least. The rest, the development, could come later.

“Okay, shoot.” Clarke smiled, nudging her, “I swear, if this is about paying for the plane tickets again, I’ll kick your-”

“No, Clarke…” Lexa began, biting her lip. “I…I really do need to…talk to you. But, I’m…I’m not ready, not just yet. I just…I know this is weird. A lot of this is new, to me. But, you make me want to try new things, and I just….”

Her ramblings were quelled when Clarke gave her a knowing smile and a soft squeeze to her hand. “Lexa, you know I’m here whenever you’re ready.”

Lexa thanked the heavens that she had someone as understanding and wonderful as Clarke Griffin in her life.

“Thank you.” She whispered.

Clarke felt her heart beat faster. Lexa was certainly dropping hints, maybe she’d picked them up correctly for once? She decided not to push, not to test Lexa’s boundaries.

She felt her phone buzz into her back pocket, glancing at Raven’s name under her texts.

“Ready to go back?” Clarke murmured.

Lexa nodded, allowing Clarke to lead her back to their family, wearing a face of calm determination.

She’d gotten it out.

Clarke was going to wait for her.

She could do this.


 

“Okay, let me give you a briefing of what’s waiting for us in Clarke’s parents’ suite.” Raven announced to Lexa, Clarke, and Anya, who’d congregated in the elevator.

“Why does this sound like a big deal?” Anya scoffed. “It’s family game night, not a murder mystery.”

Clarke and Raven exchanged looks of pity for the two newcomers.

“Clarke, if she’s not going to take this seriously, I want Lexa.” Raven sighed in faux exasperation.

Clarke tugged Lexa closer, rolling her eyes. “Uh, I’ve trained my nerd, get your own.”

Lexa gave Clarke a saccharine smile, and the two lingered a bit too long before Raven clapped loudly, forcing them to jump apart.

“This isn’t amateur hour, Anya. This is couple’s game night. It’s where you drink too much, and the weak are rooted out.”

Anya rolled her eyes. “You have the mental capacity of a five-year-old.”

Clarke sighed. “She’s actually got a point there. It’s a tradition. We split into two’s, and it’s basically The Hunger Games. I..am…especially guilty…of…getting into the competitive…nature.” She admitted, looking away when Lexa regarded her with wide emerald eyes.

“What’s in it for us?” Anya scoffed.

Raven smirked. “If we win, against Jake and Abby, which we never have, because they’re so goddamned in sync…they pay for our bar excursion the night after. Which, trust me, is a big deal.”

Anya smirked at that, and Lexa rolled her eyes. How mature.

“So…where do they beat you?” Lexa asked genuinely, her mind beginning to treat game night strategically, like chess.

Raven glanced away when she mumbled, “Pictionary.”

At that, Anya and Lexa both snorted, falling into fits of laughter, while Clarke and Raven pouted rather childishly.

“Pictionary?” Lexa breathed between her laughing fits, leaning on Clarke for support.

“It can get pretty…intense.” Clarke muttered, embarrassed by it all. “Why can’t I get a normal family? I have such bad karma.”

“Hey, no…” Lexa shook her head, laughing slightly. “I’d have killed for this.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, linking her arm with Lexa’s as they made their way towards Jake and Abby’s grand suite. “Well congratulations, babe, now you have it.”


 

Lexa didn’t know what to regard with more awe: Jake and Abby’s suite and the immensity of it, or the fact that Clarke seemed absolutely unfazed by it, instead urging Lexa to down a drink with her as they “warmed up” for the evening.

Lexa had never actually seen such a dysfunctional, yet somehow cohesive “family”. What they lacked in shared blood they more than made up for in memories and bonding, and Lexa found that it was so easy to assimilate.

So easy to fool herself into thinking she was one of them.

So easy to believe she was Clarke’s, and Clarke was hers.

Lexa felt an arm on her shoulder and turned to see Abby, who was grinning wickedly at her.

“Hey honey.” She placed a quick kiss to Clarke’s head in greeting, and then one to Lexa’s.

Lexa blinked in surprise.

How rapidly Abby had warmed up once she’d seen enough of Lexa to know that she was no longer a threat.

“Ready to get your asses kicked?” She smirked.

Lexa couldn’t formulate a proper response in time.

“Mom!” Clarke batted her hand away. “Could you maybe try not scaring my girlfriend off?

 “Sorry.” Jake chuckled from behind Abby, pulling his wife aside, making a drinking motion with his hand, winking at Clarke.

“Jesus.” Clarke muttered, turning away. “So. Embarrassing.”

Lexa grinned at Clarke, clearly amused by their antics, but mostly by Clarke’s blush. “Cherish this.” She reminded teasingly.

“Hey. Lexa.” Clarke tugged her down. “Shut up.”

Lexa smiled and then her breath hitched, because Clarke’s lips her on hers, and she melted into the soft little kiss, forcing away her frown.

“What was that for?” Lexa breathed softly.

“Idiot squad was watching.” Clarke shrugged breathlessly, jerking her head over to where the Delinquents had gathered.

Clarke tugged Lexa by her wrist, leading her to her friends, who’d gathered into their typical little circle.

Octavia sat proudly on Lincoln’s lap, stupidly blissful smiles still on either of their faces.

Clarke regarded them with a smile, feeling the slight sting of envy in her chest. She was beyond happy for Lincoln and Octavia, really, she was. But the fact that they had their lives so…together, that’s what bothered her.

Jasper and Monty were sitting beside one another, laughing at something no doubt idiotic on Jasper’s phone, only noticing Clarke and Lexa’s arrival when Jasper looked up and stared at Lexa perhaps a second too long for Clarke’s liking.

Finn, Bellamy, and Murphy were gathered around the TV, eyes glued to the basketball game as if it were life itself. Clarke saw Lexa’s eyes flicker to the screen curiously, smirking to herself. Lexa was a nerd and a jock, both shy and bold. Clarke’s best friend was an enigma.

Clarke eyed the one empty seat left and sat on it, patting her lap with a smile up at Lexa.

Lexa merely glanced at her, brows raised in surprise.

“Come on.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “It’s comfortable, I promise.”

“Clarke, I weigh more than you- OH!” Lexa tripped underneath Clarke’s extended ankle, sailing through the air as she landed safely onto Clarke’s lap, now tightly secured by the blonde’s embrace.

Lexa let out a huff and Clarke grinned into her shoulder, as Lexa could feel the pull of Clarke’s lips sending shivers down her spine.

“We’re supposed to be a couple.” Clarke reminded in her ear.

“Fine.” Lexa growled lowly. “If you want to play it that way…” She readjusted herself in Clarke’s lap, tediously moving against Clarke until she made herself comfortable, watching Clarke squirm beneath her.

“Oh…” Clarke’s whisper revitalized every inch of her aching body. “It’s on.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, allowing her gaze to shift to Raven and Anya, who were rather closely beside each other, talking in hushed whispers, occasionally laughing.

“They’re so in love.” Clarke mumbled into Lexa’s ear.

She just realized how hypocritical that sounded coming from her own mouth.

“You can see it in Anya’s eyes.” Lexa agreed quietly, taking a breath to steady herself.

“Why…why do you think they haven’t gotten together yet?” Lexa mumbled back, her voice imperceptible to anyone who wasn’t Clarke.

“Hmm…Okay, secret time.” Clarke hummed by her ear.

“Can you trust me?” Lexa teased. “I have an obligation to Anya, you know.”

Clarke blew a breath by her ear, causing her to squirm, much to the blonde’s pleasure. “Excuse me? Um, I come first. Best friends, remember?” She reminded, holding up her bracelet in front of Lexa’s vision.

Lexa chuckled, and Clarke felt the vibrations throughout her entire body, swallowing numbly.

“You remember Kyle Wick, right?” Clarke whispered in her ear.

Lexa nodded once. “He was the… “dick” as you put it, right?”

Clarke laughed at her own joke. “Yeah, Wick the dick….”

“Clarke.” Lexa sighed in exasperation. “What of him?”

“Oh, right.” Clarke nodded. “Well, as it turns out…he’s more of a dick than previously thought.”

Lexa went rigid in Clarke’s lap. “You…you mean he…he had-”

“Yes, Lexa, he had an affair.” Clarke affirmed quietly.

When she received no response from Lexa, she frowned. Maybe she had been hitting close to home with the Costia situation. Clarke knew something wasn’t entirely wholesome about their breakup, judging by the sounds of furniture breaking and the angered yells the day evening Costia left her.

“Hey…” Clarke nuzzled her nose into the nape of Lexa’s neck, satisfied only when the other girl let out a quiet sigh. “It’s better now.”

“How?” Lexa asked, her voice sounding weak.

“Because Raven found someone who will take care of her, treat her well….love her.” Clarke whispered. “All she has to do is let her in.” Clarke ventured so far as to press a sweet, soft, suckling kiss to Lexa’s neck, aware that no one was looking.

Lexa’s voice was shaken. “But….what if she’s…just…n..not ready?”

Clarke hummed against Lexa, pressing her forehead against Lexa’s back, arms still securing her. “Anya seems like the type to wait, for someone special like that.”

The undertone of the conversation had washed over the two of them like the waves that lapped the shores outside, and suddenly, the tone changed from playful to rather solemn.

Before a word of clarification could be uttered, Jake clapped his hands together, startling the two from their reverie. 

“Okay, kids, let’s do this. That means you, lovebirds.”  He grinned, and Clarke found herself grumbling in annoyance into Lexa’s soft skin.


 

It was down to the final three pairs.

Finn hadn’t played at all, citing “being too cool” as his main excuse. Most everyone allowed him to be the “score-keeper” (Clarke had later told Lexa that was a made up job) so that he wouldn’t feel left out.

Aurora, still drunk with happiness over Lincoln and Octavia, simply watched and stared from a distance, occasionally sighing with a smile, causing Abby and Clarke to instantly roll their eyes every time.

Bellamy and Murphy lost in the first round, to Anya and Raven. It was a goddamn circus act. Clarke and Lexa watched, albeit cockily, from the side as Raven and Anya obliterated them.

“It’s a…submarine! Wait, no! A cyclops!” Bellamy tried frantically as he gaped at the box with a circle in the center.

“What the fuck?” Murphy growled in annoyance. “You blind, Blake?”

Anya yawned boredly as Raven shot her a smirk. “It’s where we had our first…date.”

“It’s a washing machine.” Anya announced simply, smirking when Murphy chucked his pen across the room in anger.

“Okay A, that’s cheating…” Murphy grumbled. “B, that’s fucking disgusting, Reyes, keep it in your pants.”

“Aww, who’s a sore loser?” Raven grinned, high-fiving Anya as she sat back down. “Better luck next time. You two make a cute couple, though.”

Bellamy glanced at Murphy with widened eyes as the two were ushered away by Lincoln and Octavia, who threw over her shoulder, “Maybe you asked the wrong Blake sibling to the high school dance?”

Murphy flipped her off before shooting Bellamy a weird look, going back to watch the game with a depressed huff.

 Raven and Anya sadly fell prey to the powerhouse that was the newly engaged Lincoln and Octavia, who blew them out of the water with little to no competition.

“What the fuck is that?” Raven jeered as Anya stepped back to reveal what, in essence, looked like an oblong blob.

Anya shot her a look as if it were obvious. “Just guess!” She snapped.

“Fuck, I don’t know…” Raven looked absolutely panicked. “Ted Cruz? A schoolbus?”

“Lipstick!” Lincoln cheered as Octavia grinned back at him, prancing over for her victory kiss.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Raven scoffed. “It’s a good thing you kiss better than you draw.”

At that, the whole room fell silent.

“Not that I’d know.” Raven mumbled, standing to make room for the next victims of the terror that was team “Linctavia” as Clarke had dubbed it.

Clarke rose from her seat to face Lexa, straddling her lap, holding her chin up so her eyes were forced to meet Clarke’s.

Lexa’s breath hitched at the contact, at the feel of Clarke’s weight pinning her down.

Clarke was very clearly not on the same page.

“Baby…” Clarke repeated until Lexa blinked, coming back to reality. “We need to crush them. No excuses. Just…be right.”

Lexa bit back laughter, not wanting to ruin Clarke’s absolutely pathetic pep-talk. “What’s so bad about los-”

“Don’t.” Clarke growled. “Not this year.”

Lexa couldn’t help the laughter that shook her body.

“Come on, Clarke!” Raven cheered. “Give her some incentive. Take Octavia down.” She growled the last part, her eyes narrowed.

“This game is tearing our family apart.” Jake shook his head in amusement.

“Not as bad as the Monopoly Crisis of 2011.” Finn supplied, a smirk on his face.

“Incentive?” Clarke repeated, choosing to ignore all other irrelevant comments. Her competitive streak, albeit a little horrifying, was turning Lexa on to no end. “Okay, yeah, I can do that.”

She was suddenly leaning forward, muttering a very quick “sorry” to Lexa before pulling her bottom lip between her teeth, kissing her with promise for more, if Lexa succeeded. Lexa leaned forward, eyes closing as Clarke let out a quiet little moan, sending Lexa over the edge. Clarke’s hands tangled themselves in Lexa’s hair as she rocked her hips forward almost imperceptibly.

“Um, okay, I said incentive, not a free show.” Raven reminded awkwardly.

“Shut up, Reyes!” Finn muttered, but Clarke knew she was right. She pulled back, giving Lexa a wink.

It was game time.


 

Lincoln and Clarke decided to take the first round guessing, while Lexa and Octavia set about drawing terrible representations of their assigned words.

It really came down to which couple knew the little nuances in their relationship more.

“Okay, okay…” Lincoln sat on the edge of his seat, hands wiping at his thighs nervously. “It’s a box-”

Clarke grinned when Lexa simply motioned to Clarke without drawing anything.

“Pizza!” Clarke smirked, standing to high five Lexa as Octavia gaped in horror.

“How’d you know?” Lincoln asked, voice as shocked as his face. “She didn’t even draw anything.”

“This relationship was founded on three am pizza calls.” Clarke smirked.

“That’s…that’s cheating, right?” Octavia turned to Jake and Abby, incredulous.

“I mean…technically….It’s not.” Jake sighed, unable to hide his smile.

Finally, Clarke had a partner that was able to compete with her, to complete her. And not merely in Pictionary. Lexa was bright, respectful, good natured…

She was every father’s dream.

“Okay, round two.” Finn announced, marking a tally for team “Clexa”, as Raven had suggested with a childish smile.

Lincoln gave Clarke a nervous smile as he took the pen from Octavia, stepping up to take her place.

Clarke felt a pang of sorrow for him,

She was about to kick his ass into next year.

“Baby you watching?” Clarke fired over her shoulder at Lexa.

“Yes, Clarke.” The exasperated response was all she needed.

She and Lincoln glanced at the word Jake had supplied, and they were off, Clarke’s tongue poking out in the way Lexa adored as she set about her artistry.

“Oh, fuck.” Octavia grumbled. “I forgot Griffin was an artist.”

Lexa smirked a little proudly, eyes falling on the blonde in question.

“Okay…that’s a….a hand…” Octavia called out, eyes narrowing at Lincoln’s drawing. “Right?”

Clarke, on the other hand, was drawing something completely different, something akin to a square-like package.

“Uh…Arm? Hand…Bracelet!” Octavia fired as Lincoln shook his head, grunting in exasperation as he moved to draw something on the arm.

Lexa had remained quiet, scrupulously studying Clarke’s artful strokes as she drew squiggly lines on the package.

“Water?” Lexa mumbled to herself, knowing it was a lost cause.

She felt her heart hammering. Actually hammering. Was this stupid game actually causing her an adrenaline rush?

“A mole?” Octavia grumbled. “A bullet wound? Babe, what the hell?”

Clarke began drawing something under the package, which Lexa later recognized as flames.

“A burning package of….Ramen!” Lexa shot out of her seat. “Burn! You’re trying to draw the word “Burn!”

Clarke smirked as “Team Linctavia” deflated instantly.

“That was right.” Lincoln sighed.

Jake nodded his approval, glancing at Clarke with a wry smile. “You finally cracked the system your mother and I use.”

“What’s that?” Octavia grumbled from her seat.

“Sometimes it’s easier to use personal references that mean something to you.” Jake shrugged.

Clarke smiled fondly at the memory of burning the ramen in her apartment with a tired smile.

“Lex, that was…so good.” She grinned, pulling Lexa closer as she slid her arms around her waist, Lexa grinning equally as wide as they met in a soft kiss, both eventually laughing into it at the sheer stupidity of the situation.

“Congratulations.” Octavia rolled her eyes. “Well, you two obviously have no secrets. You just beat a couple that’s going to be married. When’s your wedding, again?”

Chapter Text

 

“Okay, no pressure, Lexa, but…don’t let me down.” Clarke teased from her seat beside Lexa, idly playing with her hand as she waited for her parents to ready themselves.

“Dating you is pressure in itself.” Lexa responded wryly, sipping her wine with an air of elegance Clarke envied since day one of their friendship.

Clarke feigned a look of hurt. “What?” She pouted. “You’re the high maintenance one.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Me?” She scoffed. “Hardly.”

“Trouble in paradise?” Octavia piped up, kneeling to lean between the two, a hand on each girl’s shoulder.

“Hey, don’t cozy up to her, Lexa.” Clarke hissed. “She might poison your drink. She’s still pissed about how we completely ran her beloved team Linctavia into the ground.”

Lexa smirked quietly into her wine glass while Octavia rolled her eyes.

“Laugh it up, Griffin, but no one’s got a kinky, weird relationship like you two.” Octavia’s retort was teasing.

“I’m intrigued.” Clarke mocked. “Kinky? How?”

“Who else gets the word “Burn” from a shitty drawing of a packet of Ramen?” Octavia scoffed. “Cheaters, that’s who.”

Clarke’s jaw dropped in feigned hurt, and Lexa set down her glass. “Octavia, I know Clarke here lacks the basic set of morals that everyone is supposed to possess, but I for one, do not.”

“Way to stand up for me, babe.” Clarke grumbled, kicking Lexa’s shin softly.

Lexa offered her a small smile, one that reached her eyes, and Clarke found herself breathless, grinning back like an absolute fool.

Octavia seemed to realize that she’d lost their attention. “Hey, lover girls.” She snapped, causing both girls to jump in surprise. “Jesus, this is disgusting. Lincoln just proposed to me and I’m not pining for him this badly. Are you sure you two have slept together?”

Lexa was suddenly downing her wine again, and Clarke had a coughing fit.

Octavia would have picked on the subject further, save for the fact that it was apparently entirely out of the question for party animal Griffin not to have slept with her girlfriend of months.

“Anyway, I didn’t come here to insult you, even though that’s always fun.” Octavia smirked.

“Then why are you interrupting our couple time?” Clarke fired back, brow raised, small smile on her lips.

“Because…Is it just me, or are you two getting serious couple vibes from Anya and Raven?” Octavia quirked a brow.

“That seems to be the consensus, yes.” Lexa replied, her voice smooth like silk, Clarke dying to hear another syllable from her full lips.

Man, she was in deep.

“Yeah, O, congrats. You noticed something anyone with eyes could see.” Clarke commented wryly, and Lexa snorted with laughter, causing Clarke’s heart to melt yet again.

Octavia rolled her eyes. “No, I mean, like, more than usual. Look.” She nudged Clarke, jerking her head in the direction of Raven and Anya, where Raven’s hand was on Anya’s thigh as the two sat beside each other, murmuring quietly, closed off from the rest of the world.

“Ten bucks says they’re screwing by the end of game night.” Octavia smirked.

Clarke’s eyes widened. Clearly, Octavia didn’t give a damn about Wick. “Uh. Twenty bucks says they won’t.”

She had information that Octavia didn’t, that information being that she knew Raven was supposedly emotionally unavailable.

It was a dick move, but hey, Clarke was a starving artist.

“Fine, we have a deal.” Octavia smirked, slipping into her childhood secret handshake with Clarke, a series of high-fives and an assortment of fist bumps and other moves Lexa had neither the talent nor experience to recognize. “They’re gonna screw each other’s brains out.”

“Absolutely vulgar.” Lexa commented loftily, and Clarke just smirked up at her, laying her head on Lexa’s shoulder.

“You love it.”

“I love you. Your gambling habits, however, can see themselves out.” Lexa replied.

Clarke, in that moment, forgot that their relationship wasn’t real. It felt real. The words felt real. She felt like she was Lexa’s mischievous girlfriend, and Lexa was her anchor to all things morally sound.

Of course, this was another delusion, courtesy of her alcohol addled mind. Right?

“Have you two considered getting engaged?” Octavia’s sudden question had both girls reeling.

“What?” Clarke asked, eyes widening while Lexa sputtered, Clarke’s hand going to softly clap her back. “Look, you killed her, O!”

“Not my fault the idea of marrying you is repulsive.” Octavia snorted, laughing as she folded her arms.

Clarke scowled and shot her a glare.

Lexa recovered, her voice a bit throaty from her coughing fit. Clarke decided, hopelessly, that she was attracted to Lexa’s voice even then. “Don’t…ah, don’t you think it’s a bit soon?”

Octavia shrugged. “How? You guys have already lived together, met the family, gotten past your “I love you’s”. I mean, there’s not much else.”

Clarke bit her lip. Octavia made a whole lot of sense. Except for the fact that they weren’t actually in a relationship, but…small details like that didn’t matter.

Lexa looked stunned, the wickedly smart woman unable to form a reply.

“O, please, you’re scaring her off.” Clarke grumbled, her cheeks flushed.

“It’s not a huge deal.” Octavia shrugged. “It’s just…a promise. It’s a commitment, but you set the terms. You can work out the kinks while you’re engaged. You don’t even have to get married right away-.”

“Okay, thank you very much, Octavia.” Clarke shoved her and the brunette threw up her arms in exasperation. “We’ll get back to you on that.”

“Something to consider, Griffin! Woods is a keeper.” She winked, turning to join Lincoln, who’d been sulking around with his brother-in-law to be.

Clarke heaved a sigh of relief as soon as everyone was out of earshot. “I am so sorry about that. Octavia is persistent. You are a keeper, though.”

Lexa allowed a shy smile to find her lips once more, eyeing the leather bracelet on Clarke’s wrist with affection. Without thinking, she reached forward, her long fingers finding purchase on its edges, smooth and symbolic of their commitment to each other.

Perhaps they already were engaged, in their own way.

“Thank you. I can understand her point of view, Clarke.” Lexa consoled her soothingly, and Clarke felt ever the child whenever Lexa used that tone with her.

Their heart to heart chat was interrupted by Finn’s clearing of his throat.

“Ladies and gentlemen!” Finn used his best announcing voice to try to gain the attention of everyone in the room, particularly Clarke and Lexa, who looked as if they were going to devour each other on the spot.

“Oh boy.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“I present to you, team “Jabby” Finn announced, as Jake and Abby smirked in the direction of their daughter.

“Jabby?” Anya snorted.

“Not as bad as Kabby.” Raven smirked.

 Jabby? Kabby? What the hell was going on? Lexa was utterly confused.

“Clarke.” She whispered, tugging on Clarke’s arm.

“What’s up baby?” Clarke responded before she even knew what she was saying.

Lexa was taken aback, mouth slightly parted in an “O” shape. “Uh…” She rubbed the back of her neck awkwardly. “What’s Kabby? Jabby I think I understand, Jake and Abby, but…where does the K come from?”

Jake, having overheard the last bit, shook his head. “I think I can answer that.” He grinned.

“Oh, great, story time.” Clarke rolled her eyes, leaning her head on Lexa’s shoulder in exasperation.

“You see, not so long ago, Clarke’s mother was dating a fellow named Marcus Kane.”

Lexa nodded slowly. Had she dug up a skeleton in the closet?

“Oh, Jake.” Abby rolled her eyes, a playful smirk on her lips. “Give it up. That was almost two years before Clarke was even born.”

“I assume things went poorly for him?” Lexa asked carefully, giving Clarke’s arm a squeeze. She didn’t want to consider the fact that Clarke might not have been born in some twisted universe.

“They did, because yours truly over here, came in and swept her off her feet.” Jake grinned.

Abby rolled her eyes once more. “Right. It had nothing to do with the fact that Kane and I were drifting apart for work, and Jake just happened to be investing in the hospital, at the time.”

“How did you manage to woo Abby when she was already so far gone?” Lexa murmured in question, cheeks flushing when she felt all eyes in the room suddenly on her.

But of course, Clarke’s arm was around her, and she felt like she was at home.

“I proposed.” Jake smirked, holding up Abby’s finger to display an impressive ring.

“While she was dating him?” Lexa asked, in shock.

“No, they were taking a break. Abby and I knew each other for a long time. Hell, we even dated. And I wasn’t about to let her go. We’d been seeing each other for dinner, and…” Jake shrugged. “Popped my grandmother’s ring out. She couldn’t resist.”

Abby smacked his arm. “It wasn’t for the ring, you idiot.”

Jake grinned, and Clarke buried her face in Lexa’s shoulder.

“And the award for most embarrassing family goes to…” Clarke grumbled.

“At least you didn’t have a roadbump like Marcus Kane in your life.” Jake rolled his eyes, “Always following the rules.”

“We had a Costia Greene.” Clarke mumbled dryly, lucky that only Raven had heard, smirking at her mischievously.

 “Point is, kiddo, I’m glad you two are past your troubles and onto smooth sailing.” Jake nudged Lexa with a smile.

Lexa felt her heart fall into her gut, at that. Like a sucker punch to her good mood, her expression suddenly soured as she fought to control it. Jake thought Lexa was the one for Clarke. And she’d lied to him, fully and outright. She was a coward, and an idiot.

“We sure are, dad.” Clarke shot him a smile, leaning forward to kiss Lexa’s temple.

Lexa sulked lower into her seat, now simply waiting for the night to be over.

But of course, they still had to face the reigning champions.


 

It ended in victory, for team Clexa.

It was hard fought, with many hurdles, such as Clarke’s realization that Jake would often mouth the answer to Abby, and then Lexa’s attempt to hold her back from attacking him.

All in all, it was average, as far as family feuds went.

Clarke and Lexa had been greeted with applause from all of their fallen comrades, save for Raven and Anya, who’d managed to slink out the back door, thinking they were unnoticed.

Clarke had hooted and grinned about their victory, rubbing it in Abby’s face for nearly an hour afterwards, until she began to yawn uncontrollably, with a glance at the clock revealing that it was well past midnight.

“You’re sleepy.” Lexa commented quietly to Clarke.

“I am but…I’m not done gloating.” Clarke pouted, and Lexa felt her knees weaken almost as quickly as her resolve.

“You can gloat tomorrow.”

“No.” Clarke smirked. “Tomorrow we rest, because we’re hitting up the bar, the club, and Monty’s moonshine.”

Lexa gulped audibly.

“Not a big drinker?”

“You know I’m not.”

“Well, this’ll be fun. I’ll hold your hair back when you puke.” Clarke teased.

“I am more than capable of holding my alcohol, Clarke, I’m not a child.” Lexa retorted.

“Can you repeat that again? I want to film it so I can show it to you the morning after your immense hangover.” Clarke grinned.

“Shut up.” Lexa rolled her eyes as Clarke led her around to bid their farewells for the evening.

“Shall we go to bed?” Clarke asked playfully, and Lexa got chills from the innuendo itself.

She knew she wasn’t ready to have “the talk” with Clarke yet, but god, she needed it.

Lexa nodded slowly, allowing Clarke to lace their hands together as Clarke pulled her into the elevator.

“So, my champion best friend.” Clarke teased, turning to Lexa as the metal doors slid into a solid barrier before them. “I’m surprised this family hasn’t had you running for the hills just yet.”

“Clarke, I love your family.” Lexa replied with a wistful sigh. They were everything she had always wanted, but never had. How cruel fate was.

“Oh? Is that all you love?” Clarke batted her eyelashes, hitting the button for their floor.  

“Something’s keeping me anchored.” Lexa responded quietly, her gaze finding Clarke’s in the dim lighting of the elevator.

The silence that followed was thick, laced with un-whispered promises and

Clarke’s gaze lit up, and some of the prior sleepiness was gone, replaced with the brightest of smiles.

Lexa looked frightened, for a moment, as if she’d said too much, and Clarke quickly replied, “We will.”

We will talk.

We will have that conversation.

We will get there.

We will.

It was a silent promise, one that told Lexa she didn’t have to explain herself. One that told Lexa that they would talk, eventually, whenever she was ready.

The door opened, revealing another smiling couple, dressed to the nines, hand in hand as they passed Clarke and Lexa on their way into the elevator.

“See?” Clarke smirked. “We give off couple vibes. They can feel it.”

Lexa’s cheshire grin was undeniably cute. “Really? You don’t think it’s the fact that you’re holding my hand and practically falling asleep on my shoulder?”

Clarke reddened like a tomato, shaking her head, ignoring Lexa’s smirk. Clarke had been passing the room beside theirs when she stopped, a curious look on her face.

“I know that face.” Lexa commented amusedly. “What’s going on in that head of yours, Griffin?”

“Did you…have you seen Raven and Anya?” Clarke inquired, her voice dropping.

Lexa made a face, her eyebrows shooting upwards. “No. They were rather quiet with their exit, weren’t they? That’s…uncharacteristic, for Raven, at least.”

Clarke snorted. “You think? She can’t go five seconds without saying something inappropriate.”

Lexa blinked. “You don’t think they’re….”

“Nah.” Clarke shook her head, dismissing the thought immediately. “That’s so…weird. They’re, like, our kids.”

Lexa snorted at that, opening the door to their hotel room.


 

It had happened so quickly that Anya couldn’t place when Raven had made the active decision that she liked her.

In fact, Anya couldn’t remember when they’d started kissing.

It had all been sparked by what was, perhaps, a little too much alcohol. That, and the fact that they couldn’t take their attraction, and affections, for one another any longer.

The wine was just the catalyst.

Raven had been murmuring quiet things into Anya’s ear all night. While they’d initially been involved with cheering Clarke and Lexa on, begrudging as they were, they’d eventually found themselves closer and closer in proximity.

The whispering, the uncharacteristic giggles, and then Raven practically pulling Anya out of the Griffin’s sweet, and into the elevator, shoving her against the panel, likely smashing six or seven floors as well as their own.

And then Raven was littering sweet kisses against Anya’s flushed skin, inching up her neck until she hovered over Anya’s lips.

But of course, partially why she and Lexa had become so close, Anya was a woman of morals, of standards, of principles.

“Raven.” Anya groaned in desperation, pushing the girl away as she took in a breath.

Raven had the decency to look crestfallen. “What?” She breathed, her chest rising and falling rapidly, heart fluttering in her chest. “You don’t want this-”

“No, fuck, I do, believe me.” Anya responded quickly, arm reaching out to caress Raven’s. “But…this…Wick….” She panted, shaking her head. “This isn’t right.”

Raven sucked in a breath. “It’s not…what you think.”

Anya paused, eyes widening slightly. “You’re not cheating on your boyfriend?”

“We…” Raven bit her lip. “I didn’t want to tell you like this.”

“Oh, god, fuck…you’re getting married?” Anya guessed before sensibility could tame her words.

“What?” Raven froze. “No, Anya, we’re separating. We broke up. Kind of.”

It dawned on Anya a few seconds later, her expression shifting to one of utter disbelief. “Kind of? I thought you were going to get engaged, I…”

“This isn’t easy.” Raven began gently.

“Reyes, what the hell is going on?” Anya asked, trying not sound as desperate as she felt.

“Come on.” Raven muttered as she yanked Anya towards their room, not wanting to spill her life story to the girl in the elevator.

The quiet that settled between them was deafening, and Anya felt like she needed air. As they stepped into their shared room, she crossed over the clothes strewn on the floor, a result of both of their particularly unkempt lifestyles, throwing the sliding door open.

The cool breeze that greeted her was soothing, until Raven ruined it with a shock of her own.

“He cheated on me.” Her voice was uncharacteristically small, quiet. This was not the same Raven Reyes that Anya had courted previously, before the reign of Clarke and Lexa’s friendship, before Anya had ever moved out of her neighboring apartment, beside Clarke’s.

“He what?” Anya echoed in disbelief, shaking her head.

She’d never met Kyle Wick, but she felt the betrayal doubly hard because of her feelings for Raven.

“He was growing distant.” Raven shook her head. “And after you I…I don’t know. This is stupid.”

Anya whipped around, eyes finding Raven, pinning her to her statement. “No, it’s not.” She breathed. “Finish.”

“I just…we fell apart, Anya. And you know, I knew this would happen. But he left first. Maybe it was my fault, I-”

“Don’t you say that, Raven.” Anya practically growled, her voice low, the vein on her forehead evident in her apparent strain to calm her rage. “Fuck him.”

Raven blinked, surprised by Anya’s outburst. “Anya, I-”

“Fuck him.” Anya repeated lowly. “If he couldn’t respect you enough to treat you well, at least like a human being, and communicate….Fuck him.”

Raven sighed, blinking away the most prominent of the sea of emotions, like a tempest in her heart.

Anya took a step forward, pulling the other girl into a hug, surprising Raven as she parted her mouth in a soft little “Oh.”

“I’m going to murder him.” Anya spoke through gritted teeth.

Raven smirked at that, feeling her personality return to its usual cocky self. “That’s how you want to spend our time? Telling me about all things you’re going to do to him?”

“What else am I going to do?” Anya grunted, shaking her head.

“Why don’t you start with all the things you’re going to do to me, Anya.” Raven whispered huskily into her ear, stepping back to catch Anya’s gaze.

Her eyes were blown with lust and surprise, her lips parting slightly.

“Is that…permission…?” Anya murmured, her voice dropping.

“It’s a command, Anya.”

Anya had Raven pressed against the bedroom wall in seconds, their lips meeting in a hot tangle of emotions and need, whimpers and panting.

Raven felt like an idiot. They could have been doing this every night instead of bickering like god damn children if she’d opened her mouth sooner.

The lesson she was currently learning however, was entirely too sweet.


 

Clarke and Lexa had just stepped into their room, entirely too exhausted to care about anything other than getting ready for bed.

“You know, I’ll miss being roommates like this.” Clarke muttered to herself mostly, as Lexa held the door for her.

“Yes, and I’ll miss having your clothes strewn all over my floor.” Lexa commented wryly as she stepped over one of Clarke’s discarded tees.

“That sounds so sexual.” Clarke smirked as Lexa rescinded her comment and blushed, chiding her best friend.

“Well, I mean…” Clarke pressed on gently. “If rent is tight, we could always move in together- Wait. Do you…hear that?”

Lexa’s breath had caught in her throat, her heart beating entirely too loud for her to notice whatever imaginary noise Clarke had heard. She was proposing they move in together.

Lexa had thought the day couldn’t have gotten any better.

And now, the prospect of actually living with Clarke was giving her chills. She licked her lips when Clarke elbowed her side. “Er, sorry, what?”

“You hear that, right?” Clarke breathed softly, voice low.

Lexa tensed, going to step in front of Clarke. Was there an intruder in their hotel room? Lexa had checked, the lock had clicked before leaving-

“It’s like…someone’s hitting the wall.” Clarke motioned to the wall they shared with Raven and Anya.

Lexa blinked. Had they had too much to drink? Had things gotten violent between them?

Clarke and Lexa rushed to the wall at the same time, pressing their ears against it, lips just centimeters from each other. They made eye contact, soft cerulean meeting blazing emerald as they honed in on the source of the sound.

What they found, instead, was erratic thumping, unsteady and random, and gasps of pleasure, along with filthy, ungodly moans.

“Fuck, Anya!” A voice, presumably belonging to Raven, cried out.

Clarke’s eyes widened, and Lexa’s jaw dropped.

“Fuck, right there! Oh, god, yes!” The moan was undeniably pleasure-filled, and Clarke threw herself from the wall first, her face beet red.

Lexa stiffly leaned back, blinking away mental images.

“Oh…” Clarke breathed, heading towards the mini fridge.

“That is…” Lexa tried, but found no words. “Unexpected.”

“But…” Clarke mumbled, ducking her head into the cold confines of the mini fridge, reaching for the outrageously expensive, miniscule bottle of vodka. “Is it really? They’d been eye-fucking for centuries.”

“Centuries?” Lexa quirked a brow.

“You know what I mean.” Clarke grumbled.

When Lexa shot her a look of concern, she shrugged. “You want brain bleach too, right? I have the next best thing.”

Lexa couldn’t help the fact that she was nodding profusely. Anya was like a sibling to her.

“Plus, not like we’re getting any sleep now.” Clarke added, tugging Lexa out to the cool solace of the balcony, safe from the sexual activities of their neighbors. “Admit it, that was…kind of hot.”

“God, Clarke.” Lexa made a face and tugged the bottle away from Clarke, nursing her rampant need, crossing her legs subtly.

“I see someone agrees.” Clarke commented, chuckling as she glanced up at the stars, or what was visible through the veil of coastal fog that hung beneath the moon.

They sat there like that, just the two of them, a litany of unsaid words and promises hanging over them like the misty evening air, under the soft backlight of the crescent moon in the sky.

They stole glances at each other like schoolgirls with embarrassing crushes.

Clarke would glance at Lexa’s pouty, full lips, the way her eyes glimmered as she gazed at everything in sight, occasionally taking a sip from the bottle and tapping Clarke gently, sliding it across the small end table.

Lexa would take in the way Clarke’s hair glowed rather angelically, the sharp angles of her jaw and nose coming in under harsh shadows, her blue eyes alight with thoughts that Lexa longed to hear.

Sometimes it was the most innocent of longings. It was the mutual longing to lay in bed with each other, to simply hold one another, to share dreams and goals, downfalls and tribulations. It was the sort if innocent longing that would’ve been found in children, untainted by delusions like love and attraction.

Of course, they had their fair share of those, as well.

It was, as usual, Clarke who broke the silence first. Lexa could remain stoic like that for hours, thinking about the world and her indefinite place in it.

Clarke would tell her that Lexa’s place was in her arms.

But it wasn’t time.

“What do we do when this is all over?” Clarke asked, her voice calm and thick.

“I suppose I’ll grow my business.” Lexa offered lamely, instantly regretting her word choice.

Clarke smiled at her encouragingly. “Kick some corporate ass for me, will you?”

Lexa chuckled, shaking her head. Clarke was never anything but supportive of her dreams.

Clarke did for Lexa what her foster families never could.

“What would you like to do, Clarke?” Lexa asked, gazing at her best friend with a look of careful adoration, guarded and intense.

“You know…I never knew.” Clarke sighed. “Art was the one constant in my life, as sublime as it is. I just…never belonged to anything or anyone.”

Lexa nodded, feeling the same hollow aching in her heart.

She knew this was taking a leap, but she had to give Clarke something to go on, anything at all.

“We…belong to each other, right?” Lexa’s voice was hesitant, shy, unafraid and terrified all at once.

Clarke laced her hand with Lexa’s from across the table, and Lexa instantly sank back in relief. She had her answer.

“We will.”


 

Clarke awoke to the sight of Lexa carrying a coffee to her bedside, fully dressed and apparently showered, her damp hair falling around her in curls.

Clarke’s eyes widened when she glanced at the clock beside her side of the bed.

“Eleven thirty?” She gasped, and Lexa smirked.

“You were very tired. In fact, I had to check for a pulse.”

“Shut up.” Clarke rolled her eyes. She immediately clutched her head, ignoring the dull pain that was reminiscent of her alcohol imbibing college days. “Ow. How did I even get to bed? I don’t remember.”

“You don’t?” Lexa’s smirk only grew as she sat on the edge of the bed with a look of pure amusement.

“No, I don’t.” Clarke retorted, squeezing Lexa’s hand as a thank you, as she accepted the coffee.

“I carried you.” Lexa grinned. “You made fun of me for not being able to hold my liquor, but you, dork, are something else entirely. Slept face first on the table.”

“Shut up.” Clarke gaped. “I…never….that’s never happened before.”

“Apparently my arm made the sweetest pillow.” Lexa smirked. “I’m quite flattered, if not offended because I spend hours at the gym trying to tone them.”

“I’ve noticed.” Clarke blurted out quickly, and as soon as Lexa looked up in surprise, she sipped the coffee a little too quickly, wincing as she did so. “Shit!”

Lexa chuckled and looked away, hardly moving when Clarke gave her a light kick.

“Well, did you at least get in your run?” Clarke asked softly.

“And then some.” Lexa nodded. “I came back, half expecting you to yell at me for taking my sweet time, but you didn’t. That’s when I checked your pulse.”

Clarke stuck her tongue out at her childishly, in lieu of a comeback.

“You were very peaceful.” Lexa commented in a soft tone, and Clarke forgot about anything in the world except for Lexa’s lips.

“So, today’s our break day. Because tonight, the delinquents party.” Clarke grinned.

“You sure you can handle that?” Lexa fired, clearly enjoying her little victory over Clarke.

Clarke had to struggle not to think of Lexa’s tone arms carrying her to bed just hours ago. She wished she’d been awake to remember that glorious moment.

“Look, smartass Lexa is back. Good. I was getting worried.” Clarke spoke wryly as she rose to stretch, noticing her bra was still on, but she was in her underwear and a loose t-shirt. She quirked a brow. “Did we have sex?”

Lexa sputtered, shaking her head, cheeks red. “What? Oh, god, Clarke, no, I-”

“Relax, nerd.” Clarke smirked, leaning forward to kiss Lexa’s forehead. “It’s called a joke.”

Lexa heaved a sigh of relief, and Clarke knew Lexa never would have taken advantage of her like that. But of course, it was fun to see the usually reserved and stoic brunette trip over her own words every once in a while.

“I think I’ll go shower.” Clarke murmured. “Thank you for the coffee, Lex.”

“Of course.” Lexa dipped her head. “I’ll give Aden a call, see how he’s faring without his new best friend.”

“Tell him Clarke says Hi!” Clarke threw over her shoulder cheekily as she shut the bathroom door, leaving Lexa to sink into the bed with a sigh.

Clarke’s kiss still burned her forehead.


 

“Clarke?” Lexa called as she ambled into the bedroom, having finished her emotional skype call with Aden.

Clarke was now dressed and showered, sitting in the corner of the room where the single desk was, smiling up at Lexa.

“Hey Lex.” She murmured, rising from the chair, sketchpad and pencils in hand.

“Oh, please, don’t let me interrupt.” Lexa smiled. “I can go-”

“No need.” Clarke grinned. “I figured out how we’re going to pass the time.”

“How’s that?” Lexa cocked her head to the side, ever curious.

Clarke tried not to melt too much on the inside at Lexa’s adorable idiosyncrasies, like her favorite, Lexa’s curious head tilt.

“Drawing.” Clarke offered with a knowing smile, tugging Lexa into the living area of their hotel room, plopping onto the floor beside her, backed up against the couch.

“Clarke, the fundamental issue with this plan is that I never have been able to draw.” Lexa pointed out, sitting with her back absolutely erect, not a dent in her posture.

“Have you ever been best friends with an artist before?” Clarke fired back teasingly.

“My list of best friends isn’t exactly long, Clarke. I…didn’t have any growing up.” Lexa admitted, her voice suddenly soft.

Clarke’s face fell in time with her heart, and she turned to face Lexa, smiling brightly at her like the sunlight that flitted in through the windows. “While I have an incredibly difficult time believing that, Lexa, I’m here now. I’m an artist, and I’m most certainly your best friend.”

“That you are.” Lexa murmured, and Clarke felt herself getting lost in Lexa’s virid gaze.

“Right…” Clarke cleared her throat. “So, let’s sketch something easy, huh? How about your bracelet?”

Lexa blinked, looking suddenly uncomfortable. “I…I’ve never taken it off.” She admitted softly.

Clarke grinned reassuringly. “Neither have I. You can use my hand for a model.”

Lexa couldn’t help the grin that graced her full lips as she took Clarke’s hand up to the light, inspecting it carefully as she narrowed her eyes in focus.

“Alright.” Clarke smirked. “Let’s see if you’re actually good at everything you set your mind to, Alexandria Woods.”


 

Clarke had ordered room service, the girls ate a late lunch, Lexa had caught up on all her business calls, and the drawing was finally complete.

“Well, fuck, Lexa.” Clarke huffed in amazement, “Are you actually bad at anything? Are you a robot?”

Lexa smirked in response, cheekily holding her sketch of Clarke’s hand, so in detail that it looked realistic, like an old photograph.

“I couldn’t draw circles an hour ago. I’m not sure what happened.” She admitted.

She knew exactly what it was, however well she lied. She’d wanted to impress Clarke so badly that she’d meticulously went over every line again and again, giving it her all.

Apparently, she’d succeeded.

“You know what, nerd?” Clarke shook her head, pressing a kiss to Lexa’s cheek as she stood up. “You disgust me.”

Lexa just grinned back up at her, accepting her extended hand. “I try.”

“So, you ready to wear skimpy dresses and rub up on strange guys?” Clarke teased, eyeing the clock.

Lexa made a face at that.

“Strange girls?” Clarke altered her earlier statement.

Lexa still made a face.

“Fine, fine, we’ll rub up on each other.” Clarke amended finally. “We have that…fake relationship to preserve, and all that…”

Lexa nodded slowly, swallowing the doubt. “They…ah…your friends….they’d probably expect a lot of drunken PDA tonight.”

“Right.” Clarke tossed over her shoulder, reaching into her pile of clothing for her dress. “We can’t stop now.”

“I suppose not.” Lexa murmured, going for the one dress she’d brought but hidden from Clarke until she absolutely needed it.

Now was that time.


 

Clarke had been leaning over the counter, texting Raven, trying to get ahold of her since that morning, and fruitlessly so.

While the erratic thumping had stopped, Clarke had no doubt that she and Anya were still at it.

They’d probably received several noise complaints.

Clarke wouldn’t have blamed anyone. She and Lexa were tempted to place the call in themselves.

 Clarke got a whiff of exotic, almost spicy scented perfume. It was her favorite scent in the whole world. It was just a little tantalizing, a little dangerous, yet sweet enough to lure her in.

It was Lexa.

Glancing up, Clarke’s eyes widened and her jaw actually dropped.

Lexa was wearing a tight, form-fitting black dress, short with slits on the side, complimenting every curve of her incredibly delectable figure.

Clarke licked her lips, trying to come up with a compliment, or to breathe, at the very least.

Lexa wore a shy smile, as if to ask Clarke, “What do you think?” Without uttering anything at all.

Clarke took in  a breath. “Lex….I….Wow, okay…Jesus, that’s…You’re so beautiful Lexa, I can’t believe…”

Lexa froze, eyes widening, clearly stunned by her flattery. “Oh. Thank you, Clarke. You always look radiant.”

Clarke shook her head, a smile tugging at her lips. “You know, you’re very smooth for a nerd.”

Lexa smirked. “Perhaps you labeled me a bit too soon.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “The ‘fine stud’ bracelets were all sold out, sorry.” She teased.

Lexa grinned at her, offering her hand to Clarke. “Ready to brave the world of drunken idiocy together?”

“I thought you’d never ask.” Clarke laughed, accepting Lexa’s hand as the two ventured out of the confines of their own little safe-haven.


“This is awkward, Lexa.” Clarke whined.

“It’s not awkward, Clarke. They slept together. It happens.”

Clarke froze, turning on Lexa with wide eyes, the distant sound of the hotel bar and club’s music ringing in her ears. “You’re saying you don’t feel awkward seeing Anya and Raven right now?”

“Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am.” Lexa clicked her tongue. “But…we’ll do it together.”

Clarke bit her lip, continuing her path to the bar. “What do we even say? Congrats on the sex?”

“Has it occurred to you that we don’t have to say anything?” Lexa offered, ever the sage one of the two.

“Um, Lexa, they were fucking against our shared wall.” Clarke pointed out. “They know we heard.”

Lexa wasn’t sure why hearing Clarke talk like that sent a thrill through her. She bit her lip, trying to regain her composure. “Clarke, we’re adults. If they bring it up, congratulate them for getting together, and just order a drink.”

Clarke nodded, squeezing Lexa’s hand as she weaved in and out of people, the dimmed lights of the club making it more difficult for Lexa to read her facial expressions.

Clarke led her to the table towards the back, where Octavia and Lincoln were already sitting on one side, Bellamy and Murphy on the other, Finn at the end in the middle.

“Okay, so they’re not here. Didn’t see that coming.” Clarke mumbled.

Lexa mouthed “What?” Over the sound of the raucous of the bass.

Clarke just shook her head and led her to the relative safety of the table, away from the main source of the booming cacophony of music and the already hammered, sweaty bodies that danced on the relatively small dancefloor.

“Hey Clarke.” Octavia nodded as the two approached the table hand in hand. “Lexa. Wow, you look amazing.”

Lexa humbly thanked her, but not before Murphy and Finn voiced their agreement.

Clarke narrowed her eyes, her arm snaking its way around Lexa’s waist, tugging her closer. Lexa didn’t seem to protest.

“Save me a dance, huh?” Murphy winked at Lexa.

“Ha. Imagine that.” Clarke spoke wryly, and Lexa snorted at her refusal to even acknowledge the idea. To be Clarke Griffin’s date was to be treated like royalty. Lexa had to admit, she was enjoying it.

“Have you guys seen Reyes? Or Anya?” Clarke asked, straining her voice a little.

Bellamy nodded. “Bar.” He motioned with his finger. He even offered a smile to Lexa, who reciprocated it in kind. Oh, how quickly the tables had turned.

“Right.” Clarke nodded, leaning down to Octavia. “Did they seem…weird, at all?”

Octavia frowned. “No, but…you seem weird. Everything okay, Griffin?”

“Huh? Me?” Clarke scoffed. “Nah. We’re perfect. Where are Monty and Jasper?”

“The Bar.” Octavia copied her brother, waving her shot around with a smirk.

“Is that moonshine-”

“Yep.”

“But how did they-”

“Leave it to them, Clarke.” Octavia smirked. “Go on and get some. We’ll be here.”

Clarke nodded turning to Lexa. “I’ll be right back.” She promised, whipping around for the bar.

Lexa seemed comfortable enough in the capable hands of Lincoln and Octavia, who weren’t quote drunk enough to scare her off, and Clarke found her eyes settling on Raven and Anya as she made her way over, Monty and Jasper also sitting at the bar beside them.

Clarke blinked in surprise. Everything seemed…good.

Raven was the first to see Clarke, releasing Anya’s hand to out her arm around Clarke.

“Party girl Griff!” She smirked. “Monty, Jas, hook it up!”

“Hey Clarke!” They called offhandedly, sliding several clear, harmless looking drinks down the length of the bar.

“Hey…” Clarke mumbled, barely audible over the music.

“Everything okay, Griff?” Raven asked, smile falling when she noticed Clarke’s expression.

“Hmm?” Clarke glanced up. “Yeah, I just…wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“Me?” Raven cocked a brow. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Clarke glanced at the clear liquid, tossing back a sip before acknowledging Raven’s look of surprise.

Time for liquid courage.

“Well…you almost bore a hole in our shared wall having sex with Anya last night.” Clarke replied, willing the liquid to burn her insides.

Raven’s mouth pulled into a proud smirk.

Clarke was so lucky Anya was occupied with inspecting the moonshine to notice.

“It finally happened, Griffin.” Raven pressed on, drink in hand.

“I could…hear as much.” Clarke concurred. “I just…are you happy?”

Raven leaned close, her lips grazing Clarke’s ear. “So much.” She whispered.

At that, Clarke smiled, taking her step back. “That’s all I care about, Ray.”

Raven tapped Anya on the shoulder and the fairer girl turned on her bar stool, blinking in surprise when Raven greeted her with an open kiss.

“Oh, okay, wow.” Clarke nodded, grabbing her drink as well as Lexa’s. “You two have a great evening and…keep it down…” She rolled her eyes at Raven’s smirk and wink as she scurried back to the safety of the table, and more importantly, Lexa.

It seemed that liquid courage would be the theme of the evening.


 

“Cheers!” Octavia called as everyone back at the table raised their glasses of questionable liquid in the air, grins plentiful in the early evening. “To our really messed up family.”

“To family!” The all echoed, downing their drinks like tap water.

Clarke paused, her drink in the air, glancing at Lexa, who’d been enjoying the toast until she remembered she had to drink the mystery concoction at the end. She gazed at it as if it Clarke had told her it was made in a toilet.

Although, for moonshine, that was typically the way it went. Either that or a bathtub.

“I promise it’s healthy.” Clarke whispered in her ear, over the sound of their table chatter and the music.

Lexa shot her a glare.

“Okay, fine, I promise it won’t kill you.” Clarke amended, grinning as Lexa sighed, clinked their glasses together, and took a strong gulp.

Clarke nearly doubled over in laughter when Lexa bit back her obvious need to choke, eyes watering at the strength.

“That’s it, babe.” Clarke cooed, clapping Lexa on the back. “You’ll thank me later, and hate me tomorrow morning.”

“I think I hate you now.” Lexa coughed slightly once she’d swallowed it down, watching as Clarke went in for her next sip.


 

They were rounds and rounds in, too deep to count and too far to look back.

Lexa had never felt so alive and utterly numb at the same time.

Lexa was convinced that the so called “Moonshine” was laced with ecstasy. Not that she knew what ecstasy was like, but dancing with Clarke Griffin felt pretty damn close.

Lexa never considered herself to be particularly sexual.

But Clarke Griffin, especially when drunk, simply oozed sexuality. She’d mussed her hair, and her lipstick was beautifully vibrant under the dark lighting. She’d laughed and giggled and coaxed Lexa onto the dance floor, and Lexa could do nothing but obey, utterly the property of Clarke Griffin.

Clarke never even had to ask.

Where Lexa had never been one for dancing, never even attending a school dance in all her years, Clarke’s body was nearly liquid. It flowed so effortlessly and naturally, and the way she threw up her hands and tossed her hair while she swayed her hips to the beat was a sight Lexa was content to die watching.

But Clarke was so much more than beautiful. She was caring, intuitive, loving. She’d noticed Lexa’s hesitation, her stiff reluctance, her inability to “just let go, baby” as Clarke had put it.

The alcohol was there; her mind was swimming in it. She knew she could forget her inhibitions if someone gave her the gentle push over the edge.

Clarke sent her plummeting off.

“Hey.” She whispered, turning so that her lips were against Lexa’s ear. She smelled sweet like her perfume, and Lexa couldn’t get enough.

Lexa swallowed the lump in her throat. Clarke was the most beautiful person alive, she was sure of it.

“I want you to listen to me, Lex.” Clarke breathed temptingly. “Can you do that?”

Lexa nodded slowly, her mind numb and shut off to anything and everything that was not Clarke Griffin.

“I want you to relax, first of all. You’re beautiful.” Clarke assured.

Lexa wasn’t entirely sure what that had to do with dancing but the compliment sent her heart soaring. She patiently awaited Clarke’s instruction, so eager to please. So much so that she didn’t notice Raven and Anya getting entirely too physical on the dance floor, just bodies away.

“Put your hands on my hips.” Clarke instructed. “And sway your body in time with mine. Let me handle the rest, Lex, I’ll take care of you.”

Lexa nodded once more, instantly regretting the distance Clarke put between them as she turned around, guiding Lexa’s hands around her hips.

She completely missed Octavia’s murmuring to Lincoln, “Look at how gentle she is. God, Linc, they’re so cute.”

Of course, they were practically miles away, back by the table.

Lexa’s hands found Clarke’s hips, and Clarke delivered on her earlier promise, moving to the beat without question.

Lexa found that, like everything else, it was effortless with Clarke.

She could barely handle the sight of Clarke, breathless, sweating ever so slightly, lips parted, and then- Oh. Clarke Griffin was grinding onto her.

Lexa felt the rush of her heart rate, juxtaposed by the calm of the alcohol, and she felt like she needed more.

Not that she ever thought she’d get this far anyway.

She danced nearly half the time away with Clarke, running her hands down Clarke’s sides, swaying with her, leaning forward to eventually press a kiss to the base of Clarke’s neck.

That was when Clarke froze.

Lexa felt her heart drop. She’d done too much, hadn’t she? She’d gone and wrecked a perfectly good evening with Clarke because she’d misread the signals, she’d somehow messed it up with her alcohol addled thoughts and-

Clarke turned, eyes meeting hers, gaze intense.

“Clarke.” Lexa breathed, hoping Clarke could hear her. “I am so, so sorry I thought-”

Clarke attacked her lips with an unprecedented intensity, throwing her arms around Lexa’s neck as she begged for Lexa’s lips between her own.

Lexa didn’t even have to think before she stumbled back in surprise, maintaining contact as she wrapped her arms around Clarke’s waist, pressing them flush against each other.

Kissing Lexa was akin to a heavenly experience. Lexa’s lips were soft and full, and Clarke loved kissing them even more than she enjoyed looking at them, which said a lot.

She was entirely too needy and desperate but nothing had felt more right.

This was her Lexa, her love. She tasted like her lip balm and alcohol, but Clarke hardly noticed the specifics at all. She was too busy teasing Lexa with her tongue, moaning heavily into her mouth.

Lexa took a page out of her book and bit down softly, dragging Clarke’s bottom lip between her own. She couldn’t help her smirk as she heard Clarke gasp in pleasure, and she knew she wanted to hear that sound over and over again.

She was breathless, heaving, a light sheen of sweat over her body.

Clarke was faring no better.

She couldn’t help her little whine when Clarke pulled apart.

Lexa was ready for the litany of apologies from both parties. Surprisingly, they never came.

The two were merely breathing heavily, gazes locked on one another, dead to the rest of the world.

And then Clarke was taking her by the wrist leading her outside of the side exit, out into the quiet of the hall leading to the elevators.

Lexa, of course, followed without protest.

They didn’t make it half as far as Clarke had intended as she pushed Lexa against the wall lightly, pinning her there as her lips found Lexa’s neck, causing the brunette to moan aloud, cheeks flushed, feeling a certain need overwhelmingly pool in her stomach.

“Clarke…” She panted.

“Mmm, baby?” Clarke’s response was more of a statement, as she hummed against Lexa’s neck, glancing up for a split second.

“There’s…no one here…” Lexa mumbled, trying to regain at least some of her composure. “We don’t have to…”

It dawned on Clarke that Lexa was still under the impression that this was all for show. She bit her lip, sucking in a breath. She was already so intoxicated, the alcohol and her attraction for Lexa combining to give her a sort of dizzying rush of endorphins.

“Lexa.” Clarke breathed.

“’S okay.” Lexa mumbled, the dejection deeply seated in her tone, unmistakable. “We can go back-”

Clarke interrupted her, because she simply had no more patience for games. They could have their talk later, but she needed to impart a very sensitive piece of information to Lexa right at that very moment, else she’d die, she just knew.

“Lexa, I am incredibly attracted to you…” Clarke’s voice was husky and breathy and it drove Lexa insane. “And I really…really like you…” She mumbled, finding it hard to gaze into Lexa’s virid eyes. Or to focus on one point at all.

Lexa’s eyes widened and if Clarke’s head had been against her chest, she would’ve heard the way Lexa’s heart skipped a beat or two entirely.

“Clarke…I….I feel the same way. ” Lexa whimpered, her bottom lip wobbling slightly.

Clarke took her trembling lip into her own, reassuring it with what was, in retrospect, a messy but caring kiss.

Quickly, however, the kiss heated, and Clarke found herself lifted by Lexa, who somehow in her drunken haze, managed to lift Clarke as she leaned against the wall for support.

Clarke thanked her lucky stars that no one ended up barging in on them, as her dress was hiked, though Lexa showed no signs of being too forward, hands merely holding Clarke close as they deepened their kisses, breathing growing heavy once more.

Clarke laced her hands in Lexa’s hair, leaning forward to suck gently on Lexa’s neck, then peppering it with kisses as she marked her slightly, making her way back to Lexa’s mouth.

The elevator lights flashed, and dinged, warning them that someone was coming down. Immediately, breathlessly they separated, both entirely too intoxicated to care about anything else at that moment.

It was the sloppy result of liquid courage and mutual pining.

It wasn’t everything, but it was something.

 

Chapter Text

Suddenly, Clarke and Lexa’s dynamic was a far cry from what they started with. In fact, it was the complete opposite. In the dim lighting of the hallway outside the club, beside the elevator that had just chimed, announcing its arrival, Lexa allowed Clarke to find her footing on the floor, her hands smoothing out the sides of Clarke’s hiked up dress tenderly.

They forced themselves apart, trying to tame their rampant breaths as they felt their heartbeats even out, though that would never be possible if they were in the same room with one another.

Clarke’s cobalt gaze found Lexa’s emerald response, and her breath caught in her throat once more. She clutched Lexa’s wrist in her own smaller artist’s hand, steadying herself. She wasn’t sure if she felt dizzy because of the sheer amount of alcohol that was swimming in her veins, or her pure attraction to Lexa.

Both were rather acceptable excuses to misbehave, if Clarke had anything to say about it.

The door opened, golden barriers parting to reveal another young couple, perhaps the same one that resided on their floor. Clarke wasn’t sure. She couldn’t recognize anything except Lexa, who looked unfairly gorgeous in the dim lighting, harsh shadows falling on her high cheekbones, falling off her square jaw.

She was breathtaking, in every sense of the word.

Lexa was laughing quietly to herself, and the very sound make Clarke’s heart flutter. God, that was all she wanted in life. To see Lexa’s grin, to hear her laugh.

She was in so deep.

“What?” Clarke inquired under her breath.

Lexa shook her head. “We started out kissing in front of everyone we could, to make it look real. And now, we’re waiting till they pass.”

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t that funny. But god, seeing Lexa grin like that, so giddy and carefree…Clarke found herself chuckling at the irony, shaking her head.

The couple passed without so much as a sideways glance, and Clarke spared a look at Lexa.

There was a decision to be made.

Clarke never looked back, to the safety of the table, where the rest of the Delinquents were. She never looked back, towards all the excuses. Towards all the reasons why she couldn’t be with Lexa. All the reasons why she shouldn’t have.

Instead, she narrowed her eyes at the rapidly closing slit, and tore away towards it, pulling Lexa’s arm behind her.

Lexa followed with nothing more than a gasp.

And just like that, sliding through the doors and slamming the button for their floor, Clarke made the leap of faith, with Lexa faithfully by her side. She was jumping with Lexa, for Lexa. Her brain was a little hazy, and nothing made sense.

Well, almost nothing.

The moment the doors had shut, Clarke whirled around, pressing Lexa against the elevator wall as she went back to recapture her soft, swollen lips, Lexa uttering a small cry of pleased surprise as one hand wrapped around Clarke, the other steadying itself on the small handrail against the small of her own back.

Out of the corner of her eyes, between heated kisses, she could see their reflection in the mirror like glass adorning the walls. She could see herself, lipstick slightly smudged, lips swollen. She could see Lexa, looking similarly disheveled, arm clenched around Clarke somewhat protectively.

Lexa’s mind was reeling, but the alcohol did its job, suppressing her doubts like the most powerful floodgate, shut and barred, sealed until Lexa could get what she desired. And that was Clarke Griffin. Lexa couldn’t help herself anymore.

This was the result of months of want, of pining, of desperately aching to feel Clarke during all those lonely nights when she was a mere room away.

This was more than physical attraction, however. This was the result of all of Clarke’s little smiles, her soft caresses, her kisses and whispers that soothed Lexa when nothing else could.

Lexa was terrified because she’d never felt so strongly in her life.

Of course, the rationalization had been negated by the alcohol, and the fear by the sheer want building within her.

Now was the time for action.

She felt Clarke whisper “Watch.” Against her flushed skin, suckling gently by her neck as she tilted her head so Lexa could watch her possessively mark her with her lips, through the reflection of the elevator wall.

Lexa let out a groan and used one hand to comb through her hair, entirely too hot. Clarke Griffin was a goddess.

She felt something surge within her, then. Something that had been dormant, but present, since their heated kiss back in Clarke’s apartment, in front of Raven and Anya.

Lexa felt a small growl tear at the back of her throat as the doors opened. Clarke practically squeaked in surprise against her.

Before Clarke could make a movement, she was lifting her up, Clarke’s legs wrapping around hers, their lips finding one another in a curiously tender yet expressive kiss, Lexa moving backwards in the vague direction of their room, entering their floor in a flurry of kisses, and soft moans.

Lexa had Clarke pressed against the door, mumbling, “Clarke, I need the key.” Against Clarke’s lips.

Clarke offered her a wry little smirk in response, reaching into her bra with one hand, producing the keycard within seconds.

Lexa grinned against her lips, hands blindly fumbling to slide the card into the lock as she rewarded Clarke with a kiss, accepting Clarke’s weight once more as she stepped in, Clarke in her arms, kicking the door shut behind her.

The automatic lights flicked on, revealing the same room they’d left. But the feeling, the energy, the vibes that the room gave off were completely different.

A thick need, a hurried tension filled the air in waves, resonating deep with both Clarke and Lexa, frantic and disorganized as their heartbeats and breaths.

If she’d thought they were going to freshen up, she’d have been dead wrong.

Lexa carried Clarke to the bed, sitting backwards on the edge, Clarke now seated on her bare thigh, both their dresses hiked up decently.

Lexa felt a fresh wave of arousal with the realization that Clarke was wearing nothing but lace panties that Lexa could feel against her thigh.

"Fuck." Clarke's voice was breathy and desperate, Lexa's hands reaching out to steady her. Their eyes met when Clarke detached her lips from Lexa's, both of theirs now swollen and bruised from their kisses. Clarke felt the attraction settle in the centimeters between them as she leaned in to bite Lexa's lower lip ever so softly, reveling in the tender gasp she drew from Lexa, a smile forming against her lips as she released it, soothing it with a swipe of her tongue and a light brush of her lips. 

Lexa took in a shaky breath, eyes locking with Clarke's. Both their eyes were dark, clouding with desire. Their breaths almost matched as Lexa now initiated the next kiss, parting all too quickly. She ran the pads of her long, slim fingers against Clarke's exposed collarbones, smiling against Clarke's lips in satisfaction when she heard the blonde suck in a breath of absolute pleasure. 

"May I?" Lexa whispered, ever polite, against her lips as she ran her fingers under Clarke's dress strap. 

"Do it." Clarke practically begged, rolling her hips in response against Lexa's thigh. 

Lexa gently pulled the strap aside, letting it fall off of Clarke's shoulder nonchalantly as she detached herself from Clarke's lips, pressing kisses to her shoulder.

Clarke’s arms found their home around Lexa’s neck, as Lexa’s found theirs around Clarke’s hips. Lexa hesitated for just a moment, and through the drunken haze, Clarke’s reassuring smile made its way through.

Clarke's hips bucked erratically when she pressed a suckling kiss to Clarke's collarbone, her fingers dragging against Clarke's pale skin. 

Clarke was learning that Lexa was as beautiful a lover as she was a friend. Lexa pressed her knee up against Clarke's core, eliciting a delicious cry from the blonde as she latched onto Lexa, breathily whispering, "Lex, yes. Fuck." 

Lexa's absolute favorite sound in the world was Clarke saying her name. Now, the closest runner up was Clarke breathily moaning her name as a direct result of Lexa pleasuring her. She was in love with the sound. She was in love with Clarke. 

Things slowed down, for just a moment.

Things hadn't changed. This was still Clarke Griffin, her best friend, the one who brightened her world. 

This was still Clarke and Lexa, the two inseparable neighbors who'd immediately taken a liking to each other, molding to become part of one another's worlds. 

“Hey.” Clarke whispered, leaning in to tenderly drag out Lexa’s lower lip with her own, smiling against their kiss.

“Hi.” Lexa croaked, her voice unable to stay as strong as she would have liked.

“You’re a really good kisser.” Clarke practically moaned, sweeping her tongue over Lexa’s lips, enjoying the rapidly fading taste of her lip balm.

“You’ve kissed me before.” Lexa pointed out incredibly weakly, slurring her words against Clarke’s  ravishing kisses.

“Not like this.” Clarke panted, and Lexa wasn’t sure if it was the kiss that was different, or the implications behind it. “I’ve wanted to…” Clarke began breathily, rolling her hips forward, seeking friction against her core, whimpering when she found it on Lexa’s thigh. “To do this for so long.” She bit her lip, grinding torturously slowly against Lexa’s thigh, whining when she felt the friction she sought. “Ever since I uh…” Clarke caught her breath, her face flushed. “Ever since I first saw you.”

Lexa’s eyes widened slightly, her heart like a jackhammer in her chest. This had to be the single greatest day of her previously pitiful existence.

“You looked so beautiful.” Lexa mumbled, lips trailing down Clarke’s mouth to leave scorching kisses on her jaw, working her way down to Clarke’s neck. Herhands, likely shaking, were matching Clarke’s tempo on her hips, as she desperately tried to ignore the damp moisture she felt blooming on her thigh. She took in Clarke, all breathy and gasping, arms around Lexa’s neck like she was the only other person in the world worth having. The way the light sheen of sweat glistened on her skin when she threw her head back in pleasure, giving Lexa access to the sweet taste of her skin.

Lexa’s swollen lips found their way to Clarke’s chest, right above the beginning dip of her cleavage, as she pressed wet kisses to the spot, feeling Clarke’s body jerk in anticipation

“You’re always beautiful.” Lexa murmured into her chest, then her neck, returning the favor of the marks Clarke had surely bruised into her with those gifted lips of hers. “Even now, Clarke, you’re a goddess.”

Lexa wasn’t entirely sure what had happened. She was certain she heard Clarke cry out, breathing labored. She was sure she felt dampness on her thigh, coating it slightly. She was sure the world was spinning and everything was gilded and golden, especially the woman in her arms. She was sure of the aching need, the consuming heat that had found its way into her legs

What she was unsure of, however, was Clarke’s changing expression as she rode an ephemeral wave of bliss, not even half of what Lexa was capable of inflicting. She was unsure of what it meant when Clarke bit her lip, and yet a cry tore its way from her lips. She was even less sure when Clarke buried her face in Lexa’s neck, panting against Lexa’s skin.

Lexa found that some things in life came to her almost effortlessly, like second nature. Loving Clarke was one of those things. It was almost thoughtless, a purely involuntary reaction of her heart and mind acting as one entirely pathetic vessel on Clarke’s sea of smiles and soft words and early morning promises.

Lexa took in a breath, Clarke still rocking slowly against her as she ran her hair in Clarke’s blonde tresses, hearing Clarke let out a groan of appreciation, nuzzling further into her neck.

Lexa suspected that she was hiding her face, likely red and embarrassed. Lexa also suspected that the sheer amount of moonshine they consumed was catching up with her, as it certainly had with Lexa.

“Clarke.” Lexa whispered coaxingly, trying to tell Clarke that it was okay.

It was okay that she accidentally did this, chose Lexa. It was okay, and they could go back to being friends, in the morning, however hard it was for Lexa to shake the thoughts of Clarke’s lips, her whines, so desperate and needy.

But Clarke, even after their year of friendship, managed to surprise her still.

“Lex.” She croaked, her lips barely moving against Lexa’s neck. “I…” She trailed off at first, not entirely ready, even with the copious amounts of alcohol, to confess her inner thoughts.

“We can forget.” Lexa mumbled over Clarke’s shoulder, as the blonde’s arms tightened around her.

“I don’t want to forget.” Clarke’s response was immediate, and Lexa found that, somehow, her heart still had the energy to damn near burst with happiness and relief. “I just thought about this for a long, long time.” Her words were slightly slurred, but it seemed her release had brought over a wave of rationalization.

“You have?” Lexa found herself asking, her voice barely a hopeful whisper.

“Oh, god, yes.” Clarke pressed a kiss to her neck and leaned back to take in Lexa’s face.

Lexa felt herself blushing at the kiss. Despite what they’d just done, the kiss had a level of intimacy that she couldn’t quite place. She was in love with the feeling it caused.

“But when I dreamt about it…” Clarke began, a smile blossoming on her lips, as her eyes locked with Lexa’s.

Clarke had dreamt about it. Her.

So Lexa was not the only one.

Lexa felt her lips part slightly as her eyes locked with Clarke’s, the two still incredibly close, far too close for Clarke to back out. It was then, with a dose of euphoria, that Lexa realized she didn’t want to. She wanted it all.

“I want to feel all of it…” Clarke murmured, their lips mere centimeters apart. “Not like this. I want to remember feeling you, Lexa.”

Lexa had never felt so many emotions unravel in her chest at once. Clarke was cupping her cheeks, leaning forward to kiss her again, this time, soft and slow.

Lexa leaned into the kiss, sighing in contentment.

Clarke Griffin was doubtlessly the perfect human being.

“Is that okay, Lex?” She whispered against Lexa’s lips, their tired eyes begging for sleep.

Lexa nodded, doubting her ability to form coherent words. She bit her lip, knowing she’d have to ignore the aching throb between her legs, as Clarke had gotten hers. She threw a glance towards the bathroom, contemplating if she was too drunk to shower.

With one glance at the room, her eyes were lidded, and everything was hazy. She was surprised she hadn’t been sick yet.

“Uh oh.” Clarke giggled slightly as she followed Lexa’s eyes with her own. “I almost forgot it was your first time with moonshine.” The alcohol had put a bubbly, bright tinge to Clarke’s tone, and Lexa thought it akin to the sound of birds chirping pleasantly in the morning, not her typical husky, melodious tone, but beautiful nonetheless.

Lexa had gotten so wrapped up in Clarke’s tonality that she’d completely forgotten to respond.

“Lex.” Clarke coaxed, kissing her cheek.

“Hey.” Lexa answered immediately, wanting to curse herself for the slow response.

“Hi.” Clarke grinned, shaking her head. “How do you feel?”

“Like my body is on fire.” Lexa answered honestly. Probably not the response Clarke was looking for.

Clarke blushed, rolling her eyes as she reached for the water bottle on her nightstand, unfortunately removing herself from Lexa’s lap.

Lexa felt a wave of cold brush against the damp spot on her knee, and tried to rise for the restroom, succeeding only in sitting back to her original position with a huff. This moonshine certainly didn’t have standard effects. She felt more high than she did inebriated.

“Lex.” Clarke chided, clearly handling her intoxication with more finesse. “Sit.” She clicked her tongue, coming over to hand Lexa the water bottle. “Drink this. All of it.”

Lexa glanced at the water bottle, smiling as she took it from Clarke. “This is yours.” She commented wryly, humor and wit still poking out at times, from her moonshine addled mind.

“Really, Lex? Even now you’re a germaphobe” Clarke rolled her eyes. “My tongue has been in your mouth.”

That had Lexa chuckling as she tossed the water back, closing her eyes as she realized she had to take it in small sips. By the time she lazily lowered the bottle, she blinked, realizing Clarke was kneeled before her, damp towel in hand, cleaning her thigh.

Clarke sensed the eyes upon her and glanced up with a shy smile, whispering, “Sorry.”

Lexa shook her head, running a hand through Clarke’s hair. “Don’t be.” She whispered, eyes lidded, gazing at Clarke as if she’d just descended from the heavens themselves.

“You’re tired.” Clarke commented knowingly, rising up. “Let’s get ready for bed.”

“How?” Lexa smiled teasingly. “We’re both drunk.” She murmured as she tugged Clarke to her, enveloping her waist in a hug as Clarke bent slightly to kiss her forehead.

“I’m thinking you’re acting like it to get special treatment.” Clarke teased, grinning in delight when she felt Lexa chuckle against her, body shaking slightly.

“I’m going to help you stand.” Clarke announced. “It’ll feel funny, just hold onto me.”

“Who will you hold onto?” Lexa shot back as she stood on shaky legs, realizing she’d kicked off her heels some time ago.

Clarke smiled at her when Lexa’s emerald gaze, sleepy and hooded, focused on Clarke once more. Lexa reached behind her, closing her eyes as she felt for her zipper, feeling her way through the process of undressing.

Clarke watched her with widened eyes. “How the hell can you reach that far?” She mumbled, shrugging out of her own dress.

“Yoga.” Lexa replied sagely, shimmying out of her dress.

“I…uh…” Clarke swallowed, her throat dry. “I’ll go brush up while you change. You seem okay.”

As Clarke turned towards the bathroom, she stumbled slightly, and Lexa caught her wrist. “Are you sure you’re fine?” She mumbled, an amused smile on her face.

“Shut up.” Clarke teased as she slipped into the bathroom, mind spinning, heart racing.


 

By some miracle, both Clarke and Lexa had managed to survive getting ready for bed. Lexa’s earlier bottle of water seemed to be taking effect. Clarke had to divert her eyes from Lexa’s black nightdress, knowing there would be no stopping her if she stared too long.

Lexa had finished and quietly slid into bed, laying her heavy head against the headboard as she froze somewhat awkwardly, unsure of herself. She was still sitting upright, hands clutching the duvet.

“Hey.” Clarke whispered, sliding in beside her as she tugged on her boy shorts, slipping under the safety of the covers. “How are you feeling?”

“Dizzy.” Lexa responded with a tired smile. “Not too bad.”

Clarke chuckled, eyeing Lexa with a knowing nod. “So, you survived without throwing up so far.”

“So far.” Lexa hummed, closing her eyes momentarily, resting them as if she was not about to sleep.

“Lex.” Clarke touched her wrist, and Lexa’s  eyes opened, her skin burning at the contact. “If you don’t feel good, wake me up, alright?”

Lexa smiled involuntarily. Clarke was everything she could ever want in a best friend, in a lover, in life itself.

“I’m serious.” Clarke pressed.

“Mhmm.” Lexa nodded, sliding down so that her head was on the pillow.

There was an awkward moment between the two, an invisible iron curtain slowly forming between them, breaking off the intimacy of their earlier contact.

Clarke would be damned if all her progress came undone.

“Hey.” Clarke patted Lexa, and then her chest. “Come here.”

Lexa blinked, and Clarke was gently rolling her so that her head was on Clarke’s chest, her arms wrapping around Clarke instinctively.

Clarke reached out with one arm, hitting the light switch as she shimmied further under the covers, arms going around Lexa as she pressed a kiss to the brunette’s forehead, smiling against her skin when she heard Lexa sigh contentedly under her lips.

Clarke knew, from that moment, that there was no other way she ever wanted to fall asleep in her lifetime.

Lexa hummed contentedly against her chest, sending chills up Clarke’s spine.

Before she knew it, they were both out for the night, wrapped up in each other.


 

 Clarke was not used to waking up so weighed down and anchored to the bed. She found, after several long seconds of blinking and adjusting to the morning glow, Lexa was not where she left her.

Instead, somehow in the evening, Lexa’s face had buried itself in Clarke’s neck, where her lips silently grazed Clarke’s skin with every soft, calming breath she took.

Clarke could tell, just by her breathing, that she was soundly asleep, yet her grip around Clarke’s body remained steadfast. Clarke ever so slowly turned her head, feeling the dull throb of her poor decisions the night prior. Too much moonshine. She pressed a kiss to Lexa’s head, soft and gentle, so as not to wake her.

She sucked in a breath, and slowly rolled out of Lexa’s grasp, praying it wouldn’t wake the angelic looking beauty, hair splayed behind her as she readjusted herself on Clarke’s pillow.

Clarke found warmth bubbling in her chest. There was no point in denying it anymore. She was so deeply, madly in love with Alexandria Woods. She was in love with everything about her, and she had been, for quite some time.

But she couldn’t overwhelm the woman. She couldn’t scare her. She knew little of Lexa’s past, but she knew Lexa was damaged. Lexa had been hurt so many times that she’d deteriorated into a shell for quite some time. Costia almost sent her spiraling back into that Lexa, devoid of emotion, of passion and feeling.

Clarke couldn’t come out and say it. But she could ease Lexa into it. She just needed time, and to be careful. She could do it.

Slipping out of the room, she went about getting some pills for her body, crying out “I told you so” in the form of throbbing headaches and sore limbs.

Lexa had been worth it.


 

Lexa had woken up to a large glass of water and several pills by Clarke’s bedside. After frowning because she’d clearly slept in, missed her morning run, and Clarke, she opted for a shower, pushing the door aside.

Clarke of course, had already been in and out of the shower, the room still thick with the condensation of her time there. Lexa shut the door behind her and took in a breath, stripping as she turned to face herself in the mirror.

She was a hot mess.

Her makeup was still there in remnants, what she couldn’t entirely finish off the night before. Her hair was mussed as she ran a hand through it, combing her fingers through the silky lengths. She revealed her own neck and collarbone then, gasping slightly. Running the pads of her fingers over bruised and marked skin, she felt a smile tugging at her full lips.

She tried not to think too explicitly of Clarke’s lips on her skin, biting and suckling as she marked Lexa up like she belonged to her.

She tried, and failed miserably, throwing herself into the shower, which she kept very cold.

She’d almost slept with Clarke last night.

Almost.

She was glad that they stopped. She couldn’t entirely remember why, or what exactly she’d confessed to Clarke, but she knew that Clarke Griffin deserved her full performance, unhindered by drunkenness. Clarke Griffin deserved the world.

Allowing the rivulets of water to cascade over her body, she ran her hands along the length of her sore legs, as if apologizing to herself for the torturous heels she wore (mostly for Clarke’s benefit). She stopped along her thigh, eyes widening as she felt a sense of Deja vu.

Images flashed through her mind of Clarke rolling her hips against the very thigh, arching into her touch as she got intoxicated once more on Lexa’s lips. Had Clarke...? Lexa shook the thought from her mind as she sped up her shower.

She wasn’t sure how to confront Clarke. She was slightly terrified. Clarke meant everything to her, absolutely everything. Clarke was her confidant, her best friend, and her only true ally here, possibly in Lexa’s life. She needed Clarke like her lungs needed air. This, whatever it was that happened, might have derailed that.

But god, how Lexa wanted it. She wasn’t sure if Clarke felt the same way. She wasn’t sure if Clarke was simply using her for a good night of inebriated fun. She couldn’t even remember half the things they’d said to each other in the heat of the moment.

Lexa shut off the water, stepped out, and set about changing, lucky that she’d carried her clothes into the bathroom with her. She wasn’t sure where Clarke was, but she knew that it would be no less mortifying if Lexa was caught bare naked in their hotel room. She wasn’t sure what state she’d left Clarke in.

Lexa dressed and brushed, bracing herself as she opened the door.

She knew that there was only one solution to quell her anxiety. She had to simply suck it up and confront Clarke head on. She had absolutely nothing to lose. If she had to, and Clarke was clearly regretting what had happened (just the thought of it broke Lexa’s heart), she too could hide behind the excuse of alcohol and poor decision making.

This train of thought, however, was entirely derailed when Lexa swung the bathroom door open, revealing Clarke, who’d turned to her with a fresh mug of coffee in hand. She was all showered and clean, smiling as brightly as the sun that had shone through the clouds to greet her that morning.

Lexa’s breath caught in her throat; Clarke was absolutely stunning still. So that hadn’t changed. Of course, she’d thought Clarke was stunning since the moment they met.

“Hi Lex.” Clarke greeted softly leaning up to kiss Lexa’s cheek chastely. “I had a feeling you’d be a little confused. Here’s coffee. I got room service to bring up breakfast.”

Lexa blinked, mumbling a quick thank you, cheeks burning red. Clarke offered her a smile, and she finally found it in her to reciprocate, hands palming the warm mug as she followed Clarke to the living area of the suite.

“How’s your head?” Clarke asked, revealing a plate of waffles, a shared favorite of the two.

“Better, with the pills, thanks.” Lexa replied softly. “Still feels like I was hit by a bus, though.”

Clarke chuckled at that, and Lexa was in heaven at the sound. “Yeah, it’ll do that the first couple of times.”

“Couple of times?” Lexa quirked a brow. “Clarke Griffin, how are you still alive?”

“I eat greasy food and listen to my best friend when they tell me how to treat a hangover.” She responded teasingly, pushing a plate of hash browns towards Lexa as well.

Lexa smiled at that, shaking her head as she reached for a fork and knife, sitting opposite Clarke.

“So, you want to know what happened?” Clarke asked, and suddenly, Lexa was choking on her bite of hash brown.

“I think I have a vague idea.” Lexa coughed out, sipping her coffee.

Clarke just leaned forward, reaching for Lexa’s hand across the table, lacing their fingers together.

“Lex.” She breathed, and Lexa’s heart stopped dead in its tracks.

“Clarke.” Lexa responded as evenly as she could. Oh, god, Clarke was going to let her down easy. She was going to tell her it was a mistake, that it was all just drunken antics and a little less than a one-night stand, and that was all there was to it.

“I want to do this right.” Clarke’s voice was, if Lexa was hearing correctly, slightly shaky. As if she were nervous. Her. Clarke Griffin. Artist and socialite extraordinaire. Nervous about asking Lexa Woods, foster child and nearly failed businesswoman about her feelings.

It was almost laughable.

Lexa’s mouth parted slightly in surprise. She hadn’t expected that.

“Lex, I…” Clarke bit her lip, smiling slightly as she met Lexa’s eyes, giving her hand a squeeze. “You’re my best friend. No matter what, you always will be. I just…” she shook her head, laughing quietly at herself.

Lexa was practically on the edge of her seat, listening intently to every syllable that spilled out of Clarke’s full lips.

“I sound like an idiot. God, I don’t know why I’m so nervous. It’s you. We’re best friends.” Clarke chuckled, shaking her head.

Before Lexa could protest, Clarke was at it again with renewed vigor.

“Lexa, what I’m trying to say is…will you go on a date with me?” Clarke’s eyes twinkled in the light, cerulean and inquisitive. Her bottom lip pulled into a shy smile, as if Lexa’s rejection would send her reeling.

Lexa’s heart stopped, she was sure. Time itself stopped. She had waited so long, doing nothing out of fear, and yet, she’d taken the leap with Clarke. And now, her world was upside down.

Her response wasn’t nearly as suave as she would’ve liked.

“A date?” Lexa quirked a brow, voice falsely calm. “Um, Clarke, haven’t we already been on those? I mean, we’re a couple, we’re at your family reunion-”

Clarke’s look of confusion soon morphed into a grin. She shook her head, and Lexa’s ramblings were cut off immediately.

“No, Lexa. A date.” Clarke’s grin was absolutely the most beautiful thing Lexa had ever seen.

“A date-date?” Lexa repeated the word, as if it gave it new meaning. “Like, a real date?”

Clarke nodded slowly, humming her response. “Mmhmm. No family. No lies. Just you, and me, and a cute little restaurant of my choosing.”

Lexa nodded slowly, a shocked smile forming on her face. She felt ecstatic, electric, absolutely euphoric. It was happening. “Okay.”

“Today?” Clarke nearly leapt out of her seat.

“Today?” Lexa echoed, eyes widening.

“I’m not really sure this can wait.” Clarke admitted slowly, hoping she wasn’t overwhelming Lexa.

Lexa felt her smile widen, absolutely giddy, almost to the point of embarrassment, like a schoolgirl being asked out for the first time. “Today.” She confirmed with a small nod.

“It’s a date.” Clarke whispered with a brilliant, toothy smile.


 

If Lexa had thought the question of “What now?” was going to hang in the air between the two best friends, she would have been wrong.

In fact, almost immediately after breakfast, Clarke had scooped up most of her wardrobe into her almost empty suitcase, zipping it up with a small smile.

“What’s going on?” Lexa asked as she rolled the breakfast cart outside of their door, ashamed that she’d nearly devoured everything on it. Food in her stomach just felt so right.

“I’m spending the day with Raven, so I can get ready for our date, and pick you up when its time.” Clarke replied matter-of-factly, watching Lexa lean against the bedroom doorframe with a look of disbelief. “What?”

“You don’t have to avoid me, Clarke, it’s not our wedding day…” Lexa’s eyes widened and her smirk faded when she realized the gravity of what she’d just said, somehow implying that she and Clarke were to get married.

“I…” Clarke coughed awkwardly, watching as Lexa’s cheeks burned. “I told you, I want to do this right.”

Lexa nodded slowly, her breathing more and more shallow as she took in the sight of Clarke before her.

“Hey…” Clarke clicked her tongue, stepping forward, her arms cupping Lexa’s cheeks.

Lexa stopped breathing altogether.

“I want you to enjoy this.” Clarke breathed gently, bringing Lexa’s forehead to touch hers. Lexa’s arms subconsciously wrapped around Clarke, pulling her in closer. “We’re still best friends. We always will be. I just…” Clarke trailed off, glancing at Lexa’s lips. She leaned in slightly, hovering there as her eyes flicked up to Lexa.

“Is this okay, Lex?”

Lexa answered by leaning forward, lips just barely grazing Clarke’s when the door to their room opened abruptly, and Lexa cursed herself for wedging the cart in between the door so it wouldn’t close.

“Look at this.” Raven smirked, Anya in tow, both looking like they fared the evening considerably better than Clarke and Lexa.

“Fantastic.” Clarke mumbled against Lexa’s lips, and Lexa chuckled as they separated with the utmost reluctance.

“So, it only took you, what? Four days?” Raven quirked a brow, elbowing Lexa playfully.

“Ray, stop.” Clarke rolled her eyes, her hand on Lexa’s toned stomach, getting chills at the contact, even through her tank top. “I’ll see you, okay?”

Lexa nodded, fighting her urge to bend down and kiss Clarke with the same dominance and intensity she had back in D.C.

That could come later. She needed to act confident, and her mind would catch on. Clarke deserved that much.

“Looks like I’m babysitting you.” Anya smirked, putting her arm around Lexa’s shoulder.

“That’s funny. Shouldn’t the more responsible of the two be the babysitter?” Lexa fired back, a smirk of her own on her face.

“Good to see Clarke hasn’t tamed you.” Anya rolled her eyes.

Good to see Raven has you on a leash.” Lexa retorted, watching Clarke and Raven leave with a longing glance.

“So.” Anya smirked, falling back onto the couch. “Let’s talk about Griffin. Her surprise party is tonight.”

Lexa’s eyes widened and all she could do was gape at Anya. “What? How do you know? Her birthday isn’t until tomorrow.”

Anya nodded with a smirk. “Abby told all of us. They’re doing it tonight so Clarke won’t expect it. So the date is actually perfect, it gives us time to prepare.”

Lexa blinked. “Prepare? What, exactly?”

Anya waved a hand nonchalantly. “Don’t worry about it. Just keep your phone on you. I’ll text you where to bring her when its time. Make something up, you’re clever. You went to an ivy league, didn’t you?”

“Georgetown.” Lexa reminded with a roll of her eyes.

“Same difference.” Anya shrugged, toying with the lace on her boot.

Lexa ran a hand through her brunette waves, biting her lip. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

Anya rolled her eyes. “Because, we all knew you’d tell Clarke out of mercy. Which, you better not, by the way. That’s not what good girlfriends do.”

“We’re not girlfriends.” Lexa protested weakly, feeling something odd stir in her chest. That’s what they were trying to be, wasn’t it?

“Let’s talk about that.” Anya folded her arms neatly, doing her best impression of a therapist.

“Or, we could talk about your impending relationship with Raven Reyes.” Lexa offered as she sunk into the seat across Anya, fingers toying with her bracelet, aching to be by Clarke’s side.

“Fine.” Anya acquiesced. “I’m assuming Griffin filled you in on the details. You two don’t seem like the type to keep secrets.”

At that, Lexa flashed her a small smile. “I know about Wick.” She admitted.

Anya nodded slowly. “Well, after he was out of the picture…I don’t know…”

“You fell in love?” Lexa tested.

“Hell no!” Anya looked as if she’d been slapped. “What is with everyone and needing to label their relationships?”

“Oh, so it’s casual sex?” Lexa pressed knowingly. “You’d be fine if Raven hooked up with Finn?”

“Okay.” Anya sighed. “Maybe not.”

Lexa smiled at her friend, happy that she had found some direction with her feelings, that she was no longer pining after Raven like a disgruntled puppy, if there were such a thing. “I’m happy for you.”

Anya flashed her a quick smile. “Thank you. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. What happened last night?”

Lexa balked, blinking momentarily.

“Oh my god. You two had sex. I saw her dragging you out of the club with the bedroom eyes and whispers.”

Lexa turned beet red. She took in a breath, rubbing a hand behind her neck. “Almost...We didn’t.”

Anya’s face fell. “What?” She scoffed. “Alexandria Woods, how’d you fuck that up? It was laid on a silver platter for you.”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Sex isn’t everything, Anya.”

Anya smirked. “That’s definitely something only someone in love would say.”

Lexa bit her lip at the mention of the very dangerous four letter word, the one that held the power to derail her life, her entire existence, if she let it.

Anya seemed to sense her unease. “What?” She scoffed. “You’ve said that to each other. I’ve heard you say it. You guys are doing everything out of order.”

Lexa shook her head. “That was different, Anya. That was…as friends.”

“Are you kidding me?” Anya snorted. “Do you know how childish that sounds? I love you means I love you. There aren’t different kinds of love.”

Lexa’s eyes widened. “Oh yes there are.”

“Not with the way Clarke looks at you.” Anya sighed. “You know, for such a remarkable woman, you’re pretty blind.”

Lexa sighed. “It’s…it’s not easy for me, Anya. Everything that I’ve ever known has been temporary. The only constant in my life was myself, because I learned that self-reliance is the only thing keeping me alive.”

Never mind the fact that she hated herself for leeching off of Clarke’s family for the sake of her own business, her own wants and needs. Clarke’s feelings for her, whatever they may have been, were irrelevant. She was responsible for her own questionable decisions, and it ate away at her conscience.

“But Clarke contradicts that theory.” Anya nodded knowingly, feeling a pang of guilt for her longtime friend.

Lexa nodded. “Clarke changes everything.”


 

“So.” Raven smirked cheekily as she flopped back on the couch, watching Clarke unzip her belongings, laying everything out.

“So.” Clarke stalled, avoiding eye contact with Raven.

“Let’s not play coy, Griff. Sex with Lexa. How mind-blowing was it?”

“Hmm, I don’t know, what about you and Anya?” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“That doesn’t work on me, I’ll have you know it was mind-blowing.”

“Okay, you know what? Don’t need those mental images.” Clarke shook her head, turning with a sigh to Raven. “We didn’t quite get there.”

Raven feigned a gasp of terror. “You’re telling me our resident gentlewoman Lexa Woods stopped you from having drunk sex? Oh, what a shock! The horror!”

Clarke paled. “Actually…I did.”

Raven shot out of her seat like Clarke had lit a flame beneath her. “You what?”

“I did.” Clarke affirmed. “Ray, she means everything to me. I wanted to get it right.”

“Oh my god, you’re in so deep.” Raven grinned. “Get it right? What, like it’s hard?”

Clarke scoffed. “No, I mean…She’s fragile. I didn’t want her to feel overwhelmed and regret it the next morning. Besides I already…on her thigh…You know what, can we please just talk about the date?”

Raven was grinning ear to ear, shrugging, falling back into her chair. “Whatever you want. I’m just confused. I don’t get it. Where do you stand with her right now?”

Clarke bit her lip. “I…I don’t really know. I think we’re pushing past the friend stage, at this point. But it’s different because…It’s Lex. I already know everything about her, I’ve already told her I loved her…It’s all out in the open.”

Raven nodded, furrowing her sculpted brow. “So why the date? Why not just have that talk?”

“Ray, Lexa has had a bit of a…tortured past.” Clarke sighed, her eyes glistening with emotion.

“So have a lot of foster kids.” Raven pointed out.

“Right, I know, but…Lexa was moved so many times. And I mean, what Nia Queen did to her…She was broken, Raven.”

Raven nodded, watching Clarke blink away any form of overwhelming emotion. “So you want to ease her into this?”

Clarke nodded. “At least until I can gauge how she’s feeling.”

Raven accepted that, and her eyes flicked towards the dresses Clarke had been holding, awaiting further contemplation.

“Let’s talk about happy things. Like the fact that you’re gonna get some prime pre-birthday sex.” Raven teased, carefully seguing Clarke off of the emotional topic of Lexa’s past.

Clarke grinned at Raven, trying not to seem too excited. “…Maybe.” She admitted quietly, watching Raven match her grin. “Speaking of birthdays, have you heard any secret news about my surprise party? You know I hate them.”

Raven shrugged, blocking out the exact conversation she’d had with Abby just hours earlier. “Uh, nope, not yet. Abby must have figured I’d spill, so…I haven’t heard a thing.”

Clarke nodded, tilting her head in thought. “It’d probably be tomorrow or the day after, anyway. Just text me if you hear anything?”

Raven nodded, sending a wink in Clarke’s direction. “Anything for you, Griff.”

If Clarke had been looking for her expression, she would have noticed the way Raven winced slightly at the lie, a smirk on her lips.

Clarke was in for a surprise.


 

If Clarke had been rendered breathless at the sight of Lexa, Lexa was even more so. From the moment Lexa opened their hotel room door, she’d been reminded, yet again, that she was perhaps one of the luckiest people on the planet.

Anya had shouldered her way past them, muttering a quick, “Have her home before midnight, champ.” Before taking her leave back to Raven.

Lexa and Clarke, however, were both oblivious to the world, simply staring at one another and blushing, smiling softly, like they’d both known a beautiful little secret that entwined them.

“Hi.” Clarke’s voice was husky, returned back to its normal state.

Before meeting Clarke, Lexa would have scoffed at the idea of an attractive voice. Clarke Griffin, like always, changed her outlook on that as well.

“Hey.” Lexa spoke, her voice and self more confident than she would have imagined. Clarke always seemed to bring out the best in her. “Clarke, you look so beautiful…” The sentiment died in her throat as Clarke leaned forward, cupping Lexa’s cheeks.

“So do you.” Clarke whispered with a smile, capturing Lexa’s lips in a teasing, delicate flutter of a kiss.

Lexa hummed against her lips, still high on the sensation of kissing Clarke without the limitations and boundaries of their situation. It was real.

When they broke apart, Lexa was still wearing her smile on her full, glossed lips. “Aren’t kisses traditionally reserved towards the end of the date?”

Clarke chuckled, lacing her hand with Lexa’s. “What about us, exactly, is traditional?”

Lexa had to agree, absolutely nothing.

But that was what made it so beautiful.

 

 

Chapter Text

It hadn’t been thirty seconds. Lexa was casually leaning against the wall of Jake and Abby’s grand suite hotel room, trying desperately to tame her breathing and slightly erratic heart rate as she waited for Clarke, who’d slipped in to pick up her other purse, which she’d left there since game night, claiming it matched her dress far better.

They were going on a date. A real date.

The gilded chandeliers waved overhead ever so slightly, casting beautiful displays of rainbow tinged light through the crystals that hung off the edges.

Lexa, too numb and simply too nervous and excited to respond, nodded and leaned herself against the wall, admiring the luxurious upholstery of the hotel hallway, wondering if she’d ever have seen something so opulent and decadent on her own dime, from her own hard work.

She’d wagered that she never would have made it to the airport on her own dime, let alone the cross country flight and the five-star resort.

The thought made her shoulders sag slightly, and she felt a sort of nagging dysphoria.

This wasn’t her life. This wasn’t her world, her family.

This wasn’t where she’d belonged. She’d remembered the words of Nia Queen, one of her most ruthless foster caretakers. She’d forgotten what was, perhaps, Nia’s most emphasized lesson.

Know your place, Lexa. Don’t get your head lost in the clouds, because it certainly doesn’t belong up there.

Lexa had resented those words, but she’d known them to be true. The things she’d done, as a result of feeling the desperation of need, neglect…

Lexa was certainly up in the clouds, far too high for her liking. She’d chased an angel like Clarke, and now, she couldn’t see the ground below her. At any moment, she could fall.

She heard the door creak open and she straightened up, readying herself for Clarke. She prayed her melancholy thoughts wouldn’t seep through her smile that she’d just put on.

Instead, she found herself eye-to-eye with Jake, in his casual yet formal button-up and slacks. He donned a knowing smile, his hands in his pockets as he shut the door behind him, greeting Lexa.

“Mr. Griffin.” Lexa nodded, widening her smile slightly, partially out of reflex, but also because she truly adored Jake Griffin.

Jake shot her a faux glare, and Lexa put her arms up apologetically.

“My apologies, Jake.” Lexa corrected, and he flashed her a toothy grin.

“Much better. I hate feeling like I’m sixty. Even though that’s not so far down around the corner…” He teased, giving her a light chuckle. “Sorry, Clarke tells me dad jokes are lame and I’m “not to make them in front of Lexa, under any circumstances, Dad. ” He smirked, doing his best impression of his daughter, his hands on his hips like Clarke often did when she was bossing Lexa around.

A part of Lexa was touched that Clarke had the foresight to hide Jake’s dad jokes from her. She was flattered.

Lexa actually grinned at that, but, remembering her predicament, it quickly faded. She settled for a nervous smile.

“So…” Jake jerked his thumb back to the room, rolling his eyes. “Drama.”

Lexa cocked her head, brows raised in response. “Between Abby and Clarke?”

Jake nodded, but a smile teased at his lips. “Clarke’s realizing that her purse doesn’t match her dress, and Abby’s offering her the whole collection from our suitcase, and well, since Clarke is so embarrassed, I figured I’d mosey on over here to keep your company.”

Lexa chuckled at that, shaking her head. “But Clarke never cared that much about fashion…”

Jake nodded, grinning wide. “Oh, yeah. She hates that stuff. But, I don’t know, something tonight has her worked up. It’s just a date night, right? You’re not popping the question, or anything? Maybe you left the ring box out and she saw and wants to look nice.” Jake shrugged, elbowing Lexa gently.

Lexa’s eyes widened and she choked on her own laugh.

Clarke was nervous for their first date, too. That was good news.

Oh, and Jake thought she was going to propose marriage to Clarke.

Fantastic. At least they’d sold their act well enough.

Maybe that was her calling. Acting. Was it really acting? Professional lying, maybe?

“I…” Lexa cleared her throat. “Not that I’m aware of.” She settled on that, chancing a smile at Jake.

“Just a date, then?” Jake smirked. “That’s a fine love you two have there. Man, if she still gets butterflies and babbles like an idiot to me and her mother at this stage in the game, Lexa, she’s yours.”

Lexa felt an achy tug in her chest, and she averted her gaze, suddenly finding the white, cake-like layering of the ceiling to be incredibly interesting. She hated lying to Jake. He’d been nothing but good to her. He’d been fatherly, loving, and supportive. He barely knew her. Or, so she thought.

And Lexa had lied, and lied, and lied. She’d lied about loving and cherishing his only daughter, about keeping her safe and protecting her. She’d lied about the status of their relationship, even though it was just now blooming.

It didn’t matter. She was just as Nia predicted. She was beneath them, and she’d somehow slipped up and forgotten her place.

“Listen, uh, Lexa…” Jake began, placing a hand on her wrist. She glanced down, offering him a weak smile. “Can I talk to you for a moment? Seriously?”

Lexa swallowed the lump in her throat.

Oh, god, he knew. He knew, and he’d been testing her all along. He knew, and he’d been gauging her less than desirable responses.

“Look.” Jake sighed, his blue eyes piercing Lexa’s, like Clarke’s did. “I know that Clarke isn’t always the easiest…” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Wait. No. You know what? This…isn’t even about her.” Jake shook his head once more, now impassioned in his speech.  “This is about you.”

Lexa’s virid gaze widened as she opened her mouth, unable to form a coherent sentiment. “I…”

“You are really something; you know that?” Jake began, but the question seemed rhetorical, and Lexa let her unuttered response die in her throat. “I’ve seen Clarke with a lot of people. I mean, even the family, these kids…You’re different. I noticed how much she loves you from the moment I saw you two interact. It just clicked in my head, y’know? God, I haven’t seen Clarke smile so widely in years. The last time I’ve seen this…this life, this happiness in her, it was when I told her she could forsake med school and pursue art.”

Lexa felt the unsettling rhythm of her heart beat blood into her weakened body. She was unable to think, to speak, to do anything other than breathe, and listen to Jake’s every word, contemplating the meaning.

This didn’t feel like an accusation.

“And art means a lot to Clarke.” Jake shrugged, one hand still holding Lexa’s wrist. “She loves it. But when she sees you, she’s even happier. And I just know she loves you more, and I didn’t think that was even possible.” Jake chuckled in amazement. “But like I said, this isn’t about Clarke. I got to know you, these past few days. I got to see your character and your integrity, and I listened to Clarke just go on and on about how driven and sharp you are…I mean, magna cum laude Georgetown, what a success! And Clarke has told me that you haven’t had the best of backgrounds, but I’m so glad you found us. Because this family is very willing to have you, Lexa.”

Lexa hadn’t realized that tears were brimming in her eyes until they rolled down, staining her high cheekbones, leaving soft trails and traces of tears. And yet, she was smiling, The praise from a parental figure, someone so successful and esteemed like Jake, it was emotionally jarring. Especially when someone like Nia had beaten it into her mind that she never could accomplish something.

“Oh, shoot, please don’t cry.” Jake shook his head apologetically. “Clarke will kill me. I didn’t tell you this to upset you. I just…” He released Lexa’s hand, reaching for the antique, expensive looking silver watch on his wrist. He took it off, and glanced at Lexa with a smile. “This was my father’s.” He began.

Lexa’s eyes widened and she croaked, “Jake, I couldn’t-”

Jake put his hand up, shaking his head. “Please. It’s broken, and it doesn’t tick anymore. I’ve been meaning to get it fixed. But…” He shook his head. “It brought me luck when I had nothing but a startup company on my hands, and a couple of hundred dollars to back me. I hope it brings you the same kind of fortune. That’s not to say I won’t help you out a little more.” He shrugged, grinning as he took Lexa’s hand, placing the watch in her palm as he closed her fingers around it. “As far as I’m concerned, kid, you’re one of us.”

Lexa bit her lip, trying to hold back her sob as she wiped at her tears, smiling messily as she whispered, “Thank you, I…I…”

Jake heard the door open behind him. Leaning forward, he whispered, “I’d put it on you, but Clarke might get mad if it doesn’t match her dress. And me? I’m practically colorblind. I think it’s silver.” He teased with a wink before stepping aside so Clarke could come out, grin on her features.

“Hey dad, Lex-” She stopped, her cerulean gaze widening as she gaped at Lexa, who’d just tucked the watch away in her purse, Clarke having missed it. “Oh my god, dad, what did you do?”

Jake winked at Lexa, smiling at Clarke. “Nothing, darling. You two enjoy your date, huh? Lex, we can talk business tomorrow.”

He shut the door behind him, and the lock clicked in place as Clarke whipped around, seething.

“Oh my god.” She whispered, immediately cupping Lexa’s cheeks as she brushed away whatever remnants of tears there were with her thumbs, kissing each of Lexa’s cheeks delicately. “What did he say?”

Lexa knew that if she revealed the truth to Clarke, about how guilty she felt accepting the watch, she’d put a dent in Jake’s relationship with his daughter.

That was the last thing she wanted.

“We bonded.” Lexa shrugged, flashing Clarke a small, lip biting smile.

That seemed to placate Clarke, who looked ready to estrange her father for making Lexa tear up in the slightest.

“These are happy tears?” Clarke breathed in relief. “I mean; I know his dad jokes are brutal but…”

“These are happy tears.” Lexa confirmed, rocked by Clarke’s fierce protectiveness of her. She leaned down, arms lacing behind Clarke’s waist as she leaned down to capture Clarke’s lips in a tender kiss, smiling against Clarke’s lips when she squealed in surprise and delight.

“You ready for our date?” Clarke asked against Lexa’s lips, her hands around Lexa’s neck, rubbing softly against her skin.

“Of course.” Lexa responded bravely, pulling apart from Clarke’s embrace to lace their hands together. She had to maintain her composure.

“Great.” Clarke whispered, smiling at Lexa as they made their way down the hallway. “Oh, and one more thing?”

“Hmm?”

“Since when does my dad call you Lex?”


 

The restaurant resembled Clarke in so many ways. It was sort of garden like, open and airy, in the style of a small, intimate courtyard. It was full of laughter and soft conversation, the sound of champagne popping and bubbling, wines tasted and bites shared between starry-eyed couples.

Lights were strung overhead, creating a charming effect, and the center fountain was cascading in beautiful form.

Like Clarke, it was something out of a dream.

They’d taken a cab (which Lexa learned was quite a difficult feat to accomplish in Los Angeles, seeing as they were few and far between).

Lexa had felt all of her fears assuaged for the time being, and once again, she was intoxicated from her time with Clarke Griffin. Loving Clarke was simply too easy, too tempting, and she fell into a rhythm once more.

Though both girls were nervous, understandably, it didn’t show. In fact, it had all but dissipated. Lexa had come to the realization that there was nothing to be nervous about; she’d done it all before, with Clarke.

They shared giggles and a few minor stories in the car, pointing out various landmarks and memories that accompanied them.

They’d gotten to the restaurant, which had a line wrapped around the building, and Lexa felt a quiet pang when she realized Clarke must have gone to great lengths and thrown around some of Jake’s influence to get them seated at all, let alone practically private seating in the corner of the courtyard, by the rose garden.

When Lexa had inquired, as curiosity had waged a war within her and won out, Clarke smirked and replied, “I know a guy who knows a guy.”

Lexa didn’t have to know that she’d argued on the phone for a solid two hours under the guise of “spending time with Raven” to make it all work out.

Lexa’s expression was worth every second.

 The two had been seated, and Lexa donned a little smirk when Clarke ordered a cabernet for their meal, attracted to the confidence in her husky tone and the waiter’s apparently shared sentiment.

“What?” Clarke grinned, turning back to Lexa.

“That was very attractive, Ms. Griffin.” Lexa awarded, eyes twinkling.

“Oh, okay, I’ll add that to the list of things Lexa finds oddly attractive. So far we have…pineapples, from your reaction to eating one a few days ago, and…ordering wine.”

“Shut up.” Lexa rolled her eyes, but Clarke’s playful smile kept it lighthearted.

“So, Ms. Woods.” Clarke feigned a distant, curious voice as she nodded to the waiter when he returned, pouring their wine into their respective glasses. “What is it you do for a living?”

Lexa shook her head in amusement, watching the waiter leave, her attention refocusing on Clarke. “We’ve already exhausted every first date topic. And the second date. Hell, maybe even the fiftieth.”

At that, Clarke grinned, because she could certainly enjoy the implications of fifty dates with Lexa.

Lexa hadn’t seemed to catch that. “That’s part of why I was so nervous to do this. I…” She trailed off when she realized what she’d admitted.

Clarke’s gaze softened. “You were nervous, too?”

“You were?” Lexa gaped.

“Of course.” Clarke replied like it was obvious. “Have you…have you seen yourself?”

Lexa blushed, and shook her head. “A failed businesswoman with mild to poor prospects. How sexy.”

Clarke shook her head. “That’s not what I see, Lexa. I see…an incredibly determined, sharp woman, who wins out against every odd before her, and maintains a beautiful sense of humor, and an ability to care…” Her voice softened with every sentiment, and Lexa’s heart was racing once more. Clarke seemed to realize the serious turn she’d taken and added, “And smoking hot, of course.” She threw in a wink for extra measure.

At that, Lexa smirked at Clarke, shaking her head in faux exasperation. She feared she’d be too emotional to respond.

Clarke really was the greatest person she knew. And Clarke saw her like that. It was the stuff of daydreams.

Clarke’s fingers wrapped around the stem of her wine glass, and she lifted it, murmuring, “To us.”

Lexa reciprocated, swallowing back the discomfort in her throat as she took in the wine, hoping it would wash away her doubts.

Perhaps not with a single sip, but she could persevere.

A quiet silence fell over them when Clarke leaned forward, eyes sparkling as she met Lexa’s gaze, smiling faintly.

Lexa felt a blush creep on her cheeks, and she wished it away, but ultimately found herself smiling stupidly at Clarke.

“What?” She asked, softly, almost shyly.

“You’re really beautiful.” Clarke shrugged, licking her lips.

Lexa’s blush deepened with that, but she managed a scoff. “No, really. I can see the wheels in your mind turning, Clarke.”

Clarke grinned, Lexa knew her all too well.

“Okay, you got me. While I do maintain that you’re the most beautiful woman on the planet…” Clarke began with a valiant, love-struck sigh. “I also came to another realization.”

“Oh?” Lexa leaned forward, a teasing smile on her lips. “This should be good.”

“Hear me out.” Clarke started with an amused look. “This is our first date, right?”

“Right.”

“Wrong.” Clarke clicked her tongue to further prove the point.

Lexa cocked a brow, an amused grin on her lips. “It’s not?”

“Not even close.” Clarke shook her head. “Because, if you think about it, really, Lexa…We’ve been dating for a year.”

Lexa’s grin never faded, but her eyebrows were up in surprise at Clarke’s antics. “How do you figure, Clarke?”

“Well, okay, think about it.” Clarke smirked. “We both admitted that we were attracted to each other since day one. Unless, of course, you were lying.”

Lexa shook her head. “Guilty as charged.”

Clarke gave her a little smile at that, clearly pleased. “Okay, so first, we acknowledge that the attraction was there.”

“Yes.”

“So, look at what we’ve been doing since.” Clarke illustrated with a grand wave of her hands. “We’ve cuddled, told each other our deepest secrets, spooned, had sleepovers, hosted dinner for each other…” She shrugged. “It’s dating without the intimacy. And we’ve been ‘dating’ for almost a year, now. More, if you don’t count your on and off times with Costia…Which I will not chalk up to you cheating on me, thank you very much. I’m lenient.”

Lexa looked unconvinced, rolling her eyes “I don’t know…” She bit her lip. “Aren’t those all just…best friend attributes?”

It was Clarke’s turn to roll her eyes. “Lexa, lovers are best friends. At least, that’s how it should be. Think about it, what is a relationship? It’s best friends, with intimacy. Octavia’s right, Lex, we’ve done it all. I know everything there is to know about you. And we’ve been domestic.” She grinned. “We’re practically a married couple.”

Lexa was dumbstruck. Clarke’s points had an incredible amount of merit to them. And it wasn’t simply the wine talking.

The candle flame danced between them, and it lit parts of Lexa’s face, casting a soft glow on her chiseled jawline.

“So really, I mean…we’ve had a really complete relationship.” Clarke shrugged. “We’ve dated, and after this trip, you’ve lived with me…We’ve even gone on vacation together.” Clarke teased. “At least, that’s how I see it.”

Lexa was grinning at her, nodding. “I suppose your logic…adds up.” The feeling it gave her was indescribable. All this time, she and Clarke had been building what was a perfect relationship, without knowing it.

Clarke nodded, and she leaned forward even more, Lexa meeting her halfway. Their lips were inches apart, their gazes heavy, charged with electricity.

“You know.” Clarke murmured, voice low and husky. “I was going to order dessert. But then, the idea came to me. Why order dessert when I can just…take my girlfriend back to our hotel room and ravish her over and over again instead?”

Lexa let out a gasp involuntarily, thighs clenching under the table as her eyes took in Clarke’s rapidly darkening cerulean gaze. Clarke’s girlfriend. That was what she was, wasn’t it? Clarke was right. After all they’d been through, there was no point in denying it.

And god, she wanted her girlfriend to make good on that promise.

The wine had numbed her, yet Clarke made her feel like she had heightened senses. It was a sweet dichotomy that was sure to lead to something she’d either regret, or want to repeat all over again.

“The challenge will be keeping it together in the cab.” Clarke smirked as Lexa slid her card into the plastic holder of the check, sliding it across the table, licking her lips. Clarke knew her father would pay Lexa One hundred fold for the meal.

Clarke decided that continued teasing was necessary. “But don’t worry. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about what you did for me last night. I’ll repay the favor.” Clarke whispered as she traced a hand on Lexa’s thigh under the table, watching as Lexa’s breathing quickened slightly.

In that moment, seconds felt like years before the damned waiter returned.

 


Though Clarke had made heated promises to Lexa, they’d toned it down a bit for the cab ride, and the walk back up to their room, despite Lexa’s plans.

(Not that she’d planned on pinning Clarke against the elevator wall and getting her off before they even reached their floor).

Clarke had instead settled on holding Lexa’s hand as they made their way up, her smile genuine, her kisses soft and unaggressive, so as not to start anything they couldn’t pull away from in public. Clarke had even leaned back into Lexa’s embrace, just allowing the brunette to hold her, needing the close proximity as a reassurance that this was in fact happening.

Lexa hadn’t hesitated in supporting Clarke’s weight, wrapping her arms around her from behind as she pressed a soft kiss to Clarke’s neck, causing the blonde to yelp slightly in surprise before the doors rolled open, and she tugged Lexa along to their room, brightening the hallway with her amused grin.

Everything felt giddy, and absolutely radiant and bright. That was the effect Clarke had on Lexa.

Lexa never wanted it to end.

They’d come to their door with equally amused smiles, and Clarke handed the key card to Lexa, one hand sill laced with hers as Lexa did the honors, knowing full well that Clarke’s attempts would only delay them further.

Lexa felt herself yanked into the room by Clarke, the door clicking shut behind them as Clarke’s eyes fell to the island, where a bottle of champagne and a small note on a piece of the hotel’s logo paper pad was sitting.

“What’s this?” Lexa hummed, coming from behind Clarke to read the note.

She immediately turned beet red and Clarke grinned, snatching the note from her hands. It read:

 

Congrats. Get some tonight.

-Raven and Anya

P.S. Clarke, I charged it to your credit card. I also got myself one. Or two.

 

“Oh my god.” Clarke rolled her eyes, tossing the note on the counter.

“They don’t seem to have much faith in us.” Lexa agreed, leaning back against the counter with a wry smile.

“It’s because of our so called failure last night.” Clarke informed her, turning to trap her against the counter.

“If I recall correctly, you certainly didn’t fail on my thigh.” Lexa chimed cockily, watching Clarke gape.

“That was embarrassing.” Clarke blushed, burying her face in Lexa’s neck.

“I think we should do it again.” Lexa whispered, smirking when Clarke slapped her arm weakly. “I thought it was hot.”

“Speaking of hot…It’s really hot.” Clarke mumbled.

Lexa nodded, pushing herself off the counter. “I’ll open the balcony door.” She murmured, making her way over.

Clarke eyed the champagne bottle, picking it up and whimpering slightly at the chilled edge of the glass. She removed the foil, bringing it out to Lexa, who was leaning against the railing of the balcony, taking in the sway of the breeze and the faint sounds from floors below.

Clarke smirked when she pressed the chilled bottle against Lexa’s exposed neck, causing Lexa to jump back in surprise, mouth agape.

“Clarke!” Lexa snapped, taking the bottle from her hands, recognizing Clarke’s invitation to open it.

“Sorry.” Clarke shrugged carelessly, watching in awe as the seemingly full moon had pierced its way through the veil of the clouds, simply illuminating Lexa’s features. She felt as if she were floating, and her lips hadn’t even touched the champagne.

That was all Lexa, all the time.

Clarke felt herself lose control, consequences be damned. Lexa had to know how she felt. She took the bottle from Lexa’s hands, settling it on the table beside her as she took Lexa’s now freezing hands in her own.

“Clarke?” Lexa questioned in mild surprise.

“Lex.” Clarke sighed her name breathily, like it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever heard. She released Lexa’s hands to cup her cheeks instead, and without prefacing it at all, without uttering an apology or a foreword, she murmured, “I love you.”

Her lips found Lexa’s in the softest, most tender of kisses. Her eyes were closed, but she felt Lexa’s hesitant hands steady her at her waist. Clarke reveled in the softness of Lexa’s full, pouty lips. She kissed Lexa for what seemed like hours, keeping it gentle and unassuming, only to illustrate her love for the woman, her best friend, her soulmate.

Clarke only pulled back when she felt a certain dampness on Lexa’s cheek for the second time that evening, and she tenderly kissed away Lexa’s tears, shaking her head when Lexa looked like she was going to force some sort of response.

“Listen.” Clarke hadn’t realized that she herself had been tearing up at the overwhelming weight of her confession. “I know we do everything out of order…” She chuckled quietly, and Lexa cracked a messy smile at that, her breathing ragged. “But, Lexa, I’ve known for a while now. And you don’t have to say it, or feel it, god…I’d never do that to you. I wanted to tell you last night, but I waited. I waited because I didn’t want you to think it was the alcohol talking, or the heat of the moment…” Clarke shook her head to illustrate her point. “God, I just really, really love you. I’m in love with you.” Her voice shook as her wet gaze found Lexa’s.

Lexa could see the fear in her eyes, belying her own words of reassurance that Lexa didn’t have to reciprocate.

Lexa felt the lump in her throat and pushed it back, taking a shaky breath. She didn’t know what to say. How could she ever convey something like that in something so mundane as words?

“Please…” Clarke practically whimpered. “Just…say something, so I know you’re okay.”

Lexa reached forward, brushing away the wet tears on Clarke’s face with her thumbs, cupping her face the way Clarke was holding hers.

“Clarke Griffin…” Lexa took in what she presumed to be her final breath, surely Clarke was killing her. “I love you.” She admitted, a soft whisper.

Nothing was more rewarding than seeing Clarke’s face light up the way it did, the sparkle back in her gaze, enough to rival the brilliant flare of the cosmos that hung above them in the dark fabric of the night sky.

Clarke was grinning into their kiss, and suddenly it was messy, though not for lack of trying. Their eager attempts, paired with their inability to stop smiling, made for quite the kiss.

“I love you, Clarke.” Lexa repeated for good measure, as if the words on her lips needed practice and repetition.

“That sounds really nice.” Clarke groaned, pulling apart from Lexa’s lips, still locked in her embrace.

“I love you, Clarke.” Lexa grinned as she said it again, lips trailing down Clarke’s jaw, settling on the prior bruises she’d left on Clarke’s neck, fixing to freshen them.

Clarke’s entire body jerked with the shift of the heat, and suddenly, her goal was back in place. “Lex. Champagne.” She reminded, her voice husky.

Lexa pressed a soft kiss to Clarke’s neck as she acquiesced, removing the wire cage from the top as she rested the bottle on her hip, working the cork with twists of long, elegant, incredibly capable fingers.

The cork popped off, falling far below, and the liquid bubbled off the top, spilling slightly off the sides and down Lexa’s fingers. She handed it to Clarke, and Clarke smirked, tossing it back straight from the bottle, licking her lips as she handed the bottle back to Lexa, both now incredibly aroused.

“Mm.” Clarke hummed her appreciation, feeling refreshed. “I think we owe them. Try it.”

To Clarke’s surprise, Lexa set the bottle down and instead pulled Clarke forward by the hips, their bodies colliding as she kissed Clarke’s lips and swept her tongue over them instead, fighting a smirk when she heard Clarke’s loud moan of surprise, her tongue teasing Clarke as she pulled back, sucking gently on Clarke’s lower lip as she released it slowly and hazily, licking her own instead.

Clarke was absolutely breathless in shock, the heat that had been pooling in her abdomen now spreading to every part of her body as she felt a familiar dampness.

“You’re right. It is delicious.” Lexa replied breathily, smirking when Clarke practically jumped her, whispering, “Lexa. Take me to our bed, right now.”


 

Clarke’s thighs were tight around Lexa’s hips as she felt her back pressed against the wall, Lexa pinning her there as she set about suckling the tender flesh of Clarke’s neck, nuzzling every bruise she left, soothing strikes of her tongue leaving Clarke feeling entirely spoiled.

“Clarke.” Lexa breathed into her ear.

“Hmmm.” Was all Clarke managed, her fingers tangled in Lexa’s silky hair from where they hung around her neck.

“I know we both want this.” Lexa murmured, interrupting herself to nip right under Clarke’s earring. “But tell me…If you ever want to stop, or-”

Clarke had to sport a giddy grin at Lexa’s check for her consent, shaking her head in disbelief. “Believe me, Lex, I will. And they say chivalry is-OH…” Clarke gasped when Lexa bit down on her neck teasingly. “-dead.” She finished lamely.

“My intentions are anything but.” Lexa muttered, her voice distracted. Clarke felt Lexa’s long finger slip up her thigh, brushing her thumb up and down her inner leg. Lexa, seemingly fully renewed with energy, turned towards the bed, laying Clarke on her back as she climbed atop her, careful to distribute her weight on either side of Clarke’s body.

“Your dress.” Lexa murmured against her lips as she leaned down to give Clarke a wet kiss. “Turn over.”

Clarke didn’t have to be told twice. Rolling so that she was on her stomach, she gasped when Lexa’s hands ghosted over her back, fingers finding the zipper as she slowly peeled it down, trailing kisses to every inch of new flesh she’d revealed, her lips stopping at the small of Clarke’s back as she leaned up, watching Clarke shimmy out of the dress and toss it aside, leaving her in her set of lacy undergarments. Her bra displayed her full chest, the thin fabric showcasing the effect Lexa had on her.

Clarke was on her back under Lexa, her arms reaching for the straps of Lexa’s dress, peeling them off and watching as Lexa leaned back to slide out of it.

Clarke smirked. “I knew you brought lingerie for a reason.” She muttered, eyeing the black, skimpy bra and panty set Lexa had nervously opted to wear hours ago, in tiny hopes that Clarke would see and appreciate it.

Clarke’s eyes fell to Lexa’s toned abdomen, the muscles tense with the want that filled her core.

“Wow.” Clarke muttered as Lexa resumed hovering over her, Clarke’s hands grazing Lexa’s tight abs, watching her bite her lip in response. “Lexa, you’re so beautiful.” She murmured dreamily as Lexa smiled, leaning down to kiss Clarke as she trailed her fingers down Clarke’s bare stomach, leaving goosebumps in her wake.

"Not even close to you, Clarke, you're breathtaking." 

Lexa tapped Clarke’s thigh twice without breaking the kiss, and Clarke seemed to get the message, parting her legs with a slight whimper as she bit Lexa’s lower lip. She yelped slightly when Lexa put a knee between Clarke’s now parted thighs, pushing against her core.

“Fuck.” Clarke breathed as Lexa felt how wet she was, through the fabric of her panties, against her knee. “Lex, I….”

“Not yet.” Lexa teased in a whisper, pressing her knee against Clarke’s sex and then pulling back slightly, enjoying the way Clarke whined with the removed friction.

Clarke’s jaw set as she then trailed her fingers back down Lexa’s body, brushing her fingers against Lexa’s core, still covered as she felt her hand dampen. Lexa practically collapsed on top of her as her legs buckled, sending her directly onto Clarke’s body.

“Now we’re even.” Clarke whispered as she drowned Lexa’s whine with another kiss, rolling ono her girlfriend with a look of pure sin. She straddled Lexa, grinding down against her abs as she murmured, “It’s my turn to take care of you, isn’t it?”

Lexa’s response was barely a grunt as her long fingers found purchase on the backside of Clarke’s bra clasp, deftly unhooking it and tossing it aside, freeing Clarke’s breasts with a look of smug satisfaction.

Clarke let out a gasp when Lexa’s thumbs brushed over her nipples, hardening further at the touch, begging for Lexa’s pouty lips. Lexa leaned up to meet Clarke in a kiss, so that they were both level. Lexa acquiesced, never one to deprive Clarke of anything, and teased with her tongue first, lapping gently as Clarke sucked in a sharp breath.

When she began to suckle teasingly, Clarke let out a cry, tangling her hands in Lexa’s hair as she leaned into her mouth, desperate for more. “Fuck.” Clarke hissed as she felt herself grinding onto Lexa still.

Lexa teased the other with her finger rolls and pinches, releasing Clarke’s breast with a small pop and a lick of her lips as she glanced up at Clarke from below, eyes sparkling with lust and also adoration.

Clarke ran a hand through her own hair, unclasping Lexa’s bra as well, tossing it aside carelessly. However, instead of returning the favor, she pushed Lexa back, detaching their kiss as she instead pressed a trail of kisses from Lexa’s chest, trailing down her abdomen, stopping with a final kiss on Lexa’s hip.

She paused, and Lexa’s hips canted forward in response. Clarke smirked, fingers at the edge of Lexa’s panties. She bit down with her teeth, gently scraping Lexa’s milky skin as she peeled Lexa’s panties off, using her fingers to impatiently do the rest. Lexa’s panties in hand, she stepped back off the bed, gently pulling Lexa forward, so that her legs were hanging off the edge.

Lexa was absolutely limp in her hands, gasping slightly at every movement Clarke made. Clarke leaned forward on her knees, ushering Lexa’s legs on either of her shoulders as she laced their hands together, reaching forward while Lexa reached downward, rubbing her thumb over Clarke’s fingers.

Clarke pressed a kiss to her mound, feeling Lexa shiver and jerk forward as she began to trail soft kisses into her sex, lips sliding easily over the dripping wet folds.

“God, you’re so wet.” Clarke muttered, her lips brushing against Lexa as she spoke, sending a shock through her girlfriend.

She began by licking the length of Lexa’s sex, her tongue effortlessly finding and sweeping over every inch of her, tasting, reveling, pleasuring.

Lexa whimpered, “Fuck, Clarke…” As her body jerked up in appreciation, her spine arching slightly.

Clarke released her hands and instead brought them to graze over Lexa’s clit, watching her hips buck as she drew a gasp.

Clarke smirked when she got the desired response, and with careful accuracy, she rested two of her fingertips at Lexa’s entrance, watching with lust as Lexa rolled her hips, encompassing them as Clarke assisted with a forward push, savoring the tight feeling of being inside Lexa.

Lexa’s breathy moans and absolutely needy whispers of “Clarke, yes, Clarke…Fuck me…” were all the ammunition Clarke needed to pleasure Lexa further.

Clarke began with slow but deliberate thrusts, watching Lexa’s hips buck in time with her thrusts, rolling deeper onto Clarke’s fingers, buried within her, to get as much feeling as possible. Clarke then seemed to awaken from her state of observation, slipping in her third finger as Lexa gasped out, reciting Clarke’s name like it was a prayer, hips jerking against Clarke’s sweet thrusts.

Clarke used her free hand to brush against Lexa’s clit in circular motions, teasing with slight touches and the dance of her finger tips, leaving Lexa begging as she instead wrapped her free arm around Lexa’s thigh, anchoring her sex to Clarke’s latest addition: Her lips, as she began again with strokes of her tongue, like the sweet punishment of a whip. Clarke took Lexa’s clit into her mouth after her varied ensemble of strokes, sucking gently against Lexa’s nerves as she felt Lexa begin to crumble against her mouth, crying out with every thrust.

“Clarke…Oh, fuck, Clarke! Yes, Clarke, right the- Oh, fuck.”

The stimulation was entirely too much, and Lexa was spiraling in the most heavenly way. Clarke’s fingers curled with her, hitting her wall at the right angle, repeatedly weakening any resolve she had left.

Lexa coming was one of the most beautiful things Clarke had ever witnessed.

It was music to Clarke’s ears. Every breathy moan and needy gasp of pleasure as Lexa’s abdominal muscles tightened and her head flew back, her eyes shutting as her entire body shuddered with unprecedented pleasure, rippling through her like a white hot wave of heat that left her quivering into Clarke’s mouth, dripping with appreciation.

Clarke continued lapping at her with cooled intensity, effectively cleaning her up and helping her come down from her first high of the evening. Clarke pressed a quick kiss to her core, before climbing back up the bed, giving a quick pinch to Lexa’s weak legs, leaning down to kiss her lips.

Lexa’s little moan of delight was Clarke’s greatest reward, as she tasted herself on Clarke’s lips, sucking and kissing Clarke in a heated thank you, pulling back slightly to wrap her arms around Clarke, watching Clarke smirk contentedly.

“Did I mention I love you?” Clarke mumbled as she pressed soft kisses to Lexa’s chest, fingers grazing Lexa’s toned biceps.

Lexa hummed her answer against her, fingers busying themselves with Clarke’s panties as she turned Clarke over, seemingly recovered from her orgasm with renewed vigor.

Clarke looked up into Lexa’s eyes, lust and love in her gaze as their lips crashed together, Lexa clearly exerting her dominance as she pinned Clarke’s wrists above her, her lips detaching to tease Clarke’s breasts momentarily before pulling away.

“Lexa.” Clarke whined, feeling deprived at Lexa’s game.

“Patience.” Lexa demanded, her voice undeniably carrying the authority as she trailed kisses against Clarke’s neck, her hands reaching down, tugging Clarke’s panties up against her aroused sex, watching with a smirk as Clarke yelped, “Lexa, fuck!”

Lexa, leaned back, still kissing Clarke as her long fingers slipped into Clarke’s panties, dipping into Clarke’s folds as she brought her dripping fingers back, letting out a choked groan of want when Clarke took them between her lips, sucking gently, eyes locking with Lexa’s.

“You’re so ready.” Lexa whispered teasingly. “So wet.”

“You always make me wet. This entire damn trip.” Clarke groaned into her shoulder, and Lexa felt heat well up within her at Clarke’s confession. How many times had Clarke needed Lexa to touch her when they’d been perfectly able to?

The thought made her determined to make this effort outstanding. Kissing Clarke once more, tasting Clarke’s juices on her lips, she peeled back at Clarke’s panties, dragging her fingers over Clarke’s folds. She dipped into Clarke with two fingers, sliding in and feeling Clarke’s walls clench tightly around her.

“Fuck.” Clarke gasped into Lexa’s lips as Lexa pushed all the way into her, her long fingers finally honoring Clarke’s dreams for them. “Yes…” She moaned and bit her lip, trying to stifle her cries of pleasure.

Lexa shook her head, thumb brushing against Clarke’s clit. “Look at me.” Lexa demanded in a soft whisper, and Clarke’s gaze found hers, filled with raw need. What do you want, Clarke?” She seemed entirely too articulate, and Clarke was in love with the way she said her name.

“I want-” Clarke gasped and her hips bucked with Lexa’s sudden thrust. “I want you.” She moaned.

“I’m already yours.” Lexa smiled teasingly, nipping at Clarke’s lip. “What do you want, Clarke?” She repeated, and Clarke wanted to kill her as much as she wanted Lexa to fuck her.

“I want you to…” Clarke trailed off and she realized Lexa was rather merciful, her thrusts increasing with speed as she added a third finger, her lips gifting Clarke with a quick kiss.

“Fuck, Lexa, right there.” Clarke threw her head back in pleasure when Lexa’s hand pulled Clarke closer, her lips circling Clarke’s nipple as she teased, gently sucking.

 Clarke let out a cry and took Lexa by surprise when she threw her leg around her, giving Lexa slight increased access with each thrust.

Lexa was everywhere, and Clarke couldn’t get enough. Her mouth on Clarke’s breast, her thumb at Clarke’s clit, her fingers thrusting within her, curling against her front wall with experienced accuracy.

Clarke had never been so thoroughly stimulated and worn out all at once. “Lex! Fuck!” She cried out as she felt her thighs and abdomen clenching, biting into Lexa’s neck as she came up to soothe Clarke’s lips, after a particularly pleasing bite on Clarke’s breast that left her reeling.

“I’m so close. I’m so close.” Clarke whispered as she jerked her hips against Lexa’s godly hand, practically trying to ride her as Lexa added pressure to her clit.

Lexa locked eyes with Clarke, though Clarke felt a familiar fluttering of her eyelids, and Lexa’s soft kiss and whisper of, “Come for me, Clarke.” Were the last things she remembered before she saw stars and her body went numb with the strongest wave of pleasure she’d ever experienced.

She clenched around Lexa, her fingers hardly able to move within Clarke as they continued working her, feeling the flood of her orgasm as Clarke cried out Lexa’s name with a string of profanities. Lexa felt Clarke relax after several long moments, and she busied herself with kissing Clarke’s jaw softly, delicately, coaxing her back from the heavens.

She withdrew from within Clarke, her hands wrapping around Clarke as they pulled her into a tight embrace, both Clarke and Lexa facing each other, panting, heartrates settling after such an intense spike.

Clarke’s eyes finally opened to meet Lexa’s verdant gaze, and the first thing that escaped her kiss bruised, swollen lips was, “Lexa, fuck.”

Lexa gave her a genuine smile, leaning forward to kiss Clarke gently before leaning back to face her once more.

Clarke’s hand found Lexa’s, lacing them together as she brought Lexa’s hand up and kissed it softly.

Lexa’s expression softened at the motion. “Hi.” She whispered.

“Hey.” Clarke replied breathlessly. “You were…”

Lexa smirked against Clarke’s lips, and Clarke shook her head. “Don’t let it go to your head. You’re still my nerd.”

Lexa rolled her eyes at the nickname, enjoying the way Clarke nuzzled into her neck.

“You know what pisses me off?”

“That’s…not something someone wants to hear after sex, Clarke.”

Clarke barked out a laugh at that, her body rocking in Lexa’s strong grip.

“No, it wasn’t you…well, I mean, it was you…I…”

“Clarke?”

“We could’ve been doing this a long time ago, Lexa.” Clarke mumbled into her neck.

Lexa had to agree.

They had a lot to make up for.

“Well…” Lexa placed a kiss on Clarke’s shoulder. “Would you like to ride your girlfriend’s thigh again, Ms. Griffin?”


 

Clarke and Lexa had every intention of making up for a year and a half’s worth of sex on one evening.

What they hadn’t counted on was the exhaustion that pressed on after what was maybe their…sixth, possibly seventh orgasms each.

Lexa had tasted every inch of Clarke’s skin, and felt her die and come back to life in her arms over and over again.

Clarke had seen every reaction Lexa had to offer, from screams of pleasure and moans to absolute shameless begging and soft whispers.

They laughed and giggled into their kisses, they’d whispered sweet sentiments into each other’s ears, and they’d made love over and over again.

Undeniably, it was the best experience either woman had ever had, drunk on love and their attraction they’d kept pent up for so long.

So, when Clarke fell backwards onto the bed, absolutely sore, and Lexa had cleaned her up between her thighs and climbed back up to kiss her, they both knew that they needed rest and recovery.

“Come here.” Clarke tugged her down for one chaste kiss before pulling what was left of the sheets over their bodies, hot and slicked with sweat. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to walk tomorrow.”

Lexa gave her a proud smirk, and Clarke rolled her eyes, turning so that she was spooning Lexa, despite the heat, pressing her body against her love’s.

Lexa settled into Clarke’s arms, sighing as her head hit the pillow, Clarke drawing patterns on her tattooed bicep, admiring the way the muscles tensed with slight movement.

“I love you.” Clarke kissed her shoulder softly.

“I love you, too.” Lexa replied softly, sleep eating away at her words.

“It’s barely nine-thirty. We had an early dinner….And dessert.” Clarke chuckled into Lexa’s shoulder.

“Power nap.” Lexa mumbled, a grin on her lips. “So I can make sure you know how much I love you.”

She could feel Clarke’s smile into her skin as she closed her eyes, willing her breathing to even out.

Sleep came to them with the blink of an eye.


 

Lexa had barely slept for more than half an hour when she heard a consistent ticking. She cracked an eye open, feeling Clarke’s arm still draped over her, though her grip had loosened. Lexa grumbled something incoherent and tried to shut her eyes.

Again, ticking.

Incessant, louder by the second.

“Clarke?” Lexa whispered.

Clarke hadn’t stirred, her breathing soft and even.

Lexa bit her lip and slowly slid out of Clarke’s embrace, eyes narrowing towards the source of the noise.

Clarke seemed not to notice, still thoroughly asleep.

She narrowed her emerald gaze in the darkness, eyes honing in on her purse, draped across the floor. She knelt forward, inspecting it curiously, opening it with a frown, the ticking beating louder.

Opening it, she held up Jake’s watch, and her heart stopped. Guilt wracked her heart as she felt tears pricking at the back of her eyes.

And suddenly Lexa was overwhelmed, her fear all too real. She turned back to Clarke, her entire soul weeping as she realized, with sinking clarity, that this could never be.


 

Lexa’s eyes shot open. Her heartrate slowed as she realized that, while the ticking and the watch had all been a potent dream, her fears were still very much present. She tried to hold back her sob as she glanced back at Clarke, and she felt her anxiety kick in, like it had when she was younger.

Her eyes fell to her phone on the nightstand where she’d left it, vibrating incessantly. That must have been the “ticking” she’d heard. She yanked it off the nightstand, silencing it as she took in a breath.

Clarke was still asleep, peacefully, ever so beautiful.

Lexa needed to leave, immediately.

She’d played a dangerous game.

All this time, she’d waited for Jake’s check, for his handout so she could go off and make her own living. She’d lied to him, and Clarke’s entire family. She’d used Clarke for money, for her own needs.

Yes, she was truly in love with Clarke.

Yes, her feelings, her words, everything that happened was genuine.

God, she was in love with Clarke Griffin.

But how could she ever look any of them in the eyes after the moment she and Clarke just shared, let alone take their money?

Nia’s words echoed in her head, and Lexa realized that maybe they had merit. She’d stepped so far out of her league, out of her class. Clarke was everything. Clarke deserved everything.

Lexa could never be that for her, certainly not when she was waiting for handouts from Clarke’s family.

Nothing in Lexa’s life had ever been permanent. Nia hold told her there was clearly something wrong with her, some flaw. She didn’t deserve permanence. She didn’t deserve a family then, and she certainly didn’t now.

Lexa tried to steady her breathing as she tiptoed around the room, dressing herself haphazardly as she threw her belongings into her bag, ignoring the phone lighting up in her hand. She moved her things into the living area of the suite, moving as fast as she could, forgetting to wipe at her tears in her haste to get away.

She’d been so stupid. So idealistic and selfish, and she’d gone and made a mess of it.

She watched as the phone continued to flash with some sort of activity, but she was far too occupied zipping her suitcase. She stood with a sigh, hand wiping carelessly at her tears when she nearly jumped at the sight of Clarke, wearing a t shirt and shorts, eyes concerned, arms wrapped around herself.

“Lex.”

Lexa shook her head. She wasn’t strong enough to have this conversation. She wasn’t strong enough, because she knew Clarke’s influence on her, and how much Clarke loved her. Clarke would want her to stay, to excuse everything she’d done, and she simply couldn’t do that to the love of her life.

It didn’t matter that it was a plan both of them had formulated.

It didn’t matter that Clarke was in on it.

Clarke Griffin deserved so much more.

“Clarke.” Lexa choked out, still shaking her head.

“I know you’re scared.” Clarke cooed softly.

Lexa contemplated lying. She contemplated telling Clarke that she never loved her, that her heart didn’t race every time Clarke so much as glanced at her or uttered a word, that she wouldn’t do absolutely anything to see Clarke’s smile.

She contemplated it, and decided that would hurt Clarke even more.

“You can’t just walk away…” Clarke’s voice rose a decibel, and Lexa wanted to smack herself for the hurt she felt, the absolute self-hatred she was experiencing.

“Clarke…” Lexa’s lip trembled and Clarke wanted nothing more than to kiss it. “This…this was a mistake.”

“What was, Lexa?” Clarke’s voice was losing its sense of calm. “Us?”

Lexa shook her head no, “Of course not, I love you more than anything, but-”

“But what?” Clarke pleaded.

Lexa couldn’t do this. It was too much. Shaking her head, she turned to reach for the door handle, Clarke in hot pursuit.

Lexa should have read her phone.

She should have answered, or checked her messages.

She should have at least noticed that it was ten in the evening, sharp.

At least then, she wouldn’t have been surprised when Clarke’s family in its entirety was standing behind the door she’d just thrown open, shouting, “SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CLARKE!”

Clarke took a step back, clearly terrified beyond belief.

Lexa shouldered her way past the group, tears down her cheeks as they all noticed her suitcase and fell terribly, utterly silent.

In the end, it was Jake who chased after Lexa into the elevator.


 

“Lexa….” Jake didn’t know how to begin. Instinct had taken ahold of him, and he’d seen the way Lexa was clutching his watch, tearfully storming out of his daughter’s hotel room, leaving Clarke in tears.

“Please…” Lexa shook her head, handing Jake the watch.

“Where are you going?” He asked softly, seeming to realize that this was the remnants of a fight between Clarke and Lexa.

“Home.” Lexa whispered.

She really didn’t want to be having this conversation with Clarke’s father.

Jake took a breath, and nodded. “Okay. May I ask why?”

Lexa couldn’t help the need to feel absolved. She couldn’t help the selfish need to wreck her plans with Clarke and throw it all away, just so she could sleep at night with a clear conscience. She didn’t want Clarke to have to explain to everyone. She could bear this last burden.

“It was all a lie, Jake.”

“What was?”

“Everything. Me. And Clarke. We were never…She lied. She wanted you to donate to my business. She wanted everyone to stop asking her about her romantic life.”

Jake took a step back, his expression unreadable as Lexa shook her head, freezing when the elevator stopped in the middle of its way down.

Instead, Jake murmured, “I see.” His tone wasn’t cold, or callous. It wasn’t warm or comforting, like it had been earlier. It was…analytical. Understanding, even.

He put his hand on Lexa’s back, shielding her from any stares as he guided her out onto the random floor, switching place with those who stepped on. Lexa was relieved to find the floor was empty, save for those who’d just gotten onto the elevator. Jake sighed, shaking his head.

“So you’re telling me it was all a ruse?” He asked quietly.

Lexa felt hot shame burn her cheeks. “Clarke…she was my friend.”

“Not after this.” Jake noted, rubbing his hand behind his head with a sigh.

“I…I couldn’t go through with it.” Lexa shook her head.

“Why?” Jake pressed softly. “What changed, Lexa?”

Lexa shook her head in response, offering his watch. “Please.” She whispered.

Jake took a deep breath, his hand reaching out. Instead of taking the watch back, he pushed it back against Lexa’s hand. “You keep that.” Jake sighed as he pushed the elevator button once more.

“Mr. Griffin-”

“God dammit Lexa, I meant what I said.” He shook his head. “You’re a good kid.”

“But-”

“If you want to go, that’s your prerogative.” He informed her quietly. “I can’t change that, or fix things for you. But I gave you my word. And…” He reached into his shirt pocket with a sigh, pulling out a check. “I’m a man of my word.”

Lexa’s eyes widened and she shook her head fiercely. “I can’t accept this…This is the reason I-”

“No, listen.” Jake wouldn’t allow for her excuses any longer. His daughter was in distress floors above, and he needed to be there for her. “You take this, because you need it, and you got this far, okay? You take it, because you’re sharp, and a great kid, and I know you’ll put it to good use.”

Lexa looked ready to respond, but Jake waved a hand. “But know this.” He continued. “Clarke thought the world of you. You just…you leaving like this? She’s going to be shattered. You take that check, and you stay out of her life, you got it? Clarke can’t take having you around if you can’t love her the same way she loves you.”

His words were uttered, and he turned towards the now chiming elevator. “I know you’ll use it well, Lexa.”

The doors slid shut behind him, and Jake Griffin walked out of Lexa’s life for the last time.

Lexa’s shaky hand glanced down at the check she’d been holding, and she gasped out loud as she read the numbers, a hand flying to her mouth.

Chapter Text

Lexa felt a hand tug at the leather bracelet she’d been staring at for the past hour and a half, and she immediately recoiled defensively, arm retracting as she shot a glare at her apparent thief.

Anya was there, in all her cocky glory, eyebrow raised, careful smile on her lips. “You won’t be needing that, I guess.” She motioned to Clarke’s bracelet sitting on Lexa’s wrist, and Lexa bit back a sob.

Anya quickly saw the building moisture in her eyes and shook her head, sliding down onto the hard bench beside the girl, the noise of the airport intercom surprisingly active in the late evening.

“Whoa, shit…” Anya shook her head, enveloping Lexa into a firm hug. “Sorry, I should’ve known better than to joke with you right now.”

Lexa blinked in response, swallowing the lump in her throat. Her wrist felt heavy with Clarke’s bracelet, like a burden she’d so horribly failed to carry. That was Clarke’s friendship, on her wrist. That was Clarke’s love, and the soft feel of Clarke’s lips, and Clarke’s touches that made her heart feel like it was eternally summer.

She felt a pang of remorse when she realized, once more, that she’d lost all that.

“You haven’t answered any of our calls, or our texts.” Anya huffed in annoyance.  

“ My phone is off. How’d you find me?” Lexa asked softly, rolling the leather absently between her fingers.

Anya squirmed slightly. “You want the truth?”

Lexa nodded slowly in response, sighing when Anya looked at her with a look of concern.

“Clarke knew you’d be here.”

“Of course.” Lexa chuckled wryly, shaking her head. “Right, yeah. I suppose she would know that.”

Anya bit her lip, rubbing Lexa’s back slightly. “Lex?”

“Hmm.”

“Can I ask what happened, back there? Is that okay?”

Lexa shook her head. “I fucked it up, Anya.”

“I know you seem to think so.” Anya nodded slowly. “But…I don’t exactly think that’s what happened. Care to fill me in?”

Lexa sighed, gazing off into the bustling abyss that was the rolling doorway, her suitcase between her legs on the floor. Her brown hair was pulled up into a messy bun, and she’d realized, about halfway through her cab ride, that she was wearing Clarke’s sweater.

She’d allowed her tears to stain the sleeves as she’d wiped them away.

“I ran.” When Lexa whispered the words, Anya nodded soothingly, likely the only one besides Clarke who was well aware of Lexa’s issues.

“I know.” Anya nodded, coaxing it out of her. “Before that. Was it bad? Did you fight?”

Lexa looked away dreamily, her bottom lip trembling. “God, no, Anya…It was…She was…”

Anya smiled to herself, nodding. “You love her.”

There wasn’t a second of hesitation on Lexa’s end. “I do.”

“You have for a while now.”

“Probably a year.” Lexa whispered once more. “I don’t know.”

Anya’s smile only grew as she allowed it all to tumble out of Lexa.

“Anya, I got scared.” Lexa breathed in raggedly. “I panicked. I did the exact opposite of what I needed to do, I just….”

“Breathe, Lexa.” Anya reminded, rubbing small circles in Lexa’s back.

“I didn’t think that I could ever deserve Clarke, and what she gave me. A family, Anya. Friends who liked me, and…parental figures who didn’t expect me to burden their lives.” She shrugged, wiping at a stray tear. “And you know what? She told me she loved me too. Me.” She sounded incredulous. “It was the best moment of my life. Anya, it was the greatest week of my life.”

Anya hummed softly in agreeance. “I believe that. I’ve never seen you happier.”

Lexa leaned her head on Anya’s shoulder miserably. “Jake gave me the check.” She whispered.

Anya’s hand froze on Lexa’s back, and her eyes widened. “What?”

Lexa sighed, biting her lip. “Jake gave me the check.” She repeated.

Anya shot upright, practically knocking Lexa off her as she gaped at her friend. “What? Where? Let me see it!”

Lexa’s shaky hand reached into her suitcase, unzipping the first pocket and pulling out the rectangular slip of paper she’d lost everything for. She glanced up at Anya, muttering, “I didn’t know what to do, okay? I panicked. I took it, but I didn’t mean to, and now-”

“Lexa, shut up and let me see.” Anya grumbled, ignoring Lexa’s eye roll and sniffle as she took the paper. Her eyes settled on the figure, or rather, the figures, and she let out a tiny squeak, every uncharacteristic for her. “Holy shit.” She breathed.

“I know.” Lexa sighed, shaking her head. “I’m ripping it.”

“What?” Anya snapped, yanking the paper back. “What are you, a moron? Didn’t you go to Georgetown?”

Lexa stared at her in disbelief. “And what should I do with the money I practically mooched off the father of the love of my life?”

Anya rolled her eyes. “Can you maybe not be so dramatic for literally two minutes?”

Lexa sighed, sinking back into her chair. “You even sound like Clarke. I miss her.”

“It has been…” Anya glanced at her watch. “What? A few hours?”

Lexa didn’t answer, burying her head in her hands.

“Lexa, you’re missing a very important fact, here.” Anya sighed, clapping Lexa on the back.

“Pray tell.”

“When does your flight leave?” Anya smirked.

Lexa gasped. “My flight? Oh, god I…. I never even had a ticket. I just…this was the first place I thought of, and-”

“Bullshit.” Anya snorted. “You never were going to buy one anyway.”

Lexa’s emerald eyes widened slightly at Anya’s accusation. “I…”

“You can’t leave her.” Anya smirked.

Lexa froze in place. No, this couldn’t be right. She was determined to make Clarke happy, even if that meant removing herself out of the picture. Right?

Lexa realized, with yet another sinking feeling, that she’d lied to herself, too.

She couldn’t live without Clarke Griffin.

She was so sure, in that striking moment of clarity. So painfully, torturously aware, of the mistake she’d made. She’d been so terrified of finally having something good, and stable, that she’d left before she could end up the wounded party.

But Clarke never wanted to wound her. Clarke wasn’t a date or a fling or a minor relationship. Clarke was her soulmate. And she’d ran away from that.

“I can’t live without her.” Lexa practically choked out. “Oh, god, Anya. I fucked up.”

Anya, quite satisfied at that answer, grinned, whipping out her phone. “You know why you brought me on this trip?”

Lexa simply stared back in horror.

“Because no one cleans up your messes better than I do.” Anya smirked. “Except for…Maybe Clarke. But, she’s not really…nevermind. Anyway, let’s get you to the car, huh?” She bent down to pick up Lexa’s suitcase, check still in her possession.

Lexa gaped at her. “Car? You’ve had a car waiting this entire time?”

Anya rolled her eyes. “Obviously. You think you’re some unreadable enigma, Lex? Like you made some unforgivable mistake you need to repent and suffer for? Come on. You’re clearly in love, you got scared, you made a mistake. Get up, and let’s fix it, before the wound settles.”

Lexa sucked in a breath. She couldn’t believe she was listening to Anya. She couldn’t believe Anya was right.

“Since when are you the expert on love?” Lexa mumbled, reaching for her phone.

“Doesn’t take an expert to know you’ll need a grand gesture to fix this one, Lex.” Anya sighed. “Come on, there’s a long drive back to the hotel.”

It was Clarke’s birthday, officially, by now, and though she hoped Clarke wasn’t awake in the wee hours of the morning, she pondered returning her calls, or at the very least, hearing her messages.

“Wait.” Lexa froze, hand up. “Give me the check.”

“Lex?” Anya cautioned, slowly handing the check over to Lexa with a curiously fearful gaze.

“I know exactly what I have to do.” Lexa murmured, hurriedly taking off in the direction of the doors, check in hand.

“Since when was I demoted to fucking bellboy?” Anya grumbled, grabbing her suitcase as she rolled it along behind Lexa’s hurried path.


 

“So…” Raven drawled as she came to lay beside Clarke on the couch, kicking her feet up on the table.

Clarke smiled a melancholy little smile to herself, knowing how disdainfully Lexa would’ve glared at her for such a vile “blatant disregard for hotel furniture and upholstery”.

But Lexa was gone now, and she was actively avoiding Clarke, as she hadn’t heard a single word back from her, via text or call.

Clarke was absolutely, mind-numbingly worried, to say the least. She was done crying, done feeling sorry for herself.

She’d known Lexa’s fears, her trepidations, her background of abuse with Nia, and her absolute terror of jumping in headfirst. And yet, that was exactly what Clarke had did. She’d pulled Lexa straight into the deep end without first showing her to properly swim, and now Lexa had drowned.

Clarke blamed herself, for the most part. Lexa had felt the need to confess because she hadn’t made it explicitly clear that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. Lexa had been deprived of everything Clarke had always taken for granted. Her parents whom she was totally embarrassed of, her friends whom she’d kicked out her door the minute Lexa had run off…everything.

Clarke wanted to give Lexa the world, and instead, she’d given her anxiety. Her father was right when he’d murmured, “Love is a tricky game, sweetheart.” She’d thought he was old and obscene. Well, as it turned out, he’d been wise all along.

“That was one hell of a surprise, right?” Raven cracked a little smile, and Clarke slapped her on the arm.

“Are you seriously joking right now?” Clarke shook her head.

Raven shrugged. “Why not? I mean, all these years you bitched that you always saw it coming. But this? I mean, we told Lexa.”

“You did?” Clarke nearly shot out of her seat.

Raven smirked. “Yeah, we did. I told Anya to. I guess screwing your brains out left her too tired to remember.”

Clarke bit her lip. She was just holding Lexa, maybe hours ago. How had this all gone south so quickly?

Now it was the dead of the night, and Lexa was somewhere in Los Angeles, hopefully, maybe at the airport as Clarke had suspected. She should’ve been the one to go after Lexa. But at first, the way she was crying and affected, she hadn’t seemed suitable.

Anya volunteered, and, having the most history, she won out and left.

Clarke hoped that she could catch Lexa before she was gone.

There was so much left to say, to work out. Clarke wasn’t keen on giving up on the love of her life just yet.

But it seemed that Lexa, perhaps, was.

“How can you joke about this?” Clarke mumbled.

“Oh, Griff.” Raven sighed, wrapping an arm around Clarke, pulling her head to rest on her shoulder. “What else can you do?”

“Find her.” Clarke muttered.

“Anya’s on that, and she said she’d text when she had something. In the meantime, you need sleep.”

“How can I sleep? She’s out there.” Clarke shook her head. “All vulnerable and upset.”

Raven rolled her eyes. “You sure you and Lexa aren’t related? I swear, you’re both drama queens. Firstly, Lexa has been a lone wolf for a long ass time, right? She can handle herself. Secondly, why aren’t you even mad? It’s your birthday. She left you after sex. And after you admitted you’re madly in love. I’m worried about you, Griff. You should be raging.”

Clarke chuckled humorlessly, shaking her head. “I can’t.” She whispered.

“You what?”

“I can’t.” She repeated, firmly. “I know everything about her, Ray. She’s my best friend…”

Raven shot her a glare, and Clarke had the kindness to smile slightly.

“-my other best friend.” She amended, and Raven nodded contentedly. “I know why she left. Guilt. She wanted me to have better. How could I ever be mad at that kind of love?” Clarke whispered.

Raven’s eyes glazed over and she wiped at them emptily. “Shit, man.” She shook her head.

“Ray?” Clarke asked in disbelief.

“I’m…not…” Raven sniffled. “That’s just…You two are soulmates, you know?”

“I know.” Clarke whispered, her sad smile returning.

A knock on the door caused the two of them to jump. Clarke leapt to her feet, still in her shorts and tshirt as she bolted to the door.

Raven shook her head in exasperation. “Clarke! It’s the middle of the night!” She hissed. “You can’t just open the-”

Clarke swung the door open, heart hammering, hope brimming in her eyes in the form of unshed tears. She let out a sigh of disappointment when her father stood there, hands in his pockets, smiling apologetically.

“Oh.” Clarke whispered. “It’s you.”

Jake made a face, rubbing his hand behind his neck awkwardly. “You know, that’s what I said when you were born?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, stepping aside to let him in.

“I uh…” Raven shot up out of her seat. “I can go.”

“No no.” Jake put his hand up. “It’ll only be a moment. I just want to speak to Clarke about uh…About what happened.”

“You know what?” Raven coughed. “There’s some pretty neat stuff in Clarke’s bedroom. I’m gonna go and check out her bed-” she seemed to realize that Clarke and Lexa had been consummating their relationship on said object and quickly paled. “Or, you know what? The bathroom. I’ll be there.”

She shot out of the living area wordlessly, and Clarke stifled a sigh.

“I’m so happy to be a grandfather.” Jake grinned, motioning to Raven’s retreating figure.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Well, you won’t be one for long. Anya’s adopting her from me.” Clarke grumbled, sitting back beside her father on the couch with a sigh. “I guess, everyone gets their happy ending but me.” She shrugged, burying her face in her hands.

Jake sighed, rubbing his daughter’s back. “Can I tell you a little story, honey?”

“God, no.” Clarke grumbled, and Jake chuckled. The vibrations and his warm embrace calmed Clarke as she leaned into his hug, sighing. “I guess she told you everything.”

Jake nodded, humming affirmatively. “She did. Poor girl was guilty out of her mind.”

Clarke bit her lip, feeling tears threatening again. “This whole stupid lie was my idea.”

Jake snorted a laugh. “Don’t need to tell me twice, darlin’.”

Clarke glanced up, eyes narrowed. “How did you know?”

Jake glanced heavenward for a moment, as if asking for an ounce of patience with Clarke. “Because, Clarke, despite what you may think of your old man, he’s got eyes and functioning brain up here.” He pointed to his sandy colored hair with a grin. “I’ve been watching you both, these past few days.”

Clarke sighed. “And what exactly did you see?”

Jake smiled. “Oh, man, you’re head over heels for that girl.” He chuckled wryly.

“She is for me too.” Clarke whispered in a small voice. “She…she told me so, before she left.”

Jake took in a breath, as if ready to let Clarke down gently with a small truth. “Well, we’ll see, won’t we?” He murmured.

Clarke’s brows shot up. “What is that supposed to mean, Dad? You went after her. What did she tell you?”

“Just that she lied. That you both did. And then she tried to give my watch back-”

“Your watch?” Clarke sat up, almost knocking Jake over. “You gave her grandad’s watch?”

Jake blinked, hands going up in surprise. “Uh, yeah? She didn’t tell you that?”

Clarke blinked away the tears, shaking her head. “Oh, god. No wonder she was feeling extra guilty! She was lying and then you…welcomed her into the family by giving her your most precious heirloom…” Clarke smacked her head and Jake’s eyes widened. “Oh, Lexa…” She breathed, feeling absolutely awful. “Dad, no wonder she felt like she couldn’t stay. She thought she was accepted into our family…based on lies.”

“Well…” Jake sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, now feeling partially responsible. “It wasn’t a lie, Clarke. I love her. She’s a great kid…. Troubled, but great.”

“Fuck.” Clarke sighed, shaking her head.

Jake raised a brow, and Clarke muttered a quick, “Sorry.”

“Clarke, there’s more.” Jake sighed.

“Oh, god, what is it?” Clarke frowned, her heart aching. Lexa wasn’t answering any of her texts or calls, and she had no way of telling her that everything was okay. That she could home back to Clarke, to her family. That she could come home.

“I gave her the check.” Jake admitted, wincing when Clarke slapped his knee in a sort of reactionary movement.

“You what?” Clarke gasped. “How much?”

“…Three times what we agreed upon.” Jake shook his head. “Look, Clarke, it was a decision she had to make. And she took it-”

“She took it?” Clarke paled. That was her last chance to maybe see Lexa again before she went home. After that, all bets were off. Yes, of course she wanted Lexa’s business to thrive, but she wanted to see her even more.

Jake nodded. “I guess…We’ll see what she does with it, Clarke.”

“Really?” Clarke practically growled. “Now? This is when you choose to do your test of character? Dad, she’s broken, she-”

“Clarke.” Jake shook his head. “It’s not like that. I told her to take the check, and the watch, because I really do believe in her. I told her…not to come back, if she doesn’t reciprocate. It’s the most logical way to keep both you in decent shape, emotionally. She gets what she came for, and if she came for you, then she comes back. You see?”

Clarke bit her lip, nodding slowly. “Dad.” She whispered. “I’m…I’m so in love with her, I don’t know what to do.” She shook her head. “It’s like we’ve been together for years. I just…want to be with her.”

Jake smiled, nodding slowly. “I felt the same way about your mother. Still do, when she’s not hosting those ungodly dinner parties with the neighbors.”

Clarke chuckled, tears streaming down her face as she wiped them off nonchalantly.

Jake rose, brushing off his knees. “You should really get some sleep, kiddo. You’ve got to face an entire group of party people tomorrow and explain yourself.”

Clarke huffed in her seat. “The one time I actually get surprised.” She shook her head.

“Life works in mysterious way, doesn’t it?” Jake agreed with a chuckle, pulling Clarke in for a bear hug. “But it all works out, in the end.”

Clarke felt herself go limp for a moment in his arms. “But what if it doesn’t? What if it’s all messed up? Backwards, and out of order?”

“It always does.” Jake offered sagely. “Tell my grandkid I say goodnight.”

“Night, Mr. G!” Raven called from the bathroom, her voice muffled.

“Oh, wonderful, she heard everything.” Jake rolled his eyes, but his voice had a tinge of humor to it. He saluted Clarke and slipped out the door, leaving Clarke to sigh against it.

Meanwhile, in the bedroom, Raven had been quietly listening to their conversation, taking solace in it, while simultaneously texting her girlfriend. Her heart was racing. She had a decision to make.

Anya:

I just got L. We’re in the car. She still has the check.

Raven:

Holy shit. That means she couldn’t leave Clarke.

Anya:

Obviously, genius. <3

Raven:

Okay so what is she going to do?

Anya:

Raven. Don’t tell Clarke. About any of this.

Raven:

What? Are you kidding me? She’s worried sick.

Anya:

…Lexa’s insisting. And I trust her. Just say you haven’t heard anything.

Raven:

If you’re not back by morning, Clarke will hand my ass to me.

Anya:

…Babe, I know. Lexa’s got this. We’ll be there by then.

 

Raven’s eyes widened as she heard Clarke approaching, quickly shoving her phone into her back pocket, taking a breath. She lied about Wick. She could lie about this. Just for a night.

The hope in Clarke’s eyes ate away at Raven’s resolve, and she bit her lip rather suspiciously, turning to face Clarke with a poorly crafted smile.

“Ray?” Clarke sighed. “Any news from Anya?”

Raven shook her head. “She uh…I think she was trying the airport or something. Nothing yet. It’s probably crowded, or something.”

Clarke shook her head. “I guess you heard what my dad said, right?”

Raven nodded. “It’s fucked up. I wanted that watch.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, plopping onto the bed she’d shared with Lexa hours ago, feeling fresh tears threaten to surface. She didn’t know how empty her life was without Lexa until she was erased from it.

Clarke honestly wasn’t sure if she could go on without her.

“She was so happy.” Clarke sighed, head back on the pillow as she gazed at the ceiling.

“Hey.” Raven sighed, putting a hand on Clarke’s leg. “I’m sure this isn’t over with.”

Clarke shook her head in denial. “You heard my dad. She took the money. It’s over, Ray. She’s gone.”

Raven wanted to kill herself for accepting Anya’s swear of secrecy. Lexa loved her. Lexa was coming back. Lexa hadn’t left.

But of course, what was she to say?

“You’re still neighbors, right?” She tried lamely.

“Yeah.” Clarke turned over with a huff. “I think I’m gonna try and get some sleep. Maybe try calling her again tomorrow.” She lied, feeling the tears creep up. She needed to cry alone.

Raven seemed to sense that, murmuring. “I’ll be on the couch. It’ll be okay, Clarke.”


 

“Anya, why do the security guards look like they’re about to whip out their batons and start clubbing me to death?”

Anya smirked, giving Lexa a once over. “Because you look like you rolled out of bed. But I gotta give it to you, the messy bun look suits you.”

Lexa sighed, shaking her head. The entire night was spent cashing Lexa’s check, which was an entire ordeal in itself. Lexa had suggested that they wait for the closest bank to open, but seeing as it was the middle of the night, Anya had promptly smacked her head and suggested “Just cash it in on the app, genius.”

That took nearly another two hours, as they later realized, the picture was too dark, and they’d accidentally filed a report of identity theft. Finally, Anya had murmured, “fuck it”, and with minimal cussing, she’d dragged Lexa to the closest bank that had just opened around nearly seven in the morning.

Lexa went around with the weight of Clarke’s love, and disappointment, in her chest. She knew what she’d asked of Raven wasn’t easy, but Anya was right. Her behavior had called for the grandest of gestures.

She could think of nothing grander than the great chandelier that lit the store they’d just entered, seconds after the “We’re open” sign had been flipped to display out on the front window. She rambled through rows of glass counters filled with items brighter than her future, and ten times as costly.

This was it.

“Hi!” A man, who’d been standing in what could only be described as an overly fitting suit, so tight it almost made his eyes pop, stepped forward. “I’m Marcus. May I assist you ladies in finding anything today?”

Marcus. Lexa thought. Why did the name almost sound familiar?

“Uh, yes.” Anya cleared her throat, clearly startled by how he seemingly popped out of the shadows. “I’m looking for something that says “I love you, and I fucked up, but not so badly that I had an affair, but I mean still pretty bad.”

Lexa gaped at Anya, expecting to be thrown out of such an environment for such blatant trashy language.

Instead, Marcus grinned. “I have just the thing! This way.” He waved his hand, and Anya smirked at Lexa, who followed numbly.

“You know.” Marcus sighed, tapping on the glass case as he reached for his keys, bending to reach the lock. “I was dating a woman, once.”

“Interesting.” Anya quipped, and Lexa smacked her arm.

“Yeah, but uh…She was stolen right from under my nose.” Marcus “The gem he used actually looked a hell of a lot like this one.” He sniffed disdainfully.

Lexa cocked a brow. This couldn’t have been…Marcus Kane, could it?

Lexa’s eyes widened, and she shook her head. “You know what? I…don’t think that’s the one.” She balked.

Anya rolled her eyes. “Can you maybe not be so choosy?”

Lexa’s eyes narrowed. “With this? I think I will be, thank you very much.”

“I think we’ll just browse for now, thank you.” Lexa nodded, and Kane offered her a tight smile.

The process didn’t take very long. That wasn’t for lack of trying, however. Anya had her eyes on nearly every item in the store. Lexa, however, knew she found the one. If Anya had stopped her motor mouth, they could have left the store in record speed, too.

“Anya?”

“Lexa, this one. It screams divorce.”

“God, no. Stop. Look at thi-”

“Lexa, this one. It’s a little pricey, but- OH, god, never mind. Ha, who can even afford that? Jake couldn’t even-”

“Anya!” Lexa snapped, causing several employees to turn their heads and glare disdainfully.

“Jesus, what?” Anya sighed, coming over to stare at where Lexa’s had been perched over, grip against the glass counter, peering at its contents.

“Whoa.” Anya breathed suddenly, freezing in shock.

“Yeah… Whoa.” Lexa nodded slowly. 

Kane seemed to feed off their consumer energy, sensing that they were about to spend their salaries. Practically striding over, he grinned wildly. “What have we here?”

“It’s perfect.” Lexa shook her head in amazement. “I’ll take it.”

Kane grinned. “Excellent. For her?” He motioned up to Anya.

Anya and Lexa spent a good solid minute gaping at each other in horror.

“Oh, god no…” Anya shook her head.

Lexa mirrored her reaction, the two looking apart awkwardly.

“…Very well.” Kane nodded confusedly, shaking his head.

“…Actually…” Lexa murmured hurriedly. “How quickly can you do an engraving?”


 

“Where are you? Where are you where are where are you-” Raven mumbled to herself, eyes peeled as she stared at her phone, occasionally peering up to see if Clarke was alright.

Clarke had cried herself to sleep, but she hadn’t officially slept until about five in the morning, desperately waiting for a call, or a text that never came.

Raven could hear her dejected sniffling all through the night, from where she’d parked herself on the couch.

All Clarke had gotten from Raven was that: Anya was alright, and that Lexa was long gone. With that news registering in her addled brain, she simply stopped the thoughts that plagued her before, and curled into a deep sleep, likely dreaming of Lexa.

She’d told Raven to go back to her own room, and to just leave her in peace.

Raven, with a heavy heart and an even heavier conscience, had done just that, checking on Clarke one last time before slipping into her own room, waiting nervously for Anya and Lexa, who’d been keeping her updated via text.

She had no idea what they’d been planning, but it had to be damn good. Clarke was just about in shambles, and Raven knew her to be a tough one.

So, it was no surprise when, an hour later, that Raven heard a tentative knock on her hotel room door.  Raven checked to see Anya and Lexa through the peephole, suitcase dragged behind them, looking absolutely exhausted in every sense of the word.

Raven flung the door open, yanking them inside, shutting it quickly behind her.

“What is the matter with you?” Raven hissed, turning to face Lexa.

“Raven.” Anya clicked her tongue in annoyance.

Lexa just blinked knowingly, the guilt evident on her chiseled features. “I messed up.”

“Hell yeah you did!” Raven whisper-yelled, as if she were fearful that Clarke could hear them from next door.

“She already got a tongue lashing from just about everyone.” Anya rolled her eyes. “Cut the theatrics.”

“Hey.” Raven grumbled. “I’m Clarke’s best friend.”

“She is, actually.” Anya jerked her head towards Lexa.

Raven rolled her eyes. “Listen.” She poked Lexa in the chest, though it had been well established that Lexa was singlehandedly capable of kicking her ass. “I don’t know what the hell you think you’re doing, but I know you took the check. Why are you back here?”

Lexa took in a sharp breath. “Raven-”

“Clarke loved you! Loves you! And you…what? Hit it and then quit it? On her birthday?”

Lexa winced at that. “I was scared, I wasn’t thinking, I…I…Raven-”

“You know what? I mean, you’ve got some nerve coming back here at all, let alone asking for me to-”

“Raven.” Lexa sighed as she reached into her pocket, carefully unveiling what she and Anya had just so painstakingly suffered to buy.

“Is that….?” Raven breathed, eyes going wide, a faint hint of a smile pulling at her lips.

“Yes.” Lexa replied calmly. “I need to see her.”

“Yeah?” Raven blinked. “Did you…uh…did you try her door?” She seemed absolutely stunned.

“It was locked.” Anya sighed. “Clarke’s not answering. We tried calling her.”

“I think she’s asleep.” Raven nodded. “Poor kid was up all night waiting for your ass.” She jerked her head to Lexa, who bit her lip in shame.

“The longer you wait, the worse this gets.” Anya shrugged, sitting back with a huff.

Lexa felt the rays of morning sun greet her through the window, and she blinked, taking a step forward. Her eyes scanned the balcony, taking in every inch of the railing. “I think I have an alternate route.” She murmured.

Anya shot out of her seat. “Oh, Lexa, god no. You’re not thinking-”

“It’s time I returned the favor.” Lexa nodded, her lips twitching into a little half smile.

“Wait.” Raven sighed. “Are we seriously doing this?”

Lexa stiffened. “We are not. I am.”

Raven sighed, clapping Lexa on the shoulder. “Can you just…be careful? Clarke will kill you if you die.”

At that, Lexa furrowed her brow, and stepped out into the open air.

She thought of Clarke’s first acrobatic attempt, back at the apartment, rose in her mouth like some cheesy comedy film. Lexa had loved her then, and Lexa was head over heels for her now.

A little height wasn’t about to stop her from letting Clarke know.

Peering around the edge of the separating wall, she nodded to herself. She could do this, for Clarke.


 

The incessant knocking on Clarke’s hotel room door was driving her insane. She hadn’t gotten more than maybe five or six hours of sleep, and tearful hours at that. She’d gotten up and dragged herself into the shower to cry more, as soon as Raven had left her apartment. She’d decided that, if Lexa wanted to break her heart, then she was at least allowed to mourn properly. If she wanted to spend the whole day holed up in their- no, her hotel room, that was her prerogative.

“Shut up, Ray!” Clarke called as she pulled on her shorts, towel drying her hair with little enthusiasm. “I really don’t feel like talking.”

There it was again.

Knock.

“Ray!” Clarke called from her bathroom, gritting her teeth.

Knock.

She rolled her eyes as she pulled herself into the living area, reaching for a mug, pouring water into it to make an instant coffee that tasted about as appetizing as it sounded.

Knock.

“Oh, for the love of-” Clarke ground out, whipping around to open her hotel room door.

To her surprise, she found nothing. No one, not even those annoying kids from down the hall whom she and Lexa had seen playing “ding-dong ditch” with the floor’s other guests.

“What…?” Clarke’s eyes widened slightly.

And then she heard her voice. Her favorite voice in the world, the voice that was currently haunting every waking (and dreaming) second of Clarke’s miserable existence.

“Clarke?” Lexa’s voice, shaky and present, sounded again.

Clarke whipped around, cerulean eyes widening at the sight, gaping as she dropped the coffee mug, watched the handle shatter off as it rolled uselessly around the floor. “Lexa?!” Clarke gasped, blinking, as if she were to disappear in a moment.

Lexa was there, in all her glory, donning her jacket and looking ridiculously tired with her messy bun and her mildly scared expression.

And then there was the fact that she was on the balcony, floors and floors above the ground. Had she-

“Did you…?” Clarke breathed, not even thinking as she hurriedly came over, unlocking the door.

Lexa nodded slowly, realizing that her voice was choked up again. She hated and loved the way Clarke rendered her so defenseless, so broken and emotional.

“Clarke.” The only word, choked as it was, uttered from Lexa’s lips before Clarke pulled her into a hug, burying her face in Lexa’s shoulder, taking in Lexa’s scent, the feel of her arms tentatively wrapping around her.

“Oh, god, I was so worried about you!” Clarke breathed into Lexa’s shoulder, her heartbeat erratic and untamed.

Lexa took in a breath, taking in the smell of Clarke, her shampoo, her protective embrace and husky voice that made her weak in the knees.

After a moment of deep breathing, Clarke realized that Lexa was shaking her head.

“Clarke…” She whispered. “I’m…I…”

“You left.” Clarke supplied, taking a step back. “Were we ever going to talk about it?”

To Lexa’s surprise, her voice didn’t carry nearly as much anger as she’d assumed it would.

“I ran.” Lexa nodded. “I…I was so scared.”

“I know.” Clarke agreed softly. “I could tell.”

“But Clarke I…” Lexa shook her head, tears welling in her emerald gaze. “I love you. I…The guilt was overwhelming, and I panicked. I thought that you could move on from this, from…us…”

Clarke bit her lip, tears pricking at the back of her eyes, similar to Lexa, before her. “How could I?” She whispered.

“And then…You gave me…a family, and you. A home, Clarke.” Lexa sniffled. “I’d never had anything like that and nothing ever lasted for me, and I lashed out…” She shook her head. “And the truth was, it had been building up this entire trip, and I was afraid to tell you because I thought we’d lose what we had…So I went and wrecked it anyway.” She shrugged helplessly.

“Hey.” Clarke took a step forward, jaw setting. “Do you remember what I told you, the night you were crying during the family photos?”

Lexa blinked, and Clarke continued.

“I told you never to apologize for feeling the way you did.” Clarke murmured, tentatively reached forward to cup Lexa’s cheek. “I just wished you could have told me, instead of causing yourself all this pain.”

Lexa leaned into Clarke’s touch, sighing slightly. “But Clarke…Oh, god. You should be mad. You should be furious. It was your birthday. Clarke, everyone was here, they saw-”

Clarke gave her a cheeky smile, the same one Lexa fell in love with from day one, to the three am pizza calls, to the ramen noodle burning dinner dates. “So?” She scoffed.

“So?” Lexa breathed. “Clarke, I embarrassed you, I told your father the truth…I basically did everything that best friends aren’t supposed to do.” She mumbled dejectedly.

Clarke nodded, biting her lip. Lexa thought she cared about what her family thought, after all that. All Clarke cared about was Lexa, her safety, her happiness. Everything else was simply…secondary. Even if she wanted to be angry, which she didn’t she wasn’t sure if she could’ve been with the tender, apologetic, self-hating look in Lexa’s eyes.

Clarke knew she didn’t mean it. Clarke knew she never wanted to hurt anyone.

But Clarke had to know.

“You came back.” Clarke let out breathily, shakily, almost.

Lexa nodded slowly, looking as if she were going to speak.

“My dad said he gave you the check, and you took it.” Clarke murmured. “He said he told you to stay away, if you couldn’t reciprocate.”

“And yet, here I am.” Lexa offered her a shaky smile, and Clarke swiped at the tear on her high cheekbones with her thumb.

“What happened, Lex?” Clarke breathed. “You did it. You got what you came for, right?”

“No.” Lexa shook her head almost instantly. “Clarke…you were right. I…I got as far as the airport.”

Clarke nearly winced at that, but wanting Lexa to continue, she only nodded, coaxing more out of her.

“And I didn’t even try to get a ticket, or go anywhere…I just sat.” Lexa sniffled. “I sat and I realized that, after this week, I’m not sure if I can even function without you. I thought about everything you told me, all we shared…” She cut herself off, resting her arm at Clarke’s elbow. “I figured I’d do this right.”

“Do what right, Lex?” Clarke murmured, watching her with a curious expression.

Lexa smiled tearfully at her before reaching into her pocket, kneeling on one knee. The small velvet box she produced had Clarke gaping at her, hand rising to cover her mouth. ‘

“Lexa?” Clarke breathed cautiously.

“Just…hear me out.” Lexa replied with a soft smile. “This isn’t what you think it is.” She opened the box, revealing a simply stunning ring, immediately catching the light that reflected on it, sparkling in Clarke’s vision.

“Lexa….” Clarke’s cautionary murmur was muffled by her own hand still. It sure looked like a diamond engagement ring.

“Clarke.” Lexa cleared her throat. “Months ago, you jumped our neighboring balconies, and asked me to pretend to date you. I was already, albeit secretly, in love with you from even then. So I agreed. I hid behind the guise of wanting to help my business, but really Clarke, I…I just wanted to be closer to you.”

Clarke felt herself smiling hazily, tearfully through her locked gaze with Lexa.

Lexa took a breath, and then continued. “And then, imagine my surprise, when Clarke Griffin said she shared the same feelings, and that she loved me too.” She breathed as if it were still a fresh revelation, one she’d never tire of hearing. “And I have never experienced something as amazing as your love, Clarke…” Lexa paused to recollect herself. “So I panicked, and I did the unthinkable…I left you. In front of your friends, your parents…No amount of apologizing could ever repair that.” Lexa seemed weighed down by her own words, and Clarke grazed her fingertips against Lexa’s shoulder, as if to say everything was forgiven, alright.

“Clarke…” Lexa breathed. “Last night, I came to the realization that I couldn’t move on without you. I didn’t want to. And yesterday, you told me that we’d already been through every phase of a relationship together. And while I know you can never be bought, and Clarke, I’d never try…I wanted something permanent. To show you, and me, and the rest of the world, that I’m anchored to you. That I’m yours, and that I’ll stay that way, even when I’m nervous, anxious, scared…if you’d still have me, of course.” Lexa swallowed the lump in her throat.

Clarke was smiling through her hand, tears adorning her cheeks as well. Lexa wanted nothing more than to reach up to kiss them away, but she had to earn the right.

“This ring doesn’t have to mean anything you don’t want it to. Just like the bracelets…” She murmured, motioning to Clarke’s wrist. “It’s just a reminder that I love you. You were right. We’ve done everything absolutely out of order, backwards and completely erratic. Nothing about us is traditional. A few months ago, Clarke, you asked me to be your fake girlfriend, just like this, on your knees, on a balcony you treacherously crossed, and I said yes. Now, Clarke, I’m asking you to be my real girlfriend, permanently. I’ve already got the balcony…” Lexa bit her lip. “All I need is you.”

Clarke shook her head in disbelief, tears flowing down her face as she breathed, “Yes, Lexa. I’ll be yours.”

Lexa grinned up at her, and Clarke swore she felt the world fall back to its normal pattern, resuming its incessant turning, and the breeze acted back up again, guiding Lexa’s hands forward as she slid the ring onto Clarke’s finger before Clarke helped her rise.

Clarke made the move, reaching out to wrap her arms around Lexa’s neck as their lips met in a soft, tender, whisper of a kiss, ruined by Clarke’s smiling into Lexa’s lips.

“I love you, Lexa Woods.” Clarke murmured, leaning forward to steal a kiss once more.

“I love you more, Clarke Griffin.” Lexa replied without hesitation, cupping Clarke’s cheeks as she leaned forward to kiss away her tears. “I’m so sorry.” She sighed/

“Hey.” Clarke’s jaw set, and she tightened her hold around Lexa’s waist. “It’s done. We’re going to work on everything together from now on, alright?”

Lexa nodded, and Clarke pressed another quick kiss to her jaw, tugging her girlfriend into the hotel room.

“I cannot believe you did that.” Clarke breathed, shaking her head.

“You did it back at the apartments…” Lexa reminded with a playful tone.

“Right, but that was…there was no wall, dividing the balconies. How on earth did you get around that?” Clarke asked, pulling Lexa to sit with her on the couch.

“Yoga.” Lexa responded sagely, for the billionth time on that trip.

Clarke shuffled into her lap, straddling her as she turned to face her, admiring her ring with a stupidly blissful smile.

“It’s engraved.” Lexa whispered, arms securing Clarke around her.

Clarke’s brow shot up and she gently rolled it off her finger, glancing at the titanium ledge on the inside. Sure enough, lightly enough to be mistaken as a glare, it read: “Dork.”

Clarke gasped, slapping Lexa on the shoulder, both of them grinning like idiots. “You did NOT.” Clarke huffed, slipping the ring back onto her finger. “Now I have to get you one.”

“Good luck.” Lexa whispered, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “They’re hard to come by.”

Clarke smiled and then immediately stilled in Lexa’s arms, frowning. “Lex?”

“Clarke.” Lexa replied softly, concern dripping into her tone. “What’s wrong?”

“How did you afford this?” Clarke mumbled, eyeing the ring. It was so clearly real, and so clearly out of the average budget. It rivaled Octavia’s, and Lincoln’s business was making more than enough to be called successful.

“Using part of a business investment I hope to pay back a million-fold.” Lexa murmured honestly.

Clarke’s heart dropped. “Lex, you…you didn’t spend Dad’s check on this, did you? You…you needed it for your business, and I-”

“Clarke.” Lexa breathed. “You’re more important. He told me to spend it wisely, so I did. I kept enough to put aside for the business, so I can hopefully pay him back, some day.”

Clarke felt tears threatening again. “Lexa…”

Lexa smiled, leaning in to press a kiss to the tender area of Clarke’s neck. “Let me worry about that. You just…enjoy your birthday, my love.” Lexa reminded softly. “In case I forgot, Happy Birthday Clarke…”

Clarke smiled, leaning into Lexa’s touch. “This is the best birthday of my life…” She groaned when Lexa paused, glancing up at her.

“Really?” Lexa quipped, shooting her a look of disbelief.

“Well, minor setbacks, but let’s just pretend the day started with you on my balcony.” Clarke grinned. “I guess Octavia was right.” Clarke whispered in Lexa’s ear, hands going around Lexa’s neck.

“How’s that?” Lexa asked gently, her lips tickling Clarke’s neck as she spoke.

“We kind of got engaged.” Clarke giggled at the very sound of being Lexa’s fiancée. “Even if we are just…taking it slow.”

Lexa smiled against Clarke’s skin. “Everyone kept asking. I felt inspired.”

“You know?” Clarke hummed against Lexa, her voice dropping, becoming huskier with each word. “I’m feeling pretty inspired right now.”

“Oh?” Lexa mumbled against her. “Can I assist you with that, Ms. Griffin?” She slid on hand up Clarke’s shirt, Clarke getting chills as Lexa ran her hands over Clarke’s bare back as she leaned in to draw out Clarke’s bottom lip between hers.

“God, Lex.” Clarke whined softly into her mouth. “Ever since last night I was-”

A hefty knock on the door caused both of them to jump apart, and then Raven’s voice sounded out from behind the door.

“Uh…You two okay in there? I spent ten minutes staring at the floor and Lexa never went splat, so I think it’s safe to say you said yes?”

Clark groaned into Lexa’s shoulder, burying her head in her warmth. “No one kills the mood quite like Raven fucking Reyes.”


 

Lexa’s hand, nervously laced with Clarke’s, was shaking slightly as Jake slipped in through their hotel room door, having been summoned by Clarke’s texts.

“Relax, Lex.” Clarke pressed a quick kiss to her hand, and Lexa all but melted.

“Hey honey- Whoa. And Lexa.” Jake’s brow shot up as he shut the door behind them, leaning against it with a huff. “Now I think I know what the urgency was about.”

“Dad…” Clarke sighed, motioning to the chairs before them. “Why don’t you sit?”

“Think your old man can’t handle a little drama standing up?” Jake offered her a light smile, and then his eyes caught the glimmer of the diamond on Clarke’s left ring finger. “You know what?” He wheezed, eyes wide. “I think I better sit. Is…Is that?”

“Yes.” Clarke smiled, pulling Lexa to sit beside her.

“Mr. Griffin…” Lexa began, but the murderous glare he shot her made her stop dead in her tracks.

“I thought I told you…” Jake began, rubbing his chin. “To call me Jake.” He quipped with a smile.

“Jesus, dad, could you not give her a stroke?” Clarke rolled her eyes, giving Lexa’s hand a squeeze.

“Sorry, dad humor.” Jake sighed. “I’m trying to break up the tension.”

“There isn’t any.” Clarke ground out exasperatedly.

“Right.” Jake nodded, eyes taking in Lexa with what could only be described as a knowing smile. “So, kid, you came back, huh?”

Lexa cleared her throat. “You told me not to come back, unless I could reciprocate what Clarke felt for me…” She reminded softly. “I thought of the best way to show Clarke…to show everyone how much I love her, and-”

Jake held up a hand, allowing her to stop mid-sentence. “I see.” He nodded. “So, you two are engaged, now? Is that it?”

Clarke bit her lip. “Sort of…we’re just taking it slow, we…” She glanced at Lexa.

Jake narrowed his eyes slightly. “Really?”

“What?” Clarke defended like a petulant teenager.

“Are you really together?” Jake asked lightly. “Or…Is there a sale at Nordstrom and you need a wedding check or something?”

Lexa winced and Clarke rolled her eyes. “Lexa, he’s kidding. He’s being a jerk, too.” She responded pointedly.

“Sorry.” Jake defended meekly. “It’s just…forgive me for this, but you two are giving me whiplash. Weren’t you leaving, last night?”

“Dad.” Clarke interrupted, but Jake held up his hand.

“Sorry, sweetheart. I’m not interrogating, I just want to understand is all.” Jake turned to Lexa, a coaxing smile on his features.

Lexa nodded taking a breath. “I left not because I didn’t love Clarke, or I doubted that. I left because I felt guilty, and I thought Clarke deserved better.”

Jake nodded, trying to ignore the way Clarke looked like she was going to tear up. “So what changed, if I may ask?”

Lexa sighed. “Nothing. I still think your daughter deserves the very best in the world, sir. I just…would like to try, every single day, to be that for her, instead of leaving.”

Jake grinned, taking Lexa’s hand in his own. “Now that’s the solution I was hoping for.” He smirked, sharing a quiet smile and moment with Lexa. “I knew you’d spend it well. Well, if this is legitimate, and you two are happy…I’m happy. Kid, there’s no one I’d rather see Clarke with.” He leaned forward, kissing Lexa’s forehead, and then Clarke’s, looking particularly smug at his daughter.

“What?” Clarke demanded, grinning at him.

“I was right.” Jake shrugged coolly, brushing off his legs as he stood.

“About?”

“Life.” Jake smirked. “It all worked out, didn’t it?”


 

“Can you fucking believe this shit?” Raven grinned, holding up Clarke’s hand to inspect it in the elevator.

“No.” Clarke smirked triumphantly, squeezing Lexa’s hand in her right hand as they descended down in the elevator to confront the family for lunch.

“Believe it.” Anya grumbled, leaning against the elevator. “Because we stayed up all night to make it happen.”

Lexa offered Clarke a tired smile, leaning against the wall of the elevator.

“Poor baby.” Clarke smirked, her tone overly saccharine. “How ever will I make it up to you?”

“Jesus, I think I liked you two better when you were fighting and not engaged.” Raven fake gagged, her lips pulling into a smile when she saw Lexa lean down to kiss Clarke’s forehead out of the corner of her eye.

“Well, at least you showered.” Anya rolled her eyes at Lexa. “We were going to get thrown out of the jewelers.”

“I like you wearing my jacket.” Clarke smirked up at Lexa, their hands lacing once more. “You should wear more of my stuff.”

“Oh, god, come on!” Raven sighed. “We’re in a confined space.”

“Have you two lovebirds figured out what you’re going to say to the family?” Anya questioned, ever businesslike. “I mean, Jake and Abby are the only ones who know why Lexa stormed out. You can chalk it up to a fight and leave it at that, now that you’re…engaged.”

Clarke and Lexa grinned at the words. “We’re not engaged. We’re dating.” Clarke corrected with an eye roll. “With…rings.” She grinned once more.

The doors opened and the girls made their way to the restaurant, chatting lightly between themselves.

“Right, okay, and I’m the Queen of Siam.” Raven rolled her eyes. “Seriously, this is gonna be one weird family brunch. Is anyone else tired of hearing Aurora constantly brag about Octavia and Lincoln all the time? It’s like she has a crush on their relationship. Weird, right?”

Anya nodded. “Yeah, Abby’s about ready to stab her.”

They stepped into the restaurant, and of course, their table was the longest one towards the back, already bustling with chatter and laughter. Finn and Murphy were throwing what appeared to be spitballs at Jasper and Monty, while Bellamy and Jake appeared to be arm wrestling on their end of the table. Lincoln sat with Octavia, the two of them disgustingly cute as they spoon fed each other various dishes, which Clarke found to be incredibly unappetizing.

Of course, Abby and Aurora sat together, with Aurora excitedly going on and on about something, while Abby nodded and sipped on her mimosa with a grim expression.

They all turned when they saw the four girls enter, grins plastered on their faces at the apparent peace between Clarke and Lexa.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CLARKE!” The table chorused, and this time, while it was completely cliché and expected, Clarke seemed to grin, feeling Lexa’s hand squeeze hers.

There was no awkward air, or tension. No one seemed hellbent on murdering Lexa, so that was good.

Instead, Clarke came forward with Lexa, taking the two available seats beside Abby and Aurora.

“Hey you two.” Abby smiled at them, reaching to squeeze Clarke’s hand. Instead, her fingers settled on the diamond ring and her jaw dropped, a hand coming to her cheek. She gasped, and Clarke winced, squeezing her eyes shut in embarrassment when Abby turned to Aurora, who’d still been incessantly babbling about how beautiful Octavia was going to look in her dress.

“Look, Aurora!” Abby was in hysterics, and Jake was smirking from his end of the table. So he hadn’t ratted them out. “Suck on that! My baby’s getting married now too! Ha!”

“Mom!” Clarke gaped, and Lexa stifled the snort of laughter she’d so desperately just experienced.

Aurora, as well as the whole table glanced up, jaws dropping.

“No fucking way…” Octavia mumbled, spoon dropping from her hands as it clattered to the table.

Now it was awkward.

Lexa smiled at the table, feeling something warm blossom in her chest as Clarke protectively slid an arm around Lexa’s waist, tugging her close against her.

She was with her family. She was with Clarke.

Lexa was home.

Chapter Text

 

Home had never been more welcoming, after the week Clarke and Lexa had endured. There were no more prying eyes and questions, no more judgmental gazes or appearances to keep. They had returned to the place where it had all started. Where they had started. They’d left as fake girlfriends, and returned as real, actual fiancées. It was, quite honestly, the greatest feeling in the world, for both women.

Everything that had happened within the last 48 hours felt like too much of a dream sequence to be real to Clarke. Confessing her love for Lexa, making love to Lexa (which, in its mind-blowing splendor, was the best she’d ever had), losing her, and regaining her all within the span of two days. And then of course, there was the matter of the proposal.

Everything was absolutely perfect.

“Here we are.” Clarke brushed her fingers against the thin layer of glazed paint that coated the wooden door to her apartment. Her apartment? Was that even a fair assessment, anymore? Now that she was engaged to Lexa- and god, just thinking about it made her giddy- was anything actually hers?

Did they live together?

Were they just supposed to slip back into their own apartments after all they’d been through?

Clarke didn’t want to push Lexa into anything she was uncomfortable with. She’d been floored when Lexa proposed, as she’d thought their relationship was ending. Despite it being the greatest surprise of her existence, she was aware of what an accomplishment it was for her: To put herself out there, heart and soul, at Clarke’s mercy. To depend on someone other than herself. To love someone for what might have been the first time since she’d met Aden.

So naturally, when they paused at their respective doors, suitcases in hand, idly avoiding each other’s gazes, Clarke made the first move to speak.

“Well, uh…” Clarke cleared her throat hesitantly, trying not to acknowledge the way Lexa’s leather jacket and tight jeans made her feel an insatiable heat within her. And they’d already attempted fixing that. On the plane. “I’ll go inside and unpack.”

Lexa nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat. “Yeah.” She blew out a puff of air. They were engaged, for the love of god. It didn’t need to be awkward.

Clarke stepped into her apartment, shutting the door behind her as Lexa went into hers, respectively. Clarke slid back against the door, heart heavy. She closed her eyes, and sucked in a breath. Lexa wasn’t comfortable moving this quickly? Too bad. Clarke needed to live with her fiancée.

Clarke spun around, blonde locks whirling over her shoulder as she tore the door open, blinking in shock when she found Lexa standing there, lips parting slightly in surprise.

They’d been alone for approximately ten seconds.

That was ten seconds too long.

“We’re so dumb.” Clarke breathed, throwing her arms around Lexa’s neck as she placed a searing kiss on her lips, unsurprised to find Lexa picking her up, her thighs wrapping around Lexa’s waist.

“The dumbest.” Lexa grinned against her lips, hands supporting Clarke’s weight as she pulled away for a split second to consult with Clarke.

“So.” Clarke breathed, forehead pressed against Lexa’s. “I have to say…I don’t think I can live without you.”

Lexa smiled against her lips, slight confusion in her emerald gaze. “That’s sweet, but am I going somewhere?”

“No.” Clarke paused. “I mean, like, live here without you. We just spent a whole week living together, sleeping in the same bed…I want that to be our life. I know you said you wanted to take things slowly, and that the ring was just a symbol, but-”

Lexa smirked, placing a quick kiss to Clarke’s neck. “I only said that because I didn’t want to worry you. I want a life with you, Clarke, all aspects included.”

“You’re so hot when you’re domestic.” Clarke quipped, smiling when Lexa rolled her eyes. “So…which apartment?”

“Mine.” Lexa’s response was instant. “My things are already organized, coded, and labeled. You have paintbrushes in your underwear drawer.”

Clarke rolled her eyes this time. “It’s called passion, Alexandria. Please get some, nerd.”

Lexa smiled softly at her, sucking gently on Clarke’s bottom lip. “Was last night not passionate enough? How about this morning?”

“Why don’t we make it an uneven three times right now?” Clarke suggested huskily, giggling when Lexa kicked the door shut behind her, their luggage and worries long forgotten with the brisk slam of the door.


 

Within just a few months, Clarke and Lexa had settled into a routine. Clarke’s apartment was promptly sold, (after they repaired the gaping hole in the wall, as neither Clarke nor Lexa had a need to spy on their neighbors any longer).

No one bought it.

Raven and Anya, who were still going strong, though living in their own respective apartments, had tried.

Clarke and Lexa dissuaded them heartily, enjoying having the relative privacy on their floor. As Lexa had quietly put it, one night after one too many glasses of wine, “Clarke’s too loud for us to have neighbors.”

Clarke hid her smile behind the guise of an offended pout, and that little interaction had disgusted Anya and Raven to the point of no return.

As soon as Clarke was sure that Raven and Anya were out of earshot, she had whipped around and embraced Lexa with a smirk, muttering, “That was really good, babe. Just like we practiced.”

They kept the floor to themselves, and Clarke was free to be as vocal as she pleased.

In terms of business, Lexa’s business had taken off, courtesy of Jake’s overly generous donation. Lexa had secured her own floor of the corporate building she’d always admired, and in just a month’s time, she found herself needing an entire building of her own, as her customer base nearly tripled when they’d caught wind of Jake switching over as a customer.

Clarke had never been prouder.

Every morning at seven, Lexa followed her daily routine with the discipline of a soldier. If Clarke was fortunate enough to be awake, Lexa would greet her with soft kisses and touches before her second alarm rang, and she was out of bed and into the shower before Clarke could protest.

Clarke, on the other hand, always woke up while Lexa was showering, and snuck into the kitchen to work on breakfast, often in nothing but her underwear, cheekily enjoying the way Lexa struggled not to stare, let alone make it to work without turning on her heels and jumping Clarke.

And then, the two began the tortuous split for their respective jobs. Lexa went to her building, while Clarke began the day’s commissions, the two of them working until their brains protested and their limbs felt numb with effort.

The evenings were their absolute favorite moment of every day. The evenings were an oasis of life, laughter, and rejuvenation in the cruel desert of working life. Lexa would come home in the evenings, unable to contain her grin upon seeing Clarke, no matter how stressful or tiresome her day had been.

She’d learned, rather early on, that none of it mattered without Clarke. Her job was never to be prioritized over her fiancée, and Lexa never felt the divide.

The first thing they did, upon reuniting after a long day filled with “I miss you” reminder texts, was kiss. Slow, sweet, and tender. Lexa would caress Clarke’s cheeks and murmur soft sentiments like “I love you” or “How was your day, Clarke?”

Clarke would, in turn, say something along the lines of “How was work, beautiful?” (Occasionally, if Lexa was in a grand mood, Clarke would greet her with, “What’s up, Nerd?” For old time’s sake, she claimed.)

And of course, dinner was never, ever made for Lexa.

While a great many things had improved with their new life together, one thing was absolutely steadfast: Clarke was perhaps the “suckiest cook in existence”, in just about everyone’s words.

Lexa was more than happy to compensate, as Clarke would often uncork a bottle of wine, and settle on the counter (which Lexa might have complained as being “unsanitary”, before their engagement), happy to watch Lexa at work.

They’d blissfully share meals, gossip (remaining true and loyal to their roots as best friends) and curl up on the couch to watch something of their choosing.

And, like always, Clarke would glance up to notice Lexa smiling down at her, Clarke’s head laid across her lap.

Lexa would tell her, every single time, “Clarke…I’m so lucky.” It was always shy, reserved, an incredibly intimate side of Lexa, unearthed by the wine and the comfort of Clarke’s embrace.

Like always, Clarke would lean up to lace her arms around Lexa’s neck, straddling her lap. She would lean forward towards Lexa’s neck and pepper gentle kisses there, working her way up to Lexa’s lips. They’d spend nearly an hour like that, the kisses, the quiet murmurs of affection. Clarke learned that Lexa, while once timid and fearful of voicing her affections, had no such reservations with Clarke. She would nuzzle Clarke gently, their noses brushing together, her plump lips grazing every inch of Clarke’s face, carrying whispered “I love you’s.”

Sometimes, it would end there. They’d be too exhausted to move, and they’d retire to bed.

Other times, (most times), Clarke would feel a familiar fire in the pit of her stomach and subconsciously grind down on Lexa’s lap, enjoying the way Lexa’s lips parted to form a shocked, “Oh.”

Clarke would place a suckling kiss on Lexa’s neck and whisper, “Take me to bed, Lexa.”

And of course, who was Lexa to deny her fiancée?

No matter what, despite the various ways they came to end up in their final resting position, sheets strewn and panting, they always fell asleep in each other’s arms.

And that was Lexa’s nightly reminder that she was the luckiest woman in the world, and that she’d found a home, in the arms of Clarke Griffin, her socialite artist neighbor, whom she once thought she had absolutely nothing in common with.

She’d roll into Clarke’s open arms, and accept the soft kisses on her forehead. She’d watch the glow of the moonlight cast a silvery reflection into their bedroom, lighting Clarke’s face. She’d listen as Clarke’s breathing evened and became deep and silent. And then, she’d allow her mind to wander.

It wandered to the nights where she’d barely had a substantial meal, her growing body in desperate need of proper nutrition. It wandered to the nights where she’d blankly gaze out the window of whichever house, or apartment, or car she’d been in, wondering why everyone else was given the privilege of a home, and why the universe hated her. Her mind wandered to the nights in college, where her “friends” were all visiting their families during the break, leaving her alone with her ambitions, her lonely thoughts.

And then, when her chest was aching, and hollow, her mind wandered to the first day she’d met Clarke, and it was like her life had been dominated by moonlight and dark nights until then. Cliché as it was, Clarke was like the sunlight she so desperately longed for. Clarke was bright, happy, a reminder that life didn’t have to be something to conquer, rather, something to enjoy. Clarke was annoying, loud, and obnoxious. Clarke was also kind, caring, and sociable.

Clarke was everything Lexa had ever wanted to be, and she had everything Lexa coveted in life: a family, loyal friends (aside from Anya, the only person whom Lexa had loved dearly, at the time), and of course, financial stability.

And while Lexa had sat in her apartment, bitter and envious, Clarke had extended all of those things to her. And that was before their entire family reunion ordeal. Lexa had truly fallen in love with Clarke before she’d ever leapt the balcony like a madwoman and proposed they lie to her entire family.

Lexa had fallen for Clarke when, at three in the morning, after she lost Costia (whom she believed to be her one shred of happiness), feeling more alone than ever, Clarke had kept her company through the cheap, irreparably thinning wall on her side of the apartment. Clarke didn’t demand discussion, or attention. She was simply there for her. She was Lexa’s friend, and really, Lexa had never known something so beautiful.

Naturally, when Clarke brought her into the family, and loved her the way she had, Lexa loved back.

And now Lexa was so happy, so full of love and appreciation, that she hardly remembered a time where she was anything less.

“Lex.” Clarke’s warm breath tickled her ear as she registered her lover’s voice with a soft whimper of the heart.

“You’re up?” Lexa whispered softly, reveling in the feelings of Clarke clinging to her waist, pressed up against her, leaving no room at all.

“Have I ever told you…” Clarke mumbled, her lips latching onto the tender skin of Lexa’s neck, eliciting a soft sigh from the brunette. “That you think way too loudly?”

Lexa felt the ghost of a smile tug at her lips. She wasn’t ever sure how Clarke knew, how Clarke was always so in sync with her thoughts and her emotions, but she cherished it. “Sorry.” She whispered.

“Mmm.” Clarke hummed, kissing her neck in a gentle trail. “Do you want to think out loud?”

Lexa took a breath. Months ago, she would have leapt at the chance to empty her feelings out, to sort them and compartmentalize them, to suppress them and stow them away. She would’ve killed for the chance.

But being Clarke Griffin’s fiancée was a cathartic experience, and Lexa was left feeling completely sated.

“No.” Lexa turned in her grasp, so that she was face to face with Clarke, her blue eyes looking grey in the dim lighting.

“I love you.” Clarke whispered softly, smile on her features.

“I love you too, Clarke.” Lexa murmured, eyelids heavy, content to spend the rest of her life in that very position.

Ever since proposing to Clarke, Lexa always fell asleep with a smile on her face.


 

“Okay.” Lexa took a breath, eyeing the schedule laid out on her phone with cautionary glances. “We can do this.” She calmed herself, repeating the words like a mantra. “We can do this.”

Clarke was leaning against the counter beside her, lips quirked in a thoroughly amused smile.

Lexa glanced up, and, upon realizing Clarke’s expression, narrowed her eyes. “What?” She demanded.

Clarke’s smirk grew. “You’re…such a nerd.” Clarke jerked her head to the leather bracelet, sitting familiarly on Lexa’s wrist, almost hidden from the crisply rolled collars of her suit jacket, which Clarke adored and yet wanted nothing more than to rip off.

Lexa bit back a fond smile. “Yes, we’ve established this, once or twice before.”

Clarke sighed happily, popping a piece of toast into her mouth, glancing at the clock. Ten minutes before Lexa had to leave for work. “What’s stressing you, nerd?”

Lexa’s eyes widened at the fact that Clarke even had to ask. “Clarke…” She began exasperatedly. “We have a flight at four-thirty, an evening dinner appointment with your family, and we have to pick up our dresses from the dry-cleaners, for the wedding. Also, you have to deliver your finished work to the gallery, and I have…” Lexa glanced back down at her phone. “Seven meetings, all before then.”

Clarke grinned after she swallowed a bit of toast. “Being engaged to me is hard, isn’t it?”

Lexa nodded as if she were agreeing, but a pleased smile found its way to her lips. “I think being engaged to you is the only reason my life is any good.” She noted aloud.  

Clarke’s heart skipped a beat, like it always did whenever Lexa opened her mouth. “You’re lucky you’re such a sap.” She mumbled, leaning forward to kiss Lexa’s cheek. “Oh. Lex. Fun fact: Did you know weddings are supposed to be fun?”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “Octavia and Lincoln are…incredibly carefree, for a couple that’s to be married in three days.”

Clarke grinned. “That’s because they’re in love. And happy. It’s this thing you experience when you love someone.”

Lexa huffed out, “Weddings are…notoriously hard to plan, Clarke. They require months upon months of planning, setting aside a calculated budget, choosing the proper venue-”

“So.” Clarke cut her off with a wry smile. “Are you saying you don’t ever want us to get married?”

Lexa’s pouty lips pulled into a loving smile as she pressed Clarke against the wall, gently peppering her neck with kisses, mumbling in between. “Are you kidding, Clarke? I would marry you right now. I would marry you ten times over.”

Clarke’s brows shot up. “Ten weddings? With your inability to handle stress? Yeah, right.” She teased, letting out a giggle when Lexa’s arms tickled her sides.

“I’ll show you stress, Griffin.” Lexa teased, watching as Clarke writhed in her arms, eventually collapsing all of her weight there. Lexa steadied her with ease, leaning in to press a soft kiss to Clarke’s lips.

“I’ll miss you.” Clarke sighed against her lips.

Lexa quirked a brow. “For the…six hours I’ll be at work before we leave for the wedding together?”

Clarke nodded, looping her arms around Lexa’s neck. “I love you, Mrs. Griffin.” She tested the waters.

Lexa smiled, giving Clarke’s hips a soft squeeze. “I love you more, Mrs. Woods.”

It sounded so right. Lexa couldn't wait to be married, truthfully.

Sometimes, Lexa would get an overwhelming rush of emotion. It was happy, bright, blinding and warm. It was Clarke. It was the realization that Clarke was hers. It was the realization that she had a home, and a loving family, absolutely eager to see her.

Not just Clarke.

Lexa, too.

Raven texted her and often times showed up to her building. Sure, sometimes she even scared off Lexa’s clients, what with her talk of her wild relationship with Anya, but they were friends.

Octavia kept in contact with Lexa on a daily basis, texting her and telling her stories about how lame Clarke was as a teenager.

Lincoln turned out to be incredibly compatible with Lexa, and the two bonded over the weekend game on TV, business deals, and the antics of their fiancées.

Abby’s demeanor had shifted entirely. Once she’d witnessed the extent of Lexa’s affections for Clarke, and how true they were, the animosity was gone. Instead, it was replaced by gloating, competitiveness, and showboating. Though, this time, it wasn’t aimed at Lexa.

Rather, she gloated about Lexa.

Clarke was rather amused by all this, and Lexa was overwhelmed. She’d never really known the feeling of having a mother who’d been proud of her achievements, before.

It made her feel whole.

And then, of course, was Jake.

Lexa’s greatest ally. Her favorite person in the world, aside from perhaps Clarke and Aden.  

Jake would often call her business, and redirect new clients to her office. But their relationship was so much more than a professional one. Jake sent her lame “dad joke” emails, as Clarke had dubbed them, even after she’d scolded him, telling him that Lexa was a busy woman and that his “lameness” was needed elsewhere. Jake called her specifically when Clarke was out, just to gauge her genuine feelings, and to offer parental advice on the occasional bump in the road.

When Lexa’s business made headlines for the first time, local headlines at that, Jake still snapped a picture of the online copy of the article and posted it to Instagram with two thumbs up, stating: So proud of my daughter.

Clarke pretended not to notice when Lexa’s eyes misted over and her smile wavered from sheer, absolute happiness.

Lexa donned his watch with unmatched pride.

Years ago, lying in her bed at night, staring up at the blank ceiling, Lexa never would have imagined that happiness would have found her at all, let alone in the form of perfection that was Clarke Griffin, her beautifully annoying neighbor.

And now?

Now, she couldn’t possibly imagine a life without her, and they were planning an actual, honest to god future together.

All because Clarke had stumbled into her life.


 

“Ms. Woods?” The shrill voice of Lexa’s secretary, Charlotte, echoed through her office as she pushed the glass door open.

“Charlotte?” Lexa sighed, removing her glasses as she ran a hand through her hair, glancing up in slight annoyance for the mental math she’d just ruined.

“You have a visitor.” Charlotte announced as regally as she could, blocking said visitor from view.

Lexa glanced at her watch, eyes wide. She only had thirty minutes of work time left, and no one scheduled. She’d skipped lunch to make all her meetings, and Clarke would kill her if she were late to take her to the airport.

“What?” Lexa shook her head frantically. “Charlotte, no!” She hissed. “Who is it? Can’t they see I’m not taking any more-”

“Ms. Woods.” Charlotte implored, looking terrified to have cut her off.

“What idiot would barge into my office-”

“This idiot.” Clarke gently pushed past Charlotte, holding a bag of takeout in her hands, smirking.

Lexa reddened immediately. “Clarke?”

Charlotte winced. “I tried to warn you.”

Lexa’s eyes narrowed and Charlotte fled for safety.

Clarke leaned against the doorway, eyeing Lexa up and down. “Oh, baby, you’re a ball of stress, aren’t you?” She teased.

Lexa stood immediately, ever the gentlewoman, hands up apologetically. “I had no idea it was you.”

Clarke’s smile softened as Lexa approached. “Oh? I’m an exception?”

Lexa rolled her eyes at Clarke’s teasing, leaning down to kiss her in greeting.

“You skipped lunch, didn’t you?” Clarke sighed against her lips. She handed the bag over to Lexa. “Your favorite. Chicken salad, dressing on the side so it’ll be fresh.”

Lexa sighed in bliss, leaning down to kiss Clarke once more. “Have I told you how much I adore you, Clarke Griffin?”

Suddenly Clarke was pushed forward, stumbling into Lexa’s arms as the door swung open, revealing Raven Reyes, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Well, look at that. Making out on the job.” Raven tutted, smirking at Lexa’s scowl. “Tacky, Woods.”

Lexa cocked a brow at Clarke, who looked sheepish enough.

“Guess who’s maybe-kinda-sorta coming on the flight to Octavia’s with us?” Clarke mumbled quickly. “Surprise, babe.”

Lexa’s jaw dropped. There went her glorious time with Clarke. “Have I told you how much I hate you, Clarke Griffin?” Lexa teased, smiling when Clarke nipped at her bottom lip affectionately.

“Oh, Jesus.” Anya’s voice sounded behind Raven, and Lexa glanced up to see her friend leaning against the doorframe. “What is this, a porno? You used to have standards, Lexa.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, and Clarke joined her this time. “Clarke.” Lexa sighed in surrender, reaching for her coat, trying not to notice the way Clarke’s eyes devoured her in her business suit. “I thought it was clear that, when I said I wanted children, I meant…someday. Not now, and certainly not them .”

Clarke grinned, but Raven cut her off. “Whoa there, mathlete . If anything, you guys are our children. We put you together. You forgetting that?”

Anya smirked. “She’s got a point there, kiddo.” She threw an arm around Lexa. “Should we go wait in the limo?”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “I don’t have a limousine.”

“Could’ve fooled me.” Raven whistled lowly, eyeing Lexa’s office. “You really got this far off Daddy Griff’s check?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, pushing Raven and Anya out the office door. “No. She got this far by working hard and not listening to you geniuses. Now, wait out here. We’ll be out in a sec.”

Raven smirked. “Office quickie?”

Clarke groaned in exasperation. “This is gonna be a long week.” She shut the door and turned to Lexa, watching her file all of her papers into her briefcase. “Sorry about those two.”

Lexa gave her a smile, and Clarke realized that she likely hadn’t heard half of what they were saying anyway.

“You’re really preoccupied up here, huh?” Clarke murmured, leaning forward to kiss Lexa’s forehead.

“Yeah.” Lexa began awkwardly. “Well, no, actually.” She sighed. “She mentioned children…”

Clarke’s brows furrowed. “Yeah, she did. Did that make you uncomfortable?”

Lexa was biting her lip, quite a nervous habit for the usually stoic girl as she began moving about the office, settling things for her one week leave. “No.” She finally replied. “That’s not- Not what I was trying to-”

Clarke’s eyes widened as she watched her fiancée move in such a strange fashion, as Lexa was usually formal, curt, and to the point with everything she voiced. “Lex?”

“These don’t belong here.” Lexa muttered to herself, shaking her head at a stack of papers near her desk. “Charlotte!” She called, moving about hurriedly. “I can’t leave these here or else- Charlotte!” Lexa called again to no avail.

“She’s on lunch break, Lexa.” Clarke spoke firmly, stepping forward to softly grab Lexa’s shoulders, forcing her virid gaze onto Clarke’s. “What’s going on? What’s upsetting you?”

Lexa took a breath and shook her head. “Clarke, it’s nothing.” She promised. “My head is just…swimming.”

“With what?” Clarke tried once more, gently pressing a kiss to Lexa’s cheek. “You seemed fine, a minute ago.”

Lexa remained silent, and Clarke nodded slowly to herself, reaching out to gently squeeze Lexa’s hand. “Okay, I get it. You don’t want to talk about it. That’s fine. Just know- I’m here, okay? Whatever it is, whenever you’re ready- I’m here.”

Those words, above all else, seemed to pacify Lexa as she nodded, a small smile forming on her lush lips.

Clarke mirrored it, happy to have been helpful in the slightest.

“I love you.” Lexa murmured, leaning down to kiss Clarke softly.

“I love you too.” Clarke reciprocated before motioning to the door. “C’mon. We’re gonna be late.”

Lexa nodded, tossing her bag over her shoulder as she linked hands with Clarke, feeling her ring brush against her finger. It sent tingles down her spine, knowing she was engaged to Clarke.

She knew she could tell Clarke anything, without fear of judgement. That wasn’t the issue. She knew she’d come around and tell Clarke, eventually. But for now? Now, she just wanted to enjoy a relaxing week off, and a wedding, with Clarke and her family.


 

“Isn’t this amazing?” Raven threw her arms around Clarke and Lexa’s shoulders, stepping in between them and slicing through their linked hands, separating the couple.

The flight had been long and tiring, and the group had barely had the chance to catch their breath and stick their belongings in their hotel rooms before they were summoned down to dinner by Abby’s thirty-two overly excited texts.

Anya walked behind them, amusedly taking in her girlfriend’s antics. Lexa swore that before their last family reunion trip, Anya would have decked her by now.

“What’s amazing?” Lexa sighed as she glanced at Clarke, who smiled apologetically at her.

“This is where we left the family.” Raven tutted, as if she were disappointed that Lexa didn’t know what she was referring to. “You two, awkwardly walking into a hotel restaurant to face the whole family…Our great adventure continues.”

Clarke rolled her eyes and knocked Raven away, stepping forward to link hands with Lexa once more. “It’s not awkward.”

“Sure it is.” Raven supplied. “I mean…Really? You’re gonna let Lincoln and Octavia get married first?”

“Oh, god, you sound like my mom.” Clarke snapped, glancing up at Lexa. “And we’re waiting for the right time.”

Anya snorted. “Lexa has unlimited patience. You’ll be waiting well into the next century.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, shooting a glare at Anya. “Well maybe if you shut-”

“My daughter!” A familiar, somewhat shrill cry from the back of the restaurant sounded, and Lexa’s gaze snapped up just in time to catch Abby, who’d thrown her arms around Lexa warmly, enveloping her into a hug. “Oh, sweetie, how are you?”

Lexa blinked in shock, and Clarke gaped from behind her. “Who are you, and what have you done with Abby Griffin?”

Abby snorted, turning to Clarke to press a kiss to her head. “Hello to you too, honey.”

“Are those the kids?” Jake’s voice sounded, and Lexa once again found herself in a bear tight hug. “Hey kiddo.” He grinned, leaning down to kiss Lexa’s forehead, then Clarke’s. “Hey champ.”

“Mr. Griffin-” Lexa began, but then paused when Jake cut her off.

“Nope. Try again.” Jake smirked.

Lexa blushed. “Sorry, Jake-”

“Wrong again.” Jake teased. “Aren’t you usually quite bright?”

Lexa looked dumbfounded. “I’m sorry, I-”

“It’s dad.” Jake grinned, and Lexa felt some unknown emotion well up inside her. “Well, it will be soon enough, anyway.”

“I…uh…” Lexa swallowed the lump in her throat, forming a smile. “Hey, Dad.” She tried meekly.

Clarke squeezed her hand, as her parents turned to greet Anya and Raven. “Wanna go say hi, babe?”

Lexa nodded, a dumb smile on her face as she followed Clarke to the head of the table, where Lincoln and Octavia had just risen to greet them.

“Hey Lexa.” Lincoln gave her a perfect toothy smile, reaching out to pull her into a hug. Lexa felt her heart leap slightly. She’d forgotten what family felt like. It was so sweet. She felt almost greedy at how much she enjoyed knowing that they, every single one of them, even the strange one, Jasper, was her family.

Soon, anyway.

“Hey Lincoln.” She offered gently as Clarke and Octavia squealed and pounced on each other. “Congratulations.”

“Thanks.” He smiled, elbowing her gently. “You’re next, I hear?”

“I guess so.” Lexa nodded, taking in his crisp suit. “How’s business?”

Lincoln chuckled. “Okay, I’m officially dismissing business talk for the evening, but before I do, let me just say….As an investor, I’ve been keeping an eye on your startup and…Shit, Lexa. You’ve been kicking ass.”

Lexa couldn’t help the proud smile and blush that tinted her cheeks. “Oh, I-”

“And there’s Sexy Lexy.” Octavia smirked, releasing Clarke from her vice-like grip.

Clarke rolled her eyes, immediately blushing. “Can you please shut up about that?”

Octavia snorted. “What you think she doesn’t know? Little late for that Clarke.” She held up Clarke’s ring on her hand, and it glinted under the lights. “You’re getting married.”

Lexa winked at Clarke reassuringly, and Clarke narrowed her eyes at Octavia petulantly.

“Still pissed about that, by the way.” Octavia teased. “Trying to steal my spotlight, Griffin? You’ve always been the jealous type.”

“If anyone’s gonna be stealing a spotlight here, it’ll be me.” Bellamy boomed from behind Octavia, stepping forward to pull Clarke in for a hug. He pulled back and grinned at Lexa, and she reciprocated, feeling foolish for ever having felt threatened by him in the first place.

Clarke wanted her.

“So, has she turned into Bridezilla yet?” Raven drawled, drawing the attention of the group.

“Who, O?” Lincoln shook his head amusedly. “Uh, no. Her mom’s taken care of that. And then some.” He jerked his head to a table in the corner, where Aurora sat, talking incredibly animatedly to a woman in an elegant suit and dark hair.

“Hot fucking damn.” Raven whistled, and Anya nodded her approval. “Who’s the chick?”

“My mom?” Bellamy sputtered incredulously.

“No, dipshit, the one I haven’t known for over a decade.” Raven snarked.

“Oh.” Octavia heaved a sigh of relief. “That’s Alie. She’s our wedding planner.”

Lexa’s brow cocked up at that, and Clarke could just feel the idea surging within her fiancée. “How is she?” Lexa asked, perhaps a bit too quickly.

“She’s amazing.” Octavia gushed, just as Lincoln muttered, “She’s insane.”

Clarke quirked a brow. “Mixed reviews?” She questioned.

Octavia sighed, looking guilty. “Okay…yeah. She’s amazing, really. But she also scares the shit out of me. Me .”

Lincoln shook his head in exasperation. “She’s expensive, firstly. Also…” He leaned in close, looking somewhat fearful. “I think she’s a robot.”

Octavia snorted, slapping him on the arm. “He’s exaggerating.”

Lincoln cocked a brow. “I don’t exaggerate. She’s a demon.”

Raven smirked. “A robot, you say? Good thing mama knows a thing or two about… engineering .”

Anya’s brows shot up and her eyes narrowed. “How would mama like to lose a few fingers?”

Raven threw her hands up. “…And the attraction is gone.” She shook her head. “But hey, team Clexa could use a planner…”

“Don’t call us that.” Clarke snipped, glancing up at Lexa’s cloudy gaze. “Lex? You’re not seriously-”

“I’m considering it.” Lexa shrugged meekly, watching as Alie rose from her seat, red lipstick matte and threatening.

Aurora came to greet everyone, Alie smiling stiffly by her side, thick binder in her arms, pressed against her chest.

“Everyone! Welcome! I know you’re not all here yet, your friends will join us tomorrow! Oh, and by the way, this is Alie, our wedding planner.”

Lexa threw her arm forward, reaching out to shake Alie’s hand. “Lexa Woods.” She stated formally, Clarke recognizing her business tone.

“Oh, yes, Clarke and Lexa.” Alie tilted her head and formed a small smile. “Aurora has told me that you might be possible clients. We can discuss this over dinner, if you’d like.”

Clarke’s brow shot up suspiciously. “…What do you have there?” She asked curiously, leaning into Lexa’s side.

“Oh, this is a multi-indexed account of all of Lincoln and Octavia’s wedding information. It’s actually the smaller, less detailed version I carry around when I’m not at the office.”

Clarke gaped. “That’s the smaller one?”

Alie nodded. “Of course. If you’ll excuse me, I have to check with the florists. Enjoy yourselves.” She whipped around on her heel, and left Clarke staring after.

Lexa turned to Clarke with a childish grin. “Clarke, she’s perfect.”

Clarke gaped. “Lexa. She’s…. terrifying.”

“I know!” Lexa grinned giddily. “Imagine how perfectly she’ll execute everything. Oh my god, Clarke, do you think she’d have a special divider dedicated to candles?”

Clarke’s eyes widened as her jaw dropped even further. “Are you serious? You have a lady-boner for little miss R2-D2 over there?”

R2-D2?” Lexa questioned, ignoring Clarke’s look of exasperation. “Oh! Because you think she acts like a robot?”

Clarke shot her a look as if to say “ Really ?”

Lexa clicked her tongue in annoyance, but she smiled, leaning down to press a kiss to Clarke’s lips. “Not the same kind I have for you.”

Clarke smiled, rolling her eyes as she tugged Lexa down for more. “You’re such a nerd.”


 

“Clarke.” Lexa nudged Clarke discreetly under the table in the middle of the light dinner conversations, watching the way the chandelier reflected bright glints of diamond in Clarke’s blue eyes.

“Hmm?” Clarke glanced away from her conversation with Raven with a furrowed brow, concerned for her fiancée.

“Abby.” Lexa murmured lowly. “…Has been stabbing her steak.”

Clarke cocked a brow. “What?” She glanced over at her mother, noticing that while Aurora was prattling on about how fantastic Octavia and Lincoln were, Abby was in fact impaling her steak rather than cutting it.

“Whoa.” Clarke murmured, eyes widening. “We should cut her off before she breaks through the dish and ends up paying for it.”

Lexa nodded in agreement. “You should.”

“What, me?” Clarke hissed. “No, you.”

“Me?” Lexa gaped. “She’s your mother, Clarke, you should-”

“-Fine, fine.” Clarke sighed. “I’ll distract her.”

Raven turned to Anya with a grin, Bellamy watching them carefully. “Bets?” She mouthed, and Bellamy smirked.

“Hey. Linc. You got a pen in that suit of yours?” Raven whispered hurriedly and Lincoln cocked a brow, pulling a pen from his breast pocket questioningly. Raven thanked him hurriedly and created a tally on her napkin, one for Aurora, one for Abby.

“Twenty bucks says Abby’s winning this one.” Raven leaned across Anya to whisper.

Bellamy nodded, smirking. “I don’t know. My mom’s pretty wound up.”

Raven grinned as she turned her attention to Clarke.

“Um, hey.” Clarke cleared her throat, a pleased smirk on her features. “Mom. Did you know Lexa landed the Walters’ account? The really big one?”

Abby’s head snapped up, and before Clarke knew it, she had raised a demon. “Oh?” Abby grinned at Lexa. “That’s fantastic, honey.”

Raven clicked her tongue. “One for Abby.”

Lexa’s cheeks reddened slightly, though the lighting was dim, Clarke knew her well enough. “Thank you. I actually-”

“Lincoln’s firm has really taken off.” Aurora snipped. “He’s quite the businessman.”

“One for Aurora.” Anya supplied in a whisper.

Lincoln shook his head modestly. “Well, actually-”

“Lexa was in the paper.” Abby came back hard. “Named one of the hottest entrepreneurs in the city!”

“Oh, nice, nice.” Raven grinned. “One more for Abby.”

Clarke swallowed the lump in her throat, squeezing Lexa’s thigh. They’d gone and done it now.

“Octavia’s modeling career has just been flawless.” Aurora gushed. “Did you know she-”

“Does that count?” Raven tutted to herself. “Fuck it. Why not? One for Aurora.”

“Clarke’s art was featured in Dante Wallace’s gala last week!”

“Nice, Griff. That’s a point for you.” Raven murmured to no one in particular.

Clarke felt her mouth go dry. “Well I was paid double to-”

“That means you can afford to double your wedding size!” Abby shot a sly little smirk in the direction of Aurora.

“Shots fired. That’s another for Abby. Come on, Blake, fight back.” Anya smirked.

Aurora glanced in Abby’s direction wryly. “The ballroom here is well equipped to deal with at least two-hundred people, Abby. That’s how many people will be in attendance. It’s quite the affair.”

“Point for my mom.” Bellamy hissed lowly.

Octavia and Clarke were sharing exasperated looks, while Lexa and Lincoln politely continued their meals.

“Oh?” Abby nodded, as if she actually had any intention of submitting. “Well, Clarke was always little miss popularity in high school, and college. And now, Lexa is a gifted business executive. Their wedding will be doubtlessly large-”

“Oh boy. Abby strikes again.” Raven grinned.

Clarke’s eyes widened when she saw where this was going. “Actually, mom, we were thinking of a smaller get-together-”

Is four hundred about right?” Abby asked through gritted teeth, clearly trying to one-up Aurora.

Lexa choked on her wine, and Clarke bit her lip as she gently patted her back, watching as Raven snorted from across the table with delight.

“I fucking love family dinners.” Raven whispered and Anya agreed with a small grin.

“F…four hundred guests?” Lexa stuttered slightly, trying to regain her composure. She glanced to Jake for some assistance, but he was grinning into his mashed potatoes, utterly wordless. “Actually, Abby, we were hoping for more of a…quaint affair. Something…intimate.”

“Intimate?” Abby scoffed. “Lexa, honey, intimacy in a relationship is a luxury. You’re marrying someone you can settle down with.” She tutted, and all eyes flew to Jake, who had now begun choking slightly on his meal.

“What is it with heteros and depressing relationships?” Raven grumbled as she reveled in the beauty of the awful dinner conversation.

Aurora smirked. “Octavia and Lincoln are incredibly intimate, Abby. Maybe my baby is…truly lucky.”

“Ouch, Aurora gets two points for that burn.” Raven rolled her eyes.

“Mom!” Octavia reddened, and Lincoln’s eyes went wide as he tossed back his wine desperately.

“Oh?” Abby cocked a brow. “Clarke and Lexa are intimate all the time.” She fired back.

“Oh no.” Anya whispered.

“Oh, fuck yes.” Raven eyed the twenty Bellamy was already fumbling for. “Come to mama.”

Clarke and Lexa both stiffened, turning towards each other with a look of horror. “No, mom, don’t-”

“In fact, just the other day I received a text from Clarke that I strongly believe was meant for Lexa.” Abby smirked triumphantly, so pumped in the heat of the moment that she likely didn’t realize what she was revealing. “Well, either that, or Clarke…Honey…we have to talk about boundaries. And your choice of sexual imagery-”

“Oh my fucking god.” Clarke buried her head into the table, beside her plate, watching as Lexa coughed up a storm, and Jake blinked as if he’d been slapped.

“Damn, Reyes.” Bellamy grumbled as he tossed the bill to her. “You lucked out.”

“You accidentally sexted your mom?” Raven grinned, ignoring him while reaching into her back pocket for her phone. “Wait! I need to capture the moment for your wedding album, O.”

Anya rolled her eyes, snatching the phone out of Raven’s hand with a pointed look.

Lincoln cleared his throat, tugging at his collar slightly as he clapped his hands together. “Um. Who wants dessert?”

Raven smirked. “Clarke wants some sugar, apparently.” She snorted. “God, I love this family.”


 

“Lexa.” Clarke sighed tiredly as she stepped out of the bathroom in her designated sleep tank top and shorts, her top riding a little high, the way Lexa had come to adore.

Lexa was seated on the bed, glasses on, diligently perusing through her work notes. She was already changed and showered, beating Clarke to the punch like usual.

“Hmm?” Lexa hummed absently as she thumbed through the pages, holding up her phone to dig into her sizeable email notifications.

“Tell me you still want to get married?” Clarke asked, towel-drying her blonde locks with slight apprehension.

Lexa dropped the folder in her hands, watching it clatter to her lap. She glanced up at Clarke, eyes wide slightly. “W... what? Clarke, of course I do. Do you not?”

Clarke gave her a wry little smile to let her know she was only teasing. “Oh, of course I do. I just meant, with how disturbing this family is…are you sure you want to marry into it?”

Lexa rolled her eyes, wordlessly patting the edge of the bed as she put her work items onto the nightstand.

Clarke smiled as she climbed into bed with a sigh, turning to face Lexa as she felt familiar arms encircle her.

“Are you kidding, Clarke?” Lexa breathed softly, peppering gentle kisses on Clarke’s face. “I lov e it.”

“Really?” Clarke cocked a brow, haughty smirk in place. “You loved the shitshow that just went down between my mom and Aurora?”

“Well.” Lexa bit her lip. “Maybe not that part entirely, but…it was quite amusing.”

“Our sex lives were discussed in front of my mother and father, Lex.” Clarke grumbled. “Amusing to you, maybe.”

“Well hey…” Lexa smirked, leaning in to draw out Clarke’s lips into a kiss. “Apparently you and I are lucky. We have quite the… intimate …relationship.”

Clarke rolled her eyes but found herself melting at her lover’s lips anyway. “I cannot believe that came up.”

Lexa paused thoughtfully, taking the opportunity to pull Clarke closer to her. “Why are they so competitive?”

“Oh, that’s ancient history, Lex.” Clarke mumbled, arms securing themselves around Lexa’s waist. “My mom knew Aurora in high school. We’ve always been neighbors, and close family friends. We got a Treehouse, the Blakes got a bigger one. We got a pool, the Blakes got one double the size. O and Bellamy were never really competitive with me, though. So I guess it didn’t transfer a generation.”

“That is…” Lexa bit her lip. “Incredibly lame.”

Clarke grinned, leaning forward to trace kisses against Lexa’s skin.  “We’re the victims now.”

“Victims?” Lexa queried innocently.

“You see, our wedding has to be amazing, because Aurora was in charge of theirs, and it looks pretty damn good. And if we let my mom near ours, it will go up in flames.” Clarke explained amusedly. “So…we’re screwed.”

Lexa snorted. “Clarke, if it were up to me, it’d be you and I, immediate family, married somewhere scenic, like the beach. Small ceremony, romantic honeymoon.”

Clarke seemingly got a shiver at Lexa’s words, snuggling closer to her as Lexa pulled the sheets over them. “Right, well, my mom wants to invite four-hundred people, so…Guess again.”

Lexa’s face turned to one of curious confusion. “Clarke…I don’t think I even know four-hundred people.”

Clarke smirked. “I do. All of my exes-”

Lexa rolled her eyes, but smiled when Clarke planted a soft kiss on her jaw.

“I’m kidding, Lex.”

“I know. Back in our neighboring days, I was the hot one.” Lexa smirked, causing Clarke to chuckle against her.

“Mhmm, miss “ I play chess by myself on Friday nights ”. Really sexy.”

“Worked on you, didn’t it?” Lexa mumbled tiredly, kissing Clarke’s head as she turned to shut off her lamp, the last source of light in the hotel room.

“It did.” Clarke agreed softly, burrowing into Lexa’s warmth. “Lex?”

“Clarke?” Lexa answered softly.

“…We could always elope.”

Lexa snorted gently. “Your mother would skin me alive.”

Clarke laughed, shaking against Lexa as she steadied herself. “True. That just means she loves you.”

Lexa smiled into the darkness at that, feeling Clarke’s arms tighten around her slightly.

“I love you, Lexa.” Clarke murmured gently, as was their evening ritual.

“I love you too, Clarke, goodnight.”


 

The wedding arrived in spectacular fashion, with Alie running a fiercely tight ship. The hotel’s event ballroom was decked out in in brilliant style, thanks in no small part to Aurora’s barking out orders every ten seconds.

Late arrivals included Murphy, Finn, Monty and Jasper, (and Monty’s new boyfriend, Nathan Miller).

The Delinquents were back together, causing havoc at every turn.

Lexa was terrified.

Clarke assured her that they were called Delinquents for a reason, and that it was all perfectly normal. The couple watched as the cake was wheeled into the center of the room, and Murphy took it upon himself to attempt to swipe a finger into the frosting, tasting it far too early ahead of the designated cake cutting time.

Alie, was there in seconds, catching his wrist in a vice like grip that had him cursing and stalking off to Finn’s laughter.

Lexa was absolutely in awe. “Clarke.” She hissed lowly. “We need her.”

Clarke rolled her eyes and tossed back her champagne, turning her attention to Raven and Anya, who’d sidled up beside them, joining them in watching Lincoln sweep Octavia around the dance floor in a saccharine dance.  Aurora was sobbing hideously as she watched her dreams for Octavia become a reality.

“Hey kiddo.” Jake’s familiar baritone voice sounded and Lexa saw him take the vacant seat beside her, smoothing out his suit. “You look lovely as ever.”

“Thank you, Jake.” Lexa replied formally, grinning when he rolled his eyes.

“One of these days you’ll get my name right.” Jake grinned back. “Dad’s gonna stick, soon enough.”

Lexa smiled, sipping her champagne. “I was actually hoping to speak with you.”

“Oh?” Jake nodded, leaning closer to hear her over the music. “What’s up?”

“It’s about the check.” Lexa nervously cleared her throat. “I...um…took the liberty of calculating this year’s profits, and I believe we’ve made more than enough to-”

Jake waved his hand dismissively. “Are you kidding me?” He shook his head. “I don’t ever want to hear about you paying me back again.”

Lexa paled. “Sir, you loaned me nearly-”

Jake cut her off. “Wasn’t a loan. It was a gift.”

Lexa gasped. “What for? I haven’t even-”

Jake reached into his pocket, brandishing his phone. “Lexa, can I show you something?” He interrupted gently.

“I…yes, of course, but-” Lexa wasn’t even able to finish.

“Good. Clarke sent me this…About two weeks ago, I think. Your old man’s losing his memory.” Jake chuckled to himself, skimming through his texts with Clarke until he found it. He turned the screen to Lexa, and on it was a picture Raven had taken of the two of them at the park. Lexa remembered it vividly.

Clarke had leapt onto her back for the photo, grinning as Lexa looked up at her adoringly, hardly buckling under her weight as the fall leaves swayed in the wind behind them.

Lexa wasn’t entirely sure what to say, so she remained quiet, reveling in Clarke’s beauty.

Jake smiled at her. “You said you didn’t do anything. But look. Right here. What’s this?” He zoomed in on Clarke’s face, her eyes glinting with happiness, her pearly smile wide.

It was Lexa’s favorite sight in the world.

“Clarke’s smile.” Lexa responded softly, glancing behind her to where the aforementioned blonde was giggling with Raven. “…I love it.” Lexa added, practically subconsciously.

“I know you do. So do I.” Jake beamed. “And you put it there. In fact, you do every day. I haven’t seen Clarke this happy since she first got into art.”

Lexa felt her heart rate speed up.

“Do you know what Clarke’s smile is worth?” Jake scoffed.

Lexa’s response was immediate. “Everything. Anything.”

“See?” Jake slipped the phone back into his pocket. “And you expect me to pay you for that?”

Lexa sighed, realizing there was no way out of this predicament. Jake was too kindhearted.

“Now.” Jake sighed, putting hand on Lexa’s shoulder. “Enough about Clarke. How are you doing?”

“The business is-”

“Nah.” Jake waved his hand. “Not interested. I’m talking about you, kid. Are you happy? Things going well?”

Lexa nodded, feeling her heart break a little. Nearly everything had been perfect, except for that one, nagging issue.

“Good. You know, I’m your Dad as much as I am Clarke’s. You need some good old fashioned dad jokes, I’m your man.” Jake winked, watching Lexa smile.

“Thank you.” Lexa blinked back her overwhelming emotions. “For everything, Jake.”

He nodded, eyes settling on the dance floor, where Octavia and Lincoln were still in the middle of their dance.

“Jake?”

“Lexa?”

“I was thinking…I should pay for our wedding.” Lexa began, setting her jaw. She was determined.

Jake boomed out a laugh that surprised Clarke, causing her to turn and lift her brow curiously.

Jake leaned forward, pinching Lexa’s cheek teasingly, as if she were a child. “That’s real cute, kid. You’re quite the comedian.”

Lexa smiled sheepishly as she watched him excuse himself to find Abby.

“What was that, baby?” Clarke questioned, leaning her head on Lexa’s shoulder.

“…I offered to finance our wedding.” Lexa grumbled.

“Aww, babe, with my parents?” Clarke smirked. “That’s cute.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, but smiled when Clarke gave her thigh a comforting squeeze.  

Soon, couples began dotting the dance floor, joining Lincoln and Octavia in swaying gently to the music.

Anya and Raven were gone in a heartbeat, joining Monty and Nathan, as well as Jake and Abby. Octavia danced with Murphy, while Lincoln swept Aurora out of her seat with a charming smile.

Lexa’s heart skipped a beat as Clarke laced her hand with Lexa’s, squeezing it gently. She still got butterflies whenever she glanced at Clarke, or whenever they touched. It was incredible, and she had an inkling it was a feeling that would never really go away.

“Should we dance?” Clarke asked gently, smiling when Lexa took her hand, lightly pulling her into an embrace on the hardwood.

“So.” Clarke hummed as Lexa’s hand found her waist, the other gently joining with hers, but not before Lexa pressed a quick kiss to it.

“So.” Lexa echoed, gently swaying in delicate patterns with Clarke.

“This is gonna be us.” Clarke noted as she felt herself subconsciously lean into Lexa’s touch.

“More or less.” Lexa smiled at the thought, glancing at the couples around them. “It’s…strange to think about.” She admitted cautiously.

“What, marrying me?” Clarke asked amusedly. “It won’t be that bad, I’ll stop leaving my clothes on the floor-”

Lexa shook her head, suppressing a laugh. “No. It’s just that…this is going to be my family.” She murmured, motioning to the couples swaying around them. “I’ve never had one, like this. It’s odd.”

“Hey.” Clarke tutted, drawing Lexa’s gaze. “They already are your family, wedding or not. They love you. I love you.”

Lexa smiled gently and Clarke leaned up to press a soft kiss to her lips. “Besides.” She added gently. “You and I? We make our own family.”

Lexa nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat, though she quickly averted her gaze.

“Lex?” Clarke asked gently. “This keeps happening. What’s up, baby? Is something making you uncomfortable?”

They continued to sway as the song rolled on, moving in neat circles. “Nothing you did.” Lexa assured.

“Hey.” Clarke nudged her softly, though they kept form. “We’re supposed to be best friends.”

“We are, Clarke.” Lexa furrowed her brow, as if to question her.

“Then you know you can tell me anything. I told you that you-”

“-Never have to apologize for how I feel.” Lexa finished gently. “I know, Clarke. But it’s stupid.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Lex, I don’t think stupid is in your vocabulary. You can do rocket science in the same time it takes me to calculate a tip.”

Lexa smiled faintly, shaking her head with a sigh. “It’s…about family.” She began gently, the dancing helping to distract her from the humiliation of admitting it to Clarke.

“Ours?” Clarke queried.

“Mine.” Lexa admitted. “I mean, my parents.”

“Nia?” Clarke asked, her voice hardening noticeably.

“No. My birth parents.” Lexa shook her head, pulling Clarke a little closer to avoid bumping her into Octavia and Murphy, behind them.

“Oh.” Clarke bit her lip, unsure of how to broach the delicate topic. Lexa had never really brought them up before. “I thought you never knew them?”

“I don’t.” Lexa admitted.

“But you want to.” Clarke finished knowingly. “You never wanted to before.”

“I wasn’t getting married before.” Lexa pressed softly. “I wasn’t going to marry the most amazing woman and possibly start a family with her…” Lexa trailed off, and Clarke felt her eyes water. She blinked the emotion away, pressing a soft kiss to Lexa’s lips. Their circles were getting slower and slower, though they swayed in time with the music.

“That’s what this is about?” Clarke asked softly.

Lexa shrugged. “It’s stupid. I just…found myself getting curious, surrounded by your family all the time.”

“Our family.” Clarke reminded gently.

“I know. I know I sound unappreciative-” Lexa was cut off, as Clarke shook her head.

“No. Lexa, your feelings are valid. If this is what you want, I’m behind you. Always.” She murmured, and Lexa sighed, leaning down to press her forehead to Clarke’s as they swayed.

“I’m not even sure about what I want. Hell, I wouldn’t know how to find them. And what kind of damaging effects could it have if I didn’t like who they were? What would we talk about? What if they’re not even around, Clarke?” Lexa admitted nervously, back tracking slightly. “All I know is, I want to marry you, Clarke Griffin. You’re enough, for me. More than enough.”

Clarke smiled sympathetically, closing her eyes momentarily, just feeling herself sway with Lexa. She imagined that this was months into the future. She imagined their wedding, complete with the music and the laughter, their family surrounding them.

It was almost perfect.

Almost.

Clarke would be damned if Lexa wasn’t perfectly happy, absolutely blissful in their new life together.

And if she needed to track down Lexa’s roots before they took their vows?

So be it.

Clarke was in love with Lexa, and to make her happy, she’d do anything. She was a woman on a mission.

She leaned up and kissed Lexa, arms encircling her neck as she smiled supportively, choosing to drop the subject. Instead, for now, she settled on: “I love you.”

It was a silent, love filled promise.