There's rage stuck in Clarke's chest, it's lodged beneath her breastbone, behind her ribs. It's a weight that she can't swallow, can't will away.
If Clarke thought for one minute she was strong enough to splinter the wooden walls of the room, she would. She would punch one, just for the satisfaction of her knuckles fracturing its surface and splintering its stability.
She imagines pulling her hand out of the gaping hole, holding its guts in her hand, and finally being able to fucking breathe unhindered.
With a sigh, Clarke tears her gaze from the wall in front of the tub, from the droplets of condensation leaving tear streaks on its surface.
The water of her bath is scalding, the steam draws sweat from her forehead and ignites her skin, but her muscles refuse to be soothed. She is as tense as when she entered, as upset, so she gives up on whatever comfort the warmth could have brought and goes about scrubbing off the coat of filth clinging to her skin.
Clarke shaves off almost 3 months of body hair--scraping her flesh in rough hurried strokes with a dull blade. She doesn't even think to be careful, to worry about cutting herself.
When she dips her head under water the deep red of her hair fades. Her twisted and knotted tresses emerge shades of pink and gold.
Clarke doesn't recognize herself anymore. This is not her hair, not her body, not her life.
Lexa helps her out of the tub and Clarke stands nude as Lexa rubs oil into her wet skin, moisturizing her body and applying some kind of deodorant before dabbing her dry with a thin cloth, and wrapping it around her body.
Lexa gently nudges her the few steps into the bedroom and Clarke takes a seat on the bed so Lexa can tend to the claw marks marring her shoulder.
Clarke's jaw is clenched hard enough to make her teeth hurt, and through her daze, she can barely make out the words coming from Lexa's mouth.
“--No kill marks?”
The rage in her chest grows, heat from the pit of her stomach slithers up and adds to its weight.
“My back isn't big enough.” She says bitterly.
“Shuttup,” Clarke says firmly. She turns to face Lexa, to see the hurt in her eyes and lap up the remorse in her gaze.
Lexa nods softly, her gaze drops and she moves to stand.
Clarke grabs her hand, presses it firmly to the place above her heart. She wants Lexa to feel the erratic pulse, to understand that she is another obstacle, another wall that Clarke wants to punch through and feel break from the inside.
Clarke grips Lexa's chin with her free hand and pulls her in. The kiss is rough and their teeth clink together furiously as Clarke pushes into her.
Clarke licks into her mouth firmly. Teeth nipping her lips sharply. She drags Lexa to the sliver of light separating pleasure and pain and hovers there suspended.
Clarke has Lexa's shirt off in seconds, Then she is falling to her back with Lexa on top so that she can wrench her pants down too.
Lexa's kiss gentles, her hands go from grasping claws to exploring fingers and Clarke is grabbing Lexa's wrists tightly and flipping her onto her back before she makes the conscious decision.
Clarke rocks their hips together harshly, mutual wetness smears across their thighs. Clarke sucks and bites down the other woman's body, groaning into Lexa's flesh as she shudders and moans sweetly beneath her.
Angry marks splotch Lexa’s skin by the time Clarke makes it down to her thighs. She is not gentle while gripping her legs or pushing them up and open before scraping her teeth across Lexa’s clit and flattening her tongue for a long wet swipe.
Lexa comes quickly the first time.
For the second and third, Clarke has her fingers buried as far as possible inside of her. She pretends the rhythmic clenching of her cunt is the beat of Lexa's cold dead heart.
Clarke doesn't give her any reprieve, she crawls up her body and straddles Lexa's face, Her hips rocking insistently before she even sinks down all of the way.
Clarke fists the headboard, her hips jerking against the warm wet of Lexa's mouth, eyes squeezed shut and head tossed back, but she can't get there.
Her shoulders and back are tensed and she can't fucking release.
Clarke detaches herself from Lexa's face and slides down to straddle her. She grasps Lexa's hand and pulls it to her entrance.
Lexa's long fingers immediately go to work, and Clarke rides them as she bites at Lexa's lips.
Clarke's moans are rough, guttural, angry.
She groans into Lexa's neck as she strains against her, biting Lexa's shoulder harshly.
When Clarke comes she has her hands around Lexa's throat, and she squeezes with the intensity of her release.
Lexa stares at her, shallow pants escaping her parted lips as she waits patiently for Clarke to remove her hands.
Clarke can feel Lexa's trachea under her palms, the pulse in her throat under her fingertips, and she almost moans at the powerful sensation.
But there is no fear in Lexa's eyes. Nothing but a gentle empathy that makes Clarke sigh in disappointment and remove her hands.
The deep red welts pressing against Lexa’s neck are crude replicas of Clarke's hands. Clarke takes comfort from them nonetheless.
Lexa falls asleep almost immediately, Her eyelids flickering in sleep, a soft snore punctuating the silence.
Clarke turns her back to Lexa, Wraps herself in the furs from the bed and is not far behind.
In her exhausted slumber on a soft bed, with clean fur, and a pillow, Clarke is still plagued by nightmares.
She is always running, an unknown shadow on her heels, danger tickling the back of her neck. This time in her escape, she flings herself over a cliff and into the waiting water. The air is punched from her lungs with the hard slap of cold on her landing, and her body plunges beneath its surface scraping against rocks.
She wades in until she can stand and the rocks lining the river crumble beneath her bare feet.
When the water touches her thighs and becomes transparent Clarke can see that the rocks she's been stepping on are human remains. She freezes, her stomach emptying on top of hundreds of bodies-- her victims, she's sure.
Bellamy and Lexa watch her from the shore.
“Victory stands on the back of sacrifice Clarke. You're the leader. Those sacrifices are yours.”
“No.” Bellamy shakes his head, “I helped you pull that lever, you aren't in this alone. You aren't the only leader. You don't get to run away.”
“I am.” Clarke Growls. “I do. I burned 300 men alive at the drop ship, I cut a mans throat and watched him bleed out, I let a missile drop on 250 people, I shot the spotter in the head, I shot another man in the chest, I radiated an entire fucking mountain.”
Her body trembles with rage, “I am THE leader of skaikru! I make the necessary choices to keep my people alive. You supporting MY decisions doesn't make them any less mine.”
Clarke's voice is rough from screaming, raw from throwing up but she meets Lexa's stare and gentles her tone, “You were supposed to be there to help me get through this. You were-- ” Clarke's voice breaks and tears spill down her cheeks.
Lexa shakes her head, “To be commander is to be alone, Clarke. We must bear the weight of these atrocities so our people don't have to. Our people come first. And it is for their sake that you must move past this”
Lexa's eyes flick to the space behind Clarke.
The water splashes as Clarke turns to glance behind her, She is still being pursued.
Clarke's heart jumps and she frantically works to make her way to the shore to escape. The tingle on the back of her neck eases down her spine and morphs into terror.
Bellamy and Lexa watch disinterestedly as hands rake Clarke's legs and yank her off of her feet.
Her head is submerged and she is incapacitated by the bodies in the river.
Mutilated corpses and skeletal appendages dig into her flesh preventing her head from breaking water.
Her lungs burn, and panic sets in as her body shakes, twists, and thrashes against the iron grips holding her down.
Clarke gasps awake to the sound of rain pelting the roof, and soft snores.
A quick glance at Niylah shows she is sleeping hard so Clarke doesn't try to be quiet as she emerges from the girl's bed and puts on her newly clean clothes.
There are shadows on the exposed columns of Niylah’s neck, and Clarke is hit with guilt. She should stay and apologize, but It wasn't Niylah’s name she was moaning. It wasn't Niylah’s skin she was biting, or Niylah’s throat Clarke was squeezing.
Niylah knew the previous night wasn't about her. Niylah is sweet, but she is not naive. She was a willing participant, A purposeful surrogate.
Wanheda is being hunted by men and haunted by ghosts, but Clarke is busy being heartbroken, a shell of who she used to be, who she thought she was.
But something in Clarke cracked open during the night, her subconscious finally starting to speak coherently, to merge her two identities.
Clarke will forever be grateful for Niylah’s reprieve.
Clarke gathers up her belongings and the meat from her most recent kill and leaves the trading post before the sun comes up.