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What I'm (Not) Born to Be

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Clarke made sure she was out of sight of the dropship before allowing herself to collapse, leaning back against the closest tree with a groan. The past few weeks had been a gruelling whirlwind, and she was still trying to come to terms with all of it. Being deemed expendable and dropped to Earth as an experiment was about as un-fun as things could get, but at least they weren’t alone on the planet (though that discovery had been somewhat terrifying). None of the Delinquents were sure what to think of these Grounders, but the Earth inhabitants had yet to harm them. Clarke and Bellamy, who had fallen into unofficial leadership, were working on hammering out a truce between the two groups. They had Octavia to thank for all of it, really. She had found Lincoln just as her heat was starting and all the suppressants had been left on the Ark, so that led where everyone expected it to. The more time they spent together, though, the more it seemed like they were truly falling for each other, so it wouldn’t be a loveless mating after all. Whatever the outcome might be in the future, the fateful mating had served well diplomatically so far. And then Raven fell to Earth and Bellamy threw the radio in the creek and sent everybody into angry turmoil again.

And Clarke’s heat was approaching soon, which did nothing to improve her mood.

The omega closed her eyes and just let the smells and sounds of the forest wash over her. It was nice to get away from everyone, even though it wouldn’t last long. For now, she would enjoy the wind in the leaves, the insects, and the…discussion?

Clarke frowned and opened her eyes, listening carefully. She picked up the sound of someone muttering something followed by a paradoxically loud “shh!” in response. The words “she won’t” and “are you sure?” floated to her on the breeze and something about them made her stomach twist. Deciding that stealth would be prudent here, she made her way towards the voices before realising she was upwind of them and they would smell her if she got close. Creeping through the forest as silently as possible, she doubled back around until she was downwind before coming closer to the voices.

“…she’s not gonna put up a fight,” argued one voice. Jasper, Clarke realised.

“You don’t know Clarke. Even in her heat she’s not going to be docile.” That was Wells, her best friend. Or so she’d thought – what he’d just said turned the blonde’s friendship to fear.

Every omega is docile in their heat. She’ll have no problem spreading her legs for us once it really starts, and we’ll be ready for her.” Finn. So much for the nice guy act.

“Remember, though, she’ll be wet enough that we can all take a few turns before one of us knots her. And we’ll have a few days to take turns knotting her, too.” Bellamy. If Octavia could hear him, she’d kill him with her bare hands. If Clarke hadn’t been frozen in terror and if he’d been alone, she might’ve done it herself.

“Guys, she’ll never agree to this and she’ll never forgive you,” Wells protested.

“She doesn’t have to agree. Her body will agree once her heat starts and she’ll thank us for it later,” Jasper waved him off. “All omegas want a good alpha during their heat. We’re just lucky that she’s worthless.”

“Maybe not worthless if we’re getting a good fuck out of her,” Finn remarked, and the others chuckled.

Clarke stayed frozen where she hid in the bushes, her stomach twisting; her blood running hot and cold and she began to sweat and shiver; the world spinning around her as she swayed on her feet. This couldn’t be happening. These alphas – her friends – were planning on taking advantage of her heat and raping her through it. There was no kind way to put it, no way to soften the blow even to herself. The people she thought were friends were planning to gang rape her because she was worthless. The Worthless Omega.

But Wells was a beta. What was his part in all this?

“You’ll keep everyone distracted, right?” Bellamy was saying. “Make sure no one comes along or questions.”

“Don’t worry, I will,” Wells replied.

Clarke’s heart twisted along with her stomach. Her best friend was going to keep watch for the alphas while they threw her over a log and took turns fucking her. He was going to let them.

The omega knew she had to flee as far and as fast as possible, but she was still paralysed by shock and undiluted terror. The thought that forced her to move was the realisation that a fate worse than death awaited her if she didn’t. She tried to move as silently as possible and thought she’d made it out of earshot when, just like in one of the crappy horror movies she and her friends used to watch on the Ark, a branch snapped beneath her foot.

Clarke broke into a sprint, not caring how much noise she made. She heard shouts behind her and someone’s voice yell “I’ve got her!” followed by the sound of crashing through the brush. Sobbing, she pushed herself into a sprint. She’d just broken free of the forest and into a clearing when she was tackled from behind. She screamed as she was pushed to the ground, praying for someone to hear her but knowing no one would.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Finn growled from above her, flipping her over.

“Get off me!” she shrieked. She tried to shove him off but he was too heavy.

“Come on, Princess, it’ll be fun,” he drawled in a mock-soothing voice. “It’ll feel good, I promise.”

“You can’t have me,” Clarke growled through clenched teeth, unable to stop the tears from streaming down her face. Think, she had to think, she had to get out or else it was over, or else they’d break her piece by piece until she was even more worthless than she had been, an empty shell of a person, she had to think, she had to escape…

“You won’t fight once I get started, trust me.” He unbuttoned and unzipped her pants and even the slightest touch made her whole body scream in agony and disgust. Holding her down with one hand, he opened his own jeans and pulled his cock out, stroking it a few times to get it hard. “Come on, Princess, have a taste.”

The very thought of her mouth going anywhere near him made something inside Clarke snap. With a surge of adrenaline fuelled by terror, the omega managed to free one of her arms and punch him in the face. Her fist hit with a sickening crunch and Finn staggered back, blood streaming from his nose. Clarke crawled out from under him and scrambled to her feet. “Don’t you dare!” he threatened as he, too, stumbled to his feet. The omega saw her opportunity and struck, lashing out with her foot and connecting hard.

Finn’s eyes bugged out and his jaw dropped as he gasped for air, cupping his hands over his wounded groin. He choked on his own breath as he fell to his knees, doubling over and vomiting onto the grass. Clarke didn’t stay long enough to watch. She turned and sprinted away from him, away from her friends, away from the dropship, just away.

She sobbed as she ran, fumbling to zip and button her jeans as she did so she wouldn’t fall. Her lungs burned and she thought her heart would beat out of her chest, but she knew she couldn’t stop, not if she wanted to escape for good. She wasn’t completely lost yet, but she wasn’t sure where she was going – away was good enough for now.

The bridge, she realised in a flash. If I can just get to the bridge then the Trikru will be there and I’ll be safe. Please, let them keep me safe. Her purpose gave her a new burst of energy as she pressed forward, barely noticing as the sun sank lower in the sky.

Night had almost completely fallen by the time the omega reached the stone bridge and she nearly wept in relief as she staggered across and looked around frantically, knowing (or at least hoping) there would be Trikru scouts in the area. She wasn’t wrong; she’d barely stumbled a few steps into the trees when she was met by two Grounders pointing arrows at her. One of them had long blonde hair with black roots and Clarke recognized her from previous meetings. “I will swear fealty to the Trikru in exchange for sanctuary from the Skaikru,” the omega gasped as she came to a halt in front of the guards, arms raised in surrender.

The blonde guard frowned and lowered her bow slightly. “Slow down, sky girl. What is it you want?”

Clarke took a moment to catch her breath before repeating herself. “I swear fealty to the Commander and the Trikru in exchange for sanctuary from the Skaikru.”

Both guards lowered their bows completely and looked at each other in confusion before staring at Clarke again. “Why do you want protection from your own people?” the woman asked – an alpha, Clarke could smell now.

The omega sighed. “It’s…not a good story. Can you just please take me to the Commander?”

The alpha – Anya – was silent for a moment before giving her a slow nod. She said something to the other guard in Trigedasleng before turning back to Clarke. “Come on,” she prompted, holding out her hand. When Clarke flinched away, the alpha had a sinking feeling she knew exactly what Clarke’s story entailed. Withdrawing her hand so as not to scare the omega further, the alpha gestured in the direction of the camp and Clarke followed.

They were silent as they walked, the alpha not pressing Clarke for details and Clarke not giving any. The alpha noticed, though, that the girl was shivering and hugging herself as if to ward away unseen spectres. She kept looking over her shoulder as if she expected to actually see them, too. After a time, torchlight appeared in the distance and soon Clarke and the alpha were weaving their way through the tents to the centre of camp. The omega found herself becoming slowly more relaxed as she made her way to where the Commander’s tent rose above the others. The two women halted when they reached the guards.

“The sky girl wishes to speak to the Commander,” the alpha told them, her tone of voice suggesting that it wasn’t a request. The guards nodded, and one of them poked his head through the tent flap, speaking in Trigedasleng. He must’ve gotten an affirmative reply, for he retreated and held the tent flap aside for alpha and omega to enter. The alpha went first and Clarke followed.

Heda Lexa was seated on her throne when they arrived, looking formidable even without her war paint. “Anya,” she greeted the alpha. “Why do you bring a sky person here?” She sounded more bemused than angry.

“She wishes to swear fealty to you in exchange for protection from the Skaikru,” Anya replied with a nod to Clarke.

Lexa’s expression was neutral when she turned to the omega, but her eyes held curiosity. “We’ve met to negotiate,” the Commander said. “You are Clarke, yes?” When Clarke nodded, Lexa continued, “Are you not a leader of your people?”

“I…I don’t think so…not anymore.” The adrenaline was starting to wear off, the day’s events taking their toll. Clarke hugged herself tighter as she tried to control her shivering, but it was no use.

The Commander saw and smelled her distress and stood from her throne, sending out as many soothing pheromones as she could. “What happened?” she asked gently.

“I…” The omega looked up at the Commander just as the scent of her pheromones reached her. Relief washing over her, Clarke allowed herself to break down, tears streaming down her cheeks as she swayed on the spot. She didn’t even realise she’d collapsed until she felt the warmth of Lexa’s arms around her as the Commander lowered them both to the ground. Clarke buried her face in Lexa’s neck and sobbed, clinging to the alpha as she gasped in her soothing scent. Lexa smelled of the forest and the earth and Clarke wanted to curl up and drown in it. Lexa gently rubbed her back and stroked her hair as she cried and her scent and gentle touch slowly began to soothe the omega until her sobs had turned to shaky sighs.

“What happened?” Lexa repeated in a soft murmur.

Clarke took a deep breath to steady herself. “I was resting in the woods when I heard people talking. When I got closer I recognized the voices of some of the alphas and one of my beta friends. They knew my heat was close and they were planning to…” The blonde shuddered and inhaled more of Lexa’s scent to keep calm. “They were going to use me during my heat. Take me and knot me when I was least likely to resist.” Clarke felt Lexa stiffen, but her touch remained gentle.

“Your own people would do that to you?” Anya barely managed the question through her horror and disgust.

The omega nodded. “I turned and ran, but they heard me. One of them came after me and he tackled me to the ground. He tried to…he almost…”

Lexa held Clarke closer and pumped out more soothing pheromones. The omega buried her nose in the Commander’s neck and gratefully inhaled. “I managed to break free and kick him where it counts,” Clarke continued. “I thought I might be safe among your people so I ran here.” She shook her head. “I never thought they’d be capable of that. They were my friends, and they still…”

“Why?” Lexa asked, as much as she hated to. “Why you and not another omega?”

Clarke let out a self-deprecating laugh. “Because I’m worthless. That’s what they all call me. The Worthless Omega.”

Anya and Lexa shared a look of confusion. “Why do they think you’re worthless?” Anya asked.

“Because I’m infertile,” Clarke sighed. “It’s why I was kept prisoner with the others. They executed my father for giving birth to me and the only reason they didn’t execute me was because I wasn’t eighteen yet. That’s why I was kept prisoner: I wasn’t good for anything.”

Tense silence followed her words. “The sky people determine worth by the ability to breed?” Lexa asked through gritted teeth. Clarke noticed that she’d called them “sky people” and not “her people,” which was surprisingly comforting.

“The sky alphas were going to take advantage of you because there’s no chance of you having pups,” Anya surmised in a grim tone that barely hid her anger. Clarke nodded and Lexa gave a sad sigh.

“You are welcome among my people, Clarke,” the Commander murmured. “If you truly wish it, we will accept you as one of our own. What skills do you have?”

“Medicine,” Clarke replied after a moment of thought. “My mom was a doctor and I studied with her a bit. I think I could help be a healer.”

“Then we shall have you train with Nyko once your heat is over. We leave for TonDC in the morning, only a few hours’ march away from where we’re camped now. There is a tent on the outskirts of the village guarded by betas where omegas without mates or intendeds can ride out their heat. Once we reach TonDC you can stay there. For now, would you be comfortable sharing a tent with Anya or would you prefer to stay with a beta or another omega?”

I want to stay with you, Clarke wanted to say as she continued to greedily inhale Lexa’s scent. It was like a drug she couldn’t get enough of. Lexa, for her part, was trying not to show her own enjoyment of Clarke’s scent. The omega smelt of spring and clear skies and morning dew and it was absolutely intoxicating. “I think I’ll be all right with Anya,” she decided, glancing over at the alpha for confirmation.

Anya gave both women a solemn nod. “I won’t let anyone hurt you and I won’t make any advances,” she assured the omega. Clarke nodded her thanks.

“Then I’ll let you both retire for the night.” Lexa had to force herself to pull away from Clarke’s embrace, but she cupped the omega’s face in her hands for a moment. “You’re safe here, Clarke. Get some rest.”

Clarke nodded and both women reluctantly stood. “Thank you. Both of you,” Clarke said, voice hoarse from tears. Both alphas nodded, then Anya and Clarke left for their own tent.

Once they’d gone, Lexa sat back on her throne and buried her head in her hands. Something about Clarke had called to her – called to something deep inside her she’d thought long-buried. She hadn’t felt such a pull to anyone since Costia, and she hadn’t been nearly as drawn to the beta as she was to the sky girl. Part of her wanted to make sure to avoid the omega to be certain she didn’t fall for her.

Part of her thought of golden hair and blue eyes, of spring and clear skies and morning dew, and knew that she had fallen already.

* * *

Anya and Clarke were silent as they made their way to the alpha’s tent. When they entered, Clarke stood awkwardly to the side as Anya laid out spare furs across from her own. “Thank you,” the omega finally managed.

“You’re not the only one,” Anya said in lieu of a reply.

Clarke frowned. “Not the only one who what?”

When Anya looked up from the furs, her gaze was solemn but steady. “Among your people, I would be considered worthless, too.”

The omega gaped. “You’re…?”

Anya nodded. “And yet it has no bearing on my place here. I am still one of the finest warriors among the Trikru. Lexa was my Second before she became Commander.” She settled herself on her furs and Clarke did the same, the two of them still facing each other. “Fertility is not a measure of worth here, and your people are foolish for thinking such.”

Clarke lowered her gaze. “And what the alphas planned to do…”

“…is an offense punishable by death,” Anya finished. “The one who attacked you today would die by a thousand cuts if he were Trikru, and you would be given the honour of the killing blow.”

The omega nodded her relief that such acts were so greatly punished. “Hopefully that’ll happen someday,” she muttered as she lay back on her furs.

Anya chuckled as she did the same. “I would enjoy seeing that, too.” She rolled so her back was to the omega. “Goodnight, Clarke. Sleep well.”

“You, too,” the omega murmured. She sighed as she tried to will herself to sleep. Despite her exhaustion, lingering fear kept her awake. Clarke buried her nose in the furs to see if Anya’s faint scent would help, but it was only mildly soothing. When the blonde did fall asleep it was while she was contemplating Lexa and thinking how much easier it would be to drift off if she were wrapped in the Commander’s scent instead.

Chapter Text

As promised, Lexa and those in her camp packed up and headed for TonDC the next morning. Clarke walked alongside Anya, both women keeping a comfortable silence between them. Part of Clarke wanted to ask more about the Trikru but she was too focused on trying to keep her heat at bay for a little longer. Anya seemed to sense her distress and sent her what soothing pheromones she could.

By the time they reached TonDC, Clarke was already starting to sweat. Anya wasted no time in leading her to the tent set aside for omegas’ heats, gesturing for a few beta guards to follow. One of the betas began to explain to Clarke how everything worked: she would be brought food and allowed her privacy and given a phallus to work with if she wanted one (she didn’t).

“If you need anything, send for me, all right?” Anya told the omega. She didn’t touch her for fear of aggravating her heat.

Clarke nodded dizzily before stumbling into the tent and collapsing into the furs there. It smelled surprisingly clean, with no lingering traces of other omegas’ heats. She was thankful for this; she was barely handling her own. She understood now why Octavia had jumped Lincoln the way she did. Clarke was used to having heat suppressants help her and from what she could tell so far, going through her heat without them was going to be a strange sort of hell.

Her skin already felt hypersensitive and Clarke shed all her clothes and flung them aside. She barely contained a moan as she settled into the furs, enjoying the delicious sensation. Giving in to her grogginess, she fell into a deep sleep.

* * *

When Clarke woke again, her skin was on fire and there was a growing ache between her legs. Looking around the tent, she saw that a plate of meat and cup of water had been left for her, and she ate and drank greedily. But though her hunger was sated, her desire wasn’t, and she fell back on the furs with a groan of frustration.

Finally giving in, Clarke dipped her hand between her legs to find herself absolutely drenched, her arousal trickling down her thighs. She pressed her fingertips to her clit and whimpered at the first swipe. She didn’t even bother with trying to work herself up – she was ready enough. Flattening her palm against her folds, she rubbed her clit hard and fast, biting her lip to keep from crying out. Each circle of her hand sent sparks flying from between her legs to crackle along her nerves and she writhed on the furs, not sure whether she wanted to stop or wanted more. Moving her hand lower, she slid one, then two fingers into her cunt, careful not to break the barrier of skin that still remained. But no matter how much she thrust, palm firm against her clit, release eluded her.

Clarke pulled out of herself with a frustrated sob. Maybe she should ask for a phallus, maidenhead be damned. But she knew somehow that it wasn’t a cock she was craving. Squeezing her eyes shut, the omega tried to think of something that aroused her enough to find release.

Soft brown locks and green eyes and forest and earth flashed through her mind and she knew exactly what she needed. Forcing herself to her hands and knees, she crawled to the tent flap and poked her head out.

“Excuse me?” she croaked to one of the beta guards – Calla, she remembered.

“Yes, Clarke?”

“Could you please get Anya for me?”

“Of course.”

It didn’t take long for Calla to come back with the alpha, but to Clarke it felt like a painful eternity. The alpha came within hearing range but otherwise kept her distance, wanting to be respectful of the omega. “What do you need?” she asked, wary of what Clarke’s request might be.

Clarke bit her lip shyly but her arousal finally trumped her embarrassment. “Could I borrow one of the Commander’s shirts?”

Anya frowned in confusion. “You can borrow one of mine if you need it.”

“No, um, I need it to be the Commander’s…” the omega blushed.

When the alpha realised what Clarke meant, a wide, wicked grin spread across her face. “No problem. I’ll be right back.”

“Thank you.”

It seemed like yet another eternity before Anya returned with a ball of black fabric, a knowing and smug smirk on her face. “The Commander only requests that she have your shirt after your heat is over,” she grinned as she handed over the garment.

The idea that Lexa wanted the omega’s shirt for the same reason Clarke wanted hers sent a fresh tide of wetness trickling down her legs and she barely managed a “thank you” as she snatched the clothing from Anya’s hand and retreated back into the tent. Collapsing onto the furs, the omega buried her nose in the fabric and moaned as her senses were assaulted with forest and earth and alpha and Lexa.

Clarke reached between her legs again and let Lexa’s scent envelop her as she dipped into her centre, palm firm against her clit. Her mind was flooded with images of the Commander above her, naked and powerful, pushing her cock into the omega’s dripping folds, her girth splitting her apart. The blonde bit her lip and thrust harder and faster into herself as she imagined Lexa being her first, breaking through that last barrier and stretching her with her knot. She imagined the Commander pounding into her from behind, their thighs slapping together as Lexa rutted her at a brutal pace. The thought of the alpha emptying herself into the omega’s womb sent Clarke over the edge, screaming Lexa’s name into the alpha’s shirt as she flooded her own hand with her release. Her orgasm pulsed through her in wave after wave as Clarke convulsed on the furs, tears leaking from behind her eyelids.

The blissful agony eventually tapered off, leaving Clarke sweaty and trembling. But her heat was far from sated. If anything, it felt like it had gotten worse. Sobbing with desire, the omega took deep breaths of Lexa’s scent as she worked herself up and over the edge a second time, then a third, drowning in her desire for the Commander.

* * *

Three days later, Clarke woke up feeling like her normal self again, albeit in desperate need of a shower. Stretching her sore muscles, the omega hauled herself up from the furs to get dressed. Lexa’s shirt had long since lost its scent, now saturated with Clarke’s heat instead. Remembering the Commander’s request, Clarke rubbed the fabric all over her body, pumping out all the pheromones she could. Folding it up when she was done, she dressed in her old clothes and left the tent to speak with the beta guards.

Anya was waiting for her when she emerged, and Clarke smirked when she handed her the shirt. “As promised.”

The alpha took a single sniff and reeled back at the intensity of the omega’s scent. She returned Clarke’s amused smirk. “Calla’s going to take you to the stream to bathe while I get you some new clothes. Then we’ll see about getting you your own tent and starting as Nyko’s apprentice.”

Clarke nodded her assent and thanks before she and Calla left for the stream and Anya headed for the Commander’s tent.

Anya was still grinning when she entered Lexa’s tent, shirt in hand. “A gift for you,” she offered, holding the fabric out to the Commander.

Lexa tried to hide her eagerness as she took the shirt but Anya, knowing her well from her time as the Commander’s First, saw right through her and chuckled as she left. Ignoring her former mentor, Lexa buried her nose in the fabric.

The assault of Clarke’s scent on her senses made Lexa’s knees buckle and the alpha had to hold back a whimper. She was drowning in spring and sunlight and omega and Clarke and she could feel her clit already starting to twitch and extend. Stumbling to the entrance of the tent, the Commander snapped at her guards that she was not to be disturbed before retreating behind the sheet that separated the sleeping area from the main room.

By the time she reached her furs, her cock had fully extended and was throbbing almost painfully in her pants. Collapsing onto her bed, Lexa unbuttoned her pants and reached into her shorts, letting out a moaning sigh as she wrapped her hand around her length. Burying her face in the shirt and taking deep breaths of Clarke’s scent, Lexa began to stroke herself hard and fast, too desperate for any form of teasing. She tried to imagine that her hand was Clarke’s hot cunt clenching around her, the omega’s tight wetness greedily taking in everything Lexa had to give. She imagined pushing her knot into Clarke, thrusting over and over until the omega took the widest part within her before Lexa sealed herself inside her, tying them in bliss as the alpha spilled herself into Clarke’s womb. What sent Lexa over the edge was how she imagined Clarke when she came: face contorted in rapture as she screamed her release.

Lexa moaned as she came in heavy spurts, dripping on her hand and staining the furs beneath her. All the while she chanted Clarke’s name in a whisper as her heady scent prolonged the alpha’s orgasm more than she thought possible. After a few quick jerks of her cock to make sure she was spent, Lexa collapsed, breathing heavily as she continued to nuzzle the fabric soaked with the omega’s pheromones. Her release had barely taken the edge off. The smell of Clarke’s heat invaded her senses and had her hard again within seconds. Resigning herself to another round, Lexa lost herself in fantasies of blue eyes and golden hair, of spring mornings and sunlight.

Chapter Text

Nyko, TonDC’s healer, worked out of a fairly large hut that held beds for the injured, a fire to boil teas over, shelves of healing supplies, and a table for preparing salves and tonics. When Clarke arrived, there was already a little boy lying back on a bed, cradling his arm to his chest and biting his lip as tears streamed down his face.

“What happened?” Clarke asked before she even introduced herself, concerned for the child.

Her immediate reaction seemed to please Nyko. “He broke his arm falling out of a tree. I was just starting to prepare a tea that will ease his pain while I set the bone. Here, let me show you.”

Clarke stood by the beta’s side and listened attentively as he pointed out which herbs he used before grinding them with a mortar and pestle. A pot of water was already boiling over the fire, and Nyko poured it into a mug before adding the herb mixture. “Do you know how to make a splint?” he asked Clarke. When she nodded, he directed her to where he kept the supplies. After adding honey to the tea to sweeten it, Nyko brought it over to where the child lay, the omega following.

“This tea both eases pain and puts the person in a tranquil state for a time,” the healer explained. “Once it takes effect, he will barely feel it when we set the bone.” He gave the boy a smile as he handed him the cup. “Ste yuj.” The boy nodded before drinking the tea as fast as he could, the honey not entirely masking the bitterness of the herbs. He lay back on the cot and after a few minutes, his body started to relax, a hazy look in his eyes. Nyko waved a hand before his face and when the boy’s eyes didn’t follow the movement, the healer nodded his satisfaction. “Now we can set the bone.” He did so quickly and efficiently and the boy didn’t even flinch. “Would you like to help me with the splint?” Clarke nodded her assent and the healer directed her in placing the wooden rods along the boy’s arms before wrapping them in place. She then made a sling that he could rest his arm in once he awoke.

“The tea will leave him relaxed for a time, but he will wake after a few hours. Now we will make a paste for him that he can chew on when the pain gets too great.” It was only when they’d reached the table and pulled out the herbs they needed that Nyko turned to the omega and arched an eyebrow. “You are Clarke, yes?”

 “Oh, sorry. Yes, I am. And you’re Nyko?”

The healer grunted acknowledgement. “Yes, I am.” He held out his arm and Clarke took it in the Grounder handshake. “It is nice to meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too.”

* * *

Clarke threw herself into her work with Nyko, finding it better to concentrate on that than the events of a few days ago. To the beta’s satisfaction, she was a fast learner, genuinely interested in what Nyko had to teach her. He started by showing her which plants, roots, and berries were which and then testing her memory. The healer then went over the simpler remedies he could create: everything from balms that cleared up nose and throat congestion to teas that soothed female betas’ monthly cramps. He also explained that he could create a tea that served as a heat suppressant but that it made some omegas sick. When the healer had Clarke smell the root used as the main ingredient, she gagged and almost retched, which was a sign that her body would most likely reject the suppressant. She didn’t mind; she had secret hopes for what would happen when her next heat came around.

Nyko also taught Clarke basic Trigedasleng words and phrases she would need to interact with the civilians of TonDC. Though he and Lexa’s warriors spoke English – what they called Gonasleng – it wasn’t something generally taught outside of the army. Nyko had learned it because of his constant interaction with Trikru warriors. Clarke knew just enough Trigedasleng to say “goodbye” and “feel better” to the boy as he left the hut, and he rewarded her with a bright grin and a wave with his good hand.

Anya was Clarke’s next patient, trudging in some time after midday with blood pouring down her forehead. “Training accident,” she said, shrugging as if this sort of thing happened every day (which it probably did).

“Clarke, can you stitch?” Nyko asked. “I need to keep an eye on this salve I’m boiling.”

“I can do it,” Clarke affirmed. She grabbed a cloth and filled a bowl of water before holding the hooked needle over the fire to sterilise it. Grabbing the stitching thread and a small knife to cut it with, Clarke took her place on a stool across from where Anya sat on one of the beds. “So how did this happen?” the omega asked as she wiped blood from the warrior’s face.

“I got a bit…mouthy while sparring with the Commander and she put me in my place.”

The omega “hmm”-ed her understanding before beginning to stitch Anya’s wound, being careful to sew neat, even stitches so that if one pulled out it didn’t take the rest with it. When she was done, Clarke carefully cleaned the area again before fetching a healing paste to rub over it. “So did I do a good job in keeping it painless or are you just that resistant?” she asked as she gently applied the paste.

“No, you did a good job,” Anya confirmed. “Much better than some of Nyko’s other apprentices.”

Intrigued, Nyko briefly abandoned the salve he was mixing to examine Clarke’s work. “Well done,” he said. “You have a healer’s touch.”

Clarke managed a small smile. “Mochof, Nyko.”

“Pro,” the healer grumbled, though not unkindly.

Anya stood and stretched. “Clarke, Lincoln and his Skaikru mate have returned – your friend, I believe.” When Clarke nodded, Anya continued, “Do you intend to tell her about what transpired?”

Clarke nodded again, sadly. “I have to. One of the alphas is her brother.”

Anya pursed her lips in ill-concealed anger as she nodded her understanding. “I’ll send her to your tent to wait for you.”

My tent?” Clarke blurted, confused.

“It’s next to mine. I set it up while you were in heat. It should have everything you need.”

The omega was touched. “Mochof,” she murmured.

Anya’s own lips twitched in response. “Pro,” she replied before leaving.

“You may leave, too, if you wish,” Nyko told her. “I am mostly done for the day, and I will send for you if I need you.”

“Mochof,” Clarke said yet again, glad to be practicing her new words. “Leidon,” she called over her shoulder as she left.

“Leidon,” the healer called back.

* * *

Clarke returned to Anya’s tent to find a new one set up beside it, occupied by a grinning Octavia. “Someone liiiiiiiikes you!” she teased when Clarke entered, holding up a bouquet.

“Where did you get that?” the unmated omega frowned.

“They were on your furs. Again, someone liiiiiiiikes you!” Clarke rolled her eyes as she took the bouquet from Octavia and held the flowers to her nose. Underlying the sweet scent of the blossoms was a familiar hint of forest and earth that made Clarke’s heart flutter in her chest. “So what brings you to TonDC?” Octavia continued as Clarke took a seat opposite, placing the flowers beside her. “Are you here for more negotiations? Bellamy didn’t say anything about it.”

Clarke sighed, knowing that what she was about to tell Octavia would break the omega’s heart. She was barely able to make eye contact with her friend as she forced out the story of what had happened several nights before. When she’d finished, the other omega was staring at her in stunned horror, jaw hanging open.

“I’ll kill him,” she finally uttered hoarsely, voice saturated with undiluted rage. She leapt to her feet. “I’ll fucking kill him!”

“Whoa, slow down, O,” Clarke protested, grabbing her friend’s hand and pulling her back into a seated position. “We have to figure out how to handle this safely and logically. I’m already planning to talk to Lexa about it. I have an idea, but I’m not sure if it’ll work or make things worse.”

“What’s your idea?”

“I want to go back to the dropship, but with a bunch of warriors with me, just in case. I want to warn the omegas what the alphas were planning to do to me, so they know what kind of people they have leading them. Besides, who's to say they won't go after one of the other omegas? I’ll offer the omegas sanctuary in TonDC. I have to make sure it’s ok with Lexa first, obviously, but hopefully she’ll be willing to make room in the village for any omegas who want to leave.”

Octavia nodded as she mulled it over. “Not bad. Definitely better to do it with an army at your back. I’ll go with you for sure and I’ll see if Lincoln’ll come, too. Do you really think the Commander will want to shelter that many omegas? I mean, there aren’t a lot, but there are still a good few.”

“I still have to ask her,” Clarke sighed. “I planned to as soon as I was done at Nyko’s.”

“Then go; don’t let me stop you. I’ll go find Lincoln.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Right, go find your mate and drag him to your tent.”

“Oh, you know I will,” Octavia smirked with a toss of her hair as they left the tent and headed off.

The guards at the Commander’s tent made to draw their swords as Clarke approached, but they relaxed when they saw who it was. “She’s expecting you,” one of the guards told her, holding aside the tent flap. The omega murmured her thanks and walked through.

“Clarke,” Lexa greeted her. “How are you feeling? How was your first day with Nyko?”

“It was good, and I’m feeling much better, thank you. I…” she shifted from foot to foot. “I have a question I need to ask you.”

When the Commander nodded her permission for Clarke to continue, the omega outlined her plan. “I don’t want to force you to accept any omegas who want to come with me, though,” she said. “I know there may not be room for all of them in TonDC and – ”

“It’s all right, Clarke,” Lexa held up her hand to stop her. “I already spoke with my generals about the situation and we’ve decided that any Skaikru who wish to join us would be welcome, should they swear fealty and vow to abide by our laws.” Her lips twitched in the hint of a smile as she watched Clarke sigh in relief. “Know, however, that this invitation is not open to your alphas. Any of them. I know that the actions of a few do not represent the beliefs of the many, but I’m not willing to risk the safety of my people on that possibility.”

“I completely understand. Thank you,” Clarke breathed, feeling like there was no way she could fully express her gratitude.

“You’re welcome. You will ride out tomorrow with Indra and a selection of my best warriors.”

Clarke nodded and turned to leave. She was almost at the tent flap when she stopped and turned one last time. “By the way…mochof. For the flowers.”

Lexa’s expression didn’t change, but Clarke thought she saw the hint of a blush. “Pro.”

Chapter Text

Horses certainly made the journey from TonDC to the Dropship much shorter. Indra, Lexa’s stoic beta general, rode at the front along with Clarke. Octavia and Lincoln followed behind with twenty Trikru warriors. Clarke found Indra extremely intimidating for a beta, and after trying and failing several times to start a conversation, decided to drop back and talk to Octavia and her mate instead.

“How many do you think will come with us?” Clarke asked her friend.

“Not sure,” Octavia replied. “The younger ones, definitely, since they aren’t too used to their heats yet. They’re more likely to trust you than the alphas. I’m not sure about the older ones. They may be too brainwashed by the Ark’s pro-breeder thinking.”

“If your people value the ability to breed, why are Skaikru pairs only allowed one pup?” Lincoln asked.

“Weird, isn’t it?” Octavia sighed. “At first you had to get permission to breed on the Ark ‘cause people would have so many pups, but then there was some medical breakthrough that made it so people would only have one at a time. The omegas and female betas are treated as soon as they present. The Arkers value breeding so they can survive, but overpopulation is dangerous because of how limited our resources are. It’s a huge contradiction, really. I guess their reasoning is that they’ll need breeders once they finally reach the ground.”

“So when you get this ‘…implant’ out of your arm if we are to ever have pups, then you would bear only one?”

Octavia bit her lip and hung her head. “I’m sorry, Lincoln.”

Lincoln brought his horse closer so he could wrap his arm around his mate’s shoulder and kiss her cheek. “Do not be sorry, niron.” His smile was mischievous. “We can have as many pups as we want so long as we – ”

“I don’t need to hear the end of that sentence,” Clarke cut him off, making the mated pair chuckle. “And at least you can have pups at all.”

The second comment made Octavia’s smile fade and she put a comforting hand on Clarke’s shoulder. “Hey, that doesn’t make any difference among the Trikru. No more Ark brainwashing bullshit, ok? We’re both gonna be valued members of society here, infertile omega and second child or not.”

Clarke gave her a soft smile. “Thanks, O.”

“Sky girl,” Indra called from the head of the line.

Clarke sighed. “Wish me luck,” she muttered to Octavia before drawing her horse up alongside Indra’s. “Yes?” she asked the general.

“We are here.” The beta pointed into the distance where Clarke could just make out the hull of the dropship.

The omega pursed her lips in a grim line. “Ok. We’ll move quickly the rest of the way and stop right at the edge. Then I’ll call for everyone to listen.” Clarke winced when she realised she’d just given orders to a general. “I mean, is that all right?”

Clarke wasn’t sure how someone could look amused and disdainful at the same time, but Indra pulled it off. “This is your mission, sky girl. Your decision.”

The omega gave her a wary nod before urging her horse forward. Indra shouted for the others to do the same and they thundered across the field towards the Dropship.

By the time the Trikru party reached the Skaikru camp, the Delinquents had already gathered to meet them. The alphas stood at the front looking menacing while the betas and omegas crowded behind them with curious expressions. When Clarke reached the group, she saw Raven push her way to the front: the only person out of everyone with a smile on her face.

“Griffin, you’re back!” the beta greeted. “What’s with the army?”

“Protection,” Clarke replied. Hearing her, the alphas shifted warily and Bellamy pushed forward.

“What the hell, Clarke? You disappear for five days and then come back with an army? Who do you think you are?”

Clarke ignored him, instead looking out at the rest of the Delinquents. “I come bringing a warning and an offer to all the omegas.” She took a deep breath. “Five days ago I overheard some of the alphas plotting to rape me during my heat: Bellamy, Finn, and Jasper. Wells was planning to keep everyone distracted so no one noticed what they were doing.” Shocked murmurs rippled through the crowd. The alphas turned to stare defiantly at the other Delinquents as Clarke continued. “They heard me listening and I ran, but not before Finn tried to rape me…and nearly succeeded.”

The murmurs grew louder and the alphas finally began to look uncomfortable. Raven was staring at Finn with a look of utter betrayal on her face, and he was cringing back from it. “The Commander of the Twelve Clans has made an offer to our omegas so that the same thing doesn’t happen to them. She says if you come with us to TonDC that you will be welcome among the Trikru, so long as you swear fealty and vow to abide by their laws.”

“Why should we listen to you?” one of the Delinquents called out.

“You all went to her before when we needed a leader; why are you doubting her now?” Octavia snapped.

“Octavia – ” Bellamy began.

“Say another word and I’ll kill you where you stand,” the omega growled.

“Dammit, O, I’m your brother!”

“I have no brother,” she snarled. “You’re dead to me.”

The look of anguish on Bellamy’s face gave both Clarke and Octavia a twisted feeling of satisfaction. The alpha hung his head in defeat, backing down.

“What makes you think they’ll do that to us?” another omega asked.

“They tried to do it to me, didn’t they?” Clarke retorted.

Charlotte, who hadn’t even presented yet, spoke up from where she stood behind Jasper. “Yeah, but you’re worthless!”

The words struck Clarke like razors. To hear a child call her worthless, to have no one come to her defense, to have every one of the Delinquents tacitly support the alphas who were going to rape her made the omega sick. She could feel tears stinging her eyes as she struggled to breathe. Octavia rode up and put a gentle hand on Clarke’s shoulder, but it barely calmed her.

“What the actual fuck?!” Raven’s voice shattered the silence. “Are you fucking hearing yourselves? You seriously don’t care that those alphas were going to rape her? You’re seriously ok with that bullshit?”

“Raven – ” Finn began.

The beta whirled on him in a fury. “You shut the fuck up! You have no right to talk to me, Finn, so back the fuck off!” Raven turned back to the group. “You guys make me sick! If you want to live with a bunch of rapist monsters then fine, go ahead, risk your fucking necks, but I’m not gonna stand for this shit!” She looked up at Clarke. “Does that offer extend to betas?”

As touched as Clarke was by Raven’s speech, she could only give her a depressed shrug. Octavia, however, held out her hand so she could help Raven up onto her horse. “Let’s go,” Clarke murmured to Indra. “I never want to see this place again.”

The general nodded, turning her horse and shouting the order to the Trikru army. Clarke followed with her horse, spurring him forward.

She didn’t look back once.

* * * 

Anya frowned when she surveyed the group returning to TonDC. “You’re back early. Where are all the omegas?”

“They didn’t come,” Octavia replied grimly, “but our beta friend did.”

“Yo,” Raven said from where she sat behind Octavia on their horse.

Anya only arched an eyebrow in reply before turning to Clarke and helping her down from her own mount. “Come on. We’ll report back to the Commander and introduce her to your friend…” She looked to the beta for a prompt.

“Raven.”

“Raven,” Anya repeated as if testing out the name before helping her and Octavia down from their horses. A Trikru villager took the horses back to the stable as Indra made her way forward, nodding a greeting to Anya. Seeing that everyone was there, Anya led the group to the Commander’s tent.

Lexa stood to greet them when they entered. “You’re early. Were there so few omegas?”

“There weren’t any,” Octavia replied. “Just our beta friend.”

“Hi, I’m Raven,” said beta introduced herself, walking forward and extending her hand to the Commander.

Anya and Indra inhaled sharply, eyes wide at the beta’s straightforwardness and disrespect. But to their surprise (and relief), Lexa only held out her hand in return for a Grounder handshake. “I am the Commander. You are welcome here in TonDC.”

“Just ‘the Commander’?” Raven asked, and this time it was Clarke and Octavia who were horrified.

Lexa gave her the barest hint of a smirk. “To you, yes,” she said as she returned to her throne. “Again, you are welcome among the Trikru, should you swear fealty and vow to abide by our laws.”

“Done,” Raven responded without hesitation. “Is there some special ceremony or something?”

Clarke was ready to hit Raven upside the head and drag her out of the tent, but Lexa looked like she was trying to hold back her laughter. “No. A simple confirmation is fine. What skills do you bring to us?”

Raven smirked. “I was the youngest and best mechanic on the Ark. If it’s technology, I can make it work – not that you have a lot of technology here.”

The Commander’s eyes lit up. “Then you can help us bring down the Mountain.”

“The Mountain?” Octavia frowned.

“Mount Weather,” Lexa explained. “Their people have captured and slaughtered our kind for years. Those they don’t kill they turn into monsters to do their killing for them. They have tek we do not understand, but with your help, Raven, we could.”

“No problem. Good thing I had my tool belt on when we left,” she quipped, patting the assortment of equipment hanging from her waist.

It was Anya’s turn to frown. “I thought those were weapons.”

“Oh, they can be if you use ‘em right,” Raven grinned. Anya smirked in return; she liked this sky girl. “Speaking of weapons, Octavia, I brought you a little something.” Raven reached into her belt and pulled out a pistol. “Ta-da!”

The mated omega’s eyes widened. “You stole Bellamy’s gun?”

“Did it a couple days ago. He was waving it around a little too much for my liking. Now he can’t shoot anybody, Delinquent or Trikru.” She put the gun back in her belt.

“So the Skaikru no longer have their fayagon…” Indra commented.

“Maybe Bellamy doesn’t, but the others have more,” Octavia warned.

“I know what you’re thinking, Indra,” the Commander cut her off sternly. “We are not going to attack them. We leave them be for now. They may be of use to us later and there may be more of them coming.”

“Just kill them,” Clarke murmured, gaze trained on the ground. Everyone looked at her with varying degrees of shock. “Just do it. Get rid of them all.”

Lexa contemplated the omega before turning to the others. “I would speak with Clarke alone. Gon yo we.”

Raven, Indra, Anya, and Octavia nodded their assent and left. Once Clarke and the Commander were alone, Lexa stood and approached the omega. The Commander reached out and gently cupped Clarke’s face in her hand, seeking further permission. When Clarke leaned into her touch, Lexa drew her close, wrapping her arms around the omega and gently stroking her hair. Clarke allowed herself to slump against the Commander, burying her face in the woman’s neck to take comfort in her scent.

Lexa knew there was nothing she could say about the Skaikru that would make Clarke feel at ease, no assurances she could offer against their hatred. The Commander couldn’t promise Clarke that things could be better – only that she was on her side.

“You are worth more than even you believe, Clarke,” Lexa murmured in the omega’s ear, still stroking her hair as she ran a hand up and down her back. “You will see that, here. I already see it.”

Clarke didn’t reply immediately, but Lexa didn’t expect her to. Instead, she continued to hold the omega close, providing what comfort she could. The Commander instinctively began to nuzzle Clarke’s hair, inhaling the sweet scent of summer mornings. When Lexa realised what she was doing, she panicked and nearly pulled away with an apology, but relaxed when Clarke snuggled closer in return, also inhaling deeply. The embrace had gone on far longer than one of just comfort, now, but neither woman cared. They barely knew each other; they weren’t ready to label what this feeling was between them; but they could still cherish it.

“Thank you,” Clarke finally murmured, her breath warm against Lexa’s neck.

“Of course, Clarke,” the Commander whispered, resisting the urge to place a kiss to her forehead.

But even after speaking, they decided to stay in their embrace for just a little longer.

* * *

When Anya got up to stoke the campfire in the middle of the night she found Clarke still awake and sitting nearby, hugging her knees and gazing at the flames without really seeing them. “What’s got you up?” the alpha asked.

“Just…can’t seem to fall asleep. Uneasy, I guess,” Clarke shrugged.

“About?” Anya prompted, sitting next to her.

Clarke sighed. “The Skaikru. The alphas and omegas specifically. I’m worried that when the alphas go into rut they’ll take advantage of the omegas no matter what. I mean, all omegas and female betas have birth control implants that keep them from getting pregnant, but they aren’t always effective if the omega is in heat or if the alpha they sleep with is in rut or both. I’m just afraid the alphas will stop caring about that and take advantage of the omegas no matter what the consequences are. The alphas may have wanted me originally because I’m infertile, but the fact that they’d consider taking advantage of me at all means that that they might consider it for the others, too. But the omegas don’t believe that – don’t believe me, because what good am I? I’m just the – ”

Don’t say it,” Anya cut her off with a hand on her shoulder. “You’re not what they say you are – not here among the Trikru. It might take some time for you to believe that, but you will.” The alpha added some wood to the fire and shifted some of the logs with a stick before standing to return to her tent. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you sleep.”

“I don’t suppose you have another one of the Commander’s shirts?” Clarke asked with a weary smile.

“Not with me, sorry,” Anya said over her shoulder as she pulled back the tent flap and stepped inside. But she put some thought into the request.

* * * 

When Clarke returned to her tent from Nyko’s hut the next afternoon, she was so exhausted she could barely stand. Sleep had eluded her the previous night, no matter how much she’d tossed and turned on her bed, and the lack of rest was taking its toll.

Stumbling through the tent flap, Clarke almost slipped on the item lying on her furs. Looking down, she found a black shirt lying across the bed. When she knelt and lifted the garment to her face, she smelled forest and earth after rain.

When Anya stopped by later to see if Clarke wanted dinner, she found the omega fast asleep curled up on her furs as she clung to Lexa’s shirt like a doll, nose buried in the fabric.

Chapter Text

Clarke woke the next day looking for Anya. “Hei, Klark,” the alpha said when the omega found her coming back from the mess tent. “Hau yu?”

“Ait,” Clarke replied, proud of herself for remembering the Trigedasleng phrases. “Hau yu?”

Ait seintaim. What do you need?”

“Well,” Clarke began, looking askance as she started to blush. “Last night I heard…stuff.”

A slow smirk spread across Anya’s face. “Oh?” she feigned innocence as she tried not to laugh. “What sort of ‘stuff’?”

Clarke scuffed at the ground with the toe of her boot. “Um, well...I heard moaning,” she finally blurted. “And crying out and some, uh, Trigedasleng phrases that sounded either dirty or pleading.”

Anya let the silence hang in the air for a moment, trying not to laugh at how uncomfortable Clarke was. “And?” she finally prompted.

“It’s just…is everybody always so loud?”

Anya finally burst out laughing, making the omega scowl and smack her arm. “Do the Sky People not enjoy themselves at night?” the alpha asked, genuinely curious.

“Well, yes, but we’re usually quiet,” Clarke mumbled, growing more embarrassed by the second.

“You will find no such modesty among the Trikru,” Anya chuckled. “We have no qualms about making our pleasure known, no matter who hears it. In fact, being loud is a sign that you’re paired with a skilled lover and it’s something the couple should be proud of.”

“Great. So I’m going to have to listen to people fuck every night,” Clarke groused.

Anya clapped a hand on her shoulder. “You get used to it. Sometimes it’s very entertaining. Now, are you ready for fight training?”

“No,” Clarke replied honestly. “I’m really not looking forward to you kicking my ass.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t hit you too hard,” Anya told her. “Not at first, anyway.”

“Somehow I don’t find that comforting.”

Anya rolled her eyes and gave Clarke a shove. “Go have breakfast and then meet me at the training ground. We’re starting with unarmed combat.”

“Fantastic,” Clarke drawled as she headed for the mess tent.

An hour later, Clarke and Anya were facing off at the training grounds, both crouched in a fighting stance. “Put your non-dominant foot forward,” Anya ordered, seeing that Clarke had her right foot in front.

“I am. I’m left-handed.”

“That’s going to give you an advantage. Most warriors are used to fighting other right-handed people, so fighting someone who’s left-handed throws them off. It means your technique will be a little different, though.”

“Great,” Clarke sighed. “Lay it on me.”

“Bad choice of words,” Octavia called from where she was sparring with Lincoln. “Your ass is grass, Griffin.”

“Thanks for your support, O,” Clarke called back in annoyance before she faced off with Anya again.

Clarke expected Anya to teach her how to punch, but the alpha started with blocks. “Better to be able to defend yourself first. A punch is only good if you can land it and there’s always going to be someone out there who can hit faster than you can. Better to be able to block faster than they can punch.” Anya demonstrated high, medium, and low blocks before throwing slow punches for Clarke to practice against. As Clarke started to get the hang of things, Anya sped up her punches and started landing blows when the omega failed to block properly. By the time the alpha had decided they were done with blocks for the time being, Clarke had a black eye and a split lip, and had nearly thrown up from a hit she’d taken to the stomach.

“All right, now you can learn to throw a punch,” Anya told her, and a very disgruntled Clarke took up a fighting stance again. The alpha showed her the correct way to hold her fists, then encouraged Clarke to throw a punch at her.

Suspicious (and rightfully so), Clarke took a swing. Before she could even come close to connecting, Anya had blocked and, with a simple twist of her arms, thrown Clarke onto her back. “You have to be fast,” she explained to the omega, who was groaning in pain. “Even if you don’t hit, you have to pull your fist back before your opponent can catch you.” The alpha nudged Clarke with her foot. “Up. Again.”

“No,” Clarke whined.

“Again.”

“If we keep this up I’m going to be on one of Nyko’s beds instead of working as his apprentice.”

Anya rolled her eyes and kicked Clarke a little harder. “Ge smak daun, gyon op nodotaim.”

Clarke frowned up at her teacher. “What does that mean?”

“It means ‘get knocked down, get back up again.’ So get up.”

“Do I have to?”

Anya’s features darkened. She crouched beside the omega with a cold expression. “Tell me, Clarke, did you stay down when that alpha was about to rape you? Would you stay down if he tried again? Would you just lie on the ground and let it happen?”

With a roar of rage, Clarke sprang to her feet, throwing a punch as she rose. Her fist connected with Anya’s jaw, but the alpha barely reacted, expecting the blow. Clarke returned to her stance with gritted teeth and fury burning in her eyes, staring Anya down.

“Good,” the alpha said as she followed suit. “Now, again.”

* * * 

Clarke moaned in agonised relief as she collapsed onto her furs. Her entire body ached. Anya had invited her to take a swing at her stomach and it had felt like punching a rock. The alpha had set Clarke’s schedule so that she worked with Nyko in the mornings and did fight training in the afternoons; if those afternoons ended up being anything like Clarke’s first lesson, the omega thought the training might kill her.

Clarke grabbed the Commander’s shirt from where she kept it by her pillow and nuzzled the soft fabric, inhaling deeply. Lexa’s scent was starting to fade and Clarke knew if she wanted to sleep properly she’d need another shirt soon. But she wanted to give Lexa something in return as thanks.

Remembering Lexa’s request after first providing a shirt during Clarke’s heat, the omega took off her own shirt and put on the Commander’s instead. It was tight around the chest, but otherwise still fit. Clarke lay back on her furs and pumped out as many pheromones as she could, knowing that the fabric would soak up her scent. Smiling to herself, Clarke fell asleep, once again dreaming of Lexa.

The next morning, Clarke stopped by Lexa’s tent on her way to Nyko’s hut, nervously fidgeting with the shirt in her hands. “Is the Commander here?” she asked one of the beta guards when she approached.

“The Commander is meeting with her generals.”

“May I leave this for her?” Clarke asked.

The beta frowned, both confused and incredulous. “No one is allowed in the Commander’s tent without her permission.”

“Oh, um, can you give this to her, then?” Clarke held up her shirt for the beta to take.

The guard looked even more confused than before, but he nodded and took the fabric. “I’ll see that she gets it,” he promised.

When Clarke returned to her own tent that afternoon, sweaty and sore from training, a new shirt lay folded on her pillow. Even from a distance the omega could smell Lexa’s scent on the fabric. Grinning, Clarke buried her face in the shirt and inhaled deeply, soothed by the smell of the forest and earth after rain.

* * * 

Clarke and Lexa continued to flirt over the next two weeks without Clarke quite realising they were flirting. They rarely saw each other, Lexa being busy with Coalition matters and Clarke either training with Nyko or Anya, but they continued to trade shirts every two or three days. Recently, Clarke had gone to leave a shirt at Lexa’s tent to find that the guards allowed her through, both looking rather amused. The omega was wary of their mirth but decided not to question the permission she had been given.

When Clarke and the Commander did see each other, it was when Clarke trained with Anya. Lexa would pull the other alpha aside to discuss army-related matters, but afterwards, the Commander would sit and talk with Clarke. It was quiet and awkward, at first. The two of them would ask about each other’s days and, with nothing left to talk about, just sit silently in each other’s presence. But slowly, the two women began to open up. Sometimes Clarke would make an offhand comment about training and Lexa would respond with some advice, or Lexa would make a comment about a minor Coalition dilemma that was irking her and Clarke would make a suggestion. Their conversations were short and infrequent, but Clarke cherished each one. The omega wondered if the Commander looked forward to their discussions as much as Clarke did.

Clarke was learning quickly under Nyko’s tutelage, but she felt like she was getting worse after each day with Anya. The alpha assured her that she was doing much better than she had been when they started, but Clarke didn’t believe her. Anya responded to this assertion by throwing a punch and then sweeping the omega off her feet with a kick.

“When you first started I could’ve taken you down with just a punch,” Anya told Clarke as she winced to her feet.

“Anya, I can’t keep doing this,” she gasped. “I can barely move.”

“Too bad. Again.”

Clarke returned to her tent that evening convinced that her muscles had turned to stone beneath her skin. She was stiff and her soreness had become more of a stabbing pain, but at least she had a new shirt to look forward to. Clarke was about to collapse onto her furs and bury her face in said shirt when she discovered that it was accompanied by a clay jar. Picking it up, the omega curiously peered inside to find what looked to be some sort of salve.

“Hey, Anya?” Clarke called, stepping out of her tent with the jar.

“Yes?” Anya emerged from her own tent.

“What’s this?”

The alpha peered into the container. “Oh, that’s a salve for your muscles. It eases the stiffness in them. Here, I can put it on if you want.”

Clarke was nodding her agreement when she heard the sound of someone clearing their throat. Both women turned to see Lexa, expression unreadable as she stood with her arms behind her back. “Heda,” Anya intoned as she and Clarke both bowed their heads respectfully. Lexa said nothing, instead taking the jar from Anya’s hands before looking to Clarke. She tilted her head at the omega’s tent in a wordless request to follow her inside, and Clarke obeyed.

When Clarke had let the tent flap fall closed behind them, Lexa urged the omega to sit, then knelt behind her. “May I?” she murmured, grasping at the hem of Clarke’s shirt. The omega nodded without hesitation, lifting her arms above her head. Clarke wore a Grounder bandeau beneath, her bra having worn out long ago. Rubbing some of the salve on her hands, Lexa began to knead the muscles of Clarke’s shoulder.

Clarke bit back a whimper as Lexa’s skilful fingers began to ease the ache in her shoulder. It was wonderful enough feeling the alpha’s hands on her skin, and Lexa’s tender ministrations only amplified the sensation. Clarke couldn’t contain a happy sigh as the Commander worked the knots out of her shoulder before moving to the muscles of her arm.

The two sat in comfortable silence as Lexa gently rubbed the salve into Clarke’s sore shoulders and arms. When that was done, the Commander moved to the muscles of the omega’s back, and Clarke hummed in delight at the touch. Part of her felt embarrassed that she was enjoying herself so much, but she reminded herself that the Trikru weren’t shy about their pleasure (as though she could forget). And really, Clarke could think of nothing better than taking in her alpha’s scent as Lexa touched her –

Clarke’s mind came to a screeching halt. Her alpha?

Then Lexa pressed a gentle kiss to her shoulder and Clarke wanted nothing more than to be her omega.

“Goodnight, Clarke,” the Commander whispered, standing to leave.

“Goodnight, Lexa. Thank you.” Clarke wanted to ask her to stay, but she still wasn’t quite ready. Not yet.

“You’re welcome.” And then Clarke was alone, nothing left of the Commander but her scent.

Clarke pulled her shirt back on before curling up on her furs, burying her face in the shirt Lexa had left. Eventually she would have to address what was happening between the Commander and herself, but for now she would just enjoy it as it happened.

Even if it meant she got beaten up every day.

Chapter Text

The next time Clarke received one of Lexa’s shirts, the alpha’s scent was much more potent than usual, filling the entirety of the omega’s tent. Clarke thought she knew what it meant, but she went to talk to Anya just in case.

“Hey Anya, is Lexa going into rut soon?” Clarke asked the alpha quietly when they met for fight training.

Anya smirked, being privy to Clarke and Lexa’s shirt exchanges. “She is, actually. She’ll be leaving soon to work through it.”

Clarke frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Whenever an alpha goes into rut they leave and camp out nearby, but not too close. They work out their tension through hunting, exercise, and self-exercise.” Anya grinned. “You’ll definitely want to send the Commander off with more than one shirt.”

A slow, devious smile spread across Clarke’s face. “I have a better idea.”

* * *

“Commander!”

Lexa looked up from saddling her horse to see Clarke jogging towards her. “Clarke,” she acknowledged with a nod. “Is there something you need?”

“I just wanted to give you this,” Clarke responded shyly, handing Lexa a package wrapped in several layers of leather. The Commander was about to open it when Clarke stopped her. “Wait until you’ve made camp. Beja,” she added, knowing that her words could be seen as an order otherwise, which might be aggravating to an alpha so close to their rut.

Lexa nodded again. “Mochof, Klark.” The Commander put her foot in the stirrup and swung herself onto her horse.

“Safe journey,” Clarke called as the alpha rode off.

“So what’d you give her?” Raven asked as she came up beside Clarke, resting her arm on the omega’s shoulder. Clarke whispered the answer in her ear and the beta’s jaw dropped. “Oh my God, woman, you are absolutely evil!”

Clarke couldn’t stop giggling as she made her way back to camp, entertaining fantasies of Lexa’s reaction when she opened her present.

* * * 

Lexa was a little over a league away from TonDC when she brought her horse to a stop in a small clearing. Swinging down, Lexa took the saddlebags and saddle from her horse before tying him to a nearby branch by his bridle, and then wiped the sweat from her brow – her rut was definitely starting to affect her. Shrugging her coat off in hopes that the small breeze would cool her off, Lexa began the process of brushing down her mount slowly and methodically. Once that was done, she trekked to a nearby stream she’d passed on her ride and gathered a bucket of water for the horse, filling her own waterskin as well.

By the time Lexa was done setting up her small tent and rolling out her furs, she’d stripped down to her bandeau, unable to tolerate the heat radiating from her skin. Itching for movement as she tried to ignore the growing bulge in her pants, the alpha began to run laps around the clearing, pushing herself hard but keeping an even pace. She had more energy to work off than she’d anticipated.

When the sun was low in the sky, Lexa returned to her tent and ate a meal of dried meat, devouring the strips so fast she might as well have inhaled them. Still twitching with energy, she took a long drink of water before starting to do push-ups, hoping that the exercise would exhaust her more than her run had. But it did nothing to quench her growing need; all it did was make her arms ache.

Lexa rolled onto her back with a growl of frustration. She would have to start pleasuring herself earlier than she’d thought. Resigning herself to her fate, Lexa crawled into her tent and began to unlace her boots.

The alpha had just removed her pants and shorts when she caught sight of Clarke’s gift sitting in the corner of the tent. Lexa grabbed the package and began to unwrap it, hoping it was a shirt she could use for nefarious purposes. She opened the last fold to find that it was indeed an article of clothing, but not the one she’d expected.

The omega’s scent crashed over Lexa in an overpowering wave. The alpha whined and doubled over as her cock twitched and throbbed, precum leaking from the head. Lexa’s mouth watered as she stared at the Skaikru undergarments in her hand. The omega’s scent poured from the fabric – spring skies and morning dew and fresh grass and Clarke.

Lexa brought the fabric to her nose and inhaled deeply, moaning when a new scent assaulted her senses: arousal. The alpha looked closer to see that the crotch of the underwear was ruined with cum – Clarke’s cum. The thought that Clarke had brought herself to climax and stained the fabric with her release was nearly enough to make Lexa come without touch.

Growling as she fell back on the furs, Lexa held the underwear to her face with one hand while grabbing her cock with the other, pumping slowly but firmly. Squeezing her eyes shut, she imagined Clarke laid out before her.

Lexa tried to picture what the omega looked like nude, the image blossoming in her mind. Clarke’s skin would be soft and pale and smooth beneath Lexa’s hands. Her breasts would be just as full as her tight shirts suggested, capped with pink nipples puckered and ready. The curls between Clarke’s legs would be the same colour as her hair. Her clit would be peeking from its hood as she spread her thighs, already glistening with arousal. Lexa took another deep breath of Clarke’s scent as she imagined lowering her mouth to the omega’s folds and tasting her wetness.

Lexa hissed and pumped her cock faster as she mentally lowered herself over Clarke and kissed those full, beautiful lips. The alpha imagined nudging Clarke’s thighs apart before guiding her length to the omega’s entrance. She would be gentle, easing the head of her cock in slowly so Clarke could get used to the stretch. Clarke would beg for more, and Lexa would oblige, thrusting forward until she was buried to the hilt in the omega’s cunt.

The alpha could feel her knot starting to form, aching at the base of her cock. Rolling onto her back, Lexa draped Clarke’s underwear over her face so she could continue to breathe her scent while reaching down to massage her knot. She moved her other hand faster on her length, the process made easier by copious amounts of precum. Lexa pictured herself thrusting into Clarke slowly at first before picking up the pace, withdrawing almost completely before slamming into the omega again. She imagined what Clarke’s face would look like contorted in pleasure as she gasped and pleaded for more, harder. Lexa gently squeezed her knot, imagining that her hand was Clarke’s cunt stretching open to accept it, the omega crying out as she was filled completely. The vision of Clarke coming hard around her knot tipped the alpha over the edge.

Lexa came with a moan, thrusting up into her hands as harsh streams of cum jetted from the tip of her cock. The image of filling Clarke with her seed prolonged the alpha’s orgasm and left her thrashing on her furs, growling as her release splashed across her hands and stomach. Lexa wondered for a moment what Clarke’s release would feel like dripping down her cock, and the thought coaxed a few more weak spurts from the tip.

Jerking her fist for a few last strokes, Lexa collapsed back onto her furs with a sigh. Clarke’s scent was still heavy in her nose and the alpha took several deep breaths, letting it fill her up. A few breaths were all it took; Lexa’s cock twitched into hardness again and her knot ached beneath her palm.

Lexa let out a frustrated growl, knowing her blissful torment was far from over. She brought an image of Clarke to the forefront of her mind and resumed stroking her length, keeping her movements slow. This time Lexa imagined Clarke kneeling before her, wrapping her hand around the alpha’s cock, squeezing gently. Lexa saw her sweep her hair over her shoulder before taking the tip of the alpha’s member between her lips, dragging her tongue over the head. She couldn’t hold back a cry at the thought of Clarke’s tongue sliding down her length before her lips followed, taking the alpha deep into her mouth until her cock hit the back of the omega’s throat. Lexa could almost feel the wet heat around her length as she jerked herself faster, moving her hand in time with the imaginary Clarke’s hand and mouth.

The alpha writhed on her furs as she envisioned Clarke sucking her until her cheeks hollowed, swirling her tongue around the head of her cock and coaxing fluid from the tip. Lexa would tangle her fingers in soft blonde hair as she thrust gently into Clarke’s mouth – not so hard as to choke her but enough that the alpha was brought to her peak. And when Lexa came, Clarke would take it all, greedily swallowing her release.

Light flashed behind Lexa’s eyelids as she convulsed on her furs, orgasm tearing through her. Thick ropes of cum splashed across her stomach again as Lexa continued to pump her cock, riding out the blissful waves of her release. The tension in her muscles eased as her climax faded and Lexa let out a shuddering sigh as she fell back limply on her furs. She couldn’t remember the last time she had come so hard – or so loudly. Lexa wanted to blame her rut, but she’d weathered her orgasms in silence many times before. No, Lexa knew exactly what had made her break down and cry out; she just wasn’t ready to say it aloud. Yet.

Lexa’s cock stirred again, and she groaned in exasperation. She almost buried her head in her hands before remembering that they were sticky with her release. Thoughts of Clarke might have been helping her come, but they also seemed to be making her rut worse. Lexa knew she had at least one more climax in her, but she wasn’t sure how to reach it.

The mental image of fucking Clarke from behind got her started.

* * *

Anya was waiting to greet the Commander when she returned three days later. “Have fun?” she quipped with a smirk.

Lexa’s expression remained neutral but Anya noticed the blush that spread across her cheeks. “Did Clarke tell you what she gave to me for the trip?”

“No, actually, she kept that to herself this time. Why?”

The Commander glanced around to make sure no one was nearby before continuing in a lower voice. “Can I trust you as a general, former First, and close friend not to tell anyone?”

Anya rolled her eyes. “Come on, Lex, who would I tell?” She would never have gotten away with that nickname in the company of others.

Looking around one more time, Lexa leaned forward and whispered in Anya’s ear. The older alpha’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She stared at the Commander in shock for a moment before doubling over with laughter.

“Wow,” Anya gasped. “That is brilliant. Oh, you really had fun, didn’t you?”

“Shof op,” the Commander growled in embarrassment as she led her horse back to camp, Anya’s laughter chasing her all the way.

Chapter Text

The day after returning from her rut, Lexa called Anya, Indra, Raven, and Clarke into her tent. “What’s going on?” Anya asked.

“We lost ten to the acid fog while I was away,” Lexa replied grimly, “and a few of our scouts reported more frequent ripa activity. If they get any closer, we may have to post more guards around TonDC.”

The Commander beckoned the group to gather around the table that held the map of the surrounding area, including Mount Weather. “The ripa were spotted here and here,” Lexa pointed on the map. “A few more were spotted near the Skaikru camp, which is roughly here,” the Commander gestured to an empty spot on the terrain. “Raven, Clarke, did your people encounter the ripa before you came here?”

Raven shook her head with a frown. “What’s a ripa?”

“Reapers,” Anya translated. “The Maunon have been capturing our people for decades. They drain our betas and omegas of their blood and toss their corpses away, but the alphas are different. Captured alphas are turned into Reapers, though we’re not sure how. The Reapers are sent from the Mountain to capture more people for the Maunon to drain. Every time our warriors and scouts have tried to get closer, the Maunon send out the acid fog. The fog burns through skin and melts the bodies of those who cannot outrun it or are too far from one of the bunkers we’ve located and marked as shelters.”

“And you think a radio is going to help us get past that?!” Raven exclaimed, horrified.

“Radio? What radio?” Clarke asked.

“Long story short, I was looking through some of the old tech the Grounders had recovered, I found radio parts, I explained what radios did, the Commander thought it might be Mountain tech, and I’m trying to cobble one together to see if I can hack their frequencies,” Raven rambled.

“Are we close enough to Mount Weather for that to work?”

“That’s what I’m trying to make sure of,” the mechanic sighed. “If I could get back to the dropship I could probably gut the thing for parts, but I have the feeling we won’t exactly be welcomed.” Raven paused in realisation before glancing at Anya. “What was that you said about bunkers?”

“There are several both outside and within range of the acid fog,” the alpha repeated. “Our scouts and warriors use them as refuge when they have to.”

“Has anyone gone through them for supplies?”

“Years ago,” Indra replied. “But none of our people would have taken any tek. We want nothing to do with the workings of the Maunon.”

“Then there may be something left for you to salvage,” Clarke said to Raven excitedly, and the beta grinned.

“Indra, have a scout and a group of gona accompany Raven to the bunker sites,” Lexa ordered. “Salvage what you can and bring it back here.”

“Sha, Heda,” Indra replied.

Lexa nodded her thanks before perusing the map again. “Have there been any changes in the Skaikru’s activities?” she asked her general.

Clarke had let her attention wander during the discussion about bunkers and technology, but her focus immediately returned at the mention of her people and the feeling of a hand covering her own. Glancing down at the table, the omega saw that Lexa had gently placed her hand over Clarke’s – not holding it, for that would be too obvious, but simply resting there. Clarke bit back her smile even as she cherished the buoyant feeling brought by the Commander’s touch. Looking away so as not to draw attention, Clarke found her gaze meeting Anya’s. The alpha was arching an eyebrow at her and pursing her lips to keep from grinning. Clarke narrowed her eyes warningly before returning her attention to the map and Indra’s words.

“They venture farther and farther from their camp each time they hunt,” the general was saying. “Their fayagon chase away the game and the Skaikru follow.”

“If they keep this up they’re going to start affecting the game near us, too,” Anya noted, irritated.

“Somehow I don’t think they’d be open to hunting advice,” Raven said with annoyance.

“We will deal with their incompetence another day,” the Commander decided with a sigh. “Perhaps we can still come to some agreement.”

“You teach them how to hunt in exchange for the omegas,” Clarke offered immediately.

Lexa rubbed her thumb over the back of Clarke’s hand, keeping the movement imperceptible from the others. “I understand that you wish to protect them, Clarke, but they will not thank you if they are brought here unwillingly.” Her voice was gentle but firm. “I know you want what is best for them, but you cannot fix everything.”

“But you’re the Commander,” Clarke pleaded.

“And the Skaikru are not part of my Coalition. If they were, I would have the power to take action against the alphas, but at the moment, I do not.”

Clarke hung her head in defeat. “I understand.” Lexa surreptitiously squeezed her hand.

“Is there anything more, Commander?” Indra cut in impatiently, still under the opinion that they should have wiped out the Skaikru from the start.

“We’re done for now,” the Commander replied. “Raven, you will go with Indra to gather the gona for your salvaging.”

Raven nodded her thanks as everyone but Lexa moved to leave. Clarke squeezed Lexa’s hand as she turned away and the Commander squeezed back, just for a moment. The omega couldn’t help but smile at the gesture as she followed Anya out of the tent.

“So…” Anya began, throwing an arm around Clarke’s shoulders and directing them towards the outskirts of the village. “You and the Commander.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

* * *

“Not that I’m complaining that I get a day off from training, but why are we here again?” Clarke asked. She and Anya were relaxing by the creek outside TonDC, letting their bare feet drift with the current and occasionally skipping stones.

“We don’t really have enough time to get through a lesson before dinner,” Anya replied. “Besides, sometimes it’s nice to just talk.”

“Who are you and what have you done with Anya?”

The alpha chuckled, taking a moment to skip a stone to the opposite bank. “I may be a warrior and an alpha, but that does not stop me from being a person.” The two sat in silence for another moment. “So how did you find out?”

Clarke sighed, not needing Anya to clarify. “When omegas present, they get their fertility rate tested. The Skaikru value omegas for their breeding potential, but population is strictly controlled on the Ark because of limited resources. The doctors found a way to temporarily restrict omegas’ fertility in such a way that they’ll only have one pup per litter.”

Anya frowned. “Why restrict breeding if it’s so highly valued?”

“Because one day the Ark will finally come to the ground and my people will need omegas to survive and populate. That’s why the fertility restriction is temporary: just in case we make it to the ground, as some of us did.” Clarke leaned back on her elbows as she gazed out over the water. “I was sixteen when I presented, which is already pretty late. When they tested my fertility rate, the result came back negative. They tested me over and over and in so many different ways, but the results were all the same: I was infertile. Suddenly my existence was an abomination. They wanted to float me because I was worthless to them, but I was too young. So they floated my dad for giving birth to me and locked me up in solitary, waiting until my eighteenth birthday.”

“What does it mean to float someone?” Anya asked.

Clarke took a steadying breath, shaking her head to chase away the memory of watching her father die. “There’s no air in space. It’s cold, too. So if you’re sent into space, you freeze and run out of air and…float.”

Anya refrained from condolences, knowing Clarke wouldn’t want anything that hinted at pity. “They do not float yongon?” she asked instead.

Clarke nodded. “Anyone under eighteen is sent to prison. It’s called the Skybox. All the Skaikru that were sent down to Earth were prisoners, except for Raven.”

The corners of Anya’s lips twitched. “That explains much.” Clarke couldn’t help but chuckle, glad that the solemn air was broken. “So how did you keep busy in solitary without resorting to talking to yourself?”

“I drew,” Clarke smiled. “I love to draw. When I didn’t have paper, I drew on the walls and the floor.”

“What did you draw?”

“What I thought the Earth looked like on the ground. I’d never seen a real tree, or grass, or a river, or what the moon and stars looked like from Earth. So I drew what I imagined.”

“And are these things everything you imagined?” Anya inquired gently.

Clarke’s smile widened. “They’re better.” She skipped her own stone across the creek, though it didn’t go nearly as far as Anya’s. “What about you? How did you find out?”

Anya huffed a laugh. “My story’s not nearly so innocent.” She debated how to begin for a moment before speaking again. “In Polis, when alphas go into rut, sometimes beta women volunteer to help them through it. I’m sure you can imagine how. Some do it because they are unmated and want children of their own. The woman who asked to lie with me already had two sons from another alpha who were nearing the age when they’d begin their warrior and profession training. I knotted her each night of my rut, which all but guarantees pregnancy. Except this time, it didn’t.

“Our people have a way of testing fertility as well. Just as we have a tea that will dampen the effects of heat and rut, we also have one that will induce them more quickly. The problem is that the drink makes alphas and omegas incredibly sick to their stomach before it takes effect. Over time, our healers discovered that those who got sicker on the tea tended to be more fertile. So the drink became a test to determine fertility. Most alphas start feeling the effects after the first few sips. I emptied the mug like it was water.”

Anya gave Clarke a rueful smile. “You’d think that my infertility would have chased people away, but omegas actually started looking for me as their heats approached. They would ask me to help them through their heats because I could fulfil their desires without getting them pregnant.”

“That’s why you stayed so far away from the tent when I asked for you during my heat,” Clarke realised. “You thought I was going to ask you to sleep with me since I knew that you were infertile, even though I’m infertile, too.” When Anya nodded, Clarke’s face twisted in amused disgust. “I’m sure you’re a wonderful lover, but I do not see you that way.”

Anya laughed. “Nor do I see you ‘that way,’ Clarke. But I think Lexa might see you ‘that way.’”

“Be quiet,” Clarke mumbled, blushing.

“You sleep with each other’s clothing,” Anya snickered. “I think it’s safe to say she at least wants you to be her intended by now.”

Clarke frowned. “Intended?”

“The Trikru are unique in that our people take intendeds before mating. It’s not quite a claim the way mating is, but it lets others know that two people are in a relationship and not available to court or mate anyone else.”

“The Skaikru call those boyfriends and girlfriends.”

Anya frowned. “Aren’t all friends either boys or girls?”

Clarke shrugged. “I didn’t make up the words. I like the sound of ‘intended,’ though.”

“I’ll bet,” Anya grinned, and Clarke threw a pebble at her, making the alpha chuckle.

The two sat in comfortable silence for a little longer as the sun started to set. As the sky turned orange, Clarke asked softly, “Do you have any family?”

Anya shook her head. “I was Lexa’s First before she became Commander, so she is like family, in a way, but no one else. You?”

“My mother is back up on the Ark.”

Anya looked glanced over at Clarke, observing the pensive omega. “You have a sister, if you need one,” she finally murmured.

Clarke turned so her gaze met Anya’s. “So do you,” she replied.

The two smiled at each other before Anya stood and stretched. “Come on, ‘sis,’” she teased, but with a hint of affection. She extended her hand for Clarke to take. “We don’t want to miss dinner.”

Clarke let Anya help her to her feet and the two turned from the creek to head back to TonDC. They had barely left the water behind when Anya glanced at Clarke and asked, “So, what can you tell me about Raven?”

Clarke smirked at her new sister. “Now who wants an intended?” she asked, laughing when Anya gave her a shove.

* * * 

The next shirt Lexa left for Clarke was wrapped around an oddly-shaped package. Unfolding the fabric, the omega gasped in delight to find a box of pencils and charcoals along with a sheaf of loose papers kept in a deer hide cover. Clarke knew Anya must have let her drawing passion slip to Lexa, but the omega was more thankful than aggravated at her sister. Putting the shirt aside and sitting cross-legged on her bed, Clarke took out a sheet of paper and began to sketch.

When Lexa returned to her tent after training with some of her warriors, she found one of Clarke’s shirts waiting on her table. Moving the garment aside, the Commander’s breath caught in her throat when she saw the paper that lay beneath. Lexa picked up the drawing with trembling hands, gazing open-mouthed at the sketch of her sitting on her throne. The Lexa in the drawing held her head high, her war paint making her eyes shine with fire and strength. Each line and curve and angle was precise and yet abstract, the grey shades merging and colliding into a striking image that captured the very essence of Heda.

Lexa put a hand to her heart as if doing so would slow its frantic pace. Taking a few deep breaths as she sat down on her throne, the Commander made a decision. Tomorrow she would take her courting with Clarke to the next step.

Chapter Text

Clarke was grinding herbs in Nyko’s hut when Lexa entered. “Clarke,” she greeted softly. “May I speak with you?”

Clarke nodded, putting aside her mortar and pestle and following Lexa to the door, out of Nyko’s earshot. The omega waited as the Commander shifted nervously from foot to foot. “I was wondering if you’d like to have lunch with me tomorrow,” Lexa finally blurted. “There’s a small clearing a short walk from TonDC where we can stop for a meal. I’ve spoken with Anya, and she’s agreed that you can be exempt from training for the day, and – ”

“I’d love to,” Clarke cut her off mid-ramble, a brilliant smile on her face.

By contrast, Lexa’s smile was barely present, but Clarke could see the joy dancing in her eyes. “Good. I’ll meet you here tomorrow at midday, then. Goodbye, Clarke.” The Commander turned to leave, but not before subtly brushing her hand against the omega’s.

“Goodbye, Commander,” Clarke replied as she saw Lexa out, barely able to keep from jumping up and down with joy. The omega couldn’t stop grinning for the rest of the morning and practically skipped to training after lunch.

“What’s got you in such a good mood?” Anya asked Clarke as she threw a punch.

“Oh, like you don’t know,” Clarke retorted as she blocked and jumped back. “Don’t leave me too bruised, ok? I have to look my best tomorrow.”

Anya smirked. “How bruised you get depends on how fast you move.” She swept her foot out to trip Clarke but the omega darted out of the way.

“I’ve never been on a Grounder date before. I’ve never been on a date at all! What am I supposed to wear?”

Anya gave her sister a look of utter confusion. “Do the sky people wear different clothing to eat lunch?” This time her foot connected with Clarke’s side and the omega doubled over.

“They do if it’s a date,” Clarke gasped as she tried to catch her breath.

Anya rolled her eyes, blocking a kick from Clarke. “I’ll braid your hair, if it really makes you feel better.”

“It would, thanks.” Clarke missed her punch and didn’t quite pull her fist back in time. Three seconds later, she was flat on her back. “Ok, how about we compromise and say that you don’t bruise my face?” she wheezed as she pushed herself up.

“No. Again.”

* * *

Clarke could barely hold still while Anya put braids in her hair the next morning. The omega had done well enough the day before to avoid a black eye or a bruised jaw, but she wasn’t entirely convinced she wouldn’t be limping her way to lunch. Anya just rolled her eyes, telling her to put some muscle salve on her calf and suck it up. Clarke did, though she wished it were Lexa’s hands rubbing in the salve instead of her own.

Clarke tried not to appear too nervous and excited when she met Lexa at the door to Nyko’s hut at midday. For a moment the two just took in each other’s appearance, smiling. The Commander reached out and tucked one of Clarke’s braids behind her ear, the simple gesture showing her appreciation for the style and making the omega’s smile widen. Tilting her head in an indication to follow, Lexa led Clarke from the hut and towards the gates of TonDC.

Lexa carried a blanket and basket in one hand, but once the two women had left the village, she slipped her free hand in Clarke’s. Clarke smiled as she twined her fingers with Lexa’s, unused to the buoyant feeling in her heart that came with the alpha’s presence. They continued on in silence until they reached the clearing Lexa had mentioned. Only then did the alpha relinquish Clarke’s hand so she could spread out the blanket.

The two women made themselves comfortable, and Lexa began to pull lunch from the basket. There was a wrapped parcel of smoked venison as well as a sachet of nuts and some fresh berries. The final items Lexa pulled from the basket were a corked bottle and two cups; she handed one cup to Clarke and kept the other for herself. “Is that wine?” Clarke asked when Lexa poured deep red liquid from the bottle.

The alpha nodded. “From Polis.” She lifted her cup to Clarke’s and the two touched their mugs in salutation before taking a drink.

They ate the venison in relative silence, their conversations held with shared glances and smiles. “Here, try this,” Lexa offered when they’d finished the meat and reached the berries. She held one up for Clarke to see.

“What is it?” the omega asked, peering at the dark fruit.

“They’re called blackberries.”

Rather than take the berry from Lexa’s hand, Clarke leaned forward and wrapped her lips around the fruit, gently sucking on the alpha’s fingers as she did. Lexa swallowed hard as she watched Clarke chew, a deep blush spreading across the alpha’s cheeks. “It’s good,” the omega purred with a wide grin. Reaching into the basket, Clarke pulled out a blackberry and held it out for Lexa, shyly biting her lip. Realising what Clarke wanted, Lexa smirked and took the berry in her mouth, dragging her tongue along Clarke’s fingertips as she did. It was Clarke’s turn to blush and she inhaled sharply at the sensuality of the display.

The two women fed each other every nut and berry, holding each other’s shy yet eager gazes as they did.

Done with their food, Lexa and Clarke sat shoulder to shoulder as they finished the rest of the wine. Clarke found herself leaning her head against Lexa’s shoulder; rather than push her away, Lexa rested her cheek on Clarke’s hair. Growing more and more relaxed from the wine, the two women finally began a conversation.

“So Anya told me she was your First. What does that mean?” Clarke asked.

“A warrior who takes on another for training is that trainee’s First, and the trainee is the warrior’s Second,” Lexa explained. “The First acts as a mentor to the Second, training him or her both in physical fighting and in battle tactics. The First often trains the Second as a hunter as well.”

“When does a Second stop being a Second?”

“When they can prove that they are equal to their First in a fight.”

A slow smirk spread across Clarke’s face. “You kicked Anya’s ass, didn’t you?”

“I am not familiar with that phrase, but if it means I defeated her, then yes,” Lexa replied, slightly confused.

“To kick someone’s ass is to utterly and completely defeat them, often to the point of humiliation,” Clarke explained.

It was Lexa’s turn to smirk. “There was no humiliation, but yes, I ‘kicked Anya’s ass.’ She was incredibly proud of me for it. She was even more proud when I won my Conclave and became Commander.”

“What’s a Conclave?”

Lexa’s smile faded. “A story for another day, Clarke.”

Sensing the alpha’s sadness, Clarke snuggled closer. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right,” Lexa replied, wrapping her arm around Clarke’s waist. “You did not know.”

They rested in silence for a moment before Clarke asked, “So does that make me Anya’s Second, now?”

“If you were a warrior first and foremost, you would be,” Lexa said. “But as you are a healer as well, no, you are not her Second. Your friend Octavia, however, has just recently become Indra’s Second.”

Clarke chuckled. “Indra’s gonna have a challenge on her hands.”

“So she has complained to me,” Lexa agreed. “But she approves of Octavia’s eagerness to learn and refusal to give up. Indra feels she has potential.”

“I’m glad for her.”

Clarke sighed in contentment, wrapping both of her arms around Lexa’s waist and nuzzling into her shoulder. She took a deep breath of the alpha’s scent and smiled when she felt Lexa nuzzle her hair and do the same. They tightened their embrace as they lost themselves in each other, the forest and earth after rain mingling with new grass and spring skies. “Lexa,” Clarke gasped, unable to tell if she was falling or flying and desperately trying to hold on.

“I’ve got you, Clarke,” Lexa murmured. She gently placed her fingers under the omega’s chin and tilted her head up to meet the alpha’s gaze. Brushing their noses together, Lexa lowered her lips to Clarke’s.

Clarke knew she was flying as her mouth moved softly against Lexa’s. The omega leaned into the alpha’s gentle kiss, warmth radiating through her body as she relaxed in Lexa’s embrace. Clarke felt the alpha’s tongue make a tentative sweep across her lip and she opened her mouth to accept it, meeting Lexa’s tongue with her own. Lexa hummed her delight and pulled Clarke closer, pressing their bodies together. Soon their hands were roaming along each other’s backs and tugging at clothing in an attempt to find skin. Lexa gently pressed Clarke back on the blanket and the omega reacted immediately.

Clarke gave a sharp cry of fear as she instinctively pushed Lexa away. She sat shaking on the blanket, barely able to breathe as memories of the last time an alpha had pinned her on her back tore through her. The omega squeezed her eyes shut and tried to force the memories away. Just as she thought she would fail and be overwhelmed, Clarke was surrounded by Lexa’s sweet scent and warm arms, and the omega clung gratefully to the alpha.

“Shh, you’re all right, Clarke. Just breathe,” Lexa soothed, rocking the omega as she rubbed her hand along her back.

“I’m sorry,” Clarke whimpered.

“You have no need to be sorry, Clarke. I should have remembered,” Lexa reassured her.

Clarke shook her head as she continued to gasp for air. “Not your fault.”

“Maybe not. But I still should have remembered.” Keeping Clarke in her arms, Lexa lay back on the blanket, holding the omega close. Clarke wrapped her arms around Lexa’s shoulders and threw one leg over both of the alpha’s. Burying her face in Lexa’s neck, she took deep breaths of the alpha’s scent, letting the smell of forest and rain-damp earth slow her pounding heart. Lexa continued to rub circles on Clarke’s back with one hand while stroking her hair with the other.

The omega eventually calmed, snuggling closer to Lexa and pressing a kiss against her neck. “Thank you for understanding,” Clarke whispered.

“Of course,” Lexa murmured, pulling the omega closer and pressing a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll never let anyone hurt you again, Clarke. I swear it.”

“I know,” Clarke replied, smiling as she kissed Lexa’s cheek. “I trust you.” No longer afraid, she let herself relax in Lexa’s arms. “How long can we stay here?” she asked drowsily.

Lexa smiled as she let her eyes fall closed. “As long as you want.”

“Liar.” Clarke gently poked her in the side. “You’re the Commander. You have important things to worry about.”

“None so important as you, Clarke,” Lexa insisted. “And when it’s just the two of us, I’m not the Commander. Just Lexa.”

My Lexa,” Clarke mumbled without thinking. When she realised exactly what she’d said, she tensed. “I mean…”

Lexa chuckled, cutting her off. “Does that mean you’ll be my intended?” she asked, turning on her side so she could face Clarke. The omega’s responding smile and the happiness in her eyes made Lexa’s heart ache.

“I will,” Clarke replied without hesitation. She didn’t wait for Lexa’s response before tangling her fingers in the alpha’s hair and crashing their lips together.

The two spent the rest of the afternoon wrapped up in each other, pretending that, just for the moment, everything was perfect.

Chapter Text

Though Lexa was not openly affectionate with Clarke after becoming her intended, the dynamic between them changed over the following weeks. They went about their lives as usual (which included the continuous trading of shirts), but sometimes Lexa would stop by Nyko’s hut for the specific purpose of kissing Clarke on the cheek, or interrupt the omega’s training with Anya for no reason except to see how Clarke’s day was going. Anya ribbed them good-naturedly over these interruptions, but Clarke felt that Lexa’s soft kisses were worth the teasing.

Sometimes Clarke would return from combat training to find Lexa waiting at the omega’s tent with dinner for both of them. They’d eat and talk together, and if Clarke was particularly sore, Lexa would rub the muscle-soothing salve into the omega’s back and shoulders. Then, if time allowed, they would curl up together on Clarke’s bed, simply enjoying each other’s scents and closeness. More often than not, Clarke would fall asleep in Lexa’s arms. The Commander stayed with her when she did, stroking the omega’s hair until she absolutely had to leave, lest her absence be suspicious to her generals or other Trikru warriors. Lexa’s guards were far from oblivious, but the Commander had the feeling Indra wouldn’t exactly approve of her relationship with Clarke. The general was one of many who believed such relationships to be weakness, and the Commander could not afford to be weak.

Clarke returned to her tent from a particularly rough afternoon of training to find Lexa waiting with dinner and a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. Clarke’s own smile faded when she caught the hint of distress in the alpha’s scent. “What’s wrong?”

Lexa sighed. “Let’s eat first. Sit.”

“Lexa,” Clarke encouraged.

The alpha’s sigh deepened. “I’ll tell you over dinner, I promise. Please, you must be starving.”

Clarke couldn’t disagree with that, and the first few minutes of dinner were spent in silence as both women tore into their food. “The clan delegates will be arriving in TonDC tomorrow,” Lexa. “What we have between us cannot continue in their presence.” When Clarke’s eyes widened in fear that she was being rejected, Lexa hastily assured her, “Only in public. As Commander, I cannot be seen to show favour, especially not to an intended. For both our safety, the delegates must remain unaware of our relationship. I’m sorry, Clarke.”

Now that Clarke knew that Lexa wasn’t ending their relationship, she felt a little better about what the alpha was saying. She didn’t quite understand how their safety was affected, but the omega knew nothing of the other clans and their ways. But as much as she wanted to press for more answers, Lexa’s obvious worry was enough to keep her silent. Clarke trusted Lexa with her life. If the alpha wanted to hide their relationship for the time being, the omega would trust her.

Clarke nodded her understanding. “All right, but I’m still sleeping with your shirt,” she added with an upward quirk of her lips.

Lexa’s smile was genuine this time. “Mochof,” she murmured as she sipped from her mug. “How are your shoulders feeling?”

“They’re all right,” Clarke replied, though she didn’t look at Lexa as she said this, a blush forming on her cheeks.

“But…?” Lexa prompted, unsure of what was causing the omega’s discomfort.

“Well…my legs ache from the crouches and kicks we did today, but it’s no big deal,” Clarke blurted, blush deepening. To the omega’s surprise, Lexa placed her hand over Clarke’s.

“I will help you, if you’ll let me,” the Commander murmured. When Clarke met Lexa’s gaze, the alpha’s green eyes were full of an earnest openness and trust the omega was sure no one else had the privilege of seeing. Relaxing in the presence of her alpha, Clarke smiled and nodded.

Lexa set their cups and plates aside while Clarke removed her boots and undid the fastenings of her pants. Biting her lip against her sudden shyness, the omega slid the fabric down and off her legs, leaving her in a pair of Grounder shorts (Lexa had never returned her underwear and Clarke hadn’t asked for it). Lexa swallowed back a gasp, fighting to keep control of her arousal as Clarke leaned back against the tent pole and stretched out her legs. They’re just her legs, for Spirits’ sake, the Commander chided herself, though it didn’t stop her from admiring the play of muscles beneath pale skin. Kneeling across from Clarke, Lexa lifted the omega’s left leg to rest in her lap. Rubbing some salve on her hands, the alpha began to gently but firmly massage the sole of Clarke’s foot.

Clarke bit her lip again, this time to hold back a relieved moan. She always cherished Lexa’s touch, however light, so having the alpha massaging her aching muscles was heaven. Lexa pressed her thumb into a particularly sore spot in the arch of Clarke’s foot and the omega couldn’t hold back a sigh of pleasure. Lexa’s smile at the sound was barely visible, but it still warmed Clarke’s heart.

Both women were always silent during this part of their nights together. Each liked to focus on the feel of each other’s skin and Lexa especially liked to listen to the sounds Clarke made when the alpha touched her, however quiet or restrained. The omega was trying to be quiet that night, but she couldn’t contain her hums and sighs as Lexa’s skilled and tender fingers made their way along Clarke’s sore calf. The Commander paused for a moment to rub more salve on her hands before returning to her ministrations, venturing higher and higher along Clarke’s leg. If anyone who only knew Lexa as Commander could see her now, they’d be flabbergasted. The Commander knelt for no one. Everyone served the Commander; her words and actions were law. But Lexa was also a Trikru alpha and she’d be damned if she didn’t treat her omega right. They might not have been mated, but Clarke was still hers, her intended, and Lexa was going to make sure the omega knew that she would always take care of and protect her.

Clarke’s breath hitched as Lexa’s hands reached her thigh, but she stayed relaxed, not wanting to push her intended away. The higher the alpha’s hands travelled, the more Clarke wished they would find their way to her centre, to her clit, deep inside her… The omega closed her eyes and tried to force the images away, knowing that if she didn’t, Lexa would be able to smell her desire. True, it was something the alpha had most definitely smelled before, but never in Clarke’s presence. But then Lexa inhaled deeply and Clarke knew it was too late.

Lexa ground her teeth as she fought against the pull of Clarke’s desire. The Trikru were legendary for their self-control; from the day they first presented, alphas and omegas were trained to resist each other’s scents so that pheromones couldn’t be used against them. Lexa’s training was pushed to its limits as she braced herself against the onslaught of Clarke’s scent. All Lexa wanted was to pull Clarke onto her lap, onto her cock, thrusting into her until the omega cried out her release and Lexa emptied deep inside her. Just the thought made Lexa’s clit twitch, and she nearly shook with the effort of keeping her hands steady on Clarke’s skin. Rubbing more salve on her hands, Lexa switched her massage to Clarke’s right leg, starting at her thigh and working her way down.

Clarke tried to focus on the tenderness of Lexa’s touch and not the desire it evoked. The omega did her best to keep from scenting too strongly even as she enjoyed Lexa’s fingers working out the aches in her calf. But Clarke failed to bite back a groan when Lexa reached the sole of her foot and the omega saw her visibly shiver at the sound.

When Lexa was through, the two women just sat and looked at each other for a moment, speaking with gazes instead of words. Both of them knew that if Clarke were to pull Lexa into a thank-you kiss, their control would snap and their desire would run free and they wouldn’t be able to stop. Hiding their relationship would be impossible. So Clarke simply smiled and nodded, and after a moment, Lexa followed suit.

“Goodnight, Clarke,” Lexa murmured, standing and making her way out of the tent.

“Goodnight, Lexa,” Clarke replied as she watched her go. Sighing, the omega didn’t bother putting her pants back on, instead crawling into bed and pulling the furs over her waist. She pulled Lexa’s shirt to her face and inhaled, letting herself drift drowsily in the alpha’s scent. She was asleep within minutes.

Outside the tent, Lexa ran into a smirking Anya. The Commander scowled when she saw her. “I don’t suppose you practiced crouches and kicks on purpose today,” Lexa said.

“Maybe,” Anya grinned. The Commander sighed, shaking her head as she stalked off to her tent. “You’re welcome!” Anya called after her.

* * *

Anya and Clarke were in the middle of sparring when the delegates began to arrive. “Hod op,” the alpha said, letting her sister out of a headlock.

“Thank God,” Clarke groaned, massaging her neck. “Not that I’m complaining, but what are we stopping for?”

“A little lesson on Coalition politics.”

“I think I’d rather go back to fighting.”

“So would I, but I want you to recognise the people you’ll be avoiding for the next few days.”

Anya led Clarke towards TonDC’s main thoroughfare, Octavia and Lincoln not far behind. There they ran into Raven, who was taking a break from her tinkerings. “How’s the radio coming?” Clarke asked.

“Not too bad,” Raven replied. “There are a couple things I’m going to have to jury-rig the fuck out of and it’s not gonna look pretty, but it’ll work. Now I just have to figure out how to explain it in a way these guys understand,” she said, gesturing at the arriving delegates.

“All right, sky girls, listen up and pay attention,” Anya cut them off. “That man over there is the Floudonkru representative – Boat Clan. Their leader is Luna, who’s on good terms with the Commander. You don’t really have to worry about the Floukru; they’re good people, and their delegate is fair. If you absolutely have to interact with the delegates, talk to him.”

Anya pointed out each representative that came through, identifying their clan and describing the state of their relationship with the Coalition. Clarke noticed that all the delegates were either alphas or betas and made a mental note to ask Anya about this later.

When the eighth representative came striding through, Anya’s expression darkened, and she visibly bristled. “Who’s that?” Clarke asked, noticing her reaction.

“Azgeda,” Anya growled. “Ice Nation. Whatever you do, do not interact with him. If he looks at you, lower your head the way omegas are expected to and turn away. Do not make eye contact. Turn and run if you have to.”

“Yeesh, what’s so bad about the Azgeda?” Octavia asked.

“They put up a hell of a fight against the clans before finally relenting and joining the Coalition. They’re still not exactly happy about it, but they fall in line,” Anya explained. “Their views on how alphas, betas, and omegas should behave and interact is harsh, though. That’s why you have to be careful, Clarke – you’re unmated.”

“But I’m –”

“Shh,” Anya cut her off. “The delegates cannot know that or it will be used against both you and your intended. The Azgeda representative especially would have more than a few words to say about it.”

“The opinion of one delegate can’t be the only reason, can it?” Clarke protested.

Anya sighed, working her jaw. “It’s not my story to tell,” the alpha finally relented, “but before the Azgeda joined the Coalition, they captured the Commander’s intended for information and sent back her head.”

Clarke’s blood ran cold as she let her sister’s words sink in. Everything Lexa had told her the night before made sickening sense now. “That’s why…”

“Exactly. So keep your head down and your mouth shut and just stay out of the way,” Anya told her.

“Reivon kom Skaikru.” The group turned and saw one of the Commander’s guards approaching. “Heda needs you in the meeting about the mountain.” Raven nodded and made to follow when the guard added, “Klark kom Skaikru is to be present as well.”

Clarke tried not to let her horror show as she and her sister exchanged glances. “So much for that,” Anya sighed.

Chapter Text

Raven and Clarke slipped into the Commander’s tent to find Lexa, Indra, and the clan delegates gathered around the war table. A few glanced up at the two women’s entrance and the Azgeda delegate gave Clarke a look she really didn’t like. Doing her best to ignore him, she followed Raven over to an open space at the table next to the Commander. Lexa nodded in greeting but otherwise showed no sign of special recognition. Clarke tried to act the same way.

The Commander called for silence and then opened the meeting with local and clan-specific disputes. It gave Clarke and Raven the chance to observe the delegates interacting with each other and the Commander. The alphas among them were typically more aggressive but were easily quelled by a sharp look from Lexa when they got out of hand. The Commander was clearly the dominant alpha in the room, as much as the others kept trying to outdo each other with forceful words and scents. The clash of smells was giving Clarke a headache, and she tried focusing on Lexa’s scent next to her as opposed to the other waves of alpha pheromones crashing through the tent.

“Now that the clan issues are settled, we must discuss the Mountain,” The Commander said when the last petty debate had been resolved.

Oh, thank God, Clarke thought, and the glance she got from Raven let her know that the beta felt much the same.

“Yes, let us talk about the Mountain, Commander,” the Azgeda delegate sneered. “Let us talk about why we have not launched a full assault.”

“We would fall to the acid fog and you know it,” the Delphi Clan delegate snapped. “We nearly lost some of our warriors to the fog on our way here!”

“Then you should not have travelled so close to the Mountain,” Indra told him calmly. The delegate scowled but didn’t retort.

“Even without the acid fog, our gonakru are no match for Maunon weapons,” the Commander said. “Not only that, but we have no way of getting into the Mountain. However, the Skaikru may be able to help us with that.”

Lexa nodded to Raven, who took that as her cue to speak. “I’ve used some of the tech gathered from the abandoned bunkers to put together a radio. It’s a device that, when activated, will let us listen to the Mountain Men’s conversations.”

The Desert Clan delegate snorted. “Nothing can do that.”

“They used radios in space to contact the different Ark stations,” Clarke pointed out. “If they can work in space then we can get them working on the ground.”

The Azgeda delegate smirked, and Clarke suddenly wished she’d kept her mouth shut. “Perhaps, then, we should be less focused on the Mountain and more worried about these new ‘Sky People,’” he said, his words dripping with disdain. “Why have you not eradicated them from our lands, Commander?”

“The Skaikru are on Trikru lands – lands where I hold jurisdiction,” the Commander growled. “The Sky People stay for the time being.”

“Why not just eradicate them?” the Desert Clan delegate asked. “They’re nothing our gona can’t handle.”

“They have knowledge and tech the Maunon do,” Lexa said.

“All the more reason to be rid of them!”

“All the more reason to keep them alive. We can use that knowledge and tech to bring down the Mountain.” The Commander fixed the assembly with a fierce stare. “The Skaikru are a few of many. If we want to secure negotiations for when the rest of their people arrive, we need to treat them with respect. They are still pups getting used to living on the ground. Their usefulness will come in time.”

“And these Skaikru?” the Azgeda delegate asked, nodding at Raven and Clarke.

“Representatives here to aid negotiations,” the Commander replied smoothly.

The Azgeda delegate made a noise of disbelief. “They would send a beta and an omega to negotiate?” he sneered.

Clarke bristled and wanted to retort, but Anya’s warning made the omega hold her tongue and look away. “The Skaikru hold alphas, betas, and omegas in different standings,” Lexa said through gritted teeth, “as do the different clans in the Coalition. We cannot condemn them for not conforming to our ways when we have not conformed to each other’s.”

The Commander and the Azgeda delegate locked each other’s gazes for a long moment while the rest of the assemblage looked on, holding their breaths. Finally, the Azgeda representative straightened his back. “I call for a show of dominance and devotion from the Commander of the twelve clans.”

Clarke could smell the burst of fury in Lexa’s scent and it nearly made her step back. As it was, several of the other delegates were obviously trying their hardest not to cower. “You would call for a show of dominance and devotion simply because you cannot have your way?” the Commander growled.

The Azgeda delegate bristled. “I call for a show of dominance and devotion because of your lenience with the Skaikru. If your people truly trust your judgement, they will obey.”

Lexa glared at the Azgeda before turning to the rest of the assemblage. “And the rest of you? Do you support his request?”

There was hesitation and uncomfortable shuffling before seven of the remaining eleven delegates raised their hands. The rage in Lexa’s scent doubled and this time a few representatives did take a step back. “Fine,” Lexa replied through gritted teeth. “I accept.”

“I think the Skaikru omega should be the one to show devotion,” the Azgeda delegate leered.

The glare the Commander levelled in his direction wiped the smirk from his face. “The Skaikru are not part of the Coalition and thus cannot be forced to participate,” she snarled. Turning to Indra, she ordered, “Fetch the unmated omegas. There are currently five.”

Indra nodded grimly and left the tent. Clarke glanced at Raven to see if she knew what was going on, but the beta responded with a shrug, equally confused.

Indra returned about ten minutes later with the five unmated omegas in tow. Two of them were boys, looking decidedly unworried, but the three girls were less calm. Clarke’s stomach lurched to see that one couldn’t have been more than thirteen, probably only having just recently presented. Lexa ignored the two boys, instead glancing at the girls with angry disinterest. Two of them were looking at the ground, visibly shaking, but the middle girl looked the Commander in the eye. “You,” Lexa pointed to her. The middle girl nodded and the other omegas took their leave, the girls much faster than the boys.

Tense with barely restrained fury, Lexa pulled a chair from the war table and faced it away from the delegates, taking a seat. The chosen omega knelt in front of her, and the action filled Clarke with dreadful realisation. “Do what you have to,” Lexa growled. The omega nodded, reaching forward and undoing the laces to the Commander’s pants.

Clarke barely remembered stumbling from the tent, trying to get as far from her nightmare as she could. She half-sprinted, half-staggered to the outskirts of the village near the training grounds before doubling over and vomiting in the bushes. Clarke retched until there was nothing left in her stomach before collapsing to the ground, curling up in a ball as she began to sob. She barely registered the sound of running feet and a familiar scent approaching.

“Clarke, what happened?” Anya demanded, concerned.

“The omegas…” Clarke gasped. “They made one…she had to…Lexa, they made her…”

“Was it a show of dominance and devotion?” Anya asked, her voice tinged with anger. When Clarke nodded, the alpha continued, “It was the Azgeda delegate who called for it, wasn’t it?” When Clarke nodded again, Anya stood with a growl of enraged frustration, kicking the ground. “Jok!” she swore. “Hofli em na ge em bum jok op kom pauna-de bilaik don choj em sis op ba don kok au kom em mami!” (Clarke didn’t understand, but the translation was something like “May he be ass-fucked by the pauna that ate his sister and choked on her cock.”)

“Why?” the distraught omega demanded. “It may as well be…be what almost happened to me!”

“I know,” Anya said, kneeling beside her sister and rubbing her shoulder. “A show of dominance and devotion is an old tradition the Trikru have long-since abandoned, but the other clans haven’t. The Azgeda especially like to call for it often for the leader of their own clan, just for the enjoyment and the feeling of power.”

“But why?”

Anya sighed. “It was originally designed as a way for leaders to prove their subjects’ unwavering loyalty. If a leader is unmated, they show dominance by commanding the act of devotion from an unmated omega, since many clans consider them to be the most vulnerable. The omega then shows their devotion by…well, you saw. It’s supposed to prove that the omega is utterly submissive and trusting of their leader. It ends when the omega brings the leader release, proving alpha dominance and omega devotion.”

“The delegate wanted me to do it,” Clarke whispered. “Lexa was furious. She was already angry, but her reaction to that was overpowering. She said I couldn’t be forced to do it because the Skaikru aren’t part of the Coalition.” The omega gave a shuddering sigh. “I would’ve done it, had I known. She’s mine, Anya. I would have done it. For her.”

“No,” Anya cut her off. “Lexa would never force you into that. She may have had no choice in the act, but she could never humiliate you that way. You’ve been through too much and she cares for you too much. She’s probably enjoying this as much as you are,” the alpha added with bitter sarcasm.

Clarke finally lifted her head to look at her sister, vision still blurred by tears. “I still would’ve done it.”

Anya sighed, helping Clarke stand. “Come on, let’s get you to your tent so you can rest a bit. Go visit Lexa after dinner. She can explain more and you might feel better being with her.”

“How can I even look at her? How can she even look at me?”

“Don’t be angry with her, Clarke,” Anya murmured. “Don’t be angry at her or the omega. Blame the Azgeda delegate and the delegates who voted for the act.”

Clarke nodded as the two reached her tent. Anya rubbed her back once before leaving her to rest. The omega crawled under the furs on her bed and curled into a ball again. Her mind was a whirlwind of anguished and angry confusion. What little of the act Clarke had seen was seared into her brain, but for some reason, she still ached for her alpha. Grabbing Lexa’s shirt, the one she always kept by her bedside, Clarke buried her face in the fabric and inhaled deeply. The fading scent of forest and rain-drenched earth filled her nose and she began to sob again, wishing desperately to be in Lexa’s embrace even as she knew with distraught certainty that another omega was there instead.

Chapter Text

The moon was high in the sky when Clarke slipped into the Commander’s tent. Lexa sat on her throne, illuminated by candlelight. Her elbows were on her knees and her head rested in her hands, and Clarke could tell from the slump of her shoulders that the alpha was bone-weary. Lexa looked up at Clarke’s entrance and the omega’s heart ached at the defeated look on the Commander’s face. Upon seeing Clarke, a spark of hope flared in Lexa’s eyes before swiftly dying. The two stared at each other for a long moment before Lexa croaked, “I’m so sorry.”

“Why?” Clarke whispered.

Lexa’s sigh held the weight of the world. “If I refused, they would have challenged my rule as Heda outright. I would have had to fight in solo gonplei. If I lost, the Coalition would fall apart, ending the peace I’ve worked so hard for.”

“I would have done it for you,” Clarke told her, and Lexa immediately shook her head.

“No. I could never humiliate you like that,” the Commander replied, unknowingly repeating Anya’s words.

“But you could do it to that omega?”

“She volunteered.”

Clarke frowned, thinking back to earlier in the day despite how sick it made her feel. The omega Lexa had chosen had been the only one to look her in the eye, Clarke realised: a tacit acceptance of what had to be done. “Oh…” the omega trailed off, bitter jealousy swelling within her.

Lexa must have sensed this. “She didn’t do it because she has feelings for me,” the alpha clarified. “She did it to spare the other omegas.” When Clarke frowned, Lexa elaborated, “Keiti already has an intended. She’s no stranger to…such activities. The other two omegas have yet to know attraction to anyone. To have forced them into the act would have left scars on their hearts, much like the faint ones on yours.”

You’ve begun to heal my scars, Clarke thought, but said nothing. “Why not just tell them I’m your intended?” she asked instead.

The omega was surprised by the stark fear that crossed Lexa’s face. “Clarke, that would’ve been far worse.”

“Why?”

“The Trikru believe in intendeds, as do the Floukru, and many of the other clans accept the notion. But no clan besides Trikru believes that the Commander should be allowed an intended.” Lexa let her gaze fall to the floor, letting her shame for the Coalition’s beliefs show. “A Commander is supposed to be all-powerful. The Commander does not have an intended because they simply claim whomever they wish.” The alpha lifted her eyes to Clarke’s again, her green gaze imploring the omega to understand. “If they had known you are my intended, the delegates would have demanded more than dominance and devotion. They would have demanded that I claim you and mate you in front of all of them.”

“And you would have had to,” Clarke realised, shivering at the implications. “That’s why the Azgeda took your first intended, isn’t it – because you weren’t supposed to have one?”

Lexa blinked in surprise. “Who told you?”

“Anya warned me not to say anything about being your intended, and I asked why.”

The Commander sighed, hanging her head. “Yes,” she nodded. “That’s one of the reasons why they took Costia.”

Silence fell in the tent again, Lexa looking at the ground and Clarke looking at Lexa. Clarke was beginning to wonder if she should leave the Commander to her thoughts when the alpha whispered hoarsely, “I only got through the act because of you.” Clarke’s breath caught in her throat as Lexa continued. “After Costia was taken, I thought I’d never feel again. But then you fell from the sky and into my arms and suddenly I felt alive. Today, when it was happening…I felt nothing. I had to close my eyes and think of you – your eyes, your smile, your scent, the way your lips feel against mine. It’s the only reason I made in through.”

Clarke was silent for a moment before slowly approaching the throne. Lexa frowned as the omega knelt before her, but her eyes widened when Clarke reached for the laces of her pants. “Clarke, w-what are you doing?”

The omega looked up at her alpha with a soft smile. “Showing you my devotion,” Clarke murmured. Loosening Lexa’s pants, she gently pulled them down along with her shorts, just far enough to expose her centre. The alpha’s clit was already peeking from its hood. Clarke leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss to the throbbing bud, feeling it twitch beneath her lips.

“Clarke,” Lexa gasped.

“Shh,” Clarke soothed. She took a long lick through Lexa’s folds, ending with a swirl of her tongue around the alpha’s clit. It began to extend beneath the omega’s ministrations almost immediately, and soon Clarke was running her lips along Lexa’s hard length.

Considering all that had happened to her before, Clarke felt she should’ve been scared. But gazing at Lexa’s cock and surrounded by her scent, the omega only felt longing and desire. Tentatively wrapping her hand around the base of Lexa’s member, Clarke lowered her mouth and licked the alpha’s cock from base to tip, swirling her tongue around the head. Lexa let out a shuddering sigh, tangling her fingers in Clarke’s hair and stroking her forehead with her thumb. Clarke half-expected the alpha to force her head forward, but Lexa’s touch was soothing and gentle, grounding her. Still unsure but growing more confident by the second, Clarke wrapped her lips around the head of Lexa’s cock, tongue darting out to taste the drops of fluid leaking from the slit. Even the smallest hint of the alpha’s taste made Clarke want more, and she eagerly licked and sucked in an attempt to get it. Lexa let out a strangled moan from above her, hips jerking needily forward. Taking the hint, Clarke took Lexa’s cock deeper into her mouth, lowering herself onto the alpha’s length until she thought she might gag. The omega held herself still for a moment before withdrawing, only to slide forward again, taking Lexa deeper.

Clarke moved her hand in time with her mouth, pumping the base of Lexa’s shaft that her lips and tongue could not reach. Lexa was gasping and shaking as she tried not to thrust her hips too hard for fear of hurting Clarke. Eventually the alpha reached down with her free hand and tightened her fist around Clarke’s, guiding her grip. Clarke understood and squeezed Lexa’s cock more firmly as she stroked, even as she stayed gentle.

“Clarke,” Lexa rasped, shuddering as the omega pumped faster and sucked harder. Every time Clarke withdrew, she swirled her tongue around the head of Lexa’s cock before taking it in her mouth again. Soon Lexa couldn’t control the movement of her hips, her breathing ragged as she approached her release. The alpha tightened her grip on Clarke’s hair in warning, but the omega didn’t relent. Blissful tension coiled at the base of Lexa’s cock before finally bursting free.

Lexa let out a long groan as she came, spilling herself into Clarke’s mouth. Clarke pulled back so the head of her alpha’s cock rested on her tongue, allowing her to taste Lexa’s release. Her taste was clean and earthy, sweet with a hint of bitterness, and Clarke savoured and swallowed it all. The omega didn’t stop sucking until Lexa slumped bonelessly on her throne. Clarke placed one last kiss to the head of the alpha’s cock before tucking it back into her shorts, then let out a happy sigh, resting her head on one of Lexa’s thighs while drawing patterns on the other with her fingertips. Once Lexa had caught her breath, she untangled her fingers from Clarke’s hair and lifted the omega’s chin so they could meet each other’s eyes.

“How was that?” Clarke asked shyly.

“Clarke, that was amazing,” Lexa breathed, stroking the omega’s cheek. “You’re amazing.”

Clarke blushed even as she beamed with happiness. She would have been content to just sit with her head in Lexa’s lap, but the alpha surprised her by standing from the throne, pulling the omega up with her. Lexa reached around to grasp Clarke’s thighs and the omega obeyed the unspoken command, wrapping her arms around Lexa’s neck and her legs around her waist. Lexa gave Clarke a deep kiss as she carried her through the flap at the back of the tent that hid the Commander’s sleeping area. When they reached the bed, Lexa gently lowered Clarke to lie back on the furs.

This time Clarke did tense. “Lexa…” she whimpered as she fought back panic.

“Shh, ai niron, I’m here,” Lexa soothed. She lay on the bed alongside Clarke, propping herself up with one hand and rubbing gentle circles on the omega’s stomach with the other. “Relax, Clarke. I’ve got you.” Lexa lowered her lips to the omega’s and Clarke arched up to meet her, slowly becoming more and more relaxed under her alpha’s ministrations. As Clarke’s tension eased, Lexa began to nuzzle her way down the omega’s body, working her way towards her centre. It was only when she disappeared from Clarke’s immediate sight that the omega began to panic again.

“Lexa,” Clarke pulled at the alpha’s shoulder. “I need you with me.”

Lexa was back by her omega’s side in a heartbeat, snuggling close and pressing gentle kisses to Clarke’s cheeks. Clarke began to relax again, and when she was soft and pliant beneath Lexa’s touch, the alpha skimmed her hand downward to undo the laces of the omega’s pants. Clarke spread her legs in welcome, making Lexa smile into their kiss. Pulling back the fabric, Lexa slid her long, slim fingers into Clarke’s shorts, easily finding her clit.

Clarke broke away from Lexa’s kiss and let out a long moan, rolling her hips into the alpha’s touch. Lexa began rubbing slow circles on the omega’s clit, pressing firmly on some passes and easing off on others. Clarke was soon writhing beneath her, arms flung around Lexa’s shoulders as the omega nuzzled her neck; touching herself had never felt nearly as good as having Lexa’s fingers between her legs. Clarke could feel herself getting wetter with each press against her sensitive bud and it wasn’t long before Lexa was gathering that wetness with her fingertips. “May I?” the alpha murmured, one finger poised at her entrance.

Part of Clarke wanted to scream her assent and buck her hips forward, but instead she shook her head. “Not yet,” she gasped through her arousal. “I’ve never…”

“I understand,” Lexa murmured, returning to her gentle ministrations on Clarke’s clit.

“I want it to be you,” Clarke blurted, blue gaze boring hopefully into green. “When I’m ready, I want it to be you.”

It took Lexa a moment to understand what Clarke was saying, but when she did, the happiness and adoration in her smile made the omega’s heart ache. “I want that, too, ai niron,” Lexa whispered before pressing her lips firmly to Clarke’s, speeding up the motions of her hand as she did so. Clarke moaned into the kiss and spread her legs wider, rolling her hips into Lexa’s touch. Lexa deepened the kiss as she quickened her movements on Clarke’s clit, occasionally rolling and pinching the taut bud between her fingertips as she dragged her tongue along Clarke’s lips. Clarke met Lexa’s tongue with her own for as long as she could before the need to breathe made her pull away, gasping as the waves of climax crested within her. “Lexa,” she pleaded.

“That’s it, ai niron,” Lexa encouraged. “Come for me.”

Clarke cried Lexa’s name into the night as she orgasmed, tensing and shuddering in the alpha’s embrace. Lexa soothed Clarke with kisses as the omega clung to her, riding out her release until she was left spent and shivering with aftershocks. Clarke finally fell limp in Lexa’s arms, trying to catch her breath. When the world had stopped spinning, Clarke looked into Lexa’s eyes and smiled; the expression was so bright and pure and clear that Lexa couldn’t help but smile in return, heart aching.

“Lexa,” Clarke sighed happily, brushing her nose against the alpha’s. Lexa responded with a deep kiss, and it didn’t take long for the two to get lost in the feel of each other’s lips and tongues. But their kisses became too heated too soon, and they were forced to pull away, breathing heavily. Lexa settled for pulling Clarke close, nuzzling the omega’s neck and breathing in the scent of spring skies and morning dew on fresh grass. Clarke happily snuggled up against Lexa in return, relaxed by the alpha’s own scent of forest and rain-damp earth. “Can I stay?” she whispered, slightly unsure.

Lexa smiled and pressed a kiss to Clarke’s cheek. “I had no intention of letting you leave.” Both women chuckled and snuggled closer. “You will still have to leave early tomorrow so the delegates don’t see,” Lexa added sadly.

It was Clarke’s turn to press her lips to Lexa’s cheek. “I don’t mind. So long as I get to spend the night with you.”

Eventually the two women had to force themselves apart long enough to kick off their boots and crawl under the furs on Lexa’s bed. But once they were settled, they curled up in each other’s arms again, not a breath of space between them.

“Reshop, Klark,” Lexa murmured, tightening her arms around the omega.

“Reshop, Leksa,” Clarke replied. “Sleep well.”

“And you, ai niron.”

Clarke’s last thought before drifting into dreams was that this must be what heaven was like: safe in Lexa’s embrace, lulled to sleep by her steady heartbeat and the smell of forest and rain-damp earth.

Chapter Text

Clarke woke to the feel of soft kisses on her cheeks and murmured words of affection. She couldn’t quite make out what Lexa was saying, but something about the words made her heart stutter in its rhythm. Smiling and stretching, Clarke opened her eyes to see Lexa gazing down at her with utter adoration. Clarke tried to fix the moment in her memory – the expression that was just for her. Later, her alpha would need to be the stoic, emotionless Commander, but in the softness of the dawn, she was just Lexa.

“Os sonop, ai niron,” Lexa whispered, kissing Clarke gently.

“Os sonop,” Clarke replied sleepily. “What time is it?”

“The sun is only just rising. I wanted to give us as much time as I could before you had to leave,” Lexa explained, her smile fading.

Clarke stroked Lexa’s cheek and gave her a reassuring kiss. “It just gives us an excuse to go to bed early,” she quipped, brushing her nose against the alpha’s. “Dinner tonight?”

Lexa nodded. “The delegates should be in their tents by then. They’re only here one more day, and then we won’t have to worry about their prying eyes anymore.”

“Good.” Clarke kissed her again before forcing herself out of bed. Lexa watched as the omega clumsily slipped her boots on before standing and heading for the tent flap. Before leaving, Clarke gave Lexa one last, longing look. “Until tonight.”

Lexa nodded. “Until then, ai niron.”

Moving through the main part of the tent and exiting into the sunlight, Clarke had to keep herself from skipping back to her own tent. Slipping inside, she collapsed onto her bed and buried her face in Lexa’s shirt, hoping to catch a few more hours’ sleep. In the end, Clarke spent the hours before breakfast drawing a picture of Lexa gazing down at her when she’d first opened her eyes that morning.

* * *

Clarke ran into Octavia after breakfast while the mated omega was on her way to the training grounds. “Hey, O, what does ‘ai niron’ mean?”

‘Ai niron’? It means –mmph.”

Her sentence was cut off by Lincoln’s hand clapped over her mouth. Octavia glowered at him and he replied by raising his eyebrows at her, glancing at Clarke with a knowing look. After a moment, realisation shone in Octavia’s eyes. Now it was Clarke’s turn to glower; it was like Octavia and Lincoln were having a wordless conversation, and she couldn’t help but feel jealous. Octavia nodded her understanding to Lincoln, who removed his hand from his mate’s mouth. “It means something nice,” Octavia told Clarke with false innocence.

Clarke glared at her friend. “I’m sorry, since when do you let your alpha control you like a bitch on a leash?” she asked through gritted teeth.

Octavia growled and lunged at Clarke. The unmated omega rushed to meet her, but Lincoln stepped between the two of them before they could collide, a hand on each of their shoulders. “Relax, Octavia. That’s exactly what it looked like.” He turned to Clarke. “‘Ai niron’ is an endearment, but it’s neither of our places to tell you exactly what it means.”

“Just because you don’t have a mate who understands you without speaking doesn’t mean you can judge mine,” Octavia hissed.

Clarke let out a grudging sigh. “Fine. I’m sorry, I just…It seemed like…”

“I know, Clarke,” Octavia cut her off, putting a hand on her shoulder. It was only after going off on her friend that she remembered why Clarke would react the way she did. “I get it.”

Clarke nodded her thanks to Octavia before turning to Lincoln. “I’m sorry, I – ”

“Forgiven and forgotten,” he waved her off. “Do not let it worry you.”

“Thanks.” Clarke gave Octavia and her mate a semblance of a smile before continuing her walk to the healer’s hut for the morning.

She was so lost in her thoughts that she ended up walking right into another Trikru’s path. “Moba,” they both said at the same time, then froze when each realised who the other was.

Clarke stared at Keiti, a variety of emotions roiling in her stomach until she felt nauseous. “I’m not sure what to say,” she finally admitted.

“Me, neither,” Keiti agreed. The two stood in awkward silence for a moment before Keiti took a deep breath. “I’m so–”

“No,” Clarke cut her off. “It’s all right. I mean, it’s not all right, but…I don’t blame you.”

Keiti nodded with a sigh of relief. “Thank you,” she murmured. “And…don’t blame the Commander, either. She had as little choice in it as I did.”

“I know,” Clarke replied. “I blame the delegates for this. Especially the Azgeda.”

Keiti gave her a small smile. “My intended is set on killing him. If you’re looking for the Commander, I believe she’s currently explaining to her why that’s a bad idea.”

Clarke couldn’t help but smile in return, relieved that they were clearing the air between them. “Why did you volunteer for the act?” she had to ask.

“Because otherwise Heda would have had to fight solo gonplei,” Keiti replied.

Clarke frowned in confusion. “Wouldn’t she still have chosen one of you?”

Keiti shook her head. “The Commander would risk her life for her people sooner than she’d force one of them to commit the act of devotion.” She lifted her chin in what might’ve been pride. “And I would sooner commit the act of devotion for our Heda than watch her fight to the death. Besides, I knew she wouldn’t hurt me. The Commander may be fierce, but she is also compassionate, and she cares a great deal for her people.”

“That she does,” Clarke agreed, just barely smiling as she felt a swell of affection for her intended.

“Look after her, Klark kom Skaikru,” Keiti murmured seriously, even as she returned her smile. “We care a great deal for her, too.”

Clarke nodded. “I will, Keiti kom Trikru,” she vowed.

Keiti’s smiled widened a fraction as she extended her hand, and Clarke took it in the Grounder handshake. “I’m glad we had the chance to speak.”

“So am I,” Clarke replied, a little surprised to realise that she meant it.

* * * 

“Anya, what’s ‘ai niron’ mean?” Clarke asked as she easily dodged her sister’s punch.

Anya’s responding grin could only be described as shit-eating. “What do you think it means?” she returned before lunging at Clarke. The two exchanged a series of blows and blocks before Clarke was slammed to the ground. Rather than roll around and complain as she might have when she first started, Clarke easily leapt to her feet.

“I know it’s an endearment,” the omega replied. Anya swept her foot at Clarke’s legs but the omega leapt over and aside without taking her eyes off her sister.

“You’re right. It is.” Anya attacked and Clarke blocked every punch and kick, throwing a few of her own that almost landed.

“Why won’t anyone just tell me?” Clarke protested. She and her sister crashed together again in a flurry of kicks and punches that ended with Anya holding the omega in a headlock.

“’Cause it’s special,” Anya said as she struggled to hold Clarke in place. Clarke growled and stomped on Anya’s instep before elbowing her in the stomach. She used the momentum of the hit to bend forward and flip the alpha over her back. Anya was thrown down, but she took Clarke with her. The omega let out an “oomph” as she landed on her sister’s body; honestly, the ground would’ve been softer. “Os,” Anya said as Clarke rolled off her and the two got to their feet. “Nodotaim.”

“Skrishmelon,” Clarke muttered.

“Chit yu biyo?” Anya snapped, raising her fists

“Nodiyo,” Clarke replied with an innocent smile.

Anya rolled her eyes. “If only you learned how to fight as quickly as you learned Trigedasleng.”

Clarke bared her teeth and lunged. She feinted a high hit and, when Anya went to block, used her other fist to land a blow to her stomach (which, due to her sister’s physique, hurt Clarke more than it hurt Anya). “That’s better,” Anya approved. It only took two more moves for her to slam Clarke to the ground.

* * *

Lexa was sitting at her war table with her head in her hands when Clarke entered the tent. The omega immediately moved to stand beside her and began massaging her shoulders, evoking a low groan from the alpha. “Long day?” Clarke murmured, even though she already knew the answer.

“The delegates excel at trying my patience,” Lexa sighed, leaning back into Clarke’s touch. “They ask me to settle their disputes and then get angry when they do not like my decisions.”

“Only one more day and then you’re free,” Clarke said, placing a kiss to Lexa’s hair. “Then I can wake up in your arms at a decent hour.”

Lexa chuckled, standing from her chair and turning to wrap Clarke in an embrace. “I missed you, ai niron,” the alpha murmured, nuzzling Clarke’s neck and inhaling her scent.

“I missed you, too,” Clarke replied as she did the same. They stood this way for a few minutes before reluctantly disentangling themselves. “Anything bothering you in particular that you want to talk about?” she asked.

To her surprise, Lexa’s lips turned up in an almost predatory smile. “Well, there was one good thing that happened today.”

Clarke arched an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“The Azgeda delegate went one step too far,” Lexa said. “He called for another show of dominance and devotion, but none of the other delegates backed him. In fact, they accused him of calling it for his own amusement, which is something I’ve known for years about the Azgeda. I was able to put forward the motion to ban the act being invoked between clans. All but the Azgeda delegate agreed.” The small smile of victory on Lexa’s face didn’t last long before she sighed. “It means that individual clan leaders will still be able to call for it in their own territories – and the Azgeda certainly will – but no clan will be able to demand it of another clan, or of me. The Trikru will never see the act again, and most likely the Floukru never will as well. It’s not a complete abolishment, and it means there are still many omegas at risk, but it’s a start. It’s more than I’ve been able to get before, and I’ve been trying to do away with it since I became Commander. Now I’ve finally made some progress.”

Clarke beamed at her intended before throwing her arms around her again. “Lexa, that’s amazing!” she exclaimed, nuzzling her neck. Lexa’s sigh was one of happiness this time as she swayed them back and forth. After enjoying the warmth of their embrace for another moment, Clarke pulled back just far enough to meet her alpha’s gaze. “I spoke with Keiti today.”

Lexa paled. “Oh?” she replied in a slightly choked voice.

Clarke nodded. “She’s very nice. I’m sure she and her intended will be thrilled to hear about the new law.”

“I passed on the news earlier today,” the Commander said, even as she gazed at her intended in awe. “You’re not angry?” she whispered in disbelief.

“Am I angry that it happened? Of course,” Clarke replied. “But I do not blame her or you. I blame the Azgeda delegate, and he won’t be hurting us again.”

“Ai niron,” Lexa breathed, stunned. “You are incredible.”

 Clarke blushed, leaning up to kiss her intended again. “You’re not so bad yourself, Commander. Now, I believe you promised me dinner?”

It was a good while before they stopped kissing long enough to sit down and eat.

“How are you feeling?” Lexa asked Clarke once they’d finished dinner and were getting ready for bed.

“A little sore, but nothing too bad,” Clarke said, stretching.

“I can still rub the salve into your shoulders, if you like,” Lexa murmured, sounding almost shy.

Clarke gave her intended a long look as she realised what Lexa was really asking. A slow grin spread across the omega’s face. “Well, if you’re offering,” she purred, slowly pulling her shirt over her head. Lexa’s expression didn’t change, but Clarke was satisfied to see a deep blush on her cheeks. The alpha took an exceptionally long time rubbing the muscle-soothing salve into Clarke’s skin, and Clarke was sure to sigh and hum her delight every time Lexa eased a particularly deep ache. By the time Lexa could no longer make excuses as to why she was still giving Clarke a massage, at least an hour had passed. Clarke thanked her with deep kisses and a tender embrace as the two snuggled together under the furs. Both women slept soundly, finding safety in each other’s arms and scents.

* * *

Clarke once again woke to soft kisses on her cheeks and fingers running tenderly through her hair. The omega decided to feign sleep for a little longer, basking in Lexa’s touch. She’d nearly been lulled into slumber again when the alpha’s whispered words chased the fog of sleep from her mind.

“I love you.”

Clarke tried to stay relaxed as Lexa’s words washed over her. The omega’s heart felt like it was trying to beat out of her chest with joy and love returned. For Clarke had loved Lexa since the night the alpha kissed her shoulder after touching her so tenderly – since the night Clarke first wanted to be her omega. Knowing Lexa felt the same erased the last of the scars on her heart.

The omega felt Lexa’s soft kiss on her cheek, and before the alpha could pull away, Clarke placed her hand behind Lexa’s neck so she could pull her down and crash their lips together. Clarke poured her devotion into that kiss until she had to pull away to breathe, gazing up at Lexa with wonder. The alpha stared back apprehensively, and Clarke gave her a reassuring smile. “I love you, too, Lexa.”

Lexa’s breath escaped her in a sharp gasp as she gazed at Clarke in shock. Then, slowly, Lexa’s lips curved in a broad smile filled with joy and adoration. “Really?” she whispered, as tentatively as if Clarke held her heart in her hands (she did).

Clarke nodded, stroking Lexa’s cheek. “Really,” she confirmed. “God, Lexa, I love you so much.” She pulled the alpha into a kiss Lexa returned with passionate fervour, wrapping Clarke in her arms and holding her tight. “Why did you only say it when you thought I was asleep?” Clarke asked when they had broken apart for air again.

Lexa bit her lip and glanced aside for a moment. “I was building up the courage to say it when you were awake,” she replied shyly. The admission only made Clarke’s smile widen as she nuzzled her nose against Lexa’s.

“Show me,” the omega whispered against her alpha’s lips. “Lexa, show me.”

“Tonight,” Lexa murmured in return. “Tonight, when we can take as long as we want and wake up as late as we like tomorrow.” She kissed Clarke with so much love the omega thought she would melt. “My love, I can’t wait to touch you,” Lexa purred.

“If you keep saying things like that I won’t be able to wait until tonight,” Clarke teased. She reluctantly disentangled herself from her love, but not before meeting her lips for another kiss. “I have to leave before the delegates see,” she sighed.

“I know. But tonight, you’re mine.”

Clarke took Lexa’s hand in hers and placed a gentle kiss to her palm. “I’ve always been yours.”

Chapter Text

Clarke all but floated back to her tent. She was still lost in a blissful state of anticipatory daydreams when she was startled into reality by a hand yanking her to the ground behind a nearby tent. Clarke scowled at her attacker. “O, what the hell – ”

Octavia put a finger to her lips and then cupped her hand around her ear, gesturing for Clarke to listen. Clarke obeyed as the sound of familiar voices came closer.

“I’m telling you, I’m leaving for my rut and I’ll be back in a few days,” the two omegas heard Anya say in an irritated tone.

“And I’m telling you, I’m going with you,” came Raven’s reply. Clarke shot Octavia a look of utter confusion; the other omega gestured for them to continue eavesdropping.

“Raven, you know exactly what will happen if you come with me.” Anya sounded like her voice was about to break, though from what emotion, Clarke couldn’t tell.

“Of course I do. Why do you think I’m insisting on going with you?” the beta replied. Clarke’s jaw dropped. Anya hadn’t mentioned anything about a relationship developing between her and Raven.

“How can you be so sure about this?” Anya snapped back. “How can you be sure that this…that I’m what you want?”

“Because we’ve been dancing around this for ages, you idiot, and it’s about time I take the lead.”

“Please stop speaking in Skaikru metaphors, just for a moment.”

Raven sighed. “Anya, I’m tired of you pushing me away because you think you know what’s best for me. I’ve been telling you over and over, I don’t just want you because you’re ‘safe’ to have sex with. It wouldn’t matter, anyway – we’ve told you about the birth control implants.”

“But in the future – ”

“ – it still won’t matter,” Raven cut her off. “I want you for everything you are, Anya. Dammit, I…fuck, I need you for who you are. I’m not going to abandon you when this is over. You’re the only alpha I want.”

This last part was admitted so tentatively that Octavia and Clarke almost missed it. As it was, the two omegas were stunned. They had never heard Raven speak so openly about her emotions. ‘How long?’ Clarke mouthed to Octavia, completely blindsided by the overheard revelations. Octavia gave her a helpless shrug.

“Raven…I’m not good with…relationships…” Anya forced out.

“I don’t know shit about them, either. Just means we can make this up as we go along,” Raven returned reassuringly.

Anya chuckled, then sighed. “What am I going to do with you, strik sora?”

“Oh, I can think of plenty,” Raven answered, and Clarke and Octavia could hear her smirk. Silence followed, but it was a comfortable one.

“Meet me at the gates after dinner,” Anya relented softly. “You’ll get what you want. What we both want.”

Clarke and Octavia looked at each other with delight written across their faces, clasping their hands over their hearts in overreaction.

“Don’t leave without me,” Raven called, and the omegas guessed that Anya was walking away.

“I won’t,” the alpha’s voice came from a distance.

Raven let out a long sigh before Clarke and Octavia heard the beta’s footsteps nearing. As soon as Raven rounded a tent, the two omegas pounced, each putting an arm around the beta’s shoulders.

“Soooooo, you and Anya…” Octavia began, a shit-eating grin on her face.

This time Raven’s sigh was one of exasperation. “Really, you guys? Really?”

“Before you leave, lemme give you some advice on being knotted,” the omega continued as if she hadn’t heard her.

“Aaaaaand that’s my cue to go,” Clarke said, cringing as she broke away from her friends and made her way to Nyko’s hut for the morning.

* * *

“I’ll be gone for a few days for my rut, so you’ll get a break in training,” Anya said as she swung at Clarke.

“Excellent, I know exactly how I’m going to spend my time,” Clarke replied with a smirk as she blocked and breached Anya’s defences.

Anya chuckled as she sidestepped and went in for another punch. “When I get back, we’ll get started with swords. I think you’re about ready for them.” The two women came together in a flurry of punches and kicks before breaking apart again.

“Have fun with Raven,” Clarke commented offhandedly, her smirk widening.

Anya’s expression hardened. “She told you?”

“I overheard.” The omega’s smile turned genuine. “I’m happy for you.”

Anya’s own smile was unsure, as if she hadn’t had such kindness directed at her in a long time. “Thanks,” she mumbled before lunging at her sister. The fight was brief but intense before Clarke was thrown onto her back. The omega flipped to her feet with ease.

“Can you not bruise me too much today? I have evening plans.”

“We’ve been through this: how bruised you get depends on how fast you move.”

Clarke arched an eyebrow. “Oh? And what about your evening plans? I’ve been landing some hits lately; what if I decide to leave you some bruises? Don’t you want to conserve your energy?”

Anya pursed her lips. “Ok, maybe you have a point.”

* * *

Clarke threw herself in her intended’s arms when she returned to the Commander’s tent that night, and Lexa easily caught her and spun her around. The omega began to attack her with kisses, but Lexa chuckled and gently eased her away. “Dinner first, ai niron. If you’re going to pass out tonight, I want it to be from pleasure.”

Clarke blushed a furious red at the implication before burying her head shyly in Lexa’s shoulder. She indulgently inhaled Lexa’s scent, sighing as she was wrapped in the smell of forest and rain-damp earth. “What does ‘ai niron’ mean?” the omega mumbled.

Lexa pressed a kiss to Clarke’s forehead. “It means ‘my loved one.’”

Clarke lifted her head and looked up at Lexa with a broad grin. “So you’ve been telling me since a few nights ago, when we…” The omega trailed off, blushing again.

“Yes, when we,” Lexa teased. She kissed Clarke softly and tenderly. “Now, let’s eat.”

“Sha, ai niron,” Clarke purred. Lexa’s smile was slight, but the joy in her eyes made the omega’s heart ache in the best way.

* * *

As soon as dinner ended, Clarke wrapped herself around Lexa again, who happily carried her to the back of the tent and sat her gently on the furs. To Lexa’s surprise, Clarke didn’t let go, instead keeping her face pressed to the alpha’s shoulder. “Ai niron, are you all right?” Lexa asked.

“I’m…nervous. I want this so, so much, but I’m…what If I’m not good enough for you?” She asked the question in a small, scared voice.

Lexa lifted Clarke’s chin and softly pressed their lips together. “My love, you are perfect – perfect for me and all mine,” she purred, brushing her nose against Clarke’s.

Clarke blushed and giggled. Kissing Lexa again, the omega lay back on the furs, pulling her alpha with her. “Show me,” Clarke murmured, and the alpha didn’t have to ask what she meant.

Lexa pressed her lips to Clarke’s with fierce intent, cradling the omega close and running tender hands along her back. Clarke whimpered into the kiss and threw her arms around Lexa’s neck in a silent plea for more. Lexa obeyed and grasped the hem of Clarke’s shirt, breaking the kiss just long enough to bring the garment over Clarke’s head and toss it aside.

“I want to touch you,” Clarke gasped, even as she arched her back at the feel of Lexa’s hands on her bare skin.

Lexa smiled against Clarke’s lips and tugged her own shirt over her head. Clarke moaned when she touched the alpha’s skin for the first time, soft and warm beneath her palms. She dove back into the kiss and Lexa reciprocated with fervour.

The alpha ran her hands down Clarke’s chest and gently cupped her breasts, evoking a whimper from the omega. “May I?” Lexa murmured. Clarke nodded her assent, and Lexa carefully unwound the omega’s bandeau and let it drop to her waist. When Lexa got her first glimpse of Clarke’s bare breasts, she couldn’t help but stare, entranced. When the alpha continued to gaze at her, Clarke bit her lip and blushed, self-consciously moving her arms up to cover herself. “No,” Lexa protested, pulling the omega’s arms back down. “You’re beautiful.”

Clarke met her intended’s gaze to see that the look in her eyes was one of unadulterated hunger. Before the omega could take a breath to respond, Lexa had descended on her breasts, kissing every inch of the generous flesh. Clarke cried out her delight and clutched at Lexa’s shoulders, arching her back in an attempt to press herself closer. When the omega felt the warm, wet heaven of Lexa’s mouth around her nipple, she thought she might drown in her own desire.

Clarke tangled her hand in Lexa’s hair as the alpha continued to suck and lick at her breasts. Her ministrations were such sweet torture that the omega thought she could come just from Lexa’s mouth on her chest. When the alpha began to kiss her way lower, Clarke tugged at Lexa’s bandeau. “I want to see you, too,” she gasped. Lexa lifted her head from Clarke’s breasts with a nod and a smile, reaching around to unwind the bindings. When her breasts were revealed, Clarke’s reaction was similar to Lexa’s – the omega stared in raw desire. Briefly meeting her alpha’s gaze, Clarke nuzzled and kissed Lexa’s breasts, evoking a happy sigh from her intended. Lexa allowed her to indulge for a moment before sliding down and returning her lips to Clarke’s stomach.

Lexa gently slid Clarke’s pants down her legs, undoing her boots as well. When Clarke tugged at her waistband, the alpha removed her own pants and boots as well before draping herself over Clarke and kissing her tenderly. “Here’s what we are going to do, ai niron,” Lexa murmured. “First, I’m going to make you come with my mouth to get you nice and wet for me. Then I’m going to slip inside you and make love with you until we both find release. Do you want this, my love?”

“Yes,” Clarke gasped, fiercely crashing her lips to Lexa’s over and over again. “Yes, Lexa, please.”

“Relax, ai niron,” Lexa soothed. “I’ve got you.” With that, the alpha kissed her way down Clarke’s body until she reached the waistband of her shorts. She slowly pulled the garment off before gently planting kisses along Clarke’s calf and up her thigh. The omega spread her legs wider in welcome anticipation, making Lexa smile. She reached the apex of Clarke’s legs and inhaled deeply, moaning as the omega’s arousal assaulted her senses. Lexa placed a soft kiss on Clarke’s sex, evoking a whimper from the omega, before she extended her tongue and took a long lick through her folds.

Clarke cried out and bucked her hips into Lexa’s mouth, head spinning. She grasped blindly for her alpha and was relieved to feel Lexa’s fingers entwine with hers, keeping her safe and grounded. Clarke lifted her head just far enough to gaze at Lexa’s face between her legs, but the sight was too much. She squeezed her eyes shut and fell back with a moan, weaving the fingers of her free hand through Lexa’s hair and pressing the alpha’s mouth harder against her cunt. The aggressive desire made Lexa moan, and Clarke could feel the vibrations against her clit. Lexa circled the small bundle of nerves with her tongue before sucking it between her lips, making Clarke mewl in pleasure.

Lexa indulged in licking at Clarke’s throbbing bud before lowering her tongue to the omega’s entrance and slipping gently inside. Clarke writhed at the new but glorious feeling, trying not to clamp her thighs down on the alpha between her legs. Lexa fluttered her tongue against Clarke’s inner walls and the omega keened her delight, bucking her hips in search of more. The alpha gave her one last, loving lick before returning to her clit, sucking it into her mouth and laving it with her tongue. She began to suck harder and lick faster, and Clarke’s movements against her mouth became more frantic as her cries grew in volume.

Soon Clarke was chanting Lexa’s name like a prayer, every so often adding “please” in between. Lexa responded by humming against Clarke’s clit as she sucked and licked, and the vibrations had the omega teetering on the edge. It only took one more swipe of Lexa’s tongue for Clarke to cry out her orgasm, shuddering against Lexa’s mouth. The alpha gently licked her through her release, coaxing her through the aftershocks and indulging in Clarke’s heady flavour. When the omega’s shaking subsided, Lexa placed one last kiss to her clit before crawling up her love’s body and snuggling into her side. “How do you feel, my love?” Lexa murmured.

Clarke took a moment to catch her breath before rolling over to face Lexa, a beaming smile on her face. “That was amazing,” she gasped, pulling her intended into a fierce kiss. She purred as she tasted herself on Lexa’s tongue.

When they finally pulled away, Lexa chuckled. “I’m glad.” Her expression softened. “Are you ready, Clarke? It does not have to be tonight.”

Clarke kissed Lexa again with soft reassurance. “Yes, Lexa. I want this more than anything. I need you more than anything.”

Lexa’s smile was full of love as she returned Clarke’s kiss. “Just give me a moment,” she murmured against the omega’s lips. Reaching beneath their pillows, Lexa pulled out a square of white cloth and slid it under Clarke’s hips.

The omega arched an eyebrow at her intended. “What’s that for?”

Lexa kissed her forehead. “You’ll see.” She braced herself on her knees and was about to pull her shorts off when Clarke stopped her.

“I want to,” the omega murmured. When Lexa nodded her assent, Clarke slid the shorts down her intended’s legs. Lexa kicked them off when they reached her ankles just as Clarke reached down and took the alpha’s cock in her hand, already hard and throbbing, weeping precum.

Lexa lowered herself over Clarke and the omega moaned as the alpha’s cock pressed against her clit. She spread her legs wider as Lexa slowly moved her hips, dragging her length through Clarke’s folds. “Lexa, please,” the omega whimpered.

“Shh, I’m just getting myself wet for you, ai niron. I don’t want to hurt you.” She reached down and positioned the head of her cock against Clarke’s entrance. “Are you ready?” Clarke nodded, wrapping her arms around Lexa’s neck. Lexa bent and kissed her, pushing forward at the same time.

Clarke moaned as the head of Lexa’s cock slid inside her, and Lexa nearly groaned at the feeling of Clarke’s hot cunt surrounding her. Waiting for a moment to make sure Clarke was all right, Lexa thrust forward again, sliding a little deeper into Clarke’s centre. She could feel the tip of her length pressing against the thin barrier of skin that for the moment kept her from moving further. Reaching down, Lexa pressed her thumb to Clarke’s clit and began to rub slow circles, wanting to relax her love so she didn’t hurt her. Soon Clarke began to whimper and buck her hips, and Lexa used that movement to press forward once again, meeting resistance for barely a moment before breaking through.

Clarke tensed and inhaled sharply, hissing through her teeth as she felt the skin tear. Lexa murmured soothing, tender words in her ear, and the omega slowly began to relax again. When the ache had faded, Clarke gave Lexa a nod of consent. Lexa kissed her gently before thrusting her hips one last time, burying herself to the hilt within her love.

Clarke moaned as their hips connected, loving the feel of Lexa inside her. She felt full and complete, as if she’d been reunited with a part of herself she never knew she was missing. It was Lexa, Clarke realised – Lexa who made her complete. The omega beamed up at her intended with utter adoration as the feeling of being whole washed over her. Clarke lifted her head to press her lips to Lexa’s, soft and sweet. “I love you,” she whispered, pouring her heart into the words.

“I love you, too,” Lexa murmured back, brushing her nose against Clarke’s. For a moment they just savoured the connection between them, kissing and nipping at each other as Clarke got used to the feeling of Lexa inside her. Lexa found herself sucking a mark on Clarke’s neck and was about to nip at her with her teeth when it occurred to her what would happen if that went further. Cupping Clarke’s cheek, Lexa pulled back to meet her gaze with a serious one of her own. “Clarke, do you want to…?” She didn’t need to finish her question; Clarke knew exactly what she was saying.

Clarke smiled and pressed a quick kiss to Lexa’s lips. “Not tonight, ai niron. I have plans for when we mate,” she added with a sly smile. Lexa didn’t care that Clarke had said no for that night, because she had also said when. Not if they mated. When. The omega saw the emotion welling in Lexa’s eyes and seemed to understand her thoughts. “I’m yours, Lexa, and I can’t wait for the world to know it. But for now, I just want to make love with you.”

“Then make love we shall, ai niron,” Lexa murmured, kissing Clarke gently. They continued to move their lips together as Lexa guided Clarke’s legs around her hips. The change in angle made both women moan, and Clarke clung to Lexa’s back, leaving scratch marks in tan skin. Lexa brushed reassuring kisses down Clarke’s neck as she pulled back until only the head of her cock remained inside before sliding into the omega with a single, deep thrust. Both women cried out again as Lexa began a slow, steady pace, withdrawing almost completely each time before sheathing herself to the hilt.

Each time Lexa moved, the tip of her length dragged along Clarke’s swollen front wall, making the omega mewl with delight. She crossed her ankles behind Lexa’s back and clung to her tightly as her alpha’s pace quickened. Clarke buried her face in Lexa’s neck and inhaled deeply, letting her scent heighten her pleasure. She could feel her arousal trickling down her thighs, hear the slick sound of Lexa’s cock moving within her. Every time they came together, the alpha ground against Clarke’s clit, sending bolts of pleasure crackling along her nerves. Soon Clarke couldn’t control her cries as she bucked her hips into Lexa’s, pleading for faster and harder and more.

“Ai natshana, ai skaifaya, ai meizen niron,” Lexa purred in Clarke’s ear as she slammed their hips together. The feel of the omega’s hot cunt surrounding her shaft was exquisite agony she’d only dreamed of, and now that Lexa was inside her, she never wanted to leave. She could feel her release building in the base of her cock and adjusted the angle of her hips so she ground even harder against Clarke’s clit. The omega let out a sharp cry, followed by a series of gasps and whimpers as she trembled beneath Lexa.

“Lexa...I…I’m…”

“That’s it, love,” Lexa encouraged her, feeling Clarke’s walls tighten around her length. “Let go. Just hang onto me and let go.”

Clarke’s entire body tensed as she screamed Lexa’s name into the night, coming hard in her love’s embrace. The feeling of Clarke’s cunt squeezing her shaft sent Lexa over the edge with a long moan, the alpha pressing their hips firmly together as she emptied herself into the omega. Clarke delighted in the feel of Lexa’s hot release splashing inside her, and the sensation prolonged her orgasm until she was shivering in her intended’s arms. Lexa jogged her hips a few times to coax a few last spurts from her cock before collapsing on top of Clarke, just barely holding herself up enough to keep from crushing her.

For a time, the only sounds in the tent were their heavy breathing as they recovered from the most powerful climax either had ever had. Finally, when the pounding of their hearts had slowed, Clarke lifted her gaze to Lexa’s and beamed up at her, smiling with raw, undiluted love. Lexa could feel tears pricking at her eyes at the joy on her omega’s face, and the smile she returned was full of that same love.

“That was incredible,” Clarke breathed, pulling Lexa into a deep, passionate kiss.

Lexa hummed her delight against Clarke’s lips. “Sha, ai niron – you are.” Clarke giggled and kissed a trail down Lexa’s neck before burying her nose in her shoulder, drowning in her scent.

Lexa gently rolled them onto their sides so Clarke wasn’t trapped beneath her, and both women sighed as the alpha’s softening cock slipped from the omega. Smiling, Lexa reached down and drew the white cloth out from where it had lain under Clarke. She held it up for the omega, showing her the patch of blood that stained the centre. “To remember this by,” Lexa murmured. Clarke blushed a furious red as she pressed her lips to Lexa’s in thanks. “How do you feel?” the alpha asked, stroking her hair.

“Sleepy, but perfect,” Clarke mumbled, cuddling up to Lexa and breathing her in. “Absolutely perfect.” She tensed for a moment. “How do you feel? Was I, I mean, was it – ?”

“You were amazing, Clarke,” Lexa soothed her, kissing her forehead. “You make me feel perfect, too.” After a moment, she asked, “So what plan is this you have for when we mate?”

Clarke’s responding smile was devious. “My next heat is soon,” she began, tracing patterns on Lexa’s back with her fingertips. “And when it comes, I’m going to spend it with you, and when I’m coming hard around your knot and you’re emptying yourself inside me, then we will share the mating mark.”

Lexa shivered at the glorious imagery, holding Clarke tighter. “Ai niron, the things you do to me,” she groaned. “I cannot wait to have my knot inside you.”

Clarke sighed happily. “Neither can I. I love you, Lexa,” she murmured, halfway towards slumber.

“I love you, too, Clarke,” Lexa whispered back, allowing exhaustion to tug her into the same sleep.

The air in the tent was still but for the aftermath of their scents combined: sunlight shining through the forest after rain as dew-drenched grass stretched for the sky.

Chapter Text

Clarke gently stroked Lexa’s hair as she watched her sleep. The omega had woken first for a change, and she was taking advantage of the dawn’s stillness to soak in the image of her intended. The alpha was peaceful in sleep, the hint of a smile on her face as she held Clarke close. Every so often, Lexa would unconsciously bury her face in Clarke’s neck and inhale deeply, taking comfort in her scent. Clarke smiled every time she did, placing gentle kisses to her intended’s forehead.

“It’s rude to stare,” Lexa murmured, her smile widening.

“I can’t help it,” Clarke replied just as quietly, not wanting to break the stillness of the morning. “You’re so beautiful.”

Lexa opened her eyes, her green gaze sparkling in the dawn light creeping into the tent. “Not nearly as beautiful as you, ai niron.”

Clarke blushed and bent her head for a kiss, humming as Lexa’s soft lips met hers. Lexa pulled Clarke flush against her as they continued to kiss, her tongue sliding across the omega’s lower lip. Clarke immediately granted her entrance, whimpering as they entwined.

They continued to make out for a minute or two before Lexa reluctantly pulled away. “If we continue this, we will never make it out of this tent,” she smirked.

“Would that be such a bad thing?” Clarke asked with teasing innocence.

Lexa chuckled. “Tonight we can continue where we left off, I promise.” Her smile faded into a look of concern. “How are you feeling?”

Clarke stretched in Lexa’s arms with a contented sigh. “Sore, but in the best way,” she beamed.

Lexa grinned in return, brushing her nose against her love’s. “Hopefully by tonight you’ll be ready for more.”

“I’m ready for more now,” Clarke whined, kissing Lexa briefly but firmly.

“Sha, ai niron, as am I. Tonight, I promise.”

The two continued to share murmured words of affection until they were forced to leave their furs and face the day.

* * * 

Clarke was working with Nyko in his tent when it started. Suddenly, everything was too hot, and her skin was flushed, and the ache between her thighs that she thought had been sated the night before came roaring back with a vengeance, drenching her smallclothes. Clark gasped and braced herself on the table she was working at, trying to collect herself. When she looked up at Nyko in panic, she saw that he, on the contrary, calmly raised an eyebrow.

“It’s early! My heat’s early!”

Nyko smirked – something she’d never seen the man do. “It was probably triggered by your activities with Heda last night.”

Were Clarke not already flushed, she would have been at his words. “How do you know about that?”

The healer chuckled – another thing Clarke had never seen or heard him do. “You smell more like her than yourself. And even if you didn’t, you, Sky Girl, are not quiet.” Clarke’s slack-jawed expression only made him chuckle more. “Come on. Let’s get you to your intended.” He took her arm and guided her out of the tent, pumping out his most soothing pheromones so he could to keep her steady until they reached Lexa.

When the two approached the Commander’s tent, there were two more beta guards than usual, also pumping out soothing and protective pheromones. Clarke realised that Lexa must have smelled her heat and reacted to it. Nyko had barely led the omega to the opening of the tent when Lexa reached out and pulled her in. As soon as the tent flap closed behind them, the beta guards distanced themselves from the tent so that they could protect the couple with their scents while still letting Clarke’s heat run its course. Nyko shook his head and headed back to his hut, hoping that nothing too serious happened in the next three to five days while his apprentice was…busy.

* * * 

As soon as Lexa’s hand touched hers, the fire burning in Clarke grew to a roaring inferno, and she nearly came from that contact alone. She leapt into Lexa’s arms, wrapping her legs around her waist and burying her nose in her neck so she could immerse herself in her scent. “I’ve got you, niron,” Lexa murmured, but even as she tried to keep her voice soothing, it was rough with arousal, and Clarke could feel the bulge in the alpha’s pants pressing against her center. Unable to control herself, Clarke tightened her grip with her legs and ground herself against Lexa’s cock. It took only three rolls of her hips before she came with a whimpering cry, shuddering violently in the alpha’s embrace. Lexa rubbed her back and whispered soothing words as her peak subsided, but it left Clarke even more aroused in its wake.

“Please,” the omega gasped. “Lexa, I need you, please.”

When Clarke had first presented – had first learned she was infertile – she had made a vow never to fully submit to her nature and let an alpha take her. She didn’t exactly intend a life of celibacy, but she’d no plans to take a mate or even a knot. She wanted to prove she was worth something – worth more than just her status. But here, in Lexa’s arms, with the alpha looking at her like she was the most precious being in all the world and space beyond, Clarke willingly, blissfully surrendered to the woman she loved. To Lexa, she wasn’t just “more” – she was everything. And Lexa was her everything. “Mate me, love. I’m ready. Beja.”

Lexa groaned long and loud at her words, and Clarke felt a rush of wet heat between them. Realizing what had happened, the omega chuckled breathlessly, peppering her love’s flushed face with reassuring kisses. “We should get out of these wet clothes,” she managed to tease, even as she threatened to drown in her arousal and the pungent musk of Lexa’s release. The alpha growled, her renewed hardness pressing against Clarke’s stomach as she tore the omega’s clothes from her.

Clarke gasped in relief as the chafing fabric was ripped from her body, but whined when it wasn’t replaced by Lexa’s arms around her. She pawed frantically at Lexa’s shirt, and the alpha reached up to aid her, destroying her clothes in her haste. Their moans echoed in harmony as Lexa carried Clarke to the bed, laying her down with tender reverence before crawling atop her. Skin met like flint and tinder, the fire built of their joining heightening touch and sound until Clarke was sure she’d be consumed by the flames. She wrapped her legs around Lexa’s hips as her alpha slid into her, and the omega let herself burn.

Clarke could feel Lexa’s growl of pleasure echo through her bones as the alpha began a brutal pace, withdrawing almost completely before sheathing herself to the hilt with each thrust. But it wasn’t enough – not quite, not yet – and Clarke whimpered and bucked her hips, her body searching for what her mind was too dizzy to name. And soon, she felt it: the shortening of Lexa’s thrusts, the swell of her knot slapping against her clit, the way the alpha ground against her on each thrust with the desperate need to connect them. The omega relaxed as best she could, meeting her love’s every push with her own. “Yes – please – Lexa, knot me, my love – ”

Time held its breath – Clarke’s inhaled gasp, Lexa’s shuddering sigh – as the omega’s body surrendered to the alpha’s knot, sealing them with blissful perfection.

Release caught them like a bolt of lightning appearing in a cloudless sky. In the shattering clarity of their climax, alpha and omega took and gave, teeth finding throats in ultimate completion. As Clarke tasted her love – her mate – on her tongue, their scents pulsing through each other’s veins to mingle into something new and pure, she finally understood what it meant to be whole.

Clarke and Lexa held their bites firm as they trembled through their shared pleasure, only relaxing their hold when their muscles finally went limp. Lexa gently rolled them to their sides so she wasn’t crushing her mate, purring and running her tongue over the mark she’d left. Clarke did the same to her alpha, and the taste of each drop of blood sent aftershocks spasming through her. Every clench of her walls around Lexa’s knot had the alpha moaning and trembling against her, making Clarke’s inner omega preen.

There was no need for whispered words of love – not when they could feel it singing through their new bond with the strength of a thousand voices lifted in harmony. Clarke couldn’t remember having known such happiness before – that such happiness was even possible. And yet…

“What is it?” Lexa murmured. She brushed Clarke’s cheek with her thumb, catching tears the omega hadn’t realized she’d shed.

“I can never give you children,” she choked. Here, in the wake of their mating, she was safe to be afraid. Safe to fall.

And Lexa caught her, kissing her tenderly and stroking her hair. “The sad truth of the world is that there will always be a child in need of a family. Someday, those children will find their way to us, and though they may not be of our blood, they will be ours, and we will love them.” She kissed Clarke again, whispering her next words against her lips. “I know it pains you that you will never carry my pups. But just because you cannot bear children doesn’t mean you cannot be a mother.”

Clarke sobbed out the joy she could no longer contain. “I love you, Lexa. I love you so fucking much.”

Lexa chuckled at her curse. “And I love you, Clarke.”

The omega shifted in her alpha’s embrace, and the movement jostled the knot still lodged within her. Both women shuddered, and Clarke realized Lexa was still hard. The omega smirked and rolled the alpha onto her back, her groan turning primal as the change in angle allowed Lexa to reach the deepest places inside her. “You can still fill me,” Clarke teased, the symptoms of her heat quickly rekindling under Lexa’s hungry gaze.

The overpowering scent of heat and love and release carried hints of spring sunshowers on fresh earth.