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I miss you more (than I thought I would)

Chapter Text

“I fucking hate my life,” Clarke said with a sigh as she opened the door of her shower stall, fully dressed and with a towel around her head.

Nyko chuckled, “Don’t get me started. Thank God for the weekend, right?”

Clarke nodded with a sigh, always surprised at how upbeat Nyko still was after a whole day of cleaning up other people’s puke. Personally, she’d just been in the shower for at least half an hour, trying to clean the dirty feeling off her skin and wash the smell out of her hair. Nyko had been much faster than her, but he always waited for her to finish. That was a pro of the fact that their local hospital didn’t want to spend money on more than one dressing room for the interns: at least she got to share it with her favorite co-worker. A downside was that she got to share it with all her other male coworkers as well, but at least the showers were in separate stalls.

“So, any plans for the weekend?” Nyko asked as Clarke walked over to her locker and opened it, looking into the mirror inside. She towel-dried her hair as good as possible and then attacked it with a comb while she responded to his question. 

“Going out with Octavia and Raven tonight, probably mostly studying in the weekend. You?”

Clarke got a silence instead of an answer, so she turned around to see Nyko with a hesitant look on his face, his legs crossed over one another.

“You can tell me, Nyko, I won’t judge,” she said reassuringly and then added to lighten the mood, “What, you and Anya gonna have a threesome tonight?”

“No, actually… Actually, I was kind of thinking about proposing to her tonight.”

“What?” Clarke asked, “You’re gonna propose to her? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I just did,” Nyko laughed.

“But you didn’t tell me you’ve been thinking about it!” Clarke accused.

“Well, I haven’t been thinking about it for very long, really. I bought the ring yesterday.”

Clarke stared at him, open-mouthed.

Maybe she shouldn’t have been surprised because Nyko was quite a spontaneous man, always ready to jump into an adventure with his friends, but still – getting married? That was quite different from his usual adventures.

Yeah, he had been with Anya for quite some time, but Clarke had always silently thought they wouldn’t last. From the few times she’d met Anya, she’d noticed that Anya was completely different from Nyko. While he was optimistic and friendly, she was more sarcastic and sassy. Not that there was anything wrong with that – it was just that Clarke had expected their differences to somehow be an obstacle.

However, Clarke knew from past relationships that opposites attract sometimes.

She put down the comb and closed her locker, sitting down next to Nyko on the bench in the center of the dressing room.

“Do you have a picture of it?” she asked, referring to the ring.

“I’ve actually got it with me,” Nyko said with a grin, and he fished a beautiful ring out of a box his pocket. It was nothing big – just a silver ring with a black stone – but although Clarke was no expert on stones, she could see that this one was beautiful. The dark color would fit Anya perfectly, she knew.

Nyko let her hold it and asked her to try it on, just so he knew it would be big enough for Anya. It fitted around Clarke’s ring finger just a little too tightly, so it would probably be perfect for Anya’s slender fingers.

“It’s really beautiful,” Clarke repeated for the third time. Nyko laughed.

“I just hope she thinks so too,” he said. Clarke could hear the nerves in his voice and she felt bad. She knew Nyko had always felt like he didn’t deserve Anya, treating her as if she was so much better than him. Maybe that’s also why it surprised Clarke that he was gonna take the step of proposing to Anya; she’d expected him to think she was too good to be married to him.

“Of course she’ll think so too. She’s gonna say yes,” Clarke reassured him. Nyko nodded next to her, trying to convince himself.

“I sure hope so. I’ll let you know how it goes, Griffin.”

“You better! I expect a live report of everything that happens. I mean, during the proposal. Not for whatever crazy thing you two have planned after.”

Nyko laughed.

“Don’t worry. I’m on it.”

 

----

 

Clarke smiled at Nyko and wished him luck, but she couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. The way Nyko talked about Anya was something she only knew from a relationship years ago.

 

----

 

Loud music thundered in Clarke’s ears. The room was dark and the flashing blue lights were the only thing that enabled her to see Octavia sitting next to her, leaning her head against Lincoln’s chest.

Clarke wondered when the hell those two got so boring.

Thank God for Raven. Raven, who looked at Clarke, followed her gaze to Octavia and Lincoln, and mimed throwing up. Raven, who made Clarke throw her head back with laughter and handed her another shot. Raven, who pulled her up from her booth and dragged her to the dance floor.

Dancing with Raven was easy. They had always been able to follow each other’s movements perfectly, creating a synchronized routine. On good nights, they’d stay on the dance floor for ages, just because this song is perfect, or because they needed something to keep their minds off what was going on or because Raven was trying to impress some guy at the bar. It went automatically by now, dancing with Raven.

However, right now, Clarke was very tipsy and slightly light-headed. Instead of following Raven’s movements, she let herself sink back into Raven’s body, feeling it sway behind her. It comforted her when the noisy music and flashing lights got too much. Raven understood, draping her arms around Clarke from behind and letting Clarke rest her head on Raven’s shoulder. Clarke smiled dopily at the feeling of Raven’s arms around her and Raven noticed, giggling at how tipsy Clarke was.

“You wanna go back to the booth?” she asked, voice close to Clarke’s ear. She put a hand on Clarke’s waist so she could escort her if necessary.

“No, I wanna dance. Twirl me!” Clarke shouted over the music. Raven laughed and grabbed Clarke’s hand to twirl her around. Clarke smiled and shouted for Raven to do it again and again and again until she was dizzy and Raven took her back to the booth, where Octavia and Lincoln seemed to be in the middle of a make-out session.

“Hey, PG-13 please! We all know how much of a kid Clarke becomes when she’s drunk!” Raven shouted. Lincoln pulled back, a little embarrassed, while Octavia just flipped her middle finger up at Raven.

“I’m not a kid!” Clarke moped, crossing her arms as she looked at Raven.

“That pout you’re doing right now just confirms my theory, captain,” Raven said, signaling to Clarke’s face with her finger. Even though they didn’t work together anymore and Clarke wasn’t in charge of Raven, Raven had never stopped calling her captain. When Clarke had asked her about it one night, Raven had mumbled something about old habits and Clarke being way too similar to Captain America.

Clarke had just written it off to Raven’s Marvel obsession.

Clarke stuck her tongue out at Raven, which only made her laugh more.

“I think it’s time that you go home.”

Clarke shook her head violently and grabbed her purse instead. She started searching it, which took way too long considering it was just a handbag, until she found her phone. After trying to unlock it for a while, she sent a text message.

 

Clarke (1:05 am): r you home???

 

Clarke stared at her phone for what felt like hours while she waited for a response. Maybe she shouldn’t have texted. She’d established weeks ago that she shouldn’t be involved with her anymore and Clarke shouldn’t have texted her just because she was drunk and slightly turned on.

Clarke knew she wasn’t being fair on either of them. But there was a warmth between her legs and a tingling on her lips and to be honest, after Nyko’s telling her he was going to propose, she had felt lonely and she just wanted to be tangled up with another body again. She missed it, sharing a bed with someone.

She could’ve avoided the moral dilemma, because it seemed like a response wasn’t gonna come. Maybe she was asleep or just tired of Clarke. Either sounded pretty logical.

Clarke was about to pocket her phone when it buzzed.

 

Niylah (1:09 am): What, you don’t talk to me for days and then you drunk text booty call me?

 

Clarke grinned, knowing exactly how Niylah would’ve said it, had she been here.

 

Clarke (1:10 am): please let me come ove pls pls pls. i swear i’ll be more sobre after the cab ride

 

Niylah seemed to contemplate it before she answered. Or maybe she just didn’t want to reply immediately. But Clarke saw through her because who else could she be talking to at this hour?

 

Niylah (1:12 am): Key’s under the doormat. If you really are sober enough, you’ll be able to let yourself in.

Clarke (1:12 am): omw!!

 

-----

 

Raven took her to her cab, shaking her head.

“You know you don’t need to hook up to have a fun night out, right?”

Clarke waved it off with a laugh but there was something in Raven’s eyes that told her she was genuinely worried.

 

-----

 

She had been right. The cab ride did sober her up. Niylah’s place was on the other side of town so it took quite a while to get there, time Clarke took to stare out the window at the dark sky and think about how she shouldn’t have texted Niylah.

She’d met Niylah at a club a few weeks ago. Niylah had sat across the bar from her and glanced up at her every couple minutes. She’d been shy, but very cute, so Clarke had bought her a drink. And then some. They’d both been drunk when they went back to Niylah’s place, but could still function enough to take off each other’s clothes. Clarke had been surprised at how good of a kisser Niylah was and that hadn’t been the last surprise in the night. That’s why, when she woke up that morning and took off, she’d left her number. Niylah had called her not two days later and Clarke had found herself in the same bed, sneaking off again in the morning, this time with Niylah’s number in her phone.

From then on, they had developed some sort of agreement. They texted each other when they needed to get laid or simply get drunk together. Clarke never took Niylah to her own place, trying to keep hook-ups separate from her private life, but Niylah didn’t mind. However, she had been waking up before Clarke lately.

Sometimes, when Clarke finally awoke, she woke to Niylah looking at her. It scared her, not because she thought Niylah was some sort of stalker or a creep, but because she didn’t want Niylah to get attached. Clarke just wasn’t ready for anything committed right now and she thought Niylah knew that.

She hadn’t spoken to Niylah about it, instead choosing to distance herself a little. Niylah had noticed – of course Niylah had noticed, she wasn’t stupid. She just hadn’t voiced it until the text a few minutes ago. Clarke looked at the text, played with her phone, and wondered if she was a bad person.

Was she taking advantage of Niylah? Of Niylah’s feelings? She didn’t think so. After all, they’d both always known this was a no-strings-attached thing. It wasn’t her fault if Niylah had caught feelings and didn’t say anything about it. It wasn’t as if Clarke was leading her on, giving her hope for something that wouldn’t be there.

Clarke sighed and looked out the window. She shouldn’t have called Niylah, she really shouldn’t have. The risk of Niylah getting attached to her was too big and Clarke didn’t want that. She didn’t want to be in a relationship. Not now, not since the one person she wanted to be in a relationship with had disappeared from her life.

Don’t think about her, Clarke told herself, you’re only gonna make yourself sad again.

So instead, Clarke shook her head, handed the cab driver a twenty dollar note and stepped out. She walked up to Niylah’s apartment, found the key under the doormat and let herself in without much of a struggle. She closed the door behind her loudly so that Niylah would know that she was there. After hanging up her coat, she walked into the living room to find Niylah waiting on the sofa.

Niylah noticed the way she’d already taken off her coat and smirked.

“Feeling at home?”

Clarke tried not to think of what that question might mean and smirked back instead.

“I thought I’d leave the rest on for you to take off.”

 

-----

 

And Niylah did.

 

------

 

Clarke woke up in Niylah’s bed. The space where Niylah had been last night was empty and Clarke couldn’t help but feel relieved. She wouldn’t be able to deal with Niylah staring at her as she woke up, not today.

Her head was pounding and her lips felt dry. She looked around to find her phone and instead noticed a glass of water and two painkillers on the nightstand. She smiled to herself and felt a rush of affection towards Niylah.

After she’d thrown back the painkillers and the glass of water, she looked around and realized that her phone wasn’t in the bedroom. She’d probably left it somewhere in the living room last night; she couldn’t exactly remember.

Quickly pulling on her panties and bra, she grabbed the silk bathrobe that she saw lying on Niylah’s side of the bed. Without bothering to clean off the traces of make-up on her face or to run a hand through her hair, she stepped out of the bedroom and made her way to the living room.

The living room was empty, but there were sounds coming from the kitchen. Clarke found her phone on the couch, wondered how it ended up there, and walked over to the kitchen.

“Morning,” she greeted Niylah, who was with her back towards Clarke and acted as if she hadn’t noticed her yet. Clarke could see from the way she was standing upright and her shoulders were squared that she had noticed, though.

“Well, look who finally got out of bed,” Niylah said with a small smile and raised one eyebrow as she turned around to take Clarke in, “Are we gonna wear each other’s clothes now?”

“What, would you rather I’m fully dressed?”

Niylah grinned at Clarke’s threat and shook her head as she turned around to face the stove again.

“I’m not complaining.”

“Good, ‘cause I was hoping to take a shower together,” Clarke said, walking up to Niylah and pressing a kiss to her bare shoulder.

“Sounds great. But breakfast first,” Niylah replied and as Clarke looked over her shoulder and noticed Niylah was baking pancakes. She felt sick to her stomach suddenly, not at the sight of pancakes on a hangover morning, but because this all felt too familiar. It felt like a past relationship, one she had been trying to forget for too long, one she thought she would never be able to forget.

So she just mumbled something and made her way to the kitchen island, where she fished her phone out of her pocket to distract herself from how small the room was becoming. She turned it on and received a dozen of messages. One from Raven, asking if she’d gotten to Niylah’s safely, then five from Octavia telling her to just fucking reply to Raven’s text because they were getting worried. Clarke quickly sent both of them a text saying she was safe at Niylah’s place before she moved on to her other messages. They were all from Nyko and Clarke opened them eagerly after remembering that he had proposed to Anya last night.

 

Nyko (1:15 am): I still haven’t proposed to her yet and I really wanna do it tonight but I’m so nervous, I can’t get the words out.

Nyko (1:16 am): She wants to go to bed but I still haven’t proposed yet so I’m trying to keep her awake but I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to. Help me, Clarke!

Nyko (1:20 am): Thanks for being so useful. I think I’ll just have to man up and do it.

Nyko (1:42 am): SHE SAID YES!

 

The last text was accompanied by a picture of Anya holding her hand up to show the camera her ring. Her grin was broader than Clarke had ever seen it. That’s where the thread ended and Clarke figured they’d been too busy with each other to text anymore.

 

Clarke (10:36 am): CONGRATULATIONS! I’m sorry I was useless last night but it turns out you didn’t need me. I’m so happy for you two!

 

She didn’t wait for a reply, figuring that Nyko and Anya were either still asleep or busy with each other. Instead, she walked over to the stove, where Niylah was still baking pancakes, and hugged her from behind.

“How about we skip breakfast and just get to the shower?” she whispered in Niylah’s ear and she felt Niylah shiver.

“I’m hungry,” Niylah mumbled, probably not wanting to give in to Clarke right away. Clarke slipped her fingers under the thin t-shirt Niylah was wearing to run her fingers over Niylah’s ribs.

“Hmm, you should come to the shower with me as a thank you that I didn’t take the chance to make a terrible joke about what you just said.”

Niylah snorted and turned around, kissing Clarke on the mouth. The kiss was slow, but Clarke sped it up as she pinned Niylah to the kitchen counter.

“Come with me,” she mumbled, and Niylah obliged, letting Clarke drag her to the shower.

 

------

 

Halfway through their shower, Clarke realized that Niylah’s pancakes were probably burning, but she tried not to think about that.

 

------

 

When Clarke arrived at the hospital on Monday, the dressing room was already filled with other interns. They were all listening to Nyko, who was talking about the way he proposed.

“So then I just got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. And she said yes.”

The whole locker room erupted in cheers and Nyko grinned, genuine happiness beaming off of his face. He noticed Clarke and motioned for her to come over immediately, throwing his arms around her and lifting her up in his glee.

Clarke laughed, his happiness rubbing off on her, and hugged him back.

“I’m so happy for you!” she repeated again as Nyko released her.

The locker room slowly started clearing out, every intern having to start their job for today. Soon only Nyko and Clarke were left. They both went to their lockers and started changing into their scrubs.

“So, have you guys set a date already or are you gonna wait?”

“We wanna do it as soon as possible, so we’ve got to start planning soon.”

“Sounds good,” Clarke said, as she’d put on her hospital outfit, “Let me know if I can help with anything.”

“Yeah,” Nyko started, “about that…”

Clarke turned around to face Nyko.

“Would you be willing to be my maid of honor? I mean, the groom often picks a best man, but you’re my best friend, so. I’d rather pick you.”

Clarke was kind of overwhelmed at the question.

She hadn’t even stood still at the thought that Nyko was gonna have to pick a best man or maid of honor, much less at the thought that he might pick her. Now that she thought about it, she hadn’t really expected them to be good enough friends for Nyko to pick her. Yeah, he was her favorite person to work with and they got along great, but to say he was her best friend… No.

Nyko noticed how she didn’t reply immediately to his request and laughed, “You don’t have to say yes right away. I know you’re really busy with school and this wedding is gonna involve a lot of planning. Just take some time to think about it and text me once you know. No pressure.”

 

 

 

Two days later, Clarke went out for coffee with Nyko and Anya to celebrate their engagement. She met them at a café near their place, one Clarke hadn’t been to before. It was a cute, tiny shop that reeked of hipsters and organic coffee. Clarke rolled her eyes when she walked in and thought, How very Nyko.

Nyko and Anya waved her over to their table, sitting together on one side of the booth. Nyko had his arm around Anya and Anya had her hand on the table, the back of it showing off her wedding ring proudly.

“Hey!” Clarke greeted them with a smile, giving both of them a quick hug.

“Good to see you again, Griffin,” Anya said with a tiny smirk. Clarke smirked back as she sat down at the other side of the table.

“Yeah, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Nyko’s so greedy, keeping you to himself like that.”

“Hey, hey, no flirting with my fiancée,” Nyko interrupted. Clarke pulled an innocent face and winked at Anya when Nyko wasn’t looking. Anya grinned.

“So, how’s it going with the wedding planning?”

Nyko started babbling about how they’d agreed on the kind of location they wanted, a beautiful venue surrounded by forest, as Anya nodded and commented sometimes. They were both excited in their own way, and Clarke thought it was incredibly cute. Maybe it was the smitten smile on Anya’s face, or maybe it was the way Nyko was talking with his hands, or maybe it was just the way she’d been feeling empty lately and could do very well with a distraction, that made her take her decision.

“Hey Nyko, if you still want me to be your maid of honor, it would be an honor,” Clarke said, grinning both because she was proud of the joke she’d just made and because she loved how Nyko reacted to that, getting up to sweep her into another hug.

“This is gonna be amazing!” he said, after he’d put her down and she’d shuffled back to her seat.

“One rule, though,” Anya said, “If you keep making puns like that at our wedding, we’re gonna have to kick you out of the wedding.”

Clarke chuckled, “You know you love my puns.”

Anya rolled her eyes, “Whatever. I’ll ask my maid of honor to keep an eye on you. I invited her to come have coffee with us, by the way, I hope you don’t mind.”

“Yeah, that’s cool. I’m excited to meet her.”

“Great!” Anya said, clasping her hands together, “she should be here anytime now.”

“Let me just get some coffee, then we can talk about what you guys want for the wedding,” Clarke said as she got up and walked over to the bar.

She waited in line to order coffee, raised her eyebrows at how incredibly pricey a cup of roasted beans mixed with water was at this café and waited for her order. Once the barista had handed her a white paper cup, Clarke made her way back to the booth Anya and Nyko were still sitting in. There was another person in her spot now, she noticed, a girl with brown hair in a long braid.

Her braid looks exactly like – no. Stop thinking about her.

Clarke shook her head to get the thoughts out of her head. Instead, she focused on the casual blazer the girl was wearing, that hugged her strong shoulders tightly.

That’s something she would w – fuck fuck fuck. Stop it.

Clarke distracted herself by looking at the girl’s hands. Her fingers were long and slender and her nails were cut short, looking perfectly neat.

And that was when it dawned on Clarke.

This girl.

“Oh! There’s Nyko’s maid of honor, behind you!”

This girl is exactly like her.

The girl turned around slowly, probably eager to see what Nyko’s maid of honor looked like.

This girl is exactly like

The woman’s eyes locked with hers and Clarke didn’t know her mouth was even opening until she heard herself say it.

“Lexa.”

 

-----

 

Clarke didn’t notice the tight grip she had on her coffee cup, didn’t notice the wave of coffee dripping over her hands, didn’t notice Nyko and Anya’s reaction to what was going on.

All she saw was Lexa.

 

-----

Chapter Text

Lexa looked different.

In Clarke’s memory, Lexa was impressive. She could easily intimidate guys twice her size. When she was talking, whether it was about politics or Alice’s haircut in the L word, she looked like she knew exactly what she was talking about. She had this air around her that made you respect her, or at least think she was someone who knew exactly what they were doing.

Lexa was still impressive. Her green eyes still knocked the breath out of Clarke’s lungs and the way her lips parted slightly when she saw Clarke didn’t cease to make Clarke’s heart beat faster.

But there was something different. Something about Lexa’s demeanor had changed. Clarke was sure she could still intimidate guys twice her size if she wanted to, but it was as if a piece of Lexa, a piece that made her Lexa, had disappeared. It was as if Lexa was here, but she wasn’t really here.

That didn’t mean Clarke wasn’t still fucking excited to see her. She had given up her hopes of seeing Lexa again a long time ago, accepting that Lexa was someone she didn’t have a future with – Lexa was someone she could’ve had a future with, a future she’d thrown away.

She had longed for Lexa for ages, constantly trying to stop doing so. She’d missed talking to Lexa, had missed kissing her, had missed playing with Lexa’s hair and there had been nights when Lexa was all she could think about.

Those nights had dragged into weeks, weeks into months, months into a year. And after a year of pining and sadness, Clarke had told herself that it had been more than enough. It was time to move on. What she had with Lexa was incredible, but there had been a reason to end it, a very solid one. There was no use crying over a girl she wasn’t gonna see anymore.

But here Lexa was, standing in front of Clarke, just a step away. Here she was, living, breathing, walking. Or more like, running. Running towards the bathroom. In shock.

Minor detail.

 

 

“I see you and my little sister know each other already,” Anya said, watching the spectacle with narrowed eyes.

That’s – Lexa is your sister?” Clarke asked, grabbing a napkin from the table to wipe off some of the coffee that had landed on her hands and dripped down her wrists.

And my maid of honor, yeah.”

Clarke sighed, “Oh, wow. That’s gonna be... interesting. If she keeps avoiding me like that.”

Anya raised an eyebrow, “Probably means you did something wrong. She won’t tell you unless you confront her.”

Clarke nodded. She knew that. She knew it from all the times she’d pissed Lexa off in their relationship. And she knew that she had to go and face Lexa, but what if she wasn’t ready?

She’d dreamed of a reunion more times than she’d care to admit. She just hadn’t imagined it to involve Nyko and Anya, dripping coffee and a wedding. She’d imagined it to be perfect and she’d dreamed she knew exactly what to say. And in every single one of her scenarios, Lexa would be happy to see her. Maybe that had been foolish to expect. She had broken Lexa’s heart, after all.

An angry confrontation was better than no confrontation at all, Clarke thought as she made her way to the bathroom.

As soon as she’d thrown open the door, she found Lexa at the sink. She was turned towards the mirror, hands pale from gripping the edge of the sink so hard. Her breathing went faster than normal and her shoulders were going up and down along with her breaths.

“You gotta breathe through your stomach,” Clarke said, one half of her trying to break the ice and the other half of her – the half that was invested in medical school – trying to prevent Lexa from getting an anxiety attack.

Lexa turned towards Clarke and suddenly it seemed like there was nothing going on. Lexa had an air of calm around her again, as if she’d flipped the switch on her anxiety attack and decided not to have one.

“I’m not having an anxiety attack because of you, Clarke,” Lexa said, voice cold.

“As happy as I am about that, I don’t think you really get to choose what makes you panic,” Clarke said, taking a step to the sink. She saw Lexa’s shoulders stiffen at her approach and it hurt. It hurt to know that they weren’t familiar enough with each other anymore to simply stand close to each other. Clarke slowly inched back and saw Lexa relax again, if only slightly.

Lexa shrugged, “Therapy helps hold it back.”

Clarke nodded.

“I didn’t mean to become a potential anxiety attack to you, Lexa.”

“I know. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me.”

But you did. The words were unspoken but both of them knew they were on Lexa’s mind.

Clarke nodded painfully, trying to find something else to talk about.

“So, Anya’s your sister? I didn’t even know you had one.”

Lexa flinched a little at the mention of their past but shook it off, “Long story. So, you’re Nyko’s best friend then? I don’t believe he has mentioned you that much, but then again I don’t really see him very often.”

“You’re gonna be seeing a lot of him these next few months if you are indeed Anya’s maid of honor. And of me, for that matter.”

Something changed in Lexa’s eyes and Clarke swore she could see her tense up for a moment, before she looked at Clarke with a blank face.

Clarke hated that Lexa immediately covered herself up. It had been the exact way Lexa had tried to hide her feelings from everyone in the first few weeks that Clarke knew her. It had taken weeks for Lexa to start to trust Clarke enough to let her emotions show in front of Clarke. They had both put in so much effort to open up to each other completely, to the point where Clarke could read that Lexa was anxious from the way her hair was in a braid and Lexa could tell Clarke was sad when she rested her head upon Lexa’s shoulder in the middle of a conversation.

Clarke hated that all that was gone. Everything they’d worked so hard for was gone. Every little detail of Lexa that Clarke had come to love – gone, hidden from her sight. She missed it. It felt like she had Lexa back, but not completely. Like this Lexa wasn’t whole. Like this wasn’t her Lexa.

She shook her head. Lexa wasn’t hers anymore.

And Lexa probably had a reason to cover up. After all, it had taken weeks for her to let Clarke in and Clarke had broken her heart. It wouldn’t surprise Clarke if Lexa regretted ever trusting Clarke with her emotions. They both knew that Clarke never meant to hurt Lexa or break her heart, but truth be told, she did. And that was something they both dealt with in their own way; Lexa building up the walls around her heart, Clarke respecting Lexa’s wishes and trying to do what was best for her.

Maybe what was best for Lexa now was pulling away. Maybe it was acknowledging that she’d gotten the opportunity to finally see Lexa again, to build up a relationship with her again, but giving up that opportunity because it made Lexa panic. Lexa could hold off an anxiety attack all she want, but the fact that she even had to try to hold it off in the first place just said that she’d been hurt too much by Clarke to constantly be around her.

“Lexa, if this is too much, I understand. Nyko can ask someone else to be his maid of honor.”

Lexa arched a brow, “Are you going to walk away again?”

“What?” Clarke frowned, “No, that wasn’t what I meant. I just thought – I don’t want you to have to be anxious around me all the time. Like I said, I don’t want it to be too much for you.”

“Are you sure it’s me that this is too much for, Clarke? Last time you gave up it was for your interest,” Lexa replied, voice still cold. It made Clarke wince.

“I’m just trying to look out for you.”

“I can look out for myself.”

“Okay. Fine. Whatever,” Clarke said, frustrated.

Lexa gave her a curt nod and walked past her, stepping out of the bathroom.

 

-----

 

Clarke groaned and leaned over the sink. These next few weeks were gonna be tough.

 

-----

 

When Clarke arrived back at their table, Lexa was back in her seat and chatting with Anya and Nyko. She had a cup of coffee in front of her, next to a notebook that had a bunch of scribbles on the page in front of her. Clarke sat down next to her and shuffled a little closer so she could see the text written in the notebook.

“List of maid of honor duties? You actually made a list of our duties?”

Lexa looked at Clarke as if she was surprised at Clarke’s reaction and said, “Yes. I need to know what we’re going to be doing these next few months.”

Clarke chuckled. Of course Lexa already had a to-do list. The girl who liked to be on top of everything probably made a list the moment Anya had asked her to be her maid of honor.

“Don’t you think the four of us should get to know each other first?”

“I’m positive we already know each other. Don’t we?” Lexa replied, a little daringly.

Clarke sighed, “You know that’s not what I meant.”

“Well, what do you propose, Clarke?” Lexa asked, crossing her arms as she watched Clarke.

“You guys could come do shots with me, Raven, O and Lincoln this Friday.”

There was a flicker of recognition in Lexa’s eyes at the mention of those names and she suddenly went quiet. Tracing the plastic lid of her coffee cup, she said, “Whatever Nyko and Anya want.”

Clarke wondered if the mention of her past had caused Lexa’s silence, but she didn’t get much time to think about it, because Nyko and Anya agreed to Clarke’s plan and said something about having to go pick up Nyko’s ring before leaving the booth, Nyko giving Clarke a quick hug and Anya kissing Lexa on the cheek. They were gone before Clarke could say something about having to leave too, so pretty soon she was left alone with Lexa. She got up and slipped into the chair opposite Lexa’s, where Anya had been sitting.

“So, just you and me now, huh?” Clarke asked, awkwardly trying to break the silence. Lexa looked at her hands.

“We don’t have to make small talk, Clarke.”

Clarke shrugged, “I’m just trying to make you feel comfortable, Lexa.”

Lexa looked up at that. She studied Clarke, seeming to take in every detail. Clarke breathed in deeply as she felt Lexa’s eyes rake her face and then her body.

“You’ve changed.”

Clarke nodded, “So have you.”

Lexa nodded as well.

“So you’re in medical school now? I thought you wanted to study art.”

“I did, yeah. But I also want to make enough money to be able to pay my rent.”

Lexa smiled a small smile, “Seems reasonable.”

Clarke smiled as well, glad that some of the ice had been broken. It didn’t feel as comfortable as it used to – far from that – but at least they weren’t in an awkward silence anymore.

“So, do you still work at the restaurant?” Clarke asked. She knew, the moment the words had slipped from her lips, that she’d made a mistake. Lexa’s jaw clenched a little, but she seemed to shake it off when she answered.

“No. I went back to college, got my law degree. I’m doing an internship right now.”

“That’s great, congratulations!” Clarke exclaimed, but all she could think was the way Lexa had told her she didn’t want to be what her parents expected, that she just wanted to make music. She’d known from the way Lexa had told her that she probably would never pursue that career, but it still shocked Clarke a little that Lexa had gone back to law school after taking a break from it.

Lexa nodded.

“Do you still make music?”

“Sometimes. I don’t get time off that much.”

Clarke felt something twist in her stomach at the answer. Maybe this was why Lexa had seemed so different; she had stopped doing the thing she was most passionate about. Lexa had settled for a life as a lawyer and a part of her had faded.

Lexa shook her head, “Don’t look at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like you pity me.”

“I don’t p-”

“I like being a lawyer, believe it or not. It’s hard work, but I love discovering the law and loops in it.”

“Okay, if you say so,” Clarke said, still not entirely convinced. Sure, Lexa could enjoy being a lawyer, but that didn’t mean she didn’t miss playing music.

Lexa tilted her head as if she was a predator going in for the kill.

“Tell me, Clarke. Do you still paint?”

Clarke’s stomach dropped at the comment.

She could barely remember the last time she’d picked up a paint brush. All she knew was that she’d stopped doing so because for some reason, all she could paint was a collection of green-gray eyes and brown hair over bony shoulders. All she could paint was the picture of a woman she was trying to forget.

“That’s not the same,” she murmured, avoiding Lexa’s eye.

“Isn’t it?”

“No,” Clarke said, giving Lexa a warning look, “It isn’t.”

Lexa held her eye for a moment before looking away.

“If you say so. I have some cases to prepare, so I’m afraid I’ll have to make my way home now.”

Clarke nodded, “Yeah, me too.”

“Maybe we should exchange numbers?”

Clarke looked up at Lexa, her heart jumping at the sentence. Lexa blushed.

“I mean, because we have about a whole wedding to plan together. And if Raven is the way I remember her, I won’t be sober enough to give my number to you on Friday.”

That pulled a small smile from Clarke. She remembered the last time Raven had gotten Lexa drunk and had whined until Lexa had let her smear eyeliner beneath Lexa’s eyes, meanwhile telling everyone about ‘the return of the commander’.

“Right. Well, I can assure you Raven hasn’t changed that much, so you best make sure you drink enough water on Friday.”

Lexa smiled and tried to hand Clarke her phone.

Clarke shook her head, “My number is still the same.”

Lexa handed Clarke the phone anyway.

“I don’t have it anymore.”

Clarke blinked once, trying to hide the disappointment in her stomach and let her trembling fingers make their way over the keys.

“Of course. What kinda creep keeps their ex-girlfriend’s phone number anyway?” she said, her smile trying to hide the fact that she was exactly that kinda creep.

Lexa’s breath hitched at the mention of the word ex-girlfriend and Clarke wanted to slap herself. Why was she being so stupid? The last thing she’d wanted was to make Lexa feel uncomfortable and now she’d successfully done so by mentioning their past once again.

“Thank you,” Lexa said as Clarke handed her the phone back, “I’ll see you in two days, then.”

“Yeah,” Clarke smiled, “See ya.”

There was an awkward moment where they didn’t know whether to hug each other goodbye or shake hands or just walk away. In the end, Lexa gave an awkward wave as she walked out of the café, leaving Clarke alone at the booth.

 

-----

 

Clarke thought Lexa’s awkward wave was a perfect metaphor for what their relationship was like right now.

 

------

 

“Hey, we still up for drinks on Friday?” Octavia asked, resting her head upon Raven’s shoulder, who in her turn had stretched her legs out on Clarke’s lap. The three were doing a marathon of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, something they always did when one of them had a rough day. Today, it had been Clarke who had sent the ‘at home, pls bring Kardashians and blankets’ text in their group chat. Neither Octavia nor Raven had asked her what was going on, both of them sensing that Clarke wasn’t ready to talk about it.

“Yeah, about that,” Clarke started, but she was interrupted by Raven’s groan.

“Please tell me you’re not ditching us for Niylah.”

“Hey, you should be glad Clarke is getting some,” Octavia defended.

“Thank you, O,” Clarke said, giving Raven a pointed look, “but no. I was actually wondering if I could bring some people along.”

“The more the merrier,” Raven sing-songed.

“Who you bringing?” Octavia asked, raising her head from Raven’s shoulder to glance at Clarke curiously.

“Well, today I told Nyko it’d be an honor to be his maid of honor,” Clarke said, smiling proudly as Raven snorted at the pun Anya hadn’t liked, “so I’m gonna have to plan most of his wedding now, along with Anya’s maid of honor. And I thought we should all do something fun first, you know, to break the ice and all.”

Octavia nodded, “Sounds good.”

Raven, however, focused on something entirely else.

“Who’s Anya’s maid of honor? Is she hot?”

Clarke tried not to cringe at that and answered with a simple, “It’s Anya’s younger sister.”

“Ooh that’s gotta be good! I mean, if those cheekbones run in the family… Damn,” Raven smirked.

“Raven,” Clarke warned.

Octavia laughed, “I bet Clarke just wants to keep Anya’s little sister to herself. I mean, she’s gotta be badass, if she had the same upbringing as Anya. We all know Clarke likes that.”

“Stop it, O.”

“Sorry Clarke, but if she wears as much leather as Anya does, I can’t promise you I won’t try to seduce her,” Raven joked, raising her hands up as if to say it wasn’t her fault.

“It’s Lexa!” Clarke finally shouted, unable to keep the news to herself. She didn’t know why she hadn’t told her friends from the moment Lexa had left the coffee shop. Maybe she’d just wanted to keep the information to herself for a while, still trying to make sense of it all. Maybe it felt like Lexa was hers again, if only for a while, until she shared her return with her friends. Or maybe saying it out loud just made it all real.

“Wait – what? As in your Lexa?”

Clarke bit her lip nervously at Raven’s question. Raven noticed immediately, wincing as she realized her mistake.

“Shit. I’m sorry, Clarke,” she said, placing a hand on Clarke’s thigh and squeezing softly.

“It’s okay. But yeah, that Lexa.”

“Fuck,” Octavia said, still in disbelief, “She’s Anya’s little sister? She’s Anya’s maid of honor?”

“Yeah. Just imagine how much time I’m gonna be spending with her these next months,” Clarke said, laughing a bitter laugh.

“Wow. That’s gonna be tough, cap,” Raven said.

Raven had witnessed firsthand how much the breakup had broken Clarke’s heart.

In fact, the time of the breakup was when Clarke and Raven became real friends.

 

 

Around that time, Clarke had been unable to come out of bed for days. She wouldn’t eat or shower, either not seeing the point in it or simply forgetting to do so. She’d miss the lectures she liked the most, wouldn’t call back her mother and stay in on nights when everyone went out. She even finally accepted some money from her mother because she couldn’t find it in herself to go looking for a new job.

Octavia had been there. Octavia had wanted to stand right by her best friend’s side, to be there when Clarke broke down, to wipe Clarke’s tears away. The problem was that Clarke didn’t cry.

Clarke didn’t break down and Clarke didn’t cry. Instead, she felt numb and waited for everything to pass. She didn’t show many emotions and that was what made it hard for Octavia to figure out what her best friend needed. Octavia couldn’t understand why Clarke didn’t use Octavia’s shoulder to cry on, why Clarke barely ate any of the comfort food Octavia bought her. She understood that she couldn’t give Clarke what Clarke needed, so instead she made every single one of her friends check up on Clarke to see if they could figure it out. It seemed like a hopeless mission, at first.

Monty was nice to have around, but his big eyes showed too much pity and it made Clarke feel sick.

Jasper was funny and he showed Clarke cat videos, but it frustrated him when that didn’t cheer Clarke up.

Finn was sweet and compassionate, until he tried to convince Clarke to “just come out of bed and go to a party”.

Lincoln just sat with Clarke in silence, and while that was refreshing it started making her feel uncomfortable after an hour. 

Bellamy actually came close to understanding what Clarke needed, but sometimes he tiptoed around her as if she was a monster he was trying not to wake up.

It was a hopeless mission, until Raven tried.

Raven sat down at the end of Clarke’s bed and said, “Listen up, cap, I’m cool with letting you lie in bed all day if that’s what you need right now, but you need to take a fucking shower. Okay? You only gotta get up for a few minutes and wash yourself quickly – but thoroughly because I’m pretty sure it’s been more than a week and wow, Clarke, that’s gross – and then you can get back to bed.”

Raven crawled into bed with her after said shower and suggested watching a comedy instead of another dramatic movie.

Raven rested her head on Clarke’s shoulder, knowing it would comfort Clarke even if Clarke didn’t want to rest her head on anyone’s shoulder right now.

Raven crashed on the couch and made Clarke breakfast.

And then they did all of it again and again, until finally, Clarke broke down and cried. She cried so hard she soaked Raven’s entire shirt and she couldn’t stop telling Raven she was sorry. She was sorry that she had forced Raven to spend the week with her and she was sorry she let Octavia down and she was sorry she hurt Lexa. Raven hadn’t said anything, had just held her tight and waited for Clarke to finish. When Clarke had calmed down, she’d whispered “It’s okay, Clarke. It’s okay.”

Octavia, happy to see some of her best friend returning to her, had been about as grateful to Raven as Clarke was. The two became fast friends and from that time on, Clarke and Octavia had given Raven an invite to about every best friend-event they’d planned.

 

“Can’t you just ask Nylo to ask someone else? He’s friends with Lincoln, right?” Raven asked, throwing Octavia a glance.

Clarke shook her head, “No, it’s okay. Lexa said she’d be fine.”

Octavia raised an eyebrow, “Well, it’s not only Lexa you have to worry about.”

“I know,” Clarke said, running a hand through her hair, “But I guess part of me is glad to have her in my life again? I mean, even if it is awkward and even if we are only friends. I didn’t think I’d ever see her again and now she’s back and she’s different, but it’s her. It’s Lexa.”

She only noticed there were tears in her eyes when she noticed Raven’s slightly ajar mouth and Octavia’s wide eyes.

Her voice croaked as she said, “I just missed her so much.”

Raven threw an arm around Clarke as Octavia got up and sat down at her other side, wiping the tears away.

“We know, sweetie, we know,” she said in a soft voice as she tucked a piece of hair behind Clarke’s ear. Raven rested her head upon Clarke’s shoulder and rubbed reassuring circles on her shoulder.

 

-----

 

Clarke tried to swallow away the lump in her throat and focus instead on her favorite trash show. She could worry about Lexa later. In two days, to be exact.

 

-----

Chapter Text

Friday rolled around way too soon for Clarke’s liking. She was not ready for this, not in the slightest.

As usual, Octavia and Raven came around before they went to the club, where they’d meet Lincoln. They’d order pizza or cook together. However, tonight Clarke was way too busy finding something to wear to worry about cooking.

Octavia was in the kitchen, claiming that Raven would probably either burn down the kitchen or experiment with their food until it was inedible, while Raven was lying on Clarke’s bed, watching as Clarke tried on outfit after outfit.

“You gonna pick one anytime soon, cap?” she asked, meanwhile stuffing her face with Dorito’s.

“I told you, I need the best option,” Clarke replied, throwing yet another shirt into the not-tonight-pile while looking at herself in the mirror, “And stop eating those Dorito’s. Octavia’s gonna finish dinner soon. You know how she gets when we don’t eat anything.”

Raven grumbled, but put the Dorito bag away before she went to the bathroom attached to Clarke’s room, coming back and putting her still slightly wet hands on Clarke’s shoulders. She caught Clarke’s eye in the mirror and started massaging her shoulders softly.

“You need to stop worrying about this. I know this night means a whole lot to you, but you can’t put this many expectations on it. You’re only gonna be disappointed.”

“I know,” Clarke groaned, “I do. I just wanna impress her.”

“I know, babe, I know. You want me to do your make-up?”

“Yes please,” Clarke said, nodding eagerly. After years of practice, Clarke had gotten pretty good at doing her own make-up. She didn’t do anything special, but she did always make sure to look presentable. Raven, however, was incredible with make-up, especially eyeliner. Her hands were incredibly steady, so she was always able to create amazing things with eyeliner. While she herself didn’t use her skills that often – claiming she was just too lazy to put on much make-up – she always offered to do Clarke’s make-up on special occasions.

“Okay. So hurry up and pick an outfit. You gotta distract me from the urge to eat the rest of that Dorito bag.”

Clarke finally settled for a simple red dress that hugged her curves perfectly along with a pair of heels. She ran a hand through her hair, deciding not to do anything with it, before turning around and showing Raven her outfit.

“Damn Griffin,” Raven whistled, “Are you trying to kill Lexa?”

Clarke laughed as Raven took Clarke’s hand and lead her into the bathroom to apply her make-up.

 

Clarke walked into the living room, now in her outfit, with make-up on and carrying a purse under her arm.

“Jesus Clarke,” Octavia called from the kitchen, “Are you trying to give the girl a heart attack?”

“My words exactly,” Raven said, making her way over to the kitchen to see what Octavia was cooking. Octavia slapped Raven’s hands away from the pans and pushed her out of the kitchen once more, forcing her back to the dinner table, which Clarke was already setting.

“Great job on the eyeliner,” Octavia complimented Raven from the kitchen. Raven, who was moping at the kitchen table, smiled proudly at Octavia’s compliment.

“Can you see I did it?”

“Of course. You know I can always tell the artist from the masterpiece,” Octavia said with a wink.

“Ew, stop flirting with each other,” Clarke said, pretending to throw up as she placed three wine glasses on the table.

“Don’t tell Lincoln,” Octavia joked as she walked over to the table and placed a pan of spaghetti on the table. Raven dug in immediately, always a sucker for Octavia’s spaghetti bolognaise. When she’d filled her mouth, she moaned and mumbled something about killing for Octavia’s food.

Octavia smiled amusedly, as Clarke said, “Stop eating with a full mouth, Raven” to which Raven just opened her mouth more, making Clarke scream, “My eyes, my eyes!” as she rubbed at them as if trying to wipe the image off her mind.

“Raven, behave. Clarke, stop being so dramatic and eat your food.”

“Yes mom,” Clarke sighed.

“I’m so kinkshaming this,” Raven chimed in.

“Ew, Raven, no,” Octavia and Clarke exclaimed at the same time.

“I’m resting my case.”

 

-----

 

Clarke thought that even if tonight was gonna be a disaster, she had her two best friends by her side to pick her up.

 

-----

 

When Octavia, Raven and Clarke arrived, Lincoln, Nyko and Anya were already waiting in front of the club, Lincoln chatting animatedly to Nyko. The two had met each other once or twice at Clarke’s parties and they’d hit off immediately, but neither were the kind of people to meet up with friends much unless dragged along by their girlfriends, so they didn’t get to see each other that much. Now that they did see each other, however, they seemed to be making up for lost time.

“Thank God you’re here. These two have been talking about I don’t know what for the past five minutes and I’m bored,” Anya said, pulling Clarke into a quick hug before moving to Octavia.

“Looking good, Woods,” Raven said, eyeing Anya appreciatively as Anya smirked and hugged her.

“Stop flirting with the bride-to-be, Raven,” Clarke warned.

Raven pouted at Clarke over Anya’s shoulder, “You’re no fun, Clarke.”

“It’s all in the job description. I may be Nyko’s maid of honor, I still gotta make sure you don’t steal the bride away from under his nose as well.”

“Whatever,” Raven said, rolling her eyes as Anya pulled away. Clarke stuck her tongue out at Raven, laughing at the funny face Raven pulled in response until she felt a hand on the small of her back. It was Octavia, who leant closer to Clarke’s ear as she softly said, “Lexa’s here.”

Clarke turned around to see Lexa walking her way over to the club, looking around as if she was lost. She was wearing a casual blouse, tied up at the front, on top of a pair of high-waisted shorts that showed her legs off well. Clarke felt her breath hitch in her throat. Raven and Octavia may have said that she was going to kill Lexa with her outfit, but Clarke was about ready to be buried.

As Anya walked over to Lexa with an excited squeal, Raven nudged Clarke in the side.

“Close your damn mouth, Clarke.”

“Yeah and stop looking so flustered while you’re at it,” Octavia whispered.

Clarke sighed, closed her eyes for a few second and took a deep breath. You’ve got this, she told herself.

She watched as Anya released Lexa from the hug and felt a warm feeling in her stomach. She’d never seen Lexa accept a hug from someone this easily. Even with her parents, Clarke had always seen Lexa ball her fist for a second before hugging them back. It had been something she’d been proud of in their relationship – that she’d managed to hug Lexa without feeling Lexa freeze or ball her fist. With anyone other than Clarke, however, Clarke could always tell that Lexa was uncomfortable with their arms around her.

Anya was different. Clarke could tell they had a good relationship by the way Lexa wrapped her arms around Anya immediately and placed her hands flat on Anya’s back instead of balling her fists at her side. There was a genuine smile on Lexa’s face, a content look, as she rested her head on Anya’s shoulder and Clarke recognized that look from when she used to hug Lexa and then pull back to look at her face.

Now Lexa was walking over to her and Clarke was the one shaking with tension.

She walked up to Lexa awkwardly.

“Hey,” she said softly.

“Hello Clarke,” Lexa said, nodding in her direction.

“Can I, like, hug you?” Clarke asked, preparing herself for a harsh no. Lexa, however, nodded and stepped a little closer to Clarke, until Clarke awkwardly wrapped her arms around Lexa’s waist as Lexa leant her arms on Clarke’s shoulders. Clarke let herself relax against Lexa until she accidentally brushed her arms against a bit of bare skin and froze just as Lexa did.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured and to her surprise, Lexa didn’t reply or pull back, but instead pulled her in a little closer.

Clarke felt that Lexa was still a little tense, but she wasn’t as frozen as she was before and she guessed that was a victory. Somehow, it felt just like the old days. As if Lexa’s body had been waiting for Clarke to fit hers against it all this time, just as Clarke’s body had been waiting for Lexa’s. As if Clarke had lost a piece of herself and found it in Lexa’s body against hers. As if Lexa completed her.

Clarke didn’t want to let go, afraid that the sense of completion she was experiencing would be gone as soon as she let Lexa go, as if she’d feel empty again. She hadn’t really noticed she’d been feeling empty until now.

Apparently Lexa didn’t want to let go either; she held Clarke close until they heard a cough next to them.

Shit. Clarke had totally forgotten that Anya, Raven and Octavia were standing just a few feet away.

Lexa pulled back before Clarke did, taking a step back so quickly it was as if she’d been burned. Clarke tried not to feel too offended by that and scratched at her arm awkwardly.

“Good to see you again, commander,” Raven said with a smirk. It made Lexa smile a little and Clarke wasn’t surprised to see that Lexa let Raven pull her into a hug. Raven had that effect on people.

Lexa and Octavia just exchanged curt nods and Clarke rolled her eyes at that. Typical.

 

Raven bought the first round of shots. They were sitting in a booth, taking rounds of shots to get a little pumped up.

“I hope you’re not counting on the return of the commander. I’m taking it slow tonight,” Lexa told Raven, who snorted.

“You don’t even know what take it slow means.”

“Hey, I have taken shots before without getting drunk, thank you very much,” Lexa said with a smile.

“Okay but remember last year when you were tipsy at Christmas and grandma thought you were just sleep-drunk? That was hilarious,” Anya chimed in.

Soon, Anya and Lexa were telling all kinds of stories about their childhood, their crazy grandma and their uncle who would shave his head, not cut his hair for five years and then shave it again. Clarke noticed that their parents weren’t mentioned once. Raven, who’d already had four drinks and lost most of her tact, was the one who posed the question.

“So, how are Frank and Lucille anyway?”

Anya and Lexa both fell quiet at that, Anya looking up at Lexa worriedly and Lexa looking down at her drink.

“I don’t know,” she said and that was that. Anya rubbed circles into her back, Lexa took another shot and Raven excused herself to go to the bathroom. Meanwhile, Nyko, Lincoln and Octavia made their way to the dancefloor.

“Oh god,” Anya said as she watched Nyko do the robot, “Clarke, don’t forget that Nyko needs dancing lessons before the wedding. I should probably go give him some now.”

Clarke watched with a smile as Anya walked to the dancefloor, already having taken off her heels, and showed Nyko how to do the robot properly.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen two people as in love as them,” Clarke commented to Lexa.

“Sorry, what?” Lexa asked, looking up from her glass. She looked as if she’d been deep in thought and Clarke knew she was thinking about her parents.

“Lexa,” she asked carefully, “are you okay?”

“I came out to my parents and they fired me. I think they’re trying to tolerate it now, but they’re a long way from acceptance,” Lexa said, voice neutral and gaze towards her glass as if she was casually talking about being a lawyer.

“Shit,” Clarke said, “I’m sorry.”

“Isn’t this what you wanted?”

“What?”

“For me to come out? Cut ties with my family?” Lexa asked, looking up at Clarke. Her voice was awfully cold and her gaze was daring. Clarke sighed, shaking her head and running a hand through her hair.

“You know that’s not what I wanted.”

“Isn’t it?”

“Lexa,” Clarke said, voice hardening, “I never asked you to come out to your family.”

Lexa looked at her for a few seconds before she averted her gaze and mumbled, “Yeah, I know. I’m sorry.”

They were quiet until Raven returned from the bathroom. She placed her purse on the table of the booth and asked, “Okay, which one of you wants to dance and which one of you wants to watch my purse?”

Neither of them was in the mood to dance after the talk they’d just had and Raven, who noticed the lack of enthusiasm, grabbed Clarke’s hand and said, “C’mon, cap. You owe me at least one dance tonight. Lexa, you better order yourself another drink ‘cause I’m not leaving without the commander, okay?”

Lexa shook her head in disbelief, but there was a small smile on her face as she watched Raven drag Clarke off to the dancefloor.

“You okay?” Raven asked Clarke once they’d made it to the dancefloor and found their spot between the other sweaty bodies swinging around.

“Just – just dance with me, okay?” Clarke asked, closing her eyes and leaning into Raven to forget about the pair of eyes she felt on her back.

 

-----

 

Clarke had fun that night.

Lexa, as Raven had predicted, didn’t know how to take it slow and the commander reappeared at the end of the night. This time, however, she was accompanied by Anya, who claimed that she was the one in charge and that Lexa was just her second in battle. Anya had also decided that Nyko, who had been watching everything, snickering with Lincoln, was her personal bodyguard. Lexa, who had still been trying to outdo her sister, had then claimed that both Lincoln and Octavia were her bodyguards.

And Raven and Clarke? Raven and Clarke had just taken some more shots, shaking their heads at their friends.

 

------

 

“I’m really gonna need you to keep that IV in tonight, Hannah, so try not to take it out this time, okay?”

Clarke gave the little girl a look, one as stern they could get when talking to a five-year-old who had been in the hospital for more than a week now.

Clarke liked being an intern at the hospital, but some days all she could see was disease.

Sure, she was training to heal people, to extend their life, but that didn’t mean she didn’t also see them suffer. That didn’t mean she didn’t have to watch as parents heard their little girl had cancer. That didn’t mean a woman who could’ve been her grandma didn’t tell her she was afraid to sleep because she wasn’t sure if she’d wake up. That didn’t mean she didn’t hear of middle-aged men being rushed into ER because they had been in a car accident on their way to their seven-year-old’s birthday party.

Some days, all she could see was the bad side. She’d been in the hospital enough when she was younger to know every con of this work before she’d even started the internship. She’d still chosen to go to medical school and she didn’t regret that decision. She didn’t. She’d made her mother proud and she’d found a way to stop stressing about making money later on in life.

But still.

Yesterday she saw a girl who couldn’t have been older than fifteen visiting her dad and she felt like she’d been punched in the gut because she’d heard the dad had cancer. It still made her feel nauseous to see the girl walk into her dad’s room because the girl was her. The girl was her, naïve and optimistic and full of faith in the doctors. But doctors couldn’t save everyone and the girl was about to find out, just as Clarke had at her age.

She sat down in the locker room and closed her eyes, trying not to run a hand over her face. On days like these, her hands felt dirty no matter how much she washed them.

She opened her locker, deciding to take a shower at home rather than at the hospital and not to wait for Nyko. Taking her phone out, she granted herself another moment of calm while she turned it on and saw the messages flow in. On top of that, she had one missed call. Her heart did a little jump when she saw it was from Lexa. Lexa had also left a voicemail, she saw, and she pressed play immediately.

“Hello Clarke, I called about the preparations for the wedding. As you probably guessed, since we’re both maid of honor. Anyway, if you could call me back, that would be nice. I will probably be at work so you can call me on my work phone,” Lexa said, and then she spit up a series of numbers as if she did so every minute of the day.

Clarke didn’t try to find a notebook to write the numbers down. Instead, she just sat down on the bench in the middle of the locker room and closed her eyes as she listened to Lexa’s voice and let it soothe her.

It calmed her down a little, filled the hole she’d felt gaping somewhere in her stomach all day. There was familiarity to Lexa’s voice and it reminded her of the days she’d wake up from nightmares and Lexa would talk her back to sleep.

She shook off the thought.

Those days were gone.

Rumbling through her locker, she found a notebook and a pen. As she used her shoulder to press her phone to her ear, she wrote down Lexa’s work phone number. She dialed it with shaking fingers.

“Hello, this is Lexa Woods,” Lexa answered the phone in a stern voice. Clarke smiled.

“Hey, it’s me,” she said and then mentally slapped herself because that’s how she used to answer her phone. Back when Lexa knew who ‘me’ was. When Lexa could recognize her voice immediately.

She went to correct herself when she heard Lexa breathe, “Clarke” into the phone. Clarke’s heart skipped a beat.

She heard Lexa cough on the other line and say, “Hello Clarke. Thank you for calling me back.”

“Yeah, no problem. What did you wanna talk about?”

“I was wondering if we could discuss the preparations for the wedding, but perhaps it would be better to do that in person.”

Clarke heard a shift on the other side of the line and then Lexa whispered, her voice seeming much closer to the microphone, “My boss is gonna kill me if I don’t hang up the phone in thirty seconds.”

Clarke laughed softly, glad to see some of old Lexa shining through, “Hmm, I think I’m gonna need you alive for the wedding. I can not handle stressed Anya alone.”

Lexa scoffed at that, “Believe me, twenty-four years of being her little sister didn’t prepare me enough either.”

Clarke smiled softly and she felt any of the sadness that was left in her stomach disappear.

“We could meet up for coffee tomorrow,” she suggested, “I could pick you up from work during my lunch break.”

It took a while for Lexa to reply, but when she finally did, she sounded determined.

“Sounds good. I’ll text you the address. See you tomorrow, Clarke.”

 

------

 

Clarke tried to ignore the shiver that went down her spine at the sound of her name rolling off Lexa’s tongue.

 

-------

 

Clarke stood in front of her car and watched as Lexa walked out of the huge building in front of her. She was in a suit and the first thing she did when she got out of the building was pop the top buttons of her dress shirt open, as if she’d been suffocating and finally got some time to breathe. Her hair was up in a neat bun and she was wearing a pair of heels. When she spotted Clarke, her expression didn’t change but she did start walking a little faster.

“Hey,” Clarke greeted her, pulling her in for a hug. This one was less intimate as their first one, but it still felt good to hold Lexa for a while.

“Hi Clarke. So, do you want to have lunch or just coffee?”

“Just coffee. I got to watch during a surgery today, so I’m not really that hungry.”

Lexa smiled, “Alright. I know a place.”

 

They arrived at a small café. It had a cozy atmosphere and smelled like freshly brewed coffee. Lexa greeted the man behind the counter with a small wave and he waved back enthusiastically.

“Do you come here often?” Clarke asked as they sat down at a table in a secluded section of the café. When she realized how much it sounded like a pick up line, she quickly added, “I mean, because you seem to be familiar with the barista.”

Lexa’s shoulders had tensed a little at Clarke’s question but now Clarke saw her relax a little.

“I’m pretty sure I’m Titus’ favorite customer. Back when I started this job, they made me work overtime a lot. You have no idea how much coffee I needed to stay awake.”

Clarke smiled and said, “For a minute I was afraid he was crushing on you.”

Lexa laughed, “Don’t worry, from all the old, white men keeping an eye on me, Titus is not one.”

“Do you have a lot of those at your work then?”

Lexa nodded, “The office is flooding with them.”

“I don’t think it’s much better at the hospital. It’s still pretty much a male-dominated field.”

Lexa watched as Clarke looked through the menu and said, “Well, at least you’re changing that.”

Clarke nodded and decided that looking through the menu was useless. She was going to go for a cappuccino anyway.

Lexa saw her put the menu away and asked what she wanted to drink before walking up to Titus and placing their order. Clarke tried not to stare as she walked and leant forward over the bar, smiling at a story Titus was telling.

Lexa was so incredibly charming. In moments when she wasn’t guarding herself, wasn’t crossing her arms over her chest, didn’t button her shirt all the way up, she could charm the pants off of anyone if she wanted to. There was something about the spark that she had in her eyes today, something about the fact the bun in her hair was starting to fall, that made Clarke feel warm. As if Lexa was opening up to her, trusting her again. And maybe they could trust each other again. Maybe they could be friends.

At least, if Clarke could stop noticing how good Lexa’s ass looked in those pants.

Lexa came back with two coffees before she left again, much to Clarke’s surprise, and returned with a piece of apple pie on a plate with two forks.

Clarke lifted an eyebrow at her, to which Lexa shrugged.

“They have the best apple pie in town and you need to eat something before you go back to the hospital.”

Clarke smiled and mumbled a thank you before she carefully took a piece of apple pie on her fork.

“Holy shit,” she exclaimed, surprised at how good the apple pie actually was. Sure, she expected it to be good but this pie was fucking delicious.

Lexa didn’t even bat an eye at her use of swear words. Instead, she smirked and said, “Told you so.”

Which was really hot and Clarke looked down in hopes to stop the blush creeping up to her cheeks. It was too late, though – she felt her cheeks grow hot and when she looked back up, Lexa was bending over her coffee cup as to avoid looking at her.

Shit. Way to make it awkward.

“So, what kinda preparations did you wanna discuss?” she asked, hoping to distract Lexa from what had just happened.

“Well, I thought maybe we should start planning the things we have to do. I talked to Anya and they’ve already chosen a date. So I thought maybe we should start with looking for some venues?”

“Don’t you think Anya and Nyko should pick their venue?” Clarke asked, taking a sip from her coffee.

“Of course, I just thought we could do some research so they know where to start.”

“Yeah, okay. Sounds good.”

“Okay, so maybe we can both try to find some beautiful locations and then Nyko and Anya can visit them if they want?”

“Sure.”

“Great. They’re looking for locations with some nature. I mean, you know how they are. Nyko would get married barefoot if he could.”

Clarke smiled, “Sounds about right, yeah. So what do we do when we’re done with the venue?”

“Then we can start with finding a caterer, shopping for dresses and getting them some dance classes.”

“Wow,” Clarke chuckled, “You really are going to plan this entire wedding, aren’t you?”

She didn’t expect Lexa’s face to fall, didn’t expect her to bite her lip and look up at Clarke uncertainly.

“Am I doing too much? I mean, I don’t want to give Anya too much work, but I understand if you’re too busy to do all this with me.”

Clarke immediately regretted her words.

“Lexa,” she said, covering Lexa’s hand with her own, “It’s okay. I was just kidding. I think it’s wonderful you’re doing this for Anya.”

Lexa froze and Clarke moved her hand away from Lexa’s quickly, wondering why the hell she thought it was a good idea to put it there in the first place.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled.

“It’s okay,” Lexa said.

They were quiet for a while until Lexa said, “Anya and I were separated for a while. That’s why I didn’t tell you about her, back when, you know.”

Back when they were together. Clarke nodded.

“We once got into a fight of some sorts and then we were both too stubborn to call the other. So we didn’t talk for two years, only saw each other at family gatherings. It was horrible. I missed my sister. I just thought she didn’t miss me at all and I didn’t want to be the weak one. I didn’t want to be the one to give in first and admit that I needed her, so I didn’t. Our parents didn’t do anything to make the situation better either. But then they dropped me when I came out and Anya was at my door the day after, comforting me.”

Lexa told the story in a quiet voice, looking down at her coffee cup. Clarke could tell that it took her effort to talk about what had happened, so she nodded to let Lexa know that she was listening.  

“I’m trying to make up, you know. For everything that happened. I just wanna give her a beautiful wedding.”

“That’s really good of you.”

Lexa shrugged, “It’s the least I can do.”

 

------

 

After the story Lexa told her, Clarke made a mental note to do all she could to make this wedding perfect.

 

------

Chapter Text

Finding the right venue was easier than expected.

To be fair, Clarke didn’t do that much. She just googled some locations and tried to find the perfect forest area, while also finding somewhere they could actually hold the ceremony without being attacked by squirrels. In the end, she found a few locations that weren’t too far away and e-mailed them to Lexa.

Lexa, of course, had another strategy. When they met up together for the second time, Lexa came prepared: she’d brought two binders, one for herself and one for Clarke. She’d even put in tabs, one of them labelled venues, another clothing, the fourth caterer and so it went on until there was a tab reserved for the florist, the hairdresser, the make-up artist, the music, the photographer and one for paperwork.

Clarke tried not to chuckle as she watched Lexa flip through the binder as if it were the most normal thing in the world. It was so very Lexa to be this serious about a wedding. Clarke thought it was adorable.

She flipped to the tab called venues in her own binder and found short descriptions of the venues she’d sent Lexa, all of them accompanied by a picture. After the pages of venues Clarke had found, there were pages of venues Lexa had found. Clarke had to give it to Lexa; the venues Lexa had found seemed like they were much more what Nyko and Anya were looking for.

“Wow, Lexa,” she said in admiration, “you’re really good at this stuff.”

Lexa shrugged as if it were no big deal. Clarke wished she would just accept the compliment.

“How are we gonna get this information to Nyko and Anya, though?”

Lexa blinked, “I made them a binder too.”

 

-----

 

Clarke couldn’t hold her laughter and for a while, she was afraid Lexa was going to be worried again. Instead, when she looked up, Lexa was watching her, a small smile tugging at her lips.

 

------

 

Lexa (11:49 pm): I thought maybe we could have lunch together soon to discuss the invitations?

Clarke (11:53 pm): Lexa, it’s nearly midnight. Why are you even awake right now?

Lexa (11:54 pm): I could be asking you the same thing.

Clarke (11:56 pm): Night shift at the hospital. What’s your excuse?

Lexa (11:56 pm): I was just thinking about things.

Clarke (11:56 pm): Like what?

Lexa (11:59 pm): It doesn’t matter.

Lexa (11:59 pm): Let me know when you’re available for lunch. I’m going to try to sleep now.

Clarke (00:01 am): Alright. Goodnight Lexa.

Lexa (00:02 am): Goodnight, Clarke.

 

-----

 

Clarke tried not to think about having a similar text conversation years ago, one in which Lexa asked her out on their very first date.

Clarke tried not to think about the fact they were both awake in the middle of the night back then, Lexa because she was thinking of Clarke and Clarke because she was painting Lexa.

Clarke tried not to think about the fact that this time, Lexa was too guarded to even tell her why she was awake and this time, Clarke was awake because she’d just come back from a horrible day at work. This time, she hadn’t seen a canvas in years.

Clarke tried not to think about the fact that everything seemed so irreparably broken.

 

------

 

“Sorry I’m late.”

Clarke startled out of her thoughts and looked away from the window to be met with the sight of Lexa running a hand through her hair and pulling at the collar of her blouse. She smiled.

“It’s okay, I’m glad you’re here.”

Lexa didn’t smile back and Clarke wondered if maybe Lexa wasn’t as glad to be here as Clarke was. She tried to read the signs on Lexa’s face, but there were none and Clarke didn’t know why that made her feel so empty. She felt at a loss.

Instead of dwelling on the feeling, she followed Lexa’s example and picked up the menu. They both ordered and made small talk while waiting for their food. Clarke still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. It wasn’t that Lexa looked bad or anything, she was just acting distant. As if she was purposefully trying to hide herself away from Clarke.

Clarke didn’t understand. She’d felt as if they had been making some progress the past two weeks, but now they were back to square one. What had happened?

“Busy day today?” she asked, trying to break the ice. Lexa shrugged.

“Not much busier than usual. You?”

“Well, the fact that I actually got an hour off to have lunch with you pretty much means it’s not busy. But I can’t promise you I won’t be paged and have to take that back,” Clarke said with a smile. Lexa didn’t return it, just nodded and looked out the window.

Clarke sighed and they sat in silence until the food came.

“So what were your ideas for the invitations?” Clarke asked and she watched as Lexa took a sip of water.

“I thought we could just keep it simple. Just a polite invitation, white card, black letters. Nyko and Anya can do the envelopes and fill out the addresses to make it a bit more personal.”

Clarke snorted, “But it’s not personal. Like, at all.”

“Doesn’t mean it can’t seem personal,” Lexa said with a shrug, once again icing Clarke out.

“Yeah, okay,” Clarke said, defeated, “Whatever you want, Lex."

Lexa looked up at the use of the old nickname just as Clarke realized what she’d just said. They looked at each other for a moment, frozen, some sort of calm before the storm. Lexa looked at Clarke as if she was asking Clarke if it was okay to freak out about this and Clarke looked back as if she was saying, “Please don’t freak out.”

They kept looking at each other until the waiter appeared to ask if they liked their food and Clarke smiled at him painfully while Lexa looked down at her plate and mumbled something.

 

------

 

They spent the rest of the lunch in silence and it was the first time Clarke actually wanted to be paged by the hospital.

 

--------

 

The next time Clarke and Lexa met up, Nyko and Anya were there. They’d gathered in the café where they’d first met up and Nyko had bought them all coffee.

Lexa was still as distant as she had been during lunch and Clarke was still wondering what the hell had happened. In fact, it had been on her mind more than she’d care to admit. It had been a thought that she’d taken to bed in the evening and to the shower in the morning.

If Clarke had cared to admit that, she’d probably also admit that it was one of the reasons she hadn’t slept well these past few days. But she wasn’t ready to admit it. It was just so much easier to deny that Lexa had taken up such a big space in her life again, as if she’d just waltzed back in and sat back down on the throne of Clarke’s thoughts that had always been so rightfully hers.

Clarke sighed. She was just so tired. Instead of letting it consume her, she was trying to turn it into positive energy directed towards Anya and Nyko.

To be perfectly honest, Lexa had been doing most of the planning lately and even though Clarke knew Lexa didn’t mind – in fact, Lexa probably didn’t want Clarke to interfere with her planning – she still felt a little guilty because Nyko had asked her to be his maid of honor, not Lexa.

“Looks great!” Nyko said enthusiastically as Lexa presented the invitations to him. Anya’s reaction was slightly different.

“You’re seriously expecting me to put the addresses on all these envelopes?” she whined, eyeing the stack of envelopes Lexa had handed them along with the invitations.

Clarke snorted, “It’s your wedding. Put in some hours.”

Anya just stuck her tongue out at Clarke, who in her turn blew a kiss.

“Thank you for your maturity,” Lexa mumbled.

“You’re very welcome, baby sis! Now, I think maybe we should leave you two alone to do some more planning, yeah?” Anya said and for some inexplicable reason she winked at Clarke when Lexa wasn’t watching.

Clarke narrowed her eyes and as she got up to hug Nyko, she asked, “What the hell did that mean?”

“Let’s just say Anya heard some things from Raven. You and I are gonna need to talk later, Griffin,” he said with an amused grin on his face.

Clarke rolled her eyes. Of-fucking-course Raven couldn’t keep her damn mouth shut for two minutes.

When Clarke went to hug Anya, Anya didn’t say anything, but she did hug Clarke a little closer than usual. Clarke didn’t exactly know why. Surely, if Raven told Anya everything, Anya would be mad at Clarke for hurting Lexa?

She didn’t get the chance to question what was happening because apparently, Anya and Nyko were hell-bent on getting out of the café as quick as possible.

She sat back down at the opposite of Lexa, who was flipping through her binder, avoiding Clarke’s searching eyes. Not this again.

“Okay, so what can I do?”

“Well, we have to take care of dance lessons next, but it’s okay, I can find someone,” Lexa said, still not meeting Clarke’s eyes.

“Why? I can do it.”

“It’s really okay Clarke, I don’t mind.”

“Lexa, do you not trust me? I told you I could do it.”

Lexa looked up at Clarke’s slightly annoyed tone.

“I do trust you, Clarke,” she said, her voice gentle. Clarke’s shoulders sagged as she felt some of the tension in her body disappear at Lexa’s soft voice.

“I know how hard that is for you,” she said, leaning in closer to Lexa subconsciously. She only realized she’d done so when Lexa leant back into her seat and let her eyes flit to the ground.

And that was enough. Clarke was done with waiting and wondering.

“Lexa, what’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Lexa mumbled, still not looking at Clarke.

“Yes there is and you know it.”

“I don’t,” Lexa said, looking up at Clarke confidently, as if daring her to argue.

“Dammit, Lexa,” Clarke hissed, “Are you going to make me guess?”

“If you’re so inclined to, be my guest, Clarke,” Lexa said, eyes cold and voice daring.

And maybe years ago, Clarke would’ve argued. Clarke would’ve harassed Lexa until she finally spit it out. It was nothing new; that was just the way Lexa worked. She’d get angry about something and keep it inside until she was confronted and then she’d shout at Clarke until she’d gotten it all out and Clarke would bear it all.

Clarke didn’t mind, not back then; she understood that it was just one of the things Lexa had learned in her childhood. Her parents had always taught her to be gracious and getting mad wasn’t part of that. So yeah, Clarke had to drag it out of her because Lexa kept her anger hidden, but at least she felt comfortable enough with Clarke to get mad. Clarke didn’t mind when Lexa shouted at her. She just sat it out and when Lexa had calmed down, they could actually talk about it.

But now, Clarke was tired and she wasn’t in the mood to sit Lexa’s bad mood out. Maybe she could somehow find out what was wrong, but she wasn’t up for prodding at Lexa’s feelings with a stick until she got a reaction.

She got up, shrugged on her coat.

“Whatever. Just fucking keep it inside then, Lexa. But don’t talk to me about being mature when you’re just gonna sit around being as passive aggressive as you were five years ago.”

Without looking around to see what the jab did to Lexa, Clarke walked out of the café.

 

------

 

Lexa didn’t text her to apologize like she used to. Clarke guessed it was only fair; she didn’t deal with Lexa’s bad mood the way she used to either.

That didn’t mean fair didn’t hurt.

 

------

 

Five hours later, Clarke found herself on Niylah’s couch, a glass of alcohol in her hand. She hadn’t been able to shake off her frustrations during her internship and she knew that both Octavia and Raven were there for her, but she wasn’t really looking for that kind of company.

She heard the key turn in the lock and sat up a little, watching as the door opened and Niylah shuffled into her house. She was in a suit and when she was closing the door, her back to Clarke, she almost looked just like Lexa, except for the fact that she was taller and her hair was messier.

Niylah turned around and almost screamed when she noticed the figure on the couch.

“Clarke?”

“Sorry for scaring you. But if you didn’t want me to break into your house and drink your alcohol, you shouldn’t have told me where the key was,” Clarke replied with a smirk. Niylah’s shock turned to laughter as she shook her head.

“You’re bad for my health, Clarke Griffin.”

Clarke wondered where Niylah had learned her last name, but she didn’t ponder too long on it. Instead, she got up and walked over to Niylah.

“This suit looks a little tight,” she said as she opened the top buttons of Niylah’s dress shirt. Her fingers pressed into the valleys behind Niylah’s collar bones.

“Oh no. You’re not breaking into my house on a work night, giving me half a heart attack, and then asking me to have sex with you,” Niylah said, shaking her head, but Clarke knew she didn’t wholeheartedly mean it.

“Do you want me to leave?” she asked as she took a step closer and let her hands slide down to the space above Niylah’s hipbone, untucking Niylah’s t-shirt and sliding her fingers under it.

“No,” Niylah sighed, watching Clarke intently.

Clarke smirked and kissed Niylah, meanwhile backing them up to the bedroom.

 

------

 

Clarke lay awake as Niylah slowly fell asleep next to her, no idea of what was going on in Clarke’s mind.

 

------

 

Clarke left Niylah in her bed and made her way to Octavia’s apartment instead. If Octavia noticed her sex hair, she didn’t comment on it. Instead, she did comment on the fact that Clarke looked stressed, sent Lincoln to a friend’s place, placed Clarke on the couch with a bucket of ice cream and offered a listening ear.

“Wow, you gave her hell,” Octavia said, sighing after Clarke had told her about what had happened with Lexa.

“Was it too much?” Clarke asked through a mouth full of ice cream. Octavia was used to the sight and just grabbed a napkin to clean up the melted ice cream decorating Clarke’s cheeks.

“I don’t know, Clarke. I mean, you can’t really blame the girl, can you?”

Clarke raised an eyebrow, asking Octavia to explain.

“I mean, we both know that you did right by breaking up with her. But it did leave scars, probably. You can’t expect her to just jump back in and trust you again.”

Clarke groaned, “I know. It just frustrates me that we can’t just talk to each other the way we used to. She’s so cold, O. She’s so cold when I talk to her and then things started to get better, but now she’s cold again and I don’t know what to do.”

Octavia nodded as she let Clarke rest her head upon Octavia’s shoulder. Octavia played with her hair as she asked, “Do you still have feelings for her?”

“Yes,” Clarke answered because it was the only thing she was completely sure of.

“That sucks,” Octavia said, sounding apologetic.

“Yeah,” Clarke mumbled, because it did. It did suck. It was hell seeing Lexa and wanting to touch her and talk to her the way they used to. All Clarke wanted was to cup her face and call her baby but she couldn’t. The hugs they exchanged were the only thing that Clarke granted herself and she didn’t want to ask those too much because she didn’t want to make Lexa uncomfortable.

She had no idea how Lexa felt. Sometimes Lexa looked at her the way she used to; as if she was marveling at the miracle that Clarke was. It made Clarke’s heart beat faster and her palms sweat. Sometimes Lexa looked at her as if she still had feelings for her, but Clarke knew that didn’t mean anything. Even if Lexa still had feelings for her, that didn’t mean Lexa wanted to be in a relationship with her. Even if she still had feelings, that didn’t mean she trusted Clarke.

But Clarke swore that if Lexa looked at her one more time with eyes that were darker than usual, Clarke could settle for an all physical relationship.

The door to Octavia’s opened and Raven shuffled in, looking sweaty and carrying a heavy-looking bag over her shoulder.

“You need to start locking your door,” she said as she dropped her bag on the ground and dropped down on the couch next to Clarke, “One day someone’s gonna break in and murder you.”

“Are you kidding me? I’d like to see them try,” Octavia snorted. Clarke gave her a high-five as Raven rolled her eyes.

“Anyway. I just saw Lexa at the gym,” Raven said excitedly, “She was running hard, man. I mean, I knew she was strong and all, but holy shit, she’s in shape.”

Clarke didn’t react, so Raven continued.

“I totally get why she kicked your ass at exercise. I mean, I guess I always did, but wow, she –”

“That’s enough, Raven,” Clarke cut her off. Raven only then noticed Clarke wasn’t as happy to hear about Lexa as Raven had expected.

“I’m sorry, I thought you’d want to know.”

“What, about you checking my ex-girlfriend out? Not really,” Clarke said, annoyed.

“Wait, who said anything about checking anyone o-”

“Clarke, you do not get to take your feelings out on Ra-”

“I mean, I would never, you know I would ne-”

“You need to apologize, Clarke.”

“Wait, what?” Raven asked, having babbled on too much to notice that Octavia was looking at Clarke sternly. Clarke sighed and looked down.

“I’m sorry, Raven. I shouldn’t have taken my frustration out on you.”

“Wait, wait, hold up,” Raven said, shaking her head as if she was trying to catch up on what was happening, “Frustration?”

“Lexa’s pushing Clarke away, so Clarke snapped at her.”

Raven scrunched her nose, “That’s not good. You okay, cap?”

Clarke shrugged, “Just glad I won’t have to see her for a while.”

“Yeah, about that,” Raven started cautiously, getting up from the couch to pace around Octavia’s small living room. She was using the same voice as the one she had used that one time she had set the curtains in Clarke’s apartment on fire because she was experimenting with matches.

“Spit it out,” Octavia said, squinting her eyes.

“I may or may not have invited Lexa and Anya to our board game night on Saturday,” Raven said, wincing a little.

“Are you serious?” Clarke asked, getting up too.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know! If I’d known I wouldn’t have asked Lexa. She didn’t seem all that excited anyway. You must’ve really blown up at her.”

“Yeah,” Clarke said, sitting down again and getting lost in memories, “I did.”

From the corner of her eye, she saw Raven and Octavia exchange a look. Raven mumbled something about taking a shower and disappeared quickly as Octavia threw an arm around Clarke and rested her head upon Clarke’s shoulder.

“You’ve got four days to mentally prepare,” she said reassuringly, “And who knows. Maybe they’ll cancel.”

 

------

 

Clarke kind of felt guilty that she hoped they’d cancel.

 

------

 

They did, in fact, not cancel.

Anya and Lexa showed up at strictly 8 pm – Clarke figured that was Lexa’s doing – with a bottle of wine and home-made tiramisu.

“Shit, Lexa, how much alcohol is in here?” Octavia asked, after she’d taken a bite of the tiramisu.

Lexa blushed, “Desserts aren’t what I’m best at.”

Clarke, who wasn’t planning on staying sober tonight, quickly took another bite.

 

They sat down at the table in Raven’s living room and spent the night drinking and playing board games.

It was fun, but Clarke still felt awkward because of the tension between Lexa and her. Lexa didn’t look her in the eye if she didn’t have to and in return, Clarke made sure not to get teamed up with Lexa even though she was best at most games. Neither of them laughed when the other said something funny and neither of them booed the other when they cheated. They tried to stay out of each other’s way as much as possible.

Clarke shouldn’t let it get to her, she knew that. She could just have a fun night with her friends even if she was arguing with one of those. But the truth was that there was a heavy weight in her stomach and everything felt wrong.

Maybe she was just being dramatic.

It was probably just something stupid, she thought as she threw another shot back. She wasn’t sure how much she’d had but she knew Octavia would stop her if she was having too much. She could still see straight and for as far as she knew, she wasn’t slurring her words yet. It was board game night and she wasn’t trying to get drunk or anything, but it would be pleasant if the buzz of the alcohol made her stomach just a little lighter.

It was at the start of a game of thirty seconds that she started to fall silent. She was in a team with Raven and Octavia, so she could mostly stay quiet as Octavia said words and Raven tried to guess them.

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” Octavia described in a low voice. Anya snorted and Lexa had a glint in her eye that told Clarke she knew the answer, but Raven just squinted her eyes at Octavia.

“What kind of half-ass description is that?” she exclaimed. Octavia looked at her in disbelief.

“Are you fucking kidding me? Clarke, help us out!”

“Bill Clinton,” Clarke murmured, before throwing another shot back. Things were starting to go blurry now but the room wasn’t spinning yet, so she figured it was okay.

“Damn straight!” Octavia yelled and then, in a softer voice, said, “Clarke, maybe you need to lie down for a bit, babe.”

Clarke murmured an affirming noise and slowly made her way up the stairs, shaking and gripping the bannister tightly as she made her way upstairs. Raven and Octavia were too busy arguing to help her up and she didn’t really mind. She felt tired and lonely, but as much as she loved her best friends, she didn’t need either of them cheering her up right now. She’d ranted to them about Lexa enough the past few days.

When she’d reached Raven’s room after what felt like a lifetime, she turned on the light and clumsily kicked off her shoes. She let herself fall down on Raven’s bed but didn’t close her eyes. Yes, she was tired, but she knew by now sleep didn’t help. As much as she knew her body needed sleep – she was training to be a doctor – she also knew the difference between being physically and mentally tired.

It just felt like she hadn’t been living the past few years. Like she’d survived those years, but she’d never consciously been doing everything. As if she’d been going through the motions and seen things happening, but she’d never really lived them.

Maybe she wasn’t making any sense. It was Saturday night and she’d been drinking enough to not be able to think straight and her ex-girlfriend was downstairs. Maybe she should just fall asleep in Raven’s bed. It wouldn’t be the first time.

She was about to close her eyes when she heard footsteps up the stairs. They were too hesitant and too slow to be either Raven’s or Octavia’s, so that left either Anya or Lexa. Why would either of them go upstairs? To go to the bathroom? There was a toilet downstairs.

They probably just needed a mirror, Clarke told herself, but just to be sure, she turned her back to the door. She probably looked like a mess right now and she didn’t want Lexa to see her like this. Or Anya, for that matter.

She heard the footsteps approaching her room and then she heard the door sliding open a little.

“Clarke?” she heard a soft voice say. It was Lexa. Of course it was.

Taking a deep breath, Clarke turned around.

“Hey,” she said, slurring the word more than she’d have liked. Lexa gave her a tiny smile as she slowly approached the bed. Clarke sat up, wishing she hadn’t drunk so much.

“What are you doing here?” she heard herself say and regretted it immediately.

Lexa, however, smiled at her boldness as she sat down on the edge of the bed.

“I came to check on you. You seemed to have a hard time walking up those stairs.”

It was remarkable how light things felt suddenly, when Lexa had been icing her out for the last week.

“Why are you being nice to me suddenly?” Clarke asked, trying to get her thoughts out correctly, but failing.

Lexa seemed to understand, though. She sighed, crouched in front of the bed so that she was on a face-to-face level with Clarke.

“I was scared, I think.”

“Of what?” Clarke asked, frowning. Lexa seemed to consider something before she sighed again and answered.

“Of this thing right here,” Lexa said, pressing a hand to her heart.

Clarke frowned again and mumbled, “That’s your heart.”

Lexa smiled, “I know, Clarke.”

Clarke’s stomach did that weird thing again when Lexa said her name and Clarke thought it would never stop doing it.

“Why do you say my name like that?” Clarke asked, frowning as she looked at Lexa’s surprised face.

“Like what?”

“Like Clarkkkkk,” Clarke imitated.

Lexa frowned, “I’m sorry, I didn’t notice.”

“No, no, it’s nice,” Clarke said hastily, not wanting Lexa to think it was a bad thing. Lexa smiled and shuffled a little closer.

“I’ll keep that in mind. Do you think maybe it’s time to go to sleep?”

Clarke shook her head, “Sleep never helps.”

“Against what?”

“Things. I don’t know. Things. Will you sit next to me?” Clarke asked, feeling sad and happy and calm and wild at the same time. Alcohol was a magical thing, she thought.

“Clarke, you’re drunk and I don’t know – ” Lexa started, looking uncertain.

“Please.”

“Okay,” Lexa said as she gracefully took off her shoes, pulling them off by the back, and shuffled over to the headboard where Clarke was sitting. She leant back against it and her shoulder brushed Clarke’s just a little. Clarke closed her eyes even though the room wasn’t dark and she had no intention of sleeping. She sighed.

“What happened, Lexa?” she asked as she felt her throat become tight. There were tears stinging behind her eyelids and that was one of the reasons she didn’t open them.

“What do you mean?” she heard Lexa say and Lexa sounded so close to her. She wanted Lexa closer. She wanted to rest her head on Lexa’s shoulder and to lay her fingers against Lexa’s throat and feel the vibration there as Lexa spoke. She wanted to feel Lexa’s skin on hers and she wanted to fall asleep in Lexa’s arms. Instead, she tangled her fingers with Lexa’s. Lexa’s hand gave hers a soft squeeze that encouraged her to speak up again.

“What happened to us?”

She didn’t get an answer from Lexa and when she opened her eyes, Lexa was staring at her. Her eyes were a little wider than usual as she studied Clarke with a soft expression.

Clarke smiled sadly as she felt tears welling up in her eyes. Her voice broke as she said, “Everything is broken. How could we let this happen?”

The tears started flowing down her cheeks and Lexa pulled her hand away from Clarke’s. Clarke thought that she’d fucked up, that this wasn’t why Lexa came after her, that Lexa wasn’t in the mood for drunken confessions of her ex-girlfriend. She felt her stomach sinking even further at those thoughts until Lexa used the hand that she’d pulled away to cup Clarke’s face.

She made eye-contact with Clarke, checking if this was okay, as she wiped the tears away slowly with her thumbs. Even after the tears had stopped coming, she kept her hands on Clarke’s face and let her thumbs stroke over Clarke’s cheeks.

“I don’t know,” she answered, shaking her head.

“Me neither,” Clarke whispered, still sad but comforted by Lexa’s hands on her face. Lexa let Clarke’s face go after a while, but neither of them looked away.

Clarke was tired and sad and she couldn’t hold it in any longer. She was in love with Lexa, always had been, from the moment she’d met her in that stupid restaurant of Lexa’s stupid parents. When she broke up with her, she had both made the right choice and fucked up immensely. She never thought she’d see Lexa again, but here Lexa was, in front of her and she was fucking beautiful. She was fucking beautiful and Clarke felt herself falling over again and all she really wanted to do was kiss Lexa.

She glanced at Lexa’s lips and maybe she wasn’t being as discreet as she thought she was, because Lexa licked her lips, something she used to do when she was itching to kiss Clarke.

Lexa cupped Clarke’s face again and let her fingertips scratch over Clarke’s scalp. Clarke leaned into Lexa, both because she needed to be closer and because she wanted to press her lips onto Lexa’s. She leaned in until their noses were touching and their lips were barely an inch apart.

“Clarke,” Lexa whispered and Clarke felt it on her lips, “You’re drunk.”

“I’m not too drunk,” she replied in a whisper of her own.

“Too drunk to give me sober consent? Yes, you are.”

Clarke groaned as she leaned back enough to look in Lexa’s eyes, “Why did God bless me with such a polite ex-girlfriend?”

Lexa smiled but it was sad. Clarke knew it was her fault.

“I’m sorry I infected you with my somberness.”

“It’s okay,” Lexa said, “C’mere.”

She pulled Clarke closer to her until their foreheads were touching. Clarke could feel Lexa’s steady breathing on her lips. She closed her eyes and pretended things were back to normal, to the good times.

She didn’t really know what the good times felt like anymore, but maybe they felt like being here with Lexa.

 

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It wasn’t a kiss, but it was an almost-kiss that would haunt Clarke in her dreams.

 

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Chapter Text

They didn’t talk about the almost-kiss. In fact, they didn’t talk much at all.

Clarke hadn’t expected much else. They’d shared a rather intimate moment, after which Clarke had fallen asleep and left Lexa to think about it all. It didn’t surprise Clarke at all that Lexa hadn’t been there when she woke up an hour later, or that Octavia said she’d been quiet after she’d returned from Clarke’s room, or that the only text she’d sent Clarke was to say she was expected at a dance teacher’s studio on Friday evening, something that Clarke had left up to Lexa to arrange after their argument about it.

She’d known, the moment Lexa had pulled her close until their foreheads resting together, that it would freak Lexa out after and that she’d shut Clarke out again. That was how Lexa worked. She did things because she felt like it was right and then she started thinking about them and freaked out about it. She’d think she gave too much of herself away and would start locking herself away, keeping her heart far from her sleeve, swallowing her feelings so they wouldn’t accidentally slip off her tongue.

Clarke was a little disappointed, but she also knew that this was just the way Lexa worked. There was not much to do about it and she had to give Lexa time to figure things out. She had to trust that Lexa would come back to her eventually and trust Clarke with her vulnerabilities.

Besides, Lexa wasn’t the only one overthinking. Clarke had five days until she saw Lexa again and there wasn’t a day where she hadn’t at least once thought about the way Lexa had cupped her face or how she’d felt Lexa’s breath on her lips or the fact that she’d almost kissed her ex-girlfriend. She didn’t regret it, unlike Lexa probably did. Maybe it hadn’t the smartest thing her drunken mind could come up with, but it definitely wasn’t the worst either. She was glad that they hadn’t actually kissed though; Lexa was right, she would’ve wanted to be more sober for that. On the other hand, now she wasn’t sure if they would have another opportunity and damn her if she didn’t still wanna kiss Lexa.

All the while she realized these probably weren’t the kind of thoughts she should be having about her ex-girlfriend and that Octavia would probably shoot her a painful look if Clarke told her, but it wasn’t like she was completely in control of her feelings. Or dreams. Or daydreams.

Basically, she was just really fucking desperate for her ex-girlfriend.

 

-------

 

She didn’t tell Octavia or Raven and they didn’t ask, but they knew.

 

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Clarke showed up at the dance studio at 7 pm, the exact time Lexa had wanted her to be there. She’d come straight from the hospital and skipped dinner, so she was practically starving, but she was on time and that was what mattered. If things were going to be awkward with Lexa today, at least Clarke would keep her happy by being punctual. But she couldn’t promise she wouldn’t ditch the dance studio halfway through Nyko and Anya’s session to go get some taco’s.

As she walked into the studio, she noticed Nyko and Lexa sitting in a waiting room. They were chatting animatedly, although Nyko seemed far more relaxed than Lexa. He was in casual attire – he’d had a day off from the internship – while she was in a classic black suit with a white button down underneath. Clarke figured Lexa had come straight from work as well.

“Hey, Clarke!” Nyko said excitedly as he waved at her. She walked up to them with a small smile and noticed how Lexa’s shoulders tensed. It hurt a little, but didn’t surprise her.

“Hi,” she softly said to both of them as she sat down next to Nyko. Nyko noticed the tension and tried to break the ice.

“Did you survive the hospital without me?”

Clarke groaned, “Fuck no. It’s been so busy all day. I barely even got to have lunch, let alone dinner. I’m lucky they like you so much and want you to have a beautiful wedding, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have let me go.”

Nyko chuckled, “Well, you can get dinner with Lexa later. She hasn’t had dinner either.”

Clarke smiled awkwardly at Lexa, who smiled back but obviously seemed stressed about the idea of getting dinner together.

Thankfully, they were saved by Anya walking into the studio, carrying a helmet under her arm.

“Sorry I’m late,” she said as she ran a hand through her hair, “my baby broke down. I had to improvise with fixing it.”

“Call Raven next time, she’s a genius with motor bikes,” Clarke recommended.

“Noted. Anyway, we doing this dancing thing or not?” Anya said, giving Nyko a quick kiss on the mouth.

As if he’d heard her words, a tall, Latino man walked into the waiting room.

“You must be the engaged couple,” he addressed Anya and Nyko.

“How very heteronormative of you,” Clarke mumbled. She heard Lexa snort, but when she looked up, Lexa was looking at her phone.

The man, who introduced himself as Alfonso, lead them to a studio. It was a small room, its wall covered in mirrors. The floor was so smooth Clarke’s low-quality sneakers almost had her falling.

Alfonso asked Nyko and Anya about how they met, asked them to put on their song for the first dance on his computer and made them do warming up-exercises. Lexa carefully settled down on the floor in a corner on the other side of the room. Clarke took her place next to Lexa and stood next to her for a while, but Lexa seemed to be very busy on her phone so Clarke snuck out of the room to go looking for a vending machine.

She roamed most of the building until she found two of them next to the dressing rooms. One was a healthy vending machine, filled with sandwiches and juices and dried fruits. The other was rather unhealthy and held crisps, chewing gum and chocolate bars. Of course Clarke opted for the unhealthy stuff and soon enough she’d purchased enough bags of crisps for her and Lexa. Just to be sure they’d eat enough, she also got two sandwiches.

She made her way back to the studio and as she walked into the room, she swore she saw Alfonso judging her and heard him making a tutting noise.

“Why is the dance teacher judging me in a Latino way?” she asked as she sat down next to Lexa and unloaded her arms.

“Maybe because you bought enough food for the whole US army. Also, the Latino comment was probably racist,” Lexa said, not looking up from her phone. Clarke tore open a bag of chips.

“Says the one who chose a Latino dance instructor. A Latino dance instructor.”

Lexa looked up at her and quirked a brow.

“He’s the best one in the city. Also, there’s nothing racist about helping someone get income.”

“Well, it’s kinda racist to assume he’s not getting income just because he’s Latino. Not all people of color live in the ghetto.”

Lexa snorted, “Right, ‘cause it’s so easy to get a job when your last name is Martinez.”

Clarke thought about it for a while and then shrugged.

“Whatever. Latino or not Latino, I don’t like him.”

“Latino or not Latino, he’s a good teacher.”

“I hope he is. Look at Nyko, he’s gonna need a good teacher.”

They both looked at Nyko, who was having trouble moving his hips. Alfonso huffed at him and rolled his own hips to show him how it was done. Nyko blushed as he tried again.

“He’s trying,” Lexa said with a smile on her face.

“Uhu,” Clarke mumbled and shoved a sandwich in Lexa’s direction, “Here, eat.”

Lexa looked at the sandwich hesitantly, as if she wasn’t sure whether she should accept something Clarke bought her.

Clarke rolled her eyes, “It’s a sandwich, Lexa, not a wedding ring.”

Lexa opened the plastic around the sandwich in silence and took a small bite. Soon enough, she’d devoured the entire sandwich. Clarke silently handed her a bag of chips and watched as she leaned back against the wall and slowly ate her bag of chips while watching the mess that was Nyko dancing.

When they’d both finished eating, Lexa assembled all their plastic wrappers and walked out of the room to find a trash bin. She came back in after a few minutes and they sat in silence again. It wasn’t an awkward silence, but it wasn’t entirely comfortable either. It was more like they were both thinking about their own stuff and just weren’t ready to share it with each other yet.

They were pulled from their thoughts when Alfonso walked up to them.

“Ladies,” he said, using an assertive voice, “I’m going to need you to demonstrate something, as the engaged couple apparently need to see everything in action before they understand.”

Clarke saw Lexa tense, but she quickly got up and followed Alfonso to the center of the room. Clarke groaned, realizing that if she didn’t agree to dance with Lexa, Alfonso would probably dance with her, and Clarke did not like him enough to be able to stand seeing him dance with her ex-girlfriend. Whom she was still very much in love with.

Instead, she got up and slowly made her way to the center of the room, where Lexa was waiting for her.

“Right, so miss… Lexa, right?” Alfonso checked. Lexa nodded.

“You rest your hands on the top of your partner’s back, right under her neck. Yes, right there,” he commented as Lexa shuffled closer to Clarke and wrapped her arms around Clarke’s neck, placing her hands at the bottom of Clarke’s neck. Clarke tried not to think of how close Lexa was and how she still wore the same perfume as five years ago. She could tell Lexa was doing the same, as she deliberately stared at a spot behind Clarke’s head.

“Clara, was it?”

“It’s actually Clarke,” Clarke groaned. She heard Lexa giggle softly and saw some of the tension from Lexa’s shoulders pour away. Clarke smiled; at least Alfonso’s dislike of her was good for that.

“Alright, Clarke, you place your hands on miss Lexa’s waist.”

Clarke obliged, letting her trembling hands rest just underneath Lexa’s jacket. If it wasn’t for her white button down, she’d be able to feel Lexa’s soft skin. But now wasn’t a right time to think about that. Not when Lexa’s face was close to hers and Lexa shivered when Clarke touched her.

They took a few steps and soon enough were elegantly dancing around the room, although Lexa was much more graceful than Clarke was.

“Shit, did you take dance lessons before or something?” Clarke asked as Lexa easily led them through the room.

Lexa chuckled, “Not everyone is as clumsy as you, Clarke.”

“Wow, offensive.”

Lexa smiled, “Not offensive, true.”

“It can be both.”

“Touché,” Lexa gave in.

“Fancy word,” Clarke remarked.

“Not fancy, French.”

“It can be both.”

“Alright then,” Lexa relented again, a soft smile on her face.

They danced around silently for a while, until Clarke had the stupid idea to speak up.

“You know,” she said in a silent voice, “I can feel your ribcage expanding when you breathe.”

She hadn’t meant to say something so on the edge of intimate and creepy, but the haze of Lexa’s perfume and the proximity of Lexa’s lips were confusing her. Lexa’s breath caught in her throat as she looked down at their moving feet.

“Clarke…”

Clarke never got to hear the end of that statement since Alfonso started clapping and his loud voice filled the room, leading to Lexa taking a step back.

“Very well,” Alfonso exclaimed, “You two work perfectly together! Are you sure you two aren’t the engaged couple?”

It was meant to be a joke, but instead the room filled with an awkward tension. Alfonso noticed and raised an eyebrow.

“Anyway, I think you two are done for the day. I can’t say the same for Anya and Nyko, though.”

Clarke didn’t listen as he finished what he was saying. Instead, she got her bag from the corner of the room and walked out. Lexa wasn’t too far behind her and caught up to her as she exited the building.

They walked a block together, not saying anything. Clarke had no idea where exactly she was going – she’d gone to the hospital by bus and had to drive home by bus as well – but she was more than content to walk Lexa to wherever Lexa was going. Even though she was still penned up with want and had to fight to keep her hands to herself, she wanted to make sure Lexa would make it to her car safe. It was very quiet out for a Friday night, but still.

Lexa stopped by a familiar car after a while.

The car brought back memories of Lexa pressing her against the car door and kissing her hungrily. Clarke tried to drive the memories out of her mind, but her hands had been on Lexa’s waist for the past few minutes and she had been able to feel Lexa’s hands on the back of her neck again. Her face had been painfully close to Lexa’s and she’d felt Lexa’s breath on her with every word that she said. She had been able to feel how Lexa slowly inched towards her as they danced together and how one of Lexa’s hands had absentmindedly slid down her shoulder to rest on her arm. She had wanted to kiss Lexa every single minute of it, to pull her closer until their entire bodies were touching, to sneak her hands up Lexa’s button down and feel her warm skin.

She wasn’t in the mood to drive away any thought of the two of them making out. And she should probably tell Lexa that she needed some space before she did anything stupid.

“Lex,” Clarke started, looking up at Lexa. She was cut off as Lexa shook her head and looked her in the eye.

“I can’t do this. I can’t,” she said and Clarke was about to ask what the hell Lexa meant when Lexa cupped her face and backed her up against the car the same way she had five years ago.

She kissed Clarke hungrily, mouth claiming Clarke’s as her own and hands tangling in her hair. Clarke let herself be pressed against the car door as she caught up to Lexa’s speed, placing her hands on Lexa’s waist and pulling her closer. As Lexa slipped her tongue into Clarke’s mouth, Clarke pulled the bottom of Lexa’s button down out of her pants and snuck her hands under the shirt, feeling Lexa’s soft skin. Lexa gasped as she pressed closer to Clarke, their bodies pressing together. Clarke felt Lexa’s knee slip in between her thighs and even though Lexa hadn’t done anything yet, Clarke let out a soft whimper. She felt Lexa smirk against her lips and instead of telling her off, Clarke let her hand trail over Lexa’s abdomen, which elicited a shiver from the other girl. When Lexa started kissing Clarke’s jawline, Clarke softly pushed her away.

“I’m sorry,” Lexa started immediately, pulling her hands away from Clarke’s body, “I should’ve asked before I –”

Clarke shut her up with a quick kiss to the lips.

“That’s really the last thing I’m worrying about right now. I just thought we should probably take this somewhere more private. There’s an old lady standing in front of her window right there and I’m not sure whether she’s homophobic or turned on,” Clarke joked, nodding towards a house behind Lexa.

Lexa rolled her eyes, “Get in the car.”

 

They decided to go to Clarke’s place as it was closer and neither of them really felt like waiting when they’d been itching to touch the other for days.

As soon as Clarke took her keys to open the door, she felt Lexa’s hands on her hips and her breath on Clarke’s neck.

“If you want me to open this door, you’re gonna have to stop distracting me,” Clarke mumbled. She felt Lexa’s chuckle on her neck and then felt soft kisses.

“I’m sure you can multitask.”

Clarke tried her best to focus as she felt Lexa’s mouth on her neck and groaned as her shaking hands tried to open the door. Finally, she pushed the door open and pulled Lexa inside by the front of her jacket. Clarke roughly claimed her lips as she kicked the door shut, making sure to have gotten her keys out of it first. She pushed Lexa up against the wall as she started kissing her neck. Lexa was relatively quiet, but Clarke knew from the way her hands tangled in Clarke’s hair and scratched her scalp she enjoyed it. Clarke came to the spot that had always been a weak spot for Lexa and as she sucked she was glad to hear that it was still very much Lexa’s weakness.

Lexa pushed her away eventually, although only to take her hand and lead her to the bedroom. It felt weird to see Lexa walking through her apartment again – it had been so long and she hadn’t thought it would ever happen again. Especially not like this.

Lexa looked like she was focused rather than lost in memories as she threw open the bedroom door and pulled Clarke towards the bed. She turned Clarke around so the backs of her knees were leaning against the edge of the bed and slipped her hands under Clarke’s t-shirt.

Lexa’s hands were cold but gentle and Clarke shivered as she felt how they were running over her sides, her ribcage and her abdomen. They traced over her hipbones as Lexa leant in to kiss Clarke again, rougher than Clarke had expected. She caught up quickly and kissed Lexa back, pulling her body closer by her hips. In return, Lexa softly pushed Clarke down until she was sitting on the edge of the bed. She quickly but carefully kicked off her heels and placed two knees on either side of Clarke, sitting down in Clarke’s lap. Clarke’s hands went to Lexa’s waist immediately, keeping her steady.

She felt Lexa’s fingertips sneak under her bra clasps, but they didn’t undo them. Instead, they stroked and tickled the skin of her back as Lexa started kissing Clarke’s neck. She went from open-mouthed kissing to sucking and when she scraped her teeth over Clarke’s pulse point, Clarke let out a loud moan. At the sound, Lexa slowly grinded down on Clarke’s lap, which only made Clarke whimper more. She felt Lexa smirk against her neck and rolled her eyes, even though she knew Lexa wouldn’t see it. Deciding that this was enough control for Lexa for now, she turned them around so that Lexa was lying on her back. She straddled Lexa, placing a thigh on either side of Lexa’s body, and pressed her body down on Lexa’s upper thighs. Lexa didn’t make any sounds, but she did look at Clarke with surprise in her dilated eyes.

Clarke smiled and kissed her softly, until Lexa picked up the pace, letting her hands trail from Clarke’s back down to her thighs to pull Clarke closer against her. With her hands on Clarke’s thighs, she kissed Clarke while pulling her closer, so that Clarke was almost entirely leaning on Lexa, their upper bodies touching. Clarke smiled into the kiss when their boobs touched, but Lexa wasted no time and instead pulled at the hem of Clarke’s shirt until Clarke raised her arms so that Lexa could take the shirt off.

Lexa used Clarke’s momentary distraction to grip Clarke’s thighs and flip them around again in a quick move.

“Smooth,” Clarke giggled, surprised. Lexa smiled.

“Martial arts, remember?” she asked as she started kissing down Clarke’s stomach. Clarke shivered as she felt Lexa’s upper lip sliding down to her belly button, where she placed a soft kiss before she placed a kiss just above the start of Clarke’s jeans.

Lexa’s fingers went to the button of Clarke’s jeans as she moved her upper body towards Clarke’s, leant her mouth towards Clarke’s ear and murmured in a low voice, “Can I take this off?”

At that point, Clarke was so turned on she was surprised she could even still get the strangled “yes” out. Lexa chuckled in her ear and it did nothing but turn Clarke on. Lexa noticed and pressed a quick kiss below Clarke’s ear as she toyed with the button of Clarke’s jeans, trying to undo it with one hand as another slid under the band of Clarke’s jeans and stroked the skin there teasingly.

“Jesus Christ Lex, just take it off,” Clarke huffed, too turned on to be waiting right now. Lexa didn’t chuckle but she obeyed, quickly making work of pulling Clarke’s pants off. Clarke worked along, kicking them off as fast as she could.

Lexa leaned back to look at Clarke lying in her panties on the bed in front of her and groaned.

“You’re so hot.”

Clarke chuckled and Lexa let herself hover over Clarke’s body again, placing one hand on Clarke’s waist and giving Clarke a serious look as she asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Sure,” Clarke confirmed and Lexa checked once more before she bent forward to kiss the skin of Clarke’s boobs that her bra didn’t cover. She sucked and then bit softly, making Clarke moan. In the meantime, her fingers found their way under Clarke’s panties and one of them rubbed over Clarke’s clit. Clarke moaned again, only to moan louder when one of Lexa’s fingers slid into her. She arched her back a little, but Lexa pushed her back down with her free hand.

“Patient,” she murmured against Clarke’s boobs. Clarke whimpered at the sensation but closed her eyes and tried to be patient as Lexa had demanded.

Lexa took it slow. She drew small circles over Clarke’s clit and followed the same motion with the fingers that were inside of Clarke. Sometimes she picked up the pace, only to slow back down a while later. It frustrated Clarke to no end. Her body was becoming tighter with anticipation and she felt sweat on her forehead.

“Faster,” she mumbled.

Thankfully, Lexa obliged and picked up the pace. Clarke tried not to arch her back, but she couldn’t help it, and this time Lexa let her. Lexa let her lower body press down on Clarke’s at the same time she pushed in deeper, so that she was grinding against Clarke.

“Fuck, Lexa,” Clarke moaned, “Fuck, fuck.”

Lexa pressed her body down further at the same time she added another finger and Clarke moaned, surprised by how loud she was being. Pressing a quick kiss against Clarke’s neck, Lexa chuckled as another moan escaped Clarke’s mouth.

“That’s really hot,” she whispered in Clarke’s ear, only for Clarke to gasp at the feeling. She was feeling everything way more intensely than she had five minutes ago, and she didn’t doubt that she was gonna come soon.

“Lex,” she started, but trying to find words with Lexa inside her was much harder than expected, “I’m gonna – I’m-”

Lexa cut her off with a kiss.

“Show me instead,” she whispered against Clarke’s lips as she curled her fingers upwards, effectively making Clarke’s body shake with an orgasm. Clarke came with a strangled moan against Lexa’s lips.

Lexa gave Clarke a moment to recollect herself before she pulled her fingers out and wiped them off on the sheets. She crawled over to Clarke and watched as she came down from her high.

“Shit,” Clarke whispered, “You’ve picked up some stuff these past few years.”

“Let’s not talk about it,” Lexa said, looking away.

“Yeah, alright,” Clarke replied, a little taken aback by Lexa’s distant reaction, “I mean, we’ve got whole other issues either way.”

Lexa looked up, scrunching her brow, “What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Clarke said with a smile, sitting up and pulling Lexa along with her, “that there’s a big difference between the amount of clothes I’m wearing and the amount of clothes you’re wearing.”

“Hm,” Lexa hummed, “I guess we’ll have to find a way to balance that out.”

 

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Clarke took off Lexa’s button down and they didn’t talk anymore that night.

 

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Chapter Text

When Clarke woke up, she didn’t immediately realize what had happened last night. She woke up with her head nudged against a bony shoulder and her arm slung over someone’s stomach. For a few seconds, she was afraid she’d taken Niylah to her house in a drunken state – but she didn’t have a headache, or a dry mouth for that matter, so she couldn’t have been that drunk last night. Only when she saw a flash of brown hair, she realized that it wasn’t Niylah next to her. It was Lexa.

Everything that had happened last night came rushing to her head in one moment and she smiled. She hadn’t fallen asleep cuddled up to Lexa, but it didn’t surprise her that her subconscious had taken over in the night. Lexa, however, was lying exactly as she had last night: on her back with her face towards the window. Clarke knew she wasn’t asleep anymore, since her ribs weren’t heaving up and down the way they did when she was unconscious, so she lightly stroked Lexa’s side with her index finger and pressed a soft kiss to the shoulder her forehead had been resting on.

Lexa’s body stiffened.

“Lex?” Clarke asked, a little worried. Lexa’s head turned and two green eyes stared at Clarke. A smile tugged at her lips, but Clarke didn’t see the sentiment reflected in her eyes. Clarke shuffled backwards so that she wasn’t in contact with Lexa’s body anymore.

“Hey,” Lexa said, voice soft.

“Good morning,” Clarke replied with a smile on her face. Lexa looked away.

“I should get going soon,” she said, staring out the window.

“It’s a Saturday morning, Lexa. Don’t tell me you have to go to work,” Clarke snorted. Lexa didn’t reply. She turned around and looked Clarke in the eye, but she didn’t move. She didn’t kiss Clarke or get up or pull aside the hair that had somehow gotten stuck between her lips. She just stared at Clarke, looking conflicted.

Clarke shuffled so she was a little closer to Lexa and used a finger to softly tap on the side of Lexa’s head.

“What’s going on in here?” she asked, looking at Lexa with concern. Lexa’s eyes followed the movement of her hand before Lexa closed her eyes briefly and rubbed her forehead.

“I don’t think this was a good idea.”

Clarke felt like the ground was being pulled out from underneath her. The peaceful feeling she’d felt the moment she had seen Lexa next to her in bed disappeared and the comfort made place for a sinking stomach. She looked at Lexa, trying to keep her fear from showing.

“What do you mean?” she asked, cursing herself as she heard how her voice trembled.

“I don’t regret what happened, Clarke,” Lexa said, as she grabbed hold of Clarke’s hand that was moving away from the side of Lexa’s head and tangled their fingers together, “and I think that physically, we’re great together. But I’m not sure this should happen again. We want different things.”

“You’re saying you don’t wanna date me?”

“I don’t want an emotional relationship, no,” Lexa confirmed.

“Why? What changed?” Clarke asked, feeling her fears increase.

“Nothing did. I just wasn’t clear enough last night. I – I’m sorry, but I let my desires get in the way of my logic.”

“Why is that so bad? Why can’t you just let go of your logic for once and trust me?” Clarke asked, now becoming angry. Lexa, who had been looking her in the eye as she tried to explain her feelings, looked away.

“Because I’ve done that before and I got hurt,” she said, her voice both small and bitter.

It was like a punch to the gut. Clarke winced.

“I thought we were over that,” she said, looking down at their intertwined hands.

“It’s not that easy to get over it, Clarke.”

“I know. I know I hurt you. And I told you before, I’m sorry. I don’t know what else you want me to do,” Clarke pleaded.

“I’m not asking you to do anything, Clarke,” Lexa said, letting go of their hands and wrapping her arms around herself, “I’m just saying I don’t think I can do it again. I can not jump into a relationship with you again.”

“I – I’m not asking you to jump into anything, Lexa. We can take it slow.”

“You aren’t listening to me,” Lexa said, looking away. She started to get up and pull on clothes.

Clarke rubbed her forehead violently, trying to make sense of everything that was happening. There were so many thoughts racing through her brain, so many feelings, and she was failing to turn them into coherent sentences.

“Why won’t you give me a chance to show you that you can trust me?” Clarke asked, sounding desperate and aggravated in the same breath. Lexa turned around, having just pulled on her underwear.

“A fox is not caught twice in the same snare,” she said, looking at Clarke earnestly. Clarke got up and pulled on her own bra and panties, suddenly feeling uncomfortable with being naked around Lexa.

“Okay, it’s way too early for that kinda shit.”

Lexa smiled slightly but continued dressing, pulling on her shirt from last night and her jeans.

“So why did last night happen? If you don’t want this?” Clarke said, gesturing between the two of them.

“Like I said,” Lexa said, not looking up from where she was pulling on her jeans, “I wasn’t thinking.”

Clarke sat down after having pulled on a t-shirt, feeling absolutely heartbroken. It was like Lexa had punched her in her stomach and left a hole in her wake.

How could Clarke have been stupid enough to think Lexa would actually want to try again? Clarke had screwed up, years ago, and there was no such thing as a second chance for her. She had hurt Lexa too much to still deserve a second chance.

That didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. It stung like hell to wake up to Lexa only to see her get up and get dressed. It hurt a lot to be left behind in her own bed by the girl she had such strong feelings for. It was hell, having her hopes get up until they were let down again.

She understood, but it still hurt.

“You do realize you’re putting me in the exact same situation as I did with you, right?” she asked slowly as she watched Lexa pocket her phone, ready to go.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, you’re hurting me because I hurt you.”

Lexa looked up then, eyes filled with rage.

I, Clarke, am telling you that I don’t want an emotional relationship. You let me show you my vulnerabilities, made me fall in love with you, and then betrayed my trust. Do not even try and tell me  those are the same things,” she bristled.

“So why are you just telling me now, huh? Did you just wanna hit it and quit it?” Clarke dared.

“I never intended to hit and quit anything, Clarke. I’ve been trying to tell you from the start. I’ve been trying to keep my distance!” Lexa shouted back.

As stubborn as she was, Clarke had to admit that Lexa was right. She had been trying to keep her distance from the start, Clarke realized as images flashed through her mind.  

She saw Lexa in the bathroom of the coffee shop when they’d first met again after five years; the way her shoulders had stiffened and how she’d taken a step back when Clarke had approached her.

She saw Lexa sitting across from her during a lunch where Lexa had refused to make small talk and remembered how they’d spent the lunch in an awkward silence after Clarke had accidentally called Lexa by her old nickname.

She saw Lexa, arms crossed and eyes cold, as she refused to talk to Clarke about what was bothering her.

And then Clarke realized that from the moment they’d almost kissed, Lexa had kept her distance, until she had been forced, quite literally, back into Clarke’s arm by Nyko and Anya’s dance instructor.

“So you’re just gonna keep running because you’re afraid to get hurt?” Clarke hissed, defeated by the realization that Lexa had never meant to get close to her again, but also still angry.

“No, Clarke,” Lexa said, poison in her eyes and looking like she was going in for the kill, “I’m afraid to get hurt by you again.”

The remark stung more than Clarke would like to admit and she didn’t have the energy to think of a comeback.

“Get out,” she said, in a low, resolute voice.

Lexa happily obliged.

 

-----

 

Part of Clarke wished she hadn’t.

 

-----

 

As soon as Lexa had left, Clarke didn’t know what to do.

She felt like shit. All she really wanted to do – and felt she was capable to do right now – was lie in bed. However, her bed smelled of both sex and Lexa, and neither of those were smells she really wanted to lie around in right now. Now that she really thought about it, everything in her room smelled of sex and Lexa.

Clarke took a deep breath in and inhaled the scent. She shook her head. No, she shouldn’t do this. She shouldn’t lie around in the scent of Lexa and pine after the woman that broke her heart minutes ago. It was tempting to just lie back and let herself be sad, but she knew that if she started now, she wouldn’t stop, and she still had things to do.

She sat up and started to panic as she realized just how many things she had left to do. She still had things to prepare for her internship on Monday, she had to call Nyko to ask about his bachelor party and she’d also promised Octavia and Raven to go out with them tonight. So many things to do and she had no idea where to start. It seemed as if it was impossible to do it all in the two days Clarke had until she returned to her internship. All she really wanted to do was lie in bed.

She collapsed back onto the bed and let herself think about Lexa; about how quiet she’d been last night – Clarke should’ve known something was wrong right then –, about how sure she’d been Clarke would hurt her again, about the toxic look in her eyes when she’d dashed out her last blow.

Just as Clarke could feel the sadness building up inside of her, her phone rang. She found it in the pocket of her jeans from last night, discarded somewhere on Clarke’s side of the bed. Without checking who was calling her, she slid her finger over the green accept button.

“Hey mija!” sounded a bright voice from the other side of the phone.

“Raven?” Clarke asked, and as she did so, she heard her own voice shake. Fuck. She had tried so badly not to cry. She didn’t want to start now.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Raven said, now sounding less chipper.

“Hey,” Clarke sighed.

“Is everything okay?”

“Not really,” Clarke tried to say, but her voice broke and the tears started rolling.

 

------

 

“I’ll be there in five,” Raven responded before hanging up.

 

------

 

“Right,” Raven said after she had made her way to Clarke’s apartment and let herself into Clarke’s bedroom, “before you tell me anything, you’re gonna have to take a shower and put on some clean clothes.”

Clarke groaned, the thought of simply getting up weighing heavy on her shoulders.

“I know, cap, and I’m dying to know what’s got my best friend in this state right away, but you need to feel clean first. It’ll make you feel better, I swear.”

She reached her hand out towards Clarke and, although with a lot of reluctance, Clarke let herself be pulled up. With her head bowed she made her way to the shower, where she pulled off her shirt, unclasped her bra and stepped out of her panties. She took the usual look in the mirror, one that normally was just a quick check, but now turned into a five minute observation after she’d noticed the hickeys Lexa had left.

The words Lexa had spoken earlier today rung through her head again. They made even less sense now. If Lexa hadn’t wanted this to become a habit, if it hadn’t meant anything, why would she have left hickeys? Why would she leave her mark on a woman she didn’t really want?

Shut up, Clarke told herself, she does want you, just not the way you want her to.

She sighed. If there was anyone she wouldn’t have thought wanted only a physical relationship, it was Lexa. But that was what Lexa had basically told her not even an hour ago, so Clarke best believe it.

“Hey Griff,” came Raven’s voice, from her bedroom still, “I’m not gonna come in, but if I don’t hear the shower running soon, I might just call O and we both know that she would.”

Clarke chuckled half-heartedly and started the shower.

“You happy now?” she shouted back to Raven.

“Shut up and get in the shower!”

Clarke obliged, opening the shower door and stepping in. As she let the flow of water wash over her, she felt better instantly. Although that may have started the minute she took off her sweaty sleepshirt, only to stop again when she’d noticed the hickeys.

She closed her eyes, as if that would help her forget about the marks on her body, and stepped back so she was standing directly under the shower head. The water ran over her face and she licked it off her lips, which were still a little sore from last night.

Now that she thought about it, Lexa had been extra rough last night. She hadn’t been as tender as five years ago, but Clarke had just written off to the fact that Lexa had probably slept with a lot of women those years and picked some things up, changed a bit. But it wasn’t just that – she had also been extra quiet. The old Lexa wasn’t very vocal either, but this time, it seemed as if Lexa was deliberately holding back moans. As if she didn’t feel comfortable enough to let Clarke hear them.

Clarke mentally slapped herself when she realized Lexa had pulled her own clothes off last night. Before everything had happened and five years had passed, Lexa had always found it cute when Clarke fiddled with her bra straps and was clumsy with the button of her pants. This time, Lexa had thrown her own shirt over her heart and stepped out of her own pants, as if she’d wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.

Clarke felt sick to her stomach. How could she not have noticed?

She had always prided herself on how well she knew Lexa, and how she was the only one of their co-workers who really knew Lexa, but it turned out that knowledge was something of the past. Before Clarke had noticed, a tear slipped down her cheek. She brushed it away quickly.

Lexa didn’t deserve her tears. She was still angry. And sad. Or maybe she was angry because she was sad. No one hurts Clarke Griffin.

No one but cute girls with dark hair, green eyes and a cleverness that could give Stephen Hawking a run for his money.

Now you’re just overreacting.

Clarke shook her head. Was she talking to herself now?

She must be going mad.

There was a knock on the bathroom door.

“Everything okay in there?”

“Yeah,” Clarke said, as soon as she’d found her voice, “I’m nearly finished.”

“Good,” Raven said, “’Cause if you stay in there any longer, a polar bear is going to personally swim our way to give you a speech about melting ice and environmental pollution.”

Clarke snickered and stepped away from the showerhead. She started shuddering immediately, and quickly grabbed the shampoo bottle to cover both her body and her hair in soap. She stepped back under the showerhead and as the shampoo ran from her hair to her toes, she felt a lot cleaner already. After running a hand through her hair one more time, she stepped out of the shower.

Raven had been right; being clean really did make her feel better.

After she had dried herself off and wrapped a towel around her body, she walked back to her bedroom. It was empty; Raven was gone and so were the sheets of her bed. Clarke took the moment to quickly put on some clothes and towel-dry her hair one more time; she knew it was in vain since her hair wouldn’t really dry until hours later, but at least it would stop some of the dripping.

“I may or may not have just murdered your washing machine and then brought it back to life. Why are there so many buttons on that thing, anyway?” Raven asked as she walked back into the bedroom and looked at Clarke with two hands on her hips.

“You changed my sheets?” Clarke asked, as the lack of sheets on the bed and Raven’s talk about her washing machine clicked.

“Yeah? Is that okay? I just thought you’d like to sleep on a freshly made up bed tonight, but I can – ”

Raven’s sentence ended there as Clarke practically tackled her into a hug.

Maybe Raven hadn’t understood that Clarke felt sick about sleeping on the sheets because they smelled like Lexa, but she had understood exactly what Clarke needed. Clarke didn’t know why, but that fact made her feel incredibly emotional. She was so thankful to have a friend that could just tell from her mood what she needed, who gave her whatever that was, and didn’t complain even when she didn’t get much gratitude in return.

“Wow, Clarke, I know I can do a lot with my brace, but I’m not sure you should be putting all your weight on it too,” Raven joked.

“Sorry,” Clarke said, stepping back, “I just – it means so much – you just understand, you know? Even when you don’t know…”

Clarke trailed off and felt Raven studying her with a puzzled expression.

“You wanna tell me what I don’t know, cap?”

Clarke sighed.

“Might as well,” she mumbled, “But coffee first.”

 

 

After they had made their way into the living room and settled on the couch, both with a damping mug of coffee, Clarke started telling Raven everything.

“So Lexa was here last night.”

Raven looked up from her cup of coffee, both concern and surprise lacing her tone as she asked, “You mean here? Like, in your apartment? Where you won’t even take Niylah even though you’ve been sleeping with her for months?”

“Weeks,” Clarke corrected, “It’s been weeks.”

“You know months are collection of weeks, right?” Raven asked sarcastically.

Clarke rolled her eyes, “Anyway. Lexa and I were accompanying Nyko and Anya to dance classes and –”

“Wait, hold up, why did you guys need to be there anyway? Were you gonna hold Nyko’s hand while he learned to dance?”

“How about you shut up and let me finish the story?” Clarke asked and Raven held up her hands in an apology.

“So the dance teacher made us dance together,” Clarke continued, “And, well, I don’t know, being closer to her was just, like, killing, okay? So I walked her to her car and then she kissed me. And I kissed her back. And we went back here and, well, had sex.”

“Wow, great job, Griffin! Although that is probably the most awkward I’ve ever heard you tell a story.”

Clarke rolled her eyes again, something she found herself doing a lot around Raven. Raven grinned at her before her face turned serious again.

“So what’s the issue?”

“The issue is that as soon as we woke up, she freaked out and told me she should never have let herself go so much. She said she only wants a physical relationship, because she doesn’t trust me anymore. It’s my own fault, really, I hurt her and well, you know how karma works.”

Raven frowned.

“So you’re saying that it’s totally your fault that she lead you on?”

“Well, I mean, no, but – ”

“And it’s definitely your fault she kissed you?”

“I guess not, but – ”

“And it’s not her fault at all she apparently gave you consent to have sex with her and then said it was all a mistake?”

“Well, she didn’t use the word mistake exactly, but – ”

Clarke was cut off by a stern look from Raven. She sighed.

“I guess I get your point. I should stop defending her, right?”

Raven sighed as well, putting her empty cup of coffee on the coffee table.

“I don’t think it’s ever that easy. I mean, I can tell you to stop defending her, and maybe you will, out loud. But I think in the end, with people we love, and people we trust, we never really stop defending them in our heads. We never really stop seeing the good in them, no matter how bad they fuck us over. And I’m not saying Lexa doesn’t have a reason behind what she does, because I understand she was hurt as well and that hurt doesn’t just go away, but that doesn’t mean she can justify every little thing she’s doing right now with the excuse of a pain of the past.”

“What if it’s not just a pain of the past, though? What if it still hurts?” Clarke asked, almost in a whisper. She wasn’t looking at Raven, but rather staring at the wall of her kitchen, lost in thought.

“Well, then it’s still not an excuse to hurt you. ‘They did it to me, so I did it back’ may work on the kindergarten playground, Clarke, but we’re adults now. Maybe you should stop apologizing and acknowledge that Lexa can be a real piece of work.”

“Yeah,” Clarke said, “Maybe I should.”

 

------

 

But in her head, there was still a tiny voice that told her this was just something that had been coming for her for five years.

 

-------

 

Chapter Text

After a weekend of pining, break-up songs and ice cream, Clarke found herself actually motivated to go to her internship. While she did have a bit of trouble getting out of bed, she also had the feeling that working at the hospital all day was gonna make her feel better.

This was gonna be a perfect day, Clarke decided. No more down-talking herself. No more self-pity. No more pessimism. Just a long day filled with rewarding work and a lot of distractions. A perfect day.

“Are you sure you don’t wanna stay at home? There’s no shame in taking a mental health day,” Octavia advised over the phone.

“Yes mom, I’m sure,” Clarke said, leaning back against the glass wall of the bus stop.

On her walk over to the bus stop, she’d noticed that getting some fresh air had made her feel a lot better already.  Although she was still both mad and – salty, Octavia had called her; smad, Raven had said – she didn’t feel the urge to punch anything anymore. This, at least, was a nice improvement.

This really was gonna be a perfect day.

“Well, good. If you need anything, will you let me know? Or Raven?”

“I will. Thanks, O.”

“Of course, Griffin.”

“I gotta go, my bus is here,” Clarke said, as a yellow monstrosity of a bus stopped in front of her. The driver was chewing gum, barely looking up as Clarke stepped into the bus and greeted her. She tried not to fall as she found a seat.

Perfect day, Clarke reminded herself as she found out the only seat left was at the front of the bus and also covered in the same gum she had seen hanging out of the bus driver’s mouth just seconds ago.

“Yeah, I’ll talk to you later, Clarke. Oh, by the way, before I forget,” Octavia said, in a voice that told Clarke she wasn’t up to any good, “Lincoln invited Nyko and Anya to group dinner on Friday and Nyko couldn’t make it so Anya said she’d bring Lexa instead, I’m so sorry please don’t kill us talk to you later.”

 

-----

 

So much for the start of a perfect day.

 

------

 

Clarke walked into the hospital in some sort of a trance. Maybe she was overreacting. Or maybe she wasn’t, considering her best friend had just dropped a figurative bombshell on her.

She was gonna have to see Lexa again on Friday.

Of course Clarke knew that she couldn’t avoid Lexa forever – they were planning a wedding together, for god’s sakes – but she had been hoping to put it off a bit longer than five days. Especially when those five days were filled with long, exhausting hours at the hospital.

Suddenly, she wasn’t looking forward to going to her internship anymore. Was it too late to call in sick? Yes, it is, she told herself, you’re literally walking through the hospital right now.

Ugh. She felt sick. Maybe she should be admitted here herself.

“Clarke!” she heard a voice behind her call. Soon enough, a man with broad shoulders took his place next to her.

“Nyko, hey!” she said, trying out a voice that didn’t make her sound like she’d been crying over her ex the past two days.

“How was your weekend?” Nyko asked, totally oblivious to everything that was going on inside Clarke’s head.

Clarke doubted for a moment, wondering how to answer that. She hadn’t talked to Nyko about serious topics much before. For some reason, they had only talked about happy things and how much they both hated this internship sometimes. Their conversations had never really been profound or completely honest. It hadn’t been exactly small talk, but it wasn’t the way you talked to your best friends either. Which was weird, because Nyko did see Clarke as his best friend.

And maybe that was a reason to be honest.

“Well,” Clarke started, “Funny story about that…”

 

“Wow, holy shit,” Nyko said, after Clarke had told him everything about her and Lexa. It was quite a story. In the meantime, they had arrived in the changing rooms and both changed into their scrubs.

Clarke just nodded in response.

“I mean, Anya told me about some history between you two, but I didn’t think -”

“That we were stupid enough to try again? Yeah, me neither.”

“I don’t think it’s stupid,” Nyko said, shaking his head, “I think it’s brave.”

Clarke snorted.

“Well, I guess Lexa lost her courage the next morning.”

Nyko scratched his head awkwardly, “Well, I can’t gossip about my soon-to-be sister in law, but I have to say, that really sucked, Clarke.”

Clarke nodded her head, “It did. But, well, she had her reasons. And I have to respect her decision. Even though I’m still pissed at her.”

“And you have every right to be, as much as she had the right to make her decision.”

“I guess. The worst part is that I’m gonna have to see her on Friday and act mature.”

Nyko winced, “I’m sorry about that. It’s my turn to do Friday night ER. If I’d known this was going on between you and Lexa, I wouldn’t have told Anya about the dinner invitation at all.”

“Well, thanks for offering to lie to your fiancée for me, but I’m afraid I’m gonna have to deal with this one myself,” Clarke sighed.

Nyko offered her a sympathetic glance.

 

------

 

Feeling much lighter after the conversation, she was glad she’d confided in Nyko. He really was a good friend.

 

------

 

Much to her own surprise, Clarke survived the week.  

It had been one of the busiest weeks she’d had so far. She’d wake up, have a shower and get dressed. She’d run to get the bus to the hospital, arrive four minutes before her shift started and hurry to change into her scrubs. She’d spend all day talking to angry relatives of patients or doctors during meetings or children who were stuck in their hospital beds. In the evenings, she’d catch up on paperwork and talk to her supervisors about what treatment they were going to try on their patients. Late in the evening, she’d take off her scrubs, go home and just fall down on the couch. She’d fall asleep, only to be woken up by a grumbling stomach that reminded her she hadn’t eaten anything at dinner time. Which was four hours ago by now.

And then, the next day, she would do it all again.

It was rewarding work but also very exhausting and when Friday night finally rolled around, she was very thankful that her shift ended at 5 o’clock instead of 7 like it had all week.

Still, she was very tired, so instead of going to Lincoln’s place right away, she decided to take a nap. Just for half an hour, she had told herself. Just to get some energy and muster the courage to talk to her ex later that night. She had closed her eyes with the belief that her body would wake her up automatically, half an hour later.

 

------

 

It didn’t.

 

-----

 

When she finally got to Lincoln’s place, she arrived an hour late and was greeted by Lexa.

As soon as the door opened, Clarke was ready to throw her apologies towards the one behind it, presumably Lincoln or Octavia, and she was already opening her mouth when she noticed it was Lexa instead. Quickly closing her mouth, she folded her arms over her chest.

Noticing Clarke’s hostile body language, Lexa raised an eyebrow.

“How nice of you to honor us with your presence.”

Clarke put on an obviously fake smile at the sassy remark and responded, “I’m more than willing to apologize, but not to you.”

Lexa huffed and stepped aside, only for Clarke to push past her anyway. As she walked in, she found Anya and Raven on the couch, both holding a glass of wine, while Lincoln was lighting the candles on a completely set table. Clarke winced; she knew the completely set table meant that dinner had been ready for a while now.

“Linc, I’m so sorry. I overslept,” Clarke started, but Lincoln just shrugged.

“I’m glad you’re here now. You might wanna apologize to Octavia though, she’s spent all week worrying about this dinner.”

Lincoln nodded towards the kitchen, where Octavia was presumably leaving Clarke a twelfth voicemail asking her where the hell she was.

Ignoring Lexa’s eyes that she felt on her back, Clarke made her way to the kitchen. She found Octavia with, indeed, her phone in her hand. The kitchen was filled with pots and pans, and Clarke could already see they were having steak for dinner. It made sense; Octavia would kill for a good steak.

“There you are!” Octavia said, her voice a mix of relief and irritation.

“I’m so sorry, O,” Clarke said as she was being pulled into a hug, “I had the longest week and I thought I’d just take a nap for half an hour but I ended up sleeping for two and a half hours. I came as fast as I could.”

Clarke pulled away from the hug and saw that some of the irritation in Octavia’s eyes had disappeared.

“I thought you weren’t coming because of,” Octavia sent a quick glance towards the living room, where Lexa and Lincoln now seemed to be discussing candles, “you know who.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “She’s not Voldemort, O.”

“Hey,” Octavia said, crossing her arms, “You don’t get to be an hour late to my dinner and then give me that attitude.”

“Sorry,” Clarke said, genuinely, “I’ll give you part of my steak if that makes up for it?”

Octavia grinned, “Oh, Griffin. You know just the way to my heart.”

 

Surprisingly enough, dinner only got awkward between Clarke and Lexa a few times. Maybe that was because Octavia had placed Lexa at the head of the table, while she had placed Clarke at the left side of the other end. That way, they were far away from each other and also didn’t have to look at each other too much, giving them no opportunity to make things awkward for the others by glaring at each other.

After dinner, all of them helped clear off the table and put the dishes in the kitchen sink. Deciding to leave the dishes for later, they settled on the couch and talked some more, laughing and drinking.

Not long after dinner, Octavia discovered that they had run out of booze, and since she didn’t want to break the booze tradition of game night, she insisted she and Lincoln go pick up some more. Anya then added that she was really in the mood for some pancakes, while Raven insisted they buy some m&m’s.

“I guess that leaves two people to do the dishes,” Anya said with a devilish grin on her face.

Clarke groaned. She didn’t mind doing the dishes – really, it was the least she could do after making everyone wait for her – but she wasn’t really looking forward to alone time with Lexa.

Lexa apparently felt the same, directing her glare towards Anya. At least it was away from Clarke for the first time that night.

Raven noticed the look that her best friend was sending her, one that screamed for help, and put down the red bomber jacket she was about to put on.

“You know, I don’t think m&m’s this time at night are really that necessary,” she started scrambling back.

Anya, however, grabbed her arm, picked up the bomber jacket from the couch Raven had thrown it on, and dragged her out the door. She threw Lexa a quick stern look, before she also shooed Lincoln and Octavia out the door and closed it behind them.

 

 

They awkwardly walked over to the kitchen sink.

“So, you wanna wash or dry?” Lexa asked, a dish towel in one hand and a bottle of dishwashing detergent in the other.

From all the restaurant work they’d been doing in the past, Clarke knew Lexa preferred to dry. It always came handy, since Clarke preferred to wash. Now, however, she felt childish and decided to reach for the dish towel.

“I’ll dry,” she said.

Lexa took one glance and knew right away Clarke was doing it just to spite her.

“Wow, Clarke,” she said in a poisonous tone, “I really was wrong to think you were above being petty.”

“Petty?” Clarke replied, “You mean like holding a grudge against someone for something they’ve done years ago, even when they’re a completely different person nowadays?”

“Completely different, right,” Lexa huffed as she started drawing water. Clarke decided to let the comment slide.

Lexa set up Lincoln’s Bluetooth speakers and connected her phone to them. They washed the dishes without much talking, the only sounds the music from Lexa’s phone. It was strangely comfortable until Clarke heard the same song starting for the fourth time on Lexa’s phone.

“Jesus Christ, does your phone not have any songs beside Paper Doll?” Clarke snapped finally.

“Oh I’m sorry Clarke, is John Mayer not good enough for our princess?”

Clarke bristled at the nickname that Lexa knew she hated, “This is the fourth time in a row you’re playing this song!”

Lexa shrugged, her casual attitude annoying Clarke to no end, “I like this song.”

“God, Lexa, please. It’s so obvious this song is a diss track about Taylor Swift and you know I love her!”

“The one who washes the dishes gets to pick the song, Clarke. That’s the rule,” Lexa said, pursing her lips and looking strangely hot like that. Clarke felt both irritated and turned on. Mostly irritated though.

“You’re so fucking infuriating!” Clarke finally shouted. If it shocked Lexa, she didn’t let it show. Instead, she glared at Clarke.

“You think I’m infuriating?” Lexa yelled - and Clarke hated the thought, but she was so hot when she yelled - “You’re the one who likes to play petty - ”

She was cut off by Clarke grabbing her by the hem of her t-shirt and pushing her lips against Lexa’s. She kissed Lexa rough and fast and Lexa quickly caught up, her wet hands soaking Clarke’s t-shirt as she gripped at Clarke’s waist. Clarke reacted by pushing Lexa against the counter and shoving one leg in between Lexa’s thighs. She felt some kind of sick delight as Lexa hissed out of pleasure and shock.

She didn’t know why she was doing this; she really just wanted Lexa to stop talking, but more than that, she had been longing to touch Lexa since the moment she’d screamed at Lexa to get out of her apartment.

She pushed her knee up against Lexa’s center and pushed Lexa against the counter harder, desperate to feel in some sort of control. It was messy, she knew, but she couldn’t stop herself, and Lexa didn’t seem to mind.

As she started to make her way down Lexa’s neck, sucking and scraping her teeth over sensitive spots, Lexa found the opportunity to speak.

“Do you solve all your problems by fucking people, Clarke?” Lexa’s tone was mocking, but the fact that she was a bit out of breath from kissing Clarke made her statement less impressive.

“Who said I was going to fuck anybody?” Clarke asked, looking up at Lexa. Lexa’s throat bobbed.

“I thought it was suggested from the way your knee is pressing up against me.”

“Do you like it?” Clarke asked, grinning devilishly as she pressed her knee up once more. Lexa hissed again.

“Let’s go,” Lexa said, already pushing away from the kitchen counter to find her car keys.

 

-----

 

Clarke knew it was a bad idea.

 

She did it anyway.

 

-----

 

Clarke woke up the next morning in Lexa’s bed with a hangover and the sense that she had done something very wrong last night.

She knew immediately what it was, but somehow, when she turned around to look at a sleeping Lexa, she couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t as wrong as she thought.

It had never really happened, Clarke thought, that she woke up before Lexa. Lexa was always up early, sometimes even having enough time to make breakfast for Clarke. Now, however, her eyes were still closed and she was still in a blissful state, looking as innocent as a child. Clarke thought it was adorable and at the same time hated that she thought so.

Last night she went home with Lexa. Not only did that mean that she had slept with Lexa – again – but it also meant that this probably wasn’t gonna be the only time she would sleep with Lexa. She knew herself, and she knew that if she chose to do something wrong once, she’d probably do it again. Especially if the thing she did wrong was Lexa.

Clarke sighed. Fuck.

Had she ever really been over Lexa in the first place?

It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter, because she had made her decision. By going home with Lexa, she’d decided to agree to Lexa’s terms. And Lexa’s terms were, or seemed to be, a physical relationship only. No dates. No romance. No strings.

And maybe that wasn’t what Clarke wanted exactly, but surely, it could be enough for her. She could do physical. She wasn’t even that into Lexa anymore, anyway. She didn’t love Lexa like she used to. She wasn’t head-over-heels butterflies-every-time-I-see-you in love. Not anymore.

Or maybe you’re just settling for Lexa’s body because you’re desperate to at least have some part of her, a voice in her head said.

She told the voice to shut up and turned to the bedtable, where she’d left her phone, for some distraction.

As expected, she had about twenty texts from Octavia and Raven.

 

Raven (09:03 pm): I’m so sorry, cap. I swear I tried to save your ass, but Anya wouldn’t allow me.

Raven (09:03 pm): I’m not sure how much Lexa has told her but I got the idea she liked to watch the drama unfold between you two?

Raven (09:03 pm): Maybe she just thrives on other people’s broken relationships.

Raven (09:04 pm): God, that sounded wrong, I’m sorry. Anyway I hope you didn’t kill Lexa since both of you mysteriously disappeared.

Raven (09:04 pm): I know I said I’d help you hide the body but does that ode still count if the body is someone I consider as a friend as well?

Raven (09:04 pm): I’m kidding, I’ll still help you hide the body.

 

Octavia (09:03 pm): Hi babe, just arrived back at the apartment and found you and Lexa gone. Hope everything’s okay.

Octavia (09:05 pm): I’m assuming things got so awkward you both went home. Or maybe Lexa killed you with her glare. I don’t care what Raven says, she could totally take you.

Octavia (09:06 pm): Anyway, text me to let me know you’re home safe?

Octavia (09:32 pm): Jesus Christ Clarke why are you like the worst friend ever? Text me!

Octavia (10:00 pm): GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER GRIFFIN.

 

Clarke cringed. She was, indeed, the worst at texting people back. However, it was hard to stay on top of her messages, when she’d been on top of… well, other things. Without taking the time to read the other messages, she quickly sent a text in their group chat to let Octavia and Raven know she was okay. They probably wouldn’t read it until hours later, when they’d finally woken up, but Clarke knew that if they didn’t have a message before they were woken up, they’d probably file a missing person report. When she locked her phone, she felt Lexa stir behind her.

She turned around to see Lexa looking at her, eyes small and hazy with sleep. There was hair sticking to the corners of her mouth and if Clarke wasn’t still angry at her, she’d probably find it adorable. It reminded her of nights when Lexa would walk around in just an oversized t-shirts, with her glasses on and hair in a bun.

“Clarke,” Lexa started. It snapped Clarke from her thoughts and she got up to start pulling on her clothes from last night. Lexa stopped talking when she saw Clarke dressing.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be gone in a second,” Clarke said, half-annoyed, even though she had known this would be coming.

“Clarke,” Lexa said again, this time a bit more firmly. Clarke stopped pulling her shirt over her head to look at her.

Lexa had sat up and was running a hand through her hair, careful to keep the blanket close to her chest.

“Sit down,” she said calmly. Clarke didn’t want to be quick to oblige, so she pulled on her jeans before sitting down at the edge of the bed.

“I’m still not looking for a romantic relationship. If you are, we should not do this.”

“Isn’t it funny how you keep bringing this subject up after I make you orgasm?”

“What? I –”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “Don’t worry Lexa, I’m not gonna cause any drama.”

“I’m not saying this out of self-interest, Clarke,” Lexa protested as Clarke got up again, gathering her things from last night.

“Right. You’re trying to respect my boundaries,” Clarke said, crossing her arms.

Lexa nodded. Clarke believed her; she really did. She knew that Lexa was just trying to make sure Clarke was okay with everything that was happening. It still stung a little, though.

“Well, if you’re trying to respect me, then maybe you shouldn’t have fucked me and told me it was a mistake last time,” she said. Lexa flinched at the accusation and didn’t reply.

“I’ll be in touch,” was the last thing Clarke said before she left Lexa’s apartment.

 

-----

 

As angry as Clarke was on the outside, on the inside she was confused, wondering what the fuck she was doing.

 

------

Chapter Text

The next time Clarke saw Lexa, Lexa was waiting for her in front of the hospital. They had agreed to meet up for lunch to plan some things for the wedding. Lexa had volunteered to pick Clarke up and now she was leaning against her car, arms folded over her suit jacket and legs crossed. The indifferent expression she was wearing was undeniably hot and Clarke couldn’t help but make an abrupt stop. The weight of a heavy body bumping in to her sent her doubling over and gasping for air.

“Oh shit, Clarke, sorry,” she heard Nyko say. It made sense that it was Nyko; only few people would be heavy enough to make Clarke lose her breath just by bumping into her. She quickly caught her breath and stood up straight, smiling at Nyko.

“’s cool. It was my own fault for suddenly stopping anyway.”

“Yeah, what happened there?” Nyko asked just as Clarke spared a glance at Lexa, who was making her way over, looking worriedly at Clarke.

Clarke felt Nyko watch her and when she looked back at him, he was raising an eyebrow at her, confusedly. She couldn’t blame him; the last Nyko knew, Clarke’d been angry at Lexa for leaving her in her bed. Unfortunately for Nyko, Lexa had walked up to the steps in front of the hospital and made her way over before Clarke could answer his silent question.

“Everything okay?” she asked Clarke, awkwardly fiddling with her hands as if she wanted to use them to examine Clarke but felt too awkward to.

“I’m fine,” Clarke waved the accident away, “Let’s go get lunch. You wanna join, Nyko?”

“No, thanks,” Nyko said, “I gotta be present at a surgery later, so I’m only gonna grab a quick drink. We should talk later though.”

He winked at Clarke before he left them in favor of a bar across the street.

“Shall we go?” Lexa asked. Clarke rolled her eyes at the formality and walked over to Lexa’s car.

 

Lexa drove them to a cute little Italian place. Clarke smiled as she walked through the door and smelled the pizza. She ordered a pizza Hawaiian and watched as Lexa scrunched her nose at her order.

“Pineapple on pizza? Really, Clarke?”

“You’re seriously gonna criticize me for ordering pizza?” Clarke asked, but there was no bite in her question.

Lexa noticed and smiled as she said, “I’m sure we can both agree that the actual chef here knows best.”

“I’m sure we can both agree that the actual chef here is being pretentious as fuck.”

Lexa laughed, “Fair point.”

It was a bit awkward, the fact that it wasn’t awkward. It was supposed to be awkward. It should be awkward, after what had happened just days ago. But somehow, it wasn’t. It felt comfortable. Easy almost.

Until Clarke said it out loud.

“This is surprisingly easy,” she said.

“What do you mean?” Lexa asked, sipping from her drink, looking ridiculously sexy as she stared at Clarke over the rim of her glass.

“This,” Clarke said, not entirely sure of how to express herself, “us.”

Lexa’s eyes darkened at the last words and her shoulders stiffened. Clarke sighed when she noticed.

“Not as easy as I thought, then.”

Lexa clenched her teeth and hissed, “I’m trying here, Clarke.”

“Well, you’re not the fucking only one, are you?” Clarke hissed back.

The waiter arrived with their pizzas and they both took a breath.

“I’m sorry,” Lexa apologized as they started cutting their pizzas.

“Me too,” Clarke mumbled.

They were silent for a while as they ate their pizzas. Clarke attempted to break the silence by making a critical remark about the waiter just as Lexa said, “This pizza is way too oily.”

Clarke looked up, surprised, to see Lexa doing exactly the same. It took them only a few seconds to start laughing.

“I guess that’s what happens when you’ve had a job at a restaurant,” Clarke said when they were done laughing.

“It’s a pain. I can’t go to dinner anywhere without noticing something wrong about the food,” Lexa agreed. Clarke smiled at Lexa.

She sighed and looked at Lexa, sitting opposite her, shoulders down and collar popped open. She looked like she was beautiful and she knew it. One Direction could sing whatever they wanted, Clarke didn’t give a fuck about girls who didn’t know about their beauty. What was really sexy to her were girls who owned their beauty. Girls who didn’t care whether anyone else liked their looks; who held their head up high and walked with confidence; who did whatever they wanted to do because they wanted to do it.

Clarke shook her head. Stop mentally drooling, Griffin.

When she looked back up, Lexa was staring at her with something like adoration in her eyes. Clarke’s heart skipped a beat when she saw Lexa’s soft eyes, two reminders of what their life used to be like. A side of Lexa Clarke used to be able to see all the time, not just in unguarded moments after fits of laughter during a lunch they only really planned because they had to talk business.

Clarke bit her lip, wanting very much to kiss Lexa right now. But she didn’t want to kiss Lexa because she wanted Lexa’s body. She wanted to kiss Lexa for different reasons and she knew that Lexa would never let Clarke kiss her if she knew Clarke’s reasons.

Lexa noticed Clarke biting her lip and Clarke looked away. She needed to keep business, casual sex and romantic sex separated.

“So, we should probably look into music sometime soon, huh?”

“Yes. Do you think we should look for bands or DJs?” Lexa replied, carefully adding to the light air of the conversation.

“I’m pretty sure Anya would like a band.”

“What about Nyko?”

“Nyko will be too busy trying not to step on Anya’s toes.”

 

-----

 

Lexa snorted and Clarke grinned, thinking that making Lexa laugh felt like the biggest accomplishment of the day.

 

-----

 

And so they started looking into bands. And they did cake tastings with Nyko and Anya. And they booked a photographer. And in the meantime they had sex. A lot.

They had sex to a SoundCloud playlist of all local bands, but they couldn’t exactly give an in-depth review of every separate band after.

They had sex after the pie tasting, Clarke pinning Lexa against a bakery bathroom stall, licking leftover sugar off her lips while sliding one hand into her underwear.

They had sex even when they didn’t see each other for the wedding; a simple call or just showing up at each other’s apartments would be enough.

They also kept doing things as friends, though. Or at least when others were around; when they were with just the two of them, it proved to keep getting harder not to jump each other’s bones. But they still did nights out with Raven, Octavia and Anya, they still attended movie nights and they would never skip a game night. Clarke would still marvel at Lexa’s trivia knowledge and Lexa would listen intently as Clarke explained why Quentin Tarantino movies were perceived as art and not just, as Raven would say, “a whole bunch of people slicing each other up”.

The difference was that now, these nights usually ended with Lexa kissing Clarke’s neck when the cab driver wasn’t looking – and when she did catch him looking she’d raise an eyebrow at him in a way that would just make a tipsy Clarke bite her lip harder – or with teasing hands on thighs under blankets when they were sure that the others were watching the movie, or with Clarke pinning Lexa to her bed after they’d convinced everyone they didn’t need help cleaning up.

 

-----

 

It was all messy and juvenile and stupid, Clarke thought one afternoon. But when she looked over at Lexa’s naked body lying next to her, one leg hooked over Clarke’s waist, she couldn’t find it in herself to care.

 

-----

 

Things were going pretty well. However, Lexa was still uptight about the whole couple thing.

One afternoon they were sitting in a restaurant, debating which of the last three bands to choose. Clarke liked to make it a competition – the battle of bands, she’d call it – and Lexa rolled her eyes as Clarke used an announcer’s voice to ask, “Lexa, I need your answer right now. Which band will not make it to the final round?”

Before Lexa could answer, a young girl in a shirt with the restaurant’s logo on the front came by to deliver them their second round of drinks.

“There you go,” she said as she placed the drinks in front of them. Clarke noticed about a thousand things she’d done differently if she was still waiting tables, but kept her comments inside.

“I hope you don’t mind me saying this,” the waitress went on, a blush on her cheek, “but you two make a really cute couple.”

Clarke smiled gently at the teenage-looking waitress, deciding not to comment and instead accept the compliment. Lexa, however, had a different idea.

“Oh no. We’re not a couple. Just friends. Definitely not a couple,” she corrected the waitress.

“Oh, okay, my apologies,” the girl said, looking embarrassed as she turned around to walk back to the bar.

“Jesus Christ Lexa,” Clarke said, rolling her eyes, “Why don’t you just take your killer clown mask with you next time? That’ll do the trick of scaring a sixteen-year-old to death just as well.”

“She shouldn’t make assumptions,” Lexa mumbled, quickly taking a sip of her drink.

“She was trying to make conversation. It’s how waitresses get their tips,” Clarke said, sticking up for the girl that could’ve been her a few years ago.

“She can get a tip by waiting our table correctly and not making assumptions about us.”

“How was she supposed to know she was gonna get a no homo-lecture?”

“It wasn’t –” Lexa gasped, searching for words and in the end opting to hiss, “It wasn’t about that.”

“So what was it about?” Clarke challenged her, leaning back in her chair as she popped an olive into her mouth.

“Sometimes when outsiders get wrong ideas about two people, the people themselves can be influenced by those ideas,” Lexa said, purposely being vague.

“You think because a waitress thinks we’re a couple, I can’t separate casual sex from romantic sex?”

Lexa blushed and looked around. She’d never been one to discuss sex over lunch in a busy restaurant.

“Clarke, could you keep it down, please?”

“What, you don’t want people to know I’m fucking you?” Clarke asked, not doing anything to muffle her voice. From the corner of her eye, she saw the waitress from before looking over at their table.

“Clarke,” Lexa started, but she didn’t say anything else, lost for words.

“You don’t think I’m good enough for casual sex either?” Clarke asked before she even realized what she was saying.

She knew it wasn’t that. She knew Lexa just didn’t want to draw attention to them in a public place by talking about sex. She knew Lexa just wasn’t comfortable, that it wasn’t Clarke who was the problem. But, as the question that she’d spoken without even realizing showed, there were some unresolved issues between them.

Clarke had been trying to ignore it, but from the moment that Lexa had told her she didn’t want a romantic relationship, she’d felt rejected and not good enough. They were insecurities that she could push away in the middle of the day when she was busy working, but not at night or when she was tired. She didn’t know why they came out now; she hadn’t even planned to ever talk to Lexa about it. Hell, she hadn’t even planned to ever stop denying it to herself.

“Clarke,” Lexa said again, this time sounding genuinely pained. Her eyes were sad as she looked at Clarke, but she didn’t say anything and that was enough for Clarke.

“It’s fine,” she muffled it away, “I gotta go.”

She wasn’t even halfway through her salad but she didn’t like salads anyway, so she just threw down some bills on the table, shrugged on her coat and left the restaurant without looking back at Lexa.

 

As she walked back to the hospital, she wiped away the tears that were forming and clenched her teeth. Goddamn feelings.  

The rest of the day she threw herself into her internship. However, it wasn’t enough to forget about what had happened. She couldn’t stop thinking about Lexa, about the pained expression on her face when Clarke had asked her if she wasn’t enough, but also about the fact that she hadn’t said anything to reassure Clarke. The silence on Lexa’s end bugged Clarke all day, so when she got off early at the hospital, she found herself taking the bus to a familiar place while dialing a familiar number.

“Hello?” came from the other side of the phone.

“Hey, it’s me,” Clarke said, trusting that the woman at the other side would recognize her voice, like she’d done many times before.

“Clarke. It’s been a while,” Niylah said, trying to sound casual, but her voice betrayed that she felt hurt. Clarke couldn’t blame her; she’d turned Niylah down numerous times the past few weeks, either because she was on top of the wedding or… well… on top of Lexa.

“I know. I’m sorry,” Clarke said, feeling slightly guilty as she got out of the bus and walked towards the apartment in front of her.

Niylah sighed, “Whatever. I’m home if you wanna come by.”

Clarke grinned, “Already at your front door.”

“You’re not,” Niylah replied, sounding incredulous. Surely enough, she opened the door a few seconds to later to check, shaking her head as she found Clarke standing in front of her.

“Cheeky little shit,” she mumbled as they both hung up and put their phones away.

“Ooh, talk dirty to me,” Clarke said with a wink. Niylah laughed and grabbed her by the arm, pulling her inside.

To Clarke’s surprise, Niylah didn’t offer her anything to drink. Instead, she closed the door behind Clarke and pushed her against it. She claimed Clarke’s lips and Clarke almost scrunched her nose at how wet Niylah’s mouth was compared to Lexa’s. She tangled her hands in Niylah’s hair to shake the thoughts from her mind. Niylah moaned softly when Clarke pulled her closer by the hair and Clarke couldn’t help but find it incredibly attractive.

She started undoing the buttons of her coat, taking off her scarf as she let the coat slide off her arms. Meanwhile, she grabbed Niylah’s hips to pull her closer and gasped in Niylah’s mouth as she felt her boobs brush against Niylah’s. Niylah’s boobs were bigger than Lexa’s and she let herself focus on this difference as Niylah started kissing her jawline while also unbuttoning the top of her t-shirt. She closed her eyes and felt Niylah come closer and closer to the most sensitive spot on her neck when she suddenly didn’t feel anything it all. She opened her eyes and saw Niylah staring at her neck.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, a bit worried about Niylah.

“What’s that?” Niylah asked, nodding toward a bruise on Clarke’s neck. Clarke cursed Lexa for her stupid i-can-leave-hickeys-in-your-neck-but-you-can’t-leave-them-in-mine-policy. She’d confronted Lexa about it once but Lexa had just laughed and said, “Do as I say, not as I do” and then left her another hickey that had Clarke moaning so hard she’d forgotten.

“It’s a hickey?” she asked, not so sure why Niylah was staring at her like she’d just caught Clarke with her hand down the cookie jar.

“I can see that,” Niylah said, looking slightly calmer, “I just didn’t know you were seeing other people as well as me.”

Clarke started buttoning up the top of her t-shirt, feeling uncomfortable having this conversation half-naked.

“Is that not okay?” she asked, genuinely worried about Niylah’s feelings, “I thought that was the deal we had.”

“Yeah,” Niylah said, nodding slowly while also running a hand through her hair, “It is. I just didn’t think that if you were gonna see other people I’d be replaced.”

“Niylah,” Clarke said, a pained expression on her face, “I’m not replacing you.”

“Aren’t you, though?” Niylah said, “Because when I called you up these last couple weeks you were always busy. And I’m gonna take a wild guess that you weren’t just busy at the hospital.”

Clarke winced, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“No, I’m sorry,” Niylah said, shaking her head, “I shouldn’t be hurt. I know you wanna have a no strings attached-thing, Clarke. But I’m already attached. And I can hide my feelings but not if I have to share you with someone else.”

“What are you saying?” Clarke asked, having a feeling she knew where this was going.

“I’m saying we should probably stop doing this. Unless you stop seeing… whoever gave you this hickey,” Niylah said, tears starting to form in her eyes.

“Niylah,” Clarke said, feeling a crack in her voice, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to lose you as... as this.”

“A casual hook-up?” Niylah asked, laughing bitterly.

“My friend.”

Niylah stopped laughing.

“So dump them,” Niylah said, gesturing towards the hickey.

Clarke sniffed as tears started building up in her eyes at the thought of Lexa. She could never dump Lexa, not like that.

“I can’t – she – she’s different. She’s special,” she said, not surprised at how small her voice sounded now that the tears were streaming down her cheeks.

Niylah nodded, wiping away tears that were threatening to spill.

“I understand.”

She didn’t say anything else. Clarke got the hint and she turned around, opening the door.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled, making a hasty exit for the second time that day.

 

-----

 

The more Clarke thought about it, the more she thought of it as some sort of weird cycle of pain. She hurt Lexa, so Lexa hurt her, so she hurt Niylah. And the way it ended was not with her finally stopping to hurt her Niylah; it ended by Niylah hurting her.

She wondered what it said about her that she hadn’t ended the cycle before.

 

-----

Chapter Text

After practically running out of Niylah’s apartment, Clarke took the bus home. She found a seat at the back of the bus, which was crowded because it was almost dinner time and everyone wanted to go home from work. That’s when she realized she had dinner and game night at Octavia’s today. She groaned. She really wasn’t in the mood to socialize all night, definitely not with Lexa.

She got off the bus early to go to Octavia’s immediately and soon enough found herself unlocking Octavia’s door, knowing that she wouldn’t mind. When she opened the door, she was met by a table of food and both Raven and Octavia on the couch, appearing to be watching cat videos on Octavia’s phone.

“Finally, Griffin, I’m so hungry!”

“Yeah, the food’s going cold,” Octavia said, glaring at Clarke. Normally, Clarke would just tell them to suck it up or laugh, but today, she just mumbled an apology and sat down at the table. There was an awkward silence for a while and she saw Octavia and Raven exchange glances out of the corner of her eye.

“So how was your day?” Raven tested the waters as she sat down opposite Clarke, while Octavia grabbed a bottle of wine from the kitchen and started filling up Clarke’s glass.

Clarke sighed, thanked Octavia and then told her friends the story of what happened that day.

“Wow, so you fucked up with two girls in one day, huh?” Raven asked, ten minutes later.

“Raven!” Octavia hissed, shooting Raven a glare. Raven shrugged.

“I’m sorry, Clarke. But you gotta admit that you weren’t really being fair to Niylah either.”

“I know,” Clarke said, rubbing her forehead, “I’m a terrible person and all that.”

“Don’t be dramatic,” Octavia said, “You’re a good person even if your actions aren’t always thoughtful. Raven’s just surprised that you care this much about losing Niylah. We thought she was just a hook-up.”

Clarke nodded, “She was. But, you know, she’d been a hook-up for a long time, even though I didn’t care to admit it. I guess I got a bit attached, in the platonic sense. She made me breakfast.”

Raven laughed, “Classic Griffin. Considers someone a friend because they make her food.”

Clarke couldn’t help but chuckle along at that.

“Maybe I’m just PMSing. But I keep wanting to call Niylah and apologize and ask her if she still wants to be my friend.”

Octavia shook her head immediately as Clarke said that and Raven said, “Ooh, you don’t wanna do that, cap.”

“What? Why not? You’re the one who said I wasn’t being fair to her,” Clarke defended her plan.

“That’s right,” Octavia joined in, “and she told you that she needed space, as long as you’re also hooking up with Lexa, so the respectful thing to do right now is to give her what she wants.”

“Well, I’m not exactly hooking up with Lexa either, am I?” Clarke said grouchily. It then dawned on her that her friends hadn’t reacted in their usual dramatic manner when she’d told them she had been hooking up with Lexa.

“Wait, how are you guys not surprised that Lexa and I -”

"We're not stupid, Clarke," Raven said, smirking.

“Yeah, you weren’t exactly subtle about it,” Octavia added. Clarke rolled her eyes.

“Whatever. I’m gonna clear off the table.”

Raven started to protest as Clarke took away the plate from underneath her, but Octavia shut her up.

“Raven, we all know you’re only still eating just because you like my lasagna so much. You’re gonna give yourself a stomach ache, now let Clarke go about her business.”

Raven opened her mouth and then closed it, sighing and crossing her arms like a child. Clarke chuckled.

“What time are Anya and Lexa gonna be here?” Clarke asked, walking into Octavia’s kitchen and putting leftovers in the fridge like it was her own. It kind of was. Octavia’s apartment had been her second home the minute Octavia had moved in. She wasn’t sure how happy Lincoln was about this fact.

“I’m not sure actually, Raven, can you text Anya and ask?” Octavia asked, all three of them knowing that Raven was the one with the best connection to Anya. The two had hit it off immediately when they’d met at Clarke’s birthday party a few years ago. There was mild flirting at first, but it had never come to the point where it bothered Nyko or sabotaged his relationship with Anya, so Clarke figured that it was all fine. Anya and Raven were both just a bit of a flirt; everyone knew and no-one cared.

Clarke didn’t hear Raven reply to Octavia so she just focused on cleaning the plates. Maybe it had been stupid to storm off on Lexa this afternoon when they were going to have to sit through game night together. Maybe it had been stupid to do so at all when they were planning a wedding together. She should really learn how to control her temperament. And her minority complex.

She shook her head. Don’t think about that now. She’d allowed herself to slip out some tears the past few hours, but now it was time to get herself back together. She couldn’t let Lexa see her be a mess. If Lexa didn’t want to show emotion, then she would receive no emotion in return.

Maybe it was childish.

Clarke didn’t really care.

 

“Um, cap,” came Raven’s voice from the living room, “you might wanna hear this.”

Clarke stuck her head through the opening that separated the kitchen from the living room, looking at Octavia and Raven, who were bent over Raven’s phone.

“What’s up?”

“Lexa’s not coming,” Raven said, testing Clarke’s reaction, “she said she’s not feeling well.”

Clarke let it sink in. There was a tense silence in the living room, both Octavia and Raven waiting to see how Clarke was gonna react.

“That’s good, right?” Octavia asked, testing the waters carefully.

“Yeah,” Raven added on, “now you don’t have to sit through an awkward night with her.”

“Yeah,” Clarke said, painting on a smile that she knew would look fake despite her best efforts, “it’s good.”

 

-----

 

She felt strangely disappointed.

 

-----

 

Clarke couldn’t shake the feeling that Anya was watching her.

Alright, she was about four shots of vodka into the night and she had thought before that Anya didn’t like her only to be reassured that yes, Anya really did, she just genuinely glared at everyone – but still, she felt like Anya was staring at her. Not glaring per se, but it wasn’t exactly friendly either.

After she’d thrown another shot back, she got up and stumbled over to the bathroom. She shouldn’t have drunk so much, or she should’ve at least eaten more at dinner. She just didn’t really feel like eating much when she had been talking about Lexa and then about Niylah. She sighed. What did it say about her that this was the third time this month that she was on the edge of being drunk? It probably wasn’t anything good. She was twenty-four, for Christ’s sakes. She was getting too old for this shit.

After she’d finished up and washed her hands, she shakily opened the bathroom door. Being as tipsy as she was, she almost bumped into Anya, who was waiting for her outside, arms crossed over her chest.

“Oh shit,” Clarke mumbled with a double tongue, noticing how Anya had been waiting for her to come out, “are you gonna kick my ass?”

Anya raised an eyebrow, “Wasn’t exactly planning on it.”

“She didn’t rat me out to her bigger sister then?”

“No. She hasn’t. But she didn’t sound sick on the phone today and she isn’t one to just cancel appointments.”

Clarke felt a sinking feeling in her stomach, knowing she was the reason Lexa wasn’t here tonight. She rubbed a hand over her face, feeling Anya still watching her but not knowing what to do. She felt vulnerable under Anya’s gaze, but she also felt too weak to straighten up and face Anya.

She was still covering half her face with her hand when she heard Anya say, “Look, Griffin, I respect you. But I was there when you broke up with her five years again and if you hurt her again, I swear to God - ”

Clarke hated it, but there was a crack in her voice when she asked, “What if she’s the one hurting me?”

She removed the hand from her face, only to feel tears well up in her eyes. She avoided looking at Anya, but when she did, she saw that the woman’s face had gone softer. Anya was biting her lip as if she wasn’t sure what to do.

“Then you probably deserve it.”

Clarke laughed bitterly, “I probably do.”

 

-----


Her bitter laughter turned into chokes and the chokes turned into sobs and before she knew it, Anya was wrapping her arms around her and yes, she really was crying on her ex-girlfriend’s bigger sister’s shoulder.


-----

 

The next morning she woke up with a hangover and the dreadful feeling that she’d done something embarrassing. It all came rushing back to her in seconds and she groaned, cursing drunk Clarke. Did she really have to go and do that?

Clarke (11:43 am): Please please please tell me I didn’t wet your fiancée’s shoulder with my salty tears and snotty nose last night

As Clarke sat up and threw the covers off of herself, she received a reply.

Nyko (11:44 am): Sorry to disappoint, but unfortunately that’s exactly what she told me you did when she came home last night.

Clarke (11:44 am): Why am I such an embarrassing drunk? Ugh. How weird does she think I am right now?

It took a while for Nyko to reply again, so Clarke got up and picked out clothes to wear for today. She’d just pulled on her favorite pair of sweatpants and her baggiest sweater when she heard her phone buzz again.

Nyko (11:47 am): She doesn’t think you’re weird, Clarke. She’s just worried about you. Like me.

Clarke groaned. That’s enough, she thought.

 

Clarke (11:48 am): Meet me at my place tonight?

Lexa (11:53 am): I’ll be there.

 

-----

 

Clarke read the reply, looked at the sweatpants that she was wearing, sighed and exchanged them for the pair of jeans that made her butt look great.

 

-----

 

There were two knocks on her door at exactly 6.30 pm. Clarke rolled her eyes at Lexa's punctuality. Was there really nothing she couldn't do flawlessly?

"Hey," she said as she opened the door to reveal Lexa looking... pretty fucking great. She was in casual wear; jeans and a baggy sweater with a leather jacket hanging loosely over it. Clarke thought she looked adorable.

Lexa's greet was a short nod and only then, Clarke realized that Lexa was as nervous as she was.

She opened the door further and stepped aside.

"Come in," she said, voice a little softer now that she realized that Lexa felt as inadequate as she did.

Lexa nodded again and stepped into Clarke's apartment, finding her way into the living room quickly. She sat down on the couch with her jacket still on, awkwardly.

Clarke brought her a glass of wine that she accepted way too quickly. She sat down on the couch next to Lexa, making sure to keep an appropriate distance between them so she didn't freak Lexa out more.

"I figured we should talk. I did some embarrassing things last night - as I'm sure your sister will tell you later - and I think it's time to come clean. Be honest to each other. Act like adults."

Lexa nodded, "You're right."

"So I'm sorry," Clarke went on, "for making a scene at the restaurant. I shouldn't have made you uncomfortable."

"I'm sorry too," Lexa offered, "for making such a big deal out of... well, you know."

She cut herself short, taking the easy way out, probably because she found it hard to talk about her actions. She seemed to realize that they'd just promised each other to be adults, took a sip of wine, and finished her sentence.

"I'm sorry for making such a big deal out of that waitress thinking we're a couple. I guess it just freaked me out because of our history. And you know I'm not the best with feelings," she said, looking Clarke in the eye. Clarke saw a sincere apology in her eyes.

"It's okay," she said, taking Lexa's hand swiftly and squeezing it. She took it as a testament to Lexa’s sincere intentions to make their friendship work that Lexa didn’t freeze or pull her hand away. Although awkwardly, she smiled. Clarke smiled back and let her hand go.

“So,” Clarke said, having taken another sip of her wine, “friends?”

It seemed like Lexa hesitated for a second before she smiled reassuringly and said, “Friends.”

Clarke laughed, “Just to be clear, and I hate myself for sounding like such a fuckboy, but, friends with benefits, right?”

Lexa grinned, “I  hate myself for sounding like such a fuckboy, but yes, definitely.”

She wiggled her eyebrows.

“If you keep doing that, the benefits are gonna disappear real soon,” Clarke said, although with a fond look on her face.

“Are you sure about that?” Lexa asked, face suddenly turning serious. Before Clarke realized what was going on, Lexa had put her wine away and straddled Clarke’s lap on the couch. It wasn’t long before they’d made their way to the bedroom, before Lexa had Clarke pinned against the wall, before Clarke took hold of Lexa’s waist and threw her on the bed.

She put her knees on either side of Lexa’s hips, using her weight to press down on Lexa’s center. She noticed Lexa biting her lip and bent forward until her lips were on Lexa’s.

“Clarke,” Lexa said, when they pulled apart, “I just wanted to say – ”

She was quiet for a moment, seeming to reconsider what she was about to say.

“You are enough. You’re more than enough,” Lexa said, her words a stark contrast from the playful way her fingers were hooked into the belt loops of Clarke’s jeans.

She looked at Lexa, at the pair of eyes beneath her, reassuring and kind. And as much as she’d agreed to be friends, as much as she’d tried to put her feelings away, at the sound of the words coming from Lexa’s mouth she felt a skip in her stomach. A skip that felt a suspicious lot like butterflies. Clarke clenched her jaw, willing the glorified mots to go away.

“Don’t,” she said, “Please don’t.”

Lexa looked her in the eye, gave her a quick nod and threw her head back so Clarke had better access to her neck.

 

-----

 

And probably also so she wouldn’t have to look Clarke in the eye anymore.

 

-----

 

It was liberating, really. The whole mature thing.

It was liberating to meet up with Lexa and not have to wonder whether they were going to be shouting at each other or fucking each other at the end of the night.

They were finally able to deal with all the tension, which allowed them to be much more productive when it came to the wedding.

"You mean you've finally learned how to keep getting shit done apart from fucking?"

"Raven!" Octavia said from the kitchen. Raven smirked. Clarke blushed.

"I mean... that's about what I said, yeah," she said with a shy smile.

Raven laughed, "Fuckin' knew it."

Octavia rolled her eyes as she walked over to the couch where Clarke and Raven were sitting.

"Watch your language, Raven."

Raven rolled her eyes, "Yes mom."

Octavia turned her attention back to Clarke, "Anyway, Clarke, are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, with all your history..."

"Well," Clarke said, "It's definitely better than what we were doing before."

"Seconded," Raven said, "You guys were really grossing me out with all that sexual tension during game night. It's supposed to be a fun, innocent night, dammit."

Clarke blushed, "You guys noticed that?"

"Raven," Octavia said sternly.

"What?" Raven exclaimed, indignant, "Clarke can have sexual tension with Lexa but I couldn't have sexual tension with Anya?"

"Anya was in a relationship, Raven!"

Raven rolled her eyes, "You guys are obviously too lame for polyamory."

"Believe me," Octavia said, "If Nyko and Anya were searching for a third person in their relationship, it wouldn't be you."

Raven hissed, Clarke laughed and Octavia smirked, proud of her roast.

Clarke's phone buzzed.

 

Lexa (9:23 pm): Wanna come over?

 

Clarke smiled as she got up.

"Sorry guys, duty calls."

 

--------

 

As she grabbed her coat, she heard Raven mumble, "Is her duty fucking Lexa Woods?"

"I heard that!" she shouted as she walked towards the door and the last thing she heard before she exited the house, was Raven shouting "You were supposed to!"

 

-------

 

“You know, I’m really glad we’re doing this,” Clarke said, after she’d come down from her high and taken a minute to catch her breath.

Lexa looked at Clarke’s naked body, a bit confused, and then said, “Um... me too? Obviously.”

“No, not that,” Clarke laughed, “although I’m glad we’re doing that too.”

She smirked. Lexa rolled her eyes.

“Yeah I may have gotten that from the way you were practically screaming my name two minutes ago.”

Clarke blushed.

“You should probably drop off a gift basket to your neighbors soon,” she recommended.

“Really?” Lexa said, sitting up, “And what should the card say? ‘Sorry I was fucking my girl- my friend so hard you all couldn’t sleep from the noise?’”

Clarke noticed the slip of tongue but decided not to address it.

“Anyway, I meant, I’m glad we’re handling this like adults now. It’s easier without so much drama.”

“Wow, are you really saying you don’t like drama?” Lexa said, wearing a teasing smirk.

“I don’t!”

“Hm,” Lexa mused, “You watch an awful lot Shonda Rhimes shows for someone who claims not to love drama.”

Clarke grinned, “Well, well, well, look who’s been stalking my Facebook. And catching up on pop culture.”

Lexa scrunched her nose, “It’s not my fault Anya makes me watch all these things.”

“Hm yeah, but you secretly love them, don’t you?” Clarke asked, her grin growing as she threw a leg over Lexa’s body and straddled her.

“No comment,” Lexa said with a straight face but also a glint in her eye.

 

-----

 

Clarke kissed her until she was smiling too much to keep kissing.

 

-----

 

 

Chapter Text

Clarke stepped into the familiar café with a dry mouth and slightly clammy hands.

Naturally, when both Nyko and Lexa had let her know they wouldn't be able to meet her and Anya to discuss wedding details today, she'd been terrified. Nyko had said, "But it's okay, you can just talk with Anya and she'll tell me everything" as if she hadn't cried on Anya's shoulder the last time she'd seen the woman.

She wasn't just terrified, she was mortified, she was dying of embarrassment – just a the thought of what had happened.

Anya wasn't there yet, she noticed. She walked up to the bar to order herself a coffee and when the barista had handed her the cappuccino, she sat down at the back of the café, next to the window.

The café was the same one they'd met in when she'd accepted Nyko's offer to be his maid of honor. It was the same café she'd seen Lexa in for the first time in five years.

It seemed crazy now; it hadn't even been four months and things had already changed so much. Four months ago, Lexa had almost had a panic attack at the sight of her. She hadn't even been allowed to touch Lexa; now she could still feel Lexa's lips on her collarbone from last night. Now, she'd left Lexa in her bed in the morning, smiling as she'd noticed how Lexa had wrapped her body around the sheets.

She was interrupted from her thoughts when she saw a black motorcycle racing towards the café. It slowed down the closer it came and finally stopped in front of Clarke's nose. Clarke felt a bit awkward; was Anya looking at her through the glass of her motorcycle helmet? She couldn't help but feel stared at.

She looked away. Stop psyching yourself out so much, she told herself, you're gonna make up for what you did and show Anya you're a functioning adult.

That was why when Anya finally stepped off the motorcycle and opened the door to the café, Clarke stood up and waved at her when she walked in. Anya smiled.

"Hey Griffin," she said as she placed her bike helmet on her seat and came to give Clarke a quick hug.

"I'm gonna get some coffee, you want too?" Anya asked, nodding towards the bar. Clarke held up her cup of cappuccino.

"I'll wait for you here."

She watched as Anya ordered her coffee. When she came back to the table, she put the coffee down and ran a hand through her hair, which looked disheveled, courtesy of the motorcycle helmet.

"So," Clarke said, "I can't remember exactly what happened, but I totally embarrassed myself in front of you Saturday night, didn't I?"

Anya smirked, "I mean... kinda."

Clarke sighed.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, "I'm always an emotional wreck when drunk."

"Yeah I've noticed. Your snot is still all over my favorite t-shirt."

Clarke winced, "I'm really sorry, once again. Please don't kill me."

Anya rolled her eyes.

"So dramatic! I'm not gonna kill you, Clarke. And you don't have to be sorry. But you should probably work on your alcohol intake."

"Yeah I realized that too. And Lexa and I... we're working things out."

"That's really good," Anya said with a smile, "I'm glad to hear that."

Clarke nodded, "We just have a very complicated relationship."

"I've noticed," Anya said with a solemn nod, "And now we should probably stop talking about it because it feels weird to talk about my little sister's love life with my friend."

Clarke smiled.

 

------

 

If crying on Anya's shoulder had gained her the right to being called Anya's friend for the very first time, maybe it had been worth the embarrassment.

 

------

 

Clarke (5:03 pm): Coffee with your sister was fun.

Lexa (5:04 pm): You know you can just call her Anya, right? I’ll still know who you’re referring to. 

Clarke (5:04 pm): I know, I’m just still getting used to the fact that she’s your sister.

Clarke (5:05 pm): Anyway, we should book the florist soon. And do the officiant, too.

Lexa (5:05 pm): I’m not doing anyone but you, Clarke ;)

Clarke (5:06 pm): Wow. So many possible responses to that. Did you intentionally hand me a comedic goldmine, or?

Clarke (5:06 pm): First of all, wow, I’m sooo thrilled to hear that. Thank you for doing me the honor.

Clarke (5:06 pm): Second, who knew that fucking me would turn you into a frat boy? I sure didn’t.

Clarke (5:07 pm): Third, I thought we’d agreed on no more puns?

Lexa (5:07 pm): Alright, alright, I get it. You don’t appreciate my dashing sense of humor. I guess I’ll just text Raven instead.

 

-------

 

For someone who didn’t appreciate Lexa’s dashing sense of humor, Clarke was smiling at her phone an awful lot.

 

-------

 

It was the following Monday, during her lunch break, when Clarke got a call from Lexa. She smiled at the screen, excused herself from the conversation she was in, and left the cafetaria in favor of a quieter spot.

"Hey," she answered, trying not to make it too obvious that she was smiling.

"Flowers," Lexa almost shouted through the phone.

"Um, what?" Clarke asked, trying to make sense of what Lexa just said.

"We forgot the flowers!" Lexa said through the phone again, clearly panicked.

"Okay, well-" Clarke started, but Lexa cut her off.

"I booked the officiant but I totally forgot to book the florist! And the wedding's so soon!"

"The wedding is not that soon, there’s plenty of time to find a-"

"God, what if all the florists are totally booked?"

"Of course not all the florists are -"

"You know how much Nyko likes his flowers! And Anya always acts like she doesn't, but she loves it when Nyko gives her a bouquet of-"

"Lexa! Shut up!" Clarke near-shouted down the phone. The other line went quiet and for a few seconds, Clarke only heard Lexa's breathing.

"Are you okay?" Clarke asked after a while, her voice a lot softer now.

"Yes," Lexa softly murmured through the phone.

"Breathe in and out for me, will you?"

"I'm fine, Clarke. I'm just really stressed. My apologies," Lexa said, indeed sounding a lot calmer than before.

"It's okay. And don't worry about the flowers. I'll go talk to a florist when I'm done at the hospital, okay?"

"It's not just the flowers," Lexa sighed, "I've been thinking about how to plan Anya a bachelorette party, but I don't know what to do."

"It's just a bachelorette party, Lexa. She won't care that much about it," Clarke tried to wave Lexa's stress away.

"No, you don't understand," Lexa mumbled.

"What don't I understand?"

"It's not just a bachelorette party. It's her last party as a non-married woman. It needs to be perfect. I need to do right by her. But I can't come up with something and it feels like - like I'm stupid. Like I don't even know her. She's my sister and I don't even know what kind of party she'd like."

Clarke started to understand now. She thought Lexa was just stressed about how much they still needed to plan, but the root of the problem lay much deeper.

"Do you think - " Clarke sighed, hating how much she sighed like a therapist, "Do you think maybe you feel this way because you guys had that period where you didn't speak to each other? Like you’ve missed out on time to get to know her?"

"Maybe," Lexa mumbled in a way that let Clarke know she was right.

"Why don't I come over when you're done with work? We can order in and try to come up with a nice party together."

"Sounds good," Lexa said, not entirely convinced.

"It's all gonna be fine, Lex. I promise."

"You cannot promise things that are out of your control, Clarke."

Clarke rolled her eyes.

"There's my know-it-all Lexa back. I'll see you at six, your place? Send me the address, yeah?"

"I will," Lexa said, voice sounding soft and reassured.

"Great. I'll see you."

 

------

 

Clarke was happy that she'd managed to reassure Lexa, but she felt a heavy weight in her stomach as soon as she realized she'd wanted to end the call with an "I love you" instead of an "I'll see you".

Soon enough, however, she waved her own worries away, telling herself it was just out of habit.

 

-------


Clarke rang the bell to Lexa's apartment, taking in the building. Lexa had mentioned that she'd moved out of the apartment she used to live in when her parents had stopped paying her rent, but she hadn't mentioned that she'd moved into a much more beautiful apartment. Where Lexa's old apartment had seemed a bit cold to the untrained eye, this one seemed much more homey.

"Clarke," Lexa said in greeting when she opened the door.

"Hi," Clarke smiled. Lexa opened the door further and stepped back to let Clarke in.

"Thank you for coming," she spoke softly.

"Of course. That's what friends are for, right?" Clarke said, smiling in a way that didn't betray the sting in her chest when she said the word 'friends'.

"Right," Lexa nodded stiffly.

Clarke hung up her coat and followed Lexa into the living room.

"About the take-out - are you okay with Chinese?"

"Sure," Clarke said, smiling easily. Lexa nodded and grabbed her phone, dialing a number and ordering Clarke's favorite Chinese plate.

As she spoke out Clarke's order, she briefly looked up at Clarke through her lashes, as if to ask whether this was still her favorite, and Clarke could swear she felt her heart jump just a bit. She nodded reassuringly at Lexa, before laying the bouquet of flowers that she was holding on the table and wandering around Lexa's living room.

It was a spacious room, with a dining table at the center and a corner with a couch and a TV to the side. While it wasn't decorated much and the walls were a simple white, something about the way this apartment felt lived in, specifically by Lexa, made the living room feel cozy to Clarke.

"They said they'll be here in ten minutes," Lexa said from behind her. Clarke turned around.

"Great, I'm starving. Nice home you got here."

"Thank you," Lexa smiled. She glanced at the bouquet of flowers lying on the table.

"Do you want me to put these in a vase for you? Or wrap them up in some wet paper when you leave?"

Clarke laughed, "They're for you, Lexa."

"For me?" Lexa asked, a mix of confusion and surprise on her face.

"Yeah, I was at the florist's anyway and I know you like flowers."

"I do," Lexa grinned, "Thank you, Clarke."

She already darted off to the kitchen cabinets to find a vase. As she filled the vase with water and took the plastic off the flowers, Clarke saw her smile to herself.

"No biggie," Clarke answered. Lexa turned around, wiping her hands on a nearby towel and walking up to Clarke.

"Yes biggie," she said.

"Pretty sure that's not how one uses that expression -" Clarke started, but before she could finish, Lexa had grabbed the loops of her belt and pulled her closer.

"Let me give you a proper thanks," she said, before she pressed her lips to Clarke's. Her fingers moved from the loops of Clarke’s belt to the hem of Clarke's shirt, fishing it out from where it was tucked into Clarke's jeans. Her hands roamed over the bare skin of Clarke's hips as she sucked on Clarke's bottom lip.

Clarke pulled back slightly to look at Lexa.

"Lex, you don't have to have sex with me just because I got you flowers."

"Shut up, I want to," Lexa said, pressing a kiss to Clarke's neck. And then one more. And one more.

Clarke gasped softly. Lexa pressed another open-mouthed kiss to her neck, her hands running over Clarke's stomach. At this moment, Clarke really wished she'd gone with Raven to the gym and trained until she had abs that Lexa could press her hand against. But Lexa seemed to be enjoying herself just fine without abs to run her hands against. 

Lexa's fingers made their way down to Clarke's pants, undoing the button and the zipper. Lexa ran a finger under the top of Clarke's panties and just when she was starting to tug them down, the sound of the bell rang through the apartment.

Lexa groaned against Clarke’s neck. She let go of Clarke's underwear and pressed a quick kiss to her collarbone.

"I will be right back."

Clarke nodded and watched Lexa walk through the hallway. As Lexa opened the door, Clarke buttoned her jeans and tucked her shirt back in.

"If he hadn't brought food, I might've killed him," Lexa said as she dropped a plastic bag on the dinner table.

Clarke smiled as she helped Lexa set the table.

“So did Anya mention anything about a bachelorette party? Is she expecting anything?”

“No,” Lexa said as she handed Clarke the container with her food, “she isn’t.”

“Right. So do you want it to be a surprise?”

“I can try and keep it a secret from her, but she always finds out eventually.”

Clarke smiled, “Guess that’s a sibling thing.”

Lexa hummed affirmatively, sorting out her food. Clarke watched with a smile on her face as Lexa removed pieces of onion from her container of noodles. Some things never changed.

“So like, do you have any ideas? Give me something, Lex,” Clarke said, referring to the bachelorette party. Lexa chewed on her food slowly, looking puzzled.

“I think Anya would enjoy an activity rather than a party.”

Clarke agreed, “That sounds right. So like, a tough, outdoorsy activity maybe?”

Lexa nodded, squinted her eyes in thought, “Maybe paintball?”

“She’d love that!” Clarke said, smiling widely.

“I think so too,” Lexa said with a smile.

Both of them felt the relief of having come up with something.

“See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Lexa rolled her eyes, “Yeah, because this time I had you here.”

“Do I hear a compliment?” Clarke asked with a smirk.

“Only if you wipe that cocky grin off your face first,” Lexa said, but there was a smile on her face.

“You love my arrogance,” Clarke said with a wink.

“It’s only yourself that you’re convincing.”

 

------

 

Clarke smiled back and dug into her food and she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe, if things had gone different, this could’ve been her everyday life.

 

------

 

Clarke woke up in Lexa’s bed and a sense of confusion washed over her, until she realized where she was. She patted the space next to her and found it empty. She looked around, wondering where Lexa could’ve gone. When she heard the shower running, she got up slowly.

She found the bathroom down the hall from Lexa’s bedroom. As she approached slowly, she could hear Lexa singing.

“Just close your eyes, the sun is going down. You’ll be alright, no one can hurt you now.”

She started to feel sick to her stomach as she realized the last time she heard Lexa sing that song – when she had woken up from a nightmare about her dad and Lexa had tucked her back in and sang to her until she fell asleep.

Shaking off the feeling, she lifted off her shirt, pants and socks before she snuck into the bathroom. Lexa had her back towards the door and didn’t hear her closing the door softly through the song she was singing. Clarke, watching Lexa in the shower cubicle, took a moment to just listen to Lexa. Her voice had grown in the past five years, sounding a bit more steady now than the evening of Clarke’s nightmare, although it still had a beautiful, fragile edge to it.

Clarke could’ve stood there and listened to Lexa all day, but that was creepy and she was also getting cold, standing there in just her underwear.

So instead, she silently slid off her panties and bra, opening the door of the shower cubicle. Lexa’s body, undoubtedly feeling the cold chill, tensed completely. She stopped singing and turned around, relaxing as she saw Clarke.

“Clarke,” she started, “you scared me to death.”

Clarke, head in an entirely different kind of state, got down on her knees in front of Lexa.

She looked up at Lexa through her eyelids as she said, “Sing me a different song.”

 

-----


Lexa gasped, closing her eyes. Clarke smiled, knowing they were making whole different kinds memories now.

 

------

Chapter Text

Clarke closed her eyes for a second, as if it would help against the blaring noise. She loved Raven’s music, but she hated Raven’s party playlist – it was simply the worst. Maybe it hadn’t been so bad if she wasn’t standing in the corner at Raven’s party, Styrofoam cup of coke in her hand, alone. She wasn’t usually the antisocial pessimist Alessia Cara sings about, the picture perfect of an introvert at a party – on the contrary, she was one of the more extrovert people in their group of friends. However, tonight was different.

She was at a party in Raven’s cramped apartment. Her friends were spread around. Lincoln and Octavia were standing at the other side of the room, Lincoln’s arm around Octavia’s shoulders, talking to Anya and Nyko. Clarke would go to them, but she’d just feel like a fifth wheel. The same feeling kept her from going to Raven, who was currently chatting up a cute girl who’d introduced herself to Clarke about an hour ago. Clarke didn’t quite remember her name but it was something in the sense of Luca.  She was a friend of Nyko’s.

Then there was Monty, who has chatting fervently to his boyfriend Miller, but this time, Jasper was the third wheel. Clarke sighed. The boy never really did know when he was unwanted.

In the kitchen, a scrawny kid called Murphy was sipping a beer as he conspiringly leaned in towards his girlfriend, who was smirking as she told him something. The way their eyes moved around the room told Clarke they were analyzing everyone at this party. When Murphy’s eyes fell on Clarke, he gave a quick wave.

Somewhere further down the kitchen, Lexa was taking shots with a girl called Gaia. They knew each other from the gym where they practiced martial arts, Lexa had told her. Clarke could probably go over to them, since she’d already established that the two were just friends and she wouldn’t be cockblocking, but she was trying to stay away from alcohol for the night. She hadn’t forgotten the last time she’d gotten drunk and cried on Anya’s shoulder, nor the way Anya had told her she needed to work on her alcohol intake.

So she sighed in relief as she saw Bellamy Blake sitting on his own on the couch. He was studying the titles in Raven’s bookcase as Clarke plopped down next to him, to which he turned around and said, voice showing pleasant surprise, “Clarke!”

“Hi Bell, it’s been too long!” Clarke said, moving in to give him a hug, “Damn, those new glasses look great on you!”

“You think so?” Bellamy asked, moving the round lenses further up his nose.

“Yeah. Totally brings out the pretentious ass I already knew you was,” Clarke said with a cheeky grin.

Bellamy punched her softly in the arm.

“You witch,” he said.

“I’m just saying,” Clarke continued, “Were you looking for books on the founding fathers on Raven’s shelves, or not?”

“I was,” Bellamy admitted, “But Raven’s only got all this shit about space.”

“Hey, space is really cool,” Clarke defended.

“I prefer the ground. Not all the people on it, though,” Bellamy retorted.

“I don’t know,” Clarke said, letting her eyes trail to Lexa, “I think some are pretty great.”

Lexa looked up at that moment, watching her and Bellamy, before she turned back to Gaia. Clarke wondered whether Lexa was jealous. Whether she wanted Lexa to be jealous. If Lexa was jealous, she was doing a pretty good job at hiding it. She didn’t bat an eyelid towards Clarke and Bellamy anymore. 

Bellamy rolled his eyes, “I know you think she’s pretty great, Clarke, you’ve been drooling over her all night.”

“Have not,” Clarke said, punching Bellamy with a fluffy pillow.

Bellamy gasped, “Have too!”

“Have not,” Clarke said, throwing the pillow for emphasis. It hit Bellamy square in the face, knocking the glasses off his head. Thankfully, they landed on the soft couch.

“My new glasses!” Bellamy cried out. Once he’d picked them up and placed them back on his nose, he picked up the pillow Clarke had thrown at him, and took another one from behind his back.

As he prepared himself to attack, Clarke asked, “Two pillows?”

He just looked at her very seriously and said, “Clarke, who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “You’re such a dramatic ne-”

But before she could finish, a pillow had hit her in the face. And while she was recovering from the blow, Bellamy took the pillow that had fallen into her lap while throwing another into her face.

“Oh, it’s on now, you little shit,” Clarke said, picking up the second pillow that had hit her in the face, and threw it towards Bellamy. Once Bellamy had caught the blow, he threw his pillow back at Clarke, who caught it handily. She hit him in the stomach with two pillows at once. He doubled over and for a second, Clarke worried that he might actually be hurt. He used that second to surprise her with one of the pillows, hitting her in the chest.

“Not my boobs, you monster!” she yelled, as she threw the pillow back at him. At the exact same time, he’d thrown his pillow towards hers. They met halfway, and while Bellamy’s pillow was knocked down to the couch by Clarke’s, Clarke’s pillow flew on to hit the bookshelf above them, sending a series of novels tumbling down. Bellamy duck forward quickly, crawling into Clarke’s space so that he wasn’t hit by the books that fell to the ground with a loud bang.

The chatter in the room stopped for a split second, as Bellamy and Clarke both looked at Raven apologetically. Raven rolled her eyes, stomping over to clean up the mess.

Clarke dared a quick glance at Lexa, who was now watching her too, with a smirk, as she threw back another shot. Clarke noticed Lexa was starting to look more loose and had been abandoned by her friend from the gym.

“Go to her,” she heard Bellamy say, “I’ll clean this shit up.”

She shot him a grateful look as she stood up from the couch, making her way over to Lexa.

“Good evening, Clarke,” Lexa said with a smirk as Clarke approached.

“How much have you had, Lexa?” Clarke said with a smile.

“Just a few, I’m not drunk or anything,” Lexa said. Clarke believed her, but she also knew Lexa wouldn’t be just tipsy for much longer if she continued on drinking the way she was now. 

“Maybe you should stop before you’re drunk,” Clarke said, moving Lexa’s shot-glass out of reach.

“Why, what’s wrong with being drunk?” Lexa asked, levelling Clarke with a stare. Clarke felt herself grow hot under Lexa’s gaze.

“I’m just saying,” Clarke said, trailing her fingers up Lexa’s wrist, “Maybe I have other plans for you tonight. Plans that involve you being sober enough to consent to them.”

Lexa shivered at the movement of Clarke’s hands but continued teasing, “I think Raven would love to see the commander come out.”

“Well,” Clarke said, “I think Clarke could also just go home with, say, Bellamy.”

Lexa snorted, “I think Bellamy is, as the kids say, hella gay.”

“Just shut up and stop drinking so you can leave when it’s the appropriate time and then wait for me in the car to arrive five minutes after,” Clarke hissed.

Lexa smirked.

 

-------

 

When Lexa did, however, go to thank Raven for the party at the appropriate time, and Clarke got ready to leave five minutes after, Raven shouted, “Oh come on, Lexa, just take Clarke with you, everyone here knows you two are gonna screw anyway.”

While Lexa blushed, Clarke rolled her eyes and pulled her through the door, flipping her middle finger towards her best friend on the way out.

 

-----

 

Clarke woke up the next morning in Lexa’s bed. The fact that she wasn’t disorientated at all probably meant that she’d been spending too much time here. She was a bit startled, however, that there was an arm thrown over her stomach.

She turned around slowly, lying on her stomach, and looked at Lexa. Lexa’s arm was still thrown over Clarke’s stomach, her face buried in her pillow, mouth open. Clarke smiled. She looked adorable.

As Clarke sat up a bit, Lexa started waking up. She opened her eyes, closed her mouth and looked at Clarke for a few seconds, taking the situation in. It was then that she realized she’d thrown her arm over Clarke’s stomach, and she quickly retrieved it.

“Sorry ‘bout that,” she mumbled as she ran a hand through her hair.

Clarke smiled, “’s all good. How are you feeling?”

“Fine, you?” Lexa replied, not very talkative in the early morning.

“I’m good. No hangover?”

“No hangover,” Lexa confirmed.

“Good.”

“You want some breakfast?” Lexa asked as she got up. She slipped back into her underwear and threw on an oversized shirt. Picking up her glasses from the bedside table, she quickly threw her hair into a bun. When Clarke hadn’t replied, she glanced at her curiously.

Seeing how cute Lexa looked, Clarke crawled over to her side of the bed. Lexa raised an eyebrow, but Clarke just grabbed the hem of Lexa’s shirt and pulled her down.

She kissed Lexa, long and slow, before she pulled back and said, “Breakfast sounds great.”

Lexa readjusted her glasses, looking surprised. They didn’t usually kiss so casually, without it leading to something else. Clarke wondered if she’d crossed a line.

Clarke got up as well, and as she felt Lexa watching her while she threw on some underwear, she asked, “You got any bacon?”

Lexa nodded and disappeared into the kitchen.

 

They spent the entire day in pajamas, watching pointless shit on Netflix. Clarke’s favorite moment was when she found out Lexa had never watched South Park before. Clarke made her watch an entire season and Lexa couldn’t stop mumbling that ‘this abomination can’t have won an Emmy’. As her revenge, Lexa made Clarke watch a nature documentary with her. Clarke groaned throughout the entire thing. When Clarke reciprocated with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Lexa gave up and started making them dinner instead.

“I’m thanking God for your dishwasher right now,” Clarke said as they’d cleared off the table after dinner. She fell down on the couch, stomach entirely packed with Lexa’s incredible meal.

“And also thanking God for your cooking talent. Although my stomach does hurt a bit now.”

Lexa sat down next to her. 

“I told you to stop eating, Clarke,” she said with a fond smile on her face. Clarke repositioned so that her head was in Lexa’s lap.

“That’s not fair. You can’t put two burgers in front of me and expect me to just stop eating, magically.”

“It’s called self-control,” Lexa laughed. Her hands crawled into Clarke’s hair, playing with it lightly, and it felt so familiar that Clarke almost didn’t notice. Almost.

Clarke looked up and their eyes met. Lexa leaned forward until her lips were on Clarke’s. She kissed her as good as she could from their positions, but didn’t deepen it.

As Lexa leaned back, Clarke wondered if she should say something. This wasn’t the first time today that they’d stepped over the line of their arrangement. They should probably stop and talk about it, or else this was bound to end in tears. Yeah, Clarke thought, you should say something.

 

------

 

Instead, she buried her head further in Lexa’s lap.

 

------

 

“I’m telling you, Nyko, this is gonna bring you bad luck,” Clarke mumbled. The man next to her turned his head to give her a big grin.

“There’s no such thing as bad luck when you’re marrying the woman that I’m marrying.”

Clarke scrunched her nose, “That’s disgusting. I’m glad Anya wasn’t here to witness that sappiness. She’d throw up.”

Nyko laughed, “Probably. That’s why I like her.”

Clarke smiled, “That’s kinda cute, I guess. She’s not gonna like you when we interrupt her shopping, though. Seeing the bride in her dress before the wedding brings bad luck, even Anya knows that.”

“Anya doesn’t believe in that kind of superstition. She says we make our own luck.”

Clarke shrugged, “She’s got a point, I guess.”

“Exactly,” Nyko smiled, “And that’s why I’m gonna see my beautiful wife and when she’s done gown shopping, she’ll help us pick out a suit for me.”

“Don’t you wanna be surprised, though? Don’t you wanna be totally swept away the first time you see her walk down the aisle?”

“Honestly, Clarke, I’m gonna cry either way,” Nyko laughed as he parked his car. Clarke laughed too, getting out of the car.

“It should be right there,” Nyko said, nodding towards a store that had a collection of wedding gowns in its store window.

“No shit,” Clarke mumbled. They made their way to the bridal boutique, Nyko opening the door for Clarke.

Clarke walked into the store and let Nyko explain to a lady at the front that his fiancée was in the back, fitting on dresses. Like Clarke, the employee tried explaining to Nyko that it was bad luck to see the bride in her wedding gown before the wedding, but Nyko was stubborn and eventually, the lady led them to the back, where the changing rooms were.

Clarke spotted Lexa immediately. She was sitting on a couch that was turned towards a platform with a mirror on it, presumably for the bride to stand upon and gaze at herself in the mirror.

“Hi Lex,” Clarke greeted Lexa as she approached her. Lexa looked up from her phone, surprise covering her face as she saw Clarke and Nyko.

“Clarke! What are you guys doing here?” she asked, hugging Clarke tight and then giving Nyko a quick hug.

“We’re here for my wife’s advice on my suit. Can’t trust this one with those things,” Nyko said, pointing his thumbs at Clarke.

“That’s offensive. Just because I said I thought Anya was gonna be the one to wear the suit,” Clarke grumbled.

Lexa laughed, “To be fair, I, too, always thought Anya would wear a suit to her wedding.”

“See?” Clarke asked, locking pinkies with Lexa, “I’m not the only one!”

Nyko laughed, “Well, she did consider it for a while. But in the end, she said she’d prefer a dress.”

“And now she’s turning down half these dresses because they’re too girly,” Lexa said with an eye roll.

“It takes as long as it takes,” Nyko shrugged.

“So you’re expecting to find Anya’s dress and then take us suit shopping with you two? At the rate this is going now, there’s not gonna be any time left for you to shop a suit.”

At the exact same moment Lexa said that, they heard the door of a changing room open.

“Lexa? I think this is the one!” a voice from a distance said. They all heard footsteps approaching and when they looked up, Anya was making her way over to them. Her gaze was pointed towards the floor as she made her way over to them in a long, black gown. The sleeves of the gown were made of see-through lace, the skirt of silk.

When she looked up and noticed Nyko and Clarke, she grinned.

“You just had to see it, didn’t you?”

Nyko nodded.

“Do you like it?”

“You’re gonna wear black to our wedding?” Nyko questioned.

Anya looked at him for a minute, then nodded.

“Awesome,” he said, grinning.

“Yeah?” she asked, grinning as well.

“Definitely,” Nyko said, making his way over to her, “I can’t think of something that’s more you than a black wedding dress. And I love you, so naturally I would love the black wedding dress.”

Anya smiled and pulled him in for a soft kiss.

Lexa, who was stood behind Clarke, wrapped one arm around Clarke’s waist and rested her chin on Clarke’s shoulder.

“That’s disgusting,” she mumbled.

“I know right,” Clarke replied, trying not to focus on the palm of Lexa’s hand, softly pressing into the side of her hip, and Lexa’s breath, slow and steady on her neck.

 

------

 

And failing.

 

------

 

They ended up getting dinner at a McDonald’s after they’d found a good suit for Nyko.

“Okay, so, I know I couldn’t help much with the suit, but I do have a great idea for your facial styling. Let me pitch it to you?” Clarke asked, a grin on her face.

Anya and Nyko, who were opposite at the opposite of the booth, took a quick glance at each other before Nyko said, “Go ahead.”

“Alright,” Clarke said, “So, hear me out: tiny little flowers in your beard.”

As Lexa sighed next to her and Anya rolled her eyes playfully, a grin took the entirety of Nyko’s face.

“I’m sold. Totally sold,” he said, looking enthusiastic about the idea already. Clarke high-fived him even though both their hands were dirty from french fry-salt.

Beside Clarke, Lexa was eating at an alarming slow pace.

“What’s wrong, Lex?” Clarke asked, smirking slightly. She knew Lexa’s opinion on McDonald’s.

“I just still can’t believe this place gets to call itself a restaurant,” she mumbled. Clarke laughed.

“Get over yourself. The food is great.”

“The food is barely even food, Clarke – did you know half of their chicken nuggets aren’t even real chicken?”

“Sh,” Clarke said, covering Lexa’s hand with her mouth, “I don’t wanna hear about it. Don’t ruin my favorite food for me.”

Lexa was quiet and Clarke was just thinking about how suspicious that was when she felt something soft and wet in the palm of her hand. Lexa, the sneaky shit, had licked the hand that was covering her mouth.

“Oh my god, Lexa,” Clarke said, immediately wiping her hand off on Lexa’s button-up, “That’s disgusting.”

Lexa smirked, “You do know that tongue has been in your mouth, right?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, thankful Anya and Nyko were talking to each other rather than listening in on their conversation.

“If you keep pulling shit like that, that tongue isn’t coming anywhere near my mouth again.”

“Are you sure about that?” Lexa smirked.

Clarke was about to reply when she felt Lexa’s hand at the inside of her thigh. She blushed.

“Lexa, we’re in public,” she hissed.

“Well, we’re not doing anything, right?” Lexa asked, the picture of innocence. Meanwhile, her hand moved higher up Clarke’s thigh.

“Lexa,” Clarke whined.

“Quiet,” Lexa said softly, her body moving closer to Clarke’s until their thighs were touching.

“Alexa Woods, get your hand out from beneath that table right now,” Anya commanded. Lexa blushed and shot away from Clarke, hands quickly dropped on top of the table. Clarke got back to her french fries and hung her head in shame, although not so far that she couldn’t see Nyko snort.

“Bunch of fucking teenagers,” Anya mumbled.

 

As Lexa came by car, Anya came by motor and Nyko had taken both Clarke and him to the bridal shop, Nyko offered to take Clarke home as well.

Clarke was about to accept the ride when Lexa said, “Actually, I can Clarke drop off. I live closer to her house anyway. I mean, if that’s okay with you.”

She chanced a quick glance at Clarke, who was trying really hard not to seem too excited to be spending some alone time with Lexa.

“Yeah, sure,” Clarke said casually, “I mean, it makes sense.”

Nyko smirked, “Right. Well, I’ll see you guys soon.”

They exchanged some hugs before Clarke and Lexa made their way to Lexa’s car, Lexa holding open the door for Clarke.

“You’re so mannered today,” Clarke joked as Lexa sat down in the driver’s seat.

“Only to make up for my sister catching us with my hand up your skirt,” Lexa joked back.

“Don’t remind me,” Clarke cringed.

“I’m sort of regretting it already,” Lexa replied.

They sat in silence as Lexa drove Clarke home, both of them lost in their own thoughts. The radio played in the background and Lexa hummed along softly. Clarke realized that she hadn’t felt this content for months; just sitting in the car with someone, looking out the window while they hummed softly to the radio. The realization made her panic a bit. What did this mean? The words she’d said to Niylah about Lexa (“she’s special”) still ran around her head. When she looked up, Lexa shot her a reassuring smile, as if she knew what Clarke was thinking. She probably didn’t know, and if she did she’d probably freak out, but the smile managed to calm Clarke’s nerves nonetheless.

When Lexa pulled up to Clarke’s building, Clarke slowly unbuckled her seatbelt.

“Do you wanna come in for tea?”

“I’d love to,” Lexa smiled. Her smile was innocent enough but as soon as they had made their way into Clarke’s apartment, she kissed Clarke, pinning her body against the door. As Lexa started to kiss Clarke’s neck, Clarke realized that she just wasn’t very into it. She was tired from a long week and a big dinner.

“Lex,” she started softly, not knowing how to bring it up. She didn’t want Lexa to feel rejected.

Lexa looked up immediately.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m kinda tired. And full from dinner. Can we just watch a movie?” Clarke asked, wondering whether Lexa would be disappointed or irritated.

Lexa laughed, “Of course. Pick a movie, I’ll make us tea.”

Watching Lexa move around the kitchen, Clarke wondered why the hell she’d been afraid of Lexa’s reaction. Lexa had never been anything but respectful towards Clarke, always pulling back from her body the minute Clarke had said stop, always moving out of Clarke’s space when Clarke showed any sign of irritation.

Lexa filled the water boiler and turned it on as if it were her own kitchen that she was standing in. It gave Clarke a sort of domestic feeling. It made her wonder – what if they had never broken up in the first place? Would Lexa have moved in with her after a while, or would they have fallen apart eventually either way? Would this – on the couch together, sipping tea – be their new normal?

She spent most of the movie stuck in her own head, lost in thought.

When Lexa eventually turned towards her, rubbing her knee softly and asking her if anything was up, she said no.

 

------

 

Because one does not simply tell their fuckbuddy, “I think I might be falling in love with you. Again.”

 

------

Chapter Text

“Clarke? Clarke Griffin?”

Clarke was startled by the sound of a somewhat familiar voice. She looked up from the grocery list that she was mentally crossing products off of and saw a woman she vaguely recognized standing behind her own cart, right in front of Clarke. Clarke took in the brown eyes, the skirt suit and the brown hair in a neat bun. She felt like she knew the woman, but a younger version of her – one with less dark circles beneath her eyes. And then it clicked.

“Lucille!”

And as soon as it clicked, something else clicked – this wasn’t just Lucille, Clarke’s ex-employer. This was also Lexa’s mother.

“It’s so good to see you!” Lucille said, her smile warm and inviting. Clarke felt on edge, like she shouldn’t fall for that warm smile, knowing what Lucille had done to Lexa.

“Yeah,” she said, settling on the simple word. She really didn’t feel like making an effort to pretend she wasn’t uncomfortable. Lucille had to sense her apprehensiveness, because she sighed.

“Look, Clarke, I wasn’t there when... everything happened all those years ago. Frank told me about it. Had I been there, I would’ve handled things differently.”

So much for supporting your husband, Clarke thought. However, she was glad to hear that Lucille wasn’t as much of a homophobic psycho as Frank was that night. Although that didn’t show in the way they’d treated Lexa.

“Really? So you’re not a raging homophobe?”

“Of course not!” Lucille replied, sounding affronted that she would even be accused of such a thing.

“And that’s why you fired Lexa when she came out to you?”

Lucille sighed, rubbing her hand over her forehead.

“Look, Clarke, it’s much more complex than that.”

“Really? Is it that complex to love your own child unconditionally?” Clarke fired back.

“You wouldn’t understand. You don’t understand our family.”

“You’re right, I don’t,” Clarke said, shrugging, “I guess I don’t know how that whole oppressive family thing works. But I do know that, whatever you did to Lexa, however you raised her, it’s still holding her down now. It’s still keeping some part of her locked up.”

Lucille’s eyes widened at that.

“You still talk to her? How is she?”

Clarke frowned.

“Surely you’d know, she told me you guys are trying to accept her now.”

Lucille bit her lip, “That doesn’t mean we’re still in contact.”

Clarke balled her fist when she heard that. She couldn’t believe Lexa’s parents. First they don’t accept her and then they refuse to talk to her? Their own child? Their child, who needed their acceptance and love? What kind of parenting is that?

Clarke felt herself get even more angry when she thought of Lexa, still straightening her back all the time and using expensive words when she talked, a mark her parents clearly left on her. Lexa, who had done nothing wrong to her parents, who had always lived up to their expectations and worked hard for them. Who hadn’t abandoned them in a time when everyone else did and she could’ve easily left and said, ‘fuck this’. She deserved nothing but love and respect from her parents, the two people whose approval she wanted most.

“Listen up, Lucille. You don’t get to do this. You don’t get to ask me how she is. You don’t even get to fucking know how she is when you make no effort to reach out to your child and fucking talk to her!”

Lucille flinched a bit at Clarke’s words.

“So you think I should reach out to her?”

“Yeah, Lucille! Newsflash: good parents are interested in the lives of their children, no matter what their fucking sexuality is!”

“Thank you, Clarke.”

 

------

 

And suddenly Lucille changed from the neat, strict mother Clarke had pictured in her brain after Lexa’s stories, to a small, frail woman.

Clarke, having no time for pity or conflicting emotions towards Lexa’s mother, just grumbled a quick “You’re welcome” and left the aisle before Lucille could talk to her more.

 

------

 

When Clarke opened the door to her apartment, grocery bags hanging from her arms, she froze. There was a sound coming from the kitchen. There was shuffling. The sound of a soft, singer-songwriter song coming from crappy phone speakers. A shadow moving around her kitchen.

Now this would have been fine, this could have just been Clarke’s roommate cooking dinner – it was dinner time after all, Clarke’s stomach reminded her - if not for the fact Clarke did not have a roommate.

Maybe it’s a burglar, Clarke thought. But what kind of burglar raids the kitchen? And what kind of burglar plays music while they’re breaking and entering?

Clarke silently lowered the kitchen bags until she was freed of them. Slowly, she approached the kitchen, keys clenched tightly in her hand to be used as a weapon if necessary. When she looked through the crack of the door, she realized who the burglar in her kitchen was.

“Really?” she asked the intruder as she swung open the door, dropping her keys on the kitchen table, “You’re playing John Mayer as you’re breaking into my house?”

“Clarke,” Lexa jumped and turned away from the kitchen stove, towards Clarke, “You scared me!”

I am the one that scared you? You broke into my house, Lexa!” Clarke said, although the accusation had no real bite to it.

“Is it really breaking in if I have a key?” Lexa said, fishing Clarke’s spare key out of her pocket and showing it off to Clarke, looking smug.

“I don’t know, you’re the lawyer. But since I did not give you that key, I think yes.”

“You left it under the doormat, so you might as well have given it to me,” Lexa said, smiling as she approached Clarke.

Clarke pulled Lexa’s body against her own by the waist and pressed a quick kiss to Lexa’s lips.

“What were you gonna do if you hadn’t found the key?” she murmured, still looking at Lexa’s lips.

“Maybe I would’ve broken a window. Or just called Octavia. I’m guessing Nyko doesn’t have the key.”

“He doesn’t,” Clarke confirmed, shaking her head. She quickly pecked Lexa’s lips once more before she let go of Lexa’s hips, looking at the pans on the stove.

“You’re cooking?”

“Uhu,” Lexa murmured, wrapping her arms around Clarke’s waist, “I thought you might like to come home and not have to cook for yourself after a long day at the hospital.”

“Lexa,” Clarke smiled, turning around so she was facing Lexa, her back still against the kitchen counter, “That’s so sweet and thoughtful. But you know I never cook for myself, I just order in.”

“Oh, I do know,” Lexa grinned, “And I wanted to keep you off that unhealthy drab for at least tonight.”

“Ah, you wanted to stop me from becoming fat? So this was really a selfish move?” Clarke joked.

“You know I wouldn’t think any less of you if you gained weight, Clarke,” Lexa said, rolling her eyes.

Clarke smiled.

“How noble. I’m gonna take a shower now, wash off that hospital smell, and then I’d love to enjoy your delicious, healthy cooking.”

“Can I join?” Lexa asked cheekily.

“I’m afraid you’re the chef, baby,” Clarke said, pulling Lexa towards her to kiss her one more time before she disappeared out of the kitchen.

 

Three hours later, Clarke and Lexa had moved towards the couch, both of them a glass of wine in hand and on the edge of tipsy. Lexa had thrown her legs over Clarke’s laps, where Clarke was casually massaging her feet.

“So I swear to God, he sees me inserting an IV and before I can even do anything, he starts telling me about how to do it and I ask him how long he’s been an intern here and he says, ‘a week’ like that’s sooo long,” Clarke said, to which Lexa snorted, “so I say, ‘well, I’ve been here a year so please move aside and let the grown-ups do the work’. And I swear he looks like he just pissed his pants.”

Lexa full-blown laughed now.

“That’s cold, Clarke.”

“Well, he deserved it,” Clarke said, taking a sip from her wine. She hated it when guys assumed they knew better than her just because she was blonde and a girl.

“He did. You really – what did Raven call that again – you really toasted him.”

Clarke snorted, “Did you just say I toasted him?”

Lexa blushed, “Is that not the saying?”

“No, no you’re fine,” Clarke laughed, deciding to keep this expression running for a bit. Raven was gonna lose her shit when she heard Lexa the next time she was trying to say Clarke roasted someone.

“I hate you sometimes,” Lexa mumbled, noticing that Clarke was mocking her.

Clarke moved closer, taking Lexa’s wineglass and putting it down. She tilted Lexa’s head towards her with a finger under her chin and kissed her softly.

When she pulled away, she said, “See, I don’t think I really believe that.”

“So don’t,” Lexa murmured, not caring as she kissed Clarke again. Clarke tangled her hands in Lexa’s hair and Lexa took it as a sign to deepen the kiss. Her hands moved to the small of Clarke’s back, scratching lightly.

Just when it seemed like they should probably start moving this to the bedroom, Lexa’s phone rang.

She pulled back slightly from Clarke, taking a moment to regain her breath, before she softly said, “I’m on an important case. I have to check.”

Clarke immediately nodded, “That’s fine.”

Lexa smiled and pecked Clarke’s lips one more time before she pulled back all the way, turning her body towards the arm of the couch, where her phone was still ringing.

“Well, that will kill the mood,” she mumbled to herself before she pressed answer and held the phone to her ear, seeming to sober up immediately.

“Hi mom.”

When Lucille had asked Clarke whether she should reach out to Lexa, Clarke hadn’t expected her to do it the same night. If she had, she would’ve told Lexa so Lexa could at least prepare in some way. She now knew how rare it was for Lexa to be talking to her parents and she could’ve at least warned her, so Lexa could’ve prepared what she wanted to say.

Lexa was getting up from the couch, moving towards Clarke’s bedroom for some privacy, all the while mouthing a sorry Clarke’s way. Clarke waved it away with her hand.

With nothing else to do now that her main source of entertainment was gone, Clarke turned on the TV and started zapping through channels.

She didn’t know how long it took, but it felt like at least half an hour before Lexa returned from Clarke’s bedroom, her phone now safe in her pocket.

“So that was my mom,” she said, walking back into the living room from the kitchen and watching Clarke from a distance.

Clarke nodded at her words.

“You don’t seem surprised about that,” Lexa said.

“Well, I mean, I kind of figured that out from the fact that you started the call with ‘Hi mom’,” Clarke joked.

“Right,” Lexa nodded. She walked towards the table in the living room and leaned against it, still keeping her distance from Clarke.

“Why do I feel like I’m being interrogated?” Clarke wondered aloud. Lexa crossed her arms, frowning again.

“I – my mother and I – my parents and I don’t have that much contact. So it felt a bit odd that she suddenly called.”

Clarke nodded.

Lexa went on, “So I asked her why she did. And she said you told her to.”

Clarke nodded, “I ran into her at the supermarket. She wanted to know how you were and I said she should ask her yourself.”

Lexa sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I wasn’t expecting her to call so quick. I would’ve told you otherwise, I promise,” Clarke said, not entirely understanding what Lexa was so mad about but wanting to apologize anyway.

“See, the problem is, Clarke,” Lexa said, Clarke’s name not sounding as sweet as usual on her tongue, “You shouldn’t have told her anything at all.”

“Excuse me?” Clarke asked, confused.

“You’re driven to fix everything for everyone, but you can’t fix this. You should’ve just stayed out of it,” Lexa hissed.

Clarke got up from the couch in some unconscious attempt to defend herself with her body language.

“I was standing up for you! I was telling her to look after you, like a real parent would!”

“That was not your goddamn place!” Lexa shouted. Clarke flinched, immediately taking a step back. She didn’t understand. Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly her place to be telling Lexa’s parents how to be a good parent, but it had led to something good, hadn’t it? So why was Lexa so angry?

“I thought I was doing you a favor.”

“You did? Well, did you ever consider once, Clarke, that maybe I didn’t want to speak to her?”

Something clicked in Clarke’s brain at those words. She hadn’t considered that Lexa would be the one who didn’t want to speak to her parents. She’d always thought of Lexa as the girl so eager for her parents’ love and approval, but maybe Lexa had long since outgrown that girl. It had been five years after all.

Still, though, Clarke thought Lexa should talk to her parents. Lexa had a chance to make things right with them. A chance to catch up and become a family again. Clarke would do anything to become a family again.

“You didn’t, did you? Use your head, Clarke,” Lexa bit when it stayed quiet. Lexa’s comment hurt Clarke more than she cared to admit, but instead of letting it show, she put on her brave face and squared her shoulders.

“I am using my head. Don’t you understand how lucky you are that you even have parents? My dad is gone. I would do anything to have him back,” Clarke raised her tone, throwing an arm up in the air out of frustration.

Instead of calming down at Clarke’s words and seeing Clarke’s point, Lexa became only angrier. She was seething now. Great job, Clarke.

“Your dad appreciated you. He loved you for who you are. My parents were always scrutinizing me. They always found something to nag me about, something to correct. Can you imagine how hard it is to break free from that? To not hear that voice in the back of your mind all the time, that voice telling you you’re not sitting pretty enough or you’re not making a polite enough impression or your work isn’t good enough? Can you imagine, Clarke?” Lexa shouted.

“How can I when you never fucking talk to me about it?” Clarke finally burst. Lexa took her in with a calculated look. She was quiet for a while, before she took a steadying breath.

“I think you’re forgetting your place, Clarke,” Lexa said, sounding cold and dangerously calm, “You’re not my girlfriend. We’re just having sex. I don’t owe you my tragic backstory.”

Clarke felt like she was being punched in the guts. She was still processing Lexa’s words when Lexa grabbed her bag from the kitchen and walked towards the door.

“Don’t call me,” Lexa said, loud and clear before she slammed the door behind her.

 

------

 

Maybe it was dramatic, but as tears started filling her eyes, Clarke let herself fall down on the couch.

 

------

 

She didn’t call Octavia or Raven immediately. They’d only look at her with sympathetic eyes and eventually tell her what she already knows: but Clarke, what did you expect?

They’d ask, “But didn’t you guys agree to just be friends with benefits?”

And they’d be right. Because, yes, Clarke herself had asked Lexa “friends with benefits, right?”. And yes, Clarke herself had repeated that fact back to Lexa multiple times.

But when they’d made that deal, neither of them had expected things to become so messy. Or at least Clarke hadn’t. Okay, she had known that there were still some feelings for Lexa, bottled up somewhere. But that was something she’d just have to deal with. She’d rather have Lexa as a bit more than a friend than have Lexa as nothing at all. So she’d be fine with shutting her own feelings off. She could handle that.

What she couldn’t handle, however, was Lexa reciprocating those feelings. Lexa telling her that she was enough. Lexa kissing Clarke casually, without it leading to anything else. Lexa playing with Clarke’s hair.

Instead of keeping it uncomplicated and clear, the lines had started to blur and Clarke had, inevitably, gotten attached again. She’d realized it the moment she’d told Niylah Lexa was special. Still, she hadn’t done anything about. She’d chosen not to talk to Lexa about what they were doing and instead enjoy what was happening. She’d chosen to let herself pretend everything was fine, to live in a lie that she loved way too much to let go.

Which had been stupid. Because the other shoe was bound to drop at some point. And now it had.

Clarke just hadn’t expected it to happen like this. She’d expected to happen, maybe, with Lexa sitting her down and saying, “We should probably stop doing this”. Or with Lexa saying “Hey, we’re still clear on the no emotional relationship-thing, right?”. Something like that, just phrased way more eloquently.

Instead, Lexa had basically said that they were just fuckbuddies and she didn’t owe Clarke shit.

 

------

 

Which, really, she was right.

But it still hurt.

 

-------

 

“You went behind her back to her parents? Shit, that’s not cool, Griffin,” Octavia said.

“Wooord,” Raven shouted from the kitchen, where she was doing God-knows-what. Clarke knew Octavia was already on standby in case anything lit up.

“I did not go behind her back,” Clarke defended herself, “Her mom talked to me in the supermarket and I defended her!”

“Okay, so – you saw her mom, gave her mom advice that Lexa didn’t want you to give and – ”

“But how was I supposed to know she didn’t want me to give that advice? How was I supposed to know she didn’t want to talk to her parents?”

“Uh, maybe because she’s gay and they’re homophobes?” Raven deadpanned, walking into the living room with a plate stacked with snacks.

“No, you don’t understand Rae – the way I used to know her, she’d do anything for her parents. Or at least for their approval.”

“Well, I can imagine that would change a little after they’ve fired you and basically kicked you out of the family.”

“I guess,” Clarke sighs, “I should’ve thought about it.”

When Octavia and Raven nodded instead of trying to offer her some reassurance, Clarke knew she’d really fucked up.

“You know what the worst thing is?”

“Oh boy, here we go,” Raven said under her breath.

“When she got mad at me, I totally defended myself and got mad at her, instead of listening to her.”

Raven let out an impressively loud sigh considering the amount of food in her mouth, while Octavia just said, “Oh, Clarke.”

“Yep. I fucked up big time. And then she said that she doesn’t owe me anything because I’m not her girlfriend and left. I think I need a beer,” Clarke said, getting up, not being able to handle the sympathetic gazes being sent her way.

Raven grabbed her arm as Clarke tried to pass her and yanked her down onto the couch.

“Uh-uh,” Octavia said, “no alcohol for you, Griffin.”

“Mom’s orders,” Raven said with an apologetic look, referring to Octavia. Octavia must’ve had a talk with Anya somewhere in between Clarke dumping her snot and tears on Anya’s shoulders and today.

“You’re saying that Raven is allowed to basically clean out my entire fridge because she has weird food cravings, but I’m not allowed to have a beer from my own kitchen?” Clarke asked, grumpily.

When Octavia nodded, Clarke whined, “I just wanna drink a bit and forget about everything.”

“Well,” Raven said as she grabbed the TV remote, “Instead, we can watch The Office reruns and forget about everything.”

 

------

 

Clarke didn’t reply to that, still grumpy, but she did rest her head on Raven’s shoulder and thanked God for giving her such wonderful friends.

 

-------

 

Chapter Text

Clarke wasn't sure how serious she should take Lexa's last words to her. She didn't know whether, when Lexa had told her not to call her, Lexa meant that night, or that week, or the entire month. Or just never.

But that would be a bit drastic, wouldn't it? Asking Clarke never to call her again? They did have a wedding to plan together. Lexa couldn't seriously expect Clarke to never call her again.

Then again, she had really fucked up. And Lexa seemed like the kind of person who was good at cutting people out of her life (something Clarke had learned the hard way, when she'd accidentally brought those people back into Lexa's life).

Clarke knew, however, that Lexa would never do anything to sabotage Anya's wedding. Lexa wanted - needed - it to be perfect. So as scared as Clarke was that Lexa would go to Nyko behind her back and ask him to appoint a new maid of honor, she also knew that was an irrational fear. Lexa wouldn't.

Still, she figured she'd wait for Lexa to reach out. She kind of wanted to message Lexa about all the things they still had to do – and, of course, to do some groveling - but Octavia and Raven had basically made her swear she wouldn't.

"Give the girl some space, Griffin," Raven had said.

And Raven was probably right. Clarke just wasn't the best at giving people space. Lexa, on the other hand, was great with such matters. She always knew what Clarke needed. She'd just sense when Clarke needed space and time and she'd give it to her without complaining. Without looking at her own wants and needs. And that was why Clarke wanted to do right by her and return the favor.

Still, it all felt shitty. Waiting for a text or a call. Clarke wasn't used to it. She was used to taking the initiative. Used to fixing everything immediately. But she understood the importance of waiting this time, so she did.

Her patience was rewarded when she got a text, almost two weeks after the fight.

 

Lexa (9:23 pm): I arranged an appointment with the caterer Thursday at five. Be there if you can.

Clarke (9:23 pm): I'll be there.

 

-----

 

Now she just had to find a way to get out of her internship at five.

 

-----

 

"You both need to leave early on Thursday? What, is it best friend bowling night?" doctor Jackson joked. Nyko and Clarke laughed along, knowing their supervisor was fairly easy about leaving early as long as you sucked up to him a little bit.

"Sorting things out for my wedding, sir," Nyko corrected him politely.

"Sounds good. You two have fun," Jackson nodded before walking away. At the end of the corridor he turned around and called out, "Oh, Clarke?"

"Yes?"

"Say hi to your mother for me."

"Will do, sir," Clarke said, faking a smile.

"Jackson knows your mom?" Nyko asked, confused, as they walked towards the cafeteria, ready to enjoy their lunch break.

"Yeah, she was a sort of mentor to him when he started his career. And now he always tells me to say hi to her, but I'm pretty sure he talks to her more than I do."

Nyko laughed, "Not a good relationship with your mom, then?"

Clarke sighed, shaking her head, "Long story."

 

-----

 

Nyko sensed that Clarke didn't wanna talk about it, so instead, he said, "C'mon, I'm buying you those mozzarella sticks you love so much."

 

------

 

Nyko generously offered Clarke a spot in his car on his way to the caterer’s that Thursday.

“Thanks for this, dude,” Clarke commented as they were on their way, “I’m so deep in depth and all those bus tickets don’t really help.”

“Student loans?” Nyko guessed.

Clarke nodded.

“I get ya. I’m basically thanking God for the fact that I’m an only child and my parents are able to pay my tuition.”

Clarke chuckled, “And they don’t expect anything in return?”

Nyko shook his head, “How about your parents?”

“Well,” Clarke took a deep breath, “my dad died when I was about fifteen.”

Nyko chanced a glance her way, looking apologetic, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Clarke shook her head, as if trying to shake off the pity she knew was coming her way. However, when she looked at Nyko, he didn’t look at her with pity. He just looked at her with sympathy. It was quite refreshing.

“Yeah, it kinda sucks,” Clarke said, instead of denying the pain like she usually did in this situation. She always felt like she had to comfort people somehow, like she had to show that it didn’t hurt so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable or sorry for her.

“I can’t imagine exactly,” Nyko said, “But I guess it must hurt. Sorry I brought it up.”

“That’s okay, you couldn’t have known. Anyway. That’s why the whole situation with my mom is a bit… shitty. It’s a long story.”

Nyko took it as a cue not to dig deeper about her mom. And usually, that would be the end of the conversation. But Clarke found that it actually felt pretty good to talk about this to someone who just sat back and listened, really trying to hear her instead of listening just to be able to reply. So she continued talking.

“I don’t know, I guess I just kinda feel… Like, my mom is a doctor and a pretty good one at that, so it’s not like she couldn’t pay my tuition. Not to brag, or anything. And she did offer, multiple times. But I feel like – I feel like if I agree to that, I owe her something? Not that she’d ask anything of me. But she’s already so disappointed in me now that I don’t visit much. And it’s not like she would expect me to visit more, but I think I would expect that of myself,” Clarke rambled, unable to form sentences that made sense, “But I wouldn’t visit more, I know that. For the same reasons that I don’t visit now – which is a long story, as I said. And then I’d only feel guilty. Neither of us would want that.”

Nyko just nodded. Clarke heaved a breath of relief as the thoughts she’d kept hidden the minute she’d started med school came out at once.

“That’s a tough situation,” Nyko mumbled.

Clarke laughed, relief running through her.

“Sorry, it’s just – it was good to let that out. It’s been bothering me for a while and I didn’t know who to talk to.”

“You can always talk to me, Clarke,” Nyko said, giving her a reassuring smile, “I don’t always have the answers but I’ll always listen.”

Clarke smiled back. She felt pretty guilty now, that she hadn’t kept Nyko up to date about the whole Lexa situation. She really didn’t give him enough credit.

“So how are things with Anya?” she asked, changing the conversation to a lighter subject, “Did she yell at you from wedding stress yet?”

Nyko laughed, “There’s no wedding stress, since you guys are basically planning the entire thing.”

Clarke grinned, “Most of it is Lexa, really.”

“She’s really dedicated, isn’t she?” Nyko asked, sounding impressed.

“She is,” Clarke confirmed. She tried not to feel bad when she thought of Lexa, but she couldn’t help but wonder – how would Lexa behave around her today? Would she be professional? Would she be cold? Would she glare?

“How are things going with you two?”

Clarke grimaced at the inevitable question.

“It’s – it’s complicated.”

Nyko chuckled, “Seems like it always is with you two.”

Clarke smiled sadly, “Good point.”

“Maybe, if it’s always complicated, it’s not worth it.”

Clarke bit her lip, “We just have a lot of history. And it’s not always easy, trying to figure out who we are now and who we should be now in light of who we used to be.”

Nyko nodded. After a short silence he said, “Well, we can hope to learn from our past, but we can’t let it dictate the present.”

“I guess you’re right,” Clarke sighed.

 

-----

 

If only Lexa could see that, Clarke thought.

 

-----

 

They soon arrived at a small restaurant.

"You ever been here before?" Clarke asked Nyko, who shook his head.

"Let's check it out, then."

They got out of the car, making their way to the restaurant. Clarke noticed Lexa's car wasn't anywhere around, but she did spot Anya's motorcycle.

Nyko held the door for her and she smiled at him as she entered the restaurant.

It was a small space, but it didn't feel suffocating or abandoned - instead, it gave off an intimate vibe. It wasn't crowded, either, but that made sense since it was long before dinnertime.

Clarke followed Nyko to the reception and walked along as a young man led them to a room separated from the rest of the restaurant.

As the man opened the door for them, he revealed a smaller room with a few tables. Lexa and Anya were waiting at one of them, a big plate with various appetizers in front of them.

"Hi babe," Nyko greeted Anya, placing a quick kiss on her lips.

"Hey," Clarke smiled at Anya and then averted her gaze to Lexa, who briefly nodded at her.

"Hey," Clarke said as she sat down opposite Lexa.

"Hello Clarke."

"I didn't see your car in the parking lot," Clarke said, trying to make conversation. Trying to get Lexa to open up a bit, to at least show she gave a fuck that Clarke was sitting in front of her.

"I got a lift," Lexa replied, looking at her phone this time instead of at Clarke.

"From Anya?" Clarke asked, confused.

"C'mon Clarke, you have to know Lexa loves my motorcycle," Anya said, with a smirk.

Clarke laughed, relieved at Anya's way of lightening up the conversation.

"It's just hard to imagine Lexa riding a motorcycle in her three-piece suit, I guess."

"Well, she looks damn good while she does it," Anya said, smirk still on her face. Clarke's mouth suddenly went dry when she did imagine it - Lexa on a motorcycle. She blushed.

Lexa rolled her eyes, "Thanks, An. Now can we get to the point of being here?"

"Sure," Anya said and she started explaining to Clarke and Nyko that they'd gotten some samples of appetizers to try and see if they liked it. The restaurant had a menu for catering, which offered fancy Italian pizza as a main course and some anti-pasta for appetizers.

"Thought it was good to have two restaurant-experts with us while we tried this food," Anya said, glancing at Clarke and Lexa, "And I didn't really feel like inviting mom and dad."

Clarke and Lexa both tensed at that, but neither Anya nor Nyko seemed to notice.

"Well, I was always really just a waiter, but you know I'm always happy to try food," Clarke laughed.

"Let's get started, then," Nyko said with a small smile as he tried some of the garlic bread off the plate in front of them.

Soon, they were all trying the different dishes. Nyko and Anya seemed to be enjoying it just fine, Clarke was a bit unsatisfied with the amount of greens on the plate and Lexa was wearing her professional chef face as she tried little bits of everything.

"Fuck me, that bread is so good," Clarke said through a mouthful of garlic bread.

"Watch your mouth, Griffin," Anya said, wiggling her eyebrows at Clarke.

Before Clarke could blush even more, Nyko interjected.

"I agree, though. The garlic bread is amazing. And the tomato-mozzarella-sticks are really good as well."

Anya smiled at her fiancé adoringly before she turned to her sister.

"What do you think, Lex?"

"Well - the toast of the bruscetta is soaked with the juices of the tomato, it's too wet. The garlic bread is good, but it would be better if they sprinkled some actual garlic on it. The cold meat is really good, the chicken needs to be cooked through more because we don't want anyone getting salmonella, but overall the meat is amazing. If they have a good wine to go with this, I'd definitely -" she stopped when she realized she was rambling, blushed and said, "I think it's pretty great."

Clarke bit her lip softly, thinking Lexa was adorable. Lexa let her eyes fall on Clarke's face for maybe just the second time since they'd seen each other and, to Clarke's surprise, didn't look away immediately. Instead, she fixated on Clarke's mouth.

"Right," Anya said, ignoring whatever drama was going on nowadays between her little sister and her friend, "So this seems great to me. Let’s taste some wines now. None for you, Clarke.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “It’s just a few sips of wine.”

Anya arched her eyebrows at Clarke in a threating way, silently converting a message. Remember the last time you were drunk in front of me?

Clarke stared back. I’m not getting drunk this time.

Nyko and Lexa confusedly looked from Anya to Clarke, to Anya again.

Anya squinted her eyes. You’re not, because you’re not drinking anything this time.

“Fine,” Clarke sighed, tired of the battle of eyes, “It’s like I’m the one who’s your little sister.”

“Nah, my little sister knows how to handle her alcohol,” Anya said, smirking.

“Fuck you,” Clarke mumbled, but not unkindly.

“I thought I wasn’t the one at this table you’d like to fu-”

“Okay I think that’s enough for now,” Nyko quickly interrupted. Anya’s message was already conveyed though and both Clarke and Lexa were blushing.

“Excuse me,” Lexa mumbled as she got up, “I’ll be in the bathroom trying to forget the fact my sister just commented on my sex life in a full restaurant.”

She quickly left the table and disappeared, Clarke following her with her eyes. Fuck. The one person she’d come here for just left her alone to third-wheel an engaged couple.

When she looked back at the table, Anya was smirking at her.

“Better follow my little sister, Griffin. You’re not gonna be useful with that wine here, anyway.”

 

She found Lexa in the restroom and couldn’t help but think this was where it all started, a couple of months ago. Where she saw Lexa again – really saw her again – after all those years. Where Lexa had held off a panic attack because she didn’t want to be vulnerable in front of Clarke.

They’d made remarkably little progress since then.

“Sorry about that,” Clarke said, grimacing, “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

Lexa shook her head immediately, “It was Anya’s fault. She’s got a big mouth. It gets a bit much sometimes.”

Clarke nodded.

A short silence followed, one in which Lexa seemed to recollect herself from the moment where she wanted to sink into the ground and Clarke – well, Clarke was just staring at Lexa.

“Can we talk?” she asked, finally, and then, after remembering that she was supposed to give Lexa space, quickly added, “Unless you’re not ready, of course.”

Lexa stared at her, voice calm as she said, “Do you think I would’ve been afraid not to include you in this meeting if I hadn’t been ready to talk to you?”

Clarke hesitated, wondering what the best response would be, “I mean – yeah. Because you want the best for this wedding.”

“And you think you can decide what’s best when it comes to food? Rather than me, the actual chef?”

Clarke gulped. She wasn’t used to Lexa being so casually mean. Staring at her, talking to her, as if she was nothing.

“Anya wanted me here,” she defended herself.

Lexa’s eyes went soft and she nodded, “Yes. She did. I’m sorry.”

Clarke just nodded, not entirely sure what to say. She was pretty much set on herself being the one apologizing, but it actually felt good to hear those words come out of Lexa’s mouth right now.

“Thank you for giving me space, these past weeks. And yes, we do need to talk. Just – not right now.”

Before Clarke knew what was happening, Lexa had taken several steps forward until she was in Clarke’s space. She pressed Clarke against the sink. Clarke squirmed at the cold on her back, but then relaxed when Lexa pressed her warm lips against Clarke’s.

The kiss was a bit rushed, but Lexa didn’t try to deepen it. She dug her nails softly into Clarke’s hips, making Clarke hiss into her mouth. Just when Clarke tried to deepen the kiss, Lexa pulled away. She kissed Clarke’s neck, long and open-mouthed kisses, and as Clarke moaned softly Lexa’s hand trailed down, sliding into Clarke’s pants until-

Someone flushed the toilet behind them. Lexa jumped away from Clarke as if she’d been burned. Clarke saw surprise in her eyes, not at being interrupted, Clarke thought, but at her own actions. Obviously Lexa hadn’t meant for them to get carried away this much. Maybe she hadn’t wanted to let herself do this, since she was most likely still angry at Clarke.

“Come to my place tonight,” Lexa whispered against Clarke’s lips.

 

-----

 

And then, swiftly, she disappeared, leaving Clarke alone with the stranger who had heard her moan. Great.

 

------

 

And really, Clarke was planning to talk. But then Lexa opened the door and she was wearing her glasses and her hair was in a bun and Clarke bit her lip. She looked really, really hot. She didn’t wanna touch Lexa without Lexa’s permission, however, so instead she fumbled with the hem of her own t-shirt.

Lexa noticed, eyeing the way Clarke was biting her lip.

“Clarke,” she said and her voice was hoarse. And Clarke decided to take a risk.

She leant in and captured Lexa’s mouth with her own. She sucked at Lexa’s bottom lip and then kicked the door shut behind her. Lexa pinned her against the door but Clarke was still the one in control, biting Lexa’s lip and reveling in the hiss Lexa let slip.

“Clarke,” Lexa mumbled as said woman was working on her neck, “You wanted to talk.”

“It can wait,” Clarke mumbled against her neck, not moving from where she was pushed up against Lexa.

Clarke sucked at Lexa’s pulse point and she heard a moan, but before she could move further, she felt two hands cup her head and drag her away from Lexa’s neck.

Lexa studied her, silently, and asked, “Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” she nodded, “Are you?”

Lexa’s eyes turned a little dark before she said, “Yes.”

 

-----

 

And Clarke was really too tired for any more drama today, so she grabbed Lexa by the arm and lead her to the bedroom.

 

-----

 

The next morning, Clarke woke up in Lexa’s bed for the first time in two weeks. She couldn’t help but smile, realizing she’d really missed this. A bit too much, maybe, but she couldn’t bring herself to care.

As per usual, Lexa was already awake. She was sitting in a chair by the window, mug in hand, holding the curtain open just enough to be able to look at the sky, but not enough for the light to wake Clarke up.

Clarke smiled at how thoughtful Lexa was.

“Lex?”

Lexa jumped a bit.

She turned around, “Scare me to death in the morning, why don’t you?”

“I’m sorry,” Clarke said, smiling but not really apologetically, “Didn’t think you’d be so jumpy.”

Lexa rolled her eyes again and turned around to look out the window again. She looked contemplative.

“Come back to bed. Your thinking is so loud it woke me up.”

Lexa smiled, faintly, before she said, “It’s Friday morning. I have to shower in a few minutes. You have your internship.”

Clarke thought it was only fair that Lexa would reject her like that after Clarke still hadn’t gotten the chance to apologize for the mess she brought them in, but then Lexa threw another look over her shoulder and, contrary to her words, placed the mug on her nightstand and slid back into bed.

She lay on her side, facing Clarke, still frowning a bit. Clarke took in every little detail, not sure when she’d get to see Lexa like this again: her hair messy, lips miraculously still swollen from last night. Clarke thought that this was probably one of her favorite versions of Lexa – disheveled, come undone at Clarke’s hands.

“What’re you thinking about?” Clarke whispered.

Lexa furrowed her eyebrows, clearly deep in thought and contemplating sharing those thoughts with Clarke.

“Do you ever think this is wrong?” Lexa asked. She didn’t wear the self-confident expression she usually did, instead looking at Clarke with big eyes and furrowed eyebrows.

Clarke sat up a little and tugged the sheet with her, feeling like this wasn’t a conversation to be held half-naked. It had been a while since she’d seen Lexa look this scared.

“This? You mean, what we’re doing?”

Lexa nodded.

“Well, Lex, I don’t think it’s wrong. But if you do,” Clarke said, “you know we can stop at the blink of an eye. We can go back to being friends. If you don’t like what we’re doing.”

She gulped at the idea of not having Lexa in any capacity; but Lexa’s feelings and consent always came first.

Lexa sat up too, violently shaking her head.

“That’s not what I mean. I mean,” she struggled with her words, something unusual for her, “do you ever think, maybe, the Republicans are right? That it is true. That being gay is bad.”

Clarke barked out a laugh, “You’re kidding, right?”

“Well, I’m sorry if not everyone was raised in an environment where that notion was laughable,” Lexa snapped, sinking back under the covers and turning her back towards Clarke.

Clarke sighed. How had she managed to be such an insensitive ass, again? Just when Lexa had opened up to her for the first time in weeks, she had made fun of Lexa.

And Lexa was right. To Clarke, who was raised by an entirely-too-confident Democrat family, it seemed laughable to think Republicans were right about, well, anything. But it wasn’t that surprising that Lexa, who had been fed casual homophobia by her family until she was brave enough to cut them out, doubted herself sometimes.

“Lex, I’m sorry. Hey, look at me,” Clarke said, placing a hand softly on Lexa’s shoulder to make her turn around.

Lexa turned around, not meeting Clarke’s eye but instead looking down, looking a bit like a grumpy toddler. Not that Clarke would tell her that. Instead, she crawled down until she was eye-to-eye with Lexa. She cupped Lexa’s cheek and waited for Lexa to meet her eye.

When she did, Clarke whispered, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.”

Lexa looked away from Clarke’s eyes again and Clarke tilted her chin up softly until Lexa was looking back at her.

“Listen. I know you’ve been told differently and I’m so sorry for that, but this is not wrong. The truth is, Lexa, what we have and what so many other people have is beautiful. And more than that, it is our damn business. Nobody else’s,” Clarke said, sliding the hand that was holding Lexa’s chin to her hair, “All that matters is what you think of you. At the end of the day, you can have your parents’ approval and Anya’s approval and my approval and the approval of the rest of the goddamn world – but if you are not happy and if you do not like the person that you are, it doesn’t mean anything.”

Lexa nodded, but Clarke could tell there was still some part of her that was distant and hidden away.

“Lexa, tell me, are you happy when you’re kissing a girl?”

Lexa nodded, not hesitating to answer Clarke’s question.

“Are you hurting anyone when you’re kissing a girl?”

It took Lexa a bit longer this time, but eventually she murmured, “No.”

“So how can it be wrong? If it makes you happy and it’s not hurting anyone else?”

“That’s so cheesy,” Lexa mumbled. Clarke laughed.

“It’s cheesy, but it’s true.”

Lexa looked away.

“I mean, I know. Most of the time,” she mumbled, “But sometimes, I just can’t help but wonder, you know. What if they’re right? What if something’s wrong with me?”

“Lex?”

Lexa didn’t answer, instead looking into Clarke’s eyes again to show Clarke she had her attention. Clarke hesitated, not sure whether she should say what she wanted to say. It might be a bit melodramatic, might make Lexa roll her eyes. But Lexa had to hear it from someone.

“There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Lexa stared at Clarke, long and hard, almost as if she had no idea what Clarke was saying.

“Do you hear me, Lex? There’s nothing wrong with you.”

For a few seconds Clarke thought she’d overdone it, that Lexa would think she was dramatic, roll her eyes and turn her back on Clarke again.

But then tears started forming in Lexa’s eyes and before Clarke knew what was happening, Lexa’s body jolted with sobs. Alarmed, Clarke quickly wrapped her arms around Lexa, who tentatively accepted the hug. Soon enough, Lexa buried her head in Clarke’s neck and tears streamed over Clarke’s shoulders.

Lexa’s own shoulders were still heaving as Clarke kept her arms wrapped closely around the woman that clung to her. She whispered soothing words into Lexa’s ear and played with her hair in an attempt to calm her down as she felt Lexa’s body shake.

 

-----

 

And only then did she really, truly understand why Lexa didn’t wanna talk to her parents anymore. 

 

-----

 

Chapter Text

The rest of the day, they didn’t talk about what happened that morning. They only briefly acknowledged it that night in a bar, when Lexa insisted on buying Clarke a drink (“Nothing alcoholic!” Octavia shouted from the other side of the bar) as a thank you. Clarke accepted the drink, but bought Lexa one after that, if only to show that there was nothing to thank for.

At the end of the night, Lexa was too drunk to really have a serious talk about anything, so Clarke just accepted that they wouldn’t be having this conversation today. Instead, she took Lexa home and left a bottle of water and some Advil on her nightstand.

On Saturday, they didn’t see each other, Lexa busy preparing for a case and Clarke out with Raven.

So, finally, on Sunday, Clarke texted Lexa, asking if she could come to Lexa’s apartment. She didn’t add anything about wanting to talk, but she figured Lexa would feel that coming. As soon as she got the all-clear, she took the bus to Lexa’s house.

Lexa quickly let her in and poured her a glass of coke, before they sat down on the couch together. Clarke didn’t know exactly where to start, and Lexa could probably tell because she gave her an opening.

“So, why are you here, Clarke?”

“I – I came here to apologize. I crossed a major boundary, two weeks ago. I thought I was helping you, because I was blinded by my image of who you are – or who you were. I listened to this idea of you in my head, instead of listening to the real you,” Clarke said, stumbling through her words and sighing, “That led me to make a mistake. And then I was blinded by my experience with my parents and I was too stubborn to admit my mistake. I shouldn’t have meddled in your family life when I knew nothing about it. And I’m so sorry.”

Lexa nodded, “Thank you for your apology.”

Clarke didn’t want to say something as stupid as “You’re welcome”, as if Lexa really had something to thank Clarke for, so instead, she just nodded.

“I realize you had good intentions. And you could not have known about – about my relationship with my parents,” Lexa said, shoulders tensing up momentarily. And really, how had Clarke not been able to tell when there were so many signs?

“Still. I had no idea what I was getting into, how you felt,” Clarke said, thinking about how Lexa had cried into her shoulder just Friday morning, “It really wasn’t my place to meddle.”

“You’re right,” Lexa nodded.

“And you’re not obliged to tell me about them. I understand if you don’t wanna talk about it.”

Lexa studied Clarke, frowning, until she finally said, “I guess I’m not the person that I was anymore. I was always so scared about what they would think, about whether they would be angry. And it’s liberating not to feel like I’d do anything for their love anymore. Like I can breathe again.”

Clarke smiled, “That’s really good.”

Lexa nodded.

“I’ve been thinking and I do – I do have to say one thing,” Clarke said, feeling like her throat was tightening. Lexa gave her a nod, indicating that she was listening.

Clarke took in a deep breath, “I feel like what happened last week is entirely my fault. I overstepped my boundaries, like I said. But the way you called me out on it… It really, really hurt.”

She looked up at Lexa to see Lexa’s eyes grow until she looked like a puppy who’d accidentally bit its owner. Her shoulders slouched slightly and she bit her lip.

“I understand that I was wrong and I appreciate you telling me I went too far. But you can’t use me doing something wrong as an excuse to hurt me. The way you lashed out was unfair and really, really hurtful. And frankly, I deserve better.”

Her hands were shaking when she finished talking, this being something she’d been thinking about a lot and didn’t really know how to bring up. She didn’t wanna call Lexa out just when they’d made up, but she also felt that for their friendship to work, they really needed to work on this part of their relationship.

“You’re right. I’m sorry,” Lexa said, looking genuinely pained.

“Apology accepted,” Clarke said. Lexa coughed, looking like she was trying to say something but didn’t know how to.

“I guess it’s part of my defense mechanism. I – I don’t like being vulnerable. So when people hurt me, I wanna get the overhand and I wanna hurt them more. I never really realized how toxic that is, and I’m sorry,” she mumbled, looking at her hands.

Clarke covered one of Lexa’s hands with her own and squeezed.

“Thank you for sharing this with me,” she said, honestly. 

 

-----

 

Clarke felt exhausted from all the talking after that night, but it was also the first time she felt like she was really getting somewhere with Lexa, and she slept better than she had in a while.

 

------

 

Clarke sighed. Just ten more minutes till lunch, she told herself. 

It wasn’t busy at the hospital today. Or, it was, but not for her – she really didn’t have that much to do today. She’d come in extra early to make up for the time she’d missed Thursday night, so most of the things on her to do-list had already been crossed off.

She was making her way to the reception to see if Nyko was available for a chat when she suddenly heard screaming.

“I hate this! I hate you!”

Clarke could tell from the voice it was coming from a teenage girl. Her theory was confirmed when she saw a girl run out of a room, stomping towards the staircase. In contrary to her angry words, there were tears running over her cheeks and she looked more sad than anything.

The girl disappeared through the door that led to the staircase. A middle-aged woman was coming out of the room now, looking like she wanted to go after the door, but she was tugged away from the door opening by a nurse who seemed to be saying something soothing.

Clarke noticed she hadn’t been the only one watching the scene; people in surrounding rooms seemed to be shaking their heads at the little girl, diverting their attention when they realized the scene was over.

Clarke reached the reception at the same time Hannah did.

“Hey Hannah,” she greeted the nurse.

“Hi Clarke,” Hannah said, smiling warmly. Hannah had been the first person she’d befriended at the hospital, who had showed her the ropes and comforted her when the doctors had been harsh to her. In one of their first conversations, Hannah had proudly mentioned her son Monty, and when she realized Monty was a friend of Clarke’s, she’d taken Clarke under her wing. Clarke, as an intern, often took the time of day to bring Hannah a cup of coffee in exchange for the latest gossip about the doctors.

This time, however, Clarke wasn’t interested in the doctors.

“What happened there?” Clarke asked, referring to the scene she’d just witnessed.

Hannah shook her head regretfully.

“It’s such an awful situation. Charlotte,” she said, referring to the little girl, “has every right to be upset. Her dad is in a coma. He has been, for a while. I’m sure you know the longer they stay in a coma, the smaller the chance they wake up. Not to mention the costs of life support. So her mom has to make a decision soon. About pulling the plug.”

Clarke felt like she was being punched in the stomach. She excused herself quickly as the room started spinning.

Keep your gaze forward, she told herself as she started seeing black spots, keep walking.

She didn’t know how she’d managed it, but the black spots turned into black dots until she had her entire vision back and her legs stopped feeling like they were made of jelly.

She safely made it to the interns’ locker room and thanked God for it being empty – perks of lunch time. She fell down on the bench, telling herself to take deep breaths.

Soon enough, she felt normal again, but she couldn’t help but feel the feeling of dread in her stomach. She always felt deeply for her patients – one of her weaknesses as a doctor – but she couldn’t help but feel worse for Charlotte. Because Charlotte was her. She was Charlotte.

She remembered vividly the way she felt, nine years ago, when she was in the exact same situation as Charlotte. She remembered her dad in a hospital bed, her mom’s sleepless eyes and the way her neck stung from the night she slept in the hard hospital chairs.

Her memory flooded with the taste of the cheap hospital food nurses brought Jake, just in case he’d wake up, that she would end up eating, feeling guilty but knowing they had to do something to save money now that her father was on life support. The pity in the nurses’ eyes, the hands doctors would timidly lay on her shoulder, the respectful nods from other hospital-goers, who’d all heard her story.

She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. What she needed now, was action.

 

A few minutes later, she made her way to the staircase with a stack of mozzarella sticks she’d quickly bought in the cafeteria. After walking up and looking around, she found Charlotte in the abandoned staircase, a level higher than the one that held her dad’s room.

“Hey,” Clarke said softly, sitting a step down from Charlotte, with enough room between them for a person to pass through. Clarke didn’t think anyone would be using the staircase anytime soon though, not when the hospital had a functioning elevator.

Charlotte looked up, quickly rubbing the tears from her eyes.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Clarke. Nice to meet you,” Clarke replied, holding out her hand. Charlotte stared at her hand until Clarke lowered it, realizing Charlotte wasn’t gonna shake it.

“You’re Charlotte, right?” Clarke tried again to make contact.

“Yeah, everyone in the hospital probably knows my name by now.”

“Hm, yeah,” Clarke said, nodding her head, “this hospital is a fucking rumor mill. The doctors all act very professional, but you should know the stories I heard about them.”

“Will you tell me some?” Charlotte asked, eager for a distraction. Clarke paused, trying to look as if she was considering rejecting Charlotte.

“Well, okay,” she said, “But only if you eat something.”

Charlotte rolled her eyes, “Did you come here to try and save me? Hopeless, starving child, right?”

“Shut up, they’re just some mozzarella sticks,” Clarke said, trying to keep it light, “Do you wanna hear about Dr. Kent’s messy divorce or not?”

Clarke spent the next ten minutes telling Charlotte stories about the doctors working at the hospital while Charlotte ate the mozzarella sticks. She probably shouldn’t, knowing she could get kicked out of the hospital in a second if dr. Kent found out what she’d told Charlotte. But then again, everyone knew about Charlotte’s misery, so she figured Clarke deserved to know a bit about her doctor’s misery as well. And at least she wasn’t telling Charlotte anything confidential. Not really confidential, anyway.

“Don’t tell anyone what I told you, okay?” Clarke asked when she was done and Charlotte had finished the sticks, “My mom’s gonna be really disappointed in me if I lose this internship over some gossip with a nine year-old.”

“I’m twelve!” Charlotte said, affronted.

“Sorry kid,” Clarke grinned, “Hard to tell when you’re as old as I am.”

Charlotte rolled her eyes.

They sat in silence, until Charlotte said, voice small, “My mom is probably disappointed in me already. But I don’t care.”

“Yeah?” Clarke asked, careful now.

“Yeah. Because I’m angry at her,” Charlotte said, furrowing her eyebrows and balling her fists.

“Why are you angry with her?” Clarke asked, knowing already why but wanting to give Charlotte a chance to tell the story.

“My dad… My dad is in a coma. He’s not dead. He just – he just needs to sleep until he feels better. But my mom doesn’t want to let him sleep. She wants to kill him.”

Clarke sighed.

“That’s a tough one.”

“Yeah. Can you imagine?”

“I can, actually.”

Charlotte scoffed, “You think?”

“When I was fifteen, my dad got in a car accident. He got taken to the hospital and because he was hurt so bad, they put him in a coma. The thing with comas is that the longer someone stays under, the smaller the chance they’re actually gonna wake up,” she said, explaining it gently to Charlotte, “and my mom is a doctor. So she knew this. And she knew, after a few months, that the chances of him waking up were slim to none. Life support is expensive, too, so – ”

“So your mom killed your dad?” Charlotte asked, eyes wide. Clarke felt like she was being confronted by her fifteen-year-old self.

“I – not exactly. That’s how I thought about it, when I was fifteen. When I was in the same situation as you. She gave the doctors permission to take him off life support. And I got so – ” Clarke gulped, “so angry. Like you. And I – I understand why you’re angry. And I feel like I deserved to be angry, at the time. Because I lost my dad, one of my favorite people in the world.”

Clarke sighed.

“So I deserved to be angry - ” she said, while Charlotte nodded encouragingly, “- but not at my mom.”

Charlotte stopped nodding, now just looking at Clarke confusedly.

“Because my mom lost my dad too,” Clarke continued, wondering why it took her nine years to realize this, “My mom lost the love of her life. She had to let him go. And she didn’t do that because it was fun, because she wanted to. She did that because she needed to. And I think, after nine years, I think my dad would want her to. He’d want us to move on with our lives.”

Charlotte was quiet at that, clearly thinking very hard. Clarke was quiet too, feeling the weight of the things she had just realized.

“So what are you telling me?” Charlotte asked, now lacking any of the attitude she’d given Clarke before.

“I’m not telling you anything. It’s your choice how to handle this situation. Just, if you can – cut your mom some slack. This is difficult on her too. My mom and I, we barely talk anymore. I fucked up, somewhere, when I was in your situation, and now everything’s difficult. You don’t wanna lose both your parents, Charlotte.”

Charlotte stared at her while she thought Clarke wasn’t looking and then said, “You’re not supposed to say ‘fuck’ around children.”

Clarke laughed, Charlotte’s comment hauling her out of the serious state she’d been in since she’d started telling her story, “You’re not supposed to tell them about other people’s divorces either.”

Charlotte smiled.

 

-----

 

Clarke realized she’d spent her entire lunch break talking to Charlotte. However, when she took Charlotte back to her dad’s room and watched her sit down, tentatively, next to her mother, she couldn’t really bring herself to care about her grumbling stomach.

 

-----

 

The rest of the day, she focused on other patients and tried to lose herself in her work. She needed to stop thinking so hard. Since she didn’t have much to do, it was hard not to let her mind wander. To the anniversary of her father’s death, which was coming up soon. To her mom, how much Clarke had blamed her when she signed the documents to take Jake off life support. And to how bad her relationship with her mom was right now.

When all the wires had slowly been removed from her father’s body, Clarke had been overcome with grief. She was only fifteen years old and had lost the person who meant the most to her. And that was a very dangerous combination. So she lashed out.

 

First at everyone, and everything. She had lost a lot of friends around that time. If it wasn’t for Wells, who bravely took every insult she threw at him until she got tired and started crying, she wouldn’t have had anyone left. Wells took every ounce of the blame when she’d gotten herself into trouble again. Wells let himself hurt, just so she could hurt a little less. She felt sad now, thinking about how little she spoke to him these days after all he’d done for her. They’d been roommates for years, but when he moved away for his dream job and got married, they’d lost most contact that they used to have.

She had eventually stopped lashing out at her friends. But she never forgave her mom. Part of her knew that her mom didn’t deserve to be blamed so heavily. Wells used to remind her of that all the time – it was clear that he’d rather have her be mad at him, than be mad at her mother. But in the end, Clarke knew the truth. And the truth was that her mother was the one who’d decided to let her father go, while Clarke hadn’t been ready to let him go.

Hell, she still wasn’t ready to let him go. The night she realized she couldn’t remember what his voice sounded like was one of the worst nights of her life. But part of her hoped – knew, even – that she would meet him again. Some nights, she dreamt of meeting him again on a shore. And she knew that he would be proud of her. Not even necessarily because she had accomplished such great things in life, but because he was always proud of her.

So maybe some part of her had come to terms with his passing. But she had never fully come to terms with what her mom did. She had, instead, shut her out. She didn’t stand next to her mom at the funeral, even though both of them were crying and needed someone to lean on. Instead, she  cried on Wells’ shoulder, and her mom leaned on Wells’ dad, Thelonius.

At some point, she had stopped shutting her mom out completely – but she had never fully stopped. She started talking to her mom again, but only about small matters. Only chitchat and small talk. She barely took her partners to meet her mom. She was quite grateful her mom didn’t live in the same state and she barely visited. She barely let Abby stop by. And when her mom did visit, it was often uncomfortable. They barely talked about Jake, Abby’s guilt and Clarke’s feelings of betrayal hanging silently between them.

So, yeah, the situation between her and her mom was uncomfortable, to say the least. She knew she had made a mistake when she’d first started shutting her mom out. She could probably fix it, still. Her mom was more forgiving than Clarke gave her credit for.

But what was most important was that she stopped Charlotte from making the same mistake.

 

-----

 

When Clarke checked up on Charlotte later and found her asleep, head fallen on her mother’s shoulder, she felt a sense of pride roar up in her chest.

 

-----

 

A few hours later she finished her shift, said her goodbyes to the staff that wasn’t done yet, and made her way to the locker room.

She opened her locker and checked her phone to see a bunch of messages.

 

Raven (4:03 pm): Old gang’s going to the cinema tonight

Raven (4:03 pm): Be there at 8

Raven (4:04 pm): Bring Lexa

Raven (4:05 pm): And ask Nyko and Anya as well

Raven (4:05 pm): And tell him to invite his cute friend Luna! Very important!

Raven (4:05 pm): If he mentions Raven, I’m sure she’ll come

Raven (4:06 pm): I mean, she did come for me last week

Raven (4:06 pm): Badum-chow

Raven (4:07 pm): Raven out

 

Clarke rolled her eyes at Raven’s antics and cursed her knack for double texting.

 

Clarke (5:41 pm): What about my just-paid-rent-haven’t-been-able-to-afford-new-clothes-in-five-months-look makes you think I have money to see a movie? That shit is expensive these days.

 

She put her phone down to change and when she checked it again ten minutes later, she had a new message from Raven. She wondered where Raven found the time to be on her phone 24/7 while also finding enough money to afford a college education, a spacious apartment and take-out nearly every night.

 

Raven (5:46 pm): Support your local artists, Clarke! You of all people should know how important that is

Clarke (5:51 pm): What movie are we seeing?

Raven (5:51 pm): … Captain Marvel?

Clarke (5:52 pm): Since when is Marvel a local artist?

Raven (5:52 pm): Ugh, fine. I’ll pay your ticket

Raven (5:53 pm): You’re on popcorn duty, though

 

-----

 

Clarke (5:54 pm): Hey, you feel like going to the movies tonight?

Lexa (6:02 pm): What are we seeing?

Clarke (6:05 pm): Something feminist.

 

-----

 

“When you said ‘something feminist’, I did not picture a superhero movie, Clarke,” Lexa grumbled in her seat. Clarke handed her a box of popcorn.

“Pretty lady kicking ass seems pretty feminist to me. Is it not your genre?” Clarke asked, batting her eyelashes innocently.

“Not exactly,” Lexa said, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Well, you can always go back home to your documentaries and Shonda Rhimes shows if you get bored,” Clarke teased.

“I hate you. And when you said ‘going to the movies’, I thought you were just talking about the two of us.”

“What, you don’t like my friends?”

“It’s not that I don’t like them,” Lexa said, looking around quickly to see if Clarke’s friends had heard anything, “It’s just that they can be a bit overwhelming.”

Clarke nodded, “Fair enough.”

She looked around at her friends. They filled up the entire last row of the auditorium. While Anya and Nyko were just talking to each other, Lincoln and Octavia’s seats were empty because they were still making out in the bathroom. Monty, Raven and Miller were excitedly talking about the new Marvel and DC movies coming up, Raven shouting something about none of them could top Wonder Woman. Luna was watching Raven with a smile on her face, sometimes commenting on the topic, while Jasper and Bellamy were throwing popcorn at their friends, yelling ‘head shot!’ every time they hit a head successfully. 

“I always forget that my friends can seem kinda noisy to introverts.”

“That, and they used to be my co-workers. Who hated me.”

“Hey, no one hated you!” Clarke said, affronted at the thought. Lexa raised an eyebrow at her.

“I mean – okay, you didn’t get along great with most of them, but they like you now.”

“Whatever you say, Clarke.”

Clarke covered Lexa’s hand with her own, squeezing softly, “Don’t worry about it, Lex. If you feel uncomfortable we can go back to your place. But a friend of mine is a friend of theirs. And you won’t notice them while you’re watching the movie, anyway.”

Lexa smirked, “I wasn’t really planning on watching the movie.”

“Good,” Clarke said, with a matching smirk, “Then you won’t mind that it’s a Marvel movie, either.”

 

Lexa wasn’t kidding when she said she wasn’t planning on watching the movie. She watched patiently, until her popcorn was finished. Clarke noticed, as soon as her box was empty, she started to get restless. She didn’t move a muscle, but when Clarke glanced at her, she saw Lexa’s eyes shooting around, away from the screen.

Clarke looked away, blaming Lexa’s hate for sci-fi.

It was a few minutes later when she felt a hand on her knee. She rolled her eyes, just knowing Lexa was smirking next to her. How had her sex drive grown so much in five years?

Not that Clarke really minded.

As Lexa’s hand slid further up Clarke’s leg, Clarke thanked whatever powers were up there that the room was dark. She was also suddenly very grateful that Lexa had decided to sacrifice them and sat down at the very end of the row. Lincoln and Octavia, who were supposed to be seated next to Clarke, were still in the bathroom making out, so Clarke felt like she had at least some privacy while Lexa’s hand was almost in her pants. Nyko, who was two seats away from them, was about as much interested in sci-fi as Lexa was, but, unfortunately for him, his girlfriend was very engrossed in the movie, so instead of making out with her, Nyko had fallen asleep.

Clarke bit her lip as Lexa started toying with the buttons of her jeans. She tilted her head to kiss Lexa softly, burying her next gasp in Lexa’s throat as Lexa dug her fingernails into Clarke’s hipbones. When Lexa pulled away and started slipping her hand into Clarke’s jeans, touching her over her underwear, Clarke couldn’t suppress a moan. She bit Lexa’s shoulder in a poor attempt to keep the sound from escaping.

Lexa smirked, again, and tilted her head up to look at Clarke. Lexa’s eyes were wide, her pupils dilated and a soft smile on her face as she leaned in again to kiss Clarke, softly this time.

“Clarke Griffin, I have been waiting for a female-lead Marvel movie since I was born,” Raven’s loud voice bellowed through the movie theatre, “so either you shut the fuck up and let me enjoy Carol Danvers, or you go make out with your girlfriend elsewhere!”

Clarke felt the blood rush to her cheeks as Lexa yanked her hand away from Clarke as if she’d been burned.

“I fucking hate my friends,” she mumbled, as she took Lexa’s hand and pulled her up, too embarrassed to stay in the theatre any longer.

 

-----

 

“Hormonal idiots,” Anya mumbled as they passed her.

And if Clarke lifted her middle finger at Raven when they passed her – well, she had it coming.

 

-----

Chapter Text

Clarke shot up in bed at the blaring of the alarm clock. She usually didn't set an alarm when she was with Lexa, since Lexa usually naturally woke up at six thirty, so now that she was so suddenly being pulled from her sleep by such a loud sound, she was startled.

There was immediately a warm hand on her arm and as she looked to her side, she saw that Lexa was slowly waking up too.

"Easy, it's just my alarm," Lexa said, rubbing at her eyes with her free hand.

Clarke sighed, allowing her heart to slow down.

"Go back to sleep, I'll wake you up when I'm done showering," Lexa mumbled, softly pushing Clarke back down. Clarke usually showered at nights, while Lexa showered in the morning, which gave Clarke some extra time to sleep in.

Clarke nodded, but waited until Lexa had slipped into the shower to close her eyes again. Soon enough, the sleep tugged at her and she felt herself falling back into her dream.

 

She didn't know how much later it was when she woke up again, but she did know she was being woken by the most angelic sight she had seen in a while.

Lexa was sitting next to her, hair still wet from the shower, in just her underwear, shaking Clarke's arm softly. She had opened the curtains a bit - undoubtedly to help Clarke wake up - and the light fell on her hair just right, making it seem like the sun was shining down specifically on her.

"Clarke, wake up," she whispered, "It's been fifteen minutes since my alarm went off."

Clarke sat up, grumbling. Lexa smiled as she leant back and started toweldrying her hair.

"Why did you set an alarm, anyway?" Clarke asked, after she'd taken her phone from her nightstand and checked it for messages – it was a morning ritual that helped her wake up. Well, and a cup of coffee, of course.

She started pulling on her underwear as Lexa, too, got dressed.

"I have to go to court today. I never oversleep, but with how late we were up last night, I couldn't risk it."

Clarke smirked at the memory of last night, and Lexa rolled her eyes, but she was wearing a smile of her own.

"Is it something to do with that big case you were telling me about?" Clarke asked, after she'd finished pulling on a t-shirt. Lexa had told her, a few weeks ago, that they were working on a huge case. Something with pollution and dumping of trash. The actual trial had been a while ago, but Lexa was still stressing about it, and she would be until they got the judge’s decision. They had been up against a major company, which had all the resources to win the case. Lexa's boss, however, was a tough one and he didn't like giving up. So, from what Lexa had told Clarke, Clarke figured the odds were about fifty/fifty.

"Yeah. Dante had me as a second on this case, so hearing the judge’s decision is a big deal for me. And the office, of course."

Clarke squinted her eyes as she tried to remember who Dante was.

Lexa smiled at Clarke's scrunched up face and helped her out, "Dante's my boss. You know, Dante Wallace, the tough guy."

"Ah, right!" Clarke said, as if she had any notion of who Dante Wallace was besides Lexa's stories.

Lexa smiled as if she knew what was going on in Clarke's brain.

Clarke, still in just underwear and a t-shirt, slid over the bed to Lexa's side.

"C'mere," she murmured, after Lexa had tugged on her fancy trousers.

Lexa complied, though not before throwing on her dress shirt and matching jacket.

She stood in front of the bed as Clarke sat up on her knees, taking a light hold of Lexa's dress shirt. She slowly started buttoning up the shirt with careful fingers, fixing the collar so it didn't stand up.

"Tie?" she asked, softly.

Lexa shook her head, "The boss says it's inappropriate for women to wear ties in the court room. Even when we’re just hearing the result."

Clarke rolled her eyes and tugged Lexa's shirt into her pants, before she closed the button on the jacket.

"All done," she mumbled.

Lexa nodded, but didn't step back. Instead, she leaned in, kissing Clarke softly, languidly, carefully pulling Clarke’s hips into her.

When she stepped away, there was a rosy color on her cheeks.

"It’s gonna be fine," Clarke said, tugging at the lapels of the jacket.

"I hope so," Lexa answered, stress apparent in her tone.

Clarke smiled.

"I know so."

 

-----

 

Clarke kissed her again when Lexa dropped her off at the hospital, pulling her closer by the lapels of her jacket and whispering, "You've got this" against her mouth.

 

-----

 

After she’d dropped by Charlotte and brought her some mozzarella sticks, Clarke made her way to the cafeteria. Charlotte had smiled at her and devoured the sticks in the few minutes that Clarke had been there. In the meantime, Charlotte’s mother had looked at Clarke intensely before shaking her hand very firmly and thanking her more times than Clarke could count on one hand. So, yeah – Clarke figured Charlotte had told her about the talk the two’d had.

As she walked into the cafeteria, she immediately spotted Nyko sitting at a table by himself.

“Hey,” she said, taking a seat opposite him after she’d bought herself a meal. He looked up from his phone and smiled when he saw who it was.

“Hi! How’s your day going?”

Clarke shrugged, “About as good as it gets for a medical student who does all the dirty chores on a tiny salary.”

Nyko laughed, “Can’t say I don’t know what you’re talking about. Someone peed on me this morning.”

Clarke winced, “Hope you’ve showered since then?”

Nyko nodded, “Only perk of being peed on: time to yourself in the shower. No doctor’s gonna bother you about the unnecessarily long period you spent in the shower after they’ve witnessed you being urinated on.”

Clarke laughed, sticking a fry in her mouth.

Nyko started talking about a movie he’d seen with Anya recently, something about kids being sent to a dystopian earth. Clarke only listened with one ear, thinking it sounded quite boring. However, she was good enough at feigning interest that she waited until Nyko was finished to bring up her next topic.

“Hey, have you thought about your bachelor party?”

Nyko laughed, “I don’t know if I want one.”

“C’mon, you need to have one! It’s your last night as a free man, you know,” Clarke teased. Nyko rolled his eyes.

“I’m still a free man when I’m married, Clarke. I’m actually really excited to get married, you know – I’m not gonna act like it’s some sort of trap that I’m being lured into.”

Clarke laughed, “I know. But it’s still fun to gather some friends and have a good party, right?”

Nyko shrugged, “I don’t have that many friends.”

Clarke felt her heart sink a bit for the man in front of her.

“You have me. And Lincoln. And what’s her name – the one Raven likes? Luna!”

A smile started smiling on Nyko’s face as he nodded carefully.

“I could also invite my friend from the gym – Artigas.”

“Great!” Clarke exclaimed, “Give me his number and I’ll send him an invite!”

Nyko nodded again.

“You know, it doesn’t have to be a big thing if you don’t want – we can just chill, watch a movie with pizza and beer if you prefer that.”

“Sounds good,” Nyko smiled, “And no strippers.”

“I wouldn’t dare,” Clarke said, grinning.

 

-----

 

Clarke made a mental note to herself to make this bachelor party the kind of party Nyko would love. He deserved that.

 

------

 

Since it was a quiet day at the hospital, she arrived home at five. Only when she got home did she realize she hadn’t checked her phone at all since she ended her shift, so she quickly turned it back on.

She hadn’t missed much; a few text messages from Raven in their group chat, but that was nothing special. Raven liked to spam her with videos of new scientific experiments she’d found on the internet, to which Octavia always replied with some variant of “Raven get back to your job” or “Shut up, some of us are actually trying to work here” and a promise to watch when she got home.

She’d just turned on her Spotify and was scrolling through her chats when her music was rudely interrupted by an incoming call.

Ugh, Clarke thought, who even calls anymore nowadays?

However, when she saw the name flashing on the screen she picked up in a heartbeat.

“Lex? Is everything okay?”

“Hey,” came Lexa’s voice from the other side of the line, “Yes, yes, everything’s okay. I just – I called to say – um – we won. We won our case.”

Clarke mentally slapped herself in the face for totally forgetting all about Lexa’s case.

“You won your case?” she repeated, trying her best to sound as happy as possible.

Lexa laughed, almost as if she didn’t believe her own words.

“Yes. I did! We did.”

“Lex, that’s incredible!” Clarke exclaimed, hearing Lexa giggling – honest to God giggling – on the other side. She sounded much lighter than she had the past few months.

“It is, yes. I can’t believe it,” Lexa said, sounding overwhelmed, but happy.

“Well, we should celebrate!”

“I mean, it’s not that big of a deal,” Lexa said, modestly.

“Lex,” Clarke said sternly, “You’ve been working this case for weeks. It was a big deal for you, being taken in as a second. And you obviously nailed it – like I said you would. So you deserve to celebrate, okay? You deserve to be proud of yourself.”

“I guess,” Lexa said, and Clarke could hear the smile in her voice.

“Look, it doesn’t have to be any big party,” Clarke said, knowing Lexa wasn’t overly fond of crowds, “Nobody even has time for a big party. It’s Tuesday night.”

Lexa laughed, “What do you propose, then?”

“Well, we could invite some people to my place. I’ll order us all take-out. You bring the champagne.”

“Clarke Griffin, is this just an excuse for you to drink champagne?”

Clarke could practically hear Lexa’s smirk on the other side of the line. She rolled her eyes.

“I’m afraid I’m still on my no-alcohol-diet. The champagne is for you.”

“So I’m buying myself champagne?”

“Yeah. You deserve it.”

Lexa laughed again, “I will be there in twenty minutes to help you prepare.”

“Great, I’ll call our friends to let them know!”

“Great,” Lexa repeated, and then, “Clarke?”

“Hmm?” Clarke said, already running through her head when she’d order the food, what she’d order and who would be coming at such late notice.

“Thank you,” Lexa said in a soft voice. It caught Clarke off-guard, the softness of the moment, and she took a minute to catch her breath.

“No biggie.”

 

Lexa, true to her word, knocked on her door twenty minutes later, holding a big bottle of champagne.

“Hey,” she said, kissing Clarke on the cheek as she tried to walk past Clarke, into the apartment. Clarke, however, grabbed her arm and spun her around. While also minding the bottle of champagne in Lexa’s hand, she cupped Lexa’s face and pressed her lips to Lexa’s softly. Lexa’s hands moved to her hips, pulling Clarke just a bit closer as the champagne bottle pressed awkwardly against Clarke’s right hip.

“Congratulations,” Clarke mumbled against Lexa’s lips when she’d pulled away enough.

“Thank you,” Lexa murmured, and then, “What time are our friends gonna be here?”

“Knowing Raven, she’ll be here in half an hour. The rest might take longer.”

“Hmm,” Lexa mumbled, seeming to be considering something, before she pushed her lips back against Clarke’s. The kiss was rushed as Lexa pressed Clarke’s body up against the door, shutting it effectively.

Clarke, trying to gain some semblance of control, slid her hands under Lexa’s shirt. Lexa bit down on Clarke’s lips as soon as her hands made contact with Lexa’s bare hips. Clarke smiled, moving her hands behind Lexa’s back to pull Lexa closer into her. This, Clarke should’ve suspected, lead Lexa to push her hips between Clarke’s legs. However, she hadn’t suspected it, and as she let out a loud gasp, Lexa started kissing the skin of her neck that was exposed when she tilted her head back.

“Lex,” she mumbled, but whatever she was planning on saying was interrupted as Lexa bit down softly on her pulse point, making Clarke moan loudly.

“Lex,” Clarke mumbled again, but this time she was distracted as her hands roamed over Lexa’s ribcage. Lexa’s skin was warm against Clarke’s cold hands, and so very soft. Clarke could’ve occupied herself all day just tracing patterns over Lexa’s stomach.

Lexa made her way back up to Clarke’s mouth and sighed into it heavily as Clarke cupped her breasts, running her fingers over the nipples.

When she pulled back, she looked at Clarke with lidded eyes and a stare that was darker than normal. Clarke knew this meant that it was getting serious.

She pulled her hands out from beneath Lexa’s shirt and laughed when the corners of Lexa’s lips turned downwards just slightly. Still, she pushed Lexa away softly and Lexa knew she was serious, so she took a step backwards.

“Babe,” Clarke laughed, “You’re still holding a bottle of champagne.”

Lexa ducked her head at the nickname, and Clarke would swear she saw a hint of a blush appearing on her cheeks, but before she could really look, Lexa had turned around and made her way to Clarke’s kitchen.

 

-----

 

And, maybe, two or three months ago, she’d have felt bad about letting that nickname slip. But right now, she couldn’t find it in herself to care.

 

-----

 

Clarke had managed to gather as many of their collective friends together as possible: Anya, Nyko, Lincoln, Octavia and Raven all arrived at her apartment to have dinner. Nyko had even brought along a bouquet of flowers for Lexa. She blushed as she received them and Clarke felt her heart squeeze just slightly when Lexa smelled the flowers.

“Do you have a vase somewhere here?” Lexa asked Clarke, who was leaning against the kitchen counter, watching their friends interact in the living room.

“Cupboard right below the sink,” Clarke said, watching as Lexa stumbled about Clarke’s kitchen as if it was her own. She pulled the vase out of the cupboard and started filling it with water.

“Did you order the food?”

“I did, they’re delivering it in a few minutes.”

“How much was it?”

“I’ll see when the delivery person arrives. Don’t worry about it,” Clarke waved Lexa’s question away.

“Clarke,” Lexa said, looking at Clarke sharply after she’d put her flowers in the vase, “We’re having this dinner because of me. It’s only right I pay for it.”

“Well, I basically forced you to have this dinner, so. I’ve got it.”

Lexa sighed, drying her hands on a towel before crossing her arms.

“What?” Clarke asked, observing, “Are you seriously this upset about me paying for take-out? It’s just for seven people – that’s like, 35 dollars, tops.”

Lexa rolled her eyes, “We both know how much Raven eats. That’s more than 35 dollars tops.”

“Lexa – it’s fine, really,” Clarke said, smiling casually. She diverted her eyes from Lexa and focused on their friends again, so it would be easier not to acknowledge Lexa’s protest.

“Clarke,” Lexa called out, waiting until Clarke looked back at her.

Clarke rolled her eyes, but finally did look Lexa in the eye again, mustering a short, “What?”

“You’ve already done too much, okay? Just... just let me pay. Please.”

Clarke did a quick once-over of Lexa’s face and knew, at once, that this wasn’t about being polite. This wasn’t Lexa being well-mannered. This wasn’t Lexa trying to be courteous and pay the bill.

This was Lexa who wasn’t used to gestures like these. From her sister, maybe. But not from anyone else. This was Lexa, who was independent and didn’t like relying on anyone else.

So she shrugged and said, “Fine.”

Maybe it annoyed her that Lexa didn’t allow her to treat Lexa. But it was just take-out and Clarke was happy enough that Lexa was here.  

 

Raven grinned as she looked at all the food currently in front of her. Clarke could just tell that she was itching to open all the containers, but didn’t know where to start.

“Griffin, did you order extra for me?” Raven asked, looking up at Clarke.

“You know I always do,” Clarke said with a fond smile. Her best friend may be a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes, but God, she could be so adorable. And she was, right now, looking at all the food like a child on Christmas day.

“I don’t think I’ve ever loved you as much as I do now,” Raven joked, blowing Clarke a kiss.

Clarke laughed, “Well, Lexa paid for it, so she’s the one to send your thanks to.”

“Lexa, I lo-”

“I know, Raven,” Lexa said, smiling as fondly as Clarke was.

“Good. Because I’m fucking hungry and I don’t wanna waste another second not eating,” Raven said, finally throwing open some containers and digging in immediately.

“Raven, you’re gonna get your stomach hurt,” Octavia warned.

“I don’t care,” Raven said through a mouth full of food.

Octavia rolled her eyes.

“Clarke is the exact same,” Lexa laughed, “Always eating way too fast. And then complaining how much her stomach hurts after.”

Clarke would feel offended, if it wasn’t for the fact that she was, indeed, eating too fast already. Instead, she just pouted at Lexa, who laughed.

Both of them knew that, at the end of the night, Lexa would still be making Clarke a hot water bottle to soothe her stomach ache.

“So, how’s the wedding coming along?” Octavia asked, aiming her question at Anya.

“We’re almost done planning the entire thing. We’ve just got some small things left, like sorting out the seating chart,” Anya said, waving around her fork while she talked.

“Sounds good. You guys planned that pretty fast,” Octavia said, aiming the compliment at both Anya and Nyko this time. Nyko let out a booming laugh.

“It really wasn’t us as much as those two,” he said with a nod towards Clarke and Lexa.

“Honestly, most of it was Lexa’s effort,” Clarke added modestly.

Lexa rolled her eyes, “Shut up. We all pulled our weight.”

Raven fake gasped, which wasn’t a pretty sight since her mouth was still entirely filled with half-chewed dumplings.

“Lexa, did I just hear you swear?”

“Raven, close your mouth,” Octavia said. Lincoln chuckled next to her at the way Octavia was acting like a mom over Raven.

“Saying ‘shut up’ is not technically swearing!” Clarke defended from the other end of the table. This sight, too, was very unattractive since Clarke, too, had spoken without swallowing first.

“Clarke, close your mouth,” Octavia said, rolling her eyes. Lincoln started laughing harder this time.

“Shut up, Octavia,” Raven and Clarke said at the same time, both with food in their opened mouths, again. When they noticed what happened, they made eye contact and both gave each other a shit-eating grin.

Octavia just rolled her eyes, again.

 

By the end of the night, Clarke’s stomach was hurting, Anya was teasing Raven for the fact that her stomach was hurting as well, and Octavia was giving them both “I told you so” looks when she wasn’t busy talking to Nyko and Lincoln about some popular show about nature.

Clarke loved how all her friends had blended together into a huge group, how all of them could have easy conversations without Clarke monitoring, without her hovering around the room to check if everything was going okay. She wasn’t exactly surprised; while Anya could be a bit hard to read and Lincoln was more of a silent force than an extravert, Octavia and Raven got along with most people quite easily and Nyko was too sweet for anyone not to want to be friends with.

And Lexa… Well, Lexa had to warm up to people, but once she was warmed up to them, she was so damn loyal. Clarke was sure that Lexa would follow her sister through hell. Theirs was a bond Clarke had never been lucky enough to share with anyone. And while she was jealous, she admired that bond more than anything.

“Would you like me to get you a heating pad?” Lexa asked, leaning towards Clarke and eyeing Clarke’s stomach.

“It’s not that bad,” Clarke refused, stubbornly.

Lexa chuckled and, before Clarke knew what was happening, Lexa had grabbed the legs of Clarke’s chair and pulled the chair to stand synonymous with hers.

“Does this help?” Lexa asked softly, as she slowly started rubbing her hands over Clarke’s stomach. The gesture came from such a place of genuine care and kindness, that Clarke couldn’t help but lean in and press her lips to Lexa’s swiftly, softly.

Lexa was very obviously surprised, but she kissed back and used one of her hands to cup Clarke’s cheek. She kissed Clarke softer than she had in a while, her other hand still rubbing Clarke’s stomach carefully.

It was one of the first times since they’d started this thing that they’d really kissed in the clear and open in front of their friends.

When Clarke opened her eyes, she was aware of Octavia looking at them from across the table, but still, she only pulled back enough to rest her head on Lexa’s shoulder.

 

-----

 

And the minute she felt herself dozing off, she knew her friends would never let her forget the night she fell asleep at eight pm on Lexa’s shoulder.

She let herself fall, anyway.

 

-----

Chapter Text

The first time Clarke Griffin picked up a pencil in four years was on a messy morning.

It was messy because her entire morning routine seemed to be out of order: she woke up way before she was supposed to, which was unusual; Lexa was still asleep while Clarke was awake, which almost never happened; and Clarke didn’t have the urge to immediately get a cup of coffee, which was definitely unusual, especially for such an early morning.

So yeah, it was a weird morning, and Clarke couldn’t go back to sleep. She always got a little anxious when she couldn’t sleep while the person next to her was asleep, but this time, when she looked at Lexa and the way Lexa’s chest shifted up and down in her sleep, she felt the anxiety disappear.

Instead, she felt completely calm. And more than that, she felt like she needed to capture this moment. And by moment, naturally, she meant Lexa.  

So she got up, made her way to the living room on her tiptoes, and started rumbling around in her closet at the corner of the room. It was the closet where she kept most of the stuff that she didn’t need in her day-to-day life, basically where she stashed all the shit she didn’t really use but didn’t wanna throw away either. Somewhere, in a corner, she knew she still had her art supplies.

Looking at all the different colors of paint always made her marvel, but this time, she just grabbed a sketchbook and a pencil that she had lying around in the living room. She didn’t wanna make it too complicated. She didn’t want to strive for perfection in the first thing she’d drawn in years.

When she made her way back to her room, sketchpad and pencil in hand, and softly slid back into her bed, Lexa turned around to face her. She had her eyes open, but just slightly, and was wearing a confused look that told Clarke she definitely wasn’t fully awake.

“What time is it?” she mumbled.

“Sh,” Clarke said, “Go back to sleep. It’s early.”

Lexa yawned, giving Clarke a quick once-over.

“What about you?”

Clarke smiled fondly, adoring this half-awake version of Lexa and fond of the way Lexa had picked up on the fact she usually hated being the only one awake.

“I’m fine. Go back to sleep,” Clarke repeated, pressing a soft kiss to Lexa’s forehead. Lexa stirred, before shifting to lie on her back and closing her eyes again.

Clarke did her the favor of looking out the window while Lexa returned to sleep, knowing Lexa hated the feeling of being watched when she was falling asleep. When she noticed that Lexa had fallen back in slumber, she put her pencil to the paper.

The last time she did this, four years ago, she had tried to sketch a landscape from memory and instead found herself sketching Lexa’s face. She had cursed herself for still not being over this girl. She had cursed herself because she could forget about her for days on end, but every time she tried to draw something, Lexa would show. She had cursed herself because every time Lexa showed up on her paper, she’d feel a pang of sadness and she wanted to be over that. She wanted to be over her.

And then, one day, she had decided it all wasn’t worth it, and she’d put down the sketch pad, only for it to be picked up again four years later.

And four years later, again, she would find herself sketching green eyes and full lips, brown hair and defined shoulders.

 

------

 

Only this time, she’d smile at the sketch.

 

------

 

So yeah, the day started pretty unusually. But breakfast was normal enough to slip back into the comfort of her day-to-day-life.

When she was done with her sketch, she went to the kitchen to bake herself a scrambled egg with bacon and make Lexa a fruit salad. While she was finishing up cooking the bacon, she heard Lexa jumping in the shower. Lexa was usually pretty quick at showering, so Clarke waited for her to finish before she dug into her own meal.

She heard the shower turn off and made her way to the bathroom, opening the door just enough to be able to talk to Lexa. Knowing that Lexa would usually get dressed and put on her make-up after coming out of the shower, she said, “Don’t get dressed yet. My bacon’s getting cold!”

She made her way back into the living room and not five minutes later, Lexa emerged from the shower. She was, indeed, dressed in just her boxers, her dress-shirt and her socks, and Clarke had to look away, because Lexa looked too cute in this outfit, with water dripping from her hair and glasses sliding just slightly off her nose, and she didn’t have the time to think about that.

“You could’ve just started without me, you know. Fruit salad doesn’t go cold.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “Remind me not to make you breakfast again until you appreciate my company in the morning.”

Lexa laughed, “Now you’re just overreacting.”

“Don’t mock my feelings,” Clarke said, her head held high but a smile threatening to break out on her face.

“I’m not. You know your company is the only sort I can stand before I’ve had my coffee.”

Clarke ignored the little jump her heart did at that confession and laughed it off, “You really are addicted, aren’t you?”

She only understood the double meaning of it after she said it, but before she could rush to correct herself, Lexa spoke up, calm as ever.

“I’m trying not to be.”

Lexa looked her dead in the eye, making it clear that she, too, understood the hidden meaning.

Clarke, trying to stay calm once again, got up to get Lexa’s cup of coffee.

“There you go.”

“Thanks. Busy day today?”

Clarke shrugged, “It was fairly quiet yesterday, so. Who knows, really. You?”

“I think it will be relatively quiet today, after the big happening yesterday. I will most likely only be doing paperwork today.”

“Well, if it gets too boring, feel free to bang your head against the desk and come visit Dr. Griffin,” Clarke joked, sending Lexa a wink.

“Are you suggesting I injure myself to come have sex with you at your workplace?” Lexa asked, raising a single brow.

“Well, when you say it like that – ”

“And isn’t Dr. Griffin your mom?”

“Why do you always have to rui– you know what? You can wash the dishes,” Clarke said, getting up to stomp to her bedroom.

 

-----

 

Lexa ran after her, laughing. And she wouldn’t admit this, but, when Lexa grabbed her from behind and threw them both on the bed, she did smile a little.

 

------

 

Clarke was late to work that day and she rushed into the hospital, to the reception, to find Dr. Jackson. She was already trying to find a good excuse – she obviously couldn’t just tell him “my fuckbuddy looked way too cute this morning, I couldn’t resist” – when she arrived at the reception.

“Morning, Hannah, have you seen Dr. Jackson around yet?”

Hannah looked up from some paperwork and her face, for some reason, looked fallen. Clarke was about to ask if everything was okay when –

“Clarke!”

Clarke followed the voice calling out for her, turning around. When she saw where it came from, she stopped dead in her tracks.

Charlotte was standing a few feet away from her, tears running down her face. Her eyes were puffy and her lower lip was trembling, her face pale. It didn’t take long for a few sobs to escape her mouth.

And Clarke knew.

 

She stayed with Charlotte all day. Her dad was scheduled to be let go at the end of the day, so Clarke was there, holding Charlotte’s hand as she told Clarke everything about her mom signing off on the papers. She stood behind Charlotte, not touching her, but still a supporting presence, as Charlotte said goodbye to her father. Then she took Charlotte for a walk in the hospital gardens as Charlotte’s mom said her last words to her husband. And, finally, she watched as doctors turned off the machines around the bed of Charlotte’s dad and removed the wires from his face. She rubbed circles on Charlotte’s back, even when Charlotte stopped crying and started holding her head high.

And then, with her father gone, there was no place for Charlotte at the hospital. She had no business being there. Her mother, obviously not feeling comfortable in her late husband’s room anymore, told Charlotte to say her goodbyes.

Clarke bent forwards to give Charlotte a tight hug. When Charlotte pulled away, Clarke kept her at an arm’s distance.

“Remember what I said, okay? Don’t push your mom away. This is gonna be a rough time and you’re gonna need all the support you can get. And you can always ask for me, here.”

Charlotte nodded and hugged Clarke one more time.

Her mother took Clarke’s hand, squeezed it firmly, and nodded her thanks. She hadn’t been very talkative, which Clarke couldn’t really blame her for.

The two collected the things they’d left scattered around the room and then, not more than five minutes later, they were gone.

And it all came crashing down for Clarke.

 

Before she could do something stupid, like have a full-fledged breakdown at work, doctor Jackson approached her.

“You did well, today, Clarke,” he said, fixing her with a serious look. Feeling completely numb, Clarke just nodded.

“You may not think of it as much,” dr. Jackson continued, mistaking Clarke’s apathy for modesty, “But you made a real difference for that little girl. Why don’t you go home early?”

Clarke was scheduled to stay for two more hours and she’d already left early a lot lately, so she was a little confused as to why dr. Jackson was being so nice, until she realized he had worked in the same hospital as her mother and was bound to have heard some rumors about Abby and the tragedy that took place with her husband. Dr. Jackson was a smart man, and he must’ve connected the dots pretty easily.

“Thank you,” she mumbled.

“Do you need me to call someone to take you home?”

That irritated Clarke – she didn’t like to be treated as a child. She wasn’t about to snap at her superior, however, so she just shook her head and silently made her way to the locker room.

 

Clarke walked home, hoping the fresh air would make her feel a little better. She should’ve known it wouldn’t – instead, when she got home, she just felt exhausted. It didn’t take long for her to fall onto the couch.

She tried to close her eyes and take a nap, but she couldn’t help all the memories flooding back. She couldn’t help seeing her dad, wires hanging from his face and arms. She had never seen him so vulnerable before – yes, she’d seen him cry, but even when he cried, he’d been in control. He’d always taught Clarke it was okay to cry and good to acknowledge her emotions, so Clarke wasn’t scared when she first saw her dad cry. But when her mother had driven her to the hospital in tears and they’d waited anxiously for hours and then finally got to see him – that’s when she’d been scared. Because her dad was under the control of some machine.

And yes – she hated that machine. She hated that her father needed that machine to simply keep breathing, whereas he used to be so strong and healthy. When they used to play soccer together in the park he could go for hours and even after, he could carry her all the way home on his back. 

But she hated it even more when they turned that machine off. When she had to say goodbye to her father and accept that she would never play soccer with him again.

She was lost in thoughts for what felt like hours and was finally pulled out of them when she heard noise at the front door. She heard a key slid in the lock and the signature creak of the door as it opened.

She wasn’t the least bit curious about who was coming to see her. Only a handful of people had a key to her house, but she didn’t even run those people through her mind to ask herself whether she was meeting someone tonight. Instead, she just stayed on the couch, too tired to care about having a guest over.

“Clarke?” came a voice from the hallway. She instantly recognized it as Lexa’s; however, she couldn’t get herself to care enough to shout back. She felt as if something in her had shut down, as if she wasn’t strong enough to raise her voice.

Soon enough, Lexa’s head popped through the doorway. When she saw Clarke, she instantly relaxed a little.

“Hey,” she said, walking over to the couch where Clarke was sitting, taking off her coat on the way.

Clarke didn’t reply, not making any eye contact with Lexa as she sat down a tentative distance away from Clarke. Lexa gently folded her jacket over the arm of the couch, letting her eyes rest on Clarke.

“Why didn’t you call out?” Lexa asked, eyebrows knitting together in a frown as she took in Clarke’s face. Clarke figured Lexa must’ve recognized the empty look in her eyes by now, the way she just stared ahead of her at the wall and hunched her shoulders.

“Clarke? What’s going on?”

That finally got Clarke to look at Lexa and, taking in Lexa’s worried appearance, she finally sighed.

“Why are you here, Lexa?”

Clarke could see the flash of hurt in Lexa’s eyes, but then she also saw Lexa’s jaw clench and saw a sense of deliberation appear in her eyes.

“You didn’t text me back. I just thought I’d check in.”

Clarke looked at her phone, which she’d left on the kitchen table when she got home. She’d heard it buzzing, but she simply just hadn’t cared. She shrugged.

“Talk to me,” Lexa said in a soothing voice. She softly took hold of Clarke’s feet and put them in her lap, massaging Clarke’s calves in a way that usually calmed her down after a long day.

“I don’t really wanna talk to anyone right now,” Clarke said, honestly.

The movement at her calves stilled and when she looked at Lexa, she saw pain in her eyes again. Lexa squared her shoulders and nodded.

“I understand,” she said, as she started getting up, giving Clarke’s calves a last squeeze, “That’s okay. Let me know if you want anything.”

“Lexa,” Clarke said, as she swiftly grabbed hold of Lexa’s wrist. Lexa looked down at her, surprised.

“I didn’t say I wanted to be alone,” Clarke mumbled.

Lexa’s eyes softened. She twisted her wrist so that her fingers could softly stroke the inside of Clarke’s wrist.

“What do you need?”

What did she need? It had been a while since Clarke had felt this bad, and she usually just spent those days by herself in bed, not wanting Octavia or Raven around. But Lexa’s presence was comforting and she really wanted Lexa around.

That’s when Clarke remembered what her dad used to do when Clarke felt bad.

“Can you just – can you just drive us around, a bit? Doesn’t matter where. Just drive.”

 

Clarke didn’t keep track of where Lexa drove them. In any case, she took them out of the city, onto the highway.

And it was nice. It was calming to be away from all the people and all the noises of the city. To sit in a small space with just the two of them and an open road, the soft hum of the radio just a background noise.

Clarke stared out of the window the entire time, not really taking anything in but not wanting to make contact with the rest of the world either.

She vaguely registered how boring this must be for Lexa – sitting in a car with someone who doesn’t talk to you and doesn’t look at you, just driving them around – but she couldn’t really bring herself to care. She wasn’t entirely sure why Lexa was here, why she was being so caring and showing Clarke a softness she showed to almost no one, but she was too tired to try and figure it out.

So she didn’t. She just kept staring outside, watching how the color of the road changed as it started raining, pressing her forehead to the glass of the window.

She did so until Lexa took an exit and stopped at a fast food restaurant.

“Clarke?” Lexa called for her attention, gently. Clarke, still feeling like she’d somehow lost her voice, just turned around and made eye-contact to show Lexa she was listening.

“Have you eaten anything yet?”

Clarke shook her head slowly.

“Do you wanna eat anything?”

A shrug.

“I’ll be right back,” Lexa said, and then, eyeing Clarke with a hesitant look, she pressed a quick kiss to her forehead before jumping out of the car.

 

-----

 

She returned, about ten minutes later, with a paper bag filled with fries, a burger and a big coke. As she handed the bag to Clarke, she gently said, “It’s okay if you can’t finish them. Just try to eat something, okay?”

And Clarke felt like she could cry.

 

-----

 

Later, long after Lexa had dropped her off home, and Clarke had reassured her about a thousand times Lexa didn’t have to stay, Clarke finally did something she should’ve done a long time ago.

“Clarke? Is everything okay?”

As soon as Clarke heard the voice, the tears she’d held in started falling. She just felt so exhausted. She was so tired of all this. And it was time to bring it to an end.

“Mom,” she breathed into the phone, her voice cracking.

“Hi honey,” Abby said and repeated, “Are you okay?”

Clarke couldn’t blame her mom. She almost never called, so it must’ve been a surprise for her mom to suddenly see Clarke pop up on her screen. God, she hadn’t even thought about what time it must be for Abby right now.

Fuck. She had been so occupied with everything she might’ve called her mom out of bed.

“Did I wake you up?” she asked, hearing how small her voice sounded.

“It doesn’t matter, Clarke - ”

“I’m sorry I woke you up, mom,” Clarke said and she heard her voice crack again.

“Clarke, you know I’ll always pick up when you call. No matter what time it is,” Abby comforted from the other side of the line, “Now – what’s going on?”

And Clarke didn’t know how it happened, because she hadn’t talked to her mother in a while. She certainly hadn’t talked to her mother freely in a while. And part of her still didn’t really wanna talk to anyone.

So Clarke didn’t know how or why it happened, but before she knew it, she’d told Abby all about Charlotte.

 

“Wow, Clarke, that’s quite the story.”

Clarke laughed, but it was humorless, “That’s an understatement.”

“What a coincidence, as well,” Abby said, and Clarke could hear that she was talking to herself, trying to process it all.

“Mom?” Clarke asked, hating how small her voice sounded again.

“Yes, honey?”

Clarke scraped her throat, taking in a deep breath before she said, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” her mother immediately said, quick to solve any problems between them. Clarke knew this was because Abby was still walking on eggshells; still felt like she could lose Clarke any second, any time she said something wrong. And that, more than anything, was Clarke’s fault.

So she protested.

“No, mom. It’s not.”

“Clarke – ”                                                                                                                   

“No, listen,” Clarke interrupted, and Abby went quiet obediently. Clarke took in another breath, trying to find the right words for what she wanted to say.

“Charlotte was like me. Like me, when I – when we went through that. Lashing out. At her mom, specifically. Because she thought it was her mom’s fault. But it wasn’t her mom’s fault. Her mom was having a hard time too, and she had to decide over her husband’s life. She had to play God and she will probably never forgive herself for doing that, for taking away the life of the man she loved. So I told Charlotte to forgive her mom. Because it’s the right thing to do. Because she needs to stand by her mom now, and she needs her mom to stand by her.”

Clarke ran a hand through her hair, listening to the sound of her mother’s breath from the other side of the line.

“And I wish I’d had someone who told me that when we were in that situation. Or, I did, but I didn’t listen. Because I was angry. And I – I’m sorry, mom. I should’ve – I should’ve been better. You didn’t just lose dad, you lost me as well. The same way I lost you. And I’m sorry.”

She heard a sharp intake of breath on the other side and waited a while for her mom to respond. It was a lot to take in.

“That means a lot, Clarke.”

“Do you think,” Clarke started, and she hated asking this, but she had to, “Do you think I can make things okay again?”

“Clarke,” Abby said, pointedly, “You’re my daughter. Of course you can make things okay again. You already have.”

 

-----

 

Clarke felt a lump in her throat the moment she saw Charlotte. She wanted to cry when Lexa took care of her.

But she only really started crying when she heard her mother reassure her that things were going to be okay.

 

------

 

They stayed on the phone for hours. Clarke didn’t want to think about what time it was for Abby, didn’t want to think what time it was for herself and how much she had to do tomorrow.

And then, it was as if her mom could read her thoughts.

“I’m calling Jackson tomorrow morning, okay? You’re staying in bed.”

Clarke chuckled, “I’ve done shifts on less sleep, mom.”

“Then I feel sorry for your patients,” Abby replied, but with amusement in her voice.

Clarke laughed along.

“Do you have someone to take care of you there? Raven and Octavia?” her mom asked, mother instincts always having the upper hand.

Clarke laughed, “Yeah. They’re taking care of me.”

“Good,” her mother hummed down the phone.

There was a momentary doubt in her mind, but then – “There’s someone else, too.”

“Really?” Abby asked, excitement in her voice. Clarke rolled her eyes. Abby was always all about Clarke’s romantic adventures.

“Do you remember Lexa?” Clarke asked, timidly.

“Lexa? The girl I almost met?” Abby asked, sounding a bit puzzled.

Clarke couldn’t distinctly remember telling her mom she wanted the two to meet, but it didn’t surprise her. She was so in love. And it said a lot that she wanted Lexa to meet her mom. She hadn’t brought anyone home since she was sixteen.

“Yeah, I think,” Clarke affirmed, figuring Abby couldn’t really be talking about anyone else.

“Wasn’t that years ago?”

“Yeah, it was. But we recently met again.”

Clarke told the whole story about Nyko and Anya and the wedding while her mom listened patiently.

“So she’s still, I don’t know, a little angry, I guess. Because I broke her heart.”

“Well, baby, it wasn’t your fault. You had to get out of that situation,” Abby justified.

“Yeah. I know. And I don’t – I think I made the right decision. But Lexa’s really difficult when it comes to trust and now she doesn’t trust me enough to let me in again – at least not fully.”

“What do you mean, not fully?”

“Well,” Clarke winced, “We’ve got this kind of, um, we’re…”

“Clarke,” Abby said, and Clarke could practically hear the eye roll, “You can tell me. We’re both adults.”

“We’ve got this friends with benefits thing going on?” Clarke said, uncertain how her mom would take it. Instead of judgement, there was a quick hum at the other side of the line, and Clarke continued.

“But it’s kind of confusing. ‘Cause sometimes, it can just seem so much like a relationship, you know?”

“I understand.”

They were both quiet for a while, before Abby asked, “Do you still have feelings for her?”

“Yes,” Clarke said, maybe a bit too quickly, “But I’m trying not to. Because it’s strictly physical, you know.”

“Clarke,” her mother said, pity sounding through in her voice, “You’re settling.”

“I’m not,” Clarke protested, “I’m happy with what we have.”

“Maybe, but you want more.”

Clarke wanted to protest again, but she knew her mom was right.

“I – yeah. I do.”

“So get out, baby. If it’s not all you want, get out.” It was something Abby had repeated to a thirteen-year-old Clarke again and again. She’d fallen for a boy who had told her he liked her, but not the way she looked. He’d said he’d take her on a date if she started losing some weight. Clarke knew, at that point, that it was wrong, but she was only thirteen and in love. When she came home crying and told her mom everything, Abby had immediately said, “Get out. If he’s not all you want, get out.”

The “he” had, in her next relationship, changed to “she”, until her next relationship made it into a general “it”.

Abby had repeated it to her again and again, to let her daughter know how much she was worth. To let her know she deserved better than to be in a relationship where she didn’t feel happy.

And now, Abby repeated it to her again, “If it’s not all you want, get out.”

When her mother said it, it seemed so simple, but Lexa was all Clarke wanted and it suddenly didn’t seem so simple anymore.

“I think maybe I’d rather have this version of her than not have her at all,” Clarke admitted.

“You deserve better, Clarke,” her mother reminded.

“I love her, mom,” Clarke finally croaked, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“I know,” her mother cooed.

-----

 

Finally admitting her true feelings to herself and getting the opportunity to share them with someone had a strangely therapeutic effect on Clarke and that night, she slept better than she had in a long time.

 

-----

Chapter Text

The next morning, Clarke received a call from the hospital. True to her word, Abby had called Dr. Jackson and Clarke wasn’t expected to be back until she felt better.

Clarke felt a little guilty, knowing she was feeling fine, physically, and she’d used her mom’s connections to get a day off, but when she tugged off her clothes and jumped back into bed, she couldn’t find herself to care as much.

She spent the day just lazing around in her pajamas, half of her feeling a little grossed out by herself and the other half entirely content just catching up on the shows she was watching. It felt nice to finally have a day to just sit around and do nothing. She felt like it had been a long time since she’d had a day where she hadn’t been busy catching up on school or with friends. Clarke was definitely an extraverted person, but when it came down to it, it did feel pretty nice to have a day to herself. Or at least part of the day – Octavia and Raven were coming over later.

When she bent down to put her breakfast plate away, she noticed her sketching book lying at the foot of her nightstand. She opened it, checking out the drawing of Lexa she’d made. It was pretty impressive for a sketch she’d done after four years of not drawing anything. She flipped over to a blank page and started roughly sketching her room – the TV, the windows, the big closet.

After she had finished the sketch of her room, she moved to the window. Soon enough, she had a black and white sketch of her street. When she was finished, she pulled on a pair of socks and made her way to the living room.

There was lots to sketch in the living room and she sat on the couch for at least an hour, sketching things and then taking the time to work on the details and the shading.

 

------

 

Clarke had almost forgotten how much peace she used to find in simply drawing.

She felt more at peace than she had in years.

 

------

 

Clarke’s phone started ringing while she was preparing the dinner she’d promised her two best friends. She expected it to be Raven, calling to ask if she could come early and whether Clarke had enough dinner prepared, but still, she couldn’t say she was exactly surprised when she saw the name on the display.

“Hey,” she answered.                                                                                        

“Hi,” came Lexa’s voice from the other side in a sigh. Almost as if she was relieved that Clarke was picking up.

There was an awkward silence as Clarke waited for Lexa to tell her why she was calling.

“So,” she prompted.

“Oh, right,” Lexa said, and Clarke could picture her shaking her head, blushing lightly. She laughed, letting Lexa know it was all okay.

“Right, sorry,” Lexa said, again, and then her voice became a bit smaller as she asked, “I was just wondering if you would like me to pick you up from the hospital later?”

Clarke’s heart swelled up a bit at the kind offer and the way Lexa was making it, her voice small as if she was embarrassed to ask. As if she was asking Clarke out on a date.

But that’s not what this was and Clarke had to keep remind herself of that if she wanted to keep from getting her heart broken.

“I’m actually at home. Thank you, though.”

“Oh, okay,” Lexa said, and Clarke could practically hear the frown in her voice, could almost see the way her brows were furrowing as she continued, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” Clarke lied.

There was a short silence on the other side of the line and Clarke knew Lexa could see through her lie and was wondering how to deal with it.

“Okay. If you need anything, will you let me know?”

Clarke bit her lip because it sounded so much like Lexa was actually her girlfriend, ready to bring her whatever she needed and take care of her when she was sick. But she wasn’t sick and Lexa wasn’t her girlfriend and after how vulnerable she’d been yesterday, she didn’t really wanna be vulnerable in front of Lexa again. Not when they were still in this state of fucking each other without any attachments.  

“Yeah,” she lied again and she knew, from Lexa’s sigh, that Lexa could hear the lie in her voice again.

There was a silence for a while as Clarke tried to figure out how to say thanks and Lexa probably tried to figure out how to deal with a Clarke that didn’t need her. Or didn’t want her to be there.

“Look, Lex – ” Clarke started, at the same time Lexa opened with a, “Clarke, I - ”

They both laughed a little awkwardly before Lexa said, “Go ahead.”

“Thank you for yesterday,” Clarke mumbled, “That was very nice of you.”

“Oh. Of course. You’re very welcome, Clarke,” Lexa said, before she continued, “I just – I just wanted to say I know we’re not dating. But I’m still your friend. And if you need me, I want to be there for you. Like a good friend would.”

Clarke’s eyes started watering a little at that because wow, Lexa was precious, but this wasn’t what she wanted. She didn’t want a friend and a fuckbuddy all in one because that was confusing and she didn’t want to get her heart broken. She deserved better than getting her heart broken.

“I’ve got plenty of friends, Lexa,” she sighed. There was a silence on the other end of the line and she knew she’d hurt Lexa. That stung a little, but she couldn’t bring herself to apologize; not anymore.

“I know,” Lexa said, her voice not small anymore, but still soft, “But it’s not the same, is it?”

Clarke thought of the way Lexa had driven her around all evening without asking anything, had bought her food, had dropped her off at home and only left when Clarke had convinced her she wanted to be alone.

 

------

 

“No,” she agreed, closing her eyes momentarily, “It’s not the same.”

 

------

 

Clarke had just enough time to recollect herself, set the table in front of the TV and finish her lasagna before Octavia and Raven arrived. When they did, they quickly took their places in front of the TV as Clarke zapped to Comedy Central.

Raven looked at the lasagna in front of her and before Clarke could even comprehend the grin on her face, she’d wolfed down the entirety on her plate. It was truly like magic.

“Raven!” Octavia reprimanded. Raven looked up, her mouth and chin covered in tomato sauce, and gave her an apologetic look.

“Sorry, Griff,” she mumbled, but Clarke just laughed. She herself was taking it easy tonight, not having too much appetite.

Of course, this did not go unnoticed by her friends.

“Are you taking it slow now that your girlfriend’s not here to rub your stomach?” Raven teased.

“Fuck you, Raven, it’s a sensitive situation,” Clarke shot back, but they all knew she wasn’t truly angry.

“How’s that going, anyway?” Octavia asked, giving Clarke an investigative look.

Clarke shrugged, “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know?”

“I mean, I don’t know,” Clarke said, snapping just a little. She saw Octavia and Raven exchange a quick glance and if she hadn’t felt guilty for snapping, she’d probably have snapped at that, too.

“I’m sorry,” she amended, “It’s just complicated. Something bad happened at the hospital yesterday and she was with me all night, comforting me. I mean, that’s not something a fuckbuddy does, right?”

“Definitely not,” Raven agreed.

“No,” Octavia said, shaking her head, “But it is what a friend does.”

Clarke sighed, “Yeah. That’s what she thought as well, I guess. I don’t know. The lines are a bit blurry.”

“Blurred lines are never good, cap,” Raven warned. Clarke didn’t know if it was just a reference to how much she hated that one Robin Thicke song, or whether she was being dead serious.

“Anyway,” Clarke said, eager to get off this topic, “I called my mom.”

“… Okay?” Raven asked, not entirely understanding what was going on.

“I apologized to her for... you know, the entire shitshow,” Clarke said, too tired to explain everything again.

“Wow, Clarke, that’s so good of you!” Octavia said, looking genuinely proud. Raven looked impressed as well.

“Thanks guys,” Clarke said, proud that she managed to fix at least one screwed up relationship in her life.

“So what’d she say?”

“She said she’ll always love me because I’m her child… that kinda crap,” Clarke said, trying to laugh off the seriousness.

“Don’t call unconditional love crap, Griff, you should know you’re hella lucky,” Raven said in a grave voice.

Clarke winced, “I know. I’m sorry, Rae.”

“You’re fine,” Raven said, laughing but not genuinely, “You got any alcohol back there?”

Before Clarke could answer, she’d disappeared off to the kitchen.

Clarke shook her head, “Should’ve been more thoughtful.”

Octavia patted her knee, “It happens. Raven is just very sensitive when it comes to moms.”

“Well, she has good reason to,” Clarke defended and moved on, “Hey, how’s that boxing class coming along? Did you sign up?”

Octavia’s eyes lit up immediately as she started talking about the boxing school she’d visited and how she’d immediately signed up. Her eyes shone with pride when she told Clarke about the feedback she’d gotten from her instructor. She’d said Octavia was a natural.

It was Clarke’s turn, now, to be the proud mom, and looking at Octavia, she knew that Octavia reveled in the attention.

“Hey, I’m gonna go check on Raven,” Octavia said after Raven hadn’t returned for a while, and when she turned around, she accidentally threw a book off the coffee table she was sitting next to. Clarke recognized it immediately as her sketching book and went to pick it up, but she was too late. Octavia already had it in her hands.

“Oh, sorry Clarke,” Octavia said and then, a curious twinkle appearing in her eyes, “What’s this?”

“Oh, it’s nothing – ” Clarke started, always anxious about sharing her work with others, but Octavia had already opened it.  

She expected Octavia to be a little surprised at first and then maybe compliment her, or put the book away when she noticed she’d opened something personal. She hadn’t expected Octavia to look taken aback, to frown.

“You’re drawing again?” she asked.

“Yeah, I –” Clarke started, then closed her mouth abruptly, before opening it again, “You knew I stopped?”

“Duh,” Octavia said, rolling her eyes, “When you broke up with Lexa you never sent me 2 am texts anymore, so obviously you weren’t staying up late painting. You never had paint under your fingernails, either. I put two and two together.”

“Wow, I didn’t know I was that easy to read,” Clarke laughed. She still didn’t understand why Octavia was frowning.

“Clarke, please tell me the first thing you drew after all these years wasn’t Lexa,” Octavia prodded carefully.

“I – what’s wrong with that?”

Octavia sighed, rubbing her forehead, “You can’t make her the point of your art, Clarke. You can’t make her the reason you draw.”

“Why are you acting like that’s so bad?”

“Because she’s just using you for sex, Clarke! And she’s the reason you’re making art? What if she breaks your heart again? You can’t just stop drawing again because of that!”

I was the one who broke her heart.”

“Oh really? Because from my point of few, you were pretty heartbroken too,” Octavia said, and Clarke suddenly remembered how hard it had been on her. How many days she’d spent in bed, crying. All this time she’d put Lexa’s hurt before hers, but the truth was that she had been pretty fucked up too.

“Look, Clarke,” Octavia said, voice softening as she sat down and grabbed Clarke’s wrist, “You’re my best friend, okay? You and Raven. And I don’t ever wanna see either of you in that state again. I know it’s inevitable to get your heart broken, but – you need to ask yourself whether this is what you want. You’ve fallen for this girl to the point where she’s the reason you make art. That’s a big deal, okay? And you can’t just let her play with your heart.”

“Okay,” Clarke mumbled, “I understand. That’s what my mom said, too, by the way. If she’s not all you want, get out.”

“Well, your two moms agree,” Octavia said with a wink.

 

-----

 

Clarke’s heart felt heavy and Octavia must have noticed, because she gave Clarke a tight hug and then called Raven from the kitchen to come watch South Park with them. She even allowed Clarke a glass of wine.

 

------

 

“Clarke!” Nyko greeted her the moment she walked into the hospital the day after.

“Hey!” she said, feeling her face break out into a smile.

“Where were you yesterday? Is everything okay?” Nyko asked, worry coloring his expression.

“Yeah, everything’s fine,” Clarke waved away his worries, “I was sick. But I’m feeling way better today, so.”

She felt a bit bad for lying to Nyko, but then, she also really didn’t feel like diving back into the whole situation. She hadn’t even told Octavia and Raven the whole truth. It was just exhausting, hackling up the entire emotional trauma of the past. After the phone call with her mom, she figured she’d dealt with enough emotions for at least the rest of the week.

Wow, she thought to herself sarcastically, with how much she was avoiding emotions, she almost sounded like Lexa.

“Oh, good to hear. Hey, in that case, how would you like to go out with me and Anya tonight? Lexa and Luna are coming too and we thought you could invite some people as well. It’s the start of the weekend, so.”

“Well, if Luna is coming, Raven’s definitely gonna want to be there,” Clarke laughed.

“Yeah, they’re really hitting it off from what I hear,” Nyko agreed.

Clarke felt a bit guilty as she realized she hadn’t really talked to Raven about Luna yet. She’d been so wrapped up in her own drama with Lexa that she hadn’t paid any attention to Raven’s starting… thing.

Then again, she thought, she would probably get way too much information if she did ask. So maybe she should just hear it from Luna via Nyko.

“We’ll be there,” Clarke confirmed.

“Sounds good,” Nyko smiled, just as a nurse approached them.

“Guys? We need some help in room 211. There’s a urine accident.”

Nyko raised an eyebrow, “What kind of urine accident?”

The nurse grimaced, “Believe me, you’ll see when we approach the room.”

 

-----

 

Clarke sighed and pulled on her scrubs.

Just another day at the job.

 

-----

 

Okay, so - it wasn’t so much that Clarke was trying to make Lexa jealous. She wasn’t that petty. She wasn’t a child.

But she wasn’t stupid either. They weren’t official. They weren’t exclusive. As soon as they’d arrived at this club and Clarke had noticed all the people hungrily eyeing Lexa’s halter top – which, admittedly, did look great on her – Clarke knew that Lexa was free to dance with any of those people. Hell, Lexa could basically fuck a girl on the dance floor in front of Clarke, and Clarke wouldn’t really have the right to complain about it.

Although it would be entirely unsanitary.

And maybe Clarke just wanted to beat her to the punch. Not with the fucking so much, or the dancing with anyone. Like she said, she wasn’t out to make Lexa jealous. And she didn’t really feel like having a guy grind up on her today, or a girl, for that matter. But she wasn’t gonna wait for Lexa to get up and dance with her, either.

So, when her friends all went their own ways and she was faced with the decision whether to stay in the booth or go to the dancefloor, she got up and left Lexa sitting in the booth, casually sipping her scotch and soda.

Usually, she’d have Raven to dance with, to casually sway against when she’d had a shot too many. But now she was tragically sober and Raven was otherwise occupied, anyway. Raven and Luna were on the other side of the dance floor, in some secluded corner, but Clarke would bet her college education that it wouldn’t take long until Raven would drag Luna towards the bathroom for a more private make-out session. Not that Raven ever really cared about privacy. Luna seemed a bit different though.

Anyway. Clarke reminded herself to stop thinking about her friend’s sex life and slipped into an open space on the dance floor, one where she had enough room to dance by herself but also a good sight on all her friends. From here, she could keep an eye on Lexa drinking by herself in the booth, on Octavia and Lincoln dancing a little too passionately and on Nyko and Anya doing – was that a dab from Nyko? Wow. Clarke really needed new friends.

She shook her head and then, finally relaxing, allowed herself to get lost in the music. It wasn’t as easy without the alcohol in her veins and she was a little tempted to go and buy herself a shot while Octavia and Anya were both occupied, but she convinced herself she was perfectly able of having fun without any alcohol in her veins, thank you very much.

So she let herself get swept up in the beat. It wasn’t long before she was moving her hips in a way that made her feel confident. She noticed people were starting to crowd around her, but every time someone came close she shuffled away a little, not really in the mood to get involved with anyone tonight. She didn’t mind giving the people a show, though, and she threw in some slut drops here and there.

She was having way more fun than she had anticipated she would have tonight, and felt a smile creeping up on her face. Throwing her hands in the air, she felt herself working up a sweat and decided it was probably time to take a break soon. Just a while longer, she told herself.

Five minutes later she decided it really was time to at least have a drink and she looked around to check up on her friends. Raven and Luna had, as she’d predicted, left their secluded corner. If she checked her phone, she’d probably find a text from Raven saying not to wait for her and Luna. Octavia and Lincoln were in the same spot they were before, now dancing slowly with their arms around each other. Anya and Nyko were gone, but when Clarke looked around, she spotted them together at the bar.

Clarke tussled her hair back, her hips still swaying to the music as she wetted her dry lips and looked for Lexa. She looked towards the booth, only to find Lexa, leaning back, glass abandoned, staring straight at Clarke. Clarke couldn’t tell from their distance, but from the look Lexa was sending her and the way her mouth was hanging open just a bit, Clarke would bet that her eyes were also dark and her pupils were dilated.

She smirked and kept swaying her hips, now keeping her eyes fixed on Lexa, loving the effect it had on the girl. Lexa had her speechless and scrambling around for something to say all the time, and it was nice to turn it around on her.

Knowing that Lexa was watching, Clarke turned around and did another slut drop. When she moved back up, she threw her head back and her hands up in the air as she moved her hips to the beat. She didn’t wanna be a narcissist, but she knew exactly what that usually did to people.

And she was right, because when she turned around, Lexa had abandoned her booth and was walking over slowly, eyes fixed on Clarke the whole way. Clarke wondered if Lexa knew how sexy she looked like this – her halter top riding up just a little bit, showing her biceps and bringing out the swell of her cleavage.

Clarke watched as Lexa swiftly stepped into her space, paying no mind to the people around her. She stopped moving as Lexa stood in front of her, just inches away, and then leaned in, smoothly pressing her lips to Clarke’s.

The kiss was different. It wasn’t rushed and fast and easily sped up. Instead it was languid and Lexa took her time, using her hands to tilt Clarke’s head just right. She sucked at Clarke’s bottom lip and then pulled at it, letting it go with a pop when she pulled back.

Then, still in Clarke’s space, she just stared at Clarke, eyes dark.

Clarke eyed her, curious.

“I thought you weren’t much of a dancer.”

“I couldn’t stay away.”

Clarke grinned, throwing her arms over Lexa’s shoulders as Lexa’s hands came up to her waist.

“We’re gonna lose our booth, now,” she teased.

“I don’t care,” Lexa said, before she stepped closer into Clarke, pressing her body against Clarke’s and kissing her again.

When Lexa pulled back, Clarke started slowly dancing against her. She rolled her hips and smiled as she felt the way Lexa’s hands tightened their grip on her waist. To the rhythm of the music, she started slowly moving her way down Lexa’s body, looking up at Lexa all the while and watching her eyes get darker by the second. When she moved back up, she turned around, not exactly grinding against Lexa, but dancing against her, still. Lexa’s arms moved up to wrap around her waist and she threw her head back to rest it on Lexa’s shoulder. Lexa pressed a soft kiss to her neck as Clarke kept dancing against her.

After a while, she turned around, pressing herself into Lexa’s body again. She kissed her slowly while she rolled her hips against her and smiled as Lexa whined into her mouth, chasing after Clarke when Clarke pulled back.

“Do that hip thing again,” Lexa requested and Clarke smiled. She grabbed Lexa’s arm and dragged her out of the club.

 

-----

 

“C’mon,” she murmured once they were almost outside, “I’m not gonna get you off on the dance floor of some cheap club.”

“How chivalrous,” Lexa replied, but a blush was gracing her cheeks.

 

------

 

Something bright woke Clarke up in the morning, a light shining down on her face. Refusing to open her eyes just yet, she rolled around to shield herself from the light. She collided with an almost stick-like object and cracked one eye open. Lexa was lying faced her way, one arm stretched out over the space of the matrass. She shuffled around so her head was right above the arm and her head was lying on Lexa’s shoulder. She shuffled her body a little closer to Lexa’s, not fully snuggling up against her because Lexa was asleep and she didn’t wanna force anything that she knew Lexa wouldn’t allow when awake. And also because she probably just shouldn’t – she shouldn’t let herself bask in this only to be turned down when Lexa’s awake. But whatever, she was tired and resting a head on another’s shoulder never hurt anyone. Right?

Right.

Until Lexa mumbled something in her sleep and stirred until her sleepy limbs were around Clarke. She shifted until her body was pressed up against Clarke’s, the hand on the arm that was trapped beneath Clarke’s head scratching lightly down Clarke’s back. Her legs tangled with Clarke’s and she let out a content sigh, still deeply asleep.

For a moment, Clarke’s stomach tightened. She thought of how long it had been since she’d slept with Lexa like this – pressed up against each other, but not in any sexual way. Intimate in a completely different way. She thought of what Octavia had told her, about how she shouldn’t get attached. She thought about the fact that Lexa would probably wake up in a few hours and shoot back to her side of the bed like she’d been burned.

Only she wasn’t entirely sure that Lexa would do so anymore, and she was more comfortable than she’d been in months and fuck, she was really tired. Lexa wore her out last night.

So instead of leaning away, she let out a breath and relaxed, pressing her face into Lexa’s neck and letting sleep overtake her one more time.

 

The next time she woke, it turned out, Lexa was still asleep. She figured Lexa must’ve had a really long week, if she was sleeping this long.

She lay awake for a while, refusing to deny herself the embrace she’d been wanting for months. But then she remembered, once again, Octavia’s words. The fire in Octavia’s eyes and then how they went soft because Octavia was just doing this for her benefit. How Octavia had said she couldn’t let Lexa play with her heart.

And the fact that she knew Octavia’s right was the reason she got up and started dressing.

She was halfway convinced that she could get away from the house before Lexa was awake when she heard a mumbled, “Clarke?”

She turned around, taking in a confused Lexa, running a hand through her hair and taking her glasses from the bed stand as she blinked herself awake. She couldn’t help but smile at Lexa looking so much like a tiny, confused kitten.

“Where are you going?” Lexa asked, confusion clear in her voice.

“I’m going home.”

“Home? Wha –” Lexa started, before closing her mouth and opening it again, looking like the textbook picture of confusion. Clarke smiled but kept dressing as she gave Lexa some time to figure out what she wanted to say.

Finally Lexa asked, her eyes big and worried, “Did I do something wrong?”

Clarke felt her heart clench a little bit as she smiled reassuringly and said, “Nothing’s wrong. I just – we had sex last night and it was nice and fun and now I’m going home. That’s what fuckbuddies do, right?”

Lexa fiddled with her glasses, furrowed her eyebrows.

“I guess. But I – I wanna make you breakfast. You can’t leave with an empty stomach.”

Clarke hesitated. On one hand, she should probably go. On the other hand, Lexa looked so cute in the morning, when her hair was all tousled up and she was wearing her glasses and an oversized tee. And now that same, cute Lexa was crawling her way and grabbing a hand of her shirt and pulling her down. That same Lexa was kissing Clarke now, sucking softly at her upper lip. Nothing too intense, just soft enough for the morning.

 

-----

 

And Clarke couldn’t help but slide her hands into Lexa’s hair and ruffle it up even more. And then she couldn’t help but smile when Lexa pulled back, and couldn’t help but follow her to the kitchen, her eyes on Lexa’s ass all the way.

 

-----

Chapter Text

Wednesday night found Clarke at the stove, cooking dinner for Nyko, Anya and Lexa. They’d agreed to meet up at Clarke’s to figure out what was left of the wedding-planning. Clarke’s original plan was to just order some take-out, but after she’d come back from the hospital she’d had a surprising amount of energy left and, knowing that Lexa preferred homemade food over take-out, she’d decided to cook up some pasta.

She had her music on loud enough that she knew her neighbors would be glaring at her the next time she’d run into them. Then again, she was playing Beyoncé, so she was really only doing them a favor.

The loud music was probably the reason that she didn’t hear anyone come in and she jumped as hands slid around her waist, calming down when she heard Lexa’s laughter in her ear. She rolled her eyes but let herself sink back into Lexa’s body.

“I hate you,” she mumbled.

“Good to see you again, too,” Lexa said, still laughing as her finger directed Clarke’s chin just so that Lexa could press a kiss on her lips.

“Still hate you,” Clarke said after she’d pulled back, but with a smile on her face this time.

“What are you making?”

Clarke raised the lid of the pan and asked, “What does it look like I’m making?”

Lexa laughed, “Fair enough. Would you like me to make a salad?”

“Don’t think I have any vegetables,” Clarke said, blushing a little at her unhealthy lifestyle.

“That’s okay, I brought some,” Lexa said, and she gave Clarke a quick kiss on the shoulder before she let go, turning Clarke around to show her a plastic bag filled with lettuce, tomatoes, a cucumber, parmesan cheese and an avocado. Clarke laughed.

“I didn’t know I was that predictable.”

Lexa just smirked and walked towards the fridge, rummaging through the contents before she found the dressing she’d left there a while ago. She searched around Clarke’s kitchen until she found a cutting board and a suitable knife. She let her hair out of the braid it had been in, put it in a bun, washed her hands and started chopping.  

Clarke took her in. She was wearing slacks and a dress shirt, her tie loose around her neck. She must’ve driven here straight from work. She hadn’t asked if she could come early, but with the two of them, that wasn’t really necessary anymore. The same way it wasn’t necessary for Lexa to ring the doorbell – she just used the key under the doormat – and for her to ask if she could open the fridge, to ask if she could leave her salad dressing here. Somehow in the past months, Lexa had nestled herself back into Clarke’s apartment. It was almost like this was her home, too.

The realization scared Clarke a little bit, but before she could get too freaked out, her pasta pan was boiling over and Lexa was moving into her space to lift the lid of the pan and turn the gas down. Clarke loved how she immediately took over the kitchen like the chef she was.

“Quite the cook you are,” Lexa teased after she’d gotten everything under control, one hand still chopping the vegetables.

“Well, that’s what I have you for.”

Lexa looked up from her vegetables and raised an eyebrow teasingly, “Oh, so now you’re not only using me for sex, but also for food?”

“You know me,” Clarke murmured as she moved closer, “Sex and food are the two things I live for.”

 

They were busy making out in the kitchen, with Lexa checking up on the spaghetti in between kisses, when Nyko and Anya arrived. Anya rang the doorbell a total of twelve times until Lexa rolled her eyes and went to open the door.

Nyko seemed to be blissfully unaware of what was happening but Anya smirked at Clarke as she stepped into the kitchen and asked, “So sorry, did we interrupt anything?”

“Sit down and shut up, Woods,” Clarke said, not unkindly.

“Ooh, bossy,” Anya said, still smirking, “It suits you.”

“The food will be done soon,” Lexa interrupted, a blush gracing her cheeks. She kept her hands off Clarke from that point on.

 

Dinner was nice, Lexa and Nyko falling into conversation about politics in the medicine industry and Anya telling Clarke about the volunteer work she was doing with refugee children.

After Clarke had cleared the table, Lexa grabbed a big binder from her work bag. Clarke immediately recognized it as her wedding planning-binder.

“So,” Lexa said, flipping through the binder, “We’ve arranged the date, the location, the officiant, the flowers, the music, the photographer and the food. The clothes and make-up are picked out and the invites have been sent a long time ago.”

Nyko seemed to be a little stunned at how organized Lexa was, but Anya and Clarke just smirked at each other.

“So, what do we still need to plan?” Nyko asked, still a little flabbergasted.

“We need to take care of the seating chart, the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner,” Lexa answered dutifully.

“Do we really want a seating chart?” Nyko asked, glancing at Anya, “I mean, shouldn’t people just sit with whoever they wanna sit with?”

“Well,” Anya said, “There are some people we don’t really want to sit next to each other. Remember how your grandma went off towards your aunt Gerda at Christmas?”

“That was mostly Gerda’s fault for voting for Trump,” Nyko mumbled, “But I guess you’re right.”

“And I wouldn’t really mind having my parents in the back somewhere, either,” Anya said, glancing at Lexa. Clarke saw Lexa’s jaw lock a little and gave her knee a soft rub under the table.

“Fair enough,” Nyko admitted, “So, a seating chart. Maybe we should get the guest list so we don’t forget to place anyone?”

Anya nodded and opened the guest list on her phone.

“Did everyone RSVP yet?” Lexa asked.

Nyko leaned over Anya’s shoulder and checked the list, “Everyone RSVP’d except one person.”

Anya looked up at Clarke with a playful grin and said, “It’s you, Griffin.”

Clarke frowned, “I’m pretty sure I did RSVP. I gave you the invite, remember, Nyko?”

“Yeah,” Anya nodded, “You did RSVP, you just didn’t tell us whether you’ll be taking a plus one.”

“Oh,” Clarke laughed, a little awkwardly since the only one she’d want to take as a plus one was next to her, “I don’t think I will be.”

“Really?” Nyko asked, raising his eyebrows, “What about that Niylah girl?”

The room immediately went silent. Clarke felt the tension creep up on her, wrapping around her neck and squeezing. She struggled for something to say but couldn’t get anything out with this tension restricting her airways. Next to her, Lexa’s shoulders squared and her jaw locked more violently than it had before. Clarke felt the urge to reach out to her again, to touch her knee, but she felt like right now, Lexa would probably just push her hand away.

Anya bit her lip at the awkwardness and Nyko glanced around at everyone wide-eyed, obviously wondering which part of his sentence had caused this reaction.

“I – we – uh, I don’t think-” Clarke started, but Lexa interrupted her by getting up.

“I’m going to make some tea. Does anyone else want something?” she asked, polite but cold. No one replied and she made her way to the kitchen quickly.

“I’m sorry Clarke,” Nyko said as soon as Lexa was out of earshot, “I didn’t know or I never would’ve- ”

“I know,” Clarke interrupted, not really wanting Nyko to feel guilty. The whole thing wasn’t his fault  at all.

She smiled reassuringly, “It’s fine.”

And it was fine. Right?

Lexa was the one who’d wanted to be friends with benefits. They’d never talked about being exclusive. Hell, Clarke would’ve loved to talk about being exclusive. But Lexa just wasn’t ready for that commitment. And that was fine (well, no, it kinda wasn’t, but that was something Clarke was still trying to deny, so). It was fine. And it also meant that Clarke didn’t have to feel guilty about possibly fucking someone else on the side. Which she wasn’t even doing anymore.

So why did she feel so guilty?

Maybe it was because when Lexa came back, holding a cup of tea, her shoulders were squared and she remained mostly quiet. She threw in one or two comments when Anya and Nyko were puzzling with the seating, but for the most of the time she just sat back and watched, holding the tea in her hand so she’d have something to do.

She obviously didn’t wanna be here, in Clarke’s company.

Yet, when Anya and Nyko were done with the seating chart and they’d planned a date for the rehearsal, Lexa didn’t leave right away. She sat back as Nyko and Anya got up to leave, hugged her sister a little longer than necessary and Nyko a little shorter than before, but didn’t say much. She sat back down at the table as Clarke walked Anya and Nyko out, letting both of them hug her.

“Try and talk to her,” Anya whispered insistently and Clarke nodded.

That was gonna be fun.

 

When she returned to the room, Lexa was still seated at the table, staring into her empty mug. She still looked tense and Clarke wondered why she hadn’t left yet. She usually ran from her problems, but here she was, still in Clarke’s living room.

She sat down opposite Lexa and waited for her to say something. She didn’t want to startle Lexa by being the first to say something, so she waited and waited. But nothing came out of Lexa’s mouth. When Clarke was tired of waiting, she reached out a hand and placed it on Lexa’s knee. Lexa didn’t startle or flinch away, just staring at the hand. Finally, she got up and started walking towards the kitchen.

Lexa placed her mug in the sink. She stood there, for a minute, her back to Clarke. Clarke had no idea what was going on in her head. Lexa started walking towards the hallway, but before she could leave the kitchen, Clarke stopped her. She grabbed Lexa’s wrist, lightly, so that Lexa could shake her off if she wanted.

“Lexa, I – ” she started, but Lexa swung around and cut her off, pressing her lips to Clarke’s roughly. She turned them around and pushed Clarke up against the fridge. Clarke hissed at the contact with the cold surface, but quickly forgot about it when Lexa hungrily swiped her tongue over Clarke’s lips, not pushing but still insistent. She waited for Clarke to open her mouth before she licked into Clarke’s mouth and swallowed Clarke’s sigh, her hands still pressing Clarke’s hips against the refrigerator.

She bit Clarke’s lip, hard, then ran her tongue over the spot when Clarke hissed.

When she was done with Clarke’s mouth, she started nipping at her jaw, before making her way down Clarke’s neck. She sucked and bit softly, no doubt leaving marks everywhere. She scraped her teeth over Clarke’s pulse point and then took the skin between her teeth, tugging softly before she licked over it. Clarke moaned loudly and it only got louder when Lexa cupped her breasts over her clothes, rubbing at her nipples.

“Lexa,” Clarke whimpered and Lexa removed her head from Clarke’s neck for a moment to check if everything was okay.

“Bedroom?” Clarke asked, and Lexa nodded, tugging at her thighs. Clarke didn’t get the hint at first, but when Lexa signaled for Clarke to wrap her arms around Lexa’s neck, she started to understand.

“Are you sure?” she asked, and Lexa answered her with a hungry kiss. At Lexa’s insistent tugging, she let herself be lifted upwards and wrapped her legs around Lexa’s waist, smiling against her mouth.

While Lexa focused on carrying Clarke to the bedroom, Clarke focused on repaying Lexa for the hickeys that were probably already on her neck.

“Clarke,” Lexa groaned, “Stop distracting me or I’ll drop you.”

Clarke obeyed, smiling against Lexa’s neck until they’d reached the bedroom, Lexa laying Clarke down on the bed carefully and immediately kicking off her shoes. Clarke watched as Lexa straddled her, taking off her shirt. She sat on top of Clarke in her jeans and a red bra. Clarke hungrily took in all the skin that was exposed and when she looked up at Lexa’s face, she was awestruck for a bit. With the way the light was streaming in through the gap in the curtains, Lexa looked like an angel.

Lexa bit her lip as Clarke stared at her and murmured, “You’re wearing too many clothes.”

She leant back a bit as she lifted the hem of Clarke’s shirt and started leaving open-mouthed kisses on her stomach, tugging the shirt up as she went.

“Lexa,” Clarke groaned, since Lexa was too slow getting to where Clarke wanted her.

Lexa didn’t reply, instead motioning for Clarke to sit up so she could take off the shirt. Clarke sat up and raised her arms so Lexa could easily tug the shirt over her shoulders. When Lexa had thrown the shirt away, she kissed Clarke hard, running her hands through Clarke’s hair and tugging lightly. Clarke bit down on Lexa’s lip in response and Lexa’s breath hitched.

With her mouth still connected to Clarke’s, Lexa unclasped Clarke’s bra. She ran a finger over Clarke’s nipple and Clarke gasped in her mouth. Clarke was surprised at how sensitive she already was, since they’d only been making out before. But when Lexa flicked a finger over Clarke’s other nipple, she arched into the touch.

Lexa leaned away, looking at Clarke as she lowered her mouth to Clarke’s nipple, licking a line around it. Clarke bit her lip and, staring straight at Clarke, Lexa wrapped her mouth around the nipple and sucked hard. Clarke moaned and she felt Lexa smile against her breast before she bit down softly. Clarke arched into her mouth but Lexa pushed her down.

“Patience,” she mumbled, moving her mouth towards Clarke’s other nipple and sucking at it until Clarke was whimpering.

“Lexa,” Clarke whined and Lexa took her in. Clarke could only imagine how she looked right now: her nipples glistening with Lexa’s saliva, her lips swollen, hair disheveled, beads of sweat forming on her forehead. Her eyes no doubt as dark as Lexa’s, which went even darker as she took in Clarke’s state.

“I love seeing you like this,” she said, as she abandoned Clarke’s breasts and kissed down Clarke’s stomach, unbuttoning Clarke’s jeans as she got to them. She shoved them off eagerly.

“I love seeing how turned on you are,” she murmured as she kissed a press to Clarke’s inner thigh. Clarke squirmed, hating how Lexa skirted around the place where she knew Clarke wanted her. It was even worse now that Lexa was talking to her and she was getting more and more turned on.

Lexa bit softly at her inner thigh and Clarke moaned.

“Lexa, please.”

“I love when you beg,” Lexa said against Clarke’s thigh and she started taking off Clarke’s underwear. Just when Clarke thought Lexa was gonna give her what she wanted, she moved up Clarke’s body again, grinding her hips down against Clarke’s center as she went.

Clarke whined and Lexa just smirked. Then, still grinding against Clarke, she moved her mouth towards Clarke’s ear. At the same time that she grinded down against Clarke, she bit at the sensitive spot behind Clarke’s ear, making her whine out with pleasure.

As Clarke caught her breath, Lexa moved back towards her ear.

Lexa’s voice was low as she said, “I’m gonna make you come better than she can.”

Clarke bit down on her lip, hard, and was thankful that she didn’t get any time to think about that as Lexa lightly touched her clit with a finger.

“Lexa,” Clarke whined again. Lexa breathed against her neck, applying a little more pleasure as she swiveled over Clarke’s clit again. Clarke arched into it, but Lexa pushed her back down.

“I’m gonna make you come so good,” Lexa murmured, “But you have to be patient, okay? Can you do that for me?”

Clarke nodded, biting her lip. She was so turned on that she didn’t mind how she’d obeyed Lexa like a toddler.

“Good,” Lexa said in a breathy tone. She started rubbing circles over Clarke’s clit, speeding up as Clarke’s moans got harder. At this point, Clarke was so worked up that she could come from Lexa touching her clit alone. Lexa noticed how much Clarke was sweating and pressed down harder, enjoying the symphony of Clarke’s moans.

“Lex, I’m so close,” Clarke moaned. Lexa didn’t say anything, just moved down Clarke’s body again, without letting her hands off Clarke’s clit. Clarke was too worked up to take in what Lexa was doing, but then she felt a mouth wrap around her clit and suck hard and she was a goner. She closed her eyes as she started shaking, letting out a series of strangled moans.

When she opened her eyes again, Lexa was staring at her with a self-satisfied look on her face.

“Oh, shut up,” Clarke mumbled.

Lexa shrugged, “Okay.”

She moved her mouth down again, licking up Clarke’s center to clean her up. Clarke gripped the bedsheets.

“Lex,” she said, trying to keep her voice even, “I’m still -”

“Sensitive?” Lexa asked, making eye contact with Clarke as she licked softly at Clarke’s clit, “I know. Told you I was gonna make you come real good. Did you think that was it?”

Clarke moaned and threw her head back, turned on from the way Lexa was talking to her and Lexa’s hot mouth on her clit. Lexa licked up Clarke’s center, pressing her tongue down. Clarke whined. When Lexa got to Clarke’s clit, she licked with less pressure, feeling that Clarke’s clit was already very swollen and extremely sensitive.

“More,” Clarke moaned. Lexa lifted her tongue off Clarke’s center and let her finger touch the entrance. Clarke was already very wet and Lexa slid in immediately, enjoying the way Clarke’s back arched. She started pumping and Clarke grinded down in the same motion, helping Lexa’s finger touch just the right spot.

“One more?” Lexa asked and Clarke nodded immediately. Lexa pushed another finger in carefully, reveling in the way Clarke arched into it again.

“Fuck, Lex,” Clarke whimpered. Lexa kept going, speeding up gradually and pressing her thumb down softly on Clarke’s clit. Clarke let out a moan so loud she felt like she should truly apologize to her neighbors next time she saw them.

“Lexa,” Clarke panted, screwing her eyes shut. Lexa was right; she’d never had sex this good. She felt like she was gonna explode.

 

------

 

And, when Lexa bent over her body to bite down at a boob and rub at a nipple with her free hand, she did explode.

 

------

 

Even after Lexa had exhausted her, Clarke couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t stop thinking about what Lexa had said. She’d almost sounded jealous. She’d sounded like she wanted to prove herself. Like she wanted to prove that she could be better than Niylah.

But Clarke didn’t understand. Because Lexa had been the one who hadn’t wanted to commit. Lexa had been the one to remind her they were just having sex. And for her to get jealous over Niylah was absurd. Especially since Clarke basically had a good thing going with Niylah, but had thrown it away because she simply wasn’t in love with Niylah. She was in love with Lexa.

Clarke sighed. She just couldn’t figure this out.

“Clarke,” Lexa mumbled, “Go to sleep.”

Clarke startled a little bit, unaware that Lexa had been awake.

“Lexa,” she started, testing out the waters. She needed to know what Lexa was feeling.

“Hmm?” Lexa hummed with her eyes still shut.

“I – you – you said you were gonna make me come better than Niylah can,” Clarke said, and she saw the way Lexa’s shoulders tensed up even when she was half in slumber, “What was that about?”

“I was stupid,” Lexa said, cracking one eye open to look at Clarke, “I’m sorry.”

And Clarke bit her lip because she didn’t want Lexa’s apology. Obviously it was right for Lexa to apologize, since she had gotten jealous while she had been the one who didn’t want to be exclusive. It was hypocritical of her and Clarke hadn’t expected anything other than an apology. But she didn’t want it.

She wanted Lexa to say she wasn’t sorry. That she was jealous. That she wanted to be exclusive. That she wanted Clarke to be hers. That she wanted to be Clarke’s.

But that wasn’t something that was gonna come anytime soon, so Clarke nodded.

“I’m not – I’m not seeing her anymore, you know,” Clarke whispered.

Lexa closed her eyes again and murmured, “You’re free to see anyone you like, Clarke. I don’t have the ridiculous notion that I possess you. I have no right to be jealous.”

 

-----

 

But Clarke swore that when she confessed she wasn’t seeing Niylah anymore, she saw the tension in Lexa’s shoulders disappear.

It was probably just wishful thinking.

 

-----

 

 

Chapter Text

When Clarke got home after her internship, she found Raven on her couch. Next to an empty bag of crisps.

She rolled her eyes. Of course Raven would use her emergency key to raid Clarke’s food drawers.

“Griffin!” Raven called out as soon as she noticed Clarke.

“Reyes,” Clarke said sternly, “I suspect you ran out of food at your apartment?”

“What, can’t I just come see my best friend?”

“Don’t lie to me, you’ll hurt my feelings,” Clarke said with a fake pout. Raven rolled her eyes.

“Bring it in,” she said, getting up from the couch to hug Clarke. After basically squeezing the life out of Clarke, she fell back down onto the couch.

“Wanna order takeout and do a girl’s night?”

“As opposed to what? We only have girl’s nights, remember?”

“I mean, sometimes we hang out with Lincoln and Nyko too,” Raven defended herself, “Anyway. Take-out?”

Raven batted her eyelids at Clarke and Clarke sighed, already grabbing the phone and the take-out menu she kept around.

 

They were halfway through their meals when Clarke realized she frankly didn’t have any idea what was going on in Raven’s life right now.

“So,” she started, casually, “How’s everything?”

“Same old,” Raven shrugged.

“How’s that car you’re pimping up?”

Raven winced, “Please don’t use any version of the word ‘pimp’ around me, Clarke.”

“Noted. Anyway.”

“Car’s doing fine, I’m thinking about installing a churro machine in the back,” Raven said with a  grin.

Clarke would be lying if she said that was the weirdest idea she’d heard from Raven’s mouth.

“And, um,” Raven started, playing with her fork, “I’ve been seeing a lot of Luna recently.”

“Oh really?” Clarke asked, smirking. She loved seeing her friend get so flustered.

“Yeah,” Raven said with a smile.

“So it’s not just .. y’know?”

“Sex? No, it’s not. I mean. At first… She’s hot, you know? And I didn’t think it’d be more than just a casual hook-up. But she stayed the night and my hook-ups don’t usually do that,” Raven said, making eye contact with Clarke.

Clarke tried not to feel weird about the fact that hook-ups aren’t supposed to stay over. She’d never really given it a second thoughts. Raven was probably right and now that she’d heard it, it did make sense not to stay over after just sex. But Lexa seemed to be fine with it and she herself was enjoying it, too, so it probably wasn’t anything to worry about. And besides, she was focusing on Raven’s life now.

“So she stayed over, and then in the morning, she made me breakfast and shit, her pancakes are really good,” Raven said, licking her lips as if she wished she was eating them right now.

Clarke laughed. Raven’s love truly went through the stomach. With how much food she herself had given Raven, she was surprised Raven hadn’t proposed to her yet.

“And it was right after the day of the party, remember? So after we’d showered and stuff - ”

“Stuff?” Clarke asked, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

“Damn right,” Raven said with a smirk, “After that, I said I had to start cleaning up and she actually helped, Clarke! She actually stayed to clean the entire living room with me. And believe me, it was a mess.”

“Wow,” Clarke said, grinning, “I’m impressed!”

“Yeah, and that’s not all.”

Raven went on to tell Clarke about the amazing dates the two’d had so far. Raven had a taste for the dramatics and Luna really loved nature, so that brought them to the most amazing places. From painting the sunset together to skinny-dipping in the shitty lake just outside of the city, their dates sounded amazing. Clarke felt a little guilty that she hadn’t paid enough attention to Raven to hear about these dates right after they’d happened.

“Wow, Rae, she sounds really good,” Clarke said, bumping her shoulder with Raven’s.

“Yeah,” Raven nodded, “And it’s also really nice to have someone else take initiative for once, you know? She’s not afraid to ask me on another date or to arrange it and it’s really refreshing. I love her confidence.”

“Is there anything about her that isn’t perfect?” Clarke asked, laughing a little.

“Shut up Griffin, I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet,” Raven said and while Clarke waited, it turned silent for a while.

Raven dropped her fork and looked down at her hands.

“You know I used to have those really bad panic attacks?”

“Yeah,” Clarke said, her voice soft, “I remember.”

Raven hadn’t had an easy childhood and as a result, she would get panic attacks sometimes. She’d start shaking and she would have a hard time catching her breath, but at the same time she would start lashing out at everyone. She would be dangerous to be around during these attacks and Clarke and Octavia had a tough time figuring out how to deal with them, how to deal with her in those situations.

Clarke remembered the nights she’d stayed up just thinking about how she could help Raven. At the end, both of them had pushed Raven to see a therapist, at least for a few sessions. Raven had been stubborn and it hadn’t been easy to convince her, but once she’d been to two or three sessions, she started to find it helpful and went voluntarily. Once she’d actually wanted to get better, she’d made rapid progress. Three years later, she barely had attacks anymore.

“I never really have those anymore,” Raven reassured as she saw the worry in Clarke’s gaze, “But a few days back, something triggered me. I can’t remember what. All I remember is that I was on the couch with Luna and we were watching a movie and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. And I started shaking and I got up and scrambled away and started shouting things. I can’t even remember what I shouted, but I must’ve looked insane. Luna and I aren’t even official yet and anyone would’ve walked away. I mean, you know how I get.”

Clarke nodded. The first time she saw Raven have a panic attack, they’d been friends for a while, and even she had been pretty scared by it. She couldn’t imagine what Luna must’ve felt.

“But she didn’t run. She sat down next to me where I had fallen down on the floor and she asked if it was okay to touch me. Then she sat behind me and rubbed down my shoulders and she whispered to me until I calmed down. Whatever, it’s lame,” Raven said, blushing a little, “But she’s something else. She’s important.”

“It’s not lame,” Clarke said, trying to muster up as much honesty in her voice as she could, “She sounds like she’s good for you.”

“She is,” Raven agreed, hiding her smile behind her hand. Clarke started smiling too, seeing how happy her friend was.

“You better tell her I wanna meet her soon. And I mean properly. So I can tell her I’ll kill her if she hurts you.”

“Oh please,” Raven said, laughing, “as if you pose any threat. If I wanted her to be scared, I’d ask Octavia.”

“Hey,” Clarke said, “That’s offensive.”

 

------

 

In reply, Raven hit her with a pillow. Before Clarke could comprehend what was happening, a proper pillow fight ensued.

 

------

 

Clarke’s way home had never felt this long. Something about today made her feel like she’d been hit by a bus. It hadn’t even been that busy at the hospital. Lately, she just hadn’t felt entirely rested. She slept pretty well. Six hours a night wasn’t much but it definitely wasn’t little either. Not for her, at least. Being an artist and a doctor and a maid of honor all at once – it was definitely challenging. And then there was Lexa.

It wasn’t even like there was much drama with Lexa. Not lately. But there was still a voice nagging in the back of her head. Reminding her that just because there wasn’t any drama, that didn’t necessarily mean that she was happy. And if she was happy, that did not mean she was entirely content.

There was a part of her that had always screamed for her to just have Lexa as a friend, if she couldn’t have her as anything else. And then that same part had told her to take Lexa’s body, if she wasn’t gonna get Lexa’s heart.

And it wasn’t as if she was taking Lexa’s body for granted. She was still amazed every time they had sex and grateful that Lexa would let herself be vulnerable in front of Clarke.

But she didn’t just want the vulnerability of Lexa’s naked body. She wanted the vulnerability that Lexa had showed her that Friday morning before they both went to work, when Lexa cried into her shoulder. She wanted Lexa to trust her with that vulnerability and she wanted Lexa to trust her enough to feel like she could be dependent on Clarke.

And she wasn’t sure if they were at that point. She wasn’t sure if they were ever gonna get to that point. Not if Clarke didn’t bring it up now; if she didn’t tell Lexa that that was what she wanted. She didn’t want sex. She’d give up sex if that meant she could have Lexa the way that she wanted. Around her all the time. Cuddled up against her late at night, watching John Oliver because that was the only talk show host Lexa liked. Going to sleep cuddled up to her and then waking up cuddled up  to her. Kissing her casually. Tickling her until Clarke threatened to start kicking. Getting presents and being unable to turn them down because Clarke was her girlfriend and girlfriends give each other presents. Cooking her dinner.

If she thought about it, that scenario wasn’t even that different from what they were now. Except from the cuddling, they did spend their nights together. They did fall asleep next to each other. Lexa did cook her dinner.

And maybe that was why she was so confused. Because they were practically in a relationship, yet when she mentioned anything related to relationships, Lexa got scared. And while that was understandable, it was also hypocritical.

Clarke sighed, looked out the window and recognized the streets around her. The bus driver was nearing her bus stop and she was getting ready to leave the bus. As she got up, she accidentally bumped into a middle-aged man.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she started apologizing, trying to muster a polite smile. The man, however, had apparently already decided that she was millennial scum and started mumbling under his breath while he glared at her. She contained the urge to roll her eyes and tried not to let it get her mood down too much, but when she stepped out of the bus and it was raining, she couldn’t help it. Her mood was truly ruined now, if it hadn’t been bad already.

After the walk to her apartment, her hoodie hadn’t helped her a bit and she was soaking wet. She scowled all the way up the stairs and when she opened her door. The lights were already on and she couldn’t say she was surprised when she rounded the corner and found Lexa on her couch.

“Hey!” Lexa said, smiling, “How was your day?”

“Shitty,” Clarke mumbled, dropping her bag on the kitchen counter. She grabbed a towel from the kitchen cabinet and started drying her hair. When she was done, she faced away from Lexa and closed her eyes for a second, allowing herself a moment to breathe. Usually, she’d be thrilled to spend the evening with Lexa, but tonight, with the day she’d had and all the things she’d thought about on the way home, she was just a little irritated. She sighed, rubbed her forehead, and stared at the light blue wall in front of her.

“You ready for a ridiculous amount of take-out?” Lexa asked and Clarke could hear the grin in her voice even without turning around.

“Yeah and then you can fuck me and stay over and make me breakfast the next day and then leave,” Clarke said, turning around, “Because that’s what fuckbuddies do, right? Or are we friends tonight?”

She watched as Lexa frowned. Lexa opened her mouth, closed it again and sighed. It was quiet for a moment.

Against Clarke’s expectations, Lexa’s jaw didn’t lock and her eyes didn’t go cold. She didn’t throw up her walls. Instead, she sighed again, got up, and walked over towards Clarke. Clarke tensed, afraid that Lexa would do something stupid, like kiss her when she was annoyed. She thought Lexa knew her enough to know that she hated being touched when she was angry, but Lexa was heading right her way and observing her carefully and maybe Lexa didn’t know her as well as Clarke thought.

Just when she thought she was gonna have to stop Lexa, Lexa altered her course and reached out a hand to open the kitchen cabinet, picking up a glass and filling it with water. Clarke watched what she was doing in confusion and frowned when Lexa faced her, handing her the glass and nodding towards the couch.

“Sit down,” she said calmly as she walked towards the couch and sat down herself.

Clarke, still confused by Lexa’s calm façade, hesitated for a moment, looked at the glass of water in her hands and made her way over to the couch. When Clarke had sat down, Lexa started speaking.

“I’m not here for… any of that,” Lexa started, “In fact, I was going to ask you something important during dinner, but that can wait. What’s going on?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Clarke mumbled, really not in the mood to get into all that now.

“Does it have to do with this… arrangement we’ve got going on?” Lexa prodded gently, trying to look Clarke in the eye. Clarke looked down at her hands.

“Because I was hoping to ask you tonight if you would like to go on a date with me,” Lexa continued, carefully.

Clarke glanced at her, half waiting for her to say that she was kidding. But the punchline never came and Clarke could tell that Lexa was genuinely nervous. She looked very insecure like this, sitting next to her, playing with her hands and looking at her expectantly. She wanted nothing more than to free Lexa from this awkward situation immediately, to reassure her.

However, just before she said yes, she thought of all the times Lexa had called her out for overstepping her boundaries in their relationship. She thought of all the times Lexa had made it clear she didn’t trust Clarke; of “We’re just having sex. I don’t owe you my tragic backstory.”; of Lexa’s eyes going cold every time Clarke had wanted anything more than platonic from her. She thought of all the hurt Lexa had made her feel. Of her friends continuously telling her she deserved better and of how she dived back in every time anyway.

And right now, when Lexa was sitting in front of her, giving her everything she wanted, she wasn’t just gonna dive back in right away.

“That’s it? You’re gonna have to give me better than that.”

Lexa blinked, “Excuse me?”

“I said, you’re gonna have to give me more than that.”

“Yes, I – I heard you, Clarke,” Lexa said, frowning. The look of utter confusion in Lexa’s eyes made Clarke get up, taking a few steps away from her.

“You stay over after sex. And you wash my hair for me, in the shower, the morning after. And then, after the shower, I make you breakfast. And you know where the spare key to my place is because you’re over all the time. You let yourself into my house and cook me dinner.”

Lexa nodded to show that she agreed and was still following.

“You massage my calves when I’m tired and drive me to work in the morning and text me when we’re not together. But every time I try to tell you that those things are not platonic – you shut down. You lash out at me. You tell me you don’t owe me anything. You hurt me, Lexa. Time and time again. And then you just show up at my apartment and ask me out on a date? What respect would I have for myself if I just say yes right away?” Clarke explained, crossing her arms.

“Clarke, I’m sorry,” Lexa started, “You know I am sorry about those things. I’ve explained it to you, remember? I was trying but I have trust issues and – ”

“Right,” Clarke interrupted, “Trust issues. You didn’t trust me.”

Lexa didn’t reply and Clarke knew it was because confirming it would hurt Clarke’s feelings, but denying it would be lying.

“And that justified hurting me, right?”

Lexa’s head shot up at that, “I never said that. You know I’d never justify hurting you. I’m just trying to explain.”

“Okay. So what are you trying to explain? The fact that you cried on my shoulder and I comforted you until you felt better and you don’t trust me?” Clarke asked, hearing her voice taking on a taunting edge and knowing that she should probably stop and try to talk this out like an adult, but still refusing to.

“Well, I’m sorry your emotional support didn’t solve all my trust issues, Clarke. You think you can just be there for me once and fix everything?” Lexa spat, taking the bait.

“I was there for you all the time!” Clarke said, raising her voice, “You called me and I picked up within seconds, even when it hurt to hear your voice. I had your back every single time you were stressing about the wedding. You were just fucking around with me and I chased after you every single time. Don’t you say I wasn’t there for you!”

“So where were you when I needed you most, huh?” Lexa asked, and Clarke immediately knew what she meant.

“Are you fucking - ”

“No! You let me talk, now,” Lexa said, eyes simmering with rage, “I have feelings too. And I was scared. And alone. I had parents who hated me. A sister I wasn’t speaking too. Friends that chose your side of the break-up. You wanted me to come out and I did. And then I was alone and you weren’t there. And sometimes – sometimes I wished I hadn’t come out. Because I had no one.”

Clarke’s heart broke a little hearing about Lexa’s situation. Lexa had never told her about this before – or at least not about just how hurt she’d been. Up until now, Clarke had assumed that the hurt Lexa was still carrying around was about their break-up. But it wasn’t. It was about being left all alone after the break-up. And Clarke could still see that hurt now, in the way Lexa’s lip was shaking and her eyes were glossy while she was trying to look angry.

But all this wasn’t Clarke’s fault.

“Lexa,” she starts carefully, “You can’t blame me for that. I couldn’t have stayed in that situation.”

Lexa sighed, “You’re right. But you didn’t even – you didn’t even fight for me. And that hurt.”

“But why did you have to make me hurt for it? For those things that I couldn’t even be blamed for?”

“I wasn’t trying to hurt you, Clarke – I just didn’t want a relationship. And I was in my right to want that.”

“Right. You just wanted to have the benefits of a fuckbuddy and a girlfriend without having the commitment of a girlfriend. Without having to be exclusive,” Clarke accused.

“Don’t – ” Lexa starts, through gritted teeth, “You’re the one who wasn’t exclusive, Clarke.”

“What, are you talking about Niylah? Are you finally ready to admit that you were jealous?”

“Yes, I was,” Lexa agreed, “And it was unreasonable and unfair to you and I put those feelings away.”

“I don’t want you to put those feelings away!” Clarke said, raising her voice again, “You’re the reason I don’t see her anymore, you know?”

“I never told you you couldn’t see her!” Lexa rebutted.

“But I wanted you to!” Clarke shouted, “I wanted you to be jealous!”

Lexa sighed, “Look, Clarke, this wasn’t easy for me either.”

“What? The fact that I like you so pathetically much? Did it annoy you?” Clarke mocked.

“No,” Lexa said, locking her jaw, “This whole thing. It wasn’t easy, trying not to be around you all the time. Trying not to fall in love with you.”

And that’s when something in Clarke snapped. Because this wasn’t about unrequited love. This wasn’t about Lexa not wanting her. All this time she’d spent beating herself up about the fact that Lexa didn’t want her. But it wasn’t about that.

“And why would that have been so bad, huh?”

“Because you left me!” Lexa shouted, tears suddenly filling her eyes. Her bottom lip trembled and her eyes shot around as she balled her fingers into a fist, no doubt trying to control her emotions. Trying to stop being weak in front of Clarke. But she didn’t manage it, even as she bit her lip and wiped away a tear that was falling from her cheek. She looked so fragile, so small.

“You keep pretending that our break-up was a mutual decision,” she said, her voice trembling, “but it wasn’t. You left me. Over a phone call. I loved you like I’d never loved anyone and you left me. And what if you leave again? I was – I am scared, Clarke.”

“Lexa,” Clarke whispered, taking a step towards Lexa, but Lexa turned her face away. It was quiet for a while, Clarke thinking about what Lexa had said, Lexa trying to get her emotions under control. 

“I know it hurt,” Clarke started, eventually, “when I left you. But it wasn’t like I just decided to fall out of love with you and then leave you. That’s too simplified, and you know it. I know it feels like it comes down to the fact that I left you and your heart was broken, but it was more complex than that.”

She looked up at Lexa, who was still sitting on the couch. Lexa just looked tired; tired of fighting, tired of spilling her emotions, tired of revisiting a place that was hurtful. For both of them.

“I was hurting too, you know. I broke both of our hearts when I broke up with you. I stayed in bed for weeks, after that.”

Lexa looked up at that, studying Clarke carefully. Tears started appearing in Clarke’s eyes as she thought about one of the worst periods in her life.

“I stayed in bed and wouldn’t come out even when my friends begged me to. They visited me every day. It took months for me to feel okay again. And even after that, I was okay but I wasn’t… fine. I wasn’t sad all the time anymore, but I wasn’t happy either. I found random people to hook up with and ignored the fact that it all felt so empty. Until you came back. I felt like – I feel like I – like I finally started feeling things again.”

She slowly made her way over to the couch, so as not to startle Lexa, and sat down next to her, keeping a bit of distance. They were quiet, again, before Lexa spoke up.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Clarke. But I’m glad that you told me.”

Clarke gave her a small smile.

“Lexa, I – I’d like to go on a date with you. But I will not go back to what we just did. I’m not angry at you for not wanting a relationship, because that was your decision and I respect it. But that’s not all I want, and I will get out.”

Lexa looked up at Clarke, nodding as though she understood, even though Clarke knew she was pretty much speaking in riddles right now.

“And if we’re gonna do this, it has to be built on mutual trust. If we want this to work we should communicate. And this whole thing, it should be mutual. I know you’re disappointed I didn’t fight for you, back then. But ever since we met again, I’ve been doing nothing but fighting for you. From now on, that has to be mutual – we need to fight for each other, if we want this work. It can’t be one-sided, whether that’s from your side or mine.”

 

------

 

Lexa opened her mouth and closed it again. Clarke frowned as she watched Lexa get up, turn around, open her mouth again, close it again and then finally, walk out the door.

 

------

 

It had been half an hour since Lexa walked out and Clarke figured that was the most effective answer she could’ve gotten. Apparently Lexa wasn’t ready to work for their relationship. To say Clarke was disappointed would be an understatement, but somewhere, she understood. They had a lot of baggage and it would take hard work to work through that. It would be much easier for Lexa to run towards some other girl and start something with her.

She wondered if tonight would be the last time that Lexa had let herself into Clarke’s apartment. Clarke had made clear that they couldn’t be friends with benefits anymore. She was too drained to let Lexa use her for her body. She was too drained to use Lexa for her body. She was too tired to put her feelings away just so she could have Lexa in some capacity.

And she deserved better. She deserved better than constant confusion because Lexa didn’t wanna be her girlfriend, but she did wanna stay the night and cook dinner and play with Clarke’s hair. Clarke had earned more than that.

So yeah, that would probably end their arrangement. They would just go back to being friends. They’d both be free to date whomever they wanted. Clarke felt a wave of nausea hitting her, wondering if Lexa was already setting up another date. There was no doubt in Clarke’s mind that Lexa could be dating someone new every week, if she wanted to.

But she wanted me. And I fucked it up with my speech.

Stop it. You stood up for yourself. Fucking finally.

She tried not to let the battle in her head play out to long and decided to put a frozen pizza that had been lying around in her fridge for a while now in the oven. She didn’t believe in the necessity of preheating the oven, so she just threw the pizza in and hoped for the best.

Just as she started walking towards the TV to put on some stupid comedy show to make her forget about this mess, there was a knock on her door. Clarke’s heart jumped a little as she thought of the possibility of Lexa having come back for her, but Lexa was pretty obvious in the way she left, so she told her heart to calm down. Maybe Lexa had already ordered take-out before Clarke arrived and it was just being delivered ridiculously late. How long had she been fighting with Lexa for? She’d kind of lost all sense of time, so she just opened the door, expecting to see a delivery guy.

Instead, she found a softly panting Lexa behind the door, her cheeks flushed, a bouquet of flowers in her hands.

“Hey,” she said, while she tried to catch her breath, “I’m back.”

“You – I – well, now you really have some explaining to do,” Clarke said, still utterly confused about what was going on.

“Well,” Lexa started, when she’d caught her breath, “I wanted to show you that I agree. We need to fight for each other this time. So this time, I’m not asking you out over take-out dinner. I’ve come here to do it properly – with a bouquet of flowers. And my sweetest look.”

Clarke started grinning as Lexa gave her the puppy eyes.

“So Clarke Griffin, if I promise to fight for you and treat you right and show you how sorry I feel about what I did in the past, will you go out on a date with me?”

Clarke smiled, “I’d love to.”

She pulled Lexa in for a kiss, Lexa awkwardly wrapping her arms around Clarke with the flowers still in her hands. Lexa kissed her softly and when she pulled back, she was blushing again.

“So,” she said, holding up the flowers, “I’ll put these in a vase for you and then go home to plan our date.”

 

-----

 

“Don’t be silly,” Clarke grinned, “I have enough shitty frozen pizza in the oven for the both of us.”

 

-----

 

Chapter Text

Lexa (1:23 pm): Thank you for yesterday. I had fun.

Clarke (1:24 pm): So did I.

Clarke (1:24 pm): Is this whole thank you texting gonna become a thing now that we’re not just fuck buddies?

Lexa (1:24 pm): Every time you use the term ‘fuck buddy’, I die a little inside.

Lexa (1:25 pm): Can I pick you up at 7 this Friday?

Clarke (1:25 pm): Sure. I’ll see you then.

Lexa (1:26 pm): I’m looking forward to it. Night!

 

-----

 

Clarke (1:26 pm): OKAY I’M GONNA NEED YOUR GUYS’ HELP

Raven (1:26 pm): What’s up, Griff?

Clarke (1:27 pm): I HAVE A DATE THIS FRIDAY

 

-----

 

“So tell us, Griff,” Raven started, “How did you get out of the friend zone?”

“The friend zone doesn’t exist, Raven,” Clarke started, rolling her eyes, “You know this.”

“Yeah, yeah, you don’t owe anyone sex and all that – but tell us!”

“Clarke asked us here to help her pick an outfit, Raven,” Octavia interrupted, “And in your case, do her make-up.”

“Well, she can tell us while trying on outfits,” Raven replied.

“Okay, so,” Clarke started, while pulling a tank top over her head, “She came over last night and I was in a pissy mood – does this one look good? Maybe a bit too sexy for a first date?”

“Definitely not too sexy,” Raven commented. Clarke looked to Octavia for some real advice – Raven basically cheered for all of Clarke’s outfits that showed skin. Octavia observed carefully and frowned.

“Yeah, probably a bit much for a date.”

Clarke nodded and moved on, taking off her jeans and pulling the tank top back over her head, careful not to let it tangle in her hair.

“Right, so. I was pissed so I said something about her just being over to fuck me and then leave in the morning – ”

“Oh my god Griffin, drag her,” Raven yelled.

“Ow, Rae, did you have to do that right next to my ear?” Octavia said, rubbing at her ear as if it would help.

“Moving on,” Clarke started again, “Then she asked me if I wanted to go on a date. And I told her she’d have to do better than that.”

“Oh my god,” Raven said, clapping her hands, “That’s my girl!”

“What about this dress?” Clarke asked, spinning around.

“That color’s hurting my eyes,” Raven mumbled.

“Agreed, too bright,” Octavia chipped in, and Clarke started pulling it off.

“And then we started arguing,” Clarke said, to which Octavia and Raven winced, “which went on for a really long time. And then, finally, it felt a bit resolved and I said I’d love to go on a date with her but I wouldn’t go back to being her fuckbuddy again.”

“Yas!” Raven shouted. Octavia gave Clarke a serious nod of approval. Clarke smiled as she started pulling on the next dress.

“So I started saying that we would have to work hard for this and she just walked out the door. So I thought she wouldn’t want… me,” Clarke said, gulping.

“But she came back a few minutes later and you had crazy make-up sex?” Raven suggested.

Clarke rolled her eyes, “Not exactly. She came back half an hour later with a bouquet and asked me out on a date properly. And I said yes, of course.”

“And then you had crazy make-up sex?”

“No, Raven,” Clarke said, trying to resist rolling her eyes again, “We didn’t have sex. But we did sleep together – we just slept. It was really nice.”

“That’s so sappy,” Octavia said, but she was smiling.

“Gross, cap,” Raven said, but with a big grin of her face.

“In my defense, it wasn’t my idea,” Clarke said, with a fond smile on her face, “She said if we wanna make this work, we should probably take it slow now and stop jumping back into old habits, like fucking each other instead of communicating.”

“Yeah, she probably said that way more eloquently,” Raven replied.

“Whatever,” Clarke said, giving Raven a push, almost sending her rolling off the bed, “What about this dress?”

She showed off a black dress with a v-cut that was deep, but not deep enough for the dress to reveal too much.

“That’s perfect,” Octavia exclaimed, “It’s classy, but also casual!”

“Right! And it has pockets!” Clarke said, smiling widely, as she buried her hands in the pockets.

 

Just when Raven had finished up Clarke's make-up - not too much, Clarke wanted it to look natural since she didn't know where Lexa would be taking her - Clarke's phone lit up.

 

Lexa (7:00 pm): I'm here. I knocked on the door but I think you didn't hear.

 

"Oh, Lexa's here! I just need to brush my teeth real quick," Clarke said.

"Don't worry, cap, we've got this," Raven said, giving Clarke a big smirk.

"O, make sure she behaves, please?"

"On it, Griff," Octavia said, but Clarke caught her sending Raven a quick wink as Clarke made her way to the bathroom.

She really couldn't leave her friends in charge.

"Lexaaa!" she heard Raven shout out, and tried not to worry about it as she quickly brushed her teeth. For Lexa's sake she decided not to take too long.

As soon as she walked into the living room, she found a blushing Lexa, a smirking Raven and a content-looking Octavia.

"Uh - I don't think I'm even gonna ask what happened here," Clarke commented, although she had a good idea what had happened, and she figured Lexa would be terrified right now if she didn't know how to protect herself.

"Don't worry about it, cap," Raven said, practically pushing Clarke towards Lexa.

"Have her back by twelve!" Octavia shouted as she pushed the door closed. Clarke heard what sounded like a knock against the inside of the door and figured that was Raven shoving her head against the door to try and listen in on Clarke and Lexa's conversation.

"Do you think we actually have to be back at twelve?" Lexa asked, laughing a little at Raven and Octavia's antics.

"Oh, yeah," Clarke answered, "They're gonna be on my couch, eating all my food and waiting all night. Raven and Octavia take post-date gossip very seriously."

"Gossip?" Lexa asked, arching her brow.

"Yeah, I used to vent to them all about the horrible dates I had. But I don't think I'll have to do that with you," Clarke said with a smile, leaning in for a quick kiss. Lexa smiled against her lips.

"Hi," Clarke whispered, since they hadn't properly greeted each other yet.

"Hi. You look beautiful," Lexa replied, stepping back to admire Clarke's outfit.

"She says, as if she doesn't look like the Gods have personally gifted her this outfit," Clarke replied, looking at Lexa's dress shirt and slacks. Her date looked perfect.

Lexa rolled her eyes, "You're ridiculous. Come on, I made a reservation."

 

----

 

Clarke felt her heart do a little jump as Lexa grabbed her hand and tugged her out of the building.

 

-----

 

The restaurant was fancier than Clarke had expected. Granted, she hadn't been sure what to expect. The only other first date they'd been on, they had done a picnic in Clarke's living room. This was definitely an upgrade from then.

"Wow, Lex," Clarke started as they had sat down and gotten their wine, "you didn't have to take me to such a fancy place. We already had sex, remember?"

Lexa rolled her eyes again, "Yeah, say that even louder so everyone can hear."

Clarke opened her mouth to do just that, but Lexa quickly leaned over the table to put her hand over Clarke's mouth. They stared at each other, both silent for a while, until they broke out laughing. Lexa's hand found Clarke's and held it on the table.

"I just - last time we had a picnic in your living room and I – I know that kind of felt like we did that because I wasn't out," Lexa said, struggling with her words, and Clarke squeezed her hand, "And this time, I want it to be different, so I wanted to do it right."

"You're adorable," Clarke said, a fond smile on her face. A smile broke out on Lexa's blushing face as well.

 

"So is this the part where your dates always say they had fun and they'll call you?" Lexa joked as they found themselves back at Clarke's front door after an exceptionally good date. Their meal had been delicious and Lexa had picked up the tab before Clarke even got a chance to, mumbling about her internship paying far better than Clarke’s. After their meal, they’d walked around the city center, getting ice cream and joking around.

"Yeah, except you better not ghost me," Clarke warned.

"I wouldn't dream of it."

"You're such a damn charmer," Clarke said, a little surprised of how smooth Lexa was.

Lexa shrugged, "I try."

They were silent for a while, both taking in the fact that this was the end of their first date, before Lexa spoke up again, "Clarke, if I - if tonight made you realise you don't wanna do this, that's okay too. We can just stop here."

Clarke felt her stomach sink at Lexa's words. She didn't understand where this was suddenly coming from - what had given Lexa the impression that Clarke didn't want this? Was there something that made Lexa realise that she wanted to stop here? Was Lexa just giving her an out in the hopes that she would take it?

"I - what - where," Clarke started, frowning, then closed her mouth again.

She closed her eyes for a second, telling herself to calm down. Stop assuming things, she told herself. Just ask her.

"Did you have a good time tonight?" she asked Lexa.

"Yes, of course I did, I thought that was obvious. I just want to make sure you did, too."

"Obviously I did," Clarke sighed out, stroking Lexa's cheek, "What gave you the impression I didn't?"

Lexa opened her mouth, then closed it again. When she opened it again, she mumbled something Clarke could only half hear.

"Sorry, what was that?"

"I said, I guess I'm just scared to lose you. And I don’t want to keep you somewhere you don’t wanna be."

Clarke sighed out again, a small reassuring smile coming up on her face.

"I'm not leaving, Lexa. I'm here. And I love being here."

Lexa nodded and smiled, "Okay. I just wanted to make sure."

"C'mere," Clarke mumbled as she pulled Lexa's face towards her. She kissed Lexa softly, trying to convey how much she cared for Lexa, pulling her closer. When she pulled away, Lexa was blushing again.

Clarke smirked. It was nice to know she still had that effect on Lexa.

"I had a great time tonight," Clarke told Lexa, who nodded, "In fact, I'd love to invite you over and spend the rest of the night with you, but I have to go tell Raven and Octavia all about how great you were for me tonight."

Lexa smiled, "And we're taking it slow, so. I should probably move out of your space before we do something stupid."

She gave Clarke another quick peck on the lips before she took a few steps back.

 

-----

 

"I'll call you," Lexa said with a smile.

"You better," Clarke replied, grinning from ear to ear.

 

-----

 

“So,” Clarke started, sitting in front of Nyko in the hospital cafeteria, “The big date is coming up.”

Nyko nodded, a small smile gracing his face.

“You excited?”

“Definitely. Are you?”

“No doubt,” Clarke smiled.

“Great! I’ll still have to survive meeting with Pike today, though.”

Charles Pike was a department head who took care of everything regarding interns. Interns had a meeting with him twice a year to determine whether they were doing a good job. The meetings frightened most interns because of all the horror stories from previous interns.

“Oh, yeah, good luck with that,” Clarke winced. From her own experiences, she knew what Nyko was up against.

“Thanks, I’m gonna need it,” Nyko said, his face turning a little white.

“You’ll be fine! By the way, we need to start setting a date for the bachelor party. And you need to text me your friend’s number. What was his name – Artigo?”

“Artigas,” Nyko said with a smile, “I will. Can we discuss the date later? My head is kind of full at the moment.”

“That’s fine,” Clarke said with a smile. 

“Great,” Nyko said, as he got up and started picking up his plate, “Oh, by the way, Anya and I are having dinner with Lexa tonight. Wanna come?”

“Yeah, sure,” Clarke said, “Thanks for the invite.”

“You’re welcome,” Nyko said, “I’ll see you at seven, then!”

 

-----

 

Clarke felt her heart skip a little, thinking about the fact that this would be the first time she saw Lexa after their date.

 

------

 

Some hours later, she stood in front of Anya and Nyko's door. She'd brought a bottle of wine, hoping Lexa hadn't had the same thought.

The door swung open a while after she'd knocked on the door, revealing a grinning Lexa.

"Hey," Clarke greeted, surprised at how happy Lexa looked, "You look cheerful."

"I am," Lexa said, giving Clarke a quick peck on the lips. She blushed a little after she'd done it, which made Clarke grin. Lexa was so adorable.

"Any specific reason?" Clarke asked as she walked in.

"Well, I'm having dinner with my sister, my soon to be brother-in-law and my - " Lexa stopped for a minute, trying to find words to define what Clarke is to her. Exes didn’t really cover it, and friends sure as hell didn’t either, but it was too early to define themselves as girlfriends.  

"And the best person you have ever known or will know," Clarke filled in, pecking Lexa on the lips one more time, "Thanks babe."

Anya, who was standing at the stove, yelled "Knock it off with the kisses. I’m the engaged woman here, I should be the center of attention!"

Clarke laughed, "You’ve been the center of attention for weeks now, Anya, let us have this."

She gave Anya a quick hug from behind, which made Anya roll her eyes and Lexa laugh.

"I brought wine," Clarke said, placing the bottle on the table.

"Lexa, take notes!" Anya said to her sister, "When you go to a dinner, bring wine, not flowers. What the hell am I supposed to do with those?"

"I'm sure Nyko will enjoy them," Clarke tried to comfort Lexa, sitting down next to her at the kitchen table, squeezing her hand.

Anya just rolled her eyes again.

"So," Clarke started, "How is the most beautiful person in the world?"

Lexa perked up immediately, "Well, I - "

"Uh, sorry, babe," Clarke interrupted, "I was talking about Anya."

Lexa's face fell and Anya basically snorted, turning away from the stove to give Clarke an approving look. 

"She's a keeper," Anya told Lexa, who was grumbling.

"I'm not so sure," Lexa replied, glaring at Clarke. Clarke just winked at her.

The door swung open as Nyko walked in, a blush on his cheek and a little out of breath. He had obviously rushed home from the hospital.

"Hey everyone," he said, squeezing both Clarke and Lexa's shoulders from behind, before walking over to Anya to give her a quick kiss on the lips.

"Thank God you're here," Anya said, "I have no clue how to see whether this pasta is done."

"Are you serious?" Nyko started, while Lexa shouted, "Anya, it's pasta!"

Both stared at Anya unbelievingly, unable to believe that she wouldn't know something so basic.

"You should throw it against the wall!" Clarke said excitedly, "If it sticks, it's done!"

 

------

 

Nyko's mouth fell open as Lexa just shook her head disappointedly, both exchanging a look that said, "How the hell did we end up with these women?"

 

------

 

After dinner, where they'd discussed the last details of the wedding and Nyko had told everyone his talk with Pike had gone well, Nyko and Lexa had offered to do the cleaning up, while Anya and Clarke sat on the couch, half focusing on the TV series that was playing in the background and half exchanging gossip.

"Did you hear about Luna and Raven yet?"

"I don't think I have," Anya replied, scrunching her brow.

"Seems like they're really hitting it off," Clarke said, wiggling her eyebrows.

"I'm not surprised," Anya scoffed, "Have you seen Raven?"

"Yeah,” Clarke scoffed,  “And have you seen Luna?"

"Did you just insinuate that another woman is hot while dating my sister?"

"I – I didn’t mean -" Clarke started, feeling a blush catch up to her cheeks, "Wait! Did you just insinuate that another woman is hot while dating my best friend?"

"Oh, please," Anya scoffed, "Nyko isn't your best friend."

"Shut up," Clarke said, hitting Anya in the face with a pillow.

"I'm gonna let that one slip," Anya said, after she'd fixed her hair and given Clarke the finger, "But if you hit me again, Griffin, I'll have your head."

"Okay, dystopian war lord," Clarke said, waiting for what was next. When nothing came, she tilted her head to look at Anya.

"What?" Anya barked.

"I'm waiting."

"What for?"

"The speech!"

"What speech?"

"The whole if-you-hurt-my-little-sister-I-will-eat-your-insides-speech."

Anya laughed, "Oh, please. You already know all that shit. Besides, if you hurt Lexa, I'm sure she'll be perfectly able to handle herself. She's way more badass than she looks."

"I think she looks pretty badass, too," Carke said, getting lost in thoughts of Lexa in her suit, her game face still on when she comes to Clarke's after work.

 

-----

 

This time, it was Clarke who got hit in the face.

"Keep your dirty bedroom thoughts away from me, Griffin. Or else I'll really eat your insides."

 

-----

 

“It’s getting late,” Lexa said, “I should be going home.”

“Yeah, me too,” Clarke joined in. While she was having a lot of fun, she also didn’t wanna be that guest who overstayed their welcome.

Anya wiggled her eyebrows at Clarke, which Nyko pretended to ignore, while Lexa rolled her eyes at her sister. Clarke kinda got where Anya was coming from, though – they were leaving at the same time and everyone knew that they’d been fucking.

However, that wasn’t their situation anymore, and Anya was embarrassing her sister, so Clarke just gave Anya the finger, which made Anya cackle loudly.

Clarke quickly exchanged hugs with Anya and Nyko while Lexa got their coats and held the door open for Clarke.

“Thank you,” Clarke mumbled as she made her way through the door, waiting outside for Lexa until Lexa had shut it.

Lexa sighed as she closed the door and started walking down the hall, “That was quite the night.”

Clarke laughed, “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know – Anya. She is quite the presence. It can be a little tiring,” Lexa said, giving Clarke a small smile.

“You’re such an introvert,” Clarke teased, “You need to go home and recharge.”

Lexa nodded as she held the door open for Clarke again, “I do think I need to be alone for a bit, yes.”

As they arrived at Lexa’s car, Lexa pouted.

“I do wanna be around you, too, though,” she whined.

Clarke laughed, “I have a feeling you don’t have enough energy right now to have me around.”

Lexa pouted again, which just made Clarke laugh again.

“You’re right. I’m sorry,” Lexa said. She leaned back against her car.

“You don’t have to apologize, babe,” Clarke said. The nickname got Lexa to look up. Clarke still tilted up Lexa’s chin with her finger anyway.

“It’s okay to need your time and space alone. I understand. You can come make me dinner tomorrow, if you want.”

Lexa smiled, “I’d like that. A lot, actually.”

“Good,” Clarke said around a grin, “Me too.”

Lexa leaned in to capture Clarke’s lips, grabbing at her hips lightly to pull Clarke into her. Clarke’s breath hitched a little, pressed up against Lexa. She cupped Lexa’s face and followed Lexa’s slow pace, before she pulled back and rested her forehead against Lexa’s.

With her eyes still closed, she whispered, “See you tomorrow.”

 

-----

 

“That was cute,” Lexa chuckled, “But I’m still driving you home.”

 

------

 

Chapter Text

Clarke (2:00 pm): Hey, your place or mine tonight?

Lexa (2:03 pm): Mine? I'm pretty sure I have more stuff at home to actually cook a decent dinner with ;)

Clarke (2:04 pm): Ha ha. Shouldn't you be working, anyway?

Lexa (2:04 pm): Clarke, you texted me first.

Clarke (2:04 pm): Well, yeah, but I'm not some important hotshot lawyer.

Lexa (2:04 pm): You literally save lives, Clarke. I think you're the important one here.

Lexa (2:05 pm): And I'm not a lawyer yet.

Clarke (2:05 pm): Keyword: yet.

 

------


Lexa (2:05 pm): You're cute.

Clarke (2:06 pm): Not as cute as you. Now get back to work! I'll see you tonight.

Lexa (2:06 pm): Looking forward to it :)

 

-----

 

It occurred to Clarke they hadn't picked a time for their date, but she figured if she arrived at Lexa's place around 7, she'd be right on time for dinner. However, part of her really wanted to go earlier and hang out in Lexa's apartment. She considered it for a moment before she decided to just head on over after her internship.

Her internship ended at half past 5 and she was already on her way to Lexa's when she noticed that there was a huge blood stain on her blouse. One of her patients had coughed up some blood, right onto Clarke, and after she'd disinfected everything and cleaned up most of the blood, she'd totally forgotten about it. Fuck. What should she do next? She was already on the bus to Lexa's house and she really didn't wanna get off at the next stop and take the bus back home.

She decided to just go to Lexa's and deal with it then.

So that was how, when Lexa opened the door, she almost screamed. Her jaw fell and her eyes went wide.

"Clarke," she started, "You're blee- "

Clarke laughed and pressed a quick kiss to her lips as she passed Lexa and walked into the apartment.

"Don't worry, it's not my blood. I wanted to come over right after work and forgot that I had a blood stain on my shirt. Hospital intern life," she added, for a touch of light, “I wouldn’t touch it, though, if I were you.”

She took off her jacket and put her phone on the table, turning around to look at Lexa. Lexa let out an obviously relieved sigh, and then laughed at herself.

"Right, of course. That makes much more sense. You scared me a little."

"Well, I can't blame you for being scared, seeing how many bisexual women die on TV," Clarke said, winking at Lexa, "You know that's not real though, right? I'm gonna be bothering you for a long time."

Lexa rolled her eyes, but she came closer to give Clarke a proper hello kiss anyway. When Clarke pulled away, she rested her forehead against Lexa's.

"I'm gonna need to take a shower and get a change of clothes. Is that okay?"

Lexa smiled, "Of course."

 

 

"So to the left is hot, and to the right is -"

"Cold, yeah, I get it Lex," Clarke laughed, “I’ve showered here before.” Lexa blushed.

"Right, I'm gonna get you a change of clothes,” Lexa said, disappearing out of the bathroom.

Clarke, tired of walking around in a blood-stained shirt, started undressing. She was just taking off her pants when Lexa walked back in with a bundle of clothes. Seeing Clarke in just her underwear, she immediately stopped dead in her tracks.

“Uh, sorry, I just came to give you these,” Lexa said, stammering and averting her eyes to the ground.

Clarke laughed, “Lexa, this is nothing you haven’t seen before.”

“Yeah,” Lexa mumbled, “But we’re taking it slow now and you’re making it kinda hard for me like that.”

“Oh really?” Clarke asked, smirking, and she raised one eyebrow at Lexa. Lexa looked up and blushed as Clarke slowly moved closer to Lexa.

“Really,” she almost shouted, before she practically ran out of the room and slammed the door shut behind her. Clarke laughed so hard she snorted.

 

After dinner, which was so delicious Lexa had to stop Clarke from eating so much her stomach would hurt (again), they sat at the dining table, both sipping a glass of wine, fingers entangled. Clarke felt content at how easy this all felt and how easily conversation flowed between them. They were currently on the topic of high school.

Lexa laughed, “We would not have been friends in high school.”

“Oh really?” Clarke asked, raising a brow, a playful smile on her face, “And what makes you so sure?”

“Because I didn’t have any friends.”

“That can’t be true!” Clarke laughed, waving Lexa’s statement away, “Who wouldn’t wanna be friends with you?”

“It was true. And it was mostly my own fault, really. I was studying all the time. You should’ve seen me during finals. It got obsessive, almost.”

"Obsessive? What do you mean?"

Lexa sighed and ran a hand through her hair, "I mean I would do nothing but study for days. Without breaks. I only took breaks to eat. And I'd only have those breaks when I was done. Food became a bit of a reward, rather than a necessity. Like, if I'd be finished with my task, only then I would get to eat. It didn't matter how hungry I was in the meantime."

Clarke squeezed Lexa's hand, looking at her worriedly.

"That doesn't sound healthy."

Lexa laughed, but it held no happiness, "It wasn't. And the worst thing is that I could've easily gone without all that. It wasn't like I was failing any classes. The only reason I treated myself so tough was because I wanted to get A's. That was the only thing that felt like it was enough for me. Or for my parents."

Clarke nodded her head, squeezing Lexa's hand again when she mentioned her parents. Lexa smiled at her gratefully, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes.

"Then what happened?" Clarke wondered, sensing that this would probably build up to some sort of big outburst before it got better. Things usually did with Lexa. She would keep things inside for too long and push herself until something broke.

"Well," Lexa started, "When Anya was still around, she would always be able to get me to relax just when I was on the verge of breaking. But when we got into that fight and we weren't speaking, I didn't get those breaks. So things started building up until I couldn't take it anymore. When I was in college, I had a burn-out. After some talks with the student counselor, we both decided it would be best to take some time off. You have no idea how disappointed my parents were."

Things started clicking for Clarke, then.

"So then they asked you to come work in the restaurant?"

Lexa nodded, "Exactly. And then, obviously, I took up law school again later. It wasn't exactly easy to get back into that system. But I studied less obsessively and it was a lot healthier."

Clarke nodded, understanding. Lexa could still be pretty intense about work, but she usually knew when to take a break.

"How come we've never talked about this before?" Clarke wondered aloud, thinking back to their past. This topic had never really come up.

"Well," Lexa said, picking up on what Clarke was thinking of, "Around that time I was still figuring out what was wrong with me. I didn't really realize yet that I'd had a burn-out and I guess I thought I was just a normal student. Only when I learned how to study and work like a normal person, did I realize that my routines before were really unhealthy."

Clarke nodded. That made sense.

"So what were you like in high school?" Lexa wondered.

Clarke laughed, "Oh, we would not have been in the same social circles."

"What, were you a cheerleader?" Lexa asked, already smirking. Clarke's heart jumped a little at the wide grin on her face. She rarely smiled this much.

Clarke laughed it off, "Not exactly. But I was pretty popular, I guess. I don't know. I got asked to a lot of parties."

“I bet,” Lexa said, laughing, “Did all the frat boys try to ask you out?”

“Shut up,” Clarke said, blushing.

“I knew it!” Lexa laughed, “Did you ever date one of them?”

“Nah,” Clarke said, “I didn’t even hang out much with them, really. I mean, I went to their parties and drank their alcohol. But I didn’t like the crowd. Too many rape jokes and snapbacks.”

“You like it when I wear snapbacks,” Lexa teased.

“I like it when you wear anything. Or nothing.”

Lexa blushed again, looking down at her lap.

Clarke laughed, “Wow, that shut you up real quick.”

“Well, you really are testing me tonight.”

Clarke laughed and slowly got out of her chair, making her way to Lexa’s side of the table.

“I just think it’s funny to watch you squirm.”

Lexa winced at that and Clarke laughed again, moving Lexa’s chair so that it was facing Clarke. She slowly sat down in Lexa’s lap, straddling Lexa and letting her arms rest on Lexa’s shoulders as she smiled down at her.

“You’re a real pain in the ass, Clarke Griffin,” Lexa said, but with a fondness in her voice.

“Did you just swear?” Clarke said, mocking surprise.

“Shut up,” Lexa mumbled, leaning up until she was close enough to kiss Clarke’s mouth and then leaning back against her chair, letting Clarke chase her mouth. Clarke’s fingers tangled into Lexa’s hair as they kissed and Lexa’s hands came up to touch Clarke’s hips, pulling her in a little closer. Clarke licked into Lexa’s mouth, carefully, trying to see if this was okay or going too far, and was rewarded by a groan from Lexa. Lexa sucked at Clarke’s lip and then bit it softly. Just as Clarke was worried they might be taking this too far, her phone started ringing.

They both pulled back quickly, startled. Clarke looked at her phone, ready to press cancel on Raven or Octavia’s call. However, it was her mom and as she caught her breath, she decided to take it.

Lexa looked surprised when Clarke answered her phone with a warm “Hi mom!”

“Hello darling, how are you?” Abby asked from the other side of the line.

“I’m good, I’m with Lexa.”

“Oh,” Abby asked, “Am I interrupting something?”

“No, no –  ” Clarke quickly said, even though Abby kind of was, “No, you’re not.”

Lexa raised an eyebrow at Clarke, able to hear the entire conversation and not entirely understanding what was going on.

“Oh, okay. Good. Anyway, the reason I called – I have a few days off soon, and I was wondering if you would like it if I swing by for a day or two?”

“Yeah, yeah, of course, that sounds great!” Clarke said, before realizing she didn’t have a place for her mom to sleep besides the couch, “I don’t really have any place to sleep, though. Well, you can take my bed and I’ll take the couch.”

Abby laughed, “Don’t worry about it, Clarke. I’ll just take a hotel.”

“Okay, well, we’ll figure it out around that time. Text me the details? I don’t think I’ll be able to get some days off at the hospital, but I can at least keep the rest of the day free.”

“Will do, honey. Now go enjoy your… time with Lexa. Tell her I said hi!”

“I will. Love you!” Clarke said, still feeling a little uncomfortable when she said it. But she was rewarded when she heard the warmth in her mother’s voice when she said it back.

As she hung up the phone she turned back to Lexa, who still had her hands on Clarke’s lips but more to steady her this time, and looked gobsmacked.

“What just happened?” Lexa asked, surprised that Clarke was suddenly on good terms with her mom again.

“Uh,” Clarke started, looking at the position they were still in, “Maybe we should move to the couch for this conversation.”

 

Once they were comfortable in the couch, Clarke told Lexa the entire story of Charlotte and how it had affected Clarke. She told Lexa about how it had made her feel guilty about the way she’d treated her mom and what Clarke had told her mom when she finally properly spoke to her again. After that whole conversation, Clarke felt a little tired, and so she decided to watch some TV with her head in Lexa’s lap while Lexa read her book.

Before she knew it, Lexa was carefully shaking her shoulder to wake her up and she felt like it was the middle of the night.

“Clarke,” Lexa said softly, “Babe, let’s go to bed.”

Clarke was too tired to make a dirty joke or think too much about the pet name Lexa had just used, so she just let Lexa help her upright and followed her to the bedroom on legs still shaky from sleep.

Lexa gave her a pair of pajamas and after they’d changed and brushed their teeth, they fell into the bed.

 

-----

 

As Clarke started dozing off again, she snuggled up to Lexa and mumbled, “Best second date ever.”

 

------

 

Friday night found Clarke at a game night with her group of friends. They were sitting in a circle on the couch, watching Raven and Octavia play Mario Bros, most of them happy to just watch and catch up with the ones around them.

Jasper was filling everyone’s glasses with booze, while Monty was leaning back against his boyfriend Miller’s chest. Bellamy was sitting next to Clarke, resting his head against her shoulder while he and Lincoln watched the screen attentively. Clarke was trying her best to pay attention, but she was also texting Lexa, so it was getting a little hard.

“Put your phone away, princess,” Bellamy protested, but his tone wasn’t unfriendly.

“That nickname reminds me of Finn,” Clarke said, which immediately resulted in Lincoln scrunching up his face.

“You and me both, Linc,” Clarke laughed.

“Hey, hey, to defend him, he wasn’t all bad!” Bellamy said, defending his used-to-be-friend.

“Yeah, until he got a crush on Clarke,” Monty mumbled, “Then he just got weird.”

“True,” Jasper said, “So in a way, this is all Clarke’s fault.”

Raven turned away from the game for a second to give Jasper a threatening look, “Don’t even joke about it.”

Clarke was busy looking at her phone again.

 

Lexa (8:03 pm): So, are you gonna come over tonight or?

 

Clarke smiled at the text and rapidly typed in a reply.

 

Clarke (8:03 pm): Cheeky. I can’t, actually, I’m with my friends.

 

“Clarke, you know, there’s a reason this is a no significant other-event,” Raven shouted from where she was playing Mario Bros. Clarke sighed. That girl noticed everything.

“Lincoln is here!” Clarke protested.

“Hey, my boyfriend is part of the original gang, thank you very much,” Octavia jumped in before Lincoln could even try to defend himself.

“Well, Miller is here, too,” Clarke pointed out.

“Yeah,” Raven admitted, “but Miller is… Miller.”

Clarke looked over at Miller, indignant, and Miller just shrugged.

“What can I say,” he said, “I’m Miller.”

The friends laughed and Monty kissed his cheek.

 

Clarke (8:05 pm): … Although, if my friends keep being annoying, I might leave them for you.

Lexa (8:06 pm): Cute. But you should spend time with your friends, Clarke, they’re important. I’ll see you soon.

Clarke (8:07 pm): Okay. Talk to you later :)

 

She put her phone away for the rest of the night and enjoyed herself with her friends. At the end of the night, she was a little tipsy, but not too much to let it spiral out of control. She was enjoying herself and felt happy to be surrounded by her friends. Most of them were already busy with their jobs and she felt happy that they still made time for each other. She felt a rush of gratitude for all of them, even Jasper, and decided to speak up.

“I love you guys, you know that right?”

The group laughed.

“You tell us this almost every time we’re together, Clarke,” Lincoln said, amusement in his soft voice.

Clarke smiled.

“Well, good. Then you know.”

“And we love you too, Griffin,” Monty added, before Raven shouted for a group hug, jumped on top of Clarke and the rest followed until Clarke was struggling for breath.

 

When it was midnight, it was time to go home. Clarke had come by bus and since there weren’t any buses anymore, she had to bug one of her friends for a ride. She hated doing this, leeching off the fact that they all had cars, but she also didn’t really wanna walk home alone in the dark. So after she’d put on her coat and shoes and everyone was ready to leave, she turned towards Bellamy, only to find him dangling his car keys in her face.

“I’m dropping you off at home, Griffin. You sure ain’t walking home,” he said, as if he had to convince her. She grinned, relieved that she didn’t even have to ask, and followed him to his car.

When they were in his car, she got a different idea.

“Hey, actually, can you take me somewhere else?” she asked.

 

When she let herself into Lexa’s apartment, Lexa was already in bed. Clarke quietly walked into the bedroom and took off her clothes, not bothering to brush her teeth.

“Clarke?” Lexa’s sleepy voice came from the bed.

“It’s me, babe, go back to sleep.”

“I thought you were with your friends,” Lexa said as she shuffled around in the bed, closing her eyes again.

“I was, but I wanted to come here.”

“Pyjamas are in the – ”

“Bottom right drawer, I know,” Clarke said as she climbed into bed next to Lexa, already dressed in pyjamas.

“Now you’re the cheeky one,” Lexa mumbled and Clarke was impressed with the amount of wit she mustered up after having just been woken from sleep.

 

-----

 

“You love it,” Clarke replied, before pressing a soft kiss onto Lexa’s shoulder and draping an arm around her waist. She pressed her face into Lexa’s neck and felt herself drift off quickly.

 

------

 

When Clarke woke up some hours later, she found Lexa hovering over her. It took her a few minutes to realize that Lexa had woken her up.

“Hm? What’s wrong?” she mumbled, feeling rested but still taking some time to woke up.

“Clarke, are you on your period?”

“Uh,” Clarke started, trying to remember when she had her last period, “I might be, why?”

Lexa slowly peeled back the covers and suddenly Clarke understood why. There was a small pool of half-dried blood on the sheets around Clarke’s bloody. It wasn’t much, but it still didn’t look good.

“Fuck, Lexa,” Clarke said, immediately awake, “I’m so sorry, my period app didn’t send me the reminder notification yet and I was busy last night so I didn’t think to check – I didn’t wear a night pad – shit, what if it’s on your mattress?”

She panicked, realizing how hard it was to get blood stains out of the mattress and how expensive mattresses were. She quickly jumped up and took off the sheets, noticing a smaller blood stain on the mattress.

“Shit, Lex, I’m so sorry – ” Clarke started, but Lexa shook her head and took Clarke’s hand.

“Don’t worry about it,” Lexa started, tugging at Clarke’s hand and leading her out of the room. Clarke was wondering where they were going – they needed to take off the sheets fast and try and wash the blood from the mattress, or it would definitely stick.

“Lex, I need to wash those sheets, the blood is gonna stick to the mat- ”

Lexa shushed her again as she led her to the bathroom and opened the door. Clarke looked away from Lexa to see a hot bath, filled to the brim, waiting for her.

Lexa closed the bathroom door behind them and started tugging at Clarke’s shirt. Clarke took the hint and raised her arms while she started undressing herself.

A few minutes later, she was in the tub while Lexa handed her a washcloth, pressed a kiss to her forehead and mumbled something about being right back.

It took Lexa a while to come back and Clarke leant back while she listened to the comforting sounds of Lexa move through the house. She managed to relax a little and enjoyed the feeling of being clean, but she still had a ton of questions. She was worried about the mattress, wondered how Lexa had magically had a bath prepared and wanted to know where Lexa went.

When Lexa returned to the bathroom, this time dressed in her regular clothes, she must’ve seen the questions in Clarke’s eyes. She sat down on the ground, next to Clarke.

“I woke up and noticed the blood. I figured you must be on your period and probably had blood stains all over your thighs as well, so I ran a bath and woke you up when it was full,” she said in a soft voice.

“Lexa, the mattress- ” Clarke started, but Lexa cut her off.

“I took care of it.”

“I’m sorry.”

Lexa laughed, “Don’t be stupid. You couldn’t help it.”

“If you’d woken me up earlier, I might – I might not have bled so much and I could’ve cleaned the sheets myself - ”

“Clarke,” Lexa interrupted, taking Clarke’s hand that was hanging over the edge of the tub, “You were sleeping. I didn’t wanna wake you up. And stop worrying about it, I took care of it.”

Clarke felt her heart swell a little. How had she been so lucky to find someone like Lexa, someone so soft, who would let her sleep even when she was bleeding all over Lexa’s expensive sheets, who would run her a bath and guide her into it gently, who would change the sheets and clean her mess while she herself was relaxing in the bathtub?

She felt her heart swell even more and in her rush of affection, all she wanted to do was share that affection. Tell Lexa she loved her. But they hadn’t even been on three dates yet.

And yet. Yet, she knew where to find the key to Lexa’s apartment, and which drawer to open for pajamas, and where everything was in Lexa’s kitchen. Yet, she let herself into Lexa’s apartment late at night just to sleep in her bed with her and Lexa didn’t find that absurd. Lexa was already starting to feel like home. And Clarke really did love her.

But still, she bit her tongue.

“Thank you,” she whispered instead and smiled, “I’m gonna make you the best breakfast ever after I’ve washed my hair.”

Lexa laughed and stood up to get the showerhead and shampoo. She proceeded to soak Clarke’s hair and softly knead Clarke’s head before she applied the shampoo, her fingers scratching Clarke’s hairline softly. It took everything in Clarke not to moan.

 

-----

 

She joked, “I think you’re gonna give me an orgasm.”

Lexa just laughed, shaking her head as she washed the shampoo out of Clarke’s hair.

 

-----

 

 

Chapter Text

A couple of weeks flew by. Clarke didn’t even notice. She used to be counting days. She used to think, “wow, is it still March?”. Her weeks used to feel like months.

But lately, her life felt a little lighter.

She had taken up art again, which had changed her life in a way she hadn’t anticipated. She had never quite forgotten the power of drawing, but she had underestimated it. Of course she hadn’t forgotten how art could change her mood and allow her to express herself, but she had underestimated just how much it could change her mood. Nowadays, when she’d had a shit day at the hospital with one too many hurt patients, she would pour herself a glass of water and draw something, anything. The face of a friend. An object in her living room. An illustration of some words that she’d heard throughout the day. She wouldn’t notice right away, but she would get pulled into the drawing so much that she would totally forget about all the stress. Where the anxiety and stress from work used to linger and stay with her long after she’d gone home, now she would enjoy dinner without worrying or go to sleep without tossing and turning.

Another change was that she was talking to her mom again, which was also a big source of stress relief. She had been fifteen when her dad had been ripped away from her and she had pushed her mom away. She had still been in the stages of becoming an adult, but in those last years of childhood, she hadn’t truly been able to be a child. Instead, she had learned how to take care of herself and build fences to keep her mom out. So when she had let her mom back into her life, she had found herself reacquainted with a big source of comfort.

This was also something that she had underestimated. She had always told herself she didn’t need her mom, and she didn’t need her mom; she had made it this far without her. But it was such a comfort to have her. To have someone to call up in the evening who would always answer, no matter the time difference, and let her complain about something annoying Octavia said. Who would tell her to choose for herself and at the same time remind her what a great friend Octavia was. Who would scold her for her language. Fuck, it even felt good to be scolded for her language.

After she’d told Lexa about her contact with her mom, she had expected Lexa to be a little wary. There were a lot of similarities in Clarke’s relationship with her mom and Lexa’s relationship with her parents, so Clarke had expected Lexa to be a little awkward every time Clarke was on the phone with Abby. Instead, Lexa was really supportive. When Clarke stayed over at hers, she’d remind Clarke of her weekly call with her mom. She’d braid Clarke’s hair while Clarke was on the phone with Abby. And she would smile every time Clarke laughed at something Abby said.

Their relationship was going pretty well. They’d been going on dates and just hanging out together for seven weeks now, and though they hadn’t defined anything yet, it felt comfortable. Like it was always supposed to be this way. And it was, in some way. It would probably have been this way if Clarke hadn’t broken them up the first time around. But Clarke didn’t think in terms of ‘what if’ much anymore lately. Lexa wasn’t holding any grudges and it didn’t make sense to wonder what could’ve been when they had a happy now.

Like right now, when Lexa was following Clarke up the stairs to her apartment, laughing at something stupid Clarke said. Lexa had picked Clarke up from her internship, since they had dinner plans. When they arrived at Clarke’s door, Lexa tugged at Clarke’s hand and spun her around, stopping Clarke from opening the door.

Clarke raised her eyebrows.

Lexa smiled, “I don’t think I’ve properly kissed you hello yet.”

Clarke laughed, staying still as Lexa moved into her space, pressing her lips against Clarke’s. Clarke was smiling into the kiss until Lexa softly pressed her against the front door and Clarke moved her hands to Lexa’s waist. Lexa pressed into Clarke, making Clarke moan a little. It wasn’t that it was so sexual; it was just that they hadn’t done anything sexual in about two months and Clarke was still painfully attracted to Lexa, especially when she pressed her body into Clarke’s like that.

Lexa leaned back a little, moving her hands to Clarke’s face. She pulled back and rested her forehead against Clarke’s, both of them taking the time to catch their breath.

Just as Clarke was moving in to connect their lips again, she caught movement in the background from the movement of her eye. She moved back from Lexa to check what was going on.

At the top of the stairs, with a small suitcase in her hand, stood Abby. She looked a little flustered.

Lexa looked at Clarke, confused, until she followed her line of sight and saw the stranger at the top of the stairs. When she saw the shock on Clarke’s face, she turned around so that she was positioned in front of Clarke.

“Mom?”

“Surprise?” Abby said, a small smile on her face that broadened when Clarke stepped away from Lexa and wrapped her mother up in a hug.

 

After introductions, Lexa quickly opened the apartment door. She made coffee while Clarke and Abby were quickly catching up on the couch.

“Thanks babe,” Clarke said when she entered the kitchen to find Lexa already pouring the coffee.

Lexa gave her a small smile, “Of course.”

Clarke wrapped her arms around Lexa from behind, pressing a quick kiss against her neck.

“I wish we could continue what we started earlier,” Clarke mumbled, “I’m sorry if that embarrassed you. She was supposed to fly in tomorrow but they let her go early today, so she wanted to surprise me.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Lexa said, still smiling as she picked up the tray of coffee cups and made her way to the living room, “I’ll just pick up my laundry from last time and be on my way.”

“Lexa, aren’t you staying for dinner?” Abby asked as Lexa placed a cup of coffee in front of her.

“Uh, well, I – ” Lexa said, looking at Clarke for an answer. Clarke couldn’t blame her for being so uncomfortable. They weren’t even official yet and Lexa was already being roped into having dinner with her mother.

“Lexa’s a pretty busy person, mom,” Clarke said, trying to help Lexa out. She didn’t want Lexa to freak out. Nothing screamed commitment like ‘meeting the parents’.

“Oh please, you’re gonna make me feel guilty for interrupting your time together,” Abby smiled at Lexa.

“Mom, don’t push i-” Clarke started, but Lexa cut her off by taking Clarke’s hand.

“Well, mrs. Griffin, if you don’t mind me imposing on your time with your daughter, I’d love to cook you two a dinner.”

Abby smiled, turning to Clarke, “She definitely knows how to charm a lady, Clarke, I can see why you like her.”

 

Dinner went great. Lexa and Abby got along better than Clarke would’ve expected, knowing they both could be quite outspoken and hard-headed at times. Luckily, their political views aligned for the most part. Abby asked about the wedding and Lexa told her that most of the work was done, and now, it was only a matter of waiting the remaining three months until the wedding. Lexa told Abby about her work, which made a big impression on Abby. She seemed to be more impressed by Lexa than her own daughter. Clarke didn’t really mind, though.

“Well, it seems like it’s time for me to go to my hotel,” Abby said around ten, “I suppose you have your internship tomorrow, Clarke?”

“I do, but feel free to hang out here all day. The key is under the doormat. We can have lunch together, if you want?”

“That sounds good,” Abby said with a smile, “You should really find another place to hide your key, though.”

“I know, right,” Lexa said with a grin, “I’ve been trying to tell her.”

 “Well, there’s no way to get through to that one,” Abby said, laughing as Lexa rolled her eyes.

“So I’ve noticed,” Lexa joked.

“Yeah, yeah,” Clarke said, “If you’re done ganging up on me, I’ll call you an Uber, mom.”

“Don’t be crazy,” Lexa said, grabbing her car keys from the table, “I’ll drive you to your hotel, Abby.”

“Would you look at that!” Abby exclaimed, looking delighted to have a personal chauffeur, “It seems like we’ll get more time to gossip about Clarke!”

Clarke rolled her eyes, pressing a quick kiss to Lexa’s lips before she faced Abby, “Get out of here before I change my mind about having lunch with you tomorrow.”

 

Clarke was already in bed when Lexa came back. Clarke lay in bed with her eyes closed as she heard movement at the door and then in the bathroom. She turned on a nightlight so Lexa could easily make her way to the bed.

“Thanks,” Lexa mumbled when she noticed the nightlight. She slipped under the covers next to Clarke. Just as Clarke was about to turn the nightlight off, Lexa spoke up.

“Clarke?” she asked, voice smaller than it usually was.

Clarke stopped reaching for the nightlight and turned around, looking at Lexa. She wasn’t looking at Clarke, fiddling with the bedsheet. Clarke rested a hand on her waist to reassure her.

“What’s up?’

Lexa opened her mouth, then closed it, took a deep breath and made eye-contact with Clarke. 

“Do you wanna be my girlfriend?”

“Wait – what? Did I hear that right?” Clarke asked, a smile taking over her face.

Lexa smiled too, shyly, “Will you be my girlfriend?”

 

----

 

“Yes,” Clarke said, laughing, pressing a quick kiss to Lexa’s lips, “Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend.”

 

----

 

“What did you say to her?”

“Hello Clarke, nice to see you too, my darling daughter,” Abby said, rolling her eyes as Clarke sat down in front of her at the café they agreed to meet for lunch.

Clarke cringed, “You never call me that. That’s disgusting. Anyway, what did you say to Lexa?”

“You’re gonna have to be a little more specific than that, sweetie,” Abby said as she picked up the menu and began to study it, “I already ordered us drinks by the way.”

Clarke opened her mouth, but Abby cut her off, “I know, a coffee for you. The coffee in your hospital is disgusting.”

Clarke smiled quietly to herself before she remembered what she wanted to ask her mom.

“Lexa came in yesterday, after she drove you home. And she asked me to be her girlfriend.”

Abby gasped, “Clarke, that’s great! Why didn’t you lead with that?”

“Because I’m curious what exactly you said to her that made her ask me!”

“I didn’t say anything!” Abby exclaimed, “Why would I have anything to do with this?”

Clarke squinted her eyes, “She was allergic to feelings for months. She didn’t say anything about being official for these past seven weeks. And now she suddenly wants to define our relationship? Out of nowhere?”

“Well, I didn’t say anything,” Abby said, “All we talked about was the traffic and, well, Jake.”

“You talked about dad?” Clarke asked, feeling her heart jump, the way it always did when her father was brought up.

“We did,” Abby said, “She asked me about him. I think she was trying to get closer to you, maybe.”

Clarke’s heart swelled in her chest. She loved that Lexa wanted to learn about her dad. She knew if the two had met, they’d get along perfectly. It would probably turn into all three of them teasing Clarke together. They would do barbecues every year, where Lexa and Jake would man the grill and Clarke and Abby would just watch, laughing together about the idiotic stuff their partners would undoubtedly come up with.

But it wasn’t like that. It was tough. Clarke and Abby had only just reconnected. Clarke and Lexa had only just become a couple and there wasn’t a doubt in Clarke’s mind that their relationship wouldn’t be easy.

And Jake was dead.

But it meant a lot to Clarke that Lexa wanted to learn about him.

“Maybe hearing me talk about losing Jake made her realize what she has and how easily she could lose it,” Abby said, looking at Clarke suggestively.

 

------

 

“I don’t think she’ll lose me anytime soon,” Clarke mumbled as the waiter brought their drinks.

 

-----

 

Lexa picked Clarke up from her internship that day, telling her it was part of the girlfriend perks. Clarke laughed, her heart still making a little jump when Lexa called her her girlfriend. When they arrived at her apartment, she dragged Lexa out of her car to the front door of her apartment. Lexa protested that she still had a case to prepare, but Clarke just dragged her into the apartment and told her she’d make them dinner. While Lexa read through her files, Clarke tried to cook up something edible. She succeeded pretty well, if she said so herself. Lexa seemed to enjoy it, too. When she didn’t stop complimenting Clarke, Clarke leaned over to shut her up. They traded kisses for a while, until Lexa mumbled that she really needed to get to work.

Clarke cleaned up and after, she sat down on the couch with her sketchbook. Lexa was so focused on her work that she didn’t even notice Clarke copying that same focused look onto her paper.

After a while Lexa was done with her work and came to find Clarke, who was now sketching random objects and symbols, on the couch.

“I thought you didn’t draw anymore?” she asked, leaning over to peek at Clarke’s notebook.

“I didn’t,” Clarke mumbled, “I recently started again.”

She didn’t look up, but she felt Lexa’s mouth press softly to her shoulder.

“Will you play your guitar for me again? Sometime?” she asked, keeping her eyes on her sketchbook, scared to look up, in case Lexa rejected her, thought that was too intimate, still.

“Of course,” Lexa said next to her, “I haven’t played for a while, though. Don’t know if I still can.”

She grabbed the remote and started looking through channels until she found something she liked. When Clarke spared a glance at the TV, she saw that it was a documentary.

“Nerd,” she mumbled. Lexa shot her a glare.

After a while, Clarke put her sketchbook away. Scooting back and laying her head in Lexa’s lap, she closed her eyes and waited for Lexa to play with her hair. Soon enough, nails started scratching her scalp in the way she liked. She hummed.

“I heard my mom told you about my dad,” she mumbled. Hands moved from her hair and Clarke heard the noise of the TV fade out a little, knowing Lexa was paying full attention.

“She did,” Lexa confirmed. Clarke opened her eyes, touching the side of Lexa’s face with one finger. Lexa looked a little panicked, as if she was scared she’d somehow done the wrong thing by hearing about Clarke’s father.

“I wish you could’ve met him.”

Lexa’s eyes softened, “Me too.”

Clarke closed her eyes again, a content smile on her face as Lexa’s hands resumed their action on Clarke’s scalp. 

“Do you think he would’ve liked me?” Lexa asked after a while.

“Definitely not,” Clarke said. When she opened one eye, Lexa looked panicked again. Clarke grinned.

“He didn’t like nerds.”

 

------

 

“I hate you,” Lexa mumbled.

“That’s a lie and we both know it,” Clarke laughed, leaning up to press a kiss against Lexa’s lips, laughing when Lexa didn’t kiss back in protest.

 

------

 

Clarke got busy arranging the last details of the wedding. All Lexa’s and her responsibilities were basically over. Nyko only needed to find the right tie to go with his suit and he and Anya needed to look at the budget together

Lexa prided herself on the fact that they'd been able to stay below budget and, which truly wasn’t that hard after Anya and Lexa’s parents had contributed some money.

The last thing Clarke needed to arrange was Nyko's bachelor party, but that truly wasn't much of a bother. She basically just needed to tell Lexa to stay away from her apartment for a night, buy a couple sixpacks of beer and order some pizzas. She didn't even have to rent a movie - Netflix took care of this. So when Nyko stepepd into her apartment and gave her a big hug to thank her for arranging this, she just patted him on the back.

"It truly wasn't any trouble," she said, hugging him back.

“Maybe not, but I still appreciate it," Nyko replied, pulling back. He had brought two bottles of wine for the attendees who weren't big on beer.

Soon enough, friends started pouring in. Nyko wasn't someone who had a lot of friends. Rather, he was the kind of man who had a few friends, but stayed fiercely loyal to them. Luna, Artigas, Lincoln and Semet all showed up. Clarke had also invited Bellamy and Murphy to tag along, since they weren't busy and Nyko said he'd love to get to know them better.

They started watching a movie, but it was a B-lister that wasn't as good as they'd hoped, so soon enough they gave up and chose Mario Bros instead. Nyko and Bellamy were playing together while the rest cheered them on and gave them tips.

"Soon enough you'll be in the married life and saving your own princess Peach," Bellamy joked to Nyko. Everyone started laughing and Bellamy looked up, confused.

"I mean, I know that was kinda lame to say, but I didn't think it was that funny?" he asked.

"You've obviously never met Anya before," Clarke said, squeezing Bell's shoulder, "She's not exactly someone who needs to be saved."

"She'll probably be the one to save me," Nyko laughed. Bellamy laughed along, now.

"Are you excited for the big day?" he asked, glancing at Nyko before he turned back to the screen.

"I can't wait," Nyko answered, a big smile on his face, "But most of all, I can't wait for the rest of my life with her."

 

------

 

Clarke was about to express how cute that was when Luna hit Nyko with a pillow, laughing and saying, "You fucking sap."

Nyko laughed along.

 

------

 

That night, when everyone was gone and Clarke had asked Lexa over to stay with her, she wondered.

"What are you thinking about?" Lexa asked from above her.

Clarke sat up a little from where she was resting on Lexa's chest.

"How did you know I was thinking?"

"I could just hear, it was so loud," Lexa answered, a small smile on her face. She tucked a strand of Clarke's hair behind her ear.

"I was just thinking... What Anya and Nyko have... It truly is special. I wonder if," Clarke swallowed, "If I ever get to have that."

With you. The words were unspoken, but they were still there.

Lexa studied her for a while before she answered.

"Well, it's not just luck. It's also a lot of hard work. If you want that in a relationship, both parties will have to be prepared to work for it."

Clarke hesitated for a while, until she looked into Lexa’s eyes, calmed down, and asked, “Are you? Prepared to work for it?”

“Clarke,” Lexa mumbled, intertwining their fingers, “I just got you back. I’m not just gonna let you go again. We’re both fighting for this, remember?”

Clarke teared up a little. Maybe it was the way Lexa brought their hands to her lips and pressed a quick kiss to it, or maybe it was just how cute Lexa looked in her sleep shirt, or maybe it was because Clarke had had a long day and she’d had a few beers. But she felt the tears slip down her cheeks and she saw Lexa’s small smile, full of understanding. And there was only one thing she wanted to do.

She leaned in and kissed Lexa, softly, but also with an urge that was evident. She tangled her hands in Lexa’s hair and pulled her down to her mouth, softly. Lexa’s hands went to her hips, keeping her steady as she adjusted her position so that she was straddling Lexa. She pushed Lexa down softly with her own body, all the while making sure their mouths stayed connected. Lexa sighed into her mouth when Clarke’s hand slowly slid up Lexa’s shirt and her finger brushed a nipple.

Clarke pulled back to pull the shirt over Lexa’s head. She did so with care, running a hand through Lexa’s hair after the shirt was off, scratching a little at her scalp.

“Tell me if you want me to stop,” she murmured to Lexa, who nodded at her, pupils dilated. She started pressing kisses down Lexa’s stomach and as she explored all of Lexa’s body again, she thought how much better this was than the rushed, meaningless sex they’d experienced before. There were a few tears rolling down Lexa’s cheeks and Clarke felt the tears slip from her own eyes as well.

 

-----

 

They fell asleep, two hours later, naked and tired, in each other’s arms. Clarke hadn’t felt that content in a long time.

 

-----

Chapter Text

Clarke and Lexa had only been dating for a couple months, officially dating for an even shorter time. Still, they were taking pretty big steps in such an early stage. They had become almost attached at the hip, always hanging around in each other's apartments. Even if they weren't on a date or spending the evening together, they would try to at least fall asleep in the same bed. Clarke felt she was starting to adjust to Lexa's routine. On nights when Lexa was working late and didn’t sleep in Clarke’s bed, Clarke would still follow Lexa's schedule and be in bed by ten. And now, when Lexa's alarm clock went off, she got up with Lexa, instead of using the time to sleep a little more.

So yeah, she was adjusting to Lexa. And maybe she was also starting to depend on her, a little. She was starting to count on someone making her dinner and a warm body curling up to her at night. But she also found that Lexa didn't control her life, not the way she had five years ago. They were attached to the hip, but they weren't inseparable. Clarke enjoyed her own company, as well. She loved moving her easel into the living room and painting on the evenings Lexa wasn't hanging around in her apartment. She loved making herself cocoa and curling up on the couch with a blanket. She loved escaping in a book. That, however, did not mean that she didn't enjoy it when Lexa came home late at night and kissed her forehead, taking her hand and leading her to bed.

Things weren't exactly the way they were before, five years ago, and Clarke didn't exactly mind. She was enjoying the familiarity of Lexa, of diving back into that relationship she had missed so much, while still finding out new things about Lexa. She found out about how goofy Lexa could be when she was completely relaxed, with her stupid puns. And she found out that Lexa became really affectionate when she was tired. She also found out that Lexa had a genuine passion for the law, which she admired. She loved watching Lexa's eyes shine when she talked about the case her firm was working.

 

----

 

She was beginning to love many things about Lexa, and it didn't even scare her.

 

----

 

"You know," Lexa said, one night, when they were lying in bed, naked, spent, "Sometimes it feels like no time has passed. Not between us." 

"Is that a good thing?" Clarke asked, playing with Lexa's hair. Lexa practically purred.

"I think so, yes. It's just like I've fallen right back into that familiarity. That warm feeling. That... love."

Clarke looked into Lexa's eyes, then. She saw hesitation.

"Do you remember the first time I told you I loved you?" Lexa asked.

And Clarke remembered it perfectly. She remembered the phone call that had broken both their hearts, how she'd told Lexa what she knew couldn't be avoided. How she'd broken Lexa's heart and Lexa's reply had been "I love you".

How she'd cried and said that she loved Lexa too.

"I remember," she affirmed.

“Do you remember what you said?”

“I said ‘I know, baby, I love you too’,” Clarke answered. There was still hesitation in Lexa's eyes when she opened her mouth.

"Clarke, I think I - "

 

----

 

Clarke cut her off.

"I don't wanna hear it until you're sure."

 

----

 

"Have you noticed we're moving pretty fast?" Clarke asked, a few days later, after some contemplation.

"I guess," Lexa mumbled, her nose buried in some case files.

"Does that scare you?"

Lexa looked up, sensing that this conversation was getting more serious.

"No," she said, honesty in her eyes. Clarke sighed, relieved. Lexa took her in.

"Does it scare you?"

"No," Clarke said, a small smile on her face.

 

-----

 

Lexa smiled, pressed a kiss to her forehead, and focused on her casefiles again.

 

-----

 

Things were moving pretty quick, but there were setbacks sometimes.

Sometimes, Clarke would be in a bad mood and she’d pick fights about everything until Lexa would send her away and tell her to come back when she could act like an adult again. Other times, Lexa would shut Clarke out completely, until Clarke left her alone for a while and she’d realize she was being unreasonable.

One evening, Lexa’s mom called while they were sitting on the couch, watching a movie after dinner. Lexa got up and walked to the bedroom to take the call. Clarke, having seen the name on Lexa’s screen, paused the film and waited patiently, trying not to eavesdrop. Lexa returned to the living room, fifteen minutes later, looking tense. She didn’t return to the couch, instead walking into the kitchen and filling the kettle.

“What was that about?” Clarke asked as she approached, wrapping her arms around Lexa from behind and resting her chin on Lexa’s shoulder.

“Wedding finances,” Lexa mumbled.

“That was a long conversation for a talk about finances,” Clarke remarked, wondering to herself if there was something else Lexa and her mom had talked about.

Lexa sighed and Clarke felt Lexa’s body tense against her. She didn’t want to make Lexa feel uncomfortable, so she slowly let go and took a step back.

“They wanna have dinner with us.”

“Your parents? With you and me?” Clarke asked, incredulously. This was a really big step for Lexa’s parents, to have dinner with their daughter and her girlfriend. Lexa just nodded.

“Well, that could be really good, couldn’t it?” Clarke asked. Lexa turned around. She still looked tense, but loosened up a bit when she pulled Clarke into her.

“Can we talk about something else?” she asked, moving in to kiss Clarke’s neck. Clarke sighed, deep and needy, digging her fingers into Lexa’s hips as Lexa pressed a leg between Clarke’s thighs. Clarke bucked into it involuntarily and closed her eyes as Lexa kissed her, biting her bottom lip softly. She almost got lost in what was happening until she realized exactly what was happening.

She immediately took a step back, running a hand through her hair, and looking at Lexa accusatively.

“No. We’re not doing this again.”

“What?” Lexa asked, frowning.

“You know damn well what. This whole fucking so we don’t have to talk about our feelings-thing.”

“I wasn’t trying to – ” Lexa started, annoyed.

“It sure looked like it,” Clarke accused.

“Dammit Clarke, why can’t you ever leave me alone?” Lexa snapped.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Clarke asked, trying not to feel too hurt.

“Why can’t you just give me my space?” Lexa spat out.

“What, do you want me to leave?” Clarke asked, narrowing her eyes.

“I didn’t say that! I’m just saying I don’t have to tell you every goddamn thing that’s going on in my head,” Lexa near-shouted. Clarke flinched at the swear words, since Lexa almost never used profanities.

“Ah, ‘cause I’m not your girlfriend, right?” Clarke provoked, taking them back to an earlier argument.

“That was in the past!” Lexa replied, angry at Clarke for bringing her mistakes back up.

“That was, like, three months ago!”

“Well, maybe we are moving too fast, then!” Lexa taunted and Clarke felt it creep under her skin. Lexa was so good at making her angry if she wanted to.

“Maybe we should just give up!” Clarke spat, “I don’t know why I even try with you.”

“Yeah, sure, Clarke, why don’t you just leave again?” Lexa bit out.

“You’re the one who’s constantly running from me!” Clarke accused.

“Maybe that’s just because I’m scared that you will run!” Lexa yelled.

The kettle started boiling, making a loud noise that cut off their argument. Lexa quickly turned off the gas and ran a hand through her hair. There were tears in her eyes.

Clarke, too, composed herself, taking a deep breath.

“Go sit down,” she mumbled to Lexa, and to her surprise, Lexa obeyed without an argument. She made Lexa her tea, leaving the bag in the exact time she knew Lexa liked. The time allowed her to take a deep breath and calm down and when she turned around, she found Lexa sitting at the dining table. She put the cup of tea down in front of Lexa without saying a word and Lexa just nodded as a thanks.

She reached out a hand and Lexa tentatively placed her palm on top of Clarke’s fingers. Clarke felt that Lexa’s hand was shaking. They both took a minute to calm down.

“Lexa,” Clarke finally started, getting Lexa to look up, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m not running. Okay?”

Lexa’s eyes filled with tears again and Clarke pressed a soft kiss to her hand.

“I’m sorry,” Lexa said, through her tears. Clarke just stroked her hand.

“I’m sorry I said those things,” Lexa repeated.

“I’m sorry too. I’m sorry I said we should give up. It was just the heat of the moment. I’m not giving up on you,” she said, looking into Lexa’s eyes to show that she meant it.  

She squeezed Lexa’s hand and felt relieved when Lexa squeezed back.

“And Lex,” Clarke started, “if you need your space, I understand. If you wanna keep some things to yourself, that’s perfectly okay. But with big things like this, I need you to eventually tell me, baby. ‘Cause it involves me, too. Whether you like it or not. I’m your girlfriend.”

Lexa nodded, “You’re right. I’m sorry. I wanna share this with you. I don’t want you to have to tiptoe around me.”

“I’m glad,” Clarke smiled, bringing their hands up to press a quick kiss to Lexa’s.

“I’m scared,” Lexa admitted, “I’ve never introduced a girlfriend to them before. I don’t think I wanna do it, I don’t wanna have dinner with them.”

“You don’t have to,” Clarke said, “But they’re going to see us together anyway, at the wedding.”

A thought suddenly came to her and her stomach sank a little, “Unless you don’t wanna – unless you wanna keep that between us.”

Lexa’s head shot up, “No, Clarke, no. I came out to my parents and I’m not going back into the closet. And I’m definitely not taking you with me. I don’t want you to ever feel like my secret anymore.”

Clarke heart swelled a little at that and she brought Lexa’s hand to her mouth again. Lexa smiled and for the first time since her mom called, she looked somewhat okay. 

“You should take some time to think about this. Whatever you decide, I’ll be there,” Clarke promised.

 

------

 

“Thank you,” Lexa said, voice so small that Clarke just wanted to gather her up in her arms and carry her to bed. And after a while, that was what she did.

 

------

 

“I’m not doing it,” Lexa said, a few days later, over dinner. It was late at night, Clarke had had a long shift and come home to a meal cooked by Lexa. Lexa, knowing Clarke would be at the hospital until late at night, had texted Clarke to come to her place and made Clarke a meal. When Clarke opened the apartment door, exhausted and hungry, she’d walked into a candle-lit hallway and seen a pitcher of sangria on the counter. 

“You’re not doing what?” Clarke asked, while shoveling half a taco into her mouth, trying to savour the taste while also trying to satisfy her hunger.

“Having dinner with my parents,” Lexa said. Clarke raised her eyebrows.

“I’ve just got enough weight on my shoulders right now,” Lexa explained, “So I’m gonna call my mom, tell her no. Maybe another time. In the future.”

Clarke nodded, “That makes sense. Good decision, babe.”

Lexa smiled as Clarke quickly took her hand and squeezed it, not even caring that Clarke was getting taco sauce all over Lexa’s hand.

“You haven’t called her yet?”

“No,” Lexa said, “I wanted to wait, talk to you first.”

Clarke smiled. It was amazing how willing Lexa was to change, to adjust to Clarke and their relationship. A few days ago, she was still pushing Clarke away. She didn’t want Clarke to know anything about her relationship with her parents or get involved in any way. Now, Lexa was asking her advice before she made a decision regarding her parents. They had found a good balance: Clarke no longer got involved without being asked to and Lexa let Clarke in and asked for her advice when she needed it.

“I’m glad you did. And that you trust me with it,” Clarke said, and this time it was Lexa who squeezed her hand.

While Clarke started cleaning up, Lexa called her mother. Clarke heard Lexa’s calm voice, but she also saw Lexa’s balled fist and locked jaw. Clearly, it gave her a lot of anxiety, still, to talk to her mother. Lexa finished her phone call pretty soon and sat down on the couch. Clarke decided to give her a little space and continue cleaning. However, when she was done, she couldn’t stay away for long.

She settled down on the couch next to Lexa, allowed Lexa to drop her head in Clarke’s lap and started playing with her hair.

“You okay, baby?”

Lexa hummed an affirmation.

“Talking them just stresses me out a little, still.”

“I get that,” Clarke mumbled, scratching Lexa’s skull. Lexa sighed contentedly. They stayed like that for a while, until Clarke could feel Lexa become restless.

“What do you wanna do now?” she asked. In response, Lexa got up and walked out of the living room. When she walked back in, she was carrying a guitar.

Clarke felt a rush of excitement. For as far as she knew, Lexa hadn’t played her guitar in years. It had been one of the things that she had given up on when she went back to law school. Clarke had always thought it was a shame she didn’t play anymore, because it used to be a great outlet for Lexa.

“I recently played a tiny bit,” Lexa said, “Tried to get the strings in tune. It sounded horrible, at first. But I think I tuned it right.”

“How was it, to play again, after all that time?” Clarke asked while Lexa came to sit down next to her. Lexa smiled.

“Really good. I was scared I’d maybe forgotten how to play. But it was like riding a bike. It used to be such a big part of my life, I don’t think I could ever really forget. Not the basics, at least.”

Clarke hummed. She’d had the same feeling when she started painting again.

Soon enough, Lexa started playing. It was a song that Clarke didn’t recognize, but liked all the same. Lexa sang along softly, not trying to show off, just kind of lost in her own world. Clarke smiled. She loved seeing Lexa like this. So free and content.

They stayed like that all night, Lexa strumming on her guitar, and Clarke watching her beautiful girlfriend play the guitar.

 

-----

 

Part of her knew exactly what it meant, that they had both picked their art back up now that they were in each other’s lives again, how big of a deal that was. She didn’t want to think about it too hard, since they hadn’t been dating that long and she didn’t want everything to be too serious. But she loved that fact either way.

 

----

Chapter Text

The wedding was coming up soon and Clarke found that she wasn’t thinking of much else anymore. She was often distracted during work, thinking about the tiny details of the wedding. Wondering whether they truly had taken care of everything. She knew it wasn’t her job to plan the wedding, and it wasn’t Lexa’s either. But Lexa had been pretty devoted to it and Clarke found herself being pulled along into that dedication. Plus, she wanted to do right by Nyko. Nyko treated her as a best friend and Clarke felt kinda bad that she didn’t treat him as one. He truly was a great guy and he deserved the best wedding.

So yeah, she did think about the wedding a lot. She wasn’t half as bad as Lexa though. Lexa had direct contact with the florist, the band, the photographer and the caterer. She called them almost obsessively to check on their progress. Needless to say, she was offended when they stopped answering her calls.

On top of that, she was working on another big case with her boss. Her boss was trusting her with more responsibilities and Lexa had confessed to Clarke one night that this might be her chance to climb up in the firm.

While Clarke was proud of Lexa, she was also worried. Lexa had been working absurd hours and sleeping way too little. Sometimes she had to leave late at night to go to the firm. Most weekends, she had to work. She didn’t have any time for herself, no time to rest.

“It’s just a preliminary injunction and I’m just doing the preparations. I’ll be finished in, maybe a week,” Lexa said, when Clarke asked her if she didn’t think she was working too hard.

Clarke tried to lay off and stop bothering Lexa about it. She really did. But she couldn’t help but think back to Lexa’s story about her time in high school. How obsessed she’d been with good grades, with validation. How she’d even give up eating to have more time to study. Clarke got the feeling that maybe, studying had been replaced with working and planning the perfect wedding.

One Saturday evening, after not hearing from Lexa for days, she decided to just go to Lexa’s apartment. Lexa wasn’t answering Clarke’s calls anyway; she probably wasn’t answering any calls that weren’t work- or wedding-related.

When Lexa opened the door, Clarke’s heart jumped a little. Lexa looked like a ghost; she was pale, her hair was a mess, her slacks and dress shirt looked like they’d been on her for days and there were big bags under her eyes.

“Hey,” Lexa said, giving her a small smile, leaning against the door.

“Lexa,” Clarke sighed. Before she could continue, Lexa nodded.

“I know. I know. But I have to just finish this one wedding th- ”

“No,” Clarke interrupted, shoving past Lexa into her apartment, “You have to take a shower and get a proper meal. And then, get some proper sleep.”

“Clarke, the caterer - ” Lexa started as she closed the door and walked into the living room after Clarke, but Clarke interrupted again.

“I’ll deal with it. I don’t care what it is, I’ll deal with it. I don’t care if I have to fake a fucking law degree, Lexa, I’ll deal with it.”

That got a small chuckle out of Lexa.

“Okay,” she admitted, as she stepped towards Clarke and let herself sink into a hug, “I’m sorry. You’re right.”

“Did you think I was gonna let you fall right back into your high school pattern?” Clarke mumbled as Lexa sagged against her. She pressed a kiss to the top of Lexa’s head.

When Lexa pulled back, she looked at Clarke with such adoration that Clarke’s heart did a tiny jump. The way Lexa’s eyes shone – it almost looked like love.

“Clarke, I,” Lexa started, before she bit her bottom lip and started again, “I’m glad that you’re here.”

Clarke smiled.

“I missed you, you idiot,” she mumbled, pressing a kiss against Lexa’s lips, “Now go shower.”

 

When Lexa appeared fresh out of the shower, there was a meal waiting for her. It wasn’t very good, since Clarke wasn’t very skilled in the kitchen, but at least it was an actual meal. Probably the first proper meal Lexa had eaten in a while.

They took their time with the meal, using the time to catch up. When Lexa went to clean up, Clarke raised an eyebrow at her.

“I don’t think so. You’re gonna get some sleep.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Lexa said, a small smile on her face when she kissed Clarke softly before disappearing to the bedroom.

 

-----

 

When Clarke went to bed two hours later, she found Lexa sleeping soundly. She tugged Lexa close to her chest and let herself drift away.

 

-----

 

When Anya first told Clarke she didn’t want a bridal shower, Clarke had been shocked. Who wouldn’t want to host a party before the wedding and get a bunch of gifts? To Clarke, it seemed to be the best part of getting married. Anya had rolled her eyes when Clarke had mentioned that.

“Trust me, Griffin,” she’d said, “We are having drinks.”

And so they were. Anya and Nyko had invited a bunch of friends over and while Lexa was finishing up her case, Clarke had promised to help them prepare. She’d had an unbearably long shift at the hospital and she really wished she was in bed, but she stayed true to her word and came over with some bottles of wine. Not before quickly freshening up at Lexa’s – which was closer to the hospital than her house, so that was just common sense and not her hoping to bump into her girlfriend – though.

Soon enough, guests arrived and started filling Anya and Nyko’s apartment. It was a small crowd – they’d only invited their closest friends – so Clarke easily spotted Lexa when she walked in. She was pretty sure her face started beaming when she saw her girlfriend, but she couldn’t help it.

“Hey baby,” Lexa said, a smile on her face when she kissed Clarke’s cheek.

“I’m glad to see you,” Clarke mumbled when Lexa pulled back. Lexa’s face was beaming too.

“Case is all wrapped up,” Lexa said, her arm coming to rest on Clarke’s waist, “So I’m gonna have to make up for all the time I didn’t spend with you. Starting tonight, when we can sneak out of here.”

If Clarke was honest, all she really wanted to do is go to bed, but she really had missed her girlfriend, so she smiled and briefly pressed her lips to Lexa’s. Before she could say more, Lexa was dragged off by Anya.

Clarke enjoyed herself for a while, too tired to really interact but content to listen to their friends talk. Luna and Raven seemed to be doing well, if the way they were basically attached at the hip meant anything. Octavia seemed happy as well – Clarke was pretty sure her boxing classes were a big source of that happiness. Octavia had a lot of energy in her, so it was probably good for her to have an outlet for that. And Lincoln, of course, helped as well, Clarke thought as she watched Lincoln put his arm around Octavia’s shoulder and hand her a glass of wine.

After discussing last-minute wedding details with Nyko, she sat down on the couch by herself, rather than joining her friends again. She didn’t want to be anti-social, but even being here was a little too much for her. She loved Nyko and Anya and didn’t wanna bail on them, but her head was starting to feel really heavy. If only she could close her eyelids for just a minute – no, Clarke, she told herself, stay awake.

She was awoken from her little lull when someone sat down on the couch next to her.

“I’m taking you home,” Lexa said, taking Clarke’s hand, “And to bed.”

Clarke mustered up a sleepy grin and said, “You’d be so lucky.”

Lexa smiled before she stood up and pulled Clarke up with her.

“Come on, sleepy,” she said, while wrapping an arm around Clarke’s waist, “I already told Anya and Nyko we’re leaving. You need your sleep.”

 

When they arrived at Lexa’s apartment, Lexa took her straight to bed.

“I’m sorry we didn’t get to catch up on our time together,” Clarke mumbled while she pulled on the pajamas she kept at Lexa’s.

“Don’t worry about it,” Lexa said, “We’ve got all the time in the world.”

There was a short silence in the room as they both realized the hidden meaning behind Lexa’s words. It was obvious she was planning a long future with Clarke, and Clarke found that she didn’t mind that one bit. She looked up from her pajama bottoms to find Lexa observing her, not panicked, but still paying close attention to Clarke’s reaction.

Clarke smiled, “We sure do.”

She walked into the bathroom to brush her teeth while Lexa climbed to bed. When she slid into bed herself, she found Lexa observing her, her face soft.

She lay down, facing Lexa, and watched Lexa’s gaze slide down to her lips, then back up to her eyes. She placed an arm over Lexa’s waist, preparing to rest her head on Lexa’s chest and fall asleep there, as soon as possible.

“Thank you for taking me home,” she said, hearing how hoarse with sleep her voice was. Lexa smiled.

“Of course. Couldn’t let you fall asleep on the couch, could I? That would be bad form.”

Clarke grinned, “You’re a nuisance.”

“A nuisance that loves you,” Lexa said. Clarke’s heart jumped. When she looked into Lexa’s eyes and didn’t see the slightest bit of regret or panic.

“I still love you, Clarke. I don’t think I ever really stopped,” Lexa repeated, her eyes shining with self-assuredness and determination.

 

-----

 

Clarke grinned, this time not crying in the slightest as she uttered the words, “I know, baby. I love you too.”

Lexa grinned too, bigger than Clarke had seen in a long time, and pulled Clarke’s grin to hers.

 

-----

 

“Clarke?”

“Hm?”

Lexa pressed a kiss to Clarke’s temple, “It’s time to get up, baby.”

“Five more minutes,” Clarke murmured, stubbornly keeping her eyes closed.

“It’s a big day, Clarke,” Lexa retorted, but she still lay back down with Clarke, wrapping an arm around Clarke and nuzzling her nose into Clarke’s neck.

“I love you,” Clarke mumbled after a few minutes, and she felt Lexa smile into her neck.

“So you’ve said.”

“You’re supposed to say it back, asshole.”

“I love you too,” Lexa said, pressing a kiss to the back of Clarke’s neck, “And now it’s time to get up. Go shower, I’ll make us breakfast.”

 

When Clarke came out of the shower, Lexa had made them a breakfast of toast, eggs and fruit, with a steaming cup of coffee for Clarke. She pecked Lexa on the lips as a thank you. They had breakfast, quietly talking over the last details of the day. Everything was taken care of, but there would probably be some things that would go wrong last-minute. Lexa was trying not to stress too much about it.

“I can’t believe my sister’s getting married today,” Lexa wondered aloud. Clarke smiled.

“That must be weird.”

“Yeah it is. But I’m so happy for her,” Lexa continued, “And I’m also really happy that it brought us back together.”

She grabbed Clarke’s hand from the table, bringing it up to her mouth to press a lingering kiss to it.

“Me too. I love you.”

 

----

 

Lexa grinned.

“You’re never gonna stop saying it now, are you?”

Clarke smiled, “Never.”

 

-----

 

“Wow, Nyko, you’re looking so sharp. I can’t believe you clean up this nice!” Clarke said after both Nyko and herself had gotten completely dressed.

Nyko laughed, “Thanks, Clarke. You might want to work on your complimenting skills, though.”

He checked his tie in the mirror, flattening it out. Clarke also noticed he kept messing with his hair, touching his cufflinks and fiddling with the tiny flowers in his beard. She smiled. Nyko was nervous.

“Are you nervous?” she asked, trying to give him an outlet for his feelings.

“Kinda, I guess,” Nyko said, “It’s not like I don’t trust Anya or think she’s gonna say no. And I completely trust that everything will go well with the wedding and the party. I’m just nervous – this is the only wedding she’ll get. I hope she isn’t disappointed, or anything.”

Clarke’s heart swelled. Of course Nyko was nervous about Anya having a good time.

“I don’t think Anya cares much about the wedding. She just wants to spend the rest of her life with you. As long as that goes well, nothing else matters,” she reassured him.

“You’re right,” Nyko said, smiling at Clarke, “Thanks for everything, Clarke. I know it wasn’t always easy, being my maid of honor. Especially when dealing with Lexa. But you guys did something amazing, in more ways than one.”

“I should be thanking you,” Clarke laughed, before growing serious, “You brought Lexa back into my life when I thought I’d lost her forever. I got her back, thanks to you. And now I never wanna let her go again.”

“You shouldn’t,” Nyko said, “You guys are lovely together.”

“I love her,” Clarke blurted out, excited to tell it to someone other than Lexa.

Nyko laughed, “No shit, Griffin. Everyone has noticed.”

Clarke blushed.

“You have no right to shame me, mr. I’d-do-anything-for-my-fiancée-and-I’m-so-whipped.”

Nyko grinned, “I love being whipped. I thought you knew by now.”

They were interrupted by a knock on the door. When Nyko gave permission, Raven’s head popped around the corner.

“Hey, you guys are about to – wow, Nyko, you look great!”

“I don’t know why everyone’s so surprised,” Nyko mumbled, making Clarke chuckle.

“Clarke, you’re supposed to walk down the aisle in a few minutes,” Raven warned, “Nyko, you and Anya are walking after them.”

“I’ll be right there,” Clarke promised, and Lexa disappeared.

Clarke turned towards Nyko, a huge grin on both their faces. Nyko wasn’t the only one who was nervous, but Clarke hid her nerves well. She didn’t want Nyko to freak out when he saw her nerves. She wrapped his arms around him, trying to hug him as tight as possible. There was so much love and happiness for him in her heart, and she couldn’t be more excited to have an important role at his wedding.

“I’ll see you out there,” Clarke said as they both pulled away. Nyko grinned like a five year old that found a treasure.

 

-----

 

“I can’t wait,” he said, almost sounding giddy. Clarke’s heart swelled, again.

 

----

 

When Clarke had straightened up her outfit and checked her hair for the last time, she made her way out of Nyko’s dressing room, looking for Lexa. There was no doubt Lexa was walking around, making sure everything was going fine. As she left the hall where the dressing rooms were located, she quickly glanced into the room where the ceremony would be held. After the ceremony, the reception would be outside, at Nyko’s request. As she predicted, the room where the ceremony would be held was full, all the guest seated and excited for the wedding. However, as she looked around, she couldn’t find Lexa.

“Are you ready to go?” a voice behind her asked. As she turned around, she found Lexa, leaning against the wall in a simple black dress. It was elegant and form-fitting and for a moment, Clarke was overwhelmed by Lexa’s beauty.

“I – wow,” Clarke mumbled.

Lexa laughed, “Yes, I could say the same about you. This groom and groomsmen in white suit-theme is really working out for you.”

Clarke smiled as Lexa tugged her closer by her tie.

“You’re gonna mess up my outfit,” she mumbled, nevertheless letting herself be pulled in. She smiled against Lexa’s lips, resting her forehead against Lexa’s.

“You love me anyway,” Lexa replied, her eyes still closed from their kiss.

“I do.”

“We have to go.”

“Alright, Mrs. wedding planner. It looks beautiful, by the way,” Clarke said, fixing the strap from Lexa’s dress that had slipped down her shoulder.

“Well, I can’t take all the credit,” Lexa smiled, “I had a very annoying, albeit very skillful best maid to help me.”

“She sounds like a drag. Why don’t you dump her for me?” Clarke teased. Lexa laughed.

“Oh no, I’m keeping this one,” Lexa grinned. Clarke felt her heart swell at the sight of Lexa and then almost jump out of her chest as she uttered her next words.

“Maybe someday, you two will get to have something like this.”

Lexa was quiet for a while before an even bigger grin took over her face.

“I hope so,” Lexa said, before she leaned into Clarke again. They stayed like that for a while, before Lexa pulled back. She pressed a quick kiss to Clarke’s hand before leading her to the room of the ceremony.

Before the aisle, they stood still for a few seconds. Clarke looked around, seeing Nyko and Anya behind them, ready to walk the aisle together. Both grinned at her.

When she looked back at Lexa, she saw certainty in Lexa’s eyes.

“Let’s go,” Lexa whispered.

 

------


She smiled, pecking Lexa on the lips quickly and tightening her grip on her arm as they started walking down the aisle together. Clarke didn’t know exactly how everything was gonna play out, but this felt like the start of something beautiful.

 

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