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Maddeningly Beautiful

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With so many clans joining together in one place, there's bound to be chaos.

(She just doesn't expect it within the semi-neutral boundaries of Polis. Or from within herself.)

It's long after nightfall. Wearing her face-markings or her sigil against her brow is not necessary anymore.

Lexa walks in restful silence as Titus explains the ongoing disputes, the concerns of her people, and her ears are keen to him. But also to a small group of the Podakru warriors leaning against a corridor wall, muttering with a nasty gleam in their eye.

"Ai na ge skai gadagapa…" One of them boasts, and another man laughs, nudging him playfully. There's bright blue smear-marks across both of their mouths.

The soft, silken material of Lexa's dark night-dress bunches into her fist.

Her stomach churns so violently that she suspects the contents may raise up in her throat.

One of the female warriors rolls her neck, seemingly bored as her companions leer at each other and chuckle. "Jok em kom ai mami," the first warrior speaks again, a bit more loudly in his pride, firmly grabbing at his clothed privates and giving a big, heaving thrust as the others dissolve into hooting, entertained calls. "Gag gon em—AAAAAAAH!" ¹

He screams out in sudden, blinding agony, his empty hand now pinned to the steel wall with a dagger.

Titus calls back for her as Lexa storms over, her teeth gritting in rage.

Fully aware of their Commander's approaching presence, the rest of the Podakru warriors scatter. The warrior left behind yells out curses, attempting to pull out the curved, night-glass dagger and free himself when Lexa halts right in front of him, nostrils flared and her shoulders upright. Her lips pulled back into a growing, fierce sneer.

"You will not speak of my guest with such disrespect," she tells him in booming tones. "And you will not touch her, or I will make you an example to our people."

As a response, the Podakru warrior roars out in defiance, striking her across the face.

The metal-studs of his gloved armor breaks open the skin of Lexa's temple, gushing midnight-fluid.

Titus rushes over, shouting out for the guards. But he keeps his hands to himself, off her person as Lexa wordlessly gestures with her right hand lifting quickly, turning her head back. Her sneer has long vanished—but the fire emitting from her gaze replaces it.

The warrior finds himself slowly shrinking under it, and then howling in pain as Lexa slams her open palm against the dagger, grasping her fingers around it. She twists the weapon deeper and deeper into his pinned hand. When he attempts to kick her, to put distance between them, she tugs the night-glass free, his blood wet and glinting red on the shining, obsidian dagger.

Lexa wastes no time subduing him, grabbing the back of his head and cracking his face to her kneecap, observing him falling and clutching at his broken, bruising face.

"Inform their ambassador of this act of treason," she says. "Find the other warriors that were here."

Titus nods submissively, but with undisguised approval as their Commander yanks the other, stumbling man to his full height, pressing her dagger against his trembling neck.

"What shall be done with this traitor?" he asks, arms folded in his robes.

Lexa stares heatedly at the warrior's profile, and then her features drain of all emotion. There's no true pleasure in dragging her weapon against her enemy's throat, his lifeblood gushing onto his front and to her bare feet as she tosses his body to the ground.

"Nothing," Lexa replies monotonously.

She hands Titus her dagger and dabs her temple absently, as the pain strengthens and thrums in her skull. There's more of her nightblood seeping against her fingers. Lexa steps over the dying warrior, gracefully lifting her evening-dress over her ankles as she heads in the opposite direction.

"Heda, where are you going?"

Titus' voice echoes the corridor, and she calls back inattentively.

"Kom ai fisa." ²


No one dares to wander through this end of the sectioned living quarters without permission.

Lexa rubs her blackened, wet-tacky fingertips together, knocking several times on the huge wooden door.

After a long, hesitant moment, Clarke peeks out.

Her mouth slackens at the sight of the other woman. She hauls the rest of the door wide open.

"Oh my god, what the hell did you do?" Clarke says accusatory, worry lining her brow. Lexa can nearly feel Clarke's gaze on her head-wound, traveling all the way down to her blood-soaked toes.

She allows Clarke to clasp roughly at her naked arm, pulling her inside and leading her to the only cot. "Sit down, Lexa. You can't just stand there and bleed." Clarke's already using the opportunity to scold her, much to Lexa's hidden amusement—already expecting her behavior.

The other woman tries boiling water, using a basin and several of the bigger candles' flames. Clarke lays out two strips of new, clean cloths in her lap, taking a seat next to Lexa.

"So you gonna tell me what happened or what?"

Lexa doesn't flinch as one of the cloths presses to her bleeding temple, dampened with heated water. "A difference of opinion," she explains straightforwardly, calm as rain, looking ahead. It helps not to focus on Clarke, to not focus on those residual, fearful emotions.

"Right," Clarke says, frowning. "I'm guessing I'm not treating his wounds?"

"He is no longer with us. There is nothing to treat."

Clarke makes a soft, tutting noise, continuing to wipe the black, drying blood off Lexa's cheek and neck. It sounds as close to disapproval without verbalizing it.

"Was it worth it?"

This time, Lexa glances sharply at her. She can't make Clarke understand everything… she can't burden her with troubles and tribulations of the Coalition, and oppositions to include Clarke's people, or the individual clan members who wished to do harm…

However, she can punish any rogues, any missteps. She can leave Clarke's mind without consequence or apprehension for the future they will guide to fruition.

Lexa's anger still burns in her core, her dismay and her revulsion of anyone violating Clarke, or threatening to do so. She wanted him dead the very second the thought was born from his lips, even if it meant denying him the weeks-long torture he so rightly deserved.

"Yes," Lexa murmurs, staring into Clarke's blue, blue eyes.

The other woman senses the intensity and vulnerability of the subject, and Clarke breaks the tension, rising to her feet.

Raggedy, blue-dyed robes sway around Clarke's form, sweeping around her like air.

She's a woman to be reckoned with; a hurricane trapped within flesh and bone. Lexa has even let herself believe she's feared Clarke at one point, perhaps because of her nature. Clarke does not back down; Clarke has the heart of ten warriors and the grin of a hungry, cunning wolf.

She is the endless mysteries of stars and space, and then forced to the ground. She's become the earth beneath her nails. Sturdy and practiced and loyal to her people.

"Admiring the view?" Clarke asks over her shoulder, raising a eyebrow and beginning to smile teasingly. She's noticed Lexa's eyes wandering carelessly over her. To her embarrassment, Lexa's face warms on the surface, flushing a deep rose color. "Or just daydreaming?"

"Our clothing suits you…" Lexa accepts a cup of cool water from her, avoiding the touch of Clarke's fingers, taking a small sip and ducking her head. "And it's nighttime, Ambassador."

Clarke snorts, rolling her eyes.

"I'm doing this for a reason, you know," she points out, seating beside Lexa once more and wetting down another cloth to place against Lexa's temple. "This is supposed to help everyone and stop a war from getting worse. Even if it means taking a leap of faith."

Lea doesn't move complacently from her spot, but gazes thoughtfully over Clarke's scrunched up features.

"Aren't we all?" she murmurs, watching as Clarke's eyes narrow. She's memorized.

Even if Clarke won't admit it.

"The wound doesn't look deep, and it stopped bleeding," Clarke announces faintly. She clears her throat awkwardly, moving aside as Lexa pushes herself up. "Keep it clean—whoa, okay—" Clarke grabs her, easing Lexa back into a sitting position and cupping their hands. Lexa's vision spins, greying around the edges before clearing. "Maybe you shouldn't try that right now…"

"Klark…" Lexa's breathing quivers for a moment, as she regains her equilibrium, but her lips tilt upwards. "If you wished for me to stay, you need only say so."

Clarke laughs, smiling in outright disbelief.

"Flirting? Right now?" she asks, not letting go of Lexa's hands and squeezing them tightly. "Seriously?"

There will never be a right time, Lexa has realized this. Not for those who lead others.

She pulls herself gently out of the other woman's grasp, cupping the side of Clarke's freshly scrubbed face, Lexa's thumb stroking fondly over her cheek-bone.

"Oso kik thru ogeda."

Clarke's lips presses and thins into a line. She pauses, nods solemnly, replying in Lexa's native tongue and gently nudging their foreheads together, "Daun ste pleni." ³

It's little more than reassurance, but Lexa cannot ask for more. She can only wait. She waits for Clarke to go forward with her desires, encircling her arms to Lexa's tattooed shoulders, kissing Lexa's mouth deliriously. It's maddening and it's beautiful and cruel beyond imagining.

A hand crawls into Lexa's dark, loosened hair, nesting in. The hot puffiness of Clarke's bottom lip is captured and sucked between her lips, bringing a needy little groan from Clarke.

With a hurried, eager pull, the neck-tie to Lexa's night-dress unravels.

She fidgets in place, the silken fabric collapsing to her waist, exposing her abdomen and her chest. Clarke tastes like smoke and freshwater, and her skin is firm, raging heat as fingers slide up Lexa's torso, over her nipples. It comes with a little urging, a whispering, smiling kiss to Lexa's throat, but she decides to slowly recline on her back, Clarke hovering attentively over her.

"You feeling okay?"

Another silent head-nod. Clarke laughs with her dimples popping, much more softly, kissing Lexa's nose—which is not an affectionate gesture Lexa ever expected. Clarke lowers her head once more, this time dropping a purposeful kiss over Lexa's heart and her exposed breast.

Unable to stop it, a wet, hot sting of tears pushes behind Lexa's eyelids shutting. Her mouth trembles visibly with the effort to contain it. Fortunately, it goes unnoticed.

To hell with the Coalition, to hell with any unworthy man.

Clarke must be protected.