Waking up slowly, the first thing Alicia notices is the soft pillow under her head, her eyes blink lazily until a blurred outline of a window greets them. She bolts up, flopping down again just as quickly with a groan when a pain shoots through her head. This time she takes a steadier approach, lifting herself up cautiously and grins when she looks around her room. She starts to furiously tap next to her, frowning when she feels the other side of the bed is cold.
Standing, she squints her eyes to navigate the room. The sun is still mostly blocked, casting shadows, but it seems now the black holes are moving away from each other, sunlight once again beginning to peak through what little gaps there are. She finds a small torch, using the light to work her way to the wardrobe, but a slither of colour in the corner catches her eye.
Her fingers softly caress the now dry paint, from the orange glow of the sky, down to the hilly forest covered in huts illuminated by fire pits in the background, the Polis tower off to the side, that blends into a street view, worn out houses paving it until the biggest one at the front, the one closest, the one they are currently in, ends the page. In the top corner of the page, two black holes are clashing, one plain, with a red glow and the other, a mostly black and white picture of Clarke and Lexa, cut off at the shoulders, both in warpaint. The only colour in that particular circle are the blue and green of their eyes, the blue of Clarke's warpaint and the red of the beginning of Lexa's sash.
On the road in front of their house is Elyza's bike, with Elyza casually leaning up against it, aviators covering her eyes. Looking closely, one lens holds a faded zombie reflection, and the other a faded grounder, complete with mask. What surprises her the most about it, or least surprises her really, is that she is cuddling into Elyza, her arms folded securely around her waist, under Elyza's leather jacket, Elyza's head tilted to make it seem as though her eyes are on Alicia, and Alicia looking over her shoulder, staring straight at the viewer. Clarke has her signature in the far bottom corner.
It's a masterpiece, she's never seen anything like it and she spends what feels like hours, but has been mere minutes, studying it, trying to memorize every detail. Glancing down, she notices a piece of folded up paper. Opening it up, she assumes the first line is from Clarke, comparing the elegant round hand calligraphy to her signature. It reads: Don't take life for granted, it's about more than just surviving. Don't be afraid to take chances. Be strong. Our souls are inevitable.
Underneath it, she assumes the line is from Lexa, the neat spencerian penmanship written in Trigedasleng: osir'll otaim laik a part kom Yu. Nou teik yur head cloud yur tombom. “We'll always be a part of you. Don't let your head cloud your heart.” She whispers to herself, looking over the painting once more. She changes, wincing when she sees the cut above her eyebrow and the split in her lip in the mirror, “what did that bitch do to me?” She mumbles.
Running downstairs, she sees Travis eating breakfast, “good morning, Alicia.”
“Morning,” she grumbles back, “have you seen Elyza?”
Making her way through the kitchen, she sees her, facing away, practising tai chi and she bites her lip at the back muscles rippling with every move Elyza makes. Slowly, she walks up behind her, yelping when Elyza grabs the hand about to touch her and bringing her around, “what did I tell you about sneaking up on a warrior, Princess?”
Alicia ignores her, sighing lightly at the hands that grab her hips and her own come to rest on Elyza's shoulders, “we're home.”
“We are.” Elyza nods, smiling.
“Did you see the painting?” She nods again. “And the note?” Another nod. “And?”
Elyza frowns, “and what?”
Shaking her head, Alicia changes the subject, “never mind.” She notices a wrap around Elyza's wrist, “what's that?”
Smirking, Elyza unwraps her wrist, showing Alicia the delicate design of Clarke's warpaint, surrounded by red, dried blood, “I woke up hours ago, saw some inks on the table and went to find a needle. I would've woke you but you looked too peaceful. It's a bit rough, I'm not an artist like Clarke, but I think I did a pretty decent job.”
Alicia ghosts her thumb over it, careful not to touch and cause an infection, she stares into Elyza's eyes with a whispered, “will you do mine?”
“Matching tattoos already?” She winks and Alicia rolls her eyes. “Of course I will, babe. And as for the note? All Clarke did was reiterate what I knew from the moment I saw you.” Glancing around, Alicia grabs Elyza's hands in her own, directing her towards a lone tree at the back of the garden. Her back pushes softly against it, pulling Elyza against her, “not that I'm complaining, but-”
“I'm tired of running.” She leans forward, placing a quick, delicate kiss on soft lips, “I don't care what world we're in, as long as I have you with me.”
“Well,” Elyza starts, “it's about time you got your head out of your ass, Princess.”
Alicia groans, slamming her head back against the tree, “God, can you not be an asshole for like, five fucking minutes please?”
Her groan quickly turns to a moan when Elyza nips her pulse point, “sorry,” she grumbles, not sounding sorry at all. She pulls back, her uncertain eyes inspecting Alicia's features one last time, “are you sure you want this?”
“I want everything.” Elyza's mouth is slow and deliberate against her own, a needy whine escaping her throat when Alicia places a thigh between her legs, but their slow pace soon becomes overwhelming and Alicia can't help but change the momentum with a sharp tug to Elyza's bottom lip, teeth clamping down, causing Elyza to whimper into her mouth. She pulls back with a chuckle, “did you just whimper? Did Elyza Fucking Lex just whimper?”
“Shut up.” Her kisses turn slow again and Alicia grunts in frustration, “shh, I don't want to rush this for you.”
Alicia yanks her hair, causing a growl to slip free, “we're in the back yard and you have me up against a tree, you can be gentle with me later. Right now I need you to,” a loud moan echoes around them when Elyza hoists Alicia up, wrapping her jean-clad legs around her waist and pushes her abs against her, “fuck.”
“As you wish.” Elyza's teeth bite harshly at Alicia's ear lobe and she continues down her neck, finding the sweet spot again and sucking hard as her stomach rolls against Alicia with more purpose, hands moving up her thighs until they squeeze at her ass, pulling her against the hard rocking motion she starts to set. Alicia's short nails trail to the back of Elyza's neck, grasping firmly and causing little, half moon shaped indentations.
Resting her forehead against Alicia's and feeling the short pants of breath clash with her own, Elyza moves one hand to tug at the bottom of Alicia's top. Taking the hint fast, Alicia pushes up against Elyza, her back leaving the tree just long enough for her to rip it off and she hisses at the rough bark that scrapes her smooth skin when she's forced back against it.
Moments later, Alicia pulls back at Elyza's top, almost tearing it in her haste to get it off and swallows Elyza's snicker with a brutal kiss. Their teeth are knocking together in a near painful way but neither seems to care. Elyza's hands skirt up Alicia's sides, thumbs stroking at the under wire of her bra. In the near distance, they hear a twig snap and both freeze. Elyza grabs the small knife at her thigh and throws it just centimetres off where the sounds comes from and they hear it hit the fence, a small squeak shortly following. “What do you want, Chris?” She pants through her words, head lolling back when Alicia takes this advantage to nibble her way down Elyza's chest and she knows she'll wear the bite marks with a proud smirk later.
“What are you doing behind there?”
Her hand shoots out to the tree to steady herself as Alicia bites down hard just above her bra and she's glad that not only the tree, but the bushes either side are keeping them in cover. “Training, using the tree as a punching bag.” Alicia looks up through her long lashes, hands moving to undo the button at Elyza's jean shorts.
“Can I join?”
Alicia smirks at her, unwrapping her legs from Elyza's waist and begins to kneel down, dirty kisses and sharp teeth leading a path down her stomach. “No.” The hand that's not holding the tree tangles into Alicia's hair, pulling to force her to look up at her and she scoffs at the look of innocence she gets in return.
“Okay,” he sighs, resignation evident, “I just, I wanted to apologise about what happened at the estate. I know I didn't handle it well and-”
“Chris.” She stops him mid sentence, voice straining when Alicia lunges forward to place yet another bite mark, this time at her inner thigh. “We'll talk about this later yeah? I promise. Just let me finish up here and I'll come find you, alright?” She's sure she hears his agreement as he walks away, but she's too focused on lifting Alicia up and shoving her back against the tree where she belongs. “That wasn't very nice,” she hisses, pinching Alicia's hip and placing her thigh for one quick, short, strong thrust, keeping it buried between Alicia's legs, the pressure forcing Alicia onto her tiptoes.
“I never claimed to be nice,” she chokes out, hands leaving bruises on Elyza's upper arms. Because of the sun being blocked, they hadn't noticed the storm clouds in the sky, and when rain suddenly welts down on them, Alicia is thankful for the slight cooling on her heated skin. She's even more thankful when the heavy rain drips down, and the water that soaks them both lets the grind she begins on Elyza's thigh become more rough, the friction of wet jeans causing the seam to rub against her deliciously. The quiet moans and gasps down her ear encourages Elyza to help move Alicia's hips harder and faster, “Lyz.”
“It's okay. I've got you.” She pushes her body harder, leaving no room between her, Alicia and the tree and she groans against Alicia's neck, “Fuck, I can't wait to feel you.”
“I'm not stopping you.”
“Lexa? Clarke?” A shout carries through the downpour and the light from a torch brightens the back of their eyelids, causing them to rapidly pull apart and pull their tops on, trying desperately to catch their breaths. “Guys? Mom wants Alicia in before she catches a col- what the hell?” Nicks stops, flashing the light between them and they both have to blink through the uncomfortable brightness invading their pupils. “Clarke, how many times do we have to go through this?”
His anger is cut short when Alicia rushes to him, “Nick!” Her arms wrap tightly around him, “I never thought I'd be so happy to see you.”
Nick pulls her back, searching her eyes, “Alicia?” She nods. “Oh thank god, you're back.” He pulls her back in to the hug, squeezing her even tighter.
They both turn to see Elyza yelling at the sky, “why does this always happen to me? I'm not a bad person.” Her answer is a roaring clap of thunder. “Fair enough, granted I'm not a good person either. But you know what I've been through, don't I deserve this?” Booming thunder again is the only thing she gets and she lifts her arms in exasperation, “yeah, well, you know what? Fuck you too.”
“Erm, Elyza?” Nick hesitates, aiming to get her attention.
“Lyz, seriously, let's just forget everything that just happened, you're obviously certifiably insane.” Alicia jabs, but her tone is mostly joking and Elyza smiles at her, still glaring at the sky. She turns her attention back to Nick. “So, Clarke and Lexa huh?”
“Yeah well, when Elyza shot a lone walker in the head,” he ignores Elyza's 'rookie', “and you threw a knife into one of their skulls, I knew something was off.” He shrugs it off, but Alicia feels a small tear and hugs him again.
He gives her a sad look, “sorry, Alicia, she has no clue.”
“C'mon, mom went out this morning and found bacon. Breakfast is ready. And a word of warning, Clarke chewed her out about something yesterday, I'm not sure what, but Elyza is definitely not on her good side.”
She glances at Elyza with a soft smile, “is she ever? We'll be there in a minute.” He tilts his head, turning to head back into the house, spouting a quick 'we'll be talking about you two later, Alicia,' and she reaches out to grasp Elyza's wrist, pulling her in for one more chaste kiss. Elyza moves to fully embrace her, chin resting on Alicia's shoulder as she just holds her, a happy sigh escaping her mouth.
A small drop of blood lands on Elyza's collar bone and Alicia realises her lip has split again, she pulls back and Elyza winces, pointlessly trying to wipe the blood away in the rain, “sorry. Lexa jumping that fence really did a number on you.”
“Oh, so that's what happened. I guess I can't be too mad with the state you left Clarke in.” She laughs, taking Elyza's hand in hers and leading her to the house where everybody except Travis sits at the table, cutlery scraping noisily against crockery in the silence. Elyza takes a seat first opposite Chris, Alicia takes the space between her and Madison, who is at the head of the table, and opposite Nick, not caring about their soaking clothes in favour of food. Elyza takes a few pieces of bacon and toast from the centre of the table and dumps all but one bacon rasher on Alicia's plate, aggressively biting the piece in her hand in half, making obnoxious, growling animal noises as she bares her teeth. “You're fucking disgusting.” Alicia scolds, shaking her head.
Elyza moves her head forward, creating the same sound, but much quieter, directly into Alicia's ear and she smirks at the shiver she receives, “not so disgusting now is it, Princess?” She looks around the table again, hoping the sound she made and how close she just was to Alicia would cause some form of response from Madison, but she pouts when she gets nothing. “Well this isn't awkward at all.”
“I'm sorry about the other day, Elyza. I never meant to put you in that position.” Chris blurts out, eyes never leaving his plate.
“Chris, you don't have to apologise to her.”
“Yes, Madison, I do. No offence, but you weren't there.” Elyza feels a sharp jab in a rib, upset that Alicia didn't let her present her perfected cat-fight meow after Chris had finished. “So, I'm sorry. You were right, innocent people never deserve to die, especially children, bitten or not, and I never should've acted the way I did. I'm trying, sometimes I just need a push that isn't from somebody close to me, so thank you. And I don't know what happened in that house between you and her, but I'm sure she felt safe in those last few moments.”
Elyza looks taken back and Alicia's eyes soften in empathy, all too aware now of Elyza's past. “Come with me.” She stands up, ordering Chris to follow her out to the garage. “Firstly; thank you for being a real man and apologising, you really didn't have to, and I know it takes guts to admit when you're wrong. Secondly; I've been there myself. The way you feel right now? All that confusion, who should live and who should die, do we play God and kill the walkers or do we let nature run its course and risk them turning on us? It's completely understandable, it's human, but you can't let it consume you, that's when you make mistakes, that's when you end up hurting somebody you care about. I want to help you avoid that. And Chris?” She stops, making sure she still has his full attention and he's hanging on every word she says, “that brings me to the third thing; if you ever, ever lay a finger on her,” she nods her head to the kitchen, “or hurt her in any way, I won't hesitate to put you down for good.”
Seeing the serious blaze in her eyes, he dips his head once, “noted.”
She smiles at him, clapping him on the shoulder, “excellent. Now let's head back in, I'm starving.” They walk in to Alicia throwing her plate in the sink, huffing. “Sounds like we missed something good.”
“Mom doesn't want me staying in the same room as you.”
“To be quite honest, Elyza, I'd rather not have you in this house anymore.”
“To be fair, Maddie,” Elyza mocks, “you've never wanted me in this house.”
“You need to leave. You aren't welcome here any longer.”
“Is this about what I said yesterday?” She wings it, only assuming the conversation was about Alicia, or Lexa as it may be.
Madison is tense, “I told you, you have no right to have an opinion about my relationships with my children.”
“Relationships? You have a beautiful, smart, funny daughter you don't pay any attention to, a son you pay way too much attention to and a step-son you practically treat as invisible.”
Madison steps forward with a clenched fist and Elyza now knows for a fact that the argument was about Alicia. She leans casually against the wall, arms crossed as Madison gets closer. “Why do you think you have any right to be here with us? We don't know you, we owe nothing to you. Why don't you just... go away?”
Elyza frowns in confusion as she states the obvious, “because I'm in love with your daughter.” She quickly thinks maybe it wasn't quite as obvious as she first thought when the room goes silent. She looks over Madison's shoulder to Alicia's wide green eyes and scrunches her nose, “that was probably really bad timing, right?”
“You think?” Alicia squeaks, running to Elyza's side, calming her voice. “Mom, Elyza isn't going anywhere, everyone likes her being here except you, and if you can't accept that, maybe you should be the one to go.” She says it softly, as if anything louder would shatter the glass in the room. She takes Elyza's hand, gently pulling her away from the tension before it gets worse and leads her upstairs. They quickly change out of their wet clothes into something dry and half attempt to towel dry their hair. Noticing the ink Elyza left out earlier, Alicia grabs the black bottle and needle next to it, holding them out to her, “will you?”
Elyza nods, uncharacteristic quiet when she sits on the bed, holding Alicia's right wrist, “this might hurt a bit.” The initial sting soon fades and her wrist turns comfortably numb as the needle presses into the skin. Elyza is about a quarter of the way through, the outline of Lexa's war paint standing out against the small trickle of blood, before she speaks up, “I'm sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable downstairs.”
“You didn't.” Elyza looks into her eyes for a minute, breathing out a sigh of relief and they spend the rest of most of the tattoo in the calmness of the room, wisely choosing to ignore the continued arguing downstairs.
“I have to ask though,” there's only a little section left to colour, “what's with the complete one-eighty? I mean, yesterday you were badly pretending that you didn't want me, and then earlier you had me pin you against a tree. What's up with that? Anything to do with Lexa's note?”
Alicia's exhale is heavy and she closes her eyes, “honestly? Yes. And Abby..” Elyza raises her brow for her to continue. “They made me realise that one day, one of us are going to die. It could be tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now. Hell, we could even miraculously survive this thing, but in the end one of us will still die one day.”
“Positive thinking there, babe.”
“The point is, it's inevitable, but I'd rather have you here, now, in this moment, than spend my life wondering 'what if?' and that isn't fair to either of us.”
Elyza completes the final corner with only a nod of acknowledgement, “done,” she whispers, grabbing a wipe so Alicia can see it properly.
Smiling a slight smile, Alicia breathes through her nose. “I love it,” she whispers in the same tone Elyza used. “Lyz?”
“Hmm?” Elyza distracts herself bandaging the small tattoo up.
“I love you.”
She pauses, grin spreading wide across her face, “really?”
Alicia's hand grips Elyza's jaw, forcing her to keep their intense eye contact. “Yes. Really.”
Elyza pushes her until she's on her back, head resting lightly on the pillows beneath and Elyza hovering over her. “Good, because that means I can do this whenever I want.”
Leaning down, Elyza runs her lips slowly, almost timidly, against Alicia's. The lazy, languid pace leaves them both content and they stay in that bubble for as long as possible until Elyza snaps back suddenly, her eyes growing wide and panicked, “what? What's wrong?”
“She rode my baby!” She screeches, “Leesh, Clarke rode my baby! When she went out with Chris, she rode her.”
“Are you actually serious right now?” Alicia asks her incredulously. “You're really thinking about who has been riding your stupid fucking motorbike,” she pulls Elyza back on top on her with a grunt, “when you should be concentrating on riding me.”
Elyza rests on her elbows, smirking down, “that was awful.”
“You love it.”
“Yeah. I really do.” Elyza bites her lip and a cheeky grin appears on her lips before she leans down to whisper, “now what was that about me riding you, Heda?”
She'll never let Alicia live down the shudder that wrecks her body after that.
Clarke's eyes flutter to soft kisses being gently placed over her face, but her body soon protests any movements she tries to make to wake up, aching all over. “Try not to move too much, niron.” Lexa's voice helps to sooth her mind, even if her body feels like writhing in agony. “Open your eyes slowly, baby.”
She does as instructed, smiling at Lexa's tender eyes, but then wincing at the anger she sees behind them, “why do I feel like a house fell on me? And why do you look like you want to kill somebody? Is it Madison? Can I help you?” She blinks hard twice, her other senses clearing as her head does and her eyes turn wide, neck spinning to take in the view, their view. “We're home.”
The words are whispered, a rhetorical statement needing no confirmation that Lexa barely hears, but she answers anyway, “sha.”
Clarke's eyes widen, turning back to Lexa, “Lex! We're home!” She pounces on her, sending them both to the ground with a hard thud and Lexa laughs, her arms wrapping around Clarke's waist. “We're home,” she breathes one last time in a wistful sigh. Pain runs through her body again, but it's no where near as intense now that her mind has caught up to what's happening, “damn, what the hell did Elyza do to me?” She looks over them both, “and could they have not at least changed before coming up here?”
Lexa laughs again, the anger in her eyes still present, but softening with Clarke's excitement. A light flow of rain starts over them and she blinks up at the sky, calculating that it is early morning and most of her people will probably still be resting. “We should head back, I'd like to throw a small celebration tonight in honour of our return.”
“How? You can hardly go back like 'so Clarke and I have been in a different reality for nearly a week. Surprise.'”
Glaring, Lexa shrugs, “I'll think of something.” Standing, she extends her hand to Clarke to help her up, catching her when she sways slightly from a head rush, “careful.”
Clarke searches her eyes again. “There's no point in being angry until we know what happened.” She examines her bandaged hand, frowning before gasping in mock alarm, “wait, she didn't damage my face right?”
“Your face is perfect as always, Clarke.”
“That was smooth.” Lexa smirks at her, leading them down the hill when they hear a soft sob from the trees. “Hello?” She wanders over and the cries get louder the closer she gets, Lexa behind her, fists clenching in lack of her trusty sword. They follow the sound for a few minutes until Clarke sees long, blonde hair behind one of the trees, but she's not prepared for the eyes that belong to the young girl face-to-face and she stumbles back, “oh my god.”
Lexa steadies her, “what's wrong?” Receiving no answer, she looks over the crying girl in confusion, who looks to be no older than thirteen summers and she bends down to her after making sure Clarke could stay stood. “Heya goufa, chit's yu're name?”
Green eyes, filled with tears, look up to her, and she hears a shaky response, “noma eit.”
“Noma eit?” Frowning after the girl nods, Lexa continues. “Where laik yu kom?”
“The Rock Line?” Another nod. “Can yu speak Gonasleng?” Another. “What are you doing out of your clan?” The girl doesn't answer so Lexa pushes on. “You can talk to me. My name is Leksa kom Trikru.”
The girl's eyes snap fully open, her tears halting, “H-Heda?” Lexa bows her head in conformation. “I heard rumours that our clan leader, Lucas, was due to fight Wanheda and I found a way to escape. I wanted to watch him die, but he didn't and now- I can't go back there, Heda.” Her tears start flowing again, body shivering from both the rain and her scared whimpers.
Lexa holds her, asking no further questions just yet when she notices how thin and exhausted she looks. She pulls her up into her arms and feels the tight grip around her neck, “let's get you something warm to eat.” Turning, Lexa sees Clarke staring at the girl still, watching every movement with eyes that appear void. “Clarke?” She uses her free hand to run it over Clarke's cheek, smiling softly when the blue eyes she loves so much finally focus back on her. “Hodnes, would you like to tell me what's wrong?”
“It's her, Lex,” she whispers, forgetting that the girl can hear her. “She's older in this world, but it's her, I know it. It's Sarah.”
Lexa's throat bobs at the crack in Clarke's voice and she breathes deeply through her nose, fighting the urge to hold Clarke and murmur soothing words. “We should all get out of this rain.”
They all head back in silence, and Lexa's thinks the girl in her arms has fallen asleep, but as they reach the door to Polis tower, she lifts her head. “I like the name Sarah, can I keep it?”
Clarke swallows down a hard cry, words choked as she answers, “of course you can, sweetie. You can be called whatever you want to be.”
Reaching the kitchen area, Lexa sits Sarah on a stool and makes her way through the doors, the aroma of fresh bread filling the area and her stomach grumbles. “Heda, to what do we owe the pleasure?”
“Emori,” she smiles, “we have a... delicate situation.” She shifts her eyes over to Clarke and Sarah, watching fondly as Clarke checks the girl over almost protectively. “I'm sorry to bother you in your breakfast preparations, but would it be possible to get something substantial for the little one?”
“Of course. May I ask who she is?”
“We're still trying to figure everything out, but I promise you I will reward your efforts for this.”
“Nonsense, Heda. You have done enough for John and I, I'll always be in your debt,” Emori says with a grateful expression.
Lexa smiles, “John Murphy helped save my life. It is I that will always be in his.”
Laughing, Emori shakes her head, “don't let him hear you say that. He might take advantage.” She winks, and Lexa joins her laughter. “I'll be out with your food in a short while.”
Clarke stealthily wipes away a tear when Lexa reaches them and she wraps her arms around Clarke's waist from behind, “you could not save her in her other life, maybe you are meant to save her in this one.”
They both watch as Sarah glances around in wonder, her tears only known now through the streaks left on her cheeks and it isn't long before three plates are placed in front of them, Emori not saying a word as she returns to the kitchen. “I want to. I need to help her, Lex.”
Sarah demolishes her food, and she looks up embarrassed when she feels two pairs of eyes on her. “I'm sorry, it's been a long time since I've had anything other than scraps.” Lexa's hands grip the table. “There are fifteen of us, we're used for making things that go out for trade.”
“How long?” Clarke asks.
“I've been there before I can remember. We thought, maybe, when Lucas took over as clan leader after his dad died, we might be freed, but it only got worse. More hours, more work, less breaks. We were chained at night so we couldn't run away.” Her tears start up again.
Lexa seethes, anger rising and Clarke wishes she could do something to calm her, but she's just as mad, “does your whole clan know of this?”
Sarah shrugs, “I don't know, Heda, our camp is an hours ride from our main village from what I guessed, the only people we saw were Lucas, his dad before he died, and a few men working for them.”
Clarke reaches over, holding Sarah's hand, “I swear to you, we will do everything we can to make sure you're safe and we will be saving the other children in your camp. Lucas will pay for what he has done.”
Before any more can be said, Emori re-emerges, collecting the plates with a raised brow, but makes no comment. Lexa stops her, “Emori, I have one more request-”
“There is already a bath running, Heda.” She hold her hand out for Sarah to take, but fear clouds her eyes again and she looks back to Clarke and Lexa.
Clarke nods at her, “it's okay, Sarah, you'll be safe with Emori, we'll be right here when you've finished.” Sarah nods, cautiously holding her hand out for Emori to take. “Mochof, Emori.” She recieves only a slight nod and she stares as the two make their way through the kitchen. “What are we going to do?”
Her name echoes around the room and she smiles, a breath of relief escaping her lips when she turns, “Octavia.”
She runs into Clarke's arms, squeezing tighter than she knows is necessary, “you're back,” she whispers.
A growl behind them startles them both and Clarke is quick to turn again, pushing Lexa's shoulders. “Nou. You don't get to take your anger out on her.”
Octavia takes a timid step back, “Lukas kom Boudalan questioned your loyalty to the Coalition, Lexa. He claimed you favoured Skaikru and called Clarke weak. He challenged Elyza and lost, used a knife in a fight with no weapons. His second in command will be arriving soon.”
“And you let this happen?”
“Lexa stop,” Clarke steps in. “You know as well as I do that if you, or Alicia, would've done something to stop this his point would have been proven right. You made the right call, Octavia.”
Lexa takes a long breath, “where is he now?”
“He's being held in one of the cells until the ambassadors come to a decision of his fate.” Octavia glances between them, sensing something more is going on.
Clarke shakes her head, “his fate is no longer in their hands. Lucas has been using children as slaves,” Octavia gasps, “you say his second will be here soon? Gather the ambassadors, we will meet in one hour.” Nodding, Octavia rushes off and Clarke turns back to Lexa, bringing her hands up to Lexa's face, “hey, hey.” She waits a moment until she sees green eyes soften, “that's it.”
Lexa shakes, eyes apologetic, “I'm sorry, ai hodnes.”
Running her thumbs along Lexa's cheek bones, Clarke sighs, “it's okay.”
“Maybe not. But it's understandable you losing your temper.” She feels Lexa's arms back around her waist, head resting on her shoulder where a small kiss is placed.
Lexa grips her tighter, trying her best not to hold Clarke too tight around her bruised ribs, but there's frustrated energy seeping from her still shaking limbs, and she can't wait to come face-to-face with this Lucas. Movement from behind Clarke catches her eye, and though her brow grimaces, her mouth perks, “you may want to look behind you.”
Clarke barely has time to whisper, 'mom', before she's knocked back by the force of Abby hugging her and Lexa takes a step back to give them some space, “where do you think you're going?” Abby grabs her wrist, bringing her into the hug as well and Lexa stiffens, back straight and hands gripping down her sides. Clarke laughs, but makes no move to stop Abby, only encourages by slinging her own arm around Lexa, pulling her in tighter.
Lexa's eyes are still wide in shock, jaw moving up and down, when they all finally pull away and Clarke laughs once more, “mom, I think you broke my girlfriend.” Abby pays no attention to her words as her hands run up and down Clarke's face, making her giggle again, “mom, stop.”
“Shush, just let me look at you.”
“You see me almost every day.”
“Who else knows, Abby?” Lexa finally speaks up, voice more confident than she looks.
Abby smiles at her, moving to rest one hand on her shoulder, “just Raven, Octavia and I. Luckily Raven and Octavia found them first since Elyza held no qualms about introducing herself.”
Clarke rolls her eyes, “of course.”
“Now,” Abby starts, “tell me everything.”
The door to the kitchen opens, and Sarah runs back, gripping on to Lexa's arm, freshly washed and clothed. “Later. Mom, I'd like you to meet Sarah. Sarah, this is my nomon, Abby.” Abby looks at her confused, and she turns to Lexa, “why don't you take her to Aden? We can hardly have her attend the meeting.” Lexa nods, picking Sarah up once more, murmuring things Clarke can't hear after she kisses Clarke's cheek, making her way to the Nightblood camp. “We found her on the hill and-” her voice breaks off into a sob, and Abby brings her into a hug, petting Clarke's head.
“You don't have to tell me anything yet. Why don't we go and get you into some clean clothes?” Clarke nods, and they make their way to her room.
She breathes out a sigh of relief when they enter, taking in the familiar surroundings and it's not long until Raven makes her appearance known, crashing through the doors. “So it's true that little Griff is back,” she plops on the back with a smirk, “it's a shame really, I really liked Elyza. Alicia was alright too I suppose.” Clarke scoffs in offence, changing her top, “still can't complain about the view though.”
“Sorry Abby. You know you'll always be my sugar mama.” They both scowl at her and she holds her hands up in surrender. “So, Clarke, you looking forward to your first training session with Indra?”
“Where are we going?”
“You will be staying with my most promising novitiate, Aden. You will be safe with him whilst Clarke and I deal with your clan leader.”
“I don't want to leave you again.”
Lexa sighs, coming to a stop in front of Aden's door, stroking a strand of hair behind Sarah's ear, “it will only be for a few hours. Trust me, no harm will come to you under Aden's care. I would not leave you with him if I didn't see him fit, and Clarke would not have suggested it if she didn't.”
Sarah nods, unwrapping herself from Lexa and stands patiently when Lexa knocks on Aden's door. Her nervous anticipation dissipates as soon as Aden opens the door though, not the least bit intimidated by a yawning teen with scruffy hair, rubbing his eyes of sleep and she giggles when he sees who is at the door, back suddenly straight and hands behind his back, chest out. She also notices Lexa's slight smirk at him. “Heda?”
“Aden. I apologise for waking you so early.”
“Of course not, Heda, what do you need?”
Lexa smiles softly down at Sarah, keeping her hand at the back of her hair. “Aden this is Sarah, I need you to watch over her for a few hours, Clarke and I have a meeting to attend. I wouldn't be putting this on you if I had another option. She's special.”
With those last two words, Aden's stoic face falters, “I'll protect her with my life, Lexa.” He looks over to Sarah, “Clarke has been showing me a game called 'chess', would you like to play?”
Grinning, Sarah looks over to Lexa once more to gain some confidence, marching her way past Aden, “mochof, Aden.”
Making her way back to the tower, she is stopped by Ryder, “Wanheda says she has laid out some clean clothes for you, and that she will see you in the meeting room.” She nods once in thanks, quickly changing and entering the room already filled with her ambassadors and generals.
She walks silently to her throne and sits, watching as the others follow her, allowing one empty seat, Clarke sat to her right, Octavia stood between them and Indra standing in her usual place at her left. She turns to Octavia, “has he arrived?” Octavia gestures to the guards by the doors and they open them, an average height, muscled man appearing. “You are second in command to Lukas kom Boudalan?”
He kneels in front of her. “Sha, Heda. Ai laik Tomos kom Boudalan.”
“How are your leaders chosen Thomas?” Clarke pipes up, shifting forward in her seat.
“My clan's leaders are by birth right. But; Lucas has no yongon so his title shall fall to me.”
Lexa cocks her head, “for now.” She ignores the look of confusion Thomas gives her. “Please sit, Tomos, we have much to discuss.” Lifting her head to the guards, her voice commands the room, “bring in the accused.” Lucas is dragged in, bound and gagged, thrown roughly on the ground and his grunt of pain from his uncared for shoulder echoes in the small space. “We gather today to decide the fate of this natrona, for his sin of using an unpermitted weapon in a challenge. However, there is new evidence brought forward you may all wish to hear.”
The rooms stays silent and Lexa watches as Lucas' eyes turn to fear. She looks at Clarke to begin. “Earlier, the Commander and I were in the hills and we came across a child. I believe you refer to her as number eight, Lucas.”
Thomas, already glaring at the man, frowns, “Wanheda, I do not understand.”
“He, and his father before him, have been forcing children into slavery. We already know of one camp, and I will be sending riders after this meeting to collect the others,” Lexa continues, “number eight, now known as Sarah, is safe now as will be the others in her camp. We do not know how many there are.” She examines each of the ambassadors, reading their expressions and is glad when they all seem to be filled with disgust.
“I say will kill him,” Roan speaks up, clenching his fists on the arm of his chair. Murmurs of agreement filter through the room, but Lexa keeps an eye on an eerily silent Thomas, his jaw locked and eyes blazing.
Clarke steps in once more, “for his act against the coalition, I say we give him twenty lashes, but don't kill him. Jus drein nou jus daun.” Voices raise, and Clarke holds up her hand, causing Lexa to arch her brow. It goes quiet. “That being said, this crime is against his own people, so I believe he should be punished in a way Thomas sees fit. How are your people punished for their crimes?”
“For serious crimes such as this, the accused are hung by their wrists in the town centre for one moon, and any who wish to, may throw a rock into a basket behind them, stretching their limbs. If they survive, they are banished from our land.” Thomas explains this through grit teeth, holding himself back from killing his old leader to not cause a scene.
Lexa nods, thinking it over, “I think that is adequate. Chit say yo?” Most ambassadors are reluctant to agree, but do so after Lexa stares them down. “Then it is done. Keep your fastest riders available, we do not know how far into our lands these camps go. Tomos, make sure he stays alive long enough to gather the information we need. The children found will be brought either here, the Floukru or the Podakru as we have the best medicines and healers. Once they are at full strength, they will be returned to the Rock Line.” She flicks her attention to the two ambassadors mentioned, both women agreeing. “Good. King Roan, I would like you to escort Tomos en Lukas on your way home and oversee both his punishments. Report anything you get back to me.”
“Is there any other business?” She receives silence. “Very well, this meeting is adjourned. I will hopefully see you all again after the next full moon. Take Lucas back to his cell and prep him for his return home at first light tomorrow.”
Clarke comes to stand behind her, resting her hand on Lexa's shoulder as the ambassadors file out, but her voice fills the room, “Tomos, hod op.”
He spins around, walking back to Lexa's throne and bows his head, waiting until the room holds only the three of them. “Heda? Wanheda?”
“Before we let you go with Lucas, I need to know where your loyalties lie. I will not be accused once again of favouring Skaikru, and I will not stand for Clarke or any other of my ambassadors being called weak.”
Quickly, Thomas kneels before them both, head bowed, “I assure you, Heda, that while I lead my people, we will be completely loyal to both you and the Kongeda. My brother was turned ripa at the mountain. Unfortunately, he did not survive such a fate, but his houmon en yongon both live in the peace that the Maunon were brought down. My personal loyalty will also always be with Wanheda. I swear to you, I had no clue of what was happening.”
Lexa stares him down, anticipated silence filling the void of the room for minutes. “I believe you. We will be having a small celebration tonight in honour of our strongest Coalition to date, I would enjoy your attendance there if you wish,” Lexa tells him, and he looks back up to her, a grateful smile gracing his lips, “please inform the others, it will begin at sundown.” He confirms with a tilt of his head, leaving just the two of them in the room.
A knock on the door shortly after brings Indra to them, bowing her head slightly, “Clarke, I understand that your main role is to be a healer, but watching you fight yesterday, there is a warrior inside. Octavia can learn nothing more from me, I would like you to become my new Seken. I know you were planning on training with Heda, but I will not hold back. If Heda permits of course.” It's the closest to rambling Indra will ever get and it leaves an amused grin on their faces.
“Clarke is free to do as she pleases.”
Clarke's mouth is marginally agape, Indra staring deep into her eyes, waiting for an answer, but eventually she lets herself smile, “it would be my honour.”
“We begin at sunrise the day after tomorrow.”
Groaning after Indra makes her leave, Clarke sets herself in Lexa's lap, “she's going to kill me.”
Lexa laughs, running her thumb over Clarke's hip, “I'm sure you will be fine, hodnes. I am going to go and train with the Nitblidas', you should go and catch up with your mom, Raven and Octavia before the party tonight.” Smirking, Lexa leans in for a chaste kiss, “I told you I'd find a way.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don't waste all of your energy, I plan on taking advantage of your drunk state tonight.”
“I do not get drunk, Klark.”
“No? Tell that to Monty's moonshine.” Clarke stands, aiming to make her way out of the room but yelps when Lexa pinches her ass. “You know, I'm pretty pissed that I went to all that effort to leave a present for Alicia and Elyza and all I get in return is stitches and bruised ribs.”
Lexa stands with her, leading them down the hallway, “I'm sure they had more to learn from us than we did them. They are young in both age and mind, they probably didn't think much about us. Now go and spend time with your friends.”
“Are you trying to get rid of me?”
“Yes. Go away.”
They spend the rest of the day separated. Clarke does as Lexa suggests, taking in Raven's explanation of the science behind the black holes, thanking Octavia for keeping them all alive, and reconnecting with Abby after seeing the bad relationship between mother and daughter in the other world. Lexa trains mostly with Aden, watching Sarah out of the corner of her eye watch the smooth movements they make with swords in wide-eyed wonder and then settles the Nitblidas' down with a class about the possibilities of different realities.
The celebration is already in full swing when they both make it down, Lexa halts it for a moment to re-welcome the Rock Line and they all cheer, continuing their drinking and dancing. After a few hours, Abby makes her way over with Marcus, staggering and voice slurring, “Lexa, thank you, for taking care of my daughter.” She holds her arm out and Lexa takes it, shaking once. “I'm sorry if I've offended you in any way, I'll try not to be so over-protective in future.”
Clarke laughs, her own voice starting to slur, “mom, you're drunk.”
“Maybe. But I will still mean it in the morning.” The music slows, “oh, let's dance.” She grabs Marcus by his upper arm, his face horrified, but when he has Abby draped over him, he relaxes, swaying them side to side.
Looking between Lexa and Abby, Clarke smiles, “maybe we did get a gift after all.” Shaking her head, she holds her hand out to Lexa, “may I have this dance, Commander?” Lexa grins, letting Clarke lead the way, her hands on Clarke's hips and Clarke's around her neck. Clarke takes in her surroundings with a drunk smile, Marcus dancing with her mom, Octavia and Lincoln to her side and Raven and- “oh my god,” she gasps through a giggle and Lexa furrows her brow. “Look! Is that Raven and-”
“Niylah.” Lexa growls, eyes narrowing at the pair.
Clarke grips around her neck tighter, moving to whisper in her ear, “I love it when jealous Lexa comes out to play.”
Just as Lexa starts to deny this ridiculous accusation for what feels like the hundredth time, 'I am Heda, Clarke, I have no reason to be jealous', they feel a tug at their side and look down to see Sarah. “I'm tired.”
“Okay, I will arrange for Ryder to set you up a room.” Sarah blushes, looking away. “What?”
“May I stay with Aden?” She mumbles, “it's just that, I like playing chess with him and I feel safe when he's there.”
Clarke and Lexa chuckle and Clarke looks over to the boy in question bouncing on his feet from right to left, “go on then. But just for tonight, alright?” Sarah nods eagerly before running over to him, his face split in a grin, leading her to his hut. “I don't want her to go home.”
“She is home, niron. I will be discussing the situation with Thomas before he leaves tomorrow.”
Lexa's moan is the first thing Clarke registers as she realises just how quickly she shot forward to deeply kiss her, blocking out the cat-calls and the 'get it, Heda,' she knows are coming from Octavia and Raven respectively. Lexa pulls back, glaring over at Raven, but unwittingly focusing her glare at Niylah instead. Clarke grabs her jaw in a rough tug, “you're jealous, I'm slightly drunk, we haven't had sex in nearly a week, Lex, and honestly I'm really hot for you right now. Take advantage of me.”
Smirking, Lexa pecks Clarke's lips, “I thought you were going to try and take advantage of my drunken state?”
“I've changed my mind. Me first.”
Clarke pulls her away by her hand, Lexa snickering behind her, “by all means, lead the way.”
All Octavia can see are empty paths. Empty paths that have white dotted lines in the middle and solid white lines on the edges. And vehicles. Abandoned vehicles dotted along these paths. She thinks they are roads, but they don't have roads in Polis, they only have trails, and the vehicles from Arkadia look nothing like the ones before her.
She hears the roar of an engine coming towards her, blinking into the shining sun and she sees something far away from her, speeding closer until the shadow turns into something. A motorbike, she believes, with two figures on it. It pulls up in front of her before she even has time to register what's going on and the figures, two girls, stand up from where they were sat, the girl in front whipping out a gun, barrelling towards her, “I haven't got time for this.” Her blinks are harsh, eyes adjusting to the bright light crowding her irises. The voice sounds so familiar, but she can't quite place it.
“Elyza wait.” The other girl shouts, and the faces come into focus. “Octavia?”
“Alicia? Elyza? What the hell?” Octavia's mouth falls open and the two girls stop, Elyza lowering her gun.
“The fuck are you doing here?” The question is rhetorical, and Alicia brings her into a heavy hug.
“Babe, give her some room to breathe.” Elyza pulls Alicia off, and Alicia's arms wrap securely around her. “Octavia?”
In the back of her mind, Octavia is glad to see that these two have finally sorted their shit out, but her legs start pacing, mind running a million miles per minute, “oh no. No, no, no. This can't be happening. This can't be happening!” She stops dead in her tracks, eyes locking to the two pairs next to her, “we have to find Lincoln.”
Shooting up, Octavia's hand finds her rapid heartbeat, head still dizzy from alcohol and she looks to her side, sighing in relief when she sees Lincoln in bed next to her, “babe, go back to sleep.” His grumbles give her a sense of peace, but her mind is still racing.
A dream. It was all a dream. But she has to find out for herself. Getting up, she tells Lincoln she'll be back in a minute and makes her way to Clarke and Lexa's room, grimacing when she hears the loud moans of Clarke's name rolling off of Lexa's tongue. Wincing, she looks between Ryder and Curtis, “how do you two put up with this every night?” They look at her in confusion, as if they'd seen her mouth move but the words weren't registering and it's then she sees the ear buds Raven had made for them and she shakes her head, banging on the door, “Clarke? Clarke!” She continues banging until she hears movement. A minute later Clarke is ripping open the door.
“What, Octavia? I'm kind of busy.”
“I know, I know, I'm sorry.” She hold her hands up, “it's just, I had a really strange dream that you and Lexa swapped bodies with Elyza and Alicia from another world.”
In her hazy, confused state, she doesn't notice Clarke hide her bandaged hand, “what the hell are you talking about? Who are Elyza and Alicia?”
Letting out a breath, Octavia calms. “Nothing, no-one. Thank god, it was all just a dream. I'm sorry to disturb you.”
Clarke only smiles, “I think you had too much to drink tonight. It's late, go back to bed, O.”
“Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Sorry again, I just had to know, I'll let you get back to,” her hand moves in a wild gesture, “yeah. Goodnight, Clarke.”
Clarke waits until Octavia turns the hall to her own room before laughing and shutting the door again, smirking over at Lexa. “That was mean. She's not going to like you in the morning when she realises you were lying.”
Shrugging, Clarke settles back between Lexa's legs, “she'll forgive me when she finds out she's getting my old room tomorrow. Now, where were we?”