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Ending the (Prank) War

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry… did you just… I can’t…” Squeezing her eyes shut tightly, Clarke pinched the bridge of her nose, hoping to stave off the headache she could feel building. After a few deep breaths she opened her eyes to face her friends again. They’d gathering in the apartment she shared with her best friends Octavia and Raven. Each friend was perched in his or her chosen spot, a long developed habit that spoke of the ease they all felt in their friendships. After studying them each in turn she spoke again, “You did what?”

“Are you asking me?” Finn pointed to himself.

“No one is asking you anything.” Raven replied absentmindedly while she stared at her phone.

“She’s looking at me.” He said.

“She’s never looking at you.” Octavia scoffed.

“She used to - ” he started.

“Then she found out the truth.” Raven cut him off. “Frankly, you’re beyond lucky we let you come anywhere near us.”

“I didn’t know!” Finn shouted.

“You didn’t know you had two girlfriends?” Monty’s head tilted slightly to the right.

“That’s lame man.” Jasper added.

“No! I mean I knew that. I was just…” He drifted off, trying to find an excuse for his behavior. When nothing came to mind he threw his hands up, “it’s been three years!”

“What a coincidence!” Raven said, “that’s how long we were together!”

“And twelve times as long as we were a thing.” Clarke finally jumped back in the conversation. She held out her hand to Raven, gesturing that she wanted her friend to hand over her phone. “And, oddly enough, the same amount of time I’ve been over all of this. Now can we please get back to the topic at hand here? I really don’t feel like talking about that failed relationship again. It has been three years after all.”

“So you were talking to me?” Finn asked hopefully.

“No. And I wasn’t looking at you either.” Clarke replied.

“Then who?” He asked.

“For the love of…” Bellamy huffed from his perched on a nearby desk. “Let’s just start with Raven.”

“Why me?” She seemed a little offended.

“Because you’re the oldest and should know better.” Clarke said.

“Hey!” Raven crossed her arms over her chest. “We’re all delinquents here.”

“Stop calling us that.” Clarke couldn’t help but laugh.

In truth, that’s exactly what the friends were. Not that they’d ever really been troublemakers, they’d always just bent the rules. They hardly ever actually broke a rule, let alone a law. Except for that one Fourth of July celebration with Raven’s homemade fireworks. But they’d learned their lessons from that. Or rather, they learned how to not get caught.

Their little group of friendship started with little ten-year-old Clarke meeting thirteen-year-old Bellamy at the park one day. He threatened her then best friend, Roma, over her teasing of his little sister. Clarke had been ready to battle but when he explained having to comfort his eight-year-old sister, Octavia, because of Roma’s teasing, she’d relented. She even went with him to play with the younger girl. That one time game of tag lead to meeting up the following weekend for more running around which lead to their parents exchanging numbers which eventually turned into family dinners and sleepovers and bonfires and late night phone calls. Clarke had traded in one best friend for two others.

Octavia brought Monty and Jasper into the group a few years later. She’d seen a bunch of bullies harassing them in the school parking lot one day and ran to their rescue. Of course, she’d used Clarke and Bellamy as threats against the bullies. Soon, the five of them were causing havoc and creating fun wherever they went.

Of course Clarke followed Bellamy to Arkadia College. Then O, Monty, and Jasper followed her. Clarke brought Finn into the fold after he asked her to get a coffee during one of their study sessions for history. No one in the group was prepared for feisty Raven Reyes to pop up a few months later, happily announcing her transfer to her boyfriend, Finn.

The rift in the group, which was really just Finn versus everyone including their newest member Raven, was quickly resolved. Clarke had never had the energy to hate anyone for too long. But she hardly ever actually acknowledged Finn’s presence.

“I’ll keep calling us that until it isn’t true anymore!” Raven’s declaration cut through Clarke’s memories.

“Just tell us what you did.” Octavia snapped.

“Why are you so tense?” Raven smirked. She knew the answer. And she knew Octavia knew she knew. And Clarke, she knew too. Octavia was also aware of Clarke’s knowing. Bellamy though, he had no clue.

“Because you keep doing stupid things!” Octavia replied.

“Raven.” Clarke interrupted before the other two girls could get each other too riled. “Did you really hack into Polis’s student records and change a bunch grades? For honors students and student athletes? Including students on scholarships and grants?”

Her best friend shrugged and refused to meet her eye, “maybe.”

“Raven Reyes!” Clarke growled.

“Monty helped!” Raven said as she pointed to the younger man.

“Not cool dude.” Jasper gasped, offended on his best friend’s behalf.

“I’ll get to you in a minute Jasper.” Clarke snapped. She turned to Monty, “Will they be able to figure out it was you?”

“No.” He answered easily.

“You’re sure?” Bellamy asked.

“Yes.” Raven nodded. “And before you can ask, it’s a bunch of techno babble you wouldn’t understand. Basically proxies, servers, rerouting, and false IPs. We covered every base three times over. We’re good.”

Clarke nodded before sighing, “But really Rae? Three hundred students?”

“Seemed like a nice even number.” She smirked.

“Can you undo it?” Octavia asked.

“I could.” Monty replied.

“But why would we?” Raven questioned.

“They deserve everything they get!” Finn asserted.

“Is that why you set off smoke bombs at the Polis alum gathering? The ones that dyed eighteen very powerful people green?” Bellamy asked.

“Eighteen people including my mother.” This time Clarke tried to hold her laughter; it came out a very unladylike snort instead. “I mean, I’m not happy about the prank but Mom was green for a week. It was kind of amazing.”

“Well if someone,” Jasper glared at Finn, “hadn’t messed with the compound no one would have ever been green.”

“You know several of those people have threatened to pull funding if the perpetrators aren’t caught right?” Clarke pointed out, suddenly very serious.

“And?” Finn shrugged.

“It’s not like they haven’t pulled pranks on us Princess,” Raven said.

Clarke could only shake her head. “Maybe this rivalry has finally gone too far.”

“They started it!” Finn shouted.

“Technically this feud was started 197 years ago when the founder of Arkadia College swindled the founder of the University of Polis out of hundreds of acres of land. He literally just appeared one day and refused to leave. He was a glorified squatter who just started building on some other man’s land.” Bellamy, ever the historian, corrected.

The friends stared at him for a moment. Then Octavia laughed and said, "nerd."

“I for one think almost two centuries of petty fights and pranks is more than long enough.” Clarke added. “We need to make peace.”

“As if that’s even possible.” Raven said.

“We’ll never know if we don’t try.” Octavia replied.

“Undo the grades. And make doubly sure no one knows it was us.” Clarke said. “Why did I think running for student body president was a good idea?”

“Med school applications needed padding.” Monty chimed in.

“I think people only voted for me because they thought I’d keep you lot in line.” Clarke replied.

“Idiots.” Bellamy shook his head.

Clarke stood and paced for a few minutes, going over in her head everything that needed fixing and how she was going to accomplish it all. Of course her list would be a lot shorter if her friends stopped pranking the prestigious university next door. Her position as student body president had come with too few perks to deal with the stress her best friends were putting her under. Finally she turned to the group again.

“Right. So Jasper, no more smoke bombs. Or bombs of any kind. Finn, don’t mess with things you don’t understand. Monty, stop listening to Raven. Rae, stop corrupting the cinnamon roll.” She said.

“Clarke, maybe there should be actual punishment this time.” Bellamy advised.

She shook her head, “I don’t think so. Not if it can all be fixed.”

“But – ” He tried to say more but was cut off by Octavia.

“I think we’re done here now. Finn’s cologne is giving me a migraine.”

“Agreed.” Raven nodded.

“Right, so everyone just fix what you broke and stop breaking everything.” Clarke said. “This is why we can’t have nice things. You people keep breaking them.”

After a few more weak arguments for punishment from Bellamy, and Finn declaring his super expensive cologne was the rage in France, the guys shuffled out of the apartment leaving Clarke with Octavia and Raven.

“Clarke.” Raven said.

“Not now Rae, please.” Clarke shook her head.

Raven couldn’t help but reply, “it was a harmless prank guys.”

“Harmless?” Octavia snapped. “How is it harmless? What if those students lose scholarships because of your prank?”

“You really think those profs of at the University of Pompous wouldn’t notice the changes? Aren’t they all supposed to be geniuses or something?” Raven scoffed. She stood from her spot on the couch and headed for the kitchen.

“Not the point!” Clarke called after her. Raven reappeared with chips and a beer. Clarke rolled her eyes, “you know we would kill anyone who messed with our GPAs Rae. And anyone stupid enough to even slightly threaten O’s rugby scholarship would be deader than dead.”

“I wouldn’t even bother trying to hide the evidence.” Octavia nodded as she snatched the chips from Raven’s grasp. “And these are mine.”

Raven studied her friends. She sank back onto the couch with a sigh. “Fine. Monty and I will fix it first thing Monday.”

“No,” Clarke shook her head. “Now.”

“Griff, come on. It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon.” Raven replied.

Clarke took the beer from her hand and took a sip. “Fix it now Reyes. Leaving those students in limbo is not how we do things.”

“They’d let us suffer.” Raven said. She dove at Clarke, trying to get her beer back. Her friend jumped off the couch and out of her reach. “Remember when they locked us up in that conference room during Homecoming? Seven hours!”

“Kind of our fault for handing over our cell phones.” Clarke shrugged. She sipped the beer again and smirked at Raven’s scowl.

“What about when they changed all the language on the school’s website to Greek? Even the coursework!” Raven countered. She studied Octavia out of the corner of her eye. When she thought the younger girl was distracted she dove for the chips. Octavia just shoved her head away and laughed when Raven ended up on the floor.

“As if that was an issue with Bellamy and Octavia around.” Clarke said. “Just fix it now.”

“Clarke!” Raven whined. “How can I work on an empty stomach?”

“If you and Monty are half as good as you think you are you’ll be done with plenty of time to party with us tonight.” Octavia cut in. “Which is why Clarke and I bought the beer and chips in the first place Rae.”

“Is that…” Raven glared at her friends from her place on the floor. “Are you doubting my ability to fix this?”

“Doubting is putting is strongly.” Octavia shrugged and bit into a chip.

“Worrying is a better way to put it I think.” Clarke nodded.

Raven huffed and pulled herself to her feet. “You’re doubting me. Unbelievable.”

“To be fair, the doubt is only happening because you can’t solve this by making it go boom.” Clarke laughed.

“Rude.” Raven spun on her heel and stomped away.

“Where you going Reyes?” Octavia called after her.

“Screw you Blake!” She yelled over her shoulder. “I’ll see you jerks in an hour. Shots are on you two tonight!”

Chapter Text

“It shouldn’t be this hard,” Clarke whined.

“Running?” Octavia replied.

Clarke shot a glare at her before looking back to the trail they’d picked for the day, “No, but running is dumb. And don’t think I haven’t realized you’re holding back.”

“I’m an All-American rugby player in a nationally ranked program running with my pre-med best friend who’d rather sit in our lobby for two hours than climb three flights of stairs when the elevator is down.” Octavia laughed. “Of course I’m holding back.”

“That was one time and I had groceries!”

“You had one bag with cookies and gummy bears in it.” Laughter rang out again.

“You shouldn’t be able to laugh like that and run at the same time.” Clarke growled.

“I’m sorry?” Octavia said as she picked up her pace a little. In the blink of an eye she was easily four strides ahead of Clarke.

“Hey!” Clarke shouted. “Where are you going?”

“You said you didn’t want me to hold back.”

“No, I said I knew you were holding back.” Clarke said. “Please feel free to continue to do so. It’s helping my ego. Which, by the way, is exactly what I need right now.”

Octavia slowed her pace so she was even with Clarke again. She nudged her friend and smiled brightly when she was met with a red-faced glare. “Troubles Princess?”

“I’ve tried every way I can think of to reach out to the president of the student body at Polis and I’ve heard nothing back.”

“What does this so-called everything entail?”

“I’ve emailed, faxed, and otherwise contacted the school to the nth degree O. I’ve even talked to their dean.” Clarke explained. “I tried to talk to some UP students around town too. As soon as I mention my name they bolt.”

“Did you really talk to their dean?”

“Yeah. Some jerk named Titus Hickory. Very stiff and formal. He did not seem to be a very big fan of mine.”

“Why would he even know who you are?” Octavia asked.

“You mean other than my mother being who my mother is?” Clarke grabbed Octavia’s arm and pulled her to a stop. “I can’t breathe.”

“Just thinking about your mother throws you into a panic attack?”

“No O. Running two miles makes me feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest.” Clarke panted. “Mom isn’t that bad, just pushy sometimes.”

Octavia nodded and rubbed Clarke’s back. “In through your nose Griff, you’ll be fine.”

“I’m dying.”

“At least you’ll die in the nice fresh air.”

Clarke took a deep breath and held it for a moment. She released it slowly before growling, “go float yourself O.”

“Rude!" Octavia laughed and dodged the slap Clarke had aimed at her leg. "Listen, I’ll try to think of some way to help with this whole Polis thing. For now though, I need to finish my run. I’ll see you at home?”

“Yeah. If my legs decide movement is still a thing. If not, I guess you know where to find me.” Clarke muttered.

Octavia walked backwards a few paces, laughing at the pout on her friend’s face, “There is a bright side here Clarke.”

“Yeah? What is it?”

“At least now you know why your mother never wears green.” Octavia smiled at the bark of strangled laughter before turning and continuing down the trail.

****

Hours later Octavia finally returned to the apartment with Raven in tow. She threw open the door and called out, “Clarke!”

“Where are y – Oh! Sorry!” Raven grabbed Octavia’s shoulder and spun the younger girl around so they were both facing the wall.

“Hello Octavia. Hi Raven.”

“Hey Niylah.” Octavia waved over her shoulder.

“How’s it going?” Raven called back. “Sorry, dumb question.”

“Well, I’ve been better.” Niylah laughed.

“I’d imagine so.” Raven laughed while Octavia shook her head and stared at the wall.

“We’re sorry!” Octavia said.

“Speak for yourself.” Raven whispered.

Octavia giggled, “Rae, I think we really came in at a bad time this time.”

“This isn’t the first time you’ve seen my boobs guys.” Clarke sighed. “You can turn around now. We’re decent.”

They turned slowly. Octavia glared at her now fully clothed best friend, “you knew I was coming home.”

“You said later. I figured you’d text to let me know.” Clarke shrugged.

Niylah giggled from her seat on the couch. “I’m going to head out. Text me soon?”

Clarke nodded and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Of course.”

The roommates watched Niylah walk out the door in silence. As soon as it closed behind her Octavia rounded on Clarke. “Really?”

“What?”

“You’re hooking up with Niylah again?” Raven asked. She moved to sink into her favorite chair, “Since when?”

“What about it?” Clarke dodged the second part of the question.

“I thought you said no UP student would talk to you.” Octavia said.

“We weren’t exactly talking.” Clarke smirked. She crossed her arms over her chest and kicked her feet up onto the coffee table in front of her.

Octavia’s eyes squeezed shut, “ew.”

“And besides that, she called me. She said something about making someone jealous. I’ve been a little stressed so I said yes.”

“What is she still has those feelings for you?” Raven asked.

“She doesn’t. And if she did, I’d end it permanently.”

“So you don’t have feelings?” Octavia finally walked into the living room.

“Not like that. Not for her.” Clarke replied. “She knows that. It is all good.”

“But – ” Octavia spoke up again. She sat on the coffee table, facing Clarke.

“Nope, done with that talk now. So what did you need?”

“Huh?” Octavia looked confused.

“You were yelling her name when we walked in.” Raven reminded her. “Although, I’m sure she thought Niylah’s voice just changed during their fun. She probably didn’t even realize we were here until your scream.”

“Enough Rae.” Clarke giggled.

Octavia looked horrified. She shook her head, trying to make the image of a topless Niylah straddling an equally topless Clarke disappear. “Right. I found an in.”

“An in for what?” Clarke asked.

“Polis!” Octavia rolled her eyes. “I did some asking around. You know that new pub that opened a few blocks from here? Tondisi?”

“I’ve heard of it but haven’t been there. Why?” Clarke replied.

“So apparently its owned by a couple who broke the whole dating taboo between Polis and Arkadia. They’ve let everyone know that Tondisi is a neutral ground for students of both universities and the student body pres over at Polis had fully backed them.” Octavia explained excitedly.

“And?”

Raven shifted in her chair, reaching for the blanket draped over the back, “we were told if you go and talk to the owners they can contact the pres for you. If they think you’re legit I mean.”

Clarke stared at her, “All I have to do is go to a pub?”

Raven and Octavia both nodded.

“Are you just trying to find an excuse to get me drunk?” Clarke’s eyes narrowed.

“Always.” Raven nodded. “But not in this case.”

“Yeah. You wanted a way in, we found one. We’re being good best friends.” Octavia added.

“Okay.” Clarke said. “Looks like I get to pay a visit to a pub tomorrow after class.”

****

Tondisi wasn’t at all what Clarke had been expecting. Not that she’d actually had any idea what to expect. The name gave no clues to let new patrons know what sort of place they’d walked into. The pub was… otherworldly. Like steampunk meets post-apocalyptic meets modern design. She fell in love instantly. She even picked out a booth and mentally claimed it as her own, all the way to the left, third booth. It just felt right when she sank into the seat.

“Can I help you?” A voice cut through her admiration.

“Just admiring my favorite new booth.” Clarke sighed.

“I’ll have a plaque made.” The woman laughed. “Clarke?”

Clarke’s eyes narrowed as she studied the woman. She couldn’t be more than a few years older that her. “How do you know my name?”

“I know you.” The woman smiled. She reached into her apron and pulled out a wallet. She dug around for a few moments. Finally she handed a card to Clarke.

“Trina?” Clarke read. “Oh! My old TA! From Biology 351.”

“I hated that class.” Trina nodded as she accepted her old student ID back. “I loved having you there though. So bright. So hilarious.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m one of the owners. My wife and I just opened.” Trina explained she sank into the seat opposite Clarke. “I was serious about that plaque by the way. ‘This booth is hereby perpetually reserved for the Delinquents. If you aren’t them, move.’ Has a nice ring to it right?”

“You know about that nickname?” Clarke blushed.

“Griffin, my wife went to Polis and graduated two years ago. Even she knows about that nickname.” Trina laughed.

Clarke shook her head, “we aren’t that bad.”

“Yes you are. But you guys don’t really mean to harm anyone most of the time.”

“We never mean for anyone to be harmed.”

“I know.” Trina replied. “That’s why I’m going to help you convince Luna to help you. And to have that plaque made.”

“What is with you and that plaque?” Clarke laughed.

Trina smiled and pointed to the wall next to them. Clarke’s brows came together in confusion but she turned to follow her finger. There on the wall was a series of six drawings.

“How did you get those?”

“Your friend Octavia gave them to me. She said she found them in the trashcan in your room one day. I’d seen her just days before that and explained the design of this place. Imagine my surprise when she showed up here with those drawings and declared they were perfect for the place.” Trina explained. She reached out to straighten one of the drawings. “I agree. These dystopian women were exactly what this part of the pub needed to go from amazing to kind of badass. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all.” Clarke blushed. “They just popped in my head one day. I’m glad they found a home somewhere.”

“So that’s why this is your booth now. Luna will agree with me I think. Once she vets you of course.”

“Excuse me?”

Trina shrugged, “she may love me but she doesn’t trust most Arkadians. Just be you and you’ll be okay. She knows enough about you from the stories Octavia and I have told her.”

“How does she know O?”

“How do you think?”

Clarke nodded, “of course. Do I get to meet Luna soon?”

“Luna is right here and can speak for herself.” A new voice said.

“Hey love!” Trina leaned up for a kiss. “This is her.”

“Clarke Griffin?” Luna slid onto the seat next to her wife.

“That’s me.”

Luna didn’t speak again. She just studied Clarke closely. She let Trina and Clarke carry the conversation while she listened. It was unnerving at first but eventually Clarke sort of forgot she was even there. Luna twirled a piece of Trina’s brown hair around her finger and stared at the blonde.

“Luna,” Trina nudged her. “Stop trying to scare her. You’ve met her mother. The glaring thing isn’t going to work and you know that. Plus, you need to thank her for helping design this space.”

“Why do I need to thank her? She didn’t know.”

“Don’t be rude. And we’re making a plaque for the booth. It’s been assigned.”

“Sorry.” Luna pressed a kiss to Trina’s forehead.

Clarke nodded, “no worries. But if you don’t mind, there’s something I’d like to talk to you about.”

“You want me to contact Heda.” Luna said.

“Who is Heda?” Clarke asked.

“The president of the student body at Polis.” Trina explained. She nudged her wife, “stop being cryptic.”

Luna huffed out a breath and smile sweetly at her wife. She turned back to Clarke and studied her for another moment or two. “I’ll contact Heda for you. If you answer a question for me.”

“Of course! Anything!”

“Why?”

“I’m sorry? What do you mean?” Clarke asked.

“Why do you want to talk to Heda so badly?”

Sinking about in her seat, it was Clarke’s turn to study the older woman sitting in front of her. She tried to figure out what she wanted to hear. Finally she just decided to go with the truth.

“I want to end the feud. I think it’s gone on long enough. Its also escalating. If we don’t stop soon, someone is going to get hurt. I don’t want that on my conscience.”

“Does it have anything to do with the hacking?” Luna asked.

“I’m not going to answer that. I just want it to end before something bad actually happens.” Clarke said.

Once more Clarke found herself under the microscope. She met Luna’s eyes and refused to blink. She’d meant what she said. She didn’t want anyone getting hurt. It didn’t matter if they were students at Polis or Arkadia, someone was going to go too far soon. She could feel it.

Finally, Luna nodded. “Alright. Trina has vouched for you so I guess you're okay. I have one more question for you though.”

“Okay.” Clarke replied. “What is it?”

Luna shifted forward, her eyes sparkling with mischief, “how amazing was it to see your mother dyed green?”

Clarke laughed loudly, drawing the attention of everyone in the pub. “You really have no idea!”

Chapter Text

It really didn’t take long for Luna to make good on her promise to help. In fact, Trina called less than twelve hours after Clarke left Tondisi. A meeting was set up for that evening. Clarke was expected at 7:30 for a sit down with one of Heda’s people.

“Why not Heda?” Clarke asked.

Heda doesn’t like new people. Doesn’t trust them.” Trina replied. “Just be here at 7:15. Grounders like punctuality.”

“You said the meeting was at 7:30.”

Trina chuckled, “If you get here on time, they’ll consider you late. Just trust me on this Clarke. Be early. And be prepared for some intensity.”

Before Clarke could ask what that cryptic piece of information meant Trina disconnected the call. She stared at her phone for a moment. She couldn’t help but think up all the possible ways the meeting could go. She prepared herself for the worst, because that’s what intensity meant at times like this. Sure, there was such a thing as intensely calm she supposed, but she was trying to end a feud that had raged for generations. That kind of intensity was never calm.

Once her panic settled into unease Clarke had to find a way to spend her Sunday. Normally she’d be curled up on the couch with Raven or Octavia but Octavia hadn’t come home and Raven was sleeping off whatever party she’d graced with her presence the previous night. Risking her safety, Clarke peeked into Raven’s room just to see if she had made any progress through her inevitable hangover. The pillow that instantly hit her in the face told her no.

“Why are you so loud?” Raven whined.

“Why are you so grumpy?”

Raven opened the eye not buried in her pillow. She winced at the light but still managed to shoot off a glare. “I hate you.”

“You love me.”

“Go away Princess.”

“Make me.”

“As soon as my bed stops spinning like a dreidel I’m going to end you.”

Clarke laughed, “you have one more hour. I’ll make breakfast then.”

“Bacon?”

“So much bacon Rae.”

“I love you,” Raven sighed. Moments later she was softly snoring again.

After tucking her best friend in Clarke made her way back to the living room. She grabbed her phone and shot a text to Octavia.

 

Griffster: (9:17)
Hey O! I have news. Nothing
urgent. Text when you’re… not
busy…

O’Goddess: (9:17)
Good urgent?

Griffster: (9:18)
Is there such a thing as good
urgent? Why are you awake?

O’Goddess: (9:19)
Maybe? Like a flash sale. That’s
a good urgent. Or running toward
the goal line. Also good, also
urgent. And I’m awake because
someone decided to text me.

Griffster: (9:22)
… I don’t know why I question
you sometimes.

O’Goddess: (9:23)
I don’t either. I usually know
what I'm talking about. Or have
reasons for the talking. So
what’s the non-urgent news?

Griffster: (9:23)
We have a meeting with one of
Heda’s people tonight.

O’Goddess: (9:24)
Well don’t you work quick?

O'Goddess: (9:24)
What time?

Griffster: (9:26)
We’re leaving at 7. Apparently
if we’re not early we’re late.
Trina said to be there by 715
for a meeting at 730.

O’Goddess: (9:27)
Who is we?

Griffster: (9:29)
I think it’s best if it’s just the
two of us. No one else can
keep a level head.

O’Goddess: (9:31)
Good call Princess. I’ll be home
around lunchtime.

Griffster: (9:33)
That isn’t a time O. Just be here
by 5ish? We can get ready
together.

O’Goddess: (9:34)
Sounds good. See you then. Now
stop texting me. You’ll wake him.

 

Clarke tossed her phone on the couch and sighed. She wasn’t very good at having nothing to do. She could study but she really didn’t feel like it. She could write that paper that was due Thursday but she wrote better under pressure. After coming up with, and dismissing, a handful of other ideas Clarke spotted her sketchbook.

She didn’t draw or paint as much as she used to. She’d lost the inspiration somehow. But seeing her drawings in fancy frames in Tondisi inspired her. She grabbed the book and some pencils from the drawer in the coffee table and sank onto the couch. Years ago she’d fiddled with the idea of creating a graphic novel with the women she’d created but she wasn’t a writer. And Raven and Octavia weren’t exactly wordsmiths. She flipped to a clean page and started outlining the reluctant hero’s face. If she couldn’t write the words she’d tell the story through pictures. As each line appeared before her eyes Clarke found herself in her own world, tucked away from the worries she constantly carried.

That was how Raven found her hours later, curled up on the couch, sketches surrounding her and her tongue poking out of the side of her mouth while she concentrated. She watched Clarke for a while, wondering what brought about the drawing binge. Finally, her stomach protested at its empty state. Raven made her way to the kitchen and started preparing lunch.

Clarke jumped when a hand appeared in front of her face. She blinked rapidly, for the first time in hours focusing her eyes on something other than the world she’d just created and refined in her head.

“Rae?”

“Clarke?”

“Why are you up already? I told you I’d get you in an hour.”

Raven snorted and held a plate out for her to take. “Here’s your bacon Griff.”

“You made breakfast?”

“I made breakfast for lunch.” Raven corrected. “It’s 1:30.”

“What?” Clarke grabbed her phone to check the time. The numbers showed Raven hadn’t lied. “Did you hack my phone?”

“No?”

“Why are you asking me and not telling me?”

Raven shook her head, “I haven’t hacked anything today. I came out here and found you in your happy drawing place so I made food. You just lost track of time. You’re allowed to do that sometimes.”

Finally accepting the plate from her friend, Clarke set aside her sketchbook. They ate in silence while Raven tried to find something on Netflix to pass the time. She finally settled on some documentary about blacksmiths and set the remote down next to her.

Once they finished eating Clarke took their plates into the kitchen and cleaned the mess Raven had left behind. The girl could cook, Clarke would give her that, but she also insisted on using twice as many pans as necessary. After placing the last pan in the cupboard she made her way to her room to grab more pencils. Her world was created, now it needed color. She settled next to Raven again and started the process of shading and color.

After another long period of silence Raven finally turned to her. “So what brought this on?”

Clarke glanced up on her, “what do you mean?”

“You haven’t touched your sketchbook in months. Why are we now surrounded by badass women?” Raven waved an around at the countless drawings on the couch, coffee table, and floor.

“Oh. Octavia gave Trina some of my sketches. She put them in frames and put them on display in Tondisi.”

“I know that sentence made sense to you but I have no idea who Trina is.”

“Right. Why would you?” Clarke replied. She set her drawing supplies aside and turned to face Raven. “She was my TA a few semesters ago. Now she and her wife own Tondisi. She told Octavia about the design of the place and it made O remember these drawings I’d done. So she found some I hadn’t kept and gave them to Trina.”

“And now they’re on display in a pub?”

“Yeah. On the wall next to our booth.”

“Our booth?”

“You’ll understand when you see it. It was meant to be ours Rae.” Clarke said.

Raven shrugged, “if you say so. But speaking of Tondisi, how did that meeting go last night?”

“I’d say pretty well since I’m meeting one of Heda’s people in a few hours.”

“What’s a heda?”

Heda is a who not a what. And I don’t know who Heda is other than that’s what Polis calls their student body president. I haven’t been given a name.” Clarke said.

“So when do we leave?”

We don’t leave. O and I are leaving around 7.” Clarke replied. “I don’t think having the person who hacked their system with me would be very welcomed.”

Her friend crossed her arms over her chest, “They don’t know it was me.”

“But they might one day. And we don’t need to give them any ammunition to use against us.”

“I want to go.” Raven stated.

“No Rae, not this time. Just let me lay the groundwork. You can come along to a meeting some other time.”

The friends spent the rest of their afternoon arguing over Raven’s appearance at the meeting. Clarke was adamant she stay home, far away from the meeting that could turn volatile. Raven insisted she’d be on her best behavior. She was one of her best friends, she wanted to have her back. The arguing grew more and more heated until they were yelling at each other from opposite sides of the living room.

That’s how Octavia found them when she arrived home. She’d had a pleasant day, a happy day, and so she was not at all pleased when a pillow hit her in the face as soon as she walked through the door. She strode to the middle of the room, snatching pillows out of the air and yelling to get her friends’ attention.

“Hey! That’s enough!” She whacked Raven with the pillow in her right hand.

“She started it!” Raven yelled back.

Clarke huffed out a breath and growled, “we are not five!”

“I’m going to that meeting!”

“You are not!” Clarke shouted.

“I am!”

Octavia shoved first Clarke then Raven onto the couch. She sat on the coffee table and stared at them. When they tried to start arguing again she held up a hand. “Nope. We’re done with the yelling. I don’t care what started it.”

“But she – ” Raven pointed at Clarke.

“No. We’re done.” Octavia shook her head. “You’re not going to the meeting Rae.”

“Oh yes I am!”

“Don’t you think it’s sad that the so-called ‘hot-headed’ friend is playing peacemaker right now?” Clarke snorted.

“I’m going.” Raven repeated for the thousandth time that afternoon.

Octavia shook her head. “No, you’re really not. The last thing we need is for you to get all attitudinal and ruining any progress Clarke might be able to make tonight. I’m only going because Clarke knows I’ll play nice.”

“I want to help.” Raven muttered.

“So stay away from the meeting. You’re almost as bad as Finn when it comes to Grounders.”

Raven growled at the nickname, “such a stupid name. Why not be the Warriors? Or the Spartans? Something normal?”

“It’s their mythology Rae. And that attitude is exactly why you aren’t going to be anywhere near Tondisi tonight.”

For a few minutes the girls sat in silence, shooting glares and eye rolls at one another. Raven was stubborn but she was also smart enough to know she wasn’t going to win against both of her best friends. At least not if she went at them head on.

“Fine.” She pouted. “I’ll stay home and work on one of my projects like a good little girl.”

“No need for sarcasm Rae.” Octavia sighed.

Clarke rested a hand on Raven’s knee and squeezed, “I promise you’ll get to help end this feud Raven, just not today.”

****

Tondisi was surprisingly busy for a Sunday evening. Clarke had been expecting to find the place nearly empty but instead was met with a few dozen people. She led Octavia through the pub toward her booth. She stopped short when she saw it was occupied.

“Why did you stop?” Octavia asked, taking in the atmosphere of the place.

“They’re sitting in my booth.” Clarke whispered back.

“So sit somewhere else.”

“That’s my booth. I don’t want to sit somewhere else.”

Octavia rolled her eyes. “Clarke, the booth right next to it is open. Let’s sit there.”

“No.”

Suddenly Trina appeared next to them. “Problem ladies?”

“No.” Octavia shook her head.

“They’re in my booth.” Clarke pointed at the men.

“Oh. Right.” Trina nodded.

“It’s really fine Trina, we’ll sit – ” Octavia started.

The owner shook her head and approached the booth. The three guys occupying it looked her up and down and grinned at her. She smile back kindly and spoke softly, “I’m sorry about this but you guys are going to have to move. That booth right here is open for you.”

“Why do we need to move?” One of the men asked.

“This table is reserved for the ladies who just came in.”

“I didn’t see a sign when we came in.” Another argued.

Trina sighed and gestured to the new plaque on the wall. “You didn’t look hard enough I suppose.”

The trio read the plaque and laughed. The first man turned back and asked, “is this a joke?”

“Afraid not. No move it or lose it.” Luna appeared next to her wife. “You saw the plaque, you read it, you know what that means.”

“But we just ordered!” The second man said.

“I’m sure your waiter will be smart enough to realize you’ve changed seats. I have faith in my staff.” Luna drawled.

More grumbling and weak arguments were met with Trina and Luna’s insistence that the men move to another booth. Octavia watched with her jaw on the floor. Clarke smiled smugly.

“What just happened?” Octavia asked as they settled into the booth.

Instead of answering, Clarke pointed to the wall. Octavia recognized the drawings instantly and laughed when she saw the plaque. “Really?”

“Trina insisted. And I love this booth.” Clarke shrugged.

“My wife paid double to have that plaque made quickly Griffin, you better be happy with it.” Luna slid into the seat next to Octavia.

“I’m thrilled.” Clarke assured her.

“Good.” Trina sat next to Clarke.

Octavia looked between the three other women, “So about this meeting… when does it start?”

Heda’s people came in a few minutes ago. They’re at the bar getting drinks.” Luna explained. “They’ll be with you shortly.”

“So we just wait?” Clarke asked, her eyes drifting to the bar. She saw a few groups of people there but had no way of knowing who was there to speak for Heda.

“You could go up and talk to them.” Luna shrugged.

Trina laid a hand on Clarke’s arm when she started trying to scoot out of the booth, “no, she can’t. You know they’ll take it as an insult if she just pops up there. They’re bringing drinks over.”

Luna smirked and shrugged, “but the argument would be fun to watch.”

“Don’t start trouble wifey.” Trina said.

“Don’t call me wifey!” Luna shot back. She practically jumped up from the table and stomped away.

“She really hates cute names. So much.” Trina grinned. She watched her wife disappear into the kitchen before turning back to Clarke. “They’ll be here in a minute. They’ll sit down at exactly 7:30.”

“I thought if we were on time we were late?” Octavia replied.

“That’s you, not them.” Trina said. “Their ways don’t necessarily always make sense, but since we don’t have a tradition that dictates this stuff, it’s best just to go with their way.”

With that as her parting wisdom, Trina made her way into the kitchen too, calling out for her wifey the entire way. Clarke couldn’t hold back the giggles at the answering shouts from Luna. Her merriment was cut short by a new, very stoic, voice.

“So, you’ve started a war you can’t win and now you’ve come to beg for mercy?”

Clarke’s eyes darted to the end of the table. A young woman stood there, tall and lithe with high cheekbones and a smirk that seemed to hold more than one secret.

“We didn’t start anything!” Octavia protested.

“I don’t think you’re here to talk Blake. Maybe go find Linc and entertain yourself.” The woman shot back. “Clarke Griffin and I have some things to discuss.”

In a move that surprised Clarke immensely, her friend slid out of the booth and moved to join the Polis students who had accompanied Heda’s messenger.

“I’ve never seen her back down that quickly.” Clarke stared after Octavia.

“She just needs to know who is in charge. And since you’re supposed to be her leader, you should know that.” The woman sat down across from Clarke. She slid a beer over in front of Clarke. “Hopefully she’ll be distracted enough to let the adults talk.”

“I’m sorry, who exactly are you?” Clarke asked. She picked up her drink and took a sip. “Just curious as to who the person is who keeps insulting my best friend.”

“I’m Anya. Anya Woods.”

Clarke held out her hand, “nice to meet you Anya Woods. I’m Clarke Griffin.”

“I know.”

“I keep getting that from people connected to Polis. Feel like telling me why?” Clarke let her hand hang between them for a beat or two before dropping back to the table.

“You’re Abigail and Jacob Griffin’s only daughter. A legacy who passed up a chance to attend one of the best universities in the world. Your mother speaks of you often.” Anya replied. “I have to go to those boring alum meetings. She likes to talk to me.”

Shaking her head, Clarke said, “We don’t really talk about her work. She doesn’t want to push me to follow in her footsteps. Or so she says.”

“She has no doubts that you’ll follow her into medicine but she thinks you’ll stay far away from cardio. She thinks you’re too much of an adrenaline junkie. So we’ve got a betting pool going. Right now trauma is in the lead.”

“You’re betting on my future?”

Anya shrugged, “it passes the time between your mother’s stories about you.”

“Don’t listen to anything she says. Please.”

“I listen to everything she says.” Anya replied. “But let’s get down to business. You want to talk about the war?”

“I want to end it.” Clarke corrected.

“Why?”

“The pranks are starting to get a little extreme don’t you think?”

“Oh, you mean like how our system was hacked last week and a few hundred students found their grades changed?”

Clarke lifted one shoulder in a shrug, trying to appear nonchalant, “You don’t know that was us.”

“Who else would do it?”

“I have theories. But I don’t want to talk about the grades or the smoke bomb or the conference room you all locked us in.” Clarke said. “I want to figure out how to end this. Maybe the students could stop focusing on planning the next legendary prank and start focusing on their classes that way. And maybe then I can finally walk to class without constantly worrying about what your students are plotting next. Don’t you think it’s exhausting?”

“I think Arkadia started this war but can’t win it.”

“It isn’t a war Anya, not yet. But I know some of the students at AC are starting to take the pranks too far. They’re thinking above and beyond what has already been done. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

“So you’re concerned about safety? Grounders would never take a prank that far.”

Clarke sighed and rubbed her forehead. “No one has taken it that far yet but it’s heading in that direction. Maybe if we start working toward the end now we can prevent anything horrible from happening.”

The young woman opposite her leaned back in her seat. She studied Clarke closely. Silence enveloped the booth, the whole pub seemed to fall into an eerie sort of quiet. Anya picked up her beer and took a few sips, then one long drink, downing half the pint in one gulp.

“Let’s say I’m interesting in this truce of yours Griffin. I can’t actually call for a ceasefire. I don’t have that authority.” Anya said.

“Then why am I talking to you?”

Heda doesn’t like people very much. Not outsiders anyway.”

“Explain.” Clarke demanded.

“There isn’t anything to explain. Heda doesn’t trust outsiders. I was sent because I have Polis’ best interest at heart.” Anya replied. “I can talk to Heda. Set up a meeting between the two of you. But I need to know how you plan on enforcing this ceasefire.”

“I can handle my side of it. Between me and my friends, nothing will happen to Polis.” Clarke pledged.

“Ah yes, the Delinquents.” Anya gestured to the plaque.

Clarke nodded. She slid her beer over to Anya, gesturing for her to finish it, “We’ve got everything under control at AC. But I won’t tell my classmates to stop with their plans if I can’t promise Polis isn’t going to come for us.”

“So your plan is to trust your little group of friends?” Anya scoffed.

“My little group of friends happens to have friends in high places on campus. Nothing is done on Arkadia’s campus without one of us giving the okay.”

“So you knew about the hacking?” Anya shot back. “And the smoke bombs?”

“No. I never said we were behind the hacking. And a few of us knew about the smoke bombs. Not me, but a few of us.”

“How can I – ”

Clarke would never know what Anya was going to ask her next. She was cut off by a scream from the table Octavia had joined. The young women jumped up and ran to the table, pushing through the small crowd that had gathered.

“O!” Clarke yelled. Her friend was bent over another girl, one who was a few years younger than Clarke.

“She collapsed and started seizing!” Octavia grabbed Clarke’s hand and pulled her down to the floor.

“Turn her on her side a little.” Clarke spoke calmly. She looked up at Anya, “Get the crowd to go away. We need quiet. Then call for an ambulance.”

Anya turned to the tall and muscular man next to her, “Lincoln, shoun emo we.” (Lead them away)

The man nodded once and started waving people away, encouraging them to leave the pub all together. Luna and Trina joined him, announcing the pub’s early closing.

“Well pre-med Clarke Griffin, now is your chance to save one of us.” Anya glared at Clarke before pulling out her cell phone, “She better be okay or you can forget about me talking to Heda.”

Clarke nodded once. She looked around the table, trying to find a reason for the seizure. “Is she allergic to anything?”

“Citrus fruits.” Lincoln said as he knelt next to Octavia, taking the young woman’s head from her lap. “Her name is Tris.”

With a growl, Clarke immediately grabbed the nearest purse she could find and dumped it on the floor. When she didn’t find what she was looking for she grabbed another. She repeated this process with every bag that was handed to her. Finally she looked up at the table and saw a small clutch sitting next to a glass.

“Was that her drink?” Clarke pointed to the glass. When Lincoln and another Polis student nodded Clarke looked at Octavia, “check it.”

Her friend grabbed the drink and sniffed it. She scowled then took a sip of it. She shook her head and placed the glass back on the table, “It’s an Arnold Palmer, Griff.”

Clarke snatched the clutch off the table and unzipped it. With a triumphant cry to pulled out an epi-pen. She pulled off the cap and jabbed it the Tris’s thigh, holding it there ten seconds. She pulled the pen away and recapped it. Handing it off to Trina, after asking her to right the time on it so the EMTs would know, she started rubbing the injection site. Thankfully, the girl stopped seizing shortly after.

“Is she okay?” Clarke’s head flew up at the sound of Raven’s voice.

“Rae? What are you doing here?” Octavia asked.

Raven appeared out of nowhere, quickly joined by Jasper and a very angry looking Bellamy. They stood by the table, watching Clarke as she attempted to help the girl.

“We wanted to help.” Jasper whispered, his wide eyes on Tris’s pale face.

“Please tell me this wasn’t you.” Clarke growled.

"I just found out Clarke," Bellamy said, "I tried to stop them. I had to run from campus. Do you think these idiots would listen?"

“It was a joke Clarke.” Raven held up her hands. “We paid the waitress to switch their orders.”

Anya stalked up to Raven, “she could die!”

“It was a joke! A prank!” Jasper said.

“I knew we should have stayed home tonight. Black Ops is so much less stressful than this.” Bellamy muttered.

“You can’t control your own friends but you think you can stop your entire campus for continuing this war?” Anya spat.

“I helped her, you talk to Heda. That was the deal.” Clarke shot back. “I’ll deal with my people later. They aren’t yours to chastise.”

“Well someone has to!” Anya roared.

Moments later the ambulance arrived. Clarke filled the first responders in as best she could, leaving her number with one of them in case they had more questions at the hospital. Soon Clarke and her friends were preparing to leave. Bellamy practically grabbed Jasper by the scruff of his neck and forced him out of the pub. Anya and her Grounders were planning out who was going to the hospital and who was going to talk to Heda.

“Anya, I’m sorry this happened.” Clarke approached her slowly.

“This wasn’t an innocent prank Clarke.”

“They couldn’t have known she was allergic to lemons!”

“I’ll talk to Heda but I doubt much will come of it.” Anya turned and walked away.

Sighing, Clarke pinched the bridge of her nose. All that work, the talking and convincing she’d done, all for naught.

“At least we learned one thing today.” Raven said quietly.

Clarke glanced up to find herself alone in the pub with her best friends. “Oh? What did we learn? Not to switch people’s orders?”

“Nope.” Raven replied. “Well, yes. But that isn’t what I was talking about.”

“What then?” Octavia asked.

Raven grinned, “Now we know what O’s mystery Grounder looks like. And boy oh boy is he something to look at!”

“Maybe since you just nearly killed a girl we should cut back on the jokes.” Octavia said.

“Nearly killed her and probably destroyed the truce I’d almost secured.” Clarke grumbled as they walked out of the pub. “You really can’t stop yourself can you?”

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry Clarke!” Raven knocked on her bedroom door. “Come on! You’ve been in there since we got home half an hour ago!”

“Seriously Raven, now is not the time!” Clarke replied.

“It was meant to be funny!” Raven shouted. “Like they’d sip their drinks and realize they were wrong and switch them around. Same with their food. And other drinks if they got them.”

“And this was supposed to help me? Isn’t that what Jasper said?” Clarke’s door flew open.

Raven shrugged, her only defense was a weak one. “Laughter helps create bonds. If we could get them to laugh with us, maybe they wouldn’t hate us.”

“They don’t hate us.” Clarke argued. “Haven’t you noticed they only prank us after we’ve prank them. It’s reactionary for them. And not usually so dangerous.”

“I know, I know.” Raven said. “But I honestly thought we’d pop up and say ‘gotcha’ and we’d all laugh.”

Clarke shook her head, “She could have died Rae.”

“But you saved her.”

“No, her medicine saved her.” Octavia piped up from the living room.

“But Clarke knew to look for it.”

“Anyone with basic first aid training would know to look for it.” Clarke rolled her eyes. She moved around Raven and made her way into the kitchen.

The meeting had gone well up until Raven’s latest ‘prank’ ended it. At least, it had gone better than Clarke thought it would. Now she had no idea where the truce proposal was going to go. Who knew if Anya would even talk to Heda.

“I’m sorry!” Raven said again.

“Did you even think about the consequences Rae?” Clarke snapped. She grabbed the milk and a glass. Once she filled the cup and put the milk back she opened the snack cabinet and grabbed her Oreos. “Like at all? How was this supposed to help?”

“How was I supposed to know about her allergies?”

“Did you think before you and Monty hacked their grades? That could have ended so badly.” Octavia asked.

Raven threw her hands in the air, “they were jokes!”

“But they could have ruined lives!” Clarke shouted. “Why don’t you get that?”

“The plan was always to change the grades back after the initial freak out. You just freaked out faster than you usually do.” Raven defended.

“Because I would’ve had a heart attack if something like that happened to me. It wasn’t funny Raven. At all.” Clarke said. “I don’t understand why you don’t see that.”

“It’s a prank war Griff! It’s been raging for almost 200 years.”

Clarke shook her head. She didn’t know how to make Raven see why her pranks were so in the wrong. She grabbed a cookie and dunked it in her milk. After minutes ambled by in silence she spoke again, softly this time. “Haven’t you noticed their pranks aren’t nearly as bad as ours? Yeah, they locked us in the conference room for seven hours but they left someone there to make sure we were okay. Yes, they managed to change our website’s language to something hardly anyone in the country speaks but honestly, that was funny. Bellamy’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing for hours. Did you pay attention at all while he helped Monty fix it? Because Bell had to translate that Greek for Monty but then he kept going off on tangents about Greek history. Monty spoke more Korean that night than I’ve ever heard fall from his lips.”

“Being in that conference room was torture Clarke.” Raven countered.

“Not really. We played Yahtzee. We spoke in pig Latin. We gossiped. It was fine.” Octavia shrugged. “It was kind of funny.”

“You guys can’t be serious!” Raven yelled.

“We are Raven. Very serious.” Clarke replied. She popped the cookie in her mouth. Then she said, “The Grounders have pulled their share of pranks. They’ve stolen our mascot, painted our rock, locked us in rooms, whatever. But none of those pranks ever put our academic or athletic careers at risk. And none of them ever resulted in a freshman almost dying! So I ask again, how was it supposed to help? Why didn’t you just stay home?”

The room dropped into silence again. Clarke could only hope she and Octavia had managed to reach Raven. She dipped another cookie in her milk and watched her friend. Octavia stared at her phone, checking social media and sports highlights.

“Okay.” Raven said. “I get it. You think I went too far.”

“No, we know you went too far.” Octavia corrected. “If I were a Grounder, I’d have killed you already.”

“Right. Too far. Physical harm is not okay. It was honestly never my intent. Risking scholarships is not okay. I get it.” Raven sighed. “I got… I don’t know. Caught up in it all.”

“Just make sure it stops.” Clarke said. “And honestly, I think you ought to be prepared for retaliation. Not on the school but on you.”

“I guess I deserve it.”

Octavia lowered her phone, “you totally deserve it Raven. Like nair in your shampoo deserve it.”

“I get it!” Raven shouted. “I really messed up! I’m sorry!”

“Don’t apologize to us. You need to sort this out with Polis.” Clarke said. “You may have to set up your own meeting with Heda.”

“Good grief.” Raven groaned. “They were pranks!”

“Involuntary manslaughter!” Octavia yelled.

Clarke started to say something, hoping to get Raven back to the accepting place she’d just been but her phone started ringing. The number for her mother’s hospital popped up so she answered, “Mom?”

“Clarke Griffin?” A strange woman’s voice spoke.

“This is she.”

“You’re the emergency contact on file for Mr. Finn Collins. Correct?”

Clarke’s brows came together. “I have no idea.”

“Well your name is in his paperwork.”

“Okay. Is he okay?”

“I’m afraid Mr. Collins has been in an accident.” The woman replied. “He’s being evaluated at the moment.”

“How bad is it?” Clarke asked. Raven stopped her pacing and ran to her side. Octavia was instantly on opposite her.

“I’m not sure. I was just asked to make this phone call.”

“I’ll be right there.”

She ended the call and dropped her phone to the counter.

“Clarke?” Raven rubbed her back. “What’s happening? Is your mom okay?”

“Finn was in an accident.” Clarke replied. “We have to go.”

Octavia nodded, “I’ll text the guys. Raven get your jacket and one for Clarke. Clarke, maybe you should put grown up pants on.”

Clarke glanced down at her TMNT pajama pants. “Right. I’ll just go get some jeans.”

****

Twenty minutes later the girls were running into the E.R. looking for information. Thankfully Clarke’s mom was waiting for them at the nurses’ station.

“Mom! What happened? Is there any news?”

Abby Griffin hugged her daughter tightly. Then turned to her best friends and hugged them as well. “He’s fine. Just a little banged up. Just cuts and bruises.”

“What happened?” Raven asked.

“He ran a red light.” Abby replied. She turned and moved through the lobby and into the hallways of the hospital, fully expecting the younger women to follow her.

“Was anyone else hurt?” Octavia asked.

“He hit an ambulance.” Abby swiped her ID over a security pad. “There was a young woman inside. One of the paramedics was relatively unharmed but the other broke both of his legs. The girl is – “

A vicious scream cut off whatever Abby was going to tell them. Clarke suddenly found herself airborne then on the floor, pinned beneath a furious looking Anya.

“Was all of this a set up skigada?” She demands, straddling Clarke’s waist and holding her wrists to the floor by her ears.

“What are you talking about?” Clarke struggled to get the girl off of her. For such a skinny woman she was ridiculously strong. “And what the hell is a skigada?”

“You lure us with peace talks just so you can get to Heda’s sister?”

“Tris is Heda’s sister?” Clarke stopped struggling. The situation just got so much worse.

“As if your genius over there didn’t tell you!” Anya growled. “Is this another one of your oh-so-funny pranks genius?”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence and all but I don’t even know what a heda is.” Raven replies as she approached the girls. “Could you get off Clarke now?”

“You can’t honestly think I believe you.” Anya snorted, not looking away from Clarke’s blue eyes.

“I didn’t know.” Clarke shouted again.

“Miss Woods,” the doctor Clarke had been talking finally spoke. “I’m going to need you to calm down and get off of Miss Griffin.”

“No offense, but mind your own business.” Anya growled.

The doctor started to speak again but Clarke cut her off, “Mom, it’s okay. She’s just angry. Understandably so.”

“Your mom is treating my sister?” Anya finally looked away from Clarke.

“Sister? I thought Tris was Heda’s sister?” Raven looked confused.

Anya shook her head and sat back, releasing Clarke’s hands but not moving off her hips. “A girl can’t have more than one sister?”

“Anya, you have to believe me when I say I didn’t know about Tris. I’d never heard of Heda before the other day.” Clarke said solemnly.

“So you really expect me to believe it was all an accident?”

“Yes,” Raven put her hand on Anya’s shoulder. She tried to smile down at the girl but that quickly turned into a frown when the other girl jerked away.

“You caused this. You and your stupid pranks!” Anya snarled. She surged to her feet and shoved Raven back. “She’s in a coma because of you. Are you laughing now?”

“A coma?” Raven blanched. “No… I…”

“Oh, suddenly the jokester has nothing to say.” Anya snapped and shoved Raven again.

Octavia stepped between them. “That’s enough Anya. Raven didn’t mean for this to happen.”

“No? Are you sure? Because it seems like a pretty lucky thing to have my baby sister randomly drink something that could kill her. It’d be easy to call it a prank and claim no knowledge of it.”

“I didn’t know!” Raven said over Octavia’s shoulder. “I would never hurt anyone on purpose!”

“Not physically anyway.” Anya shot back. “I don’t have time for this. I need to check on my sister.”

She stormed away, leaving the heaviest silence Clarke had ever felt behind her. Raven was crying on Octavia’s shoulder, apologizing over and over again. Abby followed Anya, hoping to calm her down enough to get an explanation for Clarke being tackled like a third string quarterback.

“I’m going to go check on Finn.” Clarke whispered. Octavia nodded and gave her a thumbs up.

After stopping at the nearest nurses’ station Clarke found herself walking through the maze of hallways she’d practically grown up in. After a short walk and a flight of stairs, Clarke found herself standing outside Finn’s room. She knocked softly, not knowing if he was alone or even if he was awake. He instantly called for her to enter the room.

“Hey,” She said as she approached the bed.

“Hey Princess!” He grinned.

“Don’t call me that.” She snapped.

He shrugged and his smile grew. “I knew you’d come.”

“That’s what happens when someone is you emergency contact Finn. They get called when there’s an emergency.”

“But still, you’re here.” He replied.

“I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m fine Princess.”

Clarke ground her teeth together. “You don’t get to call me that Finn. I’ve been telling you that for years.”

“And yet, you’re here when you’re needed.”

“Okay Finn. If you’re going to be like this, I’m leaving.” Clarke sighed. “Change your contact information please.”

“That’s not really any way to thank me is it?”

“What are you talking about?”

Finn shrugged, “After all I’ve done for you. After all I’ve risked for you. You can’t even muster up a decent thank you. What’s a guy got to do to get a kiss around here?”

“I’m never going to kiss you again Finn. Now why do I need to thank you?”

“For taking out that ambulance.”

Clarke’s jaw dropped. She must have heard that wrong. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah. Everything went off without a hitch.”

“Finn…” Clarke studied him closely. “Did you know who was in that ambulance?”

Heda’s sister.”

“How?”

He shrugged again. His smile grew even more. “Monty left his computer unlocked while he and Raven were unhacking their hack. I read some student profiles.”

“Did you know about Tris’s allergy?”

“Yes.”

“Did you tell Raven? Or Jasper?”

“Well, the menu switching was my idea but I didn’t tell them that tidbit.” He looked too proud of himself. “That would have ruined everything.”

“You planned all of this?”

“Yes I did Princess.”

Clarke squeezed her eyes shut, “Finn, this was not a prank. This was assault! She could have died.”

“Well yeah, but I’m okay.”

“Are you kidding me?” Clarke yelled. She backed away from the bed.

“I knew my truck could take the hit. I’m safe Clarke. It’s okay.”

“Why Finn? Why would you do this?”

“Because if Polis was distracted enough we’d win. The war would be over and we’d be victorious!”

She moved to the door, not looking back at him. “This is not okay Finn. You’ve gone too far. So far beyond okay.”

“But I’m fine Princess!”

“You’re insane!” She snapped. She turned once more when she reached the doorway. “I won’t stand for this. You have to answer for this Finn.”

“I did it for you Clarke!”

She shook her head, “No. You did it for you. And now you have to face the consequences.”

Chapter Text

Unable to deal with more of Finn’s rambling, Clarke fled the room. She heard him yelling after her, then a thudding sound but she kept walking. She talked to her mother quickly before leaving the hospital and going straight to the police station. She spent hours going over what Finn told her. The first detective laughed when she mentioned the prank war. He seemed to think everything that happened was just college kids being dumb. She demanded to see someone else, someone who would actually take her seriously. The second detective was much more sympathetic and willing to listen. That didn't mean he cared any more than the first had.

“Look kid,” he sighed and leaned back in his chair. “Even if I thought this was all on the up and up, I can’t use any of this really. It’s all he said, she said.”

“What?”

“He could have made it all up to impress you.”

“I’m not impressed! I’m horrified!”

The detective nodded, “I know. If this story is true, it seems a little extreme. Why would he want to do something like this?”

“He thinks I’ll be happy if AC wins this stupid war.”

“You wouldn’t be?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “I don’t care about the pranks. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actively been involved with one. I just want it to end. They’re escalating. They’re getting dangerous. Tris could have died! She's in a coma!”

“Right. The girl with the lemonade.”

“Arnold Palmer.” Clarke corrected.

“Right. That.”

“So you’re going to talk to him?”

“Yeah. In the next day or two.”

“What if he tries to do something else? It’s not like he’s stuck in the hospital! He’s probably been released already.” Clarke shouted.

“He’s a kid who is taking his pranks too seriously.” The detective replied with a shrug.

“He almost killed Tris! Twice!”

Raising his hands in surrender, “listen Miss Griffin, I’ve got a dozen open cases I’m working on. I’ll talk to this Finn guy as soon as I can. But really, the DA won’t touch this case without proof. And your word against his isn’t proof. For all we know, he’s your ex-boyfriend and you’re trying to pay him back for breaking up with you.”

“He is my ex-boyfriend. But I broke up with him. And he thinks we’re going to get back together.”

“Just, you know, lay low for a while. I’ll be in contact after I talk to Finn and the DA.”

****

It was very early in the morning when Clarke finally made it back to the apartment. She locked the door behind her and walked into the living room. She threw herself face down on the couch and groaned. Hours later she woke to Raven poking her in the cheek. Clarke growled and rolled over.

“Griff?” Octavia flopped down on top of her. “Why are you on the couch?”

“Bed is too far. Comfy here.” Clarke muttered. She shifted around, trying to knock her friend off of her.

“Uh oh. She’s using noncomplex sentences.” Raven whispered.

“What’s wrong Clarke? Other than… you know, the feud stuff I mean?” Octavia asked. She grinned as she held tighter to Clarke's squirming body.

Clarke shook her head and closed her eyes more tightly, “go away.”

“Don’t be like that Griff.” Raven pulled herself over the pile of her friends and forced herself between Clarke and the back of the couch. When she was finally comfortable, after ignoring Clarke’s protests and Octavia’s giggles, she poked Clarke in the cheek again. “Tell us what’s wrong? Are you still mad at me?”

“Of course I’m still mad at you Rae. She almost died.” Clarke replied. “But I’m on the couch because I spent the night at the police station talking to a very unhelpful detective about Tris. And Finn.”

Her friends stiffened at the mention of the boy.

“What about Finn?” Octavia asked.

Clarke sighed and opened an eye. She was met with Raven’s steady gaze. “He told me what happened. About how the order switching was his idea.”

“It was supposed to be funny.” Raven whispered.

“He knew.” Clarke said. “He knew about Tris’s allergy. He said he saw it while you and Monty were fixing the grades. You guys left the room but left the computer unlocked. He read up on Heda and Tris and who knows who else.”

Raven shook her head. “No way. He wouldn’t do that.”

“He told me he did. Then he hit the ambulance taking her to the hospital. Because he thought if Polis was distracted by something tragic, we’d win.” Clarke growled and shifted. She shoved Octavia off of her and sat up. “That’s what this prank war has come to Rae. Beyond extreme don’t you think?”

“He wouldn’t.” Raven shook her head.

“He did. He told me he did.”

“What did the detective say?” Octavia asked from the floor.

Clarke snorted, “that there isn’t anything he can do. That it’d be my word against Finn’s and since we have a history it may seem like I’m trying to get back at him.”

“You dated for a few months three years ago and you’re just now angry enough to try to get him arrested for attempted murder?” Octavia scoffed. "Do guys really think we waste that much energy on them?"

“That’s what the detective said.”

“No. No way.” Raven shook her head. “Finn wouldn’t hurt anyone on purpose Clarke. We know that.”

“You didn’t see his eyes Raven. He’s not him right now.”

Octavia stood and started to pace. “Okay, so what do we do?”

“He’s got to be punished. I don’t know what I can do. I don’t think the Dean will do much of anything. He’ll say the same as the detective.” Clarke sighed.

“We talk to Heda.” Octavia said.

“Why?” Raven asked.

“More brains to think on the issue. If Polis wasn’t willing to end the feud, they wouldn’t have sent Anya to meet with Clarke. It is in all our interest to make sure Finn doesn’t pull anything else.” Octavia explained.

Clarke stood and walked to the kitchen. She grabbed her backpack and rummaged through until she found her phone. She’d turned it off before entering the police station and never bothered to turn it back on. “I’ll talk to Trina and see if she can set something up for us. Hopefully Luna’s still willing to help.”

She was greeted with 54 text messages from Octavia, Raven, and her mother, and 27 missed calls, and twelve voicemails, from many other people, mostly the hospital.

“Either something has gone even more terribly wrong or my mother wanted to talk to me so badly she called me seventeen times from the hospital.” Clarke said.

She clicked on her voicemail and started listen to the first voicemail. It, like the next six, were from a woman at the hospital who was looking for Finn Collins’s emergency contact. The next three were from her mother, looking for her because of Finn as well. The next was from Finn himself. He sounded like he’d been heavily medicated.

“Princess! I miss you princess!” His words slurred. “They said I can’t leave Clarke. Don’t know why. Something about being hurt. Don’t care. I miss you. Come and see me!”

Clarke played the message for Raven and Octavia.

“Why would they say he can’t leave?” Raven asked.

“No idea. He only had minor injuries from the accident.” Clarke replied.

“Maybe they put him on a psych hold?” Octavia guessed. “Or he got so upset with you leaving him that he did something dumb.”

“The school called.” Clarke listened to her last voicemail. “It was the Dean. He wants to meet me at Tondisi at noon.”

Raven wasn’t sure she’d heard that correctly. “He wants to meet you at a pub?”

“That’s what he said.” Clarke sighed. “I’m going to take a nap.”

“I’ll join you!” Octavia said.

“You should take that meeting with the Dean for me too.” Clarke laughed.

“Hey Clarke?” Raven’s soft voice stopped her.

“Yeah Rae?”

“How long are you going to be mad?”

Clarke sighed, “honestly Raven, I think I’ll be mad until Tris wakes up and tells me she forgives you.”

Chapter Text

Trina: (11:47a)
Hey Clarke? Any idea why Dr.
Jaha just marched into my pub
demanding to be seated
somewhere ‘Miss Griffin’ would
be able to see him?

Clarke: (11:48a)
… if I said no, would you
believe me?

Trina: (11:49a)
That man freaked me out
enough when I was a student!
His creepy stare still gets to me!
Why is he here?

Clarke: (11:51a)
He wanted to speak to me. He
just left me a voicemail insisting
I meet him there. I’m 3 minutes
away Trina!

Trina: (11:51a)
Well hurry up. He just snapped
his fingers at Luna!

 

Clarke arrived just over a minute later. She was sweating and panting and had a cramp in her right side that made her wish for death, but she was there. She spotted Dr. Jaha easily. He was in the middle of the room, staring at the door. About twenty feet behind him Clarke could see Trina rubbing her hands up and down Luna’s arms. She shot them an apologetic look when they spotted her.

After making herself a little more presentable Clarke approached the dean. She was still trying to get her breathing under control as she sank into the chair opposite him. Taking a final deep breath she said, “Hello Dr. Jaha.”

“Miss Griffin.” He nodded his head once. “Nice of you to join me.”

“I didn’t think I’d been given a choice.” Clarke shrugged. “Why are we meeting in a pub on a Sunday?”

“I’ve heard you and your friends have been favoring this establishment. I wanted to see the place the most popular students at my school seem to like so well.”

“You like to know where your students hang out?”

“I do when one of them is the president of the student body.” Jaha replied. “I ordered drinks for us Miss Griffin. I hope you don’t mind.”

She started to reply but was interrupted by Trina delivering their drinks. Clarke took a sip of hers and stiffened when she tasted the distinct flavors of an Arnold Palmer.

“Problem Miss Griffin?” Jaha raised a brow in question.

“Not at all sir.” Clarke took another sip. “I was just expecting soda.”

The dean nodded again, “I’ve heard this is one of their special drinks. And I’ve always found an Arnold Palmer to be a calming sort of drink after a stressful day. I’ve heard you’ve had a very stressful time the last few days.”

“Sir?”

“Well, you were here when that student from Polis collapsed were you not? I was told you helped her through the incident. Then one of your close friends was in an accident shortly after that correct?”

“Oh,” Clarke took a long drink, knowing where the conversation was likely headed she was hoping for a chance to formulate her responses.

“Oh? You were here correct?”

“Yes sir.”

“So I was informed correctly.” Jaha smiled easily. It morphed into a grin that was beyond disconcerting. “Speaking of Polis, how is that prank war going? Are we winning?”

“It’s been a busy week.” Clarke muttered weakly.

“Yes. I’ve heard. Apparently Polis has taken quite a few hits recently. Green alums, hackings, students almost dying.”

“Yes. So much has happened I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all.”

Dr. Jaha studied her for several long silent minutes. Finally he cleared his throat and spoke, “Miss Griffin, I’d like to know if any of my students have been involved in anything malicious. Can you tell me if any students from Arkadia are behind these events?”

“I’ve handled it sir.” Clarke replied. “I’ve even talked to the police.”

“And you haven’t kept me in the loop?”

“Honestly sir, I hadn’t even thought of it. There’s nothing you could do anyway. The police have said they can’t without proof so what could you do?”

Jaha glared at her, “Have you punished the ones you know about then?”

“I’m working on it.”

“And the punishment will fit their actions?”

“Yes sir. I’m trying to be fair.”

“And favor your friends?”

Clarke took a gulp of her drink, dropping her eyes to the table in front of her. “I’m doing what I think is best.”

“What is best is not always what is easiest.” Jaha said. “You will write up a report on any actions Arkadia students have taken against Polis in the last month and how you’ve punished them. If I don’t agree with how you’ve handled things, I will add additional punishments.”

“I think you’ll find my punishments fitting sir.”

“Have you even considered your friends being expelled? Or, at the very least, being suspended from activities?” Jaha asked. "I can do both those things Miss Griffin."

She couldn’t think of a response to those questions that wasn’t a lie so she stared at the table for several minutes. Finally she sighed, “I understand sir. If we’re done, I’ve got to go.”

“We are not done.” He snapped. “I am the Dean of Students. You have not been keeping me informed Miss Griffin.”

“You basically handed me the responsibility of disciplining the student body at AC the moment I was voted in. You waste your time golfing and playing chess while I have to deal with everything from plagiarism to missing mascots. You haven’t been to a meeting months! You haven’t answered my emails or calls in months!” Clarke yelled. “Of course things are happening that you know nothing about. You haven’t cared enough to pay attention since the semester began!”

“I am a busy man!”

“My friend is your secretary’s son. I’ve seen your schedule.”

Jaha waved his hand in the air, “that is neither here nor there.”

“You left me in charge. I’m doing my best.”

“Maybe I need to take back some of those responsibilities.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “I’d really like to see you try. The students would never listen to you. Now, are we done?”

“Miss Griffin, have you ever heard of Mount Weather College?”

“What does that have to do with pranks and punishments?” She asked. When Jaha didn’t respond she nodded, “It’s a small private college just outside the city. What about it?”

“The President of the College there, Dante Wallace, contacted me Friday. He had a proposal for me.”

When he paused then, like he was waiting, Clarke sighed, “This has something to do with me?”

“He said their board wants Arkadia to join with Mount Weather. With their programs in forensics and robotics and ours for biology and mechanical engineering they think we could become one of the best schools in the country.”

“MWC is nowhere near our caliber.” Clarke replied.

“I agree. Which is why I told him Arkadia is in talks to join with Polis.”

“Excuse me?” Clarke’s jaw dropped.

“Our boards have been discussing a merger for months.” Jaha leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table and smiling at Clarke. “Hence all the golfing and chess in my schedule. I’m organizing for a smooth transition.”

“And why are you telling me?”

“You’re not wrong about the influence you and your friends have on your classmates. I know you’ve been working toward ending the feud. If you can do that quickly, the merger would go a lot easier.”

“What about MWC?”

Jaha shrugged, “I told Wallace we’re in the process of joining with Polis. He then decided to tell me he has proof of certain students at Arkadia who are involved in recent activities. He hinted he would turn that evidence over to the appropriate authorities. I think MWC is attempting to hold off a merger with Azgeda Tech. They may be getting desperate.”

“That’s why you wanted to know how I plan on punishing the guilty parties.” Clarke finally understood.

“Do you know who the guilty parties are?”

Clarke narrowed her eyes, “I’m handling it.”

“Just take care of it fast or I’ll take care of it for you. This merger with Polis could mean we’ll oversee the establishment of the greatest institution of higher learning in the nation.”

“Of course,” Clarke nodded as she stood. “I’ve got to go now. Hope I didn’t keep you from your tee-time with Titus.”

Chapter Text

Since Clarke only had one class on Monday she headed straight to her mother’s house. She changed into old pajamas, grabbed ice cream to eat straight from the container, and returned to her room to watch Netflix while she waited for Abby to get home.

 

O’Goddess: (5:43p)
Should we be worried that you’re
not back from your meeting yet?

BoomBoomRae: (5:44p)
I’m thinking you’ve gone into
hiding to avoid getting tackled
again.

Griffster: (5:46p)
I’m staying with Mom for the
night. She’s a good sounding
board. She helps me sort
through things.

O’Goddess: (5:48p)
We can help you sort!

BoomBoomRae: (5:48p)
I’m a good sorter!

Griffster: (5:49p)
I know you two like to help but
Mom is… Mom. Try to avoid
doing anything illegal while I’m
here okay?

BoomBoomRae: (5:50p)
You’re 20 minutes away Clarkey.
What could we possibly do?

Griffster: (5:52p)
Was that a trick question?

“Clarke?” She heard her mother call from the front door.

“In here Mom!” Clarke tossed her phone on the bed.

Seconds later Abby appeared in the doorway to Clarke’s old room. “Uh oh. Ice cream for dinner?”

“It’s been a very stressful weekend.” Clarke shoveled more Neapolitan into her mouth.

“Want to come downstairs and talk about it while I make dinner?”

“What kind of dinner?” Clarke asked.

“I’m sorry, by make dinner I meant call the pizza place.”

Clarke smiled and nodded, “best mom ever!”

****

An hour later Abby and Clarke were at the table enjoying the pizza. Clarke filled her mother in on everything that had happened, from the hacking to MWC to everything Finn had admitted to doing.

“That’s… uh…” Abby struggled to find the words she needed to help her daughter. “It’s a lot to take in.”

“I just don’t know what to do. I know it isn’t really even my place. Dr. Jaha should be the one making some of these decisions but I know if it were up to him Rae, Monty, and Jasper would be expelled. Probably arrested.”

“Well, Jasper did dye me green for a week.” Abby arched a brow.

“And I’m sure whenever he isn’t high as the ISS he’s very sorry about that.” Clarke laughed. “I’m not though. It was amazing. But you should know, green is not your color!”

Abby chuckled along with her. She’d been plenty upset at first. Who wouldn’t be when you’ve been dyed green after all? Then she’d heard it was Jasper, her little J.J. who had been behind it. She could never really stay mad at his big brown eyes.

“Alright…” Abby let out a long breath, trying to settle the laughter. “You tell him no Abby meals for a month!”

“He’ll cry!” Clarke giggled.

“Okay, two weeks then.”

“You’re so tough Mom.”

“Raven and Monty though, two months.” Abby grew more serious. “And what about Finn?”

Clarke rubbed her hands over her face then through her hair. “I really don’t know. I told the police. The detective said he’d handle it. I think I have to tell Dr. Jaha. I can’t do anything about it really. I don’t have any actual power to punish him.”

“Can Thelonious do anything if all you have is your word?”

“If Raven and Jasper both tell him Finn set up everything that happened at Tondisi, maybe. But its still a lot of he said, she said. And Finn wouldn’t have to do much to prove that he’s the outsider of our group.” Clarke sighed. “Then it can look like we’re gunning for him or something.”

“So what will you do?”

“I guess I talk to Rae and Jasper. If they’re willing to come forward, maybe Dr. Jaha can do something with that.”

Abby nodded, “and Mount Weather?”

“That has nothing to do with me. I don’t even know why Dr. Jaha told me.”

“He knows you have the students behind you. That gives you power.”

Clarke nodded, “want to know what I’ve learned this weekend?”

“Tell me.”

“Adulting is dumb.”

****

Clarke hadn’t bothered to set an alarm for the morning. Her class didn’t start until six that evening so when her phone started ringing like mad at 7:32 Monday morning, she was ready to kill someone.

She snatched her phone from her nightstand and glared at the bright little screen. Five texts from Raven. She thought about ignoring them and going back to sleep. Then another came through.

 

BoomBoomRae: (7:22a)
Hey! It’s your turn to make
dinner! I’m feeling something
potatoey.

BoomBoomRae: (7:24a)
And before you ask, I’m awake
because I get the mech lab to
myself this morning.

BoomBoomRae: (7:29a)
{image}

 

Clarke laughed at the picture of her grinning roommate in the empty lab.

 

BoomBoomRae: (7:29a)
It’s like coming home! A nice,
quiet, empty, no one stupid
named Wick is here, home!

BoomBoomRae: (7:30a)
Clarke! Someone touched my
project!

BoomBoomRae: (7:32a)
For real! It’s gone! Not here!
Disappeared!

BoomBoomRae: (7:33a)
Clarkey! Where are you? I need
you!

Griffster: (7:34a)
I’m sure Wick just moved your
project to mess with you.

BoomBoomRae: (7:34a)
It takes more than 1 dumbass to
move hundreds of pounds of metal!
No one else is stupid enough to
touch my work!

Griffster: (7:35a)
I don’t know Rae. I was asleep 3
minutes ago.

BoomBoomRae: (7:37a)
Wake up and panic with me!

Griffster: (7:38a)
Which project?

BoomBoomRae: (7:39a)
My prototype for improved
airlocks on the ISS.

Griffster: (7:40a)
That sounds impressive.

BoomBoomRae: (7:41a)
It is! It’s going to get me a
job at NASA! Or it was…

Griffster: (7:41a)
I’m sure its there. Just keep
looking.

 

Clarke waited for Raven’s panicked reply but after five minutes of nothing, she put her phone down again. She had just started nodding off again when another text came through.

 

O’Goddess: (7:47a)
It was Polis

Griffster: (7:47a)
Sorry?

O’Goddess: (7:48a)
Rae’s project going MIA. It was
Polis.

Griffster: (7:49a)
Of course. Their retaliation.

 

Knowing she wasn’t going to get any more sleep, she jumped out of her bed and scrambled for clothes. She yelled a quick goodbye to her mother and ran out the door.

Within a half hour she was with Octavia running toward the Mechanical Science building.

“Are you sure it isn’t here?” Clarke asked as she burst into the lab.

“Positive!” Raven shouted back. “I don’t understand where it could have gone.”

Approaching their friend slowly Octavia and Clarke tried to figure out how to tell her. She’d been warned to expect reprisals but none of them had considered the possibility of Polis going after her work.

“It’s 60 percent of my grades! I’m going to fail!” Raven yelled. “I’m going to lose my scholarships! I’ll never work for NASA! I’ll never go to space!”

“Rae, I’m sure – ” Octavia tried.

“No! It’s fine. I’ll just work for Dad.”

“That isn’t going to happen.” Clarke replied. She pulled herself onto one of the workbenches and started kicking her legs. Octavia glared at her and shook her head when she patted the spot next to her.

Raven popped up from behind another bench. “It is exactly what will happen if I can’t find my project.”

“Rae,” Octavia sighed. She moved so she had plenty of room to run it she needed to. “It’s at Polis.”

Their whirlwind of a friend stopped in her frantic steps. Slowly, she turned to face Octavia. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah. You heard her.” Clarke said.

“It’s at Polis.” Octavia repeated.

“How? When? Why?”

“Might have something to do with 300 grades.” Clarke replied.

“That was a prank! And no one got hurt! My project is due in twelve hours!”

Octavia backed toward the door, “they’re going to call this payback.”

“They’ll bring it back right? Sometime today?” Raven started pacing.

“Not if they know the lab will be crawling with students soon.” Clarke shrugged.

“It was a prank!” Raven yelled again. “I fixed it before it hurt anything.”

“I told you – ” Clarke jumped down and grabbed her by the shoulders.

Raven growled and jerked away from her, “If you finish that sentence, you will not like my reaction.”

Clarke held up her hands, “Okay. Right. I’ll call Trina. Maybe Luna can help.”

Chapter Text

TheChemist: (9:33a)
Clarke! What is happening?

Griffster: (9:34a)
Are you actually asking me
or… ??

TheChemist: (9:36a)
Yes! And no! It’s gone!

Griffster: (9:38a)
Not again. What is it this time?

TheChemist: (9:40a)
This time? What do you mean?

Griffster: (9:42a)
Jasper! I don’t have time for
this right now. What’s gone?

TheChemist: (9:33a)
My still. And all my moonshine!
Like, all my stock is gone!

CinnamonRoll: (9:34a)
My computer is gone too Clarke.
The one I use for school I mean.

Griffster: (9:36a)
Monty, are you sure you didn’t
let Jasper borrow it again?

CinnamonRoll: (9:36a)
He isn’t allowed near my tech.
At all.

TheChemist: (9:37a)
He threatened me with your
mother the last time I tried.

CinnamonRoll: (9:38a)
You had a cold. You sneezed on
my keyboard and insisted you
were fine.

TheChemist: (9:39a)
I was fine. It was allergies.

CinnamonRoll: (9:40a)
You had the plague!

Griffster: (9:41a)
I know you two are sitting next
to each other right now. How
about you argue about that
with your actual words? I need
to know what is missing and
from where.

CinnamonRoll: (9:44a)
Sorry Clarke! My school laptop
is gone. And Jasper’s
moonshine and still.

Griffster: (9:45a)
All from your apartment? What
about your other laptop? The
one you built?

CinnamonRoll: (9:47a)
Yes, from the apartment. And
the one I built is in my safe.
I’m not stupid. Jasper is
hyperventilating. Apparently
this was his best batch ever.

Griffster: (9:49a)
Have you guys been home all
weekend?

CinnamonRoll: (9:53a)
We went out yesterday for a
few hours. I needed components
for that gaming system I’m
designing. Jasper needed…
something else.

Griffster: (9:54a)
So your place was empty for
a while?

CinnamonRoll: (9:56a)
Yeah, from 1ish to 445ish.

Griffster: (9:58a)
Okay. I’m working on it. Try to
calm Jasper down. Call Mom if
you need to.

Griffster: (9:58a)
Oh! Speaking of Mom, she said
no Abby food for 2 months for
you and Rae. 2 weeks for Jasper.

CinnamonRoll: (10:00a)
Honestly, that’s fair…

 

“Three down, one to go.” Clarke muttered. She thought about calling Finn at the hospital to see if he was missing anything but then she thought about actually talking to him and changed her mind. Instead she headed to Tondisi, hoping to catch Trina before her day got too busy.

She entered the pub to find it almost empty. She smiled when Trina waved at her from the kitchen door. Without giving it much thought, she headed straight to her booth.

“Griffin.” Luna spoke from behind her.

“Luna.” She replied.

“Someone is waiting for you.” She jerked her head toward the back of the restaurant.

Clarke followed her movement and spotted a door she hadn’t see before. In the doorway, she saw Anya glaring at her. She turned back to Luna, “am I supposed to go over there?”

“I would if I were you.” Luna replied.

“You’re not going to let them kill me or anything right?”

“Murder isn’t really Grounder style.” Luna said. “We leave that up to you Skaikru.”

“I don’t know what that means, but they didn’t know about Tris’s allergies.”

Luna shrugged. “If you say so. You should head that way before Anya gets mad.”

“Isn’t Anya always mad?” Clarke asked.

“So don’t make her more mad.”

Steeling herself with a deep breath, Clarke headed toward Anya.

“Took you long enough Skaigada.” The girl snapped at her.

“Why can’t you use words I understand?” Clarke snapped back.

“Clever come back.” Anya smirked. “This way.”

“You’re not planning on killing me right?”

Anya glanced over her shoulder, “if I were, I don’t think I’d tell you.”

With no other option, Clarke followed her into a dimly lit hallway. After taking a turn and heading up some stairs, Anya paused outside a door.

“This is my apartment. Do not touch anything.”

“You trust me enough to show me where you live?”

“I trust that you aren’t as dumb as your friends.”

Clarke nodded, “thanks.”

Instead of replying Anya just opened the door and walked inside. She paused after a few steps, realizing Clarke wasn’t behind her. “You actually have to walk inside Griffin. I can’t close the door otherwise. You being on that side of the door would defeat the purpose of this meeting.”

“I didn’t realize this was a meeting.” Clarke slowly moved inside the apartment.

She studied her surroundings as Anya closed the door. It was an open layout, very modern. There was a lot of black and white with little pops of colors, like the lower cabinets that were red. The furniture in the living room area, a couch, a chair, and a loveseat, was minimalist, black and leather, except for a very comfy looking powder blue chair-and-a-half. She spotted a door and an opening to a hallway off the living room.

“Are you done memorizing my home?” Anya asked.

“Just trying to plan an escape route.”

“Have a seat,” Anya waved her arm toward the seating area. “Just not in the chair.”

Clarke took a seat on the love seat and folded her hands in her lap. She waited quietly while Anya moved around the kitchen. Soon she had a glass of iced tea in front of her. She watched as Anya disappeared down the hallway. Much to her surprise, Anya was not the first to appear. Instead Lincoln came into the room.

“Clarke Griffin.”

“Lincoln…” She said. “I don’t know your last name.”

“Woods.”

“As in?”

He nodded, “Tris, Heda, and Anya? Yeah. My sisters.”

“Sisters.”

“Anya and I were adopted. Technically, we’re all cousins.”

“I see.” Clarke replied. She looked around again. “So why am I here?”

Anya popped back into the room. She threw herself on the couch and smiled, “Why do you think you’re here?”

“I don’t like it when you smile at me.” Clarke replied.

“Then maybe I’ll do it more often.”

“What Anya means to say,” Lincoln interrupted, shooting a glare at Anya, “is that we thought it was time you met Heda.”

Heda is here?” Clarke sat up a little straighter.

“Yes.” Anya replied.

“Is Heda going to explain how Raven’s project, which is due in like eight or nine hours by the way, came up missing? Or Jasper’s still and moonshine? Or Monty’s school computer?” Clarke crossed her arms over her chest.

Anya arched a brow. “Linc, go get Heda. I’ll entertain our guest.”

Lincoln disappeared down the hallway again while Clarke and Anya glared at each other.

“I get that you guys need to get them back and all, but that project is worth more than half of Raven’s grade. And Monty’s got all kinds of projects on that laptop.”

“And the still we’ve supposedly taken?”

“Don’t even try to deny it. No one is dumb enough to think three of the four people who have been involved in the latest pranks on Polis just happen to be victims of circumstances.” Clarke shook her head. “I don’t care about the still. But Raven is hoping to use her project to get NASA’s attention. Not to mention the fact that she’s got several scholarships riding on her GPA. And Monty has been developing some medical tech for my mother. It’s not like we’re talking about some stupid five-page papers here.”

“And you think the people they ‘pranked’ didn’t have the same sorts of things going on?” Anya snapped.

Clarke sighed. She ran a hand through her hair and tried to soften her gaze. “I get that your people are angry Anya but Monty and Raven fixed their stupid prank before it really effected anybody. Does it really make it okay to do this to them just because its only two people instead of 300?”

A throat being cleared interrupted Anya’s response. Clarke’s head snapped back, looking toward the source of the sound. Her eyes found a tall, lithe young woman, one who was her age, maybe a year or two older. She was immediately drawn to her. Her chestnut hair was held back by several small braids running from her hairline to the back of her head. Really, it was her eyes that caught Clarke’s attention. The green was easy to see, even from across the room. The cheekbones and sharp jawline, and small ears, didn’t hurt the package at all.

Clarke couldn’t say how long she’d been staring. She did know that she’d been studied just as closely. From the looks on Anya and Lincoln’s faces, the young woman’s reaction to her was not what they’d expected.

The woman took a few steps forward, bringing herself to the blue chair. She studied Clarke closely again. Then, after a moment of silence, she sank into the chair and said, “You’re the one who almost killed my little sister?”

Clarke’s brows came together, this was not what she had expected to hear. “You’re the one who ought to be thankful I don’t panic.”

Chapter Text

Clarke closed her eyes and sighed. She opened them and met green once again, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t help Tris just to have something to hold over you.”

The three Grounders’ jaws dropped. They hadn’t been expecting an apology, not about that anyway.

“I’m guessing you’re Heda?” Clarke spoke again after the silence grew more uncomfortable.

“I am, yes.” The woman nodded. She raised a hand in an awkward sort of wave, “Lexa Woods.”

“Clarke Griffin.” She returned the gesture with a small smile.

“She knows.” Anya replied.

Lincoln looked from one woman to another, “I’m glad you two finally met.”

“Finally?” Clarke snorted, “I didn’t even know she existed until two days ago. Or… you know, I didn’t know Heda existed.”

“That’s true, but I think it’s a long overdue meeting.” He shrugged.

Having no response to that, Clarke nodded. Then she waited. She wasn’t sure where to start. Or how to start. Basically, starting was an issue for her. The Grounders settled into the living room, Lexa’s eyes never really leaving Clarke, Anya found a book to look through, and Lincoln was smiling at his phone.

“So…” Clarke said, tapping her hands on her legs.

“So?” Lexa echoed.

“We have some things to talk about.” Clarke said.

“Yes, we do. Let’s start with our green alums.” Lexa replied.

Clarke sighed, “a smoke bomb prank gone wrong.”

“How?” Anya asked without looking up from her book.

“I don’t know. Jasper said Finn messed with the chemicals. He wasn’t specific.”

“And you accepted that reasoning? You didn’t think to question further?” Lexa’s tone turned harsh.

“I didn’t think I needed to.” Clarke snapped back.

“Maybe if you had questioned more then, we wouldn’t have the issues we do now.” Anya said.

Clarke sat back in her seat and glared at Lexa. If she’d known she was meeting with Heda she would have brought someone with her. Octavia would have been a good backup to have. Clarke ground her teeth and waited for Lexa to speak again. Instead, it was Lincoln who broke the tense silence.

“They’re right Clarke. If you had punished Jasper and Finn when you found out what happened maybe the attacks wouldn’t have escalated.”

“I know that!” Clarke growled.

“So you acknowledge you failed to do what needed to be done with the smoke bomb?” Lexa asked.

“Yes.”

“Moving on then.” Lexa nodded. “The hacking.”

Clarke nodded and huffed out a breath. “Raven and Monty. Our resident geniuses. I don’t know how they did it. Even if they had explained it to me, I wouldn’t have understood. I’m not really tech friendly. I’m sort of kryptonite for a lot of tech actually.”

“That attack was rectified rather quickly.” Lexa pointed out.

“Of course it was. A prank is one thing, messing with grades and scholarships is another.” Clarke replied. “As soon as I found out I told them to fix it. Raven was not happy with me of course, Friday night is her favorite and she had to spend it cooped up with Monty pecking away at a keyboard.”

Lexa leaned forward in her chair, her elbows resting on her knees. “And how did you punish them for this attack?”

Clarke’s only response was to blink at her. She honestly hadn’t even thought about Raven and Monty’s punishment. She’d gone from telling them to fix it to thinking about finding a way to end the feud for good.

“You haven’t punished them?” Anya finally looked up from her book. “At all?”

“I got distracted.” Clarke defended weakly.

“By what exactly?” Lexa asked.

“Ending the feud.” She replied.

Lexa stood and began pacing. She walked the length of the room several times before she stopped and turned to Clarke. “Why do you continue to allow these attacks to go unpunished. You think Polis doesn’t matter? That our students are expendable?”

“No! Of course not!” Clarke protested loudly.

“Then why Clarke?” Lincoln asked calmly. “You allow them to attack and then don’t force them to face repercussions. Is it because they’re your friends?”

“No!” Clarke shook her head. The Grounders were back to staring at her. Lexa with an eerie sort of calmness, like Clarke was a new organism she’d never encountered before. Anya glared, like she wished daggers could fly from her eyes. Lincoln’s eyes were softer, like he knew something bad was going to happen but he couldn’t stop it.

“I think that’s exactly what has been happening.” Anya snapped.

Clarke shook her head, “It really isn’t. I’ve just been so focused on stopping all of this that punishing them slipped my mind I guess.”

“If our roles were reversed right now, would you accept ‘I forgot’ as an excuse from me?” Lexa asked, her voice softer now.

Clarke shrank into herself, Lexa’s tone reminded her of how her father would speak to her when he was disappointed in her. She could handle anger easily, disappointment was not something she could deal with. She shook her head.

“Are you really that weak as a leader? You let your friends do what they wish because you don’t want to be the bad guy?” Anya slammed her book shut.

“I will deal with my people. You deal with yours.” Clarke shouted. “I’m not going to sit here and be attacked like this. Three against one isn’t really putting the odds in my favor is it?”

“We aren’t attacking you Clarke.” Lincoln reached out and rested his hand on her shoulder.

“I am.” Anya scoffed, opening her book again.

“We are pointing out your weaknesses, so that you can work to strengthen them.” Lexa sat in her chair.

“Maybe your approach needs work.” Clarke muttered.

“Exactly. That’s what I’m trying to get you to see.” Lexa nodded. “You can’t be a leader and a friend at the same time. And your friends need to understand they can’t use your feelings for them as a shield.”

“I get it. Can we move on now.” Clarke retorted.

Lexa leaned back and pulled her legs up. She wrapped her arms around her knees and studied Clarke again. “How are you going to punish your friends for their actions?”

“I don’t know yet. I’ll think of something.” Clarke replied. “Punishments that fit.”

“So you’ll expel them?” Anya asked.

“No. I don’t have that power. But they’ll hate whatever I come up with. I promise.”

“You don’t think Raven, Jasper, and Bellamy deserve to be expelled for what they did to Tris?” Lexa’s question was quiet, hardly more than a whisper.

Deflating again, Clarke sank back and dropped her gaze to the floor, “No.”

Anya shot up off the couch, “excuse me?”

“I think they meant it as a joke. Raven is too smart to do something maliciously. Jasper is too… Jasper. He doesn’t even like killing spiders. He thinks they’re his eight-legged bros. And as for Bellamy, he wasn’t a part of it. He found out about the prank and was trying to stop it.” Clarke said. “I think they genuinely thought they’d pop up and explain why everyone kept getting the wrong orders and everyone would laugh. It was their dumb way of breaking the ice.”

“My little sister is in a coma!” Anya shouted.

“I’m aware.” Clarke replied raising her eyes to meet Anya's with a glare.

“And you refuse to punish those responsible?” Lexa asked.

“You’re okay with your friends almost killing someone?” Anya yelled even louder.

Clarke stood up and met Anya head on, “I didn’t say that! I said I wasn’t going to punish Raven and Jasper for a prank gone wrong. If they'd meant for her to be hurt, I'd throw the book at them. I'd probably throw an actual book at them too!”

“You can’t be the good guy with this Clarke.” Lincoln moved to stand behind Clarke.

“I’m not trying to be the good guy. I’m trying to be fair to everyone. Raven and Jasper didn’t know! They weren’t even the ones who came up with the prank!” Clarke snapped.

“Explain.” Lexa demanded.

“It was Finn. He set it all up but told Raven and Jasper he couldn’t be there to follow through because he had a study group. He sent them to take the fall.” Clarke knew she had to explain the rest. She had to tell them about Finn’s crazy idea about winning the war. She straightened her spine, ready to face their reaction, “Finn knew.”

“I’m sorry, blondie,” Anya snarled. “It sounded like you just said Finn knew. What did he know?”

Taking a deep breath, Clarke met Lexa’s eyes again, “He knew about Tris’s allergies.”

Before Clarke knew what was happening, two arms wrapped around her waist and her feet left the floor. Lincoln lifted her up and out of Anya’s path before she was tackled again. Clarke couldn’t make out any of the words being shrieked at her but she knew was lucky Lincoln had grabbed her.

Em pleni!” Lexa roared.

Clarke found herself unceremoniously dumped on the love seat. Anya stood just a few feet from her, panting and glaring. Her fists clenched and relaxed over and over again. Lincoln stood just in front of Clarke, between her and his sister who looked ready to kill her.

Lexa stood and rested a hand on Anya’s shoulder. After several long minutes passed, Anya stomped to the couch and threw herself down again. She snatched up her abandoned book and opened it again, glaring at the words.

“How did he know about Tris?”

“He was with Raven and Monty when they were unhacking the grades.” Clarke replied. “They had to go and get some component or something and didn’t think to lock the computer.”

“So he read Tris’s file?” Lincoln sat on the edge of the loveseat next to her.

“Yes.” Clarke nodded. “He saw her information and planned it all out.”

“So he knew she could be seriously hurt and he did it anyway?” Lexa lowered herself to the couch. She rested her elbows on her knees again. She rubbed her face with her hands and sighed, “he doesn’t care about other people?”

Clarke took a deep breath and squeezed her eyes tightly closed. “It gets worse.”

“How can it get worse?” Lincoln asked softly.

“Finn… he thought if Polis, if you,” Clarke opened her eyes and met Lexa’s, “were distracted by something tragic AC would win this stupid feud.”

“Clarke, what else did Finn plan?” Lexa’s hand found Anya’s and wrapped her fingers tightly around her sister’s.

“He was lying in wait for the ambulance.” She whispered.

Anya jumped up from the couch, Lexa’s hand was the only thing that stopped her from launching herself at Clarke again. She struggled against her sister’s grip, “he did it on purpose?”

Clarke could only nod, “he told me when I went to see him in the hospital.”

This time when silence filled the room, it wasn’t just uncomfortable. It was heavy. It weighed down on Clarke’s shoulders and made taking a full breath beyond difficult. She waited for Lexa to speak. The fire in Lexa’s eyes scared her, she knew this girl could destroy her. Clarke had never felt like a complete failure before, but seeing the anger and… she didn’t know what else was in those green orbs but it wasn’t anything good, seeing those emotions told her she hadn’t done enough.

“And you aren’t going to punish him for this?” Lexa finally asked.

“I don’t have the authority to expel him. Dr. Jaha is aware of parts of it but not everything. The police are very aware of everything though.” Clarke replied.

“The police?” Lincoln seemed shocked by that revelation.

“As soon as I left Finn I went to the police station. I had to talk to two different detectives.” Clarke nodded. “The first one thought I was funny. He kept laughing about the prank war.”

“And what did the second detective say?” Lexa questioned.

“He said there wasn’t much they could do because there isn’t any proof, just my word against Finn’s word. And since Finn and I dated once, it might just seem like I was trying to get back at him.” Clarke explained. “But we only dated for three months about three years ago. I got over it almost as soon as it was over. He said he’d talk to Finn and the DA but he wasn’t making any promises.”

“So they’ll do nothing?” Lexa growled.

“Of course!” Anya said as she tried to yank her hand free. “Why should any of the Arkadia students actually be punished?”

“Enough Anya.” Lincoln said calmly. “She went to the police. What else could she do? If the police won’t act on her information then her dean wouldn’t be able to do anything either.”

“Clarke,” Lexa’s voice cut through whatever Anya had been about to shout. “Why do you want this truce so badly? Are you worried about payback?”

“You’ve already had your payback. Raven’s prototype, Jasper’s still, Monty’s laptop.” Clarke pointed out. Then a thought popped in her head. “If you thought Bellamy was involved at Tondisi, why wasn’t anything done to him?”

“It was, he just doesn’t know it yet.” Lincoln replied.

“What did you do?” Clarke asked.

“Echo got her hands on his external hard drive.” Anya smiled. "He was still sleeping when she left him this morning."

“You look like the Grinch when you do that.” Clarke grimaced. “And he needs that. It’s got his thesis on it and all his research.”

“He’ll probably get it back at some point.” Anya’s smile grew.

“No. Everything needs to be returned as soon as possible.” Clarke demanded. She turned to Lexa again. “The grades were fixed almost immediately. Monty and Raven need their things back. Raven’s project is due at the end of the day today. Monty has med tech stuff he’s been helping my mom with on that laptop. And Bellamy has been working on his thesis for almost two years. He's finally almost done with it!”

“And Jasper’s still?” Lincoln asked.

“I couldn’t care less about that stupid still. Jasper’s moonshine is deadly.” Clarke snapped. “But Raven’s project is worth more than half her grade. And Monty’s tech has the potential to be groundbreaking. It could save lives.”

Lexa stood and moved in front of Anya, “what is she talking about?”

Anya shrank back. “Heda…”

“You’ve had your revenge Anya? Without clearing it with me?” Lexa demanded.

“We saw the openings and took them.” Anya replied.

“Return their property immediately.” Lexa snapped. “They fixed the grades. We don’t have the right to effect their grades like this. Return it all, now.”

“Thank you Lexa.” Clarke said.

Lexa spun to meet Clarke’s eyes again, “why do you want to end this feud? So more things like this don’t happen to your friends?”

“I think the feud should have ended years ago. The pranks aren’t funny anymore and they’re getting more complicated and malicious.” Clarke replied. “It’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt again. And there’s the fact that Arkadia may be joining Polis soon. Having this kind of animosity won’t do any of us any good if that happens.”

“I think you can just forget about that truce!” Anya shouted.

Lexa turned to her sister and spoke quietly. Anya nodded and walked out of the living room. Lexa began pacing again, every once in a while she would stop and turn to study Clarke. Lincoln sat next to Clarke, calmly messing around on his phone. Clarke watched Lexa move around the room. After a little while, Anya returned with Monty’s laptop and Bellamy’s external hard drive.

“The others are delivering Raven’s project to the lab as we speak.” She said.

“Thank you.” Clarke accepted the items from her. She pulled out her phone and shot off three texts, letting her friends know their things had been returns. Bellamy was shocked to know something he didn’t even know was missing had been returned. She returned her phone to her pocket and glanced up to find Lexa watching her.

“Clarke,” she said softly, “I don’t know if I can give you a truce without something in return first.”

“What do you need?” Clarke asked.

“I’ll agree to the truce, and make sure its enforced at Polis, if Finn admits to what he did to Tris and turns himself in to the police.” Lexa replied.

Clarke grimaced at eh request. Not because she thought Finn didn’t deserve punishment but because she knew Finn wouldn’t agree to that easily. “If I can convince Finn to turn himself you’ll agree to a truce?”

“Does a truce mean no more altered grades and alumni being dyed green?” Lexa quirked a brow. Clarke chuckled at the mention of the smoke bombs. “You think it’s funny?”

“Considering my mother was one of the victims of the smoke bomb prank, yes. I really do.” Clarke wasn’t sure how the others would react to her sudden lightened mood. But after the last hour of arguing and shouting, that short bit of laughter made her feel lighter.

“Your mother attended Polis?” Lexa looked at her thoughtfully, “Abby Griffin is your mother.”

Clarke nodded, “she is.”

“And yet you chose to attend Arkadia?” Lincoln asked.

“When the time came to choose a university I wasn’t really seeing eye-to-eye with my mother.” Clarke shrugged.

Lexa nodded, as is she understood, “And now you do?”

“That’s awfully personal.” Clarke stiffened.

“Maybe I’m trying to get to know you.” Lexa replied.

“Buy me dinner first.” Clarke snapped.

Lexa snorted out a short bit of laughter at that, “Alright, I’ll give you your truce Clarke. As soon as I get a call from the police about Finn turning himself in.”

Chapter Text

“Clarkey, why did you want me to meet you in your office?” Raven asked as she flew through the door. “We haven’t set foot in here since you won your election.”

“I asked her the same thing when I got here. She said I had to wait for you and Monty to get any answers.” Jasper replied from the floor where he was sprawled out.

Monty entered the room just behind Raven. He waited for Raven to take a seat before he sank into the chair next to her. “Well we’re all here now, so I guess we’ll know soon enough.”

“Jasper, have a seat please.” Said Clarke.

“I’m comfortable here.”

“I didn’t ask. Sit in the chair and be an adult for a few minutes please.” Clarke snapped.

She waited while he pulled himself up off the floor. He sat in the empty chair next to Monty and slouched down. Clarke glared at him until he sat up straight.

“I’ve talked to Jaha about the events that have occurred over the last few days.” She started. Her friends immediately began launching questions at her. She just shook her head and held up a hand. “I met with him yesterday afternoon and dodged pretty much all of his questions. Then today I met with Heda and Anya and Lincoln. During that meeting I realized something. I haven’t been a good leader. Like at all. You guys have pulled prank after prank and stunt after stunt and I’ve barely given you so much as a slap on the wrist. Polis tried to retaliate for your latest pranks and for whatever reason, Lexa made them stop.”

“They could have ended my future!” Raven interrupted

“I really don’t think you want to go there,” Monty whispered out of the corner of his mouth.

“Listen to Monty. Monty is smart.” Clarke nodded. “So today, after having my eyes forced open by Lexa and the others, I went to see Jaha again. To say he wasn’t pleased with me would be a gross understatement. I offered to resign as Student Body President, he wouldn’t let me. Continuing on as your leader is apparently my punishment.”

“So what about us then?” Jasper sighed, like he was bored.

Clarke narrowed her eyes, “I’m sorry Jasper, did you have something more important going on? Am I interrupting big plans?”

“As a matter of fact – ” He leaned forward.

“Don’t even think about it Jasper.” Monty nudged him back into his seat. He waited until Jasper relaxed a bit before turning to Clarke. “What did Jaha have to say?”

“He didn’t say much about you three. He had plenty to say about Finn. And even more to say about me.” Clarke grimaced as she remembered the shouting.

“So what are our punishments?” Raven asked.

“You’re suspended from all school sponsored activities and functions until further notice. Jasper is banned from the chemistry lab unless he’s got a professor or TA with him, same goes for the robotics and computer labs for Monty, and Raven, you’re banned from pretty much every lab we have on campus.” Clarke rushed to get it all out. Her friends’ jaws were on the floor. She hurried on, wanting to be done with all of it. “I need your keys. Any keys you have for the school.”

“Banned?” Raven repeated. “I’m banned from the mech lab?”

“Unless you have a TA or professor with you, yes.” Clarke said. She knew that meant Raven would need to ask Wick to sit with her. Raven was going to hate her life until the ban was lifted.

“And no school sponsored activities. So no robot club?” Monty asked.

“What about the science competition? We’re in the finals.” Jasper asked.

“No. All you are permitted to do is go to class.” Clarke replied.

"What about sporting events? O's games?" Raven questioned. Clarke shook her head. Raven's jaw clenched, she never missed Octavia's games. “And you said indefinitely?”

“Yes.”

“Jaha is harsh.” Jasper slouched in his seat again.

Clarke shook her head. “Considering I told him I thought he ought to suspend you three for the rest of the semester, I think he went pretty easy on you.”

“Suspend us?” Raven jumped up out of her chair and slammed her hands on Clarke's desk.

“You wanted to suspend us?” Jasper whispered, his eyes bulging out of his head. “I thought we were your friends?”

“Just because you’re my friends doesn’t mean you get out of being punished. You guys all went so far beyond the line of what is okay I don’t even think you can see it anymore.” Clarke said. She rubbed her forehead, trying to ease the headache she’d had since leaving Anya’s apartment. “He thought since you’d corrected the grades and apparently most of the Polis alums who were turned green thought of it as a joke, suspension wasn’t necessary. But if any of us even gets close to the line again, I’m pretty sure he’ll expel us.”

“You let him do this?” Raven growled.

“Like I said, he took it easy on you.” Clarke replied. “And I’ve got to start actually doing this president thing right. I can’t look the other way anymore. I need your keys please.”

“You’ve pulled pranks too Clarke.” Jasper pointed out while he and they others removed various keys from their key rings.

“I don’t think stealing their mascot is quite on the same level as what you guys did.” Clarke shot back. She couldn't claim to be innocent in the war with Polis but at least she had always stuck to the tradition pranks. “By the way, I talked to Trina. She said Tris is doing okay. I missed the part where she told me it was a medically induced coma. Apparently they’re going to start reducing those meds tomorrow so she should wake up sometime this week. In case you were at all curious.”

“She’ll be okay?” Raven asked. She eased away from Clarke's desk and sank back into her chair.

“They don’t know yet. They’ll have to run tests when she regains consciousness. But they think it looks good.” Clarke replied. “Which leads me to Finn. Like the police, there isn’t much Jaha can do to him without proof. And my word isn’t enough. Jasper and Raven, you’ll need to go and talk to the detective and Dr. Jaha about what Finn told you.”

“You want us to turn him in?” Jasper looked shocked by the idea. “He’s our friend.”

“He intentionally tried to hurt an eighteen year old girl because he has been taking a prank war too seriously.” Clarke said. “He could have killed Tris or those EMTs.”

Jasper shook his head. “Can’t it wait a few days? He’s been through enough with the surgery and all.”

“What surgery?” Clarke questioned immediately. “I’m his emergency contact and no one told me about a surgery.”

“Yeah, he changed his information. He said you weren’t thinking clearly and shouldn’t be making decisions when you were so upset about his accident.” Monty said quietly. “He made my mom his contact instead.”

“What did he have surgery on?” Clarke asked again.

“His stomach or something. There was bleeding. And then he kept trying to get out of bed and falling, it made it worse.” Jasper explained. “I think he said something about a broken rib too.”

“And neither of you thought to tell me?” Clarke snarled.

“You’ve been busy Clarke. We didn’t want to bother you. If anything would have happened, we’d have called.” Monty replied.

Clarke clenched her jaw and shook her head. She’d been focused on meeting Heda and ending the prank war. She hadn’t punished her friends for their stupid pranks, she hadn’t remembered to check on Tris, she hadn’t even thought of Finn other than to try to figure out when he’d gone so wrong.

“I’m really not good at this leading thing.” She sighed.

“Aw Clarkey,” Raven said. “You’re not that bad.”

“You almost destroyed the academic careers of 300 students and then almost killed another and it took me three days to remember to punish you.” Clarke shot back.

“You forgot, it happens.” Monty said.

“It shouldn’t have though.” Clarke shook her head. “I can’t let you guys get away with this stuff anymore. As of right now, no more pranks. At all.”

“But the truce isn’t happening yet.” Jasper gasped.

“I don’t care. If Polis wants to retaliate, let them. We aren’t doing anything more to them.” Clarke declared. “Spread the word. Any Arkadia student who even tries to prank Polis will be punished. And I am not in the mood to go easy on anyone.”

“So you’ll leave us as sitting ducks just because this Heda person hurt your feelings?” Jasper asked. “That’s lame.”

“I’ll leave us as sitting ducks because Heda hasn’t tried to ruin school careers or accidentally dyed people green or almost killed a girl.” Clarke snapped back.

“But Clarke – ” Raven sat on the edge of her chair.

“No. I know what happened with Tris was an accident but if we hadn’t let Finn go so far time and again, it wouldn’t have happened. So no more.” Clarke said. “Your professors and TAs have been notified of your suspensions. You can all go now.”

Clarke waited until her friends left her office to let out a shaky breath. When she had run for president, she hadn’t really considered having to do anything. Of course it’d be her luck to be elected the year the school started the process of merging with their rival. Of course she’d taken on more than she’d thought she had.

She waited another half an hour before leaving her office herself, wanting to be sure her friends had left. She made her way to the parking lot. She looked around for her car, it wasn’t in her designated parking spot. She turned in a circle, stopping when she spotted her car.

On top of nearby maintenance building.

She blinked a few times and rubbed her eyes, hoping she was seeing things. When it was still there, she pulled out her phone.

 

Clarke: (3:32p)
Trina, any chance you or Luna
know where Heda is at the
moment?

Trina: (3:33p)
She’s at the hospital. She’s been
there day and night since Tris
was admitted.

Clarke: (3:33p)
I met with her this morning at
Anya’s apartment.

Trina: (3:34p)
That’s Lexa’s place too. And she
was only there because Lincoln
dragged her home to shower
and change.

Clarke: (3:35p)
Right. That makes sense.

Trina: (3:37p)
Did you need her for something?

Clarke: (3:38p)
{image}

 

Clarke sent the picture of her car on the roof of the building and waited. She knew Trina and Luna were going to love it.

 

Trina: (3:42p)
That’s the best thing I’ve seen in
a long time! Luna is crying she’s
laughing so hard.

Clarke: (3:43p)
Yeah, I’m happy to entertain
you. Really you ought to thank
those Grounders though. So is
Anya with Lexa?

Trina: (3:45p)
My sides hurt! I’m dying.

Clarke: (3:45p)
Any chance we can get Heda to
order someone to help get my
car down?

Trina: (3:46p)
I’ll text Anya. You should
probably just walk home though
Clarke. They won’t do anything
while you’re hanging around.
They like to be ninjas.

Clarke: (3:47p)
Right. I’ll just head home then.
Ask them nicely not to hurt my
baby please. She was my dad’s
pride and joy.

****

To say that Abby Griffin was surprised to find her daughter in her office would be an understatement. She’d seen Clarke just the night before and she knew how busy she was. So when she walked in and saw Clarke sitting on her couch with her knees drawn up and her chin resting on them, she knew something was up.

“Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”

“I’m skipping.” Clarke sighed.

“Why?”

“Because I already know how the story of Theseus goes.” Clarke replied. “Sometimes I wonder why I decided to minor in history.”

“Me too.” Abby laughed as she sat next to her daughter.

Clarke leaned into her, allowing her head to fall on her mother’s shoulder. “I don’t like being in charge.”

“No one who is in charge likes being in charge. Unless they’re crazy.”

“You like being in charge.” Clarke pointed out.

“I like organizing. I don’t like having to make the tough decisions. Then again, I don’t trust others to make the tough decisions either.” Abby wrapped her arm around Clarke’s shoulders. “So what’s going on?”

“Nothing. I had to talk to Jasper, Raven, and Monty about their punishments. They took it better than I expected.” Clarke replied. “They aren’t allowed to do anything but go to class anymore. No clubs, not free time in the labs, no athletic events. Nothing the school is running.”

“That’s a lot of punishment.”

“I wanted Jaha to suspend them for the rest of the semester. He thought that was too harsh.”

“Well, maybe it is. Maybe that was just your kneejerk reaction to not doing anything right away. A bigger punishment for a lack of response.” Abby said.

“I’m not good at this. I tried to resign but Jaha wouldn’t let me. He said the students back me so he needed me. I think they only back me because they think I’ll let them do whatever they want.” Clarke relaxed further into her mother’s arms. “I told Raven and the boys they can’t prank Polis anymore. No one can. Even if the truce isn’t in place yet, I don’t want any more pranks.”

Abby nodded. She rubbed up and down Clarke’s arm a few times, “Maybe that’s for the best.”

“I know. But now I can’t get Anya back.” Clarke dug her phone of her pocket and showed her mother the picture of her car.

“Why is your father’s ’69 Camaro on the roof of that building?”

Clarke shrugged and put her phone away. “I’m guessing Anya thought it was funny.”

Chapter Text

The next day was Clarke’s usual free day from classes. Most weeks she spent it around the apartment but since Raven had way more free time than normal she was there too. She could only handle so much of Raven’s fake cheerfulness before she felt like she was going mad. So instead, Clarke headed to the hospital to see if she could find something to help out with.

That was how she found herself sitting in Tris Woods’s room just after lunchtime. She had spent much of the morning reading to Tris from a book she’d found on the tray next to her bed.

“Clarke?”

Her head shot up, “Lexa?”

“What are you doing here?” Lexa asked as she dropped her backpack on the couch.

“I… uh… volunteer here. My mom is the chief of surgery.”

“Oh. So you’re sitting with Tris?”

“I was reading to her.” Clarke held up a worn copy of the book she’d been reciting. “It’s a history book that uses normal people language. It’s funny.”

“Tris loves history. It’s one of her majors.”

“I didn’t know that. I just found the book in here and thought I’d give it a try.” Clarke set the book down and stood up. “I was surprised when there wasn’t anyone in here with her.”

“We all have classes today. We asked your mother to look in on her for us and let us know if there were changes.” Lexa explained. “Tris loves school. She wouldn’t want us to miss too much of it. She'll probably yell at us for missing so much of it already.”

Clarke nodded, “That makes sense. History people love school.”

“History people?”

“It’s my minor, I can say that.” Clarke said.

“Okay, so pre-med with a minor in history. That’s certainly unique.” Lexa replied. She moved to the chair opposite Clarke. “You don’t have to go you know. I’m just going to work on homework. As long as you’re quiet, you can sit for a while.”

"Why aren't you yelling at me?" Clarke asked.

"Excuse me?"

Clarke looked from Lexa to Tris and back again, "I may not have had anything to do with what happened, but I didn't exactly go out of my way to stop it. Then I didn't punish my friends for it. So why aren't you yelling?"

"Please don't think my lack of yelling is because I'm not mad. I am." Lexa replied. "But I also think you got caught up in being a friend and not a leader. As a leader myself, I get that. As a sister, I kind of want to punch you in the throat."

"Throat punch. Right." Clarke nodded.

Lexa shrugged her shoulders. "I've decided to hold off on the throat punching until Tris wakes up. She probably won't want any kind of retaliation. If she does, I'd watch out if I were you. Or rather, if I were Raven or Jasper."

"You're really good at make calm threats sound absolutely terrifying." Clarke stared at her, blue eyes wide open in shock.

"It's a gift. You should learn to do it too. Scares the crap out of people." Lexa replied. "Honestly thought Clarke, I can't react to what happened with Tris without all the information. I want to. I really really want to, but if she wants to let the matter rest where it is, that's her choice. I won't make it for her."

"Right. I'm okay with that. At least I have a warning in case she does want revenge."

"Exactly." Lexa nodded. "Now I'm going to study. Did you want to read to Tris some more?"

“No, that’s okay. I don’t want to impose.” Clarke turned to grab her purse, tripping over her chair in the process. She checked the room over once to make sure she hadn’t left anything sitting around, she's got a habit of spreading out when she's comfortable, before she headed toward the door.

“Hey Clarke,” Lexa said before she could open it.

“Yeah?” Clarke turned back.

“I heard about your car. I hope ‘your baby’ wasn’t hurt at all.” She smiled.

“Oh. No. She’s fine.” Clarke replied quickly.

“Good. That’s good.” Lexa nodded. “Can we expect payback soon? Or are you not supposed to tell me?”

Clarke shook her head, “No. There won’t be payback. I told my classmates there are to be no more pranks. If there are, they’ll be punished. And after my friends were given their punishment, I don’t think anyone will try to challenge that.”

“You finally figured out what to do with our friends?”

“Yeah. They’re basically only allowed to go to campus for classes. No more free time in labs and at school functions.”

Lexa’s brows rose, “that’s quite a punishment.”

“Yeah, well they pulled some pretty stupid pranks. They didn’t think about what the end results could be.”

“And what about Finn?”

“I’m working on that.”

Lexa started to ask Clarke something more but was interrupted by the door behind Clarke opening. A young woman stepped inside with two coffees in her hands.

“Sorry I’m late! There was a line at the coffee shop.” The woman moved around Clarke and handed one of the drinks to Lexa. “How’s Tris?”

“No changes yet as far as I know. I’m waiting for Dr. Griffin.” Lexa smiled up at the woman.

Clarke watched the two interact. She didn’t know who the new woman was but it was easy to tell she and Lexa knew each other well. There was a sort of ebb and flow in their actions.

“I’ll see you later Lexa.” Clarke said, turning toward the door again.

“Wait,” Lexa replied. She stood and motioned toward her companion, “Clarke this is Costia. Costia, this is Clarke. She was reading to Tris.”

“Clarke as in Clarke Griffin?” Costia asked as she looped an arm around Lexa’s waist.

“That’s me.” Clarke smiled. “Nice to meet you Costia.”

“Maybe if we’d met other different circumstances I’d agree.” Costia replied.

“Cos, she didn’t do this.” Lexa said.

“But she didn’t stop it either.” Costia bumped her hip against Lexa’s.

Clarke nodded her head, knowing she had no argument, “You’re right. Maybe I could have prevented this. I’m trying to fix it now though.”

“We know that Clarke. Cos is just a bit protective.” Lexa said.

“It’s okay Lexa, I understand.” Clarke replied. “I’ll leave you guys to your day. I hope Tris starts improving soon.”

****

Clarke made her way to her car, which had miraculously been back in her parking space when her mother had driven her back to campus the previous night. She pulled out her phone and sent a text to Octavia.

 

Griffster: (2:02p)
Is she still there being fake
happy?

O’Goddess: (2:02p)
Of course she is. And what did
you expect when you denied
her access to the mech lab?

Griffster: (2:03p)
I didn’t deny her access. She
just has to ask someone to sit
in there with her.

O’Goddess: (2:04p)
And by someone you mean Wick,
her TA. We both know that isn’t
going to happen Clarkey.

Griffster: (2:05p)
I know. But I’d rather her glare
at me than smiling at me all the
time. I know she’s mad.

O’Goddess: (2:06p)
She is mad but she also knows
you had to do something. You
couldn’t just let it go unchecked 
Clarke.

Griffster: (2:08p)
So she’s mad at me and
herself?

O’Goddess: (2:10p)
She’s mad at life I think.

BoomBoomRae: (2:10p)
I know you two are texting
about me. O won’t stop glancing
over at me every two seconds.

O’Goddess: (2:10p)
I am not!

BoomBoomRae: (2:11p)
{image}
{image}
{image}

 

Clarke opened the series of pictures to find candid shots of Octavia glancing in Raven’s direction from the corner of her eye.

 

O’Goddess: (2:12p)
Stop it!

Griffster: (2:13p)
Smooth O. Real smooth.

BoomBoomRae: (2:13p)
Stop looking at me like that
and I’ll stop taking pictures!

O’Goddess: (2:14p)
Stop pouting so Clarkey can
come home and I’ll stop looking
at you like that!

BoomBoomRae: (2:15p)
I’m not pouting. I’m moping.
Wick has already sent me 6
texts asking me when I need
his help in the lab. As if I need
his help. Stupid Wick.

O’Goddess: (2:17p)
So Clarke can come home now?
Abby promised to send food with
her.

BoomBoomRae: (2:17p)
Yes. Clarkey can come home
now.

Griffster: (2:18p)
You’re only saying that because
you think you’re  going to get
some of Mom’s lasagna.

BoomBoomRae: (2:19p)
Of course I am. I’m her favorite.

Griffster: (2:21p)
I’ll be home in 15. But Rae,
you’ll have to find food for
yourself. Mom said no Abby
food for you for two months.
And I'm not willing to risk
getting in trouble by going
against her.

BoomBoomRae: (2:23p)
That’s cruel and unusual
punishment!

O’Goddess: (2:24p)
Yay! More for me!

Chapter Text

“I still don’t see how they got your car up there.” Raven shook her head.

It was the hundredth time she’d said that exact sentence in the last two days. Clarke rolled her eyes. “Rae, it’s been days. I don’t know how they managed. I didn’t ask.”

“But don’t you want to know?”

“No.” Clarke replied without hesitation. “Eat your lunch.”

“I can’t eat when I’m curious. You know that.”

Clarke sighed and lowered her fork to her plate. “Raven, I’m sorry I didn’t ask. So very sorry. You have no idea how sorry. Really though, I don’t want to know.”

“But why not?”

“Because I don’t want to hear the words ‘tools’ or ‘disassemble’ in the answer. I prefer to think they used magic. That way I don’t think about the possibility of my car falling apart because it wasn’t put back together correctly.”

“It isn’t that hard to take –”

“No. Rae. Really, please don’t.” Clarke shook her head quickly. “I really don’t want to know.”

With a huff, Raven sat back on the couch and crossed her arms over her chest. When Clarke nudged her with an elbow and motioned toward her sandwich she just glared in response.

“You really aren’t going to let us get tem back?”

Clarke shook her head.

“Not even painting their stupid rock?”

“You love painting that rock.”

‘It’s illegal messy fun. Of course I love it.”

The chime of Clarke’s phone interrupted them.

 

O’Goddess: (11:35a)
Are you with Raven?

Griffster: (11:35a)
Good morning to you too
Octavia. How are you?

O’Goddess: (11:36a)
Yeah yeah, good morning Clarke.
Are you with her?

Griffster: (11:37a)
Yes. I’m trying to get her to
eat. Why?

O’Goddess: (11:38a)
Tell her to turn her ringer on.
I’ve been calling her for hours.

Griffster: (11:38a)
Why?

O’Goddess: (11:39a)
Just do it.

 

Clarke relayed the message with a shrug. She waited while Raven ran to her room to get her phone.

 

Griffster: (11:41a)
Okay, she’s got her phone.
Ringer is on. Now what?

 

Instead of a text in response Clarke jumped when Raven’s phone started screaming. Raven threw the phone in shock, a scream of her own tearing from her lips. The shrieking from her phone just got louder and more frantic. Clarke dove off the couch and snatched it up. She hit every button she could find in an attempt to end the horrific sounds. Finally, unsuccessful in her efforts to stop the angry sounds, she looked at the screen to see Octavia’s name and picture.

She pressed the green button and held the phone to her ear, “Octavia?”

“Payback sucks right?” The voice didn’t belong to Octavia at all.

“Anya?” Clarke corrected herself.

“The one and only.”

“How’d you get O’s phone.”

“If, by O, you mean Octavia then the answer is I borrowed it last night.” Anya replied. Clarke could hear the smirk in her voice. “I think you know how that happened.”

“Does she know you have it?” Clarke asked as she turned around to check on Raven. Her friend was still on the couch, her legs pulled up and her fists pressed between her knees and her lips. Her eyes were larger than Clarke had ever seen.

“She does now. Strikgona looks pissed.” Anya laughed.

Clarke moved to sit by Raven again. She wrapped her free arm around her and squeezed. “Could I talk to her please?”

“Not yet. I’d like to speak with Raven first.” Anya replied easily. Clarke could hear some movement and Octavia yelling.

Clarke moved the phone away from her ear and pressed the icon for speakerphone.

“Can she hear me?” Anya asked.

“You’re on speaker now.” Clarke told her.

“Good.” Anya’s grin became even more evident in her tone. “How’s it going to Raven?”

There was no response. Clarke shook her a few times, trying to get her to speak. Then she sighed, “I think you broke her.”

Anya laughed, “I didn’t think it’d be that easy.”

“Why did Raven’s phone scream at us?”

“Magic.”

“Are you aware that I’ve stopped Arkadia from pranking Polis?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re pranking us anyway?”

“We owe a few. The rest of the students don’t have anything to worry about though. Just the Delinquents.” Anya replied.

Clarke nodded and sighed, “Awesome.”

“Oh stop, your car is fine Skaigada.”

“I still don’t know what that means.” Clarke said. She glanced at her friend, “What are the chances all Rae is going to have to do is hit a few buttons to fix this?”

There was a pause filled with Anya’s laughing, “Not so good.”

“I figured.” Clarke squeezed Raven again.

“What are the chances you’re going to let your friends of the hook so they can get us back?” Anya asked.

“Not likely.”

“Good to know.” Anya seemed happy with her response. “Well, I’m going to give Octavia her phone now. Have a nice day Clarke Griffin. Raven, I look forward to our next interaction.”

Hearing her name seemed to snap Raven out of her horrified trance, “Anya!”

“Yes Raven?”

“How’d you get the car up there?”

“Shouldn’t you be more worried about your phone?”

Raven scoffed, “that’s piece of cake. Getting a ’69 Camaro can the roof of a two-story building is now. I’m curious.”

“Well, try not to get too worried.” Anya replied. Not even a second later the call ended.

A moment later a text from Octavia came through.

 

O’Goddess: (12:05p)
By the way, Anya said they
turned off your silent and
vibrate options. These people
are good.

BoomBoomRae: (12:05p)
You couldn’t have sent that
to Clarke?

O’Goddess: (12:06p)
Anya may have given me $20
to send it to you.

BoomBoomRae: (12:07p)
Stop! The screaming is scary!

O’Goddess: (12:07p)
What screaming? Why is Anya
on the floor laughing? What is
going on?

 

Raven turned off her phone and tossed it onto the coffee table. “I’ll fix it later.”

Clarke laughed and handed her own phone over. “Text O and let her know you turned it off. She’ll panic otherwise.”

“I should let her panic. Traitor.”

“Oh please, you know she’s going to buy your drinks later tonight with that $20.” Clarke replied. “Eat your lunch, we have to leave for campus in an hour.”

****

Unlike her Mondays, Clarke’s Wednesdays were nonstop busy from just after noon until ten o’clock. She spent the first part of her day in the library either tutoring or studying. She had two classes, one at 6 o’clock and one at 7:30. Thankfully she loved her second class of the day so staying on campus that late never really bothered her. The end of her Wednesday routine meant another trip to the library. She always managed to find an empty table in a quiet corner and pulled out her laptop to study and write until the library closed.

That Wednesday though, she found herself with more free time when her professors cancelled her evening classes.

“When do profs ever cancel on the same day?” Bellamy asked as they walked across campus toward the parking lot.

“Well when they’re married to each other and there’s an emergency I think it makes sense.” Clarke replied.

Checking the time on her phone Clarke made a sudden turn, leaving Bellamy stumbling after her. She headed toward the mech lab building, hoping she’d find Raven there.

“Why are we going this way?” Bellamy asked when he caught up to her.

“I told you Raven doesn’t have her phone her today. We rode together and I need to tell her I’m ready to head home.”

Finding their friend was easier said than done though. They checked her usual hangouts and study spots but kept coming up empty handed. Finally they found Wick and asked if he’d seen Raven. He just waved his hand down the hall and said something about her looking at the stars before turning on his heel and meandering away.

“Maybe she’s in the planetarium.” Bellamy suggested.

“Probably. She’d need a ride out of town to go to the telescope.” Clarke replied.

Together they headed toward the building next door. This time they found Raven easily. She was in the middle of the planetarium staring at the stars over her head with wonder in her eyes.

“Rae, my classes were canceled for the day. I just wanted to see if you wanted to go home with me.” Clarke sank into the chair next to her.

“They changed the stars,” was all the reply she got.

“Sorry?” Bellamy looked up with a confused look etched across his face.

“They changed them.” Raven repeated. “Look! They’re not in the right places.”

Clarke looked from her profile to the stars and back again. “Did you bring happy juice to school again Raven?”

“No. I’m telling you, the stars have been moved!”

“You think Polis changed the stars?” Bellamy looked back down at his friends and arched a brow.

“I think they got into the system and moved coordinates or something.” Raven replied. She jumped up out of her seat and marched to the controls. She typed in a series of letters and hit enter. “But only for my username. When I checked using Wick’s login info, everything was right. Mine is all jumbled up.”

No matter how much she tried, Clarke really couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her. Raven glared and crossed her arms over her chest. “It isn’t funny!”

“I know you don’t think so but it is.” Clarke responded through her chuckles.

“What if I needed to do some school work using my charts?” Raven snapped.

“You aren’t in any astro classes this semester.” Bellamy replied.

“That’s besides the point.” Raven huffed. “I want my stars back.”

“Rae, I know you don’t want to hear this, but these are the kinds of pranks that are funny. It isn’t hurting anyone.” Clarke said. She stood and walked to the controls. She tapped the buttons herself and shut down the system. “You can fix it with some help from Monty.”

“If I did this to Polis you’d have my head.” Raven groaned. “Be angry with me.”

Shaking her head, Clarke wrapped an arm around her friend’s shoulders, “Nope. This is just a little payback Raven. Power through and keep your head down. They’ll get bored soon enough.”

“Just give me permission to get Anya. That’s all I need. I promise no explosions, poisonings, or ruining of grades.” Raven begged as she was led from the room.

“No. She’ll get bored soon. And she was right this morning, she does own you a few.”

With Bellamy’s help Clarke was able to get Raven out of the building and walking toward the parking lot. She grumbled the whole way about hating having to turn the other cheek. Bellamy and Clarke tried to keep their laughing to a minimum as they placated her the best they could. Clarke even promised to let Raven choose their Netflix entertainment for the night in an effort to get her to stop pouting.

Raven was in the middle of a long-winded explanation about how her getting Anya back wouldn’t be breaking Clarke’s new no-pranking mandate when Bellamy stopped waling midstride. The girls ran into his back and bounced off with enough force to cause Clarke to fall to the ground.

“What’re you doing?” Raven asked as she helped Clarke back to her feet.

Bellamy just shook his head and pointed to Clarke’s car.

It was full of balloons of all shapes and sizes and colors. Normally it’d be a simple prank to undo, juts pop the balloons and toss them in the trash. What complicated things for her was her ridiculous fear of them.

“No…” She stared slack jawed at her baby. “They didn’t!”

Raven turned Clarke away and led her to a bench. After forcing her to sit down Raven talked to as calmly as she could, “it’s okay Clarke. Bell and I will take care of it. You just stay here. Don’t look over there. Just watch the trees. Look for birds. Play with the squirrels.”

“Play with the squirrels?” Clarke repeated.

“We both know you’re secretly a Disney princess. Do your thing.” Raven smiled and walked back toward her car.

Clarke did watch the trees for a few minutes. The sounds of the pops and Raven’s shriek every once in a while kept distracting her though so she pulled out her headphones and her phone and started her music. Then she grabbed her sketchbook and started doodling to pass the time. Before she knew it, she was filling the pages with more sketches of warrior women from her dystopian world.

A tap on her shoulder yanked her out of that world rather unceremoniously. She looked up and blinked a few time until Raven’s face came in to focus. Popping out her headphones she waited for Raven to speak.

“Let’s go Princess. We slayed your dragon for you.”

Gathering her things and returning them to her bag Clarke followed slowly behind Raven. “Are you sure you got them all?”

“Yes, we even checked under the seats and in the trunk.” Raven replied. She stopped beside the car and opened the driver’s side door for Clarke to inspect the interior from a safe fifteen feet away.

“Okay.” Clarke nodded and moved to the trunk, which Raven opened and waved her arms around like she was display girl on a game show.

Finally the girls tossed their bags into the car and climbed in. Bellamy waited until they were settled to get into his truck. He rolled down the window to say something. Suddenly the air inside his car was filled with glitter and confetti.

Clarke and Raven stared. He jumped out of the cab and started swearing, trying to dust off all the bits of color that now decorate his clothing and skin.

“How the hell did they do this?” He roared. “State of the art security system!”

“They are so much better than I ever gave them credit for,” Raven snorted.

“Honestly, a funny prank war sounds amazing.” Clarke laughed out right. “I wish I hadn’t told Lexa we were done.”

“This isn’t funny Clarke.” Bellamy snapped.

“It’s hilarious and you know it Blake.” Raven corrected. She leaned across Clarke so she could see more of him. “Sparkly looks good on you.”

“She’s right Bell. Maybe you ought to add some more glitter to your wardrobe.” Clarke nodded. “I guess we know what to get him for Christmas.”

Bellamy stopped his dancing around and cursing to glare at his friends. “I think maybe a little pay back is in order Clarke. This is four pranks in one day.”

“They are efficient.’ Clarke replied with a nod. “But no. I said no more.”

"They put glitter in my truck Clarke!" Bellamy jabbed a finger at his vehicle as if he was offended by its existence now. "Glitter!"

“I can only take so much of this before I have to retaliate.” Raven said.

“Me too. But I’m hoping they’ll stop before we get to that point.” Clarke replied. “Part of me is wondering if Lexa even knows about these pranks.”

“Of course she does. She’s probably sitting somewhere with a whisky and laughing evilly about all of this.” Raven sat back in her seat and shook her head. “She’s going to think we’re weak if we keep on just taking it.”

Part of Clarke really wished she could find a way to take back her no-prank rule. A larger part of her knew she couldn’t. She also knew her friends weren’t going to be able to resist if the attacks from Polis continued.

“I’m sure we’ll be fine.” Was all she could think to say.

Bellamy glared and started swatting at his pants again, muttering under his breathe. Raven started to say something, probably another attempt at getting Clarke to end the ban, but was interrupted by Clarke’s text message notification.

Clarke grabbed her phone and pulled up the app. She gasped when she read the message. She read it twice more before handing the phone to Raven.

 

Trina: (3:02p)
Tris is awake!

Chapter Text

The ten days Tris had been in a coma had been like torture for Lexa. There’d never been a situation where she was unable to protect her baby sister before. She’d always been there to make sure she was safe no matter what situations arose. The day of Tris’s accidents Lexa had been on campus, doing research for a paper that wasn’t due for another couple of weeks.

If she’d just taken a break she thought maybe she could have done something to stop the prank. She didn’t know what, but maybe she’d have realized Tris’s drink wasn’t soda. Maybe she’d have spotted Raven and Jasper peaking around a corner giggling and known something was off. If she’d been able to stop the prank then the ambulance wouldn’t have been needed.

All those thoughts, the what ifs and questions, ran through Lexa’s head that Wednesday while she sat in Tris’s hospital room. She was pretending to study. She had the textbook for her political science class open in front of her and a notebook with a fresh sheet of paper ready for her notes. Instead she found herself staring at Tris.

The first time Tris’s eyes fluttered Lexa thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. She’d been under the strange light of the hospital since early that morning. She hadn’t left the room for any thing. So yeah, maybe the lights were just fooling her eyes into seeing the movements she was so desperate for.

Then it happened again. And then Lexa saw Tris’s eyes fly open.

Lexa hit the call button and stood by her sister’s bedside, running her hand over her hair and whispering whatever comforting words she could think of.

Nurses rushed in the room. Lexa found herself hustled outside while the nurses and doctors assessed Tris. She pulled her phone from the pocket of her jacket and fired off texts to her other siblings.

 

Heda: (2:19p)
Em komba raun

Fos: (2:19p)
Striksis?

Linkon: (2:19p)
I’ll be there soon Lexa

Heda: (2:20p)
The doctors are checking her
out. I’m in the hallway waiting
for them to let me back in.

Fos: (2:21p)
I’m in the car. Be there
in 10.

 

Just as Anya’s second text came through the door opened and a nurse waved at Lexa. She approached slowly, worried she was about to be told Tris had slipped into another coma. Instead the nurse stepped aside and held the door open for her.

Dr. Griffin was standing on the far side of Tris’s bed talking to the young woman. She glanced over and smiled when she saw Lexa. “I think there’s someone here who wants to say hello.”

Tris turned her head slowly. Her eyes found Lexa’s, “Hey.”

Lexa rushed to the free side of her bed and grabbed her hand carefully. She smoothed Tris’s hair away and stared into her brown eyes. “Hey little one.”

“Why aren’t you in class?”

“That’s the first thing you’re going to say to me? You’ve had me worried sick for days and the first thing you want to know is why I’m not in class?” Lexa let out a watery laugh.

“Just because you’re a genius doesn’t mean you should skip school.” Tris replied quietly. “I’m tired. You should go to class.”

Lexa shook her head. “I’ll be just fine right here.”

“You already told Linc and Ahn I’m awake didn’t you?”

“Of course I did.”

Tris glanced back at Abby. “Any chance I can just fake being in a coma again? The sisters and brother are going to be overwhelmingly emotional I think.”

“You mean the tall, dark, and broody looking tattooed muscle man and the broody woman who tackled my daughter?” Abby laughed.

“Anya tackled someone?” Tris’s eyes flew back to Lexa.

“I don’t know. I wasn’t here if she did.”

“She did. It was a fantastic tackle.” Abby replied. When the sisters looked at her strangely for laughing she shrugged, “Clarke thought it was hilarious when I was dyed green for a week. I think it’s funny she got tackled in a hospital.”

Lexa nodded once, “you have a strange relationship with your daughter.”

The door flying open caused the three women to turn quickly. Anya was framed in the doorway, panting and staring at Tris.

“Hey Ahn.” Tris’s voice warbled. She could hold it together for Lexa, but seeing the concern on Anya’s face was a little too much for her.

“Hey little one.” Anya moved to the foot of her bed and sat down. “You planning on sticking around?”

Tris giggled through her tears and nodded. “Yeah. You guys would skip too many classes if I went back to sleep I think.”

Anya rested her hand on Tris’s leg and squeezed. “Good. Let’s keep you with us for a little while longer.”

“Oh don’t worry about that.” Abby said. “Her initial tests are all showing perfect results. I’ve an intern clearing a CT for her so we can get some scans. I think she’ll be right as rain soon enough.”

“Lucky for you guys.” Tris smiled cheekily.

“Lucky for those Arkadia jerks.” Anya growled back.

“What does my coma have to do with Arkadia?” Tris asked.

The next hour was spent filling Tris in on what had occurred at Tondisi and in the ambulance. She asked too many questions to count. She wanted to know if any one else had been hurt. When Lexa told her about the EMT with the broken leg Tris insisted on sending flowers. Then Lincoln arrived. The siblings gathered in an awkward group hug, the sisters all pretending like they didn’t see each other crying, Lincoln not caring who saw his tears.

“So,” He said as he released the girls, “what is our next move?”

“What do you mean?” Tris asked.

“What do you want to do about what happened Tris?” Lexa squeezed her fingers.

“Nothing.” She replied without hesitation.

Anya stiffened at the singular word. “What do you mean nothing?”

“If what you just told me is what happened, it was an accident.” Tris shrugged.

“You almost died!” Anya snapped.

“Because of a prank that, if it had been pulled on anyone else, should have been harmless. How were they supposed to know about my allergy?” Tris sighed, like what she was saying should have already occurred to her siblings.

“But Finn did know.” Lincoln told her.

“He didn’t tell Raven and Jasper though. And Bellamy tried to stop them, he just got there too late.” Tris argued. “And Clarke was trying to end this whole prank war before anything happened. From where I was sitting, you seemed pretty impressed with her Ahn.”

“You almost died.” Lexa whispered. “And you want to do nothing.”

“Not every attack needs to be answered with an attack.” Tris replied. “If we get back at them, they’ll get back at us. Then we’ll repeat it all. If we just stop then so will they.”

Anya snorted, “I’ve already planned my revenge. I have no plans on stopping.”

“No one will be hurt.” Lexa ordered, her eyes narrowing.

“Of course not. But they’ll wish they hadn’t messed with us to begin with and that’s a victory for me.” Anya replied.

Lincoln shifted on his feet, he looked more than a little uncomfortable. “But if Clarke has told her classmates to leave us alone, why should we keep attacking them?”

“They are owed more than a few pranks Linc.” Anya replied. “But don’t worry, I have very specific targets in mind. For right now anyway, Blake and Monty and Jasper are safe.”

“I don’t like that smile.” Tris sighed. “It’s your ‘I’m not planning something nice’ smile and it scares me.”

****

After receiving Trina’s text Clarke hurried to the hospital. It was only after she arrived that she realized she didn’t know what to do next. She didn’t think she could just walk into Tris’s room now that she was awake. She didn’t know how the girl would react to her presence and she didn’t want to upset her. Instead, she went to a nearby flower shop and bought a pretty bouquet of sunflowers and other wildflowers. She had a nurse deliver them to Tris’s room while she went to her mother’s office.

An hour later, after finishing up a conversation with her mother who was paged out before they’d finished talking, Lexa knocked on the open doorframe.

“Clarke?”

“Lexa.” Clarke stood up from the couch quickly. “Did you need my mother? She just got paged.”

“I just wanted to thank her. She was really good with Tris today when she woke up.” Lexa replied. “What are you doing here?”

“Trina sent me a text to let me know Tris was awake. I wanted to check in on her but then when I got here, I didn’t want to bother all of you. I got her some flowers instead.” Clarke explained.

“I see.”

“So she’s alright then?”

“She will be in time.” Lexa replied.

Clarke shifted from one foot to the other, unsure of what else to say. Finally she glanced over Lexa’s shoulder to see Anya glaring at her. “I’d like to speak to Tris but I’d rather not get laid out again. Can you tell her I hope she’s feeling better soon?”

“You can tell her yourself. I’ll let her know you’ll be here tomorrow during visiting hours. Anya will not be around until tomorrow evening so you should be safe until then.” Lexa laughed.

“Right. Thank you Lexa.”

“It isn’t my grudge to hold Clarke. Don’t thank me.” She turned and glanced at Anya, “I’d stay away from her though. She likes grudges.”

“Great.” Clarke laughed.

“Anyway, tell your mother I said thank you?”

“Of course.”

With a short nod, Lexa turned and walked back toward Tris’s room. She grabbed Anya’s arm and pulled her along. Just before they reached the corner Clarke noticed Costia had joined them. The new arrival laughed when she saw Anya glaring at Lexa and grabbed her other arm, helping to drag her away.

Chapter Text

At first Clarke had worried about actually meeting Tris. Thankfully, her siblings had filled the younger girl in about what had occurred at Tondisi so the girl at least knew Clarke’s role in the event of that day. She approached the girl slowly, not wanting to upset her if she wasn’t wanted.

“You can come in Clarke. I won’t bite.” Tris grinned. She noted the confusion on the blonde's face and giggled, "your mother may have shown me a few pictures of you. And Lexa mentioned you'd be stopping by."

“You’re awfully awake for someone 18 hours removed from a coma.” Clarke replied.

“Your mother seems to be pretty amazed by that too. I guess I’m just amazing like that.”

Clarke nodded and approached the chair situated next to the bed. She sat down and studied the younger girl. After a few moments of silence she cleared her throat and spoke. “I’m so sorry Tris.”

“It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know about it right?”

“Of course not!”

“Then no worries.” Tris said easily. “I can’t say the same about Finn though.”

“We’re working on that. We don’t want him to get away with what happened any more than you do.” Clarke assured her quickly.

Tris nodded, “I know Clarke. But you better work fast. I don’t know what Lexa and Anya will do if he isn’t brought to justice for this. They aren’t as forgiving as I am.”

“I’ve noticed.” Clarke replied. “Didn’t Anya tell you about my car?”

“What about you car?”

With a bark of laughter Clarke launched into the story of finding her car on the maintenance building roof. Then finding it filled with balloons, then she had to explain why she was scared of balloons. From there, she told Tris about the other pranks that had been pulled on the Delinquents. She left out the theft of Monty’s laptop and Raven’s project. Lexa had told her how serious the girl was about school so Clarke was sure she wouldn’t find Anya threatening grades as a laughing matter. Tris had tears running down her cheeks by the time Clarke told her about Bellamy’s truck.

“I can’t say I’m sorry,” Tris spoke between gasps. “My sister is intense but man can she pull off some good pranks.”

“I’ve noticed. And I have a feeling she’s not done.”

“No where near done.” Tris agreed.

Clarke sighed, “I knew it.”

“You’ll survive.”

She didn’t have an argument for that so Clarke just nodded. She glanced at her phone and realized she’d been visiting with Tris for an hour. She still had plenty of time to make her escape before Anya was due to arrive.

“I heard you’re minoring in history.” Tris said.

“I am.”

Tris handed her the book she’d been reading from just days before. “You should read this. It’s hilarious.”

“I know. I read some of it to you the other day.”

“Take it with you. Give it to Luna when you’re done. I’ve got a digital copy too.”

Clarke smiled and took the book. “Thank you Tris. I know you don’t need to be this cool about everything.”

“Someday this will make a great story.”

“Hopefully that’s true.” Clarke smiled. “But if you’re going to show me something you like, I want to return the favor.”

She glanced around the room and found a laptop. She grabbed it quickly and started typing away.

“What are you doing with Lexa’s laptop? Are you stealing secrets?” Tris asked.

“Nope. Just going to a site that will make you laugh until you cry.” Clarke replied. She turned the computer so it was facing Tris. “How do you feel about YouTubers?”

****

“What are you doing?” Lexa asked as she and Costia walked into Tris’s hospital room a few hours later.

“Watching Rose and Rosie.” Tris replied absentmindedly.

Costia shrugged when Lexa looked at her confused. They moved to sit in the chairs by the bed.

“Watching what?” Lexa stared at the screen. All she could see was two women sitting on a couch talking.

“They’re YouTubers.” Tris explained with an eye roll, as if she hadn’t just found out about the women on her screen hours before.

“What now?” Costia asked.

“You’re so old.” Tris groaned and paused the video. “They’re YouTubers. They make videos for YouTube. They make money from making those videos. And they’re hilarious.”

“And you found out about them how?” Costia asked.

“Clarke showed me.”

“Griffin?” Costia growled the last name.

Tris nodded. She glanced from Costia to Lexa and back again. “Why are you here?”

“Don’t be rude Tris.” Lexa snapped.

“She broke up with you a year and half ago. From what Anya said yesterday, she’s been either here or at the apartment since my accident.” Tris replied. “I want to know why. Are you guys getting back together?”

“No.” Costia answer easily. “I’m still with Roan. But Lexa is my friend and she needed me.”

“And she wanted to know if you were going to press charges. Her being a detective helps with that part.” Lexa added.

“You’re okay with her being here?” Tris asked her sister.

“I’m fine Tris. I’m an adult.” Lexa assured her. “Costia and I are just friends. That’s all we’ve been for a long time. That’s all we were for a long time before we dated. It’s all good little one.”

“Okay then.” Tris replied with a nod. “Now be quiet.”

She unpaused the video and was immediately enraptured by the women on screen again. She ignored all attempts to talk to her, focusing on the jokes and talks flowing from her speakers. Visitors came and went. Tris would pause the videos long enough to talk to her family and friends but each time the room emptied again she dove back into the videos.

Finally, visiting hours were coming to an end. Tris was alone with Lexa watching videos. Lexa had crawled up on the bed with her and wrapped her in her arms.

“So Clarke introduced you to them?” Lexa asked.

“Yeah. I let her borrow my book so she wanted to show me something she likes.” Tris replied.

“How long did she visit with you?”

Tris shrugged, “a couple of hours. We talked a lot at first. She told me about Anya’s pranks against her and her friends. Clarke’s scared of balloons by the way. Not sure if Ahn knew that.”

“Balloons? What happened with balloons?” Lexa’s brows drew together.

With a shrug, Tris replied, “Anya had her car filled with them. Clarke almost had a panic attack.”

“Anya said she was going to use newspaper.”

“I couldn’t find any.” Anya spoke from the doorway. “Damn millennials get their news from the interwebs now so I had to improvise.”

“You almost caused Clarke to have a panic attack.” Tris paused the video and glared at her sister.

“I didn’t know she was scared of them.” Anya defended.

Tris nodded her head once, “kind of like Raven didn’t know I’m allergic to citrus?”

“Not the same thing.” Anya shook her head.

“Exactly the same thing. You can’t blame them for not knowing something and then try to use that as an excuse for yourself.” Tris argued.

“Fine. I’ll apologize.” Anya huffed. She moved to sit on Tris’s other side. “What are you watching?”

“Rose and Rosie.” Lexa replied. “They’re actually pretty funny.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

Tris unpaused the video. “Clarke introduced me to them this morning. I like them.”

“Did she now?” Anya glared at the screen, as if the two British women had something to do with Clarke being in the room for any length of time with Tris.

“Yeah. She said she has more than one thing in common with Rosie.” Tris said. She pointed at the blonde on screen. “That’s Rosie. I’m not sure what she meant by that but… that’s what she said.”

The sisters watched a few more videos before visiting hours were over. Anya left first, claiming she had studying to do. Tris knew right away she was off to plan a prank. Anya never studied. Lexa took her time getting ready to leave.

“Hey Tris,” she said.

“Yeah?”

“How long was Clarke here?”

“A couple of hours more or less. Why?”

“Why’d she leave?”

Tris shrugged, “Did you think she was going to hang out here all day? Like she doesn’t have a life of her own?”

“I just thought she’d still be here when I arrived.”

“Is that why you brought Costia?”

“No. I met Costia in the hallway on my way here.” Lexa replied.

“I don’t know Lexa. She checked her email and muttered about MWC. Then she said she had to go and left.”

Lexa hadn’t been ready to hear about Mountain Weather again. Why would they be emailing Clarke anything? If they had official business with the school, shouldn’t they have contacted the board or Dr. Jaha?

“Right. Well…” Lexa sighed. “I guess I’ll see you before class tomorrow. Dr. Griffin said you could be home as early as Monday or Tuesday if you keep doing this well.”

“Yay for home!” Tris threw her hands in the air excitedly. “I want real food. And clothing that is not this gown.”

Chapter Text

Fridays had always been Clarke’s favorite. They meant freedom from school and teachers and, occasionally, from her parents. Then she got to college and Fridays meant parties and sometimes a hookup. The Friday after Tris woke up made her sort of hate the day. She’d been dealing with that email from MWC for a few days and she was nowhere near resolving the issues it had caused. In fact, that morning, the beginning of her glorious Friday, she found herself in her mother’s office seeking her advice.

“The email said what?” Abby asked for the third time.

“They said they have proof I cheated on my MCAT and that I plagiarized a paper.”

“But you didn’t.” Abby shook her head. “How does someone cheat on the MCAT?”

“Apparently I’m an evil genius. They also claim to have proof that I’ve orchestrated every prank my friends have ever pulled on Polis.” Clarke sighed and rubbed her eyes. She hadn’t been getting much sleep. She was up late worrying over how she was going to convince Finn to turn himself in and whether Tris was really going to be okay and if Raven had actually forgiven her or just said she had.

“You orchestrated the pranks but now you’re trying to end them? That makes no sense.”

Clarke shrugged and replied, “Nothing in the email makes sense. Dr. Jaha is looking into it. He thinks the ethics committee should be notified. I don’t want to involve any one like that.”

“Maybe you ought to though. You don’t have to deal with this on your own.”

“I know. We all know I didn’t cheat on the MCAT or on that paper but we also know that rumors can destroy reputations.” Clarke said quietly. She had no idea what MWC wanted with her. Why would they think going after her would help their cause in getting Arkadia to join them?

“Excuse me,” a new voice joined their conversation. Lexa stood in the open doorway, her hands behind her back and head held high.

“Lexa! Hello,” Abby rose from her chair behind her desk. “Did you need anything? Does Tris need something?”

Lexa shook her head, “no we’re fine. I just couldn’t help but overhear your conversation.”

“You couldn’t help but listen in on a conversation being held in my mom’s office?” Clarke asked as she rolled her eyes.

“The door was open.” Lexa replied.

“But you heard us talking,” Clarke snapped.

“I did. I wanted to come and thank you for sitting with Tris the other day. She really seems to like you.” Lexa said evenly.

“Oh,” Clarke’s expression softened. “Well I enjoyed spending time with her.”

Moving into the office, Lexa closed the door behind her. She walked to the couch Clarke sat on and sank down on the opposite end, “Really Clarke, she won’t stop talking about all the things you said to her. I think you’re her new hero. And she’s in love with those YouTubers you showed her.”

“Rose and Rosie are amazing and deserve all our love.” Clarke shrugged.

“So, I’d like to repay your kindness.” Lexa said. She glanced quickly at Abby before asking Clarke, “What can I do to help with this Mount Weather situation?”

Clarke scoffed and shook her head, “No offense Lexa, but I’m not taking your help until the truce is in place.”

“It’s the least I can do Clarke.”

“I was nice to your sister because she's a nice girl. And she's in the hospital because of my friends being idiots. I don’t think you owe me anything.” Clarke replied.

“Tris has already forgiven you. She’s pretty much ordered us to move on as well.” Lexa said, she grinned a little remembering how irritated Tris had gotten at Anya and the grudge she was holding. “By the way, I’m sorry about the balloons in your car. Anya didn’t know.”

“What balloons?” Abby interrupted.

Shaking her head, Clarke waved off her mother’s worry, “it was nothing Mom. Just a prank. Anya couldn’t have known.”

“Can I ask why you’re scared of balloons?” Lexa’s smile grew a little.

“There you go again, trying to get to know me.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“Why were there balloons in your car Clarke?” Abby asked again.

Lexa turned to meet Abby’s eye, “my sister thought she was being funny. She didn’t know Clarke is scared of them.”

“Scared is putting it mildly,” Abby replied. “You didn’t have an attack?”

“No. I’m fine. She didn’t know. It isn’t anything to worry about.” Clarke snapped.

“So I kind of owe you for your kindness to Tris and for not freaking out on Anya.” Lexa said. “So can I help with Mount Weather? Maybe turn Anya’s evil genius brain loose on them for a while?”

“I don’t need Polis’s help Lexa!” Clarke snapped.

Something in her tone must have hit a nerve because Lexa stood quickly from the couch and walked to the door, “I apologize for assuming you’d want my help.”

“I don’t want it, I just want the situation over with.” Clarke replied. “All of it. These last couple of weeks have been nothing but stressful.”

“Right. Nothing but stress.” Lexa nodded and opened the door, walking quickly back toward her sister’s room.

“Don’t you think you were a little harsh?” Abby asked.

“She doesn’t really want to help. She just thinks she ought to because I helped Tris and didn’t try to get Anya back for the stupid balloons.” Clarke answered. “I can’t accept her help if the truce isn’t in place.”

“You said yourself that the feud was dumb Clarke. Maybe this should be the first step to fixing it.” Abby said softly.

“I can’t. The others would never accept it.”

“Then what do you need to do to get the truce established?”

Clarke shook her head, “I have to talk to Raven and O about that first. I’ll need their help.”

“You can’t talk to me?” Abby asked, hurt clear in her eyes.

“Not about this. Not yet at least.” Clarke stood and pressed a kiss to her mother’s head. “Soon though.”

****

Clarke left Abby’s office shortly after that, not sure she could figure out her problem with Mount Weather with Lexa on her mind. She pulled her phone, which she’d silenced once she’d arrived at the hospital, out of her back pocket and checked for messages. She found several from her group chat with O and Raven.

 

BoomBoomRae: (3:04p)
I got a job today.

O’Goddess: (3:12p)
Why?

BoomBoomRae: (3:13p)
What else am I supposed to
do with my free time?

O’Goddess: (3:15p)
I don’t know. Maybe study?

BoomBoomRae: (3:19p)
Very funny O. We all know
I’m smarter than most of
my profs.

BoomBoomRae: (3:20p)
Isn’t anyone going to ask me
where I’m newly employed?

O’Goddess: (3:21p)
Yes. Of course. Where are you
newly employed Raven?

BoomBoomRae: (3:22p)
Our newest hangout spot of
course. Employee discounts on
alcohol!

BoomBoomRae: (3:22p)
I’m not sure why we didn’t
think of this sooner. Think of
all the money we could have
saved the last few years!

O’Goddess: (3:23p)
You’re working at Tondisi?

BoomBoomRae: (3:24p)
Yeah I am!

O’Goddess: (3:26p)
As in the pub below Lexa
and Anya’s apartment?
Where they live with Tris?

BoomBoomRae: (4:02p)
… I did not know that.

O’Goddess: (4:03p)
You didn’t but Luna and Trina
do. Why would they do this?

BoomBoomRae: (4:03p)
Well I’m getting ready for
my first shift now so it’s too
late to back out without
seeming like a jerk…

BoomBoomRae: (4:04p)
I’m there until closing tonight
which is apparently 2 in the
morning. Come and see me!

O’Goddess: (4:04p)
Yeah… I’ll be there. You may
need protection.

BoomBoomRae: (4:06p)
Make sure you bring Clarkey
with you since she’s too cool
to answer our texts.

O’Goddess: (4:07p)
I’ll see what I can do.

Griffster: (5:02p)
Sorry guys! I was talking to
Dr. Jaha and then Mom. I’ll
be home in a little while.

Griffster: (5:02p)
And I’m totally all for going
to Tondisi tonight! As long as
no one is in my booth!

 

When Clarke finished reading and responding to the texts she looked up. She found herself in front of Tris’s room. Glancing through the window in the door, she saw Lexa perched in the chair next to Tris’s bed reading from a textbook. Tris’s eyes were fixed on the laptop in front of her. Before she could stop herself, Clarke knocked on the door. Tris glanced up and waved her in, hardly looking away from the screen for more than a second.

Clarke entered the room, closing the door behind her, “hey there. I just wanted to make sure you’re doing okay. I haven’t seen you since Wednesday.”

“I’m great!” Tris said, pausing the video playing on the laptop. “I am a little irritated that I’m like five years behind on the Rose and Rosie train though. How did I not know about them?”

“It’s a cool kid thing.” Clarke shrugged. “You’re part of the club now. Just be careful who you tell about us.”

Tris grinned and nodded. She glanced at the screen then back at Clarke. “We’ve been trying to figure out something you said the other day.”

“We?” Clarke quirked a brow.

“Yeah,” Tris replied. “Me and Lexa.”

Hearing her name, Lexa looked up from her book. Clarke could tell she was acting like she hadn’t been listening to her conversation with Tris but the blush on her cheeks betrayed her.

“What about me?” Lexa asked.

“I was just telling Clarke about how we were trying to figure out what she was talking about the other day.” Tris replied.

Clarke looked from one sister to the other, “What exactly did I say?”

“I wasn’t trying to figure anything out!” Lexa snapped at the same time.

Silence fell in the room. Tris bit her lip to keep from smiling at her sister’s reaction. Once Lexa went back to staring at her book Tris looked up at Clarke again. “We were trying to figure out what you meant when you said you have more than one thing in common with Rosie.”

“Oh,” Clarke laughed. She glanced back at Lexa quickly before meeting Tris’s eye, “and what conclusions have you come to about that?”

“Well, you’re blonde.” Tris replied.

“That’s true. Anything else?” She asked.

“Nothing concrete. Just theories.” Tris shrugged. “Want to confirm some for me?”

“Tris!” Lexa snapped, her eyes leaving the book again to glare at her little sister. “Shof op.”

Clarke smiled at the sheepish look Tris gave her, “it’s okay Lexa. She’s just curious. It’s allowed.”

“I thought I needed to buy you dinner before I can get to know you?” Lexa shot back.

“Well, if you’re asking…” Clarke laughed.

“I’m not.” Lexa replied quickly.

Once again, because it’s how her life worked really, Clarke was stopped from saying something stupid by her cell phone dinging several times in her pocket. She offers a quick goodbye to the sisters and leaves the room, puling out her phone once more.

 

BoomBoomRae: (5:28p)
I’m going to kill her.

BoomBoomRae: (5:28p)
Clarke

BoomBoomRae: (5:28p)
You need to lift the ban.
Right now.

BoomBoomRae: (5:29p)
I’ll get my revenge even if
you don’t. I’d just really like
to not get expelled.

Griffster: (5:30p)
Why do I need to lift the
ban?

O’Goddess: (5:30p)
Don’t lift the ban Clarkey.
It’s been so peaceful on
campus and it’s only been
a few days!

BoomBoomRae: (5:31p)
Anya Woods is the devil.

BoomBoomRae: (5:31p)
And O is a traitor.

BoomBoomRae: (5:31p)
I’ve been here for less than
an hour and she’s already
made my life miserable.

Griffster: (5:33p)
I’m not lifting the ban. I’ll
be there in a few hours and
you can tell me all about it.

BoomBoomRae: (5:34p)
I may not make it a few
hours. Get the bail money
ready.

BoomBoomRae: (5:34p)
Did you guys know she works
here too? Because she does.
And she’s on shift with me for
the next week.

O’Goddess: (5:35p)
Sounds like Luna and Trina are
continuing their own prank war.

O’Goddess: (5:35p)
And I’m not a traitor. Jerk.

Griffster: (5:36p)
No bloodshed Rae. We’ll be
there soon. Just… stay away
from her. I don’t have money
for bail.

BoomBoomRae: (5:37p)
We’re working the bar together.
There is no staying away from
her. And Luna thinks all of this
is hilarious.

Chapter Text

Having only been to the pub during the day, Clarke had never seen it quite so busy. She knew it was a popular place. She’d heard countless classmates talking about the place and the antics they’d gotten up to in it but she hadn’t really considered what the place would look like packed full of college students.

She’d returned home and found Octavia already getting ready for a night out. The Delinquents were going to have a fun night out she’d proclaimed as soon as Clarke walked in the door. The guys were going to meet them there. She even had an outfit picked out for Clarke. Dark wash skinny jeans, a white V-neck t-shirt, and Clarke’s favorite blue and black plaid shirt were on her bed. Her black Chucks apparently completed the outfit. An hour after getting home, Clarke was on her way to Tondisi.

“Finally!” Jasper yelled when he spotted Clarke’s blonde hair in the crowd.

“We’ve been here for 10 minutes,” Monty rolled her eyes. He grinned at Clarke and nodded his head toward one of the high tops. “We’re sitting over here.”

“You may sitting over there, I’m not.” Clarke replied. “I’m sitting in my booth.”

“It’s occupied.” Bellamy said.

“Not for long.” Octavia smiled as Clarke glared in the direction of the table she couldn’t even see the table through the crowd.

Clarke marched through the crowd as forcefully as possible without actually stepping on of shoving anyone. She finally broke free from the sweating bodies and saw three girls sitting at her table.

“That’s Echo.” Bellamy whispered in her ear and pointed to one of the girls. “I don’t know who the others are.”

“I don’t care.” Clarke glared at the girls. “See if you can find Trina.”

Clarke and Octavia stood with Jasper and Monty on the edge of the crowd. They wanted to see if the girls, who had nothing sitting on the table, would leave soon. Instead, the girls just stared at them and whispered.

“Do they know us?” Jasper asked.

“Echo knows Bell.” Octavia replied. “I don’t think they know the rest of us. Why would they?”

“Well, you are the Delinquents.” Trina said as she popped up next to Clarke. “Did you need something?”

Clarke nodded, “yeah, how serious are you about that being my table? Those girls are just sitting there without ordering anything.”

“I told you it’s yours. So it’s yours.” Trina shrugged. “I’ll tell them to move.”

The friends stood back while she did just that. It took several minutes, and an angry looking Luna appearing out of nowhere, but eventually the girls left.

“Apparently Anya told them to sit there.” Trina explained. “Sorry about that. Luna and I will talk to her.”

“It’s fine Trina. I just didn’t want to make a scene if you weren’t serious about the table being ours.” Clarke said. “No need to yell at Anya.”

“There won’t be yelling.” Luna replied. “This is neutral ground. No Polis. No Arkadia.”

The wives disappeared into the crowd after promising to send someone over to take their order. Clarke filled Octavia and the boys in on Tris’s progress. When she finished speaking Monty glanced at Jasper who nodded.

“What?” Clarke asked, catching the look.

“Finn isn’t getting out any time soon.” Monty said.

“Why?” Bellamy asked.

“I don’t know. Mom said something about him needing another surgery because he won’t stay in bed.” Monty shrugged.

“Why won’t he stay in bed?” Octavia questioned.

Monty looked at Jasper again. This time his friend shrugged. Monty turned to Clarke and smiled sadly, “he keeps getting up looking for you.”

“He can’t call you. He broke his phone in the crash and Monty and I…” Jasper explained further. He paused and shrugged again, “we just don’t think he should have your number right now.”

“If you want us to give it to him, we will!” Monty rushed to tell her.

“It’s okay Monty. I don’t really want him contacting me right now.” Clarke reached across the table and placed her hand on his forearm.

“Okay. Then we’ll keep telling him we forgot our phones when we go to see him.” Monty nodded.

Just then, Raven popped up next to the table. She threw herself down next to Octavia, squishing Clarke against the wall.

“Working is hard.” She muttered.

“Are you on break?” Bellamy asked.

“No. I’m supposed to be taking you order.” Raven sighed and pulled out a notepad. “I forgot how much I hated being a server.”

The friends rattled off their food and drink orders while Raven wrote them down. She smiled weakly and took a deep breath, standing up from the booth.

“Rae!” Octavia shouted before she melted into the crowd again.

Raven came back to the table quickly, worried she’d forgotten something.

“What did Anya do?” Clarke asked, grinning at her friend.

Rolling her eyes, Raven sank down onto the seat again. “You know that annoying thing people do when they put a glass of water upside down on a table so it’ll cause a mess when someone picks it up?”

Everyone nodded. They’d all seen memes and gifs of people doing that.

“What about it?” Octavia asked.

“She’s been doing that to me all night. With my tips inside the water.” Raven growled.

“Oh,” Clarke tried not to giggle, she really did.

“Lift the ban Clarke.” Raven said.

Clarke shook her head. “No way.”

“I hate you.” Raven stood and stalked away from the table, leaving behind her laughing friends.

****

The Delinquent booth was a popular spot. They had visitors stopping by to chat every few minutes, even a few students from Polis came to ask Clarke if she was really trying to end the pranks. When she confirmed that she was, the Grounders seemed relieved. Apparently the students at Polis took their schoolwork very seriously and having to worry about pranks constantly stressed them out.

They’d been at the Tondisi for hours when Clarke found herself alone in the booth. Octavia was on the dance floor, Jasper was attempting to talk to some girls at the bar with Monty being his useless wingman, and Bellamy was leaning a shoulder against a wall while he chatted up some girl. Clarke found herself wishing she had a pen so she could at least doodle on the napkins littering the table.

“Looking for something?”

Clarke looked up to find Lexa standing next to the booth. She smiled and shook her head. “No, just wishing I had something to draw with.”

Lexa nodded and started patting her pockets. She smirked and pulled a blue pen from the pocket of her jacket. With a flourish she handed the pen over to Clarke.

“Thanks! Now I can entertain myself.” Clarke smiled and grabbed a napkin. She drew a line and glanced back up at Lexa, “you’re not getting this pen back just so you know.”

“I’ve got others.” Lexa shrugged.

The motion caught Clarke’s attention. Her eyes were drawn to Lexa’s shoulders, then down her torso to her feet and back up again. Since she was already in the mood to draw, Clarke tried to convince herself it was only because Lexa was easy to look at. The black skinny jeans, red t-shirt, and black leather jacket she was wearing only made her easier on the eyes. By the time Clarke’s eyes met green again Lexa’s smirk had grown.

“Mind if I sit?” Lexa waved her hand at the open seat across from Clarke.

“Not at all. I just don’t know if I’ll be much company.”

“That’s okay. I’ll sit here and read while you draw.” Lexa pulled a paperback out of her back pocket before she sat down.

“You do realize we’re in a pub right?” Clarke laughed.

“I do. But you started drawing first. So I think it’s your fault we’re going to seem lame.” Lexa settled sideways in the seat and opened the book. “By the way, Anya says hello. And that she’s sorry.”

“I’m not mad Lexa, really I’m not. She couldn’t have known.”

“Even so, she’ll be over in a few minutes to apologize.” Lexa replied.

“Why aren’t you with Tris?” Clarke asked when she couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Visiting hours ended a while ago. She insisted we all leave her since it’s Friday.” Lexa shrugged. “Your mother thinks she should be able to come home tomorrow.”

“That’s good! I’m sure she’s excited.”

“She is. Except she’ll have to be on crutches for a while and we live in a building with no elevator.” Lexa responded.

“Of course. That’s going to be hard for her.” Clarke said.

“Her professors have been understanding. And Anya and I will help her as much as we can. Lincoln’s even promised to carry her up and down the stairs.” Lexa smiled. “Plus, she’s got Rose and Rosie to keep her entertained now. Thanks for that by the way. I’ve been listening to British YouTubers for days now.”

“I’m not sorry.” Clarke shrugged.

Lexa laughed and shook her head, “of course you’re not. You do know that Tris is determined to figure out what you meant about having things in common with Rosie right?”

“I wish her luck.”

“I think I’m going to help her figure it out.”

“Well then good luck to you too.” Clarke winked.

“We already figured out the blonde thing. We’ll figure out the rest too.” Lexa said, her voice low, practically a purr.

Clarke didn’t know what to say to that so she nodded. Once Lexa actually started to read instead of baiting her in conversation, she started doodling. She felt herself pulled into her drawing and allowed the sounds of the pub to melt away even more with every stroke of the pen. She was startled out of her focus when she felt a body slide into the seat next to her.

“Clarke Griffin.” Anya greeted her.

“Anya.” Clarke replied.

“I’m sorry about the balloons.” Anya said.

“It’s okay.”

“To be fair, if you hadn’t allowed your friends to get so out of control, I wouldn’t have had to retaliate.”

Lexa looked up from her book and watched her sister, unsure how the talk was going to go.

“Excuse me?” Clarke replied, her eyes turning icy  

“I’m just saying. It was only meant to be payback.”

Clarke let out a little laugh, “this isn’t really how apologies are supposed to go.”

“Bite me.” Anya growled. She yelped then and reached down to rub at her shin, which Lexa had just kicked. “Look, Skaigada, Tris wanted me to apologize. So I did. I’m not sorry I tried to get you back but I am sorry it almost caused you to have a panic attack.”

“It’s fine Anya. I’m not mad. How were you supposed to know?”

“Seriously. Who’s scared of balloons anyway?” Anya laughed then yelped again. “Stop kicking me!”

“Then go away.” Lexa replied, settling sideways in the seat again.

Anya flipped off her sister and left quickly, leaving Clarke and Lexa alone again. When Lexa seemed content to continue her reading, Clarke went back to her happy drawing place.

Over the next hour or so various friends would stop by for a drink or to nibble on the food in the center of the table. No one stay for more than a few minutes though, they all happily left Clarke sitting with Lexa.

Finally, Lexa closed the book and turned so she was facing Clarke.

“Why won’t you let me help?”

Clarke looked up from her drawing and blinked a few times, freeing herself from her made up world. “Excuse me?”

“With Mount Weather. You won’t let me help. Why?”

“I just don’t think I can. Not until we’ve ended the war. I don’t think the others would be very… accepting of it.”

“And we can’t end the war until the Finn issue is resolved.” Lexa sighed.

“Right. So I know you think you can help but I’m not so sure you should.”

Lexa nodded a few times. “When is the Finn issue going to be resolved? My people are ready for the war to be over with now.”

“You mean your people with the exception of Anya.” Clarke smiled.

“Yeah. But she’s Anya.” Lexa shrugged.

“I promise I’m working on the Finn thing. I just don’t know how to get him to turn himself in.” Clarke said. “I just hope I’ll figure it out soon.”

Lexa sighed and stared at the table. Clarke waited for her to speak, to ask more about Finn and her plans to get him into police custody but nothing came.

“Hey Lexa,” she said after waiting for a while.

“Yeah Clarke?”

“Who is Costia?”

Lexa’s head jerked up. She hadn’t been expecting that question. “She’s my friend.”

“She seemed awfully friendly.” Clarke replied.

“Well that’s because she’s also my ex-girlfriend.” Lexa explained.

“Oh.”

“Is that a problem?”

Clarke’s brows came together, “what? You having an ex?”

“An ex-girlfriend.”

“No Lexa. It isn’t a problem.” Clarke shook her head. “Most people aren’t close to their ex-girlfriends.”

“We were high school sweethearts. Started dating freshman year. Yes, we had ups and downs but we were mostly happy. We got into Polis together. We roomed together. We were head over heels in love.” Lexa said.

“And then you weren’t?” Clarke asked.

“Not really. It wasn’t a sudden thing. I don’t think it ever is.” Lexa explained. “She found out Azgeda Tech had the program she’d always dreamed of completing so she transferred sophomore year. With my full support I might add. Everything was fine for a while. She had to live in the dorms because of their policies. I lived with Anya upstairs. Then one day she came to me and said she thought she might have feelings for someone else. Someone she met in class.”

“Oh Lex, I’m so sorry.” Clarke reached across the table and took hold of her hand.

“It hurt a lot at the time. She wanted to be honest with me. She said she had this connection with him that she hadn’t expected. That she didn’t want to hurt me but she wanted to see what could happen.” Lexa said. “So we broke up. Just before the Thanksgiving. We’d been together for almost exactly five years.”

Clarke squeezed her hand, “I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“It’s fine now. We didn’t have any contact for several months. I got over the hurt. She got over the guilt. We’re friends now. With no benefits by the way.” Lexa shrugged. Before Clarke could say anything she took a deep breath and asked, “what about you? Any bad breakups in your past?”

“Not really. I had a high school boyfriend who goes to West Point. His name is Wells. We grew up together, our parents were friends. You know, stereotypical story of boy next door. Dr. Jaha is his father. There were a few… flings I guess you’d call them before and after him.” Clarke pulled her hand back. Now that they were talking about her she didn’t think Lexa needed comfort. “Then I came to Arkadia and met Finn.”

Lexa stiffened at his name. “Right. I forgot I’d heard you dated him.”

“For three months.” Clarke replied.

“That’s it?”

“Yes. We dated for three months three years ago.”

“Why only three months?”

Clarke snorted and jerked a thumb toward the bar where Raven was working, “his high school sweetheart showed up to surprise him. She’d transferred schools so they could be together.”

“Raven?”

“Yeah. They’d been together for three years. I had no idea she existed and of course she knew nothing about me. We hated each other for a while until we realized we should hate him.”

“You met your boyfriend's other girlfriend and became friends with her?” Lexa laughed.

“I got the better deal. Finn lost both of us and the respect of the Delinquents and I got a best friend.” Clarke shrugged. “We let him hang out with us because we were all he had.”

“So he just let go of both of you?”

Clarke shook her head and laughed, “Oh god no. He thinks he’s in love with me most of the time. Always wants to get back together with me. He doesn’t know that I know he tells Raven the same thing.”

“So he’s desperate.” Lexa giggled.

“He wants love. And Raven and I are familiar to him.” Clarke shrugged.

“He should just move on. Holding on for too long is just sad.”

“I think he’s hoping one of us will change our mind someday. He knows what its like for us to love him and he wants it back. It’s familiar.” Clarke replied.

“It’s sad.”

“What would you do if Costia came to you tomorrow and said she wanted you back?” Clarke asked.

Lexa shook her head, “it’s been years since we were together.”

“It’s been three years for me and Finn. And Raven and Finn.” Clarke pointed out.

“She’s with Roan.” Lexa said. “They’ve been together for a year and a half.  They’re deliriously happy.”

“But if she decided she wanted you back? If she decided Roan wasn’t the one for her and you were?” Clarke pushed. “Would you see it as her being sad and desperate?”

“But she doesn’t.” Lexa argued.

“But if she did.”

Lexa sighed. She ran a hand through her hair and met Clarke’s eyes. “Honestly that’s an easy question to answer. I’d tell her the truth.”

“And what is the truth?”

“I have my eye on someone else.” Lexa smirked. “Someone who apparently likes my eyes on her.”

“Oh?” Clarke quirked a brow. “You’re sure about that?”

“Yes. I’m sure.” Lexa replied.

Clarke started to respond, seeing the gleam in Lexa’s eye made her curious, but Octavia popped up beside the table. “Clarke, we have to go. Monty let Jasper drink vodka.”

Clarke groaned and shook her head, “are you sure its our turn?”

“Yeah. We're on Vodka Jasper babysitting duty.” Octavia sighed. “Hello Lexa.”

“Octavia.” Lexa nodded.

“I’m sorry to break up… whatever this is but we have a Jasper to take care of.” Octavia said. “I’ll meet you outside in five Clarkey.”

Lexa watched Clarke gather her things, as well as Octavia’s scattered belongings, from around the table. She slid out of the seat and offered Clarke a hand to help her stand.

“It was nice talking to you Lexa. Especially about something other than pranks.” Clarke smiled.

“It really was.” Lexa agreed.

“I just have one more question.” Clarke said.

“Okay, what is it?”

“Are you sure whoever you have your eye on is interested?”

“Pretty sure yeah.” Lexa smiled.

Clarke nodded. “Well good luck then.”

Lexa watched her melt into the crowd before she looked back down at the napkin she hadn’t taken with her. Without paying much attention to her doodling, Clarke had perfectly sketched Lexa as she’d looked sprawled out in the seat reading. Lexa smiled and picked up the flimsy paper, slipping it into her pocket and heading to the bar.

 

BoomBoomRae: (12:07a)
Clarkey, why does Lexa think 
I’m a messenger?

Griffster: (12:09a)
What are you talking about
Rae?

BoomBoomRae: (12:10a)
She just came up to the bar 
and asked me to deliver a 
message to you.

Griffster: (12:12a)
Okay, and what is that
message?

BoomBoomRae: (12:15a)
She said “Tell her I think I've
figured out something else she 
has in common with Rosie” and 
then she smirked and walked away.

Chapter Text

Looking after an intoxicated Jasper was not nearly as much fun as having a sober Jasper looking after an intoxicated Clarke. She and Octavia barely managed to wrangle him into a cab to take him back to the apartment he shared with Monty and Finn. Once they arrived, he tried to run away with his keys held over his head because “he wasn’t ready to be done partying” and his friends “never got on his level” so he was going to force them to his level. Instead he was tackled by an angry Octavia and tossed over Clarke’s shoulder. He passed out in bed 20 minutes later. By 3 in the morning Monty had returned, mostly sober, and Clarke was able to make it home to her bed within an hour.

The sun was barely over the horizon when she was greeted by an Octavia who was too happy for 7 A.M. when they’d only been asleep for a few hours.

“Let’s go!” Octavia yanked her blankets back.

“Go where? Back to sleep?” Clarke whined.

“Nope. You need to be quiet, Rae got in late last night.”

“She was home and in bed before we were!” Clarke argued. “Why are you in here?”

Octavia smiled and threw some shorts at her head, “we’re going for a run.”

“No,” Clarke pulled a pillow over her face, “we are not. Go away.”

“You know running helps you clear your head. It’ll help with all the problems you’ve been running into.”

“Go away.”

“Clarkey. Get up!” Octavia grabbed her foot and pulled. “I have news for you. Fun news. News you’ll really like.”

Latching on to the edge of her bed, Clarke kicked out. “So tell me and let me go back to sleep.”

“Not happening. Run first. Then talk. Then coffee.” Octavia replied. “Then home to talk to Raven. Because the three of us really need to sit down and talk.”

After several more minutes of arguing Clarke finally climbed out of bed. She tossed her hair into a haphazard bun and pulled on the clothes O set out for her. She glared at her best friend out of the corner of her eye the entire way to the park.

“That look isn’t going to change anything Clarke. You’re already here. We’re running.” Octavia laughed as they stretched. “Exercise is good for you. Endorphins and all that right?”

“I hate running.”

“Do I need to remind you about the stairs and the cookies again?”

Clarke huffed out a breath and glared harder, “one time! And we were freshmen living in the dorms. Only creepy people used the stairs in the dorms!”

“If we didn’t live in a townhome now, you still wouldn’t use the stairs.”

“A townhome I don’t make you pay rent for.” Clarke reminded her.

O just shrugged her shoulders and started jogging, “I’ve offered. You said no. Same as Raven.”

“What’s the point in owning a townhome that’s been divided into three fancy apartments if I can’t let my friends live with me rent free?”

“Speaking of, when are you going to fill that empty one?” O asked. “Mr. Sforza has been gone for months now. Think of the income you’re missing out on.”

“I’ll get around to posting an ad soon. I just forgot about it.”

That seemed to satisfy Octavia for the moment. They ran through the park, dodging other runners and yelling at the occasional cyclist who seemed to think they owned the path. Clarke was panting and holding her side by the time Octavia decided it was time to take a break.

Once she caught her breath Clarke turned to her friend to find her stretching again. “So what do we need to talk about?”

The smile on Octavia’s face made her wish she’d never asked. She turned away, certain she should just ignore her friend and whatever she had to say.

“I think we should talk about last night.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Clarke shook her head.

“Really? You don’t think that you sitting quietly in a booth with Lexa at a bar is worth talking about? That you were drawing while she was reading, again in a bar, isn’t worth a mention?

Clarke rolled her eyes. “We were talking. Then she wanted to read and I wanted to draw. Not much else to say about all that.”

“What were you talking about?”

“All kinds of things.” Clarke shrugged and headed towards the park exit. “Finn.”

“You told her about Finn?” Octavia grabbed her arm and pulled her to a stop.

“Yes. She told me about her ex-girlfriend. I told her about Finn.”

“That’s totally worth a mention Clarkey!”

“It’s not a big deal.”

Grabbing Clarke’s hand, Octavia started dragging her toward the exit. “It is a big deal. You don’t even like to talk to me and Raven about Finn. Lexa is the same way about her past. Huge deal here.”

“It’s nothing O. Drop it.”

Barely glancing back at her Octavia scoffed, “what about that napkin?”

“What napkin?”

“The one you drew a picture of Lexa on.”

Clarke stopped walking so quickly Octavia almost fell back in to her. “How do you know about that?”

“Because someone told me.”

“I threw it away!”

“No,” Octavia grinned at her, “you didn’t.”

“Yes I did. You came to get me and I got up and…” Clarke’s eyes grew. “Oh no!”

“Oh yes.” Octavia nodded.

Clarke shook off her hand and started pacing. “How could I forget to grab it? She’s going to think I’m so creepy now.”

“No she doesn’t.”

“Of course she does! Who draws other people without asking if its okay?” Clarke ran her hands through her hair. “All I had to do was grab that stupid napkin!”

“Aren’t you going to ask how I know about it?” Octavia asked.

“I’m sure you saw it on the table when you came to get me. Why didn’t you grab it for me?”

Octavia shrugged, “I thought you wanted Lexa to see it.”

“Why would I want that?”

“I thought it was part of your flirting with her.”

“I haven’t been flirting with her!”

“Please. You think I didn’t see you holding her hand last night?”

Clarke shook her head and stormed off. She made it to the park exit before Octavia caught up to her and spun her around again.

“Clarke, ask me how I know about the stupid napkin.”

“How?”

“Lexa took it home.” Octavia grinned.

Turning her head quickly enough she was a little concerned about whiplash, Clarke gasped, “No.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“It’s on her nightstand.” Octavia’s grin grew. She pulled her phone from her sleeve pocket and tapped a few times. Then she turned the screen toward Clarke, letting her see the picture she'd been sent. It clearly showed the napkin Clarke had drawn Lexa on resting on her nightstand. “Maybe your creepy flirting is finally working.”

“Oh god.” Clarke’s head fell back and her eyes closed. “I’m so lame.”

“Ask me what else I know.”

Clarke’s head lifted, one eye cracked open. “You know more?”

“Of course I do. I’m Octavia.”

“What else do you know?”

Octavia grabbed Clarke’s hand and started pulling again. “I know that Lexa may or may not be crushing on you too. She seems to like you lame attempts at flirting.”

“I wasn’t even trying!” Clarke protested.

“Doesn’t matter. Her interest is caught. She’s 82 percent certain you’re bisexual.”

Clarke gaped at her. 82 percent? What did that mean? She struggled against Octavia’s grip and asked, “Why can’t we stand in one place and talk about this? My legs hate me right now.”

“I want coffee.” Octavia responded with a shrug.

Clarke’s eyes narrowed on the back of her friend’s head. “You hate coffee.”

“I prefer hot chocolate but this morning is a coffee morning. It’s a Grounders sort of morning.”

“Octavia…” Clarke’s tone carried a heavy warning in it.

“Just coffee Clarke. You love coffee.”

****

“I don’t know why you thought coming here was a good idea.” Clarke whispered while they waited in line to order.

Grounders was, obviously, a University of Polis friendly establishment. Students from Arkadia, Sky People to those at UP, weren’t necessarily welcome in the coffee shop but they weren’t really discouraged from going there either. Octavia was one of the welcomed exceptions. The owner, a woman named Indra that Clarke had only ever seen in passing, had been the captain of the women’s rugby team at Polis during her time there. She was one of Octavia’s heroes, a fact Octavia tried to downplay whenever Indra was mentioned.

“You’re the one who wants to end the war Clarkey so avoiding places just because they’re associated with Polis needs to stop.” Octavia stared hard at the menu.

“The war isn’t over yet O.” Clarke reminded her.

“I’m aware of that Clarke. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start desensitizing yourself now.”

Knowing her friend was speaking the truth, Clarke could only nod. She allowed herself a few minutes to relax and take in her surroundings. It was a very earthy place. Lots of greens and browns. She liked it, the atmosphere was intimidating but warm. It reminded her of something Clarke couldn’t quite put her finger on.

They were next in line to order when Clarke spotted a picture behind the counter.

“Hey O?”

“Yeah Clarkey?” Octavia responded absentmindedly.

“Any idea why there’s a picture of Lexa behind the counter?”

Octavia’s eyes flew from the menu to the picture to Clarke. “Huh?”

“Why?” Clarke pointed at the photograph.

“Well…” Octavia struggled for a reason.

“Next!” Called the cashier.

The girls quickly placed their orders. They waited in silence, Clarke glaring and Octavia looking anywhere but at her friend, while their drinks were prepared. Clarke glanced at the picture every few seconds to make sure it was there and it was real.

Once they had their drinks in hand Octavia led the way to a small table in a back corner. Tall bookcases on three sides surrounded it, creating a feeling of privacy. They sat and allowed silence to take over. Clarke couldn’t stop herself from glancing back at the picture over and over again.

“Octavia,” A voice cut through their silence like a katana through a watermelon.

Glancing up they found Indra standing over their table with two steaming cups in her hands.

“Indra!” Octavia jumped to her feet, taking the mugs from her hands.

“I was asked to bring those to you.” Indra waved her hand at the table. “Why?”

“Because we’re awesome?” Octavia smiled.

Indra studied her for a second before nodding. “And why is your friend glaring at that picture of my children?”

“She’s anti-photograph.” Octavia replied quickly. “Don’t know why. Maybe it’s because she likes to paint?”

“Oh?” Indra’s eyes assessed Clarke for a long moment. Clarke tried her best not to squirm under the scrutiny. “Are you sure it isn’t because she’s Clarke Griffin and she’s become more… friendly with my niece recently?

Clarke couldn’t stop the blush from rising up her cheeks. Children! Niece? Lexa? Indra was Lexa’s aunt?

“That could also be a reason,” Octavia grinned cheekily.

“I see.” Indra sniffed. She turned to leave but glanced at Octavia first. “I’ve got my eye on you Strikgona.”

“I expect nothing less.” Octavia replied easily.

Clarke stared after the woman as she walked away. “That’s Lexa’s mother?”

“Yes.” Octavia said.

“And you didn’t think to warn me?” Clarke hissed.

Octavia looked confused, “why would I warn you about Indra?”

“I look terrible!”

“For someone who was just claiming a half an hour ago that you weren’t flirting, you sure are freaking out.” Octavia’s smile was one of the biggest Clarke had ever seen.

“I hate you.”

“You’re incapable of hating anyone right now, especially me. Those endorphins are still flowing from our run.” Octavia replied before taking a sip of her fresh hot chocolate.

Sitting back in her chair, Clarke crossed her arms over her chest and glowered. She’d walked right into a trap and hadn’t seen any of the signs at all. Octavia looked too pleased with herself.

“There’s more isn’t there?” She asked.

“More coffee? Yes. It’s sitting right in front of you.”

“No. There’s more reasons you brought me here this morning.” Clarke said. “You got me up after only managing to get three hours of sleep and now we're sitting in a coffee shop looking like crap at…” Clarke glanced around for a clock, “8:49 in the morning because you have something planned.”

Once again, Octavia wouldn’t meet her eye.

“What did you – ” Clarke started to ask.

Of course a voice interrupted her. A man’s voice carried above the din inside the shop, “Octavia!”

Clarke looked over her best friend’s shoulder to see Lincoln making his way toward their table. He was carrying two plates of steaming food. Just behind him was Lexa, another two plates in her hands. Clarke couldn’t stop herself from taking in Lexa and her attire. A too big black and green UP hoodie with a slight tear in one of the pocket seams and a slightly larger tear in the neck wear the ends of the hood came together and black basketball shorts.

After appreciating how easy a casually dressed Lexa was to look at Clarke leaned over the table and hissed, “Octavia Marie Blake! What did you do?”

“I helped?”

Clarke shook her head and schooled her features into a small smile because she knew Lexa could see her. She growled through her clenched teeth, “I’m going to kill you.”

Chapter Text

“Hey girls!” Lincoln greeted at he set the plates on the table. One went in front of Octavia and the other in front of an empty chair he then slid into. “How’s it going?”

“Great now.” Octavia smiled.

Lexa slid a plate in front of Clarke before lowering herself into the remaining seat. She glanced over at Clarke and spoke softly, “Hello.”

“Good morning.” Clarke replied, trying to keep her annoyance with Octavia out of her voice.

“You sure about that? Because you don’t sound sure.” Lincoln laughed.

“I’m not really a morning person.” Clarke admitted.

“She’s mad because I made her run with me this morning.” Octavia added.

“Are you sure she isn’t mad because you surprised her with my presence?” Lexa asked quietly.

“No!” Clarke replied quickly, resting a hand on Lexa’s forearm. She was mad at Octavia but she didn’t want Lexa to think it was because of her.

“Pretty sure.” Octavia smiled. “The ham and cheese omelet you just brought her doesn’t hurt either.”

Just then, Anya appeared out of nowhere. There was a grimace on her face as she spoke. “This is gross. You all need to stop smiling like that.”

“If you don’t like it, you could always go away.” Lincoln replied.

“I just wanted to remind you we need to be to the hospital at 1 to pick up Tris.” Anya shot back.

“We know.” Lexa assured her. “We’ll be there.”

Anya turned to leave, stopping and glancing back when Clarke called out to her.

“Are you having fun messing with Raven?” Clarke asked.

Anya’s grimace turned into a full-blown smile. It transformed her face really, it was the first time Clarke realized how breathtaking Anya was. Then Anya spoke, “you have no idea Griffin.”

“I don’t like it when you smile like that.” Clarke shivered. “It’s creepy.”

“Seriously. It puts you right above ‘clown’ on my list of scary things to avoid.” Octavia nodded.

Anya just shrugged and walked away, leaving the quartet to finish their breakfast in peace. Except Lincoln and Octavia were practically inhaling their food. Octavia was still chewing when she nods and accepts Lincoln’s offer to walk her home.

Clarke can only stare incredulously when Octavia chugs her still steaming cup of hot chocolate and stands up. With little more than an absentminded wave Clarke is left alone with Lexa.

“So…” She said, not wanted to seem as uneasy as she felt.

“So?” Lexa repeated before taking a bite of her omelet and chewing carefully.

“You’re up early.”

“So are you.”

“Octavia made me run.” Clarke’s tone took on a little bit of a whiny edge.

Lexa’s brows rose slightly. She cut off another piece of omelet and glanced at Clarke. “She made you?”

“Yes. Made me.” Clarke nodded as she watched Lexa spear the bite of food and raised her fork to her mouth.

“How exactly did she manage that?” Lexa asked after she finished chewing.

“She’s mean.”

“Octavia is mean?” Lexa laughed. “She’s a puppy.”

“She’s a bull mastiff puppy.”

“Chihuahua.”

“Wolfhound.” Clarke grinned like a fool and shook her head, “I’m telling you, she practically dragged me out of bed this morning.”

“I think you’re exaggerating.”

Clarke scoffed and waved a hand over her head and down her body, highlighting her messy bun hair, AC hoodie and running shorts, “as if you couldn’t tell how quickly I got dressed this morning.”

“I think you look nice.” Lexa shrugged. When she glanced at Clarke over the rim of her mug she almost spit out the sip of coffee she’d just taken. She was staring at her, wide-eyed and unblinking. “You look like an owl when you do that.”

“I do not.”

“You don’t look nice or you don’t look like an owl?”

“Either.”

“The first part is true. Although I think your attire tells me that Octavia didn’t mention I’d be here. The second part isn’t anymore. Now you look like a pissed off lioness.” Lexa gently returned her mug to the table. “Like you had a gazelle in your jaws but it managed to get away.”

Clarke sat back with a huff, “I can’t compare you to any animals right now. This isn’t a fair conversation.”

“No? You can’t think of a single animal comparison?”

“If I felt like being a jerk I’d say maybe a raccoon. I just don’t think we should go there.” Clarke shrugged.

“And why do you think I look like a raccoon?”

Without stopping to think about her actions, Clarke reached out and traced the dark circles under Lexa’s eyes with her fingertips. “You look tired. You’ve got some serious circles here, they're almost dark enough to form a mask. Like an exhausted raccoon.”

“I am tired.” Lexa replied quietly, forcing herself to keep her eyes on Clarke’s.

“I know. That’s why I didn’t want to say anything.” Clarke spoke even more quietly.

“It’s okay Clarke.” Lexa fought to keep her hands down. She wanted, more than anything, to trap Clarke’s hand against her cheek. She couldn’t stop herself from leaning into the touch a little bit though.

“It isn’t though.” As if she read Lexa’s mind, Clarke cupped her cheek for a moment before dropping her hand. “Not when I know I’m partially responsible for your lack of sleep.”

“More than partially.” Lexa snorted.

Clarke stiffened. She dropped her eyes to her plate and started pushing her half eaten omelet around. She sounded miserable when she spoke again, “I can’t keep apologizing for what happened to Tris.”

“That isn’t what I meant!” Lexa shook her head rapidly. She reached for Clarke’s hand, trying not to frown too much when it moved away from her advance and wrapped the coffee mug in front of her.

“I know she was seriously hurt and all but I didn’t know…”

“Clarke…”

“And I’ve tried my best to punish those involved.”

“I know that Clarke.” Lexa replied.

“I’m sorry you’ve lost sleep because of my friends but it isn’t fair to blame me for all of it.”

“Clarke!” It was Lexa’s turn to take Clarke’s face in her hands. “Stop talking.”

“I really am sorry.” Clarke said quietly.

“I know Skaiprisa, I know.” Lexa whispered. Clarke started to say something else but Lexa shook her head and held a finger to her lips. “I was joking Clarke. I should have known you’d think I was talking about my sister but it was just a joke.”

“Joking?” Clarke spoke around her finger.

“I meant I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night because I was up thinking about our conversation at the pub. And then I was thinking about our… situation.”

Clarke blinked a few times, reminding Lexa of an owl again. A deep blush crept up her over her cheeks. “Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh.” Lexa dropped her hands to the table. “You don’t need to apologize for what happened to Tris anymore. Not ever.”

“You were up thinking about me?”

“Yes. Almost until the sun was rising.”

Nodding and smiling, ignoring the blush still heating her face and her too fast heartbeat, Clarke slowly reached for Lexa’s hand. She turned it palm up and began tracing the lines with her fingertip.

Fighting the shiver that raced up her spine, Lexa grinned at the woman sitting next to her. “I really like that drawing by the way.”

“O mentioned that.” Clarke replied softly. She glanced up fora moment before returning her gaze to Lexa's hand and added, "we have a picture to prove it."

“Seems like O had a productive morning.” Lexa grinned at the shy smile on the blonde's face. "And maybe I have to add someone to my list. I've been betrayed in my own home!"

Clarke’s smile grew. She lifted her eyes until blue met green. She studied them for a moment before looking back down at Lexa’s hand. “She mentioned something else too.”

“Really? What else did O have to say?”

“That you’re 82 percent certain I’m bisexual.” Clarke giggled when Lexa’s hand jerked in hers.

Lexa almost swallowed her tongue. How did Octavia know about that? “Did she?”

“Yes.”

“Well she’s wrong.”

“Was she?”

“I’m a solid 91 percent certain now.” Lexa smirked when blue met green again. She closed her fingers around Clarke’s. “Apparently Octavia needs to do a better job keeping up.”

“Only 91 percent?”

“Yeah. I’m not totally convinced yet.”

“Interesting.” Clarke withdrew her hand and winked at Lexa. “I’ll let her know she was wrong.”

The two grinning women stared at each other for several long moments, content in the silence now. The unspoken words were almost more exhilarating than the ones they’d said already. A ding from Lexa’s pocket snapped them out of it.

“Its just Anya.” Lexa said after she dug her phone free. With a quick apology she tapped the screen a few times.

Clarke watched with amusement as Lexa’s face grew red. She couldn’t stop herself from leaning toward her and asking, “what’d she want? Is everything okay?”

“Indra told her we’re being gross. She even sent a picture of us.” Lexa replied without thinking. When she realized she’d answered truthfully, instead of coming up with a quick little white lie, she blanched.

“So Anya gets that from your mother then. Good to know.” Clarke laughed.

“Yes. They’re too alike sometimes.” Lexa relaxed a little. “She also wanted to remind me we’re due to pick up Tris in a couple of hours.”

“A couple of hours?” Clarke echoed. “What time is it?”

“10:42.”

“We’ve been here for two hours?”

“Almost.” Lexa nodded.

Time had flown. Even the silent parts had passed quickly.

“So how is Tris then?” Clarke asked, suddenly reminded again the younger woman was almost free from the hospital.

“She’s excited to be coming home. Mostly so she can eat whatever she wants I think. She’s not excited about the stairs though.” Lexa replied. She slipped her phone into the pocket of her hoodie and settled her elbows on the table. Leaning on her fist she studied Clarke’s face closely, mostly because she could. “Mom offered her old room to her but Tris wants to ‘be an adult’ and manage on her own. Even if that means she really has to depend on us.”

A crazy idea popped into Clarke’s head. She tried to shove it away. She tried to tell herself it was crazy and Lexa would definitely think she was creepy if she allowed the words to pass through her lips. She’d go from flirting to fleeing faster than the blink of an eye! Seconds after Clarke told herself to keep quiet she found herself speaking.

“What if I told you I know of a place with a quarter of the stairs? A place Tris could stay while she recovers?”

“Excuse me?”

“I mean…” Clarke’s eyes were bigger than saucers.

“Where? How much?” Lexa straightened in her chair. “We can’t afford much because we have to pay for the place above Tondisi but maybe we could swing it. Especially if Tris would be more comfortable. Most short term rentals are creepy and gross.”

“It’s actually really nice. Fully furnished too. It was completely renovated just over a year ago.” Clarke replied.

“Where?” Lexa asked again. She knew Clarke was getting nervous. She could see it in her eyes.

Clarke sighed. She closed her eyes and rubbed them hard. She was almost convinced was asleep and her dream was turning into a nightmare. She couldn’t believe she was going through with her explanation. “It’s actually the basement apartment of my townhouse.”

“Pardon?”

“Yeah. The last tenant has been gone for months. It’s still really clean though. There’s a cleaning lady who comes twice a week to maintain everything.” Clarke explained.

Lexa gawked at her, this was an unexpected turn in the conversation. Thinking quickly to come up with an appropriate question she asked, “can I trust the landlord?”

Clarke finally opened her eyes and glanced at Lexa quickly, “well seeing as its me, I think you’d have to answer that for yourself.”

“You’re the landlord? Of a townhouse?”

‘It was a pet project my dad and I started when I was in high school.” Clarke replied. “He knew I’d end up at either Polis or Arkadia and he wanted me to have a nice place to live where I didn’t have to worry about annoying stranger roommates or creepy dorm guys following me into the showers. I just finished the work on the basement last year. O, Raven, and I have been living on the main floor for a couple of years. A single mother name Paige and her twins, Aura and Atom, have lived in the upstairs unit for a couple of years too.”

“You finished the work?”

“Are you just going to keep repeating things back to me?”

“I just didn’t realize you’re so handy.”

Clarke offered her a small smile, “you don’t know me all that well.”

“Only because you keep insisting I have to buy you dinner if I want to get to know you.” Lexa smirked. “Turns out breakfast works too.”

“Are you saying I’m a cheap date?”

“I’m saying food is the way to go to get information out of you.” Lexa replied. “So you did some of the work?”

“O and Rae helped a lot. We did the drywall and floors and tiling. The day we put in the countertops was a nightmare and hilarious at the same time. It’s all very fancy.” Clarke said. She smiled at the memories of a whining Raven and a determined Octavia. They hadn’t counted on the granite being as heavy as it was. They’d had to call Bellamy and his friends to come over to help move the stone around. Thankfully they’d only had to give the guys some beer for their work. When she caught Lexa studying her Clarke cleared her throat and said, “my dad was an engineer but he also worked as an architect. O and I worked construction through high school on his friend's sites so we know what we’re doing. I even had my dad’s contractor friend check our work before we moved in.”

“Was?” Of course that was the word Lexa caught. “Has he retired?”

“No.” Clarke replied. She braced herself for the sad looks and pity she knew were coming. “My dad died when I was a junior in high school.”

Lexa took her hand in hers. “I’m sorry Clarke.”

“You didn’t know. And I refuse to be sad about it. Dad wouldn’t have wanted me to be sad when I think about him. I choose remember him being goofy and joking around and dancing me around our living room while we listened to his old records. I hate that he’s gone but he left me with plenty of good memories.”

Lexa squeezed her hand before withdrawing. “So your dad left you a townhouse with an apartment in the basement and now you’re offering it to my little sister real cheap?”

“I’m offering it to her for free while she recovers from a prank my friends pulled.” Clarke corrected her.

“She won’t do free.”

“I’m sure we’ll work out some kind of deal. Maybe I’ll just make her agree to have a history related discussion with me every week or something. Raven would love that. She hates my history talks.” Clarke said. “O and Rae pay for utilities and cable and that kind of stuff. Paige’s rent covers the taxes and upkeep. I don’t need anything from Tris.”

“Still Clarke,” Lexa said quietly.

“It’s the least I can do Lex. And it’s only for a month or two. There are only like seven stairs to get up and down instead of thirty.”

“That would make it easier for her.”

Clarke nodded enthusiastically, “exactly. And it’s a fully furnished two bedroom two and a half bath apartment. There’s plenty of space. It’s close to Polis too. I’m sure between me, Rae, and O we can get her wherever she needs to go.”

Lexa shook her head at that, “No. If she agrees to move in then I’m moving with her.”

“What?” Clarke hadn’t thought of that.

“You guys shouldn’t have to babysit her. Plus Tris and I made sure to have essentially the same schedule so I could give her rides.” Lexa explained. “It’d be nice to get away from the pub too.”

“Right.” Clarke’s brain was going haywire. Lexa was actually talking about moving into her basement. Clarke knew she could handle short burst of flirting, of seeing Lexa and sort of keeping her cool. How would she handle Lexa being around almost daily?

“Unless my moving in temporarily would be an issue?” Lexa’s voice cut into her freak out.

“No! Of course not!” Clarke replied too loudly. “You’re more than welcome too.”

Lexa grinned, “okay then. I’ll talk to Tris and see what she says.”

“Just let me know.”

“Of course.” Lexa took her hands again. “This is very good of you. And for the record, I don’t mind discussing history.”

“It’s the least I can do.” Clarke replied.

“It is beyond what anyone could ever expect from you Skaiprisa.”

“What is with you and your sister calling me things I don’t understand?”

“Being bilingual has its perks.” Lexa shrugged.

“You’ll tell me eventually.”

“Maybe.”

“Say something else in whatever language that is.” Clarke said softly.

“It is Trigedasleng. Tris and I are members of the Kru.” Lexa explained. “Our bioparents were Trikru.”

Clarke giggled, “I get it. Tri, woods.”

“Yeah. Indra is Trikru too. She’s my mother’s cousin actually.”

“So say something else in… your language.”

Yu laik meizen.”

“What’s that mean?”

“I’ll tell you someday.” Lexa shrugged. Another ding drew her attention to her phone. “Anya again. I’ve got to head out. I have to shower and all that so we can go get Tris.”

Clarke stood and nodded. “I’ve got to get home to talk to Raven and O. Let them know we may have new downstairs neighbors soon.”

“And to tell Octavia she was wrong. Don’t forget that part. It’s important.”

“Wrong about what?”

“82 percent.” Lexa replied.

“Right.” Clarke laughed. “You said you’re at 91 percent now?”

“Oh no. I’m up to a solid 94 percent now. Keep up Clarke.”

Lexa took her hand and led her through the crowd that was gathering for lunch. She called a goodbye to Indra without stopping to see if it was returned. Clarke caught sight of a smirking Indra out of the corner of her eye. Once outside the coffee shop Lexa dropped her hand. Then she shoved hers in the pocket of her hoodie.

“So I guess I’ll contact you soon.” She said. “Probably in a few hours actually.”

“Sounds good.” Clarke replied. She fought the urge to reach out and play with the edges of the pocket that hid Lexa’s hands from her.

“Right.” Lexa smiled.

After a moment Clarke decided she needed to actually say goodbye if they were going to move any time soon. Lexa seemed content to just stand and stare at her.

“Tell Tris I said hello. And make sure you tell her you’ve figured out another thing I have in common with Rosie.” Clarke said.

Before she could stop herself she stepped forward threw her arms around Lexa’s neck, wrapping her in a tight hug. She grinned like a fool when she felt Lexa fight to free her hands from her pocket so she could hug her back. Lexa’s arms around her waist felt good. Almost natural. Clarke leaned back in Lexa’s embrace.

“So I guess I’ll see you later.” She whispered.

Lexa nodded and slowly let her arms fall.

Clarke saw the reluctance on her face. She winked and slowly leaned in, placing a kiss to her cheek just a little too close to her lips to be considered friendly. She pulled away quickly and started walking toward home when Lexa yelled her name.

“Yeah?” She called back.

“Tell Octavia I’m at 96 percent now.” Lexa smirked.

Clarke nodded and offered a goofy grin in response. She waited until Lexa turned away, heading toward Tondisi a few blocks away. Once she was sure Lexa was done looking back at her, Clarke allowed herself to throw out a fist pump followed by a little victory dance on the sidewalk.

“I saw that!” Lexa yelled.

Laughing and waving, Clarke watched her melt into the crowd. She turned toward home again and pulled out her phone.

 

Griffster: (11:40a)
I either just made the best
decision of my life or the
worst mistake!

O’Goddess: (11:41a)
Explain?

BoomBoomRae: (11:41a)
Those are always fun situations.

Griffster: (11:42a)
I’ll be home in 10. I’ll
explain then!

Chapter Text

“Did you just say you told Lexa she and Tris can move in downstairs?” Raven’s jaw dropped.

“I couldn’t stop myself! I tried! She was being all sweet and stuff, worrying about Tris and how she was going to handle living above Tondisi. My brain just turned off. Or pulled a mutiny.” Clarke defended weakly. “You should have seen how worried she was about Tris having to get up and down those stairs.”

“Somehow I don’t think it would have effected me the same way.” Raven shook her head. “She was being a good big sister so your natural reaction was to tell her they can live rent free in the apartment your father helped build?”

“She was very kind when I told her about Dad.” Clarke replied quietly.

“You told her about Papa G?” Octavia asked.

Clarke nodded. She was sitting sideways on the couch, leaning back against the arm. Raven was on the opposite side, mirroring her position. Octavia occupied the chair next to Raven. Clarke stretched her legs out and nudged Raven with her feet.

“I didn’t tell her all about him. Just that he helped with this place. And that he’s dead.” Clarke explained.

Raven swatted at Clarke’s feet, “You really don’t waste time do you?”

“She’s different. She’s really not at all what any of us was expecting out of Heda. I’ve never had a crush like this before. I feel like when I talk to her she actually cares about what I’m saying.”

“I care about what you say!” Raven argued.

“I don’t have a crush on you though. It isn’t the same.” Clarke smiled and nudged her again.

“Go back to the whole Tris and Lexa moving in here thing!” Octavia interrupted their teasing.

“She said she wants to talk to Tris about it. She’ll let me know what they decide.”

Raven sat up quickly and grabbed Clarke’s arm, “did you give her your number?”

Clarke blanched, “no! Oh no!”

“It’s fine Clarkey.” Octavia laughed. “She knows how to get in touch with you. She knows Trina has your number.”

“Yeah.” Raven nodded, releasing Clarke’s arm and leaning back again. “Or she could have Lincoln text O.”

“Exactly.” Octavia agree. Her smile dropped then, “wait. What?”

“Did you really think we didn’t know?” Raven wiggled her brows.

“How long?” Octavia whispered, her throat had gone dry.

“Since the beginning.” Clarke shrugged. “I was there when you met him this summer.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you knew?”

“Why didn’t you just tell us about him?” Clarke shot back.

Octavia looked from one friend to the other. She thought they’d only suspected her. She had no idea their full on knew about her relationship with Lincoln.

“I guess it makes sense that she wouldn’t tell me. I’ve only been semi-okay with Polis for a week or so.” Raven said.

“But I’d have been okay with it. Why didn’t you tell me?” Clarke asked.

Octavia snorted out a laughed, “we all know you can’t keep a secret from Rae.”

Clarke would have liked to defend herself from that accusation but it was true. She could last maybe a day or two without telling Raven something exciting, she’d never have been able to make it almost seven months. Especially since the holidays were coming up. She’d have spilled O’s secrets as soon as Raven mentioned presents.

“None of that matters. Back to Clarke.” Octavia shook her head and pointed at the blonde.

“Okay, but seriously O, we’re happy for you.” Raven said.

“Thanks. And now I can actually introduce you to him. You’ll love him.” Octavia grinned.

“We totally will.” Raven agreed. “Now then Clarkey. You can’t flirt with a girl, invite her to literally move into your home, and sort of kiss her then not give her your number. That’s lame.”

“So lame.” Octavia shook her head.

“I’ve just never needed to get in contact with her desperately enough to need her number. Every time I’ve felt like I really needed to talk to her she’s just been there.” Clarke shrugged.

Octavia held up her phone and gave it a shake. “I can have Linc give her your number.”

“No. If she wants my number I’ll give it to her the next time I see her.” Clarke replied. She shifted lower in her seat, she didn’t want to force her way into Lexa’s phone. “I don’t want her to feel like she have to contact me.”

“I think she wants to contact you. In more ways than one.” Raven laughed.

“Shut up Reyes.” Clarke groaned. She grabbed a throw pillow and held it over her face. If her friends saw her blush, the teasing would only get worse.

She shouldn’t have bothered trying. A rousing round of harass-Clarke-about-her-love-life followed. It even included an overly embarrassing FaceTime call to her mother. That wouldn’t have been so bad if Abby hadn’t immediately carried her iPad into Tris’s hospital room so the girl could say hello. Clarke was able to catch a quick glimpse of a cleaned up Lexa before the device was handed to Tris. The quick smirk and wink sent Clarke’s way made her blush again.

After a quick hello and a quicker goodbye, Clarke slammed her thumb down on the red end call icon. Of course she didn’t end the call quickly enough since Lexa managed an off camera mention of Rose and Rosie.

“Why did Lexa mention YouTubers?” Raven asked.

“I made a joke about having more than one thing in common with Rosie when I introduced Tris to their videos. She told Lexa.” Clarke replied, grabbing the pillow again to hide her blush. “They decided to figure out what I meant.”

“What did you mean?” Octavia questioned.

“Well I don’t know! It was a joke. Tris could tell I was upset about that email from Mount Weather and I wanted her to relax before I left. I didn’t want her worrying over me.”

“You’re blonde. You’re bisexual. You love brunettes.” Raven ticked off her reasons with her fingers. She grabbed the pillow and pulled it away from her face. “It wasn’t that hard to figure out.”

Clarke laughed, “well yeah, if you know me that’s true.”

“Has Lexa figured the reasons out yet?” Raven asked.

“Obviously the first part yes. And O, she said she’s not at 82 percent anymore. She’s at 96 percent now.”

When the girls giggled at that Raven looked between them confused. “96 percent what? Lesbian? You caused her to upgrade?”

“No. That’s how sure she is that I’m bi.” Clarke giggled some more. “And I have no idea if she’s figured out the last part yet. I hope she has though.”

Of course more teasing followed that comment. Raven even threatened to FaceTime Abby again so she could confirm Lexa’s theories. It took a threat of talking to Anya to get her to stop.

“Speaking of threats though, what are you going to do about MWC?” Octavia asked.

“No idea. I told Jaha about it. I’m hoping he and the board can get them to back off.” Clarke replied.

Raven scooted over so she was between Clarke and the back of the couch. She wrapped her arms around her friend and held tightly. “It’ll be fine Clarkey. You’ve got copies of all your notes and papers since freshman year Clarke. Organized by year and class. They have nothing. Plus, you know, we all know you didn’t do it.”

“And no one can cheat on the MCATs. That could be disproven pretty quickly.” Octavia moved so she was sitting on the coffee table in front of Clarke.

“What about the proof they say they have against you guys?” Clarke turned her head to look back at Raven. “You, Jasper, Monty, and Finn I mean.”

“The board knows all about it. Polis knows. The police know. We’ve been punished.” Raven shrugged. “Who else could they tell?”

That made sense. Mount Weather really had no ammunition against them. Empty threats were still scary sometimes though.

Clarke sighed and pressed her face into the cushion under her head. “I just want all of this to be over with now.”

“So you can just make out with Heda in peace?” Raven squeezed her a little tighter. “I totally get that.”

“I hate you.” Clarke wriggled, trying to escape her grip.

“Not true! You love me!” Raven argued. When her friend just shrugged in response she huffed out a breath, “well I hate you too then.”

“What about the truce Clarke?” Octavia questioned.

“Finn has to turn himself in. I don’t know how we’ll make that happen.” Clarke replied. She shifted out of Raven’s arms then and sat up. She had come up with, and then dismissed, several ideas for getting through to Finn. She really had no idea what to do.

Knowing Finn, he’d never agree to turn himself in. He didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. If he hadn’t done anything wrong, why talk to the police? Not that it mattered now. Monty had told Clarke the previous night before she left his apartment that Finn was seriously injured. The boy couldn’t stop getting hurt because he kept trying to get out of bed to get to Clarke.

“I just can’t help but think this is my fault. At least partially.” Raven’s quiet confession cut through her fogged up thoughts.

“How?” Octavia asked. “All you did was change universities to be closer to your boyfriend.”

“You may have lost your boyfriend but you gained us.” Clarke added.

“Can we ignore the truce talks? And just try to get Finn to see the light?” Raven seemed to be thinking out loud.

“No Raven. What happened with the ambulance wasn’t an accident. Maybe the drink thing wasn't meant to be as bad as what it was but hitting the ambulance... he wanted to hurt Tris.” Clarke replied.

“He didn’t mean it though. He thought he was helping.” She defended.

Octavia glared at Raven, she didn’t like where she was taking the conversation. “It wasn’t a prank Rae. He hurt her. And those EMTs. That isn’t a prank. It’s assault.”

“I don’t think we can take this one back Raven.” Clarke said. “I’m sorry but this one is out of our hands. But I don’t know how we’ll get him to turn himself in.”

Raven nodded a few times, “I’ve got it. I’ll take care of it.”

“You don’t have to do this on your own. We’ll help.” Octavia argued.

“No, I’ve got this. He’ll talk to me.” Raven stood and stretched. “I’m going to go and talk to the police. I need to see what they need to hear from him.”

Clarke shook her head and reached out to take her hand, when Raven resisted she stood and wrapped her in a tight hug. “you don’t have to do this alone Raven.”

“I know. But he’ll talk to me. If I can help, I want to do something.”

“Let us know if you need us?” Octavia asked as she joined the hug.

“Of course.” Raven replied before pulling away. “I’m going to get ready now. I’ll stop by the police station before work.”

“You’re working again tonight?” Octavia brightened at the news. Raven working meant she could convince Lincoln to meet her at Tondisi. And that meant she could introduce him to Clarke and Raven as her boyfriend.

“Yes O. I’m working 6 o’clock to closing.” Raven replied as she headed to her room. She disappeared inside only to pop her head back out a moment later. “Are you going to be there?”

“I think so.” Clarke replied. She watched Octavia nod enthusiastically. “O agrees. We’ll text when we’re on our way. Maybe our table with be free this time.”

“I’ll handle that. No worries friend.” Raven said before she shut her door.

A half an hour later Raven was on her way to speak to the police. Clarke and Octavia promised to meet her at Tondisi later for drinks and gossip.

As soon as the door shut behind her Clarke turned to Octavia, “I don’t like that Rae is going to try to handle this on her own.”

“You know she’ll be able to get through to him Clarkey. If you try he’ll just rant about getting you back.”

“I just want her to be okay. And I think Finn being crazy is effecting her more than she’s letting on.”

“Then why try for the truce at all? Why not go around Lexa and deal with the administration?” Octavia asked.

“Because Lexa is the only one who actually seems to want to help.”

****

BoomBoomRae: (5:16p)
I’m going to kill her!

O’Goddess: (5:16p)
Clarify?

BoomBoomRae: (5:17p)
Anya

Griffster: (5:17p)
Why?

BoomBoomRae: (5:19p)
How the hell does someone
break into a car that is parked
at the POLICE STATION?

O’Goddess: (5:20p)
Say what now?

BoomBoomRae: (5:21p)
Yeah.

BoomBoomRae: (5:22p)
You read that right.

BoomBoomRae: (5:23p)
I go into the police station to
talk to a detective. She tells
me what I need to do. I go
back outside. I was minding
my own business and then…
BOOM!

Griffster: (5:25p)
Boom?

Griffster: (5:25p)
What do you mean BOOM?!

O’Goddess: (5:25p)
What boomed?!

BoomBoomRae: (5:26p)
My car!

Griffster: (5:27p)
Your car exploded?! Are you 
okay?!

BoomBoomRae: (5:28p)
My car is fine. I’m fine.

O’Goddess: (5:30p)
Then what went boom?

BoomBoomRae: (5:31p)
She rigged my door with
poppers!

BoomBoomRae: (5:32p)
Like the ones we use on
New Years.

BoomBoomRae: (5:33p)
I counted 9 of them rigged
up around my driver side
door!

Griffster: (5:33p)
LMAO

Griffster: (5:33p)
That’s fantastic!

O’Goddess: (5:34p)
And by that she means, are
you sure you’re okay?

BoomBoomRae: (5:35p)
Screw you Griffin!

BoomBoomRae: (5:35p)
I’m fine O. I have a scrape on
my knee from hitting the deck
but otherwise I’m good.

BoomBoomRae: (5:36p)
And since you were nice
enough to ask, you get 2
drinks on me tonight.

Griffster: (5:37p)
Hey! She was laughing too!
She just didn’t let you know

she was laughing.

Griffster: (5:38p)
I thought you value honesty?

BoomBoomRae: (5:40p)
I just thought I was getting
blown up Griffin. She may
have laughed but she also
asked if I was okay.

Griffster: (5:41p)
I have too much confidence 
in your ability to make things 
go boom to worry about 
poppers getting the better of 
you Raven Reyes.

BoomBoomRae: (5:43p)

BoomBoomRae: (5:43p)
You get 1 drink on me tonight 
Clarkey. Only because you know
how to boost my ego.

Chapter Text

Clarke and Octavia didn’t make their appearance at Tondisi until just after nine o’clock that night. They’d started to binge one of their favorite shows on Netflix and lost track of time. Only Raven’s incessant texting was able to break them out of their media daze.

“Hey! Our booth is free!” Octavia grabbed Clarke’s arm and pulled her through the crowd.

“How could you even know that? You can’t see over all these giants.” Clarke followed her willingly, mostly because she knew Octavia would just drag her along if she resisted. “And I don’t know why you’re surprised about the booth. Rae promised to make sure it was open.”

“I didn’t think she’d remember. What with the ‘boom’ and all.”

With their hands linked the pair ducked and dodged their way over to their booth. It was only once they broke through the mass of bodies that they realized it wasn’t empty. Lexa was tucked into the corner of the seat, her back propped against the wall and her feet up on the seat. She had a book open and resting on her knee, a half finished drink sitting on the table near her elbow.

“You’re at my table again.” Clarke said just loud enough to be heard over the music. “That’s twice in one day.”

“Hello Clarke.” Lexa smiled as she looked up from her book. She looked to Octavia for a second before turning her eyes back to Clarke. “I was hoping you were expecting me this time. Judging by the expression on your face, I shouldn’t have held out hope for that.”

“Of course O didn’t tell me.” Clarke said. She slid into the seat across from Lexa.

“I told you we were meeting Lincoln here.” Octavia protested.

“Lexa is not Lincoln.” Clarke pointed out.

Octavia shrugged before craning her neck in a vain attempt to see over the crowd. “I knew she’d be here once she found out you’d be around. No my fault you’re dense.”

“I heard that!” Clarke glared up at her friend.

“You were meant to.” Octavia shot back as she turned to smile cheekily.

“Lincoln is upstairs with Tris. It’s time for her sleep meds.” Lexa cut in before Clarke could snark back. When Clarke offered her a smile in thanks Lexa shrugged. Then she smirked and held a pen out to her. Clarke positively grinned as she accepted it. “I’m sure he’d be more than happy to see you. Up there. Away from us.”

“I want to introduce him to Clarke.” Octavia glanced toward the exit that led to the stairs even as she pouted.

Clarke rolled her eyes. “O, I already know Lincoln.”

“I know. But you know Lincoln the Grounder not Lincoln my boyfriend.” She replied.

“I guess that’s true. So go find him. I’ll wait here.” Clarke said.

As if that was what she’d been waiting to here, Octavia took off through the crowd once more. She was there one second and gone the next.

“Well that took a lot of convincing.” Lexa laughed.

“She really likes your brother.” Clarke said softly.

“Good. Because he really likes her too.” The smirk that Clarke had grown used to seeing on Lexa’s face turned softer at the mention of her brother. Then her expression turned to a scared puppy as she jumped and started patting at her jacket. Pulling her phone from the inside pocket she glanced at the text before asking, “Would you like a drink? Anya is being weirdly helpful tonight.”

“Anya sent you a text asking if I wanted a drink?”

“It says ‘tell Blondie I’m making her a drink. I know she likes them strong like she likes –’” Lexa stopped reading when she realized what the rest of the message said. She cleared her throat and returned her phone to her pocket. “She’ll be here in a few minutes.”

“That is oddly nice. Not really what I’ve come to expect from Anya.” Clarke grinned at the blush rising up Lexa’s neck and cheeks.

“I like helping sometimes.” Anya popped up next to the table. She wiggled the glass in her hand in front of Clarke. “Want me to take it back?”

“No. I like alcohol.” Clarke reached for the glass quickly.

Lexa started to say something to Anya about getting a fresh beer but her words were drowned out by a series of screams and shouts. She caught the flash of a grin on her sister’s face before she looked toward the commotion. Clarke climbed up on her seat so she could see over the crowd.

“It’s Raven!” Clarke gasped when she spotted her friend moving frantically behind the bar.

“What’s Raven?” Lexa asked as she jumped up on her seat.

“The shouting.” Clarke scrambled over the table to exit the booth since Anya was blocking the end of her seat. She took off toward the bar without realizing Lexa was right behind her. Lexa grabbed her hand and gently pulled until Clarke was behind her. Then she started walking through the crowd. It was like following Moses through the Red Sea. People just stepped aside for her.

When they got to the bar Clarke hopped over and grabbed her still shouting friend by her shoulders, “Raven!”

“Clarke! Make it stop!” Raven yelled.

Looking around Clarke saw numerous drinks foaming up over the lips of their glasses. More foam was filling the sink to overflowing.

“What happened?” Clarke asked.

“I don’t know! I was just making some drinks and then I was in the middle of an impromptu foam party!” Raven grabbed an already soaked towel and tried to clean up more of the foam.

Somehow Clarke was able to locate a mostly clean and dry towel on the bar. She started cleaning as best she could. The foam just didn’t seem to want to cooperate. For every swipe of the towel twice as much foam replaced it.

“How?” Clarke asked.

“Mentos.” Lexa spoke for the first time since they’d approached the bar. She was on Raven’s other side, trying to move the foam toward the floor so it could be mopped up. She gestured toward the ice well at Raven’s serving station. “In your ice.”

“They reacted to the pop.” Raven made the connection easily.

“Why did you put Mentos in your ice?” Clarke questioned.

Raven rolled her eyes. “I didn’t. Our ice comes in huge bags. I like to make a game out of convincing Lincoln to carry them for me. They’re heavy.”

“Well then how – ” Clarke started.

“Anya.” Raven growled.

The three woman turned to search the crowd for the eldest Woods sister. They found her at the end of the bar with several clean towels and a mop bucket. Spotting the looks, and glare from the Latina, she shrugged.

“Well, I’m off. My turn to sit with Tris.” Anya shoved the towels at Lexa and turned away. With a half-hearted wave over her shoulder she said, “have fun Reyes!”

“You’re just going to walk away from the mess you made?” Clarke shouted after her.

Anya stopped and turned back to face them. “I am indeed. But I’ve got to say, you’re cute when you’re angry Skaigada.”

“Just go Ahn.” Lexa sighed and motioned for her to walk away.

“I’m going to make her go boom.” Raven glowered after her.

“Not tonight.” Lexa shook her head. “Tonight you clean and you serve. Don’t go to her while you’re angry.”

“I’m always angry when it comes to your stupid sister.” Raven snapped.

Clarke stepped between them. “I’ll help you get this mess under control. Lex, do you want to wait for me at the booth or do you need to help with Tris too?”

“I’ll go back to the table with you. Luna’s already here to help Raven.” Lexa replied.

“Can’t you keep your nonsense out of my pub?” Luna growled.

“I didn’t do this!” Raven argued.

“Just toss the rest of your ice and get your well refilled.” Luna snapped. “Then check the other wells.”

“That’s going to take forever!” Raven whined.

Luna handed her a bucket and nudged her toward the ice well. “Better get started then.”

Satisfied that Clarke was no longer needed, Lexa took her hand again. They moved through the crowd and settled into the booth once again. Lexa grabbed her book and, after watching Clarke fiddle with her pen and some napkins for a few minutes, settled sideways in the seat.

“I’m sorry about Anya.”

“Raven can take care of herself.” Clarke replied.

“It isn’t really fair for Anya to keep going for her. Not when Raven can’t retaliate.”

Clarke shrugged. She moved the pen across the napkin a few times before replying, “I think at this point if Raven does retaliate it’s personal and not Polis related.”

“You’ll let her get Anya back?”

“I won’t tell her she can but I can’t say I’d get mad if she does.” Clarke looked up from her drawing. “Anya can’t really think Raven is going to just keep taking all these pranks on the chin.”

Lexa closed her book, a finger holding her page. She turned so she was facing Clarke. “Does it make me a bad sister if I hope she gets Anya back? Like epically gets her back?”

“Maybe. But you seem like a realist and you have to know Anya is quickly approaching Rae’s limit for all this nonsense.”

“I’m glad we’re on the same page.” Lexa grinned. It was the biggest smile Clarke had ever seen on her. “I may give her an idea or two.”

“Please don’t. Raven doesn’t need help getting into trouble.” Clarke groaned.

“Fun sucker.” Lexa huffed and leaned back.

Lifting a foot up onto the seat, Lexa rested her book against her knee. Clarke swallowed loudly when she lifted her thumb to her mouth and began chewing lightly on her nail while her eyes moved across the page. To stop herself from saying something stupid, Clarke returned her attention to her drawing

****

Whether five seconds or five minutes passed before Clarke pulled herself out of her made-up world would have been impossible if she didn’t have a complete drawing in front of her. The detail was too great in the woman’s face for much less than an hour to have gone by. It was a new character. One that looked suspiciously like Lexa.

“Clarke?” Lexa said her name carefully, like she was worried about startling her.

“Lex?”

“I was wondering if you wanted another drink?”

Clarke stretched a little and nodded. When Lexa began to shimmy out of the booth Clarke caught her wrist. “I’ll get it. I know you paid for the last round.”

“I insist.” Lexa shook her head.

“You won’t win this one.” Clarke arched a brow.

Lexa started to protest again. When Clarke shook her head and turned her brows down in a scowl she agreed, “fine. But I get the next round.”

With a smirk and a wink, Clarke slid out of the booth, “I’ll be right back.”

True to word, she was back within minutes with a fresh beer for Lexa and a slightly too-strong Jameson and Coke for her himself. She was teasing Lexa about pouting when she heard her name spoken behind her. Clarke glanced our her shoulder to find a very fancy looking Niylah.

“Christ,” Clarke said quietly, her eyes squeezing shut. She opened them enough to meet Lexa’s eyes.

Somehow the likelihood of running into Niylah never crossed her mind. Clarke had been in Tondisi several time over the last couple of weeks. Even knowing it was a place open to students from both UP and AC didn’t bring the other girl to mind.

“What’re you doing here?” Niylah asked.

Taking a deep breath, Clarke turned to face Niylah. “Just hanging out with friends.”

“Really? Because I only see Heda.” Niylah looked around, “where are O and Rae?”

Out of the corner of her eye Clarke saw Lexa stiffen slightly at the familiarity in Niylah’s tone.

“Octavia’s with her boyfriend somewhere. Raven’s working the bar. Or maybe not, she might be still be cleaning.” Clarke relied. Lexa’s eyes met hers. Clarke tried to apologize silently but couldn’t tell if Lexa understood.

“I haven’t seen them in forever! Not since they… you know.” Niylah giggled. She ran a hand down Clarke arm. “Walked in on us, I mean.”

“Yeah. I Knew what you meant.” Clarke bit out.

“I haven’t heard from you in a while.” Niylah kept talking.

“It’s been, like, a week Niy.” Clarke sighed.

“I’d be worried you’re picking up some girls tonight but you’re too relaxed for that to be the case.” Niylah laughed outright.

Clarke glanced down at her outfit. A sky blue tank top with her blue and black flannel over it and ripped black skinny jeans didn’t scream ‘on the hunt’. Because she wasn’t. She looked over at a scowling Lexa. She giggled when she realized they had on similar outfits, except Lexa was in a white tank top with a leather jacket and dark blue jeans. She hoped that meant Lexa wasn’t on the prowl either.

“I’m not looking for a hook-up Niylah.” Clarke shook her head.

“I know that.” Niylah rolled her eyes. “Otherwise my phone would have rung by now. And we’d at your place in your –”

“Okay!” Clarke shouted. “Nice seeing you. Talk to you later. Or whenever.”

Niylah smiled sweetly. She took a step forward and wrapped her arms around Clarke’s waist. Over her shoulder Niylah met Lexa’s eye and winked. Before she pulled away she whispered, “she’s got steam coming out her ears. At least you know she’s interested now.”

“I already knew she was interested.” Clarke growled back. "You're not helping!"

“I think she’ll want to stake a claim now.” Niylah pressed a kiss to Clarke’s neck just below her ear. She grinned at Lexa and pulled away from the hug Clarke hadn’t really returned. “See you soon Clarkey.”

With a flirtatious wave Niylah walked away. Watching her melt into the crowd helped Clarke calm a bit.

“Do you have to watch her walk away?” Lexa snapped.

Clarke spun around so fast she lost her balance. She stumbled into the table, grabbing the edge to keep herself from falling. “What?”

“If you want to hook up with her tonight you should just go after her Clarkey.”

“I’m not looking for a hook-up.” Clarke shook her head and practically dove into a booth.

“So you watched her walk away because… why?”

“I wasn’t watching her. I was panicking.”

Lexa’s eyes narrowed, “panicking? Why?”

“I’m not comfortable with you being around my fuck buddy.” Clarke snapped. “It’s not a comfortable situation to be in.”

“So you’re hooked up with her before?”

“Yes. We’ve… helped each other. For a while now.” Clarke explained. “But we’ve never dated. It’s been all natural urges. No emotions.”

“Does Niylah know that?”

“Sometimes she forgets about the line.” Clarke admitted.

“When did you hook up last?”

“A week or so ago I think.”

Lexa started to move out of the booth. Clarke shook her head and jumped up. She moved to Lexa side of the table and slid in to stop her.

“Move Clarke.”

“You don’t get to be mad at me for something that happened when I didn’t know you.”

“Isn’t that what started all of this.” Lexa snapped. She nudged Clarke. “Let me out.”

“No.”

“Clarke.” Lexa bit out. “Move.”

“No. If you’re mad about Niylah then just tell me that.”

“I’m mad about Niylah. I didn’t like her hanging all over you. Nor did I like that kiss on your neck.” Lexa growled. “I also don’t like knowing I shouldn’t be this upset about all of that.”

“Is that all?”

“No. I don’t like that you can’t remember how long it’s been since you hooked up with her.” Lexa replied. “Move.”

“No.” Clarke shook her head. She moved closer to Lexa. “Now it’s my turn to tell you something. And that is that you have nothing to be worried about.”

“You didn’t exactly fight the contact Clarke.”

Shaking her head again, Clarke turned so she was facing Lexa. One of her arms was resting on the table while the other was on the back of the seat behind Lexa. “I didn’t want to embarrass her by moving away.”

“So instead I have to watch her petting you?”

“I was panicking!”

Lexa turned to her, “when?”

Clarke sighed and leaned forward, she rested her forehead of Lexa’s shoulder. She thought back over the last few weeks, trying to sort out the dates and events. Everything had started to blend together. After gathering her thoughts and remember what happened on what day Clarke sat up and cleared her throat. “It was two weeks ago.”

“Two weeks ago?”

“Yes. It was the afternoon before everything happened with Tris.”

Nodding her and shifting closer, Lexa looked at her out of the corner of her eye. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“Not reacting well to your… friend.”

With a laugh Clarke replied, “it’s okay Lex. I don’t think I’d react much better to seeing someone like that with you.”

“That helps a little.”

“I know we just met Lexa but you’re,” Clarke hesitated, trying to think of the appropriate words. When nothing came to her, nothing short and sweet anyway she shrugged, “you’re special. And I’d like to continue getting to know you. I’m a one-person kind of woman. So even though whatever this is between us is new and undefined, I don’t plan on taking Niylah up on her offers any time soon.”

Lexa giggled before reaching behind her to grab Clarke’s arm. She draped it around her shoulders and nodded. “Trying to get to know me?”

“Well, I think I should get a little something. I did buy you a drink after all. And you stole my drawing.” Clarke waved her free hand at the empty table where the napkin had been sitting.

“I agree with you. It’s new and exciting. And you’re… you.” Lexa winked. “I think I’d like to get to know you too.”

“Good.”

“And maybe we can avoid Niylah for the night?”

“Sounds like a plan.” Clarke nodded.

“Good.” Lexa echoed. She settled closer to Clarke and held her pen out to her. Then she opened her book and started reading again. She hadn’t read more than a handful of words before Clarke giggled next to her. “What’s funny?”

“I just realized something. You’re right handed correct?” Clarke asked, laughing again when Lexa nodded. “I’m left handed. And we’ve somehow ended up conveniently on each other’s non-dominant sides. So I can keep my arm here,” she squeezed Lexa’s shoulders to emphasize her point, “and I can still draw.”

“It’s like it was fate.” Lexa drawled.

If she hadn’t chuckled before lowering her eyes to her book again Clarke would have been worried she’d said something wrong. Instead, she shifted her arm so her hand was settled on the crook of Lexa’s neck. She absentmindedly drew patterns on the skin exposed there, smiling when Lexa would shiver or shift under the contact.

****

“You’re gross.” Raven spoke loudly, trying to be heard over the music and conversation in the pub.

The two girls in the booth jerked apart from where they’d been leaning against one another. Lexa sat up straight and pulled her jacket tight around her. Clarke dropped her arm from her shoulder.

“Who?”

“The only two I can see in the booth.” Raven rolled her eyes.

Lexa glared up at her. “I was reading. How is that gross?”

“You’re in a pub. Who reads in a pub?” Raven shot back. “And you were cuddled up. Again, in a pub.”

“Did you need something Raven?” Clarke asked.

“I’m going on break. I wanted company.” Raven shrugged. “Come with me?”

Clarke started to shake her head. She and Lexa hadn’t been speaking but she liked spending time with her. It was comfortable. They were making progress down whatever path they were on even without words. Before she could tell her friend no outright, Lexa was speaking, “she’d be happy to join you.”

“Lexa,” Clarke started to speak.

“It’s fine Clarke. I have to go and check on Tris anyway. We’ve been here for a couple of hours. I haven’t heard from Lincoln or Anya.”

“That’s not good.” Clarke sighed. She looked up at Raven who was watching her expectantly. “Fine. Let’s go.”

Clarke slid out of the booth and followed Raven to the back door of the pub. Octavia was waiting for them.

“The losers were reading and drawing.” Raven sighed and shook her head disappointingly.

“I know. I got pictures.” Octavia replied.

“You did not!” Clarke gasped.

Octavia pulled her phone from her pocket and opened her pictures. She showed Clarke the series of photos she’d taken of her and Lexa in the booth. Then she took the phone and scrolled some more. “There’s one of Niylah in here glaring at the two of you.”

“Don’t be mean.” Clarke said.

“I’m not being mean. I just thought you should see it.” Octavia replied. Finding the picture she held her phone out to Clarke again. Niylah was indeed glaring. “Maybe now you’ll get why Rae and I have been discouraging that nonsense for so long.”

“I get it.” Clarke whined. “And I haven’t talked to her for weeks!”

“Does Lexa know about her?” Raven asked as she opened the door and walked outside. She led the way over to her car.

Clarke groaned, “yes. Niylah came up to the booth. She was very friendly.”

“Friendly how?” Octavia’s interest was definitely caught by that word.

“Like touching my arm and hugging me and kissing my neck.”

Raven’s eyes grew round, “oh man. That is very friendly.”

“Lexa was not a fan.” Clarke replied.

“I guess you know for sure that she likes you though. You can move beyond the ridiculous crush stage now.” Octavia said. “But what did you tell her about Niylah?”

“The truth.” Clarke leaned back against Raven’s car and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Like the truth truth?” Octavia asked incredulously.

“Yes. There wasn’t any point in not telling her the truth. Niylah and I had fun but that was it. That’s all it ever was.” Clarke said.

Her friends didn’t seem to have a response to that. They stared at her like she was an alien. Octavia began to pace a little, concerned somehow Clarke had messed up whatever she had going on with Lexa. Raven just gaped at her.

“What is that?” Octavia stopped pacing when she reached the trunk of Raven’s car for the fourth time.

“What is what?” Raven responded, moving toward her.

“There’s paint on your car.” Octavia pointed it out.

The splotches of black stood out on the fire engine red. It looked like someone had dropped a water balloon filled with paint on the trunk of her car. Raven’s jaw dropped.

“What? How? When?” She sputtered.

“Who?” Octavia added for her.

Clarke glanced from Raven to the paint and back again. Finally, she stepped forward and touched one of the splotches. “It’s dry.”

“Of course it is!” Raven growled. “I can’t afford to get a new paint job!”

“I don’t think you need to.” Clarke replied. She carefully pulled at the edge of the splotch. It peeled right off the car. “I think this is just nail polish.”

“A prank?” Octavia asked.

Raven took a deep breath through her nose and nodded once. “Excuse me. I’ve got to go make a scene.”

Clarke moved in front of her, blocking her path back to the pub, “Whoa! No Rae!”

“Don’t cause a scene in there!” Octavia added. “Luna will kill you. Especially after the Mentos and foam.”

“How did you know about that? You were upstairs when we had our little foam party.” Clarke sidestepped when Raven tried to move around her.

“Anya came upstairs laughing about it.” Octavia shrugged.

“And you didn’t come down to see if you could help?” Raven asked.

Octavia smirked, “nope. You started all of this with your stupid pranks. I’m not getting involved.”

“Just because you’re hooking up with a Grounder now you think you can’t help your friends? You loyalty is that easily bought?” Raven shouted.

“Hey!” Octavia shoved at Raven’s shoulder, “I love Lincoln, he’s not just a hook up. And my loyalty to you should never be in question. You’re just as much my sister as Clarke. I just won’t insert myself in a problem you created.”

“I know you care about Lincoln but Jesus O, be on my side here.” Raven replied. “Clarke won’t even let me defend myself!”

“You took your pranks too far Rae. You can’t keep doing stuff like that and expect everything to be okay.” Clarke said. She wrapped Raven in a hug. “We’re graduating in a few months. Think about that. We’re almost done with all this Arkadia versus Polis crap. You can deal with this can’t you?”

Raven rested her forehead on Clarke’s shoulder. She grabbed the back of Clarke’s shirt in her fists and growled again. After taking a few deep breaths she said, “I know she’s hot and all but she’s also really frustrating. She knows I can’t get her back. It’s like kicking me when I’m down.”

“Did you just say Anya is hot?” Octavia laughed.

“You have eyes O. I know you say you’re straight but we all know you can see how hot Anya is.” Raven sighed when Octavia wrapped her arms around her and Clarke.

“I’m not talking about me and what I see. I want to make sure I heard you right.” Octavia replied.

“I heard it too.” Clarke said. “You said she’s hot.”

“I’m not going to repeat it just so you two can harass me. She’s a Grounder. She obviously isn’t a fan of mine. There’s no point in exploring how hot Raven Reyes thinks Anya Woods is.” Raven pulled away from the hug. “Let’s just go inside. My break is probably over with by now.”

The girls turn toward the door and whisper more teasing back and forth. They only make it a few steps before Raven stops walking.

“How long have you been standing there?” She asked Anya.

“Probably longer than you’d like.” Anya replied. Her tone was as harsh as always but her eyes were softer.

“Well what do you want?” Raven snapped.

“I saw you by your car. I wanted to make sure you figured out it was a joke.”

Raven nodded and started walking again, giving Anya a wide berth, “Clarke figured it out pretty quickly.”

Anya pulled the door open for them, allowing the three of them into the pub before following. She made her way to the bar with Raven and settled behind her station, waiting for a customer to approach her. She stared at the floor, finding patterns in the wood.

“I’ll have another Jameson and Coke please. And O mentioned Lincoln wanted a Long Island.” Clarke said, settling on a stool to wait.

Anya looked up and smiled gratefully. She grabbed the liquor and began pouring. “Coming right up.”

“So you heard?” Clarke asked.

“I did.”

“Going to do anything about what you heard?”

“Nothing to do.” Anya replied. “She thinks I’m hot. Not a big deal. It’s the truth.”

“Right.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “Just keep pulling those pranks. They’ll help.”

She took the drinks from the bar and turn to head back to her booth. What she saw stopped her short. Niylah was in the booth with Lexa. She was touching her arm and smiling at her.

“I was right earlier.” Anya snorted behind her. “You’re cute when you’re angry.”

“Lexa can talk to whoever she wants.” Clarke replied. “I’m just not a fan of the touching.”

“I know. That’s the look Lexa was giving Niylah earlier when she was all over you.” Anya said.

Clarke looked over her shoulder at Lexa’s sister, “I don’t think I’m allowed to be mad about this. I’ve only known her for a couple of weeks.”

“When you know, you know.” Anya shrugged.

When Clarke turns back toward the booth Lexa is looking at her. Even from across the room Clarke can see the ‘save me’ pleading come from her eyes. She offers a small smile and nods once, so Lexa knows she’s coming to her rescue.

“Hello again Niylah,” Clarke says when she slides into the booth next to Lexa.

“Clarke! Hi!” Niylah’s smile wobbles a little. “I thought you’d left.”

“Nope. Just went outside with Raven for her break.” The blonde replied  

Lexa shifted closer to Clarke, “I told you she’d be back.”

“I thought she’d found someone for the night.” Niylah held up her hands, like she was saying ‘my bad’ for the assumption.

“Even after I told you she hadn’t?” Lexa asked.

“Clarke likes to keep me on my toes.” Niylah winks at Clarke.

“No I don’t. You like to think that’s what I’m doing.” Clarke sighs. “I was just with Rae. Now I’m back to relax with Lex some more.”

“Lex?” Niylah repeated the nickname. “Since when do you let anyone call you that?”

“Clarke is Clarke. She does what she wants.” Lexa shrugged.

Niylah looked between the two of them, “so you two are together?”

“No.” Lexa answered quickly. “But we’re friends.”

“Friends who like to relax together.” Clarke added.

“Relax?” Niylah repeated.

“Yes. Relax. Alone.” Lexa said.

Not even an intoxicated Niylah could miss that hint. She smiled brightly and made up an excuse about seeing a friend across the bar before fleeing.

“You were gone forever!” Lexa whined, dropping her head to the table. “She sat down right after you left and would not stop talking!”

“What did you talk about?”

“You.”

That had Clarke raising a brow. "What about me?”

Lexa turned her head to look at her, “she was talking about how close you two are. And how you always find your way back to her. When you told me about her earlier you forgot to mention you’ve been hooking up for two years. That's longer than a while I think.”

“Oh. Yeah. Right.” Clarke’s head joined Lexa’s on the table. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine. That was before you knew me. Right?” Lexa raised an arm to rub Clarke’s back. “Just… no more okay?”

“Of course not.” Clarke turned her head to face Lexa. She was sure they made quite a sight, their heads resting on the table while they spoke quietly. “I told you I want to get to know you. And I have a feeling hooking up with anyone while I’m doing that would be a mistake.”

“A huge mistake.” Lexa replied.

“So no hooking up.”

“Please try to contain yourself.” Lexa smiled.

“I’ll do my best.” Clarke sighed dramatically.

Suddenly, their bubble was burst in the harshest of ways. There was a slamming door and yelling. Clarke and Lexa pulled themselves out of the booth and looked around. They tried to move toward the sounds but found the others in the crowd blocking them. Lexa took Clarke’s hand and pulled her along behind her, determined to find the source of the disturbance. They came to a stop next to a stoic Anya.

“What’s going on?” Lexa questioned.

Strikgona’s brother found out about Lincoln.” Anya shrugged.

“That means Octavia right? Bellamy found out about Octavia and Lincoln?” Clarke asked.

Anya nodded and pointed toward the corner of the bar. Octavia was shouting at Bellamy who had Lincoln’s shirt in his fists. “I’m guessing he’s not happy.”

“Hey Anya?” Clarke sighed.

“Yes Skaigada?”

“Remember earlier how you said I’m cute when I’m angry?”

Anya snorted, “because you are.”

“Well you need to brace yourself then, I’m about to get full-on gorgeous.” Clarke bit out before she stomped her way over to her friends, shoving people out of her way.

“She’s right you know?” Lexa watched her walk away, “she is gorgeous right now.”

Chapter Text

“What do you think you are doing?” Clarke roared as she grabbed Bellamy’s shoulder and tugged. Of course, since he was nearly a foot taller than her it didn’t so much as make him flinch.

“Get off me Clarke. This is between me and the Grounder.” Bellamy growled, his face inches away from a passive Lincoln.

He pulled back a fist and slammed it into Lincoln’s side. Then into his stomach. Lincoln just stared him in the eye, not even blinking. Bellamy hit him a handful more times, each looked harder than the last. Clarke tried to grab his fist but was shaken off each time. Finally, she waved a hand at Octavia for help and was surprised when Raven appeared at her side too. The girls pushed and pulled until they were between the guys.

“What are you doing?” Octavia asked, glaring at her brother.

“Why did he make you hide your ‘relationship’ from your brother?” Bellamy shot back.

“You’re an idiot.” Octavia rolled her eyes and turned to Lincoln. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. He tore my shirt a bit but that’s it. Didn’t land any of those punches well enough to do any damage.” Lincoln smiled down at her, wrapping an arm around her waist.

Bellamy surged forward again, “are you calling me weak?”

“I’m saying you don’t have very good form.” Lincoln replied.

“Let’s just take this outside. I’ll show you form!” Bellamy yelled.

“Knock it off!” Clarke shoved at his chest until he took a couple of steps back. “You’ve never even bought into the rivalry Bell. Stop acting like this a forbidden romance thing.”

“He made her hide it from us!” Bellamy pointed at Lincoln.

Raven shook her head, “We’ve known for months.”

“Excuse me?” Bellamy turned his glare on her.

“She wasn’t exactly subtle Bellamy.” Clarke shrugged. When he's eyes hardened even more she shook her head, "She didn't even tell us. We guessed."

His jaw clenched at her admittance, “You didn’t think to tell me?”

“It wasn’t their place to tell.” Octavia replied. “And he didn’t make me hide anything. I knew how you would react so I didn’t say anything.”

“You knew how I’d react?” Bellamy growled her words back to her.

“Yes. I knew you’d have a problem with him. Not because he goes to Polis but because he’s a guy who is sleeping with your little sister.” Octavia said.

“If it helps, I love her.” Lincoln offered calmly.

“It doesn’t!” Bellamy tried to move around Clarke and Raven.

Lexa appeared next to Clarke while Anya popped up next to Raven. Lexa made sure she was slightly in front of Clarke before she spoke, “I think that’s enough yelling and punching.”

“I think you need to move.” Bellamy retorted.

“Lincoln hasn’t raised a hand to you yet because he loves your sister.” Anya said. She glanced back at her brother, noting the anger in his normally soft eyes, “I don’t think she’s going to encourage him to keep his hands to himself if you hit him again.”

“That’s the problem! He hasn’t kept his hands to himself!” Bellamy roared. He pulled something out of his pocket and tossed it into the other man’s chest. Lincoln's reactions forced him to catch the item.

The group fell quiet, circling Octavia and Lincoln quickly. Luna, ever the ninja, appeared out of nowhere and started moving people away.

“Maybe you should take this upstairs?” Trina said when she materialized next to her wife.

“O?” Lincoln stared at the object in his hands.

Lexa shoved at her brother and shook her head, “No. We aren’t doing this here. Upstairs.”

****

“Please O, talk to us.” Clarke knocked on the bathroom door in Lexa’s apartment for the millionth time. Her friend had run straight there and locked the door behind her.

“Go away!” Octavia shouted back.

“Not until you tell us what’s going on.” Raven replied. “Just open the door. It’s just me and Clarkey.”

“No!”

Clarke sighed, “you know we aren’t going away any time soon. You’ll get hungry before we get bored.”

Listening carefully, Clarke and Raven could hear her shuffling around the bathroom. After what seemed like hours, Octavia unlocked the door and spoke quietly, “bring me a sandwich.”

Clarke nodded to Raven who opened the door and slipped inside. She turned and made her way back to the kitchen. She found Lexa there, standing over the sink, watching the water run. She approached her quietly, slipping her arms around her waist and hugging her.

“Is this okay?” Clarke asked, feeling the other girl tense for a moment before melting a little.

Lexa turned her head enough to meet her eyes, “the hug or the baby?”

“I was talking about the hug but the baby too.”

“The hug is fine. I don’t know about the baby.” Lexa sighed.

“Is Lincoln okay?” Clarke nestled her head into Lexa’s neck. Her lips resting on the skin there.

“I don’t know. Anya is talking to him. Bellamy left a half an hour ago. He said he wasn’t going to hang around while everyone just made up excuses.” Lexa replied. She turned in Clarke’s arms, lopping her own around Clarke’s waist, “did you know?”

“About Octavia and Lincoln or the baby?”

“The baby.”

“No.”

Lexa sighed again. She leaned in until her forehead was resting against Clarke’s. “This has been an interesting night. I never thought I’d find out I could potentially be an aunt at…” She glanced up at the clock on the wall, “12:15 on a Sunday morning in a pub.”

“It’s a lot to take in.”

“At least Lincoln’s almost done with school. He’ll be prepared if he needs to be.” Lexa said.

“Speaking of, potential baby-mama wants a sandwich before she’ll talk to me and Rae.”

“Coming right up.” Lexa laughed. “PB and J sound good?”

With a shrug, Clarke watched the brunette make her way around the kitchen, gathering supplies as she went. “She didn’t specify but I’m sure it’ll work.”

****

It took another two hours of talking to get Octavia out of the bathroom. Raven and Clarke used every trick and joke and plea in their arsenal to get her out of there and into the living room so she could talk to Lincoln. She admitted she’d suspected she was pregnant for a week or so. She’d taken a dozen pregnancy tests earlier that day. They all came out positive. Finally, once they had the whole story, they decided to head home for the night, leaving Octavia to sort things out with Lincoln.

“Call us if you need us?” Clarke asked when she wrapped Octavia in a hug.

“Of course.” Octavia replied. “Maybe see if you can find Bellamy and calm him down?”

“In the morning.” Raven yawned.

“I’m sorry you had to find out like this.” Octavia whispered.

Clarke shook her head. “No, this isn’t your fault. Bellamy had no right to do what he did.”

“I’m just happy you’re okay.” Raven said.

“And we’re happy to be aunties too!” Clarke added.

Raven’s nods were a little too enthusiastic, “It’s going to be so much fun!”

“Now go talk to Lincoln. You guys have a lot to sort out.” Clarke turned Octavia toward her boyfriend and gave her a little shove. "Tell him we're sorry he found out like that."

As soon as Octavia moved to sit down next to her boyfriend he pulled her onto his lap. She buried her face in his neck and grabbed his shirt in her fists. That was all Raven and Clarke needed to see to know she'd be alright.

Raven sighed and moved toward the door, “I’ll be downstairs by my car. Try to make this quick?”

“Make what quick?” Clarke asked but Raven was gone before her question was out of her mouth.

“I guess she was talking about me.” Lexa said.

“Oh.” Clarke whirled back around. “Hello.”

“Hey,” Lexa smiled. “I’ll walk you down.”

Clarke nodded and walked through the door Raven had left open.

“I’m sorry about tonight.” Lexa said quietly.

“You don’t have to apologize for anything.” Clarke reassured her as they headed down the stairs.

“Really? Because my reaction to your friend Niylah wasn’t really anything I’m proud of," Lexa replied. She chanced a glance at Clarke before continuing, "I don’t like jealousy, especially when I’ve only known a girl for a couple of weeks.”

“Right. A little jealousy is okay. Too much is not.” Clarke said. She bumped Lexa's shoulder with her own. “But we’ll chalk it up to the drinks and the emotional roller coaster that is Anya and Raven. Sound good?”

“Clean slate then?”

“For now.” Clarke nodded.

Lexa smiled and opened the back door. “Thanks. I’ll try to avoid those reactions in the future.”

“Me too.” Clarke promised. “No promises though.”

“So…” Lexa smiled shyly. “I was wondering if I could maybe have your number?”

Clarke didn’t bother replying she just pulled out her phone and unlocked it for Lexa. She watched Lexa’s tongue poke out the side of her mouth while she tried to think of a cute contact name. When she finished, Lexa sent herself a text.

“I was wondering when you’d ask me for my number.” Clarke grinned.

“It honestly never even occurred to me. You’re always around when I need to talk.”

“So why ask now?”

“I figure it’d be easier to arrange a date if I had your number.” Lexa shrugged.

“Did you just…” Clarke stared at her. “Was that you asking me on a date?”

“You’re doing your owl impression again.” Lexa teased.

“You didn’t answer my question.”

Lexa shrugged. She reached out and tugged on the hem of Clarke’s shirt. “I got tired of waiting for you to ask me.”

“If I’d known you wanted me to ask, I would have.”

Slowly, Clarke pulled her shirt from Lexa’s grasp. Lexa wasn’t quite ready to surrender the closeness though so she hugged Clarke close. When she felt arms wrap around her neck she started rocking from side to side. After a few minutes Lexa relaxed her hold and stepped back.

“By the way. Tris and I talked. If the offer still stands, we’d like to take you up on that apartment.”

“Of course!” Clarke nodded.

“Okay. Well if it’s possible we’d like to get settled in tomorrow.” Lexa said.

“Not a problem. I’m free all day so just let me know when you’ll head over.”

Lexa nodded, “thanks for this Clarke. Tris really appreciates it. She only had to go up those stairs once to decide she wasn’t about that life. Seven stairs apparently sounds like heaven right now.”

“No worries, really.” Clarke smiled easily. “And thank you.”

“For what?”

“For asking me on a date. Duh Lex.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“Oh. Right.” Lexa winked, “I’ve got game.”

“Clarke!” Raven yelled from beside her car. “Can we please go?”

“I’ll text you later?” Lexa sounded unsure.

“I’ll text you when we get home.” Clarke replied. “I know you want to go to bed. Avoid the living room as much as possible.”

“Sounds good!”

With one more hug Clarke practically skipped to Raven’s car.

Raven unlocked the doors and climbed inside. Once the car was started and on the road for the short drive to the townhouse Raven glanced over at her, “why are you so happy?”

“Lexa asked me on a date!” Clarke squealed.

Raven just rolled her eyes, “you guys are gross.”

Minutes later they were home. Clarke took the time to get ready for bed before she opened her text messages. When she saw the name Lexa had chosen for herself she burst out laughing.

 

Clarke: (2:51a)
Did you really make your
name ‘Heda’ in my phone?

Heda: (2:51a)
It was all I could think of!

Clarke: (2:52a)
What’s my name in your
phone?

Heda: (2:53a)
I’m not telling you.

Clarke: (2:53a)
Rude!

Heda: (2:54a)
Not rude. Just playing my
cards right.

Clarke: (2:55a)
What does that mean?

Heda: (2:56a)
I’ll tell you what it says
after our date.

Clarke: (2:56a)
And when are we going
on this date?

Heda: (2:57a)
Tomorrow night. After I get 
Tris settled. I figured we 
could get Raven to babysit?

Heda: (2:58a)
Don’t tell Tris I phrased it
like that. She’ll kill me.

Clarke: (3:00a)
Well I can’t have that
happening can I?

Clarke: (3:00a)
I’m changing your name
in my phone by the way.
I’m not calling you Heda.

Heda: (3:01a)
What are you going to change
it to?

Heda: (3:02a)
And you aren’t calling me
Heda *yet*!

Clarke: (3:02a)
I’ll tell you when you tell
me.

 

Clarke smiled to herself as she opened Lexa’s info and deleted ‘Heda’. She thought for a few seconds before she typed in ‘Lex’ with a heart-eyes emoji before and after it.

 

Clarke: (3:04a)
I will tell you it’s simple
and to the point.

Lex: (3:05a)
That isn’t much of a hint.

Clarke: (3:05a)
You won’t even give me a
hint. No complaining.

Lex: (3:07a)
Alright alright. Don’t tell me.

Clarke: (3:08a)
No! You were supposed to 
cave!

Lex: (309a)
I’m not a child Clarke Griffin.

Clarke: (3:10a)
Fine.

Lex: (3:11a)
Cheer up Meizen. You get to 
see me bright and early today!

Clarke: (3:11a)
What do you mean bright
and early? And what does
meizen mean?

Lex: (3:12a)
I agreed to give Octavia a 
ride home so I’ll be there
with my things, and Tris’s
too around 8.

Clarke: (3:13a)
I’ll still be sleeping.

Lex: (3:13a)
You won’t wake up for me?

Clarke: (3:14a)
Not without a good reason.

Lex: (3:14a)
I’m not reason enough?

Lex: (3:15a)
What if I promise to bring
coffee and donuts?

Clarke: (3:16a)
The deal is made if you agree 
to bring me chocolate.

Lex: (3:17a)
I can probably do that. I’ll
see you in the morning.

Clarke: (3:17a)
Good night Lex!

Chapter Text

Lex: (7:40a)
We’re here!

Lex: (7:43a)
Clarke?

Lex: (7:47a)
C’mon Meizen. I’m sitting
in your living room with
a very grumpy Raven glaring
at me. Please come save me.

 

O’Goddess: (7:53a)
Are you awake?

O’Goddess: (7:54a)
Wake up!

O’Goddess: (7:55a)
Clarkey, come and get the
key to the basement. I
forgot where we put them!

Griffster: (7:56a)
I’m up! I’m up! Get Raven
away from Lex please. I’ll
be out in a few minutes.

O’Goddess: (7:58a)
Lex huh?

Griffster: (7:59a)
Shut up. Just tell LEXA to
wait for me down by the
door.

 

Lex: (8:01a)
Why is Octavia forcing
me out the door “on
your orders”

Clarke: (8:02a)
I asked her to tell you
to meet me down by
the door.

Lex: (8:02a)
You could have just told
me that yourself you
know. You have my
number now.

Lex: (8:03a)
And please grab my
hoodie when you come
down. Octavia insisted
I take it off when we
arrived. She didn’t give
me time to grab it when
she dragged me to the
door.

Clarke: (8:04a)
Right. Hoodie. I’ll be
there soon.

 

She really wanted to take her time and look halfway decent for Lexa but instead Clarke flew through her morning routine. She found a pair of loose sweat pants and an old rugby shirt. She tossed on her clothing and pulled her hair up in a messy bun.

“That’s what you’re wearing?” Raven scoffed when she appeared in the living room.

“I look fine.” Clarke replied. “Where did Lexa leave her hoodie?”

“It’s by the door,” Octavia said as she walked into the room. “That’s what you’re wearing?”

Clarke huffed and turned to face her friends, “today is my free day. I’m going to relax and not do anything.”

“You’re deluding yourself if you think you’re actually going to go down there to give Lexa those keys and then come back up here. We all know you’re going to end up helping her unpack and settle in.” Raven replied.

“I’ll do what I want.” Clarke said.

With that she turned on her heel and marched to the door. She snatched up Lexa’s green Polis hoodie and threw open the door.

“Clarke!” Octavia yelled.

“What?” She called back.

“You need the keys!”

“Right.” Clarke muttered under her breath. “The keys. Can’t get in the apartment without them.”

“Back so soon?” Raven grinned.

Clarke flipped her off as she stalked to her room. She dug around her closet until she found her jewelry box. Pulling it off the shelf she opened it and grabbed the keys. She returned the box to its place and left her room again. She smirked at Raven and Octavia as she left the apartment again.

She peaked over the edge of the porch and smiled at the top of Lexa’s head. “Hey you!”

Lexa looked up and grinned, “hey!”

“You look chilly.” Clarke said as she walked down the stairs.

“I am. That’s why I asked you to grab my hoodie.” Lexa replied. Her eyes followed Clarke while she made her way towards her. “Is this your ‘I just woke up look’?”

“Why is everyone a critic this morning?” Clarke grumbled.

“I’m not complaining!” Lexa reassured her. She reached up to push a stray lock of hair away for Clarke’s face. “I actually like it. You usually look so put together. I’m digging the sweats.”

After rolling her eyes and handing off the sweatshirt, Clarke stepped around Lexa so she could approach the door. She slid the key into the lock and turned it until she heard the click. Glancing over her shoulder she smiled at Lexa as she opened the door.

“Welcome to your new temporary home.” She stepped aside for Lexa to step inside first.

Lexa’s eyes almost popped out of her head. The place was larger than she’d imagine. In truth, she hadn’t enjoyed the idea of living in a basement. She was expecting low ceilings and that weird damp smell most subterranean places had. Instead she found a bright and open living area. She spotted four doors off the main room, and the kitchen in the back. There was even a door that led into the backyard.

“We have access to the backyard?” Lexa asked.

“That’s your first question?”

“Well,” Lexa considered everything else she could ask before she nodded. “Yeah.”

“Yes, you have access to the backyard. I just ask that you help clean up whatever mess you make.” Clarke replied. She stepped inside after Lexa and closed the door to the early November chill. "We all share the yard, including Paige and her twins, so we can't have a bunch of stuff just laying around."

“Give me a tour?” Lexa asked, holding out her arm for Clark to take.

Accepting the offer eagerly, Clarke led her into the main room, “This is obviously the living room. That’s the television, PlayStation 4, and surround sound. There’s the couch…”

“You think you’re being funny?” Lexa rolled her eyes.

“Sorry. I couldn’t resist. I’m sarcastic in the morning.” Clarke shrugged.

“You’re snarky is what you are.”

Clarke laughed and pulled her toward the first door. “This is the powder room.”

The door opened to reveal a nice sized powder room, decorated in the black and white except the sink, which was one of those blown glass vessel sinks, a mixture of more than a dozen shades of green.

Closing the door, Clarke led Lexa to the first bedroom. She showed her the walk-in closest and the attached bathroom. The utility room came next followed by the second bedroom. Clarke called it the master.

“I hope you like it. I decorated it myself. Not recently. When we finished putting everything together I mean.” Clarke said in a hurry. “It was one of my pet projects.”

Lexa reached around her and opened the door. She gently pushed Clarke until she walked into the room first. She watched Clarke watching her for a second before she looked around the room. It was very… earthy. It felt homey to Lexa. She loved the dark wood of the sleigh bed and nightstands. There were a few paintings on the walls, landscapes and stars filled her vision.

“I love it.” She smiled at the blonde. “It’s amazing.”

“Really?” Clarke perked up, thrilled at Lexa’s happiness with the space.

“Yes. It’s very nice.”

“Wait until you see the bathroom.” Clarke smiled right back.

Clarke pointed out the closet quickly but pulled Lexa toward the bathroom. This time, Lexa was shoved through the door ahead of Clarke. Of course, like the rest of the apartment, it was stunning. Blacks and greys accented with greens. The claw foot bathtub was tucked into the corner, a glass encased shower next to it. A beautiful double vanity with a gray granite counter and more green blown glass vessel sinks.

“Wow.”

“Right?” Clarke bounced from one foot the other. “Sometimes I like to come down here and soak in the tub. It’s an antique. My dad found it and restored it. It’s amazing!”

“Well,” Lexa glanced at her and winked, “play you’re card right and you may be invited to spend some more time in the tub.”

Clarke arched a brow at that. “I don’t know if I like awkward Lexa or cocky Lexa more.”

“However will you choose?” Lexa gasped and fluttered a hand over her heart.

“I’m sure you’ll help me.” Clarke replied. “Come on though. I’ll show you the backyard really quickly. Then you can unload your car.”

“You aren’t going to help me?”

“How many bags did you bring with you?”

“Four.”

“Fine.” Clarke huffed.

The girls completed the backyard tour as quickly as possible. Clarke was too cold in just her t-shirt to be outside for too long so Lexa just hustled her along. Lexa was happy to see the hammock strung up between the trees and the hot tub next to the patio. Once Clarke was sure she hadn’t forgotten to show Lexa anything outside, they reentered the apartment.

“Let’s warm up for a few minutes before we go back out there.” Clarke said as she rubbed her arms.

Lexa stepped forward and took over the task for her. “Sure. Let’s sit on this very comfortable looking sofa while we recover from the biting 58 degree weather.”

“I don’t appreciate the sarcasm.” Clarke replied dryly.

“You’ll love it eventually.” Lexa promised.

She led Clarke to the couch and sank down into the corner seat. She pulled her feet up on to the cushion stretched in front of her with a sigh. As soon as she was settled, Clarke tossed herself on the couch, her head landing in Lexa’s lap.

“Comfy?” Lexa chuckled.

“Very.” Clarke yawned.

“Hey!” Lexa shoved her head softly. “We said a few minutes to warm up.”

“Okay. So it’s been a few minutes. Go get your bags. I’ll be here.” Clarke started to move away.

Lexa grabbed her shoulders and held her in place. “That wasn’t what I meant. I just meant…”

“Want to snuggle?” Clarke yawned as she patted the cushion at her side.

“Yes!” Lexa replied. She started to move so she could bury herself into Clarke’s side, then she paused. “Wait, no.”

“No?”

“Can’t snuggle before our first date.” Lexa said, mostly to herself. She shook her head and stood up.

With a glare, Clarke propped herself up on her elbows, “excuse me?”

“I’m being a gentlewoman!”

“I want snuggles!” Clarke whined and reached for Lexa, opening and closing her hand like a toddler asking for a toy. "We cuddled at Tondisi yesterday!"

“Nope. Not before our date tonight.” Lexa shook her head again. “Come on. Let’s get that stuff out of the car. Then you can go take a nap upstairs.”

Clarke pouted but stood up. “I just wanted a few minutes of cuddling. But no. You put me to work instead.”

“I promise to make the wait worth your while.”

“Promises promises.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

****

Clarke was beyond thankful the unpacking only took a couple of hours. She was able to grab a nap in her room, Raven even agreed to cuddle with her for a bit, before she had to get up to get ready for her date with Lexa.

 

Lex: (4:25p)
I know we said tonight
but could we start the
date sooner?

Clarke: (4:25p)
When did you have in
mind? And why?

Lex: (4:26p)
How about now?

Clarke: (4:27p)
I’m still getting ready…

Lex: (4:28p)
On a scale of 1 to 10,
how lame would you
think I am if I tell you
I don’t care what you
look like tonight? I’m
just excited to spend
time with you. Away
from my siblings and
your friends I mean.

Lex: (4:29p)
That was beyond corny.
I apologize…

Clarke: (4:31p)
Please don’t apologize. I
liked it.

Clarke: (4:32p)
If I didn’t have to get all
kinds of fancy then I
could be ready in 20.

Lex: (4:34p)
So we ditch fancy for
tonight. Save it for
next time.

Clarke: (4:35p)
Next time?

Lex: (4:36p)
Sorry! Too forward?

Lex: (4:27p)
You may decide you
want nothing more to
do with me after tonight!

Lex: (4:27p)
You aren’t going to kick
me and Tris out if you
hate tonight right?!

Clarke: (4:30p)
Lex, you need to calm
down!

Clarke: (4:31p)
I was just happy to see
that you’re already
expecting a next time.
And no, I won’t kick
you out. I said you can
stay until Tris is better. I
meant that.

Lex: (4:33p)
Good! Thanks!

Lex: (4:34p)
So see you in 15?

Clarke: (4:35p)
Sure. What should I
wear?

Lex: (4:35p)
Something blue. And
warm.

Clarke: (4:36p)
Why blue?

Lex: (4:36p)
Blue makes your eyes
brighter. I like your eyes…

Clarke: (4:37p)
That was corny Lex.

Clarke: (4:37p)
I thought you said you
have game?

Lex: (4:39p)
I do have game! You
agreed to a date didn’t
you?

Clarke: (4:40p)
You got me there!

Clarke: (4:40p)
See you in 15! I’ll be the
one in blue!

Lex: (4:41p)
I’ll be in the one in
green!

Lex: (4:42p)
Also, I’ll be the one
smiling like an idiot.

Clarke: (4:43p)
So. Much. Game.

****

The impromptu date was easily the most fun Clarke had ever experienced on a first date. Once they were done drooling over each other anyway. Clarke wasn't even remotely sorry though. She'd seen Lexa in a leather jacket before but she'd pulled out a new one for their date. The new jacket was a collarless motorcycle jacket. Underneath Lexa had on a green V-neck t-shirt and ripped black jeans. The small braids that held back Lexa's chestnut hair captured Clarke's attention too. She didn't understand how Lexa could make the simplest things so unbelievably sexy. Who else could make motorcycle boots look that good?

Clarke, as promised, was wearing blue. She'd found a blue and grey baseball tee in her closet and a pair of blue jeans she'd forgotten she owned. They were, at one point, her favorite jeans because they held her curves just right. She thanked the stars they still did. While she wanted to wear he favorite Chucks, she opted for her knee high boots instead. She dug back in her closet to find a dark grey pea-coat to finish her outfit.

Lexa took her to Grounders for coffee first, where Indra grilled her every time Lexa left the table. Then they went to a cool little diner that Clarke had never heard of before. Lexa’s cousin Emori owned it and served them all of Lexa’s favorite dishes. Then Lexa borrowed some blankets from Emori and led Clarke to a nearby park she’d always walked passed but never bothered to enter. They climbed to the top of a hill and spread out most of the blankets.

“How do you feel about stars?” Lexa asked as she sat down on the blankets.

“I love them.” Clarke replied, settling next to her.

“Good, because this is easily one of the best places to stargaze in the city.” Lexa said.

Lying back on the blankets, she pulled Clarke down next to her. Their fingers intertwined and arms pressed together as they watched the stars appear above.

“This was all unplanned?” Clarke asked after a while.

“Yes. I was going to take you to that Italian place a few blocks away from the house.” Lexa replied.

“I think I like this better.” Clarke shuffled closer.

“Are you cold?” Lexa asked.

“Yes.” Clarke replied. “Just a little. Mostly I’m trying to get you to break that no snuggle rule.”

“The snuggle rule no longer applies Clarke. We’re on the date. I’m okay with the snuggling now.”

“You’re really putting up a lot of resistance here Lex. I don’t know if I can handle it.” Clarke laughed.

Lexa opened pulled her hand free from Clarke’s and opened her arms. “Shut up and come here.”

Clarke shuffled closer and rested her head on Lexa’s shoulder. She smiled down into Lexa when she felt her arms wrapped tight around her. She placed her hand on Lexa’s stomach and shifted to get comfortable. Her smile grew when Lexa spread the remain blankets over them.

“Better?” Lexa whispered.

“Much.” Clarke nodded.

Humming in satisfaction, Lexa squeezed her once before returning her attention to the sky. She told Clarke the stories about the constellations she knew. Clarke returned the favor each time.

“Hey Lex?” Clarke said after a brief silence fell over them.

“Yeah?”

“Why do you have abs that most MMA fighters would be jealous of?”

Lexa laughed, “because I train in several types of martial arts in my free time. And I run a lot. It helps keep me in shape for soccer.”

“You like exercise?” Clarke groaned.

“I’m not going to make you run with me.” Lexa assured her.

“I probably should run with you. O won’t be able to do a lot of training for the next year.” Clarke sighed.

“Why do you hate running?”

Clarke lifted herself to her elbow, leaning over Lexa. “I don’t. Not really. It just reminds me of training. And training makes me think of rugby.”

“Why do you not like to think about rugby?”

“My dad taught me to play.”

“Okay.” Lexa said slowly. “I don’t understand.”

“This isn’t really first date talk.” Clarke shook her head. She began to settle next to Lexa again.

Instead, she found her downward progress stopped by Lexa. “Then let’s not consider this our first date.”

“What?”

“For right now, we’ll say this is our third date.”

“How do you figure?” Clarke asked.

“First we had breakfast, then we met up at Tondisi.”

“We met up at Tondisi twice.”

Lexa shrugged, “the first time was cut short by Jasper.”

Clarke studied her as much as she could in the moonlight. “Third date?”

“Just for the next little while.” Lexa nodded.

“Okay then.” Clarke replied. She settled herself on her elbow again and took a moment to gather her thoughts. She didn't talk much about her father. It hurt too much most of the time. She only really talked about him with her mother or Octavia and Bellamy because they knew him to well. “So my Dad taught me all about rugby. He played you know? And so did his dad and his dad and so on. Since Dad didn’t have any sons, he taught me.”

“And you hated it?”

Clarke shook her head. “I loved it. Everything about it. My junior year we made the state tournament. I was captain of the team. My dad had to work the day of the big game. I knew he'd be there though. No way would he miss the state championship. Thankfully it was a home game so he didn’t have to worry about driving hours to get there. All he had to do was finish this project thing and pick Mom up from the hospital.”

Lexa listened intently while she talked. Then her voice drifted off and she didn’t say anything for a few minutes. Lexa propped herself up on her elbow too, watching the blonde search for words and sort through memories. She rubbed Clarke's arm gently as she whispered, “Meizen, we can go back to first date stuff.”

“No, it’s fine. I just don’t talk about Dad very often. Not in any kind of detail anyway.” Clarke shook her head and took a deep breath. “So he needed to finish the project. I don’t know anything about it. Raven can explain it to you. She’s tried explaining it to me several times, I never get it though. Anyway, O and I were waiting outside the locker room for my parents. We had this pregame ritual where Dad would come and lift us both up in the air at the same time and spin us around. We’d do this little family chant that my great-great-grandfather started and then O and I would hit the pitch.”

“You know you’re going to have to tell me the chant sometime?”

“We still do it before O’s matches sometimes.” Clarke replied. "Lincoln can pick us both up like Dad used to..."

“Yes!” Lexa exclaimed. “I can’t wait. I never thought I’d be excited to go to an Arkadia rugby match.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “You’re a nerd. I swear every time a layer gets peeled back, I just find more nerd underneath.”

“That’s not nice. I’m Heda.” Lexa puffed up her chest.

“Nerd.” Clarke shook her head.

“Fine. I’m a nerd.”

“At least you can admit it.” Clarke laughed. She laughed harder at Lexa’s pout. Soon Lexa joined her in laughter. Eventually though, Clarke sobered up, remembering she needed to finish her father’s story. “Right, so Dad.”

“Yes, your dad.”

“He was at work and there was an accident. Something with radioactive something or others. Like I said, Rae can explain it. But he died because he went into this area of the lab where the radiation had built up. He shut something down or turned something on that stopped a meltdown from happening.” Clarke sniffled as she tried to hold back tears. Lexa pulled her down into her arms again. “Mom came to my game late. She just gave me a thumbs up when I found her in the crowd sitting next to O’s mom. She knew about Dad but she came anyway. I didn’t understand that at first, how she could leave him alone at the hospital for some stupid game, but eventually I did. She couldn’t help him but she could be present for me.”

“I’m sorry Clarke.” Lexa whispered. She felt Clarke bury her face in her neck. She held her tighter and started humming an old Trikru song, trying to calm her.

Eventually Clarke shifted out of her embrace slightly. She sniffed a few times then let out a weak laugh. “So much for third date material.”

“That may have been seventh date stuff.” Lexa ran her hand up and down her back gently. "Sorry."

“It isn’t your fault. I didn’t have to tell you. And I didn’t have to cry all over you.” Clarke replied. “I must look like a mess now.”

Lexa glanced down at her. Surprisingly she didn’t look horrible. Her eyes were a little puffy and her nose was running a little but otherwise she looked as great as always. “Nope. You look like Clarke. I like how Clarke looks. The many looks of Clarke Griffin are my favorites.”

“You do have game!” Clarke laughed. She sat up and ran her hands over her face, using her phone to check her makeup. Once she was satisfied that she looked mostly decent, she looked down at Lexa. “The best part of my dad’s death story is that he’s up there.”

Lexa followed her finger upward, “you mean in space?”

“Yeah. He wanted his ashes launched upon his death. He always said we came from the stars so he wanted to join them when he could. He said that soulmates, in all their various forms, came from the stars, that we share molecules with the stars and with our soulmates and that's how we know when we've found one."

“He sounds like a smart man.”

Clarke nodded slowly, “I think he’d really like you Lex.”

“Yeah?” Lexa asked softly. She hoped that was true. That Clarke’s father would have liked her and eventually come to think she was good enough for his daughter.

“Oh yeah. You would have won Jake Griffin over in a heartbeat.” Clarke nodded.

“How do you know?”

“You make me happy.” Clarke shrugged. “That’s all he wanted for me. Happiness.”

“Did he know?” Lexa asked before she could stop herself.

“Know what?” Clarke replied. When Lexa didn’t respond Clarke understood. “You mean about me? Being bi?”

Lexa nodded, “Sorry, more seventh date stuff.”

“It’s fine Lexa. My coming out wasn’t that complicated. I was fourteen. I had a crush. I told Dad. He explained some things to me.” Clarke laughed at the dumbfounded look spreading over Lexa’s face. “I told Mom the next day. Bellamy and O a few days later. After another month or so, that girl I had a crush on became my first girlfriend. It was all very anticlimactic.”

“Seventh dates are intense.” Lexa huffed out a breath.

“Only when they’re really first dates.” Clarke laughed. “What about you?”

“My coming out or my parents dying?”

“Either?”

“I was fifteen. Tris and I already lived with Indra. I met Costia at a meeting for soccer. We hit it off. It took me a few months to realize I liked her as more than a friend. I told her and she said she felt the same.” Lexa explained. “I told Indra, Tris, Anya and Lincoln after we’d been dating for six months. No one cared. Well, Anya cared that I kept it a secret.”

“So nothing too horrible for you either?”

“There were people who didn’t like it. Thus the martial arts.” Lexa replied. “I learned to defend myself. So did Costia. That’s actually what got her into law enforcement.”

“And your parents?”

“Died in car accident. Nothing nefarious there.” Lexa said. “There was suspicion of foul play though. They had money and... power. They had enemies. But really it was just raining that night and they happened to be on the road at the same time as a drunk driver.”

“How old were you?”

“Thirteen.”

“I’m sorry Lex.”

Lexa shook her head. “I choose to remember them being happy. Nothing to be sorry for.”

“Other than your parents being gone you mean?”

“Except that. But it’s been almost a decade.”

Clarke nodded. “You were right. Seventh dates are heavy.”

“So back to first date?” Lexa asked, a small smile stretched her lips.

“Please.” Clarke replied.

“Want to snuggle some more?”

Clarke didn’t bother answering, she just draped herself across Lexa again. Her hand grabbed her shirt and held tight while Lexa’s arms secured themselves around her.

“First dates rock!” Lexa whispered into her hair.

****

“How am I supposed to drop you off if we live in the same house?” Lexa asked.

They were walking hand in hand toward the townhouse. The thought had popped into Lexa’s head randomly, the drop off was a big part of the first date. And she lived in Clarke’s basement.

“I’m sure we’ll figure it out Lexa.”

“Right. We’re smart. I’m a nerd. You’re a geek. We’ve got this.”

“A geek?”

“Well I don’t know. But you’re not a nerd!”

Clarke giggled and pulled her down a side street. “Let’s take the long way.”

“It’s already almost midnight. What about your curfew?”

“I’m 22 Lexa. I don’t have a curfew.”

“That isn’t what Raven told me when I came to pick you up.”

“Raven isn’t my mother.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

With an exaggerated sigh Lexa allowed herself to be pulled down the street. “Fine. But if she tries to ‘make me go boom’ like she threatened it’s your fault.”

“I’ll take the heat. Don’t worry.” Clarke pulled Lexa until she was right next to her. She pulled their joined hands into her pocket and walked slowly down the street.

“You better.” Lexa replied. “I don’t want to go boom.”

“I could make so many jokes out of that statement.” Clarke laughed.

“You’re a child.” It was Lexa’s turn to roll her eyes.

Clarke just shrugged. She reached across her body and grabbed Lexa’s arm, holding her closer to her side. “So we’ve covered parents deaths, coming out, stars, both astrological and pop culture, and hobbies.”

“I still can’t believe you’ve never watched Orphan Black.” Lexa shook her head.

“I already promised to binge with you, what more do you want?” Clarke replied.

“I won’t be happy until you’re caught up.”

Clarke sighed. “I’m sorry I’ve disappointed you. We can start our binge whenever you have time.”

“When is your next free day?”

“I only have one class tomorrow, it’s in the evening.” Clarke said.

“So we start tomorrow.” Lexa bounced a little on the balls of her feet. “Say 10ish? We can get brunch and start watching.”

“Why do you have to wake me up so early all the time?”

“It’s two days Clarke, I think you’ll live.”

Clarke hummed and turned her head to press her mouth against Lexa’s shoulder while they walked. After a few steps she pulled away to say, “I love how you say my name. It’s like you make sure every letter has it’s turn flowing over your tongue. The click of the ‘k’ sends this shiver up my back.”

“I will have to keep that in mind.” Lexa said after she swallowed loudly.

“Please do.” Clarke winked at her. “Moving on though, before those thoughts run away from me.”

“Moving on to what?”

“I don’t know. Something first datey?” Clarke replied.

“Okay.” Lexa thought for a moment. “When I was a kid my parents and I used to play this game where we’d communicate over feelings through songs. Like Mom would be mad so she’d play an angry song so Dad would turn it off and play a goofy song and try to get her to dance with him. Some of my favorite memories have to do with him dancing me or Tris around the house while he was trying to cheer Mom up.”

“Sounds like a good way to air out emotions.” Clarke smiled into her shoulder again.

“Tris and I do it sometimes. Not the same way of course. We just use music to let each other know our moods. I’m sure you’ll hear all kinds of music while we’re in your basement.”

“Especially if you play any in your room. It’s directly below mine.” Clarke said.

“Another thing to keep in mind.”

They turned another corner and found themselves in front of the townhouse. Lexa pulled Clarke up the stairs and stopped just in front of her front door.

“I had a really nice time tonight Clarke.” Lexa said, making sure she clicked the ‘k’ like Clarke had just told her she liked.

“Me too.” Clarke replied. Her eyes met Lexa’s briefly before drifting down her lips for a half second. Then they lowered to the porch.

“Even if we did get a little seventh datey there for a while?” Lexa asked.

“Yes. Even then I was having a good time.” Clarke giggled.

Lexa smiled brightly, “good. So I’ll see you in the morning?”

“Yes. I’ll even remember to set my alarm. But I’m warning you, I’m wearing my sweats and a t-shirt. Maybe even a hoodie.”

“That’s fine Clarke. You’ll look amazing no matter what you wear I’m sure.”

“You’re too sweet Lex.” Clarke said softly.

“You make it easy to be sweet.” Lexa shrugged. She watched Clarke shift from one foot to the other and smiled at her. “Okay then, good night.”

Clarke’s head jerked up when she saw Lexa’s feet moving away from her. “What?”

Lexa paused on the stairs. “What?”

“Get back here!”

“Why?” Lexa smirked at her.

“Get back here or I’m telling Anya all about how much ‘game’ you have.” Clarke pointed at the spot Lexa had just been standing in.

“That seems a bit harsh.” Lexa sighed but approached her.

Clarke grabbed Lexa’s leather jacket in her hands and pulled her against her. “You made me wait for snuggles. You got me to talk about things I never talk about. You even got me to agree to getting up early for the second day in a row.”

“That is all true.”

“Then you try to leave me standing on my porch without so much as a peck on the cheek?”

“Well if that’s all you wanted,” Lexa smirked. She leaned forward and brushed her lips against Clarke’s cheek. Then she pulled back and tried to walk back down the stairs. Clarke’s hands hadn’t released her jacket yet.

“Lexa Woods, I swear to whatever deity you pray to, I am going to maim you if you keep trying to walk away from me.”

Lexa reached up for Clarke’s hands and slowly pulled them away from her jacket. Once she was free, she lifted Clarke’s arms up and around her neck. Her own arms found their way around Clarke’s waist. She pulled her close, then closer still, wrapping her tightly in an embrace she didn’t want to end.

“Is this better Clarke Griffin?”

Clarke nodded before she leaned forward and pressed her forehead to Lexa’s. “It’s much better. Keep going.”

Lexa smirked, “always so bossy.”

Before Clarke could reply Lexa was leaning into her. Lexa’s lips softly drifted over hers, one way then the other. Then, just when Clarke thought she’d go mad from the lack of contact, Lexa settled her lips on hers. After a moment she pulled back and brushed her nose across Clarke’s before joining their lips again. It was Clarke that deepened the kiss, just opening her lips a fraction of an inch and capturing Lexa’s bottom lip between her own. Lexa’s arms tightened further, practically molding Clarke’s body to her. She pulled her head back just enough to change angles again. Finally, when air became a necessity that could no longer be ignored, Lexa pulled back and rested their foreheads together again.

“Well,” Lexa croaked. She cleared her throat and tried again, “Well, that was worth it.”

“Worth what?” Clarke whispered back.

“All kinds of things. Everything.” Lexa shrugged.

Clarke nodded. “Yes. That kiss… or those kisses… whichever, were worth everything.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow?” Lexa loosened her arms and leaned back.

“Yes. At 10.” Clarke replied.

Lexa leaned forward one more time, not wanting to part from Clarke or her lips just yet. She pressed a kiss to her forehead, then her the tip of her nose, the beauty mark above her lip, then her lips. She reluctantly pulled away before Clarke could drag her back into the euphoria that was kissing her.

“Okay. Good night Clarke Griffin.”

Clarke allowed her arms to fall to her side but captured one of Lexa’s hands in her own. She pulled it to her mouth and pressed a kiss to her fingers. She held it while Lexa backed away, never breaking eye contact. “Good night Lexa Woods.”

Finally she let go and watched Lexa walk down the stairs. She watched her walk around the stoop to the stairs to the basement. They exchanged a shy wave before Lexa disappeared.

Clarke unlocked the door and stepped inside. Raven and Octavia were in the entryway, clapping rapidly.

“That was some good night!” Raven gave her a high five.

“It was sweet.” Octavia nodded. “Did you have a good time?”

Clarke could only nod. She didn’t want to rehash the date. She wanted to think about it on her own. She whispered a quick goodnight to her friends and disappeared into her room. She took a quick shower and hopped in bed, excited about hanging out with Lexa the next day.

She was almost asleep when she heard a strange sound. It took her a few seconds to realize it was music. She felt like her face was going to crack when she smiled, it was easily the biggest smile that had graced her face since her father died.

Quietly, Clarke climbed out of bed and lowered herself to the floor. She pressed her ear to the wood and listened. She could just make out the sounds of ‘Today Was A Fairytale’ by Taylor Swift. Jumping up, she grabbed her phone.

 

Clarke: (12:47a)
I would never have guessed
you were a Swiftie!

Lex: (12:48a)
I just wanted to play a
song that reminded me
of today. This one fit.

Clarke: (12:48a)
It was a fairytale. Thank
you Lex.

Lex: (12:49a)
I’m glad you enjoyed
yourself. I know I did. And
I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Clarke: (12:50a)
Good night Lex

Lex: (12:51a)
Good night Meizen

Chapter Text

The next morning, as if by some miracle, Clarke woke up an hour before her alarm. She relaxed in bed, thinking over her date with Lexa again. The smile couldn’t be helped, nor could the sighs of contentment. Who’d have believed just two weeks ago that she’d find herself in that position? That she’d not only been on a date with Heda but she’d also planned a second one for the very next day?

While she was reveling, Raven and Octavia burst through her door.

“Talk!” Raven demanded as she jumped on the bed.

“Please?” Octavia added when she shimmied on the bed too.

Clarke looked from one Raven on her right to Octavia on her left. The looks they gave her let her know she wasn’t going to be able to brush them off again.

“I just wanted to enjoy it all myself before you made me second guess it all.” She sighed and settled back in her pillows.

“Did you have a good time?” Raven asked.

“Yes.”

Octavia waited a beat for her to say more, but nothing else came. She poked Clarke’s shoulder, “more please!”

“We went to Grounders, we went to her cousin’s diner, we went to watch the stars in that park we always talk about visiting but never actually go to.” Clarke replied.

“I really don’t want to have to drag this out of you.” Raven sighed. “I will, but I will not make it a pleasant experience for you.”

“If you don’t share, I won’t tell you what Lexa said on our walk this morning.” Octavia threatened. It didn’t hold much weight though, she practically sang the words. Before Clarke could question that she shrugged, “I’m apparently not supposed to run too much now. So when Lexa saw me stretching she offered to take a walk with me.”

Clarke could only sigh at that. She definitely wanted to know what Lexa had to say. Then she began to gush, “it was amazing! She was so sweet and considerate all evening. Opening doors, holding my hand, making sure she walked on the outside whenever we were on the street. Indra scared the crap out of me again. Subtle threats and glares. I don’t even know if Lexa noticed.”

“She did. She thought it was funny.” Octavia cut it.

“I’ll remember that when I take her to meet Mom.” Clarke grinned.

“Already planning on introducing her to Mama G?” Raven cackled. “You’re in deep huh?”

“She already knows Mom. Just as the sister of a patient.” Clarke reminded her friends. “Imagine the shock on her face when Mom drops the doctor act and goes full on mama bear.”

“I never thought of that! Can I be there? Please?” Raven begged.

Clarke shook her head, “no. You already make Lex nervous.”

“You suck.” Raven sat up and crossed her arms over her chest.

“I’m not sorry.”

Raven rolled her eyes. “Of course you’re not.”

“Do you want to hear about the rest of the date?” Octavia reached over Clarke and swatted at Raven’s arms.

Clarke waited for Raven to nod before she spoke again. She nudged Raven and patted the pillow next to her so she’d lay back down. Clearing her throat she said, “We borrowed blankets from Emori, her cousin, and went up on this hill in the park. She wanted to stargaze. We talked about the stars and the stories behind the constellations. I told her about Dad.”

“What about him?” Octavia asked softly.

“How he taught us to play rugby. How he was… him I guess. I told her about our pregame ritual.” Clarke smiled again. Then it dropped away, “I told her how he died and how Mom still came to watch the game. I didn’t tell her I never played again. She’ll want you to tell her about Dad’s project and all that sometime Rae. I told her you understood all of it.”

“If you’re okay with me telling her I will.” Raven wrapped her hand around Clarke’s.

“It’s fine. If she wants to know, she’ll ask.” Clarke nodded.

Octavia shifted until her head was resting against Clarke’s. “I miss him.”

“Me too.”

“It always makes me sad that I never got to meet him.” Raven said.

“He’d have loved you. You guys would have been all sciency together.” Clarke laughed.

Octavia nudged Clarke and giggled as she told Raven a story about Jake. Then Clarke told her own story. The friends went back and forth telling Raven all the stories they could think of.

Finally, after wiping away the tears their laughter had brought on, Raven asked, “are you going to finish telling us about your date?”

“You mean am I going to tell you about the kiss you guys saw?” Clarke replied.

“Yes.” Octavia nodded. “Tell us about that.”

Clarke couldn’t fight back the dreamy sigh. “She was trying to be all cool about it I think. Tried to act like she was only going to give me a couple of compliments and winks or whatever. I pretty much demanded she come back to me and end the date the right way. And the kiss. It was amazing.”

“Lexa said you threatened to maim her if she didn’t kiss you properly.” Octavia giggled.

“I did.” Clarke nodded. When her friends giggled on either side of her she shrugged. “She made me wait for cuddling and kisses! I didn’t want to wait anymore!”

“Does it count as a kiss if Clarke made her?” Raven leaned forward to ask Octavia.

She nodded in response, “Lexa certainly seemed to think so.”

“I’d demand it all again if I had to.” Clarke said unabashedly.

“Lexa also said you’ve got another date today.” Octavia added.

“We do. We’re doing brunch and then watching Orphan Black.” Clarke replied. “What time is it anyway?”

Raven checked Clarke’s phone. “It’s 8:32 and you have 7 texts from Lexa.”

Clarke dove for her phone before Raven could try to read anything. “Okay! Thanks! See you later, I have to get ready now!”

“Lexa is fully expecting sweats and a t-shirt by the way. She said she liked the relaxed look on you.” Octavia laughed when Clarke shoved her out of bed.

“Noted. Now go away.”

“You only want us to leave so we don’t see the goofy smile you make when you see anything related to Lexa.” Raven huffed.

“Exactly. Go mock me amongst yourselves in the living room.” Clarke shooed them away. She closed and locked her door behind them, fully expecting them to try to barge back in. Which they did. Fifteen seconds after they left.

“That’s just rude Clarke!” Raven pounded on the door.

“We’re your best friends! We only want to help!” Octavia added.

Clarke shook her head even though they couldn’t see her, “don’t need it at the moment. Just going to get dressed.”

Grabbing her favorite pair of sweats, some of her old rugby ones from high school, and a plain black t-shirt, Clarke got dressed quickly. Diving back on her bed she rolled to her back and held her phone over her face. She was already biting her lip when she unlocked the screen and tapped on the text icon.

 

Lex: (7:02a)
Good morning Meizen! I hope 
you had pleasant dreams last 
night!

Lex: (7:05a)
I just realized it’s just after 7
in the morning and you are
not a  morning person. I
apologize!

Lex: (7:06a)
I hope I didn’t wake you.

Lex: (7:12a)
Since I haven’t received a
reply I’m going to assume 
you’re still asleep.

Lex: (7:59a)
I just got back from a walk
with Octavia. She said I can
call her ‘O’ if I’d like. That’s
a good thing right? That’s
what you call her? She
considers me to be a friend?

Lex: (8:01a)
I know we said 10 but I
wouldn’t be mad if you came 
downstairs for breakfast
instead of brunch. I make some
pretty amazing pancakes.

Lex: (8:09a)
Just let me know when you’re 
heading my way. The two-
second warning could come in
handy!

Clarke: (8:42a)
I did have pleasant dreams, I am
not a morning person, you didn’t
wake me, I was still asleep, O
told me about your walk and that
you were chatty while you were
with her, if she told you to call
her O that means she likes you.

Clarke: (8:43a)
And I’ll be down in 5.

 

“Heading out to see your girl?” Raven asked when Clarke emerged from her room moments later.

“Not my girl but yes.” Clarke grinned. She saw Raven pulling on a jacket, “where are you going?”

“The hospital. I’m going to talk to Finn.” Raven answered.

Clarke stopped in mid-step. She glanced at Octavia on the couch. She shook her head so Clarke turned back to Raven. “Do you want us to go with you?”

“No. He won’t talk if you’re there.” Raven replied. “He’d be too focused on you and talking to you and about you. This way, I can hopefully get him to talk about what he did. Or didn’t do. Whatever.”

“If you need us there, let us know?” Clarke asked.

“Of course.” Raven offered a weak smile before leaving the apartment.

Octavia shook her head again, “don’t worry about it Clarke. I already told Abby to keep an eye out for her. We’ll handle this. You enjoy your day with Lexa.”

****

Lexa wasn’t enjoying her day. She was panicking. It was the second day in a row she’d asked Clarke to move the time of their date up.

“Please stop pacing.” Tris sighed as she watched Lexa move from one side of the room to the other and back again.

“I can’t.” Lexa groaned.

“It isn’t that bad. You’re excited to see her. And obviously she’s excited to see you too.” Tris said.

“It makes me look desperate.” Lexa replied.

Tris rolled her eyes, “it makes it look like you like her. Which you do. So stop.”

“She’s going to be here any minute.” Lexa said. “I told her I’ll make her pancakes.”

“But you can’t cook.”

“I know that! But I wanted her to come down here.”

“What are you going to do?”

Lexa threw her hands in the air, “I don’t know!”

A knock on the door interrupted whatever Tris was going to say next. Seeing Lexa pace ever faster, Tris struggled up off the couch and moved slowly on her crutches to the door.

“Hey Tris!” Clarke smiled. “How are you liking the new place?”

“It’s amazing! Thanks for doing this Clarke. I really appreciate it.”

“It isn’t a problem. At all. I’m just glad I could do something to help.”

Tris moved aside so she could enter the apartment. She jerked a thumb toward Lexa, “if you really want to help you’ll get her to stop pacing.”

“Why is she pacing?”

“You make her nervous. Normally I’d enjoy this but I have to leave for class soon and she’s supposed to be gathering my books for me.”

Clarke laughed, “she makes me nervous too.”

“I never would have guessed. Especially after what she told me about your kiss last night.” Tris winked at the older girl.

“I already had to fight off O and Rae. I’m not doing that with you too.” Clarke replied. “Where are your books? I’ll get them for you.”

“That’s okay,” Tris shook her head, “Anya will be here any second now. She’ll snap Lexa out of this and get my stuff.”

Right on cue, Anya burst through the door. “Hey Striksis!”

“Please fix Lexa.” Tris pointed at her other sister.

Anya glanced at the pacing girl then at Clarke. “Does she not know you’re here?”

“I don’t know. I knocked. I’ve been talking to Tris for a few minutes. She hasn’t said anything.” Clarke shrugged.

“I’m going to let Skaigada handle this one. Where’s your bag?” Anya said.

“In my room. I need my blue textbook please.” Tris replied.

Clarke moved aside while the sisters got ready to leave. They each offered a goodbye and headed out the door. Just before Anya closed it Clarke heard Tris talking.

“Lexa’s making pancakes for Clarke.”

Anya’s eyes flew back to Clarke then to Tris’s back as she made her way up the stairs, “on purpose?”

“I know!” Tris laughed.

“Good luck!” Anya said as she closed the door.

Clarke waited a few minutes before planted herself in Lexa’s path. As soon as Lexa collided with her she wrapped her arms around her neck.

“Clarke!” Lexa stumbled forward a few steps, grasping Clarke’s hips.

“Hello Lex!” Clarke laughed.

“You’re here!”

“I’ve been here for fifteen minutes or so.”

Lex glanced at the clock. “Oh! I was… distracted.”

“By me, I know. Tris told me.” Clarke teased. “Where are my pancakes?”

“Right pancakes. You just take a seat on the couch and I’ll bring them right out.” Lexa gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and unwrapped herself from Clarke’s arms.

Clarke shook her head and grabbed one of her hands before she could get too far away. She pulled Lexa back in and pressed a kiss to her lips. “Now you can go.”

****

“Lex…” Clarke stared at the so-called pancakes in front of her.

“I’m so sorry!” Lexa replied before she could even say anything.

“It’s okay. It’s just…” Clarke poked the black disc with her fork. “I don’t understand how you burned the outside while the inside is still raw batter.”

Lexa sighed and hid her face in her hands. “I’m not very good in the kitchen Clarke. Not with food anyway. I can bake up a storm!”

“Baking and cooking are the same thing.” Clarke laughed.

Hearing a sniffle, she looked up in time to see Lexa wiping away a tear. Clarke was up and out of her chair before Lexa was fully turned away from her. She shook her head when Lexa resisted.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have teased.” Clarke wrapped her arms around Lexa’s neck.

Lexa’s shoulders shook a little. “I’m sorry I can’t cook. And then I promised you breakfast.”

“And lunch.” Clarke reminded her. She tightened her arms when Lexa tried to pull away again. “I’m sorry. I was joking.”

“I’m sorry.” Lexa whispered as she buried her face in Clarke’s shoulder.

“It’s fine Lex. I’ll just clean up the mess and make the pancakes myself.”

“No, I can’t let you clean up the mess I made!” Lexa shook her head.

“Then you can help me clean up. But I’m still making pancakes.”

With Lexa’s help, Clarke had the kitchen spotless and perfect little pancakes served in no time. They settled on the couch just before 10 that morning to being their Orphan Black binge. They stopped watching only get food for lunch a few hours later. By the time Clarke had to leave for class at 5:45 they’d made it through the entire first season.

“I love Cosima!” Clarke announced for the millionth time.

“I know.” Lexa laughed. “And I love Delphine.”

“We just love Cophine.” Clarke replied.

Lexa nodded as she stood. She helped Clarke up and led her over to the door. “Have I mentioned I love the outfit today?”

“Yes. But I like compliments so go ahead and tell me again.”

“You look amazing!”

“I’m in sweats and a t-shirt.”

“So am I.” Lexa said. “Are you saying I don’t look amazing?”

Clarke nodded.

“Rude.”

“I’m only joking.” Clarke leaned in for a kiss.

Lexa shook her head and pulled her lips into her mouth.

“Just one!”

Lexa shook her head again.

“You wouldn’t even kiss me during the show!”

Lexa tilted her head up as she spoke so Clarke couldn’t try to steal a kiss. “We were watching Orphan Black, not making out. At least I cuddled with you.”

“Don’t act like you don’t love my cuddles Lex.” Clarke replied.

“I’m not saying anything.” Lexa laughed.

Clarke gasped. “Fine then. I have to go to class now.”

“Wait!” Lexa said when she opened the door. When Clarke turned around she grinned, “where’s my kiss?”

“You just said…” Clarke rolled her eyes. She marched back to Lexa until they were toe to toe. She leaned forward and ghosted her lips over Lexa’s once. “See you after class Lex.”

Lexa caught her arm and spun her around. “Someday we’re going to actually just kiss like normal people right? No teasing? No pretending to walk away?”

Clarke nodded as she wrapped her arms around Lexa’s neck. “Yes.”

“Good.” Lexa sighed. She lowered her lips to Clarke’s and pressed in gently. After a moment she pressed a little more firmly. Just before she pulled away, knowing Clarke had to leave or risk being late for class, she nipped at her bottom lip.

“I like your kisses.” Clarke sighed as she stepped out of her arms.

“I like yours more.” Lexa replied. She opened the door for Clarke and smiled, “I’ll see you in a few hours?”

Clarke nodded, “We’re usually out by 8:45. So I’ll be back around 9 or so.”

Lexa pressed one more kiss to her lips. “I’ll be waiting. But you’ll have to behave yourself. Tris will be home then. Just come right in, we’ll be expecting you. And I promise to order some food, not make anything.”

****

Lexa spent the next forty-five minutes thinking over her day with Clarke. They’d had a great day. They’d watched one of her favorite shows, cuddling on the couch, teased and talked. And contrary to Clarke’s claims just before leaving, they’d kissed. A lot. It was an amazing day.

Once she was done reveling she decided to do some studying. She’d taken the first few days off from classes to make sure Tris was settled. Since she was at the top of her class her professors didn’t really mind her absence. She grabbed her glasses and textbooks and returned to the living room to set up camp on the couch.

Three hours later Clarke found her with her glasses perched on the end of her nose and her face buried in a book. She took the opportunity to snap a picture before sending her a quick text.

 

Clarke: (9:03p)
Hey! I’m really tired I think I 
may just head to bed. Hope
you don’t mind rescheduling…

 

She watched Lexa jump at the dinging from her phone. She glanced at the screen. Her face lit up at what s he saw. When she unlocked her phone to check the text, her face dropped.

 

Lex: (9:03p)
That’s fine Clarke. I’m sorry we
didn’t get to continue our 
Orphan Black marathon but we
have time to catch up. Get some 
sleep Meizen.

 

Clarke read the message quickly before chuckling. “You know, for someone who has been at a university famous for getting pranked you’re not very aware of your surroundings.”

“Clarke!” Lexa almost fell off the couch.

“I like the glasses Lex.” Clarke purred as she approached the couch.

“I thought you were going to get some sleep?”

“Like I’d ditch you.” Clarke rolled her eyes. She took the book from Lexa’s lap and dropped into it. “Hi.”

Lexa wrapped her arms around her waist and squeezed. “Hey. How was class?”

“Boring. It’s one of those classes that makes me hate being pre-med.” Clarke sighed and settled into Lexa’s embrace. “What’re you studying? I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned a major.”

“Criminal justice.”

“You’re going to be a cop?”

“I think maybe a fed.” Lexa shrugged. “I like the idea of helping.”

Clarke nodded, “I can see it. I think you’d look amazing in uniform.”

“You probably think I’d look amazing in anything.”

“You’ve only known me two weeks and you know me so well!”

Lexa laughed and shifted Clarke to the cushion beside her. “I’m going to tell Tris we’re ordering the pizza. Want to get the show set up?”

“Is Tris going to join our marathon?”

“Probably. But she’s a Rachel fan.”

“No one is a Rachel fan. Not even Rachel likes Rachel!”

Soon Clarke was settled in the couch with Lexa’s head in her lap. Tris did end up joining them but she sat in the chair, leaving all the space on the oversized couch to the new unofficial couple. Clarke focused as much as she could on the television but found herself distracted by Lexa over and over again. Sometimes it was her laugh that drew her attention, other times it was Lexa’s hand grabbing hers when something exciting happened on screen. Clarke ran her hands through Lexa’s hair or up and down her arm while she stared at the pictures moving on the screen. It was easy to drift when she was with Lexa. She didn’t demand all of her attention. She had most of it, but she didn’t demand it.

They made it through the large pizza and cinnamon sticks they ordered in no time. The third episode of the second season ended just as Clarke’s phone rang.

 

CinnamonRoll: (12:34a)
Clarke! Please tell me you’re
awake!

Griffster: (12:34a)
I am indeed. Watching Orphan 
Black with Lexa. Are you okay?

 

“Everything okay?” Lexa blinked up at her, the light from Clarke’s phone drawing her attention away from the TV.

“I don’t know. Monty just sent me a text.” Clarke replied. “He never texts me this late.”

 

CinnamonRoll: (12:36a)
Finn’s gone. He signed out AMA.

Griffster: (12:36a)
What do you mean he’s gone? 
He lives with you. Did he go 
back to the apartment at all?

CinnamonRoll: (12:37a)
He came by and talked to Jasper.
He said he was going on a trip
and not to worry about him.
Then  he left me a note saying
he heard someone talking in
the hospital. She mentioned
a recording and the police, 
then he heard his name.

Griffster: (12:38a)
Shit! Shit! Shit!

Griffster: (12:39a)
You have no idea where he
went?

CinnamonRoll: (12:40a)
No. He left his phone here
Clarke. And he took our
emergency cash.

CinnamonRoll: (12:41a)
There was at least $2000 in
that coffee can!

Griffster: (12:42a)
Did you call the police and tell 
them?

CinnamonRoll: (12:44a)
Yes. They know. I don’t think 
they care.

Griffster: (12:45a)
They will when they get that 
recording.

CinnamonRoll: (12:48a)
I’m sorry Clarke. I just found
out. Jasper was stoned earlier.
He just remembered talking to
Finn. He had the note in his
pocket.

Griffster: (12:50a)
It’s okay Monty. Get some sleep. 
I’ll talk to you later.

 

“Shit. Shit!” Clarke tossed her phone on the couch.

“What happened?” Lexa sat up, her hand gripping Clarke’s thigh. “Is Monty okay?”

“Monty is fine. We’re all fine.” Clarke muttered. “Except Finn left the hospital AMA. And he’s disappeared. He took a lot of cash from the apartment he shares with Jasper and Monty and he left.”

Tris stiffened in her chair. “Did he leave Polis?”

“I don’t know.” Clarke shrugged, “I’m sorry Tris. We tried to help.”

“Why did he leave the hospital? Didn’t he just have surgery a few days ago?” Lexa asked.

“Yes. He really shouldn’t be up and moving right now.” Clarke replied. “He could easily pass out from blood loss.”

Lexa looked from her sister to Clarke and back again, “Are you okay Striksis?”

“I’m fine.” Tris nodded. “I don’t think Finn is going to come after me or anything. I was a means to an end, not a target.”

Unable to keep still anymore, Clarke stood and paced the length of the apartment a few times. Then she disappeared into Lexa’s room. After an eye roll and a wave from Tris, Lexa followed after her.

“Clarke?”

She was sitting on the floor, leaning back against the bed. “I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize for this. Finn is going to do what he wants. You can’t control him.”

“But I could have talked to him. Raven went instead.” Clarke shook her head and drove her fingers into her hair. “He heard someone talking about the cops and then his name was mentioned. He’s not stupid. He knows something is going on.”

Lexa sank down next to her. She draped an arm around her shoulder, “the police will find him. Costia is a junior detective you know. She’s helping with the case. She’ll make sure someone is looking for him.”

“Good. Someone needs to make sure Tris is safe.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes, Clarke’s head on Lexa’s shoulder, Lexa’s head resting on Clarke’s. Lexa rubbed her hand up and down Clarke’s arm.

“I think I’m going to go home and go to bed Lex.” Clarke said quietly.

“I don’t want our night to end like this.” Lexa replied.

Clarke nodded and sat up. She turned to face Lexa, one of her legs bent under her while the other was resting across Lexa’s lap. “So let’s not let it end on a bad note. It was a good day until Monty’s text.”

“It was a great day!” Lexa corrected.

“I agree.” Clarke smiled. She leaned in and wrapped her arms around Lexa’s neck.

Lexa closed the distance, pulling Clarke into a kiss. This one was rougher than their others. Lexa pulled Clarke against her and held her tightly. Clarke didn’t hesitate to return the pressure. In fact, she escalated the kiss. She ran the tip of her tongue across Lexa’s bottom lip. Lexa responded with a swipe of her own tongue. Soon, Clarke was in Lexa’s lap, their embrace tighter than ever. Clarke framed Lexa’s face in her hands. Lexa’s hands drifted under the back of Clarke’s shirt, messaging the warm skin she found. When Lexa’s hands skimmed the back of her bra, Clarke slowly drew back from the kiss. She peppered kisses across Lexa’s face and jaw before leaning back to take in the look of a freshly kissed Lexa.

“Such a great day.” Lexa husked as her hands dropped to Clarke’s hips.

“Agreed.” Clarke laughed. “And on that very happy note, I’m heading home.”

Lexa walked her to the door and, ignoring her sister’s fake gags, kissed her goodbye again.

“I’ll text you in the morning.” Clarke said softly.

“My morning or your morning?” Lexa joked.

Clarke poked her in the side, “I have class at 10. I was going to suggest coffee, but nevermind.”

“Coffee sounds amazing!” Lexa replied. “Forgive me for my lame jokes?”

“Duh.” Clarke kissed her quickly. “I’ll text you.”

Lexa waited until Clarke disappeared around the corner before shutting the door. She turned and found herself faced with a smirking little sister.

“You’ve got it bad.” Tris said.

“I know.” Lexa sighed. “I really like her.”

“Good. She’s good for you.”

Lexa could only nod. “I’m going to bed. Do you need help with anything?”

“No.” Tris replied. “I’m good to go. See you tomorrow.”

With a quick hug, Lexa disappeared in her room again. She completed her nighttime routine and settled into her bed. She had just shut her eyes when she heard the music drifting through the ceiling. She settled on her side and let the melody of ‘Starving’ by Hailee Steinfeld settle over her.

 

Lex: (1:03a)
I agree Meizen. You are starving.

Clarke: (1:03a)
Then give me sustenance!

Chapter Text

“Rae? O?” Clarke woke up to find her best friends in her bed. “Why are you guys covered in glitter?

“Anya.” Octavia grunted and rolled over.

Clarke groaned. “She pranked you again?”

“She hasn’t pranked me in over a week.” Octavia replied. “You either. Just Raven.”

“Stupid Anya.” Raven muttered. “We’re sleeping Clarkey. Shhhh.”

“No sleepy. Why glitter?” Clarke replied and poked her in the forehead.

Raven opened one eye to look at Clarke. “If I told you it wasn’t Anya doing the pranking, would you be mad?”

“Depends on what you did and if anyone else was involved.” Clarke said.

“Just me, O, and Lincoln. Anya was the only… victim?” Raven hurried to assure her. “Prankee?”

“I’m going to go with victim.” Octavia laughed.

"And there was glitter involved?" Clarke asked.

Raven cackled, "so much glitter."

Unsure she wanted to know more about what happened, Clarke crawled over Octavia and out of bed. She grabbed the clothing she’d laid out the night before and headed into her bathroom. Once she was dressed, she grabbed her phone from her night stand and sent the promised text to Lexa.

 

Clarke: (8:33a)
Hey! I’m up and ready. Join me 
up here for some coffee?

Lex: (8:34a)
I’ll be there in a few minutes. 
Just helping Anya with...
something.

Clarke: (8:35a)
Something involving glitter?

Lex: (8:35a)
… so she told you?

Clarke: (8:36a)
No. I left the room before she 
could. I didn't want details.

Clarke: (8:37a)
Is Anya okay?

Lex: (8:38a)
She’s mad but otherwise okay. 
I think she’s only mad because 
Raven got the drop on her.

Clarke: (8:38a)

Good. Because I wasn’t planning 
on punishing Raven.

Lex: (8:39a)
Don’t tell Anya, but I’m totally
okay with that decision.

 

Minutes later, Lexa was knocking on the door. Clarke met her with a cup of coffee in her hand.

“Thank you.” Lexa took the mug offered to her. “Good morning Meizen.”

“You still haven’t told me what that means.” Clarke reminded her. She lead Lea to the dining room where she had bowls and cereal sitting out for them.

“Beautiful. It means beautiful.” Lexa told her as she took a seat and grabbed the Reese’s Puffs.

Clarke blushed. “Flatterer.”

“I speak the truth.”

Nodding and grabbing the Cheerios, Clarke settled next to Lexa. They ate quickly, Clarke because she had class and Lexa because she had to get Tris to school. They talked about a concert coming up they wanted to see, maybe go to together. Make it a date. When they finished their hurried breakfast, Clarke walked Lexa back to the door.

“What time are you done with classes?” Lexa asked.

“Not until this evening. I usually get home around 5:30 or so.”

“Want to hang out?”

Clarke smiled at the hopeful look in Lexa’s eyes. “Of course. I’ll text you?”

“I’ll be home all day. Just come in when you get here.” Lexa replied.

“Sounds good. I’ll see you later then.” Clarke pressed a chaste kiss to Lexa’s lips.

“Still starving?” Lexa winked as she backed away.

Rolling her eyes, Clarke nodded, “I think I’ll always be starving.”

“See you tonight geek.” Lexa laughed.

****

It was only her second free day and Lexa was already bored. She’d been with Clarke all day Monday. Tuesday was just Lexa with her books. She got all of her studying done. She even worked ahead in four of her five classes. When she glanced at the clock she groaned at the time. 4:45. She still had at least 45 minutes until Clarke arrived. Somehow, once the thought crossed her mind, there was a knock on the door.

“I told you not to knock. Just come in.” Lexa laughed as she practically ran to the door. She pulled it open to find Costia.

“I didn’t think we were on that level anymore Lex.” She smirked.

“Don’t call me that.” Lexa replied. She liked it when Clarke called her by the nickname. No one else.

Costia grinned. “I heard that’s what Skaiprisa calls you.”

“Don’t start.” Lexa shook her head. “Did you need something?”

“I wanted to talk to you and Tris about Finn.”

“Tris isn’t home yet. Lincoln’s dropping her off around 6 or so.” Lexa stepped aside and invited her in anyway. “You can wait. I’m just passing time by studying. Clarke should be here in a little while.”

Moving to sit at the breakfast bar, Costia glanced back at her, “how’s that going? You and Clarke?”

“Good. Really good.”

“You like her.”

“I really do. More than I thought I could.”

Costia laughed loudly, “I knew you had it in you!”

“I’m sorry Costia, I didn’t mean…” Lexa hurriedly said.

“I know. But we both knew what we had wasn’t the end all be all Lexa. That’s why we ended it.” Costia replied. “I’m so happy with Roan. And I can see you’re happy with Clarke. It doesn’t hurt me to see you happy.”

“Good. I’m glad.” Lexa smiled.

She moved into the kitchen and filled a glass with water, sliding it across the counter to Costia.

“So, about Finn.” Costia said. “I think he’s more dangerous than the lead detective is giving him credit for. I mean, he ran into that ambulance on purpose. I’m not convinced he won’t come after you guys.”

“I can take care of us.” Lexa replied.

“Not while Tris is hurt.”

“I’m not worried about Finn. I don’t think he’ll come for me. Or Tris.” Lexa said. “I am worried about Clarke though. I think he’s more obsessed with her than we’ve realized.”

“I’ll say something to the lead when I get back to the station. Just… keep your eye out okay? Let me know if you see anything that feels off?”

“Of course.” Lexa nodded.

Costia smiled. She took a sip of her water. Then she cleared her throat. “So I heard there was an epic first date. Want to share?”

****

As soon as she threw open the door, Clarke wished she had knocked. The scene she found herself observing was more painful than almost anything else she’d experienced. Costia was in the kitchen with her arms around Lexa. Lexa’s face was buried in Costia’s neck. Just as Clarke started to say something, Lexa moaned.

“What the hell?” Clarke yelled.

Lexa yelped and dropped to the floor. “Clarke?”

“Clarke!” Costia spun to face her. She ended up on the floor too.

“I can’t believe this.” Clarke shook her head and turned to walk out the door.

“Wait!” Lexa shouted. “Clarke!”

The only answer she got was the slamming of the door. Clarke stomped up to her front door, thrust the keys into the locks, then slammed it shut behind her. Seconds later she heard Lexa pounding on the door and shouting her name.

“Go away Lexa!” She yelled at the door.

“Just open the door!” Lexa shouted. “Please!”

The door opened to reveal a very pissed off Raven Reyes.

“If you don’t stop pounding on my door, you’re going to go boom.”

“I just want to talk to her.”

Raven shook her head, “Go talk to Costia.”

“It wasn’t what it looked like!”

“Don’t care. Clarke said you’re not allowed in the house.” Raven shrugged.

“Raven…” Lexa said quietly, “please. I just need to explain.”

“Nope. See you.” Raven shut the door in her face.

Not knowing what else to do, Lexa retreated to her apartment, then her room. Thankfully, Costia stayed in the living room. Lexa tried listening for music through the ceiling but all she could hear was pacing. Then silence. After a half hour, she couldn’t stand the empty room. She grabbed a jacket and went to the backyard. She’d taken quite a liking to the hammock, it was her favorite place to think.

But Clarke was there. On the hammock. How could Lexa think if Clarke was already there. Why would Clarke be there if she knew that’s where Lexa would go to think. Did Clarke want to be found that easily?

“Clarke?”

The only response she got was the volume on her phone getting turned up. Lexa cringed when she heard the song.

Should’ve Known Better by Sick Puppies. Not a happy song.

Taking a deep breath, Lexa approached her slowly. She reached out and took the phone in her hand. She paused Clarke’s music and returned the phone to her stomach. Then she pulled out her phone and opened her music app. She smiled at the first song that popped into her head.

Shout Out to My Ex by Little Mix filled the autumn air. Clarke didn’t seem to think it was as funny as Lexa had. She glared until Lexa stopped the song.

Clarke instantly has her phone in her hand, scrolling through the thousands of songs. She smirks and taps on one.

Don’t Wait Up For Me. The Donnas. Lexa shook her head. She paused the music almost instantly after it started.

She doesn’t hesitate, she plays Hold My Hand by New Found Glory next. That gets a small smile out of Clarke. Lexa takes that as a sign she can sit on the hammock.

Before Lexa can pause her song to hear Clarke’s response, she’s already got one playing. If I Could Be Her by ZZ Ward.

Lexa turned to face Clarke. She sees tears in the blue eyes she’s come to adore. She shook her head and stopped the song. Clarke wasn’t necessarily angry anymore but now she was sad. Lexa didn’t want to see sad Clarke. She looked for a funny song, or an ironic song, anything to get Clarke to stop the tears.

Because I’m Awesome by The Dollyrots blared from her phone. She started to dance a little, shaking the hammock as she moved.

This time Clarke’s tear filled eyes were rolled before she searched for a song. I Don’t Want To by Ashley Monroe was her choice.

They went back and forth like this for a long time. It wasn’t until Lexa started to play Faint of Heart by Tegan and Sara that the tone of Clarke’s songs began to change. She started playing happier songs then.

First came Worth It by Fifth Harmony. Countered by Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran from Lexa. Then You’ve Got A Crush On Me by The Donnas and Lexa’s choice of Closer by Tegan and Sara. Finally, Clarke cracked a smirk and pressed play. Begin Again by Colbie Caillat. Lexa had a soft spot for the song. It spoke to her, she’d told Clarke that during their walk home on their first date. Lexa let the entire song play through before she hit her next one, I Want You by Fefe Dobson. Clarke’s small smirk turned into a grin. She hoped Lexa would remember her mentioning the song. It wasn’t well known but it was so catchy it always put her in a good mood.

Taking a deep breath, Clarke played her next song. Fine By Me, Andy Grammar.

They hadn’t spoken a word in over an hour. They just played songs back and forth. Clarke needed to know how Lexa ended up in Costia’s arms, moaning in her arms at that, but she wanted to see what Lexa would do next.

As soon as she heard the first note of Lexa’s next selection Clarke was laughing. No Mediocre by T.I. was not a subtle song. Clarke gasped and motioned for Lexa to stop the song. It was a good choice. Maybe slightly inappropriate but it got Clarke to laugh and that was all Lexa wanted.

She waited while Clarke picked her next song. She couldn’t help but wonder how much longer the game would last. Her father had been much better at it that Lexa. It only took him a handful of songs to get her mother to dance. Although that could have been because he knew what songs made her happy to begin with. Lexa was still learning.

“Lex?” Clarke whispered.

“Yes Meizen?”

“Dance with me?” Clarke asked as she pressed play.

Lexa nodded as Better Place by Rachel Platten began. She stood slowly and helped Clarke out of the hammock. She wrapped her right arm around Clarke’s waist and held her left hand up for Clarke to take. Once she did, Lexa pulled her closer, holding their hands between them. They turned in a slow circle around the backyard. Green eyes held blue in a gaze more intense than either girl had experienced before.

When the song ended, Clarke began to pull away. Lexa shook her head. “You got to pick a song to dance to. Now it’s my turn.”

“Then we’ll talk?”

“Yes.”

Lexa kept her hand grasped firmly around Clarke’s while she sorted through her music. I Saw a Light by The Band Perry was her response. She slipped her phone into the pocket of her hoodie and held Clarke close again. The music was muffled but neither girl cared.

Once the song ended Clarke pulled away. “What happened Lexa?”

“She was helping me set something up for our evening of fun.” Lexa replied.

“Evening of fun?”

Lexa nodded. She took Clarke’s hand and led her back to the hammock. Holding it steady, she allowed Clarke to climb on first before settling in next to her. They lay side-by-side, their bodies touching from their shoulders to their ankles. Lexa desperately wanted to take Clarke’s hand in hers. She was about to do just that when Clarke reached down toward their feet to grab a blanket she must have brought outside with her. She spread it over them and settled her hands on her stomach on top of the blanket.

“We found this thing online. It was this mixture that makes floors slippery.” Lexa explained. “You said you liked ice skating but you hate the cold. I thought we could sort of skate in the kitchen.”

Clarke turned her head and stared, “you wanted to make a slip and slide?”

“Not wanted to. We did. It’s very slippery in there.” Lexa replied. She flexed her right knee, the one she’d slammed into the cabinet.

“So you were playing around with chemicals? Have you learned nothing from my stories about Raven?”

“I wanted you to be happy.” Lexa shrugged. “ I even asked Raven if the chemical combinations were safe. She assured me they were.”

Clarke shifted closer. She told herself it was for warmth. “Then what happened?”

“I hit my knee on the cabinet. I almost fell but Costia caught me.”

“And I walked in the door.”

Lexa nodded. She pulled her hands free from the blankets. She took Clarke’s hand in hers and turned it so she could study the lines. “Yeah. You walked in and jumped to conclusions.”

“You moaned into her neck Lex.” Clarke snapped.

“I thought my knee cap was broken Clarke.” Lexa made sure to click the ‘k’ just how she knew Clarke liked it. She smirked at the shiver that ran through Clarke’s body.

“I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.” Clarke whispered.

“No. You should have stayed and let me explain. We could have laughed about this.” Lexa replied. “Instead, you were out here crying.”

“I’ve had a hard time trusting people since Finn. That was three years ago and I still feel like I’m dealing with the ramifications.” Clarke sighed. She leaned her head on Lexa’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

Lexa nodded and rested her head on top of Clarke’s, “I know. But I told you I’m just friends with Costia. I don’t desire her company or her body or whatever. I’ve firmly set my eyes on someone else. A hotheaded blonde who likes a weird variety of music and has only seen a third of the episode of Orphan Black.”

“I’d like to say next time I’ll stay and talk.” Clarke replied as she closed her fingers around Lexa’s. “But I’d rather there not be a next time.”

“Ditto.” Lexa laughed. “I still think my knee is going to fall off.”

“Your knee is fine.”

“I’m sorry for what you thought you saw Clarke.” Lexa whispered into her hair.

Clarke sighed, “I’m sorry I let myself see what I thought I saw. And I’m sorry for being jealous. One date in and my crazy is showing.”

“I thought we established we were at seventh date level?” Lexa teased.

“Right. Seventh date. That’s okay then. I’m not sorry for being jealous of your gorgeous ex-girlfriend then.”

Lexa turned her head to press a kiss to Clarke’s hair, “you’re more than gorgeous Clarke Griffin.”

“I know. I’m meizen.” Clarke laughed.

“Exactly.” Lexa replied. “Now can we please go inside and slide around on that floor I almost died on?”

“How about we go inside and watch some more Cosima?”

“You’re almost perfect Clarke Griffin.” Lexa grinned as she stood up. She pulled Clarke after her.

“Almost?”

Lexa nodded as they headed toward the townhouse, “You’ll be perfect once you’re wearing my Polis hoodie and admitting Delphine is prettier than Cosima.”

Chapter Text

“Well, well, well.” Raven cackled from the dining room table. She’d spotted Clarke tiptoeing through the door just after dawn the next morning.

“Rae,” Clarke replied evenly, continuing her walk toward her bedroom. She should have known she couldn’t avoid the conversation.

“Do my eyes deceive me or is the great Clarke Griffin on a walk of shame?” Raven’s dark eyes sparkled mischievously.

“That’s a dumb phrase.” Clarke rolled her eyes. She made her way to the table and sank into the chair next to Raven. “But to answer your question, nothing happening that would require such a walk. Lexa and I fell asleep on the couch during our marathon of clones.”

That was the truth, or most of it anyway. She and Lexa had watched Orphan Black for hours, taking breaks only to grab food and clean up the slip and slide Lexa had created in the kitchen. Clarke was pleasantly surprised when she woke up wrapped around Lexa in the soft light of dawn. She took a few minutes to marvel at the woman sleeping next to her before she reluctantly woke her up. They said a soft goodbye on the couch before Clarke headed home to get ready for her day of classes and Lexa retreated to her room to prepare for her run.

“You still haven’t done the deed?” Raven seemed shocked by the revelation.

Clarke shook her head, “no. I don’t want to rush things. I mean, I’d love to get to that stage sooner rather than later but we’ve only really been on one date.”

“Have you at least – ”

“I’m not going to give you a play-by-play of my relationship.”

“Relationship?” Raven wiggled her brows.

“Not officially but… yeah.”

With a grin spreading across her face, Raven pointed a finger in Clarke’s face, “you like her!”

“We already knew that Rae.” Clarke swatted at her hand.

“But you like her like her!”

“Again, we knew this.”

“Can’t you just let me have my fun?” Raven sat back with a huff.

Clarke laughed and shook her head. Glancing at her phone she jumped up, “not at the moment. Give me a few minutes and we’ll see.”

Before Raven could reply Clarke was running to her bedroom. A few seconds later she heard I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes blasting from the Bluetooth speaker Clarke kept on her desk. Once the song ended, Clarke returned to the table, smiling and blushing at her phone.

“What was that about?” Raven asked.

“It’s a game. Lexa and Tris used to play with their parents. They used songs to let each other know how they were feeling. Lexa told me about it on our date the other night.”

“That’s why you guys were sitting in the backyard forever yesterday playing music back and forth?”

“Yes.” Clarke smiled when her phone lit up in her hand again. She typed out a quick reply. “She played a song right after our first date. She wanted to let me know how she felt. It’s surprisingly fun.”

“You guys are gross.”

Clarke shrugged. “Don’t care. She’s worth it.”

“Stop.” Raven faked a gag.

“She just asked me if she can take me out tonight. She wants me to get all fancy for her.” Clarke waved her phone in Raven’s face.

“Ugh. You’re going to be insufferable for months.” Raven sighed and lowered her head to the table.

“Hey Rae?” Clarke nudged her.

“Yeah Clarkey?” Raven turned her head to look at her. Part of her hoped Clarke would finally tell her something about her non-relationship with Lexa.

“Want to explain the glitter from yesterday morning?”

Raven sat up and blanched. “Huh?”

“You know. The glitter? You and O were covered in it.”

“In my defense, I was left unsupervised!”

“You’re an adult Raven.”

With a shrug, she replied, “Yes, but we all know I need an adultier adult around to make sure I stay an adult.”

“What did you do?” Clarke sighed.

“Glitter bombs.”

Waiting a few moments in a vain hope Raven would continue without prompting, Clarke sighed again. “What does that mean?”

“I put some glitter in water balloons, filled them with water, and launched them.”

“Launched them?” Clarke repeated. When Raven only nodded Clarke had to ask, “You launched the glitter bombs at Anya Woods?”

“If I say yes, are you going to be mad?”

Clarke rubbed her eyes before glaring at her friend, “No. But only because I know she’s been pranking you left and right. And you have been very good about taking it on the chin.”

“So if I – ”

“No. I don’t want to know. Just… don’t hurt her. At all. In any way.” Clarke held up a hand, not wanting to know anything about the inner workings of Raven’s mind.

“Okay, but I don’t want to get in trouble.”

“I think at this point, it’s between you and Anya, not Polis and Arkadia.” Clarke replied. “I do have one question though.”

“What’s that?”

“How was O involved?”

Raven’s eyes dropped to the table in front of her. “She may have been walking with Anya at the time of the launching.”

“You threw glitter bombs at our pregnant friend?”

“Lincoln helped!” Raven shouted.

“He helped you? Or he helped Octavia?”

“Me! He threw the first bomb at O!”

Clarke could only shake her head. “So we can’t trust you and Lincoln together. Noted.”

“Like I said,” Raven grinned at her, “adultier adult.”

****

They say time flies when you’re having fun. What they don’t tell you is that time drags when you know you’re going to be having fun in a few hours. Clarke spent her day glaring at any clock she saw. Due her insistence on sitting in the front row of all her classes, she had no chance to get away with looking at her phone while her professors went on and on about things Clarke knew she needed to know but couldn’t find it in herself to care about.

After her last class of the day finally ended just after 3:30 in the afternoon she finally pulled her phone out to find a new group chat and over a hundred messages from Raven, Octavia, Lexa, and two numbers she didn’t recognize. She scrolled through the feed, reading the messages as quickly as she could. Within the first twenty she understood. Raven and Tris, the first unknown number, wanted to throw a party. They wanted to have a ‘welcome to the townhouse’ sort of party where people could float between the apartments. Paige and kids were going out of town for a few days so they wouldn’t have to worry about disturbing them. Lexa and O had already agreed, the second unknown number, Anya, had agreed to attend if Raven promised to keep the glitter away from her.

 

Clarke: (3:40p)
I thought we were going out 
tonight?

Lex: (3:40p)
We are. Raven and Tris have 
agreed to leave our doors 
locked.

Clarke: (3:41p)
We’re skipping the party?

Lex: (3:42p)
Yes. I already have everything 
set for our date.

Lex: (3:42p)
Unless you’d rather stay for
the party. We can do the
romantic date some other
time.

Lex: (3:43p)
I’ll cancel the reservation. No 
big deal.

Clarke: (3:44p)
Don’t you dare!

Clarke: (3:44p)
I just wanted to make sure you
hadn’t changed your mind. I
expect romance Lexa Woods!

Lex: (3:45p)
I thought we established how 
smooth I am…

Clarke: (3:46p)
I don’t think it counts if you’re 
the only one that says it.

Lex: (3:46p)
That was mean Clarke.

Clarke: (3:47p)
I’ll make it up to you later…

 

Clarke tossed her bag in the trunk of her car and drove home, looking forward to her date. She hoped Lexa didn’t change her mind and make the date casual again. As much as she loved seeing Lexa in her jeans and leather jacket, Clarke was really looking forward to seeing her all dressed up.

****

“Clarke, you look…” Octavia stood in her doorway and shook her head. “I don’t have words.”

“Is it too much?” Clarke turned one way, then the other, checking her reflection.

Raven came up behind O and scoffed, “too much what?”

“She said fancy.” Clarke replied. “I didn’t know what else to wear.

Her friends took in her deep blue dress. The neckline was low, but only low enough to tantalize. The back was open, small ribbons holding it in place. The skirt fell to just above her knees.

“It’s grown up.” Octavia assured her.

“You’re an adult.” Raven winked.

“You’ve been wearing a lot of blue lately.” Octavia entered the room to sit on Clarke’s bed.

“Lexa likes it. She says it makes my eyes more blue.” Clarke shrugged.

Raven laughed, “I guess that explains why she’s been wearing green so much.”

Clarke nodded, “I love her eyes. They’re a shade of green I can’t name. It’s like every time I see them they’re a different color.”

“You’re such an artist.” Octavia laughed.

Raven jumped on the bed next to her, jostling the smaller woman. When Octavia grabbed her stomach and swallowed thickly Clarke dropped in front of her, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. Just a little nauseous.” Octavia waved her away.

“I forgot.” Raven rubbed her back.

“It’s hard to forget.” Octavia laughed. “I’m growing a person.”

“Are you and Lincoln okay?” Clarke asked quietly.

Octavia grinned. She rubbed her stomach a few times while she said, “We’re fine. I know we’ve only been together for… almost eight months! Our anniversary is coming up!”

“I think he’ll be okay with skipping this one.” Raven laughed.

“Right.” Octavia nodded. “Because of the baby. Other things to worry about.”

“So you’ve only been together for eight months…” Clarke prompted her.

“Yeah, but we’ve discussed the future. Of course, that future involved him already having several years on the force and me actually graduated. I guess we’re winging it.” Octavia said. She glanced over her shoulder at Raven quickly before turning back to Clarke. “He wants to get married after he graduates.”

Raven quickly moved off the bed, dropping to her knees next to Clarke. “Is that what you want?”

“By the time he graduates we’ll have been together for over a year.”

“That isn’t what Rae asked.” Clarke replied.

“Would you think I’m crazy if I said I’m more than ready to marry him?”

Shaking her head, Raven covered one of Octavia’s hand with her own, “No. I think when you know, you know.”

“I think you should do what feels right to you.” Clarke added. “We’re here for you no matter what you decide.”

“About that.” Octavia said slowly. “What would you say to me and Lincoln moving in downstairs after Lexa and Tris leave? We’ll pay rent and all that.”

“I’m fine with it O. You know you’re welcome.” Clarke assured her.

“Thank you!” Octavia threw her arms around her friends. “I love you guys to much. You’re the best friends ever!”

“We know.” Raven shrugged when Octavia pulled away.

Clarke stood and winked at O, “I’d love to talk more about your little one and all, but I have a hot date to get ready for.”

“Right! The big second date!” Octavia laughed.

“Second date. Sort of eighth date. Something like that.” Clarke said over her shoulder as she retreated to her bathroom to finish her hair and make-up.

“Eighth date?” Raven repeated.

“It’s a Lexa thing.” Clarke called back.

Octavia started to reply but then sprinted to the door when the doorbell rang. She opened it to find a very classy looking Lexa and a very dressed down Lincoln.

“Why do you look so disappointed?” Lincoln leaned down to give her a quick kiss.

“Your sister is fancy.” Octavia jerked her head toward Lexa. “You’re in basketball shorts.”

“You like my basketball shorts.”

“Lexa is wearing a bowtie.” Octavia sighed.

The woman standing right next to Lincoln shuffled from one foot to the other. “Lexa is right here.”

“And she is looking hot!” Raven appeared over Octavia’s shoulder.

And she was. Lexa was dressed in tight black slacks, a hunter green dress shirt, black suspenders and a black bowtie. Her hunter green Chucks completed her outfit. As usual, she was wearing one of her leather jackets. She looked amazing.

“With the shoes? Really?” Raven rolled her eyes.

“I like to be casual even when I’m formal.” Lexa shrugged. She craned her neck to look around the other women. “Is Clarke ready?”

“She is.” Clarke said as she came out of her room.

Lexa’s breath caught in her throat. She knew Clarke was beautiful. She didn’t call her meizen for no reason. But in that dress, with her hair up like that in messy curls and the silver heels adding a few inches to her height, she looked almost angelic.

“Wow.” Lexa’s jaw dropped.

“It isn’t fair to ogle when I can’t see you.” Clarke laughed.

Raven stepped aside, dragging Octavia with her, to allow Clarke a view of Lexa. Clarke’s eyes grew and her jaw dropped.

“There’s my owl!” Lexa smirked.

“Shut up.” Clarke muttered after she closed her mouth with a snap.

“That isn’t nice.” Lexa replied. She took Clarke’s silver sweater from her and held it up, silently offering to help her into the warmth it promised.

Clarke allowed her to help. Then she turned and found herself just inches from Lexa. She looked her up and down again, “You look fantastic.”

“You look even better.” Lexa whispered back. She leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to Clarke’s parted lips.

Raven’s fake gag burst their little bubble. “So gross.”

“Jealousy looks good on you Rae.” Clarke laughed.

“Let’s head out.” Lexa stepped away and offered Clarke her arm. “Our reservation is at 7. We have to go now if we don’t want to be late.”

“Right. Let’s go!” Clarke accepted her arm. “Make sure my room stays closed!”

“We will!” Lincoln promised.

Clarke stopped halfway down the stairs. She turned and stared at Lincoln, hoping her eyes conveyed how serious she was being, “Lincoln. No pranks tonight. From Rae, O, Tris, Monty, Jasper, or Anya. No pranks!”

“Yes Skaigada!” He saluted her.

“I’m serious. Be an adult!” Clarke replied. Then she glanced over at a grinning Raven Reyes. "An adultier adult."

“He understands Clarke.” Lexa whispered in her ear. “Let’s go.”

****

“Lex,” Clarke exhaled when they entered the Italian restaurant. “This place is amazing. And probably ridiculously expensive.”

“It is, but Indra owns it.” Lexa shrugged. She smiled at the girl at the podium, nodding when asked if she wanted her usual table.

“Indra owns this place? And Grounders?”

“She likes food.”

Clarke allowed Lexa to take her hand and lead her to a table tucked away in a corner. She found herself surrounded by candlelight and shimmery red drapes.

“I think this is my new favorite restaurant.” Clarke said as she sat in the chair Lexa pulled out for her.

“Just wait until you try the food. You’ll want to move in." Lexa laughed.

“No way.” Clarke shook her head. “I like my house.”

Indra appeared next to the table, her face as solemn as ever. “Good evening girls.”

“Indra.” Lexa smiled up at her.

“Your meal will be out soon.” Indra said. “I put together a tasting for you, like we discussed.”

“Thank you.” Lexa replied.

“Have a good time. Make good choices.”

With that, Indra was gone.

“I think your aunt is a ninja.” Clarke whispered.

“I’m not. I’m just quiet.” Indra’s head poked back into view.

“Indra!”

“Sorry. I couldn’t resist.”

The girls only had a few moments to themselves before the food and drinks were brought out. There was a little bit of everything on the menu.

“I thought you’d like to try the food. So that you’d know what you like if you want to come back.” Lexa explained.

“If you want to bring me back, I’d be more than happy to join you.” Clarke replied.

Soon, the girls were eating from the plates covering every inch of the table. Clarke loved everything she tried. She listened when the waiter explained the pairing of food with wine. She found herself grinning when Lexa offered her a bite of food from her fork. After she tried everything three or four times, she leaned back in her chair and shook her head.

“I don’t think I could eat another bite.”

“Me either.” Lexa waved at their waiter. He immediately approached the table and began clearing plates and glasses.

Clarke smiled across the table at her date.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Lexa asked.

“I like you.”

“Oh.” Lexa grinned. “Well that’s good. I like you too.”

“I like you a lot. Like, I think I should be scared about how much I like you.”

Lexa nodded, “I understand. Really, I do.”

“Good.” Clarke laughed. “Just wanted to make sure you knew.”

“I do.”

Clarke stood and shrugged back into her jacket. When Lexa started to stand too, Clarke rushed to help her with her chair. She helped Lexa into her leather jacket, pressing a kiss to her neck after it was on.

“I like the heels by the way.” Lexa whispered when she turned to face her. “They make you almost the same height as me.”

“So much easier to kiss you. No tip toes.” Clarke smiled as she took the lapels in her fists and pulled Lexa close to her. “That’s okay right?”

“More than okay.” Lexa looped her arms around Clarke’s waist. “I’ve been waiting for a kiss all night.”

“Should have said something. We could have gotten it out of the way so you weren’t too preoccupied.”

“I think I’ll always be preoccupied with the thought of kissing you.”

Grinning, Clarke closed the distance between their lips. Stopping just as they connect Clarke smiled, “There’s the game you keep mentioning!”

****

The women made their way home arm in arm. Laughing and smiling and just being young and falling in love. They turned the corner to find their home surrounded by young adults. Some they knew, some they didn’t.

“I don’t want to deal with drunk people.” Clarke pulled Lexa to a stop and dropped her head to her shoulder.

“So we don’t.” Lexa replied, turning to wrap her arms around her.

“What can we do? Run away?”

“No. We go to my place, lock ourselves in my room and watch more Cosima.” Lexa started rocking.

Clarke nodded into her shoulder. “And maybe do the talking part of the second date?”

“If we must.”

“I think we do.” Clarke pulled away. “You’ll have to give me something to change into.”

“I like the dress.” Lexa pouted when Clarke started pulling her down the street.

“I’ll keep the dress on if you keep the bowtie on.” Clarke replied.

Shaking her head, “I’ll give you some sweats. This tie is coming off as soon as my door closes!”

With more determination than Lexa had ever seen her display, Clarke worked her way through the crowd. She ducked and dodged, and sometimes shoved, her way between people until, finally, they were in Lexa’s room. Lexa found a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt to change into.

“You can use my bathroom. I’ll change out here.” Lexa told her.

With a quick kiss to her cheek, Clarke accepted the clothing and went to get changed. A few minutes later she emerged, her face cleared of make-up and her hair down around her shoulders again.

“So much better.” She smiled as she tossed herself facedown on Lexa’s bed.

Lexa grinned at the sight. “This is the first time you’ve been in my bed.”

“I’m on your bed, not in your bed.” Clarke corrected her, her voice muffled by the pillow it was buried in.

“But if I know you, you’ll have me under those blankets in less than five minutes.”

“I like to snuggle! Is there a problem with…” Clarke lifted her head and twisted to look at Lexa.

She was wearing basketball shorts and a muscle shirt. It was the most exposed skin Clarke had ever seen on Lexa at one time.

“Clarke?” Lexa approached the bed where the blonde woman seemed frozen.

“You’ve got a tattoo?” Clarke sat up.

“Yes.” Lexa replied slowly. “Is that a problem?”

“How have we been on two dates and how ever many other sort of dates and I didn’t know you have a tattoo?”

Lexa could only shrug. “You never asked.”

“I guess that’s true. You just don’t seem like the tattoo type.” Clarke said. She reached up when Lexa was close enough and traced the tribal like pattern on her bicep.

“I have another. On my back.” Lexa swallowed hard. The tips of Clarke’s fingers were softly touching her, causing a fire to spark in her stomach.

“Can I see?”

“I don’t think that’s second date appropriate.”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “Please?”

With a sigh, Lexa pulled away from Clarke’s finger tips and turned around. She lifted her shirt up slowly, revealing the circles and lines running along her spine.

“What does it mean?”

“It’s about not knowing your path but trusting yourself to get where you need to be. And the circles, they represent my loved ones.” Lexa explained. “Mom, Dad, Tris, Me, Anya, Lincoln, Indra, and my uncle Gustus. You haven’t met him yet.”

“I kind of love it.” Clarke traced the pattern.

Lexa jumped at the light touch. She lowered her shirt and turned around, “And that’s enough eighth date stuff! We did pretty good with sticking to second date things, let’s keep doing that.”

“I have a tattoo.” Clarke said softly, her eyes staring up at Lexa.

“Do you?”

“On the back of my left shoulder.” Clarke turned and pulled at the collar of her borrowed t-shirt. An old fashioned compass came into view. “It was my dad’s. He taught me to read maps with it.”

“So it’s like he’s still guiding you.” Lexa leaned down and pressed a kiss to the inked skin. “I love it. It suits you.”

Clarke turned back around. She wrapped a hand around the back of Lexa’s neck and pulled her in for a searing kiss. When she pulled away, they were both a little dazed. “Hey Lex?”

“Yeah Meizen?”

“I want to snuggle now.”

“You always want to snuggle.”

“Oh please, like you’re going to complain.” Clarke rolled her eyes. She released her grip on Lexa and shifted until she had the blankets out from under her. “Just get in bed.”

“What about Cosima?”

“How about we keep it just us for tonight?” Clarke winked. “Get in bed and snuggle me please?”

Lexa crawled beneath the blankets with a smile. She opened her arms and waited for Clarke to fall into her. She didn’t have to wait long. Soon, she had her wrapped in an embrace that had them both sighing.

“So, second date stuff.” Lexa murmured. “How about you tell me about your first kiss?”

“First kiss? Does that mean the first one that meant something or the first one I was dared to do?” Clarke laughed.

“Both?”

“Okay. The first kiss I was dared to do was actually with Bellamy.” Clarke giggled at Lexa’s playful growl. “We were at a party when I was a in eighth grade. I’d begged Bell to take me along. We played truth or dare.”

“Did you like it?”

“No.” Clarke shook her head. “It was like kissing my brother.”

“Good answer.” Lexa replied.

Clarke lifted her head and grinned, “jealousy over Bellamy Blake is wasted.”

“I know. I just don’t like the idea of you kissing him.”

“Well I don’t either so we agree on that.” Clarke ghosted her lips over Lexa’s before settling her head back on her chest. “My first real kiss was freshman year. With that girl I told you about, my first girlfriend. Her name was Harper McIntyre.”

“How long were you together?”

“About a year.” Clarke replied. “She was my first in a lot of ways.”

Lexa shook her head, “I wasn’t going to ask.”

“I know. But you wanted to ask. You’re allowed to ask.”

“I didn’t want to be nosey.”

“We have to have the partners talk sometime Lex. If we’re expecting this to keep going where I think it’s going.”

“I know.” Lexa sighed. “My first kiss was a dare. His name was Nick Goshen. As bad as it sounds, it helped me accept the fact that I was and forever will be a lesbian. My first meaningful kiss was with Costia. She was my first in a lot of ways too.”

Clarke fought against the growl that grew in her throat. She was working on not being jealous of Costia. Lexa swore they were only friends. Clarke could handle that.

“I wasn’t her first. She’d been with someone before me.” Lexa said. “At the time, that hurt.”

“I know the feeling.” Clarke replied.

“So how many…” Lexa wasn’t sure how to finish the question.

“How many people have I been with?” Clarke waited until Lexa nodded to answer, “six women and three men. Most were flings. Only Harper and Finn were serious. And there’s Niylah. What about you?

“Five women.” Lexa replied. “I was with Costia, you know that. Then were a few flings. And one woman who was like Niylah. Her name was Shay.”

“Okay,” Clarke released a breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding. “So that’s out of the way now. I was tested last month by the way. I wanted to donate blood and got screened first.”

“Same.”

“Good.”

Silence fell. Lexa wasn’t sure where to take the conversation now. She didn’t want to delve any further into Clarke’s sexual history. She didn’t have much more to tell on her side.

“Tell me about your favorite birthday?” Clarke broke into her thoughts.

Lexa pressed a kiss to Clarke’s blonde locks and smiled. Of course Clarke would know she was lost trying to find a topic to talk about.

“Easy. My twelfth birthday.”

“Why?”

“Mom and Dad took us to the Harry Potter theme park.”

Clarke pulled herself up onto an elbow, “You like Harry Potter?”

“Duh.”

“Are you a Ravenclaw?”

Lexa shook her head. “Hufflepuff pride baby!”

“You really are a nerd.” Clarke shook her head. She leaned down to kiss Lexa’s cheek.

“I’m your nerd though.” Lexa replied softly, her eyes meeting Clarke’s.

Clarke smiled, “I think you’re right.”

“You’re a Gryffindor aren’t you?”

“Of course!”

Lexa nudged Clarke’s elbow until she collapsed on to her chest again. She rolled them until she was half on top of Clarke. “I knew it! You’re brave and all but also brazen! All courage no planning.”

“My plans worked on you didn’t they?”

“How do you figure?”

“You’re about to kiss me in your bed aren’t you?” Clarke smirked.

Knowing an answer wasn’t actually required, Lexa lowered her head and did just that. She pressed a kiss to Clarke’s forehead, then her closed eyes, her neck just below her ears. She traced Clarke’s eyebrows with her lips, then down the length of her nose.

“Lex,” Clarke whined.

She smirked when she lowered her head. Her lips parted slightly, taking Clarke’s bottom lip between her own and sucking lightly. With a pop, she released and repositioned her lips, repeating the motion with Clarke’s upper lip. Lexa went back and forth until she felt Clarke’s tongue trace her lip. She opened her mouth without hesitation. Both women groaned when their tongues met. They dueled for dominance in the kiss, Clarke would pull back enough to capture Lexa’s lip between her teeth, and Lexa would pull away to trail kisses over Clarke’s face.

Lexa worked her way down Clarke’s neck, settling on her pulse point. When she felt Clarke’s hips shift next to her she lifted herself so she was almost on top of the blonde. Clarke’s hands reached up to grab her head, holding her against her neck while she moaned. Lexa pulled her hands away, laced their fingers together and held them to the bed. Clarke took the momentary break from Lexa’s lips on her to return the favor on the brunette’s neck. Lexa tilted her head to the side, allowing her more access. When Clarke shifted under her again, one of Lexa’s legs found its way between Clarke’s.

It was Clarke’s moaned at the pressure that pulled Lexa’s mind free from the spiral of desire that had consumed her. With every ounce of self-control she had, she shifted away from Clarke, releasing her hands and dropping to her side.

“Lex?” Clarke panted.

“Sorry.” Lexa leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to the bruise already forming on Clarke’s neck.

“Why did we stop?”

Lexa laughed, “It’s only our second date Clarke. I’m trying to be… I don’t know chivalrous?”

“I liked where we were heading.” Clarke pouted.

“Me too. But that’s for another time.”

Clarke rolled so she was on her side, facing Lexa. “You’re too good I think Lexa Woods.”

“I don’t know about that. But I think I’m good for you.” Lexa smiled when Clarke kissed her again. “Don’t start. I want to take this slow. Do this right.”

“Fine.” Clarke sighed and rolled to her back again. She lifted her arms and smiled at Lexa, inviting her into her embrace.

That was an invitation Lexa couldn’t refuse. She moved closer to Clarke, throwing a leg over hers and arm over her stomach, wrapping her shirt tightly in her fist. She turned her head enough to press a kiss to her shoulder before settling into the crook of her neck. Then she giggled.

“What?”

“We just started making out because of Harry Potter.”

Clarke shook her head and laughed, “That may be why you started kissing me but I started kissing you because you said you’re mine.”

“Well I think I may be.”

“And I think I’m going to make that official pretty soon.”

Lexa smiled into her neck. “Good.”

“Can I stay here for the night? I can still hear the party and I’m tired.”

“Of course. I’m almost yours, so any thing of mine is almost yours too.”

“Raven is so going to give me hell for this.” Clarke replied as she gestured toward her neck. She settled further into the pillows under her head, “First she thinks she catches me on a walk of shame, now she’s going to see a hickey.”

“How do you know there’s a hickey?”

Clarke scoffed, “please Lexa. If the one I left on your neck is anything to go by, you left one hell of a love bite on display.”

“Let’s people know you’re mine.” Lexa yawned. “Not sorry.”

Chapter Text

As much as Clarke wanted to be annoyed by the state of the house and yard the next day, she couldn’t bring herself to do anything by smile. She and Lexa had emerged from Lexa’s room around 7, ready to face the day. What they found was a mostly immaculate basement apartment.

“Oh no.” Clarke groaned.

“What?” Lexa looked around, confused by her words.

“If this place is this neat, that means Rae or O figured out we went to bed and forced everyone out of here.”

“Well that was considerate of them.” Lexa smiled.

Clarke shook her head. Rubbing her forehead, she tried to remember how many people had been around the night before. All she could remember was Lexa. “You don’t get it. That means everyone ended up either upstairs or in the yard.”

“Okay?” Lexa seemed more confused.

“My place is probably trashed.”

“I’m sure Raven and Octavia took care of everything.” Lexa rubbed a hand up and down her back.

“Really? You’re sure?” Clarke quirked a brow and smirked.

“Yes?”

Clarke headed toward the door, “let’s go see if you’re right.”

Lexa followed, pausing long enough to slip on her Chucks. “Where?”

“My place.” Clarke replied as she waited for Lexa to lock her door. “To show you how wrong you are.”

“It could be fine.”

“We left Rae, O, Lincoln, Tris, Monty, Jasper, and Anya unsupervised last night. With alcohol.” Clarke pointed out.

“Right.” Lexa replied. They reached the front door but before Clarke could open it, Lexa wrapped her arms around her waist, pulling her back to her front. She perched her chin on Clarke’s shoulder and whispered, “I regret nothing.”

“You say that now.” Clarke said softly. She turned her head enough to meet Lexa’s eye. “Rae and O don’t do half measures.”

“Octavia is pregnant. She wouldn’t have had anything to drink. I’m sure she wouldn’t let things get too out of hand.”

“And if sober O was distracted by drunk Lincoln?”

Lexa pressed a kiss to the corner of Clarke’s mouth. “Have some faith.”

“I’ve been friends with the Delinquents all my life. I have faith in their loyalty to each other and their ability to cause chaos everywhere.”

****

An hour and a half later Clarke and Lexa were sitting cross-legged on the kitchen island eating cereal and drinking coffee while the Delinquents and Lexa’s siblings were cleaning furiously around them. Clarke’s guesses had been correct. The apartment was beyond messy. The yard wasn’t much better. Lexa took one look at Clarke’s face before she put on her Heda mask and hunted down all their friends. She woke them up with ice cubes dumped in their beds.

“I don’t think they appreciated my prank.” Lexa spoke around the Fruit Loops in her mouth.

“Ice cubes to my bare back after a night of drinking Jasper’s moonshine is not a prank Lexa. It’s torture.” Raven argued.

“You shouldn’t have let things get out of hand.” Lexa shrugged.

“We thought you’d thank us.” Tris yawned from her spot at the sink where she was scrubbing pots and pans. “We cleared out our place so you guys wouldn’t be disturbed.”

“And you didn’t wake O up!” Raven continued her rant, ignoring the Woods siblings all together.

“I appreciate you guys clearing the basement.” Clarke said before leaning over to steal a quick kiss from Lexa. “But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with this mess.”

Lexa nodded, “And while I was happy to get a good night of sleep, I don’t like knowing it was at the expense of Clarke’s home.”

“Why is Octavia allowed to be sleeping?” Raven whined.

“She’s pregnant Reyes.” Anya snapped. “Let it go.”

“Excuses, excuses.” Raven muttered.

“I’m telling her you said that.” Clarke glared at her. “Now I have class in half an hour. I’m going to go get ready now.”

Lexa helped her down from the counter. Clarke stepped between her legs, which were now dangling over the edge of the counter. Lexa wrapped her arms around her shoulders and pulled her in for a kiss that had their friends gagging.

“This place will be sparkling when you get home tonight.” She promised.

“I don’t need sparkling. I just want clean.”

“But why settle for clean when we can achieve sparkling.” Lexa kissed her again. “I’m sure your friends don’t mind putting in the effort for you.”

****

O’Goddess: (5:02p)
Wait until you see what came 
for you while you were in class!

BoomBoomRae: (5:03p)
Seriously jealous right now!

Griffster: (5:03p)
I’ll be there in 10 minutes.

O’Goddess: (5:04p)
Make it faster!

 

She made it to the apartment in seven minutes. As she breezed through the door Clarke asked, “What’s going on?”

“Look!” Raven pointed at the huge bouquet of flowers on the kitchen island. O stood behind her clapping her hands rapidly. “Heda’s got game!”

Grinning like a fool, Clarke practically skipped to the flowers. The arrangement of blue, purple, and white blooms was beyond beautiful. She sniffed as many of the flowers as she could before pulling out her phone.

 

Clarke: (5:17p)
Thank you! It’s gorgeous!

Lex: (5:17p)
Only the best for you!

Lex: (5:18p)
Am I going to see you later?

Clarke: (5:19p)
Of course!

Clarke: (5:19p)
I’m going to take you on date
#3/9

Lex: (5:21p)
You are?

Clarke: (5:21p)
If you’d like…

Lex: (5:22p)
Time and place?

Clarke: (5:23p)
730, my place

Lex: (5:25p)
Your place? Are you one of 
those girls?

Lex: (5:26p)
Exactly how much meaning
do you put on date #3 Miss
Griffin?

Clarke: (5:27p)
… don’t get cocky Lexa.

Clarke: (5:27p)
I’m a ‘let’s see how the night 
goes’ sort of girl. You are too.

Lex: (5:29p)
I guess I’ll just have to make 
sure the night goes well then…

 

Clarke grinned at her phone one last time before sending a goodbye to Lexa and returning it to her pocket. Picking up the flowers and heading toward her room she glanced at her roommates. “Any chance you two would be okay with making yourselves scarce for a few hours tonight? Lex is coming over for a date.”

“What’s it worth to you?” Raven replied with a grin.

“How about I keep not thinking up a consequence for the glitter bombs?” Clarke poked her head back out of her doorway.

“You said you were okay with that!” Raven protested.

“It’s funny how that changed when you threatened her date with Lexa.” Octavia laughed.

“Fine.” Raven huffed, crossing her arms over her chest. “I have to work tonight anyway.”

“And Lincoln and I were planning on meeting up with Bellamy.” Octavia added.

Clarke nodded and started to close her door, stopping when Raven called her name. Her friend winked and asked, “are we allowed to come home tonight?”

“Yes.” Clarke rolled her eyes. “Just… maybe not until after midnight? Or text before you head back?”

****

Clarke: (7:08p)
Just let yourself in when you’re 
ready!

 

Lexa did just that. She’d dressed casually, jeans and a t-shirt, her leather jacket draped over her arm just in case they decided to go out after all. She opened the door at exactly 7:30, calling out as she did so. “Clarke?”

She’d had more to say after calling out for the blonde but the sight in front of her had her speechless. Candles everywhere! And a flustered Clarke at the stove stirring something and talking to herself.

“Clarke?” She said again as she approached her. When she saw no reaction Lexa slid her arms around her waist. She pressed a kiss to the base of Clarke’s neck, leaving her lips there when she spoke, “that smells amazing.”

“Good.”

The cold answer caught her off guard. “Are you alright?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Then why do I feel like I’m about to get frostbite?” Lexa loosened her arms and stepped back, keeping her hands on Clarke’s hips.

With a sigh and a small shake of her head, Clarke turned around. She brought her hands up to Lexa’s neck, cupping it gently, sinking her fingers in the chestnut hair she’d come to adore. “I’m sorry Lex.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing important.”

“That can’t be true.” Lexa replied, lifting one hand to nudge Clarke’s chin until she looked at her. “You’re not smiling. You always smile.”

“No, I usually smile when you’re around. I’m not always smiling.” Clarke corrected, scratching lightly at Lexa’s scalp.

Meizen,” Lexa said softly. She pressed a kiss to Clarke’s forehead, “Please tell me what’s bothering you? I want to help.”

After a moment spent with blue searching green, Clarke sighed, “I got another email from MWC.”

“Okay. What’d it say?”

“There were PDFs of signed statements from former MWC students claiming I stole their papers.” Clarke explained. “And a legal looking document of some sort, claiming to have evidence of AC students involved in the hacking or UP files.”

“Okay. Right.” Lexa nodded. “That’s nothing we can’t handle.”

“We?”

Lexa’s eyes narrowed at Clarke’s surprise. “You were planning on letting me help you with this right?”

“No.” There was no hesitation in Clarke’s response.

“Clarke…” Lexa sighed. “If we get both schools behind you Mount Weather will have to back off.”

“I can’t.”

“Why?” Lexa stepped back, out of Clarke’s embrace.

Rubbing her face before running her hands through her hair, Clarke gripped the blonde strands tightly before dropping her hands to her sides with a thump. She tried to explain her stance, “if we don’t have an actual truce we can agree on and enforce, I don't think I can use Polis’s influence. My classmates would question my judgment and yours would question my influence over you.”

“But if Polis wants to help –”

“We agreed to Finn turning himself in as a condition of the truce being established.” Clarke cut her off. “Not only has he not turned himself in, he hasn’t been questioned or arrested for what he did to Tris.”

“He will be. The accusations can’t be ignored now that Raven has turned in the recording.” Lexa replied. “Meizen, please. Even rumors can ruin reputations.”

“I know. I have Dr. Jaha and the Board helping me. I’ve already forwarded the email to all of those who need it.” Clarke scratched at the back of her neck. She didn’t like turning down Lexa’s offer but she didn’t think their classmates would be okay with it. “I’m not too worried. I have my notes and research and rough drafts. That should be proof enough.”

Lexa shook her head again. She knew Clarke’s reputation was as risk with the accusations MWC was throwing her way. “Just let me help you!”

“No!”

“Why not?”

“What if people think I’m only with you so I can get your help? Or if they think I’m only with you so you don’t come after my friends?”

“Who cares what other people think?”

“Rumors ruin reputations.”

Lexa scoffed at her words being thrown back at her. “Are you?”

“Am I what?”

“With me for those reasons?”

Clarke didn’t know how to respond to that. She hadn’t meant it. There was no way Lexa could believe it. “Excuse me?”

“Those aren’t your reasons right?”

“I think you need to leave.” Clarke bit out.

“What?” Lexa’s eyes grew wide. “No. Clarke. I didn’t –”

“Just get out Lexa!” Clarke snapped. “I’ve got things to deal with. Things I need to handle quickly if I don’t want them to ruin me.”

Shaking her head, Lexa tried to resist when Clarke started to herd her toward the door. “Meizen, please! You’re misunderstanding –”

“Sorry for wasting your time Heda.” Clarke said when Lexa was finally out the door and standing on the porch. “Guess we don’t need to worry about what the rumors are saying."

Chapter Text

Immediately after escorting Lexa out of the apartment Clarke returned to the kitchen and boxed up the spaghetti she’d made. Then she went to her room and closed the door softly, refusing to give Lexa the satisfaction of hearing a slamming door. Finally, she changed into her comfiest pajamas and climbed into bed. When she grabbed her phone, intent on letting O and Rae know they were good to come home whenever, she heard music drifting up from the basement. Clarke didn’t even pause long enough to figure out what the song was. She snatched up her headphones and plugged them in, turning on her classical music playlist before shutting her eyes and forcing herself to go to sleep.

That had been two days ago. She still hadn’t talked to Lexa. She’d sent a text Friday morning, just a simple good morning, but hadn’t heard anything in response. Saturday was much the same. She found herself staring at her phone, willing it to light up with Lexa’s name and picture. After an hour or so of that, Clarke retreated to her room, determined to get away from the murmurings of Octavia and Raven. It was only after hearing Octavia mention the date that she realized why she’d been stressed.

After closing her door, assuring her friends she was okay, she pulled out her dad’s old records. Sunday was the anniversary of Jake’s death. She’d always found a way to commemorate her father after his death. For the last four years she’d found a way to spend the day doing things she’d have done with him. Even when she got busy and forgot to remember, her body or maybe her mind always seemed to know.

Clarke connected her phone to her speaker and searched her music library. Smiling when she found what she had been looking for, she pressed play. She grabbed her sketchbook and pens before sitting on her floor, leaning back against her bed. She listened to the album a few times through while she drew, not even realizing she was turning her post-apocalyptic women into a graphic novel before her eyes.

Her door flew open with a bang, causing Clarke to scream and throw her green pen at the intruder. The intruder who just so happened to be a very angry looking Lexa Woods.

“We are not breaking up! We had an argument!” Lexa stomped to over to her and dropped down to her knees, glaring at Clarke, almost daring her to challenge her.

“Why would you think we’re breaking up?” Clarke closed her sketchbook and tossed it up on her bed.

“What other reason would you have for playing ‘Tapestry’ nonstop for the last four hours?”

“What?”

“Everyone knows that is one of the world’s greatest break up album but we aren’t breaking up, we’re arguing!” Lexa shouted, pushing herself to her feet. She paced from one end of the room to the other, muttering about breaking up and stupidity.

“Lex,” Clarke said as she stood from the floor and approached her, “first, we can’t break up if we aren’t together. Second, I’m not listening to this album because I think we’re breaking up.”

Lexa’s paces stopped so quickly she stumbled. “What do you mean we’re not together?”

“I haven’t asked you to be my girlfriend yet Lexa. We can’t break up if we’re not a couple.”

“Clarke Griffin,” Lexa huffed and put her fists on her hips. “Are you telling me you didn’t realize you’re my girlfriend?”

“Lexa Woods,” Clarke mirrored her stance and tone, “are you telling me you think I am?”

Rolling her eyes, Lexa scoffed, “I don’t just kiss girls over Harry Potter for no reason Clarke.”

“So…” Clarke blushed now, “are you saying you’re my girlfriend?”

“I already told you that I’m yours. You’re mine. I don’t understand what you don’t understand.” Lexa huffed. The she grinned and pulled her phone from her pocket. She pressed the screen a few times; soon Better Place by Rachel Platten filled the air. “Dance with me girlfriend?”

“I’d love to girlfriend.” Clarke took her hand and allowed herself to be pulled into a tight embrace. She smiled into Lexa’s shoulder as the spun in place slowly. “So is this our song then?”

“I think it fits.” Lexa whispered back. “Want to tell me why you’ve been listening to Carole King and ignoring me for the last two days?”

“I haven’t been ignoring you! I’ve sent you texts. You haven’t responded to any of them!” Clarke slapped her shoulder.

Lexa glanced away, a blush creeping over her cheeks. “Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh.” Clarke replied. “Why haven’t you answered?”

“I may have, sort of, broken my phone.”

“How?” Clarke pulled back in her arms just enough to see her face.

“I threw it at the wall. Phones don’t like that I guess.” Lexa shrugged. When she caught Clarke’s quick grin she scowled at her, “I played our song and you ignored me. I was mad.”

“I was mad too Lexa.” Clarke said softly.

Nodding a few times, Lexa stopped dancing and led Clarke to her bed. She turned off the music and sat down, scooting back until she was leaning against he headboard. She patted the open space next to her. “We need to talk about that.”

“About Mount Weather?” Clarke asked as she climbed into the bed.

“Yes. And why you won’t let me help.” Lexa replied. “And why you thought I was questioning your feelings for me.”

“You asked me if I’m with you because of your title Lex.” Clarke muttered.

“I was being sarcastic. I didn’t mean that I think you’re with me just to protect yourself or your friends. The idea that you’d do that is beyond ridiculous to me.” Lexa wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her into her side.

“That wasn’t how I heard it.”

Lexa laughed, “I noticed.”

“I’m not with you because you’re Heda.”

“I know.”

“I know you know. I just wanted to make sure you heard me say the actual words.” Clarke ran her hand across Lexa’s stomach before pulling her shirt into her fist.

“I’m sorry for making you think I was questioning you Clarke.”

“I’m sorry for making you leave like that. And for jumping to conclusions about what you were saying.”

They let silence settle between them. Lexa played with Clarke’s hair, running her fingers through it, scratching at her scalp every so often. Clarke drew mindless shapes on Lexa’s stomach, smiling each time the muscles would jump under her fingertips. Finally, Lexa cleared her throat.

“Why won’t you let me help you?”

“I told you why.”

“But if I can help, why not let me?”

“We agreed to certain terms Lex. We can’t go back on them just because I’m the one being threatened.” Clarke sighed.

Lexa moved her fingers to the underside of Clarke’s chin, pushing gently until Clarke’s head tipped back. “It’s sort of my job to protect you. If Mount Weather wants to go after you, they’ll be going after me too. If anyone attacks you, they attack me too.”

“That’s very noble.” Clarke leaned up enough to press a quick kiss to Lexa’s lips. “But I want to handle this. If I can’t, if Dr. Jaha and the Board and whoever else my mother finds to help me can’t do anything, then I promise I’ll let you know. You’ll be my first call.”

“Promise?”

“Yes.” Clarke held up a pinky. “I will probably be a crying hysterical mess at that point though. Just so you know.”

“I can handle that. As long as you need me around, I’ll be around. Hysterical mess and all.” Lexa replied, wrapping her pinky around Clarke’s.

Smiling and pressing more kisses to lips and foreheads, whispering and giggling, the girls let the world slip away for a little while. Clarke apologized for letting herself get too into her head. Lexa apologized for not being very good with sarcasm. They promised to not jump to conclusions or walk away from an argument anymore.

Finally, Lexa heard the beginning of I Feel The Earth Move playing. She pulled herself up and off Clarke, settling against he headboard once again.

“Lex?” A confused Clarke whispered, her eyes still closed so she could revel in the memories of Lexa on top of her, kissing her senseless.

“Sorry Meizen.” Lexa ran a soothing hand over her hair. “I just wanted to ask you something else.”

“And that would be?” Clarke opened one eye. A scowl coming from a solitary eye shouldn’t be so powerful.

“Why ‘Tapestry’ if you didn’t think we were breaking up?”

Clarke’s eye closed again. She sighed and turned her head away from her girlfriend. “It was one of my dad’s favorite albums. That’s his original pressing of it over there on my desk.”

“So you’re listening to it because it reminds you of your dad?”

“No. I’m listening to it because tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of his death.”

“Clarke.” Lexa breathed her name quietly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

Sitting up, Clarke spun on her knees until she was facing Lexa. She crept toward her slowly until she was in her lap, straddling her thighs. “No Lex! You don’t have to apologize. How could you know when it happened? I never told you.”

“I never asked.”

“Please don’t feel bad about this.” Clarke cupped her cheeks with her hands. “I told you I choose to remember the good my father taught me. Part of that is not thinking about the when. I don’t think I’d have remembered if O hadn’t said something.”

“You forgot?”

“No. Not remembering isn’t the same as forgetting. I always get… I don’t know…” Clarke sighed. “I get stressed this time of year. Between the holidays coming up and finals just a few weeks away you know? And this year I also had this sort of amazing girl I was focusing on.”

“I made you forget?” Lexa looked horrified by the idea.

“No! That isn’t what I meant!” Clarke shook her head. “I meant that you were helping. Remembering his death all the time is not my favorite thing to do. I just want to remember him. There’s a big difference. And listening to this album is one way I remember him.”

Lexa seemed to think about that for a moment. She rested her hands on Clarke’s thighs, rubbing circles with her thumbs. Then she slid her hands up to Clarke’s waist and smiled, “how else do you remember him?”

“Tomorrow I’ll do a bunch of things he’d have liked to do with me. Some low-key, like getting breakfast at a diner, others more exciting, like paintball or bungee jumping.”

“Do you think he’d mind if I joined you?” Lexa asked shyly, her eyes dropping to stare at Clarke’s collarbone.

“I think he’d love that.”

Lexa’s eyes rose to meet hers, “Do you think he’d be okay with me telling you I’d like to spend the day with you tomorrow?”

“As long as we include him in our plans, Dad wouldn’t care.”

Chapter Text

 4 weeks later…

It was the sixth bouquet Clarke had received. Always the same blue, purple, and pink flowers. Every time Clarke couldn’t contain her smiles. Each card had a single line written on it with a series of X’s and O’s underneath.

This time though, she couldn’t help tearing up a little bit at the words she read. ‘Thank you. The only thing I can say because you’re everything I could ever want.’ She read the words several times before glancing at the clock. Lexa was due to arrive soon to pick her up for their actual seventh date. Normally she’d send her a text to thank her, this time she decided to wait to thank her in person.

For a moment Clarke stared at the flowers and allowed herself to think back on the previous weeks. She had indeed spent the entire day with Lexa on the anniversary of her father’s death. They’d gone paintballing in the morning, bright and early. Clarke surprised Lexa with her skills, the brunette was clearly expecting to easily beat her. Then they went to a matinee of some old black and white movie, because Jake had always loved them. Clarke hadn’t paid much attention to the film because she was too bust watching Lexa staring up at the screen. Then Lexa had surprised her with lunch at her father’s favorite diner. Even more surprising was Lexa paying for the meal before she moved to another booth when Abby showed up.

 

“I thought you’d like to share some of this with your mother.” Lexa pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll just be over there, ready to go whenever you are. Take your time.”

So Clarke ordered what’d she’d always ordered with her father, a garlic cheeseburger and fries. When their food arrived, Abby silently switched their plates. Clarke scowled at the bacon cheeseburger in front of her in confusion.

“What’re you doing?” She asked.

“I’m sorry,” Abby bit into a fry, chewing it carefully before offering her daughter a sly smile. “Are we pretending that you don’t plan on jumping Lexa as soon as I’m out of sight? Do you really want garlic breath when that happens?”

Clarke really wanted to argue but couldn’t. Instead she smiled softly and picked up the burger in front of her. “You’re the best mom ever.”

“I like her Clarke. I think she’s good for you.”

“I really like her.” Clarke replied, her eyes landing on Lexa. She beamed when the brunette winked at her. “So much.”

“I can tell. It happened fast for your father too. Don’t worry about it.” Abby laughed. “It just means you’re a Griffin”

They’d spent the rest of lunch discussing Jake and Lexa. And how much Jake would have loved Lexa. By the time Lexa rejoined their table the mother and daughter were laughing and crying their way through story after story. Abby was quick to make her exit though, knowing Lexa had something else planned for Clarke. She made sure to hug Lexa tightly and thank her for everything she had done for Clarke.

The last part of their ‘Jake Day’ was another surprise Lexa had set up with Abby. She drove Clarke out of the city to the nearby observatory. Once they arrived, Lexa led the way to the telescope room and shook hands with a small bald man waiting there. She handing him a piece of paper, he studied it carefully before smiling and nodding.

“What’re we doing here?” Clarke whispered while the man started fiddling with the computer.

“What part of surprise did you not understand?” Lexa whispered back.

“Why are you being so cryptic?”

“When did you become so nosy?”

Clarke giggled, pulling Lexa closer by the bottom of her shirt, “as if this is shocking news. You knew how I’d be like this when you dragged me out here.”

“Just be patient for a few more minutes. I promise it’ll be worth it.” Lexa wrapped her arms around Clarke’s waist. She pressed an innocent kiss to her lips. “Just trust me on this.”

She’d been right of course. A few minutes later the man stepped away from the computer and cleared his throat. He ushered them to the telescope and helped Clarke settle in the attached seat. He whispered something to Lexa and then went to stand at the edge of the room.

“The star in the middle, the bluish one.” Lexa told her.

Looking through the eyesight, Clarke immediately spotted the star she meant. It was a flickering ball of blue light, like it was winking at her. She stared at it for a few moments before sitting back.

“Why am I looking at a bluish star?”

Instead of offering her a verbal response, Lexa handed her a package Clarke hadn’t noticed. Clarke tore through the silver wrapping paper to find a framed certificate. Her father’s name, Dr. Jacob Griffin, was huge in the middle of the page. She read the rest of the certificate carefully, ending with a set of coordinates.

“You had a star named for my father?”

“No,” Lexa gently wiped away the tears Clarke hadn’t even known she’d shed. “Abby did. She just let me be the one to show you.”

“But w as this your idea?” Clarke asked between sniffles.

“Possibly. But your mother thought it was a good one.” Lexa replied softly. She studied Clarke’s eyes. “Are you okay? Was this okay?”

“I’m great.” Clarke stood and threw her arms around her. She buried her face in Lexa’s neck. As much as it embarrassed her, she sobbed in her girlfriend’s embrace.

“Are you sure?” Lexa whispered into her hair after her sobs quieted a little.

Clarke nodded, “Yes. I’m great. You’re great.”

“Then why the crying?”

“You’re just too good to be true.” Clarke sighed, her sobs now just occasional sniffs. “Too good for me.”

“That is not true.” Lexa insisted. She shivered at Clarke’s lips pressed to her neck. “You deserve all of this and more Clarke . I’ll make sure I’ll give you everything I can, for as long as you let me.”

“You made my dad a star.”

“No. Your mother did that.”

“But you suggested it.”

“Don’t give me all the credit.” Lexa shook her head. “If Abby hadn’t agreed then I would have dropped it.”

“You’re ruining our moment.” Clarke pulled away enough for Lexa to see her pout. “Stop it.”

“Sorry Meizen.” Lexa grinned, leaning in slowly to kiss her.

The man cleared his throat a few minutes later, bringing the girls back to reality. Seeing the blushing man, they made a hasty exit, thanking him for giving them the chance to see the star.

 

Blinking herself back into the present, Clarke sighed. She’d only been with Lexa for a month, officially at least. They’d only known each other for six weeks. Even so, Clarke was pretty sure she was falling in love. Or she was most of the way in love already. It was fast, she knew that, but it didn’t make it any less true.

“Hey!” She heard Lexa call from the door as she walked into the apartment. “How’s your day been?”

“Great!” Clarke moved so she met her halfway for a series of quick kisses.

Lexa wrapped her in her arms. Giggling loudly, she shuffled Clarke backward until her back met the kitchen island. She leaned back, bringing her hands up to brush back strands of blonde hair back from Clarke’s face before cupping it gently. She leaned in leisurely, gently capturing Clarke’s bottom lip between her own nipping gently, she pulled back just enough to change the angle of the kiss. Once her lips met the blonde’s again, she couldn’t hold back the sigh.

She’d been kissing Clarke Griffin for weeks now. Weeks of playfully quick pecks and passionate unending dives into Clarke. Lexa loved every single moment of it.

Without prompting, Clarke opened her mouth slightly, capturing Lexa’s next sigh. Knowing it’d drive her crazy, Lexa ran the tip of her tongue along Clarke’s upper lip, pulling back when Clarke’s tongue came out to meet it. She didn’t even try to fight the smile Clarke’s growling caused.

“Problem?” Lexa asked, her lips still pressed against Clarke’s.

“You know there is.” Clarke snarled.

Reaching up, Clarke took Lexa’s hands from her face and wrapped them around her waist again. She hooked her own arms under Lexa’s bringing her hands up to press between her shoulder blades.

“Care to share?” Lexa smirked, dipping her head to press a series of open-mouthed kisses to Clarke’s neck.

“I want you to kiss me like you mean it!” Clarke growled.

Lexa leaned back. Her eyes starred into Clarke’s and her voice became serious, “Miss Griffin. I mean every single kiss I give you.”

Grinning like a fool, Clarke hugged her closer. “I love it when you say things like that!”

“I know. But I think you think I’m a lot smoother than I am.” Lexa sighed and pressed her forehead against Clarke’s. “I really just say whatever pops into my head when I’m with you.”

“Because you have that much faith in your game?”

“Only when I’m playing with you.”

Clarke rolled her eyes at that. If Lexa was being honest, it meant Lexa wasn’t even trying to be as smooth as she was. Which meant that if she ever really did start trying, Clarke was in a whole heap of trouble.

“Lexa Woods. I like you.”

“Good.” Lexa kissed her deeply. When she finally lifted her head she smiled the smile she saved just for Clarke. “I like you too.”

“I like like you.”

“Ditto babe.”

“Did you just call me babe?” Clarke grinned.

“Is that not okay?”

“I liked it.” Clarke shook her head. She’d never liked the nickname before but the way Lexa said it was different. “Say it again?”

“Babe.” Lexa’s eyes smoldered into her own.

“Ugh.” Clarke dove forward into Lexa’s lips again. She licked her way inside and danced her tongue along her girlfriend’s.

They only parted when they needed air. Lexa could have sworn she could without air for hours if it meant Clarke’s lips were on her own. This time while they recovered Clarke seemed content with sinking into her embrace, hugging her tightly, her face buried in the crook of Lexa’s neck. Every so often she’d feel lips press against her pulse point, sending shivers down Lexa’s spine. She’d press kisses to Clarke’s hair in return, her hands running up and down her back.

“Hey Clarke?” Lexa finally broke the silence.

“We have to go right?” Clarke whispered back.

“Well,” Lexa craned her neck so she could see the clock. The movie was starting in half an hour, so yes, technically they did have to leave soon. “Not really. We can skip the movie. I’m cool as long as you’re with okay with just hanging out. Our seventh date doesn’t have to be anything more than just us being together right?”

“Of course.” Clarke replied. “But then what did you need?”

“Who got the pretty flowers?”

Clarke had definitely not been expecting that question. “You’re funny Lex.”

“Why is that funny?”

“Are you pouting because I haven’t thanked you yet?”

“I’d have accepted those kisses as thanks if I’d sent you flowers.” Lexa replied. “I didn’t though.”

“What?”

“I didn’t send you flowers. Are these yours?” Lexa pulled away from her. She moved to take the card from beside the vase.

“You didn’t send them?” Clarke asked. “But they’re just like the others.”

Lexa read the card twice before putting it back. “What others?”

“The other five bouquets you sent me.”

“Clarke, I haven’t sent you any flowers. Ever.” Lexa said quietly. “I don’t like getting flowers and I don’t like sending them, I’d rather give you something that will last longer than a few days.”

“But if they aren’t from you then who are they from?” Clarke questioned. “And why didn’t you say anything when I thanked you for the others?”

“You’ve never thanked me for flowers.” Lexa shook her head. She moved further away from Clarke, going to sit in one of the chairs in the living room.

“I have. You’re never questioned me about them.”

“You’ve thanked me for things Clarke, but never flowers. When did you start getting them?”

Clarke moved to sit on the couch. Lexa caught her wrist as she passed by, pulling her into her lap. Clarke shifted a few times until they were both comfortable.

“The first one came the day we fought. After the party I mean. They were here when I got home from class.” Clarke said quietly. She leaned her head against Lexa’s shoulder. She pulled Lexa’s hand into her lap, drawing patterns on her palm. “I sent you a text to thank you.”

“I thought you were thanking me for the amazingly clean apartment.” Lexa admitted.

“I guess I never said anything about flowers.” Clarke tried to think back, attempting to remember if she’d ever mentioned receiving bouquets.

“What about the others?”

Clarke thought back, “Right after you stopped Raven from pranking Anya again.”

“I know it would have been funny but Anya would have been very upset with her computer, phone, and television all suddenly only having Swedish language capabilities. I think she would have actually hunted your friend down and seriously hurt her.” Lexa snorted quietly.

“Then when you framed those sketches and hung them up in Tondisi.” Clarke said. “The napkins I mean.”

“They only got two new sketches of your badass warriors. And they weren’t from when we were hanging out there, they were just new sketches.” Lexa shrugged. “Your booth needed more of you there.”

“Still, you could have kept them for yourself. I know you’ve got the others somewhere in your apartment.” Clarke replied.

“They’re in a scrapbook Clarke. I wouldn’t just leave them sitting around.”

Turning her head slightly, Clarke brushed her lips against Lexa’s shoulder, “I know Lex.”

“Okay. So you said you’ve received six bouquets. You’ve told when the first three came, and I know the last one obviously. What about the other two?” Lexa asked.

“When you bought me those colored pencils and when you scrapped my car windows after the first frost.”

“I thought all those kisses were for the pencils, not flowers.” Lexa removed her hand from Clarke’s and smacked her forehead. “And I know you definitely never mentioned flowers after the window thing. You didn’t do much of any talking that evening.”

“Neither did you.” Clarke shook her head. She pulled Lexa’s hand away from her face. “And most of the kisses were for the pencils.”

Lexa smiled and wiggled her brows at her. The nights of the pencils and the car window were two of her favorites in recent memory. She and Clarke spent most of their time those nights wrapped around one another in the most delicious of ways. Unfortunately, Raven, Octavia, Anya, and Tris seemed to have developed serious skills when it came to stopping Lexa and Clarke from going much further than kissing and some not so appropriate touching.

“So what did you do with the flowers?” Lexa questioned. “I’ve never seen them around the apartment.”

“I took them to the hospital. Mom puts them in the rooms of patients who don’t have many visitors.”

“Babe,” Lexa kissed her forehead, “You’re amazing.”

“How did I not realize you weren’t the one sending them?”

“We’re too vague in giving and accepting thanks I guess.” Lexa laughed. “Next time I’ll make sure to ask you why you’re thanking me.”

“But if they aren’t from you, then who?”

Lexa sighed. She could think of one person who would do something like sending flowers to Clarke with sweet little cards. “Finn.”

Chapter Text

“You really think it’s him?” Clarke asked for the tenth time while she paced the length of the living room.

“Who else would send you flowers?” Lexa asked, still in the chair with her legs folded up on the seat.

“I don’t know.” Clarke sighed. She really wanted to be able to think of someone else, anyone else really, who could have sent the flowers. “I just don’t want it to be him.”

Lexa nodded as she watched Clarke nibble one her thumbnail. She looked guilty. And infuriated. “This isn’t your fault Clarke. You couldn’t have known.”

“I should have been able to tell they weren’t from you.”

“You had no way of knowing. Our wires got crossed, it isn’t a big deal.”

“Lex, I have a crazy guy who thinks we’re destined to be together sending me flowers and I thought they were from my girlfriend. I didn’t even consider they could be from him.” Clarke sighed. She stopped pacing and turned to face Lexa. Blue met green. Guilt met concern.

“Please don’t apologize for this. We’ll get it all sorted out. And now you know to never expect flowers from me.”

“Right. You like more permanence.”

“Exactly.” Lexa stood, approaching her slowly. She pulled Clarke back with her until the backs of her knees met the couch and forced her to sit down. Then she was lying back until Clarke was settled on top of her. “We’ve got this Clarke. Let me help.”

The blonde sighed, knowing where the conversation was heading. “You should just call her.”

“Who?”

“Costia.”

“Why?”

“She’s a detective. She’s been working on Tris’s case. That means she’s probably looking for Finn. Telling her about all of this might be able to help.”

Lexa moved a hand from Clarke’s back to under her chin, applying a bit of pressure until she could see blue. “It doesn’t have to be Costia. I can ask her to send someone else.”

“No. It’s okay.” Clarke dropped her chin to press a kiss to Lexa’s fingers. “You trust her. So does Tris. Costia knows you guys. You’re all comfortable with one another.”

“That’s all true but you don’t know or trust Costia. You’ll have to talk to her.”

Clarke sighed. She didn't want to talk to her girlfriend's ex-girlfriend about her crazy ex-boyfriend. But Costia knew all the pertinent information already. Calling her made sense. “Just make the call Lexa. I want to get this over with.”

****

“Thanks for getting here so quickly.” Lexa said when she opened the door to let Costia into Clarke’s apartment.

“You said you have some information that could help with finding Finn.” Costia shrugged.

When she stepped inside her well-trained eyes skipped over Lexa and carefully took in Clarke’s apartment. She noted the simple modern designs of the furniture, the anatomy textbooks on the coffee table and biology textbook on the sideboard, the odd looking machine on the dining room table surrounded by engineering and mechanics textbooks, before resting on the baby books on the bookshelf next to the television, those were flanked by military history and strategy textbooks and guides to various martial arts. Raising a brow, Costia allowed herself one more sweep of the apartment. This time she spotted the sketches and paintings on the walls, noting Clarke’s signature on them.

“Make yourself comfortable.” Lexa waved an arm toward the couch and chairs.

“This is a nice place.” Costia replied.

“Clarke has good taste.” Lexa smiled.

“I can see that. And some very eclectic tastes.”

Lexa shook her head, “No, she’s got two roommates.”

“Right, Octavia and Raven.” Costia responded. She could see the three different tastes that converged to make the place a home. There was Clarke’s artistic eye and apparent interest in a post-apocalyptic world of some sort. Roommate number one, Raven, was too interested in mechanical things for Costia to understand. The steampunk clock and diagrams of various machines gave that away. Roommate number two, Octavia, was a paradox of maternal instincts and a warrior woman.

“Clarke just went to get the other cards.” Lexa’s voice cut into her observations.

Nodding once, Costia moved to sit at the table. Sitting on the couch felt too familiar, too much like a social call. The table seemed to suggest more of a business feel.

“Hey Costia?” Lexa said when she sat across from her.

“Yes?”

“Be nice?”

“Of course.” Costia smiled. “I’m your friend. I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize whatever it is you have going on with Clarke.”

Moments later a flustered looking Clarke made her appearance. Lexa smiled softly when she realized she’d changed her clothes. Gone were the ripped skinny blue jeans, the ones with that one strategic tear under the right rear pocket, and white V-neck, replaced by pristine black jeans and a very flattering sky blue and navy flannel.

“Detective Pine.” Clarke approached with her hand outstretched.

“Please, call me Costia. No reason for us to stand on formalities.” Costia accepted her hand, shaking it a few times before releasing it and motioning for Clarke to sit down.

“Right, of course.” Clarke nodded as she sat at the head of the table. “So what do need from me?”

“The cards for starters. And anything you can remember about the deliveries.”

“Okay.” Clarke handed her the cards. Costia took the time to read them carefully before spreading them out on the table between them. “I was only here for a couple of the deliveries. My roommates were here for the others.”

“If they’re available, I’d like to talk to them too.”

****

An hour later Costia was finally finished talking with Octavia and Raven. Almost as soon as Costia announced she was finished with her questions Raven was grabbing her coat and informing Clarke of the shift was she working at Tondisi. Octavia lingered at the table, listening to Costia for a while.

Hearing Octavia’s stomach grumble, Clarke wasn’t all surprised when she leaned around Lexa and whispered loudly, “I was pizza.”

“So go order something.” Clarke replied.

“But I want Antony’s. They don’t deliver here.” Octavia’s pout was ridiculous.

“So go and pick it up?” Clarke responded.

Octavia sat back in her chair, eyes wide in shock like she couldn’t believe Clarke would even think to suggest that. “It’s cold.”

“O,” Clarke sighed before rubbing her eyes. “What do you want me to do?”

“Go with me when you’re done?”

“That could be a while.” Costia informed her softly.

“How about I drive you over to Antony’s?” Lexa asked. When three heads swiveled toward her, six eyes staring, she shrugged, “Costia doesn’t have any questions for me. O is hungry and pregnant with my future niece or nephew. And I know Clarke is probably going to be reaching level famished soon. No one wants to deal with hangry Clarke.”

“You’re the best!” Octavia clapped her hands excitedly. “Can we leave now?”

“We’ll call Antony’s from the car.” Lexa nodded and smiled. “Go grab your coat and hat.”

Clarke shook her head as Octavia scrambled away from the table. “You don’t have to Lex.”

“I know.” Lexa leaned over and pressed a kiss to her temple. “Do you want pepperoni?”

“With extra cheese?” Clarke requested.

“Is there any other kind of pizza worth eating?”

“Thank you.”

Lexa knelt next to Clarke’s chair. She ignored Costia’s grin and shimmering eyes as she up into Clarke’s face. Quietly she said, “I know this hasn’t been the seventh date either of us wanted but at least I get to spend the evening with you. We’ll do something fun and maybe a little reckless when we’re finished with all these questions. Okay?”

Clarke chuckled before dropping her forehead to rest against Lexa’s shoulder, “there’s that game you keep telling me about Woods.”

“I’ll be back in less than an hour. With food from Antony’s and hot chocolate from Grounders.” Lexa embraced her snugly.

“You really are the best.” Clarke grinned before capturing her lips in a quick kiss.

Watching all this silently, Costia couldn’t help but smile at the two women in front of her. While most people couldn’t stand to be friends with their ex-girlfriends, she never had an issue with Lexa. They slid easily back into friendship after ending their romantic relationship. Seeing Lexa so happy was nothing short of amazing. Costia watched her help Octavia put on her coat, press one more kiss to Clarke’s forehead, and, after opening the door for Octavia, leave the apartment like she was on a mission to make those around her happy again.

“I’m sorry.” Clarke said gently.

“For what?” Costia responded.

“I know you have history with Lex. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“I’m not uncomfortable. What we had ended years ago. I’m very over-the-moon happy with Roan.” Costia replied.

“Oh. Okay.”

Costia considered her for a moment before speaking again, “you know she doesn’t let anyone call her ‘Lex’ right?”

“What?”

“Its what her dad used to call her. She hates when people call her that.” Costia laughed at Clarke's wide eyes. Of course Lexa had never mentioned her dad's nickname for her to Clarke. “She even snaps at me when I try."

“She’s never said anything to me about it.” Clarke blanched. Had she been hurting Lexa without even realizing it?

“Because she likes it.” Costia laughed. “If she didn’t want you to use the nickname she’d have told you. She’s good with words.”

“I’ve noticed.”

“I can see why you’d think these were from her.” Costia waved a hand over the cards spread out in front of them. “They all sound like something she’d write. I’d have thought they were from her too if I didn’t know how she feels about giving flowers.”

Clarke nodded as she read each card again, guilt over not knowing they weren’t Lexa’s words filling her chest again.

“Which one came first?”

“That one,” Clarke tapped a finger on the card. ‘Near you, I lose myself. Absent you, I want to get lost again’ was etched across the face.

“Then which?”

Clarke pointed to each card in turn, glaring harder with each card she touches. With the second bouquet came ‘Have a beautiful day, I'll have one thinking of you.’

With the third, ‘Of all the places I could be right now, I’d rather be next to you.’

And the fourth ‘Your smile makes my day brighter. Your laugh lightens my spirits. Your kiss fills my soul.’

Then the fifth ‘Giggling like a high schooler thinking of you, beaming knowing you’re thinking of me too.’

Silence, heavy awkward silence, filled the room. Finally Costia swept the cards into an evidence bag. “Hey Clarke?” When she didn’t get a response she leaned across the table and rested her hand on Clarke’s forearm. She waited until Clarke looked at her to continue, “You know it’s okay right? That you didn’t know.”

“I should have known it wasn’t her.” Clarke shook her head.

“How could you? Have you ever read anything she’s written?”

“No.”

“Exactly.” Costia’s hand squeezed lightly. “Don’t let this get to you. Lexa gets it. She always does.”

“I’m trying to not be bothered by it. It’s not really working out.”

“I can tell. But trust me when I say Lexa really only wants to know you’re okay and that you’re safe. And you guys have only known each other for… what? A month?”

Clarke’s eyes finally rose to meet Costia’s. “Longer than that. We’ve been official for a couple of weeks now.”

“I didn’t know.” Costia replied sheepishly. “Lexa never mentioned it.”

“Do you talk to her often?”

“A couple of times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less.”

“I see.” Clarke tried to keep the growl out of her voice. She mostly succeeded.

“When I’m not investigating a crime involving her sister it’s significantly less. Maybe once or twice a month.” Costia grinned, finally sitting back in her chair again. “Good to know you’re the jealous type though.”

Unable to think of a response, Clarke could only nod. She wanted to be mad at Costia for what she thought could be teasing but she’d promised herself she’d behave.

“How is she handling all of this by the way?” Costia asked. “Finn and Tris and all of that I mean?”

“She’s good. She doesn’t like not knowing where he is but I think that’s more out of concern for me than anything else. She knows Finn and I have a bit of a history too. The last time I talked to him didn’t go too well. And Tris is on the mend. She’s doing so well with therapy and all of that. She’ll be good to go in a month or so.”

“You think she’s only concerned because you didn’t have a good talk with Finn the last time you saw him?”

Clarke shrugged, “There isn’t much to go on when it comes to him. We’ll talk about him every once in a while, usually in passing, but really he’s a nonfactor in our day-to-day life.”

“Clarke,” Costia’s eyes widened. “We’ve been tracking Finn since he disappeared. Every time we think we’re close to getting him, he's gone again. And apparently every time he resurfaces, he’s sending you flowers.”

“What?”

“I’m telling you we’ve been getting solid tips, surveillance videos and pictures, all of that. Finn will go days without trying to hide then he’ll just drop off the radar for a day or two, only to reappear in a different part of the city.” Costia explained.

“He’s playing gopher with the cops?”

Costia nodded, “Lexa isn’t just concerned Clarke. She’s worried. He’s dangerous.”

“He’s always liked games.” Clarke rubbed her face with her hands. Why couldn’t Finn just handle her rejection with ease?

“I thought Raven was keeping you in the loop with all of this.”

When she heard her best friend’s name, Clarke stiffened and dropped her hands. Raven knew Finn was playing with the police? “What does she have to do with this? And what about his medical needs?”

“He’s been spotted at a few clinics around the city but he won’t stay long enough for uniforms to get to him.”

“And Rae knows about this?”

“She’s been moonlighting with our techs. She’s trying to help track him down.” Costia explained. “She knows him and his habits. She’s been a big help.”

“She didn’t tell me…” Clarke couldn’t believe it. Raven was actually trying to help the police catch her oldest friend while Clarke chose to ignore his existence as much as possible.

Costia nodded and stood. “Listen, I’m glad you and Lexa have each other. I don’t think Finn is just going to fade away. She can keep you safe and I think you can keep her from doing anything dumb. I’m sorry I told you about your friend helping us. She must have had her reasons for not telling you.”

“It’s okay. Really.” Clarke stood and led the way to the door. “Thank you for coming by.”

“It’s my thing. I’m a helper.” Lexa replied.

Clarke opened the door for Costia, watching her head toward a nondescript dark blue sedan nearby. She waved when the other woman glanced back before climbing inside the car and driving off.

Closing the door softly, she walked to the couch and threw herself down. She rolled to her back and stared at the ceiling for a moment before pulling out her phone to text Raven.

 

Griffster: (7:03p)
You busy yet?

BoomBoomRae: (7:04p)
Just getting the bar set up. 
What’s going on?

Griffster: (7:04p)
Costia just left

BoomBoomRae: (7:06p)
Okay?

BoomBoomRae: (7:06p)
Gonna need more than that
here Clarkey…

BoomBoomRae: (7:07p)
Did she say something about 
Lexa? Do I need to make her 
go boom?

Griffster: (7:08p)
No booming! She didn’t say 
anything about Lexa

BoomBoomRae: (7:08p)
You sure? I’m pretty sure I 
could get Anya on our side 
for this one…

Griffster: (7:09p)
Good Lord! No Anya!

Griffster: (7:10p)
Costia and Lexa are just friends.
And I’m okay with that.

BoomBoomRae: (7:11p)
So what’d she do then?

Griffster: (7:11p)
More like what’d she say

BoomBoomRae: (711p)
Okay… ??

Griffster: (7:13p)
Why didn’t you tell me about 
Finn? The disappearing? And 
the moonlighting with the
police techs?

BoomBoomRae: (7:21p)
Oh…

Griffster: (7:22p)
Yeah. Oh.

BoomBoomRae: (7:23p)
I just didn’t want you to get 
upset over it.

Griffster: (7:24p)
That’s weak Rae

BoomBoomRae: (7:24p)
And there hasn’t really been 
any progress. We’ll have 
something on him and then 
he’s gone.

BoomBoomRae: (7:25p)
You’ve been blissed out with 
Heda. I didn’t want to be the 
one to ruin that.

Griffster: (7:26p)
You should have told me

BoomBoomRae: (7:28p)
I’d rather you be happy with 
Lexa. Focused on finals. Not 
obsessing over Finn and
whether he’s going to
disappear or reappear or
whatever.

Griffster: (7:29p)
What else haven’t you told me?

BoomBoomRae: (7:30p)
Just that Finn seems to be
moving in a pattern. And it
feels like he’s planning
something.

BoomBoomRae: (7:31p)
That’s just my gut though,
no proof…

Griffster: (7:33p)
Something like what?

BoomBoomRae: (7:35p)
I don’t know. They don’t tell 
me everything.

BoomBoomRae: (7:35p)
Like I said, it’s a gut feeling

BoomBoomRae: (7:36p)
Just promise me you won’t
start focusing on him. He isn’t
worth it.

BoomBoomRae: (7:36p)
Lexa is so much prettier!

Griffster: (7:37p)

I’m going to be irritated for 
tonight. I don’t like knowing 
you purposely left me in the 
dark on this Rae

BoomBoomRae: (7:38p)
You’ll forgive me by morning?

Griffster: (7:40p)
Yes

Griffster: (7:40p)
Mostly because O and Lex just 
got back with pizza from 
Antony’s and now I’m not
going to feel bad about not
saving any for you.

BoomBoomRae: (7:42p)
BETRAYAL!!

 

“Everything okay?” Lexa asked as she handed a pizza box to Clarke. She walked to the kitchen and grabbed plates for the three of them.

“Yes.”

“Then why were you glaring at your phone?” Octavia replied, sinking into the chair.

Clarke shrugged, opening the box to pull out a slice of pizza. She took a bite, chewing slowly while she ignored the looks her girlfriend and best friend were sending to each other.

“What happened?” Lexa questioned.

“I just had a talk with Costia. An informative conversation.”

“I’m sorry for leaving you alone with her.” Lexa said. “I just knew you were getting hungry and Octavia wanted pizza – ”

“Lex, it’s okay. It wasn’t a bad conversation.” Clarke rested her hand on Lexa’s knee. “And I know you two are just friends. I’m not worried about it.”

“So what happened then?” Octavia asked.

“She just told me about Raven helping the police. And about Finn being a jerk basically.” Clarke shrugged. “Nothing new about that.”

“You’re not mad at Raven?” Octavia wouldn’t meet her eye, letting Clarke know she knew about Raven’s moonlighting too.

Shaking her head, Clarke took another bite. “I told her I’m irritated. I don’t like knowing I was kept out of the loop.”

“She meant well.” Lexa’s hand moved to cover Clarke’s on her knee.

“I know. But I’m still annoyed.”

“I haven’t told you everything the police have told us either.” Lexa informed her.

Octavia shook her head and piled several pieces of pizza on her plate. “That’s my cue to leave. Let me know when you guys re heading out okay?”

Clarke nodded before glancing at Lexa, “What haven’t you told me?”

“You know most of it now. The rest was just about whether or not we ought to press charges against Arkadia.” Lexa said.

“What?” Clarke’s jaw dropped. She tried to pull her hand free from Lexa’s but found her girlfriend’s grip tightened. “Pressing charges?”

“We said no. We don’t hold your school responsible. Or you. We put this on Finn.” Lexa explained. She lifted Clarke’s hand to her lips and kissed her fingers. “Could it all have been prevented? Maybe. But there’s no sense in punishing your entire school for it. Finn did this.”

Closing her eyes, Clarke counted to ten in an attempt to calm her heart. The idea of Arkadia being sued because of her ignorance when it came to her friends had shaken her.

“It’s okay Clarke. Arkadia is okay. You’re okay. Tris is fine.”

Taking a deep breath, Clarke opened her eyes again. “I’m sorry about all of this Lex.”

“I know it’s an odd way to look at what happened, but if all the bad hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have had a reason to meet you.”

“Hey Lexa?”

“Clarke?”

“Do you not want me to call you Lex?”

Lexa’s brows came together in confusion. “Why would you ask me that?”

“Costia said your dad called you Lex. And that you don’t like any one calling you that.” Clarke shrugged and sighed. “I don’t want to call you anything that you don’t like.”

“It’s okay Clarke. I like it when you call me Lex. I promise.” Lexa winked when Clarke’s eyes searched hers. She meant it. Hearing Clarke using her father’s old nickname for her felt good. It felt like home. “I have something else to tell you though. About the police stuff.”

“What is it?” Clarke turned her hand over in Lexa’s, intertwining their fingers.

“I have a copy of the recording Raven made when she went to talk to Finn.”

Chapter Text

No matter what Clarke told her, Lexa didn’t think she ought to listen to the recording. Hearing Finn try to justify what he’d done to Tris, listening to him talk about Clarke, hearing him growl when Raven mentioned Lexa’s name. Lexa would never be able to unhear those things. She didn’t want Clarke to have to worry about forgetting. If she never listened, she’d never have to fight off the nightmares the recording would surely cause.

“Lex, please.” Clarke pleaded.

“I just don’t think you should.”

“But I think I need to. I need to know why he did all of this.”

Lexa shook her head. She wanted to keep arguing in the vain hope Clarke would drop the subject but she could tell the blonde had already dug her heels in. She moved to settle on the couch, her back against the armrest, one leg stretched out in front of her while the other was on the floor.

“Come sit with me then.” She patted the cushion in front of her, between her legs.

“I’ll be fine Lexa.”

“I know. I want to hold you because it’ll make me feel better.”

Unable to deny the soft request, Clarke turned and leaned back against her girlfriend. When Lexa’s arms immediately settled around stomach, Clarke turned her head to look back at Lexa.

“I want to say again that I think this is a bad idea.” Lexa told her.

“Just hit play.” Clarke whispered. She turned her head a little more and placed an awkward kiss against Lexa’s lips. “I’ll tell you if I need to take a break or something.”

Lexa nodded as Clarke turned back around. The blonde wiggled a few times, settling further into her chest, and lifted her hands to take hold of Lexa’s. After a few moments of stillness, Lexa pulled one of her hands free and pulled her phone from her pocket. She opened the email Raven had sent her, clicking on the audio file attachment.

 

“Hey Finny…” Raven’s voice crooned. The audio was slightly muffled, like Raven had kept her phone in her pocket when she went to see her ex-boyfriend.

“Raven Reyes! Long time, no see!” Finn’s voice was light, happy. A lot happier than it should be given what he’d done.

“Sorry about that. I’ve been busy with school and work and… You know… life.”

There was a shifting sound, like maybe Finn was sitting up in bed. “I get it. Gotta keep fighting the good fight right?”

“Finn, no. We aren’t fighting with Polis anymore.” Raven replied.

“We won?” The excitement was not at all hard to hear in Finn’s voice.

“No one won.” Raven snapped. “Clarke was able to sort of get Polis to agree to a ceasefire of sorts.”

“How?”

“I didn’t ask. She met with Heda a few times and then told us to stop with the pranks.”

Finn groaned, “she just gave up? We were so close to winning!”

More shuffling sounds came through. When Raven spoke again, her voice was much more clear. “We almost killed Tris.”

“I know.” Finn replied.

“I just don’t get it. Why did you do this Finn?” Raven’s voice came through.

“To show Clarke I could help her. To show her I’m good enough to be with her.” He replied.

“Finn,” Raven sighed. Clarke could almost picture her pinching the bridge of her nose. “You know Clarke doesn’t see you like that anymore. She tells you that every time you get drunk off a sip of beer and tell her you still love her.”

“No. She loves me. She just doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by telling me. She thinks you’re still in love with me.” Finn snapped.

“That isn’t true. Clarke has moved on from you Finn. Several times since you guys broke up. Just like I have.” Raven replied calmly. “Neither of us is in love with you. We love you, like a friend. But I don’t want to be with you and Clarke is happy with… her new person.”

“You mean Lexa?”

“How do you know about Lexa?”

Finn laughed, “Monty told his mom. Hannah told me. Apparently Clarke is in love.”

“Clarke is happy. Like really happy Finn.”

“She should be happy with me!” He yelled. “She’s mine! She’s my princess! She’s my love!”

“She’s not!” Raven yelled right back.

“Why won’t she come see me?” Finn pouted. “Are you and Octavia keeping her away? Is Lexa telling her she can’t come and see me?”

“Lexa doesn’t tell Clarke what to do. No one does.”

“I want to see Clarke.”

Raven sighed loudly, “why?”

“I love her.”

“Jesus Finn,” Raven growled.

Clarke knew she was getting frustrated with the lack of progress she was making with the recording. Finn was turning every question around and finding a way to talk about Clarke.

The conversation wore on like that for six minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Raven would ask about Polis, Finn would offer a line or two in response before saying something or asking about Clarke. Finally, Raven could stand it no more.

“Just tell me why you hurt Tris!” She bellowed.

“It wasn’t really personal. Not at first. I saw her file, read about her allergy. I knew Clarke would know how to help her.” Finn replied, apparently startled off his Clarke-obsession for a moment. “Clarke is good in scary situations isn’t she? Doesn’t panic.”

“So you tricked me and Jasper because you knew Clarke would be able to help her?”

“I knew it’d give Clarke the upper hand in whatever talks she was having with Polis.”

The shuffling sound came back again, this time it sounded like Raven was walking, maybe pacing. “So why the accident with the ambulance?”

“I needed to make sure Tris was down for the count.”

“Why?”

“So Heda – I’m sorry, so Lexa,” Finn growled her name, “would be distracted while she was talking to Clarke.”

“Clarke is good at distracting Lexa.” Raven replied without thought it seemed. That wasn’t at all what Finn needed to hear.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Raven said quickly. The rustling was back, this time accompanied but grunts of pain. “No, Finn. You need to stay in bed. I’ll hit the alarm!”

“Is Clarke messing around on me?!” Finn roared. “Is that whore sleeping with the enemy?!”

“No! Finn! Sit down!”

There was a thud, followed by a series of curses from both Finn and Raven. After a minute or two, Raven’s panting voice could be heard talking again.

“She isn’t a whore. Just because she doesn’t want you doesn’t mean she’s sleeping with everyone else.”

“I’ll show her what it means to mess around on Finn Collins.” He growled.

“No, you’re going to tell me more about why you wanted to hurt Tris.”

“How about I tell you exactly what I’m going to do to Clarke’s new play-thing as soon as I’m out of this fucking hospital?”

 

Lexa’s eyes, which had drifted shut while they listened to the recording, popped open when the voices stopped. She looked over Clarke’s shoulder to see the blonde’s eyes filled with tears.

“I didn’t know he was that mad.” Clarke sniffled.

“He’s obsessed. He just doesn’t know it.” Lexa replied, tossing her phone on the couch by their feet and bringing her hand up to wipe away Clarke’s tears. “He thinks you’re in love with him.”

“Don’t make excuses for him.” Clarke replied.

“I’m not. I just think Finn is very sick.”

Clarke sighed and leaned her head back to rest against Lexa’s shoulder. She turned to bury her nose in the crook of her neck. “I don’t know what to do. He’s playing games with me. And with the cops.”

“There isn’t anything you can do. Just be vigilant. Keep your eyes and ears open.” Lexa said.

“He really thinks he was helping me?”

“Yes.”

“How messed up. We would have been able to reach an agreement without anyone getting hurt.”

Lexa could only nod to that. She was sure that Clarke would have ended up talking her into a truce eventually. And then, after convincing herself it was a good idea, Lexa would have ultimately worked up the courage to ask her out. They wouldn’t have moved quite as quickly as they had, but they would have ended up curled around each other on Clarke’s couch someday anyway, Lexa was sure of that.

“Lex,” Clarke’s voice sounded smaller, like a hurt child.

Meizen?”

“This is all my fault.”

Unable to believe her ears, Lexa nudged Clarke’s head until it lifted off her shoulder. Then, wanting to see those blue eyes she’d come to adore, Lexa shuffled out from behind her and fell to her knees on the floor beside the couch. She pulled Clarke until she was sitting up, her legs on either side of Lexa.

“That is not true.” Lexa finally spoke when green met blue.

“It is!”

“No. Finn is fixated on you. Did he think he was helping? Yes, obviously. But you couldn’t have known he would go so far. If Raven couldn’t have known, after she’d known him her entire life, how could you?”

“I don’t know.” Clarke buried her face in her hands.

“You couldn’t have.” Lexa pulled her hands away gently, pressing a kiss to each palm. “I promise you, I have talked about this with my sisters and brother. None of us blame you. Not Tris, not Anya, not Lincoln, and certainly not me.”

“But if I’d just – ”

“No. You don’t get to shoulder this alone.”

“Lex –”

“Sometimes being a leader means you bear things so your people don’t have to. Sometimes it means letting them fall for their own errors. You can’t protect everybody all the time Meizen.”

“I just wish none of this had happened.”

Lexa nodded, pressing more kisses to Clarke’s hands. Then she lifted her head to look at Clarke through her eyelashes. “I know it started out sort of rough, but I’m kind of happy with how things are going now.”

“You’re happy?” Clarke whispered.

“Beyond thrilled. Totally excited to see what the future brings.” Lexa assured her.

“I’m happy with you too.”

“Good. So can we forget about all of this for the rest of the night?” Lexa asked.

“Well –” The opening tune of ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles interrupted whatever Clarke had been about to say. She turned and glared in the direction of Octavia’s room. “Excuse me.”

Lexa sat far enough back to allow Clarke to stand and move around her. She watched her knock on her roommate’s door, disappearing inside once she heard Octavia’s invitation to enter. Moments later the music turned off and Clarke reappeared, her smirk firmly in place and her eyes somewhat happy again.

“What was that about?” Lexa asked while watching her approach slowly.

“O thought we’d left. We were being really quiet apparently.”

“So she turned off her music because we’re still here?”

“I hate The Beatles.” Clarke responded. “When she realized I as home, she turned it off.”

“You hate The Beatles?”

Clarke rolled her eyes, “please tell me you aren’t going to go all music snob on me. Yes, I hate The Beatles. And The Rolling Stones. And Bob Marley. And basically all those other musicians and bands people our age pretend to like so they seem cool.”

“So you never listen to them?”

“Nope. Never.” Clarke shook her head. She was finally standing in front of Lexa who was still on her knees. She offered her a hand, helping her to stand up. “I’d rather stab myself in the ear with a dull pencil than listen to them.”

Lexa chuckled at that. “That’s harsh.”

“So is the sound of their so-called music.”

“Clarkey!” Octavia’s head popped out of her room. “I’m sorry again! Please don’t rupture an eardrum. Abby will kill me.”

“She’s fine, no eardrums have been harmed.” Lexa assured the smaller girl.

“Have you asked yet?” Octavia questioned Clarke. “Lincoln is trying to make arrangements.”

“No, I haven’t.” Clarke replied. “Go back to you room and rethink your taste in music.”

Waiting until they were alone again, Lexa turned to Clarke, “what haven’t you asked me?”

“Mom decided to rent out Tondisi for Thanksgiving this year. Luna and Trina were going to just be closed for the day but Mom wanted to have more room to celebrate.” Clarke began to explain. She hadn’t thought much about the holidays up until her ‘Jake Day’ lunch with her mother. When Abby mentioned bringing a date to dinner, Clarke immediately began to wonder if she’d be seeing Lexa on the holiday. Abby then told Clarke she’d invited a bunch of people so Tondisi was hosting their meal for them.

“Okay. What do you need to ask me? If you can use the oven in the apartment?” Lexa smiled.

“No.” Clarke shook her head. “I was wondering if you’d like to come to dinner with me. Lincoln will be there with O. And Rae, Bellamy, Jasper, Monty, our friend Murphy and his girlfriend we haven’t met yet…”

“That’s a lot of people.”

“I didn’t mention that my mom is bringing a date. His name is Marcus. He’s bringing his daughter Callie and his son Dax. She’s a freshman and he’s a junior at Georgetown.”

“Is that all?”

“Of course not. Mom may have also invited Tris, Anya, Trina, and Luna." Clarke replied quietly. "And possibly Indra and Gustus.”

Lexa’s jaw dropped. “So you’re saying we’re having a family Thanksgiving?”

“Not if you don’t want to!”

“Clarke Griffin, of course I want to.” Lexa laughed. “I just didn’t think your mother would turn out to be such a meddler!”

Chapter Text

Turns out agreeing to celebrate Thanksgiving with Clarke and her family was the easy part. Saying she’d be there when Clarke had asked was almost a kneejerk reaction for her. It was what Clarke wanted and Lexa wanted her girlfriend to be happy. It really wasn’t until Lexa woke up that Thursday morning with a shoal of squid swimming around in her stomach. She spent the day in her room trying on every piece of clothing she owned and almost immediately pulling it all off again. Nothing was working.

Finally about an hour before she was due to leave for Tondisi her bedroom flew open. Lexa whirled around, ready to yell at the intruder. Her mouth snapped shut when she saw it was Anya.

“Was Raven in here?” Anya’s eyes took in the scene.

“What? No! Why?” Lexa replied, struggled to take off the tank top she’d somehow gotten stuck on her head.

“I thought maybe she made your pretty closet go boom.”

“You’re not funny Ahn.”

“I think I am.”

“It doesn’t count if you’re the one saying you’re funny.” Lexa huffed as she finally freed herself.

Anya just shrugged, “You’re right. I guess you don’t need my help then Snarky McGee.”

“Wait!” Lexa yelled when her sister turned away. “Please!”

“Ask me nicely.”

Beja…”

“Of course.” Anya laughed. She entered the room, stepping carefully over the piles of clothes all over the floor. “Now stop all of this.”

“Excuse me?”

Anya took her by the shoulders and shook her a few times. “Stop!”

“I’m not doing anything.” Lexa said as she squirmed.

“No? You’re not freaking out over Thanksgiving with Skaigada?” You’re not trying on absolutely everything you own?”

Unable to meet her sister’s eyes, Lexa stared a green and black plaid shirt she’d tossed on her bed. “It’s a big deal Anya.”

Heda, you’ve met everyone who is going to be there.”

“But its our first holiday!”

“And this is the precedent you want to set for future holidays?” Anya rolled her eyes. “Wear that plaid you’re staring at over a black tank top with those dark blue jeans Skaigada drools over every time you wear them. Put on your black Chucks and leather jacket and she won’t be able to look away from you. Not that she ever can.”

“You think so?” Lexa tried to picture the outfit in her mind.

“No, I don’t think. I know. Put on just a bit of makeup and wear your hair loose, she likes your hair down.”

Lexa nodded. She knew how much Clarke liked her hair down, it made it easier for her to run her hands through it. “Okay. I can do that.”

“We all know your girlfriend can’t keep her eyes off you. Play your cards right and she may not be able to keep her hands off you either.” Anya wiggled her brows before she winked at her sister. “Wear that pendant your dad gave you too. The gear I mean. Draw her eye to where you really want – ”

“Anya!” Lexa groaned. She didn’t need that kind of a pep talk before spending hours with Clarke’s family. “How do you know Clarke hasn’t already had her hands all over me?”

“I have my sources. And those sources say you and Skaigada are starting to seem more tightly wound than springs.”

Lexa shook her head. “Tell Tris to stop spying.”

“Tell Skaigada to help you ease some tension.”

“We’re going at her pace. If she wants to go slow, we go slow.”

Rolling her eyes again, Anya turned and headed toward the door. She stopped when her hand hit the doorknob, turning back to meet her sister’s eyes again, “By the way, there’s a difference between slow and glacial. And she thinks you want to go slow. She’s been ready for a while now.”

“How do you know that?” Lexa demanded.

“Sources.” Anya replied as she opened the door.

“You can’t leave me hanging!” Lexa followed her into the living room, not even caring she wasn’t wearing a shirt. “How do you know? What has she said?”

“Lexa. You’ve been dating for six weeks. You’ve been on eleven dates according to my sources.” Anya replied. “In modern dating terms you’ve been together for a year and you haven’t slept together.”

“Okay…” Lexa said. “And?”

“She’s ready. For the next step.” Anya told her. “So are you.”

“You really think so?”

“Yes.”

“I had no idea.” Lexa sank onto the couch. “I thought she was taking her time. Building a strong foundation, all that stuff.”

Approaching her dumbfounded sister, Anya sat on the coffee table in front of her. “Lexa?”

“I have to make plans. I can’t… I don’t want to just jump her. She deserves more than that.” Lexa shook her head and sighed. “Maybe we can go away for a weekend before finals?”

“Lexa?”

“I’ll take her to the cabin. She’ll like it. It’ll remind her of her graphic novel that isn’t a graphic novel.”

“Lexa!”

“What?”

Anya took her hands gently, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this worried and excited over a woman before.”

“Costia – ”

“No. Not even her.” Anya interrupted. “Lexa… how do you feel? About Clarke?”

It was Anya’s use of Clarke’s name that really got Lexa’s attention. Her sister really only ever called her ‘Skaigada’. Using her actual name was a signal that she serious.

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean.”

Taking a bracing breath, Lexa met her eyes, “then you know the answer.”

 ****

Clarke: (3:31p)
You’re late!!

Lex: (3:31p)
I’m right outside.

Clarke: (3:32p)
So come inside?

Lex: (3:33p)
I will

Lex: (3:33p)
In a minute…

Clarke: (3:35p)
Are you okay?

Lex: (3:35p)
I’m fine

Clarke: (3:36p)
Really?

Clarke: (3:37p)
So the fact that I’ve been 
standing in front of you for the
last minute or so and you didn’t 
notice is nothing to worry about?

 

Lexa’s eyes widened as she read the text. Her head flew up, immediately filing her vision with Clarke.

“Hey Lex.” Clarke whispered, catching the brunette's partially open lips with her own.

Lex took a moment to savor the kiss before opening her eyes. She glanced down, taking in Clarke and her giggling at the outfit she was wearing. It almost matched Lexa’s perfectly. Clarke was wearing her sky blue and gray baseball tee over gray jeans and navy Chucks. She had her hair held back by a couple of sections twisted and pinned at the back of her head.

Finally, she smiled, “Hi.”

“Why do you look like you’re about to pass out?”

Shrugging, Lexa draped her arms around Clarke’s waist. After pulling her in close, Lexa pressed her lips to Clarke’s nose softly. “I’m fine.”

“Are you…” Clarke eyes narrowed as she searched Lexa’s face. “Is this you being nervous?”

“Possibly.”

“Lex.” Clarke grinned. She leaned in to kiss her again. “You know everyone in there.”

“But this is our first big holiday.” Lexa didn’t know why she had to explain that to everyone.

Clarke nodded as she rubbed her hands up and down Lexa’s arms. “Don’t think of it like that. It’s just us meeting up at our favorite pub for an evening with friends and family. No pressure here.”

“No pressure?”

“None.” Clarke shook her head. “Now come one. Mom is waiting to grill you.”

Even with the teasing tone Lexa stiffened at the words. She tightened her arms around Clarke. “Excuse me?”

“I’m only kidding. Mostly.”

Meizen…” That was the whiniest Clarke had ever heard her.

“You’re my girlfriend.” Clarke reminded her. “Mom really just wants you to meet Marcus. And my Pops, Dad's dad.”

“You said I know everyone!”

“So you know mostly everyone.” Clarke wiggled out of her arms. She caught one of her hands and pulled Lexa toward the door. “Wait until you meet my godmother.”

“Clarke!” Lexa stopped in her tracks.

“Come on Lex.” Clarke tugged again. “Everyone is waiting for us.”

Taking a moment to settle herself, Lexa took a series of deep breaths before focusing on Clarke again. “You owe me.”

“Oh please. I have to spend the day with Anya and Indra too you know. You think they haven’t already given me the talk? Marcus, Pops, and Byrne are nothing compared to your aunt and sister.”

“They gave you the talk?”

“Yes.” Clarke glared at her for a moment. “It was not fun. There were no jokes. Lots of subtle threats though. Even more not so subtle threats.”

Lexa sighed, “I’m sorry Clarke. I told them to leave you alone.”

“Its okay Lex, that’s what we do when people we love get involved with someone. We threaten.” Clarke laughed. “You told me about Rae and O giving you the talk. Did you think your sister would miss out on that?”

Considering that, knowing Clarke was right, Lexa surrendered. “So the only ones I don’t know are Marcus, Pops, and Byrne?”

“And Marcus’s kids. Dax and Callie.”

“You so owe me.”

Clarke reached out and grasped the hem of Lexa’s tank top, using it to pull her closer. “I’ll make it up to you later.”

“No.” Lexa smirked.

“Okay.” Clarke replied slowly, not really sure how to take that.

Securing her arms around Clarke’s waist again, Lexa pulled her in close. She leaned in and captured her lips in a searing kiss, one that was meant to help steady her nerves. And maybe to make Clarke’s knees go a little weak. She kissed her way down Clarke’s neck until she could bury her face in he space where shoulder met neck. She inhaled Clarke’s scent deeply before pulling away slightly.

“You’ll pay me back by letting me surprise you next weekend.”

“Surprise me how?”

“A surprise is a surprise Clarke Griffin.” Lexa swooped in to give her a quick peck just on the corner of her mouth. “Just make sure you’re free all weekend.”

“Okay then. I’m done with classes at three or so on Friday and have no real plans until class Monday evening.” Clarke explained, giggling at the kisses Lexa was pressing to her face and neck. “Is that free enough for you?”

“Yes! I’ll pick you up at five on Friday. Pack enough clothing for the weekend.”

“Where are we going?”

Lexa shook her head, “still a surprise.”

The couple spent a few minutes laughing and stealing kisses from one another before actually heading inside.

“Finally!” Octavia yelled when she spotted them.

“And by that she means she has ultrasound pictures.” Lincoln added as Lexa and Clarke approached them.

“Want to see your future nibbling?” Octavia asked.

“Please never say that word again.” Clarke grimaced. She looked down at the pictures O had forced into her hand. “So small!”

“Well I’m only 12 weeks along Clarkey. What did you expect?” Octavia replied.

The pictures were passed around. Everyone was trying to guess the sex of the baby. After Lexa studied the blurry pictures she announced she thought she was going to have a nephew soon. Then she handed the pictures off to her left.

“You must be Lexa.” Said the woman who was standing there.

Lexa’s head snapped up at the unknown voice. It belonged to a middle-aged woman with blonde hair that had been pulled back into a severe looking bun and smokey grey-blue eyes. “That’s me.”

“I could tell. Clarke hasn’t let go of you since you walked inside.” The woman offered a small smile as she held out her hand. “I’m Byrne, Clarke’s godmother.”

“Lexa Woods.” She took the hand and shook it a few times.

“Oh I know. Abby has told me all about you.”

“Good things?”

“Of course.” Byrne laughed. She glanced from Lexa to Clarke. “I’m afraid I need to borrow her for a moment. Or, you know, ten minutes.”

“Byrne!” Clarke groaned.

“Nope! It’s in my godmother contract. Now let her go. Marcus and I have questions. And don’t even get me started on Pops.”

“Please be nice!” Clarke requested as she reluctantly released Lexa’s hand.

“I’m always nice. Except when I’m protecting my favorite goddaughter.” Byrne winked before she gently took Lexa by her elbow and dragged her away.

Clarke couldn’t stop herself from calling out, “be nice!”

“You really do have it bad.” Luna suddenly appeared next to Clarke.

Jumping away and clutching at her chest over her heart, Clarke glared at her, “stop doing that!”

“I can’t.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

Luna seemed to consider that for a second or two, “both?”

“How about you just stop doing that to me?”

“No.”

Trina popped up next to her wife, “Clarke! Your mother and her friends have cornered your girlfriend.”

“Yeah? Well your wife just scared the crap out of me again.” Clarke replied. “Put a bell on her or something!”

“It wouldn’t do anything. She can walk around with a string of them on her neck and you wouldn’t hear one sound.” Trina shrugged.

“Aren’t you going to rescue her?” Luna pointed at Lexa.

“No. If I go over there it’ll just make it worse.”

Just then, Octavia materialized next to Trina with Lincoln right behind her. She glanced around at the group before turning to face Clarke, “you need to save Lexa.”

“Can’t. Byrne took her.” Clarke shrugged.

“You’d just abandon my sister?” Lincoln grinned.

“There’s no fighting Byrne.” Octavia said sagely. “She’s an investigator in London for Interpol. There’s no getting away from her. Remember when she met Rae? That took hours!”

“She promised it would only take ten minutes.”

“She’s cramming ‘the talk’ into ten minutes? Poor Lexa!” Octavia looked horrified. Then she looked around the pub. “Where is Rae?”

“Probably in the kitchen trying to help Pops.” Clarke shrugged. She hadn’t seen Raven since she’d left the apartment. “And I’ll give Byrne her ten minutes. Then I’ll save my girlfriend. Even though my talk with Anya and Indra lasted almost an hour.”

Luna’s laugh interrupted Clarke and Octavia. She was shaking her head and chuckling, "Are you guys seriously not watching this? She looks like she’s going to be sick.”

“Clarke,” Lincoln pleaded, “help her!”

As soon as Clarke’s eyes found Lexa’s she was moving toward her. She really did look pale. It took less than fifteen seconds for Clarke to reach Lexa’s side.

“Are you done yet?” Clarke asked as soon as she had Lexa’s fingers intertwined with her own once more.

“Nope,” Byrne smiled.

“Mom,” Clarke turned to Abby.

Shrugging, her mother waved a hand at her godmother. “Byrne likes to be thorough.”

“Mom!”

“Okay! Okay!” Abby raised her hands in defeat. “We’re done for now.”

“Good.” Clarke replied.

“Thank God.” Lexa muttered at the same time.

Without wasting another moment, Clarke pulled on Lexa’s hand, leading her away from the adults. They made their way to the back of the pub, stopping by the stairs that led up to the apartment. Clarke dropped Lexa’s hand and reached up to cup her face gently.

“Are you alright?”

Lexa nodded, grabbing hold of Clarke’s wrists. “I’m fine. You could have mentioned what your godmother does for a living though.”

“You look like you’re going to be sick.”

“Just nerves. I’m better now.” Lexa assured her. “Everyone was nice and polite. Just… you know, threats from Interpol agents aren’t anything to sneeze at. She scared me more than your grandfather.”

“You only had to deal with them for five or so minutes Lex. I was with your mother and sister for almost an hour.”

Grinning like a fool, Lexa couldn’t stop the laughter the idea of Anya and Indra giving Clarke the talk caused. “I’m sorry I missed it. But speaking of my beloved older sister, where is she?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen her in a little while.” Clarke shrugged.

Lexa nodded slightly before arching a brow. She tugged on Clarke’s wrists until her arms were draped around her neck, then dropped her own hands to Clarke’s waist. “Well then, we’ll have to go looking for her.”

“And you giving me those eyes is going to help us find her?” Clarke laughed.

“Nope. But they’ll get me a kiss or two.”

Just as Lexa moved in for a kiss, there was a clatter from the top of the stairs. They turned and saw Anya closing the door to the apartment before she straightened her clothes. When she turned and saw Lexa and Clarke wrapped around each other at the bottom of the stairwell she froze.

“Hey,” She said slowly.

“What were you doing up there?” Lexa asked. “I’ve been here for almost an hour and this is the first I’ve seen you.”

Anya shoved her hands in her pockets and shrugged, “I was busy.”

“Busy?” Lexa repeated. “Doing what?”

“Just… stuff.”

“Stuff?” Clarke echoed. “What kind of stuff?”

Glaring down at the couple Anya clenched her jaw. “Just stuff. My stuff.”

“Anya? Why are you being weird?” Lexa asked slowly. Something was off. She just couldn’t figure out what.

“Why are you being weird?” Anya shot back.

“What stuff were you doing?” Clarke asked again.

The door opened behind her and a disheveled Raven appeared. She waved sheepishly before rubbing her hand up and down Anya’s back. “Hi. I’m stuff.”

Chapter Text

Clarke couldn’t stop her jaw from dropping. Raven and Anya? How? When? What?

“I’m sorry…” Lexa spoke slowly. She scratched her forehead with the tip of her thumb before pointing between the two women at the top of the stairs. “What?”

Instead of answering Anya shook her head and started walking down the stairs. Raven sighed and followed closely. Clarke didn’t miss her slipping her hand into Anya’s, who immediately wove their fingers together.

“Oh no!” Clarke said as she shook my head.

“Problem Skaigada?” Anya stopped a step or two from the bottom of the staircase, glaring down at the blonde. Raven was a step behind her, grinning.

“You two can just turn right around!” Clarke pointed back up at the door.

“Excuse me?” Anya’s eyes narrowed.

Raven just sighed, “really Clarke?”

“Yes really! Unless you’d like me to go back into the bar so I can grab O.”

“Let’s go!” Raven turned back up the stairs, tugging on Anya’s hand.

“I don’t answer to you.” Anya bit out as she resisted the force behind Raven's pulls.

Since she knew Anya wouldn’t do anything she asked or suggested or whatever, Clarke glanced at Lexa. Her eyes never left her sister.

Taim na bants (let’s go) Anya.”

“You’re so whipped.” Anya rolled her eyes.

“Be that as it may, let’s go.” Lexa made shooing motions with her hands.

“Can’t be whipped if you aren’t getting any.” Raven muttered under her breathe.

“Raven!” Clarke shouted, shoving her shoulder a little when she laughed.

She only shrugged, “I only speak the truth.”

Lexa laid her hand on the blonde's shoulder, stopping her retort. She winked when Clarke glanced at her, knowing she wanted nothing more than to argue with her best friend some more. Instead, they moved back up the stairs and into the apartment. With Lexa leading the way they moved into the living room. Anya and Raven settled on the couch, Anya leaning back with her arms crossed over her chest and legs splayed out in front of her. Raven sat close enough to her so their hips and thighs were touching but she leaned forward, her elbows on her knees and her hands on Anya’s leg. Clarke waited for Lexa to sink into her chair before she sat on the arm and draped an arm over her shoulders.

Silence reigned for several uncomfortable minutes while they stared at each other. Clarke narrowed my eyes at Raven when she quirked a brow at her. Anya glared at Lexa who smirked in response.

“I think someone needs to start talking.” Clarke finally broke the stalemate.

“You’re the one who insisted we come back up here.” Anya pointed out. “Probably to try to force us to talk about something that doesn’t concern you.”

“Ahn…” Raven spoke quietly. She glanced back at the other woman and rubbed small circles into her jean clad thigh. “Maybe trying to provoke isn’t the best approach right now.”

Skaigada started it.” Anya sighed.

Clarke started to snap at her, stopping when Lexa reached up and laced her fingers with hers. Lexa's free arm shifted so it was in Clarke's lap, sort of hugging her leg, fingers wrapped around her knee. It only took a short sidelong glance to know she had something to say.

“Anya, first, you need to pick a better nickname for Clarke. Second, we aren’t going anywhere until you two tell us what’s going on.” Lexa’s smirk grew.

“How about Skaiprisa then?” Anya countered.

Of course Clarke had no idea what that meant but from the way Lexa stiffened under her arm and around her leg she could tell her girlfriend didn’t like it. Lexa shifted a little, her hand falling from Clarke's knee. She was biting out words even as Clarke's hands found her shoulders and held her down in the chair.

“Jomp em op en yu jomp ai op! (Attack her and you attack me!)” Lexa snapped as she struggled to get away from her girlfriend's grip.

Ai gonplei kamp raun em en nou moun. (My fight is only with her.)” Anya sat up straighter, readying herself to jump to her feet if she needed to. She held her hands up in front of her; like she was showing Lexa she was unarmed.

Em pleni! Gouva yu klin. (Enough! Explain yourself.)” The words were foreign but Lexa’s tone was universal for ‘I’m going to kill my big sister’ to Clarke's ears. She shifted so she was partially in Lexa's lap. Even in her fury, the brunette's arms wove their way around Clarke's waist.

Nou wich em op. (Don't trust her.)” Anya snapped back. Raven wrapped an arm around her hips, her fingers finding the belt loops on her jeans and holding tight.

Beja, nou dula dison. (Please, don't do this.)” Lexa seemed to deflate a little at Anya’s latest statement. Then she motioned toward Raven, who stiffened at the attention. “Yu wich em in. (You trust her.)”

Ai sis, ai job. (My sister, my responsibility.)” Anya said softly. When Lexa scoffed, her anger came back full force, practically yelling, “En’s ridiyo! Ai badan yu op en nou moun. (It's true! I serve you and no other.)”

Lexa stared at her for a long time before she sighed and tightened her arms around Clarke, pulling her fully into her lap. “Em laik ain. (She is mine.)”

Hod op! Chil au. (Wait. Calm down.)” Anya motioned at the two of them. Her hard eyes met Clarke's just before she growled, “Em na gon raun mou badas. (She can fight harder.)”

Dison laik son swima op ona rein. (This is a waste of time.)” Lexa said. This time her voice had finality to it, like she was done with whatever Anya was telling her. “Em laik ain. Em laik ai skaifaya. (She is mine. She is my star.)”

Whatever Lexa had whispered stopped Anya’s retort. Raven took the opportunity to pull Anya back into the couch.

“I think that’s enough of that.” Raven said after a moment.

“Will one of you please tell me what she called me?” Clarke asked.

“Clarke…” Lexa responded while shaking her head. “I don’t think that’s important.”

Raven scoffed at that, “you two almost came to blows just now because of whatever Anya said. I think it may be important.”

“Rae,” Anya said quietly.

“What did she say?” Clarke turned to meet Lexa’s eyes.

After studying my face Lexa sighed and dropped her eyes. “Skaiprisa.”

“Okay.” Raven said slowly. She looked from Clarke to Lexa to Anya. “What’s it mean?”

“Nothing.” Anya shook her head.

Sighing, Clarke lifted herself back onto the arm of the chair. She put her arm around Lexa again, smiling when she entwined their fingers again. “I find that hard to believe.”

Closing her arm around Clarke's leg once more Lexa smiled sweetly up at her before turning a glare on her sister. “She shouldn’t have said it.”

“Did she call me a whore?” Clarke stage whispered, trying to cut some of the tension.

“Or a slut?” Raven asked, she playfully slapped Anya on the shoulder. “Are you slut shaming my best friend? You can’t slut shame someone who isn’t even getting laid!”

“Raven!” Clarke shouted before dropping her head behind Lexa’s. She spoke just loud enough for Lexa to hear, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize Meizen. Anya’s been teasing me as well.” Lexa lifted their interlocked fingers to her lips and pressed a kiss to Clarke's.

“If it wasn’t slut shaming, what was it?” Raven asked. That had Clarke lifting her head to rest it on top of Lexa’s so she could see her friend again.

Hodnes, please just drop it.” Anya put her hand on Raven's knee and squeezed. That was the first time Clarke could remember seeing Anya being affectionate to anyone who wasn’t her sibling.

Lexa shifted her head to press a kiss to Clarke's cheek. Then she straightened in the chair, “No Anya. I think you need to look Clarke in the eye and tell her what you think an appropriate nickname for her would be.”

“Lexa,” Anya’s voice came out almost pleading.

“No. You think it’s appropriate. You wouldn’t have said it otherwise right?” Lexa challenged.

Yu get na laksen em op? (You know it will hurt her?)” Anya said quietly, her eyes dropped to the floor.

Den yu no osir biyo. (Then you shouldn’t have said it.)” Lexa replied evenly.

Anya nodded then, just a small motion up and down. She lifted her and said, “Skaiprisa.”

“And what does that mean?” Raven prompted.

“Sky princess.”

Anya’s voice was soft, very quiet. The word still hit Clarke like a ton of bricks though. Her chest tightened and her eyes burned instantly. Clarke jolted up off the chair and out of Lexa’s grip before she could grab her. The others called Clarke's name as she ran for the bathroom.

Clarke had no sooner closed the door behind her than she heard Lexa’s voice on the other side. “Clarke!”

Raven’s voice joined her, “open the door Clarke.”

“I just need a second.” Clarke sniffled. She turned and sank to the floor, her back against the door.

Meizen, please.” Lexa pleaded.

“I’ll be out in a second Lex.” Clarke replied. “Just… give me a second.”

“Okay.” The blonde could tell by Lexa's voice that she wasn’t leaving. Then Clarke heard shuffling and a dull thump. Lexa's voice was level with Clarke's ears when she spoke again, “take your time.”

Like Clarke had said, she only needed a few minutes. Clarke wasn’t used to being called princess anymore. It had been her nickname growing up. Her dad had called her that for as long as she could remember. Clarke's friends picked up on it at a young age and would call her by the nickname from time to time, usually when they were exasperated by her or something. Finn had adopted it as his own during their short-lived relationship. After their breakup Clarke couldn’t stand hearing it so her friends stopped. It had only slipped out occasionally in the last few years. Except Finn never stopped calling her ‘princess’. Not even when he was crazy and hospitalized. Hearing the word from Anya’s lips was just a shock.

“Clarkey?” Suddenly Clarke heard Octavia’s voice on the other side of the door.

“O?”

“Can you let me in?” She knocked softly. “Just me and Rae, Clarke.”

Clarke nodded even though Octavia couldn’t see her. She shifted around until she could open the door and let Octavia slip inside. She didn’t hesitate to sink down in front of the blonde. Raven slipped in with her, closing the door behind her. She sat next to Clarke, leaning against the wall, grabbing her hand in both of her own and squeezing.

“What happened Clarkey?” Octavia asked.

“Anya called her… that-name-we-shall-never-use.” Raven explained before Clarke could reply.

“And she’s not dead?” Octavia scoffed.

“Clarke ran in here. Didn’t even yell at Anya.” Raven replied.

Octavia nodded. She leaned forward until Clarke's eyes met hers. “Are you okay?”

“It was just… I don’t know.” Clarke ran my free hand over her face. “A shock. I overreacted.”

“You didn’t. He’s the only one who has called you that for years. And he called you that while he was out of his gourd.” Raven retorted. "I know it was freaking on the recording  it scared me in real life.”

“You’re allowed to freak out when the nickname a crazy person calls you is used.” Octavia assured her. She ran her hand over blonde hair. She gripped the back of Clarke's head and pulled gently until their foreheads were touching. “You’re allowed freak outs Clarkey.”

“I don’t want to freak out over that.” Clarke argued. She leaned back, looking from Octavia to Raven. “I miss it. Not him calling me that. But you guys. My dad.”

Raven smiled softly, “Clarkey, are you reclaiming your rightful nickname?”

“I think I am.” She grinned. “Just… don’t expect me to not have the occasional panic over it at first.”

“I like freak out Clarke.” Octavia admitted. “She usually tells me fun secrets. Like how much she hates the Beatles. Or how she can’t drink Jack Daniels because it makes her super overly friendly.”

“I’ll try to remember that.” Clarke rolled my eyes.

“Are you going to kill Anya?” Raven asked.

Shaking her head, Clarke moved to stand up. “I’ll try to contain my rage. Although Lexa may have killed her while you two were in here with me. Let’s just go and join the others.” Clarke opened the door but paused before walking through, she turned to Raven instead and said, “You’re still going to tell me how you and Anya happened before we go downstairs.”

“You and Anya?” Octavia echoed. “Since when?”

“Oh no. I’m only telling this story once.” Raven shook her head and shooed them out of the bathroom. “Get to the living room so she can suffer with me.”

****

Lexa was back in her chair, her arms folded over her chest glaring at her sister. As soon as she saw Clarke she jumped to her feet and moved toward her. She gathered her into her arms and dropped her face into the curve of Clarke's neck. Before Clarke realized what Lexa was doing, she was being maneuvered by her girlfriend backwards until they were in her old bedroom. Lexa kicked the door closed behind them. Finally, she released Clarke from the hug.

“Are you alright?” She hands moved up and down Clarke's arms.

“I’m fine.” She assured her.

“You ran pretty fast Clarke.”

The blonde shrugged and smiled. Lifting her hands she cupped Lexa's face and kissed her gently. “I’m okay Lex. I just wasn’t expecting that.”

“I told her you don’t like that nickname. Either of them. Skaigada or… the other one I mean.”

“It’s okay.” Clarke shook her head, moving a finger to Lexa's lips. “I’m reclaiming my rightful title Lexa. She can call me that all she’d like.”

Pressing a kiss to her finger, Lexa spoke around it. “You don’t have to do that Meizen.”

“I know I don’t have to. I want to. I used to love when my dad or Bell or O or Jas or Monty would call me Princess.” Clarke struggled to get the word out evenly. She tried not to cringe.

Lexa sighed, “if we tell her it’s okay, she’ll never call you anything but Skaiprisa again.”

“I’m okay with it.” She shrugged. "You've called me Skaiprisa before. Remember?"

"I did? I'm so sorry Clarke!"

"It's okay! I'm not mad." The blonde laughed loudly. "The first time were were at Grounders. It was the day O ambushed me with a run and you and Lincoln met us at the café afterward. Just after you said I looked like a pissed off lioness who had just lost a gazelle. I told you if I was a jerk I'd say you looked like a raccoon because you looked so tired."

“You’re kind of amazing. Did you know that?”

“I’ve been told a time or two.”

“I’ll tell you everyday.” Lexa replied, leaning in to catch her lips in a not so innocent kiss.

A knock shook the door, Raven’s voice drifted into the room, “can you two stop macking on each other and get out here? I’d like to get this over with so I can get food. I’m hungry.”

Another quick kiss or two later, Lexa and Clarke were back in the chair. They stared at Anya and Raven while they waited for one of them to tell them how Ranya happened.

“Clarke,” Anya said. “I’m so sorry.”

“No worries.” Clarke replied. “It’s okay. I’m fine. I just wasn’t expecting that.”

“Can we forget I said it?” She asked.

Clarke shook her head, “I don’t want to. It sort of reminded me how much I liked the nickname in the first place.”

“So Skaiprisa can stay?” Anya questioned. She seemed excited about that.

“Yes.” Lexa told her.

“But now you need to tell us about… you two.” Clarke pointed between her and Raven. “We don’t need to know everything right now, just… tell us how.”

 

5 weeks ago

Raven ran out of Finn’s hospital room, her hand clasped over her mouth, tears rolling down her cheeks. She moved quickly around the hospital she knew so well, having visited Abby a couple times a week for the last couple of years with Clarke. She wiped at her face with her free hand, sniffling and quietly sobbing as she headed toward Abby’s office. She really just wanted a quiet place to sit and think and… process everything Finn had said. Stopping at a water fountain, she wet her fingers and rubbed over her eyes, trying to rid them of the last of her tears. She turned and started to walk again, still rubbing at her eyes and fighting tears. Then she ran into something solid.

“Watch it Skaitek!” Anya Woods growled at her even as she closed her hands around Raven’s hips to steady her.

“Sorry!” Raven muttered as soon as she was able to stand on her own and pull away.

“Where are you going in such a hurry?” Anya asked.

Raven shook her head and lifted her shoulders in a half heart shrug. “Just need to talk to Abby.”

“Me too.” Anya held up an envelope, “this says we don’t owe the hospital anything. I want to know why that is.”

“Clarke made sure everything was taken care of.” Raven explained. Then, seeing her blonde friend’s face in her head she sniffled again. The things Finn had said, and shouted, about Clarke came back to the forefront of her mind. She turned away from Anya, not wanting her to see her crying.

“Are you okay Raven?” Anya asked quietly.

Nodding, Raven started to walk away. She quickly found her arm caught in Anya’s grasp as she was pulled into an empty hospital room. As soon as the door closed behind them, Raven couldn’t fight the sobs. Surprisingly, Anya rushed to her and wrapped her securely in her arms. She began to murmur words in that language the Woods siblings used to communicate with. Raven didn’t care, she wasn’t snapping or threatening, that was an improvement.

When she finally calmed down, Raven fought the urge to burrow into Anya’s chest. Instead she stepped back and smiled sheepishly, “thank you.”

“Not a problem Skaitek.” Anya replied.

“I’ll be right back. Could you wait?” Raven motioned toward the bathroom. She waited until Anya nodded to actually walk into the room and close the door. She wiped her face and blew her nose. After a few calming breathes, she entered the main room again. Anya was still there, sitting on the made up bed.

“You alright?”

“Yes. Thank you.” Raven replied. “I know you didn’t have to do any of that. I know you probably didn’t want to.”

“You needed a shoulder. I have two.” Anya shrugged said shoulders.

Raven nodded, “I know. But I also know you aren’t my biggest fan.”

“You don’t know as much as you think you do genius.” Anya replied with a smirk. “Now what got you all worked up?”

“Finn.”

Just hearing the name set Anya’s blood to boil. She snarled and clenched her fist. “What about him?”

“I was just talking to him.”

“Oh? Visiting your BFF?”

“What? No!” Raven could only shake her head at that. “I was trying to get him to confess to everything her planned and did to Tris.”

“I thought your fearless leader was taking care of that?”

“Finn is too obsessed with Clarke for her to be anywhere near him.”

Raven explained everything to Anya. How she grew up with Finn, how they’d started dating in high school, planned a future even though they were going to universities on the opposite sides of the country, how Raven had decided to surprise him and transfer to his university so they didn’t have to be apart. Then how she’d discovered his new relationship with Clarke.

“So she stole him from you?” Anya growled at that.

“She didn’t know about me anymore than I knew about her. And I got a best friend out of it.” Raven replied even. “Finn was definitely the loser in that situation.”

“So he did all of this because of Skaigada?” Anya asked after a few seconds of silence.

“He did all of this because he’s crazy. He thinks Clarke is in love with him and we’re all keeping her from him.”

Anya laughed and moved toward the door. “Well you AC students are a handful, I’ll give you that. Hopefully you got something on that tape that will help.”

 

3 days later

(after a certain prank involving glitter…)

“Reyes!” Anya’s voice rang through Tondisi.

“Uh oh.” Luna laughed. “What’d you do?”

Raven smiled as she sprinted by, giving her boss a high five as she went. “Just delay her like five minutes so I can get away?”

“Of course!” Luna called after her.

It took several hours for Anya to get the glitter out of her hair. And several wash cycles to get it out of her clothing. She spent all that time plotting against Raven Reyes. Luckily, she knew she’d have an opportunity that night at the party Raven and Octavia were throwing with Tris. She just didn’t know what she was going to do. She was hours late for the party. Like late enough that she was annoyed by all the drunk people stumbling down the street away from the townhouse.

All thoughts of pranks flew out of her head when Anya finally spotted Raven that night. She'd had a few good ones in mind too. But the tight red dress looked like it had been spray-painted onto that lithe Latina body and Anya’s brain short-circuited.

“Ahn!” Tris called out. “Glad you finally made it! I noticed you once again missed the party set up. You have a gift for that.”

Anya smiled and grabbed the red cup from her sister’s hand. She gulped down the liquid, thankfully it turned out to be Jack and Coke, before handing the cup back. “You’re not supposed to be drinking.”

“Are you going to tell Indra?” Tris arched a brow.

“I don’t care about Mom. I care that you’re on some strong medication and you aren’t supposed to mix that with alcohol.” Anya replied gently.

“It wasn’t my drink. I got it for Raven.” Tris explained to her. “Octavia and I are the designated fun-spoilers tonight.”

“You’re injured and Octavia is carrying our future niece or nephew. You have valid reasons for not drinking.”

“Hey Anya?” Tris said slowly.

“Yes Tris?”

Her little sister laughed when Anya still didn’t look at her. “Are you going to talk to Raven or are you going to stare at her all night?”

“I’m not staring!” Anya screeched as she tore her eyes away from the toned back Raven’s dress framed perfectly.

“You like her?” Tris asked.

Shaking her head, Anya replied, “no. She’s… Reyes.”

“And you’re Anya. And I haven’t seen you so focused on anyone in... well, ever really.”

“I like to prank her and give her a hard time.” Anya corrected.

“And if you hated her as much as you want the rest of us to think, you wouldn’t have anything to do with her.” Tris said. Anya clenched her jaw and shook her head. “Deny it all you’d like. I know the truth. Now tell me why you were three hours late?”

“Glitter.”

“Oh.” Tris snorted out a laugh. “Right. I heard you and Lexa this morning. And then Octavia and Lincoln told me about it. Another strike against you Sis.”

“Tris!” Anya snapped. She glanced around, hoping her voice hadn’t carried enough to draw attention to them. Her eyes of course landed on Raven who was looking at them and smiling. “Drop it.”

“All I’m saying is you should talk to her. I think you’d like her.”

“Stop.”

“She’s heading toward her bedroom. Alone.” Tris leaned in to whisper.

“You have got to be kidding. You want me to go jump her bones or something?”

With another loud laugh Tris shook her head, “I think you want – ”

Just then loud sound, an air horn, cut through the blaring music. It was short, only a second or two of the sound, but it was enough to cause most of the party-goers to cover their ears and look for the source of the sound. Anya laughed at the screams she heard echoing while she craned her neck to look toward the bedrooms. A seriously angry Raven Reyes was storming toward her.

“What the hell Woods!” Raven shoved her, causing her to stumble back a few steps.

“What?” Anya straightened her back so she was standing several inches taller than Raven.

“An air horn?!” Raven snapped back.

“I didn’t do it.” Anya raised her hands and shook her head.

Raven narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest, “then why are you laughing?”

“Because whoever did do it is a freaking genius!” Anya guffawed.

“It isn’t funny!” Raven stomped her foot. “I broke a heel and tore my dress!”

“And that really is too bad Skaitek.” Anya replied, looking her up and down. “That is an amazing looking outfit after all.”

Having to reply readily available, Raven’s hand shot out and wrapped around Anya’s wrist. She started tugging and eventually got Anya in her room.

“You want to tell me what’s going on?” Raven asked as soon as the door was shut.

“Nothing. I didn’t put up that air horn.” Anya defended herself.

“No. I mean why are you suddenly being so nice to me?”

“Excuse me?”

Raven rolled her eyes, making sure Anya saw it, before she headed into her closet. She emerged a few minutes later with sweat pants and a long sleeved t-shirt on. Anya thought she looked just as amazing in the lounge clothing as she did in the dress. Before she realized what was going on, Anya caught the clothes Raven tossed at her.

“Get changed Woods.”

“Why?”

“Because O is already in bed, Tris is bored, and Lincoln is annoyed with being the bouncer. He and Bellamy are clearing the house out as we speak.”

“I just got here.” Anya huffed.

“I know. So you can either go out there and help clear out and clean up or you can get changed and we can watch Netflix.”

Anya thought over her options. “I don’t want to clean up after a party I wasn’t even here for. I guess I could just go home.”

“No.”

“No?’

“No.” Raven shook her head and pushed her toward the bathroom. “You’re going to get changed and we are going to watch Netflix.”

“You know we aren’t friends right?” Anya said from the doorway.

Raven didn’t reply. She poked at Anya’s forehead and pushed gently, closing the door when she was far enough in the bathroom for the door to clear her feet. Minutes later, Anya stepped out with her own clothing folding in her arms. Raven was perched on her bed, flicking through channels on her Roku. Seeing Anya in her cotton board shorts and tank top made her jaw dropped.

“You have a tattoo!” Raven tossed the remote aside and sprang out of bed.

“I have several.” Anya replied as Raven took her clothes and put them on her desk.

“Where?”

“That is somewhat private don’t you think?” Anya asked.

Scoffing, Raven shook her head. “You may as well accept that I’m going to find out.”

“And how will you find out?”

“Easy.” Raven grinned up at her while her fingers traced the bands around her bicep. “I’m going to have you naked in my bed in about five minutes. You can’t hide them then.”

“You sure do have confidence.” Anya smiled.

“I think you and I both know we like to harass each other because we know we can take it. But then you helped me at the hospital and I saw something else in your eyes. That’s when I figured out you want me.” Raven leaned in, bringer her lips closer to Anya’s, “and I’m cool with you wanting me because I’ve wanted you since the first time I saw you at Tondisi.”

“You hate me.”

“No. You frustrate me.” Raven corrected. “Now you get to help me get un-frustrated.”

“Because I’m the one who got you all wound up?”

“Are you saying you don’t want me?”

Anya snickered and shook her head, “did you see you in that dress Raven?”

“I knew it!” Raven slid a hand behind her neck and tugged gently. “I don’t like waiting.”

“Who’s asking you to wait?”

 

“Okay okay!” Octavia jumped up from the couch and waved her arms in front of her. “That’s enough!”

“You do know where babies come from right?” Raven giggled and hid her face in Anya’s shoulder.

“And you do know that I can’t get Raven pregnant right?” Anya asked.

“No matter how much she tries!” Raven added loudly.

Lexa snorted at that. “So you’re seeing each other? Just hooking up? What?”

“Oh no, we’re together.” Raven’s head lifted from its hiding place.

“She didn’t give me much choice.” Anya said, her arm wrapping tightly around Raven’s waist.

The Latina laughed and shrugged. “I'm not even sorry. You're sweet when you want to be. And who could blame me for staking a claim with the way you make my toes curl and that thing you do with your tongue when you – ”

“Okay!” Lincoln jumped up and moved toward the door. “That’s enough. Let’s go eat food now.”

Clarke laughed as she stood too. She pulled Lexa up and linked their hands. She was still giggling when they headed toward the door.

“What’s so funny Skaiprisa?” Anya asked.

“I’m beginning to think you Woods are just genetically more gifted it… certain areas, than most people.”

"As if you have any experience to confirm or disprove that theory." Anya replied.

"Stop talking about my sisters getting busy!" Lincoln yelled as he ran down the stairs.

Chapter Text

Lexa soon found herself standing in the kitchen. Clarke had insisted on stopping to see her grandfather before rejoining everyone else in the pub. Then the blonde flitted away to talk to Luna about something, leaving Lexa alone with Pops.

“So you think you’re good enough for my granddaughter?” He asked through his teeth as he smiled across the room at Clarke.

“Not at all Sir.” Lexa answered honestly.

“Pardon?”

“I don’t know that I’m good enough for Clarke.” She shrugged. Her eyes met his, the same blue Clarke wielded like the greatest weapons ever forged and calmest waters anywhere.

Pops studied her. He’d taken on the role of protector for Clarke when his son died. If he’d lived closer he’d have been waiting for Lexa with his favorite shotgun when she’d first come into the picture.

“Are you feeding me lines?” He finally asked.

“No Sir.”

“If you don’t think you’re good enough for her, why are you with her?”

Lexa’s eyes left his, drifting toward Clarke. She grinned when she saw her girlfriend was already watching her. When the blonde mouthed ‘are you okay?’ she nodded. Lexa took a moment to have a silent conversation with Clarke. Pops clearing his throat brought her attention back him.

“I’m with her because I can’t not be.” Lexa said. It was the simplest way to explain her emotions and motives.

“Can’t not be?” Pops echoed.

“Exactly. Clarke… she elevates herself. She makes me a better person. She makes me want to be better. Not just for her though, for me too.” Lexa tried to explain.

“And you do the same for her?”

“I’d like to think I do.” Lexa winked at Clarke before glancing back at Pops.

After a moment of considering her Pops grinned. He must have really liked that response. “You’ll sit next to me at dinner.”

“As long as Clarke is sitting next to me too, I’d be glad to.” Lexa responded easily.

“Go on back to her now.” Pops waved his hand toward Clarke before clapping it down on Lexa’s shoulder. “Those glares she keeps sending my way are getting a little too close to ‘hungry puppy’ for me to not laugh at her.”

Nodding and excusing herself Lexa made her way around the maze of equipment to Clarke’s side. She was thrilled to be greeted with a tight hug and a quick kiss. She’d thought maybe Pops’ presence would mean no more of that for the evening.

“You okay?” Lexa asked quietly, her forehead leaning against the side of Clarke’s head.

“She’s great.” Luna responded with a grin.

“I’m fine.” Clarke replied as she shoved Luna’s arm playfully. “I just wish everyone would quit stealing you.”

“Don’t get mushy!” Luna pushed her back. She was smirking when Lexa turned to face her. “I’m going to steal the blonde one for a few minutes. I’m sorry to put you through more separation. You stay here. Stir the gravy.”

Before she could formulate an argument Lexa found herself standing alone at the huge industrial cooktop. She stirred the gravy as ordered. Then she checked the potatoes. Then she wandered to the ovens to check the turkeys, Pops yelled at her for that, before going back to stirring the gravy some more.

“Having fun?” Anya asked as she popped up next to the stove.

“Don’t do that!” Lexa yelped, slapping Anya’s arms several times.

“Not my fault you were staring at the food.” Anya shrugged and playfully slapped Lexa’s hands away. “Daydreaming?”

Ignoring her sister’s teasing, Lexa swirled the spoon through the gravy a few more times before turning to check out the rest of the kitchen. Pops was in the doorway talked to Abby and Indra, a sight that Lexa hadn’t thought she should be dreading. Trina was by the ovens with her back to the room. Other than that, Lexa was alone with her older sister.

“Are you alright?” Anya laid a hand on her shoulder.

Lexa shot her a disbelieving look, “you’re joking right?”

“You’re not alright?”

“I’m great. Other than having an overwhelming desire to go a few rounds with you.”

“What?” Anya’s brows came together, confusing clouding her eyes.

“Anya Woods!” A new voice cut through the din.

Lexa and Anya turned to find Tris attempting to maneuver around all the equipment and tables in the kitchen to get to them.

“Yes Tris?” Anya said when she finally made her way over.

Skaiprisa Ahn? Really?” Tris snapped. She lifted her left crutch and whacked Anya in the shin with it.

Understanding and pain bloomed in Anya’s eyes. “I wasn’t thinking. It just came out!”

“That’s you defense? It just happened?” Lexa shook her head.

“How did you hear about it?” Anya ignored her, turning to Tris. She barely managed to dodge the other crutch being swung toward her legs.

“Raven was talking to Octavia about it. I happened to be sitting nearby.” Tris replied. “I can’t believe you!”

Lexa moved between her sisters, taking Anya’s shoulders in her hands so she could make her look her in the eyes. “You listened to that tape Anya. I told you about Clarke’s reaction to hearing him scream that name over and over again.” She bit her lip. She dropped her hands when the urge to squeeze her sister’s neck grew too tempting. She hadn’t been joking about wanting to go a few rounds. “I just don’t understand how you could ever think that was okay.”

“I forget that not everyone gets me.”

Tris dropped a crutch so she could whack Anya on her shoulder. “That’s lame!”

“You mean you forgot that you don’t care if anyone gets you. And you don’t get to hide behind your surliness on this.” Lexa snapped. “It was malicious. You wanted to hurt her.”

“I wanted her to leave me and Raven alone.” Anya defended.

“Yeah, because that’s how Raven operates.” Tris muttered. She balanced on one leg as she tried to bend down to pick up her crutch. “She leaves everyone alone about everything. All the time.”

Lexa nodded. She helped to steady Tris as she stood up. “She was teasing her best friend. Its what they do. Raven is twenty times worse when it comes to teasing Octavia and Clarke about Lincoln and me.”

Anya huffed out a breath and held up her hands in surrender. “I’m not good with people. And this thing with Rae is new. I don’t want Clarke forcing Raven to talk to her.”

“No one could force Raven Reyes to say anything or do anything she doesn’t want to. And you had no right to strike out at Clarke for handling her friend the way she always has.” Lexa replied, glaring at her sister. “Do you want me reacting to Raven that way the next time she’s having a go at Clarke? Would that be fair?”

“Of course not!” Anya growled. She hated the very thought of Lexa's imagined attack on Raven.

“Then don’t do it to Clarke!” Lexa bit right back.

“I know! Raven’s already let me know how out of line she thinks I was.” Anya sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“I don’t think you know how pissed Raven is Anya.” Tris replied. “She’s pacing the bar and glaring at everyone. She’s barely talking to anyone except Octavia. Even then it’s only a sentence or two at a time while she circles.”

“Great.” Anya sighed again and brought a hand up to rub over her face.

Lexa didn’t even try to fight the smirk that stretched her lips. “Already getting scolded and you’re not even official. I like Raven’s style.”

“We are official. For just over a week now.” Anya replied, her eyes drifting toward the door leading to the bar. “And my new girlfriend, who I can’t seem to keep my hands off of, has cut me off until I make things right with you and Clarke.”

“And me.” Tris insisted. When her sisters turned to her she shrugged. “Clarke is my friend. She literally gave us a place to live so I didn’t have to fight my way up and down endless stairs everyday. And she did sort of save my life.”

“Right. Anyway.” Lexa chuckled before her eyes met Anya’s again. “You don’t have to make anything right with me. I told you my opinion. You need to make sure you’re good with Clarke.”

“I will. As soon as I find her.” Anya assured her.

“She’s with Luna. They’ll be back soon.” Lexa said as she turned to stir the gravy again. After a short silence she glanced at her sisters. “I’d like to ask you about something else you said.”

“I didn’t mean it Lexa.” Anya replied quickly, already knowing what she meant. “You’re talking about me saying I don’t trust her right?”

“Jesus Ahn. You’re really batting .1000 today aren’t you?” Tris whacked her shoulder again.

Lexa nodded, “she really is. And yes. I’d like to talk about that.”

“I didn’t mean it the way you heard it. I meant that I don’t trust her with your heart.” Anya explained. “Not entirely anyway.”

“Anya…” Lexa sighed. She didn’t know how to combat that.

Shaking her head, Anya tried to explain, “it’s not an Arkadia thing Lexa. It’s a big sister thing. I don’t know her. Not like you or Rae or Tris. It’s not a ‘I think she’s plotting something’ not trusting her thing. It’s a ‘that’s my baby sister’s heart you’ve stolen’ not trusting her thing.”

“I trust her with it all Anya.” Lexa whispered.

“And I’ll get there. I’m just not there yet.” Anya wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’m sorry you thought I meant more than that.”

“I don’t like feeling like you don’t like the woman I lo-…” Lexa couldn’t finish the statement. She wanted to say it to Clarke first. Thankfully her sisters ignored her slip.

“I like her.” Tris said. “Clarke’s amazing!”

“I like her too. Maybe I think she needs more of a backbone but I do like her. She doesn’t stand up for herself as much as she should.” Anya assured her sisters quickly. She did like Clarke. She just couldn’t fight her big sister instincts. “She can take a joke. She makes you smile, like all the way to your eyes kind of smiles. And you let her call you Lex. I do like her.”

“Good.” Lexa leaned her head against her shoulder. Her other arm reached out for Tris, pulling her into a hug. “Could you make sure she knows that?”

“I will.” Anya assured her.

“Make sure who knows what?” Clarke’s voice cut in.

Lexa’s head popped up. She looked around for her girlfriend, spotting her a few feet away at the mixer Trina was currently operating. Lexa smiled sheepishly. She didn’t know how much she’d heard.

“Don’t worry, I just got here.” Clarke read her concern in her eyes and smiled softly. “I didn’t hear anything.”

“Okay, good. Not that I have anything to say that you can’t hear.” Lexa backed out of her sisters’ embrace to reach for Clarke. Her fingers hooked through the belt loops on her jeans, pulling her closer.

Pressing a quick kiss to the corner of her mouth Clarke pulled back and smiled. “Of course not.”

“Real smooth Lexa.” Tris patted her on the back. “Didn’t you once tell Clarke you have game? Are you going to show her proof anytime soon?”

“She does have game.” Clarke defended. “She’s just a dork about it.”

“Hey!” Lexa gasped. “Not cool!”

“Clarke?” Anya interrupted the teasing. “Could I speak with you?”

“Now?”

“Please. I’d like to make sure everything’s settled before dinner.” Anya replied.

“Rae cut you off right?” Clarke’s eyes left Lexa’s to meet Anya’s gaze.

Anya just shrugged, “I’d want to talk to you even if she hadn’t.”

After a beat Clarke nodded. “I’ll meet up in the apartment in a five minutes.”

“Can’t we talk here?”

“I’d rather not. Too many people, too many ears.” Clarke rationalized.

“Fine.” Anya accepted that. “Five minutes. I’ll just head up now.”

Lexa watched her sister leave the room before turning back to her girlfriend. She pressed another kiss to her lips, smiling softly halfway through. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine.” Clarke assured her. She ran a hand over the brunette’s hair and winked. “I’m about to be a lot better.”

“You guys are gross.” Tris cut in. “Stop this.”

“No one is making you stay here.” Clarke replied.

“I like spending time with my sister. Sue me.” Tris shot back.

Clarke glanced at her quickly before turning her burning gaze back on Lexa. Her eyes gave just the slightest bit of a warning before her hands latched onto the front of Lexa’s shirt and pulled her in as close as she could get. Settling her lips over Lexa’s, she pressed a series of feather light kisses to them, then nipped at her bottom lip. When Lexa released a quiet moan Clarke grinned and dove in to deepen the kiss, her tongue skimmed over Lexa’s, which immediately opened to accept her. At Lexa’s second moan Clarke released her shirt and wrapped her arms around her neck while Lexa’s wound tightly around her hips. When Lexa’s hands sank into her back pockets, pulling her impossibly closer, Tris’s voice finally cut through their fog.

“I said that’s enough! This isn’t funny!” Tris yelled as she tried to force her hand between their faces.

“Clarke said you could go away.” Lexa panted.

“Gross. Quit breathing like that.” Tris whined.

“You let someone kiss you like that and you see how you’re breathing afterward.” Lexa said her eyes falling back to Clarke’s kiss-puffed lips.

Tris shook her head, “how about we get Clarke to explain why she’s about to be better?”

“Maybe she meant because she was going to kiss me.” Lexa sighed. Then she watched Clarke’s lips transform into a smirk. “What has you smiling like that? That isn’t your ‘I just kissed my girlfriend until she was crazy’ smile.”

"Are you sure about that?" Clarke’s smirk grew more pronounced at that. She leaned forward and kissed her again, giggling when Tris’s hand was shoved between their faces again. Pulling away, only after licking the back of Tris’s hand, she smoothed her thumb over Lexa’s lips, wiping away the lipstick she’d transferred. “No reason.”

“Who licks people?” Tris demanded, hopping to the nearest sink to wash her hands. “That’s so nasty Clarke!”

For some reason, Lexa didn’t believe Clarke. She wanted to question further but she found herself being pulled out of the kitchen by a giggling Clarke. Tris followed them, grumbling the whole way.

“The laughing isn’t really reassuring Meizen.”

“I’m all good Lex. I promise.”

“Yeah. Okay.” Lexa replied, her eyes narrowing as she tried to figure out whatever Clarke was feeling or doing.

“Why are you this good?” Tris asked from behind them.

Clarke shrugged and kept pulling until they were at the bottom of the stairs. Anya had just reached the door to the apartment. She glanced behind her, hearing the other women approach.

“That was quick.” She said.

“I’ll be right up.” Clarke replied. “Just wanted to make sure Lex escaped cooking detail. Pops is about to get all kinds of feisty.”

Anya nodded as she turned back and opened the door. She stepped through and moved to close the door behind her. The giant bucket of ice water that poured over her head had her screaming instead. Lexa and Tris stared up at her, their jaws nearly on the floor at the sound that just left Anya’s mouth.

Sputtering a few times and running a hand over her face and hair Anya roared, “Raven!”

“Wasn’t Rae.” Clarke grinned.

“You?” Lexa asked, equally horrified and impressed. She looked between her sister and her girlfriend. She moved to stand between them, certain Anya was about to tear down the stairs and tackle Clarke.

“This was you?” Tris sounded completely awed.

“Me.” Clarke nodded.

Anya sputtered again. She hadn’t seen anything like that coming. She shook her head, then wiped more water from her face. “Alright then. Fair enough.”

“Hey Anya.” Clarke said as she moved around Lexa and Tris. She slowly began to make her way up the stairs.

“Clarke?”

“I just have something to say before you get changed.”

“Okay?”

“I know you didn’t mean the nickname thing the way I took it. I’m guessing you didn’t really like me asking about your relationship with Rae for whatever reason.”

“Yes.”

“Well you should know Raven and Octavia and I don’t really have secrets each other. We demand truth and transparency from each other. Its how we’ve always been. I’m not going to let that change now.” Clarke said.she let that sink in, only continuing after Anya nodded. “Raven and I had a rough start to our friendship because of Finn. If we don't have secrets, at least if we don't have big secrets, we don't have to worry about going back to that place.”

Anya took a deep breath, knowing Clarke was extending an olive branch. “I’ll work on not being so defensive.”

“Good.” Clarke smiled. “I’ll tell Rae she can lift you ban then. And that you’re getting changed.”

Nodding slowly, Anya accepted her fate as a woman with a girlfriend and two pseudo-girlfriends. “Could you tell her I’m going to take a quick shower? That water was really cold.”

“Sure.” Clarke replied. She turned to head back down the stairs. She paused a few steps from the bottom and glanced back at Anya, “Oh, and Anya?”

“Yes?”

“Please keep in mind from now on that Raven may be the genius in our little group but I’m the mastermind.” Clarke grinned at the horrified look that passed over Anya’s features. “I like to keep my genius in check, I don’t use my… abilities, often. But I’d be willing to change that if I need to.”

“I understand.” Anya said evenly.

“And could you maybe go back to the nickname thing?” Clarke asked. “Hearing you saying my name is disconcerting.”

“Sure thing Skaigada.”

Shaking her head, Clarke turned to face her fully. “The other one.”

“Clarke –” Anya started to argue.

“Nope. My nickname, my choice.” Clarke insisted. “The other one please.”

Anya glanced down the stairs at her still stunned sisters. After a moment or two Lexa cleared her mind enough to shrug. Anya met Clarke’s gaze again, “as you wish Skaiprisa.”

Clarke smiled brightly, only cringing a little at the nickname, and turned to finish walking down the stairs. She heard the door close just as she reached the bottom. She gave her a quick kiss and grabbed her hand, moving toward the main room of the pub.

“You just dumped water on Anya.” Tris said as she followed them.

“I rigged a bucket to pour over her head.” Clarke corrected her.

“Over Anya’s head.” Tris stressed her sisters name.

“I did.”

Tris shook her head. “You’re crazy. That was Anya!”

Clarke shrugged and kept walking. She needed something quick and easy to show Anya she could fight on her level if needed. The ice bucket is one of the easiest pranks ever. Luna’s help just made everything quicker to set up.

“You’re smiling like that again.” Lexa said.

“Like what?” Clarke slid her hand up her arm until it was wrapped around her bicep.

“Scary.” Tris replied.

“I think you’re imagining things.” Clarke shook her head.

Lexa stopped walking, forcing Clarke to turn and face her. “Meizen?”

“It’s all good.” Clarke assured her. She moved her hands to the front of Lexa’s shirt, smoothing the wrinkles she’d caused earlier with their kiss. “Let’s go find Rae and let her know it’s all good with Anya.”

“Why did you smile get bigger when you said Anya’s name?” Tris asked.

“Did it? That’s so weird.” Clarke winked at her before giving Lexa a hard kiss. She turned and started pulling Lexa toward the pub again.

“Clarke –”

A loud scream from the apartment cut off whatever Lexa was about to say. Clarke cackled and dropped Lexa’s hand, attempting to run ahead. Lexa was quicker though, catching her around the waist and pulling her to a stop.

“Clarke!” Lexa’s eyes were huge when Clarke glanced over her shoulder.

After a quick struggle Clarke kissed her again, using it as a distraction to run away again.

Skaiprisa!” Anya’s voice roared through the hallway.

Lexa and Tris spun back toward the stairs. Their jaws met the floor again when their older sister appeared at the top.

“She’s going to kill your girlfriend.” Tris whispered out of the side of her mouth.

Chapter Text

“Clarke?” Lexa yelled at her girlfriend’s back.

“Go after her Lexa!” Tris nudged her. She glanced back toward the stairs. “I’ll distract Anya.”

With a small nod, Lexa took off. She chased Clarke through the hall and into the pub. By the time she caught up, Clarke was at her booth, bent over with her hands on her knees trying to talk to Raven, Octavia, and Abby.

“Lexa?” Raven caught sight of her right away. “Why is Clarke dying?”

“I have no idea.” Lexa replied as she approached her girlfriend. She rested a hand on her back and started rubbing soothing circles into her muscles. “Anya is mad about something.”

“Clarke Griffin! What did you do?” Abby demanded.

Finally standing up straight Clarke shrugged and winked. “Nothing. I’m going to go grab some cranberry sauce from the store before it closes!”

Then she was gone again. Lexa debated for a moment what she wanted to do, go after Clarke or stay and see if she can calm Anya down from what rage Clarke had induced. She looked from the door Clarke had just exited to the booth and back again.

“Go get her. The store is closed.” Octavia said.

“She’s hiding.” Raven added.

“She must have done something really…” Abby started to say something more but trailed off, her eyes on the opening to the hallway.

“Mama G?” Raven waved her hand in front of her face.

Octavia and Lexa turned to follow Abby’s stare. Their expressions quickly turned into twin looks of horror.

“Umm… Rae?” Octavia tugged on her sleeve.

“What? Stop pulling on me!” Raven yanked her arm away. She focused on Abby again, “Seriously Mama G. You’re freaking me out.”

“Rae…” Octavia said again, tugging harder.

“Raven.” Lexa choked out.

“What?” Raven looked at her friends.

The only response she got was them pointing across the room. Raven huffed out an annoyed breath and turned to see what had the entire room going silent. She searched for something out of the ordinary, quickly spotting the issue.

“Anya?” She whispered.

“Where is she?” Anya asked in a scarily even tone.

“Why are you blue?” Raven questioned right back. “Are you okay?”

“I’m going to kill her!” Came the response from Anya.

Lexa moved to stand between the door and her sister. “Blue really isn’t your color Ahn.”

“You think now is the time for jokes?” Anya glared as she stalked up to her.

“I think you need to calm down. Take a few deep breaths. Maybe take a shower in my room.” Lexa replied, not budging an inch.

Weron Klark kamp raun? (Where is Clarke?)” Anya bit out.

“As if you really think I’m going to tell you.” Lexa rolled her eyes.

Before Anya could reply Raven appeared at her elbow. She ran her hand down Anya’s arm and laced their fingers together. “Ahn? Let’s go get you cleaned up.”

“I want to talk to Clarke first.” Anya shook her head.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen.” Octavia said. “Maybe its best to just get cleaned up before dinner?”

“This isn’t over.” Anya jabbed a finger at Lexa.

“It never is.” Lexa sighed.

Raven just laughed. “Okay you big tough smurf. Let’s go.”

Anya allowed her to pull her back through the pub. After a few steps she muttered, “I’m not a smurf.”

“Your new skin tone say otherwise babe.” Raven replied easily. She traced a finger tip across Anya's cheekbones and down her jaw. “I dig it though. It highlights some of my favorite features on you.”

“Stop talking!” Abby yelled at that. “I don’t want to hear that!”

“You’re a doctor!” Raven called back.

“I’m also a mother!” Abby replied.

Lexa watched the scene unfold in disbelief. She’d never seen Anya calm down so quickly before. And she’d never in a billion years think Raven Reyes would be the one to have that effect. She watched them leave the room, noting the smirk on Raven’s face when she turned to look at Anya. The girl had her sister laughing before they disappeared into the hallway. Lexa waited another minute or two before pulling her phone out of her back pocket.

 

Lex: (5:42p)
Was that really necessary
Clarke?

Clarke: (5:42p)
Necessary? Possibly. Funny? 
Absolutely.

Clarke: (5:43p)
I’m only sorry I didn’t get to 
see her.

Lex: (5:43p)
She’s really angry Clarke.

Clarke: (5:44p)
I figured she would be.

Lex: (5:45p)
So come back so I can save
you?

Clarke: (5:46p)
I never left. I’m just outside
the doors with Bellamy.

Lex: (5:46p)
So come back inside with me.

Clarke: (5:46p)
Are you going to yell at me?

Clarke: (5:46p)
Or scold me?

Clarke: (5:47p)
Because I, for one, think Anya 
deserved it. Both times. And
I’m really not all that sorry.
Unless that dye doesn’t come
out like it's supposed to. Then
I’ll be a little sorry.

Lex: (5:47p)
I’m not going to lecture you 
Meizen. I just want to actually 
spend time with you.

Lex: (5:48p)
Preferably before another one 
of your relatives steals me away.

 

Lexa watched the little icon that meant Clarke was replying pop up and disappear a few times. Then she heard footsteps approaching her. Looking up she saw Clarke, red cheeked from laughter and the cold, making her way through the small crowd toward her.

“Hey,” Clarke said quietly.

Offering a small smile, Lexa held out a hand for her to take. They moved back to Clarke’s booth and sat down with Abby and Octavia.

“Clarke,” Abby sighed her name.

“Mother,” Clarke echoed her tone.

“Can’t we have just one normal holiday?” Abby asked.

Shrugging, Clarke looked anywhere her mother wasn’t. “Nothing’s been ruin Mom.”

“But did you have to?”

“She deserved it.” Clarke replied. She finally met her mother’s eyes when she said, “but I’m not going to pull anything else on her. I think I’ve made my point.”

“I think so too.” Lexa replied, laying her hand over Clarke’s on the table.

“How’d you do it Clarkey?” Octavia asked. “She was so blue!”

“Luna helped. Some food coloring Trina uses for cakes or something.” Clarke replied. She turned her hand over so it was palm-to-palm with Lexa’s. “Was she mad?”

“There was steam coming off her head Clarke.” Abby said.

“Jasper and Monty got pictures. And maybe a video.” Octavia added.

“Of course they did!” Clarke craned her neck, trying to spot the boys in the crowd.

Lexa applied a bit of pressure on her hand, “Maybe we can let this go? Not rub it in Anya’s face too much?”

She wanted to argue. Anya hadn’t exactly been a saint about letting things go. Hence the endless pranks on Raven, not to mention the pranks she pulled on the other Delinquents. One look at Lexa’s face told Clarke it was just better all around if it was dropped. Clarke had her revenge. Things were square now. So Clarke gave her a small smile and nodded.

****

Surprisingly, once Anya and Raven returned to the pub everything was calmer. Anya acknowledged Clarke’s pranks with half-hearted congratulations and Clarke told her she could rest easy, no more pranks were coming her way.

Shortly after that, Pops announced it was time for dinner. Lexa jumped up to help Trina and Luna moved table around while Clarke and her friends helped to bring the food out from the kitchen. Soon, the thirty or so people in the pub were settled down and passing food around.

As always, the Griffins and their family and friends went around the table and said what they were thankful for. Some were generic, home and health and all that. Others were a bit more unique.

Pops was thankful for another year of life. He swore he’d been living on borrowed time since his days in the Army.

Byrne was thankful for the newest facial recognition software her office had just received. It helped her nab one of her most wanted fugitives just days before.

Jasper was thankful that Anya had finally returned his still. And that Mama G had finally lifted her food ban. He also declared he'd be really thankful if Byrne and Abby would glaring at him like that.

Lincoln was thankful for Octavia. She was thankful for him. They were both thankful for their baby. Octavia was also thankful that she could now show her friends the engagement ring he’d given her earlier that morning.

Abby and Marcus were thankful for each other and their children.

Raven actually made a little bit of a speech about Anya. She was thankful to have found someone who understood her and challenged her.

Much to everyone’s surprise Anya stood up slowly and help up her glass, proposing a toast to Raven. “I’m so thankful to have her here, with my family and hers. I know she didn’t have to choose me back. I know I made it difficult for her to choose me. I don’t know what I’d have done if she hadn’t.” She paused then, glancing down at Raven for a moment before looking around the room. “Have you ever loved someone so much you physically ached from it? I’m here to tell you it sucks. Especially when it’s someone you used to hate.”

“Hey!” Raven shoved her lightly.

Anya leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I said ‘used to’ didn’t I?”

“Still not cool.” Raven muttered.

“Anyway.” Anya kissed her again. “I’m thankful for Raven being an idiot and choosing me.”

Everyone raised their glasses and toasted Raven who was sinking in her chair. Then it was Lexa’s turn. She thought about taking the easy way and just saying a quick little whatever. Then she looked at Clarke and knew she wanted to say more. So, like her sister, she stood with her glass in her hand.

“I’m not as good with my words as Anya apparently is but I’d like to say something.” She cleared her throat and turned so she could look at her girlfriend. “I’m beyond thankful to have found you. Or to have been found by you. Like Anya said, you didn’t have to choose me. The odds were against us ever even being friends let alone more than that. But you were determined to have your peace. You helped my sister, you faced my aunt,” that earned her a roll thrown at her head by her uncle. Lexa caught it and smiled. “You being you is my favorite thing. Even when you jump to conclusions or retreat into the world of your graphic novel that isn’t a graphic novel or forget to turn your ringer on so you can know when I call, you’re my favorite. You are you and I adore that.”

Clarke blushed. She couldn’t help it. She wasn’t used to that kind of praise. She reached up and pulled on Lexa’s shoulder until their faces were close enough that she could kiss her. When she pulled back a millimeter she whispered, “I adore you too.”

Lexa winked and straightened, “So here’s to Clarke. And I guess to Raven and Jasper and Monty too. Because without their moronic pranks, I wouldn’t have Clarke.”

Once again, glasses were raised and cheers were heard. Then it was Clarke’s turn. She waited until Lexa sank back into her chair to stand next to her. She laid a hand on her shoulder and smiled at her loved ones.

“I’m not going to get mushy. I just want to say that I’m more thankful for this last year, especially the last few months, than I have been in a long time. I have friends who have my back, a mother who loves me, and I have Lex.” Clarke squeezed her shoulder and smiled down at her. “I don’t know what’d I’d be doing right now if I didn’t have you around. I do know that it’d probably be boring as hell though!”

Clarke raised her glass and called for a toast to Lexa. When everyone started eating, Clarke leaned down and asked Lexa to come with her. Lexa nodded and followed Clarke back over to their booth. She slid in first, watching Clarke slide into her side. Clarke leaned forward, beaming at her.

“You okay?” Lexa asked as she took Clarke’s hands in her own.

“I’m great.” Clarke assured her.

“So why are we over here and not over there eating food? Isn’t the whole point of this holiday to eat food and be with family and friends?” Lexa raised one of Clarke’s hands to her lips, grazing over her knuckles delicately.

“I love you.” Clarke whispered.

Lexa froze, Clarke’s hand still pressed to her mouth. Her eyes grew round and large. Her brain went completely blank.

“Lex?” Clarke said after a minute. “Are you okay?”

Still nothing. Lexa just stared.

“Oh no!” Clarke shook her head and pulled on her hands. “I’m sorry! I thought… It doesn’t matter. It’s fine. Never mind.”

Lexa begged her brain to start moving again. Why was she frozen? She loved Clarke. She’d been planning on telling Clarke soon. So why freeze?

“I’m just going to go eat now.” Clarke said quietly, lowering her head to hide the tears. She started sliding out of the booth, only to be stopped by Lexa’s hand on her arm.

Meizen.” Lexa said. “Clarke.”

She closed her eyes and shook her head. She couldn’t let the way Lexa clicked the ‘k’ in her name distract her. “It’s fine. I… you don’t have to say anything. I’ll just forget this happened. You do the same.”

“Clarke, I don’t want to forget it.” Lexa assured her. She pulled on Clarke’s hand until she was standing up and moving around the table to her side. Then she tugged again until she almost fell onto the seat. Once Clarke righted herself, Lexa cupped her face in her hands and pressed a series of short kisses to her lips. She wiped away the few tears that had escaped from the blue she adored so much as she whispered, “I love you too Clarke Griffin. Even when you jump to conclusions remember?”

“Yeah?” Clarke sniffled.

“Yeah.” Lexa nodded before leaning her forehead against Clarke’s. “I was planning on telling you next weekend. When we were on our pre-finals trip.”

“Ugh.” Clarke groaned and shook her head. “I ruined it?”

“Nope. This is better. In our booth in our pub.” Lexa replied.

A roll came flying passed their heads then. Followed by Tris shouting, “knock it off! It’s time for food!”

“Yeah! Get back over here!” Octavia said.

“That Jasper boy is stealing your food Lexa.” Indra called out calmly.

That was all the prompting they needed to move back to the tables their families sat at. Lexa sat down next to Pops who whacked her good-naturedly on the back. Clarke pulled her chair a little closer to her girlfriend’s before she sat. Then, because her grandfather is a man who knows how to plot, she grinned when she realized Lexa was sitting to her right. Which meant she could hold her hand and eat at the same time.

“Finally a reason to be happy to be a leftie!” Clarke said as she laced her fingers with Lexa’s.

****

Clarke couldn’t believe how well Thanksgiving dinner had gone. Other than the few hiccups with Anya everything went smoothly. Pops and Byrne loved Lexa. Marcus loved Lexa. Gustus and Indra seemed to really like Clarke. It went so much better than either she or Lexa had hoped.

Unfortunately Lexa and Anya had to leave shortly after dinner with Lincoln and Tris. They had to go to a nearby forest to do a Trikru traditional offering. Octavia opted to stay at Tondisi to help clean up and wait for Lincoln and Tris while Clarke and Raven helped a little with the cleaning before heading home. They had plans with their significant others to put up the Christmas tree so they had to dig it out of storage and start setting it up.

“Is it just me or did that go too well?” Raven asked as they carried the too large box into the living room.

“Waiting for the other shoe to drop Rae?” Clarke replied as they maneuvered around the couch to the front window.

“It just seems too calm. Like something is coming.” She replied. “I feel like something’s coming.”

Clarke shook her head and lowered the box. “Everything is fine Rae. Lex, Anya, O, and Lincoln will be here soon. We’ll get the tree set up and we’ll watch a movie or two before bed. It’ll be the best ending to this holiday ever!”

Even with those reassurances Raven couldn’t shake the feeling in her stomach. But she didn’t want to ruin Clarke’s mood so she smiled and asked, “So what’d you and Lexa talk about before dinner?”

“I told her I love her.” Clarke replied easily.

“Already?”

“When you know, you know.”

“She loves you back?”

Clarke blushed and nodded. “She was planning a romantic trip for next weekend to tell me.”

“Way to go Griff.”

“I know. I ruined it. But she said she liked my way better because we were in our booth.” Clarke said. Then she felt her phone vibrate in her pocket.

 

Lex: (9:12p)
We’ll be there in about 15 
minutes. We come bearing gifts.

Lex: (9:12p)
And by gifts, I mean beer and
pizza.

Clarke: (9:13p)
We just ate Thanksgiving
dinner.

Lex: (9:14p)
That felt awfully judgy Meizen. 
Are you judging?

Clarke: (9:16p)
Is there pepperoni?

Lex: (9:16p)
Of course there’s pepperoni!
What kind of girlfriend do you
think I am?

Clarke: (9:17p)
The best!

Clarke: (9:17p)
How does everyone feel about 
delaying the decorating until
tomorrow? It’s dusty up here 
now and I don’t want to be 
sneezing all night.

Lex: (9:19p)
Everyone is fine with it. Movie 
night location changed to my 
place then?

Clarke: (9:20p)

Yup! Rae and I will be down

as soon as we finish setting

up the tree.

Lex: (9:21p)
So we’ll see you in a few hours?

Clarke: (9:23p)
Rude!

Clarke: (9:23p)
More like a half hour. If we
can figure out which branches
go where. This is the hardest
part every year!

Lex: (9:24p)
I have faith in you!

Lex: (9:26p)
We’re about 6 minutes out now.
You better hurry if you want hot 
pizza!

Clarke: (9:27p)
30 minutes tops and I’m yours 
for the rest of the night!

Clarke: (9:28p)
I love you by the way.

Lex: (9:29p)
Ai hod yu in

 

“Stop flirting with your girlfriend and get over here!” Raven said loudly from her spot on the floor by the window. She was sorting through the branches, trying to figure out which went where. “I swear every year we say we’re going to label these things and every year we just throw them in the box.”

“So this year we’ll label them.” Clarke replied.

“And yet in a month we’re just going to throw them back in the box.”

“Don’t mess with tradition Rae.”

After spending 20 minutes trying to figure out what went where the girls finally moved on to just putting the branches in the brackets and hoping they were correct. Trial and error while putting up a Christmas tree was not the most fun thing they could have been doing. Neither one of them complained while they worked side-by-side putting the tree together, hoping to be downstairs soon and cuddled with their girlfriends. Preferably with a hot slice of pizza in front of them.

A knock on the door interrupted their final inspection of the tree a little over fifteen minutes later. Clarke’s brows came together at the sound.

“Did you lock the door?”

“No.” Raven replied. “Did you?”

“If I had locked the door do you think I’d have asked you if you did?” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“No one knocks on our door. Its like there’s a rule against knocking on that door.” Raven said. She glanced at Clarke,  then at the door. “I really don't think anyone has knocked on that door in years.”

Clarke nodded as she headed toward it. “It’s probably just Lex. I told her we’d be down soon. I think we’ve missed that deadline.”

She was still talking when she opened the door. She expected to be wrapped up in her girlfriend’s arms and carried down the stairs. Or for Anya to gently nudge her way past so she could toss Raven over her shoulder or something. Instead, she was met by something completely unexpected. Raven’s jaw dropped when she saw what was waiting.

Clarke’s hand tightened on the doorknob as she tried to figure out how fast she could close the door. In the end, she took a deep breath and said, “Hello Finn.”

Chapter Text

“Hey Princess!” Finn grinned like a child who had just opened a new pack of cookies.

“What’s going on?” Raven appeared behind Clarke. When neither responded she arched a brow at the boy, “Finn?”

“How’s it going Rae?” He leaned his shoulder against the doorway. His smirk grew as he took in the blonde in front of him.

She shrugged and took a small step back. “Can’t complain. Except… you know. About the tree.”

“Right. You two probably didn’t label it last year like you swore you were going to.” He laughed. Then he leaned into the entryway and looked around. “How about I help you out. Maybe three heads are better than two.”

“Thanks for the offer Finn, but we’re almost done.” Clarke replied.

“Well how about you actually invite me inside and we can talk about all this?” Finn snapped. He blinked a few times and frowned. “I'm sorry Princess, I didn't mean to yell. I just want to talk to.”

Clarke moved to close the door. He shoved his foot into its path, blocking it from latching. Raven joined her in her efforts to force the door closed. Then Finn shoved with his shoulder, causing the women to stumble back. It was enough for him to get into the house. He was locking the door when Clarke and Raven righted themselves.

“Finn,” Clarke said slowly.

“Princess,” He replied like he’d just dropped by for a friendly chat.

“Maybe you should go Finn.” Raven tried to coax him.

“I’m good thanks. I want to talk to Clarke.” He shook his head.

Nodding her head Clarke moved to sit down. She pulled Raven with her, forcing her to sit next to her. “Okay then. So talk.”

“Alone.” Finn glared.

“Not happening.” Raven shook her head.

“She’s right Finn. She stays or you leave.” Clarke agreed.

Finn sighed, “Well excuse me if I don’t want to talk to you in front of my ex-girlfriend.”

“You do know we’re both your ex-girlfriends right?” Raven said slowly. “She’s not with you Finn. Neither am I.”

“Because the rest of you won’t stop butting in! If you’d all just leave us alone we’d be together.” He yelled. He sat in one of the chairs. He was only stationary for a moment before he was back on his feet and pacing.

“Finn, you know that’s not true.” Clarke replied calmly. “We haven’t been together in years. And no, it isn’t because of my friends. It’s because you lied and you cheated.”

“I never cheated on you!” He argued.

“I know that. But you made me a cheater. You cheated on Raven with me.”

The ding of Clarke’s phone made her and Raven jumped. She picked it up from the table and glanced at it. Two texts from Lexa are waiting for her.

 

Lex: (10:03p)
The pizza is almost glacial. And 
the movies are getting bored 
with the waiting.

Lex: (10:03p)
And Anya is whining about
wanting to see Raven. It’s kind 
of sweet. Also a little annoying.
Please come down! Drag her
along if you need to! Ignore
the tree! We can finish it
tomorrow!

 

“Who is that?” Finn asked as he stomped up to her.

“No one.” Clarke replied. She locked her phone and stood up. “Just O wondering where Rae and I are. We were supposed to meet her at Tondisi fifteen minutes ago.”

Another ding brought Finn’s attention back to Clarke’s phone. He pulled it from her hand before she could react. He read the notification and growled. “Lexa?!”

“Of course.” Raven rolled her eyes. “Because this situation wasn’t bad enough.”

“Why is the leader of Polis texting you Princess?” He demanded, waving her phone in front of her face. “What does she want?”

“How am I supposed to know? I’d have to read the message to know that right?” Clarke snapped back.

“What’s your passcode? I want to read what that bitch has to say.” Finn started stabbing at the numbers.

Clarke shook her head. “I’m not giving you my code.”

“Now!” He roared, thrusting the phone back at her.

She took it and slipped it into her pocket. “What someone sends me in a message is my business. Not yours. If you’re going to act like this, you can go. Rae and I have plans.”

“See ya Finn!” Raven stood and waved at him. “Make sure the door closes behind you.”

“No!” He yelled and shook his head. He moved until he was in Clarke’s face. “I’m getting really tired of all of you thinking I’m your lap dog. You aren’t in charge here Princess.”

“You’re not a lap dog. But you are pushing our luck Finn.” Raven replied.

He shouted and stomped while Clarke stood impassively in front of him. “After everything I’ve done to help you! From the moment we met I’ve done nothing but help you! I’ve gone on coffee runs! I’ve read your papers to make sure they weren’t crap! I’ve bought tampons! What guy wants to buy tampons? No guy!”

“We didn’t ask you for tampons Finn.” Clarke replied in her calmest voice. She felt her phone vibrate in her pocket just before she heard the ding.

“Why would I buy them then?” He retorted.

“You’re a creeper. You probably memorized her cycle and knew she’d need them.” Raven scoffed.

“No one is talking you Raven!” He barely spared her a second look. His eyes were glued to Clarke’s. “I love you Clarke. Why can’t you see that?”

She tried to think of something to say. Anything that she could say to calm him down. Nothing came to mind. She had no thoughts in her head beyond knowing she need to get help. The situation was already getting out of hand. Raven wasn’t one to back down, especially not when Finn was involved, and Finn was too worked up to just let things go.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Finn’s yell broke through her thoughts.

She turned to see Raven frozen halfway to her bedroom. Raven sighed like she was disappointed she’d been spotted. “I just wanted to grab my phone.”

“Why?” Finn responded.

“Because I’m a 22 year-old Millennial. I feel naked without my phone.” Raven shrugged.

“I think you and your phone will handle one evening of being separated.” Finn said.

Raven arched a brow and turned on her heel, moving toward her room with a purpose this time. Clarke watched her go, a small smirk stretching her lips. Then she caught a quick movement from Finn. She turned and saw he was holding a handgun. The blood drained from her face.

“Rae.” She choked out. She moved so she was between Raven and Finn.

“Clarkey?” Raven replied over her shoulder.

“You need to forget about your phone.” Clarke stepped to the side again when Finn moved.

She heard Raven huff out a breath and stop walking. “Why?”

“No reason. Just come back over here please.” Clarke said over her shoulder. Then she met Finn’s eye, as quietly as she could she said, “you can put that away now. She’ll come back and sit by me. No trouble.”

“She can’t disrespect me like that!” Finn shook his head. His hand tightened on the grip of the pistol.

“Clarke, I just want to check –” Raven was by her side faster than she’d expected. “Is that a gun?!”

“Rae, just sit down.” Clarke moved her arm in front of her best friend. She gently pressed backward, trying to get Raven behind her and out of Finn’s line of sight.

Raven just shook her head. She and Clarke started almost wrestling, each trying to get in front of the other. “Finn, are you actually crazy?”

“Sit down Raven.” Finn jiggled the gun again.

“Put it away Finn!” Clarke snapped just before Raven landed an elbow to her ribs. “Dammit Rae!”

Finn laughed at the sight before him. Two gorgeous girls wrestling. In his mind they were fighting to be closer to him for an entirely different reason. “I just want to talk Princess. And Raven seems a little too involved in your love life right now.”

“So talk Finn. Just put the gun away please?” Clarke pressed a hand to throbbing ribs. “Raven and I will just sit down and let you have you say. No more interruptions. We’ll even turn our phones on silent so they can’t interrupt you again.”

“You’ll show me what that bitch was texting you about?” He perked up at the thought.

“No. I told you, those are my messages.” Clarke shook her head. She pulled her phone from her pocket and set it face down on the table.

Raven pushed back until Clarke was seated again. Then she sat next to her, but made sure to keep herself in a position she could get up quickly if she needed to. “Its probably just an adjustment to their terms.”

“Terms?” Finn echoed the last word, clearly confused.

“Yeah. For the truce.” Raven replied.

“They agreed to a truce?” Finn smiled. “We won?”

“Something like that.” Clarke replied.

Raven shifted again, Finn had taken a step closer to Clarke. “So what else do you want to talk about?”

“I want to talk about me and Clarke. And how we fix what broke us.” Finn said with a one-shouldered shrug and grin. “Now that Polis is settled and out of the way, we can focus on our future.”

“What future?” Clarke asked.

“The one where we’re together and happy. What else?” He questioned. He flicked the safety back on the gun and put it in his waistband. When Raven scoffed at that, he looked her up and down. “You know, I never understood why the three of us never had fun together.”

Clarke’s brows rose at that, “Excuse me?”

“I mean, Raven’s hot, I’m hot, you’re hot. You’re both bi. It just doesn’t make sense that we never took it to the bedroom.” His smirk turned to a leer. “It probably would have solved a lot of our problems. Maybe it should have been the three of us in the relationship instead of me and Raven or me and Clarke!”

He looked like he had just thought of that. Like that was the greatest idea ever. As if they would ever have been open to that sort of relationship.

“That’s not my style Finn.” Clarke replied calmly.

“Not like I haven’t seen it all anyway.” Raven said at the same time.

“What does that mean?” Finn growled at the Latina. His hand moved toward the pistol again.

Clarke laid a hand on Raven’s shoulder, trying to keep her from bristling at his tone and his movements. Raven shook her hand off. “Rae, calm down.”

“Yes Rae. Calm down. None of us want to do anything drastic.” Finn added. When Raven relaxed a little he turned his eyes back to Clarke, “What did she mean?”

“A year or so after we dated, Raven and I tried dating.”

“Each other?” He asked.

“Yes.” Raven snapped.

Clarke laid her hand on her back, running it up and down her spine. “Yes Finn, each other.”

His chest puffed up. While he liked the idea of Clarke and Raven in bed together, he had always pictured himself in the bed with them. He didn’t like the idea of just the two of them. “Did you sleep together?”

“Yes.” Clarke replied.

“You never told any of us about that.” Finn shook his head, like he couldn’t believe they were telling the truth since he had never been told about it.

“O knows. And Bellamy.” Raven replied. She shifted even more in front of Clarke, by now she was practically lying in her friend’s lap. “We still do you know?”

Finn narrowed his eyes, “do what?”

“Stop!” Clarke shouted and shoved at Raven. She barely held back the laughter when Raven landed face first on the floor. Then Clarke was on her feet, snatching up her phone and stomping to her room. She made a show of it, wanting Finn to think she was upset about Raven revealing their secret romance. She ignored his orders to return to the couch. She ignored Raven calling her name. She slammed her door and told them to give her a minute. She was given less than that. Finn burst in the room less than ten seconds later.

“What do you think you’re doing?” He waved his gun in her face. “You aren’t in charge here Princess.”

“Give me your phone.” Clarke demanded.

“Why?” Finn asked. He was already pulling it out of his pocket and handing it to her when he added, “who are you calling?”

“No one.” Clarke started tapping at the screen until she was connected to her speaker and then tapped some more. Then she was in his music app and selecting a playlist she hated. Come Together by The Beatles roared through the speakers.

“What are you doing?” He asked over the loud music.

Clarke shrugged and headed back to the living room. She tried to stop the cringes that came from hearing The Beatles blaring through the apartment. She settled on the couch again. She spotted Raven in the kitchen, pouring a glass of water. “You were getting loud. You know Paige doesn’t like yelling. This way she won’t hear it. Plus, listening to your music helps keep you chill right?”

“You’re right. Thanks for thinking of me Princess.” He winked at her. He returned the gun to his waistband again. He looked from Clarke to Raven and back again. “So about the two of you…”

“What about us?” Raven asked from the kitchen. Before he could respond she grinned from ear-to-ear. “Oh. You want to if we’re still hooking up?”

“Raven!” Clarke snapped. She turned enough to glare at her.

“That’s exactly what I want to know!” Finn nodded.

“Of course we do. Have you seen Clarke?” Raven ogled her blonde friend.

That had Finn pacing again. He had never considered that Raven was the problem. He thought Clarke discovering his lies was what broke them up and kept them apart. Maybe it was Raven all along. Clarke hadn’t broken up with him until Raven showed up. Then, when he tried to get back together with Clarke, Raven was always around. Had they really only been started hooking up a year after the relationship ended?

“You stole her from me!” Finn spat at his ex-girlfriend.

“I didn’t steal anything.” Raven smirked and winked at Clarke. “Everything was freely given.”

“Raven!” Clarke admonished. Poking the angry bear with a gun was never a good idea.

“I just speak the truth.” She shrugged.

Clarke rolled her eyes before turning back to Finn. She watched him pace for a minute, maybe two, before she stood and moved into his path.

“Finn,” She said softly. She just registered the song change over to Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones.

“It’s all her fault.” He said when he stopped a few feet from her.

“Raven doesn’t mean anything to me Finn. Not like that anyway.” Clarke explained. “She’s just a friend. Friends just help… release some tension from time to time.”

“I thought that’s what you had Niylah for?” Finn replied.

Sighing, Clarke rubbed at the ache growing between her eyes. “Niylah was that too. But Raven is Raven. It wasn’t an all the time thing. It wasn’t like what you think it was.”

“Do you love me?” Finn demanded.

“What?” Clarke’s head jerked back, she hadn’t been expecting that.

“I asked if you love me. I know you do.” Finn said. “I want to hear you say it.”

“Finn…” Clarke shook her head.

He looked at her with his puppy eyes. Huge brown puddles of emotions stared at her. “You never said it back. Not back then. Not since.”

“Finn, you know I –”

“Why are you hesitating Clarke?” Finn’s eyes hardened instantaneously. He turned to face Raven, who he was expecting to see in the kitchen. Instead he spots her running toward her room. “Come back here bitch!”

“Finn!” Clarke caught his arm before he could storm by her.

“I want to talk to the bitch who is trying to steal my woman!” He thundered.

All Clarke could do was hold on to his arm and shake her head. “I don’t belong to anyone Finn. You know that! And you know Raven is your friend. What she and I did had nothing to do with you.”

Shaking her off, Finn shoved her aside. Clarke ended up falling over the arm of the couch and rolling on to the floor. Finn stomped toward Raven’s room shouting her name over and over again. When he tried to open the door, he found it locked. He pounded on the door. When Raven didn’t open the door Finn stopped pounding and took a step back. He asked her to open the door calmly a few times. Then he nodded.

“You want to play that way? Fine.” He grabbed the gun and released the safety.

Clarke was on her feet and moving toward him. Should she run? Would that startle him? If he startled would he fire or drop the gun?

The next thing Clarke knew, he was pulling the trigger. She tried to count the number of times she heard him fire through the door and walls. She lost count at six when she heard Raven scream. But Finn kept going. He pulled the trigger over and over until he was out of bullets.

“Raven!” Clarke shouted her name. “Rae!”

“Clarkey!” Raven shrieked. "Are you okay?"

"Are you kidding me?" Clarke laughed through the tears. "I'm fine! Did he... are you... where did you get hit?"

"I don't know Clarke." Raven's voice sounded weaker. "I just feel..."

Finn whirled on her when she started moving toward the door. He had another clip in his hand, loading it methodically in the pistol. He shook his head and raised the gun, “I don’t think so Princess.”

Clarke dove to the side, narrowly avoiding the first bullet. She moved behind the couch and scurried around it, narrowly moving out of the way of the second bullet. Trying to peek over to see where Finn was. When she reached the end of the couch, she looked toward the kitchen. If she could reach the back door she could get away. Finn was between her and the front door. The back door was her only way out. She crouched and waited for him to fire into the couch again, hoping the recoil would give her enough time to get the kitchen island between them.

Finn fired a third time. Clarke jumped up and sprinted as quickly as she could to the island. That was when the fourth round caught her in the shoulder. She stumbled but dove forward.

“Stop!” She screamed over the sound of the fifth round hitting the granite countertop.

“I just wanted to make you happy Princess.”

“Stop fucking calling me that!” Clarke bit out. She grabbed a towel from the front of the oven and pressed it to her shoulder.

He scoffed and rattled the gun as he walked toward the kitchen. Before she could move again, he was only a dozen or so feet away from her with a clear line of sight. “You are my princess though.”

“I’m not your anything.” Clarke snapped back.

Before he could reply, there was a knock at the front door. Finn pointed the gun at Clarke and glanced at the door.

“Clarke?” Lexa’s voice carried through the wood.

She could have cried with relief. Lexa was there.

“What the fuck is she doing here?” Finn roared. His eyes left the door and shot daggers at Clarke.

“Probably wants to check on me.” Clarke smiled. “She knows how much I hate The Beatles and the Stones.”

“You bitch.” Finn yelled.

She knew she should stop smiling up at him. He had a gun pointed at her. He was crazy. But knowing Lexa had figured out something was wrong just from playing music she hated warmed her heart. Then she heard the gun click. And saw him tighten his finger over the trigger.

“I’d rethink that if I were you Finn.” Lexa said from the doorway.

Chapter Text

“What are you doing here?” Finn demanded as he swung around to point the gun at Lexa.

“I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d stop by.” Lexa replied easily. She raised her hands, palm out, in front of her.

“Did you come alone?” Clarke called out as she crawled around the island, wanting as much space between her and Finn as possible.

“No.” Anya’s voice floated in from the porch. “How’s it going Skaiprisa?”

“Been better.” Clarke huffed. She pressed the dishtowel to her shoulder, barely able to able bite back the groan the pain caused.

Lexa blanched at her words, “what’s wrong?”

“Stop talking!” Finn yelled.

“Be quiet Skat (boy). The grown-ups are talking.” Anya snapped.

“Clarke? What’s wrong?” Lexa asked again.

“I might be a little bit shot.” Clarke replied quietly. She was started to feel a little lightheaded.

“Define ‘a little bit shot’ please?” Lexa’s eyes hardened on Finn.

“Just my shoulder. I’m fine. Just bleeding a little.” Clarke explained, trying to sound stronger than she felt. She pulled the saturated towel away from the wound. Wincing at the pain she was happy to see the flow had slowed. She slowly reached around to feel the back of her shoulder. There was more blood and pain. “Its okay I think. It went through. There’s just a lot of blood.”

“I said stop talking!” Finn roared. “Why are you here?”

“Relax Finn. They’re just here to talk about the truce.” Clarke replied.

He moved until he was between Lexa and the kitchen. “She seems to be pretty familiar with you Princess.”

Lexa’s jaw clenched at the nickname. “I’m familiar enough to not hate her. No more, no less.”

“Exactly.” Anya added as she stepped forward to look over Lexa’s shoulder. She spotted the pistol in Finn’s hand right away. “Where’s your sidekick Skaiprisa? The annoying one.”

“In her room.” Clarke’s voice wavered when she spoke. She was beyond relieved the sisters had understood her silent message. She knew Finn would only grow more upset if he figured out just how close Clarke had become with Lexa.

“Is she okay?” Lexa asked.

“I think she got a little more shot.” Came Clarke’s response. Her voice was weaker.

“How much more shot?” Anya demanded.

“I don’t know.” Clarke muttered. “I think I’m going to pass out now.”

“Clarke?!” Lexa craned her neck, trying to spot her over Finn’s shoulder. All she could see was a small bit of blood on the cabinets and a tiny puddle on the floor.

Anya moved around her sister. Finn rattled the gun and shook his head. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“To check on the idiot.” Anya replied evenly, her steps slowing but not stopping.

“I don’t think so. How do you even know where her room is?” He argued, wanting to move into her path but refusing to allow Lexa a clear sightline into the kitchen.

“I’m psychic.” Anya snapped back, still moving forward. “Here, take my phone. It’s all I’ve got on me. You can even search me if you want.”

“Stay back!” Finn yelled when she diverted from her path, heading toward him instead.

“Finn,” Lexa spoke as calmly as she could, the puddle she’d spotted was slowly starting to grow. “Someone needs to check on Reyes. You know that.”

“I said stay there!” Finn shouted and jabbing the gun toward her when Anya took another step in his direction. “I said stay there! You really think I don’t know you’re trained in whatever that karate is called? Octavia told all of us about seeing the famous Woods sisters at the gym. If you impressed her, you’re good. So you just stay there!”

“Have it you way Finn. I’m going to go check on Raven.” Anya growled. She tossed her phone on the couch and moved toward the bedrooms again. When Finn cocked the gun she glanced over her shoulder, “go ahead. But you should know that as soon as you actually pull that trigger Lexa is going to be on you. Ever wanted to see someone move almost as fast as a bullet?”

Finn paused at that. He weighed his options, keeping Anya and Lexa where together and in front of him didn’t seem to be working. He’d have to move away from Clarke to block Anya’s movements and he refused to do that. On the other hand, letting them separate so one could distract him didn’t seem like a sound strategy.

“Just go Ahn. He’s not that stupid.” Lexa told her.

Without sparing Finn another glance Anya moved to the door to Raven’s bedroom. Finn and Lexa both watched silently as she rammed it with her shoulder several times. Then she stepped back and kicked hard just next to the doorknob. The door splintered and swung open. As soon as she disappeared inside the room, Finn’s attention shifted to Lexa.

“Hello Heda.” He smiled.

“You look like the Grinch when you smile like that.” Lexa replied.

“Bitter about your loss?”

“And what loss would that be?”

He scoffed, “Clarke told me about the truce. You guys admitted we won the war.”

“Right. Because of the ‘pranks’ you pulled on my sister.” Lexa growled. “I’ve been wanting to talk to you about that. But you ran away like a coward before I got the chance.”

“No harm no foul Lexa,” Finn’s smile grew. “It’s cool if I call you Lexa right?”

“Sure. It’s great.” She nodded. She caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Clarke was peeking around the island at her. Blue eyes were huge. Even from that distance she could see they were clouded with pain. Finn noticed her attention shift and started to turn. Thinking quickly she cleared her throat, “I guess since you have a gun pointed at my chest you get to call me Lexa. Now back to the part where you almost killed my baby sister. Twice.”

“Got my point across right? And we won.” Finn’s chest puffed at that.

“I want you to know how much I’m going to enjoy this.” Lexa’s voice turned icy. “No one here to help you now Finn.”

“Except my friend here.” He rattled the gun.

“You think that’ll stop me?” Lexa chuckled and shook her head. “I don’t think you’re that good of a shot Finn.”

“You don’t know anything about me!” Finn shouted. “You can’t touch me!”

Lexa allowed her lips to turn up in a smirk, “and what’s to stop me? Not my sister. She’s with Raven. Obviously Raven can’t help you since you shot her.” Lexa allowed Heda’s mask to fall over her face. “The only person who could help you right now is Clarke. And you shot her too. So you’re sort of out of luck.”

Somehow, Finn read into that. Understanding bloomed on his face. “You like Clarke.”

“Excuse me?”

“You can’t have her!” He shouted.

Clarke’s head peeked further out from the island. She started to say something but closed her mouth when Lexa shook her head once. Lexa’s eyes returned to Finn’s as she scoffed. “Of course I don’t want her. She’s a sky person. I’m Heda.”

“But you wish you could have her!”

“Wanting to fuck someone is not the same thing as wanting them.” Lexa’s eyes burned with the urge to look at Clarke, wanting to reassure herself that the blonde knew she didn’t mean it. She was just able to keep the grimace off her face as she continued, “And anyone with eyes wants to fuck Clarke Griffin.”

Finn glared. Then he growled. Then he scowled, “even if she wasn’t mine, Raven’s been hooking up with her for years. So you’d have no chance Lexa!”

“Can you blame either one of them?” Lexa replied with a smirk. It seemed Finn was unsettled by her nonchalance. “Clarke is breathtaking, Raven is stunning. Them hooking up makes sense. If they’ve got the itch, they’ve got to scratch.”

“She’s mine!”

“No one is yours.” Lexa replied easily. “She’s even picked Raven over you.”

“Well she sure as hell isn’t yours!”

“Don’t care.” Lexa shrugged.

Trying to figure out her game, Finn stared at her. She gave nothing away though. Not even a hint of something. “Why are you here?”

“I have a better question.”

“Oh? What?”

“How are you going to get out of this?”

“What do you mean?”

“You stole from Jasper and Monty. You’ve already shot Clarke and Raven. You’ve threatened Anya and me with a gun. How did you even get that?” Lexa asked.

“My dad bought it for me when I turned thirteen.” Finn said. “I took it from the apartment before I left.”

“Left? You mean fled?” Lexa scoffed. “Finn, we both know the police are looking for you. No one is going to have your back now Finn. So what’s your plan?”

That made him pause. He was running out of time now. He wanted to shake Clarke awake so she could go with him but she was injured and would only slow him down. This visit had all been for nothing. He would have to try again sometime. Nodding to himself, decision made, he stepped toward the front door, intent on leaving.

Lexa moved to block his exit. She saw Clarke’s eyes narrow into slits, glaring at her. Lexa shook her head again, both at Clarke and at Finn. She didn’t want Clarke to say anything yet. And she wasn’t going to let Finn leave the apartment. “Not happening.”

“I don’t want to hurt you Lexa.”

“So you only shoot the people you love?” Lexa saw she struck a nerve with that. He raised the gun again, the snarl he released didn’t sound even remotely human.

Suddenly the back door flew open, Costia moving into the kitchen quickly, followed shortly after by her partner. Unfortunately the commotion startled Finn. His finger squeezed the trigger as he turned to face the detectives. Costia returned fire, hitting him in the chest twice. Her partner immediately moved around her as he ran to Finn’s side. He called for an ambulance and tore open Finn’s shirt.

“Lexa!” Costia holstered her weapon and sprinted to her friend.

“I’m fine. Check on Clarke.” Lexa held a hand to her left side, applying pressure to the wound.

“Clarke is fine.” The blonde said as she appeared over Costia’s shoulder. “Really woozy and super pissed off but fine.”

“Check on Raven then Cos.” Lexa said, her eyes never leaving her girlfriend’s. She took in Clarke’s appearance as she approached. She was too pale, shaking, blood soaking her flannel and jeans. “That’s a little bit shot?”

“Just a little!” Clarke nodded. She watched Costia disappear into Raven’s room before she lowered herself to her knees next to the brunette. As soon as her eyes returned to her girlfriend, she spotted the blood blossoming on her torso. “Lex!”

“I may have gotten a little shot too.” Lexa laid flat on the floor.

“Where?”

“I’m going to go with near the left kidney. I can feel my kidney right now.” Lexa replied.

Returning to her feet, Clarke ran to the bathroom and grabbed a towel. Running back to the living room, she slid on her knees to Lexa’s side. She pressed the towel to the wound. With her free hand she brushed chestnut hair out of green eyes.

Lexa smiled up at her. She used the clean end of the towel to apply pressure to Clarke’s forgotten wound. “I’m fine Meizen.”

“You got shot because of me!”

“I got shot because Finn is dumb.” Lexa correct gently. She glanced over at the boy. What she saw made her do a double take. He was on his stomach, glaring at her. “Is he handcuffed? And not bleeding?”

“He’s wearing a vest.” Costia’s partner nodded.

“I’m going to kill him!” Lexa growled. She started to sit up, only to have Clarke force her back down.

“No you aren’t.” Costia laughed as she returned to the living room. “He’s going to jail for a very long time. And you are going to the hospital.”

“Raven?” Clarke asked.

Costia hesitated in responding. “She’s not conscious. I don’t know Clarke.”

“Can I get in just one punch?” Lexa pouted up at Clarke. “For Raven if not for you?”

“Afraid not.” She shook her head. “Costia wouldn’t let you even if I agreed.”

The detectives helped Finn to his feet and moved him toward the front door. His eyes stayed on his feet the whole time until they hit the porch. He glanced back once and spoke quietly, “I’m sorry Princess. I just wanted to be the one to make you happy.”

“Fuck off Finn.” Clarke bit out, her eyes never leaving Lexa’s.

Costia returned a few moments later, “The ambulances are here. Just a minute for the two of you.”

“I don’t want to pressure you or anything Clarke, but I did just burst in here and save your life.” Lexa huffed.

“What does that have to do with anything right now Lexa? Let me see your stomach.” Clarke tugged at her shirt.

“Always trying to get a look at the goods Griffin.” Lexa smirked then winced.

Clarke blushed at that. It was true. She was usually the first one to try to remove her girlfriend’s shirt when they were making out. Who could blame her though? Lexa’s abs were amazing! “Lexa!”

“Clarke!” Lexa smirked in response.

“Let me help you.” Her voice was really small.

“I’m fine Clarke. I can hear the sirens.” Lexa reached up with her free hand and pushed lock of blonde hair out of Clarke’s face. “You need to go check on Raven.”

“Raven!” Clarke looked toward the bedroom door.

“I’m good!” Her friend called back weakly. “Just got shot a little.”

“What does that even mean?” Lexa whispered. “And why was that response we got from both of you?”

Clarke could only shake her head. Between Raven and Lexa she was sure she was going to lose her mind. It felt like an impossible choice, which woman did she help first?

“I’m fine, I promise.” Lexa said.

“Let me check to make sure.”

“No. Go check Raven.” Lexa replied.

Unsure of her next move, Clarke stared into her eyes for a moment. Finally she nodded and started to stand. Lexa grabbed her hand and squeezed.

“You just told me to check Raven.” Clarke rolled her eyes.

“I want something first.”

“Oh?” Clarke’s brow raised, “what’s that?”

“This,” Lexa whispered before yanking on Clarke’s hand. When the blonde was stretched over her Lexa captured her lips in a hard kiss.

Clarke sank into her, forgetting about her wounds. When her hand drifted up Lexa’s side she accidentally brushed over the wound in her shoulder. The woman beneath her jerked her head back and hissed in pain.

“I’m sorry!” Clarke cupped her face. She pressed sweet kisses to her face. “I love you Lex.”

“It’s fine. Can’t get carried away right now anyway.” Lexa tried to assure her.

Clarke’s reply was interrupted by Raven’s voice from her bedroom, “Still a little shot here ladies. Maybe my best friend, the med student, could come and check me out? Maybe reassure my girlfriend who seems to be hyperventilating.”

“I’ll be right back. Please don’t move!” Clarke gave Lexa a peck on the lips before running to her best friend.

“Clarke!” Lexa called after her. When the blonde turned Lexa smiled brightly despite the pain. “I love you too Meizen.”

Chapter Text

Later that morning, after Clarke, Raven, and Lexa had been stabilized from their surgeries and stitches, Clarke found herself patiently waiting for the police to leave Lexa’s hospital room. She stood to the side of the bed, her hand on Lexa’s bicep, calmly reminding herself they were okay. Once they were alone she fretted over pillows and blankets and ice chips. Then she paced around the room. Lexa watched her for fifteen minutes, hoping she’d just get all the nerves out of her system. Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore.

Meizen,” she called softly.

“Are you okay? Do you need something?” Clarke rushed to her side.

“I do need something,” Lexa nodded, sticking out her bottom lip in a pout. She carefully lifted to have right and held the blankets up. “You.”

“Lex.”

“I just really need to hold you for a bit Clarke. Please.”

She knew she should argue. She knew Lexa shouldn’t be jostled. But she needed to be held. With a small nod, she kicked off her shoes and slid in next to her.

“I love you Lexa Woods.” She said as she turned to her side and carefully draped her arm and leg over Lexa.

Arms wrapped around her and held tight. “Ai hod yu in seintaim Meizen.”

“I’m sorry,” Clarke whispered into her neck.

“For what?”

“If you weren’t with me you wouldn’t have gotten shot.”

Lexa shook her head before Clarke even finished talking. She pressed a kiss to Clarke’s hair, “I’d be miserable if I wasn’t with you.”

“Miserable but bulletholeless.” Clarke muttered.

“Chicks dig scars.” Lexa shrugged, “its okay.”

Clarke hesitated for a moment before nuzzling further into Lexa’s neck. “Thank you for saving us.”

“Always Clarke.” Lexa smiled into her hair. “You’d do the same for me.”

Waiting just a beat Clarke raised her head to look at her, “you know what he said about Raven wasn’t true right?”

“You mean about you two hooking up?”

“Yeah. That.”

“Of course I know it wasn’t true.” Lexa chuckled.

“Okay, good.” Clarke sighed, settling down again. Then her brows furrowed,“wait, how do you know?”

Lexa tightened her arms around her, one hand threading through blonde hair, “because you’d have told me. Or Raven would have told Anya. Or Octavia would have told Lincoln. Mostly because I know you would have told me.”

“She only said it to knock Finn off his game. Something unexpected to make him lose control of the situation.”

“That might have worked a bit too well.” Lexa replied. After a moment she added, “Did you ever think about it?”

“What? Sleeping with Raven?” Clarke felt her nod against her head. “Not really. Maybe once or twice when we were drunk but we never went beyond drunken kisses. I think we knew friendship meant too much to risk it for a night of fumbling.”

“Good. I’m glad.” Lexa sighed and rubbed Clarke’s head.

Sighing softly, Clarke burrowed into her as much as she could. They let silence settle. Breathing each other in they nodded off into a nap.

****

Just over an hour later Clarke woke up to a whispered conversation and Lexa’s fingers running through her hair.

“I still can’t believe you knew something was wrong because she played The Beatles.” Anya chuckled.

“She hates The Beatles. And hadn’t answered my texts. That helped clue me in. Raven not answering you was just confirmation.” Lexa murmured. Her fingers dug into Clarke’s scalps momentarily before she spoke again, “I’m just glad we got there when we did.”

“Me too. Although I’d have been okay with none of you getting shot.” Anya replied.

“You’re just jealous I get to have the scar.”

Anya chuckled and shrugged before she replied, “chicks dig scars.”

“How is Rae?” Clarke rubbed her eyes gently.

“She’s okay. Still sedated.” Anya smiled softly at the mention of her girlfriend. “She woke up for the first time an hour ago. She’s very happy you’re both okay.”

“And her leg?” Clarke asked.

“She said it was numb just before she fell asleep. Abby said it was just the nerve blocker things. She’ll wish she can’t feel anything in a few days.” Anya explained.

“Will you come and get me when she wakes up again?” Clarke settled back into Lexa’s neck again, stifling a yawn.

“Of course. I think she’ll insist.” Anya replied before leaning over to press a kiss to Lexa’s brow.

Lexa’s hand reached up to catch the back of her neck, holding her forehead against her sister’s. “Ai ste os (I’m good). Raven ste os (Raven is good).”

Anya nodded, “Clarke ste osu seintaim (Clarke is good too).”

Ai hod em in (I love her).”

Hodnes laik uf (love is strength).” Anya pulled back to press another kiss to her forehead. “Ai fig raun osir na wich em in (I think we can trust her).”

“I knew you’d get there!” Lexa grinned.

“I’ll see you too soon.” Anya ruffled her sister’s hair before turning to the door. “Try to stay out of trouble.”

Clarke giggled into Lexa’s neck and raised a hand in a wave. When she pulled away to glance up at Lexa she watched her smile drop. “What’s wrong? Are you in pain? Do you need the nurse?”

“No.”

“Then why the face?”

“Our weekend is ruined.” Lexa replied quietly. She couldn’t keep the pout out of her voice.

“What weekend?”

“I was going to take you away next week.” Lexa glared at the ceiling. “A romantic trip to a cabin. To get away from the stress of finals and Finn and MWC. So it could be special.”

Clarke pulled herself up onto one of her elbows, “So what could be special?”

“Our first time.”

“Well aren’t you confident?” Clarke grinned and leaned down to press a kiss to her pulse point.

“I already told you I have game.” Lexa huffed.

Smiling and biting down on Lexa’s neck gently, Clarke couldn’t stop the giggle. “It’s fine Lex. We’ll go some other time.”

“Yeah. When I’m recovered in three months.”

“That isn’t true. You’ll be fit in…’ Clarke paused to think. “Three or so weeks. Just in time for Christmas!”

“Really?”

“The bullet didn’t hit any major organs Lex. Just tore through flesh and muscles. Finn is a terrible shot.” Clarke explained. “As long as you do what the doctors say and take it easy, you should recover pretty quickly. We’ll go then.”

“But I was so ready!” Lexa’s pout grew.

“Me too Lex, me too.”

Lexa’s pout melted into a smirk, “I can always help you out before then though.”

“No Lexa.”

“Lexa yes!”

“That isn’t fair.”

The brunette shrugged, “don’t care.”

“Lex.” Clarke whined as Lexa’s hand swept down her side.

“Just let me love you Meizen.”

“Fine.” Clarke gave up the fight. She didn’t really want to fight anyway. She caught Lexa’s hand and brought her knuckles to her lips. “But not while we’re in the hospital.”

Lexa twisted her hand free and returned it to Clarke’s hip. “Why not?”

“Because you’re hooked up to monitors.” Clarke giggled when Lexa’s heart rate started to spike.

Shrugging, Lexa slipped her hand to rub circles into the small of Clarke’s back. When she melted into her, Lexa grinned and used her free hand to pull Clarke up to kiss her. Their lips melded together, only parting to allow their tongues to meet. While the blonde was obsorbed in the kiss, Lexa slid her hand around to Clarke’s stomach. The muscles under her fingertips jumped and clenched. Slowly, in case Clarke wanted to protest. When she didn’t, Lexa dragged her lips away to track kisses down Clarke’s jaw. As her fingers slipped into the borrowed scrubs pants the blonde had on Lexa nipped at her ear.

“Why can’t we do this here?” Lexa asked between kisses to Clarke’s neck.

“Probably because her mother, who works at this very hospital, could walk in on a conversation or situation she may wish to avoid. Forever.” Abby said from the doorway.

****

O’Goddess: (8:02a)
Did you really tell Lexa you’d 
been “a little bit shot”?

O’Goddess: (8:02a)
Like those were the actual words
that came out of your mouth?

O’Goddess: (8:08a)
You both said it?

BoomBoomRae: (8:09a)
How’d you find out?

O’Goddess: (8:09a)
Linc told me. Lexa told him and
Tris the whole story.

Griffster: (8:11a)
I did only get a little bit shot.

Griffster: (8:11a)
I thought Rae was a little more 
shot than I was

O’Goddess: (8:13a)
Is there some scale of getting 
shot that I don’t know about?

BoomBoomRae: (8:14a)
Hey! Getting shot in the leg
hurt!

BoomBoomRae: (8:15a)
They don’t have me on these 
pain meds for no reason!

Griffster: (8:16a)
I think they left you on the
meds because you were 
being whiny.

O’Goddess: (8:17a)
Stoned Raven is hilarious.

O’Goddess: (8:18a)
But you guys really are okay
right? Full recoveries?

O’Goddess: (8:18a)
Abby hasn’t had time to talk to
me and they won’t  let me in to
visit for until after 10!

Griffster: (8:20a)
It’s just my shoulder O. I’ll be 
good as new in a few weeks.

Griffster: (8:20a)
And no matter what Raven
says, her leg will be good to
go in a few weeks too.

O’Goddess: (8:21a)
What about her head?

BoomBoomRae: (8:22a)
Hey!

BoomBoomRae: (8:22a)
Rude!

Griffster: (8:23a)
A month or so.

Griffster: (8:24a)
But do you want to hear the 
best part?

O’Goddess: (8:25a)
Of course!

BoomBoomRae: (8:26a)
It isn’t funny Griffin!

Griffster: (8:26a)
It is funny.

{HedaHeartEyes and SexyGona added to conversation}

BoomBoomRae: (8:27a)
Tell Clarke to stop talking!

SexyGona: (8:28a)
Who is this?

BoomBoomRae: (8:29a)
Not funny.

SexyGona: (8:29a)
Isn’t having to listen to you and
Clarke argue in the same room
while you text enough? Why
did you add me to this?

SexyGona: (8:29a)
And why is your name
‘BoomBoomRae’?

O’Goddess: (8:31a)
She must not be doing her job
right if her girlfriend is asking
that question!

Griffster: (8:31a)
Losing your touch Rae?

BoomBoomRae: (8:32a)
So. Rude.

SexyGona: (8:32a)
I’m plenty pleased with my
woman.

BoomBoomRae: (8:32a)
It’s my name because I like to
make things go boom. My 
girlfriend’s mind, chemicals, 
random household items.

HedaHeartEyes: (8:32a)
Why is my name HedaHeartEyes?

SexyGona: (8:33a)
Would you prefer
‘HedaTombomBlinkas’?

HedaHeartEyes: (8:33a)
I’d prefer Lexa.

{HedaHeartEyes changed to HedaTombomBlinkas}

BoomBoomRae: (8:35a)
You do Anya’s name now Lexa!
She won’t tell me.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:36a)
I’d like my girlfriend to come
back from visiting with her
best friend now please.

BoomBoomRae: (8:37a)
I’ve only had her for an hour!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:37a)
That’s true. But my best friend
is also visiting you at the
moment. And Lincoln and Tris
just left.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:38a)
I’m lonely Meizen!

O’Goddess: (8:39a)
Can we go back to what the
best part is?

SexyGona: (8:39a)
I don’t know what that means.

BoomBoomRae: (8:39a)
I want the translation for Anya’s
name!

Griffster: (8:40a)
I’m on my way babe!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:40a)
Good! Bring pudding?

Griffster: (8:41a)
{image}

Griffster: (8:41a)
Butterscotch. I know.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:42a)
Best girlfriend ever!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:42a)
And Raven, it’s FanasGona.

SexyGona: (8:43a)
Natrona!

{SexyGona name changed to FanasGona}

O’Goddess: (8:43a)
Your girlfriend just got you shot.

Griffster: (8:45a)
Octavia Blake!

BoomBoomRae: (8:45a)
Kind of true.

Griffster: (8:46a)
I hate you both.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (8:46a)
Let’s just place the blame firmly
on Finn’s shoulders shall we?

O’Goddess: (8:47a)
Fine. Fun sucker.

O’Goddess: (8:47a)
Now tell me the best part.

BoomBoomRae: (8:48a)
Forget it O. It isn’t important.

O’Goddess: (8:48a)
Now I’m even more curious.

BoomBoomRae: (8:49a)
Drop it.

O’Goddess: (8:50a)
It’s like you don’t even know 
me.

FanasGona: (8:50a)
Are you two always like this?

BoomBoomRae: (8:51a)
Only when O is being stubborn.

BoomBoomRae: (8:51a)
Which is always.

O’Goddess: (8:52a)
Or when Rae refuses to just 
TELL ME something.

FanasGona: (8:53a)
Skaiprisa, make them stop.

O’Goddess: (8:53a)
Tell me!

BoomBoomRae: (8:54a)
Let it go!

O’Goddess: (8:55a)
Raven!

BoomBoomRae: (8:56a)
Octavia!

FanasGona: (8:57a)
Skaiprisa!

O’Goddess: (8:58a)
Clarkey?

FanasGona: (8:59a)
Lexa?

BoomBoomRae: (9:00a)
Griff?

FanasGona: (9:00a)
Seriously you two?

BoomBoomRae: (9:00a)
Stop it!

O’Goddess: (9:01a)
Clarke Griffin!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:02a)
{image}

BoomBoomRae: (9:03a)
My eyes!

O’Goddess: (9:03a)
Not cool!

FanasGona: (9:04a)
I didn’t need to see that!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:06a)
Just kissing my girlfriend.

BoomBoomRae: (9:07a)
She didn’t have that hickey when
she left my room!

FanasGona: (9:07a)
You work fast little sister.

FanasGona: (9:08a)
I taught you well.

BoomBoomRae: (9:09a)
Stop making out! You are in a
hospital!

BoomBoomRae: (9:09a)
And Anya, you can stop
encouraging them.

Griffster: (9:10a)
{image}

O’Goddess: (9:10a)
Mama G looks pissed!

FanasGona: (9:11a)
Is she tapping her foot? She
looks like she’s tapping her
foot.

BoomBoomRae: (9:11a)
Busted…

Griffster: (9:11a)
She’s trying not to laugh.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:12a)
I’ll never be able to look her in
the eye again.

FanasGona: (9:12a)
What happened?

Griffster: (9:12a)
Nothing!

BoomBoomRae: (9:13a)
I’ll just ask Mama G.

Griffster: (9:13a)
Don’t!

O’Goddess: (9:14a)
Then you tell us?

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:15a)
Abby walked in the room while
we were kissing for the second
time today. Not a big deal.

FanasGona: (9:15a)
Nope.

FanasGona: (9:15a)
There’s more to it than that.

Griffster: (9:17a)
There isn’t!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:17a)
My hand was… occupied.

Griffster: (9:17a)
Lexa!

FanasGona: (9:18a)
You’re right. You’ll never
look her in the eye again.

BoomBoomRae: (9:18a)
Best. Day. Ever.

BoomBoomRae: (9:19a)
… other than getting a little
shot.

O’Goddess: (9:20a)
In the leg.

BoomBoomRae: (9:20a)
Did you get shot in the leg?

BoomBoomRae: (9:20a)
I didn’t think so.

O’Goddess: (9:21a)
You knocked yourself out
tripping into your bed.

O’Goddess: (9:21a)
Who does that?

FanasGona: (9:22a)
How was your hand occupied
Lexa?

Griffster: (9:22a)
Not important.

BoomBoomRae: (9:23a)
Give us a hint. Above or below?

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:24a)
Her clothes?

BoomBoomRae: (9:25a)
That. Yes.

BoomBoomRae: (9:25a)
Totally what I meant.

O’Goddess: (9:26a)
Was not.

FanasGona: (9:26a)
She meant Skaiprisa’s… equator.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:27a)
Oh…

Griffster: (9:27a)
Don’t even think about
answering them Lexa!

BoomBoomRae: (9:28a)
You know you’ll tell me when 
you see me.

O’Goddess: (9:29a)
Or me. In a half an hour.

O’Goddess: (9:29a)
And I’ve just finished my
appointment with my advisor. 
I’ll be there soon!

O’Goddess: (9:30a)
You should just tell us.

Griffster: (9:31a)
Hey O. The best part is that 
Raven Reyes can’t have sex 
until she fully recovers!

BoomBoomRae: (9:31a)
Clarke!

Griffster: (9:32a)
Don’t try to embarrass me if
you can’t take the heat Reyes.

FanasGona: (9:33a)
Why am I just now hearing about
this?! And through texts?!

BoomBoomRae: (9:33a)
Stop glaring at me. You’re
sitting right next to me.

FanasGona: (9:33a)
Why didn’t you tell me?

O’Goddess: (9:34a)
Raven Reyes can’t have sex?

O’Goddess: (9:34a)
For weeks?!

BoomBoomRae: (9:34a)
It isn’t a big deal.

Griffster: (9:35a)
No?

BoomBoomRae: (9:35a)
No.

O’Goddess: (9:35a)
Liar.

BoomBoomRae: (9:36a)
Anya and I can do other things.
We do talk you know.

Griffster: (9:36a)
You have to take it easy Rae. 
You heard Mom. No
excitement.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:37a)
Poor Anya.

BoomBoomRae: (9:37a)
You two haven’t had sex yet. 
And it has been months since 
Clarke last hooked up with
Niylah.

BoomBoomRae: (9:37a)
So poor Clarke.

O’Goddess: (9:38a)
For real. We know Mama G put
a ban on bedroom activities for
the two of you too. Poor Clarke.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:39a)
True but at least we don’t have
to quit cold turkey, unlike Raven
and Anya.

Griffster: (9:39a)
Lexa’s the only one who can’t 
indulge here. Because of her 
stitches.

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:40a)
Exactly. Clarke can do as she
likes.

BoomBoomRae: (9:40a)
I guess that answers my
question from earlier.

FanasGona: (9:41a)
Which question?

BoomBoomRae: (9:41a)
Where Lexa’s hand was.

O’Goddess: (9:42a)
Definitely southern hemisphere…

BoomBoomRae: (9:43a)
$20 says under the pants but
over the panties.

FanasGona: (9:43a)
You’re on! I say over both.

BoomBoomRae: (9:44a)
That’s lame. Lexa isn’t lame.

O’Goddess: (9:44a)
I’m with Anya.

Griffster: (9:44a)
I hate you all.

BoomBoomRae: (9:45a)
Yeah yeah, we know. So who wins?

FanasGona: (9:45a)
Skaiprisa?

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:46a)
Reyes wins.

Griffster: (9:46a)
Lexa!

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:47a)
{image}

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:47a)
Isn’t she cute when she’s
embarrassed??

FanasGona: (9:48a)
That’s her angry cute face Lexa.

BoomBoomRae: (9:48a)
She’s so not happy!

O’Goddess: (9:49a)
Don’t hurt the wounded!

O’Goddess: (9:49a)
That isn’t fair Clarke!

Griffster: (9:49a)
{image}

Griffster: (9:50a)
The butterscotch pudding
makes a good flinging weapon.
Much better than vanilla
anyway. Doesn’t it compliment
Lex’s complexion soooooo well?

HedaTombomBlinkas: (9:50a)
You’re lucky I love you jerk.

Chapter Text

The next two and a half weeks were both the fastest and the slowest Clarke could ever remember experiencing. They flew by because, even though the group was recovering from the shooting, they still had finals to prepare for. The Delinquents and the Woods siblings could often be found sprawled throughout Lexa’s apartment or at the booth in Tondisi. On the other hand, the weeks passed by at a snail pace because Clarke and Lexa were more than ready to take the next step in their relationship but couldn’t. Clarke’s only real comfort was that Raven and Anya shared in their pain.

The Delinquents hadn’t been back to the apartment since the ambush. Clarke stayed with Lexa while Raven stayed with Anya and Lincoln, which was also where Octavia was often found. Clarke would stare at the ceiling at night before drifting off to sleep, missing her bed that was just on the other side of plaster and wood but dreading the day she’d have to go back.

The night before her first final Clarke found herself standing on her front porch.

“Clarke?” Lexa spoke just behind her. The blonde had left their last study session to go get more supplies, like coffee and chocolate, and hadn’t returned.

“Lexa?”

“You’ve been gone for an hour.”

“Sorry.” Clarke sighed. “Your coffee is probably cold now.”

Approaching slowly Lexa wrapped her arms around her waist. She pressed a kiss where jaw met ear, smiling at the hum escaping Clarke’s mouth. “I don’t care about the coffee. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“I don’t think you are.” Lexa replied carefully. Clarke squirmed in her arms. “You haven’t slept in your own bed since that night.”

“Getting tired of sharing your bed with me?”

“Of course not. I love seeing you first thing in the morning. I can’t even explain how it makes me feel to see you in my clothes while we lounge around. And I adore being able to fall asleep with you in my arms. I love it all.”

“But?”

“Maybe avoiding isn’t helping.”

Sighing, Clarke turned in her arms. “I know.”

“So how do we fix it?”

“Can we maybe sleep here tonight?” She asked, her voice small. “If you want I mean. You can stay home. I can sleep here by myself.”

“I’ve fallen asleep with you in my arms every night for the last month. You really think I’d be capable of falling asleep without you anymore?”

Clarke cupped her face with hands. Her face roamed Lexa’s face, taking in her green eyes, those wonderful orbs she constantly found herself thinking about, then her plump lips, her straight and narrow nose, the arch of her brows. She took it all in before she leaned in and pressed her lips to Lexa’s, silently thanking her for understanding. She only pulled back when their smiles grew too big to allow them to continue the kiss.

“Let’s go finish this study session.” Lexa said before pressing another peck to Clarke’s lips.

****

At 10:30 Clarke announced she was going home to go to bed. Lexa followed her lead, standing and heading to her room to throw a change of clothes into a bag for the next day. Much to Clarke’s surprise, Raven and Anya agreed to stay with them too.

“We’ll heal better together,” Raven shrugged when Clarke questioned her.

“I’ll be home in a bit too.” Octavia added. “Linc in staying the night too.”

“I can crash on your couch.” Tris said. When the others looked at her, she shrugged, “I don’t want to be alone.”

“How about I stay here with you?” Bellamy asked. “I’d feel better being close.”

“Really?” Tris perked up.

“You can stay in my room Bellamy.” Lexa offered.

“And Jasper and I will take the couch.” Monty added.

His best friend nodded, “Plenty of room for all of us.”

“You guys don’t have to –” Clarke tried to argue.

“Don’t even try.” Bellamy cut her off.

Jasper nodded and crossed his arms over his chest, “We want to be here.”

Lexa grinned at her friends. The group had merged much more seamlessly than she and Clarke could have ever hoped for. She and Tris, who was fully recovered, grabbed all the spare pillows and blankets they could find.

“Okay. So Rae, Lex, Monty, and I have exams at 9.” Clarke said from her spot near the front door. “Let’s meet on the porch at 7:30 for breakfast.”

Even though there were grumbles about being up early everyone agreed.

****

“It’s going to be okay, Clarke.” Lexa’s grip tightened on her hand.

“I hate feeling like this.” She replied.

“At least we know he’s locked up,” Raven spoke from just behind the couple.

“So let’s do this.” Octavia moved to open the door. “We can’t let him win.”

Octavia and Lincoln led the way into the apartment, heading straight to O’s room. Raven and Anya hesitated for just a moment or two before following. It took Clarke a few deep breathes before she glanced at Lexa and nodded. Together they stepped inside.

Clarke wasn’t sure what to expect. She thought maybe she’d have a flashback or she’d feel off being there again. Instead she still felt like she was home. She glanced around.

“It’s clean.” She whispered.

“Linc and Tris helped Octavia and Monty while we were all at the hospital.” Lexa explained.

After studying the room the blonde shifted her gaze to her girlfriend. Clarke tried to find hesitation in green eyes. Or fear. Anything that might suggest Lexa was uncomfortable being back. She didn’t find any.

“Are you okay?” Clarke asked quietly.

“I’m fine Meizen.” Lexa pressed a kiss to the side of her head.

“Bed time then?”

Nodding, Lexa allowed herself to be pulled through the apartment. She too thought she’d hate being there. Instead she found the whole place still felt like Clarke. It felt like home.

They each went through their nightly routines. Clarke went to the kitchen to fill a glass with water for her nightstand; Lexa’s cute little snores dried her throat out so Clarke always made sure to keep water nearby. Before heading back to her room she took a minute to study the living room and kitchen. She stared at the cabinets she’d pressed her back against while hiding from Finn, expecting fear to rush back. Nothing came.

When she turned around she found Raven and Octavia watching her.

“You okay?” Octavia asked.

“I’m surprisingly fine.” Clarke answered. She sounded just as confused as her friends looked.

“Actually fine or ‘I’m totally gonna have a nightmare tonight’ fine?” Raven responded.

“I think I’m actually fine. I remember everything about that night, in great detail, but what I remember most is being happy knowing you and Lexa were going to be okay.” Clarke explained. She waved her hand through the air, gesturing toward the cabinets. “I thought after hiding here and having to listen to Finn, knowing he’d shot you, I just… I thought I’d hate it here. But I don’t.”

Raven nodded, understanding completely. “I think I love this place too much to hate it for that night.”

“We built it together. It’s us.” Clarke nodded.

Octavia teared up, “stupid hormones.”

“Being 15 weeks pregnant does that to you O.” Clarke teased.

“I’m just really happy you’re both okay.” Octavia’s voice cracked. “Lexa too of course. I don’t know what I’d do if that jackass had taken you guys from me.”

“Good thing you don’t have to find out then.” Raven wrapped her in a hug.

After setting the glass down on the counter Clarke joined them.

“Can I get in on this?” Lexa asked as she entered the living room.

“Of course.” Clarke winked at her girlfriend.

So Lexa moved until she was behind Clarke and wrapped her arms as far around the three crying girls as she could. Soon, and without any teasing, Anya joined them. Lincoln was the last added group hug. He had come out of Octavia’s room asking where his phone charger was and froze when he saw the girls huddled together. With a smile he tossed his phone on the bed behind him and moved to the living room. He wrapped his arms around the girls, almost entirely because he was huge and the girls were all tiny, and squeezed.

“I like being home.” Clarke turned her head to meet Lexa’s eyes.

She understood what she meant. The apartment was where they lived sure, but it wasn’t home. Their friends were their family. And Lexa suspected she was Clarke’s home just as much as Clarke was hers.

****

Anyone would agree that any one of the Delinquents or the Woods siblings bombing their finals would be completely understandable. Some would say it was to be expecting. A former friend had taken Clarke and Raven hostage, two of the core members of the Delinquents. Lexa and Anya had walked in on a man holding a gun to their girlfriends. The stress on those four was unimaginable. The stress it had caused the others was no less serious.

It was because of that sort of reasoning that Clarke was beyond proud to find Lexa had earned A’s on all her tests. She and Lexa had just finished packing Lexa’s Jeep up for their weekend away when the others had announced the arrival of their results.

“96, 98, 95, 96, 98.” Clarke read off the scores for the tenth time.

Lexa blushed, “Yours are just as good.”

“Lexa that’s a 97 percent average.”

“If you round up.” She replied.

“A 96 percent average is nothing to sneeze at Meizen.” Lexa held up her girlfriend’s results. “96, 97, 99, 94, 95.”

“You rounded down.” Clarke protested.

“Because that’s how math works.” Lexa gave her a quick peck on the tip of her nose.

Clarke grinned and wrapped her around Lexa’s neck, pulling her close. “Tomorrow is our two month anniversary.”

“I know. And we’ll be tucked away in a cabin all by ourselves.” Lexa smirked as her hands came to rest on her hips. “Whatever shall we do?”

“Oh, I have faith in our abilities to find a way to have fun.” Clarke winked.

Unable to hold back, knowing she was close to being able to give herself fully to Clarke, Lexa turned them until the blonde’s back was pressed against the passenger door of the Jeep. She pressed forward until they were flush against each other. She leaned forward slowly, kissing the cleft in Clarke’s chin, then up her jawline before nipping at her earlobe gently. She smiled against her neck when she heard Clarke’s shuddering breath. She kissed her way down her neck stopping briefly to suck at her pulse point only stopping with a gentle bite when Clarke’s hand moved to tangle in her hair. She pulled back slightly, wanting to take in the look on her face. When Clarke’s eyes finally opened she was glaring.

“Don’t look so smug.” She rolled her eyes.

“Not smug. Happy.” Lexa pecked at her lips again.

“You’re smirking.” Clarke said between kisses. “That’s smug.”

Lexa shook her head and buried her head in Clarke’s neck. “I’m not smug. I’m happy that we’re done with school. And that I get to spend as much time as I want with you for the next five weeks. I’m just happy.”

“Don’t even try Lexa Woods. You’re looking smug because you know I’d let you take me right now in the backseat of you Jeep.” Clarke embraced her again, holding her as tightly as she could.

A throat was cleared behind Lexa, startling both women. Their heads swiveled until they found Costia standing on the side near the steps to the townhouse.

“I wouldn’t recommend that Lexa. I’d have to write you all kinds of tickets for that.” She grinned at the blushes spreading on both women’s faces. “There might even be handcuffs involved. And not in the fun way.”

“Hey Cos.” Lexa gave her a short wave.

“Hello Lexa. Hello Clarke.” Costia winked at the two of them.

Clarke wiggled out from behind Lexa, offering Costia a small smile and a weak wave. “Hey.”

“Everything okay?” Lexa asked.

“Oh. Everything is great. Amazing.” Costia’s smile grew. “I have some news for the two of you.”

“Something good?” Clarke questioned.

Costia nodded then paused. She shook her head. “I guess that depends on who you’re talking to about it.”

“So what’s the news?” Lexa asked after Costia didn’t offer anything more.

“Finn Collins is in the hospital again.” Costia said.

“The same hospital he walked out of a couple of months ago?” Clarke inquired calmly. She couldn’t believe this was happening. She and Lexa were supposed to be on their way to a romantic weekend away. Of course Finn would find some way to weasel in on that.

“Yes. But he’s got two officers on him at all times. And he can’t sign himself out this time.” Costia replied. “Not to mention he’s handcuffed to the bed. Again, not in the fun way.”

Lexa rested a hand on the small of Clarke’s back, hoping to calm her a bit. “What happened Costia?”

“He got jumped.” Costia replied.

“By who?” Lexa asked.

“A few of the inmates heard about what he did. One in particular seemed particularly agitated when he heard who Finn had attacked.” Costia said, her smile was back in full force. “Some kids named Fio and Ryder got all kinds of riled up when they heard Heda and Anya’s girlfriends were attacked. Know anything about that?”

Lexa bit her lips to keep from smiling. “No idea what you’re talking about.”

“No? So the fact that your cousin Artigas was on duty just an hour or so before he was attacked was just a coincidence?” Costia arched a brow.

“I had no idea when Artigas is at the jail. I don’t ask him about his schedule.” Lexa shrugged.

“And it’s also just a coincidence that Ryder and Fio are Trikru?” Costia crossed her arms over her chest her foot starting to tap.

“What’s she talking about?” Clarke asked Lexa.

“She thinks I ordered some friends to beat up Finn.” The brunette explained.

Clarke’s brows shot up, “Did you?”

“Nope.” Lexa grinned at her.

“Lex,” Clarke sighed.

“You’re lucky no one else knows about Artigas, Fio, or Ryder and their connection to you.” Costia shook her head.

Lexa shrugged and pulled Clarke closer to her side. “I haven’t done anything Cos. But I can’t say I’m not happy Finn got a little bit of jail yard justice.”

“I wanted to make sure you knew what was going on.” Costia said after a brief pause. "So you guys were up-to-date on the situation. And because I wanted to see Lexa's face when she was told. Totally worth it."

“And you did. Glad I could entertain you for a moment or two. Thank you.” Lexa smiled brilliantly. “Now if you’ll excuse us. We have a cabin to get to.”

Chapter Text

As hard as she tried, Lexa couldn’t keep her eyes from wandering over to the passenger seat. Clarke was sitting low in her seat, her feet, which she’d slipped out of her boots, were propped up on the dash board. She rocked her torso to the beat of the music, her head bopping up and down as she sang along to the music, her hand tapping her thigh. The oversized light grey sweater she was wearing almost swallowed her, giving off an air of innocence Lexa felt so deeply she wanted nothing more than to stop the Jeep on the side of the road and kiss her girlfriend senseless.

“What are you looking at?” Clarke’s question cut through the haze of desire.

“You,” Lexa replied before turning her eyes back to the road.

Clarke grinned, she couldn’t help it. Lexa had a way of saying something so simply and truthfully it took her a moment to recover. Instead of speaking Clarke squeezed her hand.

“Are you ever going to give that back?” Lexa teased.

“Nope,” Clarke squeezed again and popped the ‘p’ loudly.

“You can’t steal my hand Meizen.”

“I thought the whole point of this weekend was because you want my hands on you.”

Choking on air, Lexa jerked the steering wheel as she turned to gawked at her. She yanked her hand free when she returned her attention to the road. It only took seconds, Lexa corrected the vehicle easily but it was enough to startle both women out of their teasing mood.

“Are you okay?” Lexa’s voice shook.

“I’m fine Lex.” Clarke pressed a hand to her chest, over her heart.

“Maybe we should keep our hands to ourselves for right now. And maybe try to avoid making anymore comments like that?” Lexa suggested. She chanced a quick glance at her girlfriend. “At least until we’re not in the car anymore.”

With a nod, Clarke straightened in her seat. She slipped her feet back into her bots. Lexa sighed, upset she’d ruined the mood. Before those thoughts cold grow to worries she felt fingers tangle with the soft baby hairs at the back of the neck.

“Clarke,” Lexa whined.

“Lexa,” Clarke mimicked her tone.

“We literally just agreed to keep our hands to ourselves.”

With a shrug, Clarke drove her fingers further into the chestnut locks she loved so much. She rubbed gently circles into Lexa’s scalp for a quiet minute before she spoke, “I honestly don’t think I can keep my hands of you right now Lex.”

“Not fair,” Lexa whined again but this time a huge smile accompanied the tone. She released her grip on the steering wheel with her right hand, reaching over to rest it on Clarke’s thigh.

“No that’s not fair.” Clarke laughed. She curled up in her seat, lacing the fingers of her free hand with Lexa’s. “Please tell me we’re almost there.”

With a nod, Lexa pointed out the windshield with her left hand. “Another 10 minutes down this road.”

“Do we need to stop for food and all of that?”

“No. I made sure the cabin would be fully stocked for our visit.”

Clarke grinned at that. “So only 10 more minutes?”

“Yes.”

“Lexa?”

“Yes?”

“Drive faster.”

****

“Clarke,” Lexa spoke around the lips pressed to her own.

“Lexa,” Clarke replied.

“We need to unload the Jeep.”

“No we don’t. We can do that later.”

Lexa shook her head. They’d just arrived at the cabin. Clarke had barely allowed her to open her car door before turning in her seat and latching on for a burning kiss. So Lexa stood outside the Jeep, leaning into the cab with her lips moving against her girlfriend’s.

Meizen,” Lexa said when Clarke pulled back to take a breath. “We have all weekend.”

Clarke pulled away even further at the mumbled statement. Her usually clear blue eyes were already nearly black. “Lexa Woods. Do you really think I’m even kind of okay with waiting any longer than necessary you are not as intelligent as I thought you were.”

“We aren’t waiting Clarke. We’re delaying.” Lexa pressed a kiss to her lips and tried to take a step back. “Just until we have all our stuff inside.”

Whining when her attempt to deepen the kisses was avoided, Clarke growled when she felt Lexa pull away. She gripped the lapels of her girlfriend’s coat in her fists. “Do you want to know what I think is really going to happen?”

Lexa gulped. She hadn’t expected Clarke to be this adamant about unloading the Jeep later. Resisting her was almost impossible. She ran her hands up Clarke’s arms until her hands cupped her neck. “What do you think is going to happen Meizen?”

“You, my absolutely gorgeous girlfriend,” Clarke pulled her in for a quick hard kiss, “are going to take me into that cabin and show me how much you love me.”

“Oh?” Lexa watched the dark eyes in front of her grow even darker.

“Yes. And when you’re done, do you know what will happen next?”

Lexa could only shale her head and release an unsteady breath.

“After you’ve shown me how much you love me, I’m going to show me how much I love you.” Clarke whispered in her ear before she nipped at her neck.

Leaving her head to the side, allowing Clarke more room to work, Lexa sighed. She moved a hand up to into blonde hair, gripping gently. After a minute or two of Clarke’s coaxing kisses and gentle caresses Lexa decided the bags and other supplies could wait.

“Clarke,” She croaked. She pulled back a little, just enough to detach her girlfriend’s lips from her neck. She cleared her throat and tried to speak a little louder. “Clarke!”

“Yes?”

“While I agree with your overall plan, I need to make a minor correction.”

“And what would that be?” Clarke nipped at Lexa’s plump lips.

Lexa sighed, like whatever she was about to say was a burden to her, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to carry you into the cabin. Now.”

“Oh?” Clarke grinned and started to slide out of her seat.

“Nope.” Lexa stopped her by thrusting her hips forward, pinning Clarke to the side of her seat. “Wrap your legs around me.”

Clarke’s eyes darkened even more, something Lexa had thought was impossible.

“Now Clarke,” she growled.

Her girlfriend responded immediately. Her arms flew around Lexa’s neck and her leg became like iron bands around her hip as Lexa’s hands gripped her ass, holding her up and pressing her closer. Clarke’s lips were pressed to Lexa’s neck again.

Lexa would never be able to explain how she managed to carry Clarke across the iced over driveway and front walk, up the few stairs to the front porch and to the door without stumbling once. It was a major feat given how Clarke’s lips and teeth were playing on her neck. Lexa pressed Clarke’s back into the door, pinning her up with her weight while she dug through her pockets, searching for her keys. The search was made slightly more difficult when Clarke’s lips found hers again. She felt Clarke’s arms leave her neck and then hands were pulling on her sides, trying to get her closer.

“Clarke,” Lexa whispered between kisses. “The keys.”

The blonde broke the kiss off with a growl. She pushed Lexa’s shoulders back, giving her room to run her hands up the toned torso she was finally going to be able to fully appreciated. She slowly unzipped Lexa’s coat, opening it enough for her to ghost her hands over her breasts wrenching a moan from her girlfriend. With a smirk, Clarke reached in the inside pocket. She pulled the keys free of the coat and dangled them between their faces.

Lexa snatched the keys from her fingers just moments before their lips reattached. After a few failed attempts to continue kissing and unlock the door at the same time, Lexa jerked her head away and glared at the lock.

“Problem?” Clarke grinned into her neck.

“The lock keeps moving,” Lexa huffed.

“It does not,” Clarke licked up her neck, stopping to nibble at her earlobe gently.

“It does,” Lexa asserted with a huff.

“Just get the door open.” Clarke tightened her legs and swirled her hips. “Now Lex.”

Taking a steadying breath, Lexa did her best to ignore the lips and tongue and teeth Clarke was running over her neck and jaw. She glared harder at the lock, almost like she was daring it to move again. Just as she began to slide the key into the lock, Clarke’s hands found her ass and pulled her closer.

“Clarke!” Lexa gasped as the key fell to the porch.

“Did you just drop the key?” She could feel Clarke’s smirk pressed to her neck.

Instead of responding, Lexa stopped back from the door. She gently lowered first one of Clarke’s legs then the other. When she felt Clarke to close the distance again, she shook her head and held out a hand.

“Stay there.”

“Lex!”

“If you come near me again before I get that door open I’m going to take you back to the Jeep and fuck you in the backseat.” Lexa replied through panting breaths. She scooped up the keys and glanced back at her girlfriend. “I don’t want our first time to be like that. I want to make love to you in a nice big bed.”

Clarke nodded, locking her hands together in front of her. “Yes. Make love first. Fuck later.”

Shutting her eyes and barely fighting the shudder the words caused. She stared at the door, hoping the key and lock would cooperate this time.

Thankfully it only took two more tries. Then she whirled to face Clarke again. Without words, the blonde launched herself back into Lexa’s arms. Lexa caught her with ease, grinning at the quick and desperate kisses.

Two steps later, Lexa was kicking the door closed behind them. She took a moment to marvel at Clarke, holding on like a koala while Lexa struggled out of her coat.

She turned and pressed Clarke against the wall next to the door and kissed her hard, freeing Clarke of her coat. Then, her hands once again on Clarke’s ass, Lexa hurried to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

Lowering Clarke to the bed slowly was both the Lexa’s greatest joy and her worst agony. Every fiber of her being was screaming for her to hurry. She had been waiting for months for this. If there was ever a time for urgency, it was now!

Sensing the shift in Lexa’s mood, from frantic to frazzled, Clarke opened her eyes. Searching for her girlfriend, she found her standing a few feet from the bed staring down at her.

“Lex?”

Shaking her head, Lexa smiled. She was fine, maybe a little overwhelmed, but fine. She met Clarke’s eyes as she reached up to unbutton her shirt.

Before she could get even one undone Clarke was on her feet in front of her. “Let me.”

“I can do it.”

“I want to Lex.” Clarke gently swatted her hands away and kissed the corner of her math. Then she kissed the other side, before saying, “you aren’t the only one who has dreamt about this. About us. Honestly, I don’t know how I passed any exams!”

“Exams?” Lexa slipped her fingers into the belt loops on Clarke’s jeans pulling her closer, holding her so there was just the right amount of pressure on her aching center.

“Oh please.” Clarke ran her open lips up her jaw. “You think I can study anything related to anatomy without picturing you?”

She’d never thought of that. “Is that why you kept running you hands over my arms and chest and neck and all of that during our make-out breaks?”

“They weren’t breaks for me.” Clarke shrugged, popping a couple more buttons. “They were hands-on studying.”

“Apparently I didn’t do a good enough job distracting you then.” Lexa pouted at the thought.

“I think it helped. When I was in my exam and I got the questions about those areas I just pictured you. I’d be willing to put money on the fact I didn’t miss a single one of those questions.”

She started to respond. She had some clever quip ready and waiting but Clarke finished the last button and pushed Lexa’s shirt open, revealing the tank top underneath. Clarke pushed the shirt off her shoulders and down her arms. They giggled when the sleeves bunched up around her wrists, imprisoning her.

“Why?” Clarke whined as she pushed at the fabric.

“Why what?”

Clarke pulled her lips from Lexa’s ear and huffed. She carefully extricated Lexa’s arms from her sleeves before leaning in for another kiss.

“Why what Clarke?” Lexa asked.

“Why are you wearing so much clothing?” Clarke whined.

Lexa giggled at that. “It’s cold outside.”

“But it’s hot in here.”

“I have a better question.” Lexa looped her arms around Clarke’s neck, pulling her in for a harder kiss. When she pulled back, Clarke was dazed. She laughed quietly, “Aren’t you going to ask what my question is?”

“I want you to not be in those clothes anymore.” Clarke replied.

“My question is easy to answer.” Lexa teased. She leaned in, peppering Clarke’s face with light kisses.

“Fine.” Clarke sighed, pulled away enough to meet her eyes. “What’s your question?”

Lexa pulled her closer, pressing her body as tightly to Clarke’s as she could. She nibbled ever so lightly on her neck before running the tip of her nose along the outside of her ear. “I think the better question is why haven’t you gotten me out of all this clothing?”

With a groan, Clarke rested her head on Lexa’s shoulder. “Okay. That’s enough. No more talking.”

“I like talking to you.”

“I like kissing you.”

Lexa shrugged. She reached for the bottom hem of Clarke’s sweater. Slipping her hands underneath she was met not by heated flesh like she’d hoped. Instead she found more fabric. Stupid winter. Fighting a sigh, she grabbed the hem and gently pulled up. Once she’d dropped it to the floor she pressed quick kisses to the flesh she’d exposed, irritated at the camisole hiding more.

“I don’t know Meizen,” she said as her lips ran over the tops of her breasts. “I think we can find some better uses for my mouth.”

Clarke snorted out a short laugh, “Lex, I don’t know if I’ll ever find a better use for you mouth than kissing me.”

“Then you’ve seriously underestimated my skills niron.”

Clarke pressed a kiss to the top of her head, “That’s a new one.”

“I’ll tell you later.” Lexa replied, still alternating between pressing kisses and sucking small bruises into the exposed skin of Clarke’s chest. “Now is not the time for a language lesson.”

“Lex.”

“Clarke?”

“Take off the cami.”

Nodding once, Lexa straightened. She was almost sad to have her lips so far from the breasts she’d been dreaming about for months. She hadn’t even seen them in all their glory yet. She’d seen Clarke in her bra plenty of times, just never without it. She was even able to say she’d held the wondrous breasts in her hands, but only over Clarke’s sleep shirt. She woke up most mornings with her hand gently holding one.

So now she was getting her wish. She pulled at the cami, lifting it slowly, her eyes never leaving Clarke’s. Even when the fabric blocked the blue momentarily, her eyes stayed trained on Clarke’s face. It was only after Clarke was free from the garment and she smiled before nodding once that Lexa finally let her eyes drop.

“Holy shit,” she whimpered.

Clarke smirked. She knew exactly how Lexa was going to react when she saw her in the new lingerie. All icy blue lace and silk. It was by far the most miraculous sight Lexa had ever seen.

“You approve?”

“I more than approve! I love!” Lexa’s fingers itched to trace and hold and grasp. “It’s a good thing I didn’t know you had this on under that sweater! We’d have never made it here.”

Her hands ran up and down Clarke’s sides. Then, before she knew what was happening, her hands were over her head and her tank top was being pulled off.

“Jesus Lex.” Clarke breathed.

Seeing her girlfriend in a regular bra was a treat, she usually wore sports bras, seeing her in a fancy lace cupped bra dried Clarke’s mouth.

“You approve?” Lexa teased back.

“I love. And adore.” Clarke pulled her close so they were chest to chest again. “But I’d really prefer you not be wearing this right now.”

Crashing together again, hands ran over sides and up backs, nails scratched and fingers kneaded. Somehow, Clarke managed to get her hands and minds focused enough to unclasped Lexa’s bar. The straps slid down her arms but the cups were held in place by Clarke’s body. It wasn’t until Lexa had Clarke’s bra completely undone that the women separated enough to drop their bras.

Lexa nearly swallowed her tongue when her eyes dropped to Clarke’s breasts. She was even more beautiful and mesmerizing than Lexa had dreamt. As if they had minds of their own, her hands ran up Clarke’s sides until she was cupping her breasts. Her thumbs slowly moved until they were circling her nipples. A shudder ran through Lexa when she felt them hardening. She glanced up to Clarke’s face, wanting to make sure she was okay, that she was ready. All she read in those blue eyes was lust and love. The small nod and smile so small she almost missed it was all the approval she needed to urge Lexa to the next step.

Lowering her head, she ran her lips down Clarke’s neck, stopping to suck at her pulse point. Lexa bit down, drawing a startled gasp from her girlfriend. She smiled and kissed the red mark already blossoming there as Clarke’s hands wove into her hair. After another quick nibble she allowed her lips to travel down. She ran them over collarbones she’d already memorized, then between Clarke’s breasts.

“Lex,” Clarke breathed.

She’d never heard her name sound so much like a prayer. She wanted to make Clarke wait, just to tease, but she didn’t think either of them could take that. So she moved her head until her lips were poised over a jutting nipple. She breathed hot air over the nipple and smiled at Clarke’s growl of impatience. Finally, she stuck out her tongue out, tracing gently. Then she could stand the teasing no longer, she leaned further into Clarke and pulled her nipple into her mouth. Lexa didn’t know if the shudder came from her or her girlfriend. The moan definitely came from her own throat though. It felt like it had been torn from her soul. Clarke’s hands pulled her impossibly closer. Lexa licked a loop, then used her teeth just enough to earn a gasp. Then she switched to the other breast, licking and sucking and teasing. Her fingers played with the nipple she’d just abandoned, pulling and circling.

Feeling Clarke’s fingers tighten in her hair again, Lexa pulled her lips away. She moved her mouth up just above where she’d been suckling; sucking and biting until she could knew a mark was going to be there for days. She kissed her way up to Clarke’s neck, nipping at the red mark she’d already left. “So much better than I ever thought!”

“Bed!” Clarke whimpered, her legs were starting to grow weak. She arched her hips, begging for contact, while trying to pull Lexa back to her chest.

Lexa could only nod. She pulled Clarke’s jeans off before slipping out of her own.

“I wanted to do that!” Clarke protested.

“You can finish the job later.” Lexa kissed her hard, all teeth and tongue. “I want to take care of you first.”

“You’re not very good at compromising.”

Shaking her head Lexa smirked against her neck, “Niron, I will never be willing to compromise when it come to giving you pleasure.”

Clarke really wanted to argue but the burning passion in green eyes stopped her. Instead she moved Lexa’s hands to the band of her lacy underwear. “Get a move on then.”

“We don’t have to rush this.”

“I respectfully disagree.” Clarke put her hands over Lexa’s and started to move them down. “If you don’t rush a little bit I may just have to take care of myself. You can tease me later.”

Soon Clarke’s underwear joined the rest of their clothing. Lexa gawked at her girlfriend. She’d seen Clarke in every state of undress except naked. The sight was enough to make her heart pound faster than she’d ever felt it. She stared at her wet and swollen center, knowing Clarke’s body was practically begging for her attention.

“See something you like?” Clarke’s voice had her looking up again. Stormy blue eyes challenged her, asking her what her next move was.

Lexa took a slow measured step toward her. Then another. And then their bodies collided once more. Lexa backed Clarke up until the backs of her legs hit the bed. She sank down, her eyes never leaving Lexa’s. She scooted back until pillows propped her up. She giggled when Lexa jumped on the bed, slowly crawling until she was straddling Clarke.

“God I love you.” Clarke cupped her face in her hands, pulling her down until their lips met.

Instead of responding, because she was genuinely beyond words, Lexa smiled into the kiss and slowly began to roll her hips. When she felt the vibration of Clarke’s moan she knew the blonde could feel her wetness through her underwear. She shifted her lips until she caught Clarke’s lower lip between her own. She sucked on it, then chewing lightly. Pulling back, she licked at her upper lip, only to pull her tongue back when Clarke’s came out to meet hers.

“More,” Clarke pleaded.

Lexa nodded and shifted so she was lying on top of Clarke, a thigh slipping between the blonde’s legs. Both girls moaned. Clarke at the delicious pressure that was finally where she needed it, and Lexa at the hot wet center she felt pressed against her Lexa held herself up on one elbow, her lips connected to Clarke’s in a frenzied kiss, her free hand finding an achingly stiff nipple to tease.

“Lex,” Clarke spoke against her lips. “I need you to move.”

“And I need to move.” Lexa replied before she slowly began to rock.

The fingers of Lexa’s free hand slid down between her breasts, over her stomach, and finally into the wet heat she’d been waiting for. She traced up and down slowly, still not willing to rush the experience. She dipped her finger inside, just at Clarke’s entrance for a moment before dragging it up to her clit. She circled and pressed at the bundle of nerves, all the while swallowing all the moans escaping from Clarke’s mouth.

“So good Lex, so good.” Clarke’s hips began to rock, her hands grasping and holding.

Lexa knew there would be bruises from Clarke’s fingers. She didn’t care. Instead, she began to move slowly down Clarke’s body.

Before Clarke could blink she was staring at Lexa between her legs. The sight was so much better in reality than in her dreams. Lexa’s eyes met hers just as soft fingertips met wet folds again. Clarke’s back arched off the bed. Up and down, barely more than a whisper of a touch, Lexa’s fingers drove her wild.

“Lexa,” Clarke drug out the last syllable. “More. Please! More!”

Again, Lexa held her tongue. She moved her fingers more firmly, slipping inside the folds again. Soon, she was drawing shapes around Clarke’s clit. She circled once, twice, three times, smiling at Clarke’s whimpers. Then, much to Clarke’s dismay, her fingers slid away, tracing her folds once more.

“Woods!” She growled, her eyes clenched closed. “I’m warning you!”

Lexa smirked against her leg as she dipped a fingertip into her entrance, just enough to draw out more moisture. Clarke’s mouth napped shut. Lexa pulled her wet finger up to her clit and pressed lightly, allowing the rocking of Clarke’s hip to set the rhythm. Leaning over, Lexa kissed her way up the inside of Clarke’s thigh. Then she nipped at her hipbones. She circled her clit again as her tongue dipped into Clarke’s belly button. She pressed lightly and kissed back down her stomach while Clarke squirmed. She pressed a final kiss to Clarke’s mound, just above her slit.

Meizen,” She husked, her lips poised just above Clarke’s wet center.

“Lex?” Clarke replied between pants.

Reaching up, Lexa pulled one of Clarke’s hands away from the sheet it was tangled in, lacing their fingers together. She pulled herself up enough to kiss Clarke’s fingers. When blue eyes finally looked down at her she smiled.

“Can I?”

“God yes!” Clarke nodded vigorously and dropped her head back against the pillow again, “please Lexa!”

“Then look at me.”

Head snapping up again, Clarke’s eyes met hers. Lexa watched her for a moment. She could see the rapid rise and fall of Clarke’s chest and the already blossoming bruises from her love bites.

“I love you.” Lexa said quietly, her chin resting on Clarke’s stomach.

“I love you too.” Clarke whispered back. She reached down to cup her cheek. “So much.”

Turning her head, Lexa pressed a quick to her palm. Then, holding Clarke’s eyes with her own, Lexa lowered her head again. She used her free hand to spread Clarke’s folds. She inhaled deeply, taking in the sweet scent of her love. Then, with just het tip of her tongue, she licked up her slit.

It was hard to tell who moaned louder. Clarke tried to watch, to keep her eyes on her love, as Lexa showed her how she felt but it was too much. Months of tension were coming to a crescendo. Lexa wanted to pull away, to demand Clarke watch her love her. Then she felt Clarke’s hand tangle in her hair, holding her to her. When she felt more pressure, she licked again. And then again. Soon Lexa was focused on Clarke’s clit, moving in circles around it, purposefully avoiding touching the engorged flesh.

“Not cool,” Clarke panted. She tried to guide Lexa to where she wanted her. Lexa wouldn’t cooperate. “I swear Lexa, I’m going –”

Before she could finish her threat, Lexa dipped her middle finger into her entrance. Clarke’s mouth snapped shut once more. Lexa smirked and ran her tongue from her entrance to her clit, slowly driving her finger into Clarke all the while.

Clarke’s back arched again. Her hands tightened on Lexa’s and in Lexa’s hair. “Jesus! Fuck!”

Lexa smirked again and licked a little harder.

“I can feel that grin. Don’t be cocky.” Clarke panted, her hips lifting from the mattress, seeking more contact.

In response, Lexa began to spell her name with her tongue against Clarke. Then she spelled out ‘I love you’. Her finger, soon joined by another, pumped in and out steadily. She felt Clarke beginning to tighten; her movements grew more and more jerky. Her hands held Lexa almost painfully.

So Lexa stopped.

“Lexa!” Clarke whined.

Again, Lexa allowed her actions to speak for her. She sucked on the inside of Clarke’s thigh as she removed her fingers. She bit down, then licked the spot to sooth it. She sucked her fingers clean and waited for Clarke to look at her.

“Why do you hate me?”

Lexa shook her head, “I’m showing you how much I love you.”

“Then let me cum!”

“On one condition.”

“Name it.” Clarke whimpered.

“You have to come on my tongue.” Lexa nipped at her thigh again.

“Deal!” Clarke’s hips jerked and twisted, demanding attention back at her core. “Jesus Lex!”

With a wolfish grin, Lexa lowered her head again. She used her thumb to tease Clarke’s clit, sometimes circling, sometimes pressing. She licked around her entrance, dipping the tip of her tongue in, moaning at the taste. Then she drove her tongue inside. She moved her tongue in and out, reaching as far as she could. Clarke writhed once more. She shook her hand free from Lexa’s and tangled her fingers in chestnut locks. Lexa ignored the string of her hair being pulled, only noticing Clarke and her moans for more.

Soon Lexa felt Clarke tightening again. She drove her tongue in deep and hard, pressing her thumb down on the bundle of nerves she’d been teasing. Then she pinched.

Clarke nearly came off the bed. She held Lexa to her core and moaned. She screamed Lexa’s name when she felt fingers join the tongue inside her, angling up to press that spongy spot.

“Lexa! Fuck!” Clarke screamed as a powerful orgasm wracked her body.

Lexa worked her body, helping her ride out the orgasm, before triggering another when she moved her tongue up to Clarke’s clit. She sucked it into her mouth and teased it with her teeth. Her fingers moved quickly, in and out, curling up with every drag across that spot. She only pulled away when she felt Clarke tug gently on her hair. She slowly pulled her fingers out, sucking them dry again, before she licked Clarke’s center until it was clean.

Crawling up Clarke’s body, Lexa dropped onto her back next to her. Lexa pulled her still shuddering girlfriend into her arms, holding her tightly.

Panting breath met her neck, “Jesus.”

“Just Lexa niron.”

“Don’t be smug.” Clarke rolled until she was pressed against her girlfriend from shoulder to toe.

Lexa shook her head, gathering her closer. She pressed a series of kisses to Clarke’s hair before speaking, “I’m just happy you enjoyed yourself.”

“That is such an understatement I don’t even know where t start correcting you.” Clarke giggled before burying her face in the crook of Lexa’s neck.

“Rest now Meizen.” Lexa whispered, her hands running up and down Clarke’s back.

“It’s your turn,” Clarke yawned.

Shaking her head, Lexa chuckled, “This is me compromising. I promise I can wait hodnes. Just take a nap. I’ll be here when you wake up.”

Chapter Text

A soft streak of sunlight streaming through the window woke Lexa from her nap. Feeling the soft weight on top of her, she smiled. Tightening her arms, she pulled Clarke further on top of her and held her. When her girlfriend didn’t wake she attached her lips to the bruise at her pulse point, biting and sucking gently until Clarke squirmed.

“Jesus,” Clarke sighed.

“Nope,” Lexa smiled into her neck. “Still just Lexa.”

“Nerd.”

Lexa chuckled and ran her hands down Clarke’s back until she was cupping her ass again. “I’m the nerd who just made you cum 7 times.”

“Best day ever.” Clarke sighed dreamily. She pressed a series of kisses to Lexa’s collarbone. “And I only owe you one to even that count up. Don’t be so smug.”

“No you don’t.”

“Yes, I do.”

Shaking her head, Lexa fought a blush. “Nope.”

“Yes Lexa. It’s okay. And I’m looking forward to evening up our count.” Clarke nipped at her lips. Then she kissed her way down Lexa’s neck, refreshing the bruises along the way. “Give me a few minutes to wake up and I’ll be ready to rock your world again.”

Meizen. I promise we’re even.” Lexa assured her.

“How do you figure?”

“Because I was right there with you your… third time.”

Clarke’s head lifted enough for her to meet Lexa’s eyes. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“I hadn’t even touched you yet!”

“Your leg was in a very sensitive area Clarke.” Lexa lifted a hand to cover her eyes.

Clarke kissed her chin, before pulling herself up enough to kiss her swollen lips. When Lexa’s hand didn’t budge, Clarke grinned. “Are you embarrassed?”

“No.”

“It’s okay Lex.”

“I came further than a boy on prom night Clarke.” She whined.

Clarke giggled. She wiggled her brows as she moved a thigh between her girlfriend’s legs. She couldn’t hold back a soft moan when she felt the heat and moisture.

Meizen,” Lexa pressed her center into Clarke’s leg for a moment.

“Someone is eager.”

Lexa shook her head, “We need to take a break.”

“Have I tired the great Heda out?”

“Not hardly.” Lexa said quickly. She framed Clarke’s face with her hands. With a quick roll of her hips she returned the pressure between the blonde’s legs. “We just need to get our things from the car before it gets too dark.”

Clarke started to argue, a quickie wouldn’t hurt after all. Then her stomach growled. “Or maybe we need to get some food?”

“Exactly.” Lexa nodded, her eyes fluttering shut when Clarke shifted to sit up, pressing harder into her core in the process.

“It’s going to be hard to keep my hands to myself now that I’ve seen these in all their glory,” Clarke said, running her fingertips down Lexa’s abs.

“That’s the best part of this weekend. You don’t have to keep your hand to yourself.” Lexa replied, opening her eyes enough to wink at her. She caught Clarke’s hand before it drifted even lower. “Come on Griffin.”

“But I want you!”

“Well I always want you. Learn a little restraint.” Lexa teased. Clarke arched a brow and wiggled her hips over the thigh she was straddling. Biting back a moan Lexa added, “Not cool.”

“Are you sure we need to empty the car now?”

“Yes. It’ll be dark soon. I’d like to have things settled before then.”

Clarke shifted again and whined when Lexa gripped her hips, “Why?”

“Because I know what’ll happen if we wait until dark. I’ve seen that movie. I didn’t like it.”

Blinking a few times, Clarke laughed, “I’ve totally fallen in love with a dork.”

“Love you too Meizen,” Lexa rolled until she was on top of Clarke, straddling her hips. Pressing a quick kiss to Clarke’s still puffy lips just before she sprang out of bed.

“Come back!” Clarke stretched her arms out.

“No!” Lexa replied as she gathered her clothes. She pulled on her pants and tank top, her eyes never leaving Clarke’s.

Blue eyes darkened, “No bra? Or panties?”

“Why waste time when we both know you’re just going to have me naked again as soon as the car is empty and we’ve eaten?”

“God I love you.”

“I know babe.” Lexa leaned over the bed to give her another kiss. “I love you too. But that don’t mean you don’t have to get up to help me.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be tired after seven orgasms in…” Clarke paused and glanced around for a clock. Finding the walls bare she looked to the nightstand, “Where are our phones?”

Lexa shrugged, “If I had to guess I’d say either in the car or in our coats. We weren’t to concerned with them when we got here.”

“Do you think it’s horrible of me to want to keep not knowing where they are for today?” Clarke asked as she sat up. “So we can disconnect.”

“I’m fine with it. I came here to be with you Clarke.”

“So we ignore our phones?”

“How about I turn off your phone for you and you turn off mine for me?” Lexa offered. “Less temptation that way.”

With an eager nod, Clarke climbed out of bed. “Let’s get the car unloaded. And food. I want food.”

“How about I unload the car and you make dinner?” Lexa offered, not even trying to hide the fact that her eyes were taking in every inch of Clarke’s naked form.

“Sounds good to me.” Clarke replied as she pulled on her discarded panties and Lexa’s plaid shirt. She fastened the bottom three buttons, leaving her breasts almost on full display.

“Not fair,” Lexa whined.

Clarke shrugged, “You’re the one who insisted we had to get up Hodnes.”

Jok,” Lexa groaned. Her girlfriend’s use of her native tongue sent a shock straight to her core. “At least do up the rest of the rest of the shirt!”

“Do you like it when I use Trigedasleng?” Clarke sauntered up to her, blue eyes wide with innocence. “Huh Hodnes?”

Taking a deep breath through her rose, Lexa pulled her against her, “I fucking love it!”

“Good.” Clarke gave her a quick peck. “Because Anya is teaching Raven. And Rae is teaching me!”

“Best sister ever!”

“Let’s go get the car unloaded.”

“You’re so mean!” Lexa called out as she walked away.

Clarke waved over her shoulder, just a little wiggle of her fingers. “You started it!”

****

By the time Clarke finished the pancakes and bacon Lexa had unloaded the Jeep and deposited their bags in their room. Then she made the bed, throwing the dirty sheets in the washing machine. After starting a fire, the brunette settled into a stool at the island and watched.

“You look good in my shirt.” Lexa smiled softly. She held up Clarke’s phone for her to see, before turning it off. “Only a few texts and calls from our friends.”

“I look better out of your shirt,” Clarke replied with a wink. She took Lexa’s phone and turned it off, “Same here.”

“Keep talking like that and we’ll be skipping dinner.”

Clarke shrugged, like her stomach hadn’t been grumbling for the last half hour. “Maybe I’m hungry for something else.”

“Food first.” Sticking out her tongue, Clarke turned back to the pan.

Only a handful of minutes later the couple had settled at the table and devoured the food. Both were so hungry they didn’t really speak. Their eyes would find each other, drawing out quick glances into intense stares. Their hands would drift to legs and arms, or rub on each other’s neck. It was as if they were magnets. They couldn’t not be in contact.

Once the meal was finished Lexa washed the dishes while Clarke put them away. She barely bit back a groan when the blonde had to reach over her head to put away their glasses.

“Hey Lex,” Clarke said as they settled on the gigantic couch in the living room.

“Yes Clarke?”

“I just remembered something.” She turned and pulled Lexa between her legs, her front pressed tightly to Lexa’s back.

“What’s that?” Lexa shifted a little, shimmying until she was comfy.

“You never told me what my name is in your phone.”

Lexa groaned, “I was hoping you’d forget about that.”

“Is it Meizen?”

“No.”

“Is it hodnes?” Clarke remembered Lexa calling her that while they were in bed. And Anya called Raven that too. That was why she’d called Lexa that earlier.

“No.”

“Is it the other one?”

“Other one?”

Clarke nodded, “You called me something else while we were… you know.”

“Making love?” Lexa turned her head enough to meet blue eyes. After a shy nod and a kiss to her temple Lexa responded, “Niron. I called you niron.”

“Is it that? My name in your phone is Niron?”

Lexa shook her head, “you won’t be able to guess it.”

“Why?”

“Anya changed it right after you gave it to me.” Lexa shifted so she could press her face into the crook of Clarke’s neck.

“What was it before she changed it?”

Meizen.”

“Just tell me Lex.” Clarke squeezed her once. “I’ll only laugh a little.”

Shaking her head, Lexa sighed. She moved her hands so her fingers were laced with the blonde’s. “It was Meizen.”

“Aw.” Clarke pressed a series of kisses to the crown of her head. “You had a crush.”

“I have eyes don’t I?” Lexa pouted.

“Do you often save pretty girls in your contacts under Trig compliments?”

“You aren’t pretty. You are beautiful.” Lexa lifted her head, green focusing on blue again. “You are otherworldly gorgeous. Angelic at times.”

“Lex,” Clarke whined. Teasing her girlfriend was no fun when she said things like that.

“Just telling the truth.” Lexa shrugged before turning so she faced the fire. She pulled one of Clarke’s hands from around her waist, playing with her fingers.

After a few minutes of silence, only broken by Clarke’s kisses to Lexa’s neck or hair and Lexa’s kisses to Clarke’s fingers and pulse, Clarke spoke again.

“So what did Anya change it to?”

“I don’t want to tell you.”

“Why not?”

“Because it might scare you. We’ve only been together for a couple of months.” Lexa replied.

Clarke’s eyes widened, so did you smile. “Now you have to tell me!”

“What if it freaks you out?”

“Then I’ll let you talk me down.”

Taking a moment to debate, Lexa nodded. She moved so she was sitting between Clarke’s legs, facing her. “She changed it to ‘Ain Houmon’.”

“That’s still Trigedasleng.”

“Yes.”

“What’s it mean?”

Lexa sighed. Twice. “My wife.”

Instead of freaking out, telling or moving away or whatever Lexa thought she’d do, Clarke laughed. She pulled Lexa in to her lap until she was straddling her.

“That’s awesome! How soon after we met did she change it? Right away?”

“Not even a day.” Lexa loosely wrapped her arms around her neck. “You aren’t freaking out.”

“It’s only been a few months but this, you and me, us… we feel right.” Clarke replied, her hands shifting to Lexa’s lower back, burrowing her hands under the tank top, rubbing soothing circles into her flesh. “I’m not saying I’m anywhere near ready to get engaged or married or whatever but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about a future where I’m Mrs. Clarke Griffin-Woods.”

Lexa grinned. She couldn’t fight it. “Griffin-Woods?”

“Would you prefer Woods-Griffin?” Clarke replied, her eyes soft. “Or maybe just Woods?”

“You would be okay with taking my name?”

“Yeah. Lexa Griffin just doesn’t flow as well as Clarke Woods. Plus, we could use Griffin as a boys name.”

“Are we picking out names now?”

“I’m just saying I’ve thought about it.” Clarke shrugged. She kissed her girlfriend lightly. “Are you telling me you haven’t?”

“Of course I have. I just thought you’d want to keep your name.”

“Your name is tied to your Trikru heritage. Anya told me why they really call you Heda. You should have told me you’re a queen or whatever.” Clarke teased. She shifted so she was reclined more on the couch, allowing Lexa to lean over her. “Your name is important in your world. I’d never want to take that from you. I’d be blessed if I eventually get to call myself a Woods.”

Chapter Text

The weekend flew by. Clarke and Lexa never fully dressed, preferring to stay in their comfy clothes and lounging around. They found all their waiting was well worth it. Neither could keep her hands off the other for longer than a few minutes. Of course, that made showering all the more interesting.

“It’s a shower stall Clarke,” Lexa chuckled as she knelt down next to her girlfriend and handed her a small baggie of ice. “What did you think was going to happen?”

“I didn’t think you’d knock me over!”

“It was an accident! I didn’t know you’d come up behind me!”

Clarke groaned as she placed the ice gently on the knot on her head. “I was trying to be sexy.”

“You’re always sexy, you don’t have to try.”

“You’re lucky I love you.”

“I think we’re lucky we love each other.” Lexa shrugged.

“Stop being cute. I’m mad at you.”

Lexa shook her head and slowly rose until she was standing at her full height. “Heda is never cute. Heda is scary and mysterious.”

Heda likes to be the small spoon.” Clarke muttered under her breath.

“A fact that you will never let Anya or Tris or Lincoln or Raven know.”

“What about O?”

Shrugging, Lexa turned back to open suitcase. “Octavia respects me.”

“I respect you.”

“No, you love me.” Lexa glanced over her shoulder. “You’re in love with me. And that means you’re incapable of refraining from teasing me.”

Clarke rolled her eyes at that, “I could if I wanted to but you are too adorable when you blush. How else am I ever supposed to see the blushing?”

“I prefer you flushed. And panting.” Lexa retorted while she started to repack the bag.

“That too. I don’t know which is my favorite look on you, blushing or flushing. Both are fantastic in their own way.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You love me. Blah, blah, blah. Geez, don’t be all weird about it.”

“You like to make me blush too.”

Lexa nodded. She really did. Seeing that bit of red creeping up Clarke’s cheeks was one of her favorite things. “It isn’t my fault you look so good in red. Try to tone down the sex appeal sometime okay? You’re taken now.”

“You haven’t taken me since last night.” Clarke replied quickly.

“Aw… is someone feeling neglected?” Lexa tossed aside the shirt she was folding as she turned to face her girlfriend.

“Yes.” Clarke pouted. “And just so we’re clear, if your hands aren’t on me in some way, I’m being neglected.”

“So this is good?” Lexa placed the tip of her index finger on Clarke’s bare shoulder.

“It’s better than it was but not good enough.”

Nodding, Lexa moved her hand slowly until Clarke’s shoulder was in her grasp, shoving the straps of her bra and tank top aside. “So this is good?”

“You’re a tease Lexa Woods.”

“You started it.”

Clarke’s jaw dropped. “How on Earth did I start this?”

“You’re the one who climbed into the shower with me. You left me all kinds of bothered!”

“You’re the one who turned around like she was expecting an ax murderer to be behind!”

Lexa couldn’t argue with that. She had spun around rather quickly. Knowing she had ruined the mood early only made her more than eager to make up for it. Moving slowly, she placed a knee on the bed next to Clarke. When blue eyes darkened and those lips she’d come to adore turned up in a smile she lifted her other leg up. She waited until Clarke’s hands were on her hips to lower herself.

“I’m sorry babe.” She pressed a gently kiss to Clarke’s jaw, just under her ear.

Clarke’s hips rose a little, seeking a bit more pressure. “It’s okay Hodnes.”

“Does your head hurt?”

“Just a bit, nothing I can’t handle.” Clarke replied, she’d forgotten all about her head. She wasn’t even sure where the bag of ice had ended up after she’d let it go.

“We have to leave soon, so we can be home for dinner.” Lexa pressed a kiss to the tip of her nose.

Holding her girlfriend in her lap was probably one of Clarke’s favorite things to do. Lexa came across as a complete badass and a bit of an ice queen. So when Clarke figured out Lexa liked to be held and cuddled she was thrilled.

Clarke nuzzled her neck, dropping kisses here and there. “What if I don’t care about dinner?”

“Your mother invited us, we can’t just not show up.”

“Let’s not talk about my mother right now.” Clarke’s hands slipped around to the small of her back, her fingers playing with the waistband of her boy shorts. “God I’m glad you never put on pants today. Makes this so much easier.”

“I didn’t put on pants because I was concerned about your head Clarke, not so you’d have easy access.” Lexa giggled, winding her arms tightly around her neck.

“Don’t care. It makes my life better.”

“When I don’t wear pants? Why?”

With a short laugh Clarke pulled her hands away. With one hand she held Lexa to her lap and with the other she helped to pull herself further back on the bed. Pressing another kiss to Lexa’s neck, nipping at the hickie she’s been refreshing with every opportunity for the last few days, she smiled.

“Don’t be coy Lex. You know why.”

“Are you saying I’m easy?”

“For me?” Clarke arched a brow as their eyes met. “Yes.”

Lexa considered that for a moment before shrugging, “I guess that’s true.”

“Know what else makes my life better? Other than you not wearing pants?”

“Tell me?”

“This.” Clarke giggled as she held open the back of Lexa’s shirt and dumped the little bag of ice down it. Her hands dropped to Lexa’s hips again, holding on while she writhed one way then the other, trying to get the coldness away from her flesh.

“Clarke!” Lexa shrieked as she shoved her girlfriend back. It took three more shoves to get Clarke’s grip loose enough for her to break. She was on her feet and pulling at her top. “Did you tuck my tank top into my underwear?!”

Clarke fell back on the bed and laughed, Lexa’s twists and turns were too hilarious. “Maybe.”

“Why?” Lexa whined as she pulled the tank top off completely.

“Because…” Clarke started to answer but when she sat up she saw her girlfriend without a shirt on, leaving her in just a neon green sports bra.

“Because?”

Opening her mouth didn’t help Clarke. Closing it made it worse. She had nothing to say. No defense. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now she knew she’d made the wrong move. A harmless prank was so dumb compared to the knowledge that she could have had Lexa in her lap with that sports bra on, ready to make love for the umpteenth time this weekend. Instead, she’d gone for laughs.

“I’m dumb?”

“Yeah you are.” Lexa huffed. She turned and tossed the wet tank top into the dirty clothes bag and pulled out a clean t-shirt from her bag. “No more Lexa for you. Let’s go.”

“Just one kiss?”

“No.”

“Please?”

Lexa shook her head. She zipped up the bags and glanced around the room one last time to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything. “Nope.”

“What if I say sorry?”

“Won’t work.” Lexa sighed. She’d give in eventually, she knew that. She couldn’t resist Clarke. “Grab our phones from that drawer in the kitchen. I’ll be outside waiting.”

Beja Heda!” Clarke called after her. “Moba!”

Lexa froze midstride. She took a few deep breaths to steady herself. Tossing aside the bags, she turned on her heel and practically ran back to the bed and jumped on Clarke.

“Where did you learn that?” Lexa husked as Clarke’s arms wrapped tightly around her hips.

“Tris told me.” Clarke laughed and held Lexa closer. “I’ve been saving it for when I made a stupid decision. I knew it was only a matter of time.”

“I love my sister so much right now.” Lexa rained kisses all over Clarke’s face. “Say it again. Not the part about being sorry, the other part.”

Beja Heda?” Clarke whispered the words again. She was beyond pleased when her eyes found green. Only, there wasn’t much green left in Lexa’s eyes. They were almost completely black.

Lexa moaned at the words. She’d never considered Trigedasleng to be a sexy language. Maybe it was the easy way the words rolled off Clarke’s tongue that did things to her. Maybe it was knowing Clarke cared enough to try to learn.

“I’m sorry Clarke.”

“What for?”

“This is going to be quick.” Lexa husked and rolled her hips once before leaning back enough to fit a hand between them.

Clarke shook her head and caught her wrist. “No Lex. You’ve been loving me all weekend. It’s my turn.”

“Loving you makes me happy Meizen.”

“And loving you makes me happy. So let me be happy Lexa.” Clarke moved Lexa’s hand behind her back, catching it with her free hand. “Don’t be a fun sucker.”

Moving quickly, Clarke captured Lexa’s other hand and pulled it behind her back too. Holding both of Lexa’s hands in one of hers, Clarke smirked against her collarbone. She knew Lexa could break her grasp easily. She also knew Lexa wanted her to be happy and loving Lexa right now was all she needed at the moment. Clarke slid a hand between them and cupped Lexa softly. She barely managed to bite back the moan rising in her chest when she felt the delicious heat and wetness leaking through the thin layer of cotton.

“It’s a good thing I got your attention Lex.” Clarke nibbled at her lower lip, pulling back when Lexa tried to pull her into a kiss. “You still aren’t wearing any pants Hodnes.”

“You’re distracting.” Lexa sighed. She dropped her head to Clarke’s shoulder and shuddered at the slight pressure between her legs.

“It’s okay Lexa. I’ll try to make this worth it.” Clarke kissed her ear.

Without waiting for a response, Clarke moved the cotton out of her way. She ran a fingertip down Lexa’s slit, her smirk growing bigger when Lexa pressed her mouth into her shoulder and moaned. She dipped her finger just into her entrance, gathering a bit of her slick before pulling it out again. She swirled her finger once, then twice, before running her finger tip back up to Lexa’s already engorged clit. She danced her finger around the bundle of nerves, never quite touching it completely. After a minute of this subtle torture Lexa’s teeth dug into her shoulder.

“Easy there Lexa.” Clarke lifted her hips, giving Lexa a bit of the pressure she was craving.

“Now Clarke. I want you now.” Came the whined response.

All she could do was nod. She lowered her finger to Lexa’s entrance again. Slowly she dipped inside before pulling out again. Then she pushed in again, this time a little deeper, before pulling all the way out. She repeated this, going a little deeper each time she pushed into Lexa’s core, until her finger was reaching as far inside Lexa as she could. With a devilish smile she lifted her shoulder until Lexa’s head rose. Their eyes met as Clarke’s finger was frozen inside of her.

“I want you to watch me. I want to see you Lex.”

Once her girlfriend nodded, Clarke’s finger started moving inside her again. Slowly she pushed in and pulled out. Then, when Lexa’s hips rolled against hers, Clarke gave her a hard thrust, lifting her own hips to add power.

“Oh…” Lexa moaned. “Another Clarke, I need another!”

Clarke smiled up into her girlfriend’s eyes as she gave in to her request. Soon though, two fingers became three and Clarke was eager to see Lexa fall apart in her arms.

“Jesus Clarke,” Lexa panted, her eyes aching to shut. She forced them to remain open and focused on Clarke though.

Releasing her grip on Lexa’s hands, Clarke lifted her free hand to her neck, pulling her into a kiss. As their lips met, tongues fighting for dominance, Clarke curled her fingers into Lexa’s front wall and pressed. Lexa’s hands found Clarke’s sides and gripped, there was enough pressure there for Clarke to know right away there would be bruises.

“Clarke,” Lexa said against her lips. “Meizen.”

“Lex,” Clarke replied. She kissed her again, loving the feeling of their lips melding together. Then she pulled back and watched as her girlfriend writhed on her lap. “Lex, look at me.”

After a bit of struggle, Clarke’s fingers were like magic dancing inside of her, Lexa was able to open her eyes. Clarke leaned into her and bit at her lower lip, never taking blue away from green.

“I have one more new phrase for you Lex.” Clarke whispered roughly against her lips.

“Oh?” Lexa replied breathlessly, her hips moving on their own now.

“Yes. You want to hear it?”

“Please!” Lexa rose a little and fell back on Clarke’s fingers.

Clarke pulled back again, wanting to see Lexa’s reaction to this. She held Lexa’s gaze for a few moments, never stopping the movement of her fingers. She took a deep breath and smiled brightly, “ai hod yu in.”

That was all it took to send Lexa flying. She threw her head back and pressed herself down on Clarke’s fingers, as hard as she could. She shuddered and moaned. Clarke gasped at the spasms around her fingers. She never stopped moving them, easing Lexa back down, pressing kisses to her exposed neck, murmuring words of love all the while.

Lexa’s head dropped to Clarke’s shoulder again. She pressed a kiss to the bite mark she’d left. “I love you Clarke Griffin.”

Ai hod yu in Lexa Woods.”

That made Lexa shudder again. Before she grew too excited, she slowly pulled herself off Clarke’s hand and dropped down to the bed next to her. “I owe Tris a really fancy gift I think.”

“That one was Anya actually.” Clarke replied. She leaned on one elbow and watched her lover. She lifted her hand to mouth and sucked Lexa’s slick off her fingers, moaning at the taste. “I’ll never get tired of that.”

“You’re… you…” Lexa lifted a hand to stroke Clarke’s cheek. “You’re amazing.”

“Amazing and in love.” Clarke smiled before leaning down to catch Lexa’s lips in a kiss.

“Is it weird that I’m happy your friends almost killed my sister? Because I got to meet you as a result?”

Clarke giggled at that, “Let’s just not mention that to them.”

****

An hour later, after a shower, and more loving, the girls were loading the Jeep up. Clarke managed to remind Lexa to put on pants this time. As soon as the last bag was in the car Clarke jumped into Lexa’s arms again, her legs around her hips.

“Can we come back sometime?”

Lexa nodded, kissing her quickly, “It’s mine and Tris’s so yeah, we can.”

“What?”

“It belonged to Mom and Dad.” Lexa explained. She walked to the passenger side of the car, opening the door. She helped Clarke into her seat before she continued, “They left it to the two of us. Tris got the house on the beach in Malibu and the brownstone in New York. I got the private island in the Caribbean and the penthouse in New York.”

“Island?” Clarke choked out the word.

“The really small island.” Lexa replied. “Only a handful of square miles. But the house is nice.”

“You have an island?”

“I do.”

Clarke gaped at her for a full minute. “You didn’t need a rent free place to stay while Tris recovered did you?”

“Technically?” Lexa rubbed at the back of her neck. “No.”

“Are you rich Lexa?”

“I guess so.” Lexa shrugged. “Not like, billionaire rich. Dad and Mom were good at their jobs and at saving money. Plus they both came from wealthy families.”

“Not billionaire?” Clarke shook her head. How had she never thought to ask how Lexa and Tris could afford their schooling and cars and all of that?

“Nope.” Lexa replied.

She closed the door before Clarke could ask anything else. She hadn’t meant to tell Clarke about her money, or her island, like that. Turning back to the cabin she went through a mental list of things, trying to make sure they hadn’t forgotten anything. That’s when she remembered their phones in that one drawer in the kitchen. Going tech free for the last couple of days had been amazing. Unfortunately they had to get back to the city and the real world now so they needed their phones. Jogging back inside she grabbed the phones and gave the cabin one more look-over.

She locked the door behind her and moved to the Jeep. She opened her door and held Clarke’s phone out for her to take. “Almost forget these.”

“Lex,” Clarke sighed. She knew Lexa was going to try to avoid talking about the revelations she’d just made.

“I really don’t want to talk about it. It isn’t a big deal to us.” Lexa replied quickly. She didn’t want Clarke to treat her differently now that she knew. She climbed into the Jeep and fastened her seat belt. “Please don’t let it color your opinion about me.”

Clarke laughed at that. “Here I was worried about how I’d broach the topic of money when the time to talk about our future came up.”

“What?”

“I’m not a billionaire either Lexa but my family is pretty well off too.” Clarke reached over played with her ear. “My mother was already asking me about it.”

Lexa turned and stared. Clarke was rich? “Huh?”

“How did you think I could afford school and the townhouse Lex? Dad was very well paid and his insurance money set me up for life. Mom comes from a long line of well respected surgeons.” Clarke explained. Her smile grew, “I don’t have an island or anything but I do have money. And I’m glad for it. We won’t have to worry about it in the future.”

“Is it weird that I’m relieved? Knowing that you know?” Lexa asked quietly. She turned the car on and shifted into reverse. “Should this be a bigger deal?”

“Not if we don’t want it to be.” Clarke shrugged. “I’m glad I know too. Now I don’t have to worry about you freaking out over your Christmas gift.”

“Why would I freak out?” Lexa asked, her eyes never leaving the rear view mirror. “You didn’t spend too much on me did you? We said $50.”

“I may have spent more than that. And I’m not telling you how much more. I saw something I wanted to get you so I got it for you.”

“Me too.” Lexa shifted into drive as they hit the road. She lifted her hand to catch Clarke’s, pulling it around to press a kiss to her palm. Then she threaded their fingers together and lowered their joined hands to her leg.

“I love you Lex.”

“I love you too Meizen.”

****

An hour into their drive Clarke felt Lexa shaking her awake. “Are you okay Lex?”

“Yeah, I just realized we hadn’t turned our phones on yet.” She smiled and winked as she said, “I know I tired you out this weekend but I think we actually have to return to reality now.”

“Mine first?” Clarke dug through her pockets to find her phone.

“Sure.” Lexa caught her hand again, bringing back to her leg.

Clarke smiled and leaned over to press a kiss to her cheek. She pressed the power button on her phone and waited. She rolled her eyes when the text messages began to pour in and laughed when the number of missed calls climbed.

“I think our friends were worried about us.” She showed Lexa the screen.

“How many?”

“42 missed calls, 29 voicemails, and 253 texts.”

Lexa sighed, “I expected more. What do they say?”

Clarke opened her texts and giggled at the first few she read. Clearing her throat she began to read them to Lexa.

 

BoomBoomRae: (4:21p)
Are you guys there yet?

O’Goddess: (4:21p)
You were supposed to text when
you got there…

FanasGona: (4:22p)
I don’t know why you’re trying
to talk to them. You both know
what they're doing right now.

FanasGona: (4:22p)
I’ll be surprised if Lexa didn’t
find some cheap motel to stop
at on the way their just so they
could get a fix.

BoomBoomRae: (4:23p)
How far is the cabin?

{Tris Woods added to the conversation}

FanasGona: (4:24p)
How far is the cabin from here?

Tris: (4:24p)
Hello to you too. And who gave
you that handle?!

FanasGona: (4:24p)
Hello. Now answer my question.

Tris: (4:25p)
Answer mine first.

O’Goddess: (4:26p)
Rae gave her the nickname,
Lexa translated it.

Tris: (4:26p)
Do I get a nickname?

FanasGona: (4:27p)
No! Answer my question!

Tris: (4:28p)
Even Clarke has a nickname!
I want one!

O’Goddess: (4:29p)
If it helps, Clarke doesn't love
being called Skaiprisa…

Tris: (4:31p)
No. She’s got a Trig nickname
that isn’t a slight insult.

FanasGona: (4:32p)
Drop it Tris. I’ll give you a
nickname if you let it go.

BoomBoomRae: (4:32p)
What’s Clarke’s Trig nickname?
Do I get one?

Tris: (4:34p)
Clarke has one because she's
earned respect. And because
she’s Heda’s.

 

Clarke stopped reading and looked at Lexa. "I have a nickname other than Skaiprisa?"

"Yes."

"What is it?"

Lexa shook her head. She really didn't want to tell Clarke the nickname. She wasn't sure how she'd take it. "Meizen, in Trikru culture it's a big deal to be given a title."

"So it's not a nickname it's a title?"

"Yes."

"I want to know."

"It's Wanheda."

Clarke's brows furrowed at that. She was nowhere near fluent in Trigedsleng. "I heard 'heda' in there."

"You did." Lexa nodded.

"Wanheda?"

"Yes. Wanheda." Lexa repeated.

"What does it mean?" Clarke asked.

With a sigh, Lexa's fingers flexed around Clarke's. "It means Commander of Death."

Clarke's eyes grew large. That wasn't what she'd expected. She'd been expecting to hear something about being Heda's woman or something. "Excuse me?"

"It's a compliment Clarke. It means my people respect you."

"Because I'm planning on being a surgeon?"

"No," Lexa shook her head. She squeezed Clarke's fingers again before she added, "Because you saved Tris. And you saved me when I got shot. And Even though Raven's room was riddled with bullets, only one actually hit her."

"Your people think I stopped the bullets from hitting Rae?"

"They think you stopped death from taking all of us."

Clarke stared at her for a minute. Then for another minute. "Are you messing with me?"

"No."

"So I'm Wanheda?"

"According to my people, yes you are."

"And this is a big deal?"

Lexa smiled and took her eyes off the road for a moment to meet blue. "Yes Clarke. It's a big deal. And if you drop it for now I'll tell you someday soon why it's such a big deal."

"You promise?"

"Of course." Lexa lifted their hands to kiss Clarke's again. "Now what else did our loser friends have to say?"

 

BoomBoomRae: (4:35p)
I’m Anya’s. And O is Lincoln’s.
Do we get nicknames?

FanasGona: (4:35p)
Rae, I’ll tell you yours tonight.
And Lincoln can tell O hers.
Same with Lexa and Clarke.
Now answer my question Tris!

Tris: (4:37p)
Give me a nickname first. I
want to be part of the club!

O’Goddess: (4:38p)
I already know mine. Strikgona.
And Tris, what if we change your
name to Strikfaya?

Tris: (4:40p)
Because I’m little and I’m fiery?

BoomBoomRae: (4:41p)
Yes, exactly...

FanasGona: (4:41p)
Can you answer the question
now?

{Tris Woods name changed to Strikfaya}

StrikFaya: (4:42p)
It’s four hours away. So yes.
They should be there by now.

StrikFaya: (4:43p)
Has anyone heard from them?

FanasGona: (4:45p)
No, that’s why I wanted to know
how far away the cabin is from
here.

BoomBoomRae: (4:46p)
Uh oh…

BoomBoomRae: (4:47p)
I think we all know what that
means!

FanasGona: (4:47p)
If you want me to come
anywhere near you tonight, you
won’t finish that thought!

FanasGona: (4:48p)
That’s my little sister!

StrikFaya: (4:48p)
Gross!

O’Goddess: (450p)
Clarke and Lexa are totally
doing it!

BoomBoomRae: (450p)
*virtual high five!*

FanasGona: (451p)
Stop!

 

“Our friends are so mature.” Clarke wiped the tears her laughter had caused away.

“They’re something, that’s for sure.” Lexa shook her head. “It’s good to know how much faith Anya has in my self-control.”

“I wouldn’t have minded stopping at a cheap hotel.” Clarke shrugged her shoulders.

Lexa smiled softly, glancing at her girlfriend who was curled up in her seat again. “You’re worth more than that Meizen.”

“Smooth talker.” Clarke grinned.

“What else do they have to say?”

Clarke read through the messages, “Its more of the same. Some from the group chat with the guys. Monty being all cute and happy for us. Jasper being… Jasper. Bellamy telling everyone to stop because I’m like his sister.”

Lexa waited for her to say more but Clarke’s voice drifted to a stop. When she chanced another glance at the blonde, she saw her brows pulled together in confusion. “Clarke?”

“Raven sent a text just between me and her and O.” Clarke murmured. “Something about MWC.”

“What about them?”

“They sent me an envelope. Like a big one.” Clarke replied. She hit a few icons on her phone and held it out in front of her.

Lexa heard the ringing and knew her girlfriend had called her best friends.

“Clarke?!” Raven’s voice held more worry than Lexa had ever heard from her.

“Clarkey?!” Octavia’s voice followed.

“Hey guys,” Clarke replied. “You’re on speaker so don’t be dumb right now. I’ll give you all the details when I get home.”

“Tell us about the envelope.” Lexa added.

They could hear some rustling, then Anya’s voice came through, “it’s a big white envelope with the MWC seal on it.”

Clarke glanced at Lexa, trying to decide what to do. When Lexa nodded and reached over to lightly grip her thigh, Clarke sighed, “open it.”

“That’s a federal offense!” Raven gasped. There was a thudding sound and Raven muttering out some curses. After another scuffle Raven snapped, “It was a joke.”

“Maybe save the jokes for another time?” Octavia snapped right back.

“Ahn?” Lexa spoke loudly.

“It’s open. I’m reading it.”

Clarke stared at her phone, waiting impatiently for Anya to speak again while Raven and Octavia continued to snap at each other. When Lexa squeezed her thigh, Clarke glanced over at her.

“Anya’s in law school. She’ll understand and translate the legal jargon for us.”

“It’s an official complaint against Clarke. They’re formally accusing her of stealing paper.” Clarke could hear Anya rolling her eyes. “And they’ve submitted a complaint to the MCATs board accusing her of cheating on her tests.”

“Are you kidding me?” Clarke groaned. “That’s just what I need. For med schools to hear about these accusations.”

Lexa moved her hand to Clarke’s back, rubbing up and down, trying to calm her. “Anya, call Titus. And have him call Jaha.”

“What about Nia?”

“Yeah. Her too.” Lexa nodded even though Anya couldn’t see her. “Have Octavia or Raven call Abby. We’re supposed to be having dinner with her. We’ll need a rain-check.”

Sha Heda.” Anya replied quickly. “I’ll have everything ready for you.”

“Have everyone meet at Clarke’s. She’s got all her paperwork there.”

“I’m already here.” Anya replied quietly.

With a soft laugh, Lexa replied, “Of course you are. Well stay there. We’ll be home in a few hours.”

Chapter Text

As it turns out, not having a person to fight or a name to investigate was more difficult than Lexa expected. An institution, no matter how large or well-known it was, is an anonymous sort of non-being. There was no one single person to focus her anger on.

“I’m sorry,” Clarke’s melancholy voice cut through her thoughts.

“For what?”

“For all of this. It just feels like I’ve brought nothing but drama into your life.”

“You haven’t. You’ve brought some, but the happiness and fun and adventures far outweigh it.” Her fingers tightened around Clarke’s. She raised their joined hands to her lips, pressing soft kisses to each of the blonde’s knuckles. “You’ve nothing to apologize for Meizen.”

“I do!” Clarke insisted. She bit her lip and shook her head vehemently. “I ruined this weekend.”

“Nothing has been ruined. We had an amazing weekend.” Lexa argued. Releasing Clarke’s hand, she reached up to pull her lip from between her teeth. After ruining the pad of her thumb over the red area she grabbed Clarke’s hand again, lacing their fingers. “The way I see it, I got to spend the last two days off the grid, laughing and loving you. Focusing on us. Not our friends, not school, just us. All this other stuff isn’t going to taint my memories of that.”

She expected more arguing from the passenger seat. Instead, Clarke pulled their joined hands into her lap and curled herself around them. After a couple of minutes of silence, Lexa squeezed the fingers between hers again.

“Clarke?”

“Lexa?”

“I love you.”

That brought a small crooked smile to her lips. “I know.”

“That’s it?” Lexa scoffed, playfully trying to pull her hand free from Clarke’s tightening grip. “That’s all I get?”

Ai hod yu in seintaim.”

Meizen!” Lexa groaned at the Trig words sliding so easily off Clarke’s tongue. “That isn’t fair.”

“Sometimes you existing in all your beautiful glory isn’t fair niron.” Clarke shot back, the smile slowly growing on her lips. “I never claimed to play fair anyway.”

Lexa groaned again. She tried to focus on the road but between Clarke’s use of Trigedasleng and wanting to see her smile, she was having a hard time. “You don’t even know what that one means!”

“True, but you called me that a lot this weekend so it has to be something good.”

“It means lover, Clarke.”

“Oh!” Clarke’s small smiled turned into a smug little smirk. “Then I really like that one. Maybe I’ll change your name in my phone to that. Since I’m listed at Ai Houmon in yours and all.”

“Not cool.”

“Want to hear something even less fair though?”

“I don’t think I do.” Lexa shook her head vigorously.

Clarke laughed for the first time since they’d talked to Raven. She uncurled herself and shifted in her seat until she was leaning on the center console. She ran the tip of her nose up Lexa’s neck, then down again. When she heard the shuddered breathe she pressed a kiss to the hinge of Lexa’s jaw.

“Clarke Griffin!” Lexa protested weakly. “I am driving!”

“We’re at a stop light.”

“Two blocks from home.”

“Not like we can have any fun once we get there. You’ve called a meeting.” Clarke pressed another kiss to her jaw. Then another speaking against her flesh, “ask me what’s less fair.”

Instead of a response, Lexa’s hand moved between them, palming Clarke’s face. She gently but firmly pushed back and shook her head. “Green! The light is green!”

Clarke pressed a kiss to the palm holding her face, then licked it until Lexa released her. Watching her girlfriend wipe her hand on her jeans and grumble about dating a child, Clarke laughed again, louder this time. “God I love you!”

****

“What is on your neck?!” Raven yelled as soon as Clarke stepped out of the Jeep.

“Her neck? Look at Heda’s neck!” Tris pointed at her sister.

“Did you bite her?” Anya’s eyes narrowed at the layers of bruising on Clarke’s neck.

“That’s so hot!” Raven shouted. She held up Clarke’s hand and gave her a high five, earning an eye roll and a giggle from her best friend. Then she turned to Anya. “Why don’t you bite me?”

Anya’s brow rose as she faced her, crossing her arms over her chest. “Because I’m not an alpha looking to lay claim to you?”

“Please, we both know I’d be the alpha.” Raven scoffed at her reasoning.

“And do I really need to remind you of that bruise I left on your – ”

Raven’s hands clapped over her mouth, “My friends don’t need to know about that.”

“Neither do your sisters.” Tris added quickly after a fake gag or two.

Anya shook off Raven’s hands. “Then how do you figure you’re the alpha?”

“Everyone knows I’m the alpha.” Raven shrugged like it was obvious.

“Can we just skip this whole conversation and go back to the bites on the necks?” Tris interrupted with a yell. “Because, you know… Bites! Necks!”

Clarke glanced at Lexa. Why hadn’t they thought to cover the marks? At least by wearing scarves?

Lexa wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to her side, the smirk letting Clarke know she probably wasn’t going to like whatever came out of her girlfriend’s mouth. “We have fun.”

“Fun?” Tris repeated. “Biting her neck?”

“Clarke tastes good.” Lexa shrugged before grinning at the fake gagging that came from her little sister.

“Clarke?” Raven whirled to face her best friend, Lexa’s comment pulling her from her argument with Anya.

“Can we just get inside?” The blonde shook her head. She wasn’t going to have that conversation on the street.

Ten minutes later they were inside and settled in the living room. They’d each grabbed something from the back of the Jeep and made their way inside. As soon as Lincoln saw them he jumped up and jogged outside to carry in the remaining items by himself. Clarke and Lexa took a few minutes to throw their dirty clothes in the washing machine before joining their friends.

“So Raven said Lexa bit you.” Octavia said as she came out her bedroom. Her eyes fell on the bruises. “How many times? Are you a vampire Lexa?”

“More like a wolf.” Tris muttered under her breath, earning a high five from Raven and a slap upside the back of her head from Anya.

“I mean, I know Linc likes to bite but I thought – ” Octavia began with much more nonchalance than those words strung together deserved.

“Octavia!” Lincoln groaned.

“Hey Anya, does that make him the alpha then?” Raven wiggled her brows at her girlfriend.

“I’ll show you exactly who is alpha as soon as we’re alone tonight Reyes.” Anya snapped back.

Octavia opened her mouth to reply to Raven’s question, her man was definitely an alpha, but Lexa cleared her throat. All eyes turned to her, even Clarke’s who was seated in her lap.

“We need to figure out this whole Mount Weather mess.” She said, authority and determination weaving into her voice.

“How much trouble would we get in if – ” Raven held up a hand.

“No.” Anya grabbed her wrist and pulled her hand down. “We aren’t making anything go boom.”

Raven wanted to argue but an arched brow from her girlfriend had her grumbling, “Spoilsport.”

“Forgive me for not wanting to have to schedule conjugal visits with you.” Anya pressed a quick kiss to the side of her head.

“Where is Titus? And Jaha and Nia?” Lexa asked.

“Mr. Baldy is meeting with the board. Something about protecting Polis from external threats being a priority.” Anya replied. She glanced at Tris.

“He thinks Clarke is a threat to Polis.” Tris explained to the three AC students.

Octavia scoffed at that. “A threat to what?”

“Lexa and the coalition.” Lincoln said. He shrugged when Octavia turned and glared at him. He pulled her into his lap and rested a hand over her rounded belly. “His words, not mine.”

“Of course he thinks Clarke is a threat.” Lexa sighed. She should have seen that coming.

Shifting in her girlfriend’s lap, Clarke studied her for a moment. Instead of finding the happy, glowing green she’d grown used to over the last month of so, she found the shutters she hadn’t really seen since their first few meetings.

“Why am I a threat?” She asked quietly.

“To be Heda is to be alone.” Four voices answered her in unison.

“Well,” Raven dragged out the word while her wide eyes moved from one sibling to another, “you’ve only heard that a time or two.”

“Titus is…” Lexa tried to think of a way to explain her mentor without being overly rude. After struggling got a moment or ten she shrugged, “he’s just old school. He likes tradition.”

“And tradition says you have to be alone because you’re the president of your student body?” Octavia questioned. “That’s sort of hardcore don’t you think?”

“Lexa’s title doesn’t come from the school. It comes from Trikru, O.” Lincoln explained.

“She’s the leader of the coalition of twelve.” Anya added.

When Tris saw Raven and Octavia glancing at each other even more confused, “Lexa is like our queen. She’s in charge. Like our mother was before her.”

“Excuse me?” Raven’s jaw dropped.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Octavia whirled to face Lincoln.

“It’s her choice to tell those she chooses.” He replied.

The friends turned back to Lexa, hoping for more of an explanation. Instead she shrugged. She met Clarke’s eyes and said, “no Heda has ever had a… houmon.”

Octavia’s eyes grew round at that. Raven saw her reaction and asked, “a what now?”

“A wife.” Clarke smiled into the again bright green eyes.

“Is she proposing?” Raven whispered loudly to Tris.

Anya leaned forward, meeting Lexa’s eyes when they finally left Clarke’s. “You told her?”

“Not everything. But she knows about my phone and a little bit about Wanheda.” Lexa replied. She felt Clarke slide her hand into hers, fingers lacing. “I told her I’d explain the rest as soon as we ended this whole Mount Weather thing.”

The other siblings seemed shocked by that, like they hadn’t expected Lexa to tell Clarke anything.

“Okay then,” Octavia said slowly. The looks the Woods’ were sharing seemed heavy and too meaningful at the moment. “Can Raven and I maybe get an explanation at some point too?”

“Yes.” Clarke finally spoke. “I’ll tell you everything as soon as I know.”

“Great. On to other things then.” Anya nodded, happy to be changing the subject. “No Titus, because he’s a dick. No Jaha because he says he doesn’t answer to you. He did say he’d let his board know about the new allegations.”

“And Nia?” Lexa questioned.

“She also said she doesn’t answer to you.” Lincoln replied quietly.

“Who is Nia?” Raven asked.

“The Dean at Azgeda Tech.” Lexa responded, her eyes never leaving Lincoln. “Her exact words?”

Sighing, Lincoln fought to keep his eyes on green while he spoke, “She said, ‘I don’t answer to Trikru. I never have. Not when we all know Lexa stole my daughter’s birthright.’ And then she added some really not so nice things about your parents.”

“Lexa didn’t steal anything. The spirit chose her. We all know that.” Anya protested. “We’ve known since the day she was born.”

“Chosen?” Raven repeated.

“Let’s just say she’s gifted and leave it alone.” Anya patted her knee. “Its too complicated for someone outside Trikru or the coalition to understand without hours of explaining.”

“I hate that woman.” Tris crossed her arms over her chest.

“She knows what the people are calling Clarke?” Lexa asked.

Anya nodded and smirked. “Costia took great pleasure in telling her. Roan was videoing them.”

“Why was Costia the one to tell her?” Clarke asked quietly.

“Her future hubby is Nia’s son.” Raven replied. Clarke and Octavia raised their brows at that. Raven shrugged, “Anya told me.”

“Without saying the word ‘hubby’.” Her girlfriend added.

Silence fell over the group. Lexa had been expecting some sort of official back-up. Instead she found herself relying solely on her friends.

“Right. I forgot the adults in our lives are much more in favor of endless rounds of talking.” She sighed. She brought a hand up to Clarke’s chin, gently pulling until they were facing each other again. “Can you call your friends?”

“Done.” The blonde pressed a kiss to her forehead and held up her phone.

 

Griffster: (4:35p)
Emergency meeting at my place!

TheChemist: (4:36p)
I’ll be there in 40.

CinnamonRoll: (4:36p)
We’ll be there in 25. Jasper
thinks he needs to bring over
some of our newest batch.

Griffster: (4:37p)
No moonshine!

CinnamonRoll: (4:39p)
Wrong batch…

Griffster: (4:40p)
None of that either!

Nerd: (4:41p)
Am I going to get punched?

TheChemist: (4:41p)
Are you going to be a tool?

Nerd: (4:42p)
I’m not a tool!

Griffster: (4:44p)
You can be…

Griffster: (4:44p)
Can you just be here for me and
resist the urge to needle at Lexa?
And leave Lincoln alone?

Nerd: (4:45p)
I’ll try my best.

Griffster: (4:47p)
I’m not going to get between
you if you step out of line Bell.

CinnamonRoll: (4:47p)
Why aren’t you warning him
about Anya and Tris?

Griffster: (4:48p)
Have you met Anya?

CinnamonRoll: (4:49)
Fair enough. But Tris?

Griffster: (4:49p)
Tris can almost talk circles
around O and Rae. At the same
time. I’m not worried about
Bellamy getting to her.

Nerd: (4:50p)
Thanks for that vote of
confidence…

Griffster: (4:51p)
Just behave yourself.

TheChemist: (4:52p)
Yeah!

TheChemist: (4:52p)
Although I’d kind of like to
see him get showed up but
Tris…

CinnamonRoll: (4:53p)
That could be fun.

CinnamonRoll: (4:53p)
Do something dumb Bellamy!

Nerd: (4:55p)
Why am I friends with you
people?

Griffster: (4:56p)
Tradition?

Chapter Text

“So what’s the super secret meeting about?” Jasper asked as soon as the door closed behind him. He stood in the entryway with Monty and Bellamy, waiting patiently for Clarke to answer his question.

“How about you come in and take a seat first?” Raven replied from her seat on the couch.

Nodding her head, Clarke led them into the living room. Jasper spotted the two barstools someone had brought in from the kitchen and the empty spot on the large couch essentially between Anya and Lincoln, almost directly across from Lexa. He nudged Monty with a sharp elbow and jerked his head toward the stools. Monty made quick study of the room, easily finding the issue Jasper had spotted. With a glance, and a quick self-high five, the two ran by Bellamy, each knocking him with a shoulder, causing him to stumble a bit.

“What are you tow idiots doing?” He snapped.

“Just wanted to sit down.” Monty said as he shifted on the stool a few times. At Bellamy’s incredulous glare he shrugged, “I like feeling tall?”

“Barstools are elevated man,” Jasper added. He planted his feet on the bar running between the legs and swung his torso first one way, then the other.

Shaking his head, Bellamy glanced around for another seat. When his narrowed eyes fell on the open cushion he whirled back to his two newly elevated friends. “Jasper, go sit on the couch.”

“I’m good.” He replied, refusing to make eye contact.

“Monty?” Bellamy turned to the other boy.

“No thank you.” Monty clasped his hands in his lap, his fingers wringing.

“Just sit down Bell,” Octavia interrupted whatever he was going to say next.

Anya smirked and patted the seat next to her a few times, “I won’t bite.”

“Not unless you ask,” Raven said. She winked at her girlfriend before turning to glare at Bellamy, “and you better not ask!”

“I won’t!” He held up his hands and took a step back. Raven’s threats, even if unspoken, were always backed up with actions if needed. The last thing he wanted was to upset her.

“Have a seat please,” Clarke said from her position on Lexa’s lap.

Shooting her a quick glare, Bellamy circled the coffee table and sank into the seat. Seeing such a large man try to make himself smaller was enough to make the girls giggle. He pressed his palms together and held his hands between his knees, his shoulders hunched forward.

“You okay there?” Tris leaned around Raven and Anya to check out the newest arrival.

“Just peachy,” he muttered.

“You don’t look comfortable Bell,” Octavia chuckled, reaching over to nudge his shoulder.

The motion sent his shoulder into Anya’s. He shifted away quickly, offering a quick apology.

“You do know that we’re all friends here?” Anya asked him.

“Maybe in theory. But the first time I met all of you, I tried to knock Lincoln out.” Bellamy answered quickly.

“Water under the bridge,” Lexa assured him. “Besides, it’s not like you succeeded.”

“Oh, speaking of you trying to fight Lincoln,” Tris leaned forward again, her smile beaming on her face, “congratulations on becoming an uncle soon!”

That caused an uneasy silence to fall over the group. Bellamy had barely accepted the fact that his baby sister was in a serious relationship when he found out she was pregnant. His protective older-brother instincts had kicked in, demanding he avenge his sister’s virtue. Afterwards, Octavia, Clarke, and Raven had ranted at him about his ‘antiquated ideas on femininity’ and how he needed to get used to his sister being a woman in a serious relationship. Since then, he’d tied harder to forge some sort of friendship with Lincoln. It only really worked when he forced himself to not think about his sister being 20 and pregnant.

“Thanks,” he bit out, glaring at Lincoln for a moment before his gaze fell to Octavia’s growing baby bump.

“Stop that Bellamy!” Octavia moved to sit on Lincoln’s lap, mostly so she could reach over and shove at her brother’s head.

Silence fell again, still thick and uneasy. Clarke tried to think of something to say, wanting to start the discussion on Mount Weather and how they were going to handle everything but… well, her friends didn’t seem overly focused on that.

Finally, Jasper cleared his throat and held up a hand. With his other hand, he pointed at Clarke and Lexa, “I’m sorry, are we really going to ignore the hickies?”

“That’s none of our business!” Monty snapped, pulling his hand down.

“I figured Lexa just lost control,” Bellamy shrugged, earning another head shove from his sister and an elbow to the ribs from Anya. “Hey!”

“Mind your tongue, Skaiskat!” Anya snapped.

“Anya!” Lexa growled as she tried to stand, wanting to make sure her sister knew this meeting needed to be as amicable as possible. The last thing Clarke needed was to have to play peacekeeper between her friends and Lexa’s family.

Chit?” Her sister snapped again, not looking away from Bellamy.

Shof op Anya!” Tris whispered harshly.

Dison gaf gon raun (This one wants to fight). Em fig raun em laik gona (He thinks he’s a warrior).” Anya shrugged as she met Lexa’s eye.

Em pleni.” Lexa snapped before she felt Clarke’s hand resting gently on the back of her neck. She broke her glare on her sister, raising her eyes to meet Clarke’s.

“I’m guessing they’re not happy with Bellamy’s reaction to the baby?” Clarke whispered.

Anya scoffed at that, “I think he wants a fight but knows he’ll lose.”

“I don’t want to fight!”

“Then why do you keep glaring at my brother?”

“Because he got my little sister pregnant! I can’t be protective?” Bellamy threw his hands in the air. “Lincoln and I have talked it out. Maybe you all are having a hard accepting O in your family. Projecting that on to me?”

“Nah,” Tris shook her head. “Strikgona is a badass. I’m proud to know I’ll get to call her sister someday.”

Jasper’s confused question cut through the tension again, “uh… what’s a strikgona?”

“I am.” Octavia replied, happy for the distraction. “It means little warrior.”

“Badass!” Jasper gasped. “Do I get a name? Since we’re here for a secret mission and all?”

“Sure, we’ll all have one. Code names!” Tris nodded excitedly. She pointed to Clarke, then Lexa, herself, Raven, Anya, Octavia, and Lincoln, rattling off the names they’ve been using for each other, “Wanheda, Heda, Strikfaya, Skaitek, Fanasgona, Strikgona, and Nomonjoka.”

“I’m guessing all those mean something?” Bellamy asked.

“Yes,” Clarke answered. “I can’t tell you about mine, because I don’t know, but they’re all sort of comments on our skills and personalities.”

“Except Linc’s,” Tris grinned when she heard her brother’s groan.

He leaned around Octavia to shake his head at her, “we can change the subject now.”

“What’s yours mean?” Monty asked.

“It isn’t important. It’s my sisters being jerks.” Lincoln replied quickly.

“Sisters are like that,” Octavia shrugged. She pecked his lips quickly when he scowled up at her.

“What’s it mean?” Bellamy asked.

Anya fought off Raven’s hand, which were trying to tug her away from Bellamy, and whispered something into Bellamy’s ear. She leaned back and watched disbelief and anger spread over his features.

“That’s not okay!” He bellowed and shifted to face Lincoln head on. “You let them call you that?”

“Do you really think I have a choice? You can’t control one sister but you think I can stop three?” Lincoln growled right back. “I tried to make them stop but Octavia thought it was hilarious so they won’t. Not until she tells them to, but if you think you can convince them to stop, be my guest!”

“Let’s forget Bellamy’s newest grudge and go back to the codenames!” Jasper called out. His friends always seemed to take his cheery nature for granted, using him as a constant comic buffer without acknowledging that’s what they were doing.

Skaibluma.” Tris pointed at him. “Means ‘sky flower’.”

Jasper nodded. He and Monty held up their hands for another high five, this time grinning when Tris joined them. “Nice. You know I grow some really good – ”

“Nope! She doesn’t need to know that!” Octavia cut him off. Jasper tried to say something else, “Don’t even think about it.”

“Mom voice is on point, no worries about that.” Jasper sat back in his stool and crossed his arms over his chest.

Anya ignored the huffing and puffing of Bellamy next to her to study Monty, “Skaistrada.”

“That means ‘sky schemer’ Monty,” Tris translated.

“I’m not a schemer!” He protested.

“No?” Anya raised a brow. “It wasn’t you who planned out the whole hacking thing? Or gave Jasper the idea for the smoke bombs?”

Silence answered her question. Clarke turned to Monty, her jaw on the floor.

“Monty?”

“I’m a genius?” He held up his hands, palms up, and shrugged. “I’m sorry for… you know… all the chaos.”

“Schemer!” Raven pointed at him and laughed. “Do Bell now!”

“Be nice!” Lexa added before Anya could open her mouth.

Skaishona,” Anya sighed, like saying it was enough to make her sad. “Sky advisor.”

“Lame,” Raven laughed. “I guess it fits you nerd!”

Bellamy crossed his arms over his chest, “Just because I refuse to participate in juvenile prank wars or argue about whether or not I want to fight doesn’t make me a nerd!”

“You’re a nerd because you like to speak to yourself in Latin Bell,” Octavia replied.

“Why am I friends with you people?” He shook his head and leaned his head back against the couch.

“Can we move on now? To the actual reason we’re here?” Lexa asked.

“Can we discuss the hickies first?” Jasper replied right away.

Clarke shook her head, a blush creeping up her cheeks, “you know how hickies happen Jasper. Just because you’ve never had one doesn’t mean I have to give you a play-by-play on how skillful my girlfriend is.”

“Hey!” Jasper protested.

“It’s the truth man,” Monty stage whispered, “let it go.”

“Is it because Lexa lost control?” Jasper tried again, remembering what Bellamy had said earlier.

Giggling, Clarke turned back and gazed into the green eyes she loved to much, “Lexa never lost control. She was very much in control whenever she had her mouth or her hands on me.”

“Too much information!” Bellamy slammed his hands over his ears.

“I didn’t think you’d tell us anything!” Jasper shook his head rapidly. “Stop!”

“Then you shouldn’t question my girlfriend’s ability to love me,” Clarke replied, leaning down to press a quick kiss to Lexa’s lips.

“Besides,” Octavia shoved at her brother’s head again. She waited until he dropped his hands, “Lexa’s is just as big. Want to ask her about that?”

Bellamy and Jasper both turned back to Lexa. If Clarke hadn’t been in her lap, the stoic girl would look as regal as any queen ever has ever looked sitting on a throne. They shook their heads and dropped their eyes to the floor.

“Come on, you wanted to embarrass Clarkey, try that with Lexa!” Raven insisted.

“Yeah, ask her if Clarke lost control when they were all tangled up in – ” Octavia nudged and poked at her brother.

“Moving on!” Lincoln said loudly. “Mount Weather! No more… of that.”

“Dude,” Jasper shook his head at the gigantic man holding tiny Octavia in his arms, “you knocked up O and you can’t talk about sex?”

“Mount. Weather.” Lincoln bit out, glaring daggers at the scrawny boy who was lucky he called Octavia a friend.

“What about them?” Monty asked, resting a hand on Jasper’s shoulder.

Lexa glanced from one friend to another. She weighed what she knew about each of them, trying to find the strengths that could help with their tasks.

“You know they’ve been harassing Clarke all semester right?” Raven’s voice cut through her thoughts. When the others nodded, she added, “they’ve sent a really official looking letter that basically says they think she’s a cheater and that they have proof.”

“Excuse me?” Monty’s brows came together, pure confusion took over his face. “Clarke can’t even cheat at Monopoly.”

“Exactly!” Octavia threw her hands into the air.

“Monopoly?” Tris turned to Clarke for an explanation.

Jasper’s laugh was loud enough to make them all jump. He slapped hand on his knee, then Monty’s back, laughing hard at his memories. After a minute or two, he wiped tears from his eyes. He fought off giggles for another minute or so before he realized he was being stared at. “She tried to steal from the bank once. We were in junior high I think.”

“She tried to steal from the bank,” Monty added when Jasper started giggling again. “She got hives.”

“The next time we played, one of the dice fell off the table and she scurried after it. Claimed she got a double five.” Raven said, she turned to look at Clarke. “And what did that double five mean for you?”

Clarke sighed. She hated these stories. “It meant I landed on chance space between two monopolies you owned.”

“And what did you really roll?” Raven prompted.

“An eleven.” Clarke bit out.

Octavia took pity on her blonde friend, explaining the rest of that story, “she landed on Park Place and went bankrupt.”

“More hives?” Lincoln asked.

Clarke nodded. “I think I’m allergic to that game.”

“It happens whenever she lies under pressure. Or when she feels guilty.” Raven nodded sagely.

“It’s almost like she’s allergic to cheating.” Bellamy finished.

Lexa smiled softly. She brushed a lock of hair behind Clarke’s ear. “Of course you are. That’s why you’re too honest sometimes.”

Instead of responding, Clarke shifted so her legs were across Lexa’s lap and her face was buried in the crook of the brunette’s neck. “Make them stop.”

“I love you,” Lexa whispered before she pressed a kiss to her hair.

“I love you too,” Clarke’s lips moved against her flesh.

“You guys are gross!” Tris groaned.

Monty nodded sympathetically. He was thrilled his friends had found happiness but now was the time for a plan. Or a scheme. “So what do we do?”

“Arkadia isn’t really doing anything to help. Neither is Polis.” Lexa replied. Without thinking, her right hand buried itself in Clarke’s hair, rubbing her scalp gently, while her left moved up and down her thigh. “I asked the Dean at Azgeda to come and discuss options but she declined.”

“Something she’ll answer for later.” Anya replied.

Tris noticed the confused looks of the Delinquents so she explained, “Azgeda Tech is owned by Azgeda. Azgeda is one of the Krus of the coalition so she does answer to you. She should be here.”

“So the adults all buried their heads in the sand and you’ve called on the Delinquents instead?” Jasper grinned. “Nice!”

“Any ideas yet?” Raven asked quietly, smiling at the sight of her best friend relying on someone besides herself for once.

“Well, yes. First, they accused Clarke of stealing papers. So we needed to find out how many she’s been accused to plagiarizing and who supposedly wrote them.” Lexa spoke firmly, slipping easily into the role of Heda, one Clarke has never seen her truly inhabit.

Anya nodded, she knew where Lexa was going with that, “so Raven and Monty work their magic on the MWC server to get to this information?”

“Full circle huh?” Raven playfully nudged her girlfriend.

Shaking her head, Anya wrapped an arm around the Latina’s shoulders, “still too soon Hodnes.”

“Eventually, yes. Raven and Monty will need to hack MWC. First Clarke needs to set up a meeting with Dante Wallace.” Lexa replied.

“Why does Clarke need to meet with the Dean at MWC?” Tris asked.

“So she can get a list of names of the papers and whoever they claim wrote them. She can just tell him she’s getting the information for her lawyer.” Lexa explained.

“My lawyer?” Clarke lifted her head at that. She didn’t’ have a lawyer.

“Gustus.” Lexa grinned at the name. Her uncle was a big, burly man with a long beard and long hair. No one ever expected him to be a lawyer. “He’s one of the best lawyers in the state, maybe even the country. He’ll help out.”

“Gustus is a lawyer?” Raven questioned.

“Where did you think Anya and Lincoln got all their money from?” Tris asked, giggling at the shocked look still on Clarke’s face.

“I hadn’t thought about it.” Clarke shrugged. “Okay. So Gustus and I go to MWC and meet with Wallace, get the list of names and papers. Then what?”

“We’ll need Costia for this part I think.” Anya answered her. “I already called the lab where the MCATs were held. They said they can’t release the video of Clarke’s test date with a proper reason. Those tests are recorded in order to catch cheaters so if we can get that recording, we should easily be able to prove her innocence there.”

Octavia spoke before Lexa could reply to that, “How is the wonder detective going to help?”

“And how did she become a detective at… what? 22?” Raven questioned further.

“She worked as a cop while in college, graduated early from her program, and is really good at her job.” Lexa replied.

Anya snorted at that, “it doesn’t hurt that her father’s best friend is the chief of detectives either.”

“Doesn’t matter, she’s got her shield.” Lexa shrugged. Maybe some backroom politics went into her ex-girlfriend’s career trajectory but all Lexa cared about at the moment was helping Clarke’s career. “So we’ll ask her to look into the test center.”

“She already said she would. I called her after Anya got off the phone with the center.” Tris said.

Clarke smiled at that. As insecure as Costia once made her, she knew the woman would help the Woods siblings if they asked. “Alright, so first meeting with Gustus and Wallace needs to be set up. MCATs is out of our hands at the moment, I can’t think about that too much. Once we get the names, what do we do?”

“Yeah,” Octavia puffed up a little. The plan coming together was getting her adrenaline going. “Who do I need to fight?”

“No one is fighting anyone,” Lincoln rubbed soothing circles into her back.

“They’ve threatened my family!” Octavia snapped.

“You’re just now realizing this?” Jasper asked. “We’ve been talking about this for a while now.”

“And Mount Weather started sending Clarke stuff at the beginning of the semester,” Monty added.

Octavia turned her head slowly. “Are you questioning me loyalty?”

“No! No one is questioning you O!” Raven reassured her quickly. “Jesus, pregnancy brain is no joke. Yesterday, she cried for an hour because Nemo had a small fin.”

“She stomped around the apartment for two hours today before you guys got home, demanding Lincoln help her train so she can fight ‘those assholes at Mount Weather’ and bathe in their blood.” Tris whispered to Lexa and Clarke.

“O, I'll be okay,” Clarke smiled at her best friend. Her fierce little warrior of a best friend was always ready to defend her.

“I’ll kill whoever threatened my family!” Octavia’s fierce eyes flashed as they landed on Lexa. “Tell me what to do!”

“I think maybe you should just worry about lunch,” Lincoln spoke softly in her ear. “I know you’re hungry.”

“Tacos?” Octavia whirled to face him again, bathing in the blood of those who threatened her family forgotten.

“Of course.” Lincoln stood slowly, making it look ridiculously easy to stand up with a pregnant woman in his arms. “We’ve got enough for everyone. Let’s go cook.”

“But the plan!” Octavia protested weakly.

“Lexa will tell us all about it once their done.” Lincoln assured her, not breaking stride as he made his way around the furniture.

Raven giggled and shook her head. She leaned into Anya and pressed a kiss to neck, just under her ear. “You have no idea how thankful I am that you can’t get me pregnant.”

“Not as thankful as I am.” Anya kissed her forehead.

“Actually, there’s been some really interesting testing over in Europe where they can – ” Monty started to explain excitedly, only to be cut off by Bellamy.

“So the plan. MCATs handled by Costia for now, Clarke meets with Wallace to get the names, Rae and Monty do their thing.” He summarized neatly. When Lexa nodded, he leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees. “What about the rest of us?”

“I have a friend who can get Bellamy around MWC easily. He can pretend to be considering grad work there.” Jasper spoke up. “I’d volunteer to do it but they know me over there.”

“What friend?” Monty asked.

“Maya. That girl from Tondisi the other week.” Jasper replied, blushing. “We’ve been talking.”

Monty clapped him on the back. “That’s awesome man! We’ll have to go on a double date sometime. I just need a girlfriend...”

“Okay. So I pretend to be interested in the school and try to figure out why they’re so focused on Clarke. What about Jasper, Tris, Anya, and you?” Bellamy asked Lexa.

“Tris, Anya, and Jasper are going to do what they do best.” Lexa smirked.

It took a minute for everyone to figure out what she meant by that. Clarke was the one who spoke first though.

“Pranks?” She asked.

“Yes. So many pranks.” Lexa nodded. She grinned at Clarke laugh. She glanced at Jasper, then her sisters. “Untraceable pranks. Nothing that can be tied back to any of us.”

“Duh,” Tris rolled her eyes. “Can I get some friends to help?”

“Only if you trust them implicitly.” Lexa replied.

“Nyko, Caris, and Atohl will be more than willing to help.” Tris said after thinking about it for a moment.

“I can get Monroe, Fox, and Sterling to help too.” Jasper added to their list of possible helpers. He glanced toward the kitchen before whispering, “I can probably find of safe things for O to do too, so she doesn’t feel left out.”

“You’re the best Jasper!” Clarke beamed at him.

“Right. So, Clarke, you need to email Dante Wallace and set up that meeting. Let me know when it will be and I’ll let Gustus know.” Lexa said, she gladly accepted the kiss Clarke pressed to her lips before she stood and ran to her room to retrieve her laptop. “Anya, let me know when Costia calls you back. Jasper, get your friend over her as soon as you can so she and Bellamy can figure out what they’re going to do. Then you, Tris, and Anya start getting pranks set up. Raven and Monty, if you’re so inclined, you can join them in their task until your skills are needed.”

Nods and words of assent told Lexa her orders were understood and would be carried out as quickly as possible. She watched her friends pull out phones and start typing away. When Clarke came back into the living room, settling on Lexa’s lap once again with an arms around her shoulder and her head resting on top of Lexa’s, the brunette smiled even bigger. Sure, the situation was serious. Clarke’s future was on the line. At that moment though, seeing their friends rallying around them gave Lexa hope for a good outcome. She wiggled her shoulder under Clarke until the blonde looked at her. With a wink, Lexa pulled in for a hard kiss.

Suddenly, the opening notes of ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ by Twisted Sister filled the room, blaring from the speakers Raven had installed herself. Looking around, Lexa found Raven grinning at her, holding her phone up and wiggling it.

Chapter Text

“Just so we’re clear, I can lie.” Clarke asserted as soon as her bedroom door closed behind Lexa.

“This feels like one of those random conversations that you started in your head but thought you were saying out loud.” Lexa replied. She winked at Clarke’s glare before making her way into the bathroom.

“I’m serious!”

Lexa’s head popped out of the doorway, “why are you trying to convince your girlfriend you can lie? Isn’t that a weird thing to do? Shouldn’t you be assuring me that you’d never lie?”

“Of course I’d never lie to you!” Blue eyes grew round, worry growing in their depths.

“I know that Clarke.” Lexa disappeared into the bathroom again.

“I’m just saying, if I need to be… I don’t know… sneaky or whatever, I can. The hives are more of a reaction to trying to deceive my friends I think.” Clarke tried to explain. She sat on the edge of her bed and sighed. “I just don’t like lying to my friends. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I tried to lie to you.”

“Wha d’you mean?” Lexa appeared in the doorway, this time brushing her teeth.

Clarke shrugged, “if lying to my friends causes me to get hives, I’m pretty sure lying to you would cause my throat to swell shut of something.” She started to say more but was stopped by the sound of sink being turned on. When Lexa finally came into the bedroom again, the blonde spoke, “I just think it’s tied to my emotions. Like the strength of them or something.”

“So you’re saying you’d have a stronger reaction to lying to me because you have stronger emotions toward me?” Lexa moved toward her slowly, placing a bent knee on either side of Clarke’s hips and settling on her lap.

“Because I love you.” Clarke pecked at her lips.

Lexa wrapped her arms around her neck and deepened the kiss. Her hands wove through blonde locks, holding tight. Just as Clarke’s hands made their way under her shirt and onto the heated flesh of the small of her back, the door flew open. Springing off of her girlfriend, Lexa found herself in a fighting stance glaring at Octavia and Raven.

“Whoa!” Raven raised her hands over her head.

“Sorry!” Octavia laughed.

“What do you want?” Clarke asked. Much to Lexa’s surprise, Clarke didn’t seem shocked by the intrusion.

Raven took a slowly step forward, grinning at Lexa. She grabbed Lexa’s wrist and pulled her to the door. “Anya says you’re having a meeting downstairs. She sent us to get you.”

“Linc and Tris went to get food for all of you.” Octavia added. She moved to sit next to Clarke.

“This couldn’t have waited until morning?” Clarke protested.

“Apparently Heda is needed to organize the Grounder troops.” Raven shoved Lexa out the door.

Clarke stood and stomped her way to her friend, “that can wait until morning.”

“Nope.” Octavia replied, making sure the ‘p’ really popped. “Lincoln says just because the holidays are here, doesn’t mean MWC is going to lay off.”

“Anya wants to make sure we’re all set for the meetings and all of that.” Raven said, throwing her arm across the doorway so Clarke couldn’t get to Lexa.

With a sigh and a heated glance at Clarke, Lexa nodded. “Fine. I have a meeting to get to apparently. Could you maybe try to look a little less pleased with yourselves now?”

“I’ll see you soon,” Clarke leaned over Raven’s arm and pursed her lips.

“Of course you – ” Lexa started to reassure her.

“Anya says you’ll be talking for a while. So you should plan on sleeping in your own bed tonight.” Raven interrupted with a smirk.

“Excuse me?” Lexa’s once soft green eyes left blue and found brown, settling into green flames.

Octavia appeared behind her friends, her arms wrapping around Clarke’s waist, “if we can’t get any tonight, neither can you. No worries though Lexa.”

“Yeah, we’ll keep Wanheda company.” Raven bumped Clarke out of the way and closed the door.

Standing with her jaw on the floor, Lexa stared at the door. No one ever closed a door in her face. Ever. She was Heda. She waited for a minute, not sure how to handle the situation. Then she heard harsh whispers and what sounded like scuffling coming from behind the door. Just as she reached for the knob, the door opened to reveal a disheveled Clarke.

“Hey! You’re still here!” Clarke grinned and pounced on her, wrapping her legs around Lexa’s hips and her arms around her neck.

“I wanted to say goodbye.” Lexa replied, catching her easily. “And apparently goodnight.”

“You can come back after you finish your meeting.” Clarke said, rubbing the tip of her nose up Lexa’s.

“If Anya made the others go get food that means we’ll be awake for hours. You might as well get some sleep.”

Clarke pulled back and pouted, “I don’t want to.”

Catching her lip between her teeth, Lexa nibbled until Clarke melted a little. She sucked on it for a moment, releasing it with a pop. “I’ll come back up when we’re doing Meizen, but it’ll be late. Or early.”

“I don’t care.”

“Just try to sleep and I’ll be back by morning.” Lexa’s arms tightened. “You need your rest anyway. You have to call MWC in the morning to set up that meeting. And then we’re all going shopping remember?”

“Christmas shopping!” Clarke brightened a little at the thought. “Yay presents!”

Lexa nodded and allowed Clarke’s fee tot return to the floor. “At least you’re done shopping for me. Who do you have left to buy for?”

“Just Mom and Indra.” Clarke replied. “And you.”

“You said you were done getting me gifts!”

“That was before I found out you can’t get mad at me for spending money on you.” Clarke winked. She had every intention of spoiling Lexa on Christmas morning.

Shaking her head, Lexa pulled her in again, “I don’t need any gifts Clarke.”

“I like giving gifts Lex.” She pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth. “Let me have my fun.”

“If you’re getting me more, then I’m getting you more.”

“I’m sorry,” Raven’s voice interrupted from Clarke’s bedroom. “Are you trying to make the idea of more gifts sound like a threat?”

“What a horrible girlfriend you have there Clarkey!” Octavia’s voice was shaking with laughter.

Lexa could only sigh. She dropped her head to Clarke’s shoulder and refused to budge.

“Anya says ‘oso ste hos raun’ (we’re in a hurry),” Raven’s hand appeared in the doorway, waving her phone around. “She keeps sending me messages in that language I don’t know the name of but she won’t tell me what they mean.”

“She wants Lexa to hurry.” Octavia informed her.

“She just said ‘hod op. Em niron na hod op. Reshop Wanheda’ (stop. Your lover can wait. Good night Wanheda.)” Raven read the message slowly, trying to say all the words correctly. She jumped through the doorway, almost running into the hugging couple. “Whoa! Thought you guys were further away! Sorry! Is it weird that I want to go make out with my girlfriend now? Hearing her speak in a different language just really gets me – ”

“Enough Rae!” Clarke laughed when she felt Lexa shake her head rapidly against her shoulder.

“Then tell your niron to get going!” Octavia replied.

With a sigh of defeat, Lexa lifted her head and met Clarke’s eye. She really didn’t want to leave her, they’d spent the last few days together and honestly, the idea of not falling asleep in Clarke’s arms was not her favorite. But she knew her sister was only a minute or two away from coming upstairs and pulling her away.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Lexa pressed a kiss to Clarke’s lips. “I love you.”

Ai hod yu in.” Clarke replied, a devilish smirk on her lips.

“Mean!” Lexa backed away, shaking her head.

“Just giving you motivation to hurry back!” Clarke said. She shrugged the glare that earned her. “Bye!”

Lexa’s smile grew, her eyes filled with mirth. Then she heard Clarke’s friends laughing. She stopped moving away from Clarke, instead taking a few steps forward so she could see Octavia and Raven. They wiggled their fingers at her and made kissing faces. “Blake, Reyes, I hope you realize that I’ll be back in Clarke’s bed in a few hours but I can order both Anya and Lincoln to go straight home after we talk. As in, ‘don’t call anyone, don’t text anyone, just go home and go to bed. Alone’ order them home.”

“You wouldn’t,” Raven growled as she narrowed her eyes.

“You couldn’t!” Octavia gasped.

“I am Heda. I can do what I please. Just because I hardly ever use that power for my own satisfaction doesn’t mean I can’t.” Lexa said. She shrugged and started to walk away again, pressing one last kiss to Clarke’s lips. She paused at the front door, turning back and calling for Raven. When she saw the Latina appear in the hallway she said, “don’t ever shove me out of my girlfriend’s presence again. I quite enjoy being around her.”

****

“Do you really think she’ll tell Anya to go straight home?” Raven asked for the twelfth time.

“No.” Clarke answered the same way she had before.

“Lexa knows better than that,” Octavia said. “She knows if Anya isn’t around to occupy you you’ll do one of two things. You’ll either insist on being around Clarke, just to annoy Lexa, or you’ll think of something crazy to do for fun, like blow something up.”

Raven nodded. She sat back against the headboard of Clarke’s bed. She glanced down to her right to see Clarke staring up at the ceiling. To her left, Octavia was relaxing with her eyes closed and her hand rubbing small circles on her belly. Raven fought the urge to fidget, but the silence was not her friend.

“Stop,” Clarke reached over and wrapped her hand around Raven’s ankle to keep her leg from bouncing.

Nodding again, Raven sighed. “Hey Clarkey?”

“Yeah Rae?”

“Wanna tell us about this weekend?” Raven asked.

“No,” Clarke shook her head.

Octavia sat up slowly, Raven placed a hand behind her back to help her. “You always tell us about these things!”

“I have yeah, but this is Lexa. It’s different with her.” Clarke replied.

“I’m not buying it.” Raven said. “Spill.”

Clarke fought the grin for all of a second or two. Her friends squealed at the sight and settled on her bed, waiting and eager for all the details. Clarke sat up, grabbing a pillow and hugging it to her chest. She told them about the ride up to the cabin, how Anya hadn’t been far off in guessing they’d almost had to stop. She told them about Lexa carrying her to the cabin, they all laughed at Lexa dropping the key and having to put Clarke down to retrieve it and unlock the door. She skated over the details on the sex, giving them enough to know it was better than anything she’d experienced but not enough for them to be able to embarrass Lexa with it. She told them about turning off their phones and just being with each other. Then she told them about learning about Lexa’s parents and her inheritance and all of that.

“Who knew Lexa was loaded?” Raven said once she’d finished.

“Who knew she’d be the best Clarke Griffin has ever had?” Octavia replied.

“She really is. It’s like she can read my mind.” Clarke shivered as memories raced through her mind. “And I can read hers. It is the best feeling I’ve ever felt.”

“She makes your toes curl?” Raven wiggled her brow.

Clarke nodded. “She’s just… amazing.”

“Do you know what I don’t understand?” Octavia said after a moment of silence. Her friends shook their heads. “Anya said that Nia lady wouldn’t come to the meeting because Lexa stole her daughter’s birthright. And then they all said ‘to be Heda is to be alone’ when we were talking.”

“Okay?” Clarke wasn’t sure where Octavia was going with that.

“Well if Lexa’s mom was Heda before her, how did Lexa steal anything?” Raven finished Octavia’s thought. “And they said no Heda has ever had a houmon before. Were Lexa’s parents not married?”

“They were very happily married,” Anya spoke as she stepped into the room. “Aunt Beth and Uncle Drew were crazy about each other. And as for the whole birthright thing, Nia is crazy. She has a daughter who is Lexa's age and she thinks Ontari should have been chosen as the new Heda. Nevermind the fact that Ontari has no desire to be Heda.”

"So how does she think Lexa stole it?" Octavia asked.

"By being chosen I suppose. I've never asked. The spirit chose Lexa and that's all I need." Anya said. She glanced at the three women on the bed and sighed at the looks of confusion. "The easiest way to explain is that Lexa was born to be Heda. When Aunt Beth died, the former Hedas came to Lexa and told her she was Heda. After passing some tests," Anya met Raven's eye and shook her head, "I won't tell you anything about them. That's Lexa's story, not mine. Anyway, she passed some tests and became Heda."

“And you said no Heda has ever been married.” Raven replied.

“Aunt Beth wasn’t married by Trikru ways so according to Trikru, they weren’t married.” Anya explained.

Octavia’s brows furrowed at that, “what does that mean?”

“Just like a church can refuse to recognize a marriage, if Heda doesn’t approve of a marriage it isn’t valid. The Heda before Aunt Beth refused to recognize the marriage because Aunt Beth turned down an advantageous marriage to the son of the leader of Floukru in order to marry her childhood sweetheart.” Anya said. She moved toward the bed and held out a hand for Raven to take.

“Do you have to get permission?” Clarke asked.

“I am Trikru,” Anya replied as if that answered her question.

"Does Lincoln?" Raven nudged Octavia and winked at her blush.

"He does." Anya replied. When Octavia's eyes lifted to hers, she shook her head, "I don't know if he's talked to Heda yet. I'm sure Lexa will say yes even if her advisors think Heda should say no."

“So who would Lexa have to ask in order to marry?” Octavia ignored the bit about Lincoln and voiced the question the three Delinquent girls had been thinking.

“She’s Heda. She can marry if she chooses to. It is just that no heda ever has because they couldn’t draw the line between what was right for their people and what was right for them.” Anya replied. “For what it’s worth, Aunt Beth never had that issue and most people in the coalition had no issue with her having Uncle Drew.”

Clarke could only nod. She didn’t really have anything to say. She hadn’t thought about how her relationship could affect Lexa and her role as Heda. Was that selfish? Should she have been thinking about that all this time?

“Before I came in here, I heard you talking about Lexa.” Anya cut through her thoughts. “She went to get you some hot chocolate. She saw all the lights on and knew you were still awake even though it’s a quarter to two in the morning.”

“I love her.” Clarke sighed.

“I can tell.” Anya smirked. “You like to gush about her.”

Sending a playful glare toward the older woman, Clarke crossed her arms over her chest. “I was not gushing.”

“You kind of were.” Anya said as she shrugged.

“If I were gushing, I’d tell you all about how Lexa is the kindest woman I’ve ever met. She makes sure I’m happy and safe before she worries about herself. She is this cute and adorable girl who loves to make sure I know I’m loved. She loves books and reading to me, and pretending to be annoyed when I talk through movies even though she really loves my random comments. She pretends to be a health nut, even tries to convince me I ought to follow her way of thinking, but never hesitates to take me out for burgers and fries and milkshakes if that’s what I want.” Clarke truly started gushing about her girlfriend. She couldn’t help herself. She had a captive audience and she loved talking about Lexa. “She likes when I braid her hair, even though I’m horrible at it. I think she’s saved every drawing I’ve ever given her and more than a few I’ve just left lying around. She takes pride in her heritage but was shocked when I told her I’d rather take her last name than have her take mine. She’s honestly just the best – ”

“You’re taking her name?!” Raven shouted. She’d been trying to cut off Clarke’s rant since the third sentence but Clarke hadn’t heard. Only a raised voice was able to distract the blonde.

“I’d rather hear more about all the reasons she loves me,” Lexa’s soft voice floated from the foot of the bed.

As one, the other four women turned to stare at her. None of them had heard her enter the apartment let alone the room.

“Lex?” Clarke’s eyes grew round. If she’d known Lexa was able to hear her, she wouldn’t have said so much.

Meizen,” Lexa’s small smile wobbled as tears filled her eyes.

“You heard?” Clarke asked.

“I heard enough,” Lexa replied.

Raven waved a hand in front of Clarke’s face. When that didn’t break the trance she snapped her fingers. Nothing could break the gaze green and blue were locked it. “Hello?!”

“Let’s go,” Anya pulled Raven off the bed. “I think they have some more talking to do.

“How about we all talk about Lexa being Heda and how she gets to marry Clarke if she wants and how Clarke just said she wants to take Lexa’s name and – ” Raven started firing off talking points.

Shaking her head, Anya bent down and lifted Raven over her shoulder. She ignored the protests being shouted at her and motioned for Octavia to leave the room. Anya paused in the doorway long enough to study her cousin, who still hadn’t looked away from her girlfriend.

“Thank god they’re gone!” Clarke whispered. She rose to her knees and shuffled to the end of the bed.

“Want to tell me more reasons you love me?” Lexa asked. Wrapping her arms around Clarke’s hips, she pulled her close.

“I love that you like to be the little spoon!” Clarke replied.

“I love being held by you.” Lexa said. She kissed Clarke’s forehead, then that spot just under her ear. “I love you. I can list the reasons if you’d like.”

“Nah,” Clarke sighed and slid her arms under Lexa’s, pressing her hands to the back of her shoulders. She tilted her head to the left, giving Lexa more flesh to press kisses over. “I know you love me. And I love you. I’m good with that.”

“Then why tell your friends?”

“They can’t feel what I feel. I had to try to explain why you’re the strongest, most amazing, and most loving woman ever.” Clarke said. “Plus I love talking about you. You’re my favorite subject.”

Chapter Text

“Lex,” Clarke poked her sleeping girlfriend’s cheek. The brunette didn’t even flinch. She poked again, “Lexa!”

Clarke had been trying to wake the brunette for the last half hour. Normally she’d do so with gentle kisses and wandering hands, but they were squeezed into the twin-sized bed in Lexa’s childhood bedroom so Clarke didn’t think that was the best idea. She settled for gentle prods and the softest of whispers instead. Her issue now was that she was getting bored.

“Lex-a!” She pressed her lips to the tiny ear in front of her. She ran her fingertip up the side of Lexa’s neck before leaning in to nip lightly at the hinge of her jaw. Starring at Lexa’s face for a handful of moments, she could tell her girlfriend was still sleeping soundly. She shoved playfully at that same shoulder, “come on Lex!”

All the pestering finally caused a reaction. Lexa opened the eye not buried in her pillow. She blinked twice and then sighed. After a minute of silent staring she sighed again and pushed herself up into a sitting position.

Clarke squealed at her victory, clapping her hands rapidly. “Yay! Christmas!”

Instead of responding, Lexa climbed over Clarke and settled behind her, wedging herself between the blonde and the wall. When Clarke tried to turn to face her, Lexa wrapped her arms around her and held tight, throwing a leg over her as well.

“Lexa!” Clarke whined and squirmed like a five year old in a dentist chair. “Christmas!”

Meizen,” Lexa pressed sleepy kisses to the back of her neck.

“Presents! Pancakes! Cocoa!” Clarke said as she squirmed some more.

“It’s not even 6 in the morning,” Lexa pointed out through a yawn.

Clarke huffed. She tried to pull herself free from her girlfriend’s grip. After a futile struggle, she relaxed into the bed with a soft whimper.

“Love you,” Lexa pressed another kiss to the back of her neck before burying her face in the pillow.

“If you love me you’d let me open my presents.”

“Yeah?” Lexa yawned and pressed her face between Clarke’s shoulder blades. She felt the blonde nod. Nuzzling into the flannel snowflake pajamas Clarke had insisted on wearing, Lexa replied, “well if you love me you’d have woken me with Christmas kisses. Isn’t that why we put the mistletoe over the bed last night?”

Unable to stifle the giggle, Clarke turned her face into her pillow. She wrapped her arms over Lexa’s and squeezed. Then she pressed her backside into Lexa’s groin. “You put that mistletoe there, not me.”

“Stop teasing,” Lexa muttered, shifting her hips back as much as she could.

“Wake up.”

“Unless you plan on following through with all this teasing, I suggest you go back to sleep for at least another hour or two.”

Of course, Clarke did the opposite. She wiggled again, moving back until Lexa’s hips were trapped between her own and the wall. Her movement pulled a moan from Lexa. It was the quickest way to wake Lexa up, the idea of morning sex. It was fun too. Knowing how her gorgeous girlfriend responded to her was a powerful aphrodisiac. Unable to stop herself, and temporarily forgetting her own ‘no fooling around within a mile of Indra Woods’ rule, Clarke rolled her hips back into Lexa’s again.

The brunette groaned and lifted her head just enough to latch onto Clarke’s neck. She shifted, weaving her left arm under Clarke’s neck, her hand playing with the buttons of her sleep shirt while her right hand drifted lower to play with the skin just above the waistline of her pants.

“Lexa!” Clarke whispered. She meant for it to come out much more forceful, instead she bit her lip at the want in her voice.

Lexa didn’t respond. Not verbally anyway. She slid her hands under the fabric of Clarke’s shirt. She ran the palm of her left hand over both nipples until they tightened into hard peaks. She slid the bud of Clarke’s right breast between her index and middle fingers, applying the enough pressure to tease. Lexa’s right hand remained by her pants, her fingertips rubbing back and forth just under the hemline.

Clarke tried to swallow her moans. She really did. She’d made a promise to herself that she wouldn’t do anything to cause Indra to glare at her. Somehow she didn’t think moaning in a tiny bed with her girlfriend was the best way to endear her girlfriend’s mother. The thought of Indra’s scowling face was almost enough to force Clarke to stop Lexa’s teasing. Instead, Lexa’s hand slid a little further into her pants, tracing the elastic of her underwear while the other pinched and pulled at her nipple. Lexa’s hands were like magic! Clarke buried her face in her pillow, biting at the fabric in an attempt to keep quiet. It would have worked if Lexa hadn’t chosen that moment to bite down on her pulse point at the same time she pinched Clarke’s nipple.

“Lex,” she panted, turning her head to look over her shoulder. The movement forced Lexa to release her neck. Her girlfriend’s only response was to slide her hand into her underwear. Clarke caught her wrist and shook her head.

“Problem?” Lexa whispered against the bruise blooming on Clarke’s neck.

“We are in your mother’s house!” Clarke tried to sound serious. Her voice was too breathy for that.

Fighting against the grip on her wrist, Lexa slid her hand lower. She pulled her hand away from Clarke’s breast and shifted up to lean on her elbow. She leaned in enough to kiss Clarke’s lips. Pulling back, she grinned, “you’re the one who insisted I wake up.”

“For presents!” Clarke rolled her hips into Lexa’s questing fingers, which were resting, unmoving, against her clit.

“You’re my first present,” Lexa nuzzled her cheek again.

Panting and shaking her head, Clarke tried to pull Lexa’s hand from her pants again. It didn’t budge. “Your mom could hear.”

Smirking, Lexa bit her neck again, sucking hard on the flesh in her mouth. When Clarke started to squirm, she removed he hand from her underwear.

“No!” Clarke whined, this time catching her wrist and trying to force it down again.

Before the blonde could react, Clarke found herself on her back. Lexa was on top of her, their bodies pressed together from chest to hips to groin.

“Make up your mind, Meizen,” Lexa leaned down to peck at her lips. “You either want me to wake up which means Christmas morning sex or you want to get a little bit more sleep.”

“I want to give you your presents,” Clarke offered a third option. She wrapped her arms around the brunette’s neck, pulling her down for a harder kiss.

“I don’t want presents this early in the morning,” Lexa said when they broke apart. She smirked at the dazed look on Clarke’s face. Leaning down, she pressed another long and hard kiss to already kiss-swollen lips. “I want you. Or I want to sleep. Choose.”

But your mom – ”

Lexa shook her head, “if you can actually manage to keep quiet, nothing will happen. She’ll never know.”

Clarke fell silent. She couldn’t deny she was turned on. Lexa already knew she was. But the idea of Indra heading them, or worse catching them, terrified her. She was about to tell Lexa that when her girlfriend started lazily rolling and thrusting her hips, grinding their centers together.

“What’ll it be babe?” Lexa asked after a particularly delicious hip roll.

Clarke’s response came in the form of her own rolling and pressing hips. Then the blonde smirked, “Hey Lex?”

“Yeah Clarke?”

“What’re the chances quiet Christmas morning sex in your mother’s house, where we’re hoping she doesn’t hear us or catch us, is better than birthday sex?”

“We haven’t had birthday sex,” Lexa replied. She nibbled at Clarke’s lips and slid a hand between them, into Clarke’s pants and underwear again. She circled Clarke’s clit, writing ‘Lexa’ in cursive over the sensitive bud until the blonde was squirming again. “And that’s your fault, because you didn’t tell me when your birthday was.”

“We weren’t dating on my birthday. We wouldn’t have had birthday sex.” Clarke laughed. She moved her own hand into Lexa’s shorts, grazing her slit with just the tips of her fingers. She teased Lexa’s entrance as she said, “I guess we could say the bar is set pretty low.”

They stopped talking then, their lips coming together in a series of kisses, some hard and fast, some soft and seemingly never ending. The dance of their fingers, Clarke’s gently thrusting into Lexa while Lexa’s pressed and pulled and teased Clarke’s bundle of nerves, was aided by the pressure of their bodies moving together. Lexa shifted up enough to undo the top few buttons on Clarke’s shirt, her free hand immediately capturing a nipple while her mouth caught the other. Clarke’s free hand wove into Lexa’s hair, holding her to her chest.

The women were moving together in a timeless dance, each knowing exactly what to do to get her partner to the edge, each knowing how to throw the other into that blissful abyss. Lexa had just started to slide two fingers into Clarke, moving her head up to catch Clarke’s whined moans, when the bedroom door flew open.

Lexa barely had time to brace herself over Clarke before Octavia and Raven jumped on the tiny bed.

“Presents!” Raven yelled.

“Christmas!” Octavia shouted.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Lexa rolled her eyes and dropped her head into the crook of Clarke’s neck.

Raven took a moment to study the couple. She smirked and nudged Octavia before speaking, “hey Clarkey?”

Clarke had wrapped her arms around Lexa’s back and held her in place on top of her, turning her head to press her nose into the chestnut locks she loved. She closed her eyes and pressed soft kisses to the ear underneath the hair. Hearing her best friend speaking, Clarke sighed, “yeah Rae?”

“Christmas morning sex?” Octavia wiggled her brows even though Clarke wasn’t looking at her.

“Not anymore,” came Lexa’s muffled reply.

“Should have worked faster, Heda,” Anya’s smug voice came from the doorway.

Lincoln appeared over her shoulder, “losing your touch, Lexa?”

“Get out!” Lexa lifted her head and growled.

Tris popped into the room and shook her head, “gross. Can’t you two do that on your own time?”

“We were trying,” Lexa snapped. Clarke ran her hands up and down her back, trying to sooth. “Go away.”

“Yeah well,” Tris shrugged, “You didn’t achieve that goal. Mom says breakfast is ready. Then – ”

“Presents!” Clarke, Raven, and Octavia all yelled.

****

“Nice of the two of you to join us,” Indra spoke evenly as Clarke and Lexa entered the kitchen a half an hour later.

“Merry Christmas,” Lexa pressed a quick kiss to her aunt’s temple.

Clarke gave Indra a quick hug, repeating Lexa’s greeting.

“What took you two so long?” Gustus asked.

Ducking her head, Clarke made her way to the table. She sank into an empty chair between Lincoln and Tris. She could feel the blush creeping up her neck and cheeks.

“They were trying to make babies,” Anya smiled cheekily.

“Anya!” Lexa gasped.

“Not like it’d work,” Raven shrugged. “Unless Lexa secretly has – ”

“Don’t even think about it Rae,” Clarke warned.

Octavia snorted out a laugh, “I can’t believe Lexa just stayed on top of you when we burst in.”

“Just buried her head in Clarke’s neck,” Lincoln nodded and winked at Lexa.

Em pleni!” Lexa ordered. She could take the teasing, and she would for the next few years, but she could tell Clarke was uncomfortable.

Silence fell over the room. Heda had spoken. Lexa made herself and Clarke a plate of pancakes and bacon, grabbing a couple of bowls for the fresh fruit Indra had prepared, and then moved to the table. Lincoln slid out of his seat, offering it up to her. Placing the plate in front of her girlfriend, Lexa pressed a kiss to the top of her head before sitting down. She dropped her hand to Clarke’s thigh and squeezed once. She was about to say something, anything to get Clarke to look up from the table when a snicker sounded in the room. Lexa’s head snapped up, looking for the culprit. Her eyes immediately landed on her hulking uncle. His shoulders were shaking under Indra’s hands.

Yo vout in dison ste leyos (You think this is funny)?” Lexa spoke softly.

Gustus nodded, his eyes twinkling with mirth, between small laughs and Indra’s shushing he managed to ask, “You two weren’t really expecting a Christmas miracle were you?”

Chit?” Lexa’s brows came together.

“Anya said you were trying to make babies,” Gustus chortled. “What better time for that miracle to happen than Christmas?”

Rolling her eyes, Lexa picked up her fork and resolved to ignore her family at least until she’d eaten.

Yu vout in Klark na fulop fostaim (Do you think Clarke will be pregnant first)?” Tris giggled from her place next to Clarke.

Okteivia fostaim. Mafta Klark op. (Octavia first. Clarke follows).” Gustus replied, wiping at the small tears escaping from his eyes.

“Are you done?” Lexa asked.

Yu get klin mou beda, Gostos. (You know better, Gustus).” Indra said. She shoved at her husband’s shoulders playfully before turning to face Lexa and Clarke. “Leksa, chil yu au. (Lexa, calm down). They just want to get a rise out of you.”

“Children,” Lexa bit out. “All of them.”

“I know, but they love seeing you go all Heda,” Indra arched a brow at the glare Lexa shot her way. She waited for her niece to say something else, to provoke her cousins and sister and friends, instead Lexa kept eating. Indra turned her attention to Clarke. The girl was moving her breakfast around on her plate but hadn’t taken more than a bite or two. “Clarke.”

The blonde head snapped up, wide eyes met hers, “yes ma’am?”

“Again, you can call me Indra. I’d prefer it.” Indra corrected gently. “Now would you like to tell me why you’re not eating?”

“Right. Indra. I just… I’m not…” Clarke tried to think of an excuse, anything to move her brain away from the territory that wanted to actually blurt out something about making sure Indra wasn’t offended by what she and Lexa had been caught doing. Of course, nothing came to mind.

“Clarke?” Indra repeated her name when she didn’t finish her thought.

Lexa glanced at Clarke, immediately seeing the wheels turning in her mind. She sighed and leaned over to press a kiss to the side of her head. She met her aunt’s eyes and said, “she thinks you’re upset about this morning.”

“What about this morning?” Indra asked.

“What we were caught doing. She thinks you’re mad because we were having sex while we were in your house,” Lexa replied.

“Oh,” Indra snickered at that. “Does she know you’re almost 23 years old? And that I don’t really mind as long as you’re safe about it?”

“She thinks you want to kill her,” Octavia called out from the living room. She and Raven were waiting not so patiently by the tree, eager to hand out presents.

Indra laughed outright at that, “Clarke, is that true?”

“Maybe?” Clarke’s eyes dropped to the table again.

“I don’t want to kill you. Lexa is a big girl. She can do what she wants – ” Indra approached the table slowly. She hadn’t had any clue that Clarke felt that way. She thought the girl just had normal ‘meeting the family’ jitters.

Anya interrupted her mother, “you mean who she wants?”

“That’s enough teasing,” Indra reprimanded, her tone drifting into her mom voice. “Go wait with your girlfriend. You know, the one I actually heard in the middle of the night?”

“Twice!” Gustus guffawed from behind his wife. When Lincoln raised his hand to give his father a high five, Gustus shook his head, “don’t even get me started on you. You know your girlfriend is four months pregnant right? She shouldn’t have to deal with your advances while she’s trying to sleep.”

“That’s on me actually Gus!” Octavia shouted. “Apparently pregnancy makes your hormones go crazy like that. You have no idea how many times a day I corner poor Linc and make him – ”

“And that’s enough of that!” Lincoln jumped up from his seat and ran into the living room, hoping to stop Octavia from embarrassing him further.

Tris stood and shook her head, “you’re all gross.”

Indra nodded. She met Gustus’s eye and winked up at him. Then she pushed him toward the door before catching Tris’s wrist in her hand and pulling her along. “We’ll be in the living room. The others are not going to be patient for much longer. I’d suggest you hurry up.”

“Try to not defile my kitchen!” Gustus said over his shoulder, laughing when Indra gave him another playful push.

The girls ate in silence after the family had left them alone. Clarke washed her dishes, then all the others. Anything to waste time. When Lexa slid her arms around her from behind, pulling her into an embrace, Clarke willing leaned back.

“It wasn’t so bad right?” Lexa whispered against her ear.

“Next year we’re sleeping at home and driving over here Christmas morning.” Clarke replied. She shifted enough to meet Lexa’s eye. “I’m just thankful we weren’t at Mom’s house. She’d tease us all day.”

“Well, thankfully she is at work for another hour. And we aren’t due over there until dinnertime. Maybe the others won’t mention any of this to her.” Lexa smiled hopefully.

Rolling her eyes, Clarke relied, “If you really think Raven Reyes hasn’t already texted all the details to my mother, you don’t know our friends very well.”

****

Christmas had always been Clarke’s favorite time of year. She loved snow. She loved hot chocolate. She loved spoiling her friends and family. Receiving gifts was nice too, but giving was her favorite. The gifts she’d received Christmas morning were perfect. Some were thoughtful, others funny.

She hadn’t expected a gift from Indra and Gustus. She’d gotten them gifts of course, she just hadn’t considered the possibility of them reciprocating. They’d handed each of the kids an envelope, except Tris, they handed her two. On the count of four, at Raven’s insistence, they all opened their envelopes. Inside they found plane tickets and hotel reservations.

“We’re going to Ireland?” Lexa asked after reading through the papers quickly.

“Both universities have spring break over St. Patrick’s Day. It seemed fitting,” Gustus explained. He shrugged at the looks the kids gave him. “We may be mostly Trikru but there are some other branches on our trees. Anya, you’ve already been to Nepal. Lincoln, you’ve been to the Jamaica. Lexa and Tris probably don’t even know they’re father was half-Irish. So it’s their turn.”

“And Abby mentioned that Clarke has some family in Wales, her father’s uncle and cousins,” Indra added. “So you’ll take a few days to go there as well. Your uncle is expecting you.”

“So we’re going to Ireland for spring break instead of somewhere tropical?” Anya asked.

Gustus nodded, “Did you read your tickets? Lexa, Clarke, and Tris are going to Ireland. The rest of you are going on a cruise. Octavia can’t fly that late in her pregnancy so we thought you’d enjoy this instead.”

“Thank you,” Clarke finally spoke up. She’d always dreamed of going to Ireland. And now a trip to Wales. “This is amazing!”

“Why does Tris have two envelopes?” Raven asked suddenly.

“No reason,” Tris snapped, hiding the extra one behind her back.

“Tris?” Lexa asked.

Her sister sighed, “I have friends too you know. Maybe they didn’t want me to third wheel it for two weeks.”

“Or maybe you should tell your sister about your boyfriend?” Indra prodded gently.

“Don’t!” Tris held up a hand when Lexa puffed up. “Please don’t. He’s a nice guy. He’s sweet and he’s funny and I really like him.”

“Then why haven’t you introduced us to him?” Lexa questioned.

“Because you already know him,” Tris shot back.

That stopped whatever comment Lexa had lined up. She was ready to question everything about this guy. But if she knew him, why hadn’t Tris said anything?

“It’s Monty,” Raven said, wanting to fill in the silence.

“Our Monty? Cinnamon roll Monty?” Clarke asked.

“We started talking after our party. Then at Thanksgiving. And Abby’s had us over for dinner a few times.” Tris explained. She blushed and ducked her head. “He’s just a nice guy. We made it official a couple of weeks ago.”

Octavia clapped her hands rapidly, squealing with delight. Anya just watched Tris, trying to figure out if she was joking. The others seemed all too eager to either question Tris half to death or move on with opening gifts. Clarke watched the younger girl squirm for half a minute before she stood and grabbed two gifts from under the tree, handing them to Indra and Gustus.

“They aren’t a trip to Ireland and Wales but I think you’ll like them,” Clarke said shyly, sitting on the floor in front of Lexa. She glanced back, meeting green eyes, and winked when Lexa’s hands found her shoulders and rubbed gently.

Clarke’s gift giving was enough to distract the others. They watched attentively while Indra opened her long thin gift. Inside, she found a pamphlet and a plane ticket.

“Coffee tasting trip?” Indra read the pamphlet carefully, not wanting to miss a single word.

“I thought you’d enjoy learning about the process…” Clarke spoke hesitantly. She couldn’t tell if Indra liked the gift.

“I’ve been trying to book a trip like this for years! They’re always booked solid,” Indra replied as she continued reading.

Shrugging at Gustus’s inquiring gaze, Clarke replied, “my mom knows people. I just asked if she could help. She could so she did.”

“Well,” Indra folded the pamphlet back up and met Clarke’s eyes, “thank you. This is wonderful!”

“Now you, Dad,” Lincoln prompted.

So Gustus opened his larger box, gasping when he saw the contents. He pulled a helmet and goggles from the package. After a few minutes of studying the gift, he looked back at Clarke. “Why am I holding a motorcycle helmet?”

“That’d been a supporting gift for Lexa and Tris’s gift to you,” Clarke replied. “Raven too, she helped a lot.”

Signaling for Gustus to follow, Lexa stood and made her way to the garage. The others jumped to their feet, trailing behind the large man. Only Clarke and Octavia remained behind.

“This sure is some Christmas,” Octavia said as soon as they were alone.

“I think it may be my favorite ever,” Clarke replied.

It took nearly a half an hour for everyone to return to the living room. Even then it was only because Raven insisted. And so the rest of the gifts were handed out. Clarke laughed at the newest Bose Bluetooth speaker Tris gave her, since she’d blown her old one trying to play songs for Lexa. She sniffled at the t-shirt Octavia and Lincoln gave her that read ‘Favorite Aunt’ and tried not to snarl too loudly when Raven opened the exact same gift. She cried when Octavia and Lincoln asked her and Raven to share the role of Godmother. The last gift was unexpected. Anya and Raven smiled when they handed a large flat box to both Clarke and Lexa.

“It’s from both of us,” Raven explained, “to both of you.”

Without hesitating, Clarke and Lexa tore open the gift and found themselves looking at a large picture frame full of pictures. Clarke glanced through the photos quickly before turning back to Raven, “how?”

“We live in the age of tech, Clarkey. How do you think?” She laughed. She threw one arm around Anya and the other around Octavia, “we paid attention and kept our phones handy.”

Fighting off tears, Clarke tuned back to study the pictures. There were twelve pictures, three of them were pictures Clarke recognized, she and Lexa had posed for them, and the others were candid shots.

The first was a shot of her and Lexa in the booth at Tondisi the night Niylah had been there. Their heads were on the table and their arms were around each other’s shoulders. It must have been caught just after Niylah left their booth.

The second was from that same night, showing Clarke sketching while her arm was draped around Lexa as she read; on the edge of the picture you could see Niylah watching them.

The third was a shot of them standing just outside the door to the apartment above Tondisi that same night. It had to have been taken around the time Lexa asked Clarke out on their first date.

The fourth looked like it was taken though a window. Clarke knew exactly which window it was too. It was right by the front door of the townhouse. The photo showed her and Lexa in an embrace, their nose nudging each other. From what Clarke could see of their clothing, it was from the night of their first date, so maybe it was a picture of their first kiss.

The fifth shot was them dancing in the backyard. Clarke immediately thought of the night she’d walked in on Lexa falling into Costia’s arms and she’d overreacted. It was the only time she and Lexa had played the game when Clarke was angry. She loved the memory of them dancing in the yard at the end of the night.

The sixth made Clarke laugh. It was of her and Lexa, in their pajamas and sitting on the island in the townhouse and eating cereal. That was the day after the party. Clarke was frozen in time, laughing at something with her coffee mug half raised to her lips. Lexa was looking at her; her feelings for the blonde clear in her eyes.

The seventh was a picture of the two of them curled up in a hospital bed sound asleep. Clarke was on her back, her arms wrapped around Lexa who was on her side, her head on Clarke’s chest. Clarke’s favorite part of that picture was their hands. Their hands were resting on Clarke’s stomach, fingers intertwined tightly even in sleep.

The eighth was another shot from Tondisi. The decorations around the booth let Clarke know it was from Thanksgiving. The only time they’d sat in the booth like that on that day had been when Clarke admitted her feelings to Lexa. It was a shot of them saying their first ‘I love you’ to each other. That alone would have made it Lexa’s favorite. The fact that a very blue Anya was just off to the side rolling her eyes only cemented that for her.

The last picture was from the day they left for the cabin. Lexa had Clarke pressed against the side of her Jeep. They were wrapped around each other, ignoring the world. Lexa loved it. Clarke giggled and pointed out Costia in the foreground, facing whoever was taking the picture and making a face like she was gagging.

They’d been silent for a while as they took in the pictures. They whispered to each other as they remembered the hows and the whens of each frame. Finally, Lexa stood to take the frame to the Jeep, wanting to make sure it wasn’t left behind in the chaos of everyone heading out for various other celebrations.

Clarke watched her leave before turning to Raven, “thank you.”

Her friend shrugged and smiled sheepishly, “It was actually Anya’s idea. She knew O and I like to take candid pictures. When I showed her the folder we had of you two, she suggested we make the gift.”

“Well then,” Clarke stood and walked to Anya who was standing in the doorway to the dining room, having just come back from getting a drink. Clarke threw her arms around Anya’s shoulders and pulled her into a tight hug. “Thank you.”

“No worries, Skaiprisa,” Anya returned the hug with one arm, not wanting to spill hot coffee on Wanheda.

A loud clap from behind them brought their attention to Gustus.

“Is that everyone?” He asked. When heads bobbed up and down in confirmation he clapped his hands again, “well then. Let’s all get ready for our next adventures. Clarke and Lexa, you’re going to Abby’s?”

“Yes, but we’re going home first to drop off our haul from this morning,” Lexa replied as she reentered the house. She held out a hand for Clarke to take, kissing her knuckles when she did. “And we’re going to exchange our gifts there too.”

“Gross,” Raven quipped.

Octavia laughed and shoved at her, “you’re such a grown up.”

“Anya and Raven, you’re going to Tondisi?” Gustus asked.

“Sort of, since we’re having another party there and we were nominated to decorate this time.” Anya replied. She helped Raven up from the couch, “We’re doing our gifts there too. Although we’ll have less fun because Lincoln and Octavia will be with us.”

“Fun suckers,” Raven stuck her tongue out at her friend.

“And I’m going to Monty’s,” Tris said as she stood. When her sisters arched their brows she just shrugged, “I’m allowed to see my boyfriend on Christmas. Leave me alone.”

“And we’re all meeting up tonight anyway. Every one is going to be at Tondisi by seven?” Indra asked.

****

“Merry Christmas,” Lexa said sweetly as she sank onto the couch next to Clarke.

“Merry Christmas,” Clarke replied, giving her a quick peck.

Lexa shook her head, “more.”

“Later,” Clarke laughed and dodged the next pecking kiss Lexa tried to press to her lips. “C’mon Lex. We’ll have plenty of time for that tonight.”

“As if I’m going to hold out until tonight babe.” Lexa scoffed at the thought. “You got me all kinds of worked up this morning. All promise, no follow through.”

“And I’ll make it up to you tonight, when we’re alone.” Clarke assured, giving in and giving Lexa another kiss. Before her girlfriend could deepen the kiss though, she pulled back and smiled, “presents?”

“Can’t making love to you count?”

“No.” Clarke shook her head.

Sighing, Lexa reached behind her to grab the first of the gifts she’d picked out for Clarke. “You first.”

With a cute smile, Clarke accepted the gift and shook it. She wanted to try to guess what it was but really, she was too excited for that. Instead, she tore the paper and opened the box. Inside she found an owl mug.

“An owl?” Clarke laughed. “I don’t look like an owl.”

“You do when you’re shocked. Or when you’re speechless,” Lexa asserted. When Clarke huffed out a breath, Lexa pressed a kiss to her cheek, “I love your owl face. I make it my goal some days to make sure you make your owl face.”

Rolling her eyes, Clarke replied, “I’d like to pretend like I don’t like it but I do. I like when you think I’m adorable and now I’ll forever think of you being ridiculous to make me laugh when I drink from this mug.”

Placing the cup on the coffee table, Clarke handed Lexa her first gift. The blonde watched, trying not to laugh, as Lexa carefully sliced through the tape on the gift. She knew her girlfriend hated making a mess for no reason but she couldn’t understand anyone having the ability to actually refuse to tear gift-wrapping to shreds.

“Really, Clarke?” Lexa laughed as she held her raccoon mug in her hands.

“If you’d take off your make-up before bed you wouldn’t remind me of raccoon.” Clarke shrugged. She plucked the mug from Lexa’s hands and placed it next to the owl. “Nocturnal friends. Like us.”

“I still think you’re a lioness, sleek and sexy and fierce,” Lexa replied. She turned and found the next gift. “I think it fits you.”

Clarke tore through the paper, this time making sure to make a bit of a mess while Lexa sighed next to her. She used a nearby letter opener to cut through the tape and opened the box. “A Gryffindor hoodie?”

“There’s something underneath too,” Lexa lifted the hoodie.

“Customized Chucks!” Clarke seized the shoes and waved them around. “I love them!”

“I figured you would,” Lexa laughed.

She barely had time to put the hoodie down when Clarke handed her another gift. After blatantly ignoring Clarke’s snickering over her unwrapping process, Lexa opened the small box to find an antique compass. It looked similar to the tattoo on Clarke’s shoulder.

Meizen?”

“You said you wanted me to teach you how to navigate like Dad taught me. That will make it easier,” Clarke replied. She watched Lexa turn the compass over in her hand several times. “I think Dad would like knowing you have it. You’ll keep it safe.”

“This was your dad’s?” Lexa gasped and started shaking her head. “I can’t Clarke.”

“Lex,” Clarke pushed back the compass when Lexa held it out for her. “Babe, it’s okay. I want you to have it. Mom agreed.”

“But… I can’t – ”

Clarke nodded and closed Lexa’s fist around the small object, “you can and you will. I want you to take it, Lex.”

“I love you,” Lexa caught her lips in a kiss. She pulled back and studied the watery blue eyes in front of her, “I can’t believe how much I love you.”

“I know Lex, I know,” Clarke grinned. She used her thumb to wipe away the tears making their way down Lexa’s face. “I love you too.”

With shaky hands, Lexa took the box of Gryffindor goodness from Clarke’s lap and put it on the coffee table. She leaned into her girlfriend until the blonde was sprawled on the couch. Lexa lowered her head and caught Clarke’s lips again as she pressed her body against hers. Without words, Lexa tried to show Clarke exactly what was flowing through her mind at the moment.

It took effort but they managed to keep the kissing fairly PG-13. It still took them twenty-five minutes for them to separate.

“I love you,” Clarke said again as they sat up.

Lexa nodded, wiping her tears again, “I love you too. Mochof, Meizen.”

Pro, Hodnes,” Clarke kissed her one last time before shifting back to sit in her own seat.

With another quick kiss, Lexa sat back too. She handed Clarke an envelope. She waited with baited breath while she watched her open the gift. She knew the instant Clarke connected the dots.

“We’re going to Wizarding World?!” She squealed.

“Yes. We leave tomorrow morning,” Lexa grinned. She opened her arms just in time to catch her girlfriend who had launched herself at her.

“You’re the best girlfriend ever!”

“I think you get that title,” Lexa argued.

Clarke rained kisses all over her face. They laughed and kissed and proclaimed each other the best ever.

“Here! Open!” Clarke said after she flew off Lexa’s lap, like she suddenly remembered she had another gift for Lexa.

Nodding, Lexa took her time again as she sliced the tape. As much as Clarke enjoyed making a mess to exasperate Lexa, the brunette liked to harass her right back by taking her time. Finally, the box was open and the tissue paper was pushed aside.

“Did Anya help you with this?” Lexa laughed as she held up her new Hufflepuff hoodie. Her custom Chucks were underneath.

“Raven,” Clarke replied.

“We have the best friends,” Lexa replied. She slipped the hoodie on and grinned at her girlfriend. She giggled when Clarke slipped on her own hoodie and clapped.

“Are we going alone or are the others going with us?” Clarke asked.

“Just us,” Lexa said. “Is that okay?”

Clarke nodded, “more than. I can’t wait!”

“I have one more gift for you, Meizen,” Lexa told her. She stood and took off her hoodie. Her t-shirt followed.

“We can’t have sex right now, Lex,” Clarke shook her head and rolled her eyes playfully. “And calling sex a gift is a little egotistical don’t you think?”

“Not if you’re as good at it as we are,” Lexa leaned down and kissed her quickly.

She stood again and smiled at Clarke. She took a deep breath and winked before turning around. She waited a beat before lifting her up and over her shoulder. The gasp let her know Clarke figured out what the gift was.

“Lex,” Clarke stood and placed her hands on Lexa’s hips, holding her still. “You didn’t.”

“I did. Is that okay?”

Clarke nodded before remembering Lexa couldn’t see her. She leaned in and studied the newly inked skin, “you got a tattoo of my art work.”

There, on Lexa’s back, was the war paint she’d designed for her post-apocalyptic warrior queen. She’d worked with her favorite tattoo artist to work the design into her existing tattoo. The war paint wove into and around the top most circle of Lexa’s back piece. So seamless was the work, you’d never know it wasn’t all done at the same time.

“I love this,” Clarke pressed a soft kiss to the ink. She used Lexa’s hips to turn her around. When their eyes met, Clarke arched a brow, “Is this why you wouldn’t take your shirt off for the last week?”

“I wanted it to be a surprise,” Lexa smiled sheepishly.

“It worked.”

Lexa slid her shirt back on, “you like it?”

“I love it! So much!”

“How much?” Lexa wrapped her arms around Clarke’s waist, pulling her closer.

Clarke pulled her in for a kiss. Her lips teased Lexa’s. She caught Lexa’s lower lip between her own and nipped at it. Releasing it with a pop, she grinned into green eyes, “So much that I’m really not happy we have to leave for my mother’s house now…”

Chapter Text

I apologize for the wait! It's been almost a month. Rest assured, the next chapter is almost done. I just have to get it typed up and give a quick edit or two. I'd say it'll be up some time on Sunday if my thinking is correct. I think there's only going to be 4 or 5 more chapters. If everything goes as I have planned, that's it.

If you have anything you'd like me to work into the story, now is your chance to let me know! Drop a line either on here or on tumblr. Getting messages from you guys is always fun for me!

Chapter Text

“I got a wand!” Clarke waved the object in the air between herself and her friends.

“You mentioned that,” Octavia replied through her yawn.

“Thirteen times,” Raven added, her head listing to the side until it landed on Anya’s shoulder.

Tris rubbed at her eyes and said, “at 743 in the morning. No one should be that excited about a piece of wood at 743 in the morning.”

“What if – ” Raven smirked as she tried to reply.

“Don’t even think about it,” Anya bumped her shoulder up to disrupt her. “Your brain is always in the gutter this early and that’s my little sister you’re trying to embarrass.”

Laughing loudly, Lexa wrapped her arm around Clarke’s shoulder. Their flight from Orlando had come in early in the morning. For whatever reason all of their friends had insisted on meeting them for breakfast. What they didn’t know was Clarke had snuck away and ordered a ridiculously caffeinated drink from the café inside the terminal they’d arrived in. The blonde had chugged three-quarters of it before Lexa managed to wrestle the cup away from her.

“She’s just a little excited,” the brunette smiled widely.

“It’s the exact wand that chose me on Pottermore!” Clarke defended with a cute pout.

Raven’s eyes closed with a groan, “Griff, please! You’re not this lame.”

“Listen here Reyes,” Clarke’s overly chipper tone shifted to a menacingly harsh one so quickly the others all sat a bit straighter in their seats. “I just got back from four days and five nights with my gorgeous girlfriend. Alone. I got to visit a make believe town from my favorite fictional world. I will brag about our fun and souvenirs as much as I want. You will listen happily or I won’t give you the gifts I bought for you.”

“Presents?” Raven’s eyes popped open at the thought.

“And don’t act like you didn’t take the Pottermore quiz at the same time I did,” Clarke added, settling back into her seat, her arms crossed over her chest as she glared at her friend.

“Yeah Slytherin,” Octavia muttered next to the Latina.

Raven’s head lifted and slowly turned to the younger girl, “Are you insulting my proud house Gryffindor?”

“Proud,” Octavia scoffed. “Sure.”

“You’re all dorks,” Anya shook her head. She leaned forward into the table, cupper both her hands around her coffee.

That brought Lexa’s attention to her older sister. She arched a brow and smirked, “Oh really Ahn?”

Sha,” Anya responded.

Ai jos beda tel emo hasta yu hou den? (I should just tell them about your house then?)” Lexa asked, mischief clear in her tone.

“Hey!” The pouting yet still too chipper Clarke protested, leaning forward to nudge Lexa with her shoulder. “No Trig at the table!”

Yu niron get yu kom natrona? Nomi? (Your girlfriend knows you’re a traitor? Right?)” Anya snapped back.

Clarke immediately replied, “I know what niron means!”

Narrowing her eyes, Anya shifted her gaze to Clarke, “You’re too awake.”

“And you’re being too grumpy to be a Hufflepuff,” Clarke shot back, leaning across Raven to poke Anya in the cheek and winking.

“You told her?” Anya glared at her sister.

“She’s my niron,” Lexa said with a shrug, like that was all the explanation she needed to give.

“You’re a Hufflepuff?” Raven yelled. “Really?”

“I’m loyal,” Anya shrugged.

Tris nodded, “And a good finder.”

“Can we, just once, have an adult conversation?” Lincoln finally spoke.

“Sure fellow Gryffindor,” Tris replied. “Want to tell us why you look like you haven’t slept in three weeks?”

“My fault,” Octavia raised her hand. “I wanted bar-b-que last night.”

“At two thirty this morning,” Lincoln corrected.

Shaking her head, Anya forced her coffee into Lincoln’s hands, “You need this more than I do.”

“Hey Clarkey?” Octavia spoke slowly.

“Yeah O?”

“Why have you only told us about your wand?”

The blonde blushed and shifted closer to Lexa. She smiled when her girlfriend’s arm wrapped tightly around her shoulder. “What do you mean?”

“You were gone for almost a week. You went to a city with two of the biggest theme parks in the world. Yet you’ve only heard about your wand.” Octavia said, her eyes watching Clarke’s face carefully. “Explain.”

Neither Lexa not Clarke spoke. They glanced at each other quickly before grinning and dropping their eyes to the their drinks.

“Oh my god!” Raven gasped.

“What?” Lincoln yawned.

Before Raven could respond, the waitress appeared with their food. The few minutes it took for everyone to get their food and get situated were torture for Clarke and Lexa. They knew exactly what was coming. It was going to be that much worse because Raven was having to bite her tongue.

Finally the waitress left and Raven on her friends, “how often did you go into the park?”

“Every day?” Lexa responded.

“Really?” Tris asked.

“Yes,” Lexa nodded, a little to ready with that response.

Raven and Octavia studied Clarke. The blonde’s cheeks were red, the color seeping down her neck slowly. With a smirk, Raven slid her glass of water in front of the blonde.

“So why is Clarkey blushing to the point of looking like her lie-hives are coming?” Octavia asked.

“You guys went into the park once and spent the rest of your trip fucking didn’t you?” Raven howled with laughter.

“Rae!” Clarke moaned, dropping her head to the table.

The Latina laughed and clapped her hands together, “this is great!”

“We made it five minutes,” Lincoln muttered. “Five minutes of actual conversation.”

“Did you at least get us gifts?” Tris asked. “You know, before the sex marathon?”

“None of you are getting your gifts until next year,” Clarke leaned back in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest again.

“Oh come on Clarkey!” Raven poked the blonde in the side a couple of times, ignoring her squeals of protest. “Give us the nitty gritty details.”

“Raven,” Lexa’s voice cut through the laughter. She rested her hand on Clarke’s thigh, offering comfort in the blonde’s embarrassment. “I think you ought to drop it.”

Rolling her eyes, Raven poked Clarke again. The blonde shifted further into Lexa’s side. Raven followed, poking her again as she chanted “tell me!” over and over again.

“You should just tell us. You know she isn’t going to stop.” Octavia said.

“Well I for one don’t want to know what Clarke did to get Lexa looking that loved up,” Lincoln protested.

“I suggest you all stop,” Lexa said coldly.

Yu nou gaf Klark tel yu stelt ridiyo op? (You don’t want Clarke to spill your hidden truths?)” Tris smirked.

Mebi emo pleiplei nou don bos kom osir vout in. (Maybe her game was not as great as we thought.)” Anya chuckled.

“Clarkey!” Raven was shaking Clarke by the shoulder, jarring Lexa as a result. “Tell me!”

Straightening in her seat, Lexa wrapped both arms around her harassed girlfriend. She felt Raven shake the blonde again. Slowly, Lexa turned her head. Her hard green eyes met Raven’s brown ones.

“Lexa,” Anya said slowly, her hand finding Raven’s thigh and squeezing. “She’s just giving Skaiprisa a hard time.”

“You will stop asking about our week away,” Lexa ordered, ignoring her sister.

“Oh come on Lexa,” Raven scoffed.

“Clarke tells us everything,” Octavia added. “She’ll tell us eventually.”

Without shifting her gaze from Raven, Lexa spoke again, “she is the one who gets to choose what to tell you and when she’ll tell you. You will not continue to tease and poke and prod right now.”

“Lexa,” Lincoln said softly. He wrapped his arm around Octavia’s slouched shoulders. “They’re not doing anything they don’t normally do.”

“Maybe they should respect Clarke a little more,” Lexa’s eyes flew to Lincoln’s.

“Hey now!” Raven protested.

“Do you really want to have a conversation about how much you respect Clarke? Because we can start with the events that led to Clarke and me meeting and follow that up with you refusing to move on from a subject she clearly doesn’t want to talk about in public,” Lexa’s voice was low, borderline dangerous sounding.

Shaking her head, Clarke reached up to stroke Lexa’s jaw, “It’s okay, Lex. They’re just being Rae and O.”

“Well, Rae and O should recognize when you don’t want to talk about something. And you clearly don’t want to talk about our trip right now, at eight in the morning while we’re in a diner,” Lexa nuzzled Clarke’s hand before pressing a kiss to her palm.

“You guys are gross,” Raven grumbled.

“And you should be happy Clarke is here to protect you,” Lexa snapped. She kissed Clarke’s hand again before meeting Raven’s eyes again. “If she wasn’t, I would have a lot to say about the two of you ‘just being Rae and O’ right now.”

Silence fell over the table. Anya and Lincoln did their best to quietly reassure their girlfriends. Lexa literally had to bite her tongue to keep from saying more about how the two girls treated her girlfriend sometimes. Clarke slowly worked her way through her caffeine rush. Tris… well, she smiled at the subtle glares and shy glances.

“Clarkey,” Raven said after several minutes.

“Yeah Rae?”

“If Lexa just got laid for a week straight, why is she being not Lexa-like right now?” Raven asked.

Snorting, Clarke wiggled her way closer to Lexa, prompting the brunette to tighten the arm around her shoulder before she shrugged, “because that isn’t Lexa, that’s Heda. And you ticked Heda off.”

Heda?” Octavia echoed.

“Yeah,” Clarke replied. “Lexa did get a lot of attention this week. Heda didn’t want to make too many appearances so…”

Lexa gasped at her unspoken words, “Clarke!”

“I’m just saying,” Clarke laughed and winked up at her girlfriend. “Maybe if you let Heda out to play every once in a while she wouldn’t get so frustrated.”

“So Heda can lay down the law but can’t get laid?” Tris laughed.

“At least we have Wanheda now to balance Heda’s mood swings out,” Lincoln chuckled at his middle sister’s grimace of embarrassment.

****

Later that night Lexa found herself surrounded by all their friends and families again. Abby had insisted on celebrating the New Year at Tondisi. She said Luna and Trina had brought Clarke and Lexa together, along with Anya and Raven, so they were basically family and family celebrates the holidays together. Of course, the bar couldn’t close for a private event on New Year’s Eve but Luna did section several tables off for the Griffin-Woods gathering.

Returning to the Delinquent booth with drinks for Clarke and herself, Lexa frowned when she saw her spot between her girlfriend and the wall was occupied.

“It’s okay, Lexa,” Raven laughed at the pout.

“What’s wrong?” Abby, the person occupying her spot, asked.

“Nothing,” Lexa assured. She settled Clarke’s Jack and Coke in front of her before sliding into the seat opposite her, cradling her Jameson in her hands.

Rolling her eyes, Octavia nudged the brunette with her shoulder, “She’s upset because you’re in her spot.”

“Your booth,” Abby pointed to Clarke before turning to point at Lexa, “and your spot?”

“It’s fine! Really!” Lexa said.

“That’s just where Lexa always sits when we come here,” Clarke explained. Tossing a wink at her girlfriend, she added, “she can curl up with a book while I draw and we can still hold hands.”

Abby barked out a laugh, “Raven is right. You two are gross.”

“Thank you!” Raven reached across the table to high five Abby.

“Mom!” Clarke protested at the same time.

Brushing off the admonishment, Abby made a shooing motion with her hands, “get up so I can go find Indra and tell her how gross our daughters are.”

“Abby, really. It’s fine,” Lexa promised.

“Its okay Lexa. I can’t wait to see Indra’s reaction,” Abby cackled. She continued to shoo Clarke, even scotching closer and pushing at her daughter with her hip. “Your aunt is much funnier than I’d have ever thought she’d be. Hopefully Gus is with her. He’s fun when he gets embarrassed.”

“Mom!” Clarke whined.

“He blushes!” Abby clapped her hands excitedly.

“I’m totally coming with,” Raven stood from her spot on Clarke’s left and began tugging on the blonde’s arm. “Move it Griff! I want to gossip about you with the grown-ups!”

When Clarke only protested further Abby climbed over her. The whole time Lexa tried to tell her girlfriend’s mother it was okay, that she could sit next to Clarke. Nothing she said worked. Before either girl really knew what was happening Abby and Raven were ducking and dodging their way through the crowd.

“Why do I have a feeling I don’t want to know what those two are up to?” Anya asked as she approached the table.

“They’re going to gossip about Lexa and Clarke being gross with your parents,” Octavia laughed at the groans from the girls. “Abby said she agrees with Rae and that she wants to see if Gus will blush when she tells him.”

Nodding, and maybe laughing a little, Anya stared at Clarke.

“What?” The blonde asked.

“You’re sitting in the middle of a bench meant for at least two people,” Anya replied. “Move over.”

Before Clarke could react, Lexa dove under the table. Seconds later she scurried into her seat next to Clarke.

“Really?” Anya arched a brow.

“Sit by O,” Lexa shrugged like she hadn’t just crawled across the floor of a bar to sit next to her girlfriend.

Octavia was howling with laughter, “you could have just stood up and offered Anya your seat. She would have taken it. And you know Clarke would have stood up so you could get in your spot.”

“But no,” Anya smirked at her sister. “You had to go and be Nerdy Lexa instead not Heda like at all.”

“My nerd,” Clarke grinned before leaning over and pressing her lips to Lexa’s.

“Gross,” Tris said as she slid in on Clarke’s right.

“Seems to be the consensus,” Anya replied.

The subjects on their ridicule and discussion weren’t really listening anymore. They were too busy smiling into sweet kisses. Lexa would accept a kiss before smirking and pulling away to kiss her way up Clarke’s jaw and whispering in her ear. The blonde would giggle or nod or shake her head, blushing often, before diving in for another kiss.

“You were right Abby,” Indra’s voice cut into their haze of happiness. "They are gross.”

Their heads snapped up to find the parents standing next to the table.

“I think they’re cute,” Gustus grumbled next to his wife.

“It’s gross,” Indra reiterated.

“Mom,” Lexa groaned. She dropped her head into the crook of Clarke’s neck, hiding her eyes.

Gustus chuckled at that, “I don’t think that is going to help your case Lexa.”

“You’re not helping,” Lexa whined back.

“I just wanted to remind you about tonight. It’s important,” Indra said quietly.

“What’s tonight?” Clarke asked.

“Nothing to worry about right now,” Lexa replied, straightening enough to shoot her parents a look. “I just have to talk to you about something in a little bit.”

“Good something?” Clarke questioned.

“Of course,” Lexa assured before pressing a kiss to the hinge of her jaw.

****

Lexa and Clarke found themselves sitting at the table with Octavia, Anya, and Tris just a little while later. Suddenly, Monty dove out of the crowd, his eyes wide as he scrambled up to the booth. “Clarke!”

“Monty?” She replied.

“Hey,” Tris batted her eyes at her boyfriend. He must have just arrived at the party.

The young man blushed and replied with a calm hello. When Tris held out her hand, he took it and allowed her to tug him down for a quick kiss on his cheek.

“Now who’s gross?” Lexa teased.

“Still you losers,” Anya answered. “What’s up Monty?”

He froze. Sure he’d talked to Anya and Lexa before but that was before they knew about him and Tris.

“Monty?” Octavia waved her hand in front of his face.

Blinking a few times, he met her eyes, “Octavia?”

“Did you need Clarke for something?” She asked.

“Oh no,” he shook his head rapidly. “I just wanted to warn her – ”

“Hey Clarkey!” A too-chipper voice cut him off.

Six heads swiveled to stare at the newcomer.

After a beat, Clarke cleared her throat, “Niylah.”

“Long time, no talk,” Niylah pouted her lips. “Or rather, long time, no kiss. I figured you would have called me by now.”

“Really? Why?” Clarke asked, surprised.

“You haven’t gone this long without me since we met,” Niylah shrugged, like that was obvious.

“Maybe she doesn’t need to call you,” Lexa replied. “Nor does she want to.”

Niylah scoffed at that, “She’s needed to call me for the last two years.”

“Well now – ” Lexa started to snap.

Clarke’s hand on her thigh stopped her. She shook her head at the brunette before turning to Niylah, “I know what my pattern has been. I know what you think you should expect. Honestly though, I think maybe it’d be better for both of us if we lost each other’s numbers. Especially if you think it’s okay for you to come over here and say those things to me in front of Lexa.”

“I thought I was your friend?” Niylah reminded gently.

“Friends don’t try to undermine each other’s relationships,” Clarke replied.

“But, as your friend, I can ask you to hang out?” Niylah asked hopefully. “Maybe earn your trust a little more?”

Glancing at Lexa, Clarke saw her eyes were hard as emeralds. The blonde knew her girlfriend wouldn’t stop her from seeing someone she considered a friend but then again, she knew Niylah was a bit more than a friend.

“No, I don't think so,” Clarke said with finality.

“Because she won’t let you?” Niylah glared at Lexa.

Rubbing her hand in circles on Lexa’s thigh, Clarke stopped the brunette from jumping in. Clarke leveled her stormy blue eyes on the woman standing next to her booth, “Lexa doesn’t ‘let’ me do anything. She doesn’t control me. That isn’t how Lexa works.”

“You do know what Heda means right?” Niylah snapped.

Em pleni!” Anya stood from the booth. “You well not speak to Heda and Wanheda like that.”

“I’ll do as I please!” Niylah replied sharply.

“Then consider your father’s store on notice,” Lexa’s cold growl cut through the words Anya was hissing out.

“You can’t – ” Niylah blanched at the threat.

Ai laik Heda. You attacked Clarke, you attacked me. And for what?” Lexa’s Heda mask was firmly in place as she glared at the girl she’d once thought of as competition for Clarke’s affections. “For a hook-up?”

Niylah bowed her head, “Bosh moba, Heda.”

“You don’t owe those words to me. You should beg for Clarke’s forgiveness. You owe her respect as you respect me,” Lexa said.

“Of course,” Niylah turned to the blonde. “Clarke, I didn’t mean it. I just thought I meant something to you.”

“Even though I haven’t talked to you in months?” Clarke replied.

“I thought you were playing hard to get,” Niylah shrugged.

Shaking her head, Clarke sighed, “I’ve been caught by Lexa. Completely caught and totally enraptured by her. I’m sorry if you thought otherwise. She’s it for me.”

That seemed to rattle Niylah. She nodded before turning on her heel and walking away.

“So,” Lexa whispered in her ear, the smile clear. “I’m it for you?”

“Yes, Hodnes,” Clarke smiled and leaned into her. “You know you are.”

****

At ten thirty, Lexa placed her bookmark in her book and slid it over to Anya for safekeeping. She tapped Clarke’s arm gently, slowly bringing the blonde out of her fantasy world of warriors and princesses.

“Lex?” Clarke blinked over at her.

“Can we talk for a bit?”

Nodding gently, Clarke slid from the booth. She waited for Lexa to stand next to her before offering her hand and smiling when the brunette laced their fingers together. Following her girlfriend through the crowd, Clarke sent smiles toward her dancing friends and lounging mother.

“This way,” Lexa turned up the stairs toward her old apartment. Then she turned again, going up another set of stairs Clarke had never seen before.

“Are you going to kill me?”

“I didn’t kill you at the cabin. I didn’t kill you in Orlando. Why would I kill you now?” Lexa laughed, reaching in her pocket to pull out a key. “I just don’t know why that’s always your question.”

“Why do you always take me to places that look like potential murder scenes?”

Opening the door, Lexa held it for Clarke through first. In front of them were a couple of couches and a fire pit on the roof of Tondisi. The fire was going and there were the supplies for s’mores set out on a table nearby. With a giggle, Clarke recaptured Lexa’s hand and pulled her to the plush grey couch.

“This is what you wanted to talk to me about? A fancy lounge area on top of our favorite pub?” Clarke sank into the cushions with a sign. She lifted her arms into the air to allow Lexa to spread a blanket over her lap. “Just needed some more time alone with me? Even after almost a week of just the two of us?”

Lexa laughed and shook her head before pulling a small chair over to sit in front of Clarke. She pulled another blanket over her own lap and settled back in the chair.

“Lex?” Clarke’s foot poked at her after she’d let the silence go for a few minutes.

“Hm?”

“Are you going to talk or can I make a s’more?”

Studying her for a moment, Lexa seemed to make up her mind with a nod. She leaned forward, taking Clarke’s hands in hers, and took a deep breath. “So… I know we haven’t been together for very long but there’s something I need to tell you. I don’t want you to freak out but… it’s just something you need to know.”

“Should I be nervous? This isn’t you breaking up with me or something like that?”

“No! God, Clarke, no!” Lexa shook her head and squeezed her girlfriend’s hands. “Please don’t think it’s anything bad. It’s just… I don’t know. Intense? Heavy?”

“Those adjectives aren’t helping Hodnes,” Clarke sighed.

“I just thought… no, I need to tell you about Wanheda,” Lexa said quietly.

Clarke straightened at that, “I’m Wanheda.”

“Yes, I know. That’s why I have to tell you about this. So… just maybe let me tell you all of it before you ask any questions. Okay?” Lexa requested.

With a nod, Clarke resolved herself for a wait. She played with Lexa’s fingers while she settled into the plush couch. She could tell Lexa was nervous about whatever she had to say. She seemed to think Clarke would be upset about whatever it was. The minutes stretched on, Lexa opened her mouth a few times before shaking her head and closing it again.

“Lex, Hodnes, if you want me to not freak out you’re going to have to start talking soon,” Clarke whispered. She wanted Lexa to speak but she seemed to be in her own world and Clarke was worried about startling her.

After another few minutes, Lexa sighed, “I suppose I should just get on with it.”

“I’d like to hear something, please,” Clarke replied.

“I know,” Lexa lifted her hands to press kisses to the backs of Clarke’s.

“So?”

“Right. So you’re Wanheda. You know that. And you know what it means, yeah? ‘Commander of Death’ and all of that,” Lexa said quickly. She wanted to get this over with. She knew Clarke may take her news the wrong way but she had to know. Lexa’s people had expectations and a few of them needed to be met soon. “Well, the thing is, Wanheda has always been a myth for the Trikru. We never thought any of us would live to see her. But then, here you are.”

“So I’m a big deal?” Clarke winked.

“You know you are. You’re a very big deal.” Lexa nodded vigorously. “I love you, you know that right?”

“Of course,” Clarke leaned forward to catch her lips in a quick kiss. “Ai hod yu in.”

Smiling, no beaming like a fool, Lexa accepted the kiss eagerly. Then she accepted the next four or five that followed before leaning back and shaking her head. If Clarke kept kissing her like that she wouldn’t get through what she needed to.

Meizen,” Lexa sighed. “Let me tell you what I need to tell you. Then we can kiss if you’d like.”

“I always like to kiss you,” Clarke sulked.

Gently, Lexa released her hands so she could nudge her to sit back. When Clarke resisted, Lexa stood from the chair and sat next to her on the couch. The blonde grinned and clambered into Lexa’s lap, straddling her hips.

“That isn’t why I moved over here,” Lexa giggled.

“I know, but you wanted to tell me something face-to-face right?” Clarke waited for Lexa to nod before she continued, “this way, I get to hold you and you get to see my face.”

The only thing Lexa could do was sigh. Clarke’s weight on her thighs was a comfort. She settled her hands on Clarke’s hips and pulled her a little closer.

“Just talk, Lex,” Clarke told her, blue eyes searching her face. “You’re going to start making me anxious if you don’t say something soon.”

“Okay… okay.” Lexa sighed one more time. “So Wanheda is a legend. It’s been said she comes to bring about a time of turmoil followed by a time of unprecedented peace. She’d be able to help Heda unite the clans into a coalition that would last for a thousand years.”

“And how would the Trikru know when Wanheda had been found?”

“It is said that Heda would love Wanheda with a passion never seen before. Enough to question Trikru ways, to change traditions and laws, and most importantly, enough to help create peace.” Lexa closed her eyes, not wanting to see if her words were freaking Clarke out. She felt the blonde shift on her lap and couldn’t stop her fingers from tightening.

Clarke cleared her throat, “Lex, this sounds really… I don’t know… it’s a big thing right?”

“The coming of Wanheda has been prophesied for generations.” Lexa nodded, her head falling back against the couch.

“And your people are sure I’m Wanheda?”

Meizen, you helped me stop a war. The pranks may have been child’s play but it was still a war that had been ongoing for centuries. You helped me save Tris. My people think you helped save Raven and yourself and me from Finn's bullets.”

Clarke’s hands lifted to cup her neck, her thumbs rubbing Lexa’s sharp jawline. She gave her girlfriend a moment before she pulled her head up off the couch, “Lex, I need your eyes please.”

“I’m sorry, Clarke.”

“What for?”

“I know you didn’t ask for any of this.”

“Hey, don’t apologize for making me half of what is apparently going to be an epic love story,” Clarke laughed when Lexa’s eyes flew open and settled on hers. “There’s the green I love. Hello.”

No matter how intensely Lexa searched blue eyes, she couldn't find the anger or anxiety she'd been expecting. “You aren’t mad?”

Clarke shook her head, “for a prophecy from your culture that was created before your great-great-grandparents were born? No.”

“There’s more though,” Lexa’s hands drifted around to her back, under her jacket and shirt to bring her closer. Both girls shuddered when her hands found Clarke’s flesh. When Clarke didn’t respond, Lexa decided to finish telling her what she’d brought her upstairs for. “So yeah… You’re a big deal. And one of our big holidays is coming up in a month. It’s sort of like an offering to tempt spring to come. And it’s a time when the Kru gathers and swears fealty to Heda.”

“Swear fealty? Like loyalty? All of the Kru?”

“Yes. Every man, woman, and child swears fealty to me. One at a time. It takes most of the day. There’s a little speech they say, a couple of lines, nothing too horrible. Watching the kids is fun. Especially if it’s one of their first times, they get nervous. I like to try to make them feel better,” Lexa explained. She smiled softly at her girlfriend. She hadn’t expected Clarke to remain so calm. “And now Wanheda is here. So she is expected to be part of the ceremony too.”

“I’m sorry… what?”

“My people will expect you there Clarke,” Lexa said quietly, making sure she clicked the ‘k’ like she knew Clarke loved. “I’m sorry Meizen.”

“What am I supposed to do? I’m not Trikru,” Clarke wasn’t sure what to make of this revelation. She could deal with the prophecy aspect of it, that was just superstition. For her to be included in this fealty oath felt very big.

Lexa felt tension fill Clarke’s body. She slid her hands down to her hips again before dropping them to the couch, away from Clarke all together. She hadn’t wanted to talk to Clarke about all of this, her aunt and uncle insisted. Trikru knew Clarke was Wanheda. She’d be expected to be at the Yiron Swega. There wasn’t anything Lexa could do to get the blonde out of it. If Clarke didn’t show up, if Clarke knew about the ceremony and stayed away, Lexa’s power would be questioned. And there were steps she needed to start working on, tasks to complete, lines to remember.

“What if I don’t want to go?” Clarke seemed to read her mind.

“My people will question me,” Lexa answered simply.

“That’s it? Just question?”

“Some will seek to usurp my throne.”

That caused Clarke to stiffen more, “they’ll hurt you?”

“They’ll... try.”

“Lex – ”

Shaking her head, Lexa lifted Clarke from her legs. She knew Clarke wouldn’t like the idea very much. She didn’t like the idea herself, so why would Clarke? They’d only been together for a few months so how could anyone think it was okay to expect Clarke to be all-in for the ceremony. It was definitely too much, too soon.

“It’s okay Clarke, I’ll figure something out. I shouldn’t have said anything,” Lexa stood and moved toward the fire.

“No, Lexa,” Clarke reached for her, just catching her hand before she was out of reach.

“I’m not mad, Meizen, I’m not. It’s okay. I knew this was a bad idea. But Aunt Indra and Uncle Gustus and Titus all said you’d need to be seen,” Lexa turned just enough to meet her eyes. “I’ll be fine.”

“You’ll be more than fine. You’re Heda,” Clarke replied. “Why are you telling me this now? Why not wait until the ceremony is closer?”

That brought another sigh from Lexa’s lips. She’d hoped she’d get to skip the rest of all of that since Clarke was clearly not interested in going to the ceremony.

“Lexa? There’s more?”

“If you were there you’d have to take part in the Yiron Swega. You’d have to swear fealty to me. To show others that you’re mine,” Lexa said quietly. She didn’t want to think about the implications of that statement.

Clarke took a deep breath and held it. Then she asked the question that had been nagging the back of her mind for the last few minutes, “Lex, are your people expecting us to get married in front of them in a month?”

“What?” Lexa fully turned to face her. She shook her head as she dropped her knees in front of Clarke. “Meizen, I’d never expect that from you. Whatever happens between you and me is just that, between the two of us. My people want a sign of loyalty not marriage. We have steps for courtship, you know? And the Yiron Swega isn’t really part of that.”

Clarke seemed to contemplate that. She didn’t know what all of this meant. “So what does it mean?”

“Just that you’re mine. That you’re loyal to me. In some ways that you answer to me,” Lexa rushed to explain.

“So you’re telling me all of this now because?”

“You have to memorize the oath. And the response, because some will want to swear fealty to you too. And you have to organize your dress. We have a traditional way to dress, you’d have to go with me to meet with Titus and some designers for a design session and for fittings. And you have to meet with Titus and some others to design the Skaikru emblem.” Lexa expounded. She shifted closer to Clarke, her hands sneaking under the blanket to find Clarke’s knees. “It’s a lot of organizing that needs to get done. But it isn’t something you have to do. I’ll figure it out, Clarke.”

Shaking her head, Clarke grasped Lexa’s hands, “So I have to wear a fancy dress, design an emblem for my people, and memorize some speeches?”

“Yes.”

“Who are my people?”

“That’s a question for Titus,” Lexa sighed. "I think the answer will come as a bit of a surprise though. I was shocked to say the least."

Taking a moment, Clarke considered it all. She didn’t like the idea of having to kneel before Lexa just because her people expected it. But if it helped Lexa keep herself safe, Clarke was willing to do it.

“It’s not a wedding?”

“It’s not a wedding,” Lexa assured.

“I’ll do it then,” Clarke promised. “But I want to wear blue. And my hair has to be braided all pretty like yours.”

Meizen – ”

With a huff, Clarke brought her feet up to wrap her legs around Lexa’s back, pulling her into a tight embrace. She laughed when Lexa lunged into her arms. “I said I’d do it. I will. As long as you don’t think this excuses you from a big fancy wedding some day.”

“You want that? With me?” Lexa pulled back enough to meet Clarke’s eyes. "A big fancy wedding?"

“Some day, yes,” Clarke kissed the corner of her mouth. “I told you you’re it for me.”

“I love you,” Lexa smiled.

“I have another question though,” Clarke kissed the other corner.

Lexa groaned and dropped her head to Clarke’s shoulder, “what?”

“What are those courtship steps?”

Meizen,” Lexa giggled.

“I want to know.”

“First, I have to give you a way to protect yourself,” Lexa explained. "Like a dagger or a sword. No firearms."

“Easy, you’re always around. Step one, done,” Clarke slid a hand under Lexa’s chin, pulling her face up to meet her own. She kissed her quickly before asking, “What’s next?”

“I have to prove I can provide food for you.”

Clarke did a little happy dance at her words, “Duh, you make me dinner all the time. Or buy me dinner. Step two, done. Next?”

“My parents have to accept you into their home where they present you with something meaningful. And yours must do the same with me.”

“Does Christmas count?”

Lexa blushed before she nodded, “Yes.”

“What’s next?”

“Attending a Trikru ceremony of some kind together and presenting ourselves to Heda for a blessing.”

“A ceremony like the Yiron Swega?”

Unable to fight the grin anymore, Lexa beamed at her girlfriend, “exactly.”

“So if you’re Heda, do we really need your blessing?”

“I just have to tell the Kru what our intentions are. Step four is the last step before I ask you to bond with me,” Lexa explained. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea of presenting Clarke to the Kru for future bonding. “That’s what we call marriage.”

“So… if you announce our intentions at the ceremony in a month we’re engaged in the eyes of Trikru?”

“More like pre-engaged, but I guess you could see it like an engagement,” Lexa answered carefully. It was a big step in any relationship. And no Heda had ever been bonded in the eyes of Trikru. Clarke being Wanheda though, that meant the Kru would be more willing to break that tradition.

“Would you think I’m crazy if I said I kind of like that idea?”

Chapter Text

“Did you do it?” Anya asked as soon as she found herself alone with Lexa.

“Yes.”

“And?”

Lexa shrugged, trying to appear nonchalant, “She said she’d do the ceremony.”

Knowing how nervous Lexa had been about asking her girlfriend Anya her chill a little suspicious. She waited for more, much more patiently than was characteristic for Anya. After several minutes of having her eyes avoided, she sighed and latched onto Lexa’s elbow.

“Hey!” Lexa protested when she was puled through the crowd toward the stairs.

“Our girlfriends and parents are meetings us on the roof in a few minutes to wait for midnight. If you’d like to ring in the New year with Skaiprisa, I’d suggest you start talking,” Anya said as she headed up the stairs. She allowed the silence to fall again as she unlocked the door to the apartment.

“Ahn,” Lexa huffed as she was unceremoniously shoved through the door.

“Talk.”

“About what? She said she’d do it!”

“So why do you look like you want to cry?”

Lexa crossed her arms over her chest. She didn’t feel like talking. “I do not.”

“Lexa,” Any said softly. She nudged her sister’s shoulder with a finger, “talk.”

“I am not a dog.”

“It’s easier to get a dog to speak,” Anya snapped. She wasn’t one to coddle, she never had been. Glancing at the clock on the stove, she sighed, “you have 12 minutes until midnight. We aren’t leaving until you talk. If I miss midnight with Raven, you get to answer to her.”

Shaking her head, Lexa tried to move around her sister. Anya side-stepped and blocked her path. Lexa tried to the other way. Anya moved again, this time laughing as she did so.

“Anya!” Lexa shouted.

“Just tell me what’s wrong!”

“Nothing’s wrong!” Lexa insisted. She wanted nothing ore than to let Heda slip in, let her emotions fall away for a little while but she knew Anya was serious about talking. “Clarke said she’d be there. She said she’d do all of it. That’s what we wanted right?”

When Lexa feinted left before diving to the right, Anya practically tackled her. Soon they were wrestling in the kitchen of the tiny apartment.

“Let me go!” Lexa panted, barely managing to block a fly away elbow from hitting her in the face.

“Not until you tell me!” Anya batted at the hand pressing against her forehead.

“There isn’t anything to tell!”

“Lies!”

Suddenly, Lexa found herself in a headlock. Anya tightened her grip and settled in for a struggle. Lexa somehow twisted an arm up under hers, pushing her to the side. Even with her head secure in Anya’s arms, Lexa managed to hook a leg around Anya’s hip.

“Hey, are you guys – ” Clarke burst into the apartment, Raven right behind her.

“What’re you doing?” Raven asked, moving around her best friend so she could take in the sight of their girlfriends tangled together in an almost painful looking hold.

“Nothing,” Lexa huffed.

“Talking,” Anya said at the same time.

Clarke glanced at Raven before moving to look at Lexa’s face, “She’s turning blue a bit Anya.”

“That is a possible occurrence when you find yourself in a headlock,” Anya tried to shrug but her muscles were too tense.

Tugging on her girlfriend’s arm, Raven laughed, “Let her go Woods.”

“Not until she tells me!” Anya argued.

“Anya,” Clarke pulled on her arm. “There’s only a few minutes until midnight. I fully plan on kissing Lexa when the New Year hits. I will kiss Lea even if she’s in a headlock. If that happens, I will lick your arm.”

“You wouldn’t,” Anya narrowed her eyes at the blonde girl.

“You really want to risk it?” Clarke challenged.

That was all it took to convince Anya to let Lexa go. The brunette was on her feet and out the door before anyone could say anything, pulling Clarke behind her.

“What’d you do?” Raven asked, offering a hand to help her girlfriend up.

“I wanted to talk to her. She wouldn’t say anything. She tried to be all… Heda.”

“Oh,” Raven laced her fingers with Anya’s, pulling her toward the door. “So we’re not done with this?”

“Nope,”

“Good to know,” Raven laughed. She paused just long enough to allow Anya to lock the door. When they headed up the stairs, Raven glanced over, “you should probably be aware that Wick is here.”

“Here as in the bar or here as in on the roof?”

“The bar.”

“As long as he stays away, everything will be fine.”

They were stepping out on to the roof before Raven cold reply. They joined their friends and family by the fire pit. Gustus offered them champagne.

Raven tugged her reluctant girlfriend over to stand next to Clarke and Lexa.

“Hey,” Clarke looked from Lexa to Anya. Neither would look at the other.

“Hi,” Raven replied, a little to cheerfully.

The uncomfortable quartet was saved by Octavia popping up next to them with Lincoln. Then the countdown started.

“10.”

“9.”

“8.”

“7.”

Clarke tugged Lexa a little away from the group, a move copied by Raven.

“6.”

“5.”

“4.”

Lexa finally smiled again. A small smile she reserved exclusively for Clarke. She wrapped her arms around the blonde’s waist.

“3.”

“2.”

Clarke’s arms fell into their usual positions around Lexa’s neck.

“1!”

“Happy New Year Meizen,” Lexa whispered.

“Happy New Year Hodnes,” Clarke replied.

Meeting halfway, their lips came together softly. Lexa captured Clarke’s plump lower lip between hers and sucked lightly. With a little nibble, she released it, pulling back enough to nudge Clarke’s nose with her own before diving in for another kiss.

“I love you,” Clarke murmured against her lips.

Opening her eyes just as their lips melded again, Lexa found blue watching her. She pulled away slowly, allowing their lips to separate with a pop.

“Why are you watching me?”

“I wasn’t. I opened my eyes just before you did.”

“Why?”

Shrugging, Clarke pecked her lips, “don’t know. Just wanted to see you I guess.”

“Why did I have to fall in love with a dork?”

“You’re just that lucky I guess,” Clarke shrugged again.

“I do love you. You know that right?”

“Of course.”

“Just remember that when Anya drags us downstairs again."

****

At least Anya had the patience wait until Lexa had wished everyone a happy New Year. As soon as the younger woman finished talking to their parents, she made her move. This time though, she was subtle. She used Clarke to lure her sister down stairs into the apartment.

“Anya?” Lexa called out as she entered the kitchen. “Why did you drag Clarke down here? Her mom wants to talk to her.”

“She thinks you’re sad,” Clarke answered.

Lexa moved to the living room, finding Anya on the couch and Clarke in her recliner looking cozy. She couldn’t escape if the two of them were as determined as they looked. She moved to the chair Clarke occupied. The blonde stood, allowing Lexa to sit and get settled before dropping into her lap.

“Talk,” Anya insisted as Lexa’s arms came around Clarke’s waist.

“Ahn,” Lexa sighed.

Clarke looped an arm around Lexa’s shoulders, her fingers moving up to play with a tiny ear. She shifted a bit, getting more comfortable. “Just tell her.”

“She thinks I’m upset,” Lexa said.

“Aren’t you?” Anya asked.

“No. I told you Clarke agreed. Why would I be upset about that?” Lexa snapped.

Settling back on the couch, Anya crossed her arms. She waited for her sister to break her silence. After several minutes of glaring, she sighed.

“Are you sure you’re not upset about Clarke’s reaction to the Aftaim Spechou (future congratulations)?” Anya questioned gently.

“The what?” Clarke asked.

“The announcement of intentions,” Anya clarified, her eyes not leaving Lexa.

“Anya,” The warning in Lexa’s tone was clear.

“Did I upset you?” Clarke shifted enough to meet her eyes.

“No! Of course not!”

With a sigh, Anya drew the attention of the couple back to herself. “That isn’t true. Clarke told me what happened. You asked. She thought it meant marriage. From what I gathered, her reaction stung a bit.”

“Lex?” Clarke prodded.

Dropping her eyes to Clarke’s lap, Lexa whispered, “you seemed offended by the idea of marrying me.”

“Oh god! No!” Clarke shook her head.

“I knew it!” Anya exclaimed. “You gigantic nerd! Stop being all broody!”

Even though she wanted to snap back at her sister, Lexa kept her mouth shut. She hadn’t wanted Clarke to know how much her reaction had hurt. Not then, maybe in a few days. She felt fingers under her chin, pressing up gently until green eyes found blue.

“I’ll leave you to talk,” Anya said. She stood and grinned down at the couple in the chair. “Just you know, actually talk.”

“Thank you Anya,” Clarke replied, not looking away from Lexa.

“No worries,” she waved off the thanks. She hated pouting Lexa. Just before she reached the door, she turned back and called out to Clarke, “ask her about the steps Skaiprisa! No more surprises!”

Seconds later they were alone. Clarke moved off Lexa’s lap, settling on her knees in front of her. She rested her hands on her girlfriend’s knees and waited.

“I didn’t think you’d react that way.”

Clarke waited for more. Nothing came. “Lex?”

“You were so worried that you being at the ceremony would mean we’d be married by Trikru customs.”

“I wasn’t,” Clarke shook her head.

“You didn’t see the look on your face Clarke. You look petrified.”

“Are you saying you’re ready to marry me Lexa? If you aren’t ready now, will you be ready in a month?”

Shaking her head, Lexa replied, “of course not.”

“If I asked you to attend a ceremony that’s as heavy and as meaningful as the Yiron Swega and told you my people expected all kinds of things… would you be nervous?”

“Yes.”

“I was just nervous Lex. I didn’t know what it all meant. I still don’t.”

“You thought – ”

“I know what it sounded like. I talked about it with Anya. She told me what the announcement means. The Aftaim Spechou I mean. It’s like… a promise of an eventual marriage.” Clarke said. She began to move her hands up and down the tops of Lexa’s thighs. “I never meant to let you think I don’t want to marry you. I do want that someday. I just don’t want to go into the ceremony blindly. I want to know what to expect. I don’t want to embarrass you!”

“You could never – ”

“Don’t even think about finishing that thought Hodnes,” Clarke laughed. She shifted so her torso filled the space between Lexa’s legs, her chest pressed to Lexa’s stomach. “I may take that as a challenge if you do.”

Lexa chuckled at that. She had overreacted to Clarke’s overreaction. If Clarke had sprung a customary gathering on her, she’d have freaked out too. Especially if she didn’t understand the ins and outs of it all.

Brushing a lock of blonde hair behind an ear, Lexa smiled, “I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“Pouting,” Lexa replied. “I should have told you…”

Reaching up, Clarke tangled her hands in Lexa’s hair, as much as her braids would allow anyway. She pulled her forward until their foreheads met.

“You’re my nerd Lexa Woods. You thought I meant I don’t want to be with you forever. We’ll call it temporary insanity.”

“Yeah?” Lexa sighed, her hands resting on Clarke’s shoulders.

“Yeah.”

“So you do then?” Lexa asked. She took a deep breath and held Clarke’s gaze. “Just not at the Yiron Swega?”

Nodding, Clarke shifted again, moving even closer. “Of course I do. I already told you Clarke Woods sounds good.”

Leaning down, Lexa caught her lips in a fierce kiss. She knew she’d overreacted but part of her really thought Clarke didn’t want her. Not for forever anyway. Hearing her say the otherwise, watching the truth rise up in her blue eyes, settled her nerves.

“I love you. I want to marry you some day,” Clarke said clearly, as soon as they separated. She wanted to make sure Lexa could hear how much she meant every word. “After college. Or med school.”

“How about we just say now isn’t the time?” Lexa kissed her again. “We’ll play this one by ear… or by heart.”

“Nerd,” Clarke shook her head and laughed. “But that works for me.”

Crawling up her girlfriend, Clarke settled into Lexa’s lap again. She straddled her legs, pressing down against her torso with a grin. Leaning down, she kissed her gently. Shifting her head to the side, she dove in for a kiss. She almost had to stop kissing her girlfriend when their grins grew too big. Then Lexa’s tongue traced her lower lip and Clarke didn’t feel like smiling anymore.

When they broke apart, panting and giggling, Lexa asked, “Am I really making the Aftaim Spechou?”

“That’s just you telling Trikru we plan on marrying someday right? That I’m yours?” Clarke questioned.

“Yes. It means someday,” Lexa slid her hands under the hem of Clarke’s shirt. Her fingers danced along the slightly overheated flesh there. “And they all know Wanheda is Heda’s love. That’s part of the legend.”

“I love you,” Clarke whispered, dipping her head for another quick kiss. “Ai hod yu in.”

Lexa returned the words with gusto. She kissed her love with all the feeling she could manage. She smirked when Clarke moaned into the kiss. She stopped smirking when Clarke leaned back in her arms.

“What’s the rest of it? The other steps Anya mentioned?” The blonde played with the buttons on Lexa’s shirt.

“First, the Aftaim Spechou. You know that part. Then, when we’re ready, the Vaucha Osir Tombom (witness our heart). That’s the engagement. And last, the bonding or Sof Hukop (Soft alliance),” Lexa explained.

Aftaim Spechou, Vaucha Osir Tombom, Sof Hukop,” Clarke repeated the terms a few times, trying to memorize them.

Lexa surged forward, catching her in a kiss. She loved hearing Trig words spilling from Clarke’s lips. She just made them so much more enjoyable to hear with her raspy voice.

With a laugh, Clarke leaned even further back, separating their lips long before Lexa was ready. She snorted with Lexa whined. “Later Hodnes, I promise.”

With a sigh, Lexa dropped her face into the crook of Clarke’s neck. “I’m sorry. Again.”

Knowing she wasn’t referring to the kissing, Clarke massaged Lexa’s scalp gently, “freak outs are allowed from time to time. Just… no more wrestling with Anya?”

“She doesn’t fight fair,” Lexa huffed.

“I have a feeling she’s just going to talk to me from now on when you’re upset and won’t talk. She seems to think I have you wrapped around my little finger.”

“You do,” Lexa freely admitted it. She was completely Clarke’s.

Instead of responding, Clarke pulled back on Lexa’s hair gently, pulling her face away from her neck. She stole a series of quick kisses before allowing Lexa to pull her into a deeper one.

She’d felt terrible when she’d talked to Anya, when she figured out why Lexa had been acting a little off after their talk on the roof. Now though, the air was clear and she wanted to kiss her girlfriend.

Lexa broke the kiss off suddenly, laughing when Clarke’s tongue was just poking out of her mouth as their eyes opened.

“Hey Clarke?”

“Yes?” The blonde looked more than a little put out to not be kissing.

“I think Griffin-Woods sounds better,” She said quietly, her hands running up and down Clarke’s back. “Lexa Griffin-Woods. Clarke Griffin-Woods. Dr. and Mrs. Griffin-Woods.”

“God I love you,” Clarke husked out before diving in for a kiss.

****

When they finally rejoined the real world nearly an hour later, Lexa was not happy to find their phones lighting up with texts.

 

StrikGona: (12:35a)
Lexa and Clarke… you need to
come down here!

NomonJoka: (12:36a)
Now!

StrikGona: (12:36a)
I’m going home. Linc is going
with me. So are Monty and Tris.

SkaiTek: (12:38a)
Why are you interrupting their
Clexa fun?

SkaiBluma: (12:39a)
Yeah! Let them have fun Octavia!

StrikGona: (12:39a)
I’d love to, but some idiot gave
Jasper vodka.

SkaiBluma: (12:40a)
Jasper loves vodka!

SkaiTek: (12:40a)
Oh no!

SkaiTek: (12:43a)
Jasper! Where are you?

StrikGona: (12:46a)
We’re gone now. Don’t let
Jasper do anything stupid.

SkaiBluma: (12:46a)
I found Abby! I love Abby!

SkaiBluma: (12:47a)
{image}

StrikGona: (12:48a)
HE’S HUGGING INDRA!

FanasGona: (12:48a)
Mom may hurt him…

StrikFaya: (12:50a)
Get him away from Indra, Anya!

FanasGona: (12:51a)
You get him away from Mom

StrikFaya: (12:53a)
We’re in the car, halfway home…

FanasGona: (12:53a)
With Monty?

StrikFaya: (12:54a)
Anya…

NomonJoka: (12:55a)
They’re staying in Raven’s room.
I’ll keep an eye on them.

SkaiTek: (12:57a)
Gross!

FanasGona: (12:58a)
Door open!

StrikFaya: (1:07a)
Speaking of mothers. You aren’t
mine!

FanasGona: (1:08a)
I have a key to that apartment
and to that room.

SkaiStrada: (1:08a)
Door open is fine.

SkaiBluma: (1:10a)
I love Monty too!

SkaiBluma: (1:10a)
Where’d Monty go?

SkaiShona: (1:11a)
I’ve got Jasper. I’m taking him
home.

SkaiShona: (1:12a)
Breakfast at Clarke and Raven’s
in the morning? 10?

StrikGona: (1:14a)
Rude

StrikGona: (1:14a)
I live there too!

SkaiShona: (1:15a)
Sure you do O…

FanasGona: (1:16a)
So It’s just me and Rae and the
losers then?

FanasGona: (1:16a)
Every one else left?

SkaiShona: (1:17a)
I think so.

SkaiBluma: (1:17a)
I’ve been kidnapped!

SkaiBluma: (1:17a)
Nevermind. It’s just Bellamy.

NomonJoka: (1:18a)
O and I are going to bed. We’ll
see everyone in the morning!

NomonJoka: (1:18a)
Happy New Year!

SkaiBluma: (1:19a)
I love O!

SkaiTek: (1:20a)
You love everyone Jasper.
Especially when someone gives
you vodka

SkaiBluma: (1:20a)
I love vodka!

SkaiShona: (1:20a)
Next time it’s your turn Raven.
He’s already tried to run away
with his keys.

SkaiTek: (1:21a)
I’m okay with taking a turn.

SkaiTek: (1:23a)
I kind of want to see Anya with
Vodka Jasper.

SkaiBluma: (1:23a)
Anya is scary

SkaiShona: (1:24a)
She’s in this groupchat Jasper

FanasGona: (1:24a)
Anya is fine with Vodka Jasper
being scared of Anya.

SkaiBluma: (1:25a)
Oh! Wick was there! At the bar!
He was looking for Raven!

SkaiTek: (1:26a)
Jasper!

FanasGona: (1:26a)
Oh? And what did Vodka Jasper
tell Wick?

SkaiBluma: (1:28a)
That Raven was sitting in her
booth with Anya.

SkaiBluma: (1:29a)
He didn’t like that. Looked sad.

SkaiShona: (1:29a)
I’m taking his phone.

SkaiShona: (1:29a)
We’ll see everyone in the
morning.

FanasGona: (1:30a)
What does Wick look like?

SkaiTek: (1:30a)
Ahn…

FanasGona: (1:31a)
It’s okay, don’t tell me.

FanasGona: (1:31a)
I hope Clarke and Lexa are
dressed. I’m going to go get
them.

 

Lexa had just finished read the texts out to Clarke when the door flew open. Clarke was on her feet in an instant.

“Anya?” She stared at the woman in front of her.

“I need you to come with me,” Anya replied. She stepped to the side and waved an arm out the door.

“Why?” Lexa asked, moving to stand next to Clarke.

Anya arched a brow at the question, “Because I don’t know what Wick looks like.”

“And?” Lexa prompted.

“Raven has told me all about the things he’s said to her. And the things he’s attempted to do to her,” Anya’s nostrils flared as she spoke. She was angrier than Clarke had ever seen her.

“Anya?” Lexa pulled Clarke closer to her sister.

“I just want to see what he looks like,” Anya assured them.

Clarke looked from one sister to the other. She sighed then; she didn’t want to put up with Wick, “no fighting though?”

“Nope. Just point him out so I know who to look for,” Anya promised.

With a nod, Clarke led the way down the stairs. She entered the bar, finding it more crowded than it had been an hour or so ago. She ducked under some guy’s arm, trying to get to her booth. When she broke through the crowd, she stopped suddenly.

Wick was at the booth, sliding onto the bench next to Raven who very much looked like she wanted to escape.

“Uh… Anya?” She glanced over her shoulder.

“Yeah?” She replied.

“I don’t think I need to point him out to you,” Clarke said.

Anya’s head whipped around to look at the booth. She saw the dirty blonde haired man with his arm across the back of the bench. Then she saw the look of irritation on Raven’s face. Looking back to Clarke she said, “That’s Wick then?”

“Yeah,” Clarke nodded.

“I really don’t have to worry about him then. I thought maybe…” Anya said quietly, like she was talking to herself.

“You thought?” Clarke repeated.

With a sigh Anya finished her thought, “I thought Raven was so adamant about hating him because she – ”

“You thought Raven wanted Wick?” Clarke laughed. “Oh no! Never! She really hates him!”

“Even I can see that,” Lexa smirked.

“I’m just going to go say hello,” Anya muttered, not enjoying the look in Lexa’s eye. She knew the teasing was coming.

Slipping her arms around Clarke’s waist, Lexa rest her head on the blonde’s shoulder. “Should we go over there?”

“No way,” Clarke shook her head. “Let Anya deal with Wick. He’s smarmy. I always want to shower for three hours after I talk to him!”

“Three hours?” Lexa nuzzled her neck.

“Yes.”

“Well then, let’s go say hello then!” Lexa shuffled her feet forward, moving them a couple of feet closer to the booth.

“No! Lex!”

Pressing a kiss to Clarke’s pulse point, Lexa laughed, “Three hours!”

“If you promise to not make me talk to Wick tonight, I’ll promise you four hours!” Clarke offered with a giggle.

“Deal!” Lexa stooped down and lifted her girlfriend into her arms. “Thanks god for Wick!”

“I don’t think those words have ever been uttered before,” Clarke laughed as she wrapped her arms around Lexa’s neck.

“Four hours Clarke! In the shower! I’d go tell him thank you if that didn’t mean I wouldn’t get my shower time!”

Clarke pressed a kiss to the brunette’s jaw, “Lexa Woods, I love you.”

Ai hod yu in Meizen.”

Chapter Text

2 weeks later, January 14th

 

“You look nervous,” Gustus said, not for the first time that morning. “Are you nervous?”

“Of course I’m nervous! I’m meeting with the man who is trying to ruin my career!” Clarke replied. She had her arms wrapped around her stomach while she paced in front of the administration building of Mount Weather College. “I don’t even have a career to ruin yet! I haven’t even started med school!”

The pacing wasn’t helping with her nerves. Clarke had no idea what was going to happen once she was in Dante Wallace’s office. Of course, she knew she hadn’t done anything wrong. She hadn’t cheated on a test since third grade. That spelling test still haunted her.

“You have nothing to worry about,” Gustus said softly.

Turning on her heel, Clarke studied the man. He didn’t look like a powerhouse lawyer. His strange hairdo, a sort of pompadour looking style, coupled with his long beard and big broad build made his look more like the leader of a motorcycle gang or something. Clarke had never seen the man without a soft sort of smile on his face and twinkling eyes. It was difficult for her to imagine him speaking in a courtroom.

“We’ve been over all of the information Clarke,” he continued. “You have more evidence than you could ever need. This is just us letting Mount Weather know we’re fighting this.”

“I just don’t see why they’re coming after me.”

“You’re Wanheda,” he replied with a shrug.

Drawing her brows together, Clarke studied him more closely, “ I wasn’t Wanheda when MWC first started all of this.”

“You’ve always been Wanheda. Some just took longer to figure it out.”

“What?”

Instead of answering, Gustus pulled his phone from the inside pocket of his jacket. He chuckled and said, “Lexa says ‘tell her to stop pacing and check her phone’ with a lot of exclamation marks.”

Following the relayed instructions, Clarke pulled the device from her purse.

 

Lex: (8:01a)

You’re going to be fine.Gustus
has everything under control.

Lex: (8:03a)
Also, how dare you leave me
without a good morning kiss?!

Lex: (8:04a)
Clarke?

Lex: (8:06a)
Meizen?

Lex: (8:08a)
Does Heda need to pay you a
visit?

Lex: (8:13a)
Your meeting hasn’t started yet
and I’m already bored without
you.

Lex: (8:16a)
Raven is being Raven. Make her
stop please.

Lex: (8:20a)
Is the lock on your bedroom
actually broken or can Raven
pick locks?

Lex: (8:25a)

Octavia is 20 weeks pregnant,
why is she so fast? Shouldn’t
she be tired or something?

Lex: (8:26a)
Tell Gustus he sucks at relaying
messages.

Lex: (8:28a)
Raven is driving me mad!

Lex: (8:28a)
She’s trying to play our song
game. They’re all love songs.

Lex: (8:29a)
Anya isn’t even here.

Lex: (8:31a)
Raven won’t stop smirking at
me.

Lex: (8:32a)
Clarke? Are my messages
helping? I’m trying to help…

Clarke: (8:34a)
I love you

Lex: (8:34a)
There you are!

Clarke: (8:35a)
Seriously. I don’t know what
I did to deserve you. You’re
the best.

Clarke: (8:35a)
And I did kiss you good morning.
And goodbye. You grumbled,
palmed my face, and pushed me
away.

Lex: (8:36a)
LIES!

Lex: (8:36a)
I WOULD NEVER!

Clarke: (8:37a)
You said “too early horn dog”
and rolled over. Pulled the
blankets over your head too.

Lex: (8:37a)
… I thought I dreamt that

Clarke: (8:38a)
Do you often dream about
rejecting my advances?

Lex: (8:39a)
Of course not!

Lex: (8:39a)
You like to kiss me awake in
my dreams

Clarke: (4:40a)
Oh really?

Lex: (8:41a)
Maybe…

 

“Clarke,” Gustus tapped her shoulder. “it’s time for us to go in now.”

 

Clarke: (8:42a)
I’ve got to go. We’ll discuss
that dream thing later.

Clarke: (8:42a)
I love you

Lex: (8:43a)
I love you too! You’ll do fine.
Just let Gustus do the talking
like we practiced. That’s the
best part of having a scary
lawyer!

Clarke: (8:43a)
I know. See you in a bit.

Lex: (8:44a)
Ste yuj Meizen! Ai hod yu in!

****

Wanheda: (9:01a)
MWC has some interesting
meeting policies…

Wanheda: (9:02a)
Like setting one up with a
student from another university
they’ve been harassing and
then having the head of security
‘escort’ that student and her
lawyer from the premises…

Heda: (9:02a)
They did what?

Wanheda: (9:04a)
You read that right.

SkaiTek: (9:05a)
Why?

StrikGona: (9:05a)
That makes no sense.

Wanheda: (9:06a)
Gustus is scary btw

SkaiTek: (9:07a)
You take that back!

SkaiTek: (9:08a)
Gustus is a teddy bear!

Wanheda: (9:10a)
Have you ever seen what
happens when someone puts
their hands on him when he’s
told them not to?

Wanheda: (9:10a)
{image}

Heda: (9:11a)
Yeah… That’s most definitely
his fighting face.

SkaiTek: (9:11a)
I can’t unsee that! My poor
teddy bear!

FanasGona: (9:12a)
Dad looks like murder is a real
possibility right now

NomonJoka: (9:14a)
Tell him Mom wouldn’t visit
him in jail. She hates orange
too much to look at it.

StrikFaya: (9:14a)
Plus Gus would look horrible
in orange.

Wanheda: (9:15a)
He’s muttering in Trig. I’m not
saying anything to him right now.

Heda: (9:17a)
That’s probably a good
decision

Wanheda: (9:18a)
I’ll explain everything when I
get home.

Wanheda: (9:19a)
Which should only be a few
minutes with the way Gustus is
driving…

Heda: (9:20a)
What?

Wanheda: (9:20a)
{image}
I’ve never been in a car with the
RPMs so high!

FanasGona: (9:21a)
He must be furious!

SkaiTek: (9:22a)
I love my teddy bear! I reworked
the engine for him last week.
He’s just stretching her legs a
bit.

FanasGona: (9:22a)
You did what?

StrikGona: (9:23a)
Raven!

Wanheda: (9:25a)
Lexa! What did that text say?!

Heda: (9:25a)
No idea what you’re talking
about.

Wanheda: (9:26a)
Have you ever heard Siri try to
read Trig? It isn’t pretty. And I
heard my name in that text!

Heda: (9:27a)
Nope. Not ringing a bell.

Wanheda: (9:27a)
Gustus practically slammed on
the brakes when he heard the
text!

Heda: (9:28a)
Who? What happened?

StrikGona: (9:30a)
Is this Lexa’s way of playing
dumb?

Wanheda: (9:30a)
… you’re lucky I love you Woods.

Heda: (9:31a)
Love you too!

Wanheda: (9:31a)
I’m starting to get a bit carsick
so I’m going to put my phone
away. I’ll leave you with this
though, “you’re threatening
Wanheda. You know that never
works out well.”

Heda: (9:32a)
Threatened?! Who threatened?!

Heda: (9:35a)
What did Dante do??

StrikGona: (9:37a)
Clarke?

SkaiTek: (9:40a)
Griff?

****

“I’ll call you tomorrow with our next move,” Gustus promised as Clarke climbed out of the car.

“Okay,” Clarke smiled, bending at the waist to look at him. “Thank you for being there. For trying.”

“We’ve got this Clarke. They probably just realized they’d gone after the wrong girl,” Gustus smiled softly. “I’m sorry for being in a bit of a sour mood on the way here.”

“99 miles an hour is not a sour mood Gustus,” Clarke laughed.

“Don’t tell Lexa,” Gustus sighed.

“Of course not.”

He grinned at the blonde girl, “they really don’t know what they’ve started Clarke. It’s all going to be okay.”

“Because I’m Wanheda?”

“Because you haven’t done anything they’ve claimed. They probably thought you’d just give in to make everything go away,” Gustus clarified.

“Clarke?” Lexa stepped out onto the stoop.

“Hello Lexa! Nice to see you too!” Gustus leaned over the console to grin at her.

“Hi Gustus,” Lexa waved. “Thanks for driving today. For looking out for Clarke.”

“Well I’m not done helping yet but you’re welcome all the same,” Gustus snorted and shook his head, waving off her thanks.

Clarke offered thanks one last time before closing the door to the car. She watched the fancy sedan disappear before heading up the stairs to join Lexa.

“How bad was it?” Lexa asked as soon as Clarke’s head was tucked under her chin.

“Carl Emerson, Mount Weather Security, is a tool,” came Clarke’s muffled reply.

“He really escorted you out of the building?”

“Yeah. All the way to the car actually. Real haughty about it too. Said Dean Wallace is too bury to deal with the issue and I shouldn’t bother him any more,” Clarke responded. She shifted to wrap her arms around Lexa’s waist, wincing when the action pulled at the skin of her upper arm. “I think I’m bruising where he had a hold on my arm.”

“What?” Lexa growled.

“It’s fine Lex, I’m fine,” Clarke soothed.

Shaking her head, the brunette threw the door behind her open and urged her girlfriend inside. “It’s not okay if he hurt you!”

“Let’s focus on one thing at a time okay?” Clarke turned and pressed a kiss to Lexa’s lips before she could argue. Pulling back slightly, “good afternoon love.”

“That’s cheating,” Lexa narrowed her eyes at the blonde.

“That’s love,” Clarke shrugged.

Turning back into the house, Clarke headed toward her room to change into comfy clothes for the rest of the day. Two steps into her short journey and she stopped in her tracks.

“Rae?” She said the single syllable slowly.

“Griff?” Raven mimicked her tone.

“Why are you and Monty sitting in front of a million computer monitors?” Clarke asked.

Without removing her eyes from the monitor up and to her right, Raven scoffed and replied, “exaggerate much?”

“Raven!” Clarke snapped.

“It’s eight monitors,” Monty said.

“Why?” Clarke questioned.

Lexa placed a hand on her lower back, urging the blonde further into the apartment. They moved around the cluster of technology that had overwhelmed the living room, bringing the dining room and kitchen into plain view.

“Hello?” Clarke couldn’t keep the curiosity from her voice.

Everyone was there. Octavia and Lincoln were in the corner of the kitchen, speaking quietly with adorable smiles on their faces. Tris was moving toward the computes with a tray of cheese and crackers in her hands. Anya was reading through a large stack of papers as she laid on the island. Bellamy was in the middle of what looked to be an intense conversation with Jasper and a dark-haired girl Clarke had never seen before.

“Hey Clarke,” Anya waved a limp hand in her general direction.

“What’s going on?” Clarke inquired.

“Operation Free Clarke is in full swing. The others need a headquarters,” Lexa explained as she took Clarke’s coat and purse.

“So you chose the apartment we use to hang out the most? Wouldn’t the apartment over Tondisi make more sense? We’re hardly ever there,” Clarke pointed out.

Monty answered her quickly, “we took all that into consideration. Tondisi doesn’t have the capability to power everything. Since you and Raven wired this place so well we can have everything we need right here.”

“I liked my living room,” Clarke whined.

“You’ll have it back soon,” Lexa promised, dipping her head to press a kiss to Clarke’s cheek.

Since she obviously couldn’t change anything happening, Clarke sighed and went to her room. She changed as quickly as she could, eager to join Lexa to find out what was on the agenda for the rest of the day.

She was greeted with Lexa’s open arms as soon as she entered the kitchen. As if her girlfriend could read her mind, the blonde was kissed until she was almost breathless. Then, with a wink and a grin, Lexa spun her around and pressed her back against her front. Clarke hummed in contentment when Lexa’s chin came to rest on her shoulder.

“Bellamy and Maya wanted to update you on their progress. When the others heard, they decided we needed a progress meeting,” Lexa explained as the other filed into the dining and kitchen.

“Alright,” Clarke nodded, meeting Bellamy’s eyes with a smirk. “Talk to me then Bell.”

“So apparently MWC is scared of you. And AC in general. We ‘threaten their way of doing things’ and we ‘refuse to work with other institutes’ all the time.”

Clarke’s brows came together at that, “refuse to work with who? We’ve had offers?”

“Tons of them,” Raven cut in, waving her hand over the stacks of papers Anya had been reading.

“Other schools have proposed joint ventures and studies, Jaha has refused all of them in our names,” Monty explained. “Like Polis wanted to help with that nanotech I’ve been helping Mama G with, they have a state of the art lab that could be really useful. I never heard a word from them.”

“And they have archives that could have helped with my thesis. One TA from Polis heard about my research and asked to coauthor something with me. Jaha said I wasn’t interested in having a partial credit,” Bellamy expanded. He shook his head and ran a hand through is disheveled hair, “I’d love partial credit in a real paper!”

“They’ve done it to all of us in one way or another. Jaha’s refused exchange programs, grant programs, invitations to conferences. All kinds of things,” Anya said. She shook her head and wrapped an arm around Raven’s shoulders, “NASA emailed AC 23 times about getting Raven an internship. Jaha told them to stop pestering one of his most promising students. He said she was looking to work at a more reputable organization.”

All Clarke could do was shake her head. Everything she’d just heard was impossible. There was no way the dean of students at a major university would do something that like. Grants, internships, exchanges of information did nothing but help the reputation of a school. Why refuse to build Arkadia’s clout in the world of academia?

“He refused programs for you too Clarke,” Lexa said quiet. She held out a hand, Anya immediately set a bunch of papers in her palm.

“Oxford?” Clarke read the letterhead.

“Yeah, they had a spot in a summer internship program. They wanted you,” Lexa let her take the papers.

Shaking her head, Clarke put the papers on the island. “I can’t handle that right now. Just… later. What else did we find out?”

Bellamy spoke again, “they want to join with Polis. MWC I mean.”

“They have resources our people could use,” Maya explained. “I’m Maya by the way.”

“My girlfriend!” Jasper explained proudly.

“Nice to meet you Maya,” Clarke offered a hand, which the dark-haired girl took right away. “So MWC wants to be a part of Polis? And since Polis won’t let them, they come after me?”

“I think you all are looking at the wrong people for this actually,” Maya replied.

Lexa scoffed at that, “what do you mean?”

“I think you, I mean we… we should be looking at Cage Wallace. The Assistant Dean. Dante’s son,” Maya explained. “He wants to make MWC the best school in the state if not the country. He thinks his father has outlasted his usefulness. He’s also Carl Emerson’s best friend.”

“So we think Dante is clueless when it comes to what is going on with Clarke,” Bellamy explained further. “We think its Cage and Emerson. They think going after AC first, joining forces with us, will get them into a better position to join with Polis. And since Clarke is the student body president, they figured AC would want to protect her.”

“But if Dante doesn’t know, why would he agree to meet with me?” Clarke asked.

Maya shook her head, “I don’t think you ever had an appointment with him. Emerson’s wife is Dante’s secretary. She could have written it down all your information and passed it to Emerson and Cage. Dante would have no idea you’d ever tried to contact him.”

“But… emails?” Clarke tried to argue.

“Mrs. Emerson checks his email for him. She forwards important emails to his private account,” Maya explained. “My mom used to work for the school. They… the Emersons and Cage and his girlfriend, Dr. Tsing, found out she wasn’t exactly loyal to their cause. They got her fired just before she was diagnosed with cancer. She died a few months later…”

“So basically, they want to join us so they can join Polis,” Bellamy summarizes. “And they think the best way to do that is to blackmail Clarke into helping them.”

Shaking her head, Clarke laughed, “there has to be an easier way.”

“If they were a better school, they would be welcomed by Polis. They aren’t. And they’ve joined with Azgeda Tech, which is supposed to be loyal to Heda. Obviously that isn’t true,” Tris said.

“Exactly,” Lexa nodded against Clarke’s shoulder. “So now we know why they picked Clarke. What else has been happening?”

“Costia got the tape from the MCAT testing center. She’s bringing it over later,” Anya replied.

“And?” Lexa looked at Jasper. He looked too proud.

He grinned. He’d really out done himself with the pranks. “No one has been dyed green!”

“Good job Jasper,” Clarke laughed.

“So you know how you gave us the task of pranking MWC into distraction?” Jasper looked to Lexa who nodded. “Well, with the help of you sisters, and Octavia of course, we’ve gotten off to a good start. In the last week we’ve had the help of a dozen or so other students to accomplish five pretty epic pranks!”

“Like what Jasper?” Lexa couldn’t fight the smile spreading across her face. The boy was giddy with happiness.

“Well, some AC students and I gift wrapped all of the computers in all of the labs on MWC’s campus. And the next day we air horned most of the classroom doors,” Jasper’s chest swelled with pride. “My favorite was when we rubber-banded all of the phones.”

Anya, Tris, and Jasper waited for the laughs. None came. Raven nudged Anya with her elbow, “explain what he means.”

“Oh! We took thousands of rubber bands to MWC and put them on the phones. Like a hundred rubber bands on one phone. It takes forever to take them all off,” Anya clarified.

“Couldn’t they just cut them off?” Octavia asked.

“Not if they don’t want to get snapped. There’s a special way to wrap the bands you see. If you don’t take them off by hand, one at a time, they snap on your fingers and hand. It sucks,” Jasper laughed as he and Monty gave themselves self-high-fives.

“Great, so it kept them busy,” Lexa giggled.

Maya smiled softly at her boyfriend before she added, “they are only half way done taking the rubber bands off the phones. You should see how angry the professors and staff are getting.”

“Anything else?” Clarke looked to the three pranksters.

“Of course! We air horned all the professor’s chairs. In classrooms and in their offices,” Tris said.

“And more than a few faculty have found their cars on top of buildings,” Anya added with a smirk.

Shaking her head and laughing, Clarke responded quickly, “I still don’t want to know how you did that!”

“Well you see – ” Anya started, a teasing gleam in her eye.

“No! Don’t!” Clarke insisted. “I love my car and choose to believe it was magic!”

"Would now be a good time to tell you Monty and I managed to hack their system and change all their desktop wallpapers and screensavers to pictures and gifs of wild animals fornicating?" Raven cut it with a slightly evil grin. When Lexa arched a brow, Raven shrugged, "you said no one could go boom. You didn't say no animal sex."

The friends laughed, teasing back and forth for a few minutes. Once they sobered a bit, some wiping tears from their eyes, Lexa turned to her sisters again.

“You have more plans?” She asked.

“Of course!” Tris looked slightly offended.

“Care to share?” Clarke inquired.

“Well, Atohl is working on getting us access to the elevators,” Tris said. At Clarke’s worried look she shook her head, “no, we’re not messing with the mechanics or anything. We’re replacing the floors with glass. Very strong glass! Atohl’s dad owns an elevator repair company. Atohl knows everything he could ever need to know about elevators. It will be perfectly safe!”

Clarke tried to argue with her, “If anyone gets hurt – ”

“Griff, we learned our lesson. No one will get hurt,” Raven assured her. “I don’t want to deal with that guilt ever again.”

“We’ve got a few security guards to help too. We’re getting keys to classrooms so Raven doesn’t have to pick all those locks again,” Anya cut in before Clarke could argue any more.

“I knew it!” Lexa pointed a finger at Raven. “I knew you could pick locks! You liar!”

“I do what I want,” Raven shrugged her shoulders.

“Then we’ve got pranks involving balloons and packing peanuts,” Anya kept talking, ignoring her sister and girlfriend. “There may or may not be a massive prank in the works involving post-its too. And another involving Jell-O.”

Lexa shot one more glare at Raven who just shrugged, before meeting Anya’s eyes, “You’ve got everything under control then?”

“Yes,” Anya nodded.

“And no one gets hurt?” Clarke clarified again.

“No,” Anya replied evenly. “That’s not Polis style. And Finn isn’t helping to plan any of these pranks so… I think we’re good.”

That caused all the good-natured teasing to come to an abrupt end. The students from Arkadia shifted uneasily on their feet, their eyes on the floor. Even Lexa’s soft kisses pressed to Clarke’s neck couldn’t bring her mood back up. After a few minutes of unsuccessful coaxing, even from Tris who tried to joke about the accidents that led to every person in that room becoming friends, or more, Lincoln cleared his throat.

“Well, I guess now is as good a time as any,” He nudged Octavia gently with an elbow.

“What?” Her head snapped up, her eyes huge, “Now? I thought you wanted to wait until tomorrow?”

“What’s tomorrow?” Clarke asked.

“What are we waiting for?” Raven added.

Lexa cleared her throat and turned Clarke in her arms just enough to meet blue eyes, “we’re having a family dinner at Indra and Gustus’s house.”

“What?” Clarke replied.

“To go over the Yiron Swega since you, Raven, and Octavia will all be there,” Anya said. “Mom insisted. And no one argues with Mom when she insists.”

“But I don’t want to wait until then,” Lincoln told Octavia. “I want to tell our friends now.”

Octavia studied his eyes for a few moments before she nodded, “okay then. Tell them.”

“We went to the doctor today. For a baby check-up,” Lincoln grinned and placed a hand on the growing bump at Octavia’s waist.

“Good news?” Bellamy asked.

“The best,” Lincoln replied without any hesitation.

“Well?” Raven was bouncing on the balls of her feet. “What happened?”

“At 20 weeks, which is today, the doctor said we could find out the sex of the babies,” Octavia replied.

Clarke held up a hand before her friend could continue, “I’m sorry, did you just say ‘babies’ O?”

“Yeah,” the small woman bit her lip and nodded. “Twins. We’re having twins!”

Clarke and Raven were hugging Octavia in the next moment. They were yelling and crying and offering congratulations. Lexa, Tris, and Anya were on Lincoln just as quickly. Bellamy wrapped the three girls, one who was his baby sister and two he considered little sisters, and squeezed. Jasper and Monty offered high fives and hugs, blushing when the girls peppered their cheeks with kisses. Even Maya got a few hugs, making her feel more than welcomed to the group.

“So,” Lexa finally said loudly enough to break into the celebrations. She turned to her brother and grinned, “what else then? You didn’t just find out about the twins, you just didn’t tell us. So what is the newest news?”

“The sexes,” Octavia replied instantly, flying into Lincoln’s waiting arms.

“And?” Anya asked.

“A boy and a girl!” Lincoln announced. The pride of fatherhood shone clearly in his brown eyes.

“Babies!” Raven cupped Octavia’s bump and grinned. “I’m going to be the best auntie ever!”

“You wish Reyes! That’s my title!” Clarke argued.

Tris shook her head and leaned into Monty to whisper, “should we point out they aren’t biologically related to those babies?”

“No,” He lopped an arm around her waist. He pressed a kiss to the side of her head, “it doesn’t matter. Clarke chose us when we were little. She made us a family. She’ll be the most amazing aunt those babies could ask for.”

Shaking her head, Tris kissed his jaw, “and you’ll be the best uncle?”

Monty jerked a thumb toward Jasper and Bellamy, “with those two as my competition, is that even a fair question?”

Chapter Text

Clarke couldn’t hold back the glare she shot at Lexa while they stood on her parent’s porch. When Lexa finally met her eyes she offered an apologetic smile.

“If this is a family dinner why are Lincoln, O, Rae, Anya, Tris, and Monty not here?” Clarke asked, not really able to keep the whine out of her tone.

“Because it’s not just dinner. They’ll be here later.”

“Okay. So why are we here now?” Clarke replied quickly. She glanced at the time on her phone and sighed. “It’s only 1:30 Lexa. Dinner isn’t going to happen for hours!”

Lexa sighed, “Yiron Swega stuff.”

“Lexa,” Clarke didn’t even try to hide the whine. “I had to sit with that creepy bald adviser for four hours the other day! And I was poked seven times by that seamstress last week. Plus I’ve been studied those cards you gave me with my pledge and response. What more is there?”

“There’s only two weeks until the ceremony Meizen,” Lexa said. She placed her hands on Clarke’s hips, pulling the blonde into her body. “I told you that you don’t have to do any of this. You can still say no.”

“No I can’t. I told you I’d do it so I’m doing it.”

Meizen,” Lexa’s hands rose to cup her face gently. “I’ll be okay if you don’t.”

Grasping the brunette’s wrists, Clarke shook her head, “I’d rather not take any risks. Not when it comes to you and your safety. Thanks though. Just don’t leave me alone with Titus anymore.” At the flash that flew through Lexa’ eyes, Clarke groaned, “He’s here isn’t he?”

“He wants to show you the final rendition of the Skaikru emblem. And then go over the vow one more time,” Lexa hurried to explain.

“His version of ‘one more time’ is actually a hundred more times. I’m not sure if you’re aware of that,” Clarke muttered, dropping her hands to her hips and glaring.

“Clarke,” Lexa tried to pull her in for a kiss, sighing when Clarke resisted. Dropping her own hands from Clarke’s face, she ran them up and down Clarke’s sides, attempting to calm her. “He just wants to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.”

“Right. As smoothly as possible,” Clarke repeated. “You know he hates me?”

Shaking her head, Lexa argued, “He doesn’t trust outsiders. It’s not his way.”

“I’m Wanheda. Isn’t he supposed to respect that?”

“He hardly shows respect to me Clarke,” Lexa chuckled. “I think he forgets he’s merely an advisor. He thinks he’s much more important than that.”

“Do you think you could ask him to explain your ancestors knew about Skaikru and Wanheda before AC and UP existed? I tried asking him and he said he’d have to talk to you before ‘divulging Trikru secrets’ like that.”

Lexa nodded, “he mentioned you asking. He wanted to tell me the story then and there but I told him to wait until we were together. There’s apparently a lot we don’t know.”

“Hey girls!” Abby exclaimed as she popped up behind them.

“Mom?” Clarke whirled around.

“Hello,” Abby gave each girl a quick kiss on the cheek before stepping back and smiling brightly. “Shall we go in? I think they were expecting us a few minutes ago.”

“Why are you here?” Clarke asked.

Abby shrugged, too used to Clarke’s abruptness, “Indra called and said there was a family meeting about that ceremony and she thought I’d like to be around for it. Something about you being a legend.”

“Lex?” Clarke turned back to her girlfriend.

“Sorry,” Lexa shook her head. “I didn’t know she would be here.”

The door opened to reveal Titus before Clarke could respond. The tall bald man frowned when he saw Lexa’s arms draped loosely around Clarke’s waist.

“Titus,” Lexa nodded, not releasing her girlfriend.

“Were you planning on joining us Heda?” He asked without preamble.

“Of course,” Abby stepped forward and offered a hand. “I’m Dr. Abby Griffin, Clarke’s mother.”

“Dr. Griffin,” Titus bowed his head slightly but didn’t take Abby’s hand.

Lexa cleared her throat, “Titus doesn’t like to be touched. He usually takes the time to explain that to people. Apparently he’s preoccupied with tonight’s itinerary and he’s forgotten his manners. Otherwise he’d never be so rude to the mother of Wanheda.”

“Come in,” was all Titus added to that.

Abby waited a beat, watching the man disappear into the house. She turned to the younger women and raised her brows, “he’s fun.”

“A walking talking party,” Clarke muttered. “Let’s go before he comes back. I don’t feel like getting scolded.”

With a nod and a quick kiss to Clarke’s forehead Lexa led the way inside, pausing to close the door behind Abby. Indra appeared from a room down the hall to take their coats before directing them down the hall to the living room.

Abby followed the directions immediately. Lexa waited until their mothers had walked away, keeping a light grip on Clarke’s hand to keep her from moving further into the house.

“Lex?” Clarke whispered.

Dipping her head, Lexa pressed a kiss to the blonde’s lips.

“Not that I’m complaining, because a good old-fashioned make out session was my plan when I asked to stay home until it was time for dinner, but what was that for?” Clarke asked, her eyes closed and her head tilted up.

“You looked adorable outside,” Lexa explained, her hands moving up Clarke’s sides to her back and pressing her closer. She grinned when Clarke’s hands landed on her collarbones.

“Oh?”

“Yes, your little nose was all pink from the cold and you were all nervous because you’re scared of Indra. So adorable,” Lexa kissed her again.

“Girls,” Gustus called out from the living room. “Let’s go!”

****

There were three large posters resting on easels. Each one had 20 symbols on it. Lexa didn’t recognize any of them.

“Titus?” She turned to her advisor.

Wanheda must choose the emblem. Those are the finalist,” Titus explained, gesturing toward the posters with his hand.

“There’s so many!” Clarke marveled. She looked at each symbol for a moment or two, squealing with joy when she reached the last three, “I drew those!”

“Why is Clarke choosing whatever that is?” Abby asked form her seat on the couch next to Gustus.

Titus stiffened a the question, “she is Wanheda. It is Wanheda’s decision to make.”

“Okay,” Abby said slowly. “And that means?”

“You’d think you people would know your own history,” the bald man muttered.

“What? What does that mean?” Clarke asked.

When Titus didn’t respond right away, Clarke moved across the living room to settle on the love seat. She smiled when Lexa sat next to her, close enough that they were sharing a cushion. The blonde laced their fingers together as soon as Lexa was comfortable. Glancing from Titus to her girlfriend, then to Indra and Gustus, Clarke waited for an answer.

Abby leaned forward, eager to hear this information as well. She stared at Titus, knowing the explanation was going to come from him, “Well?”

Heda?” Titus ignored her and turned to Lexa.

“Lex?” Clarke followed his example.

“I told you to explain once we were together,” Lexa snapped at her advisor. He had an annoying habit of making everything much more dramatic than necessary.

“Why is he acting like he’s got some sort of big secret to reveal?” Clarke whispered against Lexa’s tiny ear.

With a shrug, Lexa glanced at her, “I don’t know. He seems to think whatever he’s got to say will be groundbreaking.”

“He is standing right there,” Abby leaned over to add quietly.

“Right,” Lexa laughed.

Her girlfriend’s mother could be stoic and almost unreadable at times but at others, she almost reminded Lexa of her own mother. Abby always picked the best moments to be a little goofy. Turning back to the only person in the room still standing, she nodded.

“You have our attention Titus,” she said.

“Thank you Heda,” Titus dipped his head respectfully. He paused again, forcing a loud sigh form Lexa. Then he spoke, “the simplest way to explain is to say Wanheda is the last in the line of succession of the Drop Of Kru.”

“Lost Kru?” Lexa’s brows came together in confusion.

“Last in line?” Clarke said at the same time.

With a bland look, Titus met Lexa’s eyes, “This will go much more quickly if you refrain from interrupting.”

“Sorry,” Lexa nodded. She leaned back into the cushions, pulling Clarke with her.

“Yeah, our bad,” Clarke said. She settled further into Lexa’s side when her arm came up around her shoulders. When they settled again, Clarke nudged the brunette and whispered, “lost Kru?”

“Last in line?” Lexa’s soft reply was almost lost in Titus’s throat clearing.

Heda?” Titus spoke loudly.

“Continue Titus,” Lexa ordered, as if she’d been waiting for his words and not whispering like a schoolgirl.

His face once again blank, Titus studied the girls on the love seat. After taking a moment, he took a breath and started speaking again, “As I said, Wanheda is the last in the line of succession for the leadership of the Drop Of Kru. As the Elders know it, centuries ago there were 13 Krus. They were Trikru, Azgeda, Floukru, Sankru, Yujleda, Boudalan, Trishanakru, Podakru, Ouskejonkru, Delfikru, Ingranronakru, Louwoda Kliron, and lastly Sorakru (Bird kru).”

Sorakru?” Lexa repeated.

“Yes. The Sorakru were Trikru’s greatest allies for generations. While Trikru became masters of the trees, Sorakru learned to rule the skies. The Sorakru had always been the Kru most adept with working with animals,” Titus explained. He paced just a couple of lengths of the room and muttered to himself before continuing, “The Sorakru domesticated animals easily. They gave horses to the Ingranronakru, transforming them into an elite mobile fighting force we know today. They showed Floukru how to train dolphins for hunting in the waves. There has never been a Kru more skilled at training and domesticating animals at Sorakru. Legends say the kru was descended from a lion and a raccoon that fell in love and, as a gift from the spirits, were transformed into humans.”

“A lion and a raccoon?” Clarke giggled.

“Yes. And as a result,” Titus spoke over her. He glared, daring her to say something else. When he was sure she wouldn’t he continued his tale, “as a result of their origins the Kru they built has a connection to the fauna of the world. So when Trikru started to move further into the forests as their sources of light and tracking skills became legendary, Sorakru gained access to the only type of animals they’d never really interacted with before, birds. As skilled as they’d been with the animals of the ground, Sorakru was infinitely more skilled with flying creatures.”

“Jake had a flying squirrel as a pet. Squiggle was the cutest little thing. He’d hide in Jake’s pockets or hang onto his shoulders,” Abby’s almost absentminded voice cut in. “And his mother, she had the most amazing parrot I’d ever seen. I swear that thing could hold actual conversations.”

“Yes, that is not surprising,” Titus nodded and smiled like Abby’s words had proved the truth of his story. He paced some more. Then, once again, he continued, “So as has happened innumerable times in our history, Trikru went to war with Azgeda. The other Krus were divided between the two sides. Trikru had allies in Floukru, Yujleda, Trishanakru, and of course Sorakru. Out ancestors were able to easily defeat their enemies thanks to Sorakru’s animals. Cougars would stalk scouts and snipers, bears finding caves to prevent ambushes, dogs hunting down snipers and messengers, but most impressively, hawks and falcons as scouts, doves and pigeons as messengers, eagles and owls attacking the enemy. The was only lasted a half a year.”

Titus stopped then, and he waited. His eyes never left Clarke. She shifted under his gaze.

“Well?” Lexa asked, pulling Clarke closer to her side. “How did Sorakru become Drop Of Kru?”

“I’m not sure you or Wanheda will like this part,” Titus hesitated.

“Titus!” Lexa snapped.

With a sigh, the bald man nodded, “a generation after the war, the daughter of the Trikru Wocha (chieftain), a girl named Essie, fell in love with the son of the Sorakru Wocha, a strapping young man known as Pheeniks. Negotiations were made, promises spoken, then, on the eve of the Sof Hukop Pheeniks was found in the intimate embrace of an Azgeda guard. Trikru, understandably, called everything off,” Titus explained carefully. He almost looked apologetic. “Sorakru was fiercely divided over the issue. Three-quarters of the Kru followed the Wocha and Pheeniks when they went north. The rest stayed true to their allies.”

“So you’re saying I’m descended form liars and cheaters?” Clarke growled. Titus had been right. She didn’t like the story.

“No Wanheda,” Titus said softly, trying to reassure the young woman. He even smiled a little. “You come form the people who stayed. You do have some distant cousins in Azgeda though. Nia Ashdown and her children Roan and Ontari included. Those Sorakru who went north were absorbed into Azgeda. They didn’t maintain any kind of autonomy.”

“So how’d we get lost then?” Clarke asked.

Waiting for Heda’s nod, Titus only continued once he’d received it. “Only a few hundred Sorakru remained. The new Wocha was the youngest of the old Wocha’s sons. He was a tall and striking boy with hair the color of the sun and eyes to rival the sky. His name was Griffin. He was smart too. He immediately offered to take his brother’s place as the houman of Essie. She refused, slapping Griffin across the face before he could finish his offer. She insisted she wouldn’t marry into a family of liars. It was because of her anger that Sorakru began to withdraw further into the forests. Further than even the Trikru dared to venture. After a time, the Sorakru would only appear when they had something to trade or one of their traditional allies needed help training animals.”

“Talk about a bad break-up,” Clarke muttered. This story wasn’t painting her family in a very good light.

“One day, the daughter of Griffin, a tall girl named Talon who had her father’s build and coloring and her mother’s sweet disposition, and Essie’s daughter, a girl named Dria who had her mother’s long brown tresses and her father’s green eyes, met in the forest. They spent the day tracking a pauna. After narrowly escaping the beast they’d been hunting, they agreed to meet at the next full moon,” Titus stopped to clear his throat then. He took a sip of water from the glass Indra offered him, ignoring the smirk on the woman’s face. Clearing his throat again, he said, “They became friends. Then they became lovers. Even with Essie’ reservations the two managed to convince their parents to allow them to wed. They had a year of happiness and bliss before Azgeda started the rumbles of war again.

This time, Azgeda and their allies had animals of their own to help. Their beasts fought ours. After two years of fighting Sorakru refused to send any more of their furred and feathered friends to war. They insisted we depend more on human skills. Essie, as the Wocha kom Trikru, was furious. She saw it as a betrayal. Azgeda had all the animals they could need and her supply had been cut off. Dria tried to placate her mother but nothing worked.”

“So they had no animals left to fight with them?” Lexa asked. “They had killed every animal given to them?”

“They had animals left Heda. They just wanted more. One day, while Dria was visiting her mother with her sons, twins named Mac and Hawk who were somehow born of both her body and the body of her wife, Essie refused to let her leave. The Sorakru demanded the return of their Wochahod (Chieftain’s love). Of course, Essie refused.”

“What a bitch,” Clarke said.

“Indeed,” Titus replied. He’d had a similar reaction the first time he’d heard the tale as a young Flamekeeper. “Essie refused to release Dria and the boys unless Sorakru gave her more birds and beasts. Instead of complying Talon sent her beasts against the Trikru camp. Over four dozen Trikru lost their lives to the fangs and claws that night.”

Nat kom Jus en Chopas (Night of Blood and Teeth),” Lexa whispered.

“Yes,” Titus nodded.

“What does that mean?” Abby asked.

“Night of Blood and Teeth,” Lexa translated. She shook her head. She had never thought about the origins of the day of reverence. “It’s one of our holy days. It’s July thirteenth. We gather together as villages and remember those we’ve lost throughout the year. We sing and dance and share stories during the day but once night falls, we surround our villages with huge bonfires so there isn’t a single dark place within the boundaries of the village and we watch the night. No animals are allowed outside during the night. No human may enter a building, it’s seen as cowardly.”

Indra nodded as she added, “we’ve never been told why we do all of that. Any of it. If you ask the Elders, they tell you it is just our way.”

“So you have a party during the day and then stalk the night?” Clarke clarified.

“Exactly. The daytime celebrations are reenactments of the peaceful times. The nighttime activities are obviously a warning to new generations to fear the dark and the animals that can lurk there,” Titus answered.

The room fell silent. Each of the occupants thought over what they’d heard. Then Clarke leaned forward, seeking Titus’s eyes.

“What about Talon? Did she get her family back?” She asked. She needed to know the answer.

With a curt nod, Titus replied, “She did. Dria killed her own mother and brother. Then she fled with the boys. As the last of her line she was rightfully Wocha. Instead, she refused to take her mother’s place. That is how we established the new way of finding our Wocha. Or Heda as we call her now.”

“Wow,” that was all Clarke could think to say. Turning to Lexa she smiled through the gathering tears. “I’m sorry my ancestors sucked.”

“I’m sorry mine held yours hostage,” Lexa replied. She wrapped her arms around Clarke’s waist and pulled the blonde into her lap. She buried her face in Clarke’s neck and sighed.

With a smile directed at the girls, Abby turned to Titus, “so what happened?”

Sorakru rook their people and they left. They climbed the mountains and passed through valleys and forged rivers. Finally, they were too far away for contact o be regular. They still kept going. Trikru was left without no leader and without their greatest ally,” Titus explained. He paced some more, speaking the whole time, “After several generations scouts from Trishanakru heard rumors of a people known for maintaining peace. They wouldn’t fight unless provoked. When the scouts followed the stories they found the people living high in the trees.

The leader, a man named Osprey, allowed the scouts to stay and observe their way of life. When the scouts came back, they reported the people using animals to aid in their lives in ways the people of Trishanakru and Trikru and the others had never dreamed. The beasts helped plow the fields and catch prey; the birds would carry messages and hunt with them. The most extraordinary development was the gliders the people used to get form place to place.”

“Gliders?” Clarke repeated the word.

“Yes. Gliders,” Titus nodded. “They would