For the last several days Clarke had spent every spare minute pouring over the maps in Lexa's tent. They had run scenarios with the miniatures spread on the war table along with Lexa's generals. Now they were alone again, trying to lock down the unknowns of their plans for inside the mountain.
As evening arrived, Clarke found herself mulling Lexa's words the last time they had discussed... eachother. "I'm sorry my love isn't sweeter."
Neither woman had said much more on the subject, but Clarke knew Lexa was thinking about it too. She kept catching the Commander watching her. Sometimes with the same studying gaze she levelled at the puzzles of war, and sometimes... with heat.
Clarke started watching for those looks. She wondered idly if Lexa was struggling with the same tightly wound tension as she was. The stress of planning the siege of the mountain, of the raun-keryon, and of their strange connection.
After a few drinks at a quiet dinner that Lexa had ordered brought to her tent, it was Clarke's turn to be caught staring. Neither had said much during the meal, both lost in their own thoughts. When Lexa's hooded gaze met her own, Clarke cleared her throat and returned to the war table.
"I'm sorry they aren't easier." Lexa said, standing up and setting down her fork with exaggerated slowness.
"The answers you're looking for in this world."
Clarke smiled at that. "Some things are easier."
It was getting dark, and Clarke sighed down at the maps before her and rolled them away. Her mind was done with strategy for the night. She let herself consider Lexa's words from the other day and what it might mean for the Lexa in her world. She felt a traitorous ember of hope stir in her chest.
Looking up she froze. Lexa was crossing the tent toward her. She was wearing a loose sleep outfit and looked... soft. Clarke's eyes lost focus and she thought about Lexa's lips. About shedding her own armor. About-
A small cough caused Clarke to jump. She had been staring at Lexa, face flushed & breathing hard. "The wine..." she offered weakly.
Lexa wore a half-smile. She held out a folded sleep outfit for Clarke, "You're sleeping here tonight."
Behind the privacy screen Clarke tried to gather her jumbled thoughts. The cool air brought goosebumps to her skin, then the soft fabric of Lexa's sleep clothes went on like warm liquid.
When she came out, Lexa was sitting on the edge of her bed stroking her index finger across her bottom lip and looking into a candle. Clarke approached and Lexa jerked to a stand. Clarke reached out to steady her, Clarke's hand slipping down Lexa's bare arm. Lexa looked at her, eyes hooded, and reached out to catch the front of Clarke's shirt.
Clarke made a strangled sound and swept forward. She caught Lexa's mouth with her own, and felt Lexa's other hand curl into her hair. She reached to the muscles of Lexa's back and slotted the Commander into her. Curves aligning perfectly, hands grasping. She felt Lexa move to push her into the bed, but then she stopped. Lexa's hand wrapped in the front of Clarke's shirt, opened to palm her just below her breasts and gently pushed.
Clarke broke the kiss. "What?" She tried to keep the edge of hurt from her voice. She failed.
Lexa was panting. Her green eyes nearly black and a bright flush to her cheeks. "We can't," she seemed charged with electricity and she was balanced on the balls of her feet. Despite looking ready to pounce, she pressed Clarke back with her hand, seeming more like she was holding herself back.
"The wine." Clarke sighed, making no effort this time to hide her disappointment.
Lexa smiled sadly. "Yes, and no." She let go and crossed to the other side of the bed, running her hands through her long hair and visibly gathering herself. "Your body Clarke."
Clarke felt the blood drain from her face. She wasn't what Lexa wanted after all. Wow, she had really misread the last several weeks. Wait. No she hadn't, Lexa had said-
"That body doesn't belong to you Clarke. It's not right."
"Oh. Oh!" Clarke choked. Then she blushed so hard she felt her face tingle. Of course. She had no right to take actions in Klark's body that the other woman might not be ok with. But what was the harm? Clarke imagined what it might be like to wake up and learn that someone else had been living in your body. Making choices on your behalf. Doing things with your body that you had no control or memory of. A cord of disgust constricted her throat.
All of a sudden Clarke felt very ashamed. She sat too-quickly on the edge of the bed. Lexa faced her, sitting cross-legged and once again wearing the calm expression she usually carried. "Don't feel guilty," she said, pegging Clarke precisely. "You aren't the only one." she then seemed to lose her calm for a second, a dark look creeping over her face. "I was doing the same thing when I asked you to stay here. I shouldn't want that."
And there it was. The only possible path through the raun-keryon laid out plain. Clarke slipped under the blankets on her side of Lexa's huge bed. Fatigue starting to melt her tension and guilt away. Replacing it with a new appreciation for Lexa's unflinching truths. Looking over, she saw the Commander sinking into the bed too, her own expression relaxing.
"Yeah?" There's a single candle left, sputtering at the other end of the room. It’s enough light to make out Lexa's features as she turns over to face Clarke.
"I promise not to sneak past your sentries."