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You should sleep.

The words are in your mind, but you hear them in Clarke’s voice. You know it’s true. You know what you should be doing right now, your usual post-battle ritual of stripping off your torn and stained clothing, wiping the blood and mud and sweat from your body with a damp cloth. You know you should pay special attention to your face, clearing away the dark sludge from any cuts you might have received because you know that Clarke will fret if she sees them; and making sure that the mask of Heda, the ferocity and power that you’ve been embodying for the last few hours, no longer looms up at you in the darkness of your mirror.

You know you should light a candle or two or twelve to chase away the darkness that’s sure to encroach on your dreams, and then you should slide into bed, wrapping your arms around Clarke’s sleeping form and digging your nose into her hair, reminding yourself by the warmth of her body and the smell of her, lavender and wind and peace, that she is here and alive and safe, and so are you.

But.

Ordinarily, your ritual is enough to exorcise the battle and the fighting and the killing from you, to clear the screams of the dying and the silence of the dead from your mind long enough to steal a few blissful hours of oblivion, but tonight is different. Tonight, your body hums with the same energy that had carried it successfully through the battle, your limbs tireless, your mind fearless, divided into halves: one that never stopped seething, searching, considering your next move, and the other just a lance of bloody purpose, seeking out your next kill. The killing part of you is silent now, thankfully, but the rest of you is still vibrating with the urge to do— something.

What?

You’re not sure. You try pacing, but your tent is too small and your steps too vast. The long strides that carried you across the battlefield take you around and around the tent in dizzying circles. The darkness is fertile ground for your imagination, and soon you can see it all again—the splashes of red that accompany every stroke of your sword; the brief pale flashes of the Azgeda warriors’ faces rising before you and then falling away just as quickly; the haze of smoke suffusing it all. The silence that settles over your shoulders brings back the sounds of the fighting as well, the clang of blades and the howl of volleys of arrows, the hoarse screams of pain and fear.

You try to shut it out, but the way your blood is throbbing through your veins won't let you. Alive, it seems to be saying, with every pump of your heart. You're alive, and they're not. You won, you're alive, you bested them, you conquered—

But instead of swelling with elation, your heart stings with guilt. Guilt that out of everyone who died in that battle, you're still alive. Guilt at the things you've done, the blood you've shed, the lives you've cut short. Surely there are others whose deeds don't lie nearly as heavy across their shoulders, whose hands aren't nearly so drenched in blood, who are more deserving of the life thrilling through your veins…

But what makes you guiltiest of all is how good it makes you feel, to be alive, to have made it through such danger, to have proven your skill and mastery under such deadly conditions. Underneath the turmoil of everything else, you feel incredible. You should be heartsick and weary and utterly exhausted, weighted down by your mourning and by the bruises and cuts your body carries, but each of these only serves to remind you that you live, you breathe, and you want… what?

Gritting your teeth, you stride over to your throne and sit down, looking out over the darkness of your tent. You're not sure you trust yourself, feeling this way, and you want to settle your mind and body as best you can before you go to your bed, and to Clarke. You try to imagine stripping off your clothes and sliding under the furs and slipping your arms around the sky girl’s waist and allowing her nearness to soothe you into sleep, but as you do the vision changes. You're not gently winding your arms around her and pulling her close, but instead turning her over and pressing harsh kisses to her lips. You can almost taste her gasp as she wakes, can almost feel the way she trembles against you, still not quite certain of what's happening, but knowing she's helpless in your grip. You can almost hear the sweet sigh of surrender she makes as she wraps her arms around your neck and lets you pull her even closer, tilting her hips up to accept you. And you're almost undone by the thought of the silken fire you'd feel as your cock slides along her slit, gathering just enough wetness to keep it from hurting too much as you begin to press, slowly but inexorably, into her clinging warmth...

“Jok!”

Your hissed curse sears into the stillness of the tent as everything suddenly snaps into place. You can feel yourself swelling against the seam of your pants, and soon you're thick and throbbing with need, so hard in mere moments that it's painful. Worse still, the heated motion of your blood seems to have found a purpose, one that pulses between your legs with every heartbeat. You can feel your heart pounding even faster, with desire but also with fear: fear of what you might do, of what you might become, if you allow those desires to be realized.

You curse again, digging your fists into your temples in a vain attempt to ease some of the pressure there. Reluctantly spreading your legs to give yourself more space, you brace your elbows on your knees, hunching over to try to block everything out. If you could only settle yourself down enough to sleep, maybe you could forget this whole thing. But the images of what you could be doing—of what you want to do with Clarke, and to her—have taken root in your brain, parading themselves before you, each one faster and harsher than the last. You see yourself flipping her over and reaching beneath her to lift her hips for the perfect angle, driving forward until you've hilted yourself within her. You see her head thrown back, a cry of ecstasy on her lips as you pound into her, her nails raking lines of fire down your back. You see yourself stretched out over her, pinning her arms above her head as you take her, breasts bouncing tantalizingly with every savage thrust—

“Lexa?”

That’s how she finds you, head in your hands, crouched on your throne. You’re so locked in a battle with your own brain that you don’t notice her padding softly across the furs towards you until you feel her touch on your knee. You look up with a gasp; her eyes are questioning, concerned. Worried about you. You hurry to reassure, but also to obfuscate.

“Clarke, I—I’m sorry, I was just...”

You’re not doing a very good job. Her expression only clouds further, bright blue eyes darkening with shared unhappiness. If only she knew how you felt, though, you're sure they'd be filled with something more like fear.

“Lexa, what's wrong? Did something happen? Are you hurt?”

There's a momentary pause before Clarke says the last word, a barely perceptible hitch of breath. You know exactly what she's thinking about, so you hasten to reassure. “No, niron, I’m all right. A few scratches here and there, but nothing to worry about.”

You shouldn't be surprised that this attempt at deflection fails. Clarke steps closer, a determined look on her face, and suddenly you find yourself flinching back and sucking in a breath so you don't have to take more. Don't have to breathe her in, the sleepiness of her, the muted undercurrent of need that she always seems to feel after you've returned safe—or at least, largely unharmed—from a sortie. The nearer she gets, the less control you feel over yourself, the less you think you can trust yourself. You want her, the proof of that is straining against your pants, but not like this. Not the way your body seems to want to take her, claim her, use her…

“Lexa, please, tell me what’s wrong.”

The note of hurt in her voice brings you back to yourself, and you cringe with regret. Of course Clarke interpreted your sudden movement as flinching away from her, instead of trying to keep yourself back, to protect her from what your hands are itching to do. You struggle to speak, knowing that your niron expects an answer, but your words strangle themselves in your throat.

“I don't… I was… I didn't want…”

Your voice trails off as she steps closer, and you get a better look at her in the dim light of the few candles that have been left burning. She's all golden hair and tawny skin, barely covered by the long undershirt of yours that she'd stolen to sleep in a couple nights ago. With the way you are now, you can't help but notice how the fabric hugs her curves, and leaves bare more skin than it covers. Your eyes can't seem to decide where to settle, darting from the generous swell of her hips, to the fullness of her breasts and the hollow in between that you'd love to run your tongue along, to the join of her thighs where you know that just the barest shift of her weight will expose neatly-trimmed blonde curls, wet and shimmering lips just aching to be parted and plundered by your fingers until her legs fold under her like a newborn foal’s, her clit throbbing and aching for your touch…

You are mostly successful at strangling your groan. Mostly. Yet when you can bring yourself to look at Clarke again, you don’t see the revulsion and fright that you’d feared. Instead, the brilliant blue of her eyes has gone dark with understanding, and hooded with desire. This is the vertiginous feeling that you’ve come most to associate with Clarke: the realization that despite all of your careful concealment, your strict self-abnegation, all she has to do is take one good look at you and you are laid bare before her eyes. She swiftly and methodically divests you of the trappings of Heda, of the warrior of Trikru, even the girl Lexa. What’s left is a being of pure, aching need—and she can see that too.

Clarke moves closer until she’s just a breath away, so near that you can feel the heat radiating from her skin where her shins just barely graze your leather-clad knees. She fixes you with a look that you cannot read, one that manages to be both sympathetic and calculating and desirous all at once. She regards you for a moment, a bird who’s managed to mesmerize a snake, and sinks to her knees before you.

All of a sudden your mouth is as dry of fluid as it is of words. Her eyes have not left yours since she emerged into the main room of the tent, and now is no different, even as she runs her palms along the steel bands of your thighs. You suck in a breath as her hands draw closer and closer to where all the sensation in your body seems to be centered, scarcely daring to believe what’s happening. A constant undercurrent of denials and releases from obligation runs through your mind— Clarke no, you don’t have to do this, you shouldn’t, I don’t know if I can be gentle… But when you open your mouth to say the words, all that comes out are harsh pants.

Clarke’s fingers are working at your laces now, at the button on the top of your trousers. Every time her knuckles brush across your covered length, you feel yourself throb, and you know that she must feel it too, must see how your eyelids flutter, because her eyes have never left yours. Ordinarily she might tease you, draw this process out a bit so she can enjoy your growls and huffs of impatience, but right now her movements are entirely utilitarian, totally focused on freeing you from your pants and drawing you out, hard and already dripping in her hand. You feel yourself pulse again, entirely captive to this moment, to what she’s doing to you, to her eyes that are dark and full of promise. With what little remains of your conscious brain, you think that Clarke looking up at you like this, with her hand on the base of your cock, not stroking you or squeezing you or moving at all, is the only thing that could possibly calm the creature raging wildly in your chest. Through her complete submission, she has you entirely in her power.

“Take what you need.”

Trembling with the anticipation of what might be, but also fear that you might have misunderstood, you at last find your voice, attempting to warn her about the monster she’s on the verge of unleashing. “I might not be gentle, Clarke.”

Clarke’s eyes on you are fierce, firm, challenging. Do your worst, they say. It’s for me to decide what I can and can’t handle. Her fingers flex against your thigh as she gives your cock a slow, hard pump. “That’s not an issue.”

Your last ounce of control snaps. Surging forward, you tangle your fingers in her hair and drag her head down toward your cock. She opens her mouth eagerly to accept it, and you’re suddenly enveloped in warmth and wetness and, oh Keryon, suction. The way she’s formed a seal with her lips sends pressure pounding through your entire shaft, and you’re suddenly at risk of exploding mere seconds after she first started touching you. You can’t hold back a groan, and her eyes flick open to stare up at you with something like triumph, even as your hand rests heavy on the back of her head, pushing her to take even more of you.

With the initial burst of pleasure out of the way, you’re able to regain some of your focus, and you swiftly grow impatient with the tack she’s taking. She’s moving her mouth up and down on your cock ever so slowly, taking plenty of time to tease the head and lash at your slit with her tongue. As pleasurable as it is, you know that it won’t bring you release any time soon, and you know that she’s aware of this as well. She seems determined to draw this out, to tease you instead of giving you release—and for once, you are not content to accept it.

Taking a firmer grip, you begin to pump up with your hips, forcing more and more of your cock between her lips. Clarke opens to you, relaxing her jaw to accept it, and soon you’ve set a brutal pace, fucking up into the silken heat of her mouth. She holds steady, abandoning her grip on the base of your shaft to place both of her palms on your thighs for balance. You push deeper into her throat with each thrust, and soon she’s taking you nearly to the base. You know it’s more than she’s usually comfortable with, but you also know that if she wants you to stop, she’s more than capable of making you.

So you don’t. You abandon your usual concern for her comfort, for her desires. You allow yourself to be selfish, to use her for your own pleasure, to do as she’d told you: take what you need. You abandon the last shreds of the self-control you’ve worked your entire life to maintain, and focus solely on how incredible her mouth feels, her silky tongue sliding along your shaft, her throat compressing around your cock every time she swallows. Once or twice you let up, allowing her to gasp for a couple of breaths, but it’s only to keep yourself from coming too soon, ending this wonderful moment before you’ve derived all the gratification from it that you can.

But soon, you realize that you want to come. You want to fill her mouth with your release, let it flood down her throat and spill past her lips. You want to claim her, to make her yours this way, and then you want to hear her screams as you fuck her gapa. “Ai na kom au,” you growl in warning, but she just slides her mouth down your cock in answer, until her lips nearly touch your pants.

That’s what drives you over the edge. You let out a long, loud groan, feeling your shaft ripple with unreleased pressure, but this time nothing will hold it back. The sight of her mouth filled with your cock and her belly being filled with your come is too much. You have to tip your head back and shout your pleasure to the ceiling as it overtakes you. Your release explodes from you in swift, harsh bursts, pouring down the back of Clarke’s throat. She accepts all of it, swallowing around you with every pulse and begging with watering eyes for more. You’re helpless against her, unable to do anything but what she silently asks, and it drives you mad, but there’s nothing you can do except spill even more come down the back of her throat. The only way you can punish her for this, at least right now, is to keep your hold on her head firm. She’s told you several times that she loves to taste you, but with your cock as deep in her throat as it is, there’s little chance of her being able to do that.

Your orgasm soon tapers off, leaving you sensitive and throbbing, and your grip falters, allowing her to lean back on her heels and let you slide out of her throat. The tent is filled only with the sound of both of your gasps, and despite your resolve to do as she’s told you— to take what you need from her, and nothing more—you can’t help the way your eyes play worriedly across her face, searching for any sign of discomfort or unhappiness. There are tears still leaking from her eyes, and she’s massaging her throat a bit, but she doesn’t look upset. In fact, the gaze she turns on you is keen and bright, even eager, and rapidly darkening once again in lust.

The way she looks at you never fails to turn you on, and now is no different. Your cock had been softening in your lap, but as soon as her eyes fall on it, it’s just as hard and ready as before, maybe even more so. Your release had slaked your lust temporarily, but you are far from satisfied. When Clarke’s gaze meets yours again, your eyes blaze at her, a momentary warning—but instead of returning your look with her usual burning challenge, she drops her gaze to her lap, clasping her hands like a petitioner.

The sudden, unexpected act of submission makes fire race through your entire body. You surge up and out of your throne and take hold of her, not quite carrying and not quite dragging her down to the floor. Within seconds you have her pinned beneath you, your body stretched over hers, but for once she doesn’t struggle—just keeps her eyes fixed on yours. You’d worry that she was no longer interested in sex if not for the way her breath comes in short little gasps, her chest moving rapidly against your own.

“You said you were mine to do with as I pleased. Is that correct?” You bite off each word and spit it out like a mouthful you don’t want to chew. Clarke nods frantically, eyes wide, but that’s not enough. “Answer me.”

“Yes, Heda.”

The use of your title isn’t something you’ve explored much in or out of bed, but it makes you shudder all the same. The idea that you’ve got the great Wanheda pinned beneath you like she’s just another one of your subjects, just as vulnerable to your power, takes root in your mind and won’t go away. It makes your cock throb, makes your hips twitch to drive in hard and deep, but you know that’s what she wants. And right now, you’re not inclined to give that to her. Clarke offered herself, but then she took your orgasm before you were ready. And a disobedient subject needs to be punished.

“And yet you stole my strikwan before I was ready,” you say, your hands flexing where they grip her waist as you feel your shaft pulse again. “I should make you pay for that.”

“No,” Clarke gasps out.

Your eyes narrow. “No? Are you trying to tell me what to do?” Clarke opens her mouth to issue another denial, but sees the fire in your eyes and thinks better of it, choosing to shake her head rapidly instead. “I didn’t think so,” you say, with no small amount of satisfaction. You sit back on your heels, observing her as she tries not to squirm beneath you. The darkness of the bear fur covering the floor of the tent sets off the paleness of her skin, mostly unblemished, but the few marks and scars scattered across her body are all the more noticeable for that.

You remember the night before the battle, when you’d had her trembling and whimpering and letting out little hisses of Come on, Lexa and Please just fuck me as you’d slowly kissed your way along each one, but you couldn’t be hurried. Just as something in you now is urging you to take and claim your Sky girl until she can’t gasp out anything but your name, something in you then had required you to soothe the physical reminders of each past ache with your lips and tongue, as if doing so now could erase the memory of trauma from her mind, if not her body.

Then, as now, you had been in the grip of something inexorable, something that you feel you couldn’t stop even if you tried. This time is different, because it’s not you who set it off. She was the one who coaxed this out of you, and you will not be satisfied until she’s made good on her offer of submission. “I am prepared to offer you a second chance,” you say, “as long as you are prepared to obey your Commander and do your duty as my subject.”

The words come out harsh and firm, and you can tell that they’re affecting her—she’s practically writhing beneath you now in an effort not to arch up and rub herself against your cock, and her nipples are standing out stiffly from her breasts. Your mouth waters to suck them in and coax out the delicious noises you know she’ll make, but you refrain. Practically every other night, your role is to give as much pleasure as you can, but tonight, your role is to take. Clarke has made that clear.

Still, you see no reason to deny yourself—and if it will serve as a test of just how far Clarke is willing to submit herself to your will, so much the better. The monster in your chest is raging strong, purring and preening at being unleashed, but there’s still a seed of doubt in you that wants to make certain your advances are not unwanted. You reach out a hand and palm one of her breasts, enjoying its weight in your hand before you rub your thumb across the straining point of her nipple. You feel her body quiver beneath yours with the effort of holding still, but she manages it. The look in her eyes—the wanting, the waiting—makes your cock throb again, and suddenly you’re even closer to losing control.

“You have already knelt for me,” you hiss, letting go of her breast and leaning over her again to plant your hands in the furs on either side of her head. “Are you ready to offer me your full submission?”

“Yes, Heda, ” Clarke practically sobs.

She’s trembling beneath you, and you’re aching to touch her, to lower your body down to hers and make the contact you both crave, but you have one more question. “Who do you belong to?”

You know the answer to your question, she’s told you the answer a million times, but there’s something in you that needs to hear it over and over, because you can’t quite bring yourself to believe you deserve it. Someone so broken, someone with so much blood on their hands, surely cannot deserve the love of a person like Klark kom Skaikru. All of a sudden you find yourself shaking as well, terrified that this might be the time she refuses to say it, but her eyes are shining into yours with love and kindness and understanding, and you feel known.

Suddenly that’s not a terrifying thing, to be read by her down to your core. Suddenly it feels comforting and wonderful and safe. Clarke Griffin holds your heart in her hands, and she’ll never let you go. She reaches up to cup your cheek with one hand, and her voice is filled with sincerity when she says, “Yours, Heda.” Even though it breaks the scene, you can’t bring yourself to care. Instead, you finally let your bodies and your lips come together.

The kiss begins soft and tender, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. You pour all the intensity of what you’re feeling into it, and soon Clarke’s gasping against your mouth like she’s drowning and your kisses are air. The fire flares up in your chest again, the urge to possess and claim, and you remind yourself that she’s yours, that she told you so herself. You are Heda, and she is your loyal subject. Her body is yours for the taking.

You break the kiss, hardening your face, and you can tell she knows the score when she murmurs, “Use me, Heda. I’m yours.”

The last of your doubts vanish. You lean back again and, with a surge of exertion, flip her over so she’s on her stomach. She lets out a gasp, and you know it’s one of delight—she’d confessed some time ago that she loves how strong you are, loves it when you use that strength in the bedroom. Pinning her down, holding her up against a wall as you impale her over and over with your cock, treating her body as though it weighs nothing—such displays drive her wild.

Right now is no different. “Elbows and knees,” you order, but she’s already doing it before you can get the words out. Her back is arched and her ass is in the air, presenting herself for you with her legs spread wide apart. You can’t resist the urge to run your fingers through her folds, and you find them utterly soaked, just as you’d expected. You smirk as you use the wetness to coat your cock, feeling it jump and throb in your hand. “I see that got your attention. Is there something you want, Wanheda?”

Your other hand is on her hip, holding her firmly, and you can feel the way she’s shivering. But she only says, “Whatever you want, Heda. I only want to be yours.”

You have to stifle a groan because that answer was perfect, and now you’re aching to be in her just as much as she must be aching to be filled. You know in the back of your mind that she knows exactly what to say to get to you, but at this point you’re finding it very hard to care. Still, you somehow find it in yourself to deny both of you what you want just long enough to make sure that you’re both truly desperate.

“Is that so?” you murmur, letting the tip of your cock rest at her entrance. You’re transfixed by the way the tight ring of her opening clasps at you, as though she’s trying to pull you inside of her, but while she shakes even harder beneath your hand, she doesn’t move. On other nights, she’s managed to circumvent your teasing by pushing back against you, by taking you all the way to the hilt. You’ve found yourself breathless, unable to resist the searing grasp of her cunt and the urge to pump into her with everything you’ve got. But tonight, she doesn’t try.

“Yes, Heda,” she says in a rush. You reward her by pushing forward just a bit, just enough to make her suck in a breath at the stretch, but you pull out only a moment later, and she barely manages to hold in a whine. She’s shaking even harder now, and you want nothing more than to give in, to put both of you out of your misery. But there’s a firm, keen, analytical part of you that’s taken over—or maybe it’s just the monster, distilled. In the eye of the hurricane raging in your chest, this part of you wants to see just how far Clarke can be pushed before your control snaps.

It doesn’t take long. A few more teasing strokes along her slickness, a few more gentle circles around her entrance, and she’s ready to scream with need. You feel the exact same way, but your face is stony when she turns her head to look at you. Her eyes blaze with desperation in the low flicker of the candles, and suddenly you’re the one who’s feeling breathless, nearly undone by the power of her longing. It only takes two words for you to come apart entirely.

“Heda, please…”

“Jok,” you growl. “If you want my cock so much, then take it.”

You line yourself up with her entrance, take hold of her hips with both hands, and then bury yourself inside of her in one sharp thrust. It’s something you wouldn’t ordinarily try for fear of hurting her, but she’s just so wet and ready and open for you that you’re able to slide home with barely any resistance. She tightens around you, making you tense your fingers and stare at the roof of the tent, biting your lip to hold back a scream.

“Please, Heda…”

Those words again, sending a lightning bolt of pleasure all the way through you and lighting a fire in your core. It’s chased by guilt, but you push it away so you can focus on what Clarke needs.

“What do you want?” you grunt, transfixed by the sight of the last inch of your cock, glistening with her wetness as it splits her open. The sight alone isn’t enough, though; you need to touch. You slide your hand down her thigh and between her legs, making sure to brush the head of her clit and enjoy the way she ripples around you, before running your fingers across the place where you’re joined. You can tell it’s even harder than before for her to get the words out.

“I need…need you to move,” Clarke gasps, and your hips jerk to obey her. “I’m yours, I promise, but I can’t stand it any longer…”

And there it is, that broken note in her voice that tells you she really means it this time. No guile, no tricks—just her, riding the edge of pleasure so immense it borders on pain, and you’re right there with her.

Resuming your bruising grip on her waist, you pull back so that she’s only taking the tip of your cock, and she struggles to hold in a sob at the sudden emptiness. When you slam back in again, Clarke’s cry is pure exultation, and your own echoes it. To suddenly be clasped in her warm, soaked channel is pure bliss, and every second you spent outside of it pure torture. The only thing stopping you from remaining buried there forever is the need pounding along your shaft and the greedy squeeze of her inner walls around it.

You set a blistering pace of long, full strokes, and she arches back to meet every one of them, moaning every time you bottom out and clenching around you even tighter, as though she never wants to let you go. You grit your teeth against spilling your load every time you push into her and feel the hot, wet grip of her inner walls surrounding you. Every inch of your shaft is throbbing, but you don’t want to give up this ecstasy just yet.

This encounter has been different from anything you’ve ever done with Clarke, or with anyone. Sometimes you’ve touched the edge of it—Clarke on her knees before you, a challenge and a question in her need-darkened eyes; the way her moans increase in volume and desperation when you feel your control slipping, and you let yourself go for just a moment, pounding into her with no concern for her pleasure—but you’ve always pulled back before. You’ve been afraid of what it could unleash in you, to truly let the monster within you take control. And right now, with Clarke mewling and squeezing around you, feel yourself closer to the edge than ever before.

And yet something in you won’t let yourself. Something in you is afraid of what this might mean, is terrified of hurting Clarke or doing something that wasn’t about her pleasure, only yours. You slow the frantic pace of your thrusts, hating yourself for not being able to follow through with this completely, but worried that you’ll hate yourself even worse if you don’t. Bending over her so that your chest, still armored, meets the bare skin of her back, you reach around for her clit and begin the steady, firm pattern of strokes that you know will bring her to a swift orgasm.

As Clarke feels your thrusts start to falter, she turns back to look at you, that same fire, that same challenge in her eyes that made you fall in love with her in the first place. Her mouth hangs open, her breath coming in harsh pants, but she’s able to form the words clearly:

“Heda, please…I need your release. Need you to let go…for me.”

You don’t know how she knows your thoughts so well, but you don’t question it. Her words, the breathy tone in which they’re spoken, bring the scene rushing back over you. With a wordless cry to the roof of the tent, you abandon her clit in favor of a harsh grip on her hips, and resume thrusting into her, hard and fast. Her whimpers and moans mingle with your own and you know that she must be receiving some pleasure from this, but you don’t care. Clarke’s words are ringing in your ears: Let go. And also: Use me, Heda. She’s been giving you permission to focus only on yourself, to use her for your own release, since you started this; all that remains is for you to take it.

“Klark!”

Your strikwan has been building since the moment she first dropped to her knees before your throne, and now it explodes out of you with more force than you can ever remember. Harsh jets of come burst out of the tip of your cock, flooding Clarke’s tight, rippling cunt, and her inner walls squeeze you mercilessly, pulling out even more. Dimly, you realize that she must be coming with you before every thought, every worry, every fear is wiped from your brain by the power of it. Gone is the battle, the bloodshed, the cries of the wounded and dying; gone are the faces of the ones you’ve killed, the ones who’ve died for you. And gone is the terror of losing Clarke, to war or to heartbreak or to the bullet that nearly tore you from her, that she saved you from but that still gives her screaming, thrashing nightmares nearly every night. All of it is erased in the bright rush of pleasure that wracks your body and turns your vision white.

“…Fuck.”

The rough Gonasleng word brings you back to yourself. You’re still sheathed fully within Clarke, your cock twitching with the last weak pulses of your release, your body bowed over hers and shaking with strain. Recognizing that one or both of you will collapse soon, but unable to form words around the harsh gasps ripping themselves from your throat, you lean back on your heels and tug at her hips to come with you. Your cock slips out of her and you hiss at the loss of warmth, and she lets out a little whimper. “Shh, hod op,” you murmur to her, brushing back her sweat-streaked hair as you maneuver her onto her back on the furs.

You keep one hand on her trembling thigh and maintain a stream of calming nonsense words and phrases as you yank off your armor one-handed, throwing it off somewhere in the darkness of the tent. She reaches out her arms for you as soon as you’re done, but while you want nothing more than to be encircled by her warmth, you want to feel her skin pressed against yours when you do it. “ Won tika en nou mou,” you tell her reassuringly, and she whimpers again, but nods.

It feels like a year and a day before you’ve managed to get all of your clothes off, and you can settle yourself on top of her, draping her with your warmth. It’s something she’s remarked on often, how warm you tend to run, and you’ve woken up more than once during the winter with her nestled as close to you as possible without sharing skin. You feel her shivering start to calm as your limbs tangle with hers, and happiness glows to life in your chest. After a moment, she lets out a sigh, and her hands come up to trace your back, the lines of tattoos and scars that she’s memorized. You tuck your nose into the place where her neck and shoulder meet and just breathe her in, every so often pressing a kiss to the warm, sweet-smelling skin there.

You don’t speak for a while, merely enjoying each other’s company, but eventually Clarke murmurs, “I’m glad you came back to me.”

You know she means the battle, and you tense, expecting the feelings that had plagued you before to come rushing back in, but they don’t. Being here in her arms, surrounded by hazy afterglow, holds them at bay. Your voice feels rusty as you reply, “Always.”

“There was one time when you almost didn’t.” It’s a call-and-response that you’ve developed over time, and you fall into the rhythm of it easily.

“But I did, thanks to you.”

You can feel her smile against your skin, and your own echoes it, but inevitable doubt comes creeping in. “Did I…did I hurt you in any way, or…was this all right?”

Clarke’s laugh is a warm rush against your cheek, her arms gentle but tight as she wraps them around you and holds you close. “That was way more than all right. That was…incredible.” Despite not wanting to leave the comfort of your position, you raise your head, needing to see the truth of her words. It’s there, shining at you from her eyes and in her sleepy, sated grin. She looks so pleased with herself that you can’t help but return it, despite the trepidation bubbling in your gut. “And you didn’t hurt me,” she continues, “at least…not in ways I didn’t like.” At your frown, her expression softens. “Lexa, it’s okay…seriously. It felt amazing. It was amazing.” She presses a kiss to your lips, and it’s impossible not to sink into it, like sinking into a warm bath after a hard day.

“You are amazing, Klark kom Skaikru,” you tell her when you part, and then, unable to resist the wordplay, “Yu ste meizen.” Clarke snorts and pushes your shoulder a bit, but the color in her cheeks tells you that your words have hit home.

You feel like you could lie here with her forever, but you feel a cold breeze gust through the tent and across your bare back and rear. She doesn’t miss your shiver, and when you look at her again, her grin has become a smirk, albeit a warm one. “As much as I’m enjoying my Lexa blanket, we should probably get to bed,” Clarke says. Ordinarily you might resist a little more, teasing her or refusing to let her up until she gives you a kiss, but the exhaustion of the day, and of tonight, has settled into your very bones. They feel like lead as you slowly get to your feet, and reach down to help her up as well.

Nestled together under the pile of warm furs, you’re sliding into sleep when you hear her murmur, “Almost forgot to tell you…”

Her voice trails off, and you frown, nudge her a bit under the covers. “Forgot to tell me what?”

“Ai hod yu in, Leksa…”

You swallow, suddenly feeling warmth and pressure around your eyes. “I love you too,” you say, even though you’re nearly certain she’s already asleep. But you need to say it anyway.