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1A. Unwrapped

Summary: Domestic AU where Clarke comes home to Lexa after a Christmas party. Inspired by some Christmas prompts, but nothing specific. I apologize for where I left this one.

Clarke comes home from the party with a Santa hat on her head and her ugly Christmas sweater ( 'fleece navidad' and an adorable sheep on the front), to find Lexa curled up on the couch with a book in hand and a glass of wine on the side table. Lexa must be at a good part in the book, because she doesn't even put it down to look up at her when the door clicks closed behind her, and Clarke just smiles at her with nose red from the cold and cheeks flushed from alcohol. Her little introvert.

There's not much Clarke can do other than walk around the couch and gently nudge Lexa's legs apart as she steps close. "You missed a good party." And Lexa's finally slipping her bookmark between the pages and looking up at her, a sigh of reluctance proven false by the way those soft green eyes are smiling up at her.

"I'm sure I'll regret missing a Blake Christmas until the day I die." Lexa's voice is dry, and Clarke giggles for her. She accepts the space that Lexa opens up for her as she sets her book to the side and shifts, and soon Clarke is straddling her, hands on her shoulders and fingers playing with long brown hair.

"Raven made drinks with sparklers. Because everyone needs to risk burning their face off while they're drinking alcohol." Clarke giggles again at the way Lexa immediately scans her face for any burns, and leans forward to kiss her girlfriend on the cheek. It's a little sloppy, and Lexa makes a face, but she doesn't resist as Clarke stays close and nuzzles her nose against her.

"How your friends haven't killed anyone yet is beyond me," Lexa says, but the way her hands slide up under Clarke's sweater makes her think that she's not actually that concerned. Clarke's not either. She places kisses against Lexa's jaw now, and loves the way the other girl's head tilts entirely unconsciously, to give her more skin to play with. Clarke's almost completely distracted by the time Lexa finds her voice again. "But you had a good time?" And if Lexa's voice is a little higher than normal, definitely breathier, Clarke doesn't say anything.

"I missed you." And it's totally not as sappy as it could be, but Clarke still grins, mouth still pressed just below Lexa's ear, at the way the other woman's breath hitches in response. "But I'm definitely still feeling very merry. And gay." And Lexa might groan at the bad joke, but when Clarke nips at her jaw and lower, she makes sure the groan turns into something much, much different. "And I'm willing for you to make it up to me if you let me unwrap you right now."

There's a pause, a very short one, and then Clarke's squealing quietly, her arms sliding around Lexa's shoulders to clutch tightly. Lexa is rocking up and then standing, and her hands sliding down to grasp at Clarke's ass are the only reason why Clarke isn't falling gracelessly to the ground. Instead, Clarke has a half-second for her body to react, legs immediately wrapping around Lexa as she clutches even closer. "Oh my god." But Clarke's laughing into Lexa's shoulder and Lexa is swaying a little as she catches her balance before they're moving. Clarke lays a couple playful kisses against Lexa's neck and only stops when they stumble lightly into a wall on the way down the hall (losing her hat in the process, not that they notice), at which point she shakes quietly with laughter as Lexa grumbles.

That's probably why she's dropped a little less than gently on the bed, but as she looks up at Lexa, Clarke has nothing but a smile for her. For her part, Lexa is pouting, but it fades almost as soon as Clarke sees it, and then she's reaching down at the hem of her shirt to pull it up and off.

"No!" Clarke props herself up on the bed with an elbow, reaching out to Lexa with her other hand. Lexa halts, the shirt bunched up far enough that Clarke can see her abs and a hint of her bra. The sight causes her jaw to go slack and the thoughts in her already slightly compromised brain to stall completely, but Lexa lets her have a moment before interrupting her reverie with an amused, "What? I thought this was what you wanted."

That shakes Clarke out of her reverie, and she's pushing herself into a sitting position and pulling Lexa between her legs this time. She slides her hands along the soft planes of Lexa's stomach, letting her hands map out the familiar soft skin, the hint of hardness underneath. She hums softly before finally speaking. "No, you're my present. I'm the one that gets to unwrap you." She's going for sexy, but outside of her head it sounds a little more spoiled brat and less vixen, so her hands overcompensate by immediately sliding up and under Lexa's shirt, pushing it up even further. Enough that Lexa's bra is now clearly on display and her cleavage is impossible to ignore.

Lexa laughs softly at Clarke's expression of awe. Clarke doesn't even notice.

She does notice as Lexa brushes some hair back out of her face. It makes it easier to lean forward, pressing a kissing to Lexa's chest, just between her breasts. She notices as Lexa lets out a soft gasp, as her gentle hand, her long fingers, are now sliding back into her hair and cupping the back of her head. It makes it easier to turn her head just so, to press a trail of kisses across the top of one breast and then down along the edge of the lace hiding most of the soft skin from her eyes.

"Clarke." And god, does she notice the way that voice says her name, a mixture of impatience and fondness. "At this rate, I'm not going to be unwrapped until New Years."


1B. Lexa Claus

Summary: Prompt - “Lexa dressing up as Santa to visit children in the hospital Clarke works at.” AU.

Lexa scrunched up her nose under the scratchy beard, feeling it tickle at just about every part of her face that it touched. She was pretty sure that no one was fooled by the tiny girl in a Santa outfit, but that didn't change the bright-eyed excitement in the kids' faces as she came by, big bag of presents in hand. Lincoln had called her when he couldn't fulfill his gig as hospital Santa this year, and while Lexa had wondered "why me?", she couldn't find it in herself to say no.

So here she was, handing out another present to a tiny boy in a wheelchair, her heart clenching in her chest as he shouted about his new Ash Ketchum hat and Pokemon card set. She didn't know for sure who had picked these out, but she had an idea. The blonde doctor she'd been introduced to 45 minutes ago had quietly followed her around, her eyes twinkling as the kids were excited to share their new presents with her. Dr. Griffin. "Please, call me Clarke. Dr. Griffin is my mom."

Lexa might be in a 5-sizes-too-big Santa suit, stuffed with pillows, a fake beard on her face, but when she caught the adoring look of that same blonde, surrounded by children who had seen too much in their short lives, she'd never felt like she'd wanted to be anywhere as much as she did right now.


1C. Support

Summary: Prompt - “Pregnant grumpy Clarke and supportive Lexa please”. AU. Not actually related to the Christmas theme, but oh well.

"I know that I agreed to this..."

"Asked for it," Lexa said, although to her credit, she never stopped the foot rub that she was giving her wife. "Not that I'm keeping track."

Clarke groaned, trying to shift and feeling like a beached whale on her own couch. She closed her eyes, letting out another groan, this one of relief, as Lexa's fingers pressed in just the right place, relieving the soreness that had been building all day. "Okay, okay, I asked for it. But I didn't know what I was getting into." Her hands settled on her own stomach once her eyes opened again, not for the first time wondering how this could really be her body that looked like this. That felt like this.

Lexa gave her a small, loving smile, and although it looked like she wanted to reach over and tangle their fingers together, she knew better than to stop the massage she was giving.

"You're definitely the one getting pregnant next time." Clarke gave her a sharp look, only to startle halfway through the expression and end up on a soft smile instead. "She kicked again."

This time Lexa's hands did stop what they were doing, her face transforming into a look of awe as she reached out and settled her hand atop Clarke's. "He kicked! Can I?"

Clarke shook her head but gently pulled her hand away to let Lexa touch, watching fondly as her wife felt the faint kicks she could feel from the inside. "Why are you so sure it's a boy?"

"I just know." Lexa leaned down, careful not to upset Clarke's aching feet, and pressed a kiss just above her hand. Clarke watched for a moment, breathless in a way she couldn't describe as she took in her wife with her hand and lips against her belly, whispering softly to their child. "But either way, I'm going to love him more than he'll ever know." Lexa looked up at Clarke, that same expression of awe still on her face. "Like I love you, more than anything." And Clarke's heart fluttered in time with the baby's kicks.

"I love you too."


1D. The Perfect Tree

Summary: Prompt - “Lexa and Clarke are tasked with buying a Christmas tree for their family. They leave it til last minute and the two end up fighting over the same one. Clarke ends up getting more than just a christmas tree “. AU.

Green. The perfect shade of green. Perfect proportions, nothing lopsided, everything even. Just tall enough without being intimidating. God, she was perfect.

Clarke had found the perfect Christmas tree for her family.

The only problem was, this other girl thought that she had, too.

"You can't just chop down this tree!" Clarke yelled, doing everything she could to stop the girl in front of her from making off with her tree. Well, everything except stepping between the tree and the ax the girl was wielding, like she'd been born some kind of lumberjack. (Clarke had to admit, the whole outdoorsy thing was really working for the other girl, with her confident, ax-wielding swagger, comfortable boots, and a peek of a long flannel from underneath her winter coat. She had to admit it, but only in her head. Not when the girl was in danger of making off with the perfect tree. The one that would put all other trees to shame.)

"If you didn't notice," the girl in question said as she planted her foot and pulled the ax back, making Clarke wince away in spite of trying to stake her claim on this tree and seem fearless. "This is a 'u-cut' lot. That means, unless you cut, you can't claim this tree. And I don't see an ax in your hand." Clarke scowled. She'd sent Monty and Jasper off almost twenty minutes ago to go grab someone who actually could cut this tree down for her, and they'd yet to return. That's what she got for recruiting her two most easily distracted friends to help her with this. The other girl stared at her with that cool look on her face, that haughty lift of her brow, and finally quirked her lips up into a barely-there smirk. "That's what I thought. Now step aside."

Clarke shivered a little, a mix of the cold and her anger at the audacity of this lumberjack who was barely taller than her. She couldn't just give up. "Why do you need this tree, though? There are hundreds of other trees. What's wrong with that tree?" She pointed at another perfectly good tree (that was definitely not as good as her tree, dammit) and watched as the girl didn't even glance in that direction.

"If you didn't know why this tree was perfect, you wouldn't care that I was the one to chop it down and take it." Clarke crossed her arms over her chest. She couldn't exactly argue with that. The girl balanced herself again and Clarke rushed to stop her, somehow stumbling into her personal space and bracing both hands against her shoulders. The girl's eyes went wide, and one hand came up to Clarke's waist to keep them both from falling over, only for both of them to end up staring at each other, puffs of air visible in the coldness between them.

Okay, this right here was the perfect shade of green. Christmas tree? What Christmas tree?

There was the clunk of an ax behind them and then those green eyes were narrowing into something like betrayal and Clarke couldn't have that. She tightened her grip on the girl's shoulders and gave her what she hoped was a charming smile. "If I let you have the tree, would you let me have your number?"

Green-Eye's mouth dropped open a little in shock, and Clarke's grin only widened.

When Jasper and Monty came back, the tree was already chopped and trussed up and Clarke turned to them with bright eyes and slightly-bruised lips. "What took you so long? You're carrying it to the car." And while they whined at being reduced to physical labor, Clarke grinned at her phone and made plans for later that night. The tree would be decorated by then. Lexa could see that she'd made the right choice to trust her with the perfect tree, and then she could thank her properly for her sacrifice. She wondered what kind of festive Lexa preferred: sexy elf, or Ms. Claus?

Chapter Text

2A. Holiday Kisses

Summary: Friends become aware there's something more after a kiss under the mistletoe. My last holiday fic for this year. Good riddance 2016. (AU)

 

It wasn't like it was a big deal, right? It probably wasn't a big deal to Lexa. Lexa who could have her pick of any girl she wanted. But Clarke hadn't been able to stop thinking about it.

The kiss.

Maybe even the Kiss, with a capital K.

It seemed ridiculous to even think about it like that to herself when it was just mistletoe hung up by Raven and an inability for Clarke to back down from a dare. But Lexa had looked at her with that unreadable look and a twinkle in her eye and then leaned in, waiting for Clarke to meet her halfway.

And Clarke had stared. To the amusement of her friends. Until Lexa had tilted her head and looked about ready to pull back. And then Clarke had leaned in a little too fast and their noses had bumped and it was all kinds of awkward.

Until it wasn't.

And the world had faded away in some kind of cliche. Just soft, plump lips against hers. The wisps of Lexa's hair swishing across her cheek. The sound of a soft sigh. Clarke had almost reached up and cupped Lexa's cheek to pull her in closer, but the sound of her friends cheering had suddenly intruded in on the moment again. She'd pulled back with a start, eyes popping open to see Lexa's eyelashes fluttering at a much slower pace. Those green eyes a little hazy and intent on hers, lips parted.

Of course, what was Clarke supposed to do in that moment other than run away?

They were friends. Just friends. Good friends who sometimes sat too close on couches and shared food off of each others' plates, but still just friends.

She'd tried to shake the memory of the kiss for the whole last week, though. Tried and failed. And while she'd avoided Lexa during the week, she couldn't exactly make excuses for the New Years Eve party. So Clarke was fortified with some pre-party shots, a full cup when she got there, and a bright smile of someone who was ready to kiss 2016 goodbye.

Actually, Clarke hadn't seen Lexa more than in glimpses the whole night. She'd seen her over by Raven at the stereo, no doubt debating what the best playlist would be. That was innocent enough. Then she'd seen her by the impromptu bar with Costia leaning close to her and that had not seemed innocent at all (full cup number two was necessary).

It was hard to admit it, but she'd had a lot of opportunities to berate herself for not being able to ignore the kiss, so she knew it for what it was: jealousy. She was jealous. Fuck, this would not be good for their friendship.

So there was more avoiding, but now the ball was about to drop and while Clarke was staring into her cup, she felt a presence at her side. Looking up, Clarke sucked in a breath to see, of course, Lexa.

"Oh. Hey." Clarke cleared her throat, then tried again to not seem nervous. "Hey, Lexa. Are you ready for the New Year?"

Lexa held her own cup loosely at her side, but there was a tension in her shoulders that Clarke couldn't help but notice. She softened at the sight, suddenly concerned.

"Wait, are you okay?"

Lexa quirked her lips a little, a ghost of a smile as she met Clarke's gaze. "I'm fine. Are you?" Clarke swallowed at the intent way that Lexa was staring at her. She looked away briefly, then took a breath and forced herself to look back. It wasn't Lexa's fault she was feeling this way. She shouldn't take it out on her. Lexa continued before she could wave off her concerns, though. "Are you... upset? About what happened at the party?"

Clarke bit back on the immediate urge to deny it at the vulnerable expression on Lexa's face. It was more than she was used to seeing from the other girl, except maybe in private when they were talking about things like hopes and dreams. It made the denial dry up in her mouth and Clarke bit her lip.

"No, I... I'm not upset. I'm... I'm sorry, Lexa. I'm really not."

"I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable," Lexa said softly. "I never meant to mess up our friendship. I know it... I know that was more than friendly and if you would rather I stay away..."

Clarke stared at Lexa in the aftermath of that confession. Lexa stared back at her, shoulders tensing again even as she made no move to avoid Clarke's gaze. She was obviously ready to take whatever rejection she expected to get. The noise level in the room went up as the others crowded around the TV set to watch the ball drop.

"You..." Clarke found herself laughing in confused relief. She hoped Lexa didn't take it as rejection. "Lexa, wait. You're worried about my reaction? I... I didn't want to make you feel like you had to... let me down."

There was a moment between them when they stared at each other, and then Lexa's eyes brightened in hesitant wonder. "Yeah?"

Clarke bit her lip again. "Yeah."

The others were counting down from 10 when Lexa took a step closer to her. "So if I said that I wanted to try it again?"

7. 6. 5.

Clarke looked between Lexa's eyes and her lips. "I'd say... please."

4. 3.

Lexa's lips curled up and she leaned in, waiting for Clarke halfway again.

2. 1.

Clarke didn't hesitate this time, and as the rest of the room screamed for the New Year, Clarke reached up with her free hand and cupped Lexa's cheek, not letting her go with anything less than a foot-popping, mind-erasing sort of kiss to welcome in the New Year.

 


  

2B. City of Light

Summary:What happens after the lever is pulled? (Canon) This is fluffy, I promise. 

 

Connection Termination Requested
Initializing Termination Protocol User File Not Found
Creating New Profile
Success
Replacing User Input With Profile
Success
Connection Terminated
Dormant Mode Active

 

Clarke flipped the switch.

She wasn't sure what she'd expected to happen, but looking around herself, she was exactly where she'd been before she flipped the switch. There wasn't any explosion. There was no fading from virtual existence. She was just in the room with her hand on the lever.

Looking down with a furrowed brow, she considered flipping the switch again. Did it not work? She was about to go into panic mode when she realized that there was something different.

It was quiet. She was alone.

"... Hello?"

There was no response. Clarke let go of the switch, only for it to dissolve into nothingness. She jumped a little, staring at the blank space where it used to be.

And then the rest of the room started fading from existence, a blank white slowly eating away at the concrete and metal until it was encroaching on Clarke's shoes. She felt nervous, even as she told herself that it was just the delayed destruction of the City of Light and she'd wake up back in the real world. But the white didn't crawl up her, it just slid underneath the soles of her shoes until she was turning around, watching it dissolve the direction she'd come in from, watching it eat everything until there was nothing but endless white.

Nothing but endless white and Clarke. Still right where she'd been before.

She waited, holding her breath, for anything to happen. She closed her eyes when the white was too daunting, willing herself to reappear in reality. Willing herself not to have been wrong to trust Becca. Did she actually destroy the world? Was this hell?

After everything... had she failed?

Had everything she'd done to get here, every sacrifice she'd made for her people above herself, still resulted in destruction? She fought emotion, fought the despair that washed over her. Raven had given her a door. Lexa had given her time. Everyone was counting on her.

For nothing. Or maybe it was just her who had died. Her and Lexa. She found herself reliving watching Lexa run away, ready to sacrifice it all for her one last time.

It was only when she realized that she hadn't been breathing for minutes, and that she wasn't out of breath, that Clarke's eyes flew open in panic.

But the white was gone. Replaced with color, with the soft light of an afternoon filtering through the curtains. With candles scattered all around the room, lit despite the fact that they were hardly necessary at this time of day.

Lexa's room.

Clarke blinked, mouth falling open. It was exactly like she remembered from when she left Lexa here that day. The bed, rumpled. The world, still. Too still. It was like looking at a photograph, and Clarke became aware that she still couldn't hear anything either. She looked down at herself and she was still in the clothes she'd been in in the City of Light. This wasn't the real world.

A sound finally broke the stillness, and Clarke felt like she was the one frozen this time. Soft footsteps. The quiet shifting of fabric.

Clarke looked up and saw Lexa.

Lexa as she'd been when she'd come to her, ready to say goodbye. Lexa dressed down with her hair soft as it fell to one shoulder. Bright green eyes rimmed in dark kohl-- but not for war-- shining out at her. That small, patient smile on her face as she waited for Clarke to understand what she was seeing.

"Lexa...?" Her voice was a whisper. The smile on Lexa's face grew just a fraction, but it was enough.

"Clarke."

And then Clarke was in Lexa's arms. Literally, one moment motionless, the next surrounded by her, her arms, her smell, the feel of her. Clarke buried her face in Lexa's neck and let herself just be here, let herself be whole again. She didn't pull away for a long moment.

"Am I dead?" And though she'd been dreading that before, now she couldn't help but feel relief. Relief to not fight anymore. Relief to not owe anything else.

Lexa shook her head, and it was only that motion that caused Clarke to pull back enough to see the other girl's face. "You're not dead. You're very alive, and still fighting. Off to save our people." There was something in that statement that caught at her, and Clarke licked her lips.

"Off to..." And suddenly Clarke understood. The world came to life around them, the candles flickering, the curtain rustling. Clarke looked at the world with new eyes, aware in a way she'd never been of her surroundings. She blinked and it stilled again. Blinked and it moved. When her eyes landed on Lexa's face, there was that quiet, steady patience. That smile that spoke of how much emotion there was beneath the surface, the depths of her caring.

And Clarke knew those depths now. Knew them like they were a part of herself.

"I told you I would always be with you," Lexa spoke softly, a secret joke that Clarke was now in on. Clarke found her smile growing, until she was pressing her smiling lips against Lexa's, winding her arms around Lexa's neck and pulling her into her.

Later, she'd spare a moment to think of herself out in the real world. The self that was still living and breathing and suffering. She only wished that she could let her know that there was a piece of her that was here with Lexa, that owed nothing more to anyone. One little piece that was finally happy.

Chapter Text

3. Drunk Texts

Summary: Clarke needs a ride home from a birthday party, but her phone is harder to work than expected. (AU) Based on a prompt to use these two screenshots. It's pretty damn fluffy.

 

"Hey...can u pcik me up? im to drnuk."

Clarke squinted at the screen of her phone, then nodded to herself and pressed the send button. An arm wrapped around her and Clarke jumped, then burst into a fit of giggles as Octavia rested her head on her shoulder.

"Claaaarke!" Octavia almost shouted, even if the music wasn't that loud this far from the DJ and she was right next to her ear. "I'm having the BEST birthday!"

Clarke wrapped an arm around Octavia in turn, mostly to keep them both from toppling over. "I had the best time too," she said, trying to enunciate her words but knowing that she was slurring. "But I need to go home. I texted Lex. She's gonna come get me."

"Lexaaaa," Octavia shouted again, looking around them as if Lexa would suddenly show up. Clarke blinked and looked around for a long moment as well, wondering if Octavia had seen her and she'd actually been that fast. No one was around them, however. Clarke pouted. "Where is she?"

"She has a test tomorrow." Clarke dropped her arm from around Octavia and stood up straight all of a sudden, sending Octavia lurching into the table next to them. "Shit, she has a test tomorrow. I probably woke her up." She looked down at her phone in her hand in drunken despair, only to discover that she had a missed call and a message from Lexa.

"Call me."

Clarke blinked. "Oh. I did wake her up."

When she turned to look, Octavia was in the lap of some muscular guy and was no longer paying attention. She worried for a moment, squinting her eyes at the man who looked familiar but not that familiar. Did they have a class together? It was only when she noticed that Raven was in the booth as well that she relaxed. Then she wondered when that had happened.

Her phone buzzed again.

"Call me now."

Clarke forgot about her friends and tried hard to figure out the buttons on her phone. For some reason, things looked out of place. Did someone change her settings? She typed a message just to let Lexa know that she hadn't ignored her.

"I'm trying."

She was proud that she'd managed to spell it right. She was less proud when she pressed the call button and suddenly was presented with her camera roll. Frustrated, she tried to click to get out of that, only for it to send the bottom picture on the roll instead. Clarke stared at it, then giggled to herself. It was a picture she'd taken of the dinner she'd had with Lexa last week, trying to remember the occasion and the fact that she'd finally tried the shellfish that was supposed to be an aphrodisiac.

Well, she and Lexa had a good time after the date, so maybe it was true.

Her phone buzzed.

"That's an oyster. Call me."

Clarke burst into laughter. A hand snagged out and tugged her into the booth, where she found herself almost in Raven's lap.

"What's so funny? Share!"

Clarke was still giggling as she showed Raven the phone. "It's an oyster."

Raven squinted at the phone and then let out a bark of a laugh as well, taking it from her. She started playing with the phone and Clarke rested her head against the back of the booth.

"Hey," she said, suddenly remembering that she was supposed to be calling Lexa back. "Can you call her for me?"

Raven laughed to herself and Clarke pulled her head up to stare at her. When Raven showed her the phone again, there was another oyster on the screen. Clarke giggled at the sight before groaning.

"She's gonna be so mad."

"Like you'd ever get in that much trouble with her. She's whipped."

Octavia leaned over the table, realizing something was going on. The boy she was sitting on grunted as she dug an elbow into his side, but otherwise stayed quiet, more interested in the skin showing as Octavia's shirt rode up than their conversation. "Who's whipped?"

Raven slid the phone on the table back towards Clarke, and Clarke fumbled to pick it up. "Clarke's wife."

"Ohhhh. Yeah, Lexa's so whipped."

Clarke smirked to herself, still trying to figure out the buttons on her phone. She didn't bother to correct them joking about her marital status. Not when the word wife made her feel even warmer. That'd be so nice. She'd totally like to wife Lexa up. If she'd accept her proposal when she couldn't even figure out how to call her back.

She held the phone up close to her face, as if that would help.

"I hope you're not expecting me to drive them home as well."

Clarke stared at the phone. She'd gotten through? Putting the phone up to her ear, she responded hesitantly.

"Lexa?"

A hand pulled the phone away from her ear, and Clarke protested, only to follow the hand up an arm to a familiar face with tired but amused eyes.

"Lexaaaaa!" Raven yelled before Clarke could, holding up her glass at the newcomer. Lexa tucked Clarke's phone into her own coat pocket, then reached out a hand to help Clarke up as Clarke scrambled out of the booth to greet her properly.

"Lexa!" Clarke was only slightly less loud than Raven, wrapping her arms around her girlfriend and burrowing her face into the crook of her neck. "You found me!" She nuzzled her nose against Lexa's neck and sighed in contentment at the familiar warmth and smell of her.

Lexa held Clarke gently, laughing so softly Clarke couldn’t hear it, but could feel it where she pressed against her chest. “Not that you made it easy on me. Oysters? Really?”

Clarke pouted. “Someone changed my settings.”

“I’m sure.”

Octavia finally resurfaced from her exploration of the guy’s mouth. “Hey! Lexa! It's my birthday!” Clarke didn’t look up to see what was going on, instead allowed her body to follow Lexa’s as she shifted, her eyes closed. It was so much easier to just let Lexa take care of her than it was to try to keep herself standing on her own. In fact, now that Lexa was here, she felt even more drunk than before. Drunk on Lexa, probably. The thought made her giggle.

“Hey.” There was a soft nudge and a jostle, and Clarke tried to open her eyes. “Hey, you okay there?” When her eyes opened, Lexa had titled her head down to try to meet her gaze and Clarke smiled up at her with a dopey look.

“Lexa.” Clarke let her mouth form the name slowly, savoring it. Lexa’s eyebrow rose in response. “I’m drunk.”

Lexa laughed softly in surprise, and then she helped Clarke to stand up more on her own again. “Yes, you are. Let’s go home.”

“Home.” Clarke stumbled a little as Lexa guided her away, but was aware enough to turn to wave lazily at her friends. Bellamy would be by later to pick them up, she remembered now. But she’d texted Lexa. Clarke grinned and leaned back into Lexa. “You’re home.”

“No, we still have a little ways to go. Hold on now, we’ve got a little walk. I had to park down the street when I couldn’t get ahold of you.”

Clarke was more than willing to follow Lexa anywhere she wanted to go. “No,” she said, simply. Lexa looked over at her, but when Clarke didn’t continue, she assumed that she was just that drunk and didn’t know what she was saying.

The walk back to the car was uneventful, and once Lexa got Clarke into the car and settled, she got in on her own side. Clarke came back to herself enough to grab for Lexa’s hand over the center console and looked her seriously in the eyes. Lexa paused, feeling the tension in the moment. Clarke rubbed her thumb over Lexa’s knuckles. The silence lasted long enough for Lexa to assume this was just Clarke being drunk again, though, so it wasn’t until she started pulling away to start the car that Clarke spoke, slowly and deliberately. “ You’re home.”

Lexa’s expression melted into something soft that no one but Clarke had ever seen, and Clarke grinned widely at her. Before Lexa could say anything, though, Clarke’s eyes slid closed and her body demanded she lean back into her seat, the seat belt the only thing keeping her from slipping down. Lexa turned her hand in Clarke’s and squeezed gently. “You’re going to regret getting this drunk in the morning.”

“Mmm… probably,” Clarke mumbled, the words almost impossible to understand. Lexa chuckled softly and finally they were moving again.

When they stopped, Clarke roused enough to see where they were, and suddenly remembered something. “Hey, where’s my phone?”

Lexa glanced over at Clarke. “I have it, why?”

“I need to do something.” Clarke looked over at her and held out her hand, expression soft and pleading in her drunkenness. “Please?”

Lexa’s expression was wary, but she couldn’t deny Clarke with that face, so she dug into her pocket and handed it over.  After a few moments of tapping, Clarke leaned back against the seat again and sighed. “Okay.”

The phone in Lexa’s other pocket chimed. Lexa looked between Clarke and her phone and slowly pulled her own out.

“oh u dnt have to anymore.. im home now.”

Lexa narrowed her eyes at Clarke and then smiled, leaning over to kiss her sleepy girlfriend’s cheek. “You are so going to hate yourself in the morning.”

Chapter Text

4A. Batgirl

Summary: Actress Lexa prepares to audition for Batgirl. (AU)

Lexa rolled her shoulders and jogged in place a little in front of the mirror. She'd already checked all the stalls to make sure no one was in here to watch her get ready for the audition, but she desperately needed to make sure she was in character. This role could make or break her and she needed the energy for the part.

"Heights? You think I'm afraid of heights? You bargain-basement Hawkman?"

She stumbled a little over the last sentence, frowned at herself, and then reset.

"Heights? You think I'm afraid of heights? You..."

The door to the bathroom opened and a blonde woman stepped in, then paused in the doorway. Lexa, trying her best to stay in character, gave her a smirk.

"Hi there. Don't let me bother you."

The blonde woman gave her an amused look, but nodded her head and stepped into the bathroom. Lexa all of a sudden realized that she'd invited someone in when she had desperately tried to make sure no one was here before, and tried to stop herself from getting flustered. The woman seemed to sense the shift and cocked her head to the side.

"You here for an audition. You've got that energy about you."

Lexa bit her lip, then nodded. What could it hurt.

"Mhm. I'm trying to work through the nerves. Are you?"

The woman grinned and shook her head. "Nope. Will you show me what you've got, though? Maybe it'll help you feel more ready for it."

Lexa blinked, then nodded slowly. An impartial opinion would probably be good. "If you're sure."

The woman waved her hand and crossed her arms over her ample chest, leaning against the sink basin. "Go for it."

Lexa bounced a little on the balls of her feet, then put on her 'snarky, seasoned crime fighter face.' "Heights?" She scoffed. "You think I'm afraid of heights? You bargain-basement Hawkman?" She shook her head and gave a smirk that would make any villain second guess, much less the second-rate one she was supposed to be going up against. "Why do you think they call me Batgirl?"

There was more to the monologue, but Lexa paused there. The woman had a small smile on her face, but otherwise didn't comment for a long moment. Lexa let her stance relax again.

"What do you think? Spunky hero enough?"

The woman nodded, a curious twinkle in her eye. "I think the director might like you. Do that in the audition."

Lexa blinked. "Really? Do you know the director?" She hadn't even considered that.

"Oh, you might say that." The woman laughed softly at an inside joke, then walked back out of the bathroom as if she hadn't needed to use it at all. "See you in there. Good luck."

"I... thank you!" The woman left before Lexa could say much else. She looked at herself in the mirror, then grabbed her phone. Within 15 seconds she'd Googled the production she was auditioning for, and there was a news article with a picture of the director. Clarke Griffin, blue eyes sparkling with that amused smile stared back at her. Lexa looked at the door, then swallowed. "Holy shit."


 

4B. A Kiss In The Rain

Summary: Prompt: "A romantic kiss in the rain. Orrr, they're forced to take shelter somewhere because of the rain and it's the first time that they hold hands." (AU)

"I didn't plan for this."

Lexa looked out at the rain falling down in sheets outside the stoop they'd taken refuge on, the disappointment clear on her face. Clarke was wringing out her hair gently, the careful curls she'd teased it into now completely ruined. Not to mention this jacket. Well, that probably wasn't ruined, but it wouldn't be going to any fancy parties.

She smiled at Lexa, who was clearly more upset about this than she was.

"You mean you didn't order a monsoon for our first date? That seems like a lot of work, I wouldn't put it past you to go all out."

Lexa blinked the raindrops off of her eyelashes and turned to look at Clarke. She looked completely confused, as if she couldn't understand why Clarke was smiling at her and not devastated.

"I... no. We were going to go to the Vietnamese place that I told you about, so I could finally introduce you to something that isn't steak and potatoes, and then we were going to go on a nightwalk of the city... and..."

Her words trailed off as Clarke took a few steps closer to her, crowding her on the stoop. Clarke reached out and carefully tugged at the hem of Lexa's shirt, biting her lip. Lexa's breath caught.

"And now you're sad because we can't do any of that?" Clarke's expression was somewhere between innocent and teasing, and Lexa wasn't sure if her brain was meant to handle this level of vixen.

"I wanted this to be perfect." Her voice was near a whisper.

"Lexa." Clarke's smile widened softly. "Any time with you would be perfect. This is perfect."

Lexa shivered. "Even though we're all wet?"

The sparkle in Clarke's eye turned decidedly dirty. "Oh, I was expecting that would happen anyway."

Clarke laughed at Lexa's wide-eyed expression, then reached up to cup her cheek.

"I'm serious, though. It's perfect."

Lexa felt her heart patter in her chest, and she finally relaxed, reaching out to rest a hand on Clarke's hip. "You're perfect." She swallowed at the fact that that was probably too honest, but Clarke didn't stop smiling at her. Taking her chance, she leaned forward slowly, and when Clarke didn't pull back, she pressed her lips gently against Clarke's full ones.

It was soft, and even though their lips were colder than she'd expected, she quickly warmed up. When she pulled back, she smiled at Clarkes soft giggle.

"Can we go back to my place? I can at least make us soup and some sandwiches."

"Taking me home, already?" Clarke brushed her thumb against Lexa's cheek then pulled back to look at the rain still pouring down around them. "Why not? Let's just try not to drown before we get there." She took Lexa's hand into her own and gave her a soft smile before tugging her out into the chilly rain.


4C. Movie Date

Summary: Prompt: "Clarke has the movie version of Lexa's favorite book in their database and shows it to her as her first movie." Fluffy as hell. (Canon-Divergent)

It had taken a lot of time, a lot of sneaking around, and a lot of bribing Raven and promising to owe her fourteen other favors in the future, but Clarke's plan was finally coming to fruition. Lexa's favorite book, check. White sheet and holographic projector, check. Flash drive with a movie carefully (and not at all illegally) downloaded from what remained of the Ark's cultural database? Check, check.

Clarke's bedroom in Polis was not quite as large and comfortable as Lexa's, but trying to convince her guards to leave her alone in there for long periods of time with unknown tech had been surprisingly difficult. The issue could have been resolved almost immediately with a word from Lexa herself, but then the surprise would have been ruined, so Clarke had changed the plans slightly. She had brought in plenty of candles to make Lexa feel at home, though.

In fact, she was just about done lighting them when there was a gentle knock on the door. Clarke stood up quickly, then looked around her anxiously. Everything was in place, though.

She walked to the door and opened it to reveal Lexa on the other side, arms behind her back and head gently tilting to the side.

"Has the time come to learn whatever you've been planning?"

Clarke grinned sheepishly, then ducked her head and stepped back, letting Lexa see more of her room and what she'd prepared. Lexa's gaze was curious as she took in the candles, but as she turned to Clarke to comment on it, she was struck by the sheet that Clarke had hung up on the wall. Her mouth shut for a moment, then she gave Clarke an odd look.

"Have you... gotten bored of coupling horizontally?" Her expression was completely serious.

Clarke's face flushed red. "No, no. God. Um." She shut her mouth and shook her head, then gave herself a moment to get herself under control as she closed the door behind Lexa. Lexa was still staring at her, although the expression on her face did not seem like she'd be against the prospect of "coupling vertically" and Clarke filed that away for future reference.

Instead, Clarke waved towards where she'd set up the projector and gently took Lexa's arm to guide her towards it. "We're going to have to come back to that idea later, but no, this is... well, remember I was telling you about movies? This allows them to be shown against a light surface. And has built in speakers so that we can hear the sound."

Lexa's posture relaxed slightly as she took in the tech with interest. "This allows you to see those moving images?" She glanced back at Clarke. "Does this mean you have one?"

The spark of interest in Lexa's eyes made Clarke's face light up in a grin and she guided Lexa to the bed. "So, there were other adaptations made of this, and this might not be the best one, but it was the only version we had in the Ark's database." She reached towards the table and gently handed Lexa her book. Lexa looked down at it in confusion, then back up to Clarke with as much of a wide-eyed expression as Clarke had ever seen. "How would you like to see this book come to life?"

Lexa licked her lips, looking back down at her book and then to the sheet, before finally nodding almost eagerly. Clarke let out a breath in relief and gently nudged at Lexa to get further into the bed.

"Well then get ready for your first movie ever. I... really hope you like it."

When the lights of the projector spilled out onto the canvas, Clarke was watching the way it illuminated Lexa's wonder-filled face instead of the movie itself. Lexa's hand gripped tightly onto Clarke's on top of the bed sheets, and Clarke had never been more in love.

Chapter Text

 

5A. Wonderland

Summary:  Prompt - "Clarke as Alice in Wonderland, a world that has been taken over by the Queen of Ice. Nothing is as it seems and nothing makes sense, but when she comes across a mysterious girl her age, suddenly she's not as keen to get home as she'd thought she was." (AU)

"Oh my god, you're the first normal person I've met here."

Clarke reaches out for the girl in the trees, forgetting in her relief about the common courtesy of a personal bubble. She doesn't connect, though, as the girl is suddenly across the small clearing, her cloak billowing behind her. Clarke blinks, then takes a deep breath.

"Okay, maybe not completely normal."

"How did you even get here?" The girl asks, her tone flat and frankly a little judgmental. Clarke runs a hand through her hair and shrugs. "Well, you should go back where you came. This isn't the place for you."

"I'd go if I could," Clarke says, leaning against the nearest tree. "But you see, I followed a rabbit in, and now I can't find him to take me back."

This piques the girl's interest, apparently, because she's half the distance between them again and rubbing at her chin. "The rabbit brought you here?"

Out of the trees, the sun hits the girl's face and Clarke is left momentarily breathless. Her soft, tanned skin, the soft waves of brown hair, and the bright, lively green of her eyes is almost ethereal. The girl tilts her head, a frown once again on those lips, and Clarke startles out of her paralysis. "I... yes. I guess you could say that."

After one last searching look, the girl nods and turns. "Come to the Tea Party," she says, across the clearing once more. "And we'll talk." Then she is gone, and Clarke searches for any hint of that cloak, but there is nothing. 

"Tea party?" Clarke sighs. She raises her voice to call into the trees. "Some directions would have been nice!" 

There's a soft laugh from far away, and then a bush shuffles out of the way of a small road sign. TEA PARTY, it reads, with an arrow. 

"Oh. Okay." Clarke hesitates only briefly before heading out in that direction. "I'll never understand this dream at all."


5B. The Girl on the Train

Summary:  Prompt - "Clarke is intrigued by the stranger on the train who seems to read only one book over and over again." (AU)

Honestly, she didn't even notice the book at first. It was just an excuse to talk to the pretty girl on the train. The pretty girl who always wore her hair pulled back in intricate braids, was always impeccably dressed in business casual, and wore sensible shoes. 

Clarke wanted to asked about the ink-stains on her fingers, or the one time it looked like she'd reached up and smudged some on her nose. 

She wanted to ask about that time that her shirt had actually, impossibly, been wrinkled. Her shirtsleeves had been rolled up, and it looked like she'd scuffed her elbow somewhere. And her braids, always so carefully done up, were loose.

Or about that time that the girl had been accompanied by the taller, scowling blonde, who propped one foot up on the seat across from them like she owned the place. Clarke hadn't realized she'd been staring and frowning at the newcomer to their routine until she saw that, for once, someone had actually noticed her. The blonde, of course, whose smirk had turned from curiously amused to sharp, narrowed eyes. Clarke hadn't dared to look back for the entire rest of the train ride.

Clarke wanted to ask, but there was something that always kept her quiet in her seat across the aisle from the other girl. Something about the quiet concentration she exuded, an intense focus that Clarke didn't want to interrupt. That Clarke couldn't really interrupt.

With all this quiet contemplation of the girl on the train, it really was strange that it took her so long to notice the book. 

She noticed everything about her. Except that. Until suddenly she did.

One day, the girl on the train sat down in her normal seat, and Clarke looked up at just the right moment to see her pull out a plain, leather-bound journal. It looked at once odd and familiar, and for a moment Clarke couldn't remember having seeing it before.

Then, suddenly, she could. 

Of course, this is what the girl had been so focused on all those mornings on their way into the city. Clarke could see the ink on the pages even from this distance, and there were those same smudges on her fingers. There wasn't a pen in sight, but Clarke could imagine the mystery girl hunched over a desk, pen in hand as she scribbled her thoughts into the pages. She could imagine that look of concentration, of her hair falling into her face and Clarke reaching out to push it back...

Okay, maybe not that last part. Clarke blushed and looked away, embarrassed at the way her thoughts had gotten away from her. When she looked back, the girl was still focused intently on the book in her hands. Clarke found herself grateful that at least she wasn't a mind reader. Probably.

But this, this was a perfect way to finally break the ice. Clarke might not be a real artist, but she knew what it was like to create. They could bond over this passion.

Maybe.

Clarke was already out of her chair before she realized that she hadn't actually come up with a plan for what to say to the other girl, but by then it was too late. She could feel the other passengers' eyes on her, and she swayed a little with the movement of the train. The only eyes not on her seemed to be the girl she wanted to speak to.

She stepped forward and put her hand on a nearby seat back to steady herself. From this close, she could see the ink more clearly, but somehow couldn't make out any words. It was beautiful script, and Clarke would have been embarrassed at how long she stared at it if it didn't feel like there was something right beneath the surface. If she just looked a little harder...

Clarke blinked.

The ink moved.

The book was shut before she could confirm what had happened and then suddenly the most beautiful eyes she'd ever seen were glaring at her. Clarke gaped, mouth opening and closing as she both struggled to understand what she'd seen and to find words. Any words at all.

"Is this sort of behavior normal for you?" The other girl had no trouble finding words. Her tone was clipped, and Clarke swallowed to know that it was directed at her. After all this time, waiting, wondering, and this would be how she would be remembered.

"I... I'm sorry, I just..." Clarke swallowed, the words failing her again. Her eyes trailed to the book in the girl's hands, not noticing the shock at the action on the other girl's face. "I was wondering what you were reading. I didn't mean to... intrude."

She took a step back. The train shuddered again, and Clarke would have fallen if the girl wasn't suddenly half out of her seat, hand lightly grasping Clarke's arm. She blinked, then felt her cheeks heat up in embarrassment. "Thanks," she whispered, pulling away.

The grip tightened just enough that Clarke stopped the effort, and when she looked back, those intense eyes were less angry now. They studied each other for a long moment in the middle of the aisle, only stopped by the gradual slowing as the train reached a stop.

"You saw it." Clarke found herself blinking in confusion at the question and the entirely different tone of voice that now came from the girl. People were moving around them now, and soon enough Clarke knew they'd be jostling past them to get off the train.

"Saw... what?"

"The book." There was that look in her eyes again, like if she stared at Clarke long enough she might know the secrets of her soul. One moment. Two. Clarke shrugged helplessly, not knowing why the book was so strange when she was obviously looking at it every day. The barest hint of a smile twitched at the corner of the girl's mouth, and then she was moving. 

"Get your things." The girl pulled her bag onto her shoulder, snapping it closed.

Clarke gaped at her, stepping out of the way of an impatient passenger. "I... what?"

"Get your things," she said. She stepped across the aisle and picked up Clarke's messenger bag from the seat next to her without asking. Clarke stared as the offering was held out to her.

"This isn't my stop." Clarke's brow furrowed. "This isn't your stop either."

"How long have you been watching me?" She was impatient now, jiggling Clarke's bag once. "If you want to know what you saw, you have to come now. Otherwise, you'll probably forget."

Clarke reached for her bag, curious in spite of herself. "I know you just said words, but I'm not sure they made any sense. What do you mean I'll forget?"

“Do you want to know, or not?”

There was a huge part of Clarke that wanted to throw her hands up and scream, “Know what?” at the girl, but something in those eyes stopped her. Her face was calm, if a little impatient, and Clarke knew that after weeks of sitting and watching this girl, she couldn’t exactly let this opportunity pass just because she turned out to be a little more eccentric than she’d expected. So instead of doing maybe the sane thing and telling the weird girl on the train to leave her alone, Clarke found herself nodding slowly, sliding the strap of her bag onto her shoulder.

“Alright, fine. Lead the way.” Clarke narrowed her eyes. “But I can scream really loudly and one of my best friends knows some shady people and the other likes to blow things up, so I hope for your sake you’re not about to try to kill me.”

Clarke probably shouldn’t have found the eye-roll cute. Who rolled their eyes at a death threat, anyway?

“It’s not me you have to worry about.”

“That is literally the exact opposite of reassuring.”

Chapter Text

"It seems to me that you aren't taking our agreement very seriously."

Clarke startled at the sound of the voice, looking up from the bar she was scrubbing down to the dark cloud that was sitting, straight-backed, in a bar stool next to Jack. Jack, who also jumped, and sloshed his half-empty pint all over the bar. Again.

"What the..." Jack's glassy eyes took in the newcomer, who was not literally a dark cloud, but who was instead a very-- unnaturally-- beautiful woman who just so happened to be dressed in all black. With a black cloak. And... very, very dark-rimmed eyes. "Well, slap my ass and call my mama. I definitely haven't seen you before, beautiful. I would've 'membered."

Clarke sighed, not sure what the more annoying part of this whole ordeal was, but knowing that she definitely did not want to be here. "Jack. You have a wife."

"And?" Jack scoffed, his head rocking back with the motion as if he were riding the waves on a boat. "You don't gotta be jealous, Clarke. You're still my number one."

The other woman looked between them, part disgusted, part calculating. "Are you two...?"

"No." Clarke's voice was firm, even as Jack waggled his brows.

"She's playin' hard to get." He leaned towards the newcomer. "You don't seem like the type to tease, though."

The woman's lips pinched together. She looked to Clarke, who rolled her eyes and wiped down the bar. "You're here for our bargain," Clarke muttered, expression dark. "But before you get any ideas, really think what sort of genetics you want to be dealing with."

Jack was still grinning when the woman looked back at him. She quickly looked back at Clarke. "You clearly have... options."

"I'll be your option, beautiful." Jack leaned in closer, breathing over her with his alcohol-laden breath.

Only to be unceremoniously frozen in his seat, his leering expression unseeing and unsettling. It took Clarke a moment to realize there was silence, but when she looked up, the other woman was staring at her, completely ignoring the statue that Jack had become.

"Oh my god," Clarke whispered, looking at the man across the bar. There wasn't a twitch of movement, not even his chest rose for breath.

"I'm willing to agree," the woman stated calmly, as if there was nothing odd going on at all. Clarke blinked rapidly, trying to understand was was happening. "...that he's not an ideal candidate to birth the child you owe to me. However, that does not change the fact that you do owe me a child."

Clarke opened her mouth to respond, but her expression only caused the witch to sigh.

"Yes, yes, he'll be fine. Unfortunately." The witch waved a hand in the air and suddenly Jack was moving again. Only, he said nothing. He simply stood up, remarkably steady for the amount of alcohol he'd consumed, and walked out of the bar. Clarke watched him go, mouth open the entire time. "He'll wake up in the morning with all the pain he deserves and will remember none of this. Now, can we focus?"

Clarke closed her mouth and swallowed. "I... um... sure?"

"Where is my baby, Clarke?" The witch's face was completely serious. Clarke's stared back at her.

"What... what part of 'this is the sort of option I have' don't you understand?" Clarke finally released the rag onto the counter-top, crossing her arms over her chest. "I haven't even found a decent man to share a meal with, much less... that. I'll let you know when that changes."

The witch stared at her with her piercing green eyes, and Clarke started to wonder if she was about to be a victim of a curse. She couldn't bring herself to look away, though, and felt herself grow very, very warm. She was definitely being cursed.

When the witch turned to look at the door where Jack had exited, however, Clarke didn't feel anything but suddenly lost. She looked at her hands just in case, though, to check if she'd developed webbing. No, normal fingers. She wasn't turning into a frog.

"Well." The witch let out a huff. "That won't do. I suppose I'll just have to expedite the process myself."

Clarke snapped her gaze up again, her cheeks flushing red. "I... what? What does that mean?"

The witch gave her an odd look. "We need to find you a suitable mate, of course. And soon."

Clarke's brow furrowed, not liking the sound of that. She wasn't so sure about the way the witch's eyes roamed up and down her body, though.

"I suppose I can't fault you for trying to attract someone," the witch said, eyes directly on her cleavage.

Clarke quickly covered her chest when she realized what she was saying. "Hey!"

"But the rest of this..." The witch waved her hand, indicating Clarke's... everything. She sighed again. "I guess we'd better get to work."

Chapter Text

Most of the crew was out on shore leave, taking advantage of their rare time docked at the Citadel. Lexa had thought about going herself (even if she'd have to endure some good-natured ribbing about her bad dance moves from her second and Reyes), but she knew that she had dozens of reports to read and write before they headed off on their next mission. She'd settled at her desk with a cup of tea and her datapad, ready for a productive night.

That had lasted all of eight reports before her eyes had begun to ache.

Now she was roaming the corridors of the Normandy, ready with the excuse that she was doing an informal inspection if anyone asked. There was no specific reason why her feet took her to the cargo bay. Not when surely no one would be there. She was just going to make sure that everything was in its place and people hadn't half-assed battening down the hatches in their haste to get ashore.

It was the duty of the Captain to ensure her people weren't getting sloppy, even in times of leisure.

She fully expected to ride the excruciatingly slow elevator down to the lower deck to find it dark and empty.

It was quiet when the elevator finally opened, and Lexa stepped out and did a quick once-over. Everything was exactly where it should be. The crew had even stowed the tools properly, or they'd taken them on shore leave with them. She wouldn't be surprised by some of them.

Still, it was clean. The crew deserved some praise once they were back on shift.

The soft sound of metal clinking gently on metal drew Lexa's attention, and she mentally hushed the way her heart started beating just the tiniest bit faster.

Consciously making her steps loud enough to be heard, Lexa walked around the Mako. The blonde seated at the weapons bench was focused on the gun she was currently taking apart and carefully laying out, but it was clear from the way her head was tilted towards her arrival that Lexa had been noticed.

Lexa stopped a professional distance away, but close enough that she could see the curve of the secret smile on Gunnery Chief Clarke Griffin's face.

"I thought you'd be out on shore leave," Lexa said conversationally.

"I could say the same for you, Skipper." Clarke turned her head enough that the smile wasn't secret anymore. Lexa swallowed, both blessing and cursing the amused glint in the other woman's blue eyes.

For a very long time, Clarke had been nothing but professional with her. The very picture of Alliance respect for a senior officer. It had taken a long time to convince her that their unorthodox mission meant they could be a little less rigid with the chain of command, but moments when Clarke was truly relaxed around her were few and far between.

When she did get to see this more casual version of Clarke, Lexa couldn't help but find herself a little tongue-tied. The way her smile made her whole face light up should probably be illegal.

"I..." Lexa cleared her throat. "There are reports to put out to both the Council and the Admiralty Board. I have to get them finished before we ship out again."

Clarke eyed her, then gave her a mock-solemn nod. "We can't save the world without the proper paperwork."

Lexa frowned, causing Clarke to laugh. The sound immediately took any sting out of being made fun of, and Lexa watched the way Clarke's blonde hair swayed with her mirth.

"I would almost think you believe that," Clarke said, finally turning fully toward Lexa in her chair. There was still a respectable distance between them.

Unfortunately.

"I'm not sure how you'd expect me to requisition you new parts," Lexa gestured to the gun in pieces on Clarke's workbench, "without filing some papers."

"Isn't that what being a Spectre is good for?" Clarke shook her head. "But really, Skipper. Shouldn't you be taking some time off? I'm pretty sure the bars are being drained dry as we speak."

Lexa shrugged, looking away. Everything they'd seen and learned about did weigh heavily on her mind. It seemed sometimes like they were the only ones who truly understood the gravity of the situation they were in. Geth forces in human territory, brainwashing, traitors in their midst.

She probably could use a drink.

When she looked back, Clarke's eyes were on her, expression the softest she'd ever seen the other woman give. She looked honestly concerned. For her.

Clarke blinked, then looked like she was about to brush it off.

"I haven't been sleeping well," Lexa blurted out. Her cheeks colored at the admission, but it served the purpose of keeping Clarke looking at her. This time the blonde was the one off-kilter. "I keep seeing worst case scenarios in my dreams. The Citadel as empty as New Eden. That sort of thing." Lexa clenched her jaw briefly, staring past Clarke and to the side. It actually felt good to say this to someone for once. Being Captain was... more difficult than she'd expected it to be. "And I have this weird idea that if I actually let my guard down, just for a second, it'll happen just like in my dreams."

Silence. Lexa refused to look directly at Clarke, not wanting to see how uncomfortable she'd made her. After a few long seconds, Lexa took a deep breath and stiffened her posture, ready to apologize and excuse herself.

"And that's inappropriate--" she began.

"No." Clarke stood, hand on the workbench. Lexa finally looked at the other woman, only to be met with a sympathetic expression. "No, it's... honest." Clarke smiled hesitantly. "I have dreams too," she admitted. "About the people I couldn't save."

They stood, both lost in their own memories for a moment.

Clarke shook her head, letting out a soft scoff of a laugh. "I come down here when I don't want to think." Her hand waved over the pieces of her sidearm. "It helps to feel like I'm doing something, anything, to prepare. And it's all automatic. You take it apart, you clean the pieces, you put it back together again. Easy." She stared at her bench, not looking at Lexa. "It's kind of stupid, I know..."

"I build model ships," Lexa offered. At Clarke's confused expression, Lexa smiled. "All the little pieces. You put them together in the right order and it makes a perfect replica. It feels good to... build something, instead of destroying it."

The tension in Clarke's shoulders lessened, and Lexa watched as she smiled again. Lexa smiled back.

"Do you want to... have a drink with me?" Lexa stood up a little straighter, trying to make up for the hesitant way she'd posed the question. Clarke's mouth opened then closed, looking torn.

Lexa was reminded of the conversations they'd had about inter-unit relationships. How Clarke was adamant that it was a bad idea to get attached to anyone in particular. "If you had to make a choice," Clarke had said, "and someone needed to stay behind, would you be able to let them?"

There was a story there, Lexa was sure. She knew what it was like to lose someone, to have to make that choice. It wasn't something she'd shared at the time, but maybe she should. Maybe it was worth it.

Right now, though, Lexa tried to wave away Clarke's concerns. "I have a bottle of scotch I've been saving. I think maybe we both could use a break. Just for a moment."

Clarke looked like she wanted to be convinced. "Is it real scotch?"

"Would I offer anything less?" Lexa smiled. "I promise a glass of the best scotch you've had in years and some good company. That's all."

Clarke looked down at the disassembled pieces on her workbench and then back at Lexa. Lexa felt her heart flutter when she saw the decision Clarke made in her eyes a split second before her face softened into a smile in return. "Let me clean this up and then you're on."

Lexa nodded, holding herself back from looking too relieved. "I'll chill some glasses. See you at..." She looked at her omnitool. "Twenty-one hundred?"

"I'll be there."

They stared at each other for a moment longer before Lexa gave one last nod. "Until then." Lexa finally turned, her motion stiff with the effort it took to actually turn away. She heard Clarke chuckle softly behind her as she walked away, and couldn't help the warmth that welled up in her chest at the thought of being the cause.