clementine has had crushes before.

before her parents left, before sandra turned, before she met lee, and before…everything else, there was a girl in her third grade class that made her feel butterflies in her stomach, made her giggle and blush. she would try to snag a seat next to her every day, especially during lunch time, and they would share apple slices and cookies and talk about the books they had recently read.

it's funny that at this point, clementine can't even remember her name. the days where her mother would wake her up at 6:30am sharp and her father would make her pancakes and eggs before driving her off to school seemed like ages ago. it's been about two years and she's even struggling to remember what her mother's handwriting looked like, how tall she felt sitting on her father's shoulders, what her teacher's name was. she's pretty sure that the girl moved away at the end of the school year before break, before the outbreak. maybe she's going through what clementine is going through. or maybe she's not.

she's not a little eight year old anymore. she's eleven. two years until she becomes an official teenager, seven years until she becomes a legal adult. which is weird, because at this point, everyone she knows treats her like she is an adult, that she can protect herself and make her own decisions. kenny never treated duck like that. and carlos definitely would never treat sarah like that.

sarah…

clementine looks at sarah and feels terrified. no one else really sees her the way clementine sees her. sarah could be duck, sarah could the boy in the attic that lee buried in the backyard back in savannah. sarah is her. she's fifteen years old and she's on her way to fulfilling the prophecy chuck set out for clementine. it's not right.

sarah is not the girl from third grade. sarah is not duck. sarah is not the boy in the attic. sarah is the girl lee found in the treehouse months and months ago.

clementine had had crushes before. but sarah is different than the girl with the apple slices. clementine feels just…obligated to help her. a pinky swear is forever, after all. and it had been so long since clementine had seen another kid. when christa told clementine she was pregnant, clementine really had no idea how to react. she had always been an only child, and now she would be meeting a little baby in a few months? but it never happened and clementine was alone.

not anymore.

sarah is nice. she lends clementine books that she has already read. she stays with her even when carlos tells clementine to stay away. she listens to her when she talks about her parents, or christa or omid, or lee. clementine doesn't know if sarah knows about her crush. sarah's never really shown any interest in anybody, not luke (who clementine can objectively see as attractive), not even nick. but then again, clementine hasn't shown any interest in anyone either.

they are just two little girls. clementine isn't even a teenager yet. clementine has never dated and carlos would never let sarah date, before or after everything began.

maybe it's just another schoolyard crush. maybe sarah is going to wind up like the cute girl from third grade, laughing with her during lunch one minute and then gone forever the next. clementine wasn't lying when she said she didn't know what to do or where to go next. christa has to be out there somewhere. she needs to know what happened to her. it makes her shiver, thinking of how ben didn't even know what happened to his family, and how he would never know. christa is too important to ever forget about. she took care of her for months, even after omid… she can't let a crush stop her from finding her.

but as she watches sarah flip to the next page in her book, watches her reach a hand up to move away a strand of hair in her face, watches her take a quick bite out of her apple as her eyes scan the page, she thinks that there is no way she is leaving sarah to become just another kid lost to the new, dark world.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: this was originally written for twdg queerpocalypse that took place on tumblr. not much love for this pairing on here. (spoilers for episode 3 in the next paragraph)

after seeing the screenshots for episode 3, I have the urge to write Clementine (in her fabulous warm puffy rainbow jacket) kicking ass and Sarah trying to follow her lead. basically, I'm excited as hell for the next episode!