Disclaimer & Notices: See the Prologue.
AN: I apologize this has taken awhile to post. For the past month, I have had my nose to the keyboard and working on my novel for self-publishing. All my fanfiction has been on the back burner since then. But I am looking for to finally publishing my first novel titled, Thora, in March 2018. I'm also already in the process of reworking an old piece to get published next. And it will have a slight clexa AU vibe to it. So things are both exciting and scary. :)
In the meantime, I will continue to update fanfic in between things. If you're curious to learn more the publishing, you're welcome to join my Tiny Letter mailing list. It is on my profile page and also my website. I will send out a mailing when it comes available. Also feel free to email me too.
And please enjoy the update to Hedatu!
Started: July 26, 2017
Series: Series 1, Story #2
by Red Hope
"Is there anything I can help with?" Abby asked again.
Clarke flashed a smile at her mother before she returned to the cooking. "I'm okay... thanks, Mom."
Abby felt strange not making or helping with dinner for once. She had cooked so many of them for her family. She admitted that there was a learning curve since Clarke's kitchen had none of the tech conveniences that her own had on the Alpha Station. Or rather in Mount Weather, Abby mentally corrected.
Clarke was doing her best to entertain her mother while she finished up the meal. It was difficult though and slight relief filled her when Lexa entered the kitchen.
Lexa was drawn by her nose. She smiled at her second, who was busy in the kitchen. "Heya."
"Heya, Leksa." Clarke looked away from the pan that she had over the fire. "Na yu optat ai nomon?" She sighed at Lexa's sudden smirk. "Beja, Leksa."
"Sha." Lexa took pity and turned to Abby. "Has Clarke shown you the entire house?"
"No," Abby replied.
Lexa had a slight smile and offered, "Then I shall."
Abby took the cue and left with the commander.
Lexa briefly caught Clarke's relief.
Clarke turned back to her task. She was hardly surprised when Ares rushed out of the kitchen to follow Lexa. She was quite happy to have the kitchen in total peace. It was twenty minutes more until dinner was ready. Clarke set everything on the table in their shared quarters. By some miracle, her mother and Lexa returned at the perfect time for dinner.
Ares was the last one into the quarters and was grateful to find his dish full.
Lexa took her usual spot like Clarke. Abby sat with her back to the window. Like the other women, she passed the bowls of food around until her plate was full.
"Chof," Lexa said to her second.
Clarke smiled at the commander. "Pro."
"It smells amazing." Abby looked forward to diving into the variety of food. She hesitated though when Clarke took the commander's hand.
"We usually pray to our gods," Lexa explained to the chancellor.
Abby was slightly uneasy until Clarke offered her a hand. She took it and then received the commander's own. She waited for the pray to pass somebody's lips.
Lexa took the lead and gave thanks to Staurra. She released hands and picked up her fork. However, she waited for Clarke to eat first.
Clarke started the meal and enjoyed Lexa's pleased hum at the food's flavor. Like Lexa, she enjoyed the deer meat's gamey hint. She also prepared a mixture of autumn vegetables with pine nuts. She included a small amount of bread, which was rare in their Trikru diet. But, Clarke figured that her mother would like it.
"How was Anya this evening?" Abby asked.
Clarke was curious too and looked to her warrior.
"She is exhausted still," Lexa replied. "I took dinner to her."
"Maybe tomorrow she'll have the energy to walk around." At least, Clarke hoped it was true. She knew it would take many days for Anya to regain her full strength.
Lexa gave a low nod. She then turned her attention to the chancellor. "What will you test the blood for?"
Clarke was tense and gave a silent confirmation to her mother, who looked warily at her.
"I'll test her blood for any abnormalities," Abby answered. She was unsure how to explain the medical testing to the Lexa, a grounder.
Clarke sensed her mother's hesitation and looked at her warrior. "Mom will test her DNA."
Lexa appreciated that Clarke went into more detail. The acronym was not lost on her. "Her genetic makeup."
Abby set her clay mug down after taking a sip. Her surprise shined in her eyes.
"Sha." Clarke was cutting the deer steak on her plate. "Maybe there'll be an irregularity or clue that could tell us how she's still alive or..."
"Alive again," Abby finished.
"What of her memory?" Lexa asked. "Will it return?"
Clarke shook her head and honesty replied, "It's hard to say." She frowned as she set her knife down. "Maybe she has memory loss or maybe..." She sighed and looked at Lexa. "Or maybe she has no memory at all of what happened to her."
"If it's memory loss," Abby said, "Then it may come back in time as her brain heals."
"Something could trigger it," Clarke added. "Or she'll have dreams."
"It's even possible she has memories and is suppressing them." Like her daughter, Abby thought of all the infinity possibilities because the brain was a mysterious organ, even today.
Lexa sighed and stared at her plate for a moment. She desired answers and for Anya to be whole again. However, such a desire was asking too much.
Clarke reached over and held her warrior's hand. "Give her time." She squeezed and whispered, "I'm thankful she's here now."
Lexa nodded because her second had a point. She watched Clarke's hand slip away then she looked at Abby again. "When will you have the results?"
"Maybe tonight... by tomorrow morning at the latest."
"Don't work on it all night, Mom." Clarke shot a warning look at her mother.
Abby silently conceded, but she still suspected she would be up late. She had an hour nap just to help her.
"How are things in Mount Weather?" Clarke hoped the change of subject helped everyone.
"A lot better." Abby smiled a little. "Raven was able to finish fixing the power."
Clarke recalled that the mechanic had told her earlier this afternoon during their visit. She suspected it was the only reason Sinclair let her leave with Abby. "Are there many left at Camp Jaha?"
"Those that are staying are the only ones there now," Abby replied. "I left a few guards with them but... they're mostly on their own."
"I have informed patrol to add Camp Jaha to their checks," Lexa informed the chancellor.
Abby was mildly surprised by the commander's support. She cleared her throat and offered, "Thank you, Lexa."
Clarke had no idea either and silently thanked her warrior too. "Raven fixed one of the rovers. Is she planning to work on the helicopter?"
Lexa was curious too.
"Yes." Abby sighed heavily. "But, it's hard to say if it'll even run."
"If anybody can make it work, it's Raven." Clarke was confident in her friend's abilities as a mechanic. "If she can get it to work then it'll be a huge advantage to finding more of our people."
"What of the satellites?" Lexa questioned.
Abby nodded at Lexa's point. "Monty is still working on the system."
Clarke was confused. "What you mean?"
"They are locked up... somehow." Abby recalled what Monty had told her and Marcus just the other day. "He has hacked into Mount Weather's computer system. We have control of it."
"Then what is it?"
Abby looked at her daughter. "He tries to connect to the satellite system and it works... for thirty seconds before he's locked out."
Clarke was worried by the news. "Do you think somehow Cage locked us out?"
Abby remembered that same question when Marcus asked it. "Monty says no. He thinks it's being done externally... outside of Mount Weather."
"Like somebody is kicking us off?" Clarke checked.
Lexa continued listening to the conversation. She found a lot of interest in it.
Clarke blew out a breath. Obviously somebody did not want them to see something on the ground. Her thoughts skipped back to the weapons at the airport near Reston. She looked at her warrior, who seemed to have the same idea. She shook her head and looked at her mother. "What about the Russian satellites? Can he tap into them?"
"He's trying," Abby replied. "A lot of those satellites have gone offline over the years."
"They weren't built as well as the American ones," Clarke murmured in realization.
"If we can get into them," Abby mentioned, "It may be limited on where we can see... on the ground."
Clarke sighed and set down the worn fork. She had mostly eaten her meal.
"Why does Clarke's phone work?" Lexa found all eyes on her. "Does it not use satellites for communication?"
Clarke stiffened at the excellent question.
Even Abby had not considered the idea. She narrowed her eyes and concluded, "Somebody is watching us."
Clarke rubbed her brow and decided that somebody was allowing the audio traffic from her cell phone to Mount Weather. She shook her head and argued, "We still need the phone... for communication."
Abby seconded it. "We'll just have to be careful what we discuss."
Clarke was quiet and then suddenly grinned at her mother. "How is your Trigedasleng?" She enjoyed Lexa's low snort.
Abby raised an eyebrow at her daughter.
"You should practice more with Marcus," Clarke suggested.
"Perhaps Octavia and Lincoln can spend time teaching it," Lexa added.
Clarke agreed it was a good idea. Most likely whoever had control of the satellites probably had little understanding of the grounder's tongue. There were no other underground facilities in the Trikru territory. That meant whoever these people were, they were most likely out of Trikru territory and had little to no understanding of the Tree People's language.
After a nod, Abby resigned herself to learning the language better. "Add it to the list." She looked pointedly to her daughter. "Until then, we'll have to be careful what we say."
"Agreed." Clarke indicated the leftover food. "Seconds? I hate to waste it."
Abby smiled and mostly because she loved Clarke's cooking style. She scooped up more of the vegetables and was glad Lexa took the rest.
Clarke then decided it was time for mead for an after dinner drink. She and Lexa took the dishes to the kitchen to be cleaned later. She returned with filled mugs of mead and passed them around as they sat in front of the fire.
Ares sat near Clarke's feet and enjoyed her company. He was content with a bone between his paws.
Abby visited awhile longer with her daughter and the commander. She loved the sweet mead but decided anymore of it would put her to sleep. She had far too much to do so she bid goodnight to them after emptying the mug. She hugged both of them and promised to go over the results tomorrow.
Clarke watched her mother leave and then she sighed heavily. She exchanged a worried look with Lexa.
Lexa was seated next to Clarke, in front of the fire. They had yet to put the chairs back around the table and instead tried relaxing for the last bit of their evening. Tomorrow would probably be a demanding day for them.
"I feel like we're trapped and all four walls are closing in on us," Clarke softly admitted after a stretch of silence.
"Then we shall climb out of it," Lexa said.
Clarke shook her head. "I hope it's that simple." She considered everything that was coming in their direction. "Queen Nia wants control of the clans. The Senate wants control. We want to take control." She rubbed her brow. "Meanwhile the Meukre are skulking about. We still don't know who had that weapons cache and if it's the same people that are controlling the satellites." She looked at her warrior. "And Anya is back from the dead." There were so many smaller details that they were dealing with such as Echo being a spy, Jaha's disappearance, adding the Skaikru as the thirteenth clan, and the gods knew what else. Clarke was sure she was missing plenty on the list. A hand gripping her knee made her look over at the commander.
"We will weather this," Lexa promised her. She felt Clarke's fingers lace through hers. She squeezed Clarke's hand tightly. "We will take full control of the clans and remove the Senate."
"How can you be so sure?" Clarke shook her head. "What if the prophecy is wrong? What if the Flame doesn't work?" She recalled Lexa's plan to use Staurra's Flame to gain control of the people and overthrow the Senate.
"It will," Lexa promised. "The only thing protecting the Senate is the Garda, but they will swear fealty to us."
"Because of the Flame?"
Lexa gave a nod. "And their captain, Diana, is sympathetic."
Clarke realized her warrior already had the Captain of the Garda in her back pocket. She blew out a low breath. "When are we going to make our move?"
"Perhaps at the summit."
Clarke was wide eye. "What?!" She turned in the seat until she faced her warrior and bumped Ares in the process. He grumbled at her but she was focused on Lexa. "At the summit?" She shook her head and argued, "Isn't it risky to make a power play when all the other clans are there?"
"Or it is the best time," Lexa debated. "I fear what Queen Nia may do. We should make our move before her."
Clarke considered the idea. If Queen Nia was planning something then the Senate's weaken state was an opening for anybody. If Clarke and Lexa were successful in taking over then hopefully most of the clans would fall in line, behind them rather than with Queen Nia.
"If we take control then we may be able to circumvent a war with Queen Nia." Lexa had weighed various outcomes. "There will be too many clans against her."
"What if she tries to overthrow us?"
"It will be at a later time," Lexa answered. "We can be ready."
"By the gods... I hope you're right." Clarke hated the idea that they could be thrown into a war. The battle against Mount Weather was enough. Now a clan war on the horizon was already worrisome.
"There might be a way to plan a coup for the Azgeda throne." Lexa was working on various ways, but she still needed more time. "Echo would be the next natural leader for Azgeda."
Clarke slumped her side into the chair's back. "One step at a time."
Clarke peered down at Ares, who was nearly done his bone. "I feel exhausted." She was drained from the chaotic day.
Lexa squeezed her lover's knee. "Get ready for bed. I'll clean the kitchen." She stood and took the empty mugs for washing.
Clarke fondly watched her warrior leave. She was grateful for Lexa's care. Once up, she put the chairs back around the table then started changing for bed. She had nearly fallen asleep before her head even touched the pillow. She stirred only when Lexa joined her.
Lexa encircled Clarke's waist and drew their bodies together. She nuzzled Clarke and soothed her own concerns away with Clarke's fiery scent. She soon drifted off like Clarke. At dawn, she and Clarke rose to another busy day. They decided to visit Abby first thing before seeing to Anya.
In the guest house, Clarke discovered her mother asleep in front of a tablet's holo screen. She was about to leave until Abby woke up. They all traded a good morning and then stood around Abby at the small table.
"Everything checks out normal," Abby informed them. "Except one... strange thing." She swiped through the data until she pulled up one specific results. "This is the antibodies in Anya's system."
Clarke frowned and leaned over her mother's shoulder. "There's so few."
Lexa was confused by what she was looking at on the holo screen.
Clarke turned to her warrior and explained, "Humans have an immune system right?" After Lexa nodded, she said, "So the immune system is made up of antibodies. An antibody is... kinda like a recipe on how to fight a sickness. When we get sick, our immune system will adapt and fight off the sickness. Then our body keeps record of that antibody in case it needs it again."
Lexa better understood and asked, "So as we age, our body collects more antibodies."
"Yes essentially." Clarke pointed at the screen. "What Mom found in Anya's blood is that she has a lot less antibodies than somebody of her age should have."
"Perhaps she has been exposed to less sicknesses," Lexa reasoned to them.
"It's possible but..." Abby tapped a few things on the holo keyboard and pulled up a window beside Anya's data on the screen. "I took a sample of my own blood for comparison. These are my antibodies." She peered up at Lexa. "I doubt that I am much older than Anya."
Lexa stared at the length of the antibodies of Abby's immune system. It was longer than Anya's own.
"And we've been exposed to less things in outer space," Clarke reminded. "You'd expect to see at least the same amount, if not more, from Anya."
Lexa sighed and rubbed her brow. "What does this mean?"
"I'm not sure exactly," Abby admitted.
"It's as if her body has been sheltered," Clarke muttered. Like her mother, she was trying to grasp what it meant for Anya.
Abby sighed and propped up her elbows on the table. She let her head hang in her hands. She had been trying to work out the logic and kept missing something. "If I have a basis to work off then it would be easier." She rubbed her temple.
Clarke worried her bottom lip as she considered her mother's difficulties. Her mind spun in different directions until her mother's next words gave her pause.
"An image from a point in time before she died," Abby whispered.
Clarke was thrown back to when Anya died. She wheeled Anya's body out to the drop ship. She anointed Anya's body. She had carefully wrapped a blanket around Anya then removed a knife from her boot. With the blade, she cut a lock of Anya's hair for a later purpose. After lowering Anya's body into the grave, she stood with a shovel. In her left hand, she briefly ran her thumb along the hair's weave. Sharply, her memory died, and she looked at Lexa.
"Do you still have Anya's braid?" Clarke asked.
Lexa had a heavy furrow across her brow. "Sha." Her question lingered in her eyes.
Clarke was relieved and grabbed her mother's shoulder. "I cut a lock of hair from Anya before I buried her."
Abby straightened up at this news. She felt renewed and looked at the commander. "I will need to borrow that braid."
Lexa was still at a loss. "How will that help?"
"It has genetic code in it," Clarke told her warrior. "Mom can extract that from the hair and have a snap shot of Anya's DNA before she died." She pointed at the holo screen. "Maybe then we'll know what's going on... see if something is different in her DNA now than before she died."
Abby felt hope at possibly figuring out the mystery. "I'll have to test it in Mount Weather. I don't have the right equipment here to extract the DNA from hair."
"I will retrieve the braid for you."
"When would you leave?" Clarke posed.
"We should stay today," Abby replied. She looked at the two young women. "I want to make sure Anya is well enough." Her patients' health was always first.
"Sha," Lexa agreed. She was anxious to see Anya.
Abby shut down the tablet and allowed it to stay plugged into the portable inverter that Raven had brought with them. She recalled that the solar panels outside the window would recharge the inverter today. Her other medical equipment next to the table was no longer necessary after testing Anya's blood all night.
Clarke moved away and waited for Abby to follow them. Once outside, Ares trotted over and joined them on the walk to the healer's house. Abby had her medical kit, but she hoped it was unnecessary. Once in the healer's house, they found the patient upright on the bed and fussing at the needle in her arm.
Abby barked at the grounder to not remove the IV's needle.
Anya glowered but released it. She had on pants. A cloth had been bound across her breasts to hide them.
Nyko was stacking two empty plates after eating breakfast with the former general. He had brought Anya a few articles of clothing, but it was difficult with the strange clear bag still hooked into Anya's arm.
"We probably don't need it anymore." Clarke went to the hanging bag and saw it was empty. She made a mental note to get a replacement one from her mom. She neared Anya and offered, "I can remove that."
Anya held out her arm in silent acceptance. She watched the Sky girl gently remove it. From the corner of her eye, she studied Clarke's obvious changes from when they last were together. Anya had yet to grasp that Clarke was Trikru.
"There you go." Clarke moved away with the clear hose. She had Nyko's help to remove the bag from the ceiling.
Abby applied a band-aid over the entry point to ensure the blood would coagulate. "How are you feeling?"
"Better," Anya replied.
Even Abby noticed that the patient had eaten breakfast. She could tell Anya was ready to leave the healer's house. She looked to Lexa. "It's okay for Anya to leave but..." She looked seriously at the former general. "You should take it easy for awhile."
Clarke rejoined the group. "No sword play," she teased Anya.
Anya huffed at Clarke.
"I must see you tonight and first thing tomorrow," Abby insisted.
Anya looked to her leader, who gave her a firm nod from behind the chancellor. Anya sighed but nodded at Abby's request.
"Heda," Clarke started, "I can give Anya a tour of Tondc." She shrugged and added, "Maybe then you'll have free time."
Lexa agreed that she needed to take care of her duties after neglecting them all yesterday. "Sha. Mochof, Klark."
Anya looked between Clarke and Lexa. She felt her stomach knot at the ease that Trigedasleng came from Clarke.
"Anya?" Lexa waited until her former warrior looked at her. "I still have many of your items." She had taken them after Anya's death. She should have disposed of them, but she had yet to build the strength to dispose of them. "I will have them put into a room in the quarters house."
Clarke was glad that Lexa would have Anya stay in the same home as them and Indra. It was best to keep Anya close for observation and support. "Get ready and we'll go."
Lexa departed from the group and Abby followed her. Once outside, she took Abby to the quarters house so she could get the braid of hair.
Clarke waited by the door while Anya finished getting dressed for their walk. Next to her, Ares sat and enjoyed being petted for several minutes. He wagged his tails when Anya neared them.
Anya studied the black wolf that was at Clarke's side. "It have a name?"
Clarke continued leaning against the doorframe. "His name is Ares."
Anya dropped her gaze to the two tailed wolf. She gave a low huff after she decided only somebody like Clarke would somehow befriend a wolf. She knelt a little and held out her palm to the animal.
Ares accepted the invite and sniffed Anya's hand. After a moment, he nudged her fingers with his damp nose.
Anya thinly smiled and ran her fingers through his thick fur. She admired his brilliant green eyes that made her think of Lexa. As she stood, she sensed Nyko next to her.
"You will need this." Nyko held out a jacket that was once is wife's own.
Anya silently promised to return it to the healer later. "Thank you." She shrugged it on and worked the buttons as Clarke guided her out of the healer's house. She was hit by the cold winter air and was grateful again for the coat. Her boots sunk into a little bit of snow that had been compacted by people. After a beat, she then noticed there were a handful of villagers staring at her.
Clarke gave a few nearing villagers a glare.
Ares's own presence also seemed to deter them.
Anya shifted closer to Clarke. "I guess word travels."
Clarke looked over her shoulder at Anya. "Sha."
"Wanheda," several villagers whispered.
Anya heard pieces of the soft conversations. She grew curious at hearing the honorable title spoke between chilled lips. "They call you Wanheda."
Clarke moved her head in agreement. "I am." She was learning to accept her place as Wanheda. "Come on." She hoped the villagers would not follow them during the tour.
Anya took Clarke's side while the wolf was on the other side. "Lexa said that the village was destroyed."
"Missile from Mount Weather," Clarke agreed. She kept the difficult memories at bay. "We've been rebuilding but most of the work has stopped for the winter."
Anya was impressed by the amount done in a short time. Most likely what little work being done was interior labor. The ground was too hard to build any new structures and would have to wait until spring time. As the tour continued, Anya asked several questions that related back to the battle against Mount Weather.
Near noon high, Anya was drained and ready for a break. Clarke guided the former general to the quarter house that she shared with Lexa and Indra. A secluded, warm break was overdue for them. As they crossed the village, they came upon Raven Reyes.
"Hey, Raven." Clarke smiled at her friend. She could tell Raven was coming back from the rover, a pack in her hands. "Did you get a chance to sleep in?" She decided Raven looked well rested for once.
"Yeah, actually." Raven shifted her weight to her good leg. She petted Ares, who had nudged her for attention. She then trailed her eyes over to the other grounder. She could hardly hide her smirk.
Clarke was unsure if Anya and Raven ever formally met, other than the time Anya attacked the drop ship. It certainly was under different circumstances. "Raven, this is Anya." She held out her hand to former general. "Anya... this is Raven Reyes. She's the foremost mechanic among the Sky people."
Anya lifted her chin and stated, "So you're the one that blew up my bridge."
Clarke stiffened at the bitterness in Anya's words. She hoped Anya would stay civil.
Raven's slight smirk grew wider. "I can make more than just your bridge explode."
"Raven," Clarke warned the mechanic.
Raven shrugged at them both and was hardly bothered by Anya's menacing stare. She looked at Clarke. "I can't hang out and chat about the past." She grinned at Anya in jest. "Abby needs me." She hefted the pack over her shoulder then leaned into Anya's personal space. "By the way, you were pretty badass and ballsy for jumping into our drop ship." She quickly limped off before Anya could get in a word.
Anya turned on her boot heels and stared at the limping Sky girl. She considered when Raven developed the limp because it was not in her memory at the bridge. Raven's last words repeated in her head and confused her a little. But Raven was clearly impressed by Anya storming the drop ship.
Clarke sighed and mentioned, "She grows on you." She received a doubtful look from Anya. "When she's not blowing your stuff up," she added.
Anya huffed and continued with Clarke and Ares to the quarters house. She looked forward to having a break after walking most of the morning. The cool, fresh air had helped her a lot but a warm fire also excited her.
Ares slipped into the quarter house first when Clarke opened the door. Anya was next and already the house's warmth invited her. Directly in front was the common room so she took a seat in there.
Clarke closed and bolted the door before she joined Anya. She took it upon herself to rekindle the fireplace, which took a few minutes. Once there were flames lapping at the wood, she sunk into a comfortable chair next to Anya.
"How are you feeling?"
Anya peered over at the Sky girl then mentally corrected herself. She was having a hard time reconciling what she knew versus what had happened in her absence. "A little lost," she admitted, so softly.
Clarke nearly missed the honest reply. She studied Ares sprawled in front of the fireplace. "A lot has changed in a short period." She trailed her gaze over to the quiet woman. "But... it's working out."
Anya had envisioned many scenarios after she agreed to help Clarke meet Lexa when they escaped Mount Weather. However, it seemed impossible that Trikru and Skaikru would forge a such a truce. Today's events were beyond her grasp at the moment. "It'll be an adjustment."
"Sha," Clarke murmured. She thought back on yesterday morning when she saw Anya coming to the village. Anya's return was the impossible. "For everybody," she said quietly.
Anya curiously looked over at Clarke and realized what she meant. It was true that Anya had to allow others to adjust to her. She was unsure how she fit into the world now. Could she still even act as the general? Currently, she was weaponless and wearing somebody else's clothes. She had no idea if Lexa would return her to service in the army or keep her out of it. Indeed she had failed her commander when she took three hundred warriors to attack the Skaikru's drop ship. She had planned to bring Clarke as a prize in some way to redeem herself. Now none of that mattered even if it was still so recent in Anya's memory.
After a nervous swallow, Clarke toyed with the base of her leather jacket. "Lexa has missed you." She looked at the former general, who was studying her. "A lot."
Anya discerned a deeper emotion in Clarke. Under Clarke's cracked voice, she heard Clarke's own turmoil. There was guilt for Anya's death and guilt for the havoc it caused to Lexa. Anya looked away and tried making sense of the girl's open emotions. Anya was hardened after years of service in the army.
"I know she wouldn't tell you," Clarke continued. "She's not suppose to tell you."
Anya stared coldly at the fire's brilliant flames. Even if the fire warmed her skin, her heart stayed cold under Clarke's confession. She refused to open herself, especially in front of a former enemy.
"But I want you to know." Clarke knew she was making Anya incredibly uncomfortable. Trikru warriors were direct in conversations, until it came to emotions. Clarke ignored the tradition and spoke the truth. She hoped it was enough to make Anya see that her return was important, especially to Lexa.
Anya decided to shut down Clarke and replied, "She has survived without me."
Clarke ached at Anya's brutality. "She did." She stood up and stared down at Anya. "But Lexa rather live with her family than survive without them." She drifted between the chairs and briefly touched Anya's tense shoulder. "I'll get us something to drink."
Anya glared at the fire but slowly her body began shaking the more she thought about Lexa. For years, Lexa was her second, and Anya had done everything in her power to be the finest warrior for Lexa. Once Lexa took the throne, Anya became the general and continued serving Lexa at her best. Until the day a single bullet put her six feet under. Somehow her death felt like a failure to her commander.
Clarke returned with two mugs of water. She gave one to Anya then sank back into her chair. For awhile, they both sat in silence and enjoyed the slowly rising heat in the common room. Eventually the bolt slid and the commander entered with snowflakes dusting her shoulders and hair. A small flurry was passing the region again and gently peppered the lands in white and ice. It made the warmth of the common room even more inviting for all.
Lexa was first greeted by Ares, and she petted him. She then followed the wolf into the common room where her second and former general sat in front of the fire. She nearly smiled at seeing them both, alive and well. She was able to hide her happiness before Anya spotted it.
"Ha yu?" Lexa asked.
Anya had the mug cupped between her hands. She peered up at the commander. "Ku."
Lexa cut her eyes to Clarke, who told her more in a quick glance. She was sure that Anya was tired from today and would need rest soon. "Did you show Anya her room?"
Clarke shook her head.
Lexa nodded and silently willed Anya to get up. After Anya stood, she led the way down the hallway to the quarters reserved for Anya. She unbolted the door and shouldered it open.
Anya entered and took in the room lit up by the snowy light from the window. She found the room rustic but still inviting. It was clearly new and needed a personal touch later. There was only a bed directly in front of her, a table, and fireplace with a sofa.
"This is your trunk." Lexa moved from the open door. She lifted the wood trunk's lid.
Anya remembered her trunk that now rested on the floor at the foot of the bed. She neared it and looked at the contents. On the very top was her sword that she had lost to Mount Weather. She was greatly confused and looked at the commander.
Lexa read her former mentor's mind. She picked up the sheathed weapon and held it out to Anya. "Clarke retrieved it from Mount Weather."
Anya ran her freehand down the aged sheath and then gripped the leather wrapped handle. She gently pulled the blade out a quarter of the way. She confirmed that it was truly her blade and resheathed it. With the blade out of the trunk, Anya found several articles of clothing and further below were a few trinkets she had collected over the years. But it was all that was left of her belongings. Her small home had been destroyed by the damn missile.
"I am sorry there is not more," Lexa mentioned. She closed the lid.
Anya still gripped her blade. She felt slightly more whole with it.
"You may stay here as long as you wish." Lexa suspected in the spring that Anya would want to have a house rebuilt where Anya's old one had been in Tondc. Until then, she, Clarke, and Indra would have a new housemate with them. "Clarke and I to the right." She pointed to the wall. "Indra is on your other side." She folded her arms and further mentioned, "The bathroom is across from us and the kitchen beside it."
Anya nodded. "Mochof, Heda." She made no comment that Clarke and Lexa shared a quarters together. She inferred enough and was hardly ready to accept the relationship between her leader and the former Sky girl.
Lexa shifted to the door. "You should rest then we will speak further."
Anya took it as a subtle order. She sighed and nodded.
Lexa silently promised to see Anya later. She quietly left the room and went to the common room. She took Anya's vacated seat next to Clarke.
After a drawn silence, Clarke whispered, "This is really hard on her." While Lexa and Anya were gone, she thought about being in Anya's boots if it were her. "I didn't really realize how much has changed in the past few months."
"It will be difficult at first," Lexa said.
"Do you have any idea what you'll do with Anya?" Clarke looked at her warrior. "I mean Indra is the general now."
Lexa sighed heavily. She had spent much brain power on that very question. She had shifted Indra from being the second in command in the Trikru army to the general. It would be unkind to strip Indra from the position simply because Anya rose from the dead. Yet still, Lexa wanted to utilize Anya's skills and experience in the army. For now, it could wait until she figured out a plan.
"I have ideas," Lexa replied. She looked over at her second.
Clarke knew her warrior would tell more later once the ideas were fleshed out. She grinned a little and turned back to the fire. "I have patrol tonight." Her grin deepened as she teased, "You're on your own for dinner." She liked talking about their domestic life.
Lexa huffed and argued, "I have Anya now."
Clarke rolled her eyes and leaned back into the chair. "Mom is going to leave tomorrow after she checks on Anya." She was going over the plans again. "It'll probably take most of the day for Mom to test that hair sample." She considered what the hair's DNA may tell them. "Maybe we'll know something tomorrow night."
Lexa was pleased, but she was already thinking about her day tomorrow. "We must train."
Clarke readily agreed because she was past due for more sword lessons. "Noon tomorrow at the barracks?" After her warrior's nod, she made a mental note. "Is there any news about the Meukre?"
Lexa grumbled. Sometimes it seemed as if Clarke could read her mind. This morning she had received a report from the scouts about the Meukre. It troubled her greatly. "They have been unable to locate that pack of four."
"They didn't just disappear," Clarke argued. She ran her fingers through her hair.
"They could be hold up somewhere." Lexa considered what the Meukre were doing in these lands. It was completely abnormal for them, not that Trikru had great information on the strange creatures.
"There haven't been any other sightings?" Clarke asked.
"Nothing that I am aware of." Lexa looked at her second.
Clarke sipped on the water then set the empty mug on the floor. She stared at Ares in front of them. "It's like their investigating the area... searching for something."
"Maybe they are scouting," Lexa agreed.
"For what?" Clarke dragged her fingers through her golden hair.
Lexa shook her head, lost in thought about the Meukre. If the scouts returned with no other news then Lexa needed another plan. At such thoughts, she straightened up from the seat. "I must go." She was on her feet and neared Clarke. She softened at the tender smile from her lover.
"I'll see you tonight," Clarke promised. She met Lexa halfway for the affectionate kiss. She brushed her fingers along Lexa's cheek and whispered, "Keep the bed warm for me tonight."
Lexa chuckled and kissed Clarke's forehead before she left the quarters house.
Clarke sat for a long time, just thinking about the future. She grumbled at the fact she had patrol duty tonight. Thankfully she was not on duty until daybreak. She decided she would go visit her friends before they left tomorrow.
At the guest house, Clarke and Ares found the Sky people organizing for their departure tomorrow morning. Bellamy visited with Clarke for a short period before he left to see Octavia. During the conversations, Clarke sensed that Bellamy was still bitter about Clarke becoming Trikru. She hoped it would wear off him in time.
Clarke knocked on her mother's door and offered a smile when Abby opened the door. She was pleased to find Raven in the room too. Most of the tech was being dismantled and boxed or bagged for the trip back to Mount Weather.
Raven took a break and sat down on the foot of the bed.
"How is Anya doing?" Abby asked. She turned the desk chair around to face Clarke and Raven on the foot of the bed.
Ares snorted low and slid down onto the floor near the door. He gave a yawn then peered over at the humans.
Clarke grinned at the two tailed wolf then turned to her mother. "I gave her a tour of Tondc and that seemed to tire her." She folded her hands in her lap. "She's resting now."
Even Raven had noticed the weariness in Anya's brown eyes. "Rising from the dead must have took a lot of her."
Clarke rolled her eyes at her friend, but she focused on her mom. "Did Lexa get you the hair sample?"
"Yes." Abby was pleased by the size of the braid. It was more than enough to test for DNA. "I'll start on it as soon as we get back to Mount Weather."
"I guess you're getting everything packed up." Clarke pointed at the medical equipment that was disconnected and stacked together.
"Yeah... we'll move it out late tonight," Raven promised.
Clarke nodded. She folded her arms as she considered her evening. "I was thinking we could all have dinner together? You both, Bell, Nathan, his dad... probably O and Lincoln would join us in the dining hall."
Raven smiled at the idea. "I'm up for that."
Abby was already nodding. "What time?"
"It'll have to be early." Clarke had an apologetic look. "O and I have patrol this evening."
Raven shrugged. "We can make it work."
Clarke was pleased. She had already said something to Bellamy, who would talk to Octavia and Lincoln.
"I'll mention it to David," Abby said.
Clarke nodded then looked at the mechanic. "Do you have some time? To maybe go for a short walk?"
Raven parted her lips but the chancellor cut her off.
"Actually..." Abby paused when both girls looked at her. "We need to talk."
Clarke was startled and unsure who Abby meant.
"The three of us," Abby clarified.
Raven exchanged a glance with Clarke then curiously looked at the chancellor. She noticed a few nervous motions from Abby.
Clarke shook her head and asked, "What's up, Mom?"
Abby had her head down and fiddled with her own fingers for a beat. She tried composing herself, but she was a jumbled mess even though she had ran through this in her head a few times. She breathed in deeply and peered up at the girls. "There's something I have to tell you both... something you should have known much sooner."
Clarke could tell that Raven was just as baffled as her. She leaned forward and reached for her mother's hand. "What is it?" She squeezed Abby's chilly fingers.
Abby took strength from the warmth of Clarke's hand. She tangled her fingers with her daughter's own. For a second, she realized how similar their hands were in fact. After another deep breath, she peered up at them and explained, "I made your father a promise a long time ago."
Clarke faltered at the mention of her dead father. Her heart tightened when Abby looked at Raven too after the mention of Jake Griffin.
"You both are sisters," Abby confessed finally.
"Wait," Clarke cut in after Raven's demand. She withdrew her hand and straightened up.
Abby looked between the two girls. "Technically half sisters."
Raven sat eerily silent and made no move. Her mind though was rushing back to her life on the Ark. To her mother. To her unknown father. And to the hell hole she climbed out of to become a mechanic.
Similar to Raven, Clarke sat still and trying to grasp what her mother told them. She saw Raven's lost features and pushed to be the stronger one. "Why weren't we told... at all?"
Abby swallowed at the build of emotions in Clarke's features. She saw Raven refocus on the present. "It was a bit of a conspiracy on the Ark... one that Jaha tried to keep secret." She hated bringing up the past that was so far gone, but it was important to Clarke and Raven. "As you both know, a child outside of wedlock is not allowed." It was an old law that joined the one child law. A simply means to control population on the Ark. "Jayla Reyes was an engineer... on Jake's team."
Raven clenched her jaw and fought the turbulence that stirred in her chest. Her passionate anger for her mother was still alive in her even today.
"They were good friends." Abby paused at seeing the girls' glossy eyes, but she pushed herself to tell them the truth. "I was just starting to get to know Jake." She shifted in the chair. "We were all young at the time. And things got out of hand between Jake and Jayla." She left the unspoken hang in the air for a beat. "We didn't learn she was pregnant until she was showing. She avoided her health checks at the med bay."
Clarke rubbed her brow but looked at Raven. She touched her friend's knee and squeezed it.
"Jaha had just taken his position as chancellor. We went to him... hoping he could resolve it in private." Abby rubbed her sweaty palms together.
Clarke knew that Jaha was an engineer prior to being chancellor. It was how her father and mother forged a friendship with Jaha.
"Jaha wanted the unborn child aborted... to spare Jayla the punishment and the humiliation." Abby saw tears start to fall from Raven's eyes. "But Jayla refused so Jaha was forced to punish her for breaking the law. She was demoted and barred from ever receiving further promotions and in exchange she was allowed to go through with the birth."
Clarke dragged her teeth together and bitterly asked, "And Dad?"
Abby rubbed her eyes and replied, "He was demoted as well... and not allowed to recognize Raven as his daughter. Nobody knew who fathered the child. It was the only way that Jake and I could have you, Clarke." She studied Raven's upset features and wished she could make it easier. Like many, she understood what happened to Jayla Reyes after the scandal. "I know she became a drunk, Raven." She found reddened eyes on her. "But she wanted you over her own career. You were more important to her. That's probably hard to hear... or believe but she chose you."
Clarke wiped a few of her tears away and when she spoke again her voice broke. "Why didn't Dad just marry her?"
Abby shook her head. "We were already married by the time we found out Jayla was pregnant." She left out all the history of the heated arguments between her and Jake. How she had felt betrayed by him even though the sex between Jayla and Jake had happened before Abby was close to Jake.
"We tried to do what we could for you, Raven." Abby waited until Raven focused on her again. "Without Jaha finding out anything." She ensured Raven's health when she came for medical checks. Jake had pushed Sinclair when Raven Reyes, a lowly resident from the Mecha Station, applied to be a Zero-G mechanic.
Raven was jolted back to her conversation with Sinclair when she was rejected as a Zero-G mechanic. "Did you and Jake have something to do with me being a Zero-G?"
Abby swelled with guilt, but she nodded. "Your father told me that Sinclair denied you because of your health." She cleared her throat and explained, "Jake and I spoke to Sinclair. I might have... threatened to alter your medical records if he didn't give you the position." She smiled a little and added, "It didn't take much convincing because Sinclair wanted you on the team anyway."
Clarke tried absorbing everything, and it overwhelmed her. She looked at her friend, who was actually her half sister. She tried grasping the truth, but it kept slipping between her fingers. She considered Raven family long ago. Now Raven was truly her blood family. She may have lost her father, but she gained a sister.
Raven slid off the bed. "I need... I need to think about this." She limped to the door.
"Raven..." Clarke was on her feet yet stalled from Raven's headshake.
Raven silently requested Clarke, her sister, to leave her alone, for now. She needed the space and quietly left the room.
After the door shut, Clarke looked at her mother.
"I'm sorry, Clarke." Abby truly meant it. "I wanted to tell you both sooner." She brushed her hair out of her face. "Family is so important," she murmured, tiredly. She felt exhausted from expelling the truth finally. She was grateful to be free of it. "It's why I sent Raven to Earth... to find you." She held her daughter's glistening eyes. "Family always returns to each other."
Clarke's spirit was sparked to life by her mother's last words. Lexa had told her something similar not long ago. She was taken back to her old dreams about Staurra and Woraun. In the dream, Clarke had been Staurra and Lexa was Woraun. She had sent Woraun to Earth, to save it. The dream's memories made Clarke's heart speed up. She slowly sunk down to the bed again.
"Mom, can you tell me about Grandma Starr?"
Abby's eyes sparkled at the mention of their ancestor. She scooted her chair closer and collected Clarke's hands into hers. The request was both unexpected and exciting for Abby. She nodded and sadly smiled. She easily slipped further into the past, about their family and about the Ark's beginnings.
To be continued.
Trigedasleng to English
Na yu optat ai nomon? - Can you busy my mother?
Beja, Leksa. - Please, Lexa.
Ha yu? - How are you?
Ku. - Fine.