That's it guys. It's the end. The end of this journey.
You have no idea how it is for me to end this story. I am a passionate that always start things but never end them. Except that this time, this time I did. This time I ended something and you have no idea what an accomplishment it is for me. I am happy, truly happy. I managed to write the end I had planned since the very beginning and even if this fic is far from perfect when I look back at it now, I am still proud of it.
Anyway, thank you guys because without you this story wouldn't exist. Thank you for reading my fanfiction, for liking or hating it, thanks to all of you who left a kudo or a comment, thank you all for your attention.
I hope you liked this story even if the end is not what you wanted to read and that you will enjoy this last chapter.
I wrote it thinking about my father who taught me that there are two ways to reach eternity, children or going down in history. in conclusion, I consider this, a happy ending.
"And then ! And then !?" Bellamy asks and I smile.
"I'm sorry children," I close the book on my lap "But it is time for you to go home."
"Aww... Heda please...?"
Clarke offers me her most adoraple pleading eyes and I sigh. There is no way in hell or haven that Heda would bow before a seven year old little girl though, so I insist "No. It is over for today."
John, Clarke, Bellamy, Indra and Marcus stand and walk to the tentflap, eyes on the ground, mumbling how unhappy they are and how they would sneak insde my tent tonight to steal the book from me. But as usual, Lexa stays behind. She stands and walks to me. She looks at me expectantly and asks with a small voice "Can I see the drawing please ? Just one last time and I'm going, I promise."
This girl. Golden hair and hazelnut eyes, thin but strong, could be a warrior but prefers to read. This girl is something and I lose. "Fine." I open the book to the last page and let her look. Her face lights up and she smiles. She runs her tiny fingers on the page like she always does then reads the words in the corner.
"May we meet again." she whispers in awe and I wonder if she truly understands the meaning of it. When she's done, she looks up to me, smiles and thanks me, bowing slightly. Clarke calls for her so she runs to the exit and bump into my eldest son "Sorry Lincoln !" she says before finally storming outside.
I stand, taking the book under my arm and walk to the man "When did you arrive ?"
He hugs me briefly, kissing the crown of my head and I try to remember the time when I didn't have to raise my arm to pinch his cheeks "Earlier today. I missed Arkadia too much."
I smirk "Of course you didn't come for me. Bad son." But I know he came because tomorrow is my 75th birthday.
He laughs and it warms my heart. He laughs like my mother used to. "We're both living in Polis half of the time mom, we saw each other last week. The real question is, why are YOU here ?"
"Why do you think ? I delivered a baby."
"A boy ?"
"Oh dear gods, another Lexa ?"
I shake my head and laugh "Clarke."
"Isn't it the third one this year ?"
"It is. This is impressive how popular they are."
"You made them popular mom. You're the one who wrote their story."
"No. They wrote their story on their own. I am only humbly passing it to the young ones, make sure they don't forget to whom they owe their life."
"Sure Heda. Sure." He winks, kisses me again and exiting the tent he adds "I'll wait for you to have dinner and I'm hugry so hurry up Commander."
I smile. Times have changed so much.
I walk to my bed and sit. I rest Clarke's sketchbook on my lap and look at it. I still cannot belive how long has past and how fast things have evolved. Lexa wouldn't recognize the world she left behind already 65 years ago.
Arkadia, once skaikru village is the most important city after Polis and TonDC. Skaikru and grounders have merged into one. As did the other clans. In her last years, Lexa managed to abrogate the teritorial limitations, offering people the right to travel and live where they want with who they want. Of course there are still leaders but no more clans. Leaders are ruling on a city more than on a group of people. I think Lexa would be happy to know that the peace she created has never been broken. Some people say it is thanks to me but my work has been the one of a protector more than a Commander. I just tried to maintain what Lexa had created. Lexa, the unificator, the powerful leader who came back from the deads to bring peace.
After Clarke's death Lexa took back her place as Heda. Lexa herself told me that at first her people was scared. Scared of her, of her and the power they thought she had earned in the other world. Some attempted at her life even. But little by little, everything fell back into place and her leadership became stronger than ever, the bond she created with her people almost intimate.
Because she was smiling. Because Lexa had started to smile and cry and laugh. Because the half-goddess that was the Heda had changed into a woman. On another hand, Lexa was a hero, a hero that had saved her people from Nia. People were both admiring her, respecting her and loving her. People weren't obeying her because they had to anymore but because they wanted to.
I remember the day of her funerals like it was yesterday. The day people came from even the farthest lands to chop wood for her pyre and chant prayers for as long as the impressive fire burnt.
The day I lost a parent.
The day I saw my mother cry for the first time.
Octavia was strong. She told me when I was very little that she had sworn not to cry again the day she lost Clarke. She said she had decided to be strong because Lexa was crumbling. Because her tears and mine were enough for three people.
Three weeks after my eleventh birthday, we were in TonDC. Lexa was always the first one awake in the morning but not that day. I hadn't slept all night for some reason so when the sun rose I thought I would go wake our Heda. That for once I would be the first to awake in the village. So I ran. My heart was beating fast in excitement, and I couldn't wait to see what her sleeping face would look like. I entered her tent in silence, on my tip toes, using all the tricks she had taught me herself. I crawled to the bed and when I reached its foot I rose from the ground.
Lexa was resting on her side, Clarke's sketchbook in her arms. She was smiling, a serene smile. She looked relaxed, at peace. In the almost eleven years I spent with her I had never seen that kind of expression on her face. I had seen her smile and laugh, I had seen the way the corner of her lips curled when she was telling me about how wonderful Clarke was. But her features in that moment...
And it hit me. My heart stopped in my chest. My mind was boiling, split between my urge to cry and call for help. But I didn't move. I didn't cry and I didn't speak.
I couldn't. I couldn't believe Lexa was gone. I didn't want to break what I knew was an illusion that my childish self wanted to be true, I didn't want to wake her up. In that moment I wanted to believe that if I didn't move, didn't make any noise she would stay alseep. Just asleep.
Until my mother arrived. She was pissed when she entered, was mumbling something like "Here you are ! I've been looking for you for an hour !" But her eyes fell on me and then on Lexa. I saw on her face, in the way her features relaxed and her shoulders fell, the way all tension left her body, the exact moment she understood. I thought for a moment she would fall, that her knees would give up on carrying her like mine were threatening to do. But then she straightened her back. Then she raised her chin. Then she walked to me, opening her arms. She offered me a smile and I threw myself at her, burrying my face in her chest. I cried for what felt like hours while she was silently holding me, caressing my head, playing with my short hair or rubbing my back.
A heart defect, Abby had explained. A few years before that, after a fight, Lexa had needed Abby to stitch up an ugly wound. She had noticed in that occasion how fast Lexa's heartbeat was. 'Her heart finally went to sleep after beating so franktically for so long.' Abby had explained to the child I was a few days later. That she and Lexa had known the commander had had only a couple of years left but Abby had sworn not to tell anyone.
I forgot everything that happened between that morning and Lexa's funeral four days later. I can barely remember the building of the enormous pyre or the preparations for the feast. Everything is blurry, like it never really happened. But the funeral, the moment we lit the complicated scaffold that was the pyre, I remember well. I remember that I had no tears left to cry. I remember looking into the flames, looking at nothing, at the void Lexa was leaving in my life. I remember seeing my mother shift next to me. I remember the moment I looked up at her and my heart sank. She had thick tears on her cheeks, and a knife in her hand. I watched in awe as she stripped, letting her jacket and shirt fall on the muddy ground, living her upper body in only her bindings before bringing the knife to her shoulderblade. I knew what it meant and I watched as she slowly ran the sharp edge of the blade on her back, then saw the throbbing wound the knife left in my mother's flesh. A wound that would scar like the other one right next to it, remnants of the wound she cut through her skin with Lexa's dagger the day Clarke died.
I also remember the pride in my mother's eyes when I held back my sob and extended my hand to her. For a moment she hesitated but I kept my gaze firm, determinded and she placed the knife in my hand for me to cross the sole of my foot.
Octavia admitted years later that she never thought I would do it. Because we have only two feet and only two parents. I shoul've crossed that foot for my father but as much as I love and respect the man Lexa and my mother told me he was, he hasn't raised me. Octavia and Lexa did. I spent my childhood following either the Heda or her second in command. Lexa was the one who taught me to talk and walk and read. Which was both a very good and a bad thing.
When I turned eighteen my mother fell on her knees in front of me and apologized. She told me about how she hadn't been there enough, how she shouldn't have rejected me, how she shoul've been a better mother for me. She asked for forgiveness with tears in her eyes. Of course it was a shock but more than hurt I was proud. Proud and happy that Octavia found in herself the strength to be my mother.
As jealous of Lexa as my mother was, she was found of the woman. The bound between them was strong, real, honest, forged in war and blood and tears. And they shared me. I felt the hopes they both had in me my entire childhood. Ironically, both of them told me that the baby I was saved them more than once. They had both lost a sibling and a lover and had turned to me when it happened, creating some kind of tender competition, some caring battle for affection that united them more than separating them.
And there was Clarke.
Clarke, my idol, my model, the girl who fell from the sky, stormed into Lexa's life and changed the world. As a child I wanted to be like her, to accomplish things, to be strong, to be someone Octavia and Lexa would look at in the same awe and respect they showed when talking about her. There was something more than that in Lexa though. I can't count the times she told me about Clarke.
I know very little things about Lexa's childhood but I feel like I know Clarke personally. I feel like she never left, like she has always been here somewhere, watching everything from a corner. At some point I was even talking to her. Like an imaginary friend. Well the coolest imaginary friend more precisely.
Clarke kom Skaikru.
I open her book on my lap and start turning the pages. Day 39, when Clarke tried to teach Lexa to play chess. Day 76, when Octavia attacked Lexa with rotten apples. Day 89, when my old friend feisripa kicked Lexa's ass (literally). Day 116, when Lincoln threw rabbit guts at Lexa 'by accident'. Day 135, their journey to Polis. Day 178, when Luna didn't want to give me back to my mother. Day 223 when Clarke left Polis. The next pages are covered in random sketches she probably drew on her way to TonDC and during the time she spent hidden in the cliff-house.
And then nothing. Nothing until the very last page.
I take a deep breath as my fingertips follow the edges of the artist's masterpiece. It's a full page drawing. The lines are clear, precise, charged in feelings. My eyes roam over every detail, from the magestic scars on Lexa's blood coated face to Clarke's long blond locks. From the mud on Clarke's skin to Lexa's intricate braids. From the heat on their cheeks to where their lips are joined, to the way their feature express how important and needed this moment is.
The entire thing is breathtaking, and an enigma. According to Octavia, Clarke drew it the day before Lexa arrived at the hidden house and had my mother promise not to tell Lexa about it.
For years Lexa wondered. She wondered if that drawing was Clarke's hopes for what would happen or her last words.
Had Clarke somehow felt her last moments come and drew it as a message for Lexa ? Had she just wanted to draw what she thought would be the ending of that battle ?
Even now I don't know. I don't know but Clarke, intentionally or not, had returned Lexa's last words to her. She has echoed Lexa's prayer.
'May we meet again.'
I close the book and smile. Nobody will really know why Clarke drew this so deeply craved kiss but one thing is certain. As charcoal was darkening the page, the golden haired woman that fell from the sky, Clarke had probably only one person in mind.
I stand and walk to the chest on the other side of the tent. I unlock it using the key I always carry at my wrist and open it wide. There, are fifty books. The fifty books I wrote, hundreds of pages to tell the world their story, tell them how this world reborn because a girl fell from the sky and our commander loved too much.
Delicatlely I lay Clarke's legacy above mine and close the chest. I contemplate for a moment the idea of locking the chest but with a smirk I decide against it. I shake my head. I've always been too weak against kids.
As my old legs carry me to the tentflap I remember Lexa's last smile and before exiting I turn back and whisper
"May you meet again."
Thanks again guys, you're all amazing and, may we meet again ;)