Disclaimer: I do not own the 100. I am merely playing with the characters for our enjoyment.
AN: Hi all. So this is my first 100 fic. I was running out of fics to read so I figured I would try my hand at it. The 100 is consuming my life in the greatest way. Please let me know what you think. I live for my readers. I apologize for any mistakes I may have missed.
Chapter One: Show of Strength
Lexa stood tall and unwavering next to Emerson as they told Clarke of her betrayal. Her heart broke at the look Clarke was giving her, but she couldn't let that sway her decision. She had to save her people even if it meant she would lose the woman she had grown fond of. The woman that she was certain that she loved.
Hurt and betrayed filled eyes, welled with unshed tears. A look of disbelief ever present on her face. Lexa paused for only a moment hoping that Clarke could read her eyes. Hoping that there was still a little bit of trust left there. She was sorry for doing this. She was sorry for the way she had to do it.
With a final look at the doors, Lexa followed her retreating warriors down the mountain. This was not the plan, but plans rarely stayed in play once the battle began. She would not be a good Heda if she wasn't flexible and quick to think of a new plan. Many battles had been won with on-the-field plan changes. Today would be no different. She just hoped that Clarke would forgive her for her deceit once the war was won.
They reached the bottom on the mountain in quick time, and there she sent her closest generals to round up a group of their stealthiest warriors. The battle was not over. The war still raged. The Skiakru still needed them.
Lexa lead Indra and a small group of twenty back into the reaper tunnels. They entered the mountain through the door Octavia and Clarke left open, and split into three groups. Lexa pulled out the map Clarke had drawn her of the mountain lay out. She sent Indra and her group to the dorms where her people had been held. She knew that the Skaikru prisoners would be held somewhere near there. She then sent Lincoln (who had woken up from being knocked out just before they headed back into the mountain) to level Five. She had a feeling that the 'innocent' residents of the mountain would congregate near their food source. Her instructions were simple, kill those who tried to stop them from retrieving any Skaikru, but spare the innocent.
Lexa and two warriors made their way through the mountain, heading toward the command room. If she knew Clarke at all, she knew that she would go to where she could control everything at once. Clarke had tried to explain to her the complexity of the Mounon's technology, but she understood very little of what the blonde said. What she did understand was the only piece of information she needed thankfully. Everything in the mountain was control by computers, and all of their computer were in the command room. That's were Clarke would be. She would be the one place she could see and control everything that happened.
Gunshots could be heard ringing through the hallways, echoing eerily. It was a reminder that they weren't up against an even opponent. For a moment she wondered if she should have brought more warriors with her, but then that would be more men and woman she was sacrificing.
A single gunshot rang out more clearly than the others. This gunshot was muffled but closer than the others. Fear crept inside her chest when she realized that the shot came from the place she was heading. She quickened her speed down the hallway. A Mounon came around the corner and opened fire upon them, just as Lexa reach the door. The warrior to Lexa's left, (a young woman not much older the Lexa) stepped in front of Lexa to protect her leader from the spray of bullets. As the warrior's lifeless body slumped to the ground, Lexa tossed her knife at the Mounon. It landed in his unprotected chest. He continued to fire his gun as he looked down at the knife in his chest in shock, before his body went slack and he fell to the floor.
The General behind Lexa came up behind her and applied pressure to her thigh. She looked down at his hands in surprise and anger. No one dared touch her without permission. Then she noticed the blood seeming out of her thigh, staining his hands red. She hadn't even realized she had been hit.
She pulled at her cape and tore off a large strip and handed it to the warrior to tie around the wound. She didn't have time to deal with such a thing. She had to get to Clarke. She had to save the Skaikru.
The door to the command room was surprisingly unlocked. Lexa and her General stepped through the doors with their swords held high, ready to strike at any one who dared to harm Clarke. There were only three people in the room, three Skaikru. Clarke and two other's that Lexa didn't recognize.
Clarke was standing at a computer with her hand covering a lever. A tall man, who Lexa assumed was Bellamy, was standing right next to her, with his hand on her shoulder.
All three of the Skaikru turned to look at the door, Clarke and Bellamy with their guns raised high. Monty looked at the commander in surprise and then looked at the monitors. More grounders were flooding into level Five and into the dorms.
Clarke turned to the screens and saw what Monty was gasping at. The Mountain Men who were drilling into her mother, and holding the rest of her people captured were taken by surprise as the grounders filled the room, killing all that fought them.
She turned to Lexa with hard eyes. "You're too late. I already did what I had to do to protect my people." The words were said with no emotions. Simply stating a fact that she did what she had to do. She wasn't happy to see Lexa, or relieved. She was numb to it all.
"What did you do Clarke?" Lexa asked, confused.
Clarke turned to the screen that captured level Five. "I killed them all." She then turned around and ran out of the room, past Lexa and her General.
Lexa followed the blonde as quickly as she could, trying her best to ignore the pain in her leg. She skidded to a stop inside a large room filled with tables, and gasped at the scene before her. She schooled her features to not show her shock. She knew how badly Clarke was going to hurt for this. How much she was going to want to ripe her own heart out. She hurt for Clarke, but in a way she was proud of Clarke. Proud that Clarke had been strong enough to do what she needed to do in order to save her people. Proud at the leader Clarke had become.
She also knew that Clarke's people weren't going to understand what she did. The boy on the floor holding one of the mountain girls, didn't look relieved to know he was saved. He was angry with Clarke for killing his love. She could understand that. She knew the pain of losing the one you love at the hands of another. He wouldn't forgive Clarke. He wouldn't understand what she did.
They were moving again. This time they were heading towards the dorms. These people looked relieved, but they don't yet know of the Mounon's fates yet. They don't know what Clarke did to save them. Lexa wonders if these Skaikru will understand more than the boy on the floor. She wonders if they will continue to look at her and her warriors with appreciation when they learn of her betrayal. When they learn that she left them in the mountain to die.
She heart broke at Clarke quiet declaration to her mother. "I tried to be the good guy."
The phrase confuses her, but she understood that it caused Clarke pain. She couldn't help but shoulder some of the blame for Clarke's pain. If she had stuck to the original plan then maybe Clarke wouldn't have done what she did. She did what she had to do to save her people though. Yes she had lost warriors who entered the mountain with her, but not nearly as many as she would have lost with the original plan. She couldn't rescue people who were already dead.
Lexa's vision began to blur and she found herself struggling to keep herself standing. She could hear Heda being called as her would went black.
Irritating voices invaded Lexa's peace. "Shof op," She croaked, cringing at how weak she sounded.
"Welcome back Commander."
The voice sounded familiar to her, but her brain was foggy. She was having a hard time placing the voice with a face.
"Come on Commander. It's time to wake up," the voice said.
Lexa cracked an eye open, and regretted it. Bright, harsh lights, blinded her sensitive eyes. Refusing to look weaker than she already did, she forced herself to open both eyes. She looked around the large cold room. "Where am I?"
Abby came into view. "You're in the Ark Commander," she said. Abby was the voice she was hearing. "I was starting to worry you would never wake up, and an all-out war would break out in the camp. Indra has been getting restless."
Lexa sat up slowly, and tried to remember what had happened. The events on the mountain flooded her mind. She tried to slip out of her bed, but was stopped by the woman in front of her.
"You are not strong enough to do that. You've been asleep for a week, and your leg is still healing."
Lexa didn't try to hide her surprise at hearing she was asleep for a week. Hearing that though only solidified her decision to get out of that bed. She slipped off the bed, but was stopped by an irritating tugging on her arm. She looked down and stared curiously at the tube sticking out of her arm.
"It's called an IV," Abby said, noticing Lexa's curiosity. "It allows us to put water, medicine, and nutrients directly into your blood stream."
Lexa looked up at Abby in awe. "We have much to learn from the Skaikru, but first I must address my people. Beja, take this out so I may dress."
"No," Abby said firmly. "It took me twelve hours to remove the three bullets and repair the damage to your leg. You are lucky you are alive. I am not going to let you risk tearing the stitches and getting an infection because you are stubborn."
"I am Heda. I cannot show weakness. I must be strong for my people even when injured," she said, and then ripped the IV out of her arm. She ignored the stinging in her hand, and the dribble of blood that leaked from the tiny wound. She looked around the room for her clothing, but didn't find any. "Where are my clothing?"
"Destroyed. We had to cut them off to operate on your leg," Abby said, and then sighed. "I will send for something, if you allow me to look at you wounds one more time before you go."
Lexa looked unsure for a moment, but nodded her head slightly. She climbed back on the bed, and allowed Abby to look at the wounds. She was confused by the older woman. Abby had always been very cautious around her, very untrusting, and now Abby had her proof of that distrust. She had betrayed the alliance. She had betray her daughter and left them all there to die. So why was she helping her.
"Why are you helping me?" she questioned openly.
Abby looked up at the Commander. "Because I need you alive," she said, unknowingly repeating the words her daughter had spoken to Lexa just a few weeks before.
"I betrayed your daughter and the alliance," Lexa said.
"Yes, but you came back," Abby said. She went back to cleaning Lexa's thigh. "I'm not happy at what my daughter had to do because you deferred from the plan, but Clarke made it clear that you were to be spared. That the alliance had to be kept in place in order for us to survive. That is why I am helping you. Because by keeping you alive, I keep my people alive. The last thing I want is to fight a frivolous war with your people because I let their Commander die."
"And what of your people? Will they hold true to the alliance?"
"They will do what needs to be done, even if they don't like it," Abby said. She wrapped a bandage around the thigh tightly, and then stood up. "The question is, are you and your people going to throw us to the wolves the next time it conveniences you?"
Lexa's eyebrows dipped in confusion. "I do not understand this phase. Why would we through you to the wolves. That would not aid my people."
Abby chuckled. "It means are you going to hand us over to the next enemy, if it means you save your people."
"Oh. Why did you not just say that then?" Lexa asked.
"Because I didn't realize grounders wouldn't understand metaphors."
"Very well," Lexa said, and slipped of the bed. "You have my word that I will not break the alliance again. I will find a way to save both our people, just as I tried on the mountain."
"Your word means very little to me," Abby said dryly.
"And it is not you who has to trust my word. Clarke is your true leader. She is the one the spirits chose to lead your people, even if you do not accept this. It is she who I formed the alliance with, and it is she who must trust that I will keep my word."
"Clarke is a child," Abby sneered. "She is barely eighteen. She is in no shape to lead us anywhere."
"Age is not measured in years on the ground. Leadership is not given to people just because they are of age. It is given to the people chosen by the spirits. It is given to the people who deserve leadership. To those who are strong enough to make the tough decisions, and to protect their people at any cost. Clarke knows this. Clarke showed true leadership and strength in that mountain. She sacrificed her mind and her heart to protect you. She did what had to be done. Can you say the same? Would you have killed everybody in that mountain if it meant saving your people?"
Abby looked at Lexa with hatred in her eyes. "No. I would have found another way. That girl who did that in that mountain was not my daughter. That was the shell of a person you created by leaving her."
"No. That girl was not the daughter you remember from your boat in the sky. That girl was weak and scared and caged like an animal. The Clarke in that mountain was strong and fearless. She is a true leader. I would be proud to call her my Heda."
"You have a warped sense of what makes a person strong," Abby said.
"No. You just are too weak to recognize her strength," Lexa said strongly. "I wish to speak to Clarke."
Abby looked at Lexa with unshed tears. "Clarke isn't here. She left camp right after we returned from the mountain."
A brief look of fear crossed Lexa's features, before she schooled her features. Lexa didn't look back at Abby as she strolled out of the Medical Bay, still wearing the worn out hospital gown. Indra stood just outside the doors waiting impatiently for her commander to wake.
A look of relief passed Indra's features at the sight of her commander. "Heda. I am glad to see that the Skaiprisa's mother did not kill you."
"As am I, Indra," Lexa said. "I require clothing."
Indra turned and lifted a satchel off the chair sitting there. "Everything you require is in here, Heda."
"Mochof," she said, thanking the woman for her quick thinking. She began pulling on the offered clothing right there in the hallway. "What of Clarke?"
"I have three scouting crews out searching for her. We have no found her yet," Indra said.
Lexa looked up from pulling on her second boot. "Clarke is unfamiliar with our lands."
"But she has been learning beside the best warrior alive. It is a reasonable assumption that she picked up a few things, and can now effectively hide herself from unwanted people."
"Clarke is a quick learner, but not nearly quick enough to hide from our scouts," Lexa said. She tossed the gown to the floor, and pulled her shirt over her binding covered chest. "Clarke showed true strength in that mountain, but even the strong are not able to hide from the spirits that haunt one's dreams. We must find her before she allows the spirits to consume her mind and heart."
"Heda," Indra said hesitantly.
"Speak what is on your mind, Indra," Lexa said. "Speak true."
"You slept for seven days, ai Heda. Perhaps you should regain your strength before helping to search for the Skaiprisa."
"I have rested enough, Indra. As you said. I slept for seven days. That is enough. I want Clarke found."
"Sha Heda," Indra said strongly, proud of her commander for powering through any lingering fatigue she may feel. She led Lexa out of the Ark and toward the gates. She noted that they were open. That gave her some hope that they trust her people not to attack them.
"What of the Skaikru? Who searches for her?"
"Octavia and Lincoln are leading a group of the imprisoned Skaikru in the southern border. Bellamy is leading the rest of them in the western sector. Raven was badly injured while blowing up the damn, but she has a strong spirit. She is communicating with the Skaikru, and our Trikru scouts using a metallic speaking box from her bed in the Arc. She maps where each team are and where they have been."
"And what of the Azgeda?" Lexa asked.
Indra's eyes widened in surprise. "Heda, we have been at peace with the Azgeda for years."
"The Mountain has fallen, and so has our mutual enemy. I cannot trust that Kwin Nia will honor the Coalition. I cannot afford to rule her out as an option."
"Azgeda would be foolish to break the coalition," Indra said.
"Sha," was all Lexa said. She hoped that to be true, but she was no fool. She knew better than most what Nia was capable of, and how power hungry she was. She wanted to lead the Twelve Clans, and she had in the past shown that she would do anything to achieve that goal. Now that the Moutain had fallen, she knew that Nia couldn't be trusted.
Silence elapsed over the pair as they searched the words for Clarke. They walked to the bridge where Clarke first met Anya, and then to the dropship. Lexa knew it was a long shot, but she had to check regardless. They moved on from the drop ship and moved around the woods in no particular direction, looking for any clue that would lead her to Clarke.
The midday sun dipped low in the sky, and the moon and stars began to shine. They had been searching for hours with no results. "We should head back to Camp. We have tents set up inside the Skaikru's walls. There we will regroup and review Raven's maps."
"Sha," Lexa said simply.
The trek back to Camp Jaha was quiet. Lexa found herself tiring fairly quickly. Her thigh was thumping painfully, and she could barely keep the limp out of her walk any longer. Indra noticed, but chose not to comment. She knew that her Heda was trying to be strong, even in front of her.
Camp Jaha was loud and lively when they entered the gates. Food was being passed around, children were playing, and groups of people sat around burning fires talking avidly. A few mingling grounders came to greet them, having been worried about their leader. Lexa assured them that she was fine, better than ever even. She could see Abby watching her from around one of the camp fires as Indra escorted her into the arc.
Raven's room was small, and cramped. There was just a bed and a desk in there. Octavia, Lincoln, Bellamy, and three of her most trusted Generals Tyko, Mina, Isabel were standing around the bed that was occupied by Raven. They didn't notice that she had entered the room until she was standing behind Mina.
"If I had been the enemy, you all would be dead right now," she deadpanned, scaring the entire group. Mina, Tyko, and Isabel all feel to one knee out of respect. "Never let your guard down. Until Clarke is found we must assume the worst. There are dangers that lurk even during times of peace."
"Sha, Heda," the three Generals said as one.
"Stand," Lexa commanded. She moved past her generals and kneeled next to Raven's bed. "Indra says you were injured during your mission. How are you?"
Raven looks at the commander in shock. The Lexa before her was not the Lexa she had previously met. This Lexa was softer, kinder. "I'm okay. My hip will heal. How are you Commander?"
"My wound heals," She stated. "I owe a great deal to you Raven of the sky people. Your knowledge of bombs fascinates me, as much as it terrifies me. If not for you, my people wouldn't have escaped."
"You would have figured out a way," Raven said. "Just like Clarke did."
"Clarke is strong," Lexa said.
"She should have to be that strong. You should have been there for her," Octavia spat.
Lexa stood and turned to her generals and ordered them gone. The three of them left the room without so much as a squeak in protest. Indra closed the door behind them and then turned back to the group. She wasn't surprised by Octavia's anger. She had fully expected it in fact.
"I did what I had to do in order to protect my people," Lexa said. "The same as Clarke did for her people. Plans change in battle. I could not decline the offer to save all of my people trapped in that mountain. To reunite them with their families. With their mothers, fathers, lovers, and children. I did what I had to do. I changed the plan to protect my people, but I never would have abandoned Clarke. I needed her reaction to be real for the plan to work. Emerson needed to think that I was retreating so he wouldn't be watching me. I had hoped that she would know that. That she would see it in my eyes, but she didn't. I was too late to shoulder the burden of what must be done. For that I am sorry, but I will NEVER apologize for doing what was best for my people."
"You will do well to remember your place Octavia kom Trikru," Indra said.
Octavia looked at Indra in shock. "I thought I was no longer Trikru, because I stayed."
Indra looked indifferent. "You have the spirit of a warrior. Skaikru are your people too, and you were doing what is best for your people."
"I… Sha," Octavia said, and bowed her head in respect.
"I will not be so lenient the next time you disobey a direct order," Indra stated threatening.
"Okay, can we please talk about Clarke, because I'd like to find my friend," Raven said from her bed.
"Sha, Raven kom Skaikru," Lexa said, and then kneeled again. "Show me what has been searched."
Raven pulled the map closer to Lexa. "The green is Bellamy's team, red is Octavia and Lincoln, blue is Mina, orange is Tyko, and purple is Isabel. We marked each section of the map in little squares, and when each team is done searching each square we mark an X. Each team has checked each square of the map at least once. We are expanding out of the area's Clarke is familiar with, and into new territory."
"Why is Mount Weather not marked off?" Lexa asked, interrupting Raven.
Bellamy scoffed, "There is no way Clarke would return there after what we had to do."
Lexa stood up and glared at Bellamy. "And that is exactly why she would go there. She will be in the last place you would expect to find her. She knows you will never look for her in the mountain, so that is where she will be."
"That's actually kinda smart," Raven said, thinking over the logic. "Damn. Why didn't I think about that?"
"Mayne your hip damaged your brain," Octavia joked.
"Very funny," Raven said, and tossed her pillow at her friend.
"I will leave at first light," Lexa said, and looked at Indra. "Prepare a bag with food in it enough for you and me.
"Hold up," Bellamy said. "I'm not letting you go into the mountain to search for her without me. She is ours not yours."
"Come if you choose," Lexa said. "But she will not come for you. You do not know what she is feeling."
Bellamy's eyes flashed with anger. "Don't tell me I don't know what she is feeling. I was there. I helped her pull the lever. I helped kill those people."
"But it was not your decision to do so. I know this. You are strong Bellamy kom Skaikru, but for all your strength you show weakness. You never would have made that decision. This is something that only Clarke can burden. That is why you are here, and she is not. She needs time to heal the wounds that she inflicted upon herself. Until she can accept what she did for that of bravery and strength, she will only ever see the death. Can you do that? Can you show her the strength in her decision? Can you make her believe that she did the right thing?"
Bellamy remained silent.
"Skaikru are weak and naïve. We must make you strong if you want to survive. I must make Clarke stronger if you want to survive. Without her, your leaders will destroy you. Without her, this alliance will crumble."
"You don't care about Clarke. All you care about is this damn alliance," Bellamy spat.
Lexa's eyes flashed dangerously, and she wished she had her sword to pull on him. "Do not presume to know what I care about."
Bellamy had the good sense to back up. Even Raven tried to back up, which wasn't possible with her current position. Bellamy through his hands up in defeat. "Alright. We'll do it your way."
"Sha," Lexa said. Her anger at the man questioning her loyalties to Clarke was still very much present, and it showed. Her whole body was tense and the occupants of the room were sure that she would strike Bellamy if he made the mistake of questioning her again.
"We leave at first light. Whoever is coming, be ready to go, but know that it is I who will bring her back. If that is a problem then stay behind."
Lexa turned quickly and left the room, with Indra following close behind. As the walk away from Raven's room, they heard the bedridden woman exclaim, "That girl is terrifying!"