Polis is not anything she ever expected.
Clarke doesn't know much about the other Grounders or their clans, admittedly — but a towering, ancient Capital full of hundreds, thousands of people?
Never in her wildest dreams.
While searching idly around for something to preoccupy herself, Clarke discovers a lump of charcoal. It smudges black against her pale, scarred fingertips. With a huge, victorious grin, she also discovers a board of smoothed wood along with a blank, curling scrap of parchment.
Lexa has not spoken against going outside during Clarke's stay, even if she disapproved, as long as it was closely followed by her most trusted guards — and as long as she did not stray far.
To save everyone the concern about that, she huddles down in a small, semi-enclosed outdoor arena. Clarke has no intentions of drawing anyone's attention. The quiet is enough, pierced occasionally by the clinking of the training quarterstaffs and the murmurs of the nightblood children, as they spar each other off in the distance. Things have not been quiet enough in her life.
The air is thick and humid to her face. Clarke feels perspiration gathering down her back and neck. She brushes a strand of braided, blonde hair out of her eyes as she sketches from memory. Clarke bends the murky, grey shadows surrounding Lexa's solemn and wide-eyed face bathing in the candlelight.
The Commander never bows, not to anyone regardless of who they are— not ever. But she did for Clarke, and promised her fealty, and Clarke cannot shake this sense of astonishment.
Or fear, or uncertainty — what does this change for the both of them, for their people?
A fast-approaching noise rustles the leafy floor. Clarke glances up quickly, gripping the sketch closer to herself as someone emerges at the corner of her eyes. A boy younger than her, with dirtied locks of golden hair and lightly freckled, thin features.
"Wanheda," he says importantly, his little, round chin tilting it. To be honest, it's adorable.
Clarke nods to him, relaxing her hands and her expression. The corners of her lips perk up.
"… You're Aden, aren't you?"
The overly pleased look on his face almost makes her want to laugh. "Yes, Wanheda."
"You'll have to forgive me. I'm still trying to remember everyone here." Clarke then does laugh, but painfully embarrassed. "You can just call me Clarke, it's alright by me," she insists.
"Heda knows you as Klark kom Skaikru."
It's not condescending how he says this, but matter-of-factly.
"Well, that's true," Clarke agrees thoughtfully.
As she lowers the drawing board, Aden's eyes peer over to it. She hurriedly tucks away the half-finished one of a detailed, saturated Lexa bowing.
"Um… would you like to see it?" she asks, patting the fuzzy moss-covered stone bench next to her.
After a long, dubious pause, Aden eagerly runs over, his warrior-padding and tunic flapping against his body. He scoots nearer to her. Clarke presents two other sketches, one of Octavia with her dark hair elaborately braided and war-paint around her eyes, and the other of Raven bent over her tools.
"It's very good," Aden concludes, smudging his fingertips too, meeting her eyes. Hearing that touches her in a oddly and familial way — he seems too young to her.
"Coming from the next Commander, I feel like I should be honored."
The good-natured teasing doesn't go unnoticed as his cheeks flush red, and Aden smiles boyishly. He straightens up, puffing his chest. "I will take care of you then, Klark. And your people."
Clarke smiles back, leaning forward, dropping her voice.
"Our people," she says, gently correcting him.
Aden has her full, undivided attention for another several, cheerful moments until someone firmly clears their throat. Lexa steps towards them, without her ceremonial-paint around her eyes or the red sash. "Aden," she announces, voice serene. "You are needed by Titus."
He rises to his feet without a word, sending her a respectful head-nod and then to Clarke — who mimics it and watches him race back to the gaggle of nightblood children and the older, bald Grounder.
"He's a sweet kid. I wasn't expecting that," Clarke speaks up, eyeing Lexa for her reaction.
The other woman reveals nothing, sweeping aside her cloak and now primly seating in the boy's previous spot.
"He shows promise," Lexa tells her — matter-of-factly. Clarke is beginning to see where Aden picked it up from. "He will likely become the next Commander in my place…"
Sudden and jolting, that fear once again burrowing underneath Clarke's skin.
"… Not anytime soon right?" she murmurs, hiding the quiver in her breathing.
Lexa finally stares at Clarke's tightened profile, mouth softening. "It's best to not entertain those thoughts, seeing as I will live many more days with you by my side, Clarke."
That does it, and Clarke releases a gladdened, breathy noise, eyes crinkling.
"However, there is a reason I wished to speak with you privately. Something we must discuss."
"Yeah?…" Clarke narrows her eyes when Lexa's gaze wanders down to her lap. "Wait, what's wrong, Lexa?" she asks, setting down her drawings and the wooden board. Something's very wrong.
"There is unrest about the Sky People joining as another Clan."
That doesn't make sense — not really.
"But why?" Clarke insists. She shakes her head. "I mean… Wanheda, me — I bowed to you."
"It's not enough," Lexa says, monotonously.
An ice-cold shard of realization and horror strikes her — pushes the very oxygen out of Clarke's lungs. Like she's being floated right here on Earth.
"They still want you to kill me…" she says in dread, gazing back at the other woman.
Lexa frowns and turns to her, placing a hand on top of Clarke's.
"You mustn't worry. There may be another way." Clarke's fingers, begrimed with shiny, dark charcoal, hook against Lexa's own fingers. "If I cannot kill you, Clarke… then I must bed you."
"It's a symbolic act when done in front of our people," Lexa explains, sensing Clarke's immediate rejection to the idea. "In our tongue, to consume shares similar meanings. The Ambassadors of each Clan must witness this with their own eyes. It is how this is done."
She doesn't if it's completely obvious, but Clarke can feel her entire face grow hot. She doesn't untangle her fingers from Lexa's clutching grip, even if the impulse is there.
"And doing… this would settle the unrest?"
(How can she be so sure about it?)
Lexa pulls their hands towards her, cradling her free hand against their intertwined. Despite anyone observing them, despite how naked and vulnerable of a thing she needs them to do…
"Clarke, I need your permission to do this," she whispers. "This cannot happen without it."
She shouldn't be so amazed by this, but Clarke finds herself almost gawking, lips parting.
"You're asking me?"
The confusion permeates the space between them. "Is there another way?" Lexa says in outright incredulity, and Clarke is getting the feeling that Lexa isn't the only one influencing others.
"Okay," Clarke's answer is raspy and meaningful, and without doubt. "Okay, yes. I'll do it."
Lexa's expression slowly turns one of relief, the peach-glow of sunset against her face. She squeezes Clarke's hand encouragingly before letting go, and Clarke squeezes back harder.
"… Does my mom have to watch?"
"The Chancellor is not your Ambassador. Marcus is." When the other woman visibly cringes, rolling her head back and grumbling, Lexa adds, "Do not worry. I'll have him stationed further away."
"Or out of the room," Clarke mutters, running her hands over her forehead and eyelids.
"Everyone pays respects during the ceremony. I'll have guards posted regardless. Anyone who wishes to interfere or make a spectacle of themselves will be dealt with appropriately."
(Probably meaning killed.)
Clarke takes in a noisy, sharp breath — oh, god.
"What would you have done if I said no?" she asks, and when there's no response to follow the stretch of purposeful silence, Clarke furrows her brows. "Lexa?"
"My hand would have been forced." Lexa doesn't blink an eyelash, not showing an ounce of hesitation in her mental decision-making. This is why she's the Commander. "I would have expressed that your safety was my immediate concern, not a tradition."
Clarke gapes at her, mouth hanging open.
"You would have fought them?" She should feel grateful that Lexa is willing to defend her, but holy shit, the reckless of all of this... "God, Lexa — what were you thinking?"
The other woman doesn't appear offended, but merely gives a faint, knowing smirk.
"Now that you have agreed, it will no longer come to that. This is a wise decision you've made."
"Stop talking like that," Clarke snaps a little, frustrated. "Like you're some cold, unmoving statue. You're not. I know you — so why can't you just admit you care about me?"
"I do, Clarke."
"Now say it like you mean it."
"I will," Lexa says absently, wiping off her smudged hands to her front. "Tonight."
Clark's dark-charcoal forehead wrinkles, and she sighs out aggravated when the other woman vanishes.
It's not that she hasn't thought of Lexa that way… it's just…
This isn't the way she imagined it happening.
Clarke borrows one of colorless nightshirts, made of rough, knitted wool. It reaches down to her kneecaps, and the material rubs uncomfortably against her bare nipples.
Everyone's in attendance, crowding the semi-darkened room, just close enough to her. Its nothing like the throne room, with no high steps or multitude of candles. There's just enough natural light to witness the many prying glances on her, and Clarke folds her legs underneath herself. She has no idea where to be on the low-level cot, her hands skimming the piles of various furs at all sides of her.
She can't see Marcus from where she is, and Clarke's beyond words thankful.
The double doors creak open. Each head of the Grounders peers around expectantly, before they all bow themselves. Lexa marches out from the corridor, every inch of her sun-golden body exposed. She's shameless, nearly radiating confidence, her shoulders hitched up and eyes focused on Clarke.
There's no warrior-paint, but Lexa's forehead-symbol between her brows looks scrubbed clean, bright.
Clarke finds herself gazing hungrily over the rest of the other woman, to the rosy brown coloring of her breasts, over the thatch of dark, curling hair between Lexa's muscular, slim thighs.
There's no greeting or acknowledgment to the others. The ambassadors remain deeply bowing, their knees and fists to the ground as Lexa halts right in front of Clarke, waiting.
Waiting for what?
With a burst of mortification, Clarke realizes it's supposed to be her who begins this.
"Ai—" She sucks in a deep, trembling breath, before speaking more loudly, "Ai sonraun laik yu sonraun."
My life is your life.
The familiar, rolling syllables of Trigedasleng brings a silent and mellow smile to Lexa's face. She hoists herself onto the bedding, inches from touching Clarke. She doesn't, and Clarke doesn't know if it's nervous anticipation or excitement that fires through her nerves, keeping her wound-up tight.
"Osir keryon ste teina," Lexa recites back, pushing her fingers through Clarke's undone hair. There's nothing but admiration in light green eyes, and Clarke feels lightheadedness creeping over her.
Our souls are entwined.
It doesn't fade off, even when they drift into each other. Lexa's mouth collides against hers, kissing her like she wants to sink and drown underneath Clarke's flesh. It's a slow, measured kiss, like their first one. Lexa's hands act like they're cherishing her, massaging Clarke's scalp, before falling against her upper arms. Wet, hot split against Lexa's upper lip, when she moves away to tug up Clarke's nightshirt, easing it up over her head.
Now they're the same, naked and vulnerable.
Clarke fights her instinct to cover herself, palming Lexa's face and just looking at her. Concentrating on each series of kiss, breathing heavily, feeling her legs shift open for the other woman crawling over her.
Before she knows it, Lexa's head ducks down, and her lips caress messily against Clarke's abdomen and navel. The sensation elicits a noisy, whining exhale. Lexa scoots down, pressing her widening mouth against the hot, pale crook of Clarke's inner thigh, humming pleasantly.
Clarke feels her insides somersault when a soft, curious tongue parts her, Lexa's mouth nudging between her legs, suckling and blowing gently against her vaginal lips. If she wasn't soaking wet already, thrumming with energy and need, Clarke can sense it mounting up within her now.
She doesn't want to know the faces, the eyes of the Grounders watching her moaning and pink-flushing. Clarke slaps her palms against her burning face, masking her eyes as they screw up hard.
She's coming apart to an audience, who wishes to see Wanheda's powers and influence stripped from her. But, Lexa treats her like she's sacred on this bed, like a queen worth remembering.
Lexa's tongue rolls around her clitoris, working a shudder through her partner. The orgasm is threatening to crash into her, swallow her alive, and she arches longingly against Lexa's hands returning on her.
She gasps out softly, over and over, resisting the pull.
"Clarke, look at me," Lexa says kindly, managing to remove Clarke's hands from her face. She's an absolute vision of beauty, those irresistibly blue eyes wide and darkened in lust. "Stay with me."
The half-smile on Lexa's mouth reappears as Clarke nods in determination, kissing her back with raw, furious heat when two of Lexa's fingers wander, exploring and prodding inside her. She strokes up against more pleasurable regions, working her faster and faster, until Clarke trembles visibly from her orgasm, eyelids half-mast, crying out into Lexa's neck and unable to ground herself.
She's floating right here on Earth.
Lexa whispers against Clarke's reddened cheek, smelling like her bathing oils and their sex. "Ai laik yun," she confesses, pulling Clarke's left hand to hold against her own breast. "Feva en otaim."
Blue eyes well up with hot, unshed tears.
I am yours. Forever and always.
Clarke yanks her closer, fisting into Lexa's dark brown, thick braids and kissing her happily breathless.
"I'll tell your mother you had to swear your alliance in private with the other ambassadors," Marcus tells her, smiling humorously, but awkwardly. "We'll say you had to bathe the Commander's feet or something."
Having wrapped herself into Lexa's biggest, thickest cloak, Clarke nods. She avoids his eyes and thanks him, waiting until he exists the now abandoned room before plopping down onto the fur bedding.
Lexa joins her, draping herself in a bear-skin, but her chest fully exposed.
"Are you alright?" she asks mindfully, canting her head as Clarke solemnly meets her eyes.
"I haven't… had mind-blowing sex like that in AGES."
Despite being startled, the other woman breathes out a low, reverberating chuckle. "Perhaps you should more often?" Lexa tells her, faintly smirking as Clarke goes up on her knees, grinning and crawling towards her.
"Well, if you're offering…"
Lexa goes pliant underneath her, surrendering as they giggle and fall down against the cot.
This changes everything for the better.
The 100 isn't mine. I LOVE STORIES WHERE MY OTPS ARE ALIVE AND STAY ALIVE, SO LETS FOCUS ON THAT. AND NOT THE SHOW'S FUTURE. YEP. I've been having lots of first attempts writing my new ships/new fandoms so I'm glad this is happening! :D Hope you guys love this!