Clarke's fingers tightened around the handle of her sword and she swung, instantly coming into contact with Roan's blade, the sound of metal hitting metal ringing in her ears.
The sun was hot against her skin, and she could feel the sweat dripping down her back. They had been training for so long, she was sure her arm was going to fall off.
"I'm tired." She said, and Roan smirked.
"Your enemies don't really care about that, Clarke." He lunged forward, and in attempt to dodge him, she jumped back, losing her footing and falling to the ground.
"Shit." She said under her breath, as he brought the tip of his sword to her throat.
"Nice try." He offered his hand to help her stand, and she took it.
"Maybe I should just stick with guns." She grumbled, while putting away her sword.
"You're the one who insisted I teach you how to use one."
"That's because I— " She stopped herself, realizing that her only reason behind the request was to spend more time with him. Which wasn't something she wanted to admit.
He looked at her and she looked down, suddenly feeling like making eye contact with him would somehow reveal the truth.
"Look, learning how to sword-fight isn't easy. I've been doing this since I was eight years old. You'll get the hang of it, eventually."
He brushed up against her, and she was embarrassingly aware of how close he was, and the effect that closeness had on her resting heart beat.
"Besides…" His eyes looked her up and down. "We both know you have your own hidden talents."
She swallowed, a blush creeping up onto her cheeks. They had been casually sleeping together for weeks now, and ever since, any kind of contact— clothed or not— made it hard for her to breathe, let alone think properly. Especially when he looked at her like that.
She kept telling herself that she could stop visiting his room at any time. That telling him no would be as easy as telling him yes. That she was only continuing this relationship— or lack there of— because the latter was much more fun then the former.
But with each passing day, it seemed harder to deny the reality of the situation. Casual was no longer the right word to describe it. At least, not on her part.
And that scared her.
/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
When he knocked on her door that night, she was ready for him, wearing nothing but a robe she had inherited from Polis. The fabric was flimsy and partially see through, making it easy to see the outline of her breasts. Once he was inside, she closed the door behind him and when she turned to face him, he backed her against it, his hands sliding underneath her robe. She arched her back as he slipped it off her shoulders and onto the ground, his fingers rough against her skin.
The sex was good. Better than good– it was great. A little rough, a lot hot and not to mention incredibly satisfying. Just like it had been the first time they slept together.
It was post-orgasm where things had changed. She found herself comforted by his closeness. It was one of those rare moments where her wants overpowered her needs.
She needed him as an ally but she wanted him as something more. Something permanent. Someone who will stick around, even when their lives aren't in danger.
"You okay?" He asked.
She had been looking at him funny ever since he stood up to get dressed.
She shook her head, pulling her blankets over her shoulder as though it would protect her from where this conversation might go.
He sat back down on the bed, still very much shirtless, and Clarke couldn't help but eye his scars. She paused on the spot where the bullet had torn through him.
She had almost lost him then, unaware that he would ever become something she could lose in the first place.
He ran his fingers through her hair, a touch so gentle, it was almost startling that it could ever come from him.
"You wanna tell me what's wrong?"
"I thought making people feel better wasn't one of your strengths."
"Doesn't mean I don't try." He smiled, and she took a mental picture, storing it in the back of her mind for another time.
"I think I'm in love with you and I'm terrified."
His hand froze.
"Don't worry." She said quietly. "You don't have to say it back. You don't have to say anything at all."
For a moment he was quiet, and then suddenly he was laying down next to her, his hand moving to take hold of hers.
"It's almost strange hearing you say that."
"What? That I love you?"
"That you're terrified."
She thought of Wells. How he had come to Earth to keep her safe. How loving her lead him down the path to an early death.
Next came the image of Finn and the knife she drove into his stomach after the words 'I love you too' left her mouth.
And finally, Lexa. She could still feel the blood on her hands as she desperately tried to keep her from bleeding out, and the blank expression on her face when she failed.
It wasn't a reach to say that her love had a body count. Perhaps it was a curse, meant solely for the Commander of Death.
She met Roan's eyes, pained by the thought of them losing their light.
"When I love people, they die." Tears ran down her cheeks.
He was looking at her and before she knew it he had pressed his lips against hers, their foreheads still touching when he pulled away.
"We're all going to die someday, Clarke." He told her simply. "I guess I'm just the lucky bastard who gets to die happy."
There was that feeling again. The one that made it harder to breathe.
"So you…?" She trailed off, her bottom lip trembling a little.
"Yeah. I do." He nodded. "I have for a while."
He grabbed her hand and placed it over his heart.
"And look at that. I'm still breathing."