LOST – CHAPTER 11
It had been two days since the incident but Lexa hadn't shown her face to Camp Jaha nor had Clarke visited her, after all she was not the one who had run off. But then again she wasn't the one who had initiated the kiss, a small voice in her head spoke. She shook it off, as usual. Other than that, she had been quite busy at Camp Jaha. The day before she had shared with Bellamy the information the prisoner had supplied her and, after a fruitless discussion with him, they had decided on a council meeting today. Bellamy was her most trusted friend and leader. She knew he wanted to serve his people and would do anything for them and also knew what it was like to be a leader, to make the tough calls. She would've preferred to discuss it with someone who even knew this better than him but that hadn't been an option as per the recent circumstances. And that was why she had decided to first share it with him. The discussion, however, was fruitless because Bellamy believed that the prisoner must have been bluffing as it had been days since the mountain fell and no nuclear bomb had struck. According to him, if the system was free after the death of the Wallace bloodline then it shouldn't have any control whatsoever and would've released the destructive method at once. Clarke disagreed and argued that it must be time-set and that looked like the only possible reason for the mountain men to attack them. Bellamy insisted it was only for revenge.
"Hey. What's up? I heard you were looking for me but clearly I heard wrong as you are just sitting on a boulder and staring up at the sky." Raven's mind interrupted Clarke's musings.
"Hey. No, I actually was looking for you and then sometime during the search, I sat down over here and didn't realize that I had stopped looking."
Raven smiled and then sat down next to her friend. Silence followed them as they both gazed up at the sky.
"It's a nice view of the sky from here." Raven said dreamily.
"Do you miss it?" Clarke asked.
"What? The Ark?"
"Yes and no. Life was easy there, we didn't need to care about anything as long as we didn't break any rules. We didn't need to be on our backs all the time in case someone attacked us. Nothing was complicated. It just was the easy way as compared to this. "
"Then why yes?" Clarke asked, turning her head towards Raven who was still looking at the sky.
"Living there had made us long for freedom. Made us long for Earth. Made us long for everything here. There was always a longing there, in that uncomplicated life. It was an incomplete life."
"You like the ground even after everything it has taken from you? From us?" Clarke whispered, turning her head back upwards towards the sky. Raven knew she was talking about Finn.
"Nah. It has taken from me a lot as well as it has given me. I think it as a trade."
"A trade?" Clarke questioned.
"I lost my only family here but also found you all. Earth has made me value life, value time, value peace. It has made me realize what living is and I love it for it."
Clarke nodded and waited for Raven to ask her opinion on the same question. She, though, wished she didn't because Clarke really didn't know the answer. To her surprise, Raven really didn't ask her anything.
A thought crossed her mind and she voiced it to Raven in a barely audible voice, "Do you think he would hate me now?"
"No." Raven answered without hesitation, which took Clarke aback.
Perplexed, she asked. "No? But I am falling for someone who basically signed his death sentence."
"That was a really good reason to hate the Commander in the beginning for me but as time passed, I realized she really was the one who allowed you to ease his suffering. I mean, as much as I've gone to know about the Commander, I am she sure would have thought of that happening, yet she let you do it. If there had been some Indra type Commander then we would have surely lost Finn and you as well on that night. Plus, Lexa didn't let his death go to waste."
Clarke sighed. "How can you be so fair about this? How can you not...hate her? Hate me?"
"Is this why you called me for Clarke?" Raven cut her off.
"Oh, no. I need you and Wick to be present at the council meeting today."
"Thanks for the offer but I really do prefer the back seat, princess."
"I know you do and I am not asking you to become a member of the council or to shoulder the burden of making decisions. I need you to be there for your science nerdness."
"Huh, in a council meeting? Want to electrocute your grounder girlfriend to make her your prisoner?" Raven winked.
"You wish." Clarke said, laughing.
"I don't but I am sure you do. You know all the things you can 'experiment' on her body once you have her as your captive. You could tie..."
"Shut up already, Raven." Clarke squealed, pushing her off the rock.
"Aww, look at the princess. All red!" Raven said, clapping her hands and getting up.
"Raven, go tell Wick about the meeting. I need you there in about half an hour."
"Half an hour? That's a little less time...I mean Wick's distracting and you know..."
"No, I don't and I never want to. Half an hour, Raven." Clarke cut her off and started walking away from her friend.
"Buzz kill." Clarke heard Raven mutter which made her chuckle.
When Clarke reached the gate, she stopped as she watched Lexa making her way towards it. She folded her arms waiting for the Commander.
"Clarke." Lexa greeted her.
Clarke nodded and motioned for the gate to be opened and watched as Lexa and Indra made their way in. Her eyes never left the Commander's. Both pairs of eyes were unreadable.
"What brings you here, Commander?"
"I want the prisoners to be handed over to me." Lexa said and, without waiting for Clarke's consent, started walking towards the prison room.
"No, Lexa." Clarke said fiercely but the Commander ignored her and kept walking. This new attitude of the Commander was starting to annoy Clarke.
Just as she was about to enter the building premises, Clarke increased her pace and stopped in front of Lexa making her halt.
"Clarke, I want the prisoners." Lexa said dryly and Indra unsheathed her sword.
"I can't let you have them." Clarke said, flicking her fingers, making all the guns point at Lexa.
Indra started to move closer to Clarke in retaliation but Lexa quickly raised her hand to halt her.
"What do you think you are doing?" Lexa asked, her nostrils flaring.
Clarke moved forward, invading her personal space to intimidate the Commander and show her that she couldn't boss Clarke around.
"Wrong question, Commander. You are in my camp, not the other way around."
"My people want the prisoners' blood. It's our way."
"Oh! Do they know why they need to 'avenge' the attack on their Commander? Do they know that their Commander was not the target? Do they know that she unnecessarily jumped in front of the bullet?" Clarke whispered angrily. She knew it was a low blow but Lexa's current mannerism was pissing her off.
Clarke saw in satisfaction as Lexa clenched her jaw. Good. You feel something.
Lexa moved back a few steps, her eyes never leaving Clarke's. She motioned for Indra to sheath her sword back in and Clarke ordered her guards to put the guns down.
Just as Lexa was about to leave, Abby came out from the infirmary with Kane, both unaware of the circumstances as they walked towards the new arrivals.
"Commander." Kane greeted, smiling. Lexa, though agitated, nodded at him.
"You should come to the council room. The meeting is just about to start."
"No, Clarke. I am totally on board with you on this. We are in alliance with the grounders and important external matters need to be discussed together. Whatever the prisoner told you must be important and should be discussed with our allies." Kane said, smiling, and though Clarke knew he was right, that still didn't stop her from wishing to knock out all his teeth at the moment.
"Of course, Marcus. But I think Indra just came here to tell that the Commander is needed back at their camp." Clarke said, gritting her teeth. Bellamy, sensing her discomfort and anger, moved a few steps closer, which didn't go unnoticed by the Commander and which made her say,
"It can wait. Now can we move?" Lexa said, looking at Clarke. A slightest twitch of the corner of her lips; the Commander was smirking, though subtly, at Clarke, which further angered Clarke.
"Please follow me." She heard her mom say.
Kane followed her, then went Bellamy and then Clarke who completely ignored the person behind her.
Once they were in the room, she sat at her usual seat, at the head of table, and Lexa obviously at the exact opposite to her, which meant she had no choice but to look at her directly.
"Are you all right, Clarke?" Her mom asked concerned.
Bellamy asked, "Where are Wi-"
"Shit. Are we late?" Came Raven's voice, cutting Bellamy and slamming the door hard.
"I said half an hour, Raven."
"Hey! Raven said one and a half." Wick said, taking a seat next to Kane as Raven took one next to Bellamy.
"Well hero, tell me if you regretted being late." Raven said, smirking.
"Well smart ass-"
"Ahem. Guys we are here for a meeting." Clarke said, trying her best not to appear amused.
"Right. So what do you boring council people need us 'the cool' people for?"
"We need your knowledge, Raven." Lexa spoke before Clarke even had the chance to open her mouth.
"Wow. The grounder party is here too." Raven said, winking at Clarke, making Lexa frown and Clarke throw daggers through her eyes at her friend.
"Right." Clarke said awkwardly.
"What did the prisoner tell you, Clarke?" Abby said, bringing everyone back to the real topic.
"He informed us why he and his fellows were here. And according to him, all the bombs weren't utilized 97 years ago. There is still a nuclear bomb in the City of Lights." Clarke stopped to let the information sink in.
"That's not a problem. We shouldn't let anybody know of it and just try and disable it. It really won't be a problem. It isn't in an active state so we tweak only a few things and the bomb will be useless." Wick said cockily.
"Yeah, about that...it isn't disabled."
"I am sorry, what?" Abby asked in disbelief.
Bellamy sighed audibly and explained. "According to the prisoner, the system was controlled by a voice recognition software and Mount Weather's President controlled it. Dante and then Cage respectively. However, as both of them are dead, the system is control free and, as it was programmed for bombing, there's only one thing we imagined that it will do."
"How long do we have?" Kane asked.
"I don't know but my guess is approximately 2 weeks. Such complex systems are usually programmed to stay down for a while before going to their 'self-operation' mode." Raven answered in a very serious tone.
"How much destruction can a nuclear bomb cause?" Lexa spoke for the first time and Clarke was surprised to find her voice so calm and normal. Then again she was surprised to be surprised.
"It can wipe out cities and cities in mere few minutes." Abby answered gravely.
Everyone remained silent for a while until Bellamy spoke up,
"I think it's a bluff."
"Maybe so but we can't take the risk." Lexa countered.
"No, we can't" Clarke agreed.
"So what do you think we should do? Walk in the valley of death without knowing for certain what we are dying for?" Bellamy rounded on Clarke.
"We die either way."
"Not if this was a ruse."
Clarke sighed. "Nothing is certain in this world, Bellamy. We need to take all these chances for our people."
"Princess's right, Bell. So you want us to blow the bomb in space?" Raven asked, her eyes glittering in anticipation.
"No, I want you to deactivate it."
"No blowing it? Aww, come on! What's the fun in that?" Raven whined.
"How do you expect to send it in space?" Lexa asked seriously.
"Ah...Commander, she is just kidding." Wick said.
"Am I?" Raven questioned.
Wick rolled his eyes and said. "Clarke, this is not going to be easy. Deactivating a bomb, nuclear bomb, ready to be launched any moment is...I don't even know if it's possible."
"I am sorry to put this on you, but there's no one else who can do it."
"We can't just-" Wick started.
"Of course we can." Raven quickly said.
"Really? How many times have you deactivated a nuclear bomb?" Wick questioned.
"How many times have we blown up turbines?"
Wick scratched his head as he said, "Fair enough."
"But we do need information, Clarke." Wick said seriously.
"I don't have any books or anything on bombs."
"You should come to Polis." Lexa spoke up.
"The capital?" Clarke couldn't help but ask for confirmation. Lexa nodded.
"I think it's a great offer. To visit the grounder capital before dying." Raven said.
Lexa felt her stoic mask falling as she felt a strong urge to roll her eyes. "No Raven. There are books in Polis which may help you gain the information you need." Lexa watched amusedly as she saw all of the Sky people's jaws drop. Clarke was the first to recover.
"Books, as in read, as in library?"
"You know how to read?" She asked in disbelief.
Lexa again supplied a dip of her head.
"Great! When are we leaving?" Raven asked enthusiastically.
"Tomorrow morning will be fine." Lexa answered.
"Clarke, you should go with them." Bellamy said.
Clarke raised her eyebrows. "Why?"
"Because if this is true then it's the most important thing in our plate. We all trust your decision making and so, if such circumstance arises, we need you to be there with the Commander." The message was clear in his tone, he didn't trust the Commander and Clarke didn't really blame him. He was right. Lexa couldn't be trusted where her people were involved.
Kane and Abby readily agreed with the proposal and finally Clarke asked, "I hope that is not a problem, Commander."
"No, it isn't. Your visit to Polis was due anyway." Lexa replied, looking at Clarke.
No one really understood the meaning but Clarke obviously did. She was referring to her offer, before she had turned Clarke's world upside down.
Clarke had distracted her mind from thinking of the 'incident', as she had started to call it, but Lexa's reference brought her mind back to it. She opened her mouth to say something when Abby spoke up, reminding her that they weren't alone.
"It's settled then. Clarke and her friends will come to your camp tomorrow morning. Thank you for your cooperation, Commander." Kane said gratefully.
"I do what is best for my people, Marcus of the Sky people."
Marcus nodded and all the council members, along with Raven and Wick, started to move out. Just as Lexa was about to leave, Clarke grabbed her wrist, making her stop. She raised her eyes questionably but Clarke didn't give her any answer. Once all the others left the room, Clarke moved to shut the door and, without turning around, said,
"You kissed me."
"That's all you have to say?" Clarke said, pivoting around.
"You pointed guns at me, today."
"After you tried to steal my prisoners. But we are not talking about that now. You kissed me." Clarke repeated.
"I had kissed you before as well, Clarke of the Sky people." Lexa said, trying to remain as impassive as possible.
"So you think I am just someone that you can kiss whenever you want to kiss? In fact, as far as I can remember, it was more than just kissing."
"Clarke, I was there."
"Stop dodging my question." Clarke said, moving closer to Lexa.
Lexa sighed and sat on the chair once again, hoping to place some hindrance to Clarke's advances.
"Our people don't show intimacy to others unless they have feelings for them."
A small smile started to appear on Clarke's face but was wiped out as Lexa said,
"But apparently that's not how it works among your people."
Clarke frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing, Clarke. It obviously means nothing to you and your people." Lexa said tiredly, got up and started moving towards the door.
Clarke blocked her way again, for the second time today, and said, "No. Stop doing that."
"Walking away." Clarke answered the Commander's questioning gaze.
"I am not. I said what I had to say."
"But you didn't say what I wanted you to say."
"What is it that you want me to say, Clarke of the Sky people?" Lexa said, her eyes boring into Clarke's.
"I want you to tell me why you would back away from me, say I am 'sorry' after kissing me when I think you just implied that you do have feelings for me."
"You already know I do." Lexa said.
"I didn't ask you to confirm or deny it. One moment you save Bellamy for me, the next moment you kiss me senselessly and then you...you push me away like it didn't mean anything. Stop playing games with me, Lexa."
Lexa finally couldn't take it anymore. She answered in a voice full of emotions; pain being the most obvious one. "I am playing games, Clarke? I am? I am not the one who kissed Bellamy, told him I loved him, undertook the protection he offered, told him about the prisoner before telling any of the other council members and then...kissed someone else."
Clarke opened her mouth and then closed it. Opened it again and found that she was unable to speak. So she pushed Lexa to the wall. Hard. A finger poked Lexa's chest hard as Clarke said heatedly,
"You couldn't talk to me about this? How hard was it? Instead you just jump in front of Bellamy and take the damn bullet in my name?" Clarke was shouting now.
"Clarke, I owed you for the mountain. I left your people to die in there, I was just redeeming myself by saving the one you loved." Lexa said, no longer hiding behind her Commander's mask.
Clarke laughed a humorless laugh as she left the Commander by the wall and started pacing around the room, agitated.
"Redeeming yourself by breaking me apart?"
Lexa gave her a quizzical look and waited for Clarke to explain. But Clarke just pulled a chair, sat on it and put her head between her hands.
Lexa slowly walked towards Clarke and asked, "Clarke? Will you please explain."
"Lexa, I do love Bellamy but I am not in love with him. He has feelings for me, I don't." Clarke said, finally looking up.
Lexa's eyes widened in disbelief and she moved a step back. Clarke, on the other hand, got up and moved forward.
"I don't know why or when you got under my skin Lexa. And when I found out you did, it was too late. I could not just shake you off. I tried. You know I tried to hate you for what you did at Mount Weather but I failed. I know we are different and I tried to distance myself from you but I failed. I tried to breathe after you were shot but it was very difficult and I probably would have failed if you hadn't woken up. I...I love you, Lexa."
Lexa's hands moved forward as she rested them on Clarke's cheeks, and wiped away the tears Clarke hadn't realized had fallen.
"You don't want to love me, do you Clarke?" She asked softly.
"I do love you, Lexa." Clarke said.
"That is not my question." Lexa said in the same soft, velvety voice, making Clarke dizzy. Her thumb caressing Clarke's lips carefully, as if memorizing them, but her emerald green eyes never leaving Clarke's, searching for the answer.