LOST- CHAPTER 3
"I told you that you would be trained in exchange for your help at Ton DC." Lexa said with a straight face.
"Yes, but you told me that a warrior of yours will teach me." Clarke said irritated.
"I am the best warrior, Clarke." Lexa said, trying to conceal the smirk that was dying to show itself.
"And an arrogant one at that." Clarke mumbled but still didn't move from where she was standing.
"Is there a problem, Clarke?" Lexa asked sharply.
"None at all, Commander." Clarke sighed as she opened the gate of camp Jaha and stepped out.
Lexa waited for Clarke to mount on the horse, holding the reins in her hand. As soon as Clarke was settled, Lexa motioned her stallion forward. Shortly after however, she stopped as she didn't hear the hooves of the other horse. She turned hers around and saw Clarke petting the horse's mane and pleading in its ear,
"Hey! Please move you feet and start walking."
Then, adding to Lexa's amusement, she pulled the reins of the horse; a motion used to halt a horse. Finally, Clarke took the ears of the horse in her hands and pulled them. Hard. This presumably offended the horse and it threw her on the ground.
"Bad girl! All you had to do was walk! How difficult is that to understand?" Clarke scolded the horse.
"By the way you were pulling the reins? Very." Lexa stated in a matter-of-fact-tone.
"What do you mean? I was asking it to move!" Clarke said looking up at Lexa as she was still sitting on the ground. A scowl had found its way on her face.
"Horses do not understand English, Clarke. Pulling the reins meant you were trying to halt it." Lexa said, hardly concealing the amusement from her voice.
"Whatever. And did you have to get such a large horse for me?"
"It's not large. It's average heighted."
"Sure. It's not large, it's gigantic." Clarke said, rolling her eyes.
Lexa had enough of it and, in a swift motion, got off her horse and spoke in an impatient and menacing tone, "Get up."
Clarke noticed the change in the Commander's demeanor and thought best to obey her. She got up, though still frowning. Lexa held the reins of Clarke's horse and motioned for Clarke to sit on the saddle. Clarke put one arm on the horse and the other on Lexa's shoulder as she heaved herself up. Once she was settled on her horse, Lexa expertly sat on hers and, with the reins of Clarke's horse in her left hand and hers in her right, she made both the horses saunter.
"I really didn't know that the leader of the sky people didn't know how to ride a horse." Lexa said, teasing.
"Firstly, you know I was no leader in space and secondly, we didn't have horses there. There was barely enough oxygen and space for us, let alone animals. Oh, and I might as well mention; this horse is very uncooperative." Clarke defended herself.
"How did you ride to Ton DC then?"
"Well, I was desperate, adrenaline rush, and one of my soldiers had helped me start the horse."
"Start the horse? You revived a dead horse?" Lexa asked, disbelievingly.
Clarke laughed at this and answered." No, no. Start like you know, how you start the engine of a spaceship."
Lexa gave her a blank look.
"Or you don't. What I meant that he had helped the horse start running."
Lexa nodded in response. Silence followed after this.
Finally Clarke asked, "Where are we going?"
"The place where I train."
"You don't train with your warriors?" Clarke asked, surprised.
"I do but sometimes I like solitude. Not only for physical training but for mental preaparation too. A leader's mind must remain focused and clear at all time."
"That's probably where you went before we left for the war, right?" Clarke said, sending daggers through her eyes.
Lexa remained quiet for a moment then answered honestly, "Yes."
An uncomfortable silence now greeted them but neither dared break it. They kept moving on and on, the ground becoming further uneven, and Clarke automatically wrapped her arms around the horse's neck as if fearing for her life.
"It isn't that easy to fall of the saddle. Hedwin isn't going to buck or bolt." Lexa assured her.
"No, it's going to trot or canter." Clarke retorted.
"If you really don't want to ride then you can walk all the way." Lexa offered, sighing in frustration.
"That sounds like a good plan except for the fact that I don't know how long I will have to walk. And knowing you, it's probably somewhere very far deep in the woods. And that's why I think I am fine with a horse."
"Well then, relax. My back is hurting just from watching you."
She did relax, just a little and Lexa let go; Clarke's fingers auto-piloting and gripping the reins.
"What are you doing?" Clarke shrieked.
"Well, you won't be able to do that long if your student disables herself during the first lesson." Clarke said, sounding desperate now.
"So you are willing for more?" Lexa said, her lips twitching.
"You are smiling. Finally showing some emotions. I thought I would be happy to see that but I am not."
Lexa started, "You could be a…"
"It's started moving fast! Stop this thing!" Clarke shouted.
"It's okay, Clarke. Now listen to me, and do as I say. I promise I will not let anything happen to you."
Clarke gulped and opened her mouth to protest but Lexa beat her.
"I am going to hit its hindquarters and it will start trotting. You can increase the speed by kicking its side with your feet. The speed depends on the intensity of the kick. To steer the horse, you are to use the reins." Lexa instructed in her Commander voice.
"And Clarke, don't let your horse sense your fear. Trust it and it will trust you back. Ready?"
"Noooo…" Lexa hadn't waited for an answer. The horse had already started moving after being hit by Lexa.
"Now use the reins, Clarke. Turn to the left. Pull the reins and slow down a bit. Yes, that's a good pace."
Clarke was listening to Lexa with undivided attention; after all, if she didn't, the odds were highly in favour of her falling and breaking her bones.
After some time, Clarke actually started to enjoy the ride. She had finally gotten the hang of it. She turned around to look at Lexa and found her right behind her, trotting on her horse, a small smile playing on the Commander's face. Clarke couldn't help but notice how young and full of life this made the Commander look. Clarke automatically felt her lips twitching upwards, warming Lexa's heart.
"You are enjoying the ride, Clarke?"
"Enjoying is too strong a word. I am just glad that I haven't broken any bones yet."
"Don't worry, you won't." The Commander reassured her.
"I hope that rings true even after the training." Clarke mumbled.
Lexa smirked at the comment but didn't reply.
Soon enough they arrived at the clearing they were supposed to train at. Lexa got off her horse gracefully and waited for Clarke to do the same, though not gracefully.
"Wow. It's so quiet here." Clarke observed out loud.
"That's what I like about this place." Lexa spoke to no one in particular.
"Are those white roses? I had read about them in Nature Studies on the Ark." Clarke said excitedly.
"Maybe. But that doesn't matter at the moment. Now, attack me."
"Attack me." Lexa repeated.
"You are not even wearing your armor." Clarke exclaimed.
"So? I am sure I won't need it with you." Lexa mocked her.
"Don't temp me."
"Give your best shot, Clarke of the sky people." Lexa said confidently.
Bellamy had taught Clarke some moves before and Clarke wanted to show the Commander that she wasn't totally useless in that area so she attacked her with her best move. At least, what she thought was her best move.
She raised her head to go for a kick and when Lexa bent down to block it, she punched Lexa in the jaw. At least that was what was supposed to happen according to Clarke. But Lexa was too fast. As soon as she realized Clarke was going to punch instead of kick, she placed her leg behind Clarke's and pushed making Clarke lose balance and kiss the ground.
"Ouch. I think I've scratched my elbow." Clarke said, rubbing her arm.
"Lesson one: get knocked down then get back up." Lexa barked.
"Curl all your fingers, thumb out, and then throw your arm. As soon as you punch, whether you reach the mark or not, get ready to block the enemy's attack. Then attack again."
Clarke again tried to punch Lexa but was again blocked. She tried to kick her but that too was an unsuccessful move. Lexa, however, observed the girl; she was determined. She saw the way her eyes hardened and the way she seemed to shrug off every mistake and learn from it.
Lexa motioned for her to stop and instructed, "Clarke, before you can truly fight, you need to learn the movements. You need to learn where to throw your fists, where to place your kicks and when to turn defensive and protect yourself."
"I… am… trying." Clarke panted.
"You are too tense Clarke. You need to let your body become fluid, agile. You must be the one controlling your muscles not the other way around. Observe your enemy and then make your move."
"Show me. Don't be all defensive. Show me some moves so I can copy them."
Lexa remained silent for a few moments then spoke up, "Attack, I will fight back."
Clarke raised her arm to punch Lexa but Lexa gripped her fist and twisted her arm around. Then she kicked Clarke's legs making her fall on her ass. The same happened quite a few times. Clarke's frustration level kept on increasing.
Her clothes were thoroughly dirty by now, but she wasn't ready to give up and not that the Commander would let her; she knew she wouldn't. And so she got up again and tried to knock down the Commander by attacking her legs this time but Lexa just jumped and dodged Clarke's leg with ease. Lexa attacked Clarke in turn and Clarke was on the ground once more.
"Focus, Clarke. Follow my moves. Learn to use the power of your muscles. Get up."
Clarke was badly bruised and every inch of her body ached. Yet in that moment Clarke was angry and the adrenaline rush made her get up. But as soon as she got up, Lexa threw a punch, which connected hard with her jaw.
She felt metallic taste in her mouth and knew her lips were bleeding. Lexa, however, didn't stop and threw another punch in Clarke's direction. The punch was about to connect with Clarke's skin when her hand came up to stop it. Then she twisted Lexa's arm, just like she had done hers, and put her free arm over Lexa's collarbone and whispered in Lexa's ear, making her shiver involuntarily, and the reason was not fear.
"You are dead Commander."
What happened next was very surprising for Clarke. One moment she was standing victorious and the next she was again on ground. The lethal Commander had elbowed her when Clarke was singing her victory 'song'. Clarke tried to move but failed to. Confused, she looked up. The Commander had pinned down both her arms on either side of her body and was straddling her waist; her face merely inches away from Clarke's. Those deep green eyes, a darker shade than usual, were shinning with victory and...mischief. Clarke struggled against the tight grip of the Commander and Lexa smirked.
"Don't gloat until you are finished with your enemy, Clarke. A little distraction and you are done." Lexa said, still not giving Clarke room to move but loosening her grip enough so that it wasn't painful for Clarke.
"If I had a dagger with me, you'd be dead Commander." Clarke said furiously.
"Even if you had a dagger, Clarke of the sky people, my elbow would've connected with your stomach faster than your dagger and you'd be still in the same position as you are now."
"Now, you are dead, Clarke." Lexa said, finally getting up and releasing Clarke.
Clarke remained dazed for a few seconds during which Lexa brushed the dirt off her pants. Finally Clarke sat up and groaned, "I feel dead, for sure."
"You did well for a sky person, Clarke." Lexa spoke emotionlessly; her mask back on.
"Yeah well, that's not good enough. Like you said, I need to be able to protect myself. My people count on me." Clarke sighed in frustration as she got up.
And just like that her mask was pulled off again, "Clarke, you are a leader. Your people make you strong. You will learn how to protect yourself soon enough."
Clarke nodded but didn't say anything.
"Now, let's hunt. Warriors need their strength."
Clarke followed Lexa as they left the clearing and got deeper into the woods. She knew she wouldn't get lost, as Lexa knew the forest very well. Soon, they spotted a deer. Lexa unsheathed her dagger and was ready to shoot when Clarke's boot stepped on a branch lying on the ground. The deer ran out, fearful, enabling it to dodge the dagger. Lexa quickly took out her other dagger but she didn't need to throw it as Clarke shot 3 bullets straight into the deer's flesh. Lexa looked shocked momentarily before quickly collecting herself and nodding in approval at Clarke. They returned to the clearing and, after roasting the deer's flesh, sat down to eat. Now that the training session was over, silence took over.
Clarke was too exhausted to think of small talk and Lexa seemed deep in thought. Clarke was nearly done eating when Lexa spoke up, "Clarke, why didn't you kill the mountain man?"
Clarke spoke in a strong voice, which ironically was what gave her away, as Lexa knew it was a mask to hide up the real matter.
"He was wearing a vest and thus the bullets could not pierce his skin."
"No Clarke, they could not. But you could have shot his head." Lexa insisted.
"He had knocked out my pistol with his bullets before he had approached me." Clarke said, looking at the ground and not meeting Lexa's eyes.
Lexa, however, stared at her without blinking, noting every movement.
"You are lying, Clarke." She finally said in a tired voice.
"What?" Clarke responded sharply.
"You could have shot him from a distance. I saw the shots you took today. The animal was moving and yet you managed to get all your three bullets hit the target."
Clarke stared at Lexa with her mouth hanging slightly open.
"Tell me Clarke, why did you not kill the mountain man? Why did you make yourself so vulnerable to him?" Lexa asked angrily.
The anger in Lexa's voice made Clarke collect herself and she moved close to Lexa and, gritting her teeth, spoke," I am not answerable to you, Commander. And stop acting like you care."
"I do care, Clarke. You know that." Lexa said, closing her eyes.
Clarke moved a few steps back from Lexa and said coldly," I no longer believe you, Commander, nor do I care. "
Lexa's eyes widened and pierced into Clarke's eyes, trying to check if she was lying. She wasn't.
"Anything else, Commander? Because I need to return to my people now." Clarke said, moving towards her horse.
"Yes, Clarke." Lexa said, exhaling a breath she didn't know she was holding.
Clarke didn't turn but waited for Lexa to continue.
"Why don't you call me by my name anymore? You always call me 'Commander' now." Lexa asked in a barely audible voice.
"Because Commander is only what you are to me now." Clarke replied, getting on her horse and galloping away.