LOST – CHAPTER 4
Lexa followed Clarke in utter silence on the way back. But, this didn't bother her. Much. The truth was – yes, it was clear to her that her relation with Clarke wasn't healing; it bothered her - she knew she deserved it. At least from Clarke's perspective, who gave a lot of value to emotions. Lexa didn't blame her; she was raised that way. Lexa, on the other hand, was raised in such a manner that feelings were to be the very last thing on her priority list. Or more specifically her feelings. She was raised a leader; always looking at the greater good. Always putting her people first. Even before herself.
And so the silent treatment of Clarke was not bothering her; she understood her. What was nagging Lexa was not knowing why Clarke hadn't killed the assassin. Why was she so ready to die? Why didn't she defend herself, now that Lexa knew she could.
They reached camp Jaha and Clarke went inside without exchanging any words with the young Commander. Lexa got off her horse and crossed the gate of camp Jaha. The guard had a confused look on his face but thought better not to show any resistance to the grounder Commander; after all she had come in with Clarke, their young leader. Their hero.
"Where can I find the one you call Bellamy?" Lexa asked the guard.
"Umm…he usually is with Clarke but as she just got back, he must be with his sister, probably training…" The guard spoke nervously as the grounder Commander was very intimidating.
"Lead me to him." Lexa ordered, a bit annoyed to hear who Clarke spends most of her time with, not bothering to consider that these people were not bound to obey her orders. The guard, however, did not object her command as he feared the grounder leader a lot. He had heard about how ruthless and dangerous she was.
The man had been right. Bellamy was indeed with his sister, having a fistfight. They both looked equally powerful, Lexa observed. She stopped to let them finish the match as she herself was enjoying it. But she didn't get to see who won as Octavia spotted her and said "Commander" in a very surprised tone. Bellamy turned around to face her too.
"Octavia, Bellamy." Lexa nodded.
"What do you want?" Octavia asked harshly.
Lexa ignored her and, looking at Bellamy, said, "Bellamy I need to speak to you."
"Why do you need to speak to him, you traitor? So you can kill him? I swear to god, if you even touch him…"
"Octavia, shush! It's alright, behave yourself." Octavia's big brother scolded her.
"Why should I? She deserves no respect. She betrayed us. Nearly got us all killed. Almost got you killed. She broke Clarke, you know that!" Octavia spat.
"That's enough O. We are in peace with them now. You stay here, I will be back in a moment."
Lexa watched the whole exchange with an expressionless face but rage was boiling inside her - how dared she speak to her like this. She was about to snap but 'she broke Clarke' brought her control back. She rightly deserved this. She focused her attention on Octavia to distract herself from the sinister feeling of guilt. She knew Octavia was a very impulsive creature but also very disobedient. She couldn't help but wonder how on earth Indra had made her behave properly and obey her all the time that she had been her second.
"Commander, please follow me to my tent. It will give us some privacy to speak." Bellamy said, moving forward and motioning for Lexa to follow.
Once they entered the tent, which according to Lexa was quite small, Bellamy asked,
"So how did the practice go? And I don't know how you convinced Clarke to agree with you but thank you."
"You don't need to thank me. I didn't do it for you. And you can ask Clarke about the training yourself. I am not here for that."
Bellamy, who hadn't communicated much with the Commander in the past, immediately noted her tone was all business-like and replied mimicking as such, "Yes?"
"What happened in Mount Weather?"
"We defeated them after Clarke finished off the Wallace bloodline."
Lexa nodded. "So I've been told. But there's more to it, isn't there? The few mountain men that are risking their lives for revenge must have some other motive. Fighting for a dead leader does no one any good. Even they must know that."
Bellamy asked her. "Why are you asking me all this?"
"It is important to me to know the details." Lexa gave the political answer, her lips tightly pressed together, forming a straight line. It was very new to her to be questioned about her motives.
"Like hell it is. You are helping Clarke for which I am thankful to you but I don't think this gives you the right to know everything."
"I am asking this for Clarke's sake not my own! I have no interest in hearing your heroic tales." Lexa spoke sharply.
"Clarke's sake? What does this have to do with Clarke?"
"You tell me."
Bellamy stared at the Commander, judging her sincerity. Her eyes gave nothing away but he told her what they did nonetheless, because she had said this was for Clarke's sake. He was ready to help Clarke in any way possible. He owed it to her. They all did. So he started speaking.
"Cage Wallace was with the ark prisoners supervising the bone marrow being drilled from their bodies. He had all his soldiers with him, protecting him. It was impossible to attack him. We were all trying to think of a plan when those butchers put Abby on the table. They had started drilling into her and you could see the pain Clarke was feeling on her face. Her mom's screams made her make the decision." Bellamy stopped talking, lost in his thoughts.
"What decision?" Lexa urged.
"We had found Dante Wallace on level 5 with other citizens. There was no way they would've let us have him. They outnumbered us. And so Clarke decided to irradiate the whole level. If we would have been even a little late, her mother would've been killed. All the people on the floor died but Dante had already been cured and so we managed to get him out alive."
"She shouldn't feel guilty for doing that. Hardly any of them were innocents. They sucked our people's blood from their bodies. Tortured them. Took away their lives."
Lexa spoke, still maintaining her composure; she was the Commander after all. It was hard for her to believe Clarke could feel sorry for them. It didn't make sense. Lexa remembered how angry Clarke was after the bomb was dropped on Ton DC. She wanted them all dead. She wanted revenge. While Lexa knew she hadn't meant what she had said at that time, she also couldn't believe how soft Clarke was. She had thought Clarke was stronger. How had she misjudged her?
Bellamy's voice brought her back to the present as he spoke, shaking her head, " She knows they were not innocents. She doesn't feel guilty for that. She is a farsighted person and knows what war brings - deaths. She was ready for that. But she could have never thought that she would have to murder innocent children to save her people."
Bellamy watched as understanding flickered in the Commander's eyes. Her face was, of course, blank, but this slightest flicker of emotion in the Commander's eyes made Bellamy certain that the Commander did in fact care for Clarke. She, however, did not offer any sympathies or words of comfort and rather asked," Is that all?"
Bellamy stared at the Commander, contemplating whether or not to say more. He must've found whatever he was looking for as he spoke,
"No. When we returned, Clarke left camp Jaha. She couldn't handle the pain. The pain that she felt every time she looked at our people. It reminded her of what she had done to get them back, so she left."
"You brought her back against her wishes?" Lexa asked, angry now. The sky people needed to learn to respect their leader.
"No, I didn't and I stopped anyone from going after her. She needed her space. She came back on the fourth day for her people. But..."
"But?" Lexa prompted.
"She has changed, Commander."
Lexa didn't need to hear anything further. She didn't want to know what Bellamy felt had changed in Clarke. She didn't care about his opinion.
"Thank you for giving me your time, Bellamy. It's good that Clarke has you." She said, though a bit grudgingly, and then nodded towards him as she left the tent.
Once she was outside, she looked to the sky; it had turned to a dark shade of blue. Evening had approached. She needed to be at her camp, but for some reason, she wanted to stay. Something was pulling her in. She knew what that thing or rather who that person was, but she ignored the urge and made her way out.
Clarke was aching everywhere. Her limbs complained when she tried to move. She had bruises all over her body. She hadn't felt a lot of pain while training due to the adrenaline rush but now, it was all coming back. Blood was still dripping a bit from her lips but most had already clotted. She was so tired. She just wanted to sleep. She had barely closed her eyes when Bellamy's voice pried them open.
"I see you had a cheery day, Princess." He teased.
"Shut up, Bel. Let me sleep."
"Not like this." He said, moving towards where Clarke was lying and carefully placed her head on his lap. Then he extracted out a piece of cloth from his pocket and cleaned her face, being careful about her lips. His fingers lingered there a bit longer than necessary but Clarke was too exhausted to take notice. She had started falling asleep but yelped, startled, when Bellamy applied the alcohol dapped cloth on her lips.
"Sorry, princess. But you knew it would hurt."
"I didn't. I was nearly asleep." Then she realized that her head was on Bellamy's lap and quickly got up.
"You don't need to care for me, Bellamy. I will live."
"But I do, just like you did while I was gone."
"We were different then. Now we both have changed."
"Whatever you say, Sky princess. I'll let you go back to sleep."
"Thank you, Bellamy. I am glad to have a friend like you."
Bellamy just smiled.
"Rest now, I will fetch you dinner when it's ready. Then you can tell me how many times you beat that Commander's ass." Bellamy winked.
Clarke eye-rolled as Bellamy left the tent. The only two people who could make her smile were Bellamy and Lexa. No, not Lexa. Clarke tried to justify herself; Today was just...just such a day. She didn't know how to ride and was clueless when it came to physical combat. But how was that funny? She would've pondered more on why Lexa succeeded in making her smile but sleep overtook her.
All through the way back to her camp, she had blocked her thoughts as she always did while travelling alone. She could not afford to be vulnerable. Once she reached her camp, she made her way to her tent and sat down on her cot. Immediately after, Indra entered.
"You have sent your guard back."
"Indeed I have." Lexa said, glaring; she was not to be questioned.
"Heda, don't you think it's safer if..."
"Shop of, Indra! Do not dare question me."
"Forgive me, Heda."
Lexa walked to her table and grabbed a glass of water to quench her thirst. She turned around to find Indra still in her tent. She inwardly sighed and asked, "What is bothering you, Indra? Speak."
"Commander, is it wise to train the skai prisa yourself? For all you know, she plans to kill you when you are vulnerable."
"I am never vulnerable, Indra, and the skai prisa can cause me no harm."
She already has, Indra thought.
"Do you plan on forming an alliance with the Skaikru?"
"I will see what is fit for us, Indra. This is not your worry."
Indra bowed and turned around to leave but Lexa stopped her, asking, "What has gotten you to ask me so many questions, Indra?"
Indra again pivoted around to face her Commander but didn't say anything, contemplating whether or not to voice her thoughts.
"You are allowed to speak freely, Indra." Lexa assured her.
"Heda, you are making yourself exposed unnecessarily because of that skai prisa. I fear that she is becoming your kwelnes(weakness)."
"She is not mine, Indra and she is anything but weakness. Do you question her strength even after she brought Mount Weather down?"
"No, heda. I know that the skai prisa is brave but I think you have lost what you shared with her and now you are wanting it back so desperately that you are throwing caution away when you are with her."
Lexa silently observed Indra. She had been her army chief since Lexa had first taken up commandership. Lexa did trust and respect her as well as her opinions. She knew that Indra was just looking out for her.
"I have been trained for commandership since I was a goufa(child). One person cannot make me throw all that away. It has been drilled in my bones."
"Leave now." Lexa ordered.
Once she was gone, Lexa changed her top and allowed her thoughts in; the ones she had been blocking. She could not imagine what Clarke must be going through. She had been so adamant to save all the innocents when they were working together to form a plan to take down Mount Weather. She had wanted to save them all and she had been the one who had ended all their lives. Lexa did not blame her, she knew it was war and such things happened in war - Anya had taught her that. That was Lexa; she was known to be ruthless. She could control her emotions and look at the greater good all the time. But this was Clarke, someone who lived on feelings. Someone who cared too much. She understood her reason for leaving her people, but she did not understand her return only after a few days. Had she gotten over the deaths? Sentencing the children to death?
Obviously no, Lexa answered herself. Didn't Bellamy say that Clarke had changed? She hadn't needed to ask him about the change. She had observed it herself. Clarke was hiding herself from all the happiness, probably feeling like she didn't deserve it.
Clarke had started living on Lexa's principles - not caring. But this only worked for Lexa. Lexa did care though she was good at hiding it. So good that the only person who did manage to see through her façade had also failed to see it. And the irony was that Lexa had confessed herself that she cared. Clarke had stopped believing that Lexa cared and so, Clarke thought achieving not to care, not to feel, was possible. Lexa, on the other hand, knew that is was not. No matter how hard one tried to run from feelings, they would come back sooner and later.
And the later was usually more painful. That was what Clarke had been doing - not caring. But Lexa knew that feelings were Clarke's strength. Her care for her people was what brought Mount Weather down. Her feelings for the boy were what saved him from the torturous death assured by her traditions. Her caring nature was what saved the man in Ton DC. Her feelings were also the ones that saved Lexa from pauna. Suddenly, Lexa realized something that nearly jolted her from her place. Clarke not feeling was Clarke'sweakness. While everyone thought that Clarke was strengthening as a leader, she, in reality, was crumbling. She was vulnerable with or without physical training. Lexa knew that, now that Clarke had stopped caring, the only emotion that she could feel was guilt.
So the next morning, when Lexa took Clarke for the training session, she was determined to make Clarke open up to her. Even if a bit. Clarke needed to care and Lexa had made it her mission to make that happen.