LOST – CHAPTER 5
Two days had passed and Lexa still couldn't find the opportunity to make Clarke talk to her. Their training had been all business. Clarke was improving gradually. Lexa was satisfied with Clarke's progress for a Sky person. These last two days, they had started training early in the morning and returned to their respective camps at evening time. Both had started training at the same time today as well.
"How is your arm?" Lexa asked after she had twisted it for the fourth time, though not making her fall on the ground this time.
"Hurts like a bitch. All thanks to you."
"Clarke, I am trying to help you. You are improving. Just focus on my movements and be ready for counterattack."
Clarke eye-rolled. "Why do I have to train with you again? I am sure if it was some warrior of yours, I would've pinned him down at least once by now."
"You are gaining confidence, good. But don't think my warriors are weak. They have all been training since the age of 8."
"Yeah, well. I am sure I have more chance at beating them than their Commander. But seriously, you are the Commander, you surely have other duties to attend to, why waste time with me?"
Lexa opened her mouth to answer but Clarke cut her off.
"And give me a rational answer. Nothing sentimental."
"I did not intend to give any sentimental answer to you, Clarke. I will answer you after the training. Now get up."
Clarke got up, her eyes furious. She threw her fist full force at Lexa. It happened so fast that the Commander barely blocked it. Then she attacked the Commander with her other fist, which was blocked too. Clarke had lost her temper and was very frustrated now. She kept on attacking, punch after punch, but Lexa remained patient and simply kept on blocking them. When the punches didn't work, Clarke tired to kick Lexa but Lexa dodged these attacks as well. Clarke went back to punching her.
"Clarke, try to surprise attack me otherwise I am just going to block...ahh."
Clarke had thrust a kick at Lexa's stomach while continuing with the jabs. This did take the Commander by surprise and she instinctively moved back. Clarke took advantage of the momentarily distraction of the Commander and placed her leg behind Lexa's as she was backing, then jerked it making Lexa fall on the ground. But not alone. Clarke wasn't fast enough to retract her leg and fell on Lexa. Her head ended up being pillowed on Lexa's chest and her limbs entangled with Lexa's.
Groaning, she looked up to find Lexa's deep green eyes staring at her, with a surprised look. Clarke could feel Lexa's heart pumping blood rapidly under her palm, just as she realized where her hand was. Face flushed, she tried to get up and away from Lexa but forgot about her leg being under Lexa's prop. She was about to fall on Lexa again when she found herself held midair, feeling fingers on her waist supporting her weight and involuntarily, she shivered. She looked down at the Commander, who was looking at Clarke's shoulder, not meeting her eyes.
This proximity of Clarke was affecting Lexa more than she could show. Her heart couldn't control itself in her presence. In this moment, it was particularly beating fast. She knew Clarke sensed it too when Lexa felt her palm pressed against the left side of her chest, directly above her heart. She didn't dare look Clarke in the eyes, as she feared Clarke would be able to read her emotions or worse, Lexa would act on her emotions. Clarke quickly untangled herself and sat up. Lexa slowly got up too, brushing her pants. Neither of them spoke during the process until Clarke recalled how they had ended up in that position.
"I knocked you down! I knocked the Commander down!" Clarke squealed happily.
Lexa opened her mouth to retort but stopped as she saw Clarke doing her awkward victory dance. This was the first time that Lexa had seen Clarke so cheerful since Mount Weather. Her lips slowly twitched as she watched the blonde dance around.
"You did indeed, but it would've been fruitless as you fell too." Lexa said, her voice again void of emotions.
Clarke stopped dancing at this but the smile stayed.
"I think it's time to start the second phase of your training."
The smile immediately wiped off her face and a worried look replaced it. Lexa inwardly laughed at the look.
It really was funny for her; Clarke the fearless leader, the one who had achieved so much with such a small group of people in such a small amount of time, was fearful of physical combats. Lexa's people were taught to fight since they were able to walk.
Lexa, not taking her eyes off Clarke, took a dagger from her pocket. Clarke's eyes widened at the sight of the dagger and Lexa couldn't help but allow a smirk to spread on her face.
"No Commander. I am done training."
"I will not hurt you, Clarke. I promise. Trust me, I know how to handle a dagger without stabbing my opponent."
Clarke just shook her head. "I know you do. But I don't. And you aren't even wearing your armour!"
"Are you going to say that at every phase of the training? Do you really think you can harm me? I thought I had already proven my point to you."
Clarke admitted, "Probably not. But even if I managed to only scratch you, Indra will have my head."
"You have nothing to worry about Indra or the others. No one defies me."
"Defies you? What command did you give them?"
Lexa ignored the question and handed the dagger to Clarke without another word.
"Now position yourself. Part your legs, pull the dagger back, extend the other arm. Now move the dagger in the air. Get comfortable with it."
Clarke did as she was told. The dagger was surprisingly light, which made it easier to move.
"What exactly am I supposed to do?"
"You attack me." Lexa simply stated. She thought Clarke would object, like always, but was proud when she didn't and saw a determined look took her over.
Clarke charged at the Commander with the dagger and, as expected, was blocked easily. She tried to attack her legs but that too was unsuccessful, and the dagger was kicked 2 feet away from Clarke. Clarke retrieved the dagger and blindly attacked Lexa. The next thing she knew, she was being pulled into the Commander, who had impossibly quickly twirled her around with the dagger pointing at Clarke's throat. Clarke started struggling to somehow gain the upper hand but Lexa put an arm around Clarke's waist, pulling her closer towards herself and securing her hold on her. Her other arm was over Clarke's, over her collarbone. Lexa was amused to see how Clarke wouldn't stop struggling, even when she had so clearly lost.
"Clarke, there's no point. If I were to kill you, you would be long dead." Lexa stated.
Clarke shivered as she felt Lexa's breath on her neck. Heat had started to flow from that particular point to her whole body. Her struggles had automatically stopped as she leaned back, relishing at the contact without realizing what she was doing. But as soon as she stopped struggling, she was released. She was stunned for a moment, forgetting her bearings. Then Lexa broke the spell, "That's all for today, Clarke. We will continue tomorrow."
Clarke didn't know whether it was just her or not but the Commander's voice really sound strained, as if trying too hard to keep it emotionless. Whatever the case, Clarke dismissed the thought. She was still sweating from all the training and the sun was also shining very brightly.
"Not that I am objecting, Commander but it's hardly midday yet."
Lexa turned around and watched the blonde carefully, "Do you wish to train for more time?"
"I just want to finish this training as soon as possible. Be able to defend myself so that I can be able to breathe again without having to be followed around."
"It's all for your protection."
"I know but..." Clarke sighed. "You won't get it." Clarke said, kicking a stone.
Lexa remained silent. She wanted to know what Clarke meant but she didn't want to push her either. She had just achieved a bit of normalcy with the Sky leader and didn't want to jeopardize it.
"Well, your training sessions are longer but I need to visit Ton DC today and so you will have to excuse me. If you are willing to train then I am sure Octavia would help you."
"No, I can't. I can't train with my people." Clarke whispered, her throat tightening.
Lexa, who was staring intensely and unabashedly at Clarke, noticed the change in her demeanor. She had become all guarded again. It must be something to do with Mount Weather.
"Clarke you asked me why I am training with you in person."
"Do you know what my people think of you?"
"A useless person?" Clarke guessed.
"No. They have come to know how brave you are. You have proved yourself to everyone. The reason I am training you in person is because they fear that you are capable of posing us a threat. Posing a threat to the forces of the 12 clans. While you have earned respect of a large number of my people, nearly the same amount want this threat gone. And so I cannot trust any of them not to harm you, even if it means defying my orders."
"Just like Gustus, they want you protected." Clarke added and Lexa nodded slightly.
"And they want me dead." Clarke continued, her voice dry.
"They want the threat to their Commander gone." Lexa explained.
"What's the difference? All in all, they want me dead." Clarke snapped.
Lexa nodded, "But don't you see? You are the only one capable of defeating me. Even my people see it. Clarke, you are not weak, definitely not useless. You are the strongest person I know. Anyone can see that."
"Don't you think I know why your people think that? Don't you think I know how 'respect' among your people is earned? Don't you think I know why your people have all of a sudden started thinking that I am brave?" Clarke said heatedly.
"I do, Clarke." The patient voice of the Commander came, which further angered Clarke.
"And you thought knowing that your people feared me was going to make me feel better? What I did to earn their respect was my worst nightmare come true." Clarke burst out, tears threatening to spill out. She did not want to cry in front of Lexa so she turned around and started walking towards her horse.
"Clarke, stop. It's not your fault. You did what you had to do to save your people."
"I killed innocents. I killed the ones that helped us. I killed children who had no part in this. I killed the people who were just led by their leaders into this mess. I killed them all. I killed them in the blink of an eye."
Lexa remained impassive externally as she asked. "Tell me what else could you have done, Clarke?"
"I don't know! But something...anything to avoid this."
"If there was anything else that you could've done, you would've done it Clarke. And none of them were innocents. The ones that helped you and lost their lives were collateral damage. Besides, they knew what they were signing up for when they decided to help you. The rest that followed their leaders; they chose to follow them. Draining our people's blood and murdering them. There is always a choice. The children would have been no better, they would have followed their father's footsteps."
"I did not give them a chance to choose. To grow up. I killed them."
Clarke said, and finally started leaking silent tears. Lexa moved forward to comfort the broken girl but Clarke immediately moved back, as if even a little proximity with the Commander burned her.
"You don't have to blame yourself, Clarke. Please." Lexa begged.
"I do. Who else can I blame?"
Lexa whispered the answer, breaking eye contact and staring at the ground, "Me."
Clarke snorted, "Believe me, I tried that. But I did the same thing as you. I chose my people over my allies. The people who helped me, the girl who risked her life for us, I betrayed them all when I pulled down the lever. How can I blame you when I am the same as you?"
Lexa looked away at this. She could no longer fight with Clarke. Lexa shook her head as she heaved herself up on her horse. Clarke followed suit.
"How do you do it? How do you pass your days knowing all the lives you have taken and that you can never be forgiven?" Clarke asked disgustedly.
"I have distanced myself from my people and I hope to completely stop caring soon, but it isn't getting any easier, Le...Commander." Clarke pleaded, her mask gone.
Lexa pretended not to have heard the amendment, not to be hurt by it.
"Clarke, you don't need their forgiveness. You need your forgiveness. And you live another day knowing that you have protected your people, their happiness, their prosperity, their freedom. You live on that. You live for your people. "
Clarke remained silent and after a few moments, she nodded. The Commander took it as a good sign and continued.
"Clarke, loving is your strength. Don't run away from that. Don't let guilt consume you."
"Whom should I love and care for? Everyone I cared about betrayed me at some point. My mother pretended to be a saint and let my best friend take the blame of my father's death when she herself was the cause of it. The boy I loved already had a girlfriend and didn't bother telling me. And then you...You know what you did."
Lexa took in a breath and said," It seems that you don't only need to forgive yourself, but others too."
"Are they sorry for what they did?" Clarke asked sharply.
Lexa looked away when she answered, "Clarke, I am the leader of my people. I can put no one above my people. However, if saying that I am sorry for what I did makes you feel better then I can do that."
Clarke smiled bitterly. "I wish I knew you in a world where you weren't the Commander."
Lexa eyed the girl carefully before she spoke, "Do you really?"
Clarke nodded but changed the topic. "You are going to Ton DC right now? I want to go there too."
"Have your people informed then. You can also bring your guards along on your way to..."
"I am going with you, Commander." Clarke smirked and brought out her walkie-talkie.
"Clarke here. Who's there?" She spoke in the machine.
"Hey Clarke, what's up?" Came the distorted voice.
"Raven, I am heading to Ton DC with the Commander."
"You are going to Ton DC with Lexa? Are you sure you don't want me to send Wick and Bellamy to you?"
"Relax Raven, I will be fine. Over and out."
"Over and out."
Clarke looked at the Commander who was eyeing the little device that Clarke had used, "There, done. Now we can go to Ton DC without my people worrying."
"How does this...communicator work, Clarke?"
"This," Clarke said, waving the walkie-talkie in mid air, "is a walkie-talkie. It uses radio waves to transfer the sound waves from one place to another. At least that's the general idea. You will have to ask Raven for the mechanics."
"It's quite useful." Lexa stated and Clarke nodded.
With that, Lexa commanded her horse to start moving with Clarke following her.
They reached Ton DC nearly 2 hours after. Both of them got off their horse and were greeted by Lexa's people. All of a sudden, Indra emerged from the crowd and quickly brought the Commander in the privacy of her tent, Clarke right behind Lexa.
"What do you have to say, Indra?"
"The Ice Queen is coming to Ton DC in a few hours."
"What?"Lexa snarled. Clarke had never seen Lexa lose temper and flinched at the tone. The Commander, however, paid no heed to it. She was blazing.
"Her messenger claimed that she is coming to show her support to the victims." Indra said disgustedly.
"Have the warriors alerted, Indra. And prepare for a feast."
"Yes, heda." Indra answered respectfully and left.
Clarke watched the exchange with a confused expression.
"Prepare warriors and a feast? Odd combination, Commander." Clarke said, hoping to get a response but Lexa ignored her.
"Aren't all your 12 clans in coalition with you? Don't they follow your command?"
"I only joined with the Ice clan because I had no choice. I did it for my people." Lexa said, her mask back on but her eyes had gone cold.
Clarke could feel Lexa closing herself up, and for some reason, she did not want this. So she tried to comfort Lexa and break through her walls.
"It must be hard for you after Costia, I know. But maybe they are not so bad. I mean, all of us thought you were savages after you had killed Finn but you turned out to be different than that."
"Clarke, stop. This is nothing like the situation you had suffered from." Lexa said, agitated.
Clarke tried again, "I know you must think that..."
"Please leave me, Clarke." Lexa spoke slowly in a controlled tone. Politely. Too politely.
"Listen to me, you need to remain calm and collected in front of their leader. You need to..."
"Do not tell me what I need or need not to do, Clarke of the Sky People. Leave me." Lexa replied menacingly.
Clarke sighed as she left the angry Commander. Once she was out, her eyes started looking for Indra. She found her standing with a few warriors. Clarke marched purposefully towards her.
"I need to speak with you, Indra."
"I am busy here, Clarke. I do not have time for you or your childishness."
"Indra, I need to speak to you about your Commander."
Indra glared at Clarke for about a whole minute before leaving her warriors and standing in a secluded corner, tapping her feet impatiently.
"Indra, what's wrong with Lexa?"
"The Ice nation is coming, what do you expect? We were at war with them before the alliance, you know that."
Clarke shook her head. "I know that, Indra. I was there the last time their Commander came here but, this time, it's different. Your indifferent Commander is behaving differently. Doesn't it concern you?"
"Do not dare speak against the Commander. She is a great Commander."
"I know, Indra. I do. But I am just looking out for her."
Clarke hesitated before answering Indra. "Because she is the only one keeping unity among your tribes. The one who is stopping them from attacking my people and starting another war."
"Is that the only reason?" Indra asked rather skeptically, making Clarke frown.
"Yes. What else could it be?" Clarke retorted defensively.
"Very well then. I am telling you this only because I know you Sky People do not shut up unless you are answered." Indra said distastefully. Clarke gladly took the insult in exchange for answers.
"The Ice Queen died in the attack of Ton DC, her second was called to replace her and she is the one who killed Heda's Costia."