LOST – CHAPTER 8
The instant the bullet struck her chest, she knew her life was over. Her armor hadn't been designed to withstand the mountain men's weapons. While her warrior mind catalogued the massive damage done by that one small projectile, she wistfully wished that she had the chance to tell Clarke that she had become weak for her. She had fallen in love with her.
She tried to gasp. It was instinctive that she did, but that one gasp took so much more out of her than she would've thought. She dropped to her knees, her skin now marred by stones and smothered in dirt. But just as she was about to collapse on the ground, she felt strong arms hold her. She felt herself being lifted and the ground moving underneath her. She tried to look at the boy, tell him to give her message to the Sky Princess but no words could come out of her mouth due to the agonizing pain in her chest and neither would her eyes open.
She could have laughed at the situation had her lungs not been shutting down. She was a warrior, she was the Commander and had been ready to die for her people anytime, but here she was dying for another's people. The other who had chosen someone else over her. But she felt content that she had sacrificed her life for Clarke's happiness. She owed it to her...owed it after what Clarke had to suffer because of her. Though she felt a little disheartened knowing that her soul was going to leave her body because of a wound caused by a small bullet. She had always imagined herself dying fighting. But she had no fight left in her after that little metal arrowhead had embedded itself in her body.
It felt like she was on fire inside, a fire that gradually spread all through her chest and shadowed along her bones. But she was freezing on the outside. She was shivering. Her chest was still heaving - up, down, up, down - begging for a strong heartbeat. Begging her heart to keep pumping her blood. And her lungs pleaded for oxygen, but each breath she took was so antagonizing, so consuming, that she felt like she was stealing breaths. The consequence of stealing each breath was unbearable pain and panic. Panic that this would be the last.
The Commander had never been afraid of death in the past, many times she had come very close to it and had been ready to embrace it like an old friend. Not this time; this time she had someone she wanted to return to, but the contraction and relaxation of her chest was agonizing. She knew she would have to give up sooner or later.
Suddenly, she felt the ground underneath her stop moving and her brain told her that the man who was carrying her, Bellamy was his name, had halted. She heard him harshly speak something to someone and she again felt the ground moving below her. She could feel that she was drowned in her own blood and also could smell it everywhere. Then she felt a cool metal surface against her back. What is happening? She tried to voice but failed. She faintly heard someone curse her armor and, after a little while, realized that the voice belonged to Octavia of the Sky people. She was fading. She stopped trying to part her eyes open and was ready to give up when she heard a voice that made her heart beat once again. A strong beat.
"Mom, please don't let her die." The hoarse, panicked and pleading voice of Clarke made way to her ears.
And then blackness surrounded her. The blackness was haunting her. She couldn't breathe. She needed to get out of here. She tried to look for an escape, for light, but there was none. She couldn't feel anything. She couldn't see anything. The blackness was blinding her. She wanted to scream and shout but was capable of none until she suddenly felt such a sharp pain that she somehow found the energy to voice it. Her screams echoed back to her and she was brought back to light. She used the little energy she was capable of to pry her eyes open and was met with a beautiful, blue ocean. So warming, so loving, so...scared? No, that can't be right. She was scared. It was hidden, imprisoned inside her midnight blue eyes, but she could see it, and it broke her heart and mended it all the same.
"Lexa, calm down. You have been shot and we need to get the bullet out." The gentle tone of the owner of the blue ocean's voice reached her ears.
She felt tears in her eyes as she looked into those eyes; they were pleading her to not to give up. Finally she had words form out of her mouth.
"It...hurts, Clarke. It..." Came out the words.
"What do you think you were doing out there, Lexa?" She heard the girl whisper angrily in her ear.
She opened her mouth to answer her but only a groan escaped her. She had to answer it. She knew this was probably the last thing she would get to say to the Sky girl. She wanted her to know that she had tried to redeem herself.
"I...I...I did it for you." She managed to utter these words and then another shot of pain seized her, imprisoning her, making her a captive. It was like a giant force was being thrust upon her, like the greatest gust of wind, and it was breaking her ribs, tearing her heart apart, puncturing her lungs.
"Lexa, fight it. Come back to me. Fight it." She heard the blue-eyed angel ordering her. Somewhere in her mind, she found herself smiling at what the angel had said. Hadordered the Commander. She had not taken orders from anyone in a long, long time; however, she desperately wanted to obey the Sky leader today. But her stubborn Commander body wouldn't let her.
She knew she didn't have much time and with what she thought might be the last of her energy, she forced her eyes back open. She moved her head to get a better look at the beautiful woman, whose face was now covered with tears, and she offered her a smile that didn't not reach her lips but floated in her eyes. She pried apart her lips to speak to her.
"You are my weakness."
But something was wrong. She didn't hear her voice. She had failed to tell Clarke what she meant to her. She tried to open her eyes again but the foreboding darkness enveloped her completely this time. She couldn't feel anything. Her heart eventually stopped beating, she understood. She was, in a way, happy to be finally able to rid herself of the pain, the agony. Then she felt punches on her chest. Punch after punch. They stopped only to have a sharp claw replace the punches and tear her flesh open. She felt herself drowning back into the darkness but the pain continued. Am I in hell? This was the last question her mind asked herself before shutting down forever.
Raven watched silently as Clarke collected herself. She watched as her eyes turned into steel, void of all emotions. She looked so unlike Clarke that Raven couldn't help but take a few steps back from her. The warm, compassionate, kindhearted girl seemed to have vanished right in front of her eyes.
It was odd that Raven would find Clarke so different only because of the hardness in her eyes but maybe those soft, welcoming eyes were what had made Clarke Clarke; This was the girl who had suffered the deaths of the most important people in her life, never had anyone constant in her life, but she herself had remained the constant in everyone else's life. Yet here she was losing her consistency only because of one death. The death of the one whom she didn't even get a chance to proclaim her love to. Raven had seen Clarke grieve Finn's death, had seen her being haunted by him, had seen her being haunted by the hundreds that had died on Mount Weather, and through it all she had remained herself. But this...this was a transformation that Raven could have never been prepared for. Regardless, she knew better than to voice her concern. She watched the girl with sympathy in her eyes, as she sat on her bed and took deep breaths to compose herself. Raven was impressed at how Clarke was collecting herself, making it believable for others that she was fine but Raven was the one who had witnessed the breakdown and thus knew that Clarke was far from fine. She was broken. She opened her mouth to tell her friend that she could talk to her, that she could keep the mask off when she was with her, because Raven also knew about pain. She, after all, had lost the only person she called family on this planet, but none of that came out of her mouth as her eyes moved towards her room's door Clarke had left wide open; she watched Indra with half a dozen warriors walk in the camp and thus, this was what came out of her mouth,
"Clarke, Indra is here with her warriors."
"Ryder must have informed her." Clarke said in a hoarse voice.
"The Commander's body guard?" Raven asked.
Clarke nodded, not looking at Raven and keeping her eyes fixated on a point, still trying to control the tears that were trying to leak out of her eyes.
"Clarke you need to go and talk to Indra. With the Commander gone, we don't know what she would do. And if they blamed us then..."
"They'll want blood for blood." Clarke whispered, getting up and willing herself to stay strong not only for herself but for Lexa as well, and started walking. After all, Lexa had also wanted peace. She had united all the 12 clans for peace. Clarke owed Lexa to try to maintain the peace between their people.
"Clarke, we need to hurry." Raven said, urging Clarke who had stopped in the middle.
Raven's voice brought Clarke back to the present and she forced herself to move forward. Raven was leading and making way for the Sky leader by moving people, who had clustered in front of the infirmary, aside. Finally she was able to get herself and Clarke in.
Clarke entered the infirmary and immediately averted her eyes from the bed where Lexa's body was lying in. Her line of sight found Indra standing in a corner with her mom. Her mother was speaking and Indra, for once, was listening to her intently without trying to shut her up. Then, she willed her eyes to look around the room, anywhere but the bed. Only Lincoln and Octavia were present inside the infirmary.
"Clarke!" Octavia screamed when her eyes found hers.
"She's alive, Clarke."
"What?" Raven and Clarke shouted in unison.
"She's alive, Clarke." Octavia repeated.
Clarke's feet automatically carried her towards Lexa and she finally looked down at her, but she couldn't see her very clearly as tears blinded her vision. She quickly wiped them away to look at the girl who had stolen her heart. Lexa was still unconscious but her chest was heaving. She was breathing. Clarke, with her hands shaking, took the Commander's hand in hers and slowly kissed her knuckles.
"I thought I had lost you." Clarke whispered to no one in particular.
"Clarke, she is stable now." She heard her mom say and felt pressure on her shoulder.
Clarke nodded and, looking up, said. "T-thank you, m-mom."
Abby shook her head," I am sorry I had failed to save her Clarke. You have Octavia to thank for this."
Clarke turned her head to look at Octavia who had her head resting on Lincoln's shoulder.
"Well, it turns out that all these grounders have a thing for shock lashes." Octavia replied hitting Lincoln's arm playfully and winking at Clarke. Clarke couldn't help but chuckle.
"Than-k you." Clarke said, a smile making its way on her tear-soaked face.
"I-I can't find her. I looked everywhere and she...she's here." Bellamy said, panting as he got in the infirmary.
"I am sorry, Clarke. I didn't..."
"No, Bellamy don't. Not right now." Clarke pleaded.
"You all should leave, the Commander needs to rest. Clarke, I need you here so please stay." Abby requested. It was clear that the last request was for Clarke's own benefit but no one said anything and left one after the other.
"When will she wake up, mom?" Clarke asked immediately after the departure of her friends.
"She is exhausted Clarke, she needs her rest. She'll probably be up by dawn." Abby replied while injecting a solution in the IV bag.
"What were you talking about with Indra, mom?"
"She wanted me to take her Commander off our treatment as apparently it is against her traditions." Abby said, rolling her eyes.
"She looked pretty passive to me. How did you manage to convince her?" Clarke asked surprised.
"She is her subordinate but she does care about her in her own way, and even though she would never admit it to anyone, she knew that our technology and our treatments are the only thing that will bring her back. So she agreed to it on one condition." Abby said, pausing.
"And what is that?" Clarke asked impatiently.
"No one is to tell the Commander that Indra allowed the treatment and she is not responsible for the Commander's actions once she wakes up to find herself surrounded by tubes." Abby said, smiling.
"I told her not to worry about it, after all it's your headache." Abby nudged her daughter playfully.
Clarke's face flushed and Abby chuckled.
"So is there anything you would like to share with me, Clarke?" Abby asked suggestively and sat opposite to Clarke on a chair.
"I don't know what you are talking about." Clarke mumbled.
"You seemed to have developed a liking to the Commander." Abby stated, raising her eyebrows.
"Mommmm." Clarke groaned.
"You can talk to me, you know that right?" Abby said seriously.
"I know mom. But at the present I don't really know where we stand. Where we can stand. We are leaders mom, our life decisions affect our people."
"I am talking to you as my daughter, Clarke. Not as our leader."
Clarke sighed. "Mom, I have really started to care about her. I myself hadn't realized it until this moment but I still don't know about her, what she thinks of me, what she wants of me."
"You haven't told her about your feelings?" Abby guessed.
"No, I was about to but this happened." Clarke said sadly.
"Clarke, I will not stop you from whatever you choose, after all it's your life but you were right, you are a leader and that's why your decision will affect all of us, the Sky people and the grounders alike. While our people might stand behind you for your happiness after what you've done for us, are you sure the grounders will accept you? From what little I know about them, they don't give much value to their or anyone's feelings."
"Mom, you are taking this too far. I haven't even told Lexa yet and you're already wondering what her people would think? I am not even sure about what she feels for me or if I am more than just someone who's beneficial for her people to her. Oh, and didn't you advise me to take one day at a time?"
Abby sighed and, taking Clarke's hand in hers, whispered, "Clarke, is she even worth it? She may be a great leader but she is a broken person. No one who is intact can be so emotionless. Clarke, I think you will be wasting time trying to collect her pieces."
"And you think I am intact, mom? How can you say that when you know what I did...what I had to do at the Mountain? Nobody is perfect, mom. I am not and neither is she. I am just as broken as her." Clarke hissed angrily.
"Clarke, the Commander is not like you. She is a monster who..."
"Lexa is not a monster!" Clarke shouted, getting up from the bed.
Lexa stirred restlessly in her sleep and Clarke turned around to make sure she was still sleeping.
"Leave. I am capable of looking after Lexa myself." Clarke said through gritted teeth but not turning around to look at her mother.
"Clarke, what I meant was..."
"No mom. I can't talk to you about this right now. This is not the time nor the place, please leave." Clarke said, trying her best to keep her voice even.
Abby stared at her daughter's back for a while before she finally gave up, huffed and left the infirmary.
Once she was gone, Clarke took a deep breath to calm herself and sat on the chair that was previously occupied by her mother. She was exhausted after the very eventful day but was determined not to sleep until Lexa woke up. She thus willed her eyes to stay open. She observed the profile of the girl on the bed. Her face, which had been cleaned after the surgery, looked paler than usual. She had black circles under her eyes, which made Clarke wonder what kept the Commander up at night these days, during the time of peace. Her eyes then moved down to the white shirt she had been clad in by her mother and Octavia after the operation. Clarke felt a sense of content as she saw the rise and fall of Lexa's chest. Her eyes then made their way to the slender legs of the Commander; she was still wearing her grounder, tight yet flexible pants. Clarke couldn't help but think that she had killer legs.
After observing the Commander up and down, Clarke's eyes finally rested back on the young Commander's face. Only one thought crossed her mind as she looked at the face - she had been wrong when she thought her worst nightmare had been Mount Weather. Her worst nightmare had been last night. She sighed then moved her eyes to the chair on the other side of the bed. She found that it had the Commander's cloak on it and recalled that her mom had thrown it there while undressing the Commander.
Clarke knew that the cloak meant a lot to Lexa and her people, so she got up and picked the cloak to fold it. She was surprised to find it so soft. It was also very warm, perfect for the chilly weather. It was clear that the cloak had been especially made for the Commander. As Clarke held it up to fold it, she noticed how it smelled of Lexa. Obviously, she thought shaking her head. If Lexa was conscious, Clarke would have died on the spot with mortification but, as she wasn't, Clarke pressed her nose on the material and inhaled deeply. It smelled like trees and earth. It smelled like rain and sunshine, like rivers and stones. It smelled of protection and warmth. It smelled of hardships and persistency. It smelled of the beautiful grounder lying on the hospital bed.
The smell was intoxicating to Clarke and she didn't want to leave the soft, comforting material. However, exhaustion was taking over her and, after folding the cloak, Clarke reluctantly placed it carefully on the seat, smiling slightly. Then she made her way back to the brunette. She softly caressed her cheek, unable to resist. Clarke smiled when she felt the sleeping Commander unconsciously lean into her touch.
"Get well soon, Lexa." Clarke whispered, covering Lexa up to her chest with the white sheet. Just as Clarke turned to leave, she felt a hand grabbing her wrist. Lexa was had woken up.