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24 Epiphanies

By Erisid

Humor / Romance

Prologue

The streets were still damp from the downpour that had occurred hours ago, the sidewalk illuminated by the lamps lining the road in an almost cheery fashion. It was late, the sun having fallen hours ago, leaving the moon to stand post until dawn came again.

It was quiet, and under the watchful eye of the silent sentinel, the occasional man or woman walking home and a gaggle of young rowdy college students were the only individuals traversing along the gloomy sidewalk. Here in the concrete jungles of New York City, a blonde woman strode determinedly across the street, her eyes hardly concealing the tightly coiled anger seated within her.

A few steps behind strode her dutiful wife, weary and unsure. Lexa swallowed thickly. She wasn't quite sure what she had done, but from the set of Clarke's shoulders and her stiff posture, she had definitely done something to upset her. It was an even greater indication when the blonde had refused to slow down even after Lexa had called her name - for what she would consider - countless times.

The ride on the subway had been awkwardly silent too. Lexa had sat next to Clarke on the bench, and despite the physical proximity, there was a gaping distance between them, and the air had been tense with a brittle fragility. Yet any attempts to talk to her had been answered with short, one-word sentences.

The brunette frowned as she chased after Clarke through the apartment doors, hastening to make it to the elevator. Clarke was there first, and she hardly tried to hold the doors open for Lexa, but she had just managed to throw out an arm to catch the lift.

Lexa fiddled with her watch, one hand rubbing the back of her neck right after she had triple-checked the leather straps. She cleared her throat uncomfortably, and she chanced a glance to the woman standing next to her.

Clarke was still standing ramrod-straight, and Lexa could see that she was still seething in pent-up aggression. Talking to her would be like poking a bear with a stick. However, Lexa was not known for backing away from a challenge. She opened her mouth carefully.

"Clarke, are you going to tell me – "

"Not a word." Clarke snapped angrily, her eyes glaring holes into the metal elevator doors. Lexa flinched slightly, and she pulled at the collar of her white blouse; suddenly the black pant-suit she was wearing for work was making her blisteringly hot.

"But honey I don't," Lexa huffed when Clarke continued to give her the cold-shoulder, and she tried again. "It's something I did right?" When she didn't respond, Lexa was unsure of how to interpret the silence, and she couldn't help herself. "I did it, I'm so…blasé, I definitely did it right?"

The ding of the elevator and the opening of the doors on their floor allowed Clarke the excuse not to respond, and the woman bolted from the elevator and down the hall, with Lexa hot on her heels.

Once Lexa had stepped over the threshold of their apartment complex and her hand had just left the door knob in closing it, Clarke finally broke her vow of silence and spun around to face Lexa.

"You are such an ass!" She seethed, her blue eyes dark with fury. Lexa widened her eyes, stunned. Before she could say anything, Clarke flung her jacket on the couch and threw her high heels haphazardly in the direction of the shoe rack.

"Okay, want to tell me why you think that?" Lexa asked calmly. She unbuttoned her blazer with a deft thumb, her other hand working on removing her own shoes. The blonde was still forging an angry red path across their living room, discarding the restricting clothes that she had worn for her gallery opening. Despite the situation, Lexa couldn't help admiring her wife's well-toned body, even as she stood only in her underwear, hands on her hips as she glared at the brunette.

"Why would you tell my mother that you wanted kids?" Clarke's voice was loud, magnified in her fury. Lexa stared confused, shrugging off her coat.

"I do want kids Clarke." She cocked an eyebrow at the blonde and spoke, an amused lilt in her tone.

"Remember your precise words Woods." Clarke snarled. The blonde strode off to the bedroom, and Lexa chased after her. "You said that you would like to have kids, but I wasn't interested."

"Which is true." Lexa intoned, and Clarke spun around to fix her with an icy glare, which made the brunette gulp.

"Well did you mention that it was because you said you were willing to wait until after we had settled down in our new place? Or that I was busy with my work, and so were you?"

"Well, no." Lexa replied honestly, and Clarke huffed loudly. They were in the middle of the room now, with Clarke entering the closet, fishing out her sleepwear.

"You basically told my mom that I don't want kids, which is basically like pouring gasoline over a bonfire with her." She continued, disappearing from sight as she stalked into the ensuite bathroom. "You know how she is, she wants one of us to pop a kid out, and seeing as I'm the only one who didn't get their ovaries blasted into pieces in a shoot-out –"

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I had one too many glasses of wine tonight, alright?" Lexa sighed. She sat down on the edge of the bed, wringing her hands together. "Can you just, take it easy?"

"No I'm not going to take it easy Lexa." Clarke re-entered the room, standing a good few feet away from the brunette. "And while we're at it, why is it that I only learned about you getting injured from Octavia, and not my wife, whom I'm married to and is supposed to not keep secrets from me?" She crossed her arms, and Lexa groaned.

"I'm going to strangle her tomorrow." Lexa grumbled under her breath, meeting Clarke's furious gaze. "Clarke, I didn't want to scare you, not on your big night."

"You. Were. In. The. Hospital." Clarke bit out each word scathingly.

"It was a few broken ribs, the vest caught the bullet." Lexa said soothingly hands moving outward to corral the other woman and Clarke just rolled her eyes.

"And you didn't think that your life was more important that my artwork?" Clarke huffed in frustration, brushing a few wayward blonde locks from her eyes.

"It wasn't life-threatening."

"It could have been."

"Clarke." Lexa stood, taking a few tentative steps towards her fuming wife. "I'm standing here, aren't I? And I'm sorry about what I said to your mother, I didn't mean it." She reached out to take Clarke's hands, but the other woman jerked away from her touch.

"Is this what you want, Lexa?" Her blue eyes were suddenly showing a sliver of vulnerability, uncertain as she looked into the brunette's green gaze. Lexa for the life of her was not sure about what Clarke was asking her.

"What do you mean?" She asked, her voice soft and quiet.

"This," Clarke gestured with her hands to the vast expanse of apartment walls and furniture. "What if this is all we are, Lexa? What if we're just two married individuals, career-driven and hoping to have kids one day, but that one day never comes?" She side-stepped Lexa to take a seat on the foot of the bed, her head in her hands as she quietly despaired, exhausted. The fight totally abandoned as she simply sat there with her elbows propped up on her knees.

Lexa just stood there watching Clarke as she rubbed her face tiredly with shaky hands. The brunette took a deep breath to steady herself, before kneeling in front of Clarke, a warm hand on the blonde's thigh. She reached up to cup Clarke's cheek gently, and when their gazes met, Lexa gave her a soft smile.

"Then I'm happy with all that we are, right now, in this moment." Lexa said quietly. "Clarke, I love you. Our life, it's this, right here." She stroked the blonde's thigh soothingly. "We don't follow other people's schedules, we have our own, and this is us."

"Lexa." Clarke sighed. "I'm so sorry that I yelled at you." She said, looking away for a heartbeat. "I just…I got so angry knowing that you didn't tell me, and I know you didn't die, but your job is so dangerous."

"I know." Lexa said calmingly. Without much effort, Lexa pulled Clarke into the safety of her arms, into her lap. Clarke buried her face into Lexa's neck, breathing in the smell of her sweat, of gunshot residue and wine.

"And when you had that conversation with my mom about starting a family, you just made me so mad because you were talking about a future that we might not even have." Clarke mumbled around Lexa's neck, tickling the small hairs at the back of her head.

Lexa just clasped her arms tightly around her wife, allowing her to take comfort in their embrace. She pulled away slightly so that their faces were inches apart from one another. "Clarke, I'm here, and I'm always going to be here with you. You're the love of my life, and death himself would find me difficult to take away. Nothing will ever keep me from you, or from our future."

Lexa looked into the different hues of blue in Clarke's eyes, taking in every second of it. "I'm not your father. I know death is inevitable, and one day we might have to face it. But while we are living, breathing, there won't be one second where I forget that I'm married to you, that you are mine and I am yours." She tilted Clarke's chin so that they were level, their lips almost touching. "We're only given a certain amount of time in this world, but in every single heartbeat that I have I this life, I am going to spend it loving you."

Clarke closed the distance between them, catching Lexa's lips in a passionate, searing kiss. It conveyed all the love that she had for the brunette, said all that she couldn't with all the words in the languages of this earth. Lexa felt lightheaded, as if she were flying. When they parted, Lexa rested her forehead against Clarke, one hand stroking the small of her back. Clarke's hands played with the strands of Lexa's ponytail, breathing the same air in unity.

"I don't know why I get so crazy." Clarke whispered, and Lexa laughed, tugging the blonde closer to her.

"You're crazy about me, that's why." Clarke smirked at her wife's words, brushing her lips against Lexa's nose, hovering before her mouth. Lexa resisted the urge to kiss her. "I love you, and you love me. We're one, and this, this is all I ever wanted. Having a kid with you, that's just another person in our family that I will love just as absolutely as I love you." Clarke blinked, her eyes slightly wet, and Lexa lifted them onto the bed, taking a seat on the edge with Clarke still on her lap. "When we have a child together, I'm going to love the crap out of them, and we're going to teach them how to walk, how to talk. And I'll protect our child with everything I've got: their heart, their life, and their mother."

Clarke gave her a watery grin, and she gently brushed her nose against Lexa's. "So you're going to be the stern protector?"

"I've got a gun, I'd assume so." Lexa chuckled, and Clarke laughed, burrowing her face into the junction between Lexa's neck and shoulder.

Every individual lived their life on borrowed time. Time that could disappear between one's sights, something that Lexa saw everyday as a homicide detective. Yet she was sure, that if she was never to have a second more that she had already lived her life to her fullest potential. For this woman, life itself had changed, and she was a better person for it.


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