24 Epiphanies

5

One winter night when the moon was lost in the thick haze of clouds hanging over the sky, she had risen from the warm confines of her bed and crossed the distance between the dark brown bedframe to the window steps beyond.

Clarke had watched, transfixed, as a moth flew to the window frame and rested, its tiny body humming with energy and life. She had admired the elegance of the insect, her ten year old self reaching out to touch the glass, outlining the shape of the moth as it sat still and quiet. Even at her tender age, she had been struck with the urge, the desire to draw what she had seen.

In fervor, she found a scrap piece of paper and a pencil, and sketched out as much as she could see in the dark, her hand flying across the page as she attempted to bring to life this beautiful creature.

As she stood in her childhood bedroom now, Clarke bit her lip, her fingers kneading against the window frame. She was looking out from the window, mirroring that night. A night she would always remember as the moment that had ignited her passion to create.

"Clarke, honey are you up here?"

"Yes mom." Clarke acknowledged her mother. She strode over to the doorway, meeting the older woman there. Abby was carrying two cups of tea, offering one to Clarke.

The blonde took it wordlessly, and mother and daughter proceeded down the steps to the porch overlooking the property. Clarke chose the chair closest to the edge of the porch, the one with the better view. She had grown up in the suburbs, in a neighborhood that had wide, sweeping lawns that were always green.

As Clarke cast her gaze far toward the horizon, where the hills dipped down and out of sight, she was nostalgic for days spent rolling down those green carpets of grass, her hair wild and loose.

From her own seat, Abby examined her daughter with a critical eye, and it was not until Clarke swiveled her head and met her mother's stare that the conversation started.

"How have you been doing?" She finally put all of her thoughts into words, and Clarke sighed in frustration.

"I wish everyone would stop asking me that." She grumbled. Abby smiled wryly, and crossed her legs casually.

"That was how I felt after your father died." Abby commented. "And I know exactly how you feel. But it doesn't make the question any less valid."

"I lost the love of my life three months ago mom, how do you think I've been doing?" The question was rhetorical, and Abby knew it. "Twenty-four years, we've been together, and it all comes crashing down because of one drunk driver." Clarke huffed, her throat constricted and taut.

"And it seems all the more cruel, I know." Abby said quietly. "But you need to move on." She wrung her hands together, the gleam of her golden wedding band harsh under the afternoon sun. "These letters you've been reading for the past couple days, while it did do me one favor in getting you to visit, it needs to stop."

"And why is that?" Clarke asked, her features morphing into an irritable mask.

"It's just drudging up all these depressing emotions, it's unhealthy."

"Lexa wrote these before she died, Mom." Clarke snapped. "It was a gift for our anniversary. It would be wrong not to read them."

"And look at what it's doing to you." Abby droned on as if Clarke had not interjected. "You're just dwelling in the past, your head high up in the clouds." She frowned at her daughter. "Have you even gone to work since the funeral?"

Clarke huffed loudly, pinching the bridge of her nose in vain to control the fury slowly seeping up into her being. "I sold a painting a few weeks ago, mom. And I'm working on a commission for city hall, so don't start lecturing me about my responsibilities." She grunted.

"Clarke," Abby sighed, "I know that you miss Lexa, but this whole thing that's going on, it's just making the grieving process drag on for longer than it should."

"You never liked her." Clarke interrupted her. She looked up at the bright blue sky. "You never thought she was good enough for me."

"That's not true." Abby argued.

"Then why were you so critical of her when I brought her here to meet you and Dad?" Clarke asked.

"Because you two had already eloped!" Abby exclaimed in exasperation. "You already got married to this woman that we had never met, and you expected us to welcome her with open arms?"

"Not us," Clarke corrected her mother, "just you. Dad was supportive."

"That's because your father didn't know how to read people." Abby responded. "You two were young, and you got married much too soon."

The argument left Clarke with a pang of bitterness in the bottom of her gut as she drove away. Her fingers tapped the steering wheel impatiently as she guided the SUV across the dirt road. The words exchanged with her mother were no different than when she had first brought Lexa home, digging up painful memories of the last time they had visited.


"What is it you do for a living Lexa?" Jake's voice was gentle and kind as looked curiously at his new daughter-in-law from across the dining room table.

"I'm a member of the Seattle Police Department." Lexa answered as she straightened up from her seat. Clarke, sitting next to her, squeezed her on the thigh bracingly.

"Sounds very fun!" Jake grinned, his blue eyes lit with childish-excitement. "Uniform or plain clothes?"

"Plain clothes." Lexa answered politely, her posture straight and confident.

"Detective, at such a young age." Jake said in surprise. "What division?"

"Vice." Lexa said, a grin sneaking up one side of her face. "Hoping to make Homicide in a few months."

"Ambitious! I like that." Jake chuckled heartily before he dug into his mashed potatoes with gusto. Abby, at his left, frowned at Lexa with a scrutinizing eye.

"But I thought Clarke told me that you had gone to law school." Abby stated casually. "When did you decide that you didn't want to be a lawyer?"

"Mom!" Clarke chastised her, but Lexa gave the blonde the most subtle of disapproving nods, before she graced her new mother-in-law with an answer.

"I did, originally." She explained. "But when I finally graduated, I realized that my heart wasn't truly in the office work and the legal aspects of prosecuting."

"So you became a police officer?" Abby's voice was almost disdainful, and Clarke glared daggers at her mother.

"To honor my father's wishes." Lexa responded firmly. "And to be a part of something bigger than just putting people behind bars." She met Abby's critical gaze with a confident stare. "The justice system has let people down many times, if you just were to look at the percentages of wrongful convictions or poor police work. I wanted to make a difference by doing things the proper way, and even though I'm just one person, I hope that my efforts can save the lives of innocent people." Lexa said earnestly.

Jake, who had been chewing quietly, gave Lexa a warm smile. "How altruistic of you." He praised her, lifting his wine glass to salute her briefly. "I can't imagine a better person for my daughter to be married to."

Abby glared furiously at her husband, but he did not seem to notice at all. Clarke had to stifle the grin that was threatening to spread upon her features. "Thanks Dad, that means a lot." She said, ignoring Abby's scandalized appearance. "And I'm sorry that we eloped, I know how much it must have meant to you."

"That's all right dear." Jake assured her with a kind wave of his hand. "Given the circumstances, and your move to New York in two weeks, it's understandable." He met Lexa's guilty gaze, and added: "Just make sure you watch over my baby girl, and keep her safe." He said sternly.

"Always." Lexa nodded, and Clarke entwined their hands.


Clarke stood in in the middle of the graveyard, a solitary figure in the late afternoon sun. Her hands were in the pockets of her jacket as she read the familiar inscription on the tombstone. She clutched the day's letter in her left hand as she looked down at the marble. It had told her to come here today, and unlike the day before, she understood her wife's intentions perfectly. Her silent vigil was much too familiar to years past, when Lexa had stood there with her and the conversation they'd had.


The date of the funeral had been on a long weekend, and Clarke had stood before the tombstone long after the others had left. She stared at the letters on the marble, her eyes bloodshot and stinging as she blinked away the tears that created twin streams down her cheeks. The rain washed away most of the salty liquid from her face, her hair soaked through.

Suddenly, she felt a presence next to her, and an umbrella hovered over her head. "You're shaking." Lexa said worriedly. With one press of her hand, Clarke took the umbrella from her wife and allowed her to remove her own jacket and drape it across the blonde's shoulders.

"Thanks." Clarke croaked, her throat raw and painful. Lexa shrugged half-heartedly, an arm encompassing her shoulders as they stood there together, alone in the graveyard.

Lexa held her for several long minutes as Clarke sobbed quietly, her tears falling relentlessly in the severe grey weather. It was hours later that Clarke suddenly pushed her wife away, and as Lexa gave her a bewildered look, Clarke opened her mouth. "Don't ever lie to me." She said. "Don't be like my dad." She elaborated with as much willpower she had left.

"I won't." Lexa responded, watching as Clarke stood apart from her, her posture rigid and her lip trembling.

"You have to tell me if you're sick Lexa." Clarke continued, and Lexa smiled weakly.

"I know." At her words, Clarke nestled into Lexa's strong chest, pressing her tear-sodden face into the warmth of her body.

Clarke rambled agitatedly into the lapels of Lexa's coat. "I can't, I can't handle-"

"Clarke." Lexa's voice was sharp, as shocking as cold water thrown into your face. She looked at her wife seriously. "I will never, ever lie to you. What your father did was spare you from the fear and the worry in the final few days before the end. He wanted to protect you."

"I don't need protecting!" Clarke snapped angrily, pushing away from Lexa. "I had a right to know, and now he's just – he's just gone." She threw her hands carelessly into the air, backing up and away from the cover of the umbrella.

"Clarke, please, just come back here." Lexa pleaded. "You'll catch a cold." Clarke directed her gaze skyward, searching desperately for something she was not even sure she wanted.

"I just want my father back." Clarke confessed, broken and exhausted. "He was my dad, Lexa, he was an engineer, he created these magnificent things with his own two hands, and he died of cancer. Cancer, Lexa. The most random, unexpected killer possible." She flung the last words up into the air, her hands covering her face in anguish. Clarke crouched down, her hands gripping the grass tightly. "He didn't deserve this."

"I know." Lexa sighed. She squatted down next to her wife, a hand rubbing in between the blonde's shoulder blades. "Death never really makes sense, not to anyone." Her voice was soft, soothing, and Clarke felt it wash over her in a tidal wave.

"Promise me you'll always tell me when something's wrong." Clarke's hands went to the collar of Lexa's shirt. "Promise me we'll always communicate with each other."

Lexa nodded slowly, and Clarke pressed a hand to her wife's chest, feeling the strong thudding of her heart. Feeling her wife standing before her, her heart beating powerfully, Clarke was soothed under the rhythmic thud of the muscle. She was here, in the flesh, and silently they stood vigil together as the rain continued its onslaught over the valley

"Next shirt, thrift store, or keep?" Quinn pulled out a white blouse from Lexa's side of the closet. Clarke was sitting at the foot of the bed as her daughter sorted through her wife's things, two boxes taking up the space on the rug.

Clarke eyed the article of clothing, her eyes softening when she realized which shirt it was. She held out a hand, and Quinn tossed it to her waiting arms. Clarke's nimble fingers searched for that one spot of red on the collar, and once she did, she chuckled.

"What's so funny?" Quinn asked. She poked her head out of the closet, and when she saw what had caught her mother's attention, her eyes widened. "Is that a blood stain?" She gasped. She abandoned the other shirts she had been rifling through to sit at her mom's side for a better look.

"Yup," Clarke grinned, holding the shirt up. Quinn's face was a mixture of disgust and morbid curiosity.

"Was it mom's?"

"Yup. Though she came up with a pretty bad lie to cover it up at first."


Twenty-six years ago

She double-checked her appearance in the rear-view mirror, and quickly caught the drop of blood on the collar of her blouse. Lexa tried rubbing at the stain, but after moments of wiping with a tissue, she had clearly made no headway.

She referred to her watch, the third time in ten minutes. Clarke was going to kill her.

"You're half an hour late." Clarke growled under her breath the minute Lexa had crossed the gallery floor to kiss her girlfriend's cheek in greeting. The blonde's blue eyes were flashing with irritation, and Lexa gulped visibly.

"I'm sorry, I was caught up interviewing a suspect." She said lamely, and Clarke rolled her eyes. Her mouth opened to chastise Lexa, but she waited until an elderly couple passed by one of her canvases before she spoke.

"This is important to me." She hissed, and Lexa winced outwardly. "And is that blood?" Clarke frowned at the stain on her collar, and Lexa quickly threw up a hand to tuck it out of sight under her coat.

"It's not mine, my partner had a paper cut." She explained, and Clarke's frown only deepened, which caused Lexa to sweat uncomfortably. "Honey, don't be mad, okay?" Lexa strained to explain herself. "I lost track of time, I'm sorry."

"Yeah, well you should be. We will talk about this later." Clarke snapped before she abandoned Lexa, stalking away to mingle with potential buyers. Lexa watched her retreating form and exhaled bodily, the guilt gnawing away at her for the rest of the night.


"So do you want to keep it?" Quinn asked. Clarke's gaze had been fixed on the stain throughout the entire telling of the story, and her eyes snapped up to meet Quinn's inquisitive stare.

"Yeah." Clarke decided, folding the shirt neatly before dropping it into the "keep" box.


"I was always so harsh to her whenever she disappointed me, and it wasn't like she could have done anything to change the situation at the time." Clarke said as she walked arm-in-arm with Raven and Octavia.

"Welcome to the world of idiots and miscommunication." Octavia quipped. "I make Lincoln feel like terrible all the time, but he knows I love him, like how Lexa always knew how much you loved her even when you went all crazy."

Clarke snorted at Octavia's words. "I just wish I could have told her, she was so willing to change for me." The three women continued their walk down the street, and Clarke tightened her ponytail with her hands. "I just didn't want her to have to deal with everything by herself."

"She was tough, Clarke." Raven pointed out. "And she never would have wanted you to worry about things that are out of your control, you'd probably just make things worse by trying to micromanage whatever it was."

"True that." Octavia reached around Clarke to fist bump the other woman, and Clarke nudged her in the ribs in retaliation.

"Don't even try to argue your way out of that one, it's true." Raven eyed Clarke mischievously. Clarke groaned.

"Why am I still friends with you two?"

"Because you love us." Octavia grinned. "So what did the last few letters say?"

Clarke stuck her tongue out at Octavia before she answered. "She made me visit Mom. And I went to see Dad yesterday." Raven whistled lowly.

"You haven't been to see your mom in ages." She commented. "What could she have said to make you go there?"

"Lexa's an asshole." Clarke grumbled. "But she wanted me to remember." She allowed a wry grin to take shape across her lips.

"Remember what?" Raven asked impatiently. "You're killing me with the suspense, and the creepy smile."

"The time when she got my father's approval." Octavia rolled her eyes, a shit-eating grin on her face.

"Ew, I never knew Lexa was such a gooey romantic." She complained.

"Well she might have been a romantic, but she also was pretty bad about letting me help her when she actually needed it." Clarke commented, and even to this day there was a note of frustration in her voice.


Clarke was in the midst of sleep, drifting in and out of consciousness when the sound of a phone vibrating on the nightstand was heard in the quiet of the room. She felt the bed shift, and Lexa's arm slipped from its position at her waist, leaving Clarke feeling the cold wind blowing through the open window.

As quietly as she could, Lexa pushed the covers from her naked form and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. "Woods." Lexa was silent as she listened to the other side of the line, then she sighed inwardly. "All right, I'll be there."

Clarke lifted her head drowsily from the pillow, watching as the shape slid out from the covers and moved in the dark. "Where are you going?" She asked sleepily. Lexa turned and kissed her tenderly on the cheek.

"Go back to sleep." She whispered, her breath ghosting over Clarke's skin.

"What is it this time?" Clarke asked sleepily.

"Indra wants me down at the station right now."

"Can't it wait?"

"Nope."

"Ugh" Clarke groaned loudly, her arms moving to link around Lexa's neck, keeping her close. "Why does it always have to be you?" She complained. Lexa kissed her chaste and brief on the lips before she ducked away from her grasp, and Clarke sighed.

In the past few weeks that Lexa had stayed over at Clarke's place, the blonde been dreading the constant and nagging sound of the phone ringing. They would get into bed together, and then in the middle of the night Lexa would be called away to work, leaving Clarke wanting and wishing for her presence on a lonely and empty bed.

This case she had been working on for months kept her awake at night, frequently lying flat on her back, her eyes fixed on the ceiling. The worst aspect of it was the lull of conversation. She never seemed to want to talk to her, and Clarke more often than not was greeted with an occupied expression and a distracted mind. It only increased her concern when Lexa would refuse to answer her questions, and in more than one occasion, her prodding had led to Lexa leaving – but not to go to work, but to go home to escape Clarke's questions.

"It's urgent. One of my informants says she has some new information for me, and she'll only ever talk to me." Clarke rolled her eyes at Lexa's excuse, and stretched out both arms, the covers falling below her chest.

"Sure you still want to go?" She asked in a last-ditch attempt, hardly bothering to right the comforter, providing her girlfriend with what she considered a great view. Lexa huffed loudly at the sight, and Clarke smirked, winking enticingly.

"Clarke." Lexa growled. Her eyes were filled with annoyance, her gaze distracted as she returned to the task of searching for a clean shirt to wear. "Stop teasing me when you know I have to leave."

"Like that matters." Clarke huffed in annoyance, propping her head with her hand. "Even when you're here physically, your mind isn't."

"Clarke, can we please talk about this later?" Lexa groaned, pinching the bridge of her nose. She could already feel the migraine beginning to creep into her system. "I really have to go."

"Go." Clarke's response was muffled as she turned her back on the brunette. Lexa released a loud sigh of exasperation. After a second of deliberating, she leaned down and tucked the covers over her girlfriend.

"I'm sorry, I promise I'll make it up to you soon." She whispered in the dark. "We'll talk about this later." Clarke only burrowed deeper into the bed, ignoring her. With a low, disappointed sigh, Lexa righted her posture and left, collecting her things on the way out.

Lexa was absolutely exhausted walked up the steps to Clarke's apartment. But she was in a good mood today, if the extra spring in her step and a winning smile was any indication. However, it was to the sight of her irate girlfriend sitting on the couch, her foot tapping on the hardwood floor impatiently that instantly wiped the smile from her face.

"Clarke." Lexa started nervously, taking in Clarke's fuming expression and her flared nostrils. "Are you okay?" She asked, shifting uncomfortably as she shot look of concern in Clarke's general direction, her eyes only barely meeting the other woman's scrutiny.

"No I'm not." She said sharply. The blonde stood, her hands in fists at her side she marched up to Lexa, their noses mere centimeters apart. "I'm tired of this." She snapped, a hand gesturing to Lexa.

"Of me?" Lexa asked with a frown.

"Of what this job is doing to you." Clarke clarified, a hard edge in her tone. "I'm tired of holding one-sided conversations, of being kept out of the loop of whatever you're doing."

"But Clarke-"

"No Lexa, you listen to me right now." Clarke fumed, glaring daggers at her. "It's been months of you shutting me out, even though I know that this case has been driving you over the edge for days."

"Clarke-"

"You barely eat," Clarke continued, ignoring Lexa's attempt to interrupt her. "And I know that you haven't slept in a while, on purpose, because you want to avoid those nightmares that keep creeping up on you."

At the mention of that topic, Lexa's expression immediately went from stunned and alarmed to defensive and weary. "I don't know what you're talking about." Lexa rubbed the back of her neck uncomfortably, her other hand in her pocket.

"Really?" Clarke's voice was dripping with sarcasm. "Then what do you call what happened a few nights ago?" She raised one eyebrow.

"I had a migraine." Lexa lied, the corner of her eye twitching, and Clarke knew she wasn't telling the truth. In frustration, Lexa ran a hand over her forehead, wiping the sweat from her brow.

"Don't lie to me." Clarke snapped. "And that wasn't even the worst part. The worst part is that you stopped talking to me." She hissed before she brushed past Lexa, making her way to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of water. Clarke downed the liquid in one gulp before she glared accusingly at Lexa once more. "You stopped talking, and I had no idea how to help you."

"Maybe I didn't need your help." Lexa objected, her hands on her hips. "Some things you just don't need to know Clarke, this is my job, and there are things that you just wouldn't take well."

"Try me." Clarke retorted angrily, her knuckles white as she gripped the empty glass. "I might not love your job, but I sure as hell want to know if my girlfriend is okay, not just physically, but mentally too." Lexa scoffed immediately, her eyes narrowing.

"Oh so you think there's something wrong with my head?" Lexa snapped, her arms crossing. "You think I'm a nut job now? That I need therapy or some sort of psychology bullshit?"

"That's not what I'm saying." Clarke huffed. "I'm saying that you can't just shut me out, Lexa!" Her eyes were swimming with tears, and Lexa diverted her gaze, uncomfortable with the sudden show of emotion.

"Clarke," Lexa began, quietly now, her eyes trained to the floor. "I'm sorry, but there are just some aspects of my job that I just can't burden you with."

"It's not a burden if we're discussing your health." Clarke argued. "You've been so wrapped up in this case that you haven't even had the time for us." She planted her palms on the kitchen counter. "Have you even stopped to realize what this has been doing to our relationship? We've barely sat down and actually talked for more than five minutes, and the few times we're together, we just have sex."

Lexa shut her eyes in exhaustion. She was tired; she had not slept in 72 hours. In her insomniac state, she leaned against the kitchen counter, mirroring Clarke's pose on the other side of the island. "Clarke," She breathed quietly, a hand pressed to her temple as she fought the fatigue that was encompassing her entire being. "Clarke, please, just let me." Her throat was dry, and she swallowed lethargically. The majority of her body weight was now leaning against the counter, and she struggled to blink away the vertigo to meet Clarke's hard stare.

The blonde however, dropped the argument when she had noticed Lexa's sudden weariness. She rushed over to Lexa's side, a hand hovering uncertainly over the other woman's shoulder. "Lexa?" She asked, distressed. "Are you okay?" She brushed the back of her hand over Lexa's forehead. It was alarmingly hot.

"I'm fine." Lexa pushed off of the counter to stand to her full height, trying and failing to convince Clarke that she was all right.

"You're not fine, Lexa." Clarke fretted, watching her in trepidation. Lexa shook off the concern with a wave of her hand.

"I'm fine Clarke, and you're right." She swallowed through the parchedness of her throat. "You're right, I haven't properly talked to you in weeks, and I'm sorry."

"Lexa," Clarke started wearily, a hand reaching out to help her, and Lexa shrugged her off, shaking her head impatiently, not wanting the blonde to interrupt.

"I solved the case today." She announced weakly, and she rubbed the sweat from her eyes. "And I know it's no excuse, but I did neglect our relationship." Lexa's eyes were agonized as she glanced at Clarke. "Please don't leave."

"Oh Lexa," Clarke sighed, moving forward, and this time Lexa did not shy away from her, allowing her to feel the skin of her brow once more. "I was never going to leave you." She said, her bottom lip between her teeth. "I was just trying to get you to pay more attention to your health. Which was clearly the right idea, look at you." The palm of her hand was soothing and cool against her forehead, and Lexa leaned into the touch. "You're burning up, and you're dehydrated." Clarke murmured.

Lacking the strength to fight any longer, Lexa surrendered completely into the blonde's hold, and Clarke frowned in frustration. "Why couldn't you just let me help you?" She asked quietly, and Lexa grimaced as the blonde's arm wrapped around her shoulders, supporting her weight as she led her off to the bedroom. The brunette did not respond, holding her tongue as Clarke helped her out of her clothes and pulled down the covers to tuck her in.

Clarke fussed with the comforter, tucking it under Lexa's chin before she retreated to the bathroom. She returned with a bowl of cool water and a towel, and she sat at the edge of the bed. Dipping the towel into the bowl, Clarke's hands reached up to wipe at Lexa's feverish brow. Lexa's eyes closed under the soft press of the towel, her breathing evened out.

Minutes passed, and Clarke had assumed Lexa had fallen asleep when she got to her feet to prepare some soup. "Clarke?" Her voice was breathless, hoarse, and Clarke gave her a tender smile.

"I'm just going to make you something to eat." Clarke assured her, running her hand along Lexa's covered shoulder. Lexa blinked, her green eyes clouded with emotions that were hovering near the surface. She swallowed thickly, and settled with: "I am sorry, Clarke. For everything."

"Lexa," Clarke furrowed her brow, "we don't need to talk about this right now, you're tired, and you need to rest."

"No, I've been saying that for days, and look where that got us." Lexa argued feebly. "You are more important to me than the job."

Clarke shushed her with a gentle stroke across the brunette's cheek. "I know how hard that is for you to admit that." She whispered. "I was just, mad that you didn't trust me enough for you to confide in me." She confessed, and Lexa closed her eyes in dismay.

"That wasn't my intent." Lexa rasped, her chest heaving as she breathed. "I just didn't want to worry you, not when you had so much on your plate, with the new commission and the board of directors coming in in the next few days." She rambled, and Clarke leaned down to press her lips to the crown of Lexa's hair.

"I'm never too busy for you Lex." Clarke whispered into the brunette's hair, her breath tickling Lexa's temple. "You're more important to me than some stupid art piece for a bunch of stuck-up pricks." The words brought forth a laugh that lingered in Lexa's chest, and Clarke smiled against the skin of her brow.

"I'll tell you everything, anything you want to know from now on." Lexa breathed, her voice heavy with sleep. "If that's what you want."

Clarke stroked Lexa's hair, her touch gentle. "Rest." She whispered. "We can talk about this tomorrow."

"I love you." The words were exhaled as Lexa finally closed her eyes, leaving Clarke to watch affectionately as she drifted into sleep.

"I love you too, you big idiot."


Octavia blew a raspberry, and Clarke flicked her between the eyebrows. "Hey!" Octavia was about to return the favor when Raven stepped in between them.

"You two are like toddlers." Raven groaned as she separated them.

"She wanted to know what the eighth letter was about!" Clarke said defensively.

"Yeah I did, until it got super sappy and emotional." Octavia shot back, which made Raven cuff the woman on the back of the head.

"You have the emotional intelligence of a thirteen year-old boy." Raven grunted before she turned her attention to Clarke. "And I think it's beautiful, what Lexa's done for you. Obviously she didn't mean the letters to be opened in these circumstances, but it's still pretty awesome to have."

"Thanks Raven." Clarke smiled. "Although sometimes I wonder why I even bother reading them." When Raven shot her a look of confusion, she elaborated. "I mean, she makes me remember all these memories that are now tainted with sadness, which is obviously not what she intended, but it still hurts each time." She swallowed shakily. "Every letter I open, I relive a time when I still had her, and when I open my eyes, and the memory washes away, I'm just alone again." Her voice died out at the end of her sentence, unable to comprehend the grief and the frustration that had lain dormant in her chest for days. She pulled away from the others to sit down at the curb, her head in her hands.

Raven and Octavia came to sit at either side of her, and she let out a watery laugh. "I'm sorry I'm acting like such a drama queen."

"Well first of all, you are a drama queen." Octavia quipped as she patted Clarke's shoulder, "And secondly, maybe she has a plan for all this."

"Like what?" Clarke turned her head to glance at Octavia, her eyes watery.

"I don't know," Octavia shrugged, "and clearly neither do you, but wouldn't it be awesome to find out?

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