if this isn't a kingdom then i don't know what is » the 100. clarke/lexa. pg-13. 2,082 words.
There is a girl on the ground and a girl in the stars.
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There is a girl on the ground and a girl in the stars.
The girl on the ground is special.
She is not like the other children she plays with; she is not like her sister or her brother or her mother or her father. There is something else inside her, something slowly waking within her, as much a part of her as her blood and her bones. When she is nine years old, they recognize this.
Heda, they call her, as if Lexa is no more.
Commander, they whisper, and her life will never be the same again.
The girl in the stars is special too.
She is a lucky child; she grows up happy and safe and loved and doesn’t even know how lucky that makes her. Her father tucks her into bed at night and tells her you are destined for greatness, Clarke, with a wink and a smile and a kiss, and she has no idea what that greatness will be, not yet.
She dreams of other worlds, dreams of a life beyond the Ark, and she dreams those dreams every night with no idea that one day they will come true.
Years, and then:
Lexa sees the white burning across the sky and it is like nothing she has ever seen before. There are murmurs and shouts and rumours and everyone wants answers, but she watches it burning up and falling, falling, falling, and she cannot look away.
Clarke is falling. It is nothing she has ever felt before, the heat and the terror and her desperation that they will land safe and not burst into flames at any moment. Earth is finally in reach; a new world is right below them. All of her dreams have led her to this moment, and she hopes and she hopes and she cannot close her eyes.
It changes everything.
(It was always meant to be.)
Lexa does not think she could ever describe it–
There are no words in her language, or any other language, for the thrumming she feels inside her body, the spirits of the Commanders before her, one spirit repeated, passed on and on and on until it reached her body and anointed her in its place.
Sometimes, she imagines it as a weight, hanging deep inside her chest, always thrumming. Sometimes, she imagines it as a rope around her neck, slowly tightening until her time runs out and then begins anew.
She has never tried to put it into words for anyone, what it is to have another soul buried so deep within her it is part of her, every part of who she is, and still something separate altogether.
Clarke fell to the earth from the sky, from the stars above them all, and the first time Lexa sees the other girl she thinks that she still glows with it, like the stars burn inside her, feeding her anger and her righteousness and her desperation to save her people.
Clarke carries the weight of them around her own neck, and Lexa feels all of her lives before this one, feels them alive inside her, every life lived for her people, and she knows Clarke's burden.
The ground is nothing like any world Clarke ever dreamed about. The ground brings death – Wells, and others, children that she feels immediately responsible for. She feels their deaths tangled in her rib cage, feels the jab of them in her breath. And she brings death with her to the ground, a blazing inferno of death that wipes out three hundred grounders.
Their deaths are caught in her rib cage too, in the blood and dirt caked under her fingernails, buried in her skin – all of it, deaths she can never scrub clean.
The ground is different than she imagined; she is different than she ever imagined she could be too. There are people who depend on her, people who look to her to lead them – kids, they’re all kids with no idea what they’re doing (and so is she) – and she cannot lose any more of them.
The grounders are frightening, because they are so utterly unknown. Lexa is frightening, when Clarke first sees her, because she speaks as if she could command any one of her soldiers to kill anyone, at any moment, without batting an eyelid, and they would do it without hesitation.
But she is also so tiny on her menacing throne, so small and young under all her cloaks and warpaint, and Clarke wonders how heavily this new leadership weighs on her, how much death is inside this one girl, and how she still manages to breathe through it.
“We should kill them all,” Indra says.
A village has been slaughtered and her people are thirsty for blood, for vengeance and atonement. Lexa’s advisors have all given her the same warning. The Skaikru cannot be trusted. The Skaikru cannot be allowed to live.
And yet. Lexa shakes her head.
“Only one of their people committed the crime. He must die, and he must die many deaths, but only him. That is our offer.”
She knows that Clarke will not like this offer. The other girl, the other leader - she loves her people too much to sacrifice one of them easily, that much Lexa knows about her already.
The weight around her neck.
But leadership demands sacrifice. Lexa learned this when Costia was killed, and it sharpened her, forged her stronger than before. Clarke will be stronger for it too.
Clarke never imagined in any of her dreams that a new world would leave her hands so covered in blood. The blood of her friends, the blood of her foes, there is hardly any difference.
Finn is tied to a post and she does not know if she what she feels for him is love, but there is a knife hidden up her sleeve and surely that is the same thing. Princess, he called her, they all did, imagined some crown upon her head that she never asked for, but she feels it now, an incredible weight pushing her down.
She is aware of Lexa’s presence nearby – further away with every step she takes towards Finn. The Commander’s iron voice is ringing in her ears, blood must have blood, and Finn’s eyes are locked on her like maybe he already understands what is about to happen.
Lexa gave the order, jus drein just daun, and she never asked for any of this, but it is the only way, and maybe it is even love.
Lexa watches Clarke, Lexa tries to learn her movements and her habits and the way her strange mind works, shaped by lessons she learned in the stars that don’t apply here on the ground.
Lexa does not trust Clarke, but– Clarke saves her life.
There are jaws snarling for her, and she is hurt and trapped, and she closes her eyes. For a second, she is wildly alive – not only herself, but all of the lives she has ever been – and she knows that if this is the end, there will be another beginning, there will be another body, she will come again – the rope, it’s tightening around her neck, but this will all be over–
And then Clarke is grabbing her, refusing to let go, stubbornly, stupidly, and the moment passes, everything snapping back into place inside of her as Lexa manages to scramble to her feet and run after Clarke.
Her heart feels separate from the rest of her body, beating uncontrollably fast in her chest, but it’s not the thrumming of her past lives that is pounding in her ears as she watches Clarke secure the door behind them, no.
It’s nothing like that at all; it’s something entirely her own.
“Death is not the end,” she tells Clarke, and it almost surprises her, how calm her voice is even as her blood is roaring, her pulse almost drowning everything else out.
I would find you again, she thinks.
She is as certain of this as she is certain of all the lifetimes she has ever lived.
“Love is weakness,” Lexa tells her, over and over, and Clarke remembers the knife and the blood and Finn’s body slumping as life left him, stolen in her own bloody hands.
There is something tempting in those three words, the idea that she could protect her heart so completely. But–
“I don’t believe that.”
She cannot be a leader to her people, her friends, and cut out any part of her that loves them.
Lexa is more than a leader to her people; she is a vessel. They believe she is the Commander incarnate, more than her own body, more than any single body.
Clarke has never believed in such a thing. She was born in this body, it is hers, and one day she will die and she will exist no longer.
But sometimes Lexa seems so old in her young body, sometimes Lexa speaks with a conviction that seems to come from something more than her.
She is just a girl, similar in age to Clarke, but she carries herself as if she is so much more, and Clarke wants to peel it all away and find the girl underneath. She wants to touch her, feel that she is flesh and bone like everyone else, feel her warmth and her pulse.
Clarke has no need for dreams of other worlds anymore.
In her dreams, she is running through the woods with someone’s hand clasped tight around hers. She is standing under the night sky with the stars impossibly far away above her, and a voice is chanting, blood must have blood. Lexa is holding a crown of battered metal, offering it to Clarke, and she is terrified. She is at a riverbank and Lexa is scrubbing her hands for her, and the water is running red.
In her dreams, now, Lexa.
The battle plans are taking shape, their army is coming together, and then–
There is a missile.
And there is a village full of her people, and all of them are going to die.
And there is Clarke.
Clarke in front of her, Clarke furious and betrayed, Clarke burning with the glory and righteousness of the stars in the blood, and she is the only person Lexa can save.
Her people will die and she will bear their deaths, more weight around her neck, more that she will ever be able to atone for, but they will win this war, and Clarke will escape with her now, and Clarke will live.
Lexa grabs Clarke’s wrist before she can turn back, Lexa pleads for Clarke to understand, and finally, finally, Lexa leads her through the tunnels out of the camp.
And through all of it she thinks, this is weakness.
But the missile lands, and her village burns, and her people burn, and Clarke stands beside her, alive.
There is a girl who falls from the stars and a girl who is nearly a god on the ground.
They will live many lifetimes, or only this one. It doesn’t matter, or it repeats and repeats and repeats– they grow into the greatness they are meant to be. They find each other.
There is a kiss, in a tent, in a battle camp, on the brink of war.
There is Lexa, gentle for once, with her hand on Clarke’s cheek and her lips a careful press like she is afraid of what Clarke might do, or how the girl from the stars might burn to the touch.
There is Clarke, unexpecting, hope surging in her chest like a chant, love is not weakness, but there is still blood on her hands and death in her chest, and now is not the time.
There is an army outside, and it will march to war at their command. People will die in their name, on their orders, and that is the weight they will carry with them, adding and adding to the rest.
There were lifetimes before this one; there will be lifetimes after.
There will be other girls, other leaders, other wars.
Now, there is this.
Lexa feels the rope loosen, even as they march upon the mountain. She is every lifetime at once, she is Commander, she is with Clarke–
Clarke is not afraid. She is not absolved but she is not a child, she is the only hope for many, she is not alone–