Please see AN at the end.

"Trigedasleng."


On the third day Clarke realized she was unprepared. If she was honest, she knew within the first twenty-four hours after having left Camp Jaha. She was without food, water, and had little protection from the many dangers living in the forest. Clarke could just as easily die from exposure as she could an assault. She knew this, but cared little. Clarke cared about few things.

Love is weakness.

She cared deeply about her friends and that emotion, that weakness for her loved ones, stripped her of everything. She killed an entire civilization to save forty-four of her own people. They were safe and protected behind well-built walls, but her hands were covered in the blood of those she had murdered to ensure the safety of her people. People who did not want her help anymore, and would most likely ostracize her should she to return to Camp Jaha.

I am doing the best I can.

It's not good enough.

Her actions were the reason why so many of them were alive. And why so many others were dead. Finn, Wells, Maya…Her father. It was a long list.

If you need forgiveness, I'll give that to you; you're forgiven.

Clarke did not have forgiveness, not from her friends nor from herself. Bellamy could only provide her with so much. It was kind of him to try and offer it, but she did not deserve forgiveness, not when she was unable to come to terms with all she had done. She was weak, and too afraid to find out what her people thought of her. Of the killer she had become.

Clarke could not bear the idea of how her own mother might view her now. Her life had spiraled out of control since her father was floated. Instead of slowing, life continued to fall further out of control until she landed in a war zone. She traded the war in the sky to one on the ground. No matter how hard she tried, it seemed she kept losing battles. Even if the war was won, the casualties were so numerous it hardly seemed like a victory. An entire population dead by her hand. No, not dead, murdered.

None of us has a choice here Clarke.

Clarke had a choice. She chose to sacrifice hundreds of lives, both innocent and guilty, as a personal vendetta. But at least they would not know the horror that Mount Weather would have inflicted on them all. The people of Mount Weather had a choice. They could have found a cure, or a treatment together. Cage had forced her hand and had not even considered the offer.

Why were all of her choices so difficult? Live or die. It was simple in theory, but not in practice.

You think our ways are harsh.

The first week she was barely alive. Clarke was sure she survived in the forest by luck. She was lucky enough to drink uncontaminated water, find berries that were edible, and sleep undisturbed by both humans and animals alike. The days felt dream like, and her body foreign. She survived because that was what she knew; what she learned how to do on the ground.

Clarke did not want to die, but she was not sure if she wanted to live. So she kept walking into the unknown.

I bear it, so they don't have to.

After two weeks in solitude, Clarke decided that if she was going to survive she had to commit. She was alive due to an odd twist of fate, and maybe her survival was a sign that she take her own advice and do more than just survive. Providing for herself was the first step.

Clarke hunted. She took one of her few weapons, a knife given to her by the Heda of the Trigedakru and killed a large snake. She skinned the reptile, cooked its flesh, and proceeded to boil a fresh batch of water in its cleaned skin. She collected twine, and carved thick branches and pliable wood to make a bow and arrow. Her first few attempts were more than pitiful and unsuccessful. She was almost glad for the isolation, so no one would bare witness to poorly failed attempts to become a hunter, among all of her other abysmal survival skills.

Although, her skills as a hunter were poor when she first landed on the Earth, she was not unskilled. True, most of Clarke's time spent on the ground had consisted of one crisis after the next, but she gleaned more than diplomacy and medical skills.

The longer she walked, the stronger her grip became around the hilt of her knife, and the truer her arrows flew. Her thighs grew strong, her legs sturdy, and her steps sure footed amongst the brush. Clarke learned how to avoid certain predators, and how to attract and unearth food.

Her mind was so preoccupied by her own survival that she rarely thought of home, and those she left behind. On those rare occasions she did think of them, Clarke thought of her mother, of Monty and Bellamy who had been besides her when she decided to become a murderer. She thought of what her father might think of the person she was today, and she thought of Lexa. Clarke thought of the Trigedakru Commander every time she unsheathed her knife and was able to feed herself and live another day. Even after the warriors betrayal, some form of Lexa lingered. Clarke's chest constricted every time she remembered the way Lexa's eyes looked as she left Clarke and the Sky People to die. On the days she was most vulnerable, Clarke remembered the way Lexa's lips pressed softly to her own and how one single kiss made heat pool in her belly. The pressing of lips reminded Clarke of one of the many stories from the lips of her father; how Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.

It made her think of Finn in their final moments together. Clarke remembered the feeling of pressing her lips desperately to his one final time as she ended his life and Finn's blood covered her hand.

It also reminded Clarke of why she had left Camp Jaha. She needed to come to terms with her actions and those of everyone around her. There was anger, sadness and so much fear and hate for herself that she could hardly feel any one emotion let alone all at once. It left her numb but the numbness was almost better than feeling hatred. How was one person able to fill the void that emerged after the anger and the hate passed?

Anger was predominant in the second week, followed by bitterness and grief. Clarke wanted to place blame on someone, anyone else.

None of us has a choice here Clarke.

Dante was correct. When the realization came, it nearly knocked the air from her lungs and stole all of her breathe. Lexa, Dante, Cage, her mother…They all made choices. Looking back, all of the decisions were made in order to protect loved ones.

Love is weakness.

Was love really such a weakness? It drove people to make horrendous decisions. They risked so much for the sake of love, that she wondered if love could be the only emotion that made every horrible decision worth it in the end.

Her mother was a good example. Clarke still blamed Abby for her father's death, but she understood why her mother had turned her father in.

Lexa sacrificed an alliance between feuding societies to save her people. Hers was a sacred duty bound by honor, and despite her feelings, Lexa did what was best for her own flesh and blood. Whether or not any of their interactions were real or meant the same to her as they had to Clarke were inconsequential. Lexa's feelings after Tondc's bombing caught her unaware, both because of the depth of emotion in Lexa's gaze and by Clarke's revelation of her own hidden desire for Lexa so soon after the death of her previous lover.

Dante tried to do what was best for his people. It was selfish, and immoral, but knowing your loved ones would live because of your decisions made it bearable.

As the sharp point of her blade traced out stars in the soil, Clarke realized she would have made the same decision again. She would pull the lever to sever hundreds of lives in order to protect forty-four of her own.

Chapped lips turned up and she shook her head with a sigh. Nearly a month on her own and she was only beginning to come to terms with her actions and those of others. If she could accept the truth, it was one step closer to feeling like a person again. Maybe there was hope that those she wronged at Camp Jaha could also accept her crimes against the people of Mount Weather.

The night was warm and the air hung heavily making her clothes stick against her flesh. She sighed and leaned against a large tree. Clarke swore the air was so heavy she could practically taste it. It was easy to get lost in feeling everything around her; the climate was so different from the Ark. There was so much to experience on the ground. The nights did not cool and the days grew long. Seasons. That is what these changes in weather were. Perhaps this was what summer felt like. If so, it meant that fall would come, and so would winter. Clarke was well versed in literature (of the remaining literature that they had on the Ark) and she knew enough to realize that winters could be harsh in certain climates. She felt excited at the prospect of snow. One day, perhaps there would be actual paper or paints that she could draw all of the images in her head that seemed to want to explode every day. Faces, scenery, and battlefields. Maybe if she could get them onto an actual canvas, they would stop burning behind her eyes.

Clarke was almost too preoccupied by her revelations to notice the snap of twigs. The noise repeated itself and her muscles tensed. She gripped her knife, and did not make a move to remove the gun from her belt. This was a different place, and her bullets were few. Clarke assumed it was an animal, but she heard the same sounds earlier in the last few days. For some reason, she doubted an animal would have been that patient.

Clarke decided that she was patient, but she was also exhausted.

"Whoever's following me, show yourself." Her words were calm despite the tense grip on her weapon.

She tried again with more authority in Trigedasleng. "Chon ste der!"

Irritated, she stood and tried to place where the sounds had originated from. If it were a Grounder, they would have killed her already. A Reaper would never hide, and her own people would warn her or answer back.

Sighing, she rose from her position in the dirt and brushed the leaves from her torn pants. It was quiet outside, and her stalker was talented. Clarke listened for any sign of motion while clutching her knife in her right hand and ready to reach for her firearm in the left. A shadow fell across a tree to her right and disappeared as her eyes spotted it. It was late and she really did not want a confrontation, but she would not be able to rest with a stranger nearby waiting to slit her throat. Clarke sighed and rushed the figure behind the tree in a sudden move.

Still hidden partly in the dark, the form blocked her somewhat clumsy thrust. She stumbled back and nearly lost her footing until she reacted on instinct and dodged a fist. The stranger still made brief contact with the side of her head leaving a small trail of blood seeping down her temple. She cursed her clumsy combat skills and parried to avoid a sweep that would have left her flat on her back. Clarke was outmatched.

By luck, she avoided an elbow to the nose and managed to use her stalkers momentary loss of balance to her advantage. In a flash, Clarke had her blade thrust under a chin using as much of her body weight to pin him down.

Both of them paused stunned at their new position. He was definitely a Grounder. However, Clarke doubted that her hand-to-hand combat abilities won this fight. No, if he wanted her dead, Clarke would have been dead. Instead, she had a few bruises and cuts. That was practically a playful scuffle for a Grounder.

"Who are you?" The Grounders' eyes grew wide in surprise that quickly contained.

"Do you understand me?" He gave no response so she pressed the blade closer to his jugular and repeated herself in broken Trigedasleng with the same result. She switched back to English. "I asked if you understand me. Don't make me ask again." She growled almost certain he knew her tongue.

Had they only just begun to follow her or had he followed her from the very beginning? Either was a possibility, as Clarke was not aware of herself let alone the world the first few weeks in the forest.

Finally, he gave a sharp nod avoiding the knife as much as possible.

"Good." Clarke pressed the knife along his throat and a thin sheen of blood seeped from the fresh wound. "Then understand me when I tell you to leave and do not come back. If I see you again, I will kill you."

"I have orders to follow the Skai Prisa." She was surprised at his low and soothing baritone. The title was new to her as well.

"Are you here to kill me?"

"No, merely follow to see if you seek vengeance." He added hesitantly. It was almost comical. She was hardly in a position to plan a coupe against the Trigedakru for their betrayal in the face of war.

"Who sent you?" Clarke asked, although she already knew. She forced more of her weight against his chest when he was silent. "Did Lexa send you?" She knew it was disrespectful to use the Commanders name instead of title amongst her people and Clarke reveled in the act of small defiance.

The warrior gave another small nod, wary of the knife at his throat, but never broke eye contact. Clarke's eyes narrowed. "If you are so eager to know if I am planning anything, I suggest you actually watch the people your Commander abandoned instead of a woman out in the woods by herself."

She nearly smiled and then cursed herself for speaking such truth. If the Trigedakru were watching her, it was likely they were already keeping close to Camp Jaha. There was a truce between their people before Lexa betrayed them, but did it still hold, even after the abandonment? Clarke felt that her mother would prevent any fighting if able, especially after Mount Weather. However, her mother had been known to make drastic decisions, floating her father included.

Her opponent's gaze burned assessing her for truth. When he found it, whatever it was, he nodded. "If I let you up, will you kill me?" It was a fair question.

In response, Clarke found their positions reversed. Her eyes widened as she lie trapped against the earth with a forearm obstructing her airflow. Her hands sought purchase to ease the pressure. "Of course," her voice croaked. "If you wouldn't mind, let me up so I can sulk?"

His facial expression did not change, but he released her. Clarke stayed for a moment longer gazing at the night sky before she rose to her feet.

"Mochof," she drawled. Clarke sheathed her knife and repositioned herself at the pitiful fire that was down to its last embers.

His eyes stayed on her assessing and calculating. He was an intimidating form to be sure. He was not exceptionally tall but he was thick and comprised of muscle. His clothes were dark and he had a modest beard with dark eyes and tan skin.

He stooped to the floor and retrieved the knife that she held to his throat moments ago. He offered it to her hilt first with his eyes down cast and she took it without a word.

"So if you're not going to kill me and you know that I have no plans to retaliate against your people, what do you want?"

He settled himself against a nearby tree in full view. He crossed his arms and folded his legs underneath. Clarke was perplexed at his demeanor. She was further perplexed when his eyes closed and he appeared for all purposes asleep.

"So I take it you're staying then?" His silence and unmoving presence was her answer. "Okay then. Nice chat."

She could not fathom how someone went from stalking to joining at the fireside. Clarke's eyes drooped in fatigue and she fought to keep herself alert as the night grew on. Her silent companion closed his eyes and his breathing evened until she could no longer tell if he was awake or not. As much as she tried to stay awake herself, Clarke's eyes eventually drifted closed as she settled into a ball on her side in front of the now smoking pile of twigs.


Something dropped heavily in front of her face and startled her awake. Opening her eyes, she saw the dead form of a fairly large animal. Its eyes stared at her and she noticed the large slit at its throat. It looked like some form of wild boar. Clarke's stomach rumbled at the thought of its flesh, a true testament to how long she went in between meals.

Her companion took out a sharp stone and began rebuilding the fire from the night before. Clarke sat up and watched him with curious eyes.

"Good morning," she tried.

He blew on the smoking embers in front of her.

"So is this breakfast?" she ventured.

He nodded and pointed to the animal. "Clean."

"Right. I would but I really haven't the best idea how to do that." Clarke had cleaned reptiles, and small rodents with little success, but such a large animal was beyond her. She could attempt it, and likely ruin most of it.

He approached Clarke and took her knife from her belt before she could prevent it from happening. He clasped the knife and put it in her left hand and encased her hand in his right. Together, the knife plunged in the hide and before long they were cleaning his kill in a steady and methodical procedure. Clarke caught on quickly, as she was the daughter of a surgeon, and began making the cuts on her own. He would lay a hand on her wrist when she made errors and correct her until she understood her mistake.

The more time they spent preparing this feast, the more Clarke grew inquisitive. He knew she was left-handed. Clarke felt that he was watching her for more than the allotted time she had first assumed. As the animal sat roasting on a crudely made spit, she wiped her hand across a sweaty brow and unknowingly smeared a small trail of blood along her forehead. She was proud of this small achievement and grateful for the assistance. Despite his lack of words, and somewhat intimidating presence, it was pleasant to have even a stranger's company.

The meat was juicy and the oil from the fat ran down her chin. Clarke licked her fingers greedily enjoying every second of the meal. Content for the moment, she leaned against a tree and rested her hands against her full belly and watched her companion eat at a slow pace while easily ripping flesh from bones.

Clarke contemplated many moments in silence before she decided to speak. "Ai laik Klark kom Skaikru."

He nodded almost reverently. "Skai Prisa." She found the respect with those words odd, especially since the title was new to her ears.

Clarke frowned. "Sky princess?" She questioned and he nodded in confirmation. It was an odd name, and no one of the Trikru had called her this before. A few of her friends had called her this in jest. "I'm not sure what that means," Clarke admitted.

"Ai badan yu op en nou moun," he spoke with veneration conveyed through his gaze.

Clarke swallowed, feeling suddenly very small and unworthy. "I'm not sure what that means either."

He nodded and stood. "I will teach you." He buried the remains of the animal. "Come, we have much ground to cover."

Clarke stood but did not follow immediately. "Where are we going? I'm not going back to my people," Clarke said and then added, "not yet at least. And your Heda no doubt has no wish to see me, nor I her."

"To the sea."

Clarke was intrigued. "The sea?" She echoed stupidly. It was one of her deepest desires when she lived in space, to see the ocean. She had spent much of her time in confinement staring at the pools of blue envisioning what it would feel and smell like. Her father told her stories of pirates, of whales and even mermaids as a child. The stories had fueled many of her drawings. All of these dreams seemed so long ago.

Clarke sighed. She had little else to do and no other destinations in mind other than where she did not want to end up.

"Okay, say we go to the sea for this purpose you haven't told me. I need to know your name first, since you obviously know who I am."

He hesitated, and almost seemed impressed that she would ask his identity. "Coltrane."

Clarke smiled at the name. "Well then Coltrane, lead the way."

Any fear of danger from this man of the Trikru was dwindling moment by moment. Clarke believed she had good judge of character. And if Lexa sent him, there must be a reason why she was still alive. Lexa was cool and calculating and filled with secrets. Clarke wondered if she was still alive due to harbored feelings from the Commander, but knew in her mind there must be another purpose.

Clarke pondered if Lexa knew of what she had done to the Mountain Men and if she feared what she was capable of. Brooding such things would not lead her any closer to the truth. The only way to find an answer was to ask Lexa directly. It was a likelihood that Clarke assumed would never happen, but she knew fate was fickle.

I do care, Clarke.


AN: The next chapter is written. I am currently one page into the third chapter. I will be posting the second installment in 7-10 days as I would like to stay one chapter ahead. Hopefully, I can make this somewhat intriguing for all of you. I have the next 7-10 chapters planned. This will be a slow burn Commander Princess, and I am going to make you all wait until chapter 4 or 5 for a reunion. Just giving you a heads up. No copyright intended, I do not own the CW's 100 show.

Translations:

Chon ste der- who is there

Mochof- thank you

Ai laik Klark kom Skaikru – I am Clark of the Sky People

Skai prisa – sky princess

Ai badan yu op en nou moun – I serve you and no other

Yu laik yuj- You are strong

Hod op- wait

Shop of – quiet