Chapter 20: Thirteen

They are going to kill Abby. That was the first thing Marcus Kane remembered when he woke up. They are going to kill Abby. The room spun around him as he sat up too quickly and he quickly placed his head in his hands. He felt the bile in the back of his throat but swallowed it back. His head ached and not just because he had tried to sit up too fast. Tenderly, he touched the back of his head and felt the clump of dried blood in his hair.

Looking around, he saw that he was in alone in a hallway. Well, not completely alone. Two men lay a few feet away. From the rise and fall of their chests, Kane assumed they had been knocked unconscious like him. By the looks of the walls and since the men in front of him were grounders, he guessed he was in Polis and not in Arkadia. He could only remember Arkadia…that's where Abby was.

"Good to see you awake," spoke a female voice behind him. Kane hadn't noticed Indra standing in the corner. She cocked her head to the side and said, "I hit you harder than I thought."

"You hit me?" Kane had a brief memory of standing in the hallway, speaking to someone before he had felt a pain in the back of his head. Who had he been talking to? Closing his eyes, he tried to remember. Bellamy's voice came to him…Bellamy had been there. Kane had spoken to him, but it seemed like a distant memory now. His eyes snapped open as he remembered the seconds before Indra had knocked him out. "Is Bellamy okay?"

"His is alive. He and the others went upstairs." Indra nodded towards the stairs. "Your people were successful."

"I don't understand…" Kane stood up slowly and faced Indra. "How did I get here? The last thing I remember was finding being in Arkadia. They were going to kill Abby…"

Indra's firm features softened at the crack in his voice when he said Abby's name. "You took the chip and became a part of the army. The others are upstairs…they can explain."

"Is Abby…" Kane choked over the next words. While he couldn't remember how he got to Polis, the moments before he took the chip were perfectly clear. Abby had taken the handgun from his belt and he thought she was going to shoot him. Instead, she had turned the gun on herself. He would have done anything to stop her from dying and ALIE had known it. So he had done what she asked.

"I don't know," answered Indra truthfully. When Bellamy, Monty, and Raven had told her that Clarke had stopped ALIE, she had agreed to wait here for Kane and the others to wake up while they went upstairs to find Clarke and Lexa. She had heard nothing about those who had been under ALIE's power. So she urged, "Go upstairs. I hope she's there."

Kane nodded and started down the hallway towards the stairs before he stopped and turned back to his friend. "What did I do?"

"You didn't kill anyone."

He swallowed back his emotions and nodded at her. Then he tried to ignore the pain in his head as he climbed up the flights of stairs to the throne room. There were several uneasy looking guards in the hallway, but they didn't say anything or try to stop him. Kane could hear soft voices on the other side of the door and he strained his ears to pick up Abby's voice. His heart was hammering so loudly that even if she was inside, he wouldn't be able to hear her.

The door let out a creak when he pushed forward and every eye was on him when he entered the throne room. Nearest to him were Bellamy and Octavia. Octavia was wrapping her brother's arm and Kane felt a pang of guilt erupt in his chest. Seeing Kane, Bellamy brushed off his sister to approach him.

Kane started to open his mouth to say something, but couldn't find the words. But Bellamy didn't need words. The young man embraced Kane tenderly. Careful of Bellamy's injured arm, the arm that he had shot, Kane wrapped his own arms around Bellamy. Kane felt the pressure in his chest subside as he matched his breathing to Bellamy's own.

"Good to have you back," said Octavia with a small smile. Lincoln had joined them, his arm coming to rest around Octavia's shoulders. All Kane could do was nod at them; his voice was still lost to him.

Looking around the room, he saw Raven, Monty, and Jasper with their heads together in the middle of the room. Miller rested in one of the chairs with his head on Bryan's chest and Harper was sitting at their feet. They looked exhausted. A few grounders who Kane guessed were part of Lexa's coalition were in the back of the room. Titus stood stiffly near the dais. Sitting at the base of the throne on the dais was Clarke and Lexa. The two young women had their foreheads pressed together, whispering quietly to each other.

Abby wasn't here. Kane's breath quickened again. He tried to distract himself by asking Bellamy, "What happened?"

"Clarke and Lexa went into the City of Light and shut it down from the inside. ALIE had overridden your free will. You didn't know what you were doing," he replied.

"I could have killed you."

"But you didn't." Kane tried to smile at Bellamy's attempt to reassure him, but his lips barely twitched.

The door opened again and Kane whirled around. First came Wick and Sinclair who immediately rushed to Raven. Wick swept her up in his arms, whirling her around. Sinclair was patting Monty on the back and beaming at Raven. Kane turned away from the happy reunion to stare at the still open door. His breath seemed to leave his body when Abby walked in. She didn't have a scratch on her, but her face was wrinkled in concern.

"Clarke!" she cried as her eyes found her daughter. Kane tried to get his breathing under control as he watched Abby embrace Clarke. Abby seemed to be crying and Clarke was trying to reassure her mother. Watching the two of them together lifted the burden from his chest. Abby had her daughter and she was alive. Jaha and ALIE hadn't taken that from him.

At the door, six more people were hovering awkwardly. Kane stiffed at the sight of Jake and Jaha standing side by side. Behind them were the other floaters: Astrid, Darius, Elias, and Dr. Whalen. A hush fell over the room at their appearance. No one knew what to say or do.

Or at least, no one but Octavia knew what to say. Drawing herself to her full height, she moved to block the newcomers from walking any further into the room. Addressing Jaha, she spat, "How dare you show your face here!"

Jaha didn't respond at first. It seemed that, without ALIE, he didn't know what to say. But Octavia stood firmly in front of him, her eyes demanding an answer. Jaha cleared his throat and said, "ALIE used us all."

"She wouldn't have used anyone if it wasn't for you!"

Jake put a hand on Jaha's shoulder and whispered, "Maybe you should go. Let me talk to Clarke and Abby."

Kane took a deep breath and said, "If we are going to pardon those under ALIE's control, then you will be pardoned as well. If we are to be forgiven, we are all to be forgiven."

Abby's head snapped in his direction, just realizing that he was in the room. The look of relief on her face as she saw that he was alive and unharmed warmed Kane's heart. It gave him strength to take control of the situation. So he continued, "But Jake is right. Perhaps now is not the right time to have this conversation."

Jaha nodded his head and replied, "I will leave." He slipped his hood over his head and headed back out the door.

The tension left with Jaha and the entire room seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Clarke approached her father tentatively before Jake wrapped his arms around her. Kane watched them with a smile. Abby, no longer holding her daughter, walked up to him quietly. His eyes swept over her, looking for any injury that he had missed when she entered and was happy to fine none.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, but Kane shook his head.

"You have nothing to be sorry for."

Abby blinked guiltily and replied, "You only took the chip because of me…"

"We can't keep blaming everyone. It happened. It's over." With that Kane reached out for her and she pushed herself into his arms. He felt complete, holding her. It felt like decades since they said goodbye in Medical. He hadn't gotten to hold her like this when he and Monty had found her before. She completed him in this embrace. He could feel her steady breathing and her heart beat against his chest.

"It's over," echoed Abby. Her voice was muffled in neck. She was gripping his back while she hugged him as if she was trying to pull his strength into her. When she finally pulled away, she was smiling. Abby turned her body toward where Clarke was introducing Lexa to her father and Kane slung his arm over shoulders.

"Your daughter saved us again," he murmured into her hair before he pressed a chaste kiss to the side of her head.

Abby beamed as she watched Clarke stand between Lexa and her father, talking rapidly. "I just want her to be happy."

"They look good together. And she has her father…"

Tilting her head up to look at him, Abby said, "And I have you." She let her words linger in the air before placing a hand on his cheek and kissing him.


Lexa walked proudly into the throne room at dusk, her head held high. Tonight she was not wearing her armor. Tonight, she had donned a dress of dark red and painted her face with strips of black and her hair tumbled loosely down her back. Her arms were bare and her tattoos exposed. And she wore the smallest smile.

Candles lit the room as the leaders of her coalition stood around in a semi-circle. They faced her throne where Titus was waiting for her. She stood in front of them and waited for those who would be following behind her. Clarke led her people in. Her mother and Kane came behind her and the rest of her friends followed them. Clarke, Abby, and Kane stood before the throne while the others mixed in with the crowd.

Clarke looked beautiful in a dress of her own. Lexa had picked it out. Both Abby and Kane wore Skaikru attire, but Clarke was dressed as a grounder. Clarke gave Lexa a small smile before kneeling before her. Abby and Kane knelt as well and the rest of the room soon followed suit.

Lexa looked out at the room and addressed her people, "Hail, warriors of the twelve clans!"

"Hail, commander of the blood!" They called back.

"Rise and welcome Skaikru to our halls in the spirit of friendship and harmony." Lexa waited until everyone had gotten to their feet before she continued, this time looking only at Clarke. "We are gathered here to initiate Skaikru into the coalition as the thirteenth clan. To symbolize this union, the leader of Skaikru must bear our mark."

Abby reached out and squeezed Kane's hand before he stepped forward to say, "I represent Skaikru."

A man beside the throne pulled a metal rod from a fire, the circular tip burning red hot. Kane rolled up his sleeve and presented his arm. A strangled gasp slipped from his lips as the grounder pressed the brand into his arm. Once it was done, Kane knelt before Lexa and pledged, "Ai badan klin kom kongeda."

"Yu kik raun kom kongeda, yu wan op kom kongeda!" cried Lexa in response.

All gathered in the hall replied, "Yu kik raun kom kongeda, yu wan op kom kongeda!"

Lexa stepped down from her throne and walked behind the dais to the balcony. Titus followed first and then came Kane, Clarke, and Abby. A few others filled the space behind them. Gathered below, glowing in the light of fires and the setting sun, Lexa's people had gathered: all thirteen tribes. They were too high for anyone to hear her if she spoke, so Lexa grasped Kane's arm, the one that had been freshly branded with his loyalty, and raised it in the air with her own. The people cheered below, raising their own arms in celebration.

Releasing Kane's hand, Lexa turned to Clarke with a smile. "The future is ours, Klark kom Skaikru."


Ai badan klin kom kongeda: I swear loyalty to the coalition

Yu kik raun kom kongeda, yu wan op kom kongeda: Live by the coalition, die by the coalition.