so, what do i have to say for myself? well, remember that whole ordeal with bob morley being an absolute tosser of an abusive asshole? and eliza taylor was apparently an accomplice? not just that, she even married said absolute tosser of an abusive asshole?
well, that's what i have to say for myself. i was so put off by anything the 100 that i stopped reading or writing anything related to it for three whole months. honestly, there was a point in time when i seriously considered abandoning this project, even though i utterly abhor ditching projects for no good reason - i'd say when the actress portraying the character who serves as a main character in your story being a complete waste of a human being serves as a pretty good reason, don't you think?
okay, but then i found out on the amazing sphere that is twitter the CLARKE GRIFFIN SHOT BELLAMY BLAKE. and heck, that completely revived me and got me hyped to finish this fic again. it's vindication and i love it. welcome to unemployment, robert morley, i hope you suffer every second of it. so here you go - resurgam, back again.
now, read, ponder, and enjoy!
Dream, that was all there was to it. Oh sure, the heart attack was real; nothing that painful and literally breathtaking could ever be unreal. And yes, the smell of chemicals and staleness that always went with hospitals were most definitely real, given that they were quite unkindly attacking her nostrils right now. All of those concluded that Lexa had most definitely suffered a heart attack in the morning and she was now in a hospital.
But the numb ache spreading across her chest told her that she was pretty hopped up on morphine, which meant that she could easily have hallucinated things, especially things that she desperately wanted. Things like Dr. Clarke Griffin showing up at her bedside and pretty much promising a future together.
So, yeah, that was a dream.
She was awake, but she kept her eyes closed, because waves of disappointment were lapping up at her nerves at the realization that everything had been a dream. She had been that pathetic. Internally, she heaved a million sighs at both herself and the cruelty of reality. She sighed at the state she was in, pondering at the fact that she was once a respected commander, and now she was...here.
And then she forced herself to open her eyes, because she couldn't stay sleeping together. At first glance, the room was empty, confirming the fact that she had really dreamt up her ex-girlfriend and promises that were too good to be true. But her instincts were still strong, and she knew in the next second that she wasn't the only person in the room.
"Rise and shine, Your Highness."
She shot her eyes to the left of the bed, ready to leap out and grab for whatever weapon, regardless of her weakened state and boggled mind. She furrowed her brows at her intruder and pronounced, "Costia?"
The woman was sitting in a chair situated by the bed, seemingly stiff and incredibly uncomfortable, wrapped up in a grey sweater and a pair of purple sweatpants. Her hair was up in a ponytail that let loose more than a few strands; familiar signs of a bedhead that Lexa had borne witness to more times than she could count back in the day.
In addition to the dark circles under Costia's eyes, Lexa could only guess that she didn't get enough sleep. If she was to take another educated guess, she would say that Costia had rushed here after hearing the news about her heart attack.
And suddenly, not only did she feel pathetic, she felt guilty too.
"You gave us quite the scare, Woods," Costia exclaimed with a soft smile, one hand holding on to Lexa's. The princess inhaled deeply and hummed, closing her eyes minutely as she squeezed back. "His Majesty went back to the palace to deal with some leftover work. Her Majesty and your brother and sister are sleeping in an on-call room somewhere in the building," she listed out.
Before she could stop herself, she heaved a chuckle, but not hard enough to hurt herself. She opened her eyes again and narrowed them at her ex-girlfriend. "You used to just call them Mr. and Mrs. Woods," she pointed out.
Costia raised her brows and tilted her head. "I don't think I'll ever be in the position to call them that anymore." At that, they fell into somber silence. "They barely trusted me enough to stay in the room with you."
"What are you doing here, actually?"
"Your sister called me." Lexa's brows rose in surprise. "She didn't like it, but she called me. I wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth and ask why." Costia clenched her jaw and lost her smile slightly. "Should I call the doctor?"
"No," the princess immediately refused, shaking her head mildly. "No, I just –" She blinked rapidly up at the ceiling and listened closely to her own heartbeat, rhythmic and seemingly steady despite the toll it had been through. "No, I just need some quiet right now. You can call him later."
"Okay," Costia softly agreed. She stared at their linked hands and inhaled a shaky breath. "You know, if we hadn't broken up then, I think we would have broken up by now."
Despite her having moved on from the woman, the statement did sting for Lexa, even if just a little bit. She frowned at Costia, quietly prodding her to elaborate. If she was petty enough, she would have just withdrawn her hand from Costia's and cross her arms in an obvious display of unhappiness.
"If I'm not strong enough for all the media attention that we got, what makes you think I'll be able to handle seeing you like this?" Costia voiced out, gesturing at Lexa's overall body with her free hand. Right – that; well, Lexa couldn't really blame her for it. "I guess I'm just not as strong as her."
She narrowed her eyes, just about to ask who her ex-girlfriend was referring to. Only then, the door to her room opened and in walked...Clarke Griffin, her other ex-girlfriend. The blonde paused in her movements when she saw that Lexa was awake, her blue eyes misty and exhausted and disbelieving all together at the sight before.
Oh, so it wasn't a dream.
At that moment, Lexa quickly took her hand away from Costia before Clarke could see it, but the blonde was a doctor, so of course she saw it. It was probably the second thing she saw after she'd walked in the room. Other than the fact that she was kind of glad that it hadn't been a dream, Lexa was lamenting at how comfortable it was that she was now in a room with two ex-girlfriends – this would make for a good comedy if it wasn't so awkward.
"I thought you were a hallucination."
Clarke looked up from the chart that Wells had hung at the foot of her bed, her expression melancholic and regretful. She stared at the princess for a long moment, as if considering her options. And then she replaced the chart and made her way to the empty chair by the bed and sat down on it, her hands hesitant and uncertain of what she could hold on to.
Lexa certainly didn't make things easier for the doctor as she remained motionless and just kept her gaze on Clarke. Look, there may not be a lot of things that she wanted more than Clarke right now. Actually, she couldn't really remember wanting anything or anybody else more than she wanted Clarke in her entire life.
But the fact remained that things had been said and grievances had been aired and Clarke had been the one who left her in the first place, not the other way around. Lexa had been left behind too many times by the women she'd deeply cared about, both of whom she thought would be the rest of her life. So forgive her for being a little wary of two ex-girlfriends showing up at the same time, one more apologetic than the other.
"I thought I hallucinated you back here too," Clarke decided, clasping her hands together on her thighs.
"I guess I missed you so much that my heart pulled me back here just to see you again," Lexa automatically said, wincing immediately after she'd said it.
Clarke shook her head sharply and clenched her jaw. "That's not funny." She reached up to frantically wipe at the edges of her eyes, but that did nothing to assuage the wetness that lingered. "Stop trying to be funny when you're always nearly dying."
"I'm sorry. Are you scolding me?"
"Wow. Can't believe I've had two ex-girlfriends scolding me in just two hours. Must be my lucky day."
When Clarke heaved a reluctant chuckle, Lexa knew it was mission accomplished. She really couldn't help it. It was an automatic mechanism; Niylah had often told her that she had a tendency to be more protective over others than herself and it was a problem. Niylah had tried over all their sessions to convince her to put herself first.
And she did. She really did. She stood up to her parents. She quite literally kicked Clarke out of her life for the sake of her own emotional health, though that didn't work quite as well as she had previously expected. She got herself back in therapy because she knew damn well that seeing Niylah every week had really helped her in seeing things in a different perspective.
But she supposed it was still an ingrained thing, this need to make sure others feel better at her own expense. Sure, she was trying to put herself first, but there would always be a part of her that was looking for ways to comfort others, and that, she had a feeling, wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Especially if it was Clarke.
"Costia's really nice," the blonde offered, though Lexa definitely detected a griping tone in her voice, like she hated to admit it.
The brunette made an agreeable noise and suppressed the urge to reach out and hold Clarke's hand. She was tired of making the move – see, that was her putting herself first again; take that, Niylah. "I tend to date the nice ones," she replied, smiling in a silly way.
"Thank you, but I haven't really been nice, huh?" Clarke lamented, her lips pulled down somberly.
Lexa wanted to deny Clarke's non-question, because it was what she tended to do. But this was different – this wasn't just them passing by each other in the basement, or texting that didn't seem to be going anywhere. This was a different trajectory that Lexa really hoped Clarke wasn't joking about taking them to.
And a different trajectory meant complete honesty. And honestly, the way Clarke had broken up with her wasn't really that nice. It was...abrupt and a big blow to her already weak heart, and Lexa wasn't going to lie about that. She would never blame Clarke for everything that had happened to her in the short span of the last few months, but there was a reason she was going to have a chronic heart condition from now on.
"I haven't been nice either. We all have our moments," she said.
Clarke allowed herself a small smile as she shook her head. "You've been nicer to me than you should ever have for the way I dumped you."
Lexa laughed as well, because it was kind of true, in retrospect. Clarke finally unclasped her hands and reached out to hold on to Lexa's hand, and god, did it feel good. No, it felt great. She had missed this particular mold to her hands, like their hands were made for one another and no one else. She missed the intimacy and the warmth. She missed Clarke, basically, so much that sometimes she couldn't breathe.
"I'm going to earn you back, Lexa Woods."
Green met blue, one surprised and the other determined. Lexa gulped, because heart attack or not, there was no denying that she was turned on. It was the way that Clarke had spoken, deep and low and stubborn, like it was inevitable and she was just saying it out of courtesy of informing the princess. It was the way her blue eyes went darker and were steady on Lexa, unwavering in her intention.
"I don't care if Costia's trying to earn you back as well –"
"She's just a –"
"I don't care that your sister hates my guts –"
"Wait, what? Explain that –"
"I don't care that I may have to spend the rest of my life to –"
"That's probably a bit of a stretch –"
"I am going to earn you back so hard, Lexa Woods, that you won't see it coming."
Lexa bit her lower lip and reveled in how Clarke's eyes darted down before darting back up again. She giggled a little and narrowed one eye. "You do know that you saying all that is kind of making me see it coming, right?"
Clarke clicked her tongue and squeezed her hand in gentle admonishment. "It was a figure of speech."
"Hey, what are your thoughts on Arkadia?"
"Been there twice. Loved it, actually."
"Oh, good, good."
"My dad's making the Countess of Arkadia."
After that, it was just a very long fifteen minutes of silence and speechlessness, save of the beeps of the heart monitor. Lexa watched Clarke, anticipating a reaction that would sure get her kicked out of the room. Meanwhile, Clarke was staring at Lexa, but the brunette was certain she wasn't actually looking at anything right now.
"He what?" Followed by a loud scrape of the chair being pulled back and Lexa almost losing her arm due to Clarke's tight grip on it, but the whole reaction was so worth it.
It was only after that surprisingly easy talk with Clarke that she finally allowed the woman to press the button that would summon the doctors. According to the blonde, there would be more doctors and nurses this time around as compared to the last time, because the hospital could only cover up the fact that the princess was suffering from heart issues once. Plus, they apparently had to loop in Wells' mentor and a doctor from trauma to make sure the princess didn't end up dying in their building.
Things were bound to be leaked, and it would take too much effort to really scour through each and every one of the palace and hospital staff to locate the leak, but that wasn't to say that the palace management wouldn't try. This was a serious issue, and if there wasn't a press release, it was a secret. Simple as that.
Once she'd pressed the button, Clarke had squeezed her hand and said that she would be making herself scarce. She also figured that Costia had informed Lexa's family of her wakefulness, and she wasn't ready for that yet, despite her determination to fix things with Lexa, but that, more than anything else, was more understandable for the brunette than imaginable – her family could be a little much.
There was no telling whether Clarke was still her ex-girlfriend or had become her girlfriend once again. But this time, Lexa was more than happy to take things slow, because for some reason, she was confident that Clarke was here to stay. They still had their whole lives ahead of them, if Lexa's heart would stop misbehaving.
"Cardiomyopathy is a serious problem," Wells described after he'd done the routine check on her responses. Despite his mentor being in the room, they'd apparently let him take the lead. She furrowed her brows, vaguely remembering the term from one of Clarke's many medical books. "In your case, it's what we call hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the walls of your heart have thickened, causing difficulty in pumping blood, so to speak."
"And that's as layman as you can get?" Anya asked, earning herself a chastising smack from her fiancé. "What? Not all of us have been dating doctors."
It was clear as sky that the other doctors and nurses had no idea what any of them was talking about, but none of them was about to clear things up either. Lexa did level her sister with a tired glare though, warning her quietly to shut the hell up before she did it for her. She gestured at Wells, who seemed slightly amused now, to continue.
"We –" He motioned at the doctors around him "– are pretty certain that we've plugged the problem. For now," he added, sighing a little. "Unfortunately, medical science has not advanced enough for us to cure the condition yet, just like cancer."
"So what can we do?" Storme asked, sitting at the edge of Lexa's bed with one hand mindlessly stroking her daughter's hair.
"Well, as I've told Your Majesty earlier, it's very rare to see cardiomyopathy in someone the age of Her Highness, so we wouldn't advice the usual procedure to treat the condition." Behind him, the other doctors who apparently treated her as well nodded in agreement. "We'd like Her Highness to stay in the hospital for two days more for monitoring purposes, and if everything's okay, she'll good to go. In the meantime, we'll prescribe light medication, nothing heavy like the ones we prescribe older patients, to see how she copes."
"That's it?" Lincoln voiced out.
Wells nodded and replaced the chart at the foot of the bed, eyeing Lexa curiously. "Yes. I think it's in everyone's best interest to make sure Her Highness are not stressed at all, if only to maintain her blood pressure, which was abnormally high when she first came in." He raised his brows challengingly at her family, and she would very much like to applaud him for that. She could see Wells becoming her new best friend. "I will keep everyone apprised of the situation, but for now, that is all."
She definitely didn't miss out on his emphasis on everyone; that was just his way to ensure that he'll keep Clarke updated without alerting all the other people who knew nothing about how closely connected her personal life was with one of their colleagues. And it seemed that her family had noticed too, because, one by one, they turned their gazes towards her, all a mixture of curiosity and disappointment.
The hospital staff slowly filed out, each wishing her well and paying their respects to all the royalties in the room. It was hard not to notice exactly how starstruck they were, especially when one nurse just skipped on flat linoleum and almost fell into Lincoln's lap – Lexa and Anya shared knowing smirks at that.
"You've been awfully quiet," Lexa commented, looking at her father, once they were the only ones left in the room.
He uncrossed his arms and sat upright in the chair he'd occupied by the bed, looking at her with forced nonchalance. "Oh, I'm just struggling to wrap my head around the fact that I almost lost you twice in as many months. Totally not terrifying at all." There was a certain strain in his voice, one that was telling of the fact he most probably cried earlier, maybe while he was back at the palace.
"No, I imagine not."
"I'm taking the next two weeks off. Just wanna give myself some time to see if I can actually wrap my head around it. And make sure you wake up in the morning and all that."
"There's maybe also the fact that you're in your twenties and you have a heart conditions, while your mother and I are fine. I think that's also a problem."
"Yes, I can see your point. It's a bit of a bitch, isn't it?"
"I'm glad you see that."
"You two are ridiculous," Storme interjected their seemingly tireless back-and-forth in an exhausted tone, sending glares at the two of them – and a Storme glare could rival even Vladimir Putin. Lexa would know; she'd met the two of them. In her peripheral, her siblings were nodding in agreement, simultaneously rolling their eyes and joining their mother in glaring at the king and the princess. "Do you have any idea how much you worried us?" the queen almost shouted at her bedridden daughter.
Lexa's mouth opened and closed a few times at her mother's understated outburst. When she tried to look to her father and siblings for assistance, they only responded by averting their gazes elsewhere – goddamn cowards. She turned back to her mother and raised her hands, the tubes dangling in the air.
"Mom, it's not like I asked to have a heart attack," she retorted, shaking her head. "Maybe ask yourself why I'm having these problems in the first place!"
At that, the rest of her family turned back to them, gaping. In fact, it seemed like her father was about to insert himself back into the conversation if it wasn't for Storme's minute shake of her head.
Honestly, Lexa had never intended to spit that out in the first place. Sure, there was no denying that she and her parents were bound to have a full conversation where they would all lay out their grievances and move forward, especially after her father had marched into her office and indirectly apologized by announcing a countship for Clarke. But she really hadn't planned on saying it with so much spite at all.
"Yes, Lexa, I'm well aware of our role in all these," Storme conceded, softer this time, but still undoubtedly firm. "And yes, I'm more than willing to accept the punishment that you've been handing us since your return." Lexa blinked in surprise. "And yes, I fully understand that your anger is more than just about you getting a heart condition on your return, and I know that a countship is less than enough." Storme ran her fingers through her disheveled hair, because even queens could get flustered in extreme situations. "But I refuse to allow you to belittle the situation at your own expense," she spat out.
Lexa looked away, unable to take the despondence that had enveloped her mother's expression. She started fingering the edge of the flimsy blanket covering her legs, sighing. "Sorry, I guess that's my way of coping." She closed her eyes and rested back against the surprisingly fluffy pillow the hospital had provided her. "I don't hate you, mom." Storme hummed, slightly in disbelief. "I just – I need you guys to start believing me when I say that I'm here to stay."
"I'm actually more pissed about the fact that you let Jaha manipulate you into sending me there at all." She left the blanket alone and started scratching at her head, only to have Anya stop her by smacking her hand gently. "I guess we've kind of let it get out of proportion at a pretty big magnitude."
"You think?" Lincoln scoffed.
"Yes, your mother and I have realized that," Richmond butted in, clicking his tongue at his son. "We are sorry about that, and the way we let it spiral out of control."
She nodded, accepting their apology. There really wasn't much she could ask for, and she really did believe that, at this point, they were finally seeing her point of view. It wasn't just about Clarke, and it wasn't just about her – it was about their roles to the country and their responsibilities to one another.
"What's the situation with the press?" she asked, knowing that it would come sooner and or later.
The rest of her family shared a wary look with one another. "They're gathered outside the hospital. We've set up security checkpoints, but we haven't released a clear press release yet. We want to let you decide what you want the public to know," Storme said.
"Tell them the truth." Her mother's brows rose to her hairline. "This is gonna be a lifetime thing, and there's no use hiding something like this from the public. Spin it however you want. Just don't bring Clarke into this." Anya opened her mouth, clear displeasure on her face, but Lexa raised her hand to gently press her fingers against her sister's mouth. "I know you have a lot of questions, but maybe let me really talk with her first before you start barging into my personal life."
For once, they stepped back, relenting to her request. It was clear that her parents were very curious and her brother was very glad and her sister was very unhappy, but at least they weren't speaking over one another, fighting over the next piece of gossip, as they were tended to do. She supposed this was as clear as any other day that they would always be here for her, regardless of their personal feelings, and she couldn't ask for her.
Lexa's parents were right – the press was really hoarding the front door and some were even lingering backdoor. But once the PR team had announced that the royal family would be holding a press conference in one of the hospital's conference rooms, they hurriedly dissipated to hear what the country's rulers had to say, leaving all entry and exit points empty, save for the patients and visitors.
The lucky thing was Clarke knew her way around the hospital, even though she was likely the newest attending in the building, so she'd managed to wheel Lexa out to the courtyard through a series of intricate hallways and shady exits. At some point, the brunette had started to wonder whether their entire relationship had been a big con and the blonde's plan had been to sell her off to some anti-establishment organization after all.
Fortunately, Clarke had only wheeled her out of the backdoor and then to the maze where the Avicenna statue stood. Ah, the Avicenna statue – this was where Clarke had explicitly told Lexa that she was hot for the first time ever. Lexa had fond memories of the statue, despite everything that had preceded.
"I forgot to ask – how are Dr..." she drifted off, blinking at the statue as she tried to recall. "Sorry, what are their names again?"
"Finn Collins and Marcus Kane, and they're no doctors," Clarke scoffed, leaning sideways against the statue that was firmly rooted to the soil. "Investigation is still underway. I haven't had the heart to ask after them for obvious reasons," she said, a slight smile on her face. "Wells is gonna kill me when he finds out that I brought you out here."
"We needed a place to talk, and we can't do that with my siblings hovering around us."
Lexa relaxed in her wheelchair, trying her very best not to hate the very thing that was keeping her mobile at the moment. She kept her eyes on Clarke, unabashed in her staring. The last time they saw each other, they were passing each other in the basement and Lexa could not wait to get away from the other woman. She was making up for lost time now.
"I won't ask you to not leave me again," Lexa said, knowing they had to start somewhere, and Clarke was obviously too shy to take the first step. The doctor frowned, a retort prepared on her tongue. "No, look, I am a difficult person to be with, and really, I know that more than anyone after having two women leave me."
"Lexa," Clarke vey sternly pronounced. Lexa raised her brows, daring the blonde to challenge her. "Trust me, difficult is the last word I'd ever use to describe you." Dark eyebrows only went higher in disbelief. Clarke scoffed and uncrossed her arms as she pushed away from the statue. "Okay, fine, you come with...your own set of challenges," she carefully enunciated. "But that's kind of the usual course of a relationship."
Narrowing her eyes, Lexa nodded in mock agreement. "Oh yeah, sure, everyone just finds themselves dating a veteran princess with a unique set of duties and PTSD – I'm sorry to have assumed wrongly."
"Are you trying to be funny?"
"I won't ask you not to leave me again," she repeated, keeping her eyes narrowed to keep Clarke's mouth shut. "And – and I know that you don't want us to stay broken up, but I –" She licked her lips and inhaled sharply. "And trust me, I want you back too. You have no idea how much I've wanted you since you left me."
"If you're not ready, I can wait for –"
"That's not it. I am ready," Lexa said – almost shouted, in fact.
Clarke closed her mouth, her frown deepening, obviously not really understanding what Lexa was trying to convey.
"Clarke, look at me." She motioned at her entire body. "I am 26 years old veteran with a permanent heart condition. I have a PTSD that's probably never gonna go away. I'm a princess who, sometimes, have to do things that I don't want. I am a complicated package with the most complicated bow ever found on earth." She took a pause, looking deep into Clarke's blue eyes. "The real question is are you ready?"
The blonde continued frowning at her, considering Lexa's words. And the longer she took to consider them, the more doubtful Lexa became at Clarke's commitment to mend their relationship. But then Clarke started scoffing and chuckling. It became more confusing when Clarke continued chuckling as she knelt in front of Lexa, holding onto her hands.
"Lexa, I am 27 years old and I have kind of have no idea where my life is going beyond being a doctor. Hell, I might even lose my job because I made the brash mistake of reporting my superior and colleague. My two best friends are the worst people on earth. And I have some pretty big mommy issues myself. Honestly, you're not special," she added teasingly, reaching out to brush Lexa's hair. "What I do know is that I made a mistake letting you go, and I'm never going to do that again – never, you hear me? What I do know is that being with you might as well be the only thing that I've ever really wanted my entire life, and you are it for me, Lexa Woods. Quite literally."
Lexa bit her lower lip, and relished in the feeling of Clarke casually flicking her cheek with affection. She tried to look for any hint of falsity or doubt, but all she could see was sincerity and excitement and real happiness. Long gone was solemnness of that fateful in a different hospital room, when their relationship took off in a completely different direction.
With a shrug, Clarke said, "And like I said, I'm ready to do anything to win you back, Lexa Woods. Just say the word and I'll do it."
"Even if I ask you to sign a contract saying that you'll never leave me?"
"I think that's what they calll a marriage, but sure."
Lexa jolted, and if it wasn't for Clarke pressing her weight on her, she was sure the wheelchair would rolled and toppled back very ungracefully, potentially creating a whole other host of problems that would give more doctors in the hospital more headache. She blinked rapidly at Clarke, who was staring back at her firmly.
"Are you...asking me to marry you?" she hesitantly questioned.
Clarke shook her head, and Lexa couldn't help but feel a little despondent at that. "Not yet." And Lexa's heart jolted again. Honestly, at this rate, even happiness could land her in the hospital. "I can't propose if I hadn't won you back, Lexa Woods."
A breathless laugh escaped her throat as she understood the brevity of that sentence. She brushed a hand over her face and licked her lips. She cleared her throat. All the while, Clarke refused to take her eyes off Lexa.
"Here's a first step towards winning me back," she finally decided. Clarke hummed questioningly. "You can kiss me."
Within a microsecond of consideration, Clarke grinned widely, and oh, it had been quite some time since Lexa could see that in person, and it was blindingly beautiful that Lexa thought she really could never let the owner of that grin ever leave her again. But of course, her thoughts were quickly swept away when Clarke leaned up and did exactly what Lexa had requested of her.
Good god, never let it be said that the Second Princess of the Polis Kingdom was so easy. She was kind of glad that only Gustus and Avicenna had really seen how flimsy she could be as she allowed herself to be lost in the greatness of a Clarke Griffin kiss.
don't worry - i'll be writing the full course of clarke's reaction to being assigned a countship soon; i haven't forgotten about it, because unlike some showrunners, i do appreciate continuity.