Clarke pushed through the Trikru warriors gathered at the gate, seeking the source of the commotion. One voice stood out from the rest.
"Heda. Teik me kom Heda."
It was authoritative, measured. But Clarke could hear the underlying desperation in the short, sharp enunciation and rich timbre of the muffled voice. She felt a niggling familiarity but she couldn't place it from the brief utterance amidst the sounds of the gathered crowd.
Clarke emerged into the clearing where the warriors surrounded the stranger but were giving her a wide berth. She caught sight of a handful of large men nursing bleeding noses and injured limbs. Octavia and Indra stood in the clearing with the stranger, keeping the other warriors at bay with steely gazes. The three of them were facing the warriors on the other side of the clearing, their backs towards Clarke.
Octavia's voice rang out clear and loud. "Em could don killed em, be em did nou. Teik her speak."
Clarke took in the slight but imposing stranger dressed like a desert nomad. Boots made of soft leather and fur, loose cotton clothing covering her body and head, only her hands exposed.
"Octavia!" Clarke walked closer as Octavia and the stranger both turned to face her. "Octavia, what-"
The stranger gasped loudly, drawing Clarke's gaze to surprised eyes peaking past the dark material wrapped around her face and hair. Clarke froze, unable to draw in a breath. Her heart began to race and her ears buzzed, her body reacting before her thoughts could catch up.
Those eyes. The colour of the forest after a hard rain. The eyes she had stared into for what felt like hours, committing them to memory as the life had left them all those months ago.
It was barely a whisper but there was no mistaking the distinctive clipped 'k', unique to her name spilling from only one person's lips.
Her eyes instantly welled with the tears that always seemed so close to the surface these days. She began to shake, every particle of her body vibrating, her throat constricting painfully as she tried to voice what she dared not hope for.
Time seemed to stand still as everyone waited in tense silence, but Clarke felt as though seasons had passed when she finally choked out her responding whisper.