Chapter 12- Reminiscence

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A/N: For some context, this first flashback takes place a few hours after Madi finds the drawing that Clarke drew of her. And also, almost all the dialogue in the flashbacks is supposed to be them speaking Trig, unless specifically stated that it's not, but I'm just writing it in english.

"Madi." The girl says, sitting across the table from Clarke. Her face dirty and scratched.

"That's your name?" Clarke asks in Trig. Madi nods. She is still clutching the drawing close to her chest, the paper crumpling in her tight grip. Clarke isn't sure how to approach such a young girl, she's scarcely interacted with small children. On the Ark, she sometimes saw them wandering the hallways and on the ground, she met Charlotte- but that didn't end well. She has to do better with this one. But there is still a fear instilled in her, it was Clarke against the world. And Clarke had the option to leave this world. But now she can't. Because of this child.

Clarke reaches across the table slowly, keeping her palm open and inviting. "Clarke."

Madi doesn't take her hand. Instead, just stares at it. "Are you a flamekeeper?"

Clarke draws her hand back, replacing it in her lap. "No." She says. "No, I'm just Clarke. I'm not here to hurt you or take you anywhere."

Madi's eyes are still wary but at least she isn't running away anymore. "How old are you?"

Clarke blinks at the question, surprised. "Eighteen. I'm eighteen. How old are you?"

Madi purses her lips. "You promise that you won't take me anywhere?"

Clarke smiles and shakes her head. "Why would I?" She pulls back her sleeve to reveal a small cut on her arm, with nightblood tracing a small line down her wrist. "I'm a nightblood too."

Madi nods, her eyes drifting from Clarke's arm to her face and then her hair and all over her body. Like she's trying to memorize her before it's too late. "I'm six years old."

Clarke tries not to look saddened by what she says. She's so young. So very little and innocent. And she got left all alone.

"Will you let me stay here, Madi?" Clarke asks, Madi's eyes swing back up to Clarkes. They are a deep blue, kind of like Clarke's. Except a darker shade. "If you'd like, I can teach you how to draw."

Madi loosens her grip on the paper she still clutches like a lifeline. She flattens it out on the table, her small fingers tracing the lines of her face and hair. "You can teach me?"

Clarke stands from her chair, walking around the table until she's near Madi's side of the table. She crouches down, so that she is almost at the eye level of the table and reaches for the drawing. Pulling it closer to the edge.

"I'll teach you something right now." She holds out her palm again for Madi's, and this time, the girl takes it. Clarke's heart stutters for a quick second. She finds herself lost in the warmth of this girl. She's so small... so little. Clarke already finds herself drawn to this girl, already finding herself wanting to protect her with her life.

"You have to be gentle." Clarke says quietly, as Madi's fingers brush the already drawn lines. "Otherwise, the lines come out too dark. But if you just brush the paper... it comes out much gentler, and closer to life."

Clarke lets go of Madi's hand and watches as her fingers continue to trace, entranced by the realism of her own picture.

"I'll show you how to paint some other time."

***

Clarke wakes with a jolt. But remembers quickly that Madi is asleep. So she lies still, while mentally beating herself for letting herself drift off. Carefully, she opens her eyes, Madi still lies there, facing away from Clarke. Clarke carefully, expertly sits up. Being extra careful not to disturb Madi from her slumber. Clarke blinks, looking at the figure sitting by the wall.

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