Chapter 13- Last Residuum

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She pulls away for second time, not because of Echo or because of someone pushing between their kiss, it's because Madi lets out a sharp scream. Clarke untangles herself from Bellamy's, it's like there are a dozen of his arms, he is everywhere. Hands on her hips, while there is somehow fingers tangled in her hair, and another hand touching her face, brushing her eyelashes. But when she pulls back, she finds that he only has two arms, two hands, just like normal.

"Madi?" She kneels down by her head. "Did you see Becca Pramheda's death again?"

She shakes her head, her eyes scared. Clarke remembers how she used to cry when she got nightmares. Not anymore. The little girl in the woods has grown up.

"Lexa's." Clarke's heart skips a beat for a second. Her grief momentarily overtaking her.

"You saw... what did you see?" Clarke asks, keeping her voice steady and hands comforting, holding Madi's hands.

Madi curls her fingers around Clarke's. "I saw- you said goodbye to her. On our final journey to the ground. You sent her to death with your people's goodbye."

Clarke reaches up to touch her face. "It was another nightmare. Just like the ones you got when you were little, remember?"

"Yes." Madi nods. Maybe remembering Clarke's stories. Clarke's comforts.

"Just think about other things." Clarke reminds her. "I'm here. Bellamy's here. You don't have to think about those things."

Madi's eyes are so much older and wiser than a twelve year old girls should be when she raises them to Clarkes. "No," she says softly. "I have to see it. It's what Lexa wants me to see. To remind me of what happens to commanders. And that I need to protect myself. And you."

Clarke bites her bottom lip. "Just remember to stay grounded, okay? And remember that I love you." She runs her thumb over Madi's knuckles softly. "The commanders always either get caught up in love or forget how important it is to survival. Keep the balance."

It's the first time Clarke has really treated Clarke like the commander, not the child she is. Madi notices it too, she nods solemnly. But squeezes Clarke's hand lovingly. The perfect balance. Love and hate. War and peace. Sky and ground. The opposites make a perfect. Moon and sun. Two moons is too dark, two suns too bright. And maybe that attests to the land they live in. That the brightness shrouds the darkness when in reality, there is more darkness to be seen.

"Where are we going to go now?" Madi asks. Clarke glances back at Bellamy, looking for answers.

He blinks in surprise at her turning to him. And stumbles to reply. "We talked about it while you were asleep and thought it was best to bring you back to the village we were staying at. So we can keep an eye on you in case whoever tried to take you before comes back. Jordan and Abby will come with us too. We'll introduce you to their leader, Russell, and everything will be okay."

He sounds like he's more trying to convince himself than Madi and Clarke. And a moment later, Abby and Jordan open the door.

"Is she ready?" Jordan asks. Bellamy walks forward, towards Madi.

"I'll have to carry you, Mads." Clarke's eyebrows furrow at the nickname but doesn't comment. Just because she scarcely calls Madi nicknames doesn't mean others can't. "Otherwise, your mom'll have my head."

Madi rolls her eyes but reaches up to grab hold of Bellamy's neck. "Let's go."

Clarke pushes the door open, letting the two of them step out into the hallway. They begin their small procession down the hall. It's quiet and Clarke half expects someone to jump out at them. But no one does, and they are at the doors of the ship. Clarke feels herself getting nervous for some reason as the ramp lowers, her mother softly takes her hand and squeezes it.

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