[ the trading post doesn't offer the best protection, but it offers good company and a roof over her head. there's an agreement between herself and niylah, where she wanders a little ways away from the trading post to try and hunt, refining her rather mediocre skills in trying to gut the wild beasts lurking around the hut and attempting to learn how to throw a knife. the latter reminds her too much of the dropship camp, and so she tries to stick to launching herself at her prey instead. in exchange, clarke remains anonymous, a woman without much of an identity to any who pass by and look at her a little too long for anyone to be comfortable. ]
[ she should change her hair, wear a hood, perhaps even mark her face to look something horrid, but a part of clarke wants her blonde hair to be a beacon of the deserving pain she knows hunts her. there's something clarke needs to do, and she'd been hellbent on charging for polis for her answers, but over the days that have trickled into weeks, she's grown weary and wary of ever passing the border of that particular city. her heart always pounds in her chest every time she thinks of a particular face. ]
[ this evening, when she's struck with the urge to hunt for something for niylah to cook and trade the fur of, she finds herself successful in her quest of being someone who isn't a girl from space. she doesn't bring back an animal as large as the panther, but a smaller cat with pointy ears and a freckled coat. she thinks niylah may be able to get some use out of it regardless of its size and the way its fur isn't as sleek and dark as the panther's had been. ]
[ with it in her arms, she struggles to open the door. it's dark out, and there's hardly anyone around to assist her — it's not like she'd let anyone do so, anyway; the last time she'd allowed someone to help her, she thinks she got a knife in the back and almost lost too many of her own people to count. using her shoulder and a well-aimed kick of her muddied boots against the wood, she gets it open and walks inside of the trading post. ] Niylah, I think you'll be able to make a warm coat out of this — [ with her entire body humming with elation and success, there's a large smile on her face when she turns around and finds that warm curve to her lips falls off at the sight before her. ]
[ she doesn't drop the cat. it's heavier than it was moments ago in her arms. in a way, it protects her from the woman who stands in the middle of the trading post, looking as sleek and elegant as ever. niylah remains in the shadows, leaning up against the wall, almost ready to duck beneath that blanket of darkness. clarke doesn't really see her expression at all as she stares at lexa, firstly with wide eyes and surprise etched into her face, and then they narrow. the blood smeared on her cheek, behind her ear, and along her neck and collarbone make her look more comical than any supposed commander of death, but her heart races in her chest and panic swirls within her, and clarke finds that anger she'd misplaced during her days of growing complacent here rears its sharp and ugly head. ]
[ her tone is almost fitting for azgeda. ] What are you doing here?