She’s started dreaming up trees and meadows two weeks ago.
She tells him when they wake, quietly, a secret little smile on the corner of her lips; almost, we’re almost there. When she’s awake she works on the pod that’ll take them back to the ground, on making sure this time there’s enough oxygen for all of them, while he takes care of everyone else. She bosses people around more the nearer they are to touch-down day, and he’s gentler to compensate. After six years, everyone’s used to the way Raven gets when she’s secretly nervous. After six years, she doesn’t doubt herself that she can do this. She got them up here against all odds, she can get them back down.
When she’s asleep, she dreams up trees and meadows, and Bellamy’s skin bathed in sunlight, and his freckles darkening again, and you’d think she’s a cliché that her dreams revolve around him, but there you go. Maybe she is one.
Bellamy’s an even bigger one. He’s been coming up with a list of all the things he wants to do when they’re on the ground again. They keep it in their room, written in chalk on the walls, and when they’re gone it’ll be what remains of them on the station. She knows it by heart: find O, hug her for an hour, and then eat something. It won’t matter what it is, as long as it’s ground-grown. Next up, find a river or a meadow and swim, float, dive under the water until it feels real again. The five of them are going to be the only Arkers who have landed on the ground twice in their lifetime; they’ll also be the only ones who’ll have known the pain of remembering autumn leaves crunching under their feet when all they can feel now is the muted sound of their footsteps on steel.
(She imagines they will miss spacewalking, because she will. Not as much as she misses the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, but enough. At least Emori and Echo will have the chance to brag to whomever listens that they floated like feathers in space; after six years, though, she thinks the novelty’s worn off for them too, and it won’t matter who listens.)
The next thing on his list makes Raven blush whenever she sees it. Sex in a meadow (or something) is scrawled in Bellamy’s writing, like a promise: it’s written, so it will happen. She can’t wait.
The last three days on the station, everyone’s suddenly got six years’ worth of cabin fever, impatient to get down already. They run check-ups on oxygen tanks, on supplies, on everything they’ll bring down with them ‘because it’s not like we can come back’. Raven catches Bellamy looking out the window and smiling, then catching himself and shifting his expression back into a poker face. It’s okay to be excited, you’re not gonna jinx it.
The last day, they say goodbye to the station. They might’ve hated it for a whole six months, but it still became home against all odds. There are corners of the station that bear their fingerprints, and it’s sad to think that once they launch, nobody will know; the station will go back to being a husk, empty and cold and silent.
Everyone copes how they need to. Some throw a party, while others pack up their belongings, while others paint the walls with Emori was here and other bold declarations like that.
She finds Bellamy at the window where they watched the world burn six years ago. It’s become their window so much that Harper has taken to calling it the captains’ deck. When they’re up here, the others give them space.
Maybe that’s why Bellamy’s bold enough to pull her against him, then press her up against the window before kissing her. “You with me?” he whispers against her lips, and she smiles against his.
The answer remains the same: “Always.” Because Raven Reyes doesn’t change her mind that easily.
She meets his gaze, silently asking him if he’s okay, and he nods just as wordlessly. Then they move, a slow storm turned into people. He undresses her, she undresses him; she has more patience and maybe better skills, because he’s naked with just his pants around his ankles by the time he gives up on tugging her pants any further down. He goes down to his knees in such a familiar move, to unfasten the straps of her brace and take it off, but she doesn’t wants that tonight.
“Stay here,” she whispers, stealing a kiss before turning around. Her skin feels feverishly hot against the cold glass of the window when she presses up against it. The blue planet spreads wide and beckoning in front of her, at a distance that she’s calculated even in her sleep. Behind her, Bellamy steps closer and kisses her nape of her neck, holding her hair up and out of the way, bunched up in his hand. His free hand is warm on her hip, fingers pressed against her skin but not guiding her yet.
“I can’t wait,” he confesses, in the safety of her neck. (How many secrets has he whispered to her like this? Too many to count.) “I can’t want to see you in the sun again.”
She lets out a low laugh, and grinds back against him. “You’re so full of sap you could be a tree.”
He tugs on her hair playfully, but hard enough that it knocks the breath out of her and brings every inch of her body he’s touching into focus. The window in front of her steams up momentarily from the hot exhale she lets out. He gently guides her head back to an angle at which he can nip her lower lip, kiss her, smile against her mouth.
“I can’t wait either,” she finally breathes out, opening her eyes to catch his expression. He still looks at her with the same devotion as he did six years ago, with the difference that now she knows what that look is all about. “You’re really hot in the sun.” A beat. “Pun unintended?”
He laughs, forehead pressed against her shoulder and his whole frame shaking from the quiet laughter. She drowns it out easily, reaching behind her and between them, wrapping her hand around him and turning laughter into a curse and a moan.
“So what’s this, goodbye fuck in our spot?” she teases, when he presses closer.
“Yes.” He kisses the spot beneath her ear and then whispers, “And it’s a promise.”
Her throat and stomach get all twisted in knots, and she knows the promise even without asking, but she has to ask. They’ve made a vow to at least try not to keep things quiet anymore, just assuming the other will read minds.
“You with me, Bellamy?” she asks.
Their reflections in the window is how their eyes meet, but it’s as real as anything. “Always,” he whispers against her temple, and a shudder pierces her in reaction.
She turns around quickly and crushes her mouth to his, interrupting the kissing only so she can bend and pull one strap loose. He catches on and drops to her knees, making a quick work of the remaining two, and taking the brace off, then her pants. She follows him down, and even if the floor is cold, she straddles his waist and pretends that she’s as whole as she feels. He surges up to kiss her, gather her up in his arms, and bends his knees to keep her in place.
It feels so good, she doesn’t want to move away. “I’ve got you,” he says, reassuringly, and takes care of the rest. Slips his hand between them and guides himself in, fills her up and swallows her moans and her sighs, and uses his hands on her hips to make her move. It’s slow, it’s almost not moving at all, but all he needs to say is that she’s gorgeous, he’s got her, he loves her, and she’s gone with a broken sob.
She comes so intensely she doesn’t even realize she whispers always like a promise against his lips, and definitely doesn’t notice if he comes too or doesn’t. Next thing she knows, she’s lying down in his arms, stuck between a hot embrace and the cold floor, and endearingly comfortable anyway.
“I plan on doing that again in twenty-four hours,” he jokes, playing idly with her hair.
She lifts her head from his chest and raises her eyebrows in mock. “What, in a meadow, with sunlight?”
“If the weather’s on our side, yes.” He shrugs.
“And if not?”
He presses a soft kiss to the tip of her nose, smiling when she scrunches her face up in protest. “I can adapt.”