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i'm not asking much of you

Chapter Text

The door slammed shut as Octavia walked into her apartment. “Hey, Clarke, you got a letter,” she called into the living room where her roommate was elbows deep in another painting. 

The blonde nodded absentmindedly while Octavia dropped her purse and keys on the kitchen counter. Clarke made no move to stop what she was doing, and didn’t so much as glance over. Octavia folded her arms, clearing her throat significantly.

A second passed. Clarke blinked. “Um, what? A letter?" She thought about getting up, but then remembered that her hands were covered in paint. "Is it a bill?" 

Octavia shook her head. "Looks way too personal to be a bill."

"Oh, then you can just go ahead and open it." 

Octavia ripped the envelope open. It was oddly fancy, cream-colored with a dusty rose lining. “Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Collins and Mr. and Mrs. Pedro Reyes request the honor of your presence…” she drifted off, reading the rest silently. “Oh no. Oh fuck no, you’ve got to be kidding me.”

Clarke had gone stiff, recognizing the names and the meaning of the invitation despite Octavia’s omission. There was no doubt in her mind. It was a wedding invitation. Her asshole cheating ex had just invited her to his wedding. His wedding with the woman he was engaged to while he was dating Clarke. 

Her first instinct was to refuse. Finn either wanted to rub it in her face, or to see her again because he still had feelings for her. Neither of which were good scenarios. But then she realized. It was a test. If she didn't go, he'd think she was heartbroken or something. He'd think she still wasn't over him. Which she was. She totally was. 100% completely over him.

“You’re not going,” Octavia said firmly.

Clarke shook her head, sharing her thoughts. “Of course I’m going. If I don't, he'll think I have feelings for him. I have to go and show him just how apathetic I am now." 

Octavia hurried over to her, gingerly placing her hands on her friend’s shoulders, avoiding paint splatters. “Clarke. You seem to have forgotten. He pursued you. Failed to mention his fiancée. You found out about his fiancée. He wanted to be with you regardless. And now that you’ve dumped him and moved on, he invited you to their fucking wedding?!” Octavia paused for a moment in thought. “I wonder how Raven felt about him inviting you. Do you think she knows?” 

Clarke frowned. When Raven had found out about her, she hadn’t been mad at Clarke for long. She realized that Clarke had no idea she even existed. When Raven had come back from her time abroad, doing whatever it is mechanical engineers do in developing countries, she was more than willing to let bygones be bygones and forgive Finn. He’d continued to hold a torch for Clarke, even after Raven came back, and that’s when Clarke knew she had to cut ties.

“I’m not sure why I was invited, exactly,” Clarke admitted. She was 50% sure the invitation was all Finn, for whatever reason, but at the same time, she was 50% sure it was Raven’s way of saying Clarke wasn’t a threat. 

“Clarke, honey, you haven’t dated anyone since Finn,” Octavia reminded her gently. “How sure are you that there won’t be a problem?”

A pause. “Not sure at all,” Clarke slumped, realizing her friend was right. “What if I'm still not over him? What if he’s still not over me?”

Octavia considered it. “Well in that case, the best option would be to go with a date and be all over him.”

Clarke pressed her lips together. She and Octavia had watched The Wedding Date together countless times. “O, I am not hiring a male escort.”

A wicked gleam appeared in her best friend’s eye. “What if I said you didn’t have to?”

Clarke eyed the brunette warily.

“What if,” Octavia continued, “I told you that a certain someone owes me a huge favor... And that he’d do anything I ask regardless…”

Comprehension dawned on Clarke’s face. “Octavia. No. Your brother and I hate each other.”

“You so do not, or why else would Finn have been so jealous of you two together?”

“That… It… That was just Finn’s guilty conscience about cheating on Raven. He was projecting his cheaterness onto me,” Clarke protested.

Octavia shook her head. “Y’all might fight like cats and dogs, but there’s definitely some sexual tension there. Lincoln sees it too.”

“I… we… no, that’s not… there’s no tension. No sexual tension.”

“Think about it. You show up, acting all lovey with Bell. Finn goes insane because he was hoping you’d come crawling back to him. You and Bell have fun making fun of all of the extended family.”

Clarke pursed her lips, hiding a smile. As much as they fought, she and Bellamy were capable of having fun together. And if anyone could liven up a terrible wedding, it would be him. And there was a part of her that hoped Finn really would go crazy at the sight of them together.

“I’ll think about it.”

Octavia eyed her friend. She knew that was as good as a yes. Clarke just didn’t want to look like she'd caved right away. She shrugged, dropping the invitation on the coffee table and prancing back to her room. When Clarke wanted to say yes, she knew where to find her.


A little less than a week later, Clare was sketching in the classroom where she taught art at the local high school. With the trust fund from her sickeningly rich architectural engineer father and cardiac surgeon mother, she could afford the pitiful public school wages. And since she wasn't teaching all day every day the way core subject teachers did, she had plenty of time to work on her own art projects.

Right now, she was thinking about Bellamy. She'd given Octavia permission to ask him to be her date, and now she couldn't stop thinking about it. Would he say yes? Or would he take the opportunity to tease her mercilessly? She'd later found out that it was a destination wedding, and the parents of both the bride and groom had booked several floors at a resort. This meant that not only did she have to pretend to date Bellamy in front of everyone else, but she would also most likely be forced to share a room with him. 

Maybe he'd say no. Maybe he wouldn't be able to spend 24 hours a day for five days with her.  And then what? Would she just send a regretful RSVP? “Sorry, but I don't have enough vacation days?” That was a lie. The wedding was in June and it's not like there were art classes at summer school.

Deep in her thoughts, Clarke hadn't realized just who she was sketching. She was particularly focused on the shape and movement of his hair when a sudden voice made her jump, flinging her sketchpad across the room.

“Thinking of me, princess?”

Clarke slapped Bellamy's arm. "Don't do that! You scared me half to death!"

Bellamy quirked an eyebrow at her. "I called your name several times. It's not my fault you were too busy drawing me to pay attention."

Clarke felt heat spread across her face. "I was thinking."

"About how much you love me?" he smirked, looking like the cat that caught the canary.

"Ha ha," she said dryly, hopping off her desk to go reclaim her sketchpad. "No, this book is actually like Death Note; whoever I draw in it dies."

"You are such a fucking nerd," Bellamy shook his head, but his eyes glinted with humor. He followed her closely, which would be disconcerting if she wasn't already used to it.

Clarke set the sketchbook down, shut, on a nearby table and put her hands on her hips. "So is that why you showed up unannounced to my place of employment? To insult me?"

"No, princess. I'm here to do you a favor."

The wedding. Does this mean he was saying yes?

Clarke looked at him skeptically. "I thought you owed your sister a favor."

"You say tomato," he shrugged. "I just wanted you to know that I'm in."

"Seriously?" Clarke asked breathlessly, gratitude all over her face. If she wasn't so desperate for him to come, she might have thought to be more aloof, so as to avoid teasing.

"Seriously, princess. I'm your knight in shining armor." Bellamy struck a pose, as if holding a sword.

Clarke snorted. "You know it's a destination wedding, right? Some tropical island in the Caribbean or Virgin Islands or something like that."

"Even better," Bellamy smirked. "Does this mean we get to share a hotel room?"

Clarke shrugged, not quite as indifferent as she was letting on. "If we're pretending to be dating, I guess we should."

Bellamy shot her a predatory grin and Clarke rolled her eyes.

"In all seriousness," she cut in, before he could get them even more off-track. "Thank you for this. It means a lot."

Bellamy grew serious as well. "Anytime. Besides, I owe you as much as I owe my sister. I know you gave Octavia a deal on the rent, even if she doesn’t know it."

Clarke protested, "I-no, it's actually a really cheap apartment."

"Clarke, I've been there. There is no way the rent is $2,000. Not with that space."

She shrugged helplessly. "It's not much more than that."

Bellamy gave her a level look. He was right, Clarke was paying significantly more than Octavia. But she didn't mind it at all. Octavia and Bellamy had been raised by a single mother and had very little to their name, and Clarke had too much. She couldn't help her family's wealth, but she could do something useful with it.

Bellamy relaxed slightly. "Okay, I'll stop fighting you on this. But I'm covering both our plane tickets."

"I don't need you-"

He laughed. "Of course you don't need me to. But I want to. I'm making good money now. I got this."

Clarke didn't argue. She knew how proud he was, and how little he liked charity. He probably would have offered to help Octavia pay her fair share of the rent if she wasn't as proud as he was. All things considered, it was easier to let Octavia think she was paying half. Her job paid little more than Clarke's, and she needed to save her money more.

"Thank you," she said finally.

Bellamy quirked a small smile. "Anytime, princess."

"But you're gonna have to stop calling me that."

His smirk widened into a full-fledged grin. "No way. It’s a term of endearment. As your boyfriend, I’m obligated to."

Clarke crossed her arms. "And just what am I supposed to call you? Prince?"

Bellamy grimaced. "No way. We've still got a few months before the wedding. Why don't you think about it?"

"Ugh, great, you're giving me homework. I thought I was the teacher here."

"Yeah, speaking of that, where are your students?"

Clarke checked her watch. "I don't have class for another half-hour."

"Ah, no time for me to take you out for lunch, huh?"

Clarke raised both her eyebrows. "You know we aren't actually dating, right?"

Bellamy raised an eyebrow back. "You don't think we won't need practice? Or a back story?"

Clarke conceded. He had a point. "Dinner? I can meet you at your office?"

“Sounds good. I get off at six tonight."

Clarke nodded. It was so strange, planning dinner with him. Not being at each other's throats. She knew part of it was that he was making an effort not to actively antagonize her right now. She knew they shared a certain amount of respect for each other, which didn't make it totally unusual, but it was strange not being completely annoyed at him all the time.

Bellamy made a move to leave, but at the doorway, he stopped and turned back to her. "You know, that drawing of me wasn't half bad... If you ever need a nude model..."

Cracking up, he ducked, avoiding the markers she'd thrown at him. "See you at six, princess!" he called over his shoulder as he left.

Clarke shook her head, rolling her eyes. She should have known. 


For some reason, Clarke decided to spend her spare time before dinner agonizing over an outfit to wear. She was one of the few teachers allowed to dress casually for school, since she usually got covered in paint, charcoal, clay or whatever they were using at the time.

The jeans and t-shirt she'd been wearing were lying on the floor along with the rest of her clothes. Would a dress be overdoing it? Bellamy would be coming straight from work, so he'd be in a suit. If she was dressed too casually, he might look strange. But if she dressed too nicely, he'd doubtlessly tease her. She'd ask Octavia for help, but she and Lincoln were out together. Clarke was on her own.

After a short crisis, she settled on a business-casual sort of style with a cream-colored blouse, a gray fit-and-flare blazer, and dark-wash skinny jeans. Worried that it looked too business casual, she added a long necklace with a clear crystal pendant, and some heeled oxford booties.

She frowned, regarding herself in the mirror. Still a bit professional. She shrugged, decided to do a smoky eye, and if that wasn't good enough, oh well.

She'd taken her time getting ready, so by the time she was done, it was time to go to Bellamy's office. She grabbed her purse, made sure she had her keys, phone, and wallet, then left the apartment.

She took the subway uptown, getting off a few blocks from his building, and walked quickly. She wasn't exactly late, but she was cutting it close. She didn't want to come hurrying in late and give him the satisfaction of chastising her.

At 5:55, she found a pillar in the lobby of his swanky office building to lean against. She looked around, impressed. He'd really come far. In high school and college, Bellamy had done a bit of modeling, but he'd quit and gone into sales at a software company. He was so attractive and charming, he could get anyone to buy anything. So naturally, he rose through the ranks quickly and was now one of the top sales reps.

Clarke had tried to tease him about his model past, but he turned it around on her, aching cocky and obnoxious. He even did a short performance of "I'm Too Sexy" once, but refused to admit to it.

At six on the dot, Bellamy came walking out the elevator, loosening his tie and ruffling his hair. Clarke had to admit that he was attractive. It's not like he was a model for nothing. And it’s like he knew how to make himself look good.

When he caught sight of Clarke, he grinned, eyes crinkling. "Hey, princess."

Clarke couldn't help smiling, and walked towards him, meeting him halfway. Bellamy slung an arm over her shoulder, kissing the side of her head. Clarke turned sharply, almost knocking her forehead into his chin.

"Just getting into character," he whispered in her ear, smirking.

Clarke simply raised an eyebrow at him, and snaked her arm around his waist. "So, where are we going for dinner?"

"Nothing too fancy, just a pub down the street. I'm saving the better stuff for later."

Clarke laughed. "Of course you are."

They walked there together, arms still around each other. Somehow, it wasn't weird. In all their fighting, they touched each other quite a bit, so they were somewhat used to physical contact. Still, it wasn’t often that said contact was fond.

In the pub, the pair decided to take seats at the bar, ordering a basket of fries and two beers to start.

"So," Clarke swiveled on her stool. "Back story."

"Hmm..." Bellamy said thoughtfully, a mischievous look on his face. "You threw yourself at me, multiple times, and finally I agreed to go out with you out of pity."

"As if," Clarke rolled her eyes, channeling her inner Cher Horowitz. "You know it would be the other way around. You're the James to my Lily. The Darcy to my Lizzie. The Benedick to my Beatrice."

Bellamy stared at her with a blank expression. Her jaw dropped before she could help it. "Harry Potter? Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Come on, you've got to recognize one of those."

Bellamy shook his head, smirking slightly at her incredulous response.

"Well, long story short, they're all stories about people who act like they hate each other and fight a lot but eventually fall in love. The guy always falls first."

"Always?" Bellamy quirked an eyebrow.

"Always. It helps him stop acting like a douche all the time, which is why the girl's suckered into falling for him."

Bellamy leaned in closer to her. "Are you trying to imply something, princess?"

"If the shoe fits," she shrugged, popping a fry into her mouth.

Bellamy was silent for a moment, arms crossed. He took a long sip of his beer.

"Okay," he said finally. "Let's say we do it your way. Did I just ask you out one day?"

"Too easy," Clarke shook her head. "I wouldn't have agreed to it right away. But if you did something nice for me..."

"Like take you to a gallery event my company is sponsoring?"

"I would like that, yes," Clarke nodded.

"Because there is one. An art show. Or exhibition. Whatever it's called. There's a big opening event in a couple of weeks."

"Bellamy Blake, are you already asking me on a second date?" Clarke grinned.

"Only if you behave," Bellamy eyed her.

"Me?" she said innocently. "Always."

"Would that be sufficient for her highness?"

Clarke smiled, swiveling back and forth on her stool. "Perhaps. And perhaps we find something in common."

"Those couples you mentioned. Maybe we could read those books together."

"I'm surprised you know how to read," Clarke quipped.

"And I'm surprised you don't pay someone to do it for you."

"Touché," Clarke nodded, sipping at her drink. "Okay. Much Ado About Nothing is a play. And it's been made into several movies. We could watch that? And "bond" over the similar situation. I mean, no one tricks us into thinking we're in love... but the whole verbal sparring turning into affection, that would work."

Bellamy turned to his phone, typing quickly. "I found a performance of the play in about a month. Tickets aren't too expensive."

Clarke smiled to herself. "That was fast."

Bellamy shrugged. "I think it's best if we actually do the things in our back story. Gives it more credibility. You're lucky you've had such advanced warning."

"You're telling me. Speaking of, I need to know your dinner preferences. For the wedding."

"Already? Aren't you worried about our feelings for each other fizzling out before the wedding actually happens? Not counting your chickens before they hatch and all that," Bellamy said with faux solemnity.

"Very funny," she shoved his shoulder. "If you back out of this, you're basically dead to me, so tread carefully."

"Whatever you say, princess."

"The options for dinner are chicken, beef, salmon, or vegan pasta. There's also a gluten free option but I think that's only if you're intolerant, not if you're fad-dieting."

Bellamy sat back, slightly surprised. "Oh, so you were serious about that. I dunno, beef is fine."

Clarke nodded, making a note on her phone. "I'll send the RSVP tomorrow."

"This is really happening, huh?" Bellamy said contemplatively.

"It sure is... So you'd better not let me down, Blake," she pointed a threatening finger at him.

"Wouldn't dream of it. But you've really got to come up with a better term of endearment than my surname."

Shrugging slightly, Clarke turned back to her beer. "Like you said, we've got time."

Chapter Text

The date of the gallery opening was rapidly approaching. Octavia, of course, was thrilled about the recent development with her brother and roommate. 

“Do you have a dress?” Octavia asked excitedly while Clarke poured over a lesson plan.

“I have several dresses,” Clarke murmured, slightly distracted.

“No I mean a dress. An extra special new dress for your first date with Bell.”

Clarke looked up. She gave Octavia a look. “Honey, you do realize it isn’t real, right?”

“Not yet, maybe,” Octavia grumbled under her breath. “Still. It’s black tie. You need a new dress. It’s not like you can’t afford it.”

Clarke set her things down on the coffee table. “Yes, O, but just because I can afford it, doesn’t mean I have to buy it.”

Please? We haven’t gone shopping together in such a long time. We can make it a girls’ day. Get mani-pedis and everything.”

Clarke relented. They’d both been busy lately, and she really did want to spend more time with her roommate and friend. Plus, the event being formal, it was possible that she wasn’t completely prepared.

“Okay, fine,” she smiled. “Are you free on Saturday?”

Octavia squealed and hugged her friend. “I had a date with Lincoln but he can wait!”

Clarke laughed, hugging her back. “Okay. Saturday’s just you and me then.”

Octavia flopped back on the couch, content, flipping to Keeping Up With the Kardashians. She’d won two battles. Now she just needed to win the war of Clarke and Bellamy.


Clarke was woken bright and early by a certain someone jumping on her bed. She shoved Octavia off, protesting loudly, but got up and started getting dressed as soon as her roommate left her room.

She dressed in casual clothes with comfortable sandals. She knew Octavia would have her walking all over the mall, but she was getting a pedicure, so she couldn’t wear sneakers, as much as she wanted to.

She got ready in record time, because she wasn’t sure Octavia could wait any longer.

“Hey roommie!” she sang, bouncing on the balls of her feet. “Ready for our day of fun?”

Clarke laughed, shaking her head. “You’ve got it all planned out, don’t you.”

“Mayyybe,” Octavia sing-songed. “First, we’re going to breakfast!”

“Did we need to have breakfast?” Clarke raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t brunch good enough? Oh! Or better yet, lunch!”

Octavia crossed her arms. “Complain all you want. But I’m planning a nice dinner, and I want to make sure we’re done by then.”

“You think we’re going to be out until dinner?”

“I just want to be safe,” Octavia shrugged casually. “Oh, by the way, I’m inviting Jasper and Monty to dinner. Do we want them to know about the plot or not?”

Clarke froze. Jasper was good friends with Finn. Jasper would be at the wedding and Monty would doubtlessly be his plus one. But Monty was a good friend of hers, and Jasper was really close with Octavia… But let’s be real. The pair liked to drink. A lot. And they couldn’t exactly be counted on to keep sensitive information whether they were sober or drunk. Jasper especially. His entire life was one big case of word vomit.

“It might be better if they don’t…” Clarke drifted off. “You know what they’ll be like with that open bar.”

Octavia nodded slowly, understanding immediately. “No, yeah, you’re absolutely right. So should we tell them about your upcoming date?” she grinned, eyebrows wiggling.

“Only if it comes up naturally, O. Don’t want you blurting it out first thing and then blowing the whole operation.”

“I can be subtle.” Octavia pouted.

“Sure,” Clarke said sarcastically. “That’s why you woke me up like a five year old on Christmas.”

“Gosh, you’re so grumpy in the morning. You and Bell really are perfect for each other.”

Clarke gaped after her friend, who had chosen that moment to exit the apartment. “You take that back right now!”


After a delicious breakfast of pancakes and fruit and syrup made out of fruit, Clarke and Octavia headed to the mall. Their game plan was simple. Dress first. If necessary, accessories. Mani-pedi last, so it wouldn’t be ruined by Clarke trying on countless dresses.

Octavia dragged her through Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Burberry, and too many others. Clarke tried on cocktail dresses, floor length gowns, tea length dresses, and everything in between. She knew she and Octavia had different tastes—Clarke was more on the rational, sensible side while Octavia went crazy for anything that had sequins or showed skin—but this was ridiculous. They couldn’t agree on anything.

The only thing they could agree on was color. It was spring, and Clarke had such a light complexion, that pastels and light colors were the only thing they considered. You’d think that would narrow down the choices and make it easier for them to agree.

After several hours, they walked into BCBGMAXAZRIA and saw the dress almost immediately. It was like someone had taken a white mini dress, thrown chiffon and sequins on it, and called it a day. The bodice was covered in white sequins, with a sheer collar going higher up. The skirt was sheer, floor length, pleated chiffon over a white skirt that ended mid-thigh.

There was some skin showing, and a bit of glitz, but it was understated enough that Clarke wouldn’t feel like a complete fool wearing it. It was actually a perfect marriage of hers and Octavia’s tastes. She found her size and took it into the dressing room.

“I’m coming in. I can’t wait for you to come out,” Octavia said, squeezing into the dressing room with her.

Clarke changed quickly, and Octavia gasped. “Clarke, it’s perfect.”

Clarke spun in the mirror and couldn’t help grinning. She was right. There was no way they’d find a better dress that the two of them could agree on.

“Well finally,” Clarke laughed slightly, changing back into her street clothes.

Octavia grabbed the dress and put it gingerly back on the hanger. “Do you have shoes to go with it?”

“You know my peep-toe Louboutins?”

“Beige?” Octavia tilted her head in thought. “Those could work. Does that mean you’re going for red nail polish to match?”

Clarke frowned. “Would it be too much?”

Octavia shook her head firmly. "Sounds perfect. And I've got the perfect clutch for you."

Clarke grinned. "Does that mean we're done shopping?"

Octavia made a face and Clarke made one right back. "Yes, we're done. Time for mani-pedis!"

Laughing, Clarke linked her arm through Octavia's and went to pay for the dress.


It turned out that Clarke and Octavia had extra time before dinner, so Octavia suggested that they watch The Wedding Date. Again.

Clarke rolled her eyes, but cuddled up to Octavia on the couch after putting her dress away in the closet. Octavia squealed excitedly at Nick's voice on the answering machine, and sang along to "Breathless" when it played, quickly drew silent when Kat got to the airport.

Clarke watched Octavia, the expressions on her face as she watched the film. She was totally enamored with it, reminding Clarke that she was likely living vicariously through her and Bellamy’s fake relationship. Octavia was a sucker for cheesy romantic tropes. Clarke didn’t mind them too much, but was way more practical than her friend.

Afterwards, they changed quickly into slightly nicer clothes for dinner and cleared the kitchen table. Octavia had made her famous lasagna, and Clarke pulled the "special" brownies that Monty had given them out of the freezer.

"Heyyy!"Jasper yelled as Octavia let him into the apartment. "Ready to get crunk?!"

Monty followed, shaking his head slightly. "Sorry about him. He decided to pregame," he rolled his eyes, smiling fondly at his boyfriend. "I brought wine!"

Clarke grinned brightly, taking the bottles from him. "And that is why you're my favorite."

"Not anymore," Octavia called mischievously from the kitchen.

Monty looked at Clarke. "What does she mean by that?"

Clarke took a deep breath and shook her head. "Nothing. She's just being weird."

"As usual," Monty smirked and followed Jasper into the kitchen. Jasper was already attacking a brownie. "Dude, really?"

"Please, like you don't want one," Jasper said with his mouth full.

"Only one," Monty warned. "You're already drunk."

"Party pooper," Jasper grumbled, but he pushed the tupperware away.

Octavia and Clarke had been waiting for their friends to come before eating anything, so they each took a brownie, along with Monty, and put the container back in the freezer.

"Do y'all want dinner now, or do you want to play Mario Party first?" Clarke asked.

Monty and Jasper looked at each other. "Food," "Mario Party," they said simultaneously. A pause. "Mario Party," "Food," they switched their answers.

"I say we play Mario Party first and eat when the munchies kick in," Octavia suggested. The decision was unanimous.

Jasper and Monty were Wario and Waluigi, respectively, and Clarke and Octavia were Princess Peach and Princess Daisy. They were so focused on the game, they didn't hear the doorbell ring. And ring again. Finally, whoever it was outside let himself in, having gotten a key from his sister.

"O? You here?"

Four heads simultaneously snapped towards the door. Bellamy was standing there, eyebrow raised. "I thought I would stop by and say hi. I didn't realize you had company."

Jasper and Monty. They didn't know. Clarke immediately descended into panic mode. "Bellamy, can I speak to you? Alone?"

"Sure thing, princess."

Clarke stumbled to her feet and pushed Bellamy back out the door. Behind her, she heard Octavia saying proudly, "They're going on a date."

Clarke slammed the door shut behind them. Bellamy looked at her with surprise and a bit of suspicion. "What's going on here?"

"Jasper and Finn are friends," Clarke stated, waiting for Bellamy to figure it out for himself.

"He's gonna be at the wedding," Bellamy said, not taking long.

Clarke nodded, continuing. "You know how he is. Can't keep a secret to save his life."

"So we're going to have to fool them," Bellamy nodded. "So what- Where are we right now? Are we together?"

"We haven't gone to the gallery opening yet, so I don't think we should be too lovey-dovey... Or I shouldn't, at least."

Bellamy frowned as he realized what she was saying. "You want me to do all the work? Typical princess," he scoffed, genuinely annoyed.

Clarke gaped. Seriously? He was gonna get bitchy now, of all times? "Bellamy, this is the story we agreed on!"

"Yeah, but we weren't supposed to be doing it in real life so soon! So soon, in fact, that you don't even have to act! You can just be your stuck up self! You did this on purpose," he accused, pointing a finger at her.

Clarke was fuming. She should have known his niceness before was too good to be true. To tell the truth, she had been on edge, waiting for him to blow up like this for a while. "I did not! Your sister is the one who invited them over. Believe it or not, everything isn't always my fault, Bellamy!"

"What, so now you're gonna blame Octavia?" Bellamy crossed his arms.

Clarke clenched and unclenched her fists, sighed, and ran a hand through her hair. They were careening towards a train wreck and she knew that if she didn't stop it, he sure as hell wouldn't. "Bellamy. I am not blaming anyone. A series of events led us to this situation now and we have to make the best of it."

It took Bellamy longer to calm down. As usual, he wanted to go charging in, guns blazing. He was so quick to think everyone was against him, since for the longest time, that's how it had been. Him and Octavia against the world.

Clarke put a hand on his arm and felt the muscles tense, as if he was going to brush her off. "I'm sorry that it happened this way, but you promised to help me. Are you going to keep your word?"

Bellamy glared at her, but the expression seemed somewhat softer than before. "I always keep my word, princess."

There was a pause. Awkward silence. "Do you want a pot brownie?" Clarke suggested with a slight smile.

"Is that your way of saying I need to calm down?!"

Clarke started backtracking immediately when Bellamy burst out laughing. Clarke stared at him incredulously. Not even pregnant people had mood swings this bad.

"I'm just messing with you, Clarke."

"Goddamnit, Bell! You're such an ass!" Clarke slapped his arm. She wasn't sure how much of his anger from the conversation had been real or faked, but she didn't want to ask and have it get uncomfortable again. “What was the point of that?”

Bellamy shrugged. “Just wanted to freak you out a little bit. Maybe you’re the one who needs a pot brownie.”

Clarke glared at him. Seriously, she’d been freaking out. And he was just playing around? Did he not realize how much this meant to her?

“Oh, come on, princess, lighten up,” Bellamy said ruffling her hair.

Clarke retaliated, messing up his carefully styled curls. Bellamy gave her a look. She returned it.

“You’re a jerk,” she muttered, crossing her arms.

“Aw, I didn’t mean it.”

“Yes you did.”

“Okay, maybe a little bit.”

Clarke looked at him sharply, but Bellamy’s face was all open and playful. She seriously did not get him.

"Come on. You owe me a brownie. I promise, I’ll play nice," Bellamy smirked back at Clarke as he unlocked the door again. He grabbed her hand, pulling her inside.

She didn't drop his hand, didn't think much of it, until she heard a gasp. "HA! You owe me 20 bucks!" Monty was pumping his fists.

Bellamy and Clarke dropped their hands as if they were scalding. "I-no-it's not-" Clarke stuttered.

"It's too late," Monty smirked. "Octavia told us everything."

"Everything?" Bellamy looked sharply at Clarke.

"Yeah, how you asked Clarke out? And she said yes? And how she and Octavia spent all day today looking for a dress?"

Bellamy's gaze on Clarke became amused. "All day?"

Clarke scoffed. "It only took a few hours... And that was just because Octavia and I couldn't agree on anything."

Bellamy barked out a laugh. "I know the feeling."

"Come on, let's get you that brownie," Clarke changed the subject quickly.

Bellamy followed her into the kitchen, with a smirk to end all smirks. "You're excited for our date, aren't you, princess?"

Clarke scoffed. "No, I just wanted to look good... out of respect for the artists."

"Mmhmm," he nodded skeptically. "Yeah… Sure, I'll buy that."

Clarke shot him a look, but handed him a brownie. "Just put this in your mouth so I don't have to hear your stupid voice anymore."

The smirk never left his face.


Jasper, Monty, and Octavia were taking up the entire couch, which had easily fit Clarke just a few minutes ago. She gave them a look, but no one budged.

"You can sit here, princess," Bellamy called from the armchair he was lounging in, patting his thighs.

"Oh, that's okay, I'll just sit on the floor..." Clarke hesitated, and Bellamy grabbed her arm, yanking her over to him. "Hey!" she gave him a sharp look.

Bellamy sighed. "Do you want to be comfortable or not?"

Clarke glanced at the couch where everyone was looking at her expectantly. It felt like an hour passed before she finally relented and sat sideways in Bellamy's lap, shifted so that she could see the TV. She sat stiffly, awkwardly, but eventually got so immersed in the game that she relaxed. Bellamy had one arm wrapped around her back, supporting her, and the other in front of him, resting on her knee.

While they finished their game, Bellamy called out taunts to the guys and encouragement for the girls. Clarke wasn't very good at the mini games where you had to press a button repeatedly, so Bellamy did those for her, wrapping his arms around her to hold the controller. Button mashing was his specialty.

"No fair!" Jasper cried as Bellamy won yet another mini game for Clarke.

"No, what's not fair is that five people can't play," Bellamy countered.

"Not my fault it's a four person game," Jasper grumbled.

"Not my fault you showed up unannounced," Octavia added.

Bellamy scrunched his face up at his sister, who stuck out her tongue. Clarke laughed softly. It felt almost normal now. Hearing her laughter, Bellamy squeezed her slightly.

Clarke gulped. Nope. Still weird. "Who's ready for lasagna?"

Jasper cheered. That boy was always hungry. Bellamy helped Clarke up, and they all followed the reedy brunette into the kitchen. He poked the lasagna.

"Guys... it's cold."

Everyone groaned. Octavia tilted her head in thought. "Okay. Take your share and take turns microwaving it for 30 seconds."

Jasper had already scooped a huge helping onto his plate. "I'd rather just eat it cold than wait."

He sat at the table, digging in, while the rest of them heated up their shares. Monty was first and sat next to Jasper when he was done.

Bellamy said, "Ladies first," and gestured to the microwave.

Clarke put her lasagna into the microwave, staring off into space while she waited. She was dating Bellamy. Well, fake-dating Bellamy. But now she was officially fake-dating Bellamy. It was too late for either of them to back out of it at this point. Had Monty really bet Jasper that they'd start dating? He was almost as bad as Octavia. God, there was nothing worse than shipping real-life people and that's basically what their friends were doing.

"Clarke," Bellamy nudged her with an elbow. "Your food's done."

"Oh," Clarke blinked. His face was really close to hers. "Sorry, I was spacing out," she giggled nervously.

Bellamy nodded absentmindedly, handing her the plate. Clarke went and sat next to Monty, silently eating.

Octavia pulled out the chair next to Clarke once her food was ready, when Bellamy cleared his throat loudly. Clarke watched the siblings exchange looks. Octavia moved one seat over, sitting on Jasper's other side. When Bellamy came to sit, he rested a hand lightly on Clarke's back for a moment and she nearly bit her tongue.

He sat next to her, shooting her yet another smirk. Would he ever get tired of taunting her? Clarke rolled her eyes and turned back to her dinner. Octavia's lasagna had never tasted so good, even reheated. That may have been partially due to the pot brownies but Clarke didn't really care. A distraction was a distraction.

"So Clarke," Bellamy said, wiping his mouth with a napkin. "Are you gonna show me your new dress?"

Clarke raised an eyebrow. "Not until the event."

"Yeah, Bellamy. It's bad luck to see a bride in her dress before the wedding," Jasper joked, earning a slap on the back of the head from his boyfriend.

"Let's not be too hasty," Bellamy said quickly.

"Yeah. You don't want to scare her off before they even go on a date," Octavia added, talking about Clarke as if she wasn't there.

"Or maybe I do," Jasper wiggled his eyebrows.

"It's too late. The bet's won," Monty said simply. Jasper grumbled slightly, then got a second helping of lasagna.

"I just love the fact that you made a bet on my love life," Clarke said, voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Don't mind them," Octavia said, reaching across the table to pat Clarke's hand. "They'd bet on anything."

"We should make a bet about them, see how they like it," Bellamy muttered. Clarke smirked.

She turned towards him and whispered in his ear. "Hey, Bell. I bet you Jasper will ask what we're whispering about."

She pulled away and Bellamy grinned, speaking so everyone could hear, "20 bucks. You're on."

Jasper looked between the two of them. "What was that?"

Clarke burst out laughing. "Too easy! I believe you owe me 20 bucks."

Bellamy just shook his head with a smile. "You're devious."

"What's going on?" Jasper asked again.

"Clarke bet you'd be curious about what she whispered," Bellamy replied, pulling out his wallet.

"Diabolical," Jasper proclaimed, looking at Clarke in awe.

Clarke just raised her eyebrows with a small smile. She accepted the 20 from Bellamy, tucking it into her back pocket. "I'll treat you to a beer, how's that sound?"

Bellamy crossed his arms, faux-indignant. "Who do you think you are to just go around buying other guys drinks?"

"That settles it. I'm going to walk to the nearest bar and buy a round for every single guy in there."

Octavia laughed. "Come on, bro. You know she's not a fan of the controlling, jealous type."

"I'm not jealous!" Bellamy protested, but his sister just smiled knowingly. "Okay, fine. I'm jealous. I want Clarke to buy me a drink."

"Aw, Bell, all you had to do is ask," Clarke said patronizingly, patting the top of his head.

Bellamy scowled, making the rest of the table laugh. They continued to eat and tease each other, and eventually, even Bellamy and Clarke almost forgot that it was fake. Despite a few hiccups, their relationship trial run seemed to be a success.

Now they just had fool hundreds of other people.

Chapter Text

When the big night finally came, Clarke was suddenly nervous. "Weird, huh?" she asked Octavia, laughing slightly, as if it was no big deal.

"It's cause you likeeee him," Octavia teased as she released a strand of Clarke's hair from the curling iron.

"Do not," Clarke made a face.

"It's okay, you don't have to admit it to me, but I know the truth."

She frowned, but didn't respond. Clarke sat in silence for the rest of the prep time, refusing to mention her nerves again. Octavia had insisted that she let her do her hair and makeup, and Clarke didn't mind letting someone else do all the work. Besides, Octavia liked doing that sort of stuff. Clarke certainly wasn't going to stop her.

In addition to the curls, Octavia gave her a soft smoky eye, with a bit of a cat shape. She was tempted to use red lipstick, but Clarke refused, claiming it would be overkill. Instead, she wore a subtle pinkish gloss, and even Octavia had to admit it was probably the best choice. She accessorized with some sparkling chandelier earrings, and a glittery clutch with a wristband that Octavia had lent her.

The doorbell rang a bit earlier than when Bellamy said he'd come by, but luckily Clarke was done in time. Octavia insisted that she wait in her room so she could make a grand entrance for Bellamy once he was inside. Clarke rolled her eyes but didn't protest.

She heard their voices from her room.

"She looks really gorgeous," Octavia bragged.

"Not surprising," Bellamy replied with some amusement.

"Clarke!" Octavia called. "We're ready for you!"

Clarke took a moment to straighten her dress, the walked down the hallway into the living room. When Bellamy saw her, he grinned widely.

"Well what do you know. She looks like a princess."

Clarke's nerves left her at the familiar teasing tone. If he wasn't going to act weird about it, then it wasn't weird. Simple as that.

She looked him up and down, smirking slightly. "And you look perfectly uncomfortable," she grinned, watching him squirm in his tuxedo. "New tux?"

"I've worn tuxes before," Bellamy protested.

"Not often," Octavia smirked. "Okay, now let me take a picture of you two."

Bellamy and Clarke groaned.

"Mom, it's not like we're going to prom," Clarke whined.

"One picture. For proof, so Monty can win his bet."

Clarke perked up immediately. "Well, if it's for Monty..."

Octavia rolled her eyes and directed the two. "Okay, Clarke, stand slightly in front of Bellamy... And move a bit to the side; you're too tall... Stop smirking, Bell. Touch her, put an arm around her waist, something! Clark, no scowling. Now act like you like each other... Clarke, maybe if you put a hand on his chest?"

Clarke couldn't help but laugh at Octavia's bossiness. She was standing to Bellamy's right, her left hand on his back and her right resting on his chest, as Octavia dictated. Bellamy had his left hand in his pocket, his right arm slung around Clarke's waist. He drew her closer before Octavia pulled out her phone to take the picture.

"Smile!" Octavia sang.

Clarke tilted her head, leaning into Bellamy and selling it for all she was worth. After the first picture, Bellamy pulled her into his chest, forcing her into an uncomfortable crouch. She was about 6 inches shorter than him, maybe only 4 or 3 inches with her heels on, but he seemed to have decided he wanted to rest his chin on top of her head. She turned her neck to face the camera, rolling her eyes just as Octavia took another picture, laughing.

"Now pick her up!" Octavia beamed.

Clarke turned and stared at Bellamy, shaking her head firmly as she backed away. "No. Oh no."

Bellamy started to grin and walk towards her. "Oh yes, princess."

Before she could do anything, Bellamy scooped her up, holding her bridal-style. Rather than fight it and risk falling or a wardrobe malfunction, she just sighed, twining her arms around his neck. Bellamy pretended to groan under her weight, and she slapped his chest.

"You're so mean," she frowned.

"Just kidding, princess. You're light as a feather."

He hefted her up and turned to face Octavia, who was grinning ear to ear. "Okay, this is the last one. Say cheese!"

Clarke managed to smile in time, and Octavia took several pictures, one after the other. "Okay, time to put me down now."

Bellamy pretended not to hear her. He walked over to Octavia, asking, "Can I see the pictures?"

Octavia got as close to him as she could, giggling as she avoided Clarke's legs. She held up the iPhone for both of them to see, scrolling through the various pictures. Clarke was pleasantly surprised. They actually looked like they were happy to be together.

Slightly distracted, Bellamy let her down. Once on her feet, Clarke hurried away to grab her things: the clutch and a light jacket. It was about time for them to go.

When she turned to Bellamy, he was watching her silently. "Ready?" he asked when they made eye contact.

Clarke nodded silently. Bellamy held out his arm, and she walked over and hooked hers through it.

"Now don't stay out too late, you two," Octavia said, wagging her finger like a worried mother. "I expect you to have her home before the crack of dawn. Got it, young man?"

Bellamy's eyes twinkled, the way they only did for Octavia. "Yes, mom," he rolled his eyes in an exaggerated manner. "Don't worry, I'll have the princess back before midnight and her dress turns to rags."

"Cinderella? I'm Cinderella?" Clarke frowned. Of all the princesses...

"No, you're probably Belle. Too smart for your own good."

Clarke smiled contentedly. She didn't mind being Belle. But then... "That makes you the beast," she smirked.

Bellamy just shrugged. "Tonight, I'm anyone you want me to be."

"Bellamy is good," she said softly. "You can be Bellamy."

He looked down at her, a slight smile on his face. "How benevolent of you, princess." 

Clarke rolled her eyes. One second, he was charming, the next, he was under her skin. "Let's just go."

"Your wish is my command, highness." 

"And stop that!"


The gallery was very classy, modestly decorated in a modern style. Clarke found herself hanging on Bellamy's arm, like decoration, as he moved around and greeted his coworkers. Every once in a while, they invited her into the conversation, and she smiled charmingly and discussed the art on display.

Despite being a dishrag hanging onto Bellamy, Clarke had a good time. She was immensely interested in the art, modern, like the gallery it was in, and kept offering Bellamy her thoughts and analyses. He hung off her every word, apparently enjoying her in her element. 

Clarke knew the feeling. Watching Bellamy chat and joke with his co-workers was new for her. He didn't seem to be particularly close friends with many of them, but it was clear he had good relationships in his workplace.

At one point, Clarke became immersed in a particular piece with lots of small details, so Bellamy murmured that he was going to get them each another drink while she stood in front of the canvas, scrutinizing every square inch.

"Wow, someone who's actually here for the art," a dry voice said from somewhere behind Clarke.

She turned to find a scruffy-looking blond man. She raised an eyebrow. "Oh? And why are you here?"

"Schmoozing," he replied, a crooked grin on his face. "Do you work here? It's not a very large company; you'd think I'd know you."

Clarke shook her head. "No, I'm here as Bellamy's date."

The man laughed out loud. "Blake? He actually found time to date someone?"

Clarke's brows furrowed. "What does that mean?"

"Nothing, just that your boyfriend isn't exactly the relationship type. Surely you know how much of a workaholic he is."

"I have an idea... And don't call me Shirley," she joked.

The man's eyes twinkled as he got the reference. "Ugh, what a good movie," he beamed. Clarke couldn't help smiling back.

"Oh, I'm Clarke," she said, offering her hand. 

"Wick," he replied, nodding. "Nice to meet you, Clarke."

"Your parents named you Wick?"

He shook his head. "No, but everyone calls me Wick."

"No first name?"

"Don't worry about it," he grinned.

Clarke nodded slowly. "O-kay....."

"Clarke!" Bellamy's voice came booming from across the room. "I see you've met one of our resident nerds."

Clarke looked between Bellamy and Wick, but they were both smiling. It seemed that there was a history of good-natured teasing between the two. Bellamy came closer, handing Clarke a flute of champagne.

"I may be a nerd, but I have better luck with the ladies than you do," Wick smirked.

"Yeah, where is your wife?" Bellamy looked around.

"Watching the kids. Our babysitter canceled last minute."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that," Bellamy sounded genuine.

"It's all good. I got to meet your lady."

"Oh, I'm not anyone's anything," Clarke said quickly.

Wick grinned at her. "Good for you. Bellamy needs someone as independent as he is."

"Well, this is just the first date," Bellamy glanced at both of them, seemingly amused. "We'll see if Clarke's what I need or not."

"So what you're really saying is that she's what you want…" Wick drifted off, looking playful.

"No, that's not-" Bellamy protested. "Wick. Don't embarrass me, please."

"Oh, I'm just getting started," he smirked.

Bellamy looked pleadingly at Clarke. "Cover your ears, okay?"

Clarke sipped her champagne, trying not to smile. She was enjoying herself more and more as the night went on. Who knew she'd see Bellamy being teased by someone other than Octavia?

Clarke feigned thought. "Nah, I'm good."

Bellamy groaned. "Damn it, Wick. Should have known you'd been the death of me."

"Sorry buddy. Do you want me to wingman now?" Wick offered, still grinning.

Clarke shook her head before Bellamy could answer. "No, no. Go back to what you were doing, please."

"Oh, you..." Bellamy muttered, wrapping an arm around Clarke and pulling her into a tight embrace. From the way he was pressing her face into his chest, it was clear he was trying to keep her quiet.

"Bellamy. If you don't let me go right this instant, I'm gonna bite off your left nipple."

"Ooh, someone's kinky," Bellamy replied in amusement. Clarke could actually hear the grin in his voice.

Clarke growled, and made a move as if she was really going to bite him (she wasn't), and Bellamy finally let her go. She slapped his arm, and he gasped loudly, stumbling back in feigned pain.

Wick was cracking up at this point. "Okay, if I didn't think so before, I definitely do now: you two were meant for each other."

Clarke looked at Bellamy in shock. She had totally forgotten about acting like a couple for a second. This was more like their typical interactions (those when they were in good moods). Clarke had never had any siblings but she imagined the previous exchange would fall more under the category of bickering siblings than teasing lovers. Was Wick actually serious?

Bellamy's eyes had widened slightly as well, but other than that, his expression was blank. "I guess so," he said thoughtfully.

Wick looked at both of them. "Okay now it got weird. Is it something I said?"

"It's just our first date," Clarke said quickly.

Wick smiled, nodding knowingly. "You're lucky to have so much chemistry so soon."

"You call that chemistry?" Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "She was threatening to dismember me."

"Aw, you'll live without a nipple," Wick waved a hand dismissively. "You have fun together. That's all that matters. Take it from someone who knows."

"Okay..." Clarke said hesitantly, forcing a smile.

A loud ring jolted them out of their respective thoughts, and Wick pulled a phone out of his pocket. "Ah, that's my wife. Should've put this thing on silent..." he muttered to himself as he walked off to take the call.

Bellamy and Clarke were left, staring silently at their feet. Clarke looked up, finding Bellamy's eyes on her, and quickly looked back to the canvas that she'd been so interested in only minutes ago.

"So that guy was pretty weird..." she said finally.

"A total weirdo," Bellamy agreed, laughing. "As if fighting is a sign of a good relationship..."

"Right," Clarke laughed as well, but she couldn't stop thinking about it.

There was an awkward pause. "Do you want more champagne?" Bellamy offered finally.

Clarke shook her head. "Don't want to get drunk at such a classy event... Why don't we talk to more of your coworkers? Practice acting like a couple?"

"Sure. That sounds good," Bellamy nodded. He offered his arm to Clarke, as he had at the apartment, and she linked her arm through his.

Clarke tried to push the encounter with Wick out of her mind. She wondered if Bellamy was doing the same.


The rest of the night was fairly uneventful, save for the teasing glances Wick would send whenever he was close enough. Many people complimented Bellamy on how lovely his date was, and Clarke took that as evidence that they were believable as a couple.

Clarke and Bellamy were just leaving the gallery, when Clarke's clutch started vibrating violently.

Clarke pulled her cellphone out of the bag and felt her mouth go dry. Bellamy stepped closer, looking concerned.

"What is it?" he asked softly.

Clarke tore her eyes from the caller ID and tried to fake a smile. "Nothing. It's no one."

She hit the end button, sending the call directly to voicemail. Not long after, the same person was calling her back. Bellamy didn't miss the pained expression on her face. 

"Want me to handle it?" he suggested.

Clarke was frozen, holding her phone in her hand, and when Bellamy took it from her, she didn't resist. He looked at the contact info of the caller and his mouth set in a grim line. 

"Hello?" he answered cheerfully.

Clarke could hear the voice on the other end. "Hello? Clarke?"

"Clarke is a bit busy, right now. Can I take a message?"

"Who the hell are you?"

Clarke bit her lip and exchanged a look with Bellamy, who raised an eyebrow. She forced herself to be expressionless and held out her hand. Bellamy raised both eyebrows, and she nodded firmly. Bellamy handed her the phone, watching intently.

"Finn?"

"Clarke? Who was that guy?"

"Oh, that's just my date. He was holding my phone for me."

"Speaking of dates... I see you'll be bringing a plus one to the wedding..." Finn's voice was dark, as if with envy.

Clarke could feel her face turning red with anger. Just who the hell did he think he was, getting jealous of her when he was getting married in just a few months?!

"Yep, it's the same guy," she said, deceptively cheerfully.

"So you're happy... That's good... I mean- that's great..."

"Yep!" Clarke chirped. "So why were you calling again?"

"Oh, no reason..." Finn said softly. "I guess I'll see you at the wedding..."

"You sure will! Me and my date! Bye!" and with that, Clarke hung up.

"What the hell-" Bellamy began.

"I know," Clarke sighed. "I need a stiff drink. Or five."

"That's Finn right? The Finn who's getting married in a few months?"

Clarke nodded, not trusting herself not to curse if she spoke.

"Wow, what a fucking dick."

"Yeah... He's a douche," Clarke agreed, looking down at her phone.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Clarke thought for a moment. Maybe she'd want to talk about it later, but right now she was just a weird mess of emotions. She needed some time to ignore them and then sort them out before she could be expected to talk about them. She shook her head.

Bellamy placed a firm hand on the small of her back. "Come on, princess. Let's go get wasted."


"So I realized you don't have the whole story," Clarke said, sipping at her fruity drink. Bellamy had raised his eyebrow at the choice but hadn't said anything. Tonight her sweet tooth wanted feeding just as much as her ... alcoholic tooth? 

"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

Clarke shook her head a little too strongly. She was on her third drink, while Bellamy was sipping beers. Probably wanted to make sure she got home safely or whatever.

"No, you should know. I got you into this mess after all. Besides, if we were really dating, I'd tell you."

"On the first date?" he raised his eyebrows, smiling slightly.

"Well... you and I have a special relationship," she admitted. "So, as you know, I met Finn while hanging out with Jasper and Monty... He was a new co-worker of Jasper's, had just moved to the city so he didn't know anyone... He started flirting with me immediately. And not subtle flirting, either."

"And he was with his fiancée at the time?"

Clarke gave him a look, almost amused. "I'm getting there. After dating for at least a year, Monty gave me a call. While on a date with Jasper, he'd seen Finn in a romantic restaurant with another woman. The woman was wearing a ring."

"I see where this is going," Bellamy nodded.

"Seriously, can you not interrupt?" Clarke groaned. After a quick apology from Bellamy, she continued. "I confronted him and he tried to play it off, like she was abroad and he didn't know if they were going to stay together... he cared about me and all that bullcrap.

"But at the same time, he continued to be the sweet little fiancé to Raven. That's her name, by the way. I ran into them once, by accident, and had to pretend nothing had happened. She was still wearing the ring. Finn couldn't stop staring at me, and that's when I called it off," she shrugged finally, understatement of the year.

It had been a mess of tears and self-loathing and betrayal and jealousy. Finn had called her every night for a fortnight, begging her to give him a chance to explain. Eventually, she'd had to block his number. She hadn't realized that the block had expired. 

Bellamy didn't speak. He just looked at her, eyes warm and sympathetic. Clarke felt compelled to say more.

"I don't know if he was the one, but I really cared about him. And I thought he felt the same way about me... I don't know... I just... After my dad, it was nice to have a guy to depend on, you know?" 

Bellamy gave her a soft smile. He knew that story all too well, thanks to Clarke's long friendship with his sister. How her father had gotten cancer. How her mother hadn't told her, because she didn't want her to fail her finals and screw up med school applications. How Clarke had given up on med school after coming home for break and having just a couple of weeks to say goodbye to her dad.

How she and her mother still hadn't completely made up for it. How furious Clarke was, still, that she spent so many months in the dark. Months that she could have spent with her father.

Bellamy could probably understand all that Clarke didn't say. That this betrayal just reminded her of the other. That she wasn't sure who she could trust anymore. There was Octavia, sure, and Monty and Jasper. Other than that, Clarke had become extremely cautious.

In a way, Bellamy was included in that list. Despite all their fighting, she clearly trusted him. Why else would she have employed him to be her fake boyfriend? Why else would she be talking to him about this now?

As if guessing her thoughts, Bellamy rested a hand on her knee. "Thank you for trusting me with this." At Clarke's furrowed brow, he explained. "For telling me this, for trusting me to help you out in this situation. For everything."

Clarke smiled. "Of course. I'd say 'what are friends for,' but I'm not sure we're there yet."

Bellamy snorted, taking another sip of his beer. "Don't worry. We'll be braiding each other's hair in no time."

Suddenly, Clarke felt the need to get mind-numbingly drunk start to slip away. Things still weren't good. In fact, they were downright weird. But with Bellamy here, they didn't feel as bad as they had before.

Clarke might even go so far to say... Things were looking up.

Chapter Text

The next morning-- Clarke checked her watch-- afternoon, rather, Clarke was woken up by Octavia playing her ukulele. Loudly and conspicuously. Groaning, Clarke put on some sweatpants and went into her roommate's room.

Octavia pretended not to notice her come in, sitting on her bed and strumming violently.

"Seriously?" Clarke asked blearily.

Octavia put her instrument to the side and fixed her friend with a look. "Clarke. You came home, drunk, and went straight to bed. I have been waiting for over twelve hours. I wanna know how it went!!"

"Oh, the thing was fun."

Octavia stared blankly at Clarke, waiting for her to elaborate.

"You know, until Finn called me."

"No!" Octavia gasped.

"Oh, yes," Clarke nodded. "I forgot that blocked numbers only stay blocked for a certain amount of time."

"So now he's unblocked? Is he still blocked on facebook? Hold on, strike that, what happened last night? Did you answer?"

Clarke shook her head. "I ignored the first call and he called again immediately afterwards, and then I let Bellamy answer."

Octavia laughed. "Finn must have been pissed!"

Clarke smiled slightly. "I don't think he actually recognized his voice. So that will be a fun surprise once we arrive for the wedding. Speaking of, Bellamy should buy the plane tickets soon... They're just gonna get more expensive the longer he waits."

"Yeah, yeah," Octavia rolled her eyes, waving a hand dismissively. "I don't care about that, what happened with Finn?"

Clarke sighed. "Well, he was all, 'who is this?'" she imitated Finn with a comically low voice, "and I took the phone and was just like, 'that's my date.' And he was like 'yeah that's why I'm calling, actually. I see you've added a plus-one to your RSVP and I'm super-jealous.'"

"No."

"Yeah. And then, he was like 'I guess I'll see you at the wedding,' and I was like, 'yeah, you'll see me and my date. Okay, bye.'"

Octavia shook her head in amazement. "What a fucking ass."

Clarke snorted. "Yeah. And Bellamy was all, 'do you wanna talk about it?' and I was like, 'not really,' so he was like 'okay, let's get wasted.'"

Octavia laughed. "Typical Bellamy."

"So we went to a bar and got a few drinks, and that was it," Clarke shrugged. "It was kinda nice." 

A grin spread slowly across Octavia's face. "I knewww itttt..."

Clarke groaned. "No, wait, Octavia, no. It's not like that."

"Mmhm," Octavia shot Clarke a disbelieving look. "You really think I'm gonna buy that?"

"Please buy it because it's true."

"Hm, yeah, whatever. I'll play along."

Clarke rolled her eyes. She had no clue why Octavia wanted her brother and Clarke to date so badly. Maybe she was hoping to make Clarke her sister-in-law? It was weird. Shouldn't friends usually be weirded out by that sort of thing?

"So when's your next date?" Octavia grinned, bouncing on her bed slightly.

Clarke shrugged. "I don't know. But whenever it is, we're going to see Much Ado About Nothing."

Octavia raised an eyebrow. "You got my brother to go see Shakespeare with you?"

"Yes...?"

Octavia laughed. "He hates Shakespeare. And you expect me to believe there's nothing going on between the two of you?"

"Ugh, yes, already!" Clarke threw her hands up in frustration.

"I got it, I got it," Octavia smirked. "Although... the lady doth protest too much, methinks..."

Clarke went totally blank. "Okay, bye. I'm moving out now. Goodbye forever."

She turned on her heel, about to exit the room, when Octavia leapt forward and grabbed her arm, giggling furiously. "No, I'm sorry, I'll stop."

Clarke shook her head, laughing slightly. "No you won't, but that's okay. I guess I forgive you."

"Thanks," Octavia gave her a crooked grin. The same grin Bellamy had. "So what are you going to do about the Shakespeare thing?"

Clarke tilted her head. "I have to do something about the Shakespeare thing?"

"You know Bellamy isn't gonna understand what's going on. And then he'll get bored and won't sit still, and you'll want to throttle him."

Clarke frowned. Octavia was probably right. She wondered if she should get him the SparkNotes... then she caught sight of Octavia's ukulele.

"I might have an idea..." Clarke smiled.

"Okay..." Octavia nodded. "Are you gonna tell me what it is?"

"Nope! Bye!" Clarke yelled, and quickly bolted from the room before Octavia could grab her again.

Once safely back in her own bedroom, she grabbed her phone. She'd had Bellamy's number for a while now, just in case of emergencies, but she'd never had a reason to use his contact info until now.

"You up?" she texted him.

"Who is this?" was his reply.

"Um your beautiful, brilliant, artistic girlfriend?" she joked.

"Ah! Stephanie."

Clarke fought back a smile, rolling her eyes. "Stephanie?! No, it's Clarke and I'm breaking up with you."

"Nooooo, come back.... I didn't mean it! It just slipped out! YOU'RE the one I really love!"

Clarke actually did grin then. "Are you busy?"

"A little. I'm finishing up some work for Monday. Why?"

"I was thinking of Much Ado About Nothing, and I thought maybe we wanted to do a pre-play. Like Shakespeare is cool and all, but no one understands it perfectly on their first try... So I was thinking you and I could watch an easier adaptation first."

"Okay.... What adaptation?"

"It's called Nothing Much to Do, and it's a web series on Youtube, set in high school. It's pretty true to the story, except for a few key details, but they only come up at the end, so it won't make too much of a difference. All the videos are in a playlist so it's really easy to watch."

"I'll look into it, but I'm pretty busy right now."

"I understand. Just let me know when you do watch it!"

"Such a teacher... Always assigning homework."

"You knew what you were getting into when you asked me out, mister!"

"Yes ma'am."

Clarke snickered. It was a lot easier to appreciate how funny Bellamy could be when he wasn't using his humor to explicitly make fun of her. He was still teasing, a little bit, but it would be weird if he didn't. Even when they were getting along, they teased each other. It's just the way they were.

Clarke decided to settle down and start re-watching Nothing Much to Do, since she didn't have much to do herself. She usually wrote and adjusted her lesson plans at least a week in advance, and she had time before she had to work on the next batch. She was going to have the perfect lazy Sunday.

Not long after she'd settled down with her laptop, Clarke got another text.

"Too many characters."

She stifled a laugh. Either Bellamy wasn't as busy as he claimed to be, or he was slacking off.

"Give it time. You'll get to know them all eventually. For now, the most important people are Beatrice, Benedick, Hero, Claudio, and Pedro. Just focus on them if it's too confusing."

"It's not too confusing! I can handle it!"

"Okay, whatever you say."

"I remember Beatrice from the last time you mentioned her. Is she supposed to be you?"

"Yeah, if we're having them represent our relationship."

"She's annoying."

"Thanks."

"And I'm supposed to be this Benedick kid? God, he's even worse. Is that really how you see me?"

"Well, he doesn't have quite the same charming 'fuck-off' vibe as you, but yes. Pretty accurate representation. Especially the cynicism."

"Thanks."

"Don't you have work to do?"

There was a pause. Clarke saw that Bellamy was typing, then he stopped. He started typing again, before finally sending, "You're not my mom."

"I should hope not, Oedipus."

"What?"

Clarke sighed, rolling her eyes. "Never mind. I'm really going to have to expose you to more classical literature."

"I'd prefer if you exposed something else..."

"Bye."

Clarke tossed her phone to the side, shaking her head. She really shouldn't have been surprised. Trust him to turn a fun, banter-y conversation into something annoying.

"Just kidding, Jocasta."

Clarke's brow furrowed. "What?"

"Mmhmm, now who's the one who needs exposure to the classics?"

Clarke quickly did some googling on her phone and almost facepalmed. Of course. "Point for you. Maybe we should see an ancient Greek play next."

"My vote is for Antigone."

Clarke raised an eyebrow, impressed. "Fan of Ancient Greek tragedies?"

"Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome... It's just a period I'm really interested in."

"I didn't know that about you."

"There's a lot you don't know about me, princess."

"Yeah... I like Antigone though. We should do that sometime."

"It's a date."

Clarke smiled to herself and turned back to her laptop. Bellamy was constantly surprising her, but that in itself shouldn't have been surprising, considering how often it happened. There were a lot more layers to him than she'd previously thought.

Several hours later, Clarke got another text from Bellamy.  "I hate Claudio. And Leo is a terrible brother."

"Damn, you're almost done."

"I may be procrastinating. But what kind of brother doesn't take his sister's side?"

"A terrible one," Clarke agreed.

"Is this a tragedy?"

"No, it's a comedy. So everyone ends up together at the end."

"No... Including Hero and Claudio?"

"You'll have to watch to find out."

"You're not helping me, woman! I have work to do!"

Clarke snickered. She hadn't expected Bellamy to get so invested in the story. "Not my problem."

"I hate you."

Truth be told, she was nearly as far into the series as he was. But unlike Bellamy, Clarke had seen it before and already knew what had happened.

"You could always read the SparkNotes," Clarke suggested helpfully.

"God damn it, they do."

"Just keep watching, okay?"

Finally, a while later, Bellamy replied again. "I like this version better than the original. Too bad I already got tickets."

"Is it because of the Hero part?"

"Yeah. I do like Beatrice and Benedick's storyline though."

Clarke remembered something suddenly. "Speaking of tickets, do we have plane tickets yet?"

"Yeah, I bought them a while ago. Don't worry."

"I wasn't worrying..."

"Sure you weren't."

Clarke changed the subject with the utmost subtlety. "So I guess I'll see you for the play?"

"See you then, princess."


 

Clarke dressed simply and elegantly for the play with a little black dress. She wondered how formally Bellamy would dress- would he wear a tie? Probably not. He didn't seem to like them.

This time, Octavia was out with Lincoln, but she demanded that Clarke take a picture of her outfit, and one of Bellamy, if she could sneak it. Clarke fulfilled the first request with selfie in her full-length mirror, showing off her black pumps and simple necklace.

Bellamy came to pick her up, ringing the doorbell. Clarke made sure she had her phone, keys, and some money inside her clutch, then hurried out the door.

She almost crashed into Bellamy, who'd been leaning against the door. He was dressed in dark, well-fitting jeans and a white dress shirt underneath a dark jacket. No tie, as expected 

"Sorry about that!" Clarke breathed, trying to calm down from the shock of the close encounter.

"Don't worry about it. It was my fault." He looked her up and down, a crooked smile spreading across his face. "You look nice."

"Thanks... Can you step back so I can see your outfit better?"

Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "Trying to check me out, princess?" But he complied, backing up from Clarke.

She pulled out her phone and snapped a quick picture before he knew what she was doing.

"What was that about?"

"Your sister wanted a picture," Clarke shrugged, already sending the picture to Octavia.

Bellamy shook his head, laughing slightly. "What a weirdo. You didn't have to do that, just because she asked."

"I know."

Bellamy peered at her with amusement, then held out his hand. "Ready now?"

Clarke tucked her phone into her clutch and nodded, taking Bellamy's hand. He walked her into the elevator, and didn't drop her hand. In fact, he twined his fingers in between hers.

At Clarke's questioning look, he coughed awkwardly. "Practice, you know."

Clarke nodded, not sure what to say in reply. She changed the subject. "So I read the Spark Notes, so I could understand all the dirty jokes."

Bellamy looked at her with feigned shock. "You cheater!"

Clarke smirked, no longer feeling uncomfortable. "How is it cheating? Just because you weren't smart enough to do it..."

Bellamy narrowed his eyes at Clarke but a smile still danced at his lips. "I hope you realize that now I will be asking you questions about each and every line."

"Oh God," Clarke groaned, looking at the ceiling.

There was a ding as the elevator stopped at another floor and another couple, apparently going out as well, got on.

"If you're too annoying tonight, I'm just going to leave," Clarke said softly.

Bellamy's smile turned undeniably smirkish. "Who's driving again?"

"I can catch a cab, you know."

"Hmm, yeah, but you won't. You like me too much."

Clarke shot him a look. "Debatable."

The elevator stopped again, and this time it was three girls dressed in short dresses, sky-high heels, and excessive amounts of makeup. Clarke knew a girls' night when she saw one. She also saw two of the three girls look Bellamy up and down with approving eyes.

She shot a look at Bellamy, who hadn't noticed; he was still looking at Clarke. She suddenly felt the need to... stake her claim. The girls continued to shoot little glances at Bellamy, and it wasn't clear that they were holding hands, let alone together.

Clarke dropped his hand and quickly (before she could think twice about it) wrapped her arms around Bellamy's waist, pulling his body up against hers.

Bellamy instinctively reciprocated, pulling her into his chest. He chuckled softly, and when Clarke looked up, she saw Bellamy looking at the girls--whose eyes had widened. It was as if they hadn't realized that Clarke was there, but now that they knew, they were making more of an effort not to check Bellamy out.

Clarke looked back at Bellamy who was smirking at her. Clarke couldn't say anything without the girls hearing, so she just scrunched up her nose at him and snuggled into his chest.

She felt him playing with her hair, which had been pulled into an artfully messy chignon, and she whined, "Stoooop," playing the part of girlfriend for all she was worth.

"I'm not allowed to touch your hair now?" Bellamy asked with amusement.

"You're not allowed to mess it up. Not until after the play, at least."

Bellamy squeezed her, and she could just hear the smirk in his voice. "Whatever you say, princess."

Clarke heard a soft sigh, and when she looked over at the girls' night girls, one was looking longingly at the pair. Clarke had to hide a smirk. They'd gone from coveting Bellamy to envying her relationship with him. She could possibly get used to this...

With a final ding, the elevator reached the lobby. Clarke disentangled herself from Bellamy, but one of his arms remained draped over her shoulders. She decided that it wouldn't hurt to keep one of hers around his waist.

He walked her to the door and she was struck by how much warmer it was since their last date, only a week or two ago. Summer was going to be killer. She'd probably need to pick up more sundresses before the wedding...

Clarke glanced at Bellamy, who busy leading her to his car, parked on the side of the street. She hadn't been sure about this arrangement... But the more time she spent with Bellamy, the more she enjoyed it. God, she was getting soft.

"Your majesty," Bellamy stopped, bowing like a dork.

Clarke stopped a second later, rather abruptly. She'd been distracted and hadn't realized they'd reached his car.

She gave him a look. "Moving on from princess, are we?"

"Oh, don't worry Clarke. You'll always be my princess."

"How comforting," she said dryly as he opened the passenger door (on the sidewalk side) for her.

Clarke scooted in and Bellamy closed the door for her, making her raise an eyebrow. He knew she wasn't expecting chivalry, right? Bellamy then had to check for traffic before hurrying out into the street and getting in on his side.

Clarke bit her lip, looking out the window. "Are you going to be able to pull out okay?"

"I got this, princess," Bellamy said distractedly, checking all his windows and mirrors.

Clarke shut up to let him focus, but she had worried for nothing. After a short minute, Bellamy pulled out smoothly into the street.

"Um, I do have one favor to ask though," he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye.

"Mmhm?"

"How good are you at directions?" he paused and when Clarke (waiting for an explanation) didn't answer, he continued. "I looked the directions to the theatre up before I left, but just in case... can you look it up?"

Clarke gave an exaggerated sigh. "All right. What's the name of the theatre?"

"Um, yeah I forgot? But it should say on the tickets. They're in the sunglasses compartment," Bellamy pointed up.

Clarke rolled her eyes. Trust Bellamy to be unprepared. She found the tickets and put the name of the place into her google maps app without any trouble, though.

"Okay not at this intersection, but the next, you're going to want to turn right."

"Got it," Bellamy nodded, eyes fixed on the road.

He turned precisely where he was supposed to, which was reassuring to Clarke. Some people just didn’t know how to take directions. She remembered one time, when she was navigating for Finn, and he kept yelling “WHICH INTERSECTION? THIS ONE? THE NEXT ONE? WHERE DO I TURN CLARKE?!”

Yeah… Bellamy was a welcome change from that.

Clarke successfully directed him to the theatre, and they managed to find parking surprisingly easily. They were still a bit early, which might have explained it.

Bellamy parked (he was a flawless parallel parker, how typical), and turned to Clarke, a stern look on his face.

“You are not allowed to move.”

“Oh, I’m not, am I?” she raised an eyebrow. He should know by now, the surest way to make Clarke do something was to tell her she couldn’t.

Bellamy sighed. “I mean, please don’t. I want to open your door for you.”

Clarke crossed her arms. “And why would you want to do that?”

“Because Octavia would kick my ass if I didn’t.”

Clarke thought for a moment, and acknowledged his point with a laugh. Octavia would probably grill them both about the entire evening, to make sure Bellamy had been a good date.

“Go on, then,” Clarke waved him away.

Bellamy grinned, and winked quickly, before hurrying out of the car and to Clarke’s side. “Princess,” he said, bowing as he held the door open.

“Okay, that’s seriously got to stop.”

“Duly noted. Can I still escort you inside?”

Clarke rolled her eyes with an exaggerated groan. “Oh, if you must.”

Bellamy rolled his eyes as well, but they were both smiling as she linked her arm in his.

 

Chapter Text

There was still some time before the play began, and the bar was open. Bellamy and Clarke exchanged looks.

"Buy you a drink?" Bellamy suggested, wiggling his eyebrows.

Clarke snorted. "Sure. Rum and coke."

"No wine for the lady?"

She shook her head. "Too predictable."

"Rum and coke it is. I see a table over there. Want to grab it while I get the drinks?"

Clarke followed his eyes to one of those tall tables without chairs. It sucked that they'd have to stand, but standing and resting their drinks on the table was better than standing and holding them.

"Sure," she replied, and started walking towards the table. She saw some guy in the crowd eyeing the same table, and she walked faster. If necessary, she was able to run in heels...

She reached the table first and slammed her clutch down triumphantly. And also to stake her claim. The guy raised his eyebrows, smirked, and kept approaching. Oh god.

"Well, hey there," he said in what Clarke assumed he thought was a seductive voice. It was obviously deepened, and to her, it sounded more like he had a cold.

"Um yeah, this is my table. I claimed it. Got here first, finders keepers and all that," Clarke said curtly.

"Doesn't mean we can't share and get to know each other..."

"Ah, but the fact that I saved it for my boyfriend and myself does."

The guy snorted. "I'm not seeing any boyfriend, sweetheart."

Clarke's eyes narrowed. "That's because he's getting our drinks."

"I'm not yet, but great idea," he smirked, as if he'd bested her.

Clarke looked over her shoulder. Bellamy was at the front of the line, waiting for the drinks, and he glanced back at her. She could see his shoulders stiffen when he noticed the guy talking to her. Clarke would have smiled if she wasn't annoyed. Now it was his turn to play the part of the jealous significant other.

Clarke felt something on her waist and realized that the guy had taken advantage of her distraction. Biting back a yelp of surprise at the physical contact, she turned in his arm and smiled at him. The guy's guard dropped completely, and he smiled back. That's when Clarke stomped her heel into his foot.

"Gah!" the guy yelped, jumping backwards and almost upending the table. "Crazy bitch!"

"Darling, I see you're making friends," a properly deep voice said from behind her.

Clarke grinned, leaning back into Bellamy who, still holding drinks, wrapped his arms around her.

"Oh you know me. I make friends wherever I go," Clarke said sweetly.

The guy glared fiercely at them both, but only walked away, as he was skinnier and shorter than Clarke and Bellamy both. Clarke bet she could have taken him all on her own.

Bellamy set the drinks down on the table and placed a hand on the small of Clarke's back. "What the hell was that?"

"Oh, you know. Just your average creep who thinks it's okay to hit on strange women and touch them without their consent."

Bellamy shook his head in wonder. "I kept thinking I was going to have to come over here and rescue you, but I see you managed quite well on your own."

"You're damn right," Clarke grinned, reaching for her drink. "Oh, wait, which one's mine?"

"They're both the same thing."

She shrugged and grabbed the closest glass, sipping daintily. Bellamy barked out a laugh.

"You're quite the character, you know that?"

Clarke just raised her eyebrows and lifted her pinky finger, looking even more like the princess he claimed she was.

"Oh, I was wondering. Is princess your special term of endearment for me?"

Bellamy chuckled, taking his own drink. "I guess so. It's the most natural thing for me to call you now."

"Okay, that's fine, but what do I call you?"

Bellamy thought for a moment. "I don't like baby or babe."

"Ugh," Clarke shuddered. "Me neither."

Bellamy shot her a crooked smile. "'Gorgeous' always works."

Clarke frowned. "Hmmm, yeah... no. Besides, it doesn't go with princess."

"It doesn't have to. I mean what does go with princess? Prince?" Bellamy asked, then made fake retching sounds.

"Knight?" Clarke suggested, but it sounded just as bad. "You called me darling earlier. We could call each other darling, and princess could be a special thing."

"That?" Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "I was just ad-libbing."

"Hm... so maybe we're better off if we don't try to plan it in advance," Clarke nodded. Suddenly, an idea occurred to her. "Never mind. I'm planning mine in advance. But you can't know them yet."

"Them?" Bellamy gave her a look. "Clarke..."

"Don't worry about it," she grinned, sipping her drink. "You'll find out once we actually get to the wedding."

Bellamy frowned, staring her down. As if she was going to break. If that's what he thought, he clearly didn't know her.

"Hey! I got an idea for backstory," Clarke chirped, as if she hadn't been annoyingly mysterious two seconds before. "Let's take a picture for instagram and facebook."

Bellamy crossed his arms. She could tell he didn't want to let it go, but it would probably be easier on the both of them if he did, at least for tonight. He sighed. "Do you want to take a selfie or ask someone to take it for us."

"I'll ask," Clarke said, already scouting out the nearby people. She saw a middle-aged couple not far from them, and approached the woman, who looked kind and like she'd take a photo for two random strangers.

"Hi," Clarke smiled charmingly. "I was wondering if you could take a picture of my boyfriend and I? It's our first fancy-dress date and we wanted to commemorate it."

"Oh, I would love to," the lady beamed, taking Clarke's phone from her.

Bellamy came up behind Clarke, holding the drinks. The lady smiled even wider when she saw him, and her husband stepped forward, offering to hold their drinks.

Bellamy and Clarke stepped back a bit, and posed: Bellamy's arm over Clarke's shoulders and her arm around his waist. He pulled her close.

"You two are just the most gorgeous couple!" the lady enthused, holding up the phone. "Okay, in one... two... three! I'll take a couple so you have something to choose from."

By a couple, she must have meant ten. She took a few with the phone vertical, and a few with it horizontal. When she didn't stop taking pictures, Clarke couldn't help but laugh. Bellamy chuckled, looking down at her, and their eyes met.

"Oh, that one was just lovely. I think you have a winner," the lady said, handing the phone back to Clarke.

Bellamy retrieved their drinks. "Thank you so much. My sister will appreciate it. She'd been trying to set me up with her roommate for quite a while now," he smiled, glancing back at Clarke.

"Your sister is a smart girl," the lady's husband smiled. "You look very happy together."

Clarke looked thoughtfully at Bellamy and smiled. "I guess we are. Thanks again," she said to the lady. "Enjoy the show."

"You as well!" the lady said, waving.

Their table had been taken, so Bellamy and Clarke walked awkwardly off to another side of the room. Bellamy leaned over Clarke's shoulder, holding both drinks, as she scrolled through the photos.

"These are all good," she said with a certain amount of surprise. "I like the candid one at the end," she added, scrolling to the photo where they were caught mid-laugh, gazing at each other.

"We really do look happy together," Bellamy mused. "Which ones are going up?"

"How about these two?" Clarke indicated the laughing photo, and another one of them smiling at the camera.

"Wait, which one was that? Back, back..."

Clarke scrolled as Bellamy instructed. The second to last picture had Clarke laughing, eyes closed, and Bellamy looking fondly down at her.

"We certainly look like a couple..."

Bellamy nodded. "Add that one as well. Those three on facebook."

Clarke had already opened the facebook app on her phone. She added the three photos as indicated and frowned, looking back at Bellamy. "What should I caption it?"

He shrugged. "You could say that we're going to see Much Ado About Nothing..."

Clarke thought for a moment. "Or I could use a quote from the play." She switched to safari and googled the line she was thinking of so she could get the exact wording. "'For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.' What do you think?"

"What part of the play is that from?"

"When Benedick and Beatrice finally fall in love. It's his excuse for changing his mind from being a bachelor forever to marrying Beatrice."

Bellamy shrugged. "It's your account. That doesn't sound bad, though."

"'Man is a giddy thing' it is, then. One second..." She typed in the quote, tagged Bellamy (both in the update and in each of the pictures), then nodded with satisfaction.

"Let's see how long it is before Octavia comments," Bellamy smirked, sipping at his drink.

Clarke laughed, checking her watch and refreshing facebook every so often. They still had time to kill before the play started, and Clarke didn't have any ideas of how to kill it--other than drinking. She finished her glass and then held it up, wondering what to do with it.

Bellamy gave her an amused look. "Want another?"

Clarke nodded enthusiastically.

"Okay, I'll get it," Bellamy laughed.

While he was gone, Octavia liked each photo, commented, and left Bee and Puppycat stickers. Four minutes. Not bad. Octavia's comments were mainly to the effect of, "OMG you two are so cute together! I'm such a genius for setting you up! Clarke I love your hair and your face! Bellamy, you're gross."

Clarke snickered, responding with emoji hearts to the compliments and "LOL" to the insult to Bellamy.

Shortly after, Bellamy himself commented. "Wow, thanks Clarke. So glad to know you care."

Jokingly, she replied with a kissy-face emoji, which led Octavia to respond with a shocked face. Clarke shook her head, laughing. She wondered what her other friends were thinking right about now.

She didn't have to wonder for long. Monty was next to reply, "Aw, what a cute couple! When are you making it facebook official?"

Clarke replied, "I dunno, Monty. That's a really big step to take."

Shortly after, Bellamy added, "Hopefully never. You know, ‘cause we're not 17?"

And then Jasper jumped in with, "Wow, Clarke, how do you stand being with such a crotchety old man?"

"Are you kidding? That's why I fell for him in the first place," Clarke replied, adding the grandpa emoji and a heart one. She couldn't help snickering.

"All right, missy," commented Bellamy, "when I get back there, I'm giving you a piece of my mind."

"What, you're not glued to Clarke's side?" commented Octavia.

"No, he's currently buying me a drink, like a good date," Clarke replied, glancing towards the bar. It was getting closer to show time, which meant the bar was busier. Bellamy was still in line but he wasn't far from the front.

"Bellamy, you're not worried some other guy is going to snatch her up?" Jasper replied.

Watching Bellamy look at his phone, Clarke saw him chuckle and begin typing. "Some other idiot already tried that and she impaled him. I think Clarke can handle herself."

Clarke grinned. Damn right she could. Bellamy glanced back and shot her a cooked grin. She winked, making him laugh and shake his head. He moved up in the line.

"Atta girl!" Octavia commented. "Lincoln said to tell you he's proud of you."

"High praise from the MMA fighter," Clarke replied, still grinning as she typed.

"Yeah, I'm jealous," Octavia commented, with a frowny face.

"Don't worry, O, I only have eyes for one. And it's one that you would NEVER want, so..."

"Yeah, lucky me..."

"Who's the one who set us up again?" Clarke replied, wishing there was a raised eyebrow emoji.

"Semantics," Octavia replied.

Clarke looked up. Bellamy hadn't added his two cents in a while. She saw him walking back, carrying two new drinks, which answered the question.

"We've got 20 minutes before show time, so drink up. No drinks in the theatre," he reminded her, handing her a new rum and coke.

Clarke nodded, already drinking. She didn't chug by any means, but she didn't want to let her drink go to waste, so might as well get it over with, right?

"Woah, slow down there, Borachio," Bellamy joked.

Clarke's eyes snapped to his face. "Aha! You read the SparkNotes too, you liar!"

"No, I read the SparkNotes character list when I first watched Nothing Much To Do, because I didn't know who anyone was supposed to be."

Clarke squinted disbelievingly. "I know it's in the character list that Borachio means drunkard... But who's to say you didn't read more?"

"Are you mad?" he raised his eyebrows. "Didn't you do the same thing?"

"Oh, I'm not mad about you possibly reading it. I'm mad," she poked his chest, jokingly emphasizing each word, "about you possibly lying to me."

"Not a fan of liars. Got it." The teasing tone was totally gone now.

Clarke grew suddenly solemn. She didn't know if he was thinking of her mother or Finn, but both of them fit the bill and both of them had told some pretty serious lies. Clarke threw back her glass, finishing her drink.

"I'm going to go find our seats. Can I have my ticket?"

"Sure..." Bellamy drifted off. He glanced at his glass, which was still mostly full. "I'll be right there, just have to finish..."

He fished the tickets out of his pocket while Clarke held his drink for him. He gave her an apologetic look while she traded his glass for a ticket, and she tried to ignore it. She didn't want any more pity. She'd had enough of that to last a lifetime.

The usher told her the general direction of her seat, and Clarke found the exact spot without too much trouble. They were up in the balcony, but in the first row of it, which wasn't too bad. She wondered if Bellamy had brought binoculars, because she hadn't thought to.

Clarke sighed, resting her chin in her hand. She wasn't too upset, but she'd made it seem like it in front of Bellamy, which might make things weird. She didn't want things to be weird between them. Not now that they were finally becoming friends.

"You all alone too?"

Clarke turned around and saw a young woman, about her age. She was dressed relatively nicely as well, but had apparently come to the play alone.

"No, my date's finishing up his drink," Clarke said with a smile. "We had a bit of an awkward moment, so we separated for a bit."

The girl made a sympathetic face. "First date?"

"Second."

The girl nodded knowingly. "Still in that weird, feeling-each-other-out stage?"

"Exactly," Clarke laughed. "My name's Clarke, by the way," she said, holding out her hand.

"Glass," the girl replied, shaking it. "Yes, I know my name is weird, and yes, my parents were hippies."

"I totally was not going to ask that," Clarke said with a straight face.

"Oh, sure you weren't," the girl grinned. "It's okay. I'm already pretty weird for coming to see a play all alone."

"Not at all. More people should do stuff on their own. It shows independence. Are you a big Shakespeare fan, then?"

"Oh, absolutely. My mom studied Shakespeare in college so I kinda grew up with the bard. What about you? Either you or your date must be really into old Billy for you to go to a play as a date."

Clarke chuckled. "I wouldn't say we're really into Shakespeare... But before he asked me out, we fought like cats and dogs so I thought it was fitting."

Glass laughed. "Nice. Is that Benedick?" she asked, nodding towards the end of Clarke's row.

Bellamy had just come up, and was looking around. He saw Clarke and made a beeline for her.

"That's my Signor Montanto," Clarke nodded.

"Signor what?" Bellamy asked as he sat in his seat.

"Don't worry about it," Clarke said, patting his arm. "This is Glass, who's a total Shakespeare nerd."

"Hey!" Glass protested, folding her arms.

"Nice to meet you, Glass. I'm Bellamy," he laughed, shaking her hand.

Suddenly, the lights dimmed.

"I guess we'll have to save the pleasantries for another time," Glass whispered.

Bellamy caught Clarke's eye, a question in his gaze, and she smiled reassuringly. He shot her a lopsided smile, and lifted the armrest between them. Clarke scooted over, leaning on his side while he wrapped his arm around her.

"Oh, that reminds me," he said suddenly. He pulled two pairs of binoculars out of his jacket pockets. "They were selling these in the lobby."

"Oh good, I was worried about being able to see," Clarke smiled, taking a pair from him.

He squeezed her arm lightly as the curtain rose, the actors entering the stage. They fell silent, enraptured by the show. 


 

Bellamy didn't have to ask for as much clarification as he'd teased about, but Clarke did find herself whispering explanations to him from time to time. The Beatrice and Benedick were played really well, and neither Bellamy nor Clarke could hide their smiles when they heard the familiar banter.

The intermission was 15 minutes long, and took place in Act 3, between the watch's scene and the wedding scene. Bellamy and Clarke chatted with Glass, who gave some further explanation for various jokes in the play. After a quick bathroom break, it was time for part two.

When Claudio humiliated Hero, Bellamy's shoulders clenched. Clarke rested a hand on his leg, and he placed his hand over hers, interlocking their fingers. When Beatrice asked Benedick to kill Claudio, he squeezed her hand.

Finally came Clarke's favorite scene, when the two confessed their love for each other. Clarke couldn't stop giggling the whole time. The actors played it very well, with laughing denial and vain protests. For all they said to the contrary, they were clearly in love, though their characters were trying their hardest to hide it.

Clarke glanced over at Bellamy, who had a smile tugging on his lips. When he noticed her, he whispered, "Yeah... This could be us."

Clarke grinned. If they played it like Beatrice and Benedick, clearly in love but constantly denying it and teasing each other, their ruse just might work. It would certainly be easier (and more fun) than being lovey-dovey all the time.

The second wedding came and passed, Bellamy wasn't happy to see Hero marry Claudio, and Clarke was elated to see Benedick and Beatrice marry. When the show ended and the actors gave their final bows, Clarke immediately leapt into a standing ovation.

Bellamy smirked at her. "You liked it, princess?"

Clarke made a face. "No, I'm applauding because of how much I hated it."

Bellamy poked her side, and Clarke jumped away with a shriek, crashing into the person on her other side. Bellamy's eyes widened, a grin spreading across his face.

"You're ticklish."

"I swear to god, Bellamy, if you tickle me or poke me again, you will not have fingers."

"Okay, okay," Bellamy said, hands up in surrender. "Uncle!"

Clarke narrowed her eyes, not believing him. "I'm serious," she said, pointing a warning finger.

"I never would have thought I’d see another Beatrice and Benedick tonight," said a voice from behind her.

Clarke spun around to see Glass, watching with amusement.

"We don't like each other nearly as much as they do," Clarke protested, as Bellamy wrapped an arm around her waist. She managed not to jump.

"Oh yeah, we can't stand each other," Bellamy nodded emphatically, and then wiggled his fingers against Clarke's side.

She jumped a foot in the air with a strangled scream, making Glass laugh aloud.

“Okay, it was really nice to meet you, and I think I’ll go now, before things get ugly.”

Clarke turned back to Glass and said goodbye before she started slapping every square inch of her date. "Bellamy Blake, you have a death wish!"

"No, no!" Bellamy tried in vain to hide his laughter, more or less letting her hit him. "You won't kill me. If you did, who would you antagonize every day?"

"I'd find someone," she grumbled, getting tired of hitting him, but throwing a few half-hearted punches at his chest.

"Come on, princess," Bellamy laughed, grabbing a hand. "Let's get home. I bet Octavia will be waiting at the door."

"Ugh, you should have seen her after our first date. She woke me up."

"Even I know not to wake Sleeping Beauty before she's ready," Bellamy smirked.

"By playing ukulele,” Clarke added curtly.

Bellamy winced. "I am so, so sorry. I thought I raised her better than that."

Clarke laughed. "I forgave her eventually."

"That was very big of you," Bellamy nodded, stifling a smile.

Clarke looked around, noticing that the theatre was emptying out. "We should go."

Bellamy nodded, linking his arm in hers. "So what was your favorite part?"

Clarke laughed. "Small talk? Okay, I'll bite. If it wasn't obvious, I liked all the parts when Beatrice and Benedick were in love. One part in particular really got to me... Remember when Benedick had that line, 'serve God, love me and mend?'"

Bellamy nodded solemnly. "That was a pretty powerful line."

"Just the emotion behind it... and yeah," Clarke shrugged. "What about you?"

"Oh, I loved the whole, 'sure I'll marry you, out of pity.'"

Clarke snorted. "Didn't you say that could be us?"

"I mean it would work. We wouldn't have to be so entirely out of character."

"Plenty of couples tease like that," Clarke agreed. "It's kinda cute in a way."

Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "Cute?"

"Yeah, I don't know. Something about how they constantly pretend not to like each other, but you can just tell. From their body language, and even the way they tease each other. There's a fondness in it."

Bellamy smiled slightly, looking down at her with warm eyes. "I know exactly what you mean."

Clarke smiled in return. "We could totally be Benedick and Beatrice."

"Oh, doubtlessly! Those fools at the wedding won't know what hit them!"

“They’re gonna look like such idiots,” Clarke grinned impishly.

“Fools!”

“You said that already.”

Bellamy frowned. “I was doing a super villain thing. You interrupted me before I could do my evil cackle.”

“Ah. Carry on then.”

And that is how they ended their second date. Snickering and plotting like a pair of super villains.

Chapter Text

As the wedding drew closer, Clarke grew busier. Final grades were the bane of her existence. How were you supposed to compare someone with talent to someone who had no experience whatsoever but had improved over the course of the semester? How could she assign a numerical grade to something as subjective as art?

Clarke always got a little crazy around this time, which Bellamy already knew, so he gave her a wide berth. For this, she was extremely grateful. She had enough on her plate without having to wonder about their relationship (were they friends now? was Bellamy acting so nice to her out of obligation for their plot, or were they genuinely getting closer? and if they were, how did she feel about that?) or be reminded about the upcoming wedding.

The wedding. She really didn't want to think about that. It was all fun and games for a while, but with each day that passed, it just got more real. She managed to finish all the grading she needed to do before she finally had an anxiety attack, but other than that, the timing was terrible. It was the day before their flight.

Luckily Octavia was home at the time, and she sat with Clarke as she tried to remember how to breathe. Octavia's hand rubbing her back was like an anchor, and it helped her ground herself again.

"Hey. How do you feel?" Octavia asked finally.

Clarke closed her eyes, breathed deeply, and assessed her senses. "Better. Still totally terrified about tomorrow."

"What do you need right now? Do you need to talk about it, or do you need to be distracted?"

Clarke thought it over, but not before being struck with a rush of gratitude for Octavia. She really was the best friend a girl could ask for.

"Since I've done everything I can physically do to prepare, I guess now all I really want to do is veg out."

"Wanna marathon the Harry Potter movies until we pass out on the couch?"

Clarke beamed, pulling Octavia into a hug. "Yes, that is exactly what I want. Thank you."

Clarke's bags (including her carry-on and purse) were all packed. The day after her final grades were submitted, she and Octavia went on another shopping date, leaving Clarke with more bathing suits and summery dresses than she knew what to do with. She only really needed two or three formal dresses, tops. Other than that, she had some casual, summery clothes, and her favorite of the new bathing suits. Not to mention the straw sun hat that Octavia had insisted upon.

She was hoping this resort would be relaxing. Maybe there would be a spa she could go to.  Get a massage then read a book or sketch on the beach. That would be nice.

Octavia collected the Harry Potter DVDs, put in the Sorcerer's Stone, then cuddled up with Clarke on the couch. Clarke tried to stay awake at least until Prisoner of Azkaban, but she found herself drifting off before Harry and the crew realized what the monster in the Chamber of Secrets was. Next thing she knew, she was out cold.


Clarke woke to the sound of her phone ringing. Had she plugged it into the charger last night? She didn't think so, but there it was, fully charged. "Thank god," she muttered groggily, grabbing the charger from the wall and packing it in her carry-on.

"Hello?"

"Clarke? It's Bellamy. I'm about to leave for the airport. I'll be there to pick you up in 15, depending on traffic."

"Shit."

"You just woke up, didn't you?"

Clarke nodded, then remembered he couldn't see her. "I'll be ready by the time you get here," she promised.

"You'd better. See you soon."

As soon as Bellamy hung up, Clarke leapt to her feet to gather her things. She put her bags by the front door, then quickly got dressed in white cutoffs and a button-down shirt blue ombre shirt. She couldn't be bothered to wear complicated shoes (i.e. shoes with laces), especially since she'd be taking them off for airport security, so she put on some slip-on ankle boots. 

Clarke put on her makeup in record time, throwing her toiletries into her suitcase and making a quick list in her head, to make sure she hadn't forgotten everything. Outfits for beach? Check. Nice outfits for wedding stuff? Check. Makeup, shampoo, hair brush, deodorant and perfume... Laptop, cell phone, chargers... Books, sketchpad... She was pretty sure she had everything. Her wallet was already in her purse, with her passport, so yeah. she was good.

And just in time. Bellamy rang the doorbell, which finally woke up Octavia.

"You're going already?" she asked blearily as Clarke went to answer the door. 

"Turns out I overslept," Clarke grimaced.

Bellamy was waiting outside, wearing dark jeans and a henley. Clarke raised an eyebrow.

"You do realize it's going to be hot there, right?"

"I'll be fine," he said dismissively, walking inside to say goodbye to his sister. "No, O, don't get up."

Octavia sat up on the sofa, hair everywhere and blanket askew. "What time is it?"

"Little before ten. Go back to bed," Bellamy said softly, kissing the top of her head.

"I will when you're gone. Bye, big bro," she said, giving him a hug.

Clarke stepped in for a quick hug as well. "See you in five days."

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do," Octavia grinned.

Clarke glanced at Bellamy and smirked. "Doesn't leave a lot for me to do, considering who it is."

Octavia stared blankly, too tired to get the joke.

"You know, cause we're related? And it would be incest?" Bellamy explained.

"Oh! Well, Clarke, you can do that stuff, of course."

"Of course," Clarke agreed with amusement. "Now get some sleep!"

"Yes ma'am," Octavia saluted, then curled back up on the couch.

"Just these?" Bellamy asked Clarke, gesturing towards her bags.

"Well, it is only 5 days." 

She had a medium sized suitcase, a bookbag as her carry-on, and a small purse. Bellamy grabbed the suitcase, and Clarke hurried to snatch up her two other bags before he could reach them. There was no point having one person carrying all the bags to the car.

Clarke locked the door behind her, and followed Bellamy to the elevator. "So how long is this flight?"

"About five hours?" Bellamy shrugged. "Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to nap."

"I just hope I'll be comfortable enough. I hate sleeping on planes."

"Well, now you have me, princess."

Clarke quirked her head at him, not sure what he was trying to say.

"I'm volunteering to be your human pillow."

"Ah! So you'll be useful for once."

Bellamy gave her a faux-glare, mainly due to the teasing tone in her voice. "Careful, or I'll revoke your pillow privileges."

"I mean, you're the most useful person I know! Everyone uses you!"

"Thank- heyyyy."

Clarke smirked. Even when she was tired, she could think of semi-witty comebacks.  But seriously, she was exhausted. Only two and a half more hours until she could take that nap. 


Clarke woke up with about an hour left until landing. Her head was resting on Bellamy's shoulder, with his head on top of hers. And she had a god-awful crick in her neck.

She tried to ease out from under him without disturbing him, but his head flopped down as soon as she was gone, waking Bellamy.

He blinked, groggily, then peered out the window. "How long until we land?" he asked Clarke.

"Like fifty minutes... I had a question, by the way."

"Shoot."

"How much PDA should we have? I mean, yeah, we're gonna have the teasing, Benedick/Beatrice relationship, but no one's gonna buy that if we aren't affectionate with each other. The whole actions speak louder than words thing."

Bellamy turned to face her, expression thoughtful. "Well... The normal amount, I guess. Hugging and kissing, absentmindedly touching each other."

Clarke nodded. "Okay. I can handle that."

"You sure, princess?" Bellamy smirked. "You sure you won't be tempted by all of this?" he asked, gesturing to his body. 

"It's alright," she shrugged casually. What a lie. She'd been resting on his arm. She knew how muscular that bicep was.

"Whatever you say," Bellamy said, still smirking. He knew.

Clarke made a face at him before pulling her book bag out from under the seat in front of her, and grabbed the first book she laid hands on. Northanger Abbey. It would do.

Stubbornly ignoring Bellamy, she started reading from the beginning. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him shrug, then curl up in the seat as best he could. He shifted three or four times before Clarke finally rolled her eyes and gave in.

"You can rest your head on my shoulder if you want."

"Thanks, babe," he grinned cheekily, then shifted so he was leaning against Clarke. "Wake me up when we land."


The plane landed at 5:30, but it was after seven when they finally left the airport. Leaving the plane was a pain, baggage claim was a pain, going through customs was a pain. Clarke liked traveling, just not all the stuff that happens before you can actually enjoy your destination.

They managed to find a cab without too much trouble and made their way to the resort, enjoying the ocean views along the way. They got their keys at the front desk while the bellhop took their luggage, and they blearily made their way to their room.

And then they were brutally awakened, becaue they had forgotten about the shared bed. Clarke and Bellamy exchanged a look, dropping their bags on the floor.

"You know, I'm absolutely famished," Clarke said quickly.

"Yeah, we definitely need to eat dinner first," Bellamy agreed. "It's not like we're going to sleep right now."

"And you know, after dinner, maybe we can have a few drinks!"

"Yeah, we have plenty of time..."

Clarke grabbed her purse and slipped a room key inside. "I think this resort has a pool-side restaurant and bar."

"Perfect!" Bellamy followed her out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

The found the restaurant after asking for directions three times, and by the time they'd sat down and ordered their drinks, the awkwardness left them. And not a moment too soon because just then, Monty and Jasper entered the restaurant, spotting them immediately.

"Bellarke!" Jasper yelled, running over to them. 

Clarke and Bellamy narrowed they eyes in unison. "Bellarke?"

"Ooh, creepy, it's like you're the same person," Jasper shuddered, grinning. "Bellarke! It's your name. Like Brangelina? Bennifer? TomKat?"

"Only one of those couples is actually still together," Clarke reminded him. 

"Semantics. It's your super-couple name!"

"I'm sorry about him. We had a layover in North Carolina so we're both a little exhausted from the long traveling day," Monty explained.

"Don't worry about it," Clarke smiled. "Were you getting dinner?"

"Yeah! Can we join you?" Jasper stepped closer to the table.

"One second," Bellamy stood and switched seats, from the one across from Clarke to one next to her. "Okay, you can sit now."

"What a cute couple," Jasper grinned as Monty pulled out his chair for him.

"So, how are you two?" Monty asked, taking Bellamy's old seat across from Clarke. 

"Eh, we're all right," Clarke shrugged, putting her hand over Bellamy's on the table.

"Can't complain," Bellamy added, flipping his hand over to squeeze Clarke's.

Monty and Jasper's eyes flicked from the pair's hands on the table, to each of their faces. 

"Right..." Monty said slowly, a smile on his face. "Noting special going on between the two of you then?"

Bellamy pulled Clarke's hand up to his mouth to kiss it. "Nope."

"You guys!" Jasper whined. Bellamy and Clarke just smiled enigmatically.

Monty laughed, clapping Bellamy on the shoulder. "Good for you, then."

"Ughhh that feel when the OTP is being dumb," Jasper groaned, setting his head on the table.

"Um, Jasper? We're real people. You shouldn't ship real people," Clarke scolded.

"I know... It started out as a joke, I swear."

"But it's not a joke now?" Bellamy raised an eyebrow.

"No... yeah... I dunno."

"Jasper, we're still the same people. Just pretend you're hanging out with the old Clarke and Bellamy if it's really that difficult," Clarke said with some amusement. 

"No, I'm good," Jasper popped back up. "I'm good now."

Clarke caught Bellamy's eye, laughing and shaking her head. Jasper had always been enthusiastic but she never expected him to get this worked up. She couldn't really get mad. Luckily Monty was grounded enough for the both of them.

The waiter came and took Bellamy and Clarke's dinner orders, Monty and Jasper's drink orders, and promised to be back shortly to get the rest of the guys' orders. He also added two more settings for Bellamy and Jasper's seats.

"Have you seen the wedding itinerary?" Monty asked, sipping at the water the waiter had left.

"Yeah, when I first got the invitation. Why, has it changed?"

"No, there's just another copy of it in the bedroom, on the bedside table."

"Oh," Clarke looked at Bellamy again. "We just dropped off our bags and came straight to dinner."

Monty ticked off the various activities on his fingers. "We've got a brunch in the morning and dinner and cocktails by the beach tomorrow evening, then the bride and groom are having their bachelor and bachelorette parties... The day after tomorrow, we have most of the day free, and the wedding party is having their rehearsal dinner. I was thinking we could have our own fancy dinner that night. And then the day after that is the wedding! Assuming everyone isn't already exhausted by then."

"Thank god Octavia took me shopping," Clarke muttered, double-checking her wardrobe in her head. She had planned everything out before packing, but it didn't hurt to make sure.

"You know, normally when you go to a wedding, you just go to the wedding," Bellamy grumbled.

The waiter came back with their drinks, and Monty and Jasper ordered before returning to the conversation.

"I think they wanted to make sure people were getting their money's worth, since it's a destination wedding. No point in going to the Caribbean for just one day," Jasper suggested. 

Clarke nodded. "That's a good point. This way, it's almost like a vacation as well."

"Not the kind of vacation I'd prefer," Bellamy scrunched up his face.

"Oh? And where would you like to go, then?" Clarke propped her chin up on one hand, elbow on the table (her mother would be appalled!).

"Athens, maybe? Or Rome?"

"Ooh, I've always wanted to go to Italy," Clarke nodded in agreement.

"Maybe we can go one day," Bellamy shot her his crooked grin.

"But you'd have to go in all the art museums with me."

"Only if you sit through the historical tours with me."

"Deal."

Monty and Jasper exchanged a glance, Jasper grinning from ear to ear. Monty shot him a look, warning him to shut up before he'd even said anything.

"And you say you don't like each other," Jasper said scornfully, ignoring his boyfriend.

Clarke raised an eyebrow. "We never said that," she smirked, glancing over at Bellamy, who winked at her.

"Bellamy's just a good friend," Clarke said, continuing to smirk. "A bel ami, if you will."

"I don't get it. You just said his name," Jasper stared blankly at her.

Bellamy snorted, rolling his eyes. "Should have known the princess spoke French."

"Not really. I just know some words here and there," Clarke admitted. What she wouldn't admit is that she once looked up the meaning of Bellamy's name. For some reason, she thought it came from the Latin word for war (bellum, and how fitting would that be?), but had been surprised when it was pretty much the opposite.

"Bellamy is French?" Jasper asked, still confused.

"His name is, but I don't think he is," Clarke said, looking at Bellamy, who shook his head.

"Filipino on my mom's side, white on my dad's side, but I don't think he was French," Bellamy shrugged. Clarke felt dumb. Of course. He'd never known his dad.

"What about you, Clarke," Monty said teasingly. "What kind of white are you?"

"Generic," she replied, laughing. "Griffin's English, so I'm just plain old, boring vanilla."

"Now, I wouldn't say that," Bellamy said suggestively.

Jasper's mouth dropped open, two seconds away from bursting out laughing. Clarke gaped at Bellamy.

"Is that why you call her princess?" Monty asked dryly.

That was it. Jasper lost it. He started laughing entirely too loudly for a public place, even one filled with drunk people. Monty laid a hand on his arm, and he calmed down slightly, but continued to laugh.

Clarke continued to gape. Bellamy had an "oops" expression on his face, smiling sheepishly.

"Bellamy Blake!" Clarke slapped his arm. "Now everyone we know will think I'm some kind of dominatrix!"

"I'm sorry?" 

"That's not good enough!" she slapped him again.

"Woah, guys, calm down. Wait 'til you get back to your hotel room," Jasper sputtered, then started laughing again.

Clarke glared at Bellamy. "This is all your fault."

"Oh come on, it's at least partially Monty's fault too."

"You're right." Clarke glared at Bellamy and Monty both. "This is all your fault," she repeated, pointing at the two.

"Don't worry, Clarke. It's not like anyone will actually believe Jasper," Monty said reassuringly. Jasper shot him a look.

"Hmm, I guess you're right," Clarke grinned. 

"Hey!" Jasper protested. "Are you saying I'm not a trustworthy source?"

"That is exactly what I'm saying," Monty nodded.

"I hate you guys," Jasper muttered, sitting back in his seat with his arms crossed.

Just then, their food arrived, effectively ending all conversation for at least a few minutes while everyone dug in. 

While eating with his right hand, Bellamy reached over with his left and rested his hand on Clarke's knee. She raised an eyebrow at him, but he continued to eat, pretending that nothing happened. Rolling her eyes and smiling slightly, she rested her left hand on top of his. There was an almost imperceptible quirk of his lips, but Bellamy just sipped at his drink as he turned his hand to hold hers.

"You're dumb," Clarke said fondly.

Bellamy looked up, acting surprised. "No, you're dumb."

"No, you're dumb." She deepened her voice. "'Hurr hurr, look at me, I'm Bellamy and I'm totally in love with Clarke.'"

"No, I think it's more like, 'Oh, my name is Clarke, and I think Bellamy is a total dreamboat!'"

Clarke burst out laughing at his ridiculous falsetto. "'I'm Bellamy and I never smile except when I see Clarke, who is the light of my life.'"

"'I'm Clarke and I act like I'm so tough and awesome but whenever I see Bellamy I get butterflies.'"

"God, just make out already," Jasper muttered in between bites.

Clarke caught Bellamy's eye and they shared a smile. This was going to be easier than they thought. And yeah... maybe a little fun as well.


They decided to skip the drinks because the drunker they were, the more likely they were to have an encounter that would be awkward in the morning.

They dressed for bed, Clarke in a sweatshirt and shorts, Bellamy in a t-shirt and boxers. They stood at the foot of the bed, arms crossed, staring at it. 

"We're adults," Bellamy said finally. 

"No reason this should be weird," Clarke agreed.

"Right. We can be mature about this," Bellamy nodded.

Clarke nodded as well, looking at Bellamy, then to the bed. "Well. After you."

Bellamy gave her an amused look, then picked a side. "Hope you don't mind sleeping on the right."

"That's fine..." Clarke said, making her way to the other side of the bed.

Clarke got in bed, scooting away from the edge but not daring to move too close to the center. Luckily, it was a queen sized bed, so there was plenty of room for both of them. 

Clarke didn't know what would be more awkward, lying on her side, facing Bellamy, or lying with her back to him. In the end, she laid on her back, staring at the ceiling. God. Why was this weird? He was Octavia's brother, practically her brother. He certainly had the annoying part down...

"Goodnight," he said softly, in his deep voice.

Clarke glanced over. He was lying on his back as well, giving her a crooked grin. 

"Goodnight," she replied with a soft smile. 

Bellamy reached over and turned off the light, and Clarke tried to erase his smile from the back of her eyelids.

Chapter Text

A shrill ringing noise abruptly woke Clarke. Groaning, she lifted her head from the mattress. At some point, she'd lost her pillow. Bellamy was beside her, flat on his back, snoring softly.

"Okay, what is that?" Clarke spat, looking around the room.

At Bellamy's side of the bed, there was a bedside table with an alarm and a phone. The phone.

Clarke shoved Bellamy. "You gonna get that?"

Bellamy groaned, but didn't move. Clarke pushed him again. Nothing.

"Fine, you useless lump, I'll get it."

She got up on her hands and knees, with Bellamy's body underneath her, and reached for the phone.

"Hello?"

"Good morning, ma'am, this is your wakeup call."

Clarke groaned. "I didn't request a wakeup call."

"No ma'am, Mrs. Rachel Collins did."

Clarke had a moment of confusion before she remembered. The wedding. Finn's wedding. Rachel must be his mother.

"Did Mrs. Rachel Collins give the reason for this wakeup call?"

"Yes ma'am. It was regarding a brunch at 10 o'clock this morning."

"Tell me, sir," Clarke bit back her sarcasm. "What time is it now?"

"8 o'clock in the morning, ma'am."

Clarked groaned again. "Thank you so much. And, uh, where is this brunch?"

"On the east patio. If you need help locating it, come to the front desk and someone will escort you there."

"Great. Thanks."

She dropped the receiver back on the machine, then groaned again, loudly.

"Can you shut up?" Bellamy mumbled.

"Shut it," Clarke muttered, reaching for the alarm clock. She didn't need one hour to get ready, let alone two.

She set the alarm for 9, anticipating several snoozes. It was just brunch. How fancy could it be? She checked that the alarm was on, and double checked that it was set for nine in the morning and not nine at night.

Clarke managed to retreat back to her side of the bed before completely collapsing back to sleep. 


 

One hour later, there was another shrill noise. Clarke had a moment of pure, sleepy mindlessness before remembering where she was and why. What she didn't remember was if her pillows had always been this firm. 

Clarke finally opened her eyes, finding a disembodied arm in front of her. And she was lying on it. Clarke rolled over to find Bellamy's face just in front of her own. His eyes were still closed, but his face looked pained. Probably because of the alarm.

"Bellamy," she said softly. The creases in his face smoothed out. "Are you going to shower this morning?"

"Nah," he said softly. "Whassat?"

"The noise? It's an alarm clock, Bellamy. People use them to wake themselves up at a certain time."

Bellamy opened one eye and tried to glare at her. It didn't really work when he was still half asleep.

"Just hit snooze," Clarke said finally, when it was clear he couldn't form any more words. "We do need to go to brunch at 10 so as long as we're up in thirty minutes..."

Bellamy turned away from her to slap a button on the alarm, then promptly rolled back into cuddle position, complete with arms wrapped around her. Clarke finally knew how the ingredients of a burrito felt.

"Um, Bellamy..."

"Shhh," he whispered. "You're my stuffed animal now."

Clarke huffed at that, but she was tired too. She wondered where this cuddly Bellamy had come from before drifting off into a light sleep.

Two snoozes later, she finally got up. She had to pry Bellamy's hands off of her to do it. After washing her face and waking fully, she stared at her reflection in the mirror, noticing the shock on her own face.

Did that really just happen? Was Bellamy Blake seriously a cuddle monster? She never would have expected it from him, but he could be exceptionally clingly. She contemplated teasing him about it, but decided against it with a firm shake of the head. Maybe it was a personal thing. 

Clarke brushed her teeth and put on her makeup, then put her hair in a loose side braid. Once she was content with her appearance, she went back into the hotel room. 

The alarm was blaring once again. 

"Bellamy, we should get going soon."

"Ugh, don't wanna," Bellamy mumbled, hugging a pillow. He didn't even reach to turn off the alarm.

Shrugging, Clarke got dressed in a soft red tunic dress with a pendant necklace. After some thought, she decided to wear the hat that Octavia had liked so much. She liked it. It was "beach-y" if that was even a thing.

She checked the clock while turning off the alarm. Ten 'til ten. Clarke grabbed a pillow from the ground and threw it at Bellamy.

"Bell! Brunch! Now!" she yelled, yanking the blankets off him.

Bellamy groaned loudly, but sat up. "How much time do we have?"

"We can be there in time if we leave now."

"Damn it. Give me two minutes."

Clarke nodded, standing by the door with her arms folded. Bellamy ran in and out of the bathroom, emerging with his bangs slightly wet. He ran to his suitcase, then dressed in the first outfit he grabbed from it, which happened to be jeans and a plaid shirt. 

"Okay, one sec," he said, hopping around on one foot as he put on his shoes. "Okay. I'm good. Let's run."

"Not literally," Clarke said, gesturing to her wedges. 

Bellamy rolled his eyes. "Shall I carry the princess?"

"Sure, make fun of me, get it out of your system. Remember, when we get to brunch, you adore me."

"Only as much as you adore me," he muttered, but grabbed her hand. 

The didn't run, but they did walk as quickly as they could to the front desk. Clarke forgot which patio they were supposed to go to, but when she asked about the Collins' brunch, they knew exactly what she meant.

There were quite a few people on the patio, but not all of the guests. Clarke breathed a sigh of relief that they weren't the last ones there.

"Bellarke!" came a yell from across the patio.

"Oh great. Just who I want to see first thing in the morning," Bellamy grumbled under his breath. Clarke squeezed his hand, and hoped he got the unspoken message to be. nice.

Jasper came running towards them, a plate full of eggs, bacon, and pancakes in his hands. "Morning, sunshines!"

Clarke managed a tired smile, and Bellamy grunted.

"Up late last night?" Jasper raised an eyebrow. 

"Funny," Bellamy said curtly.

"And, this is where I come take Jasper away," Monty appeared, plate on one hand, the other hand on Jasper's back, steering him towards a table. "Jas, you know not everyone is a morning person," Clarke heard him muttering.

"What first, food or coffee?" Clarke asked, looking at the buffet tables.

"The line for food is shorter," Bellamy replied, and started walking there, tugging Clarke by her hand.

"Do you want to split up? I can do coffe and you can get food and find us a table?"

"Sure, whatever. What do you want?"

"Scrambled eggs, bacon, one pancake, please."

"Easy enough," Bellamy nodded. He looked down the table. "Do you want any fruit or anything?"

Clarke followed his gaze. "Sure, just no melons. I'm allergic."

Bellamy turned back to her, eyebrows raised. "You are?"

"It's not like my throat closes up or anything. It's just uncomfortable to eat," she shrugged.

"No melon. Got it."

"How do you take your coffee, by the way?"

"Black."

"Easy enough," Clarke repeated, smiling. "See you in a bit."

Clarke made her way to the coffee line, which had only grown in the time it took them to have that conversation. She'd only stood there for a moment when someone came up behind her.

"Clarke Griffin?"

Clarke turned around and her heart sank. Raven. She'd assumed she would see Finn first, or at least Finn and Raven at the same time. She wasn't prepared for a conversation with Raven alone. Still, she slapped a smile on her face.

"Hey, Raven. Thanks so much for the invite."

"Oh, of course," Raven smiled easily. "I wanted to get to know you better."

Clarke couldn't stop her eyes from widening. "Me? Why?"

Raven shrugged awkwardly, clearly trying to avoid a certain topic. "I figured we must have something in common..."

"Oh. Well. Um."

"So what do you do?" Raven asked quickly, putting Clarke out of her misery.

"I teach art at a high school," Clarke smiled, the thought of her job easing her nerves. "I'm an artist on the side, I guess."

"High school, huh? Aren't high schoolers like, evil or something?"

Clarke laughed. "Some of them can be. There's always the kid coming in, looking for the easy A. But the ones that work hard and really try... They make it all worthwhile."

"Aw, that's sweet. And totally cheesy, come on."

Clarke laughed again. Okay, Raven was funny. "Okay, honestly? The best part of my job is all the spare time."

"That's what I thought," Raven smirked. "So what do you do with that spare time? Paint?"

"Mainly. Sometimes I binge watch TV shows with my roommate. We're both obsessed with HGTV, and will watch it for hours."

"Oh my God, I know what you mean. There's something about renovation shows..."

"Right? The before and after is the best part!"

"Nothing like a beautiful after," Raven agreed, nodding.

"Yeah sometimes the before isn't great... and the middle part. That's always ugly. Something bad always happens. Termites, or mold, or the entire plumbing system needing to be redone."

"And they always get it together in the end. It's kind of inspiring."

"I know what you mean..." Clarke smiled softly. 

"Finn never watches these shows with me," Raven said suddenly, rolling her eyes. "He says they're too girly, and that the carpenters are only there for us to drool over."

"You mean like Ty Pennington?" Clarke smirked. 

"Okay. He was hot in the early 2000's, but someone's gotta tell him the spiky hair and soul patch are so beyond done."

"Oh, so true. Which reminds me, you know who else used to be really hot?"

"Hm?"

"Harrison Ford."

"What do you mean 'used to be?!'" Raven protested.

"You got a thing for 70-year-old Harrison Ford?"

"No!" Raven gasped. "He's 70?!"

"Yeah," Clarke laughed. "But young Harrison Ford was seriously a babe."

"Young Marlon Brando!" Raven exclaimed.

"Oh my god, young Marlon Brando," Clarke leaned back at the sheer force of young Marlon Brando's hotness. "Have you seen the gif-"

"Of him rolling his eyes?! Um, yes."

"Oh, wait..." Clarke said slowly. "I think we just failed the Bechdel test."

Raven snickered. "Quick, let's talk about something that's not a guy!"

"Um... read any good books lately?"

"No," Raven groaned. "I haven't had time for anything but wedding magazines. I had to work overtime to keep Finn's mom from taking over everything. Don't get me wrong, I love Rachel... but she's kinda a control freak."

"Yikes. Well, at least you'll have some free time once this is all over."

"Yeah, honestly, I just want to get this all over with so I can go back to my life. I wanna tinker with machines, but Rachel's all, No, Raven! You mustn't get engine grease on your manicure!"

Clarke nodded knowingly. "Sometimes you gotta just get down and dirty. I know the feeling. My favorite way to de-stress is to get paint all over myself and have some of it miraculously end up on a canvas."

Raven laughed. "There you go, something we have in common! We aren't afraid to get our hands dirty."

"No, in fact, I think we both prefer it."

Raven nodded, then pointed behind Clarke. "Your turn for coffee."

"Oh thank god. Bell and I need it."

"Bell?"

"Oh," Clarke said over her shoulder as she filled two large cups of coffee. "Bellamy. He's my date."

"I'd like to meet him," Raven smiled. 

"Sure! Once I get this coffee, I'm supposed to eat with him. That is, if he managed to find a table." More people had come down for brunch and the tables were filling up.

"You go on ahead. I'll find you later."

"Okay," Clarke smiled. "It was nice talking to you."

"You too!"

As soon as Clarke was out of hearing distance, she breathed a huge sigh of relief. That hadn't gone nearly as badly as she'd expected it to. It wasn't all that surprising that she enjoyed talking to Raven. If Finn liked both of them, they had to have something in common. Clarke figured that's what Raven had been hinting at, at least.

She found Bellamy sitting at a table with hardly any other people at it. She also noticed that he'd avoided Jasper and Monty's table. Clarke thought back to when Jasper had called them "Bellarke." What would their name be? Masper? Oh, god no. Jonty? It wasn't as terrible...

"Coffee," Clarke stated simply, placing the cup in front of Bellamy.

"My angel," he said, immediately reaching for the cup. It was probably too hot to drink, but he held it, inhaled, and smiled. "Bless you," he said warmly to Clarke, who just chuckled.

"You'll never guess who I just talked to," she muttered, sitting down next to him, where he'd put her plate.

Bellamy turned and raised his eyebrows, but he clearly still wasn't in a talkative mood.

"Raven. The bride."

"Ooh," Bellamy sat back in his seat, setting his coffee down. "And how did that go?"

"Surprisingly well. She's really funny."

"That's good..." Bellamy said slowly, almost a question.

"No, it was. It was nice," Clarke nodded, then took a huge bite of pancake.

"Clarke!"

Aaand perfect timing. She turned around to see Raven grinning behind her. Next to Raven was her husband to be, and he did not look as happy as Raven did. 

Clarke chewed as quickly as she could, but it was still incredibly awkward. Bellamy glanced at her, then stood, holding out his hand.

"Hi, I don't believe we've met. I'm Bellamy Blake, Clarke's plus one."

"Nice to meet you, Bellamy!" Raven shook his hand enthusiastically. "Are you here as friends?"

Clarke finally swallowed, and stood as well. Bellamy placed a casual hand on the small of her back. "Nah, he's a little more special than just a friend."

"Aw, princess, I thought you were only keeping me around for my pretty face!" Bellamy joked.

"Don't get me wrong, that is a plus," Clarke smirked, poking his cheek.

"You're not so bad-looking yourself," he grinned, returning the gesture.

"'Hurr hurr, I'm Bellamy Blake, and I think Clarke Griffin's the most gorgeous angel to walk this earth.'"

"'Ooh, I'm Clarke Griffin and I want Bellamy Blake's booty,'" Bellamy retaliated. 

Clarke burst out laughing. "Okay, you win this round."

"When's round two?" Bellamy grinned excitedly.

"Shh, we'll talk about that later. In private," Clarke replied in a stage whisper.

"Um, we're still here!" Raven chirped, highly amused. "So you're together."

"I guess so," Clarke muttered, leaning back into Bellamy, who wrapped his arms around her waist.

"If you insist," Bellamy added casually, kissing the top of Clarke's head.

Raven grinned. "Riiight... Well it's pretty clear that you're together."

"Might as well be," Clarke shrugged. She turned to Bellamy. "Any protests?"

"None that I can think of. I guess you're stuck with me."

"Hmm, woe is me," Clarke said lightly.

"Hey, Clarke," Finn said suddenly, stiffly. Her bubble popped.

"Hello," she said, oddly formal.

"I see you're with Blake."

"Against my better judgment, yeah," she grinned as Bellamy nuzzled her neck.

"When did that happen?"

Clarke turned to look at Bellamy. "A couple months ago? Maybe? I mean we'd always been moving towards it but our first date was earlier this spring."

"I only brought you along to that because I thought you'd enjoy art that wasn't done by a 16-year-old," Bellamy said, giving Clarke's waist a squeeze. 

"Oh, please, you were begging on your knees for me," Clarke laughed.

"Oh? Who's the one who spent hours picking out a dress for the occasion?" Bellamy leaned down, talking into her ear.

Clarke turned in Bellamy's arms to face him. "That's circumstantial evidence, and you know it. That only took so long because I was with Octavia. You know how she gets in a mall."

At some point while she was talking, either she or Bellamy leaned closer, because their noses were almost touching. Bellamy smirked at her, but Clarke didn't back down.

"Excuses," Bellamy said softly, looking smug.

"I think we'll leave now," Raven laughed. 

Clarke spun around. This wasn't the first time in their charade that she and Bellamy had gotten lost in their own little world, oblivious to the people around them. 

"I-uh... sorry," Clarke grinned sheepishly.

"No, no, I know what that honeymoon stage is like! No one else in the world but you two," Raven grinned. "We've got to go socialize, but I'll talk to you later, Clarke!"

"Yeah, later," Clarke smiled, watching Raven tug Finn along behind her. 

Finn glanced back as Bellamy kissed Clarke's cheek. Clarke ignored Finn, turning back to the table and sitting in her seat. 

The first interaction hadn't gone too badly. Octavia would be proud.


After they finished brunch, they met up with Jasper and Monty, and their friends (also Finn's friends), Nathan Miller and a girl who was only introduced as Harper. 

"We were thinking of going into town and shopping for souvenirs, what do you think?" Monty asked Clarke. 

She looked at Bellamy, who smiled and nodded slightly. "Yeah, that sounds fun. Are we walking?"

Jasper shook his head. "Nah, there's a shuttle bus that leaves from the resort every so often. We can catch the next one if we go now."

Clarke turned to Bellamy. "I didn't bring my wallet."

Bellamy checked his pockets. "I did. Don't worry about it, princess. You can pay me back later if you get anything."

"Are you sure?"

"Hey, what are boyfriends for?" he asked with a grin.

"Shut up, you," Clarke said with a shy smile, punching his arm.

"What's that all about?" Miller (for some reason, they called him by his last name) muttered to Jasper. 

"They do this thing where they're obviously together but they like to pretend that they're not," Jasper replied, rolling his eyes. 

"How adorable," Harper smirked.

"Okay, let's go catch that bus," Clarke said quickly, shooting Jasper a look. Jasper just grinned, unapologetically.

At some point as they walked to the front drive of the resort, Bellamy and Clarke ended up holding hands. Clarke didn't miss the smug expression on Jasper's face, but she didn't feel like letting go just to spite him.


 

"Bell. Bell, Bell, Bell," Clarke repeated his name when he didn't look over. 

"What, princess?" he turned, exasperated.

Clarke ignored his annoyance and held up a silver necklace, made up of lots of different pieces hooked together. "Don't you think Octavia would love this?"

Bellamy came over, picking up one end of the necklace to inspect it closer. "Yeah, she would. Good eye. A lot better than my gift for her," he muttered, holding up a tiny wood carving of a sea turtle.

"What? No, that's so cute! She'll love them both," Clarke smiled. "Tell you what. Let's give her both at once and tell her it's a joint souvenir from the both of us. She doesn't have to know who picked what."

Bellamy smiled. "Sounds like a plan."

"Clarke, what do you think? Is this a good present for a Korean mother in law?" Jasper ran over, hefting a large bottle of rum.

"Um, I don't think Monty's mom is a heavy drinker. How about spices or hot sauce? She loves to cook."

Jasper's eyes widened. "Brilliant! I just gotta go put this back..."

Bellamy laughed, shaking his head. "He's like a small child. Or a puppy."

Clarke chuckled. "Someone should put a leash on him. He's bound to break something before-"

There was a huge crashing sound, then profuse apologies from a very familiar voice. Clarke covered her face with a hand and groaned. 

"Let's just buy our things and get out of here. Maybe they won't realize we're associated with him," Bellamy whispered, grabbing Clarke by the hand to the check-out. 

"After this, let's look for coffee that I can give my mom," Clarke said softly.

Bellamy looked at her and nodded. "Of course, princess."

"Anyone else you need to get presents for?"

"Hm... Should I get something for Lincoln?"

Clarke grinned. "Octavia would love you forever if you did." 

"You think he's a big rum drinker?"

Clarke laughed. "He'd probably appreciate the rum more than Monty's mom would."

As their purchases were rung up, Clarke said thoughtfully, "Well, that's all our souvenirs taken care of... Weird. It's not many people."

Bellamy shook his head with a sigh. "We really need to get more friends."

"Did someone say friends?" Jasper chirped, popping up behind them. 

"No. You get out of here before you cause even more destruction."

"Don't worry, I've got him," Monty said, holding Jasper's hand firmly.

"Like I said," Bellamy muttered in Clarke's ear. "Child or a puppy."

"I'm thinking puppy," Clarke replied in a low voice, laughing slightly.

Jasper was distracted by something Harper had, but Monty had heard them, and he laughed at his boyfriend's expense. 

"Now you see my pain," he whispered.

"Is everyone done?" Jasper asked, bouncing. "Let's get out of this store and go exploring!"

Bellamy shot an amused glance at Clarke. "Ready to go, princess?"

She took his hand again. "Yeah... Hey. Bet you twenty bucks Jasper will trip and fall again by the end of the day."

"You're on."

 

Chapter Text

After spending most of the morning and part of the afternoon in town, Clarke wanted to get back to the resort for some alone time before dinner. Bellamy elected to come along, while the others stayed.

There was a balcony off their hotel room that looked out over the pool, and to the ocean beyond the resort. Clarke grabbed her sketchbook and curled up on a lounge chair, with Bellamy next to her, reading some book about Ancient Roman emperors. Neither of them spoke, and it was actually rather nice to spend time together in silence. 

When it came time to get ready, Clarke took a quick shower and blew her hair dry, in waves. She dressed in a floor-length navy dress with a white ombre on the front of the skirt. Smoky eyes, and she was ready for dinner. 

When she stepped out of the bathroom, she saw Bellamy, dressed in black dress pants and a navy-button down, a black jacket and.... a black tie.

She gasped. "You're wearing a tie?"

"Yeah, yeah," he said with his crooked grin.

"I never thought I'd see the day," Clarke put a hand over her mouth, faking tears.

"All right... Let it all out."

Clarke stared a moment longer, then pretended to collect herself. "Okay, I'm good. Let's go to dinner."

Dinner was on a patio, like brunch was, but it was a different one, closer to the beach so that once dinner was over, the guests could spill out onto the sand.

Clarke and Bellamy ate with the same group of people who had gone into town together, and had already become pretty good friends with Miller and Harper. It was all fairly uneventful until cocktails.

They were in the sand, shoes in one hand, the bride and groom's signature drink (originally called "the moonwalk," but now "spacewalker" based on some inside joke between the two) in the other. Jasper had just made a corny joke that they were laughing politely at, when Clarke saw Bellamy's face go blank.

"Lilly...?"

Clarke frowned, looking at him sharply. She remembered that name. Bellamy had spent two whole months hanging around their apartment when his girlfriend and the supposed love of his life broke up with him and left the country.

Bellamy threw his drink back in one gulp and gave it to a passing waiter, refusing the offered refill. He placed his free hand on the small of Clarke's back, and began steering her forwards.

"Bellamy, what are you doing?" Clarke turned to him, digging in her heels.

Bellamy's face was stubbornly set. "Clarke, I know we're doing this for your ex, but tonight, can it be for me?"

"Only if you talk to me. You're not shutting me out about this."

"It's none of your business!" he snapped.

Clarke eyed him sharply. If her hands were free, she would have crossed her arms or put her hands on her hips. She raised a single eyebrow, as if to say "ex-cuse me?"

Bellamy made a frustrated noise and ran his hand through his hair, mussing his curls. He frowned and hedged until finally giving in.

"You saw me after we broke up. She broke my heart. And I found out through facebook that she got married. I didn't even get an invitation."

Clarke looked at him sympathetically, and he was quick to add, "Not like I care! She wanted to leave so she left! Whatever."

Yet again, Clarke's full hands were a problem. She wanted to comfort him, lay a hand on his arm or something. All she could do is lean against him and smile in support. 

"What do you need me to do?"

"Well," he scratched the back of his neck. "Lilly and I were really hands on so maybe if we could be more touchy-feely... I mean, as long as you're not uncomfortable with that?"

Clarke shook her head. "Right now, I'm here for you. I mean, no groping, but otherwise I'm down."

"Thanks princess," he breathed a sigh of relief, pulling her close and kissing the top of her head.

"Wait, so which one's Lilly?" Clarke asked, glancing in the direction they'd been walking.

"Green dress, red hair," he muttered, as if she could hear him from however many feet away.

Clarke looked over subtly, then bit her lip and turned back. "The one talking to Raven and Finn?"

"Ahhhhh... shit."

"That's okay. It's like hitting two birds with one stone," Clarke smiled optimistically, but she felt a bit anxious about talking to the pair again so soon.

"Hey. I'll be right there with you."

Clarke couldn't help but laugh slightly. "Yeah, that's the whole point in bringing you here. Or did you think I just wanted to hang out in the Caribbean with you?"

"Ha, very funny," Bellamy said dryly, tugging on a lock of her hair.

"Hey!" Clarke protested, kicking him lightly in the shin.

Bellamy didn't flinch, just laughed. "Okay. We should stop fighting while we're talking to Lilly."

"You started it," Clarke grumbled.

"I did. And now I'm ending it!" he said brightly, wrapping an arm around her waist.

"For now."

Bellamy laughed again. "Okay. For now."

Raven noticed them approaching before they're reached the group, and she ran over, wearing a gorgeous red silk dress. 

"Clarke! I was looking for you," she grinned.

"Oh? You look gorgeous, by the way," Clarke smiled as the girl reached them.

"No you do! What the fuck is that dress?"

Clarke looked down, laughing nervously. "I dunno, just a dress I found?"

"I love it. You're rocking it."

"Thanks," Clarke grinned. "We were just coming over to say hi."

"Oh, come, come!" Raven pranced back to the group. "Have you met-"

"Lilly Marsh," Bellamy nodded.

The redhead spun around in a flash. Shit, thought Clarke. She was gorgeous. Clarke instinctively leaned closer to Bellamy. Lilly's eyes widened, and Clarke couldn't help but notice they were the same green as her dress.

"Bellamy Blake? Long time no see!" she said with a tinkling laugh.

Lilly leaned forward, as if for a hug, but Bellamy didn't remove his arm from Clarke's waist. She patted his shoulder awkwardly.

"Good to see you," Bellamy said, smiling easily. "Lilly, I want you to meet my girlfriend, Clarke Griffin."

"Ah, so this is her?" Lilly turned to Clarke. "I've heard a lot about you."

"Oh?" Clarke raised an eyebrow, glancing at Bellamy, who was doing everything he could to avoid her eyes. "Only nice things, I hope."

"Oh, yes," Lilly laughed, and there was an awkward pause.

"I'm sorry, what was your name again?" Clarke asked sweetly. Bellamy squeezed her waist lightly in approval.

"I'm Lilly... He hasn't mentioned me?"

"Not much, I'm afraid," Clarke frowned, shrugging slightly. 

"I see.." Lilly drifted off, looking curiously at Bellamy.

She didn't seem jealous. Why should she be? She was married? I guess what he wanted was the best revenge- showing her that he was living well. 

Clarke shifted her shoes and drink to one hand and pulled Bellamy's arm from her waist to her shoulders, cuddling into his side. Bellamy fondly kissed the top of her head again, then leaned closer.

"Are you cold?" he asked worriedly.

"I underestimated how much cooler it would be with the sun down," Clarke admitted.

Without hesitation, Bellamy took his jacket off and draped it over her shoulders. "Better?"

Clarke beamed at him, leaning in. "Much better, thank you."

Bellamy took her cue and pecked her on the lips. It was their first kiss, but they managed to make it seem casual and instinctive.

"You're welcome princess," he replied in a low, sexy voice, with that grin of his. As his girlfriend, Clarke really had no choice but to kiss him again.

Clarke snuggled back into his side, hoping her cheeks weren't bright red. Bellamy put his arm around her shoulders again, absentmindedly rubbing her arm.

Raven turned from her conversation with Finn. "Aw, what a cute couple," she said with a smirky smile.

"Oh yeah. The cutest," Clarke nodded arrogantly, making Raven laugh.

"It's nice not seeing you fight," Raven chuckled. 

"Who, us?" Clarke asked with exaggerated surprise.

"Fight? Never!" Bellamy added in the same tone.

"You're just a couple of clowns, aren't you?" Raven smirked, folding her arms.

"All we need are the red noses and big shoes," Clarke agreed, laughing.

"What, no rainbow wigs?"

"Darling, rainbow wigs are so passé," Clarke said haughtily.

"Oh, how silly of me," Raven replied, with the same snooty tone. "You know I've been behind in clown couture. Just not enough hours in the day, darling!"

"Hhm, yes, I understand, darling. Too busy with wedding flowers than squirting flowers?"

"Yes, indeed."

Raven and Clarke burst out laughing, Bellamy grinning at their exchange, Lilly seemingly amused, and Finn just confused. It was probably difficult for him to imagine his fiancée and the other woman getting along, which only made Clarke want to be friends with Raven more, to spite him. Of course, she also wanted to be friends with Raven for Raven's sake. She would probably fit right in on Clarke and Octavia's girls' nights.

"I know you're not in the wedding party," Raven said suddenly to Clarke, "but how would you like to come along to my bachelorette party? I saw you talking to Harper. She'll be there, and Lilly too!"

"I-uh... Are you sure?"

"Of course! We're just going to be running in and out of bars in town. Drinking, dancing, stuff like that. Do you have sexy going-out clothes?"

Clarke looked at Bellamy like a drowning person looking for a life raft. What was she supposed to say? What was she supposed to do? Bellamy seemed amused, and he nodded slightly to her.

"Um, no? Most of my stuff is pretty understated."

"Oh, that won't do!" Raven frowned in thought, then brightened. "I have just the dress!"

Raven stared at Clarke's body for a moment. "Your hips are a bit wider than mine, but we're about the same size. Besides, it's stretchy so it'll fit."

"Thank you...?" Clarke said hesitantly. 

"You're welcome! We're going back in to change in a little bit, actually. You can just come with me to my room."

"Oh... okay."

"Do you not want to come? Because you don't have to."

"No, that's not it! I'm just surprised. That was very generous of you."

"Oh," Raven grinned. "It's nothing."

Bellamy leaned in to whisper in Clarke's ear, "Do I get to see you in the sexy dress?"

"Ha! You wish," Clarke smirked. 

"You're right," he said simply. 

Clarke turned to him, eyebrows raised, and he just grinned.

"You're incorrigible," she muttered, shaking her head.

They stayed and chatted with the group for a bit longer. Finn, who'd been silent so far, finally warmed up and started making jokes. He was affectionate with Raven, but his eyes lingered on Clarke and Bellamy. After a while, Clarke didn't even notice him. 

It wasn't long before Raven announced it was time to go, and Clarke kissed Bellamy goodbye.

"Don't get too drunk," he teased.

"I will be precisely as drunk as I want to be," Clarke said in her "princess" voice, and Bellamy grinned.

"Okay, well if you get sloppy, I'm not cleaning up after you," he warned.

"Yeah, yeah," she muttered, kissing him again. "I gotta go."

"No," Bellamy pouted, holding her wrist. 

Clarke raised her arm up, kissing his hand. "I have to. I'll see you soon," she said, unable to stop the smile from spreading across her face. Clingy Bellamy was seriously the cutest.

"Fine," he muttered, letting go.

Clarke blew one last kiss back at him before running after Raven in the sand. Easier said than done.

Harper, Lilly, and a couple of other girls that Clarke didn't recognize came up to the resort with them. They gathered in the lobby.

"Okay, team," Raven said, as if leading a huddle. "Meet down here in half an hour, okay? If you're late, we're leaving you!"

They went off to their respective rooms, Clarke following Raven to hers. It was decorated in white and red, making Clarke wonder if it was some kind of honeymoon suite or something. Raven and Finn's clothes were both scattered around the room.

"I'll get yours first," Raven said, already digging through a suitcase. "Here it is!" she emerged with a grin.

Raven was holding up a little black dress with a low v-neck, both in the back and the front. Clarke took it from her silently, trying to figure out what side was the front.

"God damn..." Clarke muttered, staring at the dress.

"Right? It's going to be downright sinful on you."

Clarke looked up at her, a smile playing at her lips. "I don't know if I have the right bra for this."

"Oh, you don't have to, see?" Raven grabbed the front of the dress. "I got cups sewn in."

Clarke's jaw dropped. The idea had never occurred to her. "Raven, you're brilliant."

Raven smirked. "I know. Now put it on!"

Clarke changed in front of her. No point in being shy now. She shimmied into the dress, which was stretchy, as Raven had said. It clung to her every curve, showing quite a lot of cleavage. 

Clarke walked over to the full-length mirror in the corner, twisting and turning to look at herself from all angles. 

"Damn," Clarke muttered. 

"Damn girl, what did I tell you? You should really keep that dress. You fill it out way better than I do."

"Don't be silly," Clarke tried to say reassuringly, but she couldn't stop staring at her hips and ass in the mirror.

While Clarke was preoccupied, Raven changed into her outfit, which turned out to be a pure white romper with lace details. 

"What do you think?" Raven turned and showed off her outfit. "I don't know if I'm really a lace girl, but..."

"I love it," Clarke grinned. "Very bridal."

"Yeah? That's what I was going for," Raven smiled in relief.

"Are you ready to go now?"

Raven came over and checked her reflection in the mirror. "My makeup's good. So, yeah. Let's head down."

On the way to the elevator, Raven linked arms with Clarke, and it felt oddly natural.


Shortly after they reached the first bar, Clarke got a call from Bellamy. "Be right back," she told the girls, and went to the bathroom, where it was slightly less loud.

"Hello?"

"Clarke? Hey, I was wondering if you had a key?"

She didn't think so, but she checked her clutch. She just had her credit card and her ID, besides her phone. 

"No... I assumed that you would let me in."

Bellamy laughed awkwardly. "Yeah, about that... You'll never guess what happened."

"What?"

"Finn invited me to his bachelor party."

Clarke's jaw dropped. "Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I thought it was crazy too. Maybe he thought he could interrogate me about you, or something. Or he didn't want to look bad, since Raven asked you."

 Clarke laughed. "Okay, so when are you going to be back?"

"I dunno. We haven't left yet. I'm in the hotel room right now. I can grab an extra key and bring it to you?"

"That sounds good. We're at the bar we passed while shopping earlier today. I think it's Sunshine, or something? It's got Americans working here."

"Yeah, I remember the place. I'll try to stop by soon."

"Please do, come before I'm totally wasted."

"Hmm... It might be more fun to see you totally wasted, though."

"Bellamy."

He laughed. "See you later, princess!"

There was a click as he hung up. Clarke sighed and shook her head. The instant she left the bathroom, Raven was next to her with a pair of shots in her hand. Clarke wasn't sure what state Bellamy would find them in, but that wasn't a reason not to drink.

She threw it back and asked for another.


Almost an hour later, the girls were talking about finding male strippers and getting lap dances. Almost everyone was for the idea.

"I'm okay," Clarke laughed, shaking her head.

"Seriously, Clarkey? You're telling me that you don't want a super hot guy giving you a lapdance?" Raven raised an eyebrow.

"I don't need it," Clarke said firmly.

Raven immediately made eye contact with every other girl there. "She doesn't need it... Because she's already getting it, am I right?"

Clarke wondered if the alcohol had ruined Raven's reasoning abilities. "That's not what I said!"

"Oh, of course it is! Your gorgeous, freckly boy toy has totally given you a lap dance before."

"Honestly, no!" Clarke protested. She'd had quite a bit to drink as well though, so she was giggling. Not giving herself much credibility. "You're ridic."

"You're ridic," Raven accused.

"Clarke?"

Every single girl's head snapped around at the sound of Bellamy's voice. He'd just walked into the bar alone, and Raven was grinning like Christmas had come early. 

Before anyone could say anything, Clarke hopped off her bar stool and ran to him. 

"Funny story," she said quickly, in his ear. "But the girls were talking about getting lap dances, but when I said I didn't need one, they somehow assumed that meant I was already getting lap dances. From you."

Bellamy's eyebrows raised so high, his bangs hid them. He was holding a room key in one hand, and he just continued to hold out dumbly. Clarke quickly grabbed it and slipped it into her clutch.

Raven sneaked up behind her. "Hey, Bellamy."

"Oh god," Clarke sighed, rolling her eyes. 

"We hear you're a pro at lap dances," Raven said smoothly. 

Clarke's eyes bulged out of her head. She did not. Raven did not just say that.

Bellamy seemed to have recovered, and he smirked at Clarke. "Gossiping about me, princess?"

Clarke let out a strangled groan, which was drowned out by Raven's squeal. 

"So are you going to demonstrate for us?"

Clarke didn't know how his smirk could get even more smug, but it did. "Anything for the bride to be."

"Oh! But not for me," Raven said quickly. "Your girlfriend's right here. I wouldn't want it to be weird."

Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "So you want to watch me give my girlfriend a lap dance?"

"Is that weird?" Raven asked, tilting her head.

"Not at all! Princess?"

This was really happening. Bellamy was actually going to give her a lap dance. Well... might as well enjoy it.

"Oh, why not?"

Bellamy looked surprised then. Clarke figured at least half of his enjoyment had been from her discomfort. Still, he didn't back down when Raven directed Clarke to a chair and ran over to the bartender to ask him to put on "sexy" music. 

"One sec," Clarke got up and went to the bartender.

"Hey, so you know how that girl requested sexy music?" Clarke asked him in a low voice. He nodded. "I was wondering if you could make it funny. Maybe embarrass my boyfriend a little bit. Do you know anything that would work with that?"

A smile slowly spread across the bartender's face, and he winked at her. "Honey, I have the perfect song."

"Great! Thank you!" Clarke beamed, then ran back over to the chair Raven had chosen. 

"What was that about?" Bellamy asked, standing behind the chair. 

"Oh, nothing. You'll find out," Clarke said lightly.

Suddenly, the opening notes of an extremely familiar pop song filled the bar. Clarke immediately burst out laughing. 

"Oh, baby baby..."

"This is what you picked, princess?" Bellamy whispered in her ear, forcing Clarke to fight back a shudder. "I'm rolling with it."

Bellamy walked to the front of the chair to the rhythm of the song, letting his fingers drift along Clarke's bare back.

"Oh, baby baby, how was I supposed to know,"

Bellamy unbuttoned his shirt, discarding it on a nearby chair, then walked up in between Clarke's legs, still wearing a t-shirt.

"-that something wasn't right here?"

He shook his ass in time with the music, Clarke still laughing almost hysterically. Bellamy turned around, shaking his ass in her face.

"Show me how you want it to be,"

Slowly, he inched the t-shirt up, showing off his abs not only to Clarke, but to the rest of the girls, stepping back so they could all see.

"You're enjoying this so much," Clarke gasped.

He winked at her, then straddled her, grinding sensually.

"My loneliness is killing me and I must confess, I still believe. When I'm not with you I lose my mind. Give me a sign. Hit me baby, one more time!"

Clarke was astounded at how seriously he was taking this.  Sure, part of it was a big joke, but he was also really into it. Okay... It was kinda sexy. What would a girlfriend do?

Bellamy made a move to get up, but Clarke grabbed his face and pulled it closer, crashing her lips into his. Bellamy was surprised, but took it in stride, nibbling on her lower lip while still gyrating on top of her. Clarke grabbed his butt, pulling him closer.

Clarke flicked her tongue against his lips and he opened his mouth without hesitation. Clarke could taste the alcohol on his breath, and was kinda glad she wasn't the only tipsy one in this situation. Still, Bellamy knew exactly what he was doing. She managed to hold back the moans at first, but before long, one escaped.

Clarke froze immediately, mortified. There was no way he hadn't heard it. Bellamy pulled back, smirked at her for a moment, but instead of saying something snarky, moved his mouth to her neck, kissing and nibbling lightly.

His hands were cradling her head, and his fingers slipped down to her neck, leaving a feather-soft trail along the way. Clarke's eyelids fluttered shut, eyes rolling back into her head. The way he was touching her neck was giving her shivers.

Her hands reached out, finding his head. She ran her fingers through his hair, then lifted his face back up. Bellamy gave her one last breathtaking kiss, then climbed off of her. 

Reality crashed around Clarke. The Britney Spears song had long ended, and the girls were hooting, hollering, and whistling their approval.

Clarke leaned back in the chair, closing her eyes for one moment. She could not believe that just happened. With Bellamy of all people.

When she opened her eyes again, Bellamy was putting his shirt back on, staring intently at Clarke. There was something intense about the way his eyes lingered on her. 

Clarke looked down, out of curiosity, and saw that Bellamy was clearly aroused. She stood. Bellamy laughed slightly, almost awkwardly.

"Bet you weren't expecting that, huh, princess?"

Clarke stepped closer to him, saw him clench his jaw. His fingers fumbled on the buttons, and he finally ripped his gaze away from her. When he looked up again, he took a step towards Clarke, as if drawn to her. Their faces met again, in a much softer kiss than before.

"You should probably get going," Clarke whispered, leaning her forehead against Bellamy's. "Finn's going to wonder where you are."

That seemed to snap him out of it. "Right. Of course."

Clarke smiled despite herself. "They're not going to shut up about that for the rest of the night."

Bellamy smirked, back to his old self. "Don't act like you didn't enjoy it."

"Well, we both know that you did," Clarke smirked, gesturing to his pants.

Bellamy just shrugged. "I'm only human, Clarke."

"I know the feeling..." she drifted off, then shook her head. "Anyway!"

He laughed slightly. "I'll see you later, princess. Got your key?"

Clarke nodded, giving him a thumb's up. "Don't get too crazy tonight," she teased.

Bellamy shook his head with a sigh. "As if anything could be crazier than that."

"Bye," she said, giving him a quick peck.

"See ya. Bye ladies!" he called out to the girls behind Clarke, who all clamored at him.

"Quick! Run while you still can!" Clarke laughed, pushing him towards the door.

She totally didn't watch his ass the whole way out. 

Chapter Text

After the lap dance debacle, Clarke couldn't bring herself to drink anymore. If that was what she did when she had a few drinks in her system, what would happen if she drank even more? Would she start making out with random strangers? Would she start making out with Raven? Actually, Clarke wouldn't have minded that too much, but Raven probably would have considering her wedding was that weekend.

Speaking of Raven, she got totally wasted. Probably blackout drunk. The bridesmaids weren't much better, but they had enough sense left to decide to call it a night when Raven started flirting with the bartender.

Once they got back to the resort, Clarke stuck with them to make sure they all got to their rooms safely. After tucking Raven into her bed (Raven saying things like "You're so pretty, is that why Belly calls you princess? I really like your face"), Clarke found her dress from earlier that evening, flung over a chair. She quickly changed back into it, leaving the borrowed dress in the same place she had found hers. 

Clarke turned to thank Raven, but the other girl was pretty much passed out. Smiling slightly, she left for her own room.

Bellamy wasn't inside. She shouldn't have been surprised. They guys went out later than the girls had, and it would probably take longer for them to get to the point the girls had reached.

Clarke wondered if she should wait up for him. If they should talk about what happened. If it changed anything at all. Did they like each other now? What an infantile word, "like." She might as well go up to him and say, "Do you like-like me?"

She washed her face and changed into her pajamas, grabbing a water bottle from the minibar in the hopes of staving off a hangover.  She gulped half of it before crawling into bed and turning on the TV. She was just going to browse for a little while, see if there were any good movies on pay-per-view. She wasn't waiting for Bellamy, but if she just happened to be awake when he came back...

On the regular TV channels, she found a rerun of a romcom she liked, so she left it on and settled down in the pillows. She was starting to feel drowsy, but she forced herself to stay awake and drink water. Besides, Bellamy would definitely be back by the time the movie was over.

...Except he wasn't. Another movie followed on the same channel, so Clarke didn't bother changing it. She hardly paid attention. She didn't know when, but at some point she fell fast asleep, still alone.


When Clarke woke up the next morning on her own, she thanked her lucky stars that there weren't any phone calls or alarms. Then she realized Bellamy had come back, because he was holding her like his life depended on it.

Clarke checked her watch. It was a little after noon. She'd gotten a good amount of sleep, and she could sleep longer... She snuggled back into Bellamy's chest, the little spoon to his big spoon. 

She didn't fall asleep completely, but she went in and out of sleep while enjoying the sensation of being held by Bellamy. The air conditioning in the resort was out of control, so rather than being uncomfortably hot, his body heat kept her from shivering.

About an hour after Clarke woke up for the first time, she felt Bellamy stirring. He shifted back slightly, so he was no longer touching her from the waist down. Clarke wanted to roll her eyes. She'd been aware of his morning wood for a while now. It wasn't a big deal. Unless he felt awkward because of what had happened the night before...?

Clarke groaned slightly, stretching as if she'd just woken up. 

"Morning, princess," Bellamy said in a gruff, sleepy voice. It was absolutely adorable. 

Clarke rolled over, casually resting her hands in front of her chin. Honestly, she was trying to block her mouth in case she had morning breath.

"Hi," she smiled.

"Hi," Bellamy grinned back, hair mussed and stubble on his cheeks. 

"Did you have fun last night?"

Bellamy swallowed, and Clarke watched his Adam's apple bob. Why was she paying so much attention to his body all of a sudden?

"Yeah," he said, finally. "I think I really bonded with the guys."

"Good!" Clarke said a little too enthusiastically. 

"What about you?" he asked awkwardly.

"Oh, the girls all got wasted. It was pretty funny."

"But not you?"

"No, I decided to stop drinking after... what happened," she bit her lip. Well, she'd brought it up. Time for the awkwardness to commence.

"Oh yeah. That."

When Bellamy didn't say anything else, Clarke wondered if she should tell him that it didn't mean anything. Honestly at this point, she wasn't sure if it had meant something or not. It's not like she was in love with him... but she had enjoyed kissing him way too much to hate him the way she claimed she did. Could she blame it on the alcohol? Oh great, now she had the Jamie Foxx song stuck in her head.

He was staring at her intently, looking somewhat worried at her silence. 

"Do we want to pretend it didn't happen?" he asked, looking into her eyes.

"We can't, can we? All the girls saw it, and you know the instant Jasper finds out, he won't be able to shut up about it."

Bellamy chuckled, the anxious creases in his forehead softening. Clarke couldn't help but smile at the sight. Bellamy was attractive no matter what face he made, but she liked happy Bellamy more than broody Bellamy. She was about to ruin it though.

"So... everything that happened last night... was that just acting for you?" she asked softly.

Bellamy was silent for a moment. "Well, you saw the physical effects of what happened. It's not like I can fake that."

"That would be quite a skill," Clarke raised her eyebrows with amusement, and Bellamy snorted.

Getting back to the topic at hand, he shrugged as best he could while lying down. "I mean, I'd be lying if I said it was all 100% acting. You have evidence of that. There was definitely a part of me that was attracted to you last night. Hell, you're an attractive girl."

"Thanks," Clarke grinned. "You're not half-bad yourself. I feel the same way though... It got to a point where I wasn't trying to put on a show for the girls or anything... Mainly because I forgot they were even there."

Bellamy smirked. "My lap dance was that good?"

"More like that terrible," Clarke rolled her eyes.

He chuckled, glancing down, suddenly serious again. "So this means we're good?"

"By good do you mean not awkward?" Clarke raised an eyebrow. They both had admitted to some amount of attraction for the other, but that didn't mean it was going to be smooth sailing from then on out. 

He rolled his eyes, "Fine, are we less awkward than we were at the beginning of this conversation?"

"Oh, definitely. One thing, though. Are you going to freak out on me the next time we have to kiss each other? Or the next time you get a boner in the middle of the night?"

If Bellamy wasn't so tan, he might have blushed at that. He certainly looked embarrassed enough. "I... I didn't want to make you uncomfortable."

"Bellamy, I know what an erect penis feels like. I'm not twelve."

"I wasn't saying that!" Bellamy protested. "I just didn't want you to think I was trying to sexually harass you." 

Clarke couldn't help but grin at Bellamy being flustered. "I knew you were unconscious. It's okay. For future reference, you don't have to worry about it."

"Duly noted," Bellamy said sarcastically. "So... what are we going to do today?"

"I was thinking of laying by the pool or going to the beach."

"Beach," he nodded. "Beach is good."

Clarke laughed. "Beach it is, then," she said, sitting up and propelling herself out of bed.

"No, wait, not yet," Bellamy protested, reaching for her.

Clarke shook her head. "If we want to have enough time to actually enjoy the beach before we have to come back and get ready for dinner, we should go now."

Bellamy groaned. "You're so mean in the morning."

"What time is it?" Clarke raised an eyebrow as she rooted through her suitcase for her bathing suit, a navy bikini with scalloped edges. 

"You know what I mean," he grumbled.

"Not really!" she said before retreating into the bathroom and shutting the door. 

She got dressed first, then touched up her shaving, checking for spots she'd missed yesterday. She brushed her teeth, then did very minimal, water-proof makeup in case she decided to actually swim. Her wavy hair was still intact from the night before, so she left it down.

She came back into the room, finding Bellamy topless, in swim trunks, applying sunscreen. 

"Do you need help with your back?" she asked, and he jumped, not realizing she was there.

"Uh yeah, sure," Bellamy handed her the bottle of sunscreen and turned around. 

Clarke wondered if she should mess with him. She could go one of two ways. She could pour way too much sunscreen on his back... Or she could put it on like super sensuously. Rather than run the risk of making things awkward again, she decided to just put it on normally. She'd have better opportunities to tease him later. Which reminded her...

"You know how I said I was going to have special terms of endearment for you?" she asked as she rubbed sunscreen into his shoulders.

Bellamy was quiet, thinking. "Oh, at the play? Yeah, what happened to those?"

"I totally forgot, to be honest. Do you want me to just tell them to you now, or should I actually use them later?"

"Hmm, I say later. Just use them casually in conversation. Are they really bad?"

Clarke bit back a grin. "You'll see. All done!"

He turned, looking both wary and amused at the same time. "I'm looking forward to it... and somehow dreading it at the same time."

Clarke did grin then. "You know me so well."

"Do you need help with your back as well?"

"Oh yeah," Clarke nodded, handing the sunscreen back to him. 

He covered her back, much like she had. All business. No lingering fingers or feather-light touches. Clarke was relieved, but also a little disappointed. God, she needed to get laid. Not necessarily by Bellamy. Just in general. 

When Bellamy finished, she covered the rest of her body thoroughly in sunscreen. She burned like a lobster in the sun, and couldn't be too safe. Maybe she should wear her sunhat again.

She grabbed it, as well as a pair of cut-off jean shorts for the walk down to the beach. She packed her purse with Northanger Abbey and her sketchbook, just to be safe. She also made sure to bring the sunscreen, because she would absolutely need to reapply. 

"Finally ready, princess?"

Clarke turned to Bellamy, who was now wearing a white linen button-down shirt over a tank top. He was waiting by the door, as if he'd been ready for a while. He probably had- he had a head start on sunscreen, after all.

Clarke straightened her posture and held her head high. "A princess is never late," she said in a prim voice, "everyone else is simply early."

"Yeah, okay, Julie Andrews," Bellamy snorted.

"Clarisse Renaldi, thank you very much."

"Sorry, it's been a while since I've watched The Princess Diaries."

"I'm surprised you've seen it at all," Clarke raised an eyebrow.

"Have you forgotten that I have a younger sister?" he mimicked her, raising his own eyebrow.

"Yeah, but I didn't know you watched her favorite movies with her," Clarke grinned. "That's so sweet."

He laughed. "I thought you'd know by now, I'm a total sucker for the people I love."

"I'll have to remember that, boyfriend," Clarke smiled mischievously. 

Bellamy gave her a look. "You're about to get a lot more demanding, aren't you?"

"Oh, nooo," Clarke said innocently, grinning. 

"Let's just get to the beach before the sun sets," Bellamy said, rolling his eyes and reaching for her hand.

They were holding hands like it was natural now. At some point, Clairke didn't know when, they started acting like a couple without even thinking about it. Clarke was sure their pre-dates had something to do with it, having more time to prepare mentally. Maybe they were meant to be together... Or maybe they both were just really good actors.

They didn't run into anyone they personally knew, but they continued to hold hands "just in case."

The resort had its own private stretch of beach, so it wasn't crowded, and they had no trouble finding a pair of empty lounge chairs. Clarke and Bellamy each pulled out a book, stretching out under the sun.

It got hot pretty quickly, and it didn't take long for Bellamy to shed both his shirts. Clarke glanced over without thinking twice. She'd seen him shirtless before, and she knew just how much there was to admire. She sent him little glances when she was sure he wasn't looking. Those biceps, those abs, those pecs... No shame in appreciating them, right?

She wasn't careful enough. Bellamy caught her eye, smiling. 

"Are you enjoying yourself?"

Clarke blanked. "What do you mean...?"

"I mean in general. Have you had a good time here so far?"

Clarke gave him a look. Small talk was slightly out of character for Bellamy, but he seemed sincere. 

"Um, yeah. More than I thought. I've had fun with Raven and everyone else here. What about you?"

"Yeah, it's been good. I know I said the Caribbean wasn't my dream vacation, but it's been nice. The company doesn't hurt," he added with a grin.

Clarke laughed, shaking her head. "Don't tell me you like me now," she smirked.

"I mean, I'm not about to drop down on one knee, but you're all right. "

Clarke clasped a hand to her chest. "Bellamy! That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me!"

"Oh, come on," he rolled his eyes.

"Honestly, I think I'm gonna cry!"

Bellamy lifted his book up to cover his face. "I cant hear you, I'm too busy reading," he muttered.

Laughing slightly, Clarke leaned back in her chair again. It was almost perfect. Almost. All she needed was a nice, cold drink.

"I'm going to get a strawberry daiquiri," she said, sitting up abruptly. "Do you want a drink?"

Bellamy peered over the top of his book at her. "I'll have what you're having."

"Bellamy Blake isn't afraid to drink a stereotypically "girly" drink?" she joked.

"It's the 21st century. There's no reason to gender drinks," he said casually. "Besides, if you tell anyone about it, they'll never believe you."

Clarke snorted. "Point taken. Okay, I'll be back in a bit."

Bellamy looked her over, then sat up. "Here, wear this."

He grabbed his white button-down shirt from his chair. Clarke took it, but raised an eyebrow at him.

"This isn't some sort of jealous, protective, "no one can see my girlfriend in a bikini except me" thing, is it?"

"What? No," he said quickly. "Ijustthinkitmightbecuteonyouthat'sall."

"You think what?" Clarke smirked, putting the shirt on. It was large on her, but she rolled up the sleeves and tucked the front into her jean shorts. 

"Nothing," Bellamy grumbled, but Clarke had heard every word. "Not bad... It looks better on me."

"Please," Clarke rolled her eyes, grinning. "Everyone knows that guys are obsessed with seeing girls in their shirts. You love it."

"It's all right," he muttered darkly, hiding behind his book again. "Just get the drink. If you're gonna be like this, I need to be drunker."

"Yes sir!" Clarke saluted, dog-earing her page and leaving her book on her chair. 

It wasn't a long walk to the poolside bar, and Clarke enjoyed the small workout of walking in the soft sand. While she was waiting for the daiquiris to be mixed, someone approached her from behind.

"Clarke?"

Clarke spun around at the familiar voice. It was Finn, Raven nowhere to be found. He'd barely spoken to her the entire time she was there, and she had been worried about it. She should have known he was just waiting to get her alone.

"Hi, Finn. Congrats on the wedding! Raven is awesome," Clarke said quickly, smiling widely. 

"And... Bellamy," he replied awkwardly. "I thought you hated him."

"Oh, you know what they say. Thin line between love and hate," she laughed nervously. 

Suddenly, Finn grew more insistent. "Seriously though? Him? Out of all the people in the world, him?"

Clarke, now too annoyed to feel weird, raised an eyebrow. "What's that supposed to mean? Why not him?"

"I don't know, I just think you can do better..." Finn drifted off, looking anywhere but at Clarke.

"Better. Better? How is a man with a fiancée any better than a loyal, faithful man that loves me and only me? In what world is Bellamy Blake not better than you?" Clarke spat.

Finn looked like he'd been punched. "I still love you, Clarke," he said softly.

Clarke felt her heart plunge into her stomach. She felt nauseated, burning with rage, and her patience was shot to zero. "Thank you for telling me the one thing I wanted least to hear today. I can't fucking believe you."

At that moment, her drinks were finished. She'd already charged them to her room, so she shot Finn a withering glare, and stormed off without looking back. 

She wanted to stomp as hard as she could, but the glasses were really full and she didn't want to waste a single sip. Besides, stomping didn't really work too well in sand. She reached Bellamy again, whose nose remained in his book when she approached.

"Here," she said darkly, thrusting a glass towards him.

Bellamy, hearing the tone of her voice, immediately dropped his book without marking the page. He gently took one of the drinks from her, and then took her free hand in his.

"Clarke," he said softly, eyes full of compassion. "What happened?"

"Finn Collins happened," Clarke muttered, gulping down her drink. "Can you believe he had the fucking balls to tell me he still loves me?!"

"What?"

"Yeah, like he thought I'd come running back to him for one last night before he got married. As if!," she said scornfully. "Maybe if didn't have any self-respect or, you know, a conscience? And how dare he tell this to me after I've become friends with Raven? And the fucking day before the fucking wedding?!"

Bellamy squeezed her hand. "Want me to kick his ass for you?"

"I'll do it myself! Wanna hold him down?" Clarke suggested. "Like seriously, what did he think was going to happen?"

Bellamy shook his head. "I don't know. I can't even begin to fathom how his mind works."

"I just... Ugh! I can't. I won't think about him anymore. He doesn't deserve it."

"Good for you," Bellamy nodded, the corners of his mouth rising slightly. He seemed hesitant to smile outright, in case she was still angry.

Clarke smiled back, assuaging his fears. "Yeah. It's about time I let him go for good."

Bellamy squeezed her hand again. "I'm proud of you."

She gave him a look, but didn't stop smiling. "Don't patronize me."

"Wouldn't dream of it. Let's make a toast," he said suddenly, even though they'd both been drinking for a while now.

Clarke shot him an amused look, but raised her glass.

"To you. They say living well is the best revenge, and I hope you live the best life you can."

Clarke smiled slightly, clinking her glass with his. It was a very sweet sentiment. Once of the nicer things Bellamy has said to her, for sure.

"You and Lilly, then," she said softly. "Are you over her?"

Bellamy laughed. "Seeing her here has definitely made me realize that it's not as big a deal as I thought it would be. Once the shock was over, it didn't really matter."

"Because you realized the only thing that mattered all along had been right beside you this whole time?" Clarke suggested, batting her eyelashes comically. 

"What's that?" Bellamy said, looking around. "I don't see anything right beside me..."

"Me," she said dryly. "I was talking about me."

Bellamy tilted his head in feigned confusion. "You're in front of me, though."

"Oh my god," Clarke groaned, looking at the sky. "That was terrible. Your joke was terrible and you should feel terrible."

Bellamy chuckled. "What can I say? Being around you makes it hard to think straight."

Clarke would have guessed that he was playing along, but he sounded oddly genuine. She looked intently at Bellamy. He was grinning, looking goofy, but his eyes were sincere. 

Clarke made a face, scrunching up her nose, and Bellamy leaned forward to kiss it. She blinked in confusion, giving him a look of bewildered amusement.

"I'm sorry," he laughed. "You just looked so cute."

Clarke rolled her eyes, sipping at her drink, a smile tugging at her lips. "You're cute when you think I'm cute."

Bellamy snorted. "Have you always been this egotistical?"

She just shrugged. "It's your own fault for acting so silly."

"You know you love it," he smirked.

"Now who's being egotistical?"

"I guess we were just meant to be," he shrugged, oh-so-casually. 

Suddenly, Clarke realized why Bellamy was acting so funny. "I know what you're doing. You're distracting me from Finn."

Bellamy grinned in return and the weird, kinda-joking, kinda-sincere atmosphere melted away. 

"I just wanted to see you smile," he admitted.

"Well it worked. I don't suppose you use that technique to cheer Octavia up..."

Bellamy sputtered a laugh. "The flirting? Um, no."

"Thank you," Clarke said softly. "I'm really glad you could come, you know. I don't think I would have realized how completely over Finn I am if I hadn't come, and I couldn't have come alone... So thanks. Again."

"Of course, princess. Anything for you."

"Anything?" Clarke smirked, raising an eyebrow. 

"Let's not get too crazy," he chuckled. 

"Speaking of crazy, have you heard from Monty or Jasper about dinner tonight?"

Bellamy nodded. "Monty was telling me about it at the bachelor party. We're gonna meet in the lobby at 7 and go to a restaurant in town."

"So we still have quite a few hours left to lounge," Clarke said contentedly, leaning back in her chair.

She went to take another sip of her drink before realizing her glass was empty. She pouted at Bellamy, sticking out her lower lip and giving him puppy dog eyes. 

He rolled his eyes. "Fine, I'll get you a refill."

"Thanks, snookums," she said sweetly.

Bellamy did a double take. "Is this what you meant by the nicknames?"

"Baby, that's just the tip of the iceberg. I thought I'd ease you into them before I actually use them in front of people we know."

"You are... something else," Bellamy shook his head in amazement.

Clarke winked, blowing a kiss. "Drink, pookie!" she reminded him.

Rolling his eyes (but grinning despite himself), Bellamy turned on his heel towards the bar. Clarke smiled, watching him go. She was going to have so much fun at dinner, and all of it at his expense.

Chapter Text

"Bellamy... Should I tell Raven?" Clarke called. She was in the bathroom, applying her makeup while Bellamy got dressed in the bedroom. 

There wasn't an answer, but there was a light knock on the bathroom door. "You decent?" he asked. 

"Yeah." She'd gotten dressed as soon as she went into the bathroom, in a sequined minidress that reminded her somewhat of flappers.

Bellamy opened the door and stepped in, only half dressed. He had his dress pants and undershirt on, but his shirt was still completely unbuttoned and his hair was slightly disheveled. A sunburn was starting to show on his cheeks but it only made him cuter. He leaned on the doorjamb, crossing his arms and looking at Clarke with a serious expression.

"That depends on a number of things. How close are you two?"

Clarke bit her lip. "Not very. I mean we only officially met a couple of days ago."

Bellamy shook his head with a sort of grimace on his face. "Yeah, maybe not a good idea. I think she'd rather hear that from him. Or someone she knows better."

Clarke nodded thoughtfully. "I think you're right. Though if she brings it up first, I should probably say something, right?"

He nodded. "Yeah. That would probably be best, or else she'd get mad at you later for thinking you're trying to hide it."

"That make sense. Okay. For now, I'll say nothing."

"Good plan. You look great, by the way," Bellamy added, looking her up and down subtly.

"Hush. I still need to finish my makeup," Clarke turned away, trying to hide the flush that had spread across her face.

"Whatever you say... Will you be done in ten minutes? We should go down soon."

"Yeah, definitely. If, you know, you let me finish getting ready." 

"Okay, okay," Bellamy raised his hands in surrender. "See you in a bit."

Laughing slightly, Clarke shooed him out and quickly finished her hair (low, messy bun) and makeup. She slipped into her heels and headed out.

"Told you it wouldn't take long."

"I am so extremely sorry for doubting you," Bellamy said sarcastically, grinning. He took her arm. "I'm starving. Come on."

The instant they reached the lobby, Jasper tackled Clarke, wrenching her away from Bellamy. 

"Harper told me what happened, did that seriously happen?!" he hissed in her ear. 

Clarke caught Bellamy's eye, and they burst out laughing.

"What, no hello?" Clarke teased. 

"Hello, hi, good to see you. Did that seriously happen?!" Jasper demanded, grabbing Clarke's shoulders and shaking her slightly.

"Monty, control your boyfriend," Bellamy crossed his arms, amused.

"Would if I could," Monty sighed. "You know he doesn't listen to anyone, even me."

"To answer your question, we'll talk later," Clarke smirked.

"Aw, but-" Jasper whined.

"Later," Clarke said firmly, extracting herself from Jasper's grip. "Can we at least eat dinner first?"

"Fine," Jasper pouted.

"Aw, come on sweetie," Monty cooed, grabbing his hand. "I'll treat you to dessert."

"Come on, sweetie," Bellamy smirked, mimicking Monty.

"Coming, booger-bear," Clarke replied in a baby voice.

"Really?" Bellamy raised an eyebrow, exasperated, while the others stifled snorts and giggles.

"Something wrong, cuddle-bunny?" Clarke asked innocently, somehow managing to keep a straight face. 

Sighing, Bellamy shook his head and put his arm around her. "No, princess. Nothing's wrong."

"Aw, good. Don't want anything to be wrong with my little cabbage," Clarke patted Bellamy's cheek. 

"You know, I think I like you better when you're pretending not to like me," Bellamy said dryly, as their friends broke out into incredulous laughter. 

Clarke was acting slightly out of character, but it worked in distracting Jasper. He didn't mention the previous night's events again until they got to the restaurant.

They'd sat down and ordered drinks when Jasper spoke up again.

"I know you said after dinner-"

"No, Jasper," Bellamy and Clarke said in unison.

"But I just-"

Clarke rolled her eyes. "Bellamy came to the bar where the bachelorette party was. Raven talked him into giving me a lap dance. He did. We made out. He left. End of story."

Jasper started pouting again. "No details?"

"Not right before dinner," Clarke shook her head firmly. 

"You're right, something like that is more fitting for dessert," Monty cut in, wiggling his eyebrows. 

"Please," Bellamy snorted, "Let's stop talking about our sex lives."

Clarke had been drinking, but hearing Bellamy refer to their (fictional) sex life made her inhale sharply, choking on her water. Bellamy thumped her on the back, while she coughed, and she shot him a look. If she could speak, she would tell him that hitting someone's back hurt more than helped, usually. 

Bellamy seemed to get the message, taking his hand away. While she continued to cough, he started rubbing her back comfortingly, as if he couldn't sit there and do nothing. 

"Thank you," Clarke said softly when she'd caught her breath.

"Did Jasper make you uncomfortable? Is it his fault? Do you want me to kick his ass?" Bellamy said, with an odd mixture of earnestness and facetiousness. 

Clarke couldn't help laughing. "Oh, not yet. Don't ruin dinner."

"Your wish is my command, highness," Bellamy nodded his head, the best bow he could do while sitting.

"Kinky," Jasper muttered.

"Hey. Didn't we just have this conversation?" Clarke whirled to him.

"The conversation about your BDSM relationship? No, that was a couple of nights ago."

"Yes, that," Clarke rolled her eyes, "But also the no more talking about sex lives one."

"Wait, what?" Miller looked up abruptly. He and Harper exchanged a surprised look. 

"Good to know you're paying attention," Bellamy muttered sarcastically.

"It's just a joke," Clarke said quickly.

"You know how Jasper is," Monty added, with a sympathetic glance towards Clarke. She seemed less and less comfortable as the night went on.

Harper snorted, shaking her head. "Yeah, I know how Jasper is."

"I already apologized," Jasper mumbled. "Many times."

Clarke raised an eyebrow, catching Bellamy's eye. They both turned to Monty, who quickly bowed to the pressure.

"Harper had a crush on Jasper in high school and Jasper was a total ass to her because he had a crush on a girl who would never give him the time of day," Monty said quickly, then winced, as if expecting to get slapped. Harper glared slightly, Jasper more so, but no one actually did hit him.

Clarke shook her head, laughing slightly. "Wow. That is so typical Jasper."

Bellamy crossed his arms. "He didn't deserve you," he said to Harper, who grinned.

"I know. I found someone who did deserve me though."

"Honestly, he doesn't deserve you either," Clarke said to Monty, smirking slightly.

"Yeah, I totally settled," Monty teased, while gazing fondly at Jasper.

"So mean. You guys are so mean," Jasper pouted. "Hey, let's talk about whether Clarke and Bellamy deserve each other."

"Oh, I know I don't deserve her," Bellamy said simply.

"Aw, don't say that!" Clarke protested, placing her hand on top of his. "We totally deserve each other."

"It's not like anyone else would be able to stand us, right?" Bellamy smirked.

"Oh, for sure. I'm the only woman who can handle your moodiness," Clarke mirrored his smirk.

"And I'm the only guy who isn't scared away by your bossiness."

"I am not bossy. Take that back. Say that I am not bossy," Clarke frowned.

Bellamy raised an eyebrow as if to say, 'who's being bossy now?' and said patronizingly, "No, dear, you aren't bossy at all."

"Thanks, honey bun," Clarke said, satisfied. 

Bellamy just rolled his eyes and patted her hand on the table. "Whatever you say, darling. Whatever you say."


They made it through the rest of dinner without too much trouble from Jasper, save from a few snide remarks. Everyone wanted to go out and drink some more, but Clarke was tired, so Bellamy accompanied her back to the resort.

When they arrived in the lobby, Raven was waiting there, pacing anxiously. When she saw Clarke, her face fell, but it seemed like she'd been waiting for her.

"Meet you in our room?" Clarke said softly to Bellamy.

He seemed concerned, like he wanted to say something, but just nodded and left, giving her arms a slight squeeze.

As soon as Bellamy was gone, Raven stalked over to Clarke. "Is it true? Are you still in love with Finn?"

"What?!"

"Tonight at the rehearsal dinner, he told me that he still loved you. Then he told me that he told you that, and that you seemed very upset. Like maybe you still love him too... He said you wouldn't have been mad if you didn't care."

Raven's eyes were red, all her makeup wiped off, but she wasn't crying anymore. Her voice was low, angry, but with a tone of desperation to it. Clarke blinked dumbly, wondering what on earth she could possibly say to make things better. It wasn't her fault, but she felt like it was.

"Finn did tell me that, yes. But that's not why I was mad. I was mad at him because I'd moved on, and I thought he had as well. I was mad because he's getting married, to you! I like you! I was angry on your behalf! If it weren't for you, I would have rolled my eyes and walked away, because that's how little I care about him."

Raven bit her lip, hesitantly believing Clarke. "Really?

"I have Bellamy now," Clarke smiled slightly. "I'm so happy with him. I haven't even thought about Finn in a year."

Part of Clarke was trying to reassure Raven, but another part of her was marveling at her words, and how true they felt when she said them. She didn't know where things with Bellamy were going, but it felt like something real. And honestly, from the first moment Bellamy had pretended to be her boyfriend, she hadn't even had eyes for Finn.

"He's been thinking about you, though," Raven said darkly.

"And I am so, so sorry for that," Clarke said earnestly. 

"Don't be. It's not your fault."

"No, it is. I never should have come."

"I'm glad you did," Raven smiled slightly. "It really was great to meet you."

"I loved meeting you too!" Clarke smiled. "Honestly, I could take or leave Finn, but I really want to be your friend..."

"I'd like that."

They smiled at each other, reaching an understanding. Raven was the first to reach out, pulling Clarke into a tight hug. They held each other for a while, some kind of cathartic release after all the tension Finn had caused. 

When Raven pulled away, she'd started crying again.

"Oh no, what's wrong?!" Clarke said worriedly, rubbing her back.

Raven hiccuped, wiping furiously at her eyes. "What do I do now? Do I marry him?"

"Do you want my honest advice?" Clarke frowned, worried about overstepping her bounds. At Raven's nod, she continued. "I think you deserve someone who will love you so much, there won't be room for anyone else. You deserve someone who will pick you first. It's up to you whether you think Finn can be that person eventually, but... I think you can do better. That's just my opinion, though! You don't have to listen to a word I say, but honestly, I want the best for you."

Raven laughed slightly. "Thank you. That means a lot. I'm going to... go back to my room and think about it. And drink a lot."

"Do you want someone with you?"

Raven shook her head quickly. "No, no... I just want to be alone and think about ...everything."

Clarke continued rubbing her back. She'd never gone into medicine but she'd inherited her mother's bedside manner. She couldn't not comfort someone when they were upset. But she nodded in response to Raven's request.

"Of course. If you need to talk to anyone, I'm here."

"I know," Raven smiled. "And I hope you'll continue to be here."

"Raven..." Clarke drifted off.

"I don't get sappy often but for whatever reason, I think we were meant to be friends. If he didn't do anything else, at least Finn brought us together."

Clarke teared up. This girl should hate her. She should be cursing her name, but here she was, saying sappy things. And even though Finn should have torn them apart, it seemed that he had brought them together. It's not like Clarke had many female friends to begin with. 

"Raven," Clarke repeated, smiling.

"Oh, shut up," Raven rolled her eyes, grinning, and pulled her into another hug. "If you tell anyone about this, I'll gut you."

Clarke pulled away, beaming when she saw Raven's eyes glistening with unshed tears as well. "It'll be our little secret."

"Now get back to your man. I'm sure he's waiting to interrogate you."

Clarke shot her one last sympathetic smile, squeezing Raven's hand before heading off to her room. When she got there, she belatedly remembered that she hadn't had a key. She knocked on the door, hoping Bellamy was inside, and not asleep or in the shower.

She'd hardly lifted her hand from the door when Bellamy opened it. "So?" he said expectantly, ushering her inside. "What happened?"

"Finn told her," Clarke collapsed on the bed wearily, and took off her heels before lying down completely.

Bellamy kicked off his shoes and laid next to her. "Told her...?"

"That he still loved me. That he told me he loved me," Clarke said emotionlessly, staring at the ceiling. "He thought I got angry because I still had feelings for him too."

"Are you serious?"

There was a slight creak of the bed as Bellamy shifted to lie on his side, facing her. Clarke tilted her head to meet his eyes, then nodded. 

"Obviously, I told her that wasn't the case. And then we hugged and cried a little."

Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "She doesn't hate you?"

"I think she can recognize that it's not my fault. And it wasn't hard to convince her that you were the reason I wasn't thinking about Finn anymore," she added with a bashful grin. 

Bellamy smirked. "Can't take your eyes off me, huh?"

"Shut up," she laughed, half-heartedly slapping his arm.

"So what's she going to do?"

Clarke sighed. "She said she had to think about it. Whether she's going to leave Finn or not. I can't imagine how she's feeling right now... I mean, the wedding's tomorrow." 

Bellamy's eyes grew dark. "If it were Octavia, Finn wouldn't be alive right now."

"She wouldn't want you to murder for her," Clarke said, only slightly serious.

Bellamy seemed surprised. "Well, yeah. You're right. But I would."

"I know. She's really lucky to have someone like you. Sometimes I used to wish that I had a big brother to look out for me."

"Well, you have me," Bellamy grinned crookedly.

Clarke felt cold, and she couldn't explain why. There was a crushing hollowness in her chest that she couldn't describe. Why did it hurt so much to hear him say he was her big brother figure? Wasn't that a good thing? 

"I'm tired, I'm going to get ready for bed," Clarke said shortly, debating whether or not she should just crawl under the covers, dressed as she was.

She climbed out of bed, narrowly escaping Bellamy's hand reaching for her. She grabbed her pajamas and hurried into the bathroom, ignoring Bellamy as he called her name.

Once she shut and locked the door, she leaned back against it and took several deep breaths. She was just emotional from the drama with Finn and Raven. There was no other way to explain her strange reaction a moment before. Well, one other way...

It couldn't be. She couldn't be falling for Bellamy. Bellamy Blake, Octavia's annoying older brother. She'd done nothing but bicker with him her entire life. This wasn't Much Ado About Nothing, for god's sake! 

But how ironic would that be? Unlike the play where a couple was tricked into falling in love, they had tried to trick everyone else, and make them believe they were in love. And Clarke fell anyway. She was the biggest sucker in this whole scenario.

And Bellamy probably felt nothing for her. He definitely felt nothing. Why else would he have made that comment about being like a brother to her? Despite everything they went through, he still saw her as another younger sister. She was the same as Octavia to him.

Clarke slid down the door, sitting on the bathroom floor. She didn't want to cry, didn't think she cared enough to cry, but felt tears prickling behind her eyelids. It's because being with Raven had almost made her cry. That was making her feel sadder than she actually was. Honestly.

Clarke buried her face in her hands and allowed herself a few silent sobs before pulling herself together. She washed her face with cold water and changed clothes. She meticulously braided her hair, staring at her face in the mirror, making sure everything looked normal. 

No red eyes, no tear stains... One more splash of water on her face and she was good to go. She'd fallen for Bellamy by pretending... Surely she could get over it by pretending as well.

Bellamy was waiting for her outside the bathroom door. "Clarke, is something wrong?"

"I just feel bad for Raven... She said it's not my fault but I can't help feeling guilty," Clarke said quickly. It wasn't entirely untrue. 

"You didn't do anything wrong, Clarke. Finn's the one who was dishonest," Bellamy stepped forwards, laying a sympathetic hand on her shoulder.

Clarke smiled briefly, then moved away. Bellamy's hand dropped to his side. He looked like he wanted to say something else, but he looked intently at her face and seemed to decide against it. Clarke hoped she just looked tired and not heartbroken.

She crawled into bed, sticking to her side of the bed. Bellamy wasn't quite ready yet, and she tried not to watch him as he moved about the room. She couldn't have him. She shouldn't get used to having him around.

Stupid. How could she be so stupid? Clarke wanted to cry again, but managed to keep it in. 

When Bellamy got in bed, he kept his distance, reading her body language. Part of her wanted nothing to do with him. The other part was begging for him to touch her. 

"Goodnight," Bellamy said softly, turning off the light.

"Night," Clarke whispered.

The silence that followed was deafening. 

 

Chapter Text

The next morning, Clarke woke up early, finding herself in Bellamy's arms, as usual.  This time, however, she didn't feel comforted by it. She couldn't stop thinking of the revelation she'd had the night before. 

Clarke slipped out of bed before she could let herself pretend it was real. She had no idea if the wedding was actually going to happen or not, but she got dressed for it anyway. She liked her dress too much not to wear it: a v-neck, baby blue cocktail dress.

Throughout her getting ready, Bellamy didn't stir. He seriously was a heavy sleeper. Clarke went out to the balcony, not sure where to go now that she was dressed.

On the beach beyond the resort, there were a few people walking around, but not many. It seemed like most everyone else was sleeping in as well. But there was one woman, sitting in the sand, who looked kind of familiar. She turned her head and Clarke recognized her profile, even from that distance.

She hurried out to where the woman was, hoping she didn't leave in the time it took her to get there.

"I thought I saw you," she said breathlessly.

Raven was sitting in the sand, wearing a cami and gym shorts. She turned, saw Clarke, and smiled. There were dark circles under her eyes, and Clarke could tell she'd been crying again.

"You look nice," Raven said in a scratchy voice.

"I just love this dress," Clarke admitted. "I didn't know if I would have a reason to wear it today, but I just wanted to put it on for the heck of it."

"It looks good. That's a nice color on you. Oh! No, you're going to ruin it," Raven moaned as Clarke sat on the sand beside her.

"It's just a dress," Clarke shrugged.

"Now I know we're friends, because you would risk sand up your ass for me," Raven grinned half-heartedly.

"Anything for my friends," Clarke joked. "So..."

Raven sighed, propping her chin on her knees. "I haven't talked to my parents. I feel like I should. They put so much money into this wedding."

Clarke mimicked her pose, grimacing. "That's not going to be fun, no matter when you do it."

"Yeah. But you were right..."

"I usually am," Clarke joked. "What specifically was I right about this time?"

"I deserve better. I think part of me has known that for a long time, but it's easier to hold on," Raven sighed. "I've known Finn for so long. I can't remember the last time I was single, let alone dating someone who wasn't him."

"You're canceling the wedding?" Clarke raised her eyebrows.

"I kind of have to, for pride's sake," Raven joked. "But yeah. I think I can do better. A guy who really loves me wouldn't tell me he loves another woman after our rehearsal dinner."

"God no," Clarke agreed. 

"You know, I'd made plans to move into the city with Finn once we married. I got a job transfer and everything."

"Would you... that is, are you still moving into the city? Because if you're looking for roommates..." Clarke drifted off. They could get a three bedroom apartment and maybe Clarke wouldn't have to lie to Octavia about the rent anymore.

Raven started tearing up. "Do you really mean that?"

"Of course I m-" Clarke's voice was muffled by Raven's hair, as the other girl flung her arms around her. Clarke laughed, hugging Raven back.

"Who are you living with now?" Raven asked. "I heard roommates."

"It's just me and Octavia. She's Bellamy's younger sister."

Raven pulled away, grinning. "How cute. Don't tell me he's going to be over all the time."

Clarke wanted to laugh at the way Raven was talking, like it was already a done deal. "Nah, just the normal amount."

But then it hit her. She didn't know when he'd be around. And if Raven did end up living with them, did that mean she and Bellamy would have to go on faking?

Clarke was wracked with guilt. Not only had she ruined Raven's life, she might be ruining Bellamy's too. 

Her emotions must have shown on her face, because Raven spoke up. "What is it? Is something wrong?"

"No, I just... It's Bellamy," she admitted. She couldn't tell her everything, but she just wanted to talk to someone. "Sometimes I feel like I care more about him than he does about me."

Raven seemed bemused. "From my end, it looks like he's head over heels for you."

Clarke smiled bitterly. "Yeah, but you don't know him like I do."

"Okay, then talk to someone who does," Raven said simply. "You said you were friends with his sister?"

Of course. "Oh my god, Raven, you're a genius!"

"Tell me something I don't know," she laughed, as Clarke flung herself on her.

"Does the front desk have a phone I can use? I didn't set my phone up for international calling."

Raven pulled a cell from her pocket. "I did. 'Cause, you know, I thought I'd be here for a while. Wedding and honeymoon and everything."

"But... isn't it super expensive?"

"Even if it is, I think it's worth it. Both of us don't need to be miserable today," Raven said with a rueful grin, forcing the phone into Clarke's hand. "Just talk to her. I'll take this opportunity to tell Finn and my parents the bad news."

Clarke took the phone and hugged Raven again. "Thank you. And good luck."

"Thanks," Raven laughed darkly. "I'm going to need it."

Clarke watched Raven walk back to the resort, and once she was out of earshot, she dialed Octavia's cell, crossing her fingers that her friend was awake.

"Hello?" Octavia's sleepy voice answered after two rings. She was not the heavy sleeper her brother was.

"Octavia, it's me, Clarke."

"Clarke Griffin, do you know what time it is?"

"I know, and I'm so sorry, but I'm in crisis mode right now. It has to do with your brother."

Octavia perked up immediately. "Did Bellamy do something to you?"

"Nothing intentionally..." Clarke drifted off. She didn't mean to be enigmatic, so she just spit it out. "I think I might care about him. And not like a brother."

"Clarke..."

"And last night, I was talking about wishing I had an older brother, and Bellamy was like 'you have me,' and I was heartbroken and I didn't know why until I realized it."

"You're in love with Bellamy? Oh my god!" Octavia shrieked. "This is the best thing that has ever happened to me!"

Clarke groaned. "No, O, it is not the best thing. Did you not hear what I said? He considers himself a brother to me!"

"Bellamy's an idiot. He doesn't know brotherly love from romantic love."

"Funny enough, but that isn't very reassuring."

"What I mean is that he might think he cares about you platonically, but he really doesn't."

Could Octavia be right? No. Clarke didn't want to get her hopes up for nothing. "You don't know that."

"Okay, then let's test it. Make him jealous."

"Octavia, I am not going to play mind games with Bellamy. That's a terrible way to treat people."

Octavia groaned. "You and your morals. Can you at least get him to see you talking to another guy and laughing or something? He's so possessive, he'd make a fuss even if you were being totally platonic."

"No, because he knows I hate that stuff, remember? I've noticed, he's really trying to not act jealous around me. For the act, at least."

Octavia sighed. "This is the typical rom-com scenario, and we can't even use the typical rom-com moves to see how he feels."

"I could always fly home without him and see if he follows me."

Octavia giggled. "Could you imagine Bellamy running through an airport to make a huge love confession?"

It was extremely out of character for Bellamy, but Clarke was able to imagine it. As improbable as it was. She couldn't help laughing. "That's not his style."

"No, but it's incredibly romantic."

"Save those fantasies for Lincoln, please."

"I don't have to. He already drops love declarations on the daily."

"Ugh, you and your perfect relationship," Clarke said disgustedly.

"Oh, I know, isn't it awful?" Octavia said in a sickeningly sweet voice.

"Does Bellamy know how serious things are with Lincoln?"

There was a pregnant pause.

"Well, actually... Speaking of that..."

"Octavia."

"He kinda sorta asked me to move in with him."

"What?!"

"And I said yes! His apartment is smaller than ours, so it's cheaper, so we can actually split it 50/50."

Clarke winced. "What?"

"Clarke. I know you've been taking on more of the rent. I didn't say anything because you can be such a mom sometimes. I thought it would be best if I let you mother me."

"Octavia, I am so sorry. I should have said something."

"Honestly, it's fine. I probably wouldn't have been able to afford my full share anyway. How much was it?"

Clarke told her.

"Ouch. Yeah, Lincoln's place is more in my price range." 

"Financially, it makes sense," Clarke agreed, the wheels in her head turning. "Wait, this actually works out perfectly for everyone!"

"What do you mean?"

"Raven and I are kinda friends now. I'm actually using her phone to call you."

"Clarke!" Octavia hissed. "You've blown your cover!"

"Oh, she's not here. She's actually gone off to cancel the wedding."

"What?"

"Yeah. Finn's still in love with me. Wait, did I not tell you that? That's kind of important; I should have said that first."

"Jesus, Clarke, your life is a soap opera."

"You're telling me," Clarke said dryly. "The problem was that Raven had already gotten a job transfer to the city, because she was going to move in with Finn... And then I offered to be her roommate, and now that you're moving out, we don't even have to get another apartment!"

Octavia was uncharacteristically silent, no doubt analyzing the entire conversation so far. "That's why you called," she said with sudden realization. "The Bellamy thing is big, but it's even worse if Raven's going to be around now."

"Bingo. And we could stage a breakup, but everyone's been so thoroughly convinced... and maybe a selfish part of me wants to keep pretending."

"Oh, Clarkey," Octavia said sadly. "I knew you two were meant for each other, but I always thought it would be him falling for you first. If I thought you were going to be the miserable one, I wouldn't have encouraged it."

"Favoring your friend over your own brother?" Clarke raised her eyebrow even if Octavia couldn't see it. She knew her friend would hear it in the tone of her voice.

"Um, of course. Bellamy's good at dealing with misery, and he's been way too happy lately. You were the one having a rough time."

"Well if nothing comes from this, maybe I'll get a little better at dealing at misery."

"Hey, did you leave a number for the resort?" Octavia changed the subject suddenly.

"Yeah, it's on the fridge, why?"

"I'm gonna call Bellamy. I haven't talked to him the entire time he's been gone, and I need to tell him about Lincoln."

Clarke groaned slightly. "Please do not talk to him on my behalf."

"I won't!" At Clarke's doubtful silence, she whined, "Clarke! I swear I won't!"

"Mmhm," Clarke said disbelievingly. "Anyway, I'm not even sure he's awake."

"I'll worry about that. I'm going to hang up now, though. Are you going to be okay?"

"Yeah," Clarke sighed. "I'm just going to sit on the beach and wait for Raven to come back, and try not to think about your brother."

"Sounds like a plan. I love you, Clarkey!"

"Love you too, O," Clarke smiled, hanging up. She slipped the phone into her pocket (this dress had pockets! how much more perfect could it get?!), and dug her toes into the sand. She didn't even know when Raven would be back, but it made more sense to wait for her here than go back to the resort and possibly miss her along the way.

She watched the waves crash along the shore, wishing that she had her sketchpad with her. With all the excitement of the wedding, she hadn't had much time to draw. All she could do is plan the art out in her mind. That was enough to keep her occupied, though.

She was expecting Raven to come to her first, but someone else beat her to it.

"So you don't care about me."

Clarke jumped, sand flying everywhere, at the sound of a familiar voice. "What the hell, Finn?!"

"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Raven just came to tell me about your talk. She's calling off the wedding."

"I'd say I'm sorry, but it's kind of entirely your fault," Clarke said, standing and brushing sand off herself.

Finn laughed humorlessly. "I know. Trust me, I know. I honestly thought you still had feelings for me."

Clarke rolled her eyes. "Are you that egotistical, or just obtuse? I've been all over Bellamy all week."

"I thought that might have been to make me jealous."

Clarke's expression remained blank, even though she was freaking out on the inside. Yes, maybe that had been a factor in the decision to bring Bellamy, but it wasn't only to make him jealous. It was to show him she was over him, and to have fun at the wedding.

Clarke rolled her eyes scornfully. "As if I would stoop to such a petty thing."

"I know. You aren't petty. Why else would you be such good friends with Raven now?"

Clarke couldn't help but smile. "Well, she is awesome. You're kind of an idiot."

Finn sighed. "I know. I wish I could say she's the only one for me, that I love her in the way that she deserves... but sometimes our hearts don't follow our heads."

"Well, I'm sorry, but both my heart and head are done with you. Did you really think I'd come running back after having my heart broken like that? For being so completely lied to?"

Finn shook his head. "I wouldn't expect you to forgive me. I think my wishful thinking was blinding me for a while."

Clarke knew the feeling. She pushed thoughts of Bellamy away. She didn't need that kind of confusion, not now.

"Maybe I could, eventually. But we're never going to be more than friends, and I don't think we can even be that much until you're completely over me."

"I understand. I've royally fucked up. I'm going to have to prove myself."

"Don't- it's not a big gesture kind of thing. Just be normal. Act normal for a while and don't cheat on any more girls. It's that simple."

Finn laughed slightly. "No-nonsense. I've missed that about you."

"Raven's pretty no-nonsense," Clarke said, crossing her arms. She wasn't about to take any of his shit. Not anymore.

Finn winced. "Damn it. I'm doing it again."

Clarke raised an eyebrow. She didn't know exactly what he meant by "it," but if "it" was being an ass, then yes. He was absolutely doing it again.

"Just this thing I've been doing lately where I romanticize your traits and ignore Raven's."

"Yeah... You're gonna have to quit that. Like fast."

Finn nodded. "I'll get out of your hair before I say anything else douchey. Can I at least have a hug first?"

Clarke took a large step backwards. "No thank you."

Finn's face fell, but he didn't pressure her. Clarke kept her guard up until he'd walked away entirely, then she sighed, letting out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

Luckily, she wasn't left alone with her thoughts for long. Raven came back down, still in her pajamas. 

"I just realized, all the numbers I need to make the cancellations are in my phone," Raven laughed breathlessly. She seemed much more cheerful.

"I'm guessing it went well?" Clarke smiled, handing the phone back. 

"My parents were ecstatic. Apparently they've always hated Finn but never told me. Figures," she rolled her eyes.

Clarke laughed. "Well it's good that they're supporting you."

"I feel so much better about everything. Also, I saw you and Finn."

"You did?" Clarke raised her eyebrow, fighting the urge to bite her lip nervously. 

"Yeah. I saw Finn try to hug you, and you just going, 'nope,'" she grinned, imitating Clarke's step back. "I swear, that was the best thing I've seen all day."

Clarke snickered. "So glad to entertain. By the way, I have even more good news for you."

"Oh yeah?" Raven tilted her head.

"My roommate's moving in with her boyfriend. It seems I need a new roommate just as much as you need a place to live."

Raven beamed, tackling Clarke in a hug. "How is it that the second I dump Finn, my life gets awesome?!"

"Apparently he was holding you down," Clarke joked.

"Seriously. But you should know that I'm not the hair-braiding, nail-painting kind of roommate."

Clarke raised her eyebrows. "That's more Octavia's thing than mine. But you have to be prepared to watch terrible rom-coms with us once a week."

"I guess I could deal," Raven grinned. "Speaking of, how are things with the boy?"

"I don't think we solved anything, but she's probably talking to him right now, despite swearing she wouldn't."

"Ah, she's that kind, is she?"

Clarke shrugged lightly. "She's the baby sister. What do you expect?"

Raven shrugged a shoulder in reply. "Wouldn't know. I'm an only child."

"Hey, me too!"

Raven high-fived her. "That's probably the thing we had in common to attract Finn to both of us," she joked.

"Funny, I would have had him pegged for middle children."

Raven snorted. "Please, let's not talk about pegging my ex."

Clarke gasped with laughter. "Woah, not what I meant!"

"I know. I just thought you should know what my sense of humor's like."

"Dirty and immature?"

"Exactly," Raven grinned.

"We might be able to get along," Clarke shrugged apathetically.

"And yours is incredibly sarcastic. Got it."

Clarke laughed in agreement, but fell suddenly silent at the sight of something over Raven's shoulder. Raven studied her face, then turned slowly. 

"You should talk to him," Raven said softly. "I'm only saying that because talking to Finn turned out so great for me... but really. You should be honest with him if you have a problem."

"I know..." Clarke sighed. "But can't I put it off for a little bit?"

"No," Raven said firmly, hands on her hips. "Come on, girly."

Raven grabbed her arms, tugging her forward, until Clarke hissed at her to stop it.

"You're going to embarrass me," Clarke frowned.

Raven laughed, rolling her eyes. "What's more embarrassing? Being dragged to your boyfriend, or making eye contact with him and promptly running away?"

"I dunno. I haven't tried the running away thing, so I can't say for sure."

"No. No running."

"Yes, mom," Clarke rolled her eyes. She didn't miss the irony of being mothered less than an hour after Octavia had accused her of doing the same thing.

"Just talk to him."

"Fine," Clarke pulled her hand out of Raven's grip and walked towards Bellamy of her own accord.

His face was serious, unreadable, and as soon as she reached him, he said, "We need to talk."

Oh god, what did Octavia say?

Chapter Text

Clarke stood, facing Bellamy. He was in jeans and a t-shirt, and his curly hair was a mess. He must have come outside right after waking up. There was no hint to his thoughts on his face. So she waited for him to speak. 

"So I hear the wedding's off."

Clarke blinked, taken aback. That's not what she was expecting Bellamy to say. "Yeah. I told Raven she deserves better."

A slight pause, where Bellamy shifted uncomfortably. "And Octavia is moving out."

"Yes, she told me."

Clarke was silent, watching Bellamy. Is this what he wanted to talk about? Octavia? She didn't mind; Octavia was the main thing they had in common... But she had thought... She'd thought he wanted to talk about something a bit more... important.

"I guess I have to let go now... Let Octavia live her own life."

Clarke raised her eyebrows. "That's very big of you."

"Well, I've been thinking about the whole protective older brother thing, especially since you said you don't like the protective boyfriend thing. I hadn't really thought about it before, but it makes sense. I need to respect her decisions and trust that she's doing the best thing for herself."

"Wow, Bellamy," Clarke couldn't help smiling. "I'm proud of you."

"Yeah, well..." he said embarrassedly, laughing slightly. 

"That's good though. I'm sure she was happy to have your support."

Bellamy nodded. There was another pause. Clarke wondered if she should say something. Should she admit how she felt? Or would that ruin their newfound friendship? Part of Clarke wanted to say nothing. A friendship with him, staying silent, would be better than no relationship at all. 

Besides, given her history, maybe a relationship wasn't the best idea. Not that she thought Bellamy would secretly have a fiancée, the way Finn had, but he did sort of have a reputation. He hadn't had a serious girlfriend since Lilly, and that was several years ago. Was he ready for another relationship? Was she?

Bellamy didn't speak either. The air felt rife with tension, as if something big was about to happen. Clarke looked away, unable to look at his face without knowing how he felt. Had Octavia really kept quiet? That wasn't her style... But if Octavia had talked to Bellamy, surely he would have said something by now.

"Speaking of support," Bellamy said finally. "I hear you're offering Raven a place to stay."

"Oh. Yeah, I mean she's got a job in the city so she really has no choice but to move. I felt like I owed her something, after everything..."

Bellamy smiled warmly. "You don't owe her. But you'd do it anyway because that's the kind of person you are."

Clarke shrugged, "I don't know about that. But Raven seemed really happy about it, so I'm looking forward to it."

Bellamy frowned thoughtfully. "I guess that means you and I will have to keep pretending."

Clarke felt like she'd had the breath knocked out of her. "Pretending... For Raven. Right."

"Are you getting tired of it?"

Clarke bit the inside of her cheek to stop herself from responding too quickly. She didn't want to seem too eager. "It's not that. I just feel bad for you," she lied. 

The sentiment itself wasn't a lie, but passing it off as her only concern definitely was. There were a lot of reasons why they shouldn't continue. What if she grew even more attached to him and got hurt? What if he never reciprocated her feelings, and she was miserable? Or what if he did feel the same way about her and they got into a relationship that ended badly, ruining their friendship forever?

"I don't mind," Bellamy said casually.

Clarke arched an eyebrow. "You don't mind pretending to be my boyfriend? When you could be going out and actually dating people?"

"You know what they say," he shrugged. "Better the devil you know."

Clarke crossed her arms. "I take offense at the implication that I'm a devil."

 "Really? I thought you would own it," he smirked. 

"Well, if I must," Clarke joked, tossing her hair. 

So maybe it was best that she didn't say anything. Bellamy didn't seem to mind pretending a bit longer (she should have stopped to wonder why, but didn't), and they still had their teasing, joking relationship. Why risk the unknown? Like Bellamy said, better the devil you know than the one you don't.

Feelings were too confusing. It would be easier for everyone if Clarke just pushed them down and ignored them. Maybe indefinitely. She was mostly happy, anyway. It wouldn't be too terrible if things just stayed the same.

"Our flight leaves tomorrow," Bellamy said suddenly. "If there's no wedding, what are we going to do until then?"

Clarke shrugged. "Relax on the beach? Drink? Hang out?"

"All of the above?" he suggested. 

"Maybe..." Clarke said, looking around. "Maybe we should ask the ex-bride."

Raven wasn't far away, watching them while pretending not to. Rolling her eyes, Clarke ran over towards her. Bellamy followed, at a slower pace.

"Is everything okay?" Raven whispered before Bellamy reached them.

Clarke nodded. "A lot of it was in my own head so I just had to decide how I really felt. And now I know, so it's okay!"

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. The way things are is fine for now. I'm content with what we have."

"What if you want more?" Raven frowned.

"I'll cross that bridge when I get to it," Clarke shrugged.

"Talking about me, ladies?" Bellamy asked, coming up beside Clarke and slinging his arm around her waist.

"Yeah, Clarke was just telling me what a lousy lay you are," Raven jumped in.

Clarke snorted, and even Bellamy laughed. "Now you and I both know that's not true," he said to Clarke.

"Do we?" Clarke raised an eyebrow.

"Hush." He turned to Raven. "I was just wondering what we were going to do until our flight leaves tomorrow."

Raven bit her lip. "Well... We still have tons of alcohol that would have been for the wedding. Maybe we could get all the people our age together and play drinking games and stuff?"

"That could be fun," Clarke grinned. "But that would be tonight. What will we do today?"

"I did have a spa reservation for this morning... Clarke, do you want to have a spa day, just us girls?"

Clarke brightened up. Perfect. She'd have more time with Raven, and she'd have some space from Bellamy so she could work on acting indifferent towards him. "That sounds great! You, me, and Harper?"

"And Lilly," Raven nodded. "Bellamy can do... whatever he wants," she shrugged.

"I'll figure something out. You girls have fun," he said, giving Clarke a squeeze.

Raven turned back to Clarke. "The appointment isn't for another hour, but I was going to meet the girls for mimosas before."

"Should we go now?" Clarke asked. When Raven nodded, she turned to Bellamy. "I guess I'll see you later tonight."

He nodded, smiling. "Tonight."

He gave her a quick peck and walked back towards the resort, probably going to their room. Clarke followed Raven to the patio where they'd had brunch the first day. Lilly was already there.

They sat at a small table for four, and a waiter came and asked them for their orders. They all ordered drinks, but decided to wait until Harper arrived to get food.

"So, you and Bellamy," Lilly said.

Clarke almost choked on her glass of water. "Um, yes. That's a thing now."

Raven smirked, while Lilly was quick to say, "Don't think I feel weird or anything! I'm just happy he's happy. He needs someone like you."

"And by someone like me, you mean..." Clarke drifted off.

"Someone who won't put up with his shit. Someone kind enough to be there for him but independent enough to be able to walk away when necessary. He might be better now, but when he was younger he was very intense. There aren't many people that he cares about, but if he does let you in, he'll never let you go."

"Yeah..." Clarke nodded in agreement. She could totally see what Lilly meant. "I think he's loosened up in his old age," she joked.

Lilly frowned at her. "You should know, I'm the same age as Bellamy."

"So old," Raven joked, rolling her eyes. Raven must have been around Clarke's age. Bellamy was only a few years older. 

"How did you two meet, then?" Clarke asked.

"We went to church together. Before I lost my religion, Lilly was something like a big sister figure to me," Raven said, shrugging slightly at the 'losing religion' bit. Clarke wondered what that was about, but didn't want to pry.

"And you already know that Bellamy and I met in our first job, right after college. So how did you meet him?" Lilly asked.

"Well, I've always kind of known him. Octavia and I were friends growing up, and after college, we became roommates. I didn't see him much when we were both in college, but we eventually ended up in the same city. And he really likes to visit his sister a lot, so..." she drifted off, shrugging.

"Oh yeah, how is Octavia?"

"Oh, she's great. She's been dating the same guy for over a year, and she's going to move in with him soon."

"And Bellamy's okay with that?" Lilly raised an eyebrow. "He's kind of insanely possessive."

Clarke shook her head. "Not anymore."

"Really? Did you do something? I tried to talk him into being rational for years, it feels like. Nothing I said affected him."

Clarke just shrugged. "When we first got together, I got mad at him for acting like a jealous, possessive boyfriend, so he stopped. And then he said that he should trust Octavia to make her own decisions. It was all rather sudden."

"Wow... I guess we know who he likes better, huh?"

Clarke's eyes widened. "No! I'm sure it's nothing like that. He's just had more time to mature, that's all."

"Like a fine wine," Raven contributed helpfully.

"Sure..." Lilly drifted off, giving her younger friend an amused look. 

Harper arrived shortly after, so they changed the subject to work and ordered their food. They chatted rather easily now. This whole wedding experience had been nothing like Clarke expected. She'd actually made friends. Does that happen? Do people just make friends at their ex's wedding?

When they got to the spa, Clarke tried to pay for her appointment, only to find that someone had called ahead and paid for her. He'd told the people working there to say it was from "Benedick."

"Real cute," Clarke muttered, rolling her eyes.

"Is that some kind of inside joke?" Harper asked.

"I guess. On one of our first dates, we went to see Much Ado About Nothing together and decided that the two of us are Benedick and Beatrice."

"I can see it," Raven said, studying Clarke thoughtfully.

"Yeah, you kind of bicker in a loving way," Harper grinned.

"How do you bicker lovingly?" Lilly asked, amused.

"I dunno," Harper shrugged. "But they do it."

"Bellamy and I have always fought with each other... We weren't just going to stop because of some silly little relationship."

Raven laughed. "Typical. I hardly know you and that sounds so typical."

"Well, you're going to get to know me much better in a little while."

Lilly and Harper raised their eyebrows questioningly.

"I'm moving in with Clarke," Raven grinned. "Not what you'd expect from our kind of story, huh?"

"No but it works, surprisingly," Lilly smiled.

"Only you would be friends with the mistress," Harper shook her head, smirking.

"Not only that, but I basically traded Finn for Clarke," Raven laughed.

"So basically the moral of the story is that boys suck and you should befriend every girl you meet," Clarke nodded. "I think."

"Worked for me," Raven shrugged.

Just then, they were called back for their massages, which were separate. But afterwards, they were able to soak in the hot tub together. For a minute, they kicked back and remained silent, just relaxing.

"What's Bellamy doing now? Work-wise?" Lilly asked. 

"He's in sales," Clarke shrugged. "Some sort of software company. We don't talk about work much."

"And you?"

"I teach art at a high school. I'm sort of an artist in my spare time."

"I guess you balance each other, huh?" Lilly smiled. "You're the arts, he's the science?"

"What, like a left-brain, right-brain thing?"

Lilly nodded. "Something like that."

"I don't know if that works though. You'd think he'd be the more logical one based on that, but honestly, I think he's the more emotional of us two."

"He always made me feel like I was too emotional," Lilly admitted.

Clarke thought. "Maybe in the day to day, he doesn't seem like it, but I think he feels things much more strongly than you'd think. He's just good at hiding it most of the time."

"Maybe that's why you were upset?" Raven suggested, nudging Clarke.

Lilly raised an eyebrow, and Clarke felt like she had to explain, even though she didn't want to talk to Bellamy's ex about it. 

"I'm sure you know how he is. I was just feeling like I cared more about him than he does about me."

Lilly nodded knowingly. "Bellamy doesn't show love in the same way as most other people."

Clarke blinked, understanding immediately. "It's like the way he is with Octavia. For him, love means taking care of someone and protecting them. So he's not prone to romantic gestures like flowers or jewelry."

"Exactly," Lilly pointed. "You got it. If you can deal with that, you two will be fine."

Could it be that he really did care about her? The things he'd done: agreeing to be her date, paying for plane tickets and now this spa day, just being there, supporting her. He'd had to take vacation days in order to come here with her. He wouldn't have done that if he didn't care about her, would he?

The problem was judging if he cared in a romantic or platonic way. Would he have done all this stuff for Octavia? Probably, except for the pretending to be dating thing. But he would drop everything, cover costs, and even more for Octavia. Maybe he was doing this for Clarke out of obligation, since she was Octavia's friend. Because she'd given Octavia a nice apartment and covered more than her share of the rent. For all Clarke knew, he was paying her back for that.

Clarke sighed, sinking lower into the water. Thinking about it only made her more confused. If anything, she knew that Bellamy cared about her. Did it really matter if he loved her like a sister, or like a girlfriend? As long as she had him in her life, she felt like it didn't.

"Okay, enough about my issues," Clarke groaned, making the other girls laugh. "Who else can we psychoanalyze?"

"Oh, we haven't done any psychoanalysis yet," Lilly smirked. "I have to say, you'd make an interesting study."

"Oh, she would?" Raven raised an eyebrow.

"You too, Reyes."

"Me?"

"Yes, your relationship is quite interesting. Can you confirm that you never felt jealous or threatened by the other?"

"No," Clarke said honestly. "I was jealous of Raven, when I first realized she existed. I was jealous because I knew she had prior 'claim' to Finn and I had to let him go."

"And I felt jealous when Finn said he still loved Clarke," Raven shrugged.

"But you were both able to get over it?" Harper raised an eyebrow.

"Haven't we already talked about this?" Clarke asked suspiciously.

"Not in depth," Lilly said quickly.

Clarke rolled her eyes. "Okay. Well I got over it pretty much as soon as I met Raven. I felt like we were meant to be friends for whatever reason."

"I agree," Raven smiled. "We got along almost instantly."

"Do you think that's because of Finn?" Lilly asked curiously.

Clarke tilted her head thoughtfully. "In a way. I mean, for him to choose us both, we had to have something in common, right?"

"Right," Raven nodded. 

"So... You're telling me that because Finn was greedy and wanted two girlfriends, he lost them both and you both benefited by making a new friend?" Harper said incredulously. "That sounds like a weird Greek tragedy."

Clarke and Raven laughed. "I hadn't thought about it like that, but yeah. Finn's greediness was his downfall but our benefit," Clarke answered, amused.

"Weirdest friends ever?" Raven asked her.

"Absolutely."

Finally, they changed the subject from boys, talking about their various hobbies and interests. Eventually, they had to leave the hot tub to make room for a group of middle-aged women, who probably deserved it more than they did.

"So now what should we do now that there's no wedding?" Harper asked tactlessly.

Clarke winced, but Raven only laughed lightly. "I don't know. Whatever the hell we want!"

Clarke frowned. "I don't know what the hell I want to do."

"Let's keep pampering," Lilly suggested. "I don't know about you, but I could definitely use a facial."

The rest agreed to prolong their time at the spa, electing to receive manicures and pedicures as well. Whatever they could do to kill time until the party later that night. 

During the pedicures, Clarke found herself next to Harper, who bragged constantly about her boyfriend, Sinclair. He hadn't been able to come to the wedding, but Harper made up for it by making Clarke feel like she knew him after only a few minutes of conversation about him. 

Clarke wondered if she should brag about Bellamy in retaliation, but she still felt slightly weird about him. And it wasn't like Harper noticed. All the better for her, giving her more opportunity to talk about her beloved 'Clair.

Raven jumped into the conversation after a good thirty minutes, distracting Harper by asking her opinion on nail polish colors, winking at Clarke. Clarke mouthed, 'Thank you,' to her, to which Raven replied, 'you owe me.' Clarke was only slightly worried about the outcome of that debt.

Chapter Text

After spending her entire day with the girls, Clarke saw Bellamy again for the first time for dinner that night. All of Raven's closest friends were there: Harper, Lilly, and Clarke; and Finn's friends as well: Monty, Miller, and Jasper. Finn, however, was nowhere to be seen. Clarke wasn't sure if that was surprising or not.

It wasn't because he didn't know about dinner. Jasper, unthinkingly, had mentioned it to him before wondering if it would be awkward or not. Finn had declined. Raven told Clarke that he'd moved out of their room while Raven was at the spa, so she had no idea where he was now.

"All right guys, we've got tons of booze, so eat up if you don't want to get alcohol poisoning," Raven announced. A cheer went up around the table (mostly from Monty and Jasper). 

"Did you have fun?" Bellamy asked Clarke.

"I did, Benedick," she answered pointedly, giving him a look.

Bellamy grinned unabashedly. "Did you like that?"

"You didn't have to do that," Clarke frowned, crossing her arms. "Did you know what they told me when I tried to pay for my facial and mani/pedi? That not only did you pay for my massage, but you told them to charge all of my services today to your card. Why would you do that?"

He shrugged. "I thought you deserved it, after everything you've gone through this week. You seemed stressed."

"Still, you don't need to spend your money on me. I have my own," she reminded him. More than enough of her own, actually.

Bellamy mirrored her posture, crossing his own arms. "It's my money. I can spend it how I want."

"Maybe I don't want you to."

"Well maybe you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth."

Clarke set her mouth stubbornly, fighting back the urge to smile when Bellamy did. He pretended to be angry for a moment, but he couldn't hold it together for long, and burst out into a wide, shit-eating grin.

"Come on, princess. Let me take care of you sometimes."

The other girls looked up at this, remembering Clarke's insecurities. Raven smiled proudly, as if she was the reason for it. Lilly smirked knowingly, and if they were alone, Clarke knew she'd be telling her I told you so. This was the way Bellamy was. This was his way of saying 'I love you.'

Clarke sighed, rolling her eyes. "Don't make a habit of it."

Bellamy beamed. "I knew I'd win you over."

"What should we do after dinner?" Clarke asked, changing the subject quickly.

"Seven minutes in heaven?" Jasper suggested as Monty said, "Spin the bottle?"

"Let's start with truth or dare, you horn dogs," Raven laughed. The pair shrugged in response.

For the rest of dinner, Clarke engaged in conversation with everyone equally. She smiled at Bellamy and held his hand when he put it next to hers on the table, but other than that, she didn't give him any special attention. There were still too many unknowns for her to rush headlong into anything, especially when she wanted so badly for it to be real. Besides, she was still acting like a believable girlfriend. Girlfriends don't have to devote every second of their day to their significant other, right?

After dinner, they convened in the ballroom where the reception would have been. Since the wedding was cancelled so suddenly, it wasn't like anyone else was using it. The tables were already set up, but they pushed some away, making a circle in the middle where they all lounged on the floor.

They'd decided to drink wine, partially because there were so many bottles of it. There were all different kinds, and like 3 different types of champagne alone. Clarke had gone for one of the reds, mainly because white wine was too sweet for her. Bellamy ended up drinking one of the dessert wines- apparently sweetness was not a problem for him.

"Truth or dare, Clarke?" Raven said, once they'd gotten drinks and sat in a circle. Each person pretty much had a bottle to themselves.

Clarke thought. She was very strategic, even in games like truth or dare. If she said truth first, she might be seen as weak... Plus, Raven might ask her something awkward about Bellamy.

"Dare."

A mischievous grin appeared on the other girl's face. She got up, walked over to the nearest table and grabbed a chair, brining it back to their circle. "I dare you to give Bellamy a lap dance."

So much for avoiding awkwardness with Bellamy. Clarke glanced over, but seeing the amusement on his face only made her more determined to do a good job.

She stood, still wearing the fancy dress she'd put on that morning, smoothing it down. Bellamy got in the chair rather quickly, grinning in anticipation.

Clarke rolled her eyes. "Fine, but I'll need music. Bellamy got music, I get music."

Jasper held up his phone, which immediately started playing, "I'll take you to the candy shop. I'll let you lick the lollipop-"

Clarke dissolved into giggles. "I can't take this song seriously anymore."

"You know that scene in Date Movie, when they start singing it?" Bellamy asked her, sniggering.

"'It's kinda corny,'" she quoted, laughing harder.

"I'll take you to the candy shop," Bellamy sang softly.

"I'll let you lick the lollipop," Clarke sang in return, managing to calm down enough.

"Go ahead girl, and don't you stop," Bellamy continued.

"Keep going 'til you hit the spot."

"Oh," they sang softly, in unison, before bursting out into laughter.

"Ugh, get a room. Fine, I'll play something else." Jasper muttered as he scrolled through his phone. "Where's all my soul sistas. Lemme hear y'all flow sistas ."

Clarke snorted. "Okay but this one, I'd just start singing along and get distracted. Plus, I'd rather save it for when I can dress like a burlesque dancer."

Bellamy's eyebrows shot up above his hairline. "When, not if?"

Clarke said nothing, but shot him a very conspicuous wink, earning gasps and whoops from the others.

"Okay fine," Jasper rolled his eyes. "But you can't keep shooting down songs."

"Three," Raven said. "You're allowed three songs. You shot down the first two so you have to do the third one."

Clarke bit her lip. Knowing Jasper, this could end really badly. For all she knew, he'd play a funny song to trip her up, or something just so inherently sexual that she'd be blushing the whole time.

"I wish I'd known about the rule of 3 earlier," she grumbled.

"A dare's a dare," Raven shrugged.

Jasper brightened up. "I got one!"

When the song started playing, Clarke heard Snoop Dogg in the intro and immediately recognized the song. It could have been worse.

"I'm telling you to loosen up my buttons baby, but you keep fronting."

Clarke walked around to the back of Bellamy's chair and reached her hands down, dragging them slowly along his chest.

"Saying what you gon' do to me, but I ain't seen nothing."

Clarke strutted around to the front of the chair, doing her best to ignore the others watching her. She faced away from Bellamy, bending slowly over and then back up. 

"Typical. Hardly the type I fall for."

She turned around and saw that his face had gone absolutely blank. She smirked a little bit, leaning over and giving him a good view of her cleavage before slowly rolling back up. Bellamy licked his lips. 

"I'm a sexy mama who knows just how to get what I wanna."

Clarke walked to the side, where she wouldn't flash the others, and slowly slid down, her knees splaying apart. She went up and down, slowly, a couple times before coming back to face Bellamy.

"You've been saying all the right things all night long, but I can't seem to get you over here to help take this off."

She spread his legs apart and did a sort of squat and shimmy move between them. She turned away from him, still between his legs, and rotated her hips while getting up. She peeked over her shoulder and saw that his lips were firmly pressed together.

"I'm about to blow. I don't think you know."

Clarke decided to kill his composure. She pushed his legs closer together and climbed on top of his lap, unabashedly grinding.

"I'm telling you to loosen up my buttons baby, but you keep fronting."

Bellamy leaned forward as if to kiss her, and Clarke grinned and pulled away. He groaned slightly. 

"I wonder if I'm just too much for you."

Clarke continued to grind against Bellamy, getting close enough to him for their lips to brush, but pulling back at the last second.

Finally Bellamy lost his patience and grabbed Clarke's ass, pulling her closer.

"Now you can get what you want, but I need what I need."

"Don't. Move," he whispered. 

Clarke kept grinding because she knew that wasn't what he meant. This time when he tried to kiss her, she let him. It was more intense, more needy than the last one they'd shared, and his hands were everywhere: on her ass, her neck, in her hair, on her thighs, creeping under her dress.

This time, Clarke was prepared. This time, Clarke was alert. When the song ended, she immediately hopped up and skipped back to her spot in the circle, smiling innocently. 

Jasper exchanged a look with Bellamy, who looked aroused and bewildered, and with Monty before pulling up one last song.

"I just had sex, and it felt so good."

Clarke snorted. "That's not what happened."

"Tell that to Bellamy," Monty raised his eyebrows.

Bellamy was quickly trying to calm himself down, and the Lonely Island song was doing a surprisingly good job of it. There was absolutely nothing sexy about it, for a song entirely about sex. The others just sang along obnoxiously loudly.

"Is it my turn to ask someone else?" Clarke asked, tilting her head.

"You earned it," Raven said, shaking her head in awe.

"Jasper, truth or dare."

"Dare! Dare me to give Monty a lap dance so I can totally show you up."

Clarke laughed. "Okay fine, but I choose the song." 

Jasper nodded in agreement. Bellamy rolled out of the chair and crawled back to the circle. 

"Couldn't walk?" Clarke whispered, raising her eyebrows.

"Not if I didn't want to expose myself to everyone," he hissed, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her in front of him to hide his boner.

Clarke just grinned, craning her neck and shooting him a wink. Somehow this overtly inappropriate behavior was far easier to deal with than the romantic stuff.

For Jasper, Clarke played "The Bad Touch." Jasper obviously made a joke of it, like she knew he would. He was all elbows and knees, just awkward angles. Monty just shook his head, rolling his eyes at anyone who would make eye contact with him.

When he was done, Jasper decided to direct his question at Bellamy, who went for dare, like Clarke.

"I dare you and Clarke to play seven minutes in heaven."

Bellamy shot him a look. "Are there even any closets in a ballroom?"

Raven nodded enthusiastically. "There's one on the south side of the room where they store linens. It should be big enough."

Bellamy sighed, standing, and offered Clarke a hand. "Might as well."

She took his hand and let him pull her up. Raven pointed them in the right direction and they went off, into the closet. They heard voices and laughter from the other side of the ballroom, which meant the others hadn't followed.

Clarke sat on the floor and Bellamy followed. She shot a glance at him and he smiled. She returned the smile, albeit a bit awkwardly.  She'd had some wine to drink, but wished she'd had more.

"You know, if you're not comfortable, we don't have to-"

Clarke cut Bellamy off, kissing him softly on the lips. Their kiss before had been frantic, passionate, but this one was slow and deliberate. It was a while before the kiss went any deeper. It was surprisingly chaste and sweet.

Bellamy followed her lead, moving his lips softly against hers. He pulled Clarke into his lap, caressing her back and neck in ways that gave her goosebumps.

Clarke reached her hands into his hair, playing with it and massaging his temples. Bellamy groaned softly, but not in a sexual way, more in a "this feels really good" way.

He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight, and after a moment Clarke had to pull away and bury her head in his neck. She had been suddenly overcome by emotion, by how safe and content she felt in his arms. She was incandescently happy, and when she realized it, she was suddenly depressed.

She'd gotten too caught up again, already. She was sitting there, in his lap, in his arms, thinking that made him hers somehow. Clarke took a deep breath. She had to actively remind herself that this was all fake...

"Are you okay?"

Clarke nodded into his neck, and pressed a kiss lightly against his skin.

"I'm fine," she whispered.

Bellamy pulled away, and she looked up to meet his eyes. His brow furrowed, but before he could say anything, Clarke kissed him again.

He kissed her back, leaning back onto the floor and pulling her on top of him. He seemed to notice that she didn't want to talk, didn't want the soft, romantic kisses anymore.

This kiss was back to the intense, passionate kind. His tongue was in her mouth within seconds, and his arms held her pressed flush against his body. She straddled his body, and he reached down, placing his hands on the back of her thighs to pull her closer. 

Clarke reciprocated by slipping her hands under his shirt, running them up and down the muscles she'd been admiring on the beach the day before. She felt him flex, like he was trying to impress her, and couldn't help but laugh. 

Smirking slightly, he flipped her over, propping himself up on his elbows. He seemed hesitant to take this any further, so Clarke grabbed one of his hands and placed it on her chest. He pulled away slightly, quirking an eyebrow as if to say, 'do you really want to do this?' and she nodded while looking into his eyes to tell him yes, she really did. 

Bellamy needed no further prompting. He leaned in, kissing her deeply while draping his fingers across her chest. Clarke slid her dress straps down, and went back to worshiping Bellamy's abs. She felt his lips twitch in amusement but there were no complaints from him. His mouth left hers, and she almost groaned in disappointment before she felt them on her neck. 

He traced a path, licking and biting, from her neck down to her collarbone, and down further. He massaged a breast in one hand while using his tongue to trace circles on the other. Clarke sighed blissfully, her hands buried in his curly hair, stroking his head. He pushed the rest of her dress aside, sucking and biting on her nipple, eliciting a gasp from Clarke.

When he was done with the first, he gave the other the same treatment, leaving Clarke breathless and shivery. Just as things were starting to get good, Bellamy suddenly leapt back up, pressing his chest firmly against hers, totally covering her body as he kissed her quickly. She almost had trouble breathing at his weight, wondering at the change, when she heard a voice outside the closet.

"Seven minutes are up! Are you decent?"

"One second," Clarke answered Raven shakily.  He must have heard footsteps. She hadn't been paying attention again.

Bellamy helped her pull her dress back over her shoulders, and did a quick check. He grimaced when he saw her neck. 

"You're starting to bruise," he whispered in her ear.

Clarke pulled her hair down, fanning it out around her shoulders. "How about now?"

He made a face. "Better, but you can't move because it's only barely covered."

Clarke grinned ruefully. "Well, it's what they expect."

Bellamy smiled crookedly, offering a hand to pull her up. He didn't mention the mini-breakdown she'd had earlier. Hopefully he'd totally forgotten about it. His blood wasn't exactly rushing to his head anyway.

When they came out of the closet, Raven whooped at the sight of Clarke's disheveled hair. The others cheered and laughed, making Bellamy and Clarke roll their eyes. They came back down to the circle, Bellamy sitting first and pulling Clarke onto his lap at an angle. 

One of his hands was resting on her leg, the other tracing a spot on her neck thoughtlessly. He must have sat her this way to try to hide the hickey. Clarke leaned against his chest, tucking her head under his chin. If she had to sit here, she might as well be comfortable.

A few invasive questions and silly dares later, after it had been learned that Raven could not sing and that Harper had irrational fear of chickens, it was Lilly's turn. She turned to Bellamy again. 

"Truth or dare."

"Truth," he said firmly. 

"Do you love Clarke more than you loved me, and if so, why?"

Clarke immediately turned red as a beet, sinking down and trying to hide her face in Bellamy's chest. It didn't work very well.

Without any hesitation, Bellamy glanced at Clarke, then back at his ex and began, "Lilly, I'm sorry, but-"

"You do," she nodded knowingly. "You don't have to apologize."

"I think you and I weren't meant to be together. I mean, you're obviously happier with someone else. And Clarke... Maybe it's because she's known me for so long so she knows not to take my shit. I feel like she just understands me better than anyone."

"Really?" Clarke peeked up at him. 

Bellamy smiled fondly. "Of course. You're very no-nonsense, which works with me."

The phrase triggered a memory from earlier that day, and Clarke looked at Raven without thinking. The expression on the other girl's face was bittersweet, and Clarke could tell she was thinking about Finn.

Clarke suddenly felt Finn's absence and how strange it was that he wasn't there. And with Bellamy pretending to be all lovey with her, it was suddenly difficult to breathe. How dare she pretend to be happily in love when Raven had so many reasons to be miserable?

"I'm just going to go get some air," Clarke said quickly, bolting out the back door and onto a patio. It was too dark to know which one, but she was outside and alone and that was all that mattered.

She hoped everyone chalked her freak-out up to general drunkenness, but her timing had been a bit strange. Who freaks out after hearing her boyfriend saying good things about her?

Clarke had a sudden urge to walk in the sand. She kicked her shoes off by the door and made her way down to the beach, stumbling only slightly. She sat down in the soft sand, not caring if it got in her dress or underwear or whatever. It was strange to think that the last time she'd been here was only that morning.

Groaning slightly, she fell back into the sand. She was a mess tonight. There was no getting around it. She'd already lost it in front of Bellamy twice. There way no way he hadn't noticed her strange behavior. It had been going on for almost 24 hours now.

As she was lying on her back in the sand, she heard someone approaching. Clarke screwed her eyes shut, preparing for the worst. She felt the sand shift beside her as whoever it was sat down.

"So you've been acting weird."

Perfect. Of all the people to follow her, of course it was Bellamy. 

"I've been feeling weird," she admitted. 

There was a long pause. "Octavia told me to be honest with you," he said softly, thoughtfully. "Maybe this wouldn't have happened if I had been."

Clarke peeked with one eye, but he wasn't looking at her. He was gazing out into the sea, watching the waves crash along the shore.

"Honest about what?" she asked hesitantly. 

"I think I made things weird when I implied I was like a brother to you."

Damn it. He had noticed.

"At first, I thought it was because you didn't even like me that much. But then Octavia told me I was being an idiot. But I didn't want to believe her..."

Clarke looked at him with both eyes now, turning her head to face him. Of course Octavia had snitched, but she couldn't bring herself to be upset about it.

"What are you trying to say, Bell?"

"'I do love nothing in the world so well as you,'" he quoted. "'Is not that strange?'"

Clarke paled. Her fingers clenched into fists, torn between hopeful and miserable at the line. "Are you telling me as Benedick or as Bellamy?"

"As Bellamy, using Benedick's words. I didn't really think anything I could say would top Shakespeare." He leaned down onto his elbow, coming closer to her level. "But it's true, Clarke. I have feelings for you, and not the brotherly kind."

Clarke gulped, turning away. She couldn't explain the way she felt, not for a million dollars. She wanted to be ecstatic. Isn't this what she'd wanted all along? But there was also the risk. The chance she'd be hurt, or he'd be hurt, or everything would be ruined between the two of them.

"Clarke?" he asked softly, in a tone of voice she'd never heard from him before. It was almost... fearful? "Say something, please?"

"Bellamy, I..." she stood, shaking her head. "I might be able to love you, but I don't want to."

"Why the hell not?" he demanded, leaping up.

"Love is weakness, Bellamy, don't you see?" Clarke asked pleadingly. "It ruined me with Finn, it ruined you with Lilly, even Raven in the end. Love has done such terrible things to everyone and I value you too much to have that happen with us."

"Clarke," he whispered, coming close and cupping her face in his hand, "I know you don't believe that. Look at Octavia and Lincoln. Monty and Jasper. Your parents."

Clarke leaned instinctively into his hand. "But you're a womanizer," she protested weakly.

Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "I haven't even dated at all in months. If it's you, Clarke... If I could have you, I wouldn't need anyone or anything else."

"You promise there's no secret fiancée?" she asked, with a bit of humor.

He chuckled. "If I had a fiancée, there would be no way I could hide it from Octavia, and do you think she'd be able to keep it a secret from you?"

"No," Clarke laughed. "But still. That doesn't change the fact that I don't want to lose you, I can't lose you too, okay?"

"Hey," he breathed, leaning in to look into her eyes. "I'm right here. And I'll be right here. We can take it slow, one day at a time. If things don't feel right, we'll both take a step back before things can end badly, okay? But you don't know it will end badly. For all you know, it will last forever."

Clarke closed her eyes, listening to his voice and letting it sink in. It was all so tempting, and she wanted him so badly. Was he worth the risk?

"You know me, Clarke. And I know you, and I care about you. I don't want you to feel like I'm trying to pressure you into anything but you said it yourself. You're the one holding yourself back and I just want you to know that you don't have to. You can trust me."

Bellamy leaned in even closer, whispering in her ear, "Clarke Griffin. Love me and mend."

With that, she melted. Clarke opened her eyes long enough to find his lips, then kissed him desperately. Hopefully he could tell everything she was feeling, everything she was trying to tell him. The past day had been torture, wanting him and being close to him but not having him. Any possible pain to come couldn't be worse than that agony. 

Bellamy laughed into the kiss, picking her up and spinning her around. He tasted like joy, and joy tasted better in his arms. 


Bellamy helped Clarke carry her bags back into her apartment, where they found Octavia and Lincoln packing her things. 

"Already?" Clarke frowned, running to hug her. "You're going to leave just as soon as I come back?"

"I'm still here for about a week," Octavia laughed. "And you know I'll be here every Wednesday for our movie night,"

"Still," Clarke grumbled, pulling away to give Lincoln a hug in greeting.

"Hey there, big fat faker," he grinned.

Clarke looked back at Bellamy, who was smirking. "Well, about that..." she drifted off.

Octavia looked at her brother, and back at Clarke. Her jaw dropped as realization dawned. Then she squealed. 

While Clarke was still reeling from the sound that had come out of her friend's mouth, she was tackled in a hug. "I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!" the brunette crowed. 

Bellamy laughed, walking over, and was immediately roped into the hug. "Gosh, O, don't you think you could be happy for us?" he joked sarcastically.

Octavia squealed again, shattering both of their eardrums. "Lincoln owes me 20 bucks!"

"Seriously?" Clarke demanded, wrenching herself from the group hug. "Was everyone betting on whether or not we'd get together?"

"Must have been all that sexual tension," Bellamy smirked, earning a slap from his new girlfriend.

"On the bright side, you won't be lying to Raven any more," Octavia grinned.

"Yeah, actually the timing was perfect," Clarke said thoughtfully, looking at Octavia suspiciously.

Octavia raised her hands in surrender. "I had nothing to do with this."

"No... You had everything to do with this. You were the one who suggested Bellamy be my date in the first place."

"And you were the one who told me to tell Clarke how I felt," Bellamy added, narrowing his eyes.

"Bellamy Blake, we've been had."

"All so she could win a stupid bet," he said, shaking his head sadly.

"It's over!" Clarke said dramatically.

"Fine! I never loved you anyway!" Bellamy responded in kind, storming towards the door. He didn't even make it halfway before spinning back towards Clarke. "Ha-ha, just kidding," he said quickly, pecking her lips.

Clarke wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him into a deeper kiss. There were groans from both Lincoln and Octavia, and invitations to "get a room."

In perfect unison, Clarke and Bellamy flipped them off.