Bellamy doesn’t notice at first. It’s not like Clarke drinks every night anyway, so it takes him a good two weeks before he realizes Clarke hasn’t touched a drop of moonshine in all that time. He puzzles over it for a bit, then files it away to bring up later, at some point when they’re not preparing for trading with the Trigedakru and Clarke doesn’t have a dozen patients in the medbay with allergies and summer colds.
Later is in another week, though he’s not the one to bring it up—Clarke is, late at night. It was one of the hottest days of the summer so far, and the heat lingers long after that sun has gone down. In spite of the warmth, Clarke rests her cheek on his chest, tracing patterns across his abdomen and making the muscles there occasionally jump; he pulls his fingers through her hair, gently working out the tangles. Their bedding is a rumpled pile by their feet.
Clarke yawns every now and then, and he wishes it were cooler, if only so she could fall asleep—she’s been so tired lately, with the influx of patients and trying to soothe her mother as Abby stresses out over trading agreements, about how to make sure the Sky People have enough food for their rapidly expanding population.
“Bellamy.” Her voice, though hushed, is loud in the silence of the night.
She’s quiet for a long time, and Bellamy almost thinks maybe she did manage to fall asleep, except for the fingers still tracing his skin. Then her hand stops, and she reaches for him until he slips his hand into hers.
“Clarke. What is it?”
Her breath tickles his chest when she lets it all gust out in a nervous huff.
He blinks down at her blonde hair; she’s still looking away from him.
She squeaks when he scrambles up into a sitting position, dislodging her; before she can topple onto the bed, he seizes her arms and pulls her up to face him.
“You’re—” Are hearts supposed to beat this fast, he wonders. Like his heart might just beat its way out of his chest?
Clarke examines his face with a furrowed brow, but whatever she finds there seems to calm her. She smiles, and the lines melt from her forehead; she brings her hands up to cradle his cheeks.
“Yeah,” she says. “We’re having a baby.”
He kisses her then, and it’s messy and silly because he’s just so—happy, alright, and Clarke’s laughing at him, so in fairness any lack of finesse in the kiss is partially her fault, and he might be saying “I love you I love you I love you,” over and over into her mouth, and she’s definitely saying it back.
Bellamy somehow lays her back down on their bed, and trails frantic kisses down her throat, across her collarbone, between her breasts—she sucks in a little breath when he turns his attention to her nipple, and he pauses.
“Just—sensitive,” she says, and smooths a hand over his hair. He gentles his touch, just ghosting his lips over the tender skin, and Clarke starts to tremble and breathe in tiny little pants. Then he moves lower, presses his lips to her belly just below her navel, and stays there.
He squeezes his eyes closed as they burn a little, and Clarke’s fingers play with the hair at the nape of his neck, staying quiet as he breathes her in, soaks in the knowledge that she’s—that right there, she’s carrying their child.
It’s not unexpected, technically. Everyone knows that the implants last for three years before they need to be replaced; Clarke had gotten a replacement about a year into their life on the ground, just a few months after she’d returned to Camp Jaha.
But when she’d mentioned that her twenty-second birthday was coming up, and she needed to let her mother or Jackson know if she wanted a replacement or not, there had been something in her voice that had Bellamy setting down his book and looking at her.
“Or not?” he’d asked hesitantly. Plenty of others were starting to let theirs expire, or have the implants even taken out early; now that the war was over, and they were settled on the ground, people were allowed to get excited about having a child—about having children, because they needed the population growth, and the one-child rule was long gone. There were already a handful of toddlers, another handful of rounded bellies on women around camp.
None of the delinquents had decided to try and reproduce yet, thank god, though Bellamy had figured that it was only a matter of time.
Or maybe they were waiting for Bellamy and Clarke to go first. He hadn’t been sure.
“I don’t know,” Clarke had said. “I was just thinking. We could. You know. Do it.”
“Do what?” he’d replied, mouth dry.
“Bellamy,” Clarke had groaned, and at that he couldn’t help but smile and kiss her, because.
“Yeah. Let’s do it.”
But since then, her birthday had come and gone, and Abby had removed the now-spent implant from Clarke’s body, and Clarke had told him it would probably take a while for her body to sort itself out, and probably longer still for anything to happen, as far as getting pregnant went. She’d confided in him that her mother had apparently taken nearly a year of trying to conceive, and it was possible Clarke would be similar.
They weren’t in any rush, anyway. Clarke was enough for him; anything—anyone—else would just be another thing he shared with her in their life together.
“I love you,” he says now, turning his cheek to press briefly against her abdomen.
“Don’t make me cry,” Clarke threatens, but she really does have tears in her voice, so he presses one last kiss to her belly, and moves lower.
He takes his time, nosing the creases where her thighs meet her pelvis, drifting soft kisses along her labia, until a sheen of sweat due to more than the warm night air is covering Clarke’s body. When she whines his name, nails scratching along his scalp, he relents and curls his tongue through her folds to catch her clit.
Her breath stutters, and then she moans so loud he imagines anyone walking by their cabin would be able to hear.
Bellamy gives a brief thought to trying to quiet her, then discards it.
He uses his mouth to bring her up and over the edge of her climax, and the second she comes down she’s dragging at his shoulders, pulling him up into the cradle of her hips.
“Eager?” he teases her, though he’s throbbing and desperate to be inside her. Clarke responds by biting his lower lip, then pulling it into her mouth to soothe the sting with her tongue; Bellamy groans helplessly.
“Don’t tease,” she says, using a foot to stroke up and down his calf. “I’m not going to fit under you like this for much longer.”
He doesn’t know if the thought is more terrifying or arousing or thrilling or what, because holy shit Clarke is pregnant, and they’re having a baby.
Bellamy takes her mouth as he thrusts into her; Clarke moans and wraps her legs around his hips. Her nails run down his back, making him shudder, and fuck he’s not going to last long, not when she’s doing that and she’s hot and wet and tight. He reaches between them and starts thumbing her clit; she hisses at the touch and squirms, her clit still oversensitized from her orgasm. But he keeps rocking his thumb gently, easing her through it, until her hips suddenly begin to move frantically, her nails digging into his spine as her mouth drops open in a little ‘o.’
“I—I—” she pants, and then her thighs squeeze his waist as she tightens like a vise around him, a keening sound coming from her throat as she comes again.
“Oh god,” he grunts, and jerks his hips into hers only a couple more times before spending himself in her. “Clarke.”
When they’ve both caught their breath, and Bellamy rolls off of her so they can both cool down, he reaches for her hand.
“You won’t fit under me for much longer, huh?” he says, but she gets what he’s really asking, and squeezes his fingers.
“Nope. Baby’s coming around the first thaw, I think,” she says quietly.
“Wow.” He stares up at the rafters of their cabin.
Bellamy can hear the smile in her voice when she reaches over, pats him on the chest.
“Don’t worry, Bellamy. I can still be on top.”
“Hey. You’re being weird.”
He glances over at Octavia. “You had to learn it somewhere.”
She makes a face and sits next to him. He’s outside the medbay, waiting for Clarke to finish her shift.
“You haven’t kept tabs on her like this for years,” Octavia notes, pulling out a dagger and idly cleaning it. “Something wrong?”
Bellamy shakes his head, barely able to keep the smile off his face. “Nah. Just felt like waiting for her.”
His sister scoffs.
Bellamy continues to admire the clear skies; they’re due for another one of the wicked summer storms that like to lash at the earth with thunder and hail, while the air and ground are so hot the hail melts seconds after it strikes. But for now, the blue of the sky is that perfect hue, like all the old vids and books on the Ark made it seem.
Sometimes he still can’t believe he’s seeing it from down here. But he is, and his sister is free to see it, and one day his and Clarke’s child will look up at the blue of the sky above earth, never having known a colder, darker existence.
“Seriously, what is wrong with you?” Octavia says, knocking her elbow against his. “You look…well, you look like a huge dork.”
“Are you sick?”
“Is Clarke sick?”
He pauses for only the briefest moment. “No.”
“You hesitated. She’s sick. What’s wrong with her?”
“Nothing’s wrong with her,” Bellamy replies, exasperated. “She’s fine.”
“If she’s so fine, why are you waiting outside the medbay like a guard dog?”
“Because I like her,” he says dryly.
“Hi, Octavia.” Bellamy twists around and sees Clarke standing just outside the medbay doors, an amused smile on her face. “What’s up?”
“Are you dying?” Octavia demands.
Clarke blinks. “Uh. No?”
“I didn’t think he’d be all weird and moony if you were dying, but that’s good.”
“Are you being weird and moony?” Clarke asks him; he pastes on the best scowl he can manage.
“He totally is,” Octavia insists. “He said something was wrong with you.”
“I didn’t say anything,” Bellamy stresses. “At all.”
Clarke smiles softly at him, offering a hand. He stands and takes it, and she kisses him on the cheek. She does that, often, because the first time she did it after coming back his knees had practically buckled with the pain. Since then, she’s made a point of kissing his cheek for all the good things, however minor, and he’s learned to not let it hurt anymore.
“You could say something,” she says. “If you wanted.”
His heart stutters. “Really?”
“It’s late enough that we don’t have to worry more than usual. And it’s going to get around soon enough.”
He kisses her, and turns to find his sister watching them suspiciously.
Bellamy opens his mouth and finds that the words are stalled in his throat.
“I…ah…” he tries, and Octavia raises a brow.
Clarke laughs, bright and clear, and he can’t help but look down and bask in the happiness on her face.
“I’m pregnant,” she says warmly, and Octavia’s jaw drops. Her throat works soundlessly for a moment as her gaze snaps to his. When he just grins at her, she shrieks and throws herself at them, squeezing him tight.
“Oh, Bell,” Octavia says. Her voice is dangerously teary. “You’re going to be a dad.”
He clears his throat, wraps his free arm around her until he can ruffle her hair. “Yeah. I am.”
He loves seeing Clarke pregnant. Not that he doesn’t love seeing her when she’s not, but—everything about her is solid, beautiful. Though they have plenty of food now, he’s always thought Clarke’s been on the skinnier side of a healthy weight. Always beautiful, obviously, but.
But now the sharp lines of her have softened, rounded a little as her cheeks fill in just a bit. Her breasts—okay, her breasts have always been impressive, but now they’re even softer, fuller. Her hips are wider, though she doesn’t appreciate it when he points it out, so instead he just takes to standing behind her and planting his hands on them when he gets the chance.
She just looks good, looks healthy and round and happy, and because Bellamy remembers the way she looked when the war had nearly broken her beyond repair, he’s ridiculously grateful to see her like this.
“You’re obsessed,” she tells him when she’s sitting on the exam table, waiting for her mother. It’s late autumn, nearly winter, and at halfway through her pregnancy Clarke’s belly is undeniably a pregnant one.
He glances up at her; he’s on his knees in front of the table, cradling her bare belly in his hands.
“Yes,” he agrees easily. Normally, he manages to keep his hands to himself whenever they’re outside of the privacy of their own cabin, but she’s already rucked her shirt up in preparation for her check-up, and he can’t help it, okay, it’s just there. The gentle curve has fascinated him since it first appeared, just barely rounding out her stomach only a few weeks after she told him she was pregnant.
Since then, he’s watched it grow, watched their child grow, and yeah, he might be a little obsessed with Clarke’s belly, but come on.
When his mother was pregnant with Octavia, it was a source of fear, something to be hidden. Any happiness his mother felt was eclipsed by the threat of discovery.
With Clarke’s pregnancy, everything is pure joy.
The delinquents had burst into screaming cheers when they’d heard the news, and Harper and Monty had sandwiched Clarke in a tight hug until Bellamy had to pry them off. They all have old ghosts in their eyes, but the news chased them all away for the moment. Even with his sister.
Octavia forgave Clarke for her actions during the war a long time ago, but she’d never seemed to quite trust that Clarke wasn’t going to disappear again. But Clarke’s pregnancy seems to have convinced her more than anything that Clarke is really there to stay, that she’s not leaving any of them behind ever again.
Now as he goes through his day, he regularly sees Octavia smiling and laughing with Clarke, or the two of them sitting together at lunch before he joins them.
Everything is coming together.
At that moment, Clarke's breath hitches a little, and her hands join his on her stomach. Bellamy lets her move his palms to where she can feel the baby moving, and he presses down gently on the taut skin, hoping to feel something.
He waits a long minute before glancing hopefully at Clarke.
"Is it still moving?"
She nods. "Nonstop."
He waits another few seconds, then draws his hands away with a sigh.
"Nothing," he grumbles.
Clarke rolls her eyes and laces her fingers with his. "I only just started feeling it, Bellamy. It won't be forever."
It isn't. Three weeks later, the baby kicks hard enough for Bellamy to feel the smallest tap against his palm. And he's actually grateful that it didn't happen earlier, in the exam room, because Abby had walked in right afterward. When it does happen, he and Clarke are alone in their cabin, and he might cry just a little.
It was mostly dust in his eyes, but still. He figures it worked out for the best, with only Clarke to witness.
Bellamy’s never been as terrified as he is when Clarke goes into labor.
He wasn’t as terrified when grounders were attacking the dropship camp.
He wasn’t as terrified when he was running for his life inside of Mount Weather, trying to save his people.
He wasn’t as terrified when he watched Clarke walk away from the gates of Camp Jaha, leaving him to deal with their broken friends without realizing he was just as broken.
But Clarke’s pregnancy was easy, compared to this; her morning sickness lasted for only a week in earnest, and for a few months it seemed like every time he came across her, she was asleep. Mostly the worst of it was swollen feet and that time the baby had the hiccups for over a day, the tiny jolting keeping Clarke awake and cranky for more than twenty-four hours.
Even Abby had been pleased, and obviously relieved, as she monitored Clarke’s pregnancy through the weeks; not only had she conceived much sooner and with more ease than any of them had expected, but Clarke’s pregnancy is a breeze compared to Abby’s own, she’d told them.
But then Clarke goes into labor.
It’s nearly two weeks earlier than they expected, though Abby had told them to expect the unexpected, and it’s not a terrible shock. The contractions start out small that night after dinner, Clarke breathing quietly through them in their cabin. She’s restless more than anything, so under Abby’s approval he loops his arm around Clarke’s waist and helps her walk around the camp. The air is cold, and he worries that she shouldn’t be out in it—there’re still patches of snow on the ground, for god’s sake.
“It’s okay,” Clarke tells him in between little pants. “Feels good.” Her brow is shining with a light film of sweat in spite of the frigid air.
They alternate between walking in the dark and resting in their cabin, and Bellamy does his best to distract Clarke from the pain with stories of the constellations above them in the night sky.
Her water breaks just after dawn.
Bellamy didn’t think it was possible, but it gets worse after that.
Abby doesn’t seem worried, so he tries to stay calm, but it’s damn near impossible when Clarke, his Clarke, is in so much pain. The contractions get longer, but no closer together.
He tries to coax her to eat midway through the day, but the pain makes her queasy. All she can do is drink a little water and doze fitfully for a few hours.
He tells himself that she’s strong.
When the sun sets again, the contractions finally start inching closer together.
Clarke is elated, because that means she’s closer to being done; Bellamy is horrified, because she’s in agony that much more constantly.
And then, the baby is born, squalling and red-faced with rage, finally, after nearly thirty hours of labor.
Clarke is sobbing, and his hand is numb from how hard she’s been crushing it, and Bellamy’s never been as in awe of her as he is now.
“I need, I need to see,” she says, and lets go of Bellamy to hold out her arms. “Mom, please.”
“Shh, Clarke, shh,” he soothes, wiping her sweaty brow with a damp cloth, though he’s wound tighter than a spring with anxiety as he waits for Abby to say something, anything. He knows logically that the baby is probably fine; he can hear the baby screaming as Abby swaddles it in a soft, lumpily-knitted blanket.
And then Abby looks up at them, face stained with tears of her own, and beams.
“You have a son, Clarke,” she says, and brings the baby to them.
Clarke lets out another sob as she reaches for the newborn with trembling arms, and Bellamy fits his hand under the baby’s back so he can feel like he’s helping as Clarke holds the baby close.
“Hi,” Clarke says, her voice breaking, and Bellamy’s breath leaves his lungs as he watches the baby, watches Clarke hold their baby. “Hi baby. Hi.”
He reaches out, holds his fingers just above the baby’s cheek.
“Go ahead, Bellamy.” He looks up to see Abby watching them with a watery smile. “He won’t break.”
He swallows and nods before looking back at their son. He moves his thumb so it brushes over the baby’s damp cheek in a featherlight touch.
Tears roll down Bellamy’s face, and he doesn’t care at all that Abby is there to see them.
Gus goes through a growth spurt when he’s two weeks old, and that’s it. That’s all it takes for him to start gaining weight, and keep gaining weight, and before they know it, they have a fat, chubby baby.
Because it means Gus is getting more than enough food, and it’s full of the nutrients they all lacked as infants up in space; he remembers how scrawny Octavia was, how hard his mother struggled to produce enough breastmilk to just keep Octavia alive. But Gus gets plenty, and he’s all round and chubby and healthy, and it means Clarke’s healthy too, because she’s able to keep up with the constantly hungry and growing baby.
“He’s like a roly-poly,” Raven says, fascinated, tickling the baby’s round belly as he rocks around on his blanket. He’s too young to turn over quite yet, but it doesn’t stop him from trying. Though Bellamy’s not too fond of Raven’s comparison to the shiny black fist-sized bugs.
“Gross,” Clarke says, echoing his thoughts. Her fingers smooth over the thick black fuzz on Gus’s head. He’d been born with hair, barely, and it’s been growing in more and more over the past few months.
Raven gives her a dirty look and scoops the baby up. He fusses for a few seconds, irritated that his wiggling around has been interrupted, until Raven hums a little bit and rocks him. Then he seems to calm, recognizing who’s holding him, and he rests his cheek against her collarbone.
It’s hard to believe Raven hadn’t wanted to hold him at first, seeing the way Gus is content to snuggle in her arms now.
But she’d brushed away Clarke’s suggestion that she hold the baby when she first visited their cabin after the birth, claiming she’d just get grease on him or something.
Bellamy had seen the way Clarke had tried to hide her surprise and a little bit of hurt when her best friend wouldn’t hold their son. He’d tried to talk to Raven about it later, away from Clarke, but she had just snapped at him that it was none of his business.
But he and Clarke had figured out pretty quickly that it was because she was afraid. She was afraid of Gus, of how little he was, and how breakable. And then he’d gotten a little more solid, and Raven had fallen in love with the baby a little more every day. He and Clarke could both see it, the way her voice would soften if she happened to glance at Gus in the middle of a sentence. The way her hand would linger on the edge of the crib she’d helped fashion for them, looking down when he slept. The way he’d start to wail, face turning red and angry, and she’d raise her eyebrows and ask him what’s got his diaper in a bunch.
Now it’s second nature for Raven to pick Gus up when she visits, or when they see each other around camp; Gus loves it when she tickles him with the end of her ponytail, the strands of hair so dark and silky and smooth, unlike his mother’s.
Clarke looks like she’s about two seconds away from bursting into happy tears at the sight of her baby and best friend—her hormones are still a little unpredictable—so Bellamy leans over to her and plants a kiss on her mouth.
A second passes as Clarke catches up, and then she’s kissing him back fiercely, all joy and heat, and okay, he might get a little too caught up in it, but can he really be blamed?
“Oh, come on, you two! Innocent eyes here, innocent eyes!”
When Clarke is due to start back at the medbay with her mother's approval, they have a moment where they just stare at each other because—well, crap, now they have a baby, and the baby can only stay with Clarke when she's working on broken bones or stitches; if anyone comes in with the flu or some kind of fever, Gus needs to be kept away from it like Clarke tells all the other mothers about their children.
Bellamy works with the guard regularly, and helps get the trainees in shape, but they both quickly realize that they can't both go on with their jobs like they used to, and both of them are reluctant to leave Gus in the charge of the little group of older parents who provide childcare for others, at least when he’s this young.
"I can take on fewer shifts," Clarke offers. "Just work evenings or something, when you're back from training and can be with him."
Bellamy shakes his head, careful not to jolt Gus, who's half asleep on his shoulder. Bellamy steadily paces around their bedroom, rubbing soft circles on his son's back.
"Your job is more important than mine, Clarke." He thinks for a minute, brow furrowing in thought. "I'll tell Kane I can't do training anymore. That way I can be home with Gus all the time."
"Bellamy, no. Your job is important too," Clarke protests.
"Yeah, well, what's the alternative? You working night shifts and me never getting to see you sounds pretty shitty," Bellamy replies, frustrated. Gus fusses and squirms, his hair tickling Bellamy’s neck until he settles again.
“You quitting with the guard and then regretting it because you’re bored out of your mind sounds pretty shitty too,” she says flatly, though in a low enough voice that the baby doesn’t react.
“I wouldn’t regret it,” Bellamy says quietly. He breathes in Gus’s baby scent, sweet and clean from the bath they’d given him earlier that night. Gus should probably be in his crib, but Bellamy had wanted to hold him a little longer tonight.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Clarke says, standing up and crossing over to him. Bellamy carefully shifts their son until he can hold him securely in one arm, and lifts up the other. Clarke tucks herself into his side, resting her cheek against his chest and brushing Gus’s curled-up fist with a gentle thumb. “I just meant that you wouldn’t be as happy. I want you to be so happy, Bellamy.”
“I am happy, Clarke,” he says, his throat tight, and he waits until she tips up her face to look at him. “I’m so…so happy with you, okay?”
“Okay,” she says, and kisses him softly, sweetly, until everything in the world reduces to just this, just them, together.
Eventually, she pulls away, her lips swollen and dark, the color of the summer berries she loves.
“Come to bed,” she says. “He’s asleep.”
He lays Gus in his crib, and they both kiss him goodnight, making his tiny nose wrinkle up in a way Bellamy thinks is all Clarke, while she insists it’s all him.
Clarke crawls into their bed and draws him down to her, undresses him unhurriedly, following the skin she reveals with her mouth.
“Bellamy,” she whispers, her lips tracing a damp path over his heart. “I’m so, so happy with you, too.”
He curls a hand into her hair and urges her up; once she’s draped over his body, he kisses her deeply, not letting go until her hips are moving helplessly over his and he’s having to swallow all the desperate sounds from her mouth.
He helps her shuck the rest of her clothes, and when he slides into her he can think of nothing but her, warm and wet and wanting and his. And he’s hers, he’s been hers for so long now, and he’ll be hers for as long as she’ll have him and even longer than that, because he already knows that even when she doesn’t choose him, it doesn’t mean he’s capable of doing anything other than loving her.
“Shh,” Clarke says, smoothing hands down his chest, leaning forward, pressing a chaste kiss to his brow. He doesn’t know what he must have said, if she somehow knows the bad days without her that he doesn’t like to remember are stuck in his head right now. “Bellamy. I love you.”
He kisses the spot behind her ear, then leaves his face there, hidden in her hair. He briefly remembers how much he missed seeing the pale flash of her hair when she was gone, and has an even quicker thought about, maybe, if they had another child, maybe that child could have her hair instead of his.
“I love you,” Clarke breathes again, and shifts back so she can rise up on her knees and sink down onto him with ease. Her hand rests over his heart, feeling it thump. “I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you,” she whispers in the dark of their cabin, moving her hips over his until she’s chased away all the thoughts of what life was like without her, until all he can remember is what life is like with her, and how he didn’t ever think he would love anyone like he loves her.
He moves a hand to where they’re joined, uses the tip of a finger to delicately trace her most sensitive spot until she’s shuddering over him, around him, biting her lip to keep quiet, and his orgasm follows hers.
“I love you,” Clarke says fiercely a little later, just as he’s falling asleep with her curled into his side. He forces his heavy eyes open to make out her face in the dark; she’s frowning, he can tell.
“I know, Clarke,” he says, and kisses her downturned mouth until he feels the frown leave her lips.
They figure things out, like they always do, together. Bellamy doesn’t quit, but he does arrange for fewer shifts; so does Clarke. On days when Clarke’s dealing with contagious patients, Bellamy takes Gus, tucks him into the sling that Raven put together when he asked, and totes him around camp while he bosses around the trainees. When Clarke’s on bone and blood duty, as the medics gruesomely call it, she keeps Gus with her. Every now and then, Abby or Raven or Octavia and Lincoln take the baby for a few hours, letting Clarke and Bellamy catch up on sleep, or attend a meeting; others start to offer, and eventually Clarke lets Monty and Miller have baby-duty for an hour’s trial run.
That’s all it takes for the rest to start arguing over whose turn it is to watch Gus. They keep it amongst themselves at first, but their arguments become public only a few weeks in.
Clarke and Bellamy look on in awe and a little bit of fear as Harper goes toe to toe with Miller, yelling something about a babysitting roster.
“What have we started?” Clarke wonders, a protective hand going to Gus’s head where it peeks out of the baby harness she likes wearing better than she likes Bellamy’s sling.
Bellamy slowly reaches out, grabs her free hand and starts tugging her away from the crowd. “Let’s not be around to find out.”
Bellamy and Abby are…okay.
The day he realized that they were actually okay was kind of a shock, honestly. Abby hadn’t been his biggest fan when she found out he let Clarke walk away from Camp Jaha—as if he actually let her, as if he could have stopped her, as if when she left it hadn’t felt like she’d taken all the air from his lungs and all the blood from his veins and all the strength from his limbs with her.
Yeah, Abby hadn’t much liked him at that point.
But—it’s undeniable that Clarke gets a lot from her mother, and once Abby accepted that Clarke had left, she set her mind on making life safer, easier, better for all of their people, which Bellamy could respect. She was fair, if a little old-fashioned in her thinking sometimes, and to his utter surprise, she listened to him when he spoke.
They were never friends, but—but they were never enemies, either.
And then Clarke came back, and god, he loved her just the same when he saw her walking toward camp as when he had to watch her walk away.
“Get Dr. Griffin,” he’d barked at Jasper when he looked out at the trees and saw a glint the color of the winter wheat they’d just finished harvesting. Jasper didn’t ask any questions, just bolted, and then Bellamy tried to wait, he tried so hard, but then he took off running because he knew it was her, that it had to be, because he could breathe again.
And it was her, he saw instantly as he burst into the treeline; the moment she saw him, her eyes widened and her hair, short and bright and so Clarke, flew back as she sprinted toward him.
She came back to him with infinitely more force than the way she left him, and just that took him a long way toward healing.
All she said was his name as she flung herself at him, and all he said was hers when he buried his face in her neck and crushed her to him; his mouth brushed her neck with the word and she just shivered and pressed herself even closer.
Later, he took her to the gates; Abby was pacing agitatedly, barking questions at a frustrated Jasper who had no answers for her.
“There! He’s coming,” Jasper said, then trailed off as he saw who was coming with Bellamy. Abby whipped around toward the gates, and then her face went blank.
“She missed you,” he told Clarke, squeezing the hand he’d refused to let go of yet. He finally did, placing it on her back instead, giving her a light push. That was all she needed, and when Abby held Clarke in her arms, her gaze had caught his as she smiled, tears glossing her eyes.
After that, he knew that Abby was grateful, that she didn’t mind him, but it took him a long time to realize that she liked him. That she didn’t mind when he started sneaking into Clarke’s cabin at night, or when she’d caught Clarke sneaking out of his in the morning.
“I’m sorry,” he stuttered one early morning when she’d passed him easing the door closed behind him.
She’d interrupted any further awkward apologies with a pat on the shoulder. “Don’t be.” Her eyes shifted to the door, beyond which Clarke still slept. She said she slept better with him there, and he slept better with her, and he couldn’t actually remember the last night since she’d come back that they’d slept apart. “You’re so good to her, Bellamy.”
He blinked at her as she’d continued toward the medbay, then grinned.
“Your mom likes me,” he’d told Clarke when he’d plopped down next to her at breakfast later.
“Well, I love you,” she countered, calmly spooning another bite of porridge into her mouth as he’d gaped, as if it wasn’t the first time she’d said the words out loud.
She raised an eyebrow, and he couldn’t help but laugh as he took the bowl of porridge out of her hands, told her he loved her too, and kissed her.
The next day, Abby had told them a bigger cabin had opened up, and could they please stop acting like a pair of clandestine shakespearean lovers?
They’d moved in that night.
None of that meant Bellamy knew how Abby would react to Clarke getting pregnant. She’d been mostly quiet on the idea, only offering some of her own medical history and a few tips to Clarke when she’d decided not to get another implant, and he hadn’t been able to get a read on Abby for pretty much Clarke’s entire pregnancy. Her pleased remarks during checkups were always more the type of remarks a doctor tells her patient rather than what a mother tells her pregnant daughter. At least, that’s how it seems to him. He doesn’t actually have experience watching mothers interact with pregnant daughters, but it seemed like maybe they’re usually more excited.
Then Gus is born, and he doesn’t have any doubts.
Abby loves Augustus. His son’s skin is at least five shades darker than hers, and he’s loud and tends to squall crankily whenever Marcus Kane tries holding him, which is often, because Marcus Kane tends to spend more than a little of every day with Abby, and Gus seems to save his stinkiest diapers for when she’s around, and Abby loves him.
Once he comes home before Clarke to catch her singing a strange old lullaby about falling to the ground from the treetops. Bellamy waits until Gus is asleep, then asks quietly, “Did Lincoln teach you that?”
It seems like the type of song the Trigedakru would sing to their young, but Abby shakes her head as she lays Gus down in his crib. Her fingers linger over his cheek as he suckles in his sleep.
“No, it’s an old song. I used to sing it to Clarke,” she adds wistfully. “I don’t know if she remembers, though.”
“I bet she’d like to learn,” he says eventually. “Gus seems to like it.”
Abby gives him a small smile, and he doesn’t think she’s really listening, but next week, he wakes up in the night to Clarke humming the same strange, sweet song as she nurses Gus.
When Augustus is six months old, Clarke takes him in for his monthly check-up with Abby. Bellamy usually likes to go, but he’s training some new recruits with guns, and he doesn’t feel comfortable leaving the dozen armed teens in just Miller’s hands.
An hour later, Miller taps him on the shoulder and motions behind him with a concerned expression. Bellamy turns and sees Clarke walking toward him; at the sight of her face, he immediately barks an order for the teens to return their training weapons to the guard.
“We’ll resume training tomorrow,” he says, and dismisses them just as Clarke reaches them.
“Hi Miller,” she says, her voice distracted.
“Bye Miller,” Bellamy says; Miller snorts and heads away, squeezing Clarke’s shoulder as he goes.
When they’re alone, he leads Clarke over to sit at one of the crude outdoor dining tables.
She just stares at him, a slightly shell-shocked look on her face.
He feels dread coil in the pit of his stomach. “Where’s Gus? Is he alright? What—”
Clarke’s shaking her head. She grabs his hand.
“I’m sorry,” she says. “I didn’t mean to scare you. My mom offered to take him for the afternoon.”
Bellamy lets out a long breath. “Oh.”
She smiles a little, but he frowns.
“Then what’s going on, Clarke? You look—well, you look weird.”
She wrinkles her nose at him, but then gets that funny look on her face again. “I’m—I’m pregnant,” she says, and she sounds as if she hardly believes it herself.
He stares at her. “What?”
“I’m pregnant,” she repeats. “I guess—I thought since I was still breast-feeding Gus, I couldn’t—but I did. I am. I’m pregnant.”
She looks at him, and he looks at her, and then they’re both laughing, Clarke pressing her forehead against his chest as her shoulders shake, and their laughter might be a little hysterical, because it seems like they just did this, and they’ve only had six months to practice this whole parenthood thing with Gus, and they’re already getting another one.
“I love you,” he tells her.
“I love you, too,” she says, and tips her face up toward his.
Bellamy takes the opportunity to kiss her because, duh, and when the first one is over he decides he wants another. He kisses her over and over until she’s giggling again and pushing him away.
He grins at her. “Hey. We can do this, right?”
Clarke stretches up to kiss the corner of his mouth, and yeah, they have a six-month-old son and they’ve been together for years, and such a chaste kiss from Clarke is still enough to make his heart lurch dangerously in his chest. “Yeah, we can. Together.”
They lean into each other for a moment, just soaking in the idea of another baby.
“Wait,” Bellamy says. “How did you find out?” It was clear from her face when she approached him that she had just found out, but it was supposed to be Gus’s check-up, not hers.
Clarke looks chagrined. “Gus needed a change.”
Bellamy frowns in confusion.
“And then I threw up,” she sighs. “My mom had to take over diaper duty.”
“Have you been feeling sick?” he asks immediately, looking her over. Her color is good, and she never lost all of the baby weight from Gus, so she still looks healthy and strong.
“Not really,” Clarke assures him. “I was a little queasy one morning last week, but then it went away and I forgot. Today it just hit me.”
“Tell me if it happens again,” he tells her. She smiles wryly.
“Trust me, Bellamy. I think you’ll probably be the first to know.”
She’s not wrong; from that day for weeks and weeks forward, she’s nauseated or vomiting what seems like all the time. Bellamy makes a show of complaining when he has to take over all of Gus’s diaper changes, but he really doesn’t mind, not if it means he doesn’t have to watch Clarke’s face turn a sickly white before she lurches for the bucket they’ve had to start keeping nearby.
It’s nothing like when she was pregnant with Gus; she seems even more exhausted, and her morning sickness is severe enough that she has trouble gaining weight like she’s supposed to. Bellamy’s constantly worried, hovering even when he knows he should give her space, and as a result Clarke is grumpy and snappish most of the time.
At one point during her twelve week check-up, Abby looks at her with a troubled face.
“Clarke,” she says gently. “I think you might need to consider weaning Gus.”
“What? No!” Clarke says. Her voice is outraged. “I want to breastfeed for at least a year; you know that. He needs it.” They’d started him on a little solid food last month, a soft mixture Monty had whipped up, but he still gets most of his meals from Clarke.
“He needs a mother who’s healthy more,” Abby replies. “Resources going to breastfeeding would be rerouted toward helping you gain weight. You need to gain weight, Clarke.”
Clarke turns to him. “Bellamy.”
He shrugs helplessly. “You’ve been so sick,” he says, not bothering to hide the worry in his voice. “If your mom thinks it will help…”
She sets her mouth. “No.”
She glares at her mother until her face crumples, and tears spring to her eyes. “Mom.”
Abby’s face softens, and she reaches out and strokes Clarke’s cheek. “Oh, baby.”
“I just—I want to be a good mother,” Clarke says, and Bellamy’s heart shatters a little when a tear trails down to her chin. “What if I stop, and Gus isn’t ready, and he—he gets sick, or loses weight?”
Abby shushes her, pressing a kiss to her brow. Clarke squeezes her eyes shut and more tears fall.
“One week,” Abby says finally.
“One week,” she repeats. “If your morning sickness isn’t better in one week, you need to start weaning Gus.”
Clarke sighs. “Okay.”
Two days later, she stops throwing up. She’s still exhausted and queasy, and she still turns that color he hates to see on her face, but she doesn’t actually throw up, which she counts as a victory.
Abby weighs her the next week, then hugs her.
“Up a pound and a half,” she says.
Clarke is far from the first woman in their camp to have a child on the ground, but she ends up being the first woman to mark the official end to the one-child rule with a second pregnancy.
She laughs when she realizes it; he’s in the middle of telling Gus a story, stroking the baby’s soft little foot as Clarke nurses him. Bellamy looks up at her.
“I didn’t think that Echo and Narcissus were very funny.”
She rolls her eyes. “They’re not. But you are.”
“Me?” Bellamy raises an eyebrow. “How am I funny right now?”
“It’s just—you! Your super-sperm!” He flushes as she continues. “You realize you’re the only big sibling out of all of our people, right?”
“Yeah, I think I remember something about that,” he says dryly.
Clarke laughs again. “Well, you were apparently determined that your son would be the next one to have that title.”
“Oh, it was all me, huh?” Though he can’t deny a part of him is thrilled at the idea, that his son will have a brother or sister like he has Octavia. And he might be a little smug that he and Clarke beat out all the mothers who had babies and toddlers well before they did.
“Yes,” Clarke says, face very serious. “I wasn’t even supposed to be ovulating. Your super-sperm just, like, coaxed an egg out of hiding when it wasn’t supposed to, and pounced. It didn’t stand a chance.”
Bellamy snorts. “Hey, how do we know it wasn’t all you? The egg could have lured it in. Feminine wiles and all that.”
“Oh god,” Clarke says helplessly, and bursts out laughing. Bellamy rests his head on her thigh and snickers until Gus lets out a very displeased wail; all the laughing and movement has detached him from his meal, and he is Not. Happy. About. It.
“Sorry, little guy,” Bellamy says, scooting up in the bed so he’s braced against the wall next to Clarke. He reaches out and strokes the fine dark curls as Gus settles again. The baby’s fist is balled up, resting on the soft, pale skin of Clarke’s breast as he nurses.
“How do you think he’s going to take it?” Bellamy says, glancing at Clarke.
She hums and shifts Gus to the other breast. “Being a big brother?”
“I don’t know. He probably won’t like it very much at first—having to share us.”
Bellamy frowns, and Clarke reaches out to smooth a hand through his hair. “But he’ll get used to it, Bellamy. He’s got a family history of good big brothers, okay?”
He looks at her, her earnest expression, the slight exhaustion that comes from being pregnant while their son is still an infant pulling at her features.
He needs to kiss her, and he does, fitting his lips against hers and moving them languidly until she sighs.
“I love you,” he tells her, and she gives him a quick kiss of her own.
Gus turns one and starts walking and talking all at once.
He’d done some crawling, and recently he’d started doing some pretty entertaining bobbing up and down as if dancing, chubby fists hanging onto the edge of the chair in their cabin. Then, one day, he’s suddenly able to let go and go a few teetering paces before he pauses, wobbles, and falls on his butt.
Clarke and Bellamy stare at him; he stares back, blinks, and screams bloody murder until they pick him up and cuddle him, stifling their laughter when they catch each other’s eye. Once he’s soothed, they set him on the floor, hold his little hands, and help him practice walking until he just grunts when he falls instead of wailing.
He’s not very fast, not at first; just tiny, lurching steps while clinging to Bellamy’s fingers or to Clarke’s. One morning, he’s babbling away as he tries to motor along, letting out endless strings of syllables that Bellamy mindlessly replies to as he tries to convince Gus they should go toward the mess hall, not toward engineering.
He only notices that the babbling has become a single syllable repeated over and over when Gus starts nearly shrieking it in excitement.
Bellamy’s head snaps up and sees Clarke on the path ahead of them, eyes wide and staring at their baby as he chants, “Mamamamamamamamama!”
“Is he—?” Clarke says; Bellamy nods dumbly.
“Yeah.” He crouches down to Gus’s level, and Gus turns to him, eyes bright as he quiets. “You want to go see Mama?”
“Mamamamamamamama!” he squeals excitedly, looking over at Clarke again, and Bellamy laughs, swinging Gus up into his arms and crossing the distance to Clarke in two strides.
“He wants Mama,” he says, and Clarke bursts into tears as she takes Gus from Bellamy. She’s more than seven months pregnant, and she’s taken to using her belly as a convenient shelf to prop Gus on when she holds him.
“Mamamamama…” Gus mumbles, patting her cheek with jerky movements as the tears start rolling down. “Mamamamama.”
“Hi Gus,” Clarke says, voice watery. Bellamy hates it when she cries, even when he knows it’s more a hormone thing than a sad thing, but she smiles through the tears and kisses Gus’s cheek noisily. Then she stands on her toes and kisses Bellamy’s cheek, too.
“Yeah, baby? You hungry?” Clarke asks, nuzzling him until he giggles.
“Not fair,” Bellamy says, smiling faintly as Clarke shifts Gus to her hip and slips her free hand into Bellamy’s. “What am I, chopped soy pack?”
Clarke snorts, and Gus starts babbling again as they walk to breakfast. “Don’t worry, he’ll get stuck on Da instead of Ma soon enough. And who knows, maybe you’ll be first next time.”
“It’s a big maybe,” he says dryly. “I’m not nearly as exciting as you, considering you’re the one who feeds them.” It’s still a little incredible, saying them and knowing that soon they’ll have two children instead of one.
“Bellamy. Gus loves you.” To his horror, Clarke looks like she’s tearing up again, and Bellamy nods hastily.
“I know, I know, don’t worry. Clarke, I know,” he says, halting their progress.
“Do you?” she asks. “Because I know how much he loves you. I might feed him, but you tell him stories, and take him on walks, and hold him when he’s tired, and sing to him when he’s falling asleep, and…”
“Clarke,” Bellamy says, desperate now. “I was just joking. I know, okay?”
“He loves you,” she says stubbornly. “I love you. You’re…” Clarke takes in a long, shuddering breath, lets it out again. “Bellamy, you’re such a wonderful father. Okay? I don’t…I can’t even imagine trying to do this with someone else.” She uses her hold on him to move his hand to her belly, and he feels an emphatic tap as the baby kicks.
“Hey,” he says softly. “It goes both ways, okay? I love him, and I love you, and he loves you, because you’re a great mom. Now, please stop crying? Please?”
She humphs. “I don’t take orders from you,” she says, voice thick with tears and a little humor.
He ducks down, moves his lips against hers as he repeats, “Please, Clarke? Don’t cry.”
“Mamamamama!” Gus, apparently bored by their pit stop on the way to breakfast, is wiggling wildly to be put down. Bellamy leaves one last, quick kiss on Clarke’s mouth, then slips his hands under the boy’s arms before she has to bend down to set him on his feet.
“Quiet down, you little punk,” he says, biting in a smile, and Gus chatters and squeals, bouncing on the balls of his feet as he pulls at Bellamy’s hand.
“Don’t call our baby a punk.”
“He is a punk,” Bellamy counters. “Interrupting, somewhat rude, doesn’t like to listen to his elders.”
Clarke considers this. “Well, he is your son.”
“Hey!” Bellamy says, indignant. He looks down. “Don’t listen to your mother, okay? She’s way more of a punk than I am.”
“You’re both punks,” Miller says as he passes them on the way to the mess hall. “Your kids are doomed.”
Clarke looks at Bellamy, her lips quirking up, and he mirrors her expression because Miller said kids.
Clarke isn’t working much anymore, and she insists on being the one to watch Gus even when Bellamy wishes that she would take the opportunity to rest. Once Gus became mobile he also became highly displeased by the idea of being strapped to him or Clarke for a day, and Bellamy and Clarke had grudgingly agreed that it was time to start leaving him at childcare with other toddlers. But once Abby tells Clarke to stop coming into the medbay, Clarke insists on keeping Gus if she’s going to be home anyway.
“I want to get in as much one-on-one time with him as I can,” she explains, helping Gus turn the page of the sturdy children’s primer she’d illustrated for him.
“Clarke. You can’t even get off the ground without help,” Bellamy replies skeptically.
She levels a glare at him even as she agrees brightly with some unintelligible observation Gus makes as he points at the book.
“That’s completely untrue. It just takes me longer. And if I can’t manage to be pregnant and take care of my own child at the same time, what are we going to do when we have two?” she demands.
“Well, I’ll be around, and the baby will probably sleep and eat mostly, so we’ll only have to worry about keeping up with Gus for the first few months,” Bellamy says, and she huffs.
“And after that? What about when the baby starts crawling and walking too?”
Bellamy squints at her. “Well, that’ll be trickier, but you also won’t be pregnant and exhausted, so it’ll kind of even out, I hope.”
“Go to work,” she grits out.
“Go to work, Bellamy.”
He does as she says, albeit while grumbling, and before he leaves he makes sure to blow a raspberry on Gus’s stomach until he squeals, and leave a lingering kiss on Clarke’s mouth until he feels her smile.
That day, Bellamy starts guard trainees on a new physical training unit, requiring them to jog laps through camp on a route that conveniently passes their cabin.
He requires them all to deliver reports on what they observed during their runs, and he catches more than a few knowing glances exchanged between trainees, but nobody says a word.
He’s feeling pretty good about his solution until he sees Clarke scowling on the bed when he comes into their cabin that afternoon, and he ducks his head sheepishly.
“Really, Bellamy? All the trainees?” She’s not whispering, because they’re making an effort to train Gus to nap through loud noises like future hungry siblings, but her voice is definitely not raised. Instead, it’s that controlled, low tone, with thinly-veiled irritation lacing every word.
“Not Michael,” Bellamy says weakly. “He’s out with a cold.”
She raises an eyebrow and waits, and he sighs.
“Clarke, come on. You want to be with Gus, which I get, of course I get it. But I want you both to be safe, and you’re almost nine months pregnant. You’ve got to let me do something.”
Clarke maintains her fierce expression for a moment longer, then softens. “Juniper did stop and help me pick up toys,” she mumbles. “And she maybe helped me get up too.”
“Maybe I should start my leave early,” Bellamy says, a little destroyed by the thought of her stuck on the ground. He’d joked about it, sure, but hearing that it had actually happened is pretty much the worst thing ever.
“You can if you want,” Clarke says. “But only if you really want to start early. Or you could just keep sending people by the house every half hour to make sure I’m good.”
He kicks off his boots and climbs onto the bed next to her; once he’s settled, she burrows into his side with a sigh.
He’s not afraid to admit he’s kind of jealous that Clarke’s staying home with Gus while he’s working, but he’s also not the one growing another person, and though there’s technically no limit on the amount of time anyone can take off around a birth, there’s a general unspoken understanding about it. If he takes leave early, even when Clarke is telling him she’s got this, then he’ll feel guilty and have to go back to work sooner after the birth than he wants.
Well, he might not go back sooner because fuck that, he and Clarke are having another baby, but he’d feel bad about it.
“Are you sure you’re okay at home with him by yourself?”
“I’m sure,” she says, and yawns. “Well, as long as I get to take naps whenever he does.”
He presses a kiss to her hair as she falls asleep on him.
Bellamy doesn’t find out what’s going on until dinner.
He’d gotten up, kissed Clarke and Gus goodbye, and had headed off to the training grounds because it was his day for a full shift.
He sees Clarke briefly at lunch, and Bellamy feeds Gus on his lap while they talk about names—for a girl, Bellamy likes Julia, but Clarke thinks it’s weird.
“That’s like telling Augustus he’s supposed to be her dad instead of her brother,” Clarke points out. “Weird.”
He opens his mouth to argue, and she shakes her head. “Nope. You should have saved Octavia for a daughter if you wanted your kids to have matching names from ancient Roman empires.”
“Clarke, siblings were illegal.”
“I didn’t even think I’d ever have kids, let alone two,” Bellamy says.
“Well, now you’re the biggest dad here, so deal with it,” Clarke snips, but she squeezes his thigh, and her smile is soft and understanding when he looks at her. “We’re not naming a girl Julia.”
“…Octavia would probably share.”
He finishes lunch, changes Gus’s diaper so Clarke doesn’t have to, and then passes their son back to her.
“See you later?” he asks.
She nods, but her eyes are tired when she smiles. “Yeah. See you.”
He comes home later to a suspiciously quiet house. It’s past time that Gus should be up from his nap, but there’s no babbling or yelling or endless Mamamamamas or Dadadadadadas (he might have teared up at the first Dadadadada, but whatever).
“Clarke?” he calls quietly as he opens the door, and stops dead in his tracks when he sees her propped up in bed, face pink and shiny with sweat, Abby sitting next to her.
“Hey,” she says, smile strained, and then her eyes shut and her face scrunches up as she breathes carefully.
“What the fuck, Clarke?” Bellamy barks, bolting to her side; he barely spares a glance at Abby because he hasn’t been this fucking angry with Clarke in a long, long time. “You’re in fucking labor?”
“Only for a while,” she says once her breathing eases. “I didn’t want to bother you with the early stuff.”
“You didn’t want—you didn’t want to bother me?” he repeats incredulously. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“You were such a mess last time,” she says, and then her hand grasps blindly for his as she tenses, and Bellamy lets her squeeze his hand as she breathes through the second contraction in as many minutes.
“You should have bothered me, Clarke,” he tells her when she relaxes back into the cushions.
She looks up at him anxiously. “Bellamy—”
“Please,” he says. “Just—please, you can't do that, okay?”
She searches his face, then says “Okay” in a tiny, absolutely miserable voice. “I’m sorry,” she says, her voice hitching. “I just didn’t want you to—to worry.”
He sighs and smooths her tangled, sweaty hair back from her face. “I’m always going to worry. It’s who I am. I love you, and I’m going to worry about you, and you just have to accept it.”
“I love you,” she says. Then her hand tightens like a vise. “And I kind of hate you too,” she says, voice strangled, and Abby finally speaks.
“I would have sent for you before much longer,” she tells Bellamy, and Bellamy nods in thanks.
“Gus?” he says. They have about seventeen different plans of action to respond to different factors when Clarke goes into labor. The baby is a week earlier than expected, and Octavia and Lincoln are away, which means that Raven’s supposed to care for Gus while Abby and Bellamy stay with Clarke.
“Raven,” Clarke confirms with as sigh.
He tastes the salt of her sweat when he kisses her cheek. “How long has this been going on?”
“Um.” She winces and it takes her a moment to be able to respond. “My water broke a few hours ago.”
“Damn it, princess.” The ancient nickname, unused for years, slips out harshly, and he regrets it the second he sees her lip tremble.
“I’m sorry,” she repeats, her voice shaky in that way it gets when she’s trying not to cry. “Will you…will you hold me?”
His heart breaks a little. “Yeah.”
He waits until the next contraction passes, then fits himself between Clarke and the cushions so she’s leaning back against his chest, settled between his legs. Her hair tickles his neck as she rests against him, and he likes that she seems happier now. Then another contraction starts, and he can feel every inch of her tense in pain, and the way the low moan vibrates through her. That’s not great, and he actually really fucking hates it.
But she asked him to hold her, and he’d never let her go.
It only takes a little while for her contractions to be coming basically nonstop, and Abby announces that it’s time for Clarke to push.
“Cutting it kind of close, huh, Clarke?” he teases and she huffs irritatedly.
“One, I didn’t expect it to go this fucking fast, and two, fucking shut up.”
Their daughter is born only moments later, coming into the world even louder than her brother did, though she’s smaller and has a dusting of pale blonde fuzz on her head.
“We’re not naming her Octavia Junior,” Clarke says, eyes drooping as she watches him hold their daughter after the afterbirth’s been dealt with. “So you better come up with something better than that.”
“I figured it was your turn,” he admits. “I know you let me choose Augustus to humor me.”
“I liked the name too, loser,” she says. “I wouldn’t have let you name him something I didn’t like.”
“Still. What do you think?”
She’s quiet for a while, and he tears his gaze away from the baby. Clarke’s got a funny little smile on her face, like she’s laughing at a half-forgotten joke.
“What?” he asks.
She moves a little and holds out her arms; Bellamy carefully transfers the newborn to her, and tries not to shift the bed too much when he scoots as close as he can to her.
“There was a book, an old one that all the tablets had,” Clarke begins, and tells him about a man and a woman who started hating each other because of injured pride and ingrained prejudice, and ended up loving each other more than anything else.
In the end, they name their daughter Darcy.
Gus loves Darcy all of the time, and luckily also hates her only about twenty percent of the time. They’d gotten him almost entirely to solid food before Darcy’s birth, but he still nurses just a little, and he is Not Happy when he realizes Darcy now gets the prime spot for cuddle time that he previously held.
But they do their best to cuddle him to his satisfaction too, and teach him how to use gentle fingers on the baby’s head, and when Darcy’s a couple months old, Gus has added “Dossy” to his small collection of words. The second crib they were given when Darcy was born is right next to Gus’s, and Bellamy and Clarke often wake up to Gus babbling through the slats, apparently telling Darcy all kinds of exciting stories in toddlerese, while Darcy watches him quietly with wide, dark eyes.
After Darcy’s born, Clarke continues breastfeeding, but both she and Bellamy agree that two babies under two years old is plenty to deal with at the moment, so they have to figure out another way to prevent Clarke from getting pregnant again. Clearly, breastfeeding is not a reliable method when it comes to them, and she doesn’t want to use an implant when plenty of other women actually need them and want them for a full three years.
So he starts pulling out, which is not particularly fun, and is messy as shit, but it’s worth it to be able to be with Clarke and not worry about another pregnancy. Their children are beautiful, and he knows Clarke loves them, but he also knows Clarke is tired, and he’s tired, and she’s feeding two babies and still helping her mother in the medbay, and giving advice to Harper, who’s constantly on edge about her own pregnancy, worried that Dr. Tsing might have done something to her that will make the pregnancy go wrong.
Augustus and Darcy are plenty.
Like with Gus, Bellamy and Clarke trade off keeping Darcy with them while she’s still small enough to keep in a sling. Gus is far too active at this point to be able to keep tabs on him when they’re working, and he likes playing with the other toddlers, though once Jackson’s daughter bites him on the arm with her two teeth. For two days after that, Gus wails when they leave him at childcare, and Bellamy feels sick to his stomach whenever he has to force himself to walk away from his crying son.
He can tell that Clarke feels the same by her too-tight grip on his hand and the way she moves her free hand to protectively cradle Darcy’s sling. Gus is always happy when they pick him up, and Glass always assures them that he stops crying after a few minutes, but Bellamy can hardly stand it anyway.
By the third day, though, Gus is back to normal, wiggling wildly in Bellamy’s grasp, trying to get down when he spots the other children so he can hurry up and play.
“Hey,” Bellamy says sharply when Gus nearly tumbles headfirst to the ground, trying to lurch out his hold. Gus freezes at the tone, and his mouth pouts as he stares at Bellamy. “You can’t be flailing around like that, kid. You’re going to crack your skull open, and then your mom is going to have to fix it, and your sister will probably cry because that’s what she does right now, and you’ll be in trouble, and I’ll be in worse trouble.”
Gus stuffs his fist in his mouth, looking as forlorn as if he actually understands Bellamy’s stern words.
“Okay,” Bellamy says when Gus stays obligingly still. “You ready to say goodbye?”
“Bye,” Gus mumbles around his fist. “Dadada.”
Bellamy holds him for a second longer, then brushes a kiss over his curls—so ridiculously messy, just like his—and sets him down on the ground.
Gus shouts and runs over to his little friends, and Glass waves to Bellamy when she sees Gus arrive.
“How was he?” Clarke asks first thing when she sees him later that morning. She had a bone and blood shift, so she’d kept Darcy, and Bellamy tries to make it to see her and the baby when Darcy’s scheduled to nurse. The guard has been flexible, letting him take short breaks to do so, though he thinks it’s mostly because a lot of the others are starting to have newborns and appreciate the same leeway.
“He was fine,” Bellamy says, plopping down next to her. She’s sitting just outside the medbay, enjoying the sun while it lasts. Winter is technically over, but spring is wet and cool. They try to take the babies out into the sunshine whenever it’s clear. “Nearly took a digger into the dirt when he wouldn’t stop wiggling, but no tears.”
She leans into him, and Bellamy slings an arm around her shoulders. The baby is nursing noisily, just as enthusiastic as her brother was. She’s only a few months old, but she’s already round and chubby enough that Bellamy can’t help but smile whenever he looks at her.
“Your kids are so fat,” Octavia had exclaimed, clearly delighted, when Darcy had gone through her first big growth spurt, rounding out like her brother had.
“Sturdy,” Lincoln had amended, attempting for a more diplomatic approach.
Bellamy had beamed even as he saw Clarke biting back on a smile. “Isn’t it great?”
Abby gives the babies regular checkups, and she had even shrugged and noted that their chubbiness was perfectly within a healthy range.
“I’m pretty sure he thinks he can fly,” Clarke says now. “You know that’s Miller’s fault, right?”
“Yeah, well.” His friend might play “dropship” with their son a little too often, zooming him through the air and tossing him and catching him again when Clarke’s not around and Monty’s not looking. (Bellamy might do it a little too often, too, but he’s not about to talk about that.) “At least they’re having fun?”
“Hmm.” Clarke eyes him, and switches Darcy to the other breast.
They sit there for a while longer, soaking in the sun and each other, and saying hello to some of their friends as they pass by.
“Let me take her?” Bellamy asks when Darcy seems to finish. At Clarke’s nod, he scoops the baby into his own arms and snuggles her, tucking her against him so she can peek over his shoulder and he can breathe in her baby scent while Clarke finishes adjusting her top.
“Hey there, baby girl,” he says. Darcy makes little smacking noises as Bellamy rubs her back. “You having a good day?” Darcy smacks again, and Bellamy hums in agreement. “Yeah, I like hanging out with your mom’s boobs, too.”
He hears Clarke’s low laugh, and looks over to see her smiling at him, fondness etched into every feature. There are faintest lines around her eyes now, the kind that comes with surviving impossible odds and then having two babies, and they crinkle as she looks at him. They’re more from the latter than the former though, and he loves seeing them.
“What?” he says, grinning. “It’s true.”
She snorts, but places a hand on his thigh for balance as she stretches up to kiss him, careful not to squish their daughter. “I love you,” she says after the kiss, which was deeper and longer than he’d expected, and it takes him a few dazed seconds to realize what she said.
“I love you too,” he says, obviously, and Darcy spits up on him.
Harper gives birth to a baby boy in the late spring with no complications, and it sends a collective wave of relief through all of those who were the first to go to the ground. Harper herself seems to spend the first few weeks of her son’s life crying, but Clarke’s fears of a postpartum issue prove unfounded, and Harper takes to motherhood as well as any young, frazzled woman does.
Bellamy and Clarke take their children to meet the new baby once Harper and Monroe have gotten used to having a newborn.
“I don’t know how you manage with two,” Harper says, exhaustion lurking in her eyes, but a smile on her lips as she holds her baby. Once Bellamy and Clarke got there and said hello, Monroe had dropped a kiss on Harper’s mouth and then beelined for a bath, so it’s just the three of them with the babies. “I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night, or wore something without spit up on it.”
“Tell me about it,” Bellamy says dryly, shifting a sleepy Darcy to balance on his other leg.
“Hi,” Gus tells Harper, holding onto her knee and looking up at her. “Hi hi hi.”
“Hi Gus,” she says. “You want to say hi to the baby?”
“Hi hi hi,” he babbles back, and starts pulling at her pants, trying to climb up. Clarke goes over to them, crouching and letting Gus balance on her thighs so he can look closer at the newborn.
He frowns comically. “Dossy?”
“No, this is my own baby,” Harper explains. “Joshua.”
“Gentle hands, bud,” Bellamy reminds him as Gus reaches out with curious fingers. “Like how you touch Darcy.”
“Dossy,” Gus agrees, and pats the baby’s head. He’s clearly gentle enough to not hurt, but the force is irritating enough to make Joshua’s face screw up until he lets out a loud wail.
“Sowwy!” Gus says, his own face crumpling, and Harper laughs and smooths a hand over his head.
“It’s okay. Josh just cries a lot right now.”
Even with Harper’s reassurance, Gus turns into Clarke and clings to her, burying his face in her chest, and Clarke give Harper a wry smile as she pushes herself to her feet.
“Are you ready for this?” she asks, teasing, and Harper smiles, but her voice is serious when she answers.
“If I can raise my son to be as worried about hurting someone else as your son is, then I’ll be good,” Harper says, and looks down at Joshua, whose cries have quieted again. “I mean—of course I want him to be strong, to survive here. But I want him to learn that survival isn’t the most important thing.”
She looks determined, and a little scared, and Bellamy knows she’s remembering the Mountain Men, and how they were willing to sacrifice so many, including her, for their own survival.
“He will,” Bellamy says, soft. “You’ll teach him.”
They’ll teach Gus, and Darcy too, and hope that their children will never have to make the kinds of decisions for their survival that he and Clarke did.
They pick Gus up from Raven’s after a long few days; Darcy had stayed with Abby, and Raven had taken charge of Gus, because somehow both he and Clarke managed to come down with the same disgusting, horrible cold and they didn’t want the kids catching it if possible.
They were miserable enough, dealing with their own simultaneously runny and stuffy noses and hacking coughs; dealing with two sick babies would have been hell.
But it’s a quick virus, and once Abby declares them not contagious, they take Darcy and head over to Raven’s. Gus is sitting on Raven’s lap when they get inside, banging a small wrench against the edge of her table with enthusiasm, while Raven offers constructive criticism on his technique.
He squeals at the sight of them and flings the wrench away, reaching for them with grabby hands.
“Mamamamamama! Da!” Clarke laughs and plucks him off Raven’s lap, squeezing him until he giggles.
“Hey, what am I, a busted regulator?” Raven complains, and Bellamy tugs on her ponytail.
“Alas, love is fleeting,” he teases, and Raven bats his hand away, rolling her eyes.
“Give me that baby,” she demands in lieu of response, and he hands Darcy over.
Darcy squeaks and reaches out for a fistful of Raven’s hair and puts it in her mouth.
“Thanks,” Raven says dryly, but lets the baby keep gnawing on her hair as she shifts Darcy to her hip. Darcy’s been teething for the last couple of weeks, and thankfully she’s nowhere near as bad as Gus, whose first teeth had come with a mild fever and night after night of waking them with his wailing. Clarke had to draft Monty and Raven into rigging a cooler to freeze his teething toys, so the cold could numb his gums. Darcy’d had a couple of bad nights at the beginning, while the first tooth came in, but now she’s usually okay as long as she can chew on something.
Bellamy catches Clarke watching the girl, and he knows she’d been worrying about Darcy being away from them the last couple of days. But their daughter seems fine, happy, and Gus seems so too, if a little jealous when he sees his little sister occupying his former spot with Raven.
He lets out an indignant cry and holds his arms out to her, pouting. “Ray!”
“Oh, now you want me?” Raven says. “I see how it is.”
“Gus,” Clarke says, tightening her grip on him. “We’ve got to go home. You want to sleep in your own bed and play with your toys, right?”
“No,” he yells. “No, no, no!”
“Yes, yes, yes,” she retorts, unperturbed. “No” is currently their son’s favorite word. They’re both used to it. “Kiss Aunt Raven goodbye.”
With a face like a tiny thundercloud, Gus sticks his bottom lip out in a truly impressive pout.
“Hey,” Bellamy says mildly, and Gus’s eyes shift to him. “You don’t want to hurt Aunt Raven’s feelings. She’ll be sad if you don’t kiss her goodbye.”
Raven adopts a sad pout of her own, letting Bellamy take Darcy back after giving the baby a quick kiss. “So sad,” she agrees.
Darcy fusses until Bellamy lets her start nibbling on his fingers, and when Bellamy glances down at her, he sees her watching her brother with bright, interested eyes.
For not being able to say actual words yet, Darcy’s astonishingly good at following her brother’s lead. When he cries, she cries; when Bellamy or Clarke chide him for pushing his plate off the tray of the high chair Sinclair made for them, Darcy drops her own little bits of food off her plate with delicate fingers. Bellamy kind of dreads the day they’re old enough to really play together—the two are troublemakers if he’s ever seen one.
When he’d mentioned that to Clarke, she’d just shrugged. “Well, you see one everyday in the mirror,” she’d teased, “the kids inheriting it was kind of inevitable—”
(He’d pounced before she could finish the sentence, and after, flushed and sweaty and sated, she’d smugly declared he’d proved her right.)
Darcy slobbers over his fingers, babbling a little as she watches Clarke bring Gus back over to Raven. He’s still got that pout, but when Raven looks at him, fake sorrow on her face, he laughs.
“Give me a kiss?” she asks, and leans forward.
Gus doesn’t quite get the whole kissing thing yet, but he tries his best, and proceeds to slobber on Raven’s cheek with an open mouth. When she draws away, he makes a loud “muh!” sound, and Raven snorts, wiping at her face.
“Your kids are the slimiest things I’ve ever dealt with,” Raven says, but one look at her face tells him she doesn’t mind, not really.
“Teach him,” Clarke says. She’s watching Gus pull up dandelions from the ground, mushing the fluffy petals in his chubby hand with fascination. Darcy’s fussy, getting over a cold, so she’s perched on Clarke’s hip, pouting.
“You’re the one with the penis. Teach him how.”
He stares at her until she huffs. Darcy makes an indignant sound when Clarke shifts her in her arms so she can free a hand to poke him.
“We need to get him out of diapers. You need to teach him to do the boy stand-and-pee thing.”
“Stand-and-pee thing,” he echoes. “Seriously, Clarke?” He’s not objecting to teaching Gus; he’s just as eager to get Gus trained.
Having one child in diapers is already an insane amount of work; two is exhausting, and since Darcy’s still too little, Gus is the best candidate to try and potty-train.
God. Who would have ever thought that one of Bellamy’s biggest concerns would be potty-training?
He says as much to Clarke, who softens a little. “Don’t worry,” she says. “I’m sure you’ll get a chance to worry about something dire soon enough.”
He rolls his eyes, and Clarke crowds against his side until he loops an arm around her and kisses her temple.
When he pulls back, Darcy’s complaining loudly, no doubt unappreciative that her parents are squishing her, and Clarke’s eyes are closed.
Her eyes flutter open, and she focuses on him. “Yeah?”
She rests her cheek on his chest. “Yeah. I was just thinking, I’m so—so glad that this is our life now.”
He knows what she means by that. It’s been years since any significant conflict with other clans has arisen, and though he and Clarke technically still sit in on the council, they’re deliberating on things like trying a new crop, or building a new communal area, or expanding the number of child caretakers as the population positively booms with new births.
They’re not in charge, like they used to be, used to have to be. They’re just—they’re just them, two people in a community, doing their jobs and living a relatively quiet life. And their quiet life is painfully, perfectly wonderful.
“Yeah,” he says. “Yeah, me too.”
Darcy squawks, catching him in the chin with an angry little balled up fist, and Bellamy sighs even as the smile tugs at the corner of his mouth.
When Darcy is two years old, he wakes up to Clarke clinging to him in the pre-dawn. The babies are asleep in their little room, and it’s quiet and still.
Clarke is soft in his arms, warm and sweet-smelling, and when she tips her face up for a kiss he obliges sleepily. They stroke each other, gently coaxing each other into a slow-burning arousal until he slips inside of her. Her sighs are muted, his own are muffled in her neck. He rocks into her, grinding their pelvises together, until she comes with a soft cry. He’s taken by surprise at the ferocity of her orgasm, and he chokes out a curse as he immediately comes.
They catch their breath, and Bellamy kisses behind her ear as she strokes his back.
“I’m sorry,” he murmurs guiltily. “I—I didn’t make it.”
“Shh,” Clarke says, pressing a kiss to his hair. “It’s alright.”
He feels her shake her head. “If. If it happens, it’s alright.”
A month later, Abby gives him a wry smile when he comes across her leaving their cabin. Inside, Clarke is on the bed, a chagrined smile on her face.
“It happened. What did I say with Darcy?” she says. “Something about you having supersperm?”
One accident in two years, and Clarke is immediately pregnant again.
“I’m sorry,” he says helplessly, and Clarke loses her smile.
“I’m not.” She shifts in the bed, looking suddenly uncomfortable. “I thought…do you not want…?”
“No!” he exclaims, and her face falls. “Shit, no, I didn’t mean I don’t want—shit, Clarke, of course I want this! I want a hundred babies with you, okay? I just don’t want you to be—I don’t want it to be too much.”
“A hundred, huh?” she says after a minute, standing and crossing over to him, and he flushes. “I think that’s maybe a little high for a goal. Fifty, maybe.”
He feels a little like he might be sick—but in a good way, in an amazing way, in a way that makes his heart race far too fast and and his thoughts tumble over one another and his arms reach for Clarke without him even realizing he’s begun to move.
Clarke squeaks when he squeezes her tight, burying his face in her neck, then her arms come around him and she holds him with all of her considerable force.
“I love you,” he says, getting a mouthful of her hair in the process. She scratches her nails gently across his back, the way that makes him melt every time.
“That’s good,” she says. “Since you knocked me up again.”
“Where are the kids?” he asks, drawing back. Gus and Darcy’s bedroom is conspicuously silent. Clarke likes to say their children inherited the Blake ability to talk, and talk, and talk, and Bellamy can’t exactly deny that he and Clarke are usually woken each morning by their children’s bright, unintelligible chatter drifting from their room into the main part of the cabin.
“It’s just a matter of time before Gus delivers an inspirational speech to Darcy about overthrowing the rule of the parents and breaking out of their cribs during naptime,” she’d said last week. “Can you imagine the riots he could start at daycare?”
“Like Griffins haven’t started their fare share of riots,” he’d replied sourly, tugging off his shirt for bed, until Clarke’s lips on his shoulder blade had silenced any more grumbling.
“Octavia and Lincoln have them,” she says now. “I asked them to pick them up this morning, before my mom came over. Octavia complained about how long it had been since she’d gotten serious aunt time in with them and took them an hour early.”
Bellamy sighs. “So she’s probably already exhausted.”
His sister loves her niece and nephew, but they also happen to be the only things apparently capable of tiring her out. Ever. Lincoln’s presence helps her last a little longer, but a few hours with the kids, and O is toast.
“Probably,” Clarke agrees. “Let’s go get our kids.”
It takes Bellamy a few days to remember to ask Clarke how she’s feeling. But he’s kind of been a mess—an excited mess, but a mess nonetheless, because Clarke is pregnant, again, and they’re going to have three kids which is just—well, it still kind of feels like they’re getting away with something exciting and illegal, albeit in a less stressful way than additional pregnancies were treated on the Ark. And at least Clarke seems to be more entertained by him than anything when he finally turns to her and asks, somewhat frantically, if she’s been feeling okay.
“I’ve been feeling fine,” she says, patting his arm. It’s somewhat patronizing but he is currently a disaster, he feels, so she’s probably entitled to treat him however she likes.
“Really?” he presses, pinching the tip of her finger to see how fast the color returns. “No morning sickness? No dizziness?”
“Nope,” she confirms, and laughs at him when he starts running careful hands up her sides and over her arms. “What, are you checking me for broken bones?”
“No,” he grumps, and she grabs his hands, curls her fingers around his.
“I’m fine,” she says, eyes laughing at him, those little crinkly lines fanning out like lashes. “I feel really good, I promise.”
She looks good, he admits to himself; her color is good, a healthy flush in her cheeks, and she even looks well-rested after sleeping in, the kids having spent the night with Abby. And she’s smiling at him like he’s the most ridiculous human being she’s ever met.
Which is potentially accurate.
“Good,” he says, relieved, and she squeezes his hands.
“You want to make me feel better?” Clarke asks, arch, and Bellamy stares.
“I—wait, really?” It’s the middle of the day, and it’s literally been years since they were able to just be together whenever they wanted, position of the sun in the sky be damned.
“Really.” She raises an eyebrow, then shrieks as Bellamy boosts her onto the edge of the table and tugs her pants down around her ankles.
“That’s a—” she shudders, and her voice breaks when he first licks into her. “That’s a yes, I’m guessing?”
Bellamy hums in agreement, taking a firmer hold on her thighs when her heels move to rest on his back and her hips start to move against his mouth.
She’s still trembling from her orgasm when she pulls his mouth up to hers, moaning as he breathes hard and kisses her harder. Then she urges him to take her place, back flat on the table, and fucks him until he comes so hard he nearly blacks out to the image of Clarke, head thrown back with one hand on a breast and the other between her legs.
“Fuck,” Bellamy chokes out, when Clarke comes again and slumps over him, their skin sticking together with sweat. “That was—”
“Yeah,” she half-sighs, half-laughs. “It really was.”
It seems to set the stage for Clarke’s third pregnancy. Both Gus and Darcy sleep through the night now, and Darcy was weaned months ago, so Clarke is generally well-rested, and when she’s too tired, she just takes a nap when the kids do; her morning sickness comes for only a couple of weeks, and usually only in afternoons, and is nothing compared to how bad it was with Darcy.
The biggest difference this time around is that she wants him.
All the time.
In her first two pregnancies, there’d been brief windows of time throughout each where she felt interested in doing anything sexual with him, but most of the time she was too tired, or uncomfortable, or just uninterested, which was fine—she was busy carrying their children, he wasn’t about to complain that she didn’t want sex. He would happily just spoon with her for the rest of their lives, and, yes, he would miss the mutual orgasms, but he loves Clarke in all ways, not just because she sleeps with him.
But this time?
This time, Clarke’s waking him up in the middle of the night, pressing insistently against him, hands flirting with the waistband of his pants; she’s dragging him into abandoned hallways during their breaks from work; as soon as the kids are asleep in the other room, she’s pushing him back against their bed, holding his wrists in her hand while she rides him hard.
“This is ridiculous,” Clarke says, a mutinous look on her face, even as her mouth drops open and she rolls her hips against his fingers. She moans when he thumbs her clit, then complains, “I can’t get enough of you!”
Bellamy shrugs and ducks his mouth to her breast. She’s sensitive, so he’s careful, gentle, and she shivers. “You don’t see me complaining.”
“Yeah, well—” she comes suddenly, her thighs closing around his hand, but as she comes down she starts moving again, still wanting more, and he huffs a laugh against her skin.
He crooks his fingers, smiles into the soft skin on the underside of her breast as she keens and thrusts against his hand.
“I’m not laughing,” he says. “I’m just grateful. Honest,” he says, when she snorts. “If you go this entire pregnancy and the worst thing about it is you want me to give you orgasms all the time, I’ll be ecstatic. Sign me up.”
“God, you’re so—”
“Yeah?” he asks, lifting his mouth from her skin and concentrating on moving his fingers just so. He’s aware that he’s probably got a stupid shit-eating grin on his face, but come on.
“You’re so—you,” she sputters, and he laughs until she groans, turns them over, and shuts him up.
Clarke starts showing early, much earlier than she did with Gus or Darcy, but they all figure it’s because she’s a few years older, and it’s her third pregnancy, and her body’s just used to it.
Until Raven finishes rebuilding an ultrasound machine, and Abby smoothes the wand over Clarke’s bared belly.
“That’s—oh, that’s—” Abby stammers, staring at the black and white screen.
Clarke’s staring too, eyes fixated on the blurry shapes while Bellamy tries and fails to understand what the hell they’re looking at.
“What?” Bellamy asks desperately. Is there something wrong with the baby? “What?”
“Two,” Clarke says faintly, turning her head to look at him. “There’s two of them.”
He doesn’t move for a second, then has to sit down. “Two?”
“Twins,” Abby says, voice a little awed. “The first twins in…I’m not sure how long.”
“Supersperm,” Clarke mutters, and Bellamy flushes hotly as both Griffin women start to laugh.
They decide to build on another room for the children before the twins are born, and then Bellamy goes ahead and adds one more while they’re at it anyway.
“Is this really necessary?” Clarke asks doubtfully while Murphy argues with Miller about the best way to frame the door.
“We’re going to have four babies in four years, Clarke,” Bellamy says. Less than that, actually, if her mother is right and Clarke delivers early because of the twins. “We’re going to need the space.”
God forbid Clarke gets pregnant again anytime soon. Not that it would be a bad thing, if she wanted it, just—he worries about her even more when she’s pregnant, and it would be good for her body to have a longer rest after carrying twins.
“It’s just…I don’t want to take more than we need.”
He pauses and looks at her, really looks at her. When she notices him looking, she gets that familiar stubborn look on her face. “What?”
“No one here’s going to think that you’re a princess just because we need more room for our children, Clarke,” he says softly. “And we’re not taking anything. Everyone’s helping us because they volunteered to, not because they’re from Factory Station and they’re being forced to help Alpha.”
Clarke sighs. “I know. I know, really. I just…feel funny, sometimes.”
Miller and Murphy and the others helping with the construction seem adequately distracted, so he crosses over to Clarke and slips his arms around her waist. She’s only four months pregnant, but her belly looks more like it did when she was six months pregnant with Darcy, and he knows it bothers her, at least a little.
“Imagine if we had to raise all these hooligans in quarters like the ones on the Ark,” he says, and puts a firm hand on her belly. She’d felt the twins earlier than their siblings, and Bellamy can coax a few kicks sometimes, if he’s lucky. He’s lucky now, and a little hand or elbow or foot presses insistently back at him. “See? Already wreaking havoc.”
“That’s all you,” she grumbles, but leans into him, pressing her forehead to his neck. She’s warm, but they all are; it’s the worst part of the summer, and arguably not the best time to be undertaking a major construction project, but it needs to be done. The heat isn’t easy on her, though.
“We’re lucky to have this, Clarke, and we can be grateful, but we don’t have to be guilty,” Bellamy says.
“Of course I know we’re lucky,” she says, and her voice is thick with tears when she tilts her head back to look at him. “God, don’t you think I know that?”
“I think about it every day,” she says, “every morning when I wake up here, with you, to our children happy and obnoxious in the other room, and every night when I get to hold them, and see you hold them, and know that you love them so, so much, and I think about it when I fall asleep, and when I dream.”
“Clarke,” he says, soft.
“I think about how lucky we are all the time, Bellamy,” she says, “because this life? I never thought I could have a life like this. Even on the Ark, before things went wrong, I didn’t think I’d love anyone like this, or be this happy, and after we came down, and did what we did, I didn’t think I’d deserve it. But I have it, and I have you, and our kids, and our home, and our friends, and god, of course I know how lucky we are.”
“I—” he tries, but she cuts him off.
“And I’m not guilty, because that’s what you are when you think you shouldn’t have something, and I want this life too much now to ever think I shouldn’t have it,” she says, fierce. “So you can just—”
“Clarke,” he says, and she finally stops to take a breath.
“God, I love you,” he says, and kisses her, and kisses her, and kisses her until she finally melts under his hands, leaning into him and trusting him to keep her balanced, kisses her until she sighs and their friends finally notice and start jeering.
The twins are born on the winter solstice, which Lincoln tells them is good luck, bringing life into the world on the coldest, darkest day of the year.
Bellamy’s just glad Clarke’s pregnancy is over, and the babies are healthy, if a little small, and Clarke is safe. She’d been put on bed rest for the last month when her mother didn’t like her blood pressure.
“It’s probably nothing to worry about,” Abby had said, absently combing fingers through Darcy’s hair while Gus played with her stethoscope. “I’ve done a lot of reading, and high blood pressure is common with multiples.”
“But?” Clarke had asked, gripping Bellamy’s hand tightly.
“But,” Abby had agreed. “I think it’s best if we’re cautious. That means bed rest, and I mean real bed rest. No giving medical consultations from your cabin, no cooking, no cleaning, no running after Gus and Darcy, nothing.”
“I can—” Bellamy started, and Abby leveled a mild gaze at the both of them.
“And definitely no sex,” she added, and Bellamy’s mouth snapped shuts, his face going red. Obviously, Clarke’s mother is aware they have sex; she caught him leaving Clarke’s cabin multiple times years ago, and she’d delivered their babies, and they’re not exactly subtle—
But even Clarke had looked a little embarrassed, if also chagrined, at her mother’s blunt declaration.
So the last month passed with increasing frustration and boredom on Clarke’s part, and Bellamy had never been so aware of how grateful he was for their partnership as when he was solely responsible for corralling two kids nearly three and four years old who, in his honest opinion, had more energy than was realistically natural.
But they’d made it through, and Clarke gave birth at thirty-seven weeks to two girls, Alba and Thea, with perfect lungs and perfect fingers and perfect toes, even though Alba is missing all the toenails on her right foot. They’re still perfect to him.
“Do you think it’s from the radiation?” Clarke asks, brow crinkled, as she traces the little indentations where the nails should be. “Did it affect her?”
Bellamy’s holding Thea, who is still doing her very best to impress her parents and sister with how truly functional her lungs are in spite of her small size.
“Possibly,” Abby says. She’s packing up her med kit, though she seems to be going pretty slow. Bellamy can relate; he’d be dragging his feet if he had to leave Thea and Alba behind. “But even on the Ark, we had a few babies born with unusual traits like her toes. I think she’s going to be fine.”
Clarke hums, then tucks the infant’s foot back under the blanket. Jasper had given them one for the twins, and Monty the other, so that Gus and Darcy could keep their own baby blankets. It’s going to be enough of an adjustment for them both to get used to the new babies without also having to tell them they can’t have their own blankets anymore.
“So,” Abby says, closing her kit with a final click of the latch. “Four babies, Clarke.”
She sounds fond more than anything, which is probably why Bellamy’s so shocked when she says, “I can schedule Bellamy for a vasectomy next month, if you like.”
“Uh,” he says.
Abby shrugs. “I’m just saying, four babies is a lot of stress on your body, Clarke. It’s more than any of the medical staff has ever dealt with at the very least.”
“A vasectomy is a little drastic,” Clarke says dryly. Bellamy’s still gaping, and Thea seems to have quieted in shocked solidarity. “And a waste of valuable anesthetic, really. I think we can figure out something else to keep me from getting pregnant anytime soon.”
“I—” Bellamy clears his throat. “I mean. I would. If it was the best option,” he tells Clarke, and he means it, but she just laughs at him and shakes her head, which is kind of a relief.
“Alright. Well, if you change your mind,” Abby says, and leans over the edge of the bed to kiss Clarke on the forehead. “You did so good, honey,” she says, quiet, and Clarke’s smile is watery.
To Bellamy’s surprise, Abby rounds the bed to his side, and kisses his forehead too. “You didn’t do too bad either,” Abby teases, and brushes her fingers over Thea’s cheek. “They’re beautiful children.”
“Thank you,” he says. “And—”
Thank you for being here. Thank you for making sure Clarke was safe, and healthy, and okay. Thank you for teaching her the lullaby she sings to our children, and for being a grandmother to my kids, and for just being here.
“Just thanks,” he manages, and Abby smiles softly, nods, and leaves.
Octavia and Lincoln bring back the other children not long after that, when Clarke’s eyes are drooping dangerously, and even Bellamy is feeling the pull of exhaustion as the new babies look back at them. Clarke’s labor hadn’t been quite as terribly long as her first, with Gus, but it had started well before dawn and gone clear through the day.
But Darcy squeals at the sight of them and makes a beeline for the bed, Gus not far behind, and the smile spreads across Bellamy’s face before he even realizes it.
“Mama!” Darcy says, clambering onto the mattress, and she would have leapt at Clarke is Lincoln hadn’t caught her around the waist just in time.
“Your mama just worked really hard,” Lincoln tells her. “You need to be gentle. Like with Ben.” Harper and Monroe’s second child is a constant source of fascination for Darcy, though her biggest question is why can’t she play with him yet.
Gus, who’s scrambling up onto the bed too, frowns back at his uncle. “Mama’s not a baby.”
“Not baby,” Darcy agrees, wiggling and kicking her legs in the air, still held aloft. “Ben baby?”
“Your mama’s not a baby,” Octavia agrees. “But there are two new babies on the bed that you need to meet! And you need to be gentle to everyone,” she says, stern. “Especially your dad, because he’s old and fragile.”
Octavia grins at him. “Well you are. Four kids? You must be ancient.”
“Are you going to be gentle?” he asks Darcy. Lincoln’s still suspending her in the air, patient as ever, and she’s pouting.
“Yes,” she grumbles, and crawls in between Clarke and Bellamy the second Lincoln lets her down on the bed. Gus follows, squeezing in between them, and scrutinizing the babies. Both Thea and Alba are awake, but quiet, and stare back.
“Meet your sisters,” Clarke says.
“I’m holding Thea,” Bellamy says. “And your mom’s got Alba.”
The kids dutifully echo the names, and Darcy pokes Alba in the cheek curiously. The newborn wrinkles her nose, but doesn’t cry, but even so Gus grabs Darcy’s hand.
“Gentle!” he scolds, and she makes a face at her brother.
“Like me,” he says, and Bellamy catches Clarke biting her lip to keep the laughter in as Gus demonstrates soft petting of Thea’s fuzzy black hair with great solemnity.
As their children get to know each other, Octavia and Lincoln greet each of the new babies, then leave them alone in the cabin.
Bellamy can see Clarke fading fast, so he starts to shift off the bed to lay Thea in the oversized bassinet next to their bed. When the twins are a little older, they’ll use Gus and Darcy’s old cribs, but for now he and Clarke plan to keep them close, if only so they can quiet their cries before they wake the older kids.
But when she feels the bed move, her eyes snap open. “What’re you doing?” she asks around a yawn.
“I was going to put her down,” he says slowly. “It’s late enough for all of us to go to sleep.”
“No!” Darcy and Gus immediately start to protest, and Clarke shakes her head.
“Not yet?” she asks, and god, he can tell how badly she needs to sleep, but.
It’s a small thing to ask of him, when she’s just done something so huge.
“Just a while longer,” he says, and at Clarke’s request turns turns down the lamp so the only light is coming from the fire, then brings Thea back to the bed. It takes a little rearranging, but at last they’re all settled to everyone’s satisfaction, Gus and Darcy cuddling into their sides to stare at their sisters.
The twins are snoozing now, tiny, perfect pink mouths open just a little in sleep, and Darcy yawns and rests her head on him. Gus is a little more alert, asking questions every now and then about why is Thea bigger than Alba and why does Alba have more hair and which one is Alba again?
Clarke’s shoulders shake slightly as she holds in the laughter, and answers their son’s questions patiently.
Then she shifts and leans her head on him too, and he can smell her hair, the sweat and the subtle, sweet smell that’s all her.
“Thank you,” she says, in the dark, in the quiet, with their children next to them.
“For what? You’re the one who’s done all the work today.” The awe is just the same today as it was the first time she gave birth.
“For this,” she says. “I just—I never thought it could be so much.”
“This. Everything. You, and our kids, and our life. It’s all so much, and it’s ours.”
He knows what she means.
Bellamy blinks away the tears that are clouding his vision and turns his gaze to Gus, who’s tucked himself under the covers next to Clarke so only his little head is peeking out. When Bellamy glances over, he catches Darcy doing the same, clearly settling in for the night. Eventually, he’ll have to get up, move them to their own beds, move the twins to the bassinet, but for now—
For now it feels like he never wants to move.
“What is it?”
“Will you tell a story?”
Darcy lets out a little gasp, then tugs on his sleeve. “Please?”
“Yeah, tell a story,” Clarke says, teasing, and he snorts a little.
“Really,” she yawns, and settles in, closing her eyes but keeping Alba securely in her arms. “You’ve got a whole new audience to work on here.”
“Fine,” he sighs, and thinks for a minute. Then he smiles.
“Once upon a time, a boy who had nothing to his name but a little hope and a lot of nerve met a girl...”
As he talks, they all fall asleep one by one. First Darcy joins the twins in slumber, then Gus nods off, his head of dark curls nearly disappearing completely under the blankets. Then Clarke, letting out tiny snores the way she only does when she’s at her most exhausted.
Through it all, Bellamy keeps talking, quiet and low, until the story runs out.
But that's the thing. When he finally gets to the end of the story, his eyes burning with fatigue and his voice hoarse, it isn’t really the end.
It's just the beginning.