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A Friend For the End of the World

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For all intents and purposes, the second apocalypse is tomorrow.

It’s strange, more than a little surreal, and it’s all Bellamy’s been thinking about all day. It’s in the back of his mind even now, as he listens to Clarke argue with her mother.

“... nothing you can do right now, Clarke,” Abby is saying firmly.

“But Mom—

“Jackson and I just have to finish making the serum,” Abby cuts her off. “You two should get some rest.”

Bellamy and Clarke both open their mouths but Abby beats them to it.

“You’re only distracting me here. As soon as we get to a point where we can replicate it and administer it, I promise I will send for you both.”

“And when will that be?” Bellamy asks, before Clarke can. Like her, he hates doing nothing.

Abby looks at him, expression grave. “Several hours.”

That hangs in the air for a beat. It’s already eleven at night. The death wave is coming before sunset tomorrow.

Abby continues. “The best thing you can do for me right now is get well-rested so you can help us distribute it tomorrow. I’ll be dead on my feet and I’ll need someone I trust to relieve me.” She smiles at her daughter.

Bellamy watches Clarke consider that, and she seems to come to a decision. She nods and turns to Bellamy, her expression softening as she touches his arm. “Come on.”

He follows her out of the lab.

They walk through the forest on the pathway to the house, passing the campfires of grounders and Arkers and people they’ve never seen before. No one speaks to them; no one even acknowledges their presence. They’ve all got bigger things on their minds. Bellamy is sure that, if nothing had stopped them, the Grounders would have fought each other until the very moment the radiation came, if not for the fact that Polis had been wiped out. That had convinced them pretty quickly. But by then, it was too late for so many. All the remaining survivors are here now, and the atmosphere on Becca’s island is somber, as everyone waits out the final hours until Abby’s team can replicate the serum.

But there’s nothing to be done for it now; Bellamy feels strangely tranquil as he and Clarke walk side by side up the hill towards the mansion. The silence between them thoughtful. They’ve never needed words to have a conversation, and Bellamy is sure Clarke is thinking the same thing he is: This could be their last night alive.

When they reach the house, Clarke taps in the security code and glances at him, blonde hair whipping around her face. “You hungry?” She opens a cupboard, revealing jars stacked on top of each other.

Bellamy hasn’t eaten in hours, and in a different situation he would have been unable to deny the allure of the dinner that this mansion surely promises. But right now, it would feel a little bit too much like a last meal. He shakes his head.

She lets go of the cupboard handle, letting it fall shut. “Me neither,” she says dryly, and once again he gets the sense she knew exactly what he was thinking.

They stare at each other for another moment in that kitchen, unsure of what to do with themselves. He runs through the tasks that he’s completed in his mind. But it seems they’ve done everything; and they’ve already checked on their people, and done as much as they could help with in the lab.

Clarke taps her fingers on the counter. “Maybe my mom was right. Getting some shut-eye for tomorrow would be a good idea.” He nods, even though he feels wide awake, and follows her up the stairs of the mansion.

Clarke pauses at one of the doors in the corridor. “I’m going to sleep in here.”

“Okay,” he says.

A pause.

She brushes her hair out of her face. Some of the blonde strands are stuck to her neck. He itches to tuck them behind her ear, and is so preoccupied with squashing the urge that he nearly misses it when she says quietly, “Stay with me?”

He looks at her then, really looks at her. She’s standing with her hand on the doorknob; her blue eyes are bright and wide and beseeching, her head tilted to one side as she waits for his answer.

“You want that?” He asks finally, overcoming his shock.

She smiles at that, a little sadly. “You don’t have to if you don’t want.”

There’s no one he’d rather spend his last night alive with. “Course I do,” he says, as casually as he can, and the sadness leaves her smile. In answer, she pushes open the door and he follows her in.

Like the rest of the rooms in this mansion, it’s luxurious and huge, larger than life. The lighting is soft yellow and dim. Neither of them bother turning the lights on brighter. Clarke kicks off her boots and climbs into the bed in the center of the room, pulling the covers off to slip inside. He follows her lead, sliding his jacket off his shoulders and throwing it on a chair in the corner of the room. He sits down on the edge of the bed and takes off his boots. He’s hyper-aware that she’s watching him from behind.

Sure enough, when he finally clambers onto the bed, she’s lying on her side, watching him. She reaches for him as soon as he settles in. “Hold me?” she whispers, hands outstretched.

He barely hesitates to wrap an arm around her shoulders and pull her close, so that her head is nestled against his chest, and he can rest his chin on her hair.

They simply breathe in and out like that for a long while. Clarke’s body is soft, molding to his side, the feeling comfortingly familiar. But predictably, as he stares up at the ceiling, his thoughts turn to the impending apocalypse.

After a while, Clarke stirs. He’s a little startled; he’d thought she was dozing off. “I can’t sleep,” she murmurs against his arm.

“Me neither,” he admits. He thinks it has something to do with this room. It’s pretty, and the bed is the most comfortable one he’s ever laid down on, but it feels a little claustrophobic here. Like he’s stuck in a big, padded yellow box. They lie there in silence for another moment, but now the thought has been voiced, and he can feel that she’s just as unsettled as he is. He sighs. “I’m not used to sleeping in a room like this.”

She’s quiet for another moment, and then quite suddenly she pulls herself up into an upright position. He’s surprised to see the grin on her face. “I have an idea.”

Clarke knows the mansion better than he does, but she chooses not to tell him where they’re going.

“It’s a surprise,” she says.

“I’ve had just about enough of those on Earth,” he grumbles, but he obeys when she simply tells him to take as many blankets and pillows as he can carry.

And then they trod down the silent hall, up another set of stairs. At the top, Clarke pushes another door open and they’re met with the sight of stars.

Bellamy stops in the doorway behind her. This room is different than the others. It’s nestled in a back corner of the house, and where there should be two walls meeting each other and a roof, there is instead a dome-shaped piece of glass stretching from above down to the carpet, giving them the impression that they are standing in the middle of the night sky. Clarke watches him, the way his expression clears, the way he inhales deeply, almost unconsciously.

“It’s great, isn’t it?” she says, feeling pleased. He tears his gaze away, focuses on her instead.

“Yeah,” he merely says. She hears the underlying gratitude in his tone, and nods at him.

Then she plods over to the couch in the center of the room. It’s facing the sky, and she idly wonders who used to sit here, in the world before.

“Becca, I bet,” Bellamy says, joining her. She blinks, having not realized she’d verbalized that. It’s very easy for her thoughts and her words to blend together when she’s with Bellamy. “Probably sat here thinking about all the ways she could screw us over,” he adds.

Clarke frowns. “She had good intentions.”

“Didn’t we all,” he says dryly, and she nods, conceding the point.

She dumps down her share of pillows and blankets on the floor. He follows her lead, sitting on the floor and leaning against the couch. She draws her knees up to her chest, and together they just stare at the night sky, the countless stars scattered across it.

“It’s almost like being outside,” she says.

“All we need now is a tent,” Bellamy replies, nudging her shoulder, and she grins, recalling the dropship days.

“If only.”

“We could, you know,” Bellamy says, and she looks at him. His dark eyes are mischievous— her favourite look for them to have. “We could build a tent.” He nods his head towards the blankets and pillows around them. She understands after a moment.

It’s not like they have anything else to do, so she and Bellamy build a pillow fort.

Bellamy pulls the couch cushions off the couch, and they use them as the walls of their little tent, draping one of the blankets over it as a roof. Clarke fits pillows wherever the structural integrity of it is dubious. The back of the couch serves as the wall, but there’s enough room for both of them to lie down on their stomachs under the fort and poke their heads out to watch the night sky.

“You’re good at this,” she says, elbowing him once they’ve settled in on the blanket they had draped across the carpet. He’s adjusting one of the pillows so that the roof doesn’t fall in on their heads.

The lightness fades from his expression a bit. “I did it with Octavia all the time.”

She sighs. “I did it with Wells.” She can feel him glancing her way, because she hardly ever mentions Wells. She misses him too much to talk about it, and the pointlessness of his death makes it even harder. Right now, she can’t help but think that if he were alive, she’d have two best friends instead of one. But then again… “Sometimes, in a weird way, I’m almost glad he’s not here,” she admits. She knows Bellamy won’t judge her. He waits, just listens for her to continue. She swallows, propping her chin on her hand. “He died before everything that happened. He didn’t have to suffer, or be forced to make hard choices. And he won’t have to die like this, blasted apart from radiation.”

“None of us are going to be blasted apart from radiation,” Bellamy says automatically, and she snorts. His tone isn’t convincing.

“Come on, Bellamy.”

He doesn’t say anything.

“Some of us are going to die that way,” she whispers, staring ahead. “And nothing we do can stop it.”

“Feels kind of useless sometimes, doesn’t it,” Bellamy agrees. “We try everything, and the world still finds some way to screw us over.”

He doesn’t sound angry— they’re all way past that now— but he does inject that dark humour into his tone, and in this moment it all strikes her as a little ridiculous. She drops her head down to the carpet and lets out a huff of amusement.

“What,” he says above her. She can hear his smile.

“It’s just,” she laughs, “How many hints does the world have to give us before we realize it wants us gone?”

He’s quiet for a moment while she giggles, and then: “I can think of one more.”

She hears the humour in his voice and she rolls onto her back to look up at him. “Yeah? What’s that?”

“It could write it in the constellations.” He points in the sky, to the stars, and draws imaginary letters with his pointer finger. “One day we’ll look up and it’ll just say F-u-c-k o-f-f,” he mutters, while Clarke hits his shoulder with her hand, now shaking with laughter. He catches it, holding it in his. His dark eyes glitter with amusement. “If there’s any doubt left, that should do it.”

They grin at each other, and she squeezes his hand. “You know how the dinosaurs got wiped out with that asteroid?” He nods. “Maybe we’re supposed to be wiped out too. Maybe this is the next mass extinction. Wonder what’ll come next?”

“More dinosaurs,” he suggests, letting go of her hand so he can roll onto his back along with her, so they’re shoulder to shoulder and looking up at the sky.

“I was thinking it would be the rise of the two-headed deer,” she replies, turning her face to look at him.

Bellamy smiles a little. Clarke thinks she’s never seen a more beautiful sight. “Or something better,” he whispers, eyes a little glassy as he stares in thought. The dim moonlight cuts over his cheekbones. “Something better than we were.”

They fall silent again. Clarke tucks her nose into the hollow of his throat; just like earlier in the bedroom, he wraps his arm around her shoulders.

Maybe they can’t sleep, but under the stars, they can still dream.

Despite his certainty that he wouldn’t, they somehow doze off for a while. Bellamy wakes up to the sky lightening slowly, the stars gradually becoming fainter in the dark blue sky. He props his chin up on his pillow to get his last glimpse of them— he’d turned onto his stomach during the few hours they were asleep— while Clarke stirs. Her upper body is draped over his back, her cheek resting on the back of his shoulder.

“Did my mom call?” she murmurs sleepily.

He reaches behind him to pet at her hair. “No. Go back to sleep.”

Predictably, she shifts instead, yawning. “I should probably go check on her.” He doesn’t say anything. They both know there’s probably nothing to do. It’s just hard for them to sit back and do nothing.

But there’s also a hint of reluctance in her voice. Especially now, especially knowing what’s coming next, as the morning fast approaches, and people will be waking up and banging on the doors of the lab, demanding a solution. Bellamy and Clarke might not get another moment outside of this one.

“Bellamy,” Clarke whispers, shifting off his back a bit. He cranes his neck to look at her. Her eyelids are heavy, lips flushed and hair tussled prettily from sleep. He feels her stroke her hand over his back.

The way she says his name makes his heart flutter with anticipation; his name from her full lips is filled with just the right amount of softness mixed with respect mixed with adoration mixed with something else they’re both afraid to name. It’s the way that she always says his name when she really wants him to pay attention.

(He always does.)

“If today is the end of the world,” Clarke says, carefully, “I want you to know tonight, with you, was the best night I’ve had on earth.”

Bellamy’s heart kicks, jumps in his chest. Every word of what she’s said is laden with meaning. She watches him take it in, eyes still dark, still endlessly soft for him. All he can do is stare.

Clarke couldn’t have said it clearer in any other way, save for actually saying it. And they both know they won’t do that. Not right now.

But it’s clear in her steady gaze that she wants him to see it anyway. Her fingers continue to stroke over his spine. He doesn’t know what to say, much less when she leans down, and presses a warm kiss to his cheek.

She laughs softly when he immediately turns his face into the pillow, not wanting her to see the blush he can feel heating his cheeks. But he still revels at the sound of her laugh, the fact that he could pull that joyous sound from her throat, even more so when he feels her hand on the back of his head, ruffling his hair. He almost jumps when he feels her lips on the back of his neck.

“You’re my favourite, you know,” she whispers like a secret into his skin. It sends a shiver down his spine. There’s more than just softness there. He’s sure he hasn’t imagined that it sounds a little wanton.

Still, he tries his best to play it off. “Don’t worry,” he replies lightly, voice muffled by the pillow. “I won’t tell the other kids.”

She laughs again, smaller this time, ending in something of a sigh. A moment later he feels her fingers hook over the back of his collar and pull his shirt back just a bit.

He really jumps when she presses her lips to the skin on the back of his shoulder.

She withdraws immediately at his sharp intake of breath. “Sorry.”

Curiosity overpowers him. He lifts his head from the pillows and turns to look at her. She doesn’t look very apologetic. Even in the dim lighting, he can tell her cheeks are flushed. His eyes can’t help but follow that flush as it trails down her neck and into her— he pulls his gaze back up before it can go too far.

Her eyes are hooded with desire when he meets them again.

“Clarke,” he says into the complete silence around them. He means to make it a warning, but it almost sounds like he’s panting her name, begging instead.

She fidgets, chest rising and falling with deep breaths. He tries not to notice the movements of her cleavage, which is especially hard due to the fact that her shirt has slid lower over her chest in her sleep. “I couldn’t help it.”

“I never said you had to,” he finds himself saying, voice pitched low. She stares at him from above, teeth worrying her lip as if considering. He reaches up, puts his hand on the back of her neck. And lets it rest, nothing else. It’s an invitation, that’s all. Take it or leave it.

WIthout a moment’s hesitation, Clarke takes it. She leans in, her waves of blonde hair falling between them and the outside, putting them in their own little world when their lips meet, soft at first. The way he’s dreamed of kissing her, just a tentative meeting of mouths, just to hear the little sighs she makes, the rustling of their clothes as they slowly pull each other closer.

When they kiss again, it’s deeper, Clarke tilting her jaw, her hands drifting to his cheeks. His hand, for its part, winds the hair at the back of her neck slowly into his fist to keep her as close as he can. She whines against his mouth.

He rolls them over, continuing to kiss her, and it’s maddeningly slow, but in an intense sort of way that has her hands scrabbling over his arms, over his back. “Bellamy,” she moans, spreading her legs to allow him closer. “Bellamy, I need—”

He lowers his pelvis from simply hovering over her to pressing against her core, and she sighs at the contact, stretching her neck like a cat. He dips his head to her throat, mouthing at her pulse, one of his hands careful on her hip, the other still wound up in her hair made even yellower in the rising sun outside.

Clarke makes a sound, arching her back a little to rise up, open up her frame even more to him, and he obligingly drops down completely on her, so that they’re pressed up against everywhere. He pauses here, in case his weight is too much. But she immediately wraps her legs around him.

He groans, burying his face into the hollow of her throat. “Clarke.” She feels too good wrapped around his body, better than he ever could have imagined.

“Mmhm,” she responds, bucking her hips and dragging his mouth back to hers. He lets himself get lost in her again, their kisses matching time to the rhythm of their slow, rolling thrusts against each other, the friction frustratingly sweet; too much and yet not enough at all.

Her hands creep around his back, sliding under his shirt. With every thrust of their hips, her hands surge a little higher, taking his shirt with them, and a few seconds later, she’s got it up to his shoulders. He leans back to let her pull it off him.

She discards it to the side, not taking her eyes off. She runs her hands down his chest. Her touch is almost reverent and it makes him shiver just a little to think that she sees him that way. When her eyes come back to his, they’re blown even wider than before. Her chest is heaving again, and finally he gives himself permission to drop his gaze there.

Clarke, always a quick study, reaches down to grab the hem of her shirt, and he gets out of her way while she does, although he kisses the skin she reveals as she peels it off. Her bra is pale blue and worn-out, and her nipples strain against the thin padding. It’s still got a pretty bit of lace hanging on the tops of the cups.

“I know,” she says at his silence, smiling ruefully. “It’s old.”

He thumbs at the edge of it, where the bottom swell of her breast meets her ribcage, raising goosebumps there. “And it’s beautiful,” he says honestly.

She huffs a little. “You know just what to say, don’t you?”

“I say what I think,” he responds, defensive.

“I know,” she says. “That’s the best part.” She reaches behind herself and unclasps her bra. She lets it fall away, and he once again has to take a moment to take her in, all her soft, rounded curves that house the strong, sharp person she is inside.

“Got your fill yet?” Clarke teases, stretching her arms over her head, preening for him.

He raises his eyes to hers. “Never.” He barely pauses then, getting his hands on her immediately, and his lips. He listens to her gasps at every swipe of his tongue, every squeeze of his hand. “You’re so good,” she whines, a little nonsensically as she bucks her hips up again, “you’re so good to me.”

The words set him on fire. He wants nothing more to be as good as he can. He pulls his mouth away from her nipple and presses it instead in the valley between her breasts as he squeezes them together, and then he presses another kiss a little lower down her stomach, and then another one further down on her belly button. Her breathing stalls a little, and he pauses, careful.

“Are you okay with this?” he asks, looking up at her in the near-darkness.

Her chest rises and falls rapidly, eyes wide, a little dazed and too pretty to be real. “Bellamy, you don’t have to—”

“I want to,” he says roughly, unable to help how aggressive he sounds in that moment, because he can’t get over how good she looks, how good she sounds as breathless as she is, breathless because of him. He wants to devour her. But he takes a deep breath, trying to control himself. “I want you,” he says simply, calmly, and as soon as he says it he’s made completely aware that the word ‘want’ sounds very close to another one. The desperation seizes him all over again at that realization. “I’ll make you feel so good,” he promises her, rubbing his cheek against her bare stomach, “I will.”

A shudder ripples through her body. When she nods, he ducks his head, and she helps him peel off her pants. He stops her from pulling her underwear down her legs, though. Instead, he presses his mouth against the damp center of her panties, simply breathes hotly against her warmth, inhales the smell of her. She makes a broken-sounding noise when he nuzzles his nose into fabric, pushing it into her a bit.

“Bellamy,” she begs, her hands finding their way into his hair.

Bellamy nods against her, and fists the material of her panties in both his hands, lifting off a little to drag them off her. Clarke bends one of her legs, and he ducks a little as she pulls one of her legs out of the underwear, letting it dangle on leg. He pushes it down to the knee of that leg and takes the other that’s still bent in the air and puts it on his shoulder. Without waiting for anything else, he licks into her, flat up her slit, the flick of his tongue teasing her pubic hair, and she gasps again.


Her voice dies when he really gets to work, spreading her thighs apart with one hand, and begins fucking her with his tongue in earnest.

“More,” she begs from above. “Fingers. I love your fingers.”

He smiles despite himself. “My fingers?”

“Yes,” she moans. He teases one at her entrance, waiting for more. When she falls silent, he draws it away and she whines again.

“Tell me,” he rasps, hardly believing that he’s getting Clarke off. Perhaps this is a strange dream. But he knows it isn’t; his imagination could never conjure up such a sight. “Tell me what you’ve thought about.”

“Your fingers,” she whispers in a wrecked voice, and he finally slides one in, making an obscenely wet noise that makes her voice skyrocket to a higher pitch. “Your— your fingers fucking me.”

God, that’s so hot, that she’s thought about it. He can’t help but rut his hips a little against the floor, seeking friction, and he puts his mouth back on her, setting a pace with his finger and his lips. Every moan he knocks from her lips makes him rut against the floor. He can’t himself; the sounds she makes are too much.

“So pretty,” he groans when he lifts his head to see her writhing above him. “So fucking pretty, Clarke.”

Clarke lifts her head a little, sees what he’s doing, how he’s pleasuring himself a bit along with her, and moans his name again. “Bellamy. That’s so hot, Bellamy.” She yanks on his hair, a little mean with it. “You getting yourself off like that.”

He pauses, a little surprised despite himself. She pushes at his head, needy, and he keeps going. “Thought about sucking you off,” she breathes, and he curls another finger inside her. She arches up. He can tell she’s close from the way she clenches down on his fingers. She stutters a little in her words now. “I want— I want— to make you feel good, too. The way you always do for me.”

Bellamy is bewildered at the things coming out of her mouth. The fact that she’s fantasized about getting him off, telling him it while he’s buried between her thighs no less, and apparently more turned on by the minute, nearly has him seeing white. He doesn’t want to come against this fucking blanket, though, so he decides it’s about time to finish her off. He returns his tongue to her clit, lashing and at the same time driving his fingers faster inside her, until she’s frozen up and her talk has devolved to gibberish and then she’s fluttering all around him.

She hardly gives him or herself a moment to breathe before she’s pulling him back up, taking him in. He takes her in in return; she looks completely blissed out, red cheeks, baby hairs sticking to her temples, pretty tits flushed from his attention and from arousal.

She wipes at his chin, her own wetness coming away on her thumb.

“You’re covered in me,” she says, voice husky.

“Just the way I like it,” he tells her. Her lips part, and he leans in, and they kiss sloppily for a moment, Clarke licking at his lips and at his chin, lapping up her own taste. She bites at his lip, pulling it down a bit so she can dive her tongue inside his mouth, greedily finding his. Meanwhile her hands trail down his sides, sliding down his skin to his belt, one hand finding his arousal and squeezing lightly. “You didn’t get off,” she breathes, sounding almost disappointed.

He hisses, grabbing her wrist. “I’m not going to last like this,” he admits to her, dropping his forehead down to hers.

“I don’t want you to,” she says. Her free hand slips under his belt, teasing the line of his boxers. “Take these off,” she commands.

He does, and the moment his cargo pants and boxers have slid away from his ankles her hands both come down with a sudden, soft slap on the slightly damp skin of his back, and then slide all the way down to his ass, and the realization that she’s feeling him up like this makes his face hot. He ducks his head into her chest to get his bearings, and she giggles.

“You’re so sexy, Bellamy.” She squeezes lightly and lifts the cradle of her hips in invitation. He rubs himself against her, slowly. “I want you to come inside me now. That’s it,” she whispers when he shudders, her hands stroking the dimples on his lower back. “I want to feel you inside me, when you do. Can you do that for me, Bellamy?”

He chokes on a laugh at her serious tone, unable to believe this is happening. “I don’t think that’ll be difficult, Clarke.”

“Then what are you waiting for?” She asks, sultry.

He pauses for a moment, then grabs her around the waist, pulling her up. The blanket that serves as the fort’s roof collapses as he pulls them upright but he bats it away. She looks surprised for a moment, right before he leans against the couch and hauls her into his lap, and then she sinks right on him.

She’s slick and snug around him, and mind-numbingly warm. His mind blanks out for a moment.

“Bellamy,” Clarke moans, her hands scrabbling for purchase to clutch his arms, his shoulders. “God, you feel so good.” She clenches down.

“Clarke,” he manages to say. All other words have left his vocabulary.

She kisses him, deceptively soft for what she whispers next. “Fuck me, Bellamy.”

She doesn’t have to ask him twice. He’s already so close to coming he knows he won’t be able to last long enough to give her a good fuck. But he’s set on at least making her come once more. He knows she doesn’t expect him to, which is what drives him to do it. He thrusts up into her, and she grabs onto his shoulders more securely.

They find a rhythm after a few moments, but she’s so soft and perfect around him, making those fucking mewling noises and murmuring his name like a prayer that he knows he can’t handle it much longer. So he just gets his thumb pressed against where they’re joined, strumming against her, and she thrashes a little on his lap, movements getting messy and wild.

“Like that, like that, like that,” she chants, and he hums in agreement, keeping up a relentless rhythm, until she’s fluttering around him again, softer now, but she doesn’t quite relax in his arms. If anything, a determined edge comes into her eye, and she leans into him.

“Your turn,” she whispers, reaching down to take the hand he’s got pressed on her between them and bringing it up to her breast.

He pants, completely gone, hands tightening on her, probably painfully, but she doesn’t complain. Her hands are in his hair again, and this time she’s urging his face forward. She pushes his face into her breasts, holds him there, in her soft warmth, and he comes then. It brings in him such a lightheaded feeling of white pleasure that he’s barely aware of Clarke stroking down his face, his shoulders, and his sides, and her murmuring in her throaty voice, “That’s it, that’s it, Bellamy.” She rocks against him, still wrapped up in his lap, and he rocks with her, face still buried into her chest because he’s overwhelmed with it, with her, with them.

She nudges his head up finally and he’s dazed, but not so dazed that he doesn’t see the affection on her features, and in the way she strokes his sweaty hair.

“You good?” she asks softly.

He takes a moment to breathe. “I’m good,” he reassures her. She nudges his nose with hers, then lifts off him, and nuzzles into his side instead. He turns his face, following her movement with half-lidded eyes; she understands and tilts her head up. Their mouths meet once more; a lazy, satisfied kiss. Then she drops her head onto his shoulder and he leans his back onto the couch. They lapse into silence again, both relaxed and loose from what they’ve just done. What it means, though, is a different story.

But, it occurs to him right then, that’s not quite right. What they’ve just done is all part of the same story, the one that’s been writing itself since they first met, since they first sat and talked under that tree, since the first time she stood up for him, since they reunited for the first time, since every time they have supported each other, since every single tender moment between them. This doesn’t feel fundamentally different than those other things. It just feels like an acknowledgement of what they mean to each other.

There’s a sudden sound from outside; it sounds like a bird. The sun has now risen, and it’s still quite early. But there’s an unmistakable cawing sound nearby.

Clarke sounds faintly surprised. “Crows.”

“Trust crows to be here until the very end,” Bellamy muses.

Clarke sits silently for another moment before reaching for her bra where they’d discarded it. “We’d better find out what’s going on.” Her business-like tone is back, but it’s undercut when she gives him a sly smile before pulling her shirt over her head.

They clean up in that comfortable silence again, and when they’re back in their clothes, they’re simply facing the door, neither of them taking another step.

“Bellamy,” Clarke says, turning to him, her voice wavering.

He knows what she’s thinking of saying. This is a moment of weakness for her, the same as it was for him after Roan’s guards tried to steal the hydrazine. And just like she did for him, he won’t let her close the book entirely here. They need hope to keep going.

“You were right, you know,” he says casually. She looks puzzled for a moment, successfully distracted. He continues. “I never should have opened the drop ship door.”

He watches the joke land, and the smile that spreads from her eyes to her lips. And then she laughs, taking the step forward to duck her head into his shoulder. He wraps his arm around her and pulls her into a hug, closer to him, savouring this moment. She clings to his neck, laughing, and, if he strains his ears a bit, sniffling a little. But when Clarke pulls away, there’s no trace of sadness in her lovely eyes.

“It wasn’t all bad,” she says softly, knowingly.

“No,” Bellamy agrees, bumping her shoulder with his. “It wasn’t.”